Impulse at 50, Christian Scott, Roney's residency
Ron Scott | 10/26/2011, 6:20 p.m.
When Impulse Records began in 1960, established by producer Creed Taylor, John Coltrane was one of the first artists signed. Due to his consistent sales and critical acclaim for taking the music in yet another direction, the label later became known as "The House That Trane Built."
On Oct. 28-29, Jazz at Lincoln Center will celebrate Impulse Records at 50 in the Rose Theater (60th Street at Broadway). Coltrane's bassist, Reggie Workman (educator and leader in his own right), honors his legacy with his own African-American Legacy Project, conducted by Charles Tolliver and featuring pianist Stanley Cowell, in a recreation of the legendary album "Africa Brass," complete with a full jazz orchestra and 16-member chorus.
In the 1980s, Impulse sprang back during the "Young Lions" days. An important young artist of that Impulse era was pianist Eric Reed, one of the most innovative pianists of today whose expressive playing continues to get rave reviews.
Reed will open the concert with his ensemble Surge, including bassist Rodney Whitaker, drummer Willie Jones III, tenor saxophonists Seamus Blake and Stacy Dillard, trombonists Andre Hayward and Danny Kirkhum, trumpeter Jim Rotondi and vocalist Andy Bey-one of the few great male vocalists on the jazz scene. They will feature the music of various Impulse artists including Oliver Nelson, Freddie Hubbard, Duke Ellington, Johnny Hartman, Coltrane and, of course, Reed himself.
It should be noted that Taylor left Impulse in 1961. His successor, Bob Thiele, produced most of the label's jazz catalogue (1961-1969), which included Coltrane's "Live! At the Village Vanguard," released in March of 1962, as well as Coltrane's classic 1965 album "A Love Supreme," which sold over half a million albums by 1970.
At 7 p.m. every night, there is a pre-concert discussion with Reed. For ticket information, visit jalc.org. Tickets prices run from $30 to $120.
Additionally, there is a nightly pre-concert celebration at 6:30 p.m. with live music by Bryan Carter, tastings provided by Harlem Brewing Company and La Maison Le Grand sauces and displays from Harlem Arts Alliance, Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium and Jazz Record Center.
Trumpeter Christian Scott, another gifted musician from New Orleans, will perform at the Harlem Stage Gatehouse (Convent Avenue at 135th Street) Oct. 28-29, with sets at 7:30 p.m. each night. The first evening will feature five new compositions that build on the "harmolodic" musical philosophy of Ornette Coleman, as well as works from Scott's "Anthem" (2007) and "Live from Newport" (2008).
On Oct. 29, Scott will premiere five new compositions showcasing a new harmonic form he created called "Forecasting Harmony and Rhythms of the Afro-Native American Traditions of New Orleans," in addition to works from his 2010 release, "Yesterday You Said Tomorrow."
Scott's quintet includes guitarist Matthew Stevens, pianist Milton Fletcher Jr., bassist Kristopher Keith Funn and drummer Jamire Williams.
Scott is noted for "un-voicing" his tone, emphasizing breath over vibration at the mouthpiece. He refers to it as his "whisper technique." Pointers from his uncle, alto saxophonist Donald Harrison, and trumpeter Clark Terry, along with two years of intense concentration and practice, helped develop his tone.