Monday, May 30, 2011

"Tribute to Joe Pass" with John Pisano, Jim Hughart & Frank Potenza @ Vitello's, May 31

John Pisano, Jim Hughart & Frank Potenza
Tribue to Joe Pass
Vitello's Supper Club on May 31, 7:30-10pm
4349 Tujunga Ave.
Studio City, CA
(818) 769-0905

Tomorrow night @ Vitello's, Tuesday's Guitar Night will be remembering the beloved guitarist Joe Pass. John Pisano (Pass' favorite guitarist who played with him for several decades, and more recently shined on Diana Krall's "Live in Paris" DVD) & Jim Hughart (who was Pass' favorite bassist and also became João Gilberto's top choice for all his orchestral studio albums - "Amoroso," "Brasil" and "João") will be telling stories from the manny years they worked and recorded with Joe. Not to be missed.

CD of the Week - "Antoinette: Verbal Crush"

CD of the Week
Antoinette: "Verbal Crush" (Milestone Entertainment Company)

Antoinette Manganas' best album to date, produced by Larry King. The session starts with an irresistible dancefloor version of Gershwin's "Summertime," provided by Marc Dold, and includes many other infectious tracks. Maybe the strongest rendition ever of "Love Won't Let Me Wait" (Hank Crawford used to "sing" it on alto, and Antoinette phrases like a sax player) appears here.

Antoinette's soulful "black" voice travels from jazz ("These Foolish Things") to pop (Carole King's hit "It's Too Late") to r&b ("Isaac Hayes' "Déjà Vu") and even Brazilian music (a nice take on Jobim's bossa anthem "How Insensitive," with the help of the Belo Horizonte-born Paulinho Garcia on acoustic guitar.)

The legendary drummer/producer Norman Connors, Antoinette's mentor, contributes with "Special," and the singer herself wrote "Where Do We Go From Here," a lovely duet with former Shalimar singer Howard Hewett. The Chicago-based backing band is excellent too, including John Blessucci (keyboards), Larry Kohut (electric bass), Khari Parker (drums). The only "sad" thing is that she remains one of the best kept secrets of the music biz. She was discovered by Connors, but now she deserves to be discovered by the world. Music lovers deserve it too.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Vinyl of the Day - "Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson: Winter in America"

Vinyl of the Day
Gil Scott-Heron/Brian Jackson: "Winter in America" (Strata-East) 1974

R.I.P.: Gil Scott-Heron

(pic by Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times; Gil Scott-Heron in his Harlem home in 2001)

(born April 1st, 1949, in Chicago, Illinois, USA;
died May 27, 2011, in New York, NY, USA)

I wasn't familiar with Gil's work till I got in 1974, as a birthday gift from my gofdather, a vinyl copy of "Winter in America," his iconic collaboration with Brian Jackson (plus bassist Danny Bowens & drummer Bob Adams) that became an instant classic. And one of my favorite albums too, specially thanks to "The Bottle" and that Fender Rhodes sound that always turns me on. May Gil rest in peace. The NYT obituary follows:

Gil Scott-Heron, Spoken-Word Musician, Dies at 62
Published: May 27, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) — Musician Gil Scott-Heron, who helped lay the groundwork for rap by fusing minimalistic percussion, political expression and spoken-word poetry on songs such as "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" but saw his brilliance undermined by a years-long drug addiction, died Friday at age 62.

A friend, Doris C. Nolan, who answered the telephone listed for his Manhattan recording company, said he died in the afternoon at St. Luke's Hospital after becoming sick upon returning from a trip to Europe.

"We're all sort of shattered," she said.

Scott-Heron was known for work that reflected the fury of black America in the post-civil rights era and also spoke to the social and political disparities in the country. His songs often had incendiary titles — "Home is Where the Hatred Is," or "Whitey on the Moon," and through spoken word and song, he tapped the frustration of the masses.

Yet much of his life was also defined by his battle with crack cocaine, which also led to time in jail. In a 2008 interview with New York magazine, he said he had been living with HIV for years, but he still continued to perform and put out music; his last album, which came out this year, was a collaboration with artist Jamie xx, "We're Still Here," a reworking of Scott-Heron's acclaimed "I'm New Here," which was released in 2010.

He was also still smoking crack, as detailed in a New Yorker article last year.

"Ten to fifteen minutes of this, I don't have pain," he said. "I could have had an operation a few years ago, but there was an 8 percent chance of paralysis. I tried the painkillers, but after a couple of weeks I felt like a piece of furniture. It makes you feel like you don't want to do anything. This I can quit anytime I'm ready."

Scott-Heron's influence on rap was such that he sometimes was referred to as the Godfather of Rap, a title he rejected.

"If there was any individual initiative that I was responsible for it might have been that there was music in certain poems of mine, with complete progression and repeating 'hooks,' which made them more like songs than just recitations with percussion," he wrote in the introduction to his 1990 collection of poems, "Now and Then."

He referred to his signature mix of percussion, politics and performed poetry as bluesology or Third World music. But then he said it was simply "black music or black American music."

"Because black Americans are now a tremendously diverse essence of all the places we've come from and the music and rhythms we brought with us," he wrote.

Nevertheless, his influence on generations of rappers has been demonstrated through sampling of his recordings by artists, including Kanye West, who closes out the last track of his latest album with a long excerpt of Scott-Heron's "Who Will Survive in America."

Scott-Heron recorded the song that would make him famous, "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised," which critiqued mass media, for the album "125th and Lenox" in Harlem in the 1970s. He followed up that recording with more than a dozen albums, initially collaborating with musician Brian Jackson. His most recent album was "I'm New Here," which he began recording in 2007 and was released in 2010.

Throughout his musical career, he took on political issues of his time, including apartheid in South Africa and nuclear arms. He had been shaped by the politics of the 1960s and black literature, especially the Harlem Renaissance.

Scott-Heron was born in Chicago on April 1, 1949. He was raised in Jackson, Tenn., and in New York before attending college at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania.

Before turning to music, he was a novelist, at age 19, with the publication of "The Vulture," a murder mystery.

He also was the author of "The Nigger Factory," a social satire.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Obama: "Our Plan This Summer"

"Dear Arnaldo:

According to our records, you are currently registered in California's 30th Congressional District.

You've been hearing from Messina about our overall strategy and what's at stake in this election. My job as the Battleground States Director is to report back to you on the nuts and bolts of what we're building in communities across the country.

I want to take you through it in detail, so you can understand how to get involved and shape our organization where you live.

We're going to build it from the ground up. And we're going to use this summer to roll out our team model and organizing structure through grassroots planning sessions in homes and by videoconference.

Here's the full briefing -- watch it here, and if you're willing to get involved now and be part of the organization in your community, let me know:

Some of these planning sessions are already under way, and we're starting to get some feedback. I got one email from a supporter named Steven, who hadn't been involved at all since 2008, and only went to his grassroots planning session on a whim.

As a result, he's all-in -- he wants want to get involved fast, and also has all sorts of new ideas for how he can apply his skills better this time and which friends and colleagues he can reach out to about joining the campaign.

The subject line of his email about the meeting was "Inspiring night."

This kind of organization-building isn't just an electoral strategy -- it's a reflection of what we believe in as voters and citizens. It's a commitment to the kind of politics that begins in backyards and living rooms and empowers every single American to get involved and organize for the changes they want to see.

At a moment when it feels like the only thing that separates our opponents is how quickly they want to end Medicare as we know it, winning this way -- driven locally, powered by the grassroots -- will be a rebuke to those in Washington who still think that people across the country don't have a seat at the table where decisions are made.

I'm asking you to pull up a chair. If you're willing to get involved now, at this crucial point in the campaign, let me know here:

Mitch Stewart"
Battleground States Director - "Obama for America"

P.S. -- If you don't have time to watch the video, here's a quick rundown on where we stand:

-- Messina mentioned the one-on-one initiative last month. We're going to talk with every person who volunteered or made a donation last time. So the staff and I started making calls and meeting with people one-on-one. And then those people started having their own one-on-ones with others. So far more than 75,000 individual conversations have happened across the country. The results are a massive army of newly energized volunteers, plus thousands of pages of ideas and feedback that will inform how we shape our organization nationally.

-- Grassroots planning sessions are under way across the country -- we've had dozens so far with more than a hundred still to come. Everyone has been or will be invited to one.

