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Tuesday, July 09, 2024

Pianist/Composer Ittetsu Nasuda to release recording titled "Tailwind" #jazz #music

Pianist/Composer Ittetsu Nasuda

to release new recording titled "Tailwind"

Ittetsu Nasuda - piano

Dan Neville - vibraphone

Gabriel Vivas -bass

Juan Chiavassa - drums

Takafumi Nikaido - percussion

Release Date: October 11th, 2024

NYC-based, Japanese pianist and composer Ittetsu Nasuda’s debut album Tailwind is to be released October, 2024. The 12-track set of original compositions is the start of a new chapter in his career. Ittetsu’s music reflects the richness of the Japanese musical tradition with its unique combination of Afro Cuban, contemporary jazz, and popular elements, as well as its embrace of improvisation. Tailwind features Dan Neville on vibraphone, Gabriel Vivas on bass, Juan Chiavassa on drums and Takafumi Nikaido on percussions.

About Ittetsu Nasuda:

Ittetsu Nasuda born in Tokyo, is a distinguished latin jazz pianist known for his early immersion in music under the guidance of his mother, an educator and pianist. Starting his musical journey at the age of three, Ittetsu developed a profound interest in improvisational jazz by the time he reached 19. He honed his skills performing alongside accomplished musicians in Tokyo before venturing to Boston in 2011.

In Boston, Ittetsu pursued formal music education at Berklee College of Music. His time at Berklee enriched his musical prowess and broadened his artistic horizons.

Relocating to New York City in 2015, Ittetsu has firmly established himself within the vibrant jazz and latin music scene. Nasuda has joined acts as Jimmy Bosch, Jose “Pepito” Gomez, Chico Alvarez, Gerardo Contino and shared the stages with Wilson "Chembo" Corniel." He is a regular performer at renowned live venues across the city, captivating audiences with his distinctive style and dynamic improvisations.

Ittetsu’s 1st album Tailwind is a musical journey to explore the hybrid of Afro Cuban, contemporary jazz and traditional Japanese music. The album features Dan Neville on vibraphone, Gabriel Vivas on bass, Juan Chiavassa on drums, and Takafumi Nikaido on percussions.

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Monday, July 08, 2024

ICYMI: 2024 JUNO Award Winner Christine Jensen New 19-Piece Jazz Orchestra Album "Harbour" Is Out NOW #jazz #music





Featuring special guest Ingrid Jensen as trumpet soloist, as well as Gary Versace on piano, Jon Wikan on drums and Chet Doxas on tenor saxophone


LISTEN TO “FANTASY ON BLUE” featuring Ingrid Jensen OUT NOW



Photo Credit: Mathieu Rivard


MP3s, WAVs, Photos, Bio and All Assets Here


Critic’s Poll Winner for Rising Star Big Band, Arranger, and Soprano Saxophonist

– Downbeat Magazine


Today, the acclaimed, JUNO-winning Canadian saxophonist and composer Christine Jensen is proud to announce her forthcoming jazz orchestra album Harbour, due out on June 28th via Nettwerk/Justin Time Records. The follow-up to her two previous award-winning jazz orchestra albums Habitat (2013) and Treelines (2010)Harbour features a searing set of originals penned by Jensen over the last decade. Featuring some of New York and Montreal’s top improvisers, Harbour represents a departure point from leaving shelter and emerging into the new world, with the ensemble playing with acoustic and electric elements from Jensen’s compositions. The first taste of the album comes with “Fantasy On Blue,” a feature for Ingrid Jensen commissioned in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Miles Davis’ seminal work, Kind of Blue.


Christine reflects on the track: “I wore out more than one vinyl of Kind Of Blue, so it was appropriate that I got to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the recording in 2019 with this commission from the Saskatoon Jazz Festival. Ingrid takes a fantastic solo feature, capturing the punchy spirit of Miles with her contemporary improvisations, taking us on a celebratory jaunt that goes to all sorts of corners with the band.”


