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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Brussels Jazz Orchestra Tour Video

A video diary of the concert tour that the Brussels Jazz Orchestra made with guitar player Philip Catherine and trumpet player Bert Joris in the South of France (Festival Jazz at Ramatuelle) in August 2005.

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Upcoming Jazz Releases - 1/31/06

Upcoming Jazz Releases

80's J-Rock Collection Gyuween! - Plays (EMI)
Andrew Hill - Judgement! (Blue Note) - Reissue
Art Blakey - Buhaina's Delight (Blue Note) - Reissue
Ballad-On Jazz Piano Trio - Steppin' Out (Blue Note)
Bamm Davis - Let the Truth Be Played (True Life)
Booker Little - & Friends (EMI) - Reissue
Carmen McRae - Carmen McRae for Lovers (Verve) - Reissue
Chris Connor - Chris (EMI) - Reissue
Chris Potter - Underground (Sunnyside)
Date Course Pentagon Royal Garden - General Representation Products Chain Drastism (P-Vine)
David "Fathead" Newman - Cityscape (HighNote)
Dexter Gordon - A Swinging Affair (Blue Note) - Reissue
Dexter Gordon - Doin' Alright (Blue Note) - Reissue
Donald Byrd - New Perspective (Blue Note) - Reissue
Donald Byrd - Vol. 2 - At the Half Note Cafe (Blue Note) - Reissue
Erin Bode - Over & Over (MaxJazz)
Ernie Andrews - How About Me (Highnote)
Exuma - Vol. 1 - Exuma (Hep Cat) - Reissue
Fela Kuti - Army Arrangement (MCA) - Reissue
Fela Kuti - Zombie (MCA) - Reissue
Freddie Hubbard - Blue Spirits (Blue Note) - Reissue
Freddie Hubbard - Hub Cap (Blue Note) - Reissue
Freddie Hubbard - Hub-Tones (Blue Note) - Reissue
Groundhogs - Scratching the Surface (Beat Goes On) - Reissue
Herbie Hancock - Inventions and Dimensions (Blue Note) - Reissue
Horace Parlan - Spur of the Moment (Blue Note) - Reissue
James Dean - Brighter Day (Silhouette)
Jazz Crusaders - Alive in South Africa (True Life)
Jeff Berlin/Dennis Chambers/David Fiuczynski/T Lavitz - Boston T Party (Tone Center)
Jelly Roll Morton - An Introduction to Jelly Roll Morton (Varese Sarabande) - Reissue
Jimmy Smith - Back at the Chicken Shack (Blue Note) - Reissue
Joe Henderson - In 'n Out (Blue Note) - Reissue
Joe Henderson - Inner Urge (Blue Note) - Reissue
Joe Henderson - Our Thing (Blue Note) - Reissue
John Patton - Along Came John (Blue Note) - Reissue
Johnny Hartman - Songs from the Heart (EMI) - Reissue
Larry Willis - Big Push (HighNote)
Lee Morgan - Search for the New Land (Blue Note) - Reissue
Matthew Shipp - One (Thirsty Ear)
Modern Drummer Festival 2005 - Various Artists (Hal Leonard) - DVD-Video
Mountain - Live in Karlshamn Sweden1994 (Voiceprint)
Not Your Frequency - Communication by Transfusion (Mind Rcds)
Paul Winter - Celtic Solstice (Ladyslipper) - Reissue
Pink Floyd - Pulse (Sony Music Distribution) - DVD-Video
Sal Salvador - Frivolous Sal (EMI) - Reissue
Stan Getz - More Stan Getz for Lovers (Verve) - Reissue
Standard-On Jazz Piano Trio - Shoutin' (Blue Note) - Reissue
Trombo Combo - Trombo Combo (Bolero)
Wes Montgomery - Day in the Life/Down Here on the Ground (BGO) - Reissue

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Friday, January 27, 2006

Joyce Cooling Donating CD Proceeds To Mental Health

Smooth jazz guitarist Joyce Cooling has announced that all proceeds for her upcoming CD, which she is now completing, will be donated to two mental-health organizations: the National Alliance on Mental Illness and the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression.

In addition, Cooling will be performing at a benefit for the National Alliance on Mental Illness on June 3 at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco during the organization's annual walkathon.

Cooling says she wants to raise awareness and help with research of mental illness because her brother has been diagnosed as being schizophrenic. Joyce is calling her new album Revolving Door. Cooling and her writing partner Jay Wagner have already named several songs, including the title track and “Come and Get It,” “At the Modern,” “Mildred’s Attraction” and “Jesse’s Bench.”

Revolving Door will be released by Narada Jazz this spring.

Originally posted by Brian Soergel at

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Thursday, January 26, 2006

Smooth Jazz Top Ten: Week Ending 1/27/06

LW TW Artist Title (Label)
1 - 1 - Brian Simpson - "It's All Good" (Rendezvous)
2 - 2 - Rick Braun - "Shining Star" (Artizen)
3 - 3 - Euge Groove - "Get Em Goin'" (Narada Jazz/EMI)
5 - 4 - Richard Elliot - "Mystique" (Artizen)
4 - 5 - Walter Beasley - "Coolness" (Heads Up)
7 - 6 - Marion Meadows - "Suede" (Heads Up)
8 - 7 - Nils - "Summer Nights" (Baja/TSR)
6 - 8 - Brian Culbertson - "Hookin' Up" (GRP/VMG)
12 - 9 - Kim Waters Steppin' Out (Shanachie)
9 - 10 - Herbie Hancock f/John Mayer - "Stitched Up" (Hear Music/Vector)

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

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"Legends of Jazz with Ramsey Lewis" will start in April

"Legends Of Jazz With Ramsey Lewis"s will air on American Public Television beginning this April, announced LRSmedia, the Chicago based independent music entertainment company.

The much anticipated series, the first weekly network jazz related show in 40 years, will feature intimate conversations with performances by some of the world's leading musicians. GRAMMY Award-winning composer / pianist Ramsey Lewis will host the series, which is produced in multi-camera HDTV and Dolby Surround 5.1 audio in association with WTTW, Chicago's premier public television station.

The 13-week debut season will air nationally beginning in April 2006 on public television stations across America to coincide with National Jazz Appreciation Month. Each show in the series is theme based and includes conversation and performances by today's most important jazz and jazz related musicians, including: Tony Bennett, Chick Corea, Al Jarreau, Dave Brubeck, Dr. Billy Taylor, David Sanborn, Phil Woods, Pat Metheny, Jim Hall, George Duke, Marcus Miller, Lee Ritenour, Clark Terry, Roy Hargrove, Chris Botti, Ivan Lins, Eddie Palmieri, Ray Barretto, Dave Valentin, Keb Mo, Robert Cray, Jane Monheit, John Pizzarelli, Kurt Elling, Benny Golson, Chris Potter, Joey DeFrancesco, Dr. Lonnie Smith, and many more.

“This is America's art form, ” Mr. Lewis said. “Jazz continues to provide inspiration to musicians around the globe and to influence artists in a wide range of fields. This series is a foot-tapping tour through a variety of musical formats while also providing an extraordinary look at the history of jazz, what's hot now, and the promise of a prolific future.”

The final episode in the series, the NEA Jazz Masters 2006, featuring Tony Bennett, Chick Corea, and Ray Barretto, was taped before a live audience on January 12, coinciding with the International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE) conference in New York City. The NEA Jazz Masters 2006 gala, which took place on Friday, January 13 at IAJE, included highlights from the LEGENDS OF JAZZ series.

Guest artists who have taped appearances on LEGENDS OF JAZZ have been uniformly effusive in their praise for the new series and highly enthusiastic about the return of jazz to national television.

Dave Brubeck, who joins Dr. Billy Taylor for The Piano Masters episode, said: “This is a long overdue series that combines new and established artists sharing what they have most in common - a love for this music - and discussing some of the great musicians and people who have influenced their art. I'm honored to be included.”

Al Jarreau, who appears in The Jazz Singers episode with Kurt Elling, said: “This is a great series because it allows the artists behind the music to tell their stories - what influenced them, who influenced them, and what they are doing today. It brings the history of this art form to life. I can't wait to see the other episodes.”

Chris Botti, who teamed up with Clark Terry and Roy Hargrove in The Golden Horns episode, said, “It was a true honor to appear with Clark Terry and Roy Hargrove. Their music and playing have been so influential. The opportunity to sit and talk with them and Ramsey and to perform will remain a high point for me.”

Marcus Miller, who joined Lee Ritenour and George Duke in The Contemporary Jazz episode, said: “There's a depth to this series that people will really appreciate. Finally there's a place to go to hear today's musicians talking about what they do and what really got them going.”

Nancy Wilson, an NEA Jazz Master and multiple GRAMMY Award winner featured in the one-hour special, The Jazz Masters, states: “It's nice to know that LEGENDS OF JAZZ will be out there to honor these great musicians. And it is wonderful to see it being filmed for public television, so that audiences will get to know more about the people that make the music.”

Larry Rosen, co-chairman of LRSmedia with Ramsey Lewis, and the executive producer and creator of the series, said, “Our goal is to bring together some of the greatest jazz artists working today and allow them to combine conversation and performances in a way that shared their art while also providing some insight into what they do and how they do it. We're hopeful that the series will excite jazz lovers while also reaching others who may have not been fully exposed to this art form because of its absence from our airwaves for decades.”

