Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Described by the Wall Street Journal as "the most innovative and influential jazz guitarist of the past 25 years" Frisell's artistry has earned across the board praise for his instinctual musicianship—working both within and beyond the parameters of jazz music as he effortlessly incorporates elements of Americana, world, blues, classical, creating a rich and unique aural tapestry. Says Frisell: "John Lennon's music has been with me, the band, everybody, the world...seems like forever. The songs are part of us. In our blood. There was nothing we really needed to do to prepare for this. We've been preparing our whole lives. The songs are there. All we had to do was play them. Everyone involved with this has their own personal, deep, long, relationship to John Lennon's music. It connects us all and brings us together. I feel blessed having the chance to play this music with these people.".
|Frank Sinatra Jr.|
This Is Chris Botti Tracklist:
01. Italia (feat. Andrea Bocelli) [05:34]
02. When I Fall In Love [04:21]
03. I've Got You Under My Skin (feat. Katharine Mcphee) [04:16]
04. Someone To Watch Over Me [04:35]
13. Time To Say Goodbye (Con Te Partiro) [05:12]
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Duke was born in San Rafael, California, on January 1946. When he was four, his mother took him to a performance by that other Duke of jazz, Duke Ellington. He admits that he doesn’t remember much of the performance, but his mother told him years later that he spent the next several days demanding a piano.Duke began his formal training on the instrument at age seven, his earliest influence being the culturally and historically rich black music of his local Baptist church. By his teen years, his universe of musical influences had expanded to include the more secular sounds of young jazz mavericks like Ray Charles, Miles Davis, Les McCann and Cal Tjader – all of whom inspired him to play in numerous high school jazz groups. After high school, he attended the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and received a bachelors degree in 1967.
“I feel a responsibility to carry positive messages in my music,” says Duke. “I think music is meant to lift people up. I don’t think you can push things under the rug and not address them. Those who have the ability and the opportunity to let people know what’s going on musically and socially should not be afraid to say it and do it and play about it and sing about it.”
Among the highlights of this deluxe set are revealing alternate takes and recordings of live performances, including those from Holiday’s short-lived stint with the Count Basie band. Of the 153 masters collected here, 35 were first released only in 2001. Everything, it hardly needs to be said, is essential listening.
Friday, November 25, 2011
Monday, November 21, 2011
Fantastic stuff – and a record that may well be the greatest ever from the mighty Serge Gainsbourg – high praise indeed, considering the greatness of Gainsbourg's other music! The album is one long suite built around a spare, electric bass-driven theme – a slow funk riff that's been sampled countless times over the years, and which has gotten the album continuous play on both sides of the
Atlantic for many many years. The mighty Jean-Claude Vannier handles the arrangements, and Serge mutters the lyrics over the top, in a raspy loud whisper – while the funky rhythms dart in and out of odd washes of sound, and unusual eerie sounds. There's a very strong soundtrack feel to the album, as waves of music envelop the lyrics – tripped out in funky beats that have become legendary over the years, thanks to some very famous samples! Titles include "En Melody", "Cargo Culte", "Ballade De Melody Nelson", "Valse De Melody", "Ah! Melody", and "L'Hotel Particulier". Amazing box set version features the whole record on CD and LP, plus a full bonus CD and LP of alternate takes from the album – a real treasure trove of grooves – plus both vocal and instrumental versions of "Melody Lit Babar"! DVD features the original album 5.1 mix – and a 40 minute documentary on the making of the album, with optional English subtitles. Also features an oversized hardcover book – filled with notes in English and French, translations of the tunes, and even rare photos too! (DVD is NTSC coded, All Region). Source: Dusty Groove
Friday, November 18, 2011
Thelonious Monk cover, but not many jazz pianists are Robert Glasper," adding that "he's equally comfortable in the worlds of hip-hop and jazz," and praising the organic way in which he "builds a bridge between his two musical touchstones." On February, 28, 2012, Robert Glasper Experiment will release Black Radio, a future landmark album that boldly stakes out new musical territory and transcends any notion of genre, drawing from jazz, hip hop, R&B and rock, but refusing to be pinned down by any one tag. The first full-length album from the Grammy-nominated keyboardist's electric Experiment band—vocoderist/saxist Casey Benjamin, bassist Derrick Hodge, and drummer Chris Dave—Black Radio also features many of Glasper's famous friends from the spectrum of urban music, seamlessly incorporating appearances from a jaw-dropping roll call of special guests including Erykah Badu, Bilal, Lupe Fiasco, Lalah Hathaway, Shafiq Husayn (Sa-Ra), KING, Ledisi, Chrisette Michele, Mos Def, Musiq Soulchild, Meshell Ndegeocello, and Stokley Williams (Mint Condition). Throughout the Experiment wears its eclecticism on its
sleeve, presenting new collaborative originals and surprising cover songs. They transform the Afro-Cuban standard "Afro Blue" with Badu, Sade's "Cherish The Day" with Hathaway, David Bowie's "Letter to Hermione" with Bilal, and Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" with Benjamin's vocoder ocal.
