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Jazz Artist Interviews (634)

Get up close and personal with your favorite jazz artists!

29.01.2011

Azure McCall

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After two locally distributed CDs, Hawaii-based vocalist Azure McCall has released her first national effort with "The Gift." The CD serves as a strong introduction to McCall for the recording showcases her deep, honey voice and a wide-ranging repertoire. Whether the song is a jazz standard or a pop tune, the music has an air of earthy spirituality much like McCall herself. "My voice is my gift," she said. "I want to reach out and touch people with my music." McCall moved to Hawaii in 1 …
29.01.2011

Dave Koz

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Dave Koz is once again being considered for a Grammy. The announcement was made on December 4, 2003 that "Honey-Dipped" from the "Saxophonic" album was nominated for Best Pop Instrumental Performance. The October release of the album missed the Grammy deadline and the nomination came as bit of a surprise to the saxist. "I’m excited . . . shocked and excited," said Koz a few hours after hearing the news. When asked if he expected it, he quickly replied, "Not in a million years . . . defini …
29.01.2011

Clairdee

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San Francisco-based singer Clairdee chats about the joy of singing and her unique approach to holiday themes with her new CD, "This Christmas." The disc itself is a jazz, spiritual, funky and Brazilian-flavored with her personal touch on holiday standards and a few non-standards. article: While a cozy blanket and a nip of eggnog keep us warm during the coming winter, Clairdee promises to make us sizzle. Keeping with the spirit of the season, Clairdee puts her own stamp on holiday music. She m …
29.01.2011

Poncho Sanchez

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Poncho Sanchez’s latest Concord Picante release Out of Sight is one of the year's most fun CDs to listen to. Poncho is almost certainly the hardest working man in Latin Jazz, so it is only appropriate that the new album finds him paying tribute to James Brown, The Hardest Working Man in Show Business--and to classic R&B more generally. Helping him on this date is a number of true soul legends like Ray Charles, Billy Preston, Sam Moore and former James Brown horn men Fred Wesley and Pee We …
After four years of silence, during which Monk, Jr. fought a bought of pneumonia, TS is back in the spotlight. Already a world famous star, TS makes his comeback on his own terms and on Higher Ground. Multi-talented, articulate, yet warm and a bit humble, TS Monk, Jr., tells where he was, where he is and where he’s headed. T.S. MONK: Hello. JAZZREVIEW: Oh my goodness. Did you just wake up or is your voice always that deep? T.S. MONK: No, it’s alwa …
29.01.2011

Miroslav Vitous

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Following an eight year hiatus from touring and recording, bassist/composer Miroslav Vitous returns in full force with Universal Syncopations (ECM, 2003), an album that reaffirms his position as a driving force in contemporary improvised music. It joins an already outstanding catalogue of releases for the ECM label that is at once timeless, aware of the tradition that came before it, and yet retains a keen eye for what the future holds. History Vitous, well-known as one of …
29.01.2011

Rick Braun

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Rick Braun recently released Esperanto, an eclectic album that highlights music as the universal language. This CD is a bit different than previous Braun recordings. Braun stated that he "didn’t stick with smooth jazz formulas. [I] did what I wanted to do. I really enjoyed making it." A cornucopia of vibes, Esperanto moves through an exciting blend of styles. "Daddy-O" jives with a steady soul, while "Sir W" kicks it up a notch. The Latin feel to "The Villa Di Costa" pro …
29.01.2011

Bill Evans

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The names just keep rolling as if from a waterfall Miles, and Miles’ alumni, John McLaughlin, Don Alias, John Scofield, Mike Stern, Al Foster, Marcus Miller, Robben Ford - also Randy Brecker, Les McCann, Andy Summers of the Police, Willie Nelson, Bruce Hornsby, Trilok Gurtu, Manolo Badrena, Elements, and many others. All these Evans has worked with in his over 25-year career. Regardless of the lineup, the angular blues lines and implied harmony remain all about the groove for Evans. "Big Fun" …
Major bop pianist, Barry Harris, has devoted his life to the advancement of jazz and has received the Living Jazz Legacy award from the Mid-Atlantic Arts Association, and an American Jazz Masters Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. In addition, he has received other numerous awards including the Manhattan Borough President Award for Excellence in recognition of his devoted public service in the field of music. In 1999, he was also awarded the Mentor a …
29.01.2011

Aaron Neville

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His voice is a gift from above to music aficionado’s everywhere- ranging from a ringing tenor to an impossibly high falsetto, cloaked in a vibrato that rises and falls like a dragonfly in the dog days of August. That this voice comes from such an imposing frame makes fans of the voice appreciate it even more. Such is the contradiction of Aaron Neville. You hear that voice, see it come from such a huge man and you turn your head for a bit wondering if that voice is really coming from him. …
29.01.2011

Eddie Palmieri

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It isn’t easy being a standard bearer. That adage is especially true when your peers seem to pass on suddenly. Such is the case with the legendary bandleader Eddie Palmieri. In the past few years the world of Latin Jazz and salsa have lost Tito Puente, Mongo Santamaria, and most recently Cuban diva Celia Cruz. But Palmieri presses on, earning a Latin Grammy nomination for last year’s La Perfecta II and releasing his new album Ritmo Caliente (both on Concord Picante) this summer.
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 …