Monday, April 23, 2012

Scot Albertson Trio @ Tomi Jazz, NYC, April 26

Compilation of the Week - "Papeete Beach Lounge Volume 7/Italian Beach Club"

CD Compilation of the Week
"Papeete Beach Lounge Vol. 7 - Italian Beach Club" (Molto/Universal) 2012

The newest release on the Papeete Beach Lounge series comes out today, April 23, in Europe, with an excellent quality of titles from chill to lounge till deep house. Once again a CD with such well known international artists as Amy Winehouse, Billie Holiday, Lana Del Rey, Ben Westbeech, IIO ft. Nadia Ali, Tabata Project, Augusta, Wamdue Project, Club Squisito.
The perfect blend of sounds for an amazing sunset, drinking your favourite cocktail on the beach.
Papeete Beach Lounge Volume 7, a must for chillin’ moments.

01. BILLIE HOLIDAY - Speak Low
02. AMY WINEHOUSE - Our Day Will Come
03. DJ CLICK ft. Valentina Casula - Guadalquivir
04. WAMDUE PROJECT - King Of My Castle
05. ALFIDA - Ne Muchay
06. iiO ft. Nadia Ali - Rapture
07. LITTLE MONK ft. Laura Mars - Passion
08. RAROTANGO - Vuelta
09. MISTACHIC ft. Valerio Carboni - No Way To Know
10. TABATA PROJECT - Johnny Come Home
12. AUGUSTA - Anche Un Uomo
13. BEN WESTBEECH - Something For The Weekend
14. CLUB SQUISITO - Gun In Your Hand
15. LANA DEL REY - Video Games
16. LOUIE AUSTEN - Hoping
17. LOVEBIRDS ft. Stee Downes - Want You In My Soul
18. LARSE - So Long

Siamo arrivati al settimo capitolo per la compilation Papeete Beach Lounge, con una nuova selezione di brani che spaziano dalla chill alla lounge music al deep house, lambendo sempre sonorità di qualità eccellente. Anche quest’anno i nomi di artisti di caratura internazionale non mancano: Amy Winehouse, Billie Holiday, Lana Del Rey, Ben Westbeech, IIO ft. Nadia Ali, Tabata Project, Augusta, Wamdue Project, Club Squisito. Una perfetta sequenza di suoni raccolti in un elegante cofanetto, dà vita ad atmosfere raffinate e vibranti che da sempre caratterizzano la versione lounge di Papeete CDs. Inizialmente pensato come sottofondo ideale per i tramonti al Papeete Beach di Milano Marittima, la compilation si conferma ad ogni uscita al numero uno delle classifiche di vendita sia dei CD che di iTunes, ed è diventata ormai un must per accompagnare gli aperitivi più cool e gli eventi più fashion della nuova stagione. Da non lasciarsi scappare!

Get down and get funky this Spring with Mike Longo's band live in NY, tomorrow nite

Treat yourself to a whole new world of funk music when the phenomenal Mike Longo Funk Band returns to "Jazz Tuesdays" this Tuesday, April 24, in the Gillespie Auditorium @ the New York Baha'i Center at 53 East 11th Street (between University Place & Broadway). There will be 2 shows at 8:00 and 9:30. Call 212-222-5159 for reservations and information.

This outstanding band consists of top NY jazzmen, featuring Mike Longo (piano), Vinnie Cutro (trumpet), Sam Burtis (trombone), Bob Magnuson (sax), Christian Fabian (bass) & Ray Marchica (drums).

Mike Longo, a Steinway artist, has performed with a list of jazz legends that include Cannonball Adderley, Henry Red Allen, Coleman Hawkins, George Wettling, Gene Krupa, Nancy Wilson, Gloria Lynn, Jimmy Witherspoon, Joe Williams, Jimmy Rushing, James Moody and many others. It was in the mid-60s when Longo’s trio was playing at the Embers West, that Roy Eldridge told Dizzy Gillespie about this new pianist he had heard. Dizzy came to hear him play and soon asked him to become his pianist. This started a life-long musical relationship and friendship. From 1966 through 1975, Longo worked exclusively as Dizzy’s pianist and musical director.

Mike left the Gillespie group officially in 1975 to venture out on his own, but continued to work for Gillespie on a part-time basis until his death in 1993. Since that time Mike has recorded numerous albums and CDs on various labels with some 45 recordings with artists such as Gillespie, James Moody, etc. At present he has over 20 solo albums to his credit. He is sought after as a music instructor and is in demand for jazz clinics and concerts at universities and music schools throughout the world, and has appeared at the Lincoln Center’s new jazz room “Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola.” Longo is founder and President of Consolidated Artists Productions (CAP), an independent recording label, and his latest venture, Jazz Tuesdays, is dedicated to allowing artists to retain creative control of their work and providing students and the general public with an opportunity to hear “world class jazz at affordable prices.”

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

Jazz Tuesdays in the John Birks Gillespie Auditorium
The New York Baha'i Center
53 East 11th Street (between University Place & Broadway)

A 12" purple vinyl with remixes of Madonna's "Girl Gone Wild" comes out today

12" Vinyl Single of the Week
Madonna: "Girl Gone Wild" (One Nation/MadGirl) 2012

Side A
1. "Girl Gone Wild" (original version)
2. "Girl Gone Wild" (Dave Aude club mix)
3. "Girl Gone Wild" (Happy Hotdog radio edit)
Side B
1. "Girl Gone Wild" (Justin Cognito remix)
2. "Girl Gone Wild" (Offer Nissim club mix)
3. "Girl Gone Wild" (Mike Leonelli remix)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Clark Terry Fundraising Event this Monday, April 23 @ Saint Peter's Church, NYC

MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2012, 7 PM
619 Lexington Ave, New York, NY
Ph: (212) 935-2200

Gwen Terry, The Duke Ellington Society, International Women in Jazz, Jazz Foundation of America and Saint Peter’s Church – Jazz Ministry are partnering to produce a fundraiser for Clark Terry on Monday, April 23 at 7 PM at Saint Peter’s Church, 619 Lexington Avenue at 54th Street, New York City.

Over 40 musicians perform for Clark Terry, to raise funds to help defray Clark’s medical expenses. Musicians confirmed include:

Clifford Adams Jr., Carl Allen, Lyle Atkinson, Art Baron, Gene Bertoncini, Valerie Capers, Paquito D’Rivera, Ron Carter, Jimmy Cobb, Sylvia Cuenca, Dee Daniels, Bryan Davis, David Demsey, Lou Donaldson, Mark Elf, Essiet Essiet, Don Friedman, Greg Gisbert, Dave Glasser, Onaje Allan Gumbs, Winard Harper, Barry Harris, Louis Hayes, Jimmy Heath, Conrad Herwig, Jack Jeffers, Melba Joyce, Justin Kauflin, Stantawn Kendrick, Bob Kindred, Victor Lewis, Tony Lujan, Russell Malone, Sarah McLawler, Marcus McLaurine, Junior Mance, Mulgrew Miller, Shawnn Monteiro, Frank Owens, Jimmy Owens, Jeremy Pelt, Anne Phillips, Rufus Reid, Bill Saxton, Josh Shpak, Don Sickler, Norman Simmons, John Simon, Lew Soloff, Helen Sung, and Frank Wess.

Plus: Marcus McLaurine as Musician Coordinator, and David Demsey-Emcee
Clark Terry plans to appear at the event via Skype.

Clark Terry’s career in jazz spans more than seventy years. He is a world-class trumpeter, flugelhornist, educator, composer, writer, trumpet/flugelhorn designer, teacher and NEA Jazz Master. For a complete biography on Clark Terry, visit his website at

Suggested ticket donation is $25 at the door.
Your contribution will be welcomed even if you cannot attend the event. Send your donation to:
Jazz Foundation of America with “Clark Terry account” in the memo line.
322 W. 48th Street, New York, NY 10036.
(212) 245-3999.

