Still laying down solid walking bass lines, conducting master classes across the country and adding to the more than 40,000 photos he's taken of fellow performers, 83-year-old Milt Hinton embodies jazz history. Thanks to the joint sponsorship of SUM Arts, the jazz program at the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, the Allen Center and Cezanne jazz club, "The Judge" brings his musical and photographic legacy to Houston March 23-26.
Brought up on the Delta blues of the '20s, the Mississippi native was among the first to adapt the region's style (in which bass players used only bows and played only one note per chord change) to the "pluckin', pullin', slappin', stompin', swingin' " New Orleans manner of Bill Johnson, the bassist for legendary trumpeter King Oliver. Since then, Hinton, a star of Cab Calloway's band for 15 years, has performed with everyone who's anyone -- from the high and mighty (John Coltrane, Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker, Art Tatum, Coleman Hawkins, Billie Holliday) to the pedestrian and popular (Paul McCartney, Barbra Streisand, Guy Lombardo, Johnny Mathis, Jackie Gleason).
Hinton's four-day stay in Houston includes an opening reception at Allen Center on March 23 for a 50-photograph exhibition of his work (running through April 8), performances with HSPVA's jazz ensembles, and a clinic and shows at Cezanne, where he'll be joined by Dave Catney on piano and Sebastian Whittaker on drums. Owing to Hinton's tightly packed schedule, the sets will be held to about an hour each, giving the audience a chance to mingle with The Judge between shows.
-- Bill Levine
Milt Hinton performs at 9:30 and 11:30 p.m. Saturday, March 26 at Cezanne, 4100 Montrose, 522-9621. $15. For more information on the HSPVA shows (March 24 & 25) and clinic (March 26), call Bob Morgan at 522-9289; for info on the Allen Center exhibition, call Terri Daggett at 651-1515.
*Mojo Nixon at Fitzgerald's, Thursday, March 24
*Peglegasus at Rudyard's, Friday, March 25
*Greg Ginn and Rig at the Shimmy Shack, Friday, March 25
*Monte Warden at McGonigel's Mucky Duck, Saturday, March 26
*Dread Zeppelin at the Abyss, Wednesday, March 30
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