Friday, October 29, 2010

Gregory Porter "Water" #jazz [Video]

With a voice that can caress or confront, embrace or exhort, Gregory Porter exhibits such an incredible degree of vocal mastery that no less a jazz luminary than Wynton Marsalis has gone on record to call him "a fantastic young singer," which makes the fact that Water (out now from Motema Music) is his recording debut even more impressive.

Watch the video "Illusion" from the CD 'Water' at JazzHQ Facebook

A debut release it may be, yet Water flows with a sense of timelessness that reflects the seasoned talents of the giants of blues, gospel and soul that have influenced Porter throughout his career. Some of the singers that Porter cites as influential are familiar - Nat King Cole, Joe Williams and Donny Hathaway - and others – such as the pastor of the church he attended as a child among them - may never realize their impact on his development as an artist. While the work of singers such as Hathaway or Cole obviously helped to shape Porter’s vocal styling, his own world view, as evidenced in his seven original compositions and his striking interpretation of classic songs such as "But Beautiful" and "Skylark," adds an emotional intensity that makes each of the CD's eleven tracks speak so eloquently.

For the recording, Porter tapped a powerful cadre of strong players, among them the iconic alto sax player James Spaulding (Max Roach, Freddie Hubbard, and Bobby Hutcherson, et al) who plays a featured role on two tracks: “Wisdom” and “Black Nile.” The CD was produced by saxophonist, pianist and composer Kamau Kenyatta, who Porter refers to as his "best friend."

In fact, it is Kenyatta who bears much of the responsibility for Porter's career trajectory, which can be traced back to Porter's early days singing in small jazz clubs in San Diego. He lived there while at San Diego State University which he attended on a football scholarship, as an outside linebacker, until a shoulder injury sidelined him permanently. Recognizing his talents, Kenyatta - along with saxophonist Daniel Jackson (Ray Charles, Buddy Rich, Art Farmer and more) - nurtured the burgeoning performer, and, as Porter says, "taught him what he needed to know."

Kenyatta invited Porter to visit him in the studio in Los Angeles, where he was producing the flutist Hubert Laws' Remembers the Unforgettable Nat King Cole. Certainly Kenyatta was aware of Porter's childhood infatuation with Cole's music, and certainly he could hear the echoes of Cole's mellow baritone in Porter's own voice. What he could not have predicted was that when Laws heard Porter singing along when he was tracking the Charlie Chaplin-penned "Smile," the flutist would be so impressed with the young singer that he would choose to include a 'bonus' track of Porter singing the song on the album.

Just as serendipitous was Laws' sister, Eloise's, presence that day in the studio. A highly respected singer and recording artist in her own right, Eloise was about to join the cast of a new musical theater work, "It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues." Although he'd only had minimal theatrical experience to that point (in the Doo Wop musical "Avenue X"), Porter eventually was cast in one of eight lead roles when the play opened in Colorado at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, and eventually followed it to Off-Broadway and then Broadway theater, where the NY Times, in its 1999 rave review, mentioned Porter among the show's "powerhouse line up of singer.” "It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues" went on to earn both Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations that year.

Although he now says, "I never felt that my career was going to be strictly in the theater," Porter's success on stage with "It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues" paved the way for another theatrical outing and pairing with Eloise Laws. In his semi-autobiographical "Nat King Cole and Me," he dramatically documented his childhood, which was marked by an absentee father and the joy and pain he heard when listening to his mother's Nat King Cole records. Apparently, one day, when his mother heard her young son singing along, she remarked that he sounded like Cole. This led to a rich imaginary life where the young Porter actually believed that the legendary crooner was indeed his dad, and that the love songs Cole sang were secretly being sung to him. Porter’s moving “Nat King Cole & Me” ran for two very successful months at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts and has since travelled to Houston, TX (without Porter's involvement.)

The intimacy of Porter’s "Nat King Cole and Me," revealed a courageous thespian, who bravely shared his life story with his audience, so it's hardly surprising that many of the songs on Water come also from an emotional place. The CD opens with the ruminative "Illusion," an exquisite duet between Porter and pianist Chip Crawford, which the singer says was inspired by the pain that will accompany every relationship at one time or another. The song ends with Porter exhaling a quiet sigh - whether it's one of resignation or acceptance depends, he says, on perspective. "Love makes us all crazy," he says. "Pretty," a soulful tribute to a woman from Porter's past, is an understated ensemble piece that is bolstered by the alto sax work of Yoske Sato.

"I love coffee," says Porter, "and 'Magic Cup' was written for a beautiful friend who works at my favorite coffee shop." Percolating with a smooth energy heightened by frenetic sax breaks courtesy of Sato, the song is as rich as a morning cup of French roast. Porter's effluent baritone does the Hoagie Carmichael/Johnny Mercer standard, "Skylark," more than justice, while his rendition of Wayne Shorter's "Black Nile" continues to emphasize the theme of water that runs throughout the CD and features veteran sax player James Spaulding.

Porter contributed the lyrics to "Wisdom," the melody of which was written by one of his mentors, Daniel Jackson. Spaulding's saxophone lends a haunting air to the song, which, Porter says in retrospect could very well be about post-Katrina New Orleans. Emphasizing his gospel roots with lyrics that echo the traditional biblical song "Wade in the Water," Porter metaphorically positions water as an impediment, and wisdom as the means to overcome it. Water's most overly political song is "1960 What?," inspired in part by Kamau Kenyatta's stories of life in Detroit and by the 1963 assassination of Martin Luther King, as well as by his own experiences growing up in Los Angeles.

"I've always loved ballads, and 'But Beautiful' is one of my favorites," says Porter of the standard, on which his vocals and Chip Crawford's piano share center stage. The mournful "Lonely One" paints a lyrical picture of a tragic love story, while the CD's title track reiterates the artist's use of water as metaphor for redemption, cleansing, history and survival. Water's coda is a raw yet soulful Mahalia Jackson-influenced a cappella version of the classic "Feeling Good."