-- You heard about our Summer Organizer Program when we asked you to help recruit them. Well, there are now hundreds across the country, and they start next week. We were pleasantly surprised that the number of applicants far exceeded what we saw when we launched this program in 2008, and you'll be hearing more about them -- and in many cases from them directly -- in the coming months.
This campaign isn't funded by lobbyists or corporate interests. We rely on donations from people like you. Please donate $5 today.
Contributions or gifts to Obama for America are not tax deductible.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

CD-Single of the Day: "Max Padovano feat. Momo B - Sex Now"

CD-Single of the Day
Max Padovano feat. Momo B: "Sex Now" (Molto Italy) 2011

1. "Sex Now" (MP Immense extended mix)
2. "Sex Now" (MP Tribb extended mix)
3. "Sex Now" (Stefano Liz Lisai remix)
4. "Sex Now" (MP Immense radio edit)
5. "Sex Now" (MP Tribb radio edit)

David Berger's upcoming performances

The David Berger Jazz Orchestra is back performing For The Love Of Duke, a new ballet choreographed by Susan Stroman with the New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center.
The performances are at the following dates and times and tickets can be purchased at NYC Ballet Box Office or by calling 212-870-5570.

May 28 at 2 PM & 8 PM
May 29 at 3 PM

There will also be a performance at the Saratoga Performing Arts Festival on July 9th at 8pm. Tickets can be purchased at

Next up, the DBJO will be playing a FREE outdoor performance on Sunday, July 10th at Pier 84 (at 44th St. on the Hudson River). There's a dance lesson at 6:30 and the performance is from 7-10pm. We've been playing this event for the past 10 years and everyone has lots of fun. About 2000 people show up and best of all, it's FREE!

Visit for more details.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

AmazonArt Concert in London, May 31

AmazonArt would like to invite you for the next concert at Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church on Tuesday, May 31st, 7.30 pm
Featuring cellist Diego Carneiro and pianists Eralys Fernandez and Neus Guiu Ritort.

AmazonArt concerts are free and donations are used to support Education Projects in the Amazon.

Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church
235 Shaftesbury Avenue
Nearest Tube Tottenham Court Road
London WC2H 8EP

J. S Bach: Suite for Cello No.3 in C
Cassado- Frescobaldi: Toccata
G. Faure: Elegie
W.Lutoslawski: Grave
S. Prokofiev: Sonata for Cello and Piano in C Major

For more info please go to

Monday, May 23, 2011

Anna Mjöll live @ Vibrato, this Friday!

Anna Mjoll’s upcoming concert with Pat Senatore, Bob Leatherbarrow, and Ed Czach at Herb Alpert's Vibrato in Bel Air, performing her repertoire of standards including “How High The Moon,” “Pannonica, “Freddie The Freeloader” and more.
This Friday, May 27th - 9PM
Call 310.474.9400 for reservations.

CD Reissue of the Week - "Laurindo Almeida: The Look of Love"

CD Reissue of the Week
"The Look of Love and the Sounds of Laurindo Almeida" (Capitol/EMI-Toshiba) 1968/2011

First CD reissue ever of one of Laurindo Almeida's best selling easy-listening albums for Capitol.
Excellent remastering quality!
Produced & conducted by Lex de Azevedo.
Arranged by Lex de Azevedo, except Jimmy Webb's "Up, Up and Away" (arranged by Dick Grove), and three tracks scored by Clare Fischer - Radamés Gnatalli's "Simplicidade," Cole Porter's "I Love You" and Stanley Styne/Donald Khan's "A Beautiful Friendship," a Nat King Cole hit - which, not coincidently, are the session highlights.
Almeida's readings of "Angel Eyes" and "When I Look in Your Eyes" are first-class too.
Clare Fischer's impeccable piano is heard throughout the album.

CD of the Week - "Antoinette: Curious Life"

CD of the Week
Antoinette: "Curious Life" (Studio Five) 2011

A very pleasant and sensual journey to the pop/r&b of the late '80s, with guitars, keyboards and programming paving the way for Antoinette's soulful vocals. The album was wisely produced by Roger Hatfield, who co-wrote most of the songs, many of them with Donny Thompson, who provided the additional vocal arrangements. Discovered by drummer-producer Norman Connors, Antoinette's "black" voice (even more powerful than Lisa Stansfield's) fits perfectly with the repertoire and the instrumentation.
Highlights: "Why You Let Me Go," "Carry On," "Secret Lover" and "Invincible Love."
In the wake of her successful debut CD, "Verbal Crush," produced by Norman Connors, Antoinette Manganas has again set sail for new worlds to conquer. In association with Grammy award winning producer, Roger Hatfield, she just released a brand new CD entitled "Curious Life".

“I loved the standards and smooth jazz style of 'Verbal Crush', but as a singer and a songwriter, I wanted to explore new musical directions. I am very attracted to the bump and grind of the neo-Soul and dancehall styles. I have always loved the rhythm side of rhythm and blues,” said Antoinette in a recent interview. "The evolution of the lyric has become very important as well." There are hints at a European tour, due in part to the traction she is enjoying with European radio stations.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Miles Davis: "Live at Montreux - Highlights" coming soon on DVD!

An eagerly awaited release, "Miles Davis: Live At Montreux - Highlights 1973-1991" will finally come out on DVD in the USA next June 20, by EagleVision. Fans, of course, would prefer to savour the complete DVD series from all concerts performed by Miles in Montreux (the box set "The Definitive Montreux Collection" will be released this Fall, including all of Miles' appearances at Montreux), but at least these highlights are a good start.

Miles played many times at the Montreux Jazz Festival, especially after his return to performance in the early eighties. This DVD brings together some of the highlights of those Montreux shows (10 stellar numbers from 8 of his concerts) stretching back to his first appearance on July 8, 1973 -- backed by Michael Henderson, Al Foster, Mtume, Reggie Lucas, Pete Cosey and David Liebman -- and up to his final concert there on July 8, 1991 (originally released on LaserDisc as "Miles & Quincy Live at Montreux," with Quincy Jones conducting Gil Evans' arrangements), just a couple of months before his death in September of that year.

Bonus Features: An insightful and personal interview with Carlos Santana talking about his memories of and relationship with Miles Davis and how he was influenced by him.(alternate cover; which one do u prefer?)

DVD Tracklist:
1. Ife
2. That's What Happened
3. Code M D
4. Pacific Express
5. Jean-Pierre
6. Heavy Metal Prelude
7. Jo Jo
8. Hannibal
9. The Pan Piper
10. Solea

Meanwhile, you can dig "The Complete Miles Davis at Montreaux" 20-CD box set released in 2002, comprising all concerts by Miles Davis at the Montreux Jazz Festival between 1973 and 1991 (most exactly in 1973, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1991), leading different groups that featured such musicians as Bob Berg, Kenny Garrett, Rick Margitza (in the brilliant 1989 concert I was fortunate to attend), Kei Akagi, Darryl Jones, John Scofield, Grady Tate and many others.Miles Davis is universally regarded as one of the most influential and innovative musicians and composers of the 20th Century. He was at the forefront of the jazz world for decades and was involved in the evolution of bebop, cool jazz, modal jazz and jazz fusion amongst others.(Miles at Montreux in 1989)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Thana Alexa Quintet @ Miles Cafe, NY, May 22

Thana Alexa Quintet
Sunday, May 22, 10pm-11:30pm
Miles' Cafe Jazz Club
212 East 52nd St, 3rd floor
New York, NY

Thana Alexa - vocals
Ben Flocks - tenor sax
Javi Santiago - piano
Gianluca Renzi - bass
Cory Cox - drums

Daoud-David Williams & the Spirit of Life Ensemble @ Gillespie Auditorium, NY, May 24

Celebrate with us when multi-percussionist Daoud-David Williams & the Spirit of Life Ensemble return to "Jazz Tuesdays" on Tuesday, May 24 in the Gillespie Auditorium at the New York Baha'i Center at 53 East 11th Street (between University Place & Broadway). There will be two shows at 8:00 and 9:30. Call 212-222-5159 for reservations and information.

This evening's show will be a tribute to the life and music of Kenny Mead: musician, producer, and promoter.

Formed in 1975, Spirit of Life Ensemble (SOLE) is under the leadership of multi-percussionist Daoud-David Williams. The music of this captivating, diversified and a true reflection of the group's name. Their sound is soulful, passionate, and filled with infectious energy, while at the same time inventive and thought provoking in its concept, thereby capturing the spirit of artistic creativity. Although their music is deeply rooted in the jazz tradition, it has been strongly influenced by the myriad of musical styles found in the African Diaspora.

The rhythms of Latin America, the Caribbean Islands, Africa, and the African-American musical genres of rhythm and blues, gospel, funk, and the blues permeate the sound of this electrifying ensemble, whose "jazz with a world beat" approach leaves your heart dancing long after your feet have stopped. The collective experience of SOLE members includes performances and/or recordings with icons of jazz such as The Ellington Orchestra, The Basie Orchestra, The Hampton Orchestra, Clark Terry, Dizzy Gillespie, Kenny Barron, John Hicks, Nancy Wilson, Ahmad Jamal, Charles Mingus, Horace Silver, Buddy Rich, and many others.

