Archive | March, 2011

"Now in Stores" XI

29 Mar

Here are five more recent jazz releases worth giving a listen to:

1. Sophisticated Ladies by Charlie Haden (Emarcy, March 22, 2011) CLICK HERE TO BUY

An album of pure class – Legendary bassist Charlie Haden and his “film-noir” inspired quartet are joined in this album of atmospheric standards by some of the finest singers performing today: Diana Krall, Melody Gardot, Norah Jones, Cassandra Wilson, Renee Fleming and Ruth Cameron. Produced by Charlie Haden and Ruth Cameron, Sophisticated Ladies brings the seductive romance and style of a classic era to contemporary ears and tastes.

2. Pursuit of a Radical Rhapsody by Al Di Meola (Telarc, March 15, 2011) CLICK HERE TO BUY

On Di Meola’s latest outing, Pursuit of Radical Rhapsody, the guitar virtuoso and world music pioneer deals in more evocative and compelling sounds with his World Sinfonia ensemble, delivering hauntingly beautiful and deeply moving music from track to track. The collection kicks off with the entrancing, suite-like “Siberiana,” which opens with some tender call-and-response between Beccalossi’s accordion and Di Meola’s nylon string acoustic guitar before building to a turbulent section with searing electric guitar lines on top. On the affecting “Paramour’s Lullaby,” Di Meola takes a more deliberate approach on electric guitar, spinning warm, lyrical lines over the beautiful harmonies before engaging in spirited call-and-response with Beccalossi near the end of the piece. The rhythmically charged “Mawazine” (featuring percussionist Mino Cinelu) is broken up into two parts on the album and showcases some typically tasty electric guitar work by the leader.

3. Dancing Monk by Eric Reed (Savant, February 22, 2011) CLICK HERE TO BUY

Not only did Ahmad Jamal call Eric Reed “one of my very favorite pianists,” not only has he worked with such talents as Wynton Marsalis, Jessye Norman, Patti Labelle, Quincy Jones and others but he has composed film scores for Eddie Murphy and Tim Story and serves as musical director for The Alvin Ailey Dance Theater. Somehow he still finds time to teach, perform and cut his latest disc, “The Dancing Monk.” Here the genius of Monk is refracted through the prism of Eric’s own creativity resulting in ‘thoughts on’ rather than a ‘tribute to’ one of the true titans of jazz.

4. Tirtha by Vijay Iyer (Act Music & Vision) CLICK HERE TO BUY

Twenty-first century global chamber music, eminently listenable and vibrantly alive, from 2010 Grammy finalist and year-end list-topper Vijay Iyer! Here, the pianist introduces his newest project, an exciting and dynamic trio collaboration with two internationally renowned young Indian musicians living in the US. “Stunning … one of the best recordings of the year from one of our most exciting artists.” –DownBeat

5. Alone at the Vanguard by Fred Hersch (Palmetto Records, March 1, 2011) CLICK HERE TO BUY

Fred Hersch holds the unique distinction of being the first pianist to be asked to play solo at the renowned Village Vanguard in New York City. This recording documents his second and most recent week of performances at the club, November 30 through December 5, 2010. Some say after Fred recovered from his coma, his playing is deeper and more emotional. This album is a testament to that fact. Hersch is widely considered a genius on the piano. He moved to New York from Cincinnati in the 1970s, earning his credibility as a piano prodigy at Bradley’s. His list of credits as a band leader, co-leader, sideman and soloist are astounding. He has worked extensively with jazz masters Stan Getz, Joe Henderson, and Jane Ira Bloom, Art Farmer, Toots Thielemans, Gary Burton, Bill Frisell, Sam Jones and Charlie Haden and has appeared on over 100 recordings. He is also a three-time GRAMMY© nominee.

“Now in Stores” X

“Now In Stores” IX

“Now In Stores” VIII

“Now In Stores” VII

Now in Stores (Late May, June, and July)

“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)

“Now in Stores” XI

29 Mar

Here are five more recent jazz releases worth giving a listen to:

1. Sophisticated Ladies by Charlie Haden (Emarcy, March 22, 2011) CLICK HERE TO BUY

An album of pure class – Legendary bassist Charlie Haden and his “film-noir” inspired quartet are joined in this album of atmospheric standards by some of the finest singers performing today: Diana Krall, Melody Gardot, Norah Jones, Cassandra Wilson, Renee Fleming and Ruth Cameron. Produced by Charlie Haden and Ruth Cameron, Sophisticated Ladies brings the seductive romance and style of a classic era to contemporary ears and tastes.

