Monthly Archives: February 2010

Gerald Clayton

(Emarcy Records)

The word “inventiveness” comes to mind when you hear pianist Gerald Clayton’s work on Two-Shade, his debut recording as a leader. Clayton applies creative voicing and effects to create a different kind of jazz piano experience. Whether on uptempo numbers or more laidback tunes, Clayton’s playing has a syncopated, percussive rhythm that is fascinating to the ear. The result is an engaging blend of moods that moves from solo settings to kinetic trio work with drummer Justin Brown and bassist Joe Sanders.  Having played for years with the likes of Roy Hargrove, Hank Jones, and the Clayton Brothers (led by his father and uncle), Two-Shade, which earned Clayton a Grammy nomination this year, is a striking emergence for this 25-year old talent.
Click here to listen to a clip of “Two Heads One Pillow”.

Tracks: Boogablues, Trapped In A Dream, Two Heads One Pillow,  Peace For A Moment, All of You, Interlude – Love All Around, Casiotone Pothole, One Two You, Sunny Day Go, Scrimmage, Interlude – You’re Out, Con Alma .

Babatunde Lea

babatunde_leaA conversation with percussionist/drummer Babatunde Lea.


Babatunde Lea, Tineke Postma upcoming Conversation guests

Feb. 24, 2010 – Join us for our conversations with two outstanding artists, Babatunde Lea and Tineke Postma, in the coming days.

On Thursday, February 25th at 2PM EST, we’ll be talking to master percussionist and drummer Babatunde Lea about his latest recording, a tribute to the great Leon Thomas, titled Umbo Weti.

Due to technical difficulties, we had to reschedule to our chat with saxophonist Tineke Postma to March 2nd at 2PM EST.

You can listen live at the JazzPage’s BlogTalkRadio channel by clicking on the link for the prospective guest on the day of the show.

If you miss them, both shows will be archived for listening at your convenience.

Esperanza Spalding on Austin City Limits

Feb. 23, 2010 – Esperanza Spalding’s appearance on PBS’ Austin City Limits, which was recorded last fall, aired this month on the program.

In case you missed it, you can check it out here (Tip: Expand the video window to fullscreen, if your computer can handle it).

From multiple performances at the White House, to being selected by President Obama to perform at his Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Norway, it’s been quite a year for Ms. Spalding.

It seems hard to believe that it was almost exactly a year ago that we were sitting backstage with her after a performance in Birmingham talking about art.

Babatunde Lea

Umbo Weti
(Motema Music)

Legendary vocalist and composer Leon Thomas, perhaps best known for his collaborations with the great Pharoah Sanders on “The Creator Has A Masterplan”, is the inspiration for percussionist and drummer Babatunde Lea’s latest musical effort. Lea’s connection to Thomas goes back to attending the same church while growing up in Englewood, New Jersey. For this beautiful tribute to the spirit and music of Thomas, Lea chose an ensemble of Ernie Watts on saxophone, Gary Brown on bass, Patrice Rushen on piano, and the powerful vocals of Dwight Tribles more than captures the mesmerizing essence of Thomas. Recorded live at Yoshi’s in Oakland, California, this 2-CD set is not only a wonderful tribute to a great artist, but a tremendous work in its own right.

Click here to listen to a clip of “Prince of Peace”.

Tracks: Disc 1: Invocation, Boom Boom, Cousin Mary, Price of Peace, Let The Rain Fall on Me, Reaching Up, Creator Has A Master Plan.

Disc 2: Umbo Weti, Colors, Sun Song, African Tapestry, Song For My Father.

A Conversation with Vocalist Jackie Ryan

Feb. 19, 2010 – Jackie Ryan was the first guest in TheJazzPage’s Conversations series on Thursday, February 18th at 2PM EST. The 30-minute interview was broadcasted live on

The archive recording of the interview with Ms. Ryan is now available in the Conversations section of our site. Click here to check it out.

Jackie Ryan

jackie_ryanA conversation with our very first guest, vocalist Jackie Ryan.


Tineke Postma

The Traveller

Besides being an engaging collection of music,The Traveller is an incredible showcase for saxophonist Tineke Postma. The 31-year old Dutch artist composed all but one of the songs on the album (Adagio), while arranging all of the compositions. Postma and a stellar lineup of talent which includes pianist Geri Allen, bassist Scott Colley and drummer Terri Lyne Carrington bring a chemistry and respect for each other that comes through in the wonderful performances of this recording, Postma’s fourth as a leader. Vocalist Anne Chris adds a contemporary flair to several tracks with her accompaniment of the music. Tineke Postma’s award-winning talents as a composer and performer on this project places her in the vanguard of today’s great jazz saxophonists.

Click here to listen to a clip of “Song For F”.

Tracks: Song For F, The Eye of The Mind, Crazy Stuff, Thin Line, Adagio 13 — Heitor Villa Lobos, Cabbonal, Motivation, Searching and Finding, YWC.

A Well-Deserved Grammy Win For The Incredibly Talented Mr. Elling

Feb 9, 2010 – It’s great when someone truly deserving of recognition wins the reward that goes along with that accolade. So to hear that Kurt Elling finally received his first Best Vocal Jazz Album Grammy for Dedicated To You after nine nominations was extraordinarily great.

We thought that Elling’s Man In The Air would be a sure winner in 2004, and that 2007’s Night Moves, which did not receive a nomination was equally deserving.

There are several other of those nine recordings that could have won as well, but there’s something even more special about his winning for such an extraordinary showcase as Dedicated To You. Likewise, it says volumes about any artist who is consistenly singled out for such great work over more than a decade, but to see him finally realize the prize his work so richly deserves is something special indeed.

Check out TheJazzPage’s October 2009 review of Kurt Elling’s now-Grammy-winning project, Dedicated To You.

Keith Jarrett
Paris/London Testament
(ECM Records)

Is it possible to tire of Keith Jarrett’s incredible pianissimo? Not likely. Paris/London Testament is a 3-disc documentation of his virtuosity and genius as an improvisational composer, bringing no pre-arranged music, while exploring, and finding, beautiful, new musical ideas in front of a live audience. The Paris concert was recorded at the Salle Playel on November 26, 2008, while the London concert recorded a few days later on December 1 at Royal Festival Hall marked Jarrett’s return to London after an absence of many years. The suite of performances are truly a testament to the continuing brilliance of an incredible musical artist.  

Click here to listen to a clip of “Part VII: Salle Pleyel, Paris”.

Tracks: Not traditionally titled.