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Friday, August 28, 2009

Jeff Golub - "Blues For You" In Stores Now

Never one to be pigeonholed, guitarist Jeff Golub has always insisted on pushing his musical boundaries. With the release this week of his new CD, Blues For You, Golub expands his creative horizons with this jazz/blues breakthrough album.

Produced by legendary producer John Porter (Los Lonely Boys, The Smiths, Buddy Guy, etc.), Blues For You has Golub exploring the blues and R&B roots that he’s developed over years of touring and recording with Rod Stewart, Peter Wolf, John Waite, Dar Williams and more, while keeping a taste of the chart-topping contemporary jazz for which he’s become known.

Golub says, “I don’t really differentiate between styles of music. It’s either from the heart or it’s not. I think there are many people who feel like I do. That even though we love a more sophisticated jazz approach, we can still appreciate the emotion of a bent guitar string.”

Blues For You also features Shawn Pelton on drums (Saturday Night Live band), Tony Garnier on bass (Bob Dylan), and Kenny White on keyboards (Shawn Colvin, Marc Cohn) to round out the rhythm section.

Unlike his previous albums, Golub has four vocal songs on Blues For You. He enlisted vocalists Billy Squier on the track “Everybody Wants You,” Marc Cohn on “I Don’t Worry About a Thing” and the legendary Peter Wolf on “Rooster Blues” and John Waite on “Lost Mind.”

The band recorded this album live at Skyline Recording Studio in Manhattan in about four days, with special guests floating in and out. There is not one fade out ending on the entire record. “Not that we always had a prearranged ending,” Golub says. “You can hear how the band is following each other. This can only happen recording a live band made up of musicians who are really listening.”

Golub has released 6 solo albums and 3 albums as the leader of the instrumental band Avenue Blue. Before becoming an instrumentalist, Jeff worked as a sideman to a number of very successful rock and pop artists.

Golub got his first major gig with rocker Billy Squier after relocating to New York from Boston in 1980. He performed with Squier for several years, appearing on 7 albums and 3 world tours. He also spent many years working with iconic singer Rod Stewart, and appeared on 5 world tours and 4 recorded albums.

Originally posted on 8/27 by

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Brian Bromberg - "It Is What It Is" - In Stores Now [Video]

"I write the way I write. I play the way I play. There's nothing I can do about it!"

Acclaimed bassist and producer Brian Bromberg has garnered a hard-earned reputation as one of the most versatile and respected players in music, amassing an enviable catalog of straight ahead and contemporary jazz showcasing both upright and electric basses.

Confounding the music industry with a string of innovative, eclectic releases since 1985, Bromberg has spent the last decade recording projects driven by very specific sounds and themes - from Wood (acoustic bass) and Metal (electric bass) to other diverse projects celebrating the artistry of fretless bass pioneer Jaco Pastorius (Jaco) and his Grammy®- nominated smooth grooves of Downright Upright.

On his fourth project for the Mack Avenue label imprint Artistry Music, It Is What It Is, Brian unleashes another wide palette of styles letting the chips fall where they may. It's a decidedly funky 13-track set that features a killer horn section and includes not only evocative original compositions but also two cover songs that are sure to raise some eyebrows: The B-52s' new wave dance classic "Love Shack" and Quincy Jones' instantly recognizable TV-Land nugget "Sanford & Son (The Streetbeater)."

An A-list of musical peers join the fun including George Duke, Patrice Rushen, Jeff Lorber, Randy Brecker, Eric Marienthal, Gerald Albright, Richard Elliot, Rick Braun, Will Kennedy, Dave Weckl, Alex Acuña, Paul Jackson Jr., Dan Siegel and more - all of whom are given ample opportunity to shine.

Brian explains, "I've done a lot of acoustic playing lately so I wanted to feature my electric basses more. But I wasn't trying to make a showy, NAMM show demo kind of record for bass players only - that's not me. Within the songs and arrangements, I use my various basses in many ways. Since I play a lot of piccolo bass (which is a bass tuned to the register of a guitar) it allows me to play lead melodies and some rhythm groove parts that are quite a different role than what you would normally play on a bass with standard tuning. That helps me express myself in different ways and not have everything I play sound the same. I want the music to stand on its own in song-oriented ways yet also push the envelope as a bassist. The result is very in your face - unapologetically so - with a very discernible level of integrity."

Beyond the bass, the thrilling new element of It Is What It Is is Bromberg's embrace of a burning horn section, exponentially adding to the funk factor in the music. "The horns are my favorite thing about this new CD," he beams. "I do a lot of sessions with (super producer) David Foster with big band artists like Michael Buble' and Renee Olstead. The spirit and energy in the studio on those recordings is so high - the best of everything. I touched on horns in other records, but I really went there this time. I discovered this young guy named Nathan Tanouye. He is the trombone player in a band called Santa Fe, made up of musicians from many of the Las Vegas show bands. They play most Monday nights at the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas. Nathan does lots of the horn arrangements for the band and they're like frickin' Tower of Power! I sat in with them and had so much fun, I asked him to write some charts for me. His writing is so fresh yet traditional - very creative. I used a 5-piece horn section that I doubled. Then on certain cuts, I had Eric Marienthal add baritone sax, so I have horns on half those cuts and 10 on the other half. It takes the energy up to another level."

