Tuesday, September 25, 2012

1619 Broadway ‒ The Brill Building Project - Kurt Elling - In stores today from Concord #jazz

With his new album, Kurt Elling - the outstanding male vocalist in jazz today - celebrates a legendary legacy outside the jazz world. 1619 Broadway - The Brill Building Project honors a locale that the London Telegraph called "the most important generator of popular songs in the Western world." Even for the ceaselessly inventive Grammy-winning singer-lyricist, it's a hugely unexpected step, and one guaranteed to further solidify his reputation for bold innovation and superb craftsmanship.

"Having done so many projects about my love for Chicago," Elling says, "I wanted to make something that spoke of my love for New York." The two cities define his career. Elling developed his craft in Chicago, and recorded several of his early albums there - including his debut, Close Your Eyes, which catapulted him onto the national stage and earned the first of his many Grammy nominations. (All told, every one of Elling's nine albums has been nominated for at least one jazz Grammy - a streak unequalled in Grammy history.)
But in fact, Elling and his family have lived in Manhattan since 2008, and 1619 Broadway - The Brill Building Project is his response to that experience.

"I didn't want to cover any of the New York songwriters jazz people usually go to: the Gershwins, Rodgers and Hart, Cole Porter, all of whom I love; I wanted to reach out for something different. The vast collection of songs coming out of The Brill Building seemed like a gold mine."

A honeycomb of offices and claustrophobic studios at 1619 Broadway, in the heart of midtown Manhattan, the fabled Brill Building at its peak served as the creative home for more than 160 tenants associated with the pop-music industry. Of these, the vast majority were composers and lyricists. From the mid-1930s through the early 1970s the architects of the "Brill Building Sound" churned out a preponderance of the popular songs that three generations of America grew up hearing and singing.

The term "Brill Building Sound" describes the string of rock-and-roll masterpieces that defined the genre and signaled its first maturing. These instantly recognizable songs came from such songwriting teams as Leiber and Stoller ("Stand By Me"), Goffin and King ("Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?"), Mann and Weil ("You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling"), and Bacharach and David ("Walk On By"). Such teams crafted hit after hit while working in a physical environment with paper-thin walls that allowed the writing teams to hear and learn (or steal) from each other. It became a fertile and competitive hothouse of cross-influence and collaboration.

Even as Elling began researching this material, he "knew this would be a challenge, because the Brill is so much associated with doo-wop" - not his usual neighborhood. For help, he turned to a friend: hit songwriter and educator Phil Galdston ("Save The Best For Last").

"This is really his métier, and he did encyclopedic research," says Elling. "We must have touched on a couple hundred songs before we narrowed it down. Phil did a masterful job of codifying first-tier, second-tier, third-tier choices. Several of my choices, like the classic ‘On Broadway,' were foregone conclusions; some, like that hip lick recorded by The Coasters, ‘Shoppin' For Clothes,' gradually percolated to my attention." And, indeed, the reworking of that novelty "B-Side" falls right into Elling's penchant for spoken-word fun, games and hipster jive.

Another surprise choice is the Goffin-King exercise in social satire, "Pleasant Valley Sunday." As Elling recounts, "I had summarily dismissed that one until it had time to simmer on its own, and I found an idea on how to handle it." This version mixes John McLean's retro-lectric guitar, authentic-sounding sound clips of the 60s, and an audio profile that recalls Ken Nordine's classic "Word Jazz." The result is a trippy and darker-than-the-original ride through a neighborhood that the Monkees first visited in 1967.
Some jazz fans may raise an eyebrow at these song choices, but they'd do well to remember that throughout the 20th century, artists from Louis Armstrong to Sonny Rollins and Herbie Hancock have successfully transformed one era's pop songs into another generation's jazz standards. And throughout his career, Elling has worked to expand the jazz repertoire, sprinkling his albums with songs made famous by (among others) The Zombies and King Crimson.

