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Vincent, Paris

Charles Tolliver Big Band

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Both Music Inc. and Impact have been reissued on CD by Charly.

Edited by relyles

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Up.

Just 2 weeks away!

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Sadly, it looks as if commitments will keep me this side of the pond this time :(

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I was on Spaulding's web site last night and saw this show listed; looks like a killer! Wish I could make it!

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Up.

One week and counting ...

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If anybody goes to this, can somebody please ask Tolliver if he has any plans to take this band in the studio??? Or maybe a live recording??? Or if he'll be recording anytime soon, in any context??

Or please ask somebody in the band, if you can't get face-to-face with Charles.

Been about 15 years since Tolliver's been heard on record. Too damn long!!

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Rooster,

I talk to David Weiss periodically (he's helping Charles put everything together). Believe me, they're trying their best to record and get more gigs.

Bertrand.

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Charles Tolliver Big Band Feb 17-20,and Cecil Taylor with Orchestra Humane on the same dates,preceeded by CT's Trio on Feb 16 is shaping up to be an interesting week,looks like at least three nights out for me.

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Thursday, 9:30 show for me.

I'll ask 'em, if I get close enough ...

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Caught the second set last night. The nice size crowd included, among others, Terrance Blanchard and Randy Brecker.

Tolliver's arrangements sounded just like they did from his Strata East Music, Inc. albums (in fact, they played one song from Impact--I can check later to verify the name). The band sounded strong, if a little sloppy at times (understandable as Tolliver's arrangements are pretty demanding). I imagine they will sound much tighter by the end of the Jazz Standard run on Saturday night.

Tolliver himself showed pretty strong chops, conducting the band in front of the sax section and turning toward the audience for his solos (unmiked). I love his sound and attack, and it was a real treat to see him live.

Other highlights included Billy Harper (the man!) soloing with a great deal of ferocity, special guest John Hicks at the piano (sounding great--Tolliver recounted how they first met in California in the '60's with Gerald Wilson's band), Cecil McBee seriously anchoring the band, and the amazing Ralph Peterson on drums (absolutely stole the show on a couple numbers).

I loved the show--anyone in town should check it out!

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I really wanted to try to get into NYC to see them Saturday night, but my wife spent the money I planned to use on tickets to see Dave Chapelle that same night. One of these days I need to start communicating with her a little better. I would have much preferred to see Tolliver.

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Charles can swing. Over the past summer I went to see Clark Terry. Charles was in the audience wathcing the show. Clark Terry saw him and asked him to come on to the stage. He did, and smoked. I am thinking of seeing his big band this weekend or the Heath Brothers.

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Caught the second set last night. The nice size crowd included, among others, Terrance Blanchard and Randy Brecker.

Tolliver's arrangements sounded just like they did from his Strata East Music, Inc. albums (in fact, they played one song from Impact--I can check later to verify the name). The band sounded strong, if a little sloppy at times (understandable as Tolliver's arrangements are pretty demanding). I imagine they will sound much tighter by the end of the Jazz Standard run on Saturday night.

Tolliver himself showed pretty strong chops, conducting the band in front of the sax section and turning toward the audience for his solos (unmiked). I love his sound and attack, and it was a real treat to see him live.

Other highlights included Billy Harper (the man!) soloing with a great deal of ferocity, special guest John Hicks at the piano (sounding great--Tolliver recounted how they first met in California in the '60's with Gerald Wilson's band), Cecil McBee seriously anchoring the band, and the amazing Ralph Peterson on drums (absolutely stole the show on a couple numbers).

I loved the show--anyone in town should check it out!

Saw that same show, but missed seeing Brecker and Blanchard.

I like the show a lot, too. Just watching him lead the band was entertaining. I wished I had known that it was Hicks at the piano from the beginning. I didn't realize that was him until he was introduced.

As for Ralph Peterson, I thought he was a overwhelming actually. I would rather have seen a more subtle drummer with this group (I understand Victor Lewis played with them last time). But he had a lot of energy, that's for sure.

I hope a lot of people got to see this. I was sorry to see the crowd a little "light" for that show.

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Thanks for posting this. I was wondering how this was. I had a tough choice. I was in in NYC for the jazz auction and chose to see Cecil Taylor instead of Tolliver. It was simply a matter of my having never seen Taylor and my wondering how many chances I would have left to do so. Awesome experience with a 16-piece band. Weird audience. Lots of tourists who didn't know what they were in for! The older couple next to me before the show said "We understand he's really a legend." Irridium didn't seem like the right place for him. One idiot yelled "Play some music!" toward the end of the show and was ushered out. But once I closed my eyes the music was just an overwhelming force that drifted, coalesced, broke apart, surged -- almost like a living organism. His own playing was simply amazing.

I definitely want to catch Tolliver next time though.

