Tuesday, November 25, 2014



Concord Music Group hasto announced the release of The Prestige 10-Inch LP Collection, Vols. 1 and 2, which, in total, comprise all ten of the 10” LPs on which Miles Davis appeared as a leader for Prestige Records in the early ’50s. Miles Davis is one of the most musically influential and most popular artists in the history of jazz, and his legendary Prestige recordings are amongst the all-time classics in the genre. Painstakingly reproduced on 10-inch vinyl, with the original LP cover artwork and liner notes included, these box sets will be sold in very limited quantities, available only at participating Record Store Day retailers. The Prestige 10-Inch LP Collection, Vol. 1 [5-LP set] streets November 28th, exclusively for Record Store Day Black Friday, while Vol. 2 [5-LP set] will be released exclusively for Record Store Day 2015, in April. Says Nick Phillips, Concord Music Group’s VP of Catalog Development and the collections’ compilation/reissue producer,  “Here’s a rare opportunity to time-travel back to the early ’50s and experience these iconic recordings in the historical context of their original LP album releases—on 10” vinyl, in their original 10” LP sequences, with the details and nuances of the original 10” LP artwork faithfully reproduced right down to the original typographical errors.”

The Prestige 10-Inch LP Collection, Vol. 1 presents the first five 10-inch albums on which Miles Davis appeared as a leader for Prestige Records (1951 – 1954). Included are Modern Jazz Trumpets, which also features tracks by fellow jazz trumpet giants Dizzy Gillespie, Fats Navarro, and Kenny Dorham; The New Sounds, about which Ira Gitler wrote in the original LP liner notes, “This album gives Miles more freedom than he has ever had on record for time limits were not strictly enforced. There is opportunity to build ideas into a definite cumulative effect…Upon the wonderful rhythmic foundation of Art Blakey’s drums, Tommy Potter’s bass, and Walter Bishop’s piano, tenorman Sonny Rollins and altoman Jackie McLean are able to enjoy some of the unlimited time for their solo efforts.”

Following in the box is Blue Period. In his liner notes for this second LP, Gitler exclaimed, “BLUING, the high spot of this set, is over nine minutes of freedom of expression on modern blues chord changes. At the very end, Art Blakey continues playing after everyone else has stopped. If you listen closely, you will hear Miles say something like, ‘You know that ending man, let’s do it again,’ but why do it again when you've captured the feeling in the solos of Walter Bishop, Miles, Sonny Rollins, Jack McLean, and the inventive drumming of Art Blakey.” Miles Davis Plays the Compositions of Al Cohn follows in the collection, and finally, Miles Davis Quartet, where Davis is joined by the likes of Horace Silver, Max Roach and Art Blakey.

The Prestige 10-Inch LP Collection, Vol. 2, which will be released on April 18, 2015, presents the final five 10-inch vinyl LP albums on which Miles Davis appeared as a leader for Prestige, all recorded during 1954. Included in the box are Miles Davis All Star Sextet; Miles Davis Quintet; Miles Davis with Sonny Rollins; as well as Miles Davis All Stars, Vol. 1 and Miles Davis All Stars, Vol. 2, about which Gitler wrote, “With Thelonious Monk adding his wry witticisms and rhythmic fillips and the All-American rhythm team of Kenny Clarke and Percy Heath supplying the power, Miles and Milt create an atmosphere rich in idea and warmth.”
For a list of participating Record Store Day vendors, please go to www.recordstoreday.com.

Keyboardist Dan Siegel returns with a lush collection of astute jazz etched in melodically rich "Indigo"

Having recorded a catalogue of Top 10 albums in a vivid spectrum of jazz hues with topflight musicians for 35 years, Dan Siegel only emerges when he has something engaging to say with his poetic piano and crafty keyboards. Back with his first new statement in five years, Siegel’s DSM record label will release “Indigo” on October 14, a set comprised of ten new compositions that he wrote, arranged and shared production chores with Grammy-nominated bassist Brian Bromberg.  

On his 20th album, Siegel creates right up the spine of the jazz dichotomy allowing the melodies, improvisational soloing and grooves to unfold and flourish unencumbered by restrictive genre borders and polarizing labels. His cerebral compositions traverse the expansive jazz terrain, but do so with heart rendering them instantly accessible. The keyboardist has a gift for writing inviting, emotionally-evocative material that connects soulfully.  

"My tendency is it to overwrite, which can make it challenging for the listener.  I believe the emotional allure of the music on this album (“Indigo”) transcends its compositional complexity," said the Irvine, California-based artist who was born in Seattle, Washington and raised in Eugene, Oregon.

The beating heart and soul heard on “Indigo” in part comes from the live production tracked in the cozy confines of Bromberg’s home studio in the valley just over the hill from Los Angeles. Siegel and Bromberg have an easy rapport and level of trust that dates back several decades from playing and recording together. Bromberg’s 300-year-old acoustic bass provides the rhythmic bottom end on tracks anchored by the deft drum beats from Yellowjackets veteran Will Kennedy. Bob Sheppard plays a prominent role using a variety of saxophones and impassioned play to echo Siegel’s piano and keyboards leads as well as emote his own scholarly theses. 

Allen Hinds and Mike Miller are afforded ample room to dispense thoughtful guitar riffs and do so with finesse. Lenny Castro’s percussion and Craig Fundyga’s vibraphone embellishments add texture, color and shadow in all the right places while two different horn sections appear on a total of six tracks providing power and depth. The cumulative result of such masterful players animating Siegel’s poignant piano pieces is a warm and plush album that will be serviced for airplay at straight-ahead jazz (full album) and contemporary/smooth jazz outlets (title cut).     

Siegel inked his first record deal in 1979 with Inner City Records, which issued his debut disc,
“Nite Ride,” featuring guitar great Lee Ritenour. Siegel’s sophomore session, “The Hot Shot,” went No. 1 on the Radio & Records chart and spent ten weeks in the Top 10 on the Billboard jazz chart. A couple years later, Siegel moved to Los Angeles to focus on composing film and television scores.

