Saturday, April 30, 2011

Grady Tate to be honored in Pittsburgh

Jazz Series Will Honor Legend Grady Tate
by Bob Karlovits
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, April 28, 2011
When singer and Pittsburgh native Tim Strong grew aware of how some other nations treasure members of their arts community, he decided it was time for that to happen in the United States.

He also decided to honor his mentor, singer and drummer Grady Tate.

"When you look at what he has done on drums, as a singer, or working with programs like the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, you see how important he is," Strong says of Tate.

Part of that honor will come this weekend when Tate and Strong will be here for two live appearances that will be filmed as part of Strong's upcoming documentary on Tate.

Tate is thrilled at Strong's concentration on him, but says the appreciation of his work stems from a fairly simple source.

"I just keep trying to do what I do as well as I can, if not make it better," says Tate, 79, who has led a career as a drummer for acts ranging from Simon and Garfunkel to Duke Ellington. He has appeared on more than 5,000 recordings, include a famous vocal effort, "Windmills of My Mind."

He will perform at a private event at the Hill House this evening and then Saturday at the August Wilson Center, Downtown.

The event at the Hill House will be called "Live at the Hurricane," and will be a tribute to one of Tate's early professional shows, with organist Wild Bill Davis at the now-defunct Hurricane Grill. He remembers it was in the 1960s, but will go no further.

"I'm 176 years old now and things I say can turn out wrong," he says with a laugh.

The Saturday show, called "Windmills," after the album, will feature such Pittsburgh-area stars as drummer Roger Humphries and saxophonist Kenny Blake.

Tate's history here will make both of those shows potential parts of the film, Strong says.

Strong's career started here, too. After working with the Benn E. Benack Big Band and the Civic Light Opera, Strong went to New York City, where Tate became a professional and musical mentor for 15 years.

The singer then began traveling the world with his diplomat wife and saw the appreciation for artists in some lands.

That led Strong to forming the National Arts Treasure Initiative, a group he hopes will inspire cultural patriotism for jazz and other forms of American art.

He says he wants to do that by making one or two documentaries a year, which he will distribute through a variety of organizations, including jazz festivals.

It was only natural to pick his mentor as his first subject, particularly when his hometown's heritage came to light, Strong says.

"It has been a stunning career the way he has taken so many people so many places over the years," Strong says of Tate.Jazz Legend Grady Tate Plays Wilson Center
by Rick Nowlin
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 30, 2011

If you happen to make it to the August Wilson Center for African American Culture tonight, you just may end up in a film. And it won't be your run-of-the-mill jazz concert, either.

This filming will be for the documentary, "Grady Tate's Windmills," in honor of the veteran drummer and vocalist and the first installment of the nascent National Arts Treasure Initiative.

The goal of Tim Strong, a vocalist, executive director of the project and a musical disciple of Mr. Tate, is to [recognize] living legends. "I want them to be appreciated while they're still on the planet."

The concept was inspired by travels to other lands with his wife, a career diplomat, where Mr. Strong said that someone like Mr. Tate would be considered "a national treasure."

The title of the documentary refers to the 79-year-old Mr. Tate's definitive vocal rendition of "Windmills of Your Mind," which earned him a Grammy nomination in the late 1960s.

Although Mr. Tate is not from this area, "his first professional job was at the Hurricane Lounge with organist Wild Bill Davis," says Mr. Strong -- an alumnus of Braddock High School.

Mr. Strong, who has spent much of his career overseas, met Mr. Tate in the mid-1980s in New York. After Mr. Tate heard Mr. Strong sing on a demo, Mr. Tate told him, "Don't you ever stop doing what you're doing." Mr. Tate even produced Mr. Strong's first acoustic jazz album, which was eponymous, in 1993, and they two have kept in touch since.

Tonight's show also will feature, among others, New York-based pianist Sumi Tonooka; and local musicians saxophonist Kenny Blake and drummer Roger Humphries.

No timetable has been set for the documentary's release. The initiative's goal is to release two such biographies per year.

"My gift is to bring this home as well as treat him like the royalty that he is," Mr. Strong says.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Obama: "Big Things"

"Dear Arnaldo:

According to our files, you are currently registered and living in California's 30th Congressional District.

If it were easy to do the big, meaningful things we believe will make our country better -- if it were quick -- someone would have done those things long before any of us showed up.

We've chosen to do something hard.

You know that our victories so far have been hard won: taking the difficult steps necessary to put our economy back on track, reforming Wall Street excess despite an army of lobbyists against us, and making health care more affordable and accessible despite well-organized opposition by those who profit from the status quo.

You also know we have not yet done everything we set out to do -- not nearly.

But that's a reason to work harder, not to let up. That's why we're building this campaign now. And you have to take ownership of it.

So I will be direct: Can you step up and make a donation of $5 to get us started?

We've had the chance to make historic changes that touch every American: from passing a law that says women should get an equal day's pay for an equal day's work to removing 100,000 troops from Iraq.

Those things and every other important change we've made happened because people like you built an organization to win an election in 2008.

The stakes are even higher this time.

As I've spoken with supporters who are helping get this campaign started, I've met folks who are frustrated by the pace of change.

I understand that. But we knew this wouldn't be easy. The kind of change we're working for never comes easily.

Now is the time to begin again, and build the campaign that will shape our country's future.

Thank you,

Barack Obama"

Contributions or gifts to "Obama for America" are not tax deductible

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Denise Donatelli @ LACMA, April 29

This Friday, April 29, from 6 to 9pm, Grammy-nominee jazz songstress will be performing @ the Los Angeles County Museum Of Art (LACMA), located at 5905 Wilshire Blvd (Los Angeles, CA 90036).

Donatelli will be backed by Otmaro Ruiz (piano), Hamilton Price (bass) & Kevin Kanner (drums). She was voted #3 best female singer -- and her latest album, "When Lights Are Low" placed among the Top 5 Vocal Jazz CDs of 2010 -- in the 32nd Jazz Station Annual Poll. Don't miss this concert!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Phil Upchurch @ Vibrato, tomorrow nite!

Phil Upchurch, one of my guitar heroes since I heard him performing on George Benson's "Bad Benson" album, will be appearing this Wednesday, April 27, @ Herb Alpert's Vibrato (2930 Beverly Glen Circle, Bel Air, CA 90077 - Ph: 310.474.9400).
I had the honor to supervise CD reissues of the "Upchurch/Tennyson" album, and can't wait to see him with his new band, featuring Todd Hunter (piano), Ernest Tibbs (bass) & Land Richards (drums).


A prolific guitarist whose distinctively funky, blues-steeped jazz style has graced over a thousand recordings across the popular music spectrum, Phil Upchurch has recorded 27 albums of his own leadership, as well as countless movie soundtracks.

Upchurch has been a prominent figure in the blues, soul, R&B and jazz circles for more than 50 years. In addition to his work with the legendary Jimmy Smith, Upchurch's talents have teamed him with musical legends such as: Quincy Jones, Bob Dylan, Julio Iglesias, Ray Charles, Ramsey Lewis, Carmen McRae, George Benson, Donny Hathaway, Chaka Khan, Michael Jackson, Carmen McRae, Marlena Shaw, Eddie Harris, Brother Jack McDuff, Joe Williams, Stan Getz, Cannonball Adderley, Herbie Hancock, Grover Washington, Jr. and Wynton Kelly, among many others.

Antoinette live in Pennsylvania, April 28 & 29

The brilliant singer Antoinette Manganas, who has worked with Norman Connors and Roger Hatfield, will be performing @ AL N RUBENS on Jefferson Avenue in Washington, PA on Thursday, April 28, from 6-9 p.m. with Mark Venneri. Then on Friday , April 29, she will appearing (with Dave Crisci) for the first time @ ECHO, located at 1740 Route 228, Cranberry Township, PA 16066, from 9pm-12am, performing songs from her albums "Verbal Crush" and "Curious Life."

For more details:
Ph: (724) 779-3246

R.I.P.: Phoebe Snow, guitarist and songwriter Phoebe Snow is seen in a July 2009 photo provided by Sue Cameron. Snow died Tuesday, April 26, 2011 in Edison, N.J., from complications of a brain hemorrhage she suffered in January 2010, said Rick Miramontez, her longtime friend and public relations representative. She was 58.
Read more:

Monday, April 25, 2011

Scot Alberton & Dr. Joe Utterback live @ Blueberry Music & Art House, April 30

Obama: First look at our campaign plan

"Dear Arnaldo --

According to our files, you are currently living and registered in California's 30th Congressional District.

I want to show you a quick presentation I've been giving to the first staff coming on board here in Chicago, outlining our strategy to win and our overall approach to this campaign.

In the weeks and months to come, we'll ask grassroots supporters like you to meet with one another and local organizers to take the first steps to victory on November 6th, 2012.

But before we begin meeting in living rooms and backyards across America, it's important that we communicate with each other about a set of principles for the organization and our overall strategic thinking about how the race will shape up.

