disc

The Jam Stampede Remembers Ron “Pigpen” McKernan

The Jam Stampede remembers Pigpen and will do a healthy dose of Pigpen on the day of his birthday, September 8. Plenty of Dead tunes will abound and we do one more spin around the sun for Pig.

Starting a rock band was actually Ron McKernan's idea, and he was its first front man, delivering stinging harmonica, keyboards, and beautiful blues vocals in the early years of the Warlocks/Grateful Dead. Nicknamed "Pigpen" for his funky approach to life and sanitation, he was born into a family that was generally conventional, except for the fact that his (Caucasian) father was an R & B disc jockey. And that sound put Pig's life on the rails of the blues from the time he was 12. Liquor, Lightnin' Hopkins, the harmonica and some barbecue - it was an unusual life for a white kid from San Carlos, but it was Pig's life.

--

Mexicali Live

Show Date: September 8, 2011

Tickets : $8.00 in advance

Doors: 6:00pm

Show: 8:00pm

Band website

201-833-0011

1409 Queen Anne Road

Teaneck, NJ 07666

Innova Disc Golf Names Zach Deputy Celebrity Ambassador

Zach Deputy has been appointed as one of the first "Celebrity Ambassadors" for Innova Champion Discs, the industry leader of disc golf, one of America’s fastest growing outdoor sports. Zach Deputy, an emerging international musician, recording artist, an avid disc golfer is excited by the opportunity. He looks forward to helping expand the game by turning new people on to it.

Innova, recognizing that Zach Deputy represents both an active, popular spokesperson for their company and the sport, is equally excited for him to join the Innova family. "Zach, in so many ways, is the embodiment of this sport. His passion and enthusiasm for the game represents everything that is good about disc golf. It is a game everyone can enjoy and we are in a time when recreation is extremely important." Deputy, for his part, agrees with this characterization but warns people who think of him as merely a celebrity face: "I’m no Ken Climo, but I’ll beat your grandma!"

For the past three years, Zach Deputy has been touring North America and playing disc golf regularly across the continent. As a touring musician, Zach had only random opportunities to get some exercise and outdoor fun between all the travel and performances. Disc golf was presented to Zach by his Tour Manager (an avid disc golfer and course designer) as a great option. Soon Zach, Brian (Tour Manager) and Jeremy (Production Manager) were spending every spare hour at the links and at shops buying newer, better, specialized discs. The affordability and ease of play made disc golf an ideal fit for Zach and his crew.

In November of 2011, Deputy hosted the disc golf tournament at the Bear Creek Music Festival (Live Oak, FL). The registration proceeds were donated to the American Red Cross to support relief efforts in Haiti. In March of 2011, Deputy hosted his own music and disc golf event at the same location. He has recently been invited to host Disc Jam 2011, a music and disc golf event in Sturbridge, MA, this June. The convergence of Deputy's love of performing music and playing disc golf is perfectly presented in Disc Jam 2011. The event represented a bit of regional saturation from a business standpoint, but given the disc golf aspect of the event, Deputy and his management were able to justify participation. "I am really psyched to play music, of course", says Deputy, "but I see this as more of a disc golf event. I look forward to hosting another tournament, turning others on to the game, and using disc golf to enhance the concert goer’s experience." Through Zach Deputy's involvement, Disc Jam 2011 is now officially sanctioned by the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA).

Since its origins in the early 60's, following the success of Wham-O's Frisbee, the PDGA was established in 1975, and is now the governing body for the sport. Disc golf has grown at a rate of 12-15 percent annually for more the past 3 decades, with nearly 3,000 courses in the United States and well over 3,000 globally. Disc golf is now played in over 40 countries worldwide, primarily in North America, Central and Western Europe, Japan, New Zealand and Australia. Regardless of which reality has fueled the other, Innova (established in 1983) has emerged as the clear leader in disc golf equipment and accessories during this time of dramatic growth. The Celebrity Ambassador position is a new one for Innova, and includes other notable public figures and entertainers, including the likes of hydrofoil world record holder Billy Rossini, Eric Friedman (Creed) and the Nashville-based band Framing Hanley. For Innova, Zach Deputy's audience represents a key segment of the population who ought to be playing the sport. Innova Team Manager Jonathan Poole said recently, "Zach is special. Positive energy just pours out of him and touches you immediately. The world needs more of that. His personality shines through on the golf course, just as it does on stage.  Zach is a perfect fit for disc golf and for our company, and we are honored to lend him our support."

