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Jazz Artist Interviews (634)

Get up close and personal with your favorite jazz artists!

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 …
29.01.2011

Nestor Torres

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One of the most exciting aspects of jazz is the joy of discovery. I confess that I wasn’t all that familiar with the talented flute work of Nestor Torres but after I listened to his new album, Sin Palabras (Without Words) (Heads Up International) that I was glad I had traded ignorance for enlightenment. This album finds Torres exploring not just Latin and jazz rhythms, but a tasty mix of hip-hop and rhythm and blues added in for an extra shot of funky flavor. But Nestor Torres isn’t j …
29.01.2011

Brad Mehldau

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Jazz music is not just about hipness and swing, but it’s also about intellect. Among the younger generation of players, there are few more intellectual practioners than pianist Brad Mehldau. Liner note readers were given an erudite treat with his 1999 Warner Bros. release, Elegiac Cycles, in which Mehldau lays his aesthetic credo in considerable detail. In the December 2003 edition of Jazz Times, he used a somewhat absurd debate about whether Sonny Rollins or Sonny Stitt is the …
29.01.2011

Fred Hersch

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It would seem that Fred Hersch pianist, composer, bandleader, two-time Grammy nominee, Guggenheim fellow has little to prove anymore. He’s been called a "pristine pianist with a poet’s soul" (Boston Globe’s Joan Anderman) who strikes a "beguiling balance between technique, insight and imagination" (critical Ed Hazell). He’s continually received the highest praise in a highly praised field. Of course, one of the challenges for a successful creative musician is to stay hungry, to continue to s …
It has been more than a decade since James Carter burst on to the jazz scene, literally blowing away fans, critics and musicians alike with his powerful saxophone. Carter's ninth CD as bandleader is the brand new Live At Baker's Keyboard Lounge. The album was recorded at the famous jazz club in Detroit--by reputation, the oldest existing jazz club in the world--and features a stellar lineup of guests including fellow saxophone greats David Murray, Johnny Griffin and Franz Jackson. The …
29.01.2011

Roy Haynes

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There are very few whose roots touch the origins of jazz and who can boast of playing during jazz’s golden years with such jazz legends such as Lester Young, Bud Powell, Miles Davis, Charlie " Bud" Parker, Sarah Vaughan, John Coltrane, Lennie Tristano and countless others. Roy Haynes with more than 50 years of influence has reverberated through several generations of drummers. Haynes gave rise to innovation and created new drum and cymbal patterns making them central to his rhythmic approach …
29.01.2011

Bela Fleck

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"I was driving around Nashville when I stopped to get a Coke. I was only going to be a minute so I left my banjo in the car, but when I got back someone had broken in and left another banjo!" Ok, we’ve probably all heard that one a time or two and I’m sure Bela Fleck’s heard it an even thousand times now. He may have even made it up. But if the oft’ maligned banjo (like Southern accents or trailer parks) were ever a running joke, it’s certainly not in his hands now. It's often said that the…
29.01.2011

Monica Mancini

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This year is the Year of Mancini. In celebration of Henry Mancini, one of the 20th century’s most prolific and honored composers, Concord Records has teamed with his daughter, Monica, to release Ultimate Mancini on March 23. Many of Mancini’s most memorable songs have been re-recorded, in some cases using the original arrangements. In addition to Monica Mancini, the CD features several special guests, including Stevie Wonder, Take 6 and Kenny Rankin. Henry Mancini is best known f …
29.01.2011

Paul Brown

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After years of producing some of smooth jazz' most prominent stars, Paul Brown is returning to his first love of performing as he debuts his solo CD Up Front. Brown says that performing as a musician is "the ultimate musical expression." Brown started his musical career a lot like many performers, growing up in the business through their parents. Bill and Sue Allen worked in the Los Angeles recording industry as vocalists and arrangers and worked not only with many people in movies, b …
29.01.2011

Skip Heller

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There’s nothing fake about Skip Heller He knows how to work his guitar-make it talk-make the audience weak in the knees. And, Heller knows how to choose his band members. As Heller relates, "Dragging Robert Drasnin out of retirement was one of the smartest moves I’ve ever made." After years of writing songs, authoring a book, scoring movies and bits in Hollywood-- plus going back to Philly-just to keep the attitude ‘live,’ Heller has paid his dues. Now, he has gathered the hottest tal …
29.01.2011