Listen to “Fantasy On Blue” Here:


Canadian Saxophonist and composer Christine Jensen has led a distinct voice to the creative jazz scene for the last twenty-five years with her large and small ensembles. She is set to release her third jazz orchestra album Harbour (2024) which follows previous releases Habitat (2013) and Treelines (2010).  It features her Montreal-based orchestra, along with guest soloists NY-based Ingrid Jensen on trumpet and electronics, Gary Versace on piano, Chet Doxas on tenor saxophone, Jon Wikan on drums and Montreal-based Steve Raegele on guitar. This album captures over a decade of her compositions and commissions, with her sister’s improvisations infused throughout.


“I think of this collection of songs as my commissioning series, with each piece marking time since the beginnings of life for my daughter. I chose the title Harbour because I think its place of shelter on the water, a respite before the new migrations that await on land. This ensemble of family and friends represents that feeling to me, as we all came out of so much turbulence to land together in a room, where my music could take flight. The musicians that I had the privilege to perform and record with took all this to another level and brought their own characters in through their masterful sounds and improvisations. This time around, I can’t be more thrilled with the magic that has surfaced, from the sculpting of forms to the performances that are so lovingly interpreted.”






“Always a compelling writer, capable of strong lyricism combined with harmonic invention and plenty of narrative twists and turns, Jensen's music not only impresses on a first encounter, but reveals more with each and every listen.”

-- All About Jazz


“Jensen’s broad, burly, often vibratoless tone jumps out on both alto and soprano… a spirit of playful joy predominates…”

– Downbeat 4-Star Review


“Despite the ensemble’s size, and Jensen’s often swelling and soaring arrangements, everything is delivered with beautiful delicacy.”

– Jazz Times


“…Jensen composes warm, Fauvist pieces with nuanced dynamics – intertwining themes that grow, swell and shift – and solos that advance the narrative, rather than interrupt it with mere virtuosity.”

– The Seattle Times

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Guitarist Rich Goldstein Digs Into Soul Jazz Roots on "Into the Blue" #jazz #music





Release DateSeptember 27th, 2024

(Truth Revolution Records)

About the Recording:

Veteran jazz guitarist and educator Rich Goldstein, a longtime faculty member at The Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford, channels some of his guitar heroes and main influences on Into the Blue. From Wes Montgomery and George Benson to Pat Martino, Joe Diorio and Randy Johnston, Goldstein’s playing on his debut release for the Truth Revolution label is marked by a seasoned touch, a penchant for swinging and obvious reverence for the history of jazz guitar.

Joined by organist Yahn Frankel, vibraphonist Behn Gillece and drummer Ben Bilello, Goldstein delivers in old school fashion on a program of well-known standards by Thelonious Monk, Django Reinhardt, Horace Silver, Stevie Wonder and the Beatles, along with two numbers popularized by Dinah Washington and Jack McDuff. These soul jazz takes are blues-tinged and authentically grooving, transporting listeners back to the golden era of Blue Note’s Hammond B3 organ tradition in the ‘50s and ‘60s.

Goldstein’s third recording as a leader, following 2008’s Wes Montgomery tribute, Comin’ from Montgomery, and 2011’s Effervescent with pianist Andy LaVerne, bassist Steve LaSpina, saxophonist Billy Drewes and drummer Anthony Pinciotti, finds the guitarist and his crew nimbly shifting from hard bop burners (his Martino tribute, “Altered State”) to slow blues (“Our Miss Brooks,” written by Harold Vick for Jack McDuff’s group) to ballads (Dave Pike’s “Not a Tear,” Django Reinhardt’s “Nuages”) to bossa nova (a mellow Brazilian take on Stevie Wonder’s “You and I”), each imbued with requisite soul. “I love the organ groups going back to Wes Montgomery’s first album with Mel Rhyne, which was heavily influential for me,” said Goldstein. “But I liked all the organ groups from those times -- Jimmy Smith, Jack McDuff, Dr. Lonnie Smith. I came up with all that stuff. And I’m a blues player at heart. That’s really where I come from.”

Goldstein and his accomplished crew kick off Into the Blue with an infectious shuffle version of the Beatles’ “A Hard Day’s Night,” featuring plenty of blues-drenched Martino-inspired soloing and Wes-like octaves work from the leader, as well as potent solos from Gillece on vibes and

Frankel on B-3. “I like to groove, and a hard shuffle is always going to point my playing in that direction,” said the leader.

