Tuesday, September 29, 2015
"I am still in the afterglow of a most spectacular SUPER BLOOD MOON ECLIPSE and my concert is only 8 days away. Musical preparations for this event are in high-gear, and we are having FUN rehearsing!
I am excited to perform with saxophonist Charles McNeal for the first time, and also to feature Antonia Minnecola who improvises in the tradition of North Indian vocal percussion, known as "parhant." If you've seen her, you know how amazing she is!
I have composed a new tune--an acknowledgment of the responsibilities an artist takes on in self-producing performances, called Sole Proprietor. I intend to add it to the roster of songs that I am targeting for my next CD.
Also, with the help of Frank Martin and his remarkable arranging talent, I am reworking a song I wrote earlier in my career. A Thousand Voices is dedicated to a friend who lost his grounding amid the stresses of an interracial marriage. His death had a lasting impact on all who knew and admired him.
Finally, I am happy to have two very special guests, Julie Moon (piano & voice) and Tim Kim (voice & violin). They recently performed their original compositions at San Francisco's Asian Art Museum as part of 7th Annual Celebration of Korean Art and Culture."
See u there, Molly!
San Francisco Bay Area woodwind expert Steven Lugerner continues his explorations of the music of jazz legend Jackie McLean with Jacknife, a hard-hitting West Coast post-bop quintet that Lugerner premiered earlier this year. The group has completed work on an album, The Music of Jackie McLean, slated for release on April 22, 2016, and will be appearing at several West Coast venues this fall. Lugerner is also planning spring dates to coincide with the CD release that will feature the virtuoso pianist and former McLean sideman Larry Willis.
Exploring tunes from McLean's seminal early- and mid-1960s Blue Note albums Jacknife, It's Time, Let Freedom Ring,and New Soil, the new session brings together a formidable cast of rising talent, including pianist Richard Sears, bassist Garret Lang, drummerMichael Mitchell, and trumpeter JJ Kirkpatrick. Jacknife will be performing at the Blue Whale, Los Angeles (11/4), and at the Red Poppy Art House (11/6) and Chez Hanny (11/8), both in San Francisco.
Larry Willis made his recording debut on McLean's 1965 date Right Now and appeared on the originalJacknife album (1966) and other recordings by the saxophonist. Lugerner connected with Willis this past summer at the Stanford Jazz Workshop, where Lugerner has been Faculty Coordinator since 2013 and Willis was a visiting artist.
Although Lugerner never had the opportunity to meet McLean, who died in 2006 at age 74, he listened deeply to the alto giant's recordings as he was coming up. "I studied with alto saxophonist Mike DiRubbo, who studied directly with McLean at the Hartt School," says Lugerner. "Mike was a huge influence on me when I was in college."
In addition to his work with Jacknife this fall, Lugerner will be hosting/leading the Stanford Coffee House Monday Night Jazz Jam, which begins tonight (8-10pm) and runs for seven consecutive Mondays through 11/9. Lugerner and pianistMalcolm Campbell will be supported by a rotating cast in the rhythm section, including bassists Josh Thurston-Milgrom, Matthew Wohl, and Zach Ostroff, and drummersMichael Mitchell, Austin Harris, Britt Ciampa, and Adam Starkopf.
In a relatively short period of time, 27-year-old Bay Area native Steven Lugerner has collaborated with a heavyweight roster of jazz masters, including pianist Myra Melford, percussionist John Hollenbeck, tenor saxophonist Dayna Stephens, altoist Miguel Zenón, soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom,flutist Jamie Baum, and drummer Matt Wilson. His latest album, the digital-only release Gravitations Vol. II (2015), is a gorgeous duo project that places piano great Fred Hersch in an entirely new context.
A skilled and diversified woodwind doubler on saxophones, bass clarinet, B-flat clarinet, oboe, English horn, flute, and alto flute, Lugerner is suitably focusing on the alto saxophone for his work with Jacknife: "This is one project where I can bring just one horn."
Jacknife personnel for the November shows includes JJ Kirkpatrick on trumpet and drummer Michael Mitchell on drums, with pianistCarmen Staaf and bassist Garret Lang performing in Los Angeles, and pianist Adam Shulman and bassist Josh Thurston-Milgrom on the Bay Area dates.
Steven Lugerner in Performance
Wednesday 11/4 Blue Whale, Los Angeles (with Jacknife)
Friday 11/6 Red Poppy Art House, San Francisco (with Jacknife)
Sunday 11/8 Chez Hanny, San Francisco (with Jacknife)
Monday nights 9/28-11/9 Jazz Jam at Stanford Coffee House (CoHo)
Web Site: stevenlugerner.com
But, IMHO, Phil is the best alto sax player in the history of music, an impassioned virtuoso that knew the exact balance between technique and emotion. He never did a bad recording. He never recorded a less than magnificent, phenomenal, perfect solo. His sound, phrasing, tone, fluency, lyricism are sublime. His career spanned nothing less than 7 decades!
I grew up listening to his solo albums as well as his collaborations with Michel Legrand, Quincy Jones, Sergio Mendes etc; the track "You Must Believe In Spring" (from Legrand's "Live at Jimmy's" LP) is the best performance ever done by an alto sax player. The title track from "Images" places #2, followed by "Once Upon A Summertime" (from "Legrand And Friends") and "Laura" (from "Twenty Songs of the Century".)
