recording

Sugar Hill Records To Release Little Bird From Kasey Chambers

Sugar Hill Records is excited to announce the July 12th release of Little Bird from one of Australia’s most accomplished singer-songwriters, Kasey Chambers.  The 14 song collection – her first solo project in four years - is the result of an outpouring of new material from Kasey written within a hectic two week period in February of 2010, and Chambers is confident in calling Little Bird the best recording of her career.

Recorded a month later in brother Nash’s Foggy Mountain Studio Little Bird features an all-star band that Kasey dubs The Millionaires; John Watson on drums, Jeff McCormack on bass, Shane Nicholson, Jim Mogine (Midnight Oil) and Kasey’s dad Bill Chambers playing all manner of guitars and stringed instruments.  Guest vocalists Missy Higgins, Camille Te Nahu, Patty Griffin and more accompany Kasey on various tracks.

“These guys are some of my favorite musicians and singers, including the backbone of my touring band, so there is a familiarity and intuitive understanding of where this music should go,” says Kasey. Nothing in the recording process sounds forced or labored; every track sounds fresh, positive, exciting. "When the songs are that fresh, there’s something magical about taking them into the studio and bringing them to life, right then and there."

The new album, which is already certified Gold in Australia, represents a diverse spread of musical styles from Kasey’s glittering career, which has reaped multiple ARIA and APRA awards, Number One hits and multi-platinum sales in Australia and around the world.

Despite the upbeat and optimistic vibe of Little Bird, Kasey notes that it also reflects on a young woman’s insecurities.  “I started remembering how I felt when I wrote “Not Pretty Enough” and comparing it to how I feel now. I was wondering how that sentiment would come out if I revisited it,” says Kasey. “I still have moments like that, of feeling insecure and unsure, but I feel differently about that now. I feel stronger and more powerful, not willing to compromise so much.  This record is like the strong, secure version of ‘Not Pretty Enough’.”

Kasey excitedly rates Little Bird as the best recording of her career. “I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited by a bunch of songs. They all came out completely differently. I was back in that same frame of mind that I had for the early albums. And it made me feel so confident. I was so absolutely in love with all these songs, I could not wait to make them come to life.”

David Bromberg's USE ME Tapes Friends

When David Bromberg, one of America’s finest roots musicians, emerged from a recording hiatus of 17 years with the solo, acoustic, traditional folk-blues album Try Me One More Time (Appleseed, 2007), fans and critics were thrilled, and the CD was rewarded with a Grammy nomination. For his follow-up album, Use Me, Bromberg chose a different approach: Why not ask some of his favorite singer-songwriters and musicians to write (or choose), produce, and perform on songs tailored to his versatile but distinctive skills as a guitarist and vocalist?

Answering David’s call were well-known artists from the many genres comprising the amorphous “Americana” musical category. Representing contemporary rootsy singer-songwriters: John Hiatt, the first musician Bromberg approached, who penned the pensive “Ride On Out a Ways” for him; for New Orleans “fonk,” Dr. John; there’s three-guitar jam band interplay with Widespread Panic and jug band music with Levon Helm (the sprightly “Bring It With You When You Come,” produced by Grammy-winning Larry Campbell). Linda Ronstadt puts in a rare appearance on a soulful Brook Benton ballad, Los Lobos contribute a Mexican-flavored waltz, Vince Gill and Tim O’Brien take care of the country and bluegrass quotient, Keb’ Mo’ brings the blues, and the hitmaking Butcher Brothers, producers Phil and Joe Nicolo (Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Cypress Hill, Nine Inch Nails), provide the languid R&B groove for the title song, a cover of Bill Withers’ classic “Use Me.”

