Monthly Archives: June 2015

Jazz at Lincoln Center and Sony Music Team Up for Blue Engine Records

blue_eng_logoJazz at Lincoln Center has shelves upon shelves of recordings from concerts it has presented since its founding in 1987, including a studio recording featuring the pianist Chick Corea, a musical Mass with a gospel choir written for the 200th anniversary of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York and concerts with the saxophonists Sherman Irby and Ted Nash. Now, that organization, together with Sony Music Entertainment, is bringing that archive, as well as new studio and live recordings, to the public through the creation of its own label, Blue Engine Records, to be announced on Tuesday.

Source: New York Times

Aaron Diehl – Space, Time Continuum

(Mack Avenue)


Composer-pianist Aaron Diehl continues to amaze on his second recording for Mack Avenue. Space ,Time Continuum is as an apt title for this expansive and refreshing production. In a lot of ways, the sound feels very familiar, but it’s Diehl’s willingness to take the tunes to  new places that gives it freshness. Likewise, the Columbus Ohio native’s incredible touch and playing approach makes this material incredibly satisfying to hear, in an album entirely comprised of outstanding self-penned compositions. The musician lineup for this effort is a wonderful blend of rising and very venerable talents that contributes to this project’s flavor. Joining Diehl’s core trio of David Wong on bass and Quincy Davis on drums, are Stephen Riley on tenor saxophone and Bruce Harris, as well as veteran stalwarts Benny Golson on tenor sax and Joe Temperley on baritone saxophone. Singer Charnee Wade delivers a fantastic vocal on the endeavor as well. This is a well-crafted work from one of the extraordinary artists of today.

Click to listen to a clip of “Organic Consequence”:


Tracks: Uranus, Untitled for Joe Temperly, Flux Capacitor, Organic Consequence, Kat’s Dance, Santa Maria, Broadway Boogie Woogie, Space, Time, Continuum .

Website: AaronDiehl.com

Brian Charette – Alphabet City

(Posi-tone)


By now, we have enough of a sampling of Brian Charette’s work to know that he’s one of the truly outstanding practitioners of the Hammond organ today. On Alphabet City, he shows a willingness to take things in new directions. Anchoring a solid trio of Will Bernard on guitar and Rudy Royston on drums, Charette often steps out of the traditional organ-guitar groove into a more fusion sound. Accordingly, Bernard switches pedals for some rocking solos, augmented by effects that take the production into an interstellar realm. Royston helps tie the whole package together with his excellence on the sticks. Listening to the unit work together is a pleasure on this truly excellent recording.

Click to listen to a clip of “Disco Nap”:


Tracks: East Village, They Left Fred Out, West Village, Not a Purist, Sharpie Moustache, Disco Nap, Hungarian Major,  Avenue A, Detours, Split Balck, White Lies, The Vague Reply .

Website: BrianCharette.com

Brianna Thomas – You Must Believe In Love

(Sound On Purpose Records)

Brianna Thomas is an incredibly exciting new voice on the scene and her debut recording is simply extraordinary. You Must Believe In Love not only showcases the versatility of Thomas vocally, but also her ability to deliver the emotional depth inherent in the material that comprises this effort. Her command of power and subtlety is a delight to hear. Thomas is also quite the arranger and composer, contributing 4 of her own originals, and as many arrangements to compositions by Ray Henderson, Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, Hoagy Carmichael and Michel LeGrand. Pianist Allyn Johnson, bassist Yasushi Nakamura and drummer Ulysses Owens, Jr. are Thomas’ core trio. Joining in the party are guests guitarist Russell Malone, trumpeter Marcus Printup, trombonists Wycliffe Gordon and Nick Grinder, harpist Riza Printup and tenor saxophonist Tivon Penticott. Ms. Thomas is an outstanding talent and the opportunity to hear this fact for yourself should not be missed.

Click to listen to a clip of “Bree’s Blues”:


Tracks: Bye Bye Black Bird, Don’t Be That Way, Love Doesn’t Die, I Should Have Known, Daydream, Lover of My Soul, Never Dreamed You’d Leave in Summer, In a Mellow Tone, Stardust, Bree’s Blues, You Must Believe in Spring.

Website: BriannaThomas.com

LA Times: Ornette Coleman, jazz innovator and disruptor, dies at 85

ornette_colemanWhen saxophonist Ornette Coleman played clubs in Los Angeles in the mid-1950s, audiences often covered their ears and waited outside until his set was done. He shunned the conventions of melody and harmony and encouraged his bandmates to do the same, producing a sound too dissonant for mainstream tastes.

So in 1959, when the iconoclastic musician and composer blew into New York for a gig at the legendary Five Spot jazz club, hostility flowed — drummer Max Roach expressed his disapproval by punching Coleman in the mouth.