Born in Los Angeles, raised in Bakersfield, and now living in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn, Gregory Porter has made the world his musical home. A frequent guest performer with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Porter also maintains a long-standing residency at Harlem's venerable St. Nick's Pub, and performs internationally. "I've been to Russia about 17 times," says Porter. "I now can make a mean borscht."

You can catch Gregory now in a featured role in Low Down Dirty Blues, a musical inspired by the jam sessions of Muddy Waters, Ma Rainey, Sophie Tucker, Howlin' Wolf and Pearl Bailey. The musical is currently running at the Northlight Theatre in Chicago and after July 17th will be transferred to the Florida Stage in Manalapan.

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Upcoming New Jazz Releases - November 2, 2010 #jazz

Al Di Meola - Original Album Classics ( )
Al DiMeola - Original Album Classics (Sony/Bmg )
Ben Di Tosti - Solo Jazz Piano Vol 1 (Amj Jap/Zoom )
Carmen Liana - Who I Am (BUNGALO )
Carmen Liana - Who Am I ( )
Caro Emerald - Deleted Scenes From The Cutting Room Floor (Phantom )
City Champs - Set-Up (Crosstalk )
City Champs - The Set-Up (Electraphonic Recordings )
Claude Williamson - Claude Rains (Amj )
Dave Brubeck - Original Album Classics ( )
Dave Brubeck - Original Album Class (Sbme/Masterworks )
Dave Koz - Hello Tomorrow (Concord )
Der Rote Bereich - 7 (Phantom )
Drew Davidsen - Around (Again) (Indies Japan/Zoom )
East New York Ensemble De Music - At The Helm (Folkways Records )
Frank Ortega - Smokin (Amj Jap/Zoom )
George Duke - Original Album Classic (Phantom )
George Duke - Original Album Classics ( )
Gil Evans - Miles Davis & Gil Evans: The Complete Columbia Studio Recordings (Sony Music )
Harry Beckett - Modern Sound Of Harry Beckett (On-U Sound )
Harry James - Performance ( )
Herbie Hancock - Maiden Voyage (Blue Note Records )
Horace Tapscott - Little Africa (Amj )
Jimmy Smith - Jazz Manifesto/A New Sound A New Star 1 & 2 (Delta (Uk) )
John Carter - Mosaic Select: John Carter And Bobby Bradford (Mosaic Select )
John Coltrane - Complete Live In Stuttgart 1963 ( )
John Mclaughlin - Promise ( )
Jordyn Jackson - Lilac Wine (Phantom ) - CD Single
Jowee Omicil - Roots & Grooves (BBJuiss Records)
Les Paul & Mary Ford - Very Best Of Les Paul & Mary Ford (Hallmark )
Madeline Bell - Madeline Bell ( )
Miles Davis - Complete Columbia Studio Recordings (Phantom )
Miles Davis - Complete Live At The Blue Coronet 1969 ( )
Norah Jones - Featuring Norah Jones (EMI )
Oscar Peterson - Plays The Best Of The Great American Songbooks (Delta (Uk) )
Paolo Conte - Nelson (Phantom )
Ramsey Lewis - Movie Album/Dancing In The Street (BGO - Beat Goes On )
Roberts Bros. - Twins (Fdi )
Russell Malone - Triple Play (Max Jazz )
Steve Gadd - Live At Voce (Var�se Sarabande (USA) )
Sun Ra - Paris Tapes (Traffic Entertainment Group )

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, October 26, 2010

"The Glory Of Love" : Jazz crooner Rob Keiter’s debut disc #jazz

Chronicling romantic love and the gamut of emotions it stirs, jazz singer Rob Keiter debuted today with the release of The Glory of Love on the San Diego-based Sketchin Records label. The dozen jazz standards and contemporary love songs that foster hope and healing were produced by Amber and Rob Whitlock, and feature Grammy-winner Randy Brecker playing trumpet or flugelhorn on four selections. With radio stations across the nation adding a trio of tracks from the album to their playlists - "This Nearly Was Mine," "Laughter In The Rain" and "What The World Needs Now” – music critics are praising the disc Keiter recorded that became a form of therapy while he recovered from the dissolution of a twenty-three-year marriage.

The Whitlock’s assembled accomplished musicians from both East and West to back Keiter, a talented scat singer who considers himself as a musician, not just a vocalist. Along with Rob Whitlock on piano, the core group consisted of acoustic bassist Trey Henry, drummer Cliff Almond and guitarist Pat Kelley. In addition to Brecker’s warmth, grace and elegance, horns were provided by Wayne Bergeron (trumpet and flugelhorn), Andy Martin (trombone) and John Rekevics (saxes and flute). A gifted vocalist in her own right, Amber Whitlock dueted with Keiter on two songs (“The Glory of Love” and “You Are My Heaven”).

While rehearsing and recording the songs that comprise The Glory of Love, Keiter worked through his grief and discovered new hope. He still believes in love, which is why he decided to record only love songs. United, the songs on the record form a musical meditation upon what Keiter calls “the circle of love” - the desire for love, first inklings of love, falling in love, love’s devotion, love’s failure, hope for new love and the celebration of love. Keiter, who found his true voice after being overcome by emotion while recording the album opener, “This Nearly Was Mine,” which ended up setting the tone for the entire CD, is already looking forward to recording his second collection of love songs.

The Glory of Love is available now through Keiter’s website (, Amazon and iTunes. Below are excerpts from some of the early album reviews.

