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Jazz Artist Interviews (634)

Get up close and personal with your favorite jazz artists!

29.01.2011

Randy Brecker

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Forty years after he began his music career, Jazz trumpeter Randy Brecker comes to life as he talks about the new directions emerging in the genre. Brecker says that the globalization of Jazz music, "just adds to the spicy mix of Jazz." He points to bassist Richard Bona from Minta Eastern Cameroon as a perfect example of someone who has infused a new element into Jazz. "His brand of Jazz is mixed in with an incredible array of folk influences that you just couldn't get from somebody who …
Think back to keyboardist Marc Cary’s first four releases. His debut as a leader, 1994’s Cary On (enja) immediately demanded our attention with its clarity and imprint of his emerging style and presence. His next two for Arabesque Recordings - 1996’s Listen, containing the beautifully bluesy "Conditional Statement" by flutist Y.C. Laws, and 1998’s The Antidote, an entrancing collection of compositions that lift the spirit gently off the ground - brought him more into our foc …
One car ride with tenor saxophonist Don Braden is like a trip around the world. Within an hour of dropping off his instruments for repairs and locating our destination for a chat, we talked about finding spirituality in The Big Apple, the presence of God in the music industry, his four-year old Lexus, our disappointment in the present political administration, the insane traffic jam in mid-town we were caught in, and the Braden family fish. What he exemplifies is the attitude of some of today’s …
29.01.2011

Quinn Lemley

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The 1940s and 1950s are fondly remembered for many reasons. Two of the main ones are the great movies that were made and the great jazz that was featured in them. In addition to brilliant composition and some of the best players that ever lived, those movies also had great singers. Some of the actors, it turns out, were not actually singing. The studios used great voices to make those melodies unforgettable. Such was the case with Rita Hayworth, star of Gilda and widely acknowled …
29.01.2011

Joe Lovano

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I’m excited to interview Joe Lovano about his impressive 18th Blue Note CD--recorded by James Farber on Blue Note Records at Avatar Studios in New York--in which his producing, composing, conducting, as well as tenor saxophone, alto clarinet and aulochrome talents are displayed. This saxophone giant features a lot of his friends on the "Streams of Expression" CD, out this summer of 2006. It was one of pianist John Hicks’ last recording sessions, and Lovano reminisces about Hicks in this intervie …
29.01.2011

Nancy King

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The rest of the world is finally catching up to Nancy King. The respected, yet underrated, jazz singer is on the charts with two CDs. She appears on Karrin Allyson’s No. 1 album, Footprints, and King’s own Live at Jazz Standard was recently No. 23 on the charts and climbing. The success is an overdue nod to an artist who has been around for years, earning an underground reputation for her free-spirited improvisational skills, but never quite reaching the lofty peaks of so …
29.01.2011

Mark Elf

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Guitarist, Mark Elf, is dedicated to celebrating his music, his career and his life. For more than 30 years, Elf has written songs, played guitar, taught and recorded music. Now head of his own label at www.jenbayjazz.com, Mark Elf is glad to be alive, and glad to be doing what he does, in a voice that’s all his own. JazzReview: I first became aware of you when I had the good fortune to review Glad To Be Back. I was so impressed with your work, I began searching the web to find …
29.01.2011

Eldar Djanjirov

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Last September, I saw Eldar at Founder’s Hall at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa, Calfornia. There was a lot of hype about this young man and I was a little skeptical going into the concert. He came out with his trio and sat down at his piano. Then he started playing and about half way through the first song, I knew that what I thought was hype was just the truth. Eldar can play the piano! Eldar can make jazz with a trio! Watching him …
The group Down to the Bone has always been in the forefront of breaking the smooth jazz mold. One of the group's signature personnel is saxophonist Paul "Shilts" Weimar, who is the group's longest running member. After working nine years with Down to the Bone, Shilts is breaking out with his own style of music in a solo project called HeadBoppin'. Not only has Shilts been playing sax with Down to the Bone for nine years, he has been playing sax since he was ten years old. He says, …
29.01.2011

James Lloyd

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Cool is as cool sounds and that is still true over three decades of the contemporary phenomena known as Pieces of A Dream, a jack hammer of hits with sweet sounds filtering through every jazz venue here and abroad. With that said, it was my pleasure to sit and discover the heart of this machine--this personality and creative elixir, Pillow Talk, that has poured out once more from Heads Up Records. Keyboardist James Lloyd took a moment to reflect on many of his thoughts over the year …
29.01.2011

