The area's most popular jazz act since 1982 features the incomparable trumpet and flugelhorn playing of elder statesman Emil Haddad, a Worcester native who played in the big bands of New York in the 1940's. Emil also sings in his own inimitable style. Pianist Dick Odgren, who grew up in Auburn, Massachusetts, where he still lives, taught at Berklee College of Music for twelve years and has recorded with Mike Metheny on Impulse. Dick and Emil have an unmatched sound and synergy.
Director of Jazz Studies at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, guitarist Rich Falco and his group play mainstream, contemporary and Latin jazz with an acoustic emphasis. Trombone, bass, and drums round out the quartet. Two of Richard Jarvais' vocals are featured, including a spine tingling version of Billie Holiday's "Don't Explain."
This very entertaining Dixieland group was formed in 1990 by a group of Berklee students. Since then, they've gone to Europe twice to perform their authentic New Orleans-style jazz, released a CD, and are now mainstays of the Boston music scene.
Jim Porcella & Jeff Holmes Big Band featuring Dick Johnson, Part I (1/8/94)
Seasoned vocalist Porcella teams up with Holmes and Johnson for a live CD recording in November of '93 at Worcester's most famous jazz venue, the El Morocco restaurant. Professor of jazz studies at UMass/Amherst, pianist/trumpeter Holmes brings his band as well as his compositions and arrangements to the session. Featured is Concord Jazz recording artist and Artie Shaw Band leader, Dick Johnson on reeds. This show was one of five finalists in the nation for a localCableACE'93 award in the music category.
Jim Porcella & Jeff Holmes Big Band featuring Dick Johnson, Part II (1/8/94)
More of the live CD recording, Part II showcases instrumental compositions by Jeff Holmes and includes two more vocals by Porcella, as well as outstanding solos by Johnson.
Jane Miller Trio (1/28/94)
Guitarist/composer and Berklee teacher Jane Miller, backed by Bob Simonelli on bass and Don Kirby on drums, performs standards as well as her own very creative compositions. Her first CD, Postcard, has received a lot of airplay on jazz radio stations in Boston and beyond, and she released her second on the Purple Rose label.
Sled Dogs (2/14/94)
Three Berklee teachers plus one rock and roll bass player combine elements of jazz, blues, rock, reggae, country and even Irish music to create a unique, joyful experience that transcends traditional boundaries of jazz. The compositions by guitarist and Rhode Island native Jim Kelly and the saxophone stylings of Jim Odgren, formerly with the Gary Burton Quartet, give this band its extraordinary sound.
Mark Kross 5 Piece Trio (2/21/94)
Since its inception in 1988, the "trio" has expanded to include international performer and recording artist, Billy Novick on alto sax and clarinet; and on trumpet and flugelhorn, jazz legend Herb Pomeroy, a long-time Berklee professor who's performed and/or recorded with Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Stan Kenton, John Lewis, and Paul Gonsalves, to name a few. Pianist/composer Mark Kross and his group of stellar players can best be described as acoustic post-bop.
Lydia Fortune Quartet (2/28/94)
Vocalist Fortune, backed by guitar, bass and saxophone, interprets compositions from sources as diverse as George Gershwin and Donny Hathaway. She's been a favorite for years in Central New England, and her easy style sets the pace for the group's mellow fare.
Cecilia Smith Quartet Part I (2/29/94)
Recognized by critics as one of the leading four-mallet vibraphonists in the country, Smith performs with an incredible band that includes Frank Wilkins on piano, Kenny Davis on bass, and Ron Savage on drums. Her debut Brownstone Recordings CD The Takeoff was nominated for the Boston Music Awards' Album of the Year. This concert, taped at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, was funded in part by grants from the New England Foundation for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Boston native Broadnax, who was pianist/arranger for the Sabby Lewis Orchestra, also arranged for the bands of Lionel Hampton, Woody Herman and Count Basie, and has performed with Clark Terry, James Moody, Joe Williams. and Dorothy Donegan. His debut CD on Brownstone, appropriately titled It's About Time, showcases his great jazz piano stylings as well as a voice reminiscent of Johnny Hartman. Featured in the quartet is Mike Turk on harmonica.
