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My Morning Jacket's Carl Broemel to Release Solo Album

“It takes a lot of time to know your mind.”  Its a simple statement, yet earnest and profound in its offering.  Sometimes it’s the spaces in between, the subtleties and ambiguities that provide us with the most meaning.
 All Birds Say (ATO Records) is an intimate collection of musings on life from My Morning Jacket guitarist, Carl Broemel.

 Broemel reflects on things as they are with Zen-like contentment, making no judgment on how they should be...he gives pause for introspection but stops short of preaching. The songs are firmly planted between past and present.  It’s in these little fractured moments that the listener bears witness to thoughtful contemplation that give rise to epiphanies on larger themes.

Broemel could’ve taken the easy road and penned a lyrical triptych to the remarkable journey he’s experienced over the past several years, but instead All Birds Say is an incredibly honest and sincere insight into the artist’s inner-most thoughts as he attempts to reconcile his role in life.
 “Where do you start?  Or where do you stop?  And how do you reconcile the things you do versus the things you don’t?  It’s something I’m constantly thinking about.  I think there’s a lot of trying to be aware of what you’re doing now versus dwelling on things or worrying about what’s gonna happen later.  A lot of the songs are really just me talking to myself, trying to make sense of things in my head.”

Deft in its presentation, the songs on the album unfold in a dream-like stream of consciousness with lush and elegant arrangements.  The album’s brilliance is displayed in Broemel’s effortless delivery.  It’s the perfect amalgamation of lazy sophistication…whimsical poise and grace.  The instrumentation serves as the ideal complement to Broemel’s well crafted set of modern-folk standards; complete with pedal steel, dobro, strings, autoharp, clarinet, bassoon, vibraphone, and baritone sax, among others.  Think Ron Sexsmith, Neko Case, Neal Casal, Andrew Bird, Mose Allison, and early Boz Scaggs singing an orchestrated chorus of breezy ballads and waltzes.

The guitar figure of the instrumental title track that opens the album serves as a natural introduction to “Life Leftover,” an introspective meditation on the importance of being more present in life that’s at the heart of All Birds Say.  The album also afforded him the chance to collaborate with his own father, a former member of the Indianapolis Symphony who provides rich color and depth to the music with clarinet, baritone sax, and bassoon.

“To me, making records is like alchemy.  It’s something that no one can ever perfect, but you have an insatiable desire to keep doing it and get better at it.  I really believe that everything we experience contributes to what we do next, so this album is really a result of all the records and tours I’ve done so far.“

The best records always seem to be the ones that slowly reveal themselves like a pleasant surprise and allow the listener to peel through deeper layers upon repeated listen…the kind of records that you grow with and can go back to months later and hear something then that resonates with you in a way that wouldn’t have otherwise.  It’s an interactive process between the listener and the artist, and one to be thankful for.  This is the kind of album that epitomizes the vinyl experience; an instant classic that is sure to stand the test of time.

Listen to Bromel's 'Heaven Knows'

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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

Ornette Coleman Receives Honorary Doctorate of Music from the University of Michigan

Music legend Ornette Coleman received an honorary doctorate of music from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.  The Department of Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation of the School of Music, Theatre and Dance congratulates Mr. Coleman on this great honor, his 80th birthday, and for being one of the most important musicians and innovators of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.  The event also included a commencement address by President Barack Obama.

THE OFFICIAL CEREMONY TEXT

“Mr. Coleman, your performances and your path-breaking theories of jazz and music have transformed how musicians play and what listeners hear.  Your self-taught musical education blossomed into a radically novel sound, giving the world musical styles it had never heard before.  In your long career of ongoing creativity, you have played a vital role in preserving and enhancing America’s cultural legacy, and you have cultivated the talent of the future.  The University of Michigan is proud to present you with the honorary degree, Doctor of Music.”