The resultant album is due for July 12, 2011 release on Appleseed Records. A national tour will ensue.
Standout tracks change with each listening, but some of the high points include the crisp blues shuffle “Tongue,” the album’s lone Bromberg original, with Levon Helm on drums; “You Don’t Wanna Make Me Mad,” featuring David on slide guitar and Dr. John on piano; the ominous slow blues “Diggin’ in the Deep Blue Sea,” updated by Keb’ Mo’ and Gary Nicholson from Larry Davis’ “Texas Flood” to address the dangers of offshore drilling, and the chipper Vince Gill — Guy Clark co-write “Lookout Mountain Girl,” the only song on which David cedes most of the lead guitar duties (to Vince, although David splits the lead with Widespread Panic’s Jimmy Herring on “Old Neighborhood”).
Rather than collating individual instrumental parts literally phoned in to a central location, the recording sessions for Use Me generally took place on each guest artist’s home turf — in Woodstock (Levon Helm), New Orleans (Dr. John), Nashville (John Hiatt, Tim O’Brien, Vince Gill), Los Angeles (Los Lobos), and so on, to retain their regional flavors. For Bromberg, who started his professional career as an accompanist for everyone from Dion and Jay and the Americans to Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson, the sessions were simultaneously a throwback to his sideman days and a sidestep from his own recordings. “As artist and producer, I get to completely mold my vision of how the song should go,” he explains. “The drawback is that I don’t get many ideas that are not my own. It was fascinating for me to see the different approaches that everyone used in production.”
No matter who the producers, songwriters or accompanying musicians are on Use Me, Bromberg’s expressive guitar-playing and “rippling Fred Neil-like baritone that . . . brings warm, reassuring comfort” (Rolling Stone) remain the centerpiece of the CD, diamonds in golden settings.
Born in Philadelphia in 1945 and raised in Tarrytown, NY, “I listened to rock ’n’ roll and whatever else was on the radio,” says Bromberg. “I discovered Pete Seeger and The Weavers and, through them, Reverend Gary Davis. I then discovered Big Bill Broonzy, who led me to Muddy Waters and the Chicago blues. This was more or less the same time I discovered Flatt and Scruggs, which led to Bill Monroe and Doc Watson.”
Bromberg began studying guitar when he was 13 and eventually enrolled in Columbia University as a musicology major. The call of the Greenwich Village folk scene in the mid-’60s drew David to the downtown clubs and coffeehouses, where he could watch and learn from the best performers, including primary sources such as his inspiration and teacher, the Reverend Gary Davis.
Bromberg’s sensitive, blues-based approach to guitar-playing earned him jobs playing the Village “basket houses” for tips, the occasional paying gig, and lots of employment as a backing musician for Tom Paxton, Jerry Jeff Walker and Rosalie Sorrels, among others. He became a first-call, “hired gun” guitarist for recording sessions, playing on hundreds of records by artists including Bob Dylan (New Morning, Self Portrait, Dylan), Link Wray, The Eagles, Ringo Starr, Willie Nelson and Carly Simon. In the early ’90s, David produced an as-yet-unreleased Dylan album, although two tracks have been issued as part of Dylan’s “Bootleg Series.”
An unexpected and wildly successful solo spot at the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival in Great Britain led to a solo deal with Columbia Records, for whom David recorded four albums. His eponymous 1971 debut included the mock-anguished “Suffer To Sing the Blues,” a Bromberg original that became an FM radio staple, and “The Holdup,” a songwriting collaboration with former Beatle George Harrison on which Harrison also played slide guitar. David, who had met the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia at the Woodstock Festival when they both took refuge from the rain in a tepee, wound up with four Dead members, including Garcia, playing on his next two albums.
Bromberg’s range of material, based in the folk and blues idioms, continually expanded with each new album to encompass bluegrass, ragtime, country and ethnic music, and his touring band grew apace. By the mid-’70s, the David Bromberg Big Band included horn-players, a fiddler, and several multi-instrumentalists, including David himself. Among the best-known Bromberg Band graduates: mandolinist Andy Statman, later a major figure in the Klezmer music movement in America, and fiddler Jay Ungar (who wrote the memorable “Ashokan Farewell” for Ken Burns’ PBS documentary, “The Civil War”).
Despite jubilant, loose-limbed concerts and a string of acclaimed albums on the Fantasy label, Bromberg found himself exhausted by the logistics of the music business. “I decided to change the direction of my life,” he explains. So David dissolved his band in 1980, and he and his artist/musician wife, Nancy Josephson, moved from Northern California to Chicago, where David attended the Kenneth Warren School of Violin Making. Though he still toured periodically, the recordings slowed to a trickle and then stopped.
After “too many Chicago winters,” in 2002 David and Nancy moved to Wilmington, Del., where they currently serve as unofficial “artists in residence” and where David established David Bromberg Fine Violins, a retail store and repair shop for high quality instruments. Frequent participation in the city’s weekly jam sessions helped rekindle Bromberg’s desire to perform music “live” again, and the encouragement of fellow musicians Chris Hillman (The Byrds, Desert Rose Band, Flying Burrito Brothers) and bluegrass wizard Herb Pedersen helped nudge him back into the recording studio. The Wilmington jams also led to the formation of Angel Band, fronted by Nancy and two other female vocalists, with David frequently serving as an accompanist.
Bromberg’s participation in his local and musical community has subsequently included a fund-raising music festival (Bromberg’s Big Noise in the Neighborhood) to help renovate a local theater, and a keynote address at this past spring’s Folk Alliance International convention, a non-profit organization of musicians, concert presenters and industry professionals.
David continues his musical revitalization with projects like Use Me, playing solo shows or backed by his own bluegrass quartet and reunions of the David Bromberg Big Band. Use your ears and catch him when you can!

