Archive | April, 2010

“Now in Stores” – 4/25/2010 to 5/1/2010

30 Apr

Each Friday, I will post five new jazz albums that were released over the past week that are worth giving a listen to.

Here are this weeks five, released between April 25th and May 1st, 2010.

1. It’s About That Time by Hot Club of Detroit (Mack Avenue, 4/27/2010)

The family tree that traces its roots to the Quintette du Hot Club de France has sprouted countless branches across the globe in the seventy years since Django Reinhardt first jammed with Stéphane Grappelli. It seems like a new city lays claim to its own Hot Club on a virtually daily basis, but the Hot Club of Detroit is undoubtedly the apple that has fallen farthest from that tree.

2. Push by Jacky Terrasson (Concord Jazz, 4/27/2010)

On his Concord debut, Push, pianist Jacky Terrasson unveils his new trio with bassist Ben Williams and drummer Jamire Williams. There are also guest appearances from Gregoire Maret on harmonica, saxophonist Jacques Schwarz-Bart, guitarist Matt Stevens, and percussionist Cyro Baptista. Push contains seven new compositions, a medley of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” with “Body and Soul,” and a fresh take on Thelonious Monk’s “‘Round Midnight.”

3. Ramsey Lewis In Chicago/Stretching Out (Import) by Ramsey Lewis (Phantom, 4/27/2010)

Digitally remastered two-fer from the Jazz great. This release Includes the complete album The Ramsey Lewis Trio In Chicago featuring the pianist’s classic trio. This was the last LP ever recorded at Chicago’s historic Blue Note club. Also contains bonus LP, Stretching Out, featuring the same personnel. 19 tracks.Jazz Beat. 2010.

4. Staying on the Watch by Sonny Simmons (Tntrees Records, 4/27/2010)

The noted West Coast composer makes his ESP debut accompanied by his then wife Barbara Donald on trumpet, Teddy Smith on bass, John Hicks on piano, and Marvin Pattillo on percussion. Recorded in August 1966, Staying on the Watch is an important fusion of straight-ahead and avant jazz. Barbara Donald is a superb trumpeter who has made a stern contribution to the legacy of women performers, and has been widely written about. Pianist John Hicks, who makes his New York debut on the record, went on to become one of the most prolific pianists in jazz.

5. Voyage by Federico Britos (Sunny Side Records, 4/27/2010)

With the ebullient string arrangements by Sunnyside labelmate Carlos Franzetti, Britos is backed by an international, stellar cast including Cuban drummers Francisco Mela and Ignacio Berroa; Spanish and American guitarists Tomatito and Bucky Pizzarelli, Brazilian, Dominican and American pianists Antonio Adolfo, Michel Camilo and Kenny Barron, and Puerto Rican bassist Eddie Gomez and conguero Giovanni Hidalgo.

“Now in Stores” – 4/18/2010 t0 4/24/2010

“Now In Stores” – 5 Noteworthy Jazz Albums Released this Week (4/11/2010-4/17/10)

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1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die (561-580)

24 Apr

Here is another 20 to add to the list.

Remember that there is no ranking system here, and if you don’t see your favorite jazz album yet, it doesn’t mean it won’t show up.

Every week I will offer up twenty more, in no particular order and with no ranking system or common theme (other than jazz of course).

Hopefully these lists will inspire you to seek some of these albums out that perhaps you haven’t heard before, or revisit an old favorite. And as always, we want your thoughts on any or all of these albums. Either way, let’s get started with this week, and in no particular order, albums 561 through 580.

561. Runnin’ Wild – Teddy Wilson (Black Lion, 1973)

562. Big Band and Quartet in Concert – Thelonious Monk (Columbia, 1963)

563. Ella at Duke’s Place – Ella Fitzgerald (Polygram, 1965)

564. Fire Down Below – Ted Curson (Original Jazz Classics, 1962)

565. For Alto – Anthony Braxton (Delmark, 1968)

566. Live at Maybeck Recital Hall, Vol. 5 – Stanley Cowell (Concord Jazz, 1990)

567. Grant’s First Stand – Grant Green (Blue Note, 1961)

568. The Tiger of San Pedro – Bill Watrous (Wounded Bird Records, 1975)

569. Canta Brasil – Kenny Barron (Universal Distribution, 2002)

570. Misty – Erroll Garner (Mercury, 1955)

571. Come Away With Me – Norah Jones (Blue Note, 2002)

572. The West Coast Sound, Vol. 1 – Shelly Manne (Original Jazz Classics, 1955)

573. Ya-Ka-May – Galactic (Anti, 2010)

574. Swinging Down in New Orleans – Doc Cheatham (Jazzology, 1995)

575. 1929-1934 (compilation) – Chick Webb (Classics, 1990 compilation release date)