Though Brian's mastery and attention to detail found him creating some truly vivid originals this time around - from "Elephants On Ice Skates" to "Martinis At The Velvet Lounge" - he truly outdoes himself on the cover songs. He believes The B-52s' "Love Shack" to be a quintessential marriage of Motown groove and Stax brass. "Love Shack" is a party song with more musical credibility than some are willing to give it. I can't wait to see the looks on people's faces when half way through the song they realize that we are playing "Love Shack" and they can't sit still!"

"Sanford & Son" holds a more personal appeal for Brian. "That was one of my favorite shows growing up," he shares. "There was something about Redd Foxx as 'Fred Sanford' that reminded me so much of my dad. They both wore suspenders and were so funny! This is the one song I play solely on upright bass, but it grooves in the vein of my previous CD, (the Grammy nominated) Downright Upright. I think this has the most potential to be played on straight ahead jazz radio. It's a fun song, but righteously penned by Quincy Jones, who I had the pleasure of working with one time recording music for one of his historical libraries. Everybody respects 'Q!'" Respect is no stranger to Bromberg. Born in Tucson, Arizona in 1960, he initially followed his father and older brother in playing the drums. After struggling with cello in elementary and junior high school, Brian switched to bass at the behest of a teacher and took to it immediately. From age 14-18, he 'shredded' relentlessly on the instrument becoming proficient enough to land gigs 5 to 7 nights a week. At 18, he got his first major gig as a member of tenor sax legend Stan Getz's band and since then has played acoustic and electric bass with hundreds of artists ranging from Horace Silver, Carmen McRae and Eddie Harris to Lee Ritenour, Nancy Wilson, Teena Marie and Dudley Moore.

Brian has recorded 16 previous albums, hitting a home run in 1998 with the chart-topping You Know That Feeling, which netted three singles that all peaked at #3 on the contemporary jazz charts. In addition to the aforementioned thematic projects at the top of this bio, Brian also recorded the acclaimed straight ahead CD, It's About Time: The Acoustic Project, which featured Ernie Watts and the late, great Freddie Hubbard. All in all, he has had 8 Top 10 hits (including co-composing and producing the Rippingtons' sax player Jeff Kashiwa's chart topping "Hyde Park" and two other tracks that reached #1. A much sought-after bass instructor and mentor, Bromberg has also designed instruments as well. "I try to put as much integrity as I can into anything I do," he states.

Summing up It Is What It Is, Brian philosophizes, "I never do anything twice. I wouldn't have it any other way musically or humanly, but professionally it creates a challenge for an audience when you're such a chameleon. But that's who I am. On this album, when you hear me play my various basses in the different roles that I use them, I can sound like two or three different musicians playing on the same song. I act and react on each song and instrument a little differently. As a player, that's a wonderful feeling. I hope the listener eventually gets what I'm doing and appreciates it as a breath of fresh air. I also hope they recognize the hard work and integrity within these songs for what they are. Because, It Is What It Is!"

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Upcoming Jazz Releases | 9/1/09

