Saturday, November 21, 2015

The world premiere of "Jaco" in LA, Nov 22

Tomorrow, November 22, don't miss the world-premiere of "JACO" (featuring Joni Mitchell, Flea, Jerry Jemmott, Herbie Hancock, Sting, Bootsy Collins, Wayne Shorter, Geddy Lee) and all-star tribute concert this Sunday night at the Ace Theatre in LA. The trailer, the line-up and your tickets are right here:

7pm - Sunday, Nov 22, 2015
$21 - $120
The Theatre at Ace Hotel
929 South Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90015
(213) 623-3233


After selling out advance screenings at film festival all over the world, on Nov 22nd producer Robert Trujillo (Metallica) presents the much-anticipated World Premiere of the award-winning film, JACO, with a red-carpet celebration and concert.

Praised by critics and fans, the film has been described as a biopic journey into the heart and soul of one of the most influential musicians of the twentieth century, Jaco Pastorius, and features Joni Mitchell, Sting, Flea, Herbie Hancock, Carlos Santana, Geddy Lee and many more. A player's player, bassists across genre and across continents consider Jaco Pastorius "their Hendrix."

After the screening, Robert Trujillo with his band funk rock collective, Mass Mental Mass Mental along with Flea, Billy Idol, Jerry Jemmott, and Felix Pastorius' band, Hipster Assassins will take the stage for a tribute concert to remember.

Directed by Mr. Paul Marchand (Good Hair, Big River Man) and Stephen Kijak (Scott Walker: 30th Century Man). Produced by Robert Trujillo (Metallica). John Battsek (Searching for Sugarman, Restrepo) is an Executive Producer.

Friday, November 20, 2015

R.I.P.: Ed Uribe

R.I.P.: Ed Uribe
(born July 16, 1957;
died November 20, 2015)

Drummer, Percussionist, Educator, teacher at the Berklee College of Music.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Hubert Laws in the world premiere live performance of Bolling's work arr. by Steve Barta

After the CD release, now we'll finally hear it live! Reserve tickets before concerts sell out!

Hubert Laws and Jeffrey Biegel will be the guest soloists in the World Premiere of the new Steve Barta 'Symphonic Arrangement' of the timeless classic Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano by Claude Bolling, that is one of the best releases of the year.

Drummer Evan Biegel (Jeffrey's son) and bassist Michael F. X. Molloy will join The South Shore Symphony Orchestra conducted by Scott Jackson Wiley this Friday and Saturday (November 20 & 21) @ The Madison Theatre (1000 Hampstead Ave., Rockville Centre, NY).

The program also includes Fred Gorfe's epic "Grand Canyon Suite."

Contact the Madison Theater box office or call (516) 323-4444. Don't miss this unique event!

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Mike Longo Trio live in NY, tomorrow

Let's celebrate the Season of Thanksgiving with hot jazz from the Mike Longo Trio featuring Ray Mosca on drums and Paul West on bass when they pay tribute to some of the Great Jazz Composers on Tuesday, November 17 at "Jazz Tuesdays".

"Jazz Tuesdays" is located in the Gillespie Auditorium at the New York Baha'i Center at 53 East 11th Street (between University Place & Broadway). There will be two shows at 8:00 and 9:30 p.m. For advanced ticket sales and information call 212-222-5159. Admission is 15.00, $10.00 for students.

Afro-Cuban Percussion Class with Melena

Percussion Class with Melena this coming November 22nd @ The Historical Remo Cultural Center. See you there my friends. Remo provides the drums.

Courtney Lemmon in Hollywood, Nov 18

This Wednesday, November 18, 7pm-10pm @ Sadie Kitchen and Lounge (1638 N Las Palmas Ave, Hollywood), the fantastic Courtney Lemmon will be celebrating Ryan Van Tuyl's Birthday and he will be playing BASS as well as vocalist Jenn Lucas turning 21!
This show is going to ROCK!  2 dinner sets of great music planned, make your reservation today. It's no cover at Sadie AND all ages!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Anna Mjöll live in Beverly Hills, Nov 21

"The Anna Mjöll Show" Spaghettini Beverly Hills / Dave Koz Lounge - November 21 
with Anna Mjöll - Sinclair Lott - Roger Shew - Ed Czach -

Fashion Tuesday @ Skyroom, NY, Nov 17

November 17 @ Skyroom Rooftop (330 W 40th St, New York, NY), join us for one great night of fun with new friends as we socialize and support the one of a kind Designs by Gigo Carnet. Happy Hour until 7pm, no cover all night and shows start at 9pm.

Los Angeles Stands with Paris

Today, November 14th
Consulate General De France
10390 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

We will gather to show that we stand united with the people of Paris and those facing violence everywhere. Terror seeks to divide; we shall work to unite. Those armed with love and compassion are #StrongerTogether.

Please join us for a vigil at the Consulate General of France as We Stand with Paris.

Julia Postolov Kantor's French band, Paris Chansons, releases a tribute to peace & hope

Julia Postolov Kantor's French band, Paris Chansons, just released their first single “Bamiyan” which is a tribute to peace and hope.                

Bamiyan is the place in Afghanistan where the enormous statues of the Buddha were destroyed by the Taliban in 2001.  But this song is really about what can never be destroyed - faith and hope.

"We originally wrote the song in English and we recently collaborated with a French songwriter who re-invented the lyrics into French," Julia says. "I have a dream to share this song with more people around the world and to get this song into a film or TV project to inspire more people.   If you would like to share it with people you know, I would love that!"

So, here it is!

Next December 1st @ Sofitel Los Angeles, Paris Chansons, presents "Autour du monde" (Around the world) featuring their original renditions of French favorites from Aznavour to Zaz plus some international gems. New songs and surprises await you including a special dance performance by the Cabaret Versatile dancers!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Legendary producer Orrin Keepnews to be honored at a Memorial Concert @ Yoshi's, Nov 29

Orrin KeepnewsWhen Orrin Keepnews passed away at his El Cerrito home on March 1, the day before his 92nd birthday, he left behind an unparalleled legacy as a jazz producer, advocate, and entrepreneur. Keepnews's brilliant career spanned more than 60 years, during which time he founded three forward-thinking labels (Riverside, Milestone, Landmark) and produced hundreds of major jazz artists including Thelonious Monk, Bill Evans, McCoy Tyner, Cannonball Adderley, Flora Purim and Mulgrew Miller.
Several of the artists he worked closely with -- vocalist Wesla Whitfield, pianist Mike Greensill, saxophonist Dave Ellis, and Kronos Quartet -- are Bay Area-based and will be among the performers at the Orrin Keepnews Memorial Concert, scheduled for the afternoon of Sunday, November 29 (1:00-3:15pm) at Yoshi's in Oakland. Bassist John Wiitala and drummer Lorca Hart will round out the Dave Ellis-led "house band" for the occasion. Proceeds from the benefit concert are earmarked for the Orrin Keepnews Scholarship Fund at the California Jazz Conservatory.
Orrin Keepnews, Wesla Whitfield, Danny Kopelson, Mike Greensill"I met Orrin in the 'Washbag' [the legendary San Francisco watering hole] in 1984,' recalls Greensill. "I was playing saloon piano and had just finished a version of Cy Coleman's 'It Amazes Me' when I felt a tap on the shoulder and this guy says, 'I didn't know anybody still knew that song.' And so I met, and drank with, Orrin Keepnews, a man with impeccable taste in songs, singers, and saloons. We became friends and I introduced him to my wife Wesla Whitfield and the rest, as they say is history."

