Thursday, August 25, 2016

Opaluna Spans Cultures, Styles and Sounds on Vibrant Self-Titled Debut

Bridging continents, cultures, languages, and musics, Opaluna weaves together a rich variety of influences and impressions to craft a vivid and decidedly modern spectrum of sound. On their self-titled debut, due out August 26 via Ridgeway Records' Rising Star series, versatile vocalist Susana Pineda and inventive guitarist Lu Salcedo freely explore Latin rhythms, electronic textures, rock grooves, folk expressiveness and genre-spanning jazz freedom in a distinctive and entrancing duo setting.
"Opaluna" combines the name of a multicolored gemstone with the Spanish word for "moon," capturing the duo's hybrid identity in a single word: two languages combining to form one meaning, a combination of vibrant colors and bold luminescence. Like their name, Opaluna's sound is also a portmanteau, bringing together two singular voices into one harmonious sound. Pineda melds the sounds and traditions of her native Colombia with a passion for modern jazz, while Bay Area native Salcedo brings his rock background and penchant for experimentalism together on the frontiers of Latin-inflected jazz.

"Our music is a blend of two cultures, two stories, two backgrounds and two languages creating one," says Pineda. Salcedo continues, "We didn't want to do something that had been done before. Working together, we got very excited about how much we could do."

The pair met while both were students at Berkeley's California Jazz Conservatory. Pineda began studying jazz in her hometown of Medellín but decided to move to the States in 2013 at the encouragement of her mentor, singer Claudia Gómez. She chose CJC due to the program's emphasis on a range of Latin traditions supplementing its core jazz focus. Salcedo came to the school with a more straight-ahead jazz interest, but his partial Mexican heritage led him to begin exploring Latin music. He and Pineda came together in a class on Afro-Venezuelan music and soon recognized their shared passions.

Soon the duo embarked on a journey of sonic experimentation, at first playing music for one another, then arranging jazz standards together to determine a common ground, and finally improvising together in an effort to discover a unified voice. "We would start from scratch, just improvising out of nowhere and seeing what happens," Pineda recalls. "We knew that we didn't want to do the traditional swing thing or play bolero normally. We wanted to blend everything we are, and we wanted to do it in a modern way."

A professor at CJC, Ridgeway Arts founder Jeff Denson heard the burgeoning duo during a lesson and immediately sensed a special chemistry in the nascent pairing. He invited them to record for the San Francisco-based non-profit's Ridgeway Records label, mentoring them through the process from a crowd-funding campaign through recording and post-production, producing the album at the legendary Fantasy Studios and also contributing his remarkable bass sound to three tracks. Fellow CJC faculty member and Bay Area percussion legend John Santos also guests on two cuts.
"I was drawn to Opaluna's music and wanted to produce them because of their creativity and passion," Denson says. "They inhabit a colorful world of sound, beauty and social consciousness that crosses cultural and musical boundaries and really draws you in. Working with Susana and Lu at the California Jazz Conservatory, I found them to be sincere, motivated young artists that care deeply about their craft. I wanted to mentor them further with the creation of their debut recording because I believe in their vision and see their great potential. Now more than ever, the world desperately needs art and music that inspires creative thought, generosity and compassion and Ridgeway Arts seeks to promote artists and projects with this same goal in any way that we can!"

Both members of Opaluna give Denson ample credit for helping to hone their sound and teach them invaluable lessons. "Jeff is an amazing musician, and having the opportunity to engage in a back and forth with him about musical aesthetics was extremely helpful," says Salcedo. To which Pineda adds,  "He always wanted to keep Opaluna and not change who we are. He just wanted to take our music and our sound to another level."

Opening track "Bridges" sums up Opaluna's approach while paying homage to the multi-cultural diversity of their Bay Area home. "It's pretty startling to be able to walk down one street and travel the world at the same time," Salcedo says. "The song is a metaphorical journey form one side of a bridge to the other, and during that trip across the bridge it changes feels and tempos from one cultural subject to another, which is something that really resonates with us because we're trying to bridge all these different stories and backgrounds."

The album is itself a journey, beginning with the chirping samba-funk of the co-written "Bridges" and continuing through the intoxicating sway of "Instinto Ornitológico," with Denson on bass and backing vocals. The Cuban classic "Dos Gardenias" is rendered with a swirling romantic atmosphere, cut through by Salcedo's incisive solo, while Wayne Shorter's "Mahjong" starts as a folk tune with a supple wordless vocal and percussive acoustic guitar before being subsumed in a psychedelic haze.

Salcedo wrote the intense "Does It Rain on the Moon?" with lyrics taken in part from the immortal children's tale "The Little Prince." A fluid Afro-Caribbean groove fuels "Champeterapia," while both the wistful "Young Bonds" and the ethereal "Once We're Gone" were built around Pineda's evocative poetry. Pineda's "Pétalos" is an intimate take on modern jazz, while "Baile de Opuestos" reimagines the childlike standard "Inchworm" as a Colombian joropo.

After spending three weeks touring Colombia this summer, Pineda and Salcedo's collaboration has truly bridged the duo's respective cultures. Their musical partnership has been an ongoing voyage of discovery, resulting in an uncategorizable sound that finds them meeting somewhere in the middle - or, perhaps, some other, completely unexplored new territory. "After all this time playing together," Salcedo says, "everything morphs into what we both need it to be."