JazzTimes: “Keiter, whose dusky voice has a distinct Kenny Rankin quality, opens with the powerful Rodgers and Hammerstein heartbreaker ‘This Nearly Was Mine,’ from South Pacific. The mood then turns a shade brighter for the first of two Stevie Wonder selections, a shimmering ‘Looking for Another Pure Love.’ (A soaringly joyful rendering of Wonder’s ‘You Are My Heaven’ closes the album).

“Bacharach and David’s wistful ‘Alfie,’ their wishful ‘What the World Needs Now,’ Alan and Marilyn Bergman and Michel Legrand’s deeply romantic ‘What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?,’ the Harold Arlen classic ‘Get Happy’ and the title track (featuring Amber as Keiter’s estimable vocal partner) are all navigated with expert skill. Lennon and McCartney’s rarely covered ‘For No One’ is a particular highlight, handled with a delicately urgent ache that ideally captures the lyric’s pensive melancholy.

“The biggest surprise is, however, how masterfully Keiter reinvents Neil Sedaka’s rather sappy ‘Laughter In the Rain.’ What begins as a straight-ahead balladic reading opens up into a rapidly accelerating swinger, complete with an impressively accomplished scat chorus, then settles into an easy mid-tempo. The sole original, co-written by the Whitlocks, is entitled ‘Grateful For a Pleasant Trip,’ and delightfully examines the emotional voyage from heartache to romantic regeneration. Again Keiter contributes a notable scat solo.

“At age 52, Keiter is a latecomer to the jazz vocalist fold. The Glory of Love does, however, suggest a potentially rosy future if he decides to carry on. As is evident from start to finish, he was extremely fortunate to be surrounded by such excellent players. His reconnection with the Whitlock’s was equally providential. Clearly, they are gifted producers with acute jazz instincts. Here’s hoping that they and Keiter soon reunite in the studio.”

Smooth Jazz Daily: “’Looking For Another Pure Love’ was composed by Stevie Wonder…Rob performs the song with great nonchalance. Rob Whitlock's brilliant piano play transfers the song into the jazz realm…‘Laughter in the Rain’ also re-natured in the jazz spirit. Rob showcases his skills as a scat singer that he developed during his time at the University of Texas . Michel Legand's masterpiece ‘What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life’ was composed for the movie The Happy Ending…Rob Keiter's rendition excels with finest instrumentation. ‘Get Happy’ is a…jazz classic destined for Rob's scat escapade…Burt Bacharach's ‘What The World Needs Now’ finds a more traditional treat by Keiter. Remarkable Brecker trumpet solo. ‘You Are My Heaven’ is another Stevie Wonder rendition with an astounding contemporary jazz arrangement. A worthy completion of this fine collection of love songs.”

Jazz Weekly: “Keiter’s got a rich tenor/baritone sound to his voice - nice and relaxed, never pushing the issue…Look out for this guy.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - October 25, 2010 #jazz

LW - TW - Artist - Album - (Label)
5 - 1 - Nils - "What The Funk?" - (Baja/TSR)
2 - 2 - Kenny G - "Heart & Soul" - (Concord)
11 - 3 - Brian Culbertson - "XII" - (GRP/Verve)
1 - 4 - Jazzmasters - "Jazzmasters 6" - (Trippin 'n Rhythm)
4 - 5 - Jackiem Joyner - "Jackiem Joyner" - (Artistry/Mack Ave)
13 - 6 - Brian Bromberg - "It Is What It Is" - (Artistry/Mack Avenue)
10 - 7 - Dave Koz - "Hello Tomorrow" - (Concord)
6 - 8 - Tim Bowman - "The Tim Bowman Collection" - (Trippin "N" Rhythm)
7 - 9 - Brian Simpson - "South Beach" - "Shanachie"
3 - 10 - Norman Brown - "Send My Love" (Peak/Concord)
9 - 11 - Mindi Abair - "In Hi-Fi Stereo" - (Heads Up)
8 - 12 - Steve Oliver - "Global Kiss" - (SOM)
12 - 13 - Jeff Lorber Fusion - "Now Is The Time" - (Heads Up)
16 - 14 - Paul Brown - "Love You Found Me" - (Shanachie)
15 - 15 - Oli Silk - "All We Need" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
14 - 16 - Euge Groove - "Sunday Morning" - (Shanachie)
17 - 17 - George Duke - "Deja Vu" (Heads Up)
19 - 18 - Jonathan Fritzen - "Diamonds" (Nordic Night)
21 - 19 - Tom Grant - "Delicioso" (Nu-Wrinkle)
25 - 20 - Chris Standring - "Blue Bolero" (Ultimate Vibe)

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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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Wayman Tisdale – The Fonk Record

After a stellar career that produced eight top-selling jazz CDs and one gospel project, prepare yourself for a different side of Wayman Tisdale—one that was 12 years in the making!

It’s The Fonk Record featuring 11 original songs, Tisdale’s own funky vocals and a crew of down-and-dirty musicians, The Fonk Record also boasts three guest stars with extensive funk résumés—George Clinton, George Duke and Ali Woodson.

To those who knew him best, it seemed only natural that Tisdale would craft a funk project. “He always wanted to make funk music,” says Derek (DOA) Allen, who produced The Fonk Record and was one of Tisdale’s closest friends. “People are going to see a whole ‘nother side of Wayman on this record—he was on a mission to play as hard and funky as he could.”

Tisdale confided in Allen that a funk project was something he always wanted to do. At first it was a playful joke with a few demos here and there. Inspired by great funk artists like Bootsy Collins and Robert Wilson of the Gap Band, Tisdale created his own funky moniker: Tiz and named his band The Fonkie Planetarians. His power source came from Stinky the Sock! Those who were lucky enough to catch Tisdale in concert got a glimpse of his alter ego when he’d perform 20 to 30-minute funk-filled interludes during his jazz shows. “If you saw it, you knew it was the most explosive part of his show,” Allen says. “That’s when the party got started!”

