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Soulive's Al Evans Unearths Crushed Velvet

Royal Family Records has announced the May 24 release of the long lost 1970s' motion picture soundtrack The Big One by Crushed Velvet & The Velveteers. This never-before-issued soul music gem was recently unearthed by Soulive drummer Alan Evans when a family friend in Buffalo, NY put him in touch with the movie's director Cleo McBride. A 1974 Shaft-meets-007 Blaxploitation production, The Big One never made it to the big screen as the film was reported to have been destroyed in a fire soon after completion. The soundtrack recordings remained dormant until Evans was recruited to mix the original sessions and release it through Soulive's record company Royal Family Records. The Brooklyn-based label will release the soundtrack as both a free mp3 album download and on limited edition vinyl.

The track listing is:

1. The Big One (Main Theme)
2. Thunderbird
3. Felecia's Love Theme
4. Detroit Slim
5. The Lay Down
6. Memphis Stomp
7. London Black (pts. 1,2,3)
8. Big Chase
9. The Big One (End Theme)

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More about Crushed Velvet & The Velveteers

In the late 60s and early 70s, Buffalo, NY was a well-known hotspot for funk and soul music. One of the stand-outs on the scene was a guitarist and vocalist who went by the name Crushed Velvet. He backed many of Buffalo's finest musicians and was the first call most national hit-makers would make when needing to assemble a local band for Buffalo dates. Inspired to start his own band, he assembled Crushed Velvet and the Velveteers. They hit the scene hard bringing a tight new sound to “The Queen City." The response was so overwhelming that it quickly became clear the next logical step was to set their sites on New York City. As plans were being made for a move to the Big Apple, Crushed Velvet got a call from an old band-mate turned filmmaker Cleo McBride. Cleo had recently been given his first big break to direct a film called The Big One. This was not going to be a run of the mill Blaxploitation movie, but a film to turn the industry on its head. The main character was to be the first African-American spy hero, chasing down "the man" across the world.  Crushed Velvet believed this could be the band's ticket to the top, so plans for NYC were shelved. Instead, they began recording the album of their lives.  After nearly a year of writing and recording, the soundtrack was near completion. It was around this time that Crushed Velvet received the devastating news that would shatter those dreams. On March 23, 1974, the home of Cleo McBride was burned to the ground along with all of the master film reels for The Big One.

After the fire, all that remained was the shock and allegations of an entire community.  Cleo McBride was the first to claim that the government was at fault for the destruction of his work because of its positive and powerful depiction of a "black man as a strong, worldly hero."  With no film to accompany the music and an overall paranoia associated with anything having to do with The Big One, the soundtrack was shelved. Crushed Velvet broke up the band and disappeared from the Buffalo music scene.

In 2010, Soulive drummer Alan Evans was contacted by a family friend who'd been in touch with Cleo McBride. Aware that Evans, a Buffalo-native, had achieved a great deal of success in the music industry and was also operating his own recording studio PlayonBrother, they shared the story of The Big One and Crushed Velvet & The Velveteers, hoping he'd listen to the tapes. Intrigued by the story, Evans agreed and what he found was pure soul music gold. He took to the task of mixing the recordings and preparing them for worldwide release through Soulive's label Royal Family Records.

THE BIG ONE, the original motion picture soundtrack by CRUSHED VELVET & THE VELVETEERS is available May 24 as a free mp3 album download and on limited edition vinyl through Royal Family Records.

Watch video with Al Evans explaining history of The Big One

Download a free mp3 of "The Big One (Main Theme)"

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. 

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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

National Jazz Museum in Harlem Jan. 24 - Jan. 30, 2011

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

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Christian McBride Hosts: My Musical Heroes
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300
Christian’s Subject: Motown—The Jazz Singers

Our Co-Director, the brilliant bassist/composer/bandleader Christian McBride continues his insightful series on his musical heroes. This evening’s program will shed light on some music usually not included in a jazz context, and that’s a shame. As quiet as it’s kept, many of the instrumentalists and vocalists central to the Motown Sound were immersed in the jazz idiom. One of the singers you’ll hear tonight is Marvin Gaye, singing jazz ballad standards! If you like to expand your horizons, please join us.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Harlem Speaks
Tommy LiPuma, Producer

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

One of the music industry’s most innovative and uniquely creative forces for more than four decades, Verve Music Group Chairman Emeritus Tommy LiPuma’s legendary career is record business history in the making. With 29 gold and platinum records to his credit, more than 30 GRAMMY® nominations, and three GRAMMY® Awards, he is one of the most successful pop and jazz producers ever.

By choosing to transition into the position of Chairman Emeritus in 2004, LiPuma decided to spend more time in the studio, and the very essence of what has driven him to be one of the most sought-out producers in the business – his keen musical insight and pristine sensibilities. “I can’t always put my finger on why I know something will work. It’s more the chills factor I look for — honing in on that artist whose music reaches inside you and takes you somewhere. There’s no scientific formula for hitting the mark, but that’s part of the excitement and challenge for me.”

One of the greatest success stories of LiPuma’s career is Diana Krall, with whom he continues a close association.

LiPuma began his first stint with Warner Bros. in 1974 as a staff A&R producer, helping launch the label careers of George Benson, Al Jarreau, and Michael Franks and recorded albums with Antonio Carlos Jobim, Joao Gilberto, and Claus Ogerman. After a brief time back at A&M in 1978, where LiPuma led the newly formed Horizon Records, working with Brenda Russell, Seawind, Dr. John (for whom he later produced the duet “In A Sentimental Mood” with Rickie Lee Jones), and David Grisman, he returned to Warner Bros. as Vice President, Jazz and Progressive Music. As producer and talent scout, he worked with the artists who made Warner Jazz one of the most successful jazz labels in the industry: Randy Crawford, Patti Austin, Bob James, David Sanborn, Earl Klugh, Everything But the Girl, The Yellowjackets, Joe Sample, and the late Miles Davis.

