Tampa Jazz Notes 3.27.09: Ray Anderson at USF, WMNF Jazz Jam, Local Jazz Tracks Online

ray-andersonRay Anderson, a critically acclaimed trombone virtuoso known for injecting humor and grit — and creative use of the plunger mute — into his improvisations and compositions, joins the USF Jazz Ensemble I (the big band) for this Monday’s edition of the Monday Night Jazz Series.

The concert starts at 8 p.m. at Theatre 1 on the USF campus in Tampa. For more info, call the box office at (813) 974-2323 or visit the Monday Night Jazz Series site.


Legendary saxophonist and composer Sam Rivers — leading his sam-rivers1trio, most likely — is slated to headline the first WMNF Jazz Jam, Sunday, May 31 at Skipper’s Smokehouse in Tampa.

Rivers, 85 (believe it or not), based in Orlando, is a monstrously creative improviser who made his name on New York’s downtown loft jazz scene in the ’70s. He’s since led a variety of pianoless trios, big bands and other ensembles. The last time I caught him, several years ago, he was still going strong.

For his trio dates, Rivers typically plays tenor and soprano saxophones, flute and piano, and he’s usually joined by Doug Mathews, on acoustic and six-string electric bass, and bass clarinet; and a drummer (varies).

The mini-festival will feature a variety of Tampa Bay area groups, ranging from the gypsy jazz of Impromptu to the jazz-jam fusion of Infinite Groove Orchestra to the World Afro-Cuban Jazz Ensemble. The  program, organized by WMNF, 88. 5 FM DJs Ray Villadonga and Jimmy Lyons, also includes PBS and Trio Vibe (yes, my band with vibraphonist Sam Koppelman and drummer Don Capone).

The WMNF Jazz Jam starts at 4 p.m., and admission is $12 in advance and $15 at the door. For more information, contact WMNF or Skipper’s (see above links).


trio-vibe-pix-formalSpeaking of Trio Vibe, we’re one of several jazz groups showcased in a local music round-up penned by Tampa Tribune pop music critic Curtis Ross. The story is published in today’s Friday Extra; read it by clicking here.

Online, readers can also listen to clips of one of our tunes, “Zag,” from the CD (Almost) Live at Springs Theatre, as well as O Som do Jazz’s ” Com Esse Que Eu V” from Infinite Bossa, by the group co-led by trombonist/composer David Manson and his wife, Brazilian-born singer Andrea Moraes Manson. Ross also covers trombone-playing USF music prof Tom Brantley‘s Boneyard.

Once on the main page of the Tribune feature, readers can scroll down to see previous mini-reviews of recordings by Tampa Bay area jazzers, including Nothing Standard from singer Denise Moore and Then Some.


denisemooreweb2Denise, headed to New Orleans next month to pick up some musical inspiration and enjoy R&R at the French Quarter Fest, has a new regular home for her music.

Starting April 1, the singer and her band will play Wednesday nights beginning at 7 p.m. on the rooftop balcony of the Bungalow Bistro in Seminole Heights (Tampa).  For more information, check out the restaurant’s web site. Reservations are suggested – (813) 237-2000.


larueGuitarist LaRue Nickelson, saxophonist Jeremy Powell, bassist Michael Ross and drummer Ian Goodman play this Sunday’s jazz brunch at Gratzzi’s Ristorante at Baywalk, in St. Petersburg.

Music is from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., and admission (including the buffet) is $20. Gratzzi’s is at 199 Second Ave. N. The quartet’s appearance is sponsored by the Al Downing Tampa Bay Jazz Association.

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