jazz

Concord Original Jazz announces six new reissues

Concord Music Group will release six new titles in the Original Jazz Classics Remasters series on June 14, 2011. Enhanced by 24-bit remastering by Joe Tarantino, generous helpings of bonus tracks (many of them previously unreleased), and new liner notes that provide historical and technical context, the series showcases some of the most pivotal recordings of the past several decades by artists whose influences on the jazz tradition is beyond measure.

The six new titles in the series are:

  • Chet Baker: In New York
  • Ornette Coleman: Something Else!!!
  • Thelonious Monk: Thelonious Alone in San Francisco
  • Cannonball Adderley with Bill Evans: Know What I Mean?
  • Bill Evans Trio: Explorations
  • Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass: Easy Living


“These six releases bring us to 20 titles altogether since the launch of the series in March 2010,” says Nick Phillips, Vice President of Catalog and Jazz A&R at Concord Music Group and producer of the series. “Each occupies an important place in any quality jazz collection.”

Chet Baker: In New York

Recorded in September 1958 for Riverside, Chet Baker’s In New York features saxophonist Johnny Griffin, pianist Al Haig, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Philly Joe Jones. In addition to the half-dozen tracks from the original album, the reissue includes a bonus seventh track — “Soft Winds,” a blues composition written by Benny Goodman and Fletcher Henderson.

The recording provides a glimpse of the trumpeter “coming off a run of popularity, critical praise, and commercial success the likes of which few musicians have known,” according to the new liner notes by Doug Ramsey. By the late ’50s, Baker had won numerous awards throughout the decade for his instrumental work, and was even regarded as a romantic idol for his singing.

“Baker had been somewhat pigeonholed as a West Coast cool jazz artist,“ says Phillips, “but this recording illustrates that he was right at home playing with New York musicians — who dealt with their own stereotype of being harder edged and more aggressive. On this recording, they all seem to meet effortlessly somewhere in the middle.”

Of the ongoing tug-of-war between Baker’s artistic successes and his personal battles with substance abuse, Ramsey adds: “It will be a long time before Chet’s struggles with his demon are forgotten, but one day when the headlines have finally disappeared, the beauty of his music will still be shimmering in the air.”

Ornette Coleman: Something Else!!!

Recorded at Contemporary’s studios in Los Angeles in February and March 1958, Ornette Coleman’s Something Else!!! features Don Cherry on pocket trumpet, Walter Norris on piano, Don Payne on bass, and Billy Higgins on drums. The first of two albums that Coleman recorded for Contemporary, Something Else!!! marks the saxophonist’s debut as a leader. “He was a very influential but at times controversial artist,” says Phillips. “Right out of the gate he was doing something that was just so different from what people were used to hearing,” says Phillips.  ”Although structurally-speaking, the music in this recording is based on established song forms, you can hear very clearly that Coleman is starting to break free of the limitations of conventional harmony.”

Neil Tesser writes in his new liner notes that Coleman traced jazz back to its roots to rid the music of its increasingly elaborate harmonic structures and other constraints. “Without the limitations imposed by such harmonic patterns, his band would freely travel into, out of, and between musical keys,” says Tesser. “As Ornette said in the original notes, ‘I think one day music will be a lot freer. The pattern for a tune, for instance, will be forgotten and the tune itself will be the pattern . . .’ When he recorded Something Else!!! that day was still a little ways off. In these performances, you hear him in the last throes of unshackling the past.”

Thelonious Monk: Thelonious Alone in San Francisco

Recorded on Riverside in October 1959, Thelonious Alone in San Francisco was a sequel of sorts to Thelonious Himself, recorded two years earlier. In addition to the album’s 10 original tracks, the reissue includes an alternate take of “There’s Danger in Your Eyes, Cherie.”

“With Thelonious Alone in San Francisco, Monk proved that his earlier success as a solo artist was not a fluke,” says Tesser in his liner notes for the reissue. “And in rejecting all the ‘rules’  for playing without accompaniment — as he’d rejected so many rules before — Monk expanded the entire concept of the solo piano idiom. Without Monk’s recordings as bedrock, it’s hard to imagine similarly intimate (though otherwise quite different) solo albums that would eventually come from Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea or even McCoy Tyner.”

For as unique as Monk’s style was, “he stayed pretty consistently within that style throughout the remainder of his career,” says Phillips. “That’s not to imply that there was any lack of creativity on his part. Within the unique style that he established, there was so much to explore and develop. But he still sounds unmistakably like Thelonious Monk, no matter what chapter of his career you listen to.”

Cannonball Adderley with Bill Evans: Know What I Mean?

Know What I Mean? was recorded between January and March 1961, with bassist Percy Heath and drummer Connie Kay supporting the saxophonist and pianist. The reissue includes three bonus tracks that are alternate takes of “Who Cares?,” “Toy” (previously unreleased), and “Know What I Mean?”.