The most important aspect is this: Our campaign will be grounded in President Obama's experience as a community organizer. This notion of ordinary people taking responsibility for the organization at the neighborhood level is not only the way to win, it's also the way politics ought to work. Our campaign will be an example of innovation and efficiency, but it will also be an example of civic engagement at its best and most rewarding.

Have a look at the briefing, then say you're in to help build this campaign:

This plan will evolve as we get feedback from grassroots supporters like you over the weeks and months ahead. That's already happening -- as you know, we've already started the process of having one-on-one conversations with people in every state to gather thoughts and ideas, and thousands more talks will take place over this spring and summer.

But this briefing should give you a sense of our current thinking about how we'll build an unprecedented grassroots campaign to win -- with you leading it.

Thank you,

Jim Messina"
Campaign Manager - Obama for America

Sunday, April 24, 2011

John Blake, Jr. on "A Note of Hope"

On Friday evening, May 20, 2011, join jazz greats John Blake, Jr., Gerald Veasley, Sumi Tonooka, Rosella Clemmons Washington, and Harry “Butch” Reed for "A Note of Hope" in Philadelphia, PA.

May 20, 2011, 7:30-10:30pm
University of the Arts
401 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA

Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door. All proceeds directly benefit Covenant Mercies, a charitable organization serving AIDS orphans in Africa.

For more info or tickets...

Russian DJs The Dolls @ Bypass, April 29

This Friday @ "Bypass", my favorite club in all over Switzerland: the Russian DJs The Dolls: Maria Erefeeva & Ekaterina Komyakova! Enjoy!!!

Carrefour de l’Etoile 1
1227 Les Acacias
Genève, Switzerland
Ph: 0022 300 6565

CD of the Week - "Bahama Soul Club: Bossa Nova Just Smells Funky"

CD of the Week
Bahama Soul Club: "Bossa Nova Just Smells Funky" (Buyú Records) 2010

**** (musical performance & sonic quality)
Lalo Schifrin meets Djalma Ferreira, Quincy Jones meets Ed Lincoln, Richard Kermode meets Ronnie Ross. Motown meets Kudu. James Brown meets Tower of Power. Intoxicating grooves in a lesson about musical collage. Makes you feel in the dancefloor of those London's clubs from the '90s, in the heyday of the acid-jazz scene.
Highlights: "Tangossa," "Bossa Bop," "Experience in Jazz," "Bossa Corcovado," "But Rich Rhythms" and "Nassau Jam." Congrats, Oliver! You did it again. Let's party!
Produced by Oliver Belz
Total Time 61:45

Liner notes:
"I first heard this outfit when they had just started posting music on their myspace page, since then I have been a massive fan!
But then again, the main man behind The Bahamas, Oliver Belz, has a very fine pedigree having been one of the prime movers behind the wonderful JuJu Orchestra. His debut album as The Bahama Soul Club, Rhythm Is What Makes Jazz Jazz was hardly ever off the show, and was one of my favourite albums of the year in 2008.
But the big question is after making such a mark on his debut, can he deliver on that diffcult second album.
All the signs are there as he has retained some of the vocalists from the previous album such as Berlin resident Pat Appleton and Bella Wagner from just over the border in Austria, and to augment that very solid base he has also drafted in the combined talents of two of the finest vocalists in the UK, Xantoné Blacq, and one of my personal favourites John Turrell who was recently voted on my show as lead male vocalist for the UK Fantasy Funk Band.
From the start, this album slips into gear with the superb jazz cut that is King's Wig to the last knockout punch of the dancefoor monster Nassau Jam I can tell that Oliver has lost none of that Midas touch. There is something quite unique and mesmerising about the sound of The Bahama Soul Club, it is a gumbo in the best sense of the word, throwing in Bossa, Soul, Afro-Latin, and Jazz all into the pot and coming up with a sound that is both
immediate, timeless, and above all has the sun shining through every single tune.
The question I asked earlier was, does he deliver on the difficult second album and the answer has to be a resounding YES!
Make a friend of this album as, believe me, it will be friend for life, it is that good and probably one of the best Jazz albums in 2010."

- Craig Charles, June 2010,
The Craig Charles Funk And Soul Show, BBC 6Music.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

"Models & Mojitos" this Sunday

Mojito Bar @ Bayside
This Sunday join us for another round of "Models and Mojitos"

Last week was a blast! What a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon then with "Models and Mojitos" (great combo by the way...)

This week Havana Nines will be showcasing their latest summer line with some of South Florida most beautiful models!

Fun starts at 5pm! See you there! (Rain or Shine, we proved this theory true last week)

401 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, FL 33132
Mojito Bar @Havana Nines Flagship store is a sexy new bar opening in early 2011 located at the entrance courtyard of Bayside Marketplace. Complementing the core values of the Havana Nines Brand, they feature live music, dancing, and freshly hand-rolled cigars while bringing you the romance, feel, adventure and rhythm of Old Havana, served with a Mojito of course!

Ph: (305) 555-1212

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A concert series @ Jazz Standard, in NYC, celebrates the Impulse! legacy

(John Coltrane)2011 marks the 50th anniversary of Impulse! Records. The label, now controlled by the Universal Music Group under the Verve jazz division, is kicking off its year-long commemoration of this auspicious occasion with the release of "First Impulse: The Creed Taylor Collection," which includes the first six albums Creed Taylor produced for the label as well as a disc of rarities.(Ravi Coltrane)

A series of concerts @ the Jazz Standard (located at 116 East 27th Street in New York City) will celebrate the Impulse legacy with some of the greatest names in the contemporary jazz scene revisting those legendary albums. There will be two sets per night, at 7:30 and 9:30, with an 11:30 set on Friday and Saturday. Tickets for all performances are $35.00. For more information, or to make a reservation, go to or call 212-576-2232.

April 20, 2011 - Ravi Coltrane and Dave Liebman
Performance of John Coltrane's Africa/Brass

April 21, 2011 - Roy Hargrove
Performance of Oliver Nelson's The Blues and the Abstract Truth

April 22, 2011 - Ryan Truesdell
Performance of Gil Evans' Out of the Cool

April 23, 2011 - Robin Eubanks
Performance of The Great Kai and JJ and The Incredible Kai Winding Trombones

April 24, 2011 - Henry Butler
Performance of Genius + Soul = Jazz

The label’s search for rarities yielded a truly remarkable discovery: unheard and never before available performances by John Coltrane, the leading light of the Impulse Record label. The three tracks were originally recorded in a demo session exactly fifty years ago – sometime in early 1961 – for Africa/Brass, Coltrane’s groundbreaking debut album on Impulse Records, and present Coltrane soloing in the company an all-star ensemble heavy on reeds and brass. The session was produced and conducted by trumpeter and composer Cal Massey – a longtime friend of Coltrane’s – and had been in the possession of his son Zane Massey. The three performances include the standard “Laura” and two original compositions by Massey: “The Damned Don’t Cry” (later recorded at the Africa/Brass sessions) and “Nakatini Serenade” – a slower version than the one Coltrane recorded for Prestige in 1958.

When Creed Taylor launched Impulse Records in January 1961, the label was an immediate success, attracting the attention of Coltrane, whose contract to Atlantic Records was ending. Taylor offered ’Trane the opportunity to record in whatever band format he chose, which ultimately resulted in the album Africa/Brass – his quartet augmented by an unusual combination of horn instruments, conducted by Eric Dolphy.

Though this demo recording was long-rumored to exist, it has not seen the light of day until now. Coltrane joined with Massey to assemble and record this rehearsal session in order to try out various ideas and arrangements. The resulting tape offers a revealing look at the care and planning that went into one of the most pivotal recording projects in Coltrane’s legendary career – his first big band project and his first for Impulse. Thanks to the families of both Coltrane and Massey, these historic performances are now available to the world for the first time, exclusively on the 4-CD set "First Impulse: The Creed Taylor Collection."This is the box set complete tracklist:

Disc 1
1. This Could Be The Start Of Something
2. Georgia On My Mind
3. Blue Monk
4. Judy
5. Alone Together
6. Side By Side
7. I Concentrate On You
8. Moonglow/Theme From “Picnic”
9. Trixie
10. Going, Going, Going!
11. Just For A Thrill
12. Speak Low
13. Lil Darlin’
14. Doodlin’
15. Love Walked In
16. Mangos
17. Impulse
18. Black Coffee
19. Bye, Bye, Blackbird
20. Michie (Slow)
21. Michie (Fast)

Disc 2
1. From The Heart
2. I’ve Got News For You
3. Moanin’
4. Let’s Go
5. One Mint Julep
6. I’m Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town
7. Stompin’ Room Only
8. Mister C
9. Strike Up The Band
10. Birth Of The Blues
11. La Nevada
12. Where Flamingos Fly
13. Bilbao Song
14. Stratusphunk
15. Sunken Treasure

Disc 3
1. Stolen Moments
2. Hoe-Down
3. Cascades
4. Yearnin’
5. Butch and Butch
6. Teenie’s Blues
7. Africa
8. Greensleeves
9. Blues Minor

Disc 4
1. One Mint Julep mono single version (The Gil Evans Orchestra)
2. Sister Sadie (The John Coltrane Quartet)
3. Song Of The Underground Railroad
4. Greensleeves (alternate take)
5. The Damned Don’t Cry
6. Africa (first version)
7. Africa alternate take*Africa/Brass rehearsal band (featuring John Coltrane and Cal Massey)
8. Laura (rehearsal version)
9. Nakatine Serenade (slow version)
10. The Damned Don’t Cry rehearsal version* (Previously Unreleased)

Anna Mjöll back @ Vibrato, this Saturday!

