Archive | July, 2010

Now in Stores ( Late May, June and July)

31 Jul

Here are  five new jazz albums that were released over the past month or so that are worth giving a listen to.

1. Jasmine by Keith Jarrett and Charlie Haden (ECM Records, May 25, 2010) CLICK HERE TO BUY

Jasmine marks Keith Jarrett’s first recorded collaboration in decades other than with his standards trio, and reunites him with the great bassist Charlie Haden, a close partner until the mid-seventies. Intimate, spontaneous and warm, this album of love songs recorded at Jarrett’s home, has affinities, in its unaffected directness, with his solo collection The Melody At Night With You. These deeply felt performances should inspire any listener “to call your wife or husband or lover in late at night,” as Jarrett says in his liner notes, “These are great love songs played by players who are trying, mostly, to keep the message intact.” The program on Jasmine includes such classic songs as “Body and Soul”, “For All We Know” , “Where Can I Go Without You”, “Don’t Ever Leave Me” as well as a rare Jarrett cover of a contemporary pop song, “One Day I’ll Fly Away”. Jarrett and Haden play the music and nothing but the music – as only they can. As Keith Jarrett says in his liner notes: “This is spontaneous music made on the spot without any preparation save our dedication throughout our lives that we won’t accept a substitute… These are great love songs played by players who are trying, mostly, to keep the message intact.”

2. The Imagine Project by Herbie Hancock (Herbie Hancock Records, June 21, 2010) CLICK HERE TO BUY

Herbie Hancock’s Imagine Project is an unprecedented international recording and film project featuring collaborations between music legend Herbie Hancock and a dozen superstars from every region of the planet. It utilizes the universal language of music to express its central themes of peace and global responsibility. The album combines Herbie s genre defying musical vision with the local musical identities of cultures from around the world. Herbie’s last two efforts, 2008’s Grammy Album of the Year River: The Joni Letters sold over 750,000 units worldwide and 2005’s Possibilities sold over one million units INTERNATIONALLY.

3. Nikki by Nikki Yanofsky (Decca, May 4, 2010)

Sixteen-year-old Nikki Yanofsky is poised to break out as one of the year’s most-exciting new artists with her self-titled CD Nikki. The press has hailed Yanofsky as a “young Ella Fitzgerald”–from jazz to originals, she is among the most unique vocalists in recent time. She has been captivating audiences from jazz festivals around the world and most recently appeared at the 2010 Winter Olympics. Her song “I Believe” has sold 4x platinum in Canada, garnering the highest first week of any Canadian artist in Soundscan history. Nikki is produced by 15-time Grammy®-winning producer Phil Ramone and Grammy® winning songwriter / producer Jesse Harris (best known for his work on Norah Jones’ Come Away With Me). “For Another Day” is the focus track and will be worked at AAA radio in the coming months. PBS pledge show Live From Montreal will begin airing in all major markets in May 2010.

4. Stanley Clarke Band by Stanley Clarke (Heads Up, June 15, 2010) CLICK HERE TO BUY

Renowned bassist Stanley Clarke’s new recording, The Stanley Clarke Band, is unlike his previous acoustic bass releases, Clarke feels that this album’s music is fresh and different from just about anything he’s done before. Produced by Clarke and Lenny White, the range of collaborative material on The Stanley Clarke Band has allowed him to venture to new levels of experimentation, utilizing his arsenal of bass instruments. Clarke compares this new release to the first three albums of his solo career: Journey to Love, Stanley Clarke, and School Days, with long extended electric pieces that take the listener on a kind of journey.

5. Double Portrait by Bill Charlap/Renee Rosnes (Blue Note Records, June 8, 2010) CLICK HERE TO BUY

Bill Charlap and Renee Rosnes, two of the premiere pianists in Jazz, and also husband and wife, have joined forces to record their first collaborative album, Double Portrait. The album is a sparkling set of four-hand piano duets that traverses many of the couple’s musical touchstones including the great jazz composers (Wayne Shorter, Joe Henderson), Great American Songbook composers (George & Ira Gershwin, Howard Dietz & Arthur Schwartz), and one of Rosnes’ own striking original compositions. The depth of musical experience shared between Charlap and Rosnes is truly staggering. Charlap is a two-time Grammy Award nominee and the son of two renowned musicians (Broadway composer Moose Charlap and pop singer Sandy Stewart) who has performed with icons such as Tony Bennett, Phil Woods and Gerry Mulligan, and served as the musical director of The Blue Note 7. The Canadian-born Rosnes is a four-time Juno Award winner who has collaborated with legends the likes of Wayne Shorter, Joe Henderson and J.J. Johnson, and has also been the pianist and contributing composer in the dynamic SFJAZZ Collective. It’s a happy musical marriage that both proclaim is “a natural evolution of our partnership and love for each other.”