“This album takes two artists who were part of the legendary, historic 1958 Miles Davis Sextet and pairs them together,” says Phillips. “The modal approach that Evans was pioneering in the context of that 1958 group reveals itself in some of the material that he and Cannonball are playing on this album.”

Orrin Keepnews, who produced the original recording sessions, writes in his new liner notes for this OJC Remasters reissue, “One of the many advantages of working with a man like Julian Adderley was that he was totally stubborn about pursuing an idea he believed in. And, quite simply, he thoroughly believed in the validity of an album based on his moving very much in a Bill Evans–influenced direction.

In his liner notes to the original recording, Joe Goldberg observes that while not all of the selections are ballads, an “aura of relaxation” permeates the recording. “In this instance it can be recognized as simply a matter of four highly skilled artists away from their usual tasks and delighting in one another’s musical company,” he says. “Nothing more really need be said about the results of their meeting than that the feeling of delight comes through.”

Bill Evans Trio: Explorations

Recorded in New York in February 1961 for Riverside, Explorations was the last album this version of the Evans trio would make in a recording studio. Bassist Scott LaFaro and drummer Paul Motian also appear on Sunday at the Village Vanguard and Waltz for Debby — both live recordings, released later in 1961 — but LaFaro died in a car accident shortly after the live sessions. This reissue features four bonus tracks, including previously unreleased alternate takes of “How Deep Is the Ocean?” and “I Wish I Knew.”

“Evans’ sound and approach was his own by ’61,” says Ashley Kahn in his new liner notes. “His piano style had fully matured, as had the interplay of the trio . . . Upon entering Bell Sound’s studio on February 2, 1961, producer Orrin Keepnews immediately noted the three had ‘made giant strides towards the goal of becoming a three-voice unit rather than a piano player and his accompanists.’”

What’s more, the disparity of styles between the unreleased alternate takes and their counterparts that made the final cut on the original record “illustrates that jazz masters like these are real improvisers,” says Phillips, “and no two takes are ever going to sound the same — because no two moments in jazz are ever the same.”

Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass: Easy Living

Recorded in Los Angeles in 1983 and 1986, Easy Living was one of a series of Ella Fitzgerald–Joe Pass collaborations on Pablo throughout the ’80s. In addition to the original album’s 15 tracks, the reissue also includes two previously unreleased bonus tracks — alternate takes of “Don’t Be that Way” and “Love for Sale.”

Easy Living and the other collaborations between these two veterans “worked on many levels,” says Tad Hershorn in his liner notes for the reissue. “As her voice aged and deepened, Fitzgerald discovered partial remedies in her phrasing, choices of keys and the pleasing maturity that now enveloped her still youthful voice. Pass was the perfect foil to display her diminishing resources to their best and most emotive advantage. Ella was known to incessantly toy with songs in her restless artistic striving, so one can perceive the music she made with Pass as a direct extension of her creative method. The leanness of their music underscores that even this late in her career, Ella Fitzgerald retained her bonafides as a singer for whom words did matter: not every song was merely a vehicle for her to bat notes out of the park. The allure was in the quiet majestic intimacy that focused an audience’s attention on full absorption of the musings of joy, wistfulness, and melody.”

The level of confidence with which each of these two musicians performs on this recording is hard to miss.  “The fact that Ella could walk into the studio with a bunch of lead sheets,” says Phillips, “and they could do a little rehearsal on the spot, figure out the best key for her, and he could just play it in any key behind her — all of that takes some phenomenal musicianship . . . They have a very conversational, relaxed sensibility about them, and both musicians seem very much at ease performing together and recording together in the studio.”

Legendary Pianist Steve Kuhn at the Triad - NYC

This Friday, May 27th, New York's acclaimed Triad Theatre on the upper west side presents a special jazz concert, featuring a solo performance by pianist Steve Kuhn and a performance by Saxophonist Daniel Bennett and his band.  Steve Kuhn will perform selections from his critically acclaimed album, "Mostly Coltrane" on the ECM label.  The Daniel Bennett Group will perform selections from their newest album, "Peace and Stability Among Bears."  Advance discounted tickets are available for purchase at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/171424.  Tickets are available at the door for $25.  The concert starts at 9:30pm and is an all-ages event. The Triad is located on the upper west side, at 158 West 72nd Street.