Derrick Hodge blows our mind yet again – and reminds us with this set that he's way more than just a bassist who's known for his earlier work with Robert Glasper! Instead, Hodge takes on a whole host of different instruments – and often provides most of the music on most of the tracks, thanks to the magic of overdub – including some sweet piano and keyboard passages that have a very Glasper-like sense of soul, but which also reflect the more open range of some of Derrick's musical ideas! Some tunes have a very open, spacious quality – others are more rhythmically focused – and the set features some instrumentation from Marck Colenburg on drums, Keyon Harrold on trumpet, and Marcus Strickland on tenor. Titles include "Clock Strike Zero", "For Generations", "Transitions", "Song 3", "The Second", "Heart Of A Dreamer", "Going", "Don Blue", and "Underground Rhapsody". ~ Dusty Groove


The title certainly gets it right – as Derrick Harriott serves up a wonderful mix of sounds that owes plenty to American funk and soul of the early 70s – some cool Kingston covers of famous US tunes, and some other originals that are equally groovy overall! The set's one of the best that we've ever heard from the Dub Store label – and almost has a Soul Jazz level of track selection – really wonderful work that either features Derrick in the lead, or working with some hip contemporaries, in a groove that's totally great – neither straight reggae, but also quite far from more familiar funk and soul too. Titles include "Black Moses" by The Preacher, "Tougher Than Tough" by I Roy, "Brown Baby" by Derrick Harriott, "Hell Below" by Crystal Generation, "Going Back Home" by The Chosen Few, "Psychedelic Train" by Derrick Harriott, "Slippery" by Karl Bryan & The Crystalites, "Home Sweet Home" by Bongo Herman & Les, "Rescue The Children" by Junior Murvin, "Phoenix" by Noel Brown, "People Make The World Go Round" by The Chosen Few, and "Message From A Black Man" by Derrick Harriott. ~ Dusty Groove


Fantastic work from reedman Jim Snidero – wrapped up tight here in the frontline with trumpeter Alex Sipiagin, a pair who come off with a hell of a lot of focus and power right from the very first note! Sipiagin's horn provides this farther reach for Snidero's ideas – really pushing his alto strongly as the pair weave wonderful lines at the start of the tune, then break off into their solos – driven by excellent work from bandmates Andy Laverne on piano, Ugonna Okegwo on bass, and Rudy Royston on drums. The album's got a fresh, bold sense of power that reminds us that jazz, once again, is all about bringing the right folks together in the right way! Titles include "MD66", "Recursion", "Free Beauty", "Who We've Known", "Blue In Green", "Unified", and "Purge". ~ Dusty Groove


It’s not too much of a stretch to say that Percy Faith invented easy listening music; along with Mantovani, he pioneered the use of string sections to soften and sweeten the brass-dominated sound that dominated popular music during the ‘40s. Faith was also one of Mitch Miller’s main men at Columbia Records, where he provided arrangements for everybody from Doris Day to Tony Bennett to Johnny Mathis, and he composed some of the most memorable soundtrack themes of all time. Now, Real Gone pays tribute to one of the great arrangers and composers in pop music history with a 32-track set spanning 22 years of recordings, including hit singles, tracks drawn from a total of 20 different albums, and a number of his most revered compositions for the screen. Among the highlights: the #1 hits “Delicado,” “Where Is Your Heart (from ‘Moulin Rouge’),” and “The Theme from ‘A Summer Place;’” his soundtrack themes to the films Tammy Tell Me True, The Oscar, and The Love Goddesses, and the TV series The Virginian; and some of his signature adaptations of Latin music like “How Insensitive (Insensataez)” and “Brazil (Aquarela Do Brasil).” Joe Marchese provides the notes, and the package includes photos from the Columbia vaults as well as some of the great cover art that adorned Faith’s album releases. Remastered by Maria Triana at Battery Studios in New York…like the title says, the definitive—and largest ever—Percy Faith collection!

Disc : 1
1. Jungle Fantasy
2. All My Love (Bolero)
3. The Syncopated Clock
4. Delicado
5. Swedish Rhapsody (Midsummer Vigil)
6. Where Is Your Heart (From "Moulin Rouge")
7. Return to Paradise
8. Music Until Midnight (Lullaby for Adults Only)
9. The Bandit (Theme from "O Cangaceiro")
10. Swing Low Sweet Chariot
11. With a Little Bit of Luck (from the Broadway Musical "My Fair Lady")
12. Embassy Waltz (from the Broadway Musical "My Fair Lady"
13. Till
14. Ebb Tide
15. Theme for Young Lovers
16. Theme from "A Summer Place" (From the Warner Bros. Film "A Summer Place")

Disc : 2
1. Brazil (Aquarela do Brasil)
2. Under Paris Skies (Sous le ciel de Paris)
3. Camelot (From the Broadway Musical "Camelot")
4. Tammy Tell Me True (From the Universal Film "Tammy Tell Me True")
5. Stella by Starlight
6. Moonlight in Vermont
7. The Virginian (From the NBC-TV Series "The Virginian")
8. The Love Goddess (From the Paramount Film "The Love Goddesses")
9. How Insensitive (Insensataez)
10. The "In" Crowd
11. Song from "The Oscar (Maybe September) (From the Embassy Film "The Oscar")
12. The Glass Mountain (From the Embassy Film "The Oscar")
13. Bim Bam Boom
14. Samba de Orfeu (From the Film "Black Orpheus")
15. Love Theme from "Romeo and Juliet" (From the Paramount Film "Romeo & Juliet")
16. Theme from "Chinatown" (From the Paramount Film "Chinatown")

SHIRLEY HORN LIVE AT THE 4 QUEENS I Deluxe CD Package & Digital Edition Available September 16, 2016

Resonance Records has announced the release of SHIRLEY HORN - LIVE AT THE 4 QUEENS, a previously unissued live recording by legendary singer/pianist Shirley Horn accompanied by her rhythm section of over 20 years, the late bassist Charles Ables and drummer Steve Williams, recorded by Las Vegas NPR affiliate KNPR on May 2, 1988 at what noted author James Gavin describes as "Las Vegas's hip little oasis for jazz lovers, the jazz club inside the 4 Queens Hotel." Resonance will release this album in a deluxe CD package and a digital edition on Friday, September 16, 2016.

