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Jazz Artist Interviews (709)

Get up close and personal with your favorite jazz artists!

29.01.2011

Tim Garland

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Since the early 1990s, woodwind multi-instrumentalist Tim Garland has been one of England’s best-kept secrets. Emerging on the international scene three years ago as a member of Chick Corea’s band Origin, Garland’s career has since kicked into high gear and is a secret no longer. With projects that reflect his diversity and far-reaching instrumental and compositional capabilities, Garland is taking his rightful place amongst other British luminaries, including Kenny Wheeler and John Taylor. …
29.01.2011

Suzy Bogguss

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Suzy Bogguss is best known for a steady string of country hits, but she’s never been limited to a single style. On "Swing" (Compadre), the singer demonstrates her flair for classic jazz and Western swing numbers. Here, Duke Ellington meets Bob Wills. The result is a CD that radiates with charm. One reviewer recently called it the "most elegant pop-jazz record of the year." Bogguss, whose hits include "Aces," "Outbound Plane" and "Drive South," isn’t new to some of the jazz material found o …
29.01.2011

Howard Alden

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British jazz writer Digby Fairweather calls guitarist Howard Alden's Duets, with seven-string innovator George Van Eps "flawless". Alden's latest, another duet recording with another seven-string master, Bucky Pizzarelli, also deserves the description. The aptly named In A Mellow Tone (Concord Jazz, CCD-2207-2) has abiding warmth and intimacy, without sacrificing swing and inventiveness. At first glance, the two guitarists appear to come from separate worlds. Alden is 44 and grew u …
29.01.2011

Curtis Stigers

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Just over a decade ago, Curtis Stigers was living the pop star dream that serves as the highest goal for many performers; a platinum album, hit singles, international tours with Elton John and Eric Clapton, featured spots on big studio soundtracks. All would seem to be the stuff of dreams, but while he’s been very successfully marketed, Stigers was much more than a pop marketing phenomenon. He was, first and foremost, a musician, a veteran performer who had moved from Boise, Idaho bar bands (whe …
29.01.2011

Pat Metheny

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In a world where longevity is a rare quality among today’s musicians new and established, Pat Metheny continues to prove that his well of ideas runs deep to the Earth’s core. In no need of introduction, Metheny has been heard in just about every configuration imaginable, but up until now his solo guitar works have been only a rare novelty at PMG tours in recent years. His latest CD, "One Quiet Night," exhibits Metheny in rare form: just a man and his guitar sans studio gear, a band and any distr …
29.01.2011

Roger Burn

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A frequent lament about the contemporary jazz scene is that the working jazz group seems to be something of an endangered species, that a group that one might hear on a particular date is just as likely to consist of an ad-hoc collection of talented musicians as it is a practicing ensemble. The L.A-based Shapes, however, is very much a group, their debut album The Last Farewell the product of nearly two years of the same musicians collaborating. Consisting of original music written by the …
The great blind tenor man Sonny Bird-Hutcherson sits languidly in his hotel room armchair smoking a cigarette. His weather beaten face and ruffled grey hair are marks of experience in a business where only the strong seem to survive. He has clearly been in this game a long time. During a break from his hectic touring schedule I had the honour of being able to interview the great man, an encounter that proved to be somewhat intriguing..... PP: Sonny it's good to finally get to …
29.01.2011

Donald Walden

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"Part of my mission is to carry on the legacy of jazz musicians that made great music. Most of them died prematurely and never achieved the kind of success they deserved. Their legacy needs to be remembered," says saxophonist Donald Walden when asked why he recorded Focus The Music of Tadd Dameron. With new members of the Detroit Jazz Orchestra (DJO), a group Walden formed in 1982, he recorded the disc live at Bert’s On Broadway, a tri-level bar in downtown Detroit. Walden selected 10 …
29.01.2011

Erik Friedlander

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There are but a handful of well-known improvisers who call the cello their main instrument: Hank Roberts, Vincent Courtois, David Darling, Fred Katz and Erik Friedlander. Erik Friedlander has been steadily building an impressive body of work over the past ten years that has seen him emerge as the cellist on call for the New York downtown scene. Through recordings with artists that include Dave Douglas, Joe Lovano and John Zorn, and now with his own groups, Friedlander is helping to redefi …
Jessica Molaskey has performed with the " First Family of Cool" - John, Bucky and Martin Pizzarelli, at venues around the world from Feinstein’s at the Regency in New York City to the Montreal Jazz Festival. Jessica has also been featured at Lincoln Center’s American Songbook Series, Carnegie Hall, Joe’s Pub, Rainbow & Stars and with orchestras, and in concert venues across the country. As Pentimento put a jazzy new twist on popular songs of the 1920s and 1930s, now Jessica sashays into the …
29.01.2011