Legendary pianist Steve Kuhn has established himself as one of the preeminent voices in the jazz world. Kuhn began his illustrious career performing as a sideman with the likes of Stan Getz, John Coltrane, and Art Farmer.  At the end of the 1960's he spent four years living in Europe. Upon returning to the United States, Kuhn began his long-term affiliation with the revolutionary record label ECM.  This resulted in a string of important albums including Trance, Ecstasy, Non-Fiction,and important collaborations with Sheila Jordan.  In the mid-80's, Kuhn co-founded the popular 'All Star Trio', with bassist Ron Carter and drummer Al Foster. Kuhn also launched a revolving edition of his trio with bassist David Finck and various drummers, like Joey Baron, Lewis Nash, Billy Drummond, Kenny Washington and Bill Stewart. Steve Kuhn has released over 20 critically acclaimed albums on the Blue Note, Concord, and ECM labels. Kuhn continues to tour extensively throughout the world, with a strong following in the United States, Europe and Japan.

Critically acclaimed New York saxophonist Daniel Bennett has recently shared concert stages with artists like Bill Frisell, Charlie Hunter, James Carter, Billy Martin (Medeski, Martin & Wood), Jerry Bergonzi, and David Fiuczynski.  The Boston Herald described Daniel Bennett’s music as, “exploratory folk-jazz.” Bennett’s musical journey began as a graduate student at the prestigious New England Conservatory in Boston, Massachusetts.  During this time, Bennett began to compose songs that featured folk melodies played on the saxophone in a jazz quartet format.  Bennett's chord progressions also maintained a unique minimalist quality, influenced by composers like Steve Reich and Philip Glass. The Boston Phoenix described Bennett's style as, "an unusual folk-minimalist approach."  The music was innovative, yet remarkably accessible to a broad spectrum of listeners. The Boston Globe described Bennett’s music as “a mix of jazz, folk, and trance.”  The Daniel Bennett Group has released four albums on the Bennett Alliance label, A Nation of Bears, The Legend of Bear Thompson, Live at the Theatre, and Peace and Stability Among Bears.  Daniel Bennett’s "Folk Jazz" music has found a broad fan base that is unusual for a modern jazz outfit. Insite Magazine called Daniel Bennett’s music, “refreshingly capricious and trippy."

The world-renowned Triad Theatre has hosted performances by entertainers like Slash, Joan Osborne, Lisa Loeb, Paula Cole, Susan Lucci, Buddy Miles, Ravi Coltrane, Debbie Gibson, David Crosby, George Benson, Max Weinberg, John Entwistle, Tracey Morgan, Kathie Lee Gifford, Matthew Broderick, Rachel Dratch, and Steve Gutenberg. The Triad was the original home for Off-Broadway hits like "Forever Plaid," "Forbidden Broadway," and "Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know."

-

Friday, May 27th

Triad Theatre

158 West 72nd St, New York, NY

Purchase Tickets HERE!

New Jersey 2011 Jazz Society Jazzfest

Each year since 1976, the New Jersey Jazz Society has presented Jazzfest, one of the best mainstream jazz festivals in the entire metropolitan area.  This year is no exception as this popular jazz festival presents nine hours of great music in the air conditioned comfort of two concert halls plus outdoor entertainment, a food court and vendors selling everything from hard-to-find CDs to crafts and interesting merchandise. Jazzfest will take place on the campus of the College of Saint Elizabeth in Morristown, New Jersey on Saturday, June 11th from Noon to 9:00 p.m.

The afternoon lineup includes:

· The Winard Harper Sextet with special guest Phillip Harper and a rare reunion of the renowned Harper Brothers.

· The always entertaining Jay Leonhart joined by Harry Allen on saxophone and Joe Cohn on guitar.

· The swinging sounds of the Jazz Lobsters Big Band featuring Carrie Jackson on vocals and Larry McKenna on Tenor Sax.

· And the ever popular Ken Peplowski Quartet.

In the food court, the trad sounds of Emily Asher’s Garden Party will fill the air and the virtuoso trombonist will be joined by Dan Levinson on reeds, Bria Skonberg on Trumpet, Jared Engel on Banjo and John Phillip on Sousaphone.

The evening concert kicks off at 6:00 p.m. with the exciting vocals and guitar of Allan Harris and his Quartet followed by the critically acclaimed Ellington Legacy Band under the leadership of Edward Kennedy Ellington II. The Legacy Band also includes Norman Simmons on piano and Virginia Mayhew on Tenor Saxophone. Also at the evening concert, the New Jersey Jazz Society will honor Mayor Mary Anna Holden of Madison, and Jon Brauer and Anthony Ferrara of Toyota of Morristown.

Most of the music takes place in two venues, Dolan Hall in the Annunciation Center and the Octagon Theatre right next door. As an extra bonus, there will be a variety of vendors offering a wide selection of food, hard to find records, jazz CDs, art and crafts of all kinds. Admission to the craft and food court is free.

Jazzfest is made possible through the generous support of Toyota of Morristown, RXR Realty, the Star-Ledger, WBGO Jazz99FM, Hot House Magazine, Songbirds Agency, Hullarious Productions and the Madison Arts and Culture Alliance.