MORE ABOUT ORNETTE COLEMAN

Ornette Coleman is a leading composer and performer of jazz, whose remarkable artistry is admired around the world.  Born in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1930, he taught himself how to play the saxophone and had formed his first band by the age of fourteen.  After touring with a traveling ensemble, he moved to Los Angeles and began to teach himself music theory while working as an elevator operator.  During this period, he performed with a rehearsal ensemble that allowed him to experiment with the new theoretical concepts he was developing.  The result of his self-study was a new freedom in jazz performance that has been described as a radically new concept and style that originated from his musical intuition, combining southwestern country blues and his own highly personal interpretations of music theory.  The compositional voice that Mr. Coleman developed in the 1950s would remain his trademark style and sound throughout his career.  The first of his many influential albums was recorded in 1958, released under the title Something Else, which launched him as a major innovator of jazz, leading to many more albums and a famous breakthrough engagement at the Five Spot Café in New York City, where he moved permanently.  His music, freed from the conventions of harmony, rhythm, and melody, both polarized and transformed the jazz community, and he devoted decades to understanding and discovering the shape of not just jazz, but all music to come.  At the core of his music is his theory of Harmolodics, which addresses the question of the sound and performance of music beyond the melody.  Beyond the twenty albums he released in the 1960s, Mr. Coleman also began to write string quartets, woodwind quintets, and symphonies based on his pioneering theories of musical composition.  His remarkable contributions to music have been recognized by a multitude of honors, including several honorary degrees, appointment as a MacArthur Foundation Fellow, induction into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the presentation of the prestigious Praemium Imperiale Award of the Japanese government.  In 2007 he was honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and won the Pulitzer Prize in Music in 2007 for his album Sound Grammar.  In 2009 he became the 16th musician in history to be presented with the Miles Davis Award, in recognition for his regeneration of the jazz idiom.  His recent 80th birthday in March was marked with a variety of tributes, from articles, to concerts, to all-day broadcasts of his music.

RUNNER RUNNER IS SPRINTING YOUR WAY THIS SUMMER

Runner Runner, a dynamic young band hailing from punk mecca Huntington Beach, Calif., will see its debut album released through a new partnership with EMI Music's Capitol Records, Clear Entertainment/C.E. Music (a new label formed by David Letterman's Worldwide Pants Inc.), and Jack Ponti's MRV label.  The album, now being recorded in Los Angeles with producer Dave Darling (Stray Cats, Brian Setzer, Soulive), will be the flagship release for C.E. Music in its partnership with Capitol Records and MRV.  The self-titled debut will be released in late summer, while the first single, "So Obvious," will go to radio on June 15.  (Check out "So Obvious" HERE).  Runner Runner kicks off the first leg of an extensive tour beginning in mid-May, with initial dates below.

With more than eight-million total plays on its MySpace page - not bad for a new band - and named a 2009 Band to Watch by Alternative Press, Runner Runner has been described by one impressed industry veteran as a poppier Green Day.  They've also drawn comparisons to Boys Like Girls, The Maine, Forever the Sickest Kids and We the Kings.  The immensely appealing Runner Runner - frontman Ryan Ogren, guitarist Nick Bailey, guitarist Peter Munters, bassist Jon Berry, and drummer James Ulrich - combine skillful songwriting and musicianship, punk-infused intensity and humungous hooks with tremendous potential.

Prior to forming in 2008, the members of Runner Runner had been in a variety of other bands - bassist Berry was a founding member of the SoCal pop-punk band Rufio, and Ogren had been the vocalist/guitarist for the New Jersey-based Don't Look Down.  Munters, Bailey, and Ulrich were all members of the Orange County, CA-based by way of northern Virginia skate-punk band Over It.  After numerous tours together as three separate entities, the five musicians gravitated towards each other and formed Runner Runner.

Runner Runner has performed more than 175 shows on bills with such prominent left-of-center acts as Fall Out Boy, All Time Low, Gym Class Heroes, Angels & Airwaves, The Higher, The Audition, and the White Tie Affair.  They're also veterans of the festival circuit, appearing in 2009 on the Vans Warped Tour, Bamboozle and Tokyo's Punkspring Festival, as well as the Night of Lights Festival and the L.A. Ink Fest during the previous year.

