Jazz at the Bechtler: Smokin' Saxophones

Jazz at the Bechtler: Smokin' Saxophones




Some of the hardest swinging LPs of the hard bop era featured two-tenor frontlines, and the Ziad Jazz Quartet — with guest tenor and Berklee College of Music grad Danny Walsh — will see what kind of massive grooves they can generate during this concert with their own version. Walsh is regarded as one of the most gifted and versatile recording artists in the jazz and R&B circuits, and has performed with everyone from Greg Allman and Aerosmith to Phil Woods and the Mingus Dynasty Big Band.

The plethora of tenor players in the relatively small confines of the 1950s and 1960s New York City jazz scene made many of these collaborations practically inevitable. Most of them were little more than improvised jams on familiar themes, similar to the after-hours “cutting sessions” that often took place once the venue’s doors shut. Take the 1960-61 recordings of the Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis and Johnny Griffin Quintet, or the only recorded Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane meeting, the title track from Tenor Madness, or the excellent Blowin’ In From Chicago (1957) date featuring Clifford Jordan and John Gilmore, one of the rare times the latter was out of Sun Ra’s orbit.

The best thing about these tenor sessions is getting to hear the differences in approach in real time. Players will showcase their balladry on the slower numbers, and on the up-tempo swingers they’ll engage in some high-velocity “trading fours,” where each saxophonist takes four quick bars to make a solo statement that the other answers. On a track such as John Coltrane’s quick-footed "Grand Central" (featured during this concert), that can make for some of the best and most heated improvisations going.


Concerts are performed at 6 and 8:15 p.m. with no intermissions. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for the 6 p.m. concert and 7:45 p.m. for the 8:15 p.m. concert. General seating is first come, first served. Enjoy light bites and a cash-only bar. Standing room only is available after all seats are claimed.


Both shows are sold out!

Tickets are $16 for the public and just $10 for museum members. Buy tickets online, over the phone at 704.353.9200 or at the admission desk. View the full 2018-’19 Jazz at the Bechtler lineup here.

Image: Ron Brendle, Ziad Rabie and Danny Walsh. Photo by Andy Goh

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ex © 2019 Bechtler Museum of Modern Art All images and content copyright. All rights reserved. Credits: Design: MODE. Artwork Photography: JoAnn Sieburg-Baker, David Ramsey General Photography: Eric Bahrs, Mitchell Kearney, Gary O'Brien, Nancy Pierce, Maxim Vakhovskiy Copywriting: Pam Davis Charlotte Skyline Photo: courtesy of Visit Charlotte School of Paris: John Boyer (Copy), MODE (Design)
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