In my collection, I also treasure the albums he recorded as the main soloist of The Creed Taylor Orchestra in the late 50s/early 60s, true collectors' items. And the all-star session "Rhythmstick," a CD/LaserDisc filmed at Rudy Van Gelder's studio in 1989, on which he plays alongside Art Farmer, Dizzy Gillespie, Bob Berg, Charlie Haden, Anthony Jackson, Flora Purim, Airto Moreira and Tito Puente, is the best jazz video ever produced.
I was blessed with the chance to attend many of his concerts several times in New York at the Blue Note and three times in Brazil -- firstly in 1978 at the São Paulo/Montreux Jazz Festival, and twice in Rio, @ the Free Jazz Fstival with his quintet at the time that Tom Harrell was the trumpeter, and later @ the Copacabana Palace backed by a local band that featured the late Brazilian bassist Nico Assumpção -- and had the privilege to be introduced to him in NY by my long time friend (and his long time drummer) Bill Goodwin, to whom I'm forever grateful.
Phil had retired earlier this month, after a splendid concert (that was recorded!) at the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild on which he recreated the legendary album "Charlie Parker With Strings" backed by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Details and haunting pics in this link below:
R.I.P. All my Love and Respect, from here to eternity.
Saturday, September 26, 2015
Vocalist and master harmonica player Rob Paparozzi & The Blues Farm returns to The Falcon in Marlboro, NY for a high energy Sunday brunch. The frontman for The Blues Brothers band along with iconic guitarist John Tropea, Blues Brothers drummer Lee Finkelstein, and ace keyboardist Pete Levin (I love him since The Clams!) on Hammond organ.
11am-2pm. No cover charge. Reservations suggested.
The fabulous John Tropea Band live @ The Falcon in NY!
Featuring Neil Jason, Chris Palmaro, Lee Finklestein, Larry Farrell, Don Harris, Tommy McDonnell and the legendary Lou Marini!!!
I love Tropea, he is one of my favorite guitarists since the epic solos on Deodato's groundbreaking "Prelude" (2001) album for CTI.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
With Special Guests Christine Ebersole & Curtis Stigers
Live from Birdland Sunday September 27th @ 6pm
Recasting cabaret as an emotionally engaging experience rather than a place, host Ann Hampton Callaway celebrates intimate performances and heartfelt songs from a variety of genres: jazz, Broadway, folk , singer-songwriter, the blues, and more. Guests give intimate performances and share personal insights, live from the stage of the legendary Birdland in New York City. Each week, Ann Hampton Callaway "The Queen of American Cabaret" (Broadway World) , will hold court and engage some of the most interesting singers and songwriters from America and around the world.
"In a world of increased alienation, an artistic experience of intimacy can be quite healing to the heart. A room full of strangers can feel like a family." - Ann Hampton Callaway
"For sheer vocal beauty, no contemporary singer matches Ms. Callaway." -Stephen Holden, The New York Times
Venue Information: Birdland 315 West 44th St New York, NY
BUY TICKETS NOW THIS SHOW IS ALMOST SOLD OUT!
Friday, September 11, 2015
(Arnaldo DeSouteiro during a recording session in 2014)
"People are going to talk about you, especially when they envy you and the life you live. Let them. You affected their lives, they didn't affect yours... you will eventually lose someone you love & love someone you never thought you'd find..."
Music Producer (with over 530 albums to his credit according to the All Music Guide), Voting Member of NARAS-GRAMMY and Jazz Journalists Association (NY), Member of LAJS (Los Angeles Jazz Society), Musical Philosopher, Journalist, Jazz & Brazilian Music Historian, Publicist, Public Relations, Composer (having written successful jazz & pop songs, some dance hits like "O Passarinho" for the Italian TV reality show "La Pupa e Il Secchione", and "Samba da Copa" for the "2006 World Cup" in Germany, plus many other soundtracks for movies, soap operas & TV series in the USA -- PBS, BET, Universal Cable etc --, Europe and Asia), Lyricist (he wrote lyrics to Dave Brubeck's "Broadway Bossa Nova" at the invitation of Brubeck himself, among other songs), Arranger, Percussionist, Keyboardist, Programmer, Educator (conducting clinics and panel sessions worldwide as the first Brazilian member of IAJE-International Association of Jazz Educators during its existence). He has also acted as consultant for several companies and jazz festivals all over the world.
Founder and CEO of JSR (Jazz Station Records), a Division of Jazz Station Marketing & Consulting - LA, Calif. Most recently, founded LaCalifUSA Pictures and JSR Casting in 2007 for movie & TV productions featuring music & fashion.
Produced the acclaimed CD compilation series "A Trip To Brazil," "CTI Acid Jazz Grooves," "Brazilian Horizons," "Focus on Bossa Nova," "Focus on Brazilian Music Grooves", "Bossa Nova Singers," "Bossa Nova Guitar","Jazz Rock" etc.
