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Jazz Artist Interviews (709)

Get up close and personal with your favorite jazz artists!

29.01.2011

Hiroshima's 25th

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The group Hiroshima is celebrating 25 years of performing with its first all instrumental release. It's called Obon, which is named after Buddhist festivals that remember people who have passed away. The festivals take place not only in Asia, but in Los Angeles as well, where Hiroshima was first formed. In this case, the group wanted to salute the musicians, the events and experiences that they had throughout their 25-year history. The CD reflects both celebrating the group's longevity …
29.01.2011

O2L

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What do two members of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra do between Christmas seasons? They fuse jazz, blues, rock and electronic music into a blend that is distinctive. Pianist Jane Mangini and guitarist Al Pitrelli, who studied with legendary jazz guitarist John Scofield and has performed with such artists as Celine Dion, Taylor Dayne and Alice Cooper, come together to make up the group O2L. Together as both musicians and a married couple, Mangini and Pitrelli have come up with a sound that has …
29.01.2011

Simone Kopmajer

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April 2005 At the tender age of 22, Austrian vocalist, Simone Kopmajer (pronounced Cop-myer), possesses a voice of incredible depth. Unlike the current staple of young pop singers being groomed for instant accessibility, Kopmajer’s approach to a song is understated sincerity. Her new album, "Romance" hits American shores on May 3rd. Since she resides in her homeland, our interview was conducted through the modern miracle of email. When she sent back the answers to my interview questions, she …
29.01.2011

Julie Hardy

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Julie Hardy is a vocalist who is on a journey to take her chosen instrument to its limit. Using words, phrasing, scatting and vocal instrument duplication to make the voice functions in unique and innovative ways, she is traveling a road that promises to be aurally stunning. Julie’s voice is round, smooth and used with imagination and impressive control. Julie started her musical career as a classical pianist, but in college she discovered that voice is her instrument. Julie studied compositi …
29.01.2011

Roger Burn & Shapes

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What type of band has the audacity to debut with an album called The Last Farewell? Answer: A group of mega all-stars, jazz icons, who just happened to get together for some fun; gigging at local spots-then grew into a super-hit group called Shapes. In fact, this group is what devoted co-producer, Roger Burn, calls "the Swiss Army Knife of bands". Fans couldn’t get enough of these brilliant performers, so they’re back with their second release, The Big Picture
David Bailey once articulated, "It takes a lot of imagination to be a good photographer. You need less imagination to be a painter because you can invent things. But in photography, everything is so ordinary, it takes a lot of looking before you learn to see the extraordinary." Jazz today has many facets with which to experience the genre, the music, the history, and the characters. However, through the lens of Barcelona native and photographer, Lourdes Delgado, we see the roots and lifestyl …
29.01.2011

Natasha Miller

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Jazz vocalist Natasha Miller and songwriter Bobby Sharp are an unlikely tandem, but fate has brought them together. Miller is set to unveil a new set of songs by Sharp on March 21 at Yoshi’s in Oakland, the San Francisco Bay Area’s premier jazz club. The performance will be recorded for a live album. "I’ve done three studio records," Miller said. "I like them, but my performance is so different live than it is in the studio. I feel it’s better. It’s more real and true to the music." Mil …
Dave Samuels and the Caribbean Jazz Project recently released two CD set, "Here and Now Live in Concert." This snapshot of the group features a retrospective look at many of the favorite songs of Caribbean Jazz Project fans. Although most of the tunes are re-recordings, the arrangements are fresh and full of the fiery intensity that fans have grown to expect from one of the hottest Latin acts in jazz today. "Here and Now Live in Concert" is the first Caribbean Jazz Project live album ever re …
As one of the behind-the-scenes professionals in the recording industry, Gene Paul has spent almost 40 years working with some of the best-known names in music-names as divergent as The Rolling Stones and Rahsaan Roland Kirk. In the past decade, Paul has spent countless hours restoring the recordings of forgotten live performances, thereby expanding the discography of some jazz legends. Through years of experience, he has developed strong opinions about the desirability of the use of audio techn …
29.01.2011

David Stryker

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Dave Stryker and I met at the Lincoln Center Barnes and Noble bookstore in Manhattan. I was thrilled to meet this amazing guitarist, whose distinctive personal writing style and soulful blend of blues and jazz has gained him recognition as one of the most unique guitarists of our time. Genuine and forthcoming, he talked about his beginnings as a guitar player, his personal approach to playing jazz, and his upcoming live recording at the Jazz Standard. JAZZREVIEW: When did you start pl …
29.01.2011

Leon Ware

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Oh Wonderful Internet! Before the World Wide Web was at our fingertips, I wonder what journalists all around the world had to go through to research certain subjects, issues, people. You had to perform real detective-work for your little bit of salary. Libraries, archives and memories of fellow friends and colleagues had to be contacted; a tremendous amount of work was accomplished being a P.I. And today? Punching in Leon Ware’s name in your preferred search-engine opens up a ton of information, …
29.01.2011

Dave Holland

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Legendary bassist Dave Holland draws upon positive energy and Dares2 release a follow- up album to his Grammy award winning, "What Goes Around," with his latest big band release "Overtime." Dave openly talks with JazzReview about his upcoming release, Dare2 Records, his thoughts on music and the future. JazzReview: Discuss the thought process and events that lead you to premier a 13-piece ensemble at the Montreal Jazz Festival in 2000, when at the time your quintet was already thr …
29.01.2011

Frank Jackson

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Frank Jackson is a veteran jazz singer and pianist who for over 60 years has pursued his career with a passionate determination. He has a voice that has command over an audience; he mesmerizes them by singing, as he knows how. The masters all know how to do that. I had the opportunity to speak to Frank Jackson and his wife, Kathy, in a wonderful interview. JazzReview: You have a long-standing career as a giant of jazz. How do you manage to stay on top considering the changes jazz …
29.01.2011

Steve Smith

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Steve Smith is back on the road with Vital Information for their 11th recording, "Come On In." His brilliant musical talent for the drums has made him one of a kind. He has recorded and toured with many bands such as Buddy’s Buddies and, of course, Vital Information, and has many more projects and tours in the works. Besides being a hard-at-work drummer, Steve tours the world in numerous clinics where he shares his vast knowledge of drumming. Aside from his very busy schedule, he was able to …
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 …