Monday, April 30, 2007

Smooth Jazz Chart | Week Ended 4/30/07

LW - TW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Paul Brown - "White Sand" - (Peak)
2 - 2 - Walter Beasley "Ready For Love" - (Heads Up)
3 - 3 - Peter White - "Playin' Favorites" - (Columbia)
4 - 4 - Boney James - "Shine" - (Concord)
5 - 5 - Kirk Whalum - "Give Me The Reason"; Patti Austin - "So Amazing" - VA - Forever, For Always, For Luther II - (Rendezvous)
6 - 6 - Jeff Golub - "Grand Central" - (Narada Jazz)
9 - 7 - Norman Brown - "Stay With Me" - (Peak)
7 - 8 - Chuck Loeb - "Presence" - (Heads Up)
10 - 9 - Rick Braun - "Yours Truly" (Artizen)
12 - 10 - Four80East - "En Route" - (Native Language)

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Upcoming Jazz Releases | 5/1/07

Akiko - Vida (Universal)
Bossa Jazz Nights - Bossa Jazz Nights
Boston Horns - Live From Tokyo (BMG Entertainment)
Buck Clayton - Buck Clayton & Friends (Umvd Import)
Carlos Lyra - Depois Do Carnaval (Universal)
Chiaki Hibino - Gift From A Star (3D)
Christian Jacob - Styne & Mine (WilderJazz)
Cocktail D'Amour: Les Primitifs Du Futur - Cocktail D'Amour: Les Primitifs Du Futur (Umvd Import)
Dan Carlin - Prowlin (Rhombus Records)
Dan Carlin & Friends - Prowlin (Rhombus Records)
Diane Hubka - Goes To The Movies (3D)
Dino Saluzzi - Ojos Negros (Universal)
Dino Saluzzi/Anja Lechner - Ojos Negros (Japan) (Universal)
Erik Truffaz (Quartet) - Arkhangelsk (EMI)
Fred - Sound Awake (Rhombus Records)
Fred Hersch - Night And The Music (Palmetto Records)
Fred Hersch - Night & the Music (Megaforce)
George Cartwright - Tenacious Slew (Innova Records)
Gianluigi Trovesi - Vaghissimo Ritratto (ECM Records (USA))
Herve Meschinet - Night In Tokyo (3D)
Holly Cole - Holly Cole (Alert)
Jack DeJohnette - Jackeyboard (King)
Jaz'Presso - Jp (Indie)
Jazz Et Cinema 5 - Jazz Et Cinema 5 (Umvd Import)
Joel Frahm - We Used To Dance (Anzic Records)
John Wood - Blue In Green (3D)
Keith England - Standards, New & Used (Roger Christian)
Kenny Barron / James Moody - Fly Me To The Moon (Lonehill Jazz)
Kevin Yost - Jazz Influence V.2 (I)
Leonard Eto - Blendrums (3D)
Marlene - Jazz & Out (BMG Entertainment)
Maurice Vander - Piano Jazz (Umvd Import)
Max Romeo - Poco Mania Songs (JVC)
Mike Taylor - Pendulum (Sunbeam)
Oscar Peterson - What's Up? Very Tall Band (Universal)
Pinky Winters - World On A String:Sings Sinatra (Jpn LP Sleeve) (3D)
Pinky Winters - World On A String:Sings Sinatra (3D)
Puppini Sisters - Betcha Bottom Dollar (Verve (USA))
Q Ishikawa - In My Life (3D)
Raymond Fol - Echoes Of Harlem (Umvd Import)
Rosinha De Valenca - Apresentando (Universal)
Sammy Price - Good Paree (Umvd Import)
Santana - Hymns for Peace: Live at Montreux 2004 (Eagle Vision) - DVD
Scene Of Jazz - Breeze Of Spring (3D)
Shed A Little Light On - Shed A Little Light On-Challenge R (3D)
Socialized Funk Beats - Socialized Funk Beats (Bia)
Soulive - Untitled (Pid)
Stanley Wilson - Music From M Squad (RCA Victor)
Steve Khan - Borrowed Time (Japan) (3D)
Steve Khan - Borrowed Time (Tone Center)
Sylvia Telles - Amor Em Hi-Fi (Universal)
Takao Nagai - Dohja (3D)
Thomas Hellman - Departure Songs (Justin Time)
Toshiyuki Sakai - Fragrance Of Love (3D)
Traincha - Look Of Love: Burt Bacharach Songbook (EMI/Blue Note)
Trio Apoplectic - Trio Apoplectic (Jazzgroove)
U-Roy - Old School (JVC Victor)
Udagawa Cafe - Vol. 3-Udagawa Cafe-Brasil (Universal)
Various Artists - Conexion Latina (Sony/Columbia)
Waza - Inizio (Cdn)
Yuji Imamura / Teruo Goto - Beat From The Earth (3D)

