Jazz Beat: Brad Mehldau, Wallace Roney, Bill Laswell ...

Pianist's new album has geography theme; trumpeter signed to Stretch; remixer to take on Santana.

Oh, the places he's been. Pianist Brad Mehldau's new album Places, due Sept. 5 from Warner Bros., has a geographical theme. Each song is named after a location in which he's performed. With his trio-mates Larry Grenadier on bass and Jorge Rossy on drums, Mehldau wrote songs "Madrid, " "Los Angeles" and even "Airport Sadness." ...

Trumpeter Wallace Roney has signed to pianist Chick Corea's Stretch label and will release No Time for Argument in the fall. ...

Remix guru Bill Laswell, who has transmuted the work of artists ranging from Miles Davis to Bob Marley to Puccini, is next set to tackle the guitarisms of Santana. Look for a Columbia CD in October. ...

A Byrd's eye view. Trumpeter and educator Donald Byrd has lent many works from his extensive art collection to the University Gallery at the University of Delaware. Through Oct. 1 people can view artwork by Henry Ossawa Tanner, Charles White, Tyree Guyton, Jacob Lawrence and others at the exhibition called "Hear What I'm Seeing." For more information, see seurat.art.udel.edu/UDGallery/byrd/index.html. ...

More birds. Jeff Robinson, 27, will perform his one-person play "Live Bird," about the life of saxophonist Charlie Parker, on Sept. 28 at the Knitting Factory's Old Office in New York. The play is set in a Harlem bar where Parker looks back on his music and his past. Robinson plays several characters and performs some sax solos as well. For more information go to www.poetryjam.com/bird.htm. ...

In other theater news, the Tony Award-winning play "Side Man," featuring a son's memories of his wayward trumpet-playing dad, opens the San Jose (Calif.) Repertory Theatre's 2000–01 season Sept. 9 and runs through Oct. 8. For information, check out www.sjrep.com. ...

Free Sundays at the Downtown Music Gallery: Former Prima Materia saxophonist Louie Belogenis and sitarist Neel Murgai perform on Aug. 20, guitarist Joel Harrison and saxophonist Paul Hanson check in Aug. 27 and guitarists Hans Tamman and Kenta Nagai follow on Sept. 3. See www.dtmgallery.com/presents.htm for more information. ...

If you're stuck in Labor Day–weekend traffic — or not — consider tuning into your local National Public Radio station, which will broadcast live percussionist Poncho Sanchez, pianist Dr. John and others performing from the Ford Detroit International Jazz Festival. From 6–11 p.m. on Sept. 1–4, participating NPR affiliates will air some of the 125 performances that will take place on the Detroit waterfront. Other artists at the event include singers Nancy Wilson and Abbey Lincoln, trombonist Steve Turre, vibes man Stefon Harris and trumpeter Terence Blanchard. ...

Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis' Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra

begin their 2000–01 season Sept. 24 at New York's Avery Fisher Hall, with a performance of trombonist Wycliffe Gordon's new film score to the 1925 Oscar Micheaux silent film, "Body and Soul." The film features the screen debut of the great singer Paul Robson. Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Film Society of Lincoln Center are co-producing the event, which takes place during the New York Film Festival. For more information go to www.jazzatlincolncenter.org. ...

Black Entertainment Television announced Monday (Aug. 14) that it will begin webcasting its jazz videos, documentaries, concerts and movies via broadband applications. BET will use Broadserve to provide streaming television programs as well as on-demand programming. Only authorized members of Broadserve will have access to BET's online broadcasts. ...

Singer Nancy Wilson will be feted at "Women in Jazz — A Tribute to Nancy Wilson and the Women Legends of Jazz" on Sept. 12 at New York's Merkin Hall. Diane Schuur, The Savoy Swingers, Sherrie Maricle and the 15-piece all-women jazz band Diva will perform, and a host of female jazz luminaries will be in attendance, including singer Annie Ross, trumpeter Jean Davis, pianist Jane Jarvis and various members of the 1930s all-women band Sweethearts of Rhythm. Tickets are $60, but those coughing up $100 get to attend a 5 p.m. panel discussion led by pianist/educator Billy Taylor and hang out with many of the stars. Proceeds benefit Dress for Success New York, a nonprofit organization that helps find jobs for low-income women. Tickets are available at (212) 501-3330. ...

Saxophone great Charles Lloyd's new CD The Water Is Wide (ECM) hits stores next week with a juicy lineup of Brad Mehldau on piano, John Abercrombie on guitar, Larry Grenadier on bass and the incomparable Billy Higgins on drums. ...

Bela Fleck of Flecktones fame may be getting all the banjo attention these days, but when it comes to sheer flat-out virtuosity, there's no topping Tony Trischka, 51, who checks into the New York club Tonic on Aug. 29 for a rare gig. Lots of other great acts are at Tonic, too, for the rest of the month, pianist Myra Melford, cornetist Butch Morris and the Netherlands' amazing ICP Orchestra among them. Check out www.tonic107.com. ...

As a prelude to Ken Burns' 10-episode "Jazz" documentary, which premieres Jan. 8 on PBS stations, Columbia/Legacy and Verve Records are teaming up to release boatloads of CDs on Nov. 7 under the Jazz imprimatur. A five-CD box set will contain music drawn from the documentary, a single CD of music picked by Burns will deliver an overview of jazz history, and each label will release 11 artist compilation discs. That's a grand total of 28 discs. The music will be drawn not only from the Columbia and Verve vaults, but also from several other labels that licensed music to Jazz. ...

— sonicnet.com staff report