Thursday, November 30, 2006

A Charlie Brown Christmas - Remastered

For anyone who grew up during (and since) the 60s, the music from the beloved animated TV special A Charlie Brown Christmas resonates with deep sentimental meaning. That swinging soundtrack by the Vince Guaraldi Trio is as much a part of our musical upbringing as the early Beatles, Stones and Dylan albums and has continued to register with successive generations in rebroadcasts every year since its 1965 premiere. Memorable melodies like the cheerful 'Linus And Lucy,' the whimsically swinging 'Skating,' the bittersweet 'Christmastime Is Here' and the groovy boogaloo 'Christmas is Coming' have become ingrained in our collective consciousness.

Like those Beatles, Stones and Dylan records, Guaraldi's jazzy score has endured. Now, 41 years after its initial airing and 30 years after the pianist-composer himself passed away from a heart attack in 1976 at age 47, Fantasy is releasing a new Expanded Edition of this holiday favorite. Remixed in stereo using 24-bit remastering from the original tapes and featuring the original cover art reinstated with the approval of United Media and the Estate of Charles Schultz, A Charlie Brown Christmas includes four previously unissued bonus tracks by the Vince Guaraldi Trio (featuring Fred Marshall on bass and Jerry Granelli on drums).

As Shawn Haney wrote in the All Music Guide to Jazz: "Guaraldi strings together elegant, enticing arrangements that reflect the spirit and mood of Schulz's work and introduce contemporary jazz to youngsters with grace, charm and creativity. (His) penetrating improvisational phrases paint pictures of the first winter snowfall, myriads of glistening trees and powdery white landscapes."

Streaming Audio track: "Linus & Lucy"

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Ken Navarro | ’The Meeting Place’

Ken NavarroThe brand new CD from guitarist Ken Navarro, The Meeting Place, has been released exclusively at kennavarro.com. The Meeting Place contains 11 new songs, including 10 new Navarro compositions plus a superb version of the Pat Metheny classic "Lakes".

"I am thrilled with the finished CD; it is my most ambitious and mature work and I have never been prouder of my guitar playing and composing and the overall power and emotion this CD contains. I truly can't wait for it to be heard and I consider myself lucky to get to share so much of myself thru this music. And wait till you hear the incredible performances by legendary bassist Gary Grainger, the amazing Blues Webb on drums, Kevin Prince on percussion plus Jay Rowe's stunning solos and keyboard textures and Rob Holmes' hot and emotional saxophone work. Everyone involved stepped up to the plate and hit a home run on this one and I am so appreciative of their talents and efforts and their dedication to my music"--Ken Navarro

The internet release will be followed by a nationwide retail release on January 23, 2007. at retail stores throughout the US.

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Zune Sales Lagging Behind iPod, Others

Sales of the Microsoft Zune appear to be trailing off rather quickly after a fast start, leading some analysts to believe consumer interest is waning.

The player, which stayed in the top 10 in sales in the Amazon.com electronics category for several days following its launch, has now nearly fallen out of the top 100. As of midday Tuesday, only the black player registered, coming in at #96.

Several other manufacturers beat out the Zune: Apple held six of the top 10 spots; SanDisk's Sansa M240 held eighth and 14th spot; Creative's Zen Vision:M also made an appearance in the top 20. Analysts pointed to the player's low rank as an indication that many consumers are passing over the Zune in favor of more established brands.

Microsoft in a statement to the Wall Street Journal said that "exactly within our expectations," and sources told BetaNews shortly after the launch that internal sales data indicated the player sold the best in the West, with sales strong in the Northeast and in Florida as well.

However, that buzz appears to have been short lived. Whereas the iPod is expected to sell as many as 15 million players this holiday season, analysts only project Zune sales of about 300,000 to 500,000 units at most.

Part of the problem may be the beating the Zune has taken in the hands of the media. Reviews of the product have been nearly all negative, with one going as far as calling the experience "about as pleasant as having an airbag deploy in your face."

