Thursday, April 30, 2009

30th Anniversary of the Detroit International Jazz Festival

Today, festival organizers announced the lineup for the 30th Anniversary of the Detroit International Jazz Festival, Friday, September 4 through Monday, September 7, in downtown Detroit.

At a challenging time in Detroit, this year's jazz celebration will serve as a reminder of the greatness of Detroit and its musical soul. Subtitled "Keepin' Up with the Joneses, " the Detroit Jazz Fest will give a nod to Thad, Elvin and Hank Jones, feature other great jazz families, and continue its recognition of the richness of Detroit's jazz history. "In this case, 'keepin' up' means 'living up' to the greatness of Hank, Elvin and Thad Jones - these important musical giants, and their incredible sense of swing, " says Detroit Jazz Festival executive director, Terri Pontremoli. "In no way is this your typical family reunion!"

First, there are the "family guys": 91 year-old Hank Jones, the Clayton Brothers, Dave Brubeck & sons, John & Bucky Pizzarelli, Larry & Julian Coryell, the Heath Brothers, Pete & Juan Escovedo, and Brian Auger and his family. Then, there are the "heirs" (musicians who represent strong family traditions): T.S. Monk with a "tentet" performance of Monk on Monk, and Chuchito Valdes - son and grandson of brilliant pianists Chucho and Bebo.

The homecoming of Detroit's greats brings to the stages vocalist Sheila Jordan, known for her heartbreaking ballads and improvisational lyrics; pianist Geri Allen in a quartet featuring tap dancer Maurice Chestnut as an additional "voice" in the band; Louis Hayes (Cannonball Adderley's original drummer) with his Cannonball Legacy Band; Charles McPherson, known for his work with Mingus; the adventurous Bennie Maupin's Dolphyana - a tribute to Eric Dolphy; drummer Karriem Riggins' Virtuoso Experience with Mulgrew Miller and DJ Madlib; Dee Dee Bridgewater (okay Flint, close enough) with the Michigan State University Big Band; and Marcus Belgrave's Allstar Jazz Ensemble - a reunion of his proteges including Bob Hurst, Geri Allen and Karriem Riggins. Last, but certainly not least, the indefatigable Gerald Wilson, conducting his commissioned work for the festival's 30th anniversary.

Add to that a special treatment of Detroit trumpeter Donald Byrd's jazz-gospel recording A New Perspective - which also gives a festival nod to Blue Note on their 70th, and showcases Sean Jones and other artists from the Mack Avenue label, led by Detroit native Rodney Whitaker. The festival will close with a commissioned "concerto grosso" by John Clayton, written for and performed by the Scott Gwinnell Jazz Orchestra and the Clayton Brothers Quintet. The Clayton Brothers will open the performance with material from their CD Brother to Brother, which honors the amazing brother teams of the Burrells, the Heaths and the Adderleys, to name a few. Detroit Jazz Fest and John Clayton were awarded a prestigious grant from the Joyce Foundation for this special project. Out of the four 2009 Joyce grant recipients in the Midwest, the Detroit Jazz Fest was the only music organization to receive the honor.

"Not everything will be Detroit or family-centric, " says Pontremoli. "We're thrilled to have Chick Corea and his fabulous trio with Stanley (Clarke) and Lenny (White) on opening night. And then, of course, there's Wayne Shorter with John Patitucci, Brian Blade and Danilo just doesn't get much better than that!" Festival fans will also be treated to a performance by vibraphonist Stefon Harris, and recently signed Mack Avenue artist Christian McBride will make a return appearance with his new quintet, Inside Straight.

Other cool presentations include a 100th birthday celebration for Benny Goodman by clarinetist extraordinaire Eddie Daniels and the WSU Big Band a; Bottoms Up!, a "superbass" performance by John Clayton, Christian McBride and Rodney Whitaker; and a piano tribute to Tommy Flanagan, Hank Jones, Barry Harris and Milt Jackson by pianist Antonio Ciacca. Outside of jazz, audiences will be treated to appearances by Irma Thomas, the soul queen of New Orleans, Detroit's own gospel sister act, The Clark Sisters, and Motown's very own Contours featuring Sylvester Potts.

Rising star artists in 2009 include vocalist Gretchen Parlato (2004 Thelonious Monk award winner); Alfredo Rodriquez, the stellar pianist recently discovered by Quincy Jones; and vocalist Jose James, who blew the audience away last year as a special guest in the Marvin Gaye tribute.

