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October 2019 Issue

Martin Wind Newsletter

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Recap I: Very Special Trio with Jim McNeely and Matt Wilson/Lenny White 
Recap II: "Joy of Jazz" South Africa 
Recap III: Recording Session Dena DeRose
Recap IV: Oregon Coast Jazz Party
Ron Vincent Quartet at Maureen's in Nyack, NY
Touring Germany Part I: Peter Weniger/Martin Wind Trio with Jonas Burgwinkel
                           Part II: Meyer/Wind Quartet featuring Alex Riel (d) and Billy Test (d) 
In Memoriam: Christoph Öding (1959 – 2019)

Recap I: Very special Trio with Jim McNeely and Matt Wilson/Lenny White

I am so glad that I was able to convince Jim McNeely to follow my invitation for the September 20-22 weekend since we had an absolute ball together! On Friday, 9/20 Jim and I played through a few tunes at my home in Teaneck, NJ after he had spent all day driving down from his new home in coastal Maine. After our little rehearsal, we were joined by my wife Maria and trombonist Ed Neumeister, who I had just played a trio gig with together with Vic Juris the day before, for a wonderful meal paired with Spanish red wine and excellent stories.
 
Our first concert the following day at Jazz@Kitano turned into a 2019 highlight with the support of Matt Wilson and the contributions of special guests Ed Neumeister, vocalist Maucha Adnet and clarinetist Anat Cohen.

The music felt SO great, and many wonderful friends came out to hear us, such as Duduka DaFonseca, Ellen and Helio Alvez, Maria Traversa, and the just-retired Jeff Dunn with wife Ellen from Detroit!

It was just a beautiful, truly uplifting evening.
Anat Cohen, Maucha Adnet, Ed Neumeister
Jazz at Kitano photos by Jeff Dunn
On Sunday, September 22 Jim and I hooked up with legendary drummer Mr. Lenny White at the Deer Head Inn at the Delaware Water Gap, PA. That evening, too, turned into an incredibly swinging and exciting affair. I feel very honored that these two giants of our music agreed to play under my “leadership”, and hope that there’ll plenty more of this, soon.
 

Recap II: "Joy of Jazz" South Africa

Day I:
As I’m working on this newsletter I am in the middle of my return flight from Johannesburg to JFK; honestly, I had not been looking forward to the two 15 + hour flights, but it was all worth it!

Bandleader Ken Peplowski and pianist Ehud Asherie had left a couple of days earlier, while Matt and I still had to fulfill our teaching responsibilities in NY. As Matt and I arrived in Johannesburg after that first, loooooong flight, we were asked to post for some photos at the festival booth, while waiting for a third musician, who supposedly was on our flight.
After about 45 minutes it was finally determined that we should not wait for him any longer and were dropped off at our hotel. Upon our arrival we found out that: a) our rooms were not ready, yet, and b) our driver was actually supposed to drive us directly to a master class at a special music school! So after flying, waiting and driving we got back into the car for another one-hour drive! It was deep…

Matt and I walked right into the workshop and, minutes later, found ourselves playing a rambunctious version of W.C. Handy’s “Careless Love” with electric bass and a funky rock drums set. The young audience screamed and fired us up with “COME ON!” chants that lead us to play ever more daring fills and rhythms - they celebrated us like rock stars! Here are a few photos from the master class:
Eventually, we headed back to our hotel (our third one-hour drive of the day) and were finally able to get to our rooms and CRASH!

After a nice dinner, Matt and I went to the venue and heard “The battle of the bands” – two hours of large ensemble jazz with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and the Zar Jazz Orchestra from South Africa.
Day II:
 
Our first morning in Johannesburg started with a 10 am sound check for our set that was scheduled for….midnight! I have never experienced a sound check taking place 14 hours before the performance. 14 hours...

The festival provided me with a cheap, blond plywood bass, that was set up horribly, especially the bridge – it was a disaster waiting to happen; and that is exactly what happened: just as I arrived backstage to listen to the band playing before us, the young, strong bassist from South Africa really got into it and caused the bridge to snap off the instrument with a loud "whack"…I was able to put the bass back into playable conditions, but not before my man finished his set with an electric bass, that fortunately happened to be within reach. When it was finally our turn to get up on stage, most of the audience members had unfortunately started to split…it was disappointing and Ken wondered " - they brought us all the way over for THIS???!!!".
Day III:
 
