jazz

Eddie Floyd Mines R&B Roots on New Album of Southern Soul

Eddie Floyd- for the Grateful Web

Soul man Eddie Floyd's first new album in six years, titled Eddie Loves You So, marks his return to the Stax Records logo. The singer who scored a monster soul classic with "Knock on Wood" in 1967 has returned to his Southern roots for the new CD. Included are 10 original songs written for fellow soul artists in the '50s and '60s. Some date back to Floyd's years with the seminal proto-soul group The Falcons; others are some previously unheard gems. The new CD hits the streets on July 29, 2008 on Stax Records through the Concord Music Group.
 
Eddie Loves You So was produced by the Boston team of Michael Dinallo (known for his work with the Radio Kings and Barrence Whitfield) and Ducky Carlisle (who's worked with Susan Tedeschi, Buddy Guy and Graham Parker).
 
The album, while newly recorded, takes the listener back to the R&B origins of the Montgomery, Ala.-born Floyd. He was a member of The Falcons in the late '50s, which also featured Joe Stubbs, later of the Contours and 100 Proof Aged in Soul. From that era, Floyd has re-recorded "You're So Fine," the group's breakthrough 1959 hit, plus "Never Get Enough of Your Love," which he recorded on Al Bell's Safice Records between his Falcons and Stax years. There's also a previously unreleased Falcons song, "Since You've Been Gone," which was demoed but never recorded until now.
 
The album contains songs that Floyd wrote for other Stax artists but never recorded himself: "'Til My Back Ain't Got No Bone," a hit for William Bell and later cut by Esther Phillips; "I Will Always Have Faith In You," a #11 hit for Carla Thomas; and "You Don't Know What You Mean To Me," a co-write with Steve Cropper that label mates Sam & Dave who took to #20 on the R&B chart. All have been recorded by Floyd for the album, as was "I Don't Want to Be With Nobody But You," a Floyd song that Malaco artist Dorothy Moore recorded on her 1976 Misty Blue album.
 
The new album also contains "Consider Me," a classic Stax Eddie Floyd ballad that was an album track but never a single, plus two newer compositions: "Close to You" and "Head to Toe."

"Working with Eddie and getting to know him by making this record has been a complete joy," says co-producer Dinallo. "Eddie's energy and enthusiasm has been and continues to be incredibly inspiring. Ducky and I were floored when he started singing. The sound of his voice coming back over the speakers gave us chills and made us howl with delight. In choosing the songs for this record, it hit me that I was surveying the history of soul music by digging through Eddie's catalog of the past 50 years. With current neo-soul movement, it is only appropriate that one of the genre's most important and influential songwriter and performer steps to the front with this record."

Colorado Music Association Presents Kai Eckhardt Bass Clinic

Photo courtesy of Tsunami Publicity- for the Grateful Web

Bassist Extraordinare Kai Eckhardt, along with the Colorado Music Association, will be hosting a unique day long clinic in Denver with the legendary virtuoso. Known primarily for his work with jazz funksters Garaj Mahal and fusion guitarist John McLaughlin, Eckhardt has established himself as one of the premier bassists in the music industry. Creating a style melding worldly flair with scorching fretwork and exotic rhythms, Kai Eckhardt blazes a trail of originality.

For the clinic, Eckhardt's teachings will concentrate on the Konokol method. The Indian method of Konokol teaches the fundamentals of rhythm through the use of spoken syllables and hand motions, without the use of drums or other percussive devices. Also featured will by Kai's Symmetrical Approach to melody and harmony. Using this approach, Eckhardt creates an entirely new piece of music from completely random selections. Incorporating elements of the polyrhythmic matrix, he will demonstrate how this method works for rhythm.

Musicians across the musical spectrum, from drummers to vocalists to horn players, can benefit from Kai's teachings. In addition to musical growth, Eckhardt's clinics also contribute to inner development and inspiration. "It is my desire to teach people how to invent and reinvent themselves by paying close attention to the underlying principles that make us learn. During my clinic, I will be open to any sincere question and I will do my best to help the student unblock, trouble shoot, align and get inspired," says Eckhardt.