Live At The 4 Queens was recorded only one year after her 1987 "comeback album" on Verve Records, I Thought About You, which reignited her international touring career after a nearly 20-year hiatus during which she had restricted her musical activities to her home town of Washington, D.C. so she could devote herself to raising her daughter.
The album includes a comprehensive 56-page book dedicated to documenting the life and career of Shirley Horn featuring essays and interviews with Resonance Records producer Zev Feldman, journalist and author James Gavin, jazz record veterans and Shirley Horn producers Jean-Philippe Allard and Richard Seidel, long-time Shirley Horn drummer Steve Williams (in conversation with Library of Congress jazz specialist, journalist and radio host Larry Appelbaum), Horn's friend and colleague, singer Sheila Jordan (in conversation with noted jazz journalist Ted Panken), Washington, D.C. jazz radio veteran Rusty Hassan, KNPR engineer Brian Sanders, manager Sheila Mathis and finally, Rainy Smith, Horn's daughter.

Featuring nine tracks and over 50 minutes of music, Live At The 4 Queens features Shirley Horn's interpretations of popular songs including "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To" by Cole Porter, "The Boy from Ipanema" (the female version of "The Girl from Ipanema") by Antônio Carlos Jobim, "Isn't It Romantic?" by Rodgers and Hart, "Lover Man (Oh Where Can You Be?) by Jimmy Davis, Roger ("Ram") Ramirez, and James Sherman and many others.

Long a favorite of Miles Davis and Quincy Jones, who both championed her early in her career, Shirley Horn was a unique jazz presence. As a performer, Shirley Horn was immediately recognizable for the mood she created, her swinging, harmonically sophisticated piano playing and her evocative, velvety voice. As a pianist, she was so gifted that Miles Davis once said "If she don't play, I ain't gonna play..." in reference to a gig at the Village Vanguard, and would have her perform as a sub for Wynton Kelly at various club performances. As a singer, she never failed to cast a spell on a room. She inevitably transported her listeners with her moodiness and her uncanny ability to maintain a compelling sense of musical motion even at the slowest possible tempos, which became a hallmark of her style.

When producer Richard Seidel signed Shirley Horn to Verve in the mid-1980s, her career was relaunched, and this time she became celebrated internationally as well as in the United States. A series of enormously successful albums followed. Most featured just her regular trio with bassist Charles Ables and drummer Steve Williams, while others had rhythm section colleagues like Ron Carter and Billy Hart, along with special guests such as Miles Davis, Toots Thielemans, Wynton Marsalis and Branford Marsalis. And as a stylistic departure, Horn recorded the memorable album, Here's to Life (recorded in 1991 and released in 1992), in which Horn is showcased with a large ensemble arranged and conducted by Johnny Mandel (who received a Grammy® award for his work on the album).

Shirley Horn's return to prominence had her performing in all the major festivals around the world, plus iconic American venues like Carnegie Hall, prestigious concert halls throughout Europe and Asia, and even in the White House. Horn continued touring and recording at a torrid pace for nearly a decade until health problems forced her to pare back her performing and recording activities in the early 2000s. Nominated nine times for Grammys®, Horn finally won one for Best Jazz Vocal Performance in 1999 for her album, I Remember Miles, produced by Richard Seidel.

This album, Shirley Horn - Live At The 4 Queens, captures her at her creative peak. As Seidel observes, "This record is very much in the vein of Shirley's first album on Verve [I Thought About You] and is an excellent example of her work in an intimate club atmosphere."

When producer Zev Feldman became aware of the recordings that make up this album, he was thrilled. Shirley Horn was a very special artist for him. Feldman, like Horn, is a Washington, D.C. native. Now 43, Feldman came of age while Horn was still only playing in and around Washington at jazz clubs like the Pigfoot and the One Step Down. Right at the time Feldman started working in the record business for PolyGram, which became Universal Music Group, from the mid-1990's to the mid-2000's, Shirley was one of the biggest stars of the label and Feldman was a Verve representative promoting her steady stream of new albums being released during that period. Feldman saw Horn often in those days, even driving to her house on more than one occasion to have her sign CD booklets, and attended many concerts as a part of his job arranging venue sales for record retail. "Being the local Verve representative, I got to see her play everywhere from The Kennedy Center and Bohemian Caverns in DC, to the Village Vanguard in New York and Zanzibar Blue in Philadelphia." But beyond his role as a label rep, he developed a friendship with Horn and on numerous occasions was invited after gigs to join in her inner circle with manager Sheila Mathis and drummer Steve Williams. So when the opportunity arose for Resonance to pursue the release of the material, Feldman jumped at the chance.

Since Feldman knew what an important artist Shirley Horn was (and because inexplicably no books have been written about her), he was determined to make this album package the most authoritative and comprehensive compendium of materials possible with an extensive 56 page book of analytical, scholarly essays; first-person accounts by musicians and producers who worked with Horn; remembrances by her friends, colleagues and her daughter; plus a number of previously unpublished photographs from the Shirley Horn archives at the Library of Congress. Feldman says, "We want this CD and album book to remind us why she was great, why she mattered." 

Live At The 4 Queens was captured the day after Horn's 54th birthday, and you can hear what a good time she's having celebrating the occasion in Las Vegas on this recording. The CD kicks off with a spirited instrumental version of the 1950's classic "Hi-Fly" by Randy Weston, and also includes Rainy Smith's (Horn's daughter) favorite song that her mother would play, "Meditation (Meditação)," which she humorously says she never knew the name of all these years until now. The hallmarks of any Shirley Horn album are of course the ballads, and this album delivers two powerful ones - "Lover Man (Oh Where Can You Be?)" and "Just For A Thrill," which James Gavin writes "builds slowly; then her bristling chords build up so much tension that the energy explodes in a big crescendo. Horn lets it subside like a cloud of smoke." "The Boy from Ipanema" is a playful take on the bossa nova classic, which Horn actually got to perform once at Antônio Carlos Jobim's birthday party in Rio de Janeiro. And one of Horn's rollicking blues staples, "Blues for Big Scotia," closes the set in rousing form.

