Tuesday, May 31, 2005

New Releases - 5/31/05

Al Di Meola - Heart of the Immigrants (Wounded Bird) - Reissue
Al DiMeola - Orange and Blue (Wounded Bird) - Reissue - SACD
Art Farmer - The Summer Knows (Test of Time) - Reissue - SACD
Ben Webster - Blue Skies (Fruit Tree) - Reissue - Book
Bill Bruford - Earthworks (Summerfold)
Billie Holiday - The Collection (Columbia) - Reissue - Boxed Set
Billy Butterfield - Take Me To The Land of Jazz (Delmark)
Bruce Springsteen - The Collection (Legacy) - Reissue - Boxed Set
Buddy Guy - A Night of the Blues (Masters) - Reissue
Chris Botti - When I Fall in Love (Columbia) - Reissue - SACD
Common Ground - High Voltage (Delmark)
David Gibson - Pathe to Delphi (Nagel Heyer)
DJ Cam & Tassel/Naturel - FIllet of Soul: Opus 2 (7-Live)
Earl Thomas - Intersection (Memphis Interntational)
Eric Gale - Island Breeze / Blue Horizon (Wounded Bird) - Reissue
Ernie Watts - Chariots of Fire (Wounded Bird) - Reissue
Funky Lowlives - Somewhere Else Is Here (Outer Recordings)
George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic - Live at Montreux 2004 (RED Distribution) - DVD-Video
Gulda/Johnson - Variations/Eurosuite (Preiser)
Hot Club De Norvege - Vertavo (Hot Club/Norway)
Imperial Crowns - Preachin the Blues Live (MVD) - Reissue - DVD-Video
Jan Hammer - Black Sheep Hammer (Bayside) - Reissue
Joesph Reinhardt - Live in Paris (Hot Club)
Kahil El'Zabar's Ritual Trio - Live At The River East Art Center (Delmark)
Leadbelly - Goodnight Irene (Masters) - Reissue
Lena Horne - Anthology: Deluxe Edition (Masters) - Reissue
Luther Vandross - The Collection (Legacy) - Reissue - Boxed Set
Paul Butterfield - Live (Wounded Bird) - Reissue
Peter Stanfield - Body And Soul: Jazz, Blues, And Race In American Film, 1927-63 (University of Illinois Press) - Book
Praful - Pyramid in Your Backyard (Encoded Music)
Ray Charles Singers - Al-Di-La And Other Extra Special Songs For Young Lovers (Collectors Choice) - Reissue
Ray Charles Singers - Something Special for Lovers (Collectors Choice) - Reissue
Robert Strom - Miss Peggy Lee: A Career Chronicle (McFarland & Company) - Book
Roy Ayers - Virgin Ubiquity 2 (Rapster) - Reissue
Roy Ayers - Virgin Ubiquity II: Unreleased Recordings 1976-1981 (Rapster) - Reissue
Santana - The Collection (Legacy) - Reissue - Boxed Set
Scott Robinson & Emil Viklicky Trio - Summertime (Cube Bohemia)
Screamin' Jay Hawkins - Best Of (Masters) - Reissue
Stanley Turrentine - Betcha (Wounded Bird) - Reissue
Stanley Turrentine - Tender Togetherness (Wounded Bird) - Reissue
Stevie Ray Vaughan - The Collection (Legacy) - Reissue - Boxed Set
Terry Callier - Total Recall (Mr. Bongo)
Tito Puente - The Unforgettable Beat (Sony-BMG) - Reissue
Various - Deep Groove, vol. 1 (Calvin) - Reissue
Various - Clubber's Guide To Deep House (EDE) - Reissue - Boxed Set
Various - Tomorrow's Jazz Classics 2005 (Nagel Hayer) - SACD
Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band - Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band (Water) - Reissue
Wayland, Newton & Houston Symphony Orchestra - Big Band's Greatest Swing Hits (Artemis) - Reissue
Yves Francois - Blues for Hawk (Delmark)

Information from allaboutjazz.com

Monday, May 30, 2005

Singer-songwriter Oscar Brown dies

CHICAGO (AP) - Singer, songwriter and playwright Oscar Brown died Sunday in Chicago after a brief illness, his family said. He was 78.

Brown is known for his compositions The Snake, Signifyin' Monkey and his lyrics for Miles Davis' All Blues. Early in his career, Brown shared the bill with jazz greats such as Dizzy Gillespie and John Coltrane.

Brown, who was active in the civil rights movement in the 1960s, also ran and lost twice for political office - first for the Illinois legislature and later for a seat in the U.S. Congress, according to his website.

