Saturday, July 30, 2011

R.I.P.: Gene McDaniels

Sad news. Just heard about the passing of Gene McDaniels, one of my favorite "soul" composers alongside Marvin Gaye, Bill Withers and Donny Hatthaway. Born Eugene Booker McDaniels on February 12, 1935, in Kansas City, Missouri, he died yesterday, July 29, 2011 at his home in Maine.

Of course I love "Compared to What" and many other great songs he wrote, but I first became attracted to his work thanks to Roberta Flack. In her early years, Flack used to include McDaniels' songs in all her Altlantic albums. That's how I heard "Reverend Lee" (on "Chapter Two"), "Sunday and Sister Jones" (on "Quiet Fire") and my favorite of them all, the title track of "Feel Like Makin' Love," an album to which McDaniels also contributed three other tunes: "Feelin' That Glow," "Early Ev'ry Midnite" and "Old Heartbreak Top Ten."

Bob James, who had performed on "Feel Like Makin' Love," soon noticed the song potential and quickly re-recorded it in a longer instrumental arrangement featuring the same musicians who had played on Roberta's version: Gary King, Idris Muhammad, Ralph MacDonald and Richie Resnicoff. The track became the radio hit of James' debut album for CTI, "One," produced by Creed Taylor.

Besides his work as a songwriter, McDaniels also cut several albums as a singer and/or producer. Recently he had completed a new project with Terry Silverlight and Ron Carter, not yet released. Rest in Peace, Gene.
Bio from

Gene McDaniels, adored father, adoring husband and incredible friend passed gently into the sweet forever on July 29, 2011 at his home on the Maine coast that he loved so much. Gene is music: lyrical, complex, joyful, perceptive, political, romantic, multifaceted, melodious and magnificent. He is a man of great passion, countless musical personalities, an activist and a spiritualist, a patriot and a rebel, the singer and the song. He loved deeply and is deeply loved. Gene’s continuing body of work and ongoing projects will be brought forth over time. Please enjoy the ever-unfolding artistry and vision of this prolific artist, unique spirit, and remarkable man. As Gene says, stop by and visit sometime.

In 1961, Gene’s first major hit as a recording artist, “A Hundred Pounds of Clay,” reached #1 and remained on the charts for months. Several other recordings followed, all reaching the ‘Top Five’, including “Tower of Strength,” “Chip Chip,” and “Point of No Return.” Building on his success as a vocalist, Gene began writing songs and eventually became a music producer. He has produced for many major labels including Ode, A&M, MGM, BMG, CBS Sony, Capitol, Motown, and many independent labels. He has had numerous top ten records in the various capacities of producer, writer and artist.

In 1986, Gene received an award at BMI’s Annual Million Airs function for the creation, production and publishing of a major work, “Feel Like Makin’ Love,” originally recorded by Roberta Flack and nominated for a Grammy, a song which has now achieved over 6,000,000 performances and been recorded on 400 albums.

Gene’s composition “Compared to What,” originally released in 1968 by Les McCann and Eddie Harris, has appeared in eight major films, including Ice Storm starring Sigourney Weaver, and Casino starring Robert De Niro, and was featured in an international Coca-Cola campaign. This timeless song of up tempo social commentary was recorded and released anew by John Legend and The Roots in 2010 on their album Wake Up. Gene publishes his own and special friends’ music through Skyforest Music BMI, headquartered in NYC, a company he has owned for over 40 years.

Fifteen years ago, Gene launched a new career writing and producing film and video using a body of work personally created and developed by himself and his creative partner. Gene’s acting talents have been put to good use as well, and he is a featured actor in two short films, Devils Minion and The Giver. In 2009 he produced the score for an award-winning short film by Chase Bailey titled Crooked Lane. As a voice-over talent, Gene used his considerable skills in an award-winning MMO video game, League of Legends, created as a number of dramatic and humorous characters for the audio book The Great Improbability, and performed a central narrative character for the Coruway Film Institute’s documentary Front Wards, Back Wards.

Today, Gene continues to create the music he loves. He co-wrote and produced three highly-regarded jazz vocal albums for Carri Coltrane – Flamenco Sketches, The First Time and Child Inside My Heart. New musical albums recently produced, and/or written and performed by him include: Evolution’s Child, Screams and Whispers, Humans Being, and Psychic Sects. Gene has a brand new website and a brand new YouTube channel featuring a number of his recent live and recorded music performances and short films.

Through the years, Gene has been fortunate enough to have a unique working relationship with many of his most talented peers, including Roberta Flack, Herbie Hancock, Phyllis Hyman, Miles Davis, Quincy Jones, Gladys Knight, Cannonball Adderly, Nancy Wilson, Melba Moore, Sarah Vaughn, Merry Clayton, Dizzy Gillespie, Ron Carter, Aretha Franklin, BB King, and Les McCann, to name but a few.
For additional infos, please check:

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cecilia Coleman Big Band live in NY, Aug 2

YES, IT'S TRUE !! YOU CAN GET YOUR OWN CD - FREE - OF CECILIA COLEMAN'S FANTASTIC BIG BAND AT NEXT WEEK'S SHOW when you join Cecilia and her exciting Band @ JazzTuesdays on Tuesday, August 2! There will be two shows at 8:00 and 9:30 p.m. For reservations and information call 212-222-5159.

Artistic, talented, dedicated- these are but three of the many attributes that describe pianist, composer and bandleader Cecilia Coleman. A native of Long Beach, CA and resident of New York, Coleman began to play piano at age 5 and at age 15 began to study jazz piano. She is a potent pianist capable of performances that are both exciting andmoving. She has developed into an exceptional composer whose distinctive,varied pieces reflect where jazz has been and where it is going.

Coleman has led her own groupsince 1990 when she formed a trio with bassist Eric Von Essen and drummer Kendall Kay. In 1993 her quintet was formed. In addition to numerous clubappearances such as Jax Bar & Grill (Glendale), the infamous Chadney's (Burbank) and the Jazz Bakery (Culver City), Coleman has performed at theMonterey Jazz Festival, the Telluride Jazz Festival and the New Mexico Jazz Workshop. With the Quintet, Coleman has gone on to substantial acclaim in theLos Angeles Jazz scene and beyond.

She is currently the jazz piano instructor at her Alma-mater CSU Long Beach where she teaches one week amonth during the school year. On the East Coast she is the accompanist for the Modern Dance Center of Westchester in Bronxville. She maintains her regular working quintet on the West Coast, which includes such noteworthy musicians as Steve Huffsteter, Jerry Pinter, Christoph Luty and Thomas White.

She has six CD's out as aleader: "The Impostor", "Higher Standards","Home", "Young & Foolish", "Words of Wisdom" and “Images”. She is also on three recordings of The American Jazz Institute headed by Mark Masters which feature Lee Konitz, Billy Harper, Jack Montrose, Ray Drummond, Tim Hagans and Gary Smulyan plus many more.