Some of the tunes on 1619 Broadway - The Brill Building Project were actually written years after their composers had left the Brill entirely. For example, Elling explains, "Carole King, like many other signatories to ‘The Brill Sound,' never had an actual office at the Brill. So it doesn't pay to be too didactic about any of this. The Brill is both a physical reality and a mental construct; and because of that, I felt comfortable casting a wide net."

That wide net contains more than rock and doo-wop. As Elling's inspired song choices reveal, the Brill was a hive of music activity from the mid-30s on, housing the creative efforts of Irving Berlin, Sammy Cahn, Johnny Mercer, Harry Warren, and more. One survey estimates that of the 1200-odd songs performed between 1935 and 1948 on the Your Hit Parade broadcasts (radio and then television), more than 400 of them - nearly a third of the total - came from Brill tenants. Thus the inclusion here of such Great American standards as "I Only Have Eyes For You" (Warren/Dubin,1934) and the Sinatra signature "Come Fly With Me" (Cahn/VanHuesen,1957).

For that matter, even Duke Ellington (through his long-time publisher Irving Mills) leased space in The Brill, as did Nat "King" Cole and a host of other Swing Era stars. Elling pays heed to that corner of the Brill as well, with the Duke's "Tutti for Cootie," written to showcase the Ellington band's unsurpassed trumpeter Cootie Williams. And on the flip side, Paul Simon, represented here by "American Tune," still keeps an office at the Brill.

On track after track Kurt Elling and Laurence Hobgood, his collaborator for two decades, illustrate the creative fireworks that have marked their work together from the start. Some tracks, such as "On Broadway" and "You Send Me," glow with atmospheric reharmonizations (either audacious or subtle), unexpected rhythms, and jazz sensibility. Others, such as "I'm Satisfied" and "A House Is Not A Home," artfully distill the essence of the original through a jazz filter. But all of them manage to strike a balance of tradition and modernity that will by now be familiar to Elling's longstanding admirers, on a program of songs guaranteed to bring new fans to the party.
The party takes place at 1619 Broadway, as The Brill Building Project provides the inspiration for intrepid explorations by one of the great jazz singers of our time.

1. On Broadway
2. Come Fly With Me
3. You Send Me
4. I Only Have Eyes For You
5. I'm Satisfied
6. A House Is Not A Home
7. Shoppin' For Clothes
8. So Far Away
9. Pleasant Valley Sunday
10. An American Tune
11. Tutti For Cootie

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Smooth jazz cruising on both coasts #jazz

