Thursday, October 28, 2004

Christmas Tours

Columbia Records artist Peter White is warming up his sleigh to embark on an 18-city U.S. holiday tour, which kicks off in San Diego on Nov. 26 at the Spreckles Theater. A Peter White Christmas stars White, hot off the success of his No. 1 single "Talkin' Bout Love," who will be joined by trumpeter Rick Braun and saxophonist Mindi Abair.
The Dave Koz & Friends Christmas Tour, which includes Koz, Norman Brown, Brian Culbertson and Brenda Russell (Rendezvous bassist Wayman Tisdale will join the group at selected appearances), kicks off Nov. 26 in Ft. Lauderdale, FL and culminates in several SoCal appearances, including Hollywood's Kodak Theater on Dec. 11.

Ray Charles' Genius Loves Company -- Platinum!

It's hard to believe, but during his five-decade-long career, music legend Ray Charles had five gold records, including the classics "Georgia" and "I Can't Stop Loving You," but he never sold more than a million copies of any single recording. Until now, that is. Charles' final recording, the duets project Genius Loves Company (Concord) has been certified platinum by the RIAA. According to current national sales figures, Genius Loves Company has sold 752,528 units to date. A unique sales agreement between Concord and Starbucks is responsible for nearly 30% of total sales of the CD and marks the beginning of an ongoing collaboration between the two companies to produce and distribute new recordings.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Luther Vandross Tribute

Patti LaBelle, Dave Koz, Brian Culbertson and a host of smooth jazz artists will pay tribute to Luther Vandross Wednesday (Oct. 27) in New York at a concert to raise funds for the American Diabetes Association. Set for the Madison Square Garden Theatre, a Concert for Love is tied to the tribute album "Forever, for Always, for Luther," released in July via GRP.

Presented by WWCD (CD 101.9) and Seagrams Ginger Ale, the show will also feature performances by Gerald Albright, Kirk Whalum, Layla Hathaway, Mindi Abair, Paul Jackson Jr., Richard Elliot, Will Downing and Maysa. Tickets priced at $99.50 and $59.50 are on sale via Ticketmaster.
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y. [Billboard]

Kenny G doubles up on new album

When saxophone player Kenny G started planning a new CD, he decided to get a little help from an old friend: his label chief, Clive Davis.

"He said to me, 'You can't just keep giving people what they expect of you,' " G (for Gorelick) says. "He said, 'You have to come up with different things.' "

So Gorelick recorded a collection of duets. At Last ... The Duets Album, due Nov. 23, was at first conceived as an all-instrumental album. "But then Clive said, 'We should try to just come up with the best songs and the best artists.' "

At Last does include a few instrumental numbers, among them the title track, with Arturo Sandoval on trumpet, and Alfie, with composer Burt Bacharach on piano. But Gorelick is also joined by such celebrated singers as Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, Daryl Hall and LeAnn Rimes.


Thursday, October 21, 2004

Cell phones, jazz just don't mix

Consider the callous man in the audience at a recent jazz concert. He wouldn't let the music, or the fact that everyone around him was trying to enjoy it, interrupt his all-important phone conversations. During a lovely ballad, hundreds of fellow audience members could hear him clearly: “Naah, man, I'm at a concert. … Jazz.”

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Jazz's Dr. Yes Is Still Fascinated by the Rhythm

The music business, naturally. Meet the beaming, bopping, exquisitely dapper Mr. Lundvall, he of the snowy hair, heavy gold bracelet, three gold rings and gold mine of anecdotes. He has spent four decades having almost too much fun, uttering the dream-of-a-lifetime words, "You got a deal, man," countless times.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Jazz Review: Soaking Up the Spaces at a New Jazz Center

Some basic impressions of Jazz at Lincoln Center's new space, which opened last night: It is a sophisticated, cosmopolitan, fairly expensive-feeling experience; it is flexible and alive.