For More Info, Contact:
Lynne Mueller 917 207 4953

Amanda Carr with the Plymouth Philharmonic

On April 28, at 8pm @ Memorial Hall in Plymouth, MA, one of Jazz Station's favorite vocalists, Amanda Carr, will be performig a very special concert with the Plymouth Philharmonic for their SPRING POPS 2012 series, an event titled AMERICA'S FIRST WOMEN OF SONG.

Amanda told us that the program includes modern orchestral versions from songs connected to these artists:
Carole King "I Feel the Earth Move"
Carly Simon "Anticipation"
Mary Travers: Leaving on a Jet Plane
Leanne Womack: "I Hope you Dance"
Joni Mitchell: Big Yellow Taxi
Bonnie Raitt: Thing Called Love
Judy Garland: Come on Get Happy
Diana Krall: Peel Me a Grape (yes, one of Dave Frishberg's cult hits!)

"I have been a fan of Amanda and her music for a long time. I'm thrilled at the chance to finally work with her! In every way, she is the real deal. I know we'll have a great concert together." - Conductor Steven KaridoyanesORDER YOUR TICKETS NOW online by clicking here
or visit
or call (508) 746-8008

Obama and George Clooney in LA!

"Dear Arnaldo DeSouteiro--

You are currently living and registered as a lawful permanent U.S. resident in California's 30th Congressional District. So, mark your calendar: On May 10th, George Clooney is hosting an event at his home in Los Angeles to support President Obama.

If you donate $3 or whatever you can today, you'll be automatically entered to be there, too.

We'll take care of airfare and accommodations -- all you need to do is think about who you'd ask to join you for an evening with President Obama and George Clooney.

When you pitch in, you'll also help build this grassroots organization at a crucial moment in the campaign.

So donate $3 or whatever you can today:

Rufus Gifford
National Finance Director - Obama for America"

No purchase, payment, or contribution necessary to enter or win. Contributing will not improve chances of winning. Void where prohibited. Entries must be received by April 30, 2012. You may enter by contributing to Sponsor here or click here to enter without contributing. Two winners will each receive the following prize package: round-trip tickets for winner and a guest from within the fifty U.S. States, DC, or Puerto Rico to a destination to be determined by the Sponsor; hotel accommodations; and dinner with President Obama and George Clooney on a date to be determined by the Sponsor (approximate retail value of all prizes $3,200). Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. Promotion open only to U.S. citizens, or lawful permanent U.S. residents who are legal residents of 50 United States, District of Columbia and Puerto Rico and 18 or older (or of majority under applicable law). Promotion subject to Official Rules and additional restrictions on eligibility. Sponsor: Obama for America, 130 E. Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60601.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Stephanie Nash: Special Guest Speaker at Long Beach Meditation, April 22

This next Sunday, April 22 at 3pm! Special Guest Speaker Stephanie Nash. This is a donation based event.
More details:

Thursday, April 19, 2012

"Henry Mancini: Reinventing Film Music"

"Henry Mancini: Reinventing Film Music" by John Caps. University of Illinois Press, 278pp., $29.95.
Reviewed by Christopher Bray
New Republic - April 19, 2012

You love Henry Mancini. You might not know it but you do. If you have ever popped your lips through the opening bars of the theme to "The Pink Panther" or gargled a few of the words to "Moon River" in the shower, you have been grabbed by the Mancini groove. You're not alone. Billboard magazine once ranked Mancini nineteenth on its chart of highest-selling album artists, putting him alongside Frank and Elvis and the Beatles and the Stones and lots of other acts that you could identify at a glance.

Not so Mancini. I think there's a picture of him on the front of John Caps's monograph, though for all I know this is just any old guy with a low-parted comb-over, a noncommittal smile, and a tragic taste in plaid sweaters. Mancini's name, meanwhile, is picked out in the kind of bouncing Day-Glo type they used for the credits of "The Pink Panther." The accountant in me cannot help feel that the publishers should have gone the whole cool cat route and put a picture of His Pinkness there, too. Mancini may have sold records by the truckload, but his anonymous face, which might have been designed not to embody his singular sound, isn't the kind to move books.

Nor do you know Mancini much better for having read the book. Caps's main resource for the details of his subject's life is his autobiography, "Did They Mention the Music?," a dull showbiz backslapper that Mancini co-authored with Gene Lees back at the end of the 1980s. But so what? Since all that matters about Mancini to those of us not married to him or fathered by him is his music, the dearth of material on his life ought not be a problem.

Alas, Caps rather makes it one, by shoehorning biographical parallels into his readings of the most innocuous tunes. To hear Caps tell it, the yearning lilt of "Moon River" and the languorous ache of "The Days of Wine and Roses" are aural correlatives for the young Mancini's "estrangement from his father," while in the sly twang and drone and blare of the theme to, say, "A Shot in the Dark" "one can hear his mother's reassurances and good humor." Praise be, then, that Caps doesn't think to link the "steady-stomping ostinato in E minor for bass guitar" that Mancini penned for "Peter Gunn" to the memory of the knuckle raps that pa meted out when little Henry fluffed his piano scales.

From lessons at home, Mancini graduated to Aliquippa's "Sons of Italy" marching band, as well as to teaching himself notation by listening over and over again to his parents' few classical records and writing down what he thought he'd heard on hand-drawn manuscript paper. Dad was sufficiently impressed by this extracurricular work to pay for proper lessons with a famous German classical pianist in nearby Pittsburgh. But it was Glenn Miller's big band sound that Mancini most wanted to ape, and while in the big city he snuck into the Stanley Theater to introduce himself to the resident conductor, Max Adkins. Bowled over by what the teenager showed him, Adkins took him under his wing, teaching him the basics of orchestration, as well as the etiquette of rubbing along in polite society.

But it was the G.I. Bill that really gave us the Mancini we love. Without its backing he would likely not have been able to afford to study at the Westlake School of Music. There he attended one-on-one theory and harmony classes with Alfred Sendry, a former classmate of Bartok, and orchestration with Mahler's son-in-law, the romantic-turned-atonalist Ernst Krenek. Anyone who admires Mancini's score for Stanley Donen's "Arabesque," with its thunderously unsettling chromatic bass riff and its double harmonic (Arabian) melody line that can never quite settle on either A minor or G minor, should be thankful for what he learned at Westlake -- and doubly thankful that he wanted to share it with us. If Bernard Herrmann's scores for Hitchcock served to introduce many people to the discordant ideas of late romanticism, Mancini's functioned to popularize the yet harsher sounds of Viennese modernism. Even the lovely waltz-time theme he wrote for Donen's "Charade," which finds room for an astonishing diminished C sharp arpeggio in its A minor melody, can pain as much as it pleases.

Along with "The Days of Wine and Roses," "Whistling Away the Dark" (from "Darling Lili") and "Moon River" ("Breakfast at Tiffany's"), "Charade" was one of Mancini's best songs -- songs that, not coincidentally, showcase words by America's greatest lyricist, Johnny Mercer. Part of Mancini's luck as a composer who straddled the awkward gap between the age of the Great American Songbook and the age of pop was that a guy who had written with Arlen and Kern and Carmichael was still around to spar with and be spurred on by. John Barry once said that all movie songwriters "bow at the altar of Mr. Mancini," but though Barry's melodies gave Mancini more than a run for his money, there were no lyricists around who were anywhere near Mercer's league -- which is to say, Barry's own. Barry quit writing for the Bond movies when the producers saddled him with Duran Duran and A-Ha as collaborators. Fair enough, though he might just as well have been touchy about the second rate stuff Lionel Bart wrote for "From Russia With Love" or the nonsense about webs of sin Leslie Bricusse gave him for "Goldfinger." Three years later, Bricusse penned the words to Mancini's glorious "Two for the Road," though I doubt anybody around today can sing them. Read this sentence and try not singing "Moon River."

