Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Jude Johnstone offers an intelligence and sophistication in her music that is dramatically revealed in her fourth CD "Mr. Sun," from BoJak Records. "Mr. Sun" continues with the jazzy/blues musical rhythms found in her last project "Blue Light," while maintaining her trademarks of emotional depth, passionate vocals and haunting melodies. Johnstone's level of artistry continues to grow with "Mr. Sun."

In the creative atmosphere of Mad Dog Studios in Burbank, CA, while recording "Blue Light," Johnstone's inspiration intensified creating a flood of new songs, which became "Mr. Sun." The chemistry of working with these compelling musicians motivated Johnstone to record the new songs immediately. Musicians David Piltch (upright bass), Danny Frankel (drums, percussions), Freddy Koella (guitar), and Marc Macisso (sax) who worked on "Blue Light," remained for the recording of "Mr. Sun." In addition, premier musicians Dean Parks, Mark Goldenberg (Guitar), Jon Ossman (upright bass), Daniel Savant (muted trumpet, flugelhorn) and background vocals by Stephen Bishop and Maxayn Lewis topped off a select group of performers that contributed to these recordings. Johnstone was the producer, played keyboards, melodica, chimes and wrote all the songs.

"Mr.Sun' was largely inspired by the musicians that played with me on 'Blue Light'. It is about the beauty of that rare musicianship that challenges and influences... these players just seem to understand exactly what I'm after in the studio, and then make it happen effortlessly. 'Mr. Sun' is my ode to them," says Jude Johnstone.

Jude Johnstone is a critically acclaimed, award-winning songwriter. Her songs have been covered by a stellar list of artists including Bonnie Raitt (Wounded Heart), Bette Midler (The Girl is Onto You), Stevie Nicks (Cry Wolf), Johnny Cash (Unchained), Trisha Yearwood (Hearts in Armor, The Women Before Me) and most recently Emmylou Harris (Hold On) from "All I Intended To Be."

Monday, September 29, 2008


Bassist, composer, and bandleader, Dave Holland has worked in a vast array of settings over the last 40 years, from classic dates with Miles Davis, Joe Henderson, and Wayne Shorter to his own adventurous recordings, seven of which have been honored with Grammy Awards or nominations in the last decade alone. Holland's latest CD, the third for his Dare2 imprint (distributed by Emarcy/Universal), is a stellar sextet session called "Pass It On" which will be released September 23.

Holland first unveiled the new sextet in early 2006, during a week of showcase presentations at Birdland in New York. The group's potent musical chemistry led to other concert and club dates, and the bassist soon resolved to document their music. Comprised of three horn players - trombonist Robin Eubanks, alto saxophonist Antonio Hart, trumpeter Alex "Sasha" Sipiagin - who have been regular collaborators of Holland's in his quintet or big band, the sextet also includes pianist Mulgrew Miller and drummer Eric Harland, with whom he'd recorded on only a couple of occasions. "I always wanted to do more playing with both of those wonderful players," says Holland, "so I saw this as an opportunity."

"Pass It On" features new arrangements of several Holland originals first recorded in the '80s and '90s. "Some of the compositions that I've written in the past evolve in my mind a little bit over time," he says, adding that "One of the advantages of the sextet is that it's still a smaller unit than big band or octet, but it also gives you a lot of options in terms of orchestrating and utilizing backgrounds. So I thought that was a good way to fill out these old compositions and expand on them a little bit where something new could happen. And, of course, this group of people brings some new creative ideas to the pieces."

Fresh from an extensive series of dates with Herbie Hancock's River of Possibilities Tour, Holland plans to take his sextet out for several key appearances this fall: 9/18-20 Regattabar, Boston; 9/21 Yale University, New Haven; 9/24-28 Yoshi's, San Francisco & Oakland; and 10/8-11 Birdland, New York. (Vibist Steve Nelson, a longtime member of Holland's quintet, will replace Mulgrew Miller for all except the New York shows.)

When not touring, Holland has been occupied with plans for his Dare2 label. Following the release of "Overtime" (which won the 2005 Grammy for Best Large Jazz Ensemble), the quintet CD "Critical Mass," and the new sextet project, "Pass It On," Holland is preparing to do an octet record in January, "which is essentially the quintet plus three - Gary Smulyan on baritone sax, Sasha Sipiagin on trumpet, and Antonio Hart on alto sax," he reports. Also in the works is a flamenco recording with several Spanish gypsy players, including the guitarist Pepe Habichuela. Finally, the label has been recording a lot of live gigs which will be made available as downloads on its web site.

But his working groups remain a top priority. "The business doesn't encourage it these days," Holland has observed. "They encourage much more all-star kinds of situations and mix-and-match groups. But as the great Betty Carter understood, there is a need for groups and people working together to develop continuity and evolve together. That's what moves this music forward and is an idea that needs to be preserved and continued."

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Record labels Black Wolf and Pyramid, along with Fontana Distribution under the Universal Music Group umbrella, have launched a full-blown record campaign for reggae recording artist Wanted. In his campaign initiatives, Wanted focuses on his humanitarian contributions by giving back to his Haitian community under the Jacmel Haiti American Children's Assistance Foundation (JHACAF), an organization he co-founded in 2007. Wanted and his management/label team (also members of the JHACAF) left for Gonaives, Haiti recently to assist in relief efforts from the destruction left by hurricane Hanna. In Gonaives, the JHACAF will begin to plan a tree planting aid campaign for the Haitian people and their land, which may be the perfect natural element to help promote water erosion, on top of cleaning up their poor air quality in the near future. To kick off the new campaign initiative, Wanted, along with additional Haitian recording artists, will collaborate on a new song written to bring awareness on how important tree planting is for the Republic of Haiti.

Leading up to the tree planting campaign, Wanted's record campaign will provide initial public awareness, starting with radio promotions where over 200 terrestrial radio stations, as well as prominent Internet radio stations like Eye97.com, have already played numerous tracks from the debut record, primarily spinning focus track 'Come Along'.

"So far the Wanted campaign has established interest from a handful of our industry relations for editorial and programming consideration," mentions Josh East, Senior Project Manager for MusiK1. "Our next steps will be to step up the buzz by introducing the tree planting campaign through PR efforts, while expanding the presence of Wanted's debut record and video assets with content providers and video outlets," adds Mr. East.

MusiK1 has scheduled additional key campaign tactics to be launched by the end of September, which will include Online Editorial PR, Content Provider Servicing and Music Video Promotions. Wanted's music video for focus track 'Come Along' is currently in production and is set to release by the end of September.

As a new voice in the reggae music scene, Wanted gets ready to go on tour, primarily in the U.S., while touching in the Caribbean Islands where he frequently visits Haiti, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic. In his visits back to Haiti, Wanted continues to battle the fight of hungry children in the town of Jacmel, Haiti. His debut album, 'Come Long', is releasing this September 23, 2008 on both CD and in digital formats world wide.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


An extraordinary double dose of Rollins in concert is due on October 28, when the tenor saxophonist's Doxy Records label (distributed by Emarcy/Universal) will release a new live CD compilation entitled "Road Shows, vol. 1" as well as a DVD ("Live in Vienne") of a 2006 European festival performance. "Road Shows" is the exciting inaugural release in a planned series of outstanding live Sonny Rollins recordings from the last 30-plus years. The seven tracks on the new CD, culled from the Carl Smith collection and Rollins's own personal soundboard tapes, were recorded in the U.S., Canada, Poland, Japan, France, and Sweden. Featuring the saxophonist with a variety of sidemen - including, on one track, the Christian McBride-Roy Haynes trio that appeared with him at his 50th Anniversary Carnegie Hall concert in 2007- "Road Shows" captures the Saxophone Colossus in full flight, dazzling audiences around the world.

"Live in Vienne" was produced by French television and offers an up-close glimpse at Rollins onstage in high-definition video as he unfurls a superb hour-long set before a euphoric crowd at the 2006 Jazz à Vienne Festival. The saxophonist, who famously spent two years (1959-61) practicing on New York's Williamsburg Bridge, above the East River, finds that "playing outside is always great. But Vienne, with its Roman amphitheater, is a particularly photogenic place, a beautiful venue. The little town is on the Rhône River. And it was warm that night--just perfect weather."

In the late 1980s, Rollins began to record many of his concerts for archival purposes with possible future release in mind, and also to circumvent bootlegs, which have been a long-standing problem for the artist. "I was much less intimidated by the tape at live concerts" than in the studio, he admits. When the tape was always rolling, "it was much easier for me to get a natural performance." From the start the intention was to record all of Sonny's concerts. Due to unforeseen technical problems or permission problems with venues, however, it was not always possible, according to "Road Shows" producer (and Rollins trombonist) Clifton Anderson. Of the approximately 600 concerts Rollins has performed since the late '80s, Anderson estimates that as many as one-third are in their archive, in whole or in part.

"There were performances that at the time they were done, I thought they might be acceptable at a later date in case I chose to release," says Rollins. "But I hadn't really listened; I filed it in my mind, and later had to stir my memory as to which ones might be good." When the time came to program the new CD, says Anderson, "we both remembered that the concert in Toulouse was a pretty good show, and Sonny remembered that Tama was a good performance, so I went back and listened to those in particular. That's how we arrived at our choices."

Four tracks from the Rollins archive are included in "Road Shows, vol. 1": "More Than You Know" (2006, Toulouse), which Sonny "brought out of retirement," not having played it since the 1950s, when he recorded it with Thelonious Monk; "Tenor Madness" (2000, Tama City, Japan), whose last appearance on a Rollins disc was the live "G-Man" in 1987; "Nice Lady" (2007, Victoria, BC), the first recording of a new Rollins calypso; and "Some Enchanted Evening" (2007, New York City), from his 50th anniversary Carnegie Hall concert with Christian McBride and Roy Haynes. "Road Shows"' remaining three tracks were selected from Carl Smith's collection--"Blossom" (1980, Umea, Sweden), a fascinating, little-known Rollins original that "came and went pretty fast in the repertoire," says Rollins; "Easy Living" (1980, Warsaw), from Sonny's first trip behind the Iron Curtain ("the people were starved for music"); and "Best Wishes" (1986, Tokyo), previously recorded on his 1982 "Reel Life" album.

