Sunday, June 18, 2017
THIS Friday at The Baked Potato, the Anna Mjoll All Star Quintet - two shows 9:30 and 11:30
Featuring: Randy Waldman, Carlitos Del Puerto, Dave Tull, Larry Koonse
The Baked Potato
3787 Cahuenga Blvd, Studio City 91604
Click here for tickets: http://www.thebakedpotato.com/GiftShopPages/GiftShopAdvSalesAnnaMjoll.html
Thursday, June 8, 2017
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.
CEO & Founder · Los Angeles
(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..."
Arnaldo DeSouteiro - Short Bio
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
CEO & Founder · Los Angeles ·
(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...
Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Thursday, June 1, 2017
Carlos Franzetti: "Mambo Tango - Piano Solo" (Sunnyside)
Rating: ***** (musical performance & sonic quality)
Produced by Allison Brewster Franzetti
Executive Producer: François Zalacain
Recorded by Jim Luce @ Kalvierhauss (New York, NY) on January 14, 2009
Mastered by José Lugo
Cover Art: Oscar Grillo
Total Time 45:32
Solo piano albums allow talented pianists the opportunity to express themselves as freely as they want. Without concern for other band members, the pianist can follow whatever whim that presents itself.
When a composer/pianist/arranger of Carlos Franzetti’s caliber makes a solo piano record, it can be so much more. "Mambo Tango" provides an opportunity for this Grammy Award winning composer to not only showcase his talent as a keyboard player but also gives an exposed look at his compositional and arranging style on some classic fare, along with three Franzetti originals.
The NY-based Argentinean composer has shown his diverse range as composer over the years with pieces that span the genres of jazz, classical, tango and other Latin music. On the introspective "Mambo Tango," Franzetti takes on compositions from composers he finds inspirational including Rodgers and Hart ("Have You Met Miss Jones?"), Gary McFarland ("Gary's Waltz"), Bill Evans ("Waltz For Debby"), and jazz’s most important composer Duke Ellington ("I Got I Bad And That Ain't Good").
However, my personal favorite tracks are Franzetti's brilliant renditions of lesser known tunes such as "Look At That Face" (a gorgeous ballad by Leslie Bricusse & Anthony Newley), "Jazz Autographs" (written by multi-Oscar winning composer John Williams on his early days as a jazz artist) and specially Clare Fischer's lovely soft samba "Carnival," aka "João," since it was inspired by Bossa Nova genius João Gilberto and originally recorded as an instrumental tune on Bud Shank/Clare Fischer's "Bossa Nova Jazz Samba" (Pacific Jazz, 1962) and with lyrics by Fischer himself on "The Hi-Lo's Happen To Bossa Nova" (Reprise, 1961), a groundbreaking album he arranged for the historic vocal group.
Carlos Franzetti's originals are equally fascinating: "Fantasia," "Milonga del Adios" and the title track "Mambo Tango" with which I fell in love at first listening when hearing the wild fusion version that he recorded in 1979 on Ray Barretto's best album ever, "La Cuña" (CTI), featuring Tito Puente.
Franzetti’s talents as a musical craftsman and improviser truly shine on this solo recording, a timeless masterpiece.
Far Out Monster Disco Orchestra featuring Arthur Verocai: "Vendetta" (Far Out FOMDO 14)
Release Date: May 15, 2017
Side A: Vendetta - Al Kent Main Mix (9:27)
Side B: Vendetta - Al Kent Dub Mix (7:59)
Remix & additional production by Al Kent for Million Dollar Disco Productions
Mixed @ Green Door Studios, Glasgow
This is the third 12" vinyl release by "FOMDO featuring Arthur Verocai," after "Mystery" and "Step Into My Life."
Far Out Monster Disco Orchestra are in safe hands right here as serial editor and connoisseur Al Kent takes the parts of one of their album highlights -- Daniel Maunick's "Vendetta," arranged by Brazilian genius Arthur Verocai, "the Timeless Maestro" -- and revisions them into a hypnotic dancefloor trip.
And this is really a new release, since these Al Kent 2 remixes are not included on the previous 2-CD set, which includes reconstructions of "Vendetta" by Mark Pritchard and Marcellus Pittman.
Where the original "nu-disco" mix is loose and prone to steamy Latin string brilliance, Al Kent's edits restrain the emotion a little and let it leaks out much more gradually over an enticing weave of percussion. Whether it's the vocal or dub version, both are guaranteed to take your floor to new places.
