Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Cross-Pollinators: Jazz Meets Indie-Rock

Brad Mehldau, above, has interpreted songs by Radiohead. James Carter, below left, and three other musicians have released an album of Pavement covers. The Bad Plus, below right, has an indie-type fan base. When the saxophonist James Carter takes the stage at the Iridium Jazz Club tonight for a five-night run, he will be flanked by several other musicians with ties to Jazz at Lincoln Center. But as on "Gold Sounds," a recent album, they will reach past jazz's standard repertory to the songs of Pavement, the influential 1990's indie-rock band.

James Carter and three other musicians have released an album of Pavement covers.Never mind that Mr. Carter and his colleagues had barely heard of Pavement before making the record. The mere fact of their participation is the latest wrinkle in an unlikely phenomenon: the flirtation of jazz musicians with the world, or worlds, of indie-rock.

Jazz and indie-rock, if not opposites, are distinctly unrelated; what they have most in common is a vastness that strains the terms of genre. It doesn't take much cynicism to suspect "Gold Sounds" and its label, the upstart Brown Brothers Recordings, of crossover designs. You would have to go back at least a generation to find a time when jazz claimed an audience as robust as indie-rock does today, and one as socially connected, fiercely protective and doggedly partisan. (On second thought, partisanship is another thing the two scenes have in common.)

Only a few jazz artists have successfully tapped into that audience. One, the pianist Brad Mehldau, was the headliner at the Village Vanguard with his trio last week; it's likely that a substantial portion of each full house was familiar with his past interpretations of Radiohead, a major-label band with indie-rock cachet. Another three-piece band, the Bad Plus, also reliably packs the Vanguard, and its base fits an indie profile more precisely; or at least, it includes a preponderance of 20-something white fans who don't otherwise visit jazz clubs. Last week, Mr. Mehldau's album "Day Is Done" (Nonesuch) was the second-ranked jazz recording on the college radio charts, as reported by CMJ New Music Report; "Suspicious Activity?" (Columbia), by the Bad Plus, had just slipped from third to fourth place. (On Billboard's general-interest jazz album sales chart, neither "Day Is Done" nor "Suspicious Activity?" ranked in the Top 10.) The new Bad Plus and Mehldau releases haven't yet been reviewed by Pitchfork Media, the online clearinghouse of indie-rock, but their previous albums have, and that's a distinction few jazz artists can claim. (A Pitchfork headline from September read: "The Bad Plus Make Jazz Cool Again With Album, Tour.")

Mr. Mehldau has never endorsed indie-rock per se; when he reaches beyond standards and original songs, he overwhelmingly favors pop of an earlier vintage. And although the Bad Plus has performed Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and the Pixies' "Velouria," its latest album almost exclusively focuses on original material. If it was repertory that first brought in new listeners, something else persuaded them to stay.

In the case of the Bad Plus, that something could be many things - explosive energies, aggressive touring, even an artfully disharmonious sense of style - but the members of the group tend to cite old-fashioned values like honesty and commitment. "Indie-rock audiences are zealots, hard-core," said David King, the band's drummer, who is a veteran of more than a few Minneapolis indie bands. "I think they recognize that there's something in the chemistry of how we approach this stuff, where we play it with a dedication to the actual intent of the music."

Mr. King was alluding not only to "Velouria," but also to the band's compositions. He and the bassist Reid Anderson have crafted many of the vaulting or brazen or yearning compositions in the Bad Plus arsenal; Mr. Anderson's songs, especially, borrow harmonic elements from both rock and classical music. Ethan Iverson, the group's pianist and token indie-rock naïf, contributes pieces with a sly audacity that suits the setting. "It ends up being about just communicating something with a lot of intensity," he said of the band's aesthetic, which in his case derives from avant-garde jazz heroes like Ornette Coleman (for whom the Bad Plus opened on Saturday night at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center).

Intensity has long been the connective tissue between the noisier extremities of indie-rock and jazz. Within experimental rock circles, it's de rigueur to claim inspiration from free jazz, especially the strenuous, squalling stuff of late-period John Coltrane. Sonic Youth and Yo La Tengo are two prominent groups in this lineage; both have collaborated, perhaps a bit too self-consciously, with free-jazz musicians.

The influence flows just as strongly in the opposite direction: jazz's avant-garde landscape is littered with proponents of, and participants in, various strains of independent rock. For instance, Nels Cline spent part of last year shoehorning his discordant but disciplined improvisations into the group sound of Wilco as its lead guitarist. (Despite what indie purists might argue, Wilco remains, at heart, an indie-rock band.) The bassist Trevor Dunn divides much of his time between the experimental jazz of his Trio Convulsant and the surrealist metal of the band Fantômas. Anthony Braxton, the august avant-garde composer, has professed his admiration for the underground industrial band Wolf Eyes; he joined the group on a festival stage this summer. Of course, John Zorn, the saxophonist and composer, has mined this territory as well; his East Village performance space, the Stone, is the place to witness such collisions.

It's a bit harder to locate a jazz hybrid that employs indie-rock's more consonant elements, but that may be changing. "I think there really is a movement afoot," said the trumpeter Shane Endsley of Kneebody, a punchy indie-fusion group that will perform at Tonic tomorrow, and at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on Friday. Last month at the 55 Bar, Mr. Endsley introduced a different project inspired by the loopy thrust of the band Deerhoof and the dark tonalities of the late troubadour Elliott Smith. The as-yet-unnamed group externalized these influences with a mid-register wash of vibraphone, Fender Rhodes piano and electric guitar; the feeling was of weightless suspension, in accordance with Mr. Endsley's designs.

A similar sensibility inhabits the music of Todd Sickafoose, a bassist who shares Mr. Endsley's Deerhoof fascination. (It's not the only thing Mr. Sickafoose and Mr. Endsley have in common; they're both associates of the indie siren Ani DiFranco.) Mr. Sickafoose was to play the Brooklyn club Barbès last night, with Mr. Endsley in his frontline, and Mike Gamble, another holdover from the nameless band, on guitar. Tonight, Barbès will play host to another young bassist, Eivind Opsvik, who in an e-mail message said he had been listening to the singer-songwriters Joanna Newsom and Sufjan Stevens; Mr. Opsvik's band, Overseas, which he describes as a rock band with jazz improvisation, will also perform on Sunday at the 55 Bar.

It's not hard to imagine bands like these - and Jim Black's AlasNoAxis, and Chris Speed's Yeah NO - striking a chord with the kind of loyal crowds that turn out for the Bad Plus, if not the curiosity-seekers that "Gold Sounds" indulges. For now, this music has the purest kind of indie cred: it's self-contained, self-promoted and mostly undiscovered. The musicians may not cover the songs of indie-rock, but they're immersed in its self-idealizing spirit.


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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Milkowski about Pastorius

Chockful of new insights about Jaco's early years, along with new revelations about his tragic final days,"The World's Greatest Bass Player", this very special Anniversary Edition takes a greatly expanded look at the man who revolutionized his instrument and became one of the most potent and compelling forces in jazz during the 1970s. Containing many new, never-before-seen photos acquired from the Pastorius estate, this new package from Backbeat Books is a collector's item for Jaco fans and the perfect introduction for music lovers who may be unfamiliar with this revolutionary bassist of unparalleled artistry. And the companion full- length CD allows readers to experience Jaco's emerging genius firsthand, with newly revealed music from his pre-Weather Report years and spoken testimonials from Jaco's friends and colleagues.

Written by music journalist Bill Milkowski-who knew Pastorius personally from 1982 on-this biography provides a look inside the inspired method and madness of the man who reinvented the role of the electric bass. Jaco's pioneering innovations equal those of Jimi Hendrix on guitar and Charlie Parker on sax. He rendered melodies, chords, harmonics, and percussive effects simultaneously; created virtuoso solos that have been called ”adventures”; and fused jazz, classical, rock, reggae, R&B, pop, and punk into one inimitable style. Described by Jazziz magazine as “consistently fascinating, impressively detailed, and very readable, ” Jaco reveals how the self-proclaimed world's greatest bass player became one of the most potent forces in music, even as he faced many personal setbacks.

Like his heroes Parker and Hendrix, Jaco lived fast, made a huge impact, and died young-he was 35 when he was fatally beaten in 1987. During his meteoric rise from South Florida phenom to international jazz star, Jaco altered the course of jazz and opened a door that generations of bass players have since walked through. “It ain't braggin' if you can back it up, ” Jaco often said. As this book shows, he always did. “There's bass before Jaco and there's bass after Jaco, ” says drummer Allyn Robinson. “That's just the way it is.”

Like the musical gifts Jaco left behind, this book and companion CD provide a uniquely enriching experience.

Bill Milkowski is a Manhattan-based writer who has been covering the music scene since 1975. Named 2004 Writer of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association, he is a regular contributor to Jazz Times and Jazziz magazines. His work has also appeared in a variety of publications worldwide, including Down Beat, Modern Drummer, Bass Player, Guitar Player, Acoustic Guitar, Guitar World, Jazzthing (Germany), Vibrations (Switzerland), Guitar Club (Italy), Swing Journal (Japan), and Guitar (Japan). Backbeat Books publishes books for people who are passionate about music, whether as performers or avid fans. Based in San Francisco, Backbeat Books is an imprint of the Music Player Network, a division of CMP Media, LLC.

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Miles Davis to Be Inducted Into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Miles DavisTrumpeter Miles Davis will be one of five musicians and groups inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year, the Cleveland-based organization announced yesterday.

In a press release, the Hall of Fame noted that Davis's "musical experimentation beginning in the late '60s created a fusion of jazz with rock and roll, soul, funk, and hip-hop."

Davis played bebop with Charlie Parker in the 1940s before leading pioneering cool jazz, modal jazz, and hard bop groups in the '50s and '60s. His 1970 album Bitches Brew helped to launch the fusion movement.

No jazz musicians have previously been named to the main section of the hall, but Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Charlie Christian, and others have been honored as "early influences."

The other 2006 inductees are the heavy metal group Black Sabbath, the New Wave group Blondie, the Southern rock group Lynyrd Skynyrd, and the punk group Sex Pistols. Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss will receive a lifetime achievement award for founding A&M Records.

The inductees were selected by music historians, record-industry figures, journalists, and members of the hall. They will be honored at a ceremony in New York on March 13, 2006.

By Ben Mattison -

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Diana Krall Stays Atop Billboard Jazz Chart

Little changed on the Billboard jazz chart last week, with vocalist Diana Krall's Christmas Songs at number one for the third straight week.

Michael Bublé's It's Time, Chris Botti's To Love Again: The Duets, and the Thelonious Monk Quartet's At Carnegie Hall were at numbers two, three, and four, as they were the previous week.

The biggest climber of the week was Jazz for the Holidays, a compilation from Martha Stewart Living Music, which jumped from number eight to number five in its fifth week on the chart.

Saxophonist Kenny G's The Greatest Holiday Classics topped the contemporary-jazz chart for the second straight week. The compilation 40 Years: A Charlie Brown Christmas moved from number four to number two in its sixth week on the chart.