After three completely sold-out performances in a row, LA-based Icelandic jazz princess ANNA MJOLL is once again back @ Herb Alpert's Vibrato this next Saturday, April 23, backed by the Pat Senatore Trio.

2930 Beverly Glen Circle Bel Air, CA 90077-1724
April 23rd, 2011-9PM

NO COVER but timely reservations are strongly recommended.
Call 310.474.9400 for res.

..."the sweetest voice in the current Jazz scene. Period."
-Arnaldo DeSouteiro - Jazz Journalists Association (JJA), Los Angeles Jazz Society, Jazz Station

..."lightly twisted, jazzy..."
-Los Angeles Times

"Icelandic jazz diva Anna Mjöll plays another near-guaranteed sellout at Vibrato"
-Tom Meek - LA on "Whats Hot" in Los Angeles this week.

“Do yourself a favor and catch her now, at an intimate small club, before she breaks out into larger venues."
-Charles Andrews - Music Forums Moderator,

Some pics from Anna's previous sold-out gig with Pat Senatore @ Vibrato on March 4:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Announcing the 54th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival, September 16-18, 2011

(Sonny Rollins)

The 54th Monterey Jazz Festival, three-time winner of the JazzTimes Readers poll for “World’s Best Jazz Festival” takes place September 16 – 18 at the Monterey Fairgrounds, home to the Festival for 54 consecutive years. Described as “a cultural colossus” by the San Jose Mercury News and “a mecca for true jazz fans” by the San Francisco Chronicle, the Festival features 500 artists, 90 performances, 8 stages and more than 30 hours of live music over 2 days and 3 nights, accompanied by an array of international cuisine, shopping, arts exhibits, educational events, seminars and conversations with iconic and emerging jazz artists.

2011’s GRAMMY® Award-winning line up includes headliners Sonny Rollins, Herbie Hancock, Huey Lewis & The News, Poncho Sanchez & His Latin Jazz Band featuring Terence Blanchard; James Farm featuring Joshua Redman; India.Arie & Idan Raichel; John Pizzarelli Quartet, An Afternoon in Treme with Dumpstaphunk, Soul Rebels, Kermit Ruffins & Glen David Andrews; Hiromi: The Trio Project featuring Anthony Jackson & Steve Smith; Miles Davis/Gil Evans: Still Ahead Orchestra directed by Vince Mendoza featuring Terence Blanchard, Peter Erskine & Miles Evans, celebrating music from Miles Ahead, Porgy & Bess and Sketches of Spain; and more.

Two-time GRAMMY-nominee, saxophonist Joshua Redman serves as the Festival’s Artist-In-Residence, and will be performing with his band James Farm, featuring Aaron Parks, Matt Penman & Eric Harland. Mr. Redman will also appear as a soloist with the Festival’s All-Star student band, the Next Generation Jazz OrchestraSM, of which he was a member in the 1980s. The cutting-edge pianist, Robert Glasper, serves as the 2011 Showcase Artist, and will perform all weekend on the Grounds with his trio, and twice with the Robert Glasper Experiment (with guitarist Lionel Loueke and singer/percussionist Stokley Williams). The visionary pianist, Geri Allen, acts as the 2011 Monterey Jazz Festival Commission Artist, and will perform “The Dazzler,” a Jazz Tap Tribute to Sammy Davis Jr. on the Arena Stage with her band Timeline.


Virtuoso pianist Hiromi and The Trio Project featuring Anthony Jackson & Steve Smith open the Festival on Friday with an Arena performance that promises to be a fusion extravaganza; followed by the debonair debut of the John Pizzarelli Quartet with special guests Jessica Molaskey & Bucky Pizzarelli. Closing Friday night’s Arena show is Poncho Sanchez & His Latin Jazz Band featuring Terence Blanchard, recreating the groundbreaking 1947 Latin-jazz concert by Dizzy Gillespie and Chano Pozo, entitled Cubano Be! Cubano Bop!

Saturday in the Arena marks the raucous return of the Crescent City to Monterey with An Afternoon in Treme: The Musical Majesty of New Orleans -- an all-star bill with Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk; Soul Rebels Brass Band, trumpeter Kermit Ruffins and trombonist Glen David Andrews, hosted by actor Wendell Pierce of HBO’s Treme. The 1960s Soul music of Memphis’s Stax Records will be highlighted by Huey Lewis & The News, as they make their Monterey Jazz Festival debut with Soulsville. Saturday night, Geri Allen and Timeline presents the 2011 Monterey Jazz Festival Commission, “The Dazzler,” a Jazz Tap Tribute to Sammy Davis Jr., followed by Artist-In-Residence, Joshua Redman with James Farm featuring Aaron Parks, Matt Penman & Eric Harland. Closing Saturday’s Arena performances will be NEA Jazz Master, Herbie Hancock, with his latest Imagine project.

Sunday’s Arena showcase includes the cross-genre Open Door project, featuring the GRAMMY-winning, multi-platinum singer/songwriter, India.Arie with Israeli keyboardist and composer Idan Raichel; the Festival’s own all-star student band, the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra (featuring appearances by alumni Joshua Redman, Benny Green and Donny McCaslin); and the top big band from the Next Generation Jazz FestivalSM, the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. Celebrating the timeless music of Miles Davis and Gil Evans, the Still Ahead Orchestra (directed by Vince Mendoza, featuring Terence Blanchard, Peter Erskine & Miles Evans) performs selections from the classic recordings Miles Ahead, Porgy & Bess, and Sketches of Spain. NEA Jazz Master and legendary saxophonist Sonny Rollins closes the Festival on the 18th.


Friday Grounds performers include Richard Bona & Raul Midón, a duo of bass, guitar and vocals; a set from Hiromi: The Trio Project with Anthony Jackson & Steve Smith; showcase artist Robert Glasper and his Trio; traditional Cuban sounds of Johnny’s Dream Club with Juan-Carlos Formell; straight-ahead piano of the Helen Sung Trio; the Cape Verdean jazz of singer/guitarist Carmen Souza; Latin-jazz from John Santos Sextet; contemporary trumpet from the Erik Telford Collective; and the Berklee-Monterey Quintet 2011.

Saturday on the Grounds brings James Farm with Joshua Redman, Aaron Parks, Matt Penman & Eric Harland; the Donny McCaslin Group; Pamela Rose, presenting Wild Women of Song; the Scott Colley Trio with Chris Potter & Antonio Sanchez; the Bill Carrothers Trio; the Sarah Wilson Quintet; Elio Villafranca & the Jass Syncopaters; Mitch Woods & His Rocket 88’s; the US Air Force Jazz Commanders, Chika Singer; the John Brothers Piano Company; Richard Bona & Raul Midón; Robert Glasper (appearing with his eponymously-named Experiment with special guest Lionel Loueke); the John Pizzarelli Quartet with guests Jessica Molaskey & Bucky Pizzarelli; Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk with guest Greg Errico; the Soul Rebels Brass Band and festival favorite, the DownBeat Annual Blindfold Test, featuring Donny McCaslin.(Poncho Sanchez)

Sunday’s eclectic mix of Grounds artists includes the Robert Glasper Experiment with Stokley Williams; the Benny Green Trio with guest Donald Harrison performing the music of Thelonious Monk; Steve Coleman & Five Elements; saxophonist Tia Fuller; the dynamic solo piano of Eldar; the John Donaldson Quintet playing the music of Bheki Mseleku; jazz-Americana of Cow Bop; the Hammond B3 Blowout of the Joey DeFrancesco Trio with NEA Jazz Master Bobby Hutcherson and the Wil Blades Trio. Making their traditional appearance are the Country’s best high school & college groups, selected at the Next Generation Jazz Festival -- including big bands from Marin School for the Arts and Rio Americano High School; vocal ensembles from Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, Folsom High School and California State University, Long Beach; the Hamilton Academy of Music combo and the Chase Morrin Group; and the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music Jazz Orchestra. In addition, there will be a conversation with NEA Jazz Master Orrin Keepnews and a presentation with author Ashley Kahn on The Art of Impulse!, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Impulse! Records.

