sunset

Woodcock Group Debuts 'Water Stories'

Woodcock Group's trio gives jazz listeners a piece of music works that evoke a great characteristic of eloquence impressive for an artist that has not even released its debut CD to stores, until now with Sunset Jazz. This Serbian jazz trio also composes and arranges its music and every song on this ten (10) song full length CD. Woodcock Group’s new debut album, Water Stories (Sunset Jazz Recordings) gives jazz aficionados great evidence there are new music artists in jazz that can carry a wide-ranged music of original songs taken as a conceptual, the album is now available to pre order at Amazon. The Jazz label is continuing to set up the full length CD for the May 3rd street day, with its' Sunset Classics & Jazz (SC&J) division, Sunset Distribution Company and then via Republic Universal for digital distribution into stores.

Woodcock Group is a band that is no doubt aware of its mixing modern jazz with traditional jazz music influenced by, among others, Thelonious Monk, McCoy Tyner, Dizzy Gillespie, Bill Evans and Art Blakey. Born and raised in Belgrade, Serbia, in the spring of 2009 pianist and composer Aleksandar Jovanovic founded the "Woodcock Group." What is now a trio with (Aleksandar) Jovanovic, Marko Fabry is on the bass while Aleksandar Cvetkovic does the drum work on the ten (10) song CD. Their first performance was at the "Umbria Jazz Balcanic Windows" Music Festival 2009 in Belgrade, which they won in a competition winning over 28 bands from the south-eastern Europe regions. Not to mention, they were listed in the top six as best young jazz band in Eastern Europe this year. "I not only plan on using this album to springboard a new sense of direction at Sunset Jazz (Recordings)", says label head, Don Lichterman, "we are also in hope of using Alex's (Aleksandar Jovanovic) A&R chops to gain more jazz acts for the label."

The debut album being released at Sunset (Jazz) is inspired by "water" as in a state of a "form" and (Don) Lichterman says that he, "loves the concept" of it. He (Lichterman) goes on to say that he also "loves the deep traditional style of this band (Woodcock Group)." Woodcock Group's debut recording entitled, Water Stories, has already gained international radio play with "Vrelo," the first song being worked to radio this year. And the CD has received great critical acclaim after the label released its initial press to blogs and social networks. Look for the CD to be available in stores everywhere that sells cds along with being made available at every retailer that sells downloads, ringtones and streams, on May 3rd this year!

The 2010 Smooth Cruise Jazz Series

The Smooth Cruise jazz series is back and better than ever!  This  summer's lineup features live intimate performances by artists including Down to the Bone, Spyro Gyra, Najee, Alex Bugnon, Marion  Meadows, Pieces of a Dream, RnR, Guitars & Saxes, The Rippingtons  feat. Russ Freeman, Mindi Abair, and Jonathan Butler!   All performances are on the water with the New York City skyline as the backdrop as Smooth Jazz New York sets sail aboard The Spirit of New York on the Hudson River every Wednesday night from June 30th through September 1st.  The ship departs from Pier 61 at Chelsea Piers in Manhattan with TWO shows per evening— The Sunset Cruise at 6:30PM and the Moonlight Cruise at 9:30PM.

The Smooth Cruises sell out fast. So get your tickets now. For tickets  and more information log onto SmoothJazzNewYork.com.

Purchase Tickets Now at http://www.spiritofnewyork.com/ny/jazz_cruise.jsp

Tickets available by:  Calling Spirit Cruises at 866-211-3812  | Visiting Spirit Cruises box office Pier 61, Chelsea Piers

Otis Redding's 2-CD 'Live on the Sunset Strip'

In 1966, Otis Redding had emerged not only as the star of Stax Records but as one of nation’s most influential soul singers. With his version of “Satisfaction” climbing the charts in April 1966, Redding arrived in Los Angeles to play both the Hollywood Bowl (as part of a KHJ-AM listener appreciation concert that also featured Donovan, Sonny & Cher and the Mamas & the Papas) and a four-nighter at the legendary Whisky A Go Go on the Sunset Strip. According to Taj Mahal, whose ’60s band the Rising Sons opened the Whisky shows, “At that time, Otis was it.”

Live on the Sunset Strip, slated for May 18, 2010 release on Stax Records through Concord Music Group, captures Redding in the white heat of transition, when his star power was undeniable and it was still possible to catch him backed by his own road band in the tight quarters of a smoky nightclub. The 2-CD set features three full live sets that have never been previously available in their entirety. A definitive live statement from Redding, the songs are sequenced exactly as they went down, complete with an emcee and spoken introductions by Redding. The booklet features rare photographs as well as extensive liner notes by Ashley Kahn, author of music biographies and a contributor to NPR’s Morning Edition.

Live on the Sunset Strip highlights versions of Redding’s best-known songs: “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long,” “Security,” “I Can’t Turn You Loose,” “Satisfaction,” “Respect,” “These Arms of Mine” and “Just One More Day,” to name a few.

As Kahn points out in his notes, “In 1966, Redding was 24 and defined not only the sound but the style and look of a true soul man. Tall and lanky, he was ready to drop to his knees and tear off the thin-lapelled jacket of his sharply pressed suit when it was time to deliver the goods. His ten-piece band was his personal, traveling amen-corner, urging him to testify night after night . . . His out-of-breath stage patter was warm and downhome. ‘Ladies and gentlemens,’ he addressed his fans, ‘holler as loud as you wanna — you ain’t home!’”

The Whisky A Go Go was known for its integrated booking policy and for helping bring awareness of R&B and blues to rock audiences, who attended shows by the Doors, Love, and the Standells at the venue. On April 7-10, the club booked the Otis Redding Revue for the Easter weekend that followed the Hollywood Bowl appearance. Redding’s entourage included an emcee and a full 10-piece band (led by saxophonist Bob Holloway) along with three up-and-coming singers performing one tune apiece before the headliner hit the stage. Engineer Wally Heider, the West Coast’s leading recorder of live performances, was hired to tape the three nights.