Dave Douglas

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The trumpet’s a strange, little instrument. A few feet of plated brass tubing on which legendary careers have been built. Yet like any instrument essentially a tool to produce sound - no two play are played alike. Consider and contrast the subdued, thoughtful delivery of Miles’ muted tone, the stratospheric blasts of Dizzy or the rich, burnished finish of Kenny Dorham; each distinctive and memorable, each pushing and exploiting various and separate boundaries of the instruments and music itself. …
29.01.2011

Larry Carlton

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With his experience performing with artists as diverse as Joni Mitchell, Michael Jackson, Barbra Streisand and Chet Atkins, and with a solo career plus working in the smooth jazz super group Fourplay, guitarist Larry Carlton always goes back to where he got started, with the blues. When he heard his first blues album by B.B. King back when he was 15, he knew that he would always be influenced by that experience. In his live performances, the highlight of the show is when he performs the blues …
29.01.2011

Percy Heath

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A Love Song is the fine new CD from legendary bassist PercyHeath on Daddy Jazz Records and, shockingly, the octogenarian’s band leading debut. Brother to saxophonist Jimmy and drummer Albert"Tootie" Heath, it is no hyperbole to say that Percy has worked with the most important jazz artists of the last sixty years--there's simply no more accurate way to describe a career that includes dates with the likes of Bird, Dizzy, Monk, Miles, Trane and Ornette alongside his long tenures with both t …
29.01.2011

Christian McBride

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It used to be that each city had its own recognizable sound. Besides New York, there was Motown, the New Orleans thing, Memphis and Chicago. Each had his or her own brand of blues, jazz, funk and eclectic provincial mixes. Even Philly had its sound. Now with stylistic homogenization, increased travel and the Internet, things only hint at identities once strong and recognizable. Music is the sum of its creators and purveyors. With the gradual restoration of the original values that put these citi …
Just in time to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the end of Apartheid in South Africa, Dave Love speaks for the many creative musicians still in that part of the world who as yet, don’t have a voice on the world stage. A remarkable producer, founder and president of Heads Up Records, Dave Love also has a vision: bringing the world together through wonderful music and fantastic artists. Love’s timing is impeccable with his January 2004 release: Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s Raise Your Spirits …
29.01.2011

Malcolm Creese

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Bassist Malcolm Creese may not be a household name, but he’s well known in British circles, covering many genres. Creese has played on sessions for artists including Depeche Mode; toured and recorded with Cleo Laine/John Dankworth and Stan Tracey; been part of large symphony orchestras, including those that performed the scores for the recent films The Lord Of The Rings: The Return of the King and Cold Mountain; and performed concerts with artists including Kenny Wheeler and Sting. …
29.01.2011

Richard Smith

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Richard Smith is a guitarist who not only has a successful solo career, but helps future guitarists as well. Smith, who backed up saxophonist Richard Elliot on his first six CD's and has just released his eighth solo project called Soulidified, is founder of the GuitarMasters Workshop. The program is a community outreach in South Central Los Angeles that helps at-risk youth by providing free guitars, lessons, mentoring and classes. Smith, who is also a tenured professor at the Univers …
29.01.2011

Jeremy Davenport

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New Orleans is keeping a secret from jazz fans. If you head down to the Ritz-Carlton’s French Quarter Bar during Thursday through Saturday nights, you’ll get a chance to hear the smooth sounds of trumpeter/vocalist Jeremy Davenport. Named by People Magazine as one of the hottest young bachelor’s, Davenport combines old-school charm with a wealth of talent. He’s also been featured in Cosmo Girl, GQ, Travel and Leisure, New Orleans and others. Although the thirty-three-year-old …
29.01.2011

LM Pagano

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There’s an intimacy about vocalist LM Pagano that makes people, whether they’re late-night radio listeners or big-time record producers, sit up and take notice. Los Angeles disc jockey Bo Leibowitz can tell you. When he played a song from the singer’s CD on his show, he got four calls from listeners before the number ended. Soon, the recording made its way into the hands of jazz promoter Dick LaPalm and famed producer Al Schmitt, who remixed and released the album, "Azalea," on his label, Bop …
29.01.2011

Tony Adamo

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With the 2002 release of Dance of Love , Tony Adamo is one of the hottest new artists to hit the airwaves. Sensually poetic, Tony Adamo in Dance of Love is a diary of romantic paradise. With words like "He runs with the dark horses, but you love him for the wild ride," this CD is sure to put you in just the right mood. Light a few candles, open up a bottle of red wine and enjoy the moment. Adamo’s writing career actually started during his tour of duty in the Gulf War. The 15-h …