Additional highlights of the 2011 Festival include special presentations of jazz films "More To Live For" featuring Michael Brecker on Saturday; and "Dave Brubeck: In His Own Sweet Way" on Sunday. Returning to the Courtyard Stage is Judy Roberts on the Yamaha AvantGrand with Greg Fishman on saxophone.

Making their first appearances at the Festival are John Pizzarelli, India.Arie and Idan Raichel; Huey Lewis & The News; Soul Rebels, Kermit Ruffins, and Glen David Andrews; Geri Allen, Tia Fuller, Wil Blades, and Steve Coleman & Five Elements.

Arena Package Tickets are on sale now at or call (925) 275-9255. Full Weekend Arena Packages are available for $225; offering a reserved seat to each of 5 concerts on the Arena/Jimmy Lyons Stage (renewable annually), access to 7 Grounds Stages and all Festival activities. Or, bring family and friends and experience the festival atmosphere with a Full Weekend Grounds Ticket starting at $125 or Daily Grounds Ticket for as low as $40; including access to 7 Grounds stages and activities, plus simulcasts of all Arena concerts.

Returning for 2011 are Arena Single Day Tickets, the Premier Access Pass, the Festival’s 6th Annual Family Day, MJF’s Front Box Auction, the Family Discount Package, Youth Tickets and the Local’s Package for Monterey County residents.

New for 2011: Stay on the Fairgrounds in a RV for the weekend! Contact the Ticket Office at (925) 275-9255 or to request additional information.

The 2011 Jazz Legends Gala will take place at the Hyatt Regency Monterey on Thursday, September 15. This exclusive event honors the contributions and lasting legacies of jazz pioneers. Proceeds from the Gala benefit Monterey Jazz Festival Jazz Education Programs. Contact (831) 373-3366 or for more information.

Coming soon…the iPhone and Android MJF/54 App will allow you to plan your entire Festival experience. Major advancements to this project funded by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation through the generous support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

MONTEREY JAZZ FESTIVAL’S PARTNERS IN JAZZ: Verizon, Yamaha Instruments, Remo, Gallien-Krueger, Inns of Monterey, Carmel Road Winery, North Coast Brewing Company, DownBeat Magazine, KGO Newstalk 810 AM and San Jose Mercury News play an important role in helping Monterey Jazz Festival fund the Festival and Jazz Education Programs.

Monterey Jazz Festival also receives support for the Festival and Jazz Education Programs from the Hearst Foundations, National Endowment for the Arts, Verizon, AT&T, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, David & Lucile Packard Foundation, Quest Foundation, Joseph Drown Foundation, Harden Foundation, William McCaskey Chapman & Adaline Dinsmore Chapman Foundation, Dunspaugh-Dalton Foundation, Inc., Monterey Peninsula Foundation, Pebble Beach Company Foundation, Rotary International, Nancy Buck Ransom Foundation and generous individual contributors.(Vince Mendoza)

For a complete event details including the full list of performers at the 2011 Monterey Jazz Festival please visit Artists subject to change.

"First Impulse: The Creed Taylor Collection" released today in the USA

Cheers! The 4-CD box set "First Impulse: The Creed Taylor Collection," celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Impulse! label founded by the legendary producer, is coming out today, April 19, in the USA.

The collection includes the complete versions of the Creed Taylor-produced albums for Impulse: John Coltrane's monumental “Africa/Brass,” Gil Evans’ “Out Of The Cool” (with Ron Carter and Elvin Jones in the rhythm section), Oliver Nelson's masterpiece “Blues And The Abstract Truth” (including "Stolen Moments" and featuring Bill Evans, Freddie Hubbard, Paul Chambers, Roy Haynes, George Barrow & Eric Dolphy, not to mention engineer Rudy Van Gelder), Kai Winding & J.J. Johnson's “The Great Kai & J.J.” (the first album ever issued by Impulse! using the original catalog number AS-1 and launching the slogan "The New Wave of Jazz Is On Impulse!"), Ray Charles’ classic “Genius + Soul = Jazz” and Kai Winding's “The Incredible Kai Winding Trombones”.

Both "The Great Kai & J.J." (which features Bill Evans, Paul Chambers, Paul Williams, Roy Haynes and Art Taylor) and "The Incredible Kai Winding Trombones" (with Bill Evans & Ron Carter playing together in three songs, plus the contributions of Jimmy Knepper, Tony Studd, Al Beldini, Paul Faulise, Johnny Messner, Bob Cranshaw and Olatunji, among others) had been previously released on CD format only in Japan.

"Africa/Brass," "Genius + Soul=Jazz" and "Blues And The Abstract Truth" had been reissued in Europe, with different cover arts using Pete Turner's shots, on Creed's own CTI label in 1993, in the now extremely hard-to-find PDCTI series.

The box includes three previously unreleased Coltrane tracks: "Laura" (the David Raksin standard), and two tunes by trumpeter Cal Massey: "The Damned Don't Cry" and "Nakatini Serenade."Legendary producer Creed Taylor launched the legendary Impulse label 50 years ago, wrapping his roster in a definitive look and an instantly iconic logo. "First Impulse: The Creed Taylor Collection," an exciting 4-disc collection from Verve Select, includes all six albums produced by Taylor for the label that proudly wore its signature colors of orange and black on its spines - plus rare tracks including unreleased John Coltrane rehearsals. The included 84-page hardbound book features essays by Mr. CTI and associate producer Ashley Kahn, author of the best-selling book on Impulse, "The House That Trane Built," as well as session photos and reproductions of the original LP artwork.

The six Taylor-produced albums in the set: Ray Charles's "Genius + Soul = Jazz," inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2011; John Coltrane's "Africa/Brass," the label debut of the great artist, who would have been 85 in September this year; Gil Evans' innovative arrangement lessons on "Out Of The Cool"; Oliver Nelson's masterpiece "Blues and The Abstract Truth"; along with two albums by trombonist Kai Winding, "The Great Kai & J.J." (with J.J. Johnson) and "The Incredible Kai Winding Trombones," both on U.S. CD for the first time. The set includes such radio hits and jazz anthems as Charles' "One Mint Julep" - the rare mono single version is also included at Creed's request - Coltrane's "Africa," Evans' "La Nevada" and Nelson's "Stolen Moments," plus rare alternate takes and unused performances, that offer a comprehensive look at the diverse range of music recorded during the label's first six months.

"First Impulse" also features a remarkable discovery: never before available performances by John Coltrane, originally recorded in a demo session 50 years ago for Africa/Brass. The three performances include the standard "Laura" and two original compositions by Cal Massey, who arranged the session: "The Damned Don't Cry" (later recorded at the "Africa/Brass" sessions) and "Nakatini Serenade" - a slower version than the one Coltrane recorded for Prestige in 1958. From 1961 through '76, Impulse was an important part of a pivotal, fertile period in jazz history. Through the exciting and rapid changes of the '60s and '70s, Impulse Records was, along with Verve (headed by Creed Taylor after MGM purchased it from Norman Granz), one of the most effective label bringing the exciting world of jazz to a new generation of listeners. In 2011, Impulse Records will mark two major milestones: the label’s 50th anniversary, and the 85th anniversary of John Coltrane’s birth. Coltrane, who inspired Impulse’s nickname “The House That Trane Built,” is arguably the greatest artist in the label’s storied history.

Impulse Records was the brainchild of legendary producer Creed Taylor. Fifty years after its birth, Impulse Records is being celebrated with the release of "First Impulse: The Creed Taylor Collection," an exciting 4-disc collection that includes all of the timeless music produced by Taylor for the label that proudly wore its signature colors of orange and black on its spines.

The set includes such radio hits and jazz anthems as Charles’ “One Mint Julep,” Coltrane’s “Africa,” Evans’ “La Nevada” and Nelson’s “Stolen Moments,” along with two albums by trombonist Kai Winding (available on CD for the first time in the U.S.) – plus rare alternate takes and unused performances – that offer a comprehensive look at the diverse range of music recorded during the label’s first six months. With a vibrant design appropriate to an Impulse collection and extensive liner notes that include Creed’s own recollections, "The Creed Taylor Collection" serves as the opening chapter of the label’s rich and lengthy story.A series of live events and releases of rare and previously unreleased material are being planned to commemorate the label’s anniversary and Coltrane’s 85th birthday.

From 1961 through ’76, Impulse was an important part of a pivotal, fertile period in jazz history. Through the exciting and rapid changes of the ’60s and ’70s, Impulse Records was arguably the most effective label bringing the exciting world of jazz to a new generation of rock listeners. It boasted a roster filled with the sound of jazz tradition and the shape of jazz to come, releasing timeless recordings by John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Charles Mingus, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, Quincy Jones, Gato Barbieri, Pharoah Sanders, McCoy Tyner, and Keith Jarrett among many others. From the most challenging innovators to the most established traditionalists, Impulse made them all sound equally and eternally modern.

