Thursday, February 28, 2013

Paris Combo - Releases fifth studio album "5" March 12th #jazz DRG Records

Eclectic global jazz quintet returns March 12th with their aptly titled fifth studio album, “5,” that will be supported with a U.S. concert tour
Love is a universal language and Paris Combo confirms that music is as well. The five-piece French band that has garnered global acclaim and an immense following for its unique mélange of colorful cabaret, elegant jazz, multicultural world music and sassy alterna-pop will release their fifth studio album, the appropriately titled “5,” on March 12th on DRG Records. To support the diverse dozen songs in every shade of love written by the band and produced by Bénédicte Schmitt and Dominique Blanc-Francard, Paris Combo will embark on a 12-city U.S. concert trek launching April 19th in Cleveland, OH. 
It has been since 2004 that Paris Combo released a new album, “Motifs,” which was supported with a concert tour that visited the iconic Hollywood Bowl where they were accompanied by the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. The troupe consisting of chanteuse Belle du Berry, Potzi (guitar), François Jeannin (drums, percussion, vocals), and David Lewis (trumpet, flugelhorn, piano) reunited in 2010 after a four-year hiatus and spent a year writing, rehearsing and rediscovering their hallmark sound. After adding new bassist Emmanuel Chabbey to the lineup at the end of 2011, they returned to extensive touring where they performed new material that evolved into “5” and delivered another memorable show at Hollywood Bowl.
"In 2006, we gave ourselves the luxury of taking a break from touring and recording so each of us could return to his or her individual musical sources - a breathing space to allow inspiration to happen. Four years later, we reunited in a rehearsal studio - in Paris of course - and without even playing our previous repertoire, together we started composing new songs. The group's chemistry was magic straightaway. Right from the first notes, the chords, the melodies, and the grooves sounded spontaneous and naturally like ‘Paris Combo.’ It was like a reunion with an old friend. The tone was set and we knew we would have fun co-writing our new material and exploring all the different aspects of the group's identity - the ‘Paris Combo style,’” said du Berry, whose lyrical muse remains love.
On “5,” du Berry ruminates on the crazy extremes of amour sung in her native French: love at first sight, love lost, broken love, the dream of love, the brilliance of love, “volcanic anger” produced by love, love’s persistence and love’s enduring immortality. Behind her alternately aching, playful, graceful, tantalizing, and always alluring vocals, the band, with the assistance of a three-piece string section, sets captivating backdrops and intriguing sound collages constructed from artsy Europop, rambunctious riffs, smoky jazz, charismatic cabaret, swinging grooves, exotic Latin, African and rumba rhythms, and mystical Middle Eastern and gypsy nuances.               
Lewis said, “We are thrilled to be releasing ‘5’ in the U.S. We have always felt very much appreciated by audiences there and we are thoroughly looking forward to touring there again. After 15 or so tours, the States are an important part of the group's story.”
Paris Combo’s story began in the early ‘90s when du Berry, Potzi and Jeannin first performed together in Paris as members of a quirky retro revue before going on to collaborate at the closing ceremony of the Albertville Winter Olympic Games in 1992. Lewis joined the fold in 1994 and the outfit honed their sound playing in cafes and on barges along the Seine. Their self-titled 1997 debut disc arrived as the swing revival was in full bloom and instantly appealed to fans internationally while generating critical praise yet the band’s wide-ranging mix set them apart. The movement multiplied with the release of their sophomore outing, “Living Room,” which went gold in France in 2000. Their third set, “Attraction,” attracted more followers the following year and was followed by a live album in conjunction with extensive concert tours in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Australia.        
To get a taste of the fun, free-spirited musical dish served by Paris Combo, behind the scenes video clips were shot for two tracks from “5”:
“Je Te Vois Partout”
The songs that comprise Paris Combo’s “5” are:
“Je Te Vois Partout”
“Goodbye Pinocchio”
“Tout Excusé"”
“Comptez Sur Moi”
“Les Cailloux Blancs”
“Chaque Fois”
“Le Magasin de Porcelaine”
“Ce Que J'aime C'est Le Début”
“Fantôme Adoré”
Catch Paris Combo live at the following U.S. concert dates (additional dates may be added):
April 19                 Cleveland, OH                   Museum of Art
April 20                 Bloomington, IN               Buskirk-Chumley Theater
April 21                 Chicago, IL                           City Winery
April 23                 Indianapolis, IN                 The Cabaret at the Columbia Club
April 24                 Livermore, CA                   Bankhead Theater
April 26                 San Francisco, CA             California Institute of Integral Studies
April 27                 Santa Monica, CA             The Broad Stage
April 28                 Irvine, CA                            Soka Performing Arts Center
April 30                 New York, NY                    Joe’s Pub
May 1                    Reston, VA                         Center Stage at Reston Community Center
May 2                    Brooklyn, NY                      Littlefield
May 3                    Boston, MA                        Berklee Performance Center
For more information about Paris Combo, please visit

