Honolulu Jazz Quartet releases live album, including 9/11 tribute

Carol Banks Weber, Jazz Music Examiner

Posted:  06/27/2011 11:40 PM


The Honolulu Jazz Quartet heads to Gordon Biersch at the world-famous Aloha Tower Marketplace July 20, 6:30 p.m., to celebrate the release of their newest album, “Honolulu Jazz Quartet – Remembrance / Live at the Triple Door,” as well as their 10th anniversary performing as a group.

Their newest, and third album contains a special track entitled, “Remembrance,” from their first, 2001 recording, and also   found -- in instrumental form -- in their 2004 debut album, “Sounds   Of The City.” “Remembrance” was written by HJQ band leader/bassist John Kolivas in honor of those struck and affected by 9/11. “Remembrance” was first conceived by Kolivas as a somber, poignant instrumental of piano and horns, and later, was enlivened with thoughtful lyrics penned by his    co-producing brother Robert Pennybacker. When the band    first put out "Remembrance" in 2001 as a recording, it was     with the lovely Full Story >>


Honolulu Jazz Quartet releases live album, including 9/11 tribute



Jazz Improv Magazine (V7N3)

Review by Paul Sakion



TENACITY - HJQ Records 2007.

Tenacity, Real Old Style, Midlife, "The Indians," Honolulu Hang, Wayne's Bounce,

Chillin' at the Crib, The Keez is in the Car, Are We There Yet?

PERSONNEL: John Kolivas, bass; Tim Tsukiyama, tenor and soprano saxophone; Dan Del Negro, piano; Adam Baron, drums

      Jazz and Honolulu? What ever happened to island breezes, Hula music, and endless miles of perfect beaches?

 How can jazz be thriving without the grit and intensity of a New York or Los Angeles scene?

It ain't easy, but the Honolulu Jazz Quartet (HJQ) has been making it happen

 for over six years through hard work and Tenacity, their second album


Encouraged by national acclaim for their first album, Sounds of the City,

and the attention of jazz writer Nat Hentoff (Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and many others),

HJQ showcases the compositional and improvisational skills of four top session players.

Kolivas' talents particularly shine in varied pieces such as the title track

"Tenacity", "Midlife", "'The Indians'", "Wayne's Bounce",

and "The Keez is in the Car" (named for pianist Geoffrey Keezer).


Other tracks, such as "Honolulu Hang" by Del Negro, could just have easily been named

"Brooklyn Hang" with its Afro-Cuban feel, soaring sax lines, and exciting piano improvisations.

Closing out the album, Tsukiyama's "Are We There Yet?" combines his

smooth sax work with an underlying funky groove to great effect.


Overall, Tenacity has staying power. Listen to it straight through or get it "a la shuffle"

and you'll find it to be an excellent experience.

Better yet, escape the mainland and enjoy HJQ in Honolulu.

You might find jazz just as enjoyable with a warm ocean breeze drifting through a

Waikiki nightspot, and the only umbrella you will need will be in your Mai Tai!


Review by John Berger:

ISLAND MELE - November 9, 2001, Honolulu Star-Bulletin Section D6,

Honolulu Jazz Quartet
Kolivas Productions

"The Sept. 11 attacks hit John Kolivas hard. His years in New York were some of the happiest in his life. Adding to the impact was the fact that his wife worked for two years on the 59th floor of One World Trade Center. This CD-single is his requiem for victims and their survivors. (A portion of proceeds go to the New York State World Trade Center Relief  Fund.) It's a superb debut by his Honolulu Jazz Quartet as well.

Vocalist Anita Hall joins the HJQ in a hauntingly beautiful expression of loss and solace. Hall's rendering of poet Robert Pennybacker's lyrics is exquisite, and the HJQ supports her perfectly. "Deanna," a melody Kolivas wrote for his wife, is lighter and gives each member of the group - Kolivas (bass), Dan Del Negro (piano), Richie Pratt (drums) and Tim Tsukiyama (sax) - room to move."

(end of review)





Honolulu Jazz Quartet

"The Honolulu Jazz Quartet - through its performances at the Hawaii International Jazz Festival, the Honolulu Symphony Pops, and jazz venues throughout Hawaii - is ready to be recognized in jazz scenes throughout the world, as is manifestly, invigoratingly evident in 'Sounds of the City' and now 'Tenacity.'"