As the perennially sold-out sailings of The Smooth Jazz Cruise: The Greatest Party at Sea prepares to launch its 10th anniversary excursions in January 2013, parent company Entertainment Cruise Productions is determined to keep the party going strong by creating a West Coast outing from San Diego to exotic Mexican ports in the fall of 2013 with music hosts Brian Culbertson and Boney James.  Grammy winners David Sanborn and Marcus Miller will perform on the new program and continue to serve as the music hosts of the traditional January sailing of The Smooth Jazz Cruise in 2014 that will embark from Fort Lauderdale to Caribbean paradise as it has done for a decade.  Both 7-day cruises will be held aboard a luxurious Holland America ship and feature performances by legends, hitmakers and fan favorites.      
“As we enter the second decade of The Smooth Jazz Cruise, we want to keep things fresh for our loyal family of cruisers that comes back year after year.  Thanks in part to their suggestions, we decided to spread the love by creating a sensational West Coast cruise.  With a cruise on both coasts, we feel that the hosts should reflect the different personalities of each coast.  I cannot imagine a more exciting cruise menu than Brian Culbertson and Boney James hosting a West Coast cruise and David Sanborn and Marcus Miller topping an East Coast cruise.  Brian, Boney, David and Marcus will perform on both cruises as will Jonathan Butler and Candy Dulfer.  We’re going to showcase 22 incredible headliners between the two cruises,” said Michael Lazaroff, Executive Director of St. Louis-based Entertainment Cruise Productions.
The first-ever left coast departure for The Smooth Jazz Cruise, the West Coast expedition will make its maiden voyage on the m/s Westerdam October 12-19, 2013 from San Diego and visit Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta and Baja Coast.  Joining Culbertson, James, Sanborn, Miller, Butler and Dulfer as performers will be Rick Braun, Norman Brown, Richard Elliot, Euge Groove, Kenny Lattimore, Earl Klugh, Oleta Adams, Brian Simpson, DW3, comedian Alonzo Bodden and special guest Tower of Power.   
The Smooth Jazz Cruise 2014 will cruise on the m/s Eurodam from Fort Lauderdale January 11-18 with stops in Turks & Caicos, San Juan, St. Maarten and Half Moon Cay.  The parade of performers will consist of Sanborn, Miller, Culbertson, James, Butler, Dulfer, Simpson, Kirk Whalum, Peter White, Sheila E, Keb Mo, Keiko Matsui, Maysa Leak, Mindi Abair, DW3, Bodden and special guest Jeffrey Osborne.
Affectionately known amongst passengers as “The Greatest Party at Sea,” The Smooth Jazz Cruise spotlights music icons, Grammy winners and chart-topping contemporary jazz, R&B and adult contemporary artists aboard a first-class, full ship charter.  It is an extraordinary week devoted to live music with the luminous lineups presented in theatre, club and intimate piano bar settings.  The velvet rope is removed allowing cruisers to mix and mingle freely with the musicians at cocktail parties, informative seminars, autograph and Q&A sessions, theme nights, sporting contests and special land excursions while in port.  The magic of The Smooth Jazz Cruise is best understood by first-hand experience.  Nearly 60% of the passengers are repeat guests.  To reserve a cabin, call toll-free in the U.S. and Canada 888.852.9987 and 800.852.99872 from abroad.  For further information, please visit www.thesmoothjazzcruise.com
About Entertainment Cruise Productions, LLC
The largest private music ship charter company in the world, St. Louis, Missouri-based Entertainment Cruise Productions, LLC owns, produces and promotes The Smooth Jazz Cruise and The Jazz Cruise (www.thejazzcruise.com), and is proud to partner with Time Life for The Malt Shop Memories Cruise (www.maltshopcruise.com) and the new Soul Train Cruise (www.soultraincruise.com), Ship of Fear Horror Cruise, The Studio 54 Cruise and The Country Music Cruise.  Entertainment Cruise Productions, LLC prides itself on providing first-class musical vacation experiences featuring marquee stars from their respective genres for devoted passengers, many of whom make the cruises an annual affair.  Additional information is available at www.ecpcruises.com

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Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - September 24th, 2012 #jazz

TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 3 - Jonathan Fritzen - "Magical" - (Nordic Night)
2 - 2 - Vincent Ingala - "Can't Stop Now" - (Vincentingala.com)
3 - 1 - Gerald Albright/Norman Brown" - "24/7" (Concord)
4 - 5 - Richard Elliot - "In The Zone" - (Artistry/Mack Ave.)
5 - 4 - Jeff Lorber Fusion - "Galaxy" - (Heads Up)
6 - 6 - Julian Vaughn - "Breakthrough" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
7 - 7 - David Benoit - "Conversation" - (Heads Up)
8 - 10 - The Rippingtons - "Built To Last" - (Peak/eOne)
9 - 9 - Peter White - "Here We Go" - (Concord)
10 - 11 - Brian Culbertson - "Dreams" - (Verve)
11 - 14 - Chris Standring - "Electric Wonderland" - (Ultimate Vibe)
12 - 18 - Euge Groove - "House Of Groove" - (Shanachie)
13 - 8 - Nils - "City Groove" - (Baja/TSR)
14 - 20 - Jeff Kashiwa - "Let It Ride" - (Native Language)
15 - 12 - Anita Baker - "Lately" - (Blue Note/Capitol)
16 - 16 - Nicholas Cole - "Endless Possibilities" - (Cutmore)
17 - 13 - Darren Rahn - "Speechless" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
18 - 15 - Brian Bromberg - "Compared To That" - (Artistry/Mack Avenue)
19 - 22 - Paul Brown - "The Funky Join" - (Woodward Ave)
20 - 17 - Ben Tankard - "Full Tank" - (Ben-Jamin)

