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Jazz Viewpoints (222)

First, I would like to thank you for taking the courage to bring the smooth jazz format to your station. With other radio stations in the area sounding alike, I like the fact that your station knows there is an audience for music above what is being played on the radio. It seems that radio statons either play rock, country or contemporary and not realize that there are people older than 30 who don't want to hear news and talk all day and can't relate to music that was done before the 1950's. You …
29.01.2011

Sirius Satellite Radio

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Sirius Satellite Radio features seven channels of jazz and blues music. One of them is called "Cafe Jazz," which caters to the smooth jazz enthusiast. I have had a chance to hear both "Cafe Jazz" and its competetor, XM Satellite Radio's "Watercolors," and I was very impressed with the diversity of "Cafe Jazz." If I was to program a smooth jazz station, "Cafe Jazz is the way I would program it. It is a great mixture of instrumental and vocal jazz that goes beyond the normal music range of smooth …
In 2001, a duet CD hit the European shelves. Each CD was sold with a small pack of tissues. Its title, "Hard to Say Goodbye, the Very Best of Toots Thielemans and Kenny Werner." Verve Music Group, North Sea Jazz.

With the concurrent release in the United States on March 5, 2002, Americans will now understand what the European community has known for a very long time; the album is one of the most emotionally breathtaking CDs ever recorded, and the pairing of the beloved Toots Thielemans and K …

29.01.2011

Guitar Picks - Volume 3

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Hello everyone - I'm sorry it's been a while since the last installment; my trio, QB3, and I have been very busy gigging in and outside of the New York City area. We were also in the midst of breaking in a great new bassist, which has been absolutely worth it. In any case, I'm looking forward to presenting you all with some music for your listening pleasure soon.

With that being said, welcome to the official 3rd installment of Guitar Picks. For new readers, the purpose of this colu …
29.01.2011

A Valentine's Wish

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The most recent issue of Jazziz magazine contained an article by Michelle Mercer entitled "The Fire Down Below." In the article Ms. Mercer writes about taking novice jazz listeners to see the Mingus Big Band and one woman’s surprised sexual arousal from the music. Ms. Mercer comes to the conclusion that listening a jazz show in a New York club today is "a singularly existential listening experience, so if you get your freak on there, it’s all yours." In plainspeak, you are probably the …

29.01.2011

New Views of the Blues

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Following the most recent batch of Van Gelder reissues that focused on the label’s earliest sides (the current set of Stateside RVG Editions numbers some 56 albums), a new set of titles launched at the start of 2002 attempts to pick up some stray items from the modern period, including several albums that have never been available in the United States on compact disc. So, in no particular order, here’s a quick synopsis of some praiseworthy and up-to-the-minute RVG Editions.

Maybe it was the s …

29.01.2011

A Second Chance at Life

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When it comes to the opportunity to expose some of the many talents that got lost in the shuffle during the ‘50s and ‘60s, no other concern has more to unearth than Fantasy’s group of associated labels, including Prestige, Riverside, and Contemporary. Through their Limited Edition Series, Fantasy is able to present releases that will undoubtedly appeal to only a small number of jazz fans, but will nonetheless have importance in bringing to light some unfairly ignored performers and performances. …
In 1983, Jazz pianist-composer G. Francis Mlely was on a solo piano concert tour of Europe, when midway along he received information that caused him to suddenly abandon the tour and, because of subsequent events, to leave off playing professionally for nearly two decades. Mlely's 3rd album, "Trio," according to a "Jazz Times" survey, was among the Top 10 most-played record albums in U.S. radio airplay at the time. He had just come from performing before an SRO crowd at BIM-House in Amsterdam, t …
29.01.2011

The Four Freshmen

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Butler University is located in Indianapolis, Indiana. In 1948, the university lay witness to a harmonic rendezvous--a renaissance of harmonies untold to the human ear. What was to become of four freshmen who never stuck around long enough to become sophomores? They became, "THE FOUR FRESHMEN," and sent the nation into a harmonic rhapsody--trembling with the new vocal sonorities they gave birth too.