'Ray Charles Live in Concert' captures The Genius in 1964

In the half-century between his earliest recordings in the 1950s and his death in 2004, Ray Charles ascended to icon status by leaving his mark on virtually every form of American popular music that emerged in the latter half of the 20th century. Nowhere was this more evident than in his live performances, where one was likely to hear shades of blues, soul, R&B, jazz, gospel, country, and more in a single evening — indeed, sometimes in a single song. To put it simply, the Right Reverend did it all.

All of these subtle shades and styles are evident in Concord Music Group’s April 5, 2011, reissue of Ray Charles Live in Concert. Originally released as a 12-song LP on ABC-Paramount in early 1965, Live in Concert captured Ray at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles in September 1964. More than four decades later, the CD reissue brings additional depth and perspective to the 1964 recording with the help of 24-bit remastering, seven previously unreleased tracks and extensive new liner notes that provide additional historical context to what is already considered a pivotal recording in Ray’s overall body of work.

“There could be no more uplifting live musical experience than digging Ray Charles and his mighty orchestra in their prime,” says roots music historian Bill Dahl in his new liner notes. Indeed, the 15-piece orchestra backing Ray on this date — assembled just a few years earlier in 1961 — boasted no less than a dozen horns, including formidable saxophonists David “Fathead” Newman, Hank Crawford, and Leroy “Hog” Cooper, all of whom had been with Ray since his days as a leader of smaller combos. “This amazing aggregation,” says Dahl, “was every bit as conversant with the intricacies of modern jazz as with the gospel-blues synthesis that Brother Ray pioneered during the mid-1950s, when he began accruing serious cred as the father of what would soon become known as soul music.”

Chris Clough, Concord’s manager of catalog development and producer of the Live in Concert reissue, notes that the Shrine Auditorium performance took place at a transitional moment in Ray’s career, just as he was transcending the confines of R&B and entering the mainstream by demonstrating a firm grasp of various other genres. “He’d made his ascendance in the early ’60s, and he had the world at his feet by this time,” says Clough. “He’d basically invented soul, he’d done R&B, he’d conquered country and he was on his way to becoming an American icon.”

In the span of 19 songs, Live in Concert illuminates the route to that destination. Ray wastes no time taking his audience on a ride from jazzy big band groove of “Swing a Little Taste” to the Latin-flavored “One Mint Julep” to the blues-gospel hybrid of his classic “I Got a Woman.” Although his live rendition of “Georgia On My Mind” on this date didn’t make the cut on the original LP, the song is a standout track on the reissue, thanks to his complex organ runs and the flute lines moving in counterpoint with his rich vocals.

