Jazz notes 2/14/07 

“An Evening of Pop and Jazz” at the Ritz Charles in Carmel will benefit one of Indy’s top vocalists, Lisa Baldwin, and her son Tommy on Wednesday, Feb. 21. The sudden death of Tom Baldwin during the holidays shocked everyone, especially his family, who found he left no will, as well as copious fiscal obligations to be met.

Entertainers from the local pop and jazz community, with whom Lisa sang with for over a decade, will perform to aid one of their own. Artists scheduled to perform are the Mary Moss Trio, Brenda Williams, Greg Bacon, the Jay Majors Trio, guitarist Charlie Smith, the Thunder Club (blues) and Double Exposure from 7 to 10 p.m. Jeff Pigeon, WIBC’s Morning Show host, and I will share duties as master of ceremonies.

Valuable door prizes from local businesses will be raffled off and auctioned. Dress for the event is cocktail attire. Advance reservations cost $47.50 per person/$90 per couple and can be made at www.lisatommy.com. Door admission costs $52.50 per person/$100 per couple. Donations can be made to the Lisa & Tommy Baldwin Benefit Fund, P.O. Box 319, Carmel, Ind., 46082-0319.

Bob Mintzer’s jazz

A traveling jazz big band is a rarity today, but saxophonist Bob Mintzer feels now is the time. Mintzer’s Big Band debuts at the Jazz Kitchen Tuesday, Feb. 20 for two shows at 7 and 9 p.m. ($25 admission).

Mintzer’s Big Band has been together 24 years, having recorded 14 CDs and been nominated for four Grammys, with one win. Mintzer returned home from a European tour and spoke with NUVO.

NUVO: Do you ever feel that you are the keeper of the flame for a bona fide traveling jazz big band?

Mintzer: I never thought of it that way. It’s simply interest in the music. I love the tradition of big band writing, having played with Buddy Rich, the Mel Lewis Orchestra and also just loving the more intimate small group setting. I try to create an environment that combines the two.

NUVO: What are your observations of audiences during your travels around the nation?

Mintzer: People seem to enjoy the music that we do. It’s an honest attempt to come up with something that is genuine.

NUVO: Is it difficult for you sharing solo space with other saxophonists in the band on your compositions?

Mintzer: Not at all. In fact, in my big band, I am perfectly content to sit there, not solo and listen to all the other great guys play. If you really think of the whole, then you are not so concerned with your thing. It’s not about how many solos you play, it’s about having large ensembles sound like one person.

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