And so, while Mercer was a door to the past, Mancini could not be a door to the future. Caps suggests that Mancini's appeal during his heyday of the 1960s spanned the era's musical gamut: whether you liked the Beach Boys or the Beatles or Burt Bacharach or John Barry, you were likely fond of Mancini, too. I daresay he is right, though none of those acts made a smooth transition into the next decade -- the decade that put paid to the idea of the song as something carefully composed rather than just thrown down. At the end of the '70s Mancini found himself writing the score for Blake Edwards's "10," a movie about a songwriter who finds he can no longer write songs. The result was Mancini's last melodic masterpiece, "It's Easy to Say." Which it may well be, although anyone reared on Mercer's gorgeous litanies of long open vowels will find George Wells's lackluster lyric, with its clumsy clutches of consonants and aspirants, far from easy to sing.

From here it was downhill all the way. Mancini's fans can be forgiven for thinking it a mercy that he checked out at the age of seventy, in 1994, a victim of pancreatic cancer. His career had fallen victim to the untrained giftlessness that rock and roll had unleashed. I like a power chord as much as the next man, but it is time we faced the fact that the language of songwriting has been impoverished immeasurably by the reinvention of the C-to-F-to-G-and-back-to-C ditty.

Mancini liked to call his theme tunes question marks -- pieces of music that made the audience ask "what's going on here, and what's going to happen?" They worked by wrong-footing the listener, by fooling you into thinking they were going to go one way when all the time they were sneaking over somewhere different. To be sure, the Beatles could work the same tricks, but that is because Paul McCartney was a genius able to instinctively decipher what generations of musicians before him had to have drummed -- and beaten -- into them at the coalface of the keyboard. Henry Mancini was one of the last of them -- a properly apprenticed craftsman who, in the right circumstances and with the right partner, could occasionally nudge at greatness himself. If a man of such enormous talent couldn't sustain the traditions that sustained him, then aren't we, like the Julie Andrews of "Darling Lili," "whistling in the dark," like the Audrey Hepburn of "Breakfast at Tiffany's" "after the same rainbow's end" -- the one that isn't coming any time soon?
Christopher Bray is the author of "Sean Connery" (Pegasus). He is at work on a cultural history of Britain in the 1960s.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sexy Beats with Colleen Shannon @ Mirage

The hottest female DJs take over every Saturday! This next Saturday, April 21, Bare is proud to present the most beautiful female spinstresses we could get our hands on...get ready for the "World's Sexiest DJ", Playboy's 50th anniversary playmate Colleen Shannon! Kick it by the pool and soak up the Sexy Beats Saturdays at Bare!

Where: Bare Pool Lounge at Mirage
What time: Starts at 11:00am
DJ: Colleen Shannon

1 OAK Nightclub
Tuesday Night at 1 OAK featured the Grand Finale of the red hot industry contest, “Get Rich or Party Trying.” The XS and Tryst Team took the Big Check for $50k home and the Trip to NYC went to team TNT (Noah Auspitz and Tony Marcum). Playing as a DJ Duo, Vegas favorites DJs Karma and Ikon made the night with amazing music and lots of energy.
Friday Night, Robin Thicke performed an unforgettable set, as he literally took the party everywhere in the Club including the Dance floor, in the middle of the Crowd!
Saturday 1 OAK’s massively popular “I Love New York” series continued with guest DJ Jus Ske, on fire all night bringing all the NYC energy to the Sin City!

HAZE Nightclub
Thursday we had the pleasure of having the turntable prodigy A-Trak spin at HAZE. He flew all the way from France to bless us with his world renowned remixes, scratching, and part rock style to the club. DJ Karma started the night off, serving the best flavors for your ear to dance to all night. The club was packed with party goers and the drinks didn’t stop until the lights turned on. Even Calvin “Megatron” Johnson from the Detroit Lions was in the building, popping bottles of champagne with his closest friends. A-Trak jumped on the decks, literally! He started the night was a mix of electronic and trance, while mixing in chords and hooks from Kanye and Jay Z while standing on top of the DJ booth. A-Trak started didn’t just crush Thursday night, he remixed it all together!
“In The House Fridays” featured DJ Stellar rocking the best house and dance music in the country. The lines started early Friday night and the dance floor was packed early with ladies. The speakers were booming till the early hours while confetti rained from the sky all night long. The atmosphere was explosive with lasers, beats, and bombshells dancing to the best in house. Another amazing night at HAZE, one DJ Mag’s top clubs in the world!
Saturday we had resident DJ E-Rock spinning on the 1’s and 2’s. The Bay Area native was spinning the best in top 40, hip hop, and all the dance music that makes the people party.

The Bank Nightclub
Friday, April 13th The Bank Nightclub at Bellagio hosted a Special Performance by Iyaz! Iyaz performed his chart toping hits “Replay” and “Pretty Girls” to name just a few. All the ladies in the club were on their feet singing along and dancing to Iyaz’s one of a kind performance. Resident DJ IKON masterfully spun the hottest tracks. IKON rocked the turntables and the energy was electric till the lights came up!
Saturday, the party was nothing short of spectacular! Saturday night at The Bank nightclub started off with a bang as Resident DJ Karma tore up the turntables, the Cryo Jets were going off, and the sounds were memorizing. The who’s who of the beautiful people filled the room and danced the night away.
The Hottest Industry Night in town got a little hotter as The Bank hosted the summer kick off party Babe Watch!! All the local pools gathered their staff to come support and party in honor of the summer pool season kicking off. The energy in the club was out of this world as DJ Karma lit up the turntables, and rocked the house! The place to be and be seen is Industry Sundays at The Bank!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Diana Krall's new U.S. and Sweden tour dates

Ticket Pre-Sale Alert!

The following performance in Sweden has just been announced:
October 24 - Konserthuset - Stockholm, Sweden

Pre-Sale tickets for this show in Stockholm, Sweden will be available tomorrow, Wednesday, April 18 at 12pm local time (GMT+1) via

The following performances in the U.S. have just been announced:
July 11 - Chastain Park Amphitheatre - Atlanta, GA
July 17 - Ravinia Pavilion - Highland Park, IL
August 6 - Denver Botanical Gardens - Denver, CO
August 13 - Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts - Las Vegas, NV
August 16 - Mountain Winery - Saratoga, CA
August 26 - Santa Barbara Bowl - Santa Barbara, CA

Pre-Sale tickets for these U.S. shows will be available tomorrow, Wednesday, April 18 at 12pm local time:
username: diana
password: krall

Come Play in the "Big Easy"

Single of the Week - "Funky Bompa: Berimbao"

7" Vinyl Single of the Week
Funky Bompa: "Berimbao/Aquarelon" (Bompa Discos Belgium) 2012

Side A
1. "Berimbao" (Funky Bompa edit)
Side B
1. "Aquarelon" (Funky Bompa edit)

New label Bompa Discos from infamous Belgium DJ/tropical party promoter Funky Bompa, who has been dropping his funky afro/Latin/Caribbean sets on a responsive crowd all over Europe for the last few years. More recently, Funky Bompa has got into producing dozens of his own re edits for his own DJ use, and due to massive demand he's released a couple - albeit it in a strictly limited 300 only dinked 45 no repress format. On ''Berimbao'' (sic), Bompa takes the infectious hypnotic guitar (by the uncredited Baden Powell, also the song composer) of the Brazil original and loops it to great effect, changing the vocal classic into a mostly instrumental journey until the end, when the vocal drops. On the flip ''Aquarelon'' is a remake of a certain Mr. Gomez track from 1972, where Funky Bompa lifts the massive piano intro, looping it up to carry through the swinging duration of the track. Certified club bangers both of them!

Monday, April 16, 2012

MoonRise Launch featuring The Crystal Method and DJ Scene, April 20

This Friday, April 20, Vegas' most exciting pool and lounge is open for evening business with the launch of their new monthly party, MoonRise! Featuring fantastic food and drink specials, bringing in the best electronic music acts from around the world, along with resident DJ Scene, the party kicks off with Vegas' own international superstars The Crystal Method! They're on tour promoting their new album, "Divided by Night", and LIQUID has got them for one night only! Experience MoonRise: another side, and another sip, of pure LIQUID!