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Monday, November 28, 2005

Upcoming Jazz Releases - This Week

Upcoming Jazz Releases

Mon 21-Nov-2005

Ada Rovatti - Under the Hat (Nicolosi)
Alex Milella - Light Shades (Nicolosi)
Billy Cobham - Drum 'n' Voice (Nicolosi)
Jazz Club Trio - Standard Collection (Nicolosi)
Jeff Berlin - Lumpy Jazz (Nicolosi)
Koro - Contaminations (Nicolosi)
Michele Marmo - Un Pop Di Jazz (Nicolosi)
Mike Del Ferro - New Bel Canto (Nicolosi)
Mimo Campanele - Of Course (Nicolosi)
Novocento - Featuring (Nicolosi)
Philip Dizack - Beyond a Dream (Fresh Sound New Talent)
Toots Thielemans - The Live Takes (Nicolosi)

Tue 22-Nov-2005

Albert Ayler - Nuits de la Foundation Maeght 1970 (Lonehillja) - Reissue
Andrew Rathburn / George Colligan - Art of the Duo (Fresh Sound New Talent)
Antonio Carlos Jobim - Fotografia: Os Anos DOurados de Tom Jobim (Planet Rhythm) - Reissue
Art Farmer / Hal McKusick - Complete Studio Recordings (Lonehillja) - Reissue
Barbara Streisand - The Television Specials (Rhino) - DVD-Video
Big Three Trio - We Got Rhythm (Beezwax Records)
Bill Evans Trio - Liv e in Switzerland 1975 (Gambit)
Billie Holiday - Tribute to Billie Holiday - DVD-Video
Carly Simon - Moonlight Serenade: Live from Queen Mary II (Sony) - DVD-Video
Charles Mingus - Legendary Trios (Gambit) - Reissue
Craig Heesch - From Out of the Wings (American Jazz)
Cyro Baptista - Love the Donkey (Tzadik)
Ewan MacColl - Classic Scots Ballads (Visionary)
Fiona J Hawkins - Portrait of a Waterfall (Sumthing Else)
Gerry Mulligan - Jeru (Living Era) - Reissue
Gerry Mulligan - Complete Studio Recordings (Lonehillja) - Reissue
J.J. Johnson / Kai Winding - Afternoon at Birdland (Lonehillja) - Reissue
Jamie Stewardson - Jhaptal (Fresh Sound New Talent)
Jane Bunnett - Radio Gunatanamo: Blues Project (EMI)
Joe Newman - Sfot Swingin' Jazz / The Happy Cats (Lonehillja) - Reissue
John Zorn - Mysterium (Tzadik)
Jorge Reyes - Latin Jazz Live! From Cuba (Pimentia)
Lou Rawls - Ballads (Blue Note)
Modern Jazz Quartet - Jazz Concert at Music Inn / Modern Jazz Quartet at Montreux (Lonehillja) - Reissue
Norman Brown - Very Best of Norman Brown (GRP)
Paul Clayton - Sailing & Whaling Songs of the Days of Moby Dick (VI) - Reissue
Peter Gabriel - Still Growing Up: Live and Unwrapped (Rhino) - DVD-Video
Quintessence, Vol. 3: New York - Louis Armstrong (Fremeaux & Assoc. Fr) - Reissue
Radiohead - Live at the Astoria (EMI) - DVD-Video
Sam Bardfld - Periodic Trespasses (The Saul Cycle) (Fresh Sound New Talent)
Sam Levine - Play It Again (Word Entertainment)
Stanley Turrentine - In Concert (Kultur Video) - DVD-Video
Uske Orchestra - Niko et La Berlue (Sonig)
Various Artists - Montreux Jazz Festival - Vol. 8: The Jazz Guitar (Geneon) - DVD-Video
Various Artists - Hurricane Ground Benefit Relief Concert (Blue Note)
Young Dalley - Never Say Die (Urbanlife)

Information provided by

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Saturday, November 26, 2005

Jazz parade marks hope in New Orleans

Traditional ‘second-line’ procession snakes through once-flooded streets
A band leads people down Esplanade Street during a second-line parade in New Orleans, Saturday.
Led by brass bands and filmed by director Spike Lee, New Orleans gave thanks Saturday for things not lost in Hurricane Katrina at a "second-line" jazz procession through once-flooded streets.

The parade, with several hundred participants, started at the headquarters of a benevolent association just beyond the city's famed French Quarter and snaked its way through streets still littered with debris from the hurricane.

"We had to make a statement to the world that our history, that our African-American culture, will continue," said Fred Johnson of the benevolent group Black Men of Labor.

"It's to help the culture become better in life AK (after Katrina) than it was BK."

Joyful music
A second line, like the colorful procession in the James Bond movie "Live and Let Die," traditionally accompanies black funerals in New Orleans, when dancers and musicians follow the coffin through the streets. The music is somber on the way to the cemetery and joyful on the way back.

"There's no other way to be buried from where we came from," said Johnson, who wore a black suit and bright yellow shirt, with a matching yellow umbrella and a black fedora.

"If you got buried with a band, you are going to meet your maker."

Organizers described Saturday's procession as "a second line of thanks" and urged people to bring optimism and hopes to renew the city. Even now, almost three months after the storm, much of New Orleans remains dark and empty, and tens of thousands of people have yet to return home.

"I grew up listening to jazz parades and I grew up dancing in the street and when I heard that this was happening I knew I had to be here," said Sarah Earl, a New Orleans native now living in New York. "I thought it was a jazz funeral for New Orleans. Every single minute you are thinking about the city and the magic of the city. The people are astounding, in fact breath-taking."

Lee, who is making a documentary about how race and politics collided in the aftermath of the hurricane, directed a team of cameras at the procession. His documentary will be produced by Time Warner's HBO cable channel. He plans to have it ready for the first anniversary of Katrina.

MSNBC - Reuters

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Friday, November 25, 2005

Smooth Jazz Top Ten Week Ended 11/25/05

The Top Ten from
LW - TW - Artist - Title
2 - 1 - Brian Culbertson - Hookin' Up
1 - 2 - Euge Groove - Get Em Goin'
3 - 3 - Walter Beasley - Coolness
6 - 4 - Rick Braun - Shining Star
5 - 5 - Dave Koz - Love Changes Everything
4 - 6 - Paul Hardcastle - Serene
7 - 7 - Ken Navarro - You Are Everything
9 - 8 - Marion Meadows - Suede
10 - 9 - Brian Simpson - It's All Good
8 - 10 - David Pack - You're The Only Woman

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

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Thursday, November 24, 2005

Copy-protected Sony CDs still in stores despite recall

Many buyers report computer problems with secret software

Aaargh, @#$%^& Sony !If music is among your gift-giving ideas this holiday, beware of the danger still lurking on some store shelves.

Compact discs containing software that some have called spyware still can be found at Chicago-area record stores, despite a recall and lawsuits filed by several states against record label Sony BMG.

The discs, which include releases from Neil Diamond and Frank Sinatra, include a software code called Extended Copy Protection, or XCP, intended to limit the copies a consumer can make of the music.

Buyers of the discs have been reporting numerous problems with their computers or difficulties in attempting to copy songs onto music folders like iTunes. In mid-November, shortly after blogger Mark Russinovich posted his findings about the problems with the XCP-protected discs, Sony said it would pull them from stores. A patch Sony issued to remove the software opened additional security holes on computers that hackers could exploit.

Yet as of Wednesday, the discs--which include about 50 titles--were still available at area stores. A spokesman at Tower Records in Schaumburg was unaware of any customer complaints or requests for exchanges. At the Bloomingdale Tower Records, the store manager said he fielded some questions about the discs but received no complaints. Both stores were still stocked with the copy-protected titles.

But at Virgin Records in Chicago, a representative said the store began returning the discs to Sony on Tuesday at the request of the record label.

Trend called nothing new

Bradley Gross, a Florida-based attorney who specializes in technology law, said the problems with the Sony discs "are a continuation of a trend, not the start of one."

"Back in 2002, for instance, both Sony and Universal tried to implement copy protection on their music CDs," he said. "That protection scheme, however, was easily foiled by using an ordinary magic marker to blacken out a portion of the disc that contained the copy protection."

With the XCP software, Sony now faces a public-relations nightmare that Gross said could have been avoided.

"There will always be a certain amount of copying, regardless of the methods used to detect or prevent it," Gross said. "It is not a secret that record companies are using copy protection methods, nor is it a secret how they do it. Curiously, the only secret is why they insist on doing things in a surreptitious manner."

The fact that Sony didn't disclose that the discs put undisclosed code on a user's computer caused an uproar.

"The bigger issue here is security experts are saying this opens even a bigger hole in terms of programs invading someone's personal computer," said Andrew Brandt, senior associate editor of PC World. Sony has "only thrown more gas on the fire. And what's more, consumers were never told about what could happen."

Andy Gershon, president of V2 Records, whose acts include the White Stripes, Moby, and Stereophonics, believes "cell phones, iPods, and PlayStation 2 are what the future of music is all about" and that bigger record companies are seeking "a distribution monopoly.

"Any barrier to the entry of acquiring music is simply someone trying to level the playing field," he said. "The future of music is all about broadband and downloading digital files. I've never heard of complaints about management of digital rights and subscription services. But whenever someone has tried to do that through software on a CD, it has always failed."

Jim Davis, president of the CD Mobile Fidelity label, said his company has no plans for copy protection.

"We're not worried about ripping copies of our product," Davis said.

"Our customer base is all about people who want to hear better quality, and we're not going to get into something that affects that."

A lesson learned?

As to the future of copying music and the possible protection strategies that may be forthcoming, Brandt believes Sony may have taught others labels a lesson in caution.

"Labels have to be concerned about the idea of taking away the right to own music," he said. "The whole fight is about who holds the rights to a song and how long when it comes to digital technology. But nobody wants the problems that have surfaced now."

For Bill Weber, the experience with a recently bought Sony CD illustrates some of the problems with the XCP scheme.

"I bought a CD, popped it into my combo player and then did what I always do, put the CD into my computer's CD recorder to transfer the songs into iTunes so that I could enjoy the songs on my iPod," said Weber, who lives in Rhode Island.

"Once I did that, I found only garbled noises coming out of my music system. I grabbed the CD case, checked the back, and found a `Limited Copy' warning as well as text to the effect that the disc was compatible with Macs and Windows. Nothing said it would not work with iTunes or that it had just planted a new program on my PC."

Attorney Gross believes better information from record labels would help control illegal copies.

"I expect the amount of copying to decrease as two things occur," he said. "First, as the price of `legally' acquiring music drops, more consumers will open their wallets to the music industry.

"Second, the music industry will--indeed must--begin to educate customers about the methods it is using to protect music from being copied illegally."

Nonetheless, don't expect to see the end of copy protection schemes soon.

"Past failures have not seemed to dissuade the music industry from trying different methods," Gross said. "Eventually, one method will be more effective than the others, and that method will become the standard.