"The Zune is a complete, humiliating failure," Chicago Sun-Times technology pundit Andy Ihnatko wrote recently. "Throw in the Zune's tail-wagging relationship with music publishers, and it almost becomes important that you encourage people not to buy one."

By Ed Oswald, BetaNews

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George Benson | Studio [Video]



George Benson rehearsing Stevie Wonder's "Lately" for the "Absolute Benson" CD with Joe Sample, Christian McBride, and Steve Gadd.


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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Kenny G Joins BA's Smooth Jazz Network

The No. 1 selling instrumental artist of all time, Kenny G, will join Broadcast Architecture's team of radio hosts on its Smooth Jazz Network's nationally distributed weekend evening shows beginning Jan. 6, 2007. The renowned saxophonist will be heard 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

BA president Allen Kepler comments, "Ranking among the top 25-selling recording artists in U.S. history, Kenny has made a huge mark on the music world. As he continues his illustrious recording career, hosting this new network show will deepen Kenny's relationship with his fans across the US. Working with Kenny is a dream come true for me personally."

Kenny G shares, "I am really excited to be a part of this new network. I think it is a great way for me to personally be in touch with the people around the country that have supported my music for many years. Allen Kepler's enthusiasm is addictive and I look forward to working with him to create something new and exciting on a national level. This is going to be a wonderful collaboration but the most important thing is that we are all going to be sharing a lot of good music with the entire country."

Kenny G's musical career continues to flourish with last week's release of his CD "I’m In the Mood for Love… The Most Romantic Melodies of All Time," which entered the contemporary jazz chart at No. 1 (his 12th No. 1) and came in at No. 37 on the Billboard Top 200. G will embark on a tour that includes five concerts celebrating the King of Thailand's 80th birthday, as well as a U.S. swing, in January.

Kenny G joins other smooth jazz artists-turned-radio-hosts Ramsey Lewis, Dave Koz, Brian Culbertson, Norman Brown and Paul Hardcastle. BA's Smooth Jazz Network lineup is set as:

Monday - Friday:
6 a.m.-10 a.m. Ramsey Lewis
10 a.m.-3 p.m. Miranda Wilson
3 p.m.-7 p.m. Dave Koz
7 p.m.-midnight Annie Ashe
midnight-6.am. Billy Raven

Weekends:
6 a.m.-10 a.m. Brian Culbertson
10 a.m.-2 p.m. Kenny G
2 p.m.-7 p.m. Norman Brown
7 p.m.-midnight Paul Hardcastle
midnight-6a.m. Billy Raven

The pre-launch of the network is already underway with the Ramsey Lewis morning show on the air at Clear Channel's WNUA/Chicago, WLVE/Miami, WDSJ/Dayton, KIJZ/Portland, KMYT/Temecula and KABQ/Albuquerque. Smooth Jazz format veteran/evening host Annie Ashe is also on the air at WNUA, WZJZ/Ft. Myers, WDSJ, KMYT, KIJZ and KABQ.

By Carol Archer - radioandrecords.com

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Smooth Jazz Chart | Week Ended 11/27/06







LW TW Artist Album (Label)
2 - 1 - George Benson & Al Jarreau - "Givin' It Up" (Concord)
1 - 2 - Boney James - "Shine" - (Concord)
3 - 3 - Pieces Of A Dream "Pillow Talk" - (Heads Up)
4 - 4 - Paul Hardcastle - "Jazzmasters V" (Trippin n' Rhythm)
6 - 5 - Marion Meadows - "Dressed To Chill" - (Heads Up)
7 - 6 - Peter White - "Playin' Favorites" (Columbia)
9 - 7 - Wayman Tisdale - "Way Up" (Rendezvous)
5 - 8 - Eric Darius - "Just Getting Started" (Narada Jazz)
8 - 9 - David Benoit - "Full Circle" - (Peak)
11 - 10 - Gregg Karukas - "Lookin' Up" - (Trippin n' Rhythm)



