"6th Annual Newport Beach Jazz Party"
by FRED ECKSTEIN
L.A. Jazz Scene - April 2006
The 6th Annual Newport Beach Jazz Party was held over the President's Day Weekend, Frebruary 16th-19th, at the newly-remodeled Newport Beach Marriott Hotel. And what a party it was--with a capacity audience. Some came from as far away as Great Britain. Forty musicians plus the Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra and the JazzAmerica Big Band, made up of L.A. high school youth, performed thirty-two sets of music including two jazz brunch sets.
My favorite performances included Luther Hughes and the Cannonball-Coltrane Project, the Horace Silver Tribute, Da Vida Bella--a host of great pianists saluting David Abell--and Guitar Blow Out #2.
The Cannonball-Coltrane Project was lead by bassist Luther Hughes and included Glenn Cashman on tenor sax, alto sax man Bruce Babad, Ed Czach on piano, and drummer Paul Kreibich. While the quintet is inspired by the music of Cannonball Adderley and John Coltrane, they offer their unique impressions of the original music. And like the original, their music swings hard and has a bluesy feel.
The band's repertoire includes the original Cannonball-Coltrane arrangements from their 1959 recording and fresh new compositions as well. Many of the tunes performed were from the group's 2004 CD "Luther Hughes and The Cannonball-Coltrane Project." Proving that he's not just a drummer who hangs out with musicians, two of the numbers performed were originals written by Paul Kreibich. One was the swing-oriented "Takin' It Home," and the other, "Partido Mar Vista," based on a unique Latin rhythm. Altoist Bruce Babad's composition "Sapphire" was influenced by a single chordal voicing characteristic of McCoy Tyner's style. And Glenn Cashman's "No Mercy" had a similar feel to Joe Zawinul's "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy." Other offerings included "Love For Sale" and Lime House Blues." "Love for Sale" was played with the melody as Miles played it and it was arranged by Tom Ranier. The band sounded great, with a nice contrast between Babad's bluesy and somewhat edgy alto work and Cashman's emphasis on harmonic exploration.
(THE REST OF THE ARTICLE DEALT WITH OTHER GROUPS AT THE EVENT)