Sunday, November 30, 2008

Park honoring jazz legend Jaco Pastorius to open Monday to Oakland Park

Oakland Park pleases fans of Jaco Pastorius with a 'thrilling' tribute

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new park named after jazz legend John Francis "Jaco" Pastorius is to be conducted Monday — an event Pastorius' friends call a great honor.
Pastorius' rapid-fire fingering technique and composing talent earned him a reputation in the late 1970s and early '80s as the best jazz bass player in the world. At the peak of his career, he toured with Weather Report, Joni Mitchell, Herbie Hancock, and Blood, Sweat and Tears.
He died in 1987 at age 35.
Oakland Park, the city where he attended high school, last year decided to name a park after him at 4000 N. Dixie Highway after a group of fans pushed for it.

"It's quite a thrilling thing for any person or family to have this experience in their life," said Ira Sullivan, who decades ago played in a jazz quartet with Pastorius in South Florida nightclubs and other venues. "With art and music and everything else, it does take a while for people to realize greatness."

Sullivan and other musicians who played with Pastorius plan to perform a free concert during the park ceremony, which begins at 4:30 p.m.

Dec. 1 is Pastorius' birthday. He would have been 57 this year.

Some Pastorius fans say they hope the park will raise awareness of the musician, who was born in Pennsylvania and grew up in Broward County, graduating from Northeast High School in 1969.

Bob Bobbing, a friend of Pastorius who has pushed to keep his legend alive, said the park was a long time coming. He said it had been frustrating that not enough was being done to remember Pastorius. He wondered whether it was because of Pastorius' headlong fall in his final years.

He lived his last years destitute on the streets of Broward and died from injuries suffered in a beating at an after-hours club. His fans say his contributions outweigh his tumultuous last years.

In recent weeks, the city has promoted the ceremony by circulating fliers with an iconic silhouette of Pastorius with bass in hand.

"I know he'd love it," Bobbing said of the park. "He loved Oakland Park. Those years were all love and positive."

By Juan Ortega
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

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Friday, November 28, 2008

Upcoming Jazz Releases | 12/2/08

Ben Sidran - Cien Noches (Bonsai Music )

Benny Goodman - Only The Best Of Benny Goodman (Collectables )

Billy Cobham - Fruit From The Loom (Pid )

Classic FM Christmas-The Ultimate Classical & Jazz - Classic FM Christmas-The Ultimate Classical & Jazz (Pid )

Dakota Staton - Only The Best Of Dakota Staton (Collectables )

Douye - Journey (Betsy Blue )

Douye' - Journey (Betsy Blue Music)

Leon Triplett - Still Leon (Triplett )

Louis Armstrong - Live in Antwerp 1959 (Jazz Music)

Louis Van Dijk - Collections (Pid )

Marc Antoine - Comme Il Se Doit (EMI France )

Markus Stockhausen - Symbiosis (Pid )

Music For Cocktails 10th Anniversary - Music For Cocktails 10th Anniversary (Music For Cocktails )

Nol En Jazz - Nol En Jazz (Pid )

Pim Jacobs - Collections (Pid )

Science Fiction Jazz 11 - Science Fiction Jazz 11 (Mole Listening Pearl )

Sheryl Bailey - 3:Live In Nyc (Mel Bay Publications )

Tommy Dorsey - Only The Best Of Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra (Collectables )

Toots Thielemans - Collections (Pid )

Our thanks to:New release information provided by

The Upcoming Release Center at is the most comprehensive new release listing for jazz music on the internet.

The information is updated biweekly by John Kelman

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving! [Video]

Our chance to share generously with those we love. May you and yours have many reasons to be thankful

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Will Downing Ready to Tour with Holiday Show

Singer Will Downing is joining the Smooth Christmas tour that also features Lalah Hathaway and saxophonist Gerald Albright. The vocalist is looking forward to performing holiday material as well as tunes from his hit 2007 CD release After Tonight.