"However, there's a lot of road between where we are today and where the music industry wants to be."

- - -

Think you have a Sony XCP CD?

How to identify a Sony CD with XCP software and what to do about it:

A list of XCP-protected discs can be found at At the site's home page, you can find links to the exchange program, which includes free postage. Sony is also offering free MP3 files of the discs plus new CDs without the copy protection.

Sony also lists software updates to uninstall the XCP code. But Andrew Brandt, an editor of PC World, suggests that rather than trying to uninstall the XCP program yourself, wait until December when Microsoft will issue an update to do the job for you. Security protection from antivirus companies will also be available soon.

--David Sharos
By David Sharos
Special to the Tribune
Published November 24, 2005
Copyright © 2005, Chicago Tribune

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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Robin Avery | The Way You Hold Me

It’s not an issue of which vocal style is better, but there’s something about a whispery voice that gives some singers special appeal. Robin Avery is such a singer. Hailing from south Florida, this mother of three recently released her second album—and her first with Oar Fin Records. The Way You Hold Me is a smooth jazz album that expresses love in many ways, at times adding pop, Caribbean, and R&B flavors.

All but two of the tracks were co-written by Avery and her life partner, keyboardist and producer Paul Banman. One song, “Lovetrust,” was written by Avery and Tim Bain. The lone cover song is “Drive,” originally recorded by The Cars. “Under the Same Sky” was so inspired by Avery’s youngest son, Aaron, that she gave him co-writer credit along with herself and Banman. A confrontation with her oldest son provided the inspiration for “That Makes All the Difference.”

With a variable lineup that features Banman on keyboards, Avery delivers an album loaded with charming melodies. The opener, “What Was on Your Mind,” sets the pace. This midtempo ballad has Avery’s voice out front, backed by a competent rhythm section that gives the song a fuller sound without getting in the way. Throughout, the bass lines and drum tracks are subtle, but effective enough that they don’t sound like pre-fabricated beats.

Saxophonist Warren Hill joins the ensemble for the cover of “Drive.” One of the nice things about this performance is that the background music doesn’t follow the pattern set by The Cars, which makes it a cover worth hearing. Minnick’s guitar programming deviates from the script, and Leo Brooks adds a nice touch with the bass. As with every song, however, the emphasis is on voice.

On the charmer “Under the Same Sky,” Avery admonishes people of all backgrounds to come together and help one another: “The strong exploit the weak, all across our land / the homeless and the hungry, frightened minds won’t lend a hand.” Banman adds a nice keyboard solo—a rarity on this album.

Apart from Hill’s presence on “Drive,” there are no memorable instrumental solos on this recording. Perhaps that’s by design, because Avery’s talent as a vocalist is what's on display. And she does a wonderful job throughout, at times tempting listeners to believe that Avery is singing directly to them. The Way You Hold Me is a keeper.

Visit Robin Avery on the web

Robin Avery | Oar Fin Records

Review by Woodrow Wilkins Jr. -

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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Sony Recalls Chris Botti's Latest CD

Major record label recalling up to 5 million CDs.
Earlier this week, Sony BMG Music announced that it would temporarily suspend production of music CDs with anti-piracy software called XCP – or “extended copy protection” – that when played on Windows PCs leave them vulnerable to viruses and hackers. Now Sony will now recall nearly 5 million of the CDS, which includes Chris Botti’s latest album called To Love Again. In addition, Sony has announced several other titles that are affected and will be recalled, including So Amazing: All-Star Tribute to Luther Vandross and At This Time by Burt Bacharach.

Sony BMG had created a website where users could uninstall the software that allowed the CD to play on computers, but now says that it will soon release an updated uninstall program. In addition, Microsoft has announced that its upcoming Windows Update will remove the malicious software. Sony says that customers can exchange any CD with the XCP software for a replacement copy without it. For more information, go to

This article was originally posted by Brian Soergel at

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Monday, November 21, 2005

All About Jazz Launches Daily Download Center

About a month ago, started its daily download feature. We have added the code to this blog and you will find the link at the bottom of the right hand column as you scroll down.
~, the web's largest jazz portal, will make one full-length mp3 song freely available to download each day, starting today.

“Our plan is to make one song available each day of the week,” says Michael Ricci, AAJ's founder and publisher. “If demand increases (from both users and musicians), we'll ramp up to two or more.”

Mark Sabbatini, AAJ's Download Editor says, “We're selecting from a pool of tracks we feel our readers will enjoy, including performers and sources worldwide that many people may not realize exist.”

“We plan to have fun with the feature and eventually showcase certain styles on certain days of the week. Look for themes such as 'Creative Music Thursday,' 'Funky Friday,' 'Classic Saturday,' 'Vocal Sunday' and more.”

The Daily Download provides tremendous exposure for the artists who make the music, including descriptions of the song, and information about where to find additional biographical information, file downloads and albums for sale are provided when available.

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First Online Jazz Licensing Website Launched, the website that will license the recorded performances and compositions of hundreds of independent Jazz artists through a complete online process, announces its start date of November 21st, 2005. The site will feature a huge inventory of independently recorded Jazz that is free and clear for licensing to the Film, TV, Commercial and related industries. Jazz Planet will also provide an extensively cross- referenced database that keys in on Jazz genres; the moods, style, era, and instrumentation, as well as artist info and tracks from world-class Jazz artists who do not have a record label behind them.

Conceptualized and created by Jazz drummer, Peter Donald, Jazz Planet is the only website that specializes in Jazz and all of its genres and provides tools for the end user to become more knowledgeable about Jazz music. Jazz Planet draws from an International community of Jazz musicians offering the opportunity to digitize, archive and license tracks to the world of media production. For members of the music industry and jazz enthusiasts alike, Jazz Planet offers substantial knowledge of jazz and an extensive, organized collection of tracks from artists of the highest caliber. Among the many musicians that will be featured on the site, included are the world-renowned drummer, Peter Erskine (recently having toured with Diana Krall); soprano sax master Dave Liebman and the incomparable tenor saxophonist, two time Grammy Award Winner, Ernie Watts.

“In the past 10 years, recording has become much less expensive due to computer technology and, with the same technology, it has become standard practice to incorporate pre-existing music tracks into the production process.” says Donald. “This is a natural fit for the content provider and the end user.” Jazz Planet creates a place where music supervisors/editors, producers, directors and other creatives will have easy access to a wide variety of Jazz recordings at a reasonable price. The music can be previewed, downloaded for demo and licensed with final tracks immediately accessed.

Licensing has become a $4 billion a year industry. This creates the opportunity for the independent musician, who has a catalogue of self-financed recordings, to realize more return on his/her investment. It also exposes the music to a larger audience thus promoting the artist with increased CD sales and greater demand for live performances.

Ultimately, plans to be the most vital Internet destination for jazz content without the high costs and time consuming process of dealing with major labels and publishers. The site will provide a user-friendly service for licensing needs, while educating the user and exposing gifted musicians to a larger segment of Jazz enthusiasts.

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Sunday, November 20, 2005

Upcoming Jazz Releases - This week

Upcoming Jazz Releases

Mon 21-Nov-2005

Ada Rovatti - Under the Hat (Nicolosi)
Alex Milella - Light Shades (Nicolosi)
Billy Cobham - Drum 'n' Voice (Nicolosi)
Jazz Club Trio - Standard Collection (Nicolosi)
Jeff Berlin - Lumpy Jazz (Nicolosi)
Koro - Contaminations (Nicolosi)
Michele Marmo - Un Pop Di Jazz (Nicolosi)
Mike Del Ferro - New Bel Canto (Nicolosi)
Mimo Campanele - Of Course (Nicolosi)
Novocento - Featuring (Nicolosi)
Philip Dizack - Beyond a Dream (Fresh Sound New Talent)
Toots Thielemans - The Live Takes (Nicolosi)

Tue 22-Nov-2005

Albert Ayler - Nuits de la Foundation Maeght 1970 (Lonehillja) - Reissue
Andrew Rathburn / George Colligan - Art of the Duo (Fresh Sound New Talent)
Antonio Carlos Jobim - Fotografia: Os Anos DOurados de Tom Jobim (Planet Rhythm) - Reissue Art Farmer / Hal McKusick - Complete Studio Recordings (Lonehillja) - Reissue
Barbara Streisand - The Television Specials (Rhino) - DVD-Video
Big Three Trio - We Got Rhythm (Beezwax Records)
Bill Evans Trio - Liv e in Switzerland 1975 (Gambit)
Billie Holiday - Tribute to Billie Holiday - DVD-Video
Carly Simon - Moonlight Serenade: Live from Queen Mary II (Sony) - DVD-Video
Charles Mingus - Legendary Trios (Gambit) - Reissue
Craig Heesch - From Out of the Wings (American Jazz)
Cyro Baptista - Love the Donkey (Tzadik)
Ewan MacColl - Classic Scots Ballads (Visionary)
Fiona J Hawkins - Portrait of a Waterfall (Sumthing Else)
Gerry Mulligan - Jeru (Living Era) - Reissue
Gerry Mulligan - Complete Studio Recordings (Lonehillja) - Reissue
J.J. Johnson / Kai Winding - Afternoon at Birdland (Lonehillja) - Reissue
Jamie Stewardson - Jhaptal (Fresh Sound New Talent)
Jane Bunnett - Radio Gunatanamo: Blues Project (EMI)
Joe Newman - Sfot Swingin' Jazz / The Happy Cats (Lonehillja) - Reissue
John Zorn - Mysterium (Tzadik)
Jorge Reyes - Latin Jazz Live! From Cuba (Pimentia)
Lou Rawls - Ballads (Blue Note)
Modern Jazz Quartet - Jazz Concert at Music Inn / Modern Jazz Quartet at Montreux (Lonehillja) - Reissue
Norman Brown - Very Best of Norman Brown (GRP)
Paul Clayton - Sailing & Whaling Songs of the Days of Moby Dick (VI) - Reissue
Peter Gabriel - Still Growing Up: Live and Unwrapped (Rhino) - DVD-Video
Quintessence, Vol. 3: New York - Louis Armstrong (Fremeaux & Assoc. Fr) - Reissue
Radiohead - Live at the Astoria (EMI) - DVD-Video
Sam Bardfld - Periodic Trespasses (The Saul Cycle) (Fresh Sound New Talent)
Sam Levine - Play It Again (Word Entertainment)
Stanley Turrentine - In Concert (Kultur Video) - DVD-Video
Uske Orchestra - Niko et La Berlue (Sonig)
Various Artists - Montreux Jazz Festival - Vol. 8: The Jazz Guitar (Geneon) - DVD-Video
Various Artists - Hurricane Ground Benefit Relief Concert (Blue Note)
Young Dalley - Never Say Die (Urbanlife)

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Saturday, November 19, 2005

Brasil '66 leader Mendes plans February release

The bossa nova will be competing with flowers and chocolate this Valentine's Day, when veteran bandleader Sergio Mendes releases his first album in the United States in 10 years.

