Monday, June 29, 2015

Alto Saxophonist RUDRESH MAHANTHAPPA named DownBeat Magazine's 63rd Critics Poll Triple Crown Winner

2015 saw not one, but two, Triple Crown winners as alto saxophonist and composer Rudresh Mahanthappa joins American Pharoah in this illustrious group.

Mahanthappa, whose ACT Music +Vision release Bird Calls has garnered global acclaim, placed first for Jazz Album of the Year, Alto Saxophone (for the 4tth time in the past five years), and for Rising Star-Composer.

Though it pays homage to one of jazz’s Founding Fathers and arrived at the outset of Charlie Parker’s 95th birthday year, Bird Calls is not a tribute album in the traditional sense. There isn’t a single Parker composition to be found on the album, which consists entirely of new music penned by Mahanthappa for the occasion. But Bird’s DNA is strongly present in every one of these pieces, each of which takes a particular Parker melody or solo as its source of inspiration. Each is then wholly reimagined and re-contextualized by Mahanthappa and his quintet which features trumpeter Adam O’Farrill, pianist Matt Mitchell, bassist François Moutin, and drummer Rudy Royston.

Select Bird Call Tour Dates
(complete Rudresh tour dates can be found at
July 3 - Iowa City, IA / Iowa City Jazz Festival
July 11 - Krefeld, Germany / Kulturfabrik
July 12 - Rotterdam, The Netherlands/ North Sea Jazz Festival
Aug 23 – New York, NY / Charlie Parker Jazz Festival
Sept 5  - Detroit, MI / Detroit International Jazz Festival
Sept 20  - Monterey, CA / Monterey Jazz Festival
Oct 24-25 – Washington DC / Blues Alley
Oct/Nov – Tour of Europe
Dec 12  - New York, NY / Miller Theatre
Jan 14, 2016  – Santiago, Chile / Jazz Festival
Feb 26, 2016 – Chicago, IL / Orchestra Hall
Feb 27, 2016- Columbus, OK / Wexner Center for the Arts

March 19, 2016 – Buffalo, NY / UB Center for the Arts


Shai Maestro is a creator of moods, a shaper of atmospheres and a sculptor of sound. The pianist doesn't merely play music; he creates a world that is distinctly and intimately his. On his new recording, Shai Maestro Trio - Untold Stories, available on Motema Music on August 28, 2015, Maestro, and his trio featuring Jorge Roeder (bass) and Ziv Ravitz (drums), explores a touching and poetic universe of music. Untold Stories contains all that is great in modern jazz today, and truly displays the camaraderie and brotherhood in music that this trio possesses. 

As a pianist and composer Maestro has been chasing down beauty his entire life, looking to capture meaningful phrases that are refined, and clearly communicated. With Untold Stories, the third album from his trio, Maestro has turned the page and entered a new phase, taking time, fearing less, daring more, accepting the occasional stumble, and allowing the music to change and be a representation of who the members of the trio are as people, for good or bad. Maestro elaborates, "What happened to us on the road in the last few years is basically a shift in our state of mind. What I want to do today (and also to hear from other musicians as well) is to express who I am, and who we are as human beings. Being human is a complex thing to say the least, and there are many sides to our personalities. Not all are beautiful. So music can and should contain everything; beauty, ugliness, love, violence, etc. So Untold Stories is a point in time of us, an entry into a different journey, one that is much more raw and honest then what I have done so far." The music on Untold Stories was recorded live and in studios in Brooklyn and Paris, offering the listener a complete picture of the Trio today ("Maya's Song"-studio-Paris, "Treelogy", "Painting", "Elusive" & "Looking Back (Quiet Reflection)"-live-Paris, "When You Stop Seeing", "Endless Winter" & "Shades"-studio-Brooklyn).

Untold Stories opens with the compelling triumph, "Maya's Song", co-written by Maestro, Roeder and Ravitz while preparing music for a tour. "When You Stop Seeing"was inspired by a poem Maestro received from a dear friend. The poem speaks about a transparent bubble floating in space. Maestro elaborated, "this idea of transparency fascinated me and I tried to look for a transparent harmonic quality which is how I got to the texture of the song, which is a chord that is made out of 5ths. It's neither major nor minor." This composition was written during the last armed conflict between Israel and Palestine. "As an Israeli, I was born into this realty of conflict and that's the only thing I knew until I started traveling and eventually moved to New York. During the horrible violence of this last 'round' between Israel and Palestine, I was exposed to the voices coming from within Israel and Palestine via social media etc. One of the things that really bothered me is how people referred to people on the other side as, 'The Palestinians', or 'The Israelis'. We know this reality very well here in the U.S. with racism, sexism etc., and I feel that people forget that we are human beings before belonging to a place, race etc. So the extended title of this song, which didn't make it to the album, is 'When you stop seeing other human beings as human beings', explained Maestro. "Treelogy" was written while the trio was on tour in France. After the initial melody is presented it's a study of new harmonic devices that Maestro found, trying to create the contrast between a consonant, slow bass motion combined with a fast dissonant harmony on top of it. Ravitz and Roeder found a way of creating a long, intense build up, allowing the trio to explore the higher register of their instruments, which is something new to Maestro's music. This also displayed a new level of patience that the trio had found. "Painting" is a song Maestro wrote for the group's first album several years ago in his Brooklyn apartment. Maestro explains, "it was composed at 3 AM, while I was staring at a painting I had received as a gift from a friend in Bulgaria. It is a painting that resembles the work of Marc Chagall. The composition is an attempt to write music to what I feel the painting expressed instead of trying to express myself." It is included on Untold Stories mainly because of Ravitz's enthralling drum solo. "Ziv and I were talking a lot about how the drum solo got stuck in a concept in jazz music, usually stuck in the shape dictated by trading or soloing over the form unaccompanied. We spoke at length about how not many people are questioning this concept any more, and that drum solos can be treated as any other instrument, playing and reacting to harmony, melody and space. I felt it's a statement I wanted to make", said Maestro. 