SPECIAL ROOM RATE FOR JAZZFEST ATTENDEES

The Best Western Morristown Inn is the official festival hotel and offers a special discount room rate for attendees of the festival. The Morristown Inn is located just two miles from the College. For reservations, call 973-540-1700.

ORDER TICKETS BY JUNE 9 FOR SAVINGS

The College of Saint Elizabeth is on Route 124 (36 Madison Avenue) just a couple miles east of Route 287 in Morris Township, New Jersey. Tickets for Jazzfest are only $55.00 in advance, and $70.00 at the gate. New Jersey Jazz Society members enjoy a special rate available through the website. Full time students with valid ID are only $10.00 at the gate. Parking is free and train travel is easy with a station right at the college gate.  The gates open at 11:30 a.m. and the music begins at noon. For more information on tickets and directions visit the New Jersey Jazz Society website (www.njjs.org) or call the NJJS Hotline at 800-303-NJJS (6557).

'Definitive Chick Corea' Reissue on Concord

Since his earliest recordings in the 1960s, pianist, keyboardist, and composer Chick Corea has consistently taken the creative process to a level that transcends conventional musical doctrines. After spending his formative years with artists as diverse as Miles Davis, Herbie Mann, Stan Getz, and Sarah Vaughan, Corea helped redefine the boundaries of jazz as a founding member of the acclaimed Return To Forever, one of the most innovative and daring jazz fusion collectives of the last half-century. In more recent decades, as the leader of numerous projects that have explored various aspects of the musical landscape, he continues to be an influential force in modern jazz.

In celebration of Corea’s 70th birthday this summer, Concord Music Group provides a look back at three decades’ worth of brilliant recordings in The Definitive Chick Corea on Stretch and Concord. The sweeping two-disc collection — the latest in CMG’s ongoing Definitive series — begins with some of Corea’s best sessions with Stretch in the early 1980s and follows him through the end of the century to his work on Concord up to 2009. The Definitive Chick Corea on Stretch and Concord is set for release on June 7, 2011, just days ahead of the artist’s 70th birthday on June 12.

The collection is being released simultaneously with Forever, a new two-disc electric/acoustic set that Corea recorded live with Return To Forever bandmates Stanley Clarke and Lenny White — along with, on disc two, a few high-profile guests (Chaka Khan, Jean-Luc Ponty, and Bill Connors) — during a world tour in 2009. A previously unreleased version of Corea’s well-known “La Fiesta,” captured during this tour, is the closing track on The Definitive Chick Corea.

Even a quick glance at the range of material in this collection — 21 tracks in all — provides an impressive perspective on the breadth and depth of Corea’s imagination, according to veteran music journalist Don Heckman, who wrote the liner notes for the set.
“Start with the all-star collectives of the early ’80s that find him in the company of such jazz stalwarts as Michael Brecker, Joe Henderson, Roy Haynes, Lee Konitz, and Gary Peacock, to name only a few,” says Heckman. “Add the musical encounters with old friend and frequent collaborator Gary Burton, the first Origin tracks and a glimpse of Chick’s insightful approach to standards. And, in the 2000s, more unusual musical encounters, this time with Bobby McFerrin, Béla Fleck, Hiromi, John McLaughlin, and again Burton, as well as the Elektric and Akoustic Bands.”
As to the divine nature of the creative process, Heckman recalls a quote from Corea himself about the higher channel that every artist eventually dials into: “Your tastes can change from day to day,” says Corea. “But the whole point of being an artist, with my groups, has always been spirituality, art as spirit. That’s our message, and translated into human rights terms, it’s freedom of expression. Freedom of thought, which is actually broader than freedom of religion . . . Freedom to think as you will. Which means freedom to pray, practice your own religion, play what music you want, say what opinions you have, communicate as you want. And that’s our premise.”
The music within The Definitive Chick Corea on Stretch and Concord exemplifies Corea’s unwillingness to be restricted by artificial boundaries, says Nick Phillips, Concord Music Group’s Vice President of Catalog and Jazz A&R and co-producer — in collaboration with Corea — of this collection. “One of the many amazing things about Chick is just how restlessly creative he is — not only as an instrumentalist, but also as a composer,” says Phillips. “He’s a true artist who’s not driven by fickle trends, or some conventional norm about the way a jazz tune should be written or played. He’s driven purely by his own boundless creativity, and he has demonstrated that throughout his career. That’s what shines through on these tracks and that’s why each one is timeless.”
Heckman sums up the release as “a three-decade, double-disc album of selected musical scenes from a richly creative life. An album guaranteed to appeal to Chick’s dedicated fans, as well as the lucky listeners who will be experiencing the pleasures of first discovery.”
--
TRACK LIST:

Disc 1

Tap Step
Quartet No. 1
Folk Song
Duende
Windows
Armando’s Rhumba
Bud Powell
Dreamless
Wigwam
Spain
It Could Happen To You
Disc 2
Blue Monk
Bessie’s Blues
Johnny’s Landing
North Africa
The Fool on the Hill
Señorita
Crystal Silence
The Disguise
La Fiesta [previously unreleased]
Fingerprints

Lapis Luna Vintage Jazz & Classic Swing Music

Lapis Luna brings you the captivating jazz of the 1930s, '40s, and '50s with a classic glittering sound. Standards, enchanting ballads, obscure swing-era gems, and vintage melodies the way they were meant to be heard: vibrant, fun, romantic, and cool.