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Monday, January 23, 2006

Legendary Jazz Keyboardist Bob James' New CD "Urban Flamingo" Set for Feb. 21st Release

Marks Grammy Award Winning Musician/Composer/Arranger's 2nd Solo Recording for KOCH Records

Bob James, Grammy Award winning musician, composer, arranger, is set to release his highly anticipated new album "Urban Flamingo" on KOCH Records on February 21st, 2006. "Urban Flamingo" is James' follow-up to his critically acclaimed 2004 solo label debut "Take It From The Top." Continuing seamlessly with his fine art of collaboration, which has produced legendary recordings with such artists as Earl Klugh, David Sanborn and the mega popular supergroup Fourplay, "Urban Flamingo" features Bob with his Michigan-based quintet of bassist Al Turner, drummer Ron Otis, guitarist Perry Hughes and saxophonist David McMurray.

With "Take It From The Top," James, who relocated to Michigan after years in Westchester County, New York -- returned to the vibe of his early '60s recordings with a trio date featuring bassist James Genus and drummer Billy Kilson. That trio performs "Urban Flamingo's" traditional jazz minded "Niles Ahead," but the core of the new ten-song collection features more funk, jazz and pop spirited grooves. Key tracks featuring this latest "James Gang" are the lively and percussive "Choose Me, " the mystical, slightly off meter "Skidaway," a sensuous and smooth request to "Make It More Blue" and "Bobary Coast," which crisply blends James' R&B and swing jazz sensibilities. The bluesy, fusion-tinged (with a touch of classical piano) title track and bright, vibrant "Wingapo" feature Turner and Otis keeping rhythm and edgy electric guitar solos by Wayne Gerard. Longtime James fans will also be delighted by two very familiar faces -- his daughter, singer Hilary James, and bassist Nathan East, James' cohort in Fourplay. The soulful Phil Ramone-Michael Colina produced vocal ballad "Lay Down With You" beautifully recaptures the joyful spirit of father and daughter's 1995 classic duet album "Flesh and Blood." On the elegant, Eastern flavored "Endless Time," East's famous basslines and wordless vocals are caressed by a mystical harmony created by the Chinese er-hu.

Like his contemporaries Earl Klugh and David Sanborn, Bob James -- who will be honored with the "George Benson Lifetime Achievement Award" by the Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards in April, 2006 -- was putting the "smooth" into jazz over a decade before there was an official radio format for it. Along the way, he inspired several future generations of musicians who realized they didn't have to decide between jazz and R&B -- they could do both. The Marshall, Missouri native chose jazz first, bopping with his own trio at the University of Michigan and later New York City before being discovered by Quincy Jones at the Notre Dame Jazz Festival in 1963. He launched his recording career that year with "Bold Conceptions," but didn't really take off till he started collaborating in New York with artists in Creed Taylor's CTI stable, including Hank Crawford and Grover Washington, Jr. James recorded four albums for the label before moving to CBS and forming his own imprint, Tappan Zee Records -- which he kept even after signing with Warner Bros. in the mid-'80s.

While establishing himself as a contemporary jazz giant via his solo albums and "One On One," his first of three dual albums with Klugh, James achieved pop culture icon status via his memorable "Theme From Taxi," which was originally "Angela," a cut on his album "Touchdown"; James later wrote all the music for the famed TV series. Although tracks like "Maputo" from "Double Vision," his Tommy LiPuma produced, Grammy winning dual album with David Sanborn, established James as a presence in the emerging smooth jazz format, he also expanded his artistic reach in the '80s with three classical albums for CBS Masterworks.

Sessions for the 1990 album "Grand Piano Canyon" evolved into Fourplay, the band featuring James, East, drummer Harvey Mason and guitarist Lee Ritenour (who left the band in 1998 and was replaced by Larry Carlton), which has been a major force in contemporary jazz for over 15 years. In the odd numbered years when James isn't recording and touring with Fourplay, he's constantly seeking fresh new collaborators. Before hooking up for the trio project "Take It From The Top," he released "Dancing On The Water" (2001), which featured Keiko Matsui, Joe Sample, Dave Holland and Chuck Loeb; and "Morning, Noon & Night" (2002), which paired him with Loeb and hit smooth jazz producer (and fellow wine connoisseur) Paul Brown.

"I feel the same about the band on 'Urban Flamingo' as I do when I think about those on all of my projects over the years," states James. "I've had the incredible opportunity to work with the highest level artists and musicians in the world, and this has been as much a privilege as a challenge. I always feel lucky to be in the same room as these brilliant talents, but I'm also always hoping I can hold up my end. People have tried to find a name for the eclectic music I make, but I just see myself as a jazz musician, period. If I'm making music that's hard for people to simply categorize, then I'm doing what I set out to do."

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Upcoming Jazz Releases - 01/24/06

Upcoming Jazz Releases

Ahmad Jamal Trio - Complete Recordings (Definitive) - Reissue
Andre Ceccarelli - Avenue Des Diables Blues (Dreyfus)
Art Heckman - San Francisco Sound 2 (Archeophone)
Bill Evans Trio - Live in Europe 1965 (Lonehillja) - Reissue
Bob James - BJ4 (Koch) - Reissue
Bob James - One on One (Koch) - Reissue
Chet Baker - Chet Baker Sings Sessions (Gambit) - Reissue
David Harenstam Band - What Happened in Freemantle? (Nosaq)
David Harenstam Band - What Happened in Freemantle? (Nosaq)
Dexter Gordon - Music for Lovers (Blue Note) - Reissue
Dixie Dregs - Live at the Montreux Jazz Festival 1978 (RED) - DVD-Video
Earl Klugh - Music for Lovers (Blue Note) - Reissue
Eddie Fisher - Eddie Fisher and the... (GRP) - Reissue
Ella Fitzgerald & Tommy Flanagan - Trio '77 (Eagle Vision) - DVD-Video
Frances Faye & Russell Garcia - Frances Faye Sings & Russell Garcia Conducts (Lonehillja)
Hampton Hawes Trio - Complete Sessions (Gambit) - Reissue
Hank Mobley - Music for Lovers (Blue Note) - Reissue
Herb Ellis - Ellis in Wonderland (Verve) - Reissue
Horace Silver - Music for Lovers (Blue Note) - Reissue
Howard Roberts - Good Pickin's (Verve) - Reissue
Illinois Jacquet Project - Bosses of the Ballad (Lonehillja) - Reissue
Illinois Jacquet Project - Message (Lonehillja) - Reissue
Illinois Jacquet Project - Swing's the Thing (Lonehillja) - Reissue
Illinois Jacquet Project - Go Power! (Lonehillja) - Reissue
Illinois Jacquet Project - Illinois Jacquet & His Orchestra (Lonehillja) - Reissue
Incognito - Eleven (Narada)
Jimmy Raney - Jimmy Raney Featuring (GRP) - Reissue
Jimmy Smith - Music for Lovers (Blue Note) - Reissue
Joan Bender - Soho Jazz (Original Cast)
John Lewis - Afternoon in Paris (& Sascha Distel) (Lonehillja) - Reissue
John Zorn - Filmworks XVII (Tzadik)
Jon Gibson - Criss X Cross (Tzadik)
Judy Garland - Definitive Collection (Geffen) - Reissue
Kenny G - Essential Kenny G (Legacy)
Ladysmith Black Mambazo - Long Walk to Freedom (Heads Up)
Ladysmith Black Mambazo - Long Walk to Freedom (SACD Hybrid) (Heads Up)
Larry Goldings - Quartet (Palmetto)
Lee Morgan - Music for Lovers (Blue Note) - Reissue
Lena Horne - Seasons of a Life (Blue Note)
Lena Horne - An Evening With Lena Horne (Music Video Distributors) - DVD-Video
Louis Armstrong - Definitive Collection (Hip-O) - Reissue
Michael Shrieve - Two Doors (Times Squared) - Reissue
Muddy World - FInery of the Storm (Tzadik)
Nicky the Jazz Cat - Nicky's Jazz Lullabies (Dominick)
Nine Simone & Her Trio - My Baby Just Cares for Md (Gambit) - Reissue
Paul Motian Band - Garden of Eden (ECM)
Roy Ayers - In Concert: Ohne Filter (Music Video Dist) - DVD-Video
Ruby Braff & Ellis Larkin - Complete Duets (Definitive) - Reissue
Saint Etienne - Tales from Turnpike House (Savoy Jazz)
Soroban - Untitled (3D)
Stan Getz - Music for Lovers (Blue Note) - Reissue
Stanley Turrentine - Music for Lovers (Blue Note) - Reissue
Steve Morse - Live in Baden Germany 1990 (Thames Thompson) - DVD-Video
Steve Reynolds - Exile (Savoy Jazz)
Streetwise - Does Dre (Shanachie)
Sun Ra - Concert for the Comet ohoutek (ESP Disk) - Reissue
Sun Ra - Futuristic Sounds of Sun Ra (Lonehillja) - Reissue
Sylvie Courvoisier / Mark Feldman - Malphas: Book of Angels Vol. 3 (Tzadik)
Thievery Corporation - Sounds from the Thievery Hi-Fi (Eighteenth Street)
Tied & Tickled Trio - Observing Systems (Morr)
Tom Abbs & Frequency Response - The Animated Adventures of Knox (CD + DVD) (482 Music)
Vampyros Lesbos - Sexadelic Dance Party (Crippled Dick Hot Wax) - Reissue
Warne Marsh Quartet - Berlin 1980 (Gambit)

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Friday, January 20, 2006

Tony Bennett and Nina Simone Collections Debut on Billboard Jazz Chart

Tony Bennett Sings for Lovers and Nina Simone: The Definitive Collection, new compilations from the legendary singers, debuted on the Billboard jazz chart this week.