Produced special compilations for Quincy Jones ("Summer in the City - The Soul Jazz Grooves of Quincy Jones"), Chick Corea ("Electric Chick") and Deodato ("Do It Again - The Fantastic Jazz-Funk of Eumir Deodato"), all released by Verve/Universal. His latest CD for Verve is "Bossa Nova USA," released last May, featuring Dave Brubeck's title track performed by Quincy Jones.
Supervised and/or Directed TV specials featuring João Gilberto, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Dizzy Gillespie, Chuck Mangione, Flora Purim & Airto Moreira, Miles Davis, Dom Um Romão, Eliane Elias, Diana Krall, Eumir Deodato, Bjork et al. Worked with producers Creed Taylor, Yoichi Nakao, Susumu Morikawa, Matthias Kunnecke, and photographers Pete Turner, Victor Skrebneski, Robert Mappelthorpe, Duane Michals.
Mr. DeSouteiro has also worked in his native Brazil for TUPI-FM radio station (as musical programmer-DJ as well as hosting his own show, "Jazz Espetacular"), Manchete TV network (anchoring & supervising the "Terça Especial" series for which he interviewed such jazz giants as Dizzy Gillespie, Tony Bennett, Chuck Mangione, Airto Moreira, Flora Purim etc), Globo TV network (screenplay, coordination and mix for the TV special "João Gilberto & Antonio Carlos Jobim - O Grande Encontro" in 1992, the last time these 2 geniuses performed together, plus the texts and screenplay for the "Minuto da Bossa" series), and as the jazz columnist for the "Tribuna da Imprensa" (Press Tribune) daily newspaper during 29 years (from 1979 to 2008). Before moving to the USA, he also worked as Brazilian correspondent of "Keyboard" magazine (from 1985 to 1994), as a free-lancer to Billboard, Cuadernos de Jazz, Swing Journal and International Music Magazine, and as entertainment-in-flight programmer for several airline companies like Varig Brazilian Airlines (from 1983 to 1998).
Produced over 530 albums and sessions featuring: Luiz Bonfa, João Gilberto, Dom Um Romão, Thiago de Mello, Dexter Payne, João Donato, Palmyra & Levita, Mario Castro-Neves, Jorge Pescara, Paula Faour, Fabio Fonseca, Claudio Roditi, Rodrigo Lima, Hermeto Pascoal, Ithamara Koorax, Don Sebesky, Sammy Figueroa, Bjork, Anna Ly, Carlos Barbosa-Lima, Pascoal Meirelles, Yana Purim, Pingarilho, Nelson Angelo, Marcelo Salazar, Ron Carter, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Steve Swallow, Herbie Hancock, Hugo Fattoruso, Larry Coryell, Sadao Watanabe, Jurgen Friedrich, Eloir de Moraes, Gazzara, Deodato, Jadir de Castro, Azymuth, Marcio Montarroyos, Sivuca, Laudir de Oliveira, Marcos Valle, Jay Berliner, George Young, David Matthews, Lew Soloff, Alphonso Johnson, Gene Bertoncini, John McLaughlin, Claus Ogerman, Raul de Souza, Gonzalo Rubalcaba and many others.
Produced and supervised CD reissues of albums by Ron Carter, Hank Crawford, Johnny Hammond, Sergio Mendes, Hubert Laws, Grant Green, Idris Muhammad, Joe Beck, Esther Phillips, Lonnie Smith, David Matthews & Whirlwind, Phil Upchurch, Tennyson Stephens, Miucha, Flora Purim, Carlos Lyra, Tamba Trio, Ivan Lins, Raul de Souza, Trio 3-D and many others. As annotator, he wrote liner notes and press releases for albums by Toots Thielemans, Hank Crawford, Stan Getz, Ella Fitzgerald, Pat Metheny, Eliane Elias, Carlos Barbosa-Lima, Jeff Linsky and dozens of others for labels like RCA, CTI, Kudu, Milestone, Fantasy, Verve, Columbia, Irma, Alfa, JVC, Caju, Sonet, Paddle Wheel, JHO, Mercury, Imagem etc.
Mr. DeSouteiro also had the honor to be associated with some of the world's greatest photographers like Pete Turner (who did the cover photos for Rodrigo Lima's "Saga" and Jorge Pescara's "Grooves in the Temple," released on his own JSR label and featured on Turner's new book "The Color of Jazz"), Victor Skrebneski (the CD reissue of "Upchurch/Tennyson"), Bruce Weber (Esther Phillips' "For All We Know"), Robert Mappelthorpe ("Brazilian Horizons"), Alen MacWeeney, William Cadge, and Duane Michals (many of the CTI CDs) and so on. He has appeared in several movies and TV series such as the Award Winning documentary movie "Beyond Ipanema," for which he was interviewed alongside Creed Taylor, Lalo Schifrin, Wayne Shorter, Gene Lees and Norman Gimbel.
CEO & Founder: Arnaldo DeSouteiro
JSR - LA
9930 Liebe Dr.
Los Angeles, CA 90210
PO Box 1338
Radio City Station
New York, NY 10003
CEO & Founder · Los Angeles ·
Jazz Station Records - LA
1545 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90017
JSR - NY
PO Box 1338
Radio City Station
(PLEASE, DO NOT SEND UNSOLICITED MATERIAL; any unsolicited CD or promo packets will be returned. If you wish to submit material, please contact us through comments on this post or through Facebook. Thx!)
