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J. Defrancesco/G. Wilson/H. Laws/K. Burrell


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Just got home from the last night of the Kenny Burrell Birthday Celebration at Yoshi's in Oakland, CA

which included the legendary master Gerald Wilson and his big band, the honoree Kenny Burrell, plus my FAVORITE Joey D. Of course nobody can steel the show from Joey D. but Hubert Laws almost did so. He laid down some hard driving, swinging hard bop blues lines on his flute, piccolo and bass flute. And what can I say about Gerald Wilson, a ball of energy at 87. He told me(which I hadn't realized)he joined Diz's band approx 3 months before he disbanded it in 1950 and was in the trumpet section with my father Elmon Wright, Willie Cook, Dave Burns and maybe a couple of others. He also told me my dad was in his band that toured with Billie Holiday in California in the early days. That band was unrecorded. On stage, while recounting his band days during the three years he lived in San Francisco, he mentioned my father's name among some others, I got a real kick out of that. A truly great night of muisc. Before I go, Herman Riley sounded great in the Budd Johnson, early Yusef Lateef tradition with his big bluesy tough tone........

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I agree, it was a great show and a great evening all around. I would differ on Hubert Laws as I've never been a big fan and he didn't do much to change my mind last night. But Joey D was a lot of fun and I would have liked to hear more of him. He'll be around again.

Gerald was an amazing focus of activity on stage. I was blown away that he opened with my newly favorite tune, "Sax Chase", from the "In My Time" album. Definitely would like to see a full set by him and his band. If he has this much energy at 87, he's got a long way to go before he slows down.

There was a lot of good feeling around the club last night and a wonderful time was had by all.

Edited by BFrank
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I heard Kenny Burrell will be recording a live album for Blue Note as a one-off to be released in '07. Steve Kuhn just recorded a recent string of dates with Ron Carter and Al Foster at Birdland for future release on Blue Note.


Supposedly, these last 2 dates (Yoshi's & Kuumba in Santa Cruz) were being recorded for Blue Note.

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