Monday, October 31, 2005

Upcoming Jazz Releases - 11/1/05

Upcoming Jazz Releases

Bill Evans Trio - Koln Concert 1976 (Gambit)
Bill Evans Trio - Live in Paris 1972 (Gambit)
Bill Evans Trio - Live in Rome 1979 (Gambit)
Diana Krall - Count Your Blessings (Verve)
Diana Krall - Christmas Songs (Verve)
Frances Langford - April in My Heart (Flare UK)
Gary McFarland Orchestra / Bill Evans - Gary McFarland Orchestra with Bill Evans (Five Four)
George Benson - Live at Montreux 1986 (RED) - DVD-Video
Hank Jones Quartet With Kenny Burrell - Vol. 2 - Complete Recording (Gambit)
Hooker, Hall, Renaldo - Oasis of Whispers (Alien 8 Recordings)
Isaac Hayes - Ultimate Isaac Hayes: Can You Dig It? (Concord) - Reissue
John Hiatt - Live from Austin Texas (New West) - DVD-Video
Miles Davis Quartet - Manchester Concert (Lonehillja)
Miles Davis Quintet with John Coltrane - Live in Den Haag (Lonehillja)
Miles Davis Quintet with John Coltrane - Live in Zurich (Gambit)
Nels Cline - Immolation/Immersion (Strange Attractors)
Ornette Coleman Quartet - Love Revolution/Complete 1968 Italian Tour (Gambit)
Steve Reid - Soul Jazz Presents Steve Reid (Soul Jazz)
Sylvie Lewis - Tangos and Tantrums (Red)
Various Artists - Brokeback Mountain: OST (Verve)
Wes Montgomery / Billy Taylor Trio - Wes Montgomery & The Billy Taylor Trio (Lonehillja)
Wes Montgomery Quartet - Live in Belgium 1965 (Gambit)
Youssou N'Dour - Et Le Super Etoile De Dakar (RED) - DVD-Video

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Saturday, October 29, 2005

Chris Botti Debuts At #1 On Jazz Charts

To Love Again, the much-anticipated new album of pop jazz standards from acclaimed trumpeter Chris Botti, has debuted at #18 on the Billboard Top 200 best-selling album, making history as the first album release from a jazz trumpeter to debut in the Top 50 during the SoundScan era.

In addition to its Top 200 breakout, To Love Again has debuted at #1 on the Jazz Traditional Album Sales and the Jazz Overall Album Sales charts, according to SoundScan.

With first week's sales of 43, 853 copies, it's Botti's best sales week ever. To Love Again has already reached a higher position on the Top 200 than any of Chris's previous albums, including his previous release, the RIAA Gold- certified When I Fall In Love. (When I Fall In Love debuted at #124 before its rise up the charts, peaking at #1 on the Top Jazz Albums chart and #37 on the Top 200.)

To Love Again, which is available as both a traditional CD and as a DualDisc, showcases Chris Botti's inimitable velvet tone and sublime trumpet phrasings on 13 newly recorded pop and jazz standards featuring nine stand-out vocal performances by some of the greatest singers in modern pop, jazz, and rock.

Joining Chris on To Love Again are guest vocalists Sting ("What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?"), Paula Cole ("My One And Only Love"), Michael Buble ("Let There Be Love"), Jill Scott ("Good Morning Heartache"), Paul Buchanan ("Are You Lonesome Tonight?"), Gladys Knight ("Lover Man"), Renee Olstead ("Pennies From Heaven"), Rosa Passos ("Here Comes That Rainy Day"), and, yes, that Steven Tyler (on Charlie Chaplin's "Smile").

Rounding out To Love Again are the instrumental tracks "What's New?, " "I'll Be Seeing You, " "Embraceable You, " and "To Love Again." As on his last album, Chris Botti is joined once again by the London Session Orchestra, who provide lush tonal coloration to the album's arrangements.

The DualDisc edition of To Love Again features an exclusive short film, "Live From Studio A, " shot in the famed studio at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles. Chris and his quartet jammed as the cameras rolled and the result is four live songs and twenty three minutes of gorgeous sounding (and looking) contemporary jazz.

Two of the four songs performed live on the DualDisc, "To Love Again, " and "I'll Be Seeing You, " also appear on the audio CD in their original/studio versions with full orchestra. The other two songs, a pair of Miles Davis classics, "Flamenco Sketches" and "Milestones, " do not appear on the audio CD in any form. As a bonus for jazz aficionados, "Flamenco Sketches" features guest saxophonist David Sanborn.

To Love Again follows the extraordinary success of Botti's groundbreaking last album, When I Fall In Love, which has sold more than 500, 000 copies to- date.

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Friday, October 28, 2005

Smooth Jazz Top Ten Week Ended 10/28/05

The Top Ten from
LW - TW - Artist - Title
1 - 1 - Paul Hardcastle - Serene
2 - 2 - Brian Culbertson - Hookin' Up
4 - 3 - Euge Groove - Get Em Goin'
5 - 4 - Walter Beasley - Coolness
4 - 5 - Dave Koz - Love Changes Everything
6 - 6 - Ken Navarro - You Are Everything
9 - 7 - David Pack - You're The Only Woman
11 - 8 - Mario Meadows - Suede
8 - 9 - Paul Jackson, Jr. - Never Too Much
13 - 10 - Rick Braun - Shining Star

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

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Thursday, October 27, 2005

America's newest hitmaker: John Coltrane

Late saxophone player has two albums in jazz chart top 3

In a surprising development, saxophone trailblazer John Coltrane accounted for two of the top three jazz albums last week, 38 years after his death.

The two-disc Impulse! set "One Down, One Up: Live at the Half Note" entered at No. 3 on Billboard's top jazz albums chart for the week ended October 16. Sitting at No. 2 was Blue Note's recently released album by the Thelonious Monk Quartet with Coltrane, "At Carnegie Hall."

The Half Note album bowed with sales of 3,500 units (and went on to sell 2,400 in its second week), while the Carnegie Hall package has moved 44,000 to date. The latter title recently racked up an amazing 11-day run at No. 1 on's album best-seller list.

Both collections were hitherto unreleased officially. The Impulse! package -- a steaming 1965 live set at New York's Half Note club with his classic '60s quartet of McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison and Elvin Jones -- was much bootlegged among Trane aficionados; in the early '90s, Coltrane's son Ravi unearthed a pristine tape made for the musician by DJ Alan Grant. That tape is the source material for the present CD release.

The Monk/Coltrane Carnegie Hall album -- one of the few documents of the brief collaboration between two jazz titans -- had never been heard before. A Voice of America tape of the long-lost 1957 concert was found in the Library of Congress' holdings by researcher Larry Appelbaum.

'I think it is the legend'
High-quality unreleased material by Coltrane, who died of liver cancer in July 1967, has trickled out over the years.

The lone live recording of his masterpiece "A Love Supreme" finally was issued officially by Impulse! in 2002. In July, Columbia/Legacy released a previously unheard 1956 concert by the Miles Davis quintet with Coltrane as part of a two-CD edition of Miles' Columbia debut "'Round About Midnight."

But the near-simultaneous release of the Half Note and Carnegie Hall sets made for a Coltrane event. "(The music) was not just ghettoized in jazz magazines," says Tom Evered, senior VP/general manager of EMI Jazz & Classics, Blue Note's parent division.

Says Ken Druker, VP catalog development at Impulse!: "The (press coverage) involved in finding the Carnegie Hall tape drove it a little bit. Other than that, I think it is the legend. The (Coltrane) name seems to have magic to it. ... Aside from the magic of the name, there's the magic of the playing."