The Detroit International Jazz Festival will continue to encourage young talent not only by inviting college and high school ensembles to showcase, but by giving them opportunities to perform with jazz veterans. The Wayne State University Big Band will perform the music of Benny Goodman with clarinetist Eddie Daniels and the Michigan State University Big Band will perform the works of John Clayton with Dee Dee Bridgewater. Other visiting schools include the Berklee (Boston) Jazz Ensemble, North Carolina Central University Jazz Ensemble and the Brubeck Institute Jazz Quartet. Jazz Fest continues its partnership with MSBOA by showcasing outstanding Michigan high school jazz ensembles. And back by popular demand is the KidBop area for the wee-boppers and their parents, with stories, songs and other fun activities.

The Pepsi Jazz Talk Tent will also be full of laughs and stories, with Hank Jones, Christian McBride, Jimmy Heath, Bennie Maupin, Louis Hayes and Sheila Jordan. Topics will range from remembering Cannonball to discussing the genius of Elvin Jones, Eric Dolphy, Donald Byrd, and the special piano trademark of Detroit. The tent will also feature a gallery of historic festival photographs in honor of DJF's 30th anniversary.

"As is always the case with this festival, the musicians will be having wonderful reunions, and the ever-hip and amazing Detroit audience will be joining the family in their uniquely enthusiastic and respectful way."

The festival has been celebrating its 30th anniversary since February through its series, Another Great Day in Detroit. Through collaborations with the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Wayne State University, Detroit Institute of Arts, Midsummer Nights in Midtown, the Guardian Building, the Rowland Cafe, and area jazz clubs, the festival is treating Detroit music lovers, showcasing Detroit musicians, and building momentum toward Labor Day Weekend.

The Detroit International Jazz Festival is the largest free jazz festival in North America. It has become a major tourist attraction, with 23% of its audience coming from out of state. It has a $90M economic impact on Detroit and showcases the city in its most positive light. The festival has received support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA), the Joyce Foundation and the Kresge Foundation. Major corporate sponsors include Chase, Carhartt, Absopure, Mack Avenue Records, DTE Energy, Whole Foods, Citizens Bank, Detroit Medical Center, Solaire, Pepsi, Comcast and Fox 2. In addition, there is a growing base of individual support. "We are extremely grateful to have the support of these institutions and individuals, " adds Pontremoli. "They are our life blood."

Nightly after-hour jam sessions will be held at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, the official festival hotel.

New to the festival this year are Phase I of a Greening Program sponsored by DTE Energy and the DJF Maiden Voyage Cruise, presented by Citizens Bank on August 26.

More information: Detroit Jazzfest

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Upcoming Jazz Releases | 5/5/09