The Brett Gold New York Jazz Orchestra: "Dreaming Big" (GoldFox Records) 2017
CD Release Date: June 16, 2017
Rating: **** (musical performance & sonic quality)
Composed & Arranged by Brett Gold
Produced by Pete McGuinness
Executive Producer: Brett Gold
Recorded by Mike Marciano @ Systems Two Recording Studio (Brooklyn, NY) on November 3 & 4, 2016
Mixed & Mastered by Paul Wickliffe @ Skyline Productions (Warren, NJ)
Cover Painting: Edouard Vuillard
Photo: Pete McGuinness
Designed by Disc Makers Design Studio (Pennsauken, NJ)
Liner Notes: John Fedchock and Brett Gold
Featuring: Ted Kooshian (piano), Phil Palombi (bass), Scott Neumann (drums), Sebastian Noelle (guitar), Mark Vinci (alto sax, soprano sax, clarinet, flute), Matt Hong (alto sax, clarinet, flute), Dave Riekenberg (tenor sax, flute, clarinet), Tim Ries (tenor sax, soprano sax, flute, clarinet), Charles Pillow (tenor sax, soprano sax, clarinet), Frank Basile (baritone sax, bass clarinet), Jon Owens, James de la Garza, Dylan Schwab, Scott Wendholt (trumpet), Bruce Eidem, John Allred, Bob Stuttmann, Jeff Nelson (trombone)
The release of "Dreaming Big," which marks the recording debut of the Brett Gold New York Jazz Orchestra and features the compositions of Brett Gold, illuminates a most intriguing jazz odyssey.
A star trombonist in high school in his native Baltimore, Gold was steered away from a music career by his parents as well as his trombone teacher, of all people. Gold became an attorney and went on to achieve formidable success in the field of international and corporate tax law. But 25 years into his legal career, Gold changed course and reestablished contact with his musical muse.
"Dreaming Big" is remarkable not only for its very existence but also for the striking sounds it offers. A tour de force, the music ranges from 12-tone melodies to playful Monkisms to a stirring political statement. While the album introduces one of jazz's most challenging new instrumental voices, at the same time its warmth, humor, and accessibility convey an easy sophistication one would associate with an artist of far greater experience.
Gold enlisted first-call players from New York's jazz, studio, and Broadway scenes to produce the recording, including saxophonists Charles Pillow and Tim Ries, trumpeter Scott Wendholt, trombonist John Allred, bassist Phil Palombi, and drummer Scott Neumann.
Many jazz composers and arrangers, including Gold, cite Gil Evans and Bill Holman as influences. But Gold's affinity for the odd time-signature music of the late Don Ellis is reflected in a number of pieces on the CD. Among the compositions on Dreaming Big, the Middle Eastern-themed "Al-Andalus" (featuring a virtuosic turn by trumpeter Jon Owens) is partly in 11/4 and partly in 5/4. "That Latin Tinge" is a 7/4 mambo, not the usual time signature for a salsa piece. Even the fairly straightforward "Stella's Waltz" can trip someone up with its occasional judiciously placed bar of 5/4. And then there's "Nakba," the powerful 11-minute finale, which was composed partly with Gold's Moroccan sister-in-law in mind. The song is named after the Arabic word for "catastrophe," used by the Palestinians to describe the Arab-Israeli War of 1948. Featuring Ries on soprano saxophone, it traces the tragic history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Brett Gold "I found out that you can stop playing music, but it's still there circulating in your head," Gold says of the years when he was not involved in music full-time. After finishing high school a year early, he attended the University of Rochester as a double major in history and film studies (Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa) and continued his music studies at the Eastman School of Music where he played with one of its nationally recognized jazz ensembles. But he soon placed his jazz activities on the back burner, earning a J.D. from Columbia University Law School (1980) and an LL.M in tax law from New York University Law School (1983).
When Gold returned to jazz, he had no problem coming up with ideas for compositions -- his brain was full of them -- but his sabbatical from music left him unprepared to execute those ideas both on paper and on his horn, which he hadn't touched in 10 years. He first sketched his pieces out and hired professional musicians to record demo-like CDs of them. Then, studying privately with distinguished teachers like Pete McGuinness, Neal Kirkwood, and David Berger, he learned how to write complex compositions for big band.
Eventually, in 2007, Gold was accepted into the esteemed BMI Jazz Composers Workshop, under the direction of Mike Abene, Jim McNeely, and Mike Holober. During his tenure there, he developed a book of more than two dozen arrangements, of which 11 of the best appear on Dreaming Big.
Over the years, Gold has absorbed and strongly personalized any number of influences, some more than just musical. A study in diminished chords featuring clarinets and flutes, "Theme from an Unfinished Film" reveals his debt to what he calls the "internalized lyricism" of movie composers such as Bernard Herrmann, David Raksin, and Ennio Morricone. The genesis of "Exit, Pursued by a Bear (Slow Drag Blues)" was Shakespeare's most famous stage direction. And "Al-Andalus" was originally inspired by the hopes raised by the Arab Spring.
Gold does not play in the trombone section on Dreaming Big. "I actually function a lot better in a dark room writing music," he says. The roles he plays on the new album are those of composer, arranger, producer -- and big dreamer.
Web Site: www.brettgoldnyjo.com
Bob Merrill: "Tell Me Your Troubles - Songs by Joe Bushkin" (Accurate)
CD Release Date: May 19, 2017
Rating: **** (musical performance & sonic quality)
Produced by Bob Merrill
Engineers: Chris Sulit, Adam Keil, John Arbuckle, Wes Hovanec
Mixed by Jay Newland
Cover Photo: Alec Harrison
Liner Photos: Pam Setchell
Graphic Design: Ian Carey
Arranged by Bob Merrill, Laurence Hobgood and Eric Comstock
Featuring: Bob Merrill (vocals, trumpet, cornet & flugelhorn), Howard Alden (guitar), Nicki Parrott (bass, vocal), Steve Johns (drums), Harry Allen (tenor sax), Laurence Hobgood, John Colianni and Rossano Sportello (piano), Adrian Cunningham (alto sax, clarinet).
