San Francisco Jazz Collective
Saturday, March 24, Overture Center's Overture Hall, 8 pm
In less than four years, the San Francisco Jazz Collective has become one of the country's premier jazz ensembles. It's led by saxophonist Joshua Redman and features jazz luminaries like bluesy vibraphone innovator Bobby Hutcherson and trumpeter Dave Douglas, Downbeat's 'trumpeter of the year' in 2006. Each year the members of this remarkable octet celebrate the work of a modern jazz composer and also produce eight new compositions apiece. In other words, they diverge significantly from Wynton Marsalis' larger, more conservative Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.
This year the collective is focusing on the music of pianist Thelonious Monk, whose deliberate, utterly individual approach to composition and the keyboard transcended bebop and helped define what it was to be a modern artist post-World War II. No doubt the collective's members will stretch themselves as they probe Monk's unique sense of melody, dissonance and rhythm as well as his wry sense of humor. This is definitely not a band of starched-collared chart readers.
After a final string of dates in Europe this summer, the 66-year-old Hutcherson will leave the group and reportedly dial down his touring schedule for good. Redman, whose original compositions for the group have been singled out for praise, will also take what may become a permanent leave of absence at the end of this year and turn the collective over to saxophonist Joe Lovano. So this is the only opportunity local jazz fans will have to catch this iteration of the collective here in Madison.