Tuesday, September 16, 2014

R.I.P.: Jackie Cain Kral

Jackie Cain Kral (born May 22, 1928 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin), from the Jackie & Roy duo, passed away peacefully yesterday (September 15, 2014) in her home in Montclair, New Jersey, with her daughter, Dana, by her side. The wonderful singer gifted with a pristine sound and a golden voice, had been ill for a number of years as a result of a number of strokes. Now that Jackie is reunited with Roy, a quote from one of their signature songs seems appropriate... "In a mountain greenery, where God paints the scenery, just two crazy people together...we could find no cleaner retreat from life's machinery than our Mountain Greenery home..."

The epitome of class and musical sophistication, Jackie & Roy's "Time & Love" (CTI, 1972) is one of my desert island discs (and "Lazy Afternoon" is one of my desert island tracks.) It's also one of Don Sebesky's favorites. I love "Bogie," "A Wilder Alias," "Grass," "Lovesick," "Changes" and many others too.

In one of my productions for Verve, "A Trip To Brazil Vol.3" (2002), I was able to include Jackie & Roy's version of "Corcovado" (Quiet Nights), from "Lovesick," one of the several albums that came out as a result of their prolific association with visionary producer Creed Taylor since the ABC-Paramount days in the '50s.

In another CD compilation, "Bossa Nova Guitar" (Verve, 2009), I've included the George Benson recording of "Jackie, All," a song composed in her honor by Eumir Deodato, and also covered by Walter Wanderley.

More reflections to follow. Heaven just got a lot hipper.
(Jackie & Roy's debut album for CTI, arranged by Don Sebesky, and featuring Paul Desmond, Bob James, Ron Carter, Billy Cobham, Airto Moreira, Jay Berliner, Hubert Laws, Marvin Stamm et al)

(Their second CTI date, featuring Steve Gadd, Harvie Swartz, Joe Farrell, Roy Pennington; it was released on CD for the first time in the U.S. in 2011, although it had been previously reissued in Japan)

(Jackie & Roy, in the right corner, during an European tour with the CTI All Stars in 1972)

(Jackie & Roy, liner pic from "A Wilder Alias")

(Jackie & Roy with Don Sebesky)

R.I.P.: Joe Sample

(born Joseph Leslie Sample on February 1st, 1939 in Houston, Texas; died on September 12, 2014 in Houston, TX)

So sad about the passing of Joe Sample, a music giant. A couple of weeks ago, during a dinner with my friend and ace guitarist Barry Finnerty (who recorded on the Crusaders' legendary album "Street Life"), I told him I was concerned with Joe's health. Now I feel totally devastated, since he was one of my heroes, and one of my favorite Fender Rhodes players (what he does on Hubert Laws' "Say It With Silence" is pure magic!) Not coincidentally, it was that album that, almost a decade later, led me to know Joe Sample in person. Both me and my wife in the 80s, singer Yana Purim, fell in love with Joe's tune "It Happens Everyday," recorded by Laws. She wrote English lyrics for it, we did a recording (with Alphonso Johnson on bass) during the sessions for her "Harvest Time" album, and then we needed Joe's approval for the lyrics. We met him at the backstage of the NY Blue Note, in April or May 1987. He was very very kind, read the lyrics carefully, listened to the recording twice, and said: "Perfect. Great job!" After that, I met him several times (the last one in Montreux) and he always was very amiable. Rest in Peace.

Services for Joe Sample:
Friday, September 19, 2014, 6:00pm-9:00pm, wake and viewing open to the general public, Our Mother of Mercy Church, 4000 Sumpter St., Houston, TX, 77020. Funeral services will be private.
In lieu of flowers, etc., the family asks to make donations to the Joe Sample Youth Organization, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit. Contributions can be made via paypal/credit card using the following link: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=QV5AUC3H6AGQL 
or via check to the following address: Joe Sample Youth Organization, P.O. Box 590254, Houston, TX 77259.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Bob Barry's exhibition "Performance Portraits"

A note from renowned photographer Bob Barry about his exhibition that opens next Saturday, Sept 13, at the Mayme Clayton Library & Museum in Culver City:

"A brief reminder that the reception for my photo exhibit at the Mayme Clayton Library and Museum will be this coming Saturday (13th). There will be a screening of Dailey Pike's "Jazzumentary", Bob Barry - Jazzography in Black & White at 1:30, followed by a Q&A session with Bob & Dailey and the reception starts at 2:30 and will run till 7 PM. Refreshments will be served and Music provide for the reception by two wonderful pianists, John Campbell and Dan Marschak.
I am looking forward to seeing you all and sharing with you a great deal of my newest work. In total there will be 72 images being displayed for this exhibit."

