Monday, October 31, 2016

USA: "Art Pepper & Warne Marsh," Vol. 9 in "Unreleased Art" Series, to Be Released Nov. 11

"Art Pepper & Warne Marsh,"

Vol. 9 of the Critically Acclaimed
"Unreleased Art" Series,
To Be Released by Laurie Pepper's
Widow's Taste Label
November 11
Marking the 10th Anniversary of the Label

3-Disc Set Features Art Pepper & Warne Marsh
Live at Donte's in North Hollywood, CA,
April 26, 1974
With Mark Levine, John Heard, Lew Malin

October 7, 2016

On April 26, 1974, two wildly gifted and very different artists, Art Pepper and Warne Marsh, met again, for the first time in 17 years, by accident, on the stage at Donte's in North Hollywood, because Jack Sheldon had to cancel. It must have made for an unforgettable night for those who found themselves sitting in the legendary club and listening to two cult heroes, two profoundly great musicians, playing for the audience and each other -- out of the lives they'd lived at the same time, in the same places, but personally and stylistically so far apart.
Now we can join that audience. The music was recorded. And it will be released as a 3-CD set on November 11, just in time for the anniversary of Widow's Taste, the label Laurie Pepper started ten years ago to bring her collection of Art Pepper's unheard live performances to his fans.
In 1974, Art was at the very outset of what would be his last great comeback. He'd quit his job managing a bakery and was making a living playing bar mitzvahs and weddings. He had just started playing in Jack Sheldon's band, once a month, at Donte's.
Unlike Art's, Warne's career had been relentless and ongoing. He'd been touring with his own bands for years, and in 1974, he was traveling the world with Supersax, with whom he'd won a Grammy.
Though Warne forbade recording at his gigs, this gig was recorded. On reel-to-reel, quarter- inch, quarter-track tape. The original tapes were quite good; the audio was probably picked up from the sound board. And the tapes were sent to Laurie Pepper by persons never known or now forgotten. She rediscovered them while cleaning out a closet. As she tells us in her liner note: "Sometimes, the way things and people come to me for Art's sake is -- I want to use the word -- miraculous." A good word for this night and those tapes. Laurie gave them to the incomparable Wayne Peet of Newzone Studio, who, "knows how jazz, how Art should sound." He balanced and enriched the onstage sound, killed excessive noise, and dealt delicately with inevitable glitches that occur in live recording. Laurie, a non-musician, goes on to talk about the Pepper/Warne distinctions in the language of a dedicated fan:
"Art lives down in the grime of earth. You can find him on the L.A. Freeway. You can get into your car, roll up the windows, put on any of Art's blues or ballads and delve into your pain and scream aloud to it.
"Warne seeks sublimity, improvising music that's transcendent, that makes mere passions puny. He can take you to a level where shit doesn't matter.
"Warne offers to distract us. He offers art, the endlessness and possibilities of art, the infinite inventiveness and charm. Something in me, if I'll listen, hears his rhythmic and harmonic revelations and responds with pleasure, satisfaction, even laughter, as to a mystic's holy trickery.
"Art discovers, witnesses, makes us confront, the disasters and the raptures swimming through our own, shared, volatile blood, beyond the reach of language. He knows our grief, our joy, our rage, and turns them into something timeless. His music seems to talk about real, actual life, the one that's nasty, sweet, and short. And he convinces us, repeatedly, that, just as-is, it's sacred."
This latest album joins the catalog of previous albums from the Unreleased Art Pepper series. All have gotten rave reviews from well-known critics. They are:
Volume I, Abashiri (2-CD set)
Volume II, Last Concert: Kennedy Center
Volume III, Croydon (2-CD set)
Volume IV, The Art History Project (3-CD set)
Volume V, Stuttgart (2-CD set)
Volume VI, Blues for the Fisherman: Live at Ronnie Scott's (4-CD set)
Volume VII, Sankei Hall, Osaka (2-CD set)
Volume VIII, Live at the Winery
And all (except Volume IV, which is available for download only) are available at both Amazon ( and CD Baby ( Laurie says she'll keep releasing yearly miracles as long as she keeps finding them. She says there are still plenty in her closets. Maybe, next year, a ballad set? Maybe.