2. Pursuit of a Radical Rhapsody by Al Di Meola (Telarc, March 15, 2011) CLICK HERE TO BUY

On Di Meola’s latest outing, Pursuit of Radical Rhapsody, the guitar virtuoso and world music pioneer deals in more evocative and compelling sounds with his World Sinfonia ensemble, delivering hauntingly beautiful and deeply moving music from track to track. The collection kicks off with the entrancing, suite-like “Siberiana,” which opens with some tender call-and-response between Beccalossi’s accordion and Di Meola’s nylon string acoustic guitar before building to a turbulent section with searing electric guitar lines on top. On the affecting “Paramour’s Lullaby,” Di Meola takes a more deliberate approach on electric guitar, spinning warm, lyrical lines over the beautiful harmonies before engaging in spirited call-and-response with Beccalossi near the end of the piece. The rhythmically charged “Mawazine” (featuring percussionist Mino Cinelu) is broken up into two parts on the album and showcases some typically tasty electric guitar work by the leader.

3. Dancing Monk by Eric Reed (Savant, February 22, 2011) CLICK HERE TO BUY

Not only did Ahmad Jamal call Eric Reed “one of my very favorite pianists,” not only has he worked with such talents as Wynton Marsalis, Jessye Norman, Patti Labelle, Quincy Jones and others but he has composed film scores for Eddie Murphy and Tim Story and serves as musical director for The Alvin Ailey Dance Theater. Somehow he still finds time to teach, perform and cut his latest disc, “The Dancing Monk.” Here the genius of Monk is refracted through the prism of Eric’s own creativity resulting in ‘thoughts on’ rather than a ‘tribute to’ one of the true titans of jazz.

4. Tirtha by Vijay Iyer (Act Music & Vision) CLICK HERE TO BUY

Twenty-first century global chamber music, eminently listenable and vibrantly alive, from 2010 Grammy finalist and year-end list-topper Vijay Iyer! Here, the pianist introduces his newest project, an exciting and dynamic trio collaboration with two internationally renowned young Indian musicians living in the US. “Stunning … one of the best recordings of the year from one of our most exciting artists.” –DownBeat

5. Alone at the Vanguard by Fred Hersch (Palmetto Records, March 1, 2011) CLICK HERE TO BUY

Fred Hersch holds the unique distinction of being the first pianist to be asked to play solo at the renowned Village Vanguard in New York City. This recording documents his second and most recent week of performances at the club, November 30 through December 5, 2010. Some say after Fred recovered from his coma, his playing is deeper and more emotional. This album is a testament to that fact. Hersch is widely considered a genius on the piano. He moved to New York from Cincinnati in the 1970s, earning his credibility as a piano prodigy at Bradley’s. His list of credits as a band leader, co-leader, sideman and soloist are astounding. He has worked extensively with jazz masters Stan Getz, Joe Henderson, and Jane Ira Bloom, Art Farmer, Toots Thielemans, Gary Burton, Bill Frisell, Sam Jones and Charlie Haden and has appeared on over 100 recordings. He is also a three-time GRAMMY© nominee.

“Now in Stores” X

“Now In Stores” IX

“Now In Stores” VIII

“Now In Stores” VII

Now in Stores (Late May, June, and July)

“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)

Jazz on Twitter

28 Mar

Since recently learning how to “tweet”, I have tracked down a number of jazz musicians and organizations that you can follow on Twitter. Here is many that I have tracked down (and a reminder, you can follow me on Twitter @KevinKniestedt).