Other highlights on Untold Stories include "Elusive", a study in contrasts in registers and harmonic tension; "Endless Winter", inspired by NYC's painful winter, and, "an attempt to deal with harmony in a special manner, finding the harmonic twist only in the middle voices, while the melody and bass movements are completely consonant", explained Maestro; the completely improvised "Shades", which finds Maestro bravely opening the door to presenting an abstract piece that is not "beautiful" and part of his usual aesthetic; and the album's closer "Looking Back (Quiet Reflection)", which is all about time, space and simplicity. Maestro explained, "Together with this 'abstract world' that I'm discovering, I'm simultaneously being pulled more towards simplicity, which has to come with trust. Trust in the band members, and in the music. This is one of the compositions I'm most proud of on this album, as it opens new possibilities for me in how to approach music and composition in particular. It's a new direction that I'm very curious about." 

While he was only 19 years old, Shai Maestro began a five-year stint recording and touring with bass player Avishai Cohen, and is featured on the albums Gently Disturbed (2008), Aurora (2009) and Seven Seas (2011). Maestro moved to New York City in 2010 and created his acclaimed trio with Peruvian bassist Jorge Roeder (Gary Burton, Miguel Zenon), and Israeli drummer Ziv Ravitz (Lee Konitz, Esperanza Spalding). The Trio's debut album for the French label Laborie Jazz, simply titled Shai Maestro Trio, was very well received and set the trio in motion, touring the world, playing major festivals, concert halls and jazz clubs (Jazz In Marciac, Nice Jazz festival, Montreal Jazz festival, Cotton Club-Japan, Duc des Lombards, New Morning, Jazz Cafe-London, A Trane, Smalls, ShapeShifter Lab, The Jazz Gallery, etc), and receiving incredibly positive responses from audiences, peers and the press. In 2012 at the Jazz In Marciac Festival they shared the stage with Chick Corea's group, Tigran Hamasyan's quintet, Esperanza Spalding's group and Diana Krall's band, indicating the echelon they had reached in the jazz world. The Shai Maestro Trio's third album Untold Stories will be released on August 28 on Motema music. 

Maestro is based in Brooklyn, and when not leading his Trio, the pianist can be found performing and recording with international artists such as Theo Bleckmann, Donny McCaslin, John Patitucci, Mark Guiliana, Avishai Cohen (trumpet), Anat Cohen, Jorge Rossy, Ari Hoenig, Myron Walden, Gilad Hekselman, Jonathan Blake, Clarence Penn and many others.


Recorded live on 16 June 1968 at the Montreux Casino during the second edition of the Montreux Jazz Festival, this unusually intense concert by Nina Simone is one of the most famous live performances by the American artist and activist. This recording had never been released officially, and it is finally receiving the attention worth of its exceptional quality..

“With an athletic silhouette, an immaculate African dress, a stern face and authoritative gestures, Nina Simone first graced the stage at the Montreux Jazz Festival one evening in June, 1968. A nervous Claude Nobs looked on from the wings as the “High Priestess of Soul” took her place behind the keyboard, facing a fascinated audience. He had to pinch himself. His event was barely into its second edition and yet it was hosting this mesmerizing voice, this major pianist, the author of an unprecedented synthesis of jazz, pop, classical, and Broadway. It was Claude Nobs’ considered opinion that her very first appearance in Montreux counted among the foundations on which the Festival’s history was built.”
David Brun-Lambert

The landmark item in our boutique this year, this double LP co-produced by the RTS is the second work from our vinyl record collection THE ESSENTIALS, which aligns the greatest live performances to have set the Montreux Jazz Festival stages alight since 1967. The timing is perfect, with the documentary What Happened, Miss Simone? coming out on Netflix last week, featuring two other live performances by Nina at Montreux from 1976. Not to mention the release on 10 July of the tribute album Nina Revisited: A Tribute to Nina Simone with incredible covers by artists like Lauryn Hill, Gregory Porter and Mary J.Blige.

Nina Simone 1968 (recorded live at Montreux Jazz Festival)
Nina Simone: piano & vocals
Buck Clarke: drums
Henry Young: guitar
Gene Taylor: double bass

1 Go To Hell
2 Just in Time
3 When I was a Young Girl
4 Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood

5 Ne Me Quitte Pas
6 To Love Somebody
7 Backlash Blues
8 The House of The Rising Sun

9 Sea Lion Woman
10 Please Read Me
11  Ain't Got No/I Got Life

12 Gin House Blues
13 I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free

Recorded live on 16 June 1968
Double LP, 78 minutes
180 grams, remastered sound
Limited edition of 1'000
Mini poster inside
Co-Produced by Montreux Jazz Festival and Radio Télévision Suisse 



The later years of the Sound Of Memphis studio – cuts from a time when the legendary deep soul powerhouse was trying on some of the newer modes from the end of the 70s! The work here is a real lost slice of Memphis soul – music from a time when the heyday of Stax and Hi Records had long passed, but smaller indies like SOM were going strong – and able to capture the shifting sound in the great soul city – as singers worked in the sorts of funky club and boogie modes you'd more regularly associate with New York or Chicago! The quality level is surprisingly great – especially since there's a nicely indie vibe to these cuts – not polished disco rehash, but the sort of underground club material that we've always loved from reissues on labels like Numero or Soul Cal – coming here from the surprising source of Memphis. Even more importantly, almost all this material never saw the light of day at the time – since the SOM connections to bigger labels had faded – so the whole thing's like a time capsule, taking you back to some real under-exposed days on the Memphis scene! Titles include "Dream Girl" and "Groove With A Feeling" by Freedom Express, "You Can Bet I Can Get You Yet" and "What You Do For Love" by Lee Moore, "Ridin" and "Attraction" by Erma Shaw, "Cold Blooded Sally" by Fran Farley, "New Lang Syne" by Kannon, "I'll Be Around" by The Jacksonians, "Gone" by Vision, "We Need Love" by Donald O'Connor, "Tighter Tighter" by Demetrius & Takelia, and "Don't Fight It" by Louis Williams. ~ Dusty Groove


