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Leon Russell @ Boulder Roots & Blues Summit

Leon Russell is a music legend and perhaps the most accomplished and versatile musician in the history of rock 'n roll. In his distinguished and unique 50 year career, he has played on, arranged, written and/or produced some of the best records in popular music.

Leon has played on pop, rock, blues, country, bluegrass, standards, gospel, and surf records. As a session musician, arranger, producer, singer, songwriter, pianist, guitarist, record company owner, bandleader, and touring musician, he has collaborated with hundreds of artists, including Glen Campbell, Joe Cocker, Willie Nelson, Edgar Winter, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, J.J. Cale, David Gates, Bruce Hornsby, Hal Blaine, Tommy Tedesco, Bobby "Boris" Pickett, B.B. King, Freddie King, Bill Wyman, Steve Cropper, Carl Radle, Chuck Blackwell, Don Preston, Jesse Ed Davis, Rita Coolidge, Gram Parsons, Barbra Streisand, Ike & Tina Turner, Ricky Nelson, Herb Alpert, Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin, Ann-Margret, Dean Martin, Marvin Gaye, Dave Mason, Steve Winwood, and groups such as Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, The Monkees, The Astronauts, The Accents, The Fencemen, The Ventures, The Beach Boys, The Byrds, Jan & Dean, Gary Lewis & The Playboys, Paul Revere & The Raiders, The Rolling Stones, The Ronettes, The Crystals, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, The Everly Brothers, The Righteous Brothers, The Flying Burrito Brothers, The Tractors and on and on and on.

Born in southwest Oklahoma in 1942, Leon began piano lessons at age 4. He was playing in Tulsa nightclubs at the age of 14. After graduating from high school, Leon's band, The Starlighters, went on the road with Jerry Lee Lewis. Leon left Tulsa at the age of 17 for Los Angeles where he began playing in the L.A. clubs and eventually became one of the best session musicians in Hollywood. He worked with the best Hollywood producers and top musicians in the business. Leon became part of an elite group of studio musicians called the Wrecking Crew and played on hundreds of hit records in the 1960's. He was part of studio groups such as The Routers and The Super Stocks. The Routers recorded the huge hit "Let's Go" and The Super Stocks recorded surf and hot rod tunes. In 1964, Leon was a member of the the house band on the Shindig! show on ABC television which showcased the top pop acts. Leon built a recording studio in his home in 1967 where he and Marc Benno recorded songs which were released on two critically acclaimed records as the 'Asylum Choir'.

Leon co-produced, arranged, and played piano, organ, and guitar on Joe Cocker's second album, 'Joe Cocker!' in 1969. He also recorded and toured with 'Delaney & Bonnie & Friends'.

Leon founded Shelter Records with partner Denny Cordell and released Leon's first solo album, "Leon Russell" in May, 1970. It included Beatles George Harrison and Ringo Starr, Rolling Stones Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts, Steve Winwood, Eric Clapton, and Klaus Voorman. The album contained classic Leon songs, 'A Song For You', along with 'Hummingbird', and 'Delta Lady'.

Shelter Records was home for not only Leon but many other artists such as Freddie King, Don Nix, J.J. Cale, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, The Gap Band, Dwight Twilley and Phoebe Snow. Leon played on and produced three Shelter albums for blues guitarist Freddie King.

As a songwriter, Leon's songs have hit the charts across all genres and have been covered by a diverse range of artists. Ray Charles recorded 'A Song For You', B.B. King had a hit with 'Hummingbird', The Carpenters with 'Superstar' and Joe Cocker with 'Delta Lady'. The Carpenter's cover of "Superstar", written by Leon and Bonnie Bramlett, went to #2 on the pop music charts. George Benson won the "Record of the Year" Grammy in 1976 for his cover of Leon's song, "This Masquerade", and it became the first song in music history to hit #1 on the jazz, pop and R&B charts.