The shows did not go unnoticed by the Los Angeles Times, which noted: “Drawn by his growing popularity, a fervid audience shoe-horned into the club . . . Redding was assured of an In Group [sic] following Thursday night when from among his spectators emerged Bob Dylan, trailed by an entourage of camp followers.” (Legend holds that Dylan offered him “Just Like a Woman” as a possible cover that night, though Redding thought the song was a little wordy.)

Redding achieved even greater heights in the months after the Whisky performances, chalking up two new hits (“Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa [Sad Song]” and “Try a Little Tenderness”). He played San Francisco’s Fillmore Auditorium, took part in the Stax/Volt Revue through Europe in March ’67 and stole the show at the historic Monterey International Pop Festival in June of that year. The ultimate tragedy happened on December 10, 1967, when, as eloquently stated by Kahn, “his death in an airplane crash . . . dramatically froze his star forever in its perfect, meteoric apogee.”

In 1968, Stax posthumously issued the LP In Person at the Whisky A Go Go, with liner notes by Los Angeles Times critic Pete Johnson, who’d also reviewed the live show. In 1993, the CD Good to Me: Recorded Live at the Whisky, Vol. 2 expanded on a largely forgotten 1982 LP, Recorded Live. While those releases juggled selections from different shows, Live on the Sunset Strip stands out as a historically true document, offering the last three consecutive sets capturing Redding and his band in top form.

“I’m still real clear about those shows,” recalls Taj Mahal, whose Rising Sons opened them. “It was raw and unscripted. It was just the joy of music, you know. The joy of rhythm, the joy of energy. . .”

Cursive to Support Alkaline Trio on Spring Tour Dates

Cursive will support Alkaline Trio on their upcoming spring tour dates, which will take the band across the country and back beginning February 16th at the Glass House in Pomona, CA, and wrapping up April 2nd at the House of Blues in Los Angeles, CA.

Since the release of their sixth studio album Mama, I'm Swollen on Saddle Creek Records last March, Cursive has crisscrossed the country multiple times as a headliner. The band - long known for their indefatigable touring schedule as well as their incendiary, cathartic live show - completed their most recent tour in mid-December. Cursive's shows throughout 2009 drew acclaim, with Indianapolis, IN's Nuvo Weekly remarking, "Opening with 'Bloody Murderer' from their breakthrough album The Ugly Organ, the five-piece slashed through a near-perfect set of songs from their last nine years of albums" and Melophobe declaring, "Cursive has proved that they are not only solid musicians, but incredible performers with a stamina that can be matched by few."

Cursive also released videos for three songs off of Mama, I'm Swollen over the past ten months: "From The Hips" (here); "I Couldn't Love You" (here); and "Let Me Up" (here). The band also made their much-deserved network television debut on the Late Show with David Letterman on March 13, 2009 (watch it here).

Cursive tour dates (all in support of Alkaline Trio):

FEB. 16 POMONA, CA GLASS HOUSE

FEB. 17 LOS ANGELES, CA HOUSE OF BLUES (SUNSET STRIP)

FEB. 18 SAN FRANCISCO, CA REGENCY BALLROOM

FEB. 19 PORTLAND, OR WONDER BALLROOM

FEB. 20 SEATTLE, WA NEUMO'S

FEB. 23 BOISE, ID KNITTING FACTORY

FEB. 24 SALT LAKE CITY, UT IN THE VENUE

FEB. 25 DENVER, CO GOTHIC THEATRE

FEB. 26 LAWRENCE, KS GRANADA THEATRE

FEB. 27 CHICAGO, IL METRO

FEB. 28 CHICAGO, IL METRO

MAR. 2 ROYAL OAK, MI ROYAL OAK MUSIC THEATRE

MAR. 3 COLUMBUS, OH NEWPORT MUSIC HALL

MAR. 4 CLEVELAND, OH HOUSE OF BLUES

MAR. 5 PITTSBURGH, PA CLUB ZOO

MAR. 6 TORONTO, ON PHOENIX CONCERT THEATRE

MAR. 8 CLIFTON PARK, NY NORTHERN LIGHTS

MAR. 9 HARTFORD, CT WEBSTER THEATRE

MAR. 11 PHILADELPHIA, PA TROCADERO

MAR. 12 NEW YORK, NY NOKIA THEATRE

MAR. 13 SAYREVILLE, NJ STARLAND BALLROOM

MAR. 14 PROVIDENCE, RI LUPO'S HEARTBREAK HOTEL

MAR. 16 TOWSON, MD RECHER THEATRE

MAR. 17 CHARLOTTE, NC AMOS' SOUTHEND

MAR. 18 CHARLESTON, SC MUSIC FARM

MAR. 19 ATLANTA, GA MASQUERADE

MAR. 20 JACKSONVILLE, FL FREEBIRD LIVE

MAR. 22 ORLANDO, FL HOUSE OF BLUES

MAR. 23 FT. LAUDERDALE, FL REVOLUTION

MAR. 25 NEW ORLEANS, LA HOUSE OF BLUES

MAR. 26 HOUSTON, TX WAREHOUSE LIVE

MAR. 27 DALLAS, TX PALLADIUM BALLROOM

MAR. 28 AUSTIN, TX EMO'S

MAR. 30 TEMPE, AZ THE MARQUEE

APR. 1 SAN DIEGO, CA HOUSE OF BLUES

APR. 2 LOS ANGELES, CA HOUSE OF BLUES (SUNSET STRIP)