In 1990, LiPuma joined Elektra Records as Senior Vice President, A&R, rejoining his old partner Krasnow, who was label Chairman. While at Elektra, he produced Natalie Cole and Anita Baker, and brought Sanborn, The Story, and Wayne Shorter to the label. His work on Cole’s breakthrough album Unforgettable (which was produced by LiPuma, Andre Fischer, and David Foster) earned LiPuma a share of the 1991 GRAMMY® for Album of the Year. He also produced Cole’s platinum follow-up, Take a Look, as well as her 2002 Verve Records debut, Ask A Woman Who Knows.

National Jazz Museum in Harlem Jan. 3 - Jan. 9, 2011

The electric bass was actually Christian McBride’s first instrument. He began playing at age 8 when Jaco Pastorious was the bass guitar's standard bearer, having created masterpieces with the group Weather Report as well as his eponymously titled first solo recording. Jaco Pastorious transformed the bass guitar into an instrument of fine art, and there are few better, if any, to discuss Pastorious than McBride. This will be a night to remember - whatever you do, make it to this free class, and bring a friend.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Jazz for Curious Listeners
Christian McBride Hosts: My Musical Heroes
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300
Christian’s Subject: Jaco Pastorious, Electric Bass Innovator
Friday, January 7, 2011

Signed to Sony Classical at the age of 17, Eldar has since established himself as one of the most brilliant and virtuosic solo jazz pianists of his generation. The possessor of a unique style, this is a rare solo performance in New York City. Along the way, Eldar’s had the good fortune to work with masters such as Dr. Billy Taylor, Dave Brubeck, Michael Brecker, Herbie Hancock, among others. The performance space is a wonderful place to hear acoustic music – no microphones, just a lot of wood to give the sound depth and warmth. This is a wonderful way to break in the New Year with live music!

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

2010 University Of Michigan Jazz Festival "Charles Mingus Day"

The 2010 University Of Michigan Jazz Festival  "Charles Mingus Day" will take place February 13th at 7:30p.m. at the Power Center for the Performing Arts in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The festival announced today that Congressman John Conyers Jr. would receive the first, "University of Michigan John Conyers Jr. Jazz Advocacy Award". This award is named in his honor and serves as recognition of extraordinary achievement in the world of Jazz by an advocate or patron.

In recognition of Black History Month and the Jazz Festival tribute to Charles Mingus, three virtuoso bassists, Christian McBride, Robert Hurst and Rodney Whitaker, will take the stage together in an historic improvised performance.

The festival feature concert will also include the University of Michigan Jazz Ensemble, The Christian McBride Band and the Detroit Jazz Festival Orchestra under the direction of Dennis Wilson. The DJFO will feature a new composition by Christian McBride entitled "The Movement Revisited". This composition is an important expression of the Black experience through the language of Jazz and will also be performed on February 14th at 7:30pm at Second Ebenezer Church in Detroit.

The University of Michigan Jazz Festival is a noncompetitive event providing collegiate, high school and middle school students an opportunity to interact with the music faculty of the University of Michigan as well as other distinguished educators.  The Festival is open to students, educators, and music lovers of all ages and is presented by the School Of Music Theatre & Dance through the Department of Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation with additional support from numerous academic units within the University Of Michigan.

Christian McBride Big Band at the Iridium

mcbrideThe Iridium Jazz Club Is Pleased to Present

A Very Special One Week Engagement

With The

CHRISTIAN MCBRIDE BIG BAND

WED. THRU SUN. SEPT. 16-20, 2009

Featuring

CHRISTIAN MCBRIDE-LEADER

DAVID BRYANT - PIANO
ULYSSES OWENS, JR. - DRUMS
BEN WILLIAMS - BASS

TRUMPETS:
FREDDIE HENDRIX, FRANK GREENE, BRANDON LEE, KENNY RAMPTON

TROMBONE:
STEVE DAVIS, DOUGLAS PURVIANCE, + 2 TBS TBA

REEDS:
STEVE WILSON, LOREN SCHOENBERG, TODD WILLIAMS, TODD BASHORE, FRANK BASILE

 

Co-director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, bassist, educator, composer, super-sideman, and bandleader Christian McBride brings his 18 piece big band to The Iridium Jazz Club for five nights Sept. 16 through 20 sets at 8:30 & 10:30PM. From Philadelphia, McBride has become the most acclaimed acoustic and electric bassist to emerge from the jazz world in the past decade. His CDs on Verve and Mack Ave. as a leader and the literally hundreds of albums he has performed on showcase his funky style and big tone. His ever-expanding pop, R&B and fusion palette takes him around the world anchoring some of the best jazz groups today. He has performed with numerous artists including at Pat Metheny, Joshua Redman, Sting, Chick Corea, The Roots, Diana Krall, D'Angelo, Betty Carter, McCoy Tyner, Roy Hargrove and Wynton Marsalis.

 

 

IRIDIUM JAZZ CLUB
1650 BROADWAY (CORNER OF 51ST)
NEW YORK, NY 10023
RESERVATIONS: 212-582-2121
HTTP://WWW.IRIDIUMJAZZCLUB.COM/
SETS AT 8:30 & 10:30PM