However, considering that the fare at the top of the current jazz chart is conservative material -- mainly by vocalists including Michael Buble, Madeleine Peyroux, Paul Anka, Diana Krall and Harry Connick Jr. -- the immediate success of Coltrane's uncompromising music is somewhat unexpected. The Half Note performance, which finds Trane wailing in full-bore, free-blowing fashion, might be especially challenging for some.

But album annotator Ashley Kahn, author of a book on "A Love Supreme" and a forthcoming history of the Impulse! label called "The House That Trane Built," maintains that listeners have caught up with Trane: "It's a very universal, accessible sound, even though he's one of those guys who was very intense and devoted to experimental, avant-garde sound."

The current spate of interest in Coltrane could go on, for the musician's family has uncovered even more unheard material. Kahn says: "There's a whole bunch of tapes that even the record label didn't know about. There is going to be a lot more stuff."

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Yahoo raises price for online music

Yahoo Inc. is doubling the price of its online music subscription service for portable MP3 players, ending a short-lived promotion that sought to lure consumers from Apple Computer Inc.'s market-leading iTunes store.

Effective November 1, Yahoo will charge about $120 annually for access via download to more than 1 million songs that can then be transferred to portable players. The Internet powerhouse has been charging just under $60 annually -- a price most industry observers predicted wouldn't last when Yahoo entered the market in early May.

Subscribing to the service on a monthly basis will cost $11.99, up from $6.99 under the initial pricing plan. That's closer to but still below services from Napster Inc. and RealNetworks Inc., which each charge just under $15 per month.

With its service, Sunnyvale, California-based Yahoo joined Napster and RealNetworks in trying to sell the concept of renting an unlimited amount of tunes for a set fee instead of buying copies individually.

The rental approach is supposed to encourage customers to sample different genres and discover new artists. But if the subscription expires, the previously downloaded music becomes unplayable. Customers at Apple's iTunes store, by contrast, keep the songs they buy.

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said Yahoo's low rental prices didn't impress most consumers because the service isn't compatible with Apple's iPod -- which boasts about 75 percent of the market for portable players.

"About 90 percent of the (iTunes) music store's success has to do with the devices that it works with," Munster said. - AP

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Sunday, October 23, 2005

Upcoming Jazz Releases - 10/25/05

Upcoming Jazz Releases

Adam Holzman - Rocket Science (Nagel-Heyer)
Alain Caron - Ocean of Trees (BHM Productionds)
Art Ensemble of Chicago - Live from the Jazz Showcase (Kultur) - DVD-Video
Art Farmer - To Duke With Love (Test of Time) - Reissue
Ben Monder - Oceana (Sunnyside)
Brad Wheeler - The Future Was Yesterday (Origin)
Brian Setzer Orchestra - Christmas Extravaganze (Surfdog) - DVD-Video
Coleman Hawkins - Prestige Profiles (Fantasy) - Reissue
Colossus - West Oaktown (OM)
Cook, Dixon & Young - In Concert Volume One (RCA) - DVD-Video
Craig Chaquico - Holiday (Higher Octave)
Daisuke Abe - On My Way Back Home (Nagel-Heyer)
David Garfield - Tribute to Jeff Porcaro (Creatchy)
David Garfield - Giving Back (Creatchy)
Don Cherry - Don Cherry's Multikulti (Kultur) - DVD-Video
Donald Harrison, Ron Carter & Billy Cobham - New York Cool: Live at the Blue Note (Halfnote)
E.S.T. (Esbjorn Svensson Trio) - Viaticum (215)
Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis - Prestige Profiles (Fantasy) - Reissue
Eric Dolphy - Prestige Profiles (Fantasy) - Reissue
G3 - Live in Tokyo (SOny) - DVD-Video
Geoffrey Keezer - Wildcrafter: Live at the Dakota (MaxJazz)
George Cartwright - Ghostly Bee (Innova Bayside)
George Harrison & Friends - Concert for Bangaladesh (Rhino) - DVD-Video
George Harrison & Friends - Concert for Bangaladesh: Limited Deluxe Edition (Rhino) - DVD-Video
Great Jazz Trio - S Wonderful (441 Records)
Guillermo Gregoria - Coplanar/MADI Ensemble (New World)
Harry Connick Jr. - Harry for the Holidays (Columbia) - Reissue
Hot Club de Norvege - Hot Cats (Hot Club/Norway)
Jackie McLean - Prestige Profiles (Fantasy) - Reissue
Jerry Gonzalez & The Fort Apache Band - Rhumba Para Buhaina (Random Chance)
Jesse Cook - Ultimate Jesse Cook (Narada) - Reissue
Joel Harrison - Harrison on Harrison (HighNote)
John Coltrane - Prestige Profiles (Fantasy) - Reissue
John Gilmore / Skip Heller - Laid Bare (Dionysus)
Ken Ross - Wave Music Experience (Wave Music)
Lenny Breau - Guitar Sounds of Lenny Breau (Wounded Bird)
Lisa Hilton - My Favourite Things (Ruby Slippers)
Los Lobotomys - Los Lobotomys (Creatchy) - Reissue
Mark Kramer - Harry Potter Jazz (Eroica Classical Recordings)
Martin Taylor - Best of Martin Taylor (Guitar Label) - Reissue
Mat Maneri - Pentagon (Thirsty Ear)
Miles Davis - Prestige Profiles (Fantasy) - Reissue
Miles Davis - The Best of Miles Davis (Jazz Forever) - Reissue
Miles Davis - The Collection (Madacy) - Reissue
Moreno - Jazz Tzigane (Nord Sud) - Reissue
Najponk Trio - Ballads Blues & More (Cube Bohemia)
Nelson Riddle - An Orchestral Portrait of Nat King Cole (Collectables) - Reissue
Nils Petter Molvaer - Er (Emarcy)
Oregon - Moon & Mind (City Hall) - Reissue
Paris Reunion Band - Paris Reunion Band (Kultur) - DVD-Video
Peter Cincotti - Live in New York (Universal) - DVD-Video
Pharoah Sanders - Love Will Find a Way (Collector's Choice) - Reissue
Rebecca Pidgeon - Tough on Crime (The Lab)
Red Garland - Prestige Profiles (Fantasy) - Reissue
Rick Braun - Yours Truly (Artizen)
Rodney Jones - Dreams & Stories (Savant)
Simply Red - Perfect Love (7 Versions) (Verve)
Sonny Rollins - Prestige Profiles (Fantasy) - Reissue
Springtime in Buenos Aires: Tribute to Aleman - Various Artists (Hot Club/Norway)
Steps Ahead - Steps Ahead (Collectables) - Reissue
Susie Arioli - Learn to Smile Again (Justin Time)
Tango Crash - Tango Crash (Justin Time)
Taylor Ho Bynum & SpiderMonkey Strings - Other Stories (Three Suites) (482 Music)
Terry Riley - Assasin Reverie (New World)
The Three (Joe Sample, Ray Brown, Shelly Manne) - The Three (Test of Time) - Reissue
Tok Tok Tok - About... (BHM)
Various Artists - Impulsive: Revolutionary Jazz Reworked (Impulse!)
Various Artists - Impulse! Remixed (Verve)
VInicius Cantuaria - Silva (Hannibal)
Visible Men - Love:30 (In Music We Trust)

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Saturday, October 22, 2005

Jazz singer and pianist Shirley Horn dies

Shirley Horn performs in 1999 during the 39th jazz festival of Antibes Juan-les-Pins, France. By Pascal Guyot, AFP/Getty ImagesShirley Horn, the jazz pianist and vocalist who got her start opening for Miles Davis and became revered as a master interpreter of American standards, has died at the age of 71, her record label said Friday.

Horn died Thursday night in her native Washington, D.C., after a long illness, according to a statement released by Verve Records.