With his Brazilian-flavored light jazz, the pianist and his group, Brasil '66, ruled the charts in the late '60s with such hits as "Mas Que Nada" and their cover of the Beatles' "Fool on the Hill."

On his new recording, appropriately named "Timeless," he's paired with a slew of artists, most of whom weren't even a twinkle in their parents' eyes during Mendes' heyday.

The Concord Records/Starbucks Hear Music release was produced by Black Eyed Peas' Among the guests are Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, John Legend, Q-Tip and Stevie Wonder.

The album includes reworked versions of Mendes' hits, new tunes and updates of Brazilian standards. The sound combines classic Brazilian samba and bossa nova rhythms with American hip-hop.

Like the Ray Charles and Herbie Hancock albums issued recently by Starbucks and its partners, this release will be available to all retailers simultaneously.

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Jazz label Concord welcomes young talent

Roll over, young lions -- the early-'90s jazzers set on recycling bebop and championed by Wynton Marsalis -- because the new generation is knocking on the door.

Plaudits go to Concord Records for helping to usher in the youth movement by showcasing three of its new signings (trumpeter Christian Scott, keyboardist Taylor Eigsti and vocalist Erin Boheme), first at the Mint in Los Angeles October 25 and then at Dizzy's Club at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York November 8.

At Dizzy's, Eigsti, 21, put an impressive punch and spark into his set, especially on his energetic version of John Coltrane's "Giant Steps." He also offered a fine duet, "True Colors," with 17-year-old guitar phenom Julian Lage. Boheme, 19, joined the band for four songs, including her original "Don't Be Something You Ain't," a song that lyrically exemplified the evening's accent on subtly breaking out from neocon jazz tastes.

The most dynamic of the trio was Scott, who energetically put funk and rock into the mix, while blowing a soulful trumpet that pierced but also hummed. The title track to his new album, "Rewind That," set for a February 28 release, got his set off to a hot start. Look for him to enjoy a career with long legs.

BET Jazz, which has linked with Concord to present three 30-minute specials -- one devoted to each of the fledgling artists -- filmed the proceedings at Dizzy's as well as the triad's performances at the Anguilla Tranquility Jazz Festival the following week. The specials will air in January.


Blue Note Records is filling up its 2006 calendar with noteworthy CDs, including a solo piano outing by Gonzalo Rubalcaba -- appropriately titled "Solo," arriving March 7 -- and a Wes Montgomery tribute by guitarist Pat Martino, out February 7.

Pianist Andrew Hill, who began recording for the label in 1963, has re-signed with Blue Note for the third time. Coming up is a quintet release, "Time Lines," out February 21. And vocalist Cassandra Wilson's long-awaited project with producer T Bone Burnett, "Thunderbird," will finally see the light of day in March.

At Verve, Roy Hargrove, the hardest working trumpeter in the jazz business, releases "Reflections and Distortions," a two-CD set, February 28. One disc features his quintet, the other his funky RH Factor band. Also out February 28, harmonica ace Toots Thielemans' "Over the Rainbow."

Columbia's marquee jazz release is banjo master Bela Fleck's "The Hidden Land," which will go on sale January 31. The CD reunites Fleck and his group -- including bassist Victor Wooten, percussionist Future Man and saxist Jeff Coffin -- after a yearlong hiatus.

Also on January 31, saxophonist Chris Potter, a steady member of Dave Holland's quintet, releases yet another of his potent albums, "Underground," on Sunnyside, with a band including keyboardist Craig Taborn and the underrated guitarist Wayne Krantz.

Telarc Records is looking ahead to two strong piano-based releases: Michel Camino's "Rhapsody in Blue" with the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra (February 28) and Hiromi Uehara's "Spiral" (January 17), the follow-up to 2004's "Brain." She delivers eight new compositions that range from funk to avant-garde

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Friday, November 18, 2005

Miles Davis - The Cellar Door Sessions 1970

Miles Davis' "The Cellar Door Sessions 1970" will be released December 27 by Columbia/Legacy Jazz. Previously available as a fraction of the music herein and only initially issued domestically (in edited form on the two-LP set, “Live Evil, ” “The Cellar Door Sessions 1970” was recorded December 16-19, 1970 at a club in Washington, D.C., where the great trumpeter-bandleader Davis was at the helm of one his most stimulating groups.

The sextet on the Cellar Door's bandstand - Davis, saxophonist Gary Bartz, keyboardist Keith Jarrett, electric bassist Michael Henderson, drummer Jack DeJohnette, and percussionist Airto Moreiera - is a sheer marvel of kinetic energy. Adding another dimension of excitement on the final two discs is the blazing guitar of John McLaughlin. With the exception of young Henderson, who had made his bones as a Motown session ace and touring with Stevie Wonder, every member of this Davis band has subsequently proved to be a major figure in jazz; in his own way, each has placed a highly personal stamp on improvisation during the past 35 years. In 1969, the year Davis (1926-1991) recorded “In A Silent Way” and “Bitches Brew, ” he told Downbeat's Don DeMichael, “I could put together the greatest rock 'n' roll band you ever heard.” Well, here it is, and if the Davis group is not working the same blues-rockin' side of the street as the Rolling Stones (then billed as “the greatest rock 'n' roll band in the world”), they're breaking on through to another side - the fearless and peerless jazz side of funkmeisters James Brown and Sly Stone, and rock deity Jimi Hendrix.

The 28 performances spread out over these six discs, running nearly six hours, add up to an inestimable document of the musical crossbreeding spearheaded by Miles and his crew. Bringing additional luster to this deluxe package is a number of previously unpublished photographs, as well as individual essays of four unforgettable nights by each of the six men who, with their leader, created the music that elevates the Cellar Door.

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Thursday, November 17, 2005

Smooth Jazz Top Ten Week Ended 11/18/05

The Top Ten from
LW - TW - Artist - Title
1 - 1 - Euge Groove - Get Em Goin'
2 - 2 - Brian Culbertson - Hookin' Up
4 - 3 - Walter Beasley - Coolness
3 - 4 - Paul Hardcastle - Serene
5 - 5 - Dave Koz - Love Changes Everything
7 - 6 - Rick Braun - Shining Star
6 - 7 - Ken Navarro - You Are Everything
9 - 8 - David Pack - You're The Only Woman
8 - 9 - Marion Meadows - Suede
10 - 10 - Brian Simpson - It's All Good

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

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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Dave Brubeck Begins European Tour

Legendary composer and jazz pianist Dave Brubeck and his Quartet begin a fall tour of Europe November 16 with a concert at Nuremberg, Germany's Schauspielhaus, presented by the City of Nuremberg as part of its 60th anniversary commemoration of the Nuremberg Trials.

During the tour Brubeck will celebrate his 85th birthday on December 6 in the first of two dates with the London Symphony Orchestra, with which he has frequently performed and recorded.

Brubeck was stationed in Nuremberg in 1945 with General George S. Patton's Third Army. While he did not attend the Trials, his band The Wolf Pack -- the first integrated band in the military -- was part of a USO show that reopened the Nuremberg Opera House on July 1, 1945. Prior to that, the Opera House had served as The Wolf Pack's rehearsal facility after U.S. troops had occupied the city.

“One of my most vivid memories of that period is sitting in the audience for the first post-war performance of 'Hansel and Gretel' at the Nuremberg Opera House, along with hundreds of excited German children and some parents, ” recalls Brubeck. “There was so much joy, and a feeling of returning to normalcy. I think of those days each time I come to Nuremburg and have the privilege of returning to that beautiful stage.”

Dr. Ulrich Maly, Nuremberg's Lord Mayor, invited Brubeck to participate in the City's commemoration of the Trials after hearing Brubeck's 2004 solo piano CD on Telarc, “Private Brubeck Remembers.” The CD is a collection of World War II-era standards plus the Brubeck originals “We Crossed the Rhine” and “Weep No More, ” written for his wife Iola. On a limited-edition companion CD, Brubeck is interviewed by former CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite and reminisces about his World War II days and his stay in Nuremberg.

Dr. Hans Hesselmann, director of the City of Nuremberg's Office of Human Rights, noted that Brubeck's fight for tolerance, peace and the recognition of human rights throughout his career was an important factor in the City's decision to invite him.

The Brubeck Quartet -- Bobby Militello, alto sax and flute, Michael Moore, bass, and Randy Jones, drums -- will play 16 dates in Germany, Austria, Poland, Switzerland, Spain, and the UK, six of them with symphony or chamber orchestra. (In addition to his extensive catalogue of jazz originals, many of which have become standards, Brubeck has written more than 50 works for orchestra, chorus, solo voice, string quartet, ballet, or the musical theatre.)

Tour cities in addition to Nuremberg and London include Hoersching, Villach, Vienna and Kapfenburg, Austria; Barcelona, Spain; Warsaw, Poland; Lausanne, Bern, Basel and Zurich, Switzerland; and Munich, Dusseldorf, and Ludwigshafen, Germany.

On December 6, the London Symphony Orchestra under guest conductor Russell Gloyd will present an all-Brubeck program including the premiere of a birthday tribute by Darius Brubeck. Four Brubeck sons will join in the program: Darius (keyboards), Chris (electric bass and trombone), Dan (drums) and Matthew (cello).

On December 17, the London Symphony and Chorus along with the St. Luke's Children's Chorus will perform Brubeck's Christmas cantata, ”La Fiesta de la Posada, ” in which he will be joined once again by his sons. This program will be repeated in December 19 in Munich and December 20 in Ludwigshafen, Germany, with the Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz and the Madrigalchor der Hochschule fur Musik und Theater of Munich.

Along with his 85th birthday, the year 2005 has contained numerous other milestones for Brubeck, including a 50th anniversary appearance at the Newport Jazz Festival, where he was joined by trumpeter Wynton Marsalis; a concert with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra observing the 40th anniversary of his debut with that orchestra (the CSO later premiered his first choral work, the oratorio, “The Light in the Wilderness”); a Lifetime Achievement Award and a Congressional Record tribute when he opened the first Duke Ellington Festival in Washington, D.C.; and the world premiere of his most recent choral work, “The Commandments, ” at New York's Lincoln Center.

Prior to sailing for Europe, Brubeck put the finishing touches on two new compositions. “Are You Now or Have You Ever Been, a Democrat or a Republican, ” is a choral fugue which contrasts the McCarthy era with the present. At the invitation of the Pacific Mozart Ensemble, he also wrote a Credo which will be inserted into Mozart's unfinished Grand Mass in C minor when the Ensemble celebrates Mozart's 250th birthday in 2006.

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New York Jazz Auction to Help Musicians

New York Jazz Auction to Help New Orleans Musicians Stranded All Over America
Terrell Batiste of Hot 8 Jazz band holds his horn during a performance in New York Friday, Oct. 29, 2005. Batiste grandmother, Ethel Anna Herbert, 95, is still missing after she was airlifted from the New Orleans' Superdome without her medical file after suffering a stroke. Batiste, is playing at an auction in New York Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2005 to benefit New Orleans jazz musicians dispersed around the country after the disaster. (AP Photo/Dima Gavrysh) More than two months after Hurricane Katrina, all 21-year-old trumpeter Terrell Batiste has is a temporary home, a donated horn and a chance to eke out a living by playing New Orleans music in other parts of America.

