Jazz Beat: Dakota Staton, Al Grey, Billy Taylor ...

Blue Note to host benefit for singer who suffered a stroke last week.

Jazz singer Dakota Staton, 68, is

recovering from a stroke at New York's Columbia Presbyterian Hospital,

the New York Post reports. She was stricken last Thursday, and opened her eyes for the first time Monday, according to the Post. Staton was scheduled to perform at New York's Blue Note this week. On Monday, the club will host a benefit for Staton, featuring singers Abbey Lincoln, Carrie Smith,

Etta Jones,

color="#003163">Baby Jane Dexter and

color="#003163">Gloria Lynne. For more information, call the

Blue Note at 212-475-8592. ...

An all-star tribute to the late swing and bop trombonist

color="#003163">Al Grey will be held at 7:30 p.m. Sunday

(June 25) in New York's Saint Peter's Church. Grey died in Phoenix on

March 24. He was 74. Performers at the tribute will include trumpeter

Clark Terry, pianist

color="#003163">Norman Simmons, singer

color="#003163">Jon Hendricks, drummer

color="#003163">Max Roach and the

color="#003163">Trombone Choir, which consists of

color="#003163">Steve Turre, Slide

Hampton, Benny Powell,

Curtis Hasselbring, and

color="#003163">Ryan Porter. Speakers will include

vibraphonist Lionel Hampton, bassist

Milt Hinton, writer

color="#003163">Ira Gitler and festival impresario

color="#003163">George Wein. ...

Pianist and jazz educator Billy

Taylor, 78, has won the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music Award, which carries an unrestricted prize of $25,000. Taylor will receive the award at a Sept. 18 gala event at New York's Supper Club. All proceeds from the event will go toward student scholarships at the conservatory's schools. "In addition to his prolific and distinguished career as a composer, performer, author, broadcaster and educator, Dr. Taylor is an ambassador of jazz," said conservatory President David Rivel. "From his early days as house pianist at Birdland to his founding of the Harlem-based Jazzmobile, as well as his work as a recording artist and communicator, Billy Taylor's passion and dedication exemplify the very essence of this award." ...

Deluxe packager Mosaic Records has released two new box sets that

provide a glimpse into the dramatic stylistic innovations that occurred

in jazz after World War II as swing bands gave way to small combos.

The Complete Capitol Recordings of Woody Herman, a six-disc set,

features the Second and Third Thundering

Herd years between 1948 and 1956. These bands include the

"Four Brothers" — saxophonists Stan

Getz, Zoot

Sims, Al Cohn and

Serge Chaloff. The other set, The Complete Blue Note Horace Parlan Sessions, is a five-CD package that looks at the hard-bop pianist's first record dates in the early 1960s. Horace Parlan, who was a fixture in bassist Charles Mingus' band for two years starting in 1957, made his first record for Blue Note, Movin' and Groovin', in 1960. This set contains all his sessions for the label and features players such as guitarist

color="#003163">Grant Green and saxophonists

color="#003163">Booker Ervin and Stanley Turrentine. ...

Japanese composer Satoko Fujii

combines her Japanese jazz orchestra, East, with her American

one, West, for a double CD called Double Take, on East

Works. Fujii, a nominee for Best Composer at Saturday's Jazz Journalist

Awards, releases the set on July 11. Her American orchestra has in its

section New York players such as slide trumpeter

color="#003163">Steven Bernstein, saxophonist

color="#003163">Chris Speed and drummer

color="#003163">Aaron Alexander. ...

One blues legend out, another in: Buddy

Guy will replace John Lee

Hooker for the July 7 Living Legends of Blues II show at the

Montreal International Jazz Festival. Hooker canceled after his doctor

advised him not to travel. ...

Clarinet ace Don Byron has just

completed his third studio date for Blue Note, and not surprisingly for

the musical adventurer, it's a sharp departure from his last project,

which was a fairly straight-ahead jazz affair. On the

still-untitled forthcoming album, Byron explores the concept of modern

art songs, from operatic pieces to modern show tunes to R&B classics. An interesting array of singers join Byron, including Cassandra Wilson, Canadian cabaret sensation Patricia O'Callahan and art-jazz vocalists Mark Ledford and

color="#003163">Dean Bowman. The material ranges from

Wilson's interpretation of Steven

Sondheim's "The Ladies Who Lunch" to a duet with Ledford and

O'Callahan on Stevie Wonder's

"Creepin' " to Byron's instrumental reworking of Puccini's famous aria, "Nessun Dorma." Release date is Oct. 10. ...

Jazz guitar legend Larry Coryell

performs in San Francisco on June 24 with some Indian music masters:

sarodist Aashish Khan, flutist

Ronu Majumdar and percussionist

Swapan Chaudhuri. The show is at

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. For information, call 415-978-2787....

Saxophonist Joe Lovano is ready to

hit the studio to record Trio Fascination, Edition Two for Blue

Note. Edition One from 1998 featured one trio — Lovano with

bassist Dave Holland and drummer

Elvin Jones — but the

forthcoming disc will offer four radically different trios. Joining

Lovano will be bassist Cameron Brown and drummer Idris Muhammad, saxophonist Billy Drewes and drummer Joey Baron, pianist Kenny Werner and harmonica player Toots Thielemans and trumpeter

COLOR="#003163">Dave Douglas and bassist

COLOR="#003163">Mark Dresser. Look for an early spring

release. ...

Also in the studio for Blue Note — a studio in the French

countryside — is Jacky

Terrasson. The half-French pianist is recording an album of,

appropriately enough, French songs. The disc will feature some

up-and-coming French jazzers plus established French jazzer

COLOR="#003163">Bireli Lagrene on guitar and

COLOR="#003163">Stefon Harris, a vibist from the good ol'

U.S.A. ...

The Montreal Jazz Festival's free outdoor schedule has been announced:

350 free shows on 14 stages on and around the Place des Arts/Complexe

Desjardins esplanade. The festival runs June 29–July 9, and the

outdoor musical crossfire includes ska, Cuban, klezmer, '30s swing,

flamenco and blues, often in the same concert series. Artists include

serious American klezmer combo Brave Old

World (June 30), Morocco's Mel

M'Rabet synthesizing Andalusian and Arab music (July 1) and

former Lou Reed bassist

color="#003163">Yossi Fine's

color="#003163">Ex-Centric Sound System (July 6). Seven

genuine Louisiana-bred bands, including Rockie

Charles (June 29–30), The New

Birth Brass Band (July 3–4) and the

color="#003163">Sweet Petunias (July 8) lay down grooves from the Louisiana stage. The jazziest series goes on at the Contact stage, including two-night stands by pianist Andy Milne's Cosmic Dapp Theory (July 2–3) and the Jazz Mandolin Project (July 8–9). For more information, see www.montrealjazzfestival.worldlinx.com. ...

— sonicnet.com staff report