Saturday, September 30, 2006

Upcoming Jazz Releases | 10/03/06

Upcoming Jazz Releases

Baddi Assad - Wonderland (Edge Music)
Billie Holiday - Masters of Jazz (Storyville) - Reissue
Chris Connor - At the Village Gate (Japan) (Blue Note) - Reissue
Dakota Staton - Dynamic! (Blue Note) - Reissue
Deborah Shulman - 2 for the Road (Rhombus)
Dino Saluzzi Group - Juan Condori (ECM)
Don Byron - Do the Boomerang (Blue Note)
Earl Hines - Masters of Jazz (Storyville) - Reissue
Eleni Karaindrou - Elegy of the Uprooting (ECM) - 2+ CDs
Enrico Pieranunzi - Untold Story (Now Forward)
Ese Villen & Lysto - Lakeside Stories (Thump)
Fats Waller - Misbehavin' Badly (England) (Global Warming/Giant Steps) - Reissue
Franck Avitabile - Short Stories (Dreyfus)
Francois Couturier - Nostalgia - Song for Tarkovsky (ECM)
Gladys Knight - Before Me (Verve)
Jazz Modes - Most Happy Fella (Collectables) - Reissue
Jean-Pierre Como - L'Ame Soeur (Nocturne)
Jimmy Smith - Root Down (Japan) (Universal/Verve) - Reissue
Joe Williams - A Man Ain't Supposed to Cry (Angel) - Reissue
John Patitucci - Line by Line (Concord)
Johnny Griffin - Masters of Jazz (Storyville) - Reissue
Johnny Hodges - Masters of Jazz (Storyville) - Reissue
Jon Hendricks - Good Git Together (Blue Note) - Reissue
Lenny Breau - Mosaic (Guitarchives)
Level 42 - Live at Wembley (Koch) - Reissue - DVD-Video
Manhattan Transfer - An Acapella Christmas (Rhino) - Reissue
Manhattan Transfer - The Symphony Sessions (Rhino) - Reissue
Marvin Gaye - Live in Belgium 1981 (Universal) - DVD-Video
Mary Foster Conklin - Blues for Breakfast (Rhombus)
Michael Garrick / Norma Winstone - Heart is Lotus (Japan) (Universal) - Reissue
Michael Wolff - Love and Destruction (Wrong)
Michele Rosewoman and Quintessemce - The In Side Out (Advance Dance Disques)
Mike Westbrook - Love Songs (Japan) (Universal) - Reissue
Nat King Cole - In Concert (Koch) - DVD-Video
Pat Metheny Group - The Way Up Live (RED) - DVD-Video
Randy Weston - African Cookbook (Collectables)
Ray Charles - Ray Charles with the Voices of the Jubilation Choir (Koch) - DVD-Video
Ray Charles & Count Basie Orchestra - Ray Sings, Basie Swings (Concord Records/Starbucks Entertainment)
Rita Reys - Rita Ryes Today (Japan) (Universal) - Reissue
Rosemary Clooney - In Concert (Koch) - DVD-Video
Sarah Vaughan - Sarah Plus Two (Angel) - Reissue
Sidney Bechet - Masters of Jazz (Storyville) - Reissue
Stefon Harris - African Tarantella: Dance With Duke (Blue Note)
Steve Oliver - Snowfall (Koch)
String Cheese Incident - Live from Austin Texas (RED) - DVD-Video
Tania Maria - Via Brasil V.1 (Japan) (Universal) - Reissue
Teddy Wilson - Masters of Jazz (Storyville) - Reissue
Wativ - Baghdad Music (Now Forward)

Information provided by allaboutjazz.com

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New Releases | October




Pat Metheny Group, The Way Up "Live" on DVD [Eagle Vision USA,10/3]
Count Basie and Ray Charles, Ray Sings, Basie Swings [Concord, 10/3]
Manhattan Transfer, An Acapella Christmas [Rhino / Wea, 10/3]
Amos Lee, Supply and Demand [Blue Note, 10/3]
Michael Landau Group- Live (2 CD) [Tone Center, 10/10]
Chris Botti, December (New Addition) [Columbia, 10/10]
Benson & Jarreau, Givin' It Up [Concord Records, 10/24]

Information provided by contemporaryjazz.com

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Michael Lington | "A Song For You"

Michael Lington has demonstrated his contemporary saxophone chops with a steady stream of chart-toppers since his debut album in 1997. His CD, Stay with Me, yielded three Radio & Records national jazz hits with “Show Me” at # 2; “Two of a Kind” at # 2; and “Pacifica” at # 6. Stay With Me also remained on the Billboard contemporary jazz chart for a total of 24 weeks. “Twice In a Lifetime” and “Sunset” from Vivid; and “Still Thinking of You” from Lington’s Everything Must Change all went Top 5 as well. His duet with Bobby Caldwell on “Tell It Like It Is” from his self-titled debut, ascended both the jazz and adult contemporary charts.

Now Michael is back with A SONG FOR YOU, his second Rendezvous recording. In collaboration with Rendezvous , Grammy nominated arranger and composer Randy Waldman and Grammy winning Engineer Woody Woodruff, Michael assembled a collection of new standards that range from the album’s first single, “It’s Too Late” and ”You’ve Got a Friend,” both by Carole King; to a dimensional “Fragile” by Sting. Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now” is given an expansive, but respectful new spin; while Michael Frank’s “Tell Me All About It” is a playfully laidback interplay, featuring guest and Rendezvous co-founder Dave Koz, with Brazilian sensibilities.

A defining characteristic of all of the album’s 11 tracks are unexpected shifts in mood and instrumentation that flow organically in and out of each other. Paul Simon’s “Still Crazy After All These Years” features romantic strings and sultry sax. “Nobody Does it Better” by Marvin Hamlisch, is a more restrained and romantic Gospel flavor that builds to a no-holds-barred conclusion. Randy Waldman’s keyboards, and the All-Star ensemble featuring Vinnie Colauita, Brian Bromberg, Dean Parks, Luis Conte, and a top Los Angeles session orchestra, season each song to perfection.

The album also features “A Song for You,” penned by rocker Leon Russell, “She’s Always A Woman”, by Billy Joel and “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word”, by songwriting greats Elton John and Bernie Taupin. With his instrumental versatility, Michael also plays clarinet on the intro to “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word”, an instrument that he studied classically for eight years prior to him picking up the sax at age 15.

Leaning strongly toward the pop side of jazz, with classical, Brazilian, Latin, and gospel shadings, Lington plays a distinctive contemporary saxophone. “It’s the kind of record that inspired me from the very beginning. The songs on this CD are the core of what has driven me to become a musician,” says Michael. “I wanted to go back in time, to when music had a strong emotional impact on people and songs really mattered -- but to do it with a new twist.

Michael explains, “With this album, I really wanted to focus on the underappreciated, or underexposed standards of tomorrow -- mainly songs from the ’70s that have been rarely covered in a jazz instrumental format.” He continues, “what I had in mind during the entire process, was to create a classic album, with a timeless feel that is as current today as it is 40 years from now.”

Growing up in a suburb of Copenhagen, Denmark, Michael Lington is the grandson of Otto Lington, a jazz pioneer in their tiny country, and bandleader for Shirley Bassey, Josephine Baker and Fats Waller, amongst many others. As a childhood fan of musicians like Vinnie Colaiuta, Dean Parks and Randy Waldman, Michael would replay his vinyl jazz recordings again and again, reflecting on the memories of his grandfather’s era.

Little did Michael know, that someday, his name would be nestled in the notes next to those of his childhood heroes in an album of contemporary classics. The rich legacy of his grandfather’s jazz connection, his classical training, and a stint of touring in Europe, led him to the U.S. in 1990, and at 21, he began performing with Little Richard , Gary “U.S.” Bonds and Randy Crawford. He also landed a four year gig touring with singer Bobby Caldwell , joining the list of imminent sax players associated with the singer, including Rendezvous co-founder Dave Koz, Richard Elliot and Boney James.

It was through this collaboration, that Michael landed his recording contract, which leads to present, and his new CD, in which there is an organic synergy between Lington, the songs, and arrangements, that lifts Song for You into the realm of the truly unforgettable.

Michael believes covering songs that have deeply impacted listeners is far more demanding than recording his own material. “People feel strongly about these songs. It’s important for me to keep the integrity of the song, yet make it my own, so I’m not just repeating what’s been done before. If you improvise too much, you lose your audience, but if you play it straight up and down, it’s not very interesting—it’s a fine line between staying true to the melody, and yet making each song interesting instrumentally.”

Lington has been a global touring presence for the past several years, and plans to continue with A Song for You. In between his ongoing performances -- i.e. performing at the Royal Wedding of Denmark’s future king, Crown Prince Frederick -- and recordings, Lington proves to be a giving performer by lending his artistry to the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, which raises funds for children’s music programs and provides instruments to public schools all over the U.S. Michael participates in Create Now, where he mentors troubled teens in Los Angeles and Acre’s of Love, a non-profit organization that provides comprehensive services; and “Forever” homes for abandoned and AIDS children in South Africa.

The U.S. based, Danish-born Lington loves classic beauty and expression whether it comes in the form of a song, his vintage European automobiles, underwater landscapes, a child’s smile, or open sky viewed from behind the instrument panel of a helicopter.

