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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Brad Mehldau Wins the Miles Davis Award in Montreal

The Festival International de Jazz de Montreal give this year the prestigious MilesDavis Award to renowned pianist and composer Brad Mehldau. Brad Mehldau becomes the thirteenth winner of the Miles Davis Award, which was created for the 15th edition of the Festival to recognize internationally acclaimed jazz artists whose body of work has contributed significantly to the renewal of the genre.

Bradford Alexander Mehldau was born in Florida in 1970. A child prodigy, he studied classical piano from the age of 6, discovered rock like any teenager and then moved on to jazz. He worked the New York scene for a while before recording Moodswings with saxophone player Joshua Redman and his quartet. He then created the Brad Mehldau Trio, racking up 10 more albums, both solo and in various formations, both live and in studio. He wrote a few film scores, as well, including Eyes Wide Shut and Ma femme est une actrice. The pianist and composer made his mark by integrating pop and jazz, on stage and in studio, and although he sometimes appears to be distancing himself from jazz with interpretations of Radiohead or the songs of Lennon and McCartney, on closer listening you realize he's simple exploring new horizons, searching within himself for new vehicles of expression.

Brad Mehldau is the latest in a series of Miles-Davis prizewinners. He follows Dave Holland (2005), Keith Jarrett (2004), Joe Zawinul (2003), Chick Corea (2002), Michael Brecker (2001), Charlie Haden (2000), Cassandra Wilson (1999), John Scofield (1998), Herbie Hancock (1997), Wayne Shorter (1996), Pat Metheny (1995) and John McLaughlin (1994).
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Smooth Jazz Top Ten | Week Ended 6/30/06

LW TW Artist Title (Label)
1 - 1 - Philippe Saisse - "Trio Do It Again" (Rendezvous)
3 - 2 - Mindi Abair - "True Blue" (GRP/VMG)
2 - 3 - Brian Culbertson - "Let's Get Started" - (GRP/VMG)
7 - 4 - Peter White - "What Does It Take" (Columbia)
5 - 5 - Wayman Tisdale - "Get Down On It" (Rendezvous)
6 - 6 - Ramsey Lewis - "Oh Happy Day" (Narada Jazz/EMI)
10 - 7 - Nick Colionne - "Always Thinking Of You" (Narada Jazz/EMI)
9 - 8 - Euge Groove - "Chillaxin" (Narada Jazz/EMI)
4 - 9 - Paul Brown - "Winelight" (GRP/VMG)
15 - 10 - Corinne Bailey Rae - "Put Your Records On" (Capitol)

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

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Diana Krall Expecting First Child In December

The superstar Verve recording artist and her husband, Elvis Costello, have announced that they are expecting their first child in December, which coincides with the third anniversary of their marriage, according to a story by John Mackie in the Vancouver Sun (6/27). "They're really happy about it," said the couple's Vancouver-based manager Steve Macklam. "That's about all I can tell you."

Krall recently finished recording a new album and will continue to tour this summer. The new album, From This Moment On, was produced by Krall and Tommy LiPuma and features jazz standards such as the title track, "Little Girl Blue," "Isn't It a Lovely Day," "It Could Happen to You" and "How Insensitive." The project is slated for release Sept. 19.

"It's sort of a combination of the Clayton-Hamilton jazz orchestra and quartet stuff," said Macklam. "It's gorgeous -- really a beautiful, beautiful record."

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Wayman Tisdale - 'Way Up'

Wayman Tisdale returns to the recording fold after a two-year break to issue another jazz-funk, groove-laden coaster with Way Up! The case of characters on this set is enormous, a few of the more prominent names include Jeff Lorber, Bob James, George Duke, Ricky Peterson, Kirk Whalum, Jonathan Butler, Dave Koz and Mel Brown. Tisdale, as expected, plays "lead bass" on all tracks. His bass-playing, tuned way up high, feels more like an electric baritone guitar than anything else. He plays it like a lead guitarist who never, ever falls out of time. Check out "Let's Do It Again," or "Get Down on It," that also features Darren Rahn's saxophone sweetening things up quite a bit., and Brown's bass holding down the bottom end as Tisdale riffs it up. Lorber uses slippery programming and treated keyboards on the ballad "Shape of Your Heart," with a lovely solo by saxophonist by Donald Hayes. Tisdale's melodic sensibility is simple, but tasty too, and he employs it throughout here. His read of Sly Stone's "If You Want Me to Stay," would be heresy except that it contains fine keyboard work from Lorber, a great saxophone chart and solo by Whalum, and Tisdale's take on the melody is just gritty enough to get away with it, making it one of the set's finer cuts. Check "Sweet Dreams," with vocals by Eric Benet, and we have a neo-soul single in the making. George Duke's "Tell It Like It Is" is the baddest funk on the side, and the synth horns, brass, and the doubling of Duke's synth playing and Tisdale's gutbucket chops make it the winner on an album where there are no losers.

Review by Thom Jurek - AMG

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Peter White | Playin' Favorites

For his tenth full-length album, Playin' Favourites, British smooth jazz giant Peter White decided to, as the title suggests, turn to some of his favorite tracks from the '60s, '70s, and '80s, giving each of them his own interpretation (he did a similar thing in 1994's Reflections). Working with longtime producer Paul Brown, as well as musicians Boney James, Rick Braun, and Dave Camp, among others, White successfully turns the 11 songs on Playin' Favourites into instant crossover jazz hits. Mainly this means adding horns and keyboards to the background while the guitarist lithely moves around from the melody into lush improvisationally based solos, rendering them much slicker and smoother than they were before (although granted, he didn't have to do much to turn Bacharach's James Bond classic "The Look of Love" into something so adult contemporary). For many of the songs White chooses, the arrangements, albeit a bit sugary, transfer well, and create very soothing, clean pieces of music that could be used in any setting where being inoffensively unmemorable is a priority. But for his version of "Hit the Road Jack," though he uses just his guitar, an upright bass, some finger-snapping, and a male vocal quartet in an attempt to sound bluesy, he still loses a lot of the urgency and instinct that made Ray Charles' rendition so affecting and great. By moving from the soul and emotion of the late pianist and singer towards something more universally "palatable," White ends up not properly respecting the contributions and innovations Ray Charles brought to music, which is unfortunate, because honoring his idols was most assuredly his purpose in making this album. The record's not a failure by any stretch: there's still plenty of smooth jazz to carry the audience through the quiet hours of the day, but because Playin' Favourites is a cover album, and it doesn't do all of the songs included on it quite enough justice, it ends up falling a little short.

by Marisa Brown - AMG

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Monday, June 26, 2006

Turkish-born record producer Arif Mardin dies

Turkish-born record producer Arif Mardin, who helped shape hit recordings by the Bee Gees, Aretha Franklin, Willie Nelson and Bette Midler among many others, has died at age 74, associates said.

Mardin died in New York on Sunday after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

The winner of 11 Grammys, including producer of the year, he spent nearly 30 years at Atlantic Records before founding his own label at EMI, Manhattan Records, where he signed Norah Jones for her debut album.

Mardin, a jazz fan and friend of trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and arranger Quincy Jones, was encouraged by them to get formal musical training and he did by attending Boston's Berklee College of Music.

In 1963 he joined Atlantic Records, which was founded Turkish brothers and fellow jazz fans Nesuhi and Ahmet Ertegun.

Among the hit records he produced were "Groovin" by the Young Rascals, "Against All Odds" by Phil Collins and "Jive Talkin" by the Bee Gees.

He also produced several Aretha Franklin albums including "Lady Soul," "I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You" and the gospel album "Amazing Grace."

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This Weeks Releases

Marc Cary, Focus [Motema Music]
Freddy Cole, Because of You [HighNote Records 7156]
George Duke, In A Mellow Tone [Dome]
Frank Morgan, Reflections [HighNote Records 7154]
Brad Mehldau Trio, House on Hill ]
David Benoit, Full Circle [Peak Records]
Ada Rovatti - Airbop [Kindred Rhythm 1120]
Wayman Tisdale, Way Up! [Rendezous]
David Kikoski, Lighter Way
Michael Franks - Rendezvous In Rio [Koch Records]
Lynne Arriale Trio, Come Together [Motema]
DJ Spinna, Intergalatic Soul
Peter White, Playin Favourites
Willie Bobo, Bobo Motion
Joe Zawinul, My People

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Upcoming Jazz Releases - 6/26 - 7/1-06

Upcoming Jazz Releases

Mon 26-Jun-2006

Bobby Troup - Sings Troup, Mercer and More (Jasmine) - Reissue
Dizzy Gillespie - Dizzy Digs Paris (Giant Steps) - Reissue
Jimmy Giuffre - Cool One (Giant Steps) - Reissue
Jimmy Wakely / Margaret Whiting - Til We Meet Again (Jasmine) - Reissue
Turk Murphy - Turk's Delight (Jasmine) - Reissue
Willie Bobo - Bobo's Beat (EMI) - Reissue
WIllie Bobo - Let's Go Bobo (Toshiba / EMI) - Reissue
Wynton Kelly - It's All Right (Universal) - Reissue

