By Owen McNally
Yale School of Music Professor Willie Ruff, the noted music maven, founder, artistic director and eminence grise behind Yale’s distinguished Ellington Jazz Series, regularly presents a wide spectrum of premier jazz stylists without compromising Duke Ellington’s personal credo that the art of swing is an eternal verity for the music. Right in line with Duke’s pre post-modernist aesthetic of the meaning of soul, grit and groove is the hard-swinging, deeply expressive modern jazz pianist David Hazeltine, who leads his trio at 8:00 pm Thursday, January 16, at the series’ classy roost in Morse Recital Hall at Sprague Hall, 470 College Street in New Haven.
If you love Cedar Walton and Tommy Flanagan, you’re sure to dig Hazeltine, a charter member of One for All, the blue-ribbon, hard bop sextet featuring, among other worthies, West Hartford’s Steve Davis on trombone. Hazeltine is joined by two superb, simpatico swingers, the redoubtable double bassist George Mraz, who doubles on alto saxophone, and drummer Billy Drummond.
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