Thursday, April 30, 2009

Diana Krall destined to make history @ the Massey Hall

Tonight, April 30, and tomorrow, May 1st, Diana Krall brings her "Quiet Nights Tour" to the legendary Massey Hall in Toronto, at 8PM. This highly successful tour happens after DK was nearly five years away from Canadian concert stages.

Massey Hall
178 Victoria Street
Toronto, Ontario M5B 1T7
Tickets$77.00 - $127.00
Diana Krall Massey Hall Tickets

For those who are not familiar with the Massey Hall history:

In 1892, industrial baron Hart Massey (1823-96) bought land at Shuter and Victoria Streets and hired architect Sidney Badgley to design a memorial to his son Charles Albert Massey. Massey intended his "gift to aid in the development of the arts" to be "an auditorium -- spacious, substantial and comfortable, where public meetings, conventions, musical and other entertainments, etc., could be given."
Massey Hall soon became internationally famous as Canada's most important venue for concerts and lectures, attracting many of the world's leading celebrities; it also hosted weddings, movies, boxing matches, beauty contests, religious and political rallies, typing contests and chess tournaments.

And then... what remains known as the most important jazz concert ever took place on May 15, 1953. Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Charles Mingus & Max Roach played together for the only time in their lives, yielding the historic "Jazz at the Massey Hall" album (for contractual reasons, Parker was credited as Charlie Chan in the original 10-inch LP cover.) Not coincidently, I have supervised its first digipack and fully restored CD reissue... (sorry, folks!)

Two decades earlier, on January 19, 1934, George Gershwin had appeared as soloist in his masterpieces "Rhapsody in Blue" and "Concerto in F." And, in May 1946, within weeks of each other, pianists Oscar Peterson and the 13-year-old Glenn Gould made their Massey Hall debuts. Declared a "heritage" building during the 1970s, Massey Hall remains a vital part of Toronto's cultural and entertainment scene.

The theatre seats up to 2,752 patrons, down from 3,500 after extensive renovations in the 1940s.

In 1994, to commemorate the Hall's 100th anniversary, the basement was completely refurbished to include Centuries, a fully-stocked bar. Prior to this addition, alcohol was not permitted in the hall. The decor of Centuries includes hundreds of photos of artists who have performed there over the years (largely collecting portraits of popular music stars since the Eighties) including many autographs. Centuries has a capacity of 220 people, and often hosts CD release parties and post-show parties for the visiting artists. Roughly five years after Centuries was created, an additional bar in the balcony lounge was added.

At some point in its renovation history, three of the windows at the front of the venue were converted into doors and they were painted red (from their earlier brown-gold colour), a large neon lit sign was hung about the main entrance, and notice boards listing upcoming acts were revamped on either side of those doors.

Now it's time for Diana Krall to make history at the Massey Hall!
The setlist for tonight:
I Love Being Here With You
Do it Again
Let's Fall in Love
Where or When
I've Grown Accustomed to His Face
'Deed I Do
Exactly Like You
A Case Of You
Devil May Care
Quiet Nights
Love Letters
Pick Yourself Up
Walk on By
I Don't Know Enough About You
The Look of Love
The Boy From Ipanema (or 'S Wonderful)

Here follows a review about DK's previous concert, on April 28, at the Hamilton Place Theatre:
Krall Enthralls in Quiet, Soft and Seductive Style
by Graham Rockingham
Hamilton (Ontario) Spectator, April 29, 2009

It's not easy having a "quiet night" when you're sitting on stage with 45 musicians backing you up.

But somehow Diana Krall managed to pull it off last night in front of a near-sellout crowd of 2,100 appreciative fans at Hamilton Place. And she did it with the help of 42 members of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, adding nuance, not power to her music.

Her new CD is called Quiet Nights and features another safe collection of '50s and '60s jazz and pop standards.

Quiet Nights is emblematic of the sound that has made the Nanaimo, B.C., native one of the top-selling jazz artists in the world.

Her detractors like to criticize her song selections as being "too safe," picking the best known hits from some of the best craftsmen of the 20th century. She leans heavily on the big names like Burt Bacharach, George Gershwin, Johnny Mercer, Sammy Cahn, Nat King Cole and Peggy Lee.

But really, what's not to like about that?

Krall does the standards so well and, besides, it's what her fans have come to expect. It's a style of music that harkens back to an era of cocktails and highballs, well before the vile invention of ready-mixed shooters.

Krall tried stepping out of the box five years ago with The Girl in the Other Room, writing her own songs with husband Elvis Costello and moving into more contemporary pop works by artists like Joni Mitchell. It didn't sell anywhere near as well as her smash hit The Look of Love.

So why not give the fans what they want? And that's what she did last night.

Almost as if to prove that she wasn't just another pretty voice, Krall started off the show, laying down the count with a snap of her fingers to I Love Being Here With You. It was a fast paced number aimed at showing off the talents of her exquisite trio of sidemen -- Jeff Hamilton on drums, Anthony Wilson on guitar and Robert Hurst on standup bass.

From there her voice turned soft and seductive as the strings of the orchestra introduced the naughty Gershwin nugget (Please) Do It Again.

It was a pattern that continued through the night, switching from soft to swing and back again, a strategy that serves her piano well.

Her piano playing is as good as it gets. She plays with power, authority, grace and emotion.

She can swing with aggression, and then, with a song change bring an audience close to tears with a few tinkles of the ivories.

And between songs, she entertained the audience with humorous stories about her twin two-year-olds, Dexter and Frank.

"Nat King Cole, I like him a lot," she said. "My children do, too. But they also like Wheels on the Bus."

She also told them about life with Elvis (Costello).

"I really miss my husband, because he's on tour, too," she said introducing I've Grown Accustomed to His Face. "This next song kind of reminds me of him. It's not (the Costello rocker) Pump It Up. So don't be disappointed."

Although the introduction drew plenty of laughs, her delivery of the Lerner and Loewe classic was breathtaking and one of the highlights of the night, as was her bittersweet rendition of Gershwin's love-gone-wrong song, But Not for Me.