Tue 27-Jun-2006

Ada Rovatti - Airbop (Kindred Rhythm)
Ahmad Jamal - But Not For Me (Argo (Japan)) - Reissue
Alain Caron - Live: Cabaret de Mon (R1 NTSC) (Disques Norac) - DVD-Video
Alex Bellegarde Quartet - Caminando (Justin Time)
Antonio Carlos Jobim - A Certain Mr. Jobim (DBK Works) - Reissue
Antonio Carlos Jobim - Love, Strings & Jobim (DBK Works) - Reissue
Antonio Carlos Jobim - The Wonderful World Of Antonio Caros Jobim (DBK Works) - Reissue
Art Farmer - Summer Knows (East Wind) - Reissue
B.B. King - Montreux Dream: Story of Montreux Jazz & B.B. King (Kultur Video) - DVD-Video
Barry Guy - Folio (ECM)
Ben Monder - Dust (Sunnyside) - Reissue
Ben Monder - Excavation (Sunnyside) - Reissue
Bennie Green - Mosaic Select (Mosaic) - Reissue - 2+ CDs
Bill Evans - Trio '64 (Japan) (Verve) - Reissue
Bill Evans / Stan Getz - Stan Getz & Bill Evans (Universal) - Reissue
Billie Holiday - Love Me or Leave Me (Mastersong) - Reissue
Billy Eckstine - I'm in the Mood for Love (Mastersong) - Reissue
Blind Fury - Out of Reach (Majestic)
Blossom Dearie - Blossom Drearie (Verve (Japan)) - Reissue
Bob Brookmeyer - Mosaic Select (Mosaic) - Reissue - 2+ CDs
Bobby Lyle - Hands On (Heads Up)
Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band - 40th Anniversary (Navarre) - DVD-Video
Brad Mehldau - House on Hill (Nonesuch)
Brad Mehldau - Love Sublime (Nonesuch)
Brecker Brothers - Some Skunk Funk (Telarc)
Brian Bromberg - Wood (Artistry) - Reissue
Bud Powell - Genius of (Universal) - Reissue
Bud Powell - The Genius of Bud Powell (+ Bonus Tracks) (Universal (Japan)) - Reissue
Carlos Franzetti - Songs for Lovers (Chesky)
Carmell Jones - Mosaic Select (Mosaic) - Reissue - 2+ CDs
Charles Mingus - Legendary Trio (Gambit) - Reissue
Charlie Parker / Dizzy Gillespie - Bird & DIz (Verve (Japan)) - Reissue
Chick Corea & Gary Burton - Live at Montreux 1997 (RED) - DVD-Video
Chick Corea / Return to Forever - Light as a Feather (Polydor (Japan))-Reissue
Count Basie - Straight Ahead (Japan) (DOT) - Reissue
Crusaders - Street Life (Japan) (MCA) - Reissue
Dave Kikoski - Lighter Way (Sunnyside)
Dave Liebman . Richie Beirach - Mosaic Select (Mosaic) - 2+ CDs
David Benoit - Full Circle (Concord)
Dexter Gordon - Mosaic Select (Mosaic) - Reissue - 2+ CDs
Diana Washington - 22 Original Hits (Mastersong) - Reissue
Dizzy Gillespie - At Newport (Japan) (Verve) - Reissue
Don Pullen - Mosaic Select (Mosaic) - Reissue - 2+ CDs
Ella Fitzgerald - At the Opera House (Verve (Japan)) - Reissue
Ella Fitzgerald - Swingin' With Ella (Mastersong) - Reissue
Elliott Caine Quintet - Blues from Mars (Rhombus)
Etta James - Chronicles (Geffen) - Reissue - 2+ CDs
Etta James - Rock Me Baby (Mastersong) - Reissue
Eugen Cicero - Rokoko Jazz (Japan) (MPS) - Reissue
Frank Melrose/Kansas City - Bluesiana (Delmark)
Frank Morgan - Reflections (Highnote)
Freddie Cole - Because of You - Freddie Cole Sings Tony Bennett (Highnote)
George Benson - Love for Sale (Mastersong) - Reissue
George Duke - In a Mellow Tone (Bizarre Planet)
Gilbert Castellanos - Underground (Seedling)
Glenn Miller - In the Mood (Mastersong) - Reissue
Glenn Miller - Atring of Pearls (Mastersong) - Reissue
Guillame De Chassy - Wonderful World (Axoloti)
Helen Merrill - Nearness of You (Japan) (Emarcy) - Reissue
Hilton Ruiz - Manhattan Mambo (Telarc) - Reissue
Horace Heidt - Introducing the King Sisters (Collectables) - Reissue
Illuminati - On Borrowed Time (Liquor & Poker)
Jeff Lang - Prepare Me Well (Telarc)
Joe Zawinul - My People (Tone Center) - Reissue
John Coltrane - At the Village Vanguard (Japan) (Impulse!) - Reissue
John Coltrane - Coltrane (Japan) (JVC Victor) - Reissue
John Coltrane - Lush Life (Japan) (JVC Victor) - Reissue
John Coltrane - Soultrane (Japan) (JVC Victor) - Reissue
John Coltrane - Traneing In (Japan) (JVC Victor) - Reissue
Johnny Colon - Boogaloo Bluesman (Vampi)
Johnny Richards - Mosaic Select (Mosaic) - Reissue - 2+ CDs
Keith Jarrett - Facing You (Japan) (ECM) - Reissue
Kenny Burrell - Guitar Forms (Verve (Japan)) - Reissue
Kenny Wheeler - It Takes Two! (Sunnyside)
Larry Adler - Harmonica Virtuoso (Mastersong) - Reissue
Larry Carlton - Alone / But Never Alone (MCA (Japan)) - Reissue
Lennie Niehaus - Complete Fifties Recordings V.2. (Octet & Quintet) (Lonehill) - Reissue
Les Baxter - Ritual of the Savage / The Passions (Revola) - Reissue
Lionel Hampton - Jazz Legend (Mastersong) - Reissue
Louis Armstrong - Chronicles (MCA) - Reissue - 2+ CDs
Louis Armstrong - St. Louis Blues (Mastersong) - Reissue
Makoto Kawabata - Your Voice from the Moon (Poland) (Vivo)
Mal Jennings - New Orleans Dixieland (Mastersong) - Reissue
Manhattan Transfer - Boy From New York City & Other Hits (Collectables) - Reissue
Marc Cary - Abstrakt Blak (Borough Media)
Marc Cary - Focus (Moterna Music)
Marc Cary - Abstrakt Blak (Borough Media)
Melinda Bryan - Pilates Music: Smooth Jazz (Rockingbird)
Michael Franks - Rendezvous in Rio (Koch)
Michel Legrand - Paris Rome Vienna (E!)
Michel LeGrand - Legrand Jazz (Japan) (Phillips) - Reissue
Milton Nascimento - Milagro dos Peixes (Water) - Reissue
Milton Nascimento - Minas (Water) - Reissue
My Jazzy Child - I Insist (Stickfigure)
My Jazzy Child - Sada Soul (Stickfigure) - Reissue
Nu World Music Lounge - Nu World Music Lounge (Musicrama)
Oscar Peterson - Night Train (Verve (Japan)) - Reissue
Pat Metheny Group - First Circle (ECM (Japan)) - Reissue
Patti Page - Tennessee Waltz (Japan) (Mercury) - Reissue
Patto - Hold Your Fire (Akarma) - Reissue
Peter Michael Escovedo - Moments (J Music)
Peter White - Playin' Favourites (Sony)
Pink FLoyd - Pulse (Sony Music) - DVD-Video
Quincy Jones - Walk on the Wild Side (Mastersong) - Reissue
Ramsey Lewis - In Crowd Anthology (Universal/Island) - Reissue
Russ Freeman - Mosaic Select (Mosaic) - Reissue - 2+ CDs
Sergio Mendes & Brazil '77 - Love Music (Arista) - Reissue
Sergio Mendes & Brazil '77 - Vintage '74 (Arista) - Reissue
Skerik - Skerik's Syncopated Taint Septet (Hyena)
Skerik - Husky (The Music Force)
Steve Lacy - Recessional for Oliver Johnson - Live Montreal 2004 (Mode)
Steve Newcombe Trio - Cocktail Jazz Christmas (Mastersong) - Reissue
Steve Newcombe Trio - Piano Cocktail Hour (Mastersong) - Reissue
Steve Newcombe Trio - Cool Blends (Mastersong) - Reissue
Steve Newcombe Trio - Cool Cocktails (Mastersong) - Reissue
Teddy Wilson / Lester Young - Prez & Teddy E92 (Japan) (Verve) - Reissue
The Great Jazz Trio - At the Village Vanguard (Japan) (East) - Reissue
Thelonious Monk - Complete 1957 Riverside Recordings (Fantasy) - Reissue - 2+ CDs
Thomas Chapin Trio (Live) - Ride (Playscape Recordings)
Tim Hodgkinson - Sketch of Now (Mode)
Tom Beckham - Center Songs (Sunnyside)
Tony Williams Lifetime - Emergency! (Polydor (Japan)) - Reissue
Various Artists - Blue Note Plays Billie Holiday (Blue Note)
Various Artists - Blue Note Plays Cole Porter (Blue Note)
Various Artists - Blue Note Plays Gershwin (Blue Note)
Various Artists - Blue Note Plays Rogers & Hart (Blue Note)
Various Artists - Legends of Jazz with Ramsey Lewis (LRS Media) - DVD-Video
Various Artists - Live from Studio A (Chesky)
Various Artists - Afro Cuban Legens (Kultur) - DVD-Video
Wayman Tisdale - Way Up! (Rendezvous)
Wes Montgomery - California Dreaming (Universal) - Reissue
Weslia Whitfield - Livin' on Love (Highnote)
Wynton Kelly - It's All Right (+1 Bonus Track) (Universal) - Reissue
Zim Ngqawana - Vadzimu (Sheer Sound)
Zoot Sims - Zoot (Japan) (Argo) - Reissue

Fri 30-Jun-2006

G. Lenoci / G. Dini / M. Stockhausen - "ERGSKKEM" (Silta Records)
G.Lenoci / G.Dini / M.Stockhausen - "Ergskkem" (Silta Records) - Book

Sat 01-Jul-2006

Toby Wren - Umlaut

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Saturday, June 24, 2006

B.B. King at White House

Blues legend B.B. King will commemorate "Black Music Month, " with a performance at the White House on Monday, June 26. A number of guests, including President George W. Bush, will gather on the South Lawn for the event.

In 1947, King launched his professional career, leaving the Mississippi Delta and heading for Memphis, where he enjoyed some early successes, before going to become one of the world's most beloved musicians.

In honor of his 80th birthday last September, King celebrated the occasion with a few of his musical compatriots on the new studio album of duets that won him a Grammy in February.

Featuring some of today's biggest stars -- from Eric Clapton, Elton John, Sheryl Crow, John Mayer and Gloria Estefan to Roger Daltrey, Glenn Frey, Mark Knopfler, Billy Gibbons, Bobby Bland and Daryl Hall -- B.B. King and Friends -- 80 is yet another landmark in the career of one of the most influential guitarists of the 20th Century.

King has announced that a museum in his honor is to be built in his home state of Mississippi and the first phase of the $10 million B.B. King Museum opens next year in Indianola, near his hometown.

Among King's many classics are "The Thrill Is Gone, " "Payin' the Cost to Be the Boss, " "Everyday I Have the Blues, " "You Don't Know Me" and "Why I Sing the Blues."