"Orrin Keepnews was a master record producer," says Whitfield, pictured at left with Keepnews, engineer Danny Kopelson, and Greensill. "His decision to sign me to his Landmark Records label was the beginning of a wonderful recording relationship that spanned 16 albums. Orrin loved the 'songbook' as much as he loved jazz. He once told me that it was Cannonball Adderley who introduced him to legendary cabaret singer Mabel Mercer."

"Orrin and I first met when we were both on a panel for the California Arts Council, after which he drove me home from Sacramento," says David Harrington, Kronos Quartet's violinist and artistic director. "What a fantastic drive that was -- Orrin introduced me to the life of Thelonious Monk in the most riveting way, with his detailed accounts of various recording sessions and intriguing stories. What a fabulous storyteller Orrin was and what a force in music! By the time he dropped me off at my home we had it figured out that Kronos would record an album of Monk's music for Orrin's new label Landmark Records. I felt almost like I was on a first-name basis with Thelonious Monk because of Orrin's vivid recollections. And so began our 31-year friendship . . . ."
Martha Egan, Orrin Keepnews, Wesla Whitfield
                (Martha Egan, Orrin Keepnews, Wesla Whitfield)

In addition to the musical performances by the above-named artists, other musician friends will be on hand for a jam session, and friends and family -- including Orrin's widow, Martha Egan, and his sons Peter and David Keepnews, flying in from New York City -- will offer commentary from the stage.
The Orrin Keepnews Memorial Concert
Sunday, November 29
1:00-3:15 pm (doors open at 12:30)
510 Embarcadero West, Oakland
Tickets$10 students, $25 advance/$30 at the door
Photo of Orrin with Grammy Award: R. Diamond/WireImage

San Francisco Chronicle obituary
New York Times obituary 
R.I.P.: Orrin Keepnews
So sad to know about the passing of my friend Orrin Keepnewsyesterday. He would turn 92 today. I had the honor to produce reissues of many albums he produced, as well as to include Orrin's tracks in some of my compilations. All true jazz lovers know that he is one of the most important producers in the jazz history (IMHO, he, Norman Granz andCreed Taylor).

We all owe a great debt to Orrin for what he did at his Riverside label in the early 60s, by signing people like Wes MontgomeryBill Evans, andCannonball Adderley, and producing their first solo albums. He later sold Riverside to Fantasy Records, but founded a new label, Milestone, in 1966, signing people like Jim Hall and Lee Konitz. 

Once again, due to financial problems, he had to sold his trademark; and once again Fantasy got it (in '72). But they kept Orrin in creative control of Milestone, and soon it became one of the best jazz labes of the 70s, even signing the revolutionary Brazilian jazz vocalist Flora Purim in late '73 and producing the best six albums of her life (this photo below is from the "Open Your Eyes You Can Fly" sessions and shows Orrin sandwiched by Flora and Hermeto Pascoal, with George Duke and Airto on the back). 
(from left to right: Ndugu, Alphonso Johnson, Flora, Airto, Orrin, Duke, Hermeto; pic by Bruce Talamon, NOT used on the album)

He also signed Sonny Rollins, McCoy Tyner, Gary Bartz, OPA, Raul de Souza, Joe Henderson and many others. When Ron Carter left CTI, Orrin also got him, and formed the Milestone Jazzstars (with Ron, Tyner, Rollins and drummer Al Foster). In 1980, Orrin left Milestone, and created Landmark Records in 1985, which was distributed by...Fantasy! Among the main releases, were albums by Bobby Hutcherson, Kronos Quartet and the late Mulgrew Miller, to whom I was introduced by Orrin, back in 1987. Till some years ago, he continued to supervise (for Concord, who now owns the whole Fantasy catalog) many reissues of his albums. Respect & Love, Forever! 
RIP: Orrin Keepnews
1953 grndeten die New Yorker Orrin Keepnews und Bill Grauer die Plattenfirma Riverside Records. Grauer, 1922 geboren, verantwortete die wirtschaftliche Seite, sein ein Jahr jngerer Freund Keepnews kmmerte sich als Produzent um die musikalischen Belange. Thelonious Monk war zwar nicht der erste Jazzmusiker, der von Riverside unter Vertrag genommen wurde. Doch die Alben, die der als kauzig und schrullig verrufene Pianist und Komponist zwischen 1955 und 1961 unter der Ägide von Keepnews im Studio aufgenommen hatte, begründeten den legendären Ruf dieses amerikanischen Jazz-Labels.

Auch wenn Monk mit der Idee, als erstes ein Album mit Duke-Ellington-Titeln aufzunehmen, nicht glcklich war, so war es dennoch ein geschickter Schachzug von Keepnews, weil er mit Plays Duke Ellington deutlich machte, was fr ein stilbildender Pianist Monk doch war. Und er konnte zeigen, dass er einen Riecher fr außergewöhnliche Jazzmusiker hatte. Den besaß er zum Beispiel auch, als er Julian Cannonball Adderley fr Riverside unter Vertrag nahm. Der Altsaxofonist war es dann, der ihm 1959 enthusiastisch den Gitarristen Wes Montgomery empfahl. Ich habe mich selbst immer als Katalysator verstanden, hat Keepnews einmal gesagt. Ich habe nie ein Instrument gespielt und fand heraus, dass genau dies meine Stärke als Produzent war. Mein Job war es, die bestmögliche Umgebung zu schaffen, in der Musiker sich verwirklichen konnten.

Sein Meisterstck machte Keepnews 1961. Auf zwei Riverside-LPs, Sunday At The Village Vanguard und Waltz For Debby, erschien der Livemitschnitt eines Konzerttages mit dem Bill Evans Trio im New Yorker Club Village Vanguard. Mit diesen LPs wurde die Besetzung Piano, Bass, Schlagzeug zur musikalischen Gattung - mehr noch: Diese setzten den Maßstab schlechthin für viele Jazz-Piano-Trios späterer Jahre. 1963 starb Bill Grauer unerwartet. Ein Jahr lang stemmte sich Keepnews gegen das Ende von Riverside. 1964 musste er aber aufgeben: Zu weit war der Spagat zwischen künstlerischem Anspruch und wirtschaftlicher Realität.

Aber Keepnews ließ sich nicht entmutigen. Zwei Mal sollte er noch Grnder von Plattenfirmen werden: 1966 von Milestone und 1980 von Landmark Records. Ab 1972 war er acht Jahre lang Head Of Artist & Repertoire fr das Label Fantasy Records, dem er zuvor die Kataloge von Riverside und Milestone verkauft hatte. Viermal bekam er einen Grammy, zuletzt 2004 den Trustees Award fr sein Lebenswerk. 2011 wurde er von der amerikanischen Stiftung National Endowment For The Arts zum NEA Jazz Master ernannt. Sein Name ist mittlerweile ein Gtesiegel: Unter dem Signet Orrin Keepnews Collection werden viele seiner Produktionen wiederveröffentlicht. Ein Tag vor seinem 92. Geburtstag, am 1. März, ist Keepnews im kalifornischen El Cerrito gestorben. Bereits 1962 schrieb der Pianist Bill Evans ein Stck zu Ehren seines Produzenten: Re: Person I Knew ist ein Anagramm des Namens Orrin Keepnews.

