Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Canadian ISPs Not Liable for Music Royalties

Canada's highest court dismissed an effort by composers to force companies such as BCE Inc. and Rogers Communications Inc. to pay royalties when their Internet networks are used to swap copyrighted music.

In a 9-0 decision, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Internet-service providers are neutral and not responsible for any copyright infringement that may occur when digital recordings are traded. It argued that making companies such as BCE, which owns Canada's largest ISP, pay royalties would slow telecommunications development and hurt the economy.

``Parliament did not want copyright disputes between creators and users to be visited on the heads of the Internet intermediaries, whose continued expansion and development is considered vital to national economic growth,'' the court said in a decision written by Justice Ian Binnie.

The ruling represents a setback for the music industry, which is trying to stop the illegal downloading of 2.6 billion songs a month. The Recording Industry Association of America, which compiled that figure, lost a Washington court case in December in which it sought to force Verizon Communications Inc. to name Internet subscribers who shared music.

Music companies have sued individuals in the U.S. and Canada, accusing them of stealing intellectual property.

In the Canadian case, BCE, Rogers and other ISPs appealed a Federal Court of Appeal decision that ruled they became participants in music piracy by creating a cache, or temporary storage file. They argued in the Supreme Court that it's impossible to know whether a computer file is being transferred illegally.

The case is Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada v. Canadian Association of Internet Providers, 2004 SCC 45.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

New Jazz Releases for July 2004

Arthur Lipner, Modern Vibe (Jazzheads, 7/6)
Rhonda Smith, Intellipop (Slow Wine, 7/6) 
Regina Belle, Lazy Afternoon (Peak, 7/13)
Dave Grusin, Now Playing: Movie Themes (GRP,7/13)
Various, Hidden Beach Presents Unwrapped, Vol. 3 (Hidden Beach, 7/13)
David Lanz, The Good Life (Universal Classics, 7/13)
James Vargas, James Vargas (Trippin 'n Rhythmn, 7/13)
Wayman Tisdale, Hang Time (Rendezvous, 7/13) 
Soel, Memento (Warner Brothers, 7/13) 
Various, Smooth Jazz On A Summer Holiday (7/13)
Adam Niewood, Introducting Adam Niewood (Native Language, 7/13) 
Phyllis Hyman, Remembered (Liquid 8, 7/13)
Various (Bob James, Mindi Abair, Rippingtons & more), 1st Annual Smoothie Awards (2CD)(E Nate Music Group, 7/13)
Bernie Williams, The Journey Within (DVD) (GRP, 7/13) 
Everette Harp, All For You (A440 Music Group, 7/20)
Patrick Yandall, From The Ashes (Apria,7/20) 
Gato Barbieri, Ultimate Collection (Hip-O, 7/27)
Various, Forever, For Always, For Luther (GRP, 7/27)
Alexander Zonjic, Seldom Blues (7/27, Heads Up)
Doc Powell, Cool Like That (Heads Up, 7/27)
Novecento feat. Stanely Jordan, Dreams Of Peace (Favored Nations Cool, 7/27)
Thug Jazz - Thug Jazz (House Of Urban Grooves) (Peak, 7/27)
Positive Flow, Can You Feel It (Shanachie, 7/27) 
Lenny White Project, Tribute To Earth, Wind & Fire: The Love (7/27)
Miriam Makeba, TBA (Heads Up Africa)

Monday, June 28, 2004

Smooth Jazz Vibes

Smooth Sailing June/July 2004

Saxophonist Michael Lington delivers a CD that should put place him among the smooth jazz elite. Also reviews of new music from George Benson, The Benoit/Freeman Project, Wayman Tisdale, Gerald Albright, Fourplay, Eric Darius, Brian Lenair and Matt Marshak.

All Music Guide's

New Jazz Releases for June 29th, 2004

Friday, June 25, 2004

Radio and Records

Smooth Jazz National Airplay: Week Ending 6/25/2004

The New York Times Op-Ed

Share the Music: With its new round of lawsuits, the recording industry association is once again demonstrating its failure to recognize the obvious: file sharing isn't going away. Consumers have grown attached to it, and more and more musicians believe file sharing can help promote their music in an age of limited play lists at radio stations. Given its hold in our culture, downloading, in some form, must be part of any solution to this impasse.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Jamie Cullum

Jet-setter is here to stay - "Over in America, it really has just been about the music. I'm not being sold over there as a successful song seller, all the stuff I've been sold as over here. It's much more organic, much less based on hype and more on people liking the music. And the reception has been amazing. All the gigs have sold out and it seems like we're building a great base there."

Is this the next Norah Jones?