Their CD “Planet Jazz” can be purchased in the lobby on Tuesday night, or at or

Tickets will be sold at the door, or call 212-222-5159 for reservations and information. Admission is $15, $10 for students.

For more about acts at "Jazz Tuesdays", check out our websites at and

NY AD Agency Needs Pop/Rock Song

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 Music needs the song by 1:00 PM PDT on Tuesday May 24th, 2011. You can find this listing under the Pop (Film & TV) genre in the Submit Music section of your hosting site.

NY AD AGENCY Needs a CONTEMPORARY, MID-to-UPTEMPO, ORGANIC POP or POP/ROCK SONG for a non-broadcast film for a HUGE financial services company. Estimated license fee: $7,000-$10,000, and 100% of the money will go to the songwriter--NO publisher splits on this. Think John Mayer, Gavin Degraw, and Sara Bareilles to get in the style ballpark. AVOID Dance/Beat Oriented Pop. Your song should touch on Listening and Understanding for lyric themes, but don't write stuff that's too "on the nose." In other words, AVOID creating lyrics like, "I hear you babe, I understand where you're coming from." Gag! Keep them more general, but let the listener know that someone IS listening.

Leave OUT any romantic references... keep the lyrics more like a friend talking to another friend and offering some compassionate advice or understanding. Sincere and heartfelt is good, sappy is NOT! Keep it simple and positive, and let the energy build to create an "arc," but don't go crazy and over-produce. Ma le or female vocals are both okay. Full-length songs that are easy to edit a are plus. Give your track a title that makes them think you're a cool Indie artist--don't title it like you would for a music library pitch.

REPEATING: This is DIRECT-to-the-Agency, so you'll KEEP 100% of this deal with NO publisher splits! Broadcast Quality is needed (excellent home recordings are fine). You must own or control 100% of the Master and Composition rights. If you ARE chosen, the Ad Agency will contact you DIRECTLY. Please submit one to three songs online or per CD. All submissions will be screened on a YES/NO BASIS. NO FULL CRITIQUES FROM TAXI. Submissions must be received no later than TUESDAY, May 24th at 1pm, (PDT). TAXI #Y110524PR

Scot Alberton live @ Blueberry Music, May 21

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Eliane Elias' new CD, "Light My Fire," set to be released on May 31 in the USA

CD of the Day
Eliane Elias: "Light My Fire" (Concord Picante) 2011

In the late 80s and early 90s -- soon after her days with Steps Ahead and a splendid fusion group co-led with her then-husband Randy Brecker (documented on their overlooked 1985 electrified & electrifying "Amanda" album, dedicated to their daughter Amanda Brecker, now a well known singer in Japan) -- Eliane Elias emerged as one of the best pianists in the contemporary jazz scene. Check such splendid albums as "Illusions" (1987, to which Arnaldo DeSouteiro translated Bill Milkowski's liner notes after he arranged for EMI to release the LP in Brazil) "Cross Currents" (her 1988 masterpiece) and "Eliane Elias Plays Jobim" (praised by the late Leonard Feather, jazz's greatest historian ever, and to which DeSouteiro provided the press release) and you'll listen to a piano player on the top of the game, in the heights of her powers, associated with the best sidemen she ever had (Eddie Gomez and Jack DeJohnette), playing 100% better than any other pianist at that time, and much better than Jason Moran and Brad Mehldau "together"...

But then, once upon a time, there was a Japanese A&R of Toshiba's Somethin' Else label that had the trrible idea to "suggest" Elias to record a "Sings Jobim" album. Despite the controversial results, it went to the top of the Asian jazz charts. Since then, despite occasional instrumental projects, Elias' focus became her career as a singer/pianist. She has been trying to become a latin-tropical version of Diana Krall, and it's clear that she is enjoying it a lot. In this process, however, after a long stint with Blue Note Records, having big boss Bruce Lundvall as her artistic godfather, she's been jumping from label to label - signed with RCA, returned to EMI-Blue Note, and now debuts on Picante (Concord's subsidiary for "latin" artists or projects).

This new album, to be released in a few days (May 31), is her deepest dive into the territory of Brazilian pop music -- not into her real Brazilian roots, otherwise it would have been focused on Hamilton Godoy's fabulous Zimbo Trio style, the group led by the great teacher-master-guru during her childhood and teenage years in Eliane's native São Paulo, when Godoy (a true virtuoso and till today Elias' main "piano influence") provided a solid artistic foundation that she was able to develop and create her own style, absorbing elements from such American jazz artists as Bill Evans, Bud Powell, Thelonious Monk, Chick Corea and Keith Jarrett.

Several songs on "Light My Fire" are associated with "Gilbertos." Both Ary Barroso's "Isto Aqui O Que É" (aka "Sandália de Prata") and the album opener, Dorival Caymmi's "Rosa Morena" were written by two of João Gilberto's favorite composers, who introduced these songs to American jazz audiences longtime ago. João's wife in the Sixties, Astrud Gilberto, recorded "Light My Fire" during her glorious Verve days, with Airto Moreira on percussion. The former Brazilian Minister of Culture, Gilberto Gil, guests on three tracks and is the composer of three songs that may sound new to younger American critics-fans but are actually very old: "Aquele Abraço" (a big hit - in Brazil, of course - in the early 70s), "Toda Menina Baiana" and "Bananeira." This latter was originally composed & recorded, under the title "Villa Grazia," by Brazilian pianist João Donato back in 1963 (for a great bossa nova LP titled "A Bossa Muito Moderna de Donato e Seu Trio"). After Gil added lyrics in 1975, the song was retitled "Bananeira" ("Banana Tree") and included on Donato's "Lugar Comum" album, as well as recorded here in the U.S. by Raul de Souza on his best-selling album ever, "Sweet Lucy."

My personal favorite track is Kenny Dorham's "Stay Cool," to which Elias herself added lyrics, with Randy Brecker appearing on flugelhorn. You don't need to be Herculano Quintanilha to predict that this album -- beautifully engineered by Joe Ferla, co-produced by Elias and her husband Marc Johnson, Bill Evans' last bassist btw, and featuring gorgeous pics by Bob Wolfenson on the booklet -- will reach the top of the jazz charts, selling very well and receiving heavy airplay on jazz radio stations. A Grammy nomination is difficult, but a Latin Grammy nomination may be an easier task.
1. Rosa Morena 4:18
2. Stay Cool 4:03
3. Aquele Abraço 5:18
4. Light My Fire 5:38
5. Isto Aqui O Que É (Silver Sandal) 4:00
6. My Cherie Amour 4:31
7. Toda Menina Baiana 4:24
8. Bananeira 3:28
9. Made In Moonlight 5:12
10. Turn To Me (Samba Maracatú) 3:39
11. Take Five 5:13
12. What About The Heart (Bate Bate) 4:46

Since the mid-1980s, pianist/vocalist Eliane Elias has grafted various elements of jazz, pop, soul and other styles to her deep Brazilian roots to create a hybrid groove that exists comfortably on any hemisphere. Borrowing from an array of sources and singing in a variety of languages, Elias consistently forges a sound that appeals to listeners of every geographic locale and cultural persuasion. Her new album, Light My Fire - wields this universal sound to explore the various corners of the human heart - from romance and passion to the shared joy of being alive and embracing everyone into the dance of life. Along with four compositions written or co-written by Elias herself, the album also includes covers of familiar works by songwriters as diverse as Jim Morrison and the Doors, pop icon Stevie Wonder and jazz saxophonist Paul Desmond. Elias weaves it all together into a cohesive whole by injecting each of the twelve songs with distinctly Brazilian grooves that alternate effortlessly between the fiery and passionate to the cool and sophisticated.

"Some of the tunes are cool and laid back, but others are quite rhythmic and joyful," says Elias. "And they have some different grooves. I tend to gravitate toward romance - beautiful melodies, beautiful harmonies and rhythms with a great feel. But more than anything else, I'm singing about love on this record in its different aspects and dimensions. I've made more than 20 records in my career. I'm proud of all of them, but I'm especially excited about this one. It feels like it has a life and an energy all its own. With very few exceptions, nearly all of the songs were first takes. Everybody in the studio was so focused, and it was such a fun record to make. The music was really flowing, and we all felt very relaxed. From the very first day, not a note was wasted by anyone. It was an amazing experience."

Backing Elias on Light My Fire is a crew of twelve high-caliber players, including special guests guitarist/vocalist Gilberto Gil and trumpeter Randy Brecker. The rhythm section - which has accompanied Elias on several of her most recent recordings - includes guitarist Oscar Castro-Neves, bassist Marc Johnson and drummer Paulo Braga. Also on hand to sing with Elias and Gil on "Toda Menina Baiana" is Elias' daughter, singer-songwriter Amanda Brecker. New to Elias' team is percussionist Marivaldo dos Santos, drummer Rafael Barata, guitarists Romero Lubambo and Ross Traut, and flutist Lawrence Feldman.

