“Now in Stores” XIV

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

1. Bouncer by Cedar Walton (Half Note Records, July 19, 2011) CLICK HERE TO BUY

NEA Jazz Master Cedar Walton has enjoyed an up-tempo career, which never seems to slow down. As a composer, Cedar is one of the finest in jazz whose works have been widely recorded with many now being recognized as jazz standards. For his latest HighNote recording, Walton returns to his favored quintet format with poll-winning trombonist Steve Turre adding his luxurious, velvet tone to Vincent Herring’s saxophone sound.

2. Dawn of Goodbye by Dominick Farinacci (Entertainment One Music, July 26, 2011) CLICK HERE TO BUY

Following the acclaim that greeted his first album for eOne Lovers, Tales & Dances the young trumpet genius Dominick Farinacci returns with a new set of tunes that reveals new dimensions and nuances in his emerging, individual blend of instrumental fire and ice. Doms first album was a lush, orchestirated affair but on Twilight Blue, he is fronting a smaller, more swinging and agile ensemble that navigates standards and originals with equal finesse.
The buzz on Farinacci has been building in core jazz circles for two years. His club appearances in Los Angeles and New York have been well-attended by tastemakers such as Quincy Jones, Herb Alpert, and Wynton Marsalis, who has served as a mentor to Dominick since Doms days at Juilliard. And award-winning jazz blogger/journalist Doug Ramsey has been an influential champion at his website, Rifftides.
Now, the jazz world prepares for a new taste of the Farinacci magic: melodic, colorful, and always in the groove. This album may be called Twilight Blue, but its kaleidoscopic vibe shines through all the time.

3. The Unissued Seattle Broadcast by John Coltrane (Rare Live Recordings, June 14, 2011) CLICK HERE TO BUY

Import-only live archive release from the Jazz legend. On September 30, 1965, John Coltrane took his new group to The Penthouse, in Seattle, to make a professional recording during that engagement which would later be issued on Impulse as Live In Seattle. That same day, the group was broadcast over the radio and the music was taped by an amateur fan. All preserved music from this broadcast, which doesn’t duplicate a single note of the aforementioned album, is presented on this release. Among its highlights are a long version of an untitled original tune, and Trane’s final version of Billy Strayhorn’s ‘Lush Life’, which only appears in his discography on two other occasions.

4. The Gathering by Diane Schuur (Vanguard Records, June 7, 2011) CLICK HERE TO BUY

Two-time Grammy® Award winner and one of contemporary jazz’s leading vocalists, Diane Schuur, has signed with Vanguard Records. She will be releasing her label debut, The Gathering, on June 7th. With a distinguished career that spans nearly three decades, Schuur’s new album is unique in both material and style, and features special guests Alison Krauss, Vince Gill, Mark Knopfler, Larry Carlton and Kirk Whalum. The Gathering is a collection of 10 classic country songs, mostly written during the golden era of the 1960s, and is the first time Schuur has featured this genre of music. On selections like Willie Nelson’s “Healing Hands of Time,” Roger Miller’s “When Two Worlds Collide,” Merle Haggard’s “Today I Started Loving You Again” and Tammy Wynette’s “Til I Can Make It on My Own,” Schuur’s great vocal versatility shines through.

5. Family Fugue by Bucky & John Pizzarelli (Abors Records, July 12, 2011) CLICK HERE TO BUY

Pure Pizzarelli magic at its finest! A special Benny Goodman salute by Bucky and John Pizzarelli, recorded live at Tanglewood with Martin Pizzarelli on bass, Larry Fuller on piano, and Tony Tedesco on drums.



“Now in Stores” XIII

“Now in Stores” XII

“Now in Stores” XI

“Now in Stores” X

“Now In Stores” IX

“Now In Stores” VIII

“Now In Stores” VII

Now in Stores (Late May, June, and July)

“Now in Stores” – 5/16/2010 to 5/22/2010

“Now in Stores” – 5/2/2010 to 5/8/2010

Now in Stores” – 4/25/2010 to 5/1/2010

“Now in Stores” – 4/18/2010 t0 4/24/2010

“Now In Stores” – 5 Noteworthy Jazz Albums Released this Week (4/11/2010-4/17/10)

Emerging Artist: Grace Kelly

No, not that Grace Kelly.

grace kelly albumI’m torn to define saxophonist, singer, songwriter, composer, and arranger Grace Kelly as “emerging”, considering what she has already accomplished. But as Grace celebrates her 17th birthday next Friday (that’s right, she is just 16), one must assume that there is plenty of opportunity in years to come for this young lady to become a household name in jazz.

On his radio program Jazz After Hours this morning, host Jim Wilke suggested that “young” and “talented” can often go hand in hand, and that no one would argue that both can easily be applied to Grace Kelly. After hearing her wonderful recording of Comes Love, it was easy to agree. And, as her website boasts, I am far from the only person to agree.

Kelly, at age 16, has already performed or recorded with Wynton Marsalis, Dave Brubeck, Harry Connick, Jr., Diane Reeves, Phil Woods, Hank Jones, Kenny Barron, Russell Malone, Cedar Walton, Peter Bernstein, and Marian McPartland. That is the very short list. She has also performed at Carnegie Hall, Birdland, and Scullers (another short list), as well as a variety of jazz festivals. She has won numerous young musician and student musician awards, and was named Best Jazz Act in Boston in 2008 by the FNX/Phoenix Best Music Poll. Oh, and she began her first term at Berklee College of Music last fall, on a full ride, again at age 16.

When you hear Grace Kelly play, or listen to one of her arrangements or compositions, you realize that this isn’t one of those situations where a musician will get cut slack simply based on the fact that they are young. Kelly needs no slack to be cut for her, and the attention that she has received and will continue to receive is more than worthy. Her performances and compositions are frighteningly mature and well designed. In fact, the only way you are even aware that the player is a 16 year old is if you are told that.

What is more surprising is that Grace isn’t someone who had a sax shoved in her hands at age two. She, like many of us, took piano lessons as a young kid. She also followed the typical chronological time line that most kids do in school, not really playing the sax until she was ten. Two years later, she was impressing the likes of Ann Hampton Callaway and Victor Lewis.

I am not someone who throws around the word “prodigy”, but there is not much way to avoid associating that word with Grace Kelly. To imagine what she has accomplished in six years is hard enough to believe. To actually hear it is even more unbelievable.

Grace Kelly’s fifth album is now available, titled Mood Changes. Watch Grace play Setting The Bar with Russell Malone below.