576. Peer Pleasure – Jimmy Heath (Landmark, 1987)

577. Sings Lover Man and Other Billie Holiday Classics – Carmen McRae (Jazz, 1961)

578. Live and Well in Japan – Benny Carter (Pablo/OJC, 1977)

579. The Red Norvo Trios – Red Norvo (Prestige, 1955)

580. The Blues Book – Booker Ervin (Prestige/OJC, 1964)

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die (541-560)

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die (521-540)

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die (501-520)

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die – The First 500

"Now in Stores" – 4/18/2010 to 4/24/2010

23 Apr

Each Friday, I will post five new jazz albums that were released over the past week that are worth giving a listen to.

Here are this weeks five, released between April 18th and April 24th, 2010.

1. The Cycle of Love by Maurice Brown (Brown Records, 4/20/2010)

With the release of his new album, The Cycle Of Love, trumpet virtuoso Maurice Brown takes another giant step forward as an internationally acclaimed musician, composer, bandleader, and performer. Brown’s soulful melodies and infectious personality are a dynamic package that uniquely marries traditional be-bop to hip-hop. The road to The Cycle Of Love has been a long, albeit creative, trek for the Chicago native. Six years after his critically acclaimed, chart-topping debut, Hip To Bop, hit the jazz world with staggering force, Brown is back with his stellar band for his sophomore album. Maurice Brown is beginning 2010 with dates all over the word, including Jakarta, New Delhi, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. To quote the legendary trumpeter, Clark Terry: ‘Brownie is the young trumpeter to watch for sure. I see young cats all over the world and Maurice has it.’ And The Cycle Of Love delivers it.

2. Homefree by Nnenna Freelon (Concord, 4/20/2010)

The new album is Freelon’s 7th Concord release and is a soulful, swinging album that Freelon calls her “home brew.” The collection is comprised largely of contemporary interpretations of classic American Songbook tunes as well as a new original (the witty, playful and poignant “Cell Phone Blues” composed by the singer) and spirited arrangements of two anthems (the gospel treasure “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and the national hymn “America the Beautiful”) that close the album.

3.

Ramsey Lewis Plays the Beatles Songbook: Great Songs/Great Performances by Ramsey Lewis

The Great Performances/Great Songs series by Verve is a new attempt to get prospective buyers interested in its vast jazz catalog; introducing them to large-scale hits by artists who appeared either on its label proper or on one of its licensees’. In the case of Ramsey Lewis, it’s his famous Beatles covers that were cut for Cadet with producer Esmond Edwards. There are eight tracks here clocking at just under 36 minutes, including the live versions of “A Hard Day’s Night” and “And I Love Her,” from Hang on Ramsey, featuring the original trio with the rhythm section of Redd Holt and Eldee Young, and “Day Tripper” with Cleveland Eaton and Maurice White from Wade in the Water (both 1966). The remainder of these cuts were taken from an ambitious, all Beatles album released by Lewis in 1968 called Mother Nature’s Son on Chess. This was the first album on which he played Fender Rhodes piano, as well as acoustic and Hammond B-3 (check “Back in the U.S.S.R.”), and is backed by his own group and an orchestra arranged and conducted (brilliantly) by Charles Stepney. There is a stark contrast between the trio cuts and the orchestrated ones, but they all simply groove — even the ballads “Dear Prudence” and “Julia.” For the super-budget price tag, this is a collection worth picking up. ~ Thom Jurek

4. If Only for One Night by Wallace Roney (HighNote, 4/20/2010)

The inventive and adventurous open-minded approach of Wallace Roney’s first three HighNote releases is firmly maintained on IF ONLY FOR ONE NIGHT. Here Roney has succeeded in taking all of his influences and forging them into a coherent whole which is somehow more than the sum of its parts. IF ONLY FOR ONE NIGHT is full of provocation. Roney and company aren’t necessarily presenting an ideal of where jazz is today, but rather a lush representation of the genre’s possibilities. This music is challenging, vivacious and, above all, soulful.