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More Info / Buy Tickets

Émilie Simon Collaborates With Arcade Fire Director Vincent Morisset

For the launch of her forthcoming album, The Big Machine, Émilie Simon worked with Canadian director Vincent Morisset, whose pioneering work on cinematic interactivity with Arcade Fire earned praises worldwide. Vincent and Émilie were introduced by Jeremy  from Arcade Fire who also plays on The Big Machine. The two decided to collaborate on a series of interactive videos to illustrate four tracks from the album. With the help of photographer John Londono and illustrator Caroline Robert, they spent a day in Brooklyn capturing various moods of the city. The result is a series of interactive videos utilizing phenakistiscope, an old animation device that uses the persistence of retina to create images juxtaposition. Each of the four films is unique (“Chinatown” has an interactive sampler and octopus animation that are triggered when you click on the octopus, when you click on the wall in “Dreamland” it makes feathers fall etc). The videos premiered on InterviewMagazine.com today and can also be seen here.

One of France's most renowned artists, Émilie Simon, launched her career in 2003 and immediately captured the imagination of a large audience with her sprawling and elegant musical fantasies, earning three Victoires de la Musique (France’s Grammy equivalent) during the course of her first three albums. She gained international acclaim for scoring the smash documentary March of the Penguins and saw her first US release in 2006 with The Flower Book. In 2008, she relocated to Brooklyn where she recorded her new album The Big Machine surrounding herself with talented guests such as Kelly Pratt and Jeremy Gara (Arcade Fire) as well as Jon Natchez (Beirut) or Mark Plati (David Bowie, The Cure, Brazilian Girls).

Her iconic style has made her a respected voice in fashion. She is often seen donning dresses by Yeojin Bae, Jean-Paul Gauthier or Vivienne Westwood and collaborated with Paule Ka to design her stage attire. She blazes her own trail aesthetically, incorporating vintage clothing or up and coming designers to more established names, toying with fashion as she does with sounds.

The Albertans' "New Age" Out Today

The Albertans, a quintet of Joel Bravo, Ian Everall, Curtis McLean, Krystin Monaghan, and Alison Yip, formed in Vancouver, British Columbia, defects from Alberta, Saskatchewan and the U.S. They met as a collective, and piled into a propane-fueled, converted short bus to tour down to San Diego and back. They toured this way for the next two years, unglamorously, crossing the continent to record in New York, playing shows with bands they didn't know, for people that didn't know them. They traveled 50,000 miles, hopped borders, broke down, and slept on the road. In those two years together, The Albertans recorded an EP and full length with Ernest Jenning Records. They played shows at Sled Island, SXSW, and CMJ with bands such as Cuff the Duke, Hard Drugs, and Woods, and were named one of L Magazine's top NYC bands of 2009. Last Fall, The Albertans finally found a home back in Vancouver, and have been playing shows in BC until now, when they'll leave for SXSW and ultimately a full US tour.

The Albertans recorded their new single and forthcoming album New Age, at Chandelier Studios in Brooklyn, NY. Ernest Jenning Record Company (Cuff the Duke, O'Death, Takka Takka, Still Flyin) have released the full-length album today.

Watch the video 'Megan' here.

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The Albertans Live!

March 19th Austin, TX @ FiveOneTwo (SXSW) w/ The Forms, Takka Takka, O'Death

April 1st Bowen Island, BC @ the Bowen Island Pub
w/ Daniel Carter

April 2nd Vancouver, BC @ The Cobalt
w/ Wizzrds, The Killing Time Quartet and Bear Mountain

Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs keep it lo-fi

No Help Coming is the fourth full-length release by Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs, and the latest of nearly 30 albums on which the veteran indie icon is featured. But she’s quick to dismiss any suggestion that she’s refined her approach during her 20 years as a recording artist.

“I’m proud to say that I don’t think there’s been much development at all, really,” Golightly asserts. “I still only know the same chords I did when I was 14, and I still write songs about the same things. But I did get a tuner three years ago, which was monumental.”