R.I.P.: Gerald Wilson


Gerald Wilson dies at 96; multifaceted jazz musician
By Don Heckman, Special to the Los Angeles Times

Gerald Wilson, a bandleader, trumpeter, composer, arranger and educator whose multifaceted career reached from the swing era of the 1930s to the diverse jazz sounds of the 21st century, has died. He was 96.

Wilson, who had been in declining health, died Monday at his home in Los Angeles, two weeks after contracting pneumonia, said his son, jazz guitarist Anthony Wilson.

In a lifetime that spanned a substantial portion of the history of jazz, Wilson's combination of articulate composition skills with a far-reaching creative vision carried him successfully through each of the music's successive new evolutions.

He led his own Gerald Wilson Orchestras — initially for a few years in the mid-1940s, then intermittently in every succeeding decade — recording with stellar assemblages of players, continuing to perform live, well after big jazz bands had been largely eclipsed by small jazz groups and the ascendancy of rock music.
Gerald Wilson leads the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra in a concert titled "Los Angeles: Central Avenue Breakdown" on Feb. 25, 2006. (Jack Vartoogian / Getty Images)

Seeing and hearing Wilson lead his ensembles — especially in his later years — was a memorable experience for jazz fans. Garbed in well tailored suits, his long white hair flowing, Wilson shaped the music with dynamic movements and the elegant grace of a modern dancer.

Asked about his unique style of conducting by Terry Gross on the NPR show "Fresh Air" in 2006, he replied: It's "different from any style you've ever seen before. I move. I choreograph the music as I conduct. You see, I point it out, everything you're to listen to."

That approach to conducting, combined with the dynamic quality of his music, had a significant impact on the players in his ensembles.

"There's no way you can sit in Gerald's band and sit on the back of your chair," bandleader/arranger John Clayton told the Detroit Free Press. "He handles the orchestra in a very wise and experienced craftsman sort of way. The combination of the heart and the craft is in perfect balance."

Wilson's mastery of the rich potential in big jazz band instrumentation was evident from the beginning. Although he was not pleased with his first arrangement — a version of the standard "Sometimes I'm Happy" written in 1939, when he was playing trumpet in the Jimmie Lunceford band — he was encouraged by Lunceford and his fellow players to write more. 

"Hi Spook," his first original composition for big band, followed and was quickly added to the Lunceford repertoire. Soon after, Wilson wrote a brightly swinging number titled "Yard Dog Mazurka" — a popular piece that eventually became the inspiration for the Stan Kenton hit "Intermission Riff." It was the beginning of an imaginative flow of music that would continue well into the 21st century.

Always an adventurous composer, Wilson's big band music often had a personal touch, aimed at displaying the talents of a specific player, or inspired by many of his family members. After marrying his Mexican American wife, Josefina Villasenor Wilson, he was drawn to music possessing Spanish/Mexican qualities. His "Viva Tirado," dedicated to bullfighter Jose Ramon Tirado, became a hit for the Latin rock group El Chicano and was one of several compositions celebrating the achievements of stars of the bullring.

"His pieces are all extended, with long solos and long backgrounds," musician/jazz historian Loren Schoenberg told the New York Times in 1988. "They're almost hypnotic. Most are seven to 10 minutes long. Only a master can keep the interest going that long, and he does."

In addition to his compositions, Wilson was an arranger with the ability to craft songs to the styles of individual performers, as well as the musical characteristics of other orchestras. It was a skill that kept him busy during the periods when he was not concentrating on leading his own groups.

"I may have done more numbers and orchestrations than any other black jazz artist in the world," he told the Los Angeles Sentinel. "I did 60-something for Ray Charles. I did his first and second country-western album. I wrote a lot of music for Count Basie, eight numbers for his first Carnegie Hall concert," he said.

He also provided arrangements and compositions for such major jazz artists as Duke Ellington, Dinah Washington, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Nancy Wilson and others, as well as — from various genres — Bobby Darin, Harry Belafonte, B.B. King and Les McCann.

Wilson's longstanding desire to compose for symphony orchestra came to fruition with "Debut: 5/21/72," commissioned for the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 1972 by the Philharmonic's musical director, Zubin Mehta. His "Theme for Monterey," composed as a commission by the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1997, received two Grammy nominations. In 2009, on his 91st birthday, he conducted the premiere of his six-movement work, "Detroit Suite," a tribute to the city in which his music career began, commissioned by the Detroit International Jazz Festival.

Gerald Stanley Wilson was born Sept. 4, 1918, in Shelby, Miss. He began to take piano lessons with his mother, a schoolteacher, when he was 6. After purchasing an instrument from the Sears Roebuck catalog for $9.95, he took up the trumpet at age 11. The absence of a high school for African Americans in segregated Shelby made it necessary for him to begin his secondary school studies in Memphis. But a trip with his mother to the Chicago World's Fair in 1933 stimulated a desire to move north, and he was sent to live with friends in Detroit, where he attended and graduated from the highly regarded Cass Technical High School.