A Song for You is undoubtedly a significant step in Lington’s ever-ascending career, and an invitation for everyone to dream.

Michael Lington CDs at amazon.com
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Friday, September 29, 2006

Philippe Saisse Trio - "Do It Again"



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Guitarist Joyce Cooling gets personal on Revolving Door

Narada Jazz/Blue Note Label Group released the seventh album from guitarist Joyce Cooling. Vowing to make music that matters and connects emotionally, Revolving Door is her most personal collection to date. The album title is a reference to the issue of mental illness, which seemingly has no way out of the conundrum for those impacted by the disease. The issue hits Cooling particularly close to home because she grew up with a brother who suffers from schizophrenia, which had a major impact upon her family and continues to do so to this day. Committed to fostering understanding, creating awareness and lending assistance to those affected, a portion of the proceeds from record sales will be donated to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to help support people living with mental illness.

While the subject of the title track is serious, the album is not a depressing collection of songs about mental illness. It’s an eclectic sampling of electric and acoustic jazz, R&B, blues and Latin rhythms. Exploring a vast array of moods, some of the tracks are hopeful and optimistic, some are bluesy cool, and others are pensive and heartfelt. Each song has a different feel. Cooling stretched her artistic muse on the album utilizing new percussion sounds and ten different guitars for the ten songs specifically to give each one a unique voice. The guitarist sings on several numbers in jazzy, sophisticated tones. The compositions were penned by Cooling along with longtime collaborator Jay Wagner, who produced the disc. What was also different for the duo was that Revolving Door is the first album on which they set out to let the stories they wanted to tell inspire the creation of the music instead of allowing the music to spawn the stories. The album’s first single, “Mildred’s Attraction,” an energetic, funk-inspired track, is now being added to the playlists of smooth jazz radio stations.

“For almost my entire life, my family has been on the front line of the mental health crisis. Ever since my brother was diagnosed, his condition – and its relentless, dominating presence – has been the single most pressing element in my family’s universe,” revealed Cooling. “Most people seem to be embarrassed discussing or try to hide mental illness, but after much soul-searching, I decided to ‘come out’ about this reality to do what I can to bring attention and positive action to the issues of mental health. The ‘revolving door’ syndrome makes coping with mental disease a seemingly relentless process for both the afflicted and the family support group around them. The pros tell us that by fostering understanding and positive action, we can make a difference for those who suffer and for those around them who likewise struggle in the wake of the disease. That is why I have chosen to work directly with NAMI.”

Last June, Cooling and Wagner sponsored NAMI’s benefit walk in San Francisco, the city the New Jersey native now calls home. The event raised over $250,000. NAMI will have a presence at Cooling’s concert dates to distribute brochures and information about mental illness and the organization.

The early reaction to Revolving Door has been positive. All Music Guide wrote, “…Cooling finds a way to balance the darker edges with the joyful breeziness that has long endeared her to fans…These songs show tremendous artistic growth for both her and her longtime keyboardist partner Jay Wagner…” Jazz Review said, “Her latest CD entitled Revolving Door follows the same path that she has been most noted for, which is a highly stylized soulful influx of melodies and rhythms… what is most apparent about Revolving Door is the overall expanse Joyce provides. There are a myriad of tracks featuring original upscale rhythms and highly efficient groove-oriented instrumental lyrics…They (Cooling & Wagner) bring a focus to a topic that commands attention and discussion. What is even more significant is the fact that Joyce has found a way to speak her mind musically and without words. This long-awaited release continues a process of illumination by placing Joyce Cooling in the limelight once again as one of smooth jazz’s most significant guitarists.”

For nearly a decade, Cooling has consistently delivered #1 hits and Top 10 singles to smooth jazz radio. The striking beauty was voted “Best New Talent” in a Jazziz Reader’s Poll, won the Gibson Guitars Award as “Best Jazz Guitarist of the Year” and was nominated as “Smooth Jazz Artist of the Year” by the Gavin Report.

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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Victor Fields | "Thinking Of You" - 10/17/06

When vocalist Victor Fields entered the recording studio earlier this summer to record his fourth album for Regina Records, he set out with the intention of making a smooth jazz album. In the studio with his producer Chris Camozzi, multi-instrumentalist Nelson Braxton, jazz keyboard pioneer Jeff Lorber, saxophone sensation Richard Elliot and flugelhorn master Rick Braun, the grooves couldn’t help but turn out funky. Fields’ Thinking of You album is slated for release on October 17th. While the special guest artists are smooth jazz stars, Fields’ velvety vocals are soulful and his phrasing is elegantly jazzy.

Fields gives new life to “Lovely Day,” the sunny Bill Withers classic that will be the first single serviced to smooth jazz radio at the end of this month. Fields is not out to make you forget the original. His gift is in taking a great song and making it his own. His version is familiar, danceable, sophisticated and smile-inducing. The album contains seven other covers and two originals, both of which were co-penned by Lorber. “Walking In Rhythm” is slowed to an alluring mid-tempo groove before Elliot blows the track up with a fiery sax solo. Braun’s flugelhorn adds ambience and mystique to the haunting and sultry “Creepin’.” As for the original compositions, “It’s In Your Vibe” is an urbane R&B track and “Thinking of You” is a seductive romancer. This is definitely an album for the grown and sexy. Stylistically, Fields is somewhat like an endangered species, a gifted crooner recording classy adult music in the mold of such iconic singers as Luther Vandross, Nat King Cole, Al Jarreau and Will Downing.

“Whether I’m singing traditional or contemporary jazz, R&B, pop or what even might be considered as show tunes, I’ve tried to constantly broaden my repertoire and stretch in new directions,” explained Fields. “I honestly don’t really know what smooth jazz is. We - including Chris (Camozzi), a fantastic bunch of musicians, and myself - tried to be true to the music and true to the songs we selected. The test is always whether or not I can bring something fresh or different vocally to the mix. With each album that I’ve recorded, I think I’ve demonstrated growth and have taken a positive step forward towards coming into my own as a song stylist.”

This is the third go-round for Fields and Camozzi. Camozzi also produced Victor (2005) and 52nd Street (2002), the latter of which featured appearances by Lorber, Chris Botti and Gerald Albright. Fields’ debut disc, Promise (1999), was produced by Grammy-nominee Kashif. The Bay Area resident has received praise from respected media outlets including USA Today, Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times. For additional information on Fields, please visit www.victorfields.com.

Victor Fields’ Thinking of You contains the following songs:

“Lovely Day”
“It’s In Your Vibe”
“Yearning For Your Love”
“Somebody Loves You Back”
“Thinking of You”
“Butterflies”
“Walking In Rhythm”
“For The Cool In You”
“Creepin’”
“What’s Going On”


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Al DiMeola | Consequence Of Chaos

After graduating from the Berklee School of Music, Al Di Meola gained visibility as the electric guitarist in Chick Corea’s best-known version of Return to Forever. With the dissolution of that jazz-rock fusion band, Di Meola pursued a variety of avenues, many of which he seamlessly recapitulates on Consequence of Chaos.

The title may refer to the recording process of the disc or world events, but it may also be intended ironically. The atmosphere of the music in its varied textures is almost (but not quite) unremittingly bright in its breezy languor. Listening to the disc from start to finish is tantamount to an aural travelogue, the likes of which takes the listener from dawn to dusk and beyond in a tropical air.

You may find the compact disc stickered and emblazoned as “A Return to His Solid-body Electric Guitar.” But the reality of the album is something different, as represented by the portrait of Al Di Meola wearing the electric instrument on the front cover, a shot that immediately gives way to a photo of him with a classical acoustic as you first turn the page of the CD booklet. Accordingly, on the opener, “San Marco (moderna),” electric and acoustic guitars are interwoven, as is the case through much of the album.

Some measure of sterility manifests itself in such (too) careful arrangements, as on “Tao.” Di Meola’s electric guitar does, however, contain a heated edge on “Turquoise,” while flamenco guitar and percussion interchange with the piano of his former mentor Barry Miles. The keyboardist plays a recurring role throughout the album, and it’s a measure of the guitarist's reconnection to his past to play with the man with whom he collaborated just prior to joining Corea and RTF.

Speaking of which, “Red Moon” is one of the least interesting cuts on the CD because it is so reminiscent of vintage Return to Forever. The acoustic duet between Di Meola and Corea on “Cry for Me” is much more intimate and, perhaps not coincidentally, a much more heartfelt expression of their camaraderie.

The dizzying guitar figures that bring “Tempest” to a close are indicative of the cumulative intensity of this album. Di Meola skirts muzak on “Azucar” through the quick time changes and rhythmic flourishes from Gumbi Ortiz of the Di Meola road band. It’ll be interesting to hear how, as the group tours in support of this album, their live performances evoke atmosphere comparable to this studio work. The shadowy “Sanctuary” is in high contrast to the balmy air that surrounds it.

At approximate midpoint of the album, “Hypnose” demonstrates how the music on Consequence of Chaos becomes increasingly penetrating with each successive cut. The undercurrent of momentum belies the impression of fifteen tracks as merely a collection, rather than a unified piece of work. “San Marco (Vecchio)” bookends this album, enacting a continuity that imparts additional substance to the music.

Visit Al Di Meola on the web.

