Thursday, March 31, 2016

"Miles Ahead" opens tomorrow in LA & NY!

The eagerly awaited movie "Miles Ahead" -- directed & starred by Don Cheadle -- opens tomorrow, April 1st, in Los Angeles and New York! And its soundtrack will be officially on sale also tomorrow.
Opening nationwide on April 22!
Sunshine people of LA: Meet Don Cheadle at in-theater Q&As this weekend!
Starring: Don Cheadle, Emayatzy E. Corinealdi, Ewan McGregor, Michael Stuhlbarg

In the midst of a dazzling and prolific career at the forefront of modern jazz innovation, Miles Davis (Don Cheadle) virtually disappears from public view for a period of five years in the late 1970s. Alone and holed up in his home, he is beset by chronic pain from a deteriorating hip, his musical voice stifled and numbed by drugs and pain medications, his mind haunted by unsettling ghosts from the past. [Sony Pictures Classics]

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Shunzo Ohno celebrates "ReNew" release @ Symphony Space, April 1st

Shunzo Ohno presents "ReNew" (his 16th album as a leader) on Friday, April 1, at 7:00 at Leonard Nimoy Thalia @ Peter Norton Symphony Space, located at 2537 Broadway at 95th Street, New York, NY 10025.

Tickets, which range $25-35, are available now by visiting or by calling 212-864-5400.
Ohno, one of the most versatile and influential trumpeters in modern jazz, leads an ensemble of paramount musicians including bassist Mark Egan, drummer Billy Kilson, pianist David Berkman, keyboardist Clifford Carter and tabla master, Ray Spiegel.

"ReNew" injects elements of traditional jazz, hip hop, spoken word, and free jazz, creating a tapestry of modern jazz that is distinctly Shunzo Ohno. With 'recovery to discovery' in mind, the genre-defying album is a testament to those affected by catastrophic events that have taken place throughout the world including the 2011 tsunami in Japan.

The concert performance will begin with the documentary film, "Never Defeated, The Shunzo Ohno Story," which is based on Ohno's powerful life experiences. The music for the film centers on The International Songwriting Competition Grand Prize award song, "Musashi."

"ReNew" embraces a diverse spectrum of generations, masterful interplay and interpretations of music. Each of the compositions, confront life's uncharted circumstances both on global and personal conditions, illuminating vigor, dignity, hope and freedom with a renewed spirit.
Born in Gifu Prefecture, Japan, Shunzo's rise to prominence began in 1974, when he accepted an offer to perform with the legendary jazz drummer Art Blakey. Following his tenure with Blakey, Shunzopropelled with a series of important collaborations, including ones with Machito and his Afro-Cuban Orchestra, Wayne Shorter, Larry Coryell, Herbie Hancock, and Gil Evans, who was a long-time collaborator of Shunzo's. Shunzo has recorded 16 albums as a leader and has been featured on two Grammy winning recordings.

Shunzo's life encountered much adversity, including a serious automobile accident and the diagnosis of stage 4 throat cancer. Through both of these life-changing events, he continuously creates inspiration to not only overcome these challenges, but redevelop his unique sound and musical voice, admired by a global community.

In 2014, Shunzo won the International Songwriting Competition's grand prize with his composition Musashi, making Shunzo the first jazz recipient of this prestigious award. Lea's Run included on this recording, also won an award with the ISC, the following year.

In recent years, Shunzo has been touring the globe, performing frequently in Hong Kong, Malaysia, China, Singapore, Taiwan, Japan and various US cities. Shunzo's tours are concurrently supporting the recovery efforts following the tsunami/nuclear failure in Japan and recently, the earthquake in Nepal. Feb/March 2016 he will visit Northern Japan recognizing the 5th anniversary of the Tsunami/nuclear failure. The possibilities for a harmonious global society lie in a prosperous recovery.