Loads and loads of great group soul sounds from the LA scene of the late 60s and early 70s – a mix of upbeat groovers and laidback harmony tunes that show that the west coast city was every bit as great at handling soul groups as the scenes in Detroit or Philly! Apart from The Whispers – who were the big Dore label stars at the time – many of these other acts didn't break big east of the Rockies – which makes this whole collection a real treasure trove of great discovery – stunning vocals supported by superb arrangements and production, and a selection of tracks chosen with the usual Kent Records care! There's a few solo artists on the set, too – but the main focus is on groups, and titles include "Nothing Lasts Forever" by The Natural Resources, "Getting Back Into Circulation" by The Entertainers IV, "I'm Givin You Notice Baby" by The Fidels, "I Wanna Chance" by The Vows, "I Only Cry Once A Day Now" by The Puffs, "The Girl That I Loved" by Bobby & Eddie Unlimited, "Saigon To San Francisco" by Toussaint McCall, "Just A Little Ugly" by Gail Anderson, "Wind In My Sails" by The Superbs, "I Want YoU" by Dee Torres, and "My Pillow" by The Darlings. ~ Dusty Groove


Walt Weiskopf is a hell of a tenorist, and one who's getting more and more of our attention with each new release – able to open up and really blow at a fast-riffing level of creativity, yet always with a sense of focus, soul, and strongly rhythmic approach! We might dub Walt as the heir to a legacy that runs back to Tubby Hayes, and includes the work of Eric Alexander – and there's a creative crackle to this album that reminds us of Alexander's early material – a quality that's further emphasized by the wide range of original material penned by Walt, which really keeps things interesting. The group's a quartet – with Peter Zak on piano, Mike Karn on bass, and Steve Fidyk on drums – but Walt's dexterity often makes it feel like there's a lot more going on, too. Titles include "Premonition", "Chronology", "Tricycle", "Leaves Of Grass", "Electroshock", and "Open Road". ~ Dusty Groove

Friday, June 26, 2015



From his many Criss Cross dates as a leader to his extraordinary sideman work with Chris Potter, the late Michael Brecker and many more, Adam Rogers continues to blaze a path as one of jazz's most compelling guitarists. His longtime associate David Binney, alto saxophone great and an influential composer and producer, has also distinguished himself with numerous innovative sessions for Criss Cross and others. On 'R&B', Rogers and Binney unite to co-lead a lean and hard-swinging quartet with bassist Reuben Rogers (no relation) and drummer Gerald Cleaver. In a departure from their usual focus on original material, Rogers and Binney aim straight for bebop, ballads and classics by Thelonious Monk, Freddie Hubbard and Wayne Shorter, among others. The feel is rock-solid, the improvisations bracing. It's a fresh, unexpected take on the jazz tradition, viewed through a modern prism. Personnel: Adam Rogers (guitar), David Binney (alto saxophone), Reuben Rogers (bass), Gerald Cleaver (drums). ~ Amazon


Ron Carter's elegant, eloquent and delicate tone, as well as his extraordinary sense of timing, has informed generations of bassists, and has had a tremendous impact on Jazz as a whole. 'My Personal Songbook' is the first recording of the grand master's original compositions, performed by a large ensemble, to be released. Given that the outcome is so successful one may wonder why he's so rarely worked in this setting - it was only in 2011, after all, that he formed a big band of his own. Includes: Eight, Receipt, Please, Ah Rio, Doom Mood, Blues For D.P., Wait For The Beep, Little Waltz, For Toddlers Only, Sheila's Song, and Cut and Paste. ~ Amazon


Jacqui Naylor is not an easy artist to categorize. There are times when she performs straight-ahead vocal jazz, but at other times she favors more of a folk-rock/adult alternative approach. Depending on the mood she is in at a given moment, the northern Californian can bring to mind anyone from Cassandra Wilson or British jazz vocalist Claire Martin to Sarah McLachlan or Shawn Colvin -- she is as comfortable among jazz improvisers as she is in the singer/songwriter world. During one of her live performances, Naylor has no problem singing smoky jazz one minute and folk-rock or adult alternative the next -- and there are times when she blurs the line between the two. Naylor, who is very jazz-friendly but far from a rigid jazz purist, brings a long list of influences to her introspective work -- influences ranging from Billie Holiday, June Christy, and Nina Simone to Tracy Chapman, Natalie Merchant, Carole King, and Sheryl Crow. That is an unlikely combination of influences, certainly, but it is one that works well for Naylor (who has used all of them to fashion a personal, recognizable style of her own). Naylor has a highly diverse repertoire; on-stage, she is likely to perform a Tin Pan Alley standard right after something by the Rolling Stones or Talking Heads (in addition to performing songs of her own). Naylor is not an overly aggressive or forceful type of singer; she favors subtlety, restraint, and understatement, which are things that Holiday and Christy (one of the goddesses of jazz's cool school) were both masters of. ~ Amazon



Her latest, The Other Side Of Desire was written, recorded and rooted in the city of New Orleans, where Jones lives on the opposite side of the street made famous by Tennessee Williams. Produced by John Porter (of Roxy Music) and Mark Howard, this is the first new music Jones has written in over a decade. “This work is inspired by many years of sitting with all the events of my life until I had something to paint with,” says Rickie. “I came to New Orleans to write and to live a different way than what I have known on the west coast.”  Tracks include: Jimmy Choos, Valtz De Mon Pere (Lovers’ Waltz), J’ai Connais Pas, Blinded By The Hunt, Infinity, I Wasn’t Here, Christmas In New Orleans, Haunted, Feet On The Ground,. Juliette, and Finale: (A Spider In The Circus Of The Falling Star).