Runner Runner plans to tour extensively to support the release of its debut, and will hit the road May 20 for an initial run of dates as support for Amber Pacific and for Cartel.  The itinerary, taking the band through the western portion of the U.S. as well as into Texas and Louisiana, is as follows:

MAY
20 Satyricon, Portland, OR*
22 El Corazon, Seattle, WA*
23 Icon, Pocatello, ID*
24 Kilby Court, Salt Lake City, UT*
25 Black Sheep, Colorado Springs, CO*
26 The Blue Goat, Salina, KS*
29 Luna Bar & Grill, Lake Charles, LA*
30 The Parish @ House of Blues, New Orleans, LA*
31 The Hangar, Wichita Falls, TX**

JUNE
2 Old Rock House, St. Louis, MO**
3 Chubby Rain - House of Tunes, Poplar Grove, IL**
6 Wasted Space @ Hard Rock Hotel, Las Vegas, NV*
8 Chain Reaction, Anaheim, CA*
9 Ramona Mainstage, Ramona, CA*
11 The Vault, Temecula, CA*

* with Amber Pacific
** with Cartel

Dreyfus Jazz Presents European Modernists

Jazz, once a singularly American invention and one of the United States’ greatest exports, has become a truly international phenomenon, with important players from all over the world making valuable contributions to the music’s evolution.  Europe, previously home to many of the most devoted connoisseurs of the art form, is now also the producer of some of the most innovative voices in jazz. With the inauguration of its European Modernists series Dreyfus Jazz is proud to bring U.S. audiences some of the best creative music being made on the continent today.  The first releases in the collection showcase musicians from Belgium, France and Italy, spotlighting two long respected veterans and a pair of important younger voices.  Taken together, Belgian guitarist Philip Catherine, French pianist Jean-Michel Pilc and Italians, drummer Aldo Romano and saxophonist Rosario Giuliani, these artists represent the continuing trend of noteworthy original music emanating from European environs.

Born in Belluno, Italy on Jan 16, 1941, Aldo Romano is the most senior of the four leaders, well known to audiences worldwide since his earliest recordings as a member of Don Cherry’s internationalist quintet featuring Argentinean saxophonist Gato Barbieri, German vibraphonist Karl Berger and French bassist Jean Francois Jenny Clark.  A resident of France since a young age, he’s played swinging drums with visiting American giants like Jackie McLean, Bud Powell, Lucky Thompson, J.J. Johnson, Johnny Griffin and Woody Shaw and avant garde explorations with Steve Lacy, Charlie Mariano, Frank Wright, Bobby Few and Bill Dixon through the years, giving his far reaching music a distinctively freewheeling flavor. His associations with fellow Europeans Michel Petrucciani, Rolf and Joachim Kühn, Enrico Rava and Michel Portal make him a particularly representative artist for this series.

Origine, Romano’s fourth effort for Dreyfus, finds the versatile artist returning to a romantic setting similar to that of his debut effort for the label, Chante, leading an expanded ensemble that displays his considerable capabilities as a composer.  Augmenting his jazz sextet featuring saxophonist/flutist Lionel Belmondo (who arranged all of the disc’s thirteen compositions) and trumpeter/flugelhornist Stéphane Belmondo (the date’s primary soloist), altoist Géraldine Laurent, pianist Eric Legnini and bassist Thomas Bramerie with a classical wind ensemble of clarinet, flute, English horn, bassoon, French horn and tuba, plus percussionist Xavier Desandre-Navarre.  The music is lush and beautiful, a decidedly successful melding of American and European sensibilities reflecting Romano’s wide ranging talents, which also include (like one of his influences, Bill Higgins) playing guitar and singing, the latter of which is heard to great effect on the final track, his “Jazz Messengers” with French lyrics by Yves Simon.

Guitarist Philip Catherine, born in London in 1942 to a Belgian father and British mother, was raised in Brussels’s where he began playing professionally while still a teenager.  Dubbed the "young Django" while still a youth, by the great Charles Mingus (on whose Three or Four Shades of Blues the guitarist recorded), Catherine came into his own voice playing in variety of settings, from bebop to fusion, including work with American expatriates Dexter Gordon and Chet Baker and European violin maestros Jean Luc Ponty and Stephane Grappelli. Since gaining recognition with American audiences for his two guitar work Larry Coryell, he has gone on to become one of the most highly respected artists on his instrument in both the U.S. and Europe.