Indeed, as much as her work has evolved over the years, the London-born, Georgia-based singer/guitarist has maintained a fierce fidelity to the same raw DIY musical principles that first established her as a seminal influence upon multiple generations of garage combos and lo-fi artists. Her current outfit, Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs, is a stripped-down duo that teams her with Texas-bred multi-instrumentalist and longtime collaborator Lawyer Dave, who contributes guitar, drums and backing vocals.

On No Help Coming, scheduled for release on April 26, 2011 on Transdreamer Records, Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs continue to make music that’s spare and earthy yet unfailingly tuneful, drawing upon gritty blues, country and rockabilly influences while maintaining an unmistakable personal resonance. As Playboy.com commented, “Golightly’s songs are so fresh and timeless they could have been recorded yesterday or 40 years ago.”

The new 12-song set, recorded in the twosome’s adopted home state of Georgia, features such notable originals as “The Rest of Your Life,” “You’re Under Arrest,” “Get Out My House” and the swaggering title track, all of which pack as much of a musical and emotional punch as anything they’ve recorded. No Help Coming also continues Golightly’s longstanding tradition of putting her stamp on unexpected cover material, with personalized readings of country legend Bill Anderson’s “The Lord Knows We’re Drinking,” the mysterious Mr. Undertaker’s 1955 rhythm-and-blues cult classic “Here Lies My Love,” and Wendell Austin’s vintage psycho-country epic “L.S.D. Made a Wreck of Me.” The last tune features an appropriately impassioned lead vocal by Lawyer Dave.

Born in Kensington, London, in the same hospital that Jimi Hendrix died in, Holly Golightly grew up in a bohemian household, absorbing a musical diet of psychedelic rock and soul. Her performing debut came via her then-boyfriend Bruce Brand, drummer of the legendary Billy Childish-led combo Thee Headcoats. An impromptu guest spot singing with that band led to a long and productive run as a member of Thee Headcoats’ sister band, Thee Headcoatees, with whom she recorded.

In 1995, while still a member of Thee Headcoatees, Holly branched out into a solo career that quickly revealed a both a distinctive songwriting talent and a commanding stage presence. Her solo work also largely traded Thee Headcoatees’ three-chord girl-group garage rock for a rootsier approach drawing much of its inspiration from rural American styles. She’s been intensely prolific in the years since, releasing 20 solo albums as well as numerous singles and EPs for a variety of labels, including Damaged Goods, Kill Rock Stars, Super Electro and Sympathy for the Record Industry. She’s also recorded collaborations with the likes of the White Stripes, Mudhoney, the Greenhornes and Rocket from the Crypt.

In 2007, Holly teamed with Lawyer Dave to form Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs. They purchased a parcel of rural land near Athens, Georgia, where they raise horses, dogs, chickens, geese and goats. Recording and performing as a duo, with Dave playing guitar with his hands and drums with his feet, they developed a loose, twangy sound that’s perfectly suited to their lyrical explorations of such quintessentially American themes as whiskey, religion and guns.

Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs’ 2007 debut album You Can’t Buy a Gun When You’re Crying won considerable attention from critics and fans alike. The pair continued to expand their audience with 2008’s acclaimed Dirt Don’t Hurt, their first release on the Transdreamer label. It was followed by the similarly well-received EP Devil Do and album Medicine County, released in 2009 and 2010, respectively.

Now, No Help Coming adds a compelling new chapter to Holly Golightly’s massively influential body of work. “I think I’m still doing exactly what I’ve always done, in that I’ve managed to keep making music I like,” she observes. “Perhaps some people don’t stick at it for as long because they didn’t really like what they were doing in the first place. I think the trick is to just do what you like, and not aim to use every switch in the studio just because it’s there.”