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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Smooth Jazz Top Ten | Week Ended 6/23/06

LW TW Artist Title (Label)
1 - 1 - Philippe Saisse - "Trio Do It Again" (Rendezvous)
2 - 2 - Brian Culbertson - "Let's Get Started" - (GRP/VMG)
5 - 3 - Mindi Abair - "True Blue" (GRP/VMG)
3 - 4 - Paul Brown - "Winelight" (GRP/VMG)
7 - 5 - Wayman Tisdale - "Get Down On It" (Rendezvous)
6 - 6 - Ramsey Lewis - "Oh Happy Day" (Narada Jazz/EMI)
14 - 7 - Peter White - "What Does It Take" (Columbia)
4 - 8 - Najee - "2nd 2 None" - (Heads Up International)
10 - 9 - Euge Groove - "Chillaxin" (Narada Jazz/EMI)
8 - 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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Monday, June 19, 2006

This Weeks Releases

Larry Carlton, 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection
D.D. Jackson, Serenity Song
Tommy Emmanuel, Mystery "Australian Import"
Pieces of a Dream, 30 Year DVD [Heads Up International]
Phil Woods Quintet, American Songbook [Kind of Blue Records 10005]
George Cables Trio, Letter To Dexter [Kind of Blue Records 10006]

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Upcoming Jazz Releases - 6/19 - 6/23

Upcoming Jazz Releases

Mon 19-Jun-2006

Roy Ayers - Perfection (Aim) - Reissue
Tony Kofi - Future Passed (Specific Jazz)

Tue 20-Jun-2006

Actis Band - Allende (Leo)
Alvino Rey and His Orchestra - Classic Rey (Flare UK) - Reissue
Annie Ross - Live in London (Harkit)
Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers - Complete Concert at Club St. Germain (Gambit) - Reissue
Art Pepper - Modern Art (Virgin) - Reissue
Ben Webster - In Hanover 1973 (Impro-Jazz) - DVD-Video
Bill Evans / Jim Hall - Undercurrent (Virgin) - Reissue
Bud Powell - Bud Powell (Virgin) - Reissue
Buddy Greco - Route 66: Personal Tribute to Nat King Cole (choice) - Reissue
Cannonball Adderley - Mercy Mercy Mercy (Virgin) - Reissue
Carl Palmer Band - Live (St. Clair Vision) - DVD-Video
Chet Baker - Sings (Virgin) - Reissue
Coleman Hawkins - Introduction to Coleman Hawkins (UMVD/Varese Sarabande) - Reissue
Coleman Hawkins / Oscar Peterson Trio - Live in Hanover (Gambit)
Count Basie & His Orchestra - At the Bluenote (Sounds of Yesteryear) - Reissue
D.D. Jackson - Serenity Song (Justin Time)
Dave Grusin - Best of Dave Grusin: Millenium Collection (UMVD) - Reissue
David Wilczewski - Room in the Clouds (Opus 3)
Deep Blue Organ Trio - Live at the Green Mill (Delmark)
DIzzy Gillespie - 1953-1954 (Classic Records) - Reissue
Django Reinhardt - The Essential Collection (West End) - Reissue - 2+ CDs
Django Reinhardt - Two is Company / Complete Studio Duets 1937-1942 (Definitive) - Reissue
Dorsey Brothers - Volume 4 (Jazz Oracle) - Reissue
Duke Ellington - Berlin Concert 1969 (R0 NTSC) (Impro-Jazz) - DVD-Video
Dusko Gojkovic - Slavic Mood (BMG/RCA)
Earl Bostic - Plays Jazz Standards (Definitive) - Reissue
Eric Dolphy Quartet with McCoy Tyner - Munich Jam Session 12/1/1961 (Rlr)
Ernest Dawkins & New Horizon Enemble - Live at the Velvet Lounge (Delmark)
Erroll Garner - 1953-1954 (Classic Records) - Reissue
Esther Phillips - Best of the Mercury Years (Universal) - Reissue
Frank Gratkowski - Triskaidekaphonia (Leo)
Fred Martin - Some Bridges (Concord)
Gebhard Ullmann - Cutitout (Leo)
George Cables - Letter to Dexter (Kind of Blue)
Gerald Wilson - Big Band Modern (Jazz Factory) - Reissue
Gerry Mulligan - Complete Studio Recordings 1950=1952 (Definitive) - Reissue
Hal Stein Quartet - Spirit! (Guide Tone Media)
Harry "Sweets" Edison - Swing Summit (Candid) - Reissue
Harry Edison Quintet / Coleman Hawkins - London Concert 1964 (R0 NTSC) (Impro-Jazz) - DVD-Video
Joelle Leandre - At the Le Mans Jazz Festival (Leo)
Johnny Hodges & His Orchestra - 1952-1954 (Classics Records) - Reissue
Julie London - Julie is Her Name, Vol. 1 (Virgin) - Reissue
Kansas City Frank Melrose - Bluesiana (Delmark)
Kohala - Deeper Blue (Palm)
Labi Siffre - Remember My Song (MSI)
Larry Carlton - Best of Larry Carlton: The Millenium Collection (UMVD) - Reissue
Larry Vuckovich - Street Scene (Tetrachord Music)
Laurindo Almeida - Brazilliance Vol. 1 (Concert Creations for Guitar) (Five Four) - Reissue
Leucasia - Leucasia (NYC)
Lucky Thompson - Lord, Lord Am I Ever Going to Know (Candid) - Reissue
Lyle Ritz - No Frills (Flea Market Music)
Magoni Petra / Spinetti Ferruccio - Musica Nuda Live in Paris (Edel) - DVD-Video
Manny Albam - Manny Albam/The Jazz Workshop (Lonehill) - Reissue
Marc Moulin - Placebo Years 1971-1974 (EMI) - Reissue
Martin Speake / Bobo Stenson / Mick Hutton / Paul Motian - Change of Heart (ECM)
Michel LeGrand - Nouvelle Vague (Universal)
Miles Davis - Birth of the Cool (Virgin) - Reissue
Nat King Cole - After Midnight (Virgin) - Reissue
Pete Rugolo - Pete Rugolo & His Orchestra / TV Top Themes (Gambit) - Reissue
Pharooah Sanders - The Impulse Story (Impulse!) - Reissue
Phil Woods - American Songbook (Kind of Blue)
Quartetto De Lucca - Quartetto (RCA)
Ramsey Lewis - In Crowd Anthology (Universal/Island) - Reissue
Ray Bryant - Plays (Virgin) - Reissue
Ray Bryant - Complete Recordings with Jummy Rowser / Ben Riley (Lonehill) - Reissue
Ray Crawford - Smooth Groove (Candid) - Reissue
Red Norvo - 1950-1951 (Classics Records) - Reissue
Roy Eldridge Sextet with Ella Fitzgerald - Live (Lonehill) - Reissue
Sarah Vaughn - After Hours (Virgin) - Reissue
Sarah Vaughn - Dedicated to You With a Beautiful Melody (Jasmine) - Reissue
Stan Kenton - Big Sounds from the Small Screen (Dynaflow) - Reissue
Stan Kenton - Kenton for Collectors (Dynaflow) - Reissue
Stan Kenton - Stan Kenton & Friends (Dynaflow) - Reissue
Stan Kenton - Progressive Jazz (Sounds of Yesteryear) - Reissue
Teddy Wilson - In Europe 1969-1970 (Impro-Jazz) - DVD-Video
The Source - The Source (ECM)
Toby Koenigsberg Trio - Sense (Origin)
Tom Lellis - Avenue of the Americas (Beamtide)
Tony Kinsey Quartet - Decca Sessions (Harkit) - Reissue
Tyree Glenn - 1947-1952 (Classic Records) - Reissue
Weldon Irvine - Sinbad (BMG/RCA)
Wes Montgomery - In Europe 1965 (R0 NTSC) (Impro-Jazz) - DVD-Video
World Saxophone Quartet - Political Blues (Justin Time)

Wed 21-Jun-2006

Dizzy Gillespie - At Newport (Verve (Japan)) - Reissue
Great Jazz Trio - At the Village Vanguard (East (Japan)) - Reissue
Helen Merrill - Neanress of You (Emarcy (Japan)) - Reissue
Jimmy Smith - Dynamic Duo (Verve (Japan)) - Reissue
John Coltrane - At the Village Vanguard (Impulse (Japan)) - Reissue
Keith Jarrett - Facing You (ECM (Japan)) - Reissue
Michel Legrand - Legrand Jazz (Philips (Japan)) - Reissue

Fri 23-Jun-2006

Jaimee Paul - Angel Like You (Independent)

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Sunday, June 18, 2006

Earl Klugh shies from 'jazz musician' label to embrace all manner of music

He's played with George Benson and Chick Corea and made a name for himself not only for his clear tone and nimble fretwork, but also as a master improviser.

But don't call Earl Klugh a jazz musician.

"I think of myself as a 'contemporary musician,''' said the 52-year-old Detroit native and 13-time Grammy Award winner. "I guess because - especially now - I've arrived at a point where I've listened to and enjoyed so many kinds of music that there's more to it than just jazz.

"I try to embrace all the music I can and keep an open mind, and the music I make comes out of that.''

Consider this: Klugh, who makes a solo appearance at Washtenaw Community College's Towsley Auditorium on Wednesday as part of the school's "Living Legends'' series, started playing guitar at the height of the folk music craze of the early 1960s and still considers his greatest guitar hero to be country-fusionist Chet Atkins.

Consider, also, that his latest recording, "Naked Guitar,'' features, among a handful of jazz standards, such diverse fare as Beatles' covers and an unforgettable version of "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead'' from "The Wizard of Oz.''

"Growing up, my mom was from Mississippi, so a lot of the music we heard was from that golden age of country music - things like Patsy Cline,'' he said. "Jazz wasn't even in my mind.''

Yet, by age 15 and through sheer force of raw talent, Klugh was gigging and recording with Detroit jazz fixture Yusef Lateef and, by the early 1970s, held down the guitar chair in Corea's innovative fusion project, Return to Forever.

By the time he started making his own records in the mid-1970s, Klugh's style had veered away from the powerful fusion of Return to Forever, turning into a smoother, more-fluid style that emphasized nuance and technique .

The change led to a string of successful albums, particularly, "One on One,'' his 1979 duet album with pianist Bob James. These days, after 30 albums as either a leader or as a solo artist, Klugh's records practically come pre-nominated for Grammy Awards and have a permanent place on smooth-jazz radio playlists.