Drummer Paal Nilssen-Love is a musician we're used to hearing in smaller groups, and duo and solo sessions – but this time around, he provides a stunning debut of his Large Unit – an 11 piece ensemble that really brings out a whole new sound in Paal's music! Much of the record is improvised, but there's also a larger sense of structure too – that balance between ensemble direction and individual freedom that's run through groups from the London Jazz Composers Orchestra to the Peter Brotzmann Chicago Tentet! The range of expression is wonderful – much more full of color and tonal elements than usual projects we've heard from Paal – definitely a new step forward – and musicians include Thomas Johansson on cornet and flugelhorn, Mats Aleklint on trombone, Kasper Vaernes on alto and soprano, Klaus Ellerhusen Holm on alto and baritone, Borre Molstad on tuba, Ketil Gutvik on guitar, Lasse Marhaug on electronics and turntable, Jon Rune Strom and Christian Meass Svendsen on basses, and Andreas Wildhagen and Nilssen-Love on drums and percussion.  ~ Dusty Groove


Olivia Hime sings here with some key "amigos" – on a record that continues that wonderfully collaborative spirit we love in Brazilian music! American artists hardly ever give themselves so openly – save, perhaps, for hip hoppers looking to climb up the ladder with an appearance on another record – but Brazilian singers and musicians are always ready to help each other out – to check their egos at the door, and come together beautifully on records like these – which often stand out as some of the most special moments in their careers! Hime's great on her own – and we love her other Biscoito Fino records – but there's really something special going on here, as she works alongside Milton Nascimento, Edu Lobo, Chico Buarque, Dory Caymmi, Djavan, and Lenine – all artists whose presence only seems to make Olivia more at home in her own space. Titles include "Ultimo Retrato", "Cara Bonita", "Fortaleza", "Morena Do Mar", "Pra Voce Que Chora", "Barbara", and "Corpo Marinheiro".  ~ Dusty Groove


New Darlene Love Album In Decades, 'Introducing Darlene Love' Due Out This Fall / New Album Features Songs Written By Elvis Costello, Bruce Springsteen, Jim Webb, Linda Perry, Desmond Child, Joan Jett, Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil, And Others

Guitar great, artist, producer, and E Street Band icon Stevie Van Zandt has signed seminal pop legend Darlene Love to his Wicked Cool label, partnering with Columbia Records to release a new album by Love coming this fall, titled Introducing Darlene Love.  Van Zandt arranged and produced the album, enlisting a star-studded cast to contribute songs to Love's return to Marquee-pop music making, including, among others, Elvis Costello, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Van Zandt, Jim Webb, Linda Perry, Desmond Child, Joan Jett, and legendary songwriting team Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, who for more than five decades have reigned as one of the most influential songwriting duos in history.

The highly anticipated album will be released in early autumn, with Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Love imbuing new and classic songs with her signature dynamic vocal delivery that the New York Times has hailed as "a thunderbolt voice embedded in the history of rock n' roll…" and Rolling Stone has called "a rare instrument sturdy enough to vault over Phil Spector's 'Wall of Sound.'" 

The epic E Street Band guitarist commented on the forthcoming release: "Darlene's legendary status is well deserved but I felt the time was long overdue to show a younger generation WHY she has earned that reputation.  Partnering with Columbia Records is a dream come true because now I know the world will hear her."

Love's five-decade career spans some of the greatest signature moments in music, with the Los Angeles native nurturing her talent early as a member of the Blossoms, a local trio who began providing backup vocals at recording sessions for artists such as Sam Cooke and Bobbie Day. The Blossoms also were featured as part of the house band for the popular '60s music show Shindig, backing up many of the performers who appeared on the series. 

Love would go on to become one of the most sought-after background singers in music history, recording with Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Dionne Warwick, The Righteous Brothers, and dozens of other vocal giants throughout her career. Her early work with iconic producer Phil Spector on songs such as the pioneering "He's A Rebel," "He's Sure The Boy I Love," and "Why Do Lover's Break Each Other's Hearts," would garner her legend status. She is featured in the 2013 Academy Award winning documentary '20 Feet From Stardom,' chronicling the behind-the-scenes lives of background singers. The accompanying album won a 2014 Grammy in the Best Music Film category.     

The prolific Van Zandt creates a compelling production aesthetic on Introducing Darlene Love, echoing the classic recording style of many early '60s pop standards on the forthcoming Columbia Records/Wicked Cool release, available everywhere this fall.

~Columbia Records

Newport Jazz Festival Celebrates 60 Years of Miles Davis on New "Storyville" Stage, August 1-2

When a teenage George Wein regularly left his parents' home in Newton, MA, to sneak down to the Big Apple to catch concerts on legendary 52nd Street, he had no idea that his love for jazz would lead to a life-long music career, including owning Storyville, a world-class jazz club in Boston that was home to every major jazz star, and creating the iconic Newport Jazz Festival. 

Wein also built enduring friendships with some of the world's leading musicians. Among his friends was trumpet player Miles Davis, whom he first met in 1952 when they were both beginning to make names for themselves.  Miles brought down the house at Storyville, whenever he performed there; and he received the same rave reaction on the stage at the second annual Newport Jazz Festival in scenic Newport, RI. 