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - February 25th, 2013 #jazz

TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Vincent Ingala - "Can't Stop Now" - (
2 - 2 - Gerald Albright/Norman Brown" - "24/7" - (Concord)
3 - 4 - Tak Matsumoto - "Strings Of My Soul" - (335)
4 - 9 - Ben Tankard - "Full Tank" - (Ben-Jamin'/Universal)
5 - 6 - Steve Oliver - "World Citizen" - (SOM)
6 - 8 - Chris Standring - "Electric Wonderland" - (Ultimate Vibe)
7 - 12 - Walter Beasley - "Live In The Club" - (Affable)
8 - 18 - Brian Bromberg - "In The Spirit Of Jobim" - (Artistry)
9 - 5 - Paul Brown - "The Funky Join" - (Woodward Ave)
10 - 3 - Richard Elliot - "In The Zone" - (Artistry/Mack Ave.)
11 - 11 - Paul Hardcastle - "Hardcastle VII" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
12 - 13 - David Benoit - "Conversation" - (Heads Up)
13 - 19 - Brian Culbertson - "Dreams" - (Verve)
14 - 7 - Nils - "City Groove" - (Baja/TSR)
15 - 10 - Fourplay - "Esprit de Four" - (Heads Up)
16 - 22 - Patrick Lamb - "It's All right Now" - (Patrick Lamb)
17 - 17 - Lee Ritenour - "Rhythm Sessions" - (Concord)
18 - 20 - The David Wells & Chris Geith Project - "No Side Effects" - (Timeless World)
19 - 45 - Boney James - "The Beat" - (Concord Jazz)
20 - 15 - Acoustic Alchemy - "Roseland" - (Onside/Headsup)

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Kristin Korb - "What's Your Story" - Release on Double K Music April 2nd - #jazz

Pre-Order What's Your Story from WHAT’S YOUR STORY?, the new album from internationally recognized jazz artist Kristin Korb answers that very question with 12 timeless tunes that celebrate her story as a jazz vocalist and bassist. What’s Your Story? will be released on Korb’s own label, Double K Music in the U.S. and Europe on April 2, 2013. The album will be available oniTunes, Amazon, CD Baby, and select retail outlets.

A singing double bassist with a deep sense of swing, Korb combines the instrumental influence of Ray Brown and Charles Mingus with the vocal styling of Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald to create a sound all her own. Exhilarating to watch live, she sings and plays the bass as effortlessly as she breathes.