On Wednesday, the Jazz Foundation of America is holding an auction to help Batiste and hundreds of other hurricane-displaced musicians with food, clothes, housing and jobs.

Among those playing at the fund-raiser will be 95-year-old tenor saxophonist Max Lucas, who once performed with Louis Armstrong, and 91-year-old alto saxophonist Fred Staton, who played with Art Blakey, Count Basie and Billy Strayhorn.

On the auction block are more than 50 jazz treasures including Miles Davis' boa constrictor snakeskin jacket and the Boesendorfer grand piano from Manhattan's Blue Note club. Auction items also include guitar lessons from Bucky Pizzarelli, sax tutoring from Joe Lovano, and a 1961 New York Times photo that shows Armstrong playing for his wife in front of the pyramids in Giza, Egypt. Roberta Flack is offering a vocal coaching session, and Billy Taylor a jazz piano lesson.

The presale estimates range from $200 for the Times photo to $65,000 for the Blue Note piano.

An online component of the fund-raiser offers the chance to record a track with the bass player and drummer for Jimi Hendrix's original Band of Gypsies.

Members of the Hot 8 Brass Band Batiste, who lives in a Red Cross-sponsored apartment in Atlanta, and nine other young men whose edgy new jazz was at the heart of pre-Katrina New Orleans were flown in for the evening at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill at Times Square.

The New York-based foundation, which fields up to 20 requests a day for help, already has delivered more than $120,000 worth of new instruments. More than 100 musicians have been relocated into new homes or helped with mortgages on destroyed homes.

With money from the band Pearl Jam and other donors, the foundation will pay 126 New Orleans evacuees to perform in the next six months for schoolchildren in Louisiana, Texas, Georgia, Illinois and New York.

"People are hearing a lot more of what was just in the streets of New Orleans," said Hot 8's manager, Lee Arnold. "It's a good opportunity both for the country and the musicians."

The foundation was created in 1989 by Taylor and businessman Herb Storfer to help elderly jazz musicians.

Young and old, the New Orleans musicians are rooted in America's homegrown soundtrack, said Wendy Oxenhorn, the Jazz Foundation's executive director.

"This music was born out of the atrocities of slavery, when families were tortured and separated," she said. "They became these magnificent, strong, powerful people who ended up giving back a gift to the world that has gotten all of us through life. The musicians will survive."

By VERENA DOBNIK The Associated Press

On the Net:

Jazz Foundation of America:

Hot 8 Brass Band:

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'Jazzing up' rock music with a dash more sophistication

To "jazz up" something can mean to make it less boring, less pedantic, shinier. It also implies a form of cheapening; "jazzing up the classics," for example.

In this case, it means an attempt to make pop music more subtle, intellectual; more musical, less popular, so to speak.

Popular music has been "jazzed up" for a century, going back perhaps to "Old Man River." The process was temporarily interrupted when many jazzmen, busy mourning the death of the Broadway song form, considered rock to be the enemy a priori.

After the turn of the century, Brad Mehldau interpreted Radiohead, and The Bad Plus did Black Sabbath's "Iron Man" and Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit." It has become something of a fad. The French Orchestre National de Jazz is currently recording "Close to Heaven," an album of Led Zeppelin songs.

Here are some more recordings of "jazzed up" rock songs.

"BEATLE JAZZ, With a Little Help From Our Friends" (Lightyear): Magnificently produced and arranged by the percussionist Brian Melvin and the pianist Dave Kikoski, this is one of the best jazz records of the year. Mike Brecker's tenor saxophone version of "Working Class Hero" combines John Lennon and John Coltrane. Although the rhythm section goes out of its way to sound Coltranian, it is above all Brecker's outsized emotional investment that counts. Brother Randy Becker's trumpet makes a good old-fashioned standard out of "Imagine," John Scofield takes "Piggies" into outer space, and Mike Stern's "A Hard Day's Night" is like Miles Davis might have done it.

TIM RIES, "THE ROLLING STONES PROJECT" (Concord): Be warned - some people might say that any album with Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood on it is no jazz record. Ries has been the Stones's saxophonist since 1999, and, in fact, the music is sometimes a bit too close to fusion and/or smooth jazz for comfort. Sonny Rollins took a majestic solo on the original recording of "Waiting on a Friend," and Ries's improvisation is less interesting than that.

Still, there is plenty of fresh stuff left. A down-home organ trio version of "Honky Tonk Woman" features Larry Goldings and Charlie Watts, the Stones drummer.

Jazz versions of rock songs are almost always instrumental, and so it is ironic that one of the most satisfying tracks is Norah Jones singing "Wild Horses," on which, accompanied by a harp, she brings out the moody beauty latent in the song. The duo of the guitarist Bill Frisell and Ries on soprano saxophone playing "Ruby Tuesday" is a small jewel.

"ELTON EXPOSED, Revealing the Jazz Soul of Elton John" (Summit): Ted Howe, piano; John Patitucci, bass, and Joe LaBarbera, drums, are described on the jacket as a "a power trio that takes the listener on a stand-up, sing-out, sit-down, swingin' ride," whatever that means. It may have something to do with all of those fancy chords. Either way, the loose, ternary interpretations of "Benny and the Jets," "Circle of Life" and "Your Song" are much more than merely listenable (Patitucci is a monster).

And all of them work better than well without the lyrics, but, still, you can't help wondering: Elton John has a jazz soul?

Herbie Hancock, "POSSIBILITIES" (Hancock Music): Meanwhile, Hancock decided to make a rock record. In addition to producing and arranging, he plays piano, and you don't have to be a Juilliard graduate to hear that the piano solos with, and the accompaniment behind, John Mayer, Santana, Paul Simon, Annie Lennox, Sting, Trey Anastasio of Phish, and Christina Aguilera (a soulful version of Leon Russell's "A Song for You") are noticeably better than on your ordinary run-of-the-mill rock album. This is award-winning music.

"Musicians tend to limit themselves," explains Hancock, who was a funk star in the 1970s ("Watermelon Man"). "Once they find a comfort zone, they confine themselves to it. A lot of it is the fault of 'the business.' The music industry thinks artists should stay in their little boxes. But you can't really put a limit on human creativity."

"I brought my 40 years of jazz experience to the table," Hancock said, "but I wanted to make something more ambitious than a little box."

All of which sounds great, and is, in addition, all true, though it may not be the entire story. "Possibilities" is distributed and marketed by Starbucks, which also retailed the Grammy-winning Ray Charles album "Genius Loves Company."

Starbucks has more than 9,000 stores worldwide and about 30 million customers, most of whom come in more than once a month. The company granted Hancock more equitable percentages than is usual in "the business," he owns his own masters, and the name of the label is, remember, Hancock Music.

Never mind. Nobody ever said good music can't make money. Or did they?

By Mike Zwerin Bloomberg News

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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

'Masada Songbook': Zorn Redefines Jewish Music

Composer and saxophonist John Zorn has pushed back the boundaries of Jewish music with everything from klezmer music to hard rock.Just over a decade ago, renegade composer and saxophonist John Zorn set out to redefine Jewish music with an ambitious set of pieces he called the "Masada Songbook."

There are now over 200 pieces in the catalog, which take their inspiration from klezmer, Middle Eastern and classical music.

In his original group, John Zorn played saxophone alongside a trumpeter, bass player and drummer. But the catalog was designed to be played by any group of instruments, and Zorn's discography has since expanded to include renditions by klezmer bands, jazz combos and vocalists.

The group Rashanim features John Madof on guitar, Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz on bass and Mathias Kunzli on drums and percussion.Now, for the 10th anniversary of the songbook, John Zorn's Tzadik label has released Masada Rock featuring the Jewish power trio Rashanim and led by guitarist Jon Madof.

Zorn and Madof recently spoke with host Liane Hansen about their work and the continuing evolution of Jewish music. To hear the interview go: here and click 'listen'

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Steve Oliver Offers Holiday CD On Website

Southern California guitarist creates inspiring music.

Lyrical guitarist Steve Oliver has just released his first holiday album, Snowfall, which at this time can only be found on his newly redesigned website at

The 10-song CD is offered by Oliver’s Oohla Productions and features such standards as “Carol of the Bells,” “Silent Night,” “Joy to the World,” “The Christmas Song” and “Little Drummer Boy.” Steve wrote two original songs, an instrumental called “Crystals in the Snow” and “Watching the Snow,” which features his lead vocals. In addition to playing guitar and singing on the CD, Oliver also played keyboards and percussion while handing the musical programming.

Contributing to the CD are pianist Tony Windle, saxophonist Will Donato and bassist KT Tyler.

To purchase Snowfall you can download the entire album for $10 or you can have it delivered for $15. The CD is Oliver’s follow-up to 3D, which was released on the Koch label.

by Brian Soergel -

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Trumpeter and Jazz at Lincoln Center artistic director Wynton Marsalis marks a quarter century at the vanguard.

Wynton Marsalis (right) at the Higher Ground benefit concert in SeptemberFor 25 years, Wynton Marsalis has made his presence known in the world of jazz. As he has matured as a musician, he has also taken on more responsibilities. As an artist, Marsalis has honed his chops to a razor's edge. His dedication to America's original art form of jazz speaks volumes. Marsalis's commitment to improving people's lives through music and his contributions to the arts paint a portrait of his character and humanity. He is internationally respected as a teacher and as a spokesman for music education.

Last year's Grand Opening of Jazz at Lincoln Center's new home on Broadway at 60th Street, was a highlight in his career. The creation of Frederick P. Rose Hall has solidified a permanent performance facility for jazz music, and Marsalis tied it all together.

As a jazz musician, composer, bandleader, advocate for the arts, and educator, Marsalis has helped propel jazz music to the forefront of American culture. In April 1997, he became the first jazz artist ever to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize in music for his work Blood on the Fields, which was commissioned by Jazz at Lincoln Center. His work with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, as both music director and trumpeter, has included collaborations with the London Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Russian National Orchestra, and the Orchestre Nacional de France.

As the Artistic Director for Jazz at Lincoln Center, he's worked with everyone from the Library of Congress and the Apollo Theater to the New York City Ballet and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. An artist of great strength and fortitude, Marsalis's schedule has been magnified to include more ventures at Frederick P. Rose Hall, in addition to his international and national tours with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.

Born on October 18, 1961 in New Orleans, Wynton Marsalis is the second of six sons to Ellis and Dolores Marsalis. At six years of age, he was bitten by the stage bug when he performed traditional New Orleans music in the Fairview Baptist Church band. Marsalis began studying the trumpet seriously at age 12 and played with local marching bands, jazz and funk bands, and classical youth orchestras.

