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Jazz Artist Interviews (709)

Get up close and personal with your favorite jazz artists!

29.01.2011

Dave Weckl

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This is a test: Put on any of the Dave Weckl Band's five CDs, wait a minute, and see if you can keep all your muscles from moving, especially the ones at the corners of your mouth. This is music you listen to because you WANT to. Funk with a capital "FUN." Serious chops with a playful attitude. Heavy on texture, light on repetition, the newest Weckl band disc is aptly named Perpetual Motion, a reference to master drummer and teacher Dave Weckl's desire to always keep moving forward. E …
29.01.2011

Kenny Rankin

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Some vocalists merely sing the words to a song, but when you hear an extraordinary artist like Kenny Rankin pour out life’s emotions through words and music, the experience is long remembered. Singer, songwriter and accomplished guitarist, Rankin has the ability to keep listeners spellbound while he weaves a certain magic to a variety of songs straight from his heart. Now after three and a half decades of memorable recording history, Rankin enters into an exciting new chapter with his debut …
29.01.2011

Michael Feinstein

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Michael Feinstein is a critical link in America’s musical chain. On one side, he’s helping push it forward with his own new recordings. His most recent Concord Records release teams him with the renowned Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. Together, they offer lush new treatments of a dozen standards by Gershwin, Hammerstein, Loesser and others. It’s a rare occasion of the orchestra performing popular America music, and Feinstein’s first time recording with a symphony orchestra. On the other side …
29.01.2011

Al Di Meola

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For many musicians, evolving is the difference between sinking or swimming in this musical market. Many great players have defined themselves as ‘new legends’ through the kind of longevity that can only come from continuous experimentation and sticking to your guns. One such musician is Al Di Meola, whose name has become synonymous with fusion, jazz and the guitar. From a teen prodigy with Chick Corea’s Return To Forever group, to countless successful collaborations and solo records, Di Meola ha …
Jazz is American art form and an international phenomenon! Jazz is not the result of choosing a tune, but an idea that is created first in the mind, inspired by one’s passion and willed next in playing music! Jazz music is not found in websites or books, or even written down on sheet music; it is in the act of creating the form itself that we truly find jazz music. Women in jazz have been marginalized, exoticized or ignored as significant contributors to the history of the music. As a step t …
29.01.2011

Gato Barbieri

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Gato Barbieri has recorded over 50 albums, composed the score for one of the most controversial movies of the 20th century, Last Tango in Paris, recorded a smooth jazz classic, Europa and has performed with many of jazz's elite during his five decade career. Even though he has gone through so much in his personal life, saxophonist Gato Barbieri feels stronger today than ever before. After a very productive decade in the 70's with the movie soundtrack and releases on both the Im …
29.01.2011

Marian McPartland

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Marian McPartland is a true jazz legend. Since emigrating from England in 1946 with her American husband, the late cornetist Jimmy McPartland, Marian has accomplished more than we have space to even touch on. The nimble 82 year old pianist is not one to rest on past achievements, however, and has just released Live at Shanghai Jazz, on Concord Records, as well as four CDs taken from her popular National Public Radio series, Piano Jazz. Live at Shanghai Jazz is a trio date recor …
In the liner notes to his newest release on Telarc Records, My America, Jamaican-born pianist Monty Alexander expresses his love of his adopted country, "a land where dreams can come true." In the post-September 11th landscape it would be easy to assume the role of a cynic and accuse Alexander of capitalizing on the "don’t-tread-on-me" jingoism that has swept the country in the wake of the attacks. But that’s not Alexander’s intention with My America. "Last January", Alexander explained in a …
29.01.2011

Roscoe Mitchell

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It would be hard to overstate the importance of Roscoe Mitchell’s contributions to jazz and improvised music over the last forty years. One of the first and most potent voices to emerge on saxophone in the wake of the free jazz innovations of Ornette Coleman, Albert Ayler and the rest of the movement, Mitchell helped found Chicago’s legendary Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians in 1964. Best known as a charter member of the well-loved Art Ensemble of Chicago, Roscoe’s mo …
29.01.2011

Carla Cook

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Seeing Carla Cook perform is watching joy in motion. She sings with an ease that makes an audience instantly comfortable with her; yet she can turn on the intensity at a moment’s notice. She glides through a song, nodding to each of her instrumentalists as they take their turn at the spotlight. In acknowledging the applause, she generously includes her sidemen.Carla’s musical background includes training as a choral singer in many different styles, as well as piano and string bass studies. Sh …
Vocalist Patrice Williamson recently released her second CD, "Free to Dream," the follow-up to her acclaimed 1998 debut, "My Shining Hour." With the sophomore release, Williamson continues to build a solid body of work and expand her growing reputation. More confident than ever, she sings and scats with authority. Williamson stretches herself with material ranging from Bud Powell’s "Celia" to Stevie Wonder’s "Another Star." She even sings a spirited, nine-minute medley of songs from "The Soun …
29.01.2011

