Click the image above to listen to the Ziad Jazz Quartet with guest artist Lynn Grissett, Brian Miller, Kobie Watkins, Ron Brendle, and Noel Freidline perform GREEN DOLPHIN STREET by Kaper and Washington
Click the image above to listen to the Ziad Jazz Quartet with guest artist Lynn Grissett, Brian Miller, Kobie Watkins, Ron Brendle, and Noel Freidline perform LOVE FOR SALE by Cole Porter
Ziad Notes: This concert was a salute to one live and one studio recording that represented the earliest configuration of the first great Miles Davis Quintet augmented to a sextet with the addition of Cannonball Adderley on alto saxophone. The musicians were Miles (trumpet), John Coltrane (tenor sax), Julian “Cannonball” Adderley (alto sax), Bill Evans (piano), Paul Chambers (acoustic bass), and Jimmy Cobb (drums). These recorded performances were the genesis of, and the evolution towards, what would become the pinnacle album Kind of Blue. These 1958 recordings also characterized the influence and inspiration that each of these iconic musicians shared with one another, and symbolized the genius of Miles Davis as a band leader. After all, it was his musical vision and choices to put these individual talents together in one band that inspired the collective creativity that ensued. It is one of my favorites because the music is so much about what the soloists bring to the music and what they inspire in one another, which is the true essence of jazz. I hope we captured the spirit of that joy and mutual inspiration in our attempt to recreate the songs from those recordings. We all had a blast at this concert for sure!
Click on the image above to listen to the Ziad Jazz Quartet with special guest artist Noel Freidline, Ron Brendle and Rick Dior perform GLORIA'S STEP by Scott LaFaro
Ziad Notes: In June 2016, we did a second Piano Legends concert, which was a tribute to three great jazz pianists. One of those was Bill Evans, an alumnus of the famed Miles Davis recording Kind of Blue. The Bill Evans trio with bassist Scott LaFaro and drummer Paul Motian is still widely regarded as Evans’ finest. Tragically, Scott LaFaro was killed in an automobile accident 10 days after the most famous recording by this group, Bill Evans Trio Sunday at the Village Vanguard, whichwas recorded June 25th, 1961. Gloria’s Step was a Scott LaFaro composition which pays homage to this rising jazz star, whose life was cut short too soon.
Pianist Don Friedman, who worked with Scott Lafaro in 1961, revealed that the song’s name is after Lafaro’s girlfriend Gloria. Friedman said, “The song name originated because LaFaro knew the sound of Gloria’s footsteps when she came up the stairs to their apartment, not because she was a dancer.”
Click the image above to listen to the Ziad Jazz Quartet and special guest artist perform GIANT STEPS by John Coltrane
Click the image above to listen to the Ziad Jazz Quartet and special guest artist perform SOUL EYES by Mal Waldron
Ziad Notes: These songs are from the show Smokin’ Saxophones, featuring my good friend Danny Walsh. I met Danny in the early 80’s while visiting my lifelong friend and saxophonist, Tony Hayes, at Berklee School of Music in Boston, where they were roommates. Danny has always been the player who left us awestruck. His effortless command of the instrument, melodic sense, and the pure beauty in his playing is captivating in every way. As a side note, Danny has worked with a wide array of artists, including Donald Brown, Lenny White, the Mingus Dynasty Big Band, Greg Allman, Phil Woods, Mulgrew Miller, Weldon Irvine, Marcus Miller, Bruce Springsteen, Terruo Nakamura and many others. He currently performs with guitarist Mike Stern (Miles Davis, Brecker Bros., David Sanborn…) regularly. It was one of my greatest joys to have him with us.
Click the image above to listen to the Ziad Jazz Quartet and special guest artist perform GRANTED by Joe Henderson
Ziad Notes: This concert featured the music of Joe Henderson, a prolific composer and tenor saxophonist. The great saxophonist and composer Benny Golson said, ''Joe had one foot in the present, the other in the future, and he was just a step away from immortality.'' What makes Golson’s comment so true is that although Joe was highly influenced by Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane, his ultimate respect was garnered by his ability to assimilate those influences into a sound and style that was all his own.
Granted is a Joe Henderson composition, written in a minor blues form on the album Mode for Joe, which featured Lee Morgan-trumpet, Curtis Fuller-trombone, Bobby Hutcherson-vibes, Cedar Walton-piano, Ron Carter-bass and Joe Chambers-drums.
Click the image above to listen to the Ziad Jazz Quartet and special guest artist perform WATERMELON MAN by Herbie Hancock (Poncho Sanchez version)
Ziad Notes: This one is a blast from the past. It was a lot of fun to do this version of Watermelon man, recorded by iconic conguero, Poncho Sanchez, on his Grammy winning live album Latin Soul. This album was released in 1999. It was also fun to play with my longtime friends, legendary Jim Brock on percussion and Jon Thornton on trumpet.
Click the image above to listen to the Ziad Jazz Quartet perform TAKE FIVE by Paul Desmond
Ziad Notes: This was our first tribute to Dave Brubeck--from all the way back in 2012. It is one of the signature songs from the Dave Brubeck repertoire. It was written by Mr. Brubeck’s famous sax player, Paul Desmond, and originally recorded by the Dave Brubeck Quartet at Columbia Records' 30th Street Studio in New York City, on July 1, 1959, for their album Time Out. Clearly, we were having some fun with the crowd on this evening before we got into the tune! There is a wonderful drum solo by Rick Dior on this one. Incidentally, Rick studied privately for nine years with Dave Brubeck’s drummer, Joe Morello, who is famous for his solo on the original Time Out recording.
Click the image above to listen to the Ziad Jazz Quartet and special guest artist perform PROJECTIONS by Joe Pass
Ziad Notes: This was a special concert for a couple of reasons. First, I was very happy to include Andre Ferreri on guitar in the Jazz at the Bechtler series. We have been friends since we were teenagers. The first time ever that I sat in with a band, was at the Double Door Inn with Andre’s group, and he was a very encouraging inspiration to me during those years. Secondly, by a crazy coincidence, I was connected with Joe Passalaqua, Joe Pass’ son. Our next door neighbor’s daughter growing up as a kid had come to visit my mother after many decades. She and her husband now live in Asheville, NC. As we were catching up, I mentioned the Bechtler Jazz series and that our next concert was to be a tribute to the iconic guitarist Joe Pass. To my great surprise her husband said “oh we know his son, he lives in Asheville.” So they put me in touch with him, he attended both shows and came up at each show to talk about his father for a bit. My favorite anecdote was how, at the age of 17, he attended a duo concert with his dad and Ella Fitzgerald at a big auditorium. As he was standing in the wings watching, all of a sudden, in a revelatory “oh my god” moment, the magnitude of his father’s fame and amazing musicianship hit him all at once. His father went from just “dad” to iconic jazz guitarist in a single moment.
Click the image above to listen to the Ziad Jazz Quartet and special guest artist perform MELLOW MOODby Jimmy Smith (Dr. Lonnie Smith version)
Ziad Notes: This song was written by the great jazz organist, Jimmy Smith. We used the up-tempo version by Dr. Lonnie Smith from a live 2013 performance at the Iowa City Jazz Festival as a reference to close the show. The concerts in January are always built on different forms of blues, and Mellow Mood is based on a minor blues form. It features a great drum solo by renowned drummer Kobie Watkins, who recorded and performed with such legends as Sonny Rollins, Kurt Elling, Arturo Sandoval and many others.