Thursday, July 31, 2014


Blue Note Jazz Club, one of the world's most iconic jazz and blues venues based in Greenwich Village, is proud to announce an impressive schedule of artists for August 2014. Highlights include: Dee Dee Bridgewater featuring Theo Croker, Conrad Herwig's "Latin Side of Horace Silver" project (which will be recorded live for future release on Half Note Records), Tom Harrell's "Colors of a Dream" (with Esperanza Spalding), Arturo Sandoval, Earl Klugh, and "Quincy Jones Presents: Nikki Yanofsky & Andreas Varady Album Releases + Special Guests," among others.

8:00PM & 10:30PM shows each night, unless otherwise noted.
Doors open at 6:00pm. $5 minimum.

The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra 
Thursday - Sunday, July 31 - August 3
William "Count" Basie, one of the greatest jazz musicians of all time whose talent with the keyboard elevated jazz to a new art form, started the Count Basie Orchestra in 1935 in Kansas City, Missouri.  Dedicated to continuing the Basie legacy, the Orchestra is still going strong today and will celebrate its 80th anniversary in 2015. The group is in constant demand for television and films and has won 17 GRAMMY® Awards and 20 DownBeat and JazzTimes polls, more than any other big band in jazz.
Music Charge: $20 - Bar, $35 - Table

Quincy Jones Presents: Nikki Yanofsky & Andreas Varady Album Releases + Special Guests
Monday, August 4
Blue Note Jazz Club (in association with Quincy Jones Productions) is proud to present album release performances showcasing two of jazz's most talked about new artists: 20-year-old vocalist Nikki Yanofsky and 17-year-old guitarist Andreas Varady (both of whom are managed by Jones). At just 20 years old, Yanofsky has topped both jazz and pop charts, performed with orchestras and big bands, and sold out festivals and major theaters around the world; in 2010, she sang to 3.2 billion people - half the world's population - at the Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Games. She has worked with luminaries such as Herbie Hancock, Phil Ramone,, Wyclef Jean, and Elton John. She performs in support of her new album, Little Secret, released in May 2014. Varady is "one of the most talented people on this planet, who takes the music back to where it belongs," says Jones. A child prodigy, Varady has performed with a collection of world class musicians including: Lee Ritenour, Alfredo Rodriguez, Frank Vignola, Casey Benjamin, and many more. He performs in support of his new debut self-titled album, scheduled for August 5, 2014 release on Verve Music Group. Varady will only perform as an opener for the first show at 7:00PM (with special guests, to be announced).
*Show Times: 7:00PM & 10:30PM*
Music Charge: $15 - Bar, $25 - Table

Arturo Sandoval
Tuesday - Sunday, August 5-10
A protégé of the legendary jazz master Dizzy Gillespie, renowned trumpeter Arturo Sandoval is proud to return to Blue Note Jazz Club. His latest Concord Records release, Dear Diz (Every Day I Think of You), won the 2013 GRAMMY® Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album, and pays tribute to his mentor, Gillespie, showcasing the legend's greatest compositions. Sandoval is noted as one of the most dynamic and vivacious live performers of our time, having performed with Celine Dion at the Oscars, with Justin Timberlake at the GRAMMY® Awards, and with Alicia Keys at the Billboard Music Awards. 
Music Charge:
Tuesday - Thursday: $20 - Bar, $35 - Table
Friday - Sunday: $30 - Bar, $45 - Table

Earl Klugh
Tuesday - Sunday, August 12-17
Following six-night appearances in August 2012 and 2013 respectively, GRAMMY®-winning master guitarist Earl Klugh's return to Blue Note Jazz Club for another six nights this August (2014) marks the third iteration of what has become an annual summer residency. Recording over 30 albums in his multi-million-selling career including 23 Top 10 charting records - five of them No. 1 - on Billboard's Jazz Album chart, Klugh performs in support of his latest Concord Records album, HandPicked (2013) - a solo guitar album featuring a handful of collaborative string duets (featuring the likes of country legend Vince Gill, contemporary jazz guitarist Bill Frisell and ukulele player Jake Shimabukuro). Klugh's credit appears on recordings by Aretha Franklin, Roberta Flack, Al Jarreau, Mary J. Blige, Jamie Foxx and many others.
Music Charge: $20 - Bar, $35 - Table

The Latin Side of Horace Silver: Conrad Herwig & The Latin Side All-Stars
W/ Special Guest Michel Camilo (8/19-21)
Live Half Note Records Album Recording
Tuesday - Sunday, August 19-24
Trombonist Conrad Herwig returns to Blue Note with "The Latin Side of Horace Silver" program, spotlighting the music of jazz legend Horace Silver (who recently passed away in June 2014). This marks Herwig's seventh project in the "Latin Side" franchise. The engagement will be recorded live (to be released on Half Note Records in 2015). GRAMMY®, Emmy®, and Latin GRAMMY® Award winning pianist and composer Michel Camilo will guest for three nights. Since 1998, Herwig's "Latin Side" franchise has focused on reimagining seminal jazz musicians' compositions by showcasing those compositions within the framework of Afro-Cuban and Afro-Caribbean rhythms. Past projects have paid homage to John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, among others, receiving several GRAMMY® Award nominations for Half Note Records. Herwig's latest "Latin Side" album, The Latin Side of Joe Henderson featuring Joe Lovano, is scheduled for September 16, 2014 release on Half Note.
Music Charge: $20 - Bar, $35 - Table

Tom Harrell "Colors of a Dream"
Tuesday - Thursday, August 26-28
The latest project from the prolific trumpeter and composer Newsweek praised for his "pure melodic genius," Tom Harrell's "Colors of a Dream" is a captivating piano-less sextet with two bassists -- one of them the stellar Esperanza Spalding - and invigorating music by one of jazz's most admired artists. The lineup also features bassist Ugonna Okegwo, tenor saxophonist Wayne Escoffery, alto saxophonist Jaleel Shaw, and drummer Jonathan Blake. A veteran of bandleaders such as Horace Silver and Phil Woods and a frequent winner of the DownBeat and JazzTimes magazines' critics and readers polls, Harrell is known for the burnished warmth and melodic grace and freedom of his trumpet and flugelhorn playing.
Music Charge: $20 - Bar, $35 - Table