Scarlett Martinez Fashion Show in Florida

This next Friday, November 13, 9pm-11pm
Kitchen 305, 16701 Collins Avenue, Sunny Isles Beach, FL, US
Order tickets via Eventbrite:

COME and support a current female ARMY Scarlett Martinez, who will showcase her new fahsion designs inspired by her service in the military this Friday! It's complimentary Fashion Show and open bar right after for ladies!
Bring friends and families! Let's support such a talented young lady and thank her for daily sacrifice to our nation.

Misha Piatigorsky Trio Birthday Bash, Nov 13th

Mark Murphy's pianist in one of his last albums -- the sublime "Never Let Me Go" --, Misha Piatigorsky will be performing with his trio @ Zinc Bar (82 W 3rd St, New York) next Friday, November 13.
"It's about that time again!" Misha says. "I've made it through another year (pat on the back)...what a better way to celebrate my birthday than with a bottle of scotch, a stage, and lots of friends. See u there!"

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Historical Box Set of the Month - "John Coltrane: A Love Supreme / The Complete Masters"

Historical Box Set of the Month
John Coltrane: "A Love Supreme / The Complete Masters" (Impulse!) 3-CD set
Release Date: November 20, 2015

Reissue Produced by Michael Cuscuna
Digitally remastered using 20-bit technology by Erick Labson
Original Album Producer: Bob Thiele.

Recorded at Van Gelder Studios (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey) on December 9, 1964, and The Festival Mondial Du Jazz Antibes, Juan-Les-Pins, France in July 1965. Includes liner notes by John Coltrane, Ashley Kahn, Ravi Coltrane.
Featuring: John Coltrane (tenor sax, voice), Archie Shepp (tenor sax), McCoy Tyner (piano), Jimmy Garrison & Art Davis (bass), Elvin Jones (drums).

Easily one of the most important records ever made, John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme" was his pinnacle studio outing that at once compiled all of his innovations from his past, spoke of his current deep spirituality, and also gave a glimpse into the next two and a half years.

John Coltrane and his classic quartet (Elvin Jones, Jimmy Garrison and McCoy Tyner) went into the legendary Van Gelder Studio in New Jersey and recorded "A Love Supreme" -- the four-part suite that has influenced musicians and reached generations of fans far beyond the jazz world. Far less known is the fact that Coltrane, his classic quartet and two additional musicians -- the legendary saxophonist Archie Shepp and second bassist, Dr. Art Davis -- returned to the studio the next day to cut the opening part of the suite again. Until now, the complete picture of what happened on those two days, including all takes, overdubs, and even studio chatter, has been unavailable.

That has changed now that Verve will issue "A Love Supreme: The Complete Masters" on November 20, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the release of this seminal recording. Available in 2CD and 3CD sets, it includes this alternate version, taken from reels from the personal collection of John Coltrane and originally recorded in incredible sonic detail by Rudy Van Gelder, along with revised notes and detailed information on these amazing lost sessions. There's also, on the third disc, the complete live performance of "A Love Supreme" in Juan-les-Pins, France, in 1965.

This release kicks off a celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Verve label, which will include myriad catalog releases, digital exclusives and box sets through the end of 2016.
"A Love Supreme" is the essential example of John Coltrane's genius. In what has become the apotheosis of jazz music, this eminently accessible work bridges the gap between music and spirituality, between art and life. With the ultimate incarnation of the jazz quartet, Coltrane brings together all of his turbulent elements into a cohesive paean to spirituality, one which is fully appreciable by the uninitiated.

The original album comprises a 33-minute work divided into four movements. "Acknowledgment" starts the album with a heraldic summoning from Coltrane's tenor saxophone, full and joyous, which approximates the tone of the prayer he provides in the album's liner notes. The solo that follows reveals an artist whose spiritual depth and emotional urgency are matched by an adherence to logic and a resolve to achieve one goal above all--communication. Each simple musical statement is either followed by a motivic development or countered with a conversational response. Coltrane climaxes with a distilled four-note motif echoing the album's title, which he plays with by sequencing it through a wide array of tonalities. Finally, the band comes in, reiterating this idea, chanting the mantra "A Love Supreme."

"Acknowledgment" is followed by the torrential release of "Resolution," whose melody Coltrane fervently states to the animated accompaniment of his superb rhythm section. Laying the groundwork is drummer Elvin Jones, who approximates the effect of multiple percussionists feeding off of each other, creating an enormous texture of rhythm. McCoy Tyner's colorful piano clusters act as gusts of wind supporting Trane's soaring expressions. Bassist Jimmy Garrision takes the low road, keeping everyone on track. With support like this, Coltrane is free to explore the uncharted depths of his soul. On "Resolution," we can hear the very fabric of Trane's voice being stretched to the limit, as if even the horn which he has mastered is not a worthy enough vehicle for this man's spirit.

The rousing "Pursuance" features some vigorously swinging playing from Tyner, furiously followed by Coltrane's climaxes in an inspired hurling of ideas. Bassist Garrison brings us to the conclusion, an extended "Psalm" that acts as a resolved denouement in which Trane slowly muses over a lush bed of tranquil sounds -- almost as if he were reflecting upon the wisdom achieved at this apex of his spiritual journey. Although the music is slowed, the level of intensity is maintained, as if we've reached a plateau upon which we may ponder what is pronounced in the liner notes, "Elation--Elegance--Exaltation--All from God." Via John Coltrane.

10" Vinyl of the Month - "Serenade: Night Ballads From Bethlehem"

10" Vinyl LP of the Month
"Serenade - Night Ballads From Bethleem" (Bethlehem Jazz/Archives of America) 

A compilation, released exclusively on a 10" vinyl disc, featuring some of the best ballads produced by Creed Taylor during his early years at Bethleem.
New liner notes by Cary Ginell.
Model: Kate Patton
Official release date: November 09, 2015

Side A
1. Helen Carr - "Lonely Street" (2:19)
2. Audrey Morris - "If You Could See Me Now" (2:24)
3. Johnny Hartman - "I'll Remember April" (3:10)
4. Julie London - "Don't Worry 'Bout Me" (3:34)
Side B
1. Chris Connor - "Don't Wait Up For Me" (2:33)
2. Herb Jeffries - "Angel Eyes" (2:45)
3. Nina Simone - "Don't Smoke In Bed" (3:10)
4. Johnny Hartman - "I'll Follow You" (3:32)

CD Reissue of the Month - "Airto Moreira: Return To Forever"

CD Reissue of the Month
Airto: "Return To Forever" (CTI/Wounded Bird)
Release Date: October 20, 2015

***** (musical performance, recording & mix)
**** (remastering)

Produced by Creed Taylor
Recorded & Mixed by Rudy Van Gelder @ Van Gelder Studios (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey)
Cover Photo: Pete Turner
Album Design: Blake Taylor
Featuring: Airto Moreira (drums, percussion, wood flutes, vocals), Keith Jarrett (acoustic piano), Chick Corea (Fender Rhodes), Ron Carter (acoustic bass), Stanley Clarke (electric bass), Jay Berliner (acoustic guitar), George Benson (electric guitar), Joe Farrell (soprano sax & flute), Hubert Laws (flute), Flora Purim (vocals)
Brass Arrangements by Don Sebesky

What a surprise! In a smart marketing strategy, Wounded Bird decided to reissue Airto's "Free" with the cover & title of its second reissue that came out in 1982 as part of the CTI 8000 series, remastered by Van Gelder and using a different cover art, although it kept part of Pete Turner's original cover photo.

