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July/August 2019 Issue

Martin Wind Newsletter

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Recap I: Birdland Theater and Rochester Jazz Festival with the Scott Robinson Quartet
Recap II: Mezzrow and new recording with Bill Mays and Matt Wilson
Recap III: Ancona Jazz Festival with Rita Marcotulli and Matt Wilson
Recap IV: My sister Meike celebrates her 50th birthday at the "Schlagermove" parade in Hamburg, Germany
Recap V: Matt Wilson's Honey and Salt at Standford
Recap VI: "Nighttown" Cleveland with Bill Cunliffe
Recap VII: Vail Summer Jazz Series with Ann Hampton Callaway
Anniversary – 30 years since my first Centrum Jazz Camp
August Gigs
"Whisper Not" with Don Friedman and Benny Golson at Jazzbaltica 2006
I apologize in advance for this long edition, but you won't be hearing from me until early September, I promise! A lot was going on over the last few weeks, and I could not get around finishing this newsletter earlier; so let's get right to it:

Recap I: Birdland Theater and Rochester Jazz Festival with the Scott Robinson Quartet

" This has been a very special experience for me, leading my own group on three consecutive nights!" says Scott Robinson after his quartet featuring pianist Helen Sung, drummer Dennis Mackrel and I completed the official CD release weekend with packed concerts at the Birdland Theater in NYC, as well as at the Rochester Jazz Festival.

Every night the band seemed to get more adventurous with the material of the new "Tenormore" album, and especially the shows at Birdland turned into heartfelt family affairs with wife Sharon playing flute and father David reciting his original "Haiku" poem on "The Weaver", while brother Dave Jr. was taking it all in from the audience.
 
Here are a couple of photos from the show in Rochester:

Recap II: Mezzrow and a new recording with Bill Mays and Matt Wilson

Boy, it felt great sharing the bandstand with my long-time friends and musical partners Bill Mays and Matt Wilson again! We gathered at this wonderful club in the Village with its warm sound, excellent piano and attentive crowd over the last June weekend.

Together we explored several new compositions of Mr. Mays and "found parts" for them – we discovered grooves, worked out little arrangements and followed their stories. After two wonderful gigs we drove out to Bucks County just on the other side of the Delaware River and recorded the material with the help of our "man", Matt Balitsaris – I can't wait to hear the album, it was SO much fun to play these new gems…watch out for the release on Palmetto Records later in the year!

Recap III: Ancona Jazz Festival with Rita Marcotulli and Matt Wilson

After finishing our "Light Blue" Quartet Tour last November, Matt Wilson and I spent an extra couple of days in Italy to record an album with pianist Rita Marcotulli in a tribute to Dewey Redman, called "The very thought of you". On Monday, July 8 we officially presented the release of the LP at the Ancona Jazz Festival under challenging circumstances: several hours before the scheduled start of our open-air concert a violent  storm came down on the area as I have never witnessed before: thunder and lightning, as well as torrential downpours and hail,  lasted for a solid 40 minutes, causing flooding and downed trees. Fortunately, festival director, Giancarlo Di Napoli was able to order a second piano and get a new stage set up in an indoor location…everybody came together, improvised and dealt – it was a marvel! Stylistically the album's repertoire ranges from lyrical ballads to Freebop, the American Songbook, and Texas Blues – you name it! We all loved every minute of it and are looking forward to more trio action in the fall.
Me, Rita Marcotulli and Matt Wilson 
Ancona Images

Recap IV: My sister Meike celebrates her 50th birthday at the "Schlagermove" parade in Hamburg, Germany

The day after our Ancona concert I traveled to Hamburg, Germany for the celebration of my sister Meike's 50th birthday on July 13, which happened to be my wife Maria and my 22nd wedding anniversary, as well!

Meike decided to combine her party with the "Schlagermove" parade, which happened to be going on that same day. I guess you could call it the German version of the Love Parade with a couple of unique local twists: first of all the parade is dedicated to the "German Schlager" – extremely corny pop, party, drink and love songs, that were being directed at the estimated half a million participants from speakers that were attached to more than fifty slowly rolling "party trucks". The second characteristic that set it apart from a parade in the U.S. is the fact that the public consumption of alcohol is allowed, a fact that led to a dramatic worsening of peoples' behavior over the course of the event.  Massive amounts of empty cans and bottles were clogging the streets after the first couple of hours or so, and some folks made a nice taste selling ALL kinds of booze. Most people dressed up in a mix of 60's hippie and 70's disco, parading in bright shirts, plateau boots, and peace signs.
Once things got a bit too crazy we retrieved to the "Déjà vu" bar for drinks, pizza, chats and lots of dancing.

Recap V: Matt Wilson's Honey and Salt at the Standford Jazz Festival

Sometimes I suspect that traveling musicians dare themselves with completing yet more adventurous and challenging itineraries: how many gigs can I make in the littlest of time while covering the biggest distances, testing the limits of what is possible…well, the day after my sister's party I had a good one: at 7:30 am in the morning I flew from Hamburg to Munich and from there in a bit more than 11 hours directly to San Francisco. From there I got picked up and dropped off at the hotel in Palo Alto; exactly 75 minutes after my arrival I left again with the other members of Matt Wilson's "Honey and Salt" band for soundcheck, catering and a long set at the Stanford Jazz Festival. After a fantastic concert and a quick nightcap at the hotel bar, I crashed hard!