Track listing: San Marco (Moderna); Turquoise; Odyssey; Tao; Azucar; Sanctuary; Hypnose; Red Moon; Cry For You; Just Three Words; Tempest; Storm Off-Shore; Black Pearls; Africana Suite; San Marco (Vecchio).

Personnel: Al Di Meola: electric guitar, acoustic guitar, keyboard, percussion, cymbals, dumbek, floor toms; Chick Corea: acoustic piano; Steve Gadd: drums; Barry Miles: piano, keyboards, marimba; John Patitucci: bass guitar, acoustic bass; Ernie Adams: drums, percussion, congas, bongos; Gumbi Ortiz: congas, percussion; Mario Parmisano: piano, keyboards, acoustic piano; Victor Miranda: bass guitar, baby upright bass, electric bass; Kornel Horvath: udo, gato drum, shaker.

By Doug Collette
allaboutjazz.com

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John Coltrane's ’Fearless Leader’

Nearly 40 years after his untimely departure at the age of 40, John Coltrane remains one of the most emotionally compelling and profoundly influential figures of contemporary culture; a symbol of passionate commitment, consummate artistry and the spiritual potential to which humanity can aspire. Incredibly, his glorious legacy was set forth, in a little over 10 years of spectacular creativity. The initial stage of this unparalleled odyssey occurred during his extremely prolific relationship with Prestige Records, and is proudly displayed on the label's new 6-CD boxed set, Fearless Leader, released September 26 in celebration of Coltrane's 80th birthday.

The set spans nine sessions, recorded between May 31, 1957 (Trane's first as sole leader) and December 26, 1958. These resulted in 11 separate albums, bringing the phenomenal tenor saxophonist, composer and visionary international acclaim along with the controversy that would be a constant companion for the remainder of his life. Coltrane's overwhelmingly rapid artistic evolution would soon move him out of the realm of pure Jazz, through a world music domain heavily influenced by African and Indian elements and eventually into the rarefied zone of spiritual expression best characterized as "music of the spheres." But the Jazz tradition and its blues roots would always provide the mighty trunk from which his exploratory branches would reach toward the sky. The music on Fearless Leader displays Trane's pure Jazz explorations, while laying out a roadmap for the stunning developments that would lie ahead. With all profound artists, early works must be explored to truly understand later creations; otherwise it's like coming into a great film part way through. Fearless Leader provides enormous insight into Coltrane's creative process, and his highly personal and singular approach to blues, rhythm and improvisation that would always be front and center, regardless of his surroundings. The set also displays the younger Coltrane's maturing process, as he developed his utterly singular sound that penetrated into the very depths of the listener's soul.

The beautifully packaged set was compiled and produced by Patrick Milligan (who also produced the Grammy-nominated Coltrane set, Heavyweight Champion) and Cheryl Pawelski. It contains extensive and informative notes by Richard S. Ginell and noted Coltrane historian Lewis Porter, and includes many fine photographs by a variety of noted photographers, including Bob Parent, Chuck Stewart, William Claxton, Lee Tanner, Burt Goldblatt and Esmond Edwards.

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7th Annual Django Reinhardt NY Festival

7th Annual Django Reinhardt NY Festival will take place at Birdland, NYC November 7 - 12. Starring: The Schmitts. Dorado, Samson and Tchavalo--father, son and cousin-- return. Three true-blue gypsy guitar greats with large personalities from the Strasbourg region in France near Germany. Dorado actually lives on Rue Stephane Grappelli. They perform in the Manouche tradition, each with his own style, all virtuosos of the music of Django--hot, romantic, and joyous.

Joining them will be Parisian accordion whiz Ludovic Beier, who has dazzled us with his virtuososity on the accordion and who also plays the 'accordina, ' a very fascinating instrument. Young Alexandre Cavaliere comes from Belgium and brings an excitement and joy to the ensemble. Brian Torff, who toured with Stephane Grappelli for years, is our bassist and musical director.

The Festival also introduces Kruno, a new young guitar talent from Philadelphia, on Nov. 9th. Added to all that, each night, an American jazz great will join in, including trumpeter Dominick Farinacci on Nov. 7--listen to him play a beautiful version of Django's tune "Tears." Saxophonist James Carter steps in on Nov. 8. We'll hear the rich sound of Joel Frahm's sax on Nov. 9, the "other Benny Goodman"--Ken Peplowski--on Nov. 10, former John Pizzarelli pianist Ray Kennedy on Nov. 11 and Venezuelan harpist Edmar Castaneda on Nov. 12. And there are always surprises.

The Festival is Produced by Pat Philips & Ettore Stratta and carries on the legacy of the music of Django Reinhardt, who first teamed with virtuoso jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli in the 1930s to form the Hot Club Quintette, and so created a special hot swing form of jazz that was romantic, virtuosic and original in style.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Diana Krall: 'From This Moment On'


Click to listen

Review by David Was - npr.org
Listen to tracks:
It Was A Beautiful Day in August/You Can Depend On Me
It Could Happen To You
I Was Doing Alright

Diana Krall is the undisputed superstar of jazz-inflected singers in the last decade or so, and her new album on Verve, From This Moment On -- mostly standards done with big-band arrangements -- is a return to her usual form.

In 2004, she took a wobbly excursion into singer-songwriter territory under the influence of her singer-songwriter husband, Elvis Costello. The couple is expecting twins this November, which might slow her torrid creative pace just a hair.

Krall took the jazz world by the horns back in the mid-1990s, when her cool, understated approach to singing combined with her femme fatale looks and manner to make her the darling of audiences too young to remember names like Billie Holliday and Ella Fitzgerald. She was, of her generation, the closest in spirit to those august figures, even if her initial strength was as a pianist, not a vocalist.

In that sense, she can be likened to Chet Baker, the hard-living trumpeter who became similarly popular in the '50s with his whispery vocals and restrained sense of swing. Both are instrumentalists who added singing to their repertoire later. They make up for their modest technical gifts with a soft, breathy, sensual sound and persona. Even though she is an honest woman now, the photos of Krall on her Web site have her wearing heels in bed and looking sweetly seductive, a marketing ploy she is reportedly not enthusiastic about.

Her mesmeric presence is undeniable in person, but her approach to vocalizing in the studio strikes me as comparatively formal and tentative. She makes phrasing decisions on the fly as a proper improviser might, but she can't see or hear two or four bars ahead, as a more architecturally-minded singer like Sarah Vaughan did.

The opening track, "It Could Happen to You," finds Krall stretching out pronouns and participles as if they merited special musical attention -- rather than making invention enhance expression, as instrumentalists like John Coltrane and Miles Davis did so eloquently.

In 1994, I witnessed a fledgling Ms. Krall recording a guest vocal on an album by alto saxophonist and arranger Benny Carter. At age 87, he easily had the most modern ears in the room, and took her to task for singing a phrase with a flatted fifth in it -- a cliche in the jazz idiom for many decades. "Don't go to that note," he said to her tersely. "That ain't hip anymore. Everybody plays that note." Busted by an octogenarian for sticking too closely to the playbook -- that must have been a shock!

While Krall might not be the most supple swinger the jazz world has ever known, she instead has a tendency to place her notes before the beat like Sinatra sometimes did -- though certainly not with the same throwaway playfulness that made Frank's approach to song sound effortless and casual, though deceptively so. By comparison, Diana Krall is guilty as charged: possession of an illegal quantity of premeditation and forethought while singing jazz.


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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

George Benson & Al Jarreau - "Givin' It Up"



In stores, October 24th. This much-anticipated 13-track recording features each of the stars on a new arrangement of one of the other’s biggest hits – Jarreau adding lyrics to and singing Benson’s signature instrumental smash “Breezin’,” while the legendary jazz guitarist delivers a lovely instrumental version of the singer’s eternally charming hit “Mornin’.” Givin’ It Up also includes delicious covers of Seals & Crofts’ “Summer Breeze” and Hall & Oates’ (and Paul Young smash) “Every Time You Go Away,” as well as stunning new jazz vocal versions of the Miles Davis classics “Four” and “‘Long Come Tutu.”

Givin’ It Up was recorded between April and June, 2006. Serendipitously, pop legend, Paul McCartney, happened to be in the studio next door during one session and dropped in to join Benson and Jarreau on an impromptu romp through Sam Cooke’s “Bring it on Home to Me.” Neo soul diva, Jill Scott, performs Billie Holiday’s timeless “God Bless the Child.” Rounding out the album is an instrumental take on John Legend’s GRAMMY award-winning soul smash, “Ordinary People” and four new compositions, including a new Jarreau and Barry Eastmond composition, “Let it Rain,” which features Patti Austin and Chris Botti.

An A-list of musicians appear on Givin’ It Up: keyboardists Patrice Rushen, Rex Rideout and Herbie Hancock; bassists Marcus Miller, Abraham Laboriel and Stanley Clarke; guitarists Dean Parks, Ray Fuller and Michael Thompson; saxophonist Marion Meadows; and drummers Vinnie Colaiuta and Michael White.