Clough considers the yearning “You Don’t Know Me” and the previously unreleased “That Lucky Old Sun” to be among the high points of the recording. “It sounds like he’s really baring his soul on those two tracks, and they just sound incredible,” says Clough, noting that Ray was unaware that tape was rolling during this performance. “This particular date was at the end of their tour, and the performance seems a little loose as a result — in a good way, and in a less slick way.”

Further in, the rousing “Hallelujah, I Love Her So” is driven by a gospel groove and embellished with a sax solo by Newman that closely mirrors the original 1957 recording. The result is a familiar hit for an audience that’s more than ready to reinforce Ray’s foot-stomping beat with handclaps.

The sly and swaggering “Makin’ Whoopee” is delivered completely off the cuff, with drummer Wilbert Hogan, bassist Edgar Willis, and guitarist Sonny Forriest improvising an accompaniment behind what Dahl calls “Ray’s luxurious piano and breathy, supremely knowing vocals.” By all accounts, Ray spontaneously inserted the song into the set in response to the negative press he’d received overseas about his private life.

In the home stretch, Ray introduces the Raeletts, the female backing vocalists who served as his foil for some of his biggest hits. Together they work their way through “Don’t Set Me Free” (with Lillian Fort stepping forward for a duet with Ray), the comical “Two Ton Tessie” and the torchy “My Baby” before climaxing with the churning “What’d I Say,” a song tailor-made to stoke any room to a fever pitch.

A huge piece of the Ray Charles legacy is his mastery of any style he touched, and his ability to make it his own in a way that no other artist could — powers that can only come from an innate sense of adventure and spontaneity that are fully evident in Ray Charles Live in Concert.

“Few performers were less predictable onstage than Ray Charles,” says Dahl. “And nobody did it better.”

Zero @ Great American Music Hall | 3/4 & 3/5

For the first time in nearly 20 years, ZERO returns to the Great American Music Hall for a two-night special event: March 4th and 5th. Almost two decades ago, the quintessential Bay Area band recorded 'Chance in a Million' at the historic venue.

The band reunites to commemorate the music and to benefit band mate, Judge Murphy, who is battling liver cancer, awaiting transplant.  Tickets on sale now and selling fast. Thanks for supporting the cause to benefit a brother.

ABSOLUTE ZERO

Recorded at Avatar Studio in Santa Rosa, California in the early eighties, the studio recording Absolute Zero marks the inception of the ZERO instrumental repertoire.

Featuring Steve Kimock on guitar and bass and Greg Anton on drums and keys, this 80's recording is being released for the first time, available exclusively at the upcoming ZERO shows.

Featuring such songs as Tear Tags Off Mattresses, Severe Tire Damage and Theme From Nancy Germany, this 5-song EP will surely delight any ZERO fan. The album will be officially released after the GAMH shows.

KIMOCK'S SPRING NEW YORK CITY RESIDENCY

Steve Kimock has confirmed a three-week spring residency at Sullivan Hall in NYC on Wednesday, March 23th, March 30th and April 6th.

Kimock's NYC residency will have a very different musical feel & flavor each week, with some of the best musicians based in New York City and beyond joining him such as Henry Butler, Adam Deitch, Marco Benevento, Andy Hess, John Molo, Pete Sears, Marc Friedman and more! Expect some legendary collaborations...hope to see you there.

For line-ups and more info visit www.kimock.com

David Gilmore and Energies of Change at Iridium

Over the past decade guitarist and composer David Gilmore has recorded and performed with some of the most highly influential and innovative artists in modern music today including Wayne Shorter, Muhal Richard Abrams, Sam Rivers, Steve Coleman, Don Byron, Dave Douglas, Cassandra Wilson, Christian McBride, Uri Caine, Randy Brecker and David Sanborn. He has appeared on over 50 recordings and has been a major presence on the international touring scene. He has also recorded, and toured extensively with pop artists Joss Stone and Me’Shell N’Degeocello..

