Friday, September 30, 2005

Soulive: Breakout

Soulive is nothing if not a young jazz band of the people, playing on the road constantly, interacting with audiences graciously and regularly hosting musicians on stage and on tour. Yet this trio adamantly refuses to release albums that merely reflect its live act, which is a generously funky mix of pure improvisation over deep grooves seasoned with old-school soul, R&B, and contemporary beats.

By Doug Collette

Read the entire review at here.

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Smooth Jazz Top Ten Week Ended 9/30/05

The Top Ten from
LW - TW - Artist - Title
1 - 1 - Paul Hardcastle - Serene
2 - 2 - Richard Elliot - People Make The World Go Round
3 - 3 - Dave Koz - Love Changes Everything
6 - 4 - Brian Culbertson - Hookin' Up
5 - 5 - Paul Jackson, Jr. - Never Too Much
10 - 6 - Ken Navarro - You Are Everything
8 - 7 - Euge Groove - Get Em Goin'
4 - 8 - Steve Cole - Thursday
7 - 9 - Chuck Loeb - Tropical
12 - 10 - Walter Beasley - Coolness

Visit to view the latest complete Smooth Jazz ® National Airplay© listings.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Noted Jazz Musician Says MTV/Hip Hop Generation May Kill Classical and Jazz Music

The MTV/Hip Hop Generation, which is indoctrinated in electronic and non-melodious music, has placed classical music and jazz in "grave" danger according to trombonist Gregory Charles Royal, an alumnus of the Grammy Award winning Duke Ellington Orchestra.

Royal, artistic director of the American Youth Symphony (AYS) in Washington, DC says that the growth in Hip Hop and MTV has resulted in a 30- and- under generation with no appreciation of traditional music. In fact, Royal has written a play about the subject, which was a New York JVC Jazz Festival Special Event. The play is available free on DVD at

"If you consider that the vast amount of college graduates over the past few years don't even register in their consciousness the sound of a cello, clarinet, French horn or flute, how can you even begin to expect them to appreciate traditional forms of music, not to mention going out and actually purchasing a ticket?" says Royal, who has lectured on American music at colleges and universities.

Royal says that the lack of general music education in the schools and the misuse of technology that allows young artists to bypass musical skill have provided what he calls the "nail in the coffin."

"The fact that the under-30 generation can call Rap records "songs," even though the vast majority of them have no melody, is a barometer of how far musical standards have fallen," says Royal, who holds a Master of Music in Jazz Studies from Howard University.

"We in the artistic community must make up lost ground for our abandonment and lack of guidance of this generation. We must partner with Hip Hop artists and labels to lobby them to utilize acoustic instruments. We must also persuade organizations interested in the preservation of traditional music, like the Knight Foundation, to offer grants to Hip Hop producers that choose to use real instruments in their music. We have to get acoustic sounds back in the marketplace," says Susan Veres, Executive Director of AYS.

For more information see

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Joe McBride | Texas Hold ‘Em

Poker and jazz are both very much about using the unknown to your advantage. You’re dealt a certain hand and after that it’s up to you to improvise. Joe McBride is definitely on a roll with his newest Heads Up release, Texas Hold ’Em. Backed again by the Texas Rhythm Club, McBride’s winning streak continues with an album full of bluesy pop hooks and contemporary jazz licks. “Poker transcends age,” McBride says. “It’s such a popular card game, and poker is hot because it’s for everyone.”

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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Bob Baldwin | All In A Days Work

“All In A Day’s Work”. This phrase and the title of his latest CD, slated as a Fall 2005 new release on the 215 Records label embodies the magical wonder and sheer musical genius of internationally renowned jazz pianist/producer/composer Bob Baldwin. Like an artist who blends colors to create the ultimate painting for the eyes, his music paints the ultimate masterpiece for the ears.

Baldwin’s latest CD is a throwback to the soulful style of jazz prevalent in the 1970’s and 80’s, eliciting thoughts of Ramsey Lewis, George Duke, Lonnie Listen Smith or Rodney Franklin leaving fans clamoring for more. If you want typical whiny sax filled tunes then look elsewhere. This is music. From the infectious foot-tapping tune called “Can You Feel It” to the sensual, sultry sounds of “Day-O”, All In A Day’s Work exemplifies why Bob Baldwin has been a mainstay in the world of jazz when so many other groups have faded.

Bob Baldwin has worked with some of the top names in jazz including Will Downing, Marion Meadows, George Benson, Chieli Minucci, Tom Browne, Norman Connors, Roy Ayers, Pieces Of A Dream and Phil Perry just to name a few. He has added to the success of other established artists, composing and producing material for saxophone players Grover Washington, Jr. ("Next Exit") and Marion Meadows ("Keep It Right There).

Bob was perusing the Billboard charts only to find his CD at #7 while Washington and Meadows were at #2 and #5, respectively. All three CD’s sold in excess of 400,000 copies combined. Baldwin worked on Meadows' Body Rhythm BMG (1995) which had six figure unit sales. He then supported the Body Rhythm album with Meadows on the road and performed many sold-out Large City venues throughout the East and Midwest. Bob has toured the world at many jazz festivals in his illustrious career. Releases from this jazz giant include Brazil Chill (2004), Standing Tall (2002), For You (2002), (2001) and Cool Breeze (1998). Roberta Flack selected Baldwin as 1989 Sony Innovators Award winner for his first album, The Dream Featuring Bob Baldwin on Malaco Jazz Records (1988). Baldwin's second and third albums Rejoice (1990) and Reflections of Love (1992) were released on the Atlantic-Jazz label to rave reviews by fans and music critics alike.

Baldwin was born in Mount Vernon, NY and reared in Westchester County, NY. Baldwin's father, Robert Baldwin, Sr. who is also an accomplished jazz pianist in his own right taught Bob how to play the piano at the tender age of four. He was privately trained in Classical and Jazz Standards. Baldwin's musical influences range from Oscar Peterson, Herbie Hancock and Miles Davis to Steve Wonder, Aretha Franklin and Marvin Gaye. Baldwin earned a degree in Business Administration from Geneva College in Beaver Falls, PA while working at MCI and Sprint Communications. He later met Hancock at his Sony Innovators performance in Beverly Hills in 1989 who inspired him during his formative years.

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Bona Fide | Soul Lounge

Since their arrival on the contemporary jazz scene in the late ‘90s, Bona Fide have rapidly established themselves as the leaders in the hottest musical movement in years, a sexy and sophisticated style known by many names: chill, down-tempo, lounge. Call it what you will, the Bona Fide sound – forged by bassist Tim (Slim Man) Camponeschi, saxophonist Kevin Levi, keyboardist George Hazelrigg, drummer John E. Coale and percussionist Howard Zizzi – is characterized by compelling riffs and tight grooves that are paradoxically retro and edgy at the same time. Bona Fide continues to redefine the contemporary jazz landscape with Soul Lounge, their debut album on Heads Up International.

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Boz Scaggs | "Fade Into Light"

"Fade Into Light", an intimate and understated studio album from the singer BOZ SCAGGS, will be released by Virgin Records on September 27, 2005. Previously released by Virgin Japan, "Fade Into Light" has become a much-sought-after prize among Scaggs aficionados who've paid high prices for the import. It offers "unplugged" versions of some of Scaggs' best-known songs, along with several new compositions. Included in this U.S. Virgin DualDisc edition is a new recording by Scaggs of the 80s classic, "Love TKO."

The DVD side of the U.S. package contains the entire album in Enhanced Stereo, along with concert performances in 5.1 Surround Sound and High Definition Video of "Lowdown, " "Harbor Lights" and "We're All Alone, " taken from the "Boz Scaggs Greatest Hits Live" DVD, recorded in San Francisco.

When asked about his approach to this production, Scaggs says: "I've always worked like this in my recording. I hire good musicians and let them do what they do. What you hear on this album is those guys, in that room, on that day." Scaggs initiated the original session when he was hired to write and record the title track as a theme song for a Japanese film. Later, the label requested four more songs to make up an EP, and then more songs to make a full album. Scaggs and the band recorded new arrangements of his classic songs "Lowdown, " "Harbor Lights" and "We're All Alone, " from his landmark album "Silk Degrees, " as well as "Simone" from 1980's "Middle Man, " along with several newly written songs, at Skywalker Sound in Northern California. Among the players joining Boz are Nathan East, Greg Phillinganes, David Paich, Ray Parker, Jr., Lenny Castro, Dean Parks and Booker T. Jones. Tom Scott did the solo on "Lowdown."

Born in Texas, and raised with an abiding respect for a wide spectrum of American roots music, Boz Scaggs recorded early on with his high school buddy Steve Miller. He made his solo debut in 1969 on Atlantic Records with "Boz Scaggs." His 1976 album "Silk Degrees" has been RIAA-certified for sales of over 5 million copies, its classic hit singles and frequently covered album tracks sparking an extraordinary album chart run of well over two years. Other notable Scaggs albums include the platinum-certified "Middle Man, " "Slow Dancer, " and the three albums he made in the 1990s for Virgin: his label debut "Some Change, " the Grammy-nominated blues collection "Come On Home, " and the critically acclaimed "Dig." In 2003 he released "But Beautiful, " a classic jazz quartet outing through the Great American Songbook on his own Gray Cat label.

"Fade Into Light" was produced by Boz Scaggs, with the exception of "Lowdown" (produced by Scaggs and David Paich, the original co-author of that song and the original arranger of the "Silk Degrees" album), "Love TKO" (produced by Paich), "Lost It, " "Time, " "Sierra" and "I'll Be the One" (produced by Scaggs and Ricky Fataar).