It’s no small matter that the age of Impulse overlapped an age of rapid social and political changes, of searching and experimentation. To many who made it through, Impulse was an inherent part of that velocity, keeping pace with – at times predicting – the sound and politics that lay ahead. “That’s where it’s at right now,” explained Impulse chief Bob Thiele in 1966. “Jazz music has always reflected the times. Today, there are violent, social transitions taking place, and these changes that are sometimes confusing, come out in musical expression.”

Impulse initially stood out from other labels of the day by covering a vast and variegated overview of the music – from swing to the extreme experimental edge of sixties jazz. Eventually, the mainstream label fine-tuned its focus almost exclusively on the avant-garde, and distinguished itself further by successfully marketing that style.

How Impulse was first perceived – and how that perception evolved – is one of the threads binding the story of the label. At the outset, in 1961, it was a success on radio and at the retail level. By the mid-‘60s, critics praised its catholic taste and commercial triumphs, its ability to profitably encompass the range of jazz talent. By the ‘70s, “it seemed as though Impulse became the label characterized by the angry black tenor man,” says producer Ed Michel, who led the label into the ’70s, and the rock era. “They weren’t angry, they weren’t all black and they weren’t all tenor men but that was kind of what it appeared to be.”

Impulse’s devotion to the mostly avant-garde, mostly African-American players collectively responsible for the last significant leap forward in modern jazz – the point where most jazz histories and timelines tend to end – stands today as one of the label’s most important accomplishments. The label’s commitment to experimentally charged music can be traced to the influence of one jazz musician who could help shape the musical identity of a major recording enterprise like Impulse Records: John Coltrane. “Coltrane was the jewel in Impulse’s small catalogue during the sixties,” says Creed Taylor.

As the man who both started Impulse and originally signed Coltrane to the label, Taylor is the focus of what will be a multi-volume approach to the deep and varied Impulse story. As The Creed Taylor Collection marks the 50th anniversary of the label’s beginning, so future releases will trace the successive stages of one of the most significant recording enterprises of the 20th Century.Disc 1:
1. This Could Be The Start Of Something J.J. Johnson 3:13
2. Georgia On My Mind J.J. Johnson 3:52
3. Blue Monk J.J. Johnson 4:32
4. Judy J.J. Johnson 4:07
5. Alone Together J.J. Johnson 3:37
6. Side By Side J.J. Johnson 3:04
7. I Concentrate On You J.J. Johnson 4:04
8. Moonglow/Theme From "Picnic" J.J. Johnson 4:05
9. Trixie J.J. Johnson 5:12
10. Going Going Gong J.J. Johnson 3:10
11. Just For A Thrill J.J. Johnson 3:20
12. Speak Low Kai Winding 4:08
13. Lil Darlin' Kai Winding 4:07
14. Doodlin' Kai Winding 3:36
15. Love Walked In Kai Winding 2:56
16. Mangos Kai Winding 3:46
17. Impulse Kai Winding 3:15
18. Black Coffee Kai Winding 4:10
19. Bye, Bye, Blackbird Kai Winding 4:02
20. Michie (Slow) Kai Winding 3:06
21. Michie (Fast) Kai Winding 3:49

Disc 2:
1. From The Heart Ray Charles 3:37
2. I've Got News For You Ray Charles 4:34
3. Moanin' Ray Charles 3:20
4. Let's Go Ray Charles 2:45
5. One Mint Julep Ray Charles 3:09
6. I'm Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town Ray Charles 3:46
7. Stompin' Room Only Ray Charles 3:49
8. Mister C. Ray Charles 4:35
9. Strike Up The Band Ray Charles 2:40
10. Birth Of The Blues Ray Charles 5:14
11. La Nevada The Gil Evans Orchestra 15:39
12. Where Flamingos Fly The Gil Evans Orchestra 5:14
13. Bilbao Song The Gil Evans Orchestra 4:13
14. Stratusphunk The Gil Evans Orchestra 8:05
15. Sunken Treasure The Gil Evans Orchestra 4:16

Disc 3:
1. Stolen Moments Oliver Nelson 8:47
2. Hoe-Down Oliver Nelson 4:44
3. Cascades Oliver Nelson 5:31
4. Yearnin' Oliver Nelson 6:25
5. Butch And Butch Oliver Nelson 4:36
6. Teenie's Blues Oliver Nelson 6:35
7. Africa John Coltrane 16:29
8. Greensleeves John Coltrane 10:01
9. Blues Minor John Coltrane 7:23

Disc 4:
1. One Mint Julep (Mono Version) Ray Charles 3:06
2. Sister Sadie The Gil Evans Orchestra 6:59
3. Song Of The Underground Railroad John Coltrane 6:44
4. Greensleeves (Alternate Take) John Coltrane 10:54
5. The Damned Don't Cry John Coltrane 7:37
6. Africa (First Version) John Coltrane 14:10
7. Africa (Alternate Take) John Coltrane 16:06
8. Laura John Coltrane 3:02
9. Nakatine Serenade John Coltrane 1:35
10. The Damned Don't Cry (Rehearsal Version) John Coltrane

For more details, please check:

New Creed Taylor compilation includes never-before-heard John Coltrane demos
January 18, 2011 5:10 pm
by Chris Barton

Like finding a few extra cookies at the bottom of the jar, Impulse Recordings has announced its upcoming four-CD set "First Impulse: The Creed Taylor Collection" will include three previously unreleased demos by John Coltrane.

Recorded in early 1961 for "Africa/Brass," the large ensemble album that would mark the saxophonist great's debut for Taylor's new label, the songs were recorded and conducted by trumpeter and Coltrane friend Cal Massey.

Including the standard "Laura" along with two Massey compositions — eventual "Africa/Brass" track "The Damned Don't Cry" along with a slower take on "Nakatini Serenade" (previously recorded by Coltrane in 1958) — the demos could offer an interesting glimpse into Coltrane's process heading into the "Africa/Brass" sessions, which featured arrangements by Eric Dolphy.

In addition to "Africa/Brass," the set will also include Ray Charles' "Genius + Soul = Jazz" and two albums by Danish trombonist Kai Winding that were never released in the U.S. Scheduled to come out in April, the set is part of a yearlong celebration of Impulse's 50th anniversary that is said to also include a series of live events and further releases in conjunction with what would have been Coltrane's 85th birthday this September.Label-Jubiläum: 50 Jahre Impulse!
Das Label, das seit 1960 im Jazz viele Trends setzte, feiert dieses Jahr ein rundes Jubiläum, u.a. mit einer neuen CD-Box und der Veröffentlichung unbekannter John-Coltrane-Aufnahmen!
Impulse! begeht dieses Jahr seinen 50. Geburtstag. Und den möchte das von der Produzentenlegende Creed Taylor aufgebaute Plattenlabel das ganze Jahr über zelebrieren. Da zudem John Coltrane, unangefochten die Galionsfigur des Impulse!-Rosters, im September 2011 seinen 85. Geburtstag hätte, liegt gleich ein doppelter Anlass zum Feiern vor. Getan wird dies in entsprechend großem Stil!

Eine Nachricht dürfte die Jazzwelt besonders elektrisieren: Bestandteil einer im April erscheinenden 4-CD-Box mit dem Titel “First Impulse: The Creed Taylor Collection” sind drei unveröffentlichte Aufnahmen, die John Coltrane gemeinsam mit dem Trompeter, Komponisten und Arrangeur Cal Massey sowie einem großen All-Star-Ensemble machte, bevor er sein erstes Impulse!-Album “Africa/Brass” einspielte. 50 Jahre lang wussten nur wenige Eingeweihte überhaupt, dass diese Aufnahmen existierten. Nun erscheinen sie in der Jubiläums-Box gemeinsam mit den ersten sechs von Creed Taylor produzierten Impulse!-Alben: Coltranes “Africa/Brass”, Gil Evans’ “Out Of The Cool”, Oliver Nelsons “Blues And The Abstract Truth”, Kai Winding & J.J. Johnsons “The Great Kai & J.J.”, Ray Charles’ “Genius + Soul = Jazz” sowie Kai Windings “The Incredible Kai Winding Trombones”.

Als zusätzliche Aktivitäten zum Impulse!-Jubiläum werden für das weitere Jahr die Erstveröffentlichungen diverser John-Coltrane-Konzerte sowie eine neue Serie mit besonders gesuchten Alben des Labels angekündigt. Jazz-Fans dürfen sich also auf ein „impulsives 2011“ freuen.

"Industry Mondays" @ Bare in Vegas

Known as "an oasis within an oasis" BARE offers an exclusive adult alternative to the typical Las Vegas pool experience. This next Monday, April 25, all ladies in attendance will receive a BARE Pool Season Pass for the entire Summer of 2011!

Celebrating its fifth season, BARE Pool Lounge @ The Mirage Hotel and Casino (3400 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89109) remains one of Las Vegas’ premiere European-style adult-only pool lounges. Bare features resident DJ’s providing poolside entertainment daily, and has been a known sunbathing oasis for Las Vegas locals and celebrity guests such as Britney Spears, Avril Lavigne, David Spade and rocker Slash among others.