This year Downing concentrated on getting back into live performing after battling back from the degenerative muscle disease polymyositis. He made a triumphant return to the stage with a series of shows this past summer, and the Christmas shows will be his next concert trek.

Asked about balancing his health with his career, Downing told us: "You know what? I take it day by day. You know the phone is ringing consistently for folks to book me to come out and do whatever I do. That's good, but I'm trying to do a good balancing act now. I take a little work, do a little play. I do what I can do. I don't over-extend myself. "

Tour dates include:
November 28 - Detroit, MI - Detroit Opera House
November 29 - Washington, DC - Warner Theatre
November 30 - Washington, DC - Bolling Air Force Base/Strike Against Stroke event
December 05 - Memphis, TN - Canon Center
December 12 - Dallas, TX - Majestic Theatre
December 13 - Houston, TX - Arena Theatre
December 14 - St. Louis, MO - The Pageant
December 19 - Indianapolis, IN - Madame Walker Theatre
December 20 - Chicago, IL - Parkwest Theatre
December 21 - Atlanta, GA - Woodruff Arts Center

Article by V98.7 Smooth Jazz Detroit

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Seal & David Foster Visit Smooth Jazz Top 20 Studios

Seal & David Foster paid a visit to Allen Kepler and the folks at the Smooth Jazz Top 20 Countdown today to promote Seal’s new album, Soul, and David Foster’s new CD/DVD release, Hit Man: David Foster & Friends.

Released unto the world on November 11th, Seal’s new album is comprised of eleven classic soul songs that each evoke their own drama, emotion and romance. The album was created in partnership with legendary producer David Foster.

“The initial inspiration came from what I perceived to be a collective consciousness of people,” Seal told Billboard, “not only in America but around the world … And I think the collective got together realizing there’s something that needed to change.”

Seal recorded “A Change Is Gonna Come” with Foster and then filmed a video for the song “that we were just going to put out on the Internet so people would feel as if they weren’t alone in their quest for answers and relief. And then David saw the video and said, ‘Look, this is incredible. We can’t stop here. You just have to keep going,’ and so we did. Three weeks later, we had an album.”

“Soul” features another civil rights anthem, the Impressions’ “People Get Ready,” as well as other favorites by James Brown, Otis Redding and Al Green.

“It was a case of not trying to reinvent the wheel, as that wasn’t necessary,” Seal said, “but instead trying to pick the songs that David and I collectively felt best showcased his arrangement skills, his musicianship and my voice.”

Upon teaming up with Foster, Seal admits, “I was quick to realize that I was in the presence of true greatness. I’ve worked with a lot of producers before, but never have I come across anyone as naturally gifted and knowledgeable as David.”

Seal recently said that he plans to tour in support of “Soul,” most likely in 2009. “I don’t see why these songs can’t co-exist with my existing stuff,” he said. “We’ll just move some things around and make them really fit seamlessly.”

You can visit Seal’s newly redesigned website,, for more information and to view the video for “A Change Is Gonna Come.”

“Hit Man: David Foster and Friends” captures the unforgettable event that took place on May 23, 2008 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. The recording spotlights #1 hits, award-winning songs and other favorites-all but one originally penned and/or produced by Foster. The spectacular one-night only concert of David Foster and Friends featured Foster, Andrea Bocelli, Michael Buble, Josh Groban, Katharine McPhee, Celine Dion, Blake Shelton, Brian McKnight and Charice.

Aside from his new discoveries, Foster continues to work with some of the biggest names and veterans of the music industry.

David Foster’s wild success in the music industry has also allowed him the opportunity to give a great back to his community and reach out to children. In 1986 he established the David Foster Foundation, based primarily in Western Canada, which has raised millions of dollars to assist families with children in need of organ transplants.

He has also lent his musical talent to well over 300 charitable events and organizations.

Throughout David Foster’s illustrious career he has shown himself to be extremely versatile, creative, caring and hard working. He is a well-respected, intelligent producer and writer who has been able to shape and mold the careers of many promising young stars, as well as help advance and sustain the careers of the classic stalwarts.