The Cecilia Coleman Big Band
Cecilia Coleman - Piano
Jeff Wilfore - Trumpet
Hardin Butcher-Trumpet
Kerry MacKillop- Trumpet
John Eckert-Trumpet
Bobby Porcelli-Lead Alto
Stephan Kammerer-Alto
Geoff Vidal- Tenor
Stan Killian-Tenor
Peter Brainin-Soprano
Frank Basile-Bari
Matt McDonald-Lead Trombone
Mike Fahn-Trombone
Sam Burtis-Trombone
Joe Randazzo-Bass Trombone
Tim Givens(NY)-Bass
Jeff Brillinger -Drums
David Coss-Vocals

Admission is 15.00, $10.00 for students.
Tickets will be sold at the door, or call 212-222-5159 for reservations and information.

in the John Birks Gillespie Auditorium
The New York Baha'i Center
53 East 11th Street (between University Place & Broadway)
Two shows: 8:00 and 9:30 p.m.
August 9 - Drummer Warren Smith and The Composer's Workshop Ensemble
August 16 - The Mike Longo Funk Band
August 23 - Jazz/Blues Vocalist Antoinette Montague featuring Mike Longo on piano and Jay Hoggard on vibes
August 30 - Bassist Santi Debriano's Quartet

CD of the Day - "Frank Foster: The Loud Minority"

CD of the Day
Frank Foster: "The Loud Minority" (Mainstream/P-Vine) 1971/2007

It may not be considered (by purists or jazz snobs) his "masterpiece," but this is my personal favorite Frank Foster album as a leader.
A massive & funkyfied soul-jazz session featuring Stanley Clarke, Gene Perla, Elvin Jones, Airto Moreira, Harold Mabern, Jan Hammer, Dee Dee Bridgewater and her then-husband Cecil Bridgewater, Richard Pratt (who played on Lonnie Smith's "Mama Wailer"), Omar Clay (heard on Johnny Hammond's "Wild Horses Rock Steady") et al. Serious stuff.

R.I.P.: Frank Foster

Frank Foster, Jazz Saxophonist, Composer and Arranger, Dies at 82
by Nate Chinen
New York Times, July 27, 2011

Frank Foster, a saxophonist, composer and arranger who helped shape the sound of the Count Basie Orchestra during its popular heyday in the 1950s and '60s and later led expressive large and small groups of his own, died on Tuesday at his home in Chesapeake, Va. He was 82.

The cause was complications of kidney failure, said his wife of 45 years, Cecilia. Mr. Foster had a varied and highly regarded career as a bandleader, notably with his Loud Minority Big Band, and he was sought after as an arranger for large ensembles. But it was the strength of his contribution to the so-called New Testament edition of the Basie band, from 1953 to 1964, that anchors his place in jazz history.

Mr. Foster wrote and arranged a number of songs for the band, none more celebrated than "Shiny Stockings," a puckishly genteel theme set at a cruising medium tempo with a slow but powerful crescendo. Recorded by Basie on his classic 1955 album "April in Paris," it subsequently became both a band signature and a jazz standard, often performed with lyrics (there were two sets, one by Ella Fitzgerald and one by Jon Hendricks).

Among Mr. Foster's less famous entries in the Basie canon, some, like "Blues in Hoss' Flat," have enjoyed steady circulation in the repertories of high school and college jazz bands.

He was one of two musicians named Frank in the band's saxophone section, the other being the tenor saxophonist and flutist Frank Wess. Their contrasting styles as soloists -- Mr. Foster was the more robust, with a harder husk to his tone -- became the basis of a popular set piece called "Two Franks," written for the band by Neal Hefti.

After leaving Basie, Mr. Foster worked for a while as a freelance arranger, supporting the likes of Frank Sinatra and Sarah Vaughan.

He returned to the Basie band in the mid-1980s, this time as its leader. (Count Basie died in 1984.) He held the post for nearly a decade and earned something like emeritus status: when the Count Basie Orchestra was enlisted for Tony Bennett's 2008 album "A Swingin' Christmas," Mr. Foster was the arranger.

Frank Benjamin Foster III was born on Sept. 21, 1928, into Cincinnati's African-American middle class -- his father was a postal clerk, his mother a social worker -- and began his musical studies first on piano, then clarinet. The alto saxophone came next, and within a year of picking it up he was playing in a neighborhood dance band.

Most of his early professional experience involved playing stock arrangements in big bands; during his senior year of high school he formed one himself, writing charts from scratch. He considered himself self-taught as an arranger, having studied only harmony in school.

Mr. Foster attended the historically black Wilberforce University in Ohio, after being rejected by Oberlin College and the Cincinnati Conservatory. He played in and arranged for Wilberforce's dance band, the Collegians.

As a budding tenor saxophonist he drew inspiration from Wardell Gray and Dexter Gordon, strong stylists who made the transition from swing to bebop. "I'm a hard bopper," he told an interviewer with the Smithsonian Jazz Oral History Program in 1998. "Once a hard bopper, always a hard bopper."

But Mr. Foster was hardly confined to bebop as a musical language. His tenure with the Count Basie Orchestra, which began after his tour of duty with the Army during the Korean War, proved as much.

So did his efforts after leaving Basie, when he played in smaller groups, including those led by his wife's first cousin, the drummer Elvin Jones. At the time he was drawn to the adventurous music of John Coltrane, in whose quartet Mr. Jones had created an influential polyrhythmic pulse. An album called "Well Water," recently released on the Piadrum label, captures Mr. Foster and Mr. Jones jointly leading the Loud Minority Big Band in 1977, with a determinedly modern mind-set. The album includes their take on "Simone," Mr. Foster's best-known post-Basie composition.

Even as he spent a good portion of the late 1960s and '70s exploring harmonic and rhythmic abstraction, Mr. Foster never quite surrendered to it. And he was no purist about jazz-funk -- "Manhattan Fever," one of his best albums, released in 1968 on Blue Note, has several effervescent backbeat-driven tunes.

In 2001 Mr. Foster had a stroke that hindered his ability to play the saxophone. He was named a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master the following year, and continued to write and arrange music, often as a commission for organizations like the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. He also became active in the Jazz Foundation of America, a nonprofit organization that delivers aid to musicians in need.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Foster is survived by two children from their marriage, Frank Foster IV and Andrea Jardis Innis; two sons from his first marriage, Anthony and Donald; and six grandchildren.Also recommended:

Frank Foster - R.I.P.
by Douglas Payne - Sound Insights blog

The great composer, band leader, educator, humanitarian and reed player Frank Foster, died today of complications from kidney failure at his home in Chesapeake, Virginia. He was 82. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on September 23, 1928, Frank Benjamin Foster took up the clarinet at age 11, switching to alto saxophone two years later. He became so proficient on the alto sax that he was playing professionally at age 14 and leading his own 12-piece band while still a senior in high school.

After attending Wilberforce University, Foster moved to Detroit with trumpeter Snooky Young where he joined the local scene, playing with such musicians as Wardell Gray. After being drafted and serving in Korea, Foster returned to the music scene by joining the big band of Count Basie (1904-84), where he stayed through 1964.

During this time Foster was a featured soloist in the Basie band on tenor saxophone and contributed many compositions and arrangements to the Basie book, including the now standard “Shiny Stockings” as well as “Down for the Count,” “Blues Backstage,” “Back to the Apple” (featured in the 1986 Woody Allen film Hannah and Her Sisters), “Discommotion,” and the terrific “Blues in Hoss’ Flat” (from the 1959 album Chairman of the Board and brilliantly used by Jerry Lewis in his 1961 film The Errand Boy), as well as arrangements for the entire 1961 album Easin’ It (featuring “Discommotion” and available on the now out-of-print CD box set The Complete Roulette Studio Recordings of Count Basie and his Orchestra).

While still with Count Basie, Frank Foster recorded several solo albums for the Blue Note, Savoy and Argo labels, but began his own solo career in the mid ‘60s with several albums of soul jazz on the Prestige label, including his first, Fearless Frank Foster (1966), featuring another near standard in “Raunchy Rita.” It was around this time that Foster also arranged Sarah Vaughan’s Viva Vaughan (Mercury, 1965), performed with his own 18-piece ensemble and toured and performed with Woody Herman, Lionel Hampton and Duke Pearson.