In the Spring of 2001, he released his first recording as a leader entitled Ritualism (Kashka Records), which received major international critical appraise and was nominated for Debut CD of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association. He has twice been a recipient of Chamber Music America’s New Works Composer Grant and voted as a Rising Star in DownBeat’s Reader Poll. His playing has been compared to guitarists with styles as diverse as George Benson, Wes Montgomery, Jimi Hendrix and Leo Nocentelli. His latest recording effort, Unified Presence (RKM Music), features Ravi Coltrane, Christian McBride, Jeff “Tain” Watts, and Claudia Acuna. 

--

David Gilmore

Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011 at Iridium Jazz Club
Sets @ 8:30 & 10:30  $25

David Gilmore - guitars
Jaleel Shaw - alto and soprano saxes
Luis Perdomo - piano/ keys
Hans Glawischnig - bass
E.J. Strickland – drums

Wayne Shorter at Town Hall Wednesday

It was announced today that Wayne Shorter is due to perform at the Barbican Centre in London and at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival in South Africa. How cool is that? Real. So get out your credit card, make your plans and have fun getting stripped-searched at JFK. OR - walk over to Town Hall on West 43rd Street, or just go to ticketmaster.com from the chair you're in, and get tickets for the band's first NYC appearance in over two years. The guys will be playing on Wednesday, Feb. 9 at 8pm (two weeks from tonight.) They'll do "An Evening With" with no opening group and play a straight 90+ min set. You'll be home by 10, can still watch "Top Chef," and will have a musical and spiritual experience you can cherish forever. Just ask anyone who was at Carnegie Hall in Dec. '08.

Tickets can be purchased at ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster outlets or by calling 800-745-3000. They are also available at the Town Hall Box Office, 123 West 43rd St.

Regarded as one of the most significant and prolific performers and composers in jazz and modern music, National Endowment for the Arts' "American Jazz Master" Wayne Shorter has an outstanding record of professional achievement in his historic career as a musician and composer. He has received substantial recognition from his peers, including 9 Grammy® Awards and 13 Grammy® nominations to date.

Shorter was a member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers from 1958 through 1962.  In 1964 Miles Davis invited Shorter to go on the road with his band, which also included Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams and Ron Carter. Shorter stayed with Davis for six years, recording a dozen albums with him, and creating a new sound with a bandleader who changed the face of music.

In 1970, Shorter co-founded the group Weather Report with keyboardist and Miles Davis alum, Joe Zawinul. Weather Report was the premier fusion group through the '70s and into the early '80s.  Shorter then formed his own group in 1986.

In the summer of 2001 Shorter began touring as the leader of a talented young lineup featuring pianist Danilo Pérez, bassist John Patitucci and drummer Brian Blade, each a celebrated recording artist and bandleader in his own right. The ensemble features one of the finest rhythm sections in jazz.

Danilo Pérez' distinctive blend of Pan-American jazz, covering the music of the Americas, folkloric and world music, has attracted critical acclaim and loyal audiences. Perez recently released a Grammy®-nominated album entitled Providencia, his "most ambitious album since Motherland," notes the Wall Street Journal.

Drummer Brian Blade recently collaborated with Daniel Lanois on his Black Dub CD and tour project. In between Wayne Shorter Quartet concerts and recording and touring with Lanois, Blade also performs with his own Fellowship Band.

A Grammy®-winning acoustic and electric bassist, John Patitucci is not only known for his work with Shorter, but has attracted worldwide acclaim as one of today's most influential musicians and composers. In 2009, Patitucci, released a project for Concord Jazz, Remembrance, a remarkable Grammy® nominated outing.