The Lapis Luna Quartet is in an open run on Thursday evenings from 9pm to Midnight in the Plaza Hotel's Rose Club on Fifth Avenue at Central Park South. There is no cover, but there are marvelous drinks and champagne — of course!

The band is Shawn Aileen Clark on vocals, John Merrill on guitar, Chris Pistorino on bass, and Brian Floody on drums and percussion.

New York Magazine has identified Lapis Luna as an 'Ultimate New York City Wedding' band choice for four years running, and accordingly they were the wedding band for Christina Hendricks (Mad Men) and Geoffrey Arrend's (500 Days of Summer) nuptial celebration. Lapis Luna has also recently been featured as the swing band in the ad campaign for Kate Spade's new fragrance 'Twirl.'

In addition to their open engagement at the historic Plaza Hotel, Lapis Luna has other exciting performances in the city this spring, including:

Friday, May 20, 2011, 7:30pm to 9:30pm with the Lapis Luna Six. Smalls, 183 W. 10 Street at Seventh Avenue. A concert at one of the best jazz clubs in New York City. $20 at the door. Begin your evening in the sweetest, swinging way.

For more information on Lapis Luna, including full schedule, song list, and videos, please go to www.lapisluna.com or their Facebook page.

Dimitri Vassilakis At The ZInc Bar "Across The Universe" album launch

Dimitri Vassilakis sings and plays songs from the Beatles, Doors, Nina Simone and Chet Baker repertoire, to celebrate Candid Records 50th anniversary!

Original arrangements recorded in New York with a large ensemble; a cosmopolitan line up of top international jazzmen from all continents. Special guests include the west coast r&b power vocals of Kamaria Ousley & the warm and sensual voice of UK’s vocal diva Juliet Kelly.

Dimitrios Vassilakis (soprano & tenor saxophones and lead vocals Theo Hill (piano), Essiet Okon Essiet (bass), Sylvia Cuenca (drums), Kamaria Ousley & Juliet Kelly (lead/backing vocals), Christos Rafalides (vibraphone), George Kontrafouris (hammond), Kostis Christodoulou (keyboards), Rex Richardson (trumpets), Adonis Andreou (trombones) and Enrique "Kiki" Bu (percussion).

-

Monday June 6th 9-11pm
The Zinc Bar
82 West 3rd Street (btw Thompson & Sullivan) Greenwich Village 212-477-ZINC (9462)

-

The Mahavishnu Project presents THE COMPLETE "VISIONS OF THE EMERALD BEYOND"

The Mahavishnu Project is the only jazz repertory ensemble of its kind to receive the endorsement of guitarist/composer John McLaughlin and ALL of the original members of The Mahavishu Orchestra. In fact, keyboardist Jan Hammer hired MahaProj to be his band for the night at MoogFest 2006 in NYC- his only US appearance in over 15 years.

The Mahavishnu Project typically presents "complete album evenings" such as "The Complete Birds of Fire" or "The Complete Inner Mounting Flame." Of late the band is presenting a 35th anniversary concert of Mahavishnu's "Visions of the Emerald Beyond", known to fans and historians alike as the pinnacle of the 1970's jazz fusion movement - boldly combining elements of jazz, rock, classical, Indian music and free-form sonic exploration. In 2008, The Mahavishnu Project released "Return to the Emerald Beyond" on Cuneiform Records. It is a reverent re-imagining of the entire original Emerald Beyond music from start to finish and includes encores from "Birds of Fire" and "Inner Mounting Flame."

“Just a little note of appreciation for what you are bringing back to life. This musical period was the beginning of finding my own way in music, and to hear you guys playing those tunes in such an unbelievable way is quite amazing. Great job!! Keep up the good work.” -John McLaughlin

JESSE GRESS with members of the Mahavishnu Project will be performing the music of Jeff Beck and Jan Hammer.