Airto's first album for CTI (and his third as a leader, after "Natural Feelings" and "Seeds On The Ground"), "Free" had been already reissued in 1979 with another cover, but the original title. In 1982, however, when Creed Taylor decided to "reissue the reissue", the option to change the album title was to take advantage of the huge following of Chick Corea's Return To Forever group; specially because Corea had played on two tracks of the album, one of them being his fusion anthem "Return To Forever," chosen by Creed as the opening tune.

Creed Taylor also asked one of his sons, and by then CTI's new art director Blake Taylor, to provide a new artwork in a non-gatefold cover, replacing Bob Ciano's original design.

So it's sure that this CD reissue will appeal to all Airto's fans as well as to CTI's obsessive collectors, a comminity that doesn't stops to grow around the globe.

Besides the five tunes from the original vinyl, the CD includes three bonus tracks that appeared on an European CD released by Sony in 2003. Actually, two of them had already been selected for the first CD reissue that came out in the USA by CBS Associated in 1987: Moacir Santos' gracious "Jequié" and Keith Jarrett's charming bossa "So Tender." The alternate take of Victor Assis Brasil's "Creek" was selected for inclusion on the 2003 CD.

Jarrett shines on Purim's "Flora's Song," with a hypnotic Eastern mood, and mainly on his own "Lucky Southern," developing a truly perfect solo that deserved a transcription and analysis in DownBeat magazine. Jay Berliner does a nice Spanish-tinged solo (on acoustic guitar) on "Flora's Song" while George Benson goes electric (but in a very subtle way, sounding almost like Jim Hall thanks to Van Gelder's warm mix) on "Lucky Southern." There's no Benson solo though; he just plays the lovely melody in unison with Hubert Laws' flute.

Joe Farrell's best moment happens on the official take of "Creek," a tune composed by Brazilian saxophonist Victor Assis Brasil, who was living in the USA at that time and had traveled from Boston (he was studying at the Berklee College of Music) to NY to play on his song, at Airto's invitation. However, after the first take (that remains unreleased), Creed Taylor called Joe Farrell (who was already at Van Gelder's studio to play on other tracks) to replace him. Something that hurted Victor, who never forgave the producer.

The longest track, "Free" is a piece completely improvised by Airto at the spur-of-the-moment, on which he employs dozens of percussion instruments, uses vocal effects and even a wooden flute, sometimes creating a dialogue with Ron Carter's bass like they used to do in concerts by the CTI All Stars. No trap drums at all. Later on, Creed overdubbed Hubert Law's flute and Flora's vocal effects (some sensuous screams.)

ps: "Free," recorded in March & April 1972, was orginally released on LP by CTI on October 24, 1972. Woosh, 'nuff said! Now, enjoy the fabulous music!

Monday, October 26, 2015

R.I.P.: Havana Carbo (1935-2015)

Just got the sad news that singer and composer Gladys Havana Carbo Flower passed away yesterday, October 25, 2015, at 6:35pm in the Berkshires, Massachusetts, after a long battle against cancer.

I loved her. I love her. Carbo released few albums, but all are sublime. A supreme balladeer, one of the best singers I've ever heard, in the same level of Shirley Horn and Helen Merrill, she was considered by me as "the best female jazz vocalist of the year" in 2004, 2007 and 2010 in the Jazz Station Annual Poll.

Born Gladys Lourdes Margarita Carbo Ramiro Garcia y de la Torre in Havana, Cuba, she lived in NY for decades, but relocated some years ago to Massachusets. We talked by phone for the last time ten days ago, when she was already very weak, but our conversation was long enough to remember many great moments of her career.

She told me that the doctors had given her only 1 month more, and that she had decided to stay at home instead of going to an hospital. We both were deeply moved by this difficult (to use a light word) "situation."

We talked about her recordings, about her love for Brazilian music, and remembered how master jazz pianist (and founder of the CAP label) Mike Longo introduced us.

I'm losing so many friends this year - Mark Murphy a few days ago, Phil Woods, Lew Soloff besides many other great musicians that also passed away recently... Like I wrote to her in my last email message: "Te amo profundamente."

Gladys Carbo Flower, 80, Cuban-American singer/composer HAVANA CARBO, née Gladys Margarita Lourdes Carbó Ramiro García y de la Torre, died peacefully on October 25, 2015 at Berkshire Medical Center in the loving presence of her family. Born in Havana, Cuba on February 22, 1935, she was the daughter of Nicolás Carbó and Herminia Ramiro.

She attended Grover Cleveland High School in Queens, NY and Villanova University in Havana, Cuba where she studied Philosophy and Languages. She later studied musical theater at New York University. She moved to Stockbridge, MA in 1964 where she became active in the civil rights and anti-war movements. Gladys was also a pioneer in the women’s rights movement with a close cohort of early Berkshire County feminists and hosted many meetings in her home on Church Street.

In the early 70’s, she managed the bar at the renowned Music Inn at Stockbridge, selecting and promoting a myriad of popular and jazz artists that we know and love today. She became a self-made business woman and in the 1970’s purchased the front of the 1884 building on Main Street, Stockbridge where she opened “Woffin’s Corner,” her very own, singularly unique and first-of-its-kind in the Berkshire’s, European toy shop. She later transformed Woffin’s Corner into “Habanera Boutique” — a lavish, elegant and utterly decadent fine women’s clothing store with globally imported fashions. Her series of business successes ultimately allowed her to return to her first love and finally pursue the musical dreams she had deferred for decades. She returned to Stockbridge in 2013 after living, performing and recording in Manhattan for 20 years.

Growing up in Havana, Cuba in the 30’s and 40’s, Gladys was raised in its notably rich, rhythmically complex musical traditions.  She displayed a natural gift for music and a facility for the piano by age three.  By the age of eight, she began formal music lessons, relying mostly on her ear, and memorizing her lessons. Raised in an environment that celebrated music but viewed “nightclub” performing as inappropriate for a young lady, a budding career that began during her New York high school years was cut short.

As a teenager, in high school, she created and led a vocal quintet, “The Holidates,” and held her first professional job as vocalist with Bobby Friedlander’s Band. Her introduction to American popular song and jazz came via Chet Baker, Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, Johnny Hartman, Frank Sinatra, June Christy, Mel Tormé, and later Shirley Horn, Maysa, Elis, Regina, João Gilberto, Edu Lobo, Ivan Lins and Antonio Carlos “Tom” Jobim.

Fascinated and inspired by the directness of Brazilian lyrics, incomparable melodies and harmonies, she taught herself Portuguese to better understand the culture, and to do justice to her forthcoming compositions. As luck would have it, while searching for lyrics to a song she heard sung by Gilberto called, “Retrato em Branco e Preto,” she was put in contact with its composer, the legendary Jobim, who gave generously of his time, by clarifying, translating, and answering her questions.

With a style that defies category, sometimes described as “Chamber Bolero/Jazz," she wove her tapestry of meticulously chosen and rarely heard gems traveling seamlessly between Spanish, English, French, Italian and Portuguese, enchanting audiences and critics alike, ushering the listener into her world. Her many musical compositions were greatly influenced by Ralphe Vaughan Williams and Michel Legrand.