This concert celebrates the Quartet's 10th anniversary and is their first NYC performance since 2008

Concord Original Jazz Classics titles announced for March 15

Concord Music Group marks the first anniversary of its highly successful Original Jazz Classics Remasters series with the reissue of four new titles on March 15, 2011. Originally launched in March 2010, and enhanced by 24-bit remastering by Joe Tarantino, the series showcases some of the most pivotal recordings of the past several decades by artists whose influence on the jazz tradition is beyond measure.

The four new titles in the series are:

  • Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers: Ugetsu
  • Ella Fitzgerald and Oscar Peterson: Ella and Oscar
  • Thelonious Monk: Monk’s Music
  • Cal Tjader/Stan Getz Sextet


“In keeping with the philosophy behind the series, we continue to showcase the best – and in some cases, the most influential — recordings by some of the most legendary artists in jazz,” says Nick Phillips, Vice President of Jazz and Catalog A&R at Concord Music Group and producer of the Original Jazz Classics Remasters series. “After 14 titles in a span of 12 months, there’s obviously no lack of high caliber artists and excellent material in the Concord vaults to draw from.”

Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, Ugetsu

Recorded live at Birdland in New York City in June 1963 for Riverside, Ugetsu features trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, tenor saxophonist Wayne Shorter, trombonist Curtis Fuller, pianist Cedar Walton and bassist Reggie Workman — a crew heralded as “one of the top three or four lineups Blakey ever led,” according to Neil Tesser, who wrote the new liner notes for the reissue. The CD ends with four bonus tracks, including a previously unreleased cover of George Shearing’s 1949 bop classic, “Conception.”

“There’s something special about Art Blakey and his band live, and this album is certainly no exception,” says Phillips. “That’s partly because this was the natural environment in which these guys were working night after night in the clubs. There are certain things that can happen in a live jazz recording that don’t always happen in the more artificial environment of a recording studio.”

Tesser notes that the recording marks the first appearance of iconic tunes that would remain in the Messengers’ repertoire long after their composers left the band, including Shorter’s “One by One” and “On the Ginza,” Fuller’s “Time Off,” and Walton’s title track. “Blakey almost never took an extended drum solo with the Messengers,” says Tesser. “He didn’t need to. He stamped every gig, every phrase, practically every note from his sidemen with the unerring judgment and bold panache of his colors and accents.”

Ella Fitzgerald and Oscar Peterson, Ella and Oscar

Ella and Oscar was recorded in May 1975 for Pablo and produced by jazz impresario Norman Granz, who’d founded the label just a couple years earlier. The album is a series of duets that enlists the aid of bassist Ray Brown on four of the original nine tracks. Brown also appears on two of the four previously unreleased bonus tracks included in the reissue.

“The selections that make up Ella and Oscar, as well as the casual ambience of the exchange between singer, pianist, and bassist Ray Brown . . . beckons the listener to enjoy this meeting of musical minds that could have taken place in Ella’s living room in Beverly Hills or Oscar’s home in Mississauga, Ontario, rather than in a recording studio,” says Tad Hershorn, who wrote the new liner notes for the OJCR reissue. “The interaction between Fitzgerald, Peterson, and Brown accomplishes two ends. It reveals the creative improvisational process while delivering a finished definitive product destined to linger in the annals of jazz vocals. The spare directness of these recordings lay bare the emotions contained in the songs themselves with few frills.”

The bonus tracks are alternate takes that “underscore the fact that both artists were true masters of the art of jazz improvisation,” says Phillips. “The alternate takes don’t sound like the master takes. Each performance is fresh, and each captures that spontaneity and that in-the-moment creativity that are hallmarks of the greatest jazz artists and timeless jazz recordings. Nothing is done by rote.”

Thelonious Monk, Monk’s Music

Recorded in New York in June 1957 for Riverside, Monk’s Music surrounds the pianist/composer with a stellar crew: trumpeter Ray Copeland, alto saxophonist Gigi Gryce, tenor saxophonists John Coltrane and Coleman Hawkins, bassist Wilbur Ware, and drummer Art Blakey.