---

Now On Tour:

6/9 The Upper Deck - Salisbury Beach, MA
6/10 Rock On! Concert Cruise - Boston, MA
6/11 Rocks Off - Skyport Marina, New York, NY
6/16 Stanhope House - Stanhope, NJ
6/17 The Waterhole  - Saranac Lake, NY
6/18 Water Street - Rochester, NY
6/19 Disc Jam - Sturbridge, MA
6/23 Music Farm - Charleston, SC  
6/24 Matilda's Art Gallery & Music - Alpharetta, GA
6/25 Freebird Live - Jacksonville, FL
6/30 High Sierra Music Festival - Quincy, CA (2 sets)
7/1 High Sierra Music Festival - Quincy, CA
7/2 Rothbury Festival - Rothbury, MI
7/3 Rothbury Festival - Rothbury, MI
7/5 Caspar Inn - Caspar, CA
7/6 Humboldt Brews - Arcata, CA
7/7 Aubergine After Dark - Sebastapol, CA
7/8 Don Quixote's - Felton, CA
7/9 El Portal Community Hall -  El Portal, CA
7/13 Fox Theatre - Boulder, CO
7/16 All Good Music Festival - Masontown, WV  
7/22 Evolve Fairgrounds - Antigonish, NS
7/30 Harmony Park - Geneva, MN
8/2 Magic Stick Lounge - Detroit, MI
8/3 El Mocambo - Toronto, ON
8/4 Elmdale House Tavern - Ottawa, ON
8/5 Camp Creek Festival -  Oxford, ME
8/6 Naukabout Festival - Cape Cod, MA
8/9 Songs at Mirror Lake - Lake Placid, NY
8/10 The Westcott Theater - Syracuse, NY
8/12 Ocean Mist - South Kingstown, RI
8/13 The Royal Family Affair - Bondville, VT  
8/13 Club Helsinki - Hudson, NY
8/16 Divan Orange - Montreal, QC
8/17 Kirkland Arts Center - Clinton, NY
8/18 Bella Terra Festival - Stephentown, NY
8/19 Phan Phest 6 - Morrisville, PA
8/20 Camp Barefoot - Bartow, WV
8/21 Great Bay Music Festival -  Dover, NH
8/26 Outer Banks Brew CO -  Kill Devil Hills, NC
8/29 Big Bamboo Cafe - Hilton Head, SC

Tommy Keene's 'Behind the Parade' coming on August 30

When you’ve been pursuing your craft for the better part of 30 years and approximately a dozen albums without the benefit of universal adulation, you’re either wholly obsessed or doggedly determined. In Tommy Keene’s case, it’s likely a mixture of both. Hailed by some as power pop’s most fervent champion, he has been obsessed with making music for nearly three decades, toiling away with impressive results while winning the respect of a small but loyal group of listeners who hold everything he’s ever offered in the highest esteem. Long before now, Keene should have been welcomed into the pop pantheon, alongside McCartney, Rundgren, Wilson and all the other meticulous musicians long acknowledged for their creativity and consistency. Ask his devotees and they’ll tell you Tommy Keene is the equal of them all.

