DownBeat’s 2013 Fall Preview: Harrell, Hendrix and Road Trips
Posted 9/23/2013

The fall season is here, and great music will be its soundtrack. The arrival of autumn means that music lovers are marking their calendars for several significant events, including cool album releases, major tours and exciting fall festivals.

We’re proud to present the DownBeat Fall Preview, an online exclusive that shines a spotlight on artists who will make this autumn memorable.

Trumpeter and flugelhornist Tom Harrell’s new disc of all-original material, Colors Of A Dream (HighNote), will be released on Oct. 15. The two-bass project features new band members: bassist/vocalist Esperanza Spalding and alto saxophonist Jaleel Shaw. Harrell’s group also includes tenor saxophonist Wayne Escoffery, drummer Johnathan Blake and bassist Ugonna Okegwo. Spalding—who won Album of the Year honors in the 2012 DownBeat Readers Poll for her Radio Society Music—sings on eight of the 11 tracks, including wordless vocals on “Tango” and “Phantasy In Latin” and the Portuguese-language tune “Velejar (Sail Away).”

Harrell will perform at New York’s Village Vanguard from Oct. 8–13 with a quintet. His quartet Tom Harrell’s Trip will play the club from Oct. 15–20.

Robert Glasper Experiment is back on Oct. 29 with Black Radio 2 (Blue Note), the follow-up to 2012’s Black Radio, which won the Grammy for best r&b album. Guests on the new album include Jill Scott, Anthony Hamilton, Norah Jones, Snoop Dogg, Lupe Fiasco and Lalah Hathaway.

One of the most highly anticipated jazz albums of the fall is pianist Aaron Parks’ Arborescence (ECM), a solo studio improvisation recorded at Mechanics Hall in Worcester, Mass., out Oct. 15.

San Francisco-based ensemble Swing Fever celebrates its 30-year history with the Oct. 15 release Grand Masters Of Jazz (OpenArt), a CD and two-DVD package featuring trumpeter Clark Terry, clarinetist Buddy DeFranco, vibraphonist Terry Gibbs and vocalist Jackie Ryan.

On Nov. 2, vocalist René Marie (who was honored as the Rising Star–Female Vocalist in the 2012 DownBeat Critics Poll) pays tribute to actress, singer and onetime Catwoman Eartha Kitt with I Wanna Be Evil (With Love To Eartha Kitt) (Motéma).

Archival Hendrix
November 5 will be a huge date for fans of legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix, thanks to two new releases and a TV special. As part of its American Masters series, PBS will premiere the documentary Hear My Train A Comin’, featuring previously unseen concert footage and home movies taken by Hendrix and drummer Mitch Mitchell, as well as commentary from Noel Redding, Billy Cox, Paul McCartney, Vernon Reid and sound engineer Eddie Kramer.

Experience Hendrix LLC and Legacy Recordings will release, on DVD and Blu-ray, the expanded home video edition of the documentary, including never-before-released special performance features.

Janie Hendrix, president and CEO of Experience Hendrix LLC and the sister of Jimi Hendrix, said, “Hear My Train A Comin’ is an in-depth look at the life and legacy of Jimi with his own words as well as the words and memories of those that knew him well and were close to him.”

Among the previously unseen material is recently uncovered film footage from the 1968 Miami Pop Festival. The CD and vinyl version of Miami Pop Festival will mark the first release of tracks performed by the Jimi Hendrix Experience on May 18, 1968. The performances, which were captured on-site by Kramer, include the first recorded stage performances of “Hear My Train A Comin’” and “Tax Free” alongside classics such as “Fire,” “Hey Joe,” “I Don’t Live Today” and “Purple Haze.”

On The Road
Vocalist Gregory Porter—who won two Rising Star awards in the 2013 DownBeat Critics Poll—will be on the road promoting his superb new album, Liquid Spirit (Blue Note). His tour stops will include Le Poisson Rouge in New York (Oct. 24), the Miami Nice Jazz Festival in Florida (Oct. 25) and Alte Oper in Frankfurt, Germany (Nov. 19), among others. Complete tour details are posted at

Blues guitarist Buddy Guy, who released the two-CD set Rhythm & Blues in July, will fire up audiences at the Rialto Theatre in Tucson, Ariz. (Oct. 25), the Roseland Theater in Portland, Ore. (Nov. 2), and the Moraine Valley Performing Arts Center in Palos Hills, Ill. (Nov. 23). Complete tour details are posted at

In San Francisco, noteworthy fall shows at SFJAZZ include Robert Glasper Experiment (Oct. 18) and Geri Allen, Terri Lyne Carrington and Esperanza Spalding (Oct. 24). From Nov. 20–24, SFJAZZ Resident Artistic Director Jason Moran performs with various groups. More info is posted at

In New York, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola presents the Christian McBride Trio for the week of Oct. 21–27. The bassist’s trio includes pianist Christian Sands and drummer Ulysses Owens Jr., who play on the excellent new album Out Here (Mack Avenue), released on Aug. 6. Also at Jazz at Lincoln Center, on Dec. 12–14, vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant joins Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra for “Big Band Holidays” in the Rose Theater. More info is posted at

New Yorkers will flock to the Village Vanguard to see Joe Lovano Us Five during a six-night stand, Oct. 29–Nov. 3. Guitarist Marc Ribot brings his trio to the club Nov. 5–10. The club’s schedule is posted at

Chicago Symphony Center kicks off its jazz series with shows by the Herbie Hancock Quartet (Oct. 11); the Joshua Redman Quartet (Nov. 22); Branford Marsalis (Jan. 31); and drummer Jack DeJohnette’s Spring Quartet with Joe Lovano, Esperanza Spalding and keyboardist Leo Genovese (Feb. 15). See for more details.

Fall Festivals
In Italy, the 37th annual Roma Jazz Festival (Oct. 20–Nov. 2) will explore the crosscurrents of jazz and literature, with performances by the Vijay Iyer Trio and Joshua Redman Quartet. Complete festival details are posted at

The second annual Exit 0 International Jazz Festival in Cape May, N.J. (Nov. 8–10), will feature more than 100 touring musicians playing at the Cape May Convention Hall and club venues along the beachfront. The lineup includes the Marc Cary Focus Trio, Etienne Charles, the Aaron Diehl Quartet, the Kenny Garrett Quintet, Eddie Palmieri and Dianne Reeves. Complete festival details are posted at


Tom Harrell (Photo: JL Neveu)


UCA Press


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Steve Webster—EC Barlow

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