Allen / Whitaker - Work To Do (Mack Avenue )
Armstrong / Fitzgerald - Collection (Red Box )
Arve Henriksen - Cartography (ECM )
Bobby Watson & RaY Mantilla/The Jazz TRibe - Everlating (Red Records)
Bobby Watson & Ray Mantilla/The Jazz Tribe - Everlasting (Red Records)
Bulldozer - Alive In Poland (Metal Mind Poland )
Carl Allen / Rodney Whitaker - Work To Do (Mack Avenue )
Carlos Bonnell - The Private Collection (United States Of Dist. (Uk) )
Carmen McRae - Take Five (Sony Japan )
Charlie Parker - Complete Live At Birdland (Disconforme )
Chris Barber - At The BBC (United States Of Distribution LTD. )
Coco Schumann - Rex Casion (Trikont )
Complete Triple Play Stereo Sessions - Complete Triple Play Stereo Sessions (Disconforme )
Count Basie - Atomic Mr. Basie (Disconforme )
Curtis Fuller - Blues-Ette (Disconforme )
Cyminology - As Ney (ECM )
Dave Shank - In Due Time (Rhombus )
David "Fathead" Newman - Blessing (Highnote )
David Newman - Blessing (Highnote )
David Newman - The Blessing (Highnote )
Dexter Gordon - Best Of (EMI France )
Dinah Washington - Gold Collection (Primo )
Disney - Tokyo Disneysea Spring Carnival 2009 (Phantom )
Ella Fitzgerald - Newport Jazz Festival Live At Carnegi (Sony Japan )
Ella Fitzgerald - Sings Duke Ellington (Delta (Uk) )
Enrico Pieranunzi - Plays Domenico Scarlatti (Pid )
Frank Sinatra - Sinatra At The Meadowlands (Concord Jazz )
Fred Horn - Steady Fready's Ready (Rhombus )
Full Monty Sunshine - Full Monty Sunshine (United States Of Dist. (Uk) )
Gerry Mulligan - I Want To Live (Disconforme )
Gilles Bernard - Mot (Effendi Canada )
Gilles Bernard - Chapeau De Ma Soeur (Effendi Canada )
Humphrey Lyttelton - Humphrey Lyttleton Big Band With Jimmy Rushing: BBC Jazz Club, Autumn 1958 (United States Of Distribution LTD. )
Hustlers Brass Band - Second Line Soul (Mardi Gras )
Hustlers Brass Sound - Second Line Soul (Mardi Gras )
Jazz Lounge Emotion - Jazz Lounge Emotion (Wagram Music S.A. )
Jazzy Lounge - Jazzy Lounge (Wagram Music S.A. )
Jim Beard - Revolutions (Sunny Side )
Joe Henderson - More From An Evening With (Red Records)
Joel Harrison - Urban Myths (Highnote )
John Coltrane - Last Performance At Newport July 2 1966 (Disconforme )
Johnny Hodges - Jazz Character: Johnny Hodges (Chant du Monde )
Johnny Hodges - Buenos Aires Blues (Disconforme )
Julie London - Classic Album Collection (Phantom )
June Christy - Something Latin/Something Porter (DRG )
Kevin Peek - Awakening (United States Of Distribution LTD. )
Kid Ory - Portrait of a New Orleans Master (United States Of Distribution LTD. )
Led Bib - Sensible Shoes (Cuneiform )
Lisa Ono - Naimo-Mew Anjo (Phantom )
Lonnie Donegan - At The Fairfield Halls Vol. 2 (United States Of Distribution LTD. )
Magos Herrera - Distancia (Sunny Side )
Malcolm Laycock Presents...The Golden Age Of Swing - Malcolm Laycock Presents...The Golden Age Of Swing (Delta (Uk) )
Matt Kalin - Matt Jazz (Rhombus )
Melanie Dahan - La Princesse Et Les Croque-Notes (Sunny Side )
Melanie Dahan - Princesse Et Les Croque-Notes (Sunny Side )
Miles Davis - Workin' With The Miles Davis Quintet (Original Jazz Classics )
Miles Davis - Steamin' With The Miles Davis Quintet (Disconforme )
Nat Gonella - BBC Jazz Club Vol. 6 (United States Of Distribution LTD. )
Nina Simone - Collection (Red Box )
Nostalgia 77 - Nostalgia 77 Sessions (Tru Thoughts Recordings )
Nostaslgia 77 - Nostalgia 77 Sessions (Phantom )
Original Silence - Second Original Silence (Smalltown Superjazz )
Pat Metheny - One Quiet Night (Nonesuch )
Patrick Moraz - Change Of Space (United States Of Distribution LTD. )
Perry Danos - Swingin' On The Moon (Hi Five )
Positive Catastrophe - Garabatos 1 (Cuneiform )
Positive Catastrophe - Garabatos Volume One (Cuneiform )
Randy Crawford - No Regrets (PRA )
Ranee Lee - Lives Upstairs (Phantom )
Sarah Vaughan - Brazilian Romance (Sony Japan )
Sonny Criss - Great Quartets (Disconforme )
Sophie Milman - Take Love Easy (Phantom )
Stan Kenton - Horns Or Plenty Vol. 1 (Tantara )
Stee Downes - All In A Day (Sonar Kollektiv )
Sylvain Luc - Summertime (Dreyfus Jazz )
Thelonious Monk - Monks Dream (Phantom )
Thelonious Monk - Monk's Dream (Sony Japan )
Ute Lemper - Between Yesterday and Tomorrow
Various Artists - Red Records Leaders plays The Music Of Joe Henderson (Red Records)
Weather Report - Mr.Gone (Phantom )
Weather Report - St (Phantom )
Yannick Rieu - Spectrum (Phantom )

Billie Holiday - Lady In Satin (Columbia/L )
Herbie Hancock - Quartet (Sbme Special MKTS. )
Ornette Coleman - Skies Of America (Columbia )
Weather Report - Night Passage (Sony)
Weather Report - Mr. Gone (Sbme Special MKTS. )

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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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Chick Corea & John McLaughlin Release Five Peace Band Live

The new Chick Corea & John McLaughlin live release Five Peace Band Live is available on 2-CD today 4.28.09 via Concord Records.