Dee Dee Bridgewater Featuring Theo Croker
Friday - Sunday, August 29-31
Over the course of a multifaceted career spanning four decades, GRAMMY® and Tony Award-winning vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater has been a torchbearer for female vocalists in the tradition of Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan. With three GRAMMY® Awards to her credit, Bridgewater is seemingly getting better with age, winning a 2010 GRAMMY® Award for her latest album Listen Now! Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959): To Billie With Love From Dee Dee, where she performed the timeless songs of Billie Holiday. She appears at Blue Note with a band featuring her latest protégé, 29-year-old trumpeter Theo Croker (the grandson of legendary trumpeter Doc Cheatham), who recently released his debut album via OKeh/Sony Masterworks in May 2014 to critical acclaim.
Music Charge: $20 - Bar, $35 - Table

August 11 - Angela Johnson CD Release Show (8:00PM) / Bradd Marquis (10:30PM)     *One Show Only For Both Artists Above At Respective Show Times*

August 18 - Julie Eigenberg & Yaron Gershovsky

August 25 - Jeremy Pelt

Blue Note Jazz Club proudly presents its Late Night Groove Series, which showcases New York's up-and-coming jazz, soul, hip-hop, R&B and funk artists. Shows are on Friday and Saturday nights.  Doors open at midnight and shows begin at 12:30AM. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 day-of-show, unless otherwise noted. The upcoming Blue Note Jazz Festival 

Late Night schedule features:
Friday, August 1 - Linda Oh "Sun Pictures" Feat.
Saturday, August 2 - String 'N Skins
Friday, August 8 - Christian Galvez Trio
Saturday, August 9 - Chris Turner
Friday, August 15 - Emergency Service
Saturday, August 16 - Sharif In Burgundy
Friday, August 22 - Robert Mwamba
Saturday, August 23 - Mad Satta
Friday, August 29 - Roswitha
Saturday, August 30 - r'kardo st.Von

Sunday Brunch at Blue Note Jazz Club is $29.50 per person and includes a live performance, brunch entree and cocktail. Each performer is scheduled for two shows, at 11:30AM and 1:30PM. 

The upcoming schedule features:
August 3 - Louis Armstrong Birthday Tribute Feat. "Hot Lips" Joey Morant & Catfish Stew
August 10 - "Portrait of Oscar Peterson" feat. Peter Beets Trio
August 17 - Jake Hertzog Trio
August 24 - Nanny Assis
August 31 - Zach Brock Quartet feat. Mike Moreno, Yaushi Nakamura & Rudy Royston

Blue Note Jazz Club, based in the heart of Greenwich Village, is a New York City cultural institution and one of the premier jazz clubs in the world. Jazz is undoubtedly America's music, and while Blue Note strives to celebrate the music's great history, the club is a place where progression and innovation - the foundation of jazz - are encouraged and practiced on a nightly basis. Blue Note is open for concerts 365 days a year.

Celebrate 60 Years of the Newport Jazz Festival August 1 - 3

No need to worry about what to do this weekend ... head to the Newport Jazz Festival presented by Natixis Global Asset Management to celebrate the 60th anniversary of America's first annual jazz festival. Set in beautiful Newport, RI, August 1 - 3, the festival features three stages and more than 45 artists, including Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Bobby McFerrin, Dr. John, David Sanborn, Trombone Shorty, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Jon Batiste & Stay Human, Gregory Porter, Snarky Puppy, Ron Carter and many more. 

Also celebrating its 60th anniversary this year is the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum, which serves as the host venue for opening night of the Newport Jazz Festival. In 1954, the museum was founded as a "shrine to the ideals of the game." Sixty years later, and with a bright future ahead, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is a global leader in the tennis industry, and an important community landmark. The Hall of Fame is housed in the historic Newport Casino, which was built in 1880 as a social club to bring the community together. As the two iconic Newport institutions mark 60 years, the Hall of Fame will kick off the 60th Anniversary Opening Night of Newport Jazz Festival with a pre-show cocktail party for concert goers, hosted on the beautiful porches of the historic property. Tickets are $60 and are available on or by phone at 401-324-4072.

New Releases - Euge Groove - Got 2 Be Groovin; Lenny Pickett - The Prescription; Allyn Robinson - Dreams Realized, My Life In Music


Saxophonist Euge Groove is one of the bestselling Contemporary Jazz artists, scoring more than half a dozen #1 Smooth Jazz radio hits and selling over 250,000 albums. His last album, House of Groove, hit #1 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Albums chart, continuing his hit driven chart reign. Got 2 Be Groovin delivers Euge Groove s trademark Funk/Jazz grooves on a wide ranging set including potential radio hits as well as featuring a couple of vocal tracks by American Idol finalist Elliot Yamin and Gospel singer Chanel Haynes of Trin I Tee 5:7. Euge Groove is a staple of Contemporary Jazz radio, scoring two more Top Ten Billboard Contemporary Jazz hits on his last album. Groovin Up Hip Street will be the first single to be worked to smooth Adult Contemporary radio.
Euge Groove has toured both nationally and internationally, often as part of high profile, multi artist packages such as Guitars & Saxes and also the prestigious all star Smooth Jazz cruises.
~ Amazon


Saxophonist Lenny Pickett's first album in decades, with the UMO Jazz Orchestra of Finland. After his breakthrough stint with Tower Of Power, he has been the sax soloist on Saturday Night Live. LP's is THE saxophone voice of our time. Pickett is a current member of the Saturday Night Live band and a long-time leader of the Tower of Power horn section. During the '70s, the Tower of Power was the dominant session horn group, cutting their own successful R&B/funk/pop records and backing a host of stars from Elton John to many soul and R&B acts. Pickett continued with the group until the mid-'80s, then made a solo release as a leader. He is a stirring, blues-laden player who functions best doing short, tart solos in the middle of R&B/blues/pop pieces, but not a jazz player in the conventional sense. ~ Ron Wynn


Drummer Allyn Robinson's latest record is a celebration of Allyn's rich musical history and a stirring tribute to Jaco Pastorius, Charles Brent and Wayne Cochran. With a burning 16-piece R&B big band, Allyn takes the listener on a musical journey across the threshold where jazz intersects with soul, funk and rhythm & blues. Allyn brought together some of New Orleans' finest musicians to record an incredible mix of original tunes by bassist and musical director Chuck Archard, as well as some exciting new arrangements of classics by Jaco, Willie Tee, The Gaturs, Dizzy Gillespie and Wayne Cochran and The C.C. Riders. From the opening track, "Amelia," a Jaco composition originally written and performed live with Allyn and the Cochran band in '73, to the Three Views of A Secret inspired, The Final View, this record is...A Dream Realized!