Kerry Politzer

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Listening to Kerry Politzer’s new CD, Watercolor, is like spending a peaceful afternoon with a friend looking at beautiful paintings in a museum. Each song brings forth different moods and shades of emotion. Kerry’s music speaks to the inner child in all of us who wants to explore the world and find out what’s out there to enjoy.From her earliest years, Kerry has been involved in creating and performing music. After comprehensive classical study, she discovered jazz in college. Like Ge …
"I’m gonna tell you one thing; life is beautiful, and we’re hanging out listening to Miles Davis. Hey! how about the Sugar Time Lounge, mama?" I peer to my left out the car window and see a windowless bar on a curved street. It's the middle of the day, East side. I look at him, then look at the clock on the car radio. 2pm. We settle on the Moose lounge instead. It's red in the Moose Lounge and rednecks and cowboys line the bar. A picture of John Wayne hangs above the door. On the jukebox a Ra …
29.01.2011

Claire Daly

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Claire Daly may be a "new" name in jazz, but she’s hardly new to the music scene she’s been at it for nearly 30 years now. Daly’s accumulated a stunning array of compliments from the press. Like most professional musicians, she’s had to play her share of "pay the rent" gigs, but she’s never lost her heart for jazz. Daly’s discography as a leader began with the release of Swing Low on Koch Jazz in 1999, followed by her most recent release, Movin’ On (also on Koch, 2001). Indeed, Cla …
29.01.2011

Erica Mather

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The release party for the Erica Mather Trio’s new CD, The Millennium Song Cycle, did not come off exactly as planned, but good music, especially good jazz, seldom does. It was scheduled to begin at 9:00. I arrived five minutes early only to find the Corral Room, a deep but narrow softly lit space in the basement under the Tornado Room on S. Hamilton, nearly empty. Already there were two doormen and a bored but finely dressed bartender. I walked in and sat at a table along one wall, opposi …
Fans of underrated soprano sax man, Marion Meadows, always know what they’re getting whenever this Phoenix-based artist releases a project; inspired blowing, great tunes, and great guest stars contributing excellent performances. Marion has just released his newest CD, and 3rd project for Heads Up, "In Deep." Along with a sensual mix of retro-soul and contemporary hip-hop flavor, Marion throws in a few twists such as his alto and tenor sax playing. As always though, he blends in stellar gues …
29.01.2011

Rik Emmett

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In the 70’s and 80’s, Rik Emmet rose to stardom as a member of the arena rock band Triumph, and to some, Emmet will forever be the axe-wielding power rock icon who penned many great hits. However, the post-Triumph years took Emmet on a different journey; one fueled not by the pursuit of rock stardom or extravagance, but of self-discovery and the desire to make music on his own terms (Rik even passed on an offer to join Tom Scholz’s Boston shortly after the Triumph gig). Rik recorded 3 solo album …
"Time and change are constants in the universe. They are also constants in our everyday life. Time goes on. Change is inevitable. Both are sayings used on any given day and in a variety of settings. When I first discovered vocal jazz, I believed that I was born too late. I should have been hanging out with Joe Williams in Chicago, trading rhymes with Jon Hendericks, singing all night in a Kansas City jam session; swinging and singing with Big Joe Turner or shouting with Jimmy Rushing. As I g …
Rueben Wilson is a jazz musician with an uncommonly beautiful, energetic sound and elegant ideas. In his latest CD "Organ Blues," featuring Wilson on B-3, Bernard "Pretty" Purdie-drums, Grant Green, Jr.-guitar and Melvin Butler-tenor sax, Wilson plunges into an intense, high-strung "Blues for McDuff" that keeps the listener bouncing their head as the music is transformed into something altogether new, altogether his. Rueben Wilson has in reserve, a wealth of new melodic ideas and startling shift …
29.01.2011

David Weiss

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David Weiss is a jazz trumpeter - and happy to be known that way. But don't try to force him into either the hard bop or avant-garde fields. When it comes to his favorite musical pastures, Weiss is squarely on the fence between the two or Walkin’ the Line, as the inspired title of one of his recent CDs puts it and he’s quite happy to be there. Listen to his latest release, Breathing Room, and you’ll understand what he means. This is real jazz, eminently listenable, but it’s not …