People are going to talk about you, especially when they envy you and the life you live. Let them. You affected their lives, they didn't affect yours... you will eventually lose someone you love & love someone you never thought you'd find...
Arnaldo DeSouteiro – Biografia ultra-resumida
Produtor de discos, com cerca de 530 álbuns em sua discografia (incluindo novos CDs, reedições, coletâneas, trilhas sonoras, projetos especiais), conforme consta no All Music Guide, principal e mais acessado website sobre música no mundo. Jornalista e publicitário (formado em Comunicação pela PUC-RJ), tendo escrito para os jornais Tribuna da Imprensa (de 1979 até sua extinção em 2009, com 3.200 artigos publicados), Última Hora, O Globo e O Estado do Paraná, revistas Billboard, Keyboard (USA), Cuadernos de Jazz (Espanha), Swing Journal (Japão), Revista do CD (Brasil) etc.
Roteirista de shows (João Gilberto, Diana Krall, Ithamara Koorax, Marcos Valle, Eumir Deodato, Bjork etc) e de especiais de TV para as emissoras Globo (Antonio Carlos Jobim & João Gilberto) e Manchete (Dizzy Gillespie, Tony Bennett, Chuck Mangione, Airto Moreira & Flora Purim etc) no Brasil, BET e PBS nos EUA, NHK no Japão (Diana Krall, João Gilberto, CTI All Stars, Dave Brubeck etc).
Nascido no Rio de Janeiro (Brasil) em 1963, radicado em Los Angeles (EUA) desde 1999. Estudou piano clássico e harmonia com sua mãe, a pianista e maestrina Delza Agricola. É membro da Associação Brasileira de Imprensa (ABI) e da Ordem dos Músicos do Brasil (OMB) desde 1979, membro catedrático titular efetivo da Academia Internacional de Música desde 1985, membro votante do Grammy-Naras (National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences) desde 2006, membro votante da Los Angeles Jazz Society (único brasileiro) desde 2007, e também único brasileiro que é membro votante da Jazz Journalists Association (sediada em Nova Iorque) desde 2002. Atua como consultor e parecerista para diversas empresas, centros culturais e festivais de música no Brasil e no exterior.
Também foi membro honorário e primeiro membro brasileiro da Associação Internacional de Educadores de Jazz (IAJE – International Association of Jazz Educators) durante 12 anos, até sua extinção em 2008, tendo realizado palestras e "panel sessions" nas convenções anuais realizadas nos EUA.
Fundador e Presidente da gravadora JSR (Jazz Station Records), sediada em Los Angeles – EUA desde 2001, uma divisão da Jazz Station Marketing & Consulting. Dirige também a JSR Casting e a LaCalifUSA Pictures, empresa de cinema que produz conteúdo e trilhas sonoras (composição, produção, seleção) para filmes e séries de TV.
Produziu discos e sessões de gravação com artistas como Luiz Bonfá, João Gilberto, Dom Um Romão, João Donato, Palmyra & Levita, Mario Castro-Neves, Claudio Roditi, Gaudencio Thiago de Mello, Dexter Payne, Bjork, Rodrigo Lima, Don Sebesky, Hubert Laws, Fabio Fonseca, Marcos Ozzellin, Herbie Hancock, Jorge Pescara, Paula Faour, Anna Ly, Pascoal Meirelles, Yana Purim, Carlos Pingarilho, Nelson Angelo, Marcelo Salazar, Ithamara Koorax, Ron Carter, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Steve Swallow, Herbie Hancock, Hugo Fattoruso, Larry Coryell, Sadao Watanabe, Jurgen Friedrich, Claus Ogerman, Gazzara, Eumir Deodato, Azymuth, Marcio Montarroyos, Sivuca, Laudir de Oliveira, Marcos Valle, David Matthews, Gene Bertoncini, John McLaughlin, Raul de Souza, Hermeto Pascoal, Jadir de Castro, Lew Soloff, George Young, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Alphonso Johnson e muitos outros.
Como compositor e letrista, tem parcerias com Dave Brubeck (“Broadway Bossa Nova”), Francesco Gazzara (“O Passarinho”), Mamoru Morishita (“Hotaru”) e Fabio Fonseca (“Samba da Copa”, executado na cerimônia de abertura da Copa do Mundo de 2006).
Produziu reedições de discos de Sergio Mendes, Flora Purim, Tamba Trio, Ivan Lins, Carlos Lyra, Miucha, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Ron Carter, Idris Muhammad, Hank Crawford, Lonnie Smith, Johnny Hammond, Luiz Bonfá, Phil Upchurch, Tennyson Stephens, Eumir Deodato, Grant Green, Mario Castro-Neves, João Donato, Claus Ogerman, David Matthews, Esther Phillips, Joe Beck, Eric Gale e muitos outros.
Produziu as séries “A Trip To Brazil” (cujo Volume 1 chegou ao primeiro-lugar na parada de world-music na Europa em 1998, superando “Buena Vista Social Club”), “Brazilian Horizons”, “CTI: Acid Jazz Grooves”, “Jazz Club”, e retrospectivas - lançadas mundialmente entre 2006 e 2010 pelo selo Verve – das carreiras de Quincy Jones (“Summer In The City: The Soul-Jazz Groves of Quincy Jones”), Eumir Deodato (“Do It Again: The Fantastic Jazz Funk of Eumir Deodato”) e Chick Corea (“Electric Chick”).
