'Now 60' really brings jazz of today to MCG
Karrin Allyson and Anat Cohen think the word “now” is the most important part of the title of their current concert tour.
“The ‘now' part is what jazz is all about,” says clarinetist-saxophonist Cohen. “It is about people creating music right now.”
She is talking about the “Newport Jazz Festival: Now 60” tour that will visit the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild in the North Side Feb. 15.
Singer Allyson agrees. She says the title certainly hints at a look at the past. But there is more to it than legacy.
“We are going to bring both sides to it,” she says. “A group of ‘veteran players,' if that's what you want to call us, can do that, and we are going to bring a real mix to the tour.
The tour is a celebration of the founding of the Newport Jazz Festival in 1954, an event that changed the jazz world. When promoter George Wein, still active at 88, decided to bring some jazz acts to Fort Adams State Park in Newport, R.I., he brought jazz into an outdoor setting, attracting a different breed of listeners. It also led to the creation of a summer festival circuit that has become part of the way of life for jazz musicians.
“You have to look at the long history,” Allyson says, “but with players like this, there will be a lot of fresh music. We are all bringing some of our music to see what fits in.”
The “Now 60” tour will perform internationally in coming months, including a stop at this year's Newport festival in August. Along with Cohen and Allyson, it also features trumpeter Randy Brecker, guitarist Mark Whitfield, pianist Peter Martin, drummer Clarence Penn and bassist Larry Grenadier.
Cohen is part of an Israeli family that has grabbed attention in a number of ways in the past few years. The have played together as the 3 Cohens, apart in individual projects and within a great variety of other projects.
She has been named music director for the concerts and is proud to have that role, but downplays it a bit.
“A music director on this kind of show can organize things a little but, mostly, the music is left up to the great work of the musicians,” she says.
It is hard to tell exactly what will happen in these shows, she adds with a chuckle. “Once you are onstage, it is a democracy.”
Allyson, who has a strong sense of song and grasp of lyrics, has performed in the same kind of varied settings as the Cohens. Her music ranges from sensitive readings of standards to vocal versions of the work of jazz legend John Coltrane.
In 2013, she entered the world of self-production with a Christmas album and says she probably will create a non-holiday release this year.
Bob Karlovits is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 412-320-7852.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.