Antonio Carlos Jobim - 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best Of Antonio Carlos Jobim (Hip-O Records)
Billie Holiday - Remixed & Reimagined (Columbia/L)
Booker Ervin - Freedom Book (Victor)
Buddy De Franco - I Hear Benny Goodman & Artie Shaw (Remastered) (Lonehill Jazz)
Buddy De Franco - I Hear Benny Goodman & Artie Shaw (Lonehill Jazz)
Bunky Green - Playin For Keeps (Lonehill Jazz)
Chambers / Haynes / Newborn - We Three (Umgd/Fantasy/Prestige)
Charles Tolliver - Music Inc-Live In Tokyo (King)
Charlie Parker - Now's the Time (Savoy)
Dave Brubeck - Lullaby In Rhythm (Pid)
Dexter Gordon / Ben Webster - Tenor Titans (Avalon)
Duke Ellington - Duke's Mixture/At The Bal Masque (Collectables)
Earl Hines - Hines Shines (Collectables) (Collectables)
Eartha Kitt - That Bad Eartha (Rev-Ola Records (UK))
Edgar Band Broughton - There's No Vibrations But Wait: An Anthology 1969 - 1982 (Eclectic)
Eiji Kitamura - Song Folio (King)
George Wein - Midnight Concert In Paris (Umvd Import)
Harold Land (Quartet) - Jazz At The Cellar 1958 (Lonehill Jazz)
Jo Jones / Teddy Wilson (Trio) - Complete Recordings (Essential)
Kid Ory - Theatre Des Champs-Elysees (Umvd Import)
Luiz Bonfa / Maria Toledo - Braziliana (Universal)
Miles Davis Quintet - Complete Studio Recordings (Essential Jazz Classics)
Mundell Lowe & His All Stars - Theme From Mr. Lucky The Untouchables (Rca Camden)
Nara Leao - Nara (Universal)
Nara Leao - Vento De Maio (Universal)
Nara Leao - Coisas Do Mundo (Universal)
Nina Simone - Very Best Of Nina Simone (RCA Victor)
Pat Moran - Complete Trio Sessions (Fresh Sound)
Rahsaan Roland Kirk - Kirk's Work (Fantasy Records (USA))
Roland Hanna - Romanesque (King)
Roy Haynes - We Three: Rudy Van Gelder Remasters Series (Prestige)
Sergio Mendes - Dance Moderno (Universal)
Sergio Mendes - 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best Of Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 (A&M Records (USA))
Sonny Stitt - My Mother's Eyes (Remastered) (Groove Hut)
Sonny Stitt - Sits In With The Oscar Peterson Trio (Umvd Import)
Sonny Stitt - My Mother's Eyes (Groove Hut)
Stan Getz - Early Autumn (Pid)
Stan Getz - Communications 72 (Umvd Import)
Stephane Grappelli - Milou En Mai (Columbia)
Sun Ra Arkestra - Creator Of The Universe (Transparency)
Tadd Dameron - Mating Call (Fantasy Records (USA))
Thelonious Monk - Thelonious Monk Trio (Fantasy Records (USA))
Urbie Green - Blues & Other Shades Of Green (Pid)
Yasuko Agawa - Re-Mode (JVC Victor)
Yasuko Agawa - Untitled (JVC)

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Friday, April 27, 2007

New Grover Washington Jr. Live CD To Be Released

Here's some great from Brian Soergel's Smooth Jazz Scoop at

A new CD by the late saxophonist Grover Washington Jr., capturing a live performance in 1994 at the famed Monterey Jazz Festival, will be the first release by a new record label created in conjunction with the festival’s 50th anniversary in September.

The never-before-heard release – Washington’s one and only performance at the festival, held five years before his death at age 56 from a heart attack – will be offered by Monterey Jazz Festival Records in partnership with the Concord Music Group. Washington’s CD, which is untitled at this point, will be released on July 31, along with other never-been-heard live recordings from Monterey by Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk and Shirley Horn.

You can expect more releases, as the festival has more than 1,600 tapes with more than 2,000 hours of concerts in its archives. In fact, the next round of recordings is expected to offered in September.

The band features Washington on tenor, alto, and soprano saxophones; music director Bill Jolly on keyboards and vocals; Donald Robinson on keys; Richard Lee Steacker on guitar; Lanar Brantley on bass; Steven Wolf on drums; and Pablo Batista on congas and percussion.

Track Listing

Black Frost - 8:19
Gramercy Park - 5:58
Brand New Age - 5:58
When I Fall in Love 6:54
Please Send Me Someone to Love 5:00
Take Five (Take Another Five) - 10:50
Winelight - 1:23
Inner City Blues - :46
Jammin’ - :59
Ain’t No Sunshine - 1:07
East River Drive - 2:03
Inside Moves - 1:11
Lock It in the Pocket - 1:00
Just the Two of Us - 1:53
Sausalito - 4:58

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SoundExchange Calls Internet Radio Equality Act 'Anti-Artist'

SoundExchange, which collects and distributes Internet-radio royalties, has come out swinging against the Internet Radio Equality Act, introduced Thursday (April 26) by Reps. Jay Inslee and Donald Mazullo. The bill would vacate the Copyright Royalty Board's recent hike in webcast performance royalties and set a transitional royalty rate of 7.5% of revenues for 2006-2010.

"The idea that this bill would help small webcasters or artists is ludicrous, since less than 2% of all royalty payments in 2006 came from small webcasters," said SoundExchange executive director John Simson. "The true beneficiaries are the mega-multiplex services like AOL, Yahoo!, Microsoft and Clear Channel, which will benefit from rates substantially lower than those set by the Librarian of Congress in 2002."

The Copyright Royalty Board on March 2 raised the statutory royalty to be paid by Internet radio operators to .08 cents per performance in 2006, rising to .19 cents by 2010, with a minimum annual fee of $500 per streamed channel. The increased rates are set to go into effect on May 15, retroactive to Jan. 1, 2006.

The percentage-of-revenue rate set by the Internet Radio Equality Act would also be retroactive to the beginning of 2006, and SoundExchange says that means artists will be writing checks to webcasters as they return 2006 royalties already received. According to SoundExchange, those returned royalties will constitute "a windfall of more than $50 million to mega-corporate webcasters like Clear Channel and Microsoft."

The SaveNetRadio Coalition was formed to protest the royalties hike and has already come out in support of the Internet Radio Equality Act. "Because the bill is so heavily favored to enrich the big webcasters, it raises questions as to who is really behind the SaveNetRadio Coalition," Simson said. "Although this coalition purports to be on the side of musicians, they have come out in support of this anti-artist bill."

By Brida Connolly -

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Manzullo, Inslee Introduce Legislation to Protect Music, Radio Access on Internet

U.S. Reps. Don Manzullo (R-IL) and Jay Inslee (D-WA) today introduced bipartisan legislation to protect Internet music Web casters from unfair government regulations that threaten to put them out of business and end the access to music over the Internet for more than 70 million Americans.

The Internet Radio Equality Act would reverse a recent decision of the federal Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) to at least triple the amount of royalties Internet radio broadcasters pay to copyright holders for playing a song.

In March, the CRB drastically increased royalty rates for webcasters – starting retroactively at $0.0008 per song in 2006 and climbing to $0.0019 per song in 2010. Though it costs only fractions of a penny per song, the change amounts to a 300 percent cost increase for the largest webcasters and up to a 1200 percent increase for smaller operations. These increases would bankrupt many Internet music Web casters and force U.S. radio stations to stop streaming their programs on the Internet.