“Now in Stores” – 5/16/2010 to 5/22/2010

“Now in Stores” – 5/2/2010 to 5/8/2010

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

“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 (681-690)

29 Jul

For those of you who have been following along with the list, you know that we add twenty albums each week. We are going to tweak things a bit for the remainder of the list, adding anywhere from 5 to ten albums at a time, but posting the lists a bit more frequently. Additionally, we will have links next to each album, so that if you find an album interesting, you can click on the link and buy it.

Here is another 10 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.

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 681 through 690.

681. A Night in Tunisia – Art Blakey (Blue Note, 1960) CLICK HERE TO BUY

682. Think of One – Wynton Marsalis (Columbia, 1983) CLICK HERE TO BUY

683. Monk in Motian – Paul Motian (Winter & Winter, 1988) CLICK HERE TO BUY

684. Destination Out! – Jackie McLean (Blue Note, 1963) CLICK HERE TO BUY

685. With Our Own Eyes – Mulgrew Miller (Novus, 1994) CLICK HERE TO BUY

686. Much Les – Les McCann (Atlantic, 1969) CLICK HERE TO BUY

687. Things Are Getting Better All The Time – J.J. Johnson (Original Jazz Classics, 1983) CLICK HERE TO BUY

688. Super Jazz 1 – Al Hirt/Pete Fountain (Monument Records, 1976) CLICK HERE TO BUY

689. Take The “A” Train – Dexter Gordon (Black Lion, 1967) CLICK HERE TO BUY

690. All of Me – Joey DeFrancesco (Columbia, 1989) CLICK HERE TO BUY

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die (671-680)

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die (661-670)

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die (651-660)

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die (641-650)

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die (621-640)

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die  (601-620)

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

Remembering Daniel Schorr

28 Jul

One of my job responsibilities is to host the local end of NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday for 88.5 KPLU. One of the benefits of doing that for the last several years has been the opportunity to hear Dan Schorr speak to Scott Simon every Saturday. Schorr, who covered the news for more than 60 years, from the Cold War to the important issues of today, offered some of the most knowledgeable, well-researched commentary, combined with an incredible memory of past events he covered. While the show kept me busy gathering newscasts, I would always pause when Daniel Schorr came on, always learning something valuable.

Daniel Schorr passed away last Friday at the age of 93, and the news world lost a giant and a mentor. He was described as a “walking history book”, and was reporting the news until virtually his very last breath.

As it was reported last Saturday morning, Schorr also had a friendship, believe it or not, with Frank Zappa. Zappa had recruited Schorr to go on tour with him to help promote voter registration.

The following link will take you to the NPR story and audio where you can hear Schorr perform “It Ain’t Necessarily So” with Zappa, a recording that Schorr had said he wanted played at his funeral. A lighter side to a man who covered so many serious and important topics in 60 years of broadcasting.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128738162

Spain and The Netherlands, Jazz, and the World Cup

18 Jul

The World Cup is over, and I suppose the time has come for me to stop complaining. I was cheering for Holland from the beginning, and was crushed when the Netherlands lost to Spain in the final minutes of overtime in the final, in what in general was a pretty good game.

These two countries are soccer superpowers, but have also made some nice contributions as far as jazz musicians go.

The Dutch boasts a drummer who is a virtuoso in all styles, from Dixieland to free jazz. I speak of Han Bennink, who was the drummer of choice for jazz musicians like Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins and Eric Dolphy when they would make their trips to Holland (in fact, Bennink was the drummer on Dolphy’s album Last Date from 1964).