U.S. Music Reviewers: To order a copy of Unreleased Art, vol. 9, please send a check in the amount of $25 (includes shipping) payable to Laurie Pepper, and send to Laurie at 2606 Rokeby Street, Los Angeles, CA 90039; OR pay by PayPal.

Reviewers outside the U.S.: Contact Laurie ( for details on shipping costs.

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USA: Ralph Peterson's Aggregate Prime | "Dream Deferred" Available November 4 on Onyx Music

Ralph Peterson Calls for Renewed Hope
& Artist Activism of Civil Rights Era in Wake of
Systematic Injustice of African Americans Today

Dream Deferred - Available November 4 via Onyx Music

Debut of New Quintet, Aggregate Prime, Featuring
Vijay Iyer, Gary Thomas, Mark Whitfield and Kenny Davis

"Some jazz drummers convey the sensation of floating through a groove.
Ralph Peterson Jr. specializes in a more urgent and pressurized momentum:
a runaway freight train, a bronco bolting out of the chute. Thirty years ago, that intensity put him at the center of a hard-bop resurgence." 
- The New York Times

"Ralph Peterson plays American-style talking drums, keeping up a
running commentary and drawing out the other players." - NPR "Fresh Air"

* * * * * * * * * * *
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore-
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over-
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
* * * * * * * * * * *

Now, as our seemingly unending conversation about race is reenergized by a plague of police shooting unarmed black citizens and the accompanying lack of accountability for those actions, Ralph Peterson-percussionist, trumpeter, composer, bandleader and educator-has called upon Hughes' iconic poem to give both title and theme to Dream Deferred, his 20th album as a leader and his sixth on his own label Onyx Music.
Dream Deferred is also the first to feature his new quintet, Aggregate Prime, comprising the powerful, all-star tandem of saxophonist/flutist Gary Thomas, guitarist Mark Whitfield, pianist Vijay Iyer, and bassist Kenny Davis.
"The album speaks to the question of that final question Langston Hughes asks in 'Harlem' and whether we as a society are close to answering it," says Peterson. "The answer is already there in that if we don't do the right thing, all of our hopes and dreams will explode." The first rehearsal for the album was in October of 2015 as pre-trial hearings were underway for the three Baltimore police officers accused of murder in the death of Freddie Gray while he was in their custody. (Charges were dropped later.)
As with the whole album bearing its name, "Dream Deferred" tries, in Peterson's words, "to capture some of the angst and hope that gave the protest music so much energy and excitement." Peterson blends the instruments in his ensemble in a way as to match the roiling furor surrounding the Gray case and similar ones occurring throughout America over the past few years, while ending with the same tone of pointed, yet "elegant" inquiry culminating Hughes' poem.
"I wanted to highlight Gary's flute, thinking back to Eric Dolphy and how his flute playing could be heard back during  times when music also reflected the restless energy of social change. Only," he adds, "the sound Gary brings belongs only to him." 