“What makes this one of the most fascinating recordings of Monk’s career is the complexity of the material combined with the caliber of the musicians on hand to play it,” says Phillips. “You have John Coltrane and Coleman Hawkins, two all-time legends of the tenor saxophone, playing Monk’s music side-by-side. That in and of itself makes this a very special recording. They’re two artists with very different styles, and two artists who have had a profound influence on legions of other saxophonists.”

Monk’s Music was the haymaker in a one-two-three combination of albums, all recorded in 1957, that made it a breakout year for Thelonious Monk,” says Ashley Kahn, author of the new liner notes for the reissue. “A solidly balanced recording that highlighted Monk’s growing status as the pre-eminent composer of the modern jazz scene, it featured a septet that drew on an unusual mix of soloists and a solid rhythm team. It also stood out as being the first recording released that was conscious of Monk’s increased popular appeal.”

Heralded by Downbeat as one of the top five albums of 1958, Monk’s Music “remains one of Monk’s most cherished recordings: coherent, organic, and fully realized,” says Kahn.

Cal Tjader / Stan Getz Sextet

A study in serendipity, Cal Tjader / Stan Getz Sextet was recorded for Fantasy at the Marines Memorial Auditorium in San Francisco in February 1958. The two leaders are backed by pianist Vince Guaraldi, guitarist Eddie Duran, bassist Scott LaFaro, and drummer Billy Higgins.

There are no bonus tracks, and for good reason, says Doug Ramsey, author of the new liner notes. No evidence exists in the Fantasy/Concord vaults of alternate takes or outtakes from this session. “What we have here is 43 minutes and 51 seconds of perfection,” says Ramsey, “a demonstration that six masters who have never before played together as a group can produce timeless music in the common language of jazz.”

Duran, the sole survivor of the 1958 sessions, concurs: “There was no rehearsal before the date, no alternates, no second takes. It went very smoothly. It just kind of fell into place. The feeling was happy and relaxed.”

“From the LP era, there are many examples of indifferent recordings by makeshift bands – jam sessions filling out the 12-inch vinyl with endless choruses,” says Ramsey. “In this joint venture, planning, preparation, six major talents and a spontaneous compatibility bordering on magic made the Tjader-Getz collaboration a classic. It’s good to hear it again.”

Dirty Vegas/New Music Video Feat. Jena Malone

Ready to capture the international dance floor once again, Electric Love marks the explosive return of Dirty Vegas. It finds that elusive sweet spot between the slickly polished electronic sounds of their past and a more decidedly rock edge, deftly balancing beats and guitar-led melodies. After touring the world on the strength of two albums (2002’s Dirty Vegas, 2004’s One), music featured in two films (2005’s Goal!, 2006’s The Boys & Girls Guide To Getting Down) and an international dance hit that snagged a Grammy (“Days Go By”), Dirty Vegas (Steve Smith and the non-related Ben Harris and Paul Harris) had parted ways in 2005 to work on individual projects and just to take a breather. Without the pressures of a recording contract or label executives issuing directives, the trio found a fresh kind of positivity when they reformed four years later to craft Electric Love. Dirty Vegas is rocking with an updated sound on their new album, but the fact that they are game-changers is nothing new; just ask anyone in the music business who deals with the worlds of licensing for film and television. The band’s debut single “Days Go By,” originally released in 2001, appeared on a television advertisement for Mitsubishi. The revived single, and its wonderfully magnetic original video, not only catapulted to Grammy success (for Best Dance Recording in 2003), but was a huge benchmark that helped set a whole new model for the marketing of music. The band also won three DanceStar Awards and was even named Electronic Artist of the Year by Playboy.

--

Dirty Vegas, who now have made available the new music video to their latest single “Electric Love” featuring actress Jena Malone (The Soloist, Into The Wild, Donnie Darko).

Written and produced by photographer James Gooding the “Electric Love” video features Jena as she has never been seen before (pole dancing (!), hanging at a cool muscle car race).