Nancy Kelly

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Nancy Kelly’s refined vocal style is a study in phrasing, style and the ability to swing. Kelly’s powerful singing has captured many awards and the ears of many jazz fans around the globe. With a new CD that continues to demonstrate why critics have called Nancy Kelly "the real deal," Kelly is back and keeping the jazz world swinging. JazzReview: What initially inspired you about jazz? Nancy Kelly: The freedom! Jazz is a great vehicle for …
29.01.2011

Nick Colionne

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Nick Colionne has become a guitarist that is setting the pace in smooth jazz diversity. His style is all together different than many other guitarists, even though he respects the abilities of his mentors. He knows that in today's world of music where it's not only how you play, but the way you present yourself to the audience, you must project the best positive attitude you can to show the audience what you're made of. Not only does Colionne perform for audiences around the world, he also he …
29.01.2011

Allan Harris

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Allan Harris has an impressive musical pedigree. His mother was a classical pianist. His aunt was an opera singer turned blues performer who welcomed famed music producer Clarence Williams and jazz great Louis Armstrong to the household as dinner guests. Allan has sung the standards of the foremost jazz vocalists and performed with jazz orchestras throughout the world. His performances have been hailed as artistic, emotionally expressive and technically sound. Through his performances with Tommy …
Comedian Bill Cosby said, "Ours is a youth culture, and like a golf tournament, we honor only low scores." There seems to be a young prodigy born every minute and a record label circling in search of its next savior to record. Barely a release or two are issued and their careers are deflated due to insufficient sales and the loss of appeal. But, there are those young artists that open up and blossom in their own time with a vigor to experience jazz and the power of its many elements. Alto sax …
I spoke with trumpeter Christian Scott from his place in New York City on May 2006. He was preparing for gigs in Boston and St. Louis. He just got the news that he’d been booked at this year’s JVC Jazz Festival in Newport, Rhode Island, August 11-13. His new release on Concord Records is entitled Rewind That. JazzReview: What brought you to Berklee [School of Music in Boston]? Christian Scott: The main reason I attended Berklee was because I wanted to go to …
29.01.2011

Youman Wilder

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After performing In New York, Africa and Europe, Wilder has been hailed as the next big thing.He just performed with hip-hop singer "Case" who he blew off the stage, and then turned the Montreal Jazz Festival on it's ear's with the best concerts in 10 year's of the legendary Jazz Festival. Montreal has been a hotbed for singers and musicians. Youman Wilder has made Montreal a home away from home. He has sold out several show's and is dating Montreal model/actress Kia Shoremakin. …
29.01.2011

Benny Golson

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A while ago I started interviewing and writing about George Russell and I fell in love with his latest album New York N.Y., which was originally released on Decca. The line up of musicians on the album is absolutely incredible so I decided that I would try to speak with as many of the musicians who had played on the album as I could. One of the musicians I was fortunate enough to speak with was Benny Golson. At the time I first spoke withBenny GolsonI wasn’t using a tape recorde …
29.01.2011

Grant Geissman

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Guitarist Grant Geissman, who played a classic solo on Chuck Mangione's Feel So Good, is standing up against smooth jazz radio programmers. He says they are just like people who want to colorize old movies. However, he says, "It's worse than that because it's saying 'we like this part of your movie, but we don't like this part, so we're going to chop that out and then we'll go back to the last half of your movie.' It's kind of like that what they are doing at radio because they're saying …
I first heard Michel Camilo play with his trio at Founder’s Hall, which is located in the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa. When the opportunity to interview him presented itself, I was thrilled. As I started doing my research on this pianist/composer, I was awe struck by his accomplishments. There are amazing musicians playing jazz piano today, but Michel does so much more. He plays classical and jazz, he interprets the masters and creates works which have in turn become cl …
29.01.2011

Oscar Castro-Neves

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It is very difficult to try and place Oscar Castro-Neves in any one category, but the nice thing about it is you don't have to. Guitarist, composer, arranger, singer and producer, Castro-Neves fits in all places all at once. This is very readily on display on his new recording All One on Mack Avenue records. When I spoke to him recently, he said that at first he started out with a long list of songs to choose from and that he slowly made his way through the list and mana …