All About Jazz

Home » News » Performance / Tour

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

1

A bebopper through and through

SOURCE:

Sign in to view read count
Greg Abate got hooked on the 1950s hard-bop style that evolved from bebop, and he has made himself a career of bringing that intense sound to audiences across the U.S. and around the globe. Much like two other alto sax players with whom he has recorded, Richie Cole and the late Phil Woods, Abate developed into one of the genre's significant modern ambassadors.

He brought that sound to the Charlotte County Jazz Society's concert series in Port Charlotte FL on Monday, December 11, for a high-powered quartet performance. His Florida rhythm section included Richard Drexler on piano, Steve Gilmore on bass and Barry Smith on drums.

This was Rhode Island native Abate's fifth visit to Port Charlotte in nine concert seasons- and it was memorable for the way the band clicked throughout the night. Each player got significant solo space and made the most of it.

It was a night for Abate to dig deep into anthemic bop tunes, including Tadd Dameron's “Lady Bird," trumpeter Lee Morgan's “Ceora" and bebop co-founder Charlie Parker's classic “Yardbird Suite," as well as imprint bebop flourishes on other standards from the jazz canon. The latter tunes included “Star Eyes," “You Don't Know What Love Is," “I Remember April," “All The Things You Are" and Frank Foster's Basie band staple “Shiny Stockings."

He shifted to flute for the poignant waltz “Some Time Ago" and his original minor blues “Contemplation," which he recorded with Woods.in 2012. “Buddy's Rendezvous," written for a longtime friend, was Abate's other original tune shared at this concert.

Gilmore, who now lives in the Florida Panhandle, was Phil Woods' bassist for 40 years. He was a wonderful inclusion in this band. His sound is both robust and melodic- and his solos are filled with creative ideas. The society's concerts have featured many excellent bassists over the years. None have been better than Gilmore.

The band roared through versions of Sonny Stitt's “The Eternal Triangle," a splendid showcase for Smith's drumming, and “Yardbird Suite," which included terrific interplay as Abate and Drexler passed the melody back and forth several times.

The hard bop style is notable for its blistering, emotional cascades of notes- and for the soloists' seamless inclusion of familiar melodic lines from other tunes that fit the moment.

Bands featured at the society's December 2016 and 2015 concerts put jazz twists on holiday tunes as part of their programming. At this concert, Abate and Gilmore reversed that concept. They dropped brief melodic lines from holiday fare into at least five tunes over the course of the evening. For example, Gilmore quoted “Frosty the Snowman" and Abate followed with a snippet of “Sleigh Ride" in their solos on “Ceora." Gilmore dropped a bit of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" into his solo on Abate's “Contemplation."

The concert drew about 230 attendees to the Cultural Center of Charlotte County's William H. Wakeman III Theater.

Continue Reading...

This story appears courtesy of Ken Franckling's Jazz Notes.
Copyright © 2018. All rights reserved.

Tags

CD/LP/Track Review
Profiles
CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
Read more articles
Road to Forever

Road to Forever

Whaling City Sound
2017

buy
Kindred Spirits: Live at Chan's

Kindred Spirits: Live...

Whaling City Sound
2016

buy
Motif

Motif

Whaling City Sound
2014

buy
The Greg Abate Quintet Featuring Phil Woods

The Greg Abate...

Rhombus Records
2012

buy
Monsters In The Night

Monsters In The Night

Koko Jazz Records
2006

buy
Horace is Here

Horace is Here

Koko Jazz Records
2005

buy

News

Sponsored announcements from the industry.