One of the highlights of my first visit to Johannesburg had been a guided tour of Soweto; since we had the entire day off until our 10 pm set we decided to try to schedule another tour, if possible with the same guide – and the festival staff actually did find him…meet Peggee:
w/ Peggee & Voortrekker Monument
With him and our driver for the day, we headed to Pretoria, the capital of the country. Our first stop was the "Voortrekker Monument", built in commemoration and celebration (???) of the settlement of the inner country by the Dutch, who did not agree with the abolishment of slavery by the British rulers at the Cape. The more we found out about the wars, broken treaties and other terrible interactions between settlers and the original African tribes, we were reminded of the American exploration of the West and the resulting genocide of American Indian natives.
It seems that especially since the end of apartheid and Nelson Mandela’s efforts to unite the many different ethnic groups the country is heading towards a better future…
Our next stop was the main square in Pretoria, which features the courthouse in which Nelson Mandela was sentenced and a statue of Krueger, another former South African president:
From here we continued to the parliament building that overlooks the city, and which gardens attract many wedding parties. We took pictures with some of the beautifully dressed wedding guests, learned about a protesting aboriginals chief and posed in front of a gigantic statue of Mr. Nelson Mandela.
Ken and Matt with Wedding Guest / Statue of Nelson Mandela
By now we were all starving, so we went to a restaurant that came highly recommended by Peegee and ordered quail and South African white wine – what a feast! Our waiter was excellent and seemed to take a liking to Matt:
After a nice siesta back at our hotel, we drove over to the venue and had a much better experience on the festival stage: the audience was energetic, the sound was much better, the bass held up and Ken played phenomenally!
Day IV:
 
Our final day started with a 7 am lobby call for every musician that wanted to go to a new lion park with a luncheon by invitation of the festival. At 8:30 am (!!!!!), we finally set off and should not be disappointed. I have to say though, that this visit did not get anywhere close to a "real" Safari, as we had experienced 3 years go…it really was a glorified zoo, but still cool!
We saw cheetas, hyanas and plenty of lions, befor we were treated to some native dancing as well as a nice lunch.

Recap III: Recording Session Dena DeRose

On October 1 & 2 Matt and I joined our “sister” Dena DeRose for the recording of her newest studio album at "Teaneck Sound", a wonderful studio just about 7 minutes from our house! If I’m not mistaken this will be our 6th album together, and I believe it turned out GREAT!

On the first day, we were joined by trumpeter Jeremy Pelt and vocalist and NEA jazz master Sheila Jordan for a couple of songs each, and on day 2 tenor saxophonist Houston Person showed us how it’s done. In addition to these 6 tracks, we also recorded trio versions of several DeRose originals, as well as songs written by Alan Broadbent, Mark Murphy and Bob Dorough. Look out for the release on High Note Records in the spring of 2020!

Recap IV: Oregon Coast Jazz Party

On the day after Dena’s recording session, we both went our separate ways to regather at the same place: the Oregon Coast Jazz Party in Newport, OR. She had to hike all the way to JFK, while I flew out of Newark airport, as usual. After a 6 hour flight (more flying!!!) I got picked up in Portland and had to endure another 2 ½ hours by car on winding country roads, but again: boy, was it all worth it!

This is what I saw when I opened the blinds of my hotel room the next morning:
After a small breakfast I started walking, exploring the Newport harbor on the bayside with it’s fishing boats, souvenier shops, sea lions, cannabis “medical centers” and eventually settled for some chowder and a local IPA at the “Seadog” restaurant. Dena reached out and joined me at the restaurant.
After this treat, we continued our walk and ended up following the breathtaking coastline along the beachside of town.  4 ½ hours after leaving I finally returned to “The Whaler” hotel.

In the evening I got to play two wonderful sets at the Newport Performing Arts Center: first Dena, Matt and I played some of our “hits”, as well as some of the songs that we had just recorded. Later on, I found myself sharing the stage with pianist Mike Wofford and drummer Lewis Nash for Houston Person’s late-night “Dance and listen” session – and some folks did dance to some pretty greasy Blues and soulful ballads.
 
My second day in Newport started with an early call: at 10 am all rhythm section players gathered for a set of solos, duos, and trios. I got teamed up with guitarist Larry Koonse from L.A., and together we explored the standard
“How deep is the ocean” – it was swingin’! My personal highlight, however, was Dena and Matt’s duo version of “I’m old fashioned”; it made me realize again, how truly special these two musicians are – and how proud and happy I am to have been playing with them for all these years!
Dena DeRose, Matt Wilson
Right after the morning session was over, Dena invited me to join her and a couple from her hometown of Binghamton for lunch in Depot Bay. That little village is famous for its whale watching – right from the main street! We got to see a couple of whales’ backs and plenty of spouts and had some fresh Dungeness crab for lunch.
The festival ended with a couple of more sets; the first one was with Ken Peplowski and started out with a bass/clarinet version of Django Reinhard’s composition “Nuages” – a killer! Afterward, we were joined by Matt and Mike Wofford, before Houston made his big entrance; Ken and Houston have known each other forever, and have a very special “energy”: insults and jokes went back and forth before we closed out the set with a two-tenor version of “Sunny”.

The final “late-night session” turned into a jam session with the rhythm section of Larry, Matt and I, backing up the frontline of flutist (and departing musical director) Holly Hoffman, as well as saxophonist Roxy Coss;  appearances we also made by trumpeter Terell Stafford, as well as Mike and Dena on piano.
I enjoyed my time here tremendously and hope to be back, soon!

Ron Vincent Quartet at Maureen’s in Nyack, NY

This looks like the only concert in the NYC area this month, and I’m really looking forward to it: on Saturday, October 12 I will be part of the quartet of the great drummer Ron Vincent; the band also features trumpet player Scott Wendholt and guitarist Steve Cardenas.
 