But Tisdale was way too busy with his successful jazz career to focus attention on his fonk. Between hosting jazz cruises, headlining tours, and being an active and loving husband and father, there wasn’t much time. One thing changed that: a diagnosis of cancer in 2007. Tisdale could not ignore his alter ego any longer. “He spent the last two years of his life finishing The Fonk Record,” says Allen. “Only he knew, when no one else did, that God was going to call him home. While he was in the hospital getting chemotherapy, he used funk music as therapy. I would send him files to listen to and it was part of the healing process. When he died, he was at peace.”

The Fonk Record cover features a colorful illustration of Tisdale sporting an Afro and green shades. “It was all part of the concept,” Allen says. “Wayman wanted to put on an Afro wig and a gold tooth, strap on his funky bass and walk down the streets of L.A. to meet record company executives.” Inside the CD, Tisdale’s transformation from a jazz musician to a funk master is portrayed comic-book style. The fonk begins with “The Introduction,” in which Tisdale welcomes listeners to “WTIZ, where it’s not simulated, it’s authenticated.” He also explains a little about the CD and what listeners can expect. The intro leads to the first big collaboration, “Let’s Ride,” featuring George Duke, who wields his magic dukey stick on some hard-charging synthesizer solos as Tisdale channels his best Larry Blackmon, while also displaying his own vocal chops. Next is “This Fonk Is 4U” with the unmistakable vocals of George Clinton. The late Ali Woodson of the Temptations joins Tisdale on the slow-jam sweetness and strings of “Been Here Before.” “Sunshine” is another slow-jam gem—this time with wailing rock guitars. “Neck Bones” and “If U Really Want To Know (I Like It Fonk-Kaa)” show that Tisdale certainly has put his own stamp on the funk legacy.

The Fonk Record was a labor of love for Tisdale, as well as for Allen. It was back in the late 80s that Allen met Tisdale one night at Arco Arena in Sacramento. Allen was playing bass for Janet Jackson, and Tisdale—at that time a star power forward for the NBA’s Sacramento Kings—was watching from the sidelines. “He said he was a bass player too and that we should hook up,” says Allen, who would go on to appear on several of Tisdale’s recordings, including 2008’s Rebound, the final jazz release of Tisdale’s career. “I watched him go from being a very good bass player to becoming a great bass player.”

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Cassandra Wilson - "Silver Pony" Release On Blue Note, November 9th. #jazz

Featuring Special Guests, Ravi Coltrane & John Legend

Silver Pony, the stunning new album from multiple Grammy Award-winning jazz-pop chanteuse Cassandra Wilson, will be released by EMI’s Blue Note Records on November 9. Wilson, whose remarkable, husky-tinged vibrato has created a trademark sound for her as an artist, will be touring worldwide in support of the release which features special guests saxophonist Ravi Coltrane (“Silver Moon”) and R&B singer-songwriter John Legend (“Watch The Sunrise”).

A unique hybrid live/studio album, Silver Pony moves seamlessly between live recordings from a European tour and studio recordings laid down at New Orleans’ Piety Street Studios. The album features a mix of jazz/pop classics as well as songs newly-written by Cassandra and her band.

Silver Pony draws its title from an experience which Cassandra had as a child and which left an indelible mark in her memory bank, and thus on her career itself. “A man came around my neighborhood in Jackson, Mississippi, with a pony and camera,” she recalls. “You could pay to get your picture taken.” Her brothers declined, but Cassandra was eager. Her mother hesitated-“there were certain things young ladies just didn't do,” Wilson adds. But Cassandra seized the moment, got the picture. “I'm so happy she let me ride the pony,” she says now. “I was fearless, and I guess she wanted to encourage that in me.” That priceless photo is now featured on the cover of “Silver Pony,” and such fearlessness now fuels Wilson's work. “I prepare for each recording but you can never truly prepare,” Wilson says. “Because you don't really know what's coming. You just place yourself in the circumstances that will allow the project to reveal itself.”

Silver Pony was produced by Cassandra Wilson and John Fischbach (owner of Piety Street Recording Studios) and features Cassandra on vocals and synthesizer, Marvin Sewell on electric guitar, Jonathan Batiste on piano, Reginald Veal on electric bass, Herlin Riley on drums, and Lekan Babalola on percussion. Ravi Coltrane adds saxophone on “Silver Moon” and “Watch The Sunrise” features both vocals and piano by John Legend.

A complete track listing is as follows:

1. Lover Come Back To Me 6:51 (Hammerstein/Romberg)
2. St. James Infirmary 7:12 (Traditional)
3. A Night in Seville 3:00 (Wilson/Sewell/Veal/Riley/Batiste/Babalola)
4. Silver Moon 6:41 (Wilson/Sewell/Veal/Riley/Batiste/Babalola)
5. Pony Blues 9:32 (Patton)
6. If It’s Magic 4:34 (Wonder)
7. Forty Days and Forty Nights 4:58 (Roth)
8. Silver Pony 0:36 (Wilson/Sewell/Veal/Riley/Batiste/Babalola)
9. A Day in the Life of a Fool 7:35 (Bonfa/Sigman)
10. Blackbird 6:43 (Lennon/McCartney)
11. Sunrise 3:32 (Laird/Jones/Stephens)

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Arturo Sandoval Plays Miami Symphony Orchestra's Season Opening Concert #jazz

In 1977, legendary musician Dizzy Gillepsie visited Cuba in search of the nation's Jazz scene, rumored to be one of the world's best, but unknown to the general American public because of the tenuous relations between the two countries. He needed someone to take him to the smoky clubs and side streets where the true beating heart of soul-stirring Afro-Cuban rhythms could be heard. So when a young trumpeter offered to lead the tour, he readily accepted. At that point he had no idea that he was in the presence of his future protégé. But that realization would come just a while later, when Arturo Sandoval hit the stage and bust out with one of his extraordinary trumpet grooves.