For future "Road Shows" compilations, Anderson and Rollins will have not only their own archives and Carl Smith's to draw from. "People have also submitted things to us," says Anderson, "most recently a tape from Keystone Korner in the mid-1970s and a cassette from the Bottom Line. The bands are different, the material's different; the one common denominator is Sonny killin' through all of it." Rollins, for a chance of pace, is looking ahead to his next studio album, which he is planning to begin at the conclusion of his fall concert season (Brazil in October, Germany in November/December).

Friday, September 26, 2008


Nick Colionne, Boney James, Mindi Abair, Larry Carlton, Heather Headley, Acoustic Alchemy, Greg Adams, Marion Meadows, Steve Cole, Shilts, Steve Oliver, Chieli Minnuci, Michael Lington, Alan Hewitt and Althea Rene, among others are scheduled to perform at the Smooth Jazz Charter Cruise. According to their announcement the Smooth Jazz Charter Cruise is Single Travel International's backstage pass to sail the Caribbean with jazz music superstars performing. This luxurious, five-star experience aboard the beautiful Celebrity Century, is ranked one of the world's best cruise lines by Conde Nast Traveler, is a specially chartered cruise. Included are exclusive singles events and access to your favorite jazz performers aboard this one-of-a-kind cruise vacation! Leaving Miami, the cruise sets sail to Key West, Nassau, and Coco Cay (for a private beach party) and features afternoon and evening performances every sailing day. Starting at $1,849, this special cruise vacation includes gratuities, all taxes, government fees and fuel charges, with no hidden fees! Smooth Jazz Cruise host, Norman Brown, will introduce live jazz performances by Nick Colionne, Boney James, Mindi Abair, Larry Carlton, Heather Headley, Acoustic Alchemy, Greg Adams, Marion Meadows, Steve Cole, Shilts, Steve Oliver, Chieli Minnuci, Michael Lington, Alan Hewitt and Althea Rene, among others. Daily performances are scheduled in the afternoons and all evening, and all musicians will perform their show at least twice during the cruise to accommodate all guests. Autograph and interview sessions, as well as late night jam sessions are part of the jazz experience. Exclusive Singles Travel International amenities include a $50 shipboard credit, welcome aboard party with open bar, breakfast and happy hour club each day, singles seating for dinner, and farewell party. And of course, Singles Travel International invites all single guests to the big game party on February 1st for football's greatest game of the year.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Congratulations go out to Dave Koz as his Greatest Hits CD, his first-ever retrospective album debuts at No. 1 on both Billboard's Top Contemporary Jazz Albums chart and iTunes' Jazz Album chart. Meanwhile, lead single "Life In The Fast Lane" claims the No. 1 spot on the R&R Smooth Jazz Indicator chart. The album, which was completely re-mastered by the legendary Bernie Grundman, contains 11 Koz classics (including "You Make Me Smile," "Faces of the Heart," "Can't Let You Go (Sha La Song)" featuring Luther Vandross and "Honey Dipped") plus four brand new songs.

Dave, who has received six GRAMMY(R) nominations will be honored with a star in the sidewalk on Hollywood Boulevard's Walk of Fame in 2009, will play some of these hits on his 11th annual Smooth Jazz Christmas tour, which kicks off on November 28th. The Dave Koz And Friends Smooth Jazz Christmas Tour 2008 will feature special guests Jonathan Butler, Jeff Golub and Keiko Matsui. Highly respected South African singer/guitarist Butler, guitarist Golub, revered for his unique blend of blues, soul, rock and jazz, and acclaimed Japanese pianist Matsui will perform songs from their respective catalogues and join with Dave on a variety of holiday standards. Rendezvous recording artist Brian Simpson will be the tour's Music Director. (See below for a full itinerary.)

Over the summer, Koz went into the studio with Barry Manilow, who asked him to play sax on three tracks for his upcoming album, and taped a performance for the upcoming PBS special "Lights - a Hanukkah Celebration." In the past week, Dave appeared on "Entertainment Tonight," performed at a fundraising concert for Barack Obama and at the ET-People Magazine Emmy party, and picked up the R&R "Personality of the Year" award for his show on Broadcast Architecture's Smooth Jazz Network. He'll wrap up his summer tour this Saturday, September 27th, with an appearance at KTWV Wave Fest at Los Angeles' Greek Theatre. He then travels to Asia for concert dates in Japan, Korea and Thailand, returning home in time to embark on the fourth annual "Dave Koz & Friends At Sea" cruise on November 2nd.

Dave Koz And Friends Smooth Jazz Christmas Tour 2008 With Special Guests Jonathan Butler, Jeff Golub And Keiko Matsui

11/28 - Ft. Pierce, FL @ Sunrise Theatre
11/29 - Clearwater, FL @ Ruth Eckerd Hall
11/30 - Sarasota, FL @ Van Wezel Performing Arts Center
12/1 - Fort Lauderdale, FL @ Broward Center for the Performing Arts
12/2 - Naples, FL @ Philharmonic Center for the Arts
12/3 - West Palm Beach, FL @ Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts
12/5 - Columbus, OH @ Palace Theatre
12/6 - Chicago, IL @ Chicago Theatre
12/7 - New York, NY @ Nokia Theatre
12/8 - Newport News, VA @ Ferguson Center for the Arts
12/10 - Sewell, NJ @ Commerce Bank Arts Center
12/11- El Paso, TX @ Plaza Theatre Performing Arts Center
12/12 - Oakland, CA @ Paramount Theatre
12/13 - Los Angeles, CA @ Wilshire Theatre
12/16 - Santa Rosa, CA @ Wells Fargo Center
12/17 - Mesa, AZ @ Mesa Arts Center - Ikeda Theatre
12/18 - Santa Ynez, CA @ Chumash Casino
12/19 - Cerritos, CA @ Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts
12/20 - Cerritos, CA @ Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Over the course of his long career, James Taylor has earned 40 gold, platinum and multi-platinum awards and five Grammy Awards for a catalog running from 1970's "Sweet Baby James" to his Grammy Award-winning efforts "Hourglass" (1997) and "October Road" (2002). Taylor's first greatest hits album earned him the Recording Industry Association of America's (RIAA) elite Diamond Award, given for sales in excess of 10 million units in the United States. For his accomplishments, James was honored with the 1998 Century Award, Billboard magazine's highest accolade, bestowed for distinguished creative achievement. The year 2000 saw his induction into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the prestigious Songwriters Hall of Fame. The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences selected James its MUSICARES Person of the Year in 2006 and most recently, James Taylor's "One Man Band" (2007) was nominated for an Emmy(R) Award for "Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special," in September 2008.

Fast forward to today and retail giant Borders will host legendary singer/songwriter James Taylor live Oct. 2 at 7 p.m. at the Borders store on Liberty Street in downtown Ann Arbor. The five-time Grammy Award winner is set to perform acoustic renditions of tracks from his forthcoming CD, "Covers." Following his performance, Taylor will sign copies of the "Covers" CD for fans. The CD officially goes on sale Tuesday, Sept. 30.

For those who cannot attend, the James Taylor event will be featured online at Borders.com beginning Oct. 7 on "Borders Live at 01," the retailer's popular broadband program that captures all the magic and excitement of in-store performances and other events at Borders' first store in Ann Arbor. In addition to featuring Taylor's much anticipated in-store performance, the episode will also include an exclusive interview with the singer talking about his new CD as well as the music, books and movies that inspire him, and more.

"It's truly an honor to have James Taylor perform at Borders," said Rob Gruen, executive vice president of Merchandising and Marketing for Borders Group. "He's a remarkable talent and one of the most prolific and beloved singer/songwriters of our time. This will be an event to remember for all who attend and we're pleased to be able to host James for this very special acoustical performance and to offer it online on our 'Live at 01' program." "I've enjoyed performing these songs during my career and now I have the opportunity to sing my own renditions of them at Borders," said Taylor. "The Borders store will offer an intimate and personal setting for me to share these songs with my fans who attend the event, and then millions of others will be able to enjoy the performance later on by watching it on Borders.com."

"Covers" features Taylor's own musical interpretations of tunes from the 50s, 60s and 70s by artists including Buddy Holly, the Dixie Chicks, The Temptations, Leonard Cohen, George Jones and Eddie Cochran. Tracks include: "It's Growing," "(I'm a) Road Runner," "Wichita Lineman," "Why
Baby Why," "Some Days You Gotta Dance," "Seminole Wind," "Suzanne," "Hound Dog," "Sadie," "On Broadway," "Summertime Blues" and "Not Fade Away." The songs on the CD were recorded live in a barn in Massachusetts with his "Band of Legends," that included musical heavyweights Luis Conte, Michael Landau, Jeff Babko, Lou Marini, Arnold McCuller, Jimmy Johnson, David Lasley, Walt Fowler, Andrea Zonn, Kate Markowitz, Steve Gadd and Larry Goldings.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Wave Mechanics Union is a recording project orchestra with nearly thirty contributing musicians from four states. The group has recently recorded repertoire from progressive and classic rock icons set in a big band jazz style. The new CD, Second Season, is due in late September, 2008. With a full-scale jazz orchestra and vocalist Lydia McAdams, the group has recorded striking new arrangements of songs from progressive rock giants Yes, Rush, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, King Crimson, The Who, Queen, The Police, They Might Be Giants, The Beatles, and more.

The brainchild of composers Ryan Fraley and Ralph Johnson, along with vocalist McAdams, the project seeks to honor the sometimes complicated sounds of progressive rock with jazz treatments. "Most jazz standards began their life as popular music," says Fraley. "We believe that these songs are as worthy of restatement as any popular music has ever been. As clever, relevant, and moving as any tune that has delighted a jazz arranger's imagination."

A large cast of nearly thirty musicians assembled to record the project, including session players from Indianapolis, Nashville, and Los Angeles. "A lot of jazz musicians also happen to be fans of progressive rock," says Ralph Johnson, the group's drummer and one of the arrangers.Second Season by Wave Mechanics Union will be available in late September 2008, and will be available for purchase via Amazon.com, CDbaby.com, and iTunes You can click to the Wave Mechanics Union website for more information, click to progjazz.com.

Monday, September 22, 2008


Marcus Johnson is an accomplished keyboardist, the chairman and CEO of Three Keys Music and Studio 8121, and founder of FLO(TM) Brands. Three Keys, Studio 8121 and two music publishing companies were created from Johnson's partnership with Bob Johnson (no relation), founder and former president and CEO of BET. Over his 15 year career, Johnson has released more than 10 CDs, all charting in the Top 20 on Billboard's Contemporary Jazz Charts., and his music has been widely lauded by jazz critics and aficionados.

