2016 lineup set for Biamp PDX Jazz Festival

The 13th Annual Biamp PDX Jazz Festival is set to commence Thursday, Feb. 18 through Sunday, Feb.  28 with 30 featured concerts at venues throughout the Portland metro region. Tickets exclusively available to PDX Jazz members beginning October 4, and to the general public November 2.

This year’s 11-day celebration will also boast the second annual Jazz Forward Competition, a high school competition drawing students throughout the western region. In partnership with Portland State University, the JFC was created to establish a scholarship program in the tradition of other prestigious regional events held in Reno, Nevada; Monterey, California and Moscow, Idaho. Finalists will compete in seven categories (two college level solo categories have been added) and the winners will receive main stage exposure.

The thematic centerpiece performances are two For Portland Only concerts featuring special guest Ravi Coltrane in celebration of his father’s 90th birthday and mother’s influence and artistry. Friday, Feb. 26, The Africa Brass Ensemble, under the direction of Portland Jazz Master Charles Gray, will re-imagine the five singular pieces from John Coltrane’s debut impulse! sessions. Anchoring this performance is Philadelphia pianist and McCoy Tyner inspired, Orrin Evans and his esteemed rhythm mates. On Saturday, Feb. 27, Ravi will pay tribute to his revered mother, Alice Coltrane, in a highly anticipated program titled, Universal Consciousness, featuring Reggie Workman (a prominent collaborator with John and Alice Coltrane), pianist Geri Allen (she and Alice are both Detroit natives), harpist Brandee Younger and drummer Andrew Cyrille.

“This will be the first themed Festival since 2011,” said Don Lucoff, states executive artistic director, in a recent news release. “I can’t think of a more fitting figure than John Coltrane, who transcends jazz music and serves as a guiding influence for so many human beings in their daily lives. Through the ensuing generations, Coltrane has served as a cultural touchstone, and it’s an honor to have his son, Ravi Coltrane represent his cherished legacy, and pay loving tribute to his mom, Alice Coltrane.

“We are presenting music for the first time during the Festival at Revolution Hall, Alberta Abbey and Al’s Den. We look forward to nine exciting shows at Jimmy Mak’s, including the anticipated return of Portlander Nicole Glover, our popular PDX Piano Perspectives series including Chano Domínguez, Brandee Younger, David Goldblatt, Aaron Goldberg and the American Pianist’s Association’s 2015 Cole Porter Fellow – Sullivan Fortner. Six shows at the Newmark and three at the Winningstad Theatres, complimented by free Jazz Conversations, music in the Art Bar Atrium of P5, and various hotels and restaurants throughout the downtown corridor.”

Coltrane’s mastery will be reflected through legacy performances in special groupings through tribute projects: Gary Bartz (Coltrane Rules) and Javon Jackson/Jimmy Cobb (We FOUR); Olé Coltrane featuring the Bobby Torres Ensemble with special guest Azar Lawrence, the West Coast debut of Reggie Workman’s RW WORKz, and a week-long residency of nightly Coltrane tributes from top Portland performers.

The BIAMP PDX Jazz Festival was co-founded in 2004 with Travel Portland to establish a cultural tourism initiative in the metro Portland area, and to celebrate Black History Month through education and outreach programming.

Mosaic Records release “The Complete Sun Ship Session” includes new music

Photo Credit: Chuck Stewart

Photo Credit: Chuck Stewart

According to a recent news release, Mosaic Records is set to release The Complete Sun Ship Session which includes newly discovered and previously unissued alternate takes from one of the final studio sessions by the John Coltrane Quartet. The three LP set will be released August 6 and was also made available on a two-disc set through Verve Records on April 16.

Sun Ship, recorded Aug. 26, 1965, captures one of the last sessions by the Classic John Coltrane Quartet (Coltrane, pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Jimmy Garrison and drummer Elvin Jones). It comes at the culmination of a year in which Coltrane arguably reached his creative peak, a year rich in such masterworks. The Sun Ship album, though, was not issued until 1971, one of several Coltrane albums issued by Impulse Records after his death. And Sun Ship was, like many jazz albums, the product of editing between takes, a process overseen by John’s widow Alice.

John Coltrane‘s Sun Ship session was recorded at the RCA Recording studio on 24th Street by engineer Bob Simpson who also did superb work with Sonny Rollins, Charles Mingus, Albert Ayler and others. The original three-track masters with the tenor sax on one track, the piano and bass on another and the drums on the third track were recently discovered, enabling the complete session to be released for the first time. Kevin Reeves remixed the entire session from the original three-track masters with great sonic results, improving greatly on the original LP mix. Mosaic has remastered them and pressed them on 180-gram vinyl at the renowned Record Technology Inc. plant in Camarillo, Calif.

This limited edition set is available exclusively from Mosaic Records.