Along with his album release he has also penned an autobiography titled, “Hitman: Forty Years Making Music, Topping the Charts, and Winning Grammys.” For more information you can visit his website,

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Wynton’s Video Clip For “Just Ask The Locals ” Campaign

NYC & Company - the City’s marketing, tourism and partnership organization - launched the third phase of the Just Ask The Locals tourist appreciation campaign. The campaign, which features local New York City celebrities and experts offering insider tips and suggestions on what to see and do around the five boroughs, has expanded its online presence to include real-time mobile events updates and enhanced content.
Following you can watch Wynton’s video clip for this campaign and on the web site you can read his recommendations about great places to have great jazz and food around NY City…

Other participating locals include actress Cynthia Nixon, Bravo’s Top Chef hosts Padma Lakshmi and Tom Colicchio, Tony Award-winning creator/star of In The Heights Lin-Manuel Miranda, chef Mario Batali, Senior Vice President of IMG Fashion (organizers of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week) Fern Mallis and Sesame Street icons Big Bird and Elmo.

The campaign will run on bus shelters, street pole banners, taxi monitors, airport postings and other media across the five boroughs and is supported by American Express®.

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Give A Laptop. Get A Laptop. Change The World

OLPC is creating educational opportunities for the world's poorest children by providing each child with a rugged, low-cost, low-power, connected laptop with software designed for self-empowered learning. When children have access to this type of tool they become engaged in their own education. They learn, create, and collaborate. They become connected to each other, to the world and to a brighter future.

Currently there are hundreds of thousands of XO's in over 30 countries from Peru to Rwanda, and everywhere it goes, the results are the same. The laptops help children build on their active interest in the world around them and to engage with powerful ideas. With the XO, kids actually learn how to learn by exploring and sharing. The children learn and teach each other, their teachers and their parents.

Why give a laptop to a child who has no running water? If you replace the word "laptop" with "education" the answer becomes clear. You don't wait to educate until all other challenges are resolved. You educate at the same time because it's such an important part of all other solutions.

By Giving One you are helping to put an XO in the hands of another child. Most of the nearly two billion children in the developing world are inadequately educated, or receive no education at all. Children are consigned to poverty and isolation--just like their parents--never knowing what the light of learning could mean in their lives. The tool with which to unlock their enormous potential is the XO laptop. The XO is an impactful learning tool designed and built especially for children in developing countries, living in some of the most remote environments on Earth. As such, it has several features you won't find on any other laptop.

For starters, it's about the size of a small textbook and made with a rugged plastic exterior. It has built-in wireless and a unique screen that works in full color or black and white to make it readable under direct sunlight. And finally it's ultra-low power using only about 4 watts (most laptops use about 40 watts). This means, when there's no electricity, it can be recharged with alternate power sources like solar power.

By giving a laptop, you are helping bring education to children in some of the world's most remote areas. You are connecting them to each other. To us. To hope. And to a better future.

For more videos and information about the program and the children of the One Laptop Per Child Foundation, visit YouTube

For more about the project explore the link above or visit

OLPC is committed to improving the quality of education for as many children as possible. The cost of sending and setting-up laptops in some of the most remote and isolated parts of the world is costly and often difficult to predict. Your contribution may advance the mission in vital ways beyond simply supporting the donation of a laptop.

One Laptop per Child XO Laptop (Give a Laptop, Get a Laptop)

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Peter White Christmas Tour Kicks Off This Friday

Guitarist Peter White has two holiday CDs to promote as he kicks off his fifth annual Peter White Christmas tour this Friday, November 27th. He released Songs Of The Season back in 1997, and ten years later released the all-star CD Peter White Christmas, a studio version of his popular tour that also featured saxophonist Mindi Abair and trumpeter Rick Braun.

