Monthly Archives: July 2013

Agachiko – Yes!

(Accurate Records)

Agachiko, the Boston-based septet has a cool new recording out titled Yes!. Fronted by vocalist Gabrielle Agachiko, the group has a sound that blends the traditional with the contemporary quite nicely. The songs and stories are fresh and the musicianship and vocals are as well. Musicians in the band are Sam Davis on guitar, Blake Newman on bass, Phil Neighbors on drums, Ken Field on flute, Scott Getchell on trumpet, and the group’s principal arranger, Russ Gershon on sax. The material is mostly original work that takes on timeless subjects of love, as well as a modern one dealing with the politics of language. It’s a very entertaining and really nice first outing.

Click to listen to a clip of “Words”:

Tracks: Blue Winter, Your Mama, Four Women, When The Water is Gone, Angel Eyes, Words, Love Isn’t Easy, Since I Fell For You, Now I Know, Unlovable, Yes .


Noah Haidu – Momentum


On Momentum , the sophomore recording by pianist Noah Haidu, he aptly demonstrates his versatility as a musician. Haidu possesses a master touch on the keys and an epic sense of swing. His runs across the keys and speed are blazing and amazing, and the timekeeping he maintains to keep it within the parameters of the tune is something special. Haidu and his trio, featuring McClenty Hunter on drums and Ariel de la Portilla on bass, work together very well. The song list here is a mix of nicely re-worked familiar standards and bright originals composed by the pianist. Haidu is really a talent worth checking out .

Click to listen to a clip of “A Child Is Born”:

Tracks: I Thought About You, Momentum, Rainbow, Juicy, A Child Is Born, Groove Interlude, The End of A Love Affair, Serenity, Cookie Jar .


NPR: Carline Ray: A Pioneer For Women In Jazz Dies At 88

Carline Ray
Credit Jazz Promo Services

Pioneering musician Carline Ray died July 18 at age 88. In the 1940s, when it was difficult for women to be accepted as jazz musicians, Ray found a home in the all-female band The International Sweethearts of Rhythm as the guitarist and a featured vocalist. She was also a bass player who performed with Sy Oliver, Mercer Ellington and Mary Lou Williams.

Ray was born in Harlem in 1925 during the Harlem Renaissance. She graduated from Juilliard and the Manhattan School of Music. Her husband, Luis Russell, led his own band and worked as Louis Armstrong’s music director.

Source: NPR

Natalie Cole – En Español


“Exquisite” is the word that comes to mind regarding Natalie Cole’s latest recording. En Español follows in the tradition of Cole’s legendary father, Nat King Cole, who recorded an entire Spanish language album in 1958. Cole’s delivery of the lyrics is fluid, phonetic and passionate. The arrangements and musicianship are just extraordinary. Produced by Rudy Perez, the menu of songs features a nice collection of popular Spanish standards, along with some contemporary favorites, including a nicely interpreted version of a Beatles classic. The project finds Cole in duet with a number of guests, including Andrea Bocelli, Juan Luis Guerra and trumpter Chris Botti. The magic of technology brings us another duet between father and daughter; this one works even more seamlessly and musically than the first time. Cole is simply a vocalist par excellence, no matter what language she’s singing.

Click to listen to a clip of “Mañana De Carnaval”:

Tracks: Frenesi, Voy A Apagar La Luz / Contigo Aprendi (Medley), Acércate Más, Mañana De Carnaval, Bésame Mucho, “Quizás, Quizás, Quizás”, Solamente Una Vez, Oye Como Va (Medley), Yo Lo Amo (And I Love Him), El Día Que Me Quieras, Bachata Rosa, Amapola.


AP: Trumpeter Lionel Ferbos, 102: Jazz keeps him going

AP Photo/Gerald Herbert


NEW ORLEANS—Music, jazz music, is what keeps Lionel Ferbos going at 102.
The Creole jazz singer and trumpeter celebrated his 102nd birthday July 17 by blowing the high notes for friends and family at the French Quarter club where he’s had a standing gig for decades. He also sang at a recent birthday bash at the National World War II Museum, breaking into “When You’re Smiling” as swing dancers shimmied.

Impeccable in a button-up shirt and tie, he posed for pictures all smiles. He cracked jokes about his age. And he relished the attention as he was serenaded both times with upbeat renditions of “Happy Birthday.”

“I thought I’d be dead at about 60,” he said, laughing.

Source: San Jose Mercury News

George Duke – Dreamweaver

(Concord Records)

It would be perfectly understandable if pianist, composer and producer George Duke didn’t make a record for awhile, having experienced the death of his wife of 40 years, Corine, just a year ago. It would also be understandable if the record he eventually made were somber in tone, but Duke’s latest recording Dreamweaver is anything but sedate, instead it’s a celebration. On many of the tunes, Duke goes back to the kind of synthesizer playing that he became noted for and stretches out for some amazing solos. In fact, on many of the tunes, he and his fellow musicians ride the groove for extended periods. He also enlists some of the talents we’ve heard on many of his projects over the years such as Stanley Clarke, Jeffrey Osborne, Phil Perry, Rachelle Ferrell and Lori Perry. There are also tremendous contributions from artists a bit newer to the fold, including bassist Christian McBride, drummer Lil’ John Roberts, trumpet player “Michael Patches” Stewart and saxophonist Kamasi Washington. Guitarist Jef Lee Johnson, who passed away in January 2013, also performs on the project, which also includes a track featuring Teena Marie, with whom Duke worked prior to her passing in 2010. There are a couple of tunes inspired by and dedicated to his late wife, but in that regard, and beyond, this record is as joyous as we’ve come to expect of a George Duke production, and as much about great musicianship, as it is a testament to music’s healing powers.