Korb and her All-Star trio featuring musical powerhouses Bruce Forman on guitar and Jeff Hamilton on drums, share an inspired set of popular songs using innovative arrangements. From Porter to Pinkard, Grouya to Caymmi - What’s Your Story? treats listeners to fresh renditions of some of the all time great compositions and introduces an original song.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - February 18th, 2013 #jazz

TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 1 - Vincent Ingala - "Can't Stop Now" - (
2 - 2 - Gerald Albright/Norman Brown" - "24/7" - (Concord)
3 - 4 - Richard Elliot - "In The Zone" - (Artistry/Mack Ave.)
4 - 12 - Tak Matsumoto - "Strings Of My Soul" - (335)
5 - 5 - Paul Brown - "The Funky Join" - (Woodward Ave)
6 - 10 - Steve Oliver - "World Citizen" - (SOM)
7 - 6 - Nils - "City Groove" - (Baja/TSR)
8 - 3 - Chris Standring - "Electric Wonderland" - (Ultimate Vibe)
9 - 8 - Ben Tankard - "Full Tank" - (Ben-Jamin'/Universal)
10 - 7 - Fourplay - "Esprit de Four" - (Heads Up)
11 - 23 - Paul Hardcastle - "Hardcastle VII" - (Trippin 'N' Rhythm)
12 - 16 - Walter Beasley - "Live In The Club" - (Affable)
13 - 21 - David Benoit - "Conversation" - (Heads Up)
14 - 19 - Four80East - "Off Duty" - (Boomtang)
15 - 11 - Acoustic Alchemy - "Roseland" - (Onside/Headsup)
16 - 9 - Euge Groove - "House Of Groove" - (Shanachie)
17 - 15 - Lee Ritenour - "Rhythm Sessions" - (Concord)
18 - 17 - Brian Bromberg - "In The Spirit Of Jobim" - (Artistry)
19 - 13 - Brian Culbertson - "Dreams" - (Verve)
20 - 14 - The David Wells & Chris Geith Project - "No Side Effects" - (Timeless World)

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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International Jazz Day - April 30, 2013 #jazz

International Jazz Day
In November 2011, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) officially designated April 30 as International Jazz Day in order to highlight jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people in all corners of the globe. International Jazz Day is chaired and led by Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director General, and legendary jazz pianist and composer Herbie Hancock, who serves as a UNESCO Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue and Chairman of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. The Institute is the lead nonprofit organization charged with planning, promoting and producing this annual celebration, which began in 2012.

International Jazz Day brings together communities, schools, artists, historians, academics, and jazz enthusiasts all over the world to celebrate and learn about jazz and its roots, future and impact; raise awareness of the need for intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding; and reinforce international cooperation and communication. Each year on April 30, this international art form is recognized for promoting peace, dialogue among cultures, diversity, and respect for human rights and human dignity, eradicating discrimination, promoting freedom of expression, fostering gender equality, and reinforcing the role of youth for social change.

UNESCO and United Nations missions, U.S. embassies and government outposts around the world hosted special events for the first annual International Jazz Day on April 30, 2012 to honor this revered musical art form. Universities, libraries, schools, community centers, performing arts venues and arts organizations of all disciplines around the world marked the day through concerts, education programs, seminars, lectures, book readings, public jam sessions, master classes, photo exhibitions, dance recitals, film and documentary screenings, theater presentations and spoken word performances. More than one billion people around the world were reached through 2012 International Jazz Day programs and media coverage.

UNESCO and the Thelonious Monk Institute presented three high-profile programs: a daylong celebration in Paris at UNESCO world headquarters; a sunrise concert in New Orleans’ Congo Square, the birthplace of jazz; and a sunset concert at the United Nations General Assembly Hall in New York City. Among the world-renowned artists that participated were John Beasley, Tony Bennett, George Benson, Terence Blanchard, Richard Bona (Cameroon), Dee Dee Bridgewater, Candido, Teri Lyne Carrington, Ron Carter, Robert Cray, Jack DeJohnette, George Duke, Sheila E., Herbie Hancock, Antonio Hart, Jimmy Heath, Hiromi (Japan), Zakir Hussain (India), Chaka Khan, Angelique Kidjo (Benin), Lang Lang (China), Joe Lovano, Romero Lubambo (Brazil), Shankar Mahadevan (India), Ellis Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, Hugh Masekela (South Africa), Christian McBride, Marcus Miller, Danilo Pérez (Panama), Wayne Shorter, Esperanza Spalding, Treme Brass Band and Stevie Wonder. Hosts included Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman and Quincy Jones.