In order to facilitate the learning process, Kai Eckhardt will feature a series of graphs and illustrations, along with original compositions accompanied with lyrics and groove loops. The clinic will take place Sunday, May 18th at 10:00AM at the intersection of Colfax and Lafayette in Denver. Cost for the day long seminar is $60.00.

Colorado Music Associations presents:
Kai Eckhardt Clinic
"Rhythm, Melody and Harmony"
When: Sunday May 18th, 2008
10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Cost: $60.00 at the door
1490 Lafayette (Colfax and Lafayette)
RSVP to stevewerg@aol.com to receive a coupon for $5.00 off the admission.

Kai Eckhardt one hour LIVE performance/interview
KRFC 88.9 FM Live@Lunch
Friday, May 16, 2008
12 noon - 1 pm MST
Kai's fans around the world can listen on-line via www.krfcfm.org or locally via 88.9FM in N. CO.

Phil Ramone is the 'Genius' Behind Anticipated Winter Projects

Ella Fitzgerald- for the Grateful Web

With the success of Tony Bennett's 'Duets: An American Classic' (Columbia), 'We All Love Ella' (Verve), the corresponding PBS Special 'We Love Ella! A Tribute To The First Lady Of Song' and now the recently released memoir Making Records: The Scenes Behind the Music (Hyperion), one would think 2007 is already the year of Phil Ramone, but there's even more to come from the protean producer. The next four months bring a medley of new music productions for film, stage and CD.

*'AUGUST RUSH' WARNER BROS FILM OUT NOV 21st, 2007

Ramone produced three tracks sung by actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers for this musically narrated drama. Ramone served as the music producer for the concert prior to the films premiere featuring performances by The Berklee College of Music Orchestra and Choir, IMPACT's Charles Mack, cellist Jenn Kuhn, and guitarists Doug Smith and Christ Trapper with Berklee solo vocalists Jennifer Hirsch, and Kevin Ross and solo instrumentalists Alex Han and Alexis Grapsas.

*RUFUS WAINWRIGHT 'RUFUS DOES JUDY AT CARNEGIE HALL' OUT DEC 4TH, 2007 ON GEFFEN

Ramone helped Wainwright recreate Judy Garland's famed 1961 Carnegie Hall concert in its entirety on this two disc 27 live track set.

*ANNE MURRAY 'DUETS: FRIENDS & LEGENDS' OUT JAN 15th, 2008 ON EMI

Some of the finest female voices intermingle on this album of Murray's classic songs. Recorded in Los Angeles, Nashville and Toronto, Ramone paired Shania Twain, Martina McBride, Nelly Furtado, Isabelle Boulay, kd lang, Celtic Woman, Carole King, Olivia Newton-John, Emmylou Harris, Jann Arden, Shelby Lynne, Sarah Brightman, Celine Dion, Amy Grant, Indigo Girls, Dawn Langstroth (Anne's daughter) and a previously recorded Dusty Springfield track with Anne.

*SHELBY LYNNE 'JUST A LITTLE LOVIN'' OUT FEB 5th, 2008 ON LOST HIGHWAY

Lynne explains how she chose Ramone for this homage to country legend Dusty Springfield, "I needed someone who would understand that these songs stand the test of time, and that Dusty Springfield is timeless.... Then one afternoon [my manager] Betty mentioned the guy who would understand me. He would allow me more room in the studio, and not just being the girl singer. He would choose the right band. So, I picked up the phone and called Phil Ramone."

*2008 MUSICARES PERSON OF THE YEAR HONORING ARETHA FRANKLIN FEB 8th, 2008

Ramone is currently putting together an all-star lineup for this anticipated and prestigious annual event held in Los Angeles two days before the GRAMMY Awards. Honoring the seventeen-time GRAMMY-winning recording artists Aretha Franklin is sure to produce a regal line up.

Bonerama's New Album "Bringing It Home"

photo copyright of Bonerama- for the Grateful Web

When Bonerama struts onstage with its four-trombone frontline, you can guess it's not quite like any rock 'n' roll band you've seen.  When they tear into some vintage New Orleans funk, there's no questioning from which city these guys hail. And when those 'bones start ripping into Hendrix and Led Zeppelin licks, all stylistic bets are off.