Pianist/vocalist/composer/arranger Eliane Elias (pronounced eh-lee-AH-neh eh-LEE-ahs) has grafted various elements of jazz, pop, soul and other styles to her deep Brazilian roots to create a hybrid groove that exists comfortably on any hemisphere. Borrowing from an array of sources and singing in a variety of languages, Elias consistently forges a sound that appeals to listeners of every geographic locale and cultural persuasion.

Her new album, Light My Fire – set for a May 31, 2011, release on Concord Picante, a division of Concord Music Group – wields this universal sound to explore the various corners of the human heart – from romance and passion to the shared joy of being alive and embracing everyone into the dance of life. Along with four compositions written or co-written by Elias herself, the album also includes covers of familiar works by songwriters as diverse as Jim Morrison and the Doors, pop icon Stevie Wonder and jazz saxophonist Paul Desmond. Elias weaves it all together into a cohesive whole by injecting each of the twelve songs with distinctly Brazilian grooves that alternate effortlessly between the fiery and passionate to the cool and sophisticated.

Backing Elias on Light My Fire is a crew of twelve high-caliber players, including special guests guitarist/vocalist Gilberto Gil and trumpeter Randy Brecker. The rhythm section – which has accompanied Elias on several of her most recent recordings – includes guitarist Oscar Castro-Neves, bassist Marc Johnson and drummer Paulo Braga. Also on hand to sing with Elias and Gil on “Toda Menina Baiana” is Elias’ daughter, singer-songwriter Amanda Brecker. New to Elias’ team is percussionist Marivaldo dos Santos, drummer Rafael Barata, guitarists Romero Lubambo and Ross Traut, and flutist Lawrence Feldman.

“I’ve made more than 20 records in my career,” says Elias. “I’m proud of all of them, but I’m especially excited about this one,” says Elias. “It feels like it has a life and an energy all its own. With very few exceptions, nearly all of the songs were first takes. Everybody in the studio was so focused, and it was such a fun record to make. The music was really flowing, and we all felt very relaxed. From the very first day, not a note was wasted by anyone. It was an amazing experience.”

That sense of effortlessness is evident from the opening bars of “Rosa Morena,” a song whose lyrics ask: “Where are you going? Why don’t you come and join us?” One of many songs on the album sung in Portuguese, the song is essentially an invitation for everything that is to follow. “It starts with a little bit of light percussion,” says Elias, “then gradually builds, adding layers of instruments until the end. A couple songs were arranged in this way, where I varied the density of the sound within the same tune. I was mindful of treating each song with somewhat different levels of transparency, which I think has a way of inviting the listener in and holding one’s interest. Joe Ferla, my recording and mixing engineer, further enhances this intention with his beautiful 3D mixes.”

The stirring “Aquele Abraço,” written by Gilberto Gil and inspired by his political exile in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, is a song about being willing to send love out to everyone and everything despite challenging circumstances. “Gilberto was first put in jail for months, and then he was sent out of the country,” says Elias. “When he was leaving, he wrote this song, recalling Rio de Janeiro and those he left behind.”

The intriguing covers include the title track, a slow and sexy Brazilian version of the Doors’ churning 1967 rock hit; a sensual take on the classic Stevie Wonder ballad, “My Cherie Amour;” and a slinky vocalese rendition of saxophonist Paul Desmond’s jazz classic, “Take Five,” first made famous by the Dave Brubeck Quartet in 1959. “I didn’t just follow the original version note for note,” Elias says of the Desmond tune. “I created another section, a development section to replace the traditional ‘blowing chorus.’”

“Isto Aqui O Que É” reveals Elias’ beautiful voice in its most intimate setting on the album. “The song says, ‘This here is a little bit of Brazil, a Brazil that sings and is happy, and its people are not afraid, and they do not give up in the face of hardship.’ The song is a kind of anthem. The arrangement builds slowly, and the song eventually grows into a full sound. It’s so representative of what the lyrics say and what the Brazilian people are about.”

“Turn To Me (Samba Maracatú)” was co-written in 1988 by Elias and popular Brazilian composer Gonzaguinha, who passed away a few years later in 1991. In the world premiere of this song, Gilberto Gil, who was highly influenced by Gonzaguinha’s father, Luiz Gonzaga, steps in and shares the vocals as a tribute to the revered composer.

“What About the Heart (Bate Bate),” another of Elias’ original compositions, relates one person’s desire to rekindle the passion and romance in a relationship that has become routine and complacent. “‘Bate Bate’ (pronounced ‘baht-chi baht-chi’) is the sound of a quietly beating heart,” says Elias. “It asks the question, ‘What about the heart?’ In the end, it’s all about the heart.”

Says Elias, “I’m very excited about the music on this album. I think it’s cool, sexy and fun. This recording is the truest expression of what I’m doing right now, and it represents very closely what people hear me doing live in concert. I hope this music brings some romantic, joyful and heartfelt moments to those who hear it.
Upcoming Tour Dates
All dates with Brazilian Quartet except when indicated
July 14 2011 - Aarhus Jazz Festival, Aarhus, Denmark
July 18 2011 - Jardines de Sabatini, Madrid Jazz Festival, Madrid, Spain
August 20 2011 - Capbreton Festival, France
August 25 2011 - Teatro Mayor J.M. Santodomingo, Bogota, Colombia
August 26 2011 - Teatro Mayor J.M. Santodomingo, Bogota, Colombia
August 27 2011 - Bogota, Colombia
September 1 2011 - Curaçao North Sea Jazz, Brakkeput Mei Mei, Curaçao
September 8 2011 - Seattle Jazz Alley, Seattle, WA(tickets)
September 9 2011 - Seattle Jazz Alley, Seattle, WA (tickets)
September 10 2011 - Seattle Jazz Alley, Seattle, WA(tickets)
September 11 2011 - Seattle Jazz Alley, Seattle, WA(tickets)
September 14 2011 - Anthology, San Diego, CA
September 15 2011 - Zipper Hall, Los Angeles, CA
September 16 2011 - Yoshis, San Francisco, CA (tickets)
September 17 2011 - Yoshis, San Francisco, CA(tickets)
September 18 2011 - Yoshis, San Francisco, CA(tickets)
September 19 2011 - Private Event, San Francisco, CA
September 25 2011 - State Theater, New Brunswick, NJ (Quintet)(tickets)
September 30 2011- Scullers, Boston, MA (Quintet)
October 1 2011- Scullers, Boston, MA ( Quintet)
October 5 2011 - The Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (with Toots Thielemans, Marc Johnson, Airto Moreira & Oscar Castro Neves)
October 26 2011 - Shanghai Concert Hall, Shanghai, China
October 29 2011 - Flagey, Brussels, Belgium (with Toots Thielemans, Ivan Lins, Marc Johnson, Airto Moreira and Oscar Castro Neves)
October 30 2011 - De Roma, Borgerhout, Antwerp (with Toots Thielemans, Ivan Lins, Marc Johnson, Airto Moreira and Oscar Castro Neves)
November 1 2011 - Antwerp Private Concert (with Toots Thielemans, Ivan Lins, Marc Johnson, Airto Moreira & Oscar Castro Neves)
November 4 2011 - Barcelona, Spain
November 5 2011 - Arc en Scènes Théâtre La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland
November 12 2011 - Le Chatelet, Paris, France with special guest Toots Thielemans
November 17 2011 - Schloss Elmau/Oberbayern, Germany
November 29 2011 - Iridium, NY
November 30 2011 - Iridium, NY
December 1 2011 - Iridium, NY
December 2 2011 - Iridium, NY
December 3 2011 - Iridium, NY

Win tix to the Bunker's Berghain & Panorama Bar Residency

The Bunker's fifth Berghain & Panorama Bar Residency takes place this Friday at Public Assembly, and it's another one not to be missed. With a forthcoming Berghain mix CD in the works, Berlin's Marcel Fengler (Berghain, Ostgut Ton) makes a triumphant return to the Bunker, playing in the backroom along with Derek Plaslaiko. In the front room, Berlin by way of Michigan's Ryan Elliott (Ostgut Ton, Spectral Sound) will be representing the Panorama Bar, playing an extended set along with Bunker resident Spinoza.
We've got two pairs of tickets up for grabs to this killer night. Enter by emailing, and they'll notify the two winners on Friday morning.

70 N. 6th Street,

$10 Tickets Available at Other Music

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Kick Off Your Memorial Day Weekend - Amanda Carr @ Acton Jazz Cafe

Friday, May 27th, 7PM Join Amanda at ACTON JAZZ CAFE in Acton, MA.
Featuring guitarist John Wilkins with Jerry Vejmola on sax, Steve Langone on drums and Mark Poniatowski on bass.