Istanbul, Turkey has been named the 2013 Global Host City for International Jazz Day. The city will host a daylong series of jazz events including workshops and seminars, panels and roundtable discussions, film screenings, student master classes led by prominent musicians and educators, and a major evening performance that will be broadcast on public television stations worldwide. The Institute and UNESCO will continue their partnership to encourage schools, universities, libraries, arts organizations, community centers and other entities in UNESCO’s 195 member states to host jazz concerts and educational programs on International Jazz Day in order to reach people of all ages and backgrounds.

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Friday, February 15, 2013

Sandy Shore interviews David Sanborn : Musicians Jamming with Musicians #jazz [Video]

The Smooth Jazz Cruise 2013 Week 1 : President Sandy Shore hangs with SJC Music Co-host DAVID SANBORN about life onboard The Greatest Party at Sea.
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David Arkenstone’s Symphonic Adventure promises an imaginative night of music, romance and celebration

 The March 16th innovative multimedia concert spectacle will be filmed for television broadcast and DVD release;
Gorgeous video for “Origins” debuted for Valentine’s Day
When your slogan is “Soundtracks For The Imagination,” a simple concert performance will not suffice. Worldbeat visionary and 3-time Grammy nominee David Arkenstone has teamed with award-winning film producer Victoria Paige Meyerink to bring to life a fantastical, one-night only multimedia concert event designed to astound, enchant and inspire. David Arkenstone’s Symphonic Adventure will take place March 16th at 8 PM the Alex Theatre in Glendale, CA on the heels of the release of Arkenstone’s stunning neo-classical album, “Lovéren,” a collaborative collection with song siren Charlee Brooks about romance under the sea involving mermaids. Also celebrating Arkenstone’s 25th anniversary as a recording artist, the elaborate cutting-edge production will be captured by eleven television cameras for television broadcast and DVD release.  
David Arkenstone’s Symphonic Adventure will be comprised of a captivating live performance of the already critically-lauded “Lovéren” in its entirety followed by a career retrospective highlighting Arkenstone’s groundbreaking catalogue of grandiose recordings that span twenty albums in addition to music he composed, produced and recorded for best-selling video game “World of Warcraft,” and film and television soundtracks. The lavish production will feature Arkenstone and Brooks accompanied by a complete concert orchestra, a full choir, Celtic dancers, the astonishing Cirque de la Symphonie acrobats, extravagant costumes, digital stagecraft, intricate lighting design and breathtaking special effects. Among the accomplished ensemble of singers, instrumentalists and percussionists on stage will be electrifying violinist Karen Briggs, world-renown piper Eric Rigler (“Titanic” and “Braveheart”), and keyboard marvel John Serrie.
"With a new album (“Lovéren”) about to be released (March 5th), one that I consider to be one of my best in many ways, I wanted to do an epic concert event that could be filmed for broadcast and spawn a tour. I am grateful to my good friend and producer Victoria Paige Meyerink, who gave me this awesome opportunity. The idea grew until we were involving all these elements that I like - the Cirque performers, a choir and dancers, guest artists, and me playing as many instruments as I can get my hands on,” said Arkenstone. “When people see this show, they’re going to experience what I’m all about musically. Long-time fans, and even people who aren't familiar with my work, will really enjoy it. There's something for everyone. My love of writing for the orchestra will be evident and I’ll be playing some guitar. It’s a great introduction to my music on my 25th anniversary as a recording artist."
A former child actress who starred with Elvis Presley and Danny Kaye before becoming the youngest female film producer in motion pictures with international success at age 22 who has in recent years reinvented herself yet again by producing Arkenstone’s tours, DVDs and videos, Meyerink said, "Prepare to be dazzled! Producing David Arkenstone's Symphonic Adventure is my most challenging project yet. David is a creative genius, a true visionary, and my goal is to realize his vision on stage for this magical, musical event. With the extraordinary acrobatics of Cirque de la Symphonie interpreting the music that features our amazing vocalist Charlee Brooks with special guests Karen Briggs and Eric Rigler joining in, it will be a remarkable evening on a grand scale, the perfect way to showcase David’s talents and celebrate his 25th year in the music industry. We're putting everything into this show. It’s the first in a series of ArkenSpecials."
To help set the stage for fantasy and romance, Arkenstone selected Valentine’s Day to premiere the first video from “Lovéren” for the album opener, “Origins,” an ethereal love song of exquisite grace and grandeur. The clip is exclusively available for viewing on the website for nationally syndicated radio program Echoes ( for one week before it will be posted on Arkenstone’s website ( and Facebook page (, and the “Lovéren” Facebook page (éren/463272287068009?ref=ts&fref=ts).
Tickets for David Arkenstone’s Symphonic Adventure are available now at the Alex Theatre box office, by phone at 818.243.ALEX (2539) and online at
To preview David Arkenstone’s Symphonic Adventure, please click on the video link below:
Additional information about Arkenstone is available at