And in the end it was those quiet, sentimental songs that ruled the night.

Kristin Korb in Colombia!

Message received today from Kiristin Korb:
"Oi Arnaldo,
Thanks for putting my release party on your blog. It was an amazing night. I'm sure you are having a great time out there with Diana and the gang.
I'm in Colombia for a jazz festival right now. I'm having a blast, but my Spanish is very weak and I'm finding that I'm saying things in Portuguese rather than in Spanish. Yikes!

After the CD release party of her new CD "In the Meantime", last April 21 at the Jazz Bakery in LA, the remarkable bassist/singer Kristin Korb is performing at the Ibague Jazz Festival in Colombia. Once she returns to the USA, Korb has gigs booked in May at the following venues in California:

May 8, 2009 - Hip Kitty (Claremont)

May 10, 2009 - Vicky's of Santa Fe (Indian Wells)
(as a a guest artist with the Desert Cities Jazz Band. "I'm going to be having some extra fun with Don Shelton. It is a nice way to spend Mother's Day," she says)

May 18, 2009 -Soho Restaurant & Music Club (Santa Barbara)

May 21, 2009 - Muckenthaler Cultural Center (Fullerton)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Diana Krall confirmed at the Ravinia Festival

Now it's official! The event "An Evening with Diana Krall" is confirmed for Saturday, June 27 at the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, Illinois, at 7:30PM
Federico Aubele will open the show
Reserved $90
Lawn $27 ($32 on day of concert)
Gates open at 5:00 PM

Tickets available at

Gary Burton Quartet Revisited live in Boston! Tix on sale this Friday, May 1st

(Metheny, Burton, Swallow & Sanchez)

Gary Burton Quartet Revisited
with Pat Metheny, Steve Swallow & Antonio Sanchez
Saturday, June 20, 8:00 PM
Berklee Performance Center
Tickets on Sale Friday, May 1

“. . . though we have each gone on to new ventures, when we get back together again, the rapport that always came so easily is still front and center. This has been the most fun I’ve had in a very long time.”--Gary Burton

Absolutely Live Entertainment, LLC will present the Gary Burton Quartet Revisited with Pat Metheny, Steve Swallow & Antonio Sanchez in concert on Saturday, June 20 at 8:00 p.m. at Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston. Tickets at $56 and $41 [including Berklee Performance Center $1.00 restorationfee] go on sale May 1 at 10:00 A.M. at the Berklee Performance Center box office, at, all Ticketmaster outlets or by calling 617/508-931-2000. For more information, call: 617-747-2261 or visit Berklee Performance Center is wheelchair accessible.

This performance will mark the first Boston concert appearance by Gary Burton and Pat Metheny in over 30 years! The Gary Burton Quartet Revisited will also appear alongside Patti LaBelle, SMV and others at Freihofer’s Jazz Festival held at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, New York on Saturday, June 27.

Great partnerships only come along now and then in the jazz world and for the new Concord Records release, "Quartet Live," (due May 26) several overlapping combinations of legendary musicians got together to celebrate the ground-breaking Gary Burton Quartet.

Bassist Steve Swallow joined with vibraphonist Gary Burton in 1967 to form the first Gary Burton Quartet and they continued working together for over two decades. Then in the early ‘70s, 19-year old guitarist Pat Metheny began his career by taking over the guitar chair in the Burton group for three years, the start of a 35-year long musical friendship between the vibist and guitarist.

A decade ago, Metheny discovered drummer Antonio Sanchez, inviting him to join The Pat Metheny Group, and they have been playing together ever since. These long-lasting, overlapping musical partnerships are the foundation of this landmark recording, great artists who really know each other’s playing in depth.

Metheny came up with the idea to revisit the Gary Burton Quartet, the band that had been his entry into the jazz world. “For me, as a teenager in Missouri just starting to appreciate jazz, Gary’s group was the most innovative band around. And, it was my dream to someday be a part of it.”

Everyone thought it would be fun to perform as the Gary Burton Quartet again and a concert at the Montreal Jazz Festival was scheduled. It turned out to be more than just fun. The musicians’ rapport and the freshness of the playing was so energizing that the group decided to take it on the road, touring in Japan and the USA the following year. That still wasn’t enough, so the group reunited once more for a European tour in 2008, and has now added some more performances in 2009 in the USA and Canada.

Burton was already recognized as a major jazz artist before he was out of his teens, winning polls and earning high praise from both critics and fellow musicians. As a vibraphonist, he is considered a legend and a pioneer of new techniques. With his new band, the Gary Burton Quartet, he was the first jazz musician to bring country and rock music influences into jazz, several years before jazz fusion became widely popular (it was first called Jazz/Rock by the music press). He continues pioneering new and diverse musical directions to this day, including popularizing jazz duets with Chick Corea and becoming recognized as an expert interpreter of tango music.

After achieving international recognition as a member of the Gary Burton Quartet, Metheny formed the Pat Metheny Group and soon established himself as one of the most successful guitarists and band leaders in modern jazz. He has won more Grammy® awards than any other jazz musician and his records and performances are among the most popular of any jazz artist. He is a fearless innovator, always exploring new styles of music and new guitar technology. And he has advanced the standards of jazz record production more than any other modern day musician.

During his years with Burton, Steve Swallow transitioned from playing upright acoustic bass to electric bass, on which he is now considered one of the top players in the world. He is known not only for his ensemble work but also his strong, recognizable soloing style. Swallow has a gift for being the ultimate team player, always supportive and reliable, but also a constant contributor of ideas and concepts to any enterprise he joins. He is definitely one of those people who fits the description “a musician’s musician.”

Antonio Sanchez, a native of Mexico, arrived in the United States to study music at Berklee College in Boston, where Gary Burton was serving as Executive Vice President and Pat Metheny (a former Berklee faculty member) made occasional visits to meet with students. Antonio’s talents shone through quickly and as he finished school, he was invited to join the Pat Metheny Group. Just as Pat made the transition from student to pro when he joined the band of his idol, Gary Burton, Antonio followed the same path into Metheny’s very successful group. Now in great demand for recording and concerts, Sanchez continues playing with Metheny, but also works frequently with other major jazz artists.

