'Moving Picture': Trumpet legend to play at VJC

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BRATTLEBORO — Trumpet legend Tom Harrell will perform with his quartet at the Vermont Jazz Center on Saturday at 8 p.m. He is touring with pianist Danny Grissett, bassist Ugonna Okegwo and drummer Joe Dyson in support of their new release, "Moving Picture."

Although Harrell has recorded 30 discs as a leader, this current album is the first that features him as the sole horn in a quartet setting. Like Miles Davis before him, Harrell can most often be found in a quintet setting pairing him with a tenor saxophonist usually Wayne Escoffery, but, for this project, he has intentionally chosen to record and tour without another front-line instrument. This gives him room to work on unexplored textures and stretch out on his solos.

"I wrote the arrangements with the instrumentation of the quartet and the specific players in mind," writes Harrell in the liner notes. "There's a lot of ensemble writing on 'Moving Picture' — concerted writing with piano and trumpet as well as unison writing with bass and trumpet. I think this brings interest, as it is different from my writing for previous records. Then too, when I write a melody I think of it as something for the globe. I try to make it accessible for everyone and capable of being played or sung by any combination of instrument(s) or voice(s)."

Harrell is a truth-teller, mindful in his use of spoken language and the musical notes he chooses. He is regarded as one of jazz's top living trumpeters, an individual who has earned the deepest respect of his peers through his unpretentious mastery of the horn, self-discipline, prolific output, compositional prowess and prodigious talent. He was a touring member of ensembles led by Stan Kenton, Woody Herman, Azteca, the Horace Silver Quintet, The Sam Jones-Tom Harrell Big Band, the Lee Konitz Nonet, George Russell and the Mel Lewis Orchestra. He has recorded upwards of 300 albums including work with Lionel Hampton, Joe Lovano, Charlie Haden's Liberation Orchestra, David S nchez, Sheila Jordan and has appeared as a featured soloist on pianist, Bill Evans' final studio album.

Joining Harrell at the Vermont Jazz Center will be pianist Danny Grissett; they have been making music together now for over eight years. The bassist in the quartet is Ugonna Okegwo, who cut his teeth working with Junior Cook, James Spaulding and Jon Hendricks. The group's drummer, Joe Dyson, began his professional career performing in his father's New Orleans church with other family members. He attended Berklee College of Music on a full scholarship and has studied with Donald Harrison, Alvin Batiste, Clyde Kerr, Herlin Riley, Chico Hamilton, Adonis Rose and Jerry McGowan among others.

The show is co-sponsored by Dave Ellis and Ann Greenawalt, of Ellis Music, and Diana Bingham. VJC receives ongoing support from the Vermont Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, Hampton Inn of Brattleboro.

Tickets for The Tom Harrell Quartet at the Vermont Jazz Center are $20 general admission, $15 for students with I.D. Contact VJC about educational discounts. They are available at In the Moment in Brattleboro, or online at www.vtjazz.org, by email at ginger@vtjazz.org. Tickets can also be reserved by calling the Vermont Jazz Center ticket line, 802-254-9088, ext. 1. Handicapped access is available by calling the VJC at 802 254 9088.


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