Saturday, March 18, 2006

johnny case

as part of our three-day celebration of wedding anniversary #1, my sweetie and i fell by sardines to hear some good jazz from johnny case and got much more than we bargained for.

walking out of the rain and through the front door, we were hit with a high-velocity blast of sonny rollins' "oleo" that made us feel like we'd been transported back to some '50s harlem dive. tearin' it up on tenor was big apple-based, fort worth-bred multi-reedman mario cruz, a former case protege and veteran of jaco pastorius' '80s big band with a mellifluous tone and seemingly endless stream of ideas that poured out of his horn like honey, whether he was masterfully building and releasing tension on a blues or conducting an exhaustive investigation of every melodic possibility inherent in a ballad like "april in paris," which was preceded by a lengthy bandstand discussion of a visit johnny and his wife recently made to the city of lights. the tenorman's presence seemed to inspire the other players -- johnny, young bassplayer danny stone, and johnny's regular drummer don sowell -- to ever-higher flights of exploration 'n' invention. for someone like me who's been on a tenor kick lately (listening to the coltrane live-at-the-half note one up, one down and live at carnegie hall with monk sets), it was _wish fulfillment at its best_. much respect to messrs. cruz, case and co.

johnny's playing the green party benefit in trinity park next saturday, march 25th; he starts at 12 noon, so get there early. he's also slated to play this year's "jazz by the boulevard" fest in september, and sez he picked a later time slot this year (5pm) than the one he played a coupla yrs back, so that "maybe there'll be some people there, but i'll still be able to make it to the [sardines] gig."


Blogger ANDREW M. said...

big congrats on the anniversary of yr weddin'. warms my heart big time to hear that folks i dig have found happiness. here's to many many more years of joy. cheers.

4:13 AM  

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