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Music
 
The Sheraton Continues to Jazz Things Up

By Matt Thurber
 
2006 Lineup
 
Jazz at the Sheraton City Center
 
All shows scheduled at 7:30 p.m.
For ticket info call (801) 278-0411
 
The Yellowjackets - Jan. 23
 
Chick Corea Acoustic Quintet - Feb 13
 
Stacy Kent - Mar 20
 
Flutology - April 3
 
Monty Alexander / John Clayton /
Jeff Hamilton - May 8
   
 

Reports warned that the 2005-2006 Jazz at the Sheraton season was in financial jeopardy. Unless the series' financial backers, the GAM Foundation, found the necessary funding—Jazz at the Sheraton's 10-year run would be over. Fortunately the local jazz community, donors and sponsors managed to rescue the season.

This year the concert series offers a solid, handpicked line-up, featuring events ranging from Flutology to a performance the Yellowjackets.
Jazz at the Sheraton distinguishes itself from other local jazz events such the Park City Festival by relying less on smooth and light jazz or non-jazz fillers and focuses on reputable legends as well as rising stars such as Stacy Kent.

The series kicked off with Eliane Elias. The Brazilian artist poured all her feelings and bravado into a highly sensual show. Dressed to kill and excited to open the new season, the pianist wasted no time offering accolades to the GAM Foundation for its contributions to the community. She expressed willingness to help the cause so that future artists continue to play Salt Lake City.

On October 10, rising star saxophonist Joshua Redman played the second show of the series. A young guy in his thirties, Redman is working his way up through jazz circles by recruiting well-known musicians to enter the studio with him. Brian Blade laid down drums on his most recent album Momentum. However, special appearances in the studio by Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist, Flea or ?uestlove of The Roots didn't translate Into Redman’s live show. Much like Charlie Hunter, Redman is part of a younger generation who isn't necessarily bad, but not impressive. At the Sheraton concert, Redman looked as if he was going through the motions with a hodgepodge lineup. The set was short and it seemed he never got into the groove at any point.

The last show of 2005 and perhaps the biggest surprise was the Bill Mays Trio. As and older gentleman who has recorded for TV shows and movies in addition to his normal jazz repertoire, Mays was on fire, playing back-and-forth ditties between his drummer and bassist. He played some originals, threw in a few covers for good measure and gave the crowd not only a solid musical performance but also a valuable lesson on how musicians interact using eye contact and hand signals.

The series kicks off 2006 with The Yellowjackets on January 23. Two shows not to miss include Chick Corea on Febraury 13 and Jamaican native Monty Alexander with special guests John Clayton and Jeff Hamilton on May 8. Whereas Monty Alexander is no stranger to Utah having played at the Snowbird Jazz and Blues Festival in years past, it's been a while since Chick Corea has visited Salt Lake City and whenever he puts on an acoustic set it is worth checking out.

matt [at] saltshakermagazine.com

 

 
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