Behind the Parade, Keene’s latest album and his third release on Second Motion (including last year’s career spanning retrospective You Hear Me), schduled for August 30, 2011 release in three formats (CD, mp3 and limited-edition 180-gram vinyl), provides the latest body of proof. Like its predecessors, the disc affirms his pop proficiency, mastery of his craft and his ability to ensure instant accessibility given the benefit of emphatic hooks, irresistible refrains and the kind of vibrant, jangly melodies that bring to mind a distinctly ’60s sensibility. Keene may once have worshiped at the altar of the Beatles, Byrds and Beach Boys, but his synthesis of sounds transcends these retro references and stirs it into something that’s wholly fresh and exhilarating.

Ranging from the proto-Keene jangle of “Already Made Up Your Mind” and the edgy, power pop (no, he doesn’t mind that description — much) storytelling of “Running For Your Life” and “His Mother’s Son” to the moody, ambient instrumental “La Castana” and the horn-infused opener “Deep Six Saturday,” Behind the Parade finds Tommy ably taking a few risks while managing to play to his considerable strengths. Behind the Parade, along with his recent output, shows Keene is akin to an athlete rediscovering his prime, only in this artist’s case, he never left it.

Back in 1984, a six-song platter of pop perfection titled Places That Are Gone (Dolphin) put Tommy Keene onto the CMJ charts and atop the Village Voice EP of the Year poll. Blatantly romantic, unapologetically melodic, bittersweet but absolutely invigorating, it still stands as a powerful statement, not only establishing Keene as a unique singer-songwriter, but also as a guitarist with a sound as distinctive as Pete Townshend or Johnny Marr.

Keene made enough noise in the early ’80s to get the majors involved, and in 1986 he released Songs From the Film on Geffen. Produced by Beatles engineer Geoff Emerick, the album featured two MTV videos, “Listen to Me” and a re-recording of Places That Are Gone’s title track, and spent 12 weeks on Billboard’s Top 200. The 1998 CD reissue of Songs also includes one of the all-time great Keene rockers, “Run Now,” with inspired rhythm section work from drummer Doug Tull and bassist Ted Niceley, plus a terrific extended guitar solo. The singer as well as the song appeared in the Anthony Michael Hall movie Out of Bounds.


After releasing the Run Now EP in 1986, the original Tommy Keene group, which also included guitarist Billy Connelly, disbanded. Keene headed down to Ardent Studios in Memphis to record with producers John Hampton and Joe Hardy. The result was Based on Happy Times (Geffen, 1989). The ironically titled disc is the darkest album in the Keene catalog. Although his best material has always been infused with melancholia, Happy Times’ tracks like “The Biggest Conflict” and “A Way Out” reveal a more fatalistic outlook. The guitars are heavier, there is less jangle, and there aren’t as many hooky vocal harmonies. It is a beautifully crafted, sometimes brooding, arty rock record.

In 1996, Keene released Ten Years After (Matador), his first full-length album of all-new material in seven years. Produced by Keene and recorded by pop music wunderkind Adam Schmitt, the album contains classic pop hooks and the loudest guitars to date. For his next effort, Isolation Party (Matador), Keene recruited an all-star cast, getting some fine instrumental and vocal performances from former Gin Blossom Jesse Valenzuela and Wilco’s Jay Bennett and Jeff Tweedy. A live disc called Showtunes (Parasol), released in 2000, was followed up in 2001 with The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down for the SpinArt label. Tommy used his next effort, Drowning: A Tommy Keene Miscellany (Not Lame), to clean out his closets of 20 years’ worth of rarities, demos and unreleased sessions. One of the best hodgepodge records you’ll ever hear, more than one critic felt Tommy’s spring-cleaning LP bested many greatest hits packages.

Back on the road in 2004, Keene and band joined Guided By Voices on the East and West Coast legs of their farewell tour. Apart from some great gigs, the shows also led to Keene joining Pollard as a member of his post GBV band, The Ascended Masters, for their 2006 U.S. tour and a limited-edition live LP, Moon (Merge). The year also saw the release of Crashing the Ether (Eleven Thirty), which was performed and recorded primarily by Tommy himself at home with drums by John Richardson and contributions from regular Keene band members and friends. Sonically, the album is dazzling, with big drums and open, ringing guitars, and lyrically it was arguably a great leap forward.