"[Shunzo Ohno]... plays tight, crisply phrased lines with a stabbing rhythmic effect. Without the mute, his open tone has a broad, ringing sound that soars through high-powered driving lines..." The New York Times

Who: Shunzo Ohno Jazz Ensemble
What: ReNew album release
When: April 1, 2016 at 7:00pm
Where: Leonard Nimoy Thalia at Peter Norton Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th Street, New York, NY 10025
Contact:  Lydia Liebman Promotions

General tickets are available at or by calling (212) 864 5400. Seating is limited.
Advance tickets $30
At the door $35
Senior/ Student rate $25
a contribution of $5.00 per cd will be donated to the continuos recovery efforts in Northern Japan.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

R.I.P.: Joe Shepley (1930-2016)

One of the most-in-demand musicians in the NY scene of the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000s, trumpet master Joe Shepley passed away today, March 26, 2016, at age 85 in Yonkers, NY.

He was a member of such bands as the David Matthews Orchestra (as well as of Matthews' Manhattan Jazz Orchestra), Duke Pearson's Big Band, Pond Life, The Charlie Calello Orchestra, The Pond Life Orchestra, Mike Longo's New York State of the Art Jazz Ensemble, and also played on Eumir Deodato's combo during the "2001 heyday" of the Brazilian maestro.

Actually, we became friends when I was supervising and writing the liner notes for the first CD reissue of Deodato's "In Concert - Live At Felt Forum" (a.k.a. The CTI Space Concert) and interviewed him. In recent years, we used to correspond through Facebook, after he joined my friend Mike Longo's New York State of the Art Jazz Ensemble in 2006, recording the "Explosion" album.

But the first time I had heard Shepley in a solo spot was on David Matthews' masterpiece concept album, "Dune" (CTI, 1977), on which he was featured playing the melody (on flugelhorn) on John Williams' "Princess Leia's Theme," a beautiful ballad from the "Star Wars" soundtrack.

And I watch him very often on a splendid DVD by Matthews' Manhattan Jazz Orchestra filmed 20 years later in Japan for Panasonic, titled "Great Jazz In Kobe '97."

Shepley also recorded with George Benson, Marvin Stamm, Kai Winding, Paul Desmond, Don Sebesky, Ron Carter, Michel Legrand, Herbie Mann, Stanley Turrentine, Jimmy McGriff, Urbie Green, Jeremy Steing, T.S. Monk, J.J. Johnson, Hank Crawford, Art Farmer, David "Fathead" Newman, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Charles Earland, Meco, Kenny Burrell, Narada Michael Walden, Earl Klugh, and singers Bobby Scott, Nina Simone, Frank Sinatra, Astrud Gilberto, B.B. King, Paul Anka, Carol Douglas, Esther Phillips, Bonnie Tyler, James Ingram, Aretha Franklin, Grace Slick, David Byrne, Sinéad O'Connor, Neil Diamond, Jon Lucien, Billy Joel, Janis Ian, Dory Previn, Nona Hendryx and even Julian Lennon.

Joseph James Shepley was born on August 7, 1930 to Joseph and Eleanor Nyahay Shepley in Yonkers where he was raised and attended local schools. Joseph served his country in the US Army from 1952 to 1954 serving in Korea. He married Helen Dedyo on September 25, 1955 in Holy Trinity Church in Yonkers, she survives living in Yonkers. Joseph belonged to Local 802 Musicians Union. He began playing professionally in 1942 at the age of 12, he graduated with his Master's Degree from The Manhattan School of Music in 1957. The rest is history.

Besides his wife Helen he is also survived by his son Joe Shepley of Oak Park, IL. 3 daughters Maryellen Shepley of Mt. Vernon, NY, Susan Cuevas Bennett of Long Island, and Pamela Quinn of Tarrytown, NY, 11 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. He was predeceased by his brother Donald Shepley in 2006. Visiting hours will be at the Whalen & Ball Funeral Home on Monday from 7-9pm and Tuesday from 12-4pm. A funeral service will be at 3pm.

In lieu of flowers the family is asking that you make a donation in Joe's name to The Musicians Assistance Fund (MAP) at Local 802 Musicians Union. Donations can be made to Local 802 Musicians Assistance Program Local 802 AFM 322 West 48th Street, New York, NY 10036.

