Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year To Our JazzHQ Subscribers [Video]

A very Happy New Year year to all the visitors of JazzHQ. It's just for fun, but I'm pleased that you found your way here and grateful if you've done it more than once.

Best wishes to you all. Good health and peace in the new year.

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Upcoming Jazz Releases | January 5, 2010

Alessandro Sacha Caiani - Effetto Ludico (Phantom )
Barbara Casini - Formidable! (Phantom )
Bebo Ferra - Luar (Phantom )
Berg Lutte Ensemble - Landskap (Phantom )
Bobbi Humphrey - Tailer Made (Phantom )
Carol Duboc - Premium Collection (Phantom )
Concerto Musicale Speranza - Processione D'Ammore (Phantom )
Di Bonaventura Daniele & Black Coff - Sdruge Strane Jadrana (Phantom )
Dorothy Ashby - Rubaiyat Of (Dusty Groove )
Eddie Higgins - Best Of Best (Venus Jap/Zoom )
Eddie Higgins - Essential Romance (Venus Jap/Zoom )
Eddie Higgins - Jazz Standard Essentials (Venus Jap/Zoom )
Eric Dolphy - Uppsala Concert Vol 2 (Indies Japan/Zoom )
George Benson - In Concert: Carnegie Hall ( )
HARBIE STEWARD - Harbie's Here (Masshmallow )
Heick Aaron & The R - Europe (Venus Jap/Zoom )
Jayne Cortez - Poetry & Music (Indigo )
JAZZ LIFE SEXTET - Tall Stories (Indie Europe/Zoom )
Jeremy Strachan - Heart Of The Matter (Phantom )
Julie Wilson - Love ( )
La Pusata Giuseppe - Naissance (Phantom )
Lloyd Miller - A Lifetime In Oriental Jazz (Jazzman )
Lydian Sound Orchest - Lydian Trip (Phantom )
Mannutza Luca Trio - Longin' (Phantom )
Marcus Belgrave - Gemini 2 (P-Vine Japan/Zoom )
Martux_m - About A Silent Way (Phantom )
Maurizio Brunod - Northern Lights (Phantom )
Mazzucco Dario Quartet - Light Lunch (Phantom )
Michael Wolff - Joe's Strut (Wrong Records/Select-O )
Mixed Bag - First Album (P-Vine Japan/Zoom )
Mostly Other People Do the Killing - Forty Fort (Hot Cup)
Mountain Mocha Kilimanjaro - Mountain Mocha Kilimanjaro (Jazzman )
Mtume - Kiss This World Goodbye (Phantom )
Nastro Peacock Ers - Trio Dialogues (Phantom )
Nina Simone - Free Soul: The Classic Of (Phantom )
Pivari trio - E Ghe Pu Temp Che Vitta (Phantom )
Raste Pietropaoli E - Pietropaoli E,Raste Vol. 1-Duolosophy (Phantom )
Robert Bonisolo - Open The Gate (Phantom )
Roberto Six Spadoni - Mingus Cuernavaca (Phantom )
Rodney Franklin - Endless Flight (Phantom )
Roland P. Young - Istet Serenade ( )
Ronnie Foster - Delight (Phantom )
Saint Louis Big Band - Live In Studio (Phantom )
Stefano Giavazzi / Franco Mezzena - Giavazzi,Stefano/Franco Mezzena Vol. 3-Beethoven (Phantom )
Suonabanda - La Bella E' Entrata In (Phantom )
TARENZI TRIO, ROBERTO - One Day I'll Fly Away (Phantom )
Tempo Permettendo - Forever & A Day (Phantom )
Terez Montcalm - Connection (Phantom )
Tiberio Ferracane - Cosa Rimarra' Di Noi (Phantom )
Toni Melillo - Il Mio Giardino (Phantom )
Trans Europe Trio - Childreams (Phantom )
U-Nam - Past Builds the Future (Trippin' 'n Rhythm)
Verona Improvisers Jazz Orchestra - E Se Domani (Phantom )
Veziana - Alba Auba Aurora Aurore (Phantom )
Vincenzo Lucarelli - Double Check (Phantom )
Virtuosi Di San Martino - 5 In Condotta (Phantom )
Vittorio Mezza Trio - Same (Phantom )
Wendell Harrison - Evening With Devil (P-Vine Japan/Zoom )
Willie Bobo - Bobo (Phantom )
Zoot Sims - Live In Japan 1977 Vol 2 (Indies Japan/Zoom