The months since the Freddie Gray verdict have only seen more incidents and more protests like Eric Garner, Sandra Bland and Terence Crutcher. "What's really at stake is whether black men will survive at all. Nowadays simply getting in your car as a black man can end up being high risk. And the scary thing is, the risk can come at the hands of those sworn to serve and protect us."
The issue has special poignancy for Peterson, the son of a former police chief and mayor of his native Pleasantville, New Jersey who once played drums professionally in nightclubs throughout the South Jersey area. Ralph, Sr. died two years ago and his son can't help but contemplate how his dad would have reacted to this rash of excessive force. 
"He'd have been appalled," Peterson says. "He was a boxer and he was of the old-school belief that things could be worked out with your hands. He was against deadly force as a first or even second resort. It's part of a whole bent of depending on guns that my dad wouldn't have recognized today. And I wonder myself why it is that guns have become the only way to deal with conflict. People are into self-defense training. But nobody boxes in the streets anymore. It's all about who has the most weaponry and that's become a deeply fatal flaw in our society today."
The death of his father was one of many personal and physical travails Peterson underwent in the past few years. He has undergone surgeries for spinal fusion, hip replacement and a reconstructed ankle. "I am Iron Man," he says with a self-deprecatory humor. Yet the ensemble's performance of Dolphy's "Iron Man" is nothing to joke about.
A more serious, yet just as stoic approach to both Peterson's physical struggles--and to the struggles both he and the rest of society have had to endure over the last couple years--is reflected in his composition, "Strongest Sword/Hottest Fire." An avid student of martial arts, Peterson says he was inspired by a documentary about the Japanese samurai discipline of bushido, to whose most gifted practitioners goes a sword forged to meticulous and harshly-regimented cycles of extreme heat and cold.
Ultimately, Peterson says, "the ability of the sword to cut cleanly comes from what seems to be abusive extremes and that's how we're all tested by life. When life is heating up on you, your own tensile strength becomes more resilient until things cool down for a while before getting hot again. It's these extremes that are ideal for stress test in strengthening metal...and your own mettle as well."
Peterson is also proud of the manner in which he has prevailed over physical and personal difficulties. Along with the aforementioned surgeries, he has completed his second decade of being "drink and drug-free." He has survived colon cancer and Bell's Palsy in addition to the aforementioned orthopedic challenges.
"The strongest sword," he says, "goes through the hottest fire." 

Ralph Peterson's Upcoming Performances:

* Nov 4 - 6 / Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola (Dream Deferred CD Release) / New York, NY
** Nov. 25 / 9th Note / Stamford, CT
*** Jan. 26 / Scullers / Boston, MA
** Feb. 10 / 9th Note / Stamford, CT
** Feb. 11 - 12 / Smalls / New York, NY
** Feb. 13 - 14 / The Greenwich / Cincinnati, OH
** Feb. 15 / Nighttown / Cleveland, OH
** Feb. 16 / Tula's / Seattle, WA
** Feb. 17 / Jimmy Mak's (PDX Jazz Festival) / Portland, OR
** Feb. 21 / Regatta Bar / Boston, MA
* May 24 / Blues Alley / Washington, D.C.
* May 25 / Clef Club / Philadelphia, PA
* May 27 / The Side Door / Old Lyme, CT

* Aggregate Prime Quintet feat. Gary Thomas, Mark Whitfield, Vijay Iyer, and Kenny Davis

** TriAngular III Trio feat. Zaccai and Luques Curtis

*** Sextet Reunion

Ralph Peterson's Aggregate Prime -
Ralph Peterson's Aggregate Prime - "Dream Deferred" EPK

Ralph Peterson · Dream Deferred
Onyx Music · Release Date: November 4, 2016
For more information on Ralph Peterson, please visit:
For media information, please contact:
DL Media  ·  610-667-0501
Matthew Jurasek ·
Don Lucoff ·
For The Preferred Artist
Information and press materials (including album covers, promotional photos 
and bios) on all DL Media artists can be found at our website:

Since it was first published in 1951, Langston Hughes' poem, "Harlem," has been a source of awe and inspiration for generations of African American artists, notably Lorraine Hansbury, whose most famous play "A Raisin in the Sun" (1959), borrowed its title to enhance its theme of black families' fraught and frustrated pursuit of the American Dream. 

USA: Justin Time Essentials Collection Announces Restored Recording of Dizzy Gillespie's Concert of the Century - A Tribute to Charlie Parker

Justin Time Essentials Collection Announces
Restored Recording of Dizzy Gillespie's
Concert of the Century - A Tribute to Charlie Parker

Available Everywhere for the First Time - November 11, 2016

Album Features James Moody, Milt Jackson,
Hank Jones, Ray Brown, and Philly Joe Jones

In 1980 on a cold November night in Montreal, two iconic landmarks of jazz history were channeled by a group of immortal musicians under the leadership of the incomparable Dizzy Gillespie for a thrilling concert entitled Concert of the Century -- A Tribute to Charlie Parker. Along with Parker, Dizzy was a key participant in both of those events: the legendary Jazz at Massey Hall concert and the unforgettable Jazz at the Philharmonic (JATP) celebrations. For this concert, the peerless trumpeter helmed a spectacular sextet featuring his musical cohort of many years, tenor-man and flautist James Moody, the father of the modern jazz vibraphone Milt Jackson, and the impeccable rhythm section of Hank Jones, Ray Brown and Philly Joe Jones on piano, bass and drums respectively.