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Monday, November 27, 2006

Upcoming Jazz Releases | 11/28/06

Upcoming Jazz Releases

Al Cohn - Jazz Alive! A Night at the Half Note (Japan) (Virgin) - Reissue
Allenannisteen - About to Blow My Top (England) (Jazz)
Beverly Kenny - Sings for Johnny Smith (Japan) (Virgin) - Reissue
Cannonball Adderley - Them Dirty Blues (Japan) (Virgin) - Reissue
Chet Baker - Big Band (Japan) (Virgin) - Reissue
Doug Watkins - Watkins at Large (Japan) (Virgin) - Reissue
Ilium - Paint By Numbers (Extended Play EP) (Hefty)
Jimmy Rainey - Visits Paris (Dawn) - Reissue
Jutta Hipp Quintet - Legendary Jutta Hipp (Fresh Sounds) - Reissue
Luke Toms - Fools with Money (EP) (Universal/Island)
Mike Bloomfield - County Talent and the Originals (Italy) (Akarma) - Reissue
Monica Lewis - Fools Rush In (Japan) (Virgin) - Reissue
Peggy Lee - Beauty & the Beat (Japan) (Virgin) - Reissue
Phil Ranelin - Vibes from the Tribe (Hefty) - Reissue
Thad Jones - Central Park North (Japan) (Virgin) - Reissue
Theo Croker - The Fundamentals (Left Sided Music)
Torme and Paich - 1956 Legendary (Fresh Sound) - Reissue
Various Artists - Spirit of Django Reinhardt: Live at Birdland 04-05 (Knight) - DVD-Video
Various Artists - Spirit of Django Reinhardt: Live at Birdland 2004 (Knight) - DVD-Video
Various Artists - Spirit of Django Reinhardt: Live at Birdland 2005 (Knight) - DVD-Video





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Friday, November 24, 2006

Steve Cole | 'True'

Demonstrating that one can be inspired to greatness by simply returning to their roots, contemporary jazz saxophonist Steve Cole released his fifth album, True, from Narada Jazz / Blue Note Label Group. Cole produced the collection and composed or co-wrote the nine new R&B, jazz, funk, dance and pop songs that comprise the disc. Through his previous albums, Cole established himself as a core artist in contemporary jazz. His consistency as a songwriter and producer also merits recognition and respect as he's scored four #1 radio hits and ten Top 5 singles since his 1998 debut. True promises to add to Cole's impressive accomplishments.

The album title refers to a return to innocence, a return to the music that inspired Cole to explore his passion for jazz-funk made popular by artists such as Eddie Harris, Grover Washington, Jr., David Sanborn, Junior Walker and George Benson. It was an era of well-crafted songs, live production and expressive music that emerged from the core of the artists' being. Those were the ingredients Cole used to create True.

He pushed himself to reach new heights delivering unadulterated artistry and organic musicianship. He was inspired by the music that emerged from his hometown of Chicago where he still resides. On the album, Cole salutes seminal Chicago pioneers such as jazz-funk legend Quincy Jones and soul icon Curtis Mayfield along with clubby house music, which emerged from the Chicago underground. But broadening his saxwork and improvising were equally important objectives for Cole on True. He sought to produce the record as "live" as possible, fostering the setting for expansive soloing. A talented cast of musicians helped make True a reality, including Jeff Golub, Steve Rodby, David Mann, Ricky Peterson, Lenny Castro and Khari Parker.

Last month, the house music-inspired cut "Metro, " boasting an extended sax solo that's both expressive and functional, was serviced to smooth jazz radio stations where it is presently garnering airplay. The early reaction to the album from music critics has been enthusiastic. All Music Guide said, "If the title of this superior collection is indicative of the true persona that's here to stay, then genre fans will be in for a powerful adventure... Cole has scored many hits while on the road to finding his true voice, and with any luck, he'll stay right there as the perfect antidote to his less imaginative contemporaries." JazzReview wrote, "In this watershed album, Cole lets down his hair and goes for it, showing his talent in featured solos - blending textures, melodies and awesome extremes... Cole states, 'A lot of the substance of a player is evident once they get off the melody and start improvising.' That's exactly what Cole does on True, adding fresh notes, compelling hooks and smooth grooves."

