Monday, November 20, 2017



The funk-tinged, pyschedelic soul album from Muddy Waters – one that irritated many a blues purist in its day – but it's finally reaching its earned status as a leftfield gem! You know, in the immediate years after this one (and similar funky blues albums on Chess/Cadet) was released, it was downplayed as a cheap attempt to sell out Muddy's classic blues sound. These days, it's treasured by many of us as a unique funky session that merged the best of Chicago's funk, soul, and blues worlds – taking Muddy's sound way past earlier records and into uncharted waters. It's similar to some of the work on Chess at the time by Bo Diddley and Etta James – and it includes lots of nice updated groovers like "I'm A Man", "I Just Want To Make Love to You", "Hoochie Coochie Man", "Same Thing", "She's All Right", and "Tom Cat". Arrangements are by Charles Stepney, too! (In a gatefold sleeve with poster!)  ~Dusty Groove


A record that's way more than just the 12" single you might guess from the format – as it's a wonderfully deep collaboration between Nicola Conte and trombonist Gianluca Petrella – done at a level that's maybe more like a spiritual jazz record overall! "African Spirits" definitely has a groove – the sort you'll know from other Conte records – but it's less bossa and more tribal, with lots of percussion layered in the mix, as well as rising voices that feel borrowed from other records – all blended with a righteous energy that's more in Osunlade territory than usual for Schema! The tune's got a very powerful set of solos – strong tenor, and even bolder trombone from Petrella – and "New World Shuffle" is even rawer at the core, but features strongly soulful vocals from Bridgette Amofah, and some great keyboards too! Both tracks are nice and long, too.  ~ Dusty Groove


An Italian group, but one who play here with a style that draws strongly from the long tradition of South African jazz – on an album recorded as part of a protest against that nation's recent massacre in Marikana! The vibe here is great – and the whole thing almost feels like a lost 70s classic from the Johannesburg scene, or some of the overlooked soulful sets recorded later on the Sheer label – with a lineup that includes Claudio Cojaniz on piano, Alessandro Turchet on bass, Luca Colussi on drums, and Luca Grizzo on percussion and just a bit of vocals. The music is often quite rhythmic – flowing out in those long-spun cycles that Dollar Brand brought to jazz many years ago – but there's also some more lyrical, sensitive moments too – on titles that include "Lion's Trip", "Dadaab", "Ugarit", "Four Little Boys In Capetown/Nkosi Sikeleli Afrika", "Marikana", and "Blue Dance".  ~ Dusty Groove



Beautiful sounds from Hypnotic Brass Ensemble – a group who've matured tremendously in the time that they've been giving us music – and who almost seem ready here to take on the legacy of their musical father – the late Kelan Phil Cohran! There's a complexity to the horn work here that's even deeper than before – amazing tones and textures from trumpets, trombones, euphonium, and sousaphone – all balanced with these sonic currents on guitar, bass, and electronics – instruments used in subtle ways, but to strongly shape the brass elements with maybe more spiritual overtones than in previous years – almost as if the group is growing, and getting even more serious about their message – with echoes that stretch back to the work of Cohran, and maybe Sun Ra's Arkestra, the world of Strata East, and even the tonal colors of Oliver Nelson at his best. Titles include "Heaven & Earth", "Midnight", "Now", "Morning Prayer", "Purple Afternoon", "Lead The Way", "Synapsis", "Royalty", "Solstice", and "Sri Neroti".  ~ Dusty Groove


A beautifully collaborative project from S-Tone – aka Stefano Tirone – done in a way that makes his already warm grooves sound even better than usual! The album's got a blend of modern production and older Brazilian music references – not the more mainstream bossa remix style, but instead a very careful consideration and re-fusion of just the right sort of rhythms and instrumentation – which are then warmed up by vocals from a shifting range of singers who really help bring a great sense of spirit to the album. All tracks are original – and the modes run from samba soul to funky Brazilian jazz, to maybe even a bit of more straightforward MPB – yet almost always mixed with a nicely soulful spirit too. Labelmate Toco is on a number of tracks here – and titles include "Superbacana", "Zona Norte", "Zuzu", "Estrada Real", "Luz Da Joaca", "Vale Do Misterio", "I Can't Keep Up With Your Love", and "Vontade De Viver".  ~ Dusty Groove.

It may be getting colder outside, but it's definitely getting warmer on the radio as we enter the season to be jolly! Our favorite jazz singer teams with double Grammy winner Paul Brown and critically-acclaimed Miami producer Hal S. Batt for a tour de force, musical holiday surprise, a sophisticated, charismatic cover of "Baby, It’s Cold Outside," featuring PB on vocals, guitar and drums… A sweet blending of soulful and rugged with Sylvia's flawless, velvety delivery! With a smile, smirk and classic sex appeal Bennett thwarts Brown's characterization of the tune's relentless and compelling argument for staying snuggly indoors! A fun, festive arrangement featuring bouncy horns a plenty, and the duos irresistible, albeit confounding chemistry, makes it impossible to listen once... the video is even more addictive! Don’t hold out, check out this year’s favorite holiday hit! ~

A Special, Swinging Night in Michigan Is Captured in Trombonist/Composer Delfeayo Marsalis' First-Ever Live Album

While the recording studio offers an ideal, controlled environment for audio fidelity and perfectionist tinkering, the bandstand is where any musician's mettle is tested - live, in the moment, under the scrutinizing gaze of a rapt audience. On Kalamazoo, trombonist/composer Delfeayo Marsalis (pronounced Del-fee-oh) places his gift for entertaining a crowd under the spotlight, vividly capturing not only the buoyant, lively chemistry that he shares with a stellar quartet, but also his engaging rapport with an audience, and his playful sense of humor.

Kalamazoo, out now via Marsalis' own Troubadour Jass Records, documents a single performance, recorded in the midst of a seven-day tour supporting Marsalis' The Last Southern Gentlemen CD. As on that album, the trombonist is joined by his legendary father, pianist Ellis Marsalis, along with a newly assembled rhythm section consisting of bassist Reginald Veal and the mighty Ralph Peterson on drums. The recording is in one sense a snapshot of a single, once-in-a- lifetime evening, the first night this particular quartet had ever shared the stage and full of spontaneous, unrehearsed moments that will never be repeated. At the same time it's a representative portrait of a typical Delfeayo Marsalis performance, each one unique but ensuring the same timeless, swinging thrills.