Brown was hospitalized in mid-April following emergency surgery to stop the spread of an infection in his lower spine. Before the surgery, he had complained of severe pain and suffered paralysis to both of his legs.

He had been released but was readmitted about two-a-half weeks ago and died at St. Joseph Hospital from complications of the illness, said his niece, Lauren Hudson.

"Although we will miss him deeply, he has left a wealth of works that will continue to touch the world," his daughter, Maggie Brown, said in a statement.

Along with his wife, Jean Pace Brown, he is survived by one son, four daughters and grandchildren.
On the Net: http://www.oscarbrownjr.com

Friday, May 27, 2005

Playing the Diplomatic Changes

The saxophonist Joshua Redman is one of the most visible jazz musicians of the last 15 years, which says something not just about his natural flow as an improviser and his command as a bandleader, but also about his willingness to use words. The chance to represent jazz to the outside world involves a certain amount of rhetoric, and Mr. Redman has risen to that challenge in a friendly, nearly guileless way.
[Click the article title to read the the entire article from nytimes.com by Ben Ratliff]

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Dave Brubeck Quartet 'London Flat, London Sharp'

Straight and fast. That’s how the Dave Brubeck Quartet grabs you with the opening title song of London Flat, London Sharp. Surrounded by a supporting cast of Bobby Militello, Michael Moore, and Randy Jones, the pianist is at the top of his game on this new outing. Clocking in at just under an hour, with ten tracks ranging from the three-and-a- half-minute ballad “Steps to Peace” to the strutting, eight-minute “Mr. Fats,” the album covers plenty of ground and takes no detours.

After the dazzling opener, the group settles into a laid-back swing on “To Sit and Dream.” On both, Militello carries the main melody on alto sax while Brubeck stirs up some delightful piano solos, complemented by Jones on drums and Moore on double bass.
[....Click title bar for the entire review by Woodrow Wilkins Jr. allaboutjazz.com]

Richard Elliot 'Metro Blue', Sets Tour

Metro BlueSaxophonist Richard Elliot will release his 14th solo album on June 28, but this one will be his first for the newly-launched ARTizen label, of which he is also a partner. Metro Blue features a cover of the Stylistics’ “People Make the World Go Round” and nine original songs, which are collaborations with trumpet/flugelhorn player Rick Braun.
To support the album, Elliot, Braun, Peter White and Jonathan Butler will travel the country on the “Jazz Attack” tour. Tour dates are as follows:

May 13 Sunset Station Hotel/Casino, Henderson, Nev.
May 14 Celebrity Theatre, Phoenix, Ariz.
May 15 Jazz Festival, Newport Beach, Calif.
May 28 KIFM Jazz Festival, San Diego, Calif.
May 29 Tower Theatre, Fresno, Calif.
May 30 Ritz Carlton Hotel, Half Moon Bay, Calif.
May 31 Whitaker Center, Harrisburg, Pa.
June 2 Keswick Theatre, Glenside, Pa.
June 3 Kanawha Plaza, Richmond, Va.
June 4 North Fork Theatre, Westbury, N.Y.
June 5 Capital Jazz Festival, Fairfax, Va.
June 6 Carolina Theare, Durham, N.C.
June 9 Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, Fla.
June 16 Potawatomi Casino, Milwaukee, Wis.
June 17 Skyline Stage @ Navy Pier, Chicago, Ill.
June 18 Skyline Stage @ Navy Pier, Chicago, Ill.
June 21 Playhouse Square Center, Cleveland, Ohio
June 22 Roberts Orpheum Theatre, Saint Louis, Mo.
June 23 Fraze Pavilion, Kettering, Ohio
June 24 WVMV-FM Smooth Jazz Festival, Southfield, Mich.
June 25 Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga, N.Y.
June 26 Jazz Festival, Hampton, Va.
July 2 Rodney Strong Vineyard, Healdsburg, Calif.
July 16 Brookside Park, Pasadena, Calif.
Aug. 5 Radisson Hotel, Sacramento, Calif.
Aug. 6 Chateau Ste. Michelle, Woodinville, Wash.