Assembled by the esteemed longtime Montreal concert producer Rouè Doudou Boicel, the group performed for 3000 exuberant fans at the Salle Wilfred Pelletier Hall of Place des Arts in Montreal, Quebec. Recorded in its entirety by Boicel, a very limited edition LP release appeared very briefly after the concert, but the tapes have lain dormant ever since -- until now. Through the Justin Time Essentials Collection, this stunning performance is now available in three different formats -- as a CD, HD digital (Mastered for iTunes), and a 180 gram deluxe gatefold 2 LP set.

Altogether, these six giants have brought their profound talents to more than a thousand of jazz' finest recordings -- spanning more than half a century of jazz expression at its highest levels -- and with more than 300 years of combined recognition at the upper levels of the jazz pantheon. From the first sounds echoed on this night, it was apparent that each of them was at the very top of their game, unified not only by their deep love and respect for Charlie "Bird" Parker, but in the pure joy and transcendent spirit of each others' company. The delight that each of the musicians shared in the experience is not only contained fully in the music, but also in the banter and repartee between the songs that further captivated the enthralled and loudly receptive audience.

Historically, the infectious spirit of the JATP shows is always in the air, and although the explosive cutting contests and battles that were so much a part of that format are not part of this event, the loving commitment to the music by the all-star lineup and the audience's palpable excitement is very similar. Focused substantially on songs associated with Bird, the repertoire is outstanding, and the musicians offer it up with the perfect brew of virtuosity, jubilance, passion, tastefulness and command within a synergy that is what this music is all about at its best.

The music ranges from beautiful ballads -- a muted trumpet sojourn on Vincent Youmans' "Time On My Hands" and a gorgeous duet by Diz and Jones on Hoagy Carmichael's timeless classic "Stardust" -- to rollicking blowfests on Dizzy's own "Blue 'n' Boogie" and a blazing version of Harold Arlen's "Get Happy" that give everyone a chance to stretch out.

Moody's formidable skills are highlighted both on flute (on his own original "Darben the Redd Foxx") and on tenor (for Johnny Mandel's lovely "The Shadow of Your Smile") that also demonstrates an adventurous modernism that kept these stalwarts in the forefront of the music throughout their careers.

A bonus contained here are two items that were not available on the initial limited release: a Milt Jackson excursion on Ralph Rainger's "If I Should Lose You" that moves from filigreed balladry to swinging mid-tempo; and a brilliant eight-minute bass solo by Ray Brown that incorporates Luiz Bonfá's "Manhã de Carnaval" and Nat Adderley's "Work Song" into his virtuosic performance.

Concert of the Century -- A Tribute to Charlie Parker has been fully re-mastered for the finest audio quality and marks another sterling achievement in Justin Time's commitment to jazz in both its exciting present and its glorious history.

Track Listing:
1. Blue 'n' Boogie
2. If I Should Lose You
3. Darben the Redd Foxx
4. Time on my Hands
5. Get Happy
6. The Shadow of Your Smile
7. Bass Solo
8. Stardust

Dizzy Gillespie · 
Concert of the Century -- A Tribute to Charlie Parker
Justin Time · Release Date: November 11, 2016

For more information on Justin Time, please visit:

For media information, please contact:
DL Media · 610-667-0501
Maureen McFadden ·
Greg Angiolillo ·

Nettwerk Music Group · 323-698-1843
Penny Palmer ·

Public Relations for the Preferred Artist Information and press materials
(including album covers, promotional photos and bios) on all DL Media artists
can be found at our website:

Sunday, October 30, 2016

USA: Rudy Royston Trio-Rise Of Orion(2016)

Rudy Royston's sophomore Greenleaf Music album Rise Of Orion features a chordless trio with saxophone standout and Thelonious Monk Competition Winner Jon Irabagon, and bass virtuoso Yasushi Nakamura. This 13 track record is Royston's offering of "hope and love" with 11 originals and interpretations of Bill Withers' Make A Smile For Me and Henry Purcell's Dido's Lament.