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, December 29, 2009

Esperanza Spalding Continues to Shine in '09 as Jazz's Bright New Star

By Tad Hendrickson
Covering jazz usually relegates me to covering small club gigs and jazz festivals. Yet there was Esperanza Spalding playing after President Obama's acceptance speech during the presentation ceremony of his Nobel Peace Prize. (Go here to watch a clip from the performance of her song 'Espera.') Those paying attention will know that this wasn't the first time the singer-bassist crossed paths with the leader of the free world. Spalding was tapped by Stevie Wonder to play the White House as part of his Gershwin Prize for Popular Music, where she apparently impressed the President and First Lady enough to get this repeat performance. As if that wasn't enough, Jimmy Kimmel, who has had Spalding perform on his show, lampooned the performance on his show with a clip that substituted the Spalding's music with audio of the song 'Who Let the Dogs Out?'

"The White House gig opened a lot of opportunities for me, obviously," Spalding says via phone. "It's hard for me to even remember the time sequence of that stuff. I know that it happened, and some things are coming and so much is happening moment to moment, day after day, that I really don't get a chance to think about it. Every once in a while someone will remind me of something insane that happened and it's awesome, but I'm just so busy I don't think about it. I think, actually, that's the best way to be."

While this kind of career trajectory is rare in jazz, Spalding has always moved fast and taken her own roads to get there. Born in 1984, Spalding was inspired by a Yo-Yo Ma appearance on 'Mister Rogers' Neighborhood' to pick up a violin at age 4. Within a year, she was playing with the Chamber Music Society of Oregon, a community orchestra in her native Portland that featured child and adult musicians. By 15, she was the organization's concertmaster. During a brief stint in high school -- she was home-schooled for much of her childhood -- she picked up bass because it offered opportunities outside of classical music. At 16, GED in hand, she enrolled at Oregon State University. At 17, she was off to Berklee College of Music in Boston, graduating at 20 and becoming the school youngest faculty member ever at age 21.

With just two albums out under her own name, 2006's Junjo and 2008's Esperanza Spalding is jazz's It Girl, garnering the kind of attention that Diana Krall, Madeleine Peyroux, Norah Jones and very few others have. Perhaps the best example would be the arrival of a young Wynton Marsalis in the early '80s as the new savior of jazz.

With so many "wow" moments under her belt already, it's hard to remember that Spalding has been playing bass for only 10 years. Even so, she dismisses her quick mastery of the instrument. "I know people who have been playing for six years and they are just mind-blowing," she points out. "They've just tapped into a level of agility. Maybe they just know how to practice. I do still need a lot of maintenance work that maybe people who have been playing longer maybe have technique that doesn't go away. I'm not at that point yet. Perhaps at some point I won't have to take a week and really shed on the instrument and focus."

Spalding's group is typically either a trio with bass, piano and drums or a quartet with a percussionist added (which was the Nobel Prize lineup). Out front, she plays bass and often sings. Her music draws upon bebop, swing, Brazilian, pop and Latin styles. Some critics have complained that she's spreading herself too thin with all the appearances, but there is no denying her abilities. Onstage, Spalding certainly enjoys herself -- her head, accented by a big Afro, gets shook every which way as she plays fat grooves and tricky solos. In between songs, her effervescent personality shines through, though her Nobel performance was relatively restrained, but understandably so, considering the gravity of the situation.

Spalding nonetheless came through this night like a champ. She claims that she still gets butterflies before she plays, but she's got some coping methods for dealing with it.

"Sound is a gift that goes away unless you are recording it," she says with a laugh. "The most awful thing you can do is over [once] you are done playing those notes. You get to keep the memory and lesson, which is awesome. In most any situation I'm gonna say, 'Eff it.' I'm doing to do the best that I can with the skills I have. Be true to me; be true to the context. If it works it works; if it doesn't, maybe next time."

So far, this philosophy and just about everything else regarding her career seem to be working out better than anyone could have ever dreamed. With more touring for Spalding on the horizon, the world won't see her next album until mid- to late 2010. Obviously, there is at least one first couple who look forward to that day.