Rest In Peace.
Funeral arrangements under the direction of Whalen & Ball Funeral Home
168 Park Ave, Yonkers, NY 10703, Ph: (914) 965-5488

Monday, March 28, 2016
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Whalen & Ball Funeral Home
168 Park Ave
Yonkers, NY 10703

Tuesday, March 29, 2016
12:00 pm - 4:00 am
Whalen & Ball Funeral Home
168 Park Ave
Yonkers, NY 10703

Funeral Service
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Whalen & Ball Funeral Home
168 Park Ave
Yonkers, NY 10703

R.I.P.: David Baker (1931-2016)

(born December 21, 1931 in Indiapanapolis, Indiana, U.S.;
died on March 26, 2016 in Bloomington, Indiana, U.S.)

Composer, arranger, conductor, writer, educator.

Had the honor to participate with him in panel sessions during IAJE (International Association of Jazz Educators) during the 90s.
(panel session "Global Jazz Education," during the "Nineteenth Annual International Conference" of the IAJE (International Association of Jazz Educators), in Miami, Florida, January 1992.
Pictured: Dr. David Baker (moderator), Lee Berk, Opher Brayer, Darius Brubeck, Sigi Busch, Arnaldo DeSouteiro, Patrick Crichton, J. Richard Duscomb, Bunky Green, William Montgomery and Peter Stingings; photo by Rossana Bowman)

Baker was an aspiring trombone player then, but he would grow to be a Grammy-nominated artist with more than 1,000 compositions. He took up the cello after a car accident injured muscles in his face.

Among Baker’s honors are becoming an Indiana Living Legend in 2001, an NEA Jazz Master in 2000, a Grammy nominee in 1979 and Pulitzer Prize nominee in 1972.

He taught and performed throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Japan, according to Baker's retirement biography, written by Luke Gillespie. He also co-founded the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra.

Rest In Peace, David.

David Nathaniel Baker, Jr. is Distinguished Professor of Music and Chairman of the Jazz Department at Indiana University. A virtuosic performer on multiple instruments and top in his field in several disciplines, Dr. Baker has taught and performed throughout the USA, Canada, Europe, Scandinavia, New Zealand, and Japan. For the past 14 years he has served as Artistic Director and Conductor of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra. He has written over 70 books on jazz improvisation, jazz composition and arranging, jazz pedagogy, how to learn tunes, how to practice, and other related topics. He also has more than 400 articles and 75 recordings to his credit.

Baker received both bachelor's and master's degrees in music education from Indiana University, and honorary doctorates from Oberlin College, Wabash College, and the New England Conservatory of Music. He has studied with a wide range of master teachers, performers, and composers including J.J. Johnson, Bobby Brookmeyer, Janos Starker, George Russell, William Russo, Bernard Heiden, and Gunther Schuller. A 1973 Pulitzer Prize nominee, Dr. Baker also has been nominated for a Grammy Award, honored three times by Down Beat magazine (as a trombonist, for lifetime achievement, and induction into the Jazz Education Hall of Fame), and is a recipient of the National Association of Jazz Educators Hall of Fame Award, Indiana University President's Award for Distinguished Teaching, the Arts Midwest Jazz Masters Award, and the Governor's Arts Award of the State of Indiana. He is also a recipient of jazz's hightest honor: the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Award.

As a composer, Dr. Baker has been commissioned by more than 500 individuals and ensembles, including Josef Gingold, Ruggerio Ricci, Janos Starker, Harvey Phillips, the New York Philharmonic, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Beaux Arts Trio, Fisk Jubilee Singers, Louisville Symphony, Ohio Chamber Orchestra, the Audubon String Quartet, and the International Horn Society. His compositions, tallying over 2,000 in number, range from jazz and sonatas to film scores.

Dr. Baker's involvement in music organizations has encompassed membership on the National Council on the Arts; board positions for the American Symphony Orchestra League, Arts Midwest, and the Afro-American Bicentennial Hall of Fame/Museum; and past chairs of the Jazz Advisory Panel to the Kennedy Center and the Jazz/Folk/Ethnic Panel of the NEA. He also served as President of the International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE) and the National Jazz Service Organization (NJSO), and currently serves as senior consultant for music programs for the Smithsonian Institution.
Der Komponist und Pädagoge David Baker ist am 26. März im Alter von 84 Jahren in seinem Haus in Bloomington, Indiana, gestorben. Er galt als einer der einflussreichsten Jazzpädagogen der USA. Sein Werk umfasst über 2.000 Kompositionen, 500 Auftragsarbeiten, 65 Tonträger, 70 Bücher und 400 Essays. Er gründete 1968 das „Jazz Studies Programm“ der Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music, das er bis 2013 leitete. Baker war zudem von 1990 bis 2012 künstlerischer und musikalischer Leiter des Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra. Der vielfach ausgezeichnete Komponist wurde 2000 zum „NEA Jazz Master“ ernannt, der höchsten offziellen Jazzauszeichnung in den USA.

