All-Star lineup to be featured at the 2011 Earshot Jazz Festival

10 Aug

The Earshot Jazz Festival gets kicked off in Seattle on October 14th and runs through November 6th. While the full schedule does not get released until September, the early bookings feature a wonderful variety of top tier musicians. Included are:

  • Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette – “Very simply, this is jazz at its finest” (Don Heckman, Los Angeles Times). “The trio of Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette is about as good as jazz gets” (Mike Zwerin, International Herald-Tribune). November 1, S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium at Benaroya Hall. Tickets for this concert go on sale in mid August through Benaroya Hall at http://www.BenaroyaHall.org and (206) 215-4747
  • Brad Mehldau, solo –The highly regarded jazz genius performs with astounding technique and “almost spiritual resonance” (Time Magazine). October 21, Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall.
  • The Bad Plus– The seminal bad boys of jazz return to ruffle the sedate Town Hall, on a bill with Europe’s iconoclastic Das Kapital. October 29, Town Hall Seattle
  • Roosevelt & Mountlake Terrace High School Jazz Bands– An opening concert with the bands that took 2nd and 3rd spots at this year’s Essentially Ellington competition. October 14, Town Hall Seattle
  • We Four: Celebrating John Coltrane – New York heavyweights Javon Jackson, sax, Mulgrew Miller, piano, Peter Washington, bass, and Jimmy Cobb, drums, pay tribute to Coltrane’s jazz legacy. (Jimmy Cobb, 82, performed with Coltrane on Miles Davis’s epochal album, Kind of Blue). October 22, Venue TBA
  • Evan Flory-Barnes’s Acknowledgement of a Celebration– The Seattle bassist and composer reprises his jazz/rock/classical/hip-hop masterwork. October 22, Kirkland Performance Center
  • A series of concerts and educational programs with fresh young artists, jazz masters, and returning Cornish alumni and faculty, featuring Myra Melford, Allison Miller, Julian Waterfall Pollack, Jim Knapp, Jay Clayton, Jerry Granelli, and the Mongolian jazz ensemble Arga Belig. October 24 through 29, Poncho Concert Hall, Cornish College of the Arts
  • Grace Kelly group– The emerging but hard hitting saxophonist premieres in Seattle in Tula’s, “one of America’s top 100 jazz clubs.” November 2 & 3, Tula’s
  • Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra– “An Evening with Ol’ Blue Eyes: The Music of Frank Sinatra.” November 5, Nordstrom Recital Hall & November 6, Kirkland Performance Center
  • and many, many, more

Tickets for the Earshot Jazz Festival will be on sale in early September through Earshot Jazz. Complete concert information will be available as it develops at http://www.earshot.org and 206-547-6763.

"Now in Stores" XIV

6 Aug

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

1. Bouncer by Cedar Walton (Half Note Records, July 19, 2011) CLICK HERE TO BUY

NEA Jazz Master Cedar Walton has enjoyed an up-tempo career, which never seems to slow down. As a composer, Cedar is one of the finest in jazz whose works have been widely recorded with many now being recognized as jazz standards. For his latest HighNote recording, Walton returns to his favored quintet format with poll-winning trombonist Steve Turre adding his luxurious, velvet tone to Vincent Herring’s saxophone sound.

2. Dawn of Goodbye by Dominick Farinacci (Entertainment One Music, July 26, 2011) CLICK HERE TO BUY

Following the acclaim that greeted his first album for eOne Lovers, Tales & Dances the young trumpet genius Dominick Farinacci returns with a new set of tunes that reveals new dimensions and nuances in his emerging, individual blend of instrumental fire and ice. Doms first album was a lush, orchestirated affair but on Twilight Blue, he is fronting a smaller, more swinging and agile ensemble that navigates standards and originals with equal finesse.
The buzz on Farinacci has been building in core jazz circles for two years. His club appearances in Los Angeles and New York have been well-attended by tastemakers such as Quincy Jones, Herb Alpert, and Wynton Marsalis, who has served as a mentor to Dominick since Doms days at Juilliard. And award-winning jazz blogger/journalist Doug Ramsey has been an influential champion at his website, Rifftides.
Now, the jazz world prepares for a new taste of the Farinacci magic: melodic, colorful, and always in the groove. This album may be called Twilight Blue, but its kaleidoscopic vibe shines through all the time.