Robert Glasper Experiment - Black Radio
1. Lift Off/Mic Check (featuring Shafiq Husayn)
2. Afro Blue (featuring Erykah Badu)
3. Cherish The Day (featuring Lalah Hathaway)
4. Always Shine (featuring Lupe Fiasco & Bilal)
5. Gonna Be Alright (F.T.B.) (featuring Ledisi)
6. Move Love (featuring KING)
7. Ah Yeah (featuring Musiq Soulchild & Chrisette Michele)
8. Consequence Of Jealousy (featuring Meshell Ndegeocello)
9. Why Do We Try (featuring Stokley Williams)
10. Black Radio (featuring Mos Def)
11. Letter to Hermoine (featuring Bilal)
12. Smells Like Teen Spirit
Music lovers left hungry for something grown and sexy should rejoice over these bite-sized creations. As the name suggests, the first EP, Yesterday, will be the appetizer, focusing on some of Will Downing’s favorite re-makes or as he refers to them, “interpretations”, of songs of yesterday , delivered seamlessly with both his signature stylings and a deep respect for the original. The listener will be treated to an absolute classic Quiet Storm R&B set as Downing puts his stamp on The Delfonics’ – "La La Means I Love You", Smokey Robinson’s – "Ooh Baby Baby", Angela Bofill’s – "This Time I’ll Be Sweeter" and the project’s first single, the Atlantic Starr signature slow jam – "Send For Me". In hand-picking these selections, Downing insightfully notes that “each song interprets love from a different point of view”.
The next release, Today, will arrive around Valentine’s Day 2012, and will showcase Will Downing’s well earned status as the Prince of Sophisticated Soul. Dessert gets served in the form of the projected Summer 2012 release of Tomorrow, which will feature Downing venturing slightly outside of the box in which some might expect him to remain. The musical trilogy Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow represents a rare display of an artist in complete touch with his craft, his audience and the changing times that currently influence both. For the consumer, the uniquely staggered time-release schedule will keep the fresh product coming while offering the experience of focusing more deeply on fewer songs at a reduced cost to acquire. This time around, the anticipated song creations that will serve to complete the trilogy are part of the intrigue and mystique of the release. However, given the considerable quality of the body of work that is Will Downing’s “yesterday”, there is little reason to expect anything less, today, tomorrow or ever!
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Aslan has been working on jazz tango for the past 20 years. He grew up in Buenos Aires in the 1960’s and 70’s, but moved to the United States to study music. After graduating from the University of California Santa Cruz, and attending Cal Arts, and UCLA, he headed to New York City in 1990. By then he had rediscovered tango and had become “the tango guy.” He played traditional gigs, for dancers. For years he was a regular feature in milongas (tango dance halls) around the United States and in concert performances with Raul Jaurena, Pablo Ziegler, and Yo Yo Ma’s Soul of the Tango. But he also started to probe the possibilities of jazz tango. Early on he formed a trio with the late saxophonist Thomas Chapin and pianist Ethan Iverson (The Bad Plus), “without really knowing what I was doing. I just formed this band,” he says. “ I put some charts together where everybody could solo and improvise. Interesting stuff would happen, but I couldn’t necessarily say that it was real tango, which is what I was trying to do.”