David Nathaniel Baker Jr. wurde am 21. Dezember 1931 in Indianapolis geboren. 1954 schloss er sein Musikpädagogik-Studium an der Indiana University mit einem Master ab. Der talentierte Posaunist wechselte nach einer ernsthaften Kiefer-Verletzung, die er sich bei einem Verkehrsunfall zuzog, zum Cello. Der renommierte Komponist war neben seiner Tätigkeit in der „International Association for Jazz Education“ und der „National Jazz Service Organization“ wiederholt auch Musik-Juror für den Pulitzer-Prize, für den er selbst 1973 nominiert war. Für sein Lebenswerk wurde Baker 2007 mit dem „Living Jazz Legend Award“ des „John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts“ ausgezeichnet.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

TBT: Mario Castro-Neves & Arnaldo DeSouteiro

 (Manuel Gusmão, Ithamara Koorax, Mario Castro-Neves, Jorge Pescara, Cesar Machado & Arnaldo DeSouteiro during the recording sessions of "Someday" for Koorax's "Love Dance" album, released by Milestone Records in the USA and Europe, JVC in Japan, Huks Music in Korea, and Som Livre in Brazil)

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Fabrizio Sotti announces June 10 release of "Forty" w/ Peter Slavov & Francisco Mela

World renowned guitarist and composer Fabrizio Sotti proudly announces the June 10 release of "Forty", his fourth album as a leader. A private stream of the album can be accessed here and promotional copies will be available in April 2016. The release of "Forty" will be celebrated on June 9 at the Highline Ballroom in New York City as part of the Blue Note Jazz Festival. The release of "Forty" also coincides with the release of the D'Angelico EX-SS Fabrizio Sotti Signature Model guitar.

Using the D'Angelico guitar as his brush, Sotti paints a dynamic sonic picture that presents him as not just an extraordinary and innovative improviser, but as the harbinger of a unique and distinctive sound that is completely his own. In the words of revered writer and critic Ted Panken, the title, "Forty", testifies to Sotti's assertion that the onset of his fifth decade signifies a sea change in both his personal life-path and aesthetic development. "Forty is more than arriving at one spot," Sotti says. "It's starting from the beginning to a new place. Artistically, as you get older, you understand how much you still have to discover, how much more deeply you can go into yourself to improve your playing and understand what you really want to say."

On "Forty" Sotti collaborated with two jazz visionaries in their own right: bassist Peter Slavov and drummer Francisco Mela. "Peter is a complete musician with a strong melodic sense and a thorough classical music background. He's able to be free while respecting the tradition. Francisco also brings a melodic approach and is completely a free thinker. He's a force of nature. When he swings, it swings hard; when he's not swinging, it's so creative, he fills up the music with something magical," says Sotti.

"Forty" lays its groundwork for the forthcoming 9 tracks with the autobiographical "Redemption", a 3/4 minor blues that Sotti says represents the "redemption between myself and people around me, to accept me for who I really am." Sotti unleashes the full measure of his jazz chops on "Dangerous Walk," a brisk, disjunctive, Monkish line "inspired by the walk of women, and particularly my wife," and "Is That What You Think" a B-flat blues with a melody Sotti describes as 'aggressive.' The mood changes on "Beginning Now," played a cappella by Sotti on nylon string guitar but then progresses into the iconic "How Insensitive," which Sotti's grandmother played for him before he was a child. The trio returns for the calypso-flavored "Thalia," named for Sotti's year-old daughter, and written a few weeks before her birth. "The happy melody is how I felt when we were waiting for her and how she makes me feel now." Following is the expressive ballad "So Far, So Close," rendered as a Sotti-Slavov duo, which was written for his younger brother.