3. The Unissued Seattle Broadcast by John Coltrane (Rare Live Recordings, June 14, 2011) CLICK HERE TO BUY

Import-only live archive release from the Jazz legend. On September 30, 1965, John Coltrane took his new group to The Penthouse, in Seattle, to make a professional recording during that engagement which would later be issued on Impulse as Live In Seattle. That same day, the group was broadcast over the radio and the music was taped by an amateur fan. All preserved music from this broadcast, which doesn’t duplicate a single note of the aforementioned album, is presented on this release. Among its highlights are a long version of an untitled original tune, and Trane’s final version of Billy Strayhorn’s ‘Lush Life’, which only appears in his discography on two other occasions.

4. The Gathering by Diane Schuur (Vanguard Records, June 7, 2011) CLICK HERE TO BUY

Two-time Grammy® Award winner and one of contemporary jazz’s leading vocalists, Diane Schuur, has signed with Vanguard Records. She will be releasing her label debut, The Gathering, on June 7th. With a distinguished career that spans nearly three decades, Schuur’s new album is unique in both material and style, and features special guests Alison Krauss, Vince Gill, Mark Knopfler, Larry Carlton and Kirk Whalum. The Gathering is a collection of 10 classic country songs, mostly written during the golden era of the 1960s, and is the first time Schuur has featured this genre of music. On selections like Willie Nelson’s “Healing Hands of Time,” Roger Miller’s “When Two Worlds Collide,” Merle Haggard’s “Today I Started Loving You Again” and Tammy Wynette’s “Til I Can Make It on My Own,” Schuur’s great vocal versatility shines through.

5. Family Fugue by Bucky & John Pizzarelli (Abors Records, July 12, 2011) CLICK HERE TO BUY

Pure Pizzarelli magic at its finest! A special Benny Goodman salute by Bucky and John Pizzarelli, recorded live at Tanglewood with Martin Pizzarelli on bass, Larry Fuller on piano, and Tony Tedesco on drums.

 

 

“Now in Stores” XIII

“Now in Stores” XII

“Now in Stores” XI

“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” XIV

6 Aug

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

1. Bouncer by Cedar Walton (Half Note Records, July 19, 2011) CLICK HERE TO BUY

NEA Jazz Master Cedar Walton has enjoyed an up-tempo career, which never seems to slow down. As a composer, Cedar is one of the finest in jazz whose works have been widely recorded with many now being recognized as jazz standards. For his latest HighNote recording, Walton returns to his favored quintet format with poll-winning trombonist Steve Turre adding his luxurious, velvet tone to Vincent Herring’s saxophone sound.

2. Dawn of Goodbye by Dominick Farinacci (Entertainment One Music, July 26, 2011) CLICK HERE TO BUY

Following the acclaim that greeted his first album for eOne Lovers, Tales & Dances the young trumpet genius Dominick Farinacci returns with a new set of tunes that reveals new dimensions and nuances in his emerging, individual blend of instrumental fire and ice. Doms first album was a lush, orchestirated affair but on Twilight Blue, he is fronting a smaller, more swinging and agile ensemble that navigates standards and originals with equal finesse.
The buzz on Farinacci has been building in core jazz circles for two years. His club appearances in Los Angeles and New York have been well-attended by tastemakers such as Quincy Jones, Herb Alpert, and Wynton Marsalis, who has served as a mentor to Dominick since Doms days at Juilliard. And award-winning jazz blogger/journalist Doug Ramsey has been an influential champion at his website, Rifftides.
Now, the jazz world prepares for a new taste of the Farinacci magic: melodic, colorful, and always in the groove. This album may be called Twilight Blue, but its kaleidoscopic vibe shines through all the time.

3. The Unissued Seattle Broadcast by John Coltrane (Rare Live Recordings, June 14, 2011) CLICK HERE TO BUY

Import-only live archive release from the Jazz legend. On September 30, 1965, John Coltrane took his new group to The Penthouse, in Seattle, to make a professional recording during that engagement which would later be issued on Impulse as Live In Seattle. That same day, the group was broadcast over the radio and the music was taped by an amateur fan. All preserved music from this broadcast, which doesn’t duplicate a single note of the aforementioned album, is presented on this release. Among its highlights are a long version of an untitled original tune, and Trane’s final version of Billy Strayhorn’s ‘Lush Life’, which only appears in his discography on two other occasions.