Monday, October 18, 2004

NPR, PBS Present Jazz at Lincoln Center Gala

In a companion broadcast with PBS, NPR presents "One Family of Jazz" live -- the opening-night gala concerts at Lincoln Center's Frederick P. Rose Hall, a new state-of-the art home for jazz in the Time Warner building on New York's Columbus Circle. The music will be streamed live at at 8 p.m., ET.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Joe Sample 'Soul Shadows'

A founding member of the influential jazz funk combo The Crusaders (originally the Jazz Crusaders) and a pioneer of contemporary jazz piano, Joe Sample reaches back to the primary sources of Jazz and Soul music to create his personal interpretations of classics by such esteemed composers as Scott Joplin, Jelly Roll Morton, the Gershwins, Al Jolson, Duke Ellington, Fats Waller and others. While exploring these rich expressions of Americana, Sample acknowledges his own key role in carrying on these powerful legacies by including distinct reworkings of two of his own classics, "Soul Shadows" (which originally appeared on The Crusaders' Midnight Triangle in 1976) and "Spellbound."
[Jean-Luc RAYMOND, westcoastmusic]

Thursday, October 14, 2004

A Home That Jazz Can Call Its Own

For many months, Wynton Marsalis has written in a spiral-bound red notebook. The notes, in a small, neat pencil script, deal with how to create the new $128 million performing arts complex for Jazz at Lincoln Center, of which he is the artistic director.
[NY Times]

It's more than just overpriced coffee!

Starbucks Corp. Wednesday said customers will be able to make custom music CDs at 45 of its U.S. coffee shops by later this month, the first step in a plan to expand the service nationwide.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Eliane Elias: An Ipanema Pianist-Singer With Force

The Brazilian pianist and singer Eliane Elias commands the keyboard with a forceful two-handed muscularity that belies her image as a blond older sister of the mythical Girl From Ipanema. The more percussive her pianism becomes, the more she opens up a song and reimagines it in what might be called a romantic carnival groove


Monday, October 11, 2004

Joe Sample 'Soul Shadows'

If anyone out in CD land ever wondered what a Joe Sample solo piano album would sound like, here it is — and it's a good bet that this is not what a Sample fan would expect. Rather than conform to the cerebral solo piano mainstream as exhaustively set forth in the "Maybeck" series, Sample's inspiration goes way, way back — back to the teens and 1920s, to the formative, nearly-forgotten example of James Reese Europe, to the heydays of ragtime and stride. On this CD, the key for Sample is to make sure no one misses the missing bass and drums, to keep the pulse of jazz present as much as possible, with lots of thumping stride as a default mode. He does not disguise his heavyweight, full-fisted approach to the keyboard, and there are some occasionally clumsy moments when the line of thought strays. The repertoire is old, perhaps even ancient, at times a bit naive; When was the last time you heard "How You Gonna Keep `Em Down on the Farm?" on any new recording, let alone a jazz record? Gershwin gets his due ( a brittle "I Got Rhythm" and a sometimes whimsical ballad treatment of "Embraceable You"), so does Fats Waller ("Ain't Misbehavin," a staccato "Jitterbug Waltz"), Scott Joplin (a somewhat hesitant "The Entertainer"), and Jelly Roll Morton (a jaunty "Shreveport Stomp"). There are also a pair of Sample originals in a contemplative manner ("Soul Shadows" and "Spellbound"). Although smooth jazz outlets probably won't touch this sampling of Sample, antiquarians will be intrigued.
Review by Richard S. Ginell