Subsequently, he signed with Epic Records and altered his sound from fusion to collections that spanned contemporary jazz, electronic, worldbeat and R&B. Over the years, he has played and recorded with Herbie Hancock, Boney James, Larry Carlton, Joe Sample, Ernie Watts, John Patitucci, Bela Fleck and Ottmar Liebert in instrumental settings; Glenn Frey, Chaka Khan, Berlin and Philip Bailey (Earth, Wind & Fire) in the pop world; and amassed an array of television and film credits that boasts Oscar-winner “The Usual Suspects.” For more information, please visit www.DanSiegelMusic.com.

The songs contained on “Indigo” are:
“To Be Continued”
“By Chance”
“Far and Away”
“If Ever”
“Spur of the Moment”
“First Light”
“Consider This”



The coolest record so far from this totally great combo – a live recording done on the home turf of the Greg Foat Group – the Playboy Club in London! The retro venue really fits the slinky, sexy vibe of the group's music – and although we already loved these guys before, this album has a really special sort of feel – with loads of wonderful keyboard lines from Greg on Hohner Electra piano, Elka Rhapsody, Hammond L 100, and Mutron Phaser – almost always distorted with a nice degree of fuzz, but still a straight ahead approach, and some great undercurrents of fuzz too! The group also features tenor and trumpet – which sometimes sound distorted, ala Varitone modes – and the overall sound feels like some lost jazzy club combo from the late 60s, really tripping out in a very comfortable space. We'd easily stack this one next to our favorite funky Fender Rhodes records from back in the day – and titles include "By The Grace Of God I Am", "Ingen Reklam", "Funky Fanfare", "Madrid", and "Mr Minor". CD features two bonus tracks – "Finky Minky" and "Papa's Got A Brand New Pigbag".  ~ Dusty Groove


A funky compilation of sorts – but one that features almost all contemporary recordings done in the best styles of older UK sound library funk! ATA are actually a current studio, put together by the guys behind the Ariya Astrobeat Arkestra – a group we normally know for more Afro Funk-styled sounds, but who here recall the glory days of Alan Hawkshaw, Keith Mansfield, and Brian Bennett – in a host of grooves that are heavy on vintage instruments, and equally old school production! The work feels a lot like lost funk tracks from labels like KPM or DeWolfe – and these guys really change their previous group to get the sound just right – on cuts that include "The Flip", "London Station", "The Terror", "Cookie Jar", "Moscow Central", "Sucker Punch", and "Hawkshaw Philly" – all credited to different groups, but we think played by the Ariya guys themselves!  ~ Dusty Groove


A heartbreaking project from saxophonist Jimmy Greene – dedicated to his daughter, who was caught in the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school. Instead of focusing on the tragedy that struck his family, Greene instead chooses to celebrate the wonderful, but too-short life of his daughter Ana – through a beautiful record that may well be his most ambitious to date! The scope of the sound here is wonderful – very soulful, thoughtful tracks performed by a shifting lineup that includes some famous names who were only happy to help out on the project – like Kenny Barron and Cyrus Chestnut on piano, Pat Metheny on guitar, and Kurt Elling on vocals. But the core group alone is wonderful –w ith Renee Rosnes on piano, Christian McBride on bass, and Lewis Nash on drums – who set things up in this wonderfully soulful style that seems to evoke some of Greene's most personal moments on record. Titles include "Last Summer", "Ana's Way", "Maybe", "Little Voices", "Where Is Love", and "Seventh Candle".  ~ Dusty Groove

Monday, November 24, 2014



For several weeks during the spring of 1962, London's music scene buzzed with the rumor that Frank Sinatra was to record a new album there. Indeed, in June that year, the iconic star traveled to the U.K. to record Sinatra Sings Great Songs From Great Britain. Recorded over three consecutive nights at London's CTS Studios, Great Songs From Great Britain would be the only album Sinatra would ever record outside of the United States. On November 25, Universal Music Enterprises & Frank Sinatra Enterprises will release Sinatra: LONDON, a deluxe 3-CD/DVD and digital audio collection presenting the remastered original studio album with a treasure trove of other London highlights from Sinatra's career. The expansive set's more than 50 previously unreleased recordings include session material from the album, a 1962 BBC 'Light Programme' radio special with introductions to each song by Sinatra himself, a 1953 live session for BBC Radio's 'The Show Band Show,' and a Royal Albert Hall concert from 1984. The collection's DVD features a previously unreleased filmed 1962 concert from Royal Festival Hall, plus a 1970 concert appearance from the same venue with a never before released performance of the classic song 'A Foggy Day.' The sleek book-style set includes a 60-page booklet with a new essay by producer, filmmaker, songwriter, music publisher and author, Ken Barnes, who attended the Great Songs From Great Britain sessions, the album's original liner notes, newly-written track notes, details about Sinatra's many visits to the U.K., and several photos of Sinatra in London: onstage, in the studio, and about town. The new collection also includes two exclusive art print reproductions of original London concert posters, and a unique studio panorama from the 1962 recording sessions for Great Songs From Great Britain. ~ Amazon


Hybrid Mono SACD for sale individually and as part of Analogue Productions' Prestige Mono Series Mini "old style" gatefold jacket packaging These SACD jackets feature printed wraps mounted to chipboard shells, producing an authentic, "old school" look and feel. Some people call these "mini LP" jackets. Here is one of the musical giants of the 20th century, poised on the precipice of greatness. Between the spring of 1957 and the winter of 1958, during which time Lush Life was recorded, the music of tenor saxophonist John Coltrane (1926-1967) was developing in giant steps, thanks in great part to a six-month 1957 stint with Thelonious Monk that had much to do with sharpening Coltrane's harmonic conception and torrential attack. Lush Life contains Coltrane's first recordings as sole leader, his initial date fronting a pianoless trio, and one of his first extended readings of a ballad, Billy Strayhorn's resplendent title track. We also hear him at the helm of a quartet and quintet, featuring pianist Red Garland, with trumpeter Donald Byrd, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Louis Hayes added to "Lush Life." Coltrane handles the tune's delicate complexities with infinite style and finesse. Coltrane and jazz would never be the same. Originally released in 1958. The sleek book-style set includes a 60-page booklet with a new essay by producer, filmmaker, songwriter, music publisher and author, Ken Barnes, who attended the Great Songs From Great Britain sessions, the album's original liner notes, newly-written track notes, details about Sinatra's many visits to the U.K., and several photos of Sinatra in London: onstage, in the studio, and about town. The new collection also includes two exclusive art print reproductions of original London concert posters, and a unique studio panorama from the 1962 recording sessions for Great Songs From Great Britain. ~ Amazon


