All Original compositions featuring:
Mark Shim-Tenor Saxophone
Godwin Louis-Alto Saxophone
All Original compositions featuring:
Mark Shim-Tenor Saxophone
Godwin Louis-Alto Saxophone
I hope that you all are enjoying these last days of summer!! Just writing here to update you on what’s been up with me this summer and what’s planned for the fall!
I started off the summer in the start of June in NY, performing and recording with saxophonist/composer Dan Blake. Look out for his album soon!! Some beautifully, soulful, intricate music!! Check out a clip from our live gig at the Douglas Street Music Collective here:
I then went on a US/Canada tour with the Grace Kelly Quintet, with special guest Phil Woods joining us for a few of the dates. It’s always a learning experience being in the presence of a master like Phil. I love picking his brain about the musical society of the past several decades. He’s got a boots on the ground perspective of the goings-on in the music!! That tour involved stops in Rochester, Cleveland, Niagara Falls, Philadelphia, the Berkshires, Boston, and Montreal.
In the start of Juiy, I traveled to Europe for a couple of concerts with Grace in Stuttgart, Germany and Mureck, Austria. After the concert n Austria, I then went to Paris for 12 days of R&R with my wife and time to arrange music for the next gig. In those 12 days I did a fair share of sightseeing and I also saw many friends that I hadn’t seen in a while. While I was in Paris I saw/heard some wonderful concerts at the Sunset/Sunside (one lead by Lionel Loueke and one led by Tom Harrell) and a nice concert at the Olympia (Marcus Miller’s homage to Miles which featured Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Sean Jones, and Sean Rickman).
I then ended the European tour with a week residency at the Jazz Nights Festival in Langnau, Switzerland and a member of the FLY7 ensemble (Jeff Ballard, Mark Turner, Larry Grenadier, Edward Simon, Becca Stevens, and me). Our residency included 6 hours of instruction a day and a few concerts in the week. There were also two bands that came to perform in the evening nightly. Throughout the week I had the pleasure of hearing John Scofield’s new group (Sco, Mulgrew Miller, Scott Colley, and Bill Stewart), Nir Felder’s 4tet (Nir, Aaron Parks, Ben Street, and Henry Cole), Ravi Coltrane’s 4tet (Ravi, Luis Perdomo, Hans Glavischnig, and EJ Strickland). Here’s a clip from the concert of FLY7.
When we returned to the States, I played a few concerts in Boston followed by a set at the Newport Jazz Festival with Grace’s 5tet featuring Phil Woods and Bill Goodwin.
The following week I traveled to Washington State to attend my brother-in-law’s wedding and to visit with my wife’s family. It was a wonderful trip but it was cut short by a gig that I had at the Oslo Jazz Festival in Norway with GK5 featuring Phil Woods. While I was in Oslo I caught up with some wonderful musician friends that I hadn’t seen in a while (trumpeter Michael Rodriguez, Johnathan Blake, Lage Lund). A word to the wise: For the concert in Oslo, I brought 3 cds to sell after the concert. I sold them all, the festival took 10% commission, the currency exchange took 10% and I still got 100 USD for the sale of 3 of my cds.
So that pretty much brings us up to date. There are several engagements that I am excited for this fall/winter. Before I let you know of them, I’d like you all to join me in congratulating the alto saxophonist in my Boston-based band Michael Thomas on his recent accomplishment. Michael was just accepted into the exclusive artist diploma program at Julliard where he’ll be starting in the fall of this year!! It’s been a pleasure having Michael in my band and I look forward to hearing great things from/about him in NY in the years to come.
I’d like you all to keep on the lookout for the release of my 3rd album entitled Here Today on Steeplechase Records. The album features the Great Mark Turner on tenor, Nir Felder-Guitar, Edward Perez-Bass, and Kendrick Scott-Drums. There will be a cd release concert on September 23rd in Ny at the Jazz Gallery. That concert will feature everyone on the record, with the exception of Marcus Strickland in place for Mark Turner. Release date is slated for September 10th!
In November I’ll be subbing for the wonderful trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire in his band for a series of concerts in the US as part of a Miles Davis retrospective.
All of these dates can be found on my schedule page.
Thank you for reading!! Stay tuned here as well as my youtube page.
Despite possessing a pure tone, virtuoso technique
and wide-ranging knowledge of the jazz canon, Jason
Palmer remains relatively unheralded.