Soviet Georgia-born British sensation Katie Melua - On disc, she could pass for 40. Like Joss Stone and Nellie McKay, Melua defeats the stereotype of the teen pop diva by singing grownup music in a grownup way. The adults seem to like it, and the kids too. Since the beginning of the year, Melua has sold over one million copies of her debut album in Britain, where Call off the Search seems to have spanned the presumed demographic boundaries of the music market.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Senate bill targets Internet song-swapping

Bill makes it easier to sue 'peer to peer' services like Kazaa, etc..The bill has powerful backers, including Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, Sen. Tom Daschle, the Democratic Senate leader, and Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee.

Koz Es Muy, Muy Caliente!

In the midst of a highly successful summer concert tour and with his single 'All I See Is You' No. 1 on the R&R Smooth Jazz chart for the third consecutive week, Dave Koz has something else to smile about. Along with such sex symbols as Orlando Bloom, Pharrell Williams and Jake Gyllenhaal, Koz has been named one of People magazine's '50 Hottest Bachelors' in the issue that hits newsstands June 18.

It's been a terrific year for Koz, who received both a Grammy nomination and a NAACP Image Award nomination for Saxophonic, his latest Capitol recording. In addition to his heavy touring schedule, he hosts the morning radio show on KTWV (The Wave)/Los Angeles, as well as a nationally syndicated weekly smooth jazz show, The Dave Koz Radio Show.
Koz is co-founder of Rendezvous Entertainment, which is readying Golden Slumbers II: A Father's Love for release later this year. Already slated for the compilation album are Michael McDonald, Smokey Robinson, Solomon Burke and Carlos Ponce, among others. The project is a followup to the Grammy-nominated Golden Slumbers project released in 2002. "

All Music Guide

New Jazz Releases for June 22, 2004

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Recording industry sues 482 more people

More music downloaders sued Including the latest suits, the Recording Industry Association of America has now sued 3,429 individuals since last September as it seeks to discourage music fans from copying and trading songs through peer-to-peer networks like Kazaa and LimeWire.

R&R - Radio & Records, Inc.

Smooth Jazz National Airplay - Week ending June 18, 2004

Rick Braun - Sessions: Volume 1

Rick BraunComing in Late June Online and at Live Shows Only! - Sessions: Volume 1 is the first album to be released on Braun’s new Internet-based record label, which Braun started earlier this year after he broke ties with his label, Warner Bros. The album was recorded live in the studio in an attempt to capture the energy of a live show and features 11 songs from Rick’s catalog, in addition to a new song called “TGIF,” which features saxophonist Dave Koz and keyboardist Rick Braun.
Track Listing: Cadillac Slim, Notorious (feat. Richard Elliot), Philadelphia (feat. Jeff Golub), RSVP, Grazing in the Grass, Missing in Venice, Love Will Find a Way, Groovis, TGIF (feat. Dave Koz and Brian Culbertson), Nightwalk, Marty's Party, Coolsville

Sonny Rollins

Sonny Rollins blows SFJazz crowd away - The "Saxophone Colossus" was an absolute monster during a rare live appearance Friday night at the hilltop venue in San Francisco. He raged like a demon on his tenor and utterly obliterated any notion that he's not the current king of the saxophone with a merciless two-set show that left a near-capacity house gasping in awe.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Concert Review

The Playboy Jazz Festival - The sound system is much improved now that the 11 huge Frank Gehry globes have vanished, replaced by a huge transparent quoit hanging over everybody's head in the new Hollywood Bowl proscenium.

Harvard Business School

Music Downloads - Pirates or Customers: Internet music piracy not only doesn't hurt legitimate CD sales, it may even boost sales of some types of music.

Bebel Gilberto

New CD's: Fresh Sounds From Brazil, Straddling Jazz Past and PresentSome of the music here ranks with the absolute best in orchestral jazz; it is rich in harmony and humor, ideas about instrumentation and perhaps above all, rhythm.

Legends serve up thrills and chills

Ramsey Lewis and Nancy Wilson teamed up to perform. - Expectations were high for the venerable duo, each of whom has been piling up Grammys for decades, and the pair did not disappoint. They opened with a silky version of "Moondance," followed by "Lost Up In Loving You," a track from their new CD, "Simple Pleasures."

The First World Guitar Congress

Best of June Jazz ( - In addition to gathering at Towson and in Baltimore for an extensive series of concerts, clinics, recitals, exhibits and symposiums, some of these world-class pickers will be moonlighting in the Washington area. The Guitar Congress, however, has to rank among the jazz events of the year, so head to Towson if at all possible.

Santana slams media 'racists'

Santana slams media 'racists' - Santana fumes: "I'm really embarrassed for this nation, and for MTV and VH1 and Rolling Stone, because it was a very racist thing not to acknowledge this most important musician when he passed away.

