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Jazz Artist Interviews (634)

Get up close and personal with your favorite jazz artists!

29.01.2011

Chris Geith

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Chris Geith (pronounced "guy-t") is one of the lucky few who actually knew what he wanted to do with the rest of his life from the moment he was able to climb up on a piano stool and sit beside his father. He would watch his father move his nimble fingers across the black and white keys of the piano with agility and total awareness of where those fingers needed to be to make beautiful sounds. Knowing how to make beautiful sounds with the piano gave meaning to life in young Geith‘s eyes. < …
29.01.2011

James Spaulding

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James Spaulding's pedigree is an impressive one. He has been called upon to add his touch on both alto saxophone and flute for countless classic 60's Blue Note albums. Now, as a leader and owner of Speetones label, he continues to add to his rich legacy. The Early Years Jazz Review: Your father was a professional touring musician. Did he encourage you to take up music? James Spaulding: I was strongly influenced by my father but it …
To Dream Carnegie Hall 1938 Coronation of a king, a tribute to Benny Goodman, starring Bob DeAngelis, John MacLeod, and the Champagne Symphony Orchestra featuring some of Canada’s top musicians. "I think the band I had at Carnegie Hall . . . was the best . . . I ever had." A Benny Goodman statement, that he made in regards to his big band performance January 16, 1938 at Carnegie Hall. The night Benny Goodman claimed the title "The King Of Swing." The dream for Bob DeAngelis and company, "T …
29.01.2011

Bobby McFerrin

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Bobby McFerrin, master of all music, a man whose career embraces, jazz, pop and classical, has one busy schedule coming up in 2008. This world famous vocal innovator and improviser, who added classical to his repertoire in the nineties, begins the year in Southern California with a concert at the Orange County Performing Arts Center, Jan 10-12, with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, conducting Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 1 and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4, "Italian," and vocally taking part in Vivald …
29.01.2011

Tierney Sutton

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Telarc Jazz recording artist, Tierney Sutton, is a jazz vocalist quite unlike any performing today; she has a genuine and unique approach to jazz resulting in a sound that is hers and hers alone. Tierney would say that the sound is not hers alone, she is a member of the band, and the sound is theirs alone. I believe both she and I would be right. The Tierney Sutton Band is a philosophical anomaly in the music world. The band has no diva, no boss, no black sheep. What they have is a team that …
29.01.2011

Melani Skybell

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Jazz, in all its forms, is an art divinely created by a free spirit! An artist who" feels" from all directions, not just a specific occurrence, thereby evolving that process into an expressive sculpture mounted on sound. Along the way breaking down barriers and rules of which need not apply, for that spirit thrives and creates from within by one’s own manual! This is vocalist and pianist Melani Skybell. Skybell’s delivery and insight offers a unique exploit into her world of jazz inter …
Some write and compose with the perception of global conquests. Others visualize the shores of exotic islands as they create them with passionate melodies. This is the way we dream. However, for Omar Akram it’s a reality engraved into his memories, which has molded and developed his character, craft and style. As a son of a United Nations diplomat, he grew up focused and educated, not only by the pages of an educational structure, but by life travels themselves culture to cu …
29.01.2011

Jacqui Naylor

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Singer, songwriter and arranger Jacqui Naylor has accomplished what few artists are able to do successfully, she has been critically acclaimed, as a vocalist who can comfortably perform jazz standards such as "Blue Moon," can sassily sing Rod Stewart’s "Hot Legs," albeit with a twist, and creates quality original compositions such as the beautiful, "Easy Ride From Here." The San Francisco based artist talks quickly; her conversation changes directions often, and then she will suddenly stop to …
Working with the same band for an extended period of time has some obvious advantages. Getting to know someone well means coming to know how they think musically, being able to predict what they are going to play under certain circumstances, how they are going to respond to certain musical cues. "We’re so attuned to each other and listen to each other so hard that that process is a really satisfying process," jazz vocalist Tierney Sutton said of making music with her bandmates, with whom she …
Filipino native Charmaine Clamor is making an impact wherever she performs, quickly finding her name on numerous marquees across the globe. Wherever this young and sultry jazz siren blankets her voice, heads turn to embrace her signature elegance. Ms Clamor not only vocalizes emotions, she sculpts memories with her hypnotic presence in sync with her sensual injection of jazz melodies. The jazz scribes po …
More than any instrument, the piano is the constant conductor of musical memoirs. The emotion of any one keystroke ignites the mood by maintaining equilibrium with its ivory expressions. Pianists are plentiful, however, few have the charismatic flair and compositional manifestation as does Alex Clements, to attain such a task. From studio performances to the silver screen, Alex demonstrates the fine art of innovative artistry and feel with his craft. With the 2007 release of "W …
29.01.2011