Bonerama carries the brass-band concept to places unknown.  Hailed by Rolling Stone's David Fricke as "The ultimate in brass balls," last Fall the band served as the House Band for the live all-star comedy event COMIC RELIEF.  The 2006 event, which featured a long list of A-talent including hosts Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg and Robin Williams, was recorded live from Ceasar's Palace last November. Recently, Bonerama snagged the coveted "Best Rock Band" honor from the 2007 Big Easy Awards.

Since live performance is what Bonerama is all about, it's no coincidence that their third album, Bringing It Home, is also their third consecutive live disc.  It also testifies to the amount of tightening-up the band's done in recent years. Joining another stack of Bonerama originals are covers ranging from the Meters and George Porter Jr. to the Beatles (two from the White Album, no less) to Thelonious Monk. And when they take on Led Zeppelin's "The Ocean" – with trombones doing the familiar backing vocals along with the big guitar riff – you can practically hear the audience's jaws dropping.

The current list of confirmed Bonerama tour dates is as follows:

July 13 Martyr's Chicago IL

July 14 Bastille Days Festival Milwaukee WI

July 18-19 Broadway Oyster Bar St. Louis MO

July 20 Iowa City Yacht Club Iowa City IA

July 21 Sioux Falls Jazz & Blues Festival Sioux Falls SD

July 22 Vaudeville Mews Des Moines IA

July 25 The Blue Gator Athens OH

July 26 Peaches Grill Yellow Springs OH

July 27 The Livery Benton Harbor MI

July 28 Beaches International Festival Toronto Ontario

August 02 Panama City Beach Concert Series Panama City Beach FL

August 03 MOJO Kitchen Jacksonville Beach FL

August 04 The Bamboo Room Lake Worth FL

August 05 The Green Parrot Key West FL

August 09 Gottrocks Greenville SC

August 10 Visulite Theatre Charlotte NC

August 11 Paetec Jazz Festival Baltimore Baltimore NY

August 25 Mid City Lanes New Orleans LA

September 08 Hot Springs Jazz Festival Hot Springs AR

September 16 Telluride Blues & Brews Festival Telluride CO

September 21 Monterey Jazz Festival Monterey CA

September 22 The Crystal Bay Club Crystal Bay NV

October 06 Private Party New Orleans LA

October 07 Gretna Heritage Festival Gretna LA

October 27 Voodoo Music Experience New Orleans LA

More dates will be announced.

Even in a city that doesn't play by the rules, New Orleans' Bonerama is something different.  They're not a traditional brass band, but they've got brass to spare—even with no trumpets or saxes in sight. Bonerama features a dizzying display of trombone talent; four trombones, to be exact. Band leaders Mark Mullins and Craig Klein (of Harry Connick's band) shelf any jazz subtlety for Bonerama, opting instead for heavy funk, rock 'n' roll, and pure horn muscle.  Mullins and Klein are joined by fellow boners Steve Suter and Rick Trolsen, imaginative and dynamic sousaphone player Matt Perrine and edgy experimental guitarist Bert Cotton.  The band also features a rotating cast of New Orleans ' finest drummers, including Russell Batiste, Stanton Moore, Eric Bolivar, and Terence Higgins.

Arthur Alexander's Lonely Just Like Me: The Final Chapter

Arthur Alexander- for the Grateful Web

The only songwriter whose songs were covered by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and Elvis Presley was Arthur Alexander. One of the greatest soul singers of all time, if not the best known, he penned "Anna," "Sally Sue Brown" and "You Better Move On" among many others. The Beatles modeled their early sound after him. Yet by 1980 – a young man, just 40 – Alexander had left the music industry and was driving a bus and working at a center for disadvantaged kids in Cleveland. That's exactly where the story of Lonely Just Like Me: The Final Chapter – a deluxe package chronicling his improbable, triumphant yet tragically short-lived comeback in the early '90s – begins.
 
In one comprehensive 18-track volume, Lonely Just Like Me: The Final Chapter (Hacktone Records, due out 8/21) combines Arthur Alexander's Ben Vaughn-produced final album for Nonesuch (awarded a rave feature review in Rolling Stone ) with previously unreleased material from NPR's "Fresh Air" in a rare on-air performance, the never-before-heard hotel room demos (including Arthur's take on Neil Diamond's "Solitary Man") and a live version of "Anna" recorded at New York's Bottom Line. It's a document of the second half of Alexander's career. The sound is lovingly restored and remastered as well as re-sequenced to producer Vaughn's original design. Vaughn's liner notes provide a intimate and detailed story of the singer's all-too-brief re-emergence. "If heartbreak had a sound," he writes, "it was this voice."
 