Recap VI: "Nighttown" Cleveland with Bill Cunliffe

Only a couple of days after my return from California I was supposed to go to Cleveland, Ohio for a couple of gigs with a monster band under the leadership of pianist Bill Cunliffe, but mother nature had other plans: because of an approaching thunderstorm we were asked to de-board our plane, since the airspace had been closed before we could head out of the area. What followed was hours of waiting around until to everybody's surprise it was announced that our flight would be boarding again. At this point hundreds of peoples' flights had been canceled, endless lines had formed at customer service booths and hotels had been sold out within miles of the airport.

As we started getting back onto our plane the captain announced that we have only a small window and that people should board quickly…why it still took us almost half an hour I don't know. What I do know is that just as our turn had almost come up to take off the pilot announced that he had timed out and that we had to turn around to the gate…let me just say that several passengers expressed themselves with some colorful language…

I missed the first of two engagements but made it in time for the concert at the club "Nighttown". 

The concert featured Bill's re-arranged versions of Oliver Nelson's classic album "Blues and the Abstract Truth" with Scott Wendholt (trumpet), Scott Robinson (tenor sax), Chris Burge (alto sax) and Michael Dease (trombone) forming the frontline in addition to the trio of Bill, Tim Horner on drums and myself. The club was packed, probably partly thanks to our special guest vocalist, Jane Monheit. The energy was incredible and things got really hot, literally!

Recap VII: Vail Summer Jazz Series with Ann Hampton Callaway

It's been a few years since I've traveled to Vail, CO, the beautiful resort in the Rocky Mountains. 25 years ago founder Howard Stone and wife Kathy organized their very first jazz festival here; today their organization runs a top-notch educational program, a summer concert series and of course, the Vail Jazz Party over Labor Day weekend.

On July 24 and 25 I performed several shows of "Jazz at the Movies" with the amazing singer Ann Hampton Callaway, backed up by pianist Christian Jacob, saxophonist Brian Scanlon, and drummer Tim Horner:
From left to right: Brian, Christian, Ann, me, and Tim
 
While we were in town, the New York Philharmonic ended their summer residency there with a performance of Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4. One of their bassists, David Grossman came out to one of our shows and hung with us afterward. I've known his name for many years: he was one of the youngest musicians to become a member of this incredible ensemble and has a reputation of being a great jazz player, too!

He happens to be the nicest guy, and we were both excited to finally meet.
 
Another highlight there is always to take the gondola up on the mountain and to go hiking:

Anniversary – 30 years since my first Centrum Jazz Camp

In 1987 I became one of the founding members of the Bujazzo, the National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Germany; getting into this ensemble was one of the most significant steps in my early development, and I still benefit from the relationships that were established then.

A couple of years into the band's existence we were invited via the recommendations of trombonist Jiggs Wigham and trumpeter Bobby Shew to perform at the Port Townsend Jazz Festival and participate in the Centrum Jazz Workshop.

For me this trip turned into a life-changing experience: I got to hear and meet some of my greatest idols, such as pianist Monty Alexander, guitarist Herb Ellis and the maestro himself, bassist Ray Brown! I also remember hearing the band Supersax, guitarist Emily Remler, alto saxophonist Jeff Clayton, pianist George Cables, and bassist Chuck Deardorf in concert for the first time.

There are two musicians, however, that I met here that have had a long-lasting impact on me: drummer Jeff Hamilton and bassist John Clayton. They've become mentors, role models and friends; they keep me honest, focused and humble – and boy, can they tip!!!
From left to right: Hubert Nuss (p), Claudio Puntin (cl – standing), Frank Chastenier (p – ducking) and myself

August Gigs

Here are a few upcoming gigs in August; the first half of the month I will be spending together with my family on the beach in North Carolina.
 
First of all, we'll be doing a couple of hits with Bill Mays' trio again:
 
Bill Mays Trio featuring Bill Mays (piano) & Matt Wilson (drums)
Friday, August 23, 7:30 – 9:30 pm: Rutherfurd Hall
1686 Route 517, Allamuchy, NJ 07820
http://rutherfurdhall.org/detail.php?ID=627
 
Sunday, August 25, 6:30 – 8:30 pm: Sarah's Wine Bar
20 West Lane/Route 35, Ridgefield, CT; 203-438-8282
http://www.bernardsridgefield.com/jazz-masters-series
 
And here is a concert performance of Ted Rosenthal's jazz opera "Dear Erich":
 
Monday, August 26, 7 pm: Southampton Arts Center
25 Jobs Lane, Southampton, NY 11968; 631-283-0967
bit.ly/dearerich

25th Anniversary Vail Jazz Party

For Labor Day weekend I will be heading back to Vail for their 25th Anniversary Jazz Party; I will be playing several sets with Danish singer Sinne Egg, her pianist Jacob Christofferson and the aforementioned drummer Jeff Hamilton, a George Shearing Tribute with Bill Cunliffe and drummer Lewis Nash, as well as sets with trumpeter James Morrison, clarinetist Ken Peplowski, pianist Larry Fuller and saxophonist Jerry Weldon and others...I will tell you all about it in my September newsletter.

"Whisper Not" with Don Friedman and Benny Golson at Jazzbaltica 2006

I want to conclude this loooong edition with a video, that my friend Rainer Haarmann posted on Facebook the other day: a beautiful memory of my days of playing in the trio of pianist Don Friedman, here with Tony Jefferson on drums.
I remember thinking how amazing it was to play this tune with its' composer, Benny Golson, who sounds just gorgeous here, and who is still going strong:
Benny Golson with the Don Friedman Trio

Have a great rest of the summer!
Martin Wind - "Light Blue"
Available at martinwind.com/lightblue
Also available on Amazon.com  and  ITunes
 
Martin Wind Quartet "Turn Out the Stars"
Available on ITunes,Amazon.com
Also available at WhatIf? Music
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