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Monday, September 26, 2005

Upcoming Jazz Releases - 9/27/05

Upcoming Jazz Releases

Ab2 - Journeys (Albany)
Bill Charlap/Sandy Stewart - Love is Here to Stay (Blue Note)
Bona Fide - Soul Lounge (Heads Up)
Brad Mehldau Trio - Day is Done (Nonesuch)
Cyrus Chestnut/Ali Jackson/James Carter/Reginald Veal - Gold Sounds (Brown Brothers)
David Doruzka - Hidden Paths (Cube Bohemia)
Deborah Weisz Quintet with Olivier Ker Ourio - Grace (Va Wah Music/Records)
Dianne Reeves - Good Night & Good Luck (Concord)
Elvin Jones Jazz Machine - Jazz Machine (Kultur Video) - DVD-Video
Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames - Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames (Kultur Video) - DVD-Video
Gerald Wilson - In My Time (Mack Avenue)
Herbie Hancock Trio - Herbie Hancock Trio In Concert (Immortal) - DVD-Video
Houston Person - All Soul (HighNote)
Jenny Scheinman - 12 Songs (Crpyptogramophone)
Joe McBride - Texas Hold'Em (Heads Up)
John Abercrombie/Peter Erskine/Bob Mintzer/John Patitucci - Live in New York City (Immortal) - DVD-Video
Mark O'Connor - Mark O'Connor's Hot Swing Live in New York (Omac)
Michael Feinstein - Hopeless Romantics (Concord)
Michael White - A Land of Spirit (UMVD/Impulse)
Miles Davis - Cellar Door Sessions 1970 (Legacy Recordings) - 2+ CDs
Ranee Lee - Just You Just Me (Justin Time)
Ray Charles - The Genius Sings Country and Western (Rhino) - Reissue
Rene Bloch - Mister Latin (Gotham)
Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane - At Carnagie Hall (Blue Note)
U-Nam - Past Builds the Future (Trippin' 'n Rhythm)
Wallace Roney - Mystikal (HighNote)
Woodstore - 41st Parallel (Nagel-Heyer)

Information provided by

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Guitarist Nick Colionne Signs With Narada Jazz

Narada Jazz is pleased to announce the signing of smooth jazz guitarist Nick Colionne to its stellar artist roster. Colionne's new album, his career fifth, will be released in early 2006.

A native of Chicago, Colionne has made a name for himself with his Wes Montgomery-inspired guitar style, punched up by smooth jazz's funkier and soulful side. Colionne's chops and showmanship have garnered him rave reviews from press across the country, touting him as the fastest-rising star in the genre.

Colionne began his musical career at age 9 and by 15, he turned pro and began touring around the world. He has performed with such luminaries as Natalie Cole, Curtis Mayfield, The Staple Singers, and The Impressions and - as a songwriter - has been recorded by Paul Anka and Johnny Mathis. As a solo artist, Colionne has scored top 10 hits on the R&R charts, honored in 2005 with a Smoothie Award from internet jazz hub,, as well as nominated for 2005's “Best Jazz Jazz CD” prize by the Chicago Music Awards. On the signing, David Neidhart (Narada Production's Sr. Vice President of Sales & Marketing) comments, “Nick is one of the great talents of contemporary jazz. He's done a great job of building his career to this point and we believe he's ready to become one of the top stars in the genre.”

In addition to a rigorous touring and recording schedule, Colionne personally holds a strong sense of community. He has mentored at St. Laurence K-8 School in Elgin, IL since 1994 where he counsels, teaches guitar and computer skills, and assists with talent shows, encouraging the next generation of contemporary jazz stars.

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Sunday, September 25, 2005

Is Jazz Dead?

An important new book on the state of jazz today by Stuart Nicholson, published in New York on 4th October by Routledge….

Is Jazz Dead?(Or Has It Moved to a New Address) examines the state of jazz at the turn of the 21st century, a period when the music's past had begun to shape the present as never before. In this thought-provoking study, Nicholson offers an analysis of the American jazz scene and discusses the complex reasons which individually might not have had much impact on the music, but taken together have helped create today's renascent climate.

Central to the book is a study of the impact of globalization/glocalization on jazz, an area of discourse that has so far largely eluded serious study. Today, glocal musicians outside the USA are creating new and exciting music that reflects their local identity, music that is now starting to be heard and acclaimed in the United States. Nicholson points to these developments as being the next major evolutionary trend in jazz and as evidence of this he illustrates how the search for local identity in music has previously and significantly occurred in both classical music and popular culture.

This important study asks whether with American jazz's preoccupation with its past has come a failure to acknowledge the music had become so big it has finally outgrown its country of birth, and that its stewardship was no longer an exclusive American preserve. He raises the hitherto unimagined possibility of the vanguard of jazz, its cutting edge, now no longer resting in its country of origin but in the glocalized jazz communities of Europe.

Nicholson also explores the cultural tensions that surrounded Ken Burns' version of jazz history, serialised in an influential 10-part television documentary Jazz (2001), in the context of trumpeter Wynton Marsalis's music and the Jazz at Lincoln Center project. Other key chapters examine the effects of jazz education, the rise of the "jazzy" singers and thoughts on the nature and direction of jazz of the future.

One key chapter posits the question of whether an art form as important and vital as jazz should be left largely to market forces to decide its destiny, opening up a vital debate on the funding of jazz in America. Nicholson asks whether this could achieved by governmental and municipal funds as happens in Europe, where its effects have contributed to creating a thriving jazz scene where most professional American jazz musicians, according to the New York Times, now derive the majority of their income stream.

This book is bound to be controversial among jazz's purists and ideologues but will be welcomed by others as a celebration of the new renewal of the music within the global jazz community. In looking at developments outside the United States, Is Jazz Dead? (Or Has It Moved to a New Address) will undoubtedly prompt discussion on how the music should be preserved within its borders, asking the question on all jazz fan's minds: Can jazz survive as a living medium? And, if so, how?

Early Praise for Is Jazz Dead (Or Has It Moved To A New Address):

"Stuart Nicholson may be the most perceptive critic writing about jazz today. He listens widely - hunting down the most exciting development in improvisational music from Oslo to Patagonia - and hears deeply. While others are caught up in paradigms from the music's past, he is charting an inspiring roadmap for its future." Ted Gioia, author of The History of Jazz, West Coast Jazz and Imperfect Art (USA)

"That US jazz no longer leads the world seems irrefutable. Stuart Nicholson provides an admirably clear-sighted and culturally-sophisticated examination of recent developments in the US and Europe, while also pointing to a wealth of excellent music for the reader to go in search of. If jazz really is dead, the corpse is looking pretty good." Phil Johnson, Jazz Critic, Independent On Sunday (UK)

"Is Jazz Dead? is certain to stir controversy. No one is going to agree with everything Stuart Nicholson has to say -- about "glocalization" and the rise of European jazz, Wyntonism, and the bleak future for jazz in the U.S. without governmental funding -- but I can't imagine anyone reading him and not feeling provoked. He does what a good critic is supposed to do, which is to give a reader something to argue with. Francis Davis, author of Jazz and Its Discontents: A Francis Davis Reader. (USA)

"Is Jazz Dead? is terrifying, enlightening and thought provoking in equal measures. You might not agree with Nicholson's analysis but if you're in the business of jazz or just plain love the music you cannot afford to ignore this book." Kerstan Mackness, Jazz Editor Time Out London (UK)

"Deeply researched, provocative, well written, with a touch of the British sense of humour, this book will open an infinite debate about jazz in the new century. A must for every jazz lover." Vincenzo Martorella, Editor of Jazzit (Italy)

"Stuart Nicholson has written a powerful counterblast against those who want to place jazz in a mausoleum. Anyone who cares about the future of jazz as a vital and innovative art form should read this book." Sholto Byrnes, Arts Columnist and Interviewer, The Independent (UK)

"Better a change of address than dead!" Manuel Jorge Ve Loso, Arts Reviewer, Diário de Notícias (Portugal)


Stuart Nicholson is an award-winning author of several best-selling books on jazz that have been translated into several languages, including Reminiscing in Tempo: A Portrait of Duke Ellington (Northeastern U Press), Jazz-Rock: A History (Schirmer Books), Billie Holiday: A Biography (Northeastern U Press), Ella Fitzgerald: A Biography (Charles Scribners' Sons) and Jazz: The 1980s Resurgence (Da Capo). His biographies of Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald both received "Notable Book of the Year" awards from The New York Times Review of Books. He writes regularly for leading US and European newspapers and jazz journals.

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Friday, September 23, 2005

Mike Phillips | Uncommon Denominator

The funky introduction on Uncommon Denominator is just a hint of the melodies which follow.
Saxman, Mike Phillips, shows his scathing abilities, along with sidemen, Flow, Crazy and G Money. “Crazy” displays a harmonizing flow of sax, a funky backbeat and smooth vocals backing the long stretches of Mike Phillip’s sexy tones. A stealthy percussion keeps the up-tempo beat on “Heartbeat of the City.” A true city-fied feeling, from the ground up. Smooth, gentle vocals work with the gentler side of Phillips’ sax for an intriguing, intimate appeal during “If It Takes All Night.”

Again, sultry saxman Phillips takes the listener on a journey during “Minnie,” sharing the smoothness with a gentle percussion and persuasive vibraphone sound. Picking up the rhythm, “G-Money” allows a deeper, longer show of notes on sax before “Don’t Panic.” “We Are One’ has a familiar sound as the group plays in sync. Keyboards reach high and low for this tune. Getting down and getting funky, “Uptown on a Saturday Night,” makes you want to get up and shake something.

This CD is well rounded, with some slow jams, a few ‘get up and boogy’ tunes and a few sultry, sexy, ‘come here’ songs. Gentle backgrounds, subtle vocals, masterful sax—all work together, keeping this disc interesting.

Uncommon Denominator follows Phillips’ debut CD, You Have Reached Mike Phillips, which was released three years ago. If Phillips sound familiar, it could be you heard of him from his TV show, Mike’s World on BET. Or you might have heard of him as he toured with Prince’s band. Now with Hidden Beach Projects, Mike Phillips continues sharing his touch and his talent through his music.