The former Soul Note recording artist ("Street Cries," 1991), later signed with Mike Longo's CAP label ("So I’ll Dream You Again", 1997, and "Luna de Varadero," 2005) released "Through a Window, Like a Dream," 2007 and "Phantoms of Love," 2010, on MODLmusic, her own label. "Through a Window, Like a Dream" received the same enthusiastic response given her previous recordings, which garnered glowing reviews from as far as Braga, Portugal to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where the LA-based Brazilian producer/jazz writer Arnaldo Desouteiro wrote that Carbo possesses a “…singularly warm timbre…extraordinary phrasing and stirring expressiveness… and “is destined to develop a cult-following”, calling Luna de Varadero “SUBLIME…a perfect CD”.

As a result she was selected by Mr. DeSouteiro as “Best Female Jazz Vocalist of 2004, 2007 and 2010" in the Jazz Station blog, according to the results of the Annual Jazz Station Poll, also published in Rio de Janeiro's daily newspaper Tribuna da Imprensa. Her “Stockbridge Requiem,” composed for two sopranos, full chorus, organ and Latin jazz quartet was performed at Saint Peter’s Church in New York, and the Marian Chapel in Stockbridge. She was a BMI member since 1985 and a Local 802 member since 1993. She was nourished by a love of music, family and friends.

Gladys was also an amazingly gifted painter, sculptor and artist, leaving an additional published legacy of unique pen & ink drawings depicting various Stockbridge landmarks. She cherished her gift of music and art, fully aware of the responsibility and humility that came with that gift, while striving to keep her dream unconditionally uncompromised.

Gladys is survived by four artistic, successful and loving children and partners, Michael Lavin Flower and fiancé, Alison Collins of Lenox, Robert Lavin Flower and wife, Laurie of Stockbridge, Aline Flower and partner Mary Yu of Bainbridge Island and Seattle, WA and Ethan Alan Flower and wife, Rebecca East of Los Angeles, CA. She also leaves her adoring brother, Nicolás Andrés Carbó, her niece Juliet Carbo DiTroia and husband John, as well as four grandchildren, Andrew, Wilson, Victoria Flower and Sarah Flower McCraw.

SERVICES: A private family service is planned for Saturday, October 31. A public celebration of her life and music will be held in the near future. Per her wishes, donations can be made to Saint Peter’s Jazz Vespers.
Vocal CD of the Month
Havana Carbo: "Phantoms of Love" (MODL Music) 2010

Rating: ***** (5 stars)
Featuring: Dario Eskenazi, Oriente Lopez, Vince Cherico, Oscar Feldman, Sean Smith, Leo Traversa, Pablo Aslan, John Pezanelli, Helio Alves, Nilson Matta, Lino Fernandez, Gabriel Machado.
Highlights: "Tarde Triste," "Poinciana," "Canto Triste," "Tres Palabras," "Retrato em Branco e Preto," "Que Reste-t-il de nos Amours," "La Valse des Lilas," "Maybe September," "The Shining Sea."
Available from

Actually, the whole album is a highlight. Our latin-tinged Helen Merrill, Gladys "Havana" Carbo delivers another love letter in form of a CD. Her warm and seductive voice, gifted with exceptional phrasing and impeccable enunciation, fits perfectly with the sumptuous repertoire.
The unexpected opener, Maysa's "Tarde Triste," would be enough to make it one of the top CDs of the year. But the emotions don't stop there. Havana's renditions of Percy Faith's "Maybe September" (the best one since Tony Bennett's take on his masterpiece album from 1965, "The Movie Song Album"), Michel Legrand's "La Valse des Lilas" (aka "Once Upon A Summertime", Legrand's first song, dating 1954), Johnny Mandel/Peggy Lee's "The Shining Sea," Nat Simon/Buddy Bernier's "Poinciana" made a hit by Ahmad Jamal, and Osvaldo Farrés' bolero anthem "Tres Palabras" are beyond words.

Besides "Tarde Triste," her affinity for Brazilian music is showcased through magnificent interpretations of Edu Lobo/Vinicius de Moraes' "Canto Triste" (a song included in the first album I ever produced, the debut LP of Yana Purim for RCA in 1980) and Antonio Carlos Jobim/Chico Buarque's "Retrato Em Branco e Preto," all sung in Portuguese. Not to mention Havana's French adventure on Charles Trenet's standard "Que Reste-t-il de Nos Amours," one of João Gilberto's personal favorite songs, having been recorded by the Bossa Nova Pope on his "João" album orchestrated by Clare Fischer in 1991. Essential.
The artist herself talks about her creative process and the making of this new CD:

‘Phantoms of Love’ …from dream to reality.
In an earlier poem I wrote about “ a land where love and beauty reign.” Beauty…that rare pearl of incalculable value, cherished all the more as values change! Instinct draws me to well-crafted, beautiful music and compelling stories. Rummaging through scores, recordings, films, and remembered conversations, childhood songs, saved photographs, I search for treasure.

That’s my process for selecting songs, and was my process in creating ‘Phantoms of Love.’ I picked these tunes from among hundreds. Forever intrigued by the obscure gem and bypassing the usual menu, beauty trumps all. Financial gain is never a motivating factor, and as an independent artist/producer I’m free to let artistic integrity guide me. I’m answerable only to my conscience and my heart. Not an easy or practical choice but one I can live with.

I suppose I should explain how my mind worked for this album. I don't do ‘up-tunes’ any more…for the sake of doing up-tunes to balance the album. ‘Happy’ music for no particular reason doesn't appeal to me...unless the song meets my criteria which includes beauty, construction and content. This particular collection is more than a bunch of pretty songs... they tell a story, are woven from a fine, sometimes fragile thread and speak of vulnerability, loss, haunting memories of love, and all are personal intimate moments. They are part of a complex process which starts with my interminable and ever growing list of songs I absolutely love. After months of editing out titles I found myself with a group of songs united by some common thread, often not immediately apparent. I followed my gut however, and began to recognize which ones worked and why. As I narrowed them down to the final dozen or so, I then began searching for a hidden reason or message that linked them all together, often concurrent with, and influenced by the state of my heart and my mind at the moment, or by the pain or joy of my soul. I let the music speak to me. Sounds nutty? Perhaps, but to me it's the only thing that makes sense. Commercial success is never a priority though the economic aspect surfaces like Hamlet's ghost as I confront the reality of my life, yet it never alters my vision or my artistic integrity. If anything it reinforces what I believe to be right.

In this collection, Poinciana and Que Reste-t-il de Nos Amours can be considered my concession to an uptune, but that's not why they were selected. It just worked out that way.
As for Epilogue, that's something I wrote in the 80's for piano to act as underscoring for ‘Llanto de Luna.’
You'll notice that in no way is it meant to assuage or musically smooth out the tragic lyric or to make it easy for the singer - quite the opposite, it's meant to be in conflict and highlight the sadness and despair in the lyric. Comfortable harmonies are for resolutions and happy endings. I included it as my epilogue as well, both a farewell and a recapping of all the stories that came before. A theatrical conceit.

I’m fortunate and thrilled to work with such remarkable multi-talented musicians in an ambience of fun and friendship. I have the deepest appreciation for Dario Eskenazi’s legendary artistry, sensibility and highly developed sense of beauty, his myriad arrangements and the production of many songs (see credits) selfless dedication and an uncanny ability to make me laugh; for Oriente Lopez’s musicality, originality, versatility and music-direction of his arrangements; Vince Cherico’s rare sensibility, dependability, wisdom and long, helpful conversations, Leo’s sensual heartbeat bass, Sean’s solid dependable round tone, and the entire ‘Band of Angels’ for their brilliance, high level of professionalism and flexibility. I’m indebted to my sons Michael and Robert for long hours, patience and exceptional photography/ artwork; I am blown away by the generosity of spirit and kind words of extraordinary composer Gabriel Yared (Possesso).
I cherish the love and support of my other children Aline and Ethan, my brother Nick, and loyal friends.