Five Peace Band Live, was recorded during Corea & McLaughlin’s European tour last fall. The double-disc CD was originally made available early at performance venues on tour during March as well as via the band’s website, and is now fully available.

The entire album is available to stream at Chick Corea's official Myspace page.

The album features Corea and McLaughlin’s inspired duets as well as all five members negotiating the twists and turns of the compositions. The recording includes Vinnie Colaiuta – drums, Kenny Garrett – saxophone, Christian McBride – acoustic & electric basses, and Herbie Hancock special guests on the track “In a Silent Way / It’s About That Time.”

Five Peace Band Live is available on 2-CD now.

Chick Corea at Myspace

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Concord Jazz will release a live Gary Burton Quartet album, Quartet Live!, on May 26th.

The album features three original members and jazz legends Gary Burton, Pat Metheny and Steve Swallow along with another new member, and perhaps one of the most prominent jazz drummers of his generation, Antonio Sanchez. The 11-song album was recorded live at Yoshi’s Jazz Club in Oakland, CA.

Quartet Live! starts off with Chick Corea’s “Sea Journey,” one of many songs Corea wrote for the Burton group, and features songs written by Carla Bley (“Olhos de Gato” and “Syndrome”) and Keith Jarrett (“Coral”). Metheny’s composing talents are also represented here by tunes composed during his Burton Quartet years: the fast and furious “Missouri Uncompromised,” the haunting “B and G,” and “Question and Answer,” one of Pat’s most well-known pieces.

Live Streams [WMP]
Sea Journey
Missouri Uncompromised

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First Sade CD In 9 Years Likely This Year

Sade fans, your wait looks like it could be almost over. Several indications point to a new CD by the reclusive singer this fall, which would be her first since Lovers Rock was released in November 2000. In addition to a post from the singer Maxwell, who has worked with both Sade and her band and says the CD is definitely coming out, Sade’s record label, Sony, has re-launched the singer’s official website in the U.S.,

That’s where you can interact with fans at forums and sign up for updates. In addition, there are links to her MySpace and Facebook sites.

Sade, who has sold more than 50 million albums worldwide, is best known for her many hits singles, including “By Your Side,” “Hang on To Your Love,” “Smooth Operator,” “The Sweetest Taboo,” “No Ordinary Love” and “Kiss of Life,” among many others. In 2005, Sade did compose a song called “Mum” specifically for a DVD called Voices of Darfur.

Thanks to Brian Soergel at for the original post.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

David Sanborn, Candy Dulfer, Joe Sample On Capital Jazz Cruise III

Saxophonists David Sanborn and Candy Dulfer, keyboardist Joe Sample, and vocalist Kem have all signed on for the Capital Jazz Supercruise III, set to sail roundtrip from Baltimore to the Caribbean on October 10th through 17th. The ocean-going spinoff of the popular Capital Jazz Fest will also feature Brian Culbertson, Najee, War, Jonathan Butler, Patti Austin, and Rick Braun.

Jam sessions on the cruise will be led by saxophonist Mike Phillips with the Hidden Beach All Stars. Special guest Spinderella of Salt-N-Pepa will DJ late night sessions.

This is the third annual sailing of the star-studded cruise. In the meantime, the Capital Jazz Fest takes place June 5th through 7th at the Merriweather Post Pavilion with headliners Natalie Cole, George Duke, Al Jarreau, and many others.

By: Janine Coveney

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Playing For Change – Songs Around the World, Today

Playing For Change and YouTube team to offer exclusive video. CD/DVD hits stores today

The immense popularity of the deeply inspirational Play For Change videos on YouTube is perhaps 2009's most implausible and gratifying cultural phenomenon. The remarkable clip for "Stand By Me", featuring 37 musicians from around the world, has been viewed by more than 9 million people to date and clips for other songs such as "One Love" and "Don't Worry" have been viewed by millions more.

To celebrate today's Hear Music release of the Playing For Change - Peace Through Music CD/DVD, four videos will be presented on the home page of YouTube (Including exclusive content). Bob Marley's classic War/No More Trouble", highlighting musicians from Congo, Israel, India, Ireland, South Africa, the U.S., Zimbabwe and Ghana, along with an extraordinary performance by U2's Bono and Bob Marley himself debuts today. Also included in this unveiling is a version of Sam Cooke's iconic "A Change is Gonna Come" recorded live in New Orleans featuring some of the musicians from the ubiquitous Stand By me" clip including Grandpa Elliot and Clarence Bekker; the Playing For Change "Sizzle Reel" containing footage of the international collective Playing For Change Band, who just completed a wildly successful jaunt in the U.S.; and finally a clip of the upcoming feature film "Playing For Change: Peace Through Music" which will be released later this year.

