Jazz Avenues

Saxophonist, bandleader and educator Paul Carr celebrates his new “B3 Sessions” CD Sept. 17 at Blues Alley. 

Paul Carr does his organ CD, in style

He's dedicated himself to his craft to become a leading saxophonist and also an honored educator with his Jazz Academy. He's found time to establish the annual Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival. And he's recorded with many of the greats and produced five albums as a leader. What’s left? 

"An organ record is something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time," said Carr in an email, "and for my sixth recording as a leader, I thought it was time to do it."

The result is "B3 Sessions (DC-NY)," a combination of two different live sessions, one produced at Blue House Recording studio in Silver Spring with organist Bobby Floyd and the other at Avatar studios in New York City with organist Pat Bianchi. There’s a CD release party Sept. 17 at Blues Alley as part of the B3 Sessions Tour, with other dates Sept. 18 in Richmond, Va., and Sept. 20 in Philadelphia.

Carr, the Houston native and  Howard U. grad we now call our own, says, "I originally wanted to do a double CD release with two different organ bands, one with some down-home grooves and one with edge, yet still grooving. After recording both sessions and listening back, I discovered how well each session complemented each other and besides, who has the time to listen to two CDs anyway!! I put together a program of tunes from both sessions and I’m very happy with the outcome."

Carr's swinging, grooving tenor sax is backed, for the D.C. session, by Floyd, Bobby Broom on guitar, Byron Landham, drums and Sam Turner, percussion. The New York session with Bianchi also has Paul Bollenback on guitar and Lewis Nash, drums. Highlights include the tunes "Dorothy," "We Kissed at Night" and "B3," among others.

See www.paulcarrjazz.com and www.bluehouseproductions.com for more information.

Bollenback’s “Portraits” paints a symphony

Speaking of guitarist Paul Bollenback’s work on Paul Carr’s new CD, Bollenback is also promoting his own fine new work, "Portraits in Space and Time" with Joseph Lepore on bass and Rogerio Boccato, drums/percussion, on the Mayimba Jazz label. 

The veteran Bollenback shows off his intricate lyricism and compositional breadth throughout the recording which evokes varied colors, rhythms, shapes, times and genres. Bollenback, to appear in the region next at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore Oct. 10, has woven his own classical jazz symphony on “Portraits” with liberal folk, pop, free and funk accents, providing a CD that can appeal to those of all musical tastes.

“Little Island” for example is an up-tempo, sweetly fashioned ride evoking sun and sand and fun, while “Bird in Sky” is a melancholy, thoughtful poetic work, and “Open Hand,” starts somberly featuring Lepore’s sensitive bass, then whips into an almost free-form rocker, with Boccato’s sizzling cymbal work a melodic treat all its own. Other highlights include “Dance Delicious,” “Dance of Hands,” and “Joseph,” a haunting, plucking treatise by Lepore.

InPerson ... Sankofa  Cafe

It felt like a roots music evening on Georgia Avenue that warm Thursday night last month when a full house overflowed at the Sankofa Café and Bookstore on Georgia Avenue, many drawn for the books and fine foods and African diaspora conversation, and many drawn by the music of master craftsman Fred Foss on saxophone, Nasar Abadey on drums and James “Tex” King on bass. 

The searing riffs from Foss’ alto saxophone melding with Abadey’s whipping polyrhythms on drums and King’s every groovy and bluesy bass seemed to transport that section of the avenue across the waters and back, the motherland’s beats echoing up and down the street on tunes like “It Could Happen to You,” “Softly As In A Morning Sunrise,” and “I Can’t Get Started.” 

September Highlights: … Dwayne Adell, Sept. 9, Blues Alley … Sharon Clark, Sept. 12, Westminster Presbyterian Church … Transparent Productions/Darius Jones, Sept. 14, Bohemian Caverns … Shoshana Bush, Sept. 14, Twins Jazz … Paul Wingo Trio, sept. 16, 30, Bertha’s/Baltimore … Paul Carr B3 Sessions Tour, Set. 17, Blues Alley … James Zimmerman, Wayne Wilentz/Tribute to Oscar Brown, Jr., Sept. 19, Westminster … Patricia Barber, Sept. 19, Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club … Carl Grubbs Ensemble, Sept. 20, St. Paul's School/Brooklandville Md. ... Congressional Black Caucus Jazz Forum/Concert, Sept. 25, Washington Convention Center ...Terence Blanchard, Sept. 25-28, Blues Alley … Transparent Productions/Cooper-Moore, Sept. 28, Bohemian Caverns …

September Birthdays: Art Pepper 1; Horace Silver, Clifford Jordan 2; Mickey Roker, Roy Brooks 3; Meade Lux Lewis 4; Andrew White, Buddy Bolden 6; Sonny Rollins, 7; Wilbur Ware 8; Elvin Jones, George Mraz 9; Roy Ayers 10; Steve Turre 12; Chu Berry 13; Oliver Lake 14; Cannonball Adderley 15; Joe Venuti, John Hendricks 16; Brother Jack McDuff 17; Emily Remler 18; Muhal Richard Abrams 19; Chico Hamilton 21; John Coltrane 23; Gary Bartz 26; Bud Powell 27; Kenny Kirkland 28; Buddy Rich, Oscar Pettiford 30. 

 Steve Monroe is a Washington, D.C. writer who can be reached at steve@jazzavenues.com and followed at www.twitter.com/jazzavenues.