Catherine, who has recorded over twenty albums under his own name since his 1974 Warner Brothers debut Stream (produced by the legendary French guitarist-vocalist Sacha Distel, who worked with Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie and John Lewis) and dozens more as a valued sideman, makes his sixth appearance as a leader on Dreyfus with Concert In Capbreton.  The live recording, featuring the guitarist’s working band with his longtime collaborator, Dutch bassist Hein Van De Geyn, Italian piano maestro Enrico Pieranunzi and former Bill Evans drummer Joe La Barbera, is a swinging affair documenting the group’s 2009 appearance in the charming seaside resort town in southwestern France.  The group stretches out on four standards from the Great American Songbook – “My Funny Valentine”, “My Foolish Heart”, “You’ve Changed” and “Speak Low”, along with two modern jazz classics, Sam Rivers’ “Beatrice” and Richie Beirach’s “Broken Wings” and a beautiful Van de Geyn solo bass piece “Change.”

Since moving to New York in 1995, virtuoso pianist/composer Jean-Michel Pilc has steadily earned a reputation one the city’s finest musical imports, working and recording regularly in many of the most important venues in the jazz capital of the world, including Sweet Basil, Small’s, Iridium and the Jazz Gallery, both as a leader and with the likes of Roy Haynes, Michael Brecker, Kenny Garrett and Richard Bona.  Born in Paris in 1960, where he taught himself piano, Pilc truly came into his own after moving to the United States and forming his longstanding trio featuring fellow Frenchman, bassist François Moutin (with whom he recorded his debut album, Funambule, in Paris in 1989) and the flexible Philadelphian drummer, Ari Hoenig.  An innovator with a deeply personal style of his own, Pilc has been called “musical genius’” by the Washington Post, while the New York Time’s Ben Ratliff astutely described him as “a splashy stunner who also has a Rubik's-cube mind for chord substitutions."

True Story, Pilc’s sixth album as a leader for Dreyfus since he began recording for the label back in 2001 with his Welcome Home, introduces the pianist’s remarkable new trio featuring veteran drummer Billy Hart and the great Russian born Mingus Dynasty bassist Boris Kozlov.  The program, predominantly composed by the leader himself, including the five part title track suite, continues on the idiosyncratic path blazed on his previous dates, with music that is both dazzling and unpredictable.  In addition to his other compositions, which include the classically tinged tribute “Mornings With Franz”, he also performs an original arrangement of Schubert’s “Relic” and typically unconventional interpretations of Cole Porter’s “My Heart Belongs To Daddy” and Tom Jones’ pop hit “Try To Remember”, with the former reimagined as a tango and latter serving as an Evanescent impressionistic journey.

Perhaps the least known artist presented in the European Modernist series, Rosario Giuliani is nonetheless an important new voice on the international music scene.  Born in Terracina, Italy in the saxophonist achieved deserved recognition when voted the best new talent in the 2000 critics poll Top Jazz conducted by Musica Jazz magazine. Since then he has gone on to garner attention for his work with artists like Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Cedar Walton, Marc Johnson, Charlie Haden, Phil Woods, Mark Turner and Jeff "Tain" Watts, as well as many of Europe’s best players.  Possessing a virtuosic technique reflecting a range of influences from Charlie Parker and Lee Konitz to John Coltrane and Wayne Shorter, Giuliani has proven himself to be a significant addition to the lineage of jazz saxophonists, capable of contributing valuably in a variety of situations.

Lennie’s Pennies, Giuliani’s tenth album as a leader and his fifth for Dreyfus, may well be the saxophonist’s best effort to date. Leading a quartet featuring Paris born Pierre de Bethmann on piano and Fender Rhodes, with expatriate Philadelphian Darryl Hall on bass and Joe La Barbera on drums, Giuliani proves himself to be a first rate on alto saxophone (which he plays exclusively on the date, eschewing the soprano sax that he has doubled on excellently on previous cd’s).  Opening with a blistering tempoed reading of Lennie Tristano’s title track, the leader leaves no doubt whatsoever concerning his powerful voice and technique. Elsewhere he expresses both a dreamy sensitivity, as well as a willingness to stretch boundaries when appropriate.  The program, which includes four originals penned by the leader and two from de Bethmann, as well as a couple of standards, Heyman and Young’s “Love Letters” and Irving Berlin’s “How Deep Is The Ocean” and a pair of modern jazz classics, Joe Zawinul’s “74 Miles Away” and Jimmy Rowles’ “The Peacocks” is one that should satisfy forward looking fans of straight ahead jazz.