Keyboardist Greg Manning Is "Cruisin' Down The Road" Big Time as His New Single Debuts on the Billboard Smooth Jazz Chart

Keyboardist Greg Manning, the first artist signed to Kalimba Music (, the newly re-launched label owned by Earth, Wind & Fire's legendary founder Maurice White, is truly "Cruisin' Down The Road" as his infectious debut single catches fire on a variety of smooth jazz format charts.

The track, from Manning's recently released debut album Dance With You, makes its debut at #28 with a bullet on the Billboard Smooth Jazz chart while debuting at #18 on the Smooth Jazz Top 20 with Allen Kepler. It also makes a major leap from #15 to #6 with a bullet on the Mediabase Smooth A/C chart, just behind the latest hits by Vincent Ingala (the chart-topping saxophonist who also appears on "Cruisin' Down The Road"), Jonathan Butler, Richard Elliot and Rick Braun and ahead of Mindi Abair, Paul Hardcastle and Brian Culbertson.

While remaining on the and charts, Manning's single hits the Top 5 (#5 with a bullet) on the Groove Jazz Music chart and rises from #31 to #28 on the Radio Wave Internet Airplay chart.

In other exciting Greg Manning news, the multi-talented performer will be performing on the Alaska bound Dave Koz & Friends At Sea Cruise September 5-12. He will also be making his first appearance as an artist on the main stage at the Catalina Island JazzTrax Festival on October 19.

Kalimba Music is also charting with Earth, Wind & Fire track "Never," the lead single from the re-mastered collector's edition of the hit album The Promise.  The track is holding steady in the Top 25 of the Billboard Smooth Jazz chart.

White, who originally established Kalimba Music in 2003 as a vehicle to promote Earth, Wind & Fire as well as up and coming performers, decided to re-launch based on his passion and love for music and worthy artists.

New Releases - Sam Cooke - The Complete SAR Recordings; Willie Hutch - In Tune; Ullanda McCullough - Ullanda McCullough / Watching You, Watching Me


The first-ever release of this full album of material by LC Cooke – the younger brother of the late Sam Cooke, but a hell of a singer in his own right! LC issued a few labels for Sam's SAR label in the early 60s, but this full set never saw the light of day – as it was scrapped after Sam's untimely early death – which makes this package the long-overdue release of the album at last! LC's style is a bit deeper than Sam's – still as well put-together, but with a bit less polish on the edges, and a lot more grit in the grooves – and the album mostly features production by Sam Cooke, over sessions from the early 60s – plus some final recordings done by LC with the Magnificent Montague. These 18 tracks are a great revelation – especially when taken together – and Peter Guaralnick wrote a great essay for the notes, which really ties the whole thing together. Titles include "Tell Me", "Take Me For What I Am", "The Lover", "Magic Words", "Sufferin", "Miss Sally", "Gonna Have A Good Time", "Do You Wanna Dance", "You're Working Out Your Bag", "Chalk Like", and "Put Me Down Easy". Dusty Groove


Willie Hutch got his first big break writing, producing and arranging songs for the 5th Dimension, but when he penned the lyrics to the Jackson 5’s “I’ll Be There;” Berry Gordy immediately hired him as a Motown writer, arranger and producer. After co-writing songs for Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, the Miracles and others, Hutch stepped into the spotlight as an artist in his own right for Motown, becoming a go-to Blaxploitation film score composer (The Mack; Foxy Brown) and scoring hits with “Brother’s Gonna Work It Out,” “Slick” and “Love Power.” But in 1977, Willie joined fellow Motown producer Norman Whitfield’s own Whitfield label, and the following year cut this disco/funk classic, which married Whitfield’s trademark psychedelic soul sound to his own sharp songwriting, with a bit of Barry White thrown into the mix. Long requested by soul and disco fans across the globe, this record features the R&B chart hits “All American Funkathon” and “Paradise,” and makes its worldwide CD debut with this Real Gone release. Gene Sculatti’s liner notes explore Willie’s distinguished career. ~ Real Gone


One of the most respected and active session singers of the mid-‘70s and early ‘80s, Ullanda McCullough’s distinctive voice could be heard on numerous popular jingles (including 1971’s Coca-Cola campaign, “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing”) as well as albums by Eddie Floyd, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Patti Austin, Cissy Houston, Bionic Boogie, Carly Simon, Chic, Roberta Flack, Diana Ross, the soundtrack for the movie The Wiz and Ashford & Simpson, with whom she toured as a primary background vocalist during the late ‘70s. In 1979, Ullanda recorded her first solo album (Love Zone) for Ocean/Ariola Records before signing with Atlantic Records where she recorded two albums, a 1981 self-titled set and 1982’s Watching You, Watching Me.  Ullanda McCullough was written and produced in its entirety by Nick Ashford & Valerie Simpson and includes the cut “Warm And Gentle Explosion,” which became a popular rare groove track in the UK in the ‘90s along with other gems penned by the famed pair such as “Bad Company” (with a single edit included here as a bonus track), “Rumors,” “It’s You” and “You’re Gonna Wanna Come Back.”  Key musicians included Simpson on piano, guitarist Eric Gale, drummer Yogi Horton, keyboardist Philip Woo and percussionist Ralph MacDonald. Watching You, Watching Me was produced by renowned arranger/conductor and producer Bert DeCoteaux and featured an all-star cast of famed players (such as keyboardist Ray Chew, bassists Marcus Miller, Tinker Barfield and Wayne Brathwaite and percussionist Sammy Figueroa) and the cream of New York’s session singers, including Luther Vandross—who did the background vocal arrangements for four of the album’s eight tracks—Tawatha Agee (of the band Mtume) and Brenda White, who would go on to sing on albums by Vandross and tour with Aretha Franklin.  Standout tracks include “Men Kiss And Tell,” (originally recorded by Carrie Lucas), Ullanda’s own “What’s It All About” and William Eaton’s compelling title track, covered in 1985 by Bill Withers. ~ Real Gone

Jazz Drummer Idris Muhammed is Dead at 74

Idis Muhammad, whose drumming crossed over several musical styles including funk, jazz, and rhythm and blues, died Tuesday (July 29) at the age of 74. Close frend Dan Williams confirmed Muhammad's death. Muhammed was a converted Muslim and was immediately buried in accordance with the traditions of Islam, While the cause of death has not yet been confirmed, Muhammad had been receiving dialysis treatment in New Orleans — where he had returned from New York City to retire back in 2011.