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Hard-living jazz legend Anita O'Day dies at 87

Anita O'Day, whose sassy renditions of "Honeysuckle Rose," "Sweet Georgia Brown" and other song standards that made her one of the most respected jazz vocalists of the 1940s and '50s, has died. She was 87.

O'Day died in her sleep early Thursday morning at a convalescent hospital in Los Angeles, California, where she was recovering from a bout with pneumonia, said her manager, Robbie Cavolina.

"On Tuesday night, she said to me, 'Get me out of here,'" Cavolina said. "But it didn't happen."

Once known as the "Jezebel of Jazz" for her reckless, drug-induced lifestyle, O'Day lived to sing -- and she did so from her teen years until this year when she released "Indestructible!"

"All I ever wanted to do is perform," she said in a June 1999 interview with The Associated Press. "When I'm singing, I'm happy. I'm doing what I can do and this is my contribution to life."

Cavolina recently completed a feature film about O'Day and accompanied her to shows and on tours.

"She got to see how many people really loved her at the shows we did, in New York, in London," Cavolina said. "She had come back after all of this time. She really lived a very full and exciting life."

O'Day was born in Chicago, Illinois. She left home at age 12 and often bragged about being "self-made" and never having a singing lesson.

She began her career in her teens and later recorded hits with Stan Kenton and Gene Krupa. Her highly stylized performance of songs like "And Her Tears Flowed Like Wine," "Let Me Off Uptown," "Honeysuckle Rose" and "Sweet Georgia Brown" made her famous the world over.

In her prime, O'Day was described as a scat singer and a natural improviser whose unique interpretations energized the most familiar songs. She inspired many singers, including June Christy and Chris Connor.

Her fame came at a price.

She suffered from a 16-year heroin addiction and an even longer alcohol problem. Wild, drug-related behavior and occasional stints in jail on drug charges earned her the nickname "Jezebel of Jazz," a term she hated.

"I tried everything," she once said. "Curiosity will make you go your own way."

She overdosed many times and on one occasion in the late 1940s, it was almost fatal.

The experience shocked her into giving up drugs, but she continued to drink.

Her 1981 memoir "High Times Hard Times" tells of her long struggle with drug addiction and her romance with drummer John Poole.

In late 1996, O'Day fell down the stairs of her Hemet, California, home after a drinking binge. She was admitted to a hospital with a broken arm but ended up with severe food poisoning and pneumonia.

She survived the ordeal but her recovery -- both physical and emotional -- was painful. She left the hospital in a wheelchair and didn't walk for nearly a year. Her right hand was paralyzed but worst of all, she said, she had lost her singing voice.

Although she blamed the complications on poor hospital care, the near-death experience convinced O'Day to give up alcohol.

It took nearly a year to get her voice back and start singing again. But once she did, she was right back on stage.

She received a lifetime achievement award from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1997.

For the last years of her life, O'Day performed at various Los Angeles night spots.

O'Day had no children and no immediate family, Cavolina said.

CNN - AP

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Dave Koz | You Make Me Smile [Video]




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Paul Hardcastle Joins BA's Smooth Jazz Network

Mutil-talented artist Paul Hardcastle will join the elite team of radio hosts on Broadcast Architecture Smooth Jazz Network's nationally distributed weekend evening shows beginning Jan. 2007. World-renowned composer, producer and performer; Hardcastle will be heard 7 p.m.- midnight Saturday and Sunday evenings.