Where: Liquid Pool Lounge at Aria
What time: Starts at 6:00pm
DJs: The Crystal Method, resident DJ Scene

Compilation of the Week - "Playboy Sessions Paris/Mixed by Michael Canitrot"

CD Compilation of the Week
"Playboy Sessions: Paris - Mixed by Michael Canitrot" (Playboy 2-CD set) 2012

Nino Katamadze and Insight Debuts at The Town Hall, NY, May 11

Sole Engagement!
Tickets at Ticketmaster now!

Having captured the hearts of millions with her magical voice, unique performance style and endless original improvisations, Georgian-born Nino Katamadze debuts in the U.S. next month @ Town Hall, on May 11, at 8pm. Her music, often defying a specific genre, has been referred to as jazz, soul, blues, folk, and world sound. Her talent, undeniably noticed by critics and audiences alike, has been praised and compared to some of the most celebrated female vocalists of all times (the likes of Adele, Janice Joplin, Etta James, and others).

Her performance style, relying on vocals and emotional connection with the listener, transcends cultural boundaries, and makes you forget that her entire catalog is written in Georgian, her native language. Join Nino and Insight Band for their sole New York performance - an intimate concert for those who appreciate talent, music, creativity and culture.

Buy tickets at
The Town Hall
123 West 43rd Street
New York, NY
For more information, please call 646-292-710

Psychic Faire @ The Green Man

The Psychic Faire is more :-) The Metaphysical Healers of The Green Man will be there too!
For more details:
Saturday, April 21 11am-7pm

Instrumentals Needed for Big $ TV Commercial

Below is a special opportunity that we wanted to give you a heads up about. Just got the word about this project today, and TAXI needs the music by TOMORROW, 5:00 PM (PDT) on Tuesday, April 17, 2012. You can find this listing under the Instrumental (Film & TV) genre in the Submit Music section of your hosting site.

Leading Madison Avenue Ad Agency needs HIP HOP, ELECTRO or CHILLOUT instrumentals for national TV ad. They are looking for SOPHISTICATED, CINEMATIC and HIGH-END instrumentals with a TEMPO between 85-100 BPM. The agency wants songs that have their "OWN DISTINCT VOICE" and a sense of "GRIT and SOPHISTICATION." Songs must be RELEVANT, HIP, ENGAGING and CONTEMPORARY. Songs should also have a bit of SEX APPEAL.

Quoting the agency, "The track should perhaps be fairly MINIMAL in INSTRUMENTATION, POSITIVE-sounding, and will sonically allow room for voice over."

Here are some references that came to mind:
RJD2 - Smoke & Mirrors -
Sofa Surfers - Sofa Rockers (Dorfmeister Remix) -
Jay Z - Heart of a City (Ain't No Love) instrumental -

You must own or control 100% of the Master and Composition rights to submit for this listing. NO SAMPLES of other songs or artists can be incorporated into your track. As always, do NOT copy or rip off the referenced artists or songs in any way, shape, or form! Broadcast Quality is needed (excellent home recordings are fine.) ESTIMATED fee for this license is $20,000-$50,000. This is DIRECT-to-the-AGENCY, so you'll KEEP 100% of the fee. Broadcast Quality is needed (excellent home recordings are fine). If you ARE chosen, the Ad Agency will contact you DIRECTLY. Please submit ONE to THREE songs online. All submissions will be screened on a YES/NO BASIS by a person Hand-Picked by the agency rep. NO FULL CRITIQUES FROM TAXI. Submissions must be received no later than 5:00 PM (PDT) on Tuesday, April 17, 2012. TAXI #Y120417IN

TAXI, 5010 N. Parkway Calabasas, Suite 200, Calabasas, CA 91302, USA

SFC: George Mesterhazy

George Mesterhazy, Pianist, Arranger, Dies at 58
by David Wiegand for The San Francisco Chronicle
April 16, 2012

It was pure chance -- or maybe great luck -- that brought singer Paula West together with the man who would become her pianist, arranger and creative soul mate, but that's how many great artistic collaborations begin.

In 2006, West made a frantic call to George Mesterhazy, because she'd just lost her regular pianist to Tony Bennett and was about to start a gig at the Algonquin Hotel's famed Oak Room. At first, he was just going to sub for one night, but soon enough, West asked if he could do the whole run.

Then she asked, by the way, could he write her an entire show?

Of course, he agreed, going on to become West's closest collaborator until his untimely death Thursday in New Jersey. Mesterhazy was 58.

Mesterhazy, a Hungarian native whose family immigrated to the United States in 1958, was long familiar to Bay Area audiences, performing regularly with West at the Rrazz Room as well as in concert as recently as February when she performed with his quartet at Herbst Theatre to celebrate the release of their new CD -- her first in 11 years -- "Live at the Jazz Standard."

A small man with an ever-present beret circling his long white hair, Mesterhazy was one of those guys who always seemed slightly rumpled and never seemed to worry about it. When performing with West, there was always a smile planted on his almost cherubic features as he trained his focus on West and his hands rippled up and down the keyboard.

The relationship between a singer and his or her pianist/arranger is much more complicated than audiences may perceive. It's a lot more than hitting the right notes at the right time: At its best, a singer-arranger relationship is not unlike a marriage, especially in the area of trust.

Mesterhazy was an exquisite pianist and arranger, having developed his skills in both areas as a protege of the late Shirley Horn and working with the great Boston jazz singer Rebecca Parris. His style was richly lyrical and his arrangements equally generous toward other members of his ensembles, which often included the sublime guitarist Ed Cherry, the sizzling young percussionist Jerome Jennings and the great young Israeli-born bassist Barak Mori. They clearly shared the appetite for pushing musical boundaries that bound the singer and her pianist together.

Early on in their collaboration, West brought Mesterhazy the enduring Sonny and Cher hit "The Beat Goes On" and asked him to adapt it for her voice and singular style.

"I wasn't sure of that at first," he told The Chronicle in 2009. "I really had to get the original tune out of my head and clear a point to some kind of creativity.

"To her, 'The Beat Goes On' is about what's happening in life today," he said. "But to me it was a cue to look at something about the beat, something that drums do that are different. And I tell you, I was going at it for the longest time until I asked her, 'Would you mind reaching for something really crazy? How about I put in an Afro-Cuban clave rhythm and put chords to it?'"

Over the years, the two continued to "reach for something really crazy" -- at least to fans of traditional cabaret -- and it always paid off. Of course, there was the inclusion of at least one Bob Dylan song in every West show, but beyond that, her gigs were graced with his exquisite arrangements of songs such as "Oh Shenandoah," "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?," "Nature Boy," "Wichita Lineman" and the moody torch song "Where Flamingos Fly."

To her longtime listeners, there was no question that the creative symbiosis of these two great artists was something incredibly special. From the beginning of her career in the Bay Area, West has demonstrated an insatiable musical curiosity, but it's not coincidental that she became even more adventurous once she started working with Mesterhazy.

For six years, Paula West and George Mesterhazy were a singular team. While there is no question that West's career will continue to flourish and that she will always explore new creative frontiers, she's suffered a tragic loss with the passing of Mesterhazy. And so have her audiences.

Arlene And The Guys Big Band @ Steamers

Monday night is big band night at Steamers!
Steamers Jazz Club and Cafe
138 W. Commonwealth Ave
Fullerton, CA 92832
Ph: (714) 871-8800

Arlene and the Guys big band presents excellent music, talented musicians and a strong sense of humor. The individual players have had various experiences both on the road and locally and are able to bring you a wide range of abilities.