Desde 1981, tem realizado, como free lancer, produção musical para diversas gravadoras, como RCA/BMG, Sony, Verve/PolyGram/Universal, CTI, King, Paddle Wheel, Pausa, Milestone/Fantasy, Warner/WEA, Motor Music, JVC/Victor, Sanyo, Movieplay, Imagem, Eldorado, CID, Alfa, RGE, Mr. Bongo, Terra Música, Blue Moon, Bomba, Cedar Tree, Treasure Trove, Irma, Vivid Sound, Motéma, e Huks Music, no Brasil, Europa, Estados Unidos, Japão, China, Taiwan e Coréia.
Entre 1982 e 1984, atuou como assessor cultural do Serviço de Comunicação Social da Petrobras. Em 1983, criou, produziu e apresentou o programa "Jazz espetacular", transmitido pela Rádio Tupi FM. Em 1984, assumiu a responsabilidade da programação de bordo (musical e audiovisual) transmitida nos vôos internacionais da Varig, função que exerceu durante 14 anos. Também nesse período (1985 a 1987), participou da comissão de seleção do Free Jazz Festival.
Escreveu textos de contracapa para discos de diversos artistas, como Toots Thielemans, Ella Fitzgerald, Eliane Elias, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Jeff Kinsky, Paulo Bellinati e Carlos Barbosa Lima, entre outros. Assinou textos para divulgação ("press releases") de artistas como João Gilberto, Stan Getz, Oscar Peterson, Pat Metheny, Bill Evans, Jimmy Smith, Elvin Jones, Stanley Turrentine e Tony Bennett.
Atuou como entrevistador em depoimentos prestados para o Museu da Imagem e do Som (Rio de Janeiro e São Paulo) por João Donato, Stellinha Egg, Maestro Gaya, Eumir Deodato, Airto Moreira, Flora Purim e Carlos Barbosa Lima. Em 2001, recebeu o prêmio de International Man of The Year, concedido pelo International Biographical Centre, de Londres. Foi o primeiro brasileiro a receber essa premiação, oferecida anteriormente a apenas quatro outros produtores: Arif Mardin, Tommy LiPuma, Quincy Jones e Phil Ramone. Ainda nesse ano, a JSR (Jazz Station Records), de sua propriedade, foi considerada uma das cinco melhores gravadoras de jazz do mundo, em relação publicada na edição de dezembro da revista especializada norte-americana "Down Beat", premiação que se repetiu por quatro anos (7º lugar em 2003, 9º lugar em 2004, 5º lugar em 2005 e 6º lugar em 2006).
Foi entrevistado em vários programas de TV, seriados (incluindo o documentário "Laurindo Almeida, Muito Prazer" exibido pelo canal GNT) e filmes como o premiado documentário "Beyond Ipanema", no qual foi entrevistado ao lado de Creed Taylor, Lalo Schifrin, Wayne Shorter, Gene Lees e Norman Gimbel. Depois de apresentado em diversos festivais de cinema nos Estados Unidos e Europa, "Beyond Ipanema" foi transformado em série de televisão transmitida em território brasileiro pela emissora Canal Brasil em 2014.
Jazz Station Marketing & Consulting, JSR Casting, LaCalifUSA Pictures
CEO & Founder: Arnaldo DeSouteiro
JSR - LA
9930 Liebe Dr.
Los Angeles, CA 90210
PO Box 1338
Radio City Station
New York, NY 10003
CEO & Founder · Los Angeles ·
Jazz Station Records - LA
1545 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90017
JSR - NY
PO Box 1338
Radio City Station
Saturday, September 5, 2015
Thursday, September 3, 2015
Drummer for the Orquestra Tabajara, led by his brother Severino Araujo, Plinio Araujo died yesterday, Sept 2nd, in Rio de Janeiro, RJ. He was 94 years old and still active! The best big-band drummer in the history of Brazilian music, he played for over 7 decades, taking part in the most important albums released by the Tabajara as well as on tenorist Zé Bodega's solo masterpiece, "Um Sax No Samba." In the 70s, he also took part on albums by Jards Macalé and Zé Ramalho. Rest In Peace.
Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Randy Weston: "Blue Moses" (CTI 6016 / Speakers Corner 426001971) 1972/2015
180 Gram Virgin Vinyl, Limited Edition, Pure Analogue Audiophile Mastering, Pressed @ Pallas (Germany)
Reissue Release Date: September 8, 2015
Rating: ***** (musical performance & sonic quality)
Produced by Creed Taylor
Recorded & Mixed by Rudy Van Gelder @ Van Gelder Studio (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey) in March & April 1972
Album Design: Bob Ciano
Photo: Pete Turner
Randy Weston -- now an elderly gentleman and one of the few living witnesses and co-creators from the heyday of hard bop -- still leaves his home in Brooklyn to tour through Africa, Europe and Asia. A truly multicultural man. His percussive piano style has been influenced in particular by the ethnic music of Morocco; his amazing sense for the sounds produced by North-African melodic and rhythmic instruments has enriched his music over many years.