Three is Marcus Johnson's lucky number this week. His "FLO ... " CD trilogy all broke Billboard's Contemporary Jazz Charts this week. Released September 9th and after one week of sales the "FLO" (For the Love Of) CDs - "Romance", "Chill" and "Standards" hit the Billboard charts at # seven, # nine and #13 respectively. The release of three CDs simultaneously is an amazing accomplishment. And, to have them each hit Billboard's Contemporary Jazz Top 15 at the same time should be one for the jazz music history books. "We are grateful for the support of jazz music lovers and Marcus Johnson fans," says Johnson. "We knew we'd created a masterful collection of music, and the sales prove that we were right."

"FLO ... Romance" features the sexy vocal stylings of Keith Atler, Alyson Williams, Stoney Ellis, YahZarah and Frank McComb who join Johnson on this smooth sultry mix of R&B and jazz. "FLO ... Chill" is just the right touch of jazz from the opening grooves of Plush (featured on the "Urban Groove" CD) to the dance grooves. " ... Chill" delivers a musical journey of incomparable 'chillin'. "FLO ... Standards" is a smooth jazz journey of classic jazz standards featuring Marcus Johnson's melodic and intricate interpretation of Cannonball Adderley's "Moanin" and "My Funny Valentine." Johnson is joined on " ... Standards" by keyboardists Bobby Lyle and Michael Price and drummer Lenny Robinson. This combination of dynamic musical performances lifts " ... Standards" to glory for any jazz lover.


Nicola Conte returns to the fold with two brand new releases – the full-length album, Rituals, and a 10-inch EP – Sketches Of Samba. Rituals features mostly live jazz instrumentation. The album has echoes of bossa, modal jazz, and more - served up by combos with players that include Timo Lassy on sax and flute, Fabrizio Bosso and Till Bronner on trumpets, Pietro Lussu on piano, and Conte himself on guitar. Vocals are by Alice Ricciardi, Jose James, Chiara Civello, and Kim Sanders -- and the album's got an even deeper feel than Conte's previous album on Blue Note. Tracks include "Karma Flower", "I See All Shades Of You", "Black Is The Graceful Veil", "Caravan", "Rituals", "Macedonia", "Awakening", "The Nubian Queens", and "Like Leaves In The Wind". Japanese pressing features the bonus track "The Nubian Queens (Samba version)".

On Sketches Of Samba, you’ll find Nicola Conte delivering one of his most 60’s-styled recording yet and he continues with his trademarked sublime samba grooves. The EP definitely lives up to its title - jazzy sketches of samba tunes, two by Conte, the other two by Sergio Mendes and JT Meirelles - all played by hip small combos with guest work from Fabrizio Bosso on trumpet, Timo Lassy on flute, and both Kim Sanders and Jose James on vocals! The EP, features two tracks that are supposedly exclusive to the set . Titles include "The Nubian Queens (samba version", "Paper Clouds (uptempo version)", "Solo", and "Groovy Samba".


Mindi Abair @ Unplugged at the Wrigley Ranch, Avalon, CA, Oct 2

0-Nam, The Sax Pack: Keff Kashiwa, Steve Cole, Kim Waters @ JazzTrax Festival, Avalon, CA, Oct 3

Jackiem Joyner, LA Chillharmonic, Jessy J, Acoustic Alchemy @ JazzTrax Festival, Avalon, CA, Oct 4

Brian Bromberg, Warren Hill @ JazzTrax Festival, Avalon, CA, Oct 5

Bobby Caldwell @ Billboard Live, Tokyo, Japan, Oct 5, 6, 7, 9, 10

Chris Standring @ Cinnamon Club, Manchester, UK, Oct 7

Chris Standring @ Pizza Express Club, Soho, London, Oct 8-10

Paul Brown, Jay Soto, Rick Braun, Richard Elliot @ Unplugged at the Wrigley Ranch, Avalon, CA, Oct 9

Nicola Conte @ The Blue Note, Nagoya, Japan, Oct 9

Jay Soto, Eri Darius, JazzTrax Destival, Catalina Island, CA, Oct. 10

Nicola Conte @ Motion Blue, Yokohama, Japan, Oct 10

Jackiem Joyner, LA Chillharmonic, Nyee Moses, Keiko Matsui @ JazzTrax Festival, Avalon, CA, Oct 11

Paul Jackson Jr, Gregg Karukas, Jessy J, Keffrey Osborne @ JazzTrax Festrival, Avalon, CA, Oct 12

Chris Standring @ Churchills, Southend, UK, Oct 12

Nicola Conte @ The Blue Note, Tokyo, Japan, Oct 12-13

Bobby Caldwell @ Billboard Live, Osaka, Japan, Oct 13-15

Mindi Abair, Nyee Moses @ Catalina Jazz Fest, Avalon, CA, Oct 17

Bobby Caldwell @ Billboard Live, Fukuoka, Japan, Oct 17-19

Ray Parker Jr, Jessy J, Nick Collione, Jay Soto, Euge Groove @ JazzTrax Festival, Avalon, CA, Oct 18

Chris Standring @ Anthology, San Diego, CA, Oct 18

Jackiem Joyner, Paul Brown, Marc Antoine, Chris Standring, Sekou Bunch, Gerald Albright @ JazzTrax Festival, Avalon, CA, Oct 19

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Airborne – Winds Of Change (Tilt)
Al Williams III – Heart Song (Pacific Coast Jazz)
Andre Delano – My So Fine (NuGroove)
Arturo Romay – Alma Latina (ArturoRomay.com)
Bernie Kenerson – Bernie Game (Bernup)
Bobbi Humphrey – Fancy Dancer (Blue Note)
Brian King – Caribbean Sunset (A King’s Dream)
Cates Fomin Project – Journey With Us (Attack)
Cloning Einstein – Cloning Einstein (Independent)
Dangling Success – Chilled Champagne (Electric Reels)
Darren Motamedy – Don’t ChaKnow (Mashhad)
Dave Koz – Greatest Hits (Capitol)
Dave Stewart – The Dave Stewart Songbook Vol 1 (Surfdog)
David Sanborn – Here And Gone (Decca)
DeNate – Reminisce (NuGroove)
Douye – Journey (DouyeTheArtist.com0
Ember Made – Visions (Independent)
Eric Benet – Love & Life (Warner)
Horace Alexander Young – Acoustic Contemporary Jazz (Pacific Coast Jazz)
J-Exclusive – Notice Me (Steppin Muzak)
Jason Miles – 2 Grover With Love (Koch)
Jazz Crusaders feat. Wayne Henderson – Kick The Jazz (WMGW Digital)
Jeff Lorber – Heard That (Peak)
Jim Brickman – Unspoken (Savoy Jazz)
Joan Osborne – Little Wild One (Womanly Hips/Plum)
Jonathan Fritzen – Love Birds (Nordic Night)
Larry Carlton – Greatest Hits Re-Recorded (335 Records)
Lee Ritenour & Dave Grusin – Amparo (Decca)
Lisa Hilton – Sunny Day Theory (Ruby Slippers)
Marilyn Scott – Every Time We Say Goodbye (Venus)
Michael Lington – Heat (NuGroove)
Mike Wheeler – Mikey’s Waltz (Blue Bamboo)
Motown Moe – Blue For U (Motown Moe)
Natalie Cole – Still Unforgettable (Rhino)
Peter Cor Featuring Jazzy Devils – 2 Hott (WMGW Digital)
Robin Avery – Light The Way (Green Eyes)
Robin Thicke – Something Else (Interscope)
Sadao Watanabe – Basie’s At Night (Koch)
Savio Rego – All I Want (Independent)
Terrence Howard – Shine Through It (Columbia)
Urban Jazz Coalition – A New Day (Continuum Music Grp)
Wayne Brady – A Long Time Coming (Peak)
Woody Witt – A Conversation (Blue Bamboo)

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Best-selling chart-topping American jazz trumpeter and composer Chris Botti will join Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops on stage at Boston's historic Symphony Hall for two extraordinary concerts on Thursday, September 18 and Friday, September 19 at 7:30pm (both nights).

Both Sting and Aerosmith's Steven Tyler will be appearing with Chris Botti and the Boston Pops each night, performing a wide range of songs from Botti's recorded repertoire as well as a host of unexpected musical delights. In addition to appearances by Josh Groban, slated for Thursday's
concert, and cellist Yo-Yo Ma, scheduled for Friday's show, Chris has invited some of the top names in contemporary music, a secret roster of very special surprise guests to help make these concerts the year's most memorable.

"Chris Botti Live in Boston," a remarkable music collaboration with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops, will be broadcast nationally during the PBS pledge drive in March 2009 with a DVD from the concert(s) and other bonus items to be released exclusively through PBS during the pledge drive. Columbia Records will release a live CD of the performances in November 2008, followed by the release of DVD and Blu-ray editions of the concerts in the spring.

A limited number of tickets for each of the "Chris Botti Live in Boston" concerts has been recently released for sale to the general public. Please check your local ticket outlet for details.

"Chris Botti Live in Boston" promises to be a worthy successor to the artist's first PBS pledge drive special, "Chris Botti Live with Orchestra & Special Guests." First aired on PBS during March Pledge Week 2006, the special became a perennial pledge drive favorite nationwide while a DVD of that show has achieved RIAA platinum status.

In the studio and on stage, Chris Botti has worked with such leading singer-songwriters and composers as Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Sting and renowned film composer John Barry, among others; as a sideman, he has appeared on dozens of albums, compilations and soundtracks. His association with Sting-- who appeared on Botti's To Love Again and When I Fall In Love--dates back to 1999, when the trumpeter joined the pop legend's band as featured soloist on the "Brand New Day" tour, which lasted two years.

In addition to receiving an RIAA gold-certification for When I Fall in Love in 2004 and To Love Again (both produced by Bobby Colomby) in 2005, "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?" (with vocals by Sting) earned a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocals. Since then, Chris Botti has toured constantly, stopping only to tape "Chris Botti Live with Orchestra & Special Guests," a PBS Special and DVD, in Los Angeles in December of 2005.