BARE is an intimate 14,000 square-foot daytime haven that includes six VIP cabanas, eight daybeds and a luxury VIP infinity pool. Entertainment offerings have ranged from live performances by Fergie, Carrie Underwood, Billy Idol, Weezer and world rewound DJ’s such as Tiesto and Will.I.Am. And every Monday, locals and tourists alike can catch Bare Pool Mondays, the hottest Industry pool party on the strip, that features weekly local driven parties and events.

Bare Pool offers a light fare menu by Light Group executive chef Brian Massie with its signature Lobster Tacos, amongst menu selections, and has received national media attention for its specialty cocktails such as the Tickled Pink, Strawberry Mojito, and Lava Flow. Bare Pool is open Thursday – Monday 11am – 6pm and will be open seven days a week beginning May 1st, 11am – 7pm

The Light Group, renowned for providing unparalleled service at its sophisticated and stylish Las Vegas nightlife and restaurant properties, brings its exceptional operational prowess to Bare at The Mirage, providing an exclusive adult alternative to the typical Las Vegas pool experience.

The ultimate in poolside pampering, Bare is defined by its distinctive contemporary ambiance and ultra VIP service. The DJ-spun music mix sets a lively mood as guests enjoy European-style sun bathing secluded by towering palms.

Two luxury dipping pools create a temptingly cool respite from the hot Vegas sun. Private Daybeds and Cabanas provide a luxurious option while poolside chaise lounges put guests in the middle of the action. A menu offers sumptuous specialty food items and cocktail service is available throughout the pool area. For those choosing to rent a Daybed or Cabana, European-style bottle service is offered and some titillating twists: an exclusive pitcher service provides a unique alternative to standard bottle service with pre-mixed cocktails such as Mojitos, Bloody Marys and Sangria served in specially made pitchers guaranteed to keep your beverages ice cold.

VIP service is the standard at Bare. The attentive staff mix with the clientele and offer complimentary services to daybed and cabana guests which include: chilled cucumbers to soothe the eyes; iced towels, rolled and chilled in flavored water; exotic frozen fruit, skewered for easy snacking; icy popsicles; mini fruit smoothies, served in individual shot glasses; and Evian misting bottles, super-chilled and ready to spritz.

Additionally, Food and Beverage minimums will apply to all Daybed and Cabana reservations, please call the concierge for more information 702.791.7416.

Reserve a Cabana/Daybed
Must be 21 years of age or older with valid ID

For additional information and pricing please call:
702.588.5656 or email
Buyout and Private Event Inquiries:
Contact Rivka Noble at 702.693.8300 x 1270 or e-mail

3400 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89109 • 702.791.7111

Michael Chapman ticket give away

With Light in the Attic's recent reissue of Michael Chapman's classic "Fully Qualified Survivor" and Tompkins Square's release of new recordings, "Trainsong: Guitar Compositions 1967-2010," this influential British folk figure will be performing at Littlefield this Friday, April 22. It's a great, well-rounded bill of music-makers, with the likes of guitarist Steve Gunn, boogie-piano man Hans Chew, and Bob Bannister (Cat Power, Tower Recordings, P.G. Six) also appearing. Other Music has two pairs of tickets to give away to this special night. To enter, email and they'll notify the two winners on Friday morning.

622 Degraw Street
Brooklyn, NY

EP of the Week - "Erotica 3"

12" EP of the Week (picture disc)
"Erotica 3" (Juno)

Side A
1. "Memories" (extended New remix)
Side B
1. "Memories" (extended original mix)
2. "Sexy Bitch" (extended remix)

It can be ordered from Juno Records:

Monday, April 18, 2011

CD of the Week - "Paul Carr: Straight Ahead Soul"

CD of the Week
Paul Carr: "Straight Ahead Soul" (PCJ Music) 2010

Rating:***** (musical performance & sonic quality)

Highlights: the opener "Side Yard Tracks" (it's easy to notice the influence of tenor titans Stanley Turrentine and Eddie Harris), the lovely "Dreams of You" (delicate, but not smooth, showcasing Carr's velvety soprano tone), "Straight Ahead Soul" (nice 'n' easy guitar and piano solos with Brazilian-tinged percussion) and the hauting last track (think "Kirk Whalum meets J.S. Bach and Mary Lou Williams"), "Blessed Assurance/We've Come This Far By Faith," played only by tenor sax, piano and viola.

There's also an up-tempo blues, "Scrappy," the tender "Healing Song," which sounds reminiscent of Thiago de Mello/Dexter Payne's collaborations on "Another Feeling," and the Ivan Lins/Gilson Peranzetta ballad "Love Dance," mistitled "Love Wants to Dance" and omitting the name of co-composer Peranzzetta.

Recorded, mixed & mastered by Jeff Gruber @ Blue House Productions (Silver Spring, Maryland) following the sonic aesthetics of the legendary engineer Rudy Van Gelder and his bigger-than-life gorgeous sound quality.

Featuring: Paul Carr (tenor & soprano saxophones), Bobby Broom (electric guitar), Allyn Johnson (acoustic piano, using Fender Rhodes only on "Between Worlds"), Michael Bowie (acoustic bass), Lewis Nash (drums), Sam Turner (percussion), Chelsey Green (viola) & Lori Williams (vocals)
"Straight Ahead Soul," the new CD by Paul Carr, is the most personal musical statement to date from the tenor saxophonist and educator, who's been a mainstay of the Washington, DC jazz scene for the last 25 years. It's a meditation on Carr's Southern roots and "the influence a Southern upbringing has had on my musical foundation," he says. And it explores his journey from inner-city Houston to the suburbs of Washington, DC, as he pays homage to mentors (and legendary Texas tenor men) Arnett Cobb and Don Wilkerson.

Reprising their roles on Carr's critically acclaimed previous release, "Musically Yours: Remembering Joe Henderson," bassist Michael Bowie and drummer Lewis Nash are once again back on board for "Straight Ahead Soul." The new CD's core group is rounded out by pianist Allyn Johnson and percussionist Sam "Seguito" Turner -- both from DC -- and Chicago-based guitarist Bobby Broom.

Carr says he grew up "bathed in the blues and gospel, which is the soul of the South," surrounded by the sounds and rhythms of churches as much as juke joints and trains. Those influences are unmistakably evident in his two originals, "Side Yard Tracks" and the title selection, and on his tenor and soprano playing throughout. Johnson and Bowie likewise contributed compositions to the date, which also includes Wilkerson's hard-charging "Scrappy," and "Light and Lovely," written by Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis and recorded by Arnett Cobb on the 1959 tenor summit session "Very Saxy."

Dedicated to the memory of Carr's sister Harriet, "Straight Ahead Soul" closes with a medley of the church songs "Blessed Assurance" and "We've Come This Far by Faith," which features his niece Chelsey Green on viola. The track segues into an actual recording of Carr and Green performing at Harriet's 2008 funeral service in Houston, bringing the album to a moving conclusion.

Paul Carr (b. 1959) came to the music at a very early age, through his mother's large record collection. Eddie Harris and Stanley Turrentine were among her favorite artists, and she decided that her only son would grow up to be a saxophonist. Carr took up alto at age 11, and switched to tenor during his senior year of high school because the school's award-winning jazz band was in need of a lead tenor.

The band sometimes opened for Arnett Cobb and also featured him as a special guest. When Carr's band director formed a professional big band, the young saxophonist became a member of the orchestra, which also included Don Wilkerson. Carr was playing second alto, sitting right next to the former Ray Charles sideman.

After three years at Texas Southern University, where he played in the jazz band with future saxophone star Kirk Whalum, Carr moved to Washington, DC to attend Howard University and graduated with a bachelor's degree in music performance. Carr has been in the DC area ever since and currently resides in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Carr, who has appeared as a sideman on CDs by flutist Kent Jordan and many others, has recorded four of his own: "PC10" in 1993, "Just Noodlin'" in 2006, "Musically Yours: Remembering Joe Henderson" in 2008, and now "Straight Ahead Soul."

But he has also been active as an educator. In order to give aspiring jazz musicians better opportunities to learn and perform together, Carr launched the Jazz Academy of Music, Inc., in Silver Spring in 2002. The nonprofit school offers year-round workshops, a youth orchestra, and two summer camps where Carr and other professionals teach students between the ages of 12 and 19 the principles of improvisation and playing in small groups and big bands.