"I put (albums) out and I don't really worry about them,'' he said. "Over time, it seems like if you have something of value, you release it and, eventually, it sells.

"I've been very fortunate to be able to make a life through music.''

It's more than luck. Impeccably smooth and fluid, Klugh has never strayed from the nylon-stringed classical guitar, which, he said, is more than just an aesthetic choice.

"That's my instrument,'' he said. "Electric guitar is a totally different instrument and so is a steel-stringed acoustic.

"My instrument is classical guitar, and that's the technique I've developed.'' That he's been able to utilize the soft-toned classical instrument in bands ranging from fusion to bop to his so-called "contemporary music'' says as much about his versatility as it does about any limitations of the nylon-stringed guitar.

Klugh said a key to his success - aside from having written hundreds of achingly beautiful ballads - has been an ability to improvise in a range of contexts, a skill that has allowed him to transcend genre limitations as if they didn't exist.

He learned that from playing jazz.

"The jazz language allows dexterity and, so, once you get past the melodies, everything is improvisation,'' he said. "It teaches you that music is more about the feeling than it is about the melody.''

Klugh still performs more straight-ahead jazz at times and said he's getting ready to bring his band - which consists mostly of Detroit-based players - down to his home studio in Atlanta "just to blow'' and see what happens.

It doesn't matter what kind of music he's playing, he said. Just as he has since he was a kid trying to master Chet Atkins' licks in front of the record player, Klugh just wants to make music.

Any kind of music. All kinds of music.

"I just want to play my guitar,'' he said.

The Ann Arbor News

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Helen Rogers Returns On New Hardcastle CD

Paul Hardcastle's new Jazzmasters CD will be released on July 25.

Paul Hardcastle is returning to the familiar for his next CD but at the same time trying something new. He's once again reunited with vocalist Helen Rogers for Jazzmasters V, which he recently completed. Rogers has always been part of the Jazzmasters CDs, which alternate with the Hardcastle ones.

But on the new CD, Rogers only sings on three songs, “Children of the Ghetto,” “Garden of Eden” and “Live for the Dream,” after appearing on six of the 13 songs on Jazzmasters 4. That obviously means the new CD is more of an instrumental project than previous Jazzmasters efforts.

The 11-song CD features titles such as the first single "Free As the Wind,” “Never Far Away” and “The Sun Says Goodbye.” Jazzmasters 5 will be available July 25 on Trippin 'N Rhythm.

An original post from Brian Soergel at

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Saturday, June 17, 2006

Elvis Costello-Allen Toussaint Disc Debuts on Jazz Chart

A new collaboration between genre-hopping pop star Elvis Costello and New Orleans pianist Allen Toussaint debuted on the Billboard jazz chart this week at number two.

The album, The River in Reverse, includes older songs by Toussaint and newly written tunes by both artists. Costello wrote the title track for a Hurricane Katrina benefit last fall.

Michael Bublé's It's Time remained at number one in its 70th week on the chart.

Other new recordings on the chart included guitarist and singer Katie Melua's Piece by Piece at number three, veteran vocalist Diane Schuur's Live in London at number eight, and The House That Trane Built, a compilation of Impulse recordings, at number 16. Trio Beyond: Saudades, a new disc from drummer Jack DeJohnette, keyboardist Larry Golding and guitarist John Scofield, made its first appearance at number 15.

On the contemporary-jazz chart, The Best of Will Downing: The Millennium Collection, a new compilation from the singer, debuted at number one, dethroning Herbie Hancock's Possibilities, which fell to number three. Saxophonist Marion Meadows's Dressed to Chill moved from number five to number two in its second week on the chart.

By Ben Mattison -

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Legendary Jazz Keyboardist David Benoit To Release "Full Circle" June 27

Following the glorious creative departure of his Peak Records solo recording debut, the classical labor of love Orchestral Works, and the all-star chart topping Christmas CD 40 Years-A Charlie Brown Christmas (which he produced and performed on), David Benoit makes a dramatic return to his smooth jazz roots, coming Full Circle on one of the most honest, liberating and heartfelt recordings of his storied 30 year career.

Full Circle's first radio single is "Beat Street," a bright and bouncy, seductive yet ultimately jamming slice of sweet retro funk that perfectly matches the pop, jazz and R&B sensibilities of Benoit and Jeff Lorber. The six tracks on the CD produced by Jeffrey Weber feature the powerful ensemble of a mix of musicians who have been playing with Benoit on and off for most of the pianist's career: drummer John Robinson, bassists Nathan East and Brian Bromberg, percussionists Luis Conte, Alex Acuna, and guitarists Oscar Castro-Neves, Pat Kelley and Paul Jackson, Jr. In addition, Paul Brown (smooth jazz's top hitmaker, with over 40 #1 radio hits to his credit) adds his Midas touch to Full Circle on tracks such as "Chasing The Tides" and Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Water To Drink (Agua de Beber)".

David Benoit's career as a contemporary jazz pianist began in 1977 and includes 25 solo recordings over the past 29 years. His 1985 radio hit "Linus and Lucy" helped launch the smooth jazz genre, and his early genre recordings, including his GRP Records debut Freedom at Midnight and its Grammy nominated 1988 follow-up Every Step of the Way, are considered influential classics.

David Benoit will be touring nationally throughout the summer. You can access further information by logging on to or

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Friday, June 16, 2006

Liquid Soul - One-Two Punch

Liquid Soul, the Grammy-nominated combo that has built its reputation on a compelling mix of jazz, hip-hop, funk and hard-bop, makes its Telarc debut with the release of One-Two Punch.

Pioneers of the acid-jazz movement during their early days in the Chicago club scene of the mid-1990s, Liquid Soul has evolved over the past dozen years into a musical compendium of sounds and styles that starts with jazz and embraces hip-hop, R&B, dance, funk, techno, world, spoken-word and much more. Led by innovative saxophonist/composer Mars Williams, the eight-piece collective has conquered nearly every corner of the U.S. and is looking to turn up the juice in Europe and other parts of the world via their Telarc debut.

Williams co-produced One-Two Punch with Van Christie, whose prior credits run the gamut from Die Warzau to Clay People to National Trust. The session list includes a small army of cutting-edge players, including a few high-profile special guests: turntable virtuoso DJ Logic, Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid, Widespread Panic keyboardist John "JoJo" Hermann and Smashing Pumpkins drummer Matt Walker. The album also marks the return of Liquid Soul co-founder/guitarist Tommy Klein, and includes the rock-solid rhythm section of bassist Phil Ajjarapu, drummer Tony "Kick Drum" Taylor and beat box maestro David "Boy Elroy" Arredondo.

"This record is a little bit different, " says Williams. "It's still Liquid Soul, but I've taken it further. I'm doing more in the way of manipulating sounds and styles. In addition to that, there are a lot of different voices here besides my own. This record includes several people with whom I like to colaborate. I can introduce a song or an idea, but then I like to give it to somebody and let them interpret it in their own way or add something to it."

The results of the various collaborations on One-Two Punch hit like a hard right to the gut. The first salvo is "Baghdad Cafй, " a track that fuses a relentless Middle Eastern riff to a syncopated rock backbeat. With the addition of Williams' frenetic sax lines—aided by the skilled brass work of trumpeters Doug Corcoran and Hugh Ragin and trombonist Andy Baker—the overall effect is a barely contained energy that threatens to erupt into chaos at any moment.

And that's just the opening track. The followup, "Attaboy, " maximizes Williams' horn atop a persistent house beat and a recurring lyric line from Brian "MCB" Quarles that together sound as though they could (and perhaps should) go on forever. The sensual groove of "Body and Mind" (with an insidious vocal line by Mr. Greenweedz) and the subsequent "Mind Interlude" brings the energy level down, but only temporarily. "Sex God" follows with a driving tempo that briefly segues into an interlude of psychedelia.

Further in, "Stop" does everything but. It's a funk-driven free-for-all featuring rapid-fire vocals by Quarles, who "can't, won't, don't stop." The following track, "Peanut Head, " follows a more midtempo R&B groove, with tightly arranged horns taking a prominent role throughout (check out Williams' solo in the psychedelic-soul interlude nestled within this track).

In keeping with their longstanding tradition of paying homage to past masters of jazz on every album, Williams and company deliver a thumping rendition of Dizzy Gillespie's "Bebop, " as well as a cosmic and esoteric version of Albert Ayler's "Angels, " a composition sufficiently mutated and imprinted with the Liquid Soul stamp to warrant the hybrid title "Liquid Angels."

The guest artists make their long-awaited appearance in the home stretch, with JoJo Hermann delivering subtle but distinctive keyboard lines within the midtempo groove of "Boxer's Fracture." But it all finally spills over in "Kong 4, " the throbbing rock-funk closer driven by Matt Walker's metronomic drumming and Vernon Reid's dirty guitar attack. This final piece of melodic/rhythmic/electronic mayhem escalates into a sonic meltdown that is the only way out of the riveting sequence that precedes it.

One-Two Punch is Liquid Soul's fifth recording—and clearly their most ambitious—since their self-titled, mostly-live debut album in 1996. Make Some Noise, their followup effort in 1998, cemented their reputation for delivering the goods in a studio setting as well as from the stage. Since then, they've continued to hammer out infectious grooves with Here's the Deal (2000) and Evolution (2002).

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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Top Ten Smooth Jazz | Week Ended 6/16/06

LW TW Artist Title (Label)
2 - 1 - Philippe Saisse - "Trio Do It Again" (Rendezvous)
1 - 2 - Brian Culbertson - "Let's Get Started" - (GRP/VMG)
3 - 3 - Paul Brown - "Winelight" (GRP/VMG)
4 - 4 - Najee - "2nd 2 None" - (Heads Up International)
5 - 5 - Mindi Abair - "True Blue" (GRP/VMG)
6 - 6 - Ramsey Lewis - "Oh Happy Day" (Narada Jazz/EMI)
9 - 7 - Wayman Tisdale - "Get Down On It" (Rendezvous)
10 - 8 - Nick Colionne - "Always Thinking Of You" (Narada Jazz/EMI)
7 - 9 - Michael Lington - "Pacifica" (Rendezvous)
12 - 10 - Euge Groove - "Chillaxin" (Narada Jazz/EMI)

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

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Third-Shift Workers, Insomniacs Love Smooth Jazz

CD sales have fallen precipitously over the last few years, which the label community is keenly aware of. Dwindling sales are a vital concern to smooth jazz, which has suffered the loss of numerous labels -- A440 and others, including the majors. Weak sales drove one major, Warner Bros., to close its Jazz department entirely and another, Verve, to abandon smooth jazz, with the notable exception of Brian Culbertson and Mindi Abair. (Paul Brown was dropped the same week his track "Winelight" was in its ninth week at No. 1.)