Tickets $10 pre-ordered or $12 at the door. Great menu and bar.
Reserve your seat now! Call 978-263-6161 or visit

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Obama: Get Your "Made in the USA" Mug

"Dear Arnaldo:

According to our records, you are currently registered in California's 30th Congressional District. So, let me introduce you to Jerome Corsi.

This week he released a new book that the publisher says will be a bestseller "of historic proportions."

The title is "Where's the Birth Certificate?" -- yes, really.

Corsi's work is a greatest-hits reel of delusions, ranging from 9/11 conspiracies to claiming that there is an infinite supply of oil in the Earth's core. In 2008, he published a book about Barack Obama claiming, among other things, that he (a) is a secret Muslim; (b) is secretly anti-military; (c) secretly dealt drugs; and (d) secretly supported terrorist actions when he was eight years old. So many secrets! called Corsi's work "a mishmash of unsupported conjecture, half-truths, logical fallacies and outright falsehoods."

There's really no way to make this stuff completely go away. The only thing we can do is laugh at it -- and make sure as many other people as possible are in on the joke.

So let's just do this -- get your Obama birth certificate mug here:

Last year, the President said, "I can't spend all of my time with my birth certificate plastered on my forehead."

This is about as close as we can get.

If the facts can't make these ridiculous smears go away, we can at least have a little fun with it.

And then we'll get back to the important work of supporting the President as he tackles real problems like high gas prices, the deficit, and unemployment.


Julianna Smoot
Deputy Campaign Manager
Obama for America"

Contributions or gifts to Obama for America are not tax deductible.

R.I.P.: Bob Flanigan

Bob Flanigan, Founding Member of the Four Freshmen, Dies at 84
by Randy Lewis
Los Angeles Times, May 17, 2011

Bob Flanigan, a founding member and original lead singer of the innovative vocal group the Four Freshmen, whose elegantly intricate jazz-rooted singing was a profound influence on Beach Boys mastermind Brian Wilson as well as the Lettermen, the Manhattan Transfer and numerous other vocal acts, died Sunday at his home in Las Vegas of congestive heart failure. He was 84.

Flanigan, who retired from performing with the group in 1992 but continued as its manager until his death, was surrounded by friends and family and had been serenaded by an ad hoc group of eight trombone players a few hours before he died, a spokeswoman for the current edition of the Grammy-winning group said Monday. The original lineup charted a handful of hits in the '50s, including "Graduation Day," "It's a Blue World" and their arrangement of Duke Ellington's "Mood Indigo."

"Bob Flanigan and the Four Freshmen were my harmonic education," Wilson said Monday through his manager. "I saw them at the Cocoanut Grove in Hollywood in 1958. My dad and I went backstage and met the Freshmen. I was nervous because they were my idols. They were so nice to me. I was just 15 years old. I'll forever miss his friendship."

Wilson has long cited the Freshmen as one of the two most important influences on the Beach Boys' sound, the other being the exuberant guitar-driven rock of Chuck Berry.

Tony Butala, founding member of the Lettermen vocal trio, was similarly affected by the music of the group that was formed in 1948 at Butler University in Indiana by Flanigan, his cousins Don and Ross Barbour and their friend Hal Kratzch. "The Freshmen were my heroes when I was in high school," Butala said. "We became friends, and he didn't so much take me under his wing, but he was very much helpful. We always argued, jokingly, that [the Lettermen were] the Four Freshmen without doing all the modern harmony."

Ross Barbour, 82 and now the group's last surviving original member, said in a statement: "Flanigan's voice was indestructible. He could drive all day and all night without stopping between gigs, and when our voices were on the edge, Bob was still in full form."

Flanigan, who also was a trombonist, often credited big band leader Stan Kenton as being the key influence on what the Freshmen wanted to achieve, a sound built on more sophisticated harmonies than typical of the male vocal quartets that preceded them.

"I always thought of singing as if I were playing trombone with Stan," Flanigan told The Times in 1991. "We think like horn players. The way we blend is due to our approach as instrumentalists. Also, we use no vibrato, because Kenton's trombones didn't."

All members of the Four Freshmen also played instruments, which made them unique among close-harmony vocal groups of the era. In addition, Flanigan's exceptional vocal range allowed him to take the melody above the other three voices, which also opened new vistas in male quartet singing. The Freshmen were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2001.

Robert Lee Flanigan was born Aug. 22, 1926, in Greencastle, Ind., to Minter and Nellie Flanigan. From an early age he was enthralled with the sound of jazz, especially big-band singer and trombonist Jack Teagarden and bebop saxophonist Charlie Parker.

Upon completing a stint in the military during World War II, where he served in Germany, Flanigan enrolled at Butler, where Hal Kratzsch and brothers Don and Ross Barbour had formed a barbershop quartet with high harmony singer Marvin Pruitt.

When Pruitt developed stage fright and decided to quit, it opened the door for the Barbours to reach out to their cousin Flanigan. After he came aboard, the quartet changed its name from the Toppers to the Four Freshmen.

A friend of Kenton's urged him to see the group because it had developed a reputation of having a vocal sound like that of his band. He promptly connected the Freshmen with officials at his record label, Capitol, which signed the group and soon released its first hit, "It's a Blue World," in 1952.

"I don't know if they were necessarily really looking to push the envelope as far as the sound goes, they just knew what sounded good to them," said Bob Ferreira, who joined the Freshmen shortly after Flanigan retired in 1992 and has worked closely with him for nearly 19 years.

Flanigan is survived by his wife, Mary; his sister Maxine Thomas; children Scott, Jill, and Stephen Flanigan, Julie Maple, Jennifer Turner and Debbie Muria, and 15 grandchildren. Plans for a memorial service are pending.

"Tribute to Miles Davis" reissued today on DVD

The controversial "Tribute to Miles Davis" DVD is being reissued today, May 17, by IMV Blueline, with a new cover and remastered sound.

Featured artists in the 85-minute program: George Benson, Larry Coryell, John McLaughlin, Paco De Lucia, Rickie Lee Jones (guitar); George Duke (keyboards); Stanley Clarke (bass); Dennis Chambers (drums); Triluk Gurtu (percussion); Brian Simpson (keyboards); George Bohanon (trombone); Brandon Fields (sax); Everett Harp (sax) et al.

Filmed for a Spanish TV broadcast on October 16, 1991, by producer Tony Hollingsworth, no man for unfinished business. The experienced promoter organised the Mandela concerts (1988 and 1990, London), The Wall (1990, Berlin), and the concert series called "Guitar Legends" concert series, held in 1991 prior to the Expo 92 in Seville, Spain. Live recordings from the 1991 Expo have been compiled into a fitting tribute to Miles.

1. Opening / Medley (All Star Jam)
2. All Blues (George Benson)
3. In A Silent Way (John McLaughlin)
4. So What (Larry Coryell)
5. Concerto De Anrajuez (Paco de Lucia)
6. Tutu (Stanley Clarke)
7. School Days (Stanley Clarke / Larry Coryell)
8. Bolero (Larry Coryell)
9. El Panuelo (Paco de Lucia)
10. Que Alegria (John McLaughlin)
11. Zyryab (John McLaughlin, Paco de Lucia)
12. Dat Dere (Rickie Lee Jones, Larry Coryell)
13. Valdez In The Country (George Benson)
14. Being With You (George Benson)
15. Eighty One (All Star Jam)

R.I.P.: Bruce Ricker

Bruce Ricker, a Champion of KC Jazz and Film, Dies at 68
by Steve Paul
Kansas City Star, May 17, 2011

Some of the details remain hazy, but it was 1975 in a small midtown supper club where a crowd of serious jazz people gathered to celebrate the past.

Bruce Ricker, an attorney turned local activist and filmmaker, had been spending time here with a graying generation of musicians, recording their memories, stories and music from the heyday of Kansas City jazz.

And now he and his fellow filmmakers, John Arnoldy and Eric Menn, were showing a sprawling rough cut of the film. I think we sat for three and a half or four hours, watching the likes of Big Joe Turner, Count Basie and Ernie Williams banter about the joyous and jumping vibe of one of our city's greatest exports.

The projector broke down a few times, and there was a lot of wandering around the club and chattering as the film ran its course.

It took Ricker, a native New Yorker, another four or five years to raise the money and finish his film, cutting about 30 hours of footage down to a svelte 90 minutes. By then he was back in New York. But when we ultimately got the pared-down version of "The Last of the Blue Devils," most of us came to appreciate the enormous achievement of Ricker's labor of love.

Ricker died Friday, at 68, after a long bout with pneumonia. He lived in Cambridge, Mass., with his wife, Kate Gill, and daughter Emma.

In the years since 1980, when "Last of the Blue Devils" premiered in London, Kansas City and New York, Ricker remained a passionate champion of jazz and film.

He operated a jazz-on-video distribution business, Rhapsody Films, making movies and repackaging many rare and collectible recordings.

