Saturday, May 30, 2009

Kristin Korb @ Commerce Casino tonight!

Kristin Korb live at Commerce Casino tonight!
With Llew Matthews (piano) & Steve Barnes (drums).
Her last hang before the gigs in the East Coast...

Commerce Casino-Stakes Restaurant
Tonight, May 30, 7-11pm
6131 Telegraph Road
Commerce, Cal. 90040

A home run

Dear Arnaldo:

Our records show that you live in California's 23rd district.
President Obama hit a home run with his nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court -- and not just because she's the "woman who saved baseball" by ending the strike in 1995, nor simply because she would be the first Latina ever to serve on the high court.

It was a home run because in her three-decade career as a prosecutor, judge, private litigator and law professor, she has time and again earned bipartisan praise as one of America's finest legal minds. And it was the right choice because Judge Sotomayor -- herself born and raised in a South Bronx housing project -- has summed up the American dream in her own incredible story and never once forgotten how the law affects our daily lives.

Now her historic nomination goes to the Senate. I know that process well, and I can tell you that the debate of the coming weeks and months will be shaped by the public response in the next few hours and days. It's critical that the Senate and the public clearly see where the American people stand.

Will you add your name to the growing list of Americans who are pledging to "Stand with Sotomayor" today? Your name and comments will become part of a public display of support at this crucial time.

I've followed Judge Sotomayor's remarkable journey for years. I voted for her when President George H.W. Bush nominated her for the District Court in 1992, and I was proud to vote for her again when President Bill Clinton nominated her for the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in 1998.

Born to a Puerto Rican family, Sotomayor grew up in a public housing project in the South Bronx. She was an avid reader from an early age, and was first inspired to pursue a legal career by the Nancy Drew mystery novels. Driven by her mother's belief in the power of education and her own relentless work ethic, she excelled in school. She won a scholarship to Princeton University, graduated summa cum laude, and then went on to attend Yale Law School where she served as an editor of the prestigious Yale Law Journal.

Like President Obama, Sotomayor passed up many more lucrative opportunities after law school to put her degree to work for the public good. She served as an Assistant District Attorney in New York, tackling some of the hardest cases facing the city, including robberies, assaults, murders, police brutality, and child pornography. Her growing reputation for fearlessness and legal brilliance prompted her first nomination to the federal bench, and she's only continued to soar.

If confirmed, she would start with more federal judicial experience than any Justice in a century, more overall judicial experience than any Justice in 70 years, and replace David Souter as the only Justice with firsthand experience as a trial judge. She has participated in over 3,000 panel decisions and authored roughly 400 opinions, expertly handling difficult issues of constitutional law, complicated procedural matters, and lawsuits involving complex business organizations.

In her years on the bench, Judge Sotomayor has earned acclaim from legal scholars and experts from both sides of the aisle for her intellectual toughness, her probing oral questioning, and her ability to issue decisions that hold both factual details and legal doctrines in equal measure. And she's never failed to apply a steady, common-sense analysis of how the law touches our daily lives.

Her story is incredible. Her qualifications are undeniable. And her judgment will serve us all well on the highest court in the land.

Please join me in becoming a part of this historic moment for the Court and our country. Add your name now to publicly show that you, too, "Stand with Sotomayor." In these crucial early hours, let us leave no doubt about the people's support for this extraordinary nominee.

Thank you,

Vice President Joe Biden

Mike Longo live @ Turning Point Café on June 1st

Monday Jazz with Mike Longo at the Turning Point Café in Piermont, N.Y.
(South of Tappan Zee Bridge, North of GWB in Rockland. Only 25 minutes from NYC, NJ, CT, Westchester, and Orange. A great intimate setting ideal for Jazz.)

Monday June 1st, 8pm-11pm
Piano wiz Mike Longo with Bill Moring (bass), Ignacio Berroa (drums) & John Richmond (saxophones).

2 sets 8pm and 9:30pm/ no minimum
$15 for the evening

Turning Point Café
468 Piermont Ave.
Piermont, N.Y. 10968
(845) 359-1089

Bob Barry's exhibition at the Crowne Plaza LA

"It is my hope, and intention that the viewer will learn something revealing, and personal about each of these artists through my work," says renowned jazz photographer Bob Barry.

Bob's "Performance Portraits" are currently displayed in museums, galleries and is on permanent exhibit at the Crowne Plaza Los Angeles Airport Hotel Brasserie Jazz Lounge, and the Radisson LA Westside Hotel Culver Club for Jazz, Culver City, CA.,

Brasserie Jazz Lounge
5985 W. Century Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90045 310-642-7500

Friday, May 29, 2009

Alexa Weber Morales live, tomorrow, in Oakland

Closer to home, Alexa Weber Morales will be doing a solo piano/voice gig tomorrow night, May 30, at La Furia Chalaca, a Peruvian seafood restaurant on the corner of Broadway and 4th in Oakland, in Jack London Square. Come on down!

Saturday, May 30th, 2009
Alexa Solo - 7:00 - 10:00 pm
La Furia Chalaca
310 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94607
Ph: 510-451-4206

"Jazz Bakery" - LA Times

The doors are closing, but the Jazz Bakery is still in play
May 29 2009
The lauded music venue may be closing its doors this weekend, but owner Ruth Price is working on plans to keep the music going.

The Jazz Bakery, a staple of the L.A. music community, will close its doors Sunday after losing its lease, but owner Ruth Price insists it's too early to write a eulogy for the club, which has occupied the same space at the Helms Bakery District for the last 16 years.

"I've been really stressing the word moving, not closing," she said. "But it's been really hard to get people's mind-set away from the most dramatic thing they can think of. It is pretty dramatic any way you look at it, frankly."

Given that the similarly lauded music venue Largo pulled off a successful (if more voluntary) transition to the Coronet Theater last year, Price has reasons to be hopeful. Despite the tough economic climate and the fact that jazz continues to be faced with a shrinking and fragmented audience, she's fielding a number of offers to keep the Bakery alive.

She's working on a partnership with the Grammy Museum downtown that will allow her to present a run of shows there starting as early as late summer, along with tentative plans with Culver City's Kirk Douglas Theatre to take over the space on open nights.

She has also pinpointed two potential sites on the Westside for the club's new permanent home and is working with architects on preliminary sketches. Still, there is no fixed timetable for a new location, or any guarantee that one truly will come to fruition.

"Everywhere we go people talk about our cachet," Price said. "And my joke is I wish we had cash instead of cachet!"

Although the Bakery is insulated somewhat by grants as part of its nonprofit status, the grim reality is that 2009 is a tough time for jazz clubs across the country. Detroit's venerable Baker's Keyboard Lounge, which has hosted John Coltrane, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, announced it also might close at the end of the month after recently celebrating its 75th anniversary.

If the Bakery fails to find a new home, that will leave Los Angeles with only one club that hosts nationally touring jazz artists on a regular basis: the Catalina Bar & Grill in Hollywood, which like many area jazz clubs requires a two-drink minimum or dinner purchase on top of parking and admission costs.

Add it up and an evening of jazz quickly becomes cost-prohibitive for young or less solvent music fans -- to say nothing for what this could mean for nationally recognized artists touring the West Coast.

