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Jazz Artist Interviews (709)

Get up close and personal with your favorite jazz artists!

29.01.2011

Carol Welsman

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Peggy Lee is one of the most underrated jazz vocalists of all time. We hear about Billie Holliday and Ella Fitzgerald, but seldom do we hear about a woman who not only had the voice, but also the knack for writing songs that did tell a story well. Now Canadian vocalist Carol Welsman salutes this special woman with a new compilation of songs called I Like Men: Reflections of Miss Peggy Lee. Even though at first glance there is little connection between the two singers, Welsman has alway …
29.01.2011

Walter Beasley

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Walter Beasley wants you to relax, and his upcoming CD, Sax Meditations, appears to be just what the doctor ordered. Sax Meditations is the haunting, ethereal, half-sibling to Beasley's 2009 smooth jazz gem Free Your Mind. Sax Meditations seems determined to, well, free your mind. Recently, I spoke to the saxophonist/vocalist/educator about the sound and vision of his latest release. JazzReview: You recorded Sax Meditations around the same time you we …
Brenda Hopkins Miranda is a talented pianist, composer, arranger, improviser, band leader, writer and educator born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. An exceptional and natural rhythmic inventor, she conjures up her own worlds - some jagged, others even more broken and interrupted. And she is good at it, putting the notes in the right places. Her repertoire includes original arrangements of traditional and contemporary Puerto Rican, Caribbean and Latin American songs and well as her own compositions. …
29.01.2011

Andrew Neu

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Saxophonist Andrew Neu made his debut in 2000 with his solo album Inspire, presenting material that exhibited his flare for stylish chord movements and sensual elevations. He maintained that standard in his 2007 sophomore album In Clear View, and has now taken his flare for debonair lifts to new heights on his third solo CD, Try Something Neu. Working with a cast of musicians whom he refers to as "the best in the business," Neu beams with pride over his offering from NuGr …
29.01.2011

Irene Nachreiner

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For those of you who have been subjected to Karaoke, my heartfelt apologies from the music industry. The vocally-challenged often flock to these staged events, filled with the juice from the fountain of ego...thus subjecting the innocent to cries of pain and anguish. Sorry Simon, you did not invent this absurdity. One night, however, in 2003, at the Club Med in Bora Bora, an uncut diamond took the Karaoke stage and in a short three weeks, attained the dream stardom lore is built upon. Classicall …
29.01.2011

Mark Saltman

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The duo of bassist Mark Saltman and keyboardist William Knowles makes music that finds optimism through the crackles made by life’s sorrow and despair. Saltman draws inspiration for his compositions from such tragedies as the devastation of New Orleans after being hit by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and the scars left by The Holocaust which prompted the title track for the duo’s latest CD, Yesterday’s Man. Accompanied by vocalist Lori Williams-Chisholm, Yesterday’s Man is club-roo …
29.01.2011

Rob Tardik

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When guitarist Rob Tardik sets his mind on a project, it is as good as done. He can corral a band of musicians and accomplish his task with the expediency and astute calculations which Martha Stewart applies when she is rounding up a crew to plant a new garden. Both Tardik and Stewart understand the need for everyone to be on the same page and stay focused on their single-minded objective. For Tardik, his objective was to make a follow up record to his debut album Without Words. He tel …
29.01.2011

Tom Braxton

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Smooth jazz saxophonist Tom Braxton would be the last person on earth to describe himself as a beacon of light, but anyone who listened to his latest CD, Endless Highway would give him the title without debate. The making of Endless Highway was ironically spurred on by a series of losses that have recently entered Braxton’s life, especially the passing of his dear friend and buoyant bass guitarist Wayman Tisdale who succumbed to cancer. The man was Braxton’s inspiration for writ …
29.01.2011

The Sax Pack

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It looks like the return of the Rat Pack, but three smooth jazz sax men continue to come together to bring their individual stylings to one of the best collaborations in years. Jeff Kashiwa, Steve Cole and Kim Waters are known as The Sax Pack and show some of the traits of Frank, Sammy and Dean, musical ability, good looks, chemistry, charm and wit. Between the three men, Jeff, Steve and Kim have 20 smooth jazz radio hits and have sold tens of thousands of albums. Some people find it hard to …
29.01.2011

Kelley Suttenfield

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Sometimes the greatest challenge for a singer is taking the leap into making a debut album. The exposure opens them up to receive public scrutiny and global adulation. For the artist, it is always impossible to predict how the public will react. Luckily for singer-songwriter Kelley Suttenfield, she has the vocal chops to attract hordes of people, the charisma to make a lasting impression on their minds, and a passionate delivery that can penetrate their hearts. Suttenfield’s mix of int …
29.01.2011