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Smooth Jazz Chart | Week Ended 9/26/06







LW TW Artist Album (Label)
1 - 1 - Peter White - "Playin' Favorites" (Columbia)
3 - 2 - Boney James = "Shine" - (Concord)
2 - 3 - Fourplay - "X" (Bluebird/RCA Victor)
4 - 4 - The Jazzmasters - "Jazzmasters V" (Trippin 'n Rhythm)
5 - 5 - Wayman Tisdale - "Way Up" (Rendezvous)
6 - 6 - Mindi Abair - "Life Less Ordinary" (GRP)
8 - 7 - Pieces Of A Dream "Pillow Talk" - (Heads Up)
11 - 8 - Eric Darius - "Just Getting Started" (Narada Jazz)
7 - 9 - David Benoit - "Full Circle" - (Peak)
10 - 10 - Euge Groove - "Just Feels Right" (Narada Jazz)

Find these top-ten here at amazon.com

Visit smoothjazz.com to view the latest complete top 50 chart.
Visit smoothjazz.com to view the latest weekly chart recap.

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Monday, September 25, 2006

Ramsey Lewis, Morning Man For Smooth Nation

Broadcast Architecture names jazz legend and three-time Grammy winner Ramsey Lewis host of its Smooth Jazz Network's nationally distributed morning show, which debuts in January 2007.

BA president Allen Kepler states, "In more than 20 years of working in smooth jazz radio, I have never been more excited about anything we’ve created. Ramsey Lewis’ list of achievements is far too lengthy to include. Not only has the music world recognized him with Doctorate degrees and achievement awards, the radio industry has recognized Ramsey with awards, including twice R&R Industry Achievement Award winner of smooth jazz personality of the year.

Lewis comments, "Our team has worked hard to create what we feel is an entertaining, informative yet unique morning show. Sharing these moments with the rest of the country is the ultimate radio experience. To say we are excited is putting it mildly."

Lewis' fans and listeners have honored him with numerous awards, including five Gold records and several top 5 ratings wins for the morning show he hosts on WNUA. The station will remain his base of operation for the new nationally syndicated Ramsey Lewis Morning Show, where he will continue to be teamed with his Chicago co-host Karen Williams and producer Bob Kessler.

The syndicated morning show is part of Broadcast Architecture’s super-station concept and will be the cornerstone of the 24-hour smooth jazz network, slated to launch this January.

Lewis remains one of the busiest entertainers in the music world, recording CDs for Narada Jazz, touring as a solo artist, and with Urban Nights. Besides joining WNUA's morning show nine years ago, Lewis anchors the weekly show Legends of Jazz with Ramsey Lewis, nationally syndicated by United Radio Stations and heard in 75 US markets. He is also host of a PBS series of the same name.

In early 2005 he formed the Ramsey Lewis Foundation that provided youth with the opportunity to play musical instruments and develop skills that enhance self-confidence and a sense of personal accomplishment. Lewis’ illustrious career not only includes three Grammy Awards; five Gold Records; three industry achievement honors; NARAS' Recording Academy Governor’s Citizen of the Year award from Chicago's Gateway Foundation; Laureate award from the prestigious Lincoln Academy of Illinois; and NAACP's image award for outstanding jazz artist. In 2002 Lewis carried the Olympic Torch as it traveled to Salt Lake City.

By Carol Archer
radioandrecords.com

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Sunday, September 24, 2006

New Releases | September




Boney James, Shine [Concord Records, 9/26]
Al Di Meola, Consequence of Chaos [Telarc Record, 9/26]
Keith Jarrett, Carnegie Hall Concert (2-Disc) [ECM Records, 9/26]
Medeski, Martin & Wood and John Scofield, Out Louder [9/26]
Natalie Cole, Day Dreaming [Verve, 9/26]
Tomasz Stanko, Chameleon (IMPORT) [Metal Mind, 9/26]
John Patitucci, Line By Line (+1 Bonus Track) [JVC Victor, 9/26]


Information provided by contemporaryjazz.com

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Upcoming Jazz Releases | 9/26/06

Upcoming Jazz Releases

Andrews Sisters - Best of Anthology (Master Classic Series) - Reissue
Anita O'Day - Keep the Coffee Coming (Five Four) - Reissue
Anita O'Day - Essential O'Day: Basin Street West 1964 (Emily) - Reissue
Big Neighborhood - 0.465972222 (Origin)
Bing Crosby - The Centennial Anthology (Master Classics) - Reissue
Blind Faith - London Hyde Park 1969 (Sony) - DVD-Video
Bob Stewart - I Concentrate on You (VWC)
Bobby Hackett - Live at Nick's & Boston (Vintage Music) - Reissue
Bud Powell - Lausanne, 1962 (Naked City)
Cal Massey - Blues for Coltrane (City Hall)
Cal Massey - Blues to Coltrane (Candid)
Canned Heat - Live at Montreux 1973 (RED) - DVD-Video
Chet Baker & Russ Freeman - Grand Encounter (England) (Giant Steps) - Reissue
Chris Connor - All About Chris (UK) (Five Four) - Reissue
Classical Jazz Quartet - Plays Bach (Kind of Blue) - Reissue
Classical Jazz Quartet - Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker (Kind of Blue) - Reissue
Dave Douglas - Meaning and Mystery (Koch)
David Berger - Marlowe (Such Sweet Thunder)
David Binney - Cities and Desire (Criss Cross)
David Gilmore - Unified Presence (Kindred Rhythm)
David Kikoski - Limits (City Hall)
David Murray - A Modern Portrait of Louis Armstrong (Random Chance)
Diana Krall - From This Moment On (Verve)
Dinah Washington - Mastercuts (Mastercuts) - Reissue
Django Reinhardt - Keep Cool; Guitar Solos 1950-53 (Five Four) - Reissue
Elaine Brown - Seize the Time (Water)
Eric Clapton - Live at Montreux 1986 (RED) - DVD-Video
Evan Parker - Time Lapse (Tzadik)
Felle Vega - Retreta Para El Alma (NPG Music)
Four Freshmen - Blue World (Hep Cat) - Reissue
Fred Martin - Some Bridges (Concord)
Gal Costa - Live at the Blue Note (DRG)
Gladys Swarthout - My Song Goes On (UK) (Flare)
Gladys Swarthout - My Song Goes On (UK) (Flare)
Glenn Miller - Dancing in a Dream (UK) (City Hall) - Reissue
Glenn Miller - Essential Collection (City Hall) - Reissue - 2+ CDs
Hoagy Carmichael - In Person 1925-1955 (UK) (Avid Records) - 2+ CDs
Hokum Boys and Banjo Joe - Ain't Goin' That Way (Black Swan)
Howard Alden - Live at the Smithsonian Jazz Cafe (City Hall) - DVD-Video
Hugh Maskela - 20th Century Masters: The Millenium Collection (Hip-O) - Reissue
Illinois Jacquet / Flip Phillips - Mayhem in Manhattan (Giant Steps) - Reissue
Jack Teagarden - 1930 Studio Sessions (Jazz Oracle) - Reissue
Javon Jackson - Now (Palmetto)
Jay Lawrence - Thermal Strut (OA2)
Jean Ritchie - Tradition Years: American Folk Tales & Songs(Empire)-Reissue
Jeff Healey Band - Live at Montreux 1999 (RED) - DVD-Video
Jesse James - I Can Do Bad By Myself (Gunsmoke)
John Abercrombie / Andy Laverne - The Art of the Duo (Mel Bay) - DVD-Video
John Harrison - Effects (La-La Land)
Johnny Hammond - Live in Greece (City Hall)
Jon Hammond - Hammond's Bolero (Jon Hammond International) - Reissue
Jon Hammond - Late Rent (Ham-Berger-Friz) - Reissue
Jon Hammond - NDR Sessions Project (Ham-Berger-Friz) - Reissue
Julie Kelly - Everything I Love (Chase Music Group)
Kayhan Kalhor - Wind (ECM)
Kimberly Ann Cook - Butterfly (Platinum Plus)
Kit Mcclure - Burning (Redhot)
Lanin's Southern Serenaders - Shake It & Break It (Frog UK)
Larry Clinton - My Reverie (Living Era) - Reissue
Larry Coryell - Traffic (Chesky)
Leo Reisman - Maestro Sophisticate (City Hall)
Les Paul - Complete Decca Master Takes (Spain) (Jazz Factory) - Reissue
Linkola / Makela / Nyman / Nyqvist / Ounaskari - Kyn on a Thread(Albatross)
Louis Armstrong - Gold (remaster) (Geffen) - Reissue
Luis Perdomo - Awareness (Kindred Rhythm)
M'Lumbo - Sacrifices to the Neon Gods (Mulatta)
Mahalia Jackson - Immortal Mahalia Jackson (Select O Hits) - DVD-Video
Mandrill - Live at Montreux 2002 (Kindred Rhythm)
Mark Taylor - Fidyk Big Band Live at Blues Alley (City Hall)
Matt Savage Trio - Cutting Loose (Palmetto)
Matt Savage Trio - Quantum Leap (Palmetto)
Max Roach - Freedom Suite Now: Live in Europe, 1964 (Candid)
Max Roach - We Insist "Freedom Now" Suite (Candid) - Reissue
Mel Brown - Mel Brown (Electro-Fi) - DVD-Video
Microscopic Sextet - Seven Men in Neckties (Cuneiform)
Mike Frost - Comin' Straight at Ya (Rock Bottom)
Mike Holober - Wish List (Sons of Sound)
Milcho Leviev - Multiple Personalities (Mighty Quinn)
Modo Trio with Jamie Saft - The Uninvited (482 Music)
Morgana King - It's Quiet Thing (Collector's Choice) - Reissue
Morgana King - Wild is Love (Collector's Choice) - Reissue
N'Awlins Gumbo Kings - UFO Saloon (Blue Cat Blues Records) - Reissue
N'Awlins Gumbo Kings - We're The Gumbo Kings (Blue Cat Blues Records) - Reissue
New Birth Brass Band - New Orleans Second Line (Mardi Gras)
Nina Simone - Live at Montreux 1976 (RED) - DVD-Video
Redbeard - Redbeard (Feralette)
Reeds & Deeds - Cookin' (City Hall)
Richie Cole / Alto Madness Orchestra - Rises's Rose Garden (Jazz Excursion)
Scott Burns - Passages (Origin)
Si Zentner / Ralph Marterie - Big Band (Select O Hits) - Reissue - DVD-Video
String Quartet - String Quartet Tribute to Diana Krall (Vitamin)
Sue Foley - Live in Europe (Music Video Distributors) - DVD-Video
Tassel & Naturel - Diamond Suite: A Selection of Electrocentric Jazz (Seven Islands)
Ted Heath - The Essential Collection (West End) - Reissue - 2+ CDs
Tex Beneke / Gene Krupa / Jerry Wald - Big Band (Select O Hits) - Reissue - DVD-Video
Tico da Costa - Lagartixa (Basement Front)
Tommy Dorsey - Jamboree (Sounds of Yesteryear) - Reissue
Tony Martin - Mo Deration (Jasmine)
Toshiko Mariano - Toshiko Mariano Quartet (Candid)
Trio East - Best Bets (Origin)
Weather Report - Forecast Tomorrow (Legacy Recordings) - 2+ CDs
Wes Montgomery - 20th Century Masters: The Millenium Collection (Hip-O) - Reissue
Williams-Fairey Engineering Band - Best in Brass (England) (Music Digi)
Woody Herman Orchestra - Reunion at Newport (ITM Archives)
Wynton Marsalis - In This House, On This Morning (Geneon) - DVD-Video