Elliot began his career backing Motown legends such as Smokey Robinson and the Temptations and then spent five years with Tower of Power. Elliot also has an entrepreneurial streak, demonstrated in his Internet multimedia company PacificNet and his partnership with Braun, manager Steve Chapman and Al Evers to create the ARTizen Music Group.
Written By: Katherine Silkaitis ~ Jazztimes.com

Walter Beasley - 'For Her'

The title track of veteran saxman Walter Beasley's latest jaunt into funky, groovy, and super-sensuous territory -- and his debut on Heads Up International -- has a brilliant and amusing anecdote attached. When he started making the album, he had just started seeing a new special someone, so it made sense to call the album For Her (and sing "I would give my life for her" on the graceful, soprano-driven title track) as a tribute. Halfway through the recording process, however, he broke up with "her" -- but because this "her" inspired the emotional ups and downs of the rest of the project, he kept the title. First, Beasley really digs her (the bouncy, disco-fied jam "She's All That," produced with sizzle by Chuck Loeb). Then they're getting down to the throbbing "Coolness," and waking up to a gentle "Good Morning." Later, he's wistfully nostalgic (the seductive "Remember When") and needs a bit of "Grace" to get through the heartache before acknowledging, as soulfully as can be, that "Things Change." Aside from wonderful rhythmic diversity, strong as ever emotional playing, and solid production (including several tracks by Pieces of a Dream's James Lloyd), this disc is unique in smooth jazz for actually attempting to tell a story through music -- rather than just throwing together a fun hodgepodge of new tracks. Beasley doesn't get the festival dates and ink that some of the younger, supposedly hipper smooth saxmen get, but this disc proves he's still a lead player in the game. ~ Jonathan Widran, All Music Guide

Monday, May 23, 2005

XM Radio - Jazz at Lincoln Center

XM Satellite Radio, the nation's leading provider of satellite radio with more than four million subscribers, and Jazz at Lincoln Center, the world's largest producer of jazz performance and education events, today announced a multi-year agreement for XM to broadcast live daily from new, state-of-the-art XM studios at Jazz at Lincoln Center's new home, Frederick P. Rose Hall, at Broadway at 60th Street, in New York City.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Jazz Releases - Tuesday 5/24/05

Anthony Braxton/Matt Bauder - 2 + 2 Compositions (482 Music)
Armen Donelian - Full Moon Music (Sunnyside)
Arturo Sandoval - Live at the Blue Note (Half Note)
Arturo Sandoval - Live at the Blue Note (Half Note) - DVD-Video
Big Neighborhood - Neighbors (Origin)
Bill Laswell - Presents Dub Massive Chapter 1 (Trojan)
Bill Laswell - Presents Dub Massive Chapter 2 (Trojan)
Brian Bromberg - Choices (Artistry)
Bud Powell - The Very Best (Blue Note) - Reissue
Canned Heat - The Very Best Of (Capitol / EMI) - Reissue
Cedar Walton - Underground Memories (Half Note)
Chet Baker - Love For Sale (Just a Memory) - Reissue
Chet Baker - The Very Best (Blue Note) - Reissue
Cosmic Farm - Cosmic Farm (Tone Center)
Cromagnon - Cave Rock (ESP-Disc)
Dave Brubeck Quartet - London Flat, London Sharp (Telarc)
Denny Zeitlin - Solo Voyage (Maxjazz)
Doors - 3 for 1: LA Woman (WEA) - Reissue - Boxed Set
Dr. John - Best of Parlophone Years (PID) - Reissue
Drew Gress - 7 Black Butterflies (Koch)
Esquivel - The Sights and Sounds of Esquivel (Bar None) - Reissue
Frank Potenza - First Takes (Big Daddy)
Freddy Cole - This Love of Mine (Half Note)
Gary Versace - Time & Again (Steeplechase)
George Shearing - The Very Best (Blue Note) - Reissue
Gerald Smith - You Play Like Chet (Hit Happens)
Gil Parris - Live at the Next Door Cafe (Chase)
Hank Jones - For My Father (Justin Time)
Horace Silver - The Very Best (Blue Note) - Reissue
Hugh Maskela - Revival (Heads Up)
Iannis Xenakis - La L├ęgende d'Eer (Mode)
Ikue Mori - Myrninerest (Tzadik)
Jacqui McShee/John Renbourne - In Concert (Universal) - DVD-Video
James Blood Ulmer - Birthright (Hyena)
Jeff Golub - Temptation (Narada)
Jimmy Smith - The Very Best (Blue Note) - Reissue
Johnny Cash - The Original Sun Albums: The Complete Collection (Varese) - Reissue - Boxed Set
Joshua Redman - Momentum (Nonesuch)
Kathy Kosins - Vintage (Lightyear)
Keef Hartley Band - Oberdog (Pid)
Lee Morgan - The Very Best (Blue Note) - Reissue
Lena Horne - An Evening With Lena Horne (Blue Note) - DVD-Video
Lena Horne - Seasons of a Life (Blue Note)
Little Milton - Think of Me (Telarc)
Lou Rawls - The Very Best (Blue Note) - Reissue
Luciana Souza - Duos II (Sunnyside)
Lyle Ritz - Night of Ukelele Jazz Live at McCabe's (Flea Market)
Mary Stallings - Remember Love (Half Note)
Matt Jordan - Let the Feeling Flow (The Orchard)
Miguel Zenon - Jibaro (Marsalis Music)
Miles Davis - The Very Best (Blue Note) - Reissue
Mulgrew Miller - Live at Yoshi's Volume 2 (Maxjazz)
Natto Quartet - Thousand Oaks (482 Music)
Nina Simone - Let it Be (Just A Memory) - Reissue - Book
Okkyung Lee - Nihm (Tzadik)
Pete Fountain - Bourbon Street Magic (Mardi Gras) - Reissue
Popa Chubby - Big Man, Big Guitar : Live (Blind Pig)
Quantic Soul Orchestra - Pushin On (Super D)
Robert Cray - Twenty (Sanctuary)
Ron Blake - Sonic Tonic (Mack Avenue)
Rosemary Clooney - Clasiic Clooney (Music Mill) - Reissue
Sara Lazarus - Give Me the Simple Life (Dreyfus)
SF Jazz Collective - SF Jazz Collective (Nonesuch)
Shelly Berg - First Takes (Azica)
Shirley Horn - Live at Le Jazz Au Bar` (Universal)
Sonny Rollins - The Very Best (Blue Note) - Reissue
Thelonious Monk - The Very Best (Blue Note) - Reissue
Tony Bennett - Sings the Rogers & Hart Songbook (Concord)
Tony Desare - Want You (Telarc)
Various - Touch Me in the Morning (Shanachie) - Reissue
Various - The Best Blue Note Album in the World (Blue Note) - Reissue
Various - Jukebox Jazz! From the Southside of Chicago - Reissue
Walter Beasley - For Her (Heads Up)
Walter Trout - Deep Trout (Ruf)

