Selected by Dan Grunebaum

Tommy Flanagan Trio

Courtesy of Blue Note Tokyo

One of the last of a dying breed of old-school be-bop players, jazz pianist Tommy Flanagan and special guest saxophonist Phil Woods set up shop at the Blue Note Tokyo in the first week of June.

Emerging out of Detroit' dynamic jazz scene, Tommy Flanagan spent decades as a sideman, including an extended stint with Ella Fitzgerald, before emerging as the leader of his own trio in the '80s. Flanagan recorded with Harry "Sweets" Edison and Coleman Hawkins in the '60s before being chosen by Ella as her favored accompanist, a position he was to hold from 1963 to 1978.

Emerging from Ella's shadow, Flanagan began to make his mark as band leader and soloist during the '80s at the head of his own trio. His restrained and tasteful playing can be heard in recordings such as 1982's Giant Steps (Enja) and last year's Tommy Flanagan 3 (Pablo) just to name a few.

Joining Tommy Flanagan is Phil Woods, acknowledged as one of the modern masters of the alto saxophone. Studying at the Manhattan School of Music and Julliard in the late '40s, Woods cut his teeth with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Buddy Rich and Quincy Jones before launching his own projects. Since 1973 Woods has headed up the Phil Woods Quintet, which has pushed the limits of be-bop over the years.

Along with a May performance by Sonny Rollins, Flanagan and Woods' shows will demonstrate the stamina of jazz's remaining living masters, many of whom continue to maintain grueling touring and recording schedules well into their sixties and seventies.

Tommy Flanagan Trio plays the Blue Note Tokyo on June 5-10. See listings for details.

Concert Listings
394: Regurgitator
393: Art Garfunkel


392: Belle and Sebastian
391: Super Furry Animals
390: Ben Folds
389: Elton John
388: Dido
387: Papa Roach
386: Beast Feast 2001
385: Summersonic
384: David Sylvian
383: Maxi Priest & Big Mountain
382: Fuji Rock Festival 01
381: Roxy Music
380: Bo Diddley
379: John McLaughlin & Zakir Hussain in Remember Shakti
378: Paul Weller
377: Coolio
376: Backyard Babies
375: Marcus Miller
374: Black Crowes
373: Megadeath
372: Dionne Warwick
371: Arrested Development
370: Mouse on Mars
369: Duran Duran
368: Linkin Park
367: Maceo Parker
366: Japan Blues Carnival 2001
365: Ben Harper
364: Cheap Trick
363: Stephen Malkmus
362: Mogwai
361: Weezer
360: Marilyn Manson
359: Green Day
358: AC/DC
357: Richard Thompson
356: Bob Dylan
355: J. Mascis
354: Leigh Stephen Kenny
352/3: Limp Bizkit
351: Boyz II Men
350: Reef
349: Park Tower Blues Festival
348: Roni Size
347: Compay Segundo
346: Incognito
345: Jimmy Page and The Black Crowes
344: Bad Religion
343: Japan Soul Festival 2000
342: Rocktober 2000
341: Richard Ashcroft
340: Motorhead
339: Festival Halou
338: Ricky Martin
337: Taj Mahal
336: Asian Dub Foundation
335: Lou Reed
334: Earth, Wind & Fire
333: Sting
332: No Doubt
331: Camel
330: Fuji Rock: Smash Talks
329: Summer Sonic
328: Mt. Fuju Aid 2000
327: Salif Keita
326: Buena Vista Social Club
325: Bill Frisell
324: Maxi Priest
323: Lenine
322: Rage Against the Machine
321: Tommy Flanagan Trio
320: Smashing Pumpkins
319: Pet Shop Boys
318: Japan Blues Carnival
317: Gipsy Kings
316: Steely Dan
315: Pshish
314: Big Night Out
313: Femi Kuti and the Positive Force
312: Harry Connick Jr.
311: Sonny Rollins
310: Speech
309: Santana