The winner of four Grammys, Sandoval has performed with Justin Timberlake and Alicia Keys, and was the subject of an HBO film based on his life. He defected from Cuba in 1990 while on concert in Spain. Cuba's loss is the Miami Symphony Orchestra's Festival Miami and Season Opening Concert's gain on Sunday.

"Arturo Sandoval is fluent in at least four musical languages," says Miami Symphony Orchestra's director, composer, and conductor Eduardo Marturet. "He can burn through an Afro-Cuban groove, tear up a bebop tune, soar over a Mozart concerto and soothe you with a luscious ballad--with equal power and grace."

The Latin Jazz legend will headline the month-long music festival's special concert for the world-premiere of a piece titled Rivera's Concierto de Miami for Trumpet and Orchestra. The symphony will also perform Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 in A major, and Ravel's Bolero.

The concert is part of Daniel Pearl World Music Day--a day of "harmony for humanity" started by a conductor who was friends with Daniel Pearl, a reporter murdered by kidnappers in Pakistan. The conductor, George Pehlivanian, chose to go on with his scheduled concert the next day despite his grief and later declared, "As the orchestra played Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5, I finally understood the triumph of hope over despair."

The Miami Symphony Orchestra's Festival Miami and Season Opening Concert takes place this Sunday at 8 p.m. at Knight Concert Hall at the Adrienne Arsht Center (1300 Biscayne Blvd., Downtown.) Tickets cost $20 to $150. Call 305-275-5666 or visit

By Gabriela Garcia - Miami NewTimes

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Upcoming New Jazz Releases - Tuesday, October 26, 2010 #jazz

Art Blakey - Night In Tunisia (Blue Note Records )
Barnett / Capital City Symp / Ellington / Gau - Chaise Lounge: Symphony Lounge ( )
Benjamin Schaefer - Beneath The Surface (Metropolitan Groove Merchants )
Billie Holiday - Essential Billie Holiday ( )
Bob Baldwin - Never Can Say Goodbye:Tribute To Mich (Yamaha Japan/Zoom )
Bruford Levin Upper Extremities - Upper Extremities (SUMMERFOLD )
Bud Powell - Strictly Powell (RCA Victor )
Carl Ludwig Hubsch - Longrun Development Of The Universe ( )
Carl Oesterhelt - Divertimento Fur Tenorsaxophon Und Kleines Ensemble (Alien Transistor )
Charles Mingus - Black Saint And The Sinner Lady (Analogue Productions )
Charlie Haden - Sophisticated Ladies (Emarcy )
Dan Tepfer - Five Pedals Deep (Sunny Side )
Diana Krall - Tba (Universal )
Dinner Jazz - Dinner Jazz (Simply )
Don Pullen - Montreux Concert (Tartare )
Don Pullen - Montreaux Concert ( )
Dwarr - Animals (Drag City )
East New York Ensemble De Music - At The Helm (Folkways Records )
Eddie Harris & Les Mccann - Swiss Movement (Atlantic )
Ganelin Trio Priority - Visions: Live At The Vision Festival 12 New York ( )
Gerry Woo - Latin Percussion With Soul ( )
Hank Jones - Solo 1976:Tribute To Duke Ellington (Indies Japan/Zoom )
Hank Jones - Trio 1979 (Indies Japan/Zoom )
Hart Ramsey - Charge It To My Heart (N-Coded )
Helge Albin - Thetris ( )
Henry Threadgill - This Brings Us To, Vol. II (PI Recordings )
Henry Threadgill / Zooid - This Brings Us To, Vol. 2 (PI )
Herb Alpert & Tijuana Brass - Whipped Cream & Other Delights (Phantom )
Hubert Nuss - Book Of Colours ( )
James Porkchop Morton - Don't You Worry About That (Phantom )
Jazzy Vibes-Soulful Jazz Licks From The 70S - Jazzy Vibes-Soulful Jazz Licks From The 70S (Backbeats )
Johannes Enders / Carl Oesterhelt - Divertimento Fur Tenorsaxophon Und Kleines Ensembl (Phantom )
Kermit Ruffins - Happy Talk (Basin Street )
Lena Horne - 22 Hits 1936-1946 (United States of Distribution )
Lionel Hampton - Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival 1997 (Kultur Video ) - DVD-Video
Louis Armstrong - When You Smile (Universal Japan/Zoom )
Lucian Ban - Enesco Re Imagined (Sunny Side )
Mars Lasar - At The End Of The Day (CreateSpace )
Mccoy Tyner - Nights Of Ballads And Blues (Analogue Productions )
Michel Camilo - On The Other Hand (Epic )
Miles Davis - Perfect Way: The Anthology -The Warner Bros. Years (Phantom )
Misinterprotato - Gentle War (Metropolitan Groove Merchants )
Mose Allison - Collection ( )
Nina Simone - Black Gold ( )
Nina Simone - Emergency Ward (JDC )
Oregon - In Stride (Cam Jazz Records/Ada )
Pat Moran - This Is Pat Moran (Boundee )
Patrick Moraz - Resonance (United States Of Distribution LTD. )
Robert De Boron - Tba (Media Factory )
Roger Bell & His Pagan Pipers - 1968-1974 (Metropolitan Groove Merchants )
Sam Yahel - Jazz Side Of The Moon (Chesky )
Solus 3 - Sky Above The Roof (Phantom )
Sonny Rollins - Bridge (Pid )
Sonny Rollins - What's New (Pure Pleasure )
Sound Of Acid Jazz - Sound Of Acid Jazz (Red/Membran )
Sound Of Jazz FM 2010 - Sound Of Jazz FM 2010 (Phantom )
Stan Kenton - Back To Balboa (Capitol Jazz )
Three Sounds - Introducing The 3 Sounds (Analogue Prod. )
Tito Puente - Top Percussion ( )
Tony Levin - Upper Extremities (United States of Distribution )
Trio Elf - Elfland (Metropolitan Groove Merchants )
Walter Beasley - Backatcha (Shanachie )
Wayman Tisdale - Fonk Record (Rendezvous Ent. )
What`S Love? - Shouwa Zankyou Den (Media Factory )
Wide Hive Players - Players II Guitar (Wide Hive )

