Norm Breest

Norm Breest

29.01.2011

David Benoit

Published in Jazz Artist Interviews
David Benoit is a very busy guy these days. He recently released his first all-orchestral CD, produced a tribute to the first Charlie Brown TV special A Charlie Brown Christmas and is getting ready for a Christmas tour with saxophonist Dave Koz. With everything the composer/conductor/instrumentalist has done, he is most proud of his classical-based CD called Orchestral Stories.

Benoit's orchestral CD was a labor of love for him, but there were two things that he had problems wit …

Multi-instrumentalist Brian Culbertson is one of the premier performers in smooth jazz. His shows are primarily upbeat in nature and the audience senses the energy that Culbertson brings to his performance. He says, That's kind of what I like to do. The albums are one thing and you go out and see a live performance and it's a whole other energy going on. People seem to like it. However, if it wasn't for one special person in his life, Culbertson wouldn't be the kind of performer he is t …
It had to happen! Hot horns, mellow tunes, master musicians and lots of soul, after years of performing together, trumpeter Rick Braun and sax man, Richard Elliot along with co-producers Jeff Lorber, Rex Rideout and Philippe Saisse have produced a slamming, jamming scorcher, showcasing talents of all the artists, commanding attention of their listeners, thrilling their fans with this summer’s great hit, R n R

As he rushed back from a gig in Detroit, Richard Elliot was kind eno …

29.01.2011

Sakesho

Published in Jazz Artist Interviews

A group that has been around for just around two years is making a mark on the music scene to bring the best of the French Caribbean to listeners around the world. Sakesho, pronounced sah KAY show, is presenting to audiences the style of beguine music, which is intensely syncopated and polyrhythmic. This style of music has fascinated steelpan drummer Andy Narell, who for many years has always looked at many styles of world beat music. The group combines beguine with calypso beats, Afro-Cuban …

29.01.2011

O2L

Published in Jazz Artist Interviews

What do two members of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra do between Christmas seasons? They fuse jazz, blues, rock and electronic music into a blend that is distinctive. Pianist Jane Mangini and guitarist Al Pitrelli, who studied with legendary jazz guitarist John Scofield and has performed with such artists as Celine Dion, Taylor Dayne and Alice Cooper, come together to make up the group O2L. Together as both musicians and a married couple, Mangini and Pitrelli have come up with a sound that has …

The group Hiroshima is celebrating 25 years of performing with its first all instrumental release. It's called Obon, which is named after Buddhist festivals that remember people who have passed away. The festivals take place not only in Asia, but in Los Angeles as well, where Hiroshima was first formed. In this case, the group wanted to salute the musicians, the events and experiences that they had throughout their 25-year history. The CD reflects both celebrating the group's longevity …

Saxophonist Marion Meadows has considered himself somewhat of a rebel in the past few years. He says, "I have been rebelling against contemporary jazz music becoming so homogenized. That was one of my biggest fears, not just for me, but for the integrity and the life of this genre of music. I felt it was in jeopardy of consuming itself in the mundane, because the fans themselves would not even feel challenged musically if we continue to offer them the same sound over and over again. Eventually, …
29.01.2011

Norman Brown

Published in Jazz Artist Interviews
Guitarist Norman Brown is very glad to have received a Grammy award in 2003 for the Best Pop Instrumental for his CD Just Chillin'. In 2004, George Harrison won the award posthumously for Marwa Blues, which Brown feels made his award in 2003 more important because of the voting. He says, "The Grammy’s were so fair. Everybody felt like I deserved to win. It was still competition, but it was all of us. It was myself, it was Kirk Whalum, it was Kenny G, and it was Boney James and John …
29.01.2011

William Woods

Published in Jazz Artist Interviews
A radiation oncologist by day and a composer and pianist by night, William Woods feels that the combination complements each other. It is very evident in his second release Cobalt Blue. Woods says that working with patients in his practice helps with his music composing. "The relationships I form with some of my patients and the way they live their lives as they face their mortality often inspires my music," says Woods. "But it works in reverse, too. Creating my music affects me on a spir …
29.01.2011

Paul Brown

Published in Jazz Artist Interviews
After years of producing some of smooth jazz' most prominent stars, Paul Brown is returning to his first love of performing as he debuts his solo CD Up Front. Brown says that performing as a musician is "the ultimate musical expression."

Brown started his musical career a lot like many performers, growing up in the business through their parents. Bill and Sue Allen worked in the Los Angeles recording industry as vocalists and arrangers and worked not only with many people in movies, b …