Al / Capone - Mr. Smooth (CC Entertainment )
Al Di Meola - Tour De Force:Live (Sony Japan )
Alex Swings Oscar Sings - Heart 4 Sale (Ais )
Archie Shepp - Attica Blues (Hi Horse )
Archie Shepp & Bill Dixon - Quartet (Disconforme )
Art Farmer - Complete Recordings (Disconforme )
Art Pepper - Live In Toronto (Amj Jap/Zoom )
Barney With Shelly Manne Kessel & Ray Brown - The Poll Winners (Disconforme )
Big 18 - Legendary Swiing Sessions (Phantom )
Blue Note Plays Sting (Emd Int'l )
Bob Brookmeyer - Blues Hot & Cold/7 X Wilder (Disconforme )
Bobby Hackett & Zoot Sims - Strike Up The Band/Creole Cookin' (Disconforme )
Bud Powell - Live In Geneva 1962 (Disconforme )
Cannonball Adderley - Cannonball's Sharpshooters (Disconforme )
Charlie Mariano - Jazz Portrait (Amj Jap/Zoom )
Cosottini-Melani-Miano-Pisani - Cardinal (Impressus Records)
Count Basie - Atomic Mr. Basie (Disconforme )
Curtis Fuller - Blues-Ette (Disconforme )
Eddie Benitez - Visions Of Angels (Nu Groove )
Ella Fitzgerald - Miss Ella's Playhouse (Phantom )
Erik Applegate - Red Skies
Gary Moore - Essential Montreux (Beam Jap/Zoom )
Gerry Mulligan - I Want To Live (Disconforme )
Gerry Mulligan & Paul Desmond - Blues In Time (Disconforme )
Herbie Hancock - Sunlight (Sony Japan )
Humphrey Lyttelton - Humph Bruce & Sandy Swing At The BBC (United States Of Dist./Ka )
J.J. Johnson - Blue Trombone (Disconforme )
Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey - One Day In Brooklyn (Megaforce )
Jan Stenfors - Yellow Brick Road (Blue Note Uk/Zoom )
Jan Zehrfeld's Panzerballett - Hart Genossen Von Abba Bis Zappa (Phantom )
Jazz Lullaby - Jazz Lullaby (Phantom )
Jazzy Tone Club - Jazzy Tone Club (Phantom )
John Mclaughlin - Electric Guitarist (Blu-Spec) (Phantom )
John With Eric Dolphy Coltrane - Complete 1962 Birdland Broadcasts (Disconforme )
Julian & Roman Wasserfuhr - Upgraded In Gothenburg (Phantom )
Ken Jazzmen Colyer - Classic Years Vol 2 (United States Of Dist./Ka )
Kenny Drew - Work Song Trio & Solo 1978 (Disconforme )
Kimiko Kasai - Butterfly (Sony Japan )
Lady & Bird - La Ballade De Lady & Bird (Phantom )
Larry Bunker - Live At Sherry's Manhole (Amj Jap/Zoom )
Lee Ritenour - Captain Fingers (Blu-Spec) (Phantom )
Les Sabler - Live (Music Force Media Group )
Lost Fingers - Lost In The 80S (Tandem.Mu )
Manny Albam - Albam,Manny Vol. 1-And The Jazz Greats Of Our Time (Disconforme )
Max.Bab - Inner Orbit (Phantom )
Maynard Ferguson - Conquistador (Blu-Spec) (Phantom )
Michael Manson - Bottom Line (Warlock )
Miles Davis - Ascenseur Pour L'Echafaud (Disconforme )
Newport In New York 1972 - Newport In New York 1972 (Disconforme )
Piano Circus - Skin And Wire (United States Of Distribution LTD. )
Ramsey Lewis - Sun Goddess (Blu-Spec) (Phantom )
Re: Jazz - Nipponized (Pid )
Re: Jazz - Re:Jazz:Live At Motion Blue Yokohama (Infracom!Records/Ka )
Re: Jazz - Live At Motion Blue Yokohama (Infracom )
Richard "Groove" Holmes - Bowl Of Soul (Disconforme )
Richie Kamuca & Bill Holman - Jazz Erotica (Disconforme )
Sadao Watanabe - Orange Express (Sony Japan )
Southern Excursion Quartet - Trading Post (Artists Recording Collective)
Temperance Seven - Those BBC Years (United States Of Dist./Ka )
Terumasa Hino - Pyramid (Blu-Spec) (Phantom )
Terumasa Hino - Pyramid (Sony Japan )
Tom Scott - Street Beat (Epic Japan/Zoom )
Wayne Shortet - Wayning Moments (Disconforme )
Wilbur Deparis - New New Orleans Jazz 1953-1955 (United States Of Distribution LTD. )
Wynton Kelly - Someday My Prince Will Come (Disconforme )
Zoot Sims - Four Classic Albums (Phantom )

Art Pepper - Meets The Rhythm Section (Universal)
John McLaughlin - Electric Guitarist (Sbme Special MKTS. )
Lee Ritenour - Captain Fingers (Sbme Special MKTS. )
Maynard Ferguson - Conquistador (Sony)
Miles Davis - Workin' (Fantasy)
Miles Davis - Cookin' (Universal)
Miles Davis - Steamin' (Universal)
Ramsey Lewis - Sun Goddess (Sbme Special MKTS. )
Red Garland - Groovy (JVC XRCD )
Thelonious Monk - Monk's Music (Universal)
Zoot Sims - Zoot (Universal )

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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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Jazz Pianist Eldar Releases "Virtue" August 25 On Sony Masterworks [Video]

Sony Masterworks is pleased to announce the release of Virtue, a new recording from jazz keyboard virtuoso Eldar, on August 25. His fourth album on Sony Masterworks, Virtue affirms his position at the forefront of contemporary jazz and is a fitting follow-up to his 2008 Grammy-nominated album, re-imagination.

Partnered by bassist Armando Gola and drummer Ludwig Afonso, Virtue features mostly original compositions by Eldar and demonstrates the continued development of his writing. Eldar also welcomes guest appearances by trumpeter Nicholas Payton and saxophonists Joshua Redman and Felipe Lamoglia.

Referencing re-imagination, Alex Miller, General Manager at Sony Masterworks, observes that Virtue "implements the same creative freedoms but in a new way. Eldar's band approached the studio with compositions fully formed, an esprit de corps that enlivens each song, and a balance between assertiveness and sensitivity that only maturity brings."

That maturity belies the fact that even after making a sensational first impression with the release of his debut album nine years ago, Eldar is still just 22 years old. His prodigious gifts were evident from childhood and Virtue balances exhilarating youthful energy with a new found sophistication and depth of reflection that mirrors his personal and creative growth.

"I'm so proud of this album, more so than any I've done so far, " he insists. "In many ways, you could think of it as a soundtrack to my direct experiences since I've moved to New York City."

