- Jazz Matinee, Sunday, August 18, 2019 2 pm at Mitchell Park El Palo Alto room. I cannot announce the name of this act until next week or so. So it’s a little weird it’s on-sale. It’s a matinee because I have tickets to The Rolling Stones at 49ers stadium that night — I’m also seeing Joe Russo Almost Dead (JRAD) at Frost the day before. I’ve admire this musician/leader/composer for several years and am thrilled to be presenting this person. This person is from the Bay Area and based elsewhere and is coming to town to record a cd, with a small window that matched The Mitch schedule on that Sunday, and my schedule I guess. So far no one has gone all in just on the title “Special Jazz Matinee”.
- Sun Kil Moon, Friday September 27. I had heard about Red House Painters back in the day — the 1990s, but was not particularly a fan. I recall seeing them in Cambridge, MA once while visiting that area. But recently I started tripping on the Duk Koo Kim song, which I heard on a compilation included in NME, a special issue on Joni Mitchell and her influence (hey I just noticed the Mitch thingy there, far out!). Then I saw him a Kuubwa recently, a folk yeah!! show. Then I saw Donny McCaslin at Bing basement and he has Mark Kozelek of SKM doing vocals on something. Then I ran into him Mark at Caffe Trieste and he said to contact his agent but he was not opposed to playing Palo Alto.
- Scott Amendola/Trevor Dunn/Philip Greenlief on Friday, October 11. I’ve worked with Scott Amendola probably a dozen times, but never worked with Greenlief or Dunn. I’ve seen Greenlief play at Luggage Store or the series he books at that little gallery on Mason Street; I don’t think I’ve ever seen Trevor Dunn but hold him in a reverence, not exactly sure why. We’ll find out.
- I also have a Tom Harrell show on sale for Thursday October 24 but NOT at The Mitch. I have it onsale with a tba location but no one has bit yet. I will clear up the room shortly. Harrell is a trumpet player who grew up in Los Altos and went to Stanford and has TK credits according to All Music and his based I think in NYC.
He has 40 sets as a leader, including Infinity this year on HalfNote or HighNote. There are roughly eight songs or compositions by other jazz dudes or dudettes called either “for tom harrell” or “tom harrell”. There are 791 sessions in the All Music data base as credits for Tom Harrell, but that includes people covering his songs (“composer”). I count 83 sets where he does not appear accept as a composer, so that makes almost 700 recordings on which he appears, apparently including Carlos Santana 1972 “Caravanserie”.
his latest was featured on NPR in April in a piece by Kevin Whitehead, to wit: do it, to wit:
check back later, and i’ll edit out the clams:
KEVIN WHITEHEAD, BYLINE: “Dublin” by trumpet player Tom Harrell – for decades, he’s been making first-rate records and acquiring high-profile admirers without quite becoming a household name. Harrell occupies his own corner of the jazz scene. He likes to record his own compositions and generally takes a thoughtful and even reserved approach. But he’s a swinger, too, and his best pieces have compulsive drive. The highlight of his new quintet album, “Infinity,” is his tune “Ground.” Its infectious, doubled-up shuffle beat sends the trumpeter to his happy place.
(SOUNDBITE OF TOM HARRELL’S “GROUND”)
WHITEHEAD: A buoyant rhythm section always helps – in this case, Ben Street on bass, Johnathan Blake on drums and Charles Altura doing a little light overdubbing on guitars. Not having a piano opens up the texture. Leader Tom Harrell is partial to understatement in the great tradition of un-shouty jazz horn players. Any trumpeter using Harmon mute to get a plaintive sound will remind some listeners of Miles Davis. Tom Harrell is his own man, but he may make that connection himself. His solo on “Hope” recalls Miles’ economy and dry wit.
(SOUNDBITE OF TOM HARRELL’S “HOPE”)
WHITEHEAD: The trumpeter’s partner in the front line is tenor saxophonist Mark Turner, a thinking horn player himself. There’s good give and take between them when they solo back to back. These players are thoughtful, but that doesn’t mean they can’t turn up the heat, especially with that rhythm section pushing.
(SOUNDBITE OF TOM HARRELL’S “CORONATION”)
WHITEHEAD: Tom Harrell has been crossing paths with and hiring most of these younger musicians for a decade. So even though this lineup and much of the music is newish, the performances have a lived-in feel. That comfort level among the players lets them be their best. Group chemistry and deft composing make “Infinity” one more polished, inventive, easy-on-the-ears Tom Harrell album to check out – jazz in the modern mainstream that’s really, really good.
I hope they don’t mind that I’m calling the show “Tom Harrell Goes Home”.
This just in: hold Friday, Sept. 13, 2019 at The Mitch if you are an avid fan of Earthwise at The Mitch in that I just got an email from an artist saying that if I send him a deposit “we can make it work”.