Award-winning local jazz vocalist, Chris Williams has been nominated in the category of Best Jazz for the Orange County Music Awards, to be held March 3 at The Grove in Anaheim.
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.
Vocalist and composer Michael Franks has had a long career of which anyone would be envious. Since his launching pad hit “Popsicle Toes,” Franks has consistently released strong jazz oriented recordings featuring the best jazz musicians in both backing and featured roles. Like Kenny Rankin, Franks found a unique way to present his soft pop without ever sounding dated. Time Together is yet another fantastic Franks release featuring the best jazz musicians sweetly swinging behind Franks’ eye-winking lyrics.
Building a career by earning the respect of your peers is a difficult, ongoing task. Imagine trying to do it twice. Punctuated by a storied basketball franchise, the Boston Celtics, honoring him with a bobble head promotion and with Billboard slotting his album Emotionally at number 11 on the jazz album charts, Walter McCarty has succeeded at both.
After 75 Years is an ambitious work. Macy Chen has created a concept album of sorts about the parallel lives of herself and her grandfather. Both Chen and her grandfather, Chin-Chang Liu, had left their homes in Taiwan to pursue jazz music, against the practical wisdom of their friends and family. Though she never met her grandfather, Macy Chen always felt a connection with him through jazz music.
Law school creates more than a few challenges. There are hours upon hours of studying, grueling hours interning at law firms, and financial bills that need to find a way to get paid. For many law students the adversity is just too much to overcome and that can lead to despair. For Ola Onabule, it determined his life's journey.
For Vancouver jazz artist Colleen Savage, an invitation to headline a concert and workshop at Louisiana's Tulane University last February came with an offer no musician could refuse: an opportunity to record with players active in the New Orleans jazz scene.
Zaz is the impressive debut album by the French jazz-pop artist of the same name. Zaz takes a fresh and open-minded approach to her music. Gypsy jazz rhythms, pop hooks and Mills Brothers-esque vocal solos collide in a cohesive and fully realized musical vision. The blend of styles never seems awkward, pretentious or contrived. At its best, this album contains legitimately great pop music. Even at its worst, these songs still tower above their Top 40 pop peers.
The newly released music video for the sultry Latin number “Just A Kiss” written by Perth jazz singer Nicola Milan is a hypnotic mix of smooth Bossa rhythms blended with an emotive visual set awash in candlelight. The poignant playfulness of this clip surrounds the story line of a girl’s daydream fantasy about a timeless moment spent with a mysterious man plucked from her imagination.
Aficionados and neophytes alike should feel equally welcome when listening to Jazz, the accessible history lesson produced by Putamayo. Although this 12-song compilation presents an audio array that reaches as high as Blossom Dearie's top-shelf timbre on "They Say It's Spring," to the joint-jumping horns on Maxine Sullivan's " 'Taint No Use," the consistent core from start to finish remains a simple, steady swing that says plenty in a very limited time. For the aficionado, these classics are reminders about the art form's origins. For the neophyte, they serve as starting points that invite further exploration.