Our thanks to smoothjazz.comVisit smoothjazz.com to view the latest complete top 50 chart. Visit smoothjazz.com to view the latest weekly chart recap.
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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Albare iTD - "Long Way" - In stores October 9 on Enja Records #jazz

Jazz guitarist and composer Albare - Albert Dadon (1957) was born in Morocco, he grew up in Israel and France. He is fluent in French, English, Hebrew and Spanish. At the age of 27 he migrated to Australia where he first became known musically, at the forefront of the then burgeoning Acid Jazz scene.

As well as recording two albums with Festival Records in Australia under his name, Albare produced A History of Standard Time, Joe Chindamo’s first solo recording that featured the late Ray Brown (1995). More recent album releases by Albare include - Midnight Blues (2007), After the Rain (2009) and Travel Diary (2010).

In 2011 Albare came to the attention of Matthias Winckelmann founder of prestigious German jazz label Enja. The relationship has spawned the new project “Long Way”.

iTD (International Travel Diary) is the title given to a collaboration of some of the world’s finest musicians that have combined with the assistance of Enja to create a new project and Albare’s 6 recording. iTD includes Albare on guitar, Evri Evripidou on bass, Antonio Sanchez on drums, George Garzone on tenor Sax, Leo Genovese on piano & Hendrik Meurkens on harmonica. Selected tour dates will be announced later in the month where this exciting line up will be performing in international terrotories.

Alongside the Albare recordings, from 2002 to 2008 Dadon was involved in various capacities with the Melbourne International Jazz Festival, Artistic Director of the Festival from 2006-8.

Australian Legend and Patron of the event Graeme Bell). Dadon chairs the board of The Australian Jazz Awards Limited (a non for profit arts organisation) that governs the Awards. The Bells are the only formal recognition system entirely devoted to the Jazz in Australia.

The Awards recognize the achievements of young and established Australian Jazz performers and composers.

In 2008 Dadon received an Order of Australia for service to the arts, particularly through the Melbourne Jazz Festival, to the community through philanthropic support for cultural and charitable organisations, and to business.

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Waldemar Bastos - "Classics Of My Sould" Enja release in stores now

Renowned world musician Waldemar Bastos' sixth studio album, Classics of My Soul, was released in the United States on September 11th, 2012. The record, which was produced by Derek Nakamato and features players such as percussionist Luis Conte, guitarist Mitchell Long and pianist Keiko Matsui among others in support of Bastos' acoustic guitar and singing, was released in his native Angola in 2010. Recorded in Los Angeles and London, Classics of My Soul now returns to the shores where it was crafted.

 "The new album has a different sound," says Bastos. "I believe that we are in a moment of Peace in Angola, the first steps of democracy, and this of course fulfills your spirit with joy. It also reflects itself in the music and the music is the reflection of my state of mind. All these ingredients made the album more profound and cheerful."

 Nakamato, who Bastos met while working on the U2 Tribute album, In the Name of Love - Africa Celebrates U2, said, "After many conversations with Waldemar, we decided the foundation of this record would be his voice and unique acoustic guitar playing. After we recorded all of the basic tracks and lead vocals, my role as producer was simply to listen to what the music needed. It was important to Waldemar that this project would take place without a record company or any person that would have influence on the music or its direction. My commitment to him was that this was to be 'his record.' With his distinguished career and numerous recordings, I clearly sensed that there was something more he wished to achieve with this project.

Waldemar remarked to me that these songs presented on Classics of My Soul are very special and close to his heart, even more important treasures to the people of Angola. This album was to celebrate their spirit and not his ego. I remember an instance where he sang a vocal that astounded us in the room and upon listening to it on playback, Waldemar looked at me and said, 'No, the performance is too much about me and the song IS NOT about me. Let me do it again.' With a very subtle shift the emotion of the song reflected the lyric and not the dramatic performances of 'singer.' His intent always was very clear."

