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Clubbing With Dizzy and Jazz at the Lincoln Center

We need to send our jazz guru LeRoy Downs out to NYC to check this out:

    Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC) proudly opens the doors of its new jazz club, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola . The club, located in JALC’s new home at Frederick P. Rose Hall (FPRH), offers spectacular views and serves a jazz inspired menu seven days a week.

    Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, one of the three main performance spaces inside FPRH, is an intimate, 140-seat jazz club that provides a space for ensemble performances, education, and other events. The clubs views of the Manhattan skyline and Central Park are breathtaking. Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola will be a place where JALC produces world-class jazz performances, throws parties for visiting musicians and welcomes people to hang out, have a drink and listen to great music. Musicians performing in the club will be given the time and artistic space to address their musical aims through extended bookings and artistic exploration.

    As part of JALC’s Grand Opening Festival, from October 21 through November 7, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola opens with a celebration of the music of jazz legend and bebop architect Dizzy Gillespie. For three weeks, the music written by, performed by, or made popular by Mr. Gillespie will be spotlighted. The Dizzy Gillespie Festival begins on October 21, which would’ve been Dizzy’s 87th birthday. Following the three-week festival, the regular season at the club kicks into full gear with a variety of great musicians.

    “Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola is designed to entertain people in the spirit that Dizzy had … very welcoming,” Mr. Marsalis explains. “We just want people to have a good time. We want the musicians to feel comfortable to play. We want people to come in and have a memorable experience. This whole facility is designed for international participation. This is a hall of integration … to bring everything together.”

    “We’re bringing the hottest jazz bands in the business to our new club,” says JALC Executive Director Derek Gordon. “You can expect a spicy variety of musicians to grace the stage. As Jazz at Lincoln Center continues to perpetuate the art form, Monday nights are dedicated to young, upcoming musicians who will showcase their talent. On the other nights, you never know who will show up for a surprise appearance at one of our late-night hang sets. We welcome all to come, enjoy the great music, the great view and the great food.”

    Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola Schedule October through January 2005

    Monday, October 18 Bill Charlap Trio
    Featuring Bill Charlap (piano) with Peter Washington (bass), and Kenny Washington (drums) plus other guests (tba). Reservations not available for this performance only. Live television broadcast by Live From Lincoln Center as part of JALC’s Grand Opening on PBS (check local listings).

    Thursday-Sunday, October 21-24 Dizzy Gillespie Festival ­ Small Band Dizzy
    Bill Charlap (piano) Trio – Peter Washington (bass), Kenny Washington (drums) with Charles McPherson (alto saxophone) and Nicholas Payton (trumpet).

    Tuesday-Sunday, October 26-31 Dizzy Gillespie Festival – Latin Dizzy
    Paquito D’Rivera (alto saxophone, clarinet) Sextet – Diego Urcola (trumpet), Alon Yavnai (piano), Mark Walker (drums), Pernel Saturnino (percussion), Oscar Stagnaro (bass) plus special guests.

    Tuesday-Sunday, November 2-7 Dizzy Gillespie Festival – Big Band Dizzy
    Julliard Jazz Orchestra conducted by Victor Goines (reeds) with Tom Harrell (trumpet), Carla Cook (vocalist) and other special guests.

    Tuesday-Sunday, November 9-14 The Jazz Party
    Monty Alexander (piano) Jazz Party with Red Holloway (tenor saxophone), Hassan Shakur (bass), Clark Terry (trumpet) scheduled for a couple of evenings tbd, and others – Herlin Riley (drums), Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday only.

    Tuesday-Sunday, November 16-21 Mexico Now ­ Dynamic Double Bill
    *Diego Maroto Sextet with Diego Maroto (tenor saxophone/soprano saxophone) all week ­ Rey David ³Osito² Alejandre (trombone), Francisco Lelo de la Rea (guitar), Mark Aanderud (piano), Agustin Bernal (bass), Gabriel Puentes (drums).
    *Antonio Sanchez Group with Antonio Sanchez (drums) all week, Luis Perdomo (piano) 11/16-17 only, Miguel Zenon (alto saxophone) 11/16-17 only, Hans Glawischnig (bass) 11/16-17 only, David Sanchez (tenor saxophone) 11/18-19 only, Reuben Rogers (bass) 11/18-19 only, Adam Rogers (guitar) 11/20-21, only, Ben Street (bass) 11/20-21, only.

    Tuesday-Sunday, November 23-28 Celebration of Coleman Hawkins – The Body and the Soul
    George Coleman (tenor saxophone), Eric Alexander (tenor saxophone), Harold Mabern (piano), Joe Farnsworth (drums) and other special guests.

    Tuesday-Sunday, November 30-December 5 Soul Jazz
    Joey DeFrancesco (organ) Trio with David “Fathead” Newman (tenor saxophone) and other guests.