USA: JAZZ FOR AMERICA'S FUTURE Benefit Concert: WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 2nd @ 7pm @ Symphony Space

Tickets available for donations of $50.00, $100.00, or $250.00*
*VIP ticket includes reception with artists following the concert

USA/BRAZIL: The Brazilian Trio Appearing at Jazz at Kitano Friday & Saturday November 4th & 5th Two sets at 8:00pm & 10:00pm

The Brazilian Trio
Appearing at
Jazz at Kitano
Friday & Saturday November 4th & 5th
Two sets at 8:00pm & 10:00pm

Helio Alves - Piano
Nilson Matta - Bass
Duduka Da Fonseca - Drums

Jazz at Kitano
66 Park Ave
New York, NY 10016
(212) 885-7119
$32 Cover + $20 Minimum

There is an elegant yet oddly organic charm to this release as the trio develops their own eclectic identity with that deceptively subtle Brazilian groove. Music that is indeed good for the soul... One of the very best for 2012!
Critical Jazz

More straight-ahead than the title might make one assume, and quite an enjoyable listen.
Dave Sumner, eMusic

Brazilian Trio is a masterful amalgamation of musician, composer and arranger friends dedicated to perpetuating the artful blend of Brazilian classical music and jazz.
The Jazz Chill Corner

This trio consists of three of Brazil's best jazz musicians
O's Place Jazz Newsletter

Born in São Paulo, pianist Helio Alves played classical and Brazilian music as a teen, then studied at Berklee School of Music in Boston. Helio moved to New York in the 90s, and since then has performed and recorded with legendary musicians including Claudio Roditi, Paquito D'Rivera, Yo Yo Ma, Airto Moreira & Flora Purim, Slide Hampton, Oscar Castro Neves, Joyce Moreno and Rosa Passos. Helio also joined Joe Henderson's Quartet, touring extensively with the saxophone master. He is featured on the Grammy Award winning CDs “Joe Henderson Big Band”, “Obrigado Brasil” by Yo Yo Ma and “Brazilian Dreams” by Paquito D’Rivera. He also played on the Grammy Nominated albums “Samba Jazz Fantasia” by Duduka Da Fonseca and “Forests” by the Brazilian Trio, which he co-leads.

Nilson Matta has been a force in the evolution and popularity of Brazilian jazz and is considered one of the greatest Bass players in the world. Matta recorded and toured extensively with greats such as, saxophonist Joe Henderson, flutist Herbie Mann, virtuous cellist Yo Yo Ma and many others. Since 2006 Nilson released 4 CDs as a leader; "Walking  with my Bass"(Toucan),"Brazilian Voyage"(ZoHo), "Black Orpheus "(Motema) and "EastSideRioDrive"(World Blue Record) Nilson is the Music and Artistic Director of "Samba Meets Jazz Workshops".

Duduka Da Fonseca born in Rio de Janeiro is a renowned Grammy Award Nominated drummer, percussionist, and author. He has appeared on over 200 albums alongside American Jazz icons including, Gerry Mulligan, Kenny Barron, Rufus Reid, Phil Woods, John Scofield, Tom Harrell as well as Brazilian Jazz Icons including Antonio Carlos Jobim, Dom Salvador, Astrud Gilberto, Toninho Horta, Claudio Roditi among others. In 2002 Duduka's first solo album, Samba Jazz Fantasia, was nominated for the American Grammy® Award. He is one of the very few Brazilians and the only Brazilian drummer thus far to be nominated for this prestigious Award
In 2009 The Brazilian Trio’s (which he co-leads) album Forests, was nominated for the 10th Latin Grammy. Duduka was a founding member and co-leader of Trio da Paz.