Idris Muhammad doesn’t mind the term "crossover." The New Orleans-born drummer, as a member of Lou Donaldson’s group in the mid-Sixties, was on the ground floor of that movement which fuses jazz with pop before anyone had even thought of a label for it. As one of the most in-demand studio musicians in New York, Muhammad has played on sessions with such major Seventies crossover figures as Bob James, Donald Byrd, Grover Washington, and Freddie Hubbard.

And, in the late Seventies, Idris has emerged as a top-selling crossover artist in his own right, with his last several albums placing high on the pop, soul, disco, and jazz charts: Turn This Mutha Out and Boogie to the Top (for CTI’s Kudu label), and his Fantasy debut, You Ain’t No Friend of Mine! (produced by William Fischer).

His brand-new Fantasy release, Foxhuntin’,reunites him with Dave Matthews and Tony Sarafino, the team that produced his Kudu hits. The results? State-of-the-art disco with a rhythmic foundation that’s unmistakably Muhammad.

Idris is understandably enthusiastic about the album. "The dance beat is there, of course," he says, "but it’s also got a fresh new sound that I’m very excited about."

Matthews and Sarafino composed most of the LP’s material; there’s also a track written by Idris’s wife, Sakinah Muhammad. Sidemen include Hiram Bullock on guitar, keyboardist Cliff Carter, Wilbur Bascomb on bass, and singers Ronnie Eagle and Frank Floyd.

Although the jazz public first became aware of Muhammad in 1967 when his funk rhythms propelled alto saxophonist Lou Donaldson’s hit, "Alligator Boogaloo," he had been the driving force behind countless rock and r&b hits for a decade previously. His beat graced such classics as Larry Williams’s "Bony Moronie," the Impressions’ "Keep On Pushing" and "People Get Ready," and the Dixie Cups’ "Chapel of Love."

The son of traditional jazz banjo player Nathaniel Morris, Idris was the youngest of four drum-playing brothers. "The Dixieland musicians all lived in the neighborhood," he recalls, "so they all used to get together on Sundays and parade through the streets. They had a feeling different from any other musicians in any other place. In New Orleans you have to play all types of music, because it’s just not a one-type-of-music town."

Muhammad is a leading exponent of the unique New Orleans school of drumming and credits among his influences such hometown drummers as brother Nathaniel Morris, Jr., Ed Blackwell, John Boudreaux, and Smokey Johnson. "Because my father was a musician," he explains, "we could play drums in the house all day and no one would say anything. So John and Smokey used to come to my house and rehearse. We were all young cats, but between us, we kinda had the whole New Orleans scene hooked up."

Muhammad was working with the legendary Hawkettes, led by organist Art Neville of Meters fame, when Larry Williams asked them to go on the road with him in 1957. The following year found Muhammad touring with Sam Cooke, but he soon returned home to cut "You Talk Too Much" with singer Joe Jones.

That record and other New Orleans hits of the period were causing a sensation across the nation with their unique syncopated rhythms. Artists and producers in the major recording centers were looking for a way to duplicate the magic sound but it was so different that no one could copy it. Earl Palmer had already gone to Southern California, where he became the leading rock studio drummer of the late Fifties. Berry Gordy sent for Smokey Johnson, who, according to Muhammad, laid the rhythmic foundation for the Motown sound.

After a spell on the road with Maxine Brown, Muhammad became active in both Chicago (with Dee Clark, Jerry Butler, and Curtis Mayfield) and New York (with singer Lloyd Price and producers Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller, and Jeff Barry).

In the late Sixties, he moved to New York and worked with such jazz greats as Donaldson, Nat Adderley, Sonny Stitt, and Gene Ammons. But they wouldn’t let him forget his roots, because, as he says, "I had this rhythm no one else could play."

Besides maintaining his busy recording schedule, Muhammad also found time to spend four years with the original band for Hair and four more with singer Roberta Flack. He also cut two solo albums, Black Rhythm Revolution and Peace and Rhythm, for Prestige in 1971.

Idris’s enormous flexibility and range were again brought to light during his recent gig with tenor saxophonist Johnny Griffin’s quartet. "That whole tour was the greatest experience! Johnny is such a strong player, and we had a ball playing together."

At the other end of the Muhammad spectrum is Foxhuntin’-dynamic disco, and another expression of his unique rhythmic talents.

~ Concord Music Group

CORAZON, the First Ever Latin Music Album of Santana's Career, is Certified U.S. Latin Double Platinum and Held the #1 Billboard U.S. Latin Record for Six Consecutive Weeks Upon Release

"'Corazon' promotes and accentuates the same principles that are inside me. As Bob Marley said, 'Dance your troubles away.' Just as a dog shakes off the water, you have to shake off the weight of the soul from beginning to end. This CD invites you to celebrate your own light. Don't be afraid. Take a look." - Carlos Santana

CORAZON, the first ever Latin album of Santana's career, has just received U.S. Latin double-platinum certification. Upon release on May 6th, it was the top selling Latin Music album in the United States for six consecutive weeks. In addition, CORAZON has been #1 on the iTunes album chart in 24 countries, #2 in 10 countries, and Top 10 in 59 countries.

Superstar performances on CORAZON, the album, include ChocQuibtown, Lila Downs, Gloria Estefan, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, Juanes, Ziggy Marley, Miguel, Nina Pastori, Pitbull, Samuel Rosa of Skank, Cindy Blackman Santana, Romeo Santos, Wayne Shorter, Soledad, and Diego Torres.

