Hail to the Chief!
by Gloria Krolak
We've been almost on music overload (notice I wrote "almost") these past few days as the Jazz for All Ages annual festival spooled out at the Sonesta Resort on Hilton Head Island, once again the host site. Presented by The Jazz Corner as a fundraiser for their Junior Jazz Foundation, it all began at a jazz brunch with vibraphonist Christian Tamburr and pianist Scott Giddens, a formidable duo under any circumstances. With a vibraphone in the room, you know I'm in my element. They played a variety of tunes honoring Gary Burton and the late Chick Corea, as well as a Tamburr original called "The Chief,' which Tamburr explained is his dad's nickname for him.
The brunch is a new addition to the festival. A hot breakfast, a mimosa in hand and an unbeatable playlist by two well-seasoned players is a great way to start the day! Tamburr/Giddens included "Libertango," an Astor Piazzolla original that Burton recorded on an album of the same name, bringing the tune around full circle.
That night the Count Basie Orchestra headlined the program, after a set by the Junior Jazz Band, a quartet of musicians raised in music by the JJF. Having watched them grow physically and musically as little guys over the years at the summer bandcamp, it is always a pleasure to be entertained by the Rising Stars.
When the Basie band started up it was like standing behind a jet ready for takeoff. What do they call that, the blast zone? Neal Hefti's "Lil Darlin'" was on the playlist, as well as "Honeysuckle Rose," with vocalist Carmen Bradford. And it wasn't just the volume that blew the audience a few feet back, it was the artistry, talent and professionalism that made the orchestra such a big hit.
On the next and last night we heard trumpeter Charlton Singleton and his tribute to the seminal Earth, Wind and Fire band (mostly fire). Quiana Parler paired with Singleton on vocals, both Grammy winners, were explosive together, and the rest of the band played at that same high level. Hearing "Sun Goddess" made my day.
It was a weekend to remember. Next year get your tickets early. It's a festival worth attending and the island is your playground.
Christian Tamburr Count Basie Orchestra Charlton Singleton
"Which Way Did She Go?"
Joe Maita, creator of jerryjazzmusician.com, does it again! He curates one of the best jazz poetry collections I’ve ever read.
(Poetry, you say? Don’t think you have to be a “longhair” to read poetry. These are readable, thought-provoking and memorable. In poetry, every word, every piece of punctuation is important. Poems are meant to savor, read again and again to absorb the mood and feeling the poet intended.)
Joe’s Summer 2022 Collection is not to be missed. Nor is the rest of his highly erudite and informed website of jazz, interviews, history, paintings and commentary. IMHO, this is the very best of what the internet offers.
Here is a link to the Summer Poetry Collection, including one of mine, “Which Way Did She Go?” My poems, less serious than the others, are playfully built of jazz tune titles and tell a little story.
Leave a comment if you enjoy your visit.
And while you’re here, check out my book Jazz Lines…verse in the key of jazz.
In Which Nica Reveals Her Dreams
by Gloria Krolak
The real life Rothschild heiress and Baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarter (1913-1988) was a fervent patron of jazz. She fearlessly left her husband and five children to support and encourage the jazz artists she loved. Although the Rothschilds disowned her and her husband won custody of the children, she maintained contact with them. She is especially well-known for her assistance to Thelonious Monk, but many others benefitted from her generosity in the form of rent payments, grocery deliveries, hospital stays and the famously speedy adventures in her Bentley. She chaperoned them to gigs and defended them against racism. There are at least 11 tunes by various musicians named for her. “Nica’s Dream” was written by Horace Silver. There is even a jazz club in Nantes, Frances named for her, Le Pannonica.
You can read "Nica's Dream," my latest verse, at the website, Jerry Jazz Musician. Joe Maita, founder, publisher, and jazz enthusiast, curates one of the most comprehensive and best jazz websites. Go ahead and get lost in it!