Foster recorded several albums for the Blue Note label (one of which was never released) and joined drummer Elvin Jones’s group in 1968. Foster recorded and toured with Jones through 1974, while holding several teaching positions and a featured spot in the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Big Band from 1972 to 1975.

In 1974, Foster formed his famed Loud Minority band (first heard on the 1974 Mainstream LP The Loud Minority) as well as Living Color, a quartet co-fronted with drummer Charli Persip. In 1983, Foster co-led a quintet with Frank Wess, recording Two For The Blues (Pablo, 1984) and Frankly Speaking (Concord, 1985).

In June 1986, Foster succeeded Thad Jones as leader of the Count Basie Orchestra. While leading the Basie Orchestra, Foster earned two Grammy Awards, one for his arrangement of the Diane Schuur composition "Deedles’ Blues" (1987) and the other for his arrangement of the renowned guitarist/vocalist George Benson’s composition "Basie’s Bag" (1988 – Foster had earlier played with Benson on the guitarist’s 1973 CTI album Body Talk).

Foster left the Count Basie Orchestra in 1995 to assume leadership of his own groups The Non-Electric Company (a jazz quartet/quintet), Swing Plus (a 12-piece band), and The Loud Minority Big Band (an 18-piece concert jazz orchestra).

In 2001, Frank Foster suffered a stroke that impaired his left side, preventing him from playing the saxophone. He turned the reins of his Loud Minority over to trumpeter and group member Cecil Bridgewater, and continued composing and arranging at his home in Chesapeake, Virginia. He had recently contributed to Jamie Cullum’s The Pursuit.

The zest of wondrous musicality in Frank Foster’s sax playing and the zing of spontaneous joy in his writing will be sorely missed in jazz. Very few sounds could match the utter joie de vivre of Frank Foster’s music.

Few players and even fewer composers can match or even copy the lovely examples of music Frank Foster left for us. Fortunately, there is much of Foster documented on disc and plenty of other worthy talents who appreciated what Frank Foster contributed to music in his six-decade career.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Anna Mjöll live @ Vibrato, July 29

Friday, July 29, 9pm
Anna Mjöll @ Herb Alpert's Vibrato
2930 Beverly Glen Circle
Bel Air, CA 90077-1724

The LA-based Icelandic Jazz Princess, Anna Mjoll will be bringing her sultry jazz pipes once again to Herb Alpert's Vibrato. This Summer concert will be on Friday, July 29th starting at 9pm.

Anna will be backed by the acclaimed Pat Senatore Trio featuring Pat Senatore (bass), Bob Leatherbarrow (drums) & Ed Czach (piano).

With Anna’s repertoire of great classic jazz standards and her hilarious off-beat banter, this is the best way to shake off the work week.

There is no cover for this hot night of very cool Jazz!
Reservations are a must:
Ph: (310) 474-9400

“...the sweetest voice in the current jazz scene. Period.” -Arnaldo DeSouteiro, Jazz Station
Pics (by Barbra Porter) from Anna's previous gig @ Vibrato last May 27:

Cheryl Hughey's new e-booklet: Tools for Emerging Artists

Publicist Cheryl Hughey Teaches Emerging Music Artists Tricks of the Trade in New Ebooklet

Veteran music publicist Cheryl Hughey has just released a new ebooklet, "Music Promotion for Everyone, Volume 1." Designed to fit the growing needs of music students, this short collection of essays covers the subjects of leadership, salesmanship, marketing, communication skills, roles of industry professionals, appearance bookings and social media.

"The lessons are designed to give the developing artist a solid foundation in the key business skills needed to survive in the highly competitive entertainment marketplace," said the author.

"Music Promotion for Everyone, Volume 1" can be purchased for $3.99 on various ebook reader formats via Smashwords by visiting the following link:

Fans are encouraged to visit the author's Twitter page at to check for special coupons and offers.

Please visit for more biographical information on the author.

Call Congress: Tell them to do their job

"Dear Arnaldo:

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

The President spoke Monday night about the need for Congress to come together to meet our financial obligations by raising the so-called "debt ceiling" -- that is, to make sure our country can pay the bills Congress has already racked up.

You'd think this would be fairly straightforward. For many years, regardless of party affiliation, presidents have asked Congress to do this when it's been necessary -- and every time, Congress has acted. Just as an example, Congress granted Ronald Reagan's request to raise the debt ceiling 18 different times.

Here's what's happening: President Obama proposed the balanced approach of raising the debt ceiling paired with responsible steps to reduce our country's long-term debt -- asking oil companies, corporations, and the richest Americans to do their part rather than placing the entire burden on seniors and the middle class.

A deal has been close at times, but an ideological faction of House Republicans has been effectively holding our economy hostage -- making extreme demands like ending Medicare as we know it, gutting Social Security, and rejecting any compromises that might make millionaires or big corporations pay their fair share to get our debt under control.

So when President Obama spoke to the nation the other night, he made a suggestion to everyone watching: Call Congress and ask them to do their job. Since then, there have been reports that the flood of calls and emails has been slowing down the phone systems and websites on Capitol Hill.

Our records show you have only Democratic representatives in Congress. But House Speaker John Boehner -- who is leading the Republicans in negotiations -- needs to hear what Americans like you think.

Call Speaker Boehner's office now at (202) 225-0600 -- and tell him we can't afford to let politics hold our economy hostage. It's time to put ideological demands aside and agree to a balanced approach.

Then click here to let us know how it went.

Here's what the President said on Monday:
"The American people may have voted for divided government, but they didn't vote for a dysfunctional government. So I'm asking you all to make your voice heard. If you want a balanced approach to reducing the deficit, let your member of Congress know. If you believe we can solve this problem through compromise, send that message."

The President doesn't make a direct request of all of us like this very often. Take a minute right now to call Speaker Boehner -- then let us know how it went:

Jim Messina - "Obama for America"

P.S. -- If you missed it, here's the full video of the President's speech. Watch it and spread the word:

EP of the Week - "David Guetta feat. Taio Cruz & Snoop Dogg: Erotica 14"

12" EP of the Day
David Guetta featuring Taio Cruz & Snoop Dogg: "Erotica 14" (Juno) 2011

Release Date: July 4, 2011

Side A
1. "Little Bad Girl" (Martin & Souza club mix)
2. "Little Bad Girl" (Grooveshaker Z & Whilliam Rise remix)
Side B
1. "Wet/Sweat" (Mixshow edit)
2. "Wet/Sweat" (extended remix explicit)
3. "Wet/Sweat" (main a cappella)

To listen to audio samples and order this EP, please check:

Monday, July 25, 2011

MODA Fashion Magazine - Summer Edition Release Party @ Kitchen 305, July 27

"MODA Fashion Magazine Summer Edition"

MODA Fashion & LifeStyle Magazine is releasing its First Summer Edition featuring 10 of the best bathing suit designers in Florida & Latin America on a Fashion Show. Come and join us for a spectacular celebration full of Summer Fashion-
Sounds by my dear friend, the incredible DJ HanaKITCHEN 305 AND MODA FASHION MAGAZINE PRESENTS:
MODA Fashion Magazine Summer Edition
Kitchen 305
16701 Collins Ave.
Sunny Isles, Florida

MODA Fashion & LifeStyle Magazine, published BI-monthly – 6 issues a year, is a truly international Fashion & LifeStyle magazine with news from acclaimed correspondents in more than 5 key cities worldwide. Providing comprehensive, informed international coverage of the cutting edge of contemporary fashion and its inculcation into the broadest cultural spectrum, contemporary is a must for those who need to be informed on what is trendy.

AUGUST Summer Fashion Edition
Hottest Summer Collections, Skincare, Spas and More

MODA Fashion & LifeStyle Magazine is releasing its First Summer Edition featuring 10 of the best bathing suit designers in Florida & Latin America on a Fashion Show.