On August 1-2 during the Newport Jazz Festival presented by Natixis Global Asset Management, Wein re-imagines Storyville on a new Festival stage located in the former Yachting Museum at Fort Adams State Park. Grammy Award®-winning author and music historian Ashley Kahn will curate two seminars each day on the renowned trumpet player, in celebration of the 60th anniversary of Davis' first performance at Newport on July 17, 1955. 

Highlights of the Miles Davis tribute include an interview with Wein conducted by New York Times critic Nate Chinen; a celebration of Miles and the St. Louis trumpet tradition; and a discussion of Miles' romance with electric guitars. There will also be a playback of music from the new Columbia/Legacy Recordings box set Miles Davis at Newport 1955-1975: The Bootleg Series Vol.4, with co-producer of the collection - Grammy Award®-winning producer Steve Berkowitz and consultant Nell Mulderry - Miles' nephew, drummer Vince Wilburn, Jr., and Miles' son Erin Davis.

Miles Davis at Newport 1955-1975 will be available everywhere on Friday, July 17 - 60 years to the date since Davis' breakthrough performance at Newport in 1955 - through Columbia/Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music Entertainment.

The full schedule features:
Saturday, August 1 - 1:00-2:00 pm
MILES & GEORGE: Wein talks about his long relationship with Miles to Nate Chinen, co-writer of Wein's autobiography, Myself Among Others: A Life In Music,and also New York Times critic.
Saturday, August 1 -  3:15-4:15 pm
MILES & NEWPORT: Every time Miles Davis performed under the banner of the Newport Jazz Festival - between 1955 to 1975 - his groups delivered historic performances, all of which were recorded. MILES DAVIS AT NEWPORT 1955-1975: THE BOOTLEG SERIES VOL. 4 is the title of a new four-CD set featuring a musical overview of Miles' relationship with Newport Jazz. Tasty excerpts from the collection will be played in addition to discussions with co-producer Steve Berkowitz, packager Nell Mulderry, Miles' nephew, drummer Vince Wilburn, Jr., Miles' son Erin Davis, and moderator Ashley Kahn.

Sunday, August 2 - 1:00-2:00 pm
MILES & THE ELECTRIC GUITAR: Miles' long romance with the sound of the electric guitar began in the mid-1960s when he asked George Benson to sit in on a recording session, and was shoved into high gear when the rock revolution of the late '60s hit. He began playing his trumpet through a wah-wah guitar pedal, and his lineups featured stars of jazz guitar as John McLaughlin, Pete Cosey and Reggie Lucas, as well as John Scofield, Robben Ford and Mike Stern. Guitarist and festival performer Mike Stern, Rolling Stone journalist David Fricke, and author and critic Bill Milkowski join moderator Ashley Kahn to discuss and play examples of Miles' guitar infatuation.
Sunday, August 2 - 3:15-4:15 pm
MILES, CLARK TERRY & ST. LOUIS TRUMPETERS: Miles' first and most enduring hero was trumpeter Clark Terry; both were residents of St. Louis and were products of that city's long-standing trumpet tradition. Terry passed away in the past year just as the documentary Keep On Keepin' On was released. Trumpeters and festival performers Jon Faddis and Randy Sandke join moderator Ashley Kahn in celebrating Terry, Miles and other St. Louis trumpet stars with music and video excerpts.
In addition to the celebration of Miles Davis, Storyville will feature piano performances by Helen Sung, Christian Sands and the 11-year old prodigy, Joey Alexander, on Saturday, August 1, andAaron Diehl, Frank Kimbrough and Giorgi Mikadze on Sunday, August 2.

George Wein's Storyville opened in 1950 in Boston's Copley Square Hotel.  A nearly 200-seat room  frequently filled with dynamic artists and dedicated jazz fans, the club launched with Bob Wilber and went on to present some of the world's most renowned jazz artists, including Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Lester Young, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday and Miles Davis. For a decade, the club was the place to be in Boston. As George wrote in his book about the original club, the new stage, Storyville, at the Newport Jazz Festival won't have a "bad seat in the house;" and when you leave to go to another stage, the producer hopes you will share his feeling when Satchmo first played Storyville: "Life was very, very beautiful right there and then."

The 2015 edition of America's first annual jazz festival, which takes place July 31-August 2 at Fort Adams State Park and the International Tennis Hall of Fame at the Newport Casino, will feature Chris Botti, Cassandra Wilson, Jamie Cullum, Snarky Puppy, Maria Schneider, Arturo Sandoval, Dr. John, Jack DeJohnette: Made in Chicago, Kenny Garrett, Billy Childs, Arturo O'Farrill, Fred Hersch, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Jon Batiste, Kneebody, Hiromi, Michel Camilo, Jon Faddis, James Carter, Christian McBride, Bill Frisell, Mike Stern/Bill Evans Band, Ambrose Akinmusire, Tom Harrell, Pat Martino, Matana Roberts, John Hollenbeck,  Ms. Lisa Fischer and Grand Baton and many others.

For more information on the Newport Jazz Festival presented by Natixis Global Asset Management, go to www.newportjazzfest.

Panist Yelena Eckemoff Reaches New Heights Working with Norwegian Dream Team of Arild Andersen, Jon Christensen, and Tore Brunborg on Everblue

When pianist Yelena Eckemoff released Cold Sun (L & H Production, 2010) - a trio date with drumming legend Peter Erskine and Danish bass whiz Mads Vinding - the jazz world was introduced to a startlingly fresh voice destined for great things.  Over the course of the six albums that followed, Eckemoff lived up to that promise, delivering organically crafted music reflective of her classical background, fascination with the natural world, poetic soul, communicative spirit, and overall open-mindedness.  Now, Eckemoff is poised to make even more waves with the spellbinding Everblue, her third in-studio encounter with Norwegian bass icon Arild Andersen and her first musical meeting with two other Norwegians of note - drummer Jon Christensen and saxophonist Tore Brunborg. 

