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Jazz Artist Interviews (634)

Get up close and personal with your favorite jazz artists!

29.01.2011

Russell Gunn

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Soft spoken, innovative-even a little ahead of his time, trumpeter Russell Gunn is making headlines across the country with his fourth album in the series: Ethnomusicology Nominated twice for the Grammy, this series winds up with Volume Four, a live collection blending jazz, hip-hop, R&B and slipping in an Ira & George Gershwin tune, Summertime. If that isn’t broad enough, Gunn includes a Miles Davis number, Blue In Green. Mega talented Gunn, a true visionary, doesn’ …
29.01.2011

Kurt Rosenwinkel

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Wow. My 1st interview assignment for JazzReview is with current jazz guitar icon Kurt Rosenwinkel. The world is indeed a strange and beautiful place. Presently, Rosenwinkel is one of the most original and thoughtful player/composers in what we refer to as ‘jazz music.’ His new recording, Deep Song comes out in March and is, at turns, beautiful and burning. Kurt and his extremely accommodating Verve ‘rep’ were very gracious in allowing me to do the interview via e-mail instead …
29.01.2011

String Planet

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In this industry of cookie cutter manufacturing of talent, it is ultimately stimulating to touch upon artists who take innovation to the edge. Contemplating the thought of new sounds and techniques, and creating the vision by way of risk, is a dynamic undertaking. Novi Novog and Larry Tuttle took the path of risk and engaged their talent to give birth to String Planet-s delightful experience in strings with each cut unique in its own right. In this new world of jazz that Novog and Tuttle hav …
29.01.2011

Ray Bryant

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Ray Bryant has been playing jazz for over 50 years, and during that time he has accompanied jazz legends like Coleman Hawkins, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis and Lester Young. In addition, Bryant achieved wider popular recognition during the 1960’s with some of his most widely recognized songs like "Cubano Chant" and "Slow Freight." Born into a musical family, Bryant is the uncle of the Eubanks brothers, although the haven’t had the opportunity to perform together. At this stage of his career, …
29.01.2011

Portraying Persona

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For a long time, I can’t be specific, Mat Maneri’s playing has fascinated me. I have sought the door to open to reach Mat for an interview. The door finally opened and I walked through. We arranged to speak over the phone on a Sunday around noon. Nervousness abounded, butterflies rose and fell inside of me and I made the call. From about 12:30 to 7:30 that night, a rally of phone messages occurred because we kept missing each other. The first time we actually began to converse, we had problem …
As with every holiday season from years gone by, one thinks they have had their fill of the holiday music scene. The year 2004 has brought changes to that mindset; a stunning and momentous rhythmic composition was produced, which has revitalized the parade of holiday melodies. Hiroshima allows us to embrace their new creation, as ""Spirit of the Season"" has been left under all our trees to adopt, adding a new, soon to be, traditional piece for holiday seasons to come. In September, Heads Up …
29.01.2011

Gabriela Anders

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Argentinean jazz singer, Gabriela Anders, paid close attention to the music that surrounded her while growing up. Her father, saxophonist Jorge Anders, played jazz, but also listened to tango, Cuban and other music around the house. All of these different influences converge on Anders’ "Last Tango in Rio," an album that is uniquely nostalgic and contemporary. Anders covers classics associated with Billie Holiday, but also gives us six originals. Weaving throughout the album is the distinct …
29.01.2011

Ola Onabule

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Ola Onabule’s new album on his own Rugged Ram Record Label is the fifth in a series of highly critically acclaimed masterpieces within their own universe of Soul, Jazz, Funk, Afro and Dancefloor, even hints of Blues. In over a decade as a musician, Ola, descending from Nigeria, and considering London his home, blended the aforementioned into something unique, something real and something you can LISTEN to! Get this: Ola Onabule didn’t only release his albums on his own label; he produced and …
Sensually laced keyboards. Emotionally driven arrangements. Intellectually intense compositions, but still not tender justice to Brooklyn native pianist Leslie Pintchik. In the fall of 2004, Ambient Records ignited the fire of jazz enthusiasts with Ms. Pintchik’s So Glad To Be Here, an imaginative endeavor that allows the listener to feel the gentleness and compassion of the artist’s unique talent. This venture is a journey of sorts as you enter the mystical ambiance of the keyboa …
29.01.2011

Anna Marie Jopek

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"Anna is original, unique, different. She’s brave, she's modest, she’s open. She's a great musician. What she's been doing all her life is just trying to play the best notes. Trying to sound good. In that particular sense she's a lot like me and that's why I decided to work with her. Because she just cares for the music". - Pat Metheny Not surprisingly, It’s a rare thing for Metheny to endorse or to work with anyone who's not already a jazz icon or one in the making. We know the names alread …
29.01.2011