White recalls that one of the reasons he decided to record a second holiday set in 2007 was because he hadn't made enough of an impact with his first. He told us: "So I know there's a lot of people out there who keep telling me, 'When are you going to release a Christmas album?'And I say, 'Well, I already have.'They're just not aware of it because it only comes out for probably the four weeks before Christmas."

Dates for this year's Peter White Christmas Tour, once more featuring Abair and Braun, include:
November 28 - Incline Village, NV - 111 Country Club Land
November 29 - Austin, TX - One World Theatre
November 30 - St. Louis, MO - The Pageant
December 2 - Boston, MA - Scullers
December 3 - Alexandria, VA - Birchmere
December 4 - Glenside, PA - Keswick Theatre
December 5-6 - Uncasville, CT - Mohegan Sun
December 7-8 - Annapolis, MD - The Ramshead
December 9 - Cleveland, OH - Playhouse Square Center
December 10 - Indianapolis, IN - Music Mill
December 11 - Toledo, OH - Valentine Theatre
December 12 - Huntingdon, NY - IMAC
December 13 - Atlanta, GA - Robert Ferst Center for the Arts
December 14 - Niceville, FL - Mattie Kelley Arts Center
December 15 - Stuart, FL - Lyric Theatre
December 16 - Jacksonville, FL - Florida Theatre
December 17 - Clearwater, FL - Ruth Eckerd Hall
December 18 - Sacramento, CA - Radisson Hotel
December 19 - Fresno, CA - Tower Theatre
December 20 - San Diego, CA - Spreckels Theatre
December 23 - Anaheim, CA - The Grove of Anaheim
By: Janine Coveney

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Smooth Jazz Chart | 11/24/08

LW - TW - Artist - Album - (Label)

1 - 1 - Dave Koz - "Greatest Hits" - (Capitol)

2 - 2 - Tim Bowman - "Tim Bowman" - (Trippin 'n' Rhythm)

3 - 3 - Eric Darius - "Goin' All Out" - Blue Note)

4 - 4 - Paul Hardcastle - "Hardcastle V" -(Trippin 'n' Rhythm)

5 - 5 - Warren Hill - "La Dolce Vita" - (Koch)

6 - 6 - Michael Lington - "Heat" - (NuGroove)

8 - 7 - Fourplay - "Energy - (Heads Up)

7 - 8 - Nick Colionne - "No Limits" - (Koch)

9 - 9 - Euge Groove - "Born 2 Groove" - (Narada/BlueNote)

10 - 10 - Wayman Tisdale - "Rebound" - (Rendezvous)

11 - 11 - Jeff Lorber - "Heard That" - (Peak)

12 - 12 - Oli Silk - "The Limit's The Sky" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)

13 - 13 - Chris Standring - "Love & Paragraphs" - (Ultimate Vibe)

15 - 14 - Mindi Abair - "Stars" - (Peak)

14 - 15 - Jesse Cook - "Frontiers" - (Koch)

16 - 16 - Larry Carlton - "Greatest Hits" - (Rerecorded)

18 - 17 - Gerald Albright -"Sax For Stax" - (Peak)

17 - 18 - Earl Klugh - "The Spice Of Life" - (Koch)

23 - 19 - Shilts - "Jigsaw Life" - (NuGroove)

20 - 20 - Brian Culbertson - "Bringing Back The Funk" - (GRP/Verve)

Visit to view the latest complete top 50 chart.

Visit to view the latest weekly chart recap.

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Al Di Meola Brings the 'World' On Tour

Virtuoso guitarist Al Di Meola will be launching a national tour and releasing a new album in early 2009 with his new project, Al Di Meola and World Sinfonia. Joining a handpicked group of master musicians for both the tour and album, Di Meola makes a surprising turn into the romantic, producing a collection of moving tango-flavored melodies. Their work is on display on 'La Melodia Live In Milano,' available in America for the first time on January 8, 2009, just days before the start of the tour. The album features two songs by tango master Astor Piazzolla, for whom Di Meola admits he has been "carrying a torch" his entire career, as well as one each from Ennio Morricone and Andrea Parodi, and four by Di Meola himself.