It's been three years since he relocated from Los Angeles and began processing the stimuli that his new home provided. The outcome on Virtue is at the same time adventurous and accessible. Its individual tracks combine to create an impression as complex as an urban skyline, through which Eldar and his group channel their ideas, challenging each other through interactions as alive as the rush of humanity through city streets.

From the start, Eldar took an experimental approach to this project. "I came up with intricate frameworks but allowed it to expand in a rhapsodic way, " he explains. "That means I didn't limit myself. I didn't write with any idea of form, like A-A-B-A. Instead, I set my goals and priorities, priorities by experimenting with harmonic movements, melodic ideas, and rhythmic codes. Through this, I was able to shape and develop these ideas which eventually became the basis for the compositions for this album."

After laying the compositional foundation of Virtue, Eldar brought Gola and Afonso into the mix. Immediately, they made themselves integral to the album's ongoing conception. "Their musical priorities were similar to mine, " he says. "When we started rehearsing, the music became our bond. We started having ideas together, so the process of development began taking place within the band."

Equally important, they established an intuitive communication that was critical to transforming those ideas into compelling performances. Eventually they reached a point where, as Eldar puts it, "we all feel like we know where this train is going. We listen constantly to each other as we play. If somebody goes in an unexpected direction, we don't go against him; we move and breathe together. We rely on each other. It comes from following our impulses rather than 'reading' this note at that exact time."

Born in Kyrgyzstan and raised in Kansas City, Eldar started playing jazz festivals before the age of ten (in what was then the Soviet Union). In 1998, he and his family emigrated to the United States and resettled in Kansas City. He became the youngest guest ever to appear on Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz. Later, he pursued advanced study at the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California, and eventually began enjoying a career that has seen him in performances throughout the United States, Europe, Indonesia, Japan and South America.

Live national television shows fill his calendar, with highlights including a performance at last year's Grammy Awards telecast, the first time in many years a jazz artist was so honored, and the second time for such an appearance. Eldar has also been seen on Conan O'Brian, CBS Saturday Early Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live and CBS Sunday Morning. 2009 is a busy year for the artist with sets booked throughout the United States and Europe.

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Roberta Gambarini - "So In Love" Out Today On Groovin’ High/Emarcy

Celebrated Singer Roberta Gambarini Affirms Her Status as One of the Most Important Vocalists Today with the Release of ‘So In Love’ out on Groovin’ High/Emarcy on August 25, 2009

[WMP streams:]
Roberta Gambarini single Crazy
Roberta Gambarini EPK

Every once in a while, a truly great singer comes along who possesses the beauty, individuality and talent to remind us of the magic and majesty of the human voice: that singer is Roberta Gambarini, celebrated throughout the world by fans, critics and many of the world’s greatest musicians.

With the August 25, 2009 release of ‘SO IN LOVE,’ Roberta Gambarini affirms her status as the “true successor to Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, and Carmen McRae” (Boston Globe) and “the best singer to emerge in over 60 years,” as declared by 2009 GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Mr. Hank Jones.

Mr. Jones, the legendary pianist who accompanied Roberta Gambarini’s 2008 major label debut, ‘You Are There,’ a superb follow-up to Gambarini’s GRAMMY-nominated debut, ‘Easy to Love,’ knows a thing or two about great vocalists – he has accompanied almost all of the most renowned vocalists of the 2oth century such as Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Carmen McRae, Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Nat “King” Cole, and Billy Eckstine.

Roberta didn’t set out to call the new album ‘So In Love,’ but looking back at the song list after the recording, she realized that the “album is all about love: the love between a man and a woman, the love of song, children, and most of all, the love of life.”

As Roberta explains, she rarely goes into the studio with a “concept,” instead she says that she tries “to let the songs come out of a balance between life experience and reflection,” capturing the music I feel in the moment.”

Joining her in this adventurous journey is a group of “exceptionally talented, sensitive, and sympathetic musicians,” who are long-time supporters, friends, and collaborators of Roberta since her arrival in the States from Torino , Italy : James Moody; Roy Hargrove; Tamir Hendelman; Eric Gunnison; Gerald Clayton; Chuck Berghofer; Neil Swainson; George Mraz; Jake Hanna; Al Foster; Montez Coleman; and Jeff Hamilton.

Recorded by Al Schmitt at the legendary Capitol Studios, with Roberta arranging all but two of the tracks, ‘So In Love’ is dedicated to the loving memory of her dear friends, Johnny Griffin, Ronnie Mathews, and David “Fathead” Newman.

