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!

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.”

Dave Brubeck – Legacy Of A Legend

4 Dec

This Monday, December 6th, Dave Brubeck will turn 90 years old. Last year, Brubeck performed more than 50 concerts with his quartet, and he continues to deliver new compositions.

In celebration of his birthday, Columbia has released a new double-CD anthology. It features 21 songs handpicked by Brubeck, spanning his Columbia Records tenure (1954-1970). The album includes a previously unreleased live take of “Three to Get Ready” recorded at Classic Quartet’s final concert on December 26, 1967.

Additionally, TCM will premiere a new documentary, Dave Brubeck: In His Own Sweet Way, executive-produced by Clint Eastwood on his birthday this Monday.

CLICK HERE TO BUY DAVE BRUBECK: LEGACY OF A LEGEND

Grammy Nominations Announced

2 Dec

Last night the nominations we announced for the Grammy Awards. Here are the nominations in jazz categories, as well as some other categories which included jazz artists. The Grammy Awards show will take place February 13th, 2011 at 8 PM.

44. Best Contemporary Jazz Album
For albums containing 51% or more playing time of INSTRUMENTAL tracks.

The Stanley Clarke Band
The Stanley Clarke Band
[Heads Up International]

Never Can Say Goodbye
Joey DeFrancesco
[HighNote Records]

Now Is The Time
Jeff Lorber Fusion
[Heads Up International]

To The One
John McLaughlin
[Abstract Logix]

Backatown
Trombone Shorty
[Verve Forecast]

45. Best Jazz Vocal Album
For albums containing 51% or more playing time of VOCAL tracks.

Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959): To Billie With Love From Dee Dee
Dee Dee Bridgewater
[Emarcy]

Freddy Cole Sings Mr. B
Freddy Cole
[HighNote Records]

When Lights Are Low
Denise Donatelli
[Savant Records]

Ages
Lorraine Feather
[Jazzed Media]

Water
Gregory Porter
[Motéma Music]

46. Best Improvised Jazz Solo
For an instrumental jazz solo performance. Two equal performers on one recording may be eligible as one entry. If the soloist listed appears on a recording billed to another artist, the latter’s name is in parenthesis for identification. Singles or Tracks only.

Solar
Alan Broadbent, soloist
Track from: Live At Giannelli Square: Volume 1
[Chilly Bin Records]

A Change Is Gonna Come
Herbie Hancock, soloist
Track from: The Imagine Project
[Hancock Records]

Body And Soul
Keith Jarrett, soloist
Track from: Jasmine
[ECM]

Lonely Woman
Hank Jones, soloist
Track from: Pleased To Meet You
[Justin Time Records]

Van Gogh
Wynton Marsalis, soloist
Track from: Portrait In Seven Shades (Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra)
[Jazz At Lincoln Center]

47. Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group
For albums containing 51% or more playing time of INSTRUMENTAL tracks.

Positootly!
John Beasley
[Resonance Records]

The New Song And Dance
Clayton Brothers
[ArtistShare]

Historicity
Vijay Iyer Trio
[ACT Music + Vision]

Moody 4B
James Moody
[IPO Recordings]

Providencia
Danilo Perez
[Mack Avenue Records]

48. Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album
For large jazz ensembles, including big band sounds. Albums must contain 51% or more INSTRUMENTAL tracks.

Infernal Machines
Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society
[New Amsterdam Records]

Autumn: In Moving Pictures Jazz – Chamber Music Vol. 2
Billy Childs Ensemble Featuring The Ying String Quartet
[ArtistShare]

Pathways
Dave Holland Octet
[Dare2 Records]

54
Metropole Orkest, John Scofield & Vince Mendoza
[Emarcy/Universal]

Mingus Big Band Live At Jazz Standard
Mingus Big Band
[Jazz Workshop, Inc./Jazz Standard]

49. Best Latin Jazz Album
Vocal or Instrumental.

Tango Grill
Pablo Aslan
[ZOHO]

Second Chance
Hector Martignon
[Zoho]

Psychedelic Blues
Poncho Sanchez
[Concord Picante]

Chucho’s Steps
Chucho Valdés And The Afro-Cuban Messengers
[Four Quarters Entertainment]

¡Bien Bien!
Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet
[Patois Records]

75. Best Contemporary World Music Album
Vocal or Instrumental.

Throw Down Your Heart , Africa Sessions Part 2: Unreleased Tracks
Béla Fleck
[Acoustic Planet Records]

All In One
Bebel Gilberto
[Verve]

ÕŸÖ
Angelique Kidjo
[Razor & Tie Entertainment]

Bom Tempo
Sergio Mendes
[Concord Records]

Om Namo Narayanaya: Soul Call
Chandrika Krishnamurthy Tandon
[Soul Chants Music]

84. Best Instrumental Composition
A Composer’s Award for an original composition (not an adaptation) first released during the Eligibility Year. Singles or Tracks only.

