Mon, 12/05/2011 - 8:52 am

Brittni Paiva, Hawaii's 23-year-old ukulele phenomenon, announces the release of BRITTNI PAIVA LIVING UKULELE (Talmidim Productions, TPDVD-0611, 80 minutes, NTSC) The film features live performances, interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, a music video, and a section with ukulele lessons. Produced and directed by award-winning Maui filmmaker Kenneth K. Martinez Burgmaier, the film was recently world-premiered at the Temecula (CA) International Film Festival.Brittni takes the viewer on tour with her across the islands of Hawaii as well as to Australia (the Cairns Ukulele Festival). Her various passions are featured, from her love for the ocean (she goes from fishing in Hilo to surfing at Waikiki Beach), to trekking across lava fields, drag racing (!), and a fascinating visit to a ukulele factory.Musicians from Hawaii and elsewhere (Herb Ohta San, Brother Noland, Charles Brotman, Keoki Kahumoku, Tom Scott, Daniel Ho) comment on her unique ukulele style ?one that is influenced by jazz, blues, rock, pop, Hawaiian, and world music. There's also a dreamlike music video that depicts Brittni time-traveling to ancient Japan, where she meets Samurai warriors, Taiko Drummers, and views a special Japanese ceremony.Preview the music video.Preview the DVD Watch the trailer here

Wed, 06/12/2013 - 11:54 am

Arriving on the Denver scene just a few years ago, keyboardist/composer Jon Wirtz has since performed for millions of people both locally and nationally. Over the past 10 years he has mainly been a sideman, having worked with Grammy-winning producers Malcolm Burn and John Macy, and shared the stage with artists including Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, Justin Timberlake, Robbie Krieger (The Doors), Melissa Etheridge, pianist Joe Bonner, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Matt Morris and Charlie Sexton (Bob Dylan). In addition to performing with Matt Morris on The Late Show with David Letterman, Wirtz has also appeared on CBS Early Morning Show, Ellen, and Lopez Tonight. For the past five years he has studied under Art Lande, an internationally respected jazz educator and Grammy-nominated pianist/composer. In 2011 and 2012, his then group Jon Wirtz & The Debut was nominated as a finalist in the national Telluride Jazz Competition.Two and half years after the release of his first record Sea Level, Wirtz’s follow-up set, Tourist, will be released nationally and internationally on April 16, 2013 via iTunes, Amazon, and many other digital outlet stores.Wirtz's own style embodies a knowledge and respect for the masters who came before him, while simultaneously displaying his forward-thinking mentality. This ethos is evident on tracks like "Politico," which combine jazz harmony with a progressive "drum 'n' bass" style groove, before evolving into an orchestral second half of the song. On "Camouflage For A Sunny Day " and "Watching The World Wake Up," Wirtz gives a nod to his generation's hip-hop/R&B swagger while still maintaining a conversation with the rhythm section. Jazz meets country on the Allman Brothers flavored track "Country," which was selected among a national pool of songwriters by Rolling Stones keyboardist Chuck Leavell to be included on a compilation CD for his Sing For The Trees foundation. As a whole, the record showcases Wirtz's strength a player and as a composer. The meditative "In The Body " emphasizes his spacious approach with solo piano, while the gospel-influenced "Gratitude" highlights Wirtz's ability to arrange for a band and vocalists. The tasteful mix of approaches throughout Tourist result in an impressive sophomore effort.“The initial inspiration for Tourist came 15 months before entering the studio, while sleeping,” says Wirtz. “I started having some vivid dreams, during which I heard or saw distinct phrases, some of which ultimately became song titles. So the album is framed with the opening track "Slumber," and the final track ‘Awakening.’ I definitely wanted the album to have a flow and story-telling feel to it, as opposed to just being a collection of songs. From the time I started brainstorming about the record until its completion, I had various paradigm shifts in my life, which is partially why there are a variety of styles contained in the record; I wrote most of it over a 16-month period.“As far as the players, I was thrilled to work with all of my ‘first-call’ musicians around the Denver scene. I've worked with these players throughout the years in various projects, genres and environments. Guitarist Dan Schwindt also plays in the Motet and Kyle Hollingsworth Band, while Stephen Malloy Brackett performs with Flobots. Pedal steel guitarist John Macy has also won a Grammy for his production work with other artists. Kyle Jones, who mixed and mastered this record, went platinum for his work in producing the Flobots record ‘Fight With Tools’ (the single, ‘Handlebars,’ went platinum for digital download sales).“

