Jazz Viewpoints (222)

This review is a bit of a departure from the norm, being a VHS , broadcast quality, video cassette rather than a CD. Several readers have written asking why traditional jazz is seldom reviewed. The simple answer is that little is submitted to me. That seems to be changing with the arrival of Mart Rodger's Manchester Jazz and the Alex Pangman CD recently featured as CD of the week. Manchester Jazz is not to be confused with the plethora of "trad" bands who frantically copy the sound of the Late G …
29.01.2011

Top Jazz Picks For 2001

Written by
Published in Jazz Viewpoints
For the first time in at least five years, it seems that the jazz market has evened out, with few surprises and even fewer reissues when compared with the plethora of vault goodies that have seen the light of day over the past decade. Although Ken Burns’s Jazz created some momentum, marketing ploys favored the kind of compilation discs that hardcore jazzers stay away from like the plague. Nonetheless, among the slim pickings this year were the selected gems listed below, in no particular …
Well it’s been a few years now that the legendary recording engineer Rudy Van Gelder has been working on restoring the legacy that he’s played such a big part in. The man responsible for the larger than life sound that categorized the vast majority of Blue Note recordings from the late ‘50s to the late ‘60s, Van Gelder first started his project of remastering albums in 24-bit digital for Japan. While the American counterpart series to the Japanese is quite a bit smaller in scope, quite re …
The closer you get to New York City, the more it draws you near. Not only because of its big city heart and the appealing diversity of its people, but for its exciting jazz and the history it embraces.

Exhilaration builds as the taxi winds its way towards your hotel. Looking out the window, the flavor of the city rushes past you sidewalk soft-pretzel vendors, waiters changing the daily menu specials on the marquee, delivery trucks lined up by the curb, sneaker-clad people in business attire, …

The polls are open for the public to choose the best smooth jazz artists of the year. 2002 marks the 3rd time for The National Smooth Jazz Awards Show. This year’s event will take place at the Golden Hall in San Diego California on March 2, 2002 at 7 PM (Pacific Time). Hosted by Mr. Personality himself, saxman Dave Koz and broadcast nationally on all participating smooth jazz radio stations, this show should be an event to remember.

Stay tuned to your local smooth jazz radio station where …
First, I would like to thank you for taking the courage to bring the smooth jazz format to your station. With other radio stations in the area sounding alike, I like the fact that your station knows there is an audience for music above what is being played on the radio. It seems that radio statons either play rock, country or contemporary and not realize that there are people older than 30 who don't want to hear news and talk all day and can't relate to music that was done before the 1950's. You …
29.01.2011

Sirius Satellite Radio

Written by
Published in Jazz Viewpoints
Sirius Satellite Radio features seven channels of jazz and blues music. One of them is called "Cafe Jazz," which caters to the smooth jazz enthusiast. I have had a chance to hear both "Cafe Jazz" and its competetor, XM Satellite Radio's "Watercolors," and I was very impressed with the diversity of "Cafe Jazz." If I was to program a smooth jazz station, "Cafe Jazz is the way I would program it. It is a great mixture of instrumental and vocal jazz that goes beyond the normal music range of smooth …
In 2001, a duet CD hit the European shelves. Each CD was sold with a small pack of tissues. Its title, "Hard to Say Goodbye, the Very Best of Toots Thielemans and Kenny Werner." Verve Music Group, North Sea Jazz.

With the concurrent release in the United States on March 5, 2002, Americans will now understand what the European community has known for a very long time; the album is one of the most emotionally breathtaking CDs ever recorded, and the pairing of the beloved Toots Thielemans and K …

29.01.2011

Guitar Picks - Volume 3

Written by
Published in Jazz Viewpoints
Hello everyone - I'm sorry it's been a while since the last installment; my trio, QB3, and I have been very busy gigging in and outside of the New York City area. We were also in the midst of breaking in a great new bassist, which has been absolutely worth it. In any case, I'm looking forward to presenting you all with some music for your listening pleasure soon.

With that being said, welcome to the official 3rd installment of Guitar Picks. For new readers, the purpose of this colu …
29.01.2011

A Valentine's Wish

Written by
Published in Jazz Viewpoints

The most recent issue of Jazziz magazine contained an article by Michelle Mercer entitled "The Fire Down Below." In the article Ms. Mercer writes about taking novice jazz listeners to see the Mingus Big Band and one woman’s surprised sexual arousal from the music. Ms. Mercer comes to the conclusion that listening a jazz show in a New York club today is "a singularly existential listening experience, so if you get your freak on there, it’s all yours." In plainspeak, you are probably the …

29.01.2011

New Views of the Blues

Written by
Published in Jazz Viewpoints
Following the most recent batch of Van Gelder reissues that focused on the label’s earliest sides (the current set of Stateside RVG Editions numbers some 56 albums), a new set of titles launched at the start of 2002 attempts to pick up some stray items from the modern period, including several albums that have never been available in the United States on compact disc. So, in no particular order, here’s a quick synopsis of some praiseworthy and up-to-the-minute RVG Editions.