For Sotti, the title track represents "how I like to play right now--you can hear the joyful playfulness between these different rhythms, going from a modern funk rubato to a straight ahead swinging thing, playing what I like with nothing to prove." The final track, "The Bridge", along with its preceding introduction entirely represents Sotti's mature voice. It's a love song with a bluesy connotation named for the Ponte dei Sospiri (Bridge of Sighs) in Venice, where Sotti and his bride decided to get married.

With this new release, Sotti presents a departure for a new group that is only scratching the surface of possibilities. Says Sotti, "This album shows where I am as a guitarist, improviser and composer and of what's to come."

Malibu Guitar Festival, Malibu, CA, April 28-May 1
Highline Ballroom, New York City, June 9
(more to be announced)

A New Yorker since 1991, when he emigrated from Padua, Italy, as an ambitious, jazz obsessed 16-year-old, Sotti drew on a broad palette of jazz-imparted musical knowledge when producing hit tracks with artists like Dead Prez,Ghostface Killah, Q-Tip, Tupac, and Whitney Houston while still in his twenties, as well as two collaborations Glamoured, from 2003, and Another Country, from 2012, with the great jazz diva,Cassandra Wilson . In parallel, he built a distinguished career as a highly-respected jazz stylist, documented on three accomplished recordings--This World Upside Down, from 1999, with jazz titans Randy Brecker, John Patitucci and Al Foster;Through My Eyes, from 2003, a solo guitar recital; and Inner Dance, from 2010, with organist Sam Barsh, drummer Victor Jones, and percussionist Mino Cinelu.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Paris Chansons @ Vibrato, LA, March 29

Reserve your tables early to get the best spots! Just call Herb Alpert's Vibrato at 310-474-9400. Paris Chansons have a truly unique and exciting niche - authentic French music with an international twist.

Now they are back @ Vibrato (2930 Beverly Glen Circle, Los Angeles) by popular demand! Paris Chansons is LA’s premier French band.  Recently featured on the CBS/KCAL news, they are known for their original renditions of French favorites from Aznavour, Brel, Dassin, Piaf, Montand all the way to contemporary artists like Zaz.  Their exhilarating performances are punctuated with traditional jazz standards as well as classics in Russian, Italian, and other languages.

Four multilingual singers bring an unparalleled diversity to their shows. Julia Kantor, originally from the Ukraine, lived and studied in France where she discovered in French music a soul connection that still imbues every performance. She entrances from the stage with a sultry voice and dynamic presence.  Together with her husband, Jacob, a Russian-born singer/songwriter, they launched Paris Chansons.

Max Cohen grew up in Morocco steeped in French music, particularly the songs of Enrico Macias. Max’s rich velvety tone delivers beautifully nuanced renditions of his favorites, complete with a signature North African lilt. Jean-Louis Darville, born in Paris, is not only a gifted vocalist but also a professional actor.  He approaches each song like a theatrical performance and lets the music take over, adding a unique spin to the beloved songs of Brel, Gainsbourg and Montand, among others.

Superb musicianship anchors the ensemble, effortlessly moving from jazzy improvisation to slow-burning balladry to blistering gypsy fervor. All seasoned pros, the musicians are Jeff Lams on piano, Adam Cohen on upright bass, Endre Balogh on violin, Sinclair Lott on drums and Jacob Kantor on guitar.

Paris Chansons takes you an a journey without leaving your seat (except maybe to dance!), a spectacular celebration of French and international music that brings the world that much closer.

In the News:

Monday, March 14, 2016

TBT: Delza Agricola de Souteiro

 (Delza Agricola de Souteiro, born on March 15, 1931 in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil; died on August 23, 1985 in Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil. She is the mother of Arnaldo DeSouteiro.)
 (master acetate of Delza Agricola's first recording, on May 07, 1946, at Radio MEC Studios, playing Rachmaninoff's Prelude No. 2 Opus 3 and Grieg's Au Printemps No. 6 Opus 43)
"É mineira a primeira maestrina do Conservatório Brasileiro de Música; Delza Agricola gostaria de reger a Sinfônica de Minas Gerais - Compositora e pianista também" - artigo sobre minha mãe publicado no jornal Correio de Minas) 
                                        (Delza Agricola in concert)
 (biografia resumida de Delza Agricola como verbete do livro "Nós, as Mulheres" de Eli Maria Rocha)
(programa oficial da formatura de Delza Agricola em Composição e Regência pelo Conservatório Brasileiro de Música em 1957)

