Mixed Me­dia The Frank Mor­gan Taos Jazz Fes­ti­val

Pasatiempo - - PASATIEMPO -

Bob Dor­ough, Grace Kelly, Lorca Hart, and Reg­gie Austin are the head­lin­ers at the sec­ond an­nual Frank Mor­gan Taos Jazz Fes­ti­val, Nov. 16-19. The event, pre­sented by the Taos Be­bop So­ci­ety and spon­sored by the Taos Inn, is held in trib­ute to the late, great sax­o­phon­ist who lived in Taos in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Mor­gan, a na­tive of Min­neapo­lis, moved to Los An­ge­les as a teenager and by the early 1950s was gig­ging and record­ing with Kenny Clarke, Lionel Hamp­ton, and Milt Jack­son. He was a devo­tee of an­other alto sax­o­phon­ist, the be­bop in­no­va­tor Char­lie “Bird” Parker, and un­for­tu­nately also picked up Parker’s jones for heroin. Mor­gan was in­car­cer­ated for decades in San Quentin State Prison, but he kept up his chops mak­ing mu­sic with sax­o­phon­ists Art Pep­per and Dex­ter Gor­don, and even had a band. N.C. Heikin, direc­tor of the 2014 film Sound of Redemp­tion: The

Frank Mor­gan Story, told the Taos News that the con­vict jazz combo was so good that tick­ets to their shows — in the prison — were a hot item in the Bay Area. In the mid-1980s, Mor­gan kicked the ad­dic­tion and pro­duced more than a dozen vi­tal al­bums — Ma­jor Changes with McCoy Tyner and

Quiet Fire with Bud Shank are two of the best — be­fore his death in 2007. The fes­ti­val opens with a free con­cert by pi­anist Austin, an old friend of Mor­gan’s; drum­mer Hart (the son of leg­endary drum­mer Billy Hart); and Santa Fe bass player Andy Zadrozny. The trio plays from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Wed­nes­day, Nov. 16, at the Taos Inn (125 Paseo del Pue­blo Norte). At 7 p.m. on Thurs­day, Nov. 17, there will be a free screen­ing of the 2015 doc­u­men­tary What Hap­pened, Miss Si­mone? about singer, pi­anist, and ac­tivist Nina Si­mone at the Taos Com­mu­nity Au­di­to­rium, Taos Cen­ter for the Arts (145 Paseo Del Pue­blo Norte). Con­tri­bu­tions are grate­fully ac­cepted.

Singer and pi­anist Dor­ough ap­pears in con­cert on Fri­day, Nov. 18, at the Har­wood Mu­seum of Art (238 Le­doux St.). A vet­eran of work with Blos­som Dearie, Phil Woods, and Miles Davis, Dor­ough per­forms in Taos with Si­mone’s gui­tarist, Al Schack­man; drum­mer Lorca Hart; and bassist Ed­ward Har­ring­ton of Las Ve­gas, New Mex­ico. The con­cert be­gins at 7 p.m. Tick­ets are $20-$25; call 575-758-9826 to re­serve.

On Satur­day, Nov. 19, the Grace Kelly Quar­tet per­forms. The dy­namic young sax­o­phon­ist and singer plays with pi­anist Josh Nel­son, Hart, and Har­ring­ton at 7:30 p.m. at Taos Mesa Brew­ing (20 ABC Mesa Road, El Prado). Tick­ets, $18-$25, are avail­able from www.hold­myt­icket.com/ tick­ets/257999. For more in­for­ma­tion about the fes­ti­val, call 575-758-3147 or see www.taos­jazz.org. — Paul Wei­de­man

Frank Mor­gan

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