In 1979 Marsalis entered The Juilliard School in New York City to study classical trumpet, but later that same year, he had the opportunity to sit in with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. The rest is history. In 1980, he joined Blakey's legendary band and hit the road. In the years to follow, Marsalis was invited to play with Sarah Vaughan, Dizzy Gillespie, Gerry Mulligan, John Lewis, Harry Sweets Edison, Clark Terry, Sonny Rollins, and many more jazz legends.

Marsalis made his recording debut as a leader in 1982. Over the years, he has produced a catalogue of more than 40 jazz and classical recordings for Columbia Jazz and Sony Classical, which have won him nine Grammy Awards. In 1983, he became the first and only artist to win both classical and jazz Grammy Awards in one year, and repeated this feat in 1984. In 1999, he released eight new recordings in his unprecedented Swinging into the 21st series, which included a seven-CD boxed set of live performances from the Village Vanguard. Also in 1999, Marsalis presented All Rise, an epic composition for big band, gospel choir, and symphony orchestra, performed by the New York Philharmonic under the baton of Kurt Masur along with the Morgan State University Choir and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. In 2003 Marsalis signed to Blue Note Records, and his debut CD, a quartet recording entitled The Magic Hour, hit the stores in March 2004.

This year alone, Marsalis has released the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra's A Love Supreme (Palmetto Records), as well as Wynton Marsalis--Amongst the People--Live at the House of Tribes (Blue Note Records). This recording features him in an octet setting, allowing him the freedom to step out of the unified orchestra arrangements. Critics have praised this release, recorded December 15, 2002.

For his many achievements, Time magazine selected Marsalis as one of America's most promising leaders under age 40 in 1995 and, in 1996, as one of America's 25 most influential people. He was also named one of "The Most Influential Boomers" by Life magazine.

But perhaps his greatest achievement was recently realized. As a native son of New Orleans, Marsalis was instrumental in organizing Jazz at Lincoln Center's September 17, 2005, Higher Ground Hurricane Relief Benefit Concert and Auction, which featured an array of legendary jazz artists and renowned actors. Hosted by Laurence Fishburne, the multi-hour program was televised nationally on PBS and BET Jazz, and broadcast on National Public Radio and XM Satellite Radio. Overall, the event raised more than $2 million which will help those individuals and families evacuated from the greater New Orleans area as they address immediate concerns related to housing, food, education, health care, and basic survival necessities

Marsalis continues to tour the world with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. He continues to raise the roof at Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center. And he continues to raise the spirits of fellow Americans with his music and his words.

Scott H. Thompson is Assistant Director-Public Relations for Jazz at Lincoln Center.

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Sunday, November 13, 2005

It's Beginning To Sound A Lot Like Christmas

Here are new seasonal titles guaranteed to brighten this year's Smooth Jazz holiday programming:

Anita Baker Christmas Fantasy (Blue Note/EMI)
David Benoit 40 Years: A Charlie Brown Christmas (Peak)
Craig Chaquico Holiday (Higher Octave/EMI)
Marcus Johnson Smooth Jazz Christmas (Three Keys Music)
Diana Krall Christmas Songs (Verve)
Ricardo Scales Happy Holidays (Forever Love) (Bay Sound)
Various Artists Smooth & Soulful Christmas Vol. 1 (YMC)
Anna Wilson The Christmas Song (Transfer)

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Upcoming Jazz Releases - 11/15/05

Upcoming Jazz Releases

Abbey Lincoln - Talking to the Sun (Enja) - Reissue
Abdullah Ibrahim - Mindif (Enja) - Reissue
Abdullah Ibrahim - South Africa (Enja) - Reissue
Abdulllah Ibrahim - African Dawn (Enja) - Reissue
Albert Mangelsdorf - Shake Shuttle & Blow (Enja) - Reissue
Alex Graham - Good Life (Origin)
Andreas Kapsalis Trio - Andreas Kapsalis Trio (O.L.E. Records)
Ann Richards - Ann*Man (Atlantic) - Reissue
Archie Shepp - Soul Song (Enja) - Reissue
Art Farmer - Soul Eyes (Enja) - Reissue
Art Farmer - To Sweden With Love (feat. Jim Hall) (Atlantic) - Reissue
Attila Zoller - Common Cause (Enja) - Reissue
Attila Zoller - Last Recordings (Enja) - Reissue
Bill Ransom - Generations (Bongo Time)
Billie Holiday - Ghosr of Yesterday (United States Dist) - Reissue - 2+ CDs
Billie Holiday/Nina Simone/Sarah Vaughn - For Lovers (Verve) - Reissue - 2+ CDs
Blossom Dearie - Tweedledum & Tweedledee (Daffodil) - Reissue
Box - Ten Variations on an Unknown Theme (Origin)
Bucky Pizzarelli - Favorite Solo (Mel Bay) - DVD-Video
Caravan - 35th Anniversary Concert (Music Video Dist) - DVD-Video
Carli Munoz - Maverick (Pelosenol)
Cecil Taylor - Air Above Mountains (Buildings Within) (Enja) - Reissue
Cecil Taylor - Dark To Themselves (Enja) - Reissue
Charles Lloyd - Acoustic Masters I (Collectables) - Reissue
Charles Lloyd - Forest Flower at Monterey (Atlantic) - Reissue
Charles Mingus - Mingus in Europe (Enja) - Reissue
Chick Corea/Bobby McFerrin - Chick Corea & Bobby McFerrin Duet (Image) - DVD-Video
Chick Corea/Three Quartets Band - Chick Corea & Three Quartets Band (Image) - DVD-Video
Chico Hamilton - Three Faces of Chico / Gongs East! (Collectables) - Reissue
Clark Terry - To Duke and Basie (Enja) - Reissue
Coleman Hawkins - Supreme (Enja) - Reissue
Crimson Jazz Trio - King Crimson Songbook V.1 (Voiceprint)
Dave Liebman - Time Immemorial (Enja) - Reissue
Dave's True Story - Simple Twist of Fate (Bepop)
Django Reinhardt - I Got Rhythm (Recall) - Reissue - 2+ CDs
Double Trio - Green Dolphy Suite (Enha) - Reissue
Duke Ellington - Love You Madly - A Concert of Sacred Music (RED) - DVD-Video
Ecay / Le Lann - Jobim (Nocturne)
Eddie Condon - Tiger Rage & All That Jazz (Mighty Quinn) - Reissue
Edmond Hall - Petite Fleur (Mighty Quinn)
Elvin Jones - Going Home (Enja) - Reissue
Elvin Jones - It Don't Mean a Thing (Enja) - Reissue
Elvin Jones - Youngblood (Enja) - Reissue
Emil Viklicky - What's New (Cube Bohemia)
Eric Dolphy - Stockholm Sessions (Enha) - Reissue
Eric Glick Reiman / Leslie Dalaba / Stuart Dempster - Lung Tree (ReR)
Erroll Garner - 1953 (Classics) - Reissue
Fabulous Thunderbirds - Live from London (Iguana Project) - DVD-Video
Frank Sinatra - The Collection (Longbox) (Legacy Recordings) - Reissue - 2+ CDs
Fred Hersch - Point in Time (Enja) - Reissue
Gene Krupa - 1952 (Classics) - Reissue
Gentle Giant - Giant on the Box (DRT) - DVD-Video
Gloria Cooper - Dedicated to You (Origin)
Greta Matassa - Favorites From a Long Walk (Origin)
Harold Land - Take Aim (Mighty Quinn) - Reissue
Harry Connick Jr. / Branford Marsalis - Harry & Branford - A Duo Occasion (Marsalis Music) - DVD-Video
Herbie Mann - At the Village Gate (Atlantic) - Reissue
Herbie Mann - Memphis Underground (Atlantic) - Reissue
Hueben / Porter / Viklicky - What's New (Cube Bohemia)
Isaiah Sharkey - Skyliner (O.L.E. Records)
Italian Instabile Orchestra - Litania Sibilante (Enja) - Reissue
James Brown - Live at Montreux 1981 (RED) - DVD-Video
Jason Smith - Think Like This (Alternity)
Jerry Gonzalez & The Fort Apache Band - Obatala (Enja) - Reissue
Jerry Gonzalez & The Fort Apache Band - River is Deep (Enja) - Reissue
John Lewis - Afternoon in Paris (& Sascha Distel) (Atlantic) - Reissue
John Lewis - Piano (Atlantic) - Reissue
John Scofield - Shinola (Enja) - Reissue
John Stubblefield - Morning Song (Enja) - Reissue
Keith Jarrett - Somewhere Before (Atlantic) - Reissue
Kevin Mahogany - Songs and Moments (Enja) - Reissue
Kevin Mahogany - You Got What It Takes (Enja) - Reissue
Lee Konitz - Strings for Holiday (Enja) - Reissue
Lee Konitz - With Warne Marsh (Atlantic) - Reissue
Lee Konitz / Paul Motian / Steve Swallow - Three Guys (Enja) - Reissue
Lennie Tristano - Tristano (Atlantic) - Reissue
Lionel Hampton - Jam Band (Sounds of Yesteryear) - Reissue
Louis Sclavis - Le Phare (Enja) - Reissue
Mark Feldman - Book of Tells (Enja) - Reissue
Mark Helias - Loopin' the Cool (Enja) - Reissue
Marty Ehrlich - New York Child (Enja) - Reissue
Marty Ehrlich - Song (Enja) - Reissue
McCoy Tyner - Remembering John (Enja) - Reissue
Mezz Mezzrow - 1951-1953 (Classics) - Reissue
Michele Rosewoman and Quintessence - Guardians of the Light (Enja) - Reissue
Miles Davis - The Collection (Longbox) (Legacy Recordings) - Reissue - 2+ CDs
Modern Jazz Quartet - Fontessa (Atlantic) - Reissue
Modern Jazz Quartet - European Concert (Atlantic) - Reissue
Modern Jazz Quartet - Plays No Sun in Venice (Atlantic) - Reissue
Modern Jazz Quartet - 35th Anniversary Tour (TDK) - DVD-Video
Moreno - Jazz Tzigane (Nord Sud) - Reissue
Odyssey Band - Back in Time (Pi)
Patty Waters - The Complete ESP-Disk Recordings (ESP-Disk) - Reissue
Paul Barin & His Studio Orchestra - 1944/1945 (Sounds of Yesteryear) - Reissue
Philippe Sallem - Live in St Louis Senegal (Nord Sud)
Phineas Newborn Jr. - Here is Phineas: Piano Artistry (Atlantic) - Reissue
Project Z - Lincoln Memorial (Abstract Logix)
Ray Noble - Love is the Sweetest Thing (Take Two)
Ray Noble & His American Radio & Recording Orchestra - With All My Heart (Sounds of Yesteryear) - Reissue
Richie Cole/The Alto Madness Orchestra - Back on Top (Jazz Excursion)
Rosemary Clooney - Greatest Hits 1948-1954 (Acrobat) - Reissue
Santana - Live by Request (BMG) - DVD-Video
Satoko Fuji - Future of the Past (Enja) - Reissue
Satoko Fuji - Toward, To West (Enja) - Reissue
Stephen Scott - Visijon Quest (Enja) - Reissue
Styrenes - In C (Enja) - Reissue
Sylvie Courvoisier - Y2K (Enja) - Reissue
The Who - Tommy & Quadrophenia Live with Special Guests (Rhino) - DVD-Video
Tommy Flanagan - Confirmation (Enja) - Reissue
Trio (Ozone/Genus/Penn) - Real (UMVD/Concord)
Wayne Krantz - 2 Drink Minimum (Enja) - Reissue
Will Bradley & Ray McKinley Orchestra - Best Of (Collectables) - Reissue
Willie "The Lion" Smith - 1950-1953 (Classics) - Reissue
Yerba Buena Stompers - Duff Campbell's Revenge (Diamond Stack)
Young Dalley - Never Say Die (Urbanlife)