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SPRING 2011 TOUR DATES

Fri., April 29  CHARLOTTE, NC Snug Harbor
Sat., April 30  CHAPEL HILL, NC Local 506
Sun., May 1  ARLINGTON, VA IOTA Club & Café
Tues., May 3  BALTIMORE, MD The Ottobar
Wed., May 4  PHILADELPHIA, PA M Room
Thurs., May 5  NEW YORK, NY The Mercury Lounge
Fri., May 6  BROOKLYN, NY Knitting Factory
Sat., May 7  CAMBRIDGE, MA Middle East Upstairs
Sun., May 8  NEW HAVEN CT Café Nine
Tues., May 10 BUFFALO, NY The Ninth Ward
Wed., May 11 CLEVELAND, OH Beachland Ballroom and Tavern
Fri., May 13  CHICAGO, IL Beat Kitchen
Sat., May 14  MINNEAPOLIS, MN 7th Street Entry
Sun., May 15  MILWAUKEE, WI Mad Planet
Tues., May 17  ST. LOUIS, MO The Firebird
Thurs., May 19  OKLAHOMA CITY, OK The Conservatory
Fri., May 20  AUSTIN, TX Emo’s Alternative Lounging (Indoor)
Mon., June 20  SEATTLE, WA The Funhouse
Tues., June 21  PORTLAND, OR Doug Fir Lounge
Thurs., June 23  SAN FRANCISCO, CA Bottom of the Hill
Fri., June 24  LOS ANGELES, CA The Hotel Cafe
Sat., June 25 SAN DIEGO, CA Soda Bar

My Morning Jacket Announce New Album, Circuital

My Morning Jacket will release their highly anticipated sixth studio album this spring, entitled Circuital. In celebration of the forthcoming full-length, the band will give away six weekly downloads beginning March 3rd. The first five downloads will be live songs taken from each night of their historic week at New York’s Terminal 5 in October of 2010. On the sixth week, the band will offer up a brand new song from the new album.

Circuital was recorded in Louisville, KY and Nashville, TN, and was co-produced by frontman Jim James and Tucker Martine (R.E.M., Sufjan Stevens, The Decemberists). While in Louisville, the birthplace of the band and where three fifths of the guys are from, they recorded in the unique environment of a gymnasium inside of a church. They laid down almost everything live and allowed room for spontaneity.

In addition to getting reacquainted with their roots, the guys opted for a loose and warm production style for the album. The result is yet another reinvention of their sound that both forges new ground and maintains the distinct spirit of My Morning Jacket’s previous work.

Head to http://www.mymorningjacket.com to sign up for all six songs now and immediately receive the first song taken from their first night at Terminal 5.

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My Morning Jacket Tour Dates:

04-17 Lexington, KY - Memorial Coliseum (University of Kentucky)

05-20-22 Gulf Shores, AL - Hangout Festival

06-02-05 Ozark, AR - Wakarusa Festival

06-02-05 Hunter, NY - Mountain Jam

06-09-12 Manchester, TN - Bonnaroo Festival

06-30 - 07-03 Quincy, CA - High Sierra Music Festival

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

Wanda Jackson at the Boulder Theater | 4/1/11

When Wanda Jackson, the justly crowned Queen of Rockabilly, recorded “Let’s Have A Party,” a tune she made into a hit of her own in 1958 even after one-time boyfriend Elvis Presley had released a version of it, her delivery of the chorus wasn’t so much a suggestion as a command. As the title – and, more importantly, the contents -- of her latest album, The Party Ain’t Over, indicates, this feisty septuagenarian artist is as galvanizing as ever. Jackson was recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, honored with a long-time-coming, Early Influence accolade for her pivotal role in the evolution of popular music, especially where female artists were concerned. As a teenager in the mid-50s, the diminutive Jackson was the first woman to perform unadulterated rock and roll – and she one-upped the boys defining this new genre, Presley included, with her exhilaratingly forthright approach. The young Jackson, an Oklahoma native, came across as both gritty and glamorous; a playfully suggestive growl to her voice matched the daring, handmade outfits she wore, short skirts and fringed dresses that have inspired would-be bad girls for decades to come. A tireless touring artist for more than 50 years, Jackson continues to win over new, young fans, including guitarist-vocalist-White Stripes founder Jack White.

