Monthly Archives: August 2013

Will Bernard – Just Like Downtown

(Positone)

Guitarist Will Bernard’s Just Like Downtown is a great recording that sounds like it’s name. It sounds the way you would imagine the downtown of any big city would sound. Bernard not only composed all of the great tunes on the project, but assembled a real pro lineup which breathes life into the notes. Joining Bernard on the set is Rudy Royston on drums, John Ellis on tenor sax and bass clarinet and Brian Charette on organ, the latter with an especially strong presence in the music which complements the guitar quite nicely. The talents of all the gentlemen on this effort is considerable and works seamlessly as they move through high-energy grooves and the occasional ballad. This is big time jazz.

Click to listen to a clip of “Route 46”:

Tracks: Dime Store Thriller, Go West, Sweet Spot, Dancing Days, Little Hand, Safety in Numbers, Balai Hai, Route 46, P.M. Gone  .

Website: WillBernard.com

Gina Kronstadt – Come Over

(Falloff Records)


Gina Kronstadt brings a fresh, contemporary voice to jazz, both in her singing and her songs. The Los Angeles-based artist creates her own musical landscape on her debut recording Come Over. Kronstadt, who worked for years in the background for other artists, started writing the songs on this project as an emotional outlet for herself, as a result, what’s heard comes from a place of truth and real emotion. So it is at times, fun, romantic and reflective. The singer/songwriter had the good fortune of having a great ensemble of musicians to bring her compositions to life. Joining Kronstadt on the effort are John Beasley on Fender Rhodes, Christian McBride and Reggie Hamilton on bass, Luis Conte on percussion , Walt Fowler and John Daversa on trumpets and Gary Novak on drums.  The culmination of all of this talent and these wonderful tunes adds up to a quite magnificent debut .

Click to listen to a clip of “Come Over”:

Tracks: Magic, Tell Me (Or Not), Come Over, Twitter Stole My Boyfriend, That Night, Turn Around, One More Time, Just Ask.

Website: GinaKronstadt.com

James Zollar – It’s All Good People

(JZAZ)

Veteran trumpeter James Zollar has produced a nice new release in which he features an array of talents, in addition to his own. It’s All Good People finds Zollar wearing as much of a producer hat as musician, in an effort that offers an array of musical styles, including Brazilian, R&B and funk. There are a number of vocal tunes throughout the package featuring vocalist Nabuko Kiryu, Sheryl Rene and Erika Matsuo respectively. On the musician side, their are some great contributions from flautist Cleave Guyton, harmonica player Gregoire Maret, percussionist Roland Guerrero, tenor saxophonist Jerry Weldon, bassist Leo Traverse and trumpeter Kevin Bryan among many others. Zollar has a bright sound on the horn and this effort offers a enjoyable look and listen into his musical universe .

Click to listen to a clip of “Paradito”:

Tracks: The Mo’ Doctor, When It’s All Said And Done, Imagine Me, Semaj, Bilhete, Kansas City Cha-Cha, Call Me, Paradito, Año Nuevo, For Cootie & Clark.

Website: Myspace

Cedar Walton Dies at 79

cwaltonBack in the day at Ronnie Scott’s club in London, when artists were booked on the personal whims of the founding proprietors Scott and Pete King without much regard for the box office, the same performers would reappear year after year with the regularity of old friends turning up to reunions. One such was the pianist and composer Cedar Walton, who has died aged 79.

Source: The Guardian

OnPoint Radio: The Legacy of John Coltrane’s ‘A Love Supreme’

John Coltrane, jazz saxophonist shown in an undated photo. (AP)
John Coltrane, jazz saxophonist shown in an undated photo. (AP)

NPR’s OnPoint Radio featured this program on the legacy of “A Love Supreme” on the verge of its 50th anniversary. Tom is joined by Tony Whyton, author of “Beyond A Love Supreme: John Coltrane and the Legacy of an Album.” The program runs 48 minutes and features calls from listeners sharing their thoughts on the importance of the Trane’s opus. You can listen to the program at the link below.

Marian McPartland, Jazz Pianist and NPR Radio Staple, Dies at 95

Peter Keepnews
New York Times

mcpartlandMarian McPartland, the genteel Englishwoman who became a fixture of the American jazz scene as a pianist and, later in life, hosted the internationally syndicated and immensely popular public radio show “Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz,” died on Tuesday at her home in Port Washington, N.Y. She was 95.

