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A Lingering Look Back at Some Live Music

Live jazz performances came to an abrupt end in early March, due to the Coronavirus. But Jersey Jazz Contributing Editors Joe Lang and Schaen Fox caught some of the last live concerts and shows presented early this year. Following are reports on four such performances, two from each writer. Enjoy!

Live Music Advocate, Lee Boswell-May

South Orange Village Mayor Sheena Collum said it perfectly: “Never easy to pay tribute to someone who was one in a bazillion. Lee May, who we all called Boz, is such a tremendous loss for the South Orange community but she wouldn’t want tears or sadness.”

Other Views – May/June

Vocalist GLORIA REUBEN and guitarist MARTY ASHBY are paired up for a nice 10-tune outing on For All We Know (MCG Jazz – 1051). This is an understated collection by two artists who connect beautifully on their first collaboration. Reuben has a welcoming voice that is complemented by Ashby’s sensitive accompaniment.

May/June 2020

Big Band in the Sky,Jazz Giant: Charles McPherson, Sarasota Honors Rachel Domber, Other Views, The Bright Future of Jazz, Talking Jazz: Ingrid Jensen, Marty Grosz’s ‘Life in Jazz’

Lee Konitz: ‘Perfect Foil Opposite Miles’

Lee Konitz was the alto saxophonist in the historic 1949 recording sessions of Miles Davis’ Birth of the Cool, but in 1992, Gerry Mulligan told the Chicago Tribune’s Howard Reich that, “Miles wanted Sonny Stitt. Gil [Evans] and I both wanted Lee Konitz.

Ellis Marsalis — ‘ Giant Musician and Teacher, But an Even Greater Father ‘

“All I did was make sure they had the best so they could be the best. They did the rest.” That brief statement, in a 1993 Ebony Magazine interview, was pianist/educator Ellis Marsalis’ assessment of his influence on the success of his jazz musician sons — saxophonist Branford, trumpeter Wynton, trombonist Delfeayo, and percussionist Jason.

‘ There Is Only One Bucky ‘

In 1969, Oscar Peterson released an album called Motions and Emotions on the MPS Records label. One of the tracks was the Antonio Carlos Jobim tune, “Wave”, and the writer Gene Lees sought to find out who the guitarist was.