Ironically, as modern technology and the internet makes the planet seem smaller and smaller, the jazz world continues to expand exponentially with creative artists from all over contributing their individual voices and homegrown influences to the music’s ever growing canon. The four artists featured on the Dreyfus European Modernist series, Aldo Romano, Philip Catherine, Jean-Michel Pilc and Rosario Giuliani, are each important voices in this once all-American music, reflecting the new wide world of contemporary jazz.

Papo Vazquez Pirates Troubadours At the Brooklyn Public

Jazz trombonist Papo Vazquez’s Afro-Caribbean ensemble, Pirates Troubadours, will be hosted by the Brooklyn Public Library at the Dr. S. Stevan Dweck Center for Contemporary Culture on Thursday, April 1 for a free concert from 7 to 8:30 PM.  The Dweck Center’s entrance is located at the Central Library on Eastern Parkway near Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn.  This performance is part of the 11th Annual Central Brooklyn Jazz Festival.  For information call 718.230.2100.

Papo Vazquez Pirates Troubadours are Willie Williams (sax), Zaccai Curtis (piano), Dezron Douglas (bass), Alvester Garnett (drums), Anthony Carrillo (percussion), Richie Flores (percussion).  Mr. Vazquez’s music combines elements of Jazz and Afro-Caribbean rhythms to create his special blend of Latin Jazz.  He is considered by many as one of the pioneers of Afro Puerto Rican Jazz which is a mixture of Bomba, Plena and Jibaro music.  Papo has performed with jazz luminaries such as Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, Wayne Shorter, Eddie Palmieri and is an original member of the Fort Apache Band just to name some musical affiliations.

The Brooklyn Public Library serves 2.5 million residents of Brooklyn and the Dweck Center is the borough’s newest public cultural venue.  "Brooklyn has long been home to many of the world's great jazz musicians, and Brooklyn Public Library's Dweck Center is pleased to participate in the Central Brooklyn Jazz Festival and to showcase the borough's creative musical talent." States Jay Kaplan, Director, Programs and Exhibitions Dept., Brooklyn Public Library.  The Dweck seats 189 people and is fully accessible to all.  With an elevated stage, acoustical walls and ceilings panels this center is perfectly suited to host Papo Vazquez Pirates Troubadours.

Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium (CBJC) announces Brooklyn's longest running continuous festival dedicated to Jazz, 11th Annual Central Brooklyn Jazz Festival - "Expressions of Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow". This celebration of an American original art form will take place during Jazz Appreciation Month, March 27 - April 30, 2010 at multiple venues throughout the borough.  For festival information call 718.773.2252 or visit here.   

The Disco Biscuits Announce Pre-Order To End All Pre-Orders

The Disco Biscuits are taking the pre-order game to a whole new level. Everyone and their mother does the signed CD/poster/ticket bundle (which they'll be doing too), but that's not the good stuff.

Dave McMurdo Jazz Orchestra | Rex Jazz & Blues Bar

Award winning Jazz Composer Chuck Iwanusa's latest composition, entitled "What Do You Want?", will be premiered by the Dave McMurdo Jazz Orchestra. The fourteen minute piece features tenor saxophonists Quinson Nachoff and Kelly Jefferson. Chuck's compositions have been professionally performed by bands in Western Australia, Kazakhstan, and Switzerland, as well as by numerous college and university ensembles.

Heralded as Canada's "Jazz Big Band of the Year" by The Jazz Report, the Toronto based Dave McMurdo Jazz Orchestra has toured throughout the world with performances from Moscow to New York City .  The DMJO has recorded six albums for Sackville Records, The Jazz Alliance and The Canadian Music Center, one of which was nominated for a Juno Award.

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Dave McMurdo Jazz Orchestra
Monday, February 15 9:30PM @ the Rex Jazz & Blues Bar
194 Queen Street West
Toronto, ONT M5V 1Z1
Reservations: 416.598.2475
http://www.therex.ca/