Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Wow - can you believe this, a radio station flipping to smooth jazz - YES! The smooth jazz radio netwwork known as Broadcast Architecture has added Mas Multi Media (Smooth Jazz 1400 KBDB-AM/Reno, Nevada) to its Smooth AC Radio Networks. Its Smooth Adult Contemporary Radio Networks, including the Smooth Jazz Network programming, is heard in 40 markets throughout the U.S. and worldwide. "We’re thrilled to assist Mas Multi Media and Miguel Mena in bringing Smooth Jazz back to the radio in Reno," BA Owner/Pres. Allen Kepler said. "Our past experience in Reno revealed a very loyal and active Smooth Jazz audience and we’re happy to answer the call! We are also very excited to launch Smooth Jazz on an AM station in a major market. We know the loyal fans of this genre of music will support the radio station and its advertisers. This format should have a home in every major market and the AM dial may be the place it reveals its solid value."  "We are thrilled to bring Smooth Jazz back to Reno and also excited join the Smooth Jazz network family," Miguel Mena said.

Monday, December 27, 2010


Well here we go again as yet another Smooth Jazz radio station is gone. 98.9FM KWJZ in Seattle has flipped formats to what they are calling Modern Music as “Click 98.9“. The station is straddling the line between Modern Rock, AAA, and Hot Adult Contemporary putting the station in between Modern Rock “107.7 The End” KNDD, AAA “103.7 The Mountain” KMTT, and even CHR “Kiss 106.1” KBKS and Hot AC “Star 101.5” KPLZ. The site features the following farewell message from Program Director Carol Handley.

To the KWJZ Family,
For 19 years 98.9 KWJZ has been presenting a mix of Smooth Jazz music for you, our very loyal music fans and radio listeners. It is with sadness that we inform you that this era for 98.9 FM has come to a close. Technologies change and the new radio audience measurement is not favoring our once “ratings-strong” Smooth Jazz music format. I encourage you to continue to support the artists who make the music and the venues who bring them to the Northwest. It is with huge gratitude on behalf of the entire KWJZ staff that we thank you for being here with us for these many years.

Carol Handley
Program Director

The first hour of Click 98.9 featured:
Neon Trees – Animal
Jack Johnson – Flake
Broken Bells – The High Road
Pink – So What
Kings Of Leon – Use Somebody
Coldplay – Viva La Vida
Sara Bareilles – King Of Anything
The Red Hot Chili Peppers – Scar Tissue
The Fray – How To Save A Life
Fall Out Boy – Dance, Dance
Mumford & Sons – Little Lion Man
Nirvana – All Apologies
The Script – Breakeven
Maroon 5 – This Love
Florence & The Machine – Dog Days Are Over
Paramore – Misery Business
Dave Matthews Band – The Space Between
The Dirty Heads – Lay Me Down
Cake – Never There
Gwen Stefani – The Sweet Escape
Mike Posner – Cooler Than Me


After 25 years, Simply Red is now simply over; the British soul-pop band played their final show at the O2 Arena in London on Sunday, December 26, 2010. At the end of the final song of the evening, lead vocalist Mick Hucknall announced: “Good night, adios, Simply Red are no more,” before walking off stage. The farewell show was broadcast live in more than 70 movie theaters around Britain and many across Europe. The show opened with “Come To My Aid,” the opening track on the band’s debut album; Hucknall and a six-piece band followed with a 90-minute set featuring great tracks like “Stars”, “Sad Old Red”, “For Your Babies” and “The Right thing” – just a sampling of the pop hits and ballads that made Hucknall and Simply Red such a big success worldwide. It was Hucknall, 50, who founded Simply Red in 1984; from there its been 55 million records sold worldwide and 31 Top 40 singles in the UK alone. Earlier on in the performance, the smooth-singing Hucknall told the crowd: “I want to thank you so much for your support over the last 25 years. It’s been the most wonderful ride.” The Simply Red Farewell: The Final Tour began in April in Brazil. Since then, it has bounced all over the globe through Britain, Italy, Hong Kong, Australia, Denmark, Germany, Luxembourg and finally landing at the O2 in London. There wasn’t much of a U.S. presence on the goodbye tour (see: none) because, frankly, Simply Red’s soulful/jazzy/romantic style never pushed them to mega status in the states. Popular, for sure, but not ’super duper popular.’ Everywhere else the band has remained ridiculously huge all these years, but in the U.S. just minor, especially when looking over their 25 years making music. They did have two #1 hits in the U.S., “Holding Back the Years” in 1986 and the Harold Melvin cover “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” in 1989. Both songs remain staples on adult contemporary radio. Predictably, yet perfectly, Hucknall closed the last show – and the book on Simply Red – with a gentle version of their timeless hit “Holding Back the Years,” performed solo on guitar.
Hucknall, who recently replaced Rod Stewart in a revamped version of The Faces, is now planning to start a solo career.



Arguably the best album that Teen Marie did for Motown – and a tasty batch of modern soul tracks that proves to the world that she was a great soul artist in her own right, and not just someone signed to the label in a fit of nepotism. Includes the stellar "Portuguese Love", plus "Yes Indeed", "Where's California", "Opus III", and "Ballad Of Cradle Rob & Me". This expanded CD also includes 2 live tracks recorded in Long Beach – versions of "Deja Vu" and "Someday We'll All Be Free" – plus the bonus track "Square Biz", done in an instrumental version. All written & produced by Teena, too!

One of the greatest female soul albums of the end of the 70s – and the bold-voiced debut of the lovely Teena Marie! Even on this first album, Teena's got a depth that goes way beyond most of her contemporaries – a brashness that hits hard on the funkier cuts on the record, but also a soft smoothness that picks up cues from Minnie Riperton, and helps take that sound well into the 80s on a gentle groove. Rick James is firmly in control of the overall picture here, but what's really amazing is that the album echoes with a soulfulness that goes way beyond James' own party funk records of the era – a mature sensibility that marks out a space for Lady T right from the outset, and which marks her as a force to be reckoned with in soul music, even at the tender young age of 23! The record features 2 of Teena's greatest tracks – "I'm A Sucker For Your Love" and "De Ja Vu" – plus the titles "Turnin Me On", "Don't Look Back", and "I'm Gonna Have My Cake".

A stunning solo effort – Teena's second on Epic, and proof that she could still put out the goods on her own. Teena wrote, arranged, and produced the whole thing – and tracks include "Light", "Jammin", "Out On A Limb", "Alibi", "Youngblood", "Lovergirl", and "My Dear Mr. Gaye".

A great little album from Teena – one that's dedicated to the late Minnie Riperton (who'd passed during the previous year), and which is produced by Riperton's husband and collaborator Richard Rudolph. Teena's got more than a few of Minnie's tricks up her sleeve on the best cuts, singing in a smooth sweet soulful style that makes for some of her best vocals on record at the time. Titles include "Aladdin's Lamp", "Now That I Have You", "Can It Be Love", "Too Many Colors", and "Young Girl In Love".

Teena's first album after a protracted legal battle with Motown. Truthfully we dig the best of her Motown years, though this is a solid enough album of 80s pop and mainstream R&B. With "Robbery", "Playboy", "Ask Your Momma" and "Cassanova Brown".


Sunday, December 26, 2010

TEENA MARIE: MARCH 5, 1956 - DECEMBER 26, 2010

Grammy Award-nominated singer–songwriter–producer, Teena Marie has died.  Nicknamed Lady Tee, (sometimes spelled Lady T), was a protégée of late funk legend Rick James, and was notable as one of the few successful white performers of R&B. She played rhythm guitar, keyboards and congas. She also wrote, produced, sang and arranged virtually all of her songs since her 1980 release Irons in the Fire. She said it was her favorite album. She had a daughter, Alia Rose, who, as of 2009, sang under the name Rose Le Beau. Marie died on Sunday, December 26, 2010, at home, of natural cause as announced by her manager, Mike Gardner. She was 54.