“The Internet has provided us with amazing opportunities to enjoy music, and this unfair action by the Copyright Royalty Board threatens to take it all away,” Manzullo said. “Our legislation overturns the huge rate increases and sets up a system that is fair to Web casters, web users and the artists whose music we all enjoy. And most importantly, it will keep music playing on the Internet.”

“This Titanic rate increase is simply untenable for many Internet radio broadcasters,” said Inslee, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet. “You can’t put an economic chokehold on this emerging force of democracy,” he added. “There has to be a business model that allows creative webcasters to thrive and the existing rule removes all the oxygen from this space.”

The legislation would provide royalty parity for Internet radio providers. It would vacate the CRB’s March 2 decision and apply the same royalty rate-setting standard to commercial Internet radio, as well as satellite radio, cable radio and jukeboxes. A transition rate of 7.5 percent of revenue would be set through 2010.

According to Nielsen Media Research, 70 million Americans listen to online radio each month.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Hiroshima Celebrates Cultural Diversity On New Album

Jazz fusion band Hiroshima's forthcoming release, Little Tokyo, celebrates cultural diversity by exploring the music of Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America. Though the band, founded by wind instrument player Dan Kuramoto and koto player June Kuramoto, has always embraced a variety of global sounds and merged it with contemporary music, Little Tokyo points to an all-inclusive world view.

The 11 tracks on the album, due in stores May 22nd via Heads Up International, explore this multi-cultural stance, adopting a Middle Eastern style on the album's opener "Midnight Sun," mixed with the Japanese taiko drum sound of Kuramoto's bandmate Shoji Kameda. Bassist Kimo Cornwell and bassist Dean Cortez trade licks on a variety of tracks, most notably "On The Fence." The album also features Pieces of a Dream keyboardist James Lloyd (on "Lanai") and guest percussionist Richie Gajate Garcia (on "Sir Charles").

Kuramoto says of the band's mission to break with trends, "So many musicians are so afraid to stretch themselves. There's so little that they're allowed to play if they want to survive commercially. But we as a band have always believed that there's more to it than that, and we will continue on our journey to explore those possibilities, regardless of the next fad on the horizon."

Little Tokyo, which is named after the neighborhood in Los Angeles, includes the following tracks:
"Midnight Sun"
"On The Fence"
"Red Beans And Rice"
"Sir Charles"
"Hidden Times"
"Shades of Honor"
"Quan Yin"
"Hiro Chill"
"Little Tokyo Underground"

By: Adrianne Stone -

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Jackiem Joyner | "Babysoul"

It’s rare for a musician still in his mid-20s to possess the depth of talent, maturity and vision that saxophonist-flutist-songwriter-producer has. His debut album, Babysoul, will be released nationally May 8th. Joyner’s original songbook of R&B, soul and contemporary jazz tracks heralds the arrival of a true artist poised to re-invigorate and re-imagine the future of instrumental music.

Babysoul grooves seductively from beginning to end. Although the sax is his primary instrument, Joyner croons just as passionately through his flute. He explored unique ways to engage the two disparate voices in harmonious and complementary discourses on five of Babysoul’s eleven songs. In fact, Joyner, who produced the album and wrote ten songs for the disc, played most of the instruments on the record in addition to wielding both tenor and soprano saxes. Rick Braun, the album’s executive producer, contributed trumpet and flugelhorn and Peter White issued gorgeous acoustic guitar riffs on the first radio single, “Stay With Me Tonight.”

Joyner is hungry and excited about making the most of the opportunity to share his music. He believes he has a lot to say musically. The prolific writer has already begun writing songs for his next album even before the first one premieres.

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Norman Brown - "Stay with Me" Peak Records Debut out Now

Norman Brown - Stay With Me OUT NOW:

The Peak Records debut from Grammy award-winning jazz guitarist Norman Brown is available in stores and online now.

Released this week on Peak Records (Concord Music Group) after a string of releases for the Motown label and more recently Warner Bros, Norman Brown's new album Stay With Me is a collection of 10 urban-influenced contemporary jazz tunes that showcase Norman Brown's inventive talents as a guitarist and all-around musician. The album features a stellar line up of guest artists including fellow smooth jazz stars Rick Braun and Kirk Whalum on “It's Not Over,” Grammy- nominated American singer/songwriter Brian McKnight and jazz guitarist/ hit-making producer Paul Brown.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Michel Camilo | "Spirit Of The Moment"

After 20 years of developing his chops as a trio player, pianist Michel Camilo took a few years off to do other things — a solo album titled Solo and a lovely orchestral homage to George Gershwin were two results of that break. With Spirit of the Moment he returns to the trio format, and he sounds refreshed and happy to be back. As always, his style is powerfully energetic and at times ideas seem to be flying out from under his fingers almost more quickly than he can fully process them. But with the help of a crack rhythm team (drummer Dafnis Prieto and bassist Charles Flores), he manages to keep his feet on the ground and generate lots of inspiring moments. Notable among them are an all-too-brief rendition of the John Coltrane classic "Giant Steps" that sounds almost like "Flight of the Bumblebee," a lovely version of Wayne Shorter's "Nefertiti," and the aptly titled "Hurry Up and Wait," a jittery and edgy uptempo original with a Latin feel. Despite his obvious affinity for faster material, Camilo also shines on the ballads: he delivers sweetly lyrical renditions of "My Secret Place" and "A Place in Time," both of them originals. Highly recommended.

by Rick Anderson

Michel Camilo - piano
Charles Flores -- bass
Dafnis Prieto -- drums

1. Just Now
2. My Secret Place
3. Spirit of the Moment
4. Repercussions
5. Nefertiti
6. Nardis
7. Trilogy
8. Giant Steps
9. A Place in Time
10. Hurry Up and Wait
11. Liquid Crystal
12. Solar (Explorations)

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Kurt Elling #1 Jazz Album

Kurt Elling's new album Nightmoves goes from # 37 - # 1 at Jazzweek.