Source: NY Times

Scott Hamilton – Swedish Ballads & More

(Charleston Square)


Saxophonist Scott Hamilton pays homage to Sweden on his great new recording. Swedish Ballads & More lives up to its billing in a grand way. Hamilton’s rich tone on the horn really gives these tunes a nice coat of polish. The project was recorded in Copenhagen with a solid lineup of Swedish musicians, which includes Jan Lundgren on piano, Kristian Leth on drums and Jesper Lundgaard on bass. The project is a balance of ballads and uptempo tracks and the quartet swings quite nicely. That this effort is as excellent as it is will be no surprise to those who’ve followed Hamilton’s career over the years.

Click to listen to a clip of “Min Soldat (My Soldier)”:

Tracks: Dear Old Stockholm, Swing in F, You Can’t Be Love With A Dream, Trubbel, Stockholm Sweetnin, Min soldat (My Soldier),  .

Website:ScottHamiltonSax.com

Chick Corea – The Vigil

(Stretch/Concord)


Chick Corea, prolific as ever, remains one of jazz’s modern master craftsmen. His latest handiwork is The Vigil, a production which sees him working with a team of mostly younger musicians and a new palette of sounds. The music on this recording is all-new with Corea playing piano, Rhodes synth and other wonderful toys. It’s Corea at his magical best. Joining him on this effort him are guitarist Charles Altura, drummer Marcus Gilmore, bassist Hadrien Feraud and saxophonist Tim Garland. Percussionist Pernell Saturnino sits in on several tracks. Corea’s wife, Gayle Moran makes an appearance on one tune, as does RTF band mate bassist Stanley Clarke and saxophonist Ravi Coltrane on a track recorded before a live audience. Corea’s seemingly boundless energy is put to great use on this project, as he composed all of the tracks, which are outstanding. This effort further make the case that any and every opportunity to check out Corea’s deft artistry should be experienced.

Click to listen to a clip of “Planet Chia”:

Tracks: Galaxy 32 Star4, Planet Chia, Portals of Forever, Royalty, Outside of Space, Pledge of Peace, Legacy .

Website: ChickCorea.com

Verve Remixed:The First Ladies

(Verve Records)


To be sure, this is not the way jazz lovers are used to hearing some of its greatest female singers, but Verve Remixed:The First Ladies re-works them in an entirely, modern and grooveable way. This latest entry into the series finds a broad swath of the dance DJ community putting their spins, cuts and reverb on the classic vocals and songs of some jazz’s vocal standard bearers. In this mix are the works of Ella Fitzgerald, Astrud Gilberto, Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington and Marlena Shaw, among others. Sure some folks may have an issue with the merging of these venerable singers and songs into backbeats and dance music, but the way in which the talented mixologists transform these works of art is an art in itself.

Click to listen to a clip of “Fly Me To The Moon”:

Tracks: Ella Fitzgerald – Too Darn Hot (RAC MIX),Astrud Gilberto – Fly Me To The Moon (KASKADE REMIX),Sarah Vaughan – Please Mr. Brown (PONTUS WINNBERG OF MIIKE SNOW REMIX), Nina Simone – Feeling Good (BASSNECTAR REMIX), Marlena Shaw – Women of the Ghetto (FLUME’S JACKIN HOUSE MIX),Nina Simone – Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood (ZEDS DEAD REMIX), Billie Holiday – My Man (TORO Y MOI REMIX), Astrud Gilberto and Walter Wanderley Trio – So Nice (AZARI & III REMIX), Sister Rosetta Tharpe – Jericho (C2C REMIX), Nina Simone – Put A Spell On You (PRETTY LIGHTS REMIX), Ella Fitzgerald – Blue Skies (MAYA JANE COLES REMIX), Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto – Corcovado (TOKiMONSTA REMIX), Dinah Washington – I’ve Got You Under My Skin (DJ CARNAGE AND VICTOR NIGLIO REMIX).

Website: VerveMusicGroup.com

Litchfield Jazz Festival delights music fans for 18th year

litchfeld_jazz
Photo: Litchfeld Jazz Festival

By Jack Coraggio/The Register Citizen

GOSHEN, CT – For an 18th year in a row the Litchfield Jazz Festival, the music and culture celebration that draws music fans from all over the state and beyond, highlighted America’s truest homegrown art form.

The vibes were good and plenty under a mostly sunny sky mixed with just enough cloud coverage to mitigate serious sunburn. On Saturday, especially welcome was the shine since the night before it rained so much a discernable portion of attendance washed away, and the recent precipitation was evident in the pattern of mud puddles people jumped around and over like they were playing a game of hopscotch in the otherwise grassy Goshen Fairgrounds.

Bert Harney manned one of the dozens of vendor booths — his was for his family’s iced tea business Harney & Sons – and said the size of the crowd on Saturday severely beat the one from the night before and the ones from years past. But it wasn’t just the size that mattered it was the sheer awesomeness of it all.

Source: The Register Citizen