"Other entrepreneurs are going to have to start [opening] different jazz venues in places people may not think are jazz places," said LeRoy Downs, a DJ at radio station KKJZ-FM (88.1) who hosts a number of local jazz shows. "Just so we can have musicians still call Los Angeles a viable place to come for music."

In recent months, the Bakery has struggled with attendance -- the room, which holds 214 people, should draw a good crowd tonight for its final major jazz performance with bassist Scott Colley's quartet, but at times has had trouble reaching capacity. Most shows at the club cost a minimum of $25, even for lesser known acts like a sparsely attended recent Monday night show with Iraqi American trumpeter Amir ElSaffar.

"The Bakery is a large enough room that you could get a lot of people in there -- not that a lot of people would always turn out," said drummer Peter Erskine, who frequently played the Bakery. "L.A.'s L.A., it's hard to get people to come out. I don't know, what's the [missing] ingredient?"

"Easy parking," he suggested with a laugh.

Parking has grown more difficult since the arrival last year of trendy gastropub Father's Office, but the Bakery has remained beloved by members of the local jazz community because of its strict focus on music. Unlike other clubs, there is no food or drink service, something the featured performers appreciate.

"Clubs are fun . . . but you know, they all have ice blenders and telephones and chatty people that come in for reasons other than listening to music," Erskine said. "The great thing about the Bakery was that it's a listening room, and so the philosophy of the room is what I think made every musician fall in love with the place."

Last week, a predominantly older crowd with a few clusters of excitable young students filed into the Bakery's performance space to see local pianist Billy Childs, who was beginning a four-night run at the Bakery.

As with most every performance, Price addressed the audience before and after Childs' set, making a point to remind everyone to sign up for the club's e-mail list.

In the lobby after the show was Douglas Mosher, 22, a recent USC music graduate with shoulder-length hair and an easy smile. A student of jazz saxophone, he's been coming to the Bakery all through college, and even got onstage two years ago as part of the club's student nights.

He's long been a fan of the venue's student discount program that takes a bite out of what he considers the high price of jazz, but the Bakery's unique vibe is what he'll really miss.

When asked where he'll go after the Bakery closes its doors, he's much less certain.

"I don't know, I guess I'm not going to see as much," he said, the Bakery lobby's exhibition of images of jazz greats looming over his shoulder. "I'll just kind of wait and see what their next move is."

--Chris Barton

Thursday, May 28, 2009

R.I.P.: Gugge Hedrenius

Gugge Hedrenius
(born October 2, 1938, Malmö/Sweden;
died April 27, 2009, Sweden)

The pianist Gugge Hedrenius passed away on April 27th at the age of 70. He formed his own septet in 1959 which included the trumpeter Idrees Sulieman and got rave reviews even in Down Beat magazine. In the 1970s he reformed this band as the Big Blues Band which performed into the 1990s, included many Swedish jazz stars and had trumpeter Willie Cook as a member for many years.

Source: Jazzinstitut Darmstadt

R.I.P.: Julie Coryell

Julie Coryell, Jazz-Rock Historian, Dies at 61
NY Times -Published: May 28, 2009

Julie Coryell, who wrote a seminal history of jazz-rock fusion and while married to the guitarist Larry Coryell, managed his career and contributed to his recordings, died on May 10 in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. She was 61 and lived in Hyde Park, N.Y.

The cause was undetermined, said her son Murali.

Ms. Coryell’s book, “Jazz-Rock Fusion: The People, the Music,” first published in 1978, was one of the earliest serious histories of fusion. It contained interviews with 58 musicians, including Jaco Pastorius, Randy Brecker, John Abercrombie and Mr. Coryell, along with photographs by Laura Friedman. It also included a rare interview with Miles Davis, conducted during his retirement years in the late 1970s.

Born Julie Nathanson in Manhattan, Ms. Coryell was the daughter of Carol Bruce, an actress and singer, and Milton Nathanson. She met Mr. Coryell early in his career. They married in 1968 and she became a visible part of his music: she appears on the covers of his 1969 albums “Coryell” and “Lady Coryell,” whose title song is dedicated to her. She also sang on some songs, including “Beyond These Chilling Winds” on the 1971 album “Larry Coryell at the Village Gate.”

In addition, she worked as her husband’s manager and helped write a number of songs that became part of his repertory, including “Spaces (Infinite)” and “Chris” from his 1970 album “Spaces.” That album is considered an early landmark in fusion, the branch of modern jazz that borrows from rock and other styles.

She moved to Woodstock, N.Y., in 1986, a year after she and Mr. Coryell divorced, and helped found the Woodstock Experimental Writers Theater, her son said.

In addition to her son Murali, of Boiceville, N.Y., she is survived by another son, Julian, of Los Angeles, and two grandchildren.
Obituary - All About Jazz

Julie Coryell – Jazz Author, Manager, Singer
Posted: 2009-05-28, AAJ
By Bill Siegel

Julie Coryell – jazz author, manager, singer, songwriter, actress, and more – passed away unexpectedly on May 10, at St. Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie, NY. She was 61 years old, and had been living at the Victory Lake Nursing Home in Hyde Park, NY. She collaborated with award-winning photographer Laura Friedman on the book, Jazz Rock Fusion: The People, The Music, first published in 1978 (republished in 2000), and containing in-depth interviews with 58 musicians associated with jazz rock fusion--including Jaco Pastorius, John McLaughlin, Carla Bley, Ron Carter, Randy and Michael Brecker, Freddie Hubbard, Billy Cobham, Tony Williams, Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarrett, Joe Zawinul, Dave Liebman, Wayne Shorter, among the many others – and the only interview granted by Miles Davis during his semi-retirement. The interviews were conducted by Ms. Coryell, and are accompanied by the striking photo-portraits of Ms. Friedman.

Howard Mandel, in his JazzBeyondJazz blog, places Ms. Coryell in a league with the likes of Laurie Pepper and Sue Graham Mingus – women who managed their musician-husbands’ careers, while simultaneously pursuing their own careers. Ms. Coryell co-wrote and performed on several recordings with then-husband Larry Coryell and raised their two sons, Murali and Julian (both of whom are now accomplished guitarists). She was involved in the performing arts throughout her life, first appearing on Broadway and film in the 1960s. From 1986-2003, Ms. Coryell lived in Woodstock, NY, where she founded the Woodstock Experimental Writers Theater.

A funeral service was held on Tuesday, May 19th, at Woodstock Jewish Congregation in Woodstock. She leaves her two sons, Murali Coryell and Julian Coryell, and two grandchildren.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Diana Krall: "Live in Rio" out in Japan with bonus material

"Live in Rio," the new Diana Krall video, is coming out today, May 27, in Japan, in both DVD and Blu-ray formats. The bonus material, exclusively available for the Asian market, includes an extra part titled "Rooftop Session," featuring a bossa nova version of "Cheek to Cheek" on which DK is backed by Carlos Lyra on acoustic guitar during a jam at the Fasano Hotel, some days prior to the video shooting on November 1st, at "Vivo Rio".

For complete tracklist and more details, please check:

Ed Reed: triumphant return to LA!

May 28 & May 29

A triumphant two-night return to the place of his boyhood. Ed will make his first Los Angeles appearance since Jordan High School.

