Archive | December, 2010

My Interviews from 2010…Two Doctors and Nikki

27 Dec

The latter half of 2010 allowed me the opportunity to interview three very different musicians. I’ve decided to re-post these interviews with some photos.

September 7th I found myself in our performance studio for an interview and live performance from Dr. John.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW AND PERFORMANCE WITH DR. JOHN

A month later I had the opportunity to interview legendary bandleader, and another “doctor”, Doc Severinsen by telephone. Doc was on tour with El Ritmo De La Vida.

Doc Severinsen Interview – 5 1/2 Minute Feature

Doc Severinsen Interview – 28 Minute Full Interview

After interviewing two music legends, I would switch gears a week later and meet a rising star. Teenage jazz vocalist Nikki Yanofsky joined me for an interview and live performance.

Listen to the Session Here

I hope you enjoyed these interviews, and I’m looking forward to many more in 2011!

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Merry Christmas from Groove Notes…and Ella and Bird

25 Dec

On behalf of the staff at KPLU and Jazz24, I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas. Here are a couple holiday songs/videos featuring Ella Fitzgerald and Charlie Parker.

Christmas Jazz

22 Dec

If you are looking for some jazz in holiday style to get your hands on, you might want to consider these Christmas jazz albums. Some might be more of a challenge to track down than others. Also, this Friday morning (Christmas Eve) at midnight, I will be broadcasting Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite in its entirety. Western Washington listeners can catch in on 88.5 FM, and everybody else can hear it at kplu.org.

A Charlie Brown Christmas – Vince Guaraldi (Fantasy, 1965)

Crescent City Christmas Card – Wynton Marsalis (Sony Music Distribution, 1990)

Django Bells – The Gypsy Hombres (Memphis International, 2002)

Ella Wishes You A Swinging Christmas – Ella Fitzgerald (Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, 1960)

Jingle Bell Jazz (Compilation) – Various Artists (Columbia, 1990)

Smashed For The Holidays – Jacqui Naylor (Ruby Records, 2007)

Sound of Christmas – Ramsey Lewis (Chess, 1961)

Christmas Jazz Jam – Wynton Marsalis (Somerset Entertainment, 2009)

Have Yourself a Soulful Little Christmas – Kenny Burrell (Verve, 1966)

20th Century Masters – The Christmas Collection: The Best of Louis Armstrong – Louis Armstrong (Hip-O Records, 2003)

Christmas Time is Here – Dianne Reeves (Blue Note Records, 2004)

Christmas ’64 – Jimmy Smith (Verve, 1964)

A Merry Christmas! – Stan Kenton (Capitol Jazz, 1963)

The Spirit of Christmas – Ray Charles (Rhino, 1985)

Christmas Songs with the Ray Brown Trio – Ray Brown (Telarc Distribution, 1999)

Jazz For Joy (Compilation) – Various Artists (Polygram, 1996)

A Swingin’ Christmas – Tony Bennett with the Count Basie Big Band (RPM, 2008)

Christmas with Jimmy McGriff – Jimmy McGriff (Collectible Records, 1964)

Christmas Songs – Diana Krall (Verve, 2005)

Merry Christmas From Doc Severinsen and The Tonight Show Orchestra – Doc Severinsen (Amherst Records, 1991)

Clark Terry Turns 90

14 Dec

Happy birthday to one of the greatest jazz trumpeters ever, and a musician who inspired me personally as a trumpet player.

CLICK HERE to listen to my interview with Clark Terry from 2007, which includes him playing his famous “Mumbles”.

Also, CLICK HERE to leave a happy birthday message on his blog.

Saxophonist James Moody dies of pancreatic cancer

11 Dec

James Moody passed away on Thursday. Here is a remembrance posted in the Seattle Times.

Entertainment | Saxophonist James Moody dies of pancreatic cancer | Seattle Times Newspaper.

The Associated Press

SAN DIEGO —Jazz saxophonist James Moody is best known for his 1949 “Moody’s Mood for Love,” but when he recorded the hit that eventually was elected into the Grammy Awards’ Hall of Fame, he said, he was just “trying to find the right notes.” 

“People later said to me: ‘You must have been very inspired when you recorded that.’ And I said: ‘Yeah I was inspired to find the right notes!'” Moody told the San Diego Union-Tribune in February.

The song later was recorded by Aretha Franklin, Van Morrison, Amy Winehouse and others. Longtime fan and confidante Bill Cosby called it a “national anthem.”