"We are deeply gratified at the success of Carlos Santana's first ever Latin CD, Corazon. It's all about the music and Carlos continues to create timeless melodies that will be eternally relevant. I would like to thank all the fans who have embraced Corazon," Michael Vrionis, President of Universal Tone Management and one of the Executive Producers of Corazon said.

For forty years and as many albums later, Santana has sold more than 100 million records and reached more than 100 million fans at concerts worldwide. To date, Santana has won ten GRAMMY ® Awards and three Latin GRAMMY ® Awards.  He won a record-tying nine GRAMMYs for a single project for 1999's Supernatural (including Album of the Year and Record of the Year for "Smooth"). He has also received the Billboard Century Award (1996), was ushered into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1998), and received the Billboard Latin Music Awards' Lifetime Achievement honor (2009).  Among many other honors, Carlos Santana has also been cited by Rolling Stone as #15 on their list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time." Celebrating the chart debut of Guitar Heaven (Arista) in 2010, Santana joined the ranks of the Rolling Stones as the only musical act in chart history to score at least one Top 10 album in every decade beginning with the 1960s. On December 8th, 2013 Carlos Santana was the recipient of the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors Award. He is also currently headlining at a multi-year residency at House of Blues at Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas. Santana recently kicked off an 18 show US tour with Rod Stewart along with stand alone dates for 'The Corazon Tour.'

Link to "Saideira" video featuring Samuel Rosa: 

Veteran Cuban Musician Rey Cabrera Spices Up The Summer With A Brand New Latin Jazz Album - Y Su Amigos

Cuban born vocalist and master of the tres, a traditional Cuban style guitar, brings his finest latin jazz music to the North American audiences this coming August 5th. The extraordinary new album, Cabrera’s third full-length as Rey Cabrera y Sus Amigos, is entitled Controversia, and will be released on both CD and digitally by Goldenlane Records, a subsidiary of Cleopatra Records, Inc.

Born 1943 in the Oriente mountains that surround Santiago de Cuba, Cabrera inherited his love and passion for música campesina, Cuba’s oldest and most traditional music style, from both of his parents. His father taught him to play the tres, and before too long the young Cabrera moved to Santiago de Cuba where he met and performed with Eliades Ochoa, later of Buena Vista Social Club fame. From there, Cabrera went on to his own international acclaim as one of the last ambassadors of the Cuban musical style known as son cubano, a blend of Spanish canción and African rhythms. Cabrera has performed everywhere from the Montreux Jazz Festival, the North Sea Jazz in South Africa, the UK, and Belgium. Now this seasoned veteran will bring his immense talent to US shores - so grab a mojito and let Cabrera’s band transport you through the rich history of his musical heritage!

1. Merci Beaucoup
2. Mi Niña Mari
3. Los Refrancitos
4. Le Canto Al Palenque with Roberto Carrión
5. Cuando Nace El Sol with René Baes
6. Me Voy A Recoger Café
7. Canto A Bruselas, 10 Años Después
8. Los Testigos
9. La Calabaza with Mongo Vuelta
10. El Fuiki Fuiki with DJ Proceed


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Classically-trained mezzo soprano vocalist Patrice Jegou releases debut pop-jazz album - Speak Low

Remember the first time you heard Streisand or Renée Fleming, Celine Dion or Adele? Yes, the voice was arrestingly beautiful, but there was more: a distinctiveness that made that moment of discovery uniquely thrilling. Each is blessed with “that little something extra,” as James Mason so aptly described it to Judy Garland in “A Star Is Born,” that signifies true star quality.

Hit “play” on track one of Speak Low, the debut release from classically-trained mezzo-soprano Patrice Jégou, and you immediately feel that same effect; that ineffable je ne sais quoi that separates the great from the merely good. Across 15 wide-ranging tracks, spanning Broadway, Nashville and beyond, and blurring jazz, pop, classical, country and gospel, Jegou is assisted by an all-star assortment of musicians, including Take 6, gospel superstar Andrae Crouch, saxophonist Kirk Whalum, bassists Victor Wooten and David Finck, drummer Shawn Pelton, and guitarist Paul Jackson Jr., with production credits that include Take 6’s Mark Kibble and the Manhattan Transfer’s Cheryl Bentyne.

The story of Jégou’s serpentine career path, including the  evolution of Speak Low, is as compelling as the album itself. Born in the Newfoundland capital of St. John’s but raised on the opposite side of Canada, in Red Deer, Alberta (the province’s third biggest metropolis, a prosperous oil-and-cattle town located equidistant between Calgary and Edmonton), Jégou grew up in a house filled with music—her mother was an amateur guitarist, keyboardist and vocalist. At her mother’s insistence, she begrudgingly took piano lessons, but was much more interested in sports. A natural athlete, she excelled at baseball, volleyball and particularly ice skating.

Eager to expand her horizons beyond Red Deer, Jégou began skating professionally, coaching in New Zealand, Canada, and the United States, and touring Mexico with an ice show. But at age 23 she decided to hang up her skates. The show she was appearing in had reached Monterrey, and there was a cast change. Among the newcomers was a fellow from Vancouver with an impressive background in musical theater. One day, while the cast was fooling around during intermission, singing various tunes, he took special note of Jegou’s voice and urged her to take singing lessons.

Intrigued, Jégou returned to Red Deer and sought out a prominent local voice teacher—a nun originally from Jamaica—and also enrolled at Red Deer College, where she joined the jazz choir. From there, she progressed to the music program at the University of Calgary. Two years into her studies, she decided two try out for a soloist role in Leonard Bernstein’s Mass, being presented by the Calgary Philharmonic under the direction of Maestro Hans Graf. Midway through her audition, Graf stood up, dashed down the aisle, ran up on stage and said, ‘You’re so good! Sing it again,’ and began coaching her on the spot.