They were brought together by pianist/leader, Arlene German, based not only on their talent, but also on their unique personalities. This has created a family type atmosphere throughout the band. They are great musicians and friends and like to share that with the audience. The band plays arrangements meant to make you feel the beat and awaken your emotions. The music is drawn from several eras and includes pieces by some of the best arrangers and composers of big band music both past and present.

Come listen to Arlene and the Guys and see why they have a "regular" nucleus of fans that has attended almost every third Monday night @ Steamers for over 15 years!

Compare your tax rate to Romney's

"Dear Arnaldo DeSouteiro --

You are currently living and registered in California's 30th Congressional District.

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And it's going to be one of the issues that will define this election.

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I can't think of a better way to illustrate the choice this country is facing in November. This is the way it breaks down:
The Buffett Rule closes loopholes and asks millionaires to pay at least as much as middle-class families, so that we can share the burden of reducing our deficit and investing in programs important to a strong middle class, like education, innovation and infrastructure.

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This November, it's one or the other. We either stick with a President who fights for the middle class, or we choose a candidate who fights to protect an unfair status quo that benefits him at the expense of our economy and the middle class. You'll be hearing a lot about the Buffett Rule in the coming days. But remember this: It's not about class warfare, and it's certainly not about some arcane policy disagreement. It's about common-sense fairness.

If you're still curious about what the Buffett Rule would actually do, take a look around the new website now:


Stephanie Cutter
Deputy Campaign Manager - "Obama for America"
P.S. -- After you've explored the site, help spread the word and get Congress to pass the Buffett Rule. We've got five easy things you can do."

Friday, April 13, 2012

Sonny Fortune Receives Jack Kleinsinger's "Highlights In Jazz Award"

(Jack Kleinsinger & Sonny Fortune, photo by George Wirt)

Last night, at Tribeca Performing Arts Center, "Highlights In Jazz" producer Jack Kleinsinger presented saxophone legend Sonny Fortune with their annual award.

Every year since 1974, "Highlights In Jazz" has honored a living jazz musician for their 'matchless musical achievements'. Previous honorees have included Lionel Hampton, Roy Eldridge, Frank Wess, Roy Haynes, Maxine Sullivan, Hank Jones and Dr. Billy Taylor to name a few.

Jack Kleinsinger, a former assistant attorney general for the State of New York, has been presenting jazz concerts continuously since 1973, making "Highlights In Jazz" New York’s Longest Running Jazz Concert Series.
Final Highlights Show Of The Season:

Thursday, May 10 at 8PM
"We Call it Jazz"
Featuring Christian McBride Big Band (This Years GRAMMY Winner for "Best Large Jazz Ensemble Recording") and The Michael Wolff Trio with Harvie S (bass) & Victor Jones (drums), plus special guest Baby Jane Dexter
$40 / Students $37.50 Special Offer to Main Stage Members $37.50

All Shows at: TRIBECA Performing Arts Center
Borough of Manhattan Community College
199 Chambers Street
TRIBECA Box Office at (212) 220-1460

Tickets for individual concerts may be ordered for $40.00, students $37.50

Make checks payable to & mail to:
"Highlights in Jazz"
7 Peter Cooper Road, New York, NY 10010
(Enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope)

Concerts produced in association with:
Borough of Manhattan Community College
199 Chambers Street
(212) 220 -1460

R.I.P.: Hal McKusick

Hal McKusick, Prominent Jazz Musician and Ross School Teacher, Dies at 87
by Colleen Reynolds for East Hampton Press

April 13, 2012

Hal McKusick, a prominent jazz saxophonist, clarinetist and flutist who lived in Sag Harbor and taught music at the Ross School, died on Wednesday at age 87 of natural causes, according to the Yardley and Pino Funeral Home.

In addition to his musical exploits -- he was also a composer, had a 14-year career with the CBS Studio Orchestra and worked alongside Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman and Judy Garland, to name a few -- Mr. McKusick was known as a talented craftsman, favoring furniture of the Shaker style. He restored his Sag Harbor home, which was originally built in 1796, according to a biography posted on his website. In the 1980s, the self-taught woodworker opened an antiques and restoration shop, Little Barn Antiques, where he crafted special commission furniture pieces for decades.

Mr. McKusick also took to the skies, having earned his commercial pilot's license in the 1970s, and even did some stunt flying and piloted charter flights from the East End to New England and islands along the Eastern seaboard, his biography states.

He took a teaching post at the Ross School in East Hampton in 1993 and is credited with founding the school's jazz band.

Mr. McKusick was born on June 1, 1924, in Medford, Massachusetts.

Funeral arrangements were not yet set as of Friday morning, according to Yardley and Pino.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

R.I.P.: Rodgers Grant

(born Rodgers Lee Grant on January 18, 1936 in Harlem, NY;
died on April 12, 2012 in Defiance, Ohio)

I'm devastated with the news that the great composer, pianist and arranger Rodgers Grant, age 76, just passed away. Surreal note: this extremely underrated and low-profile genius, who wrote the pop hit "Yeh Yeh" and the jazz standard "Morning Star" (one of the most intriguing and challenging jazz tunes ever composed) never released an album as a leader!

I was 9 years old when I became a big fan of Grant's tremendous talent as a composer through the gorgeous title track he wrote for Hubert Laws' "Morning Star" album, recorded for Creed Taylor's CTI label in 1972. That album (reissued on CD in the USA and Asia by Sony Jazz Masterworks in 2010; see posts below) received a Grammy nomination. A couple of years later, Grant contributed "Reconciliation" to another gem from Laws' CTI catalog, "In The Beginning" (which also featured Rogers Grant playing piano on an exciting 15-minute latin-jazz tune titled "Mean Lene"), later reissued as "Then There Was Light."

Between those two sessions, I had already started to collect everything that Grant recorded, including the albums with George Benson for A&M/CTI ("Tell It Like It Is" and, years later, an out-takes collection that would come out only in 1984 titled "I Got A Woman and Some Blues," on which he is uncredited) and specially the ones with Mongo Santamaria like "Watermelon Man" (including Mongo's hit version of Herbie Hancock's tune) and "Mongo Explodes," recorded in the Spring of 1964 for Riverside, including "Sweet 'Tater Pie" and "Dulce Amor," two songs composed by Grant specially for that album, later reissued on a 2-LP set as well as on CD format as "Skins" by the Milestone label.

It's worth to mention that, when Rodgers Grant joined Mongo Santamaria's band, he replaced Brazilian pianist João Donato. And when Grant left Mongo, the young guy who took the piano chair was Chick Corea!

I've also always loved Grant's biggest hit ever as a composer, "Yeh Yeh" (co-written with saxophonist Laurdine "Pat" Patrick, his band mate on Santamaria's group), with my favorite version being the one recorded by the English "new bossa" band Matt Bianco on their 1986 self-titled CD for Warner. Its opening track is the 12" Dance Mix version of the infectious "Yeh Yeh," originally recorded as an instrumental one by Mongo Santamaria in 1963 and, some months later, by Lambert, Hendricks and Bavan (after Jon Hendricks, the Pope of the Vocalese, added lyrics) and turned into a worldwide hit by Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames two years later.

Georgie Fame's "Yeh Yeh" single reached # 1 in England in January 1965 ("knocking The Beatles' "I Feel Fine" from the top position in the British charts," according to historian Jörg Feyer) and # 21 in the U.S. at the height of the so-called "British Invasion." Twenty-one years later, Matt Bianco's version reached # 15 in the UK charts. Grant's last recording session was with Brazilian jazz vocalist Ithamara Koorax, engineered by the legendary Rudy Van Gelder at Van Gelder Studios in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.

The son of Albert and Mary E. Grant, Rodgers Grant married Louise E. Morhart (who survives in Paulding) on January 28, 2000. He also was a US Army veteran.

