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The State of Jazz

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Jay Blakesberg

Horn of Plenty: Tenor saxophonist Dave Ellis is one of the best of the new jazz breed.

Some of California's finest young players are on hand for the Left Coast Jazz Fest this weekend

By Nicky Baxter

MODERN-JAZZ FANS often fantasize about jazz festivals that aren't cluttered up with legions of old guys stuck in Jurassic jazzland, Dixieland or some equally irrelevant place and sound. BlueVision aims to offer a dream come true for the Bay Area's jazz cognoscenti. The Left Coast Jazz Fest (Sept. 12­16) brings together some of California's top cutting-edge performers. Over the course of four days, Cali jazz in at least some of its manifold splendor will find its way into San Francisco's coolest venues, including Cafe Du Nord, the Elbo Room and Bimbo's 365 Club.

It will be hard to turn a deaf ear to a bill that encompasses boundary-stretching acts like Ati Iroko's Latin Jazz Sextet and the alternative jazz of the B-Sharp Quartet. Of the raft of acts slated, B-Sharp boasts the highest profile. With a couple of well-received recordings under its belt, the quartet has managed to stay one step ahead of the taggers. B-Sharp comes with a variety of flavors, some neo-old, some neo-new, but always something sharp.

The extensive and eclectic lineup also includes the quintet of under-30 wunderkind saxophonist Dave Ellis; the Broun Fellinis; the spoken-word outfit Telefunken; Los Angeles hepster/dancer/ choreographer Toledo; and the Greyboy All-Stars.

The Left Coast Jazz Fest takes place Sept. 12­16 in various locations in San Francisco. Tickets are $5­$15. Call 415/267-5975 for details.

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From the September 12-18, 1996 issue of Metro

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Copyright © 1996 Metro Publishing, Inc.

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