“Electric Love” is James Gooding’s directorial debut as well as the first visual element from Dirty Vegas’ new album—also titled Electric Love—due out April 26 on OM Records.  It is also the first of two videos with Jena that will run concurrently over one larger narrative.

You can learn more about Dirty Vegas at their website.

John Hartford Stringband Nominated for Grammy Best Traditional Folk Album

GRAMMY voting is wrapping up for the dozens of nominees in scores of categories, including for John Hartford Stringband’s tribute album to the late, great singer-songwriter, MEMORIES OF JOHN (Red Clay/Compass Records), in Category 68: Best Traditional Folk Album, as February 13 approaches and the 53rd annual GRAMMY Awards presentation in Los Angeles.

In what would be 10 years after his passing in 2001, the same group of musicians who appeared on John Hartford’s last five Rounder Records projects and were his final touring band — Chris Sharp on guitar, Bob Carlin on banjo, Matt Combs on fiddle, Mike Compton on mandolin and Mark Schatz on bass — are eager to win the GRAMMY as further tribute to the banjo wizard, guitar picker, vocalist, musical innovator and multiple GRAMMY Award-winning recording artist who penned the megahit “Gentle on My Mind.” Stringband members were joined on MEMORIES OF JOHN by special guests Tim O’Brien, Bela Fleck, Alison Brown, Alan O’Bryant, George Buckner and Eileen Carson Schatz. The album also features Hartford himself on several previously unreleased tracks as well as voiced instructions to the band from previous rehearsal tapes.

Billy Taylor - July 24, 1921 - December 28, 2010

Dr. Billy Taylor, a Jazz pianist, composer, educator and broadcaster who encompassed that rare combination of creativity, intelligence, vision, commitment and leadership, qualities that made him one of our most cherished national treasures, died in New York on December 28, 2010.  He was 89 and lived in Riverdale, New York.

The cause was heart failure, according to his daughter, Kim Taylor-Thompson.

The distinguished ambassador of the jazz community to the world-at-large, Dr. Billy Taylor's recording career spanned over six decades. He also composed over three hundred and fifty songs, as well as works for theatre, dance and symphony orchestras.

Among his most notable works is "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free", achieving great popularity with Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Nina Simone covered the song in her 1967 album Silk and Soul, and the song continues to be recorded by many artists worldwide, most recently by Levon Helm.

Playing the piano professionally since 1944, he got his start with Ben Webster's Quartet on New York's famed 52nd Street. He then served as the house pianist at Birdland, the legendary jazz club where he performed with such celebrated masters as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis. Starting in the 1950s, Billy Taylor ked his own Trio, as well as performed with the most influential jazz musicians of the twentieth century.

After many years of recording for leading record labels, in 1989, Taylor started his own "Taylor Made" record label to document his own music, releasing four albums, and in the late 90s, "Soundpost Records," releasing his two final recordings.

Dr. Taylor was not only been an influential musician, but a highly regarded teacher as well, receiving his Masters and Doctorate in Music Education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and serving as a Duke Ellington Fellow at Yale University.

He also hosted and programmed such radio stations WLIB and WNEW in New York, and several  award winning series for National Public Radio. In the early 1980s, Taylor became the arts correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning.

Dr. Billy Taylor was one of only three jazz musicians appointed to the National Council of the Arts, and also served as the Artistic Advisor for Jazz to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, where he developed one acclaimed concert series after another including the Louis Armstrong Legacy series, and the annual Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival.

With over twenty three honorary doctoral degrees, Dr. Billy Taylor was also the recipient of two Peabody Awards, an Emmy, a Grammy and a host of prestigious and highly coveted prizes, such as the National Medal of Arts, the Tiffany Award, a Lifetime achievement Award from Downbeat Magazine, and, election to the Hall of Fame for the International Association for Jazz Education.

Dr. Taylor's survivors include his wife, Theodora and his daughter, Kim Taylor-Thompson.  A son, Duane, passed away in 1988.