Terence Blanchard: @T_Blanchard

Ron Blake: @RonBlakeMusic

Ramsey Lewis: @RamseyLewis

Maurice Brown: @mobettabrown

Matt Wilson: @mattwilsonjazz

Joshua Redman: @Joshua_Redman

Joe Lovano: @joelovano

Cassandra Wilson: @reallycassandra

Dianne Reeves: @DianneReeves1

David Marriott, Jr.: @RedRaspus

Chris Potter: @chrispotterjazz

Brian Blade: @BrianBlade

Bela Fleck: @belafleckbanjo

Lee Mergner (JazzTimes editor in chief): @JazzTimes

Jason Parker: @1WorkinMusician

Jamie Cullum: @jamiecullum

Blue Note Records: @bluenoterecords

Chick Corea: @ChickCorea

Karl Denson: @KarlDenson

Charlie Hunter: @charlie_hunter

Sean Jones: @sjonesjazz

Michael Buble: @michaelbuble

Nikki Yanofsky: @NikkiYanofsky

John Patitucci: @JohnJPatitucci

Dave Holland: @TheDaveHolland

Gerald Clayton: @geraldclayton

Vijay Iyer: @vijayiyer

Branford Marsalis: @bmarsalis

Wynton Marsalis: @wyntonmarsalis

Norah Jones: @NorahJones

Diana Krall: @DianaKrall

Christian Scott: @cscottjazz

Dave Douglas: @dave_douglas

Pat Metheny: @PatMetheny

Christian McBride: @mcbridesworld

Herbie Hancock: @herbie__hancock

Marsalis Music: @marsalismusic

Audio Blog: Jazz Perspectives with KPLU's Weekday Jazz Hosts (via Groove Notes)

27 Mar

An “encore edition” of a early Groove Notes blog for your enjoyment.

KPLU's four weekday jazz hosts, Dick Stein, Robin Lloyd, Abe Beeson, and myself, individually sat down and recorded thoughts on a variety of topics related to jazz. With all of us coming from different backgrounds and upbringings, you will hear very different and interesting perspectives on topics ranging from what the first jazz we remember ever hearing, what music was playing when we were growing up, what how we got hooked on jazz, what live ja … Read More

via Groove Notes

Audio Blog: Jazz Perspectives with KPLU’s Weekday Jazz Hosts (via Groove Notes)

27 Mar

An “encore edition” of a early Groove Notes blog for your enjoyment.

KPLU's four weekday jazz hosts, Dick Stein, Robin Lloyd, Abe Beeson, and myself, individually sat down and recorded thoughts on a variety of topics related to jazz. With all of us coming from different backgrounds and upbringings, you will hear very different and interesting perspectives on topics ranging from what the first jazz we remember ever hearing, what music was playing when we were growing up, what how we got hooked on jazz, what live ja … Read More

via Groove Notes

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die (761-770)

27 Mar

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 761 through 770.

761. Body and Soul – Dexter Gordon (1201 Music, 1967) CLICK HERE TO BUY

762. Long Yellow Road – Toshiko Akiyoshi (BMG, 1975) CLICK HERE TO BUY

763. Ellington is Forever, Vol. 1 – Kenny Burrell (Fantasy, 1975) CLICK HERE TO BUY

764. No Count Sarah – Sarah Vaughan (Emarcy, 1958) CLICK HERE TO BUY

765. The Road to You: Recorded Live in Europe – Pat Metheny (Geffen, 1993) CLICK HERE TO BUY

766. Outward Bound – Eric Dolphy (New Jazz/OJC, 1960) CLICK HERE TO BUY

767. Nina Simone in Concert – Nina Simone (Philips, 1964) CLICK HERE TO BUY

768. Live at Maybeck Recital Hall, Vol. 23 – Gene Harris (Concord Jazz, 1992) CLICK HERE TO BUY

769. Clark Terry (Polygram) – Clark Terry (PolyGram, 1954) CLICK HERE TO BUY

770. The Swinging Guitar of Tal Farlow – Tal Farlow (Verve, 1957) CLICK HERE TO BUY

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die (751-760)

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die – The First 750

For a good time call John Pizzarelli… (Part 2)

26 Mar

John Pizzarelli having a ball along with his audience at the KPLU studios.

…And for good eats call his Aunt Vera.

Recently we posted part 1 of a discussion between musician John Pizzarelli, KPLU jazz host Dick Stein, and Seattle Times food blogger Nancy Leson, and now it is time for part 2.

By Dick Stein

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW

What a great time Nancy and I had hanging out with Pizzarelli and talking about food, food movies and his aunt Vera’s cooking — immortalized in song in this segment.  One of the food movies we discussed, Big Night, about an Italian restaurant in the ’50s, features a deliriously over the top multi-course feast prepared for an expected visit from Louis Prima.