An adept trumpeter while still in his teens, Wilson played at Detroit's Plantation Club before joining the Chic Carter Band touring band. In 1939 he replaced trumpeter-arranger Sy Oliver in the Jimmy Lunceford Orchestra, then one of the nation's most prominent swing bands.

Wilson served in the U.S. Navy at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center during World War II, then moved to Los Angeles, forming his own big band in 1944. Despite the band's almost immediate success, with nearly 50 recorded pieces and a string of national bookings in its first years of existence, Wilson was not satisfied with his own personal level of craftsmanship. He disbanded the ensemble to spend a few years filling in what he believed were gaps in his music education. He also went on the road with the Count Basie Band and Dizzy Gillespie's group.

Throughout the 1950s and '60s, Wilson was an established participant in L.A.'s busy music scene, arranging, composing for jazz and pop singers, big bands, films and television, while continuing to be active with his own orchestra. Eager to pass on his knowledge and experience, he taught jazz courses at what is now Cal State Northridge, Cal State L.A. and UCLA, and had a radio program on KBCA-FM (105.1) from 1969 to 1976.

As he moved into his 60s, Wilson viewed the commercial activity of his earlier years as the foundation that allowed him to concentrate on his creative efforts.

He had worked hard, he told the Boston Globe, so that in his later years he would no longer "have to go hustling any jobs. I have written for the symphony. I have written for the movies, and I have written for television. I arrange anything. I wanted to do all these things. I've done that. Now I'm doing exactly what I want, musically, and I do it when I please. I'm a musician, but first and foremost, a jazz musician."

Besides his wife and his son, Wilson is survived by daughters Jeri and Nancy Jo, and four grandchildren.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Box Set CD of the Month - "The Genius of Miles Davis"

Box Set CD of the Month

"The Genius of Miles Davis" (Sony)

43-Disc Collection in a Full-Size Trumpet Case with Replica Mouthpiece, Lithograph, and Tee

Set Contents

Miles Davis & John Coltrane: TheComplete Columbia Recordings (1955-1961)

Miles Davis & Gil Evans: The Complete Columbia Studio Recordings (1957-1968)

Seven Steps: The Complete Columbia Recordings Of Miles Davis (1963-1964)

Miles Davis Quintet 1965-’68: The Complete Columbia Studio Recordings

The Complete In A Silent Way Sessions (1968-1969)

The Complete Bitches Brew Sessions (1969-1970)

The Complete Jack Johnson Sessions (1970)

The Complete On The Corner Sessions (1972-1975)

Individually numbered full-size trumpet case

Replica of Miles Davis's custom-made ‘Gustat’ Heim model 2 trumpet mouthpiece

Previously unseen lithograph by Miles Davis

Exclusive T-shirt

Collecting every piece of music made by jazz pioneer Miles Davis would be a formidable task, but this comprehensive, 43-disc box set is a very good start. Inside a limited edition, individually numbered trumpet case sits eight CD box sets that chronicle Davis's work between 1955 and 1975, the golden era for the kind of smoky bebop Davis did so well. As you explore the wealth of material, you'll find a rare lithograph—a previously unseen piece of fine art by Davis—and a replica of the mouthpiece Davis had custom-made for himself.

Miles Davis & John Coltrane: The Complete Columbia Recordings (1955-1961)

  • 6-CD box set
  • First released in 2000
  • Winner of two Grammy Awards
  • John Coltrane on tenor sax
  • Red Garland on piano
  • Paul Chambers on bass
  • Philly Joe Jones on drums
  • Contributions by Cannonball Adderley and Wynton Kelly
  • Encompasses material for LPs like Kind of Blue and Jazz Track
  • Includes 116-page book
  • Track list
Miles Davis & Gil Evans: The Complete Columbia Studio Recordings
  • 6-CD box set
  • First released in 1996
  • Winner of three Grammy Awards
  • Spans 1957 to 1968
  • Encompasses material for LPs like Porgy and Bess and Miles Ahead
  • Includes 198-page book
  • Track list
Seven Steps: The Complete Columbia Recordings Of Miles Davis (1963-1964)
  • 7-CD box set
  • First released in 2004
  • Herbie Hancock on piano
  • Ron Carter on bass
  • Tony Williams on drums
  • Also features saxophonist George Coleman and Wayne Shorter
  • Explores development of Davis's "second great quintet"
  • Encompasses material for LPs like My Funny Valentine and Quiet Nights
  • Includes 92-page book
  • Track list
Miles Davis Quintet 1965-’68: The Complete Columbia Studio Recordings
  • 6-CD box set
  • First released in 1998
  • Grammy Award winner
  • Features Shorter, Hancock, Carter, and Williams
  • Encompasses material for LPs like Miles Smiles and Nefertiti
  • Includes 116-page book
  • Track list
The Complete In A Silent Way Sessions
  • 3-CD box set
  • First released in 2001
  • Covers critical period in Davis's career
  • Introduces Chick Corea, Jow Zawinul, and John McLaughlin
  • Encompasses material from LPs like Water Babies and In A Silent Way
  • Includes 96-page book
  • Track list
The Complete Bitches Brew Sessions
  • 4-CD box set
  • First released in 1998
  • Grammy Award winner
  • Reprises memorable cover art of Mati Klarwein
  • Covers 1969 to 1970, directly after Woodstock
  • Introduces influence of Jimi Hendrix, Sly Stone, and other young musicians
  • Dozens of collaborators, including Harvey Brooks and Lenny White
  • Includes 148-page book
  • Track list
The Complete Jack Johnson Sessions
  • 5-CD box set
  • First released in 2003
  • Grammy Award winner
  • Covers sessions recorded in 1970
  • Increased presence of John McLaughlin
  • Includes 120-page book
  • Track list
The Complete On The Corner Sessions
  • 6-CD box set
  • First released in 2007
  • Covers sessions recorded in 1972 through 1975
  • Much of the music here was previously unissued up until a few years ago
  • Encompasses material on LPs like Big Fun and Get Up With It
  • Includes 120-page book
  • Track list