Among the host of musicians chosen to take part in the album, Bastos and Nakamato also went to London where, with the help of conductor Nick Ingman, they recorded the London Symphony Orchestra for four of the album's tracks. Bastos says, "my music is defined by my own life experiences, praise for Angolan identity, and a call for universal brotherhood. It is gratifying for me to hear critics say, as it recently happened in the USA, that my music is universal. That it is not a regional music, but instead for people everywhere."

Waldemar Bastos was born near the border with Zaire in N'Banza Congo, a little town which was the first capital city of the ancient kingdom of Angola. He started singing at a very early age. Bastos describes his musical childhood as such,"When I was a child, my mother soon realized I had a very special musical gift. I used to spend my days singing and whistling, and my mother noticed that as something out of the ordinary...and she gave me all her support. One day, my father arrived home and found me playing his concertina. I felt bad for having been caught touching, without permission, an instrument which was almost sacred for him. But he was pleasantly surprised, I think he was even satisfied, to hear me playing popular radio songs. In the following Christmas he gave an accordion as a gift." From there, Bastos would dedicate himself wholeheartedly to music, traveling around Angola and playing everything from pop and rock to waltzes and tangos.

In the meantime, Angola won its independence and followed the long socialist road. Feeling burdened by the repressing role of the government in the arts, Bastos defected to Portugal in 1982 and later to Berlin and from thereto Brazil, where he became acquainted with some well known musicians, such as Chico Buarque, João do Vale, Elba Ramalho, Djavan and Clara Nunes who had been in Angola in the late seventies. Bastos' career bloomed during his time away from his homeland. His debut, Estamos Juntos, was released by EMI-Odeon while the musician lived and worked in Brazil, with the acclaimed sophomore release, Angola Minha Namorada, following in 1990 when Bastos had returned to Portugal.

All the while the musician continued to be in the Angolan spotlight. In 1990 he gave a memorable concert to an audience of 200,000 in Luanda's Kinaxixe Square and returned two years later on the heels of his third album, Pitanga Madura. Bastos says, "given the fact that an effervescent historical moment was taking place, if, on the one hand, these circumstances brought me joy, on the other hand, I felt great apprehension because of the way I was being claimed by both sides. The situation became, again, dangerous for me, and I understood it was not the right moment to stay in Angola."

While travelling through Lisbon, David Byrne, the mastermind of Luaka Bop record label, and ex-leader of the Talking Heads, bought, by chance, a record of the Angolan singer in a downtown Lisbon shop. Soon after that Bastos would be featured on the album Afropea - Telling Stories to the Sea, an anthology of Lusophone artists issued by Luaka Bop. Afterwards there was Pretaluz/Blacklight, recorded in NYC, produced by Arto Lindsay, and issued by Luaka Bop. The New York Times described it as "one of the best World music records of the decade" and was included in Tom Moon's book 1000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die. In the aftermath of Pretaluz/Blacklight, Bastos won the "Award for the Emerging Artist of the Year (1999)".

 In 1998, Bastos was discovered by the European audience and media after his successful tours in Europe as the opening act at the UNESCO Festival "Don't forget Africa" in June 2000 in the Canary Islands. Later in the year he was invited by Mr. Ruichi Sakamoto to take part in the Zero Landmine project in cooperation with international artists like Arto Lindsay, Brian Eno, David Sylvian, Jacques Morelenbaum. Other accomplishments include three of his compositions being featured in the Hollywood movie, The Sweepers. He has also received several invitations by Monacan royalty Prince Ernst August von Hanover and Princess Caroline von Hanover in the course of which he also gave a private concert for Rainier III. In 2003 the Angolan war ended after 30 years and Bastos was invited to celebrate this very special day in a remarkable performance in the national stadium in Luanda. "The message of the new album is the congregation of beauty, love, fraternity and to unite the people through music," says Bastos. "For me the music has the function of breaking barriers and helping to create a better world, that is what I believe."