Thursday, May 28, 6 pm - 10 pm
Ed Reed and his Trio, featuring Tateng Katindig (piano), John Belzaguy (bass) & Paul Kreibich (drums)
Brasserie Jazz Lounge at the Crown Plaza Hotel LAX
5985 W. Century Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90045

Friday, May 29, 6 pm - 10 pm
Ed Reed and his Trio, featuring Llew Matthews (piano), John Belzaguy (bass) & Kenny Elliott (drums)
Sheraton LA Downtown Hotel
711 So. Hope Street
Los Angeles, CA 90017
No cover - $15 minimum for food/beverage. Validated parking.
These are In-House Music Productions.
For more information call In-House Music: 310-216-5861
Los Angeles Jazz Society Card Members Receive 15% off Food & Non Alcoholic Beverages

Ed Reed will make his first L.A. appearance since his days at Jordan High School. Like many artists of his generation, his career was interrupted by drug use and incarceration. San Quentin also hosted notorious jazz players, i.e., Art Pepper, Frank Butler and Frank Morgan (from whom Ed learned musically). Ed has emerged from addiction to being a grateful man, now working as an addiction counselor. At 80, Ed tied for 4th Place in Downbeat Critics Poll, "Rising Star Male Vocals" and appeared on the famed Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz Show.
He will perform songs from his excellent comeback album, "Ed Reed Sings Love Stories" (2007) as well as from its good sequel "The Song Is You" (2008). Not to be missed!

Noel Webb offers free download of his new CD

Following the successful April 2009 release of "Give It All," the follow-up to "Satin Sheets," electric violinist Noel Webb has decided to extend the hand of friendship to fans by offering a FREE download of the entire album.

Go to for access to all five songs.

This offer is only available through June 5, 2009.

Although the album has only been out for a little over a month, the reviews from radio and music critics have been positive. Wes Gillespie of proclaimed, "“His music is very 21st century with a harder, urban edge than many Smooth Jazz records which become repetitive and hard to differentiate from artist to artist. Noel's music is instantly identifiable and quite unique...will be a breath of fresh air to, not only the Smooth Jazz record buying public, but by its very inference it may appeal to the cross over classical and hip hop markets as well." Industry insider Hans Bernd-Hulsman (AKA "HBH" to readers at said, "For friends of the electric violin a banquet of fine music. For newcomers a pleasant surprise and discovery."
When the violin first chose Noel Webb, he knew that he was being led down a different path. While most violinists were fashioned in the traditional classical structure, Noel was intoxicated by the sounds of Jimi Hendrix and the sultry electricity of rock n’ roll music. “Each violin I played, I knew there was personal expression of soul, sex, and outrageous rock in that instrument. With no previous violinist to follow, I knew there was fresh musical discovery there, to let my insides sing out,” said Webb.

This same desire to dance within the sphere of the creative muse, also led Webb into other forms of artistic expression. Fans of the daytime television will recall he served as a principle actor for the soap opera General Hospital. Other television/movie appearances include a recurring character in Mad About You, a co-starring role on FBI-Untold Stories and starring roles in movies of the week like The Alamo, Young Riders, The Menendez Brothers and Reluctant Agent. As a Hollywood actor, he’d rack up an extensive list of commercials and narrative spots for companies like McDonalds, Honda, Emery, NBC Promo, CBS Promo, 50 A&E biographies, TNN biographies and also movie trailers. As a writer, Webb composed film scores for dozens of movies, television shows, commercials and trailers including History of Violence, Butterfly Effect, 2 Fast 2 Furious, Seabiscuit, Ray, Storm in the Afternoon, The Crow, Sprint commercial, Chevy Geo commercial, Great American Foods commercial, etc.

In 2006, the violin once again took center stage and demanded a place to call home with the CD release of the Soul of Noel Webb. This release would garner national airplay and critical acclaim, making Webb the innovator of contemporary pop electric violin.

Currently, Webb is gearing up for a national tour in support of his new release, "Give It All."
For more information, visit

Bobby Broom's tribute to Thelonious Monk

"Bobby Broom Plays for Monk", a new CD from guitarist Bobby Broom with his working trio(featuring Dennis Carroll & Kobie Watkins), will be released in the USA by Origin Records next June 16.
"Bobby Broom Plays for Monk" is the third of a trilogy of Origin recordings made with the Chicago-based guitarist's adventuresome working trio -- bassist Dennis Carroll and drummer Kobie Watkins -- and displaying Broom's indisputable mastery as a voice on modern jazz guitar.

"Song and Dance" (2007) emphasized pop tunes Broom grew up with as well as several affecting originals, while repertoire on the fantastic "The Way I Play" (2008) drew from jazz standards and American songbook classics. On "Plays for Monk," which will come out June 16, Broom explores the rich mother lode of Thelonious Monk's compositions.

"In many ways, Monk personifies all that attracted and continues to satisfy me in my love affair with jazz music," says Broom. "The way that he, the musician, fit into the jazz landscape while at the same time standing out and apart from it; the controlled but unpredictable creative freedom he spoke with as an improviser, and the variety of feelings he could conjure up; how, as a composer, his tunes were a clear reflection of his playing and musical personality and how those musical characteristics seemed to fit with the way he walked and talked, and even his personal style. Thelonious Monk, for me, is a prime example of jazz's expressionistic depth, and it seems fitting and natural that I should deal with the musical subject matter in this new album."

Guitar was never featured on any of Monk's own recordings (except for the early-1940s Minton's bootlegs with Charlie Christian), and Broom embraced the challenge of making Monk's material an expressive vehicle for himself and for the trio's group sound, one element of which he describes as "a convergence of swing and backbeat." Broom strayed from the most frequently covered Monk tunes and selected "Work," "Evidence," "Reflections," "Bemsha Swing" (which is given a second-line New Orleans groove), "Ask Me Now," "Ruby, My Dear," "Rhythm-a-ning," and "In Walked Bud," as well as two songs associated with the pianist -- "Lulu's Back in Town" and "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" (a Broom solo performance that closes the album).

"Plays for Monk's" cover photo, of Broom's Hofner Jazzica guitar in a red wagon, is an affectionate reference to the Monk-in-red-wagon cover of the 1957 Riverside LP, "Monk's Music."
The Bobby Broom Trio (pictured below by Mark Sheldon) has been performing every Wednesday night at Pete Miller's in Evanston, Illinois, for the past 13 years and recorded its previous CD, "The Way I Play," at the popular steakhouse. "It is extraordinary and highly unlikely for a recording jazz group to hold a steady engagement for so long," says Broom. "I've been very fortunate to be in the position to develop my musical ideas within this group, including details concerning the group dynamic and subtleties that can't be discussed or written into the music. There's really something special about development over time."

"The mighty fire of Broom's playing... seems to have grown hotter and deeper in recent seasons," wrote Joe Woodard in Jazziz of The Way I Play, which he called "a thrilling and warming set." Pat Metheny, on his own web site, recommended the CD as "one of the best guitar trio records ever."

Bobby Broom has another long-standing trio affiliation in the Deep Blue Organ Trio, which one reviewer has deemed "Hammond B3-guitar-drums jazz of the highest order." Together with organist Chris Foreman and drummer Greg Rockingham, Broom and Deep Blue have to date recorded three albums (and one DVD), including their 2007 Origin chart sensation "Folk Music." The trio plans to reenter the studio in late summer or early fall to record a new CD for Origin.