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 2:10 pm

Being the hardest working man in show business has been a boon to Will Lee’s career but prevented the ubiquitous bassist from diligently pursuing his own personal recording projects over the years. Between his daily commitment to “Late Show with David Letterman,” where he has played in the CBS Orchestra since the show’s inception in 1993 (and for 11 years before that during Letterman’s tenure on NBC), his frequent session work and his ongoing involvement with Fab Faux, the premier Beatles tribute band that has been his passion since the group formed in 1998, there has been precious little time for solo projects.A brilliant showcase for Will’s talents as a singer, songwriter and bassist, Love, Gratitude and Other Distractions (Sinning Saint Ltd. / August 20, 2013 release) also has the consummate team player getting a little help from his friends on this long-overdue second outing as a leader.Lee’s last recording as a leader was 1993’s Oh!, which included brilliant covers of Doc Pomus’ “Lonely Avenue,” Jimi Hendrix’s “Drifting” (with guitar solo by Jeff Beck) and the haunting Rodgers and Hart jazz standard “My Funny Valentine.” Now, 20 years later, comes Love, Gratitude & Other Distractions, which features several cleverly-penned Lee originals and boasts an all-star cast including guitar heroes Steve Lukather, Pat Metheny and ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, former Weather Report drummer Peter Erskine, international vocal star Akiko Yano, legendary drummer Steve Gadd, former Mahavishnu Orchestra drummer & Pop producer Narada Michael Walden, contemporary jazz supergroup Fourplay’s acclaimed pianist-composer Bob James & guitarist Chuck Loeb, New Orleans music icon Allen Toussaint and longtime Letterman Show musical director and multi-faceted keyboardist Paul Shaffer. Will also shares songwriting credits on the album with Willie Nile, Leni Stern, Oli Rockberger, John Tropea and Dave Delhomme. “It was fun putting it all together,” Lee says of Love, Gratitude & Other Distractions. “Every song is it’s own little adventure. And every word of it is true.”Born in San Antonio, Texas on September 8, 1952, Lee grew up in a family of musicians (his father Bill Lee was a working jazz musician who later became a renowned jazz educator, serving as Dean of the University of Miami’s music school from 1964-1982. Will started out with piano lessons and later gravitated to violin, trumpet, and French horn before finally settling on drums after seeing The Beatles on their first “Ed Sullivan Show” appearance in 1964. His interest eventually shifted to bass guitar, which he later studied at the University of Miami. After working around the Miami area, he was recruited in 1971 to join the New York jazz-rock band Dreams, which featured trumpeter Randy Brecker and his tenor sax playing brother Michael, trombonist Barry Rogers and drummer Billy Cobham. Lee appears on the groundbreaking group’s second album, 1972’s Imagine My Surprise. He subsequently toured with Bette Midler, Barry Manilow and BJ Thomas and in 1973 joined Horace Silver’s quintet alongside Randy and Michael Brecker and drummer Alvin Queen. He became a charter member of The Brecker Brothers Band in 1975 and remained with that popular funk-fusion group until 1978, appearing on The Brecker Bros., Back to Back and Don’t Stop the Music. In 1979, Lee joined The 24th Street Band, which included guitarist Hiram Bullock, drummer Steve Jordan and keyboardist Clifford Carter. They released three albums that were wildly popular in Japan, where they played to adoring crowds in concert. The core of The 24th Street Band – Lee, Bullock and Jordan -- was later hired by former “Saturday Night Live” keyboardist Paul Shaffer to play in the house band for “Late Night with David Letterman,” which premiered on February 1, 1982 on NBC.Lee’s unerring time feel, sight-reading skills and superb soloistic abilities have made him an in-demand session player since the mid ‘70s. (His list of more than 1700 studio dates reads like a Who’s Who in the rock, pop and jazz worlds, including recordings with Aretha Franklin, Barbra Streisand, Cher, Chaka Khan, Carly Simon, Ronnie Spector, Liza Minnelli, Christopher Cross, Steely Dan, Diana Ross, George Benson, Gloria Estefan, Pat Martino, Bob James, David Sanborn, Ricky Martin, The Bee Gees, Ray Charles, Frankie Valli, Weather Report, Ivan Lins, Grover Washington, Jr., Taj Mahal, Ringo Starr, Billy Joel, Herbie Mann, Mariah Carey, Pat Metheny, Barry Manilow, Bette Midler, Gato Barbieri, Frank Sinatra and Paul McCartney!Will has also lent his considerable vocal talents (his voice has been heard on hundreds of commercials). He has the distinction of having performed with all four Beatles, and with The CBS Orchestra has played in the house band at all the Rock ‘n Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremonies. In addition to performing all over the US with The Fab Faux, Lee also gigs regularly in a power trio led by Oz Noy and has recently appeared alongside Randy Brecker, guitarist Mike Stern, drummer Dave Weckl and others on a Brecker Brothers Band reunion tour. But if he’s not out with any of those bands, he can be seen every weekday night on TV, playing bass, singing and otherwise cutting up with the CBS Orchestra on “Late Show with David Letterman.