Playing For Change is the brainchild of Grammy winning producer/engineer Mark Johnson, who traveled for a decade with his team with a single minded passion to connect the world through music. Their ambitious journey took them from post-apartheid South Africa, through the ancient sites of the Middle East, to the remote beauty of the Himalayas and beyond. Using innovative mobile technology, the PFC crew filmed and recorded more than 100 musicians, largely outdoors, in parks, plazas and promenades, in doorways, on cobblestone streets and amid hilly pueblos. Each captured performance created a new mix in which essentially the artists are all performing together albeit hundreds or thousands of miles apart. In a recent interview with PFC founder Johnson, PBS' Bill Moyers called Playing For Change a remarkable example of "the simple yet transformative power of touch something in each of us."

The special CD/DVD package Playing For Change - Songs Around the World, (available at participating Starbucks locations in the U.S. and Canada and wherever music is sold beginning today (April 28), contains a ten-song audio CD as well as a seven-track DVD, which features five full 'songs around the world' videos. The DVD also includes a trailer for the forthcoming PFC feature film and information on the PFC Foundation.

Playing for Change is headquartered in Los Angeles. For more information, please visit the website:
PFC on YouTube

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Smooth Jazz Chart | 4/27/09

LW - TW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Boney James - "Send One Your Love" - (Concord)
2 - 2 - Jackiem Joyner - "Lil' Man Soul - (Artistry/Mack Avenue)
4 - 3 - Dave Koz - "Greatest Hits" - (Capitol)
3 - 4 - The Rippingtons - "Modern Art" - (Peak)
7 - 5 - Walter Beasley - "Free Your Mind" - (Heads Up)
5 - 6 - Richard Elliot - "Rock Steady" - (Artistry/Mack Avenue)
8 - 7 - Gregg Karukas - "GK" - (Trippin 'n' Rhythm)
6 - 8 - Earl Klugh - "The Spice Of Life" - (Koch)
11 - 9 - Paul Brown & Marc Antoine - "Foreign Exchange" - (Peak)
16 - 10 - Nils - "Up Close & Personal" - (Baja/TSR)
12 - 11 - Michael Lington - "Heat" - (NuGroove)
9 - 12 - Kim Waters - "I Want You" - (Shanachie)
19 - 13 - Pieces Of A Dream - "Soul Intent" - (Heads Up)
14 - 14 - Fourplay - "Energy - (Heads Up)
10 - 15 - Eric Essix - "Birmingham" - (Essential/Lightyear)
15 - 16 - Jeff Lorber - "Heard That" - (Peak)
13 - 17 - Oli Silk - "The Limit's The Sky" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
20 - 18 - Euge Groove - "Born 2 Groove" - (Narada/Blue Note)
25 - 19 - Basia - It's That Girl Again - (E1)
28 - 20 - Marion Meadows - Secrets - (Heads Up)

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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Oli Silk Plays Live on the Jimi King Sunday show

Oli Silk plays "The Limit's The Sky" live on the Smooth Jazz Sunday show. April 26th 2009.

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Fourplay Generates High Energy [Video]

According to some very basic laws of nature, when powerful forces come together, some form of energy is created usually in large amounts. In music, the laws of interaction are no different. When keyboardist Bob James, bassist Nathan East, guitarist Larry Carlton and drummer Harvey Mason come together as Fourplay, the result is Energy (HUCD 3146), the Heads Up debut of the acclaimed contemporary jazz quartet scheduled for worldwide release on September 23, 2008.

Energy grafts a variety of sounds R&B, pop, African and more to Fourplays unwavering jazz foundations. In addition to vocals by East a charter member since the bands inception in 1990 the album also features a vocal track by Esperanza Spalding, the upright bassist, composer and vocalist who has recently taken the jazz world by storm with her self-titled recording debut earlier this year on Heads Up.

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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Chico Hamilton - "Twelve Tones Of Love"

With Twelve Tones of Love, the legendary jazz drummer Foreststorn 'Chico' Hamilton takes his listeners on a musical journey of his venerable career and the numerous people who have influenced it, celebrating his lifelong romance with music. On Twelve Tones of Love, Chico looks back not as a summation but with the past as a jumping off point to where he is now; the foundation to build off of what he has to say in the here and now.