But the hard work paid off in recordings such as Avantango (2004), Buenos Aires Tango Standards (2007) and, most notably, Tango Grill (2009) an album that earned Grammy and Latin Grammy nominations. As he began planning the follow up to Tango Grill, Piazzolla’s Take Me Dancing was just a curiosity. “I had heard all the infamous stories about this recording, so when I saw Take Me Dancing in a record shop in Buenos Aires, I snatched a copy,” he recalls. “And it played exactly as I expected: it was awful. It was just as Piazzolla had presented it.” There was very little jazz and a simplified, clunky Piazzolla played to a guiro-and-bongo beat. How much of this was due to artistic ideas, commercial considerations or some mix of both is open to discussion.
In 1959, Piazzolla was back in New York, where he had spent most of his childhood, looking for a fresh new start for a sputtering career. Take Me Dancing was his most ambitious gambit. It was a recording of originals and standards interpreted, by an ad-hoc Jazz Tango Quintet, comprising electric, guitar, vibes, piano and bass, plus small percussion. (One of the percussionists was Dominican bandleader, musician, and producer Johnny Pacheco, who would go on to develop salsa and co-found the influential Fania Records.)
Piazzolla had high hopes for the record — but it sank without a trace. Artistic experiment or commercial ploy, at the time Piazzolla thought of Take Me Dancing as “marvelous.” For the rest of his life, he denounced it as “an artistic sin” and worse. But when Aslan read a critical reevaluation of Piazzolla’s career (Diego Fischerman and Abel Gilbert’s study Piazzolla El Mal Entendido, Piazzolla The Misunderstood) and the comments about Take Me Dancing he was intrigued into giving it a second listening.
“And I really liked what I heard,” sounding still surprised. “In a way, it sounded to me like it was undiscovered Piazzolla. The rhythmic approach obscured the writing. The themes and ideas were actually very strong and original, but the percussion made it sound monotonous. And while this was called a jazz tango album, frankly there is virtually no improvisation in it, and what improvisation there is, it occurs in some isolated moments, generally against a written out background, and very briefly.” What Aslan also heard in Take Me Dancing was a challenge and an opportunity. He went back to Buenos Aires and called on Gustavo Bergalli, trumpet, Nicolas Enrich, bandoneón, Abel Rogantini, piano, and “Pipi” Piazzolla, drums, players as knowledgeable and comfortable with the vocabulary, syntax, and rhythms of tango as they are with jazz.
“I needed these players for a recording like this,” explains Aslan. “Piazzolla in Brooklyn is about taking chances, dynamics, interaction, spontaneity, even some messiness,” he says. “It’s a personal view, and it’s spontaneous, created by the musicians in the moment.” The transcriptions by Aslan, Enrich, and Rogantini of the original arrangements by Piazzolla for nine of the pieces in Take Me Dancing became the road map for Piazzolla in Brooklyn. “La Calle 92,” which opens the record like a scene setter, is the only track here that is not from Take Me Dancing. It’s a piece by Piazzolla titled after the New York City street where he and his family lived during this period.
Two of the tracks are jazz standards, “Laura,” and George Shearing’s classic “Lullaby of Birdland.” The rest of the pieces are a mix of original compositions that would never become part of Piazzolla’s repertoire, older songs in a new guise and also hints at the Piazzolla to come. “Counterpoint,” with its fugal structure, later developed fully in pieces such as “Fuga y Misterio;” “Dedita,” a piece written for his then-wife Odette ‘Dedé’ Wolff; “Show Off,” a new spin of “Para Lucirse,” a tango he had already arranged for tango master Anibal Troilo’s orchestra. And then there’s “Triunfal,” the piece that, in Piazzolla’s lore, he showed to fabled teacher Nadia Boulanger who then, impressed, encouraged him to continue writing tangos. Ironically, Aslan points out, the piece here becomes “almost hard bop.”