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I saw 3 shows last year and needless to say it was great. Victor Lewis was on drums and as a drummer myself I was impressed to say the least. Sure hope they do some recording. PS was James Spaulding still on the alto chair (with Gary Bartz last year)? He surely was one the high points for me those shows.

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Interesting about the Cecil Taylor show. I was thinking about that one, too - and also that Iridium was an odd place for him to be playing. I'll try to see him another time. He plays the Jazz Fest here in SF periodically.

Spaulding was on alto. He didn't solo in the set that I saw, though. No Bartz, but we did have Craig Handy, who I had seen last year with the Mingus BB.

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Nice review of the big band in today's NY Times:

+++

August 5, 2005

A Reverse Vanishing Act From a Hard-Bop Pro

By NATE CHINEN

Forty years ago, Charles Tolliver was an apprentice to the alto saxophonist Jackie McLean and seemingly earmarked for jazz's modest version of stardom. A prodigiously gifted trumpeter and composer, Mr. Tolliver specialized in a bristling variety of hard-bop that perfectly suited the era; one of his songs, "Right Now," felt enough like a manifesto in 1965 that Mr. McLean added an exclamation point and made it the name of an album.

"Right Now" was Mr. Tolliver's first number at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola on Wednesday night, and it still galvanized. But it also invited reflection. Mr. Tolliver, who spent the first half of the 1970's releasing scintillating material on his own Strata-East label, essentially vanished from the jazz world after 1975. He re-emerged just a couple of years ago, leading a big band that resembled the one on "Impact," his last studio album. The strength of this resurrected band at Dizzy's, and the relish with which Mr. Tolliver conducted it, begged the question of how he kept quiet for all those years.

Mr. Tolliver's writing for big band is modular rather than orchestral; he builds around a small-group core so that supplemental elements - most often a coordinated blast of horns - can be added or elided without disruption. This made for a collective elasticity on "Plight," one of his oldest tunes; during a tenor saxophone solo by Greg Tardy, the horn section sprung into action, on cue, with a row of sharp interjections. "Truth," a ballad, was less effective; although it gracefully showcased Mr. Tolliver's still-lyrical trumpet playing, its long-tone ensemble voicings served a merely ornamental function.

Structurally, Mr. Tolliver's music relies on ostinatos, or repetitive grooves, entrusting the rhythm section with a critical role. At Dizzy's, it helped that the pianist John Hicks and the bassist Cecil McBee were the musicians with whom Mr. Tolliver had the strongest ties, stretching back to the Strata-East years. But it was Ralph Peterson, the drummer, who really drove the ensemble. Tumultuously and brutishly propulsive, he kept the stakes high and the atmosphere intense; he made it difficult to imagine this band without him.

The possibilities of Mr. Tolliver's aesthetics were most exhaustively explored on "Mournin' Variations," the highlight and finale of the set. In its original form on "Impact," the song featured an introduction scored for strings and evocative of the Far East; here Mr. Tolliver substituted woodwinds (the saxophone section, doubling on flutes and clarinets) for an effect more suggestive of African-American spirituals. Then, with a flick of the wrist, the brass screeched into the picture, and a strutting tempo kicked in.

What ultimately set the song apart was a parade of gripping solos - by the gutsy tenor saxophonist Bill Saxton, the debonair trombonist Clark Gayton, the brightly incisive trumpeter Keyon Harrold, and finally Mr. Hicks, in an aggressive modal vein. Each improvisational space gave the impression of a proving ground, and each player handled the challenge with personality and poise. It was in those moments, with the spotlight on supporting players, that Mr. Tolliver's promise seemed fully renewed.

The Charles Tolliver Big Band plays through Sunday at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, Frederick P. Rose Hall, Broadway at 60th Street, Time Warner Center, (212) 258-9595.

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I saw this band last night and heard just about the same set except there was a very fast Round Midnight, and there was very little trumpet playing from Tolliver.

The stand-outs for me were Bill Saxon ( I haven't heard him in a long time ), the trumpeter,

the young Keyon Harrold and Ralph Peterson.

Peterson was great, in his bombastic way; and I am one that finds is small group "dynamics" bothersom. He nailed every cue in every ensemble in this very percussive music and was as LOUD as he could be. Really the perfect drummer for this emsemble. I think he found his calling, here.

Unless he joins a drum and bugle corps.

Edited by marcello

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I saw the BB earlier this year and was a little disappointed at how little Charles played, too.

He's coming to Yoshi's in a few weeks with a "Night of the Cookers" show. I'm hoping to see him do some serious blowing for that one.

Included on this bill: BILLY HARPER, JAMES SPAULDING, CHARLES TOLLIVER, DAVID WEISS, JOHN HICKS, DWAYNE BURNO, ROY McCURDY

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