But the club was filled, night after night, for weeks. By the the end of his run, Coleman had launched a new kind of cool.

“He’s doing the only really new thing in jazz since the innovations of Parker, Gillespie and Monk,” pianist John Lewis of the Modern Jazz Quartet said at the time.

Coleman, whose spontaneous approach to jazz improvisation and imaginative compositions stamped him as one of the most innovative and controversial figures of the post-bebop era and brought him a Pulitzer Prize for musical composition in 2007, died of cardiac arrest Thursday in New York, said his publicist, Ken Weinstein. He was 85.

Source: Los Angeles Times

New ‘Late Show’ Bandleader Jon Batiste Shares the History of Jazz

Jonathan+Batiste+i7636eFZrWomThe Late Show with Stephen Colbert recently named gifted and charismatic New Orleans jazz musician Jon Batiste as bandleader. At the 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival, Batiste sat down with Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson for a lively conversation that was part performance and part discussion (watch Batiste and Isaacson join in song at the 44:15 mark). They talked about the roots of jazz, their hometown of New Orleans, the importance of arts education, and the state and future of American musical traditions.

Source: Huffington Post

Kurt Elling – Passion World

(Concord Jazz)


Passion World by Grammy-winning vocalist Kurt Elling is a musical tour of various cultures. This recording, like all of Elling’s offerings, finds him pushing beyond previous boundaries, taking on tunes by composers from Brazil, Ireland, Germany, France, Scotland, Cuba and Ireland. He performs several the tunes in the languages of their origins, as he transforms them in his own tremendous signature musical style. The international flavor of this production is reflected in its array of guest talents, including trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, vocalist Sara Gazarek, German trumpeter Till Brönner, French accordion virtuoso Richard Galliano, the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra and the world-renowned WDR Big Band and Orchestra of Germany. This project is truly a journey and yet another stellar effort from Elling, as we’ve come to expect.

Click to listen to a clip of “Si Te Contara”:


Tracks: The Verse, After The Door, Loch Tay Boat Song, Si Te Contara, La Vie En Rose, Bonita Cuba, Where The Streets Have No Name, The Tangled Road, Você Já Foi à Bahia?,Nicht Wandle, Mein Licht (Liebeslieder Walzer Op. 52, No. 17), Who Is It (Carry My Joy On The Left, Carry My Pain On The Right), Where Love Is.

Website: KurtElling.com

CDN: DC Jazz Festival to roll out over 120 acts in 80 neighborhoods

JAZZ-FEST-POSTER-800b-700x467WASHINGTON, June 6, 2015 – Touting itself as the fastest growing jazz festival in the U.S., the 2015 D.C. Jazz Festival will welcome a diverse selection of locally, nationally and internationally acclaimed artists performing in venues across the Nation’s Capital this week from Wednesday to June 16.

As the area’s largest and most diverse music festival, boasting more than 125 performances in nearly 60 venues across the city, the DCJF reaches more than 60,000 visitors of all ages each year.

“As a supporter of the DC Jazz Festival for the last seven years, we are proud to be associated with the overall growth of the festival and in particular, Jazz in the ‘Hoods,” said Erik A. Moses, managing director of Events DC’s sports and entertainment division. “The Jazz in the ‘Hoods series brings people together to enjoy great jazz in a variety of DC’s coolest neighborhood venues,” he noted.

Source: Communities Digital News

The Canadian Press: Montreal jazz festival a boon for businesses

image MONTREAL — When Ray Charles opened the inaugural Montreal International Jazz Festival in 1980, founder Alain Simard was working on a budget of $70,000.

Little did he know that years later the festival would stave off financial ruin and draw millions in money and crowds to become one of the country’s most economically successful events of the summer.

“We could never have imagined that it would become a symbol of Montreal and bring about $100 million economic windfall each year,” said Simard, who is overseeing his final festival this year beginning June 26.

Source: The Canadian Press

Hayden Chisholm – Breve

(Pirouet)


Breve by saxophonist Hayden Chisholm would qualify as a quiet album, but it doesn’t mean that it lacks for intensity. It has plenty of energy in the interplay between Chisholm and John Taylor on piano and Matt Penman on drums. There’s a nice tempo and feel about this album that makes it a pleasing listen. The audio has a quality that lets you feel like you’re in the room with the musicians as the songs play out. The compositions are originals from the three gentlemen here, with the bulk of the contributions coming from Chisholm. The combination of the outstanding musicianship, the sound and artistry makes this production a great addition to any playlist.

Click to listen to a clip of “Tinkerbell Swing”:


Tracks: Patche, Barely A Moon, Tinkerbell Swing, The Elf of Plants, Augmented Waltz, Pass A Cage, Lea, So It Goes, Inebriate Waltz, Fly .

Website: HaydenChisholm,net