He partnered with documentarian Charlotte Zwerin on a film about Thelonious Monk, and attracted the involvement of Clint Eastwood on that and subsequent movies. Ricker partnered with Eastwood on a film about Dave Brubeck and segments of a PBS series on the blues, presented by Martin Scorsese, including "Piano Blues." Most recently, Ricker made a documentary on Tony Bennett for PBS' American Masters series, which aired in 2007.

Ricker had come to Kansas City in 1970 to work on a graduate law degree at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and wound up in practice for a while with onetime U.S. Attorney F. Russell Millin.

As an attorney, Ricker was executor of the estate of the writer and critic Seymour Krim. Ricker was partial to a range of music, to Beat poets and to occasional countercultural high jinks. (He once participated in a Kansas City film project called "Linda Lovelace for President.")

I once turned him on to a friend's jazz-oriented novel, and Ricker put together a deal to option it for Hollywood. (Oh, well; a film never materialized.)

But, for Kansas Citians, "The Last of the Blue Devils" was his most significant contribution. Framed around a gathering of musicians at the historic Mutual Musicians Foundation, the movie helps preserve the vitality and significance of this city's jazz scene of the 1920s, '30s and '40s. It was loose and lively, respectful and eminently down-to-earth. As one writer put it at the time, the film "was a long, boozy party of undistilled joy."

"I enjoy the Altmanesque feel of the movie," Ricker told The Star in 1980 (citing another filmmaker from Kansas City, Robert Altman), "the not knowing just where it is going to go next. Some people feel the film should have Walter Cronkite narrating it or something, but I felt the emotional content was more important than stating any specific facts. We deliberately worked toward a lot of emotional scenes."

In 1988, as Eastwood was making his own fictional homage to Charlie Parker, the film called "Bird," he came across Ricker's "The Last of the Blue Devils" and backed a re-release of the film, which led to a hugely successful opening in Paris.

"It may be just my opinion but as far as I'm concerned," Eastwood wrote in Le Monde at the time, "Americans don't have any original art except for Western movies and jazz."

Over the years "The Last of the Blue Devils" was shown in Europe, spreading what by then was the poignant history of Kansas City jazz.

"When the film first came out in 1980, Basie and Turner were still around," Ricker told The Star at the time. "But when you see it today on the big screen and realize that they've all passed away, it seems to affect people more strongly."

Upcoming In-Store Performances @ Other Music, New York

We are truly thrilled to announce that Other Music will be hosting a record release party for Thurston Moore's fantastic new solo joint, Demolished Thoughts, produced by Beck Hansen for Matador Records. Thurston and his band will be performing at the shop at 8 p.m. on Monday, May 23, and signing records after. Please join us -- and, need we say, get here early!

Featuring lutenist Jozef Van Wissem and multi-instrumentalists Robbie Lee and Che Chen, Heresy of the Free Spirit plays Van Wissem's arrangements of lute compositions and improvisations that draw on early music, folk traditions, modern composition and noise. Their set will be followed by a performance from Paul Metzger, whose singular brand of solo banjo music is equally influenced by American primitive, Indian raga, and Middle Eastern tonality.

These young Copehenhagen punks have already sold out a couple of small-label pressings of their first album, New Brigade, and Brooklyn's What's Your Rupture? is stepping up to the plate to give the record a proper North American release on Tuesday, June 21. The following night, Iceage will be celebrating its release playing a set of their exhilarating post-punk/hardcore at Other Music.

15 East 4th Street, NYC
Free Admission | Limited Capacity

EP of the Week - "David Guetta feat. Fergie & Chris Willis: Erotica 9"

12" EP of the Week (picture disc)
David Guetta featuring Chris Willis, Fergie & LMFAO: "Erotica 9 - Gettin Over You" (Juno)

Side A
1. "Gettin Over You" (club mix) 5:30
2. "Gettin Over You" (Sidney Samson remix) 6:02
Side B
1. "Gettin Over You" (extended remix version) 5:57
2. "Gettin Over You" (Thomas Gold remix) 6:35

To listen to sound clips and/or purchase the EP:

Diana Krall & Paul McCartney: recording together for Paul's next album, a "standards" project

Diana Krall helps lay down some tracks with Paul McCartney on his Standards project!

In LA, at Capitol Studios, Paul McCartney began making another dream come true: he started recording an album devoted to covers of pop standards from the pre-rock years. "It's my dad's style of music," he says. "I've wanted to do that kind of thing forever, since the Beatle days. But then Rod [Stewart] went mad on it. I thought, 'I have to wait so it doesn't look like I'm trying to do a Rod,'" he told Rolling Stone magazine.

Diana Krall and her quartet took part of the proceedings, which also included orchestral arrangements, but the number of songs to be used is uncertain and the titles remain strictly confidential. Other tracks will be recorded in London later this year.

For additional infos, please check:

Monday, May 16, 2011

Laurie Antonioli live in CA, May 26

Laurie Antonioli & The American Dreams Band
Thursday, May 26th, 8pm
Freight & Salvage
2020 Addison Street
Berkeley, CA
(510) 644-2020

Buy Tickets Here

Matt Clark - Piano
John Shifflett - Bass
Jason Lewis - Drums
Sheldon Brown - Reeds, Harmonica
Michael Abraham - GuitarLaurie Antonioli: "American Dreams" (Intrinsic Music)
Highly challenging approach & adventurous singing & creative phrasing throughout the album, one of the best vocal jazz releases of 2010.
Highlights: "Just a Dream," "Samba Nada Brahma" and "Vienna Blues," three songs co-penned with Austrian piano master Fritz Pauer (Art Farmer, Kristin Korb); the Ornette Coleman-ish "Stimulus Plan," written by Paul Nagel, once again with Antonioli providing the sharp lyrics; and notable renditions of the standards "Moonlight in Vermont" and "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning" that would make Carmen McRae proud.
The interactive band -- Matt Clark (pianos), John Shifflett (bass), Jason Lewis (drums), Sheldon Brown (soprano & tenor saxes, bass clarinet, harmonica) and Dave McNab (guitars) -- sounds impeccable, with reedman Brown shining specially on bass clarinet, but also contributing a truly perfect tenor solo on "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning."
My dear friend Mark Murphy always praised about Laurie. Now I know why.

For more details, bio and pics, please check:

Miles Davis & Marcus Miller: "Tutu" - Original & Revisited on CD & DVD

Marcus Miller's "Tutu Revisited," with Christian Scott playing Miles' parts, will finally be released as a 2-CD set next week in Japan, by Victor Entertaiment (JVC), on May 25. In Europe, the album was issued a couple of days ago, on the Dreyfus label, in a combined CD+DVD (PAL system) packet. No release date for domestic release in the U.S., though.The DVD is scheduled to come out on June 22.And Miles Davis' original "Tutu," produced by Marcus Miller, will be reissued by Warner Japan on July 20, in a limited SACD (Super Audio CD) edition, with digipak cover. All essential items for Miles' fans!ジャズの帝王、マイルス・デイビスの晩年のプロデューサーとしても知られるカリスマ・ベーシスト、マーカス・ミラーがプロデュースした『TUTU』の楽曲をプレイした、マイルス・トリビュート・コンサートの模様を収録したCD。ゲスト・トランぺッターとして実力派トランペッター、クリスチャン・スコットがフィーチャー。発表から25年を経て現代のミュージシャンによって進化して蘇ります。『TUTU』からの楽曲以外にも、マイケル・ジャクソンの「ヒューマン・ネイチャー」等も披露。
(2009年12月22日 リオンにてライブ収録)

CD Reissue of the Week - "George Shearing: Bossa Nova"

CD Reissue of the Week
George Shearing: "Bossa Nova" (Capitol/Toshiba-EMI) 1963/2011

Recorded in December, 1962, released in May, 1963
Produced by Tom Morgan
Arranged by Clare Fischer
Liner notes by Tony Newman
Featuring: Laurindo Almeida (acoustic guitar), Ralph Peña (acoustic bass), Shelly Manne (drums) and woodwinds (the uncredited bass clarinet player should have won a special award!)

Highlights: Jobim/Newton Mendonça's bossa nova hymns "One Note Samba" and "Desafinado," Fischer's own bossa "Pensativa," the jazz standards "On Green Dolphin Street" and "Come Rain or Come Shine," Ralph Peña's "Algo Novo," Shearing's own "Black Satin" and Almeida's batuque "Amazon's Legend," which sounds very similar to Dorival Caymmi's first part of "O Mar."

Monterey Jazz Festival Announces Members of 2011 Next Generation Jazz Orchestra

The Monterey Jazz Festival just announced the members of the 2011 Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, the Festival's internationally-renowned high school all-star big band. Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2011, the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra features the best and brightest high school jazz musicians in the country.