New Releases for Oct 12, 2004

A/V - San Francisco Jazz Festival (SFJazz)
Angelo Debarre - Memories (Harmonia Mundi)
Bill Carrothers - Armistice 1918 (Sketch Music) - 2+ CDs
Brazilian Girls - It's Huge (Verve)
Chris Botti - When I Fall In Love (Columbia)
Claus Ogerman - A Man and His Music (Verve)
Denis Colin - Something in Common (Sunnyside)
Don Stiernberg - About Time (Burnside DIstribution)
Don Stiernberg - Unseasonably Cool (Burnside)
Dr. Lonnie Smith - Too Damn Hot (Palmetto)
Eddie Henderson - Time & Spaces (Sirocco)
Fats Domino - Sold Out (Fuel 2000)
George Winston - Montana: A Love Story (RCA)
Greg Burk Quartet - Carpe Momentum (North American Street Date) (Soul Note)
Hennik Levy - A Letter from a City Man (Zip Records)
Horace Arnold - Tales of the Exonorated Flea (Rock & Groove)
Janet Klein - Living In Sin (Couer de Jeanette)
Jim Snidero - Close Up (Milestone)
Joe Sample - Soul Shadows (GRP)
Ludovic Beier Quart - Montmarte (Harmonia Mundi)
Mahavishnu Project - Phase 2 (Big Daddy)
Mike Holober - Thought Trains (Big Daddy)
Nightbyrd - Moonlight Serenade (Dreamwhisper)
North Mississippi AllStars - Live from the Hill Country (ATO)
Omar Sosa - Mulatos (OTA)
Peter Brotzmann - Meicina (Atavistic)
Pieces of a Dream - Imagine (Wounded Bird)
Pucho & His Latin Soul Brothers - The Hideout (Milestone)
Steve Turre - Spirits Up Above (High Note)
Vaness Williams - Silver & Gold (Lava)
Wallace Roney - Prototype (High Note)
Will Martin - Morning (Saquaro Beach)
Will Vinson - It's For You (Sirocco)
Wilson Simonal - Rewind (EMI)
Yohimbe Brothers (Vernon Reid/DJ Logic) - The Tao of Yo (Thirsty Ear)
Zany Dislexic Band - Meifumado (The Orchard)


Sunday, October 10, 2004

Coltrane Writes Herself Back Into Jazz Scene

Coltrane, widow and former bandmate of saxophone icon John Coltrane and mother of rising-star saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, broke her jazz silence with a compelling new disc, "Translinear Light," released Oct. 5 on Verve.

The album features Alice delivering an 11-track package of originals, 'Trane gems like "Leo" and "Crescent" and spirituals from the Christian and Hindu traditions. In addition to her lyrical prowess on piano, Coltrane marvels on Wurlitzer organ with her singular bent-note, double-reed-like improvisations. []

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

The lost language of jazz in online age

The older among us remember that wonderful dinosaur, the long-playing record, which came with a trove of information to help a listener better understand the music. In the days before MTV, record labels made the album an immersing experience with striking graphic design, moody photographs, and informative liner notes written by prominent critics such as Stanley Crouch, Amiri Baraka, Dan Morgenstern, and Ralph J. Gleason.

In the age of the CD, the large graphics and photos have shrunk considerably, but we have gained better sound quality and exhaustive boxed sets that still include essays and detailed performance notes as well as alternative takes of favorite tracks that were cut from the original LPs.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Vernon Alley, 1915-2004

Vernon Alley, the most distinguished jazz musician in San Francisco history, died Sunday after a long illness. He was 89.

He played with Duke Ellington and toured with Erroll Garner. Nat King Cole became one of his closest friends. He knew and played with practically every great jazz musician of his time -- Billie Holiday, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker. As an accompanist for Ella Fitzgerald, he battled the segregation policies of the Las Vegas casinos.