-

The Mahavishnu Project presents THE COMPLETE "VISIONS OF THE EMERALD BEYOND"

Opening Act Jesse Gress

Tonight's opening act, JESSE GRESS with members of the Mahavishnu Project will perform the music of Jeff Beck and Jan Hammer.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Doors: 8:00 pm

Show: 9:00 pm

Tickets: $20 General Admission

National Jazz Museum in Harlem May 16 - May 22, 2011

Upcoming events at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem for this week include:

--

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Jazz for Curious Listeners

Tito Puente Month: Presented by Joe Conzo and special guests

7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

The Jazz Years

The 60’s saw Puente fully immersed in his passion to combine Jazz and Latin music. A passion thatwas fueled by his mentors Machito and “Hall of Famer” Mario Bauza. It had been his belief that this “marriage” could become a powerful force in music, thereby enhancing the musical experience of the listener and dancer.

He teamed up with bandleader and trombonist Buddy Morrow and began a series of recording sessions where both of them performed with two full and completely different orchestras. The project culminated in the LP recording “Revolving Bandstand” under the RCA label.

With this recording, Latin Jazz received a shot in the arm. It would have a direct affect on some of the younger musicians that would be making a name for themselves in the years to come, notably, Ray Barretto, who first played with Puente in “Dance Mania” and also recorded on the “Revolving Bandstand” sessions.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Harlem Speaks

Bennie Wallace, Saxophonist

6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Tenor saxophonist Bennie Wallace made waves throughout the jazz world in the late 1970's with his debut recording, The Fourteen Bar Blues. Thereafter, with an unflagging respect and affection for classic jazz, he repeatedly represented his own progressive take on the music. His talent for composing and arranging music attracted the attention of Hollywood moviemakers in the late 1980's, which led him to spend nearly a decade in California composing and directing film soundtracks. Wallace's music has developed a more lyrical sense, yet his rhythms retained an authentic style that belonged uniquely to Wallace, according to critics. Winner of Germany's Deutscher Schallplattenpreis, the jazz Grammy equivalent, and a five-time winner of the Down Beat magazine award for Talent Deserving Wider Recognition, the full impact of Wallace's talent remained yet to unfold into the new century.

Born Bennie Lee Wallace Jr. on November 18, 1946, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Wallace began playing clarinet in his youth from the age of 12 when a music teacher at his school started a jazz band and taught the group about great jazz musicians like Count Basie, Charlie Parker, and Miles Davis. Later, Wallace played in the high school band and added tenor saxophone to his teenage repertoire. Despite his youth, he learned his way around the after-hour jazz clubs even while he was still in high school in Chattanooga. During his late-night excursions, Wallace participated in jam sessions, playing bebop and blues most frequently. He went on to study music at the University of Tennessee and received a bachelor's degree in clarinet studies in 1968. After college during the mid 1970's, he did some composing for a German radio orchestra although his first love was jazz saxophone. Even during a stint in Hollywood during the late 1980s and into the 1990's, Wallace maintai ned to interviewer Zan Stewart of the Los Angeles Times that his horn remained the focal point of his music and of his life.

After his arrival in New York from Tennessee, Wallace spent 1973 studying the old jazz masters and their music to discover the essence of each, focusing heavily on Johnny Hodges and Coleman Hawkins. Yet despite his in-depth study of historical jazz, Wallace disliked repertory bands and eschewed revivalist groups equally. He remained committed to personal definition in everything that he performed. It became evident that Wallace moved in a direction different from the bandwagon that typified so many of his contemporaries, with his styles rooted more closely in the work of Coleman Hawkins than with John Coltrane. In 1985, Wallace signed with Blue Note Records. His debut album for that label, entitled Twilight Time, remained a favorite for many years

In 1991, in an unanticipated career shift, Wallace moved his residence to Pacific Palisades in Southern California to be near the Hollywood film industry as he became involved in composing for films. The opportunity came as a result of his 1985 Blue Note release, Twilight Time, which caught the ear of filmmaker Ron Shelton. Shelton requested that Wallace contribute to the soundtrack for the late-1980's film Bull Durham. Wallace obliged with "Love Ain't No Triple Play," written expressly for that movie. Also heard on the Bull Durham soundtrack was a reprise of Wallace's arrangement of "Try a Little Tenderness." Wallace went on to score the movie Blaze and served as musical director the film White Men Can't Jump.

