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FEATURED INTERVIEWS

  • Kem Owens
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    Adekemi Owens, known professionally and affectionately to music fans as "Kem," has come a long way from Nashville, Tennessee to his current hometown of Detroit, Michigan. So, one figures that is why this musical genius has written and performed songs…
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  •  New Orleans trumpeter Nicholas Payton has never conformed to anyone or anything. Reading his Facebook posts and Twitter “tweets”, you sort of get an idea about how un-traditional he is. He speaks his mind and, should someone attempt to challenge…
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  • Born in Dallas, Texas and now happily domiciled in Los Angeles, bass player Edwin Livingston could be described as being on the crest of a wave.  His CD 'Transitions' was released in late 2010 and when recently I caught up…
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  • George Duke is a multi Grammy Award winning legend. So, when I called him to get a few quick quotes for my France Joli interview (he produced her album 'Witch Of Love') I quickly realized I needed to milk this…
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Beppe Di Benedetto is a trombone player, composer and arranger born in Italy. Beppe's passion for music began at the age of 12 when one day his father came home with a strange black suitcase in his hand. Inside was a shiny instrument. His constant curiosity in capturing the secret language of music has accorded Beppe many opportunities in sharing the stage with such famous musicians as Eumir Deotado, Solomon Burke, Bob Mintzer, Paul Anka, Burt Bacharach, Mario Biondi, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Hengel Gualdi, Jovanotti, Antonella Ruggero, Fabrizio Bosso, Lorenzo Tucci, Daniele Scannapieco, Giovanni Amato, Claudio Filippini, Andrea Tofanelli, Massimo Manzi, Ellade Bandini, Christian Meyer, Michael Rosen, Ernesstico, Mark Harris, Luca Mannutza, Tullio De Piscopo and many more.

 

A winner in the 2008 Downbeat rising star poll, post-bop tenor man Donny McCaslin probably qualifies now as a fully risen star. He's worked with many jazz luminaries and has been a solid part of Dave Douglas's working quintet since 2005. On Declaration, McCaslin proves his chops as a player, composer and arranger...

Michael Cuscuna – executive producer from CBS Records - hired Woody Shaw in 1977. Someone thought that Miles Davis in person " sponsored " Shaw to the board of Columbia. Anyway this partnership would have made a larger audience aware of Shaw's huge talent.

Over nearly half a century, composer-arranger-pianist-ensemble leader Andrew Hill gained international jazz renown for his uniquely original music, which is by turns dark, fragile, funny, stark, unforgettably tuneful, percussive, insightful, oblique, transparent and mysterious. Giants like Art Tatum, Bud Powell and above all Thelonius Monk influenced Hill's style that was marked by heavy chromatics, complex chords, flowing and legato phrasing as well as by Ravel and Debussy; classic contemporary music recalls on several composition arrangements and improvisations.

Rick Stone's Fractals is an excellent hard bop recording. For this release, the guitarist is joined by his live band featuring Marco Panascia on bass and Tom Pollard on drums. The warm sensitivity these players show each other, undoubtedly perfected through countless hours of playing together, provides the perfect context for Stone's fluid solos. The guitarist's tone is truly gorgeous. It is rich, full and despite its well-rounded low end, always clear. Stone's tone and articulation are so inviting that even the most complex harmonic ideas never alienate the listener.  The phrasing is sometimes reminiscent of Jim Hall (a compliment for any guitarist), but Rick Stone has his own sound as well.

 

 

John Colianni is a gifted pianist with a strong interest in swing and early bebop. Jazz is a very historically conscious genre, even as it is always moving forward. Still, even among the most historically minded contingent of modern jazz, Colianni sounds positively old-fashioned. The pianist keeps one foot squarely in a 1940s swing aesthetic, and, by the sheer joy of his playing, he obviously deeply loves the music he is drawing from. That said, one is not likely to confuse this recording with a swing recording from the 1940s. Colianni has a modern flair that is apparent both in his harmonically complex solos and his occasionally involved compositions. Even at its most complicated though, this music is always swinging, and swinging easy at that.

Upcoming masterclasses in Tuscia, Italy by Tuscia In Jazz.

 

Though both came to prominence in Anthony Braxton's revolutionary groups of the early-to-mid 1970s, the music that trombonist Ray Anderson and clarinetist / saxophonist Marty Ehrlich create on Hear You Say is adventurous, hard-swinging post-bop steeped in the blues and redolent with the organic, bobbing polyrhythms of New Orleans.  


Jazz musician Alex Coke has announced a workshop of his composition
Wake Up Dead Man as part of the Brokkenfabriek series in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Indeed, trumpeter Jeremy Pelt is a talented individual. A rising star who boasts a reputable resume as a first-call session artist and leader, he's been in the thick of things since his graduation from the Berklee School of Music and arrival in New York City in the late 90's. Here, Pelt and his ensemble breeze through a potpourri of simmering, crisply executed bop and swing vamps. Perpetual motion and a steady stream of improvisational jaunts by the soloists, prompt remembrances of the classic Blue Note Record era, where hard bop and tuneful storylines assimilate into a consortium of vibrant counter-maneuvers, darting grooves and cunning detours.