Duke Jordan - Flight To Jordan (EMI )
Grant Green - Grantstand (Blue Note)
Jimmy Smith - Midnight Special (Blue Note Records (USA) )
Michel Camilo - Rendezvous (Sbme Special MKTS. )
Michel Camilo - One More Once (Sbme Special MKTS. )
Nina Simone - Silk & Soul (RCA Legacy)

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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Monday, October 18, 2010

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - October 18, 2010 #jazz

LW - TW - Artist - Album - (Label)
2 - 1 - Jazzmasters - "Jazzmasters 6" - (Trippin 'n Rhythm)
4 - 2 - Kenny G - "Heart & Soul" - (Concord)
1 - 3 - Norman Brown - "Send My Love" (Peak/Concord)
3 - 4 - Jackiem Joyner - "Jackiem Joyner" - (Artistry/Mack Ave)
9 - 5 - Nils - "What The Funk?" - (Baja/TSR)
6 - 6 - Tim Bowman - "The Tim Bowman Collection" - (Trippin "N" Rhythm)
5 - 7 - Brian Simpson - "South Beach" - "Shanachie"
7 - 8 - Steve Oliver - "Global Kiss" - (SOM)
8 - 9 - Mindi Abair - "In Hi-Fi Stereo" - (Heads Up)
10 - 10 - Dave Koz - "Hello Tomorrow" - (Concord)
11 - 11 - Brian Culbertson - "XII" - (GRP/Verve)
13 - 12 - Jeff Lorber Fusion - "Now Is The Time" - (Heads Up)
29 - 13 - Brian Bromberg - "It Is What It Is" - (Artistry/Mack Avenue)
14 - 14 - Euge Groove - "Sunday Morning" - (Shanachie)
15 - 15 - Oli Silk - "All We Need" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
16 - 16 - Paul Brown - "Love You Found Me" - (Shanachie)
20 - 17 - George Duke - "Deja Vu" (Heads Up)
12 - 18 - Gerald Albright - "Pushing The Envelope" (Heads Up)
19 - 19 - Jonathan Fritzen - "Diamonds" (Nordic Night)
17 - 20 - Eric Darius - "On A Mission" (Shanachie)

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Fourplay - "Let's Touch The Sky" Release On Heads Up, 10/25/10 #jazz

Sometimes you have to shake things up, push a little farther, reach a little higher – even when you’re a contemporary jazz foursome that’s been operating at the top of its collective game for two decades.

After twenty years and a dozen albums, in an industry that has undergone sweeping transformations in the past decade, Fourplay knows that the only thing that’s certain, in music or any other business, is change. The latest proof of that axiom is the new face in their lineup – that of guitarist Chuck Loeb, who makes his compelling debut with the quartet on Let’s Touch The Sky, the band’s new recording on Heads Up International, a division of Concord Music Group.

Loeb completes the four-man crew that also includes the band’s founding members: keyboardist Bob James, bassist/vocalist Nathan East and drummer/percussionist Harvey Mason. Let’s Touch The Sky also includes stirring performances by guest vocalists Anita Baker and Ruben Studdard.

The infusion of new blood into the Fourplay lineup creates an opportunity to bring an even newer level of energy and inspiration into a band that is already known for taking chances and pushing the limits of contemporary jazz. “All four of us have been in this business long enough to know that there’s always pressure to compromise, and we don’t want to do that,” says James. “We don’t want to end up in the middle of the pack. We always aim to be leaders, and take the music to another level and raise the standards higher. I think the music on this new record, thanks in large part to Chuck’s early contributions – and to the ongoing team spirit of the band as a whole – is very much a reflection of that philosophy.”

Loeb, who openly admits to being a fan of Fourplay since their earliest recordings, sees his new membership status as the opportunity of a lifetime. “I want to be a part of the legacy they’ve built, going all the way back to their first recording and right up to their most recent one,” he says. “There’s been an incredible level of quality in the musicianship, the writing, the whole sonic palette that they’re famous for. I’m excited to be a part of the next step in the evolution of all that.”

Guest vocalists Ruben Studdard and Anita Baker appear on the soulful “Love TKO” and the dreamlike “You’re My Thrill,” respectively. Studdard was recruited by East, after the two had appeared together in a live performance in Washington, DC. “They were filming a television special,” East recalls. “There was a break to reload the cameras, and I just started playing the bass line of ‘Love TKO.’ Ruben stepped up to the microphone to sing, and everyone in the room just stopped. I knew right then that we needed to have him sing this song on a Fourplay record, and when we asked him, he was very much up for it. The whole thing just came together so easily.”

Mason, who has held down the groove for Fourplay since the very beginning, says time has done nothing to dull the edge. The band continues to explore new ways to reach for the next level of musicianship and creativity. “Let’s Touch The Sky is the perfect title for where we are right now,” he says. “In some ways, bringing someone new into the fold has made us a new band. It opens up new opportunities and new potential, and we want to see how high we can take it.”

