Bebop Guitar Master Bruce Forman at Jazz at Pearl's (SF) April 20-22


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Forman to reunite with bassist John Wiitala and drummer Vince Lateano to recreate legendary trio

Any performance by guitarist Bruce Forman is bound to be a treat, but this weekend at Jazz at Pearl's in San Francisco is bound to be particularly special, as Forman gets together with a couple of old mates to recreate history and share some memories. Forman will be reconvening with bassist John Wiitala and drummer Vince Lateano this Friday through Sunday, April 20-22, at Jazz at Pearl's.

Forman's fluid, soaring guitar style has helped define the sound of the modern jazz guitar. Graceful, propulsive saxophone-like lines jump off his guitar in turn with shimmering chordal tapestries. That style has also made Forman a truly international star. Thirteen albums as a leader, recordings and performances with musicians like Joe Henderson, Eddie Jefferson and Bobby Hutcherson, and, of course, the beauty of Forman's playing, firmly establish him in the front ranks of the world's most influential jazz musicians. For example, Forman's guitar playing is heard throughout Clint Eastwood's Academy Award winning movie, Million Dollar Baby.

But as huge a star as Forman is around the globe, he is also very much a hometown hero. Now living in Monterey, Forman came of age as a musician on competitive San Francisco jazz scene of the 1970s and never broke stride. At the 2003 Monterey Jazz Festival, Forman was honored during a special tribute to influential Bay Area guitarists. And for years, Forman led a now legendary weekly session at Jazz at Pearl's with Wiitala and Lateano.

And now, during a very special weekend residency at Pearl's, Forman, Wiitala and Lateano will recreate that magic, as these three longtime friends, jazz champions all, reunite for three evenings of intimate and electrifying jazz. Younger jazz fans or more recent Bay Area residents will get a chance to find out what they missed. And for those who remember the days when Forman, Wiitala and Lateano ruled North Beach, this weekend will be a festive, swinging trip back in time.

Wiitala and Lateano, of course, are Bay Area jazz stars in their own rights. Lateano, in particular, has been one of the driving forces of San Francisco jazz since the 60s, playing with just about everybody in town, including Cal Tjader, in whose band he performed for several years. Forman, Wiitala and Lateano most recently recorded together on Forman's CD, Bootleg Vol. 1 - Dedication, recently released on the blujazz label.

Jazz at Pearl's is located at 256 Columbus Avenue near Broadway in North Beach and is an “all ages" venue. Shows begin at 8:00 and 10:00 pm, with doors open at 7:30. For more information about Bruce Forman's performances at Pearl's, please contact Jerry Karp at (415) 731-6468. For more information about Jazz at Pearl's, please visit www.jazzatpearls.com.

This story appears courtesy of Rocket Words.
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