Friday, September 19, 2008


Well here we go again…another smooth jazz radio station is switching formats. If this keeps going, the smooth jazz format will eventually totally disappear as more and more radio stations keep dropping the format. Now comes news that KBZN (97.9 FM, "97.9 The Breeze") in Salt Lake City, Utah is switching to a “smooth adult contemporary” format. "We are custom-designing KBZN to be the Wasatch Front's 'Smooth AC' station, which is how Arbitron now describes 'Smooth Jazz' in its format listings," said Dan R. Jessop, KBZN operations director. "We believe this is the perfect market to move the format into more familiar sounding instrumentals and vocals. We are excited but love our listeners who preferred just instrumentals. We hope they and a lot of new samplers will become familiar with 'The Breeze' and make us their first choice for Smooth Music." "We are proud to be in on the beginning of a new Smooth revolution with a music mix that will appeal most in this market," Jessop said. Jessop said many markets nationally don't have smooth jazz or smooth AC stations. As a matter of fact, WJJZ in Philadelphia dumped the smooth jazz format this month.

KBZN is owned by Capital Broadcasting. During the 1980s the call letters were KZAN. It was a country formatted station using the slogan "Great Utah Country." DJs included "Terrible T", David Chandler, Trisha Griffith, Gentleman Jim, Mike Martin. In many respects, KBZN will now sound a lot more like KSFI ("FM-100") and KOSY. The change is also being made in hopes of attracting new listeners. KBZN had a 1.6 percent share of the age 12-plus audience (18th place) in the latest Arbitron estimates.


In a nearly 50-year recordingcareer filled with many diverse achievements and awards, Herbie Hancock was honored for the first time with a GRAMMY for Album Of The Year. The last time -- and the only other time -- a jazz album garnered this top award was in 1964 when Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto won for Getz/Gilberto.

Beginning in 1962 with his Blue Note album Takin' Off, Hancock has recorded some 50 albums as a leader. By far his most prolific period was when he was signed to Columbia Records from 1972 to 1988. At the same time as he was recording for CBS/Columbia in the U.S. he had a separate contract with CBS/SONY in Japan. Between the two affiliations he recorded some 30
albums in these years.

The albums he made for Columbia in the U.S. were mostly electric and mixed elements of jazz with R&B, Dance and Pop. He played an arsenal of keyboards, and also was one of the first musicians to utilize a new piece of equipment called a Vocoder. The Vocoder was a kind of synthesized voice processor through which he sang -- on Sunlight (1978) and a few other albums. Other recordings during this period used outside vocalists. Many of these records enjoyed airplay on non-jazz formats and also charted. Several of the U.S. titles have had only limited availability on CD, often just as imports.

Digital providers will now have the following albums available: Death Wish / Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (1974), Sunlight (1978), Feets Don't Fail Me Now (1978), Monster (1980), Mr. Hands (1980), Magic Windows (1981), Lite Me Up (1981) and Village Life (1984). There were also two electric albums made for CBS/SONY that have never been released outside
of Japan -- Flood (1975) and Direct Step (1978).

Herbie's arrangement with CBS/SONY made it possible for him to make straight ahead acoustic jazz albums for release in the Japanese market, at the same time he was making electric albums in the U.S. which were aimed at a much larger audience. All of the acoustic albums featured long-time musical companions bassist Ron Carter and drummer Tony Williams, and there were also several others that added trumpeter Freddie Hubbard and saxophonist Wayne Shorter to that same rhythm section.

In 1974 he recorded Dedication, his first album for CBS/SONY Japan. This album, unique in his discography, was half solo acoustic piano and half electric keyboards. The acoustic first side included extended re-workings of two of his classic compositions, "Maiden Voyage" and "Dolphin Dance," while the second side featured multiple keyboard workouts on another classic -- "Cantaloupe Island" -- and a new piece called "Nobu."

The so-called Mwandishi Sextet -- trumpeter Eddie Henderson, trombonist Julian Priester, multi-reed player Bennie Maupin, bassist Buster Williams and drummer Billy Hart -- recorded three adventurous, often abstract, electric albums for Warner Brothers and Columbia between 1970 and 1972. The Headhunters, Herbie's second and more funk/groove oriented electric band,
then found great commercial success with three highly influential albums made for Columbia between 1973 and 1975 -- Headhunters, Thrust and Man-Child. Some U.S. fans got to hear this band live in person but unless they bought an expensive import they did not get to hear Flood, originally a Japanese only double LP live album featuring the best known Headhunters line-up -- Benny Maupin on reeds, Paul Jackson on bass, Mike Clark on drums, and Bill Summers on percussion. Highly charged versions of "Chameleon," and "Hang Up Your Hangups" highlight what is one of the most exciting live albums of Hancock's career.

Another unique electric album recorded for the Japanese market was Direct Step (1978). This title was recorded direct-to-disc, an audiophile format that gained some attention around that time. Instead of recording first on tape and then going through the rest of the disc-cutting LP mastering process, the recording was done directly to a vinyl-disc cutting lathe. Bypassing the tape step often resulted in superior sound which led in this case to "Direct Step" being chosen as one of the first CDs to be issued when the CD format was introduced in the early '80s.

Two other albums which stand out from his U.S. releases in the late 1970s and early 1980s are Mr. Hands and Village Life. The overlooked Mr. Hands (1980) is an all-instrumental album done in the middle of the period when most of his albums were vocal-oriented. Each track features Herbie on multiple keyboards with a different ensemble including, among others, Jaco Pastorius, Paul Jackson, Ron Carter, Tony Williams, Harvey Mason, Bill Summers and Sheila E. Village Life (1984) is a unique duet album where Herbie plays various keyboards and is joined by African kora player Foday Musa Soso. Soso had also appeared on Herbie's previous Columbia release Sound System (1984) and collaborated with Herbie again on the 1987 live album for Verve called Jazz Africa.

At the Newport Jazz Festival NY in 1976 there was a three-part retrospective concert of Herbie's music featuring the Mwandishi Sextet, the latest edition of The Headhunters band which included guitarists Wah Wah Watson and Ray Parker, and a specially-assembled acoustic band including Freddie Hubbard, Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter and Tony Williams. Originally Herbie had asked Miles Davis to participate in the acoustic part of the program but when Miles declined he asked Hubbard, who had played on three of his key Blue Note albums. The entire evening, recorded by Columbia U.S. and released under the title V.S.O.P., is now available for the first time at iTunes and other digital providers. V.S.O.P., which stood for Very Special One-Time Performance, ironically ended up also being the first part of the name of V.S.O.P. The Quintet, as the band with Hubbard, Shorter, Carter and Williams came to be known.

Due to the success of the Newport/NY concert they ended up going on tour in the U.S. and Japan, and also recorded four more albums. Three of those albums now make their first appearance digitally. Tempest In A Colosseum, which has never been released in any format outside of Japan, comes from a live show at the Denen Colosseum in Tokyo and includes versions of mostly well-known compositions by all of the band members including an outstanding version of "Maiden Voyage." Live Under The Sky, which finally saw a U.S. release as a double CD in 2004, was also recorded live in Japan. And Five Stars, the only studio album the band made, includes a Hancock composition that he only recorded once called "Fingerpainting" plus rarely recorded tunes by Tony Williams ("Mutants On The Beach") and Wayne Shorter ("Circe.")

The rhythm section of Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and Tony Williams is unquestionably one of the greatest in the history of jazz. Miles Davis brought these three musicians together for the first time in 1963 for his Seven Steps To Heaven (Columbia) album and they went on to make a dozen more albums with Miles between 1963 and 1968. They also performed together on two of Herbie's classic Blue Notes -- Empyrean Isles and Maiden Voyage, but surprisingly never made a trio album during this very active time period. The first trio sessions with these three musicians took place on July 13, 1977 in San Francisco, when they actually recorded two albums in one day -- The Herbie Hancock Trio for CBS/SONY, and Third Plane, under Ron Carter's name, for Milestone. The Herbie Hancock Trio album is notable for the inclusion of three striking Hancock compositions which he never recorded again -- "Watch It," "Watcha Waitin' For," and "Look," plus an extended version of his classic "Speak Like A Child."

And in 1981, the trio did one more album for CBS/SONY which included "Dolphin Dance," a tune each by Ron and Tony, and a couple of standards. The two CBS albums, neither of which were ever released in the U.S. in any format, are now available digitally. As of September 16th, all thirty albums Herbie Hancock recorded as a leader for Columbia Records and its Japanese affiliate CBS/SONY between 1972 and 1988 will be available through digital providers.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Love and Life is the fourth studio album from American R&B singer Eric Benét. It was released on September 9, 2008. The first single You're The Only One is currently rising on the r&b charts and it is his first top twenty hit in 2 years

LOVE & LIFE Tracklisting
Love, Patience, & Time
You're The Only One
Don't Let Go
Everlove (duet with Terry Dexter)
Chocolate Legs
Weekend Girl
Iminluvwichoo (duet with Linda Kiraly)
Spanish Fly
Still I Believe
Sing To Me
One More Tomorrow
iTunes bonus track: Can't Stop

Eric Benet Upcoming Tour Dates:
Sept 13 - Lexington, KY @ Roots and Heritage Festival
Sept 14 - New York, NY @ Liberty R&B and Jazz Festival
Sept 19 - Las Vegas, NV @ Hoodie Awards
Sept 20 - Milwaukee, WI @ Riverside Theatre
Sept 25 - Jacksonville, FL @ Ritz Theatre
Sept 26 - North Myrtle Beach, S.C. @ House of Blues - Myrtle Beach
Sept 27 - Atlanta, GA @ Chastain Park Amphitheatre
Sept 29 - Chicago, IL @ House of Blues Chicago
Oct 1 - Detroit, MI @ South Beach
Oct 2 - Cleveland, OH @ Playhouse Square
Oct 5 - New Brunswick, NJ @ State Theatre
Oct 6 - New York, NY @ B.B. King's
Oct 7 - Alexandria, VA @ Birchmere
Oct 8 - Alexandria, VA @ Birchmere
Oct 10 - Norfolk, VA @ Attucks Theatre
Oct 11 - Durham, NC @ Carolina Theatre
Oct 12 - Charlotte, NC @ Neighborhood Theatre
Oct 16 - Houston, TX @ Arena Theatre
Oct 17 - Baton Rouge, LA @ River Center
Oct 18 - Dallas, TX @ Nokia Theatre Grand Prairie


Platinum-selling Grammy-winning artistr John Legend and his forthcoming new album, EVOLVER, will be the iTunes Store's largest international "Complete My Album" campaign to-date. Complete My Album allows music fans to buy albums at a reduced price based on songs they've already purchased. Available on iTunes in 20 territories, "Countdown to EVOLVER" offers fans a series of album tracks leading up to the release of John's eagerly-awaited new studio album on Tuesday, October 28.

