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Jazz Legend Curtis Fuller Performs In Portland With Saphu Recording Artists, Wednesday, September 22nd.

Jazz Legend Curtis Fuller Performs One Night In Portland With:
Tony Pacini-piano, Ed Bennett-bass, Mel Brown-drums, at Jimmy Mak’s.

When: Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010
Tony Pacini-piano,
Renato Caranto-tenor sax,
Ed Bennett-bass,
Mel Brown-drums,
Jazz Legend Curtis Fuller-trombone.
Where: Jimmy Mak’s
221 NW 10th Avenue Portland, Oregon 97209
Time: 8:00pm-11:00pm
All ages welcome for the first set (8:00pm-9:30pm)
Advanced tickets $22 guaranteed seating / $20 general admission.
Tickets available at: www.ticketsoregon.com
Venue Info: 503-295-6542 www.jimmymaks.com

Sep. 15, 2010 | Featured | No Comments

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New Ed Bennett CD “En Route” Now Available.

New Ed Bennett CD, En Route, available September 2010New Ed Bennett CD, “En Route”, available September 2010. Ed Bennett, longtime bassist for Carmen McRae, (and Saphu Records CEO,) released his fifth title as bandleader Friday, September 3rd, 2010. “En Route” features Bennett’s clever be-bop flavored compositions penned for tenor sax and trumpet with three piece rhythm section – piano, bass, and drums.

The fresh sounds of  Bennett’s original compositions are be-bop influenced, but unique with twists in their harmonic progressions and unusual forms. The musicians on this record date, Paul Mazzio on trumpet and Flugelhorn, Scott Hall on tenor and soprano sax, Dan Gaynor on piano, and Todd Strait (former longtime drummer for vocalist Karrin Allyson), are a winning combination both as accompanists and soloists for Bennett’s originals.

10 original compositions from Ed are represented here, with an eleventh obscure standard present, “For Heaven’s Sake”.

The CD release party took place at Portland’s prestigious jazz club, Jimmy Mak’s on Friday, September 3rd. Portland jazz fans were delighted to hear the quintet perform live Bennett’s clever compositions. Additionally, fans were treated to a surprise guest appearance by vocal/jazz legend Nancy King who sat in on the second set. Please visit the Saphu Records Cd page to hear mp3 samples and purchase En Route online.

The Saphu Staff

“En Route” (title track) audio sample below:

Sep. 4, 2010 | Featured | No Comments

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Portland Jazz Audience Steps Out To Celebrate Two Birthdays.

TonyPacini-DanFaehnle-ChuckIsraels-BillHarris-DickBerkPianist Tony Pacini & legendary drummer Dick Berk celebrated their birthdays with gusto on Friday, May 28th. The event took place at Portland’s old-school jazz venue and supper club -  Wilf’s Restaurant and Bar.  The Tony Pacini Trio, (Tony Pacini on piano, Ed Bennett on bass, and Tim Rap on drums), set the mood by beginning with Pacini’s composition “Time To Swing” - available on Saphu Records. Throughout the first set, the Trio would exchange drummers shifting between longtime Tony Pacini Trio drummer Tim Rap, and legendary drummer Dick Berk (of Billie Holiday fame). At one point in the night, Rap played African hand drums while Berk was on the drum set.

Seating was limited at this year’s event as guest musicians, jazz media celebrities, and beloved Portland jazz fans turned up in droves to participate in the festivities. Additionally, K.M.H.D. Jazz Radio made their presence visible with Matt Fleeger (station manager), Kate Hutchens Clause (operations manager), and a plethora of on air hosts.

Have a taste of the Tony Pacini Trio ( the audio sample below is a preview of an upcoming Tony Pacini Trio Saphu release )

During the second set, musicians were invited up by Pacini to join the powerhouse rhythm section. Some highlights that captivated the SRO audience included the reunion of guitarist Dan Faehnle (formerly of the Diana Krall band) and Pacini performing Bobby Timmons’ tune “Dat Dare”, - an arrangement they both hadn’t played together since the mid 1990’s when they used to work weekly at a Portland jazz hotspot.