Will Downing

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R&B singer Will Downing is the perfect axiom that you cannot keep a good man down. Albeit being diagnosed with polymyositis, a disease that incapacitates one’s muscles, I’m happy to report to Will’s fans that their favorite singer is doing just fine. When I caught up with Downing last week, he was in high spirits, laughing and talking and reporting that he was getting better every day. Will had just gotten back in the house from getting his driver’s license renewed from the local DMV offi …
29.01.2011

Under The Lake

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Keyboardist Jayson Tipp is absolutely elated to be playing with his bandmates from Under The Lake, when last they played was for their sophomore album Up For Air in 1996. Though the band members have changed since Under The Lake was originally formed in the early ‘90s with the release of their debut album Dive In from 1994, the current line-up have a chemistry that works like magic: Tipp on keyboards, Nathan Brown on bass, Quintin Gerard W. on saxophone and flute, D …
29.01.2011

Dee Lucas

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Atlanta, Georgia might be known for being the home of the major league baseball team, The Braves, but bravery does not only run in the veins of the city’s sports teams. It is also found in Atlanta's denizen, Dee Lucas, who began playing the saxophone at the ripe age of 28 and bravely took steps to be active in contemporary smooth jazz music. He highlights, "I am considered a self-taught musician. Once I purchased my first sax at the age 28, I began to see …
29.01.2011

Ray Chew

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A bandleader, versatile keyboardist, judicial negotiator, and devoted family man all describe Ray Chew equally. As the Music Director for NBC’s TV show The Singing Bee, Chew balances these duties with his numerous other projects that include being the Music Director for NBC’s TV series Showtime At the Apollo and managing Chew Entertainment Production alongside with his wife Vivian. "My wife and partner Vivian Scott Chew are veterans of the business with the understa …
With half a century of music making under his belt, Bud Shank is a survivor and a legend. To merely label him as a player of the West Coast/Cool school is to deny oneself the full measure of a multi-faceted artist. Still touring and recording, he takes time out of his schedule to talk to me about his artistic legacy. Jazz Review: Your family was not musical, what were the circumstances of your initially being bitten by the jazz bug? Were they su …
29.01.2011

Mark Hollingsworth

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Woodwind instrumentalist, Mark Hollingsworth has one of the most outrageous and thrilling journeys that you may ever read about as narrated by him. Hollingsworth goes into depth about how he came into his own musicality after being a studio musician for a litany of recording artists from rock ‘n’ roll’s Alice Cooper and U2 to smooth crooners like Tom Jones and Luther Vandross. Hollingsworth latest solo album Chasing The Sun is the follow up to his debut album On Th …
29.01.2011

Les Sabler

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The old saying, "Three times a charm," may be true for some things. But, for Les Sabler, his fourth album is a masterpiece. Braving deep waters with classic hits like Aretha Franklin’s "Daydreaming" and Peabo Bryson’s "Can You Stop The Rain,’ then adding a marvelous collection of originals, offering plenty of textures and moods, Sabler definitely will be on the map with his latest release, Sweet Drive. Adding a group of all-star musicians and singers to this already exciting album, alo …
29.01.2011

Frank Gratkowski

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Free jazz saxophonist Frank Gratkowski portrays himself as an improvisational musician whose best material comes out when he is most vulnerable, performing live and being on the spot searching inside himself and feeling his way around the chords on his saxophone. "Actually most of my recordings are live recordings," he remarks, "and I think I'm more open in a live situation than in the studio. Solo music, for example, I can’t do in the studio at all. I need an audience to focus and tr …
29.01.2011

Airborne

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The six-man and one-woman contemporary jazz/world music ensemble Airborne, who call the heart of New Haven, Connecticut their home, are setting course for a tour in support of their latest release Turbulence from Tilt Records. Formed in 1988, Airborne is comprised of seven musicians who respect each others individuality and musical diversity which ranges from Latin, African, and Caribbean influences to R&B, soul, Gospel, and smooth jazz palates. Core members Thomas Borino o …