It's short notice I know, but, folks, you'll want to hear this... Tomorrow night, the Free Bridge Quintet will welcome guest pianist Hod O'Brien to the stage of the University of Virginia's Cabell Hall for a celebration of the life and music of Dizzy Gillespie. The gig starts at 8:00, and, trust me, it's going to be terrific.
I've been singing the praises of both Hod, a charter member of "the underground of the jazz renowned," and the Free Bridgers for years. Hod was a major force in New York's jazz loft scene, in the '50s and '60s, and he's still a monster musician. Over the years, he's performed with the likes of Pepper Adams, Kenny Burrell, Oscar Pettiford, and Stan Getz, to name just a few. The members of the Free Bridge Quintet are all on the UVA's music faculty and are recording artists in their own right. (The Quintet's regular pianist, Wells Hanley, is on leave this semester.) Anyone within hailing distance of Charlottesville, Virginia -- and that includes both Washington, D.C., and Richmond -- will want to hear what these guys do with Dizzy's music.
For more information about the concert, contact UVA's music department box office at (434) 924-3376 or click here.
I'll leave with with this terrific sample of Hod's music-making. In this video, he's playing an impromptu duet with the great young pianist Gerald Clayton.
Hod O'Brien and Gerald Clayton at the Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, New York City, 2011.
Update, 22 October 2011: Just a few days ago, WTJU -- Charlottesville's fine listener-supported radio station -- interviewed Hod during one of it's jazz programs. It's great to hear him talk about Dizzy's music and about all the cats he's played with over the years. You can listen in, here.