Kurt Elling has attained elite status in the jazz world before reaching the age of 40. Riding to international prominence on the strength of his critically acclaimed performances as well as a string of stellar recordings for the Blue Note label, the perennial poll- winner has become the voice of a new generation of jazz fans. He's been called “the most flamboyantly creative jazz singer to emerge in the last decade” by the San Francisco Chronicle and was recently named DownBeat's Male Vocalist of the Year in both Critics and Readers polls for 2006 (the third time he's won the top spot in both polls). On Nightmoves, his brilliant debut for Concord Records and seventh outing overall, Elling artfully blends his rich baritone voice with signature scatting and virtuosic vocalese in a wide-ranging repertoire of tunes associated with such greats as Frank Sinatra, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Irving Berlin, Betty Carter, Duke Ellington, Dexter Gordon and Keith Jarrett. His most ambitious undertaking to date, it features his working trio of bassist Rob Amster, drummer Willie Jones III and longtime creative partner, pianist-arranger Laurence Hobgood, along with such special guests as The Escher String Quartet, bassist Christian McBride, Yellowjackets tenor saxophonist Bob Mintzer, guitarist Guilherme Monterio, keyboardist Rob Mounsey and harmonica virtuosos Howard Levy and Gregoire Maret.

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Smooth Jazz Chart | Week Ended 4/23/07

LW - TW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Paul Brown - "White Sand" - (Peak)
2 - 2 - Walter Beasley "Ready For Love" - (Heads Up)
4 - 3 - Peter White - "Playin' Favorites" - (Columbia)
3 - 4 - Boney James - "Shine" - (Concord)
5 - 5 - Kirk Whalum - "Give Me The Reason"; Patti Austin - "So Amazing" - VA - Forever, For Always, For Luther II - (Rendezvous)
7 - 6 - Jeff Golub - "Grand Central" - (Narada Jazz)
6 - 7 - Chuck Loeb - "Presence" - (Heads Up)
8 - 8 - Wayman Tisdale - "Way Up" - (Rendezvous)
9 - 9 - Norman Brown - "Stay With Me" - (Peak)
11 - 10 - Rick Braun - "Yours Truly" (Artizen)

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High fidelity takes backseat to portability

Music lovers remember a familiar advertising image from the past: a man reclined in a chair, head back, blown away by music from his high-fidelity sound system.

Like the Marlboro Man before him, Maxell's pitchman is now a relic.

With their ability to store vast libraries of music in your pocket, sleek digital music players have replaced bulky home stereo systems as the music gear of choice. But the sound quality of digital audio files is noticeably inferior to that of compact discs and even vinyl.

Are these the final days of hi-fi sound? Judging by the 2 billion songs downloaded from Apple Inc.'s iTunes service, the ubiquity of white iPod "ear buds," and the hundreds of thousands of folks file-sharing for free, the answer is yes.

"In many ways, good enough (sound quality) is fine," said Paul Connolly, an art installation specialist and longtime audiophile from Sugar Land, Texas, who's now in the process of digitizing his 2,400 CD collection in Apple's lossless digital audio format.

"The warmth and the nice distortion that the album had was beautiful," he said. "But do I long for the days of albums? No. Do I long for the days of CDs now that we've gone digital? No. It's a medium."

Justin Schoenmoser, of San Francisco, also traded in his rack system for an iPod. Currently working abroad and toting along his iPod, the convenience of carrying thousands of songs in a gadget smaller than a pack of cigarettes outweighs the sacrifice of quality.

"The last time I had a full-blown home stereo system was in the mid-90s, and it was a gift from my parents," Schoenmoser said. "As I converted most of my stuff to digital over the last 5 years, I finally got rid of all my old equipment."

A song ripped from a CD at 128 kilobits per second -- the default setting for most software -- retains only a fraction of the audio data contained on the originally mastered disc. Whether you downloaded the track from iTunes or copped it off LimeWire, the song remains the same. The small digital music file is a highly compressed shadow of the originally mastered recording.

And regardless of how advanced your home audio setup is, if you're pumping a low-rate MP3 or iTunes file into it, you're getting a low-rate rendition of the original song out of it. It's listenable, but still lacking the luster of a CD played on the same system.

'It doesn't compare'
Some experts say the sound quality lost in the process is undetectable to most untrained ears. But Michael Silver can hear the difference.

Audio High, his high-end stereo shop in Mountain View, sells things like a $5,000 needle for your turntable and stereo cable at $2,700 a meter.

"It doesn't compare," Silver said of the sound quality offered by today's portable digital music players and their compressed audio files.

If his high-end gear is like a Ferrari for sound, and run-of-the-mill stereo equipment is a Honda, an iPod is "a moped," Silver said.

That difference in sound quality, perceptible or not, hasn't saved some of the bigger traditional stereo and music sellers.

Tweeter Home Entertainment Group Inc., a Canton, Massachusetts-based retailer of mid-to-high end audio equipment, is closing 49 of its 153 stores nationwide. Slumping sales at Sacramento, California-based Tower Records led that former industry juggernaut to declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in August.

And Circuit City, the nation's No. 2 electronics retailer, is laying off 3,400 of its most experienced clerks.

Year-to-date data from a recent Nielsen SoundScan report shows sales of prerecorded CDs in the United States down 20 percent from last year.

"Everybody has a certain amount of money to spend. It's not that they're choosing not to spend it on the old-style audio. It's that something new came along," said James McQuivey, principle analyst for media technology at Forrester Research Inc.

"The MP3 player integrated the collection of the music with the playback of the music," he said. "Now all of it's seamlessly hidden away on a hard drive somewhere."

With the networked household ready to fill the void left by the demise of rack stereo systems, McQuivey sees a steady stream of new devices on the horizon that will erase any lingering drawbacks to going all-MP3.

Santa Barbara-based Sonos, Inc., for example, sells a system that allows you to use a handheld device to navigate streamed music from your PC to an existing amp and speaker or home theater setup, sort of a hybrid between the old guard and the new.

"A CD is not relevant to me anymore," said John MacFarlane, founder and chief executive of Sonos. "The iPod and that type of portable music player has even accelerated that trend."