A short while later, her voice teacher at U of C, who had studied with the celebrated pedagogue Richard Miller, urged her to continue her education in the U.S. So, Jégou found herself in Nashville, studying with Miller protégé Shirley Zelinksi at Belmont University, acquiring her Masters in classical voice and ultimately teaching there. Though eager to remain stateside, an application to extend her work visa was rejected and Jégou found herself back in Alberta, teaching at the University of Lethbridge. While she loved academia and savored working one-on-one with gifted music students, she hungered to do her doctorate. An internship through NATS (the National Association of Teachers of Singing) at upstate New York’s SUNY Fredonia led to an opportunity to work with master teacher Judith Nicosia at Rutgers University in New Jersey, where Jégou completed her doctoral studies in 2011.

In the summer of 2005, prior to relocating to New Jersey, Jégou entered and won a prestigious international singing competition in Peru. Part of the prize was a concert presented by ILAMS (the Iberian Latin American Music Society) in the UK. The repertoire for the recital included Shostakovich, Brazilian tunes by Ernani Braga, Argentinian folk songs by Ginastera, and black folk songs by Montsalvatge. The following year, a Rutgers classmate, Spanish multi-instrumentalist Cristina Pato ( makes a most unusual guest appearance on Speak Low – invited Jegou to join her in recording that same eclectic repertoire.

Settled in New Jersey, now studying for her doctorate at Rutgers University, she met and married Yinka Oyelese, an accomplished physician, whose own musical background includes membership in an immensely popular a cappella vocal group in his native Nigeria. The spark for what would eventually become Speak Low, executive produced by Oyelese, was ignited not long after their wedding, when, in 2008, Jégou returned to the Peru competition to serve as an adjudicator. While there, she was asked to give a master class and a recital. 

Working alongside a Costa Rican pianist, she remembers singing “a Schubert set, a Debussy set and a Swedish song. But I thought I should also include something a little more popular, so I prepared ‘Till There Was You’ from The Music Man, and did it as an encore. Well, the audience applause was so enthusiastic that the pianist leaned over and whispered to me, ‘Do you have another song?’ I whispered back, ‘no,” and he said, ‘well you’ll have to sing it again,’ which I did!”

A short while later, a retirement party was being planned for Jégou and Oyelese’s church minister and she was asked to sing. Again she chose “Till There Was You,” and again the reaction was extraordinary. “People were cheering and crying and were so excited by the song,” she recalls, “that Yinka turned to me and said, ‘you know, honey, I think you should record a non-classical album.’” Jégou proposed a living-room session using Apple’s GarageBand as the recording software. Fortunately, Oyelese had a much grander vision.

Inspired by Charlie Haden and Hank Jones’ Come Sunday and Kathleen Battle’s exquisite work with pianist Cyrus Chestnut, they briefly considered doing an entire disc of spirituals, but nixed the idea, since Patrice felt that an album of spirituals by a white Canadian may not do well.  About the same time, jazz pianist Ted Labow, originally from Toronto, whom Jégou had previously met while preparing her doctoral dissertation on the music of Jewish-Canadian composer Irving Glick, entered the picture.

Patrice and Yinka decided to do a very simple, voice-and-piano album, with Labow on the piano, laying down five tracks at the famed Avatar Studios in NY: “Till There Was You”, the traditional Irish folk song “Down by the Salley Gardens,” Michel Legrand and Alan and Marilyn Bergman’s “The Summer Knows,” , the jazz standard “Lullaby of the Leaves” and the Patsy Cline classic “Walkin’ After Midnight.”

Around the same time, Jégou had developed a habit of casually singing “This Little Light of Mine” around the house. Oyelese decided to capture it, with just Labow and guitarist Thomas Guarnieri Jr. But the understated result, clocking in at two-and-a-half minutes, wasn’t powerful enough. It would steadily grow, with new layers continuously added, ultimately expanding to a five-and-a-half minute showstopper.

Meanwhile, Oyelese thought some of the Labow tracks needed strings. So, never shy about seeking out the best help possible, he contacted the renowned Nashville String Machine. Off to Nashville he and Jégou headed, to work with string arranger and conductor Conni Ellisor to sweeten “Till There Was You,” “Down by the Salley Gardens” (with a bagpipe solo by Pato subsequently added), “The Summer Knows” and also record four new tracks with full orchestra: a second Legrand song, “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life,” “Speak Low,” an alternate orchestral version of “The Summer Knows” and “What a Difference a Day Made,” which, nodding to the song’s bolero origins, Jegou sings in both English and Spanish.  Labow also contributed his talent in arranging the strings for “Lullaby of the Leaves,” and the Nicaraguan folk song “Niño precioso”.

While in Nashville, Oyelese decided it couldn’t hurt to round up some top local players and add horns—trombone and trumpets—to “This Little Light of Mine”. Still, the track wasn’t quite grand enough. So, he recalls, “I said to Patrice that the greatest gospel choir on earth are the Andraé Crouch Singers, who did Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror”, so let’s see if we can get Crouch to add vocal backing. I wrote to him, his manager wrote back asking for a demo of Patrice’s voice, and then Andraé said he’d be happy to do it.” Ah, but the tinkering still wasn’t complete. Yinka felt “This Little Light” needed an instrumental solo, so he asked Grammy winning saxophonist Kirk Whalum to make a guest appearance. Whalum, in turn, delivered a blistering saxophone solo.

At this point, says Oyelese, “we were 90 percent of the way there, but it still wasn’t good enough and we didn’t want to compromise in any way.” Calling in another favor, he contacted his pal Mark Kibble from Take 6 and asked him to arrange Irving Berlin’s “I’ve Got the Sun in the Morning” from Annie Get Your Gun. Though Kibble wasn’t familiar with the song, he shaped a dazzling rendition, featuring the entire Take 6 crew. Nor did he stop there. “Yinka is a good friend,” he says, “and given Patrice’s background in classical music, I thought [the project] would be a nice marriage of her classical training and the jazz direction she wanted to go in. I like things that are slightly out of the norm and present a challenge, and I thought I might be able to bring something interesting to the table.”