On July 29th iTunes launched its largest international Complete My Album campaign, "Countdown to EVOLVER," with the online release of "Green Light" (featuring Andre 3000), followed by the online release of "If You're Out There" on August 24. A special new John Legend track, "Green Light (Afroganic Remix)," will be available exclusively online on iTunes in 20 countries beginning Tuesday, September 16. An additional two tracks from EVOLVER will be available exclusively on iTunes across those same 20 territories on September 30 and October 14.

In addition to the United States, "Countdown to EVOLVER" is available in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, France, Austria, Italy, Spain, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland and Sweden.

One of the most eagerly-awaited releases of 2008, EVOLVER is the first full-length studio album in two years from five time Grammy-winning recording artist and concert performer John Legend. In addition to OutKast's Andre 3000, guests on EVOLVER include emerging UK hip-hop artist
Estelle, R&B/pop superstar Brandy and John's longtime collaborator Kanye West.

Songs on EVOLVER include "Green Light," "It's Over" (featuring Kanye West), "Everybody Knows," "No Other Love" (featuring Estelle), "Satisfaction," "This Time," "Cross The Line," "I Love, You Love," "Good Morning," "If You're Out There," and "Quickly" (featuring Brandy).

Released in late December 2004, John Legend's debut album, "Get Lifted," peaked at #4 on the Billboard Top 200 album chart and became America's #1 Top R&B/Hip-Hop album in January 2005. A critical and commercial triumph, "Get Lifted" earned John an astounding eight Grammy
nominations -- he won Best New Artist, Best Male R&B Vocal Performance ("Ordinary People") and Best R&B album -- while selling more than three million copies worldwide.

John's second collection, "Once Again," entered the Billboard Top 200 at #3 shortly after its release in October 2006, peaking at #1 on the R&B Album Sales chart, earning an RIAA platinum certification while securing two Grammy nominations: "Save Room" (for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance) and "Heaven" (which won Best Male R&B Vocal Performance).

John racked up his fifth overall career Grammy win in 2006 when "Family Affair" -- a track he'd cut with Joss Stone and Van Hunt for "Different Strokes by Different Folks," a Sly & the Family Stone tribute album (Epic/Legacy) -- took home top honors in the Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals category.

In 2007, John Legend launched the Show Me Campaign (ShowMeCampaign.org), a grassroots movement whose mission is "to fight economic and spiritual poverty through fostering sustainable development (personal, social, educational, economic) at the individual, family, and small community levels."



Apple(R) has announced iTunes(R) 8, the next major release of Apple's ubiquitous music and video player for Macs and PCs which is seamlessly integrated with the most popular online content store in the world (http://www.itunes.com). iTunes 8 includes the new breakthrough Genius feature, which lets you automatically create playlists from songs in your music library that go great together -- with just one click. Genius helps music fans rediscover favorite songs in their existing music library and suggests related music on the iTunes Store they might want to add to their music collection. iTunes 8 features new ways of viewing your music and video libraries, and adds television programs in stunning high definition for sale on the iTunes Store.

Using Apple's breakthrough Genius feature is easy-select any song, click the Genius button, and iTunes instantly creates a playlist of songs that go great together from your own library. You can preview the playlist Genius creates, refresh the list to choose different songs and save Genius playlists to enjoy again later. You can even create Genius Playlists on-the-go with the new iPod(R) classic, iPod touch, iPod nano and iPhone(TM). The Genius sidebar appears right in iTunes and recommends music from the iTunes Store that you don't already have, based on the songs you select.

When you turn on iTunes 8's new Genius feature, information about your music library is anonymously sent to the iTunes Store, where it is combined with the anonymously-gathered knowledge from millions of other iTunes users and processed through Apple-developed algorithms. The Genius results, specifically tailored to your personal music library, are sent back to your computer to enable users to automatically create Genius playlists in iTunes and on your iPods, even when they are not connected to the Internet.

iTunes 8's new visual browsing interface displays your music and video libraries using your album and video covers, and also provides a great way to navigate your movies, TV shows, iPhone apps, podcasts and audiobooks.

The iTunes Store has become the world's most popular online TV store and features an incredible selection of over 30,000 episodes from ABC, CBS, The CW, FOX, NBC and over 70 cable networks including Bravo, Comedy Central, Disney Channel, ESPN, FX, HBO, MTV, Nickelodeon, Sci Fi, Showtime and USA. With iTunes 8, television fans can now watch their favorite programs from ABC, NBC and Showtime in stunning HD for just $2.99 per episode, perfect for viewing on their Mac(R) or PC, or on their widescreen TV with Apple TV.

The iTunes Store is the world's most popular online music, TV and movie store with a catalog of 8.5 million songs, over 30,000 TV episodes and over 2,500 films including 600 in stunning high definition video. With Apple's legendary ease of use, pioneering features such as iTunes Movie Rentals, integrated podcasting support, iMix playlist sharing, the ability to turn previously purchased tracks into complete albums at a reduced price, and seamless integration with iPod and iPhone, the iTunes Store is the best way for Mac and PC users to legally discover, purchase and download music and video online.

iTunes 8 for Mac and Windows includes the iTunes Store and is available as a free download from (http://www.itunes.com). Purchase and download of songs and videos from the iTunes Store requires a valid credit card from a financial institution in the country of purchase. Video availability varies by country.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Tom Jones is set to release an album of almost entirely original material this fall. The 68-year-old singer will release "24 Hours" on Oct. 21 in the US and on Nov. 25 via S-Curve Records. It's a retro-tinged album much in the style of Amy Winehouse's "Back to Black" that finds the Welshman's voice as strong as ever. "The fire is still in me," Jones told The Associated Press in a recent interview, speaking by phone from his home in Los Angeles. "Not to be an oldie, but a goodie. I want to be a contender." The albumc was produced by British production duo Future Cut, who have cut tracks for Lily Allen, Kate Nash and others. With backing horns and an almost Stax Records kind of soul, the sound is distinctly retro. "We've been thinking about this for a while, doing a retro sound but new," said Jones. "And Amy Winehouse, she cracked it. When that album came out, my son called me right away and said, `You know what we've been talking about? Listen to this.'"

Since he released the hit "It's Not Unusual" in 1965, Jones has sold more than 100 million records worldwide. While his 2000 album "Reload" was a hit in Europe and elsewhere (buoyed by the club hit "Sex Bomb"), it was never released in the U.S. — which Jones calls "a shame." "The hits that I've had recently have all been European," he said. "I've had a lot of success worldwide, which is a pain because I live here and I do most of my shows in America. ... Hopefully this will straighten that out."

Jones, who regularly performs in Las Vegas, believes his voice hasn't aged — thanks partly to his careful treatment of it; he takes a humidifier with him traveling to keep his throat from drying. Jones even believes his lower registers have gotten richer. "I wanted my voice to sound as natural as possible," Jones said of the album. "The arrangements and the production needs to be modern, but the vocal needs to sound like me."

There are several covers on the album — including Bruce Springsteen's "The Hitter" and "I'm Alive" by Tommy James and the Shondells — but the rest Jones either co-wrote or collaborated with the songwriters. Bono and the Edge of U2 guest on the song "Sugar Daddy." "I love doing the songs that I've had success with and the audience keeps those alive," Jones said. "But I love moving on."


Having sold over ten (10) million CDs worldwide the multi-platinum selling crooner is set to release his seventh (7th) album, "Joe Thomas, New Man" on September 23, on Kedar Entertainment Group/563 Entertainment. Few male R&B solo singers that debuted in the early 90's, in Joe's case fifteen years ago, can attest to the success that seven-time Grammy Award nominated (Best Male R&B Vocal Performance -- "Let's Stay Home Tonight," Best R&B Album -- "Better Days," Best R&B Performance by a Duo or a Group -- "More Than a Woman" w/Angie Stone, Best Pop Collaboration w/Vocals -- "Thank God I Found You" w/98 Degrees and Mariah Carey, Best Male R&B Performance -- "I Wanna Know," Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group, and Best R&B Album -- "Coming Home" w/Brian McKnight and BeBe Winans) star Joe can.

Over the course of Joe's career, the consummate Soul singer has released nine (9) top 10 singles on Billboard's "Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs" chart. His new single, "E.R. (Emergency Room)," is already shooting up the charts according Radio and Records on the Urban AC charts being the #1 most added in its 1st week going for radio adds, July 14th & 15th, and is currently the song with the Most Increased Airplay this week, a feat the song has held more than once since its add date. With more than eight (8) million in audience at radio, since its release, "E.R. (Emergency Room)" has also held the Greatest Gainer status on this chart for five (5) weeks.

Admiring the genius and swagger of artists like Marvin Gaye and Donny Hathaway, songs from his forthcoming album share the sacred/profane dilemma that elevates beyond the arena of his peers. From the sweet as cherry Kool-Aide lyrics on "Man In Your Life" to lonely teardrops of "Sorry" to the perfect summer record "Why Just Be Friends" and the freaky deke of "Triple Black Room" remix featuring Diddy, Joe continues to dig deep into his own psyche for the best material. With a voice that is sweet as chocolate and strong as coffee, "Joe Thomas, New Man" is the perfect album detailing all that Joe is.

Joe is currently crisscrossing the country to promote "Joe Thomas, New Man" with radio visits & shows, local television performances and print interviews in over 30 major cities like Atlanta, Chicago, LA, Detroit and more


Capitol Records has just released Dave Koz - Greatest Hits iand iit's a fitting time for a career retrospective of the renowned instrumentalist/composer, with the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce recently announcing that Koz will be honored with a star in the sidewalk on Hollywood Boulevard's Walk of Fame in 2009. Dave has had numerous No. 1 singles and No. 1 albums and been honored with six GRAMMY nominations and an NAACP Image award nod. Dave Koz – Greatest Hits contains eleven fan favorites, plus four brand new songs. "Life In The Fast Lane," is already climbing the radio charts.

