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Jazz Artist Interviews (709)

Get up close and personal with your favorite jazz artists!

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 …
Jessica Molaskey has performed with the " First Family of Cool" - John, Bucky and Martin Pizzarelli, at venues around the world from Feinstein’s at the Regency in New York City to the Montreal Jazz Festival. Jessica has also been featured at Lincoln Center’s American Songbook Series, Carnegie Hall, Joe’s Pub, Rainbow & Stars and with orchestras, and in concert venues across the country. As Pentimento put a jazzy new twist on popular songs of the 1920s and 1930s, now Jessica sashays into the …
29.01.2011

Jennifer Lee

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In her debut solo album, "J-Walkin’," Jennifer Lee creates a mellow melting pot of newly arranged standards with a few surprises of her own. Almost daring not to impress, Lee takes on a unique style that we haven’t heard since the days of Sarah Vaughan and Billie Holiday. Rather than belting out the songs, Lee approaches them with sensitivity and emotion. The result is a luxurious CD in a classic tradition that is sure to impress even the most finicky jazz enthusiast. The most profound quali …
29.01.2011

Lloyd Gregory

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"Music is comprised of traditions, even when mixed with innovations," Gregory says, "so of course, every musician is building upon sounds that came before. I admire and respect those jazz guitarists and I learned a lot from them. But my influences also include early soul innovators like Curtis Mayfield, many of the guitarists in the various Motown artists’ bands and like Ike Turner. Going further, I have been inspired by rock and rollers from Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley through Hendrix, to Eddie …
29.01.2011

Bruce Barth

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Bruce Barth is a versatile, busy musician. Whether leading his own trio in performances in New York City's finest clubs, teaming with accomplished vocalists like Carla Cook or Luciana Sosa, sharing his music with Spanish or Japanese audiences, or playing in Steve Wilson's acclaimed quartet, his intentions are clear. He always works to follow his inner voice and stay true to the music. Jazz Review: When we spoke last, you were getting ready for a live recording project that becam …
29.01.2011

Joey DeFrancesco

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Known as the B-3 Bomber for his incredible skill on the Hammond B-3 organ, playing the B-3 comes naturally for Joey DeFrancesco who as a child, played along with his father, Philly organ legend Papa John DeFrancesco. By age 16, DeFrancesco was the first recipient of the Philadelphia Jazz Society’s McCoy Tyner Scholarship and a finalist in the Thelonius Monk International Jazz Piano Competition Miles Davis was so impressed with DeFrancesco’s talent back in 1988, he asked the (then) 17-year ol …