“I did not set out to re-harmonize or change his writing at all, or to add any of my ideas,” he explains. “That was a self-imposed limitation — but also I did not need to. The objective was to reformulate the arrangements so that the individual contributions of each musician were allowed to flourish.” For Aslan, Piazzolla in Brooklyn was a chance to finally address Piazzolla in his own terms. “He was a model and an inspiration for my work,” he says. “But I also systematically avoided his music. I always felt that it was too strong and defined, and that his own interpretations very rarely have been surpassed. In Piazzolla in Brooklyn I found my own way into Piazzolla’s music, a place where I could create my own world and actually interact with him.”
Praised as a 4 Star "masterpiece" by Rolling Stone and simply "Outstanding" by USA Today, Revelator is filled with smoky, blues-dipped rockers and heart-stilling ballads that show off, respectively, the gutsier and softer side of Tedeschi's vocal ability, plus a series of emotive, story-telling solos shaped by Trucks's uncanny agility on slide-guitar. Tedeschi Trucks Band celebrated the release of Revelator with a soulful and anthemic performance of the album's first single, "Learn How To Love" on both The Tonight Show and Conan. The recently released third single from the album "Come See About Me" is another demonstration of the prolific musical ability of Tedeschi and Trucks and quickly gaining momentum.
Recognized for their outstanding live performances, Tedeschi Trucks Band's concert in Denver comes after a year of headlining shows in the U.S., Australia and Europe this year. In recent concert reviews, the Charleston City Paper described them as "staggering, uplifting, and damn near soul-saving," while the Boston Globe declared the "show a triumph as band hits stride." The all-star lineup features brothers Oteil Burbridge (noted for his years as bassist with the Allman Brothers Band) and Kofi Burbridge (longtime keyboardist/flutist with The Derek Trucks Band), harmony singers Mike Mattison (vocalist with Derek Trucks Band) and Mark Rivers, with drummers J. J. Johnson and Tyler Greenwell, trumpeter Maurice Brown, tenor saxophonist Kebbi Williams and trombonist Saunders Sermons.
11/18 Denver, CO Fillmore
11/19 Phoenix, AZ JW Desert Ridge Blues Festival
12/28 Jacksonville, FL Florida Theatre
12/29 Clearwater, FL Ruth Eckerd Hall
12/31 San Francisco, CA Warfield
This diverse group of artists includes the Grammy® Award-nominated, jazz-pop singer-songwriter Jamie Cullum; the multi-faceted singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright; the eclectic pop styling of MIKA; acclaimed singer and composer Teddy Thompson; folk-soul chanteuse Ayo; noted French singer Carla Bruni, and punk pioneer Iggy Pop. All gathered together for the recording of this unique holiday collection while recalling the melodies that lit up the Christmas of their own childhood. Iggy Pop remarked, "Gee. Wow. Michel Legrand. No kidding? Yeah, I'd love to do it. So that's kind of how the phone call went when I heard about this record. I was just really, really happy to be included, and to be present in a small way for Joyeux Noel En France 2011. Everybody singing on this is really bloody good. I envy Rufus, his beautiful French as well as his talent, and the three ladies on 'Noel d'espoir,' each one, are nothing short of bewitching. I guess now I'm cool with Santa Claus. By the way, when I was a boy, I too played the drums. Many thanks to Michel for the beautiful tracks and for allowing me to be a guest."
Michel Legrand and his team, comprising of the Big Band Jazz featuring 50 musicians including an orchestra of 34, and renowned sound engineer Lawrence Manchester, who has worked with Diana Krall, Regina Spektor, the Coen brothers on the True Grit soundtrack as well as Scorsese's The Departed, plus Spiderman, flew to New York for the recording of Noel! Noel!! Noel!!! Included are Christmas classics such as "Jingle Bells," "Silent Night," "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" and "Santa Baby," as well as the exclusive Legrand–penned song "Hope Christmas," written and recorded specifically for this album. Said Jamie Cullum, "Over the years of committing songs to memory I kept coming across songs and arrangements I loved. So often the name Michel Legrand turned up. I'm honored to be included on this collection created by Monsieur Legrand in some seriously auspicious company as well. This is not your typical Christmas album! God bless it for that!"