A longtime member of Sonny Rollins's band, Broom continues to travel the world with Rollins, which he calls "the ultimate jazz experience." But the guitarist, who also played with the tenor titan as an electric bassist, has been carving out his own compelling musical path, on which "Plays for Monk" is the latest milestone.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Diana Krall's "Live in Rio" coming out today in the USA

At long last! Diana Krall's eagerly awaited "Live in Rio" is being released today, May 26, in the USA as well as in Europe, in both DVD and Blu-ray formats.

For complete tracklist and more details, please check:

It's already in stock at Amazon for US$13.99 (DVD) or $16.49 (Blu-ray)

But you can also order it from CD Universe for US$11.00 (the Blu-ray is $16.45)

Supreme Court nominee

Dear Arnaldo:

Our records show that you live in California's 23rd district.

I am proud to announce my nominee for the next Justice of the United States Supreme Court: Judge Sonia Sotomayor.

This decision affects us all -- and so it must involve us all. I've recorded a special message to personally introduce Judge Sotomayor and explain why I'm so confident she will make an excellent Justice.

Please watch the video, and then pass this note on to friends and family to include them in this historic moment.

Judge Sotomayor has lived the America Dream. Born and raised in a South Bronx housing project, she distinguished herself in academia and then as a hard-charging New York District Attorney. Judge Sotomayor has gone on to earn bipartisan acclaim as one of America's finest legal minds.

As a Supreme Court Justice, she would bring more federal judicial experience to the Supreme Court than any Justice in 100 years. Judge Sotomayor would show fidelity to our Constitution and draw on a common-sense understanding of how the law affects our day-to-day lives.

A nomination for a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land is one of the most important decisions a President can make. And the discussions that follow will be among the most important we have as a nation. You can begin the conversation today by watching this special message and then passing it on:

Thank you,

President Barack Obama

Monday, May 25, 2009

Angela DeNiro & Ron Aprea live in NY tomorrow

Join Singer Angela DeNiro and the Ron Aprea Sextet at Jazz Tuesdays when they celebrate the re-release of Angela’s CD “Swingin With Legends” on Tuesday, May 26 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.

Angela DeNiro, a native New Yorker, earned her degree in Music, and is a composer and arranger, as well as vocalist. In addition to Angela's jazz singing and scatting abilities, she has also done extensive studio work, with various jingles to her credit. She is currently performing in New York jazz clubs with saxophonist Ron Aprea. Their quintet features Angela scatting along with the alto saxophone, performing the music of jazz greats Charlie Parker, Thelonius Monk, and Duke Ellington, as well as such classic composers as Irving Berlin, Sammy Cahn, Tad Dameron, and Michel Legrand.

Ms. DeNiro was the featured opening act at the Seaford Jazz Festival, performing with jazz great Bobby Forrester, and was featured with the Dennis Wilson "All-Star Big Band", whose roster included Jerome Richardson, Benny Powell, Ray Mosca, Earl May, Jimmy Owens, and Spanky Davis. She has performed at the Rainbow Room, and many major New York hotels, and was frequently found rattling the walls at Long Island's favorite jazz club, Sonny's Place.

Ron Aprea,composer, arranger, producer, saxophonist, clarinetist, and flutist, has performed with Woody Herman, Les Elgart, Tito Puente, Frank Foster, Buddy Morrow, Billy May, Charlie Persip, Nat Adderley, Lionel Hampton, and Louis Armstrong. While with Hamp's band, some of the highlights were a Ramsey Lewis television special, and a recorded concert at the Smithsonian Institute, where Ron's solos were taped and put into their Archives.

Ron was the featured soloist and arranger for performances with Nat Adderley at the world-famous Apollo Theatre, and he also performed at the Paramount Theatre with King Curtis' Big Band. In 1974, Ron recorded with John Lennon and Elton John on the album entitled "Walls and Bridges." The all-star horn section included Howard Johnson, Frank Vicari, and Steve Madeo. Ron was a featured soloist on the jazz-gospel album "Free to Be Free." He also wrote, arranged, and produced his own album, "Positive Energy." Ron had his own TV special on WNYC, and was a featured soloist on Broadway's "Song of Singapore."

Ron's compositions, arrangements, and productions skills can be heard on Angela DeNiro's first CD, "Just For the Fun Of It," as well as her second release, "Angela DeNiro...Swingin' With Legends," featuring Lionel Hampton, Frank Foster, and Lew Tabackin.

Admission is 15.00, $10.00 for students.
Tickets will be sold at the door, or call 212-222-5159 for reservations and information.
Jazz Tuesdays
in the John Birks Gillespie Auditorium
The New York Baha'i Center
53 East 11th Street (between University Place & Broadway)
Two sets: 8:00 and 9:30 p.m.

R.I.P.: Charly Höllering

Charly Höllering
(born April 19, 1944, Asch, Sudetenland;
died May 24, 2009, Germany)

The German clarinetist Charly Höllering died on May 24th in Germany after a heart attack at the age of 65. Höllering started his career with the Darktown Jazzband in Stuttgart and worked with the Spree City Stompers in Berlin from 1964-68. He lived in Northern Germany until 1975 where he was active in several traditional jazz bands before settling again in Stuttgart. Besides his musical performances he was a member of the Stuttgart Jazz Society.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

R.I.P.: Hans Otto Jung

Hans Otto Jung
(born September 17, 1920, Lorch am Rhein/Germany;
died April 22, 2009, Rüdesheim/Germany)

The pianist Hans Otto Jung died on April 22nd at the age of 88. He never recovered from a fall last winter. Jung had been born to a musical family; his father who was a regularly organized chamber music concerts at their family vineyard in Rüdesheim, and famous musicians and composers were frequent guests at their house, Paul Hindemith among them. He was introduced to jazz in the 1930s and became the pianist of the Frankfurt Hot Club Combo in 1941. After the war he took over the family vineyard but stayed a life-long jazz and classical music lover and a prime philanthropist of the region. He had a radio show in the late 1940s but concentrated more and more on business after that. Jung could often be seen at jazz and chamber music concerts throughout the Rhein Main region, and often he invited musicians (especially pianists) to his house to play duets with him on his two Steinways.

The Jazzinstitut Darmstadt always had a close relationship to Jung whose memories they collected in an oral history project and who donated much historical material to the Jazzinstitut's archive. We were most impressed by a little story that showed how jazz was to be his fate from the very beginning: To congratulate his parents on his birth, Paul Hindemith in 1920 sent a greeting card with about eight bars of music, entitled "Young Lorch Fellow. Ragtime". Jung lived up to this early prophecy in his love for jazz.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

KK3 back in the OC, under the stars

The Kristin Korb Trio, aka KK3, will be performing tonight under the stars at the Muck
Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 8PM
$20 Tix, all ages
Muckenthaler Cultural Center Fullerton, CA - [map it]

"The Muckenthaler Center has started their 4th annual Jazz Festival. I haven't been behind the Orange Curtain for awhile. Here's your chance to hang out with me and Llew Matthews and Steve Barnes. We'll be doing stuff off the new CD plus some other new things," says Korb. "We had such a great time last year. Bring your friends and a picnic dinner. It is going to be a blast!"