Horn was often compared to Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald and Carmen McRae, and considered one of the last great jazz vocalists of her era. She told The Associated Press in a 1991 interview she didn't think "there's a category for me. I like to be referred to as a good singer of good songs in good taste."

She started playing the piano when she was a child, and by the time she was a college student at Howard University, she had put together her first jazz trio. Her talent drew the attention of music legend Quincy Jones, who would produce her first albums, as well as Miles Davis, who asked her to open for him at the renowned Village Vanguard at 1960.

However, after producing two albums for Mercury Records, she had creative difference with the label and left. At the same time, she had a young daughter and decided to scale back on her performances and recordings.

"I just remembered when I was a young girl and 11 and 12 and I would come from music school, my mother was there with a hot meal," she said in an interview with NPR in 2002. "I was there, and I was happy that I was."

Horn's career entered a renaissance when she signed with Verve Records in 1986. She went on to release several acclaimed albums, and was featured at major jazz festivals and venues around the globe. In her later years, she performed with artists ranging from Davis, who reunited with her for a rare appearance as a sideman on her 1991 album You Won't Forget Me, to Wynton Marsalis.

She was nominated for multiple Grammys and won the award in 1991 for best jazz vocal performance. Last year, Horn was honored by National Endowment for the Arts as a jazz master

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Friday, October 21, 2005

Live John Coltrane Album Debuts on Billboard Jazz Chart; Jamie Cullum Tops Contemporary-Jazz Chart

One Down, One Up, a 1965 recording of the John Coltrane Quartet at New York's Half Note club, debuted on the Billboard jazz chart this week at number three.

The album is the second rediscovered Coltrane recording to be released in the last month. The first, a live 1957 performance with the Thelonious Monk Quartet at Carnegie Hall, was at number two on the chart for the third straight week. (A third "lost" album, Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker's Town Hall, New York City, June 22, 1945, was at number 16 this week, in its 10th week on the chart.)

Vocalist Michael Bublé's It's Time remained at number one, where it has spent 35 of the last 36 weeks.

Other new entries on the chart included vocalist Dianne Reeves' soundtrack album for the film Good Night, And Good Luck at number 10 and The Soul of Nina Simone, a compilation, at number 12.

The biggest movers included Harry Connick Jr.'s latest album, Occasion, which jumped from number 15 to number seven.

Catching Tales, the new abum from pianist, singer, and songwriter Jamie Cullum, debuted at number one on the contemporary-jazz chart. It displaced Herbie Hancock's Possibilities, which fell to number two after six weeks in the top spot.

Also new to the chart, at number 24, was 40 Years: A Charlie Brown Chistmas, a collection of Vince Guaraldi's music from the 1965 television special performed by David Benoit, Vanessa Williams, The Rippingtons, Gerald Albright, and other pop and jazz musicians.

By Ben Mattison -

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Thursday, October 20, 2005

Smooth Jazz Top Ten Week Ended 10/21/05

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

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

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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Why Hollywood Loves BitTorrent

The software makes it easy to pirate movies, but its creator has been careful to work with Hollywood

BitTorrentThere is no reason why Bram Cohen, the brains behind BitTorrent software, should still be in business.

Others have come before him offering technology that made music and media free: first there was Napster's Shawn Fanning, then the European duo behind Kazaa. Those self-styled Robin Hoods quickly found themselves shut down or forced to stay just one step ahead of entertainment industry lawyers.

The 30-year-old Cohen's invention BitTorrent is the next generation. It makes it simple to download massive, bandwidth intensive files (everything from the Lord of the Rings trilogy to the latest episode of Desperate Housewives in high def to a file containing 400 Amazing Spider-Man comic books). BitTorrent is so popular that it now accounts for at least 20% of the entire volume of the Internet. And it's attracted over 45 million users. For high schoolers and college students, using BitTorrent is as natural as wielding a cell phone.

And yet talk to Hollywood and the establishment that should be crushing him seems in awe instead: "He's obviously a very brilliant guy," says Dan Glickman, president of Motion Picture Association of America, which leads the charge in cracking down on film piracy. The BitTorrent guys, says, Glickman, "have some revolutionary ideas and interesting concepts and we have been talking with them."

What makes BitTorrent different from its predecessors is one thing: Cohen, himself. Unlike the rebels of the past, Cohen has made no attempt to allow his users any degree of privacy, and has no problem when the MPAA and it's recording industry cousin, the Recording Industry Associations of America, launch suits against people posting copyright-infringing material using BitTorrent (like the real examples above – just scroll through TorrentSpy or Pirate Bay for more). "A lot of people in tech have been going 'Ha ha, we're sticking it to them which is counterproductive, unpleasant, unpleasant and and unlikely to make a lot of money."

Instead Cohen has been working with the industry to try to set up a marketplace where licensed or original BitTorrentized material can be bought and sold – his company would take a cut somewhere along the lines. Think of it as part iTunes, part eBay for bandwidth-intensive content. Some Hollywood execs, like recently departed Disney CEO Michael Eisner, think the concept's time has come: in his last days in office, he gave a speech to peers in which he said they shouldn't shun technologies like BitTorrent, but embrace them, arguing that content is king. Last month venture firm DCM-Doll Capital Management bet that Cohen could indeed make BitTorrent a business, investing $8.75 million in the startup. The San Francisco-based company now has 12 people and should be up to 20 by the end of the year.

Getting Hollywood to not just appreciate BitTorrent, but make it thrive is one hurdle. The other is a personal one: Cohen suffers from Asperger's syndrome, a mild form of autism that makes concentrating on technical details a snap, but picking up on normal social cues incredibly painful. Cohen spent two years working on BitTorrent — solving a puzzle surrounding huge downloads that had plagued the Net since its early days – and even longer working on living with his Asperger's. He accomplished the first. The ultimate test of whether he has beaten the second is whether he can make the jump from brilliant coder to businessman

By Daniel Roth, Fortune Senior Editor -

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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Goodnight, And Good Luck | Dianne Reeves

Dianne Reeves performs on screen in the film Good Night, and Good Luck, which stars David Straithairn as legendary journalist Edward R. Murrow. Shot in black and white, the film contains smoky nightclub scenes with the singer and her quartet delivering the jazz slowly and deliberately.

Reeves, one of the world's premier jazz singers, blends tradition with a contemporary design. She bends each of these favorite songs to give them a unique appearance. Intimate in her presentation, she projects with strong emotion while squeezing every ounce of passion from her songs.

Slow and graceful songs such as “How High the Moon” and “Straighten Up and Fly Right” are reshaped to fit both the film and Reeves' special caress. Recall that both of these tunes have a history of stepping up the pace and flying high with speedy feet. Reeves draws out a melody and transforms the scene into a moody affair that warms the heart. It's what she does, and nobody does it better.

Matt Catingub departs from his usual upbeat alto saxophone gaiety and works each song alongside Reeves on tenor, oozing passionately with breathless refrains. Together with piano, bass and drums, the two artists caress each song comfortably, giving the soundtrack a moody texture.

There are uptempo numbers, too. Catingub plays alto on an upbeat “You're Driving Me Crazy” and blues tenor on “TV is the Thing This Year,” which both swing with a light spirit. “Pick Yourself Up,” a song that could find itself integral to just about any film's plot, comes with a built-in Latin jazz arrangement.

For the most part, however, singer and tenor saxophone combine with piano trio to place the viewer in a nightclub setting where smoke fills the room and everyone knows how to relax. It's what we all need after a hard day at the office, or after a long day of confrontation with Senator Joseph McCarthy and his House Un-American Activities Committee anti-Communist hearings.