On the other hand, independents -- Rendezvous, Heads Up, Shanachie, Artizen, among others -- are doing pretty well with SJ, although their challenge to implement effective marketing strategies to overcome obstacles to sales -- tight playlists, for example -- grows more urgent by the day. These and other record execs might do well to consider this remarkable development: QVC viewers bought $62,000 worth of smooth jazz CDs -- at 4am ET, no less! Fans across America called to order latest releases from SJ listener favorites, including Euge Groove, Down To The Bone, Jeff Lorber, Jason Miles and others.

The $62,000 in SJ CD sales revenues were generated on the most recent edition of the shopping channel's program The Groove Boutique With Rafe Gomez. Indefatigable United Stations Radio Networks' syndicated Smooth Jazz mix show The Groove Boutique host Gomez will to return to the QVC airwaves soon, where he will be seen during non-insomniac hours. Imagine how many smooth jazz CDs he'll sell in a reasonable daypart.

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

ASCAP To add six Music Greats To Jazz Wall Of Fame

New Group of Inductees Includes Three Jazz Giants of the Past and Living Legends Frank Foster, Horace Silver and Clark Terry

Ken Hatfield to be Recognized with The ASCAP Foundation Vanguard Award

ASCAP President and Chairman Marilyn Bergman today announced that ASCAP will add six music greats to the ASCAP Jazz Wall of Fame at the organization’s New York City offices at a special reception on Wednesday, June 21, 2006. The invitation-only event will be hosted by Ms. Bergman at the ASCAP Gallery, One Lincoln Plaza (Broadway between W. 63rd and W. 64th Streets) from 4-6 PM.

The event will be highlighted by the induction of three ASCAP Jazz Living Legends: saxophonist/bandleader Frank Foster, pianist/composer Horace Silver, andtrumpeter Clark Terry. The latest group of inductees also includes three posthumous honorees: guitarist Freddie Green, pianist/bandleader Fletcher Henderson, and vocalist Sarah Vaughan. Participating in the event as presenters and performers will be Dr. Billy Taylor, James McBride, Rufus Reid, Roberta Flack, Steve Tyrell, Marc Cary & Focus Trio and the Bill Saxton Quartet.

In addition, emergent and critically-acclaimed guitarist/composer Ken Hatfield will be presented with The ASCAP Foundation Vanguard Award for his i nnovative musical activity as a composer, instrumentalist and performer in the field of Jazz.

Monday, June 12, 2006

This Weeks Releases

Adi Braun, Rules Of The Game
Jamie Davis, It's A Good Thing
Gordon Goodwin Big Phat Band, Phat Pack (CD / DVD)
Herbie Hancock, Jazz To Funk (2CD)
Wayne Horvitz/Gavitas Quartet, Way Out East
Jack McDuff, Honeydipper
Preston Glass, Street Corner Prophecy
George Winston, Summer
Wayne Horvitz Gravitas Quartet, Way Out East

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Upcoming Jazz Releases - 6/13-6/15/06

Upcoming Jazz Releases

Tue 13-Jun-2006

Adi Brown - The Rules of the Game (Lml Music)
Billy Shields - Crystal Blue (BCS Records)
Bob Lark / Phil Woods Quintet - In Her Eyes (Jazzed Media)
Bobby Short - Collectables Classics (Collectables) - Reissue - 2+ CDs
Brian Swartz - Three (Summit)
Broken Keys - Gravity (Truthought)
Brooks Tegler - And Not Only That! (Silverwolf)
Bud Shank Big Band - Take the Long Way Home (Jazzed Media)
Carlos Munhoz - Bossa Nova (Mambo Maniacs)
Carmen McRae - An Introduction to Carmen McRae (Varese Sarabande) - Reissue
Carmen McRae - Collectables Classics (Collectables) - Reissue - 2+ CDs
Catarina Valente - Sweet Beat & Schlager Lieder (Vocalion) - Reissue
Charles Mingus - Thrice Upon a Theme (Aim) - Reissue
Chris Connor - Collectables Classics (Collectables) - Reissue - 2+ CDs
Clark Woodard - Clark Woodard & Joe Farrell (BCS) - Reissue
Daniel Smith - Bebop Bassoon (Guild)
Dave Burrell - Consequences (Amulet)
David "Fathead" Newman - Collectables Classics (Collectables) - Reissue - 2+ CDs
David Dahlsten - Study Your Own Heart (Rainbow Dancing)
Dirindi - Cantar de Jobim (Jazz 'n Pullz)
Don Byron / Bang on a Can - Ballad for Many (Ambronay)
Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis - Cookbook Vol. 1 (Fantasy) - Reissue
Eddie Harris - Collectables Classics (Collectables) - Reissue - 2+ CDs
Etta Jones - Don't Go to Strangers (Fantasy) - Reissue
Fay Claassen - Two Portraits of Chet Baker (Jacn'n'Pullz)
Francien Van Tuinen - Muzyka (Jazz 'n Pullz)
Frank Chacksfield - Film Festival (Vocalion) - Reissue
Gloria Lynn / Stanley Turrentine - Flipped Out on Love (Aim) - Reissue
Gnappy - Unloaded (Bean Pie)
Gordon Goodwin - Phat Pack (Immergent)
Gypsy Kings - Live at Kenwood House in London (Liberation) - DVD-Video
Hank Jones - Hank & Frank (Lineage)
Herbie Hancock - Jazz to Funk (Aim) - Reissue - 2+ CDs
Humphrey Lyttelton - Humph Dedicates (Vocalion) - Reissue
Ivan Paduart - Selections (Jazz 'n Pullz)
Jack McDuff - Honeydripper (Fantasy) - Reissue
Jah Lion - ColombiaColly (Island) - Reissue
James Gentry & TheTequila Sound - Mystic Cowboy (Jim Jazz)
Jay Geils - Jay Geils & Gerry Beaudoin & Kings of Strings (Arbors)
Jerry Vivino - Walkin' With the Waazmo (Zoho)
Jim Black - Dogs of Great Indifference (Winter & Winter)
Jim Black / Alasnoaxis - Dogs of Great Indifference (Winter&Winter)
Jimi Hendrix / Otis Redding - Jimi Plays Monterey / Shake! Otis at Monterey (Image) - DVD-Video
Jimmy Cliff - Harder They Come (Island) - Reissue
Jimmy McGriff - Collectables Classics (Collectables) - Reissue - 2+ CDs
Joe Pass - Norman Granz' Jazz in Montreux - Joe Pass '75 (RED) - DVD-Video
Joey DeFrancesco - All or Nothing at All (Silverwolf)
John Coltrane - Soultrane (Fantasy) - Reissue
Julien Kaspar Band - The New Imperial (Nugene)
Junior Murvin - Police & Thieves (Island) - Reissue
Kidd Jordan - Palm of Soul (Aum Fidelity)
Klazz Brothers - Mozart Meets Cuba (Sony Classical)
Larry "T-Bird" Gordon - Communication with Da Byrdman (Lame)
Marc Moulin - Pacebo Years 1971-1974 (EMI) - Reissue
Marty Ehrlich - Malinke's Dance (Omnitone)
Maurice Hines - To Nat King Cole With Love (Arbors)
Max Romeo - War Ina Babylon (Island) - Reissue
Michael's Bates Outside Source - Fine Balance (Winter&Winter)
Miles Davis - Walkin' with Miles (Fantasy) - Reissue
Mose Allison - Collectables Classics (Collectables) - Reissue - 2+ CDs
Original Dixieland Band - The Return (Hep) - Reissue
Perry Lee Scratch - From the Secret Laboratory (Island) - Reissue
Perry Lee Scratch - History* Mystery & Prophecy (Island) - Reissue
Preston Glass - Street Corner Prophecy (BCS)
Ray Appleton - Latin Dreams (Lineage)
Regina Carter - I'll Be Seeing You: A Sentimental Journey (Verve)
Rick Culver - I'm Old Fashioned (Sea Breeze)
Sergio Mendes - Collectables Classics (Collectables) - Reissue - 2+ CDs
Steve Slagle - New New York (Omnitone)
Three - Brian Swartz (Summit)
Toots & The Maytalls - Funky Kingsutonn (Island) - Reissue
Toots & The Maytalls - Reggae Got Soul (Island) - Reissue
Triple Burner - Triple Burner (Ninja Tune)
Upsetters - Super Ape (Island) - Reissue
Various Artists - Monterey Pop (Image) - DVD-Video
Vic Lewis - Tea Break (Vocalion) - Reissue
Warren Vache and the Scottish E - Don't Look Back (Arbors)
Wayne Horvitz - Way Out East (Songlines)
Zu - Igneo (Frenetic)

Wed 14-Jun-2006

Art Pepper - Modern Art (Virgin) - Reissue
Miles Davis - Birth of the Cool (Virgin) - Reissue
Ray Bryant - Plays (Virgin) - Reissue

Thu 15-Jun-2006

Taeko Kunishima - Hazy moon (33 jazz)

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Saturday, June 10, 2006

Herbie Hancock Reclaims Top Spot on Contemporary-Jazz Chart

Herbie Hancock's Possibilities moved back into the top spot on the Billboard contemporary-jazz chart this week. Everette Harp's In the Moment, which debuted at number one last week, fell to number three.

Possibilities, which features guest appearances from Paul Simon, Annie Lennox, Christina Aguilera, and other pop musicians, has spent 27 of the last 40 weeks at number one, fending off challenges from Harp, Gerald Albright, Mindi Abair, and Jamie Cullum, among others.

Albright's New Beginnings moved from number four to number two, while Abair's Life Less Ordinary dropped from number three to number four.

On the jazz chart, Michael Bublé's It's Time remained at number one, followed again by The Very Best of Nat 'King' Cole, Chris Botti's To Live Again: The Duets, and Michael Bublé's Caught in the Act.

There were no new entries on either chart.

