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FEATURED INTERVIEWS

  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  •  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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Stephanie Jordan Sings a Tribute to the Fabulous Lena Horne; Yesterday When I Was Young:  "Great lyrics permeate this beautifully rendered homage, and Jordan has the skill sets to do them justice—a voice that projects from a whisper to a scream, impeccable diction, dead-center pitch, fluid phrasing. Backed by a breathe-as-one 8-piece unit of top-shelf New Orleanians that sounds twice its size, and counterstated by a cohort of virtuoso soloists, she finds fresh, unfailingly swinging approaches to this well-traveled repertoire, melding into a personal argot elements garnered from such distinguished mentors as Shirley Horn, Abbey Lincoln, Nancy Wilson—and Lena Horne herself—while sounding like no one other than Stephanie Jordan. As she aptly puts it, "it's a tribute, not a copy." - Ted Panken

 

 

Indonesian-Swedish artist duo Aliceleonz and Björn Pehrson write and perform classic swing jazz song with a very traditional sound and very strong song material that brings back the feeling of all the great jazz classics of the 1940ies and 1950ies. The music is characterized by Alice's unique and very strong vocal performance, reminding us of such great artists as Ella Fitzgerald, together with Björn's instinctive feel for classic jazz melodies and harmonies.

A traditional slow swing song from Alice & Björn featuring Marty Keil on clarinet

A laid-back number from Alice & Björn's debut CD "Swinging With The Boys", released on December 1st, 2012. This song features the seductive voice of Alice over a laid jazz/blues beat with lead guitar work from Mauro Clerici.

Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, Kayla Taylor is a southern gal who, when it comes to torch songs and jazz standards, can sing with the best and surpass them.  Her new CD 'You'd Be Surprised' is the follow up to her 2005 release 'A Night at Pacific & Vine' and features a sophisticated array of classic tunes that she delivers with the warmth of a nightingale and the intimacy of a soul singer.

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.

 

Tommy Vig has created an original, strangely intuitive, and ultimately satisfying big band. This music is avant garde, and dissonance is integral to their vision. That said, Vig's pieces are about as catchy as avant garde big bands could conceivably be. Fast unison parts are balanced with clear melodies, and rounded out with explorative soloing and inventive charts.

John Daversa's arrangements and compositions incorporate a high degree of hip-ness. A superb trumpeter who maximizes his use of the Electric Valve Instrument (EVI) via rippling notes and compelling solo spots within the grand schema, he fuses hip-hop, funk, rock, and the jazz element into an uncannily coherent form-factor. Audacious, brassy, and energized are simply a few appropriate descriptors.

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.

It was a hot balmy day as we stepped off the ferry onto Governors Island; ten minutes off the southern tip of Manhattan. As Jacqueline and I approached the great lawn in the center of the island, I was transported to another place, another time – much like Owen Wilson was when he stepped into car as the leading character in the new Woody Allen film Midnight in Paris. Before my eyes the roaring 20's were alive and well, pages come to life from F. Scott Fitzgerald's book The Great Gatsby. People were in authentic garb, playing badminton; lounging with friends picnicking; and dancing to the music of the era – JAZZ!

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