The talk of the town

Live jazz to die for
By JON GARELICK  |  September 13, 2006

BASS-IC: The Christian McBride Situation play the BeanTown Jazz Festival September 29.
With the Boston Globe Jazz & Blues Festival defunct and no other significant local jazz fest in sight, the BEANTOWN JAZZ FESTIVAL (September 28–October 1) has been stepping up to fill the void. Created by community activist Darryl Settles (proprietor of Bob’s Southern Bistro, formerly Bob the Chef’s) in 2000 as a one-day free South End block party, it’s now being produced by Berklee College of Music and has expanded to three days, with panel discussions. The musical performances begin Friday night at the Berklee Performance Center with the touring “THE STORY OF IMPULSE RECORDS,” a septet led by former John Coltrane Quartet pianist and Impulse mainstay MCCOY TYNER with saxophonist DAVE LIEBMAN, trumpeter WALLACE RONEY, trombonist STEVE TURRE, alto-saxophonist DONALD HARRISON, bassist CHARNETT MOFFETT, and drummer ERIC KAMU GRAVATT.

The Saturday free event (noon–7 pm on Columbus Avenue between Mass Ave and Burke Street) is a heady mix of local talents and international stars on three stages: tenor-saxist MIKE TUCKER, vocalist ELLEN O’BRIEN, alto-sax monster KENNY GARRETT, bassist CHRISTIAN MCBRIDE and his “Christian McBride Situation” with Oliver Lake and DJ Logic, singer CARMEN LUNDY and “The New Songbook Artists,” guitarist LIONEL LOUEKE, pianist OMAR SOSA, saxophonist Antonio Jackson, reggae guys HOT LIKE FIRE, and the soul-jazz UNWRAPPED ALL-STARS featuring Dennis Nelson. A stage sponsored by the local Marsalis Music label will feature former Miles Davis Quintet drummer JIMMY COBB with saxophonist JAVON JACKSON, trombonist DELFEAYO MARSALIS with a Berklee student group, guitarist/vocalist DOUG WAMBLE, and drummer MICHAEL CARVIN’s Quintet. The festival concludes Sunday with a paid-admission gospel brunch featuring KENDRICK OLIVER AND THE NEW LIFE JAZZ ORCHESTRA with special guest vocalist KEVIN MAHOGANY at the Westin Copley Place hotel (10 Huntington Ave) at 11 am. For tickets to the Friday and Sunday shows, visit or call 617.931.2000. For information on panel discussions and other events, visit or call 617.267.2203.

Meanwhile, there’s still plenty going on in the clubs. The Regattabar (Charles Hotel, 1 Bennett St, Cambridge; 617.395.7757) brings in bad-boy piano trio the BAD PLUS (September 22-23), Kenyan pianist/soul singer SHU (September 26), piano wunderkind MATT SAVAGE (September 27), keyboardist/songwriter/producer AL KOOPER with his Berklee bred Funky Faculty (September 28), Boston vocalist RON GILL and his tribute to Stephen Wonder (October 4), guitarist BEN MONDER with a trio (October 5), Parisian cabaret singer ANNIE ROYER (October 6), exciting young saxophonist ERIC ALEXANDER (October 7-8), the BOSTON HORNS with guest SAM KININGER (October 12), KURT ROSENWINKEL with his Toninho Horta Project (October 13-14), Polish trumpeter TOMASZ STANKO and his quartet (October 19), trumpeter SEAN JONES following his Mack Avenue release Roots (October 24), alt-jazz-guy trumpeter SKERIK with his Syncopated Taint Septet (October 25), the DAVE HOLLAND QUINTET (October 26-27), soul-jazz guitarist MELVIN SPARKS (October 31), pianist PIERRE HUREL (November 1), jazz-funk saxist KARL DENSON with his KD3 trio (November 2), pan-American singer-songwriter MARTA GÓMEZ (November 3), Boston Latin jazz-folk band SOL Y CANTO (November 4), singer DOMINIQUE EADE celebrating a new duo CD with pianist JED WILSON (November 14), and blues duo NICOLE NELSON/DWIGHT RITCHER (November 17).

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