During this time, Wallace worked extensively with pianist Tommy Flanagan in creating film music. Additionally, Wallace worked behind the scenes as a docent of pianist Jimmy Rowles after Wallace, having settled in California, contacted Rowles completely without introduction. Regardless, a comfortable relationship bloomed between the two, as Rowles mentored Wallace not only in the mechanics of playing the piano, but also in the fine points of harmony. In 1993, Wallace released The Old Songs, an album which represented a culmination of the wisdom and inspiration that he derived from Rowles. He’s now back on the East Coast, living with his wife in Connecticut.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Harlem in the Himalayas

Colin Vallon Trio

7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door | 
For tickets: RMA Box Office or call 212-620-5000 ext. 344

Colin Vallon, piano
Patrice Moret, double-bass
Samuel Rohrer, drums

Get an insight into the international sounds of cutting edge jazz with the music of this band, which belongs among the most remarkable and fascinating which the Swiss scene has to offer. The 29-year-old Colin Vallon has everything an extraordinary musician needs: brilliant technique, personal expression, a sense for perfect timing and a very individual, musical language which he creates through the unusual sounds from his prepared piano. Together with bassist Patrice Moret and drummer Samuel Rohrer, he has developed an exciting multiple stylistics based on modern jazz, but from which it steps out into all directions possible. The trio lives out its dramaturgically excellent compositions in sensitive interplay.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Saturday Panels
A Tito Puente Celebration
12:00 – 4:00pm

Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Join us for an afternoon with the music of the King of Timbales, Tito Puente.

El Rey de Timbales. Tito Puente more than earned first place among modern Latin jazz musicians, working continuously from 1937 to 2000, recording over 100 albums.

Puente started his professional career as a drummer in Noro Morales’ orchestra. He played briefly with Machito’s Afro-Cubans before being drafted into the U.S. Navy, where he played in a band led by famed swing band leader, Charlie Barnet. After his discharge, Puente took advantage of the G.I. Bill to study at the Juilliard School of Music, while working with a variety of Latin bands in New York.

Puente quickly became known as a sizzling arranger. Promoter Federico Pagani hired Puente after hearing him jamming with a group of players from Pupi Campo's band, and dubbed them the Picadilly Boys. Puente subsequently moved to Tico Records and changed the group's name to Tito Puente and his Orchestra. Through numerous changes in labels and musicians, Puente has been in front of his group ever since.

Puente's fame skyrocketed when promoter Max Hyman bought the Palladium dance hall and opened it as a nightclub just as the craze for dancing the mambo and cha-cha hit in the early 1950's. He recalled nearly 50 years later:

“It was the explosion of dance. Remember, the Palladium was a big dance hall. I've always maintained that without a dance the music cannot be popular. People became aware of a new dance--the Mambo--it was ‘in’ to learn to dance the Mambo no matter what part of society you came from. And so here was a place, the Palladium, where everybody could come to dance or learn the Mambo. Dance studios sent their students to the Palladium, where they could learn and see great dancers—ballet stars, Broadway stars, expert Mambo dancers—all in one place. And I geared my music to these dancers.”

Puente rode the wave on Tico, then switched to RCA for what some consider his best albums, including Top Percussion, Dance Mania, his top-seller, and Mucho Puente. In the early 1960's, he moved from cha-chas and mambos to the new pachanga style and rejoined Tico to record Pachanga Con Puente. His 1962 descarga (Latin jam) album, El Rey Bravo debuted Puente's composition, "Oye Como Va," which later became a huge pop hit for Carlos Santana. "Every time he plays 'Oye Como Va,' I get a nice royalty check," Puente said.

Puente suffered through the boogaloo craze ("Boogaloo meant nothing to me. It stunk.") and carried on into the rise of salsa in the early 1970's. He recorded several albums in collaboration with Celia Cruz, the "Queen of Salsa." In the early 1980's, he moved into more traditional Latin jazz for the Concord label, earning a Grammy award for Tito Puente and His Latin Ensemble on Broadway. Although he was criticized for leaning on a clichéd style in his performances and material, Puente rallied again in 1991 to capitalize on the popularity of Oscar Hijuelos' novel, The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love with the album, The Mambo King: 100th Album. It was actually something like his 112th, but who was counting at that point? Ever a trend-rider, Puente made his prime-time television debut in 1995 on an episode of "The Simpsons."

In 1997 Puente recorded 50 Years of Swing, a compilation of hits that celebrate his fifty years in the Latin music industry, and in 1999, he won his fifth Grammy for Best Latin Performance for his CD, Mambo Birdland. In the late 1990's, he was designated as a "Legend" by the Hispanic Hall of Fame, inducted to the Jazz Hall of Fame, received a star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood, and received a Smithsonian Lifetime Achievement award. He suffered a heart attack soon after his last public appearance, in April 2000, with the Puerto Rico Symphonic Orchestra at the "Centro de Bellas Artes" in Puerto Rico.

Legendary Benny Golson at Trumpets Sunday 5/15/11

Benny Golson will perform two sets with special guest Vitali Imereli on Violin, Matt King on Piano, Eliot Zigmund on Drums and Rick Crane on Bass.

Benny Golson has not played around NY for at least 10 years. This exclusive engagement in the area is therefore particularly significant.

The legendary saxophonist had taken Vitali under his wing after hearing him play in a festival in Israel. Convinced, as he is that Vitali is the greastest jazz violinist who ever lived , he has encouraged him to pursue his international career with more ambition and determination.