Jeff Lorber’s presence can be heard throughout this disc, since he wrote and produced several tracks.

Tracks: Once Again Mike Phillips, Uncommon Denominator, Crazy, Heartbeat of the City, If It Takes All Night, Minnie, G-Money, Don’t Panic, We Are One, Fiesta, 86th and Broadway, Uptown on a Saturday Night, Flow, Brent’s Bounce, If U Had a Heart, Mike and Michaella

Record Label Website:

Reviewed by: Nina Goodrich

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You'll be back

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Smooth Jazz Top Ten Week Ended 9/23/05

The Top Ten from
LW - TW - Artist - Title
2 - 1 - Paul Hardcastle - Serene
1 - 2 - Richard Elliot - People Make The World Go Round
6 - 3 - Dave Koz - Love Changes Everything
4 - 4 - Steve Cole - Thursday
5 - 5 - Paul Jackson, Jr. - Never Too Much
9 - 6 - Brian Culbertson - Hookin' Up
3 - 7 - Chuck Loeb - Tropical
7 - 8 - Euge Groove - Get Em Goin'
8 - 9 - Paul Taylor - Nightlife
10 - 10 - Ken Navarro - You Are Everything

Visit to view the latest complete Smooth Jazz ® National Airplay© listings.

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Thursday, September 22, 2005

Koz's Philanthropy For Katrina Relief

Dave KozSaxophonist/radio personality Dave Koz is mounting two separate eBay auctions, each for a two-person package held back from his completely sold-out Dave Koz & Friends At Sea Cruise in November. All proceeds from one auction will go to the Starlight Starbright Children's Foundation, the non-profit organization dedicated to brightening the lives of seriously ill children and their families for which Koz serves as Global Ambassador; all proceeds from the other will benefit American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. Both auction packages include a deluxe stateroom for two with veranda on the Koz & Friends Cruise, a private catered luncheon with Dave in his stateroom and an autographed Yamaha alto saxophone, among many other prizes. For more information, visit the Dave Koz auction site.>

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Preservation Hall Jazz Band Reassembles

Scattered by Hurricane, New Orleans Preservation Hall Jazz Band Reunites in New York City

A jazz band performs at Preservation Hall in the French Quarter in New Orleans in this April 26, 2004 file photo. Like most of the French Quarter, Preservation Hall, parts of which date back to a private residence built in 1750 when New Orleans was still a French colony, suffered only minimal damage from Katrina. (AP Photo/Cheryl Gerber)John Brunious flew in from an evacuation center in Arkansas, wearing donated clothes and carrying a borrowed trumpet, his voice shot from swallowing polluted floodwater.

The 64-year-old leader of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band went straight from the plane to a Manhattan TV studio for a reunion with the world's ambassadors of New Orleans jazz. The musicians could play only one tune that night. Everyone agreed it should be "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?"

"I was so happy to see that the others were OK, because I knew what I had just come from," said Brunious, 64, who was treated for dehydration at an Arkansas hospital after enduring days without food and water at the horrific New Orleans Convention Center.

"I was very emotional because I really wanted to sing that song to let the world know that we do know what it means to miss New Orleans."

For more than 40 years, the Preservation Hall musicians have spread their infectious, joyful rhythms from African villagers to British royalty, from the White House to the former Soviet Union.

Jazz lovers from around the world have made the pilgrimage to pass through Preservation Hall's wrought-iron gates at 726 St. Peter Street. Inside the dimly lit hall with no air conditioning, fans sat on benches or cushions spread on the rough wooden floor as they listened to pure, unadulterated, traditional New Orleans jazz.

Despite their worldwide renown, the Preservation Hall musicians remain deeply rooted in their local neighborhoods, where such legends as Buddy Bolden, King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong created jazz nearly a century ago.

"I think the band is one of the most honest reflections of New Orleans," said bassist Benjamin Jaffe, 34, Preservation Hall's director. "We don't live in an ivory tower. We live with our communities and care for our communities.

"We all feel that we were down and then we got kicked, and that's a terrible place to feel right now," he said during an interview at the Manhattan office of the distributor for the Preservation Hall Recordings label, where his staff is working until they can return home....

Click on the article title to read the tne full story at

By CHARLES J. GANS Associated Press Writer

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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Picking a Guitarist, Fluent in Monk and More

Russell Malone, left, and Earl Klugh were judges in the competitionThe organizers of the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition compare it to the Van Cliburn and Tchaikovsky competitions, appropriately lofty benchmarks for what is heralded as America's classical music. The other useful parallel, "American Idol," goes as tactfully unacknowledged as an elephant in the room.

This year's Monk competition, which focused on the guitar, was especially revealing of jazz's complex and sometimes contradictory negotiation between art music and pop. That push and pull was best personified by George Benson, who received the Maria Fisher Founder's Award from the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz at the Kennedy Center on Monday night. After accepting the honor, Mr. Benson, in sunglasses and a black velvet tracksuit, performed "On Broadway," his theme song.

The fluid and dizzyingly articulate jazz guitar style that Mr. Benson honed in the 1960's - his Wes Montgomery-derived instrumental voice - was the lingua franca of the competition. Nearly all of the 10 semifinalists who squared off on Sunday at the Baird Auditorium at the Smithsonian showed its influence, adopting Mr. Benson's clarity of tone and crispness of attack.

This might have been a function of a prescreening process that favored technical achievement within recognizable parameters. It could also have been a by-product of the regimented semifinals format. Each guitarist had 15 minutes for three selections, including a Monk composition. And each was required to use all members of the four-piece house band.

That part should have been easy. The band, under the direction of the pianist Bob James, featured several of jazz's most versatile musicians: the bassist James Genus, the drummer Teri Lyne Carrington and the tenor saxophonist Chris Potter.

But some of the guitarists seemed cowed by these veterans, and particularly by Ms. Carrington, whose drumming is as aggressive as it is responsive. A few competitors failed to click with the ensemble because they seemed more intent on courting an ostensibly mainstream judging panel: the guitarists Russell Malone, Earl Klugh, Pat Martino, Stanley Jordan and John Pizzarelli. (Bill Frisell judged the finals but missed the semis to wrap up a Village Vanguard engagement.)

Every guitarist was proficient, and there were moments that broke through the workmanlike conservatism. David Mooney, a New Orleans native, began with a breezy light-funk number, and then moved on to "The End of a Love Affair," swinging with a bluesy bite.

But the most arresting artist was a Norwegian named Lage Lund, who has lately been a fixture on New York's low-rent club scene. (He plays this Friday and Saturday at Smalls, 183 West 10th Street, Greenwich Village.) Mr. Lund displayed a sophisticated harmonic literacy and a natural sense of phrasing.

He was one of the three finalists, along with Mr. Mooney and Miles Okazaki, to appear at the Kennedy Center on Monday. Mr. Mooney smartly finessed the Monk ballad "Pannonica" but sounded ill at ease on Wayne Shorter's sleeker "E.S.P." Mr. Okazaki nailed a barn-burning romp through John Coltrane's "Countdown," but his lurching rhythmic deconstruction of Monk's "Misterioso" visibly flustered the band. Mr. Lund came out strongest over all, but his diffident poise seemed more aloof than introspective under the glare of the stage lights.

Mr. Lund won first prize, with an accompanying check of $20,000. Mr. Okazaki received second prize, and $10,000; Mr. Mooney came in third, with $5,000. (The prize money comes from General Motors, the competition's major sponsor.) The evening ended with Mr. Lund, the winner, and Mr. Benson, the honoree, gamely digging into "How High the Moon," a bit of jazz classicism that harnessed virtuosity in the service of popular appeal.


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Monday, September 19, 2005

Upcoming Jazz Releases - 9/20/05

Upcoming Jazz Releases

Al Di Meola/Larry Coryell/Bireli Lagrene - Super Guitar Trio & Friends (Naxos) - DVD-Video
Alex Sipiagin - Returning (City Hall)
Aram Shelton - Arrive (Document Chicago #9) (482 Music)
Ben Thomas - Triskaidekaphobia (City Hall)
Bob Dylan - No Direction Home (Paramount) - DVD-Video
Brian Lynch Latin Jazz - Conclave (City Hall)
Buddy De Franco - Lush Life (City Hall)
Candy Dulfer - Live at Montreux 2002 (Eagle)
Candy Dulfer - Live at Montreux 2002 (RED) - DVD-Video
Carlo Dato Actis - Folklore Imaginario (Leo)
Charlie Peacock - Love Press Ex Curio (Red)
Chick Corea - Rendezvous in New York (Image Entertainment) - DVD-Video
Claude Bolling - Warm Up the Band (City Hall)
Conrad Herwig - Obligation (City Hall)
Dave Douglas - Keystone (Greenleaf Music)
David Rothenberg - Why Birds Sing (City Hall)
David Thomas Roberts - Scott Joplin: Complete Piano Vol. 1 (City Hall)
Dick Hyman - Stridemonster (City Hall)
Dickey Betts & Great Southern - Back Where It All Begins: Live (RED) - DVD-Video
Eric Marienthal - Got You Covered (Peak)
Ezra Weiss - Persephone (City Hall)
Fim Super Sound II - Fim Super Sound II (Fim)
Five Birmingham Babies - Heart Breakin Baby (City Hall)
Five Corners Quintet - Chasin' The Jazz Gone By (Milan)
Forgas Band Phenomena - Soleil 12 (Cuneiform)
Frances Langford - April in My Heart (Flare UK)
Gerald Cannon - Gerald Cannon (Woodneck)
Grant Stewart - Grant Stewart 4 (City Hall)
Herlin Riley - Cream of the Crescent (City Hall)
Hod O'Brien - Live at Blues Alley: Second Set (City Hall)
James Brown - Getting Down to It (Universal)
Jimi Tunnell - Trilateral Commission (City Hall)
John Coltrane - Live at the Half Note 1965 (Verve)
John La Barbera Big Band - Fantazm (City Hall)
John Zorn - Best of Filmworks: 20 Years of Soundtrack Music (Tzadik)
Jonathan Kreisberg - Unearth (City Hall)
Ken Clark Organ Trio - Mutual Respect (City Hall)
Kenny Carr - Friday at Five (Tas Management)
Kevin Bujo Jones - Tenth World (City Hall)
Kim Waters - All for Love (Shanachie)
Kyle Asche - Hook Up (City Hall)
Kyle Eastwood - Paris Blue (Rendezvous)
Marty Ehrlich - News on the Rail (Red)
Matt Otto - Red (City Hall)
Nicholas D'Amato - Nullius in Verba (City Hall)
Patty Waters - Happiness is a Thing Called Joe: Live in San Francisco 2002 (Koch)
Ramon Lopez - Flowers of Peace (City Hall)
Ray Barbee - In Full View (Galaxia)
Rebecca Kilgore - Make Someone Happy (City Hall)
Sainkho - Forgotten Streets of St Petersburg (City Hall)
The Bad Plus - Suspicious Activity (Columbia)
Trio Da Paz - Somewhere (Blue Toucan)
Wildfire - Rattle of the Chains (Pinecastle)
World's Greatest Jazz Band - Century Plaza (City Hall)