BA’s president Allen Kepler states, "Paul is a very dynamic and creative person. He gained worldwide notoriety with the smash hit '19' in the mid-80s. In 1991 he reinvented himself with debut of The Jazzmasters, and his first smooth jazz single 'Lost Summer' redefined the sound of smooth jazz and continues to impact the format. Even today, you hear his 1980's dance hit 'Rainforest,' as well as numerous Hardcastle and Jazzmasters releases from the past 15 years on most smooth jazz stations. Paul is a perfect team mate as we push smooth jazz into a new era of success with our smooth jazz network."

Hardcastle shares, "I am very excited to be part of the new team. The idea of playing other people's music really appeals to me. This is why I was really happy to be invited to become involved in this exciting new project."

By Carol Archer - radioandrecords.com

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Smooth Jazz Chart | Week Ended 11/21/06







LW TW Artist Album (Label)
2 - 1 - Boney James - "Shine" - (Concord)
1 - 2 - George Benson & Al Jarreau - "Givin' It Up" (Concord)
3 - 3 - Pieces Of A Dream "Pillow Talk" - (Heads Up)
4 - 4 - Paul Hardcastle - "Jazzmasters V" (Trippin 'n Rhythm)
6 - 5 - Eric Darius - "Just Getting Started" (Narada Jazz)
9 - 6 - Marion Meadows - "Dressed To Chill" - (Heads Up)
10 - 7 - Peter White - "Playin' Favorites" (Columbia)
5 - 8 - David Benoit - "Full Circle" - (Peak)
8 - 9 - Wayman Tisdale - "Way Up" (Rendezvous)
7 - 10 - Fourplay - "X" (Bluebird/RCA Victor)


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Unwrapped Box Set | Hidden Beach Recordings

On November 21 Hidden Beach Recordings will release a special four- CD box set of its groundbreaking Unwrapped series, the widely popular collection of jazzy, instrumental interpretations of standout Hip Hop classics and recent chart-toppers. Officially titled Hidden Beach Recordings Presents: Unwrapped The Ultimate Box Set, the multi-disc compilation features re-sequenced and re-mastered songs from all four previously released Unwrapped CDs (Vols. 1 - 4), broken down into "old school" and "new school" themes, as well as bonus tracks and music videos culled from the life of the project.

Among the more than 50 songs included in the Box Set are jazzy takes on such Hip Hop standards as Notorious BIG's "One More Chance, " 50 Cent's "In Da Club, " Outkast's "The Way You Move, " Eminem's "Lose Yourself, " Slick Rick's "Children's Story, " The Roots' "I Got You, " Common's "The Light, " Tupac's "I Get Around, " Busta Rhymes' "Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See, " Nelly's "Hot In Here, " A Tribe Called Quest's "Electric Relaxation, " and the Terror Squad's "Lean Back, " among many, many more.

These songs are given new life by some of the music industry's most talented and accomplished instrumentalists, many of whom are featured across the span of all four Unwrapped editions. Included in this All-Star lineup are such notables as keyboardists Frank McMcomb, Jeff Lorber and Patrice Rushen; guitarists Paul Jackson Jr., Everett Harp and Dennis Nelson; violinist Karen Briggs; bassist Andrew Gouche; and flautist Louis Van Taylor, as well as Hidden Beach's own sax sensation Mike Phillips, trombone impresario Jeff Bradshaw, and guitarist / singer Peter Black, among other leading musicians.

The Unwrapped series burst onto the music scene in 2001 with the critically acclaimed release of Unwrapped Vol. 1 and, without the benefit of national airplay or a high-priced marketing campaign, quickly went on to debut at the top spot on Billboard's Contemporary Jazz Chart. Subsequent editions in 2002, 2004 and 2005 followed in the tradition of the premiere disc, all serving to build on the Hidden Beach legacy of fusing the two genres and building bridges between diverse music audiences.

Music producers Tony Joseph and Darryl Ross, who served to produce a majority of the material throughout the series, originally brought this specific concept, unnamed at the time, to HBR Founder / CEO Steve McKeever. The rest, as they say, is history.