Saturday, October 29, 2016

USA/JAPAN: Takuya Kuroda- Zigzagger (2016)

Zigzagger, Takuya Kuroda
The Japanese-born trumpet player makes his Concord Records debut with the wildly diverse and infectiously funky Zigzagger

For Immediate Release – Whether moving from Japan to the U.S. or navigating between the influences of jazz, soul, hip-hop, Afrobeat and electronica, trumpeter/composer Takuya Kuroda has never followed a straight path. On his fifth studio album and Concord Records debut, the aptly named Zigzagger, Kuroda darts between those wide-ranging interests with a funky swagger and an intensely swinging vigor. The deeply infectious album, due out October 7, 2016, finds the trumpeter snaking his way around the opposing poles of acoustic and electric, bristling grooves and blissed-out vibes, punchy brass and fluid synths, carving his own distinctive sonic path along the way.

“Life is sometimes not that easy, sometimes not so difficult, and it should never go straight,” Kuroda says. “It’s always zigzagging. So I put my soul and spirit into that word.”

USA: Dave Stryker Trio Annual Halloween Party @ Trumpets Fri, Oct 28th Sets 8 & 10 pm

Upcoming Gigs

 Wed Nov 2- 8:30 and 10:30pm

 Dave Stryker Trio

 • Dave Stryker – guitar
 • Jared Gold – organ
 • McClenty Hunter – drums
 The Bar Next Door
 129 MacDougal St New York, NY

 Sat Nov 5- 8:00pm and 10:00pm

 Dave Stryker Quartet w/ Don Braden

 • Dave Stryker – guitar
 • Don Braden – sax
 • Jared Gold – organ
 • Byron Landham – drums
 Chris’ Jazz Cafe
 1421 Sansom Street
 Philadelphia PA 19102

 Wed Nov 23 – 10:30pm – 1:00am

 Dave Stryker Quartet w/ Steve Nelson

 • Dave Stryker – guitar
 • Steve Nelson – vibraphone
 • Jared Gold – organ
 • Byron Landham – drums
 183 West 10th Street, basement, Greenwich Village,
 NYC, 10014

 Sat Nov 26 – 8:00pm and 10:00pm
 Dave Stryker Quartet w/Steve Nelson
 Dave Stryker-guitar
 Steve Nelson-vibes
 Kyle Koehler-Organ
 and Byron Landham-drums
 6 Depot Square, Montclair, NJ (973) 744-2600

Dave Stryker Media Contact


Jim Eigo
Jazz Promo Services
272 State Route 94 South #1
Warwick, NY 10990-3363
Ph: 845-986-1677 / Fax: 845-986-1699
Cell / text: 917-755-8960
Skype: jazzpromo
"Specializing in Media Campaigns for the music community, artists, labels, venues and events.”

Cell:  814.482.0010

USA: Drummer Jerome Jennings Leads Sextet on His CD Debut, "The Beast" - Nov. 18

Drummer Jerome Jennings
Debuts as a Leader with "The Beast,"
New CD Set for November 18 Release
By His Iola Records Imprint
Jennings Helms a Sextet
Featuring Bassist Christian McBride,
Pianist Christian Sands, & A Front Line Consisting of
Dion Tucker, Trombone; Sean Jones, Trumpet;
Howard Wiley, Tenor Saxophone

CD Release Shows Scheduled for
Nov. 22 Dizzy's, NYC
Nov. 26-27 Night Town, Cleveland