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Hot New Acoustic Jazz Guitarist making Inroads in Smooth Jazz

Jazz Acoustic guitarist Noel Lorica from south Florida recently released his first album entitled "First Dance".Its a mixture of Contemporary,classic,standards with a lot of brazilian undertones.

Noel LoricaJazz Lovers will groove to the fresh compositions of Noel Lorica. His mastery of the acoustic guitar brings out the beauty of true Smooth Jazz stylings with subtle, sensual Wayward diversions that make the melodies memorable. Winding his way through classic forms of jazz, from the provocative rhythms of Latin jazz adding the precision of its Asian counterpart to the heartfelt melodies of Smooth Jazz, Noel is able to meld them into a vibrant, rich resonance. National performer, Mark Eddie, refers to him as "one of the most talented guitarist" he's worked with in his career.
Noel Lorica's debut album, appropriately titled "First Dance", has just been released and is getting national attention at, CDBaby and Tower Records. In addition, he has gotten praise and recognition for his personal commitment to his craft. Recently, being reported by BroadJam as one of the top ten for Jazz and Latin Jazz for two of his songs from his debut album and honored as the #1 fan pick for ages 37-50 yrs old. Karl Stober, jazz columnist calls Noel's album " one of the rare stunning pieces of Latin jazz to hit the scene today". His dedication extends to his personal convictions as well, donating a portion of the proceeds to animal welfare and performing at various events. It is a cause close to his heart, being a veterinarian as well ala Wayman Tisdale who also has a second job. But, it is Noel's love for music has taken him back in the studio recording a Christmas album due out this season. And with 30 unpublished original songs, the studio will become Noel's second home.

Born in Manila, he played in a rock band as a teenager. After moving to America during the 80's, he felt at home in South Florida. It was perfect, Latin beats and Jazz echoed around, his musical instincts began to surface again. Noel started doing small gigs and played with a couple of bands. His sound was well received and he performed at large conventions in Orlando. But Noel realized composing music compelled him to concentrate more on developing his own music. So he soon joined ASCAP and was recognized by Steve Cahill, president of Songwriter's Network as "a wonderful songwriter". He was an Award Winner in the Great American Song Contest and his winning song "Back in Five" is featured on his debut album and is his introduction into the jazz community.

Visit Noel Lorica's web site

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Sunday, September 18, 2005

Katrina Jazz Concert Has Political Tone

Jazz At Lincoln CenterWith the exception of the now-famous Kanye West outburst, celebrity-driven benefits for Hurricane Katrina victims have followed a familiar formula -- musicians singing heart-tugging ballads while famous faces implore viewers to give, all in a sanitized, apolitical tone.

While those elements were present at Jazz at Lincoln Center's "Higher Ground: Hurricane Relief Benefit Concert" Saturday night, the five-hour concert was stirring not only for its music, but for the emotionally charged performances and speeches that mourned the tragedy that struck New Orleans, but also assigned blame.

"When the hurricane struck, it did not turn the region into a Third World country ... it revealed one," actor Danny Glover told the audience in a speech with Harry Belafonte.

Both criticized the government, not only for the response to the tragedy but for the conditions prior to it.

"Katrina was not unforeseeable," Belafonte said. "It was the result of a political structure that subcontracts its responsibility to private contractors and abdicates its responsibility altogether."

Robin Williams poked fun at the Bush administration during his standup routine, in which he imagined an ethnically named Hurricane, and imagined its attitude: "I'm going to go to Kennebunkport and see if they respond any quicker!"

Bill Cosby played it straight as he called on the American people to hold government accountable.

"This happened to the people. The constitution says of the people, by the people, for the people ... but the people who got the office got into office and forgot about the people," he said.

Elvis Costello, who performed with jazz giant Allen Toussaint, said he heard that conservatives were worried about Katrina's rebuilding cost. "I just hope we keep in our minds that an effort like this can never be too expensive," he said.

Joining them at the Rose Center were Bette Midler, James Taylor, Herbie Hancock, Toni Morrison, Robert De Niro, Cassandra Wilson, Meryl Streep, Shirley Caesar and the evening's host, Laurence Fishburne, among others. A condensed version was broadcast on PBS.

Jazz singer Jon Hendricks summed up the tone of the evening. After singing one tribute, he said, "That's the way I feel about New Orleans. This is the way I feel about the country right now."

Then he launched into the angry song "Tell Me The Truth," singing lines like "Nowadays, wrong is right, down is up, black is white, bad is good, truth is a lie" before defiantly singing, "Somebody tell me what's right," to the applause of the audience.

But some of the most poignant moments didn't need a political agenda. Young jazz trumpet player Irvin Mayfield of New Orleans played the melancholy tune "Just A Closer Walk with Thee," and dedicated it to the rebuilding of New Orleans and "to my father, who is still missing."

Other performances transplanted the audience to the city's vibrant musical scene: Diana Krall gave a sultry performance of "Basin Street Blues"; Paul Simon joined Buckwheat Zydeco for a zydeco jam fest; jazz singer and pianist Peter Cincotti played "Bring New Orleans Back."

Perhaps the evening's most poignant and entertaining moment came at the end, when Wynton Marsalis, the organizer of the event (and Jazz at Lincoln Center's artistic director) led members of the jazz orchestra through a Duke Ellington tune that played out like a traditional New Orleans jazz funeral.

It began somber and searing, as the horns wailed for the city. Then it transformed into a joyous celebration, complete with dancing, snaking through the auditorium and back on stage. In the end, instead of a funeral, it represented a resurrection, which is what is hoped for New Orleans.

AP Music Writer

Visit the Jazz At Lincon Center website

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Patrick Yandall | Eyes Of Mars

Thank the Lord that there are great jazz guitar players named Patrick Yandall to carry on the tradition laid down by the luminaries that came before him. Eyes Of Mars is another superior effort from the jazz guitar man.

Yandall’s virtuosity has reached another level on this release and his versatility becomes the greatest asset as he makes his way through the 12 tracks on this CD.

The previous release From The Ashes was a wonderful recording, however, this release has a richer texture and sound. Yandall is like a master chef taking a little bit of this and that and baking it into make one delectable musical meal for consumption. The title track is some of the best smooth jazz you will ever hear. Then he takes you on a tour of the world of Latin improvisation on the outstanding tracks “Tequila Time” and “Brazilian Affairs,” proving once again that variety is indeed the spice of life and the nature of great jazz musicianship. Most notable, Nathan Brown plays some incredible bass on this album. I highly recommend listening to this CD with a surround sound system, it sounds incredible.

When is the world going to wake up and realize that Patrick Yandall is a gift of the gods? His music speaks for itself; words are never a part of the equation as he paints an instrumental canvas that gives you the ability to find a beautiful picture in your minds eye. Speaking of pictures and imaginative artistic flair, the cover is superb and leaves plenty for you to ponder. The inside of Patrick’s eye upon closer inspection reveals a picture similar to what you would see on weather forecast radar for a storm warning, possibly the quiet storm I so often refer to when discussing jazz music?

Patrick Yandall has a lot more to offer than music. Inside his music, there is a telegraph to your soul. He sure connects with me on his instrumental wonderland. You did it again Patrick, another great album for this year.

Tracks: Eyes of Mars, Saturday Love, Just Be Thankful, Funk Sway, Sheri, Tequila Time, Brazilian Affairs, King B.B., Naima, Let Me Love You, Little Mac, Europa

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Reviewed by: Keith 'MuzikMan' Hannaleck

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Saturday, September 17, 2005

Jazz at Lincoln Center Presents Star-Studded Hurricane Relief Benefit

New Orleans native and Jazz at Lincoln Center artistic director Wynton Marsalis.Jazz at Lincoln Center gathers stars from the worlds of jazz, pop, classical music, movies, and television for a concert at 7 p.m. ET tonight to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

The "Higher Ground Hurricane Relief Benefit Concert" at Rose Hall will be broadcast live starting at 8 p.m. on PBS, NPR, BET, BET Jazz, VH1 Classic, VH1 Soul, and other radio and television stations; XM Satellite Radio's broadcast will begin at 7 p.m. (check local listings). The concert can also be heard on the Internet at,, and

Performers newly added to the lineup include soprano Renée Fleming, pianist Herbie Hancock, actor and comedian Robin Williams, and novelist Toni Morrison.