European Labels Hope Piracy Succumbs to Digital Services

Apple, Napster, Sony selling digital music in Europe. - The services are entering a market that has been damaged more by file-sharing than even the United States. In Germany, a country where illegal song-swapping and pirate CD's have reached epidemic proportions, sales in 2003 fell to $2 billion, a 20 percent decline from the previous year. Music sales in France fell 14 percent last year, and Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland all registered drops in double-digit percentages as well.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Band of online music pirates numbers in the millions

The software is free and very accessible - Last year, roughly 150 billion music files were transferred over these file-sharing networks, up nearly threefold from 55 billion in 2002. Western Europe accounts for about one-fourth of the total, Idate said, while the United States accounts for 43 percent.

Brecker wows music students

Michael Brecker - Tenor saxophonist and composer Michael Brecker is an eleven-time Grammy-winner, and the only person to win both the Best Jazz Instrumental Performance and Best Jazz Instrumental Solo awards two years in a row. As a result of his stylistic and harmonic innovations, he is among the most studied instrumentalists in music schools throughout the world today.

Bossa Nova Legend Casts Spell in U.S.

Joao GilbertoFriday night's concert marked the fourth time in the last six years that the reclusive Gilberto has performed at the festival, selling out Carnegie each time. With the passing of Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald and other jazz greats in the past decade, Gilberto has become one of the festival's main attractions.
Gilberto has become one of the festival's main attractions.


Smooth Jazz Acts Pay Tribute To Vandross

Luther VandrossA host of the smooth jazz genre's biggest artists celebrate the music of Luther Vandross on "Forever, for Always, for Luther." Due July 27 via GRP, the 10-track album features Kirk Whalum, Boney James and George Benson and will raise funds and awareness for the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Vandross is recovering from a diabetes-related stroke suffered in April 2003.

Project producers Rex Rideout and Bud Harner, who have worked with Vandross over the years, enlisted artists to interpret song written or co-written by Vandross for the project. Ray Bardani mixed the set, a task he has performed for almost every release of Vandross' career.

Tenor saxophonist Whalum, who has contributed to six Vandross albums, opens the disc with his rendition of the 1988 hit "Any Love." Guitarist Benson tackles "Take You Out," while James interprets the vocal sounds of "Wait for Love" on saxophone.

Vocalist Lalah Hathaway, daughter of late soul singer Donny Hathaway, performs "Forever, for Always, for Love." The title track to Vandross' 1982 sophomore Epic album inspired the compilation's name.

"For Luther" also features contributions from Mindi Abair ("Stop To Love"), Paul Jackson Jr. ("Never Too Much"), Brian Culbertson and Dave Koz ("If Only for One Night") and up-and coming vocalist Ledisi ("My Sensitivity (Gets in the Way)." Rick Braun covers the title track of Vandross' most recent album, 2003's "Dance With My Father" (J), which earned the ailing artist four Grammy Awards.

Richard Elliot's version of "Your Secret Love" -- which also boasts Vandross' longtime backup singers Lisa Fischer, Cindy Mizelle, Brenda White-King and Fonzi Thornton -- will be the set's first radio single.

In conjunction with the release, the ADA will launch the "Write a Love Letter to Luther" campaign, inviting fans to pen a note to Vandross, as well as make a contribution to the organization's Forever, For Always, For Luther Fund.

A benefit concert tied to the compilation is being planned for October, with a similar Los Angeles event also possible. Details were unavailable at deadline.

Here is the full "Forever, for Always, for Luther" track list:

"Any Love," Kirk Whalum
"Never Too Much," Paul Jackson Jr.
"Wait for Love," Boney James
"Forever, for Always, for Love," Lalah Hathaway
"Stop To Love," Mindi Abair
"If Only for One Night," Dave Koz & Brian Culbertson
"My Sensitivity (Gets in the Way)," Ledisi
"Your Secret Love," Richard Elliot
"Take You Out," George Benson
"Dance With My Father," Rick Braun

Jazz Guitarist Russ Freeman Celebrates New Peak

When smooth jazz guitarist Russ Freeman formed Peak Records in 1994, he sought to provide a home for contemporary jazz musicians.

A decade later, Peak sports an impressive roster that includes Freeman's smooth jazz pioneers the Rippingtons, the Braxton Brothers and saxophonists Gato Barbieri, Paul Taylor and Eric Marienthal.

"We wanted to combine business acumen with musical artistry," says Freeman, who launched the label with his manager, Andi Howard. "We felt that having a musician involved with a label was a good thing for nurturing a culture of creativity."

A release on the horizon is vocalist Regina Belle's "Lazy Afternoon," produced by George Duke (July 13). After previous distribution deals with GRP and Windham Hill/BMG, Peak has been linked with Concord Records since 2000.

While Peak is celebrating its 10th anniversary, Freeman observes the 10-year reunion of his duo project with David Benoit. The pianist was also a founding member of the Rippingtons and has recently joined the Peak roster.