As Jon Pareles wrote in The New York Times on November 10, 1988, "Songs are lucky when Shirley Horn chooses them. She honors melodies just by singing them unadorned, in a voice of honey and smoke; she enunciates every word, shaping small and large peaks with just a slight pause or a lingering vowel . . . And when the time comes to improvise, the song's emotion guides her; she drapes lyrics in bluesy curves and finds epiphanies in tender phrases."

Shirley Horn left an indelible mark on the jazz scene with her catalog of recordings. And one can't deny her influence on other musicians - her contemporaries, as the great Sheila Jordan suggests in her interview from the liner notes, and as those who came after her, such as the gifted singer/pianist Diana Krall. This package is a tribute to Shirley Horn's memory and Resonance Records is thrilled to celebrate and contribute to her legacy with this release. The recordings illuminate her genius and represent her creative peak. Live At The 4 Queens reminds us of what an extraordinary artist she is.

Resonance Records is delighted to release Shirley Horn - Live At The 4 Queens with the participation of KNPR Las Vegas. Produced for release by Zev Feldman along with executive producer George Klabin. Sound restoration is by George Klabin and Fran Gala. The beautifully designed package is the creation of long-time Resonance designer, Burton Yount.
1. Hi-Fly (6:20)
2. You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To (3:59)
3. Meditation (Meditação) (9:05)
4. The Boy from Ipanema (5:19)
5. Isn't It Romantic (10:08)
6. Lover Man (Oh Where Can You Be?) (5:25)
7. Something Happens to Me (3:12)
8. Just for a Thrill (5:08)
9. Blues for Big Scotia (3:16)



A great little small group session from trombonist Steve Turre – one that has the leader working with a quartet on the core numbers, then getting some great guest help from tenorist Javon Jackson on some other titles too! The quartet numbers alone are wonderful – laidback, soulful, and filled with easily-blown solos from Turre – who's working with a great rhythm trio of Kenny Barron on piano, Ron Carter on bass, and Jimmy Cobb on drums – all of whom deliver more than their legend might imply in the setting! Jackson's horn gives his tracks a nicely special crackle – which seems to draw a bit more edge on Steve's trombone – and the final number also features some guest percussion from Cyro Baptista. Titles include "Mellow D For RC", "Taylor Made", "Quietude", "Joco Blue", "Coffee Pot", "Reflections", and "United". ~ Dusty Groove


A really wonderful title for this excellent little collection – as the package is overflowing with tremendous work from artists who've really held onto their soulful strengths over the years! Some of the artists are older ones, others are part of the Neo Soul underground of the past decade or two – and together, the tracks are united in a wonderfully positive, wonderfully upbeat groove – of the sort that reminds us why we love soul music in the first place! Titles include "When You Feel What Love Has" by Lenny Fontana with D-Train, "Get Your Head Out The Phone (funky dance mix)" by Bill Curtis & Friends with The Fatback Band, "Whatever It Takes" by Angela Johnson, "Open Sesame" by Beggar & Co, "Don't Hide Your Wings" by Eric Roberson, "Ordinary Day (Scratch Professor retwist" by Omar, "In The Open Space" by Vladimir Cetkar, "Beta Waves" by Nu-Era, "Round & Round (old school mix)" by The Pasadenas, "Don't Go (Shane D's solar club mix)" by DJ Skip with Shalamar, "Heaven (Frankie Valentine rmx)" by MODE with Leroy Burgess, and "Show Me Love (Yam Who rework)" by Incognito with Carleen Anderson. ~ Dusty Groove


Fantastic work from reedman Charles McPherson – a player who was really coming back to basics in the mid 70s, but also finding a way to stretch out with a sound that was different than his initial albums of a decade before! Charles has moved way past the straight bop that first got him notice – yet he's also got this deft way of making changes that hardly denies that legacy at all, and instead turns to a newly fluid sense of expression that might well make McPherson one of the most soulful altoists of his generation – especially in the long legacy of great records that flowed from this period. The group features Barry Harris on piano, Sam Jones on bass, and Leroy Williams on drums – and tracks are nice and long, with titles that include "Tokyo Blue", "East Of The Sun", "Desafinado", "Orient Express", and "Bouncing With Bud". CD features two bonus tracks – "Groovin High" and "Blue N Boogie". ~ Dusty Groove

Resilient jazz singer Anna Danes finds her wings

It was against all odds that Anna Danes found herself standing in Capitol Records Studio A, in front of the same microphone used by her role models, Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole, recording an a cappella song that she wrote for her sophomore album. In the dimly lit studio in the heart of Hollywood, the woman who escaped communist Poland as a child and overcame the pain and loneliness of a loveless marriage by discovering her voice just three years ago poured her broken heart into the intimate album closer, “I Love You,” as producer Dave Darling sat spellbound at the recording console. In the famed studio during sessions financed by selling a car, Danes shared her deeply personal tales of love and loss through the six acoustic jazz songs that she wrote for “Find Your Wings,” the DLG Records disc scheduled for release on October 14 that is completed by five standards and a stunning interpretation of blues singer Janiva Magness’ “When You Were My King.” 