He thought right. Kibble also arranged and, with brother Joey, sings on “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree,” a tune he’d first learned from an old Bugs Bunny cartoon. “The song is so simple,” he says, “that the challenge is ‘where can you take this?’ I knew we could blow it out and it would be a killer, and Patrice just wore it out. I was amazed by what she was pulling off in the studio!” Kibble then added vocal accompaniment to “Lullaby of the Leaves.” But his crowning achievement is the finishing touches he added to “This Little Light,” transforming it into a marvelous party. “Well,” he laughs, “I was a little late to that party. It was the biggest challenge because of the way it had grown. We had to put our thing in after it had already become pretty big; [but] we rose to the occasion. It was just a matter of bringing out its true essence as a gospel song. This was a whole new ball of wax for Patrice, so we had to dig deep for the gospel roots. It became tremendous fun.”

“But,” says Oyelese, “the story gets even more complicated.” Jégou decided to enter the inaugural Sarah Vaughan Vocal Jazz Competition. For her demo she recorded “From This Moment On” and “Every Day I Have the Blues.” Though she did not reach the contest’s final rounds (despite having received the second highest tally from the voting public in the preliminary round), she and Oyelese agreed that both songs belonged on the album.  So back to Nashville they flew, re-recording the two tunes, the first with a hard-swinging big band arrangement by renowned Nashville arranger Chris McDonald, featuring trombonist Conrad Herwig and guitarist Vic Juris, and the second with pianist Pat Coil (from Jegou’s first Nashville session), noted for his work with Michael McDonald, Carmen McRae and Olivia Newton-John.
At last the album was complete, though there is one additional chapter. 

Prior to the final Nashville date, Oyelese had suggested to Jégou that she get some guidance from a non-classical coach. “I didn’t have any contacts in the popular music world,” Jegou confesses, “but Yinka and I are big, big fans of the Manhattan Transfer. So we contacted Cheryl Bentyne and sent her a demo. She was willing to teach me, so Yinka arranged a mini-workshop with Cheryl in L.A. I’m telling you, she really helped me; so much so, that, at her suggestion, we re-recorded the lead vocals for “I Got the Sun In the Morning,” “Lullaby of the Leaves” and “Walkin’ After Midnight” with her engineer, Tom McCauley.

Prior to the final mastering, Jégou and Oyelese agreed it was paramount they keep total control over the music. “I’d started my own label [Prairie Star Records] a year ago,” says Jégou, “so we’ll keep it as a husband-and-wife DIY project and release it on my label.” Ideally, though, they hope to partner with a larger label, for assistance with marketing, promotion and distribution. “It has,” says Oyelese, “been an incredible adventure. It wasn’t done from the viewpoint of making money, but to perform music that Patrice and I love and want to share. It is truly a labor of love.”

Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree (With Anyone Else but Me) (feat. Joey Kibble & Mark Kibble)
What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?
From This Moment On (feat. Conrad Herwig)
Everyday (I Have the Blues)
I've Got the Sun in the Morning (feat.Take 6)
What a Difference a Day Made
Lullaby of the Leaves (feat. Mark Kibble)
Down by the Salley Gardens (feat. Cristina Pato)
Speak Low (feat. The Lori Mechem Trio)
This Little Light of Mine (feat. Kirk Whalum, Andraé Crouch and the Andraé Crouch Singers, Joey Kibble & Mark Kibble) 
Niño Precioso
The Summer Knows 
Walking After Midnight
Til There Was You
The Summer Knows (Bonus Track).

ESTHER PHILLIPS: Alone Again Naturally (Expanded Edition CD)

Following the 1972 release of her groundbreaking From A Whisper To A Scream album, Esther Phillips—who had enjoyed hits as a child star (Little Esther) in the ‘50s and as a R&B/jazz stylist in the ‘60s— was experiencing a career rejuvenation with Creed Taylor’s Kudu label after kicking a long-time drug addiction and a spell in rehab.  Keeping with the same basic formula of surrounding the distinctive soulful vocalist with redoubtable arranger Don Sebesky, top class label mates Hank Crawford, George Benson, Eric Gale and Ron Carter and all-star players (James Brown alumni Maceo Parker and rhythm arranger Pee Wee Ellis, Billy Cobham, Richard Tee, Cornell Dupree, Ralph MacDonald and Gordon Edwards), producer Taylor provided the perfect setting for Esther’s interpretative skills.  The result was the best-selling Alone Again Naturally, a Top 20 jazz and Top 30 R&B album in 1973.

The song choices were stellar: two songs from Bill Withers, “Use Me” and “Let Me In Your Life”;  “I Don’t Want To Do Wrong” (a 1972 hit for Gladys Knight & The Pips), “Let’s Move & Groove Together” (a 1965 R&B charted single for Johnny Nash), Eddie Floyd’s re-gendered “I’ve Never Found A Man,” an Aretha Franklin cover, “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man,” and two powerful reinterpretations—of Gilbert O’Sullivan’s “Alone Again Naturally” and “Georgia Rose” (previously recorded by Tony Bennett) with a special intro penned by poet/artist Gil Scott-Heron (whose “Home Is Where The Hatred Is” had given Esther a 1972 hit).

A blistering blues, “Cherry Red,” originally cut by Joe Turner, was the perfect showcase for Esther’s emotive approach; this 2014 reissue from Real Gone Music in association with SoulMusic Records also includes a rare live 1972 recording of the song that Esther performed at a CTI All-Stars concert at the Hollywood Bowl in July 1972 as well as her superlative reading of Billie Holiday’s “God Bless The Child” from the same show, with accompaniment by Hubert Laws, Freddie Hubbard, Grover Washington Jr., Milt Jackson, Deodato, Airto, Bob James and Jack DeJohnette among others.  Liner notes are by renowned U.S. writer A. Scott Galloway from his original essay for the out-of-print (and jaw-droppingly expensive) reissue of the original album. Intense and soulful stuff.

1. Use Me
2. I Don’t Want To Do Wrong 
3.  Let’s Move And Groove 
4. Let Me In Your Life  
5.  Cherry Red 
6.  I’ve Never Found A Man (To Love Me Like You Do) 
7.  Alone Again (Naturally)
8.  Do Right Woman-Do Right Man
9.  You And Me Together Forever /
10.  Monologue /Georgia Rose 
Bonus Tracks:
11. Cherry Red (Live)
12. God Bless The Child (Live)


World-Jazz Quartet Grand Fatilla Releases Debut CD Global Shuffle September 2 on Grand Fatilla Records

Boston-based world-jazz-folk ensemble Grand Fatilla has been delighting audiences for over six years with its unique style of "Global Stomp Music," eliciting cries of "when will you record this music so we can listen to it at home?!" from eager fans. For several months in late 2013 and early 2014 the band sequestered itself in the beautiful environment of an old church-turned-studio (an appropriate setting, given the band's cover of Hermeto Pascoal's Little Church) in West Springfield, MA to record its debut CD, Global Shuffle, set for release on September 2, 2014.

