Tag Archives: patti littlefield

Birthday Celebration with Reed Maestro Arlen Asher

New Mexico is blessed with a generous helping of world-class musicians of all types, artists who could play on the world’s finest stages (some do) but choose to make their home here. Stellar reed man, educator, and award-winning broadcaster, Arlen Asher has been on that list for 59 years. Since his arrival here in 1958, Arlen has beguiled audiences with his beautiful tone and his silky lines on an arsenal of woodwinds that he hauls to just about every gig—flutes, saxophones (he once confessed that the bari is his favorite instrument), and clarinet. On May 7, Arlen turns 88, but age has not dimmed his passion for the music. On May 4, this consummate gentleman will celebrate his birthday—and the 83rd birthday of jazz fan and producer Bumble Bee Bob Weil—with a concert in the hall that bears Weil’s name at the Outpost Performance Space. I caught up with Arlen recently to talk about the upcoming gig, which will include pianist Jim Ahrend, bassist Colin Deuble, and drummer John Trentacosta, as well as guest vocalists Judy Christopher and Patti Littlefield. The quartet will reprise the concert at the Museum Hill Café in Santa Fe on May 6, with guest vocalists Susan Abod and Pam Jackson (guitarist Michael Anthony will replace Ahrend). Here are some of the highlights of our conversation. Continue reading

Opening the Opener: Patti Littlefield and John Rangel (With Update)

Patti Littlefield

Patti Littlefield

The New Mexico jazz audience has had this Thursday night marked on the calendar for weeks: the NEA Jazz Master vocalist Sheila Jordan and her bassist Cameron Brown will be opening the spring season at the Outpost Performance Space. That’s reason enough to get over there, but be sure you’re in your seat at 7:30, because you don’t want to miss the opening act: vocalist Patti
Littlefield and pianist John Rangel. We don’t get to hear either one of them often enough, and they will do
considerably more than just warm you up for Jordan. Continue reading

Littlefield and Asher on the Fire Escape

Vocalist Patti Littlefield can belt a tune hard enough to rattle the glassware behind the bar, and then she can drop down into her lubricious lower register to raise your interest in the possibility of illicit pleasures. Woodwind master Arlen Asher, jazz scholar and gentleman, long ago
discovered the avenues that lead from the mouthpiece to the human heart, and he travels them with what appears to be effortless ease, stripping away an audience’s defenses with a gentle and elegant lyricism.

These two fine musicians have held one another in high regard for years, but except for a
couple of tunes in jam sessions, they’ve never had the opportunity to play together. This
Thursday at the Outpost, they’ll finally remedy that, with help from Brian Bennett on piano, Michael Olivola on bass, and John Trentacosta on drums. The concert will be recorded, so come on out and whoop it up. Continue reading