Gary Spencer

April 7, 2017

Listening to the History Of Jazz: “It’s Not Just About Notes Anymore!”

By KMHD Jazz Radio host Mark Montesano “It’s not just about notes anymore!” – A quote from Albert Ayler on the New Jazz circa 1965. Like all great art, jazz has always reflected the times: The carefree chaos of roaring 20’s; the escapist romanticism of the depression; the giddy self-confidence of post-war America; were all expressed in the music of these times. African-Americans, coming home from World War II saw the freedom and dignity that they helped secure for Europeans often denied them at home. In response, many began to re-examine traditional values that perpetuated prejudice and hatred. This spirit of rebellion eventually found voice throughout and across all of America. In jazz, also, the standard ideas about rhythm, harmony and melody, which had been developed by bebop innovators as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk, were challenged by a small group of adventurous and restless young musicians. In this […]
April 5, 2017

Vortex Magazine Interview with Dave Holland

Vortex Magazine online recently posted an in-depth and insightful interview with 2017 NEA Jazz Master and iconic bass player Dave Holland on their site and it’s a fantastic read in preparation for his concert this Friday at Revolution Hall. Tickets are selling fast but great seats are still available! Click here for tickets, and click below to read the article. Enjoy! http://www.vrtxmag.com/articles/all-for-one-one-for-all-dave-holland-in-conversation/
March 21, 2017

Happy Women (In Jazz) History Month

From us to everyone in Jazzlandia, we hope that you are honoring and celebrating Women’s History Month! Thank you to all the women out there who have made a difference in jazz, and the entire world we live in. Sincerely, Marcia Hocker, Cynthia Plank, Diana Dearin, Deborah DeMoss Smith & Megan Morris (not pictured) The PDX Jazz Board
March 9, 2017

Notations from Jimmy Heath…Part II

Here’s Part II of the interview with saxophonist Jimmy Heath by Board member and KMHD Jazz radio Notations columnist Deborah DeMoss Smith. Heath performed to applause and roaring response at his performance during the 2017 PDX Jazz Festival. “Jimmy Heath is the crème de la crème of jazz. He’s written more than 125 compositions and has been on 100-plus albums. At the age of 90, the jazz legend and beloved saxophonist and big band leader continues, indeed, to keep the music alive…” READ MORE
March 3, 2017

Listening to the History of Jazz Blog: “What is Hard Bop?”

By KMHD Jazz Radio host Mark Montesano My radio show on KMHD is dedicated to a kind of jazz that started around the mid-1950’s through the 60’s called “hard bop”. Though categories can be limiting in appreciating music they are also helpful in understanding the history of music. This blog contains some classic recordings that defined that style we call “hard bop”. Bebop was developed around the end of World War II. Reflecting the times, it was high energy and complex. In contrast to swing it appealed to a much smaller audience. Here’s an example of some great bebop from some of its originators. Notice the speed, complexity and how it compares to simpler popular songs. Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Max Roach, “Koko:” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rMiD8UUcd0 Hard bop was a reaction to bebop. It was designed to appeal to the broader audience that bebop lost. With the decline of swing, big bands, musicians […]
March 1, 2017

PDX Jazz Makes Top 50 Jazz Blogs on the Web!

Hello Citizens of Jazzlandia! I am pleased to announce that Feedspot has recently named the PDX Jazz Blog as #13 of the Top 50 Jazz Blogs on the web! It’s an honor to be held in such high esteem with these other fine jazz blogs. To see the full list, click here.
February 21, 2017

Vortex Magazine Interview with John Scofield

Vortex Magazine online recently posted an insightful interview with jazz guitar icon John Scofield about his Grammy® Award-winning new project Country for Old Men that will make its Portland debut this Friday at Revolution Hall during the PDX Jazz Festival. Tickets are still available! Walking the Lost Highway: A Conversation with John Scofield The Grammy-winning composer and guitarist talks ‘Country For Old Men,’ simple playing, and Paul Desmond ahead of his appearance at the PDX Jazz Festival on February 24 at Revolution Hall. By Nathan Rizzo John Scofield is nothing less than a giant of jazz guitar. Arguably the most visible—and prolific—pillar of a pantheon buttressed by the likes of Pat Metheny, Mike Stern and Bill Frisell, Scofield’s oblique, lyrical phrasing and ceaseless experimentation have guided him to the pinnacle of achievement within the genre: stints with kingmakers Gary Burton and Miles Davis, a trio of Grammy awards, and a […]
February 10, 2017

KMHD interview with Jimmy Heath

KMHD Jazz Radio recently posted an interview with NEA Jazz Master Jimmy Heath by OPB contributor and PDX Jazz Board Member Deborah DeMoss Smith in anticipation of his performance with his brother Albert “Tootie” Heath at the Biamp PDX Jazz Festival on Saturday, February 18 with Javon Jackson’s Sax Appeal! Great seats are still available and you can get yours by clicking here. “Jimmy Heath is the crème de la crème of jazz. He’s written more than 125 compositions and has been on 100-plus albums. At the age of 90, the jazz legend and beloved saxophonist and big band leader continues, indeed, to keep the music alive. He’ll perform at the PDX Jazz Festival February 18 at the Newmark Theatre. Part I of II If you could travel back in time, what era would you go to? Before me, it was the swing era and that held over into the bebop generation. Bebop […]
February 7, 2017

Our Artistic Director Interviews Portland Jazz Master Mel Brown

In anticipation of the world premiere of the 2017 Portland Jazz Master Mel Brown’s Big Band w/ Jon Faddis & the Jimmy Mak All Stars in just two weeks on Wednesday, February 22, PDX Jazz Executive Artistic Director Don Lucoff had a Q&A with Brown about this special show, the passing of our dear friend Jimmy Makarounis, and more. Feel free to read on… What is your recollection of Washington High School and the auditorium where you performed as a high school student? Did you ever think that what was then would now be Revolution Hall? I never thought Washington High School would ever close, let alone become a performance center. PDX Jazz is honored to have you as our Portland Jazz Master and we were pleasantly surprised that having a special big band performance will be your first time ever assembling one. We’re you surprised by the request? Any […]
February 7, 2017

ResortsAndLodges.com Q&A with Executive Artistic Director Don Lucoff

Thomas Schultz of ResortsAndLodges.com recently conducted an interview with our Executive Artistic Director Don Lucoff about the upcoming Biamp PDX Jazz Festival that should add some behind the scenes insight into what makes our annual celebration of jazz unique and of potential interest to those who live outside the Portland city limits. ResortsAndLodges.com is an online travel directory that specializes in highlighting unique properties around the world, reaching nearly 10 million travelers every year. Last year we reached over 633,000 travelers in Oregon alone. You can read the Q&A by clicking the link below. http://www.resortsandlodges.com/travelblog/b/pdx-jazz-festival/