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Lizz Wright - 'Dreaming Wide Awake'

On her 2003 debut, Salt, Lizz Wright was hailed by People Magazine as “one of the year's most promising new voices,” a “smoky, simmering” talent, according to USA Today. Wright's new albumDreaming WideAwake, set for June 14 release on Verve Forecast, finds that promise fulfilled.

Wright recorded ‘Dreaming’ at Allaire Studios in Woodstock, NY, with Craig Street (Cassandra Wilson, k.d. lang) producing, and a deep well of New York talent contributing: guitarist Bill Frisell, Grammy-winning songwriter Jesse Harris, Mark Anthony Thompson (aka Chocolate Genius), Ollabelle organist Glenn Patscha, and Toshi Reagon among others.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Hugh Masekela 'Revival'

Hugh Masekela, 66, sings and plays his horns on Revival with the same spirit that drove his worldwide commercial success nearly forty years ago. His flugelhorn and cornet still have that smooth sound: a bit frail, but always filled with seamless phrases that bounce fluidly along a trail that's easy to latch on to. This time out, he sings the lead vocal part in a concert that folds in South African elements of a contemporary nature.

Masekela wrote “Spring” to remind us how the earth's cycles provide comfort and joy. He sings it as a happy folk song and adds a heartfelt cornet solo to imprint its message thoroughly. Simple and straightforward, his musical sign of love rests casually on laurels that he founded long ago. With cornet, he revives his “Grazing in the Grass” sound on “District Six,” which features vocalist Corlea with a South African choir. Together, they provide an uplifting example of the positive outcome that can reflect on the arts when politics stays out of the way. Masekela's updated cultural tour catches on rapidly, like wildfires swallowing up unsuspecting flora. His music mesmerizes.

Throughout much of the album, however, the trumpeter's tone and emphasis remain weak. His vocalist guests take center stage, as Masekela weaves in cornet and flugelhorn melodies behind them. The full force of his flugelhorn tone remains hidden and a bit off the mark. This revival of South African music does not revive his tone and technique. Nor does his singing add anything musical to the tour. Nevertheless, Masekela's heartstrings are showing, and you can't help but love the warmth that he endows on his country's cultural change.
Jim Santella [allaboutjazz.com]

Saturday, May 14, 2005

A loving obsession with old-time jazz

A good collector has to be slightly obsessive; a great collector, even a bit of a fanatic. To place the irrepressible Joe Bussard on that spectrum, just ask him how many doors he has knocked on in backwoods Appalachia over the past 50 some years in quest of his beloved old 78 RPM vinyl records.
[...click title to read the entire article by Brian Knowlton, International Herald Tribune]