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays To Our JazzHQ Subscribers!

My very best wishes to all of you who took the time to visit JazzHQ during the year.
A Merry Christmas to you all, and to my friends on the Hub, and Twitter.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Upcoming Jazz Releases | December 29, 2009

Art Blakey - At Cafe Bohemia Vol 1 (Indies Japan/Zoom )
Art Blakey - At Cafe Bohemia Vol 2 (Indies Japan/Zoom )
Ben Waters - Shakin In The Makin (Phantom )
Bill Ware - Played Right (Pony Japan/Zoom )
Blue Note Highlights Collectors Box - Blue Note Highlights Collectors Box (Phantom )
Bobby Wellins - Satin Album (Jazzizit )
Bud Powell - Amazing Vol 2 (Indies Japan/Zoom )
Bud Powell - Amazing Vol 3 (Indies Japan/Zoom )
Bud Powell - Time Waits (Indies Japan/Zoom )
Carole Therrien - Vues Du Fleuve (Effendi )
Curtis Fuller - Curtis Fuller Vol 3 (Indies Japan/Zoom )
Divas Du Jazz - Divas Du Jazz (Wagram )
Doug Hammond - Refrections In Sea Of Nurnen (P-Vine Japan/Zoom )
Eddie Higgins - Romantic Solo Piano Essent (Venus Jap/Zoom )
Eddie Higgins - Romantic Solo Piano Essentials (Venus Jap/Zoom )
Elmo Hope - Introducing:Elmo Hope Trio (Indies Japan/Zoom )
Elmo Hope - Quintet Vol 2 (Indies Japan/Zoom )
Fats Navarro - Fabulous Vol 1 (Indies Japan/Zoom )
Fats Navarro - Fabulous Vol 2 (Indies Japan/Zoom )
Grandes Voix Du Jazz - Grandes Voix Du Jazz (Phantom )
Guido Qui Pistocchi - Springtime (Pony Japan/Zoom )
Hank Mobley - Quartet (Indies Japan/Zoom )
Hank Mobley - Sextet (Indies Japan/Zoom )
Hank Mobley - His All Stars (Indies Japan/Zoom )
Hank Mobley - Peckin Time (Indies Japan/Zoom )
Harold McKinney - Voices And Rhythms Of Creative Profil (P-Vine Japan/Zoom )
Herbie Nichols - Prophetic Vol 1 (Indies Japan/Zoom )
Herbie Nichols - Prophetic Vol 2 (Indies Japan/Zoom )
Herbie Nichols - Trio (Indies Japan/Zoom )
Horace Silver - Jazz Messengers (Indies Japan/Zoom )
Horace Silver - Trio And Art Blakey-Sabu (Indies Japan/Zoom )
Horace Silver - 6 Pieces Of Silver (Indies Japan/Zoom )
Horace Silver - Trio And Art Blakey Sabu (Indies Japan/Zoom )
Jean-Francois Groulx - Jean-Francois Groulx (Productions De L'onde )
Jean-Nicolas Trottier - JNT Quartet (Effendi )
Jutta Hipp - With Zoot Sims (Pid )
Jutta Hipp - Quintet (Indies Japan/Zoom )
Jutta Hipp - At Hickory House Vol 2 (Indies Japan/Zoom )
Kenny Burrell - Introducing:Kenny Burrell (Indies Japan/Zoom )
Kenny Burrell - Kenny Burrell Vol 2 (Indies Japan/Zoom )
Kenny Burrell - Blue Lights Vol 1 (Indies Japan/Zoom )
Kenny Burrell - Blue Lights Vol 2 (Indies Japan/Zoom )
Kenny Drew - Introducing:Kenny Drew Trio (Indies Japan/Zoom )
Lee Morgan - Sextet (Indies Japan/Zoom )
Levy Bourbonnais - L'Embarquee (Effendi )
Lou Donaldson - Blues Walk (Pid )
Lou Donaldson - Quintet/Sextet (Indies Japan/Zoom )
Lou Donaldson - Wailing With Lou (Indies Japan/Zoom )
Lou Donaldson - Swing And Soul (Indies Japan/Zoom )
Michael Wollny - Michael Wollny's Wunderkammer (Phantom )
Miles Davis - Miles Davis Vol1 (Indies Japan/Zoom )
Miles Davis - Miles Davis Vol 2 (Indies Japan/Zoom )
Milt Jackson - Milt Jackson (Indies Japan/Zoom )
Min Rager - First Steps (Effendi )
Peter White - Premium Collection (Phantom )
Phil Ranelin - Time Is Now (P-Vine Japan/Zoom )
Phil Ranelin - Vibes From Tribe (P-Vine Japan/Zoom )
Raah Project - Score (Phantom )
Sabu - Palo Congo (Pid )
Sister Bossa - Sister Bossa Vol. 9-Sister Bossa (Phantom )
Sonny Clark - Trio (JVC Japan )
Sonny Clark - Sonny's Crib (Indies Japan/Zoom )
Sonny Rollins - Sonny Rollins Vol 1 (Indies Japan/Zoom )
Tal Farlow - Quartet (Indies Japan/Zoom )
Thelonious Dub - Thelonious Dub
Thelonious Monk - Genius Of Modern Music Vol 1 (Indies Japan/Zoom )
Thelonious Monk - Genius Of Modern Music Vol 2 (Indies Japan/Zoom )
Tomisheep - Rhodes Trip (Disques Air M.S. )
Wendell Harrison - Message From Tribe (P-Vine Japan/Zoom )
Wynton Kelly - Piano Interpretations (Indies Japan/Zoom )

