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“Now in Stores” XIX

9 Jun

Here are five more recent jazz releases worth giving a listen to:

1. The Mothership Returns by Return to Forever (Eagle Rock Entertainment – June 19, 2012) CLICK HERE TO BUY

Return To Forever are one of the most innovative and successful jazz/rock fusion bands. Originally formed in the early seventies, they had reunions in 1983 and 2008 before the current line-up got together in 2010 with the arrival of new members Jean-Luc Ponty and Frank Gambale. This set contains a double live CD recorded in 2011 plus a bonus DVD containing the Inside The Music feature which combines live footage with the band discussing the tracks performed on the CD. Also included on the DVD are full live performances of After The Cosmic Rain and The Romantic Warrior and an extended trailer for the upcoming film The Return To Forever Story . / Line-up: Chick Corea (piano & keyboard); Stanley Clarke (electric & acoustic bass); Jean-Luc Ponty (electric & acoustic violin); Frank Gambale (electric & acoustic guitar); Lenny White (drums).

2. Across the Imaginary Divide by Bela Fleck (Rounder – June 5, 2012) CLICK HERE TO BUY

2012 collaboration between banjo virtuoso Bela Fleck and Jazz pianist Marcus Roberts and his trio. Roberts’ Trio is known for its virtuosic style: a style that is strongly rhythmic, melodic, and filled with dynamic contrast. Fleck is often considered the premier banjo player in the world. He has virtually reinvented the image and the sound of the banjo through a remarkable performing and recording career that has taken him all over the musical map and on a range of solo projects and collaborations. “It was a lot of fun working with B‚la on this project. He has a limitless imagination and, like our trio, he is willing to do whatever it takes to make a great record. The recording brings our two styles together in a way that I think will be really enjoyable for the listeners,” said Roberts.

3. Seeds From the Underground by Kenny Garrett (Mack Avenue – April 10, 2012) CLICK HERE TO BUY

Seeds from the Underground is music people, past and present, who planted seeds Kenny Garrett’s life-directly and indirectly. It s not a dedication record, although there are songs dedicated to certain people. Kenny Garrett is also a member of the DownBeat Hall of Fame being a three-time Alto Sax winner.

4. Dear Diz (Every Day I Think of You) by  Arturo Sandoval (Concord Jazz – May 8, 2012) CLICK HERE TO BUY

Arturo Sandoval releases his second album on Concord Jazz, Dear Diz (Every Day I Think of You). The album is Sandoval’s tribute to Dizzy Gillespie, the mentor and friend who literally rescued him and his family from an oppressive existence and gave them a chance at an entirely new and better life. The album is a collection of classics from Gillespie’s massive body of work, each framed in big-band arrangements that throw the spotlight squarely on the elements of bebop that underscore so much of the iconic trumpeter’s work and set the tone for the music of his era.

5. Impressions of Curtis Mayfield by Jazz Soul Seven (BFM Jazz – April 17, 2012) CLICK HERE TO BUY

Curtis Mayfield’s impact on artists of all persuasions is incalculable, and jazz musicians have long found much in his words and melodies to inspire new interpretations. Impressions of Curtis Mayfield is a new collection of a dozen re-imaginings of some of the late, great soul man’s most potent compositions, recorded by a collective of jazz aces calling themselves the Jazz Soul Seven: Terri Lyne Carrington–-drums, Russ Ferrante—piano, the late Master Henry Gibson—percussion, Bob Hurst—bass, Wallace Roney—trumpet, Phil Upchurch—guitar, and Ernie Watts—saxophone.

“Now in Stores” XVIII

Arturo Sandoval: Happy, with a heart full of music

25 Jan

Trumpet legend Arturo Sandoval performing live in the KPLU Seattle studios on January 13. Photo by Justin Steyer.

By Kevin Kniestedt & Justin Steyer

LISTEN TO THE ENTIRE STUDIO SESSION

“If you’ve got music in your heart, you’re gonna be a happy person, no matter what.”

That’s what trumpeter Arturo Sandoval told me, as he recalls growing up in rural Cuba and having a trumpet teacher tell him (at age 10) that he had no talent and should not pursue music.

Obviously, Sandoval, who is now known as one of the world’s foremost jazz trumpeters, didn’t listen to the teacher and it’s a pure delight to hear him tell the story in this latest installment of KPLU’s Studio Sessions.

Along with his band (pianist, Mahesh Balasooyria, saxophonist, Zane Musa, bassist, John Belzaguy and drummer, Johnny Friday), Sandoval blew us away by performing two solo-heavy musical selections: There Will Never Be Another You and Clifford Brown’s Joy Spring.

