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Kate Schulte Tribute Returns to Columbus in September With Strongest Lineup Yet

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by Richard Sanford on May 18, 2016

One of the things Columbus does best is transmuting our pain into something positive and life-sustaining. Long time poet, trombonist, and bandleader Michael Vander Does outdid himself in 2012 when the Kate Schulte Foundation started to honor attorney and civil rights activist Kate Schulte and its tributes at Hot Times Festival and venues around town. Every year since then they’ve brought Edward “Kidd” Jordan, the tribute’s (now emeritus) artist-in-residence. One of the titans of the saxophone who’s played with everyone from R&B legends Larry Williams and Professor Longhair to avant-gardists Fred Anderson and William Parker to rock band R.E.M (on their Out of Time record), at 81 Jordan still plays with a fire few can compete with and his vocal tone is undiminished. For this, the 5th year of the tribute, they’re bringing a lineup September 7th through 11th that would be the envy of any city. Read on for the press release, a review of the new record from the 2014 tribute, and videos about the foundation.

The press release from the foundation:

This could be happening in New York or at Montreux or in Montreal, but in Columbus??? YES!!!

The 5th Annual Hot Times Kate Schulte Tribute features an all-star line-up of free jazz giants – FIVE of them – to celebrate the 5th Annual Tribute. Oliver Lake and Hamiet Bluiett of the World Saxophone Quartet. D.D. Jackson, collaborator with the Roots and composer for peg+cat. New Orleans trumpet extraordinaire Marlon Jordan. And the return of artist-in-residence Kidd Jordan. All on one stage. With The Jazz Poetry Ensemble. All at the same time. This concert series will be a phantasmagorically mind-blowing rhythm-pounding horn-blowing wild ride.

Three performances! – all completely different!

  • Notes: 520 S High St, Wednesday, Sept 7. An intimate club show featuring spontaneous composition. Tickets on sale soon.
  • Dick’s Den: 2417 N High St, Friday, Sept 9. The best jazz value in the world. Five jazz giants in Columbus’s best dive bar and most venerable jazz destination. Four bucks cover.
  • The Hot Times Festival: Main and Parsons, Sunday, Sept 11. The culmination of the Tribute: a FREE concert at Columbus’s friendliest neighborhood festival.


And a workshop at Capital University on Friday, September 9. Open to the public.

Visit the 2016 Hot Times Kate Schulte Tribute page for more information.

Mark your calendars! Get ready to make your reservations for the show at Notes! Could be legendary!

For a small taste of what the Kate Schulte Foundation has brought to Columbus and what the Jazz Poetry Ensemble does with these heavyweights, look no further than a record released last year. Thanamattapoeia, The Jazz Poetry Ensemble’s document of Kidd Jordan’s visit for the 2014 Hot Times Kate Schulte Tribute recorded live at Natalie’s Coal Fired Pizza and Live Music, is a treasure.

An immaculate portrait, recorded impeccably with live sound by Corey Lynn Carter translated to disc by producer Greg Ward, of the soulful, melodic side of free jazz. This album features some of Columbus’ best players lighting up and growing wings in the presence of one of the true legends of American music, Edward “Kidd” Jordan.

Divided into two suites, the record begins with Thamamattapoeia. The first movement, “bluesisthebottom@bottomistheblues,” features Jordan leading the group in a slow, sultry simmer that builds to a gorgeous swirl of his tenor and Burleson’s spiky string bending shooting through the proceedings like lightning connecting Jordan’s heavens with the earthy foundation of Roger Hines’ bass and Roger Myers’ drums. The rhythm section owns the second movement, “Tall Tales of America.” Hines throbbing, insistent bass work is the spine of this piece with Myers’ dark drums and intersections from Jordan unearthly vocal tone. The eponymous movement of Thamamattapoeia starts with Vander Does’ trombone in aching duet with Jordan as the band fills in the backdrop without ever stepping on one another. This concluding piece builds in intensity until it reveals a laser-focused ecstatic cry, crescendoing and falling behind Vander Does’ tribute to Allen Ginsberg:  a poem of loss, thanatosis and the articulation of sound with a reach wide enough to hold the world, like Ginsberg’s own work.

The second suite here, A. Curassavica, opens with the delightful “Marlene Dietrich and James Earl Jones in ‘Black Casablanca.’” This piece opens with a grinding swagger then turns into something darker, shadowy and chaotic. Jordan’s horn pushes at the limits of the frame, egged on by Burleson’s acidic intersections and staccato runs. The second movement here, “Mexican Bloodflower,” also features Vander Does’ poetry, soothing through memory and loss in concrete detail, sharply observed. Tasteful backing turns into improbably funky dance music in the transitions between spoken verses. Everyone stretches out as the memory expands, like a deep breath rippling through the rest of the band. Hines’ guides the band through these sections with strum-heavy bass work that reminded me of Charlie Haden. Darker inflections flit through the edges, appropriate for an elegy, and with particularly good guitar work from Burleson, all evocative smudges and refracted light. Jordan echoes lines like “Wandering the ruins /when there were no ropes / No light but moonshine,” without ever feeling like underlining. Aa dark as the music and the text get, it never stops being a celebration of life, the life gone and the ones that go on.

A brief retrospective:

The mission of the foundation:

A glimpse of the 2012 tribute:

 

 

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