Serendipity played a role when funds from a soon to become ex-employer appeared - the genie came out to make this project possible. (2nd CD on my label MODL, 5th CD to date).
Having recently survived cancer, I live fearlessly and thankfully in every minute, every song and every act of kindness.
We are born, we die and everything in-between is a gift. Nourished then by music, laughter, love and beauty, I’m living that rare and beautiful gift.
- Havana Carbo, NY
From Carbo's official website:

Havana born, US raised, Cuban-American singer/composer HAVANA CARBO received her MFA in Music Theatre composition from TSOA/M/T at NYU (‘93) and is a Yip Harburg Fellow. A former Soul Note recording artist (Street Cries, ’91), and more recently a CAP recording artist (Luna de Varadero’05; So I’ll Dream You Again ’97, Carbo celebrates the ‘07 release of “Through a Window, Like a Dream” on MODL, her own label.

In his liner notes, Richard Peaslee writes: “Havana Carbo draws us into a delicious world of nostalgia, tristesse and exotic locales. With her fluent command of Spanish, Portuguese, French, and English, and her warm intimate delivery, Carbo can evoke the atmosphere of a smoky back alley bar as easily as that of a sophisticated club on the Lido. A master of musical understatement and subtlety, she becomes one with the impeccable musicianship of the ensemble of prominent musicians with whom she performs.”

At age 3 she took to the piano and at 8 began formal lessons in Havana, where she was raised in an environment that celebrated music but viewed “nightclub” performing as inappropriate for a young lady. Jazz established residence in her soul during her NY High School years, but a budding career was cut short by marriage to a Cuban Economics major she met while a student at pre-Castro’s Villanova University in Havana.

…But twenty-odd years, three marriages and four fabulous children later, with life’s experiences as a bonus, Havana finally went home to her passion – music. In 1984, Carbo created “Havana Midnight”, a latin/jazz group devoted to her arrangements of Latin American classics from her past, and the group met with instant success in the Berkshires where she resided. She produced an EP (Another Summer), which led to being signed by Soul Note in 1987 to record her first solo CD, “Street Cries”. It featured Gene Bertoncini, Michael Moore, Marvin Stamm and John Sauer.

In ‘89 she was awarded a Mass Arts Grant.
CARBO has recorded/performed with such greats as Michael Moore, Jimmy Giuffre, Gene Bertoncini, Dario Eskenazi, Nilson Matta, Vince Cherico, John Benitez, Café, Chocolate Armenteros, Oriente Lopez, Helio Alves, Sean Smith, Diego Urcola, Edsel Gomez, Aaron Goldberg, John Di Martino, “El Negro”Hernandez, Café, LeoTraversa, the late Edson Machado, and a two-month run as vocalist with the legendary Chico O’Farrill Band. Since moving to NY she has appeared in major clubs from NY to the Caribbean, South Beach and Paris; venues as varied as Birdland, 55BAR, Lenox Lounge, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Smith College, Aaron Davis Hall, B.Smith’s, Lenox Lounge, Helsinki, the Barbados and Jamaica Jazz Festivals. Carbo has been featured guest on radio including WNYC, WFCR, WFDU, WBGO, WDNA Miami, XM Satellite Radio, WLUZ San Juan, and KLAS Jamaica. In the West Indies, the drink “Havana Carbo” was created in her honor at Kingston’s Redbones Blues Café.

Glowing reviews come from as far as Braga (Portugal) to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where Arnaldo Desouteiro, La Tribuna wrote “ … her voice travels with a voice of singularly warm timbre and her phrasing has extraordinary and stirring expressiveness… …destined to develop a cult”. Her penultimate CD “So I’ll Dream You Again” was one of the top 10 in Jazz for 1997 in Brazil and in 2004 she was selected #1 Female Jazz vocalist of the year with her “Luna de Vardero” release.

Joanna Rudnick, Artful Mind, Mass. wrote “…her velvet voice parades throughout your body…her music subtly reminds the listener that she has lived in every lyric and every note…also writes bone-shattering poetry.”
Havana continues to write poetry, music, and working on “LIVING BY EAR”, a One-Woman Show based on her adventurous life. She has found her home in a community of extraordinary musicians with whom she is proud to work, and is nourished by love of music, family and friends. She lives in constant awe of the gift that is music, fully aware of the responsibility that comes with the gift, always striving to keep her dream alive and uncompromised.

Membership – Honors
• Local 802
• American Academy of Recorded Music
• Yip Harburg Fellow

Vozes mágicas e transcendentais
Havana Carbo e Lou Lanza brilham em novos CDs

Artigo escrito por Arnaldo DeSouteiro em 01 de Dezembro de 2005 e publicado originalmente no jornal "Tribuna da Imprensa"

Em meio a tantos pastiches e armações de Jamies e Madeleines, devem ser recebidos com missa de ação de graças os novos trabalhos de Havana Carbo e Lou Lanza. De gerações distintas, abençoados com vozes privilegiadas, têm em comum não apenas a qualidade interpretativa e a originalidade de seus estilos, mas também um apurado e incorruptível senso estético que privilegia a beleza no seu sentido mais literal, em um tempo pautado pela inversão de valores. Transcendendo rótulos e estilos, mostram salutar ousadia criativa, ungindo-nos com um bálsamo sonoro multi-dimensional.

Desde “Street cries”, gravado em 1990 para o selo italiano Soul Note, Havana Carbo conquistou um cult-following que sabe estar diante de uma artista singular, dona de timbre incomparável, personalíssimo. O charme, a sutileza e a sofisticação que fizeram de “So I’ll dream you again” (1997) um dos meus “desert island discs”, aparecem novamente neste segundo CD para o selo CAP, “Luna de varadero” (43m42s). A diferença está na instrumentação: enquanto, no álbum anterior, flautas, sax, trompete, guitarra e a percussão do brasileiro Valtinho complementavam o grupo de base, o novo disco alicerça-se somente no excelente trio formado por Dario Eskenazi (pianista argentino, da nobre linhagem de Bill Evans), Nilson Matta (baixista brasileiro radicado em NY há quase vinte anos, com quem tive a honra de trabalhar no CD “The Bonfá Magic”, de Luiz Bonfá, em 1991) e o baterista Vince Cherico (do grupo de Ray Barretto).

Não se trata de um trio acompanhando uma cantora, mas de um quarteto com destaque para uma voz “lovely, warm and intimate”, na síntese perfeita de Ira Gitler, o maior historiador de jazz na atualidade. A cubana Havana, que cresceu e ainda hoje reside em NY, respira junto com os demais músicos. Sensação reforçada pela mixagem, que coloca todos no mesmo plano, optando por um som amplo, quente, “antigo” (no bom sentido), sem compressão, privilegiando a transparência de todas as freqüências e deixando a bateria soar realmente “acústica”. Os arranjos, em sua maioria assinados por Eskenazi (ouvido com Mongo Santamaría, Paquito D’Rivera e o Caribbean Jazz Project), são bem estruturados e funcionais. Para quem não dispensa comparações, Havana poderia ser colocada em patamar similar ao de Helen Merrill (mas com maior carga de sensualidade) e Shirley Horn (sem sofreguidão).