Wed, 03/15/2017 - 3:01 pm

Resonance Records is proud to announce the release of Wes Montgomery with the Wynton Kelly Trio Smokin' in Seattle: Live at the Penthouse (1966) captured live at the Penthouse jazz club in Seattle, WA on April 14 and 21, 1966. Smokin' in Seattle marks the third commercially released live album of guitar icon Wes Montgomery with piano legend Wynton Kelly, recorded only seven months after their classic 1965 live album Smokin' at the Half Note, notably referred to by Pat Metheny as "the absolute greatest jazz guitar album ever made. Wynton's dynamic trio features the solid rhythm section of bassist Ron McClure who took the place of long-time trio bassist Paul Chambers, then joined Charles Lloyd's "classic quartet" with Keith Jarrett and Jack DeJohnette following this stint with Wes and Wynton and the legendary drummer Jimmy Cobb, an NEA Jazz Master most well-known for Miles Davis's Kind of Blue, Sketches of Spain and Someday My Prince Will Come albums.

Available on May 19, 2017 as a Deluxe CD and digital format, this archival treasure includes an extensive liner note book featuring rare photos by Lee Tanner, Chuck Stewart, Tom Copi, Joe Alpert and others; essays by guitar icon Pat Metheny, Seattle Times writer Paul de Barros, producer Zev Feldman, original recording engineer and Seattle Radio DJ Jim Wilke, and Ron McClure; plus interviews with Jimmy Cobb and NEA Jazz Master Kenny Barron.

Located in the heart of Seattle’s historic district in Pioneer Square, the Penthouse jazz club was opened in 1962 by Charles Puzzo, Sr., and quickly became a destination for iconic jazz talents such as John Coltrane, Oscar Peterson, Stan Getz and The Three Sounds to name a few. Well-known radio personality, Jim Wilke, developed a working relationship with this legendary club, which in turn allowed him to air live broadcasts from the club every Thursday night using state-of-the-art equipment of that era. His weekly radio show, Jazz from the Penthouse, aired on Seattle’s NPR affiliate, KING FM from 1962 through 1968, and has never been rebroadcast. When executive producer George Klabin learned of these recordings, he couldn’t believe his good fortune to come across this thrilling 1960s material of Wes Montgomery with Wynton Kelly.

Wed, 03/15/2017 - 3:52 pm
Never-before-issued recording of the legendary Bill Evans trio featuring Eddie Gomez on bass and Jack DeJohnette on drums captured live at the NRU (Netherlands Radio Union) Studios in Hilversum on June 22, 1968. This is only the third known recording in existence of this particular trio, who only performed together as a trio for a 6-month period in 1968, and was originally recorded and broadcast on the radio program Jazz in Actie by Dutch producer Joop de Roo. For the audiophile, this is possibly the best sounding live recording of Bill Evans found to date, captured with the then state of the art equipment of the NRU, and kept in pristine condition over the years. On the heels of 2016's landmark Evans discovery, Some Other Time: The Lost Session from the Black Forest, which was recorded a mere two days prior to this Hilversum date in 1968, Resonance has struck gold again with yet another unearthed gem from the iconic pianist Bill Evans. This deluxe limited edition LP and deluxe CD is being officially released in conjunction with the Bill Evans estate, Gomez and DeJohnette, and features rare photos by David Redfern, Chuck Stewart and Jan Persson; essays by Dutch jazz journalist Bert Vuijsje and producer Zev Feldman; plus interviews with Eddie Gomez, Jack DeJohnette, renowned pianist Steve Kuhn and more.
Mon, 08/07/2017 - 7:03 am

VINTAGE CHRISTMAS TRIO is pianist David Ian's long-awaited full-length follow up to his debut success Vintage Christmas (2011). The album will be released via Prescott Records (distributed by Naxos of America) on November 3, 2017.

VINTAGE CHRISTMAS TRIO features instrumental-only jazz trio interpretations of Christmas favorites using the most minimal elements--highlighting Ian’s craft as pianist and arranger. David Ian’s delightful performances transport you to an era that birthed the most sentimental songs of this season.

The lyrical bass solos of Jon Estes tastefully splash their way on numerous tracks supported by the clever drumwork of Josh Hunt, who together comprise a perfectly ornamental rhythm section.

The opener, “Deck the Halls” welcomes in the Christmas spirit with a swinging trio. Ian’s signature sound shines throughout the album as he transforms the often stately “Joy to the World” into a jazz/blues injected festivity and then carries the listener into a dreamier state with the ever-loved classic “White Christmas.”

We Three Kings” takes on a new form with a reflective mood; an unexpected arrangement of a Christmas classic, more forgotten in recent years. In “Silver Bells,” Ian masterfully and fluidly switches back and forth from swing to straight time.

The close of the album is a solemn “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” stripped down to just piano and percussion. If you listen closely, your ears might catch the chirps of a winter bird complementing this moving musical performance.