Special Guests: John Bushkin (piano), Kathryn Crosby (vocal), Bucky Pizzarelli (guitar), Eric Comstock (vocal, piano), Wycliffe Gordon (trombone, vocal), Duffy Jackson (drums)
Coinciding with the centennial of pianist/composer Joe Bushkin's birth, the new album by trumpeter and singer Bob Merrill, "Tell Me Your Troubles: Songs by Joe Bushkin, Vol. 1," celebrates the musical legacy of a man who was revered by many of America's foremost entertainers for his wizardry at the keyboard and skills as a tunesmith. He also happened to be Merrill's father-in-law.
Bushkin penned songs with his longtime lyricist John DeVries or the great Johnny Burke in the repertoires of the likes of Sinatra (Joe's "Oh! Look at Me Now" was Frank's first hit), Bing Crosby, Nat "King" Cole, Benny Goodman, Louis Jordan, and countless others.
This first volume of a planned two-album commemorative project pays reverential tribute to Bushkin's oeuvre and its special blend of mood and merriment on contemporary interpretations of 10 songs ranging from the popular to the obscure. The album opens and closes with archival spoken word salutes to Bushkin by Sinatra and comedian Red Buttons.
Cut from the same engaging entertainer's cloth as Bushkin -- not to mention trumpeter-singers like Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Prima, and Chet Baker -- Merrill was already performing crowd-pleasers like "Oh! Look at Me Now" and "Boogie Woogie Blue Plate" (a 1947 hit for Louis Jordan and his Tympani Five) before he met his future wife Christina and bonded with her gregarious father. "These songs have such a timeless, universal appeal," says Merrill. "I really hope the album exposes them to a new generation. Maybe Harry Connick, Diana Krall, Michael Bublé, or even Lady Gaga will give them new life."
"Tell Me Your Troubles" is full of classic tunes and rediscoveries, charismatic vocals, swinging solos, and sparkling arrangements and presents Merrill at his elegant best, whether showcasing his brass palette of trumpet, cornet, and flugelhorn or his smooth Tormé-like vocals, easy articulation, and natural enthusiasm. In addition to the A-List rhythm section of guitarist Howard Alden, bassist Nicki Parrott, and drummer Steve Johns, the album features an illustrious list of guest artists including saxophonist Harry Allen, trombonist/singer Wycliffe Gordon, cabaret star Eric Comstock, guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, and pianist Laurence Hobgood.
A previously unreleased performance of "Oh! Look at Me Now!," from Bushkin's final recording session in 2003 with Merrill, Howard Alden, and drummer Duffy Jackson, is one of the album's standouts. "Joe's tempo for the song had increased over the years," says Merrill, "but I suggested we slow it down to the tempo of Sinatra's later version, from the 1957 album 'Swingin' Affair' on Capitol." (Pictured at left: Bushkin and Merrill, 2003.)
"I got to spend a lot of time with Joe, always looking over his shoulder, absorbing stuff by osmosis," recalls Merrill, who coaxed Bushkin out of retirement in the early 1990s and performed with him at festivals and clubs such as New York's Tavern on the Green and L.A.'s Jazz Bakery until his passing in 2004 at age 87. He also produced and wrote liner notes for CD reissues of four Bushkin albums, including last fall's release of "Live at the Embers" (Dot Time Legends) from 1952.
He studied with William Vacchiano, first trumpet of the New York Philharmonic, and received improv tips as a teen from Red Rodney. Merrill attended both the New England Conservatory of Music (studying with Jaki Byard, in whose Apollo Stompers he played) and Harvard, where he co-founded a jazz concert series at the Hasty Pudding Club and led a house band for such visiting artists as Illinois Jacquet, George Coleman, Lee Konitz, and Warne Marsh.
Merrill released his first album as a leader, "Catch as Catch Can," in 1997, the same year he was featured on American Movie Classics leading the AMC Orchestra on the series Gotta Dance! His second album, "Got a Bran' New Suit," featured pianist Bill Charlap among others. It was followed by "Christmastime at the Adirondack Grill," and then the wildly eclectic "Cheerin' Up the Universe" (2015), which featured pianist John Medeski and trombonist Roswell Rudd.
On Thursday May 4, Merrill will preside over a Joe Bushkin Centennial concert at the BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center (199 Chambers Street, Manhattan), part of Jack Kleinsinger's Highlights in Jazz series. Featured performers include several from the new CD's cast (Wycliffe Gordon, Eric Comstock, Nicki Parrott, John Colianni, Harry Allen) as well as pianists Ted Rosenthal and Spike Wilner.
Photography: Pam Setchell
Web Sites: bobmerrill.net / accuraterecords.com