Next up is a tender reading of guitarist Rudy Stevenson’s brooding ballad “Not a Tear (from vibraphonist Dave Pike’s 1964 album, Manhattan Latin, a recording that featured young Chick Corea and Cuban bass legend Cachao. Midway through the piece, they shift into an energized 12/8 feel for Goldstein’s guitar solo before settling into uptempo 4/4 swing behind Gillece’s and Frankel’s respective solos. “There’s not a lot of bands that have covered this song,” said Goldstein, who dedicated the piece to his late friend and collaborator, the great Cuban-born, Hartford-based bassist Charles Flores (who was mentored by Cachao). “As soon as I heard it I

knew I wanted to include it on this date and dedicate it to my musical brother Charles Flores who I think about often. I subtly rearranged it. And if you listen carefully, I borrowed a littleturnaround from one of my favorite tunes when I was a kid — Led Zeppelin’s ‘Since I've Been Loving You,’ a really slow minor blues that I always loved.”

Their tasty rendition of Dinah Washington’s 1959 hit, “What a Diff’rence a Day Makes,” opens with Goldstein’s guitar setting the tone. Then a sequence of sparkling soloing by Goldstein, Frankel and Gillece culminates in some conversational exchanges between guitar and organ near the end of the familiar piece. They next put an engaging bossa nova spin on Stevie Wonder’s “You and I” (from 1972’s Talking Book), a romantic ballad which has become a favorite for weddings and vow renewals over the decades. And their take on Thelonious Monk’s “I Mean You” borrows a brassy soli section that Coleman Hawkins had conceived for his own rendition

of that classic bebop tune that appears on his 1947 Fantasy album, Bean & The Boys. “Monk wrote the tune, but Coleman Hawkins came up with that soli section,” said Goldstein. “We try to play it in unison, and I put a Joe Diorio line right at the end of it.” And catch Frankel’s playful quote from Monk’s “Four In One” in the middle of his solo here.

Goldstein’s arrangement of “Nuages” finds drummer Bilello playing an alluring “Poinciana” beat with mallets underneath the legendary Django Reinhardt’s most popular tune from 1939. “I didn’t change much,” he explained. “It’s pretty much the tune everyone knows with that same

kind of romantic vibe to it. I just thought the ‘Poinciana’ beat gives it something different. It goes nicely under that tune and keeps it kind of buoyant.”

They luxuriate in Harold Vick’s “Our Miss Brooks,” a super-slow blues number that builds to dynamic crescendos, with stellar soloing along the way by Goldstein, Gillece and Frankel. Their rendition of Horace Silver’s “Cool Eyes” (from 1956’s 6 Pieces of Silver on the Blue Note label)

is an arrangement by frequent Goldstein collaborator, pianist Jim Argiro. “He’s 84 now and I still play in a group with him,” he explained. “He’s an arranger who was in Los Angeles for many years and did TV shows in the ‘60s like Sonny and Cher and The Tonight Show. He was Leslie

Uggams’ musical director and wrote many of Bernadette Peters’ early arrangements for orchestra. He wrote charts that are in the Basie book, he’s done everything. He’s got tons of arrangements. His quintet book has over 550 arrangements dating back to 1965. So, for this tune, I just adapted it for our organ group. So, I borrowed that from Jim.”

The leader’s lone original on the album, “Altered State,” is a shout out to his guitar hero, Pat Martino. “It’s a new tune I had just written and never really played live,” he explained. “It’s named ‘Altered State’ because of what Pat went through with the brain aneurysm he had in the ‘80s and because all the chords in the tune are altered chords. And I really borrowed that fast line at the ending from Pat, though nobody can articulate like Pat Martino.” The album closes with the lone trio track (sans Gillece), a rendition of the Irving Berlin standard, “How Deep Is The Ocean.” Said Goldstein, “This came at the very end of the session. We had done everything that we had planned on doing, but then I was like, ‘Let’s just play it!’ And we kind of let loose on that one. That’s an arrangement that I play with Yahn. It’s his arrangement. It was just something a little extra, and it came out great.”