Rodgers Grant is also survived by a son, Mandingo Ndingi, Oakland, CA; a daughter Biah Bia Buchongo of Oakland, CA; a step son, Don (Marilyn Stevenson, Cecil; 4 step daughters: Becky (Tom) Jackson, Bluffton, IN, Jackie Adams, Oakwood, Sally Stevenson, Dunedin, New Zealand, and Richelle Britt, Paulding; a sister, Judy Lee, new Rochelle, NY; 3 grandchildren; 10 step grandchildren; and 4 great step grandchildren.

He is preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Alberta.

Funeral services will be conducted 11 AM Tuesday, April 17 at Den Herder Funeral Home, Paulding, with Pastor Bob Shepard officiating. Burial will follow in Live Oak Cemetery with military graveside rites accorded by VFW Post #587.

Visitation will be 2 – 8 PM Monday, April 16 at Den Herder Funeral Home and one hour priro to services on Tuesday. My condolences to Louise and all their family.

Selected Discography:
1963 "Mongo Introduces La Lupe" - Mongo Santamaria
1963 "Watermelon Man" - Mongo Santamaria
1963 "Mongo at the Village Gate" - Mongo Santamaria
1965 "Organ Shindig" - Dave "Baby" Cortez (as a composer only)
1966 "Jazz for the Jet Set" - Dave Pike (as a composer)
1966 "Laws of Jazz" - Hubert Laws
1966 "Laws of Jazz/Flute By-Laws" - Hubert Laws
1966 "Tweety Pie" - Dave "Baby" Cortez (as a composer)
1966 "Vibrations" - The 3 Sounds (as a composer)
1966 "Hey! Let's Party" - Mongo Santamaria
1967 "Mongomania" - Mongo Santamaria
1967 "Joey" - Joey Pastrana & His Orquestra - Fender Rhodes
1967 "Mongo Explodes" - Mongo Santamaria
1968 "Soul Bag" - Mongo Santamaria
1968 "Explosion" - Mongo Santamaria
1969 "Tell It Like It Is" - George Benson
1969 "Stone Soul" - Mongo Santamaria
1969 "Workin' On A Groovy Thing" - Mongo Santamaria
1969 "Mongo Soul" - Mongo Santamaria
1970 "Mongo Santamaria's Greatest Hits" - Mongo Santamaria
1973 "The Watermelon Man" [2-LP set compilation] - Mongo Santamaria
1974 "In the Beginning" - Hubert Laws
1975 "The Good, the Bad, the Ugly" - Willie Colón
1976 "Confessin' the Blues" - Esther Phillips
1976 "Pura Salsa" - Azuquita
1977 "Baquiné de Angelitos Negros" - Willie Colón
1977 "Then There Was Light, Vol. 2" - Hubert Laws
1978 "Wirtz & Music" - Mark Wirtz (as a composer)
1979 "With Sound Reason" - Sonny Fortune (as a composer)
1984 "I Got A Woman and Some Blues" - George Benson
1986 "Matt Bianco" - Matt Bianco (as a composer)
1986 "Standards Zone" - Brian Melvin (as a composer)
1990 "Atlantic Jazz: 12 Vol. Box Set" - Various Artists
1990 "Atlantic Jazz: Singers" - Various Artists
1990 "Ready Steady Go!, Vol. 1" [Video] - Various Artists
1992 "A&M Gold: Mid '60s Classics" - Various Artists
1992 "Skins" - Mongo Santamaria
1995 "Best Sixties Album in the World Ever" - Various Artists (as a composer)
1996 "Masters of Jazz, Vol. 7: Jazz Hit Singles" - Various Artists
1996 "Mod Jazz" - Various Artists
1997 "Riverside Records Story" - Various Artists
1998 "Very Best of Georgie Fame & the Blue Flames" (as a composer)
1998 "Sabroso: The Afro-Latin Groove" - Various Artists
1998 "The In-Crowd" [3-CD Box Set] - Georgie Fame (as a composer)
1999 "Burnin'/Confessin' the Blues" - Esther Phillips (CD reissue)
2000 "Incontournables" - Mongo Santamaría
2000 "Gettin' to Me" - Various Artists
2000 "Silver Disc: The Ace 25th Anniversary CD Various Artists"
2001 "Celebracion: The Warner Bros. Recordings"
2002 "After Hours: Northern Soul Masters from the Vaults of Atlantic, Atco, Loma, Reprise" - Various Artists
2002 "Classic Jazz: Jazz Masters" - Various Artists
2002 "Sixties Jukebox Classics" - Various Artists
2003 "Shanghai Knights" - Original Soundtrack
2003 "Georgie Fame for Café Après-Midi" - Georgie Fame
2004 "Trios" - Max Leake (as a composer)
2004 "British Invasion: 1963-1967" - Various Artists
2004 "Live at Birdland" - Scott Whitfield (as a composer)
2004 "Colors of Latin Jazz: Música Romantica" - Various Artists
2005 "Touch and Go" - Frank Popp (as a composer)
2005 "6T's Rhythm & Soul Society: In the Beginning" - Various Artists
2006 "Collectables Classics [Box Set]" - Esther Phillips
2006 "Look at Me Now" - Laika Fatien (as a composer)
2007 "Speaking of Love" - Scott Whitfield (as a composer)
2007 "Street of Dreams" - Eileen Howard (as a composer)
2007 "Jukebox" - Randy Bachman (as a composer)
2008 "Monk on Monk/Crosstalk" - T.S. Monk (as a composer)
2008 "Good Lovin'" - David Campbell (as a composer)
2008 "What a Girl Needs" - Various Artists (as a composer)
2009 "Inside You" - Jenny Davis (as a composer)
2009 "Best Sixties Album in the World...Ever!" (Reissue) - Various Artists
2010 "Lemon Twist" - Cheryl Conley (composer)
2010 "Morning Star" - Vincent Herring (composer)
2010 "Mod Mania" - Various Artists (composer)
From Wikipedia:

Rodgers Grant (born 1935) is an American jazz pianist, composer, and lyricist. After having worked with saxophonist Hugo Dickens in the 1950s, he became pianist for Mongo Santamaría in the 1960s. In 1963, Grant wrote the hit, "Yeh! Yeh!" in collaboration with Pat Patrick. Jazz vocalist Jon Hendricks's added original lyrics and recorded the song with Lambert and Bavan at the Newport Jazz Festival of 1963. It became an international hit as recorded by Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames in 1965.

His instrumental works have been recorded by Santamaria, Hubert Laws, Johnny Coles, Frank Wess, Tom Harrell, Vincentico Valdez, Poncho Sanchez, Richard "Groove" Holmes, James Spaulding, Sonny Fortune, T.S. Monk, Karrin Allyson, Gene Harris, Jody Christian, Angela DeNiro, Stan Getz, Ralph Moore, Ray Bloch on the Ed Sullivan Show.

He composed the title track on Hubert Laws's Grammy-nominated album Morning Star (1973). Esther Phillips along with Oliver Nelson recorded his lyrical contribution to "Just Say Goodbye."

He continues to create original vocal and instrumental jazz material. Most recently, trombonist and vocalist Scott Whitfield recorded two of Grant's compositions on Scott Whitfield Jazz Orchestra East - Live at Birdland (2004).

Single of the Day - "Georgie Fame: Yeh Yeh"

Single of the Day
Georgie Fame: "Yeh Yeh" (Columbia) 1965

Fame's hit version of "Yeh Yeh," composed by Rodgers Grant, Pat Patrick & Jon Hendricks

Vinyl of the Day - "Hubert Laws: In The Beginning Vol. 2"

12" Vinyl Reissue of the Month Hubert Laws: "In The Beginning Vol.2" (CTI) 1974/2011

Produced by Creed Taylor
Engineered by Rudy Van Gelder @ Van Gelder Studios, February 1974
Cover Photo: Pete Turner
Album Design: Sibbie McDonough

Featuring: Rodgers Grant, Clare Fischer, Bob James, Ron Carter, Steve Gadd, Airto Moreira, Dave Friedman, Gene Bertoncini & Ronnie Laws
Arranged by Hubert Laws

Includes three extended tracks: John Coltrane's "Moment's Notice" (featuring Hubert's brother, Ronnie Laws, on tenor sax), Rodgers Grant's intriguing "Reconciliation," and Laws' own delightful latin-bop tune "Mean Lene," played in a "descarga" (jam session) mood, with Airto on percussion and Grant on acoustic piano.

Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth..."

For more details, please visit:

CD of the Day - "Hubert Laws: Morning Star"

CD of the Day
Hubert Laws: "Morning Star" (CTI/Sony Jazz Masterworks) 1972/2010

On October 05, 2010, under the new catalog number Masterworks 8869776833, "Morning Star" saw the light of the day on CD for the first time ever. Anywhere in the world! For this reason, despite the high level of all other albums selected for that new CTI reissue program created by Sony, "Morning Star" stood out as the indispensable star of this series.

Recorded from September to November, 1972, at Van Gelder Studios, "Morning Star" (graced by an unmistakable Pete Turner photo) reached the Billboard charts as #2 among the "Jazz Albums" and #148 in the Pop list of the "Billboard Top 200." The third Hubert Laws CTI LP arranged by the great Don Sebesky, finds the maestro employing a larger instrumentation than the chamber-jazz combos heard on their previous collaborations "Afro-Classic" and "The Rite of Spring."

After the basic tracks were cut with Bob James (Fender Rhodes), Ron Carter (acoustic bass) and Billy Cobham (drums), Creed Taylor invited Ralph MacDonald and John Tropea to add unobstrusive percussion and guitar touches. Even so, most of Tropea's work on the album was later deleted by Creed during the mix sessions at Van Gelder Studio, like he also did with Jay Berliner's work on Milt Jackson's "Sunflower" album...

[Btw, in the mid-80s, when CBS reissued "Sunflower" on CD for the first time, the reissue producer Didier Deutsch provided a full new mix, extending some tracks and restoring Berliner's playing in the opening track, "For Someone I Love," allowing us to savor that beautiful acoustic guitar sound throughout the entire track, since Creed had originally used it (on the LP version) only during the intro of the song. So, it would be funny to listen, someday, to Tropea's playing on "Morning Star" if a remixed version comes out in the future.]

Then, Sebesky overdubbed vibes (Dave Friedman playing only the written parts), strings and brass, assembling veteran studio masters as multi-reedmen Romeo Penque & Phil Bodner, trumpeters Marvin Stamm & Alan Rubin, trombonist Garnett Brown, harpist Gloria Agostini, and strings concertmaster Harry Lookofsky, my favorite violin player ever. At Laws' request, background vocals (by his sisters Eloise Laws & Debra Laws, plus Tasha Thomas & Lani Groves) were also added on two tracks, anticipating the pop vocal direction he would follow on later albums for Columbia such as "Say It With Silence" and "Land of Passion."

My personal favorite moment on the entire album is the superb title track, composed by the underrated pianist Rodgers Grant, who had previously recorded for CTI, alongside Laws, on Benson's 1969 "Tell It Like It Is," returning to Van Gelder Studio in 1974 for Laws' "In The Beginning" sessions, which included another Grant masterpiece, "Reconciliation."

There's also a sumptuous arrangement of "Where Is The Love?" with Laws using (by overdub) two flutes to play the intro/refrain. Curiously, the song composer, Ralph MacDonald (who co-wrote this theme with bassist William "Bill" Salter for Roberta Flack), doesn't performs on this track. Actually, he is heard only on "No More," playing congas as well as a variety of hand-percussion instruments.

Sebesky's scores are the hip of the hip, reaching an unbelievable combination of sophistication and naturality. The passage he wrote for Ron Carter's bass during a specific section of "Amazing Grace" (played by Laws without the rhythm section, backed only by Gloria Agostini's harp, strings, and during a few precious moments by Ron's bass) is another highlight.

This CD reissue, produced by Richard Seidel and remastered by Mark Wilder from the original 2-track analog mix tapes, comes in a beautiful mini-LP gatefold sleeve, faithfully reproducing the original cover concept created by my friends Bob Ciano (album design) and Pete Turner (cover pic) with an extra help of the liner photo by the late Japanese master K. Abe.

There's a sad note, though. The Sony team forgot to give credit to the composers & publishing companies. If the customer doesn't owns a copy of the original vinyl LP - on which the composers were credited on the label -, he will never know who wrote what. Some older buyers may recall that Ralph MacDonald wrote "Where Is The Love?", but how many will ever know that a genius named Rodgers Grant composed "Morning Star"??? A big copyright problem. But, unfortunately, an already usual thing for an younger generation of music fans, the Ipod guys that download anything without caring about anything.To celebrate such event, I've asked my dear friend Douglas Payne, CTI's top connoisseur in the world, to provide some insightful comments about “Morning Star.” His brilliant text follows:

Morning Star is a lovely and too-little known orchestral jazz classic that got lost in the shuffle of flautist Hubert Laws’s prodigious CTI output. Recorded between September and November 1972 and issued early in 1973 between Laws’s well-known The Rite of Spring (CTI, 1971) and the lesser-known performance feature Carnegie Hall (CTI, 1973), Morning Song is among the flautist’s most assured albums.

There is a perfectly sublime amalgamation of sound present here, as Laws is beautifully partnered on various flutes with Bob James on electric piano, Ron Carter on acoustic bass and Billy Cobham on drums. Laws and company are then set against some of Don Sebesky’s loveliest orchestral flourishes, as ever as complimentary and as much a part of the conception of the performance as any of the soloists.

Unlike almost every Hubert Laws record that came before it, Morning Star, which was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1973 (as was Freddie Hubbard’s Don Sebesky-arranged “In A Mist”), also ranks among the leader’s most consistent and consistently engaging programs. As before, Laws explores a mix of jazz, the classics, pop, funk and spirituals. But here the fusion works so considerably that each track doesn’t feel like a jump in genre.

Laws traverses jazz and the classics with the title track, written by the flautist’s piano partner in the Mongo Santamaria band, Rodgers Grant, and his own “What Do You Think of This World Now,” featuring sister Debra on vocals. The latter features such a prominent and unusual orchestration from Don Sebesky (similar to what he did in his “Bird And Bela in B Flat” several years later) that a co-composer credit would seem much in order here.

We’re on more familiar ground with the very solemn and meaningful reading of the traditional “Amazing Grace,” which was significant enough to factor on two CTI LP compilations back in the day, Fire Into Music and The Power, The Glory and The Music, and Ralph MacDonald and William Salter’s “Where Is The Love,” the huge 1972 hit from the Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway album, which features many players, including Laws, present on this album and also includes the “Come Ye Disconsolate” that Laws would cover on his 1975 album In The Beginning.

Laws also revisits two of his earlier compositions, “Let Her Go,” originally heard on his second album, Flute By-Laws (Atlantic, 1966) and the chilled-out funk of “No More,” originally voiced by Melba Moore on the 1968 Atlantic album Laws Cause, which also featured Ron Carter’s distinctive bass.

This leads to the remarkably exquisite sound that engineer Rudy Van Gelder captured on Morning Song. By the time of this recording, Van Gelder had mastered an utterly unique sound for CTI that was very different to the truly unique Blue Note, Prestige and Verve sounds the legendary engineer had crafted in years past. The sonority and balance are so gorgeously perfect here that it’s hard to imagine what a lesser engineer might have done with this quartet, two percussionists, seven horn players, 13 string players and (on two cuts) three vocalists. It might even be fair to say that Morning Star is the best sounding album CTI ever made.