Information provided by allaboutjazz.com
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Friday, September 22, 2006

Boney James | Shine - Release Date 9/26/06



"Shine" - Boney James' 10th CD and debut with Concord Records in stores this Tuesday, September 26th, 2006

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Corinne Bailey Rae: Jazz, Pop and Soul

Corinne Bailey Rae's musical influences range from choral church music and classical jazz to Veruca Salt and Led Zeppelin. With such a wide variety of inspirations, it's no surprise that her own music offers a unique perspective on modern music, as her crisp, clean vocals blend with a soulful backdrop of pianos, guitars and harmonies.

Rae grew up in her mother's native England with her West Indian father. After founding the indie-rock group Helen, she went to Leeds University and began working in a jazz club, where she occasionally sang with the house band. Her experiences with jazz inspired her to take a more soulful approach to her own songs, and she was signed by EMI with 10 years of experience and clear musical goals in mind. Now, the 26-year-old is well on her way to stardom: Her songs have been featured on the TV show Grey’s Anatomy, which is as good an indication as any that Rae is on the rise.


Click to listen

In Performance by Michaela Majoun
NPR/Music

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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Second Smooth Jazz Tribute To Luther Vandross Planned

This time it will be released by Rendezvous Entertainment.

A second Luther Vandross tribute CD titled Forever, For Always, For Luther, Volume 2 will be released Nov. 20 by Rendezvous Entertainment, the smooth jazz label co-founded by saxophonist Dave Koz. The CD follows a 2004 compilation released by the GRP label one year before the singer's death on July 1, 2005 after never fully recovering from a diabetes-caused stroke.

The upcoming tribute will once again be produced by Rex Rideout and Bud Harner. The lineup will include Patti Austin, Norman Brown, Jonathan Butler, Jeff Lorber, Wayman Tisdale, Gerald Albright, Maysa, Kirk Whalum and Will Downing. A portion of the CD's proceeds will benefit the American Heart Association. It is rumored that a U.S. tour, featuring the recording's participants, is being planned for the spring of 2007.

The first tribute CD boasted a No. 1 smooth jazz hit, "Your Secret Love" by saxophonist Richard Elliot.

Posted by Brian Soergel at smoothvibes.com

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Ramsey Lewis will host the Smooth Jazz Network's show

Broadcast Architecture, the world's leading smooth jazz research and consulting firm announced today that Jazz legend and three-time Grammy winner, Ramsey Lewis will host the Smooth Jazz Network's nationally distributed morning show beginning in January of 2007.

BA's President Allen Kepler stated: "In more than 20 years of working in smooth jazz radio, I have never been more excited about anything we've created. Ramsey Lewis' list of achievements is far too lengthy to include all of them here. Not only has the music world recognized Ramsey with Doctorate degrees and achievement awards, but the radio industry has recognized Ramsey with awards, including twice for Personality of the Year."

Lewis shared; "Our team has worked hard to create what we feel is an entertaining, informative yet unique morning show. Sharing these moments with the rest of the country is the ultimate radio experience. To say we are excited is putting it mildly!"

Ramsey's fans and listeners have adorned him with numerous awards, including 5 Gold records and several Top 5 ratings finishes for his morning show on WNUA in Chicago. WNUA will be his base of operation for the new nationally syndicated "Ramsey Lewis Morning Show." Ramsey will continue to be teamed with his Chicago co-host Karen Williams, along with show producer Bob Kessler.

The syndicated morning show is part of Broadcast Architecture's superstation concept and will be the cornerstone of their 24 hour smooth jazz network launch this January.

Ramsey Lewis remains one of the busiest entertainers in the music world, recording CD's on the Narada record label, touring as a solo artist, as well as with his group "Urban Nights." Besides hosting WNUA's daily morning show in Chicago, Lewis anchors a weekly syndicated radio show "Legends of Jazz with Ramsey Lewis", heard in 75 cities throughout the US. Ramsey Lewis can now be seen on PBS television on his recently created "Legends of Jazz with Ramsey Lewis" for TV.

Early 2005 saw the formation of the Ramsey Lewis Foundation that will help provide youth with the opportunity to play musical instruments and develop skills to enhance self-confidence and a sense of personal accomplishment. Lewis' illustrious career not only includes 3 Grammy Awards, 5 Gold Records, 3 Radio Industry Achievement Awards, but also the prestigious NARAS Recording Academy Governor's Award, 'Citizen of the Year' award from Chicago's Gateway Foundation, "Laureate" award from the prestigious Lincoln Academy of Illinois and the NAACP's image award for outstanding Jazz artist. In 2002 Lewis carried the Olympic Torch as it traveled to Salt Lake City.

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Big Challenges Ahead For Smooth Jazz Format

One thing's for sure: there’s no smooth sailing ahead for the smooth jazz format and its fans. But perception, both inside and outside the format, may be a bigger problem than the industry realizes. One take is that since the format has been abandoned in several notable markets, it’s spiraling downward.

“How do we find those new, young fans that will revitalize this format?” asked Frank Cody of Beverly Hills-based Rendezvous Entertainment on Wednesday (Sept. 20) as he moderated an R&R Convention panel titled “Smooth Jazz - Label Confidential.”

“We need new, young artists,” suggested panelist Bud Harner, but he warned that those younger artists “need new, fresh music. They cannot sound like the old artists.”

“We are going to have to find the customer,” said another panelist, Dave Love. “The customers are not going to the record store anymore.”

But Allen Kepler, president of Broadcast Architecture, isn’t about to round up the Britney Spears crowd to bulk up on audience. Attracting that audience “is like hip-hop saying it needs to get more 50+ listeners,” he said, adding that the smooth jazz format's target audience is 35 and older, with 50 being the bulk age. It’s a demo, Kepler believes, that has money and will buy CDs.

By Jeffrey Yorke - radioandrecords.com

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Jazz violinist Carter wins 'genius award'

"It's not real," jazz violinist and Detroit native Regina Carter was saying Tuesday, still numb a full week after being awarded a $500,000 no-strings prize for creative genius from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation of Chicago.

Known as the "genius awards," the 25 annual stipends have been handed out since 1981 to recognize exceptional achievement in all fields of professional endeavor. The 2006 awards were publicly announced Tuesday.

"It's like the spirits are saying, 'OK, we see you, and now it's time to really pay attention to what you want to do,'" says Carter, 40.

As it happens, the critically acclaimed violinist and graduate of Cass Tech High School knows exactly what that is. She wants to go back to school and study music therapy.

"I want to learn how to use music to help people and incorporate those ideas into a program of my own," she explains. "I've wanted to do this for a long time, but I really didn't know where I was going to get the money."

Carter, who lives in New York City with her husband, drummer Alvester Garnett, has a couple of weeks to come back down to earth before hitting the concert circuit again with a series of appearances from Los Angeles to Seattle.

Tuesday, the award winner was back in Detroit, sorting through the household left by her mother, who died in 2005.

"My mother was very big on school," says the violinist, who holds a performance degree from Oakland University. "She also believed in being focused."

When Carter was growing up, her mom would tell her to be clear on what she wanted and walk the path to get there, says the violinist, who holds a performance degree from Oakland University.

"When I began to do that, I started to see some of my dreams become reality."