Longtime Portland jazz listeners were also treated to rare performances by Chuck Israels (of Bill Evans notoriety), and former Portland resident / vocalist Alyssa Schwary – who moved to Alaska in the 90’s. Schwary (on a family visit), left another lasting memory with Portland fans with her tender interpretation of “The Nearness Of You”.

Other guests included saxophonists Bill Harris, and Portland tenor sax favorite Lee Wuthenow, who performed a stellar rendition of “You’d Be So Nice To Come Home Too”, spontaneously arranged on the spot by Pacini’s trio. When the two birthday cakes were brought out, the room traditionally sang for Pacini and Berk, ate cake, and conversed musical thoughts socially.

- Saphu Staff June 1st, 2010

Photo courtesy of David Gates.

Jun. 1, 2010 | Featured, Live Events | No Comments

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Jazz Piano Great Hank Jones Dead At 91.

Obituary Notice Courtesy of N.P.R.
“Hank Jones, a jazz great, who played with everyone from Ella Fitzgerald to Charlie Parker to Marilyn Monroe, passed away on Sunday night, at a hospital in the Bronx. NPR’s Elizabeth Blair says Jones embodied elegance and versatility:
“Often dressed in a coat and tie, Hank Jones played in just about every setting imaginable: TV, Broadway, and recording sessions with all the jazz greats.”
Born in Mississippi, raised in Michigan, he was one of seven children in a very musical family that includes Thad, a trumpeter, and Elvin, a drummer.
Jones was 91 years old.” – By David Gura (NPR)

May. 17, 2010 | Featured | No Comments

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M.B.Q. (Mel Brown Quartet), Is A Band Of Bandleaders Who Blow The Stage Apart Every Wednesday Night at Jimmy Mak’s Jazz Club.

every_wednesdayM.B.Q. (Mel Brown Quartet), Is a band of bandleaders that blow the stage apart Every Wednesday Night at Jimmy Mak’s Jazz Club.
Read what Jazz Journalist / Radio Celeb George Fendel says about M.B.Q.;

“If mainstream jazz is your bag, the Mel Brown Quartet brings you bop, ballads, blues and scintillating originals making you glad you have ears! With over 100 years of collective experience, here’s a group that knows jazz and brings it boldly to the bandstand on every gig” - George Fendel

Saphu Record’s own staff writer Marci Maitland wrote in the liner notes of the (critically acclaimed) CD “Girl Talk”, the following biographical info: (read below)

“The Mel Brown Quartet came together in the fall of 2002 at Jimmy Mak’s, a popular jazz club in Portland, Oregon. All seasoned jazzmen the group has become a mainstay in the Portland jazz scene playing to enthusiastic, full capacity crowds at every appearance. The quartet, Tony Pacini on piano, Ed Bennett on bass, Dan Balmer on guitar and legendary drummer Mel Brown present on this recording a variety of tasty original compositions and fresh takes of time-honored standards in the jazz tradition.

The band members, all bandleaders in their own right, look forward to Wednesday night when the quartet performs at Jimmy Mak’s. Pianist/musical director Tony Pacini sets the stage for us: “Dan shows up with his guitar, Ed with his bass, Mel with his stickbag and I show up with my music and piano mic. Tonight the room looks full. Dan tells me he would like to play Ed’s tune Waltz For Theo (written for Ed’s youngest son). A fan comes up to me and asks how was my weekend. In response I pull from my book Girl Talk, a popular tune from the 60’s I had arranged that Sunday. Next I select Oldest Son, an original composition written for Mel by Dan. The band takes the stage. Bartender J.D. welcomes the audience promising an evening of world-class jazz. One of us counts the tune off; the band hits and here we go.” – Marci Maitland

Catch all the action Every Wednesday Night At:

Jimmy Mak’s Jazz Club ( Voted one of the top 100 places to listen to jazz in the world – Downbeat Magazine ).

221 N.W. 10th Avenue ( between Davis and Everett Streets )

Portland, Oregon 97209


8pm – 11:00pm (All ages welcome for the first set)

May. 17, 2010 | Featured, Live Events | No Comments

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