Those familiar with the background of Eckemoff's musical partners will likely be aware of their shared history, as Andersen and Christensen were both key players in Jan Garbarek's groundbreaking musical odysseys in the early '70s and all three men were involved in the band called Masqualero.  But none of that has to do with Eckemoff's motives for joining forces with this Norwegian dream team.  Instead, she simply notes that she chose to work with these musicians because they "would be the best match to interpret the ideas for the Everblue project."

The musical affinity that exists between Eckemoff and Andersen is already abundantly clear, having been demonstrated on two beautifully rendered trio outings-Glass Song (L & H Production, 2013), with Peter Erskine on drums, and Lions (L & H Production, 2015), with Billy Hart on drums. On Everblue, their rapport is deepened and broadened, as both players seem to resonate sympathetically throughout.  While Eckemoff has worked with a number of fine bassists in the past, including Vinding and George Mraz, her relationship with Andersen helps to take her work to another level; it's a relationship that, she notes, plays out like "an interactive conversation." 

In summing up her reasoning for choosing to bring Christensen and Brunborg into her musical orbit on Everblue, Eckemoff cites both players' elemental qualities:  she likens Christensen to "an ocean" and she views Brunborg as "the voice of nature: animals, birds, winds, and ghosts."  When merged with her own "wondering and contemplative spirit" and Andersen's deeply resonating bass work-"a bridge between all of us," according to the architect herself-the results are mesmerizing.

With Everblue, Eckemoff doesn't simply present a set of tunes: she presents an overarching musical concept that guides this voyage.  "Part of our human consciousness constantly searches and yearns for the divine, unspeakably beautiful, eternal," she notes.  "In my world, I call this place Everblue."  It's a concept and a world that's plainly laid out in her poetry and music, as everything is drawn around beaches and oceans.   And it's a concept within that concept-the search for beauty-that informs this journey of faith and discovery.

From the first reflective notes of the title track, it's clear that the value of this music is in the travel.  As that number unfolds, there's prayerful saxophone work to observe, glistening sounds to admire, and rustling percussion to behold.  Thoughts of "cool sapphire light," "azure skies," and a "cobalt ocean"-all mentioned in the "Everblue" poem-come through clearly in the music.  With "All Things, Seen And Unseen," Eckemoff establishes a firm presence, providing counterpoint and communing with the musical spirits and her band mates.  Here, Christensen manages to position his cymbal work against the beat and Andersen manages to achieve an intriguing duality that carries across the album: he comes off as a commanding force while also managing to exist as a wholly malleable musical entity. 

Eckemoff brings a touch of minimalism into the picture with her rolling triplets on "Waves  & Shells," a number that can be said to be "moving" in more ways than one.  Some call-and-response interaction bookends the piece, yet it's not central to the story.  More important are Christensen's mid-track percussive serenade and Andersen's thoughts of the moment.  From there, it's off to "Skyline," a number that ebbs and flows in organic fashion as musical voices gently lap against one another and starry-eyed piano charms and disarms, and "Sea-Breeze," a world built with broken eighth-note lines, cymbal gestures delivered in the nooks between beats, bright thoughts, and strong solo work from Eckemoff and Andersen. 

"Prism" and "Man," arriving next in the running order, both come from the musically fertile mind of Arild Andersen.  By including these pieces, Eckemoff makes a slight departure from her previous releases: she exhibits a high level of trust, as this marks the first time that she's included somebody else's work on one of her jazz albums.  That trust pays off handsomely in this case.  Both pieces, while originally written for other settings, manage to sonically embody the philosophy behind this album.  "Prism" was originally recorded on The Triangle (ECM, 2004)-a trio outing that found Andersen working with pianist Vassilis Tsabropoulos and drummer John Marshall.  Here, with Christensen and Brunborg, Andersen notes, "it felt natural to do the song looser and more free in tempo."  This change in direction gives the piece a wholly different character, as Eckemoff and company deliver a dose of abstract realism, with lightly rippled gestures, peaceful moments of clarity, and highly pronounced colors coming to the surface.  "Man," Andersen states, "was written for a short film some years back and I had never recorded it before." The bassist admits that it never struck him as being a jazz vehicle, but this band manages to shape it as such. Pockets of energy seem to magically emerge and then recede into the distance on this fascinating number. 

The remaining tracks, as with the aforementioned material, all highlight the simpatico sensibilities of these players and their individual talents.  "Abyss" brings the Eckemoff-Andersen relationship into sharp focus; "Ghost of The Dunes" penetrates, with Eckemoff's two-handed angular work and a strong sense of connectivity between Brunborg and Andersen on display; and "Blue Lamp" is a patient and elegant sendoff, complete with firm yet pliant gestures.  In most of those cases, and on nearly every track on the album, Eckemoff manages to present melodically lucid thoughts bathed in ethereal waters.