Tommy quickly followed up Crashing the Ether with Blues and Boogie Shoes, an LP with Robert Pollard under the Keene Brothers moniker. Although side projects can sometimes be less than wholehearted efforts, tracks such as “The Naked Wall” or “Death of the Party” — as good a song as Keene or Pollard have written together or separately — show that neither artist held anything back.

2009’s In the Late Bright (Second Motion) displayed the full range of Keene’s songcraft over 11 tracks. The album kicked into high gear with “Late Bright,” a minor-key rocker that gets its tense and dramatic work done in two minutes flat. From there on out, the album delivered a fan-friendly collection of melodic hooks, vocal harmonies, inventive chord progressions and great guitar playing.

Keene summed up his solo output to-date with Tommy Keene You Hear Me: A Retrospective 1983-2009 (Second Motion), a two-CD collection holding over 40 of his best tunes (including an unreleased acoustic take of Crashing the Ether’s “Black and White New York”). Even then, fans debated what he included vs. what he left off — further proof of the man’s enduring songwriting prowess.

Phish Live in Utica Out Now!

The Phish Utica box set features the complete October 20, 2010 performance on 2-DVD’s and 2-CD’s to be released nationwide on May 24th.  The box set presents three hours of crucial Phish in an intimate venue with an inspired audience that returned the energy at every turn.

--

Here's a little video snippet from the DVD release.

--

The Utica box set features the complete October 20, 2010 performance on 2-DVDs and 2-CDs. The nearly three hours of music on the Utica box set was recorded with 64 channels of digital multi-track and mixed and mastered, appearing on the DVD's in 5.1 Dolby surround and full-resolution, uncompressed PCM stereo. The video was shot with 8 cameras (16:9 widescreen), recorded and post-edited in High Definition. Regions 1-6.

If you order "Live In Utica" from Phish Dry Goods, you'll receive "Phish: I-90s", a free bonus CD compilation featuring archival material from as early as nineteen years before the "Live In Utica" DVD release. This collection follows the band along the I-90 New York Thruway as they honed their skills in drummer Jon Fishman's home state, recalling highlights from some of the region's many great Phish shows in the 90s. Recorded by Paul Languedoc, compiled by Kevin Shapiro and mastered by Fred Kevorkian, this bonus CD will be included in all Phish Dry Goods orders of Live In Utica while supplies last.

--

PHISH - Live In Utica 2010 Tracklisting
DVD Disc One

1. My Soul
2. Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan
3. Vultures
4. Wolfman's Brother
5. Cities >
6. Guyute
7. David Bowie
8. Wilson >
9. McGrupp And The Watchful Hosemasters >
10. Saw It Again >
11. Run Like An Antelope

DVD Disc Two
1. Drowned >
2. Sand >
3. Theme From The Bottom >
4. Axilla >
5. Birds Of A Feather
6. Tela >
7. Split Open And Melt >
8. Have Mercy >
9. Piper >
11. Split Open And Melt >
12. Slave To The Traffic Light
Encore:
13. Good Times, Bad Times

CD Disc One
1. Vultures
2. Wolfman's Brother
3. Cities >
4. Guyute
5. David Bowie
6. Wilson >
7. McGrupp And The Watchful Hosemasters >
8. Saw It Again >
9. Run Like An Antelope

CD Disc Two
1. Drowned >
2. Sand >
3. Theme From The Bottom >
4. Axilla >
5. Birds Of A Feather
6. Split Open And Melt >
7. Have Mercy >
8. Piper >
9. Split Open And Melt >
10. Slave To The Traffic Light

'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

TINIE TEMPAH, U.K. RAP SUPERSTAR TO RELEASE DEBUT ALBUM

London-born rapper Tinie Tempah, already a double BRIT Award-winning U.K. superstar with 2010's top-selling debut album by a British artist, goes global with the U.S. release of his album Disc-Overy on May 17.

