Rafi Zabor’s Updoc, Fri Jan 23 & Tues Jan 27

Time flies when you’re having fun. At the party after the great Charlie Haden memorial concert I found myself telling Lee Konitz about the unaccompanied alto solo he’d played at a star-studded Charlie Parker memorial comcert—Gillespie, Stitt, JJ, a tragic Bud Powell very near the end—at Carnegie Hall in 1965. It was the knockout piece that night and I remembered it well enough to sort of sing the opening. Konitz didn’t recall it, but was struck that I was telling him about a solo he’d played fifty years ago, and that is pretty strange. I wish I had a copy I could play on the show; it was on an LP once. Anyone out there have one? Kenny Barron played at the Haden concert too, and I remembered first hearing him in 1963 with Dizzy Gillespie’s classic band of the period, not yet 20 years old and right up there with Dizzy and James Moody. I was underage at Birdland myself and have got a digital copy of some of that, which leads off this week’s show—Friday at 8PM and noon next Tuesday, Carnegie Hall Tardis time—and a long Kenny Barron set. He is something like the Tommy Flanagan de nos jours, invincibly brilliant no matter the setting, a paragon of invention and a summitry of taste. That decants us into Allan Petterson’s 8th Symphony, following last week’s 7th: another obsessive troll through layers of light and dark, accompanied by the sound of a distant hammer. Elvin Jones to the rescue with his skyful of thunder and blaze, a wealth of invention overstorming Cecil Taylor, a trio, and a bebopping quartet. Check out Kenny Barron, though, back in ’63, taking his solo after Gillespie and Moody, showing off his incredible chops without seeming to, unassumingly brilliant and sly. Some things never get old, only better, and Kenny Barron is one of them for sure.DaveKenCharlieLarge

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