About Rich Goldstein:

A seasoned and highly respected figure on the Hartford, Connecticut jazz scene, guitarist- educator Rich Goldstein has been gigging, recording, and sharing the bandstand with his mentors and his students over the past 30 years. His latest recording, Into the Blue, is a swinging affair that pairs him with Hammond B-3 organist and longtime collaborator Yahn Frankel alongside vibraphonist Behn Gillece and drummer Ben Bilello. Goldstein and his accomplished crew deliver in old school fashion on a program of soul jazz takes on well-known standards by Thelonious Monk, Django Reinhardt, Horace Silver, Stevie Wonder and the Beatles, along with two numbers popularized by Dinah Washington and Jack McDuff. “I love the organ groups going back to Wes Montgomery’s first album with Mel Rhyne, which was heavily influential for me,” said the guitarist. “But I liked all the organ groups from those times -- Jimmy Smith, Jack McDuff, Dr. Lonnie Smith. I came up with all that stuff. And I’m a blues player at heart. That’sb really where I come from.”

Born in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn, Goldstein’s family moved to South Windsor, Connecticut in his childhood. By the time he was 12 he played in various high school bands performing at school dances, local fairs, and the occasion nightclub, like The Russian Lady in downtown Hartford.

Following his early years playing pop and rock, Goldstein began gravitating toward jazz. “When I bought my first records outside the Stones, Hendrix, Beck and Led Zeppelin, it was Wes’ Full House, Barney Kessel’s ’57 Poll Winners, Charlie Parker’s Now’s the Time, Frank Zappa’s Them or Us and Alan Holdsworth’s Metal Fatigue, all bought on the same day when I was 13 or 14. These sounds really opened my mind to the possibilities outside of what I was hearing on mainstream radio. I really loved music and guitar and was exploring all the possibilities, so I studied classical guitar for about a year and auditioned for the Hartt School and got in”, “I did a year as a Classical major but then one of the bands I was in ended up getting signed to an indie label and moving to Minneapolis when I was 18 or 19,” he recalls. “We toured all around the Midwest, but nothing else really came of it.” “While I was in Minneapolis, I really got into John Scofield and spent a lot of hours trying to play like him.”

While he hadn’t had any real formal jazz training at that point, resorting strictly to playing by ear and picking up licks off records, it was seeing New York-based guitarist Randy Johnston performing at the 880 Club in Hartford’s South End that finally convinced Goldstein to study jazz improvisation. “I made the decision right there and then that I really had to pursue this music more seriously,” he said. “I ended up talking to Jackie McLean and he let me into the program he established at The Hartt School. So, I made that change around that time and became really focused on trying to play jazz.”

Goldstein studied jazz guitar at The Hartt School’s Jackie McLean Institute with Johnston and got his degree in African American Music Studies while gigging with R@B and blues bands five or six nights a week all through college. He later began teaching at Hartt himself in 1994 following a recommendation from his own mentor, guitarist Johnston. “When I was asked to teach at Hartt, I was in shock and considered it a great honor, and I still do,” he said. “Jackie was a huge inspiration, truly one of the greatest. And his mark on the saxophone, jazz improv, and Hartford will remain through history.” Goldstein later received his master’s degree at SUNY-

Purchase in 2009 (he wrote his master’s thesis on another guitar hero, Jim Hall) and he subsequently studied with guitar great John Abercrombie.

To date, the guitarist has shared the stage with a wide range of musicians, from sax legend Houston Person to trombonist Steve Davis, tenor saxophonist and former Jazz Messenger Javon Jackson, Cuban drumming great Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez, Hartford gospel artist Hubert Powell and jam band legend, drummer Jaimoe, the last surviving member of the original Allman Brothers Band. Goldstein played regular duo gigs with pianist Andy LaVerne including one at New York’s Cornelia Street CafĂ© during the club’s Bill Evans 80th Birthday Celebration and played duo with fellow guitarist Peter Bernstein at Vito’s in Hartford. Goldstein played the late-night set at Smalls in the Village every Tuesday for several years in a group with Behn Gillece and Ken Fowser (both Posi-Tone recording artists). “We used to start at midnight and never got home till the sun was rising. Smalls was great because I was exposed to so many great musicians, we would have Spike Wilner or Jeremy Manasia on piano, sometimes Joel Frahm played with us, you never would know who might be there, one night even the great Roy Hargrove sat in.” Other New York City venues included Birdland, The Jazz Gallery, and Fat Cat as well as at the Berklee Performance Center in Boston and Black-Eyed Sally’s in Hartford. He has also played The Atlanta Jazz Fest, The Cancun Jazz Fest and The Festival of Arts and Ideas in New Haven. Goldstein has presented many Masterclasses on the East coast and has appeared as a guest with the Farmington and New Haven Symphonies, The Hartford Jazz Orchestra, New England Jazz Ensemble, etc.