Carolina-born Houston Person is a towering figure in the world of soulful jazz. His albums for Prestige, Muse, Westbound and beyond have always been joyous affairs, filled with soul and aimed at those who like their jazz with a beat. Until now the three albums which he recorded for the Detroit-based Westbound label and its subsidiary Eastbound have never been reissued. This release pairs his second and third albums for them.Person made his name in Johnny 'Hammond' Smith's group between 1963 and 1966; in 1967 he signed as a band leader to Prestige, where his album Goodness was a hit. He moved to Eastbound in 1973 and when it closed moved to its parent for the release of Houston Person '75, the first album he produced himself. It is a raucous party with Person's sax lines playing over some tight funky arrangements; one track features Etta Jones. Get Out'a My Way follows in the same vein, an excellent soulful jazz album which suits Person's style. It also includes a version of the Isley Brothers' For The Love Of You. Featuring musical backing from the Westbound Gang and backing vocals by Honey, it is a fine addition to Person's catalogue. 60-page booklet with a new essay by producer, filmmaker, songwriter, music publisher and author, Ken Barnes, who attended the Great Songs From Great Britain sessions, the album's original liner notes, newly-written track notes, details about Sinatra's many visits to the U.K., and several photos of Sinatra in London: onstage, in the studio, and about town. The new collection also includes two exclusive art print reproductions of original London concert posters, and a unique studio panorama from the 1962 recording sessions for Great Songs From Great Britain. ~ Amazon



The intent behind Jamie Cullum's seventh album, Interlude -- released in the U.K. in 2014, with a U.S. release in 2015 -- is to strongly reconnect the singer/pianist with his jazz roots. Gone are the flirtations with electronics, along with original material: Cullum is playing live with a jazz orchestra, singing standards that are familiar but not shopworn. He expands the songbook so there's room for Hank Williams' "Lovesick Blues" and the Animals' "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," but his playbook is straight out of Ray Charles. He's growling and crooning as he alternately pounds and tinkles his piano, giving plenty of space for the orchestra to surge but not allowing a lot of room for improvisation. Most of the songs here clock in somewhere between three and four minutes, which is a strong indication that this album lies toward the pop end of the jazz spectrum. This is by no means a bad thing. By devoting himself to a strong book of standards and recording with a live big band, Cullum seems reinvigorated. He's enjoying tearing into these old tunes and that excitement isn't merely palpable, it's contagious. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine


Digitally remastered by Joe Tarantino (Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California). With his second album as a leader, 1959's TOMORROW IS THE QUESTION!, Ornette Coleman had not quite made all the necessary adjustments that would introduce his classic period. However, enough changes had been made to make it clear that the alto saxophonist -- contrary to his detractors' sneers--had a specific sound he was aiming toward, and a clear idea of how to get there. The biggest change between this album and Coleman's 1958 debut is the lack of a pianist, which puts the melodic emphasis solely on Coleman's sax and Don Cherry's trumpet. Coleman and Cherry are in remarkable sync throughout; indeed, "Rejoicing" features several passages of the pair playing in unison, and two of the album's most harmonically fearless and rhythmically loose solos are Cherry's spotlights in "Giggin'" and "Endless." Only the somewhat ordinary post-bop rhythm section of bassist Percy Heath (spelled by Red Mitchell on the last three tracks) and drummer Shelly Manne keeps TOMORROW IS THE QUESTION! from reaching the ecstatic free-jazz heights of Coleman's classic Atlantic albums. Recorded at Contemporary's Studio, Los Angeles, California on January 16, February 23 and March 9 & 10, 1959. Originally released on Contemporary (7569). Includes original liner notes by Nat Hentoff. Personnel: Ornette Coleman (alto saxophone); Don Cherry (trumpet); Percy Heath, Red Mitchell (bass); Shelly Manne (drums).  ~ CD Universe


Chart Topping/Award Winning Smooth Jazz recording artist Funkee Boy follows up his award winning/#1 selling CD "Philosoulphy" with his 3rd CD "Soul Purpose". This stellar CD blends Funkee Boy's signature keyboard playing/songwriting/music production w/ A-List artists Warren Hill, Najee, Bob Baldwin, Cindy Bradley, Nick Colionne, LEILA, Surface, Lamone, Timmy Maia, Tevin Michael and more!!! "Soul Purpose" wins the prestigious SESAC 2014 Smooth Jazz Award for top 5 Billboard and radio play. These stellar artists come together on my new CD that features 9 original songs along with hot smooth jazz coverversions of Bruno Mars smash hits "Treasure" & "Just The Way You Are". Funkee Boy also grooves to R.Kelly's"Step In The Name Of Love", and then slow it down with the Eagles classic ballad "I Can't Tell You Why". Soul Purpose takes the listener on a journey starting off with the Uptempo tracks "Bonafide" & "Let It Flow". Then it embraces your smooth & soulful side with tracks "Deja Vu", "Karma", & "Keystroke. There are also brilliantly written lyrics on the RnB vibes "Bring Back The Days" and "Satisfied". Funkee Boy then plays with your senses and invokes a certain type of mood by drawing on the 50 Shades Of Grey inspiration with the solo piano piece "Escala". The 1st single "Let It Flow" featuring Warren Hill achieved Top 10 on all 4 Major (non pay for play) Charts - #4 Billboard, #8 Groove Jazz, #9 American Music/USA TODAY, #10 Smooth Jazz Network. The CD also achieved the #1 best selling worldwide CD in Soul Jazz! Once again, Funkee Boy stays true to his "philosoulphy" of blending his roots Jazz + Funk + RnB = SOUL. If you like Smooth Jazz, RnB, Soul, Piano, Saxophone, Tasteful Vocals with meaningful lyrics then this CD is for you!! ~ CD Universe

New Releases: Ken Thomson and Slow/Fast - Settle; Joe Morris - Mess Hall; David Holmes - 71 Original Soundtrack


New from alto saxophonist, bass clarinetist and composer Ken Thomson and his quicksilver quintet Slow/Fast is their new release Settle. The album exhibits the kind of stylistic breadth and alert experimentation that one would expect from a leader famed for his work in both the worlds of new jazz and contemporary classical music. Thomson is joined by guitar phenomenon Nir Felder, trumpeter Russ Johnson, bassist Adam Armstrong and drummer Fred Kennedy.