Lurking behind the shadows of the ivory walls, the four young men met, as freshmen, at Arthur …

Vancouver International Jazz Festival. The very words stir something in the soul and excite the senses for what is to come in those most special 10 days of the year: All the unheard sounds to fall in love with and familiar ones to revel in, running into friends old and new, racing from one incredible gig to the next, full of anticipation and hope for another uplifting musical experience. Oh, that all the days of the year could be so action-packed with incredible music from around the world and r …
29.01.2011

On Soloing

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I once had the opportunity to do a few gigs in a quartet featuring the great keyboardist/composer Rob Mullins. Nate Phillips, who had worked with Rob in the Jazz Crusaders, and Jeff Suttles, who had just come off tour with Janet Jackson, held down the bass and drums, respectively. The basic concept was to play instrumental arrangements of funky R&B tunes, sort of like a funk version of Paul Shaffers' "Worlds Most Dangerous Band" (the David Letterman Show band). The project was put together with …
Ja zz can be recognized by its openness to and utilization of harmonies outside the common scope of popular music. There are those in the American popular music industry, many among them musicians, critics, teachers, et al, who speak of how "jazz" has been influential in recent and current popular music, some claiming to have incorporated it into the music they perform, teach, or write reviews of. I wonder what jazz they are referring to.

Let's take one of the quintessential jazz albums of al …

When sax man Euge Groove swings into action for the opening Friday night of this year’s Long Beach Jazz Festival, it will mark the event’s 15th anniversary. And much like Euge’s nickname, the annual 3-day program has settled into a comfortable and profitable "groove" for festival founder, Al Williams. The musician-turned-entrepreneur’s innate sensitivity to the art of jazz and its presentation has resulted in the Southland’s most anticipated weekend of hot summer days and warm, sexy nights.

"W …

Antonio Carlos Jobim
He is the grand marshal of bossa nova. His music reminds you of a sunny day at the beach and his smooth, baritone voice is romantic. In addition, the melodic piano tunes are breathtaking and relaxing. The background violin sounds make you feel like you're at a symphony. Some of my favorite tunes are Ela E Carioca, Passarim, The Girl From Ipanema and Aguas de Marco,which he sings with Elis Regina. Some of the CDs I recommend are Elis …
WWOZ is truly a musical gumbo. It is a delicious mixture of spicy flavors that contribute to this city's beautiful and rich heritage. I've listened to this station for seven years and it is fantastic! To be satirical, I'll describe this station metaphorically.

The main ingredient in this gumbo is a quart of jazz music. Every weekday afternoon dedicated and enthusiastic disc jockeys play the best in classic and modern jazz. You can hear great legends such as Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald,Bi …

I remember the first time I attended Jazz Fest. I was in my freshman year in college and a group of teachers brought us. When I arrived there, it was amazing! There were thousands of people walking around with bottles of water, beer, Cokes and sno-balls. The tents featured various styles of music;gospel, jazz, blues, and world music. I loved the jazz tent the most. The beautiful sounds of the piano, trumpet and saxophone were breathtaking. I visited the food vendors and the amount of delicacies …
29.01.2011

Timeless Treasures

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All Blues

If you're looking for a sensual, poetic and harmonious song, then this is the one. Miles Davis plays the trumpet in a mellow and unified way and this is truly a gem. He and John Coltrane work really well on this song and I give it a rating of five glasses of Zinfandel.

A Night in Tunisia

I'm always reminded of Latin jazz when I hear this song. It has a mystic, subtle element and is danceable. Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker do a fantastic job with this tune …

29.01.2011

Sirius Satellite Radio

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It has been been six months since Sirius Satellite Radio put its Jazz Cafe smooth jazz programming on the Internet. After a Valentine's Day opening in four cities, Sirius became nationwide on July 1st. When I first heard the Jazz Cafe, I thought that this would be the way that smooth jazz should be presented and fully recommended it here on jazzreview.com. Since that time, Sirius programmers went away from their earlier efforts and have gone away from the way that smooth jazz should be pr …
29.01.2011

Seven on Eighty-Eight

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Without a doubt, the piano trio provides an ideal format for jazz. Complex and yet ideally manageable, the grouping can speak with the authority of a big band or bring it down to a soft whisper. Furthermore, the bass and drums offer up enough variety in terms of sound and texture to keep it all interesting. Even after Bill Evans and others have had their say in terms of what the piano trio offers, the ensemble continues to be a viable one in the hands of some modern practitioners, as we shall se …
29.01.2011

More On Soloing

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In response to my article "On Soloing", I received a number of emails from players who loved the concepts and were trying hard to incorporate them into their performance but still felt like they were stuck in a rut of playing the same tired riffs over and over. "I feel like I'm playing in circles. What additional advice can you give me to help me break out of this pattern?", many of them asked.

So it occurred to me that my original piece was oriented to more a advanced player and that it proba …