By Ben Mattison -

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Yellowjackets, Once Smooth, Are Now a Lot Choppier

Fusion has long been an ugly stepchild in jazz circles; it appears in most official histories as the byproduct of compromise and contamination. That critique has serious flaws, starting with the premise that jazz possessed a fundamental purity in the first place. But it's largely true that fusion, born in the late 1960's as an intrepid hybrid of jazz, rock and soul, produced a glut of music that was bombastic or bathetic, and sometimes both at once.

Yellowjackets, a quartet, occupies a curious place in this lineage. Built at first around the nucleus of the guitarist Robben Ford, the group has spent most of the last 25 years perfecting a guitarless fusion that's much more sinewy than steroidal, with infusions of gospel, funk and rhythm and blues. Often the results have crept in the direction of smooth jazz, a format that Yellowjackets inadvertently helped to create. But the band's standards of musicianship and athleticism have always smacked of something more serious, and lately, more straight-ahead.

That's especially true in performance, as Yellowjackets confirmed at Iridium on Wednesday night. Kicking off a five-night run and what amounts to a six-month tour, the group offered a retrospective sampling of original material, in commemoration of its silver anniversary; the same impulse recently yielded "Twenty-Five" (Heads Up), a live CD and DVD that documents a pair of concerts from last fall.

Two of the original Yellowjackets, the keyboardist Russell Ferrante and the bassist Jimmy Haslip, are still on active duty. The band's other half consists of the tenor saxophonist Bob Mintzer, an official member since 1992, and the drummer Marcus Baylor, who joined in 2000. In the five or so years since this lineup was introduced, it has equaled or eclipsed its predecessors.

To a large extent that's because of Mr. Baylor, a powerful drummer who brings a sense of deep-pocket groove to the band's rhythmically convoluted compositions. On "Jacket Town," which closed Wednesday's late set, Mr. Baylor whipped up a double-time gospel backbeat that overrode a 5/4 meter. He was subtler, but no less spirited, on an R & B ballad called "The Hope," featuring vocals by Jean Baylor, his wife.

Mr. Haslip is the other clear powerhouse in the group; his six-stringed electric bass can sound round and meaty or light and nimble. His walking line on "Prayer for Peace" suggested the heft and swing of an upright acoustic player, while his solos were guitarlike, blistering excursions.

Neither Mr. Mintzer nor Mr. Ferrante managed anything quite so flashy, but their rapport was impressive and clearly central to the balance of the group. Each hit a high point on "Greenhouse": Mr. Ferrante demonstrated his solid riff-based style on piano and synthesizer and Mr. Mintzer crafted an effectively imploring closing cadenza.

Performances continue through Sunday at Iridium Jazz Club, 1650 Broadway, at 51st Street; (212) 582-2121.

Jazz Review

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Friday, June 09, 2006

Detroit International Jazz Festival

Detroit International Jazz Festival will welcome a wide spectrum of musical artists on Labor Day weekend, the 27th annual celebration September 1-4.The heart of the festival remains pure Jazz at historic Hart Plaza on the Detroit Riverfront. In addition, it also now swings three blocks north on legendary Woodward Avenue to the new Campus Martius Park, and embraces Blues, Gospel, R&B, Zydeco, and Motown sounds.

More than 100 bands will perform on six stages throughout Jazz Fest weekend. The Detroit International Jazz Festival continues its proud tradition as one of the largest free musical events in North America.

A partial list of headliners for the 2006 Detroit Jazz Festival includes a Friday evening Motown blast off with the Funk Brothers and Temptations Revue starring Dennis Edwards. Other performers will include Brazilian Jazz great Sergio Mendes, premier Jazz vocalist Diane Schuur with the Wayne State University Jazz Big Band, New Orleans icon Dr. John, Jazz legend Ahmad Jamal, and Pop and Roots stars Joan Osborne, Taj Mahal, Richie Havens, Marcia Ball, The Gerald Wilson Big Band, Buckwheat Zydeco, The Dirty Dozen Brass band, Papa Lou Donaldson, Mose Allison, and BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet, among many others.

Other festival features include a Food Network Pavilion, dedicated children's area, tasty fare from Detroit's finest restaurants, New Orleans Brass Band Street Parades daily, Mississippi Queen-style riverboat cruises on the Detroit River and more.

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Thursday, June 08, 2006

Music sharing site promises to help artists to allow CD trading for just $1 plus shipping, pledges to give a fifth of sales to all musicians.

A new Web site that aims to transform music industry economics is set to go live Thursday, giving musicians a major cut of the proceeds while largely freezing out record labels and other intermediaries., which allows fans to trade music discs for just $1, plus shipping, pledges to give a fifth of its sales to all the musicians, including lesser known session studio players, involved in the making of CDs exchanged on its site.

In a move that is certain to stoke controversy with music promoters, the founder of the Silicon Valley start-up said Lala will circumvent traditional copyright and royalty payment systems to compensate identifiable working musicians.

The site works something like an eBay auction exchange as it encourages consumers who sign up for the service to list all the CDs they may want to exchange as well as ones they would be interested in receiving.

Once an exchange is arranged, the recipient pays $1.49, of which 49 cents pays for shipping the disc, leaving $1 for the company for musicians, administrative costs and its own cut.

Lala said 20 cents of each $1 will go into a charitable fund for the musicians. It is looking to pay the musicians via a charitable organization it has set up called the Z Foundation. It plans on keeping 20-30 cents for itself, with the remainder going on administration.

"We all have this music that sits in our homes - wouldn't it be great if people can exchange those CDs," said founder Bill Nguyen, a serial Silicon Valley entrepreneur.

He's a veteran of start-up companies including Seven, a mobile e-mail rival to Blackberry maker Research in Motion and OneBox, which was sold to, which is now known as Openwave.

Lala has been testing the service for several months with nearly 100,000 people and claims to already have another 200,000 people waiting to join the service when it goes live.

The service is bound to raise eyebrows at record companies which have stepped up their anti-piracy drives in the last few years to combat both CD and digital music piracy.

But a spokeswoman for the Recording Industry Association of America said that, "To date we have declined comment on - and will hold to that here as well."

Nguyen admits his company has had a mixed reaction from the record companies, with some viewing his plan as a threat along the lines of the pioneering peer-to-peer music file sharing service Napster.

"One label thought it would help them to know their customers for the first time," Nguyen said. "But others' view of us is as the devil, more like peer-to-peer services."

Lala argues that it offering a vibrant new way for consumers to discover new music and that if successful, it will encourage robust sales of new music, unlike the culture of pirated CDs and downloading that followed in Napster's wake.

Nguyen claims that Lala's research shows that for every five CDs exchanged on the server a new CD was bought.

Though Lala is a for-profit business, Nguyen envisages a community of fans and musicians running many key elements of the site with a relatively skeletal paid staff that he plans to keep under 30 employees.

For instance, fans and artists will jointly decide whether a musician who applies for compensation will get paid under the system. Nguyen described the site as having a business model inspired by Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia built from editorial contributions by its users.

Lala has received up to $9 million in venture capital funding, Nguyen said.


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Top Ten Smooth Jazz | Week Ended 6/9/06

LW TW Artist Title (Label)
1 - 1 - Brian Culbertson - "Let's Get Started" - (GRP/VMG)
2 - 2 - Philippe Saisse - "Trio Do It Again" (Rendezvous)
3 - 3 - Paul Brown - "Winelight" (GRP/VMG)
4 - 4 - Najee - "2nd 2 None" - (Heads Up International)
7 - 5 - Mindi Abair - "True Blue" (GRP/VMG)
8 - 6 - Ramsey Lewis - "Oh Happy Day" (Narada Jazz/EMI)
6 - 7 - Michael Lington - "Pacifica" (Rendezvous)
5 - 8 - Nils - "Summer Nights" (Baja/TSR)
12 - 9 - Wayman Tisdale - "Get Down On It" (Rendezvous)
11 - 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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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Peter White on "Playin' Favorites"

I had the idea to do another collection of cover songs after going through some old tapes and finding all my original demos for "Reflections", my 1994 collection of covers. Together with those demos were a dozen or so songs that never made it to that CD. I had honestly forgotten that there were any outtakes from those days.

"For The Love Of You" was one of those unused songs that sounded good to me, so I wondered if just maybe there was a whole other album waiting to be made- a sort of follow up to the Reflections" CD. I started putting together tracks based on the arrangements on the tape, but soon I had to go on tour with Richard Elliot, Rick Braun and Jonathan Butler on a tour that we called Jazz Attack. Not missing a beat, I packed up my laptop computer and a microphone and resolved to continue the recording process on the road. I realized that here was a perfect opportunity to record my musician friends in their natural habitat.

I ambushed Richard Elliot backstage at the Carefree Theatre in West Palm Beach, Florida and asked him to play the melody of "You Are Everything" on my improvised laptop studio. He had never played the song before and I tried to reassure him by saying that it was just an experiment, to see what the sax would sound like. His uncertainty about how to play the melody matched perfectly the lack of confidence in the song lyric. I ended up keeping that run through for the final mix. Thanks Richard! I set up another session with Richard backstage at the Fraze Pavilion in Kettering Ohio, just half an hour before a Jazz Attack show. We were working away in the dressing room when my road manager came in to tell us that the show was about to begin! Richard kept right on blowing until show time.....the sax intro and rousing solo on that song comes straight from that evening in Ohio. We tried to redo the melody of the 2nd verse that we had originally recorded in W. Palm Beach but the confidence that Richard now had was at odds with the tender, introspective way he had first played it before, so we kept the original performance.

I was backstage at the North Fork Theatre in Westbury, Long Island and seeing my friend Rick Braun with a flugelhorn in his hand, invited him into my make-shift dressing room studio. The song was "One On One" and what he played in a few moments was so hauntingly beautiful that I used it for the second verse of that song. We recorded the rest of his performance a few days later in my hotel room in Milwaukee.