Needless to say, Hubert Laws is inspired to play at the very peak of his abilities throughout Morning Song and there’s little doubt that any track off this record could be recognized very much as his own in any blindfold test. In addition to some of Bob James’s loosest and loveliest accompaniment and soloing throughout, the lyrical and like-minded Ron Carter is an asset to Laws’s singular performance, guiding with a subtlety that almost feels as if it is the bassist leading the charge
."Morning Star" can be ordered from DustyGroove through this link below:

And that's what they say about the CD:
One of the most sublime Hubert Laws albums for CTI – a set that features his incredibly soulful flute work floating over these beautiful large arrangements by Don Sebesky – all ticked by some sweet electric piano from Bob James! The sound is perfect – that balance of soul and sophistication that really made CTI a groundbreaking label at this point – and which made it a perfect place for a hip artist like Hubert to really hit his stride! And in fact, Laws may not have ever hit this height again – as even though later albums are all still pretty great, and plenty soulful, this set's got an extra something special that we never tire of hearing! Titles include "No More", "Morning Star", "Let Her Go", and "What Do You Think Of This World Now?".PS: Since 1985, when King Records began to release the first CTI CDs in Japan, and since 1987, when Sony Music (then CBS) started to do the same in the USA -- and I had been invited by both companies to contribute to such reissue series as a supervisor, reissue producer, tape researcher or liner notes writer -- I've always pointed out that Hubert Laws' fourth album for CTI, "Morning Star," should be a top choice for the then-new compact disc format.

Oddly, although most of my several other suggestions were accepted, the big bosses always ignored my requests for ressurrecting the Grammy-nominated "Morning Star," despite the fact that it had been one of Hubert Laws' most appreciated albums during the CTI period, which, not coincidentally, also represented Laws' creative heyday.

For me, the strangest fact is that "Morning Star" has never been reissued on CD not even in Japan. Throughout the years, I was even able to convince King Records, Japan's CTI distributor, to reissue albums even by artists they didn't "like", such as Urbie Green, Randy Weston, Yusef Lateef and Gabor Szabo. However, "Morning Star" never made the final lists. Something that also happened to Lateef's "In A Temple Garden," Stanley Turrentine's "The Sugar Man" and many of Joe Farrell's killer sets ("Penny Arcade," Upon This Rock" and "Canned Funk.")

They also refused to reissue George Benson's "Pacific Fire" on CD, alleging that they didn't have the rights for any of the CTI albums originally released after 1982. But, they allowed me to include tracks from "Pacific Fire" on such best-selling compilations as "CTI Acid Jazz Grooves" and" Best of Benson".

[Not to mention that, back in 1990, at the time of the "Rhythmstick" release (ie, the third CTI ressurrection under the aegis of Creed Taylor's himself), during a lunch we had in October 1990 at the Gotham Restaurant in New York (at 12th Street, between University Place and 5th Avenue, near the CTI office at University Place) I suggested Creed to start a reissue program with the "old" CTI masters he hadn't lost to Sony, still owning their rights. Albums like Jim Hall's "Studio Trieste," Urszula Dudziak's "High Horse," Claudio Roditi's "Red on Red" and Les McCann/Houston Person's "Road Warriors," among others. Creed's short answer: "I'm not interested in reissuing any old material"... Some time later, though, he did all that mess on Hall's "Youkali" spending a lot of money with studio fees and paying triple scale to musicians like Dave Weckl to overdub tracks from "Studio Trieste" and "Gershwin Carmichael Cats." But that's another story.]

Five of Hubert's eight albums recorded for CTI in the '70s were reissued on CD in the USA, under the supervision of producer Didier Deutsch, who had worked as publicity director for the label during the '70s: "Crying Song" (originally released as CTI 1002 in 1969, reissued with a different cover in 1970 as CTI 6000), "Afro-Classic" (CTI 6006), "The Rite of Spring" (CTI 6012), "In The Beginning" (CTXC 3+3, a massive 2-LP set also released as single albums under the titles "Then There Was Light Vol. 1" as CTI 6065, and "Then There Was Light Vol. 2" as CTI 6066), plus "The San Francisco Concert" (CTI 7071), on which Didier did a great job, adding many previously unreleased tracks and recreating the concert on its entirety. Didier also produced the compilation "The Best of Hubert Laws," released on the Epic label in 1990, on which he included two tracks from "Morning Star": the title song and "Amazing Grace."

In Japan, except for "Morning Star" (CTI 6022), all other Hubert Laws' albums for CTI eventually became available on CD: "Carnegie Hall" (CTI 6025), "The Chicago Theme" (CTI 6058) and Laws' 1982 collaboration with Jim Hall & Chet Baker, "Studio Trieste" (CTI 9007).

Besides his solo efforts, Laws' presence as sideman in more than 50 CTI/Kudu albums and as one of the key members of the several CTI All-Stars groups formed between 1971 and 1975, turned the best jazz flutist ever into one of the quintessential CTI artists alongside Ron Carter and George Benson. Curiously, after their last studio session in 1982, Laws and Creed Taylor resumed their collaboration 27 years later, when the producer assembled a new CTI All-Star Band that toured Europe in the Summer of 2009. Although the too much announced DVD filmed at the Montreux Jazz Festival has not yet been released (i'ts scheduled for release in Japan next Novmber 3rd), two other concerts -- filmed at the San Javier Festival (Spain) in July 2009 and at the Burghausen Festival (Germany) in March 2010 -- are already available on the web as bootleg DVDs.

R.I.P.: George Mesterhazy

Musician George Mesterhazy Dies
Sudden death of beloved Cape May pianist and friend of many leaves regional jazz community — and beyond — shocked and deeply saddened.
By Jeff Schwachter - Posted Apr. 12, 2012

George Mesterhazy, one of the finest jazz pianists and arrangers in the Jersey shore area, admired around the world, has died, Atlantic City Weekly learned Thursday evening, April 12.

Mesterhazy, who was about to celebrate the release of his latest recording with singer Paula West, Live at Jazz Standard, with four shows at the Manhattan jazz club scheduled — with West — May 10 to May 13, was nominated for a Grammy for his work as a player and arranger on Shirley Horn's 1997 album Loving You.

The Cape May resident, who played frequently in the resort town, was found dead in his bed earlier Thursday, according to one source close with Mesterhazy.

He was 58.

Mesterhazy had just played with his renowned trio at Sandi Pointe in Somers Point the night before, Wednesday night, April 11.

"It's a huge loss," says Nick Regine, president of the Somers Point Jazz Society, and close friend of Mesterhazy. Regine says he found out around 6pm that Mesterhazy had passed, just about 24 hours after seeing him perform at Sandi Pointe.

"I just saw him last night. I gave him a kiss. Not only from the jazz standpoint is this devastating, but he was just the sweetest individual. I just loved the guy. There is a huge hole."
Dan Anderson, who owns and operates Sandi Pointe with his wife, is stunned.

"It's kind of strange for all of us right now, really bizarre," says Anderson, who recalls Mesterhazy as being his "own self — fun-loving, entertaining, joking with the audience in the dining room, telling stories" and playing his powerful brand of piano per usual Wednesday night.

"I've only gotten to know George over the past few years, but he's become part of the family here," adds Anderson.

"There are a lot of musicians who we get to know through events with the Somers Point Jazz Society, and he got to know everybody here and everybody knew him.

"There are some musicians who people get really, really pumped up [to see perform] and he was certainly one of them."

Bass player and long-time friend and member of Mesterhazy's trio, Tim Lekan, as well as drummer Paul Jost, rounded out the piano man's trio for his final set Wednesday night.

This writer had the opportunity to get to know Mesterhazy over the years and spoke with him last at the Jazz at the Point festival, presented by the Somers Point Jazz Society, in March.

Mesterhazy, with a newly cropped hair-style, faded blue-jean jacket, spectacles and scarf, was in attendance for the Saturday night and Sunday portions of the jazz festival, hanging out at Sandi Pointe with his fellow artists, friends, colleagues and admirers — in good spirits as always, and talking about his always-busy music schedule.

The local jazz community, after losing Hassan Abdullah in 2011, Johnny Andrews the year before, and now Mesterhazy, is in a state of shock.

Regine says the SPJS will pay tribute to the late great Mesterhazy, a dear friend of the organization and its members, in the near future.