5. Horace to Max by Joe Chambers (Savant, 4/20/2010)

Joe Chambers is one of the drummers from the fifties and sixties who, along with Max Roach and Art Blakey has influenced an entire generation of drummers. With an ensemble that includes stalwarts Eric Alexander on tenor saxophone, Xavier Davis on piano and others, Chambers here breathes fresh life into a number of well-known jazz classics. While the overall approach is mainstream, the sound is unequivocally contemporary. It remains reverential to tradition yet with a clear regard for jazz as a living, breathing entity.

“Now In Stores” – 5 Noteworthy Jazz Albums Released this Week (4/11/2010-4/17/10)

“Now in Stores” – 4/18/2010 to 4/24/2010

23 Apr

Each Friday, I will post five new jazz albums that were released over the past week that are worth giving a listen to.

Here are this weeks five, released between April 18th and April 24th, 2010.

1. The Cycle of Love by Maurice Brown (Brown Records, 4/20/2010)

With the release of his new album, The Cycle Of Love, trumpet virtuoso Maurice Brown takes another giant step forward as an internationally acclaimed musician, composer, bandleader, and performer. Brown’s soulful melodies and infectious personality are a dynamic package that uniquely marries traditional be-bop to hip-hop. The road to The Cycle Of Love has been a long, albeit creative, trek for the Chicago native. Six years after his critically acclaimed, chart-topping debut, Hip To Bop, hit the jazz world with staggering force, Brown is back with his stellar band for his sophomore album. Maurice Brown is beginning 2010 with dates all over the word, including Jakarta, New Delhi, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. To quote the legendary trumpeter, Clark Terry: ‘Brownie is the young trumpeter to watch for sure. I see young cats all over the world and Maurice has it.’ And The Cycle Of Love delivers it.

2. Homefree by Nnenna Freelon (Concord, 4/20/2010)

The new album is Freelon’s 7th Concord release and is a soulful, swinging album that Freelon calls her “home brew.” The collection is comprised largely of contemporary interpretations of classic American Songbook tunes as well as a new original (the witty, playful and poignant “Cell Phone Blues” composed by the singer) and spirited arrangements of two anthems (the gospel treasure “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and the national hymn “America the Beautiful”) that close the album.

3.

Ramsey Lewis Plays the Beatles Songbook: Great Songs/Great Performances by Ramsey Lewis

The Great Performances/Great Songs series by Verve is a new attempt to get prospective buyers interested in its vast jazz catalog; introducing them to large-scale hits by artists who appeared either on its label proper or on one of its licensees’. In the case of Ramsey Lewis, it’s his famous Beatles covers that were cut for Cadet with producer Esmond Edwards. There are eight tracks here clocking at just under 36 minutes, including the live versions of “A Hard Day’s Night” and “And I Love Her,” from Hang on Ramsey, featuring the original trio with the rhythm section of Redd Holt and Eldee Young, and “Day Tripper” with Cleveland Eaton and Maurice White from Wade in the Water (both 1966). The remainder of these cuts were taken from an ambitious, all Beatles album released by Lewis in 1968 called Mother Nature’s Son on Chess. This was the first album on which he played Fender Rhodes piano, as well as acoustic and Hammond B-3 (check “Back in the U.S.S.R.”), and is backed by his own group and an orchestra arranged and conducted (brilliantly) by Charles Stepney. There is a stark contrast between the trio cuts and the orchestrated ones, but they all simply groove — even the ballads “Dear Prudence” and “Julia.” For the super-budget price tag, this is a collection worth picking up. ~ Thom Jurek

4. If Only for One Night by Wallace Roney (HighNote, 4/20/2010)

The inventive and adventurous open-minded approach of Wallace Roney’s first three HighNote releases is firmly maintained on IF ONLY FOR ONE NIGHT. Here Roney has succeeded in taking all of his influences and forging them into a coherent whole which is somehow more than the sum of its parts. IF ONLY FOR ONE NIGHT is full of provocation. Roney and company aren’t necessarily presenting an ideal of where jazz is today, but rather a lush representation of the genre’s possibilities. This music is challenging, vivacious and, above all, soulful.