The success of the Unwrapped series is best gauged by the impact it has had in the industry; it has spawned a number of copycat projects and, in many circles, the term "unwrapped" has come to be synonymous with the merging of jazz and Hip Hop.

The Box Set's bonus material includes songs that were included on a limited edition version of Unwrapped Vol. 2 (Jay Z's "Girls, Girls, Girls, " Junior Mafia's "Get Money, " and Mystikal's "Bouncin' Back"), as well as music videos for "You Got Me, " "In Da Club, " and "Bouncin' Back." Also included are tribute medleys to fallen rappers Biggie, Tupac and Run DMC's Jam Master Jay.

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Monday, November 20, 2006

New Releases | November




Patti Austin, Avant Gershwin {Due in January} [Rendezvous, 11/21]
Various Artist, Forever for Always for Luther II (Dig) [Rendezvous, 11/21]
Alex De Grassi, Demania [Tropo Records, 11/21]
Loreena McKennitt, An Ancient Muse [Verve, 11/21]
Mike Mainieri, Northern Lights [NYC Music, 11/21]
Cheryl Bentyne, Book of Love [Telarc, 11/21]
Uri Caine, Moloch - Book Of Angels Volume 6 [Tzadik, 11/21]
Steve Cole, True [Narada, 11/21]
Mark O'Leary, Awakening [Leo Records, 11/21]
Various Artist, Unwrapped - Box Set [Hidden Beach, 11/21]
The Pat Metheny Group, In Concert {Live, 1993} [Import, 11/21]
Luis Rodriguez, U-Turn [Fresh Sounds New Talent, 11/21]
Joe Lovano Nonet: Paris Concert {DVD} [11/21]
Dino Saluzzi, Juan Condori [ECM, 11/28]
Molly Johnson, Messin' Around {Import} [Anthem Records, 11/28]
Ben Sidran, Sentimental Journey {Import} [EMI, 11/28]
Joe Zawinul, Brown Street {Import} [Cream, 11/28]



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Upcoming Jazz Releases | 10/21/06