Ellynne Plotnick

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It is very easy to assume that every track on Ellynne Plotnick’s new album, Life Is Beautiful is a cover of a jazz standard created by one of the Gershwins or Cole Porter or Johnny Mercer. The songs have the smooth flowing lines relatable to Porter, the graceful swells often attributed to the Gershwins, and an alluring orchestration liken to Johnny Mercer. Although it may seem to most folks that the jazz artists of yesteryear cornered the market on melodic beauty, Plotnick shows that s …
29.01.2011

Jesse Cook

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The origins of "Rumba Foundation" can be traced back to the 1800’s when sailors arrived in Spain with a new rhythm named rumba brought all the way from Cuba. This accessible and upbeat style of flamenco has attracted people across the globe. Rumba flamenco music reflects the soul of the gypsies, the passion of flamenco and the irresistible beats of Cuba. Influenced by Natacha Atlas, Al Di Meola, Paco de Lucia, Peter Gabriel, Vicente Amigo and the Gipsy Kings, the charismatic rumba …
29.01.2011

Order From Chaos

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Music has been known to soothe broken hearts, to tame wild animals, and to tell stories through sonic imagery. Filmmaker, writer, producer, and Ruby Flower Records executive Ana-Isabel Ordonez is a conceptual artist who utilizes the talents of avant-garde musicians to give her films another dimension that penetrates the listeners emotions beyond the visuals and narrations. She brought the two mediums of film and music together in her two previous projects, A Touch Of Noir and Shades …
29.01.2011

Jeff Golub

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In August, Jeff Golub (pronounced Goal-ub) released his 8th solo album, Blues for You. Jeff is known primarily as a smooth jazz guitarist, but he stretches out his blues chops on this album - the blues being an early influence in his musical background. Blues for You is also a different album for Jeff in that four of the tracks are vocals. Although Jeff has had vocals on past albums, his focus has been instrumental music. Blues for You reunites Jeff with Billy Squir …
29.01.2011

Kristina Smith

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Channeling her multi-cultured background that includes German, Angolan, and Native American Indian ancestries, singer-songwriter Kristina Smith delves into a litany of influences to bring out a rich palette of textures steep in Afro-Cuban rhythms, swing-inspired motifs, and flowery ballads on her debut album Offshore Echoes from Patois Records. She describes how the album fulfilled her innermost needs. "I call these choices of songs my ‘wish list songs’. I wanted to share the message w …
29.01.2011

Monika Herzig

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German born and bred pianist/composer Monika Herzig has a flare for putting an eclectic twist on traditional jazz idioms, and she makes no exceptions on her interpretation of classic holiday tunes for her forthcoming CD, Peace On Earth. Fraught with decorative furls and spontaneous chutes, Herzig’s album injects boasters to familiar holiday sing-along numbers like "The Coventry Carol" and "Silent Night’ producing bursts of freestyle energy rimming the main themes. Her improvisations ac …
29.01.2011

Peter White

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Guitarist Peter White continues to release music that innovates the genre. From his first recordings in the early 90s, he brings energy that matches and exceeds his peers. About people remembering those early recordings, he says, that means more to me to hear a song that I recorded way back for my first solo CD 19 years ago. It means a lot to me to hear that music that's still being accepted today. It's nice to hear the new songs, but wow, that song from my first album still getting played 19 …
29.01.2011

Hiroshima's Legacy

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To celebrate their 30th anniversary, the group Hiroshima goes back to the first ten years of their musical existence. Instead of re-releasing tracks from that first decade, leader Dan Kuromoto decided to re-record those songs on their newest CD Legacy. He says, we really didn't feel like doing the best ofs. We didn't know what that means really. When you have 17 CDs, how do you do a best of. Actually we then put it on our website and asked people to submit what they thought were their …
29.01.2011

Paul Carlon

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Paul Carlon has built a reputation for himself in the chamber-jazz quarter as the bandleader, composer and saxophonist for the Paul Carlon Octet, and as a motivating force of Latin-jazz in the New York City-based ensemble Grupo los Santos. But recently, he has taken on an additional role as the saxophonist and co-writer for The McCarron Brothers. The quartet has become his outlet to indulge his craving for American roots/smoky blues-jazz music, where he has settled into a stride t …
29.01.2011

Zlatko Kaucic

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When American author Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote the novel, Tarzan, he provided people with an impression of what a man would be like if he lived in the jungle and bonded with nature, taking its life forms into his bosom like a close member of his family. Similarly, composer-drummer-percussionist Zlatko Kaučič does the same with his music, treating nature like it is a family member, corresponding with it and respecting its space. Kaučič is a man who is inspired by …