Come and join us for a spectacular celebration full of Summer Fashion!


RSVP AT 305-749-2110

The Event is Sponsor by: Fashion Connect Studio, LLC - Mandrake Public Relations, MIAMI Fashion Connect - Camerino Professional Makeup - Newport Beachside Hotel & Resort - Fashion Wardrobe PR Studio
Pink Loves Fashion- A Fashionable way to help find the cure!
Fashion World Link - Link yourself to the Fashion World
Fashion Lovers Network - Online Fashion Newsletter

The 12th Darmstadt Jazzforum

The 12th Darmstadt Jazzforum taking place from September 28th to October 1st will focus on JAZZ. SCHULE. MEDIEN. (jazz. school. media), discussing the ways in which jazz reaches its audience – in an educational context, through the media or directly in the club or concert hall. For a three-day conference we invited scholars, journalists and musicians to discuss the subject.

Three workshops will provide the possibility to actually learn in all of these categories. In a workshop called jazz:schule (jazz:school) the saxophonist Angelika Niescier will provide teachers at public schools and high schools with tools to use jazz as a musical means of communication in their classes. jazz:kritik (jazz:criticism) is directed towards journalists writing for daily newspapers or online media and is organized as an online workshop in July/August.

In the workshop song:writing the pianist Julia Hülsmann and the singer Daniel Mattar will give hints how to work with lyrics and music and also talk about stage presentation. Apart from the conference and workshops, we will also have concerts, such as by Angelika Niescier's sublim, by Julia Hülsmann & Daniel Mattar, by the Swiss group "Keller’s 10“ and by the trumpeter Nils Wülker and his band. The conference will mostly be in German.

The 12th Darmstadt Jazzforum is organized by the Jazzinstitut Darmstadt and the City of Sciences Darmstadt. It is made possible through the Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain and is funded by the Hesse Minister for Science and the Arts. jazz:schule is a cooperation with the Jazzinitiative Frankfurt, the Jazzfreunde Hofheim, the Verein zur Förderung des zeitgenössischen Jazz in Darmstadt, the Dr. Hoch's Konservatorium Frankfurt/Main as well as the Stiftung Polytechnische Gesellschaft Frankfurt/Main. song:writing is a cooperation with the Stadtkirche Darmstadt.

More information:;

R.I.P.: Ana Lucia (a.k.a. Anna Lucia)

Born Anna Lúcia Buchele da Silva e Souza, this great Brazilian singer died yesterday, on July 24, 2011, in her native State of Santa Catarina, Brazil.

A singer’s singer, Ana Lúcia shined in the early days of bossa nova, cutting some cult albums. One of them, “Ana Lúcia Canta Triste” (RGE) is an enduring best-seller in Japan, the bossa nova equivalent to Sonny Clark’s “Cool Struttin” (Blue Note) on the bop scene.
Reissued many times in Asia by the Tokyo-based label Bomba Records, it features Oscar Castro-Neves' first orchestral arrangements, whose somber scores reinforced the album's torch mood. In four tracks, she was backed by the legendary Zimbo Trio (Hamilton Godoy, Luiz Chaves, Rubinho Barsotti) plus Hector Costita on flute and Oscar Castro-Neves on acoustic guitar. Btw, in the other songs, Oscar can also be heard on acoustic piano and celeste.When producing the third volume of the best-selling compilation series "A Trip To Brazil" (Verve), Arnaldo DeSouteiro included Anna Lucia's version of "Água de Beber" (Antonio Carlos Jobim/Vinicius de Moraes), selected from her Philips album “O Encanto e A Voz de Anna Lucia “ (Philips 630.4431), produced by Armando Pittigliani and released in March, 1961.That was Anna's first album for Philips, the follow-up to her debut on the Chantecler label one year earlier, and became an instant collector’s item. Among the reasons was the inclusion of the debut recording of a new song, “Água de Beber,” later retitled "Water to Drink" when Norman Gimbel added English lyrics and even Frank Sinatra recorded it.“I went to learn the song at Vinicius de Moraes’ house, and Jobim was there too to help him to teach me all phrasings they wanted”, remembered Anna Lucia during a phone call back in 2002, when I tried to get some information about the musicians who had played on that session. Unfortunately, she had forgotten his names. “We spent all the afternoon drinking scotch and singing the song probably over one hundred times”, she laughed.

Anna Lucia (often mispelled Ana Lucia in her own album covers) also performed at the famous "Bossa Nova Concert at Carnegie Hall" in 1962, which yielded the famous LP (for the Audio Fidelity label) that includes her recording of "Ah! Se Eu Pudesse" backed by the Oscar Castro-Neves Quartet.In the mid-Sixties, Anna Lúcia married and, soon after, abandoned the musical career, which she reactivated for a short period after she divorced in the mid-Eighties, doing an acclaimed comeback at the Beco da Pimenta nightclub in Rio de Janeiro. But, then again, she retired and returned to Santa Catarina. R.I.P.

For more details (in Portuguese), please check these links:

Saturday, July 23, 2011

DJ Tatiana Fontes @ Voyeur, tonite!

Our Brazilian DJ hero, Tatiana Fontes will be performing tonight, July 23, @ Voyeur (755 Fifth Ave.) in San Diego, from 10pm to 2am. It's a last minute addition to Tati's busy schedule, 'cause she will be replacing Hernan Cattaneo, who was originally scheduled to perform, but is very sick and has been forced to cancel his show at Voyeur tonight, as well as dates in DC and El Paso.

Please wish Hernan a speedy recovery and let's hope he will be available for a Voyeur make-up date soon.

In the meantime, enjoy Tati and the opening set by Anthony Ross!

For bottle service:​ttle-service.html
or contact Nick Mascetta
619-599-5694 /
(Tati performing yesterday @ The Plum in El Paso)

R.I.P.: Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse passed away today, at her home in London, UK, at age 27. Her last recording was with Tony Bennett last March, "Body and Soul," for Bennett's "Duets II" album to be released in September. In 2010, she guested on Quincy Jones' "Soul Bossa Nostra," covering Lesley Gore's hit "It's My Party."

CD of the Day - "Amy Winehouse: Frank"

CD of the Day
Amy Winehouse: "Frank" - Expanded Version (Universal) 2008

Disc 1:
1. Intro/Stronger Than Me
2. You Sent Me Flying/Cherry
3. Know You Now
4. F*** Me Pumps
5. I Heard Love Is Blind
6. Moody's Mood for Love/Teo Licks
7. (There Is) No Greater Love
8. In My Bed
9. Take the Box
10. October Song
11. What Is It About Men
12. Help Yourself
13. Amy Amy Amy/Outro

Disc 2:
1. Take the Box [Original Demo] - (original remix)
2. I Heard Love Is Blind [Original Demo] - (original remix)
3. Someone to Watch Over Me [Original Demo] - (original remix)
4. What It Is (Original Demo) - (original remix)
5. Teach Me Tonight [Hootenanny]
6. 'Round Midnight [B-Side]
7. Fool's Gold [B-Side]
8. Stronger Than Me [Later with Jools Holland]
9. I Heard Love Is Blind [Live At The Concord, Brighton] - (live)
10. Take the Box [Live At The Concord, Brighton] - (live)
11. In My Bed [Live At The Concord, Brighton] - (live)
12. Mr. Magic (Through the Smoke) [Janice Long Session]
13. (There Is) No Greater Love [Janice Long Session]
14. F*** Me Pumps [MJ Cole Mix]
15. Take the Box [Seijis Buggin' Mix]
16. Stronger Than Me [Harmonic 33 Mix]
17. In My Bed [CJ Mix]
(original CD release)

R.I.P.: Fran Landesman


The 'Poet Laureate of lovers and losers', 'the jazz world's answer to Dorothy Parker', lyricist supreme, the writer of the words of "Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most" Fran Landesman passed away last night. She had survived her husband of 60 years Jay by just a few months (Jay died on Sunday 20th February at home in London.)

