The NEA Jazz Master Ron Carter is the most recorded bassist in jazz history and aside from a boatload of international prestigious honors he has accumulated three Grammy awards in the process. His many accomplishments only suggest one thing, he is at his best in any configuration or musical genre.
For the month of October Carter has been enjoying a month-long residency at Birdland Jazz Club (315 West 44th St.) for the week of Oct. 20-22 the bassist will lead his Big Band, and Oct. 26-29, he will be joined by pianist Bill Charlap, a duo which is sure to create a colorful collage of varied melodies and rhythms to warm the spirits. Both musicians studied and played classical music which often appears in their layers of jazz lyricism. Carter’s collaborations with Black Star and John Patton, his time as a member of the second Miles Davis Quintet and playing with the likes of Sam Rivers, Lee Morgan, and McCoy Tyner will certainly add multi-textures to the breezy stylings of Charlap, who has a longtime standing with his New York Trio of bassist Jay Leonhart and drummer Bill Stewart.
For tickets visit the website birdlandjazz.com or call 212-581-3080.
Standing ovations plus loud cheers came from a gratified audience after seeing drummer and composer Will Calhoun perform at Brooklyn’s Sistas’ Place (456 Nostrand Ave.). On Oct. 22, Calhoun’s Quintet will return to the same little revolutionary oasis where jazz notes dance. Two sets at 9 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.
The two-time Grammy award winner’s quartet will include sahu-bassist Rachin Ausur, saxophonist Eric Person, trumpeter Wally Roney Jr., pianist Hector Martignon and Calhoun on drums and indigenous percussion. “For the evening we will definitely pay tribute to a great musician and friend Pharoah Sanders, playing Monk is always a must for me, along with some Randy Weston since he was a Brooklyn cat, saxophonist Jackie McLean, a few originals and poetry.” As a multimedia artist be ready for a collage of varied music and art.
Admission is $25 with reservation call 718-398-1766.
Charles Mingus is one of America’s most prolific bassists and composers, his music continues to influence generations of aspiring and established musicians. His composing skills for ensembles and specific musicians in his various groups have linked him with Duke Ellington, whose compositions included parts for certain group members. The Mingus Big Band is one of the successful repertory bands that includes the Mingus Dynasty, and Mingus Orchestra, to the high school students who play the charts and compete in the Charles Mingus High School Competition, who continue to keep his music alive. Mingus, who transitioned in 1979, would be in his centennial year.
This Grammy award winning Mingus Big Band has been playing the bassist’s music in noted New York City clubs since its inception in 1991. Beginning on Oct. 26, the 14-piece jazz ensemble will begin a weekly residency at Manhattan West’s new variety venue Midnight Theatre (75 Manhattan West Plaza), every Wednesday night with sets at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. The group, founded by the late Sue Mingus, features new arrangements of Mingus compositions that encourage new exploration of his music.
Many Mingus Big Band fans have been anxiously waiting for the ensemble to find a new home, since its inception they first held down a weekly residency at Fez Under Time Café, Joe’s Pub, Iridium and finally the Jazz Standard where they became a Monday night institution for 11 years only stopped by the COVID-19 pandemic which caused the jazz club’s demise. The band’s Grammy win was a result of their 2011 “Live at Jazz Standard.” A new album, “The Charles Mingus Centennial Sessions,” was released in October 2022.
Check them out at their new home the Midnight Theatre.
Ticket link: https://www.midnighttheatre.com/tickets
Papa Lou, Sweet Lou are monikers when referring to alto saxophonist and composer Lou Donaldson. The NEA Jazz Master is known for putting the soul funky blues in jazz with his hit album title “Alligator Boogaloo” (Blue Note 1967) which made both R&B and jazz charts. The name “Sweet Lou” references the sweet rhythms and melodies flowing in his dreamy soulful ballads from his many albums such as “Sweet Lou,” “Blues Walk” and “LD + 3 with Three Sounds” (all on Blue Note Records).
Most recently, a section of N.C. 740 in Stanly County was named in the musician’s honor. Drivers can now see the “Lou Donaldson Boulevard” signs along a five-mile section of N.C. 740 in the Badin area in appreciation of the musician’s contributions to the music world. N.C. Senator Carl Ford, who is also a musician, noted, “I think it’s great to honor this man here today and with those signs to honor him from now on. There’s a lot of things that put Badin on the map, but not as much as Lou.”
Officials with the N.C. Department of Transportation joined Donaldson as well as local and state officials in a ceremony on Oct. 14, at Cedar Grove AME Zion Church in New London, N.C. Lou’s father, Louis Donaldson Sr., was a preacher at this church when Lou was growing up. “There are so many great things going on in Badin and in Stanly County, but this is one of the really important things that we’ve done,” said N.C. Representative Wayne Sasser, who participated in the event. The renowned saxophonist and composer Bill Easley drove down from his home in Durham, N.C. to support his friend.Donaldson, who was inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 2012, noted at this street-naming ceremony, “This is the greatest day that has ever happened to me,” he told the Stanly News & Press after the dedication ceremony, “This town has meant everything to me.” Donaldson will celebrate his 96th birthday at Dizzy’s jazz club on November 7.