"SO IN LOVE" Track List:

1.So In Love (Cole Porter)
2.Day In Day Out (Rube Bloom/Johnny Mercer)
3.Get Out Of Town (Cole Porter)
4.Crazy (Willie Nelson)
5.That Old Black Magic (Harold Arlen/Johnny Mercer)
6.Estate (Bruno Martino/Bruno Brighetti)
7.Golden Slumbers / Here, There and Everywhere (Lennon/McCartney)
8.I See Your Face Before Me (Arthur Schwartz/Howard Dietz)
9.From This Moment On (Cole Porter)
10.You Must Believe In Spring (M. Le Grand/J. Demy/A. Bergman/M. Bergman)
11.This Is Always (Harry Warren/Mack Gordon)
12.You Ain't Nothing But a JAMF (Johnny Griffin/lyrics by Roberta Gambarini)
13.Medley from "Cinema Paradiso": Main Theme/For Elena (Ennio Morricone/Andrea Morricone/ English lyrics by A. Stewart)
14.Over the Rainbow (Harold Arlen/E.Y. Harburg)

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Roy Hargrove - "Emergence" - Out Today On Groovin' High/Emarcy

Acclaimed trumpeter, composer, and bandleader Roy Hargrove realizes a lifelong dream with the August 25th release of Emergence (Groovin' High/Emarcy), his first big band album. Nineteen pieces strong, Hargrove's ensemble is a vibrant and versatile group, tackling a wide range of material and styles with equal doses of precision and passion. "Financially speaking, this is probably the worst thing I could ever do," says Hargrove, "but it is something that needs to be done, spiritually and musically speaking."

WMP Stream: My Funny Valentine

The seeds of Emergence were planted in 1995, when Hargrove first formed a big band for a New York jazz festival. His big band concept grew as he led the evolving group through a series of regular gigs at the Jazz Gallery, a not-for-profit performance space in lower Manhattan - which proved an invaluable for both Hargrove and the musicians who participated. "The Jazz Gallery is for up-and-coming young players," Hargrove explains. "I go around to jam sessions a lot, sit in with cats, and I think that the new generation doesn't have a lot of experience playing in sections and playing in big bands. So this provides younger guys with a sense of camaraderie that is not really evident anymore in jazz."

The lineup solidified into the group showcased on the eleven tracks of Emergence, which features Hargrove on trumpet, flugelhorn, and a rare lead vocal (on the standard "September in the Rain") alongside four other trumpet players (Frank Greene, Greg Gisbert, Darren Barrett, Ambrose Akinmisure), four trombonists (Jason Jackson, Vincent Chandler, Saunders Sermons, and Max Seigel on bass trombone), five reedists (Bruce Williams, alto saxophone and flute; Justin Robinson, alto and flute; Norbert Stachel, tenor sax and flute; Keith Loftis, tenor and flute; and Jason Marshall, baritone sax and flute), and the rhythm section of pianist Gerald Clayton, bassist Danton Boller, guitarist Saul Rubin, drummer Montez Coleman and percussionist Roland Guerrero. Vocalist Roberta Gambarini (named "Rising Star Female Vocalist of the Year" in Downbeat's 2009 Critic's Poll) contributes two affecting performances. The album's repertoire boasts an accomplished and refreshing mix of original compositions (from both Hargrove and his bandmates), standards, and favorites from outside writers. Stylistically, the music ranges from furious swingers to majestic ballads to rollicking Latin jams.

Since his own emergence in the late '80s, Hargrove has proved to be an adventurous and wide-ranging artist, proudly immersed in the jazz tradition and yet continually striking out for new terrain. Among his groups include the straight-ahead, hard-bop Roy Hargrove Quintet and Crisol, an Afro-Cuban ensemble that won a Grammy in 1998 for Best Latin Jazz Performance with its album Habana. With the funk-oriented RH Factor, Hargrove released the 2003 album Hard Groove, featuring guest appearances by R&B superstars Erykah Badu, Common and D'Angelo. His last album, 2008's quintet session Earfood (Groovin' High/Emercy), was featured in dozens of year-end Top 10 lists.

Hargrove's big band, which cites the large bands of Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Maynard Ferguson, and Gerald Wilson as key influences, has already been showcased at the Hollywood Bowl and SummerStage in New York 's Central Park . "The small group has been such a big deal for so long in jazz that people forget where the small groups came from," says Hargrove. "There's nothing like the feeling you get when you're hearing your compositions and arrangements played by a wall of sound. I'm just trying to make some music that's fun to hear and play."

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Smooth Jazz Chart - 8/24/09

LW - TW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Boney James - "Send One Your Love" - (Concord)
2 - 2 - Richard Elliot - "Rock Steady" - (Artistry/Mack Avenue)
3 - 3 - Jackiem Joyner - "Lil' Man Soul - (Artistry/Mack Avenue)
4 - 4 - Bernie Williams - "Moving Forward" - (Reform)
5 - 5 - George Benson - "Songs And Stories" - (Concord)
6 - 6 - Paul Taylor - "Burnin'" - (Peak)
9 - 7 - Jessy J - "True Love" - (Peak)
7 - 8 - Paul Brown & Marc Antoine - "Foreign Exchange" - (Peak)
10 - 9 - Joyce Cooling - "Global Cooling" - (
8 - 10 - Nils - "Up Close & Personal" - (Baja/TSR)
12 - 11 - Euge Groove - "Born 2 Groove" - (Narada/Blue Note)
11 - 12 - Pieces Of A Dream - "Soul Intent" - (Heads Up)
14 - 13 - Rick Braun - "All It Takes" - (Artistry)
13 - 14 - Cindy Bradley - "Bloom" - (Trippin 'n' Rhythm)
15 - 15 - Marion Meadows - "Secrets" - (Heads Up)
16 - 16 - Walter Beasley - "Free Your Mind" - (Heads Up)
17 - 17 - Craig Chaquico - "Follow The Sun" - (Shanachie)
30 - 18 - Peter White - "Good Day" - (Peak/Concord)
18 - 19 - Candy Dulfer - "Funked Up!" - (Heads Up)
25 - 20 - Ben Tankard - "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy (Verity)

Our thanks to smoothjazz.comVisit to view the latest complete top 50 chart.
Visit to view the latest weekly chart recap.