5. Horace to Max by Joe Chambers (Savant, 4/20/2010)

Joe Chambers is one of the drummers from the fifties and sixties who, along with Max Roach and Art Blakey has influenced an entire generation of drummers. With an ensemble that includes stalwarts Eric Alexander on tenor saxophone, Xavier Davis on piano and others, Chambers here breathes fresh life into a number of well-known jazz classics. While the overall approach is mainstream, the sound is unequivocally contemporary. It remains reverential to tradition yet with a clear regard for jazz as a living, breathing entity.

“Now In Stores” – 5 Noteworthy Jazz Albums Released this Week (4/11/2010-4/17/10)

More to Live For – A Documentary

20 Apr

Admittedly, I have made it clear on a handful of posts on this blog that the late tenor saxophonist Michael Brecker is one of my jazz heroes, and personal heroes.

Whether you are a Brecker fan or not, there is a very interesting new documentary coming out in June of this year called More to Live For that I came across that features Brecker, as well as two other lives shaken by cancer.

As the documentary website describes:

““More to Live For” (Director Noah Hutton) is the story of three lives, all shaken by cancer and dependent upon the one vital bone marrow match that could save them. These individuals are similar only in their fate and prolific accomplishments: Michael Brecker-15-time Grammy winner, one of the greatest tenor saxophonists of all time; James Chippendale entertainment executive and founder of Love Hope Strength Foundation, the largest music centric cancer charity in the world and Seun Adebiyi, a young Nigerian training to become the first ever Nigerian Winter Olympic athlete in any sport.

Their unrelated paths become connected in a desperate fight for survival and a singular mission: to bring awareness about bone marrow donation to the millions of people who could save a life today. A film of tragedy and loss, strength and hope. “More to Live For” presents the stories of three individuals facing life and death, and their commitment to making a difference. These deeply personal accounts of confronting illness will inspire hope and action, leaving the viewer empowered to become part of the cure.”

Funds raised by the film will go to organizing bone marrow drives around the world (over 100 are already set for 2010), will set up the first ever bone marrow registry in Nigeria, and will Spread the awareness that becoming a donor is as easy as a cotton swab in the cheek and to donate is like giving platelets or plasma.

To find out more information about the film, check out www.moretoliveforfilm.com, and you can receive updates about the film via Twitter at http://twitter.com/M2L4.

Clash of the College Bands Tourney Champion – DePaul University

19 Apr

Congratulations to the winner of the First Annual Clash of the College Bands Tournament Winner, the DePaul University Jazz Ensemble 1, who beat the mighty University of North Texas One O’ Clock Lab Band with 58% of the vote!

I have to say, the DePaul fans came out in droves, and I was shocked to see how many people voted in this final round. We received 1,726 votes in a week, with DePaul receiving 1,001 votes.

To see the final bracket, click here.

The final standings from the tournament are:

1. DePaul University Jazz Ensemble 1

2. University of North Texas One O’ Clock Lab Band

3. University of Northern Iowa Jazz Band 1

4. Whitworth University Jazz Ensemble 1

5. University of Miami Concert Jazz Band

6. University of North Texas Two O’ Clock Lab Band

7. BYU Synthesis Big Band

8. University of Northern Colorado Jazz Enesmble

9. Willamette University Jazz Collective

10. Princeton University Big Band

11. Michigan State University Jazz Orchestra 1

12. University of North Florida Jazz Ensemble

We also received a ton of comments, especially in the last week, so I figure I will take the time to respond to a few of them.

First, there was a comment or two about music and competition. It is important to say that this tournament was entirely just for fun. It is also worth mentioning that musicians and bands participate in competitions all the time. Bands from middle school on up head to festivals (like the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival) all the time to go head to head.

Other comments were curious how the audio for each band was selected. In some cases, listeners sent me CD’s, and I pulled a song from that. In other cases, listeners emailed me a link to a page where  I could access audio of the band. And in a few cases, it was a overwhelming manhunt to find even the tiniest clip of a nominated band, so what I found was the best I could find.

The bands were nominated by readers of this blog, so if you were wondering why your college or university big band wasn’t in this tournament, it was because you didn’t nominate it.