Duke Ellington - Blues In Orbit (Columbia Legacy)
Johnny Griffin - Blowing Session (EMI )
Lee Morgan - City Lights (Blue Note)
Lee Morgan - Indeed (Blue Note Records )
Paul Chambers - Whims Of Chambers (EMI )
Sonny Clark - Dial S For Sonny (EMI )
Thad Jones - Magnificent (EMI )

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, December 22, 2009

Smooth Jazz Chart | 12/21/09

LW - TW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - George Benson - "Songs And Stories" - (Concord)
2 - 2 - Peter White - "Good Day" - (Peak/Concord)
3 - 3 - Jackiem Joyner - "Lil' Man Soul - (Artistry/Mack Avenue)
4 - 4 - Najee - "Mind Over Matter" - (Heads Up)
5 - 5 - Richard Elliot - "Rock Steady" - (Artistry/Mack Avenue)
6 - 6 - Boney James - "Send One Your Love" - (Concord)
7 - 7 - Paul Taylor - "Burnin'" - (Peak)
9 - 8 - Jeff Golub - "Blues For You" - (E1)
10 - 9 - Brian Bromberg - "It Is What It Is" - (Artistry/Mack Avenue)
8 - 10 - Jessy J - "True Love - (Peak)
11 - 11 - Dave Koz - "Greatest Hits" - (Capitol)
13 - 12 - Euge Groove - "Sunday Morning" - (Shanachie)
12 - 13 - Nick Colionne - "No Limits" - (E1)
14 - 14 - Joyce Cooling - "Global Cooling" - (
18 - 15 - Bernie Williams - "Moving Forward" - (Reform)
17 - 16 - David Wells - "Skyline" - (Nuance/Little Fish)
16 - 17 - The Sax Pack - "The Pack Is Back" - (Shanachie)
15 - 18 - Marion Meadows - "Secrets" - (Heads Up)
19 - 19 - Rick Braun - "All It Takes" - (Artistry)
20 - 20 - Nils - "Up Close & Personal" - (Baja/TSR)

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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Sade’s New Single Makes History On The Smooth Jazz Top 20

History has been made as Sade has the first vocal tune to hit No. 1 on the Smooth Jazz Top 20 Countdown with “Soldier of Love.” The #1 position is based on Mediabase monitoring and measured by total audience reach. Sade’s historic hit single will be reflected on the first Smooth Jazz Top 20 show of 2010 the weekend of January 2. According to Mediabase, “Soldier of Love” was heard by 2,410,000 smooth jazz listeners since it was first aired on December 8. That was even more remarkable given that the song had only a partial week of airplay.

In addition, “Soldier of Love” becomes the first song to actually debut at #1 on the Smooth Jazz Top 20.

