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Jazz Artist Interviews (709)

Get up close and personal with your favorite jazz artists!

29.01.2011

Renee Marie

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With each album, Rene Marie proves herself to be one of the most daring vocalists around. She is fearless in singing about difficult situations or tackling a diverse songbook. Her newest release, "Serene Renegade," may be her most uncompromising, yet. Marie takes listeners on a journey of her life with nine original songs about herself and her family. She also includes the Beatles’ "Hard Day’s Night" and the standard "Lover Man Oh Where Can You Be" on the album. Some of the songs are joyfu …
29.01.2011

Chris Botti

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When I Fall in Love is a soundtrack of romance, love and life. What you will hear is the graduation of a master musician into another realm. Botti takes listeners on a tantalizing journey of lushly interpreted standards from the past and present. Backed by the London Session Orchestra, Botti creates an aura of romance that harkens back to the days of Frank Sinatra, Clifford Brown, Miles Davis and Gil Evans. Please join us as we give you a sneak peek into the creation of this extraordinary …
29.01.2011

Erin Bode

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In the world of jazz, there are often two kinds of vocalists - the ones who sing and the ones who speak to the heart. It’s the singers who irresistibly whisper to your soul that you remember. Listen to Erin Bode and you’ll soon realize she’s someone you won’t forget. The youngest of four children, Bode grew up the average daughter of a Lutheran minister. From celebrations to funerals, music was part of everyday life. Children in the home were actively encouraged to take up lessons at …
29.01.2011

Marion Meadows

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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

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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

Doc Powell

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Doc Powell is a guitarist who started as a session musician and worked on projects ranging from radio and TV commercials, to movie soundtracks and live studio recording. During that time, he performed with such other session musicians like bassist/producer Marcus Miller, drummer Yogi Horton and pianist Kenny Kirkland. Powell was in demand at the time and says his upbringing has been the reason why he was very versatile. "Being a studio musician, there is no way you could make it without being ab …
29.01.2011

Gerald Albright

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Gerald Albright has what many artists dream of-staying power, with an attitude! Playing all the saxes: tenor, alto, soprano and baritone is only part of the magnificent picture. Albright also plays the flute, flute and electric bass. Being this versatile is quite a fete. To stay in demand across the country and around the world, year after year, is a dream most artists aspire to. A very pleasant voice answered the phone for this interview-kind of mild and smooth like the instrument Geral …
Forever, For Always, For Luther is the project of the year, undertaken by producer Rex Rideout as his tribute of love to the world famous Luther Vandross. Crossing all boundaries musically, emotionally and culturally, as he crooned his way into the hearts and souls of listeners around the globe for more than twenty years, Luther became a household word. As if his gorgeous eyes and beautiful smile didn’t melt the people’s hearts; his voice hypnotized audiences as he sang of love …
29.01.2011

Dave Becker

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For over 20 years, guitarist/composer David Becker has continued to define himself as one of the best and most unique voices in contemporary jazz guitar. Combining diverse influences and a passion for the new and different, Becker's latest CD "Where's Henning?" reflects his gifts as a player and composer, and his ability to play for the present while always keeping an eye on the past and future. Joined by his brother and longtime collaborator, drummer Bruce Becker and bassist Tom Lilly, W …
29.01.2011

George Braith

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Saxophonist George Braith is an enduring product of the 1960’s Blue Note jazz team, recording three albums for the Blue Note label from 1963 to 1964 and Prestige in 1966. Currently the famous jazz label has reissued the classic George Braith double CD box set The Complete Blue Note Sessions. The inventor of the Braithophone, two different horns (straight alto and soprano) mended together by extensions, valves and connections, in essence a double horn modified stritch and saxophone with different …
29.01.2011