Also scheduled to appear are Wynton Marsalis, Harry Belafonte, Terence Blanchard, Ken Burns, Shirley Caesar, Cyrus Chestnut, Peter Cincotti, Bill Cosby, Elvis Costello, Danny Glover, Aaron Neville, Robert De Niro, Norah Jones, Diana Krall, Abbey Lincoln, Bette Midler, Toni Morrison, Arturo O’Farrill, Dianne Reeves, Paul Simon, Meryl Streep, James Taylor, McCoy Tyner, Cassandra Wilson, Jeffrey Wright, and Buckwheat Zydeco.

Actor Laurence Fishburne will serve as host; opera legend Beverly Sills will host Live From Lincoln Center's PBS broadcast, and talk show host Tavis Smiley will anchor the broadcast.

During the broadcast, contributions will be solicited for Jazz at Lincoln Center's Higher Ground Relief Fund, which assists musicians and others in the New Orleans area, as well as the Red Cross and the Salvation Army.

In addition, Jazz at Lincoln Center is auctioning a guitar signed by Eric Clapton and John Mayer, artwork by LeRoy Neiman and Peter Max, first-edition copies of Marsalis's Jazz ABZ: An A To Z Collection of Jazz Portraits, and other items to benefit the relief effort. The auction will run from September 17 at 7 p.m. ET through September 26 at 7 p.m. Visit to bid.

As of yesterday afternoon, tickets for the concert were still available at the $1,000, $5,000, and $10,000 levels at the Jazz at Lincoln Center box office,, or by calling CenterCharge at 212-721-6500.

By Ben Mattison

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Thursday, September 15, 2005

New Orleans: The City that Gave Us Jazz

As hurricane recovery efforts continue, some worry of cultural loss

By Stephen Kaufman
Washington File White House Correspondent

Washington -- New Orleans, the devastated but recovering city, forever will be associated with the birth of jazz music, the first original art form developed in the United States, which went on to spread across the continent and around globe during the 20th century.

As many are coming to terms with the human devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina along the U.S. Gulf Coast, many within the United States and around the world also are expressing concern over the fate of cultural icons and places critical to the development of New Orleans’ musical heritage.

Celebrated native personalities, such as jazz greats Branford Marsalis and Harry Connick Jr., and rock and roll Hall of Fame member Fats Domino, who was reported missing in the flood for several days before his rescue on September 2, are holding concerts to raise money for relief efforts.


As the floodwaters recede, news reports are filtering in about the fate of famous musical venues.

Preservation Hall, a celebrated jazz club located in the middle of the French Quarter, apparently was spared, and its Web site now is serving as a network to connect displaced New Orleans musicians.

However, the fairgrounds, which host the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival every spring, barely have survived, and the roof reportedly has been torn off the grandstand.

In a September 1 article published by the Village Voice, musicologist Ned Sublette expressed alarm over the fate of artifacts and other primary historical items that catalogued the development of jazz music as an American art form.

"Everything from documents to recordings to things that are in private hands [are lost]. Many of the more serious archives are on higher floors -- presumably many of them have survived the floodwaters. But what condition are they in? How quickly will cultural workers be able to get in and rescue the patrimony which is very important in understanding where American music came from?” Sublette asked.


A little more than a century ago, there was no such music as jazz. The accumulated classical western musical tradition in the United States, while loved and respected, beautiful and complex, did not encourage improvisation or syncopated rhythms, and was often the exclusive purview of the privileged.

In Jazz: A Film By Ken Burns, which first aired on public television in 2001, director Ken Burns explored the history and development of this American music form from its beginnings through its more contemporary styles.

According to the film, jazz “grew up in a thousand places, but it was born in New Orleans, which was in the early 1800s the most cosmopolitan and the most musical city in America.”

Jazz ultimately was a combination of black music styles: Caribbean rhythms, the Baptist church call-and-response hymns, and slave work songs, along with some classical styles played by educated New Orleans Creoles -- people in the city of all races who shared a French or Spanish background -- who performed in brass bands and parades. The combination of all these styles led to ragtime and the blues, and ultimately to jazz.

Burns says the art of improvisation, one of jazz music’s defining characteristics, was partly due to the fact that African slaves, brought to a new land and confronting a new status, culture and language, had to improvise by necessity. “To survive in America, slaves needed to be able to incorporate everything they saw and heard around them, [and] had to find ways to make it all their own,” Burns said.


When post-Civil War segregation in New Orleans forced the comparatively affluent Creoles more firmly into the African-American community, their musical cultures blended.

In adapting new styles during the late 19th century, military brass instruments, such as trumpets, that many Creoles were trained on, mimicked the former slaves’ church spirituals and blues in their tone and intonation. Thus, blacks and Creoles together invented a new style of music.

“Like the city that gave it birth, like the country that would soon embrace it, this new music would always be more than the sum of its parts,” the Burns film said.

With many of the city’s music venues located in Storyville, the local red light district, the new music started out with an association with the underworld – a connection that later would be enhanced during the 1920s Prohibition era when it would be performed in speakeasies which illegally served alcoholic beverages. The new music was called “jass,” reportedly from the jasmine perfume worn by prostitutes, and was shortly thereafter corrupted to its present form “jazz.”

As the locale for the birth of this new art form, of course, the first, and some of the most renowned jazz artists were New Orleans natives.

Buddy Bolden, a trumpet player, was the first musician celebrated for playing jazz. He invented the “big four,” a syncopated rhythm that became exclusive to the new form of music, and he led the first jazz band.

A young Creole pianist named Ferdinand Joseph La Mothe used to sneak away to play clubs in Storyville, telling his grandmother he was working as a night watchman. Rechristening himself as Jelly Roll Morton, he was the first jazz musician to put his compositions on paper. Once his grandmother discovered the 17-year-old was frequenting New Orleans’ red light district, Morten left home and began his life as a traveling performer.

Sydney Bechet, another Creole who played clarinet and soprano saxophone, has been called “the poet of New Orleans music.” Joining vaudeville shows touring the South and the Midwest, his playing style was characterized by vibrato and attack.

Joe “King” Oliver, a cornet player and band leader in Storyville, played in brass bands, dance bands and in various small groups in New Orleans bars and cabarets before leaving for Chicago in 1918.

And perhaps the most famous jazz artist of all, trumpeter Louis Armstrong, was born into poverty in 1901 in the violent section of New Orleans known as “The Battlefield.” As a boy, Armstrong led a band at a New Orleans waif’s home and played steamboats traveling up and down the Mississippi River before joining King Oliver’s band in Chicago and eventually achieving international stardom.


Jazz expanded as musicians left New Orleans for places such as Chicago, New York and Kansas City. The first ever recording by a jazz artist in 1917 brought the music to a wider, multiracial audience and expanded its popularity.

Gerald Early, a professor at Washington University in St. Louis, says in Burns’ film that one explanation for the music's spreading appeal is that it “was a way for people to break with the old.”

“Black people, when they invented this music, weren’t looking back to Africa. They were looking at America and looking at the future and looking at what they were as Americans. Europeans who came to this country were attracted to this music [and] found in this music a way to break free from Europe,” he said.

And jazz, as well as other forms of music, remained an integral part of New Orleans life thereafter.

"Music is part of the big three," said Jack Stewart, a member of the New Orleans Jazz Commission in a September 11 article published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "New Orleans is food, architecture and music. Everyone in New Orleans is a musician or has a relative who's a musician, whether they are professional or amateur."

Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, who will perform at a benefit concert in New York September 17, told France’s Le Monde newspaper that he is hoping for international aid to help rebuild his devastated hometown.

But in the interview, published September 12, Marsalis said confidently, "New Orleans will be rebuilt," adding that money isn't the issue. "It's a question of will."

And perhaps partly as reassurance or even defiance, organizers of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival announced September 12 that the event indeed will take place in 2006. If it does not materialize in the ruined fairgrounds, “It will be as close to New Orleans as we can get it," producer-director Quint Davis told the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

For more information on the storm and its aftermath, see Hurricane Katrina.

Created:14 Sep 2005 Updated: 14 Sep 2005

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Smooth Jazz Top Ten Week Ended 9/16/05

The Top Ten from
LW - TW - Artist - Title
1 - 1 - Richard Elliot- People Make The World Go Round
2 - 2 - Paul Hardcastle Serene
4 - 3 - Chuck Loeb Tropical
3 - 4 - Steve Cole - Thursday
5 - 5 - Paul Jackson, Jr. - Never Too Much
7 - 6 - Dave Koz - Love Changes Everything
8 - 7 - Euge Groove - Get Em Goin'
6 - 8 - Paul Taylor - Nightlife
9 - 9 - Brian Culbertson - Hookin' Up
11 - 10 - Ken Navarro - You Are Everything

Click on title to see the latest Smooth Jazz ® National Airplay© list at
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Dave Koz sets up annual holiday tour

Dave KozSaxophonist Dave Koz has hammered out the initial details for his annual "Dave Koz & Friends - A Smooth Jazz Christmas Tour. "The outing launches Nov. 26 with a two-night stand in Nevada, and dates are lined up until just before Christmas. The itinerary is included below. More dates will be added, according to Koz's publicist.

Joining Koz on the outing this time around will be vocalist Patti Austin, as well as pianist/composer David Benoit, and guitarist/vocalist Jonathan Butler, both of whom were on board for last year's jaunt.

Koz continues to back 2003's "Saxophonic," which features the Grammy-nominated hit "Honey-Dipped," as well as additional singles "All I See Is You" and "Let It Free." All three cuts spent multiple weeks in the No. 1 slot on industry trade Radio & Records' Smooth Jazz Top 30 chart, and "All I See Is You" was the most-played song at Smooth Jazz radio in 2004, according to a press release.

Meanwhile, the album's latest single--"Love Changes Everything"--is currently No. 6 on R&R's Smooth Jazz Top 30.

Koz is working on the follow-up to "Saxophonic," for which he has enlisted producer Phil Ramone (Rod Stewart, Frank Sinatra); the disc is slated for release early next year.