"Live recordings are important because they truly capture the essence of who you are as a person and how you play as a musician," Marsalis says. "Different artists create their definitive live recordings at different points in their career. For example, my brother Branford was 31 when he recorded Bloomington. Wynton was 42 when he was finally captured on Live at the House of Tribes. This is my equivalent to those recordings; it gives the listener a true understanding of who I am, how my shows are structured."

While a single night with a single band can't hope to represent the full range of Marsalis' musical vision - his last release was the big-band protest date Make America Great Again! and his more modern compositional side is showcased on albums like Pontius Pilate's Decision - Kalamazoo instead reveals the many sides of the trombonist's personality over the course of the evening. From elegant balladry to down and dirty blues, the celebratory gusto of his native New Orleans to the sophisticated swing of an Ellington classic, fiery passion to educational torch-passing, Marsalis' exhaustive knowledge of the jazz tradition and commitment to its future are evident throughout.

"In the jazz world these days, there's a lot of attention being paid to more introverted ways of playing," Marsalis explains. "We need more leaders like Count Basie or Louis Armstrong. Not that we have to imitate those older styles, but we have to provide the foundations of entertainment and swing in jazz performance. That, to me, is the importance of this album: it's inside, it's in the pocket, it's soulful, and you can feel the audience engagement. Yes, I think we have an obligation to represent the entire history of American music whenever possible because, one, we've studied it and two, it allows the younger musicians the opportunity to play more avant-garde. Someone has to hold down the fort!"

That's especially true on the concert's most surprising number, the theme from Sesame Street, which Marsalis reveals to be a blues before a ripple of astonished recognition spreads audibly through the crowd. He also skillfully draws them in with one of his specialties, a composition created on the spot - this time with the added wrinkle of a pair of Western Michigan University students brave enough to join the band. Singer Christian O'Neill Diaz and drummer Madison George acquit themselves admirably through the trial by fire that became "Blue Kalamazoo."

"Part of maturing is being able to not only assist, but to also challenge the younger generation," Marsalis says. "If we had performed a song that Christian sings all the time, he would have probably sung in auto- pilot mode. Creating a song together spontaneously forces you to reach deep inside and stay committed to the moment. It's an African tradition. After an hour of music, the audience had developed a rapport with the quartet, so when the students joined in everyone was basically thinking, 'All right, let's see what y'all got.' Because they were definitely underdogs in the situation, everyone was cheering for them to succeed. It was a beautiful moment in time and a great representation of the democratic process."

Democracy is also in action on the bandstand, as when the trombonist pauses to ask the senior Marsalis whether he wants to play the standard "If I Were a Bell" or "Emily" for a trio outing; the choice of "Bell" takes the program in a more upbeat direction. Playing with his formidable father, Delfeayo says, offers both an inspiring pressure and an ideal foil. "We make the perfect duo. My dad is pretty stoic and I tend to approach the music more from the standpoint of entertainment. I guess you could say we both keep each other honest! That's the great part of playing with older and younger musicians: the exchange of ideas and energy based on varying levels of experience."

The bulk of the evening consists of well-known standards called off the cuff, including such favorites as "My Funny Valentine," "Autumn Leaves," and "It Don't Mean a Thing." Marsalis' sultry, swaying "The Secret Love Affair" is reprised from The Last Southern Gentlemen, while the show closes, appropriately enough, with "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans," an ode to the city with which the Marsalis clan is synonymous. In the end, the chosen material is perfectly suited, as it sets the stage for such a high-caliber band to stretch out and invent together.

"Sharing the bandstand with musicians at the top level allows you to express your musical ideas freely," Marsalis concludes. "You've got to be at the top of your game 100% of the time. All of our life experiences prepare us for today and now, and a great occasion was well-documented in Kalamazoo."

Internationally acclaimed trombonist, producer and educator Delfeayo Marsalis was named an NEA Jazz Master in 2011. In his native New Orleans, he founded the Uptown Music Theatre to provide professional dramatic arts training and encourage community unity in young people. Marsalis has produced over 120 jazz CDs and released seven albums as a leader - including the politically charged Make America Great Again! with his 15-piece Uptown Jazz Orchestra. He has composed 18 children's musicals and is the author of the award-winning children's book No Cell Phone Day.


Latin GRAMMY Award-winning engineer, producer, and musician Victor Rice is gearing up to release his first solo album in almost 15 years. The subtly-complex elegance of Smoke provides a rich smoothness made available through tastemaker label Easy Star Records on November 3rd. Smoke takes Rice’s knowledge from experience across a realm of genres and cultures and rolls it all into a consistent line of thought, resulting in a fusion Rice identifies as “samba rocksteady,” or SRS. Victor stated his goal for the album “was about finding a way to fuse two different styles of music and dance from the 1960’s, Brazilian samba-rock and Jamaican rocksteady.”

Smoke is filled with a classic warmth which presents a serene mood, contrasted by an edginess veiled in the details throughout. Inspired by relaxed and quiet surroundings and a team of great musicians, Rice began conceptualizing his goal of fusing the two distinct styles, creating something that felt new while drawing previously unclear lines of commonalities. Being honored as a guest in Belgium at the home studio of collaborator Nico Leonard opened up time and allowed Rice’s muse to visit.

A well-respected contributor to legendary bands such as The Slackers, Easy Star All-Stars, Bixiga70, and The Skatalites, Rice has also received top recognition for his mixing and engineering capabilities during his immersive stay in Brazil, which helped him bring home two Latin GRAMMYs (2015, 2016) and become further knowledgeable in the depths of underappreciated Brazilian music. The results of this blend of styles are at first glance very easy to listen to with a sense of stability, but upon further evaluation, intricate details emerge around the solid core, as Rice adroitly explains that “music systems all over the world are founded on the physical laws of earthly acoustics, without option. This line of thinking led me to create a series of simple ‘tonal motion’ studies - creating a harmonic environment within the laws of western counterpoint around a fixed movement by one voice.” Or, as he figuratively puts it “…a musical study of molecular behavior.”

A taste of Victor’s signature blend is most evident in songs like “Fumaça,” “Lou,” “Turn,” and “Motion II.” In Europe with plenty of time on his hands, Rice took a deep dive into applying music theory in unique ways, as showcased by the auditory illusion of modulation in “The Dream” and studies in interval motions in “Motion Study I” and “Motion Study II.” Varying time signatures prove no obstacle for the musical agility of Rice with tracks like “Turn” and “Bermuda Triangle,” while more personal stories are embedded into tracks like “Mr. Brooks,” an homage to an esteemed colleague, the late, great Cedric IM Brooks.