Striking improvisations from the trio of Joe Morris on guitar, Steve Lantner on keyboards, and Jerome Dupree on bass – working here on material that's composed on the spot during performance, but which has a surprising sense of structure at times! Both Morris and Lantner use cycles of sound to their best advantage – spinning out elements that are noisy, but which really warm with familiarity – especially as they find a way to resonate strongly together. The drums can be intense one minute, looser the next – which provides a good sense of tension in the record – and titles include "Dirt Reverence", "Response Arena", "Advanced Animal", "Hymn Zone", and "Magnet Move".  ~ Dusty Groove


One of the darkest soundtracks we've ever heard from David Holmes – presented here as one single long piece of music, put together almost as an audio collage that evokes all the tension and black mood of the film 71! Holmes really stretches himself strongly here – and goes for these subtle, often lower-end sounds that kind of bubble together in the darkness, then emerge in different ways as the piece goes on – and if you only know the work of David Holmes from his funky or more retro-styled film scores, you'll be pretty stunned here! Individual passages include "The Hunt", "Where's The Soldier", "Escape From Divis", and "Aftermath" – but the whole thing runs together as one long work. ~ Dusty Groove

Friday, November 21, 2014



Really stunning stuff – a never-heard live performance from early 70s London – one that features Gilberto Gil in exile, working alongside the great Gal Costa! The album's got a lean, stripped-down feel – similar acoustic instrumentation to both Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso's London recordings – a mode that's an especially great change from some of Costa's more produced albums of the period – at a level that really lets us hear how warmly collaborative and high spirited she could be! Both Gal and Gilberto play guitar – and backing is by a group of bass, percussion, and drums – the last of which are played by Tutty Moreno – and the performance has the singers working solo and in duet – the latter of which is especially great! The set includes a few English language numbers – "Brand New Dream" and "One O'Clock Last Morning 20th April 1970" – plus versions of "Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band" and "Up From The Skies". And other titles include "Sai Do Sereno", "Coracao Vagabundo", "Procissao", "Acaua", "Chuva Suor E Cerveja", "Viramundo", "Como Dois E Dois", and "Maria Bethania/Bota A Mao Nas Cadeiras".  ~ Dusty Groove

A mighty record from the great Tom Ze – every bit as creative and experimental as ever, and maybe sounding better here than he has on the past few studio albums – even though we liked those releases an awful lot too! The record is heavy on vocal interplay – both Ze with himself, but also alongside contributions from Caetano Veloso, Milton Nascimento, and others – voices that are often set to relatively spare instrumentation that's quite rhythmic, but without any sort of obvious beats or drum parts either – usually more unusual grooves that are matched with creative elements on guitar, both acoustic and electric, and some sweet reed parts too – which almost have a bit of a Hermeto Pascoal quality. The whole thing's a great reminder that the passage of years has done nothing to dim the vitality of Tom Ze – and titles include "Mamon", "Banca De Jornal", "A Quantas Anda Voce", "Geracao Y", "Irara Ira La", "Papa Perdoa Tom Ze", and "A Boca Da Cabeca". ~ Dusty Groove


A beautiful record that's exactly what's promised in the group's name – a samba trio that's heavy on cello – played by the great Jaques Morelenbaum, who we know from so many other great records! The style's a bit bossa jazz, but has a very different feel – as the use of the cello really brings out the bluer, more melancholy moments in the tunes – as Jacques bows his instrument with a great sense of expressiveness alongside acoustic guitar and percussion. Titles include "Eu Vim Da Bahia", "Coracoa Vagabundo", "Outra Vez", "Ar Livre", "Voce E Eu", "Maracatuesday", and "Tim Tim Por Tim Tim". ~ Dusty Groove



Japanese free jazz icon Akira Sakata in collaboration with the legendary Pete Cosey (Miles Davis, Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf), drummer Hamid Drake and bassist Bill Laswell. A remix of a track from the album fisherman's.com released in 2001, it offers traditional Japanese folk art meets funk and free improvisation. Mix-construction by Bill Laswell. Track: 1. Kaigarabushi Return  (11:44). Available December 2, 2104.


Taken from the soundtrack of Jim Jarmusch's newest film "Only Lovers Left Alive." Bilmawn captures the strong raw rhythmic elements of Morroccan music (trance and spirit). Track: 1. Little Village (5:19). Available December 2, 2014.from M.O.D. - A futuristic hybrid of music exploration - dub, dub step, reggae, world, africa,,drum'n'bass,,mutant hip hop,,avant metal,experimental, vocal music, instrumental, DJ culture and much more. M.O.D. resumes and continues the legacy of AXIOM, the timeless imprint established in 1989 by Bill Laswell with Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records.


A hell of a debut from Portia Monique – a singer who gets very strong support here from Reel People – who are very much at the top of their game too! The record's a bit like a Reel People album, but a lot more soulful up top – as Portia's vocals have this rich, righteous feel that really pushes the cosmic energy of the record forward – a bit like some of the best work we were hearing from the UK a decade ago, but a lot more fresh and individual as well! A great return to form for the kind of music we've always loved from Reel People – but with echoes of the more dynamic 4Hero side of the spectrum too. Titles include "Cloud IX", "Ain't Scared Of You", "Ecstasy", "My Love", "Grace", "Nobody", and "Never Give You Up". ~ Dusty Groove

Vocalist Allan Harris Set to Release Black Bar Jukebox, New Album Inspired by Music Emanating from Jukeboxes in African-American Culture in the '70s

Ever since he burst on the jazz scene in the latter part of the twentieth century, The Brooklyn-born, Harlem-based vocalist/guitarist/bandleader/composer Allan Harris has reigned supreme as one of the most accomplished and exceptional singers of his generation. Aptly described by the Miami Herald as an artist blessed with, "the warmth of Tony Bennett, the bite and rhythmic sense of Sinatra, and the sly elegance of Nat 'King' Cole," the ample and aural evidence of Harris' multifaceted talent can be heard on his ten recordings as a leader; his far-flung and critically-acclaimed concerts around the world, from Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York, and Washington DC's Kennedy Center, to the 2012 London Olympics, and a number of prestigious bookings in Europe, The Middle East and Asia, and his numerous awards, which include the New York Nightlife Award for "Outstanding Jazz Vocalist" - which he won three times - the Backstage Bistro Award for "Ongoing Achievement in Jazz," and the Harlem Speaks "Jazz Museum of Harlem Award."