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Upcoming Jazz Releases - 11/14/05

Upcoming Jazz Releases

Abdullah Ibrahim & Ekaya - African River (Enja) - Reissue
Albert Ayler - Slug's Saloon (ESP-Disk) - Reissue - 2+ CDs
Ars Nova - Sunshine & Shadows (Collectables) - Reissue
Arthur Blythe - Calling Card (Enha) - Reissue
Arthur Blythe - Hipmotism (Enha) - Reissue
Benny Bailey - Satchmo Legacy (Enja) - Reissue
Buck Clayton - 1953 (Classics) - Reissue
Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band - Express Yourself (Collectables) - Reissue
Chet Baker - Strollin' (Enja) - Reissue
Chet Baker/John Coltrane/Stan Getz - For Lovers (Verve) - Reissue - 2+ CDs
Christy Baron - Bingo: Songs for Children in English With Brazilia (Soundbrush)
Elmer Balazs - Refracing Sounds (Budapest)
June Christy - This Time of Year (Collector's Choice) - Reissue
Kenny Barron - Scratch (Enja) - Reissue
Kenny Barron - What If? (Enha) - Reissue
Louis Armstrong - The Quintessence Vol (Fremeaux & Assoc. Fr) - Reissue
Pepper Adams - Critic's Choice (Mighty Quinn) - Reissue
Rabih Abou-Khalil - Al-Jadida (Enja) - Reissue
Rabih Abou-Khalil - Between Dusk & Dawn (Enja) - Reissue
Rabih Abou-Khalil - Bukra (Enja) - Reissue
Rabih Abou-Khalil - Il Sospiro (Enja) - Reissue
Rabih Abou-Khalil - Odd Times (Enja) - Reissue
Rabih Abou-Khalil - Roots & Sprouts (Enja) - Reissue
Rabih Abou-Khalil - Sultan's Picnic (Enja) - Reissue
Rabih Abou-Khalil - Tarab (Enja) - Reissue
Rabih Abou-Khalil - The Cactus of Knowledge (Enja) - Reissue
Rabih Abou-Khalil - Yara (Enja) - Reissue
Ray Anderson / Pocket Brass Band - Where Home Is (Enha) - Reissue

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Friday, November 11, 2005

New virus uses Sony BMG software

A computer security firm said Thursday it had discovered the first virus that uses music publisher Sony BMG's controversial CD copy-protection software to hide on PCs and wreak havoc.

Under a subject line containing the words "Photo approval," a hacker has mass-mailed the so-called Stinx-E trojan virus to British email addresses, said British anti-virus firm Sophos.

When recipients click on an attachment, they install malware, which may tear down a computer's firewall and give hackers access to a PC. The malware hides by using Sony BMG software that is also hidden -- the software would have been installed on a computer when consumers played Sony's copy-protected music CDs.

"This leaves Sony in a real tangle. It was already getting bad press about its copy-protection software, and this new hack exploit will make it even worse," said Sophos's Graham Cluley.

Later on Thursday, security software firm Symantec Corp. also discovered the first trojans to abuse the security flaw in Sony BMG's copy-protection software. A trojan is a program that appears desirable but actually contains something harmful.

Sony BMG's spokesman John McKay in New York was not immediately available to comment.

The music publishing venture of Japanese electronics conglomerate Sony Corp.and Germany's Bertelsmann AGis distributing the copy-protection software on a range of recent music compact disks (CDs) from artists such as Celine Dion and Sarah McLachlan.

When the CD is played on a Windows personal computer, the software first installs itself and then limits the usage rights of a consumer. It only allows playback with Sony software.

The software sparked a class action lawsuit against Sony in California last week, claiming that Sony has not informed consumers that it installs software directly into the "roots" of their computer systems with rootkit software, which cloaks all associated files and is dangerous to remove.

Sophos said it would have a tool to disable the copy protection software available later on Thursday.

Sony BMG made a patch available on its Web site on Tuesday that rids a PC from the "cloaking" element that is part of the copy-protection software, while claiming that "the component is not malicious and does not compromise security."

The patch does not disable the copy protection itself.

The Sony copy-protection software does not install itself on Macintosh computers or ordinary CD and DVD players.

Reuters - CNN

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Diana Krall's Christmas Songs Debuts at Number One on Billboard Jazz Chart

Singer Diana Krall's Christmas Songs, a collection of seasonal songs performed with the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, debuted at number one on the Billboard jazz chart this week.

The album includes "Let It Snow," "I'll Be Home For Christmas," "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town," and "Jingle Bells," recorded with bassist John Clayton, drummer Hamilton, and their band.

Trumpeter Chris Botti's To Love Again: The Duets, which had spent its first two weeks on the chart at number one, dropped to number two, and vocalist Michael Bublé's It's Time fell to number three.

Also new to the chart was Canvas, the first Blue Note release from up-and-coming pianist Robert Glasper, at number 24.

The only new entry on the contemporary-jazz chart was a compilation from "smooth jazz" station WNUA 95.5 in Chicago, which debuted at number 10. Herbie Hancock's Possibilities and Jamie Cullum's Catching Tales traded positions for the fourth straight week, with Possibilities returning to number one.

By Ben Mattison -

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Thursday, November 10, 2005

Trumpeter Avishai Cohen Residency at Fat Cat, New York

Avishai Cohen will be in residency at Fat Cat Jazz Club in New York City on November 10, 17, 24th with sets at 10:00PM and midnight. The Avishai Cohen Group will include an exciting array of musicians: Yosvani Terry (sax & chekere), Sam Bar-Sheshet (piano), Jason Lindner (piano), Barak Mori (bass), Ben Street (bass), Omer Avital (bass), Eric McPherson (drums), Greg Hutchinson (drums) - breakdown at the end of release.

Avishai Cohen released his first album as a bandleader, “The Trumpet Player” with Jeff Ballard, John Sullivan and Joel Frahm on the Fresh Sound New Talent label. The record was chosen by Ben Ratliff of the New York Times as one of the records of the Sunday Times Playlist. Avishai also performs regularly with the acclaimed band Third World Love (with co-leaders Omer Avital, Daniel Freedman, and Yonatan Avishai, Their second album “Avanim” has been very successful in Israel and Europe and their third recording will be released in 2006.

While living in Tel Aviv, Israel, trumpeter Avishai Cohen was the trumpet player of choice for all leading jazz, rock, pop studio and television projects, recording with Israeli artists such as Shalom Chanoch, Arik Einstein, Asaf Amdurski and Eviatar Banai. He received a full scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston, and was given the Clark Terry Award. In 1997, he placed third in the prestigious Thelonious Monk Jazz Trumpet Competition and was awarded second place in the Carmine Caruso Jazz Trumpet Competition.

Avishai has performed with artists such as Dave Liebman, the late Arnie Lawrence, Jimmy Heath, Mark Turner, George Garzone, Clark Terry, Ira Sullivan, Jason Lindner, Omer Avital, Jeff Ballard, Roy Hargrove and many more. Avishai is currently performing with vocalist Keren Ann, pianist Jason Lindner, the British band Oi Va Voi as well his own band, and recording continuously around NYC and in Europe.

Fat Cat
75 Christopher Street (@ 7th Avenue)

November 10, 2005
Yosvani Terry - sax & chekere
Sam Bar-Sheshet - piano
Ben Street - bass
Eric McPherson - drums

November 17, 2005
Yosvani Terry - sax & chekere
Sam Bar-Sheshet - piano
Ben Street - bass
Eric McPherson - drums

November 24, 2005
Jason Lindner - piano
Omer Avital - bass
Greg Hutchinson - drums

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Smooth Jazz Top Ten Week Ended 11/11/05

The Top Ten from
LW - TW - Artist - Title
2 - 1 - Euge Groove - Get Em Goin'
1 - 2 - Brian Culbertson - Hookin' Up
3 - 3 - Paul Hardcastle - Serene
4 - 4 - Walter Beasley - Coolness
5 - 5 - Dave Koz - Love Changes Everything
6 - 6 - Ken Navarro - You Are Everything
7 - 7 - Rick Braun - Shining Star
8 - 8 - Marion Meadows - Suede
9 - 9 - David Pack - You're The Only Woman
10 - 10 - Brian Simpson - It's All Good

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

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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

A jazz star plays Carnegie (and bus depots)

Even after a dozen years on the road, life for jazz singer Tierney Sutton has yet to include private buses or stretch limousines.

It's still a matter of hauling around in a rented van, which is what Sutton was doing last month at the end of an early autumn tour, when she and her three-piece ensemble drove 3-1/2 hours across upstate New York from a date in Elmira to their final gig in Albany. It was a tour in which the jazz diva had performed in places as diverse as a bus depot in Dayton, Ohio, and a jazz bistro in Hollywood, Fla.

But a little luxury may be just around the corner for Sutton, who looks poised to enter the ranks of such successful vocalists as Madeleine Peyroux and Cassandra Wilson. Long one of the best-kept secrets in jazz, the singer is increasingly attracting praise from critics and audiences for her albums and live shows. This year (in addition to playing Elmira), she has performed with the New York Pops in Carnegie Hall and has been featured on the cover of the music magazine "Jazziz."

"My goal is to be a singer at oneness with jazz's great musicians," says Sutton, resting in a dressing room after her Albany concert.

When Sutton played Manhattan's prestigious Oak Room this past spring, the New York Times's Stephen Holden lauded her as "the real thing: a hard-swinging, soft-hearted devotee of a great tradition, a pure jazz spirit whose singing conjures up open skies and clean air."

September also saw the release of Sutton's latest album, "I'm With the Band," recorded live at New York's Birdland jazz club. The record is a showcase for the singer's astonishing voice, which is by turns supple, sultry, soaring, and ebullient. Sutton can, with equal flair, ease her way through an Irving Berlin ballad or scat Cole Porter into exuberant, blazing orbit.

Jazz tunes have been Sutton's companion for more than two decades, after she discovered them while studying Russian literature in college. Her first experience with the music was hearing a Sarah Vaughn recording in a jazz appreciation course. "I wept. It was the most gorgeous thing I'd ever heard," she recalls.

"But then I was a little angry," adds the former waitress from Wisconsin, tongue slightly in cheek. "I asked myself, 'How can this be out there and I've never heard of it?' I mean, I'd been listening to polka!"

