Generations Jazz Fest, Nuyorican Tuesdays, George Curry
Ron Scott | 9/1/2016, 3:29 p.m.
The seventh annual Coca-Cola Generations in Jazz Festival brings together legendary jazz masters and emerging artists from Sept. 1 to Oct. 2 at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola (60th Street and Broadway).
For Dizzy’s, this festival is a rigorous but creative set of mainly one-nighters, featuring more than 200 musicians in 32 nights. The festival includes three special series: “Lessons from Our Masters,” featuring jazz legends, “Big Band Mondays” and “Flip Side Sessions,” which pairs two distinct line-ups led by emerging artists.
The festival opens with the young trumpeter Bruce Harris and the Big Sax Section, with tenor saxophonists Jerry Weldon and Grant Stewart, baritone saxophonist Frank Basile, alto saxophonist Andy Farber, pianist Michael Weiss, bassist Clovis Nicolas and drummer Pete Van Nostrand.
Sept. 3, the baritone saxophonist Dayna Stephens brings together the seasoned trumpeter Tom Harrell and Miles Davis alumnus, the drummer Al Foster, along with bassist Ben Street and pianist Aaron Parks in the Dayna Stephens Quintet.
The following evening, the Nate Smith Trio will feature the renowned bassist and Miles Davis alumnus Dave Holland, with the younger alto saxophonist Jaleel Shaw, a longtime member of NEA Jazz Master Roy Haynes’ Fountain of Youth band. The drummer Smith is also a member of Holland’s big band.
A “Salute to Orrin Keepnews” (jazz writer and record producer) Sept. 8, featuring the NEA Jazz Masters, the tenor saxophonist and composer Jimmy Heath and the pianist/composer Randy Weston, along with Gary Bartz, drummers Akira Tana and Jack DeJohnette, bassists Ray Drummond, Rufus Reid and Sam Gill and pianist Larry Willis.
Sept. 9 to Sept. 11, the saxophonist Dave Liebman celebrates his 70th birthday, featuring Expansions, his new band with pianist/keyboardist Bobby Avey, reeds player Matt Vashlishan, acoustic/electric bassist Tony Marino and drummer/percussionist Alex Ritz.
The Miles Davis alumnus will play elements of free jazz and rearrangements of jazz standards. For a complete listing, visit the website www.jazz.org. There are two sets each night at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
Since 1973, The Nuyorican Poets Café has been a New York City haven for poets, musicians, actors and visual artists. It is a revolutionary forum that continues to spark the Nuyorican arts movement in the 21st century.
Latin jazz and hot salsa rhythms jump every month at the Lower East Side spot. The first Tuesday of each month, the percussionist Chembo Corneil performs with his quintet, featuring pianist Darwin Nogueroa, tenor saxophonist Hery Paz, bassist Ian Stewart and drummer Joel Mateo.
These same abled musicians accompany him on his latest CD, “Land of the Descendants” (Chemboro Records), with the exception of Frank Fontaine, who plays saxophones and flute, and invited guests vocalist Kat Gang and trumpeter James Zollar.
In the liner notes Corneil stated, “This project is a reflection of the here and now deeply rooted in the African-based rhythms and Nuyorican jazz. It is my contribution to the growing body of work that represents our musical heritage.”
The title cut swings to hot Latin rhythms with a swift salsa flow, saturated sax riffs and heavy percussive and drum persuasions. Of the eight tracks, the most touching is “Transparent Souls,” led by Fontaine on flute interacting with a soft piano, cool percussive sounds and Benjamin Sutin’s violin. The CD overall swings with a blues connection that moves from African rhythms to Latin jazz.