Saturday, December 25, 2010


The Illinois-born singer/songwriter got her professional start as a dancer and backup singer, playing Vegas and touring internationally behind Jim Nabors. In 1978, Bennett met composer/producer Giorgio Moroder in Germany and was invited to join his emerging disco group Munich Machine. Their sophomore release, A Whiter Shade of Pale, not only featured Bennett on lead vocals, refitting the classic Procol Harum title track to a thumping disco beat. That same year, Moroder teamed with Bennett for the only duet album of his career, the disco effort Love’s In You, Love’s In Me. Bennett also contributed to Moroder’s bestselling soundtrack for the harrowing Midnight Express, earning a Grammy nomination for the film’s theme song, which she co-wrote. Under contract to Casablanca Records, she appeared behind Donna Summer on several of the disco diva’s biggest hits, including “MacArthur Park” and “Heaven Knows.” Subsequent studio sessions found her backing Johnny Mathis and Rita Coolidge. Concurrently, such disparate artists as Tina Turner, The Manhattan Transfer, The Three Degrees and Keb Mo embraced her work as a songwriter. Then, in 1993, Chris Bennett recast herself as a jazz singer, producing and self-releasing an eponymous album that featured an eclectic assortment of covers (Rogers and Hart’s “My Funny Valentine,” the Hollies’ “Bus Stop,” Leon Ware’s “Somewhere”) alongside original compositions.

Though ten additional releases, including two live albums, a Christmas platter and the just-released Sail Away, have since followed, Bennett remains remarkably underappreciated. Her near-vibrato-less voice suggests the crispness of Chris Connor, yet also echoes the dewiness of Doris Day, with just a hint of Julie London smokiness. Throughout Sail Away, Bennett, now age 62, sounds as vibrant and pure as when she first ventured into the jazz arena, and her songwriting skills remain sharply impressive. Sail Away was recorded in Tahiti with a trio of local musicians — bassist and pianist Felix Vilchez, percussionist Ariel Cruz and saxophonist Armando Castagnoli — with strings, arranged by Eric Doney, later overlaid in New York. Bennett opens with a tender “These Foolish Things,” then segues into a hauntingly good “A Day In the Life of a Fool” superbly embellished by Castagnoli’s horn. Equally lovely are gently wistful treatments of “I Get Along Without You Very Well” and “Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out to Dry.” Her “Besame Mucho,” its yearning ache taken at a sensually slow pace, strongly evokes Diana Krall. Most intriguing of the album’s six covers is her dove-soft, balladic interpretation of the typically fervent “Perfidia.”

Four Bennett originals round out the playlist. The title track, not to confused with the Noel Coward ditty of the same name (or Randy Newman’s ode to oceanic escape), is a sweet, becalmed adieu to a failed relationship. “Won’t Let Me Go” also deals with heartbreak, but focuses on romantic memories that stubbornly refuse to subside. The swaying “I Can’t Think About” cleverly continues the theme with its bossa-fueled desire to obliterate thoughts of a lost lover. Bennett ends on a more positive note with “All for Naught,” a prayer-like appreciation of steadfast love.

If Sail Away piques your interest, other Bennett albums worth checking out include 2008’s Girl Talk and, from 2005, Bennett On Broadway, featuring a winningly subdued “Come Back to Me” and an exceptionally fine reading of “This Nearly Was Mine.” Both albums, along with Bennett’s entire catalog, are featured on her official website. All are currently available on iTunes and from CD Baby.


Friday, December 24, 2010


The 2011 Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air Portland Jazz Festival presented by US Bank will be held Friday, February 18 through Sunday, February 27 at venues throughout Portland. The week-long festival will include jazz education and outreach along with a series of concerts all supporting the 2011 theme, Bridges and Boundaries: Jewish & African Americans Playing Jazz Together. Among this year's headliners are the SFJAZZ Collective, in the world premiere of new repertoire paying homage to African American pop icon Stevie Wonder; NEA Jazz Master Randy Weston, performing solo piano in support of his new release, The Storyteller, and autobiography, African Rhythms: The Autobiography of Randy Weston; celebrated clarinetist Don Byron and his new project dedicated to the great Jewish entertainer, Mickey Katz - a reunion of the groundbreaking and virtuosic klezmer ensemble that recorded Byron's eponymous Nonesuch album and spearheaded the klezmer revival in the 1990s; a special performance by The 3 Cohens, featuring siblings, trumpeter Avishai Cohen, saxophonist/clarinetist Anat Cohen, and pianist Yuval Cohen; famed African American violinist Regina Carter will return to Portland, presenting her newest project, Reverse Thread, which traces the musical history of African cultures, including tribes of Ugandan Jews; saxophonist Joshua Redman - son of African American saxophonist Dewey Redman and Jewish American dancer Renee Shedroff - leading his new project, James Farm, that includes both African American and Jewish American musicians; and the Portland Jazz Festival's new Artistic & Community Ambassador, bassist Esperanza Spalding (who will lead her new Chamber Music Society in an exclusive Portland area engagement).

Complete concert schedule:
• Friday, February 18, 7:30pm, Winningstad Theater, Randy Weston
• Saturday, February 19, 7:30pm, Winningstad Theater, Anat Fort
• Sunday, February 20, 7:30pm, Winningstad Theater, Dave Frishberg
• Thursday, February 24, 7:30pm, Newmark Theater, Don Byron
• Friday, February 25, 7:30pm, Newmark Theater, Esperanza Spalding
• Friday, February 25, 9:30pm, Crystal Ballroom, Poncho Sanchez
• Friday, February 25, 9:30pm, Alberta Rose Theatre, Nik Bartsch's Ronin
• Saturday, February 26, 2:00pm, Crystal Ballroom, The 3 Cohens
• Saturday, February 26, 7:30pm, Newmark Theater, SFJAZZ Collective
• Saturday, February 26, 8:00pm, Tony Starlight's, Gerald Clayton
• Saturday, February 26, 9:30pm, Crystal Ballroom, Regina Carter
• Sunday, February 27, 2:00pm, Newmark Theater, Joshua Redman
• Sunday, February 27, 7:30pm, Crystal Ballroom, Maceo Parker

The Story Behind the Theme
This year's festival theme, Bridges and Boundaries: Jewish & African Americans Playing Jazz Together represents past, present and future collaboration between African Americans and Jewish Americans. "The original idea for this festival came from Nat Henoff's writings about jazz as a meeting place for African and Jewish Americans." said Bill Royston, Artistic Director of the Portland Jazz Festival. "His writings of Steven Bernstein's 'Diaspora Blues' to the odyssey of Willie 'The Lion' Smith were of primary influence. Historically, the music drew people together, and today there is a new wave of Israeli musicians who have moved to New York and elsewhere across the United States."
For more than 100 years, jazz has been the timekeeper of change in America's moods, lifestyles and overall social awareness. Jazz has historically broken down racial color lines and cultural differences. Its stage has been a magnet for African Americans, Asians, Hispanics, and Western Europeans; all playing together in jam sessions long before the Civil Rights movement existed. Truly, jazz is America's classical music, and its only indigenous art form.

In his acclaimed history of Portland jazz, Jumptown, Robert Dietsche documents how communities were divided and destroyed by urban development. As I-5 segmented the Black community and signaled the death of the N Williams cultural scene, I-405 shattered the Jewish neighborhoods. In many cities, the Black community evolved from what had originally been a Jewish neighborhood. These physical boundaries, however, only enhanced cultural divisions and misunderstandings, which remain prevalent today.

Movements in contemporary jazz are again leading the way in creating bridges between African Americans and Jewish Americans. This merger of new directions in Jewish music with African American jazz improvisation has brought together the theme of the 2011 Portland Jazz Festival (February 18-27).

Jazz Education and Outreach
Jazz education and outreach events include a week long performance at Portland Area Middle Schools of The Incredible Journey of Jazz, a Black History Month celebration staged each February. The 60-minute musical/theater piece was originally developed by Portland State University professor and pianist Darrell Grant and the Leroy Vinnegar Jazz Institute. The performance features seven actors and musicians who each play multiple roles in depicting the experiences of African Americans through the history of jazz. Early scenes have students communicating through African rhythms, and then follow the evolution from gospel, blues, ragtime, Dixieland and New Orleans. Eventually, we witness the migration of African Americans traveling up the Mississippi River to Chicago and other industrial centers with the big band sounds of Ellington and Basie, to the bebop of Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, contemporary experimentation of Miles Davis and Ornette Coleman, and ultimately to rap and hip hop.