Absolutely Live Entertainment (ALE) is a festival, tour and concert production company specializing in jazz, and led by industry veteran Danny Melnick. During the past few months ALE produced 25th anniversary concerts at Carnegie Hall and Boston Symphony Hall for Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock, Jack DeJohnette; 75th birthday concerts for Wayne Shorter in NYC and Boston; Keith Jarrett in an evening of solo piano improvisations at Carnegie Hall; the Afro Cuban All Stars at New York’s Town Hall; and the U.S. tour celebrating Blue Note Records’ 70th Anniversary.

Melnick proudly serves as the Artistic Director of “The Shape of Jazz,” a jazz series presented by Carnegie Hall now in its 7th season; the Consulting Producer of the Duke Ellington Jazz Festival in Washington DC, and is the producing partner and Artistic Director of the Freihofer's Jazz Festival in Saratoga Springs, NY.

For the remainder of 2009, ALE will produce the world tour of Kind of Blue @ 50 featuring legendary drummer & NEA Jazz Master Jimmy Cobb with his So What Band; the Freihofer’s Jazz Festival at Saratoga Performing Arts Center on June 27 & 28; Terence Blanchard Quintet on October 28 at Zankel Hall; a historic Persian Music concert on November 14 at Carnegie Hall; and so much more.

Further information on ALE can be found online at

Winard Harper on "WBGO Jazz for Kids" in NY - Free tix

WBGO Jazz for Kids
Featuring drummer Winard Harper
Saturday, May 2, 2009, 12:30 PM
Tickets: FREE

WBGO, the premier jazz radio station, is making Flushing Town Hall one of its stops for their popular interactive jazz concert series. Fun and engaging, the concert will include an artist Q&A & door prizes. Adults MUST be accompanied by a child for admission to the concert.

Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts
Flushing Town Hall
137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing, NY
(718) 463-7700

Radio Classics "Live" 20th Anniv. Show on May 2

(Amanda Carr)

May 2nd, Saturday, 7PM

Amanda Carr stars with Jordan Rich, Gil Santos and line-up of radio celebrities to perform radio-shows of old on stage.
Remember Boomtown with Rex Trailer and Sgt. Billy? Well there they will be there along with their historical set and recreation of that show we all grew up on...
Buckley Performing Arts Center, as Massasoit College, Brockton, MA.
All sests $17 (15 for seniors)
For tickets and info call 508-427-1234

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Diana Krall live tonight @ Hamilton Place Theatre

Diana Krall continues her acclaimed "Quiet Nights Tour" in Canada with a concert tonight, April 28, at the Hamilton Place Theatre:
10 MacNab Street South
Hamilton, Ontario, L8P 4Y3, CA
Buy Tickets

Btw, "Quiet Nights", on its third week on the charts, reached the #2 position among the best-selling albums in Canada!

Top 5 Albums in Canada:
1. Various: Hannah Montana OST
2. Diana Krall: Quiet Nights
3. Various: Star Academie 2009
4. Ginette Reno: Fais-Moi de La Tendresse
5. The Hip: We Are the Same
To take a look in the complete Top 100 Chart:

Monterey JF Announces Members Of 2009 Next Generation Jazz Orchestra

The Monterey Jazz Festival has announced the members of the 2009 Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, the Festival's internationally-renowned high school all-star big band. Created as a part of the Monterey Jazz Festival's continuing commitment to jazz education and selected through an application process during MJF’s Next Generation Festival each spring, the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra includes the most talented high school jazz students from all regions of the United States.

A three-year grant from the Surdna Foundation supports the Next Generation Festival and the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra's U.S. and international tours. The Surdna Foundation’s Arts Program is national in scope and supports the artistic advancement of teens, ages 12 - 18.

The Next Generation Jazz Orchestra (formerly known as the MJF High School All-Star Big Band from 1971-2004) nurtures the future generation of jazz stars through a program that selects the best and brightest high school jazz musicians in the country. In 2009, the twenty-two member jazz orchestra features musicians selected from thirteen high schools from Western States and the East Coast, including Arizona, California, Connecticut, New York, Oregon, and Pennsylvania. Six states have contributed members this year in a cross-section of the best high school jazz programs in the country.

As in the past, these students will speak for their generation as loudly and clearly as their predecessors, which include pianists Benny Green and Patrice Rushen, bassist Larry Grenadier, drummer Chad Wackerman, and saxophonists Joshua Redman and Dave Koz, to name a few. The full list of members of the 2009 Next Generation Jazz Orchestra appears at the end of this post and is available on the Monterey Jazz Festival website,

Under the direction renowned saxophonist and flautist Paul Contos, who serves as the director of the Orchestra, the ensemble is dedicated to the study and performance of the most challenging big band literature available.

The Next Generation Jazz Orchestra will embark on its annual summer tour on July 5, appearing in clubs, at music conventions, academic institutions in the Heartland of the United States, with gigs in Kansas City, Chicago, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and Washington D.C.; the tour is being dubbed the KC/DC Tour. With a final tour appearance on the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, their tenure in the band will culminate at the 52nd Annual Monterey Jazz Festival Presented by Verizon on September 20th on the Arena/Jimmy Lyons Stage, where they will appear with trumpeter and 2009 MJF Artist-In-Residence, Wynton Marsalis.

Members of the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra were selected through a rigorous audition process during the Next Generation Festival that included review by a national panel of judges comprised of professional jazz musician/educators. The Monterey Jazz Festival invited interested students to audition for the NGJO via video tape or in person, during MJF's 5th Annual Next Generation Festival, held April 3 – 5, 2009 in downtown Monterey.