The core of the set is the Nonesuch album Lonely Just Like Me , which won some of the highest accolades of any album released in 1993. The project was instigated by Elektra A&R executive Danny Kahn, who spotted Alexander in a rare performance in 1992 (the live version of "Anna" included on this set is from that very performance). Kahn signed him to Nonesuch, which had launched the American Explorer series. He called upon artist/producer Ben Vaughn to convince Alexander to record. Vaughn boarded a plane to Cleveland and the two formed a fast bond. The contract was signed and the album recorded in Nashville. Sessions featured a number of Alexander's accompanists from the '60s – Dan Penn, Donnie Fritts, Reggie Young, Thomas Cain and Mike Leech – along with Alexander newbies Gary Nicholson, Tommy Spurlock, Ashley Cleveland and Jim Spake. Reaction to the comeback recording was palpable, with positive reaction from the music press and such artists as Elvis Costello, Robert Plant, McCartney, Bob Dylan, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Kris Kristofferson. Alexander told Vaughn, "It looks like those seeds I planted a long time ago were good seeds."

The album's warm reception energized Alexander, who obliged his many interview requests, played the South by Southwest music conference and performed on a special live broadcast of NPR's "Fresh Air." The excitement culminated with a concert in Nashville. Sadly the show did him in. Alexander was checked into the ER at the city's Baptist Hospital. Within days he had, as Vaughn notes, passed on to the next life. The album was still a new release with reviews breaking daily. A major comeback and rediscovery was tragically cut short.
 
Alexander's memory continues to burn brightly even 15 years down the road. HackTone Records' David Gorman and Michael Nieves have set out to create a definitive memorial to Alexander with Lonely Just Like Me: The Final Chapter . They enlisted the assistance of both A&R man Kahn and Vaughn and emerged with this sumptuous package. Just don't call it a reissue – at least without qualification – as it contains many never-before-heard songs that might have easily never seen the light of day.


Arthur Alexander – Lonely Just Like Me: The Final Chapter
Track listing:
 
1 If It's Really Got To Be This Way 03:59
2 Go Home Girl 03:49
3 Sally Sue Brown 02:41
4 All The Time 03:22
5 Lonely Just Like Me 03:07
6 Every Day I Have To Cry 02:42
7 In The Middle Of It All 03:54
8 Genie In The Jug 02:31
9 Mr. John 03:47
10 Johnny Heartbreak 03:31
11 There Is A Road 04:23
12 I Believe In Miracles 03:38
(1-12 from Lonely Just Like Me, re-ordered by Ban Vaughn)

13 Intro 00:10
14 Go Home Girl 03:44
15 Interview 1 02:51
16 Genie In The Jug 02:13
17 Interview 2 00:36
18 You Better Move On 02:58
19 Interview 3 01:35
20 Every Day I Have To Cry 02:51
(13-20 recorded live on NPR's "Fresh Air," May 7, 1993)

21 Solitary Man (Demo) 02:02
22 Johnny Heartbreak 01:45
23 Genie In The Jug (#2) 01:56
24 Lonely Just Like Me 02:41
(21-24 from original cassette of hotel room demos featuring Arthur Alexander, vocals; Ben Vaughn, guitars)

25 Anna 03:19
(#25 recorded live at the Bottom Line in New York during "In Their Own Words: A Bunch of Songwriters Sitting Around Singing," September 5, 1991)

26 Glory Road (exerpt) 00:48
(#26, hidden track, from hotel room demos)

HackTone was founded by a pair of crate diggers who believe that there's no such thing as "good music whose time has passed," and their new distribution deal with Rhino represents a return to the fold. Before launching design and marketing firm HackMart, co-founder David Gorman was Rhino's "Creative Czar," winning an Art Direction Grammy for the Beg, Scream & Shout: The Big 'Ol Box Of '60s Soul collection in 1998. Co-founder Michael Nieves served as head of Rhino's music licensing and publishing departments before founding licensing company Sugaroo!

