Two jazz piano greats and a women’s jazz festival
There’s lots of jazz on deck this week, including master pianists Chick Corea and Brad Mehldau (both at Jazz Alley) and the first Seattle Women in Jazz Festival.
Two generations of jazz piano greats and a celebration of Seattle jazz women are on deck this week, as the great Chick Corea, 71, and Brad Mehldau, 42, both play Jazz Alley, and the inaugural Seattle Women in Jazz Festival kicks off at various venues.
Corea (second from right), perhaps weary of one-off collaborations and special projects, has formed and composed material for a crackerjack young band, the Vigil, featuring Tim Garland (reeds), Hadrien Feraud (bass), Marcus Gilmore (drums) and Charles Altura (guitar). Expect acoustic and electric music, including new work and some old favorites, plus the sound of Corea’s legendary Fender Rhodes sampled through his current synthesizer.
Mehldau, whose 2012 album “Where Do You Start” answered the title question by leading with Alice in Chains’ “Got Me Wrong,” continues to fold fresh repertoire into the stodgy jazz canon, always wrapping them with his crystalline touch and restless intelligence. Mehldau performs at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Corea at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Thursday-May 5, both at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley, 2033 Sixth Ave., Seattle; $40 (206-441-9729 or www.jazzalley.com).
The Emerald City boasts a strong if unheralded female jazz contingent. A first stab at celebrating those women features some strong acts, including trumpeter Samantha Boshnack’s band with the exceptional clarinetist Beth Fleenor and pianist Dawn Clement and, visiting from New York, vocalist Sarah Elizabeth Charles and her quartet. Part of the focus is youth, expressed this year with a $1,000 scholarship to 15-year-old Roosevelt High School freshman Eliana Colachis Glass, who sings, plays piano and guitar.
The festival gets under way at 7 p.m. Friday at the Rainier Valley Cultural Center and continues through Sunday at Egan’s Ballard Jam House, the Triple Door, the Vera Project and Lucid; $5-$15 per show (www.seattlewomeninjazz.com).
Paul de Barros, Seattle Times jazz critic