After the Jazz Attack tour ended I called my good friend and producer Paul Brown to help me finish the album and he came up with a lot of suggestions that took the album away from my rough arrangements and into something far more polished. He suggested I record "What Does It Take", the Jr. Walker song, enlisting the help of Sam Riney on sax, who I had not seen since he had played on the Reflections CD 12 years earlier! ("What Does It Take" became the first single from the album).
To all my friends- My new CD is finished (with the help of long time friend and producer Paul Brown) and it is scheduled for release on June 27th. The title is "Playin' Favorites" and features some of my good friends- Boney James, Rick Braun, Jonathan Butler, Richard Elliot, Jeffrey Osborne and Bob James. The first single release is "What Does It Take"- my remake of the old Jr. Walker song. All the songs on the CD are old songs that I have redone in my own way.
Meanwhile I am enjoying being part of the "Guitars and Saxes" 2006 Tour, which also features Richard Elliot, Gerald Albright and Jeff Golub. Details on this tour and other shows are on the Tour page. And check out the two cruises I will be on- you can scroll down to the links at the bottom of this page. I'll see you all out there! PW.

Having been on tour with the irrepressible Jonathan Butler in "Jazz Attack" it seemed natural to have him sing on the Bill Withers song "Lovely Day". Paul also asked Jeffrey Osborne to add vocals to "You Are Everything", already featuring the sax of Richard Elliot (recorded on tour), turning it into a romantic Tour de Force! (That's means something of a high point, I think!) I had already finished the songs "Deja Vu" and "Mr. Magic" to my satisfaction when PB got hold of them, and when he added Boney James on the first and Bob James on the second as well as pumping up the beat, I realized that these songs were now really complete. Thanks, Paul for taking what I started and making it sparkle!

All these songs represent something to me from my adolescence. Romantic, exciting, soothing- they all have stayed with me through the years. Who over the age of 30 can say that the hauntingly beautiful "Look Of Love" hasn't touched them at some point? I hope my rendition does the song justice, (with a lovely horn arrangement by Jerry Hey). And the song that started this whole ball rolling, "For The Love Of You". I eschewed the romanticism of the Isley's version for straight down and dirty groove. Funny thing is, I did the opposite on my version of "Who's That Lady", (from my Glow CD) substituting the Isleys frantic all-out rock and roll blitz-krieg for a much gentler approach. This approach- to take a well-known song and do it in a unique and different way, was my purpose on this album. Only exception is "What Does It Take", where we couldn't really find any other way to do it than to faithfully copy the original groove. Then again, the Jr. Walker saxophone lines on this song have never to my knowledge been played on acoustic guitar! Finally, Paul Brown came up with the title for the CD "Playing Favorites". I favoured the English spelling of "Favourites" but I was outvoted by the entire staff of Sony Music/ Legacy. Any way you spell it, it really does say everything about what this CD represents to me.

These are some of my favourite things!

Peter White: Playin' Favorites

1. WHAT DOES IT TAKE (TO WIN YOUR LOVE) featuring Sam Riney on Saxophone
3. DEJA VU featuring Boney James on Saxophone
4. MISTER MAGIC featuring Bob James on Fender Rhodes
5. LOVELY DAY featuring Jonathan Butler on vocal
6. CRAZY LOVE (Van Morrison's)
10. YOU ARE EVERYTHING featuring Jeffrey Osborne on vocal and Richard Elliot on saxophone
11. ONE ON ONE featuring Rick Braun on flugelhorn

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Jazz Pianist Hilton Ruiz Dies at 54

Pianist Hilton Ruiz, who had been in a coma since he was injured in a fall last month, died yesterday, his agent told the Associated Press. He was 54.

Ruiz was found unconscious on Bourbon Street in New Orleans early on the morning of May 19, bleeding badly and with fractures of the skull and face.

Born in New York, Ruiz was a child prodigy who performed at Carnegie Hall at the age of eight and studied with Mary Lou Williams. While still a teenager, he played with saxophonists Frank Foster and Joe Henderson and trumpeters Cal Massey and Freddie Hubbard.

In the 1970s, he spent time in the bands of saxophonists Rahsaan Roland Kirk and George Coleman. He also led his own groups and played with Tito Puente, Dizzy Gillespie, and Charles Mingus.

Ruiz was one of the few musicians with equal facility in straight-ahead jazz and Latin jazz. "There's a lot of people who dabble with both worlds," trombonist Steve Turre told the AP last month. "But very few can authentically deal with both."

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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Billy Preston dies at 59

Electrifying keyboard player Billy Preston, who was dubbed the "fifth Beatle" for his work on some of the band's most storied projects, died Tuesday at age 59. Preston, who had such hits as Will It Go Round in Circles, Outa-Space and Nothing from Nothing in the '70s, was considered one of the world's greatest organists for the way he'd make his Hammond B-3 sing whether he was playing rock, soul, blues or gospel.

AUDIO: Listen to some of his music

Preston had battled chronic kidney failure and had been in a coma since November. He had received a kidney transplant in 2002. He was taken to a Scottsdale, Ariz., hospital Saturday, after his condition deteriorated, according to his manager, Joyce Moore.

The musician — instantly recognizable with his huge Afro and gap-toothed smile — toured with Ray Charles and Little Richard in the early 1960s before hooking up with the Beatles, who had opened for Little Richard. He backed them on the albums Let It Be, Abbey Road and the White Album. He also appeared in films with the band and continued playing and touring with individual members after the band broke up.

The Houston-born Preston also collaborated with the Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, Sly Stone, Sam Cooke, Quincy Jones, Sammy Davis Jr., the Jackson 5, Barbra Streisand and others. He was a child prodigy who played with gospel greats Mahalia Jackson and the Rev. James Cleveland when he was 10. Two years later, he played blues great W.C. Handy as a child in the 1958 film St. Louis Blues. In addition to touring and recording in the '60s, he was a regular on the pioneering live TV rock show Shindig. His early albums included The Most Exciting Organ Ever and Wildest Organ in Town.

Preston's solo breakthrough came in 1972 with the I Wrote a Simple Song album, which included the Grammy-winning Outa-Space. Later that year he put out Music Is My Life, featuring his signature, Will It Go Round in Circles. He also won another Grammy in 1973 for his participation in the George Harrison-led Concert for Bangla Desh album.

Starting in 1974, he and his band the God Squad spent three years opening for the Rolling Stones. Members of the God Squad would later form Rufus and the Brothers Johnson. He played on such Stones albums as Sticky Fingers, Exile on Main Street and Bridges to Babylon.

He also thrived as a songwriter, penning Joe Cocker's You Are So Beautiful and scoring a huge hit with his duet with Syreeta,
With You I'm Born Again. He wrote theme songs for such films as In the Heat of the Night and Slaughter.

By Steve Jones, USA TODAY

Monday, June 05, 2006

Upcoming Jazz Releases - 6/5/06 - 6/9/06

Upcoming Jazz Releases

Mon 05-Jun-2006

Annie Ross - Live in London (Harkit)
Blake Wilner Quartet - Interloper (Ant Jazz)
Cab Calloway - Minnie the Moocher/A Chicken Ain't Nothing (Unidisc)
Duke Ellington - Vol. 10 - Private Collection (Unidisc) - Reissue
Duke Ellington - Vol. 1 - Private Collection (Unidisc) - Reissue
Duke Ellington - Vol. 3 - Private Collection (Unidisc) - Reissue
Duke Ellington - Vol. 4 - Private Collection (Unidisc) - Reissue
Duke Ellington - Vol. 5 - Private Collection (Unidisc) - Reissue
Duke Ellington - Vol. 6 - Private Collection (Unidisc) - Reissue
Duke Ellington - Vol. 9 - Private Collection (Unidisc) - Reissue
Herbie Hancock - Jazz to Funk (Aim) - Reissue - 2+ CDs
Pee Wee Hunt - Twelfth Street Rag (Living Era) - Reissue
Roy Eldridge Sextet/ / Ella Fitzgerald - Live (Lonehill) - Reissue
Spyrogyra - Alternating Currents (Unidisc) - Reissue
Spyrogyra - Carnaval (Unidisc) - Reissue
Spyrogyra - Freetime (Unidisc) - Reissue
Spyrogyra - Morning Dance (Unidisc) - Reissue
Spyrogyra - Spyro Gyra (Unidisc) - Reissue

