|New Documentary from Bret Primack:
Passing the Torch featuring Jimmy Heath
Bret Primack, aka the Jazz Video Guy, has started production on a new film, “Passing the Torch.” The documentary, which is being crowdfunded, is a celebration of the sharing of creativity and knowledge from one generation to another featuring the tenor saxophonist and composer, Jimmy Heath, who turns ninety this October, and the Tucson Jazz Institute Ellington band, composed of high school instrumentalists.
This past January, Mr. Heath and the TJI’s premiere big band opened the Tucson Jazz Festival and something magical happened between the master musician and these young students. Doug Tidaback, an educator who runs the TJI along with bassist Scott Black and saxophonist Brice Winston, felt that the vibe between Jimmy Heath and his students was so strong that he invited the Jazz legend back to record with the Ellington band, which has won a number of Essentially Ellington competitions at Jazz at Lincoln Center.
When filmmaker Bret Primack, a fifteen-year resident of Tucson, learned of the recording, he decided to document the proceedings. “I was at the January concert and what happened between Jimmy and those kids came as no surprise. I’ve known Jimmy since 1978 and in addition to being a superb tenor saxophonist and composer, he has a gentle, humorous, non-threatening approach to teaching that always produces memorable results.”
The recording session takes place this coming weekend and on Saturday, May 28, there will be a one-hour live Facebook broadcast at 3pm EDT live from the session. After the broadcast, the content will available on demand on Facebook and YouTube.
“I didn’t plan it, but this will be my second film featuring a ninety year old musician," Primack reports. My first documentary feature Taking Charge, featured famed big band lead trumpeter, Pauly Cohen. I figure, if these guys are still doing it at ninety, there’s hope for me yet."
To help fund the film:
To view the live broadcast from the recording session:
To contact filmmaker Bret Primack
Saturday, May 28, 2016
While the new album continued to show the Paris-meets-New York backgrounds of the bands leaders, vocalist Miz Elizabeth and bandleader/pianist Evan Bibs Palazzo, French Fries illustrates the duality of the Hot Sardines ethos: on one side, they are a rollicking, lowbrow, gutbucket R&B and Hot Jazz band, who love to let the good times roll, reveling in the simple pleasures of a good plate of fried food and a sizzling foot-stomper from the 40s and 50s American South.
On the other Champagne side, the Sardines are the elegant, smooth, soft and luxurious lovers of lush orchestral arrangements of ballads about newfound love, loss and loneliness.
Tracks range from Running Wild, the hit from the 1959 Billy Wilder classic rom-com, Some Like It Hot starring Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis, to People Will Say We re In Love, from the 1943 Rodgers and Hammerstein Broadway smash, Oklahoma!.
Theres even a jazzy version of the 1985 smash Pop hit, Addicted To Love, made famous by the late British blue-eyed soul singer Robert Palmer and the Power Station.
A highlight of the album is When I Get Low, I Get High. Originally recorded in 1936 by Ella Fitzgerald and Chick Webb and His Orchestra, the Lindy Hop sensation is here now interpreted Sardines-style by Miz Elizabeth duetting with the Tony Award-winning (Cabaret), 2x Emmy and Golden Globe nominee (The Good Wife), Alan Cumming.
Friday, May 27, 2016
There is nothing like the birth of a child to make a new parent reexamine, well, everything. Over the first several months of his son s life, Ferber became intrigued and engrossed by the process of human growth and development, seeming to cycle through periods of relative calm and rootedness, versus periods of transition involving tension, chaos, and rapid change.
Ferber noticed how these cycles correlate with his own growth as a composer. His new work, Roots & Transitions, written for his Nonet, is an exploration of these ideas through the process of crafting music. In Roots & Transitions, Ferber begins with tiny cell musical motives, and through the movements, drives them through cycles of calm/rootedness versus turbulence/transition, allowing the overall composition to run parallel to the growth and development unfurling in his personal life.
After several years of focusing on big band writing, Ferber s return to his long-standing Nonet allows a more subtle interaction between individual parts, creating increased intimacy in this intricate new work. For the past 10 years, Ferber has led his Nonet made up of five horns and four rhythm instruments, represented here by either Scott Wendholt or Shane Endsley on trumpet, alto saxophonist Jon Gordon, tenor saxophonist John Ellis, bass clarinetist Charles Pillow, guitarist Nate Radley, pianist Bryn Roberts, bassist Matt Clohesy and drummer Mark Ferber. The size of the ensemble allows for a wide variety of tonal colors and textures while being more lithe than a big band.
Marius Neset / tenor saxophone
Lars Danielsson / bass
Morten Lund / drums