Tearing down the barriers between jazz, classical music and pop, Michel Legrand is at home in any musical situation and has worked with the likes of Orson Welles, Marcel Carne, Clint Eastwood, Norman Jewison, Louis Malle, Andrzej Wajda, Richard Lester and Claude Lelouch, to name just a few. His instrumental LP I Love Paris topped the U.S. album charts and was the first in a string of Legrand's hit records, including Holiday In Rome which reached No. 5 on the Billboard 200; the top 10 album Castles In Spain; The Umbrellas of Cherbourg which achieved massive worldwide success; the Thomas Crown Affair featuring the hit "The Windmills of Your Mind"; and the 1972 hit song "Brian's Song (The Hands Of Time)."
1.Jamie Cullum – "Let It Snow"
2.Teddy Thompson/Rufus Wainwright – "White Christmas"
3. Madeleine Peyroux – "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"
4.Madeleine Peyroux, Emilie Simon, Carla Bruni, Rufus Wainwright, Iggy Pop – "Noel d'Espoir"
5.MIKA – "Vive le Vent"
6.Emilie Simon – "Santa Baby"
7.Carla Bruni – "Jolis Sapins"
8.Iggy Pop – "The Little Drummer Boy"
9.Ayo – "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town"
10.Imelda May – "Silent Night"
Monday, November 14, 2011
In the world of classical music, Daniel Smith's historic box set of the complete 37 Vivaldi bassoon concertos was chosen as 'Best Concerto Recording of the Year' by the Music Industry Association. His highly acclaimed jazz albums Bebop Bassoon and The Swingin' Bassoon (Zah Zah) were followed by Blue Bassoon and Bassoon Goes Latin Jazz! (Summit). Other recordings of Daniel Smith can be found on Vox, MHS, KemDisc, Pearl, Spectrum, Cambria, Regis, Crystal and Forum.
Noteworthy performances include premieres of Gunther Schuller's 'Concerto for Contrabassoon and Orchestra', Steve Gray's 'Jazz Suite for Bassoon and Orchestra' and Robert Farnon's jazz-oriented 'Bassoon Concerto'. Smith has presented solo concerts at New York's Lincoln Center and the Tivoli Concert Hall in Copenhagen. His many recordings are heard throughout the world on jazz and classical radio stations, National Public Radio in the USA and on major airlines for in-flight listening. Daniel is also featured with leading book and record clubs and the Muzak network.
Daniel Smith was voted a 'Rising Star' by the Downbeat critics poll and nominated twice by the Jazz Journalists Association as finalist for their 'Player of the Year' award in the category of 'Instruments Rare in Jazz'. He had earlier been chosen as 'Ambassador for the Bassoon' in Great Britain.
In 2012, Universal Music will be re-releasing his classical and crossover albums on digital for downloading on the Internet. Daniel Smith will also premiere Brazilian composer Joao MacDowell's 'Brazilian Jazz Concerto for Bassoon and Chamber Orchestra'.
