Jazz is a music based on and dependent upon community. This was true in its earliest beginnings when it was an expression of displaced cultures and is still true today when it struggles for visibility in the musical marketplace. No one knows this better than the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), which has been celebrating 50 years of progressive, collective music-making throughout 2015 and continues the party with four Friday nights this month featuring luminaries from its roster like co-founder Muhal Richard Abrams, Thurman Barker, Roscoe Mitchell, Amina Claudine Myers, Wadada Leo Smith, Henry Threadgill and George Lewis, the latter author of A Power Stronger Than Itself, an exhaustive history of the organization. And continuing the theme, pianist Alan Broadbent (Interview), playing three nights at Mezzrow, and bassist Michael Bisio (Artist Feature), celebrating a new CD at Zürcher Gallery along with other appearances, have both established themselves in the scenes of one (or more) cities and then relocated to be embraced by our local community of players.
And community is a worldwide phenomenon, evidenced by three festival reports from Detroit, Chicago and northeastern France, all of which feature players from their respective deep talent pools. So know that when you listen to jazz, you are never alone...
On the Cover: AACM50
By Kurt Gottschalk; AACM 50th Anniversary (logos taken from concert posters from 1965-75); Muhal Richard Abrams' Experimental Band (photo by Richarda Abrams)
The night of Sep. 6th, some 10,000 people crowded in to the Jay Pritzker Pavilion for the closing set of the 2015 Chicago Jazz Festival and a 50th birthday tribute to one of the finest of the many contributions the city has made to the history of forward-thinking jazz. There were a number of other appearances by members of the venerable Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) on the program... But the concert by the Muhal Richard Abrams Experimental Band was something different. While the group—which set the foundation for the AACM in the early '60s—has been playing more frequently in recent years, it was still a rarity. It was also a rather grand homecoming. The AACM 50th Anniversary Celebration Festival is at Community Church of New York Oct. 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th.
Interview: ALAN BROADBENT
By Alex Henderson; photo by Yngve Froyen
For many years, Alan Broadbent was closely identified with the Los Angeles jazz scene. The acoustic pianist, who grew up in New Zealand, moved to Boston in 1966 to attend the Berklee College of Music—and after three years on the road with Woody Herman's big band, settled in L.A. in 1972. Along the way, Broadbent became known for his arranging and composing as well as for his lyrical bop pianism. It was on the West Coast that, in addition to his own albums, he worked as a sideman for artists ranging from saxophonists Gary Foster, Bud Shank and Warne Marsh to singer Irene Kral. Broadbent is perhaps best known, however, for his work with singers Natalie Cole and Diana Krall and for his contributions to bassist Charlie Haden's Quartet West. But after 39 years in L.A., Broadbent moved to Nyack, NY in 2011 and these days can be found teaching at New York University in addition to his performances throughout the city. During a recent interview, the 68-year-old Broadbent discussed his many accomplishments. Broadbent is at Mezzrow Oct. 16th-18th.
Artist Feature: MICHAEL BISIO
By Clifford Allen; photo by Marek Lazarski
Michael Bisio knows how to 'walk' the bass—indeed, at a recent duo concert with pianist Matthew Shipp at the venerable community space 5C Café in the Lower East Side, amid exhortations of "Slam Stewart!" from the proprietor, Bisio exhibited not only a robust, earthy and delicate stomp, but actually walked around with the bass. He danced with it, bringing it to a near-40-degree axis from the floor, plucking in counterpoint to the pianist's cyclical motions or draping his body atop the instrument and exploring its registers with a meaty, incisive arco. Bisio is at 6BC Garden Oct. 3rd, Bowery Poetry Club Oct. 4th and Zürcher Gallery Oct. 9th with his Accortet.
Encore: LAROY WALLACE MCMILLAN
By Ken Waxman
On the back cover of Henry's Threadgill's influential 1979 LP X-75 Vol. 1, the lanky alto saxophonist is surrounded by an allstar assemblage including pianist Amina Claudine Myers, reedplayers Douglas Ewart and Joseph Jarman and bassists Rufus Reid, Brian Smith, Leonard Jones and Fred Hopkins. Squatting in the foreground, almost dwarfed by Hopkins' bass, is saxophonist/flutist LaRoy Wallace McMillan, probably the least known early AACM member. The photo is an apt metaphor for McMillan's low profile. McMillan is at Community Church of New York Oct. 30th with Muhal Richard Abrams as part of the AACM 50th Anniversary Celebration Festival.
Lest We Forget: WES MONTGOMERY
By Ken Dryden
A self-taught player who couldn't read music and was a disciple of Charlie Christian, guitarist Wes Montgomery used his thumb rather than his pick and was influenced by boppers, emulating horn players. The Wes Montgomery International Jazz Guitar Contest and Concert is at Merkin Concert Hall Oct. 10th.
Record Label Spotlight: V.S.O.P.
By Ken Dryden
V.S.O.P. covers a wide range of jazz history, including small label reissues, forgotten treasures and new recordings.