In addition to his own three albums as a leader — 2008’s Wes Montgomery tribute, Comin’ from Montgomery, 2011’s Effervescent and 2024’s Into the Blue — Goldstein has recorded as a sideman on albums by Charles Flores, Rob Zappulla, Jim Argiro and Ed Fast & Conga Bop (he appears on their 2017 outing, Do or Die, which also marks one of the last recorded appearancesof guitar great Larry Coryell).

In addition to his long tenure at The Hartt School, he has taught at Central Connecticut College, Southern Connecticut State University, Choate boarding school, Avon Old Farms boarding school, the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts and the Canton and Litchfield Jazz Camps. He was also a regular attending member of the annual Jazz Education Network (JEN) conference.

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Smooth Jazz Chart - Weekly Top 100 - July 8, 2024 #jazz #music

Smooth Jazz Chart 
This chart from generally updates every Monday. 
When it updates, this post will be repeated with the most recent link. 

Friday, July 05, 2024

Orrin Evans & The Captain Black Big Band to Release New Album “Walk A Mile In My Shoe” on August 16th, 2024 | LISTEN! Announces New Tour Dates for 2024 #jazz #music



Fifth album from the seasoned, twice Grammy-nominated powerhouse ensemble

A spirited reflection on Evans’ life journey with neurofibromatosis of the left foot

Sean Jones, Josh Lawrence – trumpets; Todd Bashore – alto saxophone, flute; Caleb Wheeler Curtis – tenor/soprano saxophones; David Gibson, Reggie Watkins – trombones; Vicente Archer, Madison Rast – double bass; Anthony Tidd – electric bass; Anwar Marshall, Mark Whitfield II – drums; Orrin Evans – piano

Guest soloists: Nicholas Payton (trumpet), Jesse Fischer (organ)

Available August 16, 2024 from Imani Records

Building on back-to-back Grammy nominations for its Smoke Sessions albums Presence (2018) and The Intangible Between (2020), the Captain Black Big Band returns with Walk a Mile in My Shoe: a set that embodies the CBBB’s infectious community spirit like no other. Led by the acclaimed pianist Orrin Evans and packed with estimable talent from Evans’ orbit in Philadelphia and New York, the CBBB expands its concept on Walk a Mile in My Shoe to include collaborations with four extraordinary vocal talents: Lisa Fischer (“Blues in the Night,” “Overjoyed”), Bilal (“All That I Am,” “Save the Children”), Paul Jost (“Dislocation Blues,” “If”) and Joanna Pascale (“Sunday in New York”).

Walk a Mile in My Shoe, in the singular, is a reference to a malformation of the left foot that Evans has lived with from birth. “I walk with a cane because I was born with neurofibromatosis,” he states. “This is what the ‘Elephant Man’ had, but luckily it only affected my left leg/foot. I had several surgeries, the last one when I was eight. I don’t have the neurological issues anymore, but I’ve had several reconstructive surgeries since then. My musical journey is closely connected to my medical journey, and this record is me opening the door into what I’ve lived with for years.”

Pictured on the album are some of the special shoes Evans needed to wear, each a vivid reminder of his condition and its impact on his early childhood. But there’s a larger point with Walk a Mile in My Shoe: it’s about feeling worthy, about taking ownership of the journey and doing things without waiting for the “perfect” time. Such was the motivation to release Walk a Mile, sooner rather than later, on Imani Records, Evans’ own flagship label since the early 2000s. The pianist’s deep love for Smoke Sessions Records remains—wryly epitomized by trombonist David Gibson’s affecting horn choir arrangement of Jerome Kern’s “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” to close out the album.