I once heard of a restaurant which sponsored a screening of Big Night, then had a mini-bus standing by to convey the subscribers back to a duplicate of the feast shown in the movie.  Any restaurants in the area want to volunteer?  Sign me up!

We’re already looking forward to welcoming Pizz back to KPLU.  If you missed his live on-air performance last week or just want to hear it again here’s where.

Nancy and I think that favorite food movies would be a good topic for an upcoming Food for Thought.  Post your favorites here for discussion down the road.  And speaking of food and movies….

“Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.”

— Sophia Loren

John Pizzarelli's box lunch serenade

14 Mar

In addition to being a popular jazz host on KPLU, Dick Stein also has a weekly conversation about food with Seattle Times food blogger Nancy Leson.

In addition to being a popular jazz musician, John Pizzarelli also loves food.

The three met up after Pizzarelli performed live in KPLU’s performance studio. Below highlights part 1 of 2 of their discussion.

By Dick Stein and Nancy Leson

CLICK HERE FOR AUDIO

The only difference between John Pizzarelli and a real ham is…

A real ham can be cured.  And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

After a tuneful 20 minute live studio session with Abe Beeson last week, the singer, guitarist and son of famed rhythm guitar master Bucky Pizzarelli joined us for a box lunch in the KPLU offices.

Of course he brought his guitar and serenaded us with music from the Great American Songbook and his own compositions — including his hilarious Garden State anthem I Love Jersey Best.

Knowing that Nancy was the number one Pizzarelli fangirl I made sure to alert her to this appearance.  What I hadn’t realized was that she and he had been corresponding for some time about food and cooking.

After lunch she, John and I stepped into a studio and recorded this Food for Thought.  We had so much fun  that I’ve made it into a two-parter.

I hope that listening,  you’ll feel yourself in the room with us as we all have great time chatting about food and music — but of course, mostly food.

John Pizzarelli’s box lunch serenade

14 Mar

In addition to being a popular jazz host on KPLU, Dick Stein also has a weekly conversation about food with Seattle Times food blogger Nancy Leson.

In addition to being a popular jazz musician, John Pizzarelli also loves food.

The three met up after Pizzarelli performed live in KPLU’s performance studio. Below highlights part 1 of 2 of their discussion.

By Dick Stein and Nancy Leson

CLICK HERE FOR AUDIO

The only difference between John Pizzarelli and a real ham is…

A real ham can be cured.  And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

After a tuneful 20 minute live studio session with Abe Beeson last week, the singer, guitarist and son of famed rhythm guitar master Bucky Pizzarelli joined us for a box lunch in the KPLU offices.

Of course he brought his guitar and serenaded us with music from the Great American Songbook and his own compositions — including his hilarious Garden State anthem I Love Jersey Best.

Knowing that Nancy was the number one Pizzarelli fangirl I made sure to alert her to this appearance.  What I hadn’t realized was that she and he had been corresponding for some time about food and cooking.

After lunch she, John and I stepped into a studio and recorded this Food for Thought.  We had so much fun  that I’ve made it into a two-parter.

I hope that listening,  you’ll feel yourself in the room with us as we all have great time chatting about food and music — but of course, mostly food.

US Postal Service to release new jazz stamp

13 Mar

On March 26, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana, the Postal Service will issue a Jazz commemorative stamp (Forever® priced at 44-cents), in one design in a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) pane of 20 stamps. The stamp was designed by Howard E. Paine, Delaplane, Virginia.

From the USPS website:

The U.S. Postal Service® is proud to pay tribute to jazz, America’s musical gift to the world, and to the musicians who play it on festival stages as well as in studios, clubs and concert halls. Art Director, Howard Paine, designed the stamp to showcase the work of Paul Rogers, an artist living in Pasadena, California. In creating the art for the stamp, originally using ink on paper and then finishing his work digitally, Rogers explored the way images could become a visual equivalent of jazz music. He was inspired by the cover art from vintage jazz record albums — work that captured the music’s improvisational quality while built on a clear understanding of its underlying structure.

The Jazz (Forever®) commemorative stamp is available as a Strip of 4 stamps, a Block of 10 stamps, or a Pane of 20 stamps.

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