Fran Landesman is still the poet laureate of lovers and losers: her songs are the secret diaries of the desperate and the decadent. No one can convey the bitter-sweet joys of melancholy or the exhilaration of living on the edge like Fran.

The jazz world's answer to Dorothy Parker, New York born lyricist Fran Landesman's acid wit and penetrating insights first emerged in her 1950s collaborations with composer Tommy Wolf. Songs such as “Spring Can Hang You Up The Most” and “The Ballad Of The Sad Young Men” were picked up by Jackie and Roy and soon became standards boasting recordings by the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Barbra Streisand, Sarah Vaughan and Bette Midler. Nearly half a century later Fran's lyrics are sharper and more perceptive than ever. She now lives in London and for the past 15 years has been writing superbly crafted songs with the eclectic, Welsh born, world travelled composer Simon Wallace. Music and lyrics work together to create a tough, witty, ironic expression of contemporary love and life in songs that caress the heart and remain in the head long after the music is over.

Fran Landesman’s new songs with Simon Wallace have also been recorded by Sarah Moule, Shepley Metcalf, Clare Teal, Susannah McCorkle, Ian Shaw, and Simon Lawrence.

Fran Landesman, songwriter, poet and performer, was born in New York City in 1927. She grew up on the Upper West Side with Central Park as her front garden, went to art school in New York and hung out in the bars and on the fire escapes of Greenwich village, looking for love, danger and excitement. Around 1949 this appeared in the shape of a young writer, magazine editor and bon vivant Jay Landesman.

They married in 1950 and shortly afterwards and initially, much to Fran's chagrin, moved to Jay's home town of St Louis. Once in St Louis, with the help of Jay's elder brother, painter and art collector Fred Landesman, they opened what was to become one of the hippest night spots in the Midwest, the legendary Crystal Palace. The piano player at the Crystal Palace was a young St Louis musician called Tommy Wolf. In 1956 he wrote about his first encounter with the Landesmans...

"...I was playing background piano music at the Jefferson Hotel in St Louis one cold October evening in 1952 when a group of people wearing European imitations of American clothing entered the Rendezvous to listen to a speech by Adlai Stevenson on the giant-size 7 inch TV screen. I took them to my heart immediately because although they also weren't paying any attention to me, at least they had a different reason: and when, during one of the Democratic commercials, they requested a few tunes that I not only despised but hadn't even heard of they became my friends for life, and invited me to become Musical Director of a bar they were about to open ...of course I still had to play the piano but the TITLE was costing me only $100 a week so I thought....what the hell. That was the beginning of the Crystal Palace and my association with a fabulous family...... the Landesmans." Tommy Wolf

Fran and Tommy soon began writing songs which he would sing nightly to the drinking masses at The Crystal Palace. One night the British born piano player George Shearing came into the club and was particularly taken with a song whose title Fran had come up with while speculating on how a hip jazz musician might express the T.S. Elliot line "April Is The Cruelest Month....". The song was called 'Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most'. Shearing left St. Louis with a tape of about six Landesman/Wolf songs which he enthusiastically played to singers and musicians he knew. Amongst of the first to take the bait was the bebop vocal duo Jackie and Roy. Jackie Cain and Roy Krall were to become life-long friends and fans of both Fran Landesman and Tommy Wolf, enthusiastically championing their songs all through their careers. When Shearing first played them the songs, Jackie and Roy were preparing for a stint at Max Gordon's New York cabaret spot The Blue Angel and were looking for new hip material...they seized on songs like "Season In The Sun" and "You Inspire Me" which soon became part of their set and cropped up with increasing frequency on their regular album releases. Around the same time singer Jerry Winter got the ball rolling for the Landesman/Wolf song "Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most" which she recorded on her album 'Winter's Here'.

Tommy and Fran were now writing together at what was to become Fran's modus operandi...a furious pace. In 1956 Tommy went to Chicago to record an album of their songs 'A Wolf At Your Door' and soon after a musical began to emerge. The Nervous Set began life at the now flourishing Crystal Palace cabaret theatre. Fran Landesman wrote the lyrics, Tommy Wolf wrote the music and Jay Landesman wrote the book based on his experiences as publisher of Neurotica magazine. A wicked satire on the Beat Generation, the show included an embarassment of riches in the song department: "Spring Can Really Hang you Up The Most", "The Ballad of the Sad Young Men", "Night People", "How Do You Like Your Love" and many more. The show's success with St Louis audiences soon attracted the attention of New York producers and the 'The Nervous Set' opened on broadway in 1959.

Tommy Wolf lead the on-stage band and the cast included Del Close and a young Larry Hagman playing a character based on Jay's old friend and associate Jack Kerouac. The critics acknowledged the emergence of a powerful new songwriting team but on the whole remained luke warm and in some cases downright hostile to the show. However audiences including some of New York showbiz alumni (Richard Rogers for one) gave their blessing to what everyone assumed to be the first flowering of a great new partnership in the history of American music theatre.

Tommy Wolf had by this time left St Louis to begin establishing a career on the West Coast. When 'The Nervous Set' closed on Broadway Tommy, Fran and Jay set to work on what they were to regard as their greatest show , a collaboration with Neson Algren on a musical adaptation of his novel ' A Walk On The Wild Side'. Tommy Wolf had met actor /singer /musician Bob Dorough in Chicago and brought him to St Louis to play the lead in the show which was set in a whorehouse and involved sex, death and suicide...unfortunately it appears that St. Louis audiences in 1960 were not quite ready for such a radical departure from the showbiz norm and Fran and Jay reluctantly closed the show so that the actors wouldn't have to suffer the nightly indignity of leaving the stage to the sound of their own footsteps.

The Crystal Palace had, by this time, expanded from a bar into a full- scale cabaret theatre. Apart from 'The Nervous Set' and 'A Walk On The Wild Side' Jay presented many ground breaking theatre shows including the first production in the Midwest of 'Waiting For Godot'. However it was as a cabaret venue that The Crystal Palace is best remembered. Acts that got an early airing on the club's stage include Barbra Streisand, Woody Allen, Nichols and May, the Smothers Brothers and Phillis Diller. Lenny Bruce was a regular performer and became quite close to Fran: "Jay's a bit in-bred," he is purported to have said "Let's you and me go on the road and send him a little money every month."

As the '60s got going so Gaslight Square, the area that The Crystal Palace had rejuvenated, began to go down hill. Strip joints opened and worse still bars began presenting Dixieland jazz. Jay decided it was time to move on and that the only answer was for them to move to a remote Greek island. Fran didn't quite see it this way...she was making headway in New York City writing songs with the great composer and academic Alec Wilder "Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most" had become a jazz standard (without ever being a hit) and was being covered by, amongst others, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Carmen McCrae, Mabel Mercer and Barbra Streisand. Fran had started writing songs with Bob Dorough and in 1964 Miles Davis and Gil Evans recorded 'Nothing Like You' with Dorough singing...a cut that was to appear years later at the end of the classic 1967 Miles Davis album 'Sorcerer'.

Jay persisted in his attempts to persuade Fran to move to some mythical island ...she finally conceded defeat but said it would have to include a large English speaking city. So it was that in 1964 the Landemans (Fran, Jay and their two sons Cosmo and Miles) moved to Duncan Terrace in Islington, North London, a street which was to remain their home for the rest of the 20th century.