Moody, who recorded more than 50 solo albums as well as songs with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie and B.B. King, died Thursday at San Diego Hospice after a 10-month battle with pancreatic cancer, his wife said. He was 85.

“James Moody had a sound, an imagination and heart as big as the moon. He was the quintessential saxophone player, and his ‘Moody’s Mood for Love’ will forever be remembered in jazz history side by side with Coleman Hawkins’ classic ‘Body and Soul,'” friend and collaborator Quincy Jones said in a statement Thursday. “Today we’ve lost not only one of the best sax players to ever finger the instrument, but a true national treasure.”

His last album, “Moody 4B,” was recorded in 2008 and released in 2010, receiving a Grammy nomination earlier this month for best jazz instrumental album.

Moody was nominated for several other Grammies. He received a 1998 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters award and a 2007 Kennedy Center Living Jazz Legend award. He has also been inducted into the International Jazz Hall of Fame.

Moody was “a titan of our music” who was “just impeccable, his musicianship, his soul, his humor,” Wynton Marsalis said.

“Moody’s Mood for Love,” his interpretation of the 1935 ballad “I’m in the Mood for Love,” was recorded in Sweden, and it was elected into the Grammy Awards’ Hall of Fame in 2001.

Moody sang the song with Nancy Wilson on an episode of “The Cosby Show” in the 1980s. Cosby also featured the song in the 2004 movie “Fat Albert.”

“He has taught me integrity, how to express love for your fellow human beings, and how to combine and contain manhood and maturity,” Cosby told the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Moody, born in Savannah, Ga., joined Dizzy Gillespie’s all-star big band in the 1940s. He was featured in the first episode of the PBS series “Legends of Jazz,” and walked an invisible dog in the 1997 film “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” when he was cast by longtime fan Clint Eastwood.

Moody performed on stages around the world, including the White House, Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl and London’s Royal Festival Hall. His last public performance was Jan. 28 at a Grammy-sponsored show in Seal Beach.

Moody’s talent wasn’t confined to jazz – he was a member of the Las Vegas Hilton Orchestra in the 1970s, sharing the spotlight with everyone from Glenn Campbell, Liberace and the Osmonds to Lou Rawls and Elvis Presley.

Many of those artists sang “Moody’s Mood for Love.”

“James Moody is one of the blueprints that you measure yourself up against,” said Laurie Ann Gibson, creative director for Interscope Records and choreographer for several Lady Gaga music videos.

A public funeral service is scheduled Dec. 18 at Greenwood Memorial Park, followed by a public celebration of his life at Faith Chapel in Spring Valley.

Moody is survived by Linda Moody, his third wife; daughter Michelle Bagdanove; sons Patrick, Regan and Danny McGowan; brother Lou Watters; four grandchildren and one great grandson.

'JAZZ: The Smithsonian Anthology' to be released in March

10 Dec

Seven years in the making, ‘JAZZ: The Smithsonian Anthology’ will be released by Smithsonian Folkways on March 29th, 2011. The six-CD box set traces the turning points of this 20th-century tale through its legendary innovators and exemplary exponents: Armstrong, Ellington, Basie, Parker, Gillespie, Davis, Hancock, Corea, Coltrane and many more. The set opens with Scott Joplin’s 1899 “Maple Leaf Rag” and spans the entire century, closing with Tomasz Stańko’s 2003 “Suspended Night Variation VIII.”

As the successor to the original 1973 milestone ‘Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz,’ the set has been substantially updated with more than eighty percent new selections. In its nearly eight hours of music, many hundreds of musicians are featured on 111 tracks, and the set is accompanied by a 200-page book of essays, track annotations and historical photos. The six CDs encompass ragtime, New Orleans, swing, bebop, hard bop, cool, modal, free, fusion, Latin and many more of the variegated creations in jazz’s magnificent sound mosaic.

A blue ribbon executive committee selected the final 111 recordings from thousands of tracks recommended by dozens of jazz experts, and with annotations contributed by a team of 35 scholars and educators, ‘JAZZ’ offers a wellspring resource for jazz fans of all stripes – educators, students, musicians, beginners and aficionados.

‘JAZZ: The Smithsonian Anthology’ renews Folkways Records’ founder Moses Asch’s commitment to letting the “people’s music” be heard and fulfills the educational mission of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, the nonprofit record label of the United States national museum. More than a half century after the 11-volume Folkways Records JAZZ series of the early 1950s, Smithsonian Folkways echoes its legacy of offering a comprehensive, contemporary vision of the history, diversity and beauty of this consummate American musical invention that today belongs to the world.