The charismatic 22-year-old artist is already a phenomenon in the U.K., where Disc-Overy debuted at number one and produced four Top Five singles, including two number ones, and is currently closing in on double platinum sales status. He's now experiencing a major breakthrough in America, where his infectious, message-driven single "Written in the Stars" was recently hailed by Entertainment Weekly as one of the "next big hits of 2011." The song is currently number 13 and climbing on Billboard's Hot 100, and is already certified gold and climbing to platinum status, making it clear that Tinie Tempah is on his way to becoming the first British rapper to achieve major stardom in the U.S.

Disc-Overy will reach American listeners with the addition of three all-new tracks recorded in the U.S. earlier this year with producers Stargate (Wiz Khalifa, Beyonce, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Ne-Yo) and Boi 1Da (Eminem, Drake). One of the new songs, "Till I'm Gone," featuring Wiz Khalifa and produced by Stargate, will be Disc-Overy's next U.S. single. Stargate also produced "Love Suicide," featuring special guest Esther Dean. The third new track, "So Addicted," was produced by Boi 1Da and features Bei Maejor.

Tinie Tempah is currently receiving a massive amount of acclaim and exposure in America, where Rolling Stone recently featured him in their influential "Hot List" issue. Having made his U.S. television debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live in February, Tinie will return to the airwaves with appearances on Late Show with David Letterman on May 17 and on Conan on May 26. Also on May 17, he'll be featured in a Live on Letterman interactive webcast concert. Tinie will also be a guest on The View's highly rated Memorial Day show on May 30.

Tinie Tempah recently made his U.S. festival debut with a rapturously received performance at Coachella earlier this month. He's currently in the midst of his first American tour, which began with a high-profile set opening for Lupe Fiasco at New York's Roseland Ballroom, and continues with arena shows with Usher, Kid Cudi, Wiz Khalifa, Curfew, Nas and Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley.

Tinie will perform an intimate concert sponsored by New York radio station Z100 on May 16 at Manhattan's P.C. Richard Theater. Z100 will give away passes to listeners on-air, live on Z100 and online at Z100.com, iheartradio.com and PCRichardTheater.com. And on August 5th, he will make an appearance at the prestigious Lollapalooza festival at Grant Park in Chicago.

Click here to see Tinie Tempah's Live performance of his first U.S. Gold Single "Written In The Stars" on MTV's The Seven earlier this week.

Legendary Soul Singer Bonnie Bramlett Joins Lubriphonic On Stage

A cosmic meet up of musical powers joined forces in Macon, Georgia Wednesday night. Legendary soul singer Bonnie Bramlett (of Delaney & Bonnie, Eric Clapton, Stephen Stills), in town to record with Little Richard, stopped by the Cox Capitol Theatre joining the Chicago funk and soul outfit Lubriphonic on stage for a scorching version of “Whatever You Do Don’t Stop.” Bonnie offered her trademark vocal howls and scat singing while encouraging the Lube horn and rhythm section to take it higher.

Lubriphonic’s weekend of sit-ins continues with two shows at the Bear Creek Music Festival in Northern Florida where confirmed guests for their Friday night set include JB Horn alums Fred Wesley and Alfred “Pee Wee” Ellis along with funk sax master Sam Kininger.  The band continues its Fall Tour throughout the Southeast in support of their new CD “The Gig Is On”; additionally, to give folks a taster spoon of the new disc, Lubriphonic is currently offering a free download from the new disc: the scorching Curtis Mayfield track “If There’s A Hell Below (We’re All Gonna Go)” here.

Complete Lubriphonic information can be found at www.lubriphonic.com.

Check out some previous Lubriphonic coverage on The Grateful Web.