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Chesky Records Releases Jen Chapin's reVisions: Songs of Stevie Wonder

Chesky Records, the premiere audiophile label founded by multi-Grammy-nominated composer David Chesky and his brother Norman, announces the release of Jen Chapin's reVisions: Songs of Stevie Wonder. The 12-track Hybrid SACD (Super-Audio Compact Disc), also featuring Stephan Crump on bass and Chris Cheek on soprano, tenor, and baritone sax, includes 10 Stevie Wonder songs and two of Jen's own works. Songs by Stevie include “You Haven't Done Nothin',” “Master Blaster,” “Visions,” “Higher Ground,” “Jesus Children of America,” “Village Ghetto Land” (co-written by Gary D. Byrd, Sr.), “If It's Magic,” “Pastime Paradise,” “Big Brother,” and “Saturn” (co-written by Michael Sembello). Jen also adds her own “Renewable” and “She's Gone.”

About Jen Chapin
Jen Chapin's music is jazz-tinged, urban folk story songs that search for community and shared meaning, powered by the funk, soul, and improvisation of the city. Jazz Times has called her a “first rate storyteller,” and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel lauds her as as “smart, observant, lyrically deft, politically aware, and emotionally intuitive.” Jen has been honored by the USA Songwriting Competition, has appeared on stage with Bruce Springsteen, and has opened for Bruce Hornsby and the Neville Brothers.

About Chesky Records
Chesky Records sets a new standard for sound quality, clarity, and purity. Documenting the sound of world-class musicians performing in natural acoustic settings, Chesky Records captures artists' true sound and expression, allowing their instruments to sound richer and warmer. Using innovative recording techniques, hand-built vacuum tube mixers, the highest-quality wires, and no compressors, Chesky recordings capture even the finest, most subtle details with full fidelity, presenting listeners with a sound that is the “musical truth.”

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Les Sabler - "Live" To Be Released September 1st

The tape was rolling one special spring night in 1995 when multidimensional guitarist Les Sabler led his six band members onto the Sarasota Opera House stage for a magical program comprised of contemporary jazz, rock fusion, adult pop, blues and Latin rhythms. The inspired performance will finally be made available September 1st when Les Sabler Live is released by The Music Force Media Group. Sabler’s haunting instrumental rendition of Sting’s “Fragile” that was captured that evening was serviced to radio stations for airplay.

At the time of the concert, Sabler, a four-time Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards nominee, had just released his second album, Time For Love, and the show took place in his then adopted hometown of Sarasota, Florida. Sabler had conceived the idea of doing a special concert providing him the opportunity to reunite on stage with percussionist Iraj Lashkary (Ahmad Jamal) with whom he used to play in Miami. Other accomplished musicians who infused the evening with passion and spontaneity included drummer Kenny Crawley (Dickey Betts), bassist Ruben Drake, keyboardist Rob Satori, then 20-year-old pianist Clay Perry (Julio Iglesias), and saxophonist/flautist Steve Gould. While Sabler toyed with the idea of releasing the recording over the years, the tapes sat in a vault until Gould’s recent passing reignited the drive to share the performance with fans.

The disc opens with Sabler’s first-ever vocal recording, a faithful version of Chris Rea’s sophisticated cool “On The Beach.” Sabler often performs vocals in concert, but never on any of his four albums. One vocal number that he performed at the concert, his original song “Some Things,” was revamped in the studio with Sim Wilson, who attended the concert, recording new lead vocals. Studio finesse was also applied to “Fragile,” which was performed in concert as a vocal song. Sabler, who produced the live disc, removed the vocals in favor of nylon and 12-string guitars allowing his instruments to sing with eloquence and elegance.

"I am pleased to finally complete this project after putting it aside for many years. It is a great representation of what my group was doing at the time with a subtle blend of current sounds to balance it out,” said Sabler. “The band was exceptionally tight on this memorable night. We had fun improvising and stretching out on extended jams."