Cecilia Smith Quartet Part II (3/14/94)
More of this exciting concert taped on location at WPI. The program includes compositions by vibraphonist Cecilia Smith, Berklee and New England Conservatory teacher and Boston Globe Jazz Festival performer. Also featured are works by Pat Metheny, Wayne Shorter, and Miles Davis.
Lynne Jackson/Mike Palter (3/28/94)
New England natives, and husband and wife, Jackson and Palter team up with pianist Bliss Rodriguez and special guest Emil Haddad for an exquisite evening of cabaret jazz. Based in Los Angeles during the 1970's, the two made a national TV appearance on the Dinah Shore show in 1977. Their collaboration with Arthur Hamilton, "We Dream a Brighter Day", was performed at the 40th anniversary of the United Nations. After 23 years in the business, the pair made their Carnegie Hall debut last year.
Heart and Fire (4/1/94)
Led by trumpeter/composer Wayne Naus, the seven-piece band performs compositions by Chucho Valdes, Paquito D'Rivera, and Naus that incorporate Latin rhythms such as samba, salsa, rumba, mambo, bolero, Mozambique, songo and guaguanco. A professor at Berklee for over 20 years, Naus has toured with Buddy Rich, Maynard Ferguson and Lionel Hampton. This very exciting band performed at this year's Boston Globe Jazz Festival, and were sell-outs at the Regattabar and the Jazz at Sunset Concert Series this past summer. The band released their first CD, Chase the Fire, last year.
Jerry Seeco and Jazz Episode (4/8/94)
A sextet of Berklee College professors, Jazz Episode is led by Milford's Jerry Seeco. The trumpeter/arranger has taught as Berklee for over 20 years while leading his own big band and a smaller group as well as playing with nearly every big band in New England, many of which play Jerry's arrangements. The group performs compositions by James Williams, Kenny Dorham, Charlie Parker, and Al Foster.
Luciana Souza Part I (4/15/94)
Brazilian singer and New England Conservatory graduate, Luciana Souza comes from the musical family of Walter Santos and Tereza Souza, vanguards of the bossa nova movement who composed many of the songs recorded by Brazil '66. Her international band (from England, Germany, Canada and New Hampshire!) performs Luciana's compositions, Brazilian music by Pascoal, Jobim, and Santos & Souza, as well as a stunning rendition of Gershwin's "Embraceable You."
Luciana Souza Part II (4/15/94)
More music from this impeccable improvisational singer and her exciting group.
Phil Person Quartet (4/25/94)
While a student at Berklee College in the late '70's, trumpeter, composer, and arranger, Phil Person, had a coveted chair in Herb Pomeroy's student recording band. Since graduating, Phil has toured with several bands, including the Tommy Dorsey band, led by Buddy Morrow, and the Artie Shaw Band, led by Dick Johnson. His Louis Armstrong-influenced phrasing shines on "Ruby". The quartet also features one of Boston's premiere jazz guitarists, Jon Wheatley.
Les Arbuckle (5/25/94)
Tenor saxophonist Arbuckle received rave reviews in the jazz press for his CD, No More, No Les, on the Audio Quest label. The former Berklee teacher, who's played with the Artie Shaw Band, Rita Moreno and Lou Rawls, graduated from Berklee and, in 1992, received a Masters Degree in Jazz Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music.
Shawnn Montiero (5/27/94)
After 25 years in the business, this "overnight sensation" finally has a debut CD, the critically acclaimed Visit Me, and she's headlining at clubs and festivals throughout Europe. The daughter of Jimmy Woode, bassist for Charlie Parker and Duke Ellington, Shawnn went on the road at age 19 as a singer and percussionist with Mongo Santamaria after he heard her sing in a San Francisco night club. One of two featured vocalists at Jazz at Sea this past May, she's headed back to festivals in Italy and England in December. When Shawnn plays in Europe, her father is her bassist.