A Free, Fantastic Jazz Festival in Central Park on November 9
The second annual Jazz & Colors festival is coming up on Saturday, November 9 from around noon til 4 PM. It’s sort of Make Music NY for jazz, but on a cool, enjoyable fall day rather than in the middle of a horrible New York summer.
The concept is to have a whole bunch of first-rate New York talent playing two sets of standards, including a couple of unexpected favorites from Gil Scott-Heron and Roy Ayers. Wander through Central Park and see what great surprises you find, or stake out an area and see your favorite act/s for free! There’s a complete schedule and map available here.
The first set, beginning at noon, will include: “Caravan” – the classic first performed by Duke Ellington in 1936; “Bemsha Swing” by Thelonious Monk, appearing on his acclaimed 1957 LP Brilliant Corners; “Cherokee” – written in 1938 by Ray Noble and recorded by numerous jazz musicians over the decades; “A Night in Tunisia” — one of the signature pieces of Dizzy Gillespie’s big band; “So What” — the opening track on Miles Davis’ 1959 album Kind of Blue; “Footprints” by legendary saxophonist Wayne Shorter; “Maiden Voyage” — one of Herbie Hancock’s best-known compositions; the unmistakable “Take 5” by Paul Desmond, first performed by The Dave Brubeck Quartet on their 1959 album Time Out; and “Tenor Madness” by the Saxophone Colossus, Sonny Rollins, originally a twelve-minute piece recorded in 1956 with John Coltrane.
The second set (following an intermission) will include: Billy Strayhorn’s “Take The A Train”, written by in 1939 for the Duke Ellington Orchestra; the frequently recorded “Harlem Nocturne” (1939) by Earle Hagen; “Stompin’ at the Savoy”, composed by Chick Webb in 1934 and named after the Savoy Ballroom that once existed in Harlem; “Grand Central” by John Coltrane, recorded in 1959 on Cannonball & Coltrane; “Central Park North” by Thad Jones, the title track from the Thad Jones / Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra’s album from 1969; “New York City” by Gil Scott-Heron, arranged by Brian Jackson, from their joint 1976 recording It’s Your World; “A Foggy Day in London Town” by George Gershwin, which appeared in the 1937 Fred Astaire film A Damsel in Distress; “Las Vegas Tango” from The Individualism of Gil Evans (1964); and the jazz-funk-soul classic “We Live in Brooklyn Baby” by pianist Harry Whitaker, appearing on Roy Ayers’ 1971 recording He’s Coming.
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