After seven years without making any recordings, "Blue Moses" was recorded in 1972 at Rudy Van Gelder’s studio. Lengthy trips through North Africa and as far as the Niger, plus the ignorance of American record companies, were the reasons for the long pause. Finally the CTI boss Creed Taylor took an interest in Randy Weston and financed a large ensemble with Don Sebesky as arranger/conductor.
The four themes provide a great basis for improvisations by the soloists, whereby the Randy Weston’s piano takes the lion’s share. The flute is also very prominent – and no wonder: all flute solos are by Hubert Laws.
"Blue Moses," the most commercially successful album in pianist/composer Randy Weston's career, remains one of his most controversial due to his conflicted feelings about the final product, which he feels is too polished and too far from his original intent for the project. Indeed, appearing on Creed Taylor's CTI imprint was an almost certain guarantee of polished production.
It's one of my favorite albums in the entire CTI catalog -- I had the honor to supervise its first CD reissue ever, released in Japan back in 2000 -- and, IMHO, Weston's best album ever. He plays exclusively Fender Rhodes piano here in his unmistakable style, backed by a band of CTI's star-studded stable: trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, tenor saxophonist Grover Washington, Jr. (I consider it as Grover's best session ever for CTI), flutist Hubert Laws, drummer Billy Cobham, bassists Ron Carter and Bill Wood, and percussionists Phil Kraus (marimba), Airto Moreira (mostly on caxixis), and Weston's son Azzedin (on the congas and on Afro-percussion instruments like the kakobars.)
This group was led by a punchy Don Sebesky-arranged horn section that includes such masters as trombonists Garnett Brown (famous for his work with Herbie Hancock), Warren Covington (from Gene Krupa and Tommy Dorsey's orchestras), and Wayne Andre, trumpeters Alan Rubin, Marvin Stamm and John Frosk, French horn masters Jim Buffington & Brooks Tillotson (both would appear on Deodato's "Prelude"), and multi-instrumentalists Romeo Penque (playing clarinet, oboe & flute) and George Marge (English horn, clarinet & alto flute).
"Blue Moses" consists of four compositions; it was an attempt by Weston to showcase the influence "Ganawa" music from Morocco had on him as a composer. The opening track, the hard-bop waltz "Ifrane," says it all, with a frenetic and splendid interplay between soloists Freddie Hubbard, Grover Washington, Jr. and Billy Cobham.
"Ganawa (Blues Moses)," with its frenetic, minor-key piano lines, knotty, Middle Eastern Eastern-sounding charts, and skittering North African rhythms push the listener into a new space, one that stands outside of CTI's usual frame in, and into, the exotic. The brass arrangement is sumptuously wild, and while that might overshadow some recordings of lesser substance, Sebesky knew what he had in Weston's tunes, and reigned his players in just enough to keep the dynamics fresh, open, and full of engaged call-and- response playing between Weston, Hubbard, and Laws. The use of French Horns is equally an additional proof of Sebesky's genius.
So too, album closer "Marrakesh Blues," with wordless backing vocals by Madame Meddah, twinned trumpet and flute lines, gorgeous electric piano solos, and a deep, strolling bassline. It's an Eastern modal blues with the sound of a horn section to boost its drama. The way Sebesky employs David Horowitz's Moog synthesizer on this track, using it as a member of the horn section, is also quite impressive.
"Night in the Media" is a labyrinthine, more abstract piece, but utterly atmospheric and colorful in its arrangement, with exciting interplay between Weston's enormous chords and Washington's swinging, soulful saxophone and Airto's percussion & vocal effects that create a lithe, spiritual jazz groove. It's the only track on which Bill Wood (then a member of Weston's touring band) replaces CTI's official bassist Ron Carter.
No matter how Weston ultimately feels about "Blue Moses," this date succeeds on all levels. Creating a commercially viable recording from the elements presented must not have been easy, but Taylor rose to the occasion and delivered a grooving beauty of an album without compromising Weston's genius. It is quite possible that many jazz fans will have missed the name Randy Weston when flipping through the letter 'W' in record shops in the 70's. Now they have the opportunity to correct this mistake with this re-release.
Randy Brecker: "The Brecker Brothers Band Reunion" (Piloo Records PR007)
Rating: ***** (music performance, sonic quality, DVD editing)
Musical Producer: George Whitty
Video Directed & Produced by Chuck & Sarah Fishbein for Crazy Duck Productions
Executive Producers: Randy Brecker, Jeff Levenson & Adam Rovatti
Recording Engineers: Paul Geluso (CD), Steve Remote (DVD)
Mixed by George Whitty
Mastered by Greg Calbi @ Sterling Sound, NY
Art Direction & Design: Tom Beckham
Cover & Back Panel Photos: John Abbott
Inner Package Photos: Sandrine Lee
Liner Notes: Bill Milkowski
A killer set by Randy Brecker, paying tribute to the legendary fusion band The Brecker Brothers that he co-led with the much missed sax genius Michael Brecker. After the European release, we now have a domestic U.S. issue keeping the deluxe packaging with a beautiful gatefold cover.