Alexander Zonjic

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After a lull of over three years, flutist Alexander Zonjic has released his newest CD called Seldom Blues, which is also the name of Zonjic's jazz supper club in downtown Detroit's Renaissance Center. He says, "It opened back in June of 2004 with a lot of fanfare. My friend Bob James came in and Peter White came in and Jeff Lorber came in and Angels Bofill came in and Earl Klugh came in and Tim Bowman came in and Dave McMurray came in and we had quite a night. We got the club up and runni …
29.01.2011

Everette Harp

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When you’re conducting an interview with an artist, it’s the hope of the writer that they can establish a rapport with the subject. The last things you want to hear are one-word answers and deadly silences. That’s not a problem with Everette Harp. The saxophonist supreme isn’t the least bit shy to tell you what he thinks about jazz critics, smooth jazz, and record companies. The new album All for You (A400 Music Group) was both a labor and love. After three years away, Everette Har …
Uplifting and vibrant is this "Oasis" of rhythmic jazz. Mike Longo and Consolidated Artists Productions have put forth another extraordinary piece of musical delights to add to the jazz culture. Released in 2004, Longo and the New York State of the Art Jazz Ensemble capture the many faces, moods, and inner emotions of what jazz should be to the listener with such creations as The Godfather, Bag of Bones, and Lazy Afternoon. Longo is not a complex man but one with such insight and pure intensity, …
29.01.2011

Rebecca Martin

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Rebecca Martin doesn’t worry too much about fitting into any single category. She’s too busy making music, whether it’s a fresh take on old standards or writing her own original, intimate tunes. The singer-songwriter is showing that she can do both with equal grace and skill. The Maine native proved to be an innovative interpreter of jazz standards with her acclaimed 2002 release, "Middlehope." That recording drew the attention of Richard McDonnell, the founder of MAXJAZZ. He went to New Y …
29.01.2011

Ozomatli

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The social and political climate has changed considerably in the time between Ozomatli’s 2001 long-player Embrace the Chaos and this year’s Street Signs, but to listen to guitarist/vocalist Raul "El Bully" Pacheco explain the band’s approach to music remains the same. "This group’s existence is about freedom", Pacheco explained in a recent phone interview. "Musically and lyrically we have such a wide range of influences and styles that it’s important to find …
29.01.2011

Josh Workman

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The one thing that seems to be the missing link between jazz and entertainment is the one thing Josh Workman uses as a tool to melt contemporary jazz, rockabilly, blues, rock and pop into something new-- something vital and vibrant: It’s fun. "Jumpin’ at the Border," (Tetrachord Music) gives it all away and spits out a promise that guitar virtuoso Workman keeps gracefully. Although in the business for more than 25 years, "Jumpin’ at the Border" is Workman’s debut CD. The 16 tracks offer more …
29.01.2011

Peter Cincotti

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With his new album On The Moon (Concord), rising star Peter Cincotti manages to avoid the dreaded "sophomore slump", place his unique personal stamp on a label already filthy rich with great jazz artists, and sets the stage for making him a household name in the upcoming months. The way the 21-year-old New Yorker tells it, the main reason for this is his growing confidence as a songwriter. "I’ve been writing more of my own lyrics this year," Cincotti explained in a recent …
29.01.2011

Joel Dorn

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No wonder seasoned professional producer, Joel Dorn, keeps on winning those Grammy Awards-He’s experienced, he’s intuitive, and he’s comfortable with himself. It takes years for each of us to find our "self." Dorn has done that. It shows in his work and in his relatedness with others. Maybe that’s why Aces Back To Back, the Bobby Darin legacy, turned into the masterpiece Dorn hoped it would be-a collector’s item highlighting a brilliant performer whose time has come. Many biograph …
29.01.2011

Manhattan Transfer

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Four gifted artists, four separate styles, but together they will always be one of the industries most flamboyant, charismatic, feel good architects of song to hit the circuit in the past three decades. Some may feel that the Manhattan Transfer had their day in the sun and may be setting for them now. How misguided these poor, unfocused evaluators are. Manhattan Transfer has rekindled new life with that indistinguishable elegance as they introduce their new project (after a four year hiatus) "Vi …
29.01.2011

Adam Rafferty

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Jazz is very much like a tree, with numerous branches reaching out, allowing it to finally define it’s identity. However, without that artiste to water and nurture it, the identity is lost and it’s existence becomes meaningless. Adam Rafferty is one of those few artistes’ who waters and nurtures growth into jazz every time he touches a string, or composes a mood a jazz guitarist/composer who interacts personally with every note and melody played within each eclectic style he chooses to liberate. …