On this debut for Third Man/Nonesuch Records, produced and arranged by White at his Nashville studio, the spirited Jackson proves that brash rock and roll attitude need not have an age limit. Her trademark growl remains intact on rockers like “Rip It Up” and “Nervous Breakdown;” she opens the set with an echo-laden sneer on a rollicking version of “Shakin’ All Over” and ends it ten songs later with a plaintive take on Jimmie Rodgers’ “Yodel #6,” along the way gamely tackling country, gospel, densely worded Bob Dylan, and a little bit of Tin Pan Alley. Jackson and White are a remarkably simpatico pairing; their collaboration came together quickly, serendipitously. One of Jackson’s colleagues had originally approached White about doing a duet with Jackson for a proposed “Wanda and Friends” disc, but White demurred. Instead, he offered something better, inviting Jackson to cut a single with him for his Third Man label, and that swiftly led this kindred spirits to put together an entire album.

Jackson admits, “I was scared at first because I didn’t know what this young rock star was going to expect of me or ask me to do. I kind of had shaky feet, deciding whether I wanted to do this or not. Of course I knew about him, I have to admit, from the album he did with Loretta Lynn and how successful that was. That certainly got my attention when he said he was interested in doing one with me. So we began sending material to each other; he sent me the things he thought I should do or he wanted me to do, and I sent him some ideas of things I had put aside for recording at a future date. When I finally got to Nashville, he put me at ease immediately. He’s just so laid back and such a cool guy that I found myself wanting to please him, I wanted to do it his way. My husband (Jackson’s manager of 40 years) and I told him, you do this. If you want a suggestion from me, feel free to ask. Otherwise, you make the decisions. That gave him a lot of freedom and I wanted him to have that freedom. And I think that’s what made it so good as an album. As I began singing these songs and listening to the playbacks he made, I realized he wasn’t wanting to change my style of singing at all. He just wanted me to have new, fresher material. And I said, hey I could do this. I can sing like Wanda Jackson. He just wanted more of Wanda than I was used to putting out. And apparently it worked.”

White and Jackson came up with inspired and wide-ranging song choices that reflect Jackson’s long history with country, gospel, and even the big-band music she remembers from her childhood as well as with rock and roll: Harlan Howard’s woozy lament “Busted”; the Andrew Sisters’ kitschy tropical travelogue, “Rum and Coca Cola”, a fitting companion to her own “Fujiyama Mama”; Dylan’s rockabilly fever dream, “Thunder On The Mountain”. They also recorded a cover of contemporary bad-girl Amy Winehouse’s “You Know That I’m No Good,” which White first released as a single in 2009, paired with “Shakin All Over.” The Winehouse song suits her, Jackson says, but she’s careful to draw the line between life and art: “On the one hand, I’m good, on the other hand, I’m bad. That seems to be the image this new generation of fans that I have has given me. It’s like the title of the documentary about my life that recently came out: The Sweet Lady With the Nasty Voice. Maybe that says that I become a different person, a different persona, when I sing those songs. I have a good reputation, always have had, and respect from everyone as a lady, and that pleases me very much. But the young girls think I’m this hard gal that gets her way and storms in. It’s just because of the material I’ve sung and the way I’ve sung it. And that’s okay. That’s cute.