This shift in tone is perfectly natural for Di Meola. "Although the tango developed in Argentina, it was born in the region of Italy where my parents are from, Napoli, " he explains. "This music connects to my roots. As long as I'm playing music, it will be part of my repertoire." No wonder, then, that World Sinfonia's music sounds so effortless: it's in his blood.

As a member of groundbreaking jazz-fusion group Return to Forever starting in the 1970s, and in his solo work since, Di Meola earned a reputation for being technically brilliant with unbelievable chops. For the past several years, however, he has been spent as much time composing for chamber orchestras in Europe as creating blazing guitar solos. With World Sinfonia, Di Meola moves his audience with the range of emotions in his music, rather than simply blowing them away with his technique.

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Chart Notes

Let's do the numbers
By Gordon Murray
Dave Koz stands proudly at No. 1 once again with "Life In The Fast Lane" (Capitol), for a sixth week. Label mate Eric Darius follows with "Goin’ All Out" (Blue Note/Capitol) at No. 2, making this the seventh consecutive week that he and Koz have nested in the top two spots. This week, amazingly, they are only separated by three spins, 314-311. If Darius returns to No. 1 next week (the song has already spent two weeks at the top) it will mark the longest gap between No. 1 stints for the same song in the history of the Nielsen BDS chart.

Three weeks ago Euge Groove notched his fifth Top 10 hit, and this week he captures his fifth Top 5 hit. The success of “Religify" (Narada Jazz/Capitol) enables Groove to eclipse Richard Elliot in setting both of these new Nielsen BDS chart records. A look back at Groove's chart hits:

"Get Em Goin'" (Narada Jazz/BLG), No. 1 (5 weeks), 12/3/05

"Chillaxin" (Narada Jazz/BLG), No. 3, 9/16/06

"Born 2 Groove" (Narada Jazz/BLG), No. 1 (1 week), 9/8/07

"Mr. Groove" (Narada Jazz/Capitol), No. 2, 4/12/08

"Religify" (Narada Jazz/Capitol), No. 5, 11/29/08

We see another artist edging closer to record territory this week as well: Norman Brown. His former No. 2 knockout "Pop's Cool Groove" (Peak/CMG) enjoys its 41st week on the chart, which puts Brown into a tie with Jay Soto's "Slammin" (NuGroove) for the 2nd-most chart weeks. Only Chuck Loeb's "Window Of The Soul" (Heads Up) spent more weeks on the chart, 44.

Michael Lington "You And I"(NuGroove) powers forward with the week's Most Increased Plays (17-14, +29), while the song with my favorite title of the year, "Chill Or Be Chilled" (Trippin 'N' Rhythm) from Oli Silk, enjoys Airpower honors (20-18, +15 detections; 21-15, +12% audience). Last week's Airpower honoree, John Legend, nets this week's Most Added song, "Good Morning" (G.O.O.D./Columbia).

Jesse Cook rounds out this week's chart with its only debut: "Havana" (Coach House/Koch) is new at No. 30 with a 77% plays gain. "Havana" is the follow-up to Cook's previous Top 5 smash "Café Mocha" (Coach House/Koch), which went recurrent two weeks ago after an impressive 32 weeks on the chart.

Recommended Listening: If you love flamenco guitar music like I do (think Jesse Cook, Govi, Johannes Linstead, etc.) you'll be smitten with any one of Armik's sublime recordings, and his latest is no exception. Armik is the type of musical prodigy who does it all: each of his songs are produced, composed, arranged, published, mixed, and performed by the artist himself. "Fuego Gitana" (Bolero), released this summer, is a compilation of the master guitarist's favorite "nuevo" flamenco songs as well as two newly recorded tracks, "Cadiz" and "Fuego Gitana" (the title track). This album is a smart, uplifting, energizing, foot-tapping and head-bobbing way to sample Armik's work, which spans 17 charted albums on Billboard's Top New Age Albums chart. He plays custom-made flamenco guitars from Spain (Conde Hermanos, Manuel Reyes, and Pedro Maldonado), and his playing feels like it is custom made for you.

