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New York Jazz Notes: A Blue Note Celebration

By Barry Bassis
Epoch Times Contributor
Created: November 11, 2012 Last Updated: March 29, 2013
Related articles: Arts & Entertainment » Music
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The Blue Note Club (131 W 3rd St.; 212-475-8592), which closed for the longest time in its 31-year history as a result of Hurricane Sandy, has reopened. On Nov. 12 at 8 and 10:30, saxophonist and composer Eric Person will appear in conjunction with the release of his new album, “Thoughts on God.”

This is a 12-part jazz suite performed by a 13-piece ensemble. The music, reflecting Person’s religious faith, ranges from swing to ballads with excellent solo work by the leader and members of the group, which includes Duane Eubanks, Bryan Carrott, Patience Higgins, Shinnosuke Takahashi and Adam Klipple.

When I first began to collect jazz records, I found that I could trust almost anything on Blue Note records. Just by picking up albums at random from discount racks, I discovered artists like Andrew Hill, Sam Rivers and Sonny Clark. One album I loved was Horace Silver’s “Song for my Father.” The great saxophone solo on the title track was by Joe Henderson and I started to collect his albums and eventually got to see him perform live.

Unfortunately, he is no longer with us but Jazz at Lincoln Center (where coincidentally I saw Henderson performing pieces from his Porgy & Bess album) is presenting a Blue Note Records celebration. On Nov. 16 and 17 at 7:30 p.m. & 9:30 p.m., the Allen Room is honoring what would have been Henderson’s 75th birthday.

The group will feature saxophonist Chris Potter along with musical director and pianist Renee Rosnes, vibes player Bobby Hutcherson—a longtime Henderson collaborator and Blue Note labelmate—on vibraphone, Robert Hurst on bass, Jeremy Pelt on trumpet, Michael Dease on trombone and Lewis Nash on drums.

On the same two days, at 8 p.m., at the Rose Theater, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, led by Music Directors Vincent Gardner and Sherman Irby, will perform new and old arrangements of pieces by Horace Silver, Sonny Clark, Thelonious Monk, and other important artists on the label. Meanwhile, another Blue Note star, alto saxophonist Lou Donaldson, will perform at JALC’s Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola.

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