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Monday, May 29, 2006

Upcoming Jazz Releases | 5/29/06 - 6/2/06

Upcoming Jazz Releases

Mon 29-May-2006
Harvey Mason - Marching in the Street (BMG / Arista) - Reissue

Tue 30-May-2006
Alfonzo Blackwell - Never Let You Go (Utopia Records)
Ammon Contact - With Voices (Ninja Tune)
Artificial Memory/Brume - 1st Encounter (AlienB)
Attila Zoller / Bob Cooper / Albert Manelsdorff / Bud Shank / Gary Peacock - European Tour '57 (Lonehill) - Reissue
Bill Evans - Ballads & More (RCA) - Reissue
Bill Evans - Vol. 1-Modern Jazz Giants (Victor Rec) - Reissue
Bob Cooper / Claude Williamson / Bud Shank - European Tour '58 (Lonehill) - Reissue
Bob Cooper / Joe Zawinul / Bud Shank - European Tour '57 (Lonehill) - Reissue
Buddy Guy - Live: The Real Deal with G.E. Smith and the Saturday Night Live Band (Jive Aces) - DVD-Video
Chet Baker - Vol. 5-Modern Jazz Masters (Victor Rec) - Reissue
Clovers - Smiling at the Broken Bottle (Sony/Columbia) - Reissue
Cordovan - Highway 10 Blues (Reincarnate)
Dave Mullen - Maghoney's Way (Sumthing Else)
David Kristian - Kristian Shalabi St-Onge (Alien8)
Donald Harrison - The Survivor (Nagel Heyer)
Eldar - Daily Living: Live at the Blue Note (Sony Classical)
Eric Dolphy Quintet / Herbie Hancock - Left Alone (Fruit Tree) - Reissue
Gilbert Castellanos - Underground (Seedling Records)
Jill Jenson - Jill Jenson (Independent)
John Coltrane - Ballad & More (Victor) - Reissue
John Coltrane - Ballads (Victor) - Reissue
John Coltrane - Stardust (Victor Rec) - Reissue
John Coltrane - Vol. 2 - Modern Jazz Giants (Victor Rec) - Reissue
Laurindo Almeida - Girl From Ipanema (Toshiba / EMI) - Reissue
Lennie Niehaus - Complete Fifties Recordings V.3. (Sextet, Quintet & Octet) (Lonehill) - Reissue
Lennie Niehaus - Complete Fifties Recordings V.4. (Octet - I Swing for You) (Lonehill) - Reissue
Marcos Valle - O COmpositor E O Cantor (Toshiba / EMI) - Reissue
Marilyn Scott - Innocent of Nothing (Prana)
Marzell Keefe - Drawn Windows (Comin' Atcha)
Merzbow - Door Open at 8a.m. (Alien8)
Miles Davis - Ballads & More (RCA) - Reissue
Miles Davis - Best (RCA) - Reissue
Miles Davis - Mute (Victor) - Reissue
Milton Banana Trio - Milton Banana Trio (Virgin)
Milton Nascimento - Milagre DOS Peixes (Water Music) - Reissue
Milton Nascimento - Minas (Water Music) - Reissue
Modern Jazz Quartet - Vol. 4-Modern Jazz Giants (Victor Rec) - Reissue
Oscar Peterson - London Concert 1964 (Improjazz)
PLatypus Ensemble - Satsang (Albatross)
Quem E QUem - Joao Donato (Toshiba / EMI) - Reissue
Ralph Stanley - Distant Land to Roam (Sony)
Ralph Stanley - A Distant Land to Roam: Ralph Stanley Sings Songs of the Carter Family (DMZ)
Reptet - Do This! (Monktail Records)
Rob White - Let It Ride (Orpheus)
Rory Gallagher - Live at Montreux (RED) - DVD-Video
Sadao / Richard Bona - One for You: Sadao & Richard Bona Live (JVC Victor)
Sam Shalabi - On Hashish (Alien8)
Sonny Rollins - Vol. 3-Modern Jazz Masters (Victor Rec) - Reissue
Stevie Holland - More Than Words Can Say (150 Music)
Tear Gas - Piggy Go Getter (Phantom Records)
Tied & Tickled Trio - A.R.C. (Morr)
Tony Horowitz - Paz Y Amor (Rhombus)
Wanda de Sa - Softly (Toshiba / EMI)
Wes Montgomery - In Europe 1965 (Improjazz)
Zona Sul - Beira (Nagel Heyer)

Wed 31-May-2006
Lynne Fiddmont - Flow (MidLife Records)
Tony Pacini - Piano A La Carte (Saphu Records)

Fri 02-Jun-2006
Harry Miller's Ispingo - Which Way Now (Cuneiform)

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This Week's Releases

Harvey Mason, Marching In The Street "GERMANY"
Jill Jenson, Jill Jenson
Keefe Marzell, Drawn Windows
United Future Organization, Ufos For Real: Scene 1 U
Rob White, Let It Ride
Milton Nascimento, Milagre Dos Peixes (1973)
Milton Nascimento, Minas (1976) -
Ann Hampton Callaway, Blues Night [Telarc]
Frank Kimbrough, Play [Palmetto]
John Lee Hooker, Cold As Ice [Telarc]
Marilyn Scott, Innocent Of Nothing [Prana Ent.]

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Friday, May 26, 2006

Hilton Ruiz Suffered Injuries in Fall, Not Attack

The head injuries that have left jazz pianist Hilton Ruiz in a coma resulted from a fall, not an attack, the Associated Press reports.

An attorney for Ruiz's family told the AP that it appeared that Ruiz, who was found with broken bones in his skull and face on Bourbon Street in New Orleans last week, had fallen and hit his face on the curb. Ruiz's agent had previously said that his injuries made it seem as if he had been attacked.

Ruiz also suffered a heart attack in the ambulance on the way to the hospital after the incident, which is believed to have occurred at about 5 a.m. on May 19.

A native of New York, the 53-year-old Ruiz studied with Mary Lou Williams and has played with Freddie Hubbard and Rahsaan Roland Kirk, as well as leading his own bebop and Latin jazz groups.

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Bublé, Botti, and Nat 'King' Cole Rule Jazz Chart

Singer Michael Bublé and trumpeter Chris Botti held four of the top six spots on the Billboard jazz chart this week, but sales of a new compilation of Nat "King" Cole's music picked up in its third week on the chart.

Bublé's platinum-selling It's Time remained at number one, but his live Caught in the Act dropped from number two to number four, trading places with The Very Best of Nat 'King' Cole. Botti's To Love Again: The Duets remained at number three; his When I Fall in Love moved from number seven to number six in its 86th week on the chart.

The sole new entry on the jazz chart was a compilation titled Vintage Verve at number 24.

The contemporary-jazz chart was even more static, with Herbie Hancock's Possibilities remaining at number one and the top five spots unchanged. There were no new entries.

By Ben Mattison -

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Top Ten Smooth Jazz | Week Ended 5/26/06

LW TW Artist Title (Label)
1 - 1 - Paul Brown - "Winelight" (GRP/VMG)
4 - 2 - Philippe Saisse - "Trio Do It Again" (Rendezvous)
3 - 3 - Brian Culbertson - "Let's Get Started" - (GRP/VMG)
5 - 4 - Nils - "Summer Nights" (Baja/TSR)
2 - 5 - Najee - "2nd 2 None" - (Heads Up International)
7 - 6 - Michael Lington - "Pacifica" (Rendezvous)
8 - 7 - Mindi Abair - "True Blue" (GRP/VMG)
6 - 8 - Kim Waters - "Steppin' Out" (Shanachie)
9 - 9 - Ramsey Lewis - "Oh Happy Day" (Narada Jazz/EMI)
12 - 10 - Nick Colionne - "Always Thinking Of You" (Narada Jazz/EMI)

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

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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Les Paul's 91st Birthday at the Iridium Jazz Club

The Iridium Jazz Club, the long-time home of guitar pioneer Les Paul, announced Les Paul's 91st Birthday Celebration Monday, June 12th, 2006. Les will be taking the stage with his regular working band, Lou Pallo-guitar, Nicky Parrott-bass, and John Colliani-piano for two sets at 8:30 and 10:30 PM. The five-time Grammy Award winner (Les won two Grammy's this year for his chart-topping Capitol CD "American Made World Played") and was also celebrated with a gala concert in his honor by music stars Slash, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Alison Krauss, Steve Lukather, Joe Perry, Joe Satriani, Neal Schon, Shayna Steele, Buddy Guy, and Edgar Winter.

Les Paul, the father of the electric guitar, was born June 9, 1915, in Waukesha, WI. The five-time Grammy Award winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer is the inventor of the solid body electric guitar and the pioneer of multi-track recording, the use of reverb and other now-standard recording techniques.