Smoke is a remarkable effort from a man whose contributions have made ripples around the globe. A pleasant ambience mixed with a virtuosic soul make Smoke an album worthy of appreciation. 

Bermuda Triangle
Motion Study I
Mr. Brooks
Party Line
The Dream
Motion Study II




In his stints with classic R&B groups, The Manhattans, The Sylistics, The Delfonics, as well as others, Eban Brown’s sparkling electric guitar work often took a backseat to his great vocal talent. As on his previous solo recordings, Brown’s silky, light funk driven new album Summertime In Tokyo showcases his crisp, buoyant electric melodies while featuring fresh and engaging vocal textures. He compliments the collection’s well-rendered cover tunes with a batch of dynamic originals, including a thoughtful George Duke tribute on which Brown approximates Duke’s high register vocals. Summertime In Tokyo will warm up the entire year! ~


Ed Taylor may call his dynamic new album It’s Complicated, but the Smooth Jazz and R&B influenced guitarist and vocalist’s mission as a composer and artist is fairly simple and straightforward, “I want to play and write creative music that can uplift the lives of everyday people.” A onetime Motown session player, Taylor has been a popular draw in his longtime home of Tacoma, Washington as the leader of the band Usual Suspect. Stepping out as a solo artist, he incorporates reggae and tropical flavors amidst the crisply played in the pocket, contemporary jazz gems. If you’re looking for an easy out, here's your musical escape, nothing complicated about it! ~


The title of Urban Jazz Coalition’s new album, XXII, represents an extraordinary achievement for the Columbus, Ohio based six piece powerhouse ensemble founded by the visionary bassist Phil Raney. The group celebrates 22 years of performing regionally and at some of America’s hottest jazz festivals, as well as backing Smooth Jazz greats like Peter White, Jeff Lorber and Nick Colionne. XXII, their 11th album, is the most accessible Smooth Jazz Project they’ve ever done and we expect big things from it. It’s a tight, soulful, in the pocket masterwork showcasing the edgy solo virtuosity of - and blazing interaction between - saxophonist Richard Randolph, guitarist Duane Tribune and keyboardist Brandon Howard, and the driving rhythm section of Raney and drummer Rich "Rico" Adams and percussionist Hector Maldonado. You’ll want to hang around for UJC’s next XXII years! ~



One of the last Bob Marley live performances committed to film before his untimely death in May 1981, ‘The Legend Live’ features the Tuff Gong in his full pomp, performing 21 of his most popular works at the Santa Barbara County Bowl on the 25th of November 1979. Now widely considered an equal of the now legendary ‘Live at the Rainbow’ show from 1977, the concert includes superb versions of such major hits as ‘I Shot The Sheriff’, ‘One Drop’, ‘Exodus’, ‘Jamming’, ‘Is This Love’, ‘Stir It Up’ and the anthemic ‘Get Up Stand Up’. The concert footage on the DVD runs for approximately 90 minutes, with the disc also featuring the 51 minute documentary ‘Prophecies and Messages’, which includes half an hour of interview footage with Bob Marley and the Wailers’ keyboard player, Tyrone Downie. The audio disc comprises the very best of the band’s performances from the night, most of which have never previously been released on CD.


Mavis Staples is an American music legend. She was at the forefront of the civil rights movement in the 1960s, as singer for the legendary gospel group, the Staple Singers. Mavis, along with her father, Pops, and siblings marched and worked alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr on the fight for equality in this country. Mavis Staples and Jeff Tweedy got together and wrote Mavis’ new album, If All I Was Was Black, which Jeff also produced. The new album is a perfect message for our time and is by far Mavis’ best work to date


On his stylistically expansive, trailblazing debut The Story Begins, vocalist and songwriter Phillip Brandon mines a wide range of soul inspiration - from Gregory Porter and Stevie Wonder to Luther Vandross and James Brown - to create an old-school meets contemporary, soul-jazz extravaganza for the ages. A global musical theatre veteran, Brandon tells his richly textured musical stories with an artful balance of dramatic emotional power and graceful restraint. The set includes a dreamy duet with his mom Brenda, a former Raelettes backup singer for the legendary Ray Charles. Make The Story Begins part of your life story! ~

Barbra Streisand To Release Concert Album : The Music…The Mem'ries…The Magic!

Columbia Records has announced the upcoming release of Barbra Streisand's The Music…The Mem'ries…the Magic! album to debut on December 8th. Fans can pre-order the new album today HERE. On November 22, Netflix will premiere Barbra: The Music…The Mem'ries…the Magic!  The special was filmed on the last stop of the iconic superstar's 13-city 2016 tour, showcasing a career-crowning array of legendary songs also featured on the eagerly anticipated album. 
The album is available in two versions (track listings below): A single disc, 19-song album of memorable concert highlights, and a Deluxe 2 disc set featuring the entire concert performance. Streisand takes us behind-the- scenes while recording her recent #1 album: ENCORE Movie Partners Sing Broadway.  (Barbra is the only recording artist in history to achieve a # 1 Album in six consecutive decades.) The internationally renowned lineup of artists on ENCORE, released prior to the last leg of the 2016 tour includes Alec Baldwin, Chris Pine, Jamie Foxx, Melissa McCarthy, Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, and others.

The 13 city tour received rave reviews and played to record-breaking sold-out audiences. The Netflix concert TV special, Barbra: The Music…The Mem'ries…the Magic! was directed by Jim Gable and Barbra Streisand and written by Barbra with Jay Landers and Richard Jay-Alexander.  The special begins streaming on Netflix at 12:01 AM on November 22. 

Barbra Streisand has recorded 52 gold, 31 platinum and 13 multi-platinum albums in her career. She is the only woman to make the All-Time Top 10 Best Selling Artists list. Streisand has had 34 albums make the Top 10 on the US charts, the only female artist to have achieved this milestone, tying her with Frank Sinatra. She is also the female artist with the most number one albums in Billboard's history. Widely recognized as an icon in multiple entertainment fields, she has attained unprecedented achievements as a recording artist, actor, concert performer, producer, director, author and songwriter; awarded two Oscars, five Emmys, ten Golden Globes and eight Grammys plus two special Grammys, among other numerous awards, Barbra Streisand belongs to a select multi-hyphenated "EGOT" club for artists who have received the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Awards.