Lawrence B. Johnson / Special to The Detroit News

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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Smooth Jazz Chart | Week Ended 9/18/06







LW TW Artist Album (Label)
1 - 1 - Peter White - "Playin' Favorites" (Columbia)
4 - 2 - Fourplay - "X" (Bluebird/RCA Victor)
7 - 3 - Boney James = "Shine" - (Concord)
6 - 4 - The Jazzmasters - "Jazzmasters V" (Trippin 'n Rhythm)
3 - 5 - Wayman Tisdale - "Way Up" (Rendezvous)
2 - 6 - Mindi Abair - "Life Less Ordinary" (GRP)
9 - 7 - David Benoit - "Full Circle" - (Peak)
10 - 8 - Pieces Of A Dream "Pillow Talk" - (Heads Up)
5 - 9 - Nick Colionne - "Keepin' It Cool" (Narada Jazz)
8 - 10 - Euge Groove - "Just Feels Right" (Narada Jazz)


Visit smoothjazz.com to view the latest complete top 50 chart.
Visit smoothjazz.com to view the latest weekly chart recap.

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Monday, September 18, 2006

Change of tune? | Yankees' Williams may retire to further music career

Yankees outfielder Bernie Williams is contemplating retirement, though not for the usual reasons. It isn't because age or diminishing skills have taken their toll; judging by this year and last, Williams' skills, at age 38, are far from depleted after patrolling the Bronx outfield for the last 16 seasons.

Instead, Williams is considering leaving the game to further a career in music. Williams told SI.com that the lure of family and music are making him think twice about returning to the Yankees next year.

"One day I feel like coming back, one day I feel like my family wants me back," said Williams, who's batting .281 in a part-time role, 32 points higher than in his disappointing 2005 season. "I think I could probably play a couple more years. But there are actually a couple things that are making me think a little bit more." If he left, Williams said, "a little would be about family, a little about music."

Williams always envisioned himself playing baseball until he absolutely knew he couldn't play anymore, and "in some ways that's what I still want to do," he says. In other ways, this could be it for Williams, the beloved Yankee who's one of the franchise's all-time clutch hitters but who's also an accomplished classical guitarist. He composed seven songs on his '04 debut album, The Journey Within, which received favorable reviews.

Two teammates predicted that Williams would return to the Yankees next year, but Williams isn't ready to commit. The Yankees have a crowded outfield picture with four starters already tied to the team for '07 -- Melky Cabrera, Bobby Abreu, Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon -- even if, as expected, Gary Sheffield's $13 million option isn't picked up.

After suffering through a season in which he hit .249 while struggling to determine his role on the club, Williams badly wanted to come back to the Yankees this season -- "I didn't like that too much," he said -- that he didn't entertain any outside offers and returned for only $1.5 million, an unusual 90 percent pay cut. The move didn't help a bargaining position affected by the notion that few can envision him playing elsewhere. Now, his value improved, he's somewhat less certain he wants to return.

"I'm trying to have as much fun as I can," says Williams. "At this stage of my career, every year seems like it could be my last. I feel like what I need to do is savor and take advantage of every opportunity that remains."

If he does leave, guitar in hand, he'll go out on a great note. Williams has been serenaded with cheers every time his name has been announced at Yankee Stadium this season, and he has responded with an unexpected resurgence.

SI.com

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Drayknight | Live From The JazzCellar

The folks at City Sounds Radio are excited to announce a new DJ, Drayknight, who will be coming aboard with an evening smooth jazz show.

According to Dick Fairchild of City Sounds Radio; "Dray aired a late night smooth jazz show in Memphis on FM radio, so he brings a lot of experience to our station. We look forward to debuting his show, so listen for the promo and check the DJ calendar for dates and times."

Drayknight was quoted as saying "Thank you Dick and I am excited as well. I am looking forward to adding to the stations efforts to promote this good music we call "Smooth Jazz". I invite all of you to join me here on "City Sounds Radio" and please drop us a line from time to time to let us know what you think of what we do here for you music lovers. Showtimes for smooth jazz from "The Jazzcellar" will be 7-9pm(CDT), Monday-Wednesday & Fridays. Looking forward to seeing you all there.

Click here to listen to Drayknight live from the JazzCellar on CitySounds!

City Sounds Radio "Where the sounds of the city come alive."


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Sunday, September 17, 2006

Cool Stuff Being Made: How Saxophones Are Made

In the past, the Blogger in Chief has written about his musical instrument, the guitar, and why it is cool. I think he was wrong and so today, I've decided to talk about my musical instrument, the saxophone, and why it represents the height of cool and the peek of passion; along the way I'll also show you how its made.

We would be remiss if we didn't publically thank Rich Kleinfelt of the Washington Saxophone Quartet, who is my sax instructor. Rich's quartet is, without a doubt, the most famous quartet in the nation heard each and every day on NPR's All Things Considered.

So, today's video is actually broken up into two parts: how saxophones are made, and a bonus feature on the history of saxophones.

In this fifteen minute video it becomes obvious that saxophones are a work of art that combines experience, concentration, patience and manual dexterity. Some 500 parts go into the saxophone with 3000 separate operations. You'll see how the parts get cut out and stamped from a brass sheet, how the bell takes shape, how a drill press creates the tone holes and how their placement results in a proper aerodynamic flow of air for more dynamic sound. Then, we watch how the keys are made from the stamping of a huge hydraulic press. Later, we learn how learn the important role of screws and how they get placed followed by much quality checking.

Our tour concludes with each sax getting hand tested.

You'll also want to watch the short video on how the saxophone was invented. In this video you'll see why the saxophone is the product of inspiration, genius, jealousy, political intrigue, perseverance, and success-all in one. You'll learn how it was an immediate success, owing in part to its unique sound based on the single reed, tapered conical bore. You'll also learn when it was invented and why it didn't take long for a million saxophones to be in use in the United States.

So, click here to watch this week's video on How Saxophones Are Made.

Posted by Blogger's Apprentice at blog.nam.org


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Saturday, September 16, 2006

Boney James | Shine - Release Date 9/26/06

Chart-Topping “Urban Jazz” Instrumentalist, Producer and Grammy Nominee Enlists Faith Evans, Dwele, George Benson, Esthero, Others On Latest Album

Concord Records is delighted to announce the release of Shine, the new album by acclaimed saxophonist Boney James, on Sept. 26.

Shine, the two-time Grammy nominee’s 10th album – and first for Concord – features guest appearances by hip-hop/soul diva Faith Evans, jazz-guitar icon George Benson, R&B vocalists Dwele and Phillip Bailey, keyboard wizard George Duke, alternative-pop singer Esthero and Sounds of Blackness powerhouse Ann Nesby.

Boney produced the disc and played tenor, soprano and alto saxes, keyboards and flute. He wrote or co-wrote nine of Shine’s 12 tracks.

Faith Evans lends her supple pipes to the rambunctious, rock-tinged R&B song “Gonna Get It,” which Boney co-wrote with Rahsaan Patterson. “Faith is a huge star, and I was really flattered that she wanted to work with me,” Boney relates. “And I was floored not only by how hard she worked on the track, but by how incredibly gracious she was.”

With Shine’s sparkling new batch of material, Boney James is set to take audiences to entirely new places with his ecstatic, evocative playing and velvety grooves. James will kick off a new tour at L.A.’s Greek Theatre on Sept. 29, with dates scheduled through 2007. “The communal experience of playing live – that’s why I became a musician in the first place,” he declares. “It’s exciting and liberating. It never gets old for me.”

Boney James “Shine” - Available In Stores and Online September 26th
From Concord Records - www.concordmusicgroup.com

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New Releases | September




David Gilmore, Unified Presence [RKM Music/Kindred Rhythm, 9/19]
Javon Jackson, Now [Palmetto Records, 9/19]
Diana Krall, From This Moment On [Verve, 9/19]
Fred Martin & The Levite Camp, Some Bridges [Concord, 9/19]
Scott Kinsey, Kinesthetics [Abstract Logix, 9/19]
Brazilian Girls, Talk to La Bomb [Verve Forecast, 9/19]
Boney James, Shine [Concord Records, 9/26]
Al Di Meola, Consequence of Chaos [Telarc Record, 9/26]
Keith Jarrett, Carnegie Hall Concert (2-Disc) [ECM Records, 9/26]
Medeski, Martin & Wood and John Scofield, Out Louder [9/26]
Natalie Cole, Day Dreaming [Verve, 9/26]
Tomasz Stanko, Chameleon (IMPORT) [Metal Mind, 9/26]
John Patitucci, Line By Line (+1 Bonus Track) [JVC Victor, 9/26]



Information provided by contemporaryjazz.com

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Upcoming Jazz Releases | 9/19/06