Paul was honored throughout his 90th year with an array of new product releases, honors and awards fit for the father of the electric guitar. In addition to Les Paul & Friends: American Made World Played, Capitol/EMI released Les Paul with Mary Ford: The Best of The Capitol Masters (90th Birthday Edition), a collection of Paul's finest Capitol recordings, with new artwork, bonus tracks and a package essay written by Paul himself. Last May, Paul was inducted into the National Inventors' Hall Of Fame at the Hall's Akron, OH headquarters. On June 9, 2005 the evening of Paul's 90th birthday, he was honored with the Songwriters' Hall Of Fame Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award. On June 19, an all-star group of guitarists took the Carnegie Hall stage for "All For Paul: Les Paul's 90th Birthday Salute, " a star-studded celebration presented by Gibson Guitar at the JVC Jazz Festival - New York. In addition, two new Les Paul books have been released: The Les Paul Legacy by Rob Lawrence (Hal Leonard Publishing) and Les Paul In His Own Words, a limited edition autobiography with each numbered copy signed by Paul (Russ Cochran Publishing). Guitarists around the world favor Les Paul's signature line of Gibson guitars, which debuted in 1952.

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Monday, May 22, 2006

Verve Release Program

Verve has had much success in bringing back titles that either had been deleted from its catalog or were never-before-available and making these titles available as digital-only tracks and albums. Verve and Rhapsody are making this exclusive content available in response to consumer interest.

"Today's consumer lives an on-demand lifestyle and The Verve MusicGroup is thrilled to have Rhapsody embrace the delivery of out-of-print music to meet the consumer demand for it, " says Ron Goldstein, President and CEO of The Verve Music Group. "Verve can now achieve the full potential of its amazing catalog by re-releasing these classic recordings in the digital space."

The program will launch with 28 titles. These titles, which arecurrently unavailable for purchase anywhere in America, will be released to Rhapsody beginning on May 23rd and will be available exclusively through the service for three months. Consumers will be able to stream, download, or purchase these classic recordings via the Rhapsody service as well as transfer them to compatible portable devices. Rhapsody and Verve will support this exclusive relationship with a variety of album features and promotions as well as outreach to core music audiences. "We're very excited to be adding nearly 30 out-of-print titles from Verve Records to Rhapsody, " said Tim Quirk, GM of Music Content and Programming. "Rhapsody's infinite shelf space means there's always room for more great music from influential Verve artists such as Art Blakey, Ella Fitzgerald, and Oscar Peterson."

Verve titles coming to Rhapsody through the program include: Albert Mangelsdorff, Jaco Pastorius, and Alphonse Mouzon "Trilogue" (Live), Alphonse Mouzon "By All Means", Anita O'Day "Anita", Art Blakey "The Complete Art Blakey on EmArcy", Art Tatum "I Got Rhythm Vol. 3 (1935-44)", Baden Powell "Estudos", Ben Sidran "I Lead A Life", Ben Sidran "Puttin' In Time On Planet Earth", Ben Sidran "The Cat In The Hat", Ben Webster and Don Byas "Ben Webster Meets Don Byas", Bill Evans "Symbiosis", Clark Terry "Clark After Dark", Dexter Gordon and Slide Hampton "A Day in Copenhagen", Don "Sugar Cane" Harris "Fiddler On The Rock", Don Ellis "Soaring", Duke Ellington "Collages", Ella Fitzgerald "Songs In A Mellow Mood", Freddie Hubbard "The Hub Of Hubbard", George Duke "I Love The Blues, She Heard Me Cry", Helen Merrill and Ron Carter "Duets", Jean-Luc Ponty "Sunday Walk", Joe Henderson "Mirror Mirror", Marlena Shaw "Out Of Different Bags", Monty Alexander "The Duke Ellington Songbook", Oscar Peterson "Bursting Out With The All-Star Big Band", Stephane Grappelli and the Diz Disley Trio "Violinspiration", The Eddie Davis-Johnny Griffin Quintet "Tough Tenors - Again N Again", The Jan Hammer Trio "Maliny Maliny".

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Rippingtons Finish 20th Anniversary CD

Russ FreemanGuitarist Russ Freeman, leader of the Rippingtons, has finished recorded a special CD that marks the band’s 20th anniversary. The 11-song CD, called The Rippingtons 20th Anniversary, features nine new compositions written by Freeman and one, "Anything,” written and performed by Brian McKnight with Freeman's accompaniment on classical guitar.

The CD also features a nine-song medley of some of the band’s most popular songs called “20th Anniversary Tribute,” with vocals by Jeffrey Osborne and solos by the original performers on the songs. The medley’s songs include “Moonlighting,” “Black Diamond,” “Weekend in Monaco,” “I’ll Be Around” and others.

Guest artists include those who have performed on Rippingtons CDs in the past, including David Benoit, Dave Koz, Steve Reid, Gregg Karukas, Brandon Fields, Kirk Whalum and Paul Taylor.

The CD will be released July 25 on Freeman's Peak Records.

The Rippingtons are now finalizing plans for a 20th anniversary reunion tour this summer, with Reid and Jeff Kashiwa already on board.

The Rippingtons 20th Anniversary
City of Angels (Russ Freeman)
Celebrate (Russ Freeman)
Costa Del Sol (Russ Freeman/Yaredt Leon)
Bingo Jingo (Russ Freeman)
Eternity (Russ Freeman)
Six Four (Russ Freeman)
Rainbow (Russ Freeman)
Twenty (Russ Freeman)
Anything (Brian McKnight)
A Kiss Under the Moonlight (Russ Freeman)
20th Anniversary Tribute: Moonlighting/Black Diamond/Weekend in Monaco/Welcome to the St. James Club/Morocco/Tourist in Paradise/I'll Be Around/Curves Ahead/Brave New World (Russ Freeman/Thomas Bell/Phil Hurtt)

Thanks to Brian Soergel at Smooth Jazz Notes for the original post.

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Upcoming Jazz Releases - 5/22 - 5/26

Upcoming Jazz Releases

Mon 22-May-2006

Cab Calloway - Hi De Ho Man (Revola) - Reissue
David McKenna - Piano Scene Complete (Lonehill) - Reissue
Earl Bostic - Let's Ball Tonight (Revola) - Reissue
Hal Blaine - Drums! Drums! A Go Go (Harkit) - Reissue
Jimmy McGriff - Best of the Sue Years 1962-1965 (EMI) - Reissue
John McLaughlin - Industrial Zen (Universal)
Konstantin Klashtorni - Led By You (KVK Music)
Sun Ra - Futuristic Sounds of Sun Ra (Five Four) - Reissue