Harris' new album, Black Bar Jukebox, produced by Grammy® Award-winning producer Brian Bacchus (Norah Jones, Gregory Porter), is his most compelling and comprehensive recording to date. "Believe me, what Brian brought to the table was wonderful," Harris says, "not only because of his music, but also because of the vision, and the way he hears things. I'm enamored with the sound I got." Inspired by the jazz, R&B, soul, country and Latin sounds that emanated from jukeboxes in African-American barbershops, clubs, bars, and restaurants, from the mid to late twentieth century, the album - which features Harris' accomplished band of three years: drummer Jake Goldbas, bassist Leon Boykins, and pianist/keyboardist Pascal Le Boeuf; with special guests, percussionist Samuel Torres and guitarist Yotam Silberstein - also marks his moving and momentous return to his jazz-centered, Harlem roots, where he heard all those aforementioned styles, genres and grooves in the Golden Age of the seventies. "Growing up, I heard the sound of Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, and Nat King Cole," Harris says, "I was always cognizant of jazz."

Black Bar Jukebox features thirteen selections that include several popular standards and originals penned by Harris. His soulful, silken bari-tenor voice dances and trances throughout an eclectic spectrum of moods and grooves: from the moving, mid-tempo, 4/4 swing of "You Make Me Feel So Young," "A Little Bit Scared" and the Count Basie-ish, "Jumping at the Woodside" vibe of 'I Got The Blues," to the Ahmad Jamal, "Poinciana"-pulsed "Miami," the Latin-tinged "Catfish," "Take Me To The Pilot," which can be compared to Les McCann's soulful grooves, and an ebullient cover of pop singer John Mayer's "Daughters," which features Harris' spare and syncopated guitar strains.

Allan Harris' soulful sound on Black Bar Jukebox comes from his rich musical home life, which extended deep into the artistic world of Harlem. Harris' mother, Johanna Chemina Ingram-Harris, was a concert pianist, and was a graduate of the first class of New York's legendary High School for the Performing Arts. Growing up, Harris went to Apollo Sunday afternoon matinees, and he visited his aunt Kate Ingram's famous soul food restaurant, Kate's Home Cooking; located behind the Apollo Theater, which was featured on the cover of organist Jimmy Smith's 1960 Blue Note LP, Home Cookin'.

In this soulful setting, Harris would meet many jazz and R&B stars who worked at the Apollo and came by the restaurant to eat and hang out. Another aunt, Theodosia Ingram, won the Apollo Theater's Amateur Night Competition and performed at a number of Manhattan clubs, including The Lenox Lounge under her stage name, "Phoebe." It was through her, that Harris would meet and be mentored by a seminal jazz figure, Clarence Williams. "We used to go to his record store, and he'd come into our house on Lincoln Avenue," explains Harris. "At the time I was a child ... I just thought that was just a part of my life. And later, I understood the gravity of the depth of his history. Yes: Clarence Williams opened up a lot of doors for me, to really get me into this genre called jazz." It was Williams who brought Louis Armstrong to the Harris home, and babysat the future crooner, who was frightened by Satchmo's gravelly, "frog like voice."

Harris is a first call vocalist (especially back in Harlem), as evidenced by his potpourri of engagements, including an impressive run as a featured soloist and producer of Sotheby's three-year jazz series. His commitment to education is as equally impressive as his recordings and engagements. A Gibson guitarist, Harris is a long-time supporter of the St. Mary's Children's Hospital and donates a performance every year to Challenge Aspen/America, along with Vince Gill and Amy Grant.

All of which brings us to Black Bar Jukebox: a diverse and dynamic disc that showcases Allan Harris at the zenith of his all-encompassing artistry. "I'm a storyteller through the genre of jazz," concludes Harris.
Upcoming Allan Harris Performances:

December 6 / Kennedy Center (w/ Chicago Jazz Orchestra) / Washington, DC
December 7 / Kennedy Center Awards Gala w/ Chicago Jazz Orchestra) / Washington, DC
December 16 - January 4 / Cafe Society Swing @ 59 E. 59th St. Theatre / New York, NY
January 8 / Smoke Jazz Club / New York, NY
January 16 - 17 / Art Deco Festival / Miami, FL
January 18 / Arts Garage / Delray Beach, FL
January 25 / Tucson Jazz Festival / Tucson, AZ
February 9 / Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola / New York, NY
February 14 / Mid Atlantic Jazz Festival / Rockport, MD
February 27 / Scullers / Boston, MA

12th Annual Panama Jazz Festival Led by Artistic Director Danilo Pérez Announces 2015 Lineup

Uniting internationally acclaimed jazz artists, renowned educators and jazz fans from around the globe, the 12th Annual Panama Jazz Festival will be held January 12-17, 2015 at The City of Knowledge in Panama City and the recently founded Danilo's Jazz Club located at the American Trade Hotel in the Old Quarter of Panama City. The festival honors multi-instrumentalist Eric Dolphy, whose father was Panamanian.

Among the headliners for this year's festival is Founder and Artistic Director Danilo Pérez and his recently assembled Children of The Light Trio, featuring bassist John Patitucci and drummer Brian Blade, who is also the first Resident Artist of the Festival.

Additional headliners include jazz legend Benny Golson Quartet, Ruben Blades, Miguel Zenón, Pedrito Martinez, Latin pop singer and songwriter Omar Alfanno, Brian Blade and The Fellowship Band, Chilean saxophonist Patricia Zarate with her band MapuJazz and special guest singer Claudia Acuña, and Phil Ranelin and Matt Marvuglio giving a special tribute to Eric Dolphy.

