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Jazz Artist Interviews (709)

Get up close and personal with your favorite jazz artists!

 Much of the early buzz surrounding the release of 'East Bay Soul 2.0' was about how a sensational campaign to raise the $25,000 necessary to record the album hit its target.  However, now it's all about the music.  Make no mistake; this is a collection of the highest order and everything (plus a little bit more) that one would expect from the artistic genius of its creator Greg Adams.  Of course Adams was the founding member of Tower of Power where his signature sound as performer and arranger made the TOP horn section a sought out entity all it's own. …
 Although Brian Auger has more than fifty years of music production experience, he is still on a journey.  If evidence of this was required one need look no further than the two current projects with which he is involved (Brian Auger's Oblivion Express and Brian Auger Trinity featuring Savannah Grace) or of course to his current album, the excellent 'Language of the Heart'.
George Duke is a multi Grammy Award winning legend. So, when I called him to get a few quick quotes for my France Joli interview (he produced her album 'Witch Of Love') I quickly realized I needed to milk this conversation for all it was worth.  Duke is a musician's musician with a career spanning over forty years and, even though he's not primarily known as a disco artist, he has produced some great dance tracks.  These include Stephanie Mills' 'Edge Of The Razor', Deniece Williams' breakout dance pop crossover hit from Footloose, 'Let's Hear It For The Boy', and…
Singer Carmen Lundy has returned to the scene with an album that can easily be categorized as one of her best yet.  With music that is both consistent and a pleasure to listen to, this nine-track collection is entitled 'Changes' and features eight original compositions.  It is a CD that will charm you, encourage you to dance, sing along and quite simply will brighten your mood.  The tracks speak about love from all angles and include themes ranging from love for neighbors and friends, new love and breakups.  With a CD launch planned for March 8 – 11 at the…
William Carn's new band, Run Stop Run and his latest album of the same title could also be titled simply "run."  Carn's recent work and collaborations, as well as his work as a professor of music, provide tremendous insight into Carn's work ethic.  Nowe, by adding touring to his busy schedule, Carn is truly a man in motion.
 Fresh off last year's Grammy nomination for his Jeff Lorber Fusion project 'Now Is The Time', Lorber has wasted no time in taking the concept back to the studio.  The follow up, 'Galaxy', was released on January 31st and, with eleven choice cuts, finds this consummate keyboard player, composer and producer exploring new and refreshing grooves while also revisiting four old songs from the JLF back-catalog.  The collection also includes outstanding contributions from JFL regulars Eric Marienthal on sax, percussionist Lenny Castro, trumpeter Randy Brecker, guitarists Paul Jackson Jr. and Larry Koonse, drummers Vinnie Colaiuta and Dave Weckl plus legendary…
Kim Waters has always had a way of captivating his fans with his infectious melodies and outstanding showmanship.  On his new CD, 'This Heart of Mine', he again harnesses his hallmark vibe by putting out another set of grooves that his fans will absolutely love. Each track is beautifully arranged, and compliments Waters undoubted talent as the 'King of Smooth Urban Jazz'.
Canadian guitarist Ryan Davidson knew what his mission in life was going to be since grade school. What he has been searching for is the means to make it happen.  As he recalls, "I believe I started playing when I was six, and began lessons at eight.  Truthfully, I don't have any memories of not playing the guitar.  All I can remember is that it was all I ever wanted to do."
 When I heard Candy Dulfer's new CD 'Crazy' I was absolutely flabbergasted.  This is not a 'sit down and listen to' CD.  It's a 'get up and move' CD.  From the first track 'Stop All That Noise' to the cool jazz ending of 'Too Close', Ms. Dulfer took me on a wonderful high energy adventure.  Not only that, this collaboration with Black Eyed Peas producer and musical director Printz Board makes for a perfect album and is a complete 'must listen'.
Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, Kayla Taylor is a southern gal who, when it comes to torch songs and jazz standards, can sing with the best and surpass them.  Her new CD 'You'd Be Surprised' is the follow up to her 2005 release 'A Night at Pacific & Vine' and features a sophisticated array of classic tunes that she delivers with the warmth of a nightingale and the intimacy of a soul singer.
Saxophonist and horn arranger Freddy Vigdor has been a member of the Average White Band for the last decade.  He has performed with the band around the globe at festivals, clubs, on television and radio programs while, as a prolific composer, his work has been recorded by the likes of Grover Washington, Jr., Bob Baldwin, Marion Meadows, and of course AWB.
Couch surfing. No, it is not a new event you will see at a Peripheral Vision concert, much like Moshing was to Nirvana and Anthrax. But it is an endearing sacrifice band co-leaders Michael Herring and Don Scott made in order to develop a strong friendship with each other. At various times during the first few years that Scott and Herring were friends; they frequently crashed on their respective couches when one had a place to stay and the other didn't. This back and forth "surfing" is ultimately what allowed the two to be such strong musicians with a powerful…
The blistering new album from rising sax-star Aaron Bing is titled 'Rebirth' and in many ways that's exactly what it represents. Bolstered by a discography that stretches back to 2005 and his debut release 'Always' Bing has come roaring back with a collection as good as anything you will hear this year. When recently I got the opportunity to talk with him from his home in Jacksonville, FL I was eager to understand the creative process that underpinned this latest project.
 New Orleans trumpeter Nicholas Payton has never conformed to anyone or anything. Reading his Facebook posts and Twitter “tweets”, you sort of get an idea about how un-traditional he is. He speaks his mind and, should someone attempt to challenge him on his views, is hardly lost for words. His outspoken nature has allowed him to create material for “Bitches”, a CD with a controversial title with tracks that draws experiences from his own love life.
Building a career by earning the respect of your peers is a difficult, ongoing task. Imagine trying to do it twice. Punctuated by a storied basketball franchise, the Boston Celtics, honoring him with a bobble head promotion and with Billboard slotting his album Emotionally at number 11 on the jazz album charts, Walter McCarty has succeeded at both.
Law school creates more than a few challenges. There are hours upon hours of studying, grueling hours interning at law firms, and financial bills that need to find a way to get paid. For many law students the adversity is just too much to overcome and that can lead to despair. For Ola Onabule, it determined his life's journey.
When, in 2009, saxophonist Elan Trotman released the album 'This Time Around' it was his first concerted foray into the realms of contemporary jazz. The follow up 'Love And Sax', which hit the streets earlier this year, further demonstrated the penchant he has for creating an atmosphere through his music that is both relaxing and sensuous. When recently I met with Elan at the Cinnamon Club in Altrincham, UK (where he had just captivated an appreciative the audience with his performance as part of Peter White's touring band) I was eager to learn more about this most interesting of artists…
With the decline of the contemporary jazz market in the US, you’d expect that recording artists would feel the pressure to follow prescribed trends. After all, part of the survival game has always involved releasing formulated “radio friendly” material.  However, there have always been a few brave visionaries who prefer to define the rules of the game. Welcome to the world of Acoustic Alchemy, who have just released their 18th CD, Roseland.
Smooth jazz sax-player Jessica Spinella (aka Jessy J) was born in Portland, Oregon and with her sizzling new album, 'Hot Sauce', is really covering all the bases. It finds Jessy embracing her Latin heritage with tracks such as 'Meant To Be' but also includes Will Young's pop hit 'Leave Right Now' and Duke Ellington's 'In Sentimental Mood'. All in all 'Hot Sauce' is a fine amalgam of spicy jazz seasoned with zesty Latin rhythms.
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