The Simone collection, which debuted at number 14, includes "I Put a Spell on You," "Love You or Leave Me," and "I Loves You Porgy" from Gershwin's Porgy and Bess. Sings for Lovers, which collects tracks recorded in the 1970s, entered the chart at number 20. It includes such standards as "Isn't It Romantic," "Thou Swell," and "I Could Write a Book."

The top of the chart remained unchanged, with Michael Bublé's It's Time at number one, the Thelonious Monk Quartet and John Coltrane's At Carnegie Hall at number two, and Chris Botti's To Love Again: The Duets at number three.

Movers included the CD of the Higher Ground hurricane relief concert, which jumped from number 20 to number 12 in its eighth week.

On the contemporary-jazz chart, Herbie Hancock's Possibilities remained at number one. Movers included Kim Water's All For Love, which jumped from number 17 to number six.

Ben Mattison -
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Wilson Pickett dies at 64

Wilson Pickett, one of the first kings of soul music, died of a heart attack Thursday,19th January 2006, in Reston, Virginia. He was 64. Pickett -- known as the “Wicked Pickett” -- became a star with his soulful hits in the middle of the 1960s. “In the Midnight Hour” made the top 25 on the Billboard pop charts in 1965 and “Mustang Sally” did the same in 1966. The Alabama-born (18th March 1941, Prattville, Alabama) Pickett began from singing gospel music in church. After moving to Detroit as a teen, he joined the group the Falcons, which scored the hit “I Found a Love” with Pickett on lead vocals in 1962. He went solo a year later, and would soon find his greatest success with label Stax Records in Memphis, and later with Atlantic Records. His style was contrasting with typical Motown sound from Detroit. In 1991 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame.

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Smooth Jazz Top Ten Week Ended 1/20/06

LW TW Artist Title (Label)
1 - 1 - Brian Simpson - "It's All Good" (Rendezvous)
2 - 2 - Rick Braun - "Shining Star" (Artizen)
3 - 3 - Euge Groove - "Get Em Goin'" (Narada Jazz/EMI)
4 - 4 - Walter Beasley - "Coolness" (Heads Up)
5 - 5 - Richard Elliot - "Mystique" (Artizen)
6 - 6 - Brian Culbertson - "Hookin' Up" (GRP/VMG)
7 - 7 - Marion Meadows - "Suede" (Heads Up)
9 - 8 - Nils - "Summer Nights" (Baja/TSR)
8 - 9 - Herbie Hancock f/John Mayer - "Stitched Up" (Hear Music/Vector)
12 - 10 - David Pack - "You're The Only Woman" (Peak)

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

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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

It's (Still) Time: Michael Bublé Remains Atop Billboard Jazz Chart

Vocalist Michael Bublé's It's Time, the top-selling jazz album of 2005, remained at number one on the Billboard jazz chart this week.

The recently unearthed recording of the Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall, a staple of end-of-the-year best-of lists, moved up from number three to number two. With the holiday season past, Diana Krall's Christmas Songs dropped from number two to number six.

There were no new entries on the chart.

On the contemporary-jazz chart, Herbie Hancock's Possibilities reclaimed the number-one spot. Another Christmas album, 40 years: A Charlie Brown Christmas, dropped from number one to number six.

The sole new entry on the chart was keyboardist Brian Simpson's It's All Good, which debuted at number 19.

By Ben Mattison -

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Goodbye To Babylon

A symphonic-jazz ballad & internet collaboration from Carl Eichman, featuring Alexis Van Eechout on tenor sax.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Prestige's Bob Weinstock dead at 77

Jazz recording pioneer Bob Weinstock has died in a Boca Raton, Fla., hospice at age 77.

The Deerfield Beach, Fla., resident died Saturday from complications of diabetes, the New York Times reported.

Weinstock founded the independent Prestige label in 1949 and released several early influential jazz recordings. He flooded the market with recordings by the Modern Jazz Quartet and the Miles Davis Quintet as well as John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Stan Getz, Eric Dolphy, Gene Ammons, Red Garland, Coleman Hawkins and Annie Ross, among others.

He started a jazz record retail business as a New York teen and made his first recordings at age 20 with Lennie Tristano's quintet, releasing them on a label that he called New Jazz.

He started Prestige less than a year later.

Weinstock could not read music or play an instrument and did all his recording and production by ear, the Times said.

He sold Prestige to Fantasy Records in 1972 and moved to Florida. Fantasy was bought by the Concord Music Group in 2004.

Weinstock is survived by his companion, Roberta Ross, two sons and three grandchildren.

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Monday, January 16, 2006

Upcoming Jazz Releases - This Week

Upcoming Jazz Releases

Mon 16-Jan-2006

Art Kassel and His Kassels in the Air - Music, Maestro, Please: 26 Original Mono Recordings 1929-1949 (Sanctuary) - Reissue
Billy Cobhman - Drum 'n' Voice (Nicolosi)
Jeff Berlin - Lumpy Jazz (Nicolosi)
Larry Coryell - At the Village Gate (Nicolosi) - Reissue
Marcos Valle - Nova Bis (EMI)
Mike Del Ferro - New Bel Canto (Nicolosi) - Reissue
Milton Nascimento - New Millenium (Universal) - Reissue
Roberto Menescal & Trio - Balansamba (Albatroz)
Various Artists - Beat the Band to the Bar: A Collection of American Dance Band Fun (Sanctuary) - Reissue

Tue 17-Jan-2006

Adrian Rollini - Adrian Rollini Vol. 1: Adrian Rollini as a Sideman (Jazz Oracle) - Reissue
Benny Carter - 1952-1954 (Classics Records) - Reissue
Bob Baldwin - (215 Records) - Reissue
Bob Baldwin - Brazil Chill (215 Records)
Bobby Hackett - 1948-54 (Classics) - Reissue
Bradley Leighton - Back to the Funk (Pacific Coast Jazz)
Brent Jensen - Trios (Origin)
Carlos Barbosa-Lima - Favorite Solos (Mel Bay) - DVD-Video
Charlie Barnet / Woody Herman & His Orchestra / Stan Kenton - Battle Royal (Sounds of Yesteryear) - Reissue
Chick Corea / Gary Burton - Chick Corea & Gary Burton Duet (Image) - DVD-Video
Chick Corea / Remembering Bud Powell Band - Remembering Bud Powell (Image) - DVD-Video
Dave Brubeck Quartet - Bossa Nova U.S.A. (Sony) - Reissue
Denny Zeitlin - Live at the Trident (Limited Edition) (Sony) - Reissue
Don Ellis - The New Don Ellis Band Goes Underground (Wounded Bird) - Reissue
Eddie Harris - Come on Down! / The Reason Why I'm Talking Shit (Collectables) - Reissue - 2+ CDs
Eddie Waedlo - Favelas (La Lichere)
Ella Fitzgerald - 1953-1954 (Classics Records) - Reissue
Emanuele Cisi - Urban Adventures (Elabeth)
Eric Dolphy / Herbie Hancock - Left Alone (Fruit Tree) - Reissue
Gene Krupa - Starburst (Sounds of Yesteryear) - Reissue
George Baze - Chicago Blues Jam (Music Video Dist) - DVD-Video
Herbie Hancock - Flood (SOny) - Reissue
Hiromi - Spiral (CD + DVD) (Telarc)
Hiromi - Spiral (SACD Hybrid) (Telarc)
John Bishop - Nothing If Not Something (Origin)
Johnny Sparrow - 1949-55 (Classics) - Reissue
Kanon Hanayagi - Hoshino Umi (3D) - Reissue
Ki Ho'Alu - That's Slack Key Guitar (Vestapol) - DVD-Video
Lewis Meade Lux - 1946-54 (Classics) - Reissue
Lionel Hampton - Jiving the Blues (Sounds of Yesteryear) - Reissue
Louis Armstrong - 1954 (Classics) - Reissue
Marcos Valle - Vento Sul (remastered) (EMI) - Reissue
Matt Steckler - Persiflage (Innova Bayside)
Maureen Kennedy - This is Always (Baldwin Street)
Michael Ball - Season of Love (Music Club)
Mike Oldfield - Exposed (Music Video Distributors) - DVD-Video
Nina Simone - Silk & Soul (RCA Legacy) - Reissue
Nina Simone - Sings the Blues (RCA Legacy) - Reissue
Nina Simone - Songs of Freedom (RCA Legacy) - Reissue
Ornette Coleman - Rock the Clock (Fruit Tree) - Reissue
Paulo Bellinati - Plays Antonio Carlos Jobim (Mel Bay) - DVD-Video
Rich Halley Trio - Mountains and Plains (Louie)
Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra - Sacred Music of Duke Ellington (Origin)
Taj Mahal and the Phantom Blues Band - In St. Lucia (Image) - DVD-Video
Tex Beneke - Memories (Sounds of Yesteryear) - Reissue
Tommy Emmanuel - Live at Sheldon Concert Hall (Mel Bay) - DVD-Video
Upper Left Trio - Sell Your Soul Side (Origin)
Various Artists - That's Slack Key Guitar (Vestapol) - DVD-Video
Voodoo Funk Project - Deep in the Cut (215 Music)
Weather Report - Mr. Gone (Limited Edition) (Sony) - Reissue
Yma Sumac - Queen of Exotica (Universe) - Reissue

Wed 18-Jan-2006

Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers - Hard Bop (SME) - Reissue
Charlie Parker - Bird (OST) (SME) - Reissue
Dave Brubeck - Angel Eyes (SME) - Reissue
Dexter Gordon - Round Midnight (OST) (SME) - Reissue
Gary Peacock - Eastward (SME) - Reissue
Michel Legrand - New I Love Paris (SME) - Reissue
Miles Davis - You're Under Arrest (SME) - Reissue
Thelonious Monk - Straight No Chaser (OST) (SME) - Reissue
Weather Report - I Sing the Body Electric (SME) - Reissue
Wynton Marsalis - Standard Time (SME) - Reissue

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Rebuilding plan calls for jazz center

While the city builds better levees and new homes, a mayoral arts commission is recommending that the city not forget to reclaim its legacy as the birthplace of jazz.