Disc 1 is a Studio CD recorded in September 2011 with 11 tracks, featuring special guests like David Sanborn, Dean Brown, Adam Rogers, Jim Campagnola and Chris Minh Doky. The most haunting tune is "Elegy For Mike," with Randy's wife Ada Rovatti on soprano sax.
On two tracks - "Adina," dedicated to Ava, and "Stellina," dedicated to their daughter Stella --, Randy plays flugelhorn, while rapping under the nickname Randroid on two songs: "Really In For It" and "On The Rise." He also sings on the surprising lament "Musician's Ol' Lady Dues Blues," backed only by Adam Rogers on guitars.
Disc 2 founds Randy, Ada and the rhythm gang (bassist Will Lee, guitar ace Mike Stern, virtuoso drummer Dave Weckl, keyboardist & producer George Whitty plus special guest singer/keyboardist Oli Rockberger) smokin' @ the NYC Blue Note (date not mentioned on the booklet). Anyway, it's a splendid performance with 6 tunes also available on the studio versions (opening with the fiery "First Tune Of The Set," then "The Slag," the latin-tinged "Adina," "Really In For It," "Stellina," "Merry Go Town") but that sound even better on the live date.
The band also plays three Brecker Brothers classics: "Inside Out" (from "Heavy Metal Be-Bop"), the title track from "Straphangin'" and another theme from "Heavy Metal Be-Bop," the fusion anthem "Some Skunk Funk" played as the encore, "as fast as humanly possible," like Randy announces. In all aspects, Ada leaves a strong impression, displaying her personal style without feeling intimidated by the not easy task of "replacing" Michael Brecker. Instead of trying to emulate him, she does it her way and succeeds brilliantly.
The Brecker-Rovatti interplay is amazing, with the couple often making good use of electronic devices applied to their horns. The interaction between the other band members is equally flawless, and all the solos are full of magic, passion and complete control of technique.
Randy dedicates the project not only to Michael Brecker but also to other musicians who played with band in the 70s and 80s and already left Earth too soon: Hiram Bullock, Don Alias, Ralph MacDonald, Luther Vandross and "honorary Brecker Brother, our mentor" Barry Rogers.
Bob Mintzer Big Band: "Get Up!" (2015)
Rating: **** (musical performance & sonic quality)
Since 1983, when he did a debut album for the Japanese market and two years later signed with Tom Jung's now defunct DMP audiophile label, tenor saxophonist, composer, and arranger Bob Mintzer has been delving into the big band format and its myriad stylistic possibilities, collecting five Grammy nominations and one Grammy win in the process. His newest CD, Get Up!, which is his 20th big band album to date, just cane out on MCG Jazz. It was recorded live during two nights (October 10-11,2014) at Manchester Craftsmen's Guild on Pittsburgh, PA.
Mintzer describes the nine tracks on the new CD as "clearly R&B influenced, but [they] then go to many other places along the way. ... Using these relatively simple tunes as a springboard for harmonic, rhythmic, and melodic exploration was a real adventure, one that I had been thinking about for a long time."
Produced by MCG's Marty Ashby and arranged by Mintzer, Get Up! features guitarist Ray Obiedo and bassist Will Lee, as well as Mintzer's longtime colleagues in the Yellowjackets, pianist Russell Ferrante and drummerWilliam Kennedy. Besides five originals by the leader, including the James Brown-inspired title track, the set is made up of Mintzer's vibrant arrangements of the Wayne Shorter-penned Weather Report classic "Elegant People" and three of his favorite R&B tunes from the late 1960s: the Isley Brothers' "It's Your Thing," Sam & Dave's "I Thank You" (written by David Porter and Isaac Hayes), and Sly & the Family Stone's "Sing a Simple Song."
"I grew up listening to this music," says Mintzer, whose radio dial was tuned to WNEW-FM when he was growing up in New Rochelle, New York. "There was less concern with classification and categorization back then. There was a kind of connection between what people like John Coltrane and Charles Lloyd were doing and what some of the rock guys were doing in terms of Indian and Eastern influences and stretching out on long vamps. For people like myself who like all different kinds of music, this was a great time for music and art."
Ashby, who has worked with Mintzer on all five of his big band dates for MCG Jazz, sees Mintzer as having "created such an important body of work for large ensemble that it just cannot be overlooked. Few bands write mostly original music for large ensemble, and hardly any then have much of the music available in a published format for other bands and students to study and play. Because his range of writing for the band extends from Brazilian to funk to R&B to straight-ahead to fusion and everything in between, I think Bob stands alone as the preeminent composer/arranger for big band at this time. His passion for the idiom puts him at the top of the pyramid."
Mintzer connected with Manchester Craftsmen's Guild in 2004. The Big Band debuted with Live at MCG and followed up with Old School, New Lessons (2006), both of which featured Kurt Elling, and Swing Out (2008). On the Grammy-nominated For the Moment (2012), the spotlight was on Brazilian music, with guitarist/composer Chico Pinheiro as special guest.