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Joe Lovano - 'Joyous Encounter'

Now that Joe Lovano has recorded two consecutive CDs with the same quartet, one wonders why they weren't released as a double-CD package all at once, allowing Lovano to move on to his next intriguing idea. Rarely does Lovano repeat himself; rather, he continues to grow as long-simmering notions attain fruition from unpredictable recording concepts. However, with the release of Joyous Encounter, it becomes evident that the one-year-plus between recording sessions has inspired new ideas, and the group has become comfortable enough to take surprising chances. As a result, Lovano isn't as much repeating the original idea of the quartet session with some of the most respected of jazz musicians, as he is moving it forward.
[click title to read more...Review byDon Williamson - jazzreview.com]

Sunday, May 08, 2005

NPR : Fast-Paced Jazz Piano in the Key of Eldar

Eldar DjangirovPianist Eldar Djangirov plays with the verve and style that one would expect from a seasoned jazz artist, but he's just 18 years old.

His parents taught him to play the piano in their native Kyrgyzstan. The first thing he remembers learning was "C Jam Blues," when he was 3. He later took classical lessons and was "discovered" at age 9 by the late New York City jazz aficionado Charles McWhorter, who saw him play at a festival in Siberia.

The family moved to Kansas City, drawn there in large part by the city's jazz history, before moving on to San Diego.

The young star enjoys popular music, citing Radiohead among his favorites, and he has a reputation for piano pyrotechnics. He plays many pieces with remarkable speed and dexterity, including a version of "Take the A Train" that races along the tracks.

But on ballads such as "Nature Boy," he manages to rein in his youthful enthusiasm.

Eldar recently stopped by NPR's Studio 4A to talk to Liane Hansen about his music, his new, self-titled CD... and to rattle the keyboard.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

NPR : Israeli Jazz Bassist Avishai Cohen

Chris Douridas of member station KCRW in Santa Monica, Calif., talks about the music of Israeli jazz bassist Avishai Cohen.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Gerald Albright Finds A Home

Gerald Albright has reached an agreement with a new label.

Smooth jazz saxophonist Gerald Albright has signed to Peak Records. Albright joins a roster that includes Peak co-founder Russ Freeman and his band the Rippingtons, Paul Taylor, David Benoit, Eric Marienthal, the Braxton Brothers and the most recent singing, guitarist Lee Ritenour.

Gerald’s most recent album, Kickin’ It Up, was released in June 2004 by GRP label and featured the No. 1 smooth jazz single called “To The Max.” Gerald’s first album for GRP, Groovology, was released in 2002. Before that, the saxophonist was signed to Atlantic Records.

Expect a new release from Albright early in 2006.

by Brian Soergel [smoothvibes.com]

CD reinvigorates Hiroshima’s solid sound

HiroshimaFor its 25th anniversary, the Asian American jazz band from Southern California celebrates its long career with an overdue all-instrumental album that, at times, reinvigorates their solid sound.

The group sounds particularly good on several pieces that reflect on the past. "Atomic Cafe" and "The Lighthouse" successfully recalls the vibe of the Little Tokyo hangout in the 1970s and the 1950s Hermosa Beach club that was the center of the cool West Coast jazz scene, respectively.

The former is a fine piece of funk, propelled by Dean Cortez's underrated electric bass work and Hawaii-born Kimo Cornwell's turn on the electric piano. Former local residents Dean Taba and Ira Nepus are admirable contributors to the atmospheric ode to the Lighthouse, the only criticism being that, instead of ending on a strong, resolved note, it fades to silence. More please!

A surprising tribute to the fiery Pharoah Sanders has leader Dan Kuramoto approximating the strong style and burry sound of the free-thinking tenor sax man.

And with everything else, Kuramoto's meticulous arrangements always play up the strengths of the veteran band. Even though they're no longer married, he and his former wife, June, remain kindred musical spirits, and the piquant sound of her koto is integral to Hiroshima. The album track "China Latina" was written in honor of the group co-founder and classically trained musician.

Her two highlight pieces include "Kototsu-Han (San Kyoku), which also feature guests Karen Hwa-Chee Han on the bowed string Chinese instrument the er-hu, and part-time Hawaii resident Kenny Endo on the tsutsumi hand drum. "Heritage" closes "Obon" on a reverent note, with fine interplay between her koto, Cornwell's acoustic piano and Kuramoto's flute.
Gary C.W. Chun [starbulletin.com]