Upcoming Jazz Releases

Andrews Sisters - Best of Anothology (Master Classic Series) - Reissue
Anita O'Day - Keep the Coffee Coming (Five Four) - Reissue
Anita O'Day - Essential O'Day: Basin Street West 1964 (Emily) - Reissue
Big Neighborhood - 11:11 (Origin)
Bing Crosby - The Centennial Anthology (Master Classics) - Reissue
Blind Faith - London Hyde Park 1969 (Sony) - DVD-Video
Bob Stewart - I Concentrate on You (VWC)
Bobby Hackett - Live at Nick's & Boston (Vintage Music) - Reissue
Cal Massey - Blues for Coltrane (City Hall)
Cal Massey - Blues to Coltrane (Candid)
Canned Heat - Live at Montreux 1973 (RED) - DVD-Video
Chet Baker & Russ Freeman - Grand Encounter (England) (Giant Steps) - Reissue
Chris Connor - All About Chris (UK) (Five Four) - Reissue
Classical Jazz Quartet - Plays Bach (Kind of Blue) - Reissue
Classical Jazz Quartet - Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker (Kind of Blue) - Reissue
Dave Douglas - Meaning and Mystery (Koch)
David Berger - Marlowe (Such Sweet Thunder)
David Binney - Cities and Desire (Criss Cross)
David Gilmpore - Unified Presence (Kindred Rhythm)
David Kikoski - Limits (City Hall)
David Murray - Mental Strain at Dawn (Random Chance)
Diana Krall - From This Moment On (Verve)
Dinah Washington - Mastercuts (Mastercuts) - Reissue
Django Reinhardt - Keep Cool; Guitar Solos 1950-53 (Five Four) - Reissue
Elaine Brown - Seize the Time (Water)
Eric Clapton - Live at Montreux 1986 (RED) - DVD-Video
Evan Parker - Time Lapse (Tzadik)
Fela Vega - Retreta Para El Alma (NPG Music)
Four Freshmen - Blue World (Hep Cat) - Reissue
Fred Martin - Some Bridges (Concord)
Gal Costa - Live at the Blue Note (DRG)
Gladys Swarthout - My Song Goes On (UK) (Flare)
Gladys Swarthout - My Song Goes On (UK) (Flare)
Glenn Miller - Dancing in a Dream (UK) (City Hall) - Reissue
Hoagy Carmichael - In Person 1925-1955 (UK) (Avid Records) - 2+ CDs
Hokum Boys and Banjo Joe - Ain't Goin' That Way (Black Swan)
Howard Alden - Live at the Smithsonian Jazz Cafe (City Hall) - DVD-Video
Hugh Maskela - 20th Century Masters: The Millenium Collection (Hip-O) - Reissue
Illinois Jacquet / Flip Phillips - Mayhem in Manhattan (Giant Steps) - Reissue
Jack Teagarden - 1930 Studio Sessions (Jazz Oracle) - Reissue
Jack Teagarden - 1930 Studio Sessins (Jazz Oracle) - Reissue
Javon Jackson - Now (Palmetto)
Jay Lawrence - Thermal Strut (OA2)
Jeff Healey Band - Live at Montreux 1999 (RED) - DVD-Video
Jesse James - I Can Do Bad By Myself (Gunsmoke)
John Abercrombie / Andy Laverne - The Art of the Duo (Mel Bay) - DVD-Video
John Harrison - Effects (La-La Land)
John Zorn - Astronome (Tzadik)
Johnny Hammond - Live in Greece (City Hall)
Jon Hammond - Hammond's Bolero (Jon Hammond International) - Reissue
Jon Hammond - Late Rent (Ham-Berger-Friz) - Reissue
Jon Hammond - NDR Sessions Project (Ham-Berger-Friz) - Reissue
Julie Kelly - Everything I Love (Chase Music Group)
Kayhan Kalhor - Wind (ECM)
Kimberly Ann Cook - Butterfly (Platinum Plus)
Lanin's Southern Serenaders - Shake It & Break It (Frog UK)
Larry Clinton - My Reverie (Living Era) - Reissue
Leo Reisman - Maestro Sophisticate (City Hall)
Louis Armstrong - Gold (remaster) (Geffen) - Reissue
Luis Perdomo - Awareness (Kindred Rhythm)
M'Lumbo - Sacrifices to the Neon Gods (Mulatta)
Mahalia Jackson - Immortal Mahalia Jackson (Select O Hits) - DVD-Video
Mandrill - Live at Montreux 2002 (Kindred Rhythm)
Mark Taylor - Fidyk Big Band Live at Blues Alley (City Hall)
Matt Savage Trio - Cutting Loose (Palmetto)
Matt Savage Trio - Quantum Leap (Palmetto)
Max Roach - Freedom Suite Now: Live in Europe, 1964 (Candid)
Mel Brown - Mel Brown (Electro-Fi) - DVD-Video
Microscopic Sextet - Seven Men in Neckties (Cuneiform)
Mike Frost - Comin' Straight at Ya (Rock Bottom)
Mike Holober - Wish List (Sons of Sound)
Milcho Leviev - Multiple Personalities (Mighty Quinn)
Modo Trio with Jamie Saft - The Uninvited (482 Music)
Morgana King - It's Quiet Thing (Collector's Choice) - Reissue
Morgana King - Wild is Love (Collector's Choice) - Reissue
N'Awlins Gumbo Kings - UFO Saloon (Blue Cat Blues Records) - Reissue
N'Awlins Gumbo Kings - We're The Gumbo Kings (Blue Cat Blues Records) - Reissue
New Birth Brass Band - New Orleans Second Line (Mardi Gras)
Nina Simone - Live at Montreux 1976 (RED) - DVD-Video
Reeds & Deeds - Cookin' (City Hall)
Richie Cole / Alto Madness Orchestra - Rises's Rose Garden (Jazz Excursion)
Scott Burns - Passages (Origin)
Si Zentner / Ralph Marterie - Big Band (Select O Hits) - Reissue - DVD-Video
String Quartet - String Quartet Tribute to Diana Krall (Vitamin)
Sue Foley - Live in Europe (Music Video Distributors) - DVD-Video
Tassel & Naturel - Diamond Suite: A Selection of Electrocentric Jazz (Seven Islands)
Tex Beneke / Gene Krupa / Jerry Wald - Big Band (Select O Hits) - Reissue - DVD-Video
Tico da Costa - Lagartixa (Basement Front)
Tommy Dorsey - Jamboree (Sounds of Yesteryear) - Reissue
Tony Martin - Mo Deration (Jasmine)
Toshiko Mariano - Toshiko Mariano Quartet (Candid)
Trio East - Best Bets (Origin)
Weather Report - Forecast Tomorrow (Legacy Recordings) - 2+ CDs
Wes Montgomery - 20th Century Masters: The Millenium Collection (Hip-O) - Reissue
Woody Herman Orchestra - Reunion at Newport (ITM Archives)
Wynton Marsalis - In This House, On This Morning (Geneon) - DVD-Video


Information provided by allaboutjazz.com
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Friday, September 15, 2006

Jazz at Lincoln Center Launches 2006-07 Season With Coltrane Festival

A three-day festival celebrating what would have been John Coltrane's 80th birthday kicks off Jazz at Lincoln Center's 2006-07 concert season tonight at Frederick P. Rose Hall.

The Coltrane Festival, to run through Saturday (September 16), will feature performances in both the Rose Theater and the Allen Room. On all three evenings at the Rose, Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra will perform a program titled "Coltrane," featuring such favorites as My Favorite Things, Africa Brass and A Love Supreme. Meanwhile, in the Allen Room, vocalist Kevin Mahogany and instrumentalists Todd Williams, Eric Reed, Reginald Veal and Herlin Riley will perform ballads by Coltrane and Johnny Hartman.

In addition, at 7 pm on Wednesday, September 20, JALC's Irene Diamond Education Center will host a panel discussion entitled "Did Coltrane Lose His Way?", featuring Dr. Lewis Porter, Rashied Ali, Ravi Coltrane and Jimmy Heath.

playbillarts.com

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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Greg Smith CD Release Party | 9/16/06

Tampa Based Composer, Guitarist Displays Depth, Beauty and Technical Prowess on His Release Above the Clouds

CD RELEASE PARTY

Greg Smith will be releasing Above the Clouds on Saturday, September 16, 2006, in his home town of Tampa, Florida. Above the Clouds is a warm blend of smooth-jazz, world music and new age, in a rich tapestry of Americana, served up in a style uniquely rooted in Smith's experiences.

Smith has been a vital part of the music scene since 1966. Having attended Berklee College of Music, Smith picked up the basics for formulating his unique approach to the guitar and composition from influences in school, mentors, and personal experiences that come from many years on the bandstand. Smith has studied with Pat Metheny, Larry Coryell and Manfredo Fest.

Some of his highlight performances have been with such icons as; Chick Corea, Larry Coryell, Edgar Winter, Juliette Lewis and many others. These opportunities to share the bandstand with these greats have further shaped Greg Smith into the player and composer he is today. Above the Clouds is a culmination of these experiences. Please join Smith and his quartet as he debuts the cuts to his latest release with audiences in Florida on September 16, 2006 at A Taste for Wine, it's guaranteed to raise your awareness to a whole new level.

Robert Silverstein of 20th Century Guitar describes Smiths latest release: “Mixing straight ahead and smooth jazz, Brazilian and a touch of new age, guitarist Greg Smith strives towards gaining his own voice in the guitar world and finds it with his 2006 CD Above the Clouds. In the spirit of some of Pat Metheny's jazzier, less ethereal acoustic moments, Smith's instrumental guitar sounds often defies easy category but either way he grooves the spirit is quite strong on Above the Clouds. Having studied in the early '70s at Berklee with Metheny, Larry Coryell and Jeff Berlin, the Florida based Smith is hardly a novice and throughout the CD he demonstrates a masterful touch on his PRS, Taylor, Gitane and Yamaha guitars, Above the Clouds is a well-recorded CD filled with memorable guitar sounds.”