(this month's performance venues in parentheses):
Giacomo Gates -- Everything is Cool Savant (Jazz at Kitano)
Stanley Cowell -- Are You Real? SteepleChase (Smoke)
Gilad Hekselman -- Homes Jazz Village (Cornelia Street Café)
Arturo O'Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra -- Cuba: The Conversation Continues Motéma (Symphony Space; Hostos Center; Birdland)
Peter Brötzmann/Steve Swell/Paal Nilssen-Love -- Krakow Nights Not Two (6BC Gardens; The Stone)
Lenny Breau -- LA Bootleg 1984 Guitarchives
Chad McCullough/Bram Weijters -- Abstract Quantities Origin
Erik Vermeulen -- Asterisk El Negocito
LAMA + Joachim Badenhorst -- The Elephant's Journey Clean Feed
The Kandinsky Effect -- Somnambulist Cuneiform (Pianos)
Michael Bates -- Northern Spy Stereoscopic (Korzo)
The Awakening Orchestra -- Volume 1: This Is Not The Answer Innova (ShapeShifter Lab)
Tom Harrell -- First Impressions (Debussy and Ravel Project) HighNote (Village Vanguard)
Antonio Sanchez & Migration -- The Meridian Suite CAM Jazz (Dizzy's Club)
Antonio Sanchez -- Three Times Three CAM Jazz (Dizzy's Club)
Matthew Shipp Quartet/Declared Enemy -- Our Lady of the Flowers Rogue Art (Roulette; The Stone)
The Uppercut | Matthew Shipp/Mat Walerian -- Live at Okuden ESP-Disk (Roulette; The Stone)
Bobby Kapp -- Themes 4 Transmutation s/r
Simon Nabatov/Mark Dresser -- Projections Clean Feed (The Stone)
Tim Warfield -- Spherical Criss Cross (Smoke)
Jack DeJohnette -- Made in Chicago ECM (ShapeShifter Lab; Apollo Theater)
Romain Collin -- Press Enter ACT (Blue Note)
John Scofield -- Past Present Impulse (Blue Note)
James Ilgenfritz / Anagram Ensemble -- The Ticket That Exploded (An Opera) Con d'or (The Stone)
Eric Alexander -- The Real Thing HighNote (Jazz Standard; Smoke; Saint Peter's; Blue Note)
Brad Mehldau -- 10 Years Solo Live Nonesuch (Zankel Hall)
George Colligan -- Ask Me Tomorrow SteepleChase (Jazz Standard)
The Ladybugs -- Eponymous s/r (Dizzy's Club)
Sun Ra And His Intergalactic Research Arkestra -- It's After The End Of The World MPS-Edel (Brooklyn Bowl)
Sun Ra Arkestra -- Babylon Live In + Out (Brooklyn Bowl)
Ran Blake/Sara Serpa -- Kitano Noir Sunnyside (The Cell)
Phil Haynes -- Sanctuary CornerStore Jazz
Mathias Künzli -- Playground Chinderschloss Music (Bar Next Door)
Paul Lytton -- ?! Pleasure of the Text (The Stone; Delroy's Cafe and Wine
Nilsson Matta -- EastSideRioDrive World Blue (Dizzy's Club)
Joe Hertenstein -- HNH Clean Feed (The Stone; WhyNot Jazz Room; ShapeShifter Lab)
Yuhan Su -- A Room of One's Own Inner Circle (The Living Room)
Ben Stapp -- Myrrha's Red Book: Act I Evolver (Roulette)
The Shrine Big Band -- Swamp Music s/r (Shrine)
Karl Berger/Kirk Knuffke -- Moon NoBusiness (First Green Community Garden)
Oscar Perez -- Prepare a Place For Me Myna (Cornelia Street Café)
Franz Loriot -- Reflections on an Introspective Path Neither/Nor (JACK; Delroy's Café and Wine Bar)
Frantz Loriot/Manuel Perovic/Notebook Large Ensemble -- Urban Furrow Clean Feed (JACK; Delroy's Café and Wine Bar)
David Chesky Jazz in the New Harmonic -- Primal Scream Chesky (Dizzy's Club)
Jacob Garchik -- ye Olde s/r (Bowery Electric)
Rara Avis -- Eponymous Not Two
Chicago Reed Quartet -- Western Automatic Aerophonic
Dee Dee Bridgewater/Irvin Mayfield & The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra -- Dee Dee's Feathers OKeh (Apollo Theater)
Ernie Watts -- A Simple Truth Flying Dolphin
Fred Hersch -- Solo Palmetto (Dweck Center; Village Vanguard)
Nick Fraser -- Too Many Continents Clean Feed (Ibeam Brooklyn)
Roscoe Mitchell -- Celebrating Fred Anderson Nessa (Community Church of New York)
Erik Friedlander -- Oscalypso (Tribute to Oscar Pettiford) Skipstone (Rockwood Music Hall)