“Soldier Of Love,” which Sade co-produced with Mike Pela, was written by Sade along with longtime collaborators Andrew Hale, Stuart Matthewman and Paul Spencer Denman and is from her forthcoming CD of the same name. Recorded in England, it will be released on February 9. It’s Sade’s first official CD since the multi-platinum release of Lovers Rock in 2000, which featured the smooth jazz singles “By Your Side,” “Somebody Already Broke My Heart” and “Lovers Rock.”

Originally posted at 12-21-09

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Norah Jones Reimagines Popular Holiday Song With Jimmy Kimmel [Videos]l

On her recent appearance on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, Norah Jones helped host Jimmy Kimmel with a new edition of the classic “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” It was all in good fun, of course, and Jones and Kimmel selected a major online time-waster to base their version on.

“YouTube videos are really the happiest memories of all,” Kimmel said. “We should sing about it.” So they did. With Jones playing the guitar and Kimmel handling vocals, they used popular YouTube videos as the backdrop of their new tune. They included a toilet-flushing cat, a lady falling in hole, smoking monkeys, chomping Charlies and laughing babies.

On the program, Jones also sang her Smooth Jazz Top 20 hit single “Chasing Pirates". Her next TV appearance comes Monday (December 21) on E!’s Chelsea Lately program

Jones will launch a 36-city tour on March 5.

Posted on 12/19/09 by

Norah Jones - "Chasing Pirates"

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

“I’d Do It All Again,” Lead Single From Grammy® Winner Corinne Bailey Rae’s The Sea, Scheduled For January 26th Release On EMI’s Capitol Records [Video]

Grammy winner Corinne Bailey Rae is premiering her new video for “I’d Do It All Again,” the first single from her forthcoming album The Sea (scheduled for a January 26 release).

The video is directed by acclaimed film director Jamie Thraves, the man responsible for such iconic videos as Radiohead's 'Just' and Coldplay's 'The Scientist'. Talking about the video Thraves exclusively told MySpace "Corinne and I met just as I was formulating the idea. She told me she was fan of my work, said she thought it was very real looking, cinematic and quite dark and that's what she wanted for her video, nothing too sunny she said. I looked at her other videos and realised just how sunny they were and why she wanted to do something different for this song but on the day we filmed it was such a lovely sunny day - I told Corinne the sun just seems to follow her around, but it's okay because in sad moments the sun can underline sadness just as easily as rain."

“I’d Do It All Again,” the first single from GRAMMY winner Corinne Bailey Rae’s forthcoming album, The Sea, goes to radio this week and will be available at all digital retailers in early January. A sweeping, defiant declaration of love and faith, the song is one of many highlights on The Sea, set for January 26th release on EMI’s Capitol Records. To check out Corinne’s stripped-down performance of “I’d Do It All Again” on “Later… with Jools Holland,” visit:

“Rae has undergone a tidal shift towards a raw, less manicured sound,” said The Times of one of her recent London performances. “‘Are You Here’ was a spiralling elegy in which she eschewed lyrical enunciation in favour of elemental anguish… ‘I’d Do It All Again’ swelled with Jeff Buckley-style vocal flutters, sometimes small and bruised, sometimes huge and searching. And ‘Love’s On Its Way’ was more powerful still as Rae… channelled a burst of turbulent mysticism that evoked Van Morrison circa ‘Astral Weeks.’” Early U.K. album reviews have also been glowing, with The Observer noting: “Although ‘The Sea’ has many hues it is dyed deep in pain… Now [it] is shaping up to be Bailey Rae’s own ‘Back To Black’, a rewarding hit built on pain.” The Sun declared it a “five star album that has already secured a place on the Best of 2010 lists” while the Evening Standard said: “Corinne Bailey Rae’s music has taken a great leap forward.”

She will tour extensively in 2010, backed by many of the musicians who played on the new album. The Sea was co-produced by Bailey Rae with Steve Brown, and Steve Chrisanthou, who produced many of the songs on her self-titled debut album, which entered the U.K. album chart at #1 in June 2006. Stateside, she was the first British female singer-songwriter in decades to have her debut album enter The Billboard 200 in the Top 20. Within the year, Bailey Rae had won a Q award, a MOJO award, an Image award and two MOBO awards and appeared on a host of television shows, including “Saturday Night Live,“ “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “Good Morning America” and “Ellen.”