African and Jewish American community leaders, national jazz journalists and festival performers will participate and interact in panel discussions, focusing on a wide range of artistic and social perspectives. Additionally, featured headliners and members of the Jazz Journalists Association (JJA) will participate in the one-on-one interview series, Jazz Conversations. These interviews are presented before a live audience in the intimate PCPA ArtBar, among other locations to be announced. Notable participants will include author and journalist Nat Hentoff and DownBeat correspondent Paul De Barros.

PDX Jazz is Portland's jazz organization, producing the annual Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air Portland Jazz Festival presented by U.S. Bank. PDX Jazz offers an array of distinguished programs throughout the year in a variety of indoor and outdoor settings boasting internationally recognized artists while supporting regional fan favorites from the Northwest, often times presented in newly configured formats. PDX Jazz in partnership with Oregon Music News recently initiated a monthly jazz series at PDX Jazz @ Tony Starlight's, an intimate music venue, located in northeast Portland.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


A brand new soul compilation The Motown Party 2011 is described as a colourful journey through Motown with modern interpretations of classic hits. Musical backing for the album was provided by the band “The Selective Soul Club”, consisting of exceptional musicians such as Motown legend Leroy Emmanuel. The recently released CD The Motown Party 2011 is the perfect gift for soul lovers and fans of the legendary Motown sound. The Detroit-based label was home to a wide range of world-class stars and number one hits in the 1960s and 70s including Smokey Robinson, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and, of course, The Jackson Five with a young Michael Jackson, just to name a few. Renowned Viennese musician and producer Stephan Gleixner oversaw the modern interpretations of classic Motown songs for the new Vienna International album. The selection includes such songs as “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone”, “Dancing in the Street” and “I Can’t Get Next to You”. “Last year’s release, ‘The Motown Story’, exceeded all expectations. With The Motown Party 2011, we pushed the quality and the Motown spirit even higher, ” says Rudolf Tucek, CEO of Vienna International Hotelmanagement AG, clearly satisfied with the results. Following last year’s tribute to the stars of Motown, the new album pays homage to the musicians in the background: the Funk Brothers. The legendary Motown label studio band performed the backing for nearly all Motown songs and played on more number one hits between 1959 and 1972 than The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley and the Beach Boys together.

To pay the proper respect to the Funk Brothers and their hits, producer Stephan Gleixner created a special band just for the album. “The Selective Soul Club” is a musical collective made up of exceptional national and international musicians. Motown legend Leroy Emmanuel, blues, gospel and soul singer Mary Lamaro, pianist Christian Wegscheider, jazz musician Stefan Gössinger and the vocal talents of Soulicious are just a small sampling of the more than a dozen artists. Gleixner has known most of the musicians for years, but The Motown Party 2011 was the first time that they came together in this constellation. He is excited by the result: “The goal of the album was to capture the spirit of Motown and to treat the songs with respect, while applying our creativity, improvisation and passion to give them a new life of their own. That we succeeded so spectacularly is due to having the perfect band – which goes to prove that only the best are good enough.”

An audio sample of the album The Motown Party 2011 is available at The CD can be purchased for EUR 15 directly from Vienna International, at online shops such as iTunes or Amazon and at the individual Vienna International Hotels & Resorts.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Jasper Høiby’s jazz trio Phronesis, first live CD Alive (Edition) being chosen as ‘Jazz Album of the Year’ by both Jazzwise and Mojo magazines. The CD was recorded in March 2010 (at the Forge Arts Venue in London), and the critical acclaim that followed its release has catapulted the trio to the forefront of the European contemporary jazz scene. In addition, the trio were nominated for ‘Best Jazz Ensemble’ in the Parliamentary Jazz Awards in April, featured on the front cover of Jazzwise Magazine in August and nominated for ‘Best Jazz Act’ in the prestigious 2010 MOBO awards in October, alongside Brad Mehldau and John McLaughlin. Phronesis have developed a fierce reputation for their exhilarating live shows this year, described by The Telegraph as “…the most electrifying experience to be had in British jazz”, with acclaimed performances at the Banlieues Bleues Festival in Paris, the Copenhagen and North Sea Jazz Festivals and Brecon, Glasgow and London Jazz Festivals in the UK. 2011 looks set to be another exciting year for the trio with plans for a fourth album recording and tours in North America, Germany and the UK.

2011 UK tour dates:
February 12 – Sherborne Jazz Club, Dorset
February 13 – St Lawrence Chapel, Ashburton, Devon
February 14 – North Devon Jazz Club, Appledore, North Devon
February 15 – St Ives Jazz Club, Cornwall
February 17 – St Austell Brewery, Cornwall
February 18 – Brighton Jazz Club, East Sussex
March 8 – Band on the Wall, Manchester
March 11 – Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal, Cumbria
March 12 – The Vortex, London
March 24 – Bonington Theatre, Nottingham
March 25 – The Southbank Centre, London
March 31 – Watermill Jazz Club, Dorking, Surrey
April 1 – The Fleece, Colchester, Essex
April 2 – The Edge Arts Centre, Much Wenlock, Shropshire

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


World music superstars lend their support to the latest release from USA For Africa titled We Are The World/United In Song, a digital compilation of 14 tracks featuring individual offerings from some of the genre's most compelling artists. As an added bonus the original recording of We Are The World is included on the compilation to mark the 25th Anniversary of the historic recording. Proceeds from this effort are going to assist Africa and Africans with the current challenges facing the continent. The compilation was released worldwide on December 7, 2010 to hundreds of digital storefronts across the globe including iTunes®, Amazon, eMusic, and Rhapsody in the U.S. This new collection of We Are The World/United In Song is a collection of world music artists including: Angelique Kidjo, Luisa Maita, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Lila Downs, Aurelio Martinez with Youssou N'Dour, LeRoy Bell, Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars, Razia Said, Shamarr Allen, Abigail Washburn & the Shanghai Restoration Project, G. Love & Special Sauce, Vieux Farka Toure, Bombay Dub Orchestra, Emi Meyer. The collection of songs was compiled by Executive Producers Suzie Weston and Alexia Baum. We Are The World/United In Song is dedicated to the 40 plus artists and musicians, who paved the way 25 years ago for this new release, with special thanks to Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie and Quincy Jones. The global artists featured on the compilation represent the next generation of musicians to use their talents to inform and ignite action. Each song presented speaks to an issue or cause valued and supported by the respective artists - giving the listener a global experience that is both enlightening and uplifting. Proceeds from this project support USA for Africa's ongoing commitment to the region with more outreach aimed at the continent and Africa-focused programs around the world, including food, security, clean water, malaria, AIDS, the plight of women and children, and the environment.

Monday, December 20, 2010


On January 11, 2011, Joe Lovano Us Five will release Bird Songs, an exploration of the Charlie Parker songbook and the Grammy-winning saxophonist’s 22nd album for EMI’s Blue Note Records (the release of which will mark his 20th year on the label). Lovano will launch the album with a week-long engagement at the Village Vanguard in New York City (January 11-16), and an NPR Live At The Village Vangaurd session that will be webcast on the NPR Music website and broadcast on WBGO at 9:00pm ET on January 12. See below for a list of Lovano’s 2011 tour dates. “I didn’t approach this as a tribute record,” states Lovano, dispelling right off the bat any preconception that the album is a mere retread. Bird Songs breaks the mold of Bird tribute records. It’s a thrillingly adventurous, thoroughly modern, and uniquely personal look at one of the most influential figures in jazz history by one of the most important voices in the music today.

Us Five turned out to be the perfect vehicle for his exploration. Lovano’s dynamic young band features drummers Otis Brown III and Francisco Mela, pianist James Weidman, and bassist Esperanza Spalding who was just nominated for Best New Artist at the 2011 Grammy Awards. Us Five’s debut recording—2009’s Folk Art—was a wide-ranging set of Lovano’s original compositions that resulted in the band being awarded Best Small Ensemble of the Year at the 2010 Jazz Journalist Association Awards and winning the Best Jazz Group of the Year category in the 2010 DownBeat Critics Poll. Lovano completed a double-triple of awards in 2010 by also winning the JJA’s Musician of the Year and Tenor Saxophonist of the Year, and DownBeat’s Jazz Artist of the Year and Tenor Saxophonist of the Year.