Recorded live in the studio and eschewing the modern approach of artificially building the music piece by piece, the group was able to harness the energy that is such a distinctive part of its live shows, but in a setting where the sound of each instrument is faithfully represented. Argentinian guitarist Claudio Ragazzi, who has recorded with Bebel Gilberto, makes a guest appearance on three tracks, including Pascoal's baiao Bebé.

The band began as an informal trio when Club d'Elf bassist Mike Rivard, electric mandolinist Matt Glover and accordionist Roberto Cassan got together to explore their mutual love for folk music from all over the world, especially the styles born out of the Gypsy diaspora. Occasionally gigging around Boston/Cambridge when schedules with their other bands allowed, the trio became a quartet with the addition of percussionist and singer Fabio Pirozzolo, and Grand Fatilla was born. Honing the music over the course of countless sweaty nights in various venues (including packed houses at the Regattabar) has attracted a considerable following, notable for its raucous enthusiasm and varied ethnic make-up. Audience members from different countries recognize music from their culture and assume at least one of the members must be a fellow countryman, the music being performed so authentically. Like an iPod on shuffle the group jumps from Argentine Tangos to Italian Tarantellas, from Turkish sacred Sufi songs to Irish reels, Moroccan trance to Bulgarian dance music, all performed with an emphasis on improvisational group interplay and playful spontaneity.

In this age of heightened global consciousness the repertoire that Grand Fatilla performs acknowledges and pays homage to the idea that it is indeed One World that we all live in, and the music of diverse cultures enriches us all. At a Grand Fatilla show one finds ex-pats from Italy, Bulgaria, Brazil and all points on the globe rubbing shoulders with tribal belly dancers, bohemian poets and college students, all coming together in the celebration of music that transcends boundaries.

Each member of the band brings a distinct flavor and area of expertise in different world music to the collective sound: Cassan and Pirozzolo both hail from Italy where they were immersed in the folk music of that area (and play with the Italian folk group Newpoli), and have also intensely explored Balkan, Tango, Brazilian and South American music. Glover came to Boston from his native Newfoundland where he absorbed the Celtic influences and fiddle music of that area, as well as studying the South Indian style of mandolinist U. Srinivas. Rivard, who is also a member of Indian-jazz group Natraj and plays with the Boston Pops Orchestra, has a passion for North African music, especially Moroccan trance music. This lead him to study the sintir, a 3-stringed bass lute, which is featured on the tracks Five Of Swords (recorded on an instrument presented to him by Gnawa legend Maalem Mahmoud Guinia during a trip to Morocco) and the shifting time signatures and intricate rhythms of Kasha.

With two members of the group originally from Italy, it's no surprise that the group embraces folk music from that country. Alla Carpinese was originally collected by ethnomusicologists Alan Lomax and Diego Carpitella during their 1950s expedition in the little town of Carpino in Southern Italy, and the band gives it a somewhat unorthodox treatment, with an unaccompanied bass solo beginning the track. Southern Italian Medley is a mix of two melodies both from Southern Italy. Lomax and Carpitella collected the opening chant (they called it "Lu Pecuraru") in Basilicata, and Pirozzolo sings it over a haunting drone. The short text announces the marriage of a young shepherd, asking whoever was listening to inform his mother of his decision. The second is a fast tarantella (originally improvised by a singing barber) from the village of Sannicandro Garganico in Apulia. Many of these melodies were used to heal cases of tarantism, a recurring physical and psychological condition believed to be caused by the bite of the Apulian tarantula. The healing ritual of the tarantella would use music, rhythm, dance and colors to cure the afflicted person: audience members at a Grand Fatilla show are often compelled into ecstatic dance, spider bite or not!

The music of Bulgaria is represented by two tracks: Sandansko Oro and Cigansko Oro ("Oro" or "Horo" is a general term to indicate various dances from Bulgaria and Macedonia). The former is a dance tune that comes from the town of Sandanski, in the southwest corner of Bulgaria. The tune features a challenging 22/16 meter, which for the mathematically-inclined can be broken up into two asymmetrical parts: 9/16 (2+2+2+3) and 13/16 (2+2+2+3+2+2). Pirozzolo adds the Bulgarian tapan to his percussion arsenal for this track. Cigansko Oro is an arrangement of a version taken from the Hungarian group Zsaratnok, a leading folk group in Balkan music during the 1980s, and features continuously shifting time signatures which build up to the climax of Cassan's rousing accordion solo in 7/8 time.

Cassan contributes three original tunes: Domenie, which means "Sunday" in the dialect of Friuli, in the Northeast region of Italy where he is from. Although the style of music is more connected with the accordion tradition of the northeast part of Brazil, the tune harkens back to the joy and celebration that that day brought every week in his hometown. Milonga Para Lucia (dedicated to his daughter) is written in the milonga style of the countryside of Argentina, and it is also a tribute to the song Verde Milonga by the great Italian singer-songwriter Paolo Conte). The waltz Corrente refers to the river stream that keeps flowing, and mixes French musette, Venezuelan joropo, and heavy southern Italian and Brazilian tambourine-style playing.

Another composer whom the band has a particular fondness for is Astor Piazzolla, whose hypnotic tango Fracanapa (the name of a Venetian mask) is a perfect vehicle for Fatilla, and rounds out the program. Whether navigating the tricky time signatures of a Bulgarian dance song, trancing to a Moroccan chaabi groove, faithfully rendering an ancient Italian folk ballad, or rocking out with a John Bonham beat, the band is committed to sharing its enthusiasm for all of the styles it loves with an even wider audience, poised to embrace the infectious energy and astonishing variety on Global Shuffle.

Thursday September 4, 2014
The Regattabar at the Charles Hotel
One Bennett Street, Cambridge, MA 02138


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