Click to listen to a clip of “Trippin’ “:

Tracks: Dreamweaver, Stones of Orion, Trippin’, Ashtray, Missing You, Transition 1, Change The World, Jazzmatazz, Round The Way Girl, Transition 2,  Brown Sneakers, You Never Know, Ball and Chain, Burnt Sausage Jam, Happy Trails .


SFJazz Center Announces 2013 – 2014 Season Artist Lineup

sfjazz SFJAZZ Center, based in San Francisco, recently announced the artist lineup for its 2013-2014 Season, which runs from September 5, 2013 to June 8, 2014.  SF Jazz Center opened in January 2013 has a membership of some 7,000 members  and has been extremely well-praised by critics and jazz fans alike. The schedule of events and prices is as follows.


Monday, August 26, 7:30pm

Premium tickets: $375 includes pre-concert reception with Bill Cosby.

All other seats: $100/$195.

Terence Blanchard with Lionel Loueke and Ravi Coltrane

Thursday, September 5, 7:30pm, $25/$35/$55

Friday, September 6 & Saturday, September 7, 7:30pm, $25/$40/$60

Sunday, September 8, 4:00pm, $25/$35/$55


Bill Frisell with Geri Allen & Greg Osby, Thursday, September 12, 7:30pm, $25/$45/$65

Bill Frisell with Thomas Morgan & Petra Haden, Friday, September 13, 7:30pm, $25/$45/$65

Bill Frisell’s Beautiful Dreamers Featuring Jim Woodring, cartoonist, Saturday, September 14, 7:30pm, $25/$45/$65

Bill Frisell & Friends, Sunday, September 15, 7:00pm, $25/$45/$65


Amjad Ali Khan, Thursday, September 19, 7:30pm, $25/$40/$60

Kellye Gray, Friday, September 20, 7:30pm, Joe Henderson Lab, $25

Allen Toussaint, solo, Saturday, September 21, 7:30pm, $25/$45/$65

Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club Featuring Omara Portuondo & Eliades Ochoa, Sunday, September 22, Davies Symphony Hall, 7:00pm, $25/$35/$55/$80


Regina Carter with Jenny Scheinman & Sara Caswell, Thursday, September 26, 7:30pm, $25/$35/$55

Regina Carter with Pablo Ziegler Quartet, Friday, September 27, 7:30pm, $25/$45/$65

Regina Carter with Kenny Barron, Saturday, September 28, 7:30pm, $30/$50/$70

Regina Carter with Carla Cook and the SFJAZZ High School All-Stars, Sunday, September 29, 7:00pm,


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Cécile McLorin Salvant – WomanChild

(Mack Avenue)

WomanChild, the debut recording singer Cécile McLorin Salvant, is one of those comet-in-the-sky moments, that rare privilege to witness something spectacular that makes you say “Wow!”. Salvant’s voice is a blend of voices in our collective memories, but to hear them as one and in a person with the grace, poise and power to deliver them in all their glorious colors in her early twenties, is something indeed. The Miami-born singer seems more kindred spirit with her vocal inspirations than imitator. Her repertoire is a throwback thrown forward by her deep understanding and appreciation for the genre. Producer Al Pryor provides Salvant and this outstanding recording tremendous direction befitting the talents of this amazing. The musicianship is tremendous, as delivered by Aaron Diehl on piano, Rodney Whitaker on bass, Herlin Riley on drums and James Chirillo on guitar. Salvant also plays piano on one tune and sings another in French. This is an incredible production by one of the truly amazing musical revelations of today.

Click to listen to a clip of “Baby, Have Pity on Me”:

Tracks: St. Louis Gal, I Didn’t Know What Time It Was, Nobody, WomanChild, Le Front Caché Sur Tes Genoux, Prelude/There’s a Lull In My Life, You Bring Out The Savage In Me, Baby, Have Pity On Me, John Henry, Jitterbug Waltz, What A Little Moonlight Can Do, Deep Dark Blue.


Glenn Cashman’s Southland Nonet – Music Without Borders

(Muckenthaler Jazz)

Saxophonist and composer Glenn Cashman leads a collective of top flight musicians in his Southland Nonet to produce a tremendous listening experience.  Music Without Borders is powered by Cashman wrote most of the the music and arranged the lush horn arrangements that comprise this recording. The sound is big and bold and less rigid that we often hear with bigger ensembles.Helping to flesh out the sound is a lineup that includes, in addition to Cashman, fluegel horn players Carl Saunders and Ron Stout, trombonist Andy Martin, pianist Ed Czach, bassist Luther Hughes and drummer/ percussionist Paul Kreibich. Cashman has produced an outstanding addition to the big band genre.

Click to listen to a clip of “Sumo”:

Tracks: I’ve Got Your Rhythm, Vida Feliz, Fall Colors, I Will Always Wait For You, Carnaval, Sumo, What Dolphins Say,  Bailey Street, Corazón, Cadenzas for Cadenas .


Ken Fowser/Behn Gillece – Top Shelf


Saxophonist Ken Fowser and vibraphonist Behn Gillece have a chemistry that shines through brightly on their fantastic new release Top Shelf. It’s the quality of their individual talents combined that powers this effort. In addition, the two talents each wrote the all of songs that are the body of this album’s work, and the emphasis here is on swing. Giving the project an added boost is a first rate lineup of musicians which includes Michael Dease on trombone, Rodney Green on drums, Steve Einerson on piano and Dezon Douglas on bass. The result is a fantastic production which truly lives up to its title.

Click to listen to a clip of “Slick”:

Tracks: Slick, Stranded In Elizabeth, Due Diligence, Ginger Swing, Unstoppable, Discarded, Penguenina, For The Moment, Top Shelf, Proximity.