Even when consumers do buy CDs these days, "the first thing you do is rip your CDs and put them on your iPods," MacFarlane said.

MacFarlane isn't even convinced that casual listeners can hear the difference between CD-quality sounds and the dumbed-down MP3 files, which he calls "good quality, not perfect."

"When Philips and Sony first made the CD, they didn't cut any corners because they were careful to preserve everything that was there, even if you couldn't hear it," MacFarlane said. "That 128 is pretty darn good. A lot of Ph.D.s went in to making that 128 kbps work well and sound well.

Schoenmoser, the globetrotting Californian, agrees.

"I honestly can't really tell the difference between CD, tape and digital," he said. "I'd even accept a lower quality as long as it's digital and portable."


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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Upcoming Jazz Releases | 4/24/07

Akira Ishikawa - Back To Rhythm (Jpn LP Sleeve) (Sony/Columbia)
Andre Ward - Crystal City (Orpheus Records)
Anjani - Blue Alert (Columbia)
Avishai Cohen - As Is...Live at the Blue Note (Half Note)
Avishai Cohen - As Is... Live At The Blue Note (Halfnote Records)
Ben Winkleman - Spanish Tinge (Jazzhead)
Bill Carrothers - I Love Paris (Pirouet)
Bill Carrothers - Keep Your Sunny Side Up (Pirouet)
Bill Sharpe - Close To My Heart (Victor)
Billie Davis - Watcha Gonna Do? Complete Sing (Rpm)
Bob Marley - Remix (Canyon)
Caruso Beppe Free Air - Punti Di Vista (Music Cent)
Conexion Latina / Pasion - Conexion Latina/Pasion (Pid)
D'Onofrio / Sabatini - Jazz Duo Laverne Walk (Music Cent)
David Clayton-Thomas - You're The One (Ryko) - DVD-Video
Dee Dee Bridgewater - Red Earth (Emarcy)
Dee Dee Bridgewater - Red Earth (Limited Edition) (Universal)
Devoted Spirits - Answer (Tokuma)
Doctor 3 - Blue (Via Veneto)
Earl Carter - My Paradise (Teddy Bear Records)
Elizabeth Shepherd - Start To Move (Pid)
Emilie-Claire Barlow - Like A Lover (Victor)
Four Of A Kind - Four Of A Kind II (Victor)
Four80East - En Route (Native Language)
Frank Morgan - Night In The Life:Live At The Jazz V3 (Highnote Records)
Fred Anderson - From the River to the Ocean (Thrill Jockey)
Gabriele Orsi - Mr T (Music Cent)
Gianluigi Trovesi - Vaghissimo Ritratto (ECM Records (USA))
Gondwana - Xenophon
Henri Salvador - Reverence (V2)
Hiroshi Suzuki - Cat (Jpn LP Sleeve) (Sony/Columbia)
Hue & Cry - Next Move (Linn Records)
Jana Koubkova - Live In Jazz Club (Multisonic Records)
Jane Monheit - Surrender (Concord)
Jane Weaver - Cherlokalate (Bird)
Jazz Influence 2 - Jazz Influence 2 (I! Records)
Jean-Luc Ponty - Life Enigma (Koch Records (USA))
Jeff Newell's New Trad Octet - Brownstone (Blu Jazz)
Jerome Sabbagh - Pogo (Sunny Side)
Jimmy Ponder - Somebody's Child (High Note)
Joao Donato - O Piano De Joao Donato (Pid)
Joe Harriott - Killer Joe! (Giant Steps (USA))
Joel Harrison - Harbor (High Note)
Joshua Redman Trio - Back East (Nonesuch Records (USA))
Judy Niemack - Blue Nights (Blujazz)
Juliette Greco - Le Temps D'Une Chanson (Sunnyside)
Kahil El'Zabar - Contrary Motion (Hbd Label Group)
Keiko Matsui - Moyo (Shout! Factory)
Kellylee Evans - Fight or Flight (Enliven Media)
King Curtis - Unchained Melody (Collectables)
Koji Goto - Hope (Video Arts)
Lafayette Gilchrest - Three (Hyena)
Lafayette Gilchrist - Three (Ryko Distribution)
Lorenzo Tucci - Drumonk (Via Veneto)
Louis Sclavis - L'Imparfait De Langues (ECM Records (USA))
Louis Van Dijk - Untitled (Pid)
Maggie Bell - Live at Montreux 1981 (Angel Air) - DVD-Video
Malibu: Jazz At The Beach House - Malibu: Jazz At The Beach House (Avalon Music)
Mariama Marhuerite - Wild Women Never Get The Blues Well Not Anymore (Powerlight Media)
Mell Morcone - Bossanuova (Music Cent)
Michael Camilo - Spirit of the Moment (Telarc)
Michel Legrand - Les Demoiselles De Rochefort-Remas (Universal)
Michel Legrand - Les Demoiselles De Rochefort (Universal)
Michelle-Anna Mimouni - Entre Ombre Et Lumiere (Pid)
Mike Reed's Loose Assembly - Last Year's Ghost (482 Music)
Misha Tsiganov - Always Going West (Powerlight/Sumthing)
New Vaudeville Band - Winchester Cathedral (RPM (UK))
Niemackjudy - Blue Nights (Blujazz)
Noon - My Fairy Tale (Victor)
Norman Brown - Stay With Me (Concord Records (USA))
Pamelia Kurstin - Thinking Out Loud (Tzadik)
Paolo Fresu Quintet - Rosso Verde Giallo E Blu (EMI)
Pat Moran - Complete Trio Sessions (Fresh Sound)
Phil Swanson Trio - The Song Endures (MSR Classics)
Philippe Saisse - Piano Man (Tokuma)
Pierre Favre - Fleuve (ECM Records (USA))
Pierre Favre Ensemble - Fleuve (ECM Records (USA))
Quodia w/Trey Gunn - The Arrow (7D Media) - DVD-Video
Randy Brecker - Some Skunk Funk (BHM) - DVD-Video
Rebecca Pidgeon - The Raven (Chesky)
Rebecca Pidgeon - Raven (Telarc)
Renzo Ruggieri - Bends (Wide)
Robin Williamson - The Iron Stone (ECM)
Rodrigo Rodriguez - Across the East (KZN)
Rosario Giuliani - Anything Else (Dreyfus Jazz)
Sacha Distel - Sacha's Guitar (El)
Satoru Shionoya - Eartheory (JVC Victor)
Shakatak - Emotionally Blue (Victor)
Simply Red - Stay (Simply
Stefano Bollani - Koino Kibunde (Tokuma)
Stephan Micus - On the Wing (ECM)
Steve Grossman - I'm Confessin' (Dreyfus Jazz)
Steve Lacy - Scratching The Seventies
T-Square - 33 (Sacd Hybrid) (Limited Edition) (Hybrid Sacd) (Sony)
T-Square - 33 (Sacd Hybrid) (Hybrid Sacd) (Sony)
Taiko Saito - Koko (Pirouet Records)
Terez Montcalm - Voodoo (MSI Music (import))
Thomas Hellman - Departure Songs (Justin Time)
Thomas Ruckert - Blue In Green (Pirouet)
Titi Winnterstein Quintet - Best Of (Kingston World)
Torch - Charm (3D)
Toshiko Akiyoshi / Charlie Mar - Toshiko & Mariano Quartet (Sony/Columbia)
Tropical Jazz Big Band - Tropical Jazz Big Band VIII-The Cover (Victor)
Two Bands & A Legend - Two Bands & A Legend (Smalltown)
Various Artists - Quiet Storm Slow Jams (Shanachie)
Various Artists - Acid Jazz Volume 2 (BGP/Beat Goes Public)
Various Artists - Legendary Crooners - Frank, Dean, Bing, Nat and Perry (Kultur) - DVD-Video
Various Artists - Manteca The Roots Of Afro-Cub (Giant Steps)
Various Artists - Live In Jazz Club (Multisonic)
Various Artists - Manteca! Roots Of Afro Cuban Jazz (Giant Step)
Various Artists - Rick James Smooth Jazz Tribute (Copycats Entertainment)
Various Artists - Trin-I-Tree 5:7 - Smooth Jazz Tribute (Copycats Entertainment)
Vienna Art Orchestra - Triology-30th Anniversary Box (Universal) - Boxed Set
Voice Mail - Untitled (Pid)
War - Loose Grooves: Funkin' Live In England 1980 (RPM) - DVD-Video
Wet Cookies - Earthling (Collision Cause Of Chapter 3)
Yamandu Costa - Ida E Volta (Gha (Bel))
Ysh Gvul Di Marco Fusi - Addio A Lugano 2006 (Music Cent)
Yukari Inoue (Trio) - Inoue Yukari (Avalon)
Zelenka Trio - Mafiosi (Cube Bohemia)