German duo Uwe Kropinski (guitar) & Michael Heupel (flute) will be featured, as well as international artists and clinicians such as Richie Barshay (USA), Ehud Ettud (Israel), Tom Patitucci (USA), Jorge Perez (Peru), Kevin Harris (USA), Marco Pignataro (Italy), Ricardo del Fra (France), Orion Lion (Chile), Shea Welsh (USA), Sissy Castrogiovanni (Italy) among many others.

Furthermore, the festival will host the 3rd Latin American Music Therapy Symposium, bringing music therapists from the Chile, Argentina, Panama, Venezuela, Costa Rica (among other Latin American countries) and the United States together to present on the therapeutic effects of music.

Since its inception in 2003, the Panama Jazz Festival has attracted over 220,000 jazz fans worldwide, has raised over 1 million dollars, and has announced over 3.5 million dollars in scholarships on an international level. Last year, the festival welcomed 2,000 students from around the world who participated in the educational events.

Participating educational institutions include Boston-based institutions, Berklee College of Music and the New England Conservatory, which will be holding auditions for admission and scholarships. The Berklee Global Jazz Institute will hold master classes, perform social work with Panamanian youth and perform in various settings throughout the festival. Berklee will repeat last years innovative program where students will earn college performance credit for the college. In addition to these various universities, Paris Conservatory (France) and Crossroads High School (Los Angeles, CA) will be participating in this year's events.

Pianist, composer, educator and social activist, Danilo Pérez is among the most influential and dynamic musicians of our time.

Born in Panama in 1965, Pérez started his musical studies when he was three years old with his father, a bandleader and singer. By age 10, he was studying the European classical piano repertoire at the National Conservatory in Panama. After receiving his bachelor's degree in electronics in Panama, he studied at the prestigious Berklee College of Music. From 1985-88, while still a student, he performed with Jon Hendricks, Terence Blanchard, Claudio Roditi and Paquito D'Rivera. Quickly established as a young master, he soon toured and/or recorded with artists such as Dizzy Gillespie (with the trumpeter's United Nations Orchestra, 1989-1992), Wayne Shorter, Steve Lacy, Jack DeJohnette, Charlie Haden, Michael Brecker, Joe Lovano, Tito Puente, Wynton Marsalis, John Patitucci, Tom Harrell, Gary Burton, and Roy Haynes.

In 1993, Pérez turned his focus to his own ensembles and recording projects, releasing eight albums as a leader, earning Grammy® and Latin Grammy® nominations for Central Avenue (1989), Motherland (2000) and Across The Crystal Sea (2008). Additionally, Pérez released Providencia, his debut for Mack Avenue Records, in August of 2010. The album was also nominated for a 2011 Grammy® Award in the category of "Best Instrumental Jazz Album." His latest album in Panama 500 released in 2014 by Mack Avenue Records.

Pérez, who served as Goodwill Ambassador to UNICEF, has received a variety of awards for his musical achievements, activism and social work efforts. He currently serves as UNESCO Artist for Peace, Founder and Artistic Director of the Panama Jazz Festival, and Artistic Director of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute in Boston's Berklee, During the Gala of the jazz festival on January 14th, 2015 he will be appointed Cultural Ambassador of the Republic of Panama serving his second term as such. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014


Formed in Cardiff in 2013 Slowly Rolling Cameraa brought together four wildly talented musicians from diverse backgrounds. The result was a captivating hybrid of these influences: trip hop, jazz, soul, electronic music fused into a new and unique soundscape. The product was their eponymous album, released on Edition Records in February 2014 and received ecstatically by press (including UK’s Guardian and Germany’s Stern Magazine) and audiences alike.

Live, they’ve proved a phenomenon, wowing audiences from Cardiff to Hamburg and at high profile festivals including Umea Jazz Festival (SE), Love Supreme (UK), London Jazz Festival (UK) and Reeperbahn Festival (DE).

SRC have spent 2014 honing their music on the road and have recently returned to the studio to record a bold and striking four track EP, Into The Shadow, for release on 26th January 2015. Into The Shadow is more cohesive and sees the band further develop their sound, integrating lush electronic soundscapes, emotive melodies, shifts in dynamic and pace. With Elliot Bennett’s virtuosic, robust groove and Robert’s exemplary production techniques, it provides the perfect setting for the captivating, soulful voice of Dionne Bennett to impressively mould he lyrics around the musical arrangement.

In order to capture the spirit and energy of the band the EP was written and recorded in only three months. Employing the creative spirit and boundless energies of Mancunian master guitarist Stuart McCallum (Cinematic Orchestra), Bristol based Ben Waghorn on sax and Aidan Thorne, Cardiff’s top double bassist, Slowly Rolling Camera’s new recording has a big sound and big ambitions to match.

The suite-like opener River’s End, a song about asking for forgiveness, introduces a powerful and emotive ambience from the off. The title track, with its gloriously empowering crescendo and sweet sound of Dave Stapleton’s string arrangements, remarks on how the power of love can transform loneliness. Anne leads us through hope to regret with a beautifully raw and emotive stripped down arrangement featuring Fender Rhodes and Bennett’s intimate vocal set against a wall of strings and choral voices. The final track, Riga, forms a satisfying conclusion, its odd time signatures, shifting patterns, beats, grooves and moods defining everything that’s great about this band: bold, brave, experimental but with deep soul.

These four tracks confirm that SRC’s promise is no transient thing and indicates progression on a steep curve. ‘Into The Shadow’ continues to push the musical boundaries and there can only be excitement at where this young, immensely talented outfit can go next. But they remain rooted, however vaunting the ambition. As the band say: “If it moves you, it’s just good music”.

Finnish trumpeter/composer, Verneri Pohjola, releases "Bullhorn"

Bullhorn is the new album by Finnish trumpeter/composer, Verneri Pohjola, his third as leader. Based in Helsinki, the thirty-six year old has been in the international spotlight for the past few years and is acknowledged as a jazz star in the making. His distinctive tone, with its deeply affecting purity and lyricism, and highly melodic improvising is embedded in self-penned compositions marked by memorable and imaginative themes that steer clear of any hackneyed notion of ‘Nordic’ jazz.

Bullhorn is a key album in Pohjola’s career, marking the shift from a rising start to an artist of real substance with a powerful, unique sound and a sense of deepening maturity and clarity of vision. Bullhorn is the album that finally realises Verneri’s enormous creative potential.

