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Jazz Artist Interviews (634)

Get up close and personal with your favorite jazz artists!

29.01.2011

Bob Mintzer

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Maintaining a big band based in New York for nearly 25 years, arranger/saxophonist Bob Mintzer is also a member of the Yellowjackets, teaches music, writes books on music and gives back to his community through music. Mintzer has played and written for Buddy Rich, Thad Jones, Mel Lewis, Art Blakey, Sam Jones and Jaco Pastorius, as well as Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri and the New York Philharmonic. Among his session work, Mintzer has performed with James Taylor, Queen, Steve Winwood and …
29.01.2011

Maria Muldaur

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"I think that blues artists, men and women alike, are some of the most important cultural elders, and I do not think that they should be relegated to 78’s on some dusty shelf in the Smithsonian. It is music that still resonates and is very relevant today, even though the music emerged one hundred years ago. That is why I have been doing this because at the moment, it is my life’s passion," says Maria Muldaur. Muldair is most often associated with her hit seventies song "Midnight At The …
29.01.2011

Jackie Ryan

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Jackie Ryan is an international jazz star. She frequently plays both coasts and overseas, where her gig at Ronnie Scott’s in London garnered the critical praise: "One of the finest singers to perform at Ronnie's since Shirley Horn." --The London Evening Standard. Ryan has shared the stage and recording studio with many greats including Clark Terry, Red Holloway and Buddy DeFranco. Her recordings and performances generate a genuine heat, which rises above the "flavor of the month" excit …
29.01.2011

Hiromi

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"Other people can put a name on what I do", says keyboardist Hiromi Uehara. "It's just the union of what I've been listening to and what I've been learning. It has some elements of classical music, it has some rock, it has some jazz, but I don't want to give it a name." On her electrifying new release, Time Control, Hiromi explores the concept of time. The CD features long-time Hiromi bandmates drummer Martin Valihora and bassist Tony Grey, along with special guest guitarist David …
This is a true story of two people who came together due to the love of Dixieland music. Walter Sereth is a person who enjoys Dixieland music. He says, I lived next door to Alan Crowne and his brothers when I was 12 and some years later, got into play Dixieland. I never, except in the Army, played professionally. Mary Ann Stevens played violin and had an interest in fiddle music when she was going to college in Oklahoma. She says, I learned some fiddle tunes in college and then I came …
29.01.2011

Jackiem Joyner

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Saxman Jackiem Joyner has moved from being a sideman to center stage. He says, "As a musician, you always start off as a sideman. I've been on the road with Ronnie Laws and he influenced me. I think his jazz chops are really great. I picked up a few licks here and there from him, and I also liked the way he performed. He had a really great performance. The first smooth jazz artist I went on the road with was actually Marcus Johnson. That's where I kind of got the idea of how this smooth jazz con …
29.01.2011

Richard Hart

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Fusion guitarist Richard Hart is a well known studio and touring musician in jazz circles having worked with "Chuck Datillo, Larry Nance, Tony Molina, Ansley Dunbar, Ron Eschete, Tom Scott, Heath Brothers, Kirk Whalum, Russell Malone, McCoy Tyner, and Mel Torne," he roll calls. His musical experiences inspired him to create his own songs and release an album of original material called Fearless Shores on Innervision Records. "I wanted to incorporate all the great influences of t …
29.01.2011

Urban Jazz Coalition

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A little bit of R&B and funk is good for the soul, but when it's peppered with smooth jazz textures, then you've got some of the best feel-good sounds around.The seven member group of the Urban Jazz Coalition (UJC) is a group that displays the musical hybrid and they are really "bringing it" on with their latest CD Down to Get Up. On this 12 track CD, I can basically handpick a few tracks that are indeed chart-topping candidates. Now that's what I'm talking about! …
If the name Ellen Honert doesn’t ring any musical bells for you, I’m here to change that! Bay area Singer/Songwriter/Pianist Honert has just released her debut CD, Breath of the Soul on the Mill Station Records label. The twelve tracks include a cover of the Beatles’ classic, "Got to Get You Into My Life," as well as Ellen originals. All tracks were produced and brilliantly arranged by …
29.01.2011

Tim Cunningham

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Tim Cunningham’s current album Manchester Road, on TAWC Records, makes peace with grieving wounds and nurtures those relationships with family, friends, and God. His smooth jazz compositions and liquid saxophone lines were inspired by his feelings toward his family. Songs like "Sadie," an ode to his young daughter Sadie, and "Wintress," a tribute to his niece Wintress, are prime selections that show how music can speak with emotional depth. He reflects, "’Wintress’ was my niece …
29.01.2011