Monday, September 1, 2014

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day!
And Live The Life You Love!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Jazz Connect Conference Returns to NY in January!

 The Jazz Connect Conference, organized by JazzTimes and the Jazz Forward Coalition, announced the dates and location for the annual gathering of the jazz community in 2015.  The conference will be held January 8-9, 2015 at Saint Peter's Church in New York City and will lead into the annual APAP (Association of Performing Arts Presenters) Conference as well as Winter Jazzfest.  Now in its third year, the conference will continue to focus on vital issues affecting the jazz community carrying on the format and momentum from the January 2014 event which had over 800 registrants.

Moderators and panelists will again include an impressive cross-section of artists and professionals from around the world.  Early Bird Registration is only $75 until September 30, with additional discounts offered to members of various organizations.

The Jazz Connect Conference is organized by Peter Gordon of the Jazz Forward Coalition and Lee Mergner of JazzTimes, with assistance and input from over a dozen industry professionals.  With a theme of "Strength Through Community" the conference will again bring together a wide cross-section of the jazz community for 12 workshops and 5 plenary sessions, on a variety of timely subjects to engage, stimulate and challenge the registrants.  JazzTimes is the official publication for the event.

The Jazz Connect Conference was one of the pre-conferences tied to APAP, but due to the large number of attendees, the conference moved from its location for the last three years at the Hilton New York to nearby Saint Peter’s Church.  Located at 54th & Lexington, Saint Peter's provides a unique setting for this gathering of the jazz community.  The church has a long history of supporting and affiliating with jazz, going back to 1965 when the Reverend John Gensel created the Jazz Ministry.  The church will be providing the conference with multiple and spacious multi-purpose rooms, including a black box theater, for the workshop and panel sessions.

Panel and workshop topics will be announced soon, but the Conference has left a time slot open for a "Community Choice" panel.  If you have a topic that you think would be interesting to the jazz community, email it to jazzconnectnyc@gmail.com and put “Community Choice" in the subject line.

For more information about the Jazz Connect conference, you can e-mail jazzconnectnyc@gmail.com or go to the conference website.
To pre-register for the conference, go to the event page.  

To reserve a table-top display or to advertise in the Conference program with JazzTimes, contact Miene Smith at 617-706-9092

Box Set of the Month - "Hubert Laws: Crying Song / Afro-Classic / The Rite of Spring"

Box Set of the Month
Hubert Laws: "Crying Song/Afro-Classic/The Rite of Spring" (BGO/CTI) 2014

Original Albums Produced by Creed Taylor
Recorded & Mixed by Rudy Van Gelder
Cover Photos: Pete Turner
Original Albums Design: Bob Ciano

Hubert Laws on CTI Records – a mighty great thing, as you'll hear on these three vintage albums for the label! Laws' first three albums under the visionary production of Creed Taylor, and already featuring that all-star format of sidemen that became one essential point for the CTI success.

"Crying Song," though, is a controversial pop-jazz record, recorded mostly in Memphis with members of Elvis Presley's backing band. Actually, it was supposed to be a Stanley Turrentine session. But he couldn't make it at the last moment, due to contractual problems with his previous label, and Creed invited Laws, who was free from his contract with Atlantic. Anyway, the record sounded very different than Laws' 60s Latin sides for Atlantic, and handled in a pop mode that has his flute drifting over a mixture of organ, piano, electric guitars and rhythms augmented with strings – sometimes easy and jazzy in the same moment. Sometimes only easy listening, like happens on "La Jean," "Love Is Blue/Sing A Rainbow" and The Beatles' "Let It Be."