The box set focuses on artists rather than tracks; only the most important artists who represented multiple, distinct styles in the span of a career were chosen for more than one cut. That elite group includes such giants as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Art Blakey and John Coltrane.

Musicians now lesser known, such as saxophonists Frankie Trumbauer and Lucky Thompson, guitarist Lonnie Johnson, pianist Meade “Lux” Lewis, bandleader Machito and trumpeter Shorty Rogers are also given their due.

The track annotations are extremely detailed yet remarkably clear, making the text alone an invaluable resource for anyone who wants to learn more about jazz. The Scott Joplin notes include a disquisition on ragtime form, the Tomasz Stańko entry discusses the state of jazz in the Eastern Bloc before the fall of the Berlin Wall and the five separate essays tracing the evolution of Miles Davis from bebop to fusion are a revelation in themselves.

View the box set packaging here:

http://bit.ly/i0l0QO

“The extensive research done for this anthology could have produced many different sets representing disparate viewpoints,” says producer Richard James Burgess in his album notes. “Our intention is that ‘JAZZ: The Smithsonian Anthology’ will stimulate aficionados and interested listeners, serve as an empowering tool for educators and students, and provide a panoramic overview of jazz as well as a solid jumping off point for further explorations of this inspiring musical culture.”

‘JAZZ: The Smithsonian Anthology’ to be released in March

10 Dec

Seven years in the making, ‘JAZZ: The Smithsonian Anthology’ will be released by Smithsonian Folkways on March 29th, 2011. The six-CD box set traces the turning points of this 20th-century tale through its legendary innovators and exemplary exponents: Armstrong, Ellington, Basie, Parker, Gillespie, Davis, Hancock, Corea, Coltrane and many more. The set opens with Scott Joplin’s 1899 “Maple Leaf Rag” and spans the entire century, closing with Tomasz Stańko’s 2003 “Suspended Night Variation VIII.”

As the successor to the original 1973 milestone ‘Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz,’ the set has been substantially updated with more than eighty percent new selections. In its nearly eight hours of music, many hundreds of musicians are featured on 111 tracks, and the set is accompanied by a 200-page book of essays, track annotations and historical photos. The six CDs encompass ragtime, New Orleans, swing, bebop, hard bop, cool, modal, free, fusion, Latin and many more of the variegated creations in jazz’s magnificent sound mosaic.

A blue ribbon executive committee selected the final 111 recordings from thousands of tracks recommended by dozens of jazz experts, and with annotations contributed by a team of 35 scholars and educators, ‘JAZZ’ offers a wellspring resource for jazz fans of all stripes – educators, students, musicians, beginners and aficionados.

‘JAZZ: The Smithsonian Anthology’ renews Folkways Records’ founder Moses Asch’s commitment to letting the “people’s music” be heard and fulfills the educational mission of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, the nonprofit record label of the United States national museum. More than a half century after the 11-volume Folkways Records JAZZ series of the early 1950s, Smithsonian Folkways echoes its legacy of offering a comprehensive, contemporary vision of the history, diversity and beauty of this consummate American musical invention that today belongs to the world.

The box set focuses on artists rather than tracks; only the most important artists who represented multiple, distinct styles in the span of a career were chosen for more than one cut. That elite group includes such giants as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Art Blakey and John Coltrane.

Musicians now lesser known, such as saxophonists Frankie Trumbauer and Lucky Thompson, guitarist Lonnie Johnson, pianist Meade “Lux” Lewis, bandleader Machito and trumpeter Shorty Rogers are also given their due.

The track annotations are extremely detailed yet remarkably clear, making the text alone an invaluable resource for anyone who wants to learn more about jazz. The Scott Joplin notes include a disquisition on ragtime form, the Tomasz Stańko entry discusses the state of jazz in the Eastern Bloc before the fall of the Berlin Wall and the five separate essays tracing the evolution of Miles Davis from bebop to fusion are a revelation in themselves.

View the box set packaging here:

http://bit.ly/i0l0QO

“The extensive research done for this anthology could have produced many different sets representing disparate viewpoints,” says producer Richard James Burgess in his album notes. “Our intention is that ‘JAZZ: The Smithsonian Anthology’ will stimulate aficionados and interested listeners, serve as an empowering tool for educators and students, and provide a panoramic overview of jazz as well as a solid jumping off point for further explorations of this inspiring musical culture.”

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