Maybe it was the s …

29.01.2011

A Second Chance at Life

Written by
Published in Jazz Viewpoints
When it comes to the opportunity to expose some of the many talents that got lost in the shuffle during the ‘50s and ‘60s, no other concern has more to unearth than Fantasy’s group of associated labels, including Prestige, Riverside, and Contemporary. Through their Limited Edition Series, Fantasy is able to present releases that will undoubtedly appeal to only a small number of jazz fans, but will nonetheless have importance in bringing to light some unfairly ignored performers and performances. …
In 1983, Jazz pianist-composer G. Francis Mlely was on a solo piano concert tour of Europe, when midway along he received information that caused him to suddenly abandon the tour and, because of subsequent events, to leave off playing professionally for nearly two decades. Mlely's 3rd album, "Trio," according to a "Jazz Times" survey, was among the Top 10 most-played record albums in U.S. radio airplay at the time. He had just come from performing before an SRO crowd at BIM-House in Amsterdam, t …
29.01.2011

The Four Freshmen

Written by
Published in Jazz Viewpoints
Butler University is located in Indianapolis, Indiana. In 1948, the university lay witness to a harmonic rendezvous--a renaissance of harmonies untold to the human ear. What was to become of four freshmen who never stuck around long enough to become sophomores? They became, "THE FOUR FRESHMEN," and sent the nation into a harmonic rhapsody--trembling with the new vocal sonorities they gave birth too.

Lurking behind the shadows of the ivory walls, the four young men met, as freshmen, at Arthur …

Vancouver International Jazz Festival. The very words stir something in the soul and excite the senses for what is to come in those most special 10 days of the year: All the unheard sounds to fall in love with and familiar ones to revel in, running into friends old and new, racing from one incredible gig to the next, full of anticipation and hope for another uplifting musical experience. Oh, that all the days of the year could be so action-packed with incredible music from around the world and r …
29.01.2011

On Soloing

Written by
Published in Jazz Viewpoints
I once had the opportunity to do a few gigs in a quartet featuring the great keyboardist/composer Rob Mullins. Nate Phillips, who had worked with Rob in the Jazz Crusaders, and Jeff Suttles, who had just come off tour with Janet Jackson, held down the bass and drums, respectively. The basic concept was to play instrumental arrangements of funky R&B tunes, sort of like a funk version of Paul Shaffers' "Worlds Most Dangerous Band" (the David Letterman Show band). The project was put together with …
Ja zz can be recognized by its openness to and utilization of harmonies outside the common scope of popular music. There are those in the American popular music industry, many among them musicians, critics, teachers, et al, who speak of how "jazz" has been influential in recent and current popular music, some claiming to have incorporated it into the music they perform, teach, or write reviews of. I wonder what jazz they are referring to.

Let's take one of the quintessential jazz albums of al …

When sax man Euge Groove swings into action for the opening Friday night of this year’s Long Beach Jazz Festival, it will mark the event’s 15th anniversary. And much like Euge’s nickname, the annual 3-day program has settled into a comfortable and profitable "groove" for festival founder, Al Williams. The musician-turned-entrepreneur’s innate sensitivity to the art of jazz and its presentation has resulted in the Southland’s most anticipated weekend of hot summer days and warm, sexy nights.

"W …

Antonio Carlos Jobim
He is the grand marshal of bossa nova. His music reminds you of a sunny day at the beach and his smooth, baritone voice is romantic. In addition, the melodic piano tunes are breathtaking and relaxing. The background violin sounds make you feel like you're at a symphony. Some of my favorite tunes are Ela E Carioca, Passarim, The Girl From Ipanema and Aguas de Marco,which he sings with Elis Regina. Some of the CDs I recommend are Elis …
WWOZ is truly a musical gumbo. It is a delicious mixture of spicy flavors that contribute to this city's beautiful and rich heritage. I've listened to this station for seven years and it is fantastic! To be satirical, I'll describe this station metaphorically.

The main ingredient in this gumbo is a quart of jazz music. Every weekday afternoon dedicated and enthusiastic disc jockeys play the best in classic and modern jazz. You can hear great legends such as Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald,Bi …