Tue 06-Jun-2006

Al Green - 20th Century Masters: The Millenium Collection (Hip-O) - Reissue
Alain Caron - Live: Cabaret de Mon (Disques Norac) - DVD-Video
Alan Hewitt - Metropolis (215)
Albert Ayler - The Impulse Story (Impulse!) - Reissue
Alice Coltrane - The Impulse Story (Impulse!) - Reissue
Andrew Hill - Pax (Blue Note) - Reissue
Antonio Carlos Jobim - The Unknown (Drg) - Reissue
Archie Shepp - The Impulse Story (Impulse!) - Reissue
Art Blakey - Holiday for Skins (Blue Note) - Reissue
Blind Faith - London Hyde Park 1969 (Sony Music Video) - DVD-Video
Bob James - Heads (Tappan Zee) - Reissue
Bob James - Lucky Seven (Tappan Zee) - Reissue
Charles Mingus - The Impulse Story (Impulse!) - Reissue
Charlie Parker - At Jrayr Zorthian's Ranch (Rlr) - Reissue
Chet Baker - Lost Holland Concert September 18 1955 (Featuring Dick Twardzik) (Rlr)
Coleman Hawkins - Body & Soul (The Complete Victor Recordings 1939-1956) (Definitive) - Reissue
Coleman Hawkins - In the Hush of the Night (Unidisc) - Reissue
Diane Schuur - Live in London (GR2 Classics)
Doc Severinson & The Tonight Show Band - Once More....With Feeling (Unidisc) - Reissue
Duke Ellington - Vol. 2 - Private Collection (Unidisc) - Reissue
Duke Ellington - Vol. 8 - Private Collection (Unidisc) - Reissue
Earl Hines - Piano Man (Definitive) - Reissue
Eric Dolphy - In Euroipe 1961-64 (Improjazz)
Erik Truffaz - Mask (Blue Note) - Reissue
Fox Trot 8 - Fox Trot 8 (Unidisc) - Reissue
Fred Wesley & Swing 'n Jazz Allstars - It Don't Mean a Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing (Sons of Sound)
Gato Barbieri - The Impulse Story (Impulse!) - Reissue
George Shearing - Latin Affair (Virgin) - Reissue
George Shearing - Latin Lace (Virgin) - Reissue
Gil Evans - Complete Pacific Jazz (Blue Note) - Reissue
Gladys Knight - Before Me (Verve)
Greg Burk - The Way In (482 Music)
Harry Edison Quartet / Coleman Hawkins - London Concert 1964 (Improjazz)
Heernt - Locked in a Basement (Sunnyside)
Hirman Bullock - Too Funky 2 Ignore (BHM)
Jack Costanzo - Latin Fever (Virgin) - Reissue
Jackalope - Born 4 (Universal (Canada))
Jackie McLean - It's Time (Blue Note) - Reissue
Jazz Crusaders - Chile Con Soul (Virgin) - Reissue
Jesse Green - Nice & Slow (Unidisc) - Reissue
Jimmy Scott - Milestone Profiles (Fantasy) - Reissue
Jimmy Smith - Milestone Profiles (Fantasy) - Reissue
Joe Henderson - Milestone Profiles (Fantasy) - Reissue
John Coltrane - The Impulse Story (Impulse!) - Reissue
John Coltrane - First Giant Steps (Rlr) - Reissue
John Hammond - New Morning Paris Concert (Music Video Dist) - DVD-Video
Jon Faddis - Teranga (Koch)
Keith Jarrett - Tokyo Solo (ECM) - DVD-Video
Keith Jarrett - The Impulse Story (Impulse!) - Reissue
Kieran Hebden - The Exchange Session Vol. 2 (Domino)
Lennie Niehaus - Complete Fifties Recordings V.2. (Octet & Quintet) (Lonehill) - Reissue
Lionel Hampton - 50th Anniversary Concert (Unidisc) - Reissue
Logg - Logg (Unidisc) - Reissue
Lou Blackburn - Complete Imperial Sessions (EMI/Blue Note) - Reissue
Lou Rawls - The Very Best of Lou Rawls: You'll Never Find (Capitol) - Reissue
Machito - Kenya (Virgin) - Reissue
Marcos Valle - Jet Samba (Planet Rhythm)
Maxine Sullivan - My Memories of You (Empire) - Reissue
McCoy Tyner - Milestone Profiles (Fantasy) - Reissue
McCoy Tyner - The Impulse Story (Impulse!) - Reissue
Melody - Today is Someday (VRT)
Melvin Sparks - Texas Twister '75 (Beat Goes Public) - Reissue
Metropolitan Jazz Affair - MJA (Le Maquis) - Reissue
Miles Davis - The Early Years Vol. 2 (United States of Distribution) - Reissue - 2+ CDs
Miles Davis - Walkin' With Miles (Fanrtasy) - Reissue
Milton Nascimento - Milagre DOS Peixes (Water Music) - Reissue
Milton Nascimento - Minas (Water Music) - Reissue
Mint Condition - 20th Century Masters: The Millenium Collection (Hip-O) - Reissue
Nacho de Paz - Charlie (Unidisc) - Reissue
Nancy Kelly - Born to Swing (Amherst)
Nils Petter Molvaer - An American Compilation (Thirsty Ear)
Perry Joslin - Perry Joslin Project (VRT)
Peter Brotzmann - Alarms (Atavistic)
Rahsaan Roland Kirk - In Europe 1962-67 (Improjazz)
Richard "Groove" Holmes - Star Wars/Close Encounters (Unidisc) - Reissue
Rio Conexio / Vittor Santos - Voce So Danca Com Ele (Universal)
Roberta Gambarini - Easy to Love (Now Forward)
Rogerio Duprat - Saturday Night Fever (`Unidisc) - Reissue
Shifts - Headboppin (Artizen)
Soft Machine Legacy - New Morning: The Paris Concert (Music Video Distributors) - DVD-Video
Solomon Ilori - African High Life (Blue Note)
Sonny Rollins - Milestone Profiles (Fantasy) - Reissue
Sonny Rollins - The Impulse Story (Impulse!) - Reissue
Spyrogyra - Access All Areas (Unidisc) - Reissue
Spyrogyra - Best Of (Unidisc) - Reissue
Spyrogyra - Breakout (Unidisc) - Reissue
Spyrogyra - Catching the Sun (Unidisc) - Reissue
Spyrogyra - City Kids (Unidisc) - Reissue
Spyrogyra - Incognito (Unidisc) - Reissue
Spyrogyra - Stories Without Words (Unidisc) - Reissue
Susanne Abbuehl - Compass (ECM)
Trio Beyond - DeJohnette / Scofield / Goldings - Saudades (ECM) - 2+ CDs
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
Various Artists - The House That Trane Built: The Story of Impulse Records (Impulse) - 2+ CDs
Various Artists - Legends & Lions: Swingin' (Mack Avenue) - Reissue
Will Downing - 20th Century Masters: The Millenium Collection (Hip-O) - Reissue

Fri 09-Jun-2006

Franc O'Shea - Alkimia (Azulah)

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This Week's Releases

DJ Logic, Zen of Logic [Ropeadope Records]
Shilts, Headboppin [ARTizen Music Group]
Hiram Bullock - Too Funky 2 Ignore [BHM Productions]
Alan Hewitt - Metropolis [215 Records 2033]
Jack McDuff - Honeydripper [Prestige Records]
Ollabelle, TBD [Verve Forecast]
Various Artists, Baby Loves Jazz [Verve]
Gato Barbieri, The Impulse Story [Impulse]
Keith Jarrett, The Impulse Story [Impulse]
Charles Mingus, The Impulse Story [Impulse]
Sonny Rollins, The Impulse Story [Impulse]
Pharoah Sanders, The Impulse Story [Impulse]
McCoy Tyner, The Impulse Story [Impulse]
Various Artists, The House that Trane Built: The Story of Impulse Records [Impulse]
Susanne Abbuehl, Compass
Peter Brotzmann, Alarm
Will Downing, 20th Century Masters: Millennium Collection
Roberta Gambarini, Easy To Love
Jon Faddis, Teranga
Shaken Not Stirred Jazz, Shaken Not Stirred Jazz
Alan Hewitt, Metropolis [ 215 Records]
Solomon Ilori, African High Life
Diane Schuur, Live in London
Jazz Crusaders, Chile Con Soul "Japan"
Bob James, Lucky Seven
Bob James, Heads
Fred Wesley & The Swing N Jazz
Metropolitan Jazz Affair, MJA
Marcos Valle, Jet-Samba

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Friday, June 02, 2006

Dr. John Album Debuts on Billboard Jazz Chart

Mercernary, the latest album from legendary New Orleans pianist Dr. John, debuted on the Billboard jazz chart this week at number six.

The album, a tribute to Johnny Mercer, includes such Mercer classics as "Blues in the Night," "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby," and "That Old Black Magic." Michael Bublé's It's Time continued its long run at number one, where it has spent 57 of the last 68 weeks; The Very Best of Nat 'King' Cole remained at number two.

The Legendary Prestige Quintet Sessions, a box set collecting Miles Davis's great 1955-56 recordings with John Coltrane, Philly Joe Jones, Red Garland, and Paul Chambers, debuted at number 15; other new entries included vocalist Anjani's Blue Alert at number 16 and the Yellowjacket's Twenty-Five at number 21.

Saxophonist Everette Harp's In the Moment debuted at number one on the classical-crossover chart, nudging Herbie Hancock's Possibilities to number two. Also new to the chart was saxophonist Marion Meadow's Dressed to Chill, at number six.

By Ben Mattison -

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Thursday, June 01, 2006

Avishai Cohen - Continuo

No bassist on the contemporary jazz scene is more technically able than Avishai Cohen, nor more immediately recognizable on a recording: his muscular, singing tone and richly melodic lines are unique. He’s also got one of the tightest trios on earth, and the countless gigs pianist Sam Barsh and drummer Mark Guiliana have played with Cohen are immediately audible on Continuo.

Cohen’s 2005 album At Home suffered from too many disparate styles and too many extra musicians augmenting the trio--it felt more like a Cohen compilation than a unified musical statement. There’s no lack of stylistic unity on Continuo, however, and only one extra musician is featured here: oud player Amos Hoffman, who appears on five on the ten tracks.

To his credit, Cohen’s attempting something altogether new on Continuo: a stylistic blend of western classical, Middle Eastern music (hence the presence of Hoffman’s oud), and improvisational jazz. “Nu Nu” epitomizes the concept with its stop-on-a-dime time changes, unison bass/piano lines, epic theme and virtuosic soloing (in this case by Cohen and Hoffman). The execution is above reproach--here and everywhere on the CD, the band plays with breathtaking precision.

Somehow, though, the aforementioned musical influences combine here to produce a strange and rather disagreeable hybrid that in its bombastic, grandiose themes resembles nothing so much as the worst sorts of instrumental Europop. This impression is heightened by arrangements that feature Barsh’s busy, mock-classical piano, an overuse of pomp-and-circumstance unison bass/piano accents (lots of dramatic, echoing “booms” in song after song), and the recording's hot, loud, no-dynamics mastering.

“One For Mark” is an uptempo piece that’s flawlessly played and ultimately pretty meaningless; with plenty of oud-strangling from Hoffman over Guiliana’s torrential drum cascades and wildly florid piano from Barsh, there’s no dearth of sound coming out of the speakers, but it’s all more precious than profound. Cohen’s solo here has a marvelous rhythmic buoyancy, but it can’t save the song. Unfortunately, “One For Mark” is no anomaly; it's perfectly typical of the tunes on Continuo.

“Samuel” is somewhat better. Its piano introduction has a practice-book sterility and it’s marred by more of those overdramatic bass/piano accents, but Cohen and Barsh are particularly sympathetically fused here and its final snare-roll groove is irresistible. The title track--which unfortunately appears last--is by far the best song, fuelled as it is by a propulsive and joyous Middle Eastern rhythmic structure of drums, percussion and hand claps. It’s more fun and less self-consciously important than anything that precedes it. The absence of Barsh’s piano on the song--despite the enormous, prowling presence here of Cohen’s electric six-string Marco--gives it a spaciousness that’s sadly missing elsewhere.

To their credit, the musicians play every song on Continuo with complete commitment and telepathic connectedness. If the results are gratingly soulless, it’s not due to a lack of sincerity on the part of the artists.

Track Listing: Nu Nu; Elli; One For Mark; Ani Maamin; Samuel; Emotional Storm; Calm; Arava; Smash; Continuo.

Personnel: Avishai Cohen: acoustic and electric bass; Sam Barsh: piano (1-9), electric keyboard (#9); Mark Guiliana: drums, percussion; Amos Hoffman: oud (1,3,6,9-10).

By Paul Olson -

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Top Ten Smooth Jazz | Week Ended 6/2/06

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

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

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