Other titles include "Listen To The Band", "Cymbaline", "Feelin' Alright" (written by Dave Mason of the English rock band Traffic from their 1968 album, "Traffic" and also covered by Joe Cocker), and The Bee Gees' "I've Gotta Get A Message To You." Three tracks were recorded in NY with different personnel: the title tune "Crying Song" (a psychedelic remake of Roger Water's ballad composed for the third album by the British progressive rock supergroup Pink Floyd), "Cymbaline" (another track from that same Pink Floyd album, "Soundtrack from the Film More," released in 1969), and Laws' own "How Long Will It Be," the only jazz tune on the album, featuring Ron Carter, Grady Tate and George Benson.

"Rite Of Spring," is another story. For many of his fans, Law's masterpiece. It's a groundbreaking record, a mixture of classical themes and jazz, handled with an airy CTI approach – and set to arrangements by Don Sebesky that are simply mindblowing! The album's a wonderful example of the way that CTI really pushed the boundaries of instrumental expression in the 70s – taking Laws wonderfully breathy work on flute, and mixing it with some well-crafted backings that also feature Bob James (Fender Rhodes), Ron Carter (acoustic bass), Jack DeJohnette (drums) and Airto Moreira (percussion) and the secret weapon of the session, Gene Bertoncini on the acoustic guitar.

This larger group is handled by Sebesky, who really brings some magic to the record – a sense of sound, space, and timing that's still a heck of a lot more mature and sophisticated than most instrumental recordings coming out today! Titles include Faure's "Pavane," an a cappella rendition of Debussy's "Syrinx" that sounds sublime, a bop-classical adaptation of Stravinsky's "The Rite Of Spring" built upon Jack DeJohnette's thunderous drums, and the album tour-de-force, the jazzy baroque version of Bach's "Brandenburg Concerto No 3." Jazz flute and CTI were never the same after this album!

"Afro-Classic" is another amazing album, following the same concept of "The Rite of Spring," with the same arranger (Sebesky), most of the same musicians (except for Freddie Waits, then a member of Hubert Laws' touring band, replacing DeJohnnette on drums) – and the cornerstone of the CTI sound! The record's an incredibly baroque set of tracks featuring arrangements by Don Sebesky that mix complicated lines on flute with electric piano from Bob James, into a swirling mass of sound that's warm, soulful, and fuzzy. The record's incredibly hip, even on material like Francis Lai's mellow pop ballad "Theme From Love Story", then a monster hit on the Billboard charts.

On James Taylor's "Fire & Rain," that features an hipnotic bass groove, and Bach's "Passacaglia In C Minor", Laws and the group soar away into another plane of being!

Mezzrow Opens Next Week in NYC

Mezzrow, the new jazz piano room in Greenwich Village, opens on September 3rd with Johnny O'Neal.

Mezzrow is a listening room and lounge located at 163 West 10th Street (at the corner of 7th Ave.) in the basement space.  It's an elegant place with an amazing piano and their goal is to feature the best of New York's piano talent in that space. They've already an amazing lineup of great pianists scheduled to come in including Cyrus Chestnut & Dezron Douglas, Rossano Sportiello & Harry Allen, David Hazeltine, Richard Wyands, Aaron Parks, Spike Wilner & Peter Bernstein, Bruce Barth & Peter Washington in September alone.  In the next few months they'll got the likes of Ron Carter and Ethan Iverson, Larry Willis with Buster Williams, David Kikoski, Gerald Clayton, Orrin Evans and many, many more.
Please check out their new website -
You can see the schedule, and even purchase advanced, guaranteed seats for upcoming shows to insure seats for you and your guests.
Mezzrow is just across the street from Smalls Jazz Club - guests will be able to go back and forth and enjoy both clubs.

NYC, NY 10014

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Sheila E. interviewed on OK TV

Tune in to watch OK TV USA's interview with Sheila E. tomorrow!
Check local listings & times:
In Los Angeles: kcal 9

Steven Richman's take on "Music for Peter Gunn" debuts in Top 10 on Billboard Jazz Chart

Amazon #1 Best Seller COOL JAZZ
ITunes - Number 12 on iTunes Jazz chart

Check Out The NPR Feature Story
The Private Eye Who Made Cool Jazz His Calling Card

Henry Mancini - Music for Peter Gunn
by Harmonie Ensemble New York
Steven Richman
(Harmonia Mundi HMU 907624)

In 1958, the legendary composer/arranger Henry Mancini electrified the world of television music with his dynamic soundtrack for the detective series "Peter Gunn." Not only did he introduce a compelling jazz element into the genre, but he also created a context for the symbiotic relationship between narrative action and its aural environment. The Emmy-winning score - and its double Grammy-awarded album - was performed by an all-star ensemble of some of the West Coast jazz scene’s finest musicians. Now, for the first time in more than half a century, the Harmonie Ensemble/New York under the direction of Grammy-nominated conductor Steven Richman takes a new look at this iconic music in the new harmonia mundi release "Music for Peter Gunn."
(Ginny Mancini, wife of the composer, and Steven Richman)
Photo by Joe Josephs