After college, Sutton moved to Boston, where she studied improvisation with saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi. "She's a fantastic natural musician," Bergonzi says of his former student. "Most singers aren't musicians. They don't know keys, they don't know chords." In contrast to singers who work their way through a song on instinct and vocal inventiveness, Sutton is consistently praised for her intonation, the sharpness of her ear, and vocal tone.

"I never open my mouth to sing a note without being conscious of wanting it, willing it, finding it right in the center of the pitch," says Sutton. "I think about it all the time."

A measure of Sutton's musicality can be found in her list of jazz heroes, topped by innovative instrumentalists rather than jazz singers. Her 2000 album "Unsung Heroes" highlights songs by great players like Dizzy Gillespie, Jimmy Rowles, and Clifford Brown, while her follow-up, "Blue in Green," is a tribute to pianist/composer Bill Evans.

At the University of Southern California, where Sutton teaches jazz singing, she requires vocalists to master the same numbers as the instrumental students. This identification with musicians extends to Sutton's relationship with her own ensemble featuring Christian Jacob on piano, Ray Brinker on drums, and Kevin Axt and Trey Henry trading bass duties. She organized the band after relocating to Los Angeles 12 years ago, and - rare among jazz vocalists - she has performed with the same accompanists ever since.

The new album's title, "I'm With the Band," reflects the tight-knit collaboration that goes into arrangements of tunes by Gershwin, Rodgers and Hammerstein, or Henry Mancini. "Everybody in the band brings their own aesthetic to every arrangement we do," she explains. "Everybody's invested."

Such unity is at the heart of the singer's own creative philosophy. "It's all about getting rid of ego to serve the song. I want it to be excellent, something that can't be copied tomorrow."

• For more information visit

By Timothy Cahill | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor

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Monday, November 07, 2005

Jazz at Lincoln Center Sends New Orleans Musicians on International Tour

Jazz at Lincoln Center is producing an international tour featuring musicians whose livelihoods were disrupted by Hurricane Katrina, JALC announced.The tour, which underwritten by the U.S. State Department, is intended to promote the reconstruction of New Orleans and support the city's musicians. The tour will travel to a number of countries that provided aid after the storm.

Among the musicians scheduled to perform are trumpeter James Andrew and the New Orleans All-Stars, clarinetist and vocalist Doreen Ketchens, trumpeter Marlon Jordan and his quartet, the New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian Collective, and the 44-year-old Preservation Hall Jazz Band.

They will perform in Senegal, Morocco, Eygpt, Qatar, Kuwait, Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, Japan, Romania, Germany, Lithuania, Ukraine, Sri Lank, India, and Saudi Arabia between now and mid-December.

Jackie Harris and Mike Kemp, both veterans of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and other New Orleans organizations, are producing the tour.

"Jazz at Lincoln Center remains committed in its efforts to help rebuild New Orleans and to keep jazz, America's music, alive," said JALC president Derek E. Gordon. "We are honored that Jackie and Mike are on staff to produce the tour."

By Ben Mattison -

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Sunday, November 06, 2005

Upcoming Jazz Releases - 11/8/05

Upcoming Jazz Releases

Alan Skidmore - Once Upon a Time (Vocalion) - Reissue
Andreas Willers - Montauk (Between-the-Lines)
Anker / Cleaver / Taborn - Triptych (Leo)
Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers - Live (Passport Audio) - Reissue
Bert Williamson - Dedicated to Friends & Mothers (Pony Boy)
Big Joe Turner - Blue on Central Avenue (Our World) - Reissue
Billie Holiday - No Greater Love (Our World) - Reissue
Billy Eckstine & His Orchestra - The Swinging Mr. B (Passport Audio) - Reissue
Brennan / Coleman / Mejer / Unternahrer - Momentum 4: Rising Fall (Leo)
Buddy Catlett - Here Comes Buddy Catlett (Pony Boy)
Bumbelow / Columbia State U Wind Ens - Velocity / Columbia State UniversityWind Ensemble (Summit)
Carl Maguire - Floriculture (Between-the-Lines)
Carolyn Graye - Poems by Denise Levertov (Pony Boy)
Charlie Christian - Genius of the Electric Guitar (Definitive) - Reissue
Charlie May - Ops 2000 (Pony Boy)
Clark Terry / The Young Titans of Jazz - Live at Marihan's (Chiaroscuro) - 2+ CDs
Clarke / Doran / Studer - Jimi (Double Moon)
Clem Tervalon - Jazzaplenty (Night Train)
Coleman Hawkins - All Star Session (Passport Audio) - Reissue
Dan O'Brien Group - Inside Out (Pony Boy)
David Murray 4Tet with Strings - Waltz Again (Justin Time)
Dinah Washington - Blues for a Day (Our World) - Reissue
Django Reinhardt - In Solitaire (Definitive) - Reissue
Earl May - Swinging the Blues (Arbors)
Edmona Jarrett - Legal at Any Age (Pony Boy)
Elmore James - Every Day I Have The Blues (Passport Audio) - Reissue
Emerald City 300 Orchestra - Come Rain or Come Shine (Pony Boy)
Enrico Pieranunzi / Marc Johnson - Plays Morricone (Sunnyside)
Ernie Wilkins - Everest Years (VI Music) - Reissue
Fatir Atakoglu - If (Far & Here Music)
Fletcher Henderson & His Orchestra - Radio Rhythm (Our World) - Reissue
Floyd Standifer & The Pampas Quartet - Scotch & Soda (Pony Boy)
George Shearing - Music to Hear (Koch) - Reissue
Gordon Giltrap / Martin Taylor - Giltrap & Taylor (P-3 Music)
Gordon Haskell - Road to Harry's Bar (Metal Mind)
Greg Williamson - Swing Your Big Head (Pony Boy) - Reissue
Greg Williamson & The Big Bad Groove Society - Live at Kellys (Pony Boy)
Greg Williamson Quartet - Double Sax Quintet (Pony Boy) - Reissue
Gregg Bendian's Trio Pianissimo - Change (Aggregate)
H.B. Radke & The Jet City Swingers - Live! (Pony Boy)
Hamar Jon - Basso Profundo: Solos & More (Pony Boy)
Hans Brehmer - When God Was a Boy (Pony Boy) - Reissue
Harada / Maneri - Spul With Longing for Dim Hills (Leo)
Hart /.O'Leary / Stanko - Levitation (Leo)
Higher Primates - Environmental Impressions (G. M. Records)
Howlin' Wolf - Demon Drivin' Blues Man (Passport Audio) - Reissue
Jazztown Trio - Sax & Seduction (Direct Source)
Jazztown Trio - Sax All Night Long (Direct Source) - Reissue
Jim Cutler Quartet - For Real (Pony Boy)
Joe Massters - Jazz on a Summer Night Vol. 1 (Pony Boy)
Johannes Mossinger - Nu Love (Double Moon)
John Cameron - Off Centre (Vocalion)
John Coltrane - Live at the Half Note (Passport Audio) - Reissue
John Patitucci / Stephen Pollock - So Near So Far (Alanna)
John Surman - Tales of the Algonquin (Vocalion) - Reissue
Jolly / Pena - Duo (V.S.O.P. Records)
Jonas Hellborg - Kali's Son (Jamie/Guyden)
Karen Shivers - Precious Love (Pony Boy)
Lance Buller - Hipster's Paradise (Pony Boy) - Reissue
Lance Buller - It's Party Time (Pony Boy) - Reissue
Larry Fuller Trio - Easy Walker (Pony Boy)
Les Paul - Isle of Golden Dreams (Capitol Years 1948-54) (Universe/City Hall) - Reissue
Louis Armstrong - In Scandinavia Vol.. 3 (Storyville) - Reissue
Lounge Arts Ensemble - Music for Moderns (Fuzzy Music)
Mam - Jazz is My Musette (Buda Musique)
Marcus Johnson - Smooth Jazz XMAS (Three Keys)
Michael Garrick - Black Marigolds (Vocalion) - Reissue
Mike Westbrook - Love Songs (Vocalion) - Reissue
Muffins - Love Letter #2 (Cuneiform)
Nat King Cole - Nat King Cole Collection (Koch) - DVD-Video
Nat King Cole - Capitol Transcription Sessions (Capitol/EMI) - Reissue
Nat King Cole - In the Mood for Love (Our World) - Reissue
Organissimo - This is the Place (Big O Records)
Rabih Abou-Khalil - Arabian Waltz (Enja) - Reissue
Ray Charles - 50 Years in Music (Image) - DVD-Video
Raymond Scott - Toonerville Trolley 1940-44 (Jasmine) - Reissue
Richard Youngs - Partick Rain Dance (VHF)
Robert Fripp - Love Cannot Bear (Discipline Global Mobile)
Sammy Nestico - Basie - Call Sammy (Hanssler Classics) - Reissue
Selva - Aventura Tropical (Our World)
Sonny Rollins - Essential Sonny Rollings: The RCA Years (Legacy Recordings) - Reissue
Stan Getz - Body & Soul (Our World) - Reissue
Stan Kenton - Artistry in Symphonic Jazz (Tantara Records) - Reissue
Stan Kenton - Conducts LA Neophonic Orchestra Vol. 1 (Tantara/Burnside) - Reissue
Stan Kenton - Conducts LA Neophonic Orchestra Vol. 2 (Tantara/Burnside) - Reissue
Stan Kenton - Horns of Plenty Vol. 1 (Tantara/Burnside) - Reissue
Stan Kenton - Horns of Plenty Vol. 2 (Tantara/Burnside) - Reissue
Stan Kenton - Horns of Plenty Vol. 3 (Tantara/Burnside) - Reissue
Stan Kenton - Time for Love (Tantara Records) - Reissue
Stan Kenton - Tunes & Topics Vol. 2 (Tantara Records) - Reissue
Stan Kenton - Tunes & Topics Vol. 1 (Tantara Records) - Reissue
Stephen Pollock - So Near, So Far (Alanna)
Steve Kuhn - Quierem Mucho (Sunnyside)
Steve Topping - Late Flower (Quart)
Steve Tyrell - Quite Frank: The Songs of Sinatra (Hollywood Records)
Sun Ra - Complete ESP-Disk Recordings (ESP-Disk) - Reissue
Sun Ra Arkestra - Vo. 2 - Live in Europe (Transparan) - Reissue
Sun Ra Arkestra - Vol. 4 - WPFW Radio Jazz Festival (Transparan) - Reissue
Temple University Jazz Ensemble - Room 323 (Sea Breeze Vista)
Tete Montoliu & Orquestra Taller de Musics - Taller de Musics (Discmedia Bleu)
Tuts Washington - Live at Tipitina's 78 (Night Train)
Various Artists - Live 8 (Capitol) - DVD-Video
Vincent Nilsson & World Sextet - More Spirituals (Storyville)
World War II Love Songs - Various Artists (Direct Source) - Reissue
Zu - How to Raise an Ox (Atavistic)

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