Al Jarreau

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Singer Al Jarreau has been known as a pop singer, a soul singer and a blues singer. However, for the longest time, he has always wanted to show that he is a jazz singer as well. His newest dynamite release Accentuate the Positive brings Jarreau into the jazz idiom with a style all his own. He says that recording the new CD was a joy for him. "Just like in other forms of music, you have to be yourself and show what you’re made of," says Jarreau. "This new release has been a labor of love f …
29.01.2011

Boney James

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Pure, the ninth Warner Bros. album from saxophonist Boney James, is aptly named. It's pure in spirit, vision and in the grooves. Often criticized by jazz purists for his smooth, R&B-influenced vibes, James keeps right on going, producing one hit album after another. The new album, due for release in August, his first as his own producer. In the process, he co-wrote every song, played a variety of instruments and chose some excellent voices to help realize his vision: Bilal, Dwele, Ledi …
29.01.2011

Jimmy Haslip

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What would you call a world famous, energetic, enthusiastic, totally engaged musical genius, who has written, played and produced for more than 25 years? You could call him Pro. Or, you could call him Ace. Or, you could call him by name-Jimmy Haslip. For some, the name Haslip is synonymous with Yellowjackets. But, for many, master bassist Haslip is a musical wonder in all phases of production, with an appetite for diversion. Stepping out of a recording session at ten o’clock in th …
29.01.2011

Karolina Strassmayer

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Amid the mindless self-indulgence of the music industry there is that unique flickering moment, when one brushes up against a professional jazz musician, uncontaminated and untainted from the mainstream mayhem of music. One who sets aside the self centered, self-absorbed attitudes to go forth and just make music for the love of the act, not the rewards there in. Knowing full well that the path she has undertaken would be motivated solely on her effort, Karolina Strassmayer has in fact, made her …
29.01.2011

Claudia Acuña

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Claudia Acuña recently invited everyone to join her for a MAXJAZZ CD release party at Jazz at the Bistro in St. Louis from April 23-24, 2004. Recorded mostly in her native Spanish tongue, the songs Luna are vibrant tales of love and life. The clarity of vision and passionate interpretations are simply stunning. Please join us as Claudia Acuña tells JazzReview.com about this new album and her dreams for the future. JazzReview.com: This is your third CD and your MAXJAZZ de …
29.01.2011

Monty Alexander

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The portrayal of the cowboy exemplifies the American tradition of freedom. Life was simpler in the days of the West. There weren’t any bottom lines or corporate gurus to please. The only rules were to live honestly and with courage. All a cowboy needed was a trusted horse, a good gun and wide-open spaces to roam. Although the barbed wire fence ended this chapter in American history, the spirit of the cowboy remains in the fabric of the American life. Some might say that jazz musicians are a …
After 15 years of rehearsing, Frank Vignola and Joe Ascione have arrived. Virtuoso guitarist Frank Vignola and master percussionist, Joe Ascione have worked together steadily, developing a symbiotic union which breeds energy, excitement and delicious memories with their 33 1/3 recording. Rarely do artists of such extreme caliber work together so well for so long. Now at their peak, Frank and Joe have reached in to bring other brilliant artists into their world, givin …
29.01.2011

William Woods

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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

Mimi Fox

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Although her album is called "She’s The Woman," it’s more likely you’ll walk away going, "She’s just plain amazing!" Mimi Fox’s name has been circulating rapidly throughout the jazz guitar community for years as a new force in jazz guitar. However, for those who know her better, it goes beyond the chops; Mimi is a diverse, accomplished and forward-thinking musician who has taken her love for the jazz language and transformed it into a vehicle for rich music that pulls from many genres. Growing u …
29.01.2011

Ray Vega

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It isn’t often that a concert reviewer is caught dancing in the isles. Trumpeter Ray Vega managed to make me do just that at a recent concert at Jazz at the Bistro in St. Louis, Missouri. His enticing salsa rhythms and progressive harmonies captivated the audience of the crowded jazz club. However, it was his love of life and gentle spirit that enticed JazzReview to learn more. JazzReview.com: I read somewhere that you were a frustrated saxophone player. Ray Vega : I’m not a …