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Jazz history was on display at the Saville Theater with the sold-out performance of the Mundell Lowe Quartet. One of the original participants in the Bebop revolution, Lowe's resume includes work experience with three of the most influential bandleaders in jazz: Charlie Parker, Benny Goodman, and Charles Mingus.

Most artists born in 1922 have either long passed or long retired. Judging from this gig, Lowe isn't considering either option. The passage of time hasn't diminished Mr. Lowes dexterity — he plays finger-burning arpeggios and stunning chord-melody passages with casual ease. His tone is full-bodied and his rhythm is full of swing and drive.

It didn't hurt his cause to have a San Diego all-star rhythm section supporting him. Mike Wofford on piano is a giant who's touch on the instrument reflects all of the masters. Bassist Gunnar Biggs has been a rock of the local jazz scene for 30 years, and drummer Jim Plank's complete control of the dynamics shaped the affair. They tore through versions of Parker's "Steeplechase" and "Scrapple from the Apple," but the highlight was their swinging performance of the seldom played Rodgers and Hart classic, "There's A Small Hotel."

  • Concert: Mundell Lowe Quartet
  • Date: July 13
  • Venue: Saville Theater, San Diego City College
  • Seats: general admission
  • Photo by A. Cecena
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