1201 West Malvern Avenue
Fullerton, California 92833
1 block west of Euclid.
2.5 miles north of 91 freeway.
Tickets: $20

ASCAP to Add Seven Music Greats to Jazz Wall of Fame at Jazz at Lincoln Center Event

(Jon Hendricks & Arnaldo DeSouteiro)

ASCAP President & Chairman Paul Williams has announced that ASCAP will add seven music greats to the ASCAP Jazz Wall of Fame on Tuesday, June 16, 2009. The invitation-only event will be hosted by Mr. Williams in The Allen Room, Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center in Manhattan beginning at 6:30 PM.

The event will be highlighted by the induction of seven giants of Jazz: living legends Jon Hendricks, Johnny Mandel, Annie Ross, and Randy Weston; and posthumous honorees: John Coltrane, Dave Lambert, and Tito Puente. Participating in the event as presenters and/or performers will be Congressman John Conyers (D-MI), Marilyn & Alan Bergman, John Clayton, Joe Lovano, Eddie Palmieri, Karrin Allyson, Jay Leonhart, jazz historian Dan Morgenstern and WBGO radio personality Gary Walker.

In addition, acclaimed Jazz violinist and composer Regina Carter will be presented with The ASCAP Foundation Vanguard Award for her innovative musical activity. And the first-ever ASCAP Jazz Wall of Fame Prize will be presented to clarinetist/saxophonist/composer Anat Cohen for her promise in Jazz composition and musicianship.

The reception will also celebrate the seventh annual ASCAP Foundation Young Jazz Composer Awards. The program was established in 2002 to encourage the jazz creators of the future. The ASCAP Foundation Young Jazz Composer Awards recognize composers less than 30 years of age whose works are selected through a national competition. The Young Jazz Composer Awards are in their fourth year of sponsorship by Gibson Foundation, the philanthropic division of musical giant Gibson Guitar Corp. The Gibson Foundation supports The ASCAP Foundation Young Jazz Composer Awards in fulfillment of its commitment to educational excellence through music and the arts.

The award recipients are:
Mike Baggetta, 29 (Brooklyn, NY); Tyler Gilmore, 26 (Denver, CO); Victor Gould, 21 (Boston, MA); Aaron Grad, 28 (Takoma Park, MD); Nick Grondin, 26 (Boston, MA); Alex Heitlinger, 28 (Brooklyn, NY); Armand Hirsch, 18 (New York, NY): Matt Holman, 26 (New York, NY); Remy Le Boeuf, 22 (New York, NY); Ben Markley, 27 (Longmont, CO); Kendall R. Moore, 22 (Miami, FL); Rob Mosher, 29 (Brooklyn, NY); Daniel Ori, 29 (New York, NY); Travis Reuter, 22 (Brooklyn, NY); Albert Rivera, 25 (Bronx, NY); Sam Sadigursky, 29 (Brooklyn, NY); Nikos Syropoulos, 20 (Los Angeles, CA); Matthew Vashlishan,26 (Coral Gables, FL); Justin Vasquez, 26 (Austin, TX); and Brandon Wright, 26 (Brooklyn, NY).

The youngest ASCAP Foundation Young Jazz Composers, ages 15 to 17, are: Lucas Apostoleris, 15 (MA); Phillip Golub, 15 (CA); Nicolas Hetko, 17 (NY); David Lantz, 17 (PA); Caili O’Doherty, 16 (OR) and Keshav Singh, 17 (CA).

Composers receiving Honorable Mention areBenj Bellon, 17 (CA); Michael Collins, 29 (Tempe, AZ); Zaccai Curtis, 27 (Bronx, NY); Douglas Detrick, 25, (Eugene, OR); James Hirschfeld, 27, (New York, NY); Pascal Le Boeuf, 22 (Santa Cruz, CA); Chase Morrin, 15 (CA); Joshua Moshier, 22 (Evanston, IL); Matt Savage, 16, (NH); Erica Seguine, 21 (Rochester, NY); and Stephen W. (Red) Wierenga, 29 (New York, NY).

The ASCAP composer/judges for the 2008/2009 competition were John Fedchock, Jay Leonhart and Phil Markowitz.
About The ASCAP Foundation
Founded in 1975, the ASCAP Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to supporting American music creators and encouraging their development through music education and talent development programs. Included in these are songwriting workshops, grants, scholarships, awards, recognition and community outreach programs, and public service projects for senior composers and lyricists. The ASCAP Foundation is supported by contributors from ASCAP members and from music lovers throughout the United States.

Established in 1914, ASCAP is the first and leading U.S. Performing Rights Organization (PRO) representing the world's largest repertory totaling over 8.5 million copyrighted musical works of every style and genre from more than 350,000 songwriter, composer and music publisher members. ASCAP has representation arrangements with similar foreign organizations so that the ASCAP repertory is represented in nearly every country around the world where copyright law exists. ASCAP protects the rights of its members and foreign affiliates by licensing the public performances of their copyrighted works and distributing royalties based upon surveyed performances. ASCAP is the only American PRO owned and governed by its writer and publisher members.

Win tickets to Oscillations at Studio B

Other Music is giving away two pairs of tickets to tonight's Oscillations party at Studio B. The line-up for this one is pretty killer, with CIRCLESQUARE making their only NYC appearance, as well as MICHNA (Ghostly), the NYC debut of ZOMBIE ZOMBIE (Versatile Records, France) and APACHE BEAT, plus COUSIN COLE and POCKETKNIFE of Flagrant Fowl will be DJing all night long. They're picking the two winners at 4PM this afternoon, so you'll need to enter right now by emailing Please leave a daytime phone number where they can reach you.

STUDIO B: 259 Banker Street,
Greenpoint, Brooklyn

$10 advance at Other Music, Ticketweb or by RSVPing to:, $14 at the door - 2 for 1 well drinks and domestic beers from 8pm-9pm!
Doors @ 8pm / 19 +

CDs of the Day - "Buddy Montgomery: Ties of Love / So Why Not?"

CDs of the Day
Buddy Montgomery: "Ties of Love" (Landmark) 1986
Buddy Montgomery: "So Why Not?" (Landmark) 1988

Although out-of-print for many years, since producer Orrin Keepnews left Fantasy Records and took the whole catalog of his Landmark label with him, both "Ties of Love" and "So Why Not?" still can be found at Dusty Groove for only $4.99:

And that's what they say about the albums:
"Ties of Love"
Great later work from this oft-overlooked member of the Montgomery Brothers -- vibist/pianist Buddy, who's recording here in a really warm west coast groove! The backings are sometimes large, almost in a Fantasy Records sort of mode -- a bit of electric instrumentation in the mix, but used sparingly -- and all recorded in ways that are never too slick or polished. Other players include David Newman on tenor, Claudio Roditi on trumpet, and Billy Higgins on drums -- and Marlena Shaw sings vocals on the tracks "All The Things You Are" and "Ties" -- the latter of which also features Eddie Harris on tenor, who plays a bit on a version of "Stablemates". Other tracks include "Muchismo", "Soft Earth", "Rose Marie", and "Expressions In Blue".