TBT: Delza Agricola & Arnaldo DeSouteiro

 (Delza Agricola, Arnaldo DeSouteiro & Walter Souteiro, 1977)
 (Walter Souteiro, Delza Agricola & Arnaldo DeSouteiro, 1975)
 (Aurea Agricola, Arnaldo DeSouteiro & Delza Agricola, 1985)
(Walter Souteiro, Delza Agricola, Aurea Agricola, Arnaldo DeSouteiro & Elge Agricola, 1985)
 (Eloah Horta, Delza Agricola & Richard Templar, 1980)
 (Vania "Dear Limmertz" Bertrami, Arnaldo DeSouteiro, José Roberto Bertrami & Delza Agricola De Souteiro, 1978)
 (Delza Agricola & Arnaldo DeSouteiro, 1983)
 (Arnaldo DeSouteiro & Delza Agricola, 1982)
(Delza Agricola conducting a choir in 1980)

Saturday, March 12, 2016

R.I.P.: Lutz Büchner (1968-2016)

(born on August 5, 1968 in Bremen, Germany;
died on March 11, 2016 in Tokyo, Japan)

Lutz Büchner, saxophonist with the NDR Big Band died in Tokyo following a heart attack on March 11th 2016 at the age of just 47.

This tribute is by Martin Laurentius and appeared in its original form in jazzthing (original German text below). This English version is published with their kind permission.

It was when Lutz Büchner stepped forward in front of the band to the solo mic, when the limelight was on him, that the saxophonist really seemed to flourish and to thrive.  He brought the stories he had to tell to the attention of the listener with his eloquent phrasing. His tone on both saxophone and clarinet didn't just have emotional depth, there was also a mature intellect behind it. That combination of attributes allowed him to decorate, to vary and to develop his narratives.

Büchner had that special gift of being to draw his audience in completely, right from the very first note he played. As a person, he left a very different impression when you first met him. He was more reserved, he had a quiet sense of humour, he was a team-player who sought out the togetherness of being in a group.

That was a characteristic which set him in good stead for the twenty-two years during which he worked as a member of the NDR Big Band. Even when soloing up front at the edge of the stage he carried with him in his mind’s ear the totality of what had just been played. He was also preoccupied as part of the saxophone section of the radio orchestra to ensure that the others could sound good. “My ambition,” he would say concisely, “is to play completely in the moment.”

This was a credo he had in common with his fellow saxophonist Herb Geller. Büchner was born in Bremen in 1968 and studied jazz saxophone with Geller at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater. The time spent with Geller brought him both the practical craft of playing the instrument and the contextual framework of jazz. “Through jazz,” he explained, “I found a far more playful way to engage with music. When I improvise, I can search out for myself what I am going to play and when I am going to play it, and I can develop a musical flow far better through doing that.”

In 1994 Büchner was employed by the NDR Big Band, but always found time for other projects. He had his own quartet, and also worked as side-man in the bands of the Danish drummer Alex Riel and the orchestra of the bass trombonist Ed Partyka.

At the beginning of March, Büchner set off on a tour of Japan with the NDR Bigband. Among other concerts, they played a "Weather Report And More" programme at the Blue Note in Tokyo on March 9th and 10th.

He died in Tokyo on 11th March following a heart attack. Programme Director of NDR Radio Joachim Knuth said: “ Lutz Bücher had a playful love of music. For the NDR Big Band, as well as for the broadcaster NDR, the death of this formidable saxophonist is a huge loss.”
Lutz BüchnerIst am 11. März 47-jährig gestorben: Saxofonist Lutz Büchner

Wenn Lutz Büchner nach vorne ans Solistenmikrofon ging, wenn ihn dort das Schweinwerferlicht anstrahlte, dann schien der Saxofonist geradezu aufzublühen. Eloquent phrasierend brachte er seine Geschichten zu Gehör, sein Ton auf dem Saxofon und der Klarinette besaß eine emotionale Tiefe und intellektuelle Reife, die es ihm erlaubten, seine Geschichten immer wieder auszuschmücken, zu variieren und fortzuspinnen.