Related Posts:


‘A student kind of mind:’ One on one with Chick Corea at KPLU

Sophie Milman: A young jazz singer on the move

Grace Kelly Blows the roof off at Earshot

A Tour of Treme with Donald Harrison and Glen David Andrews

 

An Interview With Dr. John

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die (821-830)

5 Jan

Here is another 10 to add to the list.

Remember that there is no ranking system here, and if you don’t see your favorite jazz album yet, it doesn’t mean it won’t show up.

Hopefully these lists will inspire you to seek some of these albums out that perhaps you haven’t heard before, or revisit an old favorite. And as always, we want your thoughts on any or all of these albums. Either way, let’s get started with this week, and in no particular order, albums 821 through 830.

821. Venupelli Blues – Stephane Grappelli (Charly Records, 1969) CLICK HERE TO BUY

822. Gershwin Plays Rhapsody in Blue – George Gershwin (Shout! Factory/Biograph, 2003 compilation date) CLICK HERE TO BUY

823. Point of Departure – Andrew Hill (Blue Note, 1964) CLICK HERE TO BUY

824. Spiritual Unity – Albert Ayler (ESP-Disk, 1964) CLICK HERE TO BUY

825. M’Boom – Max Roach (Columbia/Legacy, 1979) CLICK HERE TO BUY

826. Travelin’ Light – Shirley Horn (GRP, 1965) CLICK HERE TO BUY

827. Hawk Eyes – Coleman Hawkins (Original Jazz Classics, 1959) CLICK HERE TO BUY

828. Jackson’s-Ville – Milt Jackson (Savoy, 1956) CLICK HERE TO BUY

829. Miles Davis and the Modern Jazz Giants – Miles Davis (Original Jazz Classics, 1954) CLICK HERE TO BUY

830. Danzon - Arturo Sandoval (GRP, 1993) CLICK HERE TO BUY

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die (811-820)

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die (801-810)

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die – The First 750

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die – The First 500

Groove Notes Top 10 Jazz CD’s of 2010

2 Jan

People love lists. And Groove Notes isn’t shy about posting them. There were some great albums that came out in the last year, and in no particular order, here are my ten favorites from 2010.

1. Highway Rider by Brad Mehldau (Nonesuch, March 16, 2010) CLICK HERE TO BUY

2. Decisive Steps by Tia Fuller (Mack Avenue, March 16, 2010) CLICK HERE TO BUY

3. Jasmine by Keith Jarrett/Charlie Haden (ECM Records, May 25th, 2010) CLICK HERE TO BUY

4. Music Redeems by The Marsalis Family (Marsalis Music, August 24, 2010) CLICK HERE TO BUY

5. Tribal by Dr. John (429 Records, August 3, 2010) CLICK HERE TO BUY

6. Straight Ahead by Hadley Caliman (Origin Records, January 19, 2010) CLICK HERE TO BUY

7. Stanley Clarke Band by Stanley Clarke (Heads Up, June 15, 2010) CLICK HERE TO BUY

8. The Cycle of Love by Maurice Brown (Brown Records, April 20, 2010) CLICK HERE TO BUY

9. Groove Alchemy by Stanton Moore (Telarc, April 13, 2010) CLICK HERE TO BUY

10. Whirl by Fred Hersch Trio (Palmetto Records, June 21, 2010) CLICK HERE TO BUY

Honorable Mentions:

Providencia by Danilo Perez CLICK HERE TO BUY

Orchestrion by Pat Metheny CLICK HERE TO BUY

Reverse Thread by Regina Carter CLICK HERE TO BUY

Mirror by Charles Lloyd Quartet CLICK HERE TO BUY

Home by Jane Monheit CLICK HERE TO BUY

A Time For Love by Arturo Sandoval CLICK HERE TO BUY

My Top Ten Jazz Albums That You Probably Don’t Own

8 Apr

I recently found myself doing some cleaning of my album collection. More than cleaning, it is a chance for me to revisit some albums that have, through no fault of their own, been sitting on the shelf too long.

I came to realize that I am fortunate to have the opportunity to be a jazz radio disc jockey, as well as someone who can spend hours in jazz record stores. With the decline in jazz record sales, and the bulk of jazz album sales going to big name vocalists or timeless classic recordings like Kind of Blue, it hit me that just because I have exposure to some wonderful gems of the last thirty years, doesn’t mean that everybody has.

