Friday, April 1, 2011

Compilation of the Month - "Jazz Roots: Music of the Americas"

CD Compilation of the Month
Jazz Roots: Music of the Americas (Sony Masterworks) 2011

2 CD-set compilation produced by Larry Rosen, and created in partnership with the Quincy Jones Musiq Consortium, coming out in the U.S. on April 5.
Executive Producer: David Lai
Mastered by David Lai & Maria Triana @ Battery Studios, NYC
First Historical Jazz Compilation linked to the Jazz Roots Concert Series.

From "Maple Leaf Rag" to "Stone Flower," from "Take the A Train" to "Take Five" to "Doralice" (yesss, the Dorival Caymmi song introduced to American audiences by João Gilberto and later covered by Eliane Elias)
Featuring: Antonio Carlos Jobim, Scott Joplin, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Dave Brubeck, Tito Puente, Weather Report, Herbie Hancock, George Benson, Wynton Marsalis et al.

This is not a perfect compilation, though. Despite a lot of text (written by Aaron Smithers, Bill Banfiled & Dave Baker, edited by Hazel Rosen plus an intro by Larry Rosen himself) and many pics in the 26-page booklet, there are NO CREDITS to the composers (!!!) neither to the musicians (sidemen) neither to the original producers of the selected tracks - but the publishers are listed. It means that no student will be aware that Dorival Caymmi and Antonio Almeida composed "Doralice," but they are told that the song is published in the USA by a company called Matador Music Publishing, to which anyone will have to pay royalties if decides to record the song. Surreal!

Not to mention the many mistakes regarding the titles of the original albums from which the tracks were taken. According to the CD data, Weather Report's "Birdland," for example, doesn't comes from the groundbreaking "Heavy Weather," but from the "This Is Jazz, Vol. 10" compilation - btw, the "new" fade out of this particular track is horrible. Recording dates? Well, Charlie Parker's "Ornithology" has "recording dates unknown" (sic). Who plays with Miles Davis on "So What" from the legendary "Kind of Blue"? If someone is not familiar with the album, they'll not find on this CD any information about the contributions of John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, Bill Evans, Paul Chambers & Jimmy Cobb, nor that Irving Townsend produced the session.

The section/page about "Brazilian Jazz" refers only to Bossa Nova, but, oddly, there are no bossa standards. The two selected cuts were the title track from Antonio Carlos Jobim's 1970 CTI masterpiece "Stone Flower" (which is not a bossa nova at all; no mention to producer Creed Taylor nor to the CTI label anywhere in the booklet, although there's another CTI track, George Benson's live take of "Take Five") and Eliane Elias' 2003 version of Dorival Caymmi/Antonio Almeida's "Doralice," a lovely samba chosen by João Gilberto to the historic "Getz/Gilberto" album, omitted on the text. Both Dorival Caymmi and arranger Eumir Deodato (the main man behind "Stone Flower") are uncredited on the album. The text about Brazilian music, on page 18, includes even Bebel Gilberto in a 3-line list of "Vital Artists," but once again Caymmi and Deodato are not mentioned.
Sony Masterworks Jazz in partnership with producer Larry Rosen is releasing "Jazz Roots: The Music of the Americas," the first compilation of this new branded series which traces the story of Jazz starting with the “Drums from Africa” and their effect on the musical DNA of the Americas. The historical descriptions for the package have been created in association the Quincy Jones Musiq Consortium. The 2-CD 36 track compilation will be available on April 5, 2011.

"Jazz Roots: The Music of the Americas" chronologically covers the history of jazz from Ragtime and Early Blues to Today, starting with Babatunde Olatunji's "Akiwowo." Some of the featured artists include: Scott Joplin and Louis Armstrong (Early Jazz & Blues); Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Count Basie and Duke Ellington (Swing & Big Bands); Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin and Lambert, Hendricks & Ross (Vocalists); Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie (Bebop); Machito, Tito Puente and Tiempo Libre (Afro-Cuban); Dave Brubeck (Cool Jazz); John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk and Miles Davis (Hard Bop / Modal); Antonio Carlos Jobim and Eliane Elias (Brazilian); Weather Report and Chick Corea's Return To Forever (Fusion); Herbie Hancock and Tom Browne (Funk); Wynton Marsalis (The Young Lions); George Benson and Grover Washington Jr. (Contemporary); Kenny G (Smooth); Chris Botti and Eldar Djangirov (Today). These artists and their key music tracks are included in the package, as well as historic overviews and artist bios, plus links to the Quincy Jones American Popular Music Curriculum and Jazz Roots web sites for additional information.

The Jazz Roots recorded music series is inspired by “Jazz Roots – A Larry Rosen Jazz Series,” which is a concert and educational program created for performing arts centers across America. The concert series was launched at the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami, Florida in 2008 and continues to expand across America, including the AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas, Texas and The Center for the Performing Arts at the Palladium Theater in Carmel, Indiana. The Jazz Roots series is represented by IMG Artists and will be presented in additional PACs across America.

“Jazz Roots presents the music of the Americas in a most compelling fashion,” says Alex Miller, General Manager / SVP, Sony Masterworks. “Larry Rosen’s long career in the music business from musician to producer to entrepreneur has a track record of very successful enterprises, and we are honored to play a role in celebrating this musical legacy.

“The Jazz Roots series was developed to bring communities together around our common culture, which includes music performance, education, and entertainment. We targeted performing arts centers across the country because that is where communities come together to address our performing arts.” said producer Larry Rosen. “We create thematic concerts that feature world class artists in world class concert halls. To date we have presented over 100 major award winning artists in every sub-genre from the Blues, to Big Bands, to Latin, to Fusion and Straight Ahead to Gospel. These shows celebrate our multi-ethnic background and link our music to a common heritage that represents America.”

Rosen continues: “To help tell this great American story, we have joined forces with the iconic music artist/producer Quincy Jones and his Quincy Jones American Popular Music Curriculum. Our combined efforts for this Sony Masterworks 2-CD compilation will bring this amazing story to fans and students around the world.”

Legendary artist/producer Quincy Jones implements his American Popular Music Curriculum program into schools across the country in collaboration with the Jazz Roots education program. The Jazz Roots education and outreach components are designed to reinforce audience development, targeting area middle and high schools as well as adults within respective communities. The series provides an opportunity for schools to bring their students to sound checks and performances, which includes artist Q&A sessions and master classes. These initiatives organically connect to local community groups, art centers and the local boards of education.

“It’s so important that Americans and particularly our children learn about their culture. This series is simply imperative.” said icon Quincy Jones. “We are happy to be part of this extraordinary endeavor….You can’t know we’re you’re going unless you know where you’ve come from.”

Larry Rosen is a musician, producer, executive producer, and music industry entrepreneur, is the Chairman of Larry Rosen Productions, Inc., creator and producer of Jazz Roots - A Larry Rosen Jazz Series, co-founder of GRP Records, co-founder of LRSmedia, and co-founder and past Chairman of N2K, Inc. (NASDAQ). Mr. Rosen is the creator and producer of the PBS television series Legends of Jazz, and is the creator and producer of multi-media TV series RECORDING: the History of Recorded Music, with hosts Quincy Jones and Phil Ramone. For more see:

Quincy Jones is a world famous iconic musician, producer, and entrepreneur. The all-time most nominated Grammy artist, with a total of 76 nominations and 26 awards, Quincy Jones has also received an Emmy Award, seven Oscar nominations, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. In 2009 he launched The Quincy Jones Musiq Consortium which encourages collaboration, shared services and advocacy while building a community in music education.

For more information, please visit:

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