White himself backs Jackson on lead guitar, cutting loose with solos that are as ferocious and fun as Jackson’s vocals; in fact, the entire band that White assembled – including pedal steel, a horn section and backing vocals from singers Ashley Monroe and Karen Elson –is similarly uninhibited, matching Jackson’s and White’s intensity and, just as often, their humor. Though the work is carefully arranged, the resulting tracks feel like one unforgettable after-hours session, with everyone in thrall to the woman at the heart of these tunes. The first song White suggested they cut was “Rip It Up,” one Jackson knows very well from her rockabilly days. As she explains, “It shocked me that he wanted me to do that but that was the first one I recorded. He loves that song and I do too. But I think he did that to put me at ease, let me do something that I’m real familiar with and real comfortable with, and he didn’t have to direct me or any of that. I just reared back and sang it. That got me loosened up and made me comfortable.” Not that White simply wanted to make things easy. On the sultry “You Know I’m No Good,” says Jackson, “We’d get through one take and he’d say, ‘Oh Wanda that was great.’ And I said, ‘Whew, I made it.’ Then he said, ‘Now let’s do one more and let’s push a little more.’ I was getting physically kind of tired and probably kind of got angry but he got the take he wanted. It’s funny how you can come up with what your producers want in the strangest ways.” A little bit of their repartee can be detected at the top of the track, just as the analog tape gets rolling.

The Party Ain’t Over is about stepping out, not summing up, but it does touch on important aspects of Jackson’s life and ever-evolving career. “Teach Me Tonight,” a country-inflected interpretation of the DeCastro Sisters’ hit, partly fulfills Jackson’s desire to cut a 40s-style big-band disc. “Like A Baby,” recorded live in the studio with the whole band, allowed Jackson to revive an obscure, bluesy number from her old buddy Elvis. The Jimmie Rodgers tune is the first song she ever learned as a child; her father taught her the chords on the guitar, she figured out how to sing along while she played, and, like any aspiring vocal star of the era, she taught herself how to yodel, a skill she has clearly maintained over the ensuing decades.

Jackson remains too busy to look back – her legend looms especially large now in Europe and Japan, where she is always in demand as a concert performer – but she does allow herself a moment to reflect: “I can’t think of anyone who could be any luckier or any happier than me. I think it’s a blessing from the Lord. I had wonderful parents who gave up so much so that I could have my dreams come true. I was an only child so I had all the love and attention that anyone could ask for. My mother made my stage clothes and a lot of my street clothes too. Dad traveled with me and drove me to all those early dates so I didn’t have to be alone. You couldn’t ask for more, to make your living doing what you love to do, to sing and travel and entertain people all your life. I can’t think of any life that could be better than that.”

And, as she notes, the party ain’t over.

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Tickets are on sale at Boulder Theater Box Office. Call (303) 786-7030 for tickets by phone.

Tickets are also available through our website @ www.bouldertheater.com.

Tickets are On Sale Friday February 11th!

$20 adv / $22.50 dos

A Benefit Jazz Concert Charlie Hunter Duo & Daniel Bennett Group

Sunday Series at Abingdon is proud to present 8-string "groove" guitarist Charlie Hunter and "Folk Jazz" Saxophonist Daniel Bennett who are teaming up for a special double bill performance to benefit not-for-profit Abingdon Theatre Company.

Guitarist Charlie Hunter has established himself as one of America's preeminent guitar players and musical innovators. Hunter’s latest recording, Gentlemen, I Neglected To Inform You You Will Not Be Getting Paid, features the guitarist alongside drummer Eric Kalb (Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, John Scofield) and a new horn section, including trombonist Curtis Fowlkes (Jazz Passengers, Lounge Lizards, Bill Frisell), trombonist Alan Ferber (Don Byron,  Kenny Wheeler) and trumpeter Eric Biondo (Antibalas, TV On The Radio). This marks Hunter's second full-length release on his independent label Spire Artist Media. Hunter follows up his latest trio album, Baboon Strength, with an ambitious effort recorded live direct to two-inch analog tape.

