The bold tone of tenor saxophonist Chico Freeman and his compositions keep his music glowing on the jazz rainbow. Freeman, who recently returned from living in Europe for the past decade, has been touring throughout the states.
On Oct. 21 Sistas’ Place (456 Nostrand Ave., Brooklyn), the cozy little jazz club that many great musicians call home, will present a “special evening with Chico Freeman,” with two sets, at 9 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.
He will be joined by such musicians as pianist Anthony Wonsley, bassist Kenny Davis and drummer Justin Brown. Freeman, who was an early member of the AACM, brings years of varied experience as an innovative leader and sideman with such acts as Dizzy Gillespie, Jack DeJohnette, Wynton Marsalis, Lester Bowie, The Four Tops, Sting, Machito, Arturo Sandoval and Eddie Palmieri.
For this offering, his repertoire will include some surprises, as well as compositions from his current CD, “Spoken Into Existence” (Jazz Music, Austria) by Chico Freeman 4-Tet. The saxophonist noted, “The CD is dedicated to my five daughters. I have written a song for each that reflects some positive aspect of their being.”
For reservations, call 718-398-1766. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.
Musicians with improvisations so imaginative they tilt the sky and leave jazz heads high will expand the jazz curriculum during the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians New York Chapter concert series on consecutive Fridays, now through Oct. 28, at the Community Church of New York (40 E. 35th St., between Madison and Park avenues).
On Oct. 21, the double bill will include Reggie Nicholson Duo, with the vibraphonist/marimbist Bryan Carrott, who has forged diverse paths playing with Butch Morris, Henry Threadgill, the Lounge Lizards and Jay-Z. Nicholson continues the tradition of drummers such as Max Roach, Jack DeJohnette and Milford Graves.
The other performance will be Steve & Iqua Colson—The Continuum, featuring the versatile saxophonist/pianist/composer Steve Colson and the poet and vocalist Iqua Colson, along with trumpeter Nabate Isles, bassist Santi Debriano and drummer Chris Beck.
The Continuum is a presentation of the Colsons’ music dating back more than 40 years, when they first met at Northwestern University School of Music in the 1970s.
On Oct. 28, the engaging prolific composer and pianist Muhal Richard Abrams will lead a non-conformist configuration with the violinist Tom Chiu and celloist Meaghan Burke.
Also featured will be Bluiett Music, the master baritone saxophonist Hamiet Bluiett (his solid virtuosity of the instrument transformed it from the agonizing frog of the saxophone family to a hip note), along with his inventive cohorts: pianist D.D. Jackson, tenor saxophonist James Brandon Lewis, drummer Reggie Nicholson and bassist Luke Stewart.
All shows begin at 8 p.m. Tickets are $30 general admission and $15 for seniors and students. For tickets, visit the website aacmnyc51years.bpt.me or call 800-838-3006.
James Brown sang “I’m Black and Proud,” Sly & the Family Stone said, “Stand,” and Max Roach could be heard on “We Insist!” his “Freedom Now Suite.”
Such music was the inspirational source for Black awareness during the Civil Rights and Black Power movements. It was the soundtrack for the Black Panthers as they stood tall in their black leather jackets and black berets and armed for any mess.
The current exhibit “Power to the People: The Black Panthers” in photographs by Stephen Shames and graphics by Emory Douglas at the Steven Kasher Gallery places viewers in the midst of the turbulent 1960s on the streets with the Panthers.
The exhibition features more than 50 black and white photographs of the Black Panthers by Shames, more than half of which are previously unseen.
Shames captures the Black Panthers working as dedicated community organizers. These images are intimate photographs taken of young men and women (mostly teenagers) who were willing to give their lives in the name of freedom. Unfortunately, some of their lives were taken in a most vicious way by the U.S. authorities.
Members of the BPP are seen interacting with children in their charter school and during the Free Breakfast for Children Program. Also exhibited are 60-vintage copies of the Black Panther Party newspaper (front and back covers) with definitive artwork by Emory Douglas.
Other warm-hearted photographs show Bobby Seale, Huey Newton, Eldridge Cleaver, Jamal Joseph, Kathleen Cleaver, Angela Davis and Erika Huggins, the director of the BPP’s Oakland Community School. Captions to the photographs are provided by these Panther leaders from interviews conducted by Shames and Seale.
Their Ten Point Platform combined community empowerment with pride and activism. The political organization was founded almost 50 years ago, Oct. 15, 1966, by Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton.
Seale and Newton’s progressive concepts added a positive force in the Black community. Their many survival programs included free medical clinics; free food, clothing and legal aid programs; and sickle cell screening.
This exhibition is mounted on the 50th anniversary of the party’s founding. It also launches the publication of “Power to the People: The World of the Black Panthers,” (Abrams, 2016) by Shames and Seale with more than 200 photographs by Shames.
However, 50 years later it is unfortunate that an organization such as Black Lives Matter is being discredited by the general media and conservatives, just as the Panthers were demonized.
The Black Panthers advocated armed self-defense to counter police brutality and initiated a program of patrolling the police with shotguns and law books in the community. For this activity, they were persecuted, prosecuted and killed.
Yet, there were only whispers by police, other law enforcement agencies and the media when the Oath Keepers, a militia group armed with assault rifles, arrived in Ferguson, Mo., last year.
Oh, they informed police it was their duty to assist in keeping the peace. Their arrival came in the wake of racial unrest after the brutal shooting of Michael Brown by the city’s police.
This exhibit may very well represent this question: Did America really learn anything in the past 50 years as it relates to race relations and equality?
The exhibit runs now through Oct. 29. The Steven Krasher Gallery is located at 515 W. 26th St. Hours are Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Email email@example.com.