Late last month, as Danes plotted with her marketing and promotions team to gear up for the upcoming album release, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. True to the theme of “Find Your Wings,” the positive-minded vocalist faced her worst fears, saw the silver lining and penned a motivational blog, “Cancer Part 1: Vanity Saved My Life,” to help educate and encourage others facing their own health and personal challenges ( 

When Danes began the recording project that is slated to street during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, she had the desire to emulate the sound of a pair of jazz vocal albums from the esteemed duo of Tony Bennett and Bill Evans. Darling kept Danes’ captivating and expressive voice front and center in the mix using only sparse accompaniment from pianist Rich Ruttenberg, drummer John Ferraro and bassist Trey Henry. Blessed with a classic voice possessing charm, warmth, elegance and grace, Danes’ patient delivery and vocal phrasing uncoils with poise and complete control despite the vulnerability and intensity of her emotion-charged subject matter. Love is her ever-present muse on “Find Your Wings.” On originals, she sings a haunting melody on “The Voice,” pines hopefully on “See You In L.A.” and longs to see forever in the eyes of her lover on “Long Distance.” Among those she interprets from the Great American Songbook are Michel Legrand’s “I Will Wait For You,” Sammy Cahn’s “It’s Crazy” and Johnny Mercer’s “I Want To Be Around” while on the romantic duet “That’s All,” she takes enduring vows with Richard Shelton’s debonair tenor.    

“I’m a very late bloomer in life. For the majority of my life, I’ve either had little confidence or have drafted off other people’s confidence and floated under their wings,” said Danes, who wrote the title track with Cindy Alexander. “Cindy asked me what I wanted to write about. I told her about my story post-separation and how I found my voice and confidence through music. Bam! That’s all that was needed to start the creative process. What was supposed to be a song about finding hope, turned into an anthem about finding yourself, your true purpose, your voice, your identity and so much more.” 

Finding her voice has been life transforming for the former lawyer and stay-at-home mom who has called San Diego home for the past 16 years. Danes hopes to empower people to pursue their passions and dreams with the songs on “Find Your Wings,” which will also be the subject of her first book, personal growth products and motivational speeches on the corporate circuit. Via music, writing and speaking, Danes’ encouraging message is that by facing your fears - in health and any personal challenge – you can break out of your cage, find your wings and transform your life. 

Although she sang as a child in church after arriving in Sweden and settling in Canada after escaping Poland with her parents in 1979, Danes didn’t sing again until 2013 when her young daughter cried boredom and refused to participate at a vocal lesson. Since the lesson was already paid for, Danes stepped in. She released her debut album that same year, “Longing,” which was an extravagantly produced and elaborately-orchestrated collection of standards and modern pop tunes. Her love of jazz spawned the mission to bring more live jazz to the San Diego area through her own event production and promotion company, which produces the Jazz on Cedros series. For more information, please visit        

 “Find Your Wings” contains the following songs:
 “When You Were My King”
 "I Will Wait For You”
 “It’s Crazy”
 “I Want To Be Around”/”Cry Me A River”
 “Find Your Wings”
 “That’s All”
 “Long Distance”
 “In The Wee Small Hours”
 “See You In L.A.”
 “Mr. OMG”
 “The Voice”
 “I Love You”



Music legend Chick Corea is spending his 75th birthday at home: on the road.

Corea has spent 50 years on the world's most venerated stages, playing with a pantheon of fellow-traveling musical compatriots, and now he's packing it all into one year.

For 2016, he's lined up an Iron-Man marathon of tour dates, literally circling the globe: Phoenix to Minneapolis to Naples to Stuttgart to Tokyo to Beijing to Honolulu and back to LA.

This activity will lead up to the greatest jazz birthday party ever: an unprecedented two-month residency at New York's Blue Note Jazz Club this fall, where Chick has assembled an unprecedented lineup of giants to do what they do best: create music magic, two shows a night, for eight straight weeks.

But it all started in April, which opened with Chick at the star-studded International Jazz Day concert, broadcast nationwide from The White House lawn. An East Coast duet tour with Béla Fleck preceded a solid month of shows in Japan with fellow pianist Makoto Ozone-including two nights with the NHK Orchestra in Tokyo playing Mozart's "Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra." July brought European concerts with the all-star "Homage to Heroes" quintet, featuring Wallace Roney, Kenny Garrett, Christian McBride and Marcus Gilmore.

The past week at Catalina Jazz Club in Hollywood - ask any Chick fan - has been a long time coming: the Chick Corea Elektric Band returned, (Aug. 17-24) for a celebratory 7 nights and 14 sold-out shows at the iconic Hollywood club, which has hosted many legendary Corea performances. The classic lineup is in force: Corea, Dave Weckl (drums), John Patitucci (bass), Eric Marienthal (sax), Frank Gambale (guitar). The Elektric Band will also do a handful of U.S. theater dates in October, and kickoff Chick's landmark residency at the Blue Note New York.

An Italian excursion in September finds Chick renewing his legendary lifelong duo conversation with vibraphonist Gary Burton, including headlining La Villette Jazz Festival in Paris.

In the run-up to the Blue Note Celebration, Chick has managed to fit in three different configurations of his Trilogy trio: Following US performances in June and July with the GRAMMY®-winning band with Christian McBride (bass) and Brian Blade (drums), including performances at the Newport Jazz Festival where Chick was named Artist of the Year, younger firebrands Avishai Cohen (bass) and Marcus Gilmore (drums) join Chick for appearances in September in Israel, Kiev, and more throughout Europe and Asia. The trio will headline the grand opening of the Blue Note Beijing on Sept. 13. The legendary Eddie Gomez (bass) falls in with Corea and Blade for a residency at the Blue Note Hawaii (Sep. 21-24) and the San Francisco Jazz Festival (Sep. 29 - Oct. 2), plus West Coast concerts in September and October.

Back in his musical home, New York City, the Blue Note residency (Oct. 19 - Dec. 11) is the kind of honor and celebration befitting a career like Corea's: 22 GRAMMY® wins. NEA Jazz Master. Downbeat Magazine Hall-of-Famer. An artistic voice that has influenced and been inspired by countless musical traditions: modern jazz to traditional flamenco, western classical to electric jazz-fusion, acclaimed solo performances to many high-profile collaborations.