1.People Overture (Entrance)
2.The Way We Were
4.Being At War With Each Other
5.No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)
7.You Don't Bring Me Flowers
8.Being Alive
9.Papa, Can You Hear Me?
10.Pure Imagination
11.Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me) with Anthony Newley
12.Losing My Mind
13.Isn't This Better
14.How Lucky Can You Get
15.Don't Rain On My Parade
17.Climb Ev'ry Mountain with Jamie Foxx
18.Happy Days Are Here Again
19.I Didn't Know What Time It Was


1.People Overture (Entrance)
2.The Way We Were
3.Introductory Remarks 
5.Being At War With Each Other
6.No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)
8.You Don't Bring Me Flowers
9.Being Alive
10.Directing Movies 
11.Papa, Can You Hear Me?

1.Pure Imagination
2.Making Encore (with Seth MacFarlane, Alec Baldwin, Chris Pine, Jamie Foxx,    Antonio Banderas, Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, Patrick Wilson, Melissa McCarthy, Daisy Ridley)
3.Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me) with Anthony Newley
4.Losing My Mind
5.Isn't This Better
6.How Lucky Can You Get
7.Don't Rain On My Parade
9.Climb Ev'ry Mountain with Jamie Foxx
10.Happy Days Are Here Again
11.Jingle Bells?
12.With One More Look At You
13.I Didn't Know What Time It Was

   14.   By The Way
   15.   Children Will Listen
   16.   Everything Must Change

Capitol Records Continues Celebration Of 75th Anniversary With Second Installment Of Holiday And Seasonal Classics, "A Capitol Christmas Volume 2"

Capitol Records’ celebration of its 75th anniversary continues with the release of "A Capitol Christmas Volume 2," a collection of 24 timeless holiday and seasonal classics sung by the label’s unmatched list of legends. Available now digitally and on 2CD, and December 1 as a double LP in gatefold cover, the album brings together some of pop music’s most iconic holiday songs with extremely rare recordings originally issued in very limited release.

Tonight, the historic Capitol Records Tree atop the iconic Capitol Records building will be lit at sundown for the 59th time, ushering in the holiday season in Hollywood. Designed by Ollsen Lighting and featuring more than 4,373 bulbs, the tree has been a part of the Los Angeles skyline each December since 1958.

A fitting companion to last year's timeless collection, A Capitol Christmas Volume 2 continues to mine Capitol's deep reservoir of holiday and seasonal standards sung by millions of celebrants each winter. The album features Wayne Newton's jubilant takes on the rockabilly Christmas classic "Jingle Bell Rock" and perennial favorite "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer," both originally released in 1966 on his first holiday album, Songs For A Merry Christmas, three years after his debut record on Capitol. Glen Campbell was one of Capitol's most iconic stars of the '60s and '70s, recording a remarkable 40 albums for the label. In 1968, on the heels of a string of hit albums – the Grammy Award-winning By The Time I Get To Phoenix and Gentle On My Mind and the #1 record Wichita Lineman – Campbell teamed back up with Capitol's in-house producer and arranger Al De Lory for That Christmas Feeling. The album is showcased here with Campbell's exquisite rendition of the Elvis Presley-immortalized "Blue Christmas" and the lesser known "Old Toy Trains," which was written by his good friend Roger Miller and shows off a different side of the singer. Second only to the Beatles, The Beach Boys were Capitol's most popular recording act from the '60s until the end of the decade. For their fifth Capitol release, Brian Wilson turned his attention to the holidays, asking Four Freshmen's arranger, Dick Reynolds, to write the charts for a 40-piece orchestra. The result was 1964's The Beach Boys' Christmas Album which featured their sunny take on "Frosty the Snowman" and Wilson's original "Christmas Day," which marked rhythm guitarist Al Jardine's debut as a lead singer, both included here. 

The album spotlights some of the best of Capitol's Christmas recordings from the 1940s, '50 and '60s and transports listeners to a simpler time. Take thirteen-year-old Molly Bee's "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus," which caused a stir in 1952 when the song's lyrics were condemned by the Catholic Church of Boston, but has survived to become a modern holiday classic, as easily recognizable as more traditional fare like "White Christmas." Irving Berlin's iconic song is represented here with a tranquil guitar and vocal-driven version by six-string legend Les Paul and his foil Mary Ford. Other chestnuts include crooner Al Martino's lush, orchestral "Silver Bells" and Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians instrumental "Auld Lang Syne," a song so ubiquitous it's the soundtrack to New Year's Eve around the world.

In addition to the beloved seasonal standards, the holiday compilation also features rare and interesting takes throughout like Nancy Wilson's perfect interpretation of Frank Sinatra's "The Christmas Waltz," a true rarity that only appeared on a December 1968 limited-press promotional LP, The Capitol Disc Jockey Album. The incomparable Dinah Shore's delivers a lightly swinging rendition of "Jingle Bells" originally issued on an unknown number of complimentary vinyl discs that were distributed as Christmas cards in Chevrolet dealerships around the country. Accomplished recording artist and movie star Lena Horne is spotlighted with the joyous "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and the beautiful, pensive "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?" That song was a rare non-musical theater entry by Frank Loesser, composer of "Guys & Dolls" and "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying." In Horne's hands, the song becomes an alluring jazz ballad. And "Away in a Manger" in the hands of Charlie and Ira Louvin is nothing short of miraculous, full of raw emotion and the unrelenting shadow of sin the Louvins were so great at conveying.

In the true spirit of the holidays, A Capitol Christmas Volume 2 collects two dozen magical recordings that have helped to make the season bright for generations, bringing joy to the hearts and ears.

1.Jingle Bell Rock – Wayne Newton
2.Blue Christmas – Glen Campbell
3.The Christmas Waltz – Nancy Wilson
4.Frosty The Snowman – The Beach Boys
5.Christmas All Alone – The Lettermen
6.Jingle Bells – Dinah Shore
7.I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus – Molly Bee
8.A Marshmallow World – Ray Anthony and his Orchestra
9.Winter Wonderland – Johnny Mercer and The Pied Pipers
10.I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm – The Starlighters
11.Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – Lena Horne
12.Rudolph, The Red Nosed Reindeer – Wayne Newton
13.Christmas Day – The Beach Boys
14.Old Toy Trains – Glen Campbell
15.Away in a Manger – The Louvin Brothers
16.Silver Bells – Al Martino
17.I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day – Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians
18.What Are You Doing New Year's Eve? – Lena Horne
19.Do You Hear What I Hear? – Sonny James
20.Song of the Sleigh Bells – June Hutton & Axel Stordahl
21.Love Turns Winter to Spring – The Four Freshmen
22.White Christmas – Les Paul & Mary Ford
23.Count Your Blessings (Instead of Sheep) – Gordon MacRae
24.Auld Lang Syne – Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians


1.Jingle Bell Rock – Wayne Newton
2.Blue Christmas – Glen Campbell
3.The Christmas Waltz – Nancy Wilson
4.Frosty The Snowman – The Beach Boys
5.Christmas All Alone – The Lettermen
6.Jingle Bells – Dinah Shore

1.I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus – Molly Bee
2.A Marshmallow World – Ray Anthony and his Orchestra
3.Winter Wonderland – Johnny Mercer and The Pied Pipers
4.I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm – The Starlighters
5.Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – Lena Horne
6.Rudolph, The Red Nosed Reindeer – Wayne Newton

1.Christmas Day – The Beach Boys
2.Old Toy Trains – Glen Campbell
3.Away in a Manger – The Louvin Brothers
4.Silver Bells – Al Martino
5.I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day – Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians
6.What Are You Doing New Year's Eve? – Lena Horne

1.Do You Hear What I Hear? – Sonny James
2.Song of the Sleigh Bells – June Hutton & Axel Stordahl
3.Love Turns Winter to Spring – The Four Freshmen
4.White Christmas – Les Paul & Mary Ford
5.Count Your Blessings (Instead of Sheep) – Gordon MacRae
6.Auld Lang Syne – Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians


Pianist MICHEL CAMILO Shines on New Album, LIVE IN LONDON

GRAMMY®, EMMY® and three-time Latin GRAMMY® Award winner Michel Camilo will release LIVE IN LONDON, a special "live" solo piano album, set for November 16, 2017 through his own record label imprint, Redondo Music.

Produced by Camilo and recorded live at The Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre in June 2015 (at a concert presented by Completely Concerts), LIVE IN LONDON is a seven-track offering that spotlights Camilo's original compositions such as an extended exploration of his signature song "From Within," a gorgeous rendition of "Sandra's Serenade," and the fiery montuno-based "Island Beat," as well as several jazz classics including "The Frim Fram Sauce," "Manteca," and a medley of quintessential standards "I Got Rhythm," "Caravan," and "Sing Sing Sing."

"It is a dream come true to share my first Live solo piano album," reflects Camilo. "This recording captures a truly special evening that I will always cherish. I felt my inner child vibrating at a high level and in complete harmony with the fresh flow of new ideas and emotions, as I deeply enjoyed the process of discovering and exploring the many dynamic colors and nuances of a perfect acoustic setting and sharing them with a truly fantastic listening audience!"

LIVE IN LONDON is an artistic statement that presents Camilo's powerhouse performance and versatile pianism, equally showcasing extraordinary jazz sensibilities, exciting Latin rhythms and proficient classical technique. The London concert in 2015 received a wide range of critical acclaim from press and luminaries:

"Bravura gigs don't ordinarily warrant five stars in my book, but concerts by Michel Camilo - the Latin-jazz piano star from the Dominican Republic - are so astonishing that you abandon all aesthetic doubts and come out with your hands up."
John Fordham - The Guardian

"The spontaneous standing ovation that greets his final bow is not only a result of listeners dumbstruck with admiration. It is the sign of people whose spirits have been lifted." Kevin Le Gendre - Jazzwise Magazine

"Camilo is as complete a pianist as you could hope to find, able to cope with the demands of quite different musical contexts and having the knowledge and techniques necessary to play them with panache." Dave Jones - Jazz Journal

Born to a family of musicians and composers in the Dominican Republic, Michel Camilo is one of the most brilliant performers in jazz today - as captured in his blazing appearances in the award-winning films Calle 54, Two Much and Playing Lecuona. He has also developed a reputation as one who enjoys breaking barriers, as evidenced by his extensive discography featuring albums in Duo, Trio, Sextet, Big Band and as guest soloist with Symphony Orchestras. As a prolific composer, many artists ranging from Dizzy Gillespie to The Manhattan Transfer, Paquito D'Rivera to Flamenco guitarist Tomatito, and Katia & Marielle Labèque to the BBC Symphony Orchestra have performed and recorded his works.

Michel Camilo - "Live In London" Track Listing
1. From Within
2. The Frim Fram Sauce
3. A Place In Time
4. Island Beat
5. Sandra's Serenade
6. Manteca
7. I Got Rhythm/Caravan/Sing Sing Sing



The fantastic final album from Sharon Jones – a wonderfully deep talent who was taken from us all too soon! The set's maybe the ultimate setting for Sharon's incredible voice – as it features both her longtime core combo, the Dap-Kings – as well as additional backings from the Bushwick Philharmonic – a small ensemble of strings who really help elevate the music to classic status! If you're worried that the strings might soften the sound, the very first note of the record will put your mind at rest – as will the heavy drums that mark just about every track, and keep things hard and funky throughout. If anyone ever doubted that the Daptone label was our modern equivalent of Stax Records or Atlantic, this will certainly be the set to change their mind – and will also stand forever as a bittersweet reminder of all the greatness that Sharon Jones gave us over the years. Titles include "Searching For A New Day", "Rumors", "Matter Of Time", "Sail On", "Just Give Me Your Time", "Come & Be A Winner", "Call On God", and "These Tears". ~ Dusty Groove


Alexis Ffrench has high ambition. This exceptional pianist and composer who trained at the Purcell School, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Royal Academy, wants to bring joy to a world of troubled times. He also wants to change the way people perceive classical music and to help make it more inclusive and democratic, more relevant to the society in which we live. “I was watching the Last Night of the Proms recently and was struck by the lack of diversity in the audience” he says in the thoughtful manner in which he considers everything. “The next day, a commentator said: ‘Who says classical music is dead?’ and I was taken aback. There are no new audiences coming to classical music and I want to change that. It’s incredibly important to me. We all have a duty, no matter what colour we are, to speak out and encourage positive change.” With aspirations as bold as those, it’s fortunate that Ffrench has the personality, dedication and talent to bring about such a change. His success has made Ffrench a Spotify-era oddity: a classical musician who has had over 50 million streams of his independently released music. Now this sharp-dressed man with a laser-focus resolve that belies the fairy-dust in his fingers is ready to step things up. Earlier this year he signed with Modest! Management, home to a brace of all-conquering pop acts, including Little Mix, Olly Murs and Niall Horan. Alexis Ffrench has released his own piano improvisation on a classic Christmas track “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”.