The lifelong New Yorker, who's considered one of the tenor saxophonists to come out of the school of New York players in the 1970s (also including Michael Brecker, Bob Berg, Dave Liebman, and Steve Grossman), rose to prominence as a member of Eumir Deodato's group, with whom he toured a lot and recorded the live album "Artistry" (MCA). Later he played with John Tropea, the ace guitarist on Deodato's combo. Mintzer's big band dates to 1983, when the Brecker brothers asked him to put together an ensemble for their club Seventh Avenue South, has been based in Los Angeles since 2008. He lives in the former house of composer Arnold Schoenberg (his first L.A. residence, 1934-1936), and is the recipient of the Buzz McCoy-endowed chair of jazz studies at the University of Southern California.
Photography: Wade Massie
Zé Eduardo Nazario: "Poema da Gota Serena E Outros Poemas" (Editio Princeps) 2015
Rating: ***** (musical performance & sonic quality)
An expanded reissue of Nazario's debut solo album, recorded in 1982. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of his career, this CD includes nothing less than six extraordinary bonus tracks, all previously unreleased, cut between 1977 and 2004 with different bands. A stunning showcase of Nazario's highly creative approach to universal music, always with a very personal avant-garde concept that confirms his position as one of the world's greatest drummers and percussionists.
Reissue Produced by Marcelo Spindola Bacha
Remastered by Lelo Nazario @ Utopia Studio
Booklet Design: Rodrigo Araujo
Cover Design: Lelo Nazario
Featuring: Zé Eduardo Nazario (drums, kalimba, tabla, glockenspiel, mridgan, tubofone, percussion, flutes, whistle, voice), Lelo Nazario (piano, electric piano, Oberheim synth, keyboards, xylophone, bells), Cacau (tenor sax, flute), Zeca Assumpção (acoustic bass, electric bass), Roberto Sion (flute, soprano sax), Guilherme Franco & Dinho Gonçalves (percussion), Teco Cardoso (soprano sax), Roardo Bernardo (tenor sax), Fernando Pereira (electric guitar), Nélio Porto (keyboards), Luciano Vieira (electric bass), Rommel Fernandes (violin)
Instrumental Jazz CD of the Month
Reggie Quinerly: "Invictus" (Redefinition Music) 2015
Reggie Quinerly: "Invictus" (Redefinition Music) 2015
Drummer/composer Reggie Quinerly made an indelible impression on the jazz world with his 2012 debut recording, Music Inspired by Freedmantown, a soulful and serious-minded tribute to the historic African-American neighborhood in Houston where he grew up. For his second CD, Invictus, released by the drummer's Redefinition Music label, Quinerly takes inspiration -- and the CD's title -- from the 1875 poem by William Ernest Henley ("I am the master of my fate / I am the captain of my soul").
"Many of today's artists face great uncertainty," Quinerly observes in the new CD's notes, ". . . and while critics, musicians and fans continue to debate the commercial sustainability of an entire industry, I firmly believe its sustainability rests solely within us creators: no matter who is (or isn't) listening, we must persevere, we must create and we must document, because only that which is documented lives on."
Invictus demonstrates with its very different musical demands just how much Quinerly has developed into a balanced yet ever-evolving artist. The album surrounds him with a brilliant young cast: vibraphonist Warren Wolf, regarded as one of the most exciting players on the instrument in years; prodigious pianist Christian Sands; rising guitarist Yotam Silberstein; and lyrical bassist Alan Hampton. One of the wonders of Invictus is how much freedom the compositions allow these ravishing soloists while staying inside its textural designs.
Quinerly had this particular instrumentation in mind from the start, crafting compositions that took into account the sonorities and lyrical abilities of each player. Wolf is showcased on the album opener "Tavares," dedicated to Horace Silver and "rooted in tradition with a certain earthiness." Bassist Hampton, Quinerly's high school classmate and "one of my favorite musicians to work with," is the soloist on the melodic "Nimzo Indian," named for the chess strategy. Guitarist Silverstein is featured on the ballad "Variation 24," and Sands on the solo piano piece "Kunst Überlebt" (Art Survives). On Reggie's arrangement of "My Blue Heaven," the disc's only nonoriginal, the leader tips his hat to another musical influence, the illustrious pianist and composer Mary Lou Williams.
"As a composer, the melodies you write are like parts of your identity, like your name," says Quinerly. "If a melody is not done right, if the notes are not played properly, it's like mispronouncing your name. but all the musicians on this project pay special attention to properly interpreting the intended themes."
Reggie Quinerly, 34, was born and raised in Houston's Fourth Ward -- once known as Freedmantown -- and attended the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, where his classmates included Mike Moreno, Robert Glasper, Eric Harland, Jason Moran, and Alan Hampton. After graduation he headed for New York City, enrolling at the Mannes School of Music at New School University and studying there with Jimmy Cobb, Lewis Nash, and Kenny Washington. He earned a B.A. from Mannes and later an M.A. from Juilliard, both in Jazz Studies.
Noted as "a drummer and composer of swinging disposition" (Nate Chinen, New York Times), Quinerly has worked with such notable musicians as Von Freeman, Vincent Herring, John Hicks, Joe Lovano, Branford Marsalis, Christian McBride, Wynton Marsalis, and Greg Osby. With saxophonist Marcus Strickland, he also played and lectured in New York City schools as part of Lincoln Center's Jazz in the Schools program. He frequently collaborates with vocalist/pianist Enoch Smith Jr., who appeared on Quinerly's first project.
Photography: Javier Oddo (top), Adam Sjoberg (bottom)