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

With someone of Workman’s status performing at Farafina, he may attract other noted musicians out for an improvisational romp where many of them rarely swing.

At Harlem Late Night Jazz, there is no cover charge or minimum, just steering jazz into the wee wee hours.

John Coltrane’s 84th birthday (he was born Sept. 23, 1926, in North Carolina) will be celebrated at Birdland jazz club (315 W. 44th St.) from Sept. 18 to Sept. 24.

“Coltrane Revisited” will feature the saxophonists Eric Alexander and Jaleel Shaw, pianist Steve Kuhn, bassist Lonnie Plaxico and drummer Steve Smith. Kuhn, who enjoyed a brief stint playing with John Coltrane’s quartet, will lead this all-star cast. His forward thinking and improvisational composition were enhanced during his time with Coltrane.

It took some time for some musicians and critics to realize that Coltrane was a genius. He wasn’t comfortable following the music or its trends, but felt at ease pushing the music in his own direction. Thelonious Monk understood his musical tenacity and gave him free rein in his band.

Coltrane’s experimentation and improvisation skills reinvented the sound of jazz. So many of his albums became jazz standards, such as “Blue Train” (1957), “Giant Steps” (Atlantic Records, 1960) and “Coltrane Jazz” (the album that began his long association with McCoy Tyner and Elvin Jones, Atlantic Records, 1961). “My Favorite Things” (Atlantic 1961) moved into the spiritual realm.

He then joined Impulse! Records, which led to “Duke Ellington & John Coltrane” (1963) and the legendary spiritually proliferated “A Love Supreme” (1965), “Ascension” (1966) and “Meditation” (1966).

Two shows each night are at 8:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. For reservations, call 212-681-3080.

The summer is over, but Jazzmobile has three amazing concerts waiting in the wings, beginning Sept. 14 with “Lena Horne at 100,” the celebration of that multitalented woman, at Marcus Garvey Park, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Hosting this event will be the witty, talented tap dancer Maurice Hines. The Danny Mixon Trio will perform, with special guests saxophonist Patience Higgins, vocalist Alyson Williams and vocalist/tap dancer Cartier Conway.

The vocalist, dancer, actress and civil rights activist Horne was born in Brooklyn’s Bed-Stuy section. She joined the chorus of the Cotton Club at age 16. She went on to perform in such films as “Cabin in the Sky” (1943) and “Stormy Weather” (1943). During World War II, she was every Black soldier’s pin-up girl, along with Dorothy Dandridge.

During McCarthyism (1947-56), Horne was blacklisted from working in Hollywood because of her political activism. Returning to nightclub engagements, she became a premiere performer at such venues as the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas, the Cocoanut Grove in Los Angeles and the Waldorf-Astoria in New York. These appearances led to television variety shows and Broadway.

Horne is one of America’s most influential personalities from performances to civil rights.

Sept. 15 Marcus Garvey Park becomes the backdrop for El Barrio Latin Jazz Festival, featuring the Mambo Legends Orchestra (a 22-piece ensemble and the original Tito Puente Orchestra), with special guest singer/percussionist Jeremy Bosch. The concert begins at 6 p.m.

This concert is a tribute to Tito Puente. He was born in Harlem Hospital, and over his 50-year career, he became known as El Rey de los Timbales (The King of the Timbales) and The King of Latin Music.

The Summerfest conclusion Sept. 19 presents Jazzmobile, Community and the Harlem Soundscape: A Celebration of Jazzmobile and Its Unique Relationship with Its Audience and the Harlem Community.

The founder of Columbia University Center for Jazz Studies, Dr. Robert O’Meally, will be the special guest. The program will open with music by drummer/composer Winard Harper, with the Danny Mixon Trio.

Trombonist/composer, also known to swing some mean blues lyrics, Wycliffe Gordon will close the evening. The event takes place at 6 p.m. at Columbia University/St. Paul’s Chapel on Broadway at 116th Street.

Please RSVP at www.jazzy@jazzmobile.org.