The title's a great one here – as Gerardo Frisina has been one of the few contemporary artists trying to find a fresh voice for Latin Jazz – which he does beautifully by blending classic albums and a more current sense of club! The 2CD package brings together unreleased material with tracks from many of Frisina's vinyl-only releases – making for the CD debut of most tracks here, and the first appearance of a few others! All the numbers share that wonderful sensibility that Gerardo's had in his music for years – a way of taking acoustic elements and reworking them through modern rhythm programs – then topping them anew with fresh acoustic elements that often include a fair bit of jazz-based instrumentation! Almost all the work here is instrumental – with some fantastic percussion at the core, lots of warm Fender Rhodes – and other contributions on tenor, trumpet, flute, guitar, and vibes. Unreleased tracks include "Oyela", "Get On Up", "Uma Danca", and "Delirium" – and other titles include "Superstrut", "Passion Dance", "Voice Of The Jungle", "Samba Skindim", "Donke De", "African Nite Life", "Mulata", "Blue Latin", "Incanto", "The Obsession", "Tin Tin Deo", "Moderno Primitivo", "Space In Time (new version)", "African Seeds (rework)", and "Baracoa".  ~ Dusty Groove

World-renowned Jazz trumpet player ITAMAR BOROCHOV releases his critically acclaimed album BOOMERANG in America

ITAMAR BOROCHOV, has received serious critical acclaim for both his first album Outset and his recent one Boomerang in Europe. Released on the prestigious Laborie Jazz Label, Boomerang features original compositions by Itamar Borochov and unorthodox arrangements of traditional folk-melodies. It’s no wonder why Borochov has been lighting up the stages of the most important Jazz festivals and venues around the world.

This much-anticipated release in the US market goes with the new wave of blending Jazz with other cultures and fashion. Itamar Borochov is no stranger to this tradition as he melts his Jazz compositions with Middle Eastern musical traditions, and recently starred in the new Stella Artois commercial (

Itamar Borochov brings a unique sound with him wherever he goes. Deeply immersed in the jazz tradition, Borochovʼs search for his personal roots resulted in an ever-expanding love for Arab and Pan African musical sensibilities – a natural palette for a trumpeter-composer raised in Jaffa, an integrated Muslim-Jewish-Christian city.

After working with such legendary artists as Curtis Fuller and Candido Camero, and having served as arranger and co-producer for acclaimed world music sensation Yemen Blues, Borochov set out on his own path. His critically acclaimed recording Outset was included in the New York City Jazz Record’s Best of 2014 List, and his latest album Boomerang, has already received serious critical acclaim, and peaked at #5 on iTunes’ Jazz Download chart, and #6 on Amazon’s Jazz Download Chart, and was chosen as “revelation" on Jazz Magazine. Audiences worldwide are falling for his enchanting sound and virtuosic expression.

Borochov has performed internationally at such prestigious venues and festivals as Lincoln Center (NY), The Kennedy Center, (Washington DC), Montreal Jazz Festival, and the Moscow Jazz Festival, to name just a few.

Boomerang, was completed in Paris in December 2015, mixed in New York by award-winning engineer Brian Montgomery (Paul McCartney, Esperanza Spaulding, Donald Fagen, Herbie Hancock), and is his label debut for acclaimed French label Laborie Jazz. Boomerang features his extraordinarily quartet of pianist Michael King, bassist Avri Borochov, and drummer Jay Sawyer. The four have toured widely and frequently, resulting in a telepathic cohesiveness and devotion, and many inspired performances the world over. Guesting on the record, on jumbush and vocals, is Itamar’s father, and acclaimed Israeli composer, Yisrael Borochov.

Itamar Borochov, quickly gaining international recognition as a jazz innovator, continues his musical quest, offering on Boomerang a music that reflects a rich global landscape seen firsthand, through the jazz tradition.

“Borochov is extending the jazz tradition out of the resources of the tradition itself. Around the turn of the 20th century, Jelly Roll Morton was talking about the "Latin tinge," and in the late 40's Dizzy Gillespie joined forces with Chano Pozo to make the Afro-Cuban classic, "Manteca." In the 1960's Horace Silver got in touch with his Cape Verdean roots in "Song for My Father," and so on. As Borochov notes, "Bebop was the highest of musical art forms, the first 'world music' ─ integrated, tribal, sophisticated, and down home soulful. What I'm doing now, bringing my sound to the jazz idiom isn't so different from what Dizzy did. I'm progressing by reconnecting to the roots and taking it to the now and to the future.” – Boomerang by Dr. Aryeh Tepper.

Listen to the BOMMERANG album:

Listen to Itamar Borochov's first album OUTSET:

Israeli-born, Brooklyn-based trumpeter & composer Itamar Borochov connects lower Manhattan to North Africa, modern Israel and ancient Bukhara, celebrating traces of the divine that he finds in elegant sophistication, Middle Eastern tradition and downhome blues. Borochov brings a unique sound with him wherever he goes. Deeply immersed in the jazz tradition, Borochovʼs search for his personal roots resulted in an ever-expanding love for Arab and Pan-African musical sensibilities – a natural palette for a trumpeter-composer raised in Jaffa, an integrated Muslim-Jewish-Christian city.

After working with such legendary artists as Curtis Fuller and Candido Camero, and having served as arranger and co-producer for acclaimed world music sensation Yemen Blues, Borochov set out on his own path. His critically acclaimed recording Outset was included in the New York City Jazz Record’s Best of 2014 List, and his latest album Boomerang, has already received serious critical acclaim, and peaked at #5 on iTunes’ Jazz Download chart, and #6 on Amazon’s Jazz Download Chart, and was chosen as “revelation" on Jazz Magazine. Audiences worldwide are falling for his enchanting sound and virtuosic expression.


MIGRATIONS, introduces the music of Brazilian composer and saxophonist Gaia Wilmer, an emerging voice in the contemporary jazz community. Drawing inspiration from Brazilian music, its harmonies, rhythms and melodies, and from contemporary jazz, Gaia creates a unique and colorful world of music that is both cerebral and emotional. Her music draws inspiration from composers such as Hermeto Pascoal, Guillermo Klein, Kenny Wheeler, Vijay Iyer and Maria Schneider, and the pieces generate their shapes and feelings from the idea of home; the strong relationship with Brazilian and Latin American cultures and with contemporary jazz and the relationship between people.

The opener, AFTER THEM, was the first piece written for this octet. It was written between Gaia attending concerts and master classes by Vijay Iyer, Maria Schneider and Geri Allen, and draws its inspiration from those experiences. It begins alternating between one main bass line and a rhythmic idea in the piano inspired by Iyer's music. The shapes and textures of the lines, both in the bass and in the top melodies come from impressions of Schneider's melodies and orchestrations. The melody evolves into a flute solo by Yulia Musayelyan that leads back to the opening bass line, and the return of the main melody.