The commission recommends building a National Jazz Center, which would be a museum, performance hall, recording studio and archive rolled into one.

The recommendations -- which were to be presented to Mayor Ray Nagin on Tuesday -- also call for creating new artistic districts, increasing the teaching of arts in schools and setting aside 2 percent of eligible capital bonds for public sculptures, murals and other artwork.

The ideas are part of a broad rebuilding plan being rolled out by the Bring New Orleans Back Commission, a panel appointed by Nagin after Hurricane Katrina hit on August 29.

The panel is coming up with a variety of ideas on how to rebuild the city -- from abandoning some residential sections of the city to overhauling schools and city government.

On the cultural side, the commission's recommendations tackle a long-standing complaint: that New Orleans has done a miserable job in promoting itself as the birthplace of jazz, the quintessential American form of art.

Many important buildings in jazz history have fallen into disrepair or tumbled down. Even the home of Louis Armstrong was allowed to be demolished.

The report also endorses a plan to preserve several old buildings on Rampart Street associated with Armstrong, Buddy Bolden, Sidney Bechet and other jazz greats and turn them into a jazz park.

The old brick buildings, some of the only buildings left in New Orleans with ties to Armstrong, are largely in a state of neglect and a lack of signs on them leaves tourists passing by without realizing their importance.

"In Vienna every place Beethoven looked at, it's marked by something," said jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, the co-chairman of the commission's cultural committee.

The report says the most immediate concern is recovering from Katrina. The storm's flooding and winds hit musicians, community theaters, dance studios, artists, night clubs, second-line bands and Mardi Gras Indian tribes particularly hard.

"We're not going to sit here and pretend that what we're doing is more important than levees, but we all know that without its culture, New Orleans isn't New Orleans," said Cesar Burgos, chairman of the cultural committee.

An estimated 11,000 people working in the cultural sector have lost their jobs and the ranks of musicians are down from more than 2,500 before Katrina to about 250. Uninsured damages to the cultural sector are estimated at about $80 million, the report says.

"We're still not open because we don't have the musicians," said Deborah Guidry, an assistant manager at Preservation Hall, the French Quarter jazz mecca.

But Jason Berry, a New Orleans writer and jazz historian, questioned building a major museum dedicated only to music. He champions a museum in honor to the entire city, especially if many neighborhoods are razed. He also worries about repopulating New Orleans.

"Poor people made the culture of this city from the ground up and they are the ones who have been displaced," Berry said. "The report begs the question: How do we get those people back?"


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Sunday, January 15, 2006

Billy Childs and the Lush Jazz of 'Lyric'

The Grammys will be awarded in less than a month and pianist Billy Childs' new CD Lyric is up for Best Jazz Instrumental Album -- one of several nominations for Childs.

The composer and arranger is also nominated for Best Instrumental Arrangement for his version of "Scarborough Faire," and for Best Instrumental Composition for "Into the Light." And separately, he's nominated for his work accompanying Chris Botti on the song "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life."

Childs tells Liane Hansen about his personal journey from his Southern California childhood to playing Emerson Lake & Palmer on the piano to the "jazz-chamber music" on Lyric.

Listen to the Billy Childs interview on NPR Weekend Edition

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Saturday, January 14, 2006

Jazz Masters Awards honor Corea, Bennett

Tony Bennett, Chick Corea Honored at 2006 NEA Jazz Masters Awards Concert in New York

Pianist John Levy, left, and singer Tony Bennett chat as they gather with other jazz greats for a special photo shoot during the annual conference of the International Association of Jazz Education in New York, Friday Jan. 13, 2006. Levy and Bennett will be among seven of jazz 'living legends' honored at an evening gala as the 2006 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)When the two big bands filling the stage struck up the opening bars of the Count Basie Orchestra's theme "One O'Clock Jump," the siren call to take part in a jam session was irresistible to the jazz stars in the audience at the NEA Jazz Masters Awards Concert.

Chick Corea, who had been honored earlier Friday evening as one of the National Endowment for the Arts' seven new Jazz Masters for 2006, sat down at the piano to energetically accompany the soloists.

Past Jazz Masters - Cuban-born clarinetist Paquito D'Rivera, tenor saxophonist Jimmy Heath, trombonist Slide Hampton and a scat-singing James Moody - took turns soloing as several thousand people clapped along enthusiastically in the Grand Ballroom of the Hilton New York Hotel.

A pint-sized trumpeter, 10-year-old Tyler Lindsay of Virginia Beach, Va., hit the high notes in his solo, earning high fives from the veterans on stage.

It was a rousing, spontaneous conclusion to the awards ceremony honoring this year's NEA Jazz Masters: Corea, singer Tony Bennett, Latin jazz percussionist Ray Barretto, composer-arranger-trombonist Bob Brookmeyer, trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, clarinetist Buddy DeFranco, and John Levy, the bassist who became the first African-American to work in the music industry as a personal manager.

"This is amazing. I'm overwhelmed. It's music that I love so much from all of these magnificent artists," Bennett said as he accepted his award, America's highest honor in jazz.

"More than anybody else I'd like to thank Count Basie for teaching me how to perform," said Bennett, who has always acknowledged that his singing style was largely influenced by the jazz musicians he heard playing in New York clubs.

Singer Nancy Wilson, co-host of the program with pianist Ramsey Lewis, became teary-eyed as she presented the Jazz Masters award to the 93-year-old Levy, her manager for nearly 50 years.

"I want to thank him for being the man who made me," Wilson said.

Corea, who has moved smoothly between acoustic jazz, fusion and classical music during his career, said he felt inspired by the award.

"It is my dream to help ... young musicians to take on the beauty that we've lived and we've created," said the pianist, composer and arranger. "I'm encouraged now to really give it back so I'm going to turn up the heat."

Trumpeter Jon Faddis' Jazz Orchestra of New York opened the musical portion of the program by performing "Beige," a movement from a Duke Ellington suite, and John Coltrane's "Countdown." The Count Basie Orchestra directed by Bill Hughes later played a brief set, highlighted by Grammy-nominated vocalist Nnenna Freelon's stirring rendition of the classic Erroll Garner tune "Misty," accompanied by past Jazz Master Barry Harris on piano.

For the grand finale, the two big bands squared off, paying tribute to the 1961 recording "Duke Ellington Meets Count Basie," with soloists from each orchestra trying to outdo one another on the tune "Battle Royale."

In an interview before the concert, NEA Chairman Dana Gioia said his goal is to give the Jazz Masters awards the same status as the Academy Awards or the Pulitzer Prizes.

"What we're trying to do ... is to take great living jazz musicians and make them celebrated and recognized in their own country during their own lifetime," said Gioia, a poet. "We're trying to give these musicians a chance to perform in ways where people hear them so they can build an audience."

Since taking his post as NEA chairman in 2003, Gioia has expanded the Jazz Masters program, which has honored 87 jazz legends since its inception in 1982.

The NEA provides each Jazz Master with a one-time fellowship of $25,000. The endowment has initiated a 50-state Jazz Masters on Tour program covering 75 cities and produced a two-CD anthology of their music and a special "Jazz Profiles" series with National Public Radio.

It also helped support a "Legends of Jazz" TV series hosted by Ramsey Lewis, which will debut on PBS this spring, as well as a multimedia Jazz in the Schools curriculum offered for free to high school teachers of social studies, history and music.

This year's awards ceremony was held as part of the International Association for Jazz Education convention.

On the Net: Jazz Masters:

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Friday, January 13, 2006

Rollins tells what it takes to survive

Tenor saxophone legend Sonny Rollins, who at 75 has been nominated for a Grammy for best jazz instrumental solo, says people often ask him what goes through his mind when he's playing one of his celebrated extended improvised solos.

"I relate to them that when I'm playing at my best, which is not often ... my mind is blank, there's nothing in my mind at all," Rollins said at a Thursday panel attended by hundreds of people at the International Association for Jazz Education convention.

"It's sort of like being in a trance, you're just playing, and often the guys in my band sometimes have to remind me that, hey, it's time to get off the stage," said the white-bearded Rollins, wearing a black beret and dark sunglasses.

Rollins is up for a Grammy for his solo on the ballad "Why Was I Born?" from his latest CD "Without a Song: The 9/11 Concert," his first live recording in nearly 20 years. The ballad begins with an extended unaccompanied tenor sax cadenza, and later in the performance Rollins throws in one of his trademark quotes, this time from "Oh! Susanna."

The Boston concert took place just four days after Rollins witnessed the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and had to be evacuated by the National Guard from his lower Manhattan apartment just six blocks north of ground zero. Rollins went ahead with the concert at the urging of his wife and manager Lucille, who died in 2004.

Rollins credits his wife with helping him overcome his reticence about talking publicly about the scourge of drug addiction that almost derailed his career just as it was taking off in the early 1950s.

The Harlem-born Rollins recalled many of his contemporaries whose lives were cut short after getting involved with drugs because they wanted to emulate their idols such as singer Billie Holiday and bebop pioneer Charlie "Bird" Parker.