In the meantime, devoted fans can chat with Dave! On Thursday, September 25, at 6:30pm PST (California time). Are there any questions you'd like to ask Dave about his new CD, Greatest Hits? Any questions you have about the upcoming cruise or tour? Or any questions about ANYTHING?! Dave will answer them! If you would like to throw your name into the hat for a drawing to participate in the chat, please send an email to contests@davekoz.com by midnight (California time) on September 20. The call in is only open to Dave Koz fan club members, so if you are not already a member you can still join by going to davekoz.com. Ten lucky fan club members will win and be notified via email by September 22. At that time, the chat guidelines and long-distance dial-in number will be sent to the winning fan club members.

Upcoming later in the year is the annual The Dave Koz & Friends at Sea 4 th annual cruise which is about sold out! The cruise sails on November 2nd from Ft. Lauderdale on the luxurious Holland America m/s Westerdam. Among the scheduled guests are Dave Koz, Rick Braun, Richard Elliot, Eric Benet, George Duke and many more! Enjoy the fun onboard and the beautiful ports of call of Samana, Dominican Republic; St. Thomas; St. Barths; and Half Moon Cay.


Adult Contemporary and Grammy-nominated artist Jim Brickman returns with "Unspoken" -- an all-new album of instrumental solo piano compositions to be released by SLG Records (a unit of the Savoy Label Group). Jim Brickman revolutionized the sound of Adult Contemporary music with a remarkable series of piano-based recordings that were distinctively evocative in their unique blend of pop and romanticism. The fourteen new tracks on "Unspoken" hearken back to Brickman's roots as an unparalleled composer of pop instrumental songs reaffirming his status as a master of heart rending melodicism. Brickman will embark on his annual Fall/Winter tour beginning in September. "Unspoken' is available now on SLG Records.

Jim Brickman's remarkable career includes six Gold and Platinum selling albums, three #1 and twelve Top 10 Adult Contemporary radio hits, consistent debuts at #1 on Billboard Magazine's New Age chart, a Grammy nomination in 2003, SESAC "Songwriter of the Year" award, a Canadian Country Music Award, a Dove Award and his position as the all time chart leader on Radio & Records Adult Contemporary chart. Among his many hit compositions are blockbuster collaborations with guest vocalists such as Martina McBride ("Valentine"), Sara Evans ("Never Alone") and last year's collaboration with ex-Lonestar great Richie McDonald ("Coming Home For Christmas").

Complete track listing of "Unspoken":
1) Glory featuring David Benoit
2) Cloudy Day
3) Sudden Inspiration
4) New Beginnings
5) Whisper
6) After The Rain
7) The Crossing
8) Flying High
9) Unspoken
10) First Dance
11) Far Away From Home
12) Timeless
13) Blessed
14) Over the Rainbow

Brickman will also embark on his annual Fall/Winter tour this month -- confirmed dates are as follows:
9/18 Harrisonburg, VA
9/20 Hoover, AL
9/21 Baton Rouge, LA
9/25 La Crosse, WI
9/26 Elgin, IL
9/27 Cedarburg, WI
12/1 Spokane, WA
12/2 Boise, ID
12/3 Logan, UT
12/4 Sioux Falls, SD
12/5 Des Moines, IA
12/6 Springfield, MO
12/7 Warrensburg, MO
12/9 Omaha, NE
12/10 Madison, WI
12/11 Kalamazoo, MI
12/12 Green Bay, WI
12/13 Aurora, IL
12/14 Indianapolis, IN
12/15 South Bend, IN
12/16 Denver, CO
12/17 Kansas City, MO
12/18 Durham, NC
12/19 Macon, GA
12/20 Washington, DC
12/21 Hartford, CT
12/22 Virginia Beach, VA
12/23 Charlotte, NC
12/26 Cleveland, OH
12/27& 28 Boston, MA
12/29 New Brunswick, NJ
12/30 Pittsburgh, PA
12/31 Wilmington, DE

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


The cream of the R&B crop recently congregated at Philadelphia's Kimmel Center Verizon Hall to honor not only legends, but more importantly, those overlooked throughout the genre's rich history. The occasion was the Rhythm & Blues Foundation's 20th anniversary, as well as its 15th Pioneer Awards Show Gala.

Co-hosted by former Pioneer Award honorees Dionne Warwick, Bonnie Raitt, and Jerry Butler, along with Emmy winner Wayne Brady, the evening's festivities kicked off with a musical montage, culminating in Pioneer Awards handed to Bill Withers, Teena Marie, R&B/blues singer Sugar Pie DeSanto, Kool & The Gang , the Whispers, and Motown session superstars the Funk Brothers. Chaka Khan received the Foundation's "Lifetime Achievement Award"; former Stax and Motown Records executive Al Bell received the Ahmet Ertegun Leadership Award, newly named for the late Atlantic Records founder; and the Legacy Award was given to the family of soul legend Donny Hathaway.

The evening kicked off with a seven-minute overture, conducted by Musical Director Bill Jolly and his orchestra musically telling the story of Rhythm and Blues development through -- the drum, cotton field chants, gospel, jazz, blues, R&B, doo-wop, rock, soul, funk, hip-hop, rap, and neo-soul. Visual montages included Clara Ward, the Dixie Hummingbirds, B.B. King and others. During the big band segment, Raitt broke ranks with pop and the blues to sing the jazzy "In the Mood," as Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway and Count Basie's images weaved in and out. Butler and Warwick sang their signature songs, "For Your Precious Love" and "Walk On By," respectively. And Brady flashed his versatility with electrifying renditions of James Brown's "It's a Man's World" and "Sex Machine."

Former Spinner G.C. Cameron sang his "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday" (later made popular by Boyz II Men), to an accompanying video of Isaac Hayes, Ertegun, Brown, and others who passed away over the past two years; Public Enemy's Chuck D covered rap and hip-hop, and included PE anthem "Fight the Power"; Kenny Lattimore and Brady sang a Donny Hathaway segment that included a raucous turn with "The Ghetto"; The Funk Brothers were accompanied by Kindred the Family Soul on a Motown medley: Neo-soul superstar Anthony Hamilton performed "I Can't Let Go," with an ensemble of Gary "U.S." Bonds, Mabel John, Maxine Brown, Chuck Jackson,, Kindred the Family Soul, Vivian Green, Jaguar Wright, Stax session guitarist Steve Cropper, Steve Jordan, Jean Wright, Betty Wright, Bunny Sigler, Warwick, Butler, Brady, Raitt and many others.

This special evening featured performances by honorees Bill Withers, DeSanto, the Whispers, Khan, Marie, the Funk Brothers and 76-year-old DeSanto, who stole the show when she performed "I Wanna Know" and threw in an amazingly limber forward flip that won her a standing ovation. The surprise of the evening was a rare appearance by the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, who presented a "Lifetime Achievement Award" to a tearful and grateful Chaka Khan. The finale, "I'll Take You There" turned into a once in a lifetime reunion music fest that included the aforementioned performers as well as the Dixie Cups, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, Kim Weston and John Oats.

The Rhythm & Blues Foundation was founded in 1988 with the intention of preserving the genre's historical and cultural importance, as well as providing a helping hand to those in need. Respect was the over-riding sentiment, as tears and hugs flowed freely from the stage.

For more information on the Rhythm & Blues Foundation click to on to http://www.rhythmblues.org/.


Invisible Cinema, the hot new Blue Note Records debut by Aaron Parks was just released August 19, 2008, and already critics are raving. The album finds the 24-year old pianist and composer—who is featured in the September issue of JazzTimes as a “New Visionary”—exploring the common ground between his influences: from modern progressive jazz to indie rock and hip-hop. Parks represents a new generation of Jazz musicians, as is evidenced by the fact that he cites bands from Radiohead to Blonde Redhead among his major influences alongside Herbie Hancock, Brad Mehldau, and Terence Blanchard. Parks will be hitting the road this Fall in support of Invisible Cinema.

See below for all U.S. tour dates.
10/17 — Memphis, TN — Germantown Performing Arts Center
10/18 — New Orleans, LA — Snug Harbor
10/19 — Los Angeles, CA — Jazz Bakery
10/20 — San Francisco, CA — Yoshi’s
10/23 — Seattle, WA — Earshot Jazz Festival
10/24 — Denver, CO — Dazzle Jazz Club
11/01 — Philadelphia, PA — Chris' Jazz Cafe

Monday, September 15, 2008


Smooth jazz bass guitarist Wayman Tisdale, the former NBA player and current jazz musician, had part of his right leg amputated due to bone cancer a couple of weeks ago.Tisdale, 44, revealed on his Web site that was having the surgery. Tisdale first learned he had cancerous cyst below his right knee after he broke his leg in a fall at his Los Angeles home in February 2007.

Tisdale underwent knee-replacement surgery and resumed touring with his jazz band, but deciding to endure the amputation to ensure that the cancer would not return. Tisdale was the second pick in the 1985 NBA Draft out of Oklahoma. He averaged 15.3 points and 6.1 rebounds per game in his 12 seasons in the NBA, playing for the Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns. His best season was in 1989-90 with the Kings, when he averaged 22.3 points and 7.5 rebounds a game. In 1997, Tisdale retired from the NBA and began pursuing his jazz career. He has released eight albums, including his latest one Rebound, which came out this year.

The news about Tisdale's amputation comes as another surprise about a former NBA player this week, one day after the shocking death of former two-time All-Star Kevin Duckworth. Duckworth died during a trip to the Oregon Coast to help with a basketball clinic for the Portland Trail Blazers

WaymanTisdale released his debut CD, Power Forward, in 1995. In 2002, he was awarded the Legacy Tribute Award by the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame. His album releases include: Power Forward (1995); In The Zone (1996); Decisions (1998); Face to Face (2001); Presents 21 Days (2003);Hang Time (2004); Way Up! (2006); and Rebound (2008)

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Amazon.com has quietly unveiled a Wikipedia-like music information site called SoundUnwound. The adjunct to its online commerce system allows fans to edit band profiles, album and song information and other music related news and updates. All edits are first reviewed by Amazon staff before going live. Initial artist information is compiled from Amazon.com editorial reviews, Internet Movie Database and Musicbrainz content. The site includes music recommendations of similar artists, links to YouTube videos, streaming song clips (which doesn't seem to be working at the moment) and links to buy digital tracks through the AmazonMP3 store. SoundUnwound is in a beta stage at this time. No timeline is available for when the company expects a more formal launch. SoundUnwound is actually pretty interesting and I assume it will get loaded with tons more information over time. Here you’ll find load of pages about artists, releases, record labels and genres for you to explore. Just go for a wander - uncover Elton John's real name, check out that Funk genre, find artists similar to Amy Winehouse and discover some new music! What I like most is the fact that you can search for album covers (in high-resolution) that you can download to you mp3 player. The world of music is huge and ever-changing, so we know there'll be things missing or wrong. But never fear - SoundUnwound pages are open for anyone to edit, so go ahead and fix it! You'll have made the world a better place :-) Go take SoundUnwound for a spin!