CRIANÇADA started as an exercise playing with constant structures and developed in to an energetic tune with a joyful melody that plays with the relationships between 3/4, 6/8 and 6/4 and the different ways of feeling those meters. The title of the tune means, "a bunch of kids". The solo section follows the same idea with Leandro Pellegrino on guitar and Gustavo D'Amico on tenor saxophone interacting with each other.

The title piece, MIGRATIONS, was written after a Guillermo Klein concert in Boston and features Raphael Lehnen on bombo legüero and Song Yi Jeon on voice. Written specifically for these artists and inspired by Klein's music, this piece was the first one written after the group was settled, and serves as a tribute to the great animal migrations around the globe. Centered around the interval of a third, the piece starts with an acappella introduction, developing this intervallic motif. The composition was also inspired by the Kenny Wheeler album, "Music for Large and Small Ensembles".

HELEN came from the idea of exploring modes found in scales other than the common major. The ostinato, the chords and the melody are based on the mixolydian b6 mode from the melodic minor scale. It is the only composition on the album (with the exception of Hermeto Pascoal's "Acuri") that was written for a smaller ensemble and not specifically for the octet. It is dedicated to Helen de la Rosa, the drummer who first played the tune.

CHÁ is a ballad written for love and friendship, and explores free improvisation between the wind players. It starts with a free duet with Gustavo D'Amico on soprano saxophone and Gaia on alto that leads to the main theme. It also features solos by Mayo Pamplona on bass and Vitor Gonçalves on accordion.

The harmonic ideas ofthe energetic NO TALKING came from the constant structure and geometric atmosphere of "Giant Steps". In the first section, the main motif is transposed and developed in myriad harmonic ways, while separated by a minor third. The second section presents a contrasting idea that is also transposed and developed but this time by major thirds. Soloists include Gaia and Song Yi Jeon on voice.

NOSTALGIAS is a melancholic, through-composed ballad based on the intervals of a second and a sixth. It has a four-part structure where the C section is a variation of the A section and the D section is a variation on the B section. The whole form repeats twice with Leandro Pellegrino soloing on guitar over the second A and B and Gaia Wilmer embellishing the C.

Hermeto Pascoal's ACURI was recorded by his group in 1989 on his first "Mundo Verde Esperança", an album that was never released. The piece was recorded by Pascoal's new group on his most recent album and pays homage to Chick Corea with a new title, "Um Abraço Chick Corea". This version, recorded by Gaia's octet, gets a creative treatment with a exciting and virtuosic flute/piccolo line, played by Yulia Musayelyan, as well as some harmonized lines with the saxophones and new counter melodies played by Leandro Pellegrino on guitar and Gustavo D'Amico on tenor saxophone. The second exposition, a samba in 7/4, with Song Yi Jeon playing the melody along with Pellegrino while the winds float in and around, followed by D'Amico's solo in a faster samba in 7/8. Gustavo's solo is followed by Gonçalves' solo in 3/4 that leads back to the introduction and the head out.


The Ed Palermo Big Band Releases The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren, a Reinvention of Music by Frank Zappa and Todd Rundgren

Ed Palermo may have gained an international following with his ingenious orchestral arrangements of Frank Zappa tunes, but he’s hardly a one-trick pony. Earlier in the year, the saxophonist released an uproarious double album The Great Un-American Songbook Volumes 1 & 2, a project celebrating an expansive roster of songs by successive waves of British invaders, from the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Jeff Beck to King Crimson, Traffic, and Jethro Tull.

With his new big band project, slated for release on Cuneiform Records on October 6, 2017, Palermo is back on his home turf, but the landscape feels strange and uncanny. He’s reclaiming the Zappa songbook, filtering Frank through the emotionally charged lens of the polymathic musical wizard Todd Rundgren in a wild and wooly transmogrification, The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren. Working with the same stellar cast of players, Palermo somehow captures the essence of these iconoclastic masters, making Zappa Zappier and Todd more Rundgrenian.

He sees the Zappa and Rundgren as embodying a ying and yang approach to life that played an essential role in helping him navigate the minefields of teenage angst in the 1960s. “For most of my high school days my favorite musicians were Zappa and Todd Rundgren,” Palermo says. “Rundgren had his songs about self-pity, which were exactly what I needed back then. I’d go out with a girl and whatever party I brought her to she’d go and hang out with another dude. Todd understood. At the same time, Zappa had these snarky songs like ‘Broken Hearts are for Assholes.’ It was tough love. You gotta broken heart? Deal with it. Todd Rundgren’s music was there to give you a hug. I wanted to contrast the hard-bitten Zappa followed by a bleeding heart Rundgren ballad.”

Though the title suggests a forced merger, The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren doesn’t mashup the oeuvres of the two masters. Rather, the album mostly alternates between the composers, creating a deliciously dizzying whipsaw as the two diametrical stances sometimes blur or even switch. Zappa’s soaring fanfare “Peaches En Regalia” is more inspirational than smarmy, with a particularly eloquent alto sax solo by Cliff Lyons, while a brisk and forthright version of Rundgren’s “Influenza” showcases the muscular lyricism of violinist Katie Jacoby, one of the orchestra’s essential voices.

Palermo reaches deep into the Rundgren songbook for “Kiddie Boy,” a stinging blues from 1969’s Nazz Nazz, the seminal second release by his underappreciated band Nazz (an album which originally bore the Zappaesque title Fungo Bat). Drawing directly from the maestro’s original horn arrangement, Palermo displays some impressive guitar work on a vehicle for Bruce McDaniel’s blue-eye vocals. Napoleon Murphy Brock delivers a poker-faced rendition of Zappa’s surreal “Montana,” the tune that turned a generation on to the lucrative potential of floss farming, and McDaniel and Brock join forces on Rundgren’s deliriously silly “Emperor of the Highway,” an homage to Gilbert and Sullivan.

The contrasting sensibilities of the Zundgrens comes into sharp focus in the center of the album. While Palermo has recorded Zappa’s “Echidna’s Arf (Of You)” this time he replaces the horns with McDaniel’s intricately layered vocals via the miracle of multi-tracking. From Zappa’s playfully odd metered work out the big band saunters into Rundgren’s greatest ballad “Hello It's Me,” an arrangement for McDaniel’s most impassioned crooning based on the original version from 1968 album Nazz (not the hit from his solo Something/Anything? album).