Bailey Rae was nominated for three GRAMMY awards – “Record Of The Year” and “Song Of The Year” for her first single, “Put Your Records On,” and “Best New Artist.” Her remarkable performance on the 2007 GRAMMY Awards telecast propelled her album into the Top 5 of The Billboard 200. The following year, “Like A Star,” her second single, was nominated for “Song Of The Year” and Herbie Hancock’s River: The Joni Letters, on which Corinne appeared, won the GRAMMY for “Album Of The Year.”

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Upcoming Jazz Releases | December 22, 2009

Chet Baker - Legendary Sessions (Phantom )
Cootie Williams - Things Ain't What They Used To Be (Jukebox Lil )
Dave Quarte Brubeck - Great Concerts Amsterdam Copenhagen (Phantom )
David Parsons - Jyoti (Indie Europe/Zoom )
Django Reinhardt - Manoir De Ses Reves (Le Chant Du Monde )
Django Reinhardt - Djangologie 1 (EMI France )
Duke Ellington - Ellington,Duke Vol. 1-Brunswick Sessions (Jazz Information )
Duke Ellington - Brunswick Sessions 1 ( )
Gary Bartz - Uhuru (Milesstone )
Gerry Mulligan - In Sweden (Jazz Information )
Hadda Brooks - Romance In The Dark (Jukebox Lil )
HEIRI KANZIG - Buenos Aires (Indie Europe/Zoom )
Holly Cole - Don't Smoke In Bed (CLASSIC )
Jesse Colin Young - American Dreams (Wounded Bird )
Jimmy Giuffre - Ad Lib (Phantom )
Johnny Griffin & Joe Morris Orchestra - Fly Mr. Fly (Saxophonograph )
Louis Armstrong - In Sweden ( )
Lucky Millinder - Let It Roll Again (Jukebox Lil )
Lucky Millinder - Shorty's Got To Go ( )
Made In Sweden - Made In England ( )
Marty Elkins - In Another Life ( )
Nina Simone - Classic Hits (Phantom )
Norah Jones - Not Too Late (Blue Note)
Oscar Peterson - Portrait Of Frank Sinatra (Phantom )
Paul Desmond - Complete Recordings (Indie Europe/Zoom )
PING MACHINE - Random Issues (Indie Europe/Zoom )
Prince Lasha - Insight (Dusty Groove )
Quincy Jones - Great World Of Quincy Jones (Phantom )
Ralph Lalama - Audience (Mighty Quinn )
Sammy Price - Do You Dig My Jive (Whiskey, Women, And ... )
Shelly Manne - Complete Live At The Black Hawk (Phantom )
Sonny Stitt - Plays Jimmy Giuffre Arrangements (Phantom )
Stephane Grappelli - Fine & Dandy (Phantom )
Sun Ra - Antique Blacks (Phantom )

Sun Ra & His Space Arkestra - What Planet Is This? (Golden Years of New Jazz)

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, December 16, 2009

Philippe Saisse Is On Top Of World With First-Ever Grammy Nod For Best Jazz Album "At World's Edge", Dedicated To Late Father

Songwriter/arranger/producer, keyboard wiz, and E1 Entertainment recording artist, Philippe Saisse, scored a personal triumph and first when NARAS voters opted to honor and acknowledge his progressive and daring solo album, AT WORLD’S EDGE, with a 2009 Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Jazz Album. Saisse has enjoyed a distinguished career over the past 30 years, but finally attaining the milestone achievement on his ninth solo effort has even more special significance, because he dedicated the album in loving memory to his late father Maurice Saisse.

“Hearing the news that At World’s Edge was nominated elated me beyond words,”revealed a delighted Saisse. “I felt particularly grateful for the validation of the incomparable contributions all the musicians, singers and engineers made to the record. I just wish my father would have lived long enough to share this special honor with me.”