One of the most profound elements of the jazz tradition is that the musicians’ pursuit of personal and singular sounds allows each fresh interpretation of classic works to have a new life of its own. The great orchestral composers like Ellington, Strayhorn, Charles Mingus and George Russell were able to perform the same arrangements of their musical creations over and over, creating entirely new versions freshly sculpted by the personae of the musicians who played it. This recording provides that same substance to these timeless original Henry Mancini compositions and arrangements, proving this music to be as vital and vibrant as it was more than 50 years ago.
This is the twelfth album by Mr. Richman and the Harmonie Ensemble/New York, and his third for harmonia mundi, following up on 2010’s "Gershwin by Grofé" and last year’s "Nutcracker Suites Tchaikovsky / Duke Ellington & Billy Strayhorn." As with those two outstanding and highly acclaimed albums, Mr. Richman has assembled the ideal cast of musicians to interpret this music, blending their superb command of ensemble playing with brilliant soloing skills. His deep appreciation of the music and commitment to the highest artistic ideals created the fertile environment that makes this recording so successful. A French horn player before he devoted himself fully to conducting, Mr. Richman had the opportunity to play with Henry Mancini many times. For him, this was truly a labor of love.

“I grew up watching and listening to that great TV show. Everyone knows the Peter Gunn theme but far fewer seem to know there is about an hour and a half of gorgeous music recycled in various forms throughout the show’s three seasons. Even our musicians were in the dark about this. They were happily surprised at the wonderful music, so skillfully written and arranged. We were all thrilled to play it.”
A key figure is pianist Lincoln Mayorga, who was featured on the Gershwin by Grofé album and had played for Mancini on some of the great composer’s road trips.  The remarkable tenor saxophonist and flautist Lew Tabackin – whose presence was so vital to the Nutcracker recording – anchors the highly impressive reed section along with my dear friend Ronnie Cuber, Mark Gross, Lawrence Feldman and Lino Gomez.  The eminent Lew Soloff heads a trumpet section of Stanton Davis, Dominic Derasse and Joe Giorgianni; with a trombone foursome of Larry Farrell, John Fedchock, Mark Patterson and Frank Cohen.  The French horns, so essential to the sumptuous and mellifluous textures that are so intrinsic to Mancini’s sound are played by RJ Kelley, Alexandra Cook, Eric Davis and David Peel.

Much of the action in Peter Gunn took place in Mother’s, the waterfront roadhouse that was both Gunn’s hangout and meeting place.  The five-piece group that played there set the tone for a good deal of the show’s music and therefore those musicians are of paramount importance to this music. Joining Mayorga in the stellar rhythm section are Bob Mann on guitar (whom I admire since Astrud Gilberto's famous "Gilberto with Turrentine" album for CTI), Christos Rafalides on vibes, and the bass/drums tandem of Francois Moutin and Victor Lewis.

Under Mr. Richman’s brilliant direction, this exceptional group of musicians brings the perfect combination of flawlessly tight ensemble playing with the easygoing looseness and vivid spontaneity that makes each solo shine brightly – and always in the proper context, with no grandstanding or virtuosity for its own sake. Although the music remains totally faithful to the original arrangements, the vibrancy and immediacy of today is fully evident.

Bob Mann’s guitar solos have a slightly rock-ish element and the horn solos have a somewhat edgier quality. The delivery of the written lines add a bit more soulfulness to the soulful; bluesiness to the blue; and even a touch more savagery to the drive.  The two versions of the immortal theme (my favorite versions, besides Mancini's original take, have been the ones by Quincy Jones and Eumir Deodato) that bookend the 16 tracks are absolutely explosive – with the reprise opening up the thematic structure and providing an opportunity for the soloists to really strut their stuff.

This recording features all but one track from the first Mancini Peter Gunn album, along with four tracks from the second. One of these is "My Manne Shelly," a dedication to the longtime Mancini collaborator and icon of West Coast jazz, Shelly Manne (this tune was included on the debut album of Eumir Deodato's legendary '60s band Os Catedráticos, "Impulso!" recently reissued on CD under the production of Jazz Station Blog's boss Arnaldo DeSouteiro. Here Victor Lewis pays his own homage to Shelly in the delightful call and response motif of the piece, also highlighted by a burly baritone solo by Cuber.

That small group roadhouse feel is offered in sublime fashion with "The Floater," "A Profound Gass" and "Brief and Breezy" – all evoking the fluid George Shearing sound and featuring jaunty guitar and vibes solos. An easy-swinging, hip groove – as suave and sophisticated as the title character – is front and center with "Sorta Blue" and "The Brothers Go to Mother’s."