Tue 23-May-2006

Anjani Thomas - Blue Alert (Sony)
Anthony Braxton / Fred Frith - Duo Victoriaville 2005 (Victo)
Avishai Cohen - Continuo (Sunnyside)
Baden Powell / Vinicius de Moraes - Os Afro-Sambas de Baden E Vinicius (Universal) - Reissue
Baker / Twardzik - Cologne Concert (Rlr)
Barney Kessel - Live in LA at PJ's Club (Gambit) - Reissue
Bill Evans Trio - Live in Rome 1979 (Gambit)
Bucky & John Pizzarelli - Best of (LRC) - Reissue - 2+ CDs
Cab Calloway - Hi De Ho Man (Revola) - Reissue
Carlos Lyra - Bossa Nova (Universal) - Reissue
Carlos Lyra - Preciso Canter / EU & Elas (Universal) - Reissue
Chet Baker - Chet Baker with Len Mercer & His Orchestra (Koch) - Reissue
Chet Baker - Cologne Concert (Rlr) - Reissue
Connie Francis - Sings Italian Favorites/More Italian Favorites (Beat Goes On) - Reissue
Count Basie - Big Band in Boston (Koch) - Reissue
Dave Pell Singers - Ma-Nah-Ma-Nah (E!)
Diego Urcola - Viva (Cam Jazz)
Django Reinhardt - Complete Recordings for Solo Guitar (Definitive) - Reissue
Dr. John - Mercenary (Blue Note)
Earl Bostic - Let's Ball Tonight (Revola) - Reissue
Ed Palermo Big Band - Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance (Cuneiform)
Elu - Songs of Devotion (Eroica Classical)
Eric Lewis - Hopscotch (Bungalo)
Everett Harp - In the Moment (Shanachie)
Fabio Zone Trio - Across the Tracks (Cap)
Faye / Garcia - Sings & Conducts (Lonehill) - Reissue
Fernando Sor - Minuets (Emec) - Reissue
Gal Costa / Caetano Veloso - Domingo (Universal) - Reissue
George Baker - Mojo Lady (UMVD)
Gerry Mulligan - Complete Studio Recordings (Lonehill) - Reissue
Hamster Theater - Public Execution of Mr. Personality / Quasi-Day (Cuneiform)
Jackie Allen - Tangled (Blue Note)
Jamie Davis - It's a Good Thing (Unity Music)
Jean-Luc Ponty - Cantaloupe Island (BGO) - Reissue
Jerry Bergonzi - Tenor of the Times (Savant)
Jimmy McGriff - Best of the Sun Years 1962-1965 (EMI) - Reissue
Joao GIlberto - Brasil (Universal) - Reissue
John Jacob Niles - The Tradition Years: An Evening With (Vi / Empire) - Reissue
John Zorn - Moonchild (Tzadik)
Julie Styne - In Hollywood (PS Classics)
Lalo Schifrin - Letter from Argentina (DualDisc) (Alelph)
Laszlo Gardony - Natrural Instinct (Sunnyside)
Leadbelly - The Tradition Years: The Legend of Leadbelly (Vi / Empire) - Reissue
Liquid Soul - 1-2 Punch (Telarc)
Lucio Albes / ROberto Menescal / Sylvia Telles - Bossa Session (Universal) - Reissue
Marion Meadows - I Believe I Can Fly (Heads Up)
Melvin Sparks - Groove on Up (Savant)
Michael Bolton - Bolton Swings Sinatra (Concord)
Michael Camacho - Just for You (Cap)
Mike Longo - 900 Shares of the Blues (LRC) - Reissue
Miles Davis - Legendary Prestige Quintet Session (Fantasy) - Reissue - 2+ CDs
Muddy Waters - Classic Concerts (Universal) - DVD-Video
Mujician - There's No Going Back Now (Cuneiform)
Nara Leao - Dez Anos Depois (Universal) - Reissue
Nara Leao - Onde E Quando (Universal) - Reissue
Nara Leao - Meus Sonhos Douradeos (Universal) - Reissue
Nara Leao - Nara (Universal) - Reissue
Paul Bruzger - Go to Plan B (Cap)
Polwechsel - Archives of the North (Hatology)
Ray Barretto - A Man and His Music (Fania) - Reissue - 2+ CDs
Ray Barretto - Rican/Struction (Fania) - Reissue
Ray Brown / Max Roach - Last Concert (Rlr) - Reissue
Ray Mantilla - Good Vibrations (Savant)
Regina Elis - Aquarela do Brasil (Universal) - Reissue
Regina Elis - COmo & Porque (Universal) - Reissue
Regina Elis - Elis & Tom (Universal) - Reissue
Regina Elis - In London (Universal) - Reissue
Sergio Mendes - Definitive Collection (A & M) - Reissue
Sergio Mendes - Equinox (Universal) - Reissue
Sergio Mendes - Look Around (Universal) - Reissue
Sergio Mendes - Herb Alpert Presents Sergio Mendes (Universal) - Reissue
Sergio Mendes and Brasil 65 - Fool on the Hill (Universal) - Reissue
Shakti - Natural Elements (Sony International) - Reissue
Soft Machine - Grides (Cuneiform) - 2+ CDs
Sun Ra - Futuristic Sounds of Sun Ra (Five Four) - Reissue
Sun Ra & The Arkestra - Live at Club Lingerie (Transparency) - Reissue
Sun Ra & The Arkestra - Live at Myron's Ballroom (Transparency) - Reissue
Tamba Trio - Tamba Trio (Universal) - Reissue
Tamba Trio - Tempo / Avanco (Universal) - Reissue
Tuck & Patti - Windham Hill Presents: Pure Tucvk & Patti (Windham Hill) - Reissue
Various Artists - Big Band: Remixed * Reinvented (Varese Sarabande)
Vijay Iyer and Rudresh Mahanthappa - Raw Materials (Savoy)
Xiomara - Xiomara (Chesky)
Yellowjackets (CD + DVD) - 25 (Heads Up) - 2+ CDs
Zeena Parkins - In Despite / Zeena Parkins (Tzadik)
Zone / Fabian Trio - Across the Tracks (Cap)

Fri 26-May-2006

Edo Castro - Phoenix (Indie)

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New Releases [5/23]

Marion Meadows, Dressed To Chill [Heads Up International
Diego Urcola, Viva [CamJazz 5015
Xiomara - Xiomara [Chesky
Nomo - New Tones [Ubiquity Recordings
Bobby Lyle, Hands On [Heads Up International
Chieli Minucci DVD
Yellowjackets, 25 CD/DVD [Heads Up Internationa
Ray Mantilla - Good Vibrations [Savant 2073
Tuck & Patti - Pure Tuck & Patti [Windham Hill Records
Melvin Sparks - Groove on Up [Savant 2073
Everette Harp, In The Moment [Shanachie Records
Liquid Soul, One-Two Punch [Telarc
Bobby Previte, Coalition of the Willing [Ropeadope
Tuck & Patti, Pure Tuck & Patti [Sbme / Legacy
Michael Bolton, Bolton Swings Sinatra
Michel Camillo /Tomatito, Spain Again
Dr. John, Mercenary
Melvin Sparks, Groove On Up
Ed Palermo Big Band, Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance
John Zorn, Moonchild

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Sunday, May 21, 2006

Jazz Festivals Are Spreading Through the Suburbs

Joe Lovano is the artistic director of the Caramoor Jazz Festival and will probably sit in with some performers at the event in Katonah, N.Y.

Joe Lovano is a jazz saxophonist at the peak of his powers. Seasoned enough at age 53 to have won a bucketful of awards, yet vigorous enough to be blowing as hard as ever, he spends most of the year performing in premier concert halls and clubs around the world and in the mecca of jazz, New York City.

But come summer, Mr. Lovano puts on another hat: artistic director of the Caramoor Jazz Festival, a two-day event on a former estate in the Westchester village of Katonah. The festival is one of dozens of outdoor summer jazz events now dotting the New York suburbs that attract top players and programmers.

"The scene has been growing through the years," Mr. Lovano said. "It can only get better."

McCoy Tyner will be playing at the Caramoor Jazz Festival.Caramoor is a case in point. In 1993, its first year, the event drew 300 people for a one-day series of piano duos held in the 600-seat Spanish Courtyard, said Jim Luce, the festival's producer. These days, with an expanded schedule (the last Saturday in July and the first in August) and performance space (the 1,750-seat Venetian Theater), the festival attracts about 3,000 people, he said, and could top that this year with a rare appearance by the septet of the pianist McCoy Tyner and a tribute to the saxophonist Joe Henderson. The pianist Kirk Lightsey will play another tribute, to the pianist John Hicks, who was scheduled to perform but who died this month.

A bigger event, the Litchfield Jazz Festival in Connecticut, draws about 10,000 people to the Goshen Fairgrounds, said Vita West Muir, the festival's executive director. That is more than double the number who came in 1996, the festival's first year, when Diana Krall, then a little-known singer and pianist, won raves on the original, smaller stage at the White Memorial Foundation. This year, the festival will run from Aug. 4 through 6 and will feature 14 acts, including the saxophonist Lee Konitz and Dr. John.

One of the newer events in the metropolitan area is the OSPAC Jazz Festival, a two-day affair held at the performing arts center in West Orange, N.J., named for Oskar Schindler. It, too, is growing, with attendance rising to about 5,000 from 3,000 in its three years of existence, said Kate Baker, a singer and the festival's executive director.

Unlike the Caramoor and Litchfield festivals, the West Orange concerts, which are to be held on Sept. 9 and 10 this year, are free. All three festivals run from afternoon to evening, but not all outdoor jazz events follow that format. Throughout July and August, a nonprofit group, Jazz Forum Arts, run by the trumpeter Mark Morganelli, will produce more than 40 concerts, mostly in the late afternoon or evening, in Westchester and Rockland Counties. That is up from the 24 concerts Mr. Morganelli put on when the series began six years ago.

The concerts, each of which attracts about 1,000 people, are free and generally feature musicians on the brink of stardom, though veterans like the saxophonist Lou Donaldson and Mr. Morganelli himself will perform this year.

Mr. Luce, the Caramoor producer, said that Mr. Morganelli has "single-handedly been able to present music in places where you'd never think you could do it," citing parts of Mount Vernon and Yonkers that ordinarily do not see shows of similar caliber.

The obstacles have been many. Mr. Morganelli hauls his own sound system to the concerts, and more than once has run into logistical problems.

But those issues pale next to financial concerns. Indeed, as he sat in his office in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., last month, Mr. Morganelli had just received a call from the mayor of Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., telling him that, after paying for concerts on Thursdays through July and August for six straight years, the village no longer had the money. Each concert costs upward of $4,000, and the decision left Mr. Morganelli scrambling to find a town to fill the scheduling hole.

Complaints about financial problems are a constant refrain of festival producers. On Long Island, the North Fork Bank Jazz Festival, which attracts some 6,000 people over three days to a stage in the Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park in Oyster Bay, has had a series of banks come and go as major sponsors, said Maryann K. Beaumont, the festival's executive director.

This year, with concerts scheduled for Aug. 11 through 13 and performers like the saxophonist David Sanborn and the violinist Regina Carter on the bill, North Fork seemed to be settling in as sponsor. But the bank was acquired in March by Capital One, throwing into question next year's sponsorship, Ms. Beaumont said. The festival, which costs $150,000 to produce, is running a deficit, she said, and will be raising prices this year by as much as $10 a ticket.

