Bronx Rising, Reggie Workman, Coltrane, Jazzmobile

9/14/2017, 5:59 p.m.
At a point in jazz history, the Bronx was an enduring hard-bop borough, where that sound of hipness was the ...
Jazz Notes

At a point in jazz history, the Bronx was an enduring hard-bop borough, where that sound of hipness was the order of the day, and many musicians called it home.

Although many of the swinging joints have left by the way of the old elevated train lines, along with some of its former residents, that improvisational Bronx tradition continues with the Bronx Music Heritage Center (BMHC Lab, 1303 Louis Nine Blvd.).

Sept. 16, the Center presents “Bronx Rising! Maxine Sullivan Women in Jazz Series,” with the noted pianist and composer Bertha Hope and bassist/vocalist Mimi Jones.

The screening of “Seeking Hope,” a documentary based on the life of the pianist, will be followed by a Q&A with Jones and Hope. The Mimi Jones Band and The Black Madonna Project will perform.

The jazz series is named for the prominent vocalist Maxine Sullivan, who lived for many years in the Bronx, working as a singer, educator and nurse. A street in the borough was named in her honor.

This event begins at 7 p.m. and is open to the public. For a complete listing of upcoming events, visit the website thisisbronxmusic.org or call 917-557-2354.

The iconic bassist, composer and educator Reggie Workman, a respected bandleader recognized for his time with John Coltrane and Art Blakey, will appear at Harlem’s Farafina Café & Lounge (1813 Amsterdam Ave. at 150th Street), Sept. 16, 11 p.m. to 4 a.m.

Workman’s one-night stand is a part of the Harlem Late Night Jazz performances held weekly downstairs in the cozy lounge. Farafina manager Steve Abreu (who in a recent column was mistakenly called David) noted that offering jazz is a cultural aspect to the community.

Workman will be joined by a well-rounded group of established leaders in their own right: saxophonist Antoine Roney, pianist Marc Carey and drummer Will Calhoun.

“I remember back in the day, playing clubs until 4 a.m. wasn’t alarming at all,” said Workman. “These guys are trying to get people excited about the music and the few times I was there people were really enjoying themselves.”

Workman is quite busy as a professor at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music and working with private students. He has a busy performance schedule and works regularly as part of the collaboration Trio3, with saxophonist/composer Oliver Lake and drummer Andrew Cyrille.

During his accomplished career, he has recorded with Lee Morgan (“Infinity,” Blue Note, 1965), recorded three albums with Wayne Shorter, performed on Pharoah Sanders’ spiritually acclaimed album “Karma,” which featured the hit “The Creator Has a Master Plan” (Impulse! 1969), recorded multiple albums with Oliver Lake and recorded with pianist/composer Mal Waldron. He recorded three albums with John Coltrane.

“Working with Coltrane is memorable and a very important experience to have such a giant in my life,” stated Workman. “He heard something in my music and me that connected. It was important to be with someone who wanted you to bring your own thing to the bandstand. It helped me to grow quite a bit.”