Upcoming Jazz Releases

Ahmad Jamal - Pavanne for Ahmad (UK)
Alex deGrassi - Demania (Tropo)
Archie Shepp Band - New Morning: The Paris Concert (Music Video Distributors) - DVD-Video
Babel - Babel (OST) (Concord)
Bobs - Rhapsody in Bobs (The Bobs)
Bruford - Rock Goes to College (Winterfold) - DVD-Video
Charly Antolini - Knock Out 2000 (Inakustik)
Cheryl Bentyne - The Book of Love (Telarc)
Chris Farlowe - At Rockpalast (Music Video Distributors)
Chris Farlowe - Rockpalast (Music Video) - DVD-Video
Clair Marlow - Let It Go (SACD Hybrid) (Cisco)
Courvoisier / Mori / Nauseef / Quintus - Albert (Leo)
Dmitri Kolesnik - Blues for Dad (Boheme)
Earle Brown - Folio and Four Systems (Tzadik)
Ella Fitzgerald - Definitive Gold (5 CDs) (Deja Vu) - Reissue - 2+ CDs
Ella Fitzgerald and Others - Live from Lincoln Center (Immortal) - DVD-Video
Elvis Costello / Allen Toussaint - Hot as a Pistol, Keen as a Pistol (Universal) - DVD-Video
Favre / O'Leary / Swallow - Awakening (Leo)
Forever For Always For Luther 2 - Forever For Always For Luther 2 (Rendezvous)
Frank Locrasto - When You're There (Max Jazz)
Fred Hersch - Personal Favorites (Chesky)
Gary Husband - A Meeting of Spirits: Interpretations of the Music of John McLaughlin (Alternity)
Henry Kaiser - Sang Won Park Invite the Spirit (Tzadik)
Jamalahmad - Pavanne for Ahmad (UK) (Five Four)
Joe Lovano Nonet - New Morning: The Paris Concert (Music Video Distributors) - DVD-Video
John Stowell - Along the Way (Origin)
JOhn Wolf Brennan - Pictures in a Gallery (Leo)
Kenny Davern Trio - Nobody But Kenny (Sackville)
Kevin Keller - Santiago's Dream (Kevin Keller Productions)
Laurence Juber - I've Got the World on Six Strings (Solid Air)
Lee Hyla - Bill Wilson's Ivory (Tzadik)
Les DeMerle - Cookin' at the Corner Vol 1 (Origin)
Loreena McKennitt - Ancient Muse (Verve)
Mabel Mercer - Sings Cole Porter (Collectables) - Reissue
Mark Nauseef - Albert (Leo)
Mark O'Leary - Awakening (Leo)
Mary Lou Williams / Barbara Carroll - Ladies of Jazz (Collectables) - Reissue
Meat Beat Manifesto - Travelogue Live 05 (Music Video Distributors) - DVD-Video
Mike Mainieri - Northern Lights (NYC)
Nabatov / Rainey - Steady Now (Leo)
Nancy Umeki - Myoshi (Japan) (Mercury) - Reissue
Nat King Cole - Definitive Gold (4CD+DVD) (Deja Vu) - Reissue - 2+ CDs
Nils Petter Molvaer - Streamer: Live (Thirsty Ear)
Nils Petter Molvaer - Er (Thirsty Ear)
Ray Charles - Live at the Olympia 2000 (Music Video Distributors) - DVD-Video
Richard Himber - What Can You Say in a Love Song? (Renovation)
Ruby Braff & His Musical Friends - Recovered Treasures (Jump)
Sam Donahue and His Orchestra - Bandstand Bash (Montpelier)
Scenes - Along the Way (Origin)
Stephen D. Anderson - Remembering the Rain: The Music of Bill Evans (Art of Life Records)
Stephen Sondheim - Sondheim - A Celebration at Carnegie Hall (Kultur) - DVD-Video
Steve Cole - True (Narada)
Tomasz Stanko - Wolnosc W Sierpniu (Metal Mind)
Uri Caine - Moloch: Book of Angels Volume 6 (Tzadik)
Various Artists - Forever, For Always, For Luther Vol. 2 (Rendezvous)
Willie Jones III - Willie Jones III (WJ3)




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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Forever, For Always, For Luther II - Heart Association PSA



Rendezvous is proud to support the American Heart Association's "Power To End Stroke" Campaign. The PSA features Kirk Whalum, Patti Austin, Wayman Tisdale and Dave Koz - Forever, For Always, For Luther II - Luther Vandross/American Heart Association PSA - Produced by Frank Cody,Graham Streeter,Paul Serrano
Edited by Graham Streeter -www.rendezvousmusic.com

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Smooth Jazz Chart | Week Ended 11/13/06







LW TW Artist Album (Label)
2 - 1 - George Benson & Al Jarreau - "Givin' It Up" (Concord)
1 - 2 - Boney James - "Shine" - (Concord)
4 - 3 - Pieces Of A Dream "Pillow Talk" - (Heads Up)
3 - 4 - Paul Hardcastle - "Jazzmasters V" (Trippin 'n Rhythm)
6 - 5 - David Benoit - "Full Circle" - (Peak)
5 - 6 - Eric Darius - "Just Getting Started" (Narada Jazz)
10 - 7 - Fourplay - "X" (Bluebird/RCA Victor)
9 - 8 - Wayman Tisdale - "Way Up" (Rendezvous)
7 - 9 - Marion Meadows - "Dressed To Chill" - (Heads Up)
8 - 10 - Peter White - "Playin' Favorites" (Columbia)


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Ornette Coleman: Decades of Jazz on the Edge

At 76, Coleman's role as "free jazz" pioneer, as an innovative bandleader, and as an eclectic composer continues unabated. His alto saxophone is known for its playfully melodic and vocal-like quality. His approach to group improvisation -- with tempos that shift with little warning and tunes that end with startling precision -- is instantly recognizable and celebrated.