The Preservation Hall Jazz Band will be a featured act at the North Fork Bank Jazz Festival in Oyster Bay, N.Y. Competition for corporate sponsorships of the arts generally, and for jazz programming specifically, has grown, Ms. Beaumont said. On Long Island, for example, the North Fork festival now vies for corporate dollars with jazz programming at the Inter-Media Art Center in Huntington.

Despite increased interest in recent years, jazz remains "almost as rarefied as classical music," said Ms. Muir of the Litchfield festival. Few summer festivals sell out. To help fill seats, some festivals present performers who stretch the definition of jazz but have broad commercial appeal, like Dionne Warwick, who will perform on opening night at Litchfield this year.

Others feature jazz acts with a strong dose of showmanship, like the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, which is scheduled to appear at the North Fork Bank event.

Mr. Lovano, in his third season as artistic director of Caramoor, says that joining the festival's programming team has given him the chance to present groups of various sizes and instrumentation to play material that he has recorded. Being near New York has also helped, he said, since so many top jazz musicians live in the region.

At the same time, getting out of the city inspires the musicians, Mr. Luce said. That was evident on a warm spring day recently as Mr. Lovano, tenor sax in hand, strolled the fragrant gardens among Caramoor's 90 acres. At one point he stopped to join Michael Barrett, Caramoor's chief executive and an accomplished pianist in his own right, on the Venetian Theater stage, in an impromptu take on a Beethoven sonata.

Audiences can expect that kind of spontaneity at the festival this year, Mr. Lovano said. Though he is not scheduled to lead a group, he will probably sit in with others, perhaps with McCoy Tyner.

Mr. Tyner, credited with revolutionizing the role of pianist as a member of the John Coltrane Quartet in the 1960's and as a leader of his own groups, is no stranger to festivals near New York. Last year, he played at the Litchfield festival, where he was joined onstage by the tap dancer Savion Glover.

At Caramoor this year, Mr. Tyner's septet will close the festival, revisiting music he recorded in the early 60's. Mr. Tyner said his interpretations would reflect his growth as a player — and the outdoor chemistry.

"Usually when you go to a particular place, there's a feeling that's there," he said. "It's like stepping into an environment. You never know how it's going to affect you."


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Friday, May 19, 2006

Michael Bublé Still Dominates Billboard Jazz Chart

Vocalist Michael Bublé's It's Time, the top-selling jazz album of 2005, remained at number one this week, after 66 weeks on the chart.

There was only one new entry on the Billboard contemporary jazz chart this week; Re-Bop: The Savoy Remixes, with various artists, which entered at number 25.

It was also a slow week for the Billboard jazz chart, which had no entries. The Very Best of Nat 'King' Cole, which debuted on the chart last week at number two, slipped to number four this week.

Bassist Christian McBride's Live at Tonic, which entered the chart last week at number six, fell to number 21. Vocalist Robin McKelle's Introducing Rob McKelle moved from number nine to number six. Drummer Bobby Previte's Coalition of the Willing disappeared from the chart this week after entering last week at number 11.

By Vivien Schweitzer -

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Smooth Jazz Top Ten | Week Ended 5/19/06

LW TW Artist Title (Label)
1 - 1 - Paul Brown - "Winelight" (GRP/VMG)
2 - 2 - Najee - "2nd 2 None" - (Heads Up International)
3 - 3 - Brian Culbertson - "Let's Get Started" - (GRP/VMG)
5 - 4 - Philippe Saisse - "Trio Do It Again" (Rendezvous)
4 - 5 - Nils - "Summer Nights" (Baja/TSR)
7 - 6 - Kim Waters - "Steppin' Out" (Shanachie)
8 - 7 - Michael Lington - "Pacifica" (Rendezvous)
9 - 8 - Mindi Abair - "True Blue" (GRP/VMG)
10 - 9 - Ramsey Lewis - "Oh Happy Day" (Narada Jazz/EMI)
6 - 10 - Richard Elliot - "Mystique" (Artizen)

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

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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Christina Aguilera to Release Jazz-influenced Album

Just when you thought jazz had taken enough abuse from over-the-hill rockers and expired pop stars gunning for the wine-tasting market, teeny-bopping chanteuse Christina Aguilera is set to release an ode to jazz and blues titled Back to Basics on Aug. 15.

According to a recent press release, the album is a “modern take on vintage jazz, soul and blues from the 1920s, ‘30s and ‘40s...with a throwback style creating a sound that’s gritty and raw.” It will be curious to hear exactly what kind of ‘20s-era “soul” music she's looking to channel, since that genre didn’t really surface until the 1960s, but if anyone from the Britney camp has the pipes to tackle classic American music, it’s probably Aguilera. The 25-year-old pop star has delved into soul material with favorable results several times throughout her career, most notably winning a Grammy alongside Mya, Lil' Kim and Pink for their transformation of the Patti LaBelle hit “Lady Marmalade” off the Moulin Rouge soundtrack.

On the jazz front, Aguilera joined up with Herbie Hancock last year on a Grammy-nominated rendition of Leon Russell's "A Song For You." The track was part of Hancock's pop collaborations album Possibilities, and the pair performed the song live at the Grammy Awards this past February.

Nonetheless, Aguilera’s people seem a little confused about the musical history she hopes to cite. “'Candy Man' recalls the tight harmonies of all-girl groups from the ‘30s and ‘40s,” reads the press release, again misplacing an early 1960s phenomenon.

“The touchstones are Billie Holiday, Otis Redding, Etta James and Ella Fitzgerald....what I used to call my ‘fun music’ when I was a little girl,” says Aguilera. These influences will be shaped into Aguilera’s 21st century vision by several different producers, among them Gangstarr’s DJ Premier, whose resume boasts hits for Biggie Smalls, Nas and Jay-Z. Suffice it to say, no matter how jazz-indebted Aguilera’s latest phase may be, you probably won’t catch her at Lincoln Center anytime soon.

The track “Nasty Naughty Boy” reportedly has a “’20s burlesque feel,” and that sultry spirit could be Aguilera’s nod to tent show divas like Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith—though it's doubtful the notoriously provocative pop star has a blueswoman's gift for sexy understatement or sly double-entendres. According to Aguilera's Web site, lyrics to one upcoming track read, “still got the nasty in me…still got that dirty degree…still got that freak in me.”

For more information on Back to Basics, visit Aguilera’s official Web site,

Written By: Evan Haga -

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Jazz labels rely on engineer's bold touch

In jazz, the RVG brand has mighty clout and speaks multiple volumes on sonic purity.

It's no surprise then that Blue Note and Prestige are capitalizing on the RVG tag with a new series featuring remastered classic CDs.

The man behind the abbreviation is Rudy Van Gelder, the sound engineer who revolutionized the way jazz is recorded, beginning in 1954 in his parents' living room in Hackensack, N.J., and continuing in his own studio in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., from 1959 to the present. He recorded all the jazz greats who made first-class discs for all the important in-the-day indies such as Blue Note, Prestige, Impulse, Verve and CTI.

"Rudy defined the way several generations expect to hear jazz," says Michael Cuscuna, director of catalog for Blue Note and the impetus behind the label's RVG Series. "He's the one who got closest to the way jazz sounds live at front-row center. Most engineers in the '50s were timid and moved the microphones away from the musicians. Rudy miked up close, recorded with as much volume as possible to avoid hiss and got the power, clarity and individuality of all the players."

Adds freelance engineer Joe Ferla, who started recording in 1971 and has worked with a range of musicians from drummers Paul Motian and Bobby Previte to guitarists John Scofield and Charlie Hunter: "Rudy changed the way we perceive jazz recordings and the way engineers approach jazz."

Bassist Ron Carter, who recorded many of his own albums as well as hundreds of session dates at Van Gelder's studio, says, "Rudy not only set and maintained the standard of jazz recordings, but he also set the standard for recording the acoustic bass."

Blue Note's RVG Series, which started years ago, continues with February's release of more than a dozen gems including Dexter Gordon's "Dippin"' and Lee Morgan's "Tom Cat." Two more batches arrive September 12 and 26, including dates by Donald Byrd ("Off to the Races") and Horace Silver ("Doin' the Thing at the Village Gate").

Meanwhile, Prestige Now, an imprint of Concord Music Group, inaugurated its own RVG series in March with 10 masterworks, including Sonny Rollins' "Saxophone Colossus" and the Miles Davis Quintet's "Relaxin'."

Van Gelder, in an e-mail exchange, says that he remembers the sessions and the artists well, and that today he still "feels strongly that I am their messenger." More Prestige RVG remasters arrive June 13 and July 18, including discs by Etta Jones ("Don't Go to Strangers") and Oliver Nelson ("Screamin' the Blues").

Here's how the labels work with Van Gelder: They send him the masters that he originally recorded. "First I examine the tapes to see if they're playable," he explains. "Next step, I hook up a chain to do an analog transfer. Every tape is different, so I do a lot of listening."