"So Why Not?"
Buddy Montgomery's always one of those players who brings a little something extra to a record -- and even on a late 80s set like this, he manages to make the session sound much better than you'd guess from the cover! Buddy plays vibes, piano, and keyboards -- and although there's a few electric points that show the date of the recording, they're also very quickly offset with a richness of feeling that balances things out beautifully -- so much so that we almost find ourselves liking the more electric moments better for Montgomery's approach. Other players include David Fathead Newman on tenor, Warren Gale on trumpet, Jim Nichols on guitar, and either Ron Carter or Jeff Chambers on bass, and Ralph Penland on drums. Some tracks have Latin percussion -- which is an added treat -- and titles include "So Why Not", "Waterfall", "Budini", "Out Of This World", "My Sentiments Exactly", and "Summer Nights". CD features the bonus track "My Little Brown Book".

R.I.P.: Buddy Montgomery

(Buddy Montgomery at the 50th Anniversary Monterey Jazz Festival; pic by Joe Moore)

R.I.P.: Buddy Montgomery
(born January 30, 1930, Indianapolis/IN;
d: May 14, 2009, Palmdale/CA)

In the 1950s, the pianist and vibraphonist Charles "Buddy" Montgomery" played with the band The Mastersounds and in the 1960s with his brother, the guitarist Wes Montgomery and the Montgomery Brothers band. In 1969 he moved to Milwaukee where he helped form a local jazz initiative and gave lessons to younger musicians. In 1982 he moved to Oakland, California, founded another local jazz initiative and in 1987 organized the first Oakland Jazz Festival. He performed with Marlena Shaw, Bobby Hutcherson, Charlie Rouse and David 'Fathead' Newman. In 1994 he moved to Los Angeles. On May 14th he died from heart failure in his house in Palmdale.

My two personal favorite items, among Buddy's projects as a leader, are the two albums he recorded in the mid-80s for producer Orrin Keepnews' Landmark label, then distributed by Fantasy Records: "Ties of Love" (1986, featuring Claudio Roditi, David "Fathead" Newman, Ron Carter, John Heard, Billy Higgins, Marvin "Smitty" Smith, Ted Dunbar and vocalist Marlena Shaw) and "So Why Not?" (1988, on which he also played the Yamaha DX-7 synthesizer besides acoustic piano and vibes, supported by Ron Carter, Ralph Penland, Jeff Chambers, Jim Nichols and Santana's percussionist Orestes Vilato, among others).

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Diana Krall in Prague

Diana Krall has already wrapped the Canadian leg of her "Quiet Nights Tour". But she will resume touring on June 5 (in the USA), and the album promotional efforts will keep her on the road until November, when she performs even on the Czech Republich, at the Kongresove Centrum in Prague, on Nov. 26. Tickets will go on sale today!

Ask Congress to pass real health care reform in 2009

Dear Arnaldo:

Our records show that you live in California's 23rd district.

The chance to finally reform our nation's health care system is here. While Congress moves rapidly to produce a detailed plan, I have made it clear that real reform must uphold three core principles -- it must reduce costs, guarantee choice, and ensure quality care for every American.

As we know, challenging the status quo will not be easy. Its defenders will claim our goals are too big, that we should once again settle for half measures and empty talk. Left unanswered, these voices of doubt might yet again derail the comprehensive reform we so badly need. That's where you come in.

When our opponents spread fear and confusion about the changes we seek, your support for these core principles will show clarity and resolve. When the lobbyists for the status quo tell Congress to hold back, your personal story will give them the courage to press forward.

Join my call: Ask Congress to pass real health care reform in 2009.

After adding your name, please consider sharing your personal story about the importance of health care reform in your life and the lives of those you love.

I will be personally reviewing many of these signatures and stories. If you speak up now, your voice will make a difference.

American families are watching their premiums rise four times faster than their wages. Spiraling health care costs are shackling America's businesses, curtailing job growth and slowing the economy at the worst possible time. This has got to change.

I know personal stories can drive that change, because I know how my mother's experience continues to drive me. She passed away from ovarian cancer a little over a decade ago. And in the last weeks of her life, when she was coming to grips with her own mortality and showing extraordinary courage just to get through each day, she was spending too much time worrying about whether her health insurance would cover her bills. She deserved better. Every American deserves better. And that's why I will not rest until the dream of health care reform is finally achieved in the United States of America.

Please add your name to join my call. Then share your personal story about why you too will not rest until this job is done.

Last November, the American people sent Washington a clear mandate for change. But when the polls close, the true work of citizenship begins. That's what Organizing for America is all about. Now, in these crucial moments, your voice once again has extraordinary power. I'm counting on you to use it.

Thank you,

President Barack Obama

Kristin Korb with Carol Huston & Steve Trytten

Besides her gigs as a leader, to promote the brand-new CD "In The Meantime", vocalist/bassist Kristin Korb continues to perform as the most charming "sidewoman" on the California jazz scene. Tonight, May 20, she appears at the Pasadena Jazz Institute backing singer Carol Huston & pianist Steve Trytten.
On May 22, she will be at LACMA with pianist/composer Stephen Lockwood at 6:00 pm.
And, last but not least, on May 24 at the Lighthouse for Paul Kreibich's Birthday Gig at 11:00 am.

R.I.P.: Randy Purcell

Randy Purcell
(died May 16, 2009, Pittsburgh/PA)

The trombonist Randy Purcell died May 16th in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, of complications from diabetes. He had played with the Sy Zentner, Glenn Miller and Fred Waring orchestras and in the 1970s was a member of Maynard Ferguson's band in which he usually played solos on "Chameleon", "The Way We Were" and "Feelings". In the late 1970s he became a stockbroker but always stayed active in music on the side.

"Tight Times Loosen Creativity" - NY Times

Two very interesting articles published today in the New York Times.
This is the first one:
Tight Times Loosen Creativity
Hundreds of artists told us how the economy is affecting their lives and work.

"New York Loses Its Jazz Festival" - NY Times

And here's the second one. However, we had anticipated this matter here sometime ago, on April 27:
Anyway, the NYT article follows:

New York Loses Its Jazz Festival
By Ben Sisario
For the first time in 37 years, there will be no major summer jazz festival in New York.

Around this time of year, posters for the JVC Jazz Festival would be appearing on the streets of New York, and jazz tourists would be finalizing plans to arrive in the middle of June for two weeks of bragworthy shows.

But for the first time in 37 years, there will be no major summer jazz festival in New York. Nor will there be related series in Miami or Chicago, as the concert company behind them is suffering a financial crisis.

At stake is one of the most celebrated legacies in American music. Two years ago the impresario George Wein sold his company, Festival Productions, to a group led by Chris Shields, a charismatic entrepreneur who planned to transform Mr. Wein’s empire through aggressive growth. Now that plan has all but collapsed, as Mr. Shields’s company, Festival Network, has lost its top sponsor, as well as several signature festivals, delivering what many call a painful blow to jazz.

In an interview Mr. Shields, 38, largely blamed the economy for his company’s woes. “I’ll certainly take criticism for the robust growth plan,” he said. “It may have been too robust for the time. I think if we weren’t faced with this economy, we would have been just fine.”

But business associates and former employees, many of whom would not comment publicly because the company still owes them money, say that Festival Network overspent on booking talent and took unnecessary risks, including opening four new festivals last summer without securing sufficient sponsorship.