Featuring his long term associates and friends: pianist Aki Rissanen, bassist Antti Lötjönen and drummer Teppo Mäkynen, Bullhorn undertakes a panoramic overview of Verneri’s wide-ranging, evocative yet energetic approach to music-making, anchored in his strong, personal sound. As Pohjola explains: ‘It has the intimate sounds and lyricism in improvised passages that I love, but also the rough energy and emphasis on the compositions – everything I want to express in my music’.

In addition, Pohjola has set out on Bullhorn to capture the joy and spontaneity that occur in performance between these four like-minded individuals; the vital element of music making and ‘jazz’ that makes each performance a unique and personal statement.

A truly progressive artist with a firm understanding of popular culture providing the foundation of his art, Verneri Pohjola is on the brink of becoming one of the most exciting and original musicians of his generation. In fact, he’s almost ready to blow his own bullhorn.



Monday Michiru returns to one of our favorite modes from her early years – collaborative grooves cut with some of the best talents of the underground – all of whom breathe incredible new life into her Brasilified album! We loved that record to death – and so did most of you – but the work here is almost even better – as it brings Monday's soulful vocals back to the sort of grooves that first won her fame on the international scene – as the jazz and Brazilian elements of the core record are still held intact, but the rhythms are wonderfully varied, and move seamlessly into a clubby vibe too – thanks to work by Little Louie Vega, Yukihiro Fukutomi, Steal Vibe, Black Edition, Zero DB, and others! Yet there's also a surprisingly unified feel to the record too – no jumps in spirit and sound from track to track – and we attribute that not just to the work of the remixers, but also to their respect of Michiru's music too. Titles include "Brasilified (Yukihiro Fukutomi rmx)", "Bossamore (Zero DB rmx)", "Zanzibar (Louie Vega EOL mix)", "New Morning (Black Edition rmx)", "Sunrise (Steal Vybe's journey into the sun rmx)", and "Celebrate (Blk Mrks main room navigation mix)".  ~ Dusty Groove


One of the greatest records we've heard so far from this ultra-hip ensemble – the group's own version of the classic Miles Davis album Kind Of Blue – played in track by track sequence, but with a lot of the group's own flavors on the solos! The tracks are all long and wonderful – and done in a style that's quite faithful to the original, but as a way of showing these guys' continuing commitment to working jazz roots into their freely expressive music – a path that's taken them through a run of music from Ornette Coleman to trad jazz, before landing them here at Miles Davis! Peter Evans handles trumpet – quite a heady role, but done well – and Jon Irabagon blows both the alto and tenor sax parts, alongside Ron Stabinsky on piano, Moppa Elliott on bass, and Kevin Shea on drums. Titles include – of course – "So What", "Freddie Freeloader", "All Blues", "Blue In Green", and "Flamenco Sketches".  ~ Dusty Groove


Twin pianos come together wonderfully here in a tribute to the late Eric Dolphy – as Alexander Von Schlippenbach and Aki Takase play together on the instrument, and lead a larger ensemble that includes Karl Berger on vibes, Axel Dorner on trumpet, Nils Wogram on trombone, Tobias Delius on tenor, and Han Bennink on drums! The tunes are all classic Dolphy compositions – and are given very inventive reworkings here by the larger group – with shifting focus between group horn passages, solo lines, and very bold piano work – all with an angular, exploratory style that Eric would have loved. Titles include "Hat & Beard", "Out To Lunch", "Serene", "Miss Ann", "Les", and "Something Sweet Something Tender".  ~ Dusty Groove

Wednesday, November 19, 2014



No one had a better understanding of the melding of jazz polyrhythms with rocks pulsating beat than drummer Alphonse Mouzon is one of the originators of jazz-rock. With his furious propulsive style, he was welcome in both camps. Weather Report founders Joe Zawinul, Wayne Shorter, and Miroslav Vitous brought him into the premier edition of the band. And as he had shown with Weather Report, he demonstrates on his 1977 album In Search of a Dream how well he could integrate acoustic bass into a jazz-rock concept. In duo with Mouzon, Vitous bows the deep tones on his composition The Light; he grabs the electric bass on the other compositions. Vitous as well as saxophonist Bob Malik and keyboard player Stan Goldberg were all part of the 1977 version of Mouzons touring band. Pianist/keyboarder Joachim Kühn and guitarist Philip Catherine joined the troupe for the recording of In Search of a Dream. Thus, the session was a sort of summit meeting of the jazz-rock elite of that time. ~ Amazon


The late, much beloved pianist Cedar Walton was a major influence to generations of jazz musicians and especially pianists. None, however, was a greater student of his work - playing and composing - than David Hazeltine. Over the years Hazeltine not only studied, inhabited and incorporated Cedar into his own jazz conception but became a friend as well. This heartfelt tribute to the great man contains some of his finest compositions - Holy Land, Clockwise, and Turquoise Twice - performed by Hazeltine, Cedar's longtime bassist David Williams, and drummer Joe Farnsworth. A session highlight is Hazeltine's solo performance of Cedar's favorite solo piece, Over The Rainbow. The great master is no longer with us - long may his music live! ~ Amazon


Brooklyn-based multi-instrumentalist Peter Apfelbaum (New York Hieroglyphics) introduces the debut track by his newest band, Sparkler. Co-produced by Apfelbaum and Aaron Johnston (Brazilian Girls), featuring Natalie Cressman (vocals, trombone) and Jill Ryan (vocals, alto sax) I Colored it in for You is a multidimensional electronic world music track with lyrics as Apfelbaum explains, "about the act of creating art, and the desire to give it away." Also included with I Colored it in for You Pts 1 & 2 is a Mix Translation (dub remix) of Pt. 1 by Bill Laswell.