When asked if he has any favorites in the upcoming Prestige series, Van Gelder at first says, "I can't have a favorite." Then he notes, "But anything with Miles Davis is OK with me. And Etta Jones is pure emotion on this album." As for the Blue Note series, he says, "They're all great music. I love them all, but Horace Silver is something special."

Cuscuna says that when he first approached Van Gelder to revisit the masters, he was hesitant: "Rudy was reticent to look to the past. But then it kicked in how much more he could do with the new equipment and what he had learned. He saw it as a challenge and opportunity. He's given a new lease on life to some of these titles as Rudy brings the music out of the tape."


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Monday, May 15, 2006

Al Di Meola | Vocal Rendezvous 5/16/06

For some thirty years, Al Di Meola has been among the most expressive and innovative jazz and jazz rock guitarists worldwide. Aged 19, he won his first Grammy together with Chick Corea’s all-star act, Return to Forever, and made history as a solo artist, captivating the world with his accomplished albums, Land Of The Midnight Sun and Elegant Gypsy. No other guitarist before him has mixed rock, jazz, Latin elements and world music as successfully and impressively as Di Meola. He went on to alternate increasingly between the electric and the classical guitar, forming inspired trios with colleagues such as Paco de Lucía and John McLaughlin, or later with bassist Stanley Clarke and violinist Jean-Luc Ponty.

From 2000, he collaborated highly successfully with the Russian star vocalist, Leonid Agutin. Always on the lookout for new challenges, Al Di Meola has now recorded a very special and exceptional album, entitled Vocal Rendezvous, featuring material recorded in cooperation with artists such as Xavier Naidoo, Angie Stone, Macy Gray, MC Solar or Swedish pop singer, Bosson. A thoroughly distinctive offering as part of Al Di Meola’s longstanding career, and certainly one that marks him as an accomplished wanderer between different stylistic worlds.

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New Releases [5/16] from

Planet Jazz, In Orbit [Sharp Nine 1036]
Diana Ross, Blue [Motown/UMe]
Maucha Adnet, The Jobim Songbook [Kind of Blue Records 10003]
Dave Douglas Quintet, Meaning and Mystery [Greenleaf 004]
Ignacio Berroa, Codes [Blue Note Records]
Bill Evans, Soul Bop Band Live [Bhm Productions]
Ernie Watts - The Ernie Watts Quartet Live - DVD — 1986 [Music Video Distributors]
Herb Ellis - Live - DVD [Music Video Distributors]
Louis Armstrong - King of Jazz - DVD [Music Video Distributors]
Eddie Gomez, Art Of The Heart [Art Of Life Records]
Blue Mitchell, Stablemates [Candid Records]
Planet Jazz, In Orbit [Sharp Nine]
John Coltrane, A True Innovator DVD [Music Video Distributors]
Andy Snitzer - Some Quiet Place [Native Language Music]
Christian McBride, Live at Tonic - 3 CDs [Ropeadope]
Roy Ayers, Perfection
Al Di Meola, Vocal Rendezvous "Canada"
Joe Magnarelli, Hoop Dreams "Netherlands"
Masters Of Groove, Masters Of Groove Meet DJ-9
John Moulder, Trinity
Nelson Padron, Musica Original De Cuba
Jean-Luc Ponty, Canteloupe Island (REISSUE 1969) "UK"
Marlena Shaw, Free Soul "JAPAN"
Thievery Corporation, Versions
Tunnels, Natural Selection

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Upcoming Jazz Releases - 5/16/06

Upcoming Jazz Releases

Al Bowlly ./ Ray Noble & His Orchestra - My Song Goes Around The World (Sounds of Yesteryear) - Reissue
Al Di Meloa - Vocal Rendezvous (Spv)
Andy Snitzer - Some Quiet Place (NLM) - Reissue
Anthony Braxton / The Creative Jazz Orchestra - Compositions Nos. 175 & 126 (Leo) - 2+ CDs
Antoine Herve - Mozart La Nuit (Nocturne)
Ari Ambrose - On Another Day (Steeplechase)
Assmussen/Thigpen Quartet - Resource Action.Re.Action (Stunt) - Reissue
Benny Carter - Somebody Loves Me (Sounds of Yesteryear) - Reissue
Benny Goodman - 1947-1948 (Classics Jazz) - Reissue
Beryl Booker - 1946-1952 (Classics) - Reissue
Bessie Smith - Empress of the Blues Vol. 1 (Universe) - Reissue
Big Jay McNeely - 1953-1955 (Classics R&B) - Reissue
Bill Evans - Early Vol. 1: 1943-1949 (E3) - Reissue
Bill Evans (Sax) - Soul Bop Band Live (BHM)
Blake Tartar - More Like Us (Stunt)
Blue Mitchell - Stablemates (Candid) - Reissue
Bob Barnard / John Sheridan / Don Vickery - New Orleans: That's Our Home (Sackville)
Bobby Smith - Tippin' In (Acrobat) - Reissue
Brenda Lee - Let Me Sing / By Request (Ace) - Reissue
Brian Owen - Ummei (OA2)
Bruce Hornsby & The Range - Rockpalast 1990 (ReD) - DVD-Video
Buddy Rich - 1950-1955 (Classics Jazz) - Reissue
Cannonball Adderley - Why Am I Treated So Bad! (Blue Note) - Reissue
Cecil Taylor - Cell Walk for Celeste (Candid) - Reissue
Chick Corea & Akoustic Band - Chick Corea & Akoustic Band (Image) - DVD-Video
Chick Corea & Origin - Chick Corea & Origin (Image) - DVD-Video
Classical Jazz Quartet - Plays Rachmaninov (Kind of Blue)
Coleman Hawkins - 1953-1954 (Classics) - Reissue
Coleman Hawkins - 1953-1954 (Classics Jazz) - Reissue
Connie Francis - Sings Italian Favorites/More Italian Favorites (Beat Goes On) - Reissue
Danish Radio Big Band - Dansk Stereo (Cope)
Danish Radio Big Band - Dedication Suite (Cope)
Danny Grissett - Promise (Criss Cross)
Doris Day - Sentimental Journey (Fabulous) - Reissue
Ed Wiley Jr - Sassy (Swing Records) - Reissue
Ed Wiley Jr - About the Band (Swing Records) - Reissue
Ed Wiley Jr - In Remembrance (Swing Records) - Reissue
Eddie Gomez - Art of the Heart (Art of Life)
Ernie Watts Quartet - Live (Music Video) - Reissue - DVD-Video
Frank Kimbrough - Play (Palmetto)
Frank Sinatra - Sinatra Silver Screen, Sterling Hits (RED) - Reissue - DVD-Video
Gary Smulyan - Hidden Treasures (Reservoir)
Gary Versace - Many Places (Steeplechase)
Gerry Gibbs - Gerry Gibbs and the Thrasher Big Band Live at Luna (Whaling City)
Gerry Mulligan - Original Sextet Complete Studio Master Takes (Lonehill) - Reissue
Glenn Miller Orchestra - Midnight Serenade (Sounds of Yesteryear) - Reissue
Harold Danko - Oatts & Perry (Steeplechase)
Herb Ellis - Live (Music Video Dist) - DVD-Video
Ignacio Berroa - Codes (Blue Note)
Ivo Perelman - Introspection (Leo)
Janita - Seasons of Life (Lightyear)
Jazz Crusaders - At the Lighthouse (Blue Note) - Reissue
Jean-Luc Ponty - Cantaloupe Island (BGO) - Reissue
Jerry Fielding - Faintly Reminiscent (Jasmine) - Reissue - 2+ CDs
Jessica Williams - Billy's Theme: A Tribute to Dr. Billy Taylor (Origin)
Jiggs Wigham - Two-Too (Summit)
Jimmy Green Quartet - True Life Stories (Criss Cross)
Joe Gilman - View So Tender: Wonder Revisited Vol. 1 (Capri)
Joe Magnarelli - Hoop Dreams (Criss Cross)
John Coltrane - John Coltrane: A True Innovator (Music Video Dist) - DVD-Video
John Dankworth - Spread a Little Happiness (Avid) - Reissue - 2+ CDs
John Moulder - Trinity (Origin)
John Stein - Concerto Internancional de Jazz (Whaling City)
Larry "T-Byrd" Gordon - Communication with Da Byrdman (Lame)
Larry Vuckovich - Street Scene (Tetrachord music)
Linda Presgrave - Journey (Metropolitan)
Little Feat - Little Feat and Friends in Jamaica: Burgers & Paradi (Hot Tomato) - DVD-Video
Lou Rawls - Black&Blue / Tabacco Road (Blue Note) - Reissue
Louis Armstrong - Louis Armstrong: King of Jazz (Music Video Dist) - DVD-Video
Marcus Montero - MM4 (Whaling City)
Mark Elf - Liftoff (Jen Bay)
Mark Kleinhaut - Holding the Center (Invisible)
Mary Lou Williams - 1953-1954 (Classics) - Reissue
Mary Martin - Broadway to Hollywood - And Back (Jasmine) - Reissue - 2+ CDs
Masters of Groove - Masters of Groove Meet DJ-9 (Jazzateria)
Mike Oldfield - Live at Montreux 1981 (RED) - DVD-Video
Morris Lane - Tenor Saxman (Acrobat) - Reissue
Mysteria - Tempting the Muse (Acrobat)
Nat King Cole - World of Nat King Cole (EMI) - DVD-Video
Nelson Padron - Musica Original de Cuba (Empire) - Reissue
Nina Simone - Mastercuts Legends (Mastercuts) - Reissue
Ola Akerman - All Together Now (Calibrated)
Paul Winter - Brazilian Days (Living Music) - Reissue
Peter Rosendal - Rosendal.Earle.Templeton (Calibrated)
Peter Zak - For Tomorrow (Steeplechase)
Phil Minton - Ammo (Golden Years of New Jazz) - Reissue
Phil Minton - Solo (Milano) 1979 Vol. 1 (Golden Years of New Jazz) - Reissue
Planet Jazz - In Orbit (Sharp Nine)
RIchie Cole - A Piece of Jazz History (Jazz Excursion) - Reissue
Rick Holland - In Time's Shadow (Blujazz)
Ricky Ford - Manhattan Blues (Candid)
Savannah Churchill - I Want to Be Loved (Acrobat Double) - Reissue - 2+ CDs
Scott Neunmann - Scott Neumann and Osage Country (Summit)
Serge Chaloff - Boston Blow Up (Blue Note)
Sergio Mendes - Monster Music Superdisc (Navarre)
Sonando - Tres (Origin)
Soulstance - Lead the Way (Schema)
Stan Kenton - Sophisticated Approach (Blue Note) - Reissue
Steve Davis - Update (Criss Cross) - Reissue
Steve LaSpina - Play Room (Steeplechase)
Sun Ra & His Space Arkestra - What Planet Is This? (Golden Years of New Jazz) - Reissue
Tex Beneke / Glenn Miller Orchestra - Midnight Serenade (Sounds of Yesteryear) - Reissue
Thelonious Monk - Classic Quartet (Capri) - Reissue
Thievery Corporation - Versiojns (Eighteenth Street)
Tied & Tickled Trio - A.R.C. (Morr Music)
Tony Purrone - Incubation (Steeplechase)
Tunnels - Natural Selection (Buckyball)
Valery Ponomarev - Beyond the Obvious (Reservoir)
Various Artists - Jazz Shots: East coast Vol. 1 (Music Video Dist) - DVD-Video
Various Artists - Jazz Shots: West coast Vol. 1 (Music Video Dist) - DVD-Video
Various Artists - Jazz Voice: The Ladies Sing Jazz Vol. 1 (Music Video Dist) - DVD-Video
Various Artists - Jazz Voice: The Ladies Sing Jazz Vol. 2 (Music Video Dist) - DVD-Video
Wadada Leo Smith - Compassion (META)
Wycliff Gordon Quintet - Cone's Coup (Criss Cross)
Zzva - Ballroom Essentials (Big)