The Landesmans arrived in Britain knowing only one Londoner, Peter Cook, who they had met in New York after his triumphant Broadway version of 'Beyond The Fringe'. He quickly introduced them to many of his friends (including the Beatles) and Fran remembers a moment, soon after they arrived, when she realised they had made the right decision in moving to London: it was during a dinner party where she was sandwiched between Bernard Levin and Malcolm Muggerige who were discussing whether Shakespeare was an atheist. In 1964 London was in full swing, Jay was in his mid 40s and Fran in her late 30s....not too old in their books to join in with the decade of love and peace. Years later their eldest son Cosmo wrote this description of life in the Landesman household circa 1969...

"...Getting married, having children was their one attempt to live didn't last. They soon abandoned the straight and narrow for the crooked and the carefree. By the time Flower Power came around, they were in the twilight world of middle-age. Their hair became longer, their dress became wilder, the drugs got stronger and marriage became more experimental. I tried to get them to stay at home more instead of rushing round to pop festivals....and I warned them about the friends they ran around with. The thing that upset me most was their dress and appearance. I can remember when I first thought of having them committed to the Institute for the Criminally Dressed. It was Parents' Day at school. They arrived looking like two hippies who had failed the audition for the musical 'Hair'. Mother wore a purple Afghan coat, that from a distance looked like a seasick piece of mutton. She was wearing enough bits of glass beads and jewellery to resemble Brighton beach after a bank holiday rumble. Dad came with his long hair, mirror-lens sun glasses: the piece de resistance of this visual cacophony was not the orange rudiments of a shirt, but the black plastic trousers. In those days the only people who wore them were industrial workers and the insane. My classmates stared in disbelief as I shrivelled in horror" - Cosmo Landesman. In his 2008 book 'Starstruck: Fame, Fortune, Failure and My Family' he looks at their bohemian life in more detail.

Somehow or other Fran, Jay and even Cosmo managed to survive the swinging 60s, possibly helped by Jay's evangelical commitment to macrobiotics. In the 70s, initially at the suggestion of legendary New York bar owner Bradley Cunningham, Fran started publishing her work in the form of books of verse which Jay published. She met performance poet Michael Horowitz and began to develop her skills as a performer. Fran also continued to write songs with composers on both sides of the Atlantic including Dudley Moore, Tom Springfield, Pat Smythe and Georgie Fame in the UK, and John Simon, Bob Dorough, Steve Allen, Roy Krall and Jason Mculiffe in the USA.

Her reputation grew, helped by continued recordings of her work with Tommy Wolf. Roberta Flack, Ricki Lee Jones, Gil Evans and Keith Jarrett all recorded "The Ballad of the Sad Young Men" while "Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most" continued to be a much sung, much recorded and much requested jazz standard. Tommy Wolf had gone on to a very successful career in Hollywood where he had been musical director for TV shows like The Mary Tyler Moore Show, piano player to the stars (including Marilyn Monroe) and had continued to write songs with Fran, Fred Astaire and others. Sadly in 1978 he died aged only 54.

Fran began performing her own material in theatre shows at venues such as Islington's Kings Head and Red Lion pub theatres and in the West End at the Arts Theatre and for two seasons at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club. With the birth of her grandson Jack in 1988 she began devoting herself to the role of 'Granny Franny', however as Jack began to grow up so Fran's urge to write started to return. In 1994 she met British pianist and composer Simon Wallace and immediately launched into a burst of creative activity that has produced (so far) a catalogue of more than 350 new songs, three new collections of poetry and a full blown musical. The first volume of their songs is now available direct from Simon at

Simon Wallace was born in Wales in 1957. He studied music at University College Oxford before embarking on a diverse career as a jazz pianist and a composer in many parts of the world. When he first met Fran Landesman he was recovering from three years touring with the Lindsay Kemp Company and was writing music for TV comedy shows including Absolutely Fabulous, Ruby Wax, Alexie Sayle, Murder Most Horrid (Dawn French) and Tracey Ullman. As well as composing for TV, film and theatre he has written two large scale symphonies for the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra. Fran and Simon's songs are now attracting attention on both sides of the Atlantic thanks to recordings and performances by singers such as Sarah Moule, Nicki Leighton-Thomas, Ian Shaw, Susannah McCorkle and Imelda Staunton.

There have been productions of their musical Forbidden Games at the Young Vic (RSC) , the Theatre Royal Bath, the Pleasance (1998 Edinburgh Festival) and in Poland at the 1999 Gdansk Shakespeare Festival. Their songs have been included in shows and revues on both sides of the Atlantic.... 6 songs in The Decline of the Middle West (a retrospective of Fran's work) at The Supper Club off Broadway , two songs in Susannah McCorkle's 1999 show at The Algonquin Hotel, NYC, 'From Broken Hearts To Blue Skies', one in Imelda Staunton's 1999 New York Cabaret debut at The Firebird, one in a show by ENO opera star Sally Burgess and another in a review at the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith sung by Shelia Hanncock. In ? Fran, Bob Dorough, Simon Wallace and Jackie Cain performed at Joe's Pub, NYC. In 2008 Fran had 4 sell out shows in a St. Louis theatre. On 26th May 2010 the Southbank Centre London is presenting A NIGHT OUT WITH FRAN LANDESMAN, introduced by poet Lemn Sissay, with Simon Wallace, singers Sarah Moule and Gwyneth Herbert, and actors Imelda Staunton and Phil Daniels.

Their songs make up a large part of Howard Samuel's cabaret show and feature in the set and recordings of singer Johnathan Cairny (1999 Perrier Young Jazz Musician). Sarah Moule has recorded three critically acclaimed CDs featuring their songs; A Lazy Kind Of Love (Red Ram Records, 2008), Something's Gotta Give (Linn Records 2004) and It's A Nice Thought (Linn Records 2002). Nicki Leighton -Thomas' CD of their songs Forbidden Games received rave reviews in 1998 and was re-released on Candid Records as Damned if I do. The title track of the highly acclaimed Ian Shaw /Cedar Walton CD on Fantasy Records) is a Landesman/Wallace song "In A New York Minute". In February 2000, four of their songs were included in the annual Songbook concert at the Wigmore Hall and in March 2000 12 of their songs were presented at The National Theatre, London in a cabaret show directed by Henry Goodman. Later that year a studio production at the NT directed by Richard Eyre also featured one of their songs. Grammy nominated American jazz singer Susannah McCorkle recorded three of their songs on her last CD 'Hearts and Minds' (Concord Records).

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Obama - You should pass this one on

"Dear Arnaldo --

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

This morning, a group of public servants showed up to work at a brand-new agency created to protect everyday Americans from the abuses of Wall Street.

They're the folks of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and they'll be the cops on the beat protecting consumers from predatory credit card and mortgage lenders, bait-and-switch creditors, and anyone trying to make a quick buck by deceiving or manipulating Americans who are just trying to secure their financial future.

Many Americans don't know it, but this bureau is just one part of a sweeping Wall Street reform law -- the most pro-consumer and pro-taxpayer reform of our financial system since the Great Depression -- that President Obama signed a year ago today.

Watch this video to get a quick overview of the law, and a briefing on the special interests trying to undermine it. Whether you watch the video or not, please share this email with someone.

It's important that everyone knows what this law means for all of us. Simpler mortgages. Clearer credit card rates, fees, and rules. Fairer loan terms. It's based on the simple idea that if you make sure that people get clear information, they'll make the financial decisions that work best for them.

And we can all rest a little easier knowing that our common financial future is more protected from the irresponsibility of a few. This law made structural reforms to ensure that the financial crisis we experienced in 2008 never happens again and that taxpayers aren't on the hook to pay for Wall Street's risky bets.