Smooth-toned and melody-driven "The Benoit/Freeman Project 2," is the long-awaited sequel to 1994's "The Benoit/Freeman Project." It arrives June 22.

"Ever since we recorded the first album, fans all over the world have been asking for a follow-up," Freeman says. "Our schedules made it impossible until recently."

The CD boasts a stripped-down, largely acoustic sound embellished by Benoit's orchestral arrangements. Guests include trumpeter Chris Botti and a surprise appearance by country star Vince Gill, who delivers Al Anderson's "Two Survivors" with a bossa-nova feel.

"We were recording the strings in Nashville so we decided to call Vince," Freeman says. "He was intrigued by trying something different."

Even though Freeman knew Benoit's contract with Verve was up for renewal, he had no ulterior motives in doing the duo project. He says they recorded the album based on their long history of working together.

"Of course, I had my fingers crossed," Freeman says. "Ultimately it came down to Peak being able to offer David support for all his other efforts, including orchestral/classical works and a children's album."

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Ray Charles"Long before I knew we had so much in common, I knew him as a man and a voice that touched my heart," Wonder said, his fingers trailing over piano keys. "His voice made me feel like I wanted to love deeper, to care more and reach out and touch the world."
Ray Charles praised by singing elite at funeral

Makeba's secrets exposed

Mirriam Makeba, may be the quintessential lady, but most of her fans will be disappointed to learn that she had many suitors in her youth. This and other juicy details about her life are contained in an autobiography by legendary trumpeter Hugh Masekela entitled Still Grazing: The Musical Journey of Hugh Masekela, which will be available in South Africa this week.
In Masekela's words, he says he will always love her but never regretted divorcing her.

Jazz singer Jackie Paris dies at 79

Jackie Paris, a jazz vocalist who toured with Charlie Parker and was said to be one of the favorite singers of Ella Fitzgerald and comedian Lenny Bruce, has died. He was 79.
Paris died on Thursday in Manhattan of complications of bone cancer, according to David Grausman, a friend.
Born Carlo Jackie Paris in Nutley, N.J., he got his start as a child in vaudeville and worked as a singer and guitarist in the jazz clubs of 52nd Street in the 1940s. He served two years in the Army.
Paris worked with Lionel Hampton and Charles Mingus and was the first to sing the lyrics to Thelonious Monk's "Round Midnight."
Later, he taught master classes and gave private lessons while continuing to record and perform, singing as recently as March at the Jazz Standard in Manhattan.
"Paris cooks to a boiling point, and he long ago mastered the art of scatting when the wordless form and bop vocal was still a new musical jazz form that was largely Ella Fitzgerald's terrain," Robert L. Daniels wrote in a review of the show at published in Variety.
Larry Coryell Tricycles:
Coryell will probably remain as eclectic as ever throughout his career, which will no doubt make life difficult for musicologists with a yen for pigeonholing. Coryell's career in the 21st century has been just as active. 2004 saw the release of Tricycles, an excellent trio date with drummer Paul Wertico and bassist Mark Egan.

Friday, June 18, 2004

New Releases for June 2004

Grover Washington, Jr., Standing Room Only (DVD) (6/1)
Gerald Albright, Kickin' It Up (GRP, 6/8)
Laura Fygi, Live At North Sea (DVD) (Verve, 6/8)
Marcus Johnson, Just Doin' What I Do (Three Keys Music, 6/8)
George Benson, Irreplaceable (American) (GRP, 5/25)
Bernie Williams, The Journey Within (DVD) (GRP, 6/15)
Jonathan Cain, Bare Bones (AAO Music, 6/15)
George Benson, Hot (Legacy, 6/15)
Larry Coryell, Tricycles (Favored Nation, 6/15)
George Duke, Jazz Moods: 'Round Midnight (Columbia,6/15)
Herbie Hancock, Jazz Moods: 'Round Midnight (Columbia, 6/15)
Grover Washington, Jr., Jazz Moods: Cool (Legacy, 6/15)
Various, Jazz For Kids: Sing, Clap, Wiggle & Shake' (Verve, 6/22)
Fourplay, Journey (RCA, 6/22)
Paul Hardcastle, Smooth Cuts (V2./BMG,6/22)
Jean Luc Ponty, In Concert (JLP, 6/22)
Jean Luc Ponty, In Concert (DVD)(6/22)
David Benoit/Russ Freeman, Benoit Freeman Project II (Peak, 6/22)
Various, Smooth Jazz: Crusin' (Native Language, 6/22)
Eric Darius, Night On The Town (Higher Octave/Narada, 6/29)
Ramsey Lewis Trio, Time Flies (Narada, 6/29)
Various, Bridge To Havana (DVD, 6/29)
Various, Bridge To Havana (Pyramid, 6/29)
Thug Jazz - Thug Jazz (House Of Urban Grooves) (Peak)
Doc Powell, TBA (Heads Up)


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