On top of his touring and recording endeavors, Koz hosts a morning radio show in Los Angeles and a weekly syndicated smooth-jazz show, according to his website.

Dave Koz tickets
November 2005
25, 26 - Incline Village, NV - Hyatt Regency Grand Ballroom
27 - San Diego, CA - Symphony Hall
30 - Dallas, TX - Nokia Theatre

December 2005
1 - Temecula, CA - Pechanga Resort & Casino
2 - San Francisco, CA - Nob Hill Masonic Center
3 - Los Angeles, CA - Kodak Theatre
5 - Clearwater, FL - Ruth Eckerd Hall
6 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL - Broward PAC
7 - Sarasota, FL - Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
9 - Baltimore, MD - Hippodrome Theatre
12 - New York, NY - Nokia Theatre
14 - Columbus, OH - Palace Theatre
15 - Detroit, MI - Opera House
16 - Cleveland, OH - Palace Theatre Playhouse Center
17, 18 - Chicago, IL - Chicago Theatre
20 - Phoenix, AZ - Ikeda Theatre/Mesa Arts Center
22, 23 - Cerritos, CA - Center for the Performing Art

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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Dizzy Gillespie's New Jersey Estate May Fetch $1 Mln in Auction

Late jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie's trumpet, Grammy award, record collection and handwritten sheet music may raise more than $1 million when his estate in northern New Jersey is sold at auction this week.

Gillespie, famous for his blowfish-like cheeks and bent trumpet, lived in Englewood from 1965 until 1993, when he died of pancreatic cancer. Gillespie's wife, Lorraine, died last year, and she wanted family, friends and charities to inherit the proceeds from an auction of their estate, said Harris Stratyner, co-executor of her will.

More than 3,000 items will go on the block in the Sept. 14 sale, said Kathy Nye, whose Dawson & Nye auction house is running the event. Nye estimates that Gillespie's 1975 Grammy statue for best jazz performance will fetch $2,000 to $5,000. She puts the total value of the mementos at a ``conservative $1 million.''

``It's the Dizzy factor,'' Nye said. ``He's most certainly an American legend and his belongings are a piece of American music history.''

The musician, born John Birks Gillespie in South Carolina in 1917, earned the nickname ``Dizzy'' because of his zany onstage antics and deadpan humor. ``Dizzy would often say to the audience, `Now ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to introduce the musicians,' and then introduce them to each other,'' Stratyner recalled.

Bent Trumpet

In the 1950s someone fell on Dizzy's trumpet at a party and bent it, according to biographies. Gillespie played it, liked the sound, and from then on had trumpets made for him in that shape.

Gillespie ran for president in 1964 against Lyndon B. Johnson and Barry Goldwater, announcing that his first official act would be to rename the White House ``The Blues House.'' Gillespie later withdrew before the election. Memorabilia from his presidential run are for sale, including a ``Dizzy Gillespie for President'' red whoopee cushion.

He and Lorraine Gillespie, a former chorus line dancer and dance teacher, were married for 53 years. One item for sale is a black-and-white photograph of Dizzy holding a trumpet, inscribed ``To my wife Lorraine -- the only breath of fresh air that has ever entered my life. Your Dizzy.''

Other pieces include hand-written letters to Dizzy from musician Louis Armstrong, singer Ella Fitzgerald and every U.S. president from Richard Nixon to Bill Clinton; a pool table from the basement of the Gillespie home, and one of Gillespie's trademark bent trumpets.

The Gillespie estate also features rare albums, a script from the Muppet Show episode featuring Dizzy, a Hollywood Walk of Fame plaque presented in 1995, and a six-foot-high banner covered with autographs of people who gathered for a celebration of Dizzy's 75th birthday, which he was unable to attend because of his illness.

Town Hero

Englewood, a town of 26,000 in Bergen County, named Gillespie one of its most distinguished residents and designated a downtown area in his honor. Actors John Travolta, Sarah Jessica Parker and Eddie Murphy have also called Englewood home.

The Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, where Gillespie was a patient, renamed its cancer center the Dizzy Gillespie Cancer Institute. In response to a request from Gillespie, the hospital established a memorial fund in his name that covers the cost of medical care for jazz musicians ``who were not as fortunate as him,'' said Margaret Bridge, executive vice president of the Englewood Hospital Foundation.

``We recognized Dizzy's value to the community,'' Bridge said. ``He considered this hospital his hospital, which from a public relations point of view was a wonderful thing for him to do.''


Lorraine and Dizzy had no children, and before they died they helped establish several charitable foundations. They also contributed to the Baha'i Faith, a religion that originated in what is now Iran in the 19th century and emphasizes unity and acceptance, which Dizzy practiced; and the Christian faith, which Lorraine practiced, said co-executor Stratyner.

``A lot of jazz players were poor, but not Dizzy,'' said Stratyner, 50, whose father was Gillespie's accountant for more than 40 years. ``Dizzy was a very successful man, I like to say, because he had a good accountant.''

The Gillespie auction will take place at Dawson & Nye's 13,000-square-foot gallery in Morris Plains, New Jersey, 20 miles west of New York City. Bids will be accepted in advance of the sale. During the sale, people can bid in person, by phone and through EBay Inc. live.

Dawson & Nye, run by Kathy Nye and her husband John, has handled the estate of singer Perry Como and soap-opera actress Ruth Warrick. The Gillespie auction is their most famous, said Kathy Nye, who expects a couple of hundred bidders.

This is an unreserved auction, Nye said, which means that every item sells to the highest bidder without any minimum price. Lots may sell for as little as $50, she said.

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National Endowment For The Arts Honors Seven Jazz Greats

National Endowment For The ArtsSeven jazz legends are being recognized by the U.S. government for their achievements.

Singer Tony Bennett, keyboardist Chick Corea and trumpeter Freddie Hubbard are among those named Jazz Masters by the National Endowment for the Arts and awarded $25,000 fellowships.

The other recipients are percussionist Ray Barretto, composer Bob Brookmeyer, clarinetist Buddy DeFranco and New Orleans-born manager John Levy, honoured as a jazz advocate.

"Jazz is one of the great, truly native American art forms," said the endowment's head, Dana Gioia. "Along with the movies, it's probably the art that the rest of the world associates most deeply with America."

"It's important that America recognizes its own great artists while they're still alive" Gioia said in a telephone interview Monday. He noted the poignancy of naming the honourees after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the "cradle of Jazz," New Orleans.

The NEA has named 87 Jazz Masters since the program began in 1982. Artists and advocates are nominated by the public. The program is sponsored by Verizon Communications Inc., which has given about $300,000 US, the agency said.

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Monday, September 12, 2005

Upcoming Jazz Releases - 9/13/05

Upcoming Jazz Releases

Albert Ayler - New Grass (Impulse) - Reissue
Angela Deniro - My Shining Hour (Cap)
Annette Hanshaw - Girl Next Door (Take Two)
Bob DeVos - DeVos' Groove Guitar (Blues Leaf)
Bobo Stenson Trio - Goodbye (ECM)
Brian Buchanan - Plays Music of Dennis Van Westerborg (Jazz Focus)
Changos Trio - Nann (Cap)
Clairdee - Music Moves (Hyena)
Danny Thompson - Whatever's Best (Resurgent Music)
Dave Liebman/Don Braden/Dan Moretti - Latin Genesis (Whaling City)
Dave Stryker/Steve Slagle Band - Live (Zoho)
David Benoit - Orchestral Stories (Universal)
Dee Dee Bridgewater - J'ai Deux Amours (Navarre)
Diva Jazz Orchestra - Big Band (Light Year)
Elissa Lala - Touch of Your Voice: New Takes on Chet Baker (Omnitone)
Ernesto - New Blues (Exceptional)
Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble - The Eleventh Hour (ECM)
Freda Payne - After the Lights Go (Impulse)
Gamelan Madu Sari - New Nectar (Songlines)
Gebhard Ullmann - Essencia (Between-the-Lines)
Gerry Hemingway - Double Blues Crossing (Between-the-Lines)
Hank Jone - Hanky Panky (Navarre)
Insipid Hothouse Melons - Insipid Hothouse Melons (Storyville)
Jack Foster III - Raptorgnosis (Muse Wrapped)
Jazzanova - Blue Note Trip (Blue Note)
Jesper Thilo - Insipid Hothouse Melons (Storyville)
Jim Hall/Enrico Pieranunzi - Duologues (CAM Jazz)
Jimi Hendrix - Live at Woodstock (Universal) - DVD-Video
Jimmy Ponder - What's New (Wea)
John F. Hammond - John F. Hammond (Rhombus)
Judith Owen - Lost and Found (Courgette)
Kenny Davern - In Concert at Outpost Performance Space 2004 (Arbors)
Lake Trout - Not Them, You (Palm)
Larry Mizell - Mizell (Blue Note)
Lenny Welch - It's All About Love (Increase)
Maceo Parker - School's In (Navarre)
Marc Johnson - Shades of Jade (ECM)
Mats Gustafsson/David Stackenas - Blues (Atavistic)
Mike Jones - Live at the Green Mill (Chiaroscuro)
Mike LeDonne - Night Song (Wea)
Misha Mengelberg - Four in One (Songlines)
Nils Wogram - Move (Allegro)
Omar Sosa - Ballads (Ota Records)
Oregon - Prime (CAM Jazz)
Peter Herbolzheimer - Toots Suite (Alanna)
Philipp Weiss - You Must Believe in Spring (Emarcy)
Poncho Sanchez - Baila Baila (Navarre)
Povo - We Are Povo (Raw Fusion)
Ray Charles - Dick Cavett Show - Ray Charles Collection (Shout Factory) - DVD-Video
Ruby Braff - Controlled Nonchalance 2 (Arbors)
Sarah Morrow - Sarah Morrow & The American All-Stars (Harmonia Mundi)
SOS - Groove Machine (Blues Leaf Records)
Soulive - Breakout (Universal)
Ted Howe - Elton Exposed: Revealing Jazz Soul of Elton John (Summit)
Uri Caine - Shelf Life (WInter&Winter)
Uri Caine - Toys (Winter&Winter) - Reissue
Vandermark 5 - Color of Memory (Atavistic) - 2+ CDs
Vince Ector - Renewal of the Spirit (Mambo Maniacs)
William Woods - Every Part of Me (Whaling City Sound)

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Preservation Hall Preserved By Katrina

Although the tremendous loss of human life is by far the most tragic aspect of the Hurricane Katrina tragedy, jazz lovers can’t help but also be concerned about the potential effects of the storm on some of New Orleans’ music landmarks.