Nothing To Hide, a fine followup to his impressive debut of originals Songbook, shows a similar adventurousness on a program of imaginative interpretations of classics by Miles Davis, Clifford Brown, Donald Byrd, Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard and Booker Little, along with two of his own pieces performed with his regular working quintet of altoist Mike Thomas, guitarist Greg Duncan, bassist Lim Yang and drummer Lee Fish.
Opening with Byrd’s “Fly Little Bird Fly” Palmer
quickly demonstrates his innovative personality as an
arranger. Slowing down the tempo and changing the
time signature to a swinging 5/4 he makes the piece
his own, an excellent vehicle for his thoughtful
improvising, complemented by Thomas’ fiery alto.
Similarly intrepid orchestrations of Brown’s “Larue”
(interpolating the composer’s “Delilah” and an
original bass figure), Morgan’s “The Gigolo” (in 9/4
with another original bassline), Hubbard’s “Luana”
(slowing the tempo and melding it with his own
“Lower 9th Ward”) and Davis’ “Half Nelson”
(arranged by Fish in 9/4) display a penetrating
individuality. Only on Booker Little’s “Strength and
Sanity” does Palmer remain faithful to the original,
revealing a deep respect for the late trumpeter, whose
influence on his own compositional style is evident on
the originals “Nothing To Hide” and “Here And Now”
-the date’s most forward-looking entries.
At the Jazz Gallery Dec. 9th, the group (Mitsuru
Yoshizumi subbing for Yang) performed two sets of
intriguing originals and orchestrations (mainly
arrangements of songs by funk futurist Janelle Monáe)
that clearly identified Palmer as a visionary player
with an astounding vocabulary, playing music in a
uniquely personal voice, which while steeped in the
feats of the past, pushes inexorably towards tomorrow.
We’re are a few weeks away from the theatrical opening of Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench. It’s opening in select theatres nationwide on the weekend of November 5th. You can always refer to the website to find a theatre near you. When I return from my European tour with Grace Kelly’s 5tet on the 25th, I’m going into the NPR studion in Boston to do an interview about the movie. Also the day before the opening on the 5th, I’m making a quick trip for a pre-screening and Q&A on Prof. Richard Brown’s Movies 101 program.
Oscar-nominated actor/director Stanley Tucci (THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, JULIE AND JULIA, EASY A) is a big fan of the movie and is lending his support. Guy and Madeline therefore, is now a “Stanley Tucci Presentation”, and Tucci will be helping to spread the word on the release.
Guy and Madeline is opening November 5th weekend in NYC at the Cinema Village at 22 East 12th St., NY NY 10003. Theatres to follow are:
12/3 Toronto (The Royal)
12/10 Los Angeles (Laemmle Sunset 5)
1/7 Seattle (Northwest Film Forum)
Any other openings will depend on ticket sales during opening weekend. So if you want the movie to come to a city near you and you’re not in NYC, call a friend in NYC and ask them to buy a ticket and bring a friend.
Until next time!
I played an early show at Birdland in NYC several weeks ago. It was a decent crowd at the show considering how early the gig was and it was kind of a last minute deal. We were opening for Joe Lovano, who was performing a special tribute to Trane with an all-star trio backing him. I really wanted to see the show but I had to run to another gig in Brooklyn that same night after the gig. I knew that some of the players in the band that I was playing with at Birdland were planning on staying so I knew that perhaps I’d get a report on the show when I saw them the next time.
So I saw my friend and asked him how the show was and he told me that they didn’t stay for the show. He said that they were going to be charged 40.00 to stay for that show. He also said that when that show started there were plenty of empty tables where they could have sat. I think that there’s something seriously wrong with this picture. Not saying that artists who perform at venues should be let in for free to additional shows on their given night (actually I think that they should, but in this economical environment maybe it’s not the most ideal case) but I do think that there could have been a little wiggle room for the cover charge. Even if musicians/guests aren’t going to pay full price, perhaps those that are admitted at a reduced rate will patronize the establishment during the show, which is income for Birdland as opposed to none due to musicians walking out over an outrageous cover.
I’ve never understood this business practice. I’ve seen it in many places and it makes me realize that there is a reason many are saying that the club scene in jazz is hurting…
I did blog about this issue a long time ago here…