By now, It's pretty safe to say that Karen Souza is the great new voice of today's Jazz. After the success of her previous albums "Essentials" and "Hotel Souza", Karen presents now "Essentials II", a carefully selected collection of hit songs from all eras; in exquisite Jazz versions where her unique voice draws us into her intimate and sensual world. This time, the album's production has been helmed by legendary producer and entrepreneur Richard Gottehrer, famous for his work (and guiding the careers) with artists such as Blondie, The Go-Go's, Dr. Feelgood, Richard Hell and The Bongos to name just a few. Recorded at the The Orchard Studios in NYC, 'Essentials II' will allow you to hear Karen's voice like never before. Without a doubt, this is one of the most anticipated releases of the Holiday season. Produced by: Richard Gottehrer, Alonzo Vargas and Guillermo Porro with additional production by: Guillermo Porro and Edu Giardina. Recorded by: Guillermo Porro and Alonzo Vargas. ~ Amazon


The follow up to Hoodoo Man Blues (DMK 612), this classic Chicago blues album is now re-issued in an expanded digipak Deluxe Edition containing unissued performances and a 16-page booklet with many never-before-seen photos. The Godfather of Blues, Junior Wells is accompanied by Buddy Guy and Louis Myers, guitar; Otis Spann, piano; Earnest Johnson, bass; Fred below, drums. Recorded December 30, 1969 and January 8, 1970, the five extra performances include Rock Me Baby, an alternate take of I Could Have Had Religion, Junior's In Charge, an eight-minute improvisational studio jam with lots of Otis Spann, and more, 73 minutes. With new notes by producer Bob Koester. A must for blues lovers. ~ Amazon


Gutsy tenor saxophonist Sax Gordon has recorded and toured with Luther 'Guitar Junior' Johnson, Duke Robillard, Matt 'Guitar' Murphy and Kim Wilson, and is featured on recordings by Pinetop Perkins, Champion Jack Dupree, Billy Boy Arnold, and most recently Mississippi Heat (Warning Shot, DMK 838). Now with 4 solo albums and his own show, he brings rocking sax around the globe. But while gaining recognition as a blues and R&B player, Gordon continued playing soulful, straight-ahead jazz. On In The Wee Small Hours, his first jazz release, Gordon goes back to the classic organ combo sound and a relaxed session of jazz standards with a deep and soulful sound. ~ Amazon

Cellist/Composer/Arranger Akua Dixon To Release Her Second CD as a Leader, "Akua Dixon"

Akua Dixon Jazz string pioneer Akua Dixon entered a new creative phase with the sleek 2011 quartet session Moving On, her first album under her own name. Her new album, Akua Dixon, is a dazzling string conclave that surveys the cellist/composer/ arranger's expansive stylistic reach. Dixon's label, Akua's Music, will release the disc on January 13, 2015.
The project showcases Dixon as a powerfully emotive improviser and dauntingly creative arranger exploring sumptuous American Songbook ballads, a suave Afro-Cuban standard, erotically charged nuevo tango, and a rootsy Ellingtonian opus. "When I look back at my history I've written for all different sizes of string ensembles, from duos and trios to orchestras," Dixon says. "But the string quartet is the easiest unit to keep together and keep working, and it's the situation I've written for the most." 

The eponymous CD features Dixon's working string quartet (Patrisa Tomassini, first violin; Gwen Laster or Chala Yancy, second violin; and Ina Paris, viola) plus special guests like bassist Kenny Davis, violin star Regina Carter, and violin master John Blake Jr. (in one of his final recordings before his passing last August). 

Also featured, on one track apiece, are Dixon's children -- drummer Orion Turre, heard on the album opener "Haitian Fight Song," and vocalist Andromeda Turre, who contributes a swooning version of "Lush Life." "They got exposed to a lot of different music growing up and both became wonderful musicians," says their proud mother. "Making music for me has always been a family affair."

Born and raised in New York City, Akua Dixon grew up in a family suffused with music. She started playing with her sister, the late violinist Gayle Dixon, shortly after the cello came into her life in the 4th grade. 

After graduating from the prestigious "Fame" High School of the Performing Arts, Dixon studied at the Manhattan School of Music at a time when the only track available focused on European classical music. She describes her post-graduation gig in the pit band at the Apollo Theater as an essential proving ground. Backing a disparate array of stars from Rev. James Cleveland and Barry White to James Brown and Dionne Warwick, she developed a vast idiomatic repertoire. 

With the doors of most symphony orchestras closed to African-American musicians (to say nothing of women), Dixon found a home in the Symphony of the New World, which is where she experienced the Ellingtonian epiphany that led her to jazz. "I started immersing myself in jazz and spirituals, and became determined to learn the secrets of improvising," she says. 

Akua Dixon It's hard to overstate the centrality of Dixon's contribution to the rise of visibility of bowed strings in jazz. In the early 1970s the New York scene was exploding with creatively ambitious and talented string players, many of whom gathered in the String Reunion, a 30-piece orchestra founded by Noel Pointer. Dixon served as the ensemble's director of new music, supplying the group with a steady stream of original compositions and arrangements. At the same time, she launched her own string quartet, Quartette Indigo, which made its big-league debut at the Village Gate with her sister Gayle Dixon, Maxine Roach, and John Blake Jr.
Dixon collaborated closely with another jazz giant in the early 1980s as a founding member of the Max Roach Double Quartet. She had honed her rhythmic drive backing the likes of James Brown, but learning to phrase bebop with one of the idiom's founding fathers was an invaluable experience.
After years of lending her skills to recordings by masters such as Archie Shepp, Don Cherry, Buster Williams, Carmen McRae, Dizzy Gillespie, Abbey Lincoln, Tom Harrell, and her former husband Steve Turre, Dixon made a bold statement of her own with 1994's Quartette Indigo (Landmark), a classic album featuring violist Ron Lawrence and violinists Gayle Dixon and John Blake Jr. (reissued by 32 Jazz). Supported by a grant from the NEA to compose the music, she delivered a brilliant second album in 1997 with Afrika! Afrika! (Savant) with Lawrence, and violinists Regina Carter and Marlene Rice.

She spent much of the next decade immersed in education, teaching at various institutions and conducting dozens of performances through the Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concert Series. With the release of Akua Dixon, however, Dixon has refocused her priorities and put her own music on the front burner. 

In support of the new CD, Dixon will be appearing with her string quartet 1/18 at the Mount Morris Ascension Presbyterian Church, 122nd Street and Fifth Avenue, NYC (the church she attended growing up was in this facility). Other CD release shows include: 1/30 Trumpets, Montclair, NJ; 4/18 Sistas' Place Coffee House, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn; 4/30 Leonard Nimoy Thalia at Peter Norton Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th Street, NYC.


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