When Benny suggested they do something together, Vitali asked his old friend Enrico Granafei to set something up at Trumpets.

Vitali met Harmonica/Guitar player Enrico Granafei at the Pori Jazz festival in Finland where both artists were performing, and since then they have been working together quite often.

Multitalented and internationally famous jazz legend, - a composer, arranger, lyricist, producer - and tenor saxophonist of world note, Benny Golson was born in Philadelphia, PA on January 25, 1929.

Raised with an impeccable musical pedigree, Golson has played in the bands of world famous Benny Goodman, Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Earl Bostic and Art Blakey.

Few jazz musicians can claim to be true innovators and even fewer can boast of a performing and recording career that literally redefines the term "jazz". Benny Golson has made major contributions to the world of jazz with such jazz standards as:

Killer Joe, I Remember Clifford, Along Came Betty, Stablemates

Whisper Not, Blues March, Five Spot After Dark, Are you Real?

Benny Golson is the only living jazz artist to have written 8 standards for jazz repertoire. These jazz standards have found their way into countless recordings internationally over the years and are still being recorded.

He has recorded over 30 albums for many recording companies in the United States and Europe under his own name and innumerable ones with other major artists. A prodigious writer, Golson has written well over 300 compositions.

Born In Kutaisi, Georgia, Vitali Imereli bega playing violin aa a talented five year- old at a music school, later completing his education in 1979 at the National Music Academy in Tblisi. During tht period 1079-85,Vitali acted as teacher at the Tblisi College of Music. From 1978 1881, he participated in a variety of jazz festivals in several locations from Georgia through Russia and Europe in general.

In 1992 Vitali moved to Finland. Performances then ranged from Sweden to Germany and various parts of Finland with TV appearances andradio programs following.

Vitali has played at the internationally renowned Pori jazz festival every year since 1991, as well as other important festivals in Finland. May 1996 saw the release of his new album “ Tribute to Stephane Grappelli”

Vitali also performed with the Rosenberg Trio at the North Sea Jazz festival, and with many other important musicians like Jack Hana, Art Blakey, Michael Urbaniak, Ulf Johansson, Bob Gulloti , Gypsy kids, Daniel Walsh, Carlos Del Puerto, Didier Lockwood, Enrico Granafei, Stanley Jordan,Benny Golson etc

“Vitali Imereli masters the Grappelli sound to the extent that even the Maestro himself couldn’t tell who was playing. This Gerorgian born violinist masters the modern style as well”

--

Legendary Benny Golson at Trumpets!

An exceptional concert will take place at Trumpets on Sunday  May 15.

Tickets are $40 in pre-sale and  $45 at the door. Two sets at 8:00 & 10:00 pm

Trumpets Jazz Club , 6 Depot Square, Montclair, NJ 07042. Phone 973-744-2600

http://www.trumpetsjazz.com/

Viennese Prog-Jazz Band to Battle Gloom in NYC

On Wednesday, May 4, at 7:30 PM, the up-and-coming Viennese progressive jazz quartet Kompost 3 will present their self-titled debut album to a New York audience. Trumpet, e-piano, drums, bass, and subtle electronics provide the sonic groundwork for this young and funky instrumental jazz band. Despite their young age, the members of Kompost 3, Martin Eberle, Benny Omerzell, Lukas König, and Manu Mayr, have already played with a wide variety of renowned artists, including Soap&Skin, Wolfgang Mitterer, and Wolfgang Puschnig.

Founded in 2009, the band calls Vienna’s third district its home, a residential area for workers interspersed with masterpieces of aristocratic architecture. The days of 18th century imperialism are long gone, and the dreary reality of working life has settled into the third district. Detecting 21st century signs of muck and rot, the band takes its energy from this wholly Viennese air of decay to create music that is fresh and invigorating, much like a compost pile produces fertilizer – hence the name, Kompost 3.

Martin Eberle, born 1981, plays trumpet and flugelhorn, studies classical trumpet at the Feldkirch Konservatorium and jazz trumpet at the Hochschule der Künste Bern/Swiss Jazz School Bern. Benny Omerzell, born 1984, plays Fender Rhodes electric piano and red instruments and currently studies at the Jazzhochschule Graz. Manu Mayr, born 1989, plays electric bass and double bass and studies at the Konservatorium Wien Privatuniversität and the Bruckneruniversität Linz. Rounding off the distinctive sound of Kompost 3 with drums and electronics, Lukas König, born 1988, studies at the Bruckneruniversität Linz and the Gustav Mahler Konservatorium in Vienna.

The concert takes place at the auditorium of the ACFNY at 11 East 52nd Street (between Fifth and Madison). Admission is free, but reservations are required. Check or call 212 319 5300 ext. 222.