It's up to you to make sure more people know about this. Most Americans don't have all the details on how this law is working for them, and it's our job to change that.

Take a look, and be sure to pass this one on:

Amazingly, each and every Presidential candidate on the other side opposes this law.

And the same opposition that tried to block it more than a year ago is still alive and well. Right now, lobbyists are at work trying to weaken the tough regulations this law imposes.

That's no accident -- its provisions are designed to rein in the Wall Street, credit card, and mortgage banking interests these people represent.

As we know, there aren't a whole lot of high-powered lobbyists in Washington looking out for the common good of everyday families.

That's exactly why this law is necessary, and why our growing organization in all 50 states is so important. It's up to us to make sure our friends and neighbors know about it. Watch our video about Wall Street reform today -- and then pass it on:


Jim Messina
Campaign Manager - Obama for America"

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

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

DJ Tatiana Fontes @ The Plum, July 22

Brazilian SuperModel DJ Tatiana Fontes @ The Plum Lounge in El Paso, July 22!

CD of the Day - "Mario Conde: Guitarra Brasil Universo"

CD of the Day
Mario Conde: "Guitarra Brasil Universo" (Gramofone) 2011

Genre: Jazz
Style: Fusion
Recording Date: May 2010-May 2011
Release Date: July 17, 2011
Format: CD
Label: Gramofone
Catalog Number: 007

1. Hermetizando (Mario Conde)
2. De Raul Para Donato (Mario Conde)
3. Familiar (Mario Conde)
4. Sambô (Mario Conde)
5. Frevo Aproximando (Mario Conde)
6. O Amor (Mario Conde)
7. Lua Nova (Mario Conde)
8. Chacarera Carioca (Mario Conde)
9. Last Chorus (Mario Conde)
10. Ritual (Mario Conde)

Mario Conde - Arranger, Composer, Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric), Bandolim, Cavaquinho, Percussion, Producer, Vocals
Ithamara Koorax - Vocals on "O Amor"
Raul de Souza - Trombone
Hermeto Pascoal - Berrante, Flute, Bass Flute, Alto Flute, Horn, Melodica, Percussion, Vocals
Arnaldo DeSouteiro - Coordination on "O Amor"
Geraldo Brandão - Engineer
Lea Freire - Flute
Endrigo Bettega - Drums, Percussion, Kalimba, Tamborim, Ganzá
Fred Teixeira - Engineer
Ronaldo Saggiorato - Bass (Electric)
Gabriel Schwartz - Flute, Piccolo
Silvio Tavares - Chief Engineer
André Marques - Keyboards, Melodica
Izabel Padovani - Vocals
Rogerio Weis - Engineer
Raiff Dantas - Cello
Mauro Martins - Bass, Drums
Márcio Rosa - Cuica, Pandeiro, Percussion, Tamborim
Derico Sciotti - Flute
Luis Piazzeta - Engineer
Jorginho do Trumpete - Trumpet
Guilherme Pupo - Photography
Rogério Leitun - Flugelhorn, Trumpet
Alvaro Ramos - Engineer
Hugo Fattoruso - Piano (Electric), Synthesizer
Alexandre Santos - Trombone
Gilberto Zanelatto - Violin
Iris Braga - Vocals
Emer Antoniacomi - Engineer
Glauco Solter - Bass (Electric)
Davi Sartori - Keybaords
Graciliano Zambonin - Drums
Lucio Restuccia - Engineer
Rodrigo Lima - Coordination
Sandro Haick - Guitar (Electric)
Vina Lacerda - Pandeiro, Percussion
Fernando Deddos - Euphonium
Sergio Freire - Sax (Alto)
Fabio Cardoso - Keyboards
Gabriele Mirabassi - Clarinet
Adriana Alegria - Artwork
Sergio Albach - Bass Clarinet
Guinha Ramirez - Guitar (Acoustic)
Ozeias Veiga - Flugelhorn
Mara Fontoura - Project Supervision
Edivaldo Chiquini - French Horn
Osmario Estevan Junior - Euphonium
Fernando Thá - Oboe
Otávio Augusto - Clarinet
Sebastião Interlandi Junior - Flutes
Luis Piazzetta - Vocals (Background)
Sergio Freire - Sax (Tenor)
Gabriel Issisvan - Technical Supervision
Rogeria Holtz - Vocals (Background)
Douglas Chiulo - Trumpet
Yuri Lemos - Vocals (Background)
Cuca Teixeira - Drums
Mara Fontoura - Vocals (Background)
Osmario Stevan Junior - Trombone
Clauton Rodrigues - Flute
Cris Lemos - Vocals (Background)
Zeca de Oliveira - Engineer
Gilson Fukushima - Technical Supervision

"Leather & Lace" Party @ Saints & Sinners

Leather & Lace Party!
Couples are still only $80
Saturday, July 23, 2011 9pm to 5am

Free Membership will NOT last very long! If you haven't checked out Saints and Sinners, the next couple of weeks is the best time to do so!
Saints and Sinners
5% Saint, 95% Sinner!

Monday, July 18, 2011

CD Reissue of the Week - "Stanley Turrentine: Don't Mess With Mister T."

CD Reissue of the Week
Stanley Turrentine: "Don't Mess With Mister T." (CTI/Sony Jazz Masterworks) 1973/2011

***** (musical performance)
**** (recording & mix; Van Gelder's work is impeccable, but the remix of "Pieces of Dreams" is terrible)
***** (remastering)

Produced by Creed Taylor
Recorded & Mixed by Rudy Van Gelder @ Van Gelder Studios in March & June, 1973
Cover Photo: Alen MacWeeney
Liner Photo: Mort Mace
Album Design: Bob Ciano
Total Time 62:11

Reissue Produced by Richard Seidel
Mastering Engineers: Mark Wilder & Maria Triana

Titled after the classic soul tune composed by Marvin Gaye, that was was Stanley Turrentine's final album for CTI. Cut in 1973, features lush orchestral scores by Bob James, who also plays the hip acoustic piano solo on the title track. Harold Mabern, Richard Tee, Ron Carter, Idris Muhammad, Rubens Bassini and Eric Gale are in the rhythm section, with more jazz heavyweights such as Joe Farrell, Pepper Adams, Jerry Dodgion & Randy Brecker among the horn players. Billy Cobham and Johnny Hammond can be heard on three bonus tracks.

Besides the four tracks in the original vinyl release, the sessions yielded more tracks like a lovely version of Michel Legrand's "Pieces of Dreams," later included in the out-takes compilation "The Sugar Man." The problem was that the track was completely remixed for the first CD reissues of "Don't Mess With Mister T," and Richard Tee's annoying organ performance (deleted by Creed Taylor from the original analog mix done at Rudy Van Gelder Studio) was resurrected, affecting the final results and specially Harold Mabern's perfect Fender Rhodes solo.

I was hoping that, this time, Sony would decide to use the original Van Gelder mix, restoring "Pieces of Dreams" to its original aesthetic as heard on "The Sugar Man." But they didn't. Once again what we hear is the mistaken remix and now I pray that they decide to release the first ever CD reissue of "The Sugar Man" in a near future. Despite the horrible mix of "Pieces of Dreams," "Don't Mess With Mister T." is a great album, highly recommended.