By Jim Santella -

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Chris Botti | To Love Again: The Duets

Trumpeter Chris Botti's To Love Again: The Duets picks up where his stellar 2004 release When I Fall in Love leaves off, with more gorgeously lush and heartfelt orchestral jazz via the London Session Orchestra. This time showcasing guest vocalists — as well as a handful of instrumental tracks — Botti takes an even more classicist approach than before and once again brings to mind such iconic jazz albums as Clifford Brown with Strings and Miles Davis' Porgy and Bess. Largely known as a smooth jazz artist with a sweet trumpet tone, it wasn't until When I Fall in Love that Botti dropped the smooth jazz synthesizers and pop-oriented compositions in favor of Gil Evans-style jazz orchestrations and an acoustic backing quartet. Subsequently, Botti made the best album of his career and didn't sacrifice any of his own laid-back smooth jazz style. In fact, having long been compared to trumpeters Chet Baker and Miles Davis for both his minimalist improvisational style and matinee idol image, this move toward more straight-ahead jazz is actually a better fit. To Love Again does nothing if not reinforce this opinion and finds Botti seeming even more relaxed and in his element. This is no more true than on the romantically melancholy lead-off track "Embraceable You," which finds Botti's horn weeping and sighing over the George Gershwin standard. The same can be said of his work with Sting on the '60s classic "What Are You Doing for the Rest of Your Life." In fact, with such a phenomenal cadre of singers — including Michael Bublé, Paula Cole, Gladys Knight and others performing such standards as "Let There Be Love" and "Lover Man" — there really isn't a bad track. Part of the brilliance of the album is that, while it is classicist in tone, many of the vocalists come from the pop world and give the songs a contemporary spin that rubs nicely against Gil Goldstein and Jeremy Lubbock's stylishly old-school arrangements. It also doesn't hurt that Botti is working with such phenomenal jazz talents as pianist Billy Childs, bassists Robert Hurst and Christian McBride, drummer Billy Kilson, guitarist Anthony Wilson and others. That alone makes the few instrumental tracks on To Love Again some of the standout moments on an album as much about vocals as it is about Botti's own creative "voice."

Review by Matt Collar - AMG

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Monday, October 17, 2005

Michael Bublé and Herbie Hancock Continue Hold on Billboard Jazz Charts

The top four positions on the Billboard jazz chart remained the same this week.Michael Bublé’s It’s Time stayed in the number-one position for the 34th week, followed by a recording of a Carnegie Hall performance of the Theolonius Monk Quartet with John Coltrane; Madeleine Peyroux’s Careless Love; and Chris Botti’s When I Fall in Love.

There were no new recordings on the chart, but five albums re-entered: Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker’s Town Hall, New York City, June 22, 1945 at number 14; Sara Gazarek’s Yours at number 19; Kyle Eastwood’s Paris Blue at number 20; Renee Olmstead’s self-titled album at number 24; and David Sanborn’s Closer at number 25.

Albums that saw significant sales increases included Paul Anka’s Rock Swings, Michael Feinstein and George Shearling’s Hopeless Romantics, Louis Armstrong’s Louis Armstrong, and a compilation called 20 Best of Jazz.

On the contemporary-jazz chart, saxophonist Kirk Whalum’s Kirk Whalum Performs the Babyface Songbook entered the chart at number two. Keyboardist and composer Alex Bugnon’s Free entered at number 19.

Herbie Hancock’s Possibilities held onto its number-one position for the sixth straight week.

By Emily Quinn -

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Saturday, October 15, 2005

Upcoming Jazz Releases - 10/18/05

Upcoming Jazz Releases

Alex Budman Contemporary Jazz Orchestra - Instruments of Mass Pleasure (OA2)
Alexandre Cunha - Bate Papo (Tratore)
Amy Stephens - My Many Moods (OA2)
Anthony Wilson - Savivity (Groove Note)
B.J. Ward - Michael Feinstein Presents B.J. Ward (Feinery Records)
Baden Powell - Live (Fremeaux & Assoc. Fr) - DVD-Video
Basile Jo & Orchestra - Jazz Accordion (Blue Moon)
Brad Wheeler - The Future Was Yesterday (Origin)
Casa de Marinmondo - Casa de Marimbondo (Tratore)
Chick Corea Elektric Band - Live at Montreux 2004 (RED) - DVD-Video
Chris Botti - To Love Again (Sony)
Dave's True Story - Project Remix (Bepop)
Eddie Roberts - Roughneck (Le Maguis)
Eyal Maoz - Edom (Tzadik)
Forbes / Lowenstern / Lubman / Newman / O'Connor - Lubman: Insomniac (Tzadik)
Fourplay - An Evening of Fourplay Volumes 1 and 2 (RED) - DVD-Video
Frank Zappa - The Dub Room Special (RED) - DVD-Video
George Russell and The Living Time Orchestra - The 80th Birthday Concert (Concept Publishing)
Giba Favery - Hard Samba (Tratore)
Jane Monheit - Season (Epic)
Jean Michel Pilc - Live at Iridium, New York (Dreyfus)
Jennifer Warnes - Well (Cisco)
Jerry Gopnzalez & The Fort Apache Band - Rhumba Para Buhaina (Random Chance)
Joe Locke - Rev-Elation (Sharp Nine)
Julius Tolentino - Just the Beginning (Sharp Nine)
King Crimson - 21st Century Guide to King Crimson Vol. 2: 1981-2003 (Discipline Global Mobile) - 2+ CDs
Laura Welland - Dissertation on the State of Bliss (OA2)
Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra - Don't Be Afraid: The Music of Charles Mingus (Palmetto)
Loren Stillman - It Could Be Anything (Fresh Sound New Talent)
Mink Deville - Spanish Troll (Fresh Sound New Talent)
Molly Graecen - Sweet Life (Independent)
Nai Ponk - Ballads, Blues and More (Albany Records)
Nina Simone - Live at Montreux 1976 (Red) - DVD-Video
Ohm - Amino Acid Flashback (MRI Associated Labels)
Pat LaBarbera - Crossing the Line (Jazz Compass)
Peter Malik - New York City: The Chill Album (Koch)
Pyeng Threadgill - Of the Air (Random Chance)
Rebecca Shrimpton & Eric Hofbauer - Madman's Moon (CRM Productions)
Rita Lee - Bossa N Beatles (Ghordo Music)
Shady Grady - All Wound Up (Bungalo)
Simply Red - Simplfied (Verve)
Steve Lehman - Demian as Posthuman (PI)
Suzanne Vega - Live at Montreux 2004 (RED) - DVD-Video
Tim Garland - If the Sea Replied (Sirocco)
Toby Driver - In the Li Li Library Loft (Tzadik)
Tubby Hayes - Commonwealth Blues (Art of Life) - Reissue
Visible Men - Love:30 (In Music We Trust)
Yes - 9012 Live (Image) - DVD-Video

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Friday, October 14, 2005

Blueprint of a Lady: Sketches of Billie Holiday

Nnenna Freelon’s latest project pays tribute to singer Billie Holiday in the best possible way--without imitation and putting her own interpretations on material written by or associated with Lady Day. Her band, adjusted to fit the mood of each song, skillfully complements her at every turn. Freelon’s phrasing and vocal clarity contribute to an overall feeling that is more positive than Holiday’s often dark and plaintive renditions of the same material.

Interspersed within this tribute are three natural fits that don’t come directly from the Holiday Songbook. “Only You Will Know” and “Interlude-Little Brown Bird” are original collaborations by Freelon and Brandon McCune that pay homage to Lady Day. The former, an intimate vocal-guitar duet with Andre Bush, enables Freelon to question aloud whether she should imitate Holiday’s style or approach the project’s material in a different manner. Holiday’s answer in this imagined vocal dialogue was: “Sing until you know who you are and why you came… You may sing a Lady song, sweet drawl soft and low/but only if the song is you and only you will know.”