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Storm Alert: Saxtress Jeanette Harris' soul-splashed "Summer Rain" to hit April 2nd #jazz [Video]

 “Just Keep Holding On” goes to radio while a “Summer Rain” perfume permeates the horizon
The way Jeanette Harris sees it, summer rain is sensual, an ideal backdrop for love at first sight. Oozing saxuality, she wrote and produced her fourth album, Summer Rain, as the soul-jazz soundtrack for romance. To enhance the experience, she created a Summer Rain perfume that will be available soon after the record is released April 2nd on J&M Records. A mid-tempo R&B sax and guitar groove, “Just Keep Holding On” will arrive at radio ahead of the storm forecasters expect to generate steadily growing showers of airplay accompanied by warm winds of critical praise.

Summer Rain features Harris, who was classically trained on both saxophone and piano, playing alto sax, flute, keyboards and drum programming. She wrote or co-wrote eleven new songs and recorded a moving rendition of Luther Vandross’ classic “Here & Now.” Her rainmakers are producer-songwriter-keyboardist Chuck Cymone, guitarist Darrell Crooks, keyboardists and drum programmers George Freeman and Andrew Dorsette, saxophonist Marcus Anderson, soul crooner Joel Bowers, and Harris’ brother, Michael, who contributed as a producer and songwriting partner. Harris has an amiable relationship with melodies and is capable of crafting compelling cosmopolitan grooves, instantly appealing hooks, sultry, cuddle-up close urban ballads, funky rhythm tracks, throbbing electronic dance floor fillers, and gospel-tinged inspirationals. She sagely lets her sax emote in the service of the song with the horn moving the narrative along free from grandstand theatrics.

“The music of Summer Rain is all about a positive vibe. It’s about staying in love - never falling out of love, feeling good, being faithful and always following a positive route. Great things have happened for me in the last year. I’ve learned what’s really important in life – my family and my music,” shared Harris, who already has a dozen concert dates booked this spring to support the album release with more to be added.

As for the “Summer Rain” fragrance, she said, “I've been working on this project for a few months and finally came up with a scent that I'm digging. I love perfume and I think people of all ages will enjoy my smooth, sensual perfume, which adds another dimension to the love story."

Harris spent a year playing in Teena Marie’s band in the final year before the legendary R&B vocalist passed away. She credits her stint with Marie for teaching her how to be “a strong, professional female leader.” The Fresno, CA-born and based musician earned a scholarship to attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Harris landed on the Billboard charts with her version of Stevie Wonder’s “All I Do,” which appeared on her third album, Saxified (2010). Last year, she co-penned a track, “The Best Is Yet To Come,” with Grammy-winning guitarist Norman Brown for his Grammy-nominated collection of duets, “24/7,” with saxophonist Gerald Albright. On stage, Harris has impressed on U.S. shores and at festivals in Europe and Japan - whether she was backing R&B vocalists Howard Hewett and Deniece Williams or playing her own set opening for Babyface, KEM, Phil Perry, Kirk Whalum, Najee and The Rippingtons.