One of the keys to approaching a project like Bird Songs for Lovano was to take Charlie Parker out of the museum and place him in a living, breathing continuum that reaches back to the musicians who had a deep impact on Bird’s development (Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Ben Webster), but also refracting Bird’s music through the musical prism of those he deeply impacted (John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Wayner Shorter). But most importantly, Lovano sought to personalize Bird’s music. “I wasn’t trying to play like Charlie Parker at all,” Lovano explains. “I was playing from his influences, from where he was coming from, and from the influences of all these amazing cats who were his disciples. I wanted to focus on his incredible compositions, the themes, the harmonic structures, the forms of his tunes and try to open them up and turn them inside out in a way to create my own melodic and rhythmic variations. I wanted to create my own recording. You can’t tell someone else’s story.”

Lovano intentionally made a decision to not approach this music on alto saxophone, Bird’s main instrument. Eight of the album’s eleven tracks—all songs either written by or associated with Parker—feature Lovano on his signature tenor saxophone, though he also performs one song each on straight alto (“Blues Collage”), his unique double-soprano horn the aulochrome (“Birdyard”), and in its recorded debut a G mezzo soprano (“Lover Man”). “For me the tenor saxophone is my voice,” he explains. “I explore a lot of different horns within the woodwind family that fuel my ideas, but I wanted to really play this on tenor because that’s who I am.” "At the young age of 34 Charlie Parker passed and left us with open questions about what would be. I kept wondering how Bird would have developed within these tunes, not just as the incredible soloist that he was but as an arranger and band leader. Bird Songs is my humble attempt to answer some of those questions in my own way."

The track listing for Bird Songs is as follows:
1. Passport
2. Donna Lee
3. Barbados
4. Moose The Mooche
5. Love Man
6. Birdyard
7. Ko Ko
8. Blues Collage
9. Dexterity
10. Dewey Square
11. Yardbird Suite

Jan. 11-16 – Village Vanguard – New York, NY (Us Five)
Jan. 22 – Science Center Theater – Blue Bell, PA (John Scofield-Joe Lovano Quartet)
Jan. 27 – Schwab Auditorium – Park, PA (John Scofield-Joe Lovano Quartet)
Jan. 28 – Music Center at Strathmore – North Bethesda, MD (John Scofield-Joe Lovano Quartet)
Jan. 29 – Grand Opera House – Wilmington, DE (John Scofield-Joe Lovano Quartet)
Jan. 30 – Swyer Theater – Albany, NY (John Scofield-Joe Lovano Quartet)
Feb. 18-19 – Tanna Shulich Hall – Montreal, Quebec (solo)
Feb. 22 – Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola – New York, NY (Playing Our Parts Benefit)
Mar. 4 – Impart Arts Center – Wroclaw, Poland (Us Five)
Mar. 11 – Blue Note – Milan, Italy (Us Five)
Mar. 12 – Sala Concerti Del Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi – Torino, Italy (Us Five)
Mar. 13 – Club Kiff – Aarau, Switzerland (Us Five)
Mar. 14 – Moods – Zurich, Switzerland Moods (Us Five)
Mar. 24 – Wackerhalle – Burghausen, Germany (Us Five)
Mar. 25 – Ronnie Scott’s – London, UK (Us Five)
Apr. 2 – Folly Theater – Kansas City, MO (Us Five)
Apr. 4-5 – Dakota Jazz Club – Minneapolis, MN (Us Five)
Apr. 7-10 – Jazz Showcase – Chicago, IL (Us Five)
Apr. 21-22 – Rialto Theater – Atlanta, GA (solo)
Apr. 28-May 1 – Jazz Alley – Seattle, WA (Us Five)
May 2 – Kuumbwa Jazz Center – Santa Cruz, CA (Us Five)
May 3 – Yoshi’s – Oakland, CA (Us Five)
May 5 – Tribeca Performing Arts Center – New York, NY
May 20 – Philadelphia Museum of Art – Philadelphia, PA

Sunday, December 19, 2010


JAZZ ROOTS: A Larry Rosen Jazz Series, one of America's leading performing arts and education programs announces the formation of a new alliance with three strategic partners: IMG Artists, Sony Masterworks and The Quincy Jones Musiq Consortium.The alliance was made official when JAZZ ROOTS signed an exclusive worldwide representation agreement with IMG Artists, one of the world's premier talent management and presenting organizations."The JAZZ ROOTS brand and unique presentations provides an opportunity to bring this powerful music genre to fans across all demographic and territorial boundaries," said IMG Artists' President, Jeff Fuhrman. "We are extremely excited to offer our global resources to help take JAZZ ROOTS to audiences around the world." The six part JAZZ ROOTS series offers a complete 360° experience from concerts and educational programs at performing arts centers across America, to touring theme based shows at concert halls and festivals around the world, to CD packages, television, video and radio productions (including an award-winning National Public Radio program) and iPad Apps.

Launched in 2008 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami- Dade County, JAZZ ROOTS, has the distinction of selling out every one of its concerts in the 2000 seat James L. Knight concert hall from inception to date and is now also being presented at the Winspear Opera House, located in the AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas, Texas and the Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, Indiana. The series presents world-class artists in Jazz, Blues, Gospel, Latin and Brazilian music, programmed in uniquely themed multi-artist concerts. Past themes include: "Piano Latino," "Celebrating Miles," "Vocalese," "The Roots of Fusion," "Tribute to Frank Sinatra," "Jazz Meets Gospel," "Guitar Virtuosos", and "American Songbook" among others. Featured artists include: Dave Brubeck, Sonny Rollins, Chick Corea, Paquito D'Rivera, John McLaughlin, Patti Austin, Count Basie Orchestra, Ramsey Lewis, Arturo Sandoval, Dave Valentin, Nestor Torres, The Machito Orchestra, Eliane Elias, Ivan Lins, Buddy Guy, Dr. John, Manhattan Transfer, Al Jarreau, Jon Hendricks, Dave Grusin, Al Di Meola, Jon Secada, Eddie Palmieri, Michel Camilo, Michael Feinstein and many more.

Joining forces is Sony Masterworks, who announced an agreement to produce JAZZ ROOTS products, starting with a branded 2 - CD compilation package (targeted for April 2011 release) tracing the story of the "Drums from Africa" and their effect on the musical DNA of the Americas. "JAZZ ROOTS presents the music of the Americas in a most compelling fashion," said Alex Miller, President, Sony Masterworks. "Larry Rosen's long career in the music business from musician to producer to entrepreneur has a track record of very successful enterprises, and we are honored to play a role to celebrate JAZZ ROOTS and the amazing musical legacy of the music of the Americas."

Legendary artist/producer Quincy Jones joins the alliance with a plan to implement his Quincy Jones American Popular Music Curriculum, which will be presented in schools across the country in collaboration with the JAZZ ROOTS education program. The JAZZ ROOTS education and outreach components are designed to reinforce audience development, targeting area middle and high schools as well as adults within respective communities. The series provides an opportunity for schools to bring their students to sound checks and performances, with artist conversation (pre and post show), as well as pre-concert workshops for adults. These initiatives organically connect to local community groups, art centers, and the local board of education. "Larry Rosen's JAZZ ROOTS is the most important new concert and educational Jazz series in America," said icon Quincy Jones. "It's so important that Americans and particularly our children learn about their culture. This series is simply imperative. You can't know we're you're going unless you know where you've come from," Jones adds. Jones' curriculum focuses on the growth of all African-based music styles from Jazz, Blues, Gospel, R&B, Funk and Hip Hop to the Brazilian and Latin Jazz genres and to the legendary and contemporary artists who created and popularized these American music styles. "We are extremely excited to join forces with JAZZ ROOTS, IMG Artists, and Sony Masterworks to bring our Quincy Jones American Popular Music Curriculum to schools and audiences around the world," said Quincy Jones Foundation Executive Director, Madelyn Bonnot Griffin. "Larry Rosen has touched on a much needed concert and education series to help enlighten young people today about our American musical roots and the incredible impact our music has had on our culture and the world!"