Three ballads offer a romantic setting with the appropriately named "Dreamsville" (Quincy Jones did my favorite version ever!) fueled by guitar and alto; "Soft Sounds," built on a slow walking bass; and "Blues for Mother’s," marked by a deeply soulful alto sax. A raunchier blues groove of the growling sort is the vibe for the slow-boogie of "Spook" and the drawling brass-fueled "Slow and Easy," featuring a gutty trombone solo out of the Lawrence Brown school; while "Session at Pete’s Pad" pushes the pedal a bit harder into a smooth stomp.

Designed for the hard-boiled action and chase scenes, there are two virile and impassioned pieces. "Blue Steel" is a dramatic item filled with hollerin’ brass, call and response incantations and a vehement Tabackin solo. "Fallout," opening with briskly walking bass leading into searing flutes, slow boils into a frenzy of growling trombones, wailing French horns and screaming trumpets.

While this is landmark music that broke ground for many fine scores to follow, one thing stands high above it all. This is spectacular music played by an extraordinary group of musicians – timeless, powerful and moving.
For more information on harmonia mundi, please visit: www.harmoniamundi.com
For information on Mr. Richman and all his fine HE/NY recordings, visit: http://www.harmonieensembleny.com

"Brazilicious" @ Kitchen 305, August 29th!

This next Friday, August 29: "Brazilicious" @ Kitchen 305!
Featuring DJ Nyx.
RSVP: 305-749-2110
16701 Collins Ave. - Sunny Isles Beach, FL

The best party spot north of South Beach, with an array of awesome late night events! Eat what you love...Party how you want!

Lindsay Lohan rehearsing for "Speed-The-Plow"

Lindsay Lohan just finished the first day of rehearsals for "Speed-The-Plow" (she is pictured here with director Lindsay Posner and co-star Richard Schiff.)
For more details, please check:

A campaign for jazz icon Kenny Wheeler

A campaign has been launched to help jazz icon Kenny Wheeler, 84, who together with his wife is experiencing serious financial difficulties related to their health care. Learn how to donate through the link below. It's urgent!
One of the best flugelhorn players in the jazz history, alongside Art Farmer, Clark Terry and Chuck Mangione (yes, bastards purists, Mr. Mangione deserves to be on this list), Wheeler has been a perennial winner in the Jazz Station Polls.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Gina Saputo strikes again @ Steamers

Gina Saputo is back @ Steamers.
Tomorrow, August 22, backed by:
Matt Politano (piano),
Nate Light (bass),
Ramon Banda (drums),
Larry Salzman (percussion)

Steamers Jazz Club & Cafe
Reversations highly recommended.
Ph: (714) 871-8800
See u there!

Anna Mjoll @ Vibrato, this Saturday

This next, Saturday, August 23, don't miss our Jazz Princess, Anna Mjöll, live @ Herb Alpert's Vibrato!
2930 Beverly Glen Circle, Belair, CA
Ph: (310) 474-9400

"Icelandic jazz diva Anna Mjöll evokes Peggy Lee, Astrud Gilberto, and especially Blossom Dearie, but fascinates with her highly personal interpretations. She knows how to caress a melody and seduce the listener." ~Arnaldo DeSouteiro

“Iceland's Anna Mjöll grew up in one of her country's leading musical families, eventually representing Iceland in the famed Eurovision Song Contest. She then joined the band of Julio Iglesias, touring worldwide before setting out on her own career as a jazz singer and songwriter. Mjöll has quietly built a following around LA over the past two years, becoming one of the only vocalists to be a regular at the classy Vibrato supper club. Mjöll's striking beauty and often-breathtaking dresses combine with singing talent that's recently drawn praise from jazz luminaries including George Duke, Don Heckman and Dave Weckl. Add Mjöll's penchant for offbeat humor and a running dialogue with the audience, and you might find yourself wondering how long it'll be before she's headlining somewhere in Las Vegas - Sir Tom Jones is already a frequent guest at her shows in town."
~Tom Meek, LA Weekly

Labor Day Weekend @ Haze with Krewella

Krewella Performs LIVE 

Labor Day Weekend @ HAZE!

Saturday, August 30, 2014 @ 10:30PM
HAZE Nightclub keeps the party going through Labor Day Weekend with a special live performance from KREWELLA. Fresh off their European tour, the Chicago-based trio will treat the crowd to a full set including chart topping hits, “Alive” and “Live For The Night”  With KREWELLA in the house, this is going to be one of the biggest parties of the year!

To buy tickets:
The Light Group
6276 S. Rainbow Suite 120 Las Vegas, NV, 89118

Yankee's Legend Bernie Wiliams In Concert!

Additional Premium Meet & Greet tickets just became available! Meet Bernie Williams after the show by purchasing Premium price tier tickets in the first 4 rows for $100.

