Jazz Notes 06/04/08 

Jazz Celebration of Jack Gilfoy

Sunday, June 8 from 3-6 p.m., the Jazz Kitchen will host a Jazz Celebration of Jack Gilfoy. The event, hosted by Brent Wallarab and Mark Buselli, will give the jazz community a chance to honor the many contributions Gilfoy made through the years as a performer and educator. The tentative lineup includes Duncan Schiedt, IUPUI Jazz Ensemble, Jazz State of Indiana Quintet, Mary Moss, Everett Greene, Mary Ann Marshall, Midcoast Swing Band, the Rev. Marvin Chandler, Bam Miller, Robin Hopkins and Kathleen Miller. A jam session will close the second half of the Celebration. This event is free and open to the fans of Jack Gilfoy. It’s also a pitch-in, with a covered dish or dessert requested, and a cash bar.

The Indianapolis Jazz Club concert

The Indianapolis Jazz Club is bringing in Cincinnati’s Bone Voyage Jazz Band for a concert Sunday, June 8 running from 2-5 p.m. at the Sterrett Center at Ft. Harrison (north of Post Road and East 56th Street). The six-piece is noted for its wide repertoire, ranging from New Orleans to modern standards, with members tripling on various instruments. Admission is $20 per person, students $5 with ID.

A Great Day recap

For jazz lovers, last Sunday was a day to remember. Mark Sheldon’s historic photo shoot — “A Great Day in Indiana” — drew over 100 local jazz artists covering six generations to the Indiana History Center. Young jazz musicians got a rare chance to mingle and talk with Indy jazz legends. For all involved, it was their moment in jazz history.

The Breakfast Buffet & Jam Session at the Columbia Club was an overwhelming success. The event, hosted by the African-American Jazz Caucus, offered up some exceptional performances. AAJC executive director/bassist Dr. Larry Ridley played arco bass improvisations, Dr. Willis Kirk manned the brushes and snare drum tribute, Sparky Smith blew the flute and Billy Myers topped things off by reading a poem honoring jazz drum legend Max Roach.

Sunday evening at the Jazz Kitchen, Ralph Adams’ Lifetime Achievement Awards honored Steve Allee, Claude Sifferlen, Mary Moss and Everett Greene. Jimmy Guilford won the room over, bringing six decades of experience to his vocals. Everett and Larry Greene combined their talents to the delight of fans.

It truly was a once-in-a-lifetime day.

Jimmy McGriff remembered

One of the last in the pantheon of modern B-3 organ players, Jimmy McGriff, died May 24 at the age of 72. Like thousands of his fans, I was fascinated by McGriff’s ability to play equally well in jazz and blues. After an Indianapolis set, McGriff told me that, like his Philadelphia contemporary Jimmy Smith, “The reason we have strong rhythm lines, we were both standup bass players early on.” McGriff’s numerous recordings in soul, jazz and blues are a testimony to his ability to communicate the blues influence to listeners, especially those recorded with saxophonist Hank Crawford. McGriff’s passing closes the door on an era of modern B-3 organ innovators that included figures like Jimmy Smith, Richard “Groove” Holmes, Brother Jack McDuff and Charles Earland.

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