Bennie Maupin And Dolphyana On JazzSet

Plus The Julliard Jazz Ensemble And Host Dee Dee Bridgewater

fromWBGO

Bennie Maupin performs at the 2009 Detroit Jazz Festival. i

Bennie Maupin performs at the 2009 Detroit Jazz Festival. David Tallacksen hide caption

itoggle caption David Tallacksen
Bennie Maupin performs at the 2009 Detroit Jazz Festival.

Bennie Maupin performs at the 2009 Detroit Jazz Festival.

David Tallacksen

Juilliard Jazz Ensemble

  • Jeremy Viner, tenor
  • Donald Vega, piano
  • Yasushi Nakamura, bass
  • Bryan Carter, drums

Juilliard Set List

  • "Butterfly Waltz" (Vega)
  • "I Mean You" (Monk)

Bennie Maupin's Dolphyana

  • Bennie Maupin, soprano and tenor sax and bass clarinet
  • Nestor Torres, flute
  • Jay Hoggard, vibes and marimba
  • Darek Oles, bass
  • Billy Hart, drums

Maupin Set List

  • "Something Sweet, Something Tender" (Dolphy)
  • "Message to Pres" (Maupin, for Lester Young)
  • "Out to Lunch" (Dolphy)

"I'm all alone in this big city of Detroit / Won't somebody please have pity?" sings host Dee Dee Bridgewater with the Michigan State University Jazz Orchestra.

Bridgewater comes out on stage at the 2009 Detroit Jazz Festival and declares, "I'm a Flintstone." Growing up in Flint, Mich., she auditioned for Motown but was too young for a contract. That's okay; she wanted to be on Capitol like Nancy Wilson. Bridgewater is one of the last jazz singers to get her start in a big band, and at the 2009 Detroit Jazz Festival, she reciprocates. She pulls the Michigan State University Jazz Orchestra to a new level on the Slide Hampton arrangement of "If You Can't Sing It, You'll Have to Swing It/Mr. Paganini." You can hear her take charge, and hear the student group rise to the challenge.

Our highlights of the 2009 Detroit Jazz Festival feature multi-instrumentalist Bennie Maupin, who credits the Detroit Public Schools for a musical education that was so good, it prepared him for a lifelong career in jazz. It's a diverse career, strongly influenced by a single flute lesson with Eric Dolphy (1928-64). In 2008, working with flutist James Newton, who had received a stash of newly discovered compositions by Dolphy, Maupin put together a West Coast quintet to play them. Newton was unable to come to Detroit, so Latin flutist Nestor Torres took his place; as always, Torres is in command of his music. The rhythm section has a magical quality and stirs the humid summer air. If you are unfamiliar, this is a fine reprise of two of Dolphy's best-known compositions from Out to Lunch — off-center and intriguing, then and now.

The Juilliard Jazz Ensemble balances an original by pianist Donald Vega with a familiar piece by Thelonious Monk. Engineer Mike Konopka, who spent three solid days recording the music on the Waterfront Stage, says these back-to-back pieces from the JJE were two of the best he'd heard all weekend, and WBGO's Rhonda Hamilton selected them as favorites, too.

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