All the facets of his restless creativity will be on display at the Blue Note, in 80 shows with 60 iconic musicians playing in 15 bands (see for a detailed listing).

These include a tribute to his mentor Miles Davis with other Davis alumnae; a week with longtime partner-in-crime and drum legend Steve Gadd; two nights of experimental electronica with drummer Marcus Gilmore and guests; and the return the Flamenco Heart. The Harlem String Quartet will join the simpatico duo partnership with Gary Burton. Perennial fan-favorite projects with Origin and the 15-piece Trodheim Jazz Orchestra will also occupy the Blue Note stage, plus a three-night series of duets with pianists yet to be announced.

The final two weeks of the run will feature the music of Return to Forever and more in two different contexts: the acoustic lineup (Nov. 30 - Dec. 4) includes Ravi Coltrane (sax), Hubert Laws (flute), Avishai Cohen (bass) and RTF drummer Lenny White; an electric band (Dec. 8-11) dubbed Return to Forever Meets Mahavishnu, featuring fellow legend John McLaughlin on guitar, bassist Victor Wooten and drummer White, will also delve into some classic Mahavishnu Orchestra material.

Corea's 2016 tour schedule is a shorthand sketch of his entire musical life: a virtuosic summary of 50 years of creativity, and a confident step toward exciting new possibilities for the future.

Chick Corea & Gary Burton Duet
September 1 - 2, Blue Note Milano, Milano, Italy (2 shows per night)
September 4, Jazz a La Villette, Paris, France

Chick Corea Elektric Band
October 12, Capitol Theatre, Clearwater, FL
October 14, Schermerhorn Symphony Center, Nashville, TN
October 15, The Carolina Theatre, Durham, NC
October 16, Wilbur Theatre, Boston, MA
October 17, The Birchmere, Alexandria, VA

Chick Corea Trilogy (Corea / Gomez / Blade)
September 21 - 24, Blue Note Hawaii, Honolulu, HI (2 Shows Per Night)
September 25, Maui Arts & Cultural Center, Castle Theatre, Maui, HI
September 28, Kuumbwa Jazz Center, Santa Cruz, CA (2 Shows)
September 29, San Francisco Jazz Festival, San Francisco, CA
October 4 - 5, Jazz Alley, Seattle, WA (2 Shows Per Night)
October 7, Detroit Symphony Orchestra Hall, Detroit, MI
October 8, Xavier University Jazz Series at Gallagher Theater, Cincinnati, OH
Chick Corea Trilogy (Corea / Cohen / Gilmore)
August 30, Red Sea Jazz Festival, Eilat, Israel
September 5, Jazz a La Villette, Paris, France
September 7, Openluchttheater Rivierenhof, Antwerp, Belgium
September 10, Equi Jazz Festival -Equides Club, Kyiv, Ukraine
September 13 - 17, Blue Note Beijing, Beijing, China (2 shows per night)
September 18, Shimbun Akabane Hall, Hokkoho, Japan

Blue Note New York Residency
October 19 - 23, The Chick Corea Elektric Band (10 shows)
October 26 - 30, For Miles (10 shows)
November 2 - 3, Three Quartets Band (4 shows)
November 4 - 6, The Leprechaun Band (6 shows)
November 9 - 10, Experiments in Electronica (4 shows)
November 11 - 13, Chick's Flamenco Heart (6 shows)
November 16 - 17, Chick Corea & the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra (4 shows)
November 18 - 20, The Piano Duets (2 shows each with three pianists TBA)
November 22 - 23, Chick Corea & Gary Burton feat. The Harlem String Quartet (4 shows)
November 25 - 27, Origin II (6 shows)
November 30 - December 4, The Music of Return to Forever (Acoustic) (10 shows)
December 7, TBA (2 shows)
December 8 - 11, Return to Forever Meets Mahavishnu (8 shows)

Keely Smith: The Intimate Keely Smith (Expanded Edition)

You can’t get any more popular in American entertainment than Keely Smith was in the early ‘60s. Having blown the doors out in Las Vegas, winning a Grammy, having hit after hit and lighting up television screens playing straight “man” to husband Louis Prima, she’d navigated the tricky waters of a professional and personal divorce, striking out on her own and starting her own record label, Keely Records, in partnership with close friend and mentor Frank Sinatra, under the auspices of his Reprise label. A groundbreaking businesswoman, as well as recording artist, Keely recorded 5 classic albums for Reprise. Because she’d seen enough show business shenanigans to last a lifetime, a generation before it became standard practice to do so, she retained the rights to her masters. 

Those albums have NEVER come out legitimately on CD anywhere in the world. Now, Real Gone Music, in concert with Keely & her family, is very proud to announce that the label is going to answer the pleas of pop fans worldwide and release ALL of Keely’s Reprise albums on CD for the first time in deluxe packages featuring bonus tracks, rare photos, and new liner notes by Steve Hoffman. Produced by Keely’s husband-to-be & Reprise hitmaker Jimmy Bowen, 1964’s The Intimate Keely Smith is, as the steamy cover and saucy title suggest, a sexy, swinging affair and the quintessential Keely Smith recording from her Reprise period. A concept album, the project was the long form representation of her legendary “mood spot” concert segment, a staple of Keely’s live shows. Key album tracks include a rendition of Sinatra’s “Time After Time” and a version of Billie Holiday’s “God Bless the Child”…this album presents Keely really taking wing as an artist. And the bonus tracks? 