Critically acclaimed New York saxophonist Daniel Bennett has recently shared concert stages with national artists like Bill Frisell, Charlie Hunter, James Carter, Billy Martin (Medeski, Martin & Wood), Jerry Bergonzi, and David Fiuczynski. Bennett’s musical journey began as a graduate student at the prestigious New England Conservatory in Boston, Massachusetts.  While at NEC, Bennett studied saxophone with Jerry Bergonzi, George Garzone, and Ken Radnofsky.  Daniel Bennett graduated from the conservatory in 2004 and began performing as a freelance musician with groups like the Portland Symphony, New Hampshire Festival Orchestra, Musaner, and the Duprees. During this time, Bennett also began to compose songs that featured folk melodies played on the saxophone in a jazz quartet format.  Bennett's chord progressions also maintained a unique minimalist quality, influenced by composers like Steve Reich and Philip Glass.. The band’s landmark debut album, A Nation of Bears, was met with critical acclaim. The Daniel Bennett Group released The Legend of Bear Thompson in the spring of 2008. Metronome Magazine ranked the album in their top five picks of the month, declaring, "the trio is so in sync with each other that it's downright mystical."  In 2009, the Daniel Bennett Group released Live at the Theatre, a groundbreaking album that was recorded live during a double bill performance with the Charlie Hunter Trio. The Daniel Bennett Group has been featured on popular radio programs like Harvard University’s Jazz Spectrum (WHRB 95.3FM).  The group has also made television appearances on Bandwidth TV, The Music Closet, Style Boston, and Sal's Show. The Daniel Bennett Group can be heard at clubs and festivals throughout the United States.

Since 1993, not-for-profit Abingdon Theatre Company has developed and produced new plays by American playwrights exclusively. Under the artistic direction of Jan Buttram, the company provides a safe home in which playwrights collaborate with other theatre artists and receive audience feedback through the utilization of a four-step development process: First Readings, Staged Readings, and Workout Labs, which culminate in Studio Productions and Mainstage Productions.  

For Tickets visit their website.

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.”

Callers Announce US Tour / Premiere "Life Of Love"

Ryan and Sara met Don at a show at Melvin's, a bar on St. Claude in the Marigny neighborhood of New Orleans. Ryan and Sara had just begun writing and recording songs together on an old 4-track with a mic hanging from the blade of a ceiling fan in the middle of that stifling sweaty summer, but they would soon part ways and leave New Orleans. Over the next couple of years they relocated to Providence together and later settled in Brooklyn where Don had also settled after Katrina.
Life of Love is the first collection of songs Callers wrote and recorded exclusively in New York as a three- piece. Naturally the band's sound grew in volume in response to the volume of the city; however, they held on to what makes them so consistently affecting: their raw spartan style, anchored by Sara's sensually tough vocals, and Ryan and Don's Southern-honed chops as multi-instrumentalists.
The album started with the band's cover of Wire's "Heartbeat", and the idea of creating something simple and cathartic. Using borrowed amps and mics, in bedrooms and in studios, and by the grace of their good friends, Callers recorded Life of Love in intense spurts over the course of a year. Unlike the experimental ballads on their debut Fortune, the new songs pulse with gritty urgency, colored by the sounds of damaged gear and the earnest spirit of a middle-school gospel choir. The result is an album stripped to the core, an expression of the inexpressible space between us and the places we inhabit and the people we share those places with.
Tour Dates
1/8 - Silent barn - Brooklyn, NY
1/27 - World Cafe Live - Philadelphia, PA
1/28 - Jammin Java - Vienna, VA
1/29 - Union Pool - Brooklyn, NY
3/13 - The Earl - Atlanta, GA
3/21 - Solar Culture - Tucson, AZ
3/22 - Caasbah - San Diego, CA
3/24 - The Echo - Los Angeles, CA
3/25 - Bottom of the Hill - San Francisco, CA
3/27 - Media Club - Vancouver, BC
3/29 - Mississippi Studios - Portland, OR
3/31 - Flying M Coffee - Nampa,  ID
4/1 - Kilby Court - Salt Lake City, UT
4/2 - Larimer Lounge - Denver, CO
4/3 - Slowdown Jr - Omaha, NE
4/4 - The Mill - Iowa City, IA
4/5 - Turf Club - St Paul, MN
4/6 - Lawrence University - Appleton, WI