The third is “Balm in Gilead”--a traditional African-American affirmation of faith, hope and optimism that enriches all of the other material. This duo version on which Freelon is accompanied by pianist McCune, leads into an uplifting and vibrant version of “Them There Eyes.”

Doug Lawrence’s tenor sax offers a sublime conversational response to Freelon’s vocals on “You’ve Changed” and takes a different role on “Now Or Never” by reinforcing and at times echoing her voice. Dave Ellis takes a more out-in-front complementary tenor role on the bluesy and soulful version of “Lover Man” that follows. Julian Lage’s guitar artistry sparkles throughout “Don’t Explain” and on several other tracks.

“Left Alone” presents a Holiday work she never recorded. Lady Day wrote it with the late Mal Waldron. Abbey Lincoln was the first vocalist to record the tune--in 1961. Freelon’s vocals plus quartet version unearths the positives buried beneath Holiday’s words about loneliness. “All of Me” concludes this fine session with another twist--a sultry reggae arrangement of the classic ballad.

By Ken Franckling

Track Listing: I Didn't Know What Time It Was; What a Little Moonlight Can Do; Don't Explain; God Bless The Child; Strange Fruit; Willow Weep For Me; Balm In Gilead; Them There Eyes; Only You Will Know; You've Changed; Now or Never; Lover Man; Left Alone; Interlude -"Little Brown Bird"; All of Me.

Personnel: Nnenna Freelon: vocals; Brandon McCune: piano: Fender Rhodes: Hammond B-3: trumpet; Wayne Batchelor: acoustic bass; Kinah Boto: drums; Beverly Botsford: percussion; Christian Scott: trumpet (1,2,8); Mary Fettig: alto and baritone saxes: alto flute (1,2); Dave Ellis (1,2,12) and Doug Lawrence (10,11): tenor sax; Julian Lage (3,8,11,15) and Andre Bush (9, duet with Nnenna): guitar; Jessica Ivry: cello (3,8).

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Smooth Jazz Top Ten Week Ended 10/14/05

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

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

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Thursday, October 13, 2005

Progressions: 100 Years of Jazz Guitar

Definitive is a dangerous term when it comes to music collections or compilations. That's because the term is just so -- well-- definitive. That said, if Progressions: 100 Years of Jazz Guitar isn't a definitive collection of the history of jazz guitar to date, it comes awfully damn close.

Recently released on the Legacy Recordings label, Progressions is a four-CD box set containing more than five hours of music recorded from 1906 to 2001. It contains 75 tracks collected from over three dozen record labels that explore the full range of the jazz idiom, from basic ragtime to swing to bossa nova to jazz-rock/fusion to the variations of bop and free jazz. Yet breadth alone is not the measure of definitiveness. In fact, broad scope alone serves no purpose unless it is accompanied by selectivity. That's where Progressions stands out.

The compilers -- who include guitarist John Scofield -- did not approach their task with blinders on. They recognize that jazz guitar and its influences are not pegs you can put in narrowly defined holes. You will find the giants here, Django Reinhardt, Charlie Christian and Wes Montgomery just to name three. But you'll also find artists that might shock some jazz snobs. Thus, Progressions not only gives you electric guitarist Leon McAuliffe and steel guitarist Eldon Shamblin of Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys, it includes Carlos Santana and even Jimi Hendrix.

These are just a couple of the unexpected selections and approaches that help make this set so unique. Each is fully justifiable. Put simply, Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys played country or western swing. You know, swing, as in swing music, a traditional jazz sound. While Carlos Santana is best known for his Latin-influenced rock, he's got more than a couple albums that fit comfortably in the jazz idiom. And while many might scoff at the concept of Hendrix appearing in a jazz guitar collection, the focus of the set is the evolution and growth of jazz guitar. Hendrix was revolutionizing the electric guitar in the years following the development of free jazz. And even if Hendrix's solos and playing weren't impacted by that movement, no one can contest the influence Hendrix had on the electric guitarists to come, including many who now stand at the forefront of modern jazz guitar.

Yet the history is here also. The set opens with a 1906 recording of banjoist Vess Ossman, beautifully demonstrating that ragtime music stretched beyond the piano. That first CD basically covers the period from then through World War II. It includes a 1934 recording of Sam Koki, a Hawaiian guitarist, purported to be the first amplified jazz guitar solo on record. Similarly, it has a 1938 recording by Eddie Durham, reported to have been one of the first jazz guitarists to use an electric pick-up. And, as noted, there are innovative approaches. Several tracks demonstrate the influence of Hawaiian-style guitar on jazz guitar. The role of jazz in country swing is shown with the Texas Playboys. And, of course, this timeframe also includes Django and Christian, guitarists whose names still routinely appear as among the most influential and important jazz performers.

The second disc generally traces developments from 1946 through the early 1960s. It not only shows the influence of the guitarists on the first disc, but how their ideas were amplified and helped bring new expressions to the field. The disc features such notables as Les Paul, Tal Farlow, Jim Hall, Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass and Laurindo Almeida, each with their own inimitable styles. It also provides an opportunity to hear of guitarists who might otherwise have escaped our attention, such as Hank Garland, a Nashville studio musician with superb jazz skills.

Disc 3 takes us into the late 1960s and early 1970s, an evolution that borders on revolution. While some cuts were actually recorded later, those are ones that are representative of the free jazz movement that spread into jazz guitar in this time frame. Here is also where we begin to really hear the incorporation of the rock idiom into jazz guitar, the full development of fusion and the origins of so-called "smooth jazz". Thus, not only does Hendrix make an appearance, but so does Lenny Breau, Pat Metheny, John McLaughlin, George Benson and Ralph Towner, to name a few. Once again, the scope is impressive.

Disc 4 attempts to cover roughly the last 30 years, again reflecting the influence of rock (artists like Santana and Jeff Beck), the growth of fusion (Lee Ritenour and Larry Coryell, not to mention Mike Stern performing with Miles Davis) and those who again sought to push and expand the boundaries of jazz guitar, whether it is James "Blood" Ulmer's free jazz or a jazz-funk performance by Scofield backed by the trio Medeski, Martin and Wood.

It is always easy to pick nits with collections like this. For example, you might wonder if one area -- fusion or free jazz, for example -- received more attention than due and other areas -- such as the blues -- are underrepresented. Likewise, most anyone could think of artists they believe should have been included and weren't (Stanley Jordan and Ed Bickert come to my mind, as do a number of today's so-called "new age" guitarists). But the fact is that if the purpose truly is to cover the full range and history of jazz guitar and its varied expressions, you would be hard-pressed to find fatal flaws with Progressions. Thus, for almost any artist someone might contend was wrongfully omitted, you can point to a performer on the compilation of the same or similar style or idiom.

There's plenty of icing on this cake, too. This is a beautifully packaged set. It includes a 160-page booklet with photos of every artist in the compilation as well as biographical entries of each and their place in the history of jazz guitar. If that weren't enough, the booklet also contains the responses of 25 guitarists asked to identify their jazz guitar heroes. Yet again the decision on who to ask to make these selections wasn't made with blinders. Granted, jazz guitarists, including some in the compilation, tend to predominate. But we also see the selections of such guitarists as blues legend B.B. King (Lonnie Johnson), Dickey Betts of the Allman Brothers (Django Reinhardt/Charlie Christian), pop sensation John Mayer (Charlie Hunter) and Trey Anastasio of Phish (Jimi Hendrix). Not only does this tend to intrigue the average listener, it helps demonstrate the impact of the jazz guitar on so much of modern music. As if this weren't enough, for those who are really, really, really into guitar, the booklet concludes with excerpts from and analyses of transcriptions of eight solos from the compilation. Throughout, the booklet is illustrated with photos of guitar and amplifier models, memorabilia and old advertisements.