But Rollins credits the alto saxophonist Parker, who never overcame his addictions and died at 34 in 1955, with turning his life around by taking him aside at a 1953 recording session and telling him to quit.

"I had actually lied to him and said I'm straight and cool and actually I wasn't," said Rollins. "When he found out there was something about his expression and the way he looked ... He wasn't strong enough himself to stop, but he knew he didn't want to create a whole generation of narcotic zombies."

Rollins, whose many classic recordings include "Saxophone Colossus," "Way Out West" and "The Bridge," says that since then he has combined his music making with various spiritual pursuits such as the Rosicrucians and yoga.

"These are timeless and spiritual things that you learn and you keep with you all of your life," said Rollins, who was presented a Grammy for lifetime achievement in 2004. "It helped me to be able to survive having some values outside of materialism."

CHARLES J. GANS Associated Press

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Testing in tribute to 11-time GRAMMY winner Michael Brecker

In tribute to Michael Brecker, the most renowned tenor saxophonist of his generation and among the most important contemporary jazz figures in the world today, the International Association for Jazz Education is sponsoring at their annual conference in New York City a bone marrow drive. The drive will take place on Friday, January 13 and Saturday, January 14 from 10AM to 5PM in the Hilton New York Hotel, 1335 Avenue of the Americas at 53rd Street, New York City on the 3rd floor promenade in front of the Grand Ballroom. Brecker, winner of 11-GRAMMY Awards, more than any saxophonist ever, was recently the recipient of an experimental half-matching blood stem cell (bone marrow) transplant to combat his affliction with myelodysplastic syndrome, a cancer-like disease.

The jazz community has stood behind Brecker throughout his ordeal. The Newport Jazz Festival, The Monterey Jazz Festival and The Red Sea Jazz Festival have previously sponsored onsite testing. Testing at the IAJE conference is being primarily underwritten by IAJE itself and Caroline & James Taylor. The tribute by IAJE is particularly apt as Brecker is perhaps most studied contemporary instrumentalist in music schools throughout the world today.

"Every year more than 9,000 people die in just the U.S. as a result of not being able to find a matching donor, " said Brecker's wife of twenty years, Susan. " As was the case with my husband, nearly 70% of us don't have a matching donor in our families. That's why it's so important that we all get tested and join the National Marrow Donor Program." It is Brecker's hope that more people will get tested so that fewer people will have to confront what he has had to go through.

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Thursday, January 12, 2006

Smooth Jazz Top Ten Week Ended 01/13/06

LW TW Artist Title (Label)
1 Brian Simpson - "It's All Good" (Rendezvous)
2 Rick Braun - "Shining Star" (Artizen)
3 Euge Groove - "Get Em Goin'" (Narada Jazz/EMI)
4 Walter Beasley - "Coolness" (Heads Up)
5 Richard Elliot - "Mystique" (Artizen)
6 Brian Culbertson - "Hookin' Up" (GRP/VMG)
7 Marion Meadows - "Suede" (Heads Up)
8 Herbie Hancock f/John Mayer - "Stitched Up" (Hear Music/Vector)
9 Nils - "Summer Nights" (Baja/TSR)
10 Chris Botti f/Jill Scott - "Good Morning Heartache" (Columbia)

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

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Bassist Christian McBride to Speak at Jazz Museum January 12

The Jazz Museum of Harlem will open its 2006 Harlem Speaks discussion series on January 12 with a talk with bassist Christian McBride.

The evening was originally scheduled to feature bassist Buster Williams, but Williams was forced to cancel because of a scheduling conflict. McBride, a star performer and the co-director of the nascent museum, agreed to step in.

The series continues with drummer Rudy Lawless on January 26, tuba player Howard Johnson on February 9, and Paul Robeson Jr., who will speak about his father's legacy, on February 23.

McBride launched his career in 1989 at age 17, when he joined saxophonist Bobby Watson's group. After stints with Ray Brown, Pat Metheny, Roy Hargrove, and others, he released Gettin' To It, the first of six albums as a leader. A year ago, he was named co-director of the Jazz Museum; several months later, he was appointed creative chair for jazz at the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

In addition, McBride and Loren Schoenberg, the executive director of the Jazz Museum, will give a free concert at the Frederick Douglass Academy in Harlem on January 14.

For more information about both events, visit

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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Brad Mehldau | Day Is Done

Seldom do musicians rise beyond their peers into a more rarefied air, transversing the ground between player and interpreter to influence standards and the direction where the next steps will go. Rarely, if ever, is this transition actually recorded. Nonetheless, one thing is easily identifiable with Day Is Done: Brad Mehldau has begun the transformation from musician of merit to icon.

Without doubt, there is an argument to be made on both sides--and to be sure the pianist himself could contribute pages worth--but after one has listened to and embraced Mehldau's version of Paul Simon’s “Fifty Ways To Leave Your Lover,” it's hard to deny that he's a leader and beacon of modern mainstream jazz piano. Wholly unified, even within a reconstituted trio consisting of longtime bassist Larry Grenadier and new partner Jeff Ballard on drums, Mehldau lifts the song from pop connotations to jazz standard in a definitive performance.

Opening with Grenadier’s bass permutations of the melody before Mehldau and Ballard join in, the sound is sophisticated yet accessible. And while numerous bass solos may lose interest over time, Grenadier has no such problem, basing his work on melody and often finding it spurred on through Mehldau’s interactive comping.

Many critics have already emphasized that Ballard, replacing longtime trio member Jorge Rossy, lends a different and more insistent feel to Mehldau's trio. And to an extent they are correct. However, what he really brings to the music is more fluid feel for time and space that pushes Mehldau with heightened urgency. While not necessarily better, this new feel seems more immediate and opens new possibilities from different angles. Ultimately this is what seems to have elevated Mehldau’s game to new heights. His solos are more concise and deeper in construction, while still affecting on the most basic of levels, similar to the music of Bill Evans and his classic trio.

And like that trio, Mehldau and his compatriots do not present an album of heads, but rather songs. As always, with Day is Done, Mehldau comes across as a throwback in his means of choosing material and how he explores them by basing everything upon the song and extrapolating kernels of ideas from there.

And with Mehldau's continual inclusion of material from Radiohead, Nick Drake, Paul Simon, and others, this material comes off less and less as forcing new standards than simply placing them side by side a la Cole Porter, and treating them with the same respect and playfulness. In the end, Day Is Done is a magnificent record. It may garner a three star review here and there, but make no mistake: that's a severe under-rating, even within the pianist's own catalog.

And when you hear Mehldau coming loose into a solo interlude during “Fifty Ways,” stamping the song with his own brand before segueing back into the fold, chances are you will agree.

Track Listing: Knives Out; Alfie; Martha My Dear; Day is Done; Artis; Turtle Town; She'e Leaving Home; Granada; 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover; No Moon at All.

Personnel: Brad Mehdlau: piano; Larry Grenadier: bass (except 3); Jeff Ballard: drums (except 3).

By Michael McCaw -

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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Upcoming Jazz Releases - 01/10/06

Upcoming Jazz Releases

Albert Ayler - Complete ESP-Disk Recordings (ESP-Disk) - Reissue - 2+ CDs
Anthony Branker - Spirit Songs (Sons of Sound)
Art Blakey - Hard Bop (& Jazz Messengers) (SME) - Reissue
Arthur Brown - Dance With (Airmail) - Reissue
Bill Evans - Bill Evans Plays for Lovers (Fantasy) - Reissue
Billy Martin - Live at Houston Hall (Amulet)
Billy Martin - Solo Live Tonic 2002 (Amulet)
Buddy DeFranco - 1949-'52 Studio Performances (Hep) - Reissue
Chantal Chamberland - Serendipity Street (Chantal Chamberland)
Charlie Galbraith & His Orchestra - Touring the Clubs (Jazzology) - Reissue
Chet Baker - Chet Baker Plays for Lovers (Fantasy) - Reissue
Chet Baker - Valentine (Blue Note) - Reissue
Chris Gestrin - The Distance (Songlines)
Dave Brubeck - Dave Brubeck Plays for Lovers (Fantasy) - Reissue
David Schumacher - Endagered Species (Summit)
Dutch Jazz Orchestra - Rediscovered Music of Mary Lou Williams: The Lady Who Swings the Band (Challenge)
Edsel Gomez - Cubist Music (Zoho)
Eliott James - Cinematic Life (Waterwee Recordings)
Enrico Pieranunzi - Live in Paris (Challenge)
Erienne Romaine - Scenic Route (Synergy)
Focus - The Ultimate Collection (Classic Rock Legends) - DVD-Video
Frank Emilio Flynn - Musica Original de Cuba (Empire)
Gene Krupa / Wingy Manone / Red McKenzie / Adrian Rollini / Gene Gifford - New York Jazz Combos 1936-37 (Hep) - Reissue
Gerald Beckett - Flute Vibes (Summit)
Grant Geissman - Say That (Futurism)
Grover Washington Jr. - Gold (Hip-O Records) - Reissue
Guy Lombardo - Drifting & Dreaming (Vocalion) - Reissue
Herb Geller - Plays the Arthur Schwartz Songbook (Hep)
John Jacob Niles - Tradition Years (UMVD)
John McNeil - East Coast Cool (Omnitone)
Judy Garland - Judy Garland Show featuring Peggy Lee and Ethel Merman (Geneon) - DVD-Video
Judy Garland - Judy Garland Show featuring Tony Bennett and Steve Lawrence (Geneon) - DVD-Video
Ken Karsh - Ventana (Alanna)
Marcel Loeffler - SOurce Manouche (Le Chant du Monde)
Martin Taylor - Sketches: A Tribute to Art Tatum (Allegro)
Mimi Blais - Once Upon a Ragtime (Orange Music)
Mitzi Zilka - Something Good (Glaxy Girl)
Mountain - Live in Texas 2005 (Voiceprint) - DVD-Video
Nina Simone - Definitive Collection (Hip-O Records) - Reissue
Pamela Rose - Just for a Thrill (Three Handed)
Paul Whiteman's Swing Wing / The Modernaires - Hooray for Spinach! (Hep)
Phillip Strange - In the Moment (Summit)
Phyllis Hyman - Love Songs (Arista) - Reissue
Prime Ministers - Read 'Em and Weep (Night Train)
Quincin Nachoff - Magic Numbers (Songlines)
Raphael Fays - Swing Guitar (Le Chant du Monde)
Rob Mazurek - Badlands (Hep) - Reissue
Robert Stillman - Robert Stillman's Horses (Millpond)
Romane - French Guitar (Iris Music)
Russ Reinberg - Blue Scarlett (Jazzed Media)
Stan Getz - Stan Getz Plays for Lovers (Fantasy) - Reissue
Stone Alliance - Live in Buenos Aires (Mambo Maniacs)
Sue Palmer - In the Green Room (Sue Palmer)
Ted Heath - Salute to Glenn Miller (Vocalion) - Reissue
Tony Bennett - Tony Bennett Sings for Lovers (Fantasy) - Reissue
Tony Gairo / Gary Rissmiller Jazz Orchestra - Treacherous (Sea Breeze)
Trilok Gurtu / The Frikyiwa Family - Farakala (Frikyiwa)
Various Artists - Essential Late Night Kiss (Savoy Jazz)
Various Artists - Essential Late Night Whisper (Savoy Jazz)
Various Artists - Music for Lovers Sampler (Blue Note) - Reissue
Various Artists - Inside Scandinavia Vol. 2 (Raw Fusion)
Various Artists - Jazz Train (Original Cast) (Sepia) - Reissue