Presently Sabler is ensconced in the recording studio putting the finishing touches to his next album, which is due out by the end of this year or early next year. His most recent recording, the Brian Bromberg-produced Sweet Drive (2007), delivered a master’s class level of musicianship, performance and production featuring Jeff Lorber, Eric Marienthal, Ricky Peterson, Vinnie Colaiuta, Alex Acuna, Gary Meek and the Jerry Hey horn section. The album placed top 50 in the 2008 yearend chart. Smooth jazz radio program Café Jazz named Sabler the #1 most played Canadian artist in 2007 while Sweet Drive was the #1 most played album by a Canadian artist, and “Club Street” was the #2 most played single by a Canadian artist. Additional information about Sabler is available at

The songs contained on Les Sabler Live are:
“On The Beach”
“Neptune’s Waltz”
“The Big Push”
“Some Things”
“Winter Fiesta”
“The Messiah Will Come Again”

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New Norah Jones CD Due In November

Multiple Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter Norah Jones will release her fourth studio album on Blue Note Records this November. Jones wrote nearly all of the songs in the past two years since completing tours in support of her 2007 global chart-topping, U.S. double-platinum album Not Too Late.

Beloved by fans for her sultry vocals and jazz-informed, piano-driven pop songwriting, Jones has taken a new direction on the as-yet-untitled album, seeing it as a chance to experiment with different sounds and an opportunity to work with a new set of collaborators, including Jacquire King, a noted producer and engineer who has worked with Kings of Leon, Tom Waits, and Modest Mouse among others. Jones also enlisted several songwriting collaborators, including Ryan Adams and Okkervil River’s Will Sheff, as well as her frequent partner Jesse Harris.

“I knew I wanted to try some different things on this album,” Jones says. “I’d been playing with the same musicians for a long time. We’re all still friendly and I hope we play together again, but it felt like a good time to work with new people and experiment with different sounds. As far as a producer, I wanted someone who could take me out of my comfort zone and find the right musicians to capture what I wanted to do with this collection of songs. I got in touch with Jacquire initially because he engineered one of my favorite records of all time, Tom Waits’ Mule Variations. He was really eager to do it and we got along really well, which was important.”

King helped Jones put together a new group of musicians to perform on the album, including drummers Joey Waronker (Beck, R.E.M.) and James Gadson (Bill Withers), keyboardist James Poyser (Erykah Badu, Al Green), and guitarists Marc Ribot (Tom Waits, Elvis Costello) and Smokey Hormel (Johnny Cash, Joe Strummer). Jones and King tailored the songs to the musicians’ strengths. “I think the record sounds different due to the variety of musicians we used,” Jones says, “I knew I wanted to play with grooves more than I have on previous albums. Some of these new songs lent themselves to having driving rhythms underneath.”

Another noticeable change on Jones’ upcoming album is that she plays mostly guitar. “I actually write more on guitar than I do on piano,” she says. “It just felt more natural for me to play it on these songs.”

Since coming on the scene in 2002, Jones’ has sold a collective 36 million albums worldwide. Her three studio albums, 2002’s eight-time Grammy Award-winning Come Away With Me, 2004’s Feels Like Home, and 2007’s Not Too Late have each topped the Billboard top 200 album charts in the U.S. and gone to No. 1 around the world. All three have been certified multi-platinum, while Come Away With Me has been certified diamond. Since 2007, Jones has collaborated with a number of artists, including Herbie Hancock, Talib Kweli, Willie Nelson, Q-Tip, Irma Thomas, and Andy Samberg’s comedy troupe The Lonely Island. She has also contributed to various soundtracks, including Ken Burns’ The War, Ethan Hawke’s The Hottest State, and Wong Kar-wai’s My Blueberry Nights, as well as the Fats Domino tribute album Goin’ Home. In 2007, Jones starred opposite Jude Law in My Blueberry Nights and made a cameo in this year’s season finale of 30 Rock. Also this year, Jones was featured as a flagship artist on Apple’s GarageBand, presenting a tutorial on how to perform her song “Thinking About You.”

More details about Norah Jones’ upcoming album will be announced soon.

Originally posted 8/23 at

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

George Wein's Festivals In Newport Drew Younger Audiences

Fans, social networks, media, artists and the music industry in general are still buzzing following two of the world's most important outdoor festivals. George Wein's Folk Festival 50, which took place August 1 – 2 at Newport's Fort Adams State Park, drew more than 17, 000 music lovers from around the world. The following weekend, nearly 13, 000 fans took over Fort Adams and the International Tennis Hall of Fame at the Newport Casino for George Wein's CareFusion Jazz Festival 55 August 7 – 9.

"In all of my years producing festivals in Newport and around the world, I have never felt so much love and support as I felt during the celebration of 50 years of folk and 55 years of jazz in Newport, " said George Wein. "Unlike the recent statistics reported in the Wall Street Journal article (August 9, 2009) on the National Endowment for the Arts' (NEA) latest Survey of Public Participation in the Arts, we saw large audiences filled with young people listening to and celebrating jazz in Newport."

At CareFusion Jazz Festival 55 in Newport, Mr. Wein observed:

• Much younger crowds than ever, with the average age of audience members ranging between 20 - 35 years old

• Younger media, including print, broadcast and on-line journalists; reporters who mainly cover rock and roll and pop were there to cover jazz.

• People of all ages are opening their ears to listen to and explore all kinds of music.

• No matter what type of music (from Rudresh Mahanthappa to Steve Bernstein's Millennial Orchestra to Branford Marsalis to Hiromi to Tony Bennett), the stages were packed.