And in February 2010, the saxophonist became an event producer, reviving the indoor Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival in Rockville, Maryland, which had been dormant since the death of its founder four years earlier. The three-day festival, which included master classes and student performances, also featured Marc Cary, Bobby Watson, and Carr leading a quintet that included Terell Stafford and Mulgrew Miller.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Linda Ciofalo live in North Bellmore, NY, April 17, singing the Johnny Mercer Songbook

Sunday April 17 @2PM
Dancing With Johnny
Linda Ciofalo Trio with Tedd Firth & Marcus McLaurine
North Bellmore Library
1551 Newbridge Road
North Bellmore, NY

"Dancing with Johnny," one of the best releases of 2010 in the 32nd Annual Jazz Station Poll, is a very pleasant surprise, full of surprises thanks to the creative arrangements (by pianist John DiMartino and Linda herself) and, of course, the lovely vocal & instrumental performances.
On this self-produced release, Ciofalo is backed by Grammy winner - and a current member of the CTI All Stars Band - Brian Lynch on trumpet, John DiMartino (piano), John Benitez (bass), Ernesto Simpson (drums), Little Johnny Rivero (percussion), Paul Meyers (nylon string guitar), Chieli Minucci (electric guitar) and Joel Frahm (tenor & soprano saxophones).

A Johnny Mercer Songbook -- showcasing the lyricist's genius with such diverse partners as Victor Schertzinger, Jerome Kern, Harold Arlen, Hoagy Carmichael, Henry Mancini, Robert Emmett Dolan, Gordon Jenkins, Ralph Burns, Woody Herman & Rube Bloom -- couldn't go wrong in terms of repertoire, but what makes this CD really so special is the fresh appeal of each & every track, with Linda Ciofalo's bell-clear beautiful voice shining throughout the 52-minute program of 13 tunes, all recorded in a single session, on October 20, 2009 in NY.

My personal favorite tracks are the exciting latin-tinged scores of "Tangerine" (on which the intoxicating percussion work of Little Johnny Rivero, combining congas & timbales, sounds like a meeting of Mongo Santamaria with Tito Puente) and "That Old Black Magic," both also featuring Lynch (undoubtedly one of the Top 5 trumpeters in the contemporary jazz scene) and Frahm.

But there are many other highlights, such as the Diana Krall-like sensual approach to "Talk To Me Baby" (done as a slow bossa nova, with Paul Meyers, a veteran of Thiago de Mello's Amazon band, playing acoustic guitar a la Joao Gilberto) and the up-tempo bossa take of "Day In, Day Out," again embellished by Meyers' syncopated guitar beat.

The magnificent "Early Autumn" becomes a quasi-bolero, "Skylark" receives a bluesy feel with Minucci evoking memories of the late Eric Gale, and "P.S. I Love You" (a song that Diana Krall has been singing on her current "Quiet Nights" tour and plans to record on her next album) appears here with Rivero adding bongos to add a soft latin spice to this sumptuous Gordon Jenkins ballad. Pure delight!For additional infos and pics, please check:

R.I.P.: Marcos Szpilman

Saxophonist and band-leader, founder of the Rio Jazz Orchestra, Marcos Szpilman passed away yesterday, April 15, 2011, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at age 79, after a long fight against lung cancer. He was the son of the Polish saxophonist and band-leader Waldemar Szpilman, who moved to Brazil in 1925. He is survived by his daughter, the talented jazz & blues songstress Taryn Szpilman.

Marcos recorded six CDs ("Brasil Instrumental," with arrangements by the late Alberto Arantes, is my personal favorite) and one DVD with the Rio Jazz Orchestra, plus one CD leading the Marcos Szpilman Quartet. He played extensively with the RJO for over 30 years, including a memorable performance at the First São Paulo/Montreux Jazz Festival in 1978, with guest stars Paulo Moura, Mauricio Einhorn and Marcelo Salazar. His last gig conducting the RJO was on March 16, 2011, and he had another concert booked for April 18.

Besides new arrangements written specially for the RJO by Maestro Cipó, Alberto Arantes, Maestro Carioca, Guio de Moraes and Paulo Moura, Marcos Szpilman became famous for playing original scores by such masters as Thad Jones, Quincy Jones, Frank Mantooth, Rob McConnell, Sam Nestico, Neal Hefti, Frank Foster, Henry Mancini, Gil Evans, Bob Mintzer, and Francy Boland, among many others. He also had an impressive knowledge of the big-bands of the Swing era, like Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Artie Shaw and Harry James, not to mention his passion for Duke Ellington and Count Basie.

For more details, please visit:

Marc Myers interviews Creed Taylor about "Impulse!" for the Wall Street Journal

Creed Taylor: The Man Behind All That Jazz!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Donna Deussen live in Glendale, this Saturday

LA-based jazz vocalist Donna Deussen will be singing this next Saturday night, April 16, at 8:30pm, @ the Left Coast Wine Bar in Glendale, CA - with the great bebop player Jon Mayer - no cover charge!

Left Coast Wine Bar
117 E. Harvard
Glendale, CA

R.I.P.: Billy Bang

(born September 20, 1947, in Mobile, Alabama, USA;
died on April 11, 2011, in Harlem, NY, USA)

For a beautiful & insightful article about Billy Bang, please visit:

R.I.P.: Randy Wood

(born Randolph Clay Wood on March 30, 1917, in Morrison, Tenn., USA;
died on April 09, 2011, in San Diego, CA, USA)

I became aware of many stories about Dot Records and its founder Randy Wood through Luiz Bonfá, who was Randy's friend for over three decades. Their story began in 1965, when Bonfá wrote and recorded the gorgeous "The Gentle Rain" soundtrack, that came out on the Mercury label. But the film had been directed by Burt Balaban, son of Paramount's chairman, Barney Balaban, the big boss of the company that had purchased Dot. The film was a complete fiasco, but the soundtrack became legendary. All that led Bonfá to sign with Dot Records in 1966. The contract allowed Bonfá to bring one arranger from Brazil to work with him on the projects, and Eumir Deodato was the lucky one.

Their pairing resulted in four easy listening-oriented albums: "Luiz Bonfá" (DLP 25804, which yielded the hit single "Summer Summer Wind," later covered by Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gormé), "Luiz Bonfá Plays Great Songs" (DLP 25825, with Nick Perito sharing the scores with Deodato), "Black Orpheus Impressions" (DLP 25848, the only one reissued on CD, with arrangements by Deodato, Arnold Goland and Bonfá himself), and "Bonfá" (DLP 25881). All these albums were reissued on vinyl many times, with different covers, and generated several compilations released in different countries.

Besides Bonfá, the only other Brazilian musician who ever recorded for Dot was organist Djalma Ferreira, whose album "Help Yourself To The Brazilliance of Djalma" (DLP 25905) became his only date for the label. Around that time, another giant on Dot's cast was the Argentinian maestro Lalo Schifrin, who cut "Music from Mission: Impossible" (DLP 25831) and the psychedelic "There's A Whole Lalo Scifrin Goin' On" (DLP 25852), both reissued on CD only in Japan.

Curiously, the obituaries reproduced below don't mention that the Dot label now belongs to the Universal Music Group (UMG).

After three great albums for RCA between 1970 and 1972, Bonfá resumed his association with Randy Wood through the Ranwood label, which released Bonfa's fusion masterpiece, "Jacarandá," produced by jazz keyboardist John Wood (Randy's son) and orchestrated by Deodato. Featuring a stellar cast which included Stanley Clarke, Idris Muhammad, Airto Moreira, John Tropea, Sonny Boyer, Phil Bodner and Maria Toledo, plus a symphony orchestra, "Jacaranda" was produced for CD reissue by Arnaldo DeSouteiro, digitally remixed from the original multi-track tapes under Bonfá's assistance.

Dot Records founder, industry pioneer
Los Angeles Times - April 14, 2011 - Valerie J. Nelson

His practice of having white singers record black artists' hits is credited by some with helping black musicians — and early rock music — break into the commercial mainstream.

Dot Records founder Randy Wood was looking for a song for a young Pat Boone to record in 1955 and found it in the Fats Domino hit "Ain't That a Shame?" Except Boone, then an English major, wanted to sing "Isn't That a Shame?" After a few run-throughs, Wood insisted, "It's got to be 'ain't'," and Boone soon had his first No. 1single.

Wood's practice of having white singers such as Boone cover rhythm and blues hits by black artists is credited by some with helping black musicians -- and early rock music -- break into the commercial mainstream. Pop stations that had limited airplay mainly to white artists found room for the remakes, which helped introduce the black R&B sound to a white audience.

Wood died Saturday at his La Jolla home of complications from injuries suffered in a fall down stairs in his house, said his son John Wood. He was 94.

Calling him "one of the people I owe my career to," singer Pat Boone said Wood "picked out all my early hits."

"He was just my mentor, my angel," Boone, who stayed with Dot Records for 13 years, told The Times in 2005.

The R&B remakes were not without controversy. Dot Records, Boone and other singers were accused of stealing music and success from the black artists.

"That's a perversion of history," Boone said. "The recording directors at the small R&B labels wanted to attract attention to their artists, and the covers expanded the impact of the song. Little Richard, Fats Domino and Chuck Berry were all thrilled because it made it possible for their songs to finally get heard, and Randy knew that."

At one point in the mid-1950s, Dot had five of the top 10 hits on the Billboard charts, said Larry Welk, who is the son of the late band leader Lawrence Welk and first worked with Wood in 1960.