October 21, 2016

Jerome Jennings The Beast Since moving to New York from his native Cleveland 12 years ago, Jerome Jennings has become one of the most in-demand jazz drummers on the scene. Currently a member of the Christian McBride Trio, Craig Handy's 2nd Line Smith, and the groups of vocalist Paula West and singer/trumpeter Bria Skonberg, Jennings boasts an impressive resume that speaks to his versatility and rhythmic mastery.
With the release on November 18 of his debut CD, The Beast, on his new Iola Records imprint, Jennings is now stepping out as a poised, swinging, and strong-minded leader in his own right. He has drawn together some of his favorite players from coast to coast -- five-time Grammy-award-winning bassist Christian McBride, poll-winning fellow Ohioan Sean Jones on trumpet and flugelhorn, McBride trio pianist Christian Sands, longtime Harry Connick Jr. trombonist Dion Tucker, and the explosive Oakland tenor saxophonist Howard Wiley, a member of Jennings's current band -- for a set of compositions by Freddie Hubbard, Ben Webster, and bassist Jon Burr; adaptations of an ice-cream-truck jingle and a chart-topping R&B hit (New Edition's "Cool It Now"); and three originals by the leader. Jazzmeia Horn, winner of the 2012 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal and the 2015 Thelonious Monk Institute International Jazz Vocal competition, joins the sextet for an arrangement by Jennings and Curtis Fuller of the standard "You Don't Know What Love Is."
The title track is based on an incident in which a Princeton, New Jersey, police officer pulled Jennings over while he was driving home from a gig at 2 a.m. for allegedly having a tiny Cleveland Browns football helmet hanging from his rearview mirror. He was held for 50 harrowing minutes before being released without having even been issued a ticket.
The hard-swinging number begins with a press roll on the snare drum that slows to a stop, indicating the process of pulling off the road. Tension between the horn and rhythm sections during the head and solos reflects the way Jennings was repeatedly interrupted while trying to answer the officer's questions.
"I call it 'The Beast' because that's another way of saying 'police' or 'system,'" the drummer explains. "Everything I do in that tune is significant."
Jerome Jennings
Jerome Jennings was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on October 28, 1980. His early interest in drums turned into a passion after his mother brought home an Art Blakey album. He played in various ensembles in high school before receiving a full scholarship to Ohio State University, where he studied with trumpeter Pharez Whitted. He went on to receive a Bachelor's Degree in Music Performance from Rutgers University and a Master of Music Degree in Jazz Studies, Performance, and Drums from Juilliard.
In 2001, Jennings set out to meet and play with as many former members of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers as possible. They included Charles Fambrough, Curtis Fuller, Benny Golson, David Schnitter, Ronnie Mathews, Javon Jackson, Curtis Lundy, Wynton Marsalis, Lonnie Plaxico, Valery Ponomarev, Bobby Watson, Frank Lacy, and, the drummer adds, "even Mr. [Sonny] Rollins. He played a bit with Blakey. I worked with Sonny for three years. That was almost an out-of-body experience.
Jerome Jennings "I felt that if I could play with guys who played with great drummers, particularly Art Blakey, and they could tell me I'm swinging, then I'm swinging," he explains. "I learned so much from them in terms of the spirit of the music. It's not necessarily a technical thing. It's how you're carrying yourself and how you carry the music and move it forward by addressing where it came from."
Jennings's knowledge of and passion for the music has led to him teaching in a variety of jazz education programs over the years. He's presently giving classes for Jazz at Lincoln Center's Jazz for Young People program, Jazz for Teens at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and is a featured lecturer for Jazz At Lincoln Center's Swing University.
When he's not playing drums or teaching, Jennings pursues an acting career as time permits. He played a minor role as Chuck Berry's drummer in the motion picture Cadillac Records, spent four months off-Broadway at The Little Shubert Theatre playing drums and acting in Lady Day starring his friend/mentor Dee Dee Bridgewater, and recently starred in Laurence Holder's one-man play The Gospel According to Max Roach at the Nuyorican Poets Café in New York City, among other credits. He's had to miss out on some important auditions because of his musical commitments, "which is always tough. But music is the priority for me."
Jennings has planned CD release shows for 11/22 at Dizzy's in New York City, and 11/26-27 at Night Town in his hometown of Cleveland. Personnel will include Dion Tucker, trombone; Kenyatta Beasley, trumpet; Howard Wiley, tenor saxophone; Christian Sands, piano; and Elias Bailey, bass. Jazzmeia Horn will be featured with the sextet at Dizzy's.

Photography: Javier Oddo
EPK - Jerome Jennings
EPK - Jerome Jennings "The Beast"

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