Jennifer Lee

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In her debut solo album, "J-Walkin’," Jennifer Lee creates a mellow melting pot of newly arranged standards with a few surprises of her own. Almost daring not to impress, Lee takes on a unique style that we haven’t heard since the days of Sarah Vaughan and Billie Holiday. Rather than belting out the songs, Lee approaches them with sensitivity and emotion. The result is a luxurious CD in a classic tradition that is sure to impress even the most finicky jazz enthusiast. The most profound quali …
29.01.2011

Lloyd Gregory

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"Music is comprised of traditions, even when mixed with innovations," Gregory says, "so of course, every musician is building upon sounds that came before. I admire and respect those jazz guitarists and I learned a lot from them. But my influences also include early soul innovators like Curtis Mayfield, many of the guitarists in the various Motown artists’ bands and like Ike Turner. Going further, I have been inspired by rock and rollers from Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley through Hendrix, to Eddie …
29.01.2011

Bruce Barth

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Bruce Barth is a versatile, busy musician. Whether leading his own trio in performances in New York City's finest clubs, teaming with accomplished vocalists like Carla Cook or Luciana Sosa, sharing his music with Spanish or Japanese audiences, or playing in Steve Wilson's acclaimed quartet, his intentions are clear. He always works to follow his inner voice and stay true to the music. Jazz Review: When we spoke last, you were getting ready for a live recording project that becam …
29.01.2011

Joey DeFrancesco

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Known as the B-3 Bomber for his incredible skill on the Hammond B-3 organ, playing the B-3 comes naturally for Joey DeFrancesco who as a child, played along with his father, Philly organ legend Papa John DeFrancesco. By age 16, DeFrancesco was the first recipient of the Philadelphia Jazz Society’s McCoy Tyner Scholarship and a finalist in the Thelonius Monk International Jazz Piano Competition Miles Davis was so impressed with DeFrancesco’s talent back in 1988, he asked the (then) 17-year ol …
29.01.2011

Patti Wicks

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Although Patti Wicks has performed in New York over the years with various jazz notables, it wasn’t until landing in Florida that things really began to happen. With the release of her first CD in 1998, suddenly everybody was buzzing about Wicks’ superb piano textures and smoky emotional vocals. This gained her recognition in various jazz circles leading to her upcoming July 29, 2003 release, "Love Locked Out," an exquisite selection of rare ballads from the Great American Songbook, on the disti …
29.01.2011

Wayne Shorter

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Though it’s all story-telling to the six-time Grammy winner who turns seventy on August 25, among the many other dimensions experienced in the music of Wayne Shorter are essentially its mystery, expansion of spirit, angular beauty, abstract truth, ponderous thoughtfulness and an uncannily synchronistic nature. Since joining the modern music world's elite core of improvisers and composers in 1959 via Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and as a leader in the Blue Note stable, Shorter's consistently …
29.01.2011

Kenny Burrell

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Kenny Burrell has been an inescapable force in the world of jazz and popular music for the last half-century, having released close to a hundred albums under his own name and played on countless sessions with everyone from Ray Brown to James Brown. Mr. Burrell has also distinguished himself in the realm of academia. For the past twenty-five years he has been affiliated with UCLA, teaching the guitar and a course of his own devising called Ellingtonia, the first university course on Duke Elli …
When you think about long lived, constantly adapting and evolving jazz bands, how often does The Yellowjackets come to mind? I must confess that I had largely forgotten The Yellowjackets when the Jazz Fusion movement ebbed. Well, that was my mistake because Russell Ferrante (piano and electronic keyboards), Jimmy Haslip (electric bass), Bob Mintzer (tenor and soprano saxophones, clarinets, flute, electric wind instrument) and Marcus Baylor (drums, percussion) have roared back with an impressive …
29.01.2011

Hiroshima

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A group named after the city that was bombed by a nuclear warhead in World War II is helping to bridge the world by music. Hiroshima has been performing since 1974 to help bring alive a philosophy that was first mentioned by Duke Ellington when he recorded The Afro-Eurasian Eclipse back in 1971. At that time, Ellington felt that Asian people were coming into the music scene and that all people would be able to perform together. When June Kuramoto first came to the U.S. at the age of s …
I recently had the opportunity to catch up with Dave Ellis to discuss his new album State of Mind and his philosophy on creating jazz music. The product of two academic sociologists, it is no surprise that Ellis is keenly aware of the diverse and significant forces that shape his music. Parents, teachers, musicians, and now the great producer Orrin Keepnews have helped him discover and rediscover the joy in producing music. Though Ellis’ current album, State of Mind, reflects a …