Büchner hatte diese Gabe: sofort mit dem ersten geblasenen Ton sein Publikum in den Bann zu ziehen. Dabei wirkte der Mensch Lutz Büchner auf den ersten Blick gar nicht so: eher zurückhaltend und mit leisem Humor, eher ein Teamplayer, der das Miteinander suchte. Doch das zeichnete ihn in den 22 Jahren, in denen er für die NDR Bigband arbeitete, aus: Selbst als Solist vorne am Bühnenrand hatte er das große Ganze in der gerade gespielten Musik fest im Ohr, gleichzeitig sorgte er aber im Saxofonsatz dieses Rundfunk-Jazzorchesters stets auch dafür, dass andere gut klingen konnten. „Mein Ziel ist es, ganz im Moment zu spielen“, so Büchners lapidare Beschreibung seines Credo.

Ein Glaubensbekenntnis, dass er mit seinem Instrumentalkollegen Herb Geller gemein hatte. Bei Geller studierte er an der Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg Jazzsaxofon, von Geller bekam er das handwerkliche Rüstzeug ebenso beigebracht wie den philosophischen Überbau des Jazz. Diese Studienjahre in Hamburg wurden für den 1968 in Bremen geborenen Büchner zur Basis seiner kreativen Arbeit. „Durch den Jazz habe ich einen viel spielerischeren Umgang mit der Musik gefunden“, unterstreicht er, „dadurch, dass ich improvisiere und mir selbst aussuchen kann, was ich wann spiele, finde ich viel besser in einen musikalischen Fluss.“

1994 wird Büchner von der NDR Bigband angestellt, daneben hat er aber immer wieder Zeit für andere Projekte: entweder für sein eigenes Quartett, oder auch für seine Arbeit als Sideman in der Band des dänischen Drummers Alex Riehl und das Orchester von Ed Partyka. Anfang März ging Büchner mit der NDR Bigband auf Tournee nach Japan, um unter anderem am 9. und 10.

März mit dem Schlagzeuger Peter Erskine das Projekt „Weather Report And More“ im Tokioter Blue Note aufzuführen. Am 11. März ist Büchner in Tokio an den Folgen eines Herzinfarktes gestorben. „Lutz Büchner hatte den Jazz im Blut. Er liebte den spielerischen Umgang mit der Musik, die Improvisation“, sagte der NDR Programdirektor Hörfunk, Joachim Knuth: „Der Tod dieses beeindruckenden Saxofonisten ist für die NDR Bigband, für den NDR, ein großer Verlust.“

The John Tropea Band @ The Falcon, tonight!

Get ready for a jazz-funk-fusion night with no musical prejudice!

Ace guitarist John Tropea (one of my favorite artists since I heard his solos on Deodato's albums like "Prelude," "Deodato 2" and "Whirlwinds" as well as his own projects for TK Marlin) leads his all-star band tonight, March 12 @ The Falcon (1348 Route SW, Marlboro, NY). 7pm!

Tropea celebrates his successful new album, "Gotcha Rhythm Right Here" with the support of keyboardist Chris Palmaro, bassist Neil Jason, drummer Lee Finkelstein and percussionist Tommy MvDonnell plus a fiery horn section with Lou Marini & Dave Riekenberg (sax), Don Harris (trumpet), and Larry Farrell (trombone).

John Tropea is one of the most admired and highly regarded guitar players of his generation. His playing shows a vast knowledge and respect for the tradition of the instrument as well as an original style that continues to define how the guitar best serves a wide variety of musical styles. He is a musician’s musician who attracts the finest players for his own projects.

Tropea has written for and played with major recording artists worldwide. In his long career, his contributions to other artist’s successes, include his solo work with Deodato, (2001 theme), projects with Laura Nyro, Harry Chapin (Cat’s in the Cradle), Paul Simon (Fifty Ways), Alice Cooper (Goes to Hell), Eric Clapton (Journey Man), Dr. John, among others.

He is also a composer, arranger, and producer whose vital work is demonstrated by his personal projects. Tropea has a deserved worldwide reputation (specially in Japan, where he recently toured with Steve Gadd as special guest) as an artist of quality among both audiences and other musicians.