I think the first time I heard Ron play was in 1994 or 1995 with Gerry Mulligan’s quartet at the Philharmonic Hall in Cologne, Germany. Also in the band were bassist Dean Johnson and my man, Bill Mays on piano!

We’ll be at Maureen’s in Nyack, NY, so come up the Hudson River and join us! Here are the details:
 
Ron Vincent Quartet featuring Scott Wendholt (tp) and Steve Cardenas (g)
 
Saturday, October 12, one set at 8 pm: Maureen’s
2 N Broadway, Nyack, NY 10960 - tickets

Touring Germany Part I: Peter Weniger/Martin Wind Trio with Jonas Burgwinkel

I first met Peter Weniger in 1987 as a 19-year-old as a member of the newly founded German Youth Jazz Orchestra; he was already one of the most established and respected musicians in this ensemble, while I was just starting to get my stuff together. Years later we co-lead an album called “The Soccerball” that also featured Bill Mays and Matt Wilson. It was actually recorded just a week or two after the horrible events of 9/11…I still really love that album, and we did a fun tour in Germany in support of the release. Fun fact: during this tour, Matt found out that his wife Felicia and he were going to have triplets….

Years later we reconnected and recorded Peter’s album “Sing Myself a Dream”; since that recording, we have not played a lot at all. Last summer Peter invited us to stay at his apartment when I took my family to Berlin. We decided that we need to play music together again and recruited Jonas Burgwinkel, arguably the hottest German jazz drummer of the younger generation.
Photo by Olff Appold
 
Who knows, hopefully, there will be plenty more coming, soon, but for now we got these dates:
 
Weniger & Wind plus Burgwinkel – featuring Peter Weniger (ts) and Jonas Burgwinkel (d)
 
1.) Thursday, October 17, 9 pm: A Trane Jazzclub, Bleibtreustr. 1, 10625 Berlin;
     with special guest Federico Casagrande (guitar);
     https://www.a-trane.de/programm/
 2.) Saturday, October 19, 8 pm: Arp.art, Plöner Chaussee 68, 24326 Ascheberg;
      https://www.arpart.eu/index.php/aktionen-aktuelles/aktuelle-events
3.) Sunday, October 20, 8 pm: KulturForum, Andreas-Gayk Strasse 31, 24103 Kiel;
     https://www.kiel.de/de/kultur_freizeit/museum/_kalendereintrag.php?251656-883104
4.) Montag, October 21, 8 pm: King George- Club & Bar, Sudermanstr.2/Ebertplatz, 50670 Köln
     https://www.kinggeorg.de/de_DE/konzertkalender/weniger-wind-plus-burgwinkel.16215260
 
Zudem werde ich am Freitag, den 19. Oktober zusätzlich noch eine Master Class am Jazzinstitut Berlin geben. 
with Peter Weniger (ts) and Jonas Burgwinkel (d)

Part II: Meyer/Wind Quartet featuring Alex Riel (d) and Billy Test (d)

Right on the heels of this little run I will be picking up Billy Test, the new pianist of the WDR Bigband in Cologne and drive up to Hamburg (one of my favorite cities in the world!) to meet up with my friend Ulf Meyer and Danish drum legend Alex Riel.

As you know by now, Ulf and I have been friends and duo partners for close to 30 years; we are extremely excited to be playing with our dear comrade Alex again, it’s been way too long! Joining us three will be pianist Billy Test, who I met and played within New York literally DAYS before he moved to Germany to start his new “job”; word has it that he’s been tearing it up there so far!
 
Here are the dates for this tour: 
  1. Wednesday, October 23, 8 pm: Halle 424, Stockmeyerstrasse 43, 20457 Hamburg;    https://halle424.de
  2. Thursday, October 24, 7:30 pm: Altes Gymnasium, Selckstr. 1, 24937 Flensburg 
  3. Fridau, October 25, 8 pm: Stadtbücherei, Wasbeker Str. 14, 24534 Neumünster
    https://www.jazzclub-neumünster.de 
  4. Sunday, October 27, 5 pm: Teekontor, Siidik 15, 25980 Sylt-Ost
    https://www.kontorhauskeitum.de/event/ulf-meyer-martin-wind-quartett-jazzkonzert
with Ulf Meyer and Alex Riel

In Memoriam: Christoph Oeding (1959 – 2019)

Between my trips to South Africa and Oregon I received news that a dear friend, jazz guitarist Christoph Oeding, passed away unexpectedly at the age of 60 years. Christoph was one of the more accomplished jazz musicians that I grew up listening to in my hometown. At one point I actually took lessons with him, and he taught me so much about jazz harmony, walking bass lines and how to solo over chord changes. In 1985 we went on a three-week tour of the United States East Coast together with my high school big band. Through him, I also got to meet the other guitar-playing local hero, Ulf Meyer, who became my best friend and duo partner.

Christoph was always extremely supportive and excited to catch up with me about my doings. I'm thankful that I got to see him in May when he came out to hear Ulf and I play not far from where he had been living for the past 20 years or so. It really hits home when you lose somebody who you’ve known since your teenage years, and who helped you get started - farewell, my friend…
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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