Who: Greg Smith and his quartet

When: Saturday, September 16, 2006 Time: 8:30- 11:00

Where: A Taste for Wine, 241 Central Ave St Pete, Florida 33701

Venue Phone: (727)895 1623

Tickets: Free to Public




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Joyce Cooling | Revolving Door

For whatever the reason, Joyce Cooling seldom gets the recognition that she deserves. By any stretch, her music is melodic, soulful and genuinely entertaining, in spite of the fact that she is an unconventional guitarist in a world dominated by males. When the subject of jazz comes up, the only female artists who get widespread recognition are usually confined to vocalists. Seldom do we hear the names of drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, flutist Althea RenĂ©, or saxophonists Candy Dulfur and Pamela Williams. Females who play musical instruments are far too often left on the backburner of recognition. Although Cooling is well established as a jazz guitarist in her own right, with four critically acclaimed albums behind her, widespread acceptance is often fleeting when one examines her overall career in jazz. Having seen her perform and having also followed her career since 1997, I find her music to be engaging and effervescent. Her latest CD entitled Revolving Door follows the same path that she has been most noted for, which is a highly stylized soulful influx of melodies and rhythms. But there is an exception on Joyce’s latest album; she has a message and a purpose.

The main premise behind Revolving Door highlights a growing concern many families face when dealing with mental illness. At some point, many individuals can expect to face the situation on a personal level due to a loved one going through a severe mental trauma or coping with aging parents. Joyce chose to speak out musically due to her brother who suffers from schizophrenia. Furthermore, she and her writing partner Jay Wagner are donating some of the proceeds from Revolving Door to the National Alliance On Mental Illness. In Cooling’s case, she believes that this type of illness is synonymous with people who find themselves in out of control situations, which then manifests into something broader. What is just as pervasive, everyone experiences stress at various times during their lives, which can also become a problem if not immediately addressed. Joyce’s musical message is merely trying to bring focus to an ever-increasing concern that affects people from all walks of life.

Revolving Door is Joyce Cooling’s second release on the Narada Jazz Record Label and her sixth effort overall. According to Joyce: “This CD is different from the others in that we wanted to tell the story first and then let the music follow.” The collaboration with Jay created a hybrid of musical styles using 10 different guitars during the recording process. The idea of incorporating smooth jazz with R&B, blues and pop fueled the creative juices surrounding the CD’s central theme. The title track itself sets the tone of the release, while providing a smooth, laid-back, bluesy influence. Another song entitled "Cool of the Night" follows a similar trend, but is augmented by Latin-induced tropical influence. But, what is most apparent about Revolving Door is the overall expanse Joyce provides. There are a myriad of tracks featuring original upscale rhythms and highly efficient groove-oriented instrumental lyrics.
When reflecting upon the depth and spirit of Revolving Door, Joyce Cooling and Jay Wagner have placed a much-heralded message into their release. They bring a focus to a topic that commands attention and discussion. What is even more significant is the fact that Joyce has found a way to speak her mind musically and without words. This long-awaited release continues a process of illumination by placing Joyce Cooling in the limelight once again as one of smooth jazz’s most significant guitarists.
Record Label Website: http://www.naradajazz.com

Artist's Website: http://www.joycecooling.com

Reviewed by: Sheldon T. Nunn

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Smooth Jazz Chart | Week Ended 9/11/06







LW TW Artist Album (Label)
1 - 1 - Peter White - "Playin' Favorites" (Columbia)
3 - 2 - Mindi Abair - "Life Less Ordinary" (GRP)
2 - 3 - Wayman Tisdale - "Way Up" (Rendezvous)
4 - 4 - Fourplay - "X" (Bluebird/RCA Victor)
5 - 5 - Nick Colionne - "Keepin' It Cool" (Narada Jazz)
6 - 6 - The Jazzmasters - "Jazzmasters V" (Trippin 'n Rhythm)
10 - 7 - Boney James = "Shine" - (Concord)
7 - 8 - Euge Groove - "Just Feels Right" (Narada Jazz)
9 - 9 - David Benoit - "Full Circle" - (Peak)
8 - 10 - Pieces Of A Dream "Pillow Talk" - (Heads Up)


Visit smoothjazz.com to view the latest complete top 50 chart.
Visit smoothjazz.com to view the latest weekly chart recap.

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Jacqui Naylor | The Color Five

In many cases, the terms "acoustic-oriented" and "straight-ahead jazz" go hand in hand. Bop purists, in fact, have often gone out of their way to broadcast the fact that electric keyboards or an electric bass will never be heard on any of their recordings; they equate electric instruments with fusion and crossover jazz and acoustic instruments with bop, cool jazz, post-bop, Dixieland and swing. But when Jacqui Naylor calls her work "acoustic smashing," she isn't claiming to be a jazz purist; she has been blurring the lines between the vocal jazz/torch singing world and the folk-rock/adult alternative world, and she continues to blur those lines on The Color Five. This is an acoustic-friendly effort (although she does use some electric instruments when it's appropriate), but it is hardly a disc that adheres to an all-bop-all-the-time policy. Parts of this 2006 release are very jazz-oriented, especially "Here's to Life" (the gem that became Shirley Horn's theme song), "Blue Moon" and the warhorse "You Don't Know What Love Is." But more of a folk-rock/adult alternative approach prevails on "Sit and Rest a While" and "Easy Ride from Here," both of which Naylor co-wrote. On U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," Naylor successfully references Miles Davis' "All Blues"—and her funky interpretation of Cole Porter's "Love for Sale" is consistently mindful of Bill Withers' "Use Me." Stylistically, Naylor wasn't easy to pin down on previous albums, and she isn't any easier to pin down stylistically on The Color Five. This CD won't win over jazz purists; The Color Five is an album for Shirley Horn, Anita O'Day, Billie Holiday and Julie London fans, but only if they also happen to be Tracy Chapman, Shawn Colvin and Sarah McLachlan fans—and anyone who fits that description will find The Color Five to be an excellent addition to Naylor's catalogue.

Review by Alex Henderson
allmusic.com
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Monday, September 11, 2006

9-11-2001

Michael Manson | Just Feelin' It

Chicago Bass Player Releases 2nd CD September 12, 2006
With the release of his previous CD, The Bottom Line, Michael Manson joined the ranks of today's premiere jazz artists as he moved from sideman to center stage.
His first single “Outer Drive” reached the top 10 on the R&R Smooth Jazz.

His passion and precision are displayed with both unrelenting power and laid-back grace on the album that, he says, “reflects the deepest expression of all I have felt making music for the last twenty years.”
For Michael Manson, the bottom line has always been great music. Since he first picked up a guitar (not a bass), he has moved persistently from strength to strength, one association leading inevitably to another in a career that has brought him front and center with the most esteemed names in jazz, gospel, R&B, rock and pop.

A native of Chicago, he joined City Lights and began performing regularly on Chicago's jazz circuit. In 1999, he was invited to play the Montreux Casino Lights Festival. Sharing the stage with the likes of Boney James, George Duke and Kirk Whalum, he made connections that would eventually lead to a spot performing on the Montreux Jazz Tour.

On Michael Manson's new CD Just Feelin' It, he is credited for writing and production. For this album Michael has collected the who's who of Smooth Jazz: Rick Braun, Kirk Whalum, Jeff Lorber, Brian Culbertson, Nelson Range, Norman Brown, Paul Jackson Jr., the legendary George Duke and many more great jazz musicians. This album is a great mix of contemporary jazz, R&B and even a little gospel.

For Michael Manson, love of musical communication, exploration, collaboration and celebration is clearly what it's all about. This sophomore release reflects Manson's unabating passion with joy and inspired artistry, “There are musical conversations that are intriguing and I hope the audience shares in that. But it is just great for musicians to communicate in thai way. That's the joy of music. To make great music like that every night, that's what it's all about.”

Visit website
Posted by: Cheryl Hughey Promotions
allaboutjazz.com



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Dan Siegel | Departure

A culmination of influences from an illustrious career spanning 25-plus years, Departure is the latest studio recording from pianist Dan Siegel. He brilliantly blends his melodic and rhythmic pop sensibilities with his traditional jazz roots and offers up an amazing acoustic vision of original compositions. This CD is graceful, noble, and reflective, since it transcends categorization as it speaks to earlier times of adult instrumental acoustic music with classic themes that were influenced by the song, its melodies, and its virtuosic musicians. Among Siegel's invitees are several contemporary jazz greats including Brian Bromberg, Vinnie Colaiuta, and Lenny Castro, with special guest performances by saxophonist Bob Sheppard, guitarists Norman Brown and Grant Geissman, and vocalist Bill Cantos. Produced by Siegel and Bromberg, this 11-track offering is ripe with themes that move, groove and appeal to your sense of jazz. The emotionally gripping opening track"Across the Sea" and "Street Talk," which offers the vintage Siegel sound, defines the true stripped down essence that is Departure. The exotic string ensemble heard on "Mosaic" serves to enhance the darker emotional piano and saxophone textures. "Castles in the Sand" features Vince Guaraldi's inimitable influences while "Alone" is a soft-spoken ballad that includes light percussive textures and an irresistible tenderness from saxophonist Bob Sheppard. Overall, Departure is organic, in-the-pocket, and should be in your collection of great piano jazz records.

Review by Paula Edelstein - allmusic.com

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