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Five years after his first volume of standards, But Beautiful, debuted at # 1 on the Billboard Jazz chart, GRAMMY award winning musician Boz Scaggs offers his second volume of standards and ballads, aptly titled Speak Low (out September 30 on vinyl and wide release on October 28th via Decca).The multi-dimensional singer, whose 1976 album Silk Degrees was one of the landmark pop titles of the decade, began working on Speak Low several years ago. He’d settled on most of the material, and had developed a rough notion of the sound in his head. “I had a few distinct elements I wanted to hear paired with my voice,” Scaggs recalls, “but I needed an arranger who could bring those textures to life.” He remembers wondering whether he’d ever realize the sound he’d imagined. And then he experienced what he describes as a remarkable coincidence.

“It was raining, cold out. I walked by the Blue Note and heard music coming out of the club. It was vibes, string trio, a coupl e of horns - this was the sound I’d been hearing in my head, exactly. Turned out to be Gil Goldstein and a nonet. After the set Gil and I started talking, and it was just a really nice meeting. When we got together around a piano, that was it. We knew.”

The album was recorded at Skywalker Sound, a state-of-the-art studio that’s part of filmmaker George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch complex. The room is massive, a soundstage big enough to fit an orchestra. Yet Speak Low sounds like it was made in someone’s cozy living room. “The sense of intimacy you get there is quite remarkable,” Scaggs says. “You think you can get closer to the music in a smaller room, but that’s not always true. At Skywalker, the vastness brought us all together…. The quiets in that room are much quieter, and all of the dynamics are really vivid. It’s a great room to sing in.”

Fans can experience the intimacy of this album live as Scaggs embarks on a nationwide tour this fall with multiple shows in most of the cities. This special tour will bring Scaggs to legendary jazz clubs across the country where he’ll not only perform the standards from ‘Speak Low’ but he’ll debut new versions of fan favorites like “Lowdown,” “JoJo,” and “Lido Shuffle.”

Once Boz Scaggs wraps up his tour of small theaters, he will hit a few jazz clubs in support of his second album of standards, "Speak Low," which will be released Oct. 28 on Decca. Scaggs will also unveil jazz versions of hit tunes from "Silk Degrees": "Lowdown," "JoJo" and "Lido Shuffle." Since the album is all ballads, those tunes could go a long way to bringing some pep to the show.

October 28 - Napa House Opera House Napa, CA
October 30 - Jazz Alley Seattle, WA
October 31 - Jazz Alley Seattle, WA
November 1 - Jazz Alley Seattle, WA
November 2 - Jazz Alley Seattle, WA
November 5 - Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant Minneapolis, MN
November 6 - Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant Minneapolis, MN
November 7 - UCO Jazz Club Edmond, OK
November 10 - Blue Note New York City, NY
November 11 - Blue Note New York City, NY
November 14 - Blue Note New York City, NY
November 15 - Blue Note New York City, NY
November 16 - Blue Note New York City, NY
November 19 - Blue Alley Washington, DC
November 20 - Ram’s Head on Stage Annapolis, MD
November 23 - Wilbur Theatre Boston, MA

Friday, September 12, 2008


The Upcoming SoulTracksReaders Choice Awards will feature many great performances, as a matters of fact dozens of top artists have already confirmed their attendance, including Albright, Maya Azucena, Gordon Chambers, Abby Dobson, Conya Doss, The Dramatics, Amp Fiddler Robert Gee, LaShelle Griffin, Dain Harris, April Hill, Heston, Impromp2, Kloud 9, Phil Perry, Kendra Ross, Sy Smith, Taniq, Liv Warfield, Yahzarah and Melissa Young. This year's awards ceremony will be held on Friday, October 3rd at Detroit's beautiful Max M. Fisher Music Center. And it will be followed by an All-Star Jam to be held on the evening of Saturday, October 4 at the GM Theatre at Detroit's wonderful Museum of African American History, creating a full weekend of fantastic soul music. It is also important to note that 100% of the profits from this year's weekend will be donated to the music program at Cornerstone Schools, one of the nation's most vibrant and successful urban schools. SoulTracks is the leading online resource dedicated to classic and modern Soul Music. From its inception in 2003, SoulTracks has been designed to provide useful information and updates on the greatest Classic Soul artists and to introduce readers to the next generation of Soul Music singers. SoulTracks includes artist biographies, CD reviews, Soul Music News and "Where Are They Now?" features, as well as regular CD giveaways, free song downloads and special offers. SoulTracks is currently the most popular soul music website in America. For more information click to www.soultracks.com

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Here’s a recent find on the Internet. If you are into 1970’s style Quiet Storm radio then you should check out JazzysRadio.com. The Quiet Storm radio format is typically a late-night radio format that features soulful jams. The Quiet Storm was originally pioneered in the mid 1970’s by then radio station intern Melvin Lindsey at WHUR-FM in Washington, D.C. As luck may have it Melvin Lindsay first became a DJ for the station in 1976 as a stand0in for an employee who failed to report to work. Lindsey spun the records and the response from listeners was so positive that Lindsey was asked to stay on the air. As a result Melvin Lindsey was given his own radio show at WHUR-FM. Jazzysradio.com is based on the same 1970s radio format called Quiet Storm, which was a late-night show playing soulful slow jams by the likes of Smokey Robinson, the type of music designed to keep you on that chilled, amorous vibe. Typical artists heard there include Isaac Hayes, Luther Vandross, The Stylistics, The Sylvers, Prince, The Floaters, Anita Baker, Al Green, Teddy Pendergrass, Smokey Robinson, Barry White, Marvin Gaye, Raphael Saadiq, among many others.


The Tower of Power are celebrating their 40th year together and have set a series of tour dates to commemorate the occasion. Here’s a listing of where you can catch them between now and mid-December.
September 13 - Kansas City, MO - Ameristar Casino
September 18 - Bakersfield, CA - Kern County Fair
September 19 - Las Vegas, NV - Sun Coast Hotel Casino
September 20 - Las Vegas, NV - Sun Coast Hotel Casino
September 21 - Las Vegas, NV - Sun Coast Hotel Casino
September 26 - Tucson, AZ - Fox Tucson Theatre
September 27 - Coachella, CA - Spotlight 29 Casino
October 8 - Fresno, CA - Paul Paul Theater
October 9 - Anaheim, CA - The Grove of Anaheim
October 11 - Wendover, NV - Peppermill Casino Concert Hall
October 18 - San Francisco, CA -The Fillmore
November 5 - San Juan, Puerto Rico - Dave Koz Jazz Cruise
November 7 - Uncasville, CT - Mohegan Sun Casino
November 8 - Uncasville, CT - Mohegan Sun Casino
November 9 - Providence, RI - The Hi Hat
November 11 - Buffalo, NY - The Tralf
November 13 - Waterbury, CT - The Palace Theater
November 14 - Atlantic City, NJ - House of Blues
November 15 - New York, NY - B.B. Kings
November 16 - New York, NY - B.B. Kings
November 18 - Annapolis, MD - Rams Head On Stage
November 20 - Boston, MA - Scullers Jazz Club
December 5 - Oroville, CA - Feather Falls Casino
December 6 - Brooks, CA - Cache Creek Casino - Club 88
December 11 - Seattle, WA - Jazz Alley
December 12 - Seattle, WA - Jazz Alley
December 13 - Seattle, WA - Jazz Alley
December 14 - Seattle, WA - Jazz Alley

Monday, September 08, 2008


Greater Media has decided to change formats on Smooth Jazz WJJZ/Philadelphia, and spent this past weekend stunting the station format as they eventually flip to an as-yet-unspecified new format on Monday at 9 a.m. Greater Media switched to Smooth Jazz on WJJZ at 97.5 in 2006, after the format and call letters spent 13 years with Clear Channel, at 106.1. A note on the WJJZ station website says, "For nearly two years we have committed substantial resources to this program. Unfortunately, we have had limited success with Smooth Jazz as judged by the marketplaces. We are grateful for your loyalty and support, and we appreciate your understanding." The site says a "powerful new choice" for radio listeners will begin airing Monday. The fact of the matter is that the Smooth Jazz format was ended again due to low ratings. At this time it is not known whether Smooth Jazz will return on HD radio at 97.5-HD2, although there is a strong possibility of this happening, now that WISX has dropped the Smooth Jazz format from its 106.1-HD2 subchannel. WJJZ's move follows the flips of Lincoln Financial's KJCD, now Sports, Emmis' WQCD/New York, now Triple A, and WJZW/Washington, now an Oldies outlet, as well as several other stations around the country who have decided to abandon the Smooth Jazz format.

Thursday, September 04, 2008


MP3tunes has announced that the MP3tunes Music Locker is now available with the new Logitech(R) Squeezebox(TM) Boom all-in-one network music player. The Squeezebox Boom is an in-home, fully networked music player that features an integrated amplifier, high-performance speakers and a simplified setup. When combined with the MP3tunes Music Locker that stores your music library in a cloud, the Squeezebox Boom lets you listen to your digital music in the kitchen, the bedroom or any other room in your house-- without running your computer or docking your iPod.

"When you own music, it should be forever, and you should be able to enjoy it wherever you go, which is why we developed the MP3tunes MusicLocker to securely keep music in a cloud," commented Michael Robertson, CEO of MP3tunes. "With the Squeezebox Boom, a truly snazzy audio device, all it takes is a common Internet connection and your Music Locker can go anywhere you go."

Through September 30, anyone can experience a free virtual Squeezebox Boom, an online replica that gives visitors the opportunity to experience the look, layout and function of the Squeezebox Boom in an interactive way. Each virtual Squeezebox Boom is preloaded with music, pre-selected andprovided by Jamendo, under Creative Commons license. For an interactivedemo and more information, visit http://www.mp3tunes.com/boom.