"The amazing story of the Drums from Africa, which represents the musical DNA of the popular music styles of the Americas, is an example of what our JAZZ ROOTS brand is all about," states Larry Rosen. "We are looking at creating multiple touch points to reach our audience. We have proved that our program includes and goes way beyond the traditional Jazz audience, and we look to engage and entertain music fans who love music and are not boxed in by genre."

Larry Rosen is a musician, producer, executive producer, and music industry entrepreneur, is the Chairman of Larry Rosen Productions, Inc., creator and producer of JAZZ ROOTS - A Larry Rosen Jazz Series, co-founder of GRP Records, co-founder of LRSmedia, and co-founder and past Chairman of N2K, Inc. (NASDAQ). Rosen is the creator and producer of the PBS television series LEGENDS OF JAZZ, and is the creator and producer of multi-media TV series RECORDING: the History of Recorded Music, with hosts Quincy Jones and Phil Ramone. For more information:

IMG Artists -dynamic, diverse and innovative, IMG Artists is the global leader in the performing arts management, projects and events business. With offices in the United States, Europe, Middle East and Asia, IMG Artists stays ahead of the curve in the ever-evolving world of arts and entertainment. For more information:

Sony Masterworks -MASTERWORKS Jazz is an imprint of Sony MASTERWORKS. For email updates and information please visit

Quincy Jones American Music Curriculum - With the initial sponsorship of music impresario Quincy Jones, leaders from all parts of the music industry and music education have joined together to share resources, networks and their passion to make music an ongoing part of the lives of children in the United States. For more information please visit

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Just six months after the release of his debut album, Water, vocalist Gregory Porter has just been nominated in the Best Jazz Vocal Album category of the 53rd Annual Grammy® Awards. Porter has received raves internationally for Water, which cracked the JazzWeek Top 10 radio chart shortly after its May release, and which has been selling briskly in the US and Europe. For the recording of Water, Porter tapped a powerful cadre of players, among them the iconic alto sax player James Spaulding (Max Roach, Freddie Hubbard, and Bobby Hutcherson, et al,) who plays a featured role on two tracks: "Wisdom" and "Black Nile." The CD was produced by saxophonist, pianist and composer Kamau Kenyatta, and features seven stellar original compositions by Porter that range in style from velvet jazz ballads to the searing soul anthem "1960 What, which has been storming radio airwaves. On this emotionally intimate debut, Porter bares his soul to reveal a performer and songwriter of unusual depth. His moving ballad, "Illusion," about the struggles one faces in relationships, releases this month as the first video single of the album. Porter's vocal prowess has earned him international recognition, prompting Wynton Marsalis, who has tapped Porter several times to perform as a guest vocalist with his Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, to go on record citing him as "a fantastic young singer," and Germany's Jazz Thing magazine to laud Porter's "deep blues-rooted voice, branching out in soul spheres." Interest in the UK is strong. Porter appeared in a two page spread in Echoes Magazine and vocalist and radio personality Jamie Cullum will feature Porter on an upcoming segment of his popular BBC-3 radio program. Porter performs live every Thursdays at Smooke in New York City and will appear this January 8th at Irridium in NYC on a triple bill with fellow Motema artists Geri Allen and Charnett Moffett.

Friday, December 17, 2010


Amazing work from Freddie Hubbard – one of his best albums ever! The title cut's a classic, but all cuts on the album are great – and really set a whole new standard for soul jazz in the 70s! Unlike the freer runs of Miles Davis, Freddie takes things into territory here that's open, yet tightly controlled – a really soulful, spiritual vibe that's quite different than any of his later commercial work – or his hardbop of the decade before! The lineup includes Joe Henderson on tenor and Herbie Hancock on piano – and even back in the 80's, when everyone was going purist again, and was pretending they didn't like 70's electric jazz at all, they still claimed that this was a great jazz record, and one of the only good ones for CTI. We know better now, of course, and know that there were loads of great CTI sessions – but that doesn't stop this from being one of the best! Titles include "Red Clay", "Delphia", "Suite Sioux", and "The Intrepid Fox".

A bit hit for Stanley Turrentine – and a pretty darn nice record of extended groovers, with a harder sound than you might expect from the tongue-licking cover, and a title of Sugar! The record's only got three cuts – one of them Stanley's famous version of "Sugar", the other two pretty nice ones ("Sunshine Alley" and "Impressions") – all done in a mode that sounds a lot more like harder Prestige sessions from the same time – that great period when the label was stretching out with some electric piano jazz funk. Butch Cornell's on organ, and his work on the album's part of its success, as is the nice hard drumming of Billy Kaye, who actually hits an Idris Muhammad-ish groove at parts! Titles include "Sugar", "Sunshine Alley", and "Impressions".

One of the moodiest sessions on CTI from the early days – and a landmark album that took George Benson from the funky jazz scene into the upper reaches of 70s jazz. The record was put together by Don Sebesky, and it's a lot more high concept than some of George's earlier work – and proof that he was a totally great player who just needed a push in the right direction to find his own vibe. Other players include Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock, and Airto – and titles include "California Dreaming", "El Mar", "White Rabbit", and "Little Train".

A million-seller, but also a record that no home should be without – and easily one of the greatest keyboard albums of the 70s! The album's the one that features Deodato's remake of "Also Sprach Zarathustra" into the funky "2001" – soaring with Fender Rhodes lines that set a new standard for the instrument, with a funky undercurrent that few would have expected for the tune. Other tracks are nice too – and include a great bossa-y version of "Baubles Bangles & Beads", plus "Spirit Of Summer", "September 13", and "Carly & Carole".

Thursday, December 16, 2010


French-born, Brooklyn-based tenor and soprano saxophonist Jerome Sabbagh brings his singular vision to the fertile ground of improvised music. Bolstered by the broad color palate of virtuosic guitarist and longtime collaborator Ben Monder, and the masterful rhythmic orchestration of legendary drummer Daniel Humair, Sabbagh's lyricism and glowing sound serve as beacons in an improvised journey at once hauntingly beautiful and aggressively unhinged. Taking advantage of the adventurous setting of a trio without a bass, the players' seamless interaction makes it impossible to discern who's leading from who's following, as they shepherd the listener through an ever-changing tapestry of sound. “Without a bassist, there's less of a desire to go into time, " says Sabbagh “and it opens up new textural possibilities." Despite the constant risk taking—or perhaps because of it, the music is always compelling.

I Will Follow You follows three critically acclaimed efforts as a leader. North (voted Best CD of 2005 by the readers of French monthly magazine Jazzman) and Pogo (four stars in DownBeat) both feature Sabbagh's uncanny, song-like compositions and lush tone, in a quartet that includes Monder, bassist Joe Martin, and drummer Ted Poor. One Two Three (four stars in DownBeat), an album of standards played in the totemic sax-bass-drums instrumentation pioneered by Sonny Rollins, features bassist Ben Street and drummer Rodney Green. I Will Follow You represents a bold departure from the more controlled settings of these albums, yet retains the lyricism, clarity of purpose, and melodic flair that are the hallmarks of the saxophonist's style.

The smooth ebb and flow between tracks has an appealing narrative continuity, opening with the controlled chaos of the title track, which builds in anticipation as Humair moves from brushes to sticks and Monder answers him, at the flick of a pedal switch, with ferocious distortion. Other highlights include “Comptine, " a moody free ballad with echoes of Bartok and “The Clown, " an exploration of a simple melody that becomes increasingly dense as Sabbagh and Monder improvise symbiotically in chromatic counterpoint. I Will Follow You concludes with a sumptuous rendition of “I Should Care, " the album's only standard. “The tracks are short, especially for an album that's mostly improvised. Everything was wide open, but we all strove for concision, which was good, since dragging things out is an easy mistake to make in a free setting."

