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Talking All the Jazz

By: Jerry Anderson III

Date Posted: 1999-05-01

Marked by a strong but flexible rhythmic infrastructure with solo and ensemble improvisations on basic tunes, chord patterns and a highly sophisticated harmonic idiom - now that's jazz. A great exponent of all that jazz is Verve Forecast recording artist Mark Whitfield, soon to visit Okinawa. His range extends from traditional jazz standards to smooth contemporary jazz, which puts him in an elite group of jazz giants.

Combining what often seems to be complex rhythm arrangements with the grace and tranquillity of a gentle spring breeze, Whitfield appears to effortlessly connect with his Gibson guitar. In the tradition of jazz guitar greats - George Benson, Earl Klugh and Peter Bernsteins - Whitfield collaborates with some of today's most respected names in jazz, such as bassist Christian McBride, drummer Jack DeJohnette and pianist Stephen Scott to name a few. Releasing such critically acclaimed CD's as "Patrice," "True Blue" and "7th Ave. Stroll," this jazzman is a legend in-waiting. One of his songs to listen for, and one of my favorites, is his rendition of "Harlem Nocturne."

You can catch Mark Whitfield on the menu as the main entrée performing live at Club Chesty's May 8. Also appearing as appetizers are newcomer jazz guitarist and Venus recording artist Calvin Edwards, Okinawan jazz artist Yasuaki Morita and local variety group Ultimate Satisfaction. It all kicks-off at 8pm. Tickets are $25 each and are available from MCCS.

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