Brad Shepik

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Brad Shepik’s latest trio record Places You Go features the guitarist/composer continuing his upward trajectory. Having worked with artists like Dave Douglas and Paul Motian through the years, his sensibilities and abilities have become both refined and open. His playing and writing get deeper with each recording and this one may be a bigger leap forward than any in his recent past. He’s joined again by Tom Rainey on the drums who is consistently creative without losing …
29.01.2011

Sonny Rollins

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Catch as catch can. Many times interviews with musicians are done as they’re rushing to a rehearsal, while they’re desperately trying to finish a meal begun an hour ago, in the middle of practicing, putting the kids to bed or doing laundry. But on that occasion when an artist is found in a treasured moment of peace in their natural environment, it makes for a relaxed interview. Saxophonist Sonny Rollins, who describes himself as a "private, retiring person," gave that kind of interview. His envi …
Tierney Sutton is a happy person. She has just released ON THE OTHER SIDE on Telarc, which may be the best work she and the band she sings with, have yet done. Tierney Sutton is a very happy vocalist because she and the band she sings with, having completed the foundation, have erected a musical temple that is as unique as it is beautiful. It is through this temple that they step up from the ranks of elite players to the higher level of musicianship where their music is immediately rec …
Legendary Jazz trumpeter Miles Davis' pensive look on his album and CD jackets were always interpreted by the media as dark, mysterious and any other adjectives like the aforementioned that you can think about. But talking to his nephew Vincent Wilburn, Jr. recently, he paints a different picture. "Uncle Miles was very humorous and was not the "prince of darkness" that people perceived him to be. Matter of fact, he hated it when they called him that. He wasn't recluse or dark either. He had a …
29.01.2011

Tony DeSare

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Tony DeSare hits the top ten jazz charts with his 2007 sophomore Telarc release Last First Kiss, delighting listeners even more so than with his first Telarc debut release in 2006, Want You. DeSare isn’t just a vocal pianist, he is an exciting new songwriter of the first order, and his new CD is testimony to that fact. Filled with luscious compositions of his own and reinvented standards, DeSare lures his listeners from the first kiss to heartfelt flights in a wa …
29.01.2011

Simpatico

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Brian Lynch is a very unique artist with a very unique sound. When he does something like record an album with the legendary Eddie Palmieri, well, that is done in a very unique way as well. The first thing that stands out about Brian Lynch is not only how his latest album Simpatico was recorded, but how fans of this artist, or just those who may not know much about him but want to learn, can get a very special look into the creative process that goe …
If you were one to look up the definition of the phrase "musician's musician", chances are you will see Andy Narell's picture next to it. In fact, a few years ago, this writer had an interview with R&B singer Phil Perry who admitted that he was an Andy Narell fan and raved about the fact that he had some of Narell's music in his collection. Truly, Mr. Perry is not alone on being sold on Narell's music. Indeed, Andy Narell is bubbling over with talent and a passion for pan-jazz musi …
Joe Sample has had a very busy week--recording with Queen Latifah, a visit to the Sierra Nevada mountains, publicity work for his new duet album with Randy Crawford, and oh yeah, awaiting the birth of his first grandchild. That was just this week. Makes you tired just reading about it, let alone trying to live it, but that does not seem to phase Sample in the least. In fact, he seems to enjoy it. For those who may not know, Joe Sample is one of the finest, if not the finest jazz mus …
Falkner Evans Trio: Climbing the Gates New York jazz pianist Falkner Evans once again joins forces with bassist Cecil McBee and drummer Matt Wilson on the second Falkner Evans Trio album, Climbing the Gates, a fresh approach to mainstream jazz with some diverse play upon the tradition. The CD is full of music that features what Evans calls "complex structures with discernible melodies laid over the top, and lots of improvisation." JazzR …
Has it been awhile since you’ve heard anything new, anything fresh, in vocal jazz today? I think I can recommend the cure for what ails you, friend. Take a listen to the jazz vocal stylings of Karen Blixt, who has just released her debut album titled, Spin This on her very own HiFi Records label (co-founded with friend and Executive Producer, Lisa Thomas). Every song is her own, including the standards she gives us on this recording. "My Favorite Things" and "Nig …