4. The Gathering by Diane Schuur (Vanguard Records, June 7, 2011) CLICK HERE TO BUY

Two-time Grammy® Award winner and one of contemporary jazz’s leading vocalists, Diane Schuur, has signed with Vanguard Records. She will be releasing her label debut, The Gathering, on June 7th. With a distinguished career that spans nearly three decades, Schuur’s new album is unique in both material and style, and features special guests Alison Krauss, Vince Gill, Mark Knopfler, Larry Carlton and Kirk Whalum. The Gathering is a collection of 10 classic country songs, mostly written during the golden era of the 1960s, and is the first time Schuur has featured this genre of music. On selections like Willie Nelson’s “Healing Hands of Time,” Roger Miller’s “When Two Worlds Collide,” Merle Haggard’s “Today I Started Loving You Again” and Tammy Wynette’s “Til I Can Make It on My Own,” Schuur’s great vocal versatility shines through.

5. Family Fugue by Bucky & John Pizzarelli (Abors Records, July 12, 2011) CLICK HERE TO BUY

Pure Pizzarelli magic at its finest! A special Benny Goodman salute by Bucky and John Pizzarelli, recorded live at Tanglewood with Martin Pizzarelli on bass, Larry Fuller on piano, and Tony Tedesco on drums.

 

 

“Now in Stores” XIII

“Now in Stores” XII

“Now in Stores” XI

“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)

Clark Terry Documentary Near Completion

4 Aug

Kevin Kniestedt interviewing Clark Terry in the KPLU studios in 2007

I could not think of a living jazz musician more deserving of a documentary about him or herself than the great Clark Terry.

It was a true high point in my career when I had the opportunity to interview Clark Terry a couple of years back, hearing about what it was like to instruct Miles Davis, play with both Duke Ellington and Count Basie, and to hear him perform “Mumbles” a few feet in from of my face.

Now, his influence and inspiration will be brought to the screen in a documentary called “Keep on Keepin’ On”.

The film primarily focuses on Terry’s influence on two musicians: the co-producer of the film (and drummer) Alan Hicks, and blind pianist Justin Kauflin, both in their twenties.

Terry, who is 90, maintains the same intensity and straight talk with these two students as he might have with former students like Quincy Jones and Miles Davis. The phrase “Keep on Keepin’ On” is a phrase that Terry has used for over 70 years in an effort to motivate and inspire students.

The filmmakers have been attempting to fund the film out of pocket, but have also incorporated donations through Kickstarter, a unique participatory funding resource that allows individuals to contribute to the project. Depending on how much individuals might give, donors can receive a variety of Clark Terry memorabilia. Donations are being accepted through August 8th.

The film also follows Terry as he works on his autobiography, due for release in October.

Congratulations to Clark Terry, not only one of the few remaining living legends of jazz, but someone who has spent so much time educating and mentoring others in the art.

Support this film
Related Links:

Remembering Duke Ellington on his 110th Birthday with Clark Terry

Clark Terry Honored at the Grammy Awards

The end of the Jazz Masters

1 Aug

For thirty years, the National Endowment for the Arts has honored jazz musicians with the highest award for the genre, the NEA Jazz Masters Award. The recipients of the 2012 NEA Jazz Masters Award (including Jack DeJohnette, Von” Freeman, Sr., Charlie Haden, Sheila Jordan, and Jimmy Owens), will apparently be the last group to earn the $25,000 fellowship.

The National Endowment of the Arts’ FY-12 Appropriations Request cut $21 million dollars, returning to its 2008 funding level.

Among the changes include the establishment of “American Artists of the Year awards,” which will “remove specific reference to Jazz, Folk, and Opera” and give discipline awards annually in two categories:

  • Performing Arts: Dance/Music/Opera/Musical Theater/Theater
  • Visual Arts: Design/Media Arts/Museums/Visual Arts (including crafts)

The way I read it, it means no more Jazz Masters. Also from the report:

Replacement of the large-scale honorific celebrations in Jazz, Opera, and Folk and Traditional Arts with a less expensive effort which celebrates all of the arts (consistent with our 2012 legislative request).