 - Nat Hentoff, author "Jazz Is", "The Jazz Life", Listen to the Stories", and "American Music Is"


HONOLULU JAZZ QUARTET Releases Debut CD: "Remembrance", A Tribute to The
Victims Of The World Trade Center Tragedy

Led by Honolulu bassist John Kolivas, the HONOLULU JAZZ QUARTET has just released their debut CD, entitled "Remembrance". The title song, with music by Kolivas and lyrics by his brother Robert Pennybacker, is a tribute to the victims of the September 11th World Trade Center tragedy and their families and loved ones. The bossa nova jazz composition is sung by Honolulu vocalist Anita Hall. Says Kolivas: "New York has always been a special place for me. It's paradise for a musician. Moving there from Hawaii at age 21 was a dream come true. My eight years in the Big Apple were some of the happiest and most fulfilling years in my life: playing on Broadway, playing jazz, attending my brother Nick's graduation from New York University and dinner to follow at Windows on the World. I proposed to Deanna, my wife
of 12 years, at the Tavern on the Green in Central Park, and I found my spirituality--all in New York City. What happened on September 11th was devastating to all of us. My wife worked on the 59th floor of One World Trade Center for two years. We wept as we thought of all those victims--real people, their families and friends. Fortunately for me, I had an outlet. Writing music became a therapeutic exercise which helped me deal with the tragedy. My brother, Robert Pennybacker, a poet and TV director, upon hearing the melody played by the HJQ, offered his creative
input in the form of lyric, and "Remembrance" was born."

A portion of the proceeds from the CD sales will be donated to the
families of the victims of the September 11th attack. (the first $300
gross sales will be sent directly to the New York State World Trade Center Relief Fund in Albany, New York, to add to the $100 already sent by the HJQ from the proceeds of our September concert. After that, a percentage will be sent to the fund.) All those involved in the production of "Remembrance" hope that the CD will be a source of healing for those touched by the tragedy.

The second cut on the 2 track CD is "Deanna", another Kolivas original composition, this time an instrumental highlighting the talents of Kolivas, pianist Dan Del Negro, saxophonist Tim Tsukiyama, and drummer Richie Pratt.

Kolivas received creative input on the production of the CD from Hawaii recording artist Kapono Beamer, a long-time collaborator with Kolivas.

"Because of the beauty of her singing voice," says Kolivas, "Anita Hall was the perfect vocalist to bring "Remembrance" to life."

The Honolulu Jazz Quartet has been in existence for only six months and is already considered one of the most progressive, inventive jazz groups in Hawaii, drawing record crowds to their performances at Studio 6 in the Musicians Association of Hawaii building. Their upcoming performances include Wednesday, November 21, 2001, 8:00PM at Studio 6 and Friday,
January 4, 2002, 5:30PM at the Kapiolani Park Bandstand.

Honolulu Jazz Quartet personnel:

John Kolivas--bassist and group leader. Kolivas has performed with Herb Ellis, Richie Cole, Bud Shank, Woody Shaw, Jimmy Rowles, George Benson, Grady Tate, Gabe Baltazar, Azure McCall, Betty Loo Taylor, and Flip Nunez. He performed on Broadway in The Tap Dance Kid and Big River and on
tour with The Pirates of Penzance and the Gregory Hines Show. John is a member of the Honolulu Symphony and can be heard with Hawaiian artists Keola Beamer, Kapono Beamer, and Keali"i Reichel.

Tim Tsukiyama--saxophonist. Tim is a local boy who attended the
prestigious Berklee College of Music and has played with the likes of Ray Charles, The Temptations, C&K, and Kalapana. He is a member of the Royal Hawaiian Band.

Richie Pratt--drummer. Richie hails from Kansas City, Kansas. He arrived in New York as a lineman for the New York Giants. Pratt was the original drummer for Sophisticated Ladies on Broadway. He was a member of the New York Jazz Quartet (which included Roland Hanna and George Mraz) and has toured with such legends as Lionel Hampton, Benny Carter, and Michel Legrand.

Dan Del Negro--pianist. Dan was born on the south side of Chicago and his musical career is steeped in the traditions of that great jazz town. He also has extensive experience in musical theatre, having performed with touring companies of Les Miserables, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Miss Saigon. Dan is currently performing with Na Leo
Pilimehana and Keahi Conjugacion.
























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