The Jazz Futures--one of several spark-plug groups likely to cause a stir at this weekend's 13th annual Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl--isn't your typical all-star jazz ensemble put together for summer festivals.
These eight musicians--including some of the most high-profile young players in jazz--have worked together in a variety of contexts.
The group consists of trumpeters Roy Hargrove and Marlon Jordan, saxophonists Antonio Hart and Tim Warfield, guitarist Mark Whitfield, pianist Benny Green, bassist Christian McBride and drummer Carl Allen.
Green, McBride and Allen form Green's current trio, which just released an album titled "Greens" on Blue Note Records.
Hart is in Hargrove's band, Warfield has recorded with Jordan, and McBride--who, at 19, is the youngest of the musicians--has performed with Whitfield and Hargrove.
"There's good chemistry and everyone gets along," says Green, 28, perhaps the most seasoned member of the band. "So far there are no hazards, like Mark (Whitfield) and I are not getting in each other's way and there's a friendly spirit between the two trumpet players, and so on. We're inspiring each other."
Other acts at Saturday and Sunday's sold-out festival deserving special attention are drummer Elvin Jones--who is a virtual father-figure among modern jazz drummers--and bandleader Toshiko Akiyoshi, who is making a rare appearance with her widely admired orchestra and will also appear Monday at Catalina Bar & Grill in Hollywood.
The Saturday program begins at 2:30 p.m. and is expected to end around 11 p.m.
Here are the acts in order of appearance: Long Beach Polytechnic Vocal Choir; the Re-Birth Brass Band; Elvin Jones; Playboy emcee-drummer Bill Cosby & Friends; the Harper Brothers, with organist Jimmy McGriff; singer Miriam Makeba, with guest trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie; the Duke Ellington Orchestra; singer Dianne Reeves; contemporary jazz group Spyro Gyra and singer Ray Charles.
The Sunday program is expected to run from 2 to 10:30 p.m. The acts: Hennessy Cognac Jazz Search winner Henry Gibson Jr., Cuban expatriate trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, the Jazz Futures, mandolinist Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Toshiko Akiyoshi's Jazz Orchestra, singer Ruth Brown, Tower of Power, guitarist John McLaughlin's trio, trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, Dizzy Gillespie United Nation Orchestra, and the Neville Brothers.
Rim Shots: Saxophonist Harold Land, whose lengthy career has included performances with the Clifford Brown-Max Roach quintet and Gerald Wilson's Orchestra, has been voted the Los Angeles Jazz Society's 9th annual Tribute award. It will be presented at a ceremony on Sept. 15. . . .
The Modern Jazz Quartet, singer Nancy Wilson, guitarist Herb Ellis and the Yellowjackets headline at the new Jazz Aspen, a festival held in Aspen, Colo., June 21-23. Information: (800) 525-8955.