Andrew Hill - Mosaic Select: Andrew Hill (Mosaic Select) - Boxed Set
Bob Brookmeyer - Old Friends (Avalon)
Bucky Pizzarelli / Zoot Sims - Elegiac (Avalon)
Buddy Greco - The Man and the Music (Kultur) - DVD-Video
Bunky Green - Playin For Keeps (Remastered) (Lonehill Jazz)
Charlie Parker - An Anthology 1948-1953 (Cabu)
Charlie Parker - Anthology 1948-1953 (Cabu)
David Sanborn - Heart to Heart (Mosaic Contemporary)
David Sylvian - Brilliant Trees (Caroline)
Duke Ellington - An Anthology 1928-1954 (Cabu)
Duke Ellington - At The Piano (Cabu)
Earl Klugh - Wishful Thinking (Mosaic Contempo)
Earl Klugh - Nightsongs (Mosaic Contempo)
Eartha Kitt - That Bad Eartha (Rev-Ola Records (UK))
Ella Fitzgerald - An Anthology 1948-1955 (Cabu)
European Jazz Trio - Barcelona's Flame (Pid)
European Jazz Trio - Night Train (Pid)
Frank Loesser - The Song Endures (Msr Classics)
Frank Morgan - A Night In The Life - Live At The Jazz Standard Vol. 3 (Highnote)
Frank Sinatra - An Anthology 1950-1955 (Cabu)
Frank Sinatra - Une Anthologie (Cabu)
Fried Pride - That's My Way (Victor)
Fried Pride - Musicream (Victor)
George Benson - Good King Bad (Mosaic Contemporary)
Gerry Mulligan - Mosaic Select: Gerry Mulligan (Mosaic Select) - Boxed Set
Herbie Hancock - Mastercuts - Herbie Hancock (Mastercuts)
Jane Monheit - Best Of Jane Monheit (Victor)
Jeri Brown - New Wonderland: The Best of Jeri Brown (Justin Time)
Jimmie Lunceford - An Anthology 1934-1942 (Cabu)
Jimmie Lunceford - Une Anthologie 1934/1942 (Cabu)
Jimmy Rushing - An Anthology 1937-1955 (Cabu)
Jimmy Rushing - Une Anthologie (Cabu)
John Handy - Live At Yoshi's Nightspot (Kingston Jazz)
John Lewis - Wonderful World Of Jazz/Evolution (Collectables Records)
John Tropea - Tropea V.10: The Time Is Right (Video Arts)
Johnny Griffin (Quartet) - Catharsis (Avalon)
Kenny Barron / James Moody - Fly Me To The Moon (Remastered) (Lonehill Jazz)
Louis Armstrong - An Anthology 1945-1955 (Cabu)
Louis Armstrong - Une Anthologie 1945/1955 (Cabu)
Louis Prima - John R T Davies Collection (JSP (UK))
Louis Prima - The John R.T. Davies Collection: Volume 1: Jazz Classics (JSP (UK))
Mariano / Watanabe - Meet Again (Victor)
Michel Legrand - Love Is A Ball (Universal)
Michel Legrand - Les Demoiselles De Rochefor (Remastered) (Universal)
Miles Davis Quintet - Complete Studio Recordings (Essential Jazz Classics)
Nat King Cole - An Anthology 1949-1955 (Cabu)
Nat King Cole - Une Anthologie 1949/1955 (Cabu)
Nestro Torres - Very Best Of Nestro Torres (Shanachie)
Quincy Jones - Mastercuts - Quincy Jones (Mastercuts)
Roy Haynes - My Shining Hour (Avalon)
Sadao Watanabe - Morning Island (Victor)
Sadao Watanabe - California Shower (Victor)
Sadao Watanabe - Autumn Blow (Victor)
Sadao Watanabe - My Dear Life (Victor)
Salena Jones - Gold-The Ultimate Collection (Victor)
Scott Henderson - Collection (Tone Center)
Shorty Rogers & The Giants - Shorty Goes To Hollywood (Giant Steps)
Sidney Bechet - Mosaic Select: Sydney Bechet (Mosaic Select) - Boxed Set
Sonny Stitt - Move On Over: Eddie Buster Sides (Remastered) (Jazzbeat)
Steve Kuhn - Plays Standerds (Tokuma)
Sun Ra - Toward The Stars-Pioneering In (Fivefour)
Sun Ra - Toward The Stars (Five Four)
Tony Williams - Mosaic Select: Tony Williams (Mosaic Select) - Boxed Set
Toshiko Akiyoshi - Top Of The Gate No Akiyoshi Toshiko (Sony/Columbia)
Toshiko Akiyoshi - Toshiko At Top Of The Gate (24bit Remastering) (Sony/Columbia)
Toshiko Akiyoshi / Charlie Mariano - Toshiko & Mariano Quartet (Sony/Columbia)
Toshiko Akiyoshi / Charlie Mariano - Toshiko & Mariano Quartet (Sony/Columbia)
Toshiko Akiyoshi / Toshiko Maria - Lullaby: Toshiko No Komoriuta (Sony/Columbia)
Toshiko Akiyoshi / Toshiko Maria - Lullabies For You (24bit Remastering) (Sony/Columbia)
Urbie Green - Blues & Other Shades Of Green (Pid)
Wayne Krantz - 2 Drink Minimum (Enja)
Zelenka Trio +1 - Mafiosi (Cube Bohemia)