Tenor saxophonist Bill Straub swaggers through Rundgren’s “Wailing Wall,” which is sandwiched between two slices of Zappa at his snarky best, “Big Swifty Coda” and “Florentine Pogen,” another superb feature for Brock. Palermo spotlights a dark and wondrous Zappa obscurity with “Janet's Big Dance Number,” a brief piece recovered from 200 Motels featuring Ben Kono’s noir tenor solo. From that unified hedgehogian arrangement Palermo unleashes the multifarious fox on Rundgren’s “Broke Down and Busted,” a portmanteau arrangement that touches on Rundgren’s “Boat on the Charles,” the Ramsey Lewis hit “The ‘In’ Crowd,” Zappa’s “Brown Shoes Don’t Make It,” and even traces of Steely Dan’s “Pretzel Logic.” It’s a tour de force that feels like stream of consciousness journey, though the id truly emerged on the closing hidden track. In what has become a Palermo tradition, he includes yet another version of an enduring lament about the difficulties of relationships, arranged this time in Nazzian style by McDaniel.

The seamless ease with which Palermo and his crack crew navigate between the Zappa and Rundgren shouldn’t come as a surprise. Over the years Zappa’s music has proven supremely pliable in Palermo’s capable hands, as evidenced further by a recent concert at Iridium that paired his songs with standards indelibly linked to Ol’ Blue Eyes (is there an album The Adventures of Zinatra in the future?). Everything he brings into the big band is a labor of love.

“Todd Rundgren holds a very special place in my heart,” Palermo says. “I realized I was in love with my girlfriend (now wife) listening to his album Something/Anything? It was about 2 years ago doing our regular hit at The Falcon that I decided to have Zodd Zundgren night. A lot of people who like the music of Zappa also like Rundgren and Steely Dan, but there are enough Steely Dan cover bands out there.”

Born in Ocean City, New Jersey on June 14, 1954, Palermo grew up in the cultural orbit of Philadelphia, which was about an hour drive away. He started playing clarinet in elementary school, and soon turned to the alto saxophone. He also took up the guitar, and credits his teenage obsession with Zappa to opening his ears to post-bop harmonies and improvisation.

Palermo caught the jazz bug while attending DePaul University, and took to the alto sax with renewed diligence inspired by Phil Woods, Cannonball Adderley, and Edgar Winter (the subject of an upcoming EPBB project). Before he graduated he was leading his own band and making a good living as a studio player recording commercial jingles. But like so many jazz musicians he answered New York’s siren call, moving to Manhattan in 1977. After a year of playing jam sessions and scuffling Palermo landed a coveted gig with Tito Puente, a four-year stint that immersed him in Afro-Cuban music.

An encounter with trumpeter Woody Shaw’s septet at the Village Vanguard in the late 1970s stoked his interest in writing and arranging for larger ensembles, and by the end of the decade he had launched a nine-piece rehearsal band with five horns. Between Don Sebesky’s well-regarded book The Contemporary Arranger and advice from Dave Lalama and Tim Ouimette, “I got a lot of my questions answered and I’ll love them forever,” Palermo says. “Then the real education was trial and error. I lived in a little apartment with no TV or furniture. All I had was a card table, and once a week I’d rehearse my nonet, then listen to the cassette of the rehearsal and make all the changes.”

Palermo made his recording debut in 1982, an impressive session featuring heavyweights such as David Sanborn, Edgar Winter and Randy Brecker. As a consummate studio cat and sideman, he toured and recorded with an array of stars, including Aretha Franklin, Eddie Palmieri, Celia Cruz, Lena Horne, Tony Bennett, Mel Tormé, Lou Rawls, Melba Moore, The Spinners, and many others. As an arranger, he’s written charts for the Tonight Show Band, Maurice Hines, Eddy Fischer, and Melissa Walker. Employed frequently by bass star Christian McBride for a disparate array of projects, Palermo has written arrangements for a James Brown concert at the Hollywood Bowl, a Frank Sinatra tribute featuring Kurt Elling, Seth McFarland, and John Pizzarelli, and a 20-minute medley of Wayne Shorter tunes for the New Jersey Ballet.

Palermo had been leading his big band for more than a decade before the Zappa concept started coming together. Inspired by electric guitar master Mike Keneally, who performed with Zappa on some of his final concerts before his death in 1993, Palermo decided to arrange a program of 12 Zappa tunes. When the time came to debut the material at one of the band’s regular gigs at the Bitter End in early 1994, a sold-out crowd greeted the band.

He earned international attention with the ensemble’s 1997 debut The Ed Palermo Big Band Plays Frank Zappa on Astor Place Records, which received a highly-prized 4-star review from DownBeat. With Palermo’s brilliant arrangements and soloists such as Bob Mintzer, Chris Potter, Dave Samuels, Mike Stern, and Mike Keneally, the album made an undisputable case for the Zappa jazz concept. In 2006 he released another collection of Zappa arranged for his jazz big band, called Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance, on Cuneiform, thus beginning an ongoing collaboration with that label. While Palermo has written more than 300 Zappa charts, he’s cast an increasingly wide net for material. Recent releases like 2014’s Oh No! Not Jazz!!, 2016’s One Child Left Behind and 2017’s The Great Un-American Songbook Volumes 1 & 2 - all on Cuneiform and all recipients of DownBeat’s coveted 4-star ratings - featured a bountiful selection of his original compositions and material by composers not named Frank Zappa.

Nothing demonstrates the ensemble’s ongoing vitality better than the stellar cast of players, with longtime collaborators such as violinist Katie Jacoby, baritone saxophonist Barbara Cifelli, drummer Ray Marchica, and keyboardist Ted Kooshian. Many of these top-shelf musicians have been in the band for more than a decade, and they bring wide-ranging experience, expert musicianship and emotional intensity to Palermo’s music.

The band’s following continues to expand with its monthly residency at Iridium and bi-monthly gigs at The Falcon. In addition, performances (some headlining) at jazz festivals across the USA are winning new fans of all ages for the band. Palermo’s profile in the jazz press is also rising fast, with articles and feature stories appearing this past year in such publications as Jazz Times and Jazziz. Regarding recordings, albums by The Ed Palermo Big Band have been critically acclaimed and also embraced by the general public-jazz and rock fans alike. Palermo has already recorded dozens of new tracks for The Great Un-American Songbook Volumes 3 & 4, and is hoping Zodd Zundgren helps introduce Rundgren’s ingenious, heartfelt music to a new generation.


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