"He was a true pioneer in the music business," Welk said in a 2005 Times interview. "He put in effect a lot of policies in the music business that will outlive him."

One innovation included automatically shipping large numbers of a record to distributors if Wood thought the song was a hit and guaranteeing that the unsold ones could be returned, Welk said.

When Wood opened a small appliance store in 1945 in Gallatin, Tenn., he stocked pop records, but customers kept asking for R&B. So Wood started a mail-order business for the hard-to-find records and advertised it on a late-night R&B show he put together for WLAC, a Nashville radio station with a national presence.

"Randy's radio show played what were called 'race records' in those days, and he knew what the huge black hits were," Welk said. "Since whites weren't buying black hits, he'd be selling stuff through his record shop and then he'd cover the same song with a white artist."

By 1950, the store had become Randy's Record Shop and soon was selling almost 500,000 records a month. Wood also launched an independent record label and named it Dot because it was "simple and easy to remember," his son said.

The first group to put Dot on the pop charts, in 1952, was a group made up of mostly Western Kentucky College students who went by the school's nickname, the Hilltoppers. Their first Dot record, " 'Tryin'," made it to No. 7.

Boone moved beyond recording covers and became Dot's most successful artist, rivaling Elvis Presley's chart dominance.

The company also had other hits in the 1950s and '60s, including "Pipeline" by the Surfaris, "Calcutta" by Lawrence Welk and "Melody of Love" by Billy Vaughn, a Hilltopper who became Dot's musical director.

Dot's catalog was "totally eclectic," Wood's son said, and included a "tremendous" number of black artists. "It went from Liberace to Louis Armstrong, T-Bone Walker to Lawrence Welk."

Lawrence Welk told The Times in 1961 that his success as a recording artist came only after Wood advised him "to record music that is more for listening than dancing."

Wood's "radar" for hits was ever-present, Boone said. At recording sessions, Wood would show up with three or four songs for Boone to record. "Most of them were pretty simple," Boone said. "Three hours later, we were through and at least one of the records would be a million-seller."

From 1954 to 1956, Dot specialized in R&B cover records. The Fontane Sisters, who had sung backup for Perry Como, had a gold record with "Hearts of Stone," which had been recorded by several black artists. Among Boone's hits were remakes of Little Richard's "Tutti Frutti" and the Charms' "Two Hearts."

After Wood saw actress Gale Storm sing on television, he had her record R&B covers, including Smiley Lewis' "I Hear You Knocking," which reached No. 2 in 1955.

Wood walked out of a Tab Hunter movie convinced that the actor's looks and teen idol status would sell records. He had Hunter record "Young Love," which was soon a No. 1 single in 1957. (Warner Bros. refused to let Hunter make any more records for Dot because the studio said the actor, and his voice, were under contract.)

Artists were loyal to Wood, who was known for being fair-minded. "He certainly was one of the most ethical people I've ever met," Larry Welk said. "He really cared about people and seeing them succeed."

Randolph Clay Wood was born March 30, 1917, in Morrison, Tenn. The only child of two teachers, he built a crystal radio set when he was about 15 and radio became "the love of his life," his son said.

He earned a bachelor's degree at Middle Tennessee State University in 1937 and served as a radio communications officer in the Army Air Forces during World War II.

Dot Records and the Wood family moved to Hollywood in 1956, and the company became known for reissuing recordings by small independent labels, including "Come Go With Me" by the Del Vikings and "From a Jack to a King" by Ned Miller.

In 1957, Paramount Pictures bought Dot, and Wood stayed on as president for a decade. ABC bought Dot in 1974 and discontinued the label three years later.

Wood started another label, Ranwood Records, with Larry Welk in 1968. It became the outlet for many artists associated with Lawrence Welk and remains in business in Santa Monica.

Randy's Record Shop, which closed in 1991, has been designated a historical site in Tennessee.

In addition to his son John, a jazz pianist in Los Angeles, Wood is survived by his wife of 69 years, Lois; another son, Larry, a teacher in Los Angeles; a daughter, Linda, a book publisher in La Jolla; three grandchildren; and a great-grandchild.

Services will be private.

Randy Wood, Founder of Dot Records, Dies at 94
New York Times - Douglas Martin - April 14, 2011

Randy Wood, who started out stocking records in a nook of his electrical appliance store before going on to found Dot Records, a label that found success in the 1950s recording white artists like Pat Boone singing black artists’ rhythm-and-blues songs, died on Saturday at his home in the La Jolla section of San Diego. He was 94.

The cause was complications of a fall, his wife, Lois, said.

The store Mr. Wood opened in 1944, in Gallatin, Tenn., spawned a mail-order record business that by 1950 was selling 500,000 records a year and claiming, without much apparent question, to be the world’s largest. By the time the label disappeared in 1978, it had produced more than 1,000 albums.

In addition to Mr. Boone, Dot — with its distinctive label featuring a yellow “D”, red “O” and blue “T” — recorded artists like Gale Storm, the Fontane Sisters and Billy Vaughn performing compositions originated by black artists. Some condemned the practice as white colonialism, while others contended that the renditions — called covers in the music business — brought many new listeners to the form.

In a 2005 interview with The Los Angeles Times, Mr. Boone called it a “perversion of history” to say Dot stole music and success.

“The recording directors at the small R&B labels wanted to attract attention to their artists, and the covers expanded the impact of a song,” he said. “Little Richard, Fats Domino and Chuck Berry were all thrilled because it made it possible for their songs to finally get heard.”

Mr. Boone’s take on Fat’s Domino’s “Ain’t That a Shame” is often credited with propelling both singers. Both versions entered the charts in July 1955, with Mr. Domino’s reaching No. 10 and Mr. Boone’s No. 1. (The order might easily have been reversed had Mr. Wood accepted Mr. Boone’s suggestion that the lyric be changed to “Isn’t That a Shame.”)

For Dot, Mr. Boone also recorded Little Richard’s “Tutti Frutti” and “Long Tall Sally,” the Five Keys’ “Gee Whittakers!” and Ivory Joe Hunter’s “I Almost Lost My Mind,” making the charts with these and other covers.

Mr. Wood recorded music from other genres as well, often encouraging a country artist to do a pop song and vice versa. His concentration on R&B covers reflected the popularity of the music. He recognized trends from personal observation: he invited teenagers to his store for parties, letting them play records and drink free sodas. And what song do you like, son?

Randolph Clay Wood, the child of two teachers, was born on March 30, 1917, in Morrison, Tenn. He graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in 1937, and served in the Army in World War II. He set up a small record section in his appliance store after noticing that customers liked to check out new releases. Soon the appliances were gone, and the place became Randy’s Record Shop.

In 1947 Mr. Wood invested in a new radio station, WHIN-AM, which broadcast only in the daytime. At night, when it was off the air, he used it for recording sessions. He also started a mail-order business to sell all manner of records, many by black R&B artists, advertising them on another radio station, WLAC-AM in Nashville, whose signal reached 20 states. Customers called in orders, and he delivered C.O.D.

Johnny Maddox, an aspiring pianist who had been a clerk in the store, cut Dot’s first single, “Crazy Bone Rag.” It sold 22,000 copies in a month, hugely surprising Mr. Wood. More records by Mr. Maddox followed. The blues pioneer W. C. Handy called Mr. Maddox “the white boy with colored fingers.”

Mr. Boone said Mr. Wood had a “radar sense” for finding talent. After hearing Gale Storm sing on a television show, he called her and nailed down a verbal agreement before she had left her dressing room. He saw another actor, Tab Hunter, in a movie and signed him, without knowing if he could sing, because he was handsome. Mr. Hunter’s rendition of “Young Love” went to No. 1 in January 1957 after weeks of practice and 20 excruciating takes in the studio.

He could also give useful advice. He told Lawrence Welk, a longtime Dot artist, that he wouldn’t make it until he learned to “record music that is more for listening than dancing,” according to The Los Angeles Times in 1961. Mr. Wood recorded artists like Louis Armstrong, Liberace and Mickey Gilley.

He sold Dot to Paramount Pictures in 1957 for $3 million, then stayed on as president for a decade. ABC Records bought Dot in 1974 and discontinued the label at the start of 1978.

Mr. Wood is survived by his wife of 69 years, the former Lois Henry; his sons, John and Larry; his daughter, Linda Wood; three grandchildren; and a great-grandson.

Among the many albums Mr. Wood recorded was Jack Kerouac’s “Poetry for the Beat Generation,” accompanied by Steve Allen at the piano. He then refused to release it — though it has been called a crowning recording achievement — because he found it in bad taste. The Hanover label later did release it.

But he did give the world the performer known as Nervous Norvus, who in 1956 recorded “Transfusion,” a creepy song about the aftermath of a car accident. Some lyrics: “Transfusion, transfusion, I’m just a solid mess of contusions.” It sold a half-million copies in two weeks.