 The following song titles appear on Harris’ “Summer Rain” album:
“Just Keep Holding On”
“Passing Time”
“Take Me There”
“Summer Rain”
“Muy Caliente”
“The Ride”
“Here & Now”
“Oh So Good”
“Summer Rain (vocal)”

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 20 - February 11th, 2013 #jazz

TW - LW - Artist - Album - (Label)
1 - 2 - Vincent Ingala - "Can't Stop Now" - (
2 - 1 - Gerald Albright/Norman Brown" - "24/7" - (Concord)
3 - 5 - Chris Standring - "Electric Wonderland" - (Ultimate Vibe)
4 - 4 - Richard Elliot - "In The Zone" - (Artistry/Mack Ave.)
5 - 7 - Paul Brown - "The Funky Join" - (Woodward Ave)
6 - 3 - Nils - "City Groove" - (Baja/TSR)
7 - 8 - Fourplay - "Esprit de Four" - (Heads Up)
8 - 18 - Ben Tankard - "Full Tank" - (Ben-Jamin'/Universal)
9 - 6 - Euge Groove - "House Of Groove" - (Shanachie)
10 - 15 - Steve Oliver - "World Citizen" - (SOM)
11 - 13 - Acoustic Alchemy - "Roseland" - (Onside/Headsup)
12 - 27 - Tak Matsumoto - "Strings Of My Soul" - (335)
13 - 14 - Brian Culbertson - "Dreams" - (Verve)
14 - 11 - The David Wells & Chris Geith Project - "No Side Effects" - (Timeless World)
15 - 10 - Lee Ritenour - "Rhythm Sessions" - (Concord)
16 - 20 - Walter Beasley - "Live In The Club" - (Affable)
17 - 22 - Brian Bromberg - "In The Spirit Of Jobim" - (Artistry)
18 - 17 - Marc Antoine - "Guitar Destiny" - (Frazzy Frog)
19 - 9 - Four80East - "Off Duty" - (Boomtang)
20 - 19 - Patrick Lamb - "It's Alright Now" - (Patrick Lamb)

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Legacy Recordings Honors Nina Simone As Artist Of The Month For February 2013 [Video] #jazz

  Activist Singer's 80th Birthday Celebrated During Black History Month
* * * * *
"I think she was the greatest female artist of the 20th century" – Elton John
"I always loved the passion in her voice. She’s inspired me as a composer, a pianist, a singer and as a woman with a voice." – Alicia Keys
" Nina Simone’s impact on both jazz and culture will remain monumental; there was simply no one like her.."  - Bonnie Raitt