"MP3tunes is the perfect complement to the Squeezebox Boom because aMusic Locker truly sets your personal music collection free from your PC,"said Robin Selden, vice president and general manager of Logitech's Streaming Media business unit. "With just a few simple clicks, you cane asily create your personal Music Locker on MP3tunes.com and upload yourmusic. Now your music is available to be played on the Squeezebox Boom,without your PC on, wherever you like."

MP3tunes and Logitech will be giving away three complete music systems,comprised of a Logitech Squeezebox Boom and the MP3tunes Premium 50 MusicLocker (estimated retail value U.S. $339.94).

Monday, September 01, 2008


Kind of Blue: 50th Anniversary Collector's Edition is an expansive and lavishly-designed box set. The contents of the box include: two CDs (running time over two hours); a newly-produced black-and-white documentary DVD (55 minutes); a full-size 60-page book of critical essays, annotations and photography; and an envelope chockfull of memorabilia. The box also includes the 12-inch LP package pressed on 180-gram blue vinyl and an enormous 22x33 fold-out poster of Miles. The box will be released on September 30th by Columbia/Legacy, a division of SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT.

Of special importance to Miles Davis aficionados around the globe is the DVD, Celebrating a Masterpiece: Kind of Blue. The new DVD incorporates material from the 2004 mini-documentary, Made In Heaven, including black-and-white still photography of the recording sessions and the voicesof Miles (at the sessions), as well as excerpts of radio interviews with the late Bill Evans and Cannonball Adderley. There are interviews with musicians and luminaries including composer/performer David Amram, the late Ed Bradley, Ron Carter, Jimmy Cobb, Bill Cosby, Herbie Hancock (who demonstrates "So What" at the piano), Eddie Henderson, Shirley Horn, Dave Liebman, the late Jackie McLean, funk-rocker Me'Shell Ndege'Ocello, hip-hop's Q-Tip, Carlos Santana, John Scofield, Horace Silver, and many others.

The DVD also unearths the group's entire 26-minute appearance on"Robert Herridge Theatre: The Sound of Miles Davis," a CBS television program recorded in 1959 and broadcast in 1960. Another bonus feature is the gallery of images captured by Columbia staff photographer Don Hunstein, covering the original recording sessions, as well as a key performance at New York's Plaza Hotel in September 1958. In conjunction with the latter, an unprecedented four-week exhibit of Miles Davis photography will be mounted at New York's downtown Morrison Hotel Gallery in November-December 2008. The exhibit will then travel to other Morrison Hotel locations andStarwood Hotels in 2009.

At the absolute core of the box set is the original 45-minute album program, whose five titles -- "So What," "Freddie Freeloader," "Blue in Green," "All Blues," and "Flamenco Sketches" -- are indelibly etched in our contemporary musical DNA, be it jazz, rock, third through fifth stream classical, or beyond. They are familiar old acquaintances on the LP as it existed in the marketplace for nearly three decades: the first three numbers occupying side one (which happened to have been cut on the firstday of recording, two three-hour sessions on Monday, March 2, 1959); and the last two numbers on side two (recorded at the final three-hour session of Wednesday, April 22, 1959).

On CD One of the box set, after the original five tunes are presented, there is the alternate take of "Flamenco Sketches," the only complete alternate take from the original recording sessions (a track first unveiled on the 5-LP/4-CD box set of 1988, Miles Davis: The Columbia Years 1955-1985, the first Miles Davis box set ever issued by Columbia). Following the alternate take, there are "studio sequences" (ranging from 11 seconds to nearly two minutes) for every one of the five titles, and one"false start." As transcribed and fleshed out by Ashley Kahn, these short tracks are eye-opening revelations into the studio relationship between Miles, the musicians, Columbia staff producer Irving Townsend, and recording engineer Fred Plaut, at this still-early stage in Miles' career as a leader (though he had been making records since 1945).

The 1959 sessions occupy CD One -- and then CD Two turns back the calendar to May 26, 1958. The five completed tracks from that session with producer Cal Lampley -- "On Green Dolphin Street," "Fran-Dance" (with analternate take), "Stella by Starlight," and "Love for Sale" -- are the only other studio recordings of the sextet with Adderley, Coltrane, Evans, Chambers, and Cobb (though live recordings exist from the Newport JazzFestival in July, and the Plaza in September).

The five 1958 studio tracks, scattered on various LP through the years,were united in one place for the first time on the double GrammyAward-winning 6-CD box set issued in 2000, Miles Davis & John Coltrane: The Complete Columbia Recordings 1955-1961. Now, for the first time, the five 1958 studio tracks are rightfully coupled -- at last -- with the five sextet tracks of Kind of Blue. The final track on CD Two is a mesmerizing 17-minute live concert version of "So What" (without Adderley, with Kelly), recorded in Holland, April 1960.

In late 1958, after some eight months, Bill Evans left the lineup and was replaced by Wynton Kelly. As Miles began to formulate his next studiorecording, Evans was invited back for the sessions and became an integral spark on the album's concept. Cobb bears witness to the fact that "the concept behind Kind of Blue grew out of the way the two (Miles and Evans) played together," as Francis Davis writes. "Evans and Davis were certainly on the same wavelength, and the pianist certainly contributes more than a sideman's share of Kind of Blue's air of pensive melancholy. In addition to which, his eloquent liner notes -- titled 'Improvisation in Jazz' -- cued listeners to hear the album as the very essence of jazz, an unmediated exercise in spontaneity."

The session-by-session transcripts compiled and expounded by Ashley Kahn are an indication of the quantum advance in scholarly exegesis that has grown up around Miles Davis in general and Kind of Blue in particular.This intellectual pursuit is given full exposure in the course of the boxset's 60-page book. Kahn's 3,000-word section, titled "Between The Takes,"reflects the full scope of research that went into his book Kind of Blue:The Making of the Miles Davis Masterpiece (DaCapo Press, 2000; updated edition, Perseus, 2007, foreword by Jimmy Cobb).

Kahn's section is preceded by two major in-depth studies from writers who have also studied their subject for their entire careers. The book's opening essay is a 4,000-word overview written by Francis Davis, contributing editor of The Atlantic Monthly, jazz columnist for The VillageVoice, and winner of five ASCAP-Deems Taylor Awards for Excellence in Music Journalism. In addition to writing many books (among them The History ofthe Blues, Hyperion, 1995; and Jazz and Its Discontents: A Francis Davis Reader, Perseus, 2004), he has also written liner notes for over 60 jazz and pop albums, including titles by Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and BillEvans.

"The two recording sessions for Kind of Blue," Francis Davis writes,"took place in the nick of time: it's impossible to imagine Davis, Evans,Coltrane, and Adderley coming together so harmoniously a year or two later, by which point each had become not just leader of his band but practically founder of his own school." The second essay, "The Last King Of America: How Miles Davis InventedModernity," is a 3,000-word study by Professor Gerald Early of Washington University in St. Louis. Early, who has served as consultant on numerous Ken Burns documentary projects (Baseball, Jazz, Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson, The War), is a widely published author whohas written about subjects diverse as Negro baseball, Motown, Sammy Davis Jr., Muhammad Ali -- and Miles Davis. Early was the editor of Miles Davisand American Culture (2001), a compendium of essays.

"Kind of Blue would not have been possible if the LP did not exist,"Early says. "It was jazz conceived for the record album, not only because of the playing times of the tunes but also because of how the album createsan overall mood. Kind of Blue is not simply a series of tracks as the standard small group jazz album of the day was. Kind of Blue was one of thefew jazz records of its time that had a sense of narrative, a cohesive inter-relation between the tunes. It was a work, not a bunch of disparatetunes used to pace a small group jazz album: one fast-tempo piece, one ballad, one blues, one or two standards, a bop-oriented original. The sense of the album as an organic whole added to its appeal." Even so, the Kind of Blue LP was possessed by another kind of voodoo for decades.

Musicians who tried to "play along" with the first three tracks (side one) were perplexed because the music always sounded slightly sharper than pitch. In 1995, the problem was traced back to the old Columbia 30th Street Studio, and a 3-track tape machine that was running slightly slow during the March recording sessions. As a result, after the mastering process, those first three tunes always sounded sharp. In 1995, this pitch problem was finally corrected. At the same time, it was decided to remix the original 3-track tapes on a Presto all-tube recorder, similarto the one used in 1959. The mixes were brought back to "real life." The rich, full instrumental sound was restored, rendering every previous configuration obsolete.

Listening to Kind of Blue today, the ground rules come quickly: This was an exercise in solo and group improvisation, a break from the conventions of chordal complexity, "improvising on the sparest and starkest of scales as an alternative to bebop's dense thickets of chord changes," as Francis Davis writes. It was a "return to emphasis on melodic rather than harmonic variation," as Miles told The Jazz Review the year before. The works were composed (as it were) just hours before the sessions, so there could be no rehearsals as such. Once the group got past the "studio sequences" described earlier, the results were all first takes; only"Flamenco Sketches" was given an alternate take. Moreover, as Davis and Early and many other writers and musicians have openly discussed -- and Miles would frequently accede -- the five works allhad their roots in other sources. Kind of Blue was the first Miles Davis album comprised entirely of songs credited to his name, even though at least two of its themes were provided by Evans: "Flamenco Sketches" (whosepiano intro derived from Evans' "Peace Piece," itself based on LeonardBernstein's "Some Other Time" from On The Town); and "Blue in Green," which (writes Davis) "sprang verbatim from [Evans'] introduction to 'AloneTogether' on an earlier recording of that standard by Chet Baker."

This mayhave been business-as-usual in the jazz scene, but the financial impact of Miles not crediting anyone else certainly hastened the departure of Evans from the group. How and why has Kind of Blue held on to its status as an album that crosses genres, speaks to generations, and is one of the first (if not the first) album that any new jazz acolyte purchases? It "was one of those records," Early concludes, "along with Dave Brubeck's Time Out, another Columbia jazz record released in 1959, that made jazz a middlebrow music, a respectable music for middle-class, educated people who felt they hadrefined taste. This was enormously important for Davis both commerciallyand artistically for the rest of his career. As jazz ceased to be dancemusic, it needed middle brow status in order to survive as art music. Davis was essential in making this transformation possible."


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