Yelena Eckemoff Quartet - Everblue EPK
Yelena Eckemoff · Everblue
L&H Production  ·  Release Date: August 21, 2015

Kamasi Washington Announces Tour in Support of Critically Acclaimed Album, The Epic

"...this saxophonist-composer is unusually well poised to secure the attention of listeners who have previously been uninterested in jazz." - Pitchfork

"The most ambitious jazz album to arrive in ages..." - iTunes

"In a millennium largely absent of anything new or captivating in the jazz idiom,
Washington has just unleashed a musical hydra grounded in respect and intimate knowledge of the past and striking far out into a hopeful future." - Variety
"Jazz fusion that rockets everywhere from electric Miles groove to Sun Ra sputter, from velvety smooth to hardcore squawk - and still sounds as future-minded as any hip-hop or experimental electronic LP out." - Rolling Stone

Kamasi Washington U.S. Performances:
July 30 / Neumos / Seattle, WA
July 31 / Pickathon Festival / Happy Valley, OR
August 6 / Chop Shop / Charlotte, NC
August 7 / Motorco / Durham, NC
August 8 / Richmond Jazz Festival / Richmond, VA
August 9 / San Jose Jazz Summer Fest / San Jose, CA
August 20 / The Sinclair / Boston, MA
August 22 / Blue / Portland, ME
August 24 -­ 25 / Blue Note Jazz Club / New York, NY
August 26 / Howard Theatre / Washington, DC
August 27 / World Café Live / Philadelphia, PA
August 29 / Soundstage / Baltimore, MD
September 15 / The Smith Center / Las Vegas, NV
September 18 / Harlow's / Sacramento, CA
September 19 / Warfield Theatre / San Francisco, CA

Kamasi Washington International Performances:
November 4 / Bird / Rotterdam, Holland
November 5 / Bitterzoet / Amsterdam, Holland
November 6 / Greunspan / Hamburg, Germany
November 7 / So What's Next Festival / Eindhoven, Holland
November 8 / Enjoy Jazz Festival / Mannheim, Germany
November 9 / Locomotiv / Bologna, Italy
November 10 / Monk Club / Rome, Italy
November 11 / Tunnel / Milan, Italy
November 13 / Lantern / Bristol, UK
November 14 / EFG London Jazz Festival / London, UK
November 15 / Trabendo / Paris, France
November 16 / AB Club / Brussels, Belgium
November 17 / Club Bahnhof Ehrenfeld / Cologne, Germany
November 18 / Unterfahrt / Munich, Germany
November 21 / Le Guess Who Festival / Utrecht, Netherlands
November 22 / Neue Heimat / Berlin, Germany
November 23 / DR Concert House 2 / Copenhagen, Denmark
November 24 / Victoria / Oslo, Norway
November 25 / Fasching / Stockholm, Sweden
November 26 / Nefertiti / Gothenburg, Sweden
November 27 / Folken / Stavanger, Norway
November 28 / Verftet / Bergen, Norway

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Ben Liebrand's Iconic Groove, capturing those bass lines, riffs and rhythms that move the dance floor, features James "D-Train" Williams, Barbara Tucker, Cerrone & more...

25 years after 'Styles', Ben Liebrand releases his new artist album entitled - Iconic Groove. This is an album capturing those bass lines, riffs and rhythms that move the dance floor. Think of it as an album covering every aspect of ones weekend, from getting ready to go out, the trip to the venue in the limo, trying to get there on time, the people you meet, the artists you see, the moves you make all the way till you see the sunrise after closing time.

The tracks are inspired by all that Liebrand loves, along with collaborations alonf the way with Tony Scott, James D'Train Williams, Cerrone and many more. 

Using the latest technology 'Iconic Groove' was nevertheless recorded the oldskool way starting with real bass guitars & rhythm guitars sessions, adding horns and live rhythm elements. Overlaying with Iconic synthesizer sounds from Moog, Korg, Roland, and many more capturing the early years of electronic music with captivating sequence patterns and sweeping modulating pad sounds.

Ben's inspiration is clearly audible with collaborations of icons like Cerrone and James D-Train Williams, Tonys Scott and more. With a broad selection of dance ranging from super Funky through Disco to throbbing sequencers!

Ben Liebrand - Iconic Groove 
2CD release • 124 min run-time • 17 brand new productions
WEEKEND feat. James “D-Train” Williams
WE ARE THE NIGHT feat. James “D-Train” Williams
GET ON UP feat. Caroline Dest
BOOGIE Feat. Barbara Tucker
VIP PASS (LIMO INCLUDED) feat. Joel “Spanky” Gray
MISTER DJ feat. James “D-Train” Williams
DISCOTHEQUE feat. Tony Scott
ALL THE WAY feat. Tony Scott
LOVE Feat. Caroline Dest
CAN YOU HEAR ME feat. Erica Young

Featured This Week On The Jazz Network Worldwide: American Songbook Vocalist, Ken Greves with his new CD “Night People”

Ken Greve’s third recording,“Night People” embodies the language of love in an American Songbook style of performance that personifies the journey of the high’s and low’s of finding joy on the other side of disappointment.

“Ken Greves has been a friend to The Jazz Network Worldwide for years and has shared his last two recordings with us. We are excited to jump on his bandwagon once again featuring his latest recording of “Night People”. The high caliber camaraderie of musicianship was beautifully executed on these timeless classics. Musical director Frank Ponzio on piano, Peter Donovan on bass and drummer Vito Lesczak are a cohesive force, giving Ken the perfect backdrop to sit comfortably in the artistic seat of driving the deep reflection of the aspects of love and all its sides” says Jaijai Jackson of The Jazz Network Worldwide.

“Night People is an homage to my early youthful days, when I haunted and habituated the night scenes and nightscapes searching for the unnamable thing or experience. This divine restlessness was always seeking newness, satisfaction, release, and ultimately peace.” says Greves.

For Ken, the lyrics are the jewel for which the music provides the beautiful setting. This is not to say that sheer musicality does not play a major part in this music. Ken’s approach in both the arrangements and the manner in which he blends his superb vocal artistry with his musicians is of the highest order, fully conceived within the concept of synergy that is essential to the greatest tradition of jazz. – Marty Khan, OutVisions “Night People”

“The performance of the ensemble is first rate, responsive in every way and, if anything even more remarkable is the work of the vocalist, Ken Greves, displaying an exceptional expressive range of tone and dynamic.” ~ Raul da Gama “Night People”

To compliment the release of “Night People”, Ken launches a brand new website that encompasses his musical journey as well as the different business and entertainment services he offers the marketplace. He is an avid supporter of those in the industry and has made his expertise available to those artists that are looking for defined systems and structures for their careers both financially and production-wise.