Created in 1971 as a part of the Monterey Jazz Festival's continuing commitment to jazz education and selected through an application process during MJF’s Next Generation Jazz Festival each spring, former members of the Orchestra include pianists Benny Green and Patrice Rushen, bassist Larry Grenadier, drummer Chad Wackerman, saxophonists Joshua Redman, Donny McCaslin, Eric Marienthal, Dave Koz, trombonist Andy Martin, trumpeters Gilbert Castellanos, Ambrose Akinmusire, and big band leader Gordon Goodwin to name a few.

In the past, the band has been under the leadership of Ladd McIntosh, Don Schamber, Benny Golson, Bill Berry, and many more. Now under the tutelage of Paul Contos, the renowned saxophonist and flautist who serves as the director of the Orchestra, the ensemble is dedicated to the study and performance of the most challenging big band literature available.

Twenty-one high school musicians from six states and Canada comprise the 2011 Next Generation Jazz Orchestra including eight students from California, four from Florida, three from Oregon, two each from New York and New Jersey, and one from Pennsylvania and Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

In 2011, there are three returning members to the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, including trombonists Kyle Molitor (Tigard High School, Tigard, Oregon) and Chris Palowitch (Amador Valley High School, Pleasanton, California); and trumpeter Tree Palmedo (Oregon Episcopal School, Portland, Oregon).

“I’m looking forward to the gathering of this year’s band and the opportunity to spend time with such gifted young musicians,” says Dr. Rob Klevan, Education Director of the Monterey Jazz Festival. “Although our planned tour to Japan was postponed until 2012 due to the recent unfortunate circumstances taking place there, I think our “West Coast” tour is going to be extremely exciting. It offers the Monterey Jazz Festival an opportunity to display the incredible talents of our Next Generation Jazz Orchestra to our friends in this region of the country. Equally exciting is the fact that this year marks the 40th anniversary of the ensemble and that we will have several ‘special guest’ artists performing with the band. It is going to be a smokin’ hot summer tour!”

Members will gather in Monterey in late July to prepare for the 11-day West Coast tour, beginning with a performance at the Carmel Bach Festival -- a historic first collaboration between the Bach Festival and the Monterey Jazz Festival in Carmel (July 24), where they will appear with tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano. The group will then perform in San Francisco (Yoshi’s, July 25); Seattle (Jazz Alley, July 26-27), Port Townsend, Washington (Centrum Jazz Festival, July 29-30); Portland, Oregon (TBD, July 31); San Diego (UCSD’s Athenaeum Music & Arts Library with special guest trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos, August 1); and Los Angeles (Vitello’s Jazz Club, August 2).

The Next Generation Jazz Orchestra will also make their traditional Sunday appearance at the 54th Monterey Jazz Festival on September 18, 2011, with former band alumni Joshua Redman (MJF Artist-In-Residence); Benny Green and Donny McCaslin sitting as special guests.

Tickets for the 54th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival September 16 - 18 in Monterey, California are available by phone at 925.275-9255 and online at

Director- Mr. Paul Contos

Patrick Bartley, alto / Dillard High School of the Arts, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Julian Lee, alto / Montclair High School, Montclair, NJ
Rane Roatta, tenor / New World School of the Arts, Miami, FL
Robert Sheppard, tenor/ Amador Valley High School, Pleasanton, CA
Connor Anderson, baritone / FAME Charter School, Concord, CA

Kyle Molitor *** / Tigard High School, Tigard, OR
St. Clair Simmons, III / Dover Area High School, Dover, PA
Joonas Lemetyinen / West Linn High School, West Linn, OR
Calvin Barthel / Albany High School, Albany, CA
Chris Palowitch (bass) ** / Amador Valley High School, Pleasanton, CA

Christian Marrero / A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts, West Palm Beach, FL
Enrique Sanchez / Osceola County School of the Arts, Kissimmee, FL
Adam O’Farrill / LaGuardia High School for Music and Art, New York, NY
Josh Shpak / Northgate High School, Walnut Creek, CA
Tree Palmedo ** / Oregon Episcopal School, Portland, OR

Chase Morrin, piano / Canyon Crest Academy, San Diego, CA
Daryl Johns, bass / Dwight-Englewood School, Englewood, NJ
Kai Devitt-Lee, guitar / Healdsburg High School, Healdsburg, CA
Anthony Fung, drums / St. Michael’s College School, Toronto, ON, Canada
Kevin Mixon, Jr, drums / West Genesee High School, Camillus, NY
Hope Flores, vocals / Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, Los Angeles, CA

** 2-time member of NGJO
*** 3-time member of NGJO
2011 Next Generation Jazz Orchestra West Coast Tour Dates:
July 23: Monterey, CA / The Preserve (private party)
July 24: Carmel, CA / Carmel Bach Festival at the Sunset Center with special guest, Joe Lovano
July 25: San Francisco, CA / Yoshi’s
July 26: Seattle, WA / Jazz Alley
July 27: Seattle, WA / Jazz Alley
July 29: Pt. Townsend, WA / Centrum Jazz Festival
July 30: Pt. Townsend, WA / Centrum Jazz Festival
July 31: Portland, OR / location TBD
August 1: San Diego, CA / UCSD / Athenaeum Music & Arts Library with special guest Gilbert Castellanos
August 2: Los Angeles, CA / Vitello’s Jazz Club
September 18: 54th Monterey Jazz Festival, Jimmy Lyons Stage, 1:00pm

The Monterey Jazz Festival is dedicated to perpetuating the uniquely American form of music known as jazz by producing performances that celebrate the legacy and expand the boundaries of jazz; and by presenting year-round local, regional, national, and international jazz education programs. The Monterey Jazz Festival is a nonprofit organization and has donated its proceeds to musical education since its inception in 1958.

Quincy Jones' "Summer in the City" is back in stock @ Dusty Groove

One of the best-selling compilations produced by Arnaldo DeSouteiro for Verve, "Summer In The City – The Soul Jazz Grooves Of Quincy Jones" is now back in stock @ Dusty Groove, for $8.99. It can be ordered through the link below:

And that's what they say about the CD:
"A hip little collection of funky work from Quincy Jones – nearly all of it from his key 70s years on A&M Records! The vibe here is totally great – possibly the best-remembered sound of the Q, recorded at a time when he was also gracing the world with a fair bit of funky soundtracks too! The music is rooted in Jones' earlier big band modes, but opens itself up to 70s funk and soul strongly – all in the hippest way possible, with a range of different styles that really expand the sound. There's a fair bit of electric elements mingling with the acoustic ones – and the track selection includes a number of Quincy's most-sampled tunes over the years. Titles include "Brown Ballad", "I Never Told You", "Eyes Of Love", "Summer In The City", "Along Came Betty", "Tell Me A Bedtime Story", "Velas", "Stuff Like That", "Superwoman", "You've Got It Bad Girl", and "Walkin". © 2011, Dusty Groove America, Inc."

Herb Alpert & Lani Hall interviewed

Polished Brass -Herb Alpert and Lani Hall bring their craft to SF
by Robert Sokol,
San Francisco Examiner, May 14, 2011

Herb Alpert and Lani Hall, who appear at the Palace of Fine Arts on Tuesday, love to keep their music loose, with an improvisational hook.

The title of their most recent CD -- "I Feel You" on Concord Jazz -- says it all.

"It's the feeling of not being afraid to make a mistake," says Alpert. "If you are too cautious and you're trying to make everything perfect, it's going to sound that way. We kind of like to let it fly and see what happens."

That brand of freedom only works with trust built over time, and this husband-and-wife team has been collaborating professionally for 45 years.

The only longer-term relationship for Alpert is his affair with brass that generated hits like "The Lonely Bull," "Casino Royale" and "Rise."

"I started playing when I was 8," he says. "I was fortunate to have music classes in my grammar school. They had a bunch of instruments on a table and I picked up the trumpet. I was very shy, super shy, and when I made some noise on the trumpet it kind of was speaking for me. It just had my name on it."

Much as he loved the horn, the idea of an acting career did briefly distract him. "It was kind of a folly. I was working at a gym and some guy said I looked like I should be in the movies, so I said, 'OK. Put me in!'" he says with a laugh. "I started studying acting. In fact I studied with Leonard Nimoy. This was before 'Star Trek.' At some point I realized I didn't have the passion for it, but I enjoyed the experience."

He met Hall, who was lead singer for Sergio Mendes and Brazil '66, in 1966 when the group auditioned for Alpert's A&M record label. They married in 1974 and have successfully managed joint and solo careers ever since.

"The music we've been doing for the last three years are songs we've been collecting for that proverbial rainy day," says Hall. "The day came and we went to the list and started rehearsing all these great songs that we felt a vibration with. For me it was almost coming full circle because these are the songs I learned as a girl singing along with the albums by folks like Judy Garland, June Christy and Anita O'Day."

The goal, however, was not to just rerecord some beloved tunes.

"We spent a lot of time arranging them so that they didn't sound just the way most people would remember them," Hall says. "That was very challenging, but that's where you can make a song your own."
Trumpet Legend Herb Alpert Coming to O.C.
by Peter Larsen
Orange County Register, May 14, 2011

Jazz trumpeter Herb Alpert hadn't performed in concert much for years, figuring the most commercial parts of his past would overshadow anything else he might want to play today.

"I was reluctant to do it because I thought people would be screaming out, 'Play "Tijuana Taxi" and "The Lonely Bull,"'" says Alpert, who co-founded A&M Records on the success of his hugely successful recordings with his band the Tijuana Brass in the '60s.

Then in 2006, Alpert and his wife Lani Hall, played a short set at the Hollywood Bowl, part of a 40th anniversary celebration for Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66, for whom Hall had been the original singer and Alpert had signed and produced at A&M, and the crowd's response was tremendously positive, he says.

His percussionist, Michael Shapiro, suggested doing a tour of small jazz clubs after that, Hall loved the idea but Alpert still wasn't sure.

"So we were hemming and hawing," he says. "And a few months go by and Lani brought up the idea that if we don't do it now, when?

"The first concert we played nobody yelled out (for Tijuana Brass tunes), they were just enjoying it. And we really enjoyed it, too."

It was the first time he and Hall had toured together even though they'd married in the early '70s. And it was so much fun for the couple that they've now returned with a new album, "I Feel You," and a new tour that brings them to the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa on Friday.

"We did a live album about two years ago, and then "I Feel You," the first studio record I've done in quite a time," Alpert says from his home in Malibu recently. "We were rehearsing some songs for the new shows and we felt we had some songs that deserved to be put on -- I was about to say 'tape' -- put on zeroes and ones.

"The object is to try to take songs that are familiar and scramble 'em up in such a way that they sound fresh."

And that's a very accurate description of what listeners will find on "I Feel You." The album runs from classic pop-rock songs such as Van Morrison's "Moondance," and the Beatles' "Blackbird" and "Here Comes the Sun," to jazz standards such as Peggy Lee's "Fever" and Brazilian numbers by artists such as Milton Nascimento and Baden Powell.

It also includes -- after more arm-twisting by Shapiro and Hall -- a new arrangement of the Tijuana Brass' "What Now My Love."

"I had to be talked into it," Alpert says. "Michael came up with this rhythm, and that was intriguing, and then Lani, she said, 'Why don't you try "What Now My Love" on top of it?' When I first started playing it I wasn't crazy about it -- I felt like I was just trying to recreate the past. But then I extended the melody and it just worked."

In concert, Alpert, Hall and the band -- in addition to Shapiro, pianist Bill Cantos and bassist Hussain Jiffry -- mix it up much more than he did back in the heyday of the Tijuana Brass, he says.

"We always kind of scramble it around," Alpert says. "The basic premise of the live performances, Lani establishes the song for the most part, and we have the chord structure and the general flavor of where we're going, but everything that's happening behind her is improvised."

The Tijuana Brass, in contrast, was much more structured, he says.

"We were making singles, the songs were maybe two-and-half, three minutes at the most," Alpert says, noting that he does play a medley of those classic tunes in his current shows. "You didn't have time to stretch out and improvise. It was a different type of feeling that I was sending out at that time. There were so many people who wanted to hear us, I wanted to give it the way it sounded on the record."

In Costa Mesa on Friday, though, you'll get more of a jazz show. You'll also likely get to hear Alpert sing, which he does on the album as well, taking on the 1954 June Christy tune "Something Cool," a song he performs from the point of view of a traveling salesman in a hotel bar.

"I always liked that song, there was something haunting about the melody," he says. "I find myself going toward those melodies that I find myself whistling.

"I don't know if anyone else gets the lyric like I do, but it's this guy, a traveling guy, and he's a married guy," Alpert says of the way he interpreted the song. "And he sees this girl in a bar, and he's tempted, but he decides not to do anything about it, so he just orders her something cool.

"And then he dreams...."

CD of the Week - "Robert Hurst: Bob Ya Head"

CD of the Week
Robert Hurst: "Bob Ya Head" (Bebob) 2011

**** (musical performance)
*** (sonic quality)

All tracks composed, arranged & produced by Bob Hurst
All vocal arrangements by Sy Smith
Featuring: Robert Hurst (acoustic & electric basses), Marcus Belgrave (trumpet), Vincent Bowens (tenor sax), Scott Kinsey (keyboards), Sy Smith (vocals), Darryl "Munyungo" Jackson (percussion) & Karriem Riggins (drums)

For the last ten years, bassist/composer Robert Hurst's commitments and accomplishments as in-demand sideman, film composer, and university educator have left the music world anticipating new recordings from him as a leader. He recently delivered two simultaneous releases of two new and very different CDs on his Bebob imprint -- "Bob Ya Head," an intriguing foray into world music and electronica (with former Dianne Reeves percussionist Darryl "Munyungo" Jackson, trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, and his bandmate on Diana Krall's group, drummer Karriem Riggins), and "Unrehurst Vol. 2," a 2007 all-acoustic trio date recorded at Smoke in New York City (with Robert Glasper and Chris "Daddy" Dave) which was elected "CD of the Month" last month here on the Jazz Station blog, and is already destined to our list of the Top 10 Jazz CDs of the Year.

"Bob Ya Head" opens with the bigger-than-life fat sound of Hurst's acoustic bass on "Obama Victory Dance," a joyful solo track. And ends with a tour-de-force arco bass performance on "When Drums Stop." But most of the other songs feature Hurst on electric bass and are built upon hip-hop grooves and world-music elements, employing Sy Smith's delicate vocals on "Comes You Comes Love," a radio friendly song. There's even a drum & bass groove on "X Static," following the mix of reggae & African polyrhythms (actually, juju music) of "Optimism."

"It is so rewarding to finally be releasing this new music," says the bassist. "It's been quite a magical journey becoming the man and musician my audience has come to know. The majority of my fans identify me as a 'straight-ahead' jazz bass sideman, and while I love playing jazz and will always do so, I found it necessary as an artist to express my many other musical influences. I believe the one constant in jazz is 'change.' Each generation has broken the mold of the previous. With so much more of my music already written and even recorded, I look forward to all of my upcoming projects further addressing the notion of change and the evolution of our music."

Hurst, who in 2008 became an Associate Professor of Music with tenure at the University of Michigan, worked on "Bob Ya Head" over a two-year period while commuting between Los Angeles and relocating to his native Michigan. He describes the music on his latest release as "the culmination of my experiences while working and living in L.A," where he was based throughout the 1990s, as a founding member of the Tonight Show with Jay Leno's Tonight Show Band. Also, while becoming an active studio musician on the Los Angeles music scene, he "got into world music and heard African musicians and musicians of all ethnicities." Hurst's electric and acoustic bass playing is featured on the Ocean's Eleven, Twelve, and Thirteen soundtracks, "and a lot of that music had an electronica-type vibe. Some of it sounds really acoustic, but it's quite sampled and very high-tech."

Robert Hurst was born in Detroit and took up bass as a young boy after seeing the Modern Jazz Quartet perform and meeting Percy Heath. Trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, a Detroit icon, was an early mentor for Hurst, who began working professionally with Belgrave at 15. After meeting drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts on a gig, Hurst was recommended by Tain to his boss, Wynton Marsalis, whose group the bassist joined after college and with whom he recorded seven albums for Columbia.

In 1989, Hurst began working with Branford Marsalis and remained for five years, again recording for Columbia. Hurst continued on with Branford to California to begin work on The Tonight Show. When Marsalis left leadership of the show's band in 1994, Hurst stayed on for another six years.

The bassist debuted on record as a leader in 1993 with "Robert Hurst Presents: Robert Hurst" (DIW/Columbia), featuring Kenny Kirkland, Branford Marsalis, Marcus Belgrave, Ralph Jones, and Jeff "Tain" Watts. Most of the music on the disc was specifically written with this exact personnel in mind. The following year, Hurst released a trio session, "One for Namesake" (DIW/Columbia), with Kirkland and Elvin Jones.

In recent years, the bassist has recorded and toured extensively with Diana Krall and Chris Botti, and continues to do so. He's maintained his long association with Jeff "Tain" Watts and recently performed with the drummer's band at the Jazz Standard in NY and at the Detroit Institute of the Arts.

Hurst is scheduling a series of spring and summer appearances across the nation. He's also preparing a fall 2011 release of "Bob: A Palindrome" (on Bebob), a sextet session with Glasper, Belgrave, Branford Marsalis, Tain Watts, and Bennie Maupin. "Branford recently told me, 'You've got to be brave to do what we do,'" says Hurst. "I boldly agree and look forward to compiling a wealth of work which exemplifies such bravery!"