    Tuesday-Sunday, December 7-12 Gonzalo Rubalcaba Quartet
    Featuring Gonzalo Rubalcaba (piano), Felipe Lamoglia (saxophones), Armando Gola (bass), Ignacio Berroa (drums).

    Tuesday-Sunday, December 14-19 Marcus Roberts Trio
    Featuring Marcus Roberts (piano), Roland Guerin (bass), Jason Marsalis (drums).

    Tuesday-Sunday, December 21-26 Holiday Jazz
    Cyrus Chestnut (piano) Trio with special guest Donald Harrison (alto saxophone).

    Tuesday-Sunday, December 28-January 2 New Year’s Celebration
    Cyrus Chestnut (piano) Trio with Frank Morgan (alto saxophone) and others. New Year¹s Eve reservation price tba.

    Tuesday-Sunday, January 4-9 Eric Reed Trio
    Featuring Eric Reed (piano), Al Foster (drums), Buster Williams (bass).

    Tuesday-Sunday, January 11-16 Eric Reed Happiness Sextet
    Featuring Eric Reed (piano), Jeremy Pelt (trumpet), Myron Walden (alto saxophone), Seamus Blake (tenor saxophone), Dwayne Burno (bass) and Billy Drummond (drums).

    Tuesday-Sunday, Jan 18-23 Mulgrew Miller Trio
    Featuring Mulgrew Miller (piano), Gary Bartz (alto saxophone).

    Tuesday-Sunday, Jan 25-30 Stefon Harris and Blackout
    Featuring Stefon Harris (vibraphone).

That’s an A-list lineup in an intimate setting.

Here’s some background I put together on the Dizz:

The ubiquity and energy of swing helped drive the youth market for records and buoyed the industry through the tail end of the Depression and in the euphoria immediately following WWII. But some jazz musicians felt that swing had grown stale as a creative outlet by the ’40s. John Birks Gillespie (1917-1993), from South Carolina, then Philadelphia, began trumpet as a teen, studied harmony and theory, and while he took music dead seriously, his irrepressible sense of humor led to the nickname “Dizzy.” Gillespie aspired to the speed and nosebleed upper range of Roy Eldridge, whom he replaced in the Teddy Hill band in ‘37. The famous upturned horn was the result of an accident – when forced by circumstance to play with the bent horn, Gillespie decided he liked the sound dispersal better and bent it was to remain.

Gillespie played with Lionel Hampton, Cab Calloway, Benny Carter, Lucky Millinder, Duke Ellington, Earl Hines (where he met Charlie Parker) and became musical director of Billy Eckstine’s band in ‘44. Meanwhile he was experimenting in small combo settings at the famous Minton’s Playhouse and Monroe’s Uptown House clubs in Harlem with alto saxist Parker, pianist Thelonious Monk, guitarist Charlie Christian, drummer Kenny Clarke, and others, creating a new style called “bebop.”

The change from swing to bebop reflected an increase in tempo and a harmonic change from diatonic (using just the notes that form a particular major or minor scale) to chromatic (all the other notes) scales, i.e., from a loping beat with “pleasing” tones, to a slamming beat with jarring tones. Tonal effects like vibrato and smears were also out; and, the final perversion, stress in phrasing was moved from the strong to weak beats.

The net result was a musical world turned upside down – dogs and cats sleeping together – and music that was defiantly not for dancing. No wonder there was so much antipathy to the new music. Musicians who refused the change became known as “moldy figs” to the boppers (oldsters Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young did play with boppers). Swing tenor great Ben Webster is reputed to have said, “That horn ain’t supposed to sound that fast,” when he heard Parker play. Calloway called it ”Chinese music.”

In addition to helping set the musical trend, Gillespie became the visual and cultural focal point for the movement with his beret, shades, goatee and infectious humor. He was also the first to lead a bop big band (‘45), and a few years later would incorporate Latin rhythms into bop to form “cubop” – a style still dominant in Latin jazz.

Pianist/composer/producer Leonard Feather (1914-94) is perhaps the most famous jazz critic of all time. He moved to NY from London in ‘35 and was almost alone among critics, championing bebop in the pages of Esquire and Downbeat. A true jazz renaissance man, Feather acted upon his convictions and produced a Gillespie bebop seven-piece (featuring Don Byas on tenor sax and Milt Jackson on vibes) for RCA in ‘46 (found in Gillespie’s The Complete RCA Recordings). This session produced one of the classics of bebop: the exotic, contrapuntal “Night In Tunisia.” Halfway through, the muted lurking ambiance is shattered by Gillespie’s percussive, arcing solo over a quick swing groove, followed by Byas’ similar workout.

About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: Twitter@amhaunted,, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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