In addition, he is seeking non-exclusive worldwide agents for representation, Greves is looking to tour globally in venues that present the American Songbook style performances.

On Monday, July 2nd, 2015 Ken will be hosting a CD release party presenting “Night People” to his friends and fans at Cafe Noctambulo in New York City undoubtably to a full house!

Be sure to check out Ken’s feature on The Jazz Network Worldwide at as well as his new website



A massive jammer from War – and a record that brought the group to a whole new generation of listeners – as well as a good number of later fans who discovered some of these jams in the club! The groove here isn't disco, but this tightening up of War's sweet jamming vibe – almost given a sort of Mizell Brothers twist here, with a focus on sharper rhythms, but still plenty of space for instrumental flourishes over the top. Tracks are long and open, but in different ways than the early years – and there's some rhythmic elements on the record that really have the group trying out something new – and definitely finding a sweet spot in the process! The whole thing's great – and titles include the great extended instrumental "The Seven Tin Soldiers", plus "Hey Senorita", "Baby Face", "Galaxy", and "Sweet Fighting Lady".  ~  Dusty Groove


A sweet snapping groove from War – a set that has the group picking up a bit more boogie in their bounce than before, but at a level that helps keep their funk fresh for a whole new generation! The album's a heck of a lot warmer and more live than most of their contemporaries – and while there's a bit less of the freer moments of their youth, there's still plenty of jazzy touches over the top – and that wonderful trademark blend of Latin elements, jazzy riffing, and captivating chorus vocals! Basslines take on a bit more role than before – but in a good way – and titles include "You Got The Power", "The Jungle", "Just Because", "Outlaw", "I'm About Somebody", and "Cinco De Mayo".  ~ Dusty Groove


A surprisingly great pairing of talents – the post-Animals Eric Burdon on vocals, and early grooves from Cali funk legends War – coming together here in a blend that still holds up beautifully after all these years! Burdon was already getting pretty soulful on the last few Animals albums on MGM – and he really advances that style here when working with War's great grooves – some of the grittiest, nastiest, most stretched out work of their career – especially on some of the album's nicely long tracks. There's some nice Latin currents to the music at times, and the group vocalize alongside Burdon at times – and titles include a long version of "Paint It Black", plus "Bare Back Ride", "Sun/Moon", "Pretty Colors", "Gun", "Nuts Seeds & Life", "They Can't Take Away Our Music", and "Spirit".  ~ Dusty Groove


War live, a perfect step forward – especially given that the group had already been so jamming on all their previous work in the studio! This classic double-length set may well be one of the best soul live albums of the 70s – right up there with similar 2LP packages from Curtis Mayfield and Bill Withers – and like both of those, maybe an even greater flowering of the core essence than any short studio record! The album features a killer two part reading of "Slippin Into Darkness", a side-long take on "Get Down", and long versions of "Cisco Kid", "Sun Oh Son", "All Day Music", "Lonely Feelin", and "Ballero". ~ Dusty Groove


A sweet sweet set from the mighty War – and maybe the record that really has the group coming into their own! The record's got a stronger vocal presence than earlier War efforts, which is a really great thing – kind of a blend of sweet soul, heavy funk, and Chicano modes – all served up with this ultra-hip East LA sort of vibe that's way more interested in finding the best sweet spot in the music, than it is trying to figure out any labels for its groove! This approach rings out famously in the classic "Slipping Into Darkness" – which gets a 7 minute workout here – but the whole thing is great, and other titles include the seminal "Baby Brother", plus "Nappy Head", "Get Down", and "There Must Be A Reason". ~ Dusty Groove


A wonderful first solo album from War – a set that has them breaking away from their early partnership with singer Eric Burdon – and finding an even better groove in the process! The vibe here is hipper, and even more righteous than before – some of those great jazz currents on flute, keyboards, and even harmonica – that sweet Lee Oskar mode that always made the group so great – set to very cool rhythms that blend together funk, Latin, and soul elements – all openly grooving here at a level that's free from some of the more hitbound modes of their biggest records. The whole thing's great, and still stunningly fresh after all these years – and titles include "Sun Oh Son", "Lonely Feelin", "Back Home", "War Drums", and "Vibeka".  ~ Dusty Groove

War became so popular on their own in later years that it's easy to forget how they first sprung onto the soul charts – here, in an album of many styles that was put together by the wayward Eric Burdon after the dissolution of The Animals! We have to admit that Burdon was a genius to hook onto the rich talents of this LA combo – even though he really didn't know what to do with them on this record. Part of the album's an homage to Roland Kirk, part is an extended reworking of "Tobacco Road", and part is an overly-long bluesy passage called "Blues For Memphis Slim". Fortunately, the record also includes the monster groover "Spill The Wine", one of the first big crossover tracks to popularize the Chicano funk sound of LA – and a great little groover that still hooks us in today.  ~ Dusty Groove


A monster from start to finish – not only the greatest album from War, but maybe one of the greatest mainstream funk albums of all time! The set's got a really unique groove – one that so many others tried to copy, but which was forged here first – in a wicked LA blend of Chicano funk, heavy organ lines, and soulful singing that sews the whole thing together perfectly. Just about every cut is upbeat and funky – rolling along at that low-rider pace that was War's lasting contribution to funk music – and the album features the huge hits "World Is A Ghetto" and "Cisco Kid", two of the brightest spots on radio funk from the 70s – plus classics like "Four Cornered Room", "City Country City", "Where Was You At", and "Beetles In The Bog". ~ Dusty Groove


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...