Jazz Notes 9/3/08 


Penrod, falling on Saturday, Sept. 6 this year, will not have a jazz tent this year according to producer Chris McDonald, CEO of Rizing Star Entertainment. Instead, jazz acts will be part of the program at Wolfgang Puck’s Restaurant throughout the day. McDonald says the lineup will feature jazz harpist Jan Aldridge Clark’s Group with Michael Beck from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., saxophonist Rob Dixon’s Group from 1:20 to 3 p.m. and popular vocalist Cynthia Layne & All Star Group from 3:25 to 5 p.m.

Stasia’s Supper Club at 2441 Lafayette Road is expanding its jazz and blues format to three nights this week. Thursday, Sept. 4, “Sizzlin'” Gregg Bacon brings his groove-oriented jazz with Sir James' monstrous guitar chops. Sept. 5-6, drummer Jerry Rodgers’s Trio debuts at Stasia’s. Performances each night are from 8 p.m. until midnight with a $5 cover charge. Dining is available by C & R Catering.

There have been some exceptional new CD releases that may have an appeal for jazz fans.

Earl Klugh
“Spice of Life”
Koch Records
4 Stars
It’s been seven years since acoustic guitarist Klugh has recorded. This release on his new label was well worth the wait, with arranger Don Sebesky’s lush orchestral backing accompanying pop-oriented smooth jazz tunes. But it’s not all smooth jazz; musically, Klugh covers a lot of ground, with straight-ahead renderings on standards. Klugh’s guitar swings deeply on “Canadian Sunset,” grooves on “Drifting” and takes a humorous jaunt on Thelonious Monk’s “Bye Ya.”

The Jay D’Amico Trio
“Tuscan Prelude”
4 Stars
Chamber jazz of a high order on this conceptually original recording by Jay D’ Amico. Grafting jazz techniques of rhythm and improvisation onto classical pieces, D’Amico has created a melodic gem that should hold appeal for jazz and classical lovers. Especially noteworthy are “Theme in B minor” and “Aria in D”.

David Sanborn
“Here & Gone”
4 Stars
Sanborn’s saxophone has been absent from the recording scene for over five years. His return on this CD is scorching; his power sax technique has not lost any of its heat in this tribute album to Ray Charles. To add more fuel to this spirited session, Eric Clapton’s vocals and guitar add impassioned heat on “I’m Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town.” It seems appropriate that Sanborn performs his idol Hank Crawford’s “Stormy Lonesome” with a strutting gusto over a grooving big band. This blues drenched session is welcome from Sanborn, who will be playing Indy Sept. 25 at the Music Mill.


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