The Jazzcat

Curtis Fuller at the Jazz Bakery

by on Mar.11, 2004, under News


Additional Photos


One thing when going

to see jazz music is that there are a few different degrees of

connecting with the music. First the players have to be connected and

then the audience feeds off of that energy. You can tell when the band

is just getting together for another gig and when they are really

diggin’ the music. Curtis was loving it!



It was so great to

see one of the real true masters of the music. When you talk about jazz

back in the 50’s and 60’s and the scene, Curtis was there and was a

super dominate part of it as well. Curtis has performed with so many of

the greatest jazz musicians that there are way too many to mention but,

here are just a few Art Blakey, Lee Morgan, Wayne Shorter, Freddie

Hubbard, Horace Silver, Hampton Hawes, Cannonball Adderley, Yusef

Lateef and so many more.



Last night at the Jazz Bakery, Curtis’s quintet consisted of some of the finest players from Los Angeles

as well as an import from the NYC! Donald Vega, a monster on piano,

Derek Oles, cool fine and fluid on bass, Fritz Wise, the heart and soul

on drums and from the east, Javon Jackson on Tenor.



I went back stage and

was headed up to my favorite seats as I saw Curtis and Javon chillin’

in the back waiting to go on stage. I sent some love from afar and went

to go check out the set which opened up with the delightful sounds of

3. After the first two tunes Javon and Curtis joined in with

overwhelming applause from the audience. Colorful in character as well

as on his instrument, Curtis spoke is French, thanking the audience for

coming out to appreciate the music. He started telling stories about

recent gigs in New York and opened up with a tune called, “The Clan”. No relation to or derivation from anything with a thread count!



It was slammin’ and

so was Curtis. Great energy, I love a tune in 8! Donald was just

marvelous, spanning the piano with that light, bright, melodic style.

Derek was hummin’ and strummin’, perfectly holding the bottom and

filling the spaces with deep notes of love. Fritz was on it with a look

on his face so casual and cool while his body was workin’ it on time.

And Javon, one of the young cats today on the New York scene blowin’ and holding down the straight ahead tradition.



Curtis and the five

were swingin’ in four with “Stardust”. Curtis was dancing and loving

the music when he finished his solos. It is so nice and refreshing to

see, hear and feel the power of great jazz music when the players are

all over it. Just how a jazz experience should be! I love the jazz

stories Curtis tells. Forget the books, he is jazz history and when he

speaks, you had better listen up.


They closed with

“Caravan” a tune that someone took Curtis to see Duke perform when he

was a child. That was the beginning and from the looks of it, there is

no end in sight! He will be at the Bakery until Sunday, March 14th so don’t miss him!



LeRoy Downs

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