At World’s Edge represents one of Saisse’s most ambitious and adventurous solo projects to date. While Saisse produced the lion’s share of the project in Los Angeles, he enlisted an All-Star cast of musicians, engineers, and singers from New York, London, Paris, and Japan, who sent him tracks from around the world. Musicians featured on the CD include Simon Phillips and Skooter Warner on drums, bass players Pino Palladino, David Finck, and Ron Jenkins, guitarist’s Jeff Golub, Marc Antoine, and Annas Allaf, horn players, Kirk Whalum (tenor saxophone), Jason Golley (trumpet and flugelhorn), Jeff Beal, (trumpet and flugelhorn), Rick Braun (trumpet), and Michael Davis (trombone and bass trombone), Lenny Castro on percussion, and singers Angelique Kidjo, Jasmine Roy and David Rice. Saisse used noted Japanese engineer Goh Hotoda, who has collaborated with him on his most recent projects to engineer the CD.

While At World’s Edge, did not attain the comparable level of commercial and radio success of several of Saisse’s previous solo endeavors, it reunited Saisse with long-time friends Simon Phillips and Pino Palladino, who have since joined forces to launch a new rock/jazz fusion trio ensemble, PSP (Phillips, Saisse, Palladino). PSP’s debut CD, PSP LIVE (recorded in Tokyo Japan, Feb/2009) was just released in Europe by C.A.R.E Music Group, Munich, Germany (10/14), which was followed by a highly successful European tour of 20 cities, (Oct 30 – Nov 27). PSP LIVE is also being released in Japan by And Forest Music, (2/10/10), followed by a 9-city PSP club tour that will start 2/18/10.

“I could not be happier with this record, and just getting it made exceeded my wildest imagination,” added Saisse. “Hopefully, this accolade earns it another life.”

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

2010 New Orleans Jazz Fest lineup announced

Van the Man and The Queen of Soul are headlining next year's New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

Joining Van Morrison and Aretha Franklin will be Pearl Jam, making its inaugural appearance at the fest, as well as Lionel Richie and actor Steve Martin, who plays banjo in his bluegrass outfit the Steep Canyon Rangers. Darius Rucker, former Hootie and the Blowfish front man-turned-country award-winning singer, is also slated to appear.

"It's just a way cool thing that Jazz Fest is so broad that it can embrace all these different things, all these different artists," the festival's producer, Quint Davis, said Monday.

Marking its 41st year, the festival is scheduled for the weekends of April 23-25 and April 29-May 2 and features hundreds of acts in genres ranging from pop, rock and gospel to R&B, jazz and zydeco.

Though dotted with major national acts, the festival is made up of more than 80 percent Louisiana artists such as The Neville Brothers, Irma Thomas, Pete Fountain, Dr. John, rapper Juvenile, Trombone Shorty and Buckwheat Zydeco.

Other first-time artists include My Morning Jacket, Anita Baker, Gipsy Kings, The Dead Weather, The Levon Helm Band, Drake and Johnny Lang.

Returning acts include the Allman Brothers Band, Widespread Panic, The Black Crowes and B.B. King.

"We have jazz in the name, but it's not just jazz music," Davis said.

Next year's festival will include a tribute to one of the genre's founders, jazz singer, songwriter and trumpeter Louis Prima, who was born in 1910 and "brought jazz and New Orleans flavor to the world," Davis said.

Prima reigns along with Louis Armstrong, Fats Domino and Mahalia Jackson, Davis said.

"He's so New Orleans," Davis said. "He was one of the first major voices in getting jazz and New Orleans to be dominant world powers in music. We have some very special things in the works to honor him."

There will be tributes to Prima every day with jazz singers Keely Smith and Louis Prima Jr. performing in his honor.

Davis said the festival was grateful to land Franklin — who was supposed to perform last year but dropped out when asked to participate in an event for President Barack Obama.

Rucker this year became only the second black performer to win a major individual country music award — he was named best new artist for 2009 — joining Charley Pride, who took entertainer of the year in 1971 and male vocalist in 1971-72.

"If there's nothing here that you like, then you just don't like nothing," Davis said.

Tickets for the festival, which is held at the Fair Grounds Race Course, go on sale Tuesday.

Besides music, the festival offers a host of food and craft booths, some that include the history and making of New Orleans pottery, jewelry, clothes and Mardi Gras.

Shell Oil Co. is this year's presenting sponsor. Other sponsors include Acura, Miller Lite, Pepsi and Sheraton New Orleans Hotel.

For more information:

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