Sabbagh composed the music with the sounds of Monder and Humair in mind. He set out to avoid prefabricated compositional patterns by writing with pen and paper only, as opposed to sitting at the piano. Coupled with the six improvised pieces, miniatures of unfettered freedom and keen interplay, the compositions endow the album with a self-contained quality, “like a little world unto itself, " he says. Though this is the first time they play together, the three players mesh with a psychic energy that would be impressive even for a longtime working band, a testament to Sabbagh and Monder's exceptional musical bond, and to the 72-year-old Humair's peerless listening ability. A first-call drummer in Europe whose career trajectory took him from playing bebop with the likes of Bud Powell and Dexter Gordon to improvising with avant-garde explorers Tony Malaby and Ellery Eskelin, the protean Humair was an obvious choice for the shifting dynamic of this trio.

“Daniel is a master free player but came up swinging with the best, and he is also a painter. Form is important to him, as it is for Ben and I, " says Sabbagh. “Even when we are playing free, we are ever-conscious of creating a narrative arc in the moment." Sabbagh was exposed to music at a young age by an early teacher, pianist and composer Annick Chartreux, who first inspired him to transcend the confines of genre, a lasting influence. “She would play the overture to Mozart's The Magic Flute, 'So What' from Kind of Blue, and some Jimi Hendrix, all in the same listening session." Since moving to New York in 1995, Sabbagh has played with Guillermo Klein, Bill Stewart, Billy Drummond, and Victor Lewis, in addition to numerous others. Asked about his musical values, he explains: “The keys for me are melody, sound, and interaction. Each player weaves a unique voice into the collective in a way that makes sense with the material, while staying true to their inner song. I think the process of making good music with people is similar whatever the project may be." I Will Follow You is yet another exciting example of Sabbagh's musicianship, integrity and artistic vision.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010



Eric Benet @ Fox Theatre, St. Louis, MO, Jan 1
Santana @ Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, NV, Jan 5
Santana @ Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, NV, Jan 7-9

Michael Henderson, Cool Million, Jean Carne
@ Hilton Hotel, Blackpool, UK, Jan 7-9

Joe Lovano, Esperanza Spalding @ The Village Vanguard,
New York, NY, Jan 11-16

Santana @ Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, NV, Jan 12
Santana @ Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, NV, Jan 14-16
Esperanza Spalding @ Weber Chapel Auditorium, Sellinsgrove, PA, Jan 21
Joan Osborne @ Legendary R&B Cruise, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Jan 22
Esperanza Spalding @ Bergen Community College, Paramus, NJ, Jan 22
Bobby Caldwell @ B.B. King Blues Bar, New York, NY, Jan 29

Mindi Abair @ Jazz Alley, Seattle, WA, Feb 10-14
Bill Frisell @ Mondavi Center, Davis, CA, Feb 11

Rippingtins ft. Russ Freeman, Steve Olvier @ Smooth Jazz Cruise,
Royal Caribbean Monarch Of The Seas, Feb 11-14

Bill Frisell @ Lobero Theatre, Santa Barbara, CA, Feb 12
Mindi Abair @ Laishley Park, Punta Gorda, FL, Feb19
Esperanza Spalding @ Newmark Theatre, Portland, OR, Feb 25
Esperanza Spalding @ Bovard Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA, Feb 26
Esperanza Spalding @ Campbell Hall, Santa Barbara, CA, Feb 27

MARCH 2011
Esperanza Spalding @ Shaftman Perf. Hall, Roanoke, VA, Mar 3
Esperanza Spalding @ Weinberg Center, Frederick, MD, Mar 4
The Manhattan Transfer @ The Blue Note, Tokyo, Japan, Mar 15-20
The Manhattan Transfer @ The Blue Note, Nagoya, Japan, Mar 25

APRIL 2011
Pink Martini @ Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis, MN, Apr 8-9
Pink Martini @ Kennedy Center For Perf Arts, Apr 12-16
Santana @ Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, NV, Apr 20
Santana @ Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, NV, Apr 22-24
Santana @ Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, NV, Apr 27
Santana @ Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, NV, Apr 29

MAY 2011
Santana @ Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, NV, May 1

Dave Koz, Mindi Abair, Chris Botti, Peter White, Sheila E, David Benoit,
Warren Hill, Jeffrey Osborne, Keiki Matsui @ Dave Koz & Friends At
Sea Alaska, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Aug 26-Sep 2

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I’m passing on information that I recently received from Kirk Whalum in support of the Soulsville Foundation. In the event that you did not know, the Soulsville Foundation is a nonprofit organization that depends on outside contributions of various kinds to help operate their three entities - the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Stax Music Academy, and The Soulsville Charter School. The Soulsville Foundation is appreciatiative of everything that their supporters do and so they wanted to reach out and to to let everyone know about this. As a example, Chuck Hutton Toyota in Memphis has included the Soulsville Foundation in their new We Care We Share Charity Drive. If you just follow the link below, sign in with an email address, create a password, and follow the prompts, you will be able to VOTE FOR THE SOULSVILLE FOUNDATION to win $5000 in just a couple of minutes.

Click Here:


After reclaiming the jazz-rock world in 2008 with the triumphant return of Return to Forever, pianist Chick Corea, bassist Stanley Clarke and drummer Lenny White decided to revisit where it all began, to get back to basics and the soul of their relationship. The result is Forever, a two-CD set of jazz trio standards, updated Return To Forever classics, new music and more. This 2010-Japan only release was recorded live, disc one is a best-of sampler from Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke and Lenny White’s “Return To Forever Unplugged” world tour in 2009. Highlights include the standards “On Green Dolphin Street,” “Waltz for Debby” and “Hackensack,” exquisite Corea-classics “Bud Powell” and “Windows,” Clarke’s beautiful new “La Canción de Sofia” and RTF pieces “Señor Mouse” and “No Mystery.” For disc two, Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke and Lenny White invited vocal great Chaka Khan, violin virtuoso Jean-Luc Ponty and original Return to Forever guitarist Bill Connors to join them for a one-time only gig at the famed Hollywood Bowl in LA. The US release is schedule for next June 2011. Also in June 2011, Chick celebrates his 70th birthday (6/12) and Stanley celebrates his 60th birthday (6/30).

Track listing / Disc 1:
“On Green Dolphin Street”
“Waltz For Debby”
“Bud Powell”
“La Cancion De Sophia”
“No Mystery”
“Senor Mouse”

Disc 2:
“Captain Marvel”
"Senor Mouse” w/Connors, Ponty & Khan
“Crescent “
“Armando’s Rumba” w/Ponty
“Renaissance” w/Ponty
“High Wire” w/Khan
"I Love You Porgy” w/Connors, Ponty & Khan
“After The Cosmic Rain” w/Connors & Ponty
“Space Circus” w/Connors & Ponty
“500 Miles High”.

Musicians: Chick Corea, piano, Fender Rhodes; Stanley Clarke, acoustic & electric bass & Lenny White, drums. Disc 1 recorded live at Yoshi's in Oakland California, Jazz Alley in Seattle Washington and the Blue Note Tokyo. Disc 2 recorded at Mad Hatter studios except "500 Miles High", recorded at the Monterey Jazz Festival.

Monday, December 13, 2010


Having been voted the best festival of 2010 best festival of 2010 by Miami New Times, the two-day music festival returns to Miami Gardens for another year of performances at Sun Life Stadium on March 19 and 20, 2011. Beginning Saturday, March 19, 2011, "Jazz in the Gardens" attendees will be treated to performances by Charlie Wilson and Al Jarreau, The Sunday, March 20, 2011 line up will feature Gladys Knight, En Vogue, El DeBarge, Lalah Hathaway and Branford Marsalis performing their classic hits. Joining the star-studded cast, and adding his unique and internationally renowned mixing skills, is Miami's own bright star, D.J. Irie, the official DJ for The Miami Heat and now "Jazz in the Gardens." "Jazz in the Gardens" owes its success to a simple formula: a star-studded line-up, great food, extraordinarily affordable ticket prices and amazing weather. For the past five years the festival has enjoyed unprecedented growth, consistently delivering stunning increases in attendance. The 2010 festival garnered a heaping 45,000 guests, attracting both locals and thousands of out-of-towners to the beautiful City of Miami Gardens.

"Like all Jazz in the Gardens fans, I wait in anticipation to hear who is performing and once again I'm excited! The 2011 line-up is absolutely fantastic and I look forward to all the fans from around the nation joining us again. This added event in Miami Gardens brings added value to the City and to South Florida in general. I am proud of our City; in the seven years since incorporation, the City has seen a number of tremendous positive changes and improvements. There is a lot more work ahead of us, but Jazz in the Gardens is more than a concert, it is an opportunity and experience that people want to enjoy year after year," says Mayor Shirley Gibson.