Whether for those who find jazz guitar a welcome diversion or the hardcore aficionado, Progressions is a one-of-a-kind offering that actually lives up to its billing. It may, in fact, do for jazz guitar what the Smithsonian Collection of Jazz Piano did for its subject.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Jane Monheit | The Season

It's that time of the year: time to enjoy our favorite Christmas songs and other traditional holiday songs that have left their imprint. Jane Monheit brings us these and much more with her holiday album, also including a few surprises along with the usual fare.

Her warm voice gives the album a cozy feeling. “Moonlight in Vermont,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and Donny Hathaway's “This Christmas” provide the kind of soulful emotions that linger. Uptempo romps like “Sleigh Ride” and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” rock with an exciting jazzscape meant to last. The latter proves her best; she delivers with convincing authority and shares the platform with her regular working quartet plus guest horns. Monheit puts her all into the song and interprets it with heartfelt clarity.

Her duo with guitar on “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” moves with a spiritual quality befitting the true essence of the season. “My Grown-up Christmas List” closes the official program with a lovely prayer for world peace. On the bonus track “What Are You Doing New Year's Eve,” Monheit echoes her wishes for a fruitful holiday season and wraps up the session on a positive note.

Visit Jane Monheit on the web.

By Jim Santella

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Monday, October 10, 2005

Coltrane: Volatile, but Always in Control

In the spring of 1965, John Coltrane's quartet played several gigs at the Half Note Club in Manhattan, some of which were recorded for WABC-FM radio. Tape traders have long known about them, and the music has circulated since the late 1960's, but generally not in complete form, and not sounding nearly as good as they do now.

On "One Down, One Up" (Impulse) - the radio recordings from two nights at the Half Note - we're about six months before the last phase of Coltrane's career, before the moment when he changed his band, stopped for the most part playing in nightclubs and made his music generally more jarring and oceanic. Here his quartet is still intact, with McCoy Tyner on piano, Jimmy Garrison on bass and Elvin Jones on drums; as far out as it may get, the internal logic of a great band holds fast.

The album includes four tightly wound performances at the club, which was on Hudson Street near Spring, across from where the Jazz Gallery now stands. Taken as a whole, it amounts to an amazing display of controlled volatility in jazz. This is not the Coltrane of million-selling appeal; it's more fervid and rattling than studio records like "A Love Supreme." But by other measures it is the band at its peak, each member contributing an equal part to the sound, playing hard and loud and at the top of his imagination.

If there was ever a place to marvel at the connection Coltrane had with Jones - a connection that drove the band - this is it. Each of the four pieces is remarkable, but the killer is "One Down, One Up," in which the band reduces to just saxophone and drums for a 15-minute stretch, and then reduces even further because Jones's bass-drum pedal breaks midsong.

It doesn't matter. Coltrane and Jones are singing through their instruments in their own complex, dense language, with Coltrane's rapid, jagged phrasing and Jones's layered rhythm. (To situate it stylistically within Coltrane's work, "One Down, One Up" takes the fast, nearly incantational delivery of his "Chasin' the Trane" improvisation from 1961, a few notches higher.) And though the musicians slip around each other's patterns, weaving and dodging, it's as if an identical sense of time is wiring them together.

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Upcoming Jazz Releases - 10/11/05

Upcoming Jazz Releases

Aaron Weinstein - A Handful of Stars (Arbors)
Alex Sipiagin - Returning (Criss Cross)
Amanda Carr - Carr Toons (Original Music)
Amina Figarova - September Suite (215 Records)
Ari Hoenig Group - Kinetic Hues: Live at Fat Cat (Allegro) - DVD-Video
Autorickshaw - Four Higher (Tala-wallah Records)
Boris Vanderlek - Blue & Sentimental (Challenge)
Brian Lynch Latin Jazz - Conclave (City Hall)
Chitinous Ensemble - Chitinous (Harmonia Mundi)
Claudia Quintet - Semi-Formal (Cuneiform)
Conrad Herwig - Obligation (Criss Cross)
David Meltzer - Poet With Jazz (Sierra)
Don Stiernberg - By George (Blue Night)
Frank Woeste - Mind at Play (Challenge)
Franz Koglmann - Let's Make Love (Between-the-Lines)
Gary Thomas - Overkill (Winter&Winter) - Reissue
Grant Stewart - Grant Stewart+4 (City Hall)
Harris Eisenstadt - The Soul and Gone (Document Chicago #10) (482 Music)
Henry Lowther Band - Child Song (Harmonia Mundi)
Herlin Riley - Cream of the Crescent (Criss Cross)
Hilary Noble - Enclave (Zoho)
Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey - Samness of Difference (Hyena)
James Dean - Brighter Days (R&D)
James Gregory - Alphabet Town (Rogue)
Jamie Cullum - Catching Tales (Verve Forcast)
Joel Penner Sextet - Church of the Little Black Dog (Allegro)
John B. Williams - Gratitude (Fountainbleu)
John Coltrane - One Up One Down: Live at the Half Note (Verve)
Johnny Desmond - High & MIghty (Sepia)
Kenichi Tsunoda Big - For JG (Allegro)
Leny Eversong - Leny Eversong (Universal)
Michael Garrick - The Heart is a Lotus (Vocalion) - Reissue
Moacir Santos - Choros & Alegria (Adventure Music)
Mt Hood Jazz Band - Super Blue (Sea Breeze Vista)
New Quintette du Hot - Minor Swing (Harmonia Mundi)
No Limit - Homerun (Double Moon)
Oregon - Moon & Mind (City Hall) - Reissue
Paul Gonsalves - Humming Bird (Harmonia Mundi)
Paul Motian Trio - At the Village Vanguard (Winter&Winter) - Reissue
Reese Project - Vicodin Dreams (Sumthing Else)
Richie Hart - Greasy Street (Zoho)
Robert Wyatt - Theatre Royal Drury Lane: Robert Wyatt & Friends In Concert (Hannibal)
Roswell Rudd & The Mongolian Buryat Band - Blue Mongol (Sunnyside)
San Francisco Chamber Jazz Quartet - SFCJQ (Music Wizards)
Spider Saloff - Like Glass (Kpaesthetics)
Steve Heckman - Live at Yoshi's (World City)
Tall Jazz - Emerger (PHD Music)
Terry Durham - Crystal Telephone (Harmonia Mundi)
Tim Berne - Memory Select: The Part Concert III (Winter&Winter) - Reissue
Victor Wooten - A Show of Hands (Vanguard) - Reissue
Victor Wooten - What Did He Say? (Vanguard) - Reissue
Vince Ector - Renewal of the Spirit (Mambo Maniacs)
Western Michigan University - Boogaloo Land (Allegro)
Yitzhak Yedid - Passions&Prayers (Between-the-lines)
Yuri Honing - Alive (Challenge)

Information provided by

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Sunday, October 09, 2005

Richy Kicklighter Kicks Back With Chill Guitar Grooves

Veteran Florida guitarist Richy Kicklighter returns with a welcome CD.
You may never have heard of Florida guitarist Richy Kicklighter, but over the course of seven albums he’s made some of the most mellow and gorgeous smooth jazz on the planet.

Kighlighter's King’s Highway and Myakka CDs from 1993 and 1994, respectively, are two of his best. It may conjure up overworked images, but his best songs on those and all of his CDs have been the ones that’d be kissin' cousins for the warm breezes of tropical nights.