Read more by Ashley Kahn - npr.com

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Monday, November 13, 2006

Steve Cole | True 11/21/06

Even if this Chicago-based saxman has always been one of the most grittily soulful of today's top smooth jazz artists, there's always been the sneaking suspicion on his previous four release that he'd been holding out somewhat — covering his truest funk-jazz with way too much slick pop sheen. If the title of this superior collection is indicative of the true persona that's here to stay, then genre fans will be in for a powerful adventure. There are none of those right-in-your-face catchy/fluffy pop hooks, at least not right away; a potent live ensemble backs the jumpy, David Sanborn-esque opener "Bounce," which builds to a bluesy jam with wilder playing than usual. "Cote Seine" matches the hot modern chill vibe with some of Steve Cole's most low-key, cool playing ever recorded. Could it be he finally learned that less is more? He finally gets to his trademark horn texturing on "Curtis," but does so in the dreamy, retro-soul spirit of his hometown legend Curtis Mayfield. "Just a Natural Thang" starts with a strong pop hook, but its trappings are loose and bluesy rather than superproduced. Even on the more overtly commercial tracks like the disco-meets-Memphis-driven "Metro," Cole captures the magic of his fiery live performance. "Take Me" reminds us of the lighthearted singer/songwriter vibe of his previous CD Spin — likeable but a lot less engaging despite a singalong hook. Most artists in smooth jazz achieve success with a certain style and formula and stick with it, lest they alienate radio programmers and fans. Cole has scored many hits while on the road to finding his true voice, and with any luck, he'll stay right there as the perfect antidote to his less imaginative contemporaries.

Review by Jonathan Widran allmusic.com

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I'm in the Mood for Love: The Most Romantic Melodies of All Time | 11/14/06

Kenny G’s saxophones can find the inherent sweetness in any tune, so it stands to reason that a collection of unabashedly melodious songs brings out the best in the perennially popular instrumentalist. Wielding his customary soprano saxophone -- with occasional turns on his equally passionate tenor -- Kenny finds the G spot in established classics: old (“It Had to Be You,” “As Time Goes By”), new (James Blunt’s “You’re Beautiful,” Alicia Keys’s “If I Ain’t Got You”), and in-between (“Yesterday” “The Way We Were,” “If”). Lyricism is to be expected -- if not demanded -- and the listener-friendly hornman doesn’t disappoint. There’s not much you can count on these days, but luxurious sounds from Kenny G are certainly among them.

William Pearl - bn.com

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Sunday, November 12, 2006

New Releases | November




Ann Hampton Callaway, Blues In The Night [Telarc, 11/14]
Steve Coleman, Weaving Symbolics [Label Bleu Records, 11/14]
Brian Oblivion Auger Express, Keys To The Heart [Castle, 11/14]
George Benson, In Concert-Carnegie Hall {Import} [King, 11/14]
Kenny G, Most Romantic Melodies Of All Times [RCA Music Group, 11/14]
Patti Austin, Avant Gershwin [Rendezvous, 11/21]
Various Artist, Forever for Always for Luther II (Dig) [Rendezvous, 11/21]
Alex De Grassi, Demania [Tropo Records, 11/21]
Loreena McKennitt, An Ancient Muse [Verve, 11/21]
Mike Mainieri, Northern Lights [NYC Music, 11/21]
Cheryl Bentyne, Book of Love [Telarc, 11/21]
Uri Caine, Moloch - Book Of Angels Volume 6 [Tzadik, 11/21]
Steve Cole, True [Narada, 11/21]
Mark O'Leary, Awakening [Leo Records, 11/21]
Dino Saluzzi, Juan Condori [ECM, 11/28]
Molly Johnson, Messin' Around {Import} [Anthem Records, 11/28]


Information provided by contemporaryjazz.com

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