The 2010 "Jazz in the Gardens" included performances from A-list artists including Mary J. Blige, John Legend, Robin Thicke, Teena Marie, Boyz II Men, Cassandra Wilson, David Sanborn, Melanie Fiona, Joe Sample and K'Jon. Previous years have included celebrated artists such as Wyclef, Babyface, Kenny G., Frankie Beverly and Maze, Chaka Khan, Chrisette Michele, Common, Erykah Badu, Anthony Hamilton, Roy Ayers, The O'Jays, Nancy Wilson, George Benson, Sergio Mendez, Luciano, KEM and Boney James.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Carlos Santana has announced his 2011 Guitar Heaven concert dates, including a South Pacific Tour, which will feature hits from Santana's four-decades-long career, as well as songs from his latest album Guitar Heaven. Tour dates are as follows:

January 5, 2011 – Hard Rock Hotel @ Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada
January 7, 2011 – Hard Rock Hotel @ Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada
January 8, 2011 – Hard Rock Hotel @ Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada
January 9, 2011 – Hard Rock Hotel @ Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada
January 12, 2011 – Hard Rock Hotel @ Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada
January 14, 2011 – Hard Rock Hotel @ Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada
January 15, 2011 – Hard Rock Hotel @ Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada
January 16, 2011 – Hard Rock Hotel @ Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada
March 4, 2011 - Jakarta, Indonesia @ Java Jazz Festival
March 5, 2011 - Jakarta, Indonesia @ Java Jazz Festival
March 13, 2011 - Perth, Australia @ Sandalford Estate Swan Valley
March 16, 2011- Melbourne, Australia @ Rod Laver Arena
March17, 2011 - Adelaide, Australia @ Entertainment Centre
March 20, 2011 - Auckland, New Zealand @ Vector Arena
March 22, 2011 - Christchurch, New Zealand @ CBS Canterbury Arena
March 24, 2011- Brisbane, Australia @ Entertainment Centre
March 25, 2011 - Sydney, Australia @ Acer Arena
March 26, 2011 - Hunter Valley, Australia @ Hope Estate
April 20, 2011 – Hard Rock Hotel @ Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada
April 22, 2011 – Hard Rock Hotel @ Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada
April 23, 2011 – Hard Rock Hotel @ Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada
April 24, 2011 – Hard Rock Hotel @ Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada
April 27, 2011 – Hard Rock Hotel @ Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada
April 29, 2011 – Hard Rock Hotel @ Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada
May 1, 2011 – Hard Rock Hotel @ Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Tom Jones’ latest release, Greatest Hits Rediscovered is a musical timeline of hit singles spanning almost five decades, released in a year that saw Sir Tom Jones celebrate his 70th birthday. Greatest Hits Rediscovered is a collection of singles running from his first number one "It’s Not Unusual" back in 1964, the hits from the 60’s ("What’s New Pussycat", "Thunderball", "Green Green Grass Of Home" and "Delilah"), the likes of "She’s A Lady" from the 70s, through to more recent successes that reignited global interest in an artist that to date has over 100 million records worldwide, like the reworked Prince classic "Kiss", the rocking "Mama Told Me Not To Come" or "What God Am I".

Tom Jones, Greatest Hits Rediscovered (Universal (U.K.), 2010)

Disc 1
1.   It’s Not Unusual
2.   What’s New Pussycat?
3.   Thunderball
4.   Green, Green Grass of Home
5.   Detroit City
6.   Funny Familiar Forgotten Feelings
7.   I’ll Never Fall in Love Again
8.   I’m Coming Home
9.   Delilah
10. Help Yourself
11. Without Love (There is Nothing)
12. Daughter of Darkness
13. She’s a Lady
14. Till
15. The New Young Mexican Puppeteer

Disc 2
1.   Kiss – Art of Noise featuring Tom Jones
2.   If I Only Knew
3.   Burning Down the House (featuring The Cardigans)
4.   Baby, It’s Cold Outside (featuring Cerys Matthews)
5.   Mama Told Me Not to Come (featuring The Stereophonics)
6.   Sex Bomb (featuring Mousse T)
7.   Medley from “The Full Monty” – Robbie Williams and Tom Jones
8.   Stoned in Love (Radio Edit) – Chicane featuring Tom Jones
9.   Tom Jones International (Radio Edit)
10. Give a Little Love
11. It’ll Be Me (with Jools Holland)
12. Burning Hell
13. What Good Am I?

Disc 1, Track 1 from Along Came Jones (Decca, 1965)
Disc 1, Track 2 from What’s New Pussycat? Original Motion Picture Score (United Artists, 1965)
Disc 1, Track 3 from Thunderball: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (United Artists, 1965)
Disc 1, Tracks 4-6 from Green, Green Grass of Home (Decca, 1967)
Disc 1, Track 7 from 13 Smash Hits (Decca, 1967)
Disc 1, Track 8 from non-LP single (Decca, 1967)
Disc 1, Track 9 from Delilah (Decca, 1968)
Disc 1, Track 10 from Help Yourself (Decca, 1968)
Disc 1, Track 11 from Tom (Decca, 1969)
Disc 1, Track 12 from I (Who Have Nothing) (Decca, 1970)
Disc 1, Track 13 from Tom Jones Sings She’s a Lady (Decca, 1971)
Disc 1, Track 14 from non-LP single (Decca, 1971)
Disc 1, Track 15 from Close Up (Decca, 1972)
Disc 2, Track 1 from non-LP single – later released on The Best of The Art of Noise (China, 1988)
Disc 2, Track 2 from The Lead and How to Swing It (Atlantic, 1994)
Disc 2, Tracks 3-6 from Reload (V2, 1999)
Disc 2, Track 7 from Angels (Japanese EP) (Toshiba EMI, 1998)
Disc 2, Track 8 from Somersault (Modena, 2007)
Disc 2, Track 9 from Mr. Jones (V2, 2002)
Disc 2, Track 10 from 24 Hours (S-Curve, 2008)
Disc 2, Track 11 from Tom Jones and Jools Holland (2004)
Disc 2, Tracks 12-13 from Praise and Blame (Island, 2010)

Friday, December 10, 2010


Funky Town Grooves (FTG) Records has announced that six of Melba Moore’s albums LPs from the 80's are coming out on CD between now and March 2011. Moore is the daughter of jazz bandleader Teddy Hill, rose to prominence on Broadway as a cast member in Hair and won a Tony for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her role in Purlie in 1970. She began a recording career on Buddah and Epic – but it wasn’t until the early 80's and a switch to Capitol that her career started to smoke. Most of her recordings, including the U.S. dance hit “Love’s Comin’ at Ya,” were produced by Kashif, one of the writers/producers behind Whitney Houston’s debut album. Moore started to gain huge success as a singer signing with Capitol Records and reaching the top 5 on the R&B charts with the dance pop/funk single, "Love's Comin' At Ya", which also hit the top 20 in the UK and became a sizable hit in some European countries for its post-disco sound. A string of R&B hits would follow during this decade including 1983's "Keepin' My Lover Satisfied" and "Love Me Right", 1984's "Livin' For Your Love", 1985's "Read My Lips", which later won Moore a fourth Grammy nomination for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance, making her just the third black artist after Donna Summer and Michael Jackson to be nominated in the rock category, and 1985's "When You Love Me Like This". In 1986, she scored two number-one R&B hits, including the duet, "A Little Bit More", with Freddie Jackson and "Falling". She scored other popular R&B hits including "Love the One I'm With (A Lot of Love)" and "It's Been So Long". Between January and March of 2011 Funky Town Grooves will release the first five of Moore’s LPs for Capitol, each with bonus B-sides and remixes.