“I am really thrilled for these exceptional young jazz musicians to have the opportunity to truly experience what it is like to be in a professional level big band on the road, said Dr. Rob Klevan, Education Director for the Monterey Jazz Festival and Next Generation Festival. The fact that we have nine performances in ten days and will be starting the tour in Count Basie’s backyard with a grand finale in our nation’s capital makes it even more exciting. I can’t wait to get on the bus!”

In 2009, there are five returning members of the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra: trombonists John Egizi and Emmanuel Rojas; bassist Mike Gurrola, drummer Jimmy Macbride, and trumpeter Nick Frenay. Nick Frenay of the Manlius Pebble Hill School in Dewitt, New York, is the only three-time member of the NGJO this year, and has previously performed with the band at the Hilton in Paris, France; New York City’s Jazz at Lincoln Center, the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam, The Netherlands; as well as on the Arena/Jimmy Lyons stage of Monterey’s 50th, 51st, and 52nd Festivals.

The Monterey Jazz Festival is also proud to announce the winner of the Next Generation Festival's prestigious Big Band Composition Competition, Andy Clausen. Mr. Clausen a trombonist and junior at Roosevelt High School in Seattle, Washington, won the Competition with “Fly,” which will be performed by the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra on the Arena / Jimmy Lyons Stage on September 20th, 2009. He will receive the 2nd Annual Gerald Wilson Award and a cash prize.
About the Monterey Jazz Festival

The Monterey Jazz Festival is dedicated to perpetuating the uniquely American form of music known as jazz by producing performances that celebrate the legacy and expand the boundaries of jazz; and by presenting year-round local, regional, national, and international jazz education programs. The Monterey Jazz Festival is a nonprofit organization and has donated its proceeds to musical education since its inception in 1958.

A three-year grant from the Surdna Foundation supports the Next Generation Festival and the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra's U.S. and international tours. The Surdna Foundation’s Arts Program is national in scope and supports the artistic advancement of teens, ages 12 - 18.

Additional financial support for the Next Generation Festival comes from organizations such as the Joseph Drown Foundation, the D’Addario Music Foundation with gifts-in-kind from Yamaha, Rico Reeds, and generous individual contributors.

For more information about the NGJO, please visit

The 2009 Next Generation Jazz Orchestra

Director - Mr. Paul Contos

Andrew Olson - alto
American Music Program / Tualatin High School, Tualatin, OR
Patrick Sargent - alto
American Music Program, Portland, OR
Paul-Eirik Melhus - tenor
Ironwood High School, Glendale, AZ
Maximillian Zooi - tenor
Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, Los Angeles, CA
Nicole Glover - baritone
American Music Program, Portland, OR

Jon Hatamiya
Davis Senior High School, Davis, CA
John Egizi **
Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, Los Angeles, CA
Kyle Molitor
American Music Program / Tigard High School, Tigard, OR
Christopher Kennedy
Catalina Foothills High School, Tucson, AZ
Emmanuel Rojas (bass) **
Warren High School, Downey, CA

Joshua Gawel
Daniel Boone Area High School, Birdsboro, PA
Nick Frenay ***
Manlius Pebble Hill School, DeWitt, NY
Cody Rowlands
Deer Valley High School, Glendale, AZ
Ben Benack III
Upper St. Claire High School, Pittsburgh, PA
Zachary Gillespie
Ironwood High School, Glendale, AZ

Rhythm Section
Gregory Chen - piano
Valley Christian High School, San Jose, CA
Mike Gurrola - bass **
Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, Los Angeles, CA
Adam Moezinia - guitar
Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, Los Angeles, CA
Jimmy Macbride – drums **
Hall High School, West Hartford, CT
Sam Miller - drums
Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, Los Angeles, CA
Ben Lusher - vocals
The Masters School, Dobbs Ferry, NY

** 2-time member of NGJO
*** 3-time member of NGJO

Monday, April 27, 2009

R.I.P.: JVC Jazz Festival NY

Curtain Falls on JVC Jazz Festival New York
by Charles J. Gans
Associated Press, April 27, 2009

NEW YORK -- The curtain has fallen on the JVC Jazz Festival New York, and the Big Apple will likely be without a flagship jazz festival until new sponsorship emerges.

A spokesman for the Japanese electronics company said it would not be sponsoring any jazz events in 2009, ending what he called "a productive and successful relationship" dating back to 1984 when JVC first attached its name to the New York festival.

"JVC is proud of its association with the Jazz Festivals, but the marketplace in which JVC competes today has changed dramatically, and so JVC has chosen to take our promotional activities in a different direction, and one that will no longer include jazz event sponsorship," Terry Shea, a spokesman for the Wayne, N.J.-based JVC U.S.A., said in a statement e-mailed to The Associated Press.

Jazz impresario George Wein, who arranged the original JVC sponsorship deal, called JVC "the best sponsor anybody ever had."

Instead of a festival, the 83-year-old Wein is producing under his own name three concerts at Carnegie Hall in late June, when the JVC event usually takes place. He chose performers he was confident could fill the costly venue: British singer-pianist Jamie Cullum and Diana Krall.

"I booked artists that I knew I could do on my own without a festival, without a sponsor, and at least not get hurt," said Wein in a telephone interview from his Manhattan home.

Last year's two-week JVC Jazz Festival New York featured nearly 40 concerts including 11 in Carnegie Hall's two main performance spaces with such artists as Herbie Hancock, Chris Botti and Joao Gilberto plus nearly 200 additional events at clubs, schools, museums and other venues.

In 2007, Wein sold his company, Festival Productions whose lineup included the JVC-sponsored festivals in Newport, R.I., and New York to the Festival Network, which retained Wein in an advisory capacity.

But Festival Network ran into financial trouble. Wein said he had stopped working with the group and earlier this year, Rhode Island's Department of Environmental Management terminated Festival Network's contract to present the Newport jazz and folk festivals because of late payments. Wein put up his own money and obtained a license from state and local authorities to produce the two festivals this summer.

Wein said he felt a less pressing need to put on a festival in New York, where in any given week there are dozens of jazz events in clubs and other venues.

"Going back to Newport was a much more personal thing for me because Newport was something I founded in 1954," said Wein, who launched the country's first jazz festival in the Rhode Island seaside resort.