Performances sublimes

Ao longo das 13 faixas deste álbum sublime, Gladys Havana Carbo faz do ouvinte seu cúmplice, acariciando sua alma, convidando-o para aconchegar-se através do antológico “Acércate más”, de Oswaldo Farrés. Popularizado nos EUA por Nat King Cole, raramente recriado por jazzistas (Zoot Sims nos presenteou com uma bela interpretação sob o título de “Come closer to me”), reaparece aqui em luxuosa levada de bossa-bolero. A carga de sensualidade aumenta ainda mais em “No me platiques más”, do mexicano Vicente Garrido. Mrs. Carbo segue deslizando por “Moon and sand”, de Alec Wilder, que ganhou novos fãs após a gravação de Chet Baker na trilha de “Let’s get lost”. Por falar em Chet, outro tema emocionante, “The wind”, escrito por seu pianista Russ Freeman e regravado por, pasmem!, Mariah Carey, ganha nova dimensão na voz de Havana. O batera Vince Cherico contribui para o efeito hipnótico, usando “mallets” até o início do solo de Eskenazi.

No standard “I fall in love too easily” (tema da dupla Jule Styne-Sammy Cahn para o filme da MGM “Anchors Aweigh”), Havana dá conta do recado em 2m49s, com espaço ainda para um solo de Nilson Matta. Na faixa-título, “Luna de varadero”, de Bobby Collazo, Vince troca a bateria pelo bongô. O clima torna-se ainda mais intimista nos duos de voz & piano em “Aquellas pequeñas cosas”, do espanhol Joan Manuel Serrat, e “Atrás da porta”, de Francis Hime & Chico Buarque. Outra música brasileira no repertório, também com arranjo de Nilson, “Bonita” é cantada como uma “bossa up-tempo” com a letra em inglês de Ray Gilbert para a jóia lançada por Jobim em seu “The Wonderful World”, com arranjo de Nelson Riddle em 65. O pianista Eskenazi realiza um de seus melhores solos, aliando o lirismo de Bill Evans ao balanço econômico de Tom, citando “O barquinho” durante a tag, enquanto Vince usa as vassouras com a costumeira categoria.

Carbo, cuja intimidade com a bossa nova vem desde o tempo em que atuava com o batera Edison Machado, retorna às baladas emendando “I wish I knew” (com delicadeza comparável ao tratamento de Keith Jarrett) à “In the wee small hours of the morning” (imortalizada por Sinatra), antes de mostrar sua face autoral na valsa “Paris”, aberta pelo assobio de Eskenazi, e de letra nostálgica, inspirada em um verão de passeios por Montmartre. No boleraço cubano “Contigo en la distancia”, de Cesar Portillo de la Luz (o mesmo de “Tu, mi delirio” gravado por Astrud e pelo Azymuth), sucesso de Lucho Gatica, Olga Gullot e, agora, Christina Aguilera, Carbo chega ao ponto máximo de emoção à flor da pele. Tema de encerramento, “No dejes que te olvide” (Ignacio Villa), remete às noitadas de seu principal intérprete, o lendário Bola de Nieve, no clube Tropicana, de Havana, cantando as dores de amor sem desespero nem melodrama. Fecho ideal para um disco perfeito, apaixonado e apaixonante.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

R.I.P.: Mark Murphy (1932-2015)

R.I.P.: Mark Murphy
(March 14, 1932;
died October 21, 2015)

Simply put: The best male singer in the history of jazz. The end.

I'm completely devastated. I became a huge fan since the first note I heard him singing. We were friends for over four decades, he used to stay in my home when he had gigs in my native Brazil, and I used to visit him everytime I traveled to San Francisco, when he still lived there during the 80s and 90s. We also met a lot in IAJE conventions; I was always in his tremendous masterclasses and he honored me with his presence in my lectures and clinics. I collect all his releases, besides a great number of previously unreleased tapes and videos. Not to mention some movies of his appearances as an excellent actor (he even played the role of Jesus Christ!) Luv u forever!

Sheila Jordan's post on Facebook: "I just learned from friends that My Buddy of over 50 years has passed away. I am devastated. I knew it was coming but I had hoped I would be in the states and not in Europe on tour when it happened. I will dedicate my concert tonite to you my dear Mark. I am grateful that I was able to visit Mark during his illness and especially just a week ago. I have so many funny stories about our friendship and tours together. You will always live in my heart my friend. Rest in Peace, Markie.."

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Sonny Rollins to Receive Award from the Jazz Foundation of America, next week

Sonny RollinsSonny Rollins will be presented with the Jazz Foundation of America's Lifetime Achievement Award on Thursday, October 22, at the Apollo Theater during the foundation's 14th Annual "A Great Night in Harlem" gala concert.
The concert segment honoring Rollins will feature performances by Donald Fagen (of Steely Dan), Jimmy Heath, Jack DeJohnette, Gary Bartz, Billy Harper, Randy Brecker, Clifton Anderson, Kenny Garrett, Ravi Coltrane, Al Foster, James Carter, Wallace Roney, the Cecil Bridgewater Big Band, and more.
"What a privilege it is to have Sonny Rollins grace the stage," says Wendy Oxenhorn, Jazz Foundation of America's Executive Director. "[Musical director] Steve Jordan has gone above and beyond to make this a fitting tribute worthy of Sonny's genius in return for all the decades of the music he has given to the world. For us and the Great Legends who are coming out for Sonny, this is our humble attempt to say 'thank you.'"
For 26 years, the Jazz Foundation of America has been keeping jazz and blues alive by helping musicians who played with everyone from Duke Ellington and Billie Holiday to Jimi Hendrix and the Rolling Stones. The organization now assists in more than 5000 cases a year nationwide -- preventing homelessness and eviction by paying rents and mortgages; providing free medical care and operations; maintaining a Musicians' Emergency Fund to address a wide range of crises.
"What a necessary, wonderful organization!" says Rollins. "I've been aware of the Jazz Foundation's work for many years now, including the assistance they've given to so many of my colleagues. I'm honored to receive this award from them and to lend them whatever support I can now and in the future."
Rollins is presently completing work on a new album in his Road Shows series of live performances for release by his label, Doxy Records. Holding the Stage: Road Shows, vol. 4will be released on April 8, 2016 under a distribution agreement with Sony Music Masterworks and its jazz imprint OKeh Records.
For further information about the Jazz Foundation and the Great Night in Harlem gala, please

Photo: John Abbott


Anna Mjöll live in Beverly Hills, tonight!