Details about the situations with these historic sites in most parts remain unclear, but it seems that the city’s famed French Quarter narrowly escaped the worst of the damage.

Perhaps New Orleans’ most revered jazz location, Preservation Hall, likewise appears to be largely intact. The hall, opened at 726 St. Peter St. in 1961, is known globally as a “living museum” of traditional New Orleans jazz and as the home of the ongoing, world-touring Preservation Hall Jazz Band.

”It's hard to give a precise estimate on how the hall weathered the storm, since we have not seen it in person yet ourselves,” said Preservation Hall’s Howard Lambert. “However, we are very positive on what it looks like the situation may be. We believe the hall is still standing and only received ‘minor’ damages and flooding.”

In the confusion and ensuing chaos left in Katrina’s wake, many of the hall’s musicians, several of whom are elderly players who lived in the city’s hardest-hit areas, remained unaccounted for. But, thankfully, at least some good news on the plights of these musicians has been materializing. “Each day is better, as we are able to hear through the grapevine as to where the musicians made it to,” said Lambert, adding, “Of course this may take some time to gather where everyone is, as the communication waves have been pretty much unavailable.” Most of the city has been without power since the storm hit on Aug. 29.

The hall has set up a relief fund to assist New Orleans musicians affected by the disaster.

Preservation Hall’s Web site stated that the institution was closed indefinitely due to the damage. But Lambert remained optimistic about the hall’s future.

“It will take some time, but we will make it through this,” he said. “We remain encouraged to once again get the hall open and to keep touring the world as we have been doing for the past 40 years.”

To contribute to the New Orleans Musicians Hurricane Relief Fund, send donations to:

New Orleans Musicians Hurricane Relief Fund
P.O. Box 9081
Miramar Beach, FL 32550

Online donations can be made at the Preservation Hall Web site.

Peter Aaron

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Sunday, September 11, 2005

Grammy winner 'Gatemouth' Brown dies

Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown had more than 30 recordings and won a Grammy award in 1982.Clarence Gatemouth' Brown, the singer and guitarist who built a 50-year career playing blues, country, jazz and Cajun music, died Saturday in his hometown of Orange, Texas, where he had gone to escape Hurricane Katrina. He was 81.

Brown, who had been battling lung cancer and heart disease, was in ill health for the past year, said Rick Cady, his booking agent.

Cady said the musician was with his family at his brother's house when he died. Brown's home in Slidell, Louisiana, a bedroom community of New Orleans, was destroyed by Katrina, Cady said.

"He was completely devastated," Cady said. "I'm sure he was heartbroken, both literally and figuratively. He evacuated successfully before the hurricane hit, but I'm sure it weighed heavily on his soul."

Although his career first took off in the 1940s with blues hits "Okie Dokie Stomp" and "Ain't That Dandy," Brown bristled when he was labeled a bluesman.

In the second half of his career, he became known as a musical jack-of-all-trades who played a half-dozen instruments and culled from jazz, country, Texas blues, and the zydeco and Cajun music of his native Louisiana.

By the end of his career, Brown had more than 30 recordings and won a Grammy award in 1982.

"I'm so unorthodox, a lot of people can't handle it," Brown said in a 2001 interview.

Brown's versatility came partly from a childhood spent in the musical mishmash of southwestern Louisiana and southeastern Texas. He was born in Vinton, Louisiana, and grew up in Orange, Texas.

Brown often said he learned to love music from his father, a railroad worker who sang and played fiddle in a Cajun band. Brown, who was dismissive of most of his contemporary blues players, named his father as his greatest musical influence.

"If I can make my guitar sound like his fiddle, then I know I've got it right," Brown said.

Cady said Brown was quick-witted, "what some would call a 'codger."'

Brown started playing fiddle by age 5. At 10, he taught himself an odd guitar picking style he used all his life, dragging his long, bony fingers over the strings.

In his teens, Brown toured as a drummer with swing bands and was nicknamed "Gatemouth" for his deep voice. After a brief stint in the Army, he returned in 1945 to Texas, where he was inspired by blues guitarist T-Bone Walker.

Brown's career took off in 1947 when Walker became ill and had to leave the stage at a Houston nightclub. The club owner invited Brown to sing, but Brown grabbed Walker's guitar and thrilled the crowd by tearing through "Gatemouth Boogie" -- a song he claimed to have made up on the spot.

He made dozens of recordings in the 1940s and '50s, including many regional hits -- "Okie Dokie Stomp," "Boogie Rambler," and "Dirty Work at the Crossroads."

But he became frustrated by the limitations of the blues and began carving a new career by recording albums that featured jazz and country songs mixed in with the blues numbers.

"He is one of the most underrated guitarists, musicians and arrangers I've ever met, an absolute prodigy," said Colin Walters, who is working on Brown's biography. "He is truly one of the most gifted musicians out there.

"He never wanted to be called a bluesman, but I used to tell him that though he may not like the blues, he does the blues better than anyone," added Walters. "He inherited the legacy of great bluesmen like Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker, but he took what they did and made it better."

Brown -- who performed in cowboy boots, cowboy hat and Western-style shirts -- lived in Nashville in the early 1960s, hosting an R&B television show and recording country singles.

In 1979, he and country guitarist Roy Clark recorded "Makin' Music," an album that included blues and country songs and a cover of the Billy Strayhorn-Duke Ellington classic "Take the A-Train."

Brown recorded with Eric Clapton, Ry Cooder, Bonnie Raitt and others, but he took a dim view of most musicians -- and blues guitarists in particular. He called B.B. King one-dimensional. He dismissed his famous Texas blues contemporaries Albert Collins and Johnny Copeland as clones of T-Bone Walker, whom many consider the father of modern Texas blues.

"All those guys always tried to sound like T-Bone," Brown said.

Survivors include three daughters and a son.

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Saturday, September 10, 2005

Organizers say there will be a New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival next year.

Jazz Fest producer-director Quint Davis says he's committed to a 2006 festival despite the damage from of Hurricane Katrina. He says the festival will be in Louisiana and will be as close to New Orleans as possible.

Davis also says A-E-G Live, which funded the festival this year, will back it again next year.

The festival site, dates and the format aren't set.

The Jazz Fest is usually held at the Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans. That site was damaged by the hurricane.

Associated Press

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Friday, September 09, 2005

Smooth Jazz Top Ten Week Ended 9/9/05

The Top Ten from
LW - TW - Artist - Title
1 - 1 - Richard Elliot - People Make The World Go Round
2 - 2 - Paul Hardcastle - Serene
3 - 3 - Steve Cole - Thursday
4 - 4 - Chuck Loeb - Tropical
6 - 5 - Paul Jackson, Jr. - Never Too Much
5 - 6 - Paul Taylor Nightlife
7 - 7 - Dave Koz - Love Changes Everything
11 - 8 - Euge Groove - Get Em Goin'
9 - 9 - Brian Culbertson - Hookin' Up
10 -10 - Kenny G. - The Way You Move

Click on title to see the latest Smooth Jazz ® National Airplay© list at

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Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Upcoming Jazz Releases - 9/6/05

Upcoming Jazz Releases

Audio Lotion - Adelante (Under Cover Music)
Black Gold Massive - Stories (USA Music Group)
Blue Cat Express - Spirit of New Orleans (Rhombus)
Buddy Charles - We're Here (Jazzed Media)
Charlie Hunter - Solo Inventions (Koch) - DVD-Video
Curt Hanrahan Quintet - To Be Again (Blu Jazz)
Dave Brubeck - Brubeck Returns to Moscow (Koch) - DVD-Video
David Rothenberg - Bangalore Wild (CIty Hall)
Enza Favata - Ajo (Dunya)
Eric Clapton/Steve Gadd/Marcus Miller/Joe Sample/David Sanborn - Legends Live at Montreux 1997 (RED) - DVD-Video
Esquivel - The Sights and Sounds of Esquivel (Bar None)
Ladysmith Black Mambazo - Live at Montreux 1987-2000 (RED) - DVD-Video
Marc Copland - Some Love Songs (Pirouet)
Michael Musillami Trio - Dachau (Playscape Recordings)
Milton Nascimento - Novo Millenium (Universal/Mercury)
Pat Longo - Extreme Heat (Jazzed Media)
Quartet Noir - Lugano (Victo)
Steve Howe - Steve Howe's Remedy (Ventura) - DVD-Video
Tubby Hayes Orchestra - 100% Proof (Universal/Fontana) - Reissue
Woody Herman - Woody Herman and His Swinging Herd (Video Arts) - DVD-Video
Wynton Marsalis - Amongst the People: Live at the House of Tribes (Blue Note)

Information provided by

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Jazz at Lincoln Center Plans Hurricane Relief Concert on September 17

Jazz at Lincoln Center will host a concert to raise funds for the victims of Hurricane Katrina on September 17 at 7 p.m.

The concert at Rose Hall will feature performances by singer and pianist Peter Cincotti, pop singer Elvis Costello, saxophonist Paquito D'Rivera, vocalist Abbey Lincoln, singer and pianist Diana Krall, vocalist Jon Hendricks, and trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, among others. Marsalis, the artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, is a native of New Orleans.