Aurora
Patrick Williams, composer (Patrick Williams The Big Band)
Track from: Aurora
[ArtistShare]

Battle Circle
Gerald Clayton, composer (Clayton Brothers)
[ArtistShare]

Box Of Cannoli
Tim Hagans, composer (The Norrbotten Big Band)
Track from: The Avatar Sessions
[Fuzzy Music]

Fourth Stream…La Banda
Bill Cunliffe, composer (Temple University Symphony Orchestra)
[Boyer College Of Music And Dance]

The Path Among The Trees
Billy Childs, composer (Billy Childs Ensemble)
Track from: Autumn: In Moving Pictures Jazz – Chamber Music Vol. 2
[ArtistShare]

85. Best Instrumental Arrangement
An Arranger’s Award. (Artist names appear in parentheses.) Singles or Tracks only.

Carlos
Vince Mendoza, arranger (John Scofield, Vince Mendoza & Metropole Orkest)
Track from: 54
[Emarcy/Universal]

Fanfare For A New Day
Patrick Williams, arranger (Patrick Williams The Big Band)
Track from: Aurora
[ArtistShare]

Itsbynne Reel
Gil Goldstein, arranger (Dave Eggar)
Track from: Kingston Morning
[Domo Records]

Monet
Ted Nash, arranger (Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra)
Track from: Portrait In Seven Shades
[Jazz At Lincoln Center]

Skip To My Lou
Frank Macchia, arranger (Frank Macchia)
Track from: Folk Songs For Jazzers
[Cacophony]

86. Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)
An Arranger’s Award. (Artist names appear in parentheses.) Singles or Tracks only.

Baba Yetu
Christopher Tin, arranger (Christopher Tin, Soweto Gospel Choir & Royal
Philharmonic Orchestra)
Track from: Calling All Dawns
[Tin Works Publishing]

Baby
Roger Treece, arranger (Bobby McFerrin)
Track from: Vocabularies
[Emarcy]

Based On A Thousand True Stories
Vince Mendoza, arranger (Silje Nergaard & Metropole Orchestra Strings)
Track from: A Thousand True Stories
[Sony]

Don’t Explain
Geoffrey Keezer, arranger (Denise Donatelli)
Track from: When Lights Are Low
[Savant Records]

Imagine
Herbie Hancock & Larry Klein, arrangers (Herbie Hancock, Pink, Seal, Jeff Beck,
India.Arie, Konono No 1 & Oumou Sangare)
Track from: The Imagine Project
[Hancock Records]

89. Best Album Notes

Alan Lomax In Haiti: Recordings For The Library Of Congress, 1936-1937
Gage Averill, album notes writer (Various Artists)
[Harte Recordings]

Keep An Eye On The Sky
Robert Gordon, album notes writer (Big Star)
[Rhino]

Side Steps
Ashley Kahn, album notes writer (John Coltrane)
[Prestige Records]

There Breathes A Hope: The Legacy Of John Work II And His Fisk Jubilee Quartet, 1909-1916
Doug Seroff, album notes writer (Fisk University Jubilee Quartet)
[Archeophone Records]

True Love Cast Out All Evil
Will Sheff, album notes writer (Roky Erickson With Okkervil River)
[ANTI-]

107. Best Classical Crossover Album
Award to the Artist(s) and/or to the Conductor.

Meeting Of The Spirits
Matt Haimovitz (Amaryllis Jarczyk, Jan Jarczyk, John McLaughlin, Dominic
Painchaud, Leanna Rutt & Matt Wilson)
[Oxingale Records]

Off The Map
The Silk Road Ensemble
[World Village]

Roots – My Life, My Song
Jessye Norman (Ira Coleman, Steve Johns, Mike Lovatt, Mark Markham & Martin
Williams)
[Sony Classical]

Tin, Christopher: Calling All Dawns
Lucas Richman, conductor (Sussan Deyhim, Lia, Kaori Omura, Dulce Pontes, Jia
Ruhan, Aoi Tada & Frederica von Stade; Anonymous 4 & Soweto Gospel Choir; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra)
[Tin Works Publishing]

Vocabularies
Bobby McFerrin
[Emarcy/Universal]

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