New York City still has one June jazz festival, the modestly budgeted avant-garde Vision Festival XIV at an arts center on the Lower East Side, but founder Patricia Nicholson Parker said it would be "kind of foolish to see it as a replacement" for the more mainstream JVC event. In upstate New York, three long-running jazz festivals will take place in June in Rochester, Syracuse and Saratoga Springs.

Chris Shields, executive chairman of Festival Network, insisted in an e-mail that his company "has every expectation of producing another outstanding NYC Jazz Festival in 2009. Announcements and details will be forthcoming."

But several jazz industry insiders said they were not aware of any plans for such a festival. Spokespersons for two leading jazz labels, Blue Note and Concord, said they did not know of any of their artists participating in a New York City jazz festival this summer.

"We are having no dialogue with them (Festival Network) about any of our artists for any events that they are producing or affiliated with in any way," said Jack Randall, vice president of A&R for Boston-based Ted Kurland Associates, a leading booking agency which handles dozens of jazz artists including the Marsalis family, Sonny Rollins and Ornette Coleman.

Wein first launched a major jazz festival in New York in 1972. JVC became the festival's main sponsor in 1984.

Wein said he has already reserved dates at Carnegie Hall for June 2010 in hopes that he will be able to present a full-fledged festival next summer if he can line up new sponsorship: "I would like to keep the festival alive."

Alexa Weber Morales live, tonight, in Oakland

You’re invited to a fabulously, fun Wildflower Triathlon Send-Off Fundraiser
Monday, April 27, 5 to 8PM
at the new, hip, and very cool SOMAR Bar & Lounge in Oakland’s Uptown District @ 1727 Telegraph Ave with special live performance by the incomparable Bay Area Latin Jazz vocalist Alexa Weber Morales!
$20 donation benefits Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
includes your choice: 1 drink + 1 raffle tix or 2 drinks or 2 raffle tickets with light snacks and finger food. Don't miss this special event!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Krall live this weekend in Ontario

To those in and around Ontario this weekend, Diana Krall will be on the area bringing her "Quiet Nights Tour" both Saturday and Sunday. If you are looking for a good night out then you can do no worse than not checking out these two exquisite nights.

Diana Krall live, tonight, April 25, at the RBC Theatre, 8PM
John Labatt Centre
London, Ontario, CA
Buy Tickets
And tomorrow night, also at 8PM:
Centre in the Square
Kitchener, Ontario, CA

The set list:
1. I Love Being Here With You
2. Let's Fall in Love
3. Where or When
4. I've Grown Accustomed to Your Face
5. Too Marvelous For Words
6. 'Deed I Do
7. You're My Thrill
8. Summer Samba
9. Devil May Care
10. Quiet Nights
11. Love Letters
12. Let's Face The Music and Dance
13. Walk on By
14. I Don't Know Enough About You
15. The Look of Love
16. The Boy from Ipanema
Cool, Sultry Nights
by James Reaney
London (Ontario) Free Press, April 25, 2009

Sexy, sultry jazz superstar Diana Krall is having a ball these days.

"I'm 44. I've two kids. I'm ripping around here like a crazy person trying to figure out how to kick a soccer ball in the hallway of the hotel as well as do these great shows with these great orchestras," says B.C.-born Krall, who plays the RBC Theatre at the John Labatt Centre tonight. "I'm living my life right now. It's pretty intense and pretty great."

Such unquiet, noisy and joyful pursuits are the counterpoint to the moody, sexy, samba tunes on the Grammy-winner's latest album, Quiet Nights (Verve/Universal).

One of its standards, a gorgeous version of I've Grown Accustomed to His Face, is "very personal" for Krall and her husband, British singer-songwriter-TV-Spectacle luminary Elvis Costello. "(It's) the best time of my life. My husband and I, we're just rocking. He's busy with his stuff. I miss him terribly. My boys (2 1/2 year old twins Dexter and Frank) make me laugh and last night I'm reading books to them, in bed, just the three of us," Krall says from a stop on the tour that is taking her across Canada for the first time in several years.

The twins also joined her on a 2007 tour when they were just six months old.

Quiet Nights is drenched in bossa, romance and Krall's own sweet, grown-up way with a love lyric.

In the mood for love in all its glories are Krall's takes on Jobim's The Boy From Ipanema and the title track, the Mercer-Whiting Too Marvellous for Words and the Rodgers-Hart Where or When. There are other sad, sexy moments.

There is some piano on the record, too.

The star's piano playing is the sly and dry counterpoint to those come hither moments and kiss me deadly wit of her vocals.

Surrounding Krall on Quiet Nights and the tour are the lush sounds of an orchestra, with arrangements Claus Ogerman, who conducts on the album. Her musical director Alan Broadbent guides the orchestra on the road.

"Claus wrote for film so we think the same way. I think really cinematically. I think about the scene in a movie and he does too," Krall says.

"(There is) the familial friendship I have with Tommy (LiPuma), Al (Schmitt) and Claus -- all guys who credited records that I love," she says of the Quiet Nights collaboration. Krall and LiPuma co-produced. Schmitt shared recording duties and mixed the album. Ogerman was among those who worked on her 2001 album, The Look Of Love.

Krall has said performing in Brazil for a DVD release -- Live in Rio (Eagle Rock) due on May 26 -- added to her desire to work again with the arranger, who was part of the bossa nova surge in the '60s.

Krall is also delighted to have a band of friends and mentors with her on the album and tour.

"You have (drummer) Jeff Hamilton, (bassist) John Clayton who were my teachers when I was 19 years old, people that I always dreamt of playing with... who are my big brothers," she says, looking back to her jazz studies in the U.S. more than 20 years ago.

"Then I have Anthony (guitarist Anthony Wilson) who is my peer and who comes from the great Gerald Wilson so he knows the history," she says. The guitarist joined Krall for a Grammy-winning recording Live in Paris in 2001. He is the son of Gerald Wilson, a legendary U.S. jazz composer, arranger and bandleader.