This album has Chico writing for and playing with an enlarged ensemble. It speaks greatly of all the musicians' skills that they are performing Chico's compositions, yet their interplay becomes another color on his palette, which allows him to further embellish the picture he is painting. This is one of the appealing aspects to all of Chico's music, an always-organic sense of tension and release. Guest spots include trombonist George Bohanon, who was in one of Chico's classic sixties ensembles; vocalist Jose James, who studied under Chico at The New School's Jazz and Contemporary Music Program; and multi-reedist Jack Kelso, Chico's lifelong friend. Those who forge their own way may travel a harder road but their art loses none of its power with the passage of time because of these trials. Twelve Tones of Love is proof of that.

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Friday, April 24, 2009

Spyro Gyra - "Down the Wire"

It's been 30 years since Spyro Gyra released their one and only crossover hit, “Morning Dance.” Changes in how decisions are made as to what gets played on the radio pretty much guarantee the group will not score another; that's unfortunate, because they continue to make eye-opening, jaw-dropping music.

Down the Wire is a set of 11 new songs, all composed by members of the group: Jay Beckenstein, saxophones; Julio Fernandez, guitars; Tom Schuman, keyboards; Scott Ambush, bass; and Bonny “Bonny B” Bonaparte, drums, percussion and vocals. The group has scored several Grammy nominations, but is the perpetual bridesmaid when it comes to actually winning. Taking its early cues from Weather Report and Chick Corea and Return to Forever, its music crosses several genres: straight jazz, funk, fusion, blues, Latin, Brazilian and instrumental pop.

Ambush's funk-driven bass line opens the title song, which he also wrote; Fernandez, Schuman and Bonny B set the background, with Ambush and Beckenstein leading the way. The bass gets in some rapid-fire action on the bridge; after an alto sax solo and another bass-led bridge, Fernandez goes on a trip of his own. Ambush comes back with another solo before he and Beckenstein resume the melody-- through it all, Schuman and Bonny B show that they're not merely background, but active parts of this tapestry; bass and sax trade turns during the song's final sequence.

“The Tippin' Point” is one of those songs that defies those who would pigeonhole this band as a smooth jazz act. Written by Beckenstein and Schuman, this up-tempo piece brings some old-school jazz flavor to the party; Beckenstein leads on tenor while Ambush gives some vintage bass lines and Bonny B taps the hi-hat in the finest jazz tradition. The middle break features Schuman on piano, leading what amounts to an acoustic trio; Beckenstein's tenor solo ranks among some of his best (e.g. “Whitewater,” “Birks Law” and “East River Blue”).

Bonny B wrote the riveting “Ice Mountain,” a song that shows how easily the group can shift from one style to another; in this case, from straight-ahead to fusion. It's difficult not to think of Weather Report, with the blending of sax, keyboards, guitar, bass and drums right out of the Zawinul-Shorter-Pastorius handbook, especially when two or more players strike the same notes at blazing, stop-time speed. And when they all go in different directions, buckle up, because there's quite a ride ahead.

Gerardo Velez, the group's full-time percussionist during the middle 1980s, guests on two tracks--Fernandez's “Unspoken” and Ambush's “A Flower for Annie Jeanette.” Another Spyro Gyra alum, Marc Quinones, appears on Beckenstein's “La Zona Rosa” along with a three-piece horn section. Down the Wire, borrowed from a line by the founder of the Flying Wallendas, is an apt summation of life and music.

Track Listing: Down the Wire; Unspoken; Not for Nothin'; Island Pond; The Tippin' Point; Ice Mountain; A Flower for Annie Jeanette; La Zona Rosa; What It Is; A Distant Memory; Make It Mine.

Personnel: Tom Schuman: keyboards; Scott Ambush: bass; Jay Beckenstein: saxophones; Bonny B: drums, percussion, vocals; Julio Fernandez: guitars; Marc Quinones: percussion (8); Gerardo Velez: percussion (2, 7); Don Harris: trumpet (8); Bill Harris: tenor sax and flute (8); Ozzie Melendez: trombone (8).

Source: By Woodrow Wilkins

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wynton Marsalis to Perform on Letterman

Wynton Marsalis has been confirmed to appear on the ‘Late Show with David Letterman’ on Wed May 13th.

The Pulitzer Prize & 9-time Grammy Award winner will perform the new song ‘School Boy’ from his new Blue Note album He & She - his 5th Blue Note release that features 22 tracks of his signature jazz, as well as spoken word and poetry tracks, all centered around the theme of the relationship between man and woman.

The show will air 11.35pm ET/PT, Wed, May 13th.

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