Information provided by

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Monday, January 09, 2006

Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder Make Music for Bunkers

Here are more nominations for a list of the most enduring jazz and rock recordings, a list difficult to make without cluttering it up with Bob Dylan and Miles Davis albums.

The following have in common their consistency -- an absence of tracks you would object to hearing day after day should you be stuck in a bunker with the Memphis blues again ... or on a desert island.

They are in no particular order.

Paul Simon, ``Graceland'' (Warner Brothers): No awkward verses, never a false rhyme, not one ungraceful measure. There are diamonds on the soles of his shoes.

Modern Jazz Quartet, ``Dedicated to Connie'' (Atlantic/2 CDs): ``Never before or since has the Modern Jazz Quartet played better,'' leader and pianist John Lewis said about this recording, which was made live in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in 1960.

Stevie Wonder, ``Songs in the Key of Life'' (Motown): A suite with the keys to your heart. ``Isn't She Lovely?''

Thelonious Monk, ``Solo Monk'' (Columbia): ``Just a Gigolo,'' ``Nice Work If You Can Get It,'' and other Broadway song-form classics filtered through the cracked world of Thelonious Sphere Monk.

Marley, Mingus

Bob Marley, ``Legend'' (Island): The lope of the Reggae beat wears very well. ``I Shot the Sheriff,'' ``No Woman No Cry,'' and so on.

Charles Mingus, ``Mingus Ah Um'' (Columbia): Following in the steps of Duke Ellington, improvised solos are married with pre- conceived arrangements to make a new kind of classical music. The Mingus shout at its rowdy best.

The Beatles, ``Let It Be ... Naked'' (EMI): More than one good Beatles album includes a banal or pretentious track that drives you up the wall after a while. Not this one (their last).

Count Basie, ``Atomic Basie'' (Roulette): In the 1950s, Basie put together a new band which played with even more precision, dynamics and swing than his old one. Listen to Freddie Green's guitar and Snooky Young's lead trumpet, and the arrangements are by Neal (``Splanky,'' ``Li'l Darlin''') Hefti.

Love and Loss

Frank Sinatra, ``Everything Happens to Me'' (Reprise): Nineteen of his personal favorites, mostly from the 1960s and 1970s, by which time, Sinatra said he had ``emotionally graduated'' to songs of love, loss, joy and despair. Jacques Brel's ``If You Go Away,'' Antonio Carlos Jobim's ``How Insensitive'' and Lennon and McCartney's ``Yesterday'' are included; ``My Way'' is not.

Stan Getz, ``Serenity'' (Emarcy): Live at the Montmartre in Copenhagen in 1987; with Kenny Barron, piano, Rufus Reid, bass, and Victor Lewis, drums, on an exceptionally good night. Getz knew how sick he was by this time and he was playing as though his life depended on it.

Ray Charles, ``The Genius of Ray Charles'' (Atlantic): The word genius tends to be overused, though it would seem to apply here, particularly when combined with the producers Nesuhi Ertegun and Jerry Wexler.

Bob Dylan, ``Blonde on Blonde'' (Columbia): One Dylan album is obviously not enough. There are songs you cannot live without on perhaps a dozen others, but, to restate the premise, on this one there is not one track you won't want to hear forever.

`Heavy Weather'

Weather Report, ``Heavy Weather'' (Columbia): When this was recorded, in 1977, co-leader (with Wayne Shorter) Joe Zawinul was going around saying, ``we are the best band in the world,'' and Jaco Pastorius was calling himself ``the best bass player in the world,'' neither of which was too far off.

Willie Nelson ``The Essential'' (Columbia/2CDs): Nelson performs in a rich vale between the blues, country and rock, and the end result is somewhere between elegance and kitsch (``Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys'').

Most of the jazz on the following CD collections was originally recorded on 78 RPMs.

Django Reinhardt, ``L'Essentiel'' (EMI France/3CDs): Django playing ``Echoes of France,'' a.k.a ``La Marseillaise,'' (with Stephane Grappelli on violin) is like Jimi Hendrix's ``Star Spangled Banner'' -- an anthem for people who don't like anthems. Plus listening to gypsy swing is just good for you. If you cannot find this particular 60-track collection, there are many others, although most of them are less complete.

Billie and the Rest

Bud Powell, ``Bouncing With Bud'' (Dreyfus Jazz): Powell's gift had only a small window in time, yet few improvisers have meant it as much as he did.

Billie Holiday/Lester Young, ``Lady Day & Prez, 1937-1941'' (Giants of Jazz): Female jazz singers can be divided into Billie and everyone else. And a saxophonist once said: ``There are two ways to play the tenor saxophone -- like Lester, and wrong.''

Charlie Parker, ``Yardbird Suite'' (Rhino/2 CDs): Essential Bird from his mid-1940s recordings with Dizzy Gillespie through the albums with strings. Bird lives.

Now, program the above on a random shuffle and hear how all good music sounds pretty much the same.
To contact the reporter on this story:
Mike Zwerin at

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Legendary Les Paul Shares His Youthful Secrets in Podcasting Debut

”It has to be said, we must all own up that without Les Paul, generations of flash little punks like us would be in jail or cleaning toilets.”
- Keith Richards

”I've copied more licks from Les Paul than I'd like to admit.”
- Jeff Beck

At 90 years young, Les Paul knows a few things about the birth of the solid body electric guitar, multi-track recorder, songwriting (”How High The Moon,” “Caravan,” Vaya Con Dios”), and his place in history. Dusty caught him before his weekly Monday night gig at the Iridium Jazz Club where they discussed his many profound contributions to the world of entertainment and his special relationships with Gibson Guitars, Mary Ford, Steve Miller, his latest CD Les Paul & Friends (Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Edgar Winter, et al.) and his kitchen radio.

Listen to Interview:

Visit website

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Mosaic Select | Sidney Bechet

This historical set is expected to be Released by famous label in Mid - Late January. Sidney Bechet's legacy as one of the key figures in traditional jazz, is brilliantly displayed here in this set of recordings from 1923 through 1947 for the Columbia family of labels. His mastery of projecting an extremely powerful soprano saxophone and clarinet could carry any size ensemble and was looked upon with reverence by anyone who came in contact with him.

A primary goal in selecting these Bechet titles was to cherry pick the best solos or obbligatos from the seminal Clarence Williams Blue Five recordings on OKeh and bring them to the high sonic standards of a Mosaic package. These recordings represent Bechet in his twenties, yet he is already a dominating master of his craft. Our dilemma, however, turned out that these mid 1920s recordings are extremely rare and to find one in a clean enough condition to transfer was a real daunting task. However with help from collectors all over the planet, our restoration man for this set Doug Pomeroy was able to present the music in the best sound to date of this precious material. We used the original metal parts and lacquer discs to transfer the rest of the recordings on this set

The recordings from 1937 to 1947 begin with Bechet single-handedly lifting a big band while as a sideman with the Noble Sissle Orchestra on the rare Variety label. After leaving that band, he was featured as a leader on a magnificent date for Vocalion, pairing him with the under appreciated baritone saxophonist, Ernie Caceres. The first session under his leadership for Columbia, has Bechet pared with his protégé Bob Wilber who has graced our set by handling the notes giving us a greater insight of Bechet. The rest of the material comes from 1947 with Bechet's quartet that worked regularly at Jimmy Ryans. These quartet sessions reveal that Bechet did not only relegate his material to Trad tunes but to popular standards as well. An added bonus are the 14 previously unissued takes included here.