Well, Keely’s strong rapport and long history with Frank Sinatra are well known. As one of the foundational artists at Reprise, which was at full creative flower, Keely was part of some really great projects outside of her own releases. With the blessing of Frank Sinatra Enterprises, we’ve included her duet with Frank, “Twin Soliloquies,” from the The Reprise Musical Repertory Theatre Presents South Pacific album, plus rare the non-LP single of the King-Goffin-Spector track “No One Ever Tells You,” arranged by Jack Nitszche and also produced by Bowen.

1. Somebody Loves Me
2. As Long As He Needs Me
3. Blame It on My Youth
4. He Needs Me
5. Sinner or Saint
6. It Had to Be You
7. Time After Time
8. Nancy/You Are My Sunshine (medley)
9. God Bless the Child
10. You'll Never Know
11. The Whippoorwill
12. No One Ever Tells You
13. Twin Soliloquies

Monday, August 22, 2016

Saxophonist Tim Armacost & Pianist David Berkman of The New York Standards Quartet Pay Tribute to Don Friedman @ The Kitano - August 27

Saxophonist and composer Tim Armacost and pianist and composer David Berkman of The New York Standards Quartet will pay tribute to the late Don Friedman with a performance at The Kitano on August 27.  Armacost and Berkman will be joined by an A-list rhythm section featuring Ed Howard on bass and Victor Lewis on drums.

David Berkman
Tim Armacost
The late pianist/composer Don Friedman was a dear friend and inspiration to Armacost.  "Don was a great inspiration for me not just as a musician, but as an example of how to live life.  He was passionate about the music he played, he enjoyed time with Marylin, his wife of 26 years, he was active as an educator for more than 40, and he was an accomplished and competitive athlete, literally until a few months before he passed away.  He continued to compose, and stayed creative to the end of his life.  When he got sick, I never heard him complain - he only expressed frustration about not having the strength to practice the piano for longer than a short while," said Armacost.

Armacost and Berkman are founding members of the New York Standards Quartet (along with bassist Ugonna Okegwo and drummer Gene Jackson), whose mission has always been to interpret standards and traditional jazz tunes in a way that would allow audiences to connect and be engaged, while at the same time, playing in the contemporary jazz style the members have developed through their many decades on the New York jazz scene. Their new album Power of 10 celebrates the 10th anniversary of the band, and shines a spotlight on the group's incredible ability to explore music, together. Tim Armacost explains further, "David was explaining what being a band for 10 years means: that the result of staying together is that we've become totally familiar with each other's playing. When one of us is going for something new, reaching for a different take on a tune, or just pushing the moment forward, everyone hears it immediately. You can feel what the other players are thinking. So when one of us gets inspired and starts a search, or finds a new angle on a tune, everyone jumps in to see where the music will go, or moves over and makes a space for something different to happen. Participating in those moments of discovery is intensely exciting, and that spark is what gives the music its life."

Trumpeter, composer, musical visionary Wadada Leo Smith receives Hammer Museum’s 2016 Mohn Career Achievement Award

Trumpeter, composer and musical visionary Wadada Leo Smith has received the Hammer Museum 2016 Mohn Award for Career Achievement “honoring brilliance and resilience.”  The $25,000 Award was announced August 16 by the museum and presented in conjunction with the exhibition Made in L.A. 2016: a, the, through, only, organized by Hammer curator Adam Moshayedi and Hamza Walker, director of education and associate curator, Renaissance Society.   Dancer and choreographer Adam Linder also received a Mohn Award for artistic excellence and Kenzi Shiokava received the Public Recognition Award.

“The jury wants to acknowledge Wadada Leo Smith’s outstanding achievements as a musician, his influential work as a teacher and a mentor for younger artists in Los Angeles, and the decades-long expansion of an inventive, completx and layered system of notation simultaneously interrogating the picotral and the performative,” stated Juse Luis Blondet, curator, Special Initiatives, Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

“I’m so honored to have won this award,” said Smith.  “I’m so happy that my scores are being viewed as works of art.  That means the world to me.” 

Smith, who turns 75 in December 2016, recently received a 2016 Doris Duke Artist Award and received an honorary doctorate from CalArts, where he was honored as Faculty Emeritus. He maintains an active touring and recording schedule. His latest epic recording America’s National Parks will be released October 14, 2016 on Cuneiform Records.  A six-movement suite inspired by the scenic splendor, historic legacy, and political controversies of the country’s public landscapes the recording features Smith with pianist Anthony Davis, bassist John Lindberg, drummer Pheeroan akLaff and cellist Ashley Walters.  Later this year TUM Records will release Wadada Leo Smith: Nagwa featuring Smith with guitarists Michael Gregory Jackson, Henry Kaiser, Brandon Ross and Lamar Smith, plus Bill Laswell on electric bass, Pheeroan akLaff on drums and Adam Rudolph on percussion. Coming on TUM in early 2017 will be Alone: Reflections and Meditations on Monk, a solo recording.

Smith’s 2016 schedule includes performances at the Montreal International Jazz Festival, Berlin Jazz Festival, Molde Jazz Festival, Pittsburgh International LiveJazz Festival, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Vision Festival, Festival Suoni Per il Pipolo, Summer Stage, NYC and the premiere of his opera /cantata Rosa Parks at the FONT Festival, among others (see full schedule at end of this release.)

Totaling $150,000, the Mohn Awards are among the largest art prizes dedicated to recognizing the work of emerging and under-recognized artists from the greater Los Angeles region. A jury of professional curators selected the Mohn Award and the Career Achievement Award while the Public Recognition Award was determined by on-site voting from June 11 through August 14, 2016. The jury included Ingrid Schaffner, curator, 57th Carnegie International, 2018, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Mika Yoshitake, associate curator, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and Jose Luis Blondet, curator, Special Initiatives, Los Angeles County Museum of Art. All three awards were once again funded through the generosity of Los Angeles philanthropists and art collectors Jarl and Pamela Mohn and the Mohn Family Foundation as part of Made in L.A., the Hammer's biennial exhibition series highlighting emerging and under-recognized artists from the Los Angeles region.