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Friday, April 20, 2007

Andrew Hill, Jazz Pianist And Composer, Dies at 75

Pianist and composer Andrew Hill, one of the most vital and groundbreaking artists in jazz's post-bop movement during a career that spanned a half-century, died early Friday after a three-year struggle with lung cancer, his record label announced.

Hill died at his Jersey City, New Jersey, home just 14 months after releasing his final album, "Time Lines," a farewell that earned him album of the year honors from Down Beat magazine and jazz artist of the year from Playboy. He was still performing just three weeks ago, when Hill appeared with his trio at Manhattan's Trinity Church.

"Our hearts go out to his wife, Joanne, and the countless musicians, friends and fans that his music and spirit touched over the course of his remarkable life," said a statement from Blue Note Records.

Although Hill was widely lauded within the jazz community, his music was often overlooked by mainstream audiences which focused on the work of contemporaries like Miles Davis and Charlie Parker. Hill performed with both while still in his teens.

"In a jazz world that often celebrates imitators, Hill stands as a genuine original," said the announcement accompanying his 2003 Jazzpar Prize, the prestigious annual Danish award given to an active internationally recognized performer. He also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Jazz Foundation of America in 1997.

The Chicago native displayed a musical bent from his earliest years.

"I could play the piano as long as I've been talking," Hill told one interviewer. He began his formal training at age 13 after receiving encouragement from prominent jazz figures Earl "Fatha" Hines and Bill Russo.

Hill's professional career began in 1952; he worked with Parker, Davis and tenor saxophonist Coleman Hawkins before releasing his debut album three years later.

Hill came to New York in 1961 to work with singer Dinah Washington. In 1963, he began a 44-year association with the Blue Note label, where he released a series of classic post-bop albums that included the oft-hailed "Point of Departure."

Blue Note founder Alfred Lion once described Hill as "the next Thelonious Monk." But Hill spent most of the '70s and '80s in academia, teaching in colleges, public schools and prisons while releasing only occasional albums.

After nearly a decade away from recording, Hill resurfaced in the new millennium with three new albums: "Dusk" with his Point of Departure Sextet in 2000; the big-band production "A Beautiful Day" in 2002; and "Time Lines" last year.

"A master's record, quiet, daring and magnificent," wrote Ben Ratliff of The New York Times about "Time Lines."

In 2004, the same year he was diagnosed with cancer, Hill released "Passing Ships" — a collection recorded in 1969, but shelved for 35 years because Blue Note considered it "noncommercial."


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Phoenix Guitarist Jay Soto Releases New CD and Signs with Nugroove

Phoenix Guitarist Signs with nuGroove and Releases Stay Awhile

Phoenix guitarist Jay Soto has signed with the nuGroove record label and will release his 2nd CD on May 29, 2007. Inactive since 1998, David Chackler brought NuGroove back into full force in 2007 after a nine year hiatus. (NuGroove was the orginal home of such artists as Michael Lington and Down to the Bone.) Jay Soto is the first for the reactivated nuGroove with many new artists to come.

A grand finalist in the nation's most respected guitar competition, Guitar Center's “Guitarmageddon,” Jay Soto proved his talent immediately by winning the local, district and regional rounds and then made his way to the finals held at Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar festival in Dallas to an audience of 15,000 people. In the end, Jay finished as one of the top unsigned guitarists in the nation. A skilled vocalist as well, Soto had the honor of singing the “Star Spangled Banner” for a presidential rally in 2004 at Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, Arizona.

An album filled with memorable melodies and impeccable technique, his successful debut release, Long Time Coming, received outstanding reviews from critics across the nation and opened many doors for the young and rising star.

This self-produced debut caught the attention of producer greats Jeff Lorber and Paul Brown. Lorber and Brown would go on to produce his sophomore release, Stay Awhile. Other producers on the album include Darren Rahn (Wayman Tisdale, Jonathan Butler) and Mario Mendivil (Nelson Rangell). With the likes of Jeffrey Osborne, Euge Groove and Michael Lington on his release, Soto is in star-studded company and sure to catch the attention of Smooth Jazz fans everywhere.