Throughout Williams' years with The Yankees, his passion for music never waned, and the sound of a guitar would often be heard emanating from the clubhouse or during team flights. Whether acoustic or electric, a guitar was a constant presence in the star's locker or equipment bag, and it was no surprise in 2003 when he demonstrated how serious his musical pursuit was with the release of his first album, "The Journey Within." The record featured fusions of jazz, rock and the tropical rhythms of Williams' heritage and was met with both strong critical praise and instant chart success- reaching #3 on Billboard's "Contemporary Jazz Chart."

Bernie Williams raised his musical game even further with the release of his second album "Moving Forward." Featuring guest appearances by Bruce Springsteen, Jon Secada, Dave Koz, and an all-star cast of renowned studio musicians, "Moving Forward" debuted as Billboard's #2 Contemporary Jazz album in the country, and spawned two consecutive Billboard #1 singles, "Go For It," and "Ritmo de Otono." The album was nominated for a Latin Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Album in 2009.

Paramount Hudson Valley is operated by Red House Entertainment LLC
Address: 1008 Brown Street, Peekskill NY 10566 -
For general inquiries phone: 914 739 0039
email: Boxoffice@paramounthudsonvalley.com

Big Band Music Needed for Hollywood Film

Follow TAXI:


He's searching for Mid-to-Up-Tempo SONGS and/or INSTRUMENTALS that have the classic Swing sound, feel, and vibe. You can submit Songs and/or Instrumentals that feature a Male or Female lead vocal performance **OR** Instrumentals with a classic sound, authentic to the Big Band era of the 1930's - 1950's. Please listen to the following examples to point you in the right stylistic direction for this pitch:

"In The Mood" by Glenn Miller

"From The Bottom Of My Heart"
by The Harry James Orchestra feat. Frank Sinatra

"Sometimes I'm Happy" by Benny Goodman
He's looking for Songs and/or Instrumentals featuring the kind of instrumentation typical to this genre such as: clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, double bass, drums, keyboards, electric guitars, guitars, strings, etc. Give him full sounding Songs and/or Instrumentals that feature a tight rhythm section that supports a loose, flowing, improvisational, wind or brass section. Your submission will be used as background source music (in a dancehall or from a radio) for a flashback scene in this film.

You can submit ORIGINAL pieces **OR** material that's in the Public Domain. You do NOT have to submit an authentic vintage master recording for this pitch. Recently recorded Songs and/or Instrumentals that have been made to sound vintage could work very well. Please do NOT submit anything that sounds stiff or MIDI-driven. It's important that your submission has the authentic character and feel like the Standards you could find in The Great American Songbook.

If you submit a song with a vocal performance, please be sure your lyric themes have Universal lyrics. Avoid references to specific dates, names, times, places, brands, etc. Lyric themes about twerking, cell phones, Vanilla Ice, etc., probably won't work well for this pitch ;-) Keep your lyric themes true to topics relevant to the popular culture of the '30s -'50s era.

The estimated license fee for this is $1,000 - $5,000. This is a Direct-to-Music Supervisor placement, so you'll keep 100% of the sync fee and any applicable performance royalties. No Publisher Splits. You'll also keep 100% ownership of all your original rights! You must own or control 100% of the Master and Copyright to pitch for this opportunity, unless you submit a track that's Public Domain. 

In this case, you'll need to own or control 100% of the Master. Please do not copy or rip off the referenced artists or compositions in any way, shape, or form. Broadcast Quality is needed (great sounding home recordings are fine). All songs will be screened on a Yes/No basis. No full critiques. Please submit 1-3 songs no later than MONDAY, August 25th, by 2pm (PDT). TAXI #U140825BB www.taxi.com Good luck!

Kofi Baker's Cream Experience live in LA!

MWW Management Presents:
September 11, 2014 @
The Baked Potato (3787 Cahuenga Blvd, Studio City)
2 Sets: 9pm/11pm

Kofi Baker | Drums
Fran Banish | Guitar
Robertino Pagliari | Bass

LISTEN: www.kofibaker.com

Beware of Mr. Baker

BOOKING: Manager/Agent
Angie Seegers

Celebrating Contessa's Birthday in LA!

Celebrating Contessa's Birthday this Sunday, August 24th @ The Terrace.

3rd Annual Celebrating Charlie Parker Festival

Jazzonian proudly presents the 3rd Annual Celebrating Charlie Parker Festival, Monday, August 25th, 7 PM, at the Bienes Center for the Arts at St. Thomas Aquinas, 2801 SW 12th Street, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312. For information, call 305-298-2380. Free admission. www.jazzonian.org
The event will be hosted by saxophonist/flutist Maestro Bobby Ramirez and band--also including: Jose Velasquez, bass; Antulio Mora, piano; and Ivan Velasquez, drums. Area musicians are welcomed to sit in.