Blue Bassoon Track List:
1. The Jody Grind (Horace Silver)
2. The Double Up (Lee Morgan)
3. Sack O' Woe (Julian 'Cannonball' Adderley)
4. Things Ain't What They Used to Be (Mercer Ellington)
5. My Baby's Gone (B B King) *
6. Billie's Bounce (Charlie Parker)
7. Nostalgia in Times Square (Charles Mingus)
8. Equinox (John Coltrane)
9. Scotch and Water (Joe Zawinul)
10. From Four Till Late (Robert Johnson) *
11. Break Out The Blues (George Shearing)
12. Footprints (Wayne Shorter)
13. Solid (Sonny Rollins)
* Special guest artist Larry Campbell on guitar
Born in Sacramento, CA, while growing up Mike had the benefit of traveling around the country with his father, a union man for the railroad. He was also a drummer at one time and had a keen ear, a killing record collection, and a great appreciation for music. This allowed the younger Clark to soak up the diverse regional music of the United States, which he credits as providing an invaluable education. Clark was a prodigy as well, picking up his first sticks at the tender age of five and sitting in--and getting “house” --with bands in Texas and New Orleans when he was as young as 7 and 8. He continued to play in a variety of blues, R&B, organ trios, and jazz bands, settling in Oakland, CA, until his introduction to Herbie Hancock and his recruitment into the Headhunters in 1973. At the tail end of the 70‘s and in 1980, shortly before moving to New York City, Mike did a short but remarkable stint with Brand X, the acclaimed British fusion band founded by Phil Collins, doing two tours and recording their seminal Do They Hurt? and Product.
Next to James Brown's drummer Clyde Stubblefield, Mike's beats with The Headhunters (most notably on "God Make Me Funky") are some of the most sampled in hip hop. Featured in Downbeat, Musician, International Musician & Recording World, Modern Drummer, Jazz Times, Guitar Player, Jazz Is and numerous jazz history and method books, Mike is a former faculty member of Drummers Collective, and is a popular and busy clinician around the country. His book Funk Drumming: Innovative Grooves & Advanced Concepts was published last year by Hal Leonard and is a best seller.
His numerous recording credits include albums with Herbie Hancock, the Headhunters, Brand X, Eddie Henderson, Jack Wilkins, Mark Puricelli, Mike Wolff, and Alien Army, a group led by guitar great Jack Wilkins. As a bandleader, his release Give The Drummer Some was very enthusiastically received, earning a rare four and a half stars in Downbeat, as was The Funk Stops Here, a joint effort with Hancock alumni Paul Jackson. In 2001, his solo CD, Actual Proof met with critical acclaim, as did the 2003 acoustic jazz release, Summertime, featuring Chris Potter and Billy Childs, which spent many weeks in the top ten charts.
Other efforts included a compilation of his legendary, innovative funk beat samples, Mike Clark—The Headhunter, a re-release of the widely acclaimed Thrust album, and, in 1998, The Return Of The Headhunters, featuring Herbie Hancock. Next came Herbie Hancock’s Box Set, featuring Headhunters classics “Actual Proof” and “Butterfly,” from Thrust, a few choice cuts from Manchild, and also some historical tracks from the classic Flood, previously only available in Japan. The Headhunters’ newest effort, Evolution/Revolution, released in 2003, featured the latest Headhunter configuration, with original founding members Mike, Bill Summers and Paul Jackson, joined by Donald Harrison, Victor Atkins (Los Hombres Caliente), and Nicholas Payton.
His 2009 release Blueprints of Jazz, Vol. I produced by Talking House Productions, which featured Christian McBride, Donald Harrison, Patrice Rushen, Jed Levy and Christian Scott, was received with critical acclaim and named one of the best recordings of the decade by Downbeat. Clark signed to Al Hall's Owl Studios back in 2009, and Carnival of Soul marks his debut release on the label. In addition to Clark on drums, the album features Jerry Z, Delbert Bump and Jeff Pittson on Organ, Steve Homan and Rez Abbasi on guitar, Delbert McClinton on vocals, Tim Ouimette on trumpet, Lenny White on drums, Kevin McKendree on piano, Owl Studios artist Rob Dixon on tenor sax and others.
Clark regularly tours the U.S., Europe and Asia, heading up his organ trio, and/or performing as a sideman.
