Bob Florence: The Man Behind the Music / The Stage Door (Often) Swings
Closer to home, Betty and I attended a first-ever concert May 1 at Albuquerque's Outpost Performance Space by the Doug Lawrence / Bobby Shew Quintet, so new the ink was still wet on the band's book. Tenor saxophonist Lawrence, a featured soloist with the Count Basie Orchestra, recently moved back to Albuquerque after some years on the road. His adorable one-year-old daughter helped provide the incentive. The front-liners were backed by a first-class local rhythm section comprised of pianist Bob Fox, bassist Michael Olivola and drummer John Trentacosta. The blowing and interplay were brilliant, of course, even though Shew was sight-reading what was essentially Lawrence's music. They should do this more often.
Two evenings later we were at the Hispanic Cultural Center for a lively and colorful Cinco de Mayo celebration featuring the wonderful tenor, Armando Mora, accompanied by the eight-member Mariachi Tenampa, the STEPS Dance Academy and guest singers Salome Martinez-Lutz and Claraliz Mora (Armando's talented daughter). It was quite literally a song-and-dance show centered around the lively and romantic songs of Mexico, and was thoroughly delightful. We're looking forward to Mora's return this fall in a new production of the Spanish operetta, El Barbare de Sevilla.
And that's all for now. Until next time, keep swingin'!
New and Noteworthy
1. Alan Baylock Jazz Orchestra, Eastern Standard Time (H&N)
2. DiMartino / Osland Jazz Orchestra, Quotient (Sea Breeze Jazz)
3. Bud Shank, Against the Tide: Portrait of a Jazz Legend (CD /DVD) (Jazzed Media)
4. Brussels Jazz Orchestra, The Music of Michel Herr (DeWerf)
5. The Whit Williams "Now's the Time" Big Band, Featuring Slide Hampton and Jimmy Heath (MAMA)
6. Brad Leali Jazz Orchestra, Maria Juanez (TCB)
7. Rich Wetzel's Groovin Higher Orchestra, The Mayn Thing (Groovin Higher)
8. Don Scaletta and the Jazz Project, Salutes Stan Kenton, Vol. 2 (Self Published)
9. Tolvan Big Band, Code Red (Prophone)
10. BuJazzO, Vol 6: Calling South Africa (Mons)
11. Jentsch Group Large, Brooklyn Suite (Fleur de Son Classics)
12. Bill O'Connell / Chicago Skyliners Big Band, Live in River Grove (Blue Birdland)
13. Northeastern (OK) State University Jazz Ensemble, The Point (Windstream)
14. Jerry van Rooyen, The Charm of You (Elk Music)
15. Thilo Wolf Big Band, Big Band Shout (MDL Jazz)