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Saturday, January 07, 2006

Richard Elliot - Metro Blue

Richard Elliott, 45, was born in Scotland and moved to Los Angeles with his family when he was a child. In his early career, he toured with Natalie Cole and the Pointer Sisters. He spent time with a fusion band, Kittyhawk, followed by recording sessions with Smokey Robinson, the Four Tops, and the Temptations. After spending five years as a full-time member of Tower of Power, Elliott became a solo artist, releasing four #1 albums.

On Metro Blue, which Elliott co-produced with Rick Braun, the tenor sax specialist delivers a nice mix of smooth jazz and soulful grooves. All but one song were composed by Elliott and Braun, including several that involved other writers. The lone cover is “People Make the World Go Round,” written by Thom Bell and Linda Epstein and popularized by a 1970s soul group, the Stylistics.

“Inside Out” opens the album with flair, sure to get dancers on their feet. Often in smooth jazz, programming can be the difference between an exceptional album and a boring one. In this case, Braun, Rex Rideout, Greg Karukas, Jeff Lorber, Brian Culbertson, and Phil Davis serve up programming that melds nicely with the other instruments. On “Inside Out” and “Say It’s So,” Rideout’s and Lorber’s programs supplement rather than replace the drums. And on the other tracks, the drum synths are distinct enough that the listener is free to enjoy the whole song, rather than focus on how similar the program sounds to previous recordings.

In addition to flugelhorn and trumpet, Braun contributes some elegant string synths—including plucking—to give “People Make the World Go Round” an orchestral feel. Nate Phillips adds a funky bass line to enhance the groove of “Say It’s So.” Elliott delivers his best performance on the album with the ballad “Mystique,” supported by Peter White on nylon string guitar and Lenny Castro on percussion, among others.

Throughout the disc, Elliott efficiently puts his tenor through the paces, whether as lead instrument, soloist, or accompanist alongside Braun. Whether on an uptempo groove or a tranquil ballad, Elliott, Braun, and the others have put together a fine album that will please fans of smooth jazz as well as those who prefer soulful jazz.

By Woodrow Wilkins Jr. -

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Michael Brecker Gets Transplant From Daughter

Saxophonist gets transfusion of daughter's "good cells."

Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Michael Brecker, who has a rare blood disorder, has received a stem-cell transplant from his 16-year-old daughter, Jessica. The musician who has played on many popular smooth jazz recordings was diagnosed last year with myelodysplastic syndrome, known as MDS.

Brecker, who is 56, has been checked out of the Sloan-Kettering Memorial Cancer Center in New York City and is being monitored by doctors.

Brecker has had a storied career, and has collaborated in the studio with artists such as David Benoit, George Benson, Larry Carlton, Bob James, Earl Klugh, Chuck Loeb, David Sanborn, Diana Krall and many others. In May 2004, Michael signed with the Heads Up recording label – home to Spyro Gyra, Marion Meadows, Pieces of a Dream, Nestor Torres and others – and was due to release a new album sometime in 2006.

That CD, of course, has been delayed, but Michael will be featured on Some Skunk Funk, a live album recorded in 2003 with his brother, trumpeter Randy Brecker. Heads Up will release the CD in July.

Originally posted by Brian Soergel at

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Friday, January 06, 2006

Lou Rawls dead at 72

Lou Rawls, whose mellifluous baritone was featured on hits ranging from his own "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine" to Sam Cooke's "Bring It on Home to Me," has died. He was 72.

Rawls died Friday morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, where he was hospitalized last month for treatment of lung and brain cancer, said his publicist, Paul Shefrin. His wife, Nina, was at his bedside when he died.

The singer was as well known for his charitable activities as he was for his smooth four-octave range. He founded the Lou Rawls Parade of Stars Telethon, which raised millions of dollars for the United Negro College Fund.

Rawls was born on December 1, 1933, in Chicago, Illinois. (Some sources say 1935.) A childhood friend of Sam Cooke -- and, like Cooke, trained in gospel -- as a teenager he took Cooke's place in Cooke's gospel group, the Highway QCs, and later supported Cooke on tour and in the studio.

He nearly died in an auto accident while traveling with Cooke in 1958, spending several days in a coma, according to

Rawls sang background on Cooke's "Bring It on Home to Me" -- that's him doing the "yeah" responses and some harmonies -- and had his first big solo hit with 1966's "Love Is a Hurtin' Thing," which earned him mention in Arthur Conley's "Sweet Soul Music."

He had his biggest hit in 1976 with "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine," which topped the R&B charts and hit No. 2 on the pop charts. Other hits include "Your Good Thing (Is About to End)," "Natural Man" and "Lady Love."

He is survived by his wife Nina, who was bedside at the time of his death, as well as his three adult children, Louanna Rawls, Lou Rawls, Jr. and Kendra Smith, and his infant son, Aiden.


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Thursday, January 05, 2006

But Beautiful: The Best of Shirley Horn

Shirley Horn is a jazz diva who needs little introduction. This veteran of song is one of the classic vocalists of any era. But Beautiful gives us some classic recordings that highlight her career, as well as three bonus tracks recorded from a recent performance at the Au Bar in New York City. The first eleven tracks are from Horn’s Verve Records catalogue, including I Thought About You and Loads of Love: Shirley Horn with Horns, which was originally released on Mercury Records.

Horn became a singer by accident. While performing as a pianist in a restaurant/nightclub, she recalls a regular patron who brought a large teddy bear with him. Horn said the man offered her the bear if she would sing “Melancholy Baby.” She wanted the toy badly enough that she overcame her shyness and sang. This led to others asking her to sing, and Horn gradually established herself as a vocalist. Over the years, she spent time working with Miles Davis and raising her daughter. Shortly before his death in 1991, Davis added his trumpet to the title track of Horn’s “You Won’t Forget Me,” which appears on the new release. The singer paid tribute to the man who helped her rise to jazz prominence with “I Remember Miles,” for which she won a Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Performance.

But Beautiful highlights some of the best recordings of Horn’s career. “You Won’t Forget Me” displays Horn’s vocal perfection, complemented by Davis’ muted trumpet. “The Great City,” a swinging tune that first appeared on Horn’s Loads of Love, is a delightful but cautionary tale about a wide-eyed young person who thinks the big city is the answer to his or her problems. “If you come in, make sure you can get back out,” Horn sings. “Jelly, Jelly,” one of the three bonus tracks, is an easygoing, bluesy cut that features Roy Hargrove on trumpet in one of the few notable instrumental solos on the album.

Throughout, Horn is at her best. While her sound is clean and her tone perfect, she sings with the same soulful flair that got Miles Davis’ attention many years ago. To Shirley Horn fans who already have all her albums, the three bonus tracks, while good, may not be worth it. But for those who haven't heard much Horn, But Beautiful is a great place to start.

By Woodrow Wilkins Jr. -

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Dee Dee Bridgewater Performs Special Valentine's Day Concert

Celebrate Valentine's Day with legendary Jazz singer Dee Dee Bridgewater on February 14, 2006 at 8:00pm Rose Theater in Frederick P. Rose Hall. Building on the tradition of great romance and great music, Jazz at Lincoln Center continues its celebration of Valentine's Day. In the stylish setting of Rose Theater with it's sophisticated sound, Dee Dee Bridgewater brings her band to the stage for a concert that will melt hearts and heat up romances. One of the best jazz singers of her generation, GRAMMY award-winning artist Dee Dee Bridgewater makes her Rose Theater debut to Jazz at Lincoln Center for a memorable Valentine's Day concert.

Vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater is the recipient of a Tony award, two Grammy's, and the top musical honor in France - the Victoire de la Musique - plus she has been nominated for London theaters Laurence Oliver Award. Ms. Bridgewater captured the hearts of audiences worldwide in The Wiz with her signature song, "If You Believe." Ms. Bridgewater shares her knowledge and enthusiasm about jazz as host of National Public Radio's popular series Jazz Set with Dee Dee Bridgewater. Ms. Bridgewater made her phenomenal New York debut in 1970 as the lead vocalist for the band led by Thad Jones and Mel Lewis, one of the premier jazz orchestras of the time. Her career includes performing and recording recordings with such giants as Sonny Rollins, Dizzy Gillespie, Dexter Gordon, Max Roach and Roland Kirk. She jumped at the chance to act and sing on Broadway where her voice, beauty and stage presence won her great success and a Tony Award for her role as Glinda the Good Witch in The Wiz. Her many accomplishments have secured her reputation as a consummate entertainer.

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Jazz at Lincoln Center Announces February 2006 Lineup For Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola

Jazz at Lincoln Center proudly announces the February 2006 lineup of performances at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola which features the continuation of the Stretchin' The Ivories Festival, starting with bassist / composer Marc Johnson, performing music from his new ECM recording Shades of Jade, with pianist Eliane Elias, saxophonist Joe Lovano and drummer Joey Baron. Following Johnson and company will be the fabulous pianist Renee Rosnes in Phantom of The Bopera, a celebration of the music of the legendary Joe Henderson. Valentine's week finds pianists Cyrus Chestnut and Eric Reed sharing a bill that promises to delight audiences with solo, duo, trio, and quartet performances. In another celebration of a jazz master, the ubiquitous pianist, composer and arranger Eric Reed celebrates the legendary Cedar Walton with an amazing band of leaders in their own right: Wycliffe Gordon, Stefon Harris and Terrell Stafford. Closing out February and wrapping up the Stretchin' The Ivories Festival is pianist / composer Cyrus Chestnut, celebrating the release of his new recording Genuine Chestnut on Telarc Records, featuring the phenomenal young guitarist Mark Whitfield.

