Harry S. Pariser

Harry S. Pariser

Born in 1930 in New York City, Theodore Walter "Sonny" Rollins has long been a fixture on the jazz scene, and he has been no stranger to the San Francisco Jazz Festival. Sonny appeared most recently in October, 2006 at the Masonic Auditorium in San Francisco. At the event, Milestone and Fantasy record producer Orrin Keepnews introduces him to the audience. Keepnews tells us how he had first met Rollins at the recording session for Thelonious Monk’s classic recording "Brilliant Corners."

Wearing purple flowing robes, Baaba Maal takes the stage at the Masonic Auditorium in San Francisco. Seated, he sings while accompanying himself on his six-string acoustic guitar. To his right sits his longtime accompanist and backup singer blind griot Mansour Seck, who - with his shaved head and orange flowing gown - resembles an elderly monk. Another backup singer, a female, sits to his left; she takes part of the lead in the second song which contains one English word: "San Francisco." The lo
The stage is set at San Francisco’s Herbst Theater for a rare appearance by Randy Weston and the Gnawa musicians of Morocco. On one side of the stage is Randy’s black grand piano. Behind it is a set of congas and percussion instruments. And to the right is an enormous Middle Eastern carpet laid atop a raised stand.

The occasion is a rare appearance by Randy Weston and musicians from Gnawa. The musicians ancestors were brought from West Africa - the name "Gnawa" being a corruption of "Ghan

The acoustics at San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral are superb. Constructed in 1928, Grace, the nation’s largest Episcopalian cathedral, was was finished only in 1964. Flags of many countries adorn the ceiling, and some of its gold-leaf paintings, when viewed from a distance, would not be out of place in a Buddhist temple. Solo jazz concerts at Grace are something of a tradition. Mavis Staples has performed here, and duos such as saxophonist Harold Lloyd with tabla percussionist Zakir Hussai

Henry Threadgill - clad in a long, caftan-style thin-red striped shirt which hangs down to his knees - brings his flute and alto sax to stage center at the Palace of San Francisco’s Fine Arts. To his rear, drummer Elliott Humberto Kavee sits in front of his drumkit. Acoustic guitarist Liberty Ellman, on acoustic guitar, is to Kavee’s right. Jose Davila, seated to Threadgill’s left with tuba in hand, is barely visible behind his music stand. Cellist Rubin Kodhell and cello/trombonist Dana

I first saw Keith Jarrett perform with a quartet at the Jazz Workshop in Boston in the early 1970s. At that time, having been introduced a few years back to jazz through Bitches Brew, I was interested in seeing performers who had played with Miles, and Keith filled that bill. I remember, in particular, his playing a small wooden xylophone. Years later, living in Kyoto, Japan, I borrowed several of the ECM solo records from Jonah, a theater student and fellow English teacher. I remember being

Page 5 of 5