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - September 17th, 2012 #jazz

TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Gerald Albright/Norman Brown" - "24/7" (Concord)
2 - 2 - Vincent Ingala - "Can't Stop Now" - (Vincentingala.com)
3 - 6 - Jonathan Fritzen - "Magical" - (Nordic Night)
4 - 4 - Jeff Lorber Fusion - "Galaxy" - (Heads Up)
5 - 7 - Richard Elliot - "In The Zone" - (Artistry/Mack Ave.)
6 - 12 - Julian Vaughn - "Breakthrough" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
7 - 3 - David Benoit - "Conversation" - (Heads Up)
8 - 16 - Nils - "City Groove" - (Baja/TSR)
9 - 10 - Peter White - "Here We Go" - (Concord)
10- 11 - The Rippingtons - "Built To Last" - (Peak/eOne)
11 - 13 - Brian Culbertson - "Dreams" - (Verve)
12 - 15 - Anita Baker - "Lately" - (Blue Note/Capitol)
13 - 14 - Darren Rahn - "Speechless" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
14 - 9 - Chris Standring - "Electric Wonderland" - (Ultimate Vibe)
15 - 5 - Brian Bromberg - "Compared To That" - (Artistry/Mack Avenue)
16 - 18 - Nicholas Cole - "Endless Possibilities" - (Cutmore)
17 - 8 - Ben Tankard - "Full Tank" - (Ben-Jamin)
18 - 27 - Euge Groove - "House Of Groove" - (Shanachie)
19 - 23 - Michael Lington - "Pure" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
20 - 21 - Jeff Kashiwa - "Let It Ride" - (Native Language)

Our thanks to smoothjazz.comVisit smoothjazz.com to view the latest complete top 50 chart. Visit smoothjazz.com to view the latest weekly chart recap.
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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Monday, September 10, 2012

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - September 10th, 2012 #jazz

TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 2 - Gerald Albright/Norman Brown" - "24/7" (Concord)
2 - 1 - Vincent Ingala - "Can't Stop Now" - (Vincentingala.com)
3 - 4 - David Benoit - "Conversation" - (Heads Up)
4 - 3 - Jeff Lorber Fusion - "Galaxy" - (Heads Up)
5 - 5 - Brian Bromberg - "Compared To That" - (Artistry/Mack Avenue)
6 - 12 - Jonathan Fritzen - "Magical" - (Nordic Night)
7 - 19 - Richard Elliot - "In The Zone" - (Artistry/Mack Ave.)
8 - 7 - Ben Tankard - "Full Tank" - (Ben-Jamin)
9 - 15 - Chris Standring - "Electric Wonderland" - (Ultimate Vibe)
10 - 8 - Peter White - "Here We Go" - (Concord)
11- 11 - The Rippingtons - "Built To Last" - (Peak/eOne)
12 - 10 - Julian Vaughn - "Breakthrough" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
13 - 6 - Brian Culbertson - "Dreams" - (Verve)
14 - 13 - Darren Rahn - "Speechless" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
15 - 18 - Anita Baker - "Lately" - (Blue Note/Capitol)
16 - 28 - Nils - "City Groove" - (Baja/TSR)
17 - 9 - Cindy Bradley - "Unscripted" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
18 - 21 - Nicholas Cole - "Endless Possibilities" - (Cutmore)
19 - 16 - Boney James - "Contact" - (Verve)
20 - 24 - Blake Aaron - "Soul Stories" - (Innervision)

Our thanks to smoothjazz.comVisit smoothjazz.com to view the latest complete top 50 chart. Visit smoothjazz.com to view the latest weekly chart recap.
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Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Chick Corea & Gary Burton "Hot House" in stores today on Condord #jazz

Pianist Chick Corea and vibraphonist Gary Burton became a collaborative team almost by accident. Their first musical encounter took place at a jazz festival in Germany in 1972, when they performed together in a spur-of-the-moment encore. The results were so satisfying – not only to the audience but to the artists themselves – that the two musicians reconvened in a recording studio a couple months later to record the intricate yet highly melodic Crystal Silence, their first of several collaborative studio projects.