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Saturday, May 13, 2006

Nat 'King' Cole, Christian McBride Discs Debut on Billboard Jazz Chart

A new compilation of the music of pianist and singer Nat 'King' Cole debuted on the Billboard jazz chart this week at number two.

The Very Best of Nat 'King' Cole was released this month as a companion to the documentary The World of Nat King Cole,
which debuts on PBS on May 17. It contains 28 of his pop and jazz hits,
including "Straighten Up and Fly Right," "Mona Lisa," and

Other new entries on the chart included bassist Christian McBride's Live at Tonic at number six, vocalist Robin McKelle's Introducing Rob McKelle at number nine, drummer Bobby Previte's Coalition of the Willing at number 11, trumpeter Roy Hargove's Nothing Serious at number 13, and guitarist Ralph Towner's Time Line at number 20.

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Thursday, May 11, 2006

Jazz Pianist John Hicks Dies at 65

John Hicks, a pianist who played with Art Blakey and Betty Carter before leading his own idiosyncratic groups, died yesterday, JazzTimes reports.

Born in Atlanta, Hicks studied at Lincoln University in Missouri and Boston's Berklee College of Music. In 1963, he moved to New York, where he spent two years in Blakey's Jazz Messengers, two years in Carter's group, and two years in Woody Herman's big band.

In the 1970s, he began leading his own groups, on albums that ranged from "melodic, accessible hard-bop to challenging, fringish post-bop," according to JazzTimes. His sidemen included bassist Walter Booker, drummer Idris Muhammad, drummer Jimmy Cobb, bassist Ron Carter, saxophonist Joshua Redman, and trumpeter Clark Terry; he also recorded regularly with his wife, flutist Elise Woods. Among his late albums were tributes to Mary Lou Williams, Billy Strayhorn, Sonny Clark, and Earl Hines.

He also appeared regularly with saxophonist David Murray, the Mingus Big Band, trumpeter Roy Hargrove, and saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, among others.

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Smooth Jazz Top Ten Week Ended 5/12/06

LW TW Artist Title (Label)
1 - 1 - Paul Brown - "Winelight" (GRP/VMG)
3 - 2 - Najee - "2nd 2 None" - (Heads Up International)
4 - 3 - Brian Culbertson - "Let's Get Started" - (GRP/VMG)
2 - 4 - Nils - "Summer Nights" (Baja/TSR)
5 - 5 - Philippe Saisse - "Trio Do It Again" (Rendezvous)
7 - 6 - Richard Elliot - "Mystique" (Artizen)
6 - 7 - Kim Waters - "Steppin' Out" (Shanachie)
8 - 8 - Michael Lington - "Pacifica" (Rendezvous)
9 - 9 - Mindi Abair - "True Blue" (GRP/VMG)
10 - 10 - Ramsey Lewis - "Oh Happy Day" (Narada Jazz/EMI)

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

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Newport Jazz Festival Veers Slightly Back Toward Pop

After two years of a resolutely straight-ahead format, the JVC Jazz Festival Newport will throw some pop and contemporary jazz into the mix this year.

The 2006 schedule for the 52-year-old festival, which runs August 11-13, includes such jazz stalwarts as pianist Dave Brubeck, bassist Avishai Cohen, and vocalist Jane Monheit, but it also includes the crossover trumpeter Chris Botti, making his Newport debut; Beninese vocalist Angélique Kidjo; the jazz-rock trio The Bad Plus; and legendary pop-jazz singer Al Jarreau.

The festival remains much more jazz-oriented than it did before 2004, when impresario George Wein assembled an all-jazz lineup in celebration of the festival's 50th anniversary.

Also on the schedule: a salute to Frank Sinatra by singer and guitarist John Pizzarelli, rising young pianist Robert Glasper, New Orleans' Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Brazilian vocalist Luciana Souza, pianist Cyrus Chestnut, guitarist Mark Ribot, pianist Hiromi, saxophonist Marty Erlich, and pianist and vocalist Andy Bey.

Saxophonist James Carter will lead an all-star group in the music of the rock band Pavement; tap dancer Savion Glover will appear with a jazz group. Wein, a onetime jazz pianist, will make a rare appearance with an ensemble called the Newport All-Stars.

Tickets go on sale today, and are available at or by calling 866-468-7619.

By Ben Mattison -

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Sunday, May 07, 2006

This week's releases

Chris Standring, Soul Express [Trippin ‘n’ Rhythm Records]
John Ellis, By A Thread [Hyena Records}
Bolero Jazz, Bolero Jazz [Sony International]
Harry Connick Jr., Harry's Broadway 1 [Sony]
Eddie Daniels Quartet, Mean What You Say [IPO Recordings]
Tineke Postma, Tineke Postma "DVD" [215 Records]
Eric Reed, Here [Max Jazz Records]
Chris Byars, Night Owls [Night Owls]
Jeff Gauthier, One And The Same [Cryptogramophone]
Bennie Maupin, Penumbra [Cryptogramophone]
Toots Thielemans, One More For The Road [Verve]
Donald Harrison, Survivor "IMPORT"
Marcus Monteiro, Mm4
Tineke Postma, Tineke Postma
Dafnis Prieto, Absolute Quintet
Quintetto Lo Greco, Snap Count "Italy"