Btw, it can be purchased from Dusty Groove through the link below:

And that's what they say:
Perfect Bob James electric arrangements make this LP by Stan one of his best for CTI! The record's got a laidback dope 70s approach to funky jazz – with loads of nice modal chords, sliced through by some deep soul solos from Stan. Players include Idris Muhammad, Bob James, Harold Mabern, and Eric Gale – and the record features a great remake of Marvin Gaye's "Don't Mess With Mister T", plus "Too Blue", "Two For T", and "I Could Never Repay Your Love". © 2011, Dusty Groove America, Inc.
Doug Payne, the top CTI expert, also reviewed this reissue:

Don’t Mess With Mister T. is the last of the studio albums tenor sax great Stanley Turrentine recorded for CTI Records between 1970 and 1973 and unquestionably one of the saxophonist’s - and the label’s - most satisfying outings. Indeed this album and Turrentine’s first CTI album, Sugar, rank not only among Stanley Turrentine’s best recordings in his multi-faceted career, but also among his most popular and the two that lent him the nicknames that stuck with him throughout the remainder of his career (“The Sugar Man” and “Mister T”).

Helmed with beautiful fortitude by arranger/pianist Bob James, Don’t Mess With Mister T. is a joy from start to finish, offering Stanley Turrentine’s sensual horn playing on some bluesy, after-hours grooves that showcase his sound and style to, ah, a “T.”

Originally released in September 1973, Don’t Mess With Mister T. was a success from the very start. This may have been the label’s greatest crossover success, gaining black audiences that Miles Davis was trying (but not succeeding) to court at the time.

No doubt it had something to do with Alen MacWeeney’s memorable mack daddy cover shot of Turrentine in Black Godfather mode peering over his shoulder in what appears to be a Cadillac Eldorado (the pimpmobile of choice back in the day) and the saxophonist’s flawless performance of the title tune, best known from its appearance in a popular Blaxploitation film of the time.

Marvin Gaye’s tremendous “Don’t Mess With Mister T.” comes, of course, from the first-rate soundtrack to the now forgotten film Trouble Man, which yielded another superb CTI cover (also arranged by Bob James) by Grover Washington, Jr. on Soul Box. Turrentine takes charge of the song, playing it with the heart and soul that suggests it was written just for him.

Bob James gives the song a relaxed feel that is perfect for Turrentine’s easy-going but unquestionable command of things. Buffered by James on piano and electric piano, Richard Tee on organ, Ron Carter on bass, Idris Muhammad (who replaced Billy Cobham) on drums and an absolutely perfectly deployed horn and string section, Turrentine offers up a sumptuous celebration of jazz and soul, melding it together with a heated precision that could melt butter or warm honey to overflowing. James takes a terrific solo on piano here that ranks among his best on record to this point, but everybody coalesces into a terrific climax of musical ecstasy that made it the signature theme it ultimately became (Turrentine recorded the song again for his 1995 album T Time).

Turrentine offers up two of his own originals, the spunky “Two For T,” adding Harold Mabern on electric piano and Eric Gale on guitar, and “Too Blue,” with Mabern, Gale and percussionist Rubens Bassini. In addition to showcasing Turrentine in his element, “Two For T” features spots for Mabern, Carter and Muhammad while “Too Blue” offers solos for Gale and James, again on piano. James wisely does away with the horn and string accoutrements on these numbers (though “Too Blue” finds the horns making a quick appearance) and just lets Turrentine and company take care of business.

“I Could Never Repay Your Love” offers up one of the saxophonist’s signature gospel performances, something too few of his records ever did (check out “I Told Jesus” for Turrentine’s previous bow to the church). The song was originally one of the few from the Spinners’ eponymous 1973 album that didn’t turn into a hit. That album yielded hits out of “I’ll Be Around,” “Could It Be I’m Falling In Love,” “One of a Kind (Love Affair)” and “Ghetto Child.” Turrentine is impassioned and beautiful here, set alight by James’ lovely strings and horns, and touching, yet fiery solos from Eric Gale and Richard Tee.

The original program totals only about 30 minutes. But even though more music from these sessions was left off the record, it’s worth pointing out that while vinyl in those days could accommodate considerably more music, Creed Taylor consciously kept CTI albums around a half hour long, or fifteen minutes a side, to maintain the big, clear sound he developed in the studio with engineer Rudy Van Gelder. Like digital files of today, the more you compressed music on vinyl, the less aural clarity it had. That’s why CTI records sounded better than so many jazz records of the day.

The first time that Don’t Mess With Mister T. was issued domestically on CD in 1988, it included Stanley Turrentine’s first recording of the Michel Legrand song “Pieces of Dreams” from these sessions as a bonus track. The memorable song from the not-so-memorable 1971 film had already been covered by such singers as Peggy Lee, Sarah Vaughan and Rita Reys, but this was one of the first jazz recordings of the tune. It was obviously a song that the saxophonist felt strongly about. But producer Creed Taylor didn’t quite agree, so the song was left off the original album. This decision probably prompted Turrentine to seek more autonomy (and considerably more money) at Fantasy Records when his CTI contract expired.

Stanley Turrentine recorded the song anew in a silkier, smoother (and ultimately less satisfying) arrangement by Barry White’s arranger, Gene Page, as the title track to his Fantasy debut album, issued in October 1974.

The song became a radio hit and Creed Taylor hurriedly released the 1973 recording of the tune on The Sugar Man, a hodge-podge compilation of outtakes and unreleased tunes, in February 1975. Even though the Bob James arrangement of the song is the stronger of the two performances, the Fantasy version had already become a hit and it was that version that most people listened to and, more importantly, bought. The CTI version was pretty much ignored.

The song found its way onto CD as part of the first domestic digital issue of Don’t Mess With Mister T. in 1988 (as well as several compilations and the 2003 European edition of the CD, which matches the 2011 CD’s programming), but in an altered mix that differed from The Sugar Man version by adding Richard Tee’s organ pronouncements throughout. Producer Richard Seidel was not aware of The Sugar Man mix of “Pieces of Dreams” until it was too late – so the “other” mix of the song is heard here again.

Still, back on Don’t Mess With Mister T., where it belongs, “Pieces of Dreams” reveals one of the few misjudgments Creed Taylor made in his lengthy career and, in hindsight, one of the first cracks in the mighty wall that CTI had built in only a few short years.

While Taylor’s instincts may have evaded him for “Pieces of Dreams,” it was clear that his instincts had been right on for the recording of Don’t Mess With Mister T.. That’s because, as it turns out, the album we’ve known for nearly four decades was not the first recording Turrentine made of the album.

Several months earlier, Turrentine got together with Bob James, Eric Gale, Ron Carter, (the strangely uncredited) Johnny Hammond on organ, who miraculously orchestrates from his particular position, and Billy Cobham (drummer on Turrentine’s previous Salt Song and Cherry) to lay down tracks for the album. Even though this group more or less made up the CTI All Stars of the time, producer Creed Taylor felt the recording just wasn’t working.

Despite the expense involved, Taylor opted to do nothing with the recordings until a more suitable recording situation presented itself. Three of the tracks recorded at these sessions finally showed up on the 2003 European CD release of Don’t Mess With Mister T., including a completely inferior take of the title song (thoroughly justifying Taylor’s initial decision), Billy Cobham’s “Mississippi City Strut” and Bob James’ “Harlem Dawn.”

Each track in itself is spectacular, especially given the fact that its leader is no longer with us and every note he blew is worth savoring. But given the terrific nature of the final album that was Don’t Mess With Mister T., it’s audibly obvious why the producer thought the music, while perfectly serviceable and exceeding the qualities of most jazz fusion being made elsewhere at the time, was certainly not up to the CTI standard, a bar that was raised with each successive album at this point in the label’s history.

Indeed, Don’t Mess With Mister T. raised the bar for Stanley Turrentine, and provided a measure that the saxophonist probably didn’t equal or better at any point after this in his career. It’s a classic that sits high among the classics Stanley Turrentine waxed and one of the great CTI titles of all time.