"She was ahead of her time as a concert-level piano player who sang, wrote and spoke her mind…I aspire to be more like her." – india.arie
* * * * *
Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, commemorates the life and music of Nina Simone on the occasion of the singer's 80th birthday and celebrates the iconic High Priestess of Soul as the label's Artist of the Month for February 2013. 
Nina Simone, who would've turned 80 on February 21, was a strong and vocal civil rights advocate who carried the message of universal rights and personal empowerment, freedom, equality and dignity throughout her career.  Whether it was political or emotional or personal, she never failed to tell the truth through her music.
One of the most powerful and uncompromising artists of the 20th century, Nina Simone was a natural talent who developed into a virtuosic performer--an ineffable song stylist with concert hall piano skills and a transcendental on-stage presence.  Singer, songwriter, arranger, and pianist, Nina wove classical, blues, jazz, pop, rock, R&B, folk, gospel, torch songs and world music into a body of work as eclectic as it is incomparable.
She began her career as a recording artist in 1958 with her version of "I Loves You, Porgy," from George and Ira Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess," her first US chart success, and made more than 40 albums before her death, at 70, in France on April 21, 2003.
On the Legacy Recordings site, fans and collectors will find access a variety of comprehensive Nina Simone titles including: Nina Simone - The Complete RCA Album Collection; To Be Free: The Nina Simone Story (a four-disc set including DVD); The Essential Nina Simone; Playlist: The Very Best of Nina Simon and, in time for Valentine's Day, Nina Simone - Love Songs, a specially-curated collection of the artist's most sensual and romantic recordings.
In 2008, Legacy Recordings released To Be Free: The Nina Simone Story, a deluxe four-disc (three CDs + DVD) box set that stands as the most comprehensive and wide-ranging collection of Nina Simone’s music ever compiled.  Containing 51 audio tracks – eight of them previously unreleased – the collection covered her recording years from 1957 to 1993 for the Bethlehem, Colpix, Philips, RCA (for whom she cut nine LPs that are considered the pinnacle of her output), CTI, and Elektra record labels, plus another nine performances on the 23-minute documentary DVD.
"Nina Simone was one of those controversial figures American pop music puts forward from time to time," wrote Ed Ward in his liner notes for To Be Free: The Nina Simone Story.  "To see this African-American woman get angry about the racial situation in her country, right there on stage, was a shock to people who’d come to hear her sing 'I Loves You, Porgy.'  Not that she cared; she figured that it was the artist’s job to deliver the truth, and if the truth hurt, so be it.  Of course, events wound up proving her right, but she never stopped being prickly about one thing or another.  It was just part of who she was, and part of why her music has endured while that of some of her contemporaries has faded: she’s still contemporary."

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Sunday, February 10, 2013

"Push" - Traeben jazz quartet, second release - #jazz

Formed in 2009, Træben is an international jazz quartet consisting of saxophonist Søren Ballegaard, guitarist Jens Larsen, bassist Olaf Meijer, and drummer Haye Jellema. Together they form a group with a new take on song-based improvisation.

On their second album “Push”, released 1st of October 2012, Træben gives their interpretation of what the modern jazz composition could be, reinventing the form so that there is not just a head and some changes to solo over. Instead, a strong melodic statement sets the mood for the song and solos toexplore upon. The songs have extended classically inspired forms with room for a capella interludes and for vamps that build up tension and intensity by insisting in their repetition. Having these forms, the compositions fuel the performance in which everybody has his own role and space. This is a group effort, not only a rhythm section and a soloist but a celebration of the magical interplay between experienced performers.

The compositions have melodies that flow out of the Scandinavian folk music and also include harmony and grooves from styles as diverse as world and country music. As Jazz journalist Bert Jansma put it “Crisp when in its swinging gear, making one’s heart melt in its ballads“.

The instrumentation of the piano-less quartet lends itself well to the use of sounds and colors from guitar-oriented styles like African-, Latin- and Rock music. Mixing these timbres with jazz, gives Træben its unique yet recognizable sound.

Push has been praised in numerous reviews and the band has presented it on national TV and radio in both Denmark and The Netherlands. The release has been surrounded by a tour in the Benelux of 20+ concerts and now concerts for 2013 are already booked in Denmark, Luxembourg, Canada, Belgium and The Netherlands.

Information / Management

PG Special Agent

E-mail: Jesper P. graugaard
Tel: +31 624 28 42 75 (Søren Ballegaard) E-mail:
Web: Web:

“Traeben may be Europe's top secret weapon. But with Push, the secret is out.” (Stephan Moore, Jazz Wrap)

“On Push, Traeben is consistently playful, spacious and dynamic. “ (James Pearse, All About Jazz)

"a refreshing almost organic sense of musical honesty that seems to have been hiding out in the jazz witness program for far to long." (Brent Black, Critical Jazz)

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