Jazz Avenues – November 2017

Our songstress Sharon Clark’s latest recording, “Intimate Ella,” with pianist Joel Martin celebrates the legacy of Ella Fitzgerald.

New Sharon Clark CD Celebrates Ella
Our own gifted songstress Sharon Clark has released a new CD that celebrates Ella Fitzgerald and pairs Clark with pianist Joel Martin, who has specialized in performing works that cross the boundaries between jazz and classical music.

“Intimate Ella” is available at www.cdbaby.com and focuses on Fitzgerald’s quieter, more nuanced sounds. Clark uses her expertise to fashion a supremely listenable recording that does true justice Fitzgerald’s legacy. Martin promotes his “jazzical” sounds, per www.jazzical.com, as “a celebration of creative fusion – it’s the explosive union of classical composition and jazz innovation ignited with a fresh spirit all its own.” It “captures the dynamic force of multiple cultures and influences, unleashing a kinetic energy that breaks down boundaries and yields whole new worlds of musical expression.”

“Intimate Ella” certainly expresses the energy of Clark’s finely tuned sense and phrasing and elegance, from “Black Coffee” to “Do Nothing till You Hear from Me” to “One More for My Baby,” and more.

Martin has collaborated with and/or written music for Grammy Award-winners Kathleen Battle, Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, cellist Eugene Friesen of the Paul Winter Consort, and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Jaimoe of the Allman Brothers, according to jazzical.com. He has also produced and played on recordings by Brazilian jazz artist Paul Lieberman, gospel jazz singer Jolie Rocke Brown, among many others.

At 17, Martin was the youngest pianist ever, and the first African-American pianist, according to jazzical.com, to compete in the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. He has appeared as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic, Cab Calloway Orchestra, and other orchestras.

You can catch Clark in person at upcoming performances at the Arts in Motion show with the Chris Grasso Quartet on Dec. 8 at the Leisure World Crystal Ballroom in Silver Spring (see www.aimarts.net for more information) and Dec. 9, and at the Jazzway Holiday Show with Chris Grasso at Jazzway 6004 in Baltimore (www.jazzway6004.org).

Nechushtan Ensemble Celebrates Monk at Anacostia Museum
The Alon Nechushtan Ensemble presents the “Dark Side of Monk” on Nov. 11 at the Anacostia Community Museum, 1901 Fort Place SE, in another area event celebrating the 100th anniversary year of the birth of Thelonious Monk.

Using “innovative arrangements, the group will highlight the compositional brilliance of Monk’s linear approach to melody and rhythms.” See www.anacostia.si.edu for complete information.

Transparent Productions Presents Gato Libre at Rhizome
Bobby Hill Jr.’s Transparent Productions returns for its 21st season on Nov. 14 with Gato Libre, featuring Satoko Fujii, accordion, Kappa Maki, trumpet, and Neko Jaras, trombone, at Rhizome, 6950 Maple Ave. NW. Admission is $20. See www.transparentproductionsdc.org.

InReview … Kris Funn’s ‘Cornerstore’
Our Baltimore/Washington corridor bassist extraordinaire Kris Funn has produced an eminently impressive debut recording, “Cornerstore,” an offering fully stocked with delights for all music fans, those of R&B, funk, jazz, rock, and hip-hop leanings. Funn’s always lyrical, melodic bass lines highlight the tunes on the CD, including “Visceral,” “Thursday Night Prayer Meeting,” “Mind Control,” and “PIF” among others. Check it out at www.cdbaby.com.

November Highlights: … The Alon Nechushtan Ensemble/Dark Side of Monk, Nov. 11, Anacostia Community Museum … Stephanie Nakasian, Nov. 11, The Alex/Graham Georgetown Hotel … George Colligan Trio/CD Release Party, Nov. 11, Jazzway 6004/Baltimore … Roy Hargrove, Nov. 11-12, Blues Alley … Brian Blade, Nov. 12, Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club … Levon Mikaelian, Nov. 12, Twins Jazz … Thelonious Monk Tribute, Nov. 12, 19, 26, DC Jazz Jam/The Brixton … Jazzmeia Horn, Nov. 13, Blues Alley … Gato Libre/Transparent Productions, Nov. 14, Rhizome … Chelsey Green Project, Nov. 15, Blues Alley … Joe Vetter, Nov. 15, Twins Jazz … Paul Carr & Real Jazz Rising, Nov. 17, Westminster Presbyterian Church … Tim Whalen Septet, Nov. 17-18, Twins Jazz … Shacara Rogers, Nov. 18, The Alex … Christian Sands/Discovery Artist, Nov. 18, Kennedy Center Jazz Club … Roberta Gambarini, Nov. 16-19, Blues Alley … Jeff Cosgrove/Noah Preminger Quartet, Nov. 19, Twins Jazz … Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra/Miho Hazama, Nov. 20, Levine Music/Silver Spring … Kandace Springs, Nov. 21, Blues Alley … Bobby Felder’s Big Band, Nov. 24, Westminster … Kenny Rittenhouse, Nov. 24-25, Twins Jazz … Danielle Wertz, Nov. 25, The Alex … A Gospel According to Jazz Christmas Tour, Nov. 26, Bethesda Blues & Jazz … Braxton Cook, Nov. 27, Blues Alley … Arturo Sandoval, Nov. 30, Blues Alley

November Birthdays: Lou Donaldson 1; Phil Woods 2; Arturo Sandoval 6; Hubert Laws 10; Ernestine Anderson 11; Sam Jones 12; Hampton Hayes, Idris Muhammad 13; W.C. Handy 16; Don Cherry 18; Coleman Hawkins 21; Teddy Wilson 24; Paul Desmond, Nat Adderley 25; Randy Brecker 27; Gato Barbieri 28; Billy Strayhorn 29


Steve Monroe is a Washington, DC, writer who can be reached at steve@jazzavenues.com and followed at www.twitter.com/jazzavenues.