And finally, I enjoyed the many comments about the talent of these musicians, from all bands, and how fun it was to listen to them. I couldn’t agree more. It was a lot of fun getting to hear each of these bands (and I must say, the two bands from UNT for me were particularly mind blowing), and allowing you the opportunity to hear them too. Radio stations don’t play a lot of “amateur” big band music, and it can be difficult to track down a CD of these bands, so the opportunity to hear them isn’t always there.

This was a fun little project, and if you would like me to do it again next year, feel free to leave a comment saying so. Also feel free to nominate college or university bands all year long in the comment box, and I will be sure to include them if we do this again.

And one more time, for your listening pleasure, the Clash of the College Bands Tournament Champion, DePaul University (click the link to listen):

DePaul University Jazz Ensemble I – Don’t Even Ask (courtesy of CD That Being Said by the DePaul University Jazz Ensemble 1)

———-

Clash of the College Bands Tournament – The Finals!

Clash of the College Bands Tourney – Week 10

Clash of the College Bands Tourney – Week 9

Clash of the College Bands Tourney – Week 8 (quarterfinals): University of North Texas Two O’ Clock Lab Band vs the DePaul University Jazz Ensemble 1

Clash of the College Bands Tourney – Week 7 (quarterfinals): University of North Texas One O’ Clock Lab Band vs the BYU Synthesis Big Band

Clash of the College Bands Tourney – Week 6 (quarterfinals): University of Northern Colorado Jazz Lab Band I vs Whitworth University Jazz Ensemble I

Clash of the College Bands Tourney – Week 5 (quarterfinals): University of Miami Concert Jazz Band vs. University of Northern Iowa Jazz Band I

Clash of the College Bands Tourney – Week 4: Michigan State University Jazz Ensemble I vs. University of North Texas Two O’ Clock Lab Band

Clash of the College Bands Tourney – Week 3: University of North Florida Jazz Ensemble vs. BYU Synthesis Big Band

Clash of the College Bands Tourney – Week 2: Willamette University Jazz Collective vs. University of Northern Colorado Jazz Lab Band 1

Clash of the College Bands Tourney Begins Now! Week 1: University of Miami Concert Jazz Band vs. Princeton University Big Band

Clash of the College Bands

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die (541-560)

17 Apr

Here is another 20 to add to the list.

Remember that there is no ranking system here, and if you don’t see your favorite jazz album yet, it doesn’t mean it won’t show up.

Every week I will offer up twenty more, in no particular order and with no ranking system or common theme (other than jazz of course).

Hopefully these lists will inspire you to seek some of these albums out that perhaps you haven’t heard before, or revisit an old favorite. And as always, we want your thoughts on any or all of these albums. Either way, let’s get started with this week, and in no particular order, albums 541 through 560.

541. Something More – Buster Williams (In & Out, 1989)

542. Live at the Cookery – Mary Lou Williams (Chiaroscuro, 1975)

543. Reach Out! – Hal Galper (Steeplechase, 1976)

544. The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady – Charles Mingus (GRP Records, 1963)

545. The Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra, Vol. 1 – Sun Ra (ESP/Disk-Caliber, 1965)

546. Roots – Slide Hampton (Criss Cross, 1985)

547. Now He Sings, Now He Sobs – Chick Corea (Toshiba EMI, 1968)

548. Porgy & Bess – Mundell Lowe (RCA, 1959)

549. Bass on Top – Paul Chambers (Blue Note, 1957)

550. Abbey is Blue – Abbey Lincoln (Riverside/OJC, 1959)

551. Alone Together – Jim Hall (Milestone/OJC, 1972)

552. The Congregation – Johnny Griffin (Blue Note, 1957)

553. Four for Trane – Archie Shepp (GRP Records, 1964)

554. Free Fall – Jimmy Guiffre (Columbia/Legacy, 1962)

555. Groovin’ with Jug – Richard “Groove” Holmes (Pacific Jazz, 1961)

556. The Wonderful World of Jazz – John Lewis (Atlantic, 1960)

557. Love, Gloom, Cash, Love – Herbie Nichols (Bethlehem High Fidelity, 1957)

558. Portraits in Ivory & Brass – Jack Walrath (Mapleshade Records, 1992)

559. Manhattan at Midnight – Ellis Larkins (Universal International, 1956)

560. The Modern Sound of Betty Carter – Betty Carter (Decca, 1960)

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die (521-540)

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die (501-520)

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die – The First 500

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