1. Let's Touch The Sky 5:22
2. 3rd Degree 5:07
3. More Than A Dream 5:03
4. Pineapple Getaway 5:52
5. I'll Still Be Lovin' You 5:18
6. Gentle Giant (for Hank) 5:59
7. A Night In Rio 5:56
8. Love TKO 4:30
9. Above and Beyond 6:30
10. Golden Faders 7:08
11. You're My Thrill 5:48

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

"The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" Take 6 - Heads Up International #jazz AAJ Review

A recording act that's been around a while eventually presents a holiday album. Take 6, the a cappella jazz group whose roots lie on the campus of Oakwood College in Huntsville, Ala., brings The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

Claude V. McKnight III formed a group known as Gentlemen's Estate Quartet, which was later joined by Mark Kibble. After a few lineup and name changes, the group became Take 6 in 1987. The group has earned several Grammy awards and has collaborated with a number of other artists, including the Yellowjackets, Stevie Wonder and Don Henley.

“It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” has a delightful, swinging groove. Using a combination of finger snaps and wordless vocals, the group sounds like a band more than an a cappella ensemble. The vocal harmony is superb.

McKnight and Chea run point on “You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” injecting a conversational dialogue to introduce the piece. Chea's bass lead does honor to the original recording by Thurl Ravenscroft, while Chea rolls his R's with emphasis. The background vocals responds to the lead, adding a humorous element, particularly on the “stink, stank, stunk” phrase.

The finger-snapping “The Sugarplum Dance” is a clever take on the Tchaikovsky classic, the wordless chant retaining the song's mystique. Although the voices engage mostly in doo-wop style, there are phrases where one member takes on the role of a muted trumpet.

Take 6 keeps the melodies simple, so that these Christmas favorites are easily recognizable and revered. But the group also puts its personal stamp on each song. For those wanting something other than typical Christmas album fare, “Mr. Grinch” and “I Saw Three Ships” help set this collection apart from others.

Track Listing: It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year; White Christmas; Grinch Introduction / The Grinch / You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch; Sleigh Ride; I'll Be Home for Christmas; It Came Upon a Midnight Clear; The Sugarplum Dance (Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy); I Saw Three Ships; Jingle Bells; Christmas Time Is Here.

Personnel: Claude V. McKnight III: vocals; Mark Kibble: vocals; Joel Kibble: vocals; David Thomas: vocals; Cedric Dent: vocals; Alvin Chea: vocals; Shelea Frazier: piano (10), vocal (10).

By Woodrow Wilkins -

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Jazz legend Brubeck undergoes pacemaker surgery - #jazz

Pianist, 89, is expected to resume touring in November
A spokesman for Dave Brubeck says the jazz pianist is recovering after surgery at a Connecticut hospital to install a pacemaker.

Russell Gloyd, Brubeck's producer and conductor, says Brubeck's doctors expect him to be ready to resume his concert touring schedule in November.

A spokesman for Brubeck's alma mater, University of the Pacific, told The Hour newspaper of Norwalk that the 89-year-old Brubeck had the pacemaker surgery Monday after experiencing fatigue and dizziness at his home in Wilton, Conn.

Bridgeport Hospital spokesman John Cappiello said Brubeck was in fair condition early Thursday, but that medical privacy laws prevented him from disclosing more information.

Brubeck's next concert is scheduled for Nov. 19 in Worcester, Mass.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Upcoming New Jazz Releases - October 19, 2010 #jazz