Swing Fiddler/Vocalist Elana James Releases Solo Debut

Elana James- for the Grateful Web

"When one door closes, another opens" might seem little more than a comforting cliché, but don't try telling that to Elana James.  Dealt a nasty surprise little more than two years ago, when the band she'd worked with for close to a decade suddenly dissolved, James was more pleasantly stunned just weeks later by an invitation to join Bob Dylan's band - and what she learned in the course of touring with a legend set her on a new path whose first (but certainly not last) milestone is the February 27th, 2007 release of her solo debut, Elana James (self released on Snarf).

Almost evenly divided between captivating originals and deftly chosen standards, Elana James is a portrait of an artist at the crossroads between where she's been and where she's headed.  Whether she's singing or leading a swinging instrumental with her violin, James is confident and convincing - the legacy of years spent as a member of the acclaimed Hot Club Of Cowtown.  But while the album offers a healthy dose of her own take on the energetic "string jazz" that was the Hot Club's stock in trade, it points in new directions, too, serving up a compelling change of pace with "All The World And I," a haunting folk-flavored song that reveals a hitherto-unknown side of her creativity.  Leavened by favorites like Duke Ellington's "I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)," the sprightly western swing anthem "Silver Bells," and a tip of the hat to Dylan ("One More Night"), Elana James marks the arrival of a strong new musical voice.

Even more than her contributions to the Hot Club's repertoire did, the set's original songs display Elana's deep affinity for the musical vocabulary of swing.  Backed by an ensemble that includes both current band members and some of the brightest lights of her adopted home town of Austin's rich musical scene, songs like "Twenty-Four Hours A Day," "Oh, Baby" and "Down The Line" go down smooth, yet swing ferociously from the first note to the last.  There's a nod to the dancers with the classic lines of her "Eva's Waltz," too, while James - with some help from Texas fiddle/mandolin legend Johnny Gimble - brings her own touch to "Goodbye Liza Jane" and "Silver Bells" in instrumental interludes that serve to complement the songs and highlight both James's and the ensemble's virtuosity.  And when it comes to interpreting standards, Elana easily rises to the challenge, whether giving a winsome reading of country music pioneer Carson Robison's "The Little Green Valley" or a sultry take on "I Don't Mind."

elana"One thing I realized when I was playing in Bob Dylan's band was that what we were doing was what everyone is doing, just at a higher level," James says.  "You write some songs, you teach them to people, and then you tour around and play them.  He's had unparalleled success, and he's peerless in what he does, and yet - on the outside, he's still off doing exactly the same thing as everyone else.  That was a revelation to me.  And it made me realize that if I started my own thing, there's a lot of dignity in just doing it; you don't have to worry about who you're playing for, you don't have to worry about how it's received, you just have to do it."

For Elana James, that realization led to a new career - and with the release of Elana James, it's led to a new opportunity for connoisseurs to discover the full extent of a remarkable musician's talent.

Elana James & The Continental Two ~ 2007 Tour Dates

* With Bruce Robison (solo)

3/16 SXSW / Momo's (9 PM) / Austin, TX
3/17 Gruene Hall / New Braunfels, TX

3/21 Maria's Taco Express / Austin, TX

3/23 Club Helsinki / Great Barrington, MA

3/24 United Methodist Church / Middlebury, VT
3/27-29 Rodeo Bar / NYC
3/30 Café Nine / New Haven, CT
3/31 Narrows Center for the Arts / Fall River, MA
4/10 Coffee Gallery / Altadena, CA

4/12 The Mint / Los Angeles, CA
4/13 Acoustic Music San Diego / San Diego, CA

4/14 West Side Theatre / Newman, CA
4/15 Freight & Salvage / Berkeley, CA
4/16 Don Quixote's Intl Music Hall / Felton, CA
4/18 Grass Valley Center for the Arts / Grass Valley, CA
4/19 Palm's Playhouse /  Winters, CA
4/20 Hotel Utah Saloon / San Francisco, CA
5/03 Continental Club / Houston, TX
5/05 Continental Club / Austin, TX
5/06 Gruene Hall / New Braunfels, TX
5/29 Ballard Park / Ridgefield, CT
5/30 Club Passim / Cambridge, MA