"John's playing these little melodic lines," Krall says of the bassist's contribution to Quiet Nights when The Free Press interviewer is praising Hamilton and Wilson. "He plays all these melodies through these melancholy, film noir pieces."

Among Quiet Night's bonus tracks -- which apparently means it was added to the 10 songs in the Ogerman-Krall cinematic "film noir" concept -- is the Bee Gees' How Can You Mend a Broken Heart.

Throughout the conversation, Krall pays tribute time and again to the many music and creative titans who have inspired her. A partial list of the influences she mentioned in the interview earlier this week would include Brazil's Jobim and Joao Gilberto, Canada's Oscar Peterson, Joni Mitchell and Gil Evans, sultry pop's Julie London, jazz's Nat King Cole, Miles Davis, Hank Jones, Jimmy Rowles, Johnny Mandel, Gerald Wilson, Art Tatum and Ray Brown and cinema's clarinet master Woody Allen.

Next week, Krall will be a guest on Costello's music and talk show, Spectacle (CTV, May 1, 10 p.m.) Costello steps back and Spectacle executive producer Sir Elton John conducts what is billed as his first-ever interview when Krall guests. Costello and Krall were married at John's home six years ago. Krall and John banter, explore some history and even team up for a duet on one of John's biggest hits. Costello shows up again at the end to join his wife and their friend, Sir Elton, for a charming closing number.

It should make for a happy -- if not particularly quiet -- night.

Krall recalls that one of her previous London concerts came at a time when she was feeling the emotional tides surrounding the anniversary of her mother's death from cancer in 2002.

This time, it feels different.

"I look at my life now. I just started a little later. I have this great family. I think I've learned since then how to enjoy this," Krall says.

Alexa Weber Morales live, tonight, in Sunnyvale

Join the Alexa Weber Morales Band with special guests Sidney Weaverling and Ryan Mead of Rueda Con Ritmo for the third show of an ongoing series.

The fun starts Saturday, April 25 at 8 pm at Senzala, a delicious, spacious Brazilian eatery and cultural center located at 250 E. Java Dr. in Sunnyvale, California.

Tickets are $12 and include a Cuban circle dance class, two sets by the Alexa Weber Morales Band, and an Afro-Cuban dance performance by Rueda Con Ritmo! Senzala is an all-ages venue and children are welcome.

Senzala is fast becoming a hot-spot for Latin American and Brazilian dance and music events, and has expanded their event schedule to a new night: Thursdays! Peninsula residents are urged to spread the word that affordable, high-energy and family-friendly fun is now in the neighborhood!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Malene Mortensen live, tonight, @ Nefertiti

Malene Mortensen Group live, tonight, at the "Nefertiti" in Göteborg (Sweden), at 8PM.
Featuring: Malene Mortensen (vocal), Calle Mörner (guitar), Snorre Kirk (drums), Petter Eldh (bass) & Magnus Hjorth (piano).

CD of the Day - "Henning Sieverts: Blackbird"

CD of the Day
Henning Sieverts Symmetry: "Blackbird" (Pirouet) 2009

Released today in Germany, although recorded in December 2007 (by engineer Stephan V. Wylick) at Pirouet Studio in Germany, this challenging and ultra-adventurous CD features Henning Sieverts (acoustic bass, cello), Chris Speed (clarinet & tenor sax), Johannes Lauer (trombone), Achim Kaufmann (acoustic piano) & John Hollenbeck (drums).

"Blackbird" (yes, the title track is the Beatles hit, re-constructed in a medley with the traditional song "Wenn Ich Ein Vöglein Wär) demonstrates that smartly conceived compositions can have a captivating atmosphere and be a lot of fun at the same time. All other songs are Sieverts originals, except Charlie Parker's "Blues for Alice."

Henning Sieverts draws on the immense possibilities of the systematic and masterfully exploits these possibilities. With his ear attuned to continual change, Sieverts has made subtle use of symmetric material in the pieces on this CD. The music grooves, twitters, warbles, frazzles, and dazzles, absorbing and impulsive as only the most vibrantly-played jazz can be. And at the bottom of it all lies a meticulously conceived structure. The result: the seemingly artificial can be so natural. Something very rare to be achieved, indeed.

Chris Speed, when playing clarinet, quite often steals the scene. Hollenbeck is a killer. Lauer, a monster!

Born in 1966 in Berlin, musician and journalist Henning Sieverts has been playing cello since he was five. Sieverts has been moderating jazz programs as a freelancer for Bavarian Radio since 2003. Composing has always held a special significance for Henning Sieverts; he has hundreds of jazz compositions to his credit as well as many "classical" works and has received numerous awards and honours for his endeavours. HS has played with the likes of Benny Bailey, Jim Black, Till Brönner, Marc Copland, Marc Ducret, Paulo Fresu, Slide Hampton, Bireli Lagrene, Michael Moore, Ack vanRooyen, Nils Wogram, and Phil Woods. Sieverts can also be heard playing bass and/or cello on over 75 albums, including 10 under his own name. "Blackbird" is Sieverts' second album for the Pirouet label.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Review of Krall's yesterday concert @ MTS Centre

MTS Centre, Winnipeg - April 22, 2009
Review by Darryl Sterdan - "Sun Media" (Canada)

"I love my life," asserted Diana Krall midway through her concert at MTS Centre concert bowl Wednesday night.

That was no surprise. After all, what is not to love? At 44, Krall's got it all. She's the most popular and successful female artist in contemporary jazz. She's married to an up-and-coming songwriter named Elvis Costello. She's a happy new mom to twin sons Dexter and Frank. She works with some of the most talented and celebrated musicians, arrangers and producers in the music industry. She still looks like a million bucks. She's got a new CD on the racks -- and it's in the top 10 on the Billboard charts. And she's in the midst of a concert tour that has her ambling around the world with her brood in tow, playing some of her most beloved songs accompanied by her longtime touring band and supported by symphony orchestras.