"New Orleans is the most unique of American cities because it is the only city in the world that created its own full culture—architecture, music, and festive ceremonies," Marsalis said in a statement. "New Orleanians are blues people. We are resilient, so we are sure that our city will come back."

"This tragedy, however, provides an opportunity for the American people to demonstrate to ourselves and to the world that we are one nation determined to overcome our legacies of injustices based on race and class," he added. "At this time all New Orleanians need the nation to unite in a deafening crescendo of affirmation to silence that desperate cry that is this disaster."

The concert will be carried live on XM Satellite Radio, on Newark's WBGO Jazz88.3, and on other NPR stations around the country. It can also be heard via the web sites of NPR, WBGO, and XM Radio. A CD of the event will be released on Blue Note Records, with all profits going to hurricane relief efforts.

Tickets are $50-$10,000 and go on sale on September 8. They are available at the Jazz at Lincoln Center box office, via, or by calling CenterCharge at 212-721-6500.

By Ben Mattison

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Monday, September 05, 2005

City's long procession of music greatness will march again

New Orleans and music are synonymous.

It's the birthing ground of jazz, a city with chords and clefs in its DNA, a place where that "let the good times roll" spirit has inspired the creation of memorable tunes for decades.

It hosts one of the country's premier music fests. Jazz, Cajun, swamp rock, "second line" drumming, Dixieland brass and — sadly, in the upcoming weeks and months — the slow, mournful march of funeral bands, it's all part of the Crescent City experience.

Watching the scenes of devastation on TV in the past few days, I was instantly reminded of Randy Newman's song Louisiana 1927, a tale of an early 20th-century flood:

"The river rose all day
The river rose all night
Some people got lost in the flood
Some people got away alright . . .
Louisiana, Louisiana
They're trying to wash us away, they're trying to wash us away . . . "

And that lament led to the classic jazz ballad, a real heartbreaker now, sung by every city son from Louis Armstrong to Harry Connick Jr:

"Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans
And miss her each night and day
I know I'm not wrong because the feeling's
Getting stronger the longer I stay away . . . "

Jazz is the city's calling card. Armstrong, who grew up in Storyville, the infamous red-light district, eventually became the city's most famous musical ambassador. They even named the airport after him.

But just think about all the musicians nurtured in that fertile land:

Jelly Roll Morton, Professor Longhair, Buddy Bolden, Pete Fountain, the Neville Brothers, Wynton and Branford Marsalis, Fats Domino (who was reported as missing in an Internet story), Louis Prima, Smiley Lewis, Huey "Piano" Smith, James Booker, the Meters, Gary "U.S." Bonds, Ernie K. Doe, Master P, Allen Touissant, Al Hirt, Galactic and the great Dr. John.

How long will it take for tourists to pack again into that creaky house on Saint Peter Street in the French Quarter, three blocks from the Big Muddy, and listen to the marvelous traditionalist sounds of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band? Or hear the Nevilles sing "Iko-Iko" at Tipitina's? Or listen to today's jazz stars at Snug Harbor?

More than almost any other American city, New Orleans is a song, a veritable rolling river of music: "Basin Street Blues," "Way Down Yonder in New Orleans," "The Battle of New Orleans," "Christmas in New Orleans."

Many songs take place in the Big Easy, even if they're not in the title. "Mr. Bojangles " was in a cell there. "Bobby McGee " thumbed a diesel down and rode there. The city's slave market history was the opening scene of the Rolling Stones' "Brown Sugar." Bob Dylan's character in "Tangled Up in Blue" drifted there, working for a while on a fishing boat.

And, of course, there is a house in New Orleans they call the rising sun.

It will be awhile before things rise in New Orleans, before the city's unofficial slogan — Laissez les bons temps rouler — rings true again.

In the meantime, let the saints go marching in.

Cox News Service

Larry Aydlette writes for The Palm Beach Post.

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Sunday, September 04, 2005

All Profits to American Red Cross disaster relief

The musicians in this gallery have chosen to donate their ENTIRE wholesale price to the American Red Cross disaster relief fund.
Click here: CD Baby for the listing of over 8,000 artists at

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Hurricane Katrina Silences The Legendary Jazz City

When the brilliant Chicago trumpeter Maurice Brown moved to Louisiana four years ago, he dreamed of becoming a star in the mythic birthplace of jazz: New Orleans.

He quickly achieved that goal, but after fleeing the city at 2 a.m. last Sunday he believes he has lost everything but his life.

"It's all gone - I saw on TV where my whole neighborhood is flooded out," said Brown, speaking from the truck of a friend, who was driving him back home to his parents' house in Harvey, Ill.

Hurricane Katrina not only has taken lives and destroyed home and possessions, it has placed in peril the world's most famous jazz city, a town where international tourists clamor to hear jubilant brass bands and where jazz stars such as Nicholas Payton and Ellis Marsalis nightly ignite the music that Louis Armstrong made famous.

From the Technicolor portraits of Jelly Roll Morton and the great Satchmo that greet visitors at Louis Armstrong International Airport to the street musicians who riff "When the Saints Go Marching In" day and night on raucous Bourbon Street, New Orleans has been indelibly bound up with music and revelry for more than a century.

"Great jazz and great food are so deeply imbedded into the culture of New Orleans, you just can't imagine the city without them," said Chicago author Timuel Black, whose book "Bridges of Memory" traces the great migration of Southern blacks to Chicago.

"Jazz goes from one generation to another in New Orleans, passed down from musician to musician," he added, pointing to New Orleans' most famous jazz dynasty, the Marsalises (pianist Ellis is father to trumpeter Wynton, saxophonist Branford, trombonist Delfeayo and drummer Jason).

"Jazz and Creole food," added Black, "are New Orleans."

But the city's cultural identity has been threatened by Hurricane Katrina, the floodwaters silencing world-famous clubs such as Preservation Hall, inside the historic French Quarter, and Snug Harbor, just outside it. The dozens of New Orleans clubs featuring jazz, blues, rock, funk and whatnot - as well as the upscale and down-home restaurants that cater to the music lovers - long have made the French Quarter and the emerging entertainment district on nearby Frenchmen Street tourist draws.

It was certainly the city's thriving cultural scene, as well as its storied musical history, that drew Brown there in the first place.

Although jazz musicians more typically leave New Orleans to take on bigger cities, such as Chicago and New York, Brown was smitten by the city's relaxed ambience and musical legacy.

"It's the whole feeling I got here that made me want to stay for a while," Brown, 24, told the Chicago Tribune last year between sets at Snug Harbor, the city's top contemporary jazz room.

Last year Brown released a stunning, made-in-New-Orleans debut CD, "Hip to Bop," and two weeks ago he played at the Green Mill Jazz Club, in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood.

It was an indelible moment for a musician who never had taken a private trumpet lesson in his life. Having immersed himself in music by playing in bands at Markham Park Elementary School and Hillcrest High School in Country Club Hills, he rapidly became one of Chicago's more talked-about trumpeters while a teenager.

After a brief stint at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, he joined legendary trumpeter Clark Terry on the road, then enrolled in Southern University in Baton Rouge in 2001 and immediately began playing New Orleans' famous clubs. In short order, his picture began appearing on the covers of local music magazines, and he won a coveted, weekly gig at Snug Harbor.

After performing Saturday evening in one of New Orleans' most fabled clubs, Tipitina's, Brown and the rest of the room were hurriedly evacuated.

Brown quickly drove to his home in the Treme neighborhood, grabbed a trumpet, flugelhorn, laptop and "enough clothes for four or five days." He then took his retooled 1989 Cadillac Brougham to a parking garage in suburban Metairie, where he left it for safekeeping, and jumped into his friend's truck to proceed to higher ground in Memphis.

Though Brown said he's grateful that he got out in time, he nevertheless grieves for what he has left behind.

"My whole recording studio, tons of music, a lot of original scores that I can't ever get back, maybe 50 or 60 tunes I spent years working on - all gone," said Brown.

He estimates the losses, which are uninsured, at $50,000, and he believes that his car has been sunk as well.

Still, Brown realizes he's one of the lucky ones.

"But I'm not sure if I'm ever going to live in New Orleans again - I'm going to build a new foundation for my life," he said.

"I don't know if I'll move back to Chicago or try New York, but it may be over in New Orleans."

HOWARD REICH - Chicago Tribune

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Saturday, September 03, 2005

Najee Album Debuts at Number One on Contemporary Jazz Chart

My Point of View, the latest album from pop-jazz saxophonist Najee, debuted on the contemporary-jazz chart this week at number one.

The album bumped Brian Culbertson's It's On Tonight, which had spent four weeks in the top spot, to number two. Also new to the contemporary chart was pianist Kevin Toney's 110 Degrees & Rising at number 24.

Michael Bublé's It's Time topped the jazz chart, increasing its sales in its 29th week on the chart. New to the chart were albums from three vocalists: Tierney Sutton's I'm With the Band at number 12; vocalist Nnenna Freelon's Blueprint of a Lady, a salute to Billie Holiday, at 22; and Sara Gazarek's Yours at number 25.

A newly discovered live recording from Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker jumped from number 19 to number ten in its second week on the chart.

By Ben Mattison -

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Thursday, September 01, 2005

Smooth Jazz Top Ten Week Ended 8/2/05

The Top Ten from
LW - TW - Artist - Title
1 - 1 - Richard Elliot - People Make The World Go Round
3 - 2 - Paul Hardcastle - Serene
2 - 3 - Steve Cole - Thursday
4 - 4 - Chuck Loeb - Tropical
5 - 5 - Paul Taylor - Nightlife
8 - 6 - Paul Jackson, Jr. - Never Too Much
9 - 7 - Dave Koz - Love Changes Everything
6 - 8 - Nils - Pacific Coast Highway
10 - 9 - Brian Culbertson - Hookin' Up
7 - 10 - Kenny G. - The Way You Move

Click on title to see the latest complete national airplay list at

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