Willard Jenkins

Willard’s Contributions

05/23/06    Concerts

Art of Jazz Celebration 2006

The creative arts scene of Toronto just added a new color to its vibrant pallet with the May inauguration of the Art of Jazz Celebration. Solidly based in jazz education, Art of Jazz was founded by Toronto’s jazz emissaries, saxophonist Jane Bunnett and...


November 2003    Overdue Ovation

Roger Humphries: Steel City Pulse

While Pittsburgh has scrubbed up and morphed into a high-tech center, it's still a town inexorably dressed in the sturdy steel gown of its industrial past. The blue-collar roots of Steel City means that it has always been a fertile town for jazz talent-from...

November 2003    News

Jack DeJohnette : Busy Body

It’s one week after the 2003 Montreal Jazz Festival, whose Invitation Series feted Jack DeJohnette and Lee Konitz. But rather than relaxing and basking in the glory of that honor, DeJohnette is in his Woodstock, N.Y., home wrestling with a recalcitrant water...


May 2003    Hearsay

Omar Sosa

Cuban pianist Omar Sosa is a kinetic spirit, fascinated with multitudinous African cultures and their diaspora kin. His eight recordings for the Otá label have ranged from Afro-Cuban rhythms, to Oaktown funk and beat poetry stemming from his four-year Oakland...

06/19/02    Concerts

Fez Festival of World Sacred Music & Festival D'Essaouira Gnaoua

From sacred to secular, Morocco celebrates three major music Festivals over a four-week period straddling May and June. The eldest, the Fez Festival of World Sacred Music, commences in the imperial city with the oldest, largest medina (or old city) in the...


January/February 2002    Albums

Live at the Village Vanguard
Mary Stallings

Mary Stallings is a classic example of how it takes time, musical seasoning and living a full life to mature as a vocalist and to address a lyric properly. While youthful instrumentalists may have something to say, 20-something vocal ingenues need not apply...


January/February 2002    Albums

Blue York
Pamela York

For her debut recording, the San Diego-area-based Canadian pianist Pamela York, who is from Nanaimo, B.C.-the same unlikely burg that produced Diana Krall and trumpeter Ingrid Jensen (is there something in the water there?)-had the good sense to recruit...


December 2001    Albums

Soho Stories
Ian Shaw

Ian Shaw, a native of Wales, continues to impress with his vocal artistry. His phrasing is liquid and easeful; his vocal timbre is impressive and lush on ballads; and he has a sense of drama that serves him well-especially on his reading of "I Never Went...


September 2001    Albums

Arts and Crafts
Matt Wilson

From reading his accompanying description of Arts and Crafts I get the feeling Matt Wilson is a sensitive soul; that impression is clearly borne out by his drumming. He is a veritable singer on the traps, always musical, always supportive, forever dialogic...


07/09/01    Concerts

Roy Hargrove and Enrico Rava at the 2001 Montreal Jazz Festival

Among the myriad charms of the massive Montreal Jazz Festival are its Invitation series. These four-night stands by multifaceted musicians offer a unique glimpse into the versatility and vision of the invited artists. For the 22nd edition of the festival...


July/August 2001    Albums

Ballads: Remembering John Coltrane
Karrin Allyson

Here's a singer who has mostly slipped past my radar. It won't happen again. Allyson's new CD is a very personal remembrance of the balladry of John Coltrane, sweetly reviving the memory of how in the midst of his most explorative period, J.C. paused to...


July/August 2001    Albums

Richard Boukas/Jovino Santos Neto

Were it not for small, independent labels like the Brazilian music-oriented Malandro (based in Cincinnati, of all places) deserving artists like guitarist Richard Boukas and pianist Jovino Santos Neto might not have much opportunity to craft records like...


June 2001    Albums

Kenny Jr. Drew Trio

Saddened by the same-week passing of Milt "Bags" Jackson, Art Farmer and pianist Manfredo Fest, Kenny Drew Jr. developed this tribute. Yes, yet another homage, but Remembrance is delivered sans mimicry or pretension, and Drew's no nonsense delivery of the...


June 2001    Albums

Flights of Fancy: Trio Fascination, Edition Two
Joe Lovano

Flights of Fancy, edition two of saxophonist Joe Lovano's trio series, presents a quiet program boasting four different trio settings for his reeds: bass and drums with Cameron Brown and Idris Muhammad; percussion and drums with Billy Drewes and Joey Baron;...


April 2001    Albums

The Last Great Concert
Oliver Jackson

Besides George Wein's appropriately laudatory paragraphs on Jackson's drum prowess and some brief bios, there's scant info on how this crew came together. It was obviously a swell night in Hamburg when they made this concert, as their collective joy of swing...


April 2001    Albums

The Birdland Sessions
Garrison Fewell

Guitarist Garrison Fewell's previous recording garnered positive notices and he has labored in jazz-education trenches at Berklee for many years. For this date, pianist Jim McNeely, Steve LaSpina, bassist-of-choice for several guitarists, and drummer Jeff...

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