Yep, it's no wonder Krall is "having happy days right now." And her contentment was evident in every second, every note and every word of her performance. You could hear it in the well-balanced set list of smoky ballads, upbeat swing, bop workouts and bossa nova. You could hear it in the affectionate numbers that were either inspired by or dedicated to her husband and family. And you could hear it in every anecdote and aside of her chatty, affable 105-minute set.

Taking the stage in a flattering black cocktail dress, high heels and dangly wire earrings twisted up like bunches of grapes, Krall wasted no time, limbering up her nimble backing combo -- drummer Jeff Hamilton, guitarist Anthony Wilson and standup bassist Robert Hurst -- with a spry, hepped-up sprint through Peggy Lee's I Love Being Here With You, from her 1995 album Only Trust Your Heart. Krall tossed off a striking solo, playing the same licks simultaneously with both hands. But she got upstaged by drummer Hamilton, who dropped a stick during his solo but quickly turned his flub into a plus, dropping his other stick and working his four-piece kit with his bare hands.

It was one of the rare slipups in what was basically an otherwise flawlessly executed performance from all concerned. Krall's breathy, sultry vocals were in fine form, displaying no trace of a cold that has apparently been dogging her recently (though she did surreptitiously blow her nose a couple of times during the show). Her playing -- particularly her expressive, fluid right hand -- was stylish and impeccable without being ostentatious. Her trio supported her with near-telepathic skill and style -- Hamilton's gently swinging beats were the picture of understatement, Wilson's energetically burbling solos and sleek chords were a joy to behold, and Hurst's thick, massive basslines had the crowd in awe. The sound was so crisp, clean and clear you could hear every cymbal ping and brushed snare. The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, as always, discharged their responsibilities admirably and professionally, using renowned arranger Claus Ogerman's lush string and horn charts to add layers of extra texture to Krall's set list of jazz and pop standards.

And it wasn't a bad set list at all, with four songs from Krall's new bossa nova-themed set Quiet Nights, and another 11 numbers cherrypicked from most of her studio albums. Do It Again was offered up as a sultry, string-sweetened blues. The Sinatra classic Where or When, Quiet Nights and Burt Bacharach's Walk on By gently swayed to their lightly Latin grooves. Nat King Cole's 'Deed I Do and I Don't Know Enough About You (another Lee tune) gave Krall a chance to stretch her blues and stride-piano muscles. Let's Fall in Love and Exactly Like You were loungy and sophisticated yet personable.

But not more personable than Krall herself. Although often portrayed as aloof and distant, she was nothing short of charming and talkative. And not in some fake, here's-a-story-about-my-wonderful-new-album kind of way -- in fact, Krall never even mentioned her CD. Instead, she gushed about her "really great husband," and dedicated I've Grown Accustomed to Your Face to him. She humbly called herself "just another working mom on the road, trying to figure out stuff to do with the kids" -- and endeared herself to 3,000 or so ardently attentive fans in MTS Centre's concert bowl by listing all the local attractions she's taken in, from The Forks and the Children's Museum to the Manitoba Museum's dinosaurs, Nonesuch display and Charlie Chaplin films. She joked about being excited to meet U.S. President Obama -- only to have him ask, "So, your husband is Elvis Costello?" And she interrupted one solo piano workout to tell a story about playing the piece in a bar in front of another pianist, who told her "I had to work on my left hand." Then she turned back to the keyboard, cued the band and knocked out a killer solo full of big ringing chords that made it clear her left hand is in fine shape.

Just like the rest of her life.

European Parliament voted for a 70-year copyright protection

From ""

MEPs back 70-year copyright
By Jim Brunsden
European Parliament's compromise proposal would extend copyright by 20 years.

The European Parliament today voted to extend copyright on music recordings from 50 to 70 years. Supporters say that the extension will protect Europe's creative talent. Opponents argue that it will benefit only major record companies and top-earning performers at the expense of consumers.

The European Commission proposed last year that copyright should be extended to 95 years, but MEPs opted for 70 years to smooth negotiations on the draft legislation with member states. Several national governments have expressed concerns that the Commission's proposal will have negative repercussions.

MEPs voted that record producers should be required to place 20% of the extra revenue they gain from the copyright extension into a fund for session musicians. They also approved a ‘use it or lose it' clause allowing performers to recover their rights to a recording after 50 years if the record label does not market it.

Charlie McCreevy, the European commissioner for internal market, welcomed the vote. “Talking to the performers, not the superstars, made me realise that something needed to be done,” he said. The Commission has said the extension is needed to “bridge the income gap the performers face when they turn 70”, which it describes as “the most vulnerable period in their lives”.

The IFPI, an international association representing the recording industry, has argued that the current 50-year limit is lower than in many other countries and places Europe at a creative disadvantage.

Jacques Toubon, a French centre-right MEP, said the legislation is needed to “strengthen intellectual property” and support creative talent.

The European Parliament's liberal and green groups have both criticised the outcome of the vote. Caroline Lucas, a UK green MEP, said the extension “will fill the pockets of a limited number of powerful corporations and harm performer rights and artistic creativity”. She added that disc-jockeys who want to use samples from different songs will be “hit by a more restrictive choice of music in the public domain”. Sharon Bowles, a UK liberal, said that the vote “leaves recording companies with the lion's share of everything”.

National governments have yet to reach agreement among themselves on the draft legislation. A diplomat said that Belgium, Slovenia, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Portugal, Austria, Slovakia and Romania are all opposed to the extension. A Czech official said that discussions in the Council of Ministers are ongoing, but that a first reading agreement with parliament is unlikely.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Diana Krall live, tonight, in Winnipeg

After the two days off to rest a little, Diana Krall does tonight, April 22, at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the sixth concert of the Canadian leg of her acclaimed "Quiet Nights" tour.
Try your luck at last minute tickets at ticketmaster.