That being said, I decided that I wanted to share my favorite albums from the last thirty or so years that, for one reason or another, might not be sitting on your shelf. And, as always, I encourage you offer your hidden gems.

1. Pilgrimage – Michael Brecker (2007)

pilgrimageEven without the sentimental value of this album (Brecker recorded it while battling MDS and Leukemia, and never did live to release it), it is the best jazz album over the last twenty years. The writing and improvisation from Brecker is stellar, and each member of the band play to their full potential. Winner of two Grammy awards.

Recommended tracks: Tumbleweed, Anagram

Billboard Jazz Chart Peak Spot: 3

2. Trumpet Evolution – Arturo Sandoval (2003)

trumpet-evolutionMany critics called this the best trumpet album of the last twenty years. Sandoval’s ability to capture the sound and emotion of each trumpet player he honors (19 in all) is something I don’t believe any other musician has the ability or talent to do.

Recommended Tracks: I Can’t Get Started, Up Jumped Spring

Billboard Jazz Chart Peak Spot: 6

3. Beyond The Missouri Sky – Charlie Haden/Pat Metheny (1996)

beyond-the-missouri-skyTo be honest, I am not a huge Pat Metheny fan. On this album however, you are hard pressed to find a track that isn’t increadibly beautiful. The two musicians are in perfect sync, and you could have this release playing in your CD player over and over for days and continually enjoy it. A Grammy award winner.

Recommended Tracks: Two For the Road, The Moon Song, Cinema Paradiso (Love Theme)

Billboard Jazz Chart Peak Spot: 1

4. The Birthday Concert – Jaco Pastorious (1981)

the-birthday-concertJaco Pastorious decided to throw himself a 30th birthday party in the form of a concert, and what a party it was. Jaco shows why he is the best electric bass player ever, and his supporting cast (Bob Mintzer, Michael Brecker, Peter Erskine, Don Alias, and the Peter Graves Orchestra.

Recommended Tracks: Soul Intro/The Chicken, Invitation

Billboard Jazz Chart Peak Spot: 7

5. Flow – Terence Blanchard (2005)

flowAfter going through an embochure change (which just sounds painful to brass players), Blanchard came back strong with this release. Working with the likes of Herbie Hancock and Aaron Parks, this album features wonderful arrangements and performances with alot of intensity.

Recommended Tracks: Over There

Billboard Jazz Chart Peak Spot: 10

6. An Evening with Herbie Hancock & Chick Corea – Herbie Hancock/Chick Corea (1978)

an-evening-with-herbie-hancock-and-chick-coreaHerbie and Chick had both gone pretty electric during the late 70′s, so to have them come together and do a live acoustic set was somewhat of a shock. They play extremely well together, and this concert is a wonderful result of that.

Recommended Tracks: Liza

Billboard Jazz Chart Peak Spot: 8

7. Contemporary Jazz – Branford Marsalis (2000)

contemporary-jazzBranford displays a wonderfully artistic side on the first album with this quartet, which as of today has spent ten years together. While many of the compositions are complex, no member of the band struggles with them. On the contrary, each band member shines as part of a quartet that would continue to make fantastic music together. A Grammy award winner.

Recommended Tracks: In The Crease

Billboard Jazz Chart Peak Spot: 12

8. Democracy – Kenny Werner (2006)

democracyI know Kenny Werner is talented. But until this live recording, he had yet to truly move me. David Sanchez and Brian Blade are especially good on this album, and all of Werner’s compositions are especially good.

Recommended Tracks: One For Joni

Billboard Jazz Chart Peak Spot: N/A


9. Lucky To Be Me – Taylor Eigsti (2006)

lucky-to-be-meJust 21 at the time of the recording, Eigsti proved that he is the future of jazz piano (in addition to virtuoso Eldar). The performances show maturity, energy, and complexity. Even more impressive is 17 year old guitarist Julian Lage.

Recommended Tracks: Giant Steps, Woke Up This Morning, Love For Sale

Billboard Jazz Chart Peak Spot: 15

10. Earfood – Roy Hargrove (2008)

earfoodIt is wonderful when a musician can continue to put out music that demonstrates that they have yet to peak. Roy Hargrove continues to get better and better with every album, and this no doubt is his best. While Earfood was snubbed when it came to Grammy nominations, it is widely agreed upon that it was easily the best jazz album released in 2008.

Recommended Tracks: I’m Not So Sure, Speak Low, Bring It On Home To Me

Billboard Jazz Chart Peak Spot: 7

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