Kicklighter – and you have to love that name – returns with 12 new songs on Moving Skies, released on his Midnight Pass Music. There are many memorable moments here, but the one song that jumps out as one of the guitarist’s new classics is the title track. It’s simple, elegant and the perfect chill-out tune after a hot day at the beach. “Bahia Vista” and “Indian Shores” would work also.

A perfect way to iron out stresses, Moving Skies is a muy bueno guilty pleasure, better than therapy.

Originally posted by Brian Soergel at

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Saturday, October 08, 2005

First-timers, vets shine at Monterey jazz fest

It may have been the Monterey Jazz Festival's 48th birthday this year, but at the three-day jazz extravaganza -- which took place September 16-18 at the county fairgrounds in Monterey, Calif. -- there was a buzz on preparations already in motion for the silver 50th.

A film crew shot footage throughout the weekend, and even fest general manager Tim Jackson admitted he was thinking ahead, saying that the 2007 festival was just around the corner and will be extra special.

This year's gathering proved to be special in its own right, with peak performances scattered throughout the main arena stage and four satellite venues. Highlights included sets by saxophonist John Handy with guest vocalist Steve Miller; pianist Jon Jang's brilliant sextet; sparkplug jazz/R&B vocalist Ledisi; the ever-potent 75-year-old sax giant Sonny Rollins; and a tour de force finale by guitarist Pat Metheny with tenor saxophonist David Sanchez.

The wonder of the fest was Tony Bennett. In his first performance there, he captivated the packed arena. The 79-year-old singer wowed locals with "I Left My Heart in San Francisco," then lifted the thick curtain of fog to let the harvest moon shine with his magical saunter through "Fly Me to the Moon."

The biggest surprise was bassist/bandleader Kyle Eastwood, in Dizzy's Den, showing that he had been woodshedding plenty in his Paris home since his last, lackluster festival performance in 1999. He performed funky, bluesy tunes with his electric sextet from his new CD, "Paris Blue," released September 20 by Rendezvous Entertainment.

But top honors went to Carla Bley, another Monterey first-timer who played piano and conducted her big band in her remarkable festival-commissioned piece "The Black Orchid," inspired by her first gig in 1955 at the cocktail lounge space in nearby Pacific Grove. "This is the first time we played this," Bley said backstage, after a show that featured her complex and whimsical arrangements. "It will get better as we take the work on tour to Europe next year. That's when we'll record it. Until then, this will change nightly."

As for arranging the piece, "It didn't fully come together until I got the rhythm feel. That's when the Frankenstein monster got the bolt of lightning and started moving," she said with a laugh.

- By Dan Ouellette

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Friday, October 07, 2005

Smooth Jazz Top Ten Week Ended 10/7/05

The Top Ten from
LW - TW - Artist - Title
1 - 1 - Paul Hardcastle - Serene
4 - 2 - Brian Culbertson - Hookin' Up
3 - 3 - Dave Koz - Love Changes Everything
2 - 4 - Richard Elliot - People Make The World Go Round
7 - 5 - Euge Groove - Get Em Goin'
5 - 6 - Paul Jackson, Jr. - Never Too Much
6 - 7 - Ken Navarro - You Are Everything
10 - 8 - Walter Beasley - Coolness
8 - 9 - Steve Cole - Thursday
14 - 10 - David Pack - You're The Only Woman

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

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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Satellite radio irks record industry

Major labels argue radio subscribers can use new portable devices to illegally download songs.
The record industry may next aim its legal guns at satellite radio over a dispute involving new portable players that let listeners record and store songs, an analyst and industry sources said Wednesday.

The record industry, led by major labels such as Vivendi Universal (Research), Warner Music Group Corp. (Research), EMI Group Plc and Sony BMG, believe the recording capability is a clear copyright violation and could take revenue away from paid download music services.

Illegal song trading has been blamed by the record industry for declines in sales, and labels have become increasingly aggressive in their legal battles to defend their product. Now that focus includes portable players.

"There are genuine issues here, but it is our continuing hope that we can resolve this on a business to business basis," said an RIAA spokesman.

Two music industry sources said that the two sides were in talks to resolve the issue and could go to court over the matter.

JP Morgan analyst Barton Crockett suggested in a report that there might be more conflict in store.

"Based on recent talks with execs at record labels and the Recording Industry Association of America, we see potential spats ahead. RIAA may file a lawsuit this fall to stop a new feature for upcoming wearable satellite radios," he wrote.

No. 1 satellite provider XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. (Research) said it was also hopeful the issues would be resolved.

"The music industry is an important partner, and we continue to listen to their concerns in hopes of finding a resolution that benefits everyone, especially consumers," said Nathaniel Brown, a spokesman for XM.

Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. (Research) declined comment.

In August Sirius said it would introduce a small portable device, dubbed the S50, for its subscription radio service that can store 50 hours of music, news and programs from Sirius channels, in a move to narrow the gap with XM Satellite, which has had a portable device on the market since last fall.

Beginning in the fourth quarter, XM will also begin to offer MP3-enabled portable satellite radios developed by Korea's Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.

Even if the conflict winds up in court, Crockett said in his report he did not believe such a suit would succeed because fair use laws allow users to record songs for their own use.

He said it could would pose a "headline risk" for satellite radio and prompt a lobbying push by the recording industry as the two industries wrangle over a new music rights contract.

Crockett said the RIAA may seek $1 billion plus in music rights fees for a new contract covering 2007 to 2012 to replace the current $80 million pact that expires in 2006.

But the record industry expects these contract talks will wind up in arbitration, one source said.

In the meantime, XM has announced a partnership with paid service Napster Inc. (Research) that lets portable-device listeners mark songs they hear on the satellite service to purchase from Napster. - Reuters

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Monday, October 03, 2005

Upcoming Jazz Releases - 10/4/05

Upcoming Jazz Releases

Alex Bugnon - Free (Narada)
Alex Sipiagin - Returning (Criss Cross)
Amanda Tree - My Only Own (Tomato)
Anders Jormin - Xeiyi (ECM)
Andy Laverne - All Ways (Stateside)
Arild Andersen - Electra (ECM)
B.B. King - Blues Session (Hudson Street) - DVD-Video
Barbara Morrison - Live at the Dakota (Dakota Live)
Bebo Valdes - Bebo de Cuba (Calle 54)
Brian Lynch Latin Jazz - Conclave (City Hall)
Chick Corea - Akoustic Band 1991 (Geneon) - DVD-Video
Conrad Herwig - Obligation (Criss Cross)
Cream - Farewell Concert (Image) - DVD-Video
Digable Planet - Beyond the Spectrum-The Dreamy Spy Chronicles (Blue Note)
Don Menza - Menza Lines (Synergy)
Dr. John - Live at Montreux 1995 (Red) - DVD-Video
Enrico Rava - Tati (ECM)
Erwin Helfer - Careless Love (Staeside)
Gilfema - Gilfema (Obliqsound)
Gospel Keyboard Trio - Heavenly Keys (Stateside)
Grant Stewart - Grant Stewart+4 (City Hall)
Herlin Riley - Cream of the Crescent (Criss Cross)
Ian Anderson - Ian Anderson Plays the Orchestral Jethro Tull (RED) - DVD-Video
James Jabbo Ware and The Me We & Them Orchestra - Vignettes in the Spirit of Ellington (Y'All)
Jed Levy - Mood Ellington (Staeside)
Jeff Kaye - Just Like Me (Synergy)
Jethro Tull - Nothing is Easy: Live at the Isle of Wight (RED) - DVD-Video
John Zorn - Best of Filmworks: 20 Years of Soundtrack Music (Tzadik)
Kirk Whalum - The Babyface Songbook (Rendezvous)
Larry Carlton/Steve Lukather Band - The Paris Concert (Music Video Dist) - DVD-Video
Larry Coryell, John Abercrombie and Badi Assad - Three Guitars - The Paris Concert (Music Video Distributors) - DVD-Video
Leo Quintero - Ofrendas (FOno)
Michael Buble - It's Time (Warner Music)
Paris Combo - Living Room (DRG)
Preservation Hall Jazz Band - Songs of New Orleans (Preservation Hall)
Rita Lee - Bossa N Beatles (Ghordo Music)
Robert Glasper - Canvas (Blue Note)
Ron Kaplan - Saloon ( Kapland Records)
Sylvie Lewis - Tangos and Tantrums (Red)
Tryptych Myth - The Beautiful (Aum Fidelity)
Vincent Gardner - Elbow Room (Stateside)
Weather Update/Joe Zawinul - Weather Update (Geneon) - DVD-Video
Will Downing - Soul Symphony (GRP)
Woody Herman - Woody Herman and His Swinging Herd (VAI) - DVD-Video
Yesterdays New Quintet - Sound Directions (Stones Throw)