Spain boasts the extremely talented blind-born pianist, Tete Montoliu. Montoliu learned to read music in Braille when he was seven, and a wonderful piano style followed shortly after. Several top-notch jazz musicians enjoyed working with Montoliu as well, including Lionel Hampton and Roland Kirk.

In addition to being thankful for the contributions the Netherlands and Spain gave to the 2010 World Cup, we can also be thankful for the contributions of their jazz musicians as well.

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die (671-680)

17 Jul

For those of you who have been following along with the list, you know that we add twenty albums each week. We are going to tweak things a bit for the remainder of the list, adding anywhere from 5 to ten albums at a time, but posting the lists a bit more frequently. Additionally, we will have links next to each album, so that if you find an album interesting, you can click on the link and buy it.

Here is another 10 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.

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 671 through 680.

671. Cool Struttin’ – Sonny Clark (Blue Note, 1958) CLICK HERE TO BUY

672. One Step Beyond – Jackie McLean (Blue Note, 1963) CLICK HERE TO BUY

673. From Kenton to Now – Peter Erskine (Fuzzy Music, 1995) CLICK HERE TO BUY

674. Beyond the Blue Horizon – George Benson (Sony Music Distribution, 1973) CLICK HERE TO BUY

675. Junior Mance Trio at the Village Vanguard – Junior Mance (Jazzland/OJC, 1961) CLICK HERE TO BUY

676. Newer Than New – Barry Harris (Original Jazz Classics, 1961) CLICK HERE TO BUY

677. Me and Mr. Jones – Javon Jackson (Criss Cross, 1991) CLICK HERE TO BUY

678. Crosswinds – Billy Cobham (Wounded Bird Records, 1974) CLICK HERE TO BUY

679. The Genius of the Electric Guitar (compilation) – Charlie Christian (Definitive, 1931-1941 recording dates, 1987 release date) CLICK HERE TO BUY

680. Pick Yourself Up With Anita O’Day – Anita O’Day (Verve, 1957) CLICK HERE TO BUY

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die (661-670)

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die (651-660)

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die (641-650)

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die (621-640)

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die  (601-620)

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

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die (661-670)

11 Jul

For those of you who have been following along with the list, you know that we add twenty albums each week. We are going to tweak things a bit for the remainder of the list, adding anywhere from 5 to ten albums at a time, but posting the lists a bit more frequently. Additionally, we will have links next to each album, so that if you find an album interesting, you can click on the link and buy it.

Here is another 10 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.

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 661 through 670.

661. Epistrophy – Charlie Rouse (Savoy Jazz, 1988) CLICK HERE TO BUY

662. Brain – Hiromi (Telarc Distribution, 2004) CLICK HERE TO BUY

663. At Carnegie Hall, 1946 – Woody Herman (Universal/MGM, 1946) CLICK HERE TO BUY

664. That’s A Serious Thing (compilation) – Jack Teagarden (Bluebird RCA, 1929-1957 recording dates, 1992 compilation date) CLICK HERE TO BUY

665. Chicago/Austin High School Jazz in Hi-Fi – Bud Freeman (BMG Ariola, 1957) CLICK HERE TO BUY

666. Five Feet of Soul – Jimmy Rushing (Roulette Records, 1963) CLICK HERE TO BUY

667. Zoot Sims and the Gershwin Brothers – Zoot Sims (Pablo, 1975) CLICK HERE TO BUY

668. Sings the Irving Berlin Song Book – Ella Fitzgerald (Verve, 1958) CLICK HERE TO BUY

669. Democracy – Kenny Werner (Half Note Records, 2006) CLICK HERE TO BUY

670. The Cape Verdean Blues – Horace Silver (Blue Note, 1965) CLICK HERE TO BUY

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die (651-660)

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die (641-650)

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die (621-640)

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die  (601-620)

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

Doc pays tribute to Dizzy – 1958

10 Jul

Trumpeter and bandleader Doc Severinsen recently celebrated his 83rd birthday. After an extremely brief retirement following the end of Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show, Doc can be found back on the road again teaming up with the group El Ritmo De La Vida. At 83, his chops are still in great shape, and his wardrobe is still flashy.

Here is a video originally from a program called The Subject is Jazz from 1958, where we see Doc in a rare setting outside of a big band.

Happy Birthday Doc!

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