“We’re getting a little older,” muses Evans, “and I started thinking about it. How Phyllis Hyman didn’t make it to my age. Charlie Parker and Jesus didn’t make it to my age, you know? So it’s about taking that walk regardless, and walking with your head held high with pride that you deserve everything that you’ve worked for.”

Collaborating with a singer as extraordinary and sought-after as Lisa Fischer is itself a mark of self-assurance and determination. Fischer’s tone and delivery are magical on Harold Arlen’s “Blues in the Night,” as is her emotional connection to the source material on Stevie Wonder’s “Overjoyed.” Solos by Evans and guest trumpeter Nicholas Payton further stoke the fires. Payton is also heard on the leadoff track “All That I Am,” one of two (the other being Marvin Gaye’s “Save the Children”) to feature the progressive neo-soul adventurer Bilal, Evans’ fellow Philadelphia son.

Joanna Pascale, a Philadelphian as well, one of the city’s jazz vocal treasures, is in swinging form on “Sunday in New York,” by the late Philly Pops conductor Peter Nero. Another one-of-a-kind Philly vocalist, Paul Jost, joins for “If,” a ’70s soft-rock radio hit by Bread, utterly transformed by Todd Bashore’s enigmatic arrangement; and “Dislocation Blues,” by the late blues and roots artist Chris Whitley, featuring Jesse Fischer’s blues-drenched organ, deep in dialogue with Evans’ acoustic pianism.

Evans prefers the Captain Black Big Band to be a platform for others, not himself, and so we hear potent statements not only from the singers but also Bashore on alto, Caleb Wheeler Curtis on tenor and soprano and Reggie Watkins on trombone. And yet Evans’ poetic rubato flight on “Hymn,” by founding CBBB trumpeter John Raymond, is one of the album’s most gripping improvisations. “That’s the second time we recorded that song,” Evans reveals (the previous version did not make the final cut for Presence). “But this time I felt like we really got it. I haven’t even told John yet. For years he was such an essential part of the band. Now he’s teaching out there in Indiana and doing amazing things, so we haven’t played with him as much, but we miss him.”

The producer of Walk a Mile in My Shoe is listed as “The Village” along with Evans: it’s all the members, past and present, his musical family writ large, the thing he values above all else. Even how he came into possession of his distinctive cane involves the village: “The cane was given to me by Will Calhoun [of Living Colour]. We did a gig at The Bottom Line in the mid-’90s with Stanley Jordan, and Will showed up with gifts, a special walking stick for everybody. That cane was my gift, but I didn’t need to use it at the time so I put it up on the wall.” Years later, when knee and ankle problems arose, Evans started putting Calhoun’s gift to regular use. He had it modified to better suit his height, mailed it off at one point for repair, even recovered it after leaving it in a hotel lobby (he had to wait six months).

“I feel like Will Calhoun gave me the cane to recognize my position in allowing everyone to walk in their own shoe, or shoes,” Evans concludes, distilling the Captain Black Big Band ethos down to its very core.

Photo Credit: Rob Davidson for Yamaha Pianos


7/5/24 – Montreal, Canada – Montreal International Jazz Festival 2024

7/6/24 – Cape May, NJ – Carney’s
7/10/24 – Philadelphia, PA – World Cafe Live
8/10/24: Jazzmobile: Jazz on the Great Hill in Central Park New York, NY
8/14/24 – Philadelphia, PA – World Cafe Live
9/11/24 – Philadelphia, PA – World Cafe Live
9/15/24: Portsmouth, NH @ Jimmy’s Jazz & Blues Club
9/22/24: Pittsburgh, PA @ Pittsburgh Jazz Festival
9/27 – 9/29/2024 – Monterey, CA – Monterey Jazz Festival 2024
9/27/24 – Albuquerque, NM – Outpost Performance Space – 18th Annual New Mexico Jazz Festival
10/9/24 – Philadelphia, PA – World Cafe Live
11/13/24 – Philadelphia, PA – World Cafe Live
11/29/24: Philadelphia, PA @ Perelman Theater
12/1124 – Philadelphia, PA – World Cafe Live

RELEASE DATE: August 16, 2024

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