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Norm Breest

Norm Breest

29.01.2011

Spyro Gyra

Published in Jazz Artist Interviews
Funksters Spyro Gyra, whose music has traversed numerous genres and drawn from numerous eclectic musical influences during the course of their almost thirty year career, recorded an excellent Christmas jazz album, A Night Before Christmas, while the cherry trees were blossoming in New York. Joining Spyro Gyra’s regular cast, which consists of Jay Beckenstein (saxophones), Tom Schuman (pianist), Julio Fernandez (guitar), Scott Ambush (bass) and drummer Bonny B., are singer and Tony Award …
29.01.2011

Gato Barbieri

Published in Jazz Artist Interviews
Gato Barbieri has recorded over 50 albums, composed the score for one of the most controversial movies of the 20th century, Last Tango in Paris, recorded a smooth jazz classic, Europa and has performed with many of jazz's elite during his five decade career. Even though he has gone through so much in his personal life, saxophonist Gato Barbieri feels stronger today than ever before.

After a very productive decade in the 70's with the movie soundtrack and releases on both the Im …

After the duo of Acoustic Alchemy released AArt, a studio album that received high accolades, including a third Grammy nomination, guitarists Greg Carmichael and Miles Gilderdale decided to get back into the studio and get back to basics. Their newest release, Radio Contact helps to get back the synergy that Carmichael and Gilderdale are known for on stage. That synergy is the same that prevailed when Carmichael was paired with late co-founder Nick Webb. Carmichael says, "I still f …
Known to many rock and rollers as "Phantom" of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, keyboardist Danny Federici feels that his new self-titled smooth jazz CD is a return to his roots. Federici is a classically trained musician who moved into rock and roll because it "was a great departure from classical lessons. This is what I really like to do and the kind of music I listen to." Before Springsteen, Federici played keyboards with Joan Armatrading, The BoDeans, Gary US Bonds and Graham Parker.

W …

One thing that makes smooth jazz different from all other kinds of music is its diversity. Diversity in fans, performers and instruments makes smooth jazz stand out as a kind of music that embraces every aspect of life. Roberto Perera has been recording with the Paraguayan harp since the early 90's and has been a master at bringing the harp into smooth jazz. His latest release Sensual, continues to show the diverse influences that smooth jazz brings to the listener. Perera brings a Latin …
In her first two releases on the Heads Up label, Philadelphia-raised saxophonist Pamela Williams shows streaks of greatness with her soulful, sensual and touching work. Mentored by the late Grover Washington, Jr., Williams’ 1996 Saxtress, and 1998 Eight Days of Ecstasy, displayed her many varied moods, but Williams' new release Evolution, shows a saxophonist that is ready to blossom.

Working with new talent, many record labels control all aspects of a performer's present …

I have always thought that Randy Crawford was the most undiscovered smooth jazz vocalist in the U.S. Most smooth jazz radio stations do not play her releases and I can't understand why they don't. She has always been the most consistent vocalist in the genre today, yet has a stronger following outside the United States. She has already recorded some classic smooth jazz tracks like the cover of Bob Dylan's, "Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door," with David Sanborn, "Street Life," with Joe Sample and the Cr …
29.01.2011

Joyce Cooling

Published in Jazz Artist Interviews
Keeping up in a conversation with Joyce Cooling is almost as difficult as it would be to match her fabulous guitar work. As I spoke to the smooth jazz artist, several times in typical Cooling fashion, she stopped, changed directions, and left me in the dust as she enthusiastically spoke about some event, person in her life or a place that she has visited. It is with that same enthusiasm that she continues to energize her music career as it finds new roads to travel. We spoke at length about the …
After a lull of over three years, flutist Alexander Zonjic has released his newest CD called Seldom Blues, which is also the name of Zonjic's jazz supper club in downtown Detroit's Renaissance Center. He says, "It opened back in June of 2004 with a lot of fanfare. My friend Bob James came in and Peter White came in and Jeff Lorber came in and Angels Bofill came in and Earl Klugh came in and Tim Bowman came in and Dave McMurray came in and we had quite a night. We got the club up and runni …
During the National Smooth Jazz Awards show in San Diego, co-host Dave Koz said that there is "a brotherhood and sisterhood in smooth jazz that is not found in other genres of music." The performances at the show showed just how true that statement is. From Joyce Cooling and Al Jarreau doing their hit Mmm, Mmm Good to a finale that is just too hard to match, the National Smooth Jazz Awards show showed the reason why packaged concerts featuring a number of smooth jazz headlin
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