All That Jazz

Jazz people love labels. They just can’t help themselves. That’s probably because their music defies explanation and often challenges logic. Ask Gerry Malkin, the 63-year old tenor sax player, who calls his ensemble “post bop.” Hard to explain, he told me. He used the old Alec Baldwin line: “it’s complicated.”  He threw out themes like stretching harmonies and aggressive interpretation of bebop. Finally, he invoked Coltrane, and then, I sort of kind of understood what I might be hearing on Friday night, September 5th from 8-10:30pm, when he sells out the house at the Arts Exchange with pals and peers whom he called “the best musicians in the area. Everyone in the band is a major solo artist.” Take guest artist Scott Wendholt of Nyack. He’s the lead jazz trumpet in the Carnegie Hall Jazz Ensemble who will be jamming with The Gerry Malkin Jazz Collective made up of bass player Mike McGuirk, pianist Jeff Tittson, guitarist Chris Morrison and drummer Bobby Leonard and, of course, Gerry.

But that’s not all. There are nine jazz performances spread over six days… all part of Jazz Fest in White Plains. Check out cabaret singer Alysa Haas at the Arts Exchange on Thursday, September 4th from 8-10:30pm, and then on Saturday, September 6th at the WPPAC, The Blue in Green Project: A Tribute to Miles Davis will be presented by ArtsWestchester and White Plains Performing Arts Center (WPPAC) in its the 400-seat theater, starting at 8pm. The ground-breaking sounds and styles of Miles Davis will be rendered by guitarist Wali Ali, pianist Bob Baldwin, saxophonist Ray Blue, bassist Harvie S, trumpeter Antoine Drye and drummer Tony Jefferson.

Those interested in catching the ArtsWestchester and WPPAC performances might consider purchasing a Jazz Pass. New this year, a Jazz Pass will grant the holder access to all three ticketed Jazz Fest events at a discounted rate. Limited to the first 50 purchasers, buying a Jazz Pass will allow the holder to attend performances by Alysa Haas and The Gerry Malkin Jazz Collective at ArtsWestchester on Thursday and Friday, September 4 and 5, in addition to The Blue in Green Project: A Tribute to Miles Davis at WPPAC on Saturday, September 6 – for just $50 per Jazz Pass. Be there or be square.

Photo: Gerry Malkin

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