San Francisco saxophonist Charles Unger, fresh from a recent tour of Sweden has re-emerged with a new album entitled, “Around the World”. Unger and jazz group, “The Experience”, featuring bassist Ben Luis, drummer Tony Coleman, and keybordist Sue Crossman, will debut the music from this latest effort at the Peacock Lounge tonight in the Lower Haight. Special guest performers will include a talented array of vocalists; Beverly Al-Kareem, Darlene Roberts and Unger’s longtime musical muse, Valencia Hawkins.
A major force in the music scene of the San Francisco Bay area for the last 40 years, saxophonist Charles Unger is a musical institution. He is known for his exuberant style and talent, and for a stage show that is unforgettable.
A regular performer at various San Francisco clubs, Unger is an innovator in the genres of Jazz, R&B and World Beat. Unger, who plays alto, tenor and soprano saxophones, was deeply influenced by the seminal works of artists such as Coleman Hawkins, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Grover Washington, Kenny Garrett and Lester Young, but has also drawn on a lifetime of experience playing with top level musicians the world over. Unger brings an undeniable sense of joy to his performances, with a smile that welcomes even the most recalcitrant listeners to the party, then proceeds to open up avenues of music that are enjoyable for the uninitiated and the aficionado alike.
In San Francisco, Unger plays every Wednesday and Friday evening at Les Joulins Jazz Bistro (where he has performed for 19 years), leading a jazz band that includes his wife Valencia on vocals on Friday evenings. His band performs first Saturday of each month at the Sheba Lounge. He has also played at Rasselas, Yoshi’s San Francisco, Intercontinental Hotel San Francisco, 57th Street Gallery in Oakland and many other places in the San Francisco Bay Area.
During the last three summers, Charles Unger Experience has performed in Sweden at the Gothenburg Cultural Festival, in Båstad and at the Kristianstad/Åhus Jazz Festival. He has also performed with the Swedish group Wavemakers in the musical ”A Dream of a Better Life” at multiple locations. During the summer of 2011, Unger toured Europe for the first time since 2005, and performed in Sweden, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Paris and in the South of France.
Unger is a great player who loves what he is doing. Music for him is a spiritual mission and a quest for a kind of secular redemption that he has pursued since he was a child — one that sustains him and has brought him a wealth of knowledge and experience. Those experiences and more, are beautifully reflected on this latest release.
Charles Unger Experience “Around the World” CD Release Show
Peacock Lounge, 552 Haight Street, San Francisco
Doors open @ 7:00 pmFiled under: Arts & Entertainment