Kathleen Battle at Blue Note, Latin Jazz back, Singers Connection
6/13/2012, 6:20 p.m.
Kathleen Battle, one of the most renowned opera sopranos in the world, will grace the Blue Note stage for one night only on June 19 for two shows at 8 and 10:30 p.m. During the last decade, her many projects have included recitals, concert programs, a CD and performances devoted to spirituals and recordings with jazz musicians.
Battle, a five-time Grammy Award winner, will be accompanied by pianist Cyrus Chestnut, who is equally at home in jazz, gospel and classical settings. This is perhaps the first time an international diva of opera has appeared at the famed West Village jazz club, which means these shows should not be missed. We aren't sure of Battle's repertoire, but be assured, it will be astounding.
The collaboration will bring the music together for an unforgettable evening, and this isn't Battle's debut in the jazz arena. In December 1993, she was joined by Martin Katz and Kenny Barron on piano, drummer Grady Tate, saxophonist Grover Washington Jr. and bassist David Williams at Carnegie Hall for a concert featuring the music of Handel, Haydn and Duke Ellington as well as Christmas spirituals.
She also collaborated with other musicians, including trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, in a recording of baroque arias entitled "Baroque Duet." In October 1998, she joined pianist Herbie Hancock on his album "Gershwin's World" in Ravel's Prelude in C# Minor.
On the opera stage, she performed in a variety of Mozart, Rossini and Donizetti operas and made her role debut as Marie in Donizetti's "La fille du regiment" at the San Francisco Opera in 1993. Between 1990 and 1993, she performed in several productions at the Metropolitan Opera.
Pianist Jason Moran, a witty improvisationist whose innovative voyages knock fans on their heels and keeps them in the front seats of tomorrow, will hang for a one-nighter at the Blue Note on June 20. He will be joined by drummer Herlin Riley, who has had varied associations with Harry Connick Jr., Dr. John and Ahmad Jamal. The two will lead an exciting evening, with two shows at 9 and 11:30 p.m.
McCoy Tyner, the dynamic pianist from the original John Coltrane Quartet, will join forces with trumpeter Charles Tolliver and his big band on June 21-24 at the Blue Note to recreate the music of Coltrane's seminal 1961 album "AFRICA/BRASS" for two shows at 8 and 10:30 p.m.
The recording, featuring arrangements and orchestrations by Tyner and Eric Dolphy, was Coltrane's first of many releases for the Impulse! label. A four-time Grammy winner and NEA Jazz Master, Tyner has contributed to some of the most classic albums and groups in jazz history, including Coltrane's "My Favorite Things" (1960).
An entirely self-taught musician, Tolliver has gained an outstanding reputation as a trumpeter, bandleader, composer and arranger. Tolliver's Grammy-nominated "With Love" (2007) earned him the Jazz Journalists Association's Best Large Ensemble of the Year Award for the Charles Tolliver Big Band.
In 1971, he and Stanley Cowell founded Strata-East Records, one of the first artist-owned jazz record labels. Tolliver released many albums and collaborations on Strata.