So far one record has already been released; FTG Records has done a straight reissue of Moore’s swan song for Epic, Closer (1980). Here they are:

 Closer (FTG Records, 2010 – originally released as Epic JE 36412, 1980)
1.   Everything So Good About You
2.   You Got Me Loving You
3.   Closer
4.   Something on Your Mind
5.   Shame
6.   Never Gonna Let You Get Away
7.   Rest Inside My Love
8.   I Could Never Miss You More
9.   Next to You
10. You Don’t Know What You Do to Me

What a Woman Needs: Expanded Edition (FTG-231, 2011 – originally released as EMI America ST-17060, 1981)
1.   Let’s Stand Together
2.   Your Sweet Lovin’
3.   What a Woman Needs
4.   Take My Love
5.   Overnight Sensation
6.   Each Second
7.   Piece of Rock
8.   Let’s Go Back to Lovin’
9.   Take My Love (Long Version) (12″ A-side – EMI America 12EA 130, 1981)
10. Just You Just Me (7″ B-side – EMI America EA 130, 1981)

The Other Side of the Rainbow: Expanded Edition (FTG-232, 2011 – originally released as Capitol ST-12243, 1982)
1.   Love’s Comin’ At Ya
2.   Underlove
3.   Mind Up Tonight
4.   Knack for Me
5.   How’s Love Been Treatin’ You
6.   Don’t Go Away
7.   I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie-Honey Bunch)
8.   The Other Side of the Rainbow
9.   Underlove (M&M Mix) (12″ B-side – Capitol 8547, 1982)
10. Love’s Comin’ At Ya (Instrumental) (12″ B-side – EMI America 7803, 1982)
11. Mind Up Tonight (Instrumental) (12″ B-side – Capitol 8543, 1982)

 Never Say Never: Expanded Edition (FTG-233, 2011 – originally released as Capitol ST-12305, 1983)
1.   Love Me Right
2.   Keepin’ My Lover Satisfied
3.   Got to Have Your Love
4.   Livin’ for Your Love
5.   It’s Really Love
6.   Never Say Never
7.   Lovin’ Touch
8.   Lean on Me
9.   Love Me Right (Extended Remix) (12″ A-side – Capitol V-8586, 1983)

Read My Lips: Expanded Edition ( FTG-234, 2011 – originally released as Capitol ST-12382, 1985)
1.   Love of a Lifetime
2.   I Can’t Believe It (It’s Over)
3.   Read My Lips
4.   Dreams
5.   When You Love Me Like This
6.   Winner
7.   King of My Heart
8.   To Those Who Wait
9.   Mind Over Matter
10. I Can’t Believe It (It’s Over) (Extended Remix) (U.K. 12″ A-side – Capitol 12CL-381, 1985)
11. Read My Lips (Remix Version) (12″ promo A-side – Capitol SPRO-9381, 1985)
12. When You Love Me Like This (Special Club Remix) (12″ A-side – Capitol V-8647, 1985)
13. Winner (Instrumental) (12″ B-side – Capitol V-8647, 1985)
14. Read My Lips (Extended Version) (12″ promo B-side – Capitol SPRO-9381, 1985)
15. When You Love Me Like This (Monster Groove Mix) (12″ promo B-side – Capitol SPRO-9446, 1985)

A Lot of Love: Expanded Edition (Funky Town Grooves FTG-235, 2011 – originally released as Capitol ST-12471, 1986)
1.   There I Go Falling in Love Again
2.   It’s Been So Long
3.   I’m Not Gonna Let You Go
4.   Love the One I’m With (A Lot of Love)
5.   You Trip Me Out
6.   A Little Bit More
7.   Falling
8.   Stay
9.   When We Touch (It’s Like Fire)
10. Don’t Go Away
11. Love the One I’m With (A Lot of Love) (Extended Version) (12″ promo A-side – Capitol SPRO-9717, 1986)
12. I’m Not Gonna Let You Go (Remix) (12″ promo A-side – Capitol SPRO-79051, 1986)
13. It’s Been So Long (Extended Remix) (12″ A-side – Capitol V-15280, 1986)
14. Love the One I’m With (A Lot of Love) (Club Mix) (12″ promo A-side – Capitol SPRO-9776, 1986)
15. Don’t Go Away (12″ B-side – Capitol V-15236, 1986)
16. A Little Bit More (Radio Edit) (7″ A-side – Capitol B-5632, 1986)

Thursday, December 09, 2010


Telarc International and Heads Up International, divisions of Concord Music Group, received 7 GRAMMY® nominations, as announced by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) on December 1, 2010. The nominations were in an array of categories including Best New Artist, pop, jazz, blues and classical. All nominations were for albums released from September 1, 2009 to September 30, 2010. Winners will be announced at the 53rd Annual GRAMMY® Awards on Sunday, February 13, 2011 (8:00-11:30 PM, ET/PT), at Staples Center in Los Angeles, airing live on the CBS Television Network.

Esperanza Spalding

The Telarc and Heads Up nominations are:

Best New Artist

Bassist, singer and composer Esperanza Spalding combines the imaginative flights of a serious improviser with the musical accessibility of a pop star and within two years of her solo debut has beguiled success at nearly unimaginable heights. Esperanza, her 2008 release, spent over 70 weeks on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart and was the most successful internationally selling debut that year. Spalding’s most recent release, Chamber Music Society, is a brilliant marriage of string and jazz trio, and a showcase for her eclectic sensibilities along with her vocal and compositional talents. Other career highlights include two televised performances at the White House, a Banana Republic ad campaign, features in Oprah Magazine and The New Yorker, numerous awards and high profile tour dates, capped by an invitation to perform at the 2010 Nobel Prize Ceremony in Oslo, Norway. Spalding was nominated for Best New Artist along with Justin Bieber, Drake, Florence & the Machine, and Mumford and Sons. Her inclusion in this mainstream category signifies her considerable appeal to a broad audience.

The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting have just announced that bassist, vocalist and composer Esperanza Spalding, in response to the Diversity and Innovation Fund Request for Proposals, has been asked to host Find The Beat, a progressive new television show on PBS. Find The Beat, a new program that promotes diversity, features Spalding joining with a group, a band or solo musician to explore the roots of their music. Their journeys take them to see authentic performers, explore cultural connections and investigate musical history.  PBS and the CPB issued a request for proposals for a new television show to be sponsored by their Diversity and Innovation Fund. The DI Fund, “seeks to diversify the National Program Service by attracting younger and more racially and ethnically diverse viewers and visitors.” More than 200 submissions were received in response to the request for proposals, from which only 16 were chosen by their editorial staff to advance to panel review. Esperanza Spalding combines the imaginative flights of a serious improviser with the musical accessibility of a pop star and within two years of her solo debut has beguiled success at nearly unimaginable heights.

Best Pop Instrumental Performance
Stanley Clarke
Track from: The Stanley Clarke Band
[Heads Up International]

Best Pop Instrumental Album
Gerald Albright
[Heads Up International]

Best Contemporary Jazz Album
The Stanley Clarke Band
[Heads Up International]

Jeff Lorber Fusion
(Heads Up International]

Best Traditional Blues Album
Pinetop Perkins & Willie ‘Big Eyes’ Smith

Best Engineered Album, Classical
Robert Friedrich, engineer (Turtle Island Quartet, Stefon Harris & Mike Marshall)

Since 1980, Telarc International, a division of Concord Music Group, has won 58 GRAMMY® Awards for performance, production and engineering. Other important awards include the French Grand Prix du Disque and Diapason d’Or; Japan’s Record of the Year; Germany’s Audiophile CD of the Year; and Gramophone Magazine’s 2004 Label of the Year. Although it began as a classical-only label, Telarc now boasts a catalog of more than 1000 recordings, ranging from classical and classical-crossover to jazz, contemporary jazz, Americana, pop and blues. For nearly 20 years, Heads Up International, a division of Concord Music Group, has been successfully carving its niche in the world of contemporary instrumental music. Heads Up artists and releases have consistently landed on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz, Traditional Jazz and World Music charts, and have garnered numerous industry awards, including Billboard’s Contemporary Latin Jazz Album of the Year, the AFIM’s Independent Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year, seven GRAMMY® Awards and numerous GRAMMY® nominations. Heads Up was also the winner of JazzWeek’s Radio Programmers Album of the Year Award for two consecutive years, and Gibson Guitar’s Best Female Jazz Guitarist. In addition to the awards and accolades, Heads Up artists have regularly captured the #1 slot in national radio airplay.


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