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Global music sales fall again. But sales of digital music triple, helped by iPod and mobile phones.

Global music sales fell 1.9 percent in the first half of 2005, but the industry cheered a tripling of digital music sales, spurred by mobile phone "ringtunes" and Apple's iTunes Music Store.

Digital music now makes up 6 percent of total sales, totaling $790 million, according to first-half figures released Monday by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) trade group.

Sales of CDs and music in other physical formats continued a long decline, which the music industry has blamed mainly on piracy, falling to $13.2 billion from $13.4 billion a year earlier.

The IFPI said that lower CD prices, flagging DVD music video sales and competition from other entertainment sectors also contributed to the decline.

The music industry has used a carrot-and-stick approach to reverse flagging music sales by promoting digital music services such as iTunes, Napster and Rhapsody while aggressively targeting illicit downloaders with lawsuits.

Despite the success of the market-leading iTunes service, Apple and the music labels may be heading for a showdown when license agreements expire in the spring. The labels are pushing for the ability to charge different rates for different songs, while Apple is insisting that its flat-price model be maintained.

In recent months the music industry has also won legal victories against peer-to-peer services such as Grokster and Kazaa and is trying to force other P2P companies to block copyrighted material that is traded on their networks.

In the United States, which is the world's biggest music market, physical sales fell 5.3 percent by value and 5.7 percent by units. In Japan, the second-biggest market, physical sales were down 9.2 percent in value and 6.9 percent in units.

Discounts in France led to a 2.7 percent decline in value but a 7.5 percent increase in unit sales. - Reuters

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New Orleans Jazz Passed Away Long Before Katrina

It has taken a few weeks for me to drum up the courage to write this but, while nobody is happy about the drowning and the death and destruction in the birthplace of America's only native art form, the fact remains that the prehistoric jazz music New Orleans is noted for had already been under water for nigh on to half a century.

The music was hit by tragedy a long time ago, and the modern- day flood might even be good for it in the long run.

Any sensitive person who has recently visited that ruin of a Preservation Hall to hear the moldy jazz being played there cannot have been able to ignore the sadness of the doddering, arthritic, musical dry rot.

A more realistic preservation program from here on in might include a program to build bright, airy nursing homes with out-of- tune upright pianos, tinny crash cymbals and a groove-handled broomstick of a one-string bass for those who still feel the need to play and/or listen to that caveman stuff.

Please do not consider me flippant. It is my say, it is certainly not objective. The way I look at it, there is little jazz culture to rebuild in New Orleans. Except the tourist jazz culture, that is. By all means, let's rebuild it. Tourism provides gigs for musicians, and jobs for everybody. Rebuild tourism, just don't kid ourselves and get it confused with music.

Lively Masters

This is not by any means to say that all elderly jazz musicians dry out. ``Au contraire, mes amis.'' The one big change in the nature of jazz in recent years is that the masters live longer and that they play better and deeper. Remember Elvin Jones, who died last year at 76. And you can still listen to Roy Haynes, Clark Terry, Buddy De Franco, and Marian McPartland, or for that matter Woody Allen, who retain great creativity and are blossoming in their seventies and even eighties.

No, it is not the players who have dried out in New Orleans, it is the style of music. There was no more juice there. This is not being said in bitterness or hostility. It must, though, be clear that as far as I am concerned, the prospect of not hearing any more artificially preserved New Orleans jazz is not a total downer. ``Let it come down,'' as Shakespeare wrote in Macbeth, equating rain and ruin. There are no more dinosaurs for a reason.

New Music

Plenty of good music came out of New Orleans in the latter half of the 20th century -- the Marsalis brothers and Harry Connick Jr., to cite some good examples -- but, like so many provincial cities, the valuable new music in New Orleans is only appreciated when it comes out of the city. It goes to New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Amsterdam or Paris.

There are plenty of good people in provincial cities who choose to stay with their families and play their horns for local Saturday night parties while working a day gig at the post office. That is an honorable choice, it reveals solid family values. But it is not putting music first.

New Orleans maintained the fiction of a center. The celebration of the so-called ``birthplace of jazz'' became an industry in itself. There is nothing wrong with memorializing the music of jazz's start, so long as I do not have to listen to it.

Here's a suggestion for renewal: New Orleans is going to be reborn one way or another. Why don't the city fathers try to get a new slant on 21st century jazz by renaming ``Louis Armstrong'' International Airport ``Satchmo International''? (Satchmo is a shortening of Satchelmouth, Louis's nickname.)

Flying With Pops

Maybe they can build a cyber version of Preservation Hall in the terminal building. The looser nickname certainly sounds truer to the spirit of the music. (Another nickname. Pops International Airport ain't too bad either.) People might start dancing new dances. Obviously, some new thinking is needed here.

Even better, maybe the birthplace of jazz should be moved to Paris, which is dry, and full of young musicians who love New Orleans music. New Orleans jazz has for years been more alive in Paris, where the clubs are full of young Scandinavians and Germans dancing to French Dixieland bands playing New Orleans music as though their lives depended on it. In Paris, New Orleans jazz is young, creative, and commercial. Long live Old Orleans.

By Mike Zwerin. Reprinted from
(The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Bloomberg.)

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Saturday, October 01, 2005

Paul Hardcastle Stops Richard Elliot's Quest For Record

Paul Hardcastle prevents Richard Elliot from setting the smooth jazz record for consecutive weeks at No. 1.

Congratulations to Paul Hardcastle, whose “Serene” is the new No. 1 smooth jazz song in the country, unseating saxophonist Richard Elliot, whose “People Make the World Go Round” was at the top spot for 11 weeks.

Hardcastle’s hit denied Elliot the opportunity to break a record set in 2003 by saxophonist David Sanborn when his song “Comin’ Home Baby” remained in the No. 1 position on the smooth jazz charts for a then record-breaking 11 consecutive weeks.

For now, both Sanborn and Elliot hold the record.

For Hardcastle, “Serene” becomes his first #1 single since “Puerto Banus” from his last CD, The Jazzmasters 4 “Serene” is the first single from the new album called Hardcastle 4 and features Adam Drake on guitar.

It took Hardcastle a while to find a name for the song.

"The song’s really mellow and melodic, and I just looked really for a word that would actually sum that up," he says. "So I looked through the old dictionary and nothing really happened. But then I just thought of the word ‘serene.’ The vibe of the song, I guess it’s a little bit like ‘Walking to Freedom,’ which I did on the ‘Hardcastle 2’ album. It's got the acoustic guitar and-and the mellow sort of vibe."

Posted by Brian Soergel at September 27, 2005 04:45 AM on
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