The set list for tonight:
1. I Love Being Here With You
2. Do it Again
3. Let's Fall in Love
4. Where or When
5. I've Grown Accustomed to Your Face
6. 'Deed I Do
7. Exactly Like You
8. But Not For Me
9. Devil May Care
10. Quiet Nights
11. Love Letters
12. Pick Yourself Up
13. Walk on By
14. I Don't Know Enough About You
15. The Look of Love
And don't miss the cover story about Diana in the May issue of DownBeat magazine.
The cover pic is by Robert Maxwell.
Here's an excerpt of the "Depths of Her Heart" article by writer Dan Ouellette:

"Ten years ago, Diana Krall won Female Vocalist of the Year in DownBeat’s Readers Poll. At the time, the singer–pianist’s star was ascending thanks to her 1999 Johnny Mandel-arranged album, When I Look In Your Eyes (Verve), which earned her a Grammy for Jazz Vocal Performance and a rare jazz nomination for Album of the Year.

Yet Krall seemed uncomfortable with the DownBeat award. “It’s a great honor, and of course I’m happy,” she said in ’99.

But then, while noting how much respect she had for Cassandra Wilson, Nnenna Freelon and Dee Dee Bridgewater, she wondered aloud if she was a bona fide jazz vocalist. Krall even consulted her pianist friend Alan Broadbent, who assured her that she was. Even so, she favored the song stylist tag, à lá Tony Bennett.

A decade later, Krall laughed at the recollection and the insecure girl-next-door image she exuded. Today, she’s not only an established vocalist, but also a burgeoning producer, helping Barbra Streisand put together an album. But it’s her new CD, the intimate, bossa nova-inspired Quiet Nights (Verve), that shows how far she has matured as an artist. Whereas past albums have shown Krall’s polish and a coy mix of spunk, cool, grace, mirth and romance with a wink, her new outing stands as her most personal, sensual and assured recording—and without a wink in sight.

Relaxed and sipping on a cappuccino at the Bowery Hotel in New York’s East Village in late February, Krall enthused about the fun she had making Quiet Nights. “It reflects who I am today,” she said. “It’s like having a big mirror held up to who I am. In the past, I was feeling, searching and apologizing for things, but now I’m older and I’m happy with what I’m doing.”

Her first full album of new material in three years, Quiet Nights is a sublime beauty that Krall characterizes as a collection of tunes lovers can whisper in each other’s ears at night. She sings with a hushed contralto, with a sexy appeal on such tunes as the title track (Jobim’s “Corcovado” rendered in English), heartfelt soul on Johnny Mercer’s “Too Marvelous For Words,” playful longing on the samba “So Nice” and chilled seduction on “You’re My Thrill.” Krall keeps the low-lights spirit flickering with single-note piano breaks on every song.

Her support team includes Anthony Wilson, who has been Krall’s go-to guitarist since her 2002 Live In Paris, and the bass–drum team John Clayton and Jeff Hamilton, mentors who were on board for her debut album, Stepping Out, in 1993. Also on board are Tommy LiPuma, who serves as Krall’s producer for the 10th time, long-time engineer Al Schmitt and arranger Claus Ogerman, who brings the same lush swell of woodwinds and strings to the fore as he did on the singer’s 2001 breakout hit, The Look Of Love. Also in the mix is Brazilian percussionist Paulinho Da Costa.

Krall’s 2008 concerts in Brazil provided the impetus to take on a project like Quiet Nights, which she will tour with a full orchestra this spring in Canada and summer across the United States. Two days after she finished last year’s road shows, she assembled her quartet in the studio and recorded Quiet Nights in six days. “I had a clear idea about what I wanted to do,” she said. “It’s about finding that right mood and tempo.”

Ogerman’s arrangements place an emphasis on a darker flavor. “Claus is a great arranger for me,” Krall said. “He thinks cinematically, and there’s always an element of noir to what he arranges. I tend toward the melancholy.”

Krall cites the version of the Hal David–Burt Bacharach hit “Walk On By” as an example of where Ogerman drops the orchestration out of the mix. “He doesn’t feel he has to fill every space,” she said. “He leaves you exposed, which I love. There was some pressure to fill the space on that tune with piano, but I thought, let’s leave it be. I don’t have anything else to say.”

Seawind "CTI" albums reissued today on Blu-spec CD

Two cult albums by the gospel-fusion group Seawind (Pauline Wilson, Bob Wilson, Bud Nuanez, Ken Wild, Jerry Hey, Kim Hutchcroft and Larry Williams) are being reissued today, April 22, in Japan, on Blu-spec CD format by Village Records, distributed by Sony. They were digitally remastered using DSD technology and come on deluxe paper sleeve packaging, with bonus tracks.

The Blu-spec CD, developed by Sony Music Entertainment, applies the manufacturing technologies optimized for the specifications demanded for Blu-ray discs. During the manufacturing of the disc, laser beam is pinpointed to encode data on the microscopic tracks molded on the polycarbonate plastic constituting the surface of the disc. Compared to the conventional laser beam used for the manufacturing of standard CD, the blue laser beam used for the manufacturing of Blu-spec CD has a shorter wavelength, allowing more accurate encoding of the data. Furthermore, polycarbonate plastic optimized for Blu-ray is used to ensure accurate reading of the data. Amazingly and importantly, Blu-spec CDs are fully compatible with standard CD-players.
"Seawind" and "Window of a Child" were originally released on Creed Taylor's CTI label in the late 1970s, and had been previously reissued on CD in Japan back in 1998 by Vivid Sound Corporation. Actually, both albums were done as independent projects produced by drummer Harvey Mason (in association with Bob Wirtz), who offered the tapes to CTI.

When Vivid Sound reissued them in 98, they did it through a license agreement with King Records, who still owns the rights of most of the CTI catalog for the Japanese market. But the members of Seawind had already managed to get the rights back and issued this statement on the band website:

"Can you believe it? Yes, King Records in Japan "accidentally" released on CD, the two Seawind CTI masters! King Records was in fact, the Japan licensee for Creed Taylor's CTI Records back in the 70's, when CTI was still in business. However, King failed to realize that Seawind had won all rights to their CTI masters back in 1978, when CTI fell into Bankruