Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Anna Mjöll live @ Vibrato, LA, June 11

LA-based Icelandic jazz princess Anna Mjöll @vibratogrilljazz June 11 - this one will sell out FAST - call 310.474.9400 for reservations - hope to see you there!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture Acquires Sonny Rollins's Personal Archive

The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at The New York Public Library today announced the acquisition of American tenor saxophonist and jazz legend Sonny Rollins's personal archive. The robust collection includes more than 150 linear feet of material that document Rollins's life and career from the 1950s to the present.

This acquisition also marks the Harlem native's "return" to the neighborhood of his youth. Rollins was profoundly influenced and inspired by the sights and sounds of the Harlem Renaissance and its pioneers, including Duke Ellington and Louis Jordan, who shaped modern music and Rollins's creative life.

"Well, I'm home again," Rollins said. "Home, where I absorbed the rich culture which was all around me. Where, on 137th Street, two blocks from the Schomburg, I was born in 1930. This archive reveals my life in music, how someone principally self-taught became taught. How the spiritual light of jazz protected and fed me, as it does to this day."

Spanning a 60-year career and more than 80 albums, the Rollins archive is rich with texture, offering an intimate look into the creativity, curiosity, and organization that led to the artist's creative process and practice. Archive items range from audio reels and cassettes of unheard music and practice sessions, personal photographs from Rollins's travels abroad, sheet music with margin notes, personal writing, practice diaries, and handwritten letters between Rollins and his wife and partner of more than 45 years, Lucille Pearson Rollins.

The archive also offers insight into Rollins's social and professional network of musicians through detailed notes from recorded sessions, letters, and snapshots from touring over the decades.

To be primarily housed within the Schomburg Center's Moving Image and Recorded Sound Division, the Rollins archive joins a robust collection of jazz-related materials across the institution's divisions, including the A Great Day in Harlem Documentary collection, the Louis Armstrong Jazz Oral History project, the Don Redman papers, the Billy Taylor collection, the Ron Carter collection, and the Duke Ellington Society collection.

This acquisition also adds significant weight to the New York Public Library's collection of jazz-related items including the George Avakian and Anahid Ajemian papers, which include letters from Rollins to Avakian and several unreleased live and studio recordings from Rollins's time at RCA; the Ivan Black papers that include promotional and performance photographs of Rollins; along with the Sy Oliver, Phoebe Jacobs, and Benny Goodman collections.

"Rollins had a measure of professional and personal stability that allowed him to collect the artifacts of his life from original manuscripts and compositions to his business records, unlike many of his peers. In this sense, his archive is unique," said Shola Lynch, curator of the Schomburg's Moving Image and Recorded Sound division."He has also been aware of keeping the flame. As Rollins said recently of his peers and mentors: 'They're not here now so I feel like I'm sort of representing all of them, all of the guys. Remember, I'm one of the last guys left, as I'm constantly being told, so I feel a holy obligation sometimes to evoke these people.' As in life, Rollins's archive will undoubtedly evoke them and their musical relationships, and through it, will add granularity to a swath of black history. For the first time, Rollins has opened the doors to studying his music, life, and work as a giant of jazz."

"Famous for his reinventions, Sonny Rollins and his archive reveal the profound nature of jazz, America's classical music. Drafts, notes on composition, extensive correspondence, the entire spirit and scope of the Rollins archive show his sophisticated, sustained, and spiritual creative process up close in a way that may best be called literary," said Kevin Young, noted author and Director of the Schomburg Center. "Having the archive of Sonny Rollins come home here, just blocks from where he was born and grew into one of our finest artists, provides a connection to the geniuses who made Harlem and whose legacies, like those of James Baldwin and Maya Angelou, also are housed at the Schomburg."

Highlights from the Sonny Rollins Archive include:

● Personal papers, diaries, notes, and drawings illuminating Rollins's private thoughts and creative process sporadically through the decades
● Recordings of practice sessions as well as recording takes from as early as the 1960s
● Snapshots and photos from life on the road with his fellow musicians from as early as the 1960s
● Personal correspondence between Rollins and his wife and manager, Lucille Pearson, over the decades that range the gamut from love notes to unfiltered thoughts related to colleagues, bandmates, and business

The Sonny Rollins archive will be processed over the next year at NYPL's Library Services Center in Long Island City, and will be made available for research at the Schomburg Center.
**********
About the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a research unit of The New York Public Library, is generally recognized as one of the leading institutions of its kind in the world. For over 90 years the Center has collected, preserved, and provided access to materials documenting black life, and promoted the study and interpretation of the history and culture of peoples of African descent. Educational and Cultural Programs at the Schomburg Center complement its research services and interpret its collections. Seminars, forums, workshops, staged readings, film screenings, performing arts programs, and special events are presented year-round. More information about Schomburg's collections and programs can be found at schomburgcenter.org.

About the New York Public Library

The New York Public Library is a free provider of education and information for the people of New York and beyond. With 92 locations-including research and branch libraries-throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, the Library offers free materials, computer access, classes, exhibitions, programming, and more to everyone from toddlers to scholars, and has seen record numbers of attendance and circulation in recent years. The New York Public Library serves more than 18 million patrons who come through its doors annually and millions more around the globe who use its resources at www.nypl.org. To offer this wide array of free programming, The New York Public Library relies on both public and private funding. Learn more about how to support the Library at nypl.org/support.

Photo of Sonny Rollins by John Abbott.

Web Sites: sonnyrollins.com, schomburgcenter.org

Read the New York Times piece about the archive acquisition (by Giovanni Russonello)

Sylvia Brooks @ Catalina, in Hollywood, June 7

Don't miss Sylvia Brooks live at Catalina Jazz Club next June 7, celebrating the release of the CD "The Arrangement."

Monday, May 22, 2017

Billy Childs @ Moss Theater, May 26

Friday, May 26 - 8:00 pm, $35 (students $25)
PIANIST BILLY CHILDS QUARTET
Moss Theater (New Roads School at The Herb Alpert Educational Village)
3131 Olympic Blvd. Santa Monica

Sponsored by Performance Fund donors: Harry and Ellen Sondheim

DAYNA STEPHENS - SAXOPHONE
HANS GLAWISCHNIG - BASS
ARI HOENIG - DRUMS
SARA GAZAREK - GUEST VOCALIST

This performance is made possible, in part, by funding from the National Endowment for the Arts through a grant from the Western Jazz Presenters Network.KJAZZ 88.1 - official media sponsor.
Check out www.JazzBakery.org
for upcoming June shows!

Brazilian genius Hermeto Pascoal gets honorary NEC Doctorate

Brazilian genius composer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist Hermeto Pascoal received an honorary Doctor of Music degree from New England Conservatory during NEC's 146th annual Commencement yesterday, May 21. [Pictured above by © Eric Antoniou: New England Conservatory Interim President Tom Novak, honorary Doctor of Music degree recipient Hermeto Pascoal and NEC Jazz Studies Department Chair Ken Schaphorst.]
Pictured below by © Eric Antoniou:
Brazilian composer/multi-instrumentalist and NEC honorary Doctor of Music degree recipient Hermeto Pascoal presented New England Conservatory Interim President Tom Novak with an original score.

R.I.P.: Mickey Roker (1932-2017)

R.I.P.: Mickey Roker (March 9, 1932 - May 22, 2017)

Fabulous drummer. Saw him live with Dizzy and later with the Pablo All-Stars.
Roker performs in some of my favorite albums by Duke Pearson (How Insensitive with Andy Bey, Bebeto Castilho, Dorio Ferreira, Airto & Flora, the Christmas project Merry Ole Soul, and specially It Could Only Happen With You, on which he performs alongside Hermeto Pascoal and Flora Purim), Donald Byrd (Electric Byrd - with Airto and Hermeto - and Kofi, with Airto and Dom Um Romao), Milt Jackson (Olinga), Herbie Hancock (Speak Like A Child), Astrud Gilberto (Now).

Plus many many sessions with Lee Morgan, Sonny Rollins, Bob Cranshaw, my friends Randy Brecker and Mike Longo, Stanley Turrentine, Shirley Scott, Horace Silver, my late friends Art Farmer and Joe Shepley, Blue Mitchell, Clark Terry, Harold Vick, Horace Silver, Frank Foster, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Bobby Hutcherson, Herbie Mann, Cedar Walton, Albert Dailey, Roy Ayers, Zoot Sims, Mary Lou Williams, Blue Mitchell, Benny Carter, Jon Faddis, Hank Jones, Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Joe Pass, Ray Brown, Ray Bryant, J.J. Johnson, Al Grey, Joe Williams, Hank Jones, Dusko Goykovich, Nat Adderley, Hank Jones, Gigi Gryce, Gene Ammons, Jim Hall, McCoy Tyner, Ben Webster...The list goes on and on.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Molly Holm to perform in San Francisco!

Molly Holm's Upcoming Concert at The Red Poppy Art House in San Francisco!
Saturday June 24th, 2017, 7:30 pm - 10 pm 
2698 Folsom St. @ 23rd St.
San Francisco, CA Ph: (650) 731-5383
http://redpoppyarthouse.org/events/

$20 - $25, Doors open at 7 pm
Tickets are only available at the door. Payable by cash or check -- no credit cards.]

Featuring: Molly Holm, vocals; Frank Martin, piano; Jeff Chambers, acoustic bass; Deszon Claiborne, drums

Vocalist/composer Molly Holm, with her all-star jazz trio, makes her Red Poppy debut exploring the multicultural crossroads of improvised music through original compositions, straight-ahead and modal jazz tunes and traditional folk songs. Molly's music, often intertwined with the elements of North Indian raga, experimental vocals, or playful free-form improvisation, also reveals the rhythmic and note-bending influences inherited from the music of the African diaspora.

R.I.P.: Morris "Butch" Stewart (1953-2017)

(born on January 13, 1953 in Evanston, Illinois;
died on May 19, 2017 in Evanston, Illinois)

I was introduced to him in 1986 by Chuck Mangione, when Morris produced Chuck's "Save Tonight For Me" album. He also played keyboards, sang, and co-wrote most of the songs on that project.

At 64, Stewart died last Friday due to complications from surgery and a long battle against cancer. The man behind familiar theme songs to the Oprah Winfrey Show and the Tom Joyner Morning Show, also wrote jingles for Coca Cola, McDonald's and many other companies. B

Stewart grew up in Harvey, Illinois and later attended DePaul University. He soon married his sweetheart, Brenda Mitchell and began to build a budding career working as background vocalists for Ramsey Lewis and later Earth, Wind and Fire.

He also produced for The O'Jays, Howard Hewett and Danniebelle Hall. Stewart was the founder of JoyArtMusic, creating jingles for some of the top creative agencies becoming a one-stop destination for television and radio shows, helping to cultivate multiple careers including his sons’ group, the Rich Kidz.

Rest in Power.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Marius Preda presents "Mission Cimbalon" with Arturo Sandoval, Mike Stern and Dennis Chambers

"Mission Cimbalon" features a cavalcade of top-notch jazz royalty, including Arturo Sandoval, Mike Stern, Dennis Chambers, Tom Kennedy, Teymur Phell, Sanah Kadoura, Taco Gorter, Robin Koerts & Kiba Dachi. It is Preda's life ambition to expose the world to this glorious instrument and to bring into focus its history and cement its place it the jazz canon.

The cimbalom is a concert hammered dulcimer: a type of chordophone composed of a large, trapezoidal box with metal strings stretched across its top. It is a musical instrument commonly found in Hungary and throughout the group of Central-Eastern European nations and cultures which composed Austria-Hungary (1867-1918), namely contemporary Hungary, Croatia, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It is also popular in Greece. The cimbalom is (typically) played by striking two beaters against the strings.

The steel treble strings are arranged in groups of 4 and are tuned in unison. The bass strings which are over-spun with copper, are arranged in groups of 3 and are also tuned in unison. The Hornbostel-Sachs musical instrument classification system registers the cimbalom with the number 314.122-4,5. Moreover, the instrument name "cimbalom" also denotes earlier, smaller versions of the cimbalom, and folk cimbaloms, of different tone groupings, string arrangements, and box types.

In English, the cimbalom spelling is the most common, followed by the variants, derived from Austria-Hungary's languages, cimbál, cymbalom, cymbalum, țambal, tsymbaly and tsimbl etc. Santur, Santouri, sandouri and a number of other non-Austro-Hungarian names are sometimes applied to this instrument in regions beyond Austria-Hungary which have their own names for related instruments of the hammer dulcimer family.
Marius Preda, born in 1977 comes from a musical family, where at the age of four, he received his first big toy from his grandmother. It was a Cimbalom! He immediately fell in love with this toy and wouldn't trade it for anything in the world! He spent all of his days and nights playing the new instrument.

In 1993, Marius was invited to the Netherlands, and in '95 he began to study the Vibraphone at the Jazz Department of the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, The Netherlands, where he graduated with a distinction. With the skills, he accumulated over these years, Marius was able to develop a new way of playing the cimbalom. As a result, he became the first cimbalom player in the history of Jazz.

Over the years, Marius has played with and contributed to: Arturo Sandoval, Mike Stern, Vladimir Cosma, Dennis Chambers, Tom Kennedy, Teymur Phell, Sanah Kadoura, John Patitucci, Andreas Oberg, Lewis Nesh, Leonid Ptashka, Dave Kikoski, Didier Lockwood, André Rieu, Flairck, Anne Ducros, Philip Catherine, Rosenberg Trio, Nolwen Leroy, Richard Sanderson, Gheorghe Zamfir, Robby Lakatos, Decebal Badila, Tudi Zaharescu, The Basily's, Taco Gorter, Robin Koerts, Kiba Dachi and many more!

Respected and lauded by other musicians for his mastery, Arturo Sandoval explains it best, "Marius is a gift from God for our own enjoyment," which Sandoval and Vladimir Cosma both were involved with the production Mission Cimbalon. Cosma explains, "Marius is one of the best musicians that I have worked with during my entire music career."

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Single of the Month - "Idris Muhammad: Could Heaven Ever Be Like This"

12" Single of the Month
Idris Muhammad: "Could Heaven Ever Be Like This / Tasty Cakes / Turn This Mutha Out" (Kudu 3318P) 1977/2017

Rating: ***** (music performance and sonic quality)

Produced, Arranged & Conducted by David Matthews
Composed by David Matthews & Tony Sarafino

This is NOT a bootleg, it's an official Kudu release licensed by Sony Music Entertainment UK Limited to be pressed & distributed in UK by www.primedirect.co.uk as a "Record Store Day 2017" very special release.

And this is NOT a jazz session, but a first-class disco-funk effort. These 3 tracks originally appeared on Idris Muhammad's most commercially successful album ever, "Turn This Mutha Out." Produced, written & arranged by the criminally underrated maestro David Matthews for Creed Taylor's Kudu label, a subsidiary of CTI Records, the album features an all-star cast: Michael Brecker, Hiram Bullock, Clifford Carter, Will Lee, Jeremy Steig, Brazilian percussion master Rubens Bassini, Sue Evans, and many more.

Vocal CD Reissue of the Month - "Maria de Fátima Fattoruso: Bahia Com H"

Vocal CD Reissue of the Month
Maria de Fátima Fattoruso: "Bahia Com H" (Sondor/Think! Records THCD-420) 1981/2017

Rating: **** (musical performance & sonic quality) 

Featuring: Maria de Fátima (vocals, Ovation guitar), Hugo Fattoruso (piano, Fender Rhodes electric piano, Arp Odyssey and Arp Quadra synthesizers, arrangements, vocals), Osvaldo Fattoruso aka George Fattoruso (drums), Eduardo Marquez (electric bass), Pippo Spera and Marcos Szpiro (guitar), Chango Castro, Jorge Graf, Roberto Galletti (percussion) etc.

One of Brazil's best kept secrets, Maria de Fátima Fattoruso lived in Los Angeles during the second half of the 70s, having worked and recorded with Manolo Badrena, Jon Lucien, Airto Moreira, Milton Nascimento and many others. She married keyboard wiz Hugo Fattoruso (founder of the legendary OPA trio) and traveled with him to Uruguay to record this album in 1981 for the Sondor label. Soon after, both relocated to Brazil and became a fixture of Rio de Janeiro's busy studio scene; Hugo joined bands led by Djavan, Chico Buarque, Milton Nascimento, Marcio Montarroyos and Geraldo Azevedo, while Maria kept working as backing vocalist on albums by Milton, Gilberto Gil, Arthur Verocai and Dom Um Romão.

This is the second CD release of "Bahia Com H," but the first one with a paper sleeve Mini-LP gatefold cover. The musical content is magical, including many intriguing original songs by Maria and beautiful renditions of Jards Macalé/Capinam's "Movimento dos Barcos" (maybe the album highlight), Milton Nascimento/Ronaldo Bastos' "Três Pontas" and two songs that had been rediscovered one year earlier by João Gilberto on his "Brasil" album: Dennis Brian's title track "Bahia Com H" (graced by gorgeous synthesized strings in a fabulous arrangement) and Ary Barroso's "O Tabuleiro da Baiana," sung in duet with Hugo (Gilberto had recorded it in duo with Maria Bethania.)

There are also funkyfied versions of Gilberto Gil's "Toda Menina Baiana" and Gil/Caetano Veloso's "São João Xangô Menino," the track chosen by Sondor to be released as a single back in '81, with "No Tabuleiro da Baiana" on Side B. Thirty six years later, it remains a timeless album, and its charm is intact. Sadly, it has never been released in Brazil neither in the USA.

***********

ブラジル音楽の大家Arthur Verocai、Gilberto Gilの作品への参加や ウルグアイ音楽史に大いなる足跡を残すバンド、Barcarola、OPAでの活動で知られるブラジル人女性シンガー“Maria de Fatima”唯一のソロ・アルバムが初の紙ジャケットCD化。中古レコード市場で常に高額で取引される本作品は、公私を共にしたHugo Fattorusoとの共作を含めたオリジナル3曲、Ary Barroso、Caetano Veloso、親交の深いGilberto Gil、Milton Nascimentoらのカヴァー6曲、全9曲で構成。先述の当時夫であったHugo Fattorusoを中心にウルグアイ名うてのミュージシャンに囲まれ残した、81年発表ブラジリアン美しき傑作。

◆解説:ケペル木村(Música LocoMundo)
◆原盤:Sondor 1981年
◆オリジナルを忠実に再現したセミダブル紙ジャケット 
メーカー・インフォメーションより)

Beyond CD of the Month - "Carlos Franzetti & Allison Brewster Franzetti: Luminosa"

Beyond CD of the Month
Carlos Franzetti & Allison Brewster Franzetti with City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra: "Luminosa" (Sunnyside) 2017

Rating: ***** (musical performance & sonic quality)
CD release date: May 26, 2017
Total Time 56:12

Produced by James Fitzpatrick
Executive Producer: François Zalacain
Recorded @ Smecky Music Studio (Prague, Czech Republic) on Sept. 15 & 16, 2016
Recording Engineer: Jan Holzner
Mixed & Mastered by Gareth Williams
Cover Photo: Alain Picq
Liner Photo & Graphic Design: Christopher Drukker

Piano: Allison Brewster Franzetti
Conductor: Carlos Franzetti
City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra

Excerpts from the liner notes by James Fitzpatrick:
"Carlos Franzetti is that rare Renaissance Man, partnered in his musical entrepreneurship by his colorful wife, concert pianist Allison Brewster Franzetti. With this release we find Carlos once again bridging that supposed gap between contemporary classics and the jazz and "easy listening" world. It also shows a more reflective Carlos with the title track, "Luminosa," which is seemingly contemplative yet has a strict Bach-like classical structure. "Tango del Eco" by Horacio Salgan, arranged by Carlos, is more playful yet has quirky harmonies that are not expected. In his music you can hear the influence of Shostakovich and de Falla, Dave Grusin and Piazzolla, George Gershwin and Cole Porter... "anything goes." Therefore, a work such as "Concierto del Plata" is both challenging (both for listener and soloist) and yet totally accessible but, most importantly, memorable in this age of forgettable and "throwaway" downloadable music. The three interludes from the ballet, "Dante Porteño" are just a taste of more to come from the ubiquitous and prolific pen (and mind) of Carlos Franzetti... a true original."

Monday, April 24, 2017

Anna Mjoll live @ Herb Alpert's Vibrato, May 5

Don't miss Anna Mjoll, the LA-based Icelandic Jazz Princess, live at Herb Alpert's Vibrato next May 5. This month she starts to record a new album at Capitol Studios in Hollywood.
(Anna Mjöll with the Pat Senatore Trio)

Clare Fischer Big Band, led by Brent Fisher, with special guest Laura Dickinson live in LA, May 25

Brent Fischer + Clare Fischer Big Band May 25th at 8pm! Live in concert with special guest Laura Dickinson on May 25th, 8-9pm

Los Angeles Jazz Institute Big Band Spectacular
LAX Westin Hotel
5400 W Century Blvd 
Los Angeles, CA 90045

Festival information and ticket reservations HERE!

Need help finding Clare Fischer Vinyl, older CDs and rare collectibles? All Fischer scores & parts are available for purchase, some now in PDF form! Click here to ask about your favorite pieces or to license Fischer music.
To order more music go to www.ClareFischer.com

Amanda Carr's live broadcast @ WICN, April 28

TUNE in Friday, April 28th at NOON to Live Jazz New England on www.WICN.org online or at 90.5 FM Worcester, when Amanda Carr will be performing with Yvonne Monnett and Genevieve Rose for an hour set of fresh interpretations of songbook classics.

OR COME JOIN THEM IN THE RADIO STATION STUDIO AUDIENCE at 50 Portland St. Worcester!!! Join Pamela Hines as she highlights many of New England's finest jazz musicians as well as major national talent.

More info: http://www.wicn.org/LiveJazzNE

Monday, April 17, 2017

Sunday Dance w/ Matty & Amanda, April 23

Fun. That's about it.. just a lot of fun.

Who doesn’t love a beach club party to dance to all your favorites.. Matty B and Amanda Carr perform and DJ all your favorites and take your requests at the historic The C Note Hull, The South Shore's Best Live Music Club

$10 per person. Full cash bar. . Over 21 to enter. Food welcome or order out for delivery.

CNOTE located at 159 Nantasket Ave. Hull, MA 02045

NEED MORE INFO?: contact@MattBernier.com or 508.514-9595
OR VISIT www.CNoteHull.com

www.MATTYandAMANDA.com

B.J. Jansen's "Common Ground" comes out in June, featuring Delfeayo Marsalis

Innovative baritone saxophonist B.J. Jansen is proud to announce the June 23rd release of "Common Ground", his tenth project as a leader. To mark this momentous occasion, Jansen has assembled an all-star sextet comprised of NEA Jazz Master trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis, renowned drummer Ralph Peterson, trumpeter Duane Eubanks, bassist Dezron Douglas and pianist Zaccai Curtis.

Over the course of a dozen carefully chosen selections, the appropriately titled "Common Ground" aims to explore the musical commonalities among six musical titans who each bring with them their diverse backgrounds and distinctive musical legacies. "We had a common interest in keeping with the tradition while still pushing the boundaries," says Jansen. All members of the sextet have benefitted from stellar mentorships that have colored their idea of the tradition; Jansen by pianist and educator Frank Stagnitta, Marsalis by his father Ellis Marsalis, Peterson by Art Blakey, Eubanks by Mulgrew Miller, and both Curtis and Douglas by Jackie McLean.

On "Common Ground", this musical melting pot gives way to an eclectic program that offers a little something for everybody. "When I wrote the music, I made sure there was something for each musician to latch on to," says Jansen. For the album's two-day recording session last summer, Jansen's approach was decidedly "hands off" as he allowed each musician to find their own groove. "I was really open to contributions from everybody," he says. This on-the-spot approach gave way to some of the album's stand-out moments; one of which is the completely improvised title track. The song "Common Ground" opened up a new portal for Jansen- a change in his compositional process that he is eager to explore.

Change is nothing new to Jansen. Originally from Cincinnati, Jansen's first move was to Philadelphia in 2004, where he found "the heart beat of jazz". After learning on the Philly streets for three years, Jansen relocated once again. This time, he landed in New York City, where he's been a resident for the past decade. After taking part in the downtown jam-session circuit for over a year, Jansen found that his sound was better received in Harlem. "I spent all my time in Harlem," Jansen recalls.
​As Jansen settled uptown, he became a regular at the legendary St. Nicks; a spot he fondly refers to as "one of the last bastions" of the Harlem jazz club scene. He, along with a crew of Philadelphia musicians, began frequenting and eventually sitting in on the regular Sunday gig held by vocalist TC III, son of drummer Bill "Mr. C" Carney and B3 organist Trudy Pitts. Carney's classic "Bucketfull of Soul" is re-imagined on "Common Ground" and played as a testament to that distinctive "Philly vibe". 

"The first time I heard it I knew I wanted to arrange and record it," Jansen says.
The Philadelphia/Harlem connection is a common thread throughout the recording. In addition to Jansen's aforementioned connection to the Pennsylvania city, Duane Eubanks hails from Philadelphia and Ralph Peterson Jr. comes from South Jersey. "My approach is very much so rooted in that Philadelphia tradition," he says, adding, "...it has been a huge inspiration on me." It was at these Harlem jam sessions that Jansen, amongst his Philly friends, grew to know Dezron Douglas. Of all the tracks on the album, Jansen's "Stacey's Pace" perhaps best encapsulates that Harlem nightlife scene. Ironically, it is also Douglas' favorite track. "It danced the whole way!" says Douglas.
On "Common Ground", Jansen does not just pay tribute to important cities and their respective traditions; he also pays tribute to Sonny Clark and Charlie Parker. Jansen's "Relaxin' with Jessica" is a contra fact on Clark's 1957 "Sonny's Mood" and features some agile piano by Zaccai Curtis and masterful brush work by Ralph Peterson. "The relaxed and swinging tune embodies the traditional Philly Sound that was widely heard on Blue Note recordings in the 50's and 60's," Jansen adds. The ode to his sibling, "Angela's Aggravation", is based harmonically on the A sections of Charlie Parker's "Confirmation".

Jansen chose the previously recorded "Brandon's Blues," as not only a nod to his brother Brandon but as a means for Marsalis to showcase his finesse. Jansen then adds to his list of dedications, by including "Soul Loss", a track inspired by people he's lost in the past. He honors them well with gentle, yet intricate playing as the tightness of the rhythm section allows him to do so. 

As Eubanks notes: "B.J.'s free way of hearing music is what offsets the tightness of the rhythm section. It's giving the horn players freedom to explore and do the things you want to do on your own and having the rhythm section hold you grounded".

With "Common Ground" clocking in as project number 10 for the 36 year old, it can surely be considered something of a milestone- one that is commemorated with an all-star band. In addition, "Common Ground" also speaks toJansen's tenacity to keep making music even when the current climate doesn't make it so easy to do so. 

Ralph Peterson recalls: "The first thing I noticed about B.J. was his hustle game. He's quite the hustler and I respect that." With the superb "Common Ground", it seems that Jansen's relentless hustle might just be paying off. 

R.I.P.: Allan Holdsworth (1946-2017)

(born August 06, 1946, Bradford, West Yorkshire, England;
died April 16, 2017, Vista, California, USA)

 



Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Jazz Station Gallery: Marcos Valle & Arnaldo DeSouteiro

(Arnaldo DeSouteiro & Marcos Valle, April 06, 2017 - Marcos Valle's home)