Previous winners include Count Basie, Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis, and Sarah Vaughan, just to name four of the 123 recipients. The first NEA Jazz Masters awards were given in 1982.

National Endowment for the Arts Announces the 2012 NEA Jazz Masters

HBO's "Treme" kept music a centerpiece in Season 2

9 Jul

Season 2 of the HBO television series Treme just came to a close, and was renewed for a third season.

While one might say that an ongoing theme in Season 1 was immediate recovery and adjustment for the city of New Orleans immediately following Hurricane Katrina, and Season 2 examined issues with violence and corruption a year later, music remained a vibrant focal point throughout.

Far from simply offering an enjoyable soundtrack, Season 2 of Treme shows the overwhelming importance of music in New Orleans on a variety of levels. Keeping with the mission in the first season, Treme continues to use New Orleans musicians as reoccurring characters playing themselves, in venues they might normally be found, as well as great cameo appearances from jazz and folk superstars.

Season 2 featured musical highlights including scenes and performances by NOLA locals and non-locals, including Dr. John, Donald Harrison, Henry Butler, Kermit Ruffins, the Hot 8 Brass Band, Galactic, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Ron Carter, John Hiatt and Shawn Colvin.

Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers

These performances and appearances were not only entertaining, but keep in stride with the attempts of the program to offer a certain element of “real”. Kermit Ruffins is regularly found leading groups in NOLA bars and clubs to packed crowds. Donald Harrison is recruited late in the season to perform on a record designed to mix modern jazz with the sounds of Mardi Gras Indians. As KPLU’s Robin Lloyd pointed out to me, this is very appropriate for Harrison. He is the Big Chief of the Congo Nation Afro-New Orleans Cultural Group which keeps alive the secret traditions of Congo Square, but has also spent a great deal of time being involved in everything from smooth jazz to hip-hop.

In the Season 2 finale, hope was offered after a tumultuous season, where Jazz Fest takes center stage, and the program closes out with an emotional montage set to the Louis Armstrong recording of Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams.

While the close of Season 2 suggests more optimism than the finale of Season 1 did, several elements of pain and struggle to come for the city of New Orleans in Season 3 are indicated. No doubt that it will be set to the wonderful sounds and music of a city that continues to struggle in recovery.

HBO’s “Treme” kept music a centerpiece in Season 2

9 Jul

Season 2 of the HBO television series Treme just came to a close, and was renewed for a third season.

While one might say that an ongoing theme in Season 1 was immediate recovery and adjustment for the city of New Orleans immediately following Hurricane Katrina, and Season 2 examined issues with violence and corruption a year later, music remained a vibrant focal point throughout.

Far from simply offering an enjoyable soundtrack, Season 2 of Treme shows the overwhelming importance of music in New Orleans on a variety of levels. Keeping with the mission in the first season, Treme continues to use New Orleans musicians as reoccurring characters playing themselves, in venues they might normally be found, as well as great cameo appearances from jazz and folk superstars.

Season 2 featured musical highlights including scenes and performances by NOLA locals and non-locals, including Dr. John, Donald Harrison, Henry Butler, Kermit Ruffins, the Hot 8 Brass Band, Galactic, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Ron Carter, John Hiatt and Shawn Colvin.

Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers

These performances and appearances were not only entertaining, but keep in stride with the attempts of the program to offer a certain element of “real”. Kermit Ruffins is regularly found leading groups in NOLA bars and clubs to packed crowds. Donald Harrison is recruited late in the season to perform on a record designed to mix modern jazz with the sounds of Mardi Gras Indians. As KPLU’s Robin Lloyd pointed out to me, this is very appropriate for Harrison. He is the Big Chief of the Congo Nation Afro-New Orleans Cultural Group which keeps alive the secret traditions of Congo Square, but has also spent a great deal of time being involved in everything from smooth jazz to hip-hop.

In the Season 2 finale, hope was offered after a tumultuous season, where Jazz Fest takes center stage, and the program closes out with an emotional montage set to the Louis Armstrong recording of Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams.

While the close of Season 2 suggests more optimism than the finale of Season 1 did, several elements of pain and struggle to come for the city of New Orleans in Season 3 are indicated. No doubt that it will be set to the wonderful sounds and music of a city that continues to struggle in recovery.

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