Copyright © 2008 The Nielsen Company. All rights reserved.
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Friday, November 21, 2008

John Coltrane - "Giant Steps" (Video)

"'Giant Steps'" is a jazz recording by John Coltrane, on tenor saxophone, which is the first track on the album of the same name and is 4 minutes and 49 seconds long. The composition is a milestone for jazz musicians' progress, given the difficulty of improvising its rapid progression of chord changes that progress through three keys (see Coltrane changes) shifted by major thirds.

The saxophonist had previously used this technique on the LP Blue Train on the tunes Moment's Notice and Lazy Bird. Coltrane continued in this vein on a recording with Cannonball Adderley of the standard "Limehouse Blues," and on his original "Fifth House." He continued to use this approach on other tunes, such as "Countdown", based on the Miles Davis tune "Tune Up"; "26 2" based on Charlie Parker's "Confirmation"; and a reharmonization of the jazz standard "Body and Soul." Songs such as "Naima" and "Like Sonny" also show some harmonic similarity to "Giant Steps." Coltrane continued to employ similar concepts in his soloing during his more open and modal middle period. A Love Supreme features examples of lines based on "Giant Steps" cycles over modal vamps, to create a Polytonal effect (see modal jazz).

The progression continues to stimulate harmonic thinking in contemporary jazz. There are a number of different approaches to soloing on the song. While Coltrane favoured arpeggiation over the changes, other players have used different tricks and patterns to bring out the sound of the changes. The chord progression was later used by Freddie Hubbard as a basis for his composition "Dear John." Covers have been recorded by such artists as Pat Metheny, Buddy Rich, Jaco Pastorius, Mike Stern, Greg Howe, Tommy Flanagan (who played on the original recording), McCoy Tyner, Kenny Werner, Kenny Garrett, Woody Herman, and Taylor Eigsti.

John Coltrane was known for coming into the studio with unrehearsed songs - "Giant Steps" was no exception. On the original recording, Tommy Flanagan (piano) played a choppy start-stop solo where it sounds like he is struggling to improvise over Coltrane changes without adequate preparation. Flanagan would revisit Giant Steps on several recordings later in his career and mastered the progression.

Thanks to Wikipedia

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Keys & Legend to Perform During CNN’s Heroes Tribute

Alicia Keys and John Legend will perform at “CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute,” airing on Thanksgiving on CNN. The ceremony will honor ordinary people who have had an extraordinary impact on their community.

The program, hosted by CNN’s Anderson Cooper, honors the top 10 CNN Heroes of 2008 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California. The show will be broadcast globally on CNN, CNN International and CNN en Español at 9 p.m. ET/PT November 27th.

Each of this year’s top 10 CNN Heroes will be honored in a documentary tribute and introduced by a celebrity presenter.

Actors Cameron Diaz, Salma Hayek, Forest Whitaker, Meg Ryan, Terrence Howard, Lucy Liu, Jessica Biel, Kate Beckinsale and Selena Gomez are among the stars participating in the event.

Keys will perform “Superwoman” from her hit album “As I Am.” Legend, backed by the Los Angeles-based Agape Choir, will sing “If You’re Out There” from his just-released album “Evolver.”

The evening will culminate with the announcement of the CNN Hero of the Year, chosen through a six-week online poll that generated more than 1 million votes. Viewers were asked to select the CNN Hero who inspired them the most from among the top 10 CNN Heroes selected by a blue-ribbon panel. Voting for the CNN Hero of the Year has now closed.

The Hero of the Year will be awarded $100,000 in addition to the $25,000 that each of the top 10 CNN Heroes receives.

For more information on CNN Heroes you can visit their website, CNN Heroes. For more information on Alicia Keys and John Legend you can visit their respective sites, and

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