Adrienne Hindmarsh - Jazz Moods (Phantom )
Aimua Eghobamien - Poured Gently (Quaesitor Music)
All Stars With The Singers - All Stars With The Singers (Sounds Of Yesteryear )
Anthony Wilson - Jack Of Hearts (Groove Note )
Art Blakey - Live In Zurich 1958 ( )
Atzmon / Stephen / Wyatt - For The Ghosts Within (Phantom )
Barry Harris / Sonny Stitt - Complete Late Quartets ( )
Bedford / Smith / Wilkins - Constellation Jazz-Four Stars On A Brilliant Night (Progressive )
Benny Goodman - Afrs Benny Goodman Show, Vol. 2 (Sounds of Yester Year )
Benny Goodman - Complete Benny In Brussels ( )
Benny Goodman & His Orchestra - Goodman,Benny & His Orchestra Vol. 2-Afrs Benny Goodman Show (Sounds Of Yesteryear )
Blurt - Cut It ( )
Bob Greene - All I Ask Is Love (GHB )
Bob Greene & Bobby Gordon - All I Ask Is Love (GHB )
Cary Ginell - Hot Jazz For Sale: Hollywood's Jazz Man Record Sho (Origin Jazz )
Chad Mccullough - Sky Cries (Origin )
Chad Mccullough & Michal Vanoucek - Sky Cries (Origin )
Chad Smith - More Meat (Bungalo )
Chad Smith's Bombast - More Meat (Ark 21/Bungalow )
Chambers / Garland / Taylor - Complete Studio Recordings ( )
Charles Loren Hayes - Just Us (S.D.E.G. Records/Burnside )
Charles Lorenzo Hayes - Just Us ( )
Chet Baker - 3CD Best Of (Phantom )
Chet Baker - My Foolish Heart (Appaloosa/Burnside )
Chet Baker - Misty (Appaloosa/Burnside )
Chet Baker - Sesjun Radio Show (Phantom )
Chet Baker (Trumpet / Com / Vocals - 3CD Best Of (EMI Music Distribution )
Chris Pacific Players Tyle - Tribute To Pee Wee Russell (Jazzology )
Chris Tyle's - Tribute To Pee Wee Russell (Jazzology )
Clifford Brown / Max Roach / Sonny Rollins - Three Giants ( )
Dan Baraszu / Planet Zu - In The Light Of Day ( )
Dan Block - From His World To Mine (Miles High Production )
Danielle Freeman - Dorian
Derek Smith - Constellation Jazz: Four Stars On A Brilliant Night At "Struggles" Jazz Club (Progressive )
Don Moye - For Bobo (Aeco )
Don Pullen - Plays Monk (Why Not )
Donald Smith - Luv (Why Not )
Duke Ellington - Best Of (Phantom )
El Dorado Jazz Band - Live At Mr. Fatfingers Costa Mesa Ca 1964 (GHB )
El Dorado Jazz Band - Live At Mr. Fatfingers Costa Mesa, Ca 1964 (GHB )
Ella Fitzgerald - Newport Jazz Festival: Live At Carnegie Hall (Pure Pleasure )
Ella Fitzgerald - My Man (Phantom )
Esquerita - Esquerita: Definitive Edition ( )
Eugene Maslov - Not So Standard ( )
Eva Taylor - Legendary: Live At The Pawnshop (Opus 3 ) - SACD
Fabrice Alleman - Braining Storm (Fuga Libera )
Freddie Hubbard - Artistry Of Freddie Hubbard (Verve )
Gaucho - Pearl (Porto Franco )
Gaucho Featuring Tamar Korn - Pearl (Porto Franco )
Georg Black Diamond Jazz Band Knoblauch - I'm Going Away To Wear You Off My Mind (Merry Makers Record Co. )
George Knoblauch's - I'm Going Away To Wear You Off My Mind (Merrymakers )
George Knoblauch's - Im Going Away To Wear You Off My Mind (Merrymakers )
Gerry Mulligan - Konitz Meets Mulligan (Pure Pleasure )
Greg Ruby - Look Both Ways ( )
Greg Ruby Quartet - Look Both Ways (Greg Ruby Music )
Herbie Hancock - Maiden Voyage (Blue Note Records )
Holy Mackerel - Holy Mackerel (Phantom )
Jazz At Lincoln Cent - Vitoria Suite (Universal Music Group )
Jazzy Bar - Jazzy Bar (Phantom )
Jimmy Rowles - Chss Players (Choice )
John Burnett - Down For Double (Delmark )
John Burnett Swing Orchestra - Down For Double (Delmark )
John Coltrane - Ultimate (Phantom )
Johnny Wiggs - 'Congo Square' (GHB )
Johnny Wiggs - Congo Square (GHB )
Kahil El'Zabar - Ancestors Are Amongst Us ( )
Kahil El'Zabar's Ritual Trio - Ancestors Are Amongst Us (Katalyst Entertainment )
Keiko Lee - Smooth (Sony )
Ken Navarro - 2-CD Deluxe Collection (Phantom )
Kenny Drew / Johnny Griffin / Art Taylor - Live In Cologne 1973 ( )
Ladies Du Jazz - Ladies Du Jazz (Phantom )
Lee Konitz & Gerry Mulligan - Konitz Meets Mulligan (Pure Pleasure )
Les Standards Du Jazz - Les Standards Du Jazz (Phantom )
Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra - Vitoria Suite (Decca )
Lou Donaldson - Sunny Side Up (CLASSIC )
Max Kaminsky - Classic Jazz Hot Horn (Vintage Music Prod. )
Michel Petrucciani - Estate (Appaloosa )
Miles Davis - Early Years 1 ( )
Miles Davis - Ultimate (Phantom )
Miles Davis - Early Years, Vol. 1: 1945-1947 (Floating World )
Mu - First Album (Appaloosa )
Mulatu Astatke - Timeless: Mulatu (Mochilla Films )
Neil Andersson & Peter Pendras - As The Crow Flies (Modern Hot )
Nina Simone - 3CD Best Of (Phantom )
Pat Martino - Footprints / Exit ( )
Patricia Barber - Nightclub (Premonition )
Patricia Barber - Night Club (Premonition )
Peter Pendras - As The Crow Flies (Modern Hot )
Ramsey Lewis - Movie Album/Dancing In The Street (BGO - Beat Goes On )
Sal Mosca - There Will Never Be Another You (Choice )
Scott Amendola - Lift (Sazi Records )
Skyliners - Since I Don't Have You (Ace )
Tammy Scheffer - Wake Up, Fall Asleep (Inner Circle Music)
Ted Shafer - Dixieland Jazz On The Fast Track (Merrymakers )
Ted Shafer - Jazz Of The Roaring Twenties (Merrymakers )
Ted Shafer - Dixieland Jazz: On The Fast Track (Merrymakers )
Ted Shafer - Dixieland Jazz: Takes Off (Merrymakers )
Ted Shafer & Jelly Roll Jazz Band - Dixieland Jazz On The Fast Track (Merry Makers Record Co. )
Ted Shafer & Jelly Roll Jazz Band - Dixieland Jazz (Merry Makers Record Co. )
Ted Shafer & Jelly Roll Jazz Band - Jazz Of The Roaring Twenties (Merry Makers Record Co. )
Tex Beneke - Here's To The Ladies (Who Sang With The Band) (Sounds of Yester Year )
Tex Beneke & His Orchestra - Here's To The Ladies Who Sang With The Band (Sounds Of Yesteryear )
Thomas Jefferson - With The New Orleans Creole Jazz Band & Monk Hazel (GHB )
Thomas Jefferson - With The New Orleans Creole Jazz Band And Monk Hazel's Band (GHB )
Tommy Flanagan - Complete Overseas Session ( )
Trio Matamoros - 1928-1939 (Harlequin )
True Audiophile-Best Of Groove Note - True Audiophile-Best Of Groove Note Vol. 3-True Audiophile: The Best Of Groove Note (Groove Note ) - SACD
Wil Swindler - Universe B (OA2 )
Wil Swindler Elevenet - Universe B (OA2 )
Xavier Cugat - 1939-1945 (Harlequin )
Yusef Lateef - Cry Tender / Lost In Sound ( )

Duke Ellington - Such Sweet Thunder (Pid )
Freddie Hubbard - Hub-Tones (Blue Note)
Michel Camilo - Michel Camilo (Sbme Special MKTS. )
Michel Camilo - On Fire (Sbme Special MKTS. )
Miles Davis - Tutu (Warner Music )
Ornette Coleman - Shape of Jazz to Come (Atlantic)
Patricia Barber - Cafe Blue (Koch)

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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