• Adventurous musicians who are learning how to program their music to appeal to diverse crowds without compromising their artistic integrity

In the Boston Herald (August 9, 2009), the journalist Bob Young wrote, "For the first time in memory, a larger contingent of young listeners comprised that crowd than ever before. Maybe it was the main stage headliner, rapper Mos Def and the Watermelon Syndicate, that drew them. Whatever it was, they were exposed to an impressive range of music."

Mr. Wein added, "While what the NEA says about shrinking audiences in 2008 is true, we saw that attendance was on the rise in 2009, and young listeners are part of that growth. We're very excited by this and we're making plans now for next year in Newport and New York. Whether it's in Los Angeles at the Playboy Jazz Festival or in Monterey, Perugia or other cities around the world, year after year producers continue to program major jazz events.

"We are passing into a new era, which hasn't defined itself yet. For the first time in years, I feel there's a future for jazz with the general public and I believe this excitement will go on for a very long time, " said Mr. Wein.

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Peter White "Good Day" Scheduled For Release September 8th, Peak/Concord

Guitarist Peter White Bids Fans Good Day On New Album Of All-Original Songs

For nearly twenty years, Peter White has made the acoustic guitar a dynamic and expressive voice in the overall soundscape of contemporary jazz. Since his first recordings in the early 1990s, he has infused pop standards and his own original material with a sense of innovation and energy that rivals the abilities of many of his electric guitar counterparts. In a career that spans two decades and a dozen solo recordings, he continues to surprise seasoned fans and newcomers alike with his willingness to push the preconceived parameters of his instrument to new places.

But White’s musicianship is only part of the story. While his more recent recordings have primarily consisted of cover material, a collection of original songs had been simmering and taking shape for several years. It all comes to the surface on Good Day, his new CD scheduled for release on September 8, 2009, on Peak Records, a division of the Concord Music Group.

“I hadn’t made a CD of original songs for some time,” says White. “The last one was Confidential, which was released in 2004. So I just started going through my backlog of material – songs that I’d never finished, some going as far back as ten or fifteen years – and I discovered that I had a lot of gems that I really wanted to show to the world. I wanted to record them in my own time and in my own way, without any outside influence or interference.”

While it’s White’s vision that ultimately drives Good Day, he does get some assistance and inspiration from “DC,” the versatile keyboardist/programmer/songwriter who has produced and/or collaborated with a variety of contemporary jazz artists in recent years, including Paul Brown, Jeff Golub and Chuck Loeb. Also helping out was keyboardist/producer Philippe Saisse, an accomplished solo artist in his own right who has helped to re-shape the careers of Rick Braun, Marc Antoine and Gato Barbieri, among many others. “Both of them helped me enormously with this project,” says White. “They brought something to each one of these songs that I hadn’t even heard in my own head, bringing them to life in a way that I never could have, because I had been living with them for so long that I could only think of them in a certain way.”

Even as the sun sets on Good Day, the recording overall represents a beginning for White – an opportunity for him to reconnect with the clever and engaging songcraft that characterized his earlier recordings. “These songs had been raw demos for a long time,” says White. “Hearing them come to life by introducing them to other musicians who were experiencing them for the first time was very exciting, and very surprising. I had lost track of the possibility that these songs could have so much potential beyond what I’d originally envisioned. If I had finished this project purely by myself, it wouldn’t have been anywhere near as good. It’s the different ingredients and spices and colors provided by other people that make it what it is.”

Check out the latest from Peter White and get ready for a Good Day.

1. Good Day 5:55
2. Always, Forever 5:08
3. Just Give Me a Chance 4:39
4. Love Will Find You 3:16
5. (Un)Forgiven 5:18
6. Temptation 6:19
7. Mission 2 Mars 5:46
8. Bright 4:09
9. Ramon’s Revenge 6:56
10. Say Goodnight 3:38

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Matisyahu's Long Awaited "Light" To Be Released This Tuesday, August 25th

Few artists make an impact as complete as the one Matisyahu made with his Top 40 smash "King Without a Crown": Here was a true original, the song announced--a Hasidic Jewish musician from New York City singing reggae songs about his religious devotion. Fans responded to this one-of-a-kind voice, too, driving Youth, Matisyahu's Grammy-nominated 2006 studio disc, to the top spot on Billboard's reggae albums chart.

True originals, though, don't stay put for long, and on his bold new album, Light, 29-year-old Matisyahu proves that there's much more to his artistry than might initially meet the eye. "As my musical tastes have grown I have been re-discovering my sound and my voice," he says.

Light is anything but safe. Produced by David Kahne (Paul McCartney, Sublime, the Strokes), the 14-track collection covers a dizzying amount of stylistic ground, from hard-edged dancehall ("Smash Lies") and ska-inflected New Wave ("We Will Walk") to laidback pop-rock ("So Hi So Lo") and acoustic folk-soul ("I Will Be the Light"). While reggae is far from absent here--see the old-school toasting in "Motivate"--Light finds Matisyahu edging away from his comfort zone into more daring territory. "Being an artist is about being sensitive to how the world resonates inside you and then being able to express it," he says. "This process is an ever-changing one."

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