Upcoming appearances include:
November 25-26, 2011
Wolff and Clark Expedition with Michael Wolff, piano, Mike Clark, drums and Chris Severin on bass
Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro New Orleans, LA
January 4-9, 2012
Richie Goods Band
16th festival internacional del jazz de punta des este
Uruguay, South America
"The concept of Vibrato was to have jazz survive. At first, it was to be a great jazz club with food. Now, it is a great restaurant with great jazz," notes Alpert. At Vibrato, the high-end food goes perfectly with high-end jazz. A unique environment in Los Angeles, Vibrato boasts perfect acoustics with impeccable food. "My ambition is to have a club where you feel comfortable, where great musicians can play and appreciate sound and feeling - a venue for jazz players to perform," he says.
The interior design of Vibrato was created by artist Herb Alpert and decorator Clodagh. Vibrato has a hundred seats around the stage, a bar designed like a piano, and a balcony with seating overlooking the club. "The acoustics are a key component of the design," says Alpert, whose art hangs in the club. "Wood and music create good sound. I used the A&M recording studio designer to make sure that the acoustics were right. The mushroom-like globes act as acoustical clouds," says Alpert, who occasionally plays at Vibrato with his wife the famous Brasil 66 singer, Lani Hall. Among the artists who have performed at Vibrato are: The Dave Brubeck Quartet, Steve Tyrell, Seth MacFarlane, Clayton-Hamilton Big Band, Diane Reeves, Houston Person and Bobby Hutcherson.
Zagat Guide reviews of Vibrato run from: "Perfectly prepared steaks" and "first rate jazz" prove "the perfect combination" at this "sophisticated" Bel Air "supper club" co-owned by trumpeter Herb Alpert, to "A beautiful restaurant. The acoustics are perfect for the performers and there is not a bad seat in the house. Well done!"
Adam Robert (now at the Food Network) wrote of Vibrato: "Although Alpert is best known for his music, he added restaurateur to his credits when he opened Vibrato. A grill and jazz club at the top of Beverly Glen." Alpert told Robert: "Food at jazz clubs has always been a kind of second-class citizen. It's the music first, and then let's throw something together." Now Alpert, who once hoped to open a place with his buddy Stan Getz, has an upscale jazz club with food to match. "I was involved in everything," Alpert says, "the look, the feeling of the place, the music, the food. I paid a lot of attention to make the accoustics beautiful."
Steve Oney, Los Angeles Magazine, May 2011 said: "Vibrato, with its cozy wooden interiors, perfect sight lines from every seat, and state-of-the-art acoustics, has drawn performers ranging from Toots Thielemans and Dave Brubeck to Bobby Hutcherson and Chuck Mangione. Which is exactly what Herb Alpert had in mind when he started it. 'There are so many great musicians in L.A.,' he says, 'I run the place so they'll have somewhere to play.'"
On KJAZZ Radio, "The sound at Vibrato is exquisite. The idea was to have a special place for all the jazz musicians and all the young musicians to perform."
Future Jazz performers at Vibrato are: November 15th - Carol Welsman, November 16th - Herb Alpert and Lani Hall, November - 20th Misha Piatigorsky performing with the Sketchy Black Dog, November 22 - Barbara Morrison, and December 3 - Gilbert Castellanos.
Vibrato guests include: Billy Dee Williams, Stevie Wonder, Frankie Valli, Tom Jones, Michael Buble, James Caan, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Clint Eastwood, Chubby Checker, Michael Bolton, James Worthy, Natalie Cole, Shia La Beouf, Jack Nicholson and Vidal and Ronnie Sassoon.
Vibrato Grill, Jazz, Etc. is a Herb Alpert restaurant in partnership with Gregg and Bob Smith of Smith Brothers restaurants.
Backed by a brilliant aggregation of musicians that includes pianist Peter Edwards, double bassist Nick Walsh, drummer Andy Chapman and saxophonists Binker Goldings, Camilla George and Zem Adu, McFarlane comes into her own on an engrossing set that includes more originals such as Chiaroscuro, Blossom Tree and More Than Mine. “Most of this album was recorded before I even met Gilles,” Zara explains “I did 5 new songs this year in January. Pete [Edwards] wrote arrangements and things just fell into place. I suppose that I was really trying to bring a contemporary feel to old music. I think anyone can listen to jazz but it’s up to us to make it fresh so that anyone can relate to it.”