Tonight, October 17, at 10pm, don't miss the Icelandic Jazz Princess Anna Mjöll performing @ Spaghettini Beverly Hills / Dave Koz Lounge
184 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills 90210

Anna Mjöll - vocals
Ed Czach - piano
Nate Light - bass
Sinclair Lott - drums

Timely reservations are STRONGLY recommended as Ms Mjöll's past performances at Spaghettini Beverly Hills have SOLD OUT fast.
For reservations go to:

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Sharon Isbin's "Troubadour" Wins ASCAP TV Broadcast Award

I'm delighted to share exciting news that Sharon Isbin's "Troubador" has won the 2015 ASCAP Foundation Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Television Broadcast Award! This prestigious award is given to only one film each year. The one-hour documentary presented by American Public Television was seen by millions on nearly 200 PBS stations across the country. Created by award-winning producer Susan Dangel and national Emmy-winning producer/editor Dick Bartlet, "Troubador" is available on DVD and Blu-ray with bonus performance footage, on Video Artists International:

"Troubador" is included in this year's music film listings for the GRAMMYs, and was ranked #3 on's Hot New Releases chart. Guests include Joan Baez, First Lady Michelle Obama, Martina Navratilova, Janis Ian, Garrison Keillor, David Hyde Pierce, composers Tan Dun, John Corigliano, Christopher Rouse, Joan Tower, Steve Vai, Mark O'Connor and Stanley Jordan. To view the trailer & learn more:

And enjoy rave reviews and features about the film:

"In recording news, I'm thrilled that my Bach For Guitar/Lute Suites" is now available on Warner Classics," Isbin sats. I created these guitar performance editions in collaboration with the legendary Rosalyn Tureck."

Other recent highlights in the career of this virtuoso guitarist include a fun one-hour feature on NPR's Song Travels hosted by Michael Feinstein and the world premiere of Chris Brubeck's beautiful "Affinity: Concerto For Guitar & Orchestra" written for Sharon Isbin and which she performed with the Maryland Symphony conducted by Elizabeth Schulze. The premiere was featured on Performance Today for 300 public radio stations and 1.4 million listeners.

Last week's exciting minifest in Washington DC included a sold-out recital and three performances with the National Symphony Orchestra in Rodrigo's "Concierto de Aranjuez" at the Kennedy Center. Enjoy the sizzling reviews:

Coming up are two performances @ Carnegie Hall: November 4 with Sting, Katy Perry and Jerry Seinfeld; and November 12 in recital with Isabel Leonard in a program of Spanish music with a world premiere by Richard Danielpour commissioned by the Carnegie Hall in celebration of their 125th season, and by Chicago's Harris Theater. For details and ticket information - and for concerts in Cincinnati, Chicago, Urbana, Burlington, Louisiana, Portland, California, Virginia, Kansas and Seoul (Korea) - please visit:
(Sharon Isbin performing some years ago in Ravena with the late Brazilian composer Gaudencio Thiago de Mello)

Monday, October 12, 2015

Denny Zeitlin plays Monk in CA, in December

Jazz piano master Denny Zeitlin will appear in the solo concert "Exploring Thelonious Monk," on December 4, at 8pm.

Venue: Piedmont Piano Company, located at 1728 San Pablo Avenue (at 18th Street) in Oakland, California.
Admission $25
Tickets: Available at Door, but Reservations Recommended:
(510) 547 8188

Zeitlin's latest CD, "Riding The Moment" (Sunnyside), is a duo of electro-acoustic improvisations with drummer George Marsh.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Vocal CD of the Month - "Laurie Antonioli & Richie Beirach: Varuna"

Since returning to her native Bay Area in 2006 from a period of living and working in Europe, vocalist Laurie Antonioli has concentrated her creative energies on her American Dreams band, which backed her on last year's breakthrough Origin Records release Songs of Shadow, Songs of Light. For her new Origin CD, Varuna, Antonioli returns to an important chapter in her musical life by recording intimate sessions with her collaborator of more than 25 years, the esteemed pianist Richie Beirach. The CD, Antonioli's 6th as a leader, was released September 18.
"I've been sitting on these sessions until the time was right," says the vocalist of Varuna, which was recorded in Leipzig, Germany (Beirach's home base) nearly 10 years ago and completed in Berkeley in 2012. "We do some of Richie's brand-new original material, with my lyrics, as well as several standards completely reimagined. The Resolution Suite features three pieces improvised by Richie and me with bassist Pepe Berns. The poem on 'Revelation' happened in the moment, and 'Exaltation' was inspired by Coltrane's 'sheets of sound.'"
"Laurie is the real deal," says Beirach, "with a rich, elegant alto voice, great intonation and phrasing, and most of all, that unteachable, unexplainable element of humanity in every note she sings. Piano and voice is very intimate, with no place to hide but incredibly free and capable of magic moments. I love working with Laurie because it's truly like breathing from the same source of air. Especially on this CD, we are as one mind, one will, and one musical entity."
Laurie Antonioli
 Antonioli and Beirach's first recorded encounter, in 1992, was a startlingly inventive date released by Nabel Records in 2005 as The Duo Session. With Antonioli holding down a professorship at Austria's KUG University between 2002 and 2006 and Beirach teaching in Leipzig, they performed regularly in top clubs and concert halls around Europe. The prolific Beirach gave Antonioli his latest original tunes so she could write lyrics to them, an activity that has formed the backbone of their creative partnership. "Writing lyrics to Richie's music feels like an extension of our conversations," says the vocalist. "And knowing what he had in mind often informs the storyline."Varuna features three of these songs: the hauntingly cinematic "Inside My Dreams"; the sensuous ballad "My Love"; and the gently flowing title track, which establishes a shimmering feel that pervades the entire album.
Laurie Antonioli & Richie BeirachVaruna, the Vedic god who lives in celestial waters, is also the name of the recently discovered dwarf planet near Pluto. The album's themes of time and space are echoed throughout -- longing for home in "Over the Rainbow," the night wind in "Summer Night," the unseen presence of a loved one in "You're an Angel Now" (Laurie's lyrics to John Patitucci's music).
Early on in her career, Laurie Antonioli was a protégée of Joe HendersonMark Murphy, and Pony Poindexter, who recruited the 22-year-old singer for an extensive European tour that turned into an eight-month sojourn in 1980.
Following the release of her 1985 recording debut Soul Eyes, a duo album with George Cables, Antonioli was one of the Bay Area's most visible singers, booked at leading venues and festivals with her own band, performing regularly with Bobby McFerrin, and sitting in with luminaries likeTete MontoliuJon Hendricks, and Cedar Walton at Keystone Korner.
Laurie's second album, 2004's Foreign Affair, is a bracing blend of post-bop jazz and Balkan music created with players from Serbia, Albania, Germany, and the U.S. Her fourth, American Dreams (2010), was inspired by feelings that arose during her years abroad and features a number of her collaborations with Austrian pianist Fritz Pauer.
Her brilliant 2014 Joni Mitchell tribute, Songs of Shadow, Songs of Light, appeared on numerous best-album-of-the-year lists and received particularly cherished accolades from Ms. Mitchell herself, who invited Antonioli to perform at SFJAZZ's May 2015 gala celebration in Mitchell's honor (alongside Kris Kristofferson, Kurt Elling, and Patti Austin, among others).
Richie Beirach & Laurie AntonioliFor the last nine years Antonioli has served as the Chair of the Vocal Program at Berkeley's California Jazz Conservatory (formerly the Jazzschool). She created a unique eight-semester curriculum for the Vocal Department's degree program as well as overseeing hundreds of artists in workshops and concerts she organizes. "I enjoy the opportunity to pass on what I've learned and implement a program that is both organic and academically sound. That said, artistry is elusive and not necessarily something that can be taught, which is a very provocative challenge. I'm motivated to contribute what I can to preserve this delicate, complex, and soulful art form."
Laurie Antonioli and her American Dreams band will be appearing 10/10 at the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley; and 11/20 at the Unitarian Church in Berkeley, before entering Fantasy Studios 12/14 to record their next album. Antonioli and Beirach are planning a European tour, with dates to be announced, in April 2016.