“...his chops are extraordinary...” - WAAR radio

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Down To The Bone | "Supercharged" 6-18-07

Pioneering British acid jazz group Down to the Bone will release it's new CD on June 18, called Supercharged. The album includes guest appearances from Roy Ayers on vibes and vocals, and Hil St. Soul and Corrina Greyson on vocals.

The album, which as usual is being produced by DJ Stuart Wade, features Neil Cowley and Neil Angilley on keyboards, Richard Sadler on percussion, Tony Remy on guitar, Paul "Shilts" Weimar on sax, the DC Horns, Adam Riley on drums, Ian Crabtree on guitar, and Julian Crampton on bass.

The group's main songwriter and producer Stuart Wade says that from the group's very beginning, he's been interested in taking grooves and stripping them down to their bare essence, thus the name of the band: "I wanted the music to be more funky, so what I did is I would take tracks and strip them down to the bare essentials, so I thought, well I'm stripping them down to the bone. Which was basically taking all the melodies off and just getting back to the actual bass and drums and percussion and creating a much stronger groove."

Wade said, "You are only as successful as your last album. So you never know how long it will last. So you must make the most of it while it is there and as long as you can stand up and say you did your best. Then no one can take that away from you."

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Copyright Royalty Board Denies Rehearing On Webcast Royalties

The U.S. Copyright Office's Copyright Royalty Board has denied requests by Internet radio operators for a rehearing on the CRB's decision setting performance royalty rates for Internet radio from 2006 to 2010. On March 2, the CRB raised the statutory royalty to be paid by Internet radio operators from .07 cents per performance to .08 cents in 2006, .11 cents in 2007, .14 cents in 2008, .18 cents in 2009 and .19 cents in 2010. Additionally, there is a minimum annual fee of $500 per streamed channel.

The Digital Media Association filed a request for rehearing on March 19, saying the higher royalties will "shut down the vast majority of legitimate online radio services." On April 2, National Public Radio filed a request for rehearing on behalf of itself, all NPR member stations and all Corporation for Public Broadcasting-qualified radio stations.

The CRB wrote in today's decision, "None of the moving parties have made a sufficient showing of new evidence or clear error or manifest injustice that would warrant rehearing. To the contrary ... most of the parties' arguments in support of a rehearing or reconsideration merely restate arguments that were made or evidence that was presented during the proceeding."

Additionally, the CRB denied webcasters' requests to stay implementation of the new royalty rates until all legal appeals have been exhausted.

John Simson, executive director of royalties-collection organization SoundExchange, called the decision a "victory" for performing artists and record labels. AFTRA, meanwhile, applauded the CRB's decision to uphold the royalties.

At the request of webcasters, the CRB will allow them to continue to use estimated aggregate tuning hours to determine audience listening for 2006 and 2007. This is a transitional period to allow webcasters to switch over to performance-based music tracking. Meanwhile, in response to SoundExchange's request for clarification regarding whether the initial decision covers webcasting services delivered over cellular networks, the CRB indicated that it does.

By Brida Connolly

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Will Downing Diagnosed With Debilitating Muscle Disorder

Vocalist Will Downing has cancelled touring for the immediate future after being diagnosed with a disorder called polymyositis, a debilitating chronic inflammatory disease of the muscles that can possibly lead to the point where those afflicted are no longer walk or move their bodies. Its cause is unknown. Downing, 46, has been hospitalized since January.

Although polymyositis can occur at any age, it mostly affects adults in their 40s and 50s. It is more common in blacks than in whites, and women are diagnosed more often than men. According to the Mayo Clinic, periods of remission, during which signs and symptoms improve spontaneously, rarely occur in polymyositis. However, treatment can improve muscle strength and function.

Downing says that he first came down with symptoms over the holidays when he felt extremely tired and sick. He adds that his fear of doctors kept him from discovering what his affliction was. However, the singer says he is now in rehabilitation and working to get himself back in shape. He’s moving slowly, but he’s moving nonetheless and is thankful for that and for the fact that his voice so far has not been affected.

Downing says he still plans to release a new CD this September on Peak Records, which was co-founded by Russ Freeman of the Rippingtons.

Our best wishes go out to Will and his family as he learns to live with the disease.

Source: Brian Soergel's Smooth Jazz Scoop

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Andrew Hill - Honorary Doctor of Music

Berklee College of Music President Roger Brown will present the first couple of Latin pop, Gloria and Emilio Estefan; U2 guitarist and songwriter The Edge; and legendary jazz pianist Andrew Hill with Honorary Doctor of Music degrees at Berklee College of Music's Commencement on Saturday, May 12 at the Agganis Arena at Boston University. Commencement speaker Gloria Estefan will address more than 850 Berklee graduates and their invited guests at the 7,000-seat venue.

This year's Honorary Doctorate recipients - the Estefans, The Edge, and Hill - are being honored for their achievements in the world of music, and for their enduring contributions to American and international culture. Past recipients include Duke Ellington (the first, in 1971), Dizzy Gillespie, Patti LaBelle, Steven Tyler, Aretha Franklin, Tito Puente, Nancy Wilson, David Bowie, Michel Camilo, Chaka Khan, Loretta Lynn, Quincy Jones, Bonnie Raitt, and Ahmet Ertegun.

On commencement eve, as is Berklee's tradition, students will pay tribute to the honorees by performing music associated with the Estefans, The Edge, and Hill at the Agganis Arena.

Legendary pianist and composer Andrew Hill has been defying categorization for over four decades with his enigmatic and sophisticated musical style. He has been hailed by The New York Times as “one of the 1960's jazz heroes,” and is alternately referred to as a genius and a master by critics and colleagues alike. He has been honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Jazz Foundation of America, received the JAZZPAR Award, and has been named Jazz Composer of the Year four times by the Jazz Journalists Association, most recently in 2006. A champion of Hill's music, the late Blue Note Records founder Alfred Lion proclaimed Hill his “last great protg” and produced his early classics for the label, including Point of Departure. Hill's latest release, Time Lines (Blue Note,), was voted Best Jazz Album by DownBeat magazine. This year, Hill joined the ranks of such lauded composers as Stravinsky, Copland, Elliott Carter, David Benoit, and Chick Corea, by signing with renowned music publisher Boosey & Hawkes.

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