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Saturday, May 06, 2006

Upcoming Jazz Releases - 5/9/06

Upcoming Jazz Releases

Aaron Goldberg - Worlds (Wea)
Barbara Dane - The Tradition Years (VI) - Reissue
Bennie Maupin - Penumbra (Cryptogramophone)
Benny Goodman - Swiss Radio Days Vol. 14 - Lausanne 1950 (TCB) - Reissue
Billy Cotton and His Band - Wakey Wakey (Castle) - Reissue
Bolero Jazz - Bolero Jazz (Sony)
Carlos Sarduy - Charly En La Habana (Universal Music Latino)
Charles Mingus - Thrice Upon a Theme (Aim) - Reissue
Charlie Barnet - Live at Basin Street East (Hep) - Reissue
Chris Bryars - Night Owls (Smalls)
Chris Standring - Soul Express (V2)
Cordovan - Highway 10 Blues (Reincarnate)
Dafnis Prieto - Absolute Quintet (Zoho)
Deidre Rodman - Twin Falls (Wea)
Eddie Daniels - Mean What You Say (Ipo)
Eric Reed - Here (Max Jazz)
Gerry Gibbs and the Thrasher Big Band - Live at Luna (Whaling City)
Gloria Lynn / Stanley Turrentine - Flipped Out on Love (Aim) - Reissue
Harry Connick, Jr. - Harry's Broadway 1 (Sony)
Hustler-E - Wacocaine II: God, Money & Gun (On My Hustle)
Isham Jones - Blue Room 1933-36 (Hep) - Reissue
Jeff Barnhart - In My Solitude (Arbords)
Jeff Gauthier - One and the Same (Cryptogramphone)
Jiggs Wigham - Two-Too (Summit)
John Ellis - By A Thread (Hyena)
John Stetch - Bruxin'20 (Justin Time)
John Stetch - Concierto Internacional de Jazz (Whaling City)
Julien Kasper Band - New Imperial (Nugene)
Liberty Ellman - Ophiuchus Butterfly (PI)
Marcus Monteiro - Mm4 (Whaling City)
Moca - Tempomat (Blue Flame)
Nancy King - Live at Jazz Standard (Max Jazz)
Ophiuchus Butterfly - Liberty Ellman (Pi Recordings)
Pat Metheny Group - Quartet (Nonesuch) - Reissue
Pat Metheny Group - We Live Here (Nonesuch) - Reissue
Pete McCann - Most Folks (Omnitone)
Quintetto Lo Greco - Snap Count (Schema)
Ramona Borthwick - New Leaf (Whaling City)
Rossano Sportiello - Heart and Soul (Arbors)
Roy Nathanson - Sotto Voce (AUM)
Sao Paulo Underground - Sauna: Um, Dois, Tres (Aesthetics)
Scott Neumann - Scott Neumann and Osage Country (Summit)
Susi Hyldgaard - Blush (Enja/Justin Time)
Ted Weems - Essential Ted Weems 1923-1930 (Retrieval) - Reissue
Tineka Postma - Tineka Postma (Innovative) - DVD-Video
Toots Thielemans - One More for the Road (Verve)

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Friday, May 05, 2006

Legends of Jazz Disc Debuts on Billboard Jazz Chart

Legends of Jazz: Showcase, a CD/DVD set of live performances drawn from the new PBS jazz series, debuted on the Billboard jazz chart this week at number seven.

The album includes performances by trumpeter Chris Botti, saxophonist David Sanborn, pianist Chick Corea, trumpeter Clark Terry, pianists Dave Brubeck and Billy Taylor, and pianist Ramsey Lewis, the show's host. Tracks include Brubeck's "Take Five" (performed by singers Al Jarreau and Kurt Elling), "My Funny Valentine," and "Take the A Train."

Also new to the chart were compilations titled Jazz Vocalists: Hear & Now (number eight) and Golden Legends: Jazz Legends (number 25).

Michael Bublé's It's Time continued its long run at number one. The album has spent the last 18 weeks, and 53 of the last 64 weeks, in the top spot.

On the contemporary-jazz chart, Herbie Hancock's Possibilities reclaimed the number-one spot, a week after Mindi Abair's Life Less Ordinary debuted at number one. Abair's album fell to number two.

The sole new entry was flutist Nestor Torres' Dances, Prayers, and Meditations for Peace, at number 18.

By Ben Mattison -

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Avishai Cohen Celebrates New Album at The JVC Jazz Festival

Bassist/composer Avishai Cohen offers to the world his spectacularly beautiful new recording Continuo, a project that gloriously combines the influences of classical and Middle Eastern music and jazz. "These elements together produced the combination of sounds I was looking for, and created a nice balance between composed and improvised music, " says Cohen.

Continuo (the follow up to the critically acclaimed At Home) displays the magic of a working band, "which in this music is stronger than any concept, " adds Cohen. He continued, "I'm very grateful to have two young masters (pianist Sam Barsh and drummer Mark Guiliana) of their instruments with me to convey that they are, on one hand, young in their ever thirsty minds for more information, and, on the other, old enough in their souls to emotionally express themselves on a very high level through the compositions." The trio, a crackerjack unit that has been delighting audiences around the world for almost three years, welcomed into the fold a long-time collaborator of Cohen's, fellow Israeli Amos Hoffman, who contributed his singular oud playing to several tracks. Avishai explains, "a lot of the new material on Continuo has a through-composed, classical music-like nature to it, as well as open sections for solos. In addition to that, there are strong Middle Eastern influences in some parts of the compositions. Contemplating the material for the album, I realized I wanted an additional color added to the trio in order to enhance those influences. There was only one man for the job, Amos Hoffman. "I'm excited and proud to offer you some moments of my life once again, reflected through the music, " says Cohen.

Continuo will be released by Sunnyside Records on May 23, 2006 and distributed by RykoDisc in the U.S. The Avishai Cohen Trio will play at The NYC JVC Jazz Festival, headlining a triple bill at Irving Plaza on June 15, 2006 with Groove Collective and the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey.

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Snooth Jazz Top Ten | Week Ended 5/5/06

LW TW Artist Title (Label)
1 - 1 - Paul Brown - "Winelight" (GRP/VMG)
3 - 2 - Nils - "Summer Nights" (Baja/TSR)
2 - 3 - Najee - "2nd 2 None" - (Heads Up International)
4 - 4 - Brian Culbertson - "Let's Get Started" - (GRP/VMG)
6 - 5 - Philippe Saisse - "Trio Do It Again" (Rendezvous)
5 - 6 - Kim Waters - "Steppin' Out" (Shanachie)
7 - 7 - Richard Elliot - "Mystique" (Artizen)
8 - 8 - Michael Lington - "Pacifica" (Rendezvous)
10 - 9 - Mindi Abair - "True Blue" (GRP/VMG)
9 - 10 - Ramsey Lewis - "Oh Happy Day" (Narada Jazz/EMI)

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

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Thursday, May 04, 2006

Jazz Journalists Association Announces Nominees for Annual Awards

Pianist Andrew Hill, drummer Paul Motian, and saxophonist Sonny Rollins are among the leading nominees for the Jazz Journalists Association's annual jazz awards, the JJA announced.

The awards will be presented at a gala at B.B. King's Blues Club and Grill in Manhattan on June 19.

Hill was nominated for the lifetime achievement award, musician of the year award, pianist of the year award, jazz album of the year award for Times Lines, and boxed set reissue of the year award, for Mosaic Select, and his quintet was nominated for small ensemble of the year. Motion was nominated for the lifetime achievement award, musician of the year award, and drummer of the year; Rollins was nominated for musician of the year, tenor saxophonist of the year, and album of the year for Without a Song: The 9/11 Concert.

Two of the nominations for jazz album of the year went to newly discovered recordings by jazz greats: Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie's Town Hall 1945 and Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane's At Carnegie Hall. The remaining nomination went to Fred Hersch's Leaves of Grass.

The other nominees for musician of the year are trumpeter Dave Douglas, saxophonist Joe Lovano, and reed player Ken Vandermark. In addition to Hill and Motion, drummer Roy Haynes, saxophonist Lee Konitz, and pianist Marian McPartland were nominated for the lifetime achievement in jazz award.

Click here for a list of nominations.

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Lee Ritenour's New CD: Smoke n' Mirrors

Great news from guitarist Lee Ritenour.

Lee RitenourHe has just wrapped up production on a brand-new CD called Smoke n’ Mirrors, which will be his first released for Peak Records. The new CD is his first of all-new material since “Rit’s House” in 2002. Freeman says the upcoming CD is influenced by World Music and has numerous featured musicians from Brazil and Africa.

Although most of the tunes will be instrumentals, Lee is featuring a 21-year-old female artist from South Africa named Zamajobe for one track. Other vocal songs have the female singer Joyce and 33-year-old Daniel Jobim, the grandson of the late Antonio Carlos Jobim. It was in 1997 that Ritenour released the first of his popular Twist Of CDs called A Twist of Jobim, that featured numerous smooth jazz stars.

Smoke n’ Mirrors will be available this summer.

An original post by Brian Soergel at Smooth Jazz Notes

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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Bob James | Urban Flamingo

Bob James has never decided whether he's a jazz musician or an R&B musician. He doesn’t have to—he can be both, simultaneously, playing funky, infectious tunes that are melodic and groove hard. Urban Flamingo, his most recent effort, could be written off simply as “lifestyle music,” or smooth jazz doomed to become background ambience at wine tastings and on weekend boat trips. But pay more attention to James’ compositions and soloing and you’ll find there is much more at work here.

