Sunday, October 14, 2012

Brian Settles Presents The Music of Dewey Redman

The "Take 5" series of early evening concerts held at the Kogod Courtyard at the Museum of American Art in Washington DC continues on Thursday October 18 with a performance by Brian Settles who will be exploring the music of Dewey Redman. The free concert starts at 7:00PM and runs until the Museum closes at 7:00PM.

Brian Settles performing with Freddie Redd and Butch Warren at the
Smithsonian American Art Museum's Kogod Courtyard in July, 2012
Brian Settles may be the DC Tenor Saxophonist of the moment. The DC native is quite a presence on the local jazz scene. His first album as a leader with his band Central Union, Secret Handshake (Engine Studio), was selected by Capital Bop, as the best new DC jazz album of 2011. Talking about that recording and settles, Capital Bop observes, "Anyone who’s spent a reasonable amount of time hearing live jazz in the District over the past few years knows Settles, whether by name or not, as the slight, quietly ubiquitous gentleman who’s always stepping out of the shadows at somebody else’s gig and knocking the audience out of its seats. His solos tend to be quick, 90-second cabochons that slither and whisper, never insisting on your attention so much as requiring it."

Secret Handshake is a remarkable recording that reveals new pleasures every time I listen to it. Settles can swing in a straight-ahead fashion, but he is at home in a more exploratory vein. His choice to present the music of Dewey Redman is a fascinating one. Redman was best known for his associations with Ornette Coleman and Keith Jarrett (Jarrett's celebrated American Quartet), and also a member of Old Dreams, New Dreams with fellow Ornette alumni Don Cherry, Charlie Haden and Eddie Blackwell.  Capital Bop observed that Redman also "wrote and performed acerbic original music that incorporated the musics of West Africa and India." 

On October 18, Settles will be presenting his arrangements of Redman's original compositions which should provide for some compelling listening. This is the second in a series of 5 concerts in which the Smithsonian will have local DC talent playing compositions of jazz legends. In September, Donvonte McCoy did a wonderful presentation on the music of Lee Morgan. The series will take a hiatus in November and December, returning January 17 when Elijah Jamal Balbed will present some of the early compositions of Wayne Shorter.  Capital Bop had an excellent overview of this particular series of performances, 

Here is Brian Settles performing as part of a group led by Freddie Redd and Butch Warren.

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