“He was ambitious but perhaps overwhelmed with the realities of the New York market,” said Michael Dorf, who runs City Winery and hired Mr. Shields for the Bell Atlantic Jazz Festival in 2000. “There’s something that comes from cutting your teeth working day in and day out in New York concert promotion. I don’t think Chris had that experience level.”

Last year Festival Network presented 17 festivals around the world, but Mr. Shields said he has none to announce this year. The company lost its contract for the Newport jazz and folk festivals in Rhode Island because of late payments for use of state parkland. The Freihofer’s Jazz Festival in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., another longtime Wein event, has gone to a competitor, and last month JVC said that after 24 years with Mr. Wein, it would no longer be sponsoring jazz.

Festival Network’s troubles, however, reach farther than Newport. In Mali, the Festival in the Desert — a renowned world-music event each January in the remote sands beyond Timbuktu — was almost canceled this year after beginning an association with Festival Network.

Manny Ansar, the Malian founder of the Festival in the Desert, said the agreement, finalized at Newport last summer, called for Festival Network to provide a range of assistance, including enough money to produce this year’s event. According to Mr. Ansar’s American lawyer, Thomas Rome, that amount exceeded $600,000.

But communication broke down, and most of that money never came, Mr. Ansar said. The festival went on, he added, with financing from the governments of Mali, Morocco and Burkina Faso. Mr. Ansar spoke in French in a telephone interview that was translated by Mr. Rome.

Mr. Shields said that his company had invested $150,000 in the Festival in the Desert, but denied that Festival Network had agreed to finance it fully. (Mr. Ansar, for his part, said he believed the agreements were made in good faith, and he has not filed a lawsuit for the money. “In my culture,” he said, “one doesn’t abandon a friend because he’s in trouble.”)

Mr. Shields, whose own tastes lean more to folk than to jazz, had a modest profile in music before taking over Mr. Wein’s company. After graduating from Columbia in 1993, he worked briefly for Mr. Wein, and in 1998 he developed a festival on Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. In 2000 he worked under Mr. Dorf as a director of the Bell Atlantic Jazz Festivals in New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington.

But for the Festival Productions deal, he had major financial backers, including Richard Sands, the chairman and chief executive of Constellation Brands, the beer and wine conglomerate. Festival Productions was purchased for about $4 million, according to both Mr. Wein and Mr. Shields, and Festival Network announced plans to build a portfolio of world-class festivals by presenting “destination” events in prime locations.

“The goal of the company,” Mr. Shields said, “was to create enough original and desired location-based festivals that the Fortune 500s of the world would look at that umbrella of festivals and say, ‘We want to come in and sponsor the entire body.’ ”

Acquiring Festival Productions was a coup for the young company. Mr. Wein, 83, enjoys a singular reputation as the patriarch of the American festival, and he had a history of rebuffing previous offers. In an interview he said the deal with Festival Network came along at the right time. “I was at a point in my life where I was cashing in,” he said.

Mr. Wein stayed on as producer emeritus. Ben Ratliff of The New York Times praised the lineup of the 2008 JVC festival in New York, calling it “undiminished and newly energized by welcome changes of locations and some imaginative bookings.”

By last summer, though, the company was feeling a financial pinch. Mr. Shields said that sponsorship had fallen short of expectations; new festivals in Jackson Hole, Wyo.; Whistler, British Columbia; and San Francisco lacked major sponsors and had weak attendance. Mr. Shields says he stopped paying himself a salary in September, as the market crashed, and by December he stopped paying staff members. At its peak the company had 37 employees, but now is down to 6.

After the company lost the Newport contracts, Mr. Wein announced that he would be presenting folk and jazz festivals there in August under his own name. (A spokeswoman for the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, which administers the state parks, said Festival Network had paid its outstanding debts.)

The disappearance of several former JVC festivals, particularly in New York, have deprived many musicians of some of their most lucrative engagements this summer. But more important, many in the jazz world say, their loss sends a misleading signal about the health of the music.

“Losing a major jazz festival kind of tells the world that maybe this music isn’t marketable,” said Joel Chriss, a booking agent whose roster includes Randy Brecker and Freddy Cole. “It’s potentially dangerous.”

Mr. Shields says the story is not over. He wants to present a New York jazz festival next year. Although his company has been battered, he says its underlying model is sound. “This business plan can succeed, absolutely,” he said. “You’ve seen it succeed in the promotions business, you’ve seen it happen in sports, you’ve seen it happen in management. We by no means have given up.”

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Diana Krall: "JazzEcho" cover story

Diana Krall is the cover story of the latest issue of German mag "Jazz Echo".
To read the interview about her new CD "Quiet Nights," please click on the images to enlarge them.

Clare & Brent Fischer with Don Shelton tonight @ Jazz Bakery

To the Rescue!
TONIGHT at The Jazz Bakery

The performers will be donating their evening as a fundraiser to assist the JB in its relocation. Tickets: $25 $15 for students 21 and under for reservations online: click here
By phone: 310-271-9039 (JB res line)
Brown Paper Tickets: 800-838-3006

The Jazz Bakery, situated for 16 glorious years in the Historic Helms Bakery Complex, is moving will be presenting its last performances in that location on Sunday, May 31, 2009.
"While we search for a new home, the JB will maintain a presence throughout the summer appearing at various clubs and theatres, presenting the same fine level of artists who define our very core," tells Ruth Price. "We will publicize our summer schedule accordingly."

Monday, May 18, 2009

Kristin Korb & Inga Swearingen live, tonight, in Santa Barbara

Kristin Korb (above) with Inga Swearingen (pictured below) & Elio Villafranca
Tonight, May 18, 2009
Soho Restaurant & Music Club
Santa Barbara, CA - [map it]

"Fans of the Diva Den know Inga. She is nothing but coolness and fun. I'm headed up in a little bit to play a special gig with her at Soho," says Korb. "We're being joined tonight by Elio Villafranca (who wrote "Tears of the Sun"). He was in LA to play with Jane Bunnett last week. He's sticking around one more day to play with us." It's going to be a blast!

TONIGHT @ 7:30 pm
1221 State Street Suite 205
Santa Barbara, CA 93101 805-962-7776
(Inga Swearingen)

Remembering K. Abe

Japan's most renowned and awarded jazz photographer ever, K. Abe (1929-2008) died from pneumonia at the Seikyo Hospital in Tokyo on September 17, 2008. He was 78.
"A Farewell Meeting for K. Abe" took place last December 13th at "Cafe Cotton Club" in Takadanobaba, Tokyo. More than 60 people, among jazz friends and bussiness pals, got together and paid tribute to his memory.
A few days later, "50 Jazz Greats - From Heaven," a beautiful 2009 calendar (pictured above), with text & pics by K. Abe, was released in Japan.
Many jazz fans outside Japan may not be familiar with his work, but he released some great book and, besides his collaboration with Creed Taylor's CTI Records, Abe contributed to dozens of jazz albums by such artists as Miles Davis (for the very rare "Miles! Live in Japan '81", which documents Miles' comeback to Japan on October 4, 1981), John Coltrane (as seen on the recent DVD issue "Live in 60, 61 & 65" from the Jazz Icons series), Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans, Anita O'Day, Lee Konitz, Chick Corea, Sonny Stitt, Cecil Taylor, Count Basie, Joe Henderson, Roy Ayers, Barney Kessel, Bobby Hutcherson, Gato Barbieri, Phil Woods, Ernestine Anderson, Ray Bryant, Buddy DeFranco, Roger Kellaway, Helen Merrill, the Modern Jazz Quartet, the Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Big Band... The list goes on and on.
Now I'm helping to prepare a retrospective exhibition of his work to be presented next September in Tokyo, as well as hopefully in LA.
("A Farewell Meeting for K. Abe" - pic by Masanori Doi)

Born in Tokyo, on December 10, 1929 Katsuji Abe was first exposed to American popular music in the mid-Forties. While he was a student at Waseda University, in the late forties and early fifties, he performed jazz at U.S. Army and Navy camps. After graduation, he worked as a radio disk-jockey and an album cover designer, and became a self-taught photographer.