Urban Flamingo features James with his Michigan-based quintet of bassist Al Turner, drummer Ron Otis, guitarist Perry Hughes and saxophonist David McMurray. The disc opens with “Choose Me,” which has James jamming over the chord changes of a funky blues. While the primarily electric instrumentation and McMurray's often syrupy saxophone playing will undoubtedly turn off mainstream-minded listeners, they will appeal to those who are looking for a pop or R&B-oriented jazz sound.

Of the many guests present on the disc, highlights include the leader's daughter, Hilary James, who takes a pleasant vocal turn on “Lay Down with You,” which she co-wrote; and bassist Nathan East (of James’ Fourplay supergroup).

The hands-down highlight of the disc is “Niles Ahead,” which harkens back to James’ work from the 1970s. This acoustic tour de force allows James and his rhythm section the chance to really show off their jazz chops. It’s a pity there isn’t more of the same on Urban Flamingo. This piece leaves me hoping that James will consider an album of acoustic tunes in the near future.

Review by Tracey Nolan -
Visit Bob James on the web.

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Monday, May 01, 2006

Matern (Matt) Otten

Matern (Matt) Otten started his musical career with classical guitar training, but soon became interested in jazz. Over the years he has become a respected jazz guitarist, who has lead his own groups and has worked with great musicians, and whose classical background is often still apparent in the subtlety of his technique and strong sense of melody and musical form.

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Upcoming Jazz Releases | May 2, 2006

Upcoming Jazz Releases

Al Greene - The Belle Album (The Right Stuff) - Reissue
Alejandro Escovedo - Boxing Mirror (Narada)
Andrey Zvyagintsev - The Return (ECM)
Anne Ducros - Piano Piano (Koch)
Black Ox Orkestar - Nisht Azoy (Caroline)
BlueRidge - Gettin' Ready (Pinecastle)
Bob James - Foxie (Koch)
Bob James - Taxi:Genie (Koch) - Reissue
Bobby Previte - Coalition of the Willing (Ropeadope)
Bucky & John Pizzarelli - Best of Bucky & John Pizzarelli (LRC)
Christian McBride - Live at Tonic (Ropeadope) - 2+ CDs
Connie Francis - Sings Italian Favorites/More Italian Favorites (Beat Goes On) - Reissue
Dave Rempis Percussion Quartet - Rip Tear Crunch (482 Music)
Djagno Reinhardt - Memorial (Empire) - Reissue
Emerson, Lake & Palmer - The Birth oif a Band: Isle of Wight Festival (ReD) - DVD-Video
George Shearing - Live Jazz from Club 15 (Request) - Reissue
Glenn Miller - Live from club 15 (Tradition Alive) - Reissue
Gumbi Ortiz - Miami (Kwip)
Jean-Luc Ponty - Cantaloupe Island (Beat Goes On) - Reissue
John Zorn - Moonchild (Tzadik)
Katahdin's Edge - The Ridge (Incline Records)
Larry T-Byrd Gordon - Communication with Da Byrdman (Lame)
Leni Stern - Love Comes Quickly (Megaforce)
Mackrosoft - Antonio's Giraffe (Koch)
Nik Bartsch's Ronin - Stoa (ECM)
Pop Staples - Live in Concert (Select-O-Hits) - DVD-Video
Ralph Towner - Time Line (ECM)
Randy Bachman - Jazz Thing: Live in Concert (Ranbach) - DVD-Video
Richard Galliano - PIazolla Forever (Kich) - DVD-Video
Robin McKelle - Introducing Robin McKelle (Koch)
Roy Hargrove - Nothing Serious (Verve)
Roy Hargrove / RH Factor - Distractions (Verve)
Shirley Scott - On a Clear Day (Impulse!) - Reissue
Stan Getz - Live Jazz at Club 13 (Request) - Reissue
Woody Herman - Live from Club 15 (Tradition Alive) - Reissue

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New Releases | May

Roy Hargrove, Nothing Serious [Verve, 5/2]
The RH Factor, Distractions [Verve, 5/2]
Robin McKeele, Introducing Robin McKeele [5/2]
Gumbi Ortiz, Miami [5/2]
Bobby Previte, The Coalition Of The Willing [Ropeadope Records, 5/2]
Leni Stern, Love Comes Quietly [5/2]
William Parker Quartet, Sound Unity [Aum Fidelity, 5/2]
Yellowjackets, 25 CD/DVD [Heads Up International]
Chris Standring, Soul Express [Trippin ‘n’ Rhythm Records, 5/9]
John Ellis, By A Thread [Hyena Records, 5/9]
Bolero Jazz, Bolero Jazz [Sony International, 5/9]
Harry Connick Jr., Harry's Broadway 1 [Sony, 5/9]
Eddie Daniels Quartet, Mean What You Say [IPO Recordings, 5/9]
Tineke Postma, Tineke Postma "DVD" [215 Records, 5/9]
Eric Reed, Here [Max Jazz Records, 5/9]
Chris Byars, Night Owls [Night Owls, 5/9]
Jeff Gauthier, One And The Same [Cryptogramophone, 5/9]
Bennie Maupin, Penumbra [Cryptogramophone, 5/9]
Toots Thielemans, One More For The Road [Verve, 5/9]
Donald Harrison, Survivor "IMPORT" [5/9]
Marcus Monteiro, Mm4 [5/9]
Tineke Postma, Tineke Postma [5/9]
Dafnis Prieto, Absolute Quintet [5/9]
Quintetto Lo Greco, Snap Count "Italy" [5/9]
Planet Jazz, In Orbit [Sharp Nine 1036, 5/16]
Diana Ross, Blue [Motown/UMe, 5/16]
Maucha Adnet, The Jobim Songbook [Kind of Blue Records 10003, 5/16]
Dave Douglas Quintet, Meaning and Mystery [Greenleaf 004, 5/16]
Ignacio Berroa, Codes [Blue Note Records, 5/16]
Bill Evans, Soul Bop Band Live [Bhm Productions, 5/16]
Ernie Watts - The Ernie Watts Quartet Live - DVD — 1986 [Music Video Distributors, 5/16]
Herb Ellis - Live - DVD [Music Video Distributors, 5/16]
Louis Armstrong - King of Jazz - DVD [Music Video Distributors, 5/16]
Eddie Gomez, Art Of The Heart [Art Of Life Records, 5/16]
Blue Mitchell, Stablemates [Candid Records, 5/16]
Planet Jazz, In Orbit [Sharp Nine, 5/16]
John Coltrane, A True Innovator DVD [Music Video Distributors, 5/16]
Andy Snitzer - Some Quiet Place [Native Language Music, 5/16]
Christian McBride, Live at Tonic - 3 CDs [Ropeadope, 5/16]
Roy Ayers, Perfection [5/16]
Al Di Meola, Vocal Rendezvous "Canada" [5/16]
Joe Magnarelli, Hoop Dreams "Netherlands" [5/16]
Masters Of Groove, Masters Of Groove Meet DJ-9 [5/16]
John Moulder, Trinity [5/16]
Nelson Padron, Musica Original De Cuba [5/16]
Jean-Luc Ponty, Canteloupe Island (REISSUE 1969) "UK" [5/16]
Marlena Shaw, Free Soul "JAPAN" [5/16]
Thievery Corporation, Versions [5/16]
Tunnels, Natural Selection [5/16]
Marion Meadows, Dressed To Chill [Heads Up International, 5/23]
Diego Urcola, Viva [CamJazz 5015, 5/23]
Xiomara - Xiomara [Chesky, 5/23]
Nomo - New Tones [Ubiquity Recordings, 5/23]
Bobby Lyle, TBA [Heads Up International, 5/23]
Chieli Minucci DVD
Ray Mantilla - Good Vibrations [Savant 2073, 5/23]
Tuck & Patti - Pure Tuck & Patti [Windham Hill Records, 5/23]
Melvin Sparks - Groove on Up [Savant 2073, 5/23]
Everette Harp, In The Moment [Shanachie Records, 5/23]
Liquid Soul, One-Two Punch [Telarc, 5/23]
Bobby Previte, Coalition of the Willing [Ropeadope, 5/23]
Tuck & Patti, Pure Tuck & Patti [Sbme / Legacy, 5/23]
Michael Bolton, Bolton Swings Sinatra [5/23]
Michel Camillo /Tomatito, Spain Again [5/23]
Dr. John, Mercenary [5/23]
Ed Palermo Big Band, Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance [5/23]
John Zorn, Moonchild [5/23]
Harvey Mason, Marching In The Street "GERMANY" [5/29]
Jill Jenson, Jill Jenson [5/30]
Keefe Marzell, Drawn Windows [5/30]
United Future Organization, Ufos For Real: Scene 1 U [5/30]
Rob White, Let It Ride [5/30]
Ann Hampton Callaway, Blues Night [Telarc]
Frank Kimbrough, Play [Palmetto]
John Lee Hooker, Cold As Ice [Telarc]
Marilyn Scott, Innocent Of Nothing [Prana Ent., 5/30]

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