THE DEFINITIVE DAVE BRUBECK

Over the course of seven decades, Dave Brubeck has become one of the most iconic and influential figures in all of jazz. In that time, the pianist/composer/bandleader continually has defied conventions and preconceptions by grafting elements of numerous styles — classical, Latin, pop and more — into a solid and unwavering jazz foundation and creating a musical hybrid that still is deeply rooted in the jazz tradition. While his 1959 opus, Time Out, is considered a landmark recording, it represents only the tip of the iceberg that is Brubeck’s massive and enduring body of recorded work.

Concord Music Group provides a sweeping look at that body of work in The Definitive Dave Brubeck on Fantasy, Concord Jazz and Telarc. The ambitious two-disc collection — the latest in CMG’s ongoing Definitive series — assembles some of Brubeck’s earliest session work from the 1940s as well as some of his more recent recordings from the past few decades. The Definitive Dave Brubeck is set for release on November 16, 2010, in celebration of the music icon’s 90th birthday on December 6.

The collection’s comprehensive liner notes — written by music journalist and historian Ashley Kahn and based on a recent interview with Russell Gloyd, Brubeck’s manager/producer/conductor of more than 30 years — carefully parse out each of the 26 tracks in the set and the relationship between the two distinct periods represented on each disc. Disc 1 chronicles the Fantasy years, from the very beginning of Fantasy Records in the 1940s to the end of 1953, when Brubeck still was learning, absorbing, experimenting and recording mostly standards and other jazz repertoire — already proving himself to be a top-tier musician and bandleader. Disc 2 follows the artist from the 1980s to the early years of the 21st century, performing many of his own compositions, still exploring and creating vibrant music.

“The link between these two discs is one of consistency,” says Gloyd, producer of The Definitive Dave Brubeck collection. “Most of the elements of Disc 2 — melodic ideas and musical innovations, the choice of songs and sidemen — can be traced back to Disc 1, especially with the early Trio recordings.”

Regardless of where one lands on the continuum of Brubeck’s career, the exploratory nature of his approach to music remains constant. “Whether it’s his earliest recordings or his more recent releases, Brubeck is consistently probing, curious and inventive,” says Nick Phillips, Concord Music Group’s Vice President of Jazz and Catalog A&R and director of Concord’s Definitive series. “He’s a rare artist who has never put up barriers between genres. Here you have someone who was studying classical music and classical composition in a conservatory setting, but ultimately decided to become a jazz artist. That, however, didn’t mean he’d put up a wall between jazz and classical, or jazz and Latin, or what have you.”

As one example, Russell Gloyd cites Brubeck’s Trio recording of “How High the Moon”:  “Note that Dave cut this right at the height of bop but took it in a completely different direction, recording counterpoint for the first time and winding up closing in the style of a Bach chorale.”  Another example, more than three decades later, is Brubeck’s recording of “Take Five” live in the Soviet Union, in which he quotes the theme from the first movement of Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony in his piano improvisation.

The juxtaposition of the early and recent recordings within a single collection highlights what Kahn calls the “scripted quality” to the Dave Brubeck story, “as if some master novelist sketched out the narrative in advance. There’s hardly a wasted step or a creative dead-end in his career; early decisions and musical forays consistently predicted or prepared Brubeck for what followed . . . To recognize this aspect of Brubeck’s career is to grasp the idea that serves as the foundation for this collection: the first time the earliest echoes of his musical genius have been combined with his best recordings of recent years.”  Indeed, it makes for a most fitting celebration of the 90th anniversary of the legendary artist’s birth.

On Monday, December 6th, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will also celebrate Brubeck’s birthday with the premiere of Dave Brubeck: In His Own Sweet Way, a new documentary executive-produced by Clint Eastwood and narrated by TCM Essentials co-host Alec Baldwin. Directed by Bruce Ricker, the film features perceptive interviews with such well known luminaries as George Lucas, Sting, Wynton Marsalis and Bill Cosby and performances by Keith Emerson, Yo-Yo Ma and David Benoit.

For all of the insight provided by The Definitive Brubeck, the story is far from over.  Unimpeded by the approach of his 90th birthday in early December, Brubeck continues to follow the narrative. “He has always been, and continues to be, a restlessly creative artist,” says Gloyd.