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Wednesday, January 04, 2006

I'll Take a Venti Latte ... and a CD

What may be the most powerful name in music doesn’t belong to a record label, a powerful industry executive or an influential band. In fact, it doesn’t belong to a company associated with music at all.

The name’s the same one you’ll find on that cup of java that may be on your desk right now — the one in the green circle around the picture of that iconic mermaid. That’s right, Starbucks Coffee may be the future of music in America.

At a time that the music industry is scrambling to eke out a profit and save itself from obsolescence (U.S. album sales were down about 7 percent as 2005 drew to a close, according to Nielsen SoundScan), the ubiquitous Seattle-based coffee retailer is not only one of the few successful peddlers of compact discs, it’s also determining what a large swath of Americans are listening to.

Artists are paying attention, and traditional retailers are on guard.

“They’ve become a power in the industry. They’re a force to be reckoned with,” said Melinda Newman, West Coast bureau chief for Billboard magazine. “People are looking at Starbucks and saying, ‘This is a project where we’d be best served by making a deal with Starbucks — even if it pisses off traditional retailers.”

Though Starbucks doesn’t release its numbers, the results of an alliance with the coffee company have become unmistakable since it first teamed up with Blue Note Records to offer CD compilations in 1995.

A Starbucks 2004 release of Ray Charles’ "Genius Loves Company" was a tremendous success, earning the top spot on the charts and winning eight Grammys (including album and record of the year).

Jazz musician Herbie Hancock and proven power hitters like Elton John and the Rolling Stones have also come on board. Other well-known artists have also taken part in various compilation albums sold at Starbucks.

And Starbucks has taken musicians and bands that would otherwise go largely unheard — Antigone Rising, Madeleine Peyroux — and made them into overnight stars (the company recently announced that it would be touting the debut album of one Sonya Kitchell).

When the company started selling Peyroux’s album “Careless Love” in its stores in late March, sales went up 241 percent. According to Newman, the chain sold more than 10,000 units alone, more than doubling the sales of the album at music stores and mass merchants like Wal-Mart for that week combined.

And if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Starbucks’ success is borne out by the fact that it’s now commonplace for retailers such as Victoria’s Secret and Pottery Barn to offer their own customized CDs.

“Do they have an impact? Absolutely,” Newman said. “People feel they have a 'Good Housekeeping' seal of approval, that any CD they see in a Starbucks already has the Starbucks seal of approval, and therefore they’re going to like it.”

So formidable is Starbucks’ presence that earlier this year, when Starbucks won a six-week period of exclusivity to sell an new acoustic take on Alanis Morissette's best-selling album “Jagged Little Pill,” it was enough to send the traditional music industry into a tizzy.

“Not very cool,” wrote Don VanCleave, president of the Coalition of Independent Music Stores.

HMV Canada promptly pulled all of Morissette’s albums from its shelves, saying it reflected the feelings of its customers (a move similar to the one it pulled when The Rolling Stones sold a DVD exclusively through Best Buy).

In September, it did the same to Bob Dylan, whose “Gaslight” recordings are also a Starbucks exclusive, in coordination with music label Sony BMG.

“Some said it was horrible to get exclusives of any kind, that traditional retailers had broken these acts for years and this was the kind of thanks they got,” Newman said. “But others said that when they were developing an act they probably would have done something like this.”

But traditional music retailers may not be able to stop the Starbucks model from proliferating, especially since the labels are clearly interested.

“The labels are paying attention, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you started seeing more unorthodox places to buy music in the future,” Rolling Stone associate editor Jonathan Ringen said. “The music industry has been in decline for a long time, and every year there’s a big revenue decline for the labels. I think any kind of successful idea is going to be scrutinized.”

Starbucks Entertainment president Ken Lombard was more blunt on the issue.

“The artists love it, and the labels have been tremendously supportive,” he said. “They’re attempting to reconnect to the music consumers they are no longer able to reach.”

Lombard attributes the coffee house’s success in the music biz to a combination of luck, timing and the sheer strength of Starbucks’ name and consumer loyalty.

“It was brought on primarily by a perfect storm of a shift toward big-box retailers, with their limited formats and no discovery; you’ve got a shift in radio that is becoming just an advertising vehicle; and the fact that there’s really no really quality place to buy music expressly for the music consumer, which disenfranchises customers who feel disconnected from their overall music experience,” Lombard said.

“That’s where our assets come in, and when we say ‘assets,’ we refer to our consumers who come in on a weekly basis — 35 million customers a week, 18 times a month — with a frequency that no other retailer can provide.

“I think with time other retailers will realize that the Starbucks commitment to the music industry is in the best interests of the industry as a whole, from the consumers to the labels and the rest of the industry, who’ve been through a lot of confusion.”

Researched down to the last detail — Starbucks is careful not to overwhelm the potential buyer with choices, offering a relative handful of titles at a time, and is meticulous about where the CDs are partitioned — the coffee chain’s music selections are designed to be nearly as irresistible as its caffeinated beverages.

“They have a captive audience, tens of millions of people who go in every week, waiting in line for their latte,” Newman said. “It’s like having gum at the counter, then the magazines — people are going to make impulse buys when they’re checking out, and it’s right there staring you in the face. ‘Oh look, Madeleine Peyroux. I haven’t heard her name or her music, but it’s right there and it’s a good price. Why not?’”

Starbucks CDs cost about $12.95-$15.95, and can also be purchased at

Observers like Ringen think that Lombard may be onto something, and say that the fears of those like VanCleave and HMV Canada may be exaggerated.

“Starbucks is able to tap into an audience that’s underserved by the record industry, older people who don’t spend a lot of time in record stores,” Ringen said. “The upside from the artists’ perspective is that this is an audience that isn’t likely to be into file-sharing and getting stuff illegally online. And a lot of these records are going to probably be bought by people who don’t buy that many CDs generally. And they’re really good at picking music.”

However, that doesn't mean that Starbucks is lagging on the downloading trend. Starbucks bought Hear Music, a San Francisco-based music company, in 1999, and you can find a Hear Music media bar in select locations in Santa Monica, Calif., San Antonio, Texas, Austin, Texas and Seattle, which allows customers to burn their own CDs.

In addition, Starbucks opened its first Hear Music coffee house in Santa Monica in 2004, where consumers can browse among 10,000 different CD titles, use the media bar and, of course, have a cup of coffee. A second Hear Music coffee house opened in San Antonio in December.

Starbucks also has its own radio channel, Hear Music XM 75, available to XM Radio subscribers.

As for the online download issue, Lombard said downloaders are such a relatively small part of the market that it's not really a competitor, and he emphasized that the music's a way of enhancing the coffee-bar experience for Starbucks customers.

"We're starting out with physical CDs we're selling in our stores, and we fully expect that as you look at the first step in our digital aspect, media bars, giving customers the ability to customize and burn CDs, is a step, really in the early stages of the digital movement. If you think about it, probably 3 or 4 percent of music consumers today use digital as a delivery system for their music as opposed to CDs. But we will continue to stay on the cutting edge."

Downloaded tracks from online retailers soared to 332.7 million last year, compared with 134.2 million in 2004, an increase of 148 percent, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

In the end, though, despite its successes in music, the important thing to keep in mind is what Starbucks is at heart.

“What you have to remember is that Starbucks is in the coffee business,” Newman said.

Michael Y. Park -

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Monday, January 02, 2006

Miles Davis's Cellar Door Sessions Debuts on Billboard Jazz Chart

A box set collecting live performances from 1970 by trumpeter Miles Davis and his group debuted on the Billboard jazz chart last week at number 22.

The Cellar Door Sessions were recorded at the Washington, D.C., club by a jazz-rock ensemble featuring pianist Keith Jarrett, drummer Jack DeJohnette, bassist Michael Henderson, percussionist Airto Moreira, saxophonist Gary Bartz, and guitarist John McLaughlin.

A compilation of Davis's recordings for the Prestige label also debuted on the chart, at number 25.

Diana Krall's Christmas Songs, featuring the Clayton/Hamilton Orchestra, remained at number one on the chart for the eighth straight week.

On the contemporary-jazz chart, a 40th-anniversary compilation of Vince Guaraldi's music from A Charlie Brown Christmas moved into the number-one spot, dethroning Kenny G's Greatest Holiday Classics.

The only new entry on the chart was Hidden Beach Recordings Presents: Unwrapped No. 4, a fusion of hip-hop and jazz, which debuted at number five.

By Ben Mattison -

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World's Largest Jazz Conference Returns To New York City

The International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE) returns to New York City, Jan. 11 - 14, 2006 for its 33rd Annual Conference. The Hilton New York and Sheraton New York Hotels will be the headquarters for the largest annual gathering of the global jazz community, with over 7,000 educators, musicians, industry executives, exhibitors, media and students from 35 countries expected to attend. New York is committed to host the conference again in 2007 and in 2010. IAJE heads north to Toronto, Ontario, Canada in 2008.

Education, teacher training and networking will be firmly at the heart of the conference agenda, combined with an impressive performance schedule. In addition, the conference will feature a 75,000 square-foot industry exposition, commission premieres, technology presentations, research papers, award ceremonies, and top school groups from Europe, Australia, Croatia, Peru, Israel, Canada, and the United States.

"It's a program suited for a city that has served as the vanguard of jazz for more than 50 years and is a reflection of how far IAJE has come as the association officially representing the jazz field," said IAJE Executive Director Bill McFarlin.

For more information on IAJE, click here.

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