“Curators Aram Moshayedi and Hamza Walker selected a tight group of artists and offered them room to stretch. This exhibition is stunning in terms of the range of practices and performers, the depth of exploration, and the array of programs it presents. It's as it if everyone won and gave a prize through their participation in Made in L.A. 2016: a, the, though, only,” said Ingrid Schaffner.

Wadada Leo Smith, whose roots are in the Delta blues, is one of the most boldly original figures in American jazz and creative contemporary music and one of the great trumpet players of our time.  As a composer, improviser, performer, music theorist/writer and educator, Smith has devoted a lifetime to navigating the emotional heart, spiritual soul, social significance and physical structure of jazz to create new music of infinite possibility and nuance.

A 2016 Doris Duke Artist and 2013 Pulitzer finalist, Smith was DownBeat Magazine’s 2013 “Composer of the Year” and the Jazz Journalist Association’s 2013 Musician of the Year and Trumpeter of the Year. In 2014 DownBeat magazine named him “One of the 80 Coolest Things in Jazz Today,” citing his “magisterial instrumental voice, his inspirational leadership, and his command of classical, jazz and blues forms to remind us of what’s gone down and what’s still happening.” The Jazz Journalists Association named Smith Composer of the Year in 2015. Early in his career, Smith developed Ankhrasmation, a radically original musical language that uses visual directions and remains the philosophical foundation of his oeuvre. In October 2015, The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago presented the first comprehensive exhibition of his Ankhrasmation scores.

Smith has released more than 50 albums as a leader. His landmark 2012 civil rights opus Ten Freedom Summers was called “A staggering achievement… It merits comparison to Coltrane’s A Love Supreme in sobriety and reach,” (Francis Davis, Rhapsody Jazz Critics Poll). Recent recordings include The Great Lakes Suites, which earned second place in NPR Music’s 2014 Jazz Critics Poll and Celestial Weather, which garnered extensive praise as “a perfectly suited twosome…4.5 stars” (DownBeat).  In March 2016 ECM released a cosmic rhythm with each stroke featuring pianist Vijay Iyer and Smith, whom Iyer calls his “hero, friend and mentor.” The recording has earned wide critical acclaim and the duo is touring internationally in 2016 and 2017.

Born December 18, 1941 in Leland, Mississippi, Smith began performing at age thirteen with his stepfather, bluesman Alex Wallace and went on to play in his high school bands. He received his formal musical education from the U.S. Military band program (1963), the Sherwood School of Music (1967-69), and Wesleyan University (1975-76). Part of the first generation of musicians to come out of Chicago’s AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Music), Smith collaborated with a dazzling cast of fellow visionaries. He has received commissions to write music for numerous groups including the Wroclaw Philharmonic Orchestra, and was invited to perform and speak on human rights at the Onassis Cultural Centre in Athens.

Smith has been awarded grants and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University, Chamber Music America with support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Meet the Composer/Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Commissioning Program, the MAP Fund and the National Endowment for the Arts, among many others.

Wadada Leo Smith Upcoming Events
• Saturday, Sept. 24 – Premiere of Smith’s opera /cantata Rosa Parks – FONT Festival, NYC

• Tuesday, Sept. 27 – Smith and Iyer – Amherst, MA

• Friday, Oct. 14 – AACM concert featuring Wadada Leo Smith with Bobby Naughton and Dwight Andrews – The Community Church of New York, NYC

• Sunday, Oct. 23 – Smith & John Lindberg duo Celestial Weather – LaFontsie Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI

• Wednesday, Oct. 26 – Smith & John Lindberg duo Celestial Weather – Edgefest (20th Anniv. Edition), Ann Arbor, MI

• October 28 & 29 – Smith & John Lindberg duo Celestial Weather w. drummer Mike Reed – Constellation, Chicago, IL

• Sunday, Oct. 30 – Smith & John Lindberg duo Celestial Weather – Woodland Pattern, Milwaukee, WI

• Thursday, Nov. 3 – Smith’s Great Lakes Quartet performing The Great Lakes Suites – Berlin Jazz Festival

• Sunday, Nov. 6 – Wadada duet with pianist Alexander Hawkins – Berlin Jazz Festival

• Wednesday, Nov. 9 – Wadada Leo Smith & Vijay Iyer duo – Benaroya Hall’s Nordstrom Recital Hall – Earshot Jazz Festival

• Saturday, Nov. 19 – Wadada & Iyer – Bielsko-Biala – Poland

• December 14-17 – Wadada Leo Smith’s Four Symphonies – Kadist, Wattis, & The Lab – San Francisco, CA

• Friday, Jan. 6 – Wadada-Vijay duo – Wigmore Hall, London, England

• Saturday, Jan. 7 – Wadada-Vijay duo – Klub Zak, Gdansk, Poland

• Sunday, Jan. 8 – Wadada-Vijay duo – Lantaren Venster, Rotterdam, Netherlands

•  Monday, Jan. 9 – Wadada-Vijay duo – Harpa, Reykjavik

• Wednesday, Jan. 11 – Wadada-Vijay duo – Philharmonie Chamber Hall, Luxembourg

• Thursday, Jan. 12 – Wadada-Vijay duo – Kölner Philharmonie, Köln, Germany
• Friday, Jan. 13 – Wadada-Vijay duo – Brussels Jazz Festival – Flagey, Brussels, Belgium

• Sunday, Jan. 15 – Wadada-Vijay duo – Teatro Manzoni , Milan, Italy

• Tuesday, Jan. 17 – Wadada-Vijay duo – Sons D'Hiver Festival – Espace Jean Vilar, Arcueil, France


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