A FINE DAY FOR JAZZ: The jazz concert seasons in town have been announced, and it’s a fine time to make the ceremonial trip to the calendar, Sharpies in hand (or mouse in palm). For the past many years now, Santa Barbara jazz fans have found much to rejoice about in the concert offerings at UCSB’s Campbell Hall and the historic Lobero Theatre (though the naturally greedy among us would like twice as many per year). In all, it looks like another strong jazz season, validating ongoing bragging rights in Santa Barbara, considering the size of the town, as a stop for important names in America’s Greatest Music.
In what has become a heartening tradition, and something of an unofficial jazz season launch pad, Dave Brubeck returns for his annual visit to the Lobero Theatre on Monday, August 27. Volume and intensity increases with the long-awaited return to town of the great guitarist John McLaughlin, who last appeared at the Lobero in his Brazilian-tinged project Belo Horizonte about a generation ago. This time, he brings his super-charged band the 4th Dimension (Thursday, September 20), on the eve of the 50th annual Monterey Jazz Festival, where the band is featured.
In 2008, the guitar focus continues with another living great, Bill Frisell, in duet with longtime ally Joey Baron on drums (Saturday, January 12). Frisell’s concert in the Lobero a few years back still tickles the memory nicely: his organic and chance-fueled musicality seems ideally suited to this room. Drummer Roy Haynes, the youngest oldster around, brings his quartet to the Lobero on Friday, January 18, and the SF JAZZ Collective - now fortified with the new blood of Joe Lovano on tenor sax, Dave Douglas on trumpet, and Stefon Harris on vibes - performs its tribute to Wayne Shorter to close the “Lobero Jazz” series on Thursday, March 20, another juicy one.