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Jazz Artist Interviews (709)

Get up close and personal with your favorite jazz artists!

"Bands come and go. I just try to do my best for the audience whether it is a live show or a recording. You are only as good as your last thing, your last project or your last show. You want to leave people with wanting to talk about you and having good things to say so they will come back to see the next show or buy the next CD," says Greg Adams who certainly needs no introduction to jazz fans. Adams was speaking to me from his home in Los Angeles on this Tuesday morning. The trumpet …
A camera is following blues artist Eric Bibb as he moves among the shops on Paris, France’s Rue Jean Jacques Rousseau and that is how the CD Diamond Days begins. Acting upon a last minute suggestion from a cinematographer friend, Bibb is filmed with a camcorder while he visits what he refers to as one of his "favorite haunts," a luthier shop, RF Charle Instruments de Musique à Cordes. "There was something about the spontaneity of the whole thing that I felt enticed with, a cert …
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 …
Some artists might consider a musical theater role portraying a legend like Frank Sinatra to be A potential career killer because of the comparisons to Ol’ Blue Eyes, and then the prospect of not being able to get out from under that shadow and assert your own individuality as a singer. That, however, is not the situation with Jonathan Poretz, a jazz vocalist hailing from the San Francisco area who has spent almost two years depicting Sinatra in the production of Dick Feeney and Sandy Hackett …
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 …
On February 6, it was announced that Johannes Linstead one of Canada’s top guitarists was nominated for the nation’s top music prize a Juno Award. The Junos are Canada’s equivalent of a Grammy and Linstead’s guitarra Latina CD Café Tropical is being recognized in the Instrumental Album Of The Year category. When contacted Linstead had this to say about his nomination, "I was thrilled when they announced my name for the nomination. However, what made it even more speci …
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 …
January 2007 - It is uncomforting to hear that there are ensemble directors today who question the validity of using improvisation as a criterion for adjudicating young jazz students in competition. This démodé mindset hampers the progression and expression of players and the music - and what for? If players aren’t emboldened to unleash their inner creative spirit, then why do this thing called jazz? (Or whatever you’d like to call it.) New York-based trumpeter and composer Brian Grode …
29.01.2011

Gigi MacKenzie

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Gigi MacKenzie’s vocals soar like a choir of archangels on her debut album Skylark, captivating the listener with a siren’s enchantment and nurturing warm sensations. She sings, as well as plays the guitar and drums on her solo album, produced by herself and her keyboardist Bobby Zee. Her selections of smooth jazz melodies and upbeat propulsions nourish her emotional need to reveal aspects of her moods that beckon for self-expression. Her choice to sing the blues satisfies her hunger …
Wayne Wallace is an extremely busy musician. With the release of his two CDs a few weeks ago, The Reckless Search for Beauty and Dedication, the Latin and straight ahead jazz trombonist still finds the time to wear the hats of composer, arranger and educator. And as if that were not enough, he has added CEO to his title as the person behind the burgeoning Patois recording label. Wayne Wallace is truly a musical connoisseur who has sampled varied musical gen …
29.01.2011

Walter Beasley's Love

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Sax man and vocalist Walter Beasley has two great loves that he has a passion for. One of those is his role as an educator. Teaching at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, he says, "I like the give and take and I like being able to share what I learned over the last 30 years in the classroom. I have educational DVDs online that I do, too. If you stay in one bag too long, I think for me anyway, I become rusty and because life is so quick and because I think we're all charged with being…
One would be tempted to refer to Andy Middleton and Sheila Cooper as the dynamic duo. During the late summer of 2006, the couple moved from Gotham City (New York City) to Austria with their seven-year old daughter, Calli. They write masterful compositions, Middleton is an accomplished tenor/soprano saxophone player and Cooper is a critically acclaimed vocalist and alto saxophonist. Just a few days before celebrating their first Christmas in Vienna, Middleton took time to speak with me …
29.01.2011

Lauren Wood

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Most people associate Lauren Wood with her song "Fallen" from the soundtrack of the movie Pretty Woman. The soundtrack sold eighteen million copies. In many ways the hit song, which rocked European charts as well as those in North America, overshadows the many other successes that this superbly talented singer/songwriter/producer has enjoyed. Wood’s most recent album Love, Death & Customer Service is her eighth album and second self-produced record released under her own label, Bad …
29.01.2011

Julia Dollison

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Meet vocalist and composer Julia Dollison. She’s performed with Maria Schneider’s acclaimed orchestra, and her recent debut CD is creating its own buzz. On Observatory, she showcases original compositions, reinvents standards, and even covers Rufus Wainwright’s beautiful ballad "Poses." The material is wide ranging, but not without a theme. "These are observations about an inner journey," Dollison explained. It’s a trip worth taking with the classically trained soprano, who won b …
29.01.2011

Andy Narell

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Their name Sakesho (pronounced sah kay show) is the French Creole saying for "its gonna be hot." And on January 22 and 23rd this Caribbean-influenced jazz band would be creating more than a sizzle when they perform at the Catalina Jazz Club in Los Angeles, California. This would be the band’s first performance in Los Angeles and they promise to give audience more than a treat within their two-hour nightly performances. Sakesho is pan virtuoso Andy Narrell, pianist Mario Canonge, …