All of the finesse in Zara McFarlane’s delivery stems from both a natural gift and years of formal study at a very high standard. In 2001 she studied popular music performance at Thames Valley University and then went on to complete a Masters Degree in Jazz Studies at the Guildhall School of Music in 2009. As her education suggests, McFarlane is as drawn to popular culture as she is high art, and her work to date wholeheartedly shows that she is comfortable in a wide variety of contexts. She has thus collaborated with the acclaimed house producer Bopstar, contributed one of her original compositions to the contemporary soul compilation Basement Soul and also done gigs with South African icon Hugh Masekela and the gifted British pianist and arranger Alex Wilson.
The creative spark for Until Tomorrow was lit a long time ago.“Some of the songs on the album go back some time,” she notes. “I’ve wanted to make an album for years, probably about 10 years or so, and now this definitely feels like the right time for me.” One of the curveballs that McFarlane throws on Until Tomorrow is her rendition of The Children And The Warlock and Thoughts. These two superb tracks are by pianist and composer Harry Whittaker, a relatively unheralded figure in the jazz world who is nonetheless respected for his work with Roy Ayers, Carmen Lundy and his own Black Renaissance project. “Gilles [Peterson] introduced me to Harry Whittaker’s trio album, Thoughts Past And Present,” Zara says “There were a couple of tracks that I chose from there. His writing reminded me of Pete’s [Edwards] in a way. It was really melodic, spacious and very emotive. That’s what I try to have in my music. It’s more of an emotional journey as opposed to a just piece for the sake of writing a piece.”
The arrangements for Until Tomorrow have a liberal dose of subtle, stealthy swing, yet as steeped as Zara McFarlane is in the jazz tradition, she has brought an eminently soul undercurrent to what she does, and it is entirely possible that she could appeal to audiences weaned as much on Jill Scott and Erykah Badu as Cassandra Wilson and Dianne Reeves. Blessed with a fine voice and a strength of character that has led her towards thought-provoking, if not challenging lyrics, Zara McFarlane has with Until Tomorrow taken a giant step down the road to what is surely a long, illustrious career.
Friday, November 11, 2011
In 1987 he released his first solo album The Night Owl, which quickly became a Quiet Storm radio staple w/the songs "Walkin' With You", "Talbot Street Cafe" and "Drivetime." He has also been a popular guest artist on tours with Boney James, Peter White, Eric Marienthal, Ricardo Silveira and Larry Carlton and has produced a vast array of artists at his own Nightowl Studios, including Kirk Whalum, Peter White, Craig Chaquico, Phil Sheeran, Gabriela Anders, The Pointer Sisters and crossover pianist David Lanz. As a songwriter, his tunes have been recorded by Richard Eliott, George Benson, Chaquico, Arnold McCuller, Pauline Wilson, Kenia and Deniece Williams.
Those fruitful all-star associations are only the beginning of an amazing journey that would later find the married father of two boys firmly ensconced in the world of his first true musical love, Brazilian music. In this genre, Karukas has toured and recorded with Sergio Mendes, Ricardo Silveira and Dori Caymmi. A career highlight came in 1992 at the Hollywood Bowl when he added his multi-keyboard orchestrations to the music of Toots Thielemans and Brazilian legends Ivan Lins, Caymmi and the late Antonio Carlos Jobim.
Karukas feels lucky to work with singers and musicians whom he feels a magical musical rapport with. "People say my music sounds romantic and uplifting - and I look so happy on stage, he says. It's totally true. For me, the best music comes out of an inner feeling of either intense happiness or sadness. I always try to stay faithful to that original inspiration, because that is where the true sound of emotion' comes from.
"I think we all need music to be the soundtrack to our soul," Karukas adds. "It can inspire us, balance out our lives and relieve stress. I appreciate that and I treat each CD or concert as another opportunity to connect to those sounds and emotions on a deeper level. I love sharing that with others and try to make each project a special event all its own."