Iran stops concerts in crackdown

A number of jazz and classical music concerts in Iran have been cancelled by the authorities because of their "corrupting" influence, diplomats say. [BBC]

Monday, October 04, 2004

New Releases for Oct 5, 2004

Alice Coltrane - Translinear Light (Verve)
Archie Edwards - Blues N Bones (Allegro)
Art of Three (Cobham/Cartert/Barron) - Live in Japan (Sound Hills)
Brenda Russell - Between the Sun and the Moon (Narada)
Carmen Cuesta - Peace of Mind (Skip)
Chip Shelton - Double Live in Berlin (Summit)
Continuum - Act One (Blue Geodesics)
Cortelia Clark - Blues in the Streets (Collector's Choice)
D'3: Pardo, Pose, Roper - Directo (Satchmo)
Dany Doriz & Sweet System - Jazz Fever (Black&BLue (Hepcat))
David Friedman - Earfood (Skip)
Don Lanphere - Don Lanphere/Larry Coryell (Allegro)
Esquivel - Merry Christmas from the Space-Age Bachelor Pad (Bar None)
G-Fire/Neilly/Vernon - G--Fire II (Boosweet)
Gabriela Anders - Last Tango in Rio (Narada)
Greg Skaff - Ellington Boulevard (ZOHO)
Harry Allen - Christmas in Swingtime (Koch)
Jay Clayton - Jazz Alley Tapes (Allegro)
Jay Thomas - Rapture (Jazz Focus)
Jazz e Bossa 2 - Jazz e Bossa 2 (Albatroz)
Jessica Molaskey - Make Believe (P.S. Classics)
Jessica Williams - Intuition (Jazz Focus)
Jessica Williams Trio - In the {Pocket (Allegro)
Jim Robitaille - To Music (Whaling City Sound)
Joe Griesgraber - Whisper in the Thunder (Allegro)
Joe Termperley - Nightingale (Allegro)
John Hart - Trio Indivisable (Hep)
Johnny Varro - Pure Imagination (Arbors)
Judi Silvano - Let Yourself Go (Zoho)
Kenny Wayne Shepard - The Place You're In (Reprise)
Kids Pain Relief Project - Come What May (Allegro Blues)
Marijn Van Iterson Quartet - The Whole Bunch (Munich)
Michel Portal - Concerts (Dreyfus)
Montier, Nicolas - Interdit D'Ecouter (Black & Blue)
Nicolas Montier - Interdit d'Ecouter (Black & Blue (Hepcat))
Noel Akchote - Sonny II (Winter&Winter)
Peter Herborn - Traces of Trane (Allegro)
Phil Woods - This is How I Feel About Quincy (Jazzed Media)
Philip Chapman - Heavenly Realms (New World)
Psychic Warrior - Psychic Warrior (Navarre)
Ralph Carmichael - Big Band Christmas (Platinum)
Roy Ayers - Mahogany Vibe (Rapster)
Sai Ghose Trio - E-motion (Summit)
Salena Jones - In Hollywood: Making Love (Jay)
Sean Costello - Sean Costello (Artemis)
Shawnn Monteiro - One Special Night (Whaling City Sound)
Tony Lakatos - I Get Along With You Very (Skip)
Tony Monaco - Fiery Blues (Summit)
Traces of Trane - Herborn Peter (Winter&Winter)

Alice Coltrane; Don Byron; Geri Allen.

Critic's Choice - New CDs
Alice Coltrane 'Translinear Light'
Don Byron 'Ivey-Divey'
Geri Allen 'The Life of a Song'
Ben Ratliff []

Bearden created the visual equivalent of jazz

Paintings throughout Bearden's career don't merely depict musicians and bands. They explore ways in which color and form might visually express something parallel to the audible fluidity, improvisation, structure, stir, and atmosphere experienced when one listens to, or plays, music.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Jazz pianist Jamal still going strong at 74

His energy was matched by the drive of his music, which moved in a practically nonstop run for about 90 minutes. He offered some standards -- notably "But Not for Me," one of his hits, as an encore -- but most of the tunes were the originals he continues to write.

And, of course, he played what is basically his theme song. At one point he finished a song and said quickly into the mike, "Here's 'Poinciana,'" as if to say, "Well, you know, I really do have to play this."

Friday, October 01, 2004

Tribute concert held for late Ray Charles

An eclectic lineup of musicians honored Ray Charles in a tribute concert, praising the late singer's rich life and his ability to transcend race and musical genres.