TRACK LIST:

Disc 1
I Found a New Baby
The Way You Look Tonight
(Back Home Again In) Indiana
Laura
Singin’ in the Rain
That Old Black Magic
Sweet Georgia Brown
Perfidia
Avalon
How High the Moon
Look for the Silver Lining
This Can’t Be Love
My Romance
Lulu’s Back in Town
Over the Rainbow
How High the Moon
All the Things You Are

Disc 2

Koto Song
Black and Blue
St. Louis Blues
Take Five
(Variations On) Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?
Here Comes McBride
Waltzing
Day After Day
Forty Days

Albert King/Stevie Ray Vaughan 'In Session'

On December 6, 1983, legendary blues guitarist Albert King joined his disciple Stevie Ray Vaughan on a Canadian sound stage for the live music television series In Session. Magic happened. The highly sought after video footage from that one-time legendary summit becomes available for the first time ever on November 9 with the release of Stax Records’ deluxe two-disc CD/DVD In Session.

The DVD contains three classic performances unavailable on the previously issued audio disc: “Born Under a Bad Sign,” the landmark title track from Albert King’s biggest Stax release written by William Bell and Booker T. Jones; Stevie Ray’s “Texas Flood,” the Larry Davis-penned title track of Vaughan’s immortal debut album; and “I’m Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town,” made famous by Louis Jordan and later, Ray Charles.

“It was evident from the first choruses,” writes liner notes author/musicologist Samuel Charters, “that they were playing for each other. And that was the best audience either of them could ever have. The music never lost its intensity, its quality of something very important being handed back and forth and there was time for Stevie and Albert to see where their ideas took them.”

Accolades have showered upon this momentous encounter. “As a document of what was probably one of the greatest nights in the musical life of SRV, this belongs in the collection of every true fan,” said the Austin American-Statesman. Sonic Boomers added, “Both men are gone now, but rare recordings like In Session remind us of a time when blues giants still walked the earth side by side.” Elmore magazine called it “an indispensible part of any blues fan’s collection.” And BluesWax noted, “thank goodness, this disc lives on and on.”

Now this one-of-a-kind visual document featuring two giants of American blues can be enjoyed by audiences all over the world. Sadly, King and Vaughan would not share a stage together ever again. Vaughan, 31 years King’s junior, died in a helicopter crash in the fog on the way back from a concert in 1990. King outlived him by two years, dying of a heart attack in 1992. They didn’t meet often, and their careers took different paths. But we can all be grateful for that one long day in a television studio when sparks flew and this timeless performance was forever captured.

The Sword Reveal Album Art, Plan Video Trilogy, and Open for Ozzy

Austin, TX’s metal luminaries The Sword are kicking it into high gear as the release of their highly anticipated third full-length Warp Riders (August 24th; Kemado Records) rapidly approaches.  The band has finally revealed the album’s artwork and will be releasing additional visual companions in the form of an upcoming picture disc and an epic video trilogy.

With a narrative arc that the band describes as “a psychedelic space opera that explores the temporal themes of death and rebirth,” it’s only fitting that the record’s cover art is equally mind melting.  Paying homage to authors that inspired the album’s lyrics, artist Dan McPharlin created an image in the tradition of classic science fiction book covers.  The Sword will also release a limited edition hexagon-shaped picture disc 12 inch single for “(The Night Sky Cried) Tears of Fire.”

Fans that are eagerly awaiting to hear the new material will have their thirst quenched on July 6th, when first single “Tres Brujas” will be let loose online.  The track is also the first part of a video trilogy helmed by former Sword collaborators Artificial Army, which will launch in August.  The second and third chapters of the saga will be for “Lawless Lands” and “Night City.”

The guys will also have the honor of being the sole opener for Ozzy Osbourne at the iTunes Roundhouse Festival in London on July 3rd.  Their set will be recorded and available on iTunes in early July.