I was introduced to Abe's artistry through his great pics that Creed Taylor used in the liner covers of many CTI albums for such artists as Milt Jackson ("Sunflower"), Kenny Burrell ("God Bless The Child"), Hubert Laws ("Morning Star") and Freddie Hubbard ("Sky Dive").
Curiously, such pics were not shot during the studio sessions, but in live concerts performed by those artists in Japan. Creed once told me that he loved Abe's "straight-to-the-point pics" and that they provided a great contrast with Pete Turner's colored pics often used in the front of the CTI gatefold covers.
Oddly, when some of these CTI albums were reissued on CD, the photos taken by K. Abe were deleted from the CD booklets... even in the latest Japanese paper sleeve issue of "Sky Dive" in 2002 (an horrible reissue from the PJL label).
(liner photo from Hubert Laws' "Morning Star" LP)

K. Abe also did ALL the photos used on the three volumes of "CTI Summer Jazz at Hollywood Bowl," reissued on a 2-CD set (I have supervised the first reissue and made sure that Abe's fantastic pic that shows the musicians from the back of the stage would be preserved). Abe, Creed's top choice to document all the Japanese tours of CTI artists during the 70s, had been invited by the producer to attend that historic Hollywood Bowl concert in July 1972.

(the CTI All-Stars live at the Hollywood Bowl in '72)

Abe-san also did the album design and all liner photos for "CTI Double Deluxe", a 2-LP set released in Japan back in 1970. Its gatefold cover includes many rare pics of Creed Taylor on sessions with such artists as J.J. Johnson & Kai Winding, plus Walter Wanderley, Quincy Jones, Paul Desmond, Wes Montgomery and many others.

His work can be appreciated also on Ron Carter's "Blues Base", Hubert Laws' "Firebird" and Wes Montgomery's "Max 20" compilations.
He worked for many journals and magazines in Japan, and also published some great books there and abroad. One of them, "Jazz Giants - A Visual Retrospective", issued by Billboard Publications in 1988, was reviewed by the New York Times in December 18, 1988, when writer Tom Piazza stated: "The Japanese photographer and fan K. Abe has compiled probably the best and most satisfying book of jazz photographs ever published."
Another precious K. Abe book, "My People in Jazz", was published in 1975 by Yamate Shobo-Japan, including photos of jazz giants such as Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie and John Coltrane.
(guitarist Jack Wilikins & K. Abe in 1977)

(Miles Davis, 1981, by K. Abe)

(Ron Carter, 1988, by K. Abe)

K. Abe did all the pics for the "CTI Summer Jazz at the Hollywood Bowl" volumes:

Andrea Fultz: CD release event tonight @ Yoshi's

Andrea Fultz to appear at CD release event tonight, May 18, @ Yoshi's Oakland, with same San Francisco band heard on her new CD, "The German Projekt."
On her intriguing and amazing new CD "The German Projekt," which features jazz-imbued arrangements of classic songs by Brecht-Weill and Friedrich Hollaender and which is coming out this May, singer Andrea Fultz sounds as if she'd been born to interpret this rich, complex body of music.

But in fact the album concept came to fruition a mere three or four years ago, while she was living and studying in San Francisco and performing with musical colleagues who were interested in exploring Kurt Weill's songs with her. "The material was really completely new to me," says the Munich-born Fultz, 34, who has worked with a variety of bands ranging from American Songbook to electronica to bossa nova. "I knew the melodies, but not all the words. The dark Weill stuff was very exciting."

Joined by violinist Dina Maccabee, accordionist Rob Reich, percussionist Micha Patri, bassist Eugene Warren, and pianist Adam Shulman, whose credits include work with Stefon Harris, Paula West, and Bobby Hutcherson, Fultz began to delve into the songs and arrangements that evolved into The German Projekt. She and her band, augmented by a three-man horn section, will appear at a CD release event at Yoshi's in Oakland on Monday, May 18.

"The music has to support the lyrics and follow the stories of the songs," says Rob Reich, in speaking of the challenges of arranging The German Projekt. "And these are often heavy, dramatic stories, full of changes in tempo and harmony, and full of intense emotions. We were fortunate to be working with some very talented jazz musicians. We wanted them to have some room for interpretation and improvisation, so it was important to strike a balance between staying true to the original musical conception and allowing the songs to breathe and grow."

(L. to r.: Eugene Warren, Rob Reich, Dina Maccabee, Adam Shulman, Micha Patri, Andrea Fultz)
Although several Weill compositions, such as "Mack the Knife" (aka "Moritat"), "My Ship," and "September Song," have become jazz standards, most of his oeuvre remains in the cabaret or art song realm. "Alabama Song," which opens The German Projekt and is sung in English, was previously recorded by the Doors and David Bowie (whom Fultz calls "my absolute hero!"); Marianne Faithfull and Dee Dee Bridgewater have released more extensive Weill collections.
Sonny Rollins, who counts Friedrich Hollaender among his favorite composers, has recorded "Falling in Love Again" ("Ich bin von Kopf bis Fuss auf Liebe eingestellt"), the theme from The Blue Angel, and frequently performs the song in concert. (Early in his career, Rollins was fond of Hollaender's "This Is the Moment," and was playing it the night that Miles Davis first hired him.) "It is a big thing for me to represent German culture in America," says Fultz, the daughter of a German mother and American father. "I really think this music is brilliant. Brecht and Weill and Hollaender are so timeless."
In addition to "Alabama Song," the CD contains six other Brecht-Weill compositions: "Bilbao Song," "Denn wie man sich bettet so liegt man," "Barbara Song," "Seeräuber Jenny," "Surubaya Johnny," and "Mäckie Messer" ("Mack the Knife"). Hollaender is represented by two songs from The Blue Angel ("Ich bin von Kopf bis Fuss auf Liebe eingestellt," "Kinder, heut Abend da such ich mir was aus"), "Johnny," and the ballad "Wenn ich mir was wünschen dürfte." Fultz sings Hanns Eisler and Bertolt Brecht's "Song of a German Mother" with Eric Bentley's English lyrics.
Andrea Fultz is looking to take the German Projekt music to clubs and festivals in the U.S. and abroad. "This music is about the context, it's not about singing flawlessly or bebopping," she says. "It's so different for me to sing in German. It's given me more freedom than any other music before."

Andrea Fultz: The German Projekt--German Songs from the Twenties & Thirties