The impromptu encounter in Germany marked the beginning of a musical partnership that has lasted for four decades – not only on the performance stage but also over the course of seven recordings. Despite the years that have come and gone since that fateful European gig, the duo of Corea and Burton have not lost their ability to generate their unique brand of what could best be described as cool heat.

This highly creative and prolific team celebrates forty years of great jazz with the September 4, 2012, release of Hot House (CJA-33363-02), on Concord Jazz, a division of Concord Music Group.

“Though we often go for months at a time between duet tours while we are playing music on our own,’ Burton says, “within about ten minutes of getting together again, the old communication snaps back into place. I can guess what Chick is going to play next from two blocks away, and he is the same with me. Certainly, the principal reason we have continued to work together all this time is because we have this natural reaction.”

That “natural reaction” is alive and well on Hot House, a collection of ten songs that draws from the work of some of their favorite composers from the 1940s through the 1960s. “After exploring several genres of jazz and standards, we eventually settled on eight composers, most from the jazz world,” says Burton. “But we chose songs that are generally not that well known; the composers’ names are probably more familiar than the songs to most listeners. The final result feels very fresh and different to us.”

Although the source material is indeed eclectic, the set as a whole is seamless and undeniably rich. It starts with the lighthearted “Can’t We Be Friends,” what Burton calls “a rather obscure standard first recorded by Art Tatum,” a piano hero to both Burton and Corea. The track intentionally maintains some of Tatum’s flourishes and stride swing feel. The duo then makes the unlikely shift from Tatum to Paul McCartney’s decidedly darker “Eleanor Rigby,” a cover that adds a sense of uptempo urgency to the original song’s poignancy.

The lush and melodic “Chega de Saudade” is the first of two Antonio Carlos Jobim tunes, and one that both artists learned during their respective stints with Stan Getz in the 1960s. They return to the Jobim catalog later in the set with the equally ornate “Once I Loved.”

Other noteworthy offerings include a mercurial rendition of Bill Evans’ “Time Remembered” and a playful reading of “Strange Meadow Lark,” a lesser known selection from Dave Brubeck’s iconic 1959 recording, Time Out.

The energetic title track is a tune by pianist Tadd Dameron, based on the harmony progression of Cole Porter’s “What Is This Thing Called Love?” Burton explains that he and Corea “got confused about who was going to solo first after the melody, and we both started soloing at the same time, but it seemed to work really well, so we kept it as part of the arrangement.”

Hot House also includes Thelonious Monk’s brief and little known “Light Blue,” to which Corea adds a second chorus that stays very much in the spirit of Monk.

The set closes with Corea’s own “Mozart Goes Dancing,” an intricate and engaging piece recorded with the Harlem String Quartet. The track was originally slated for the duo’s next project – a reprise of their touring and studio work in the ‘80s with string quartet and newly penned music from Corea – but “the result was so spectacular that we decided to add it to the CD,” says Burton, “as a preview of what we’ll be doing with our duo next year.”

After four decades of collaboration, the Corea-Burton team continues to look forward to the next big idea. “Throughout our 40 years of making music together, there has never been a downside with our duet,” says Corea. “Each concert and recording we have done has always been a great pleasure and a personal inspiration. This new set of duet music is no exception. Until this recording, we never focused on ‘standards’ with our duet, but it was natural to do as these songs are from the era we grew up in.”

Burton adds: “I used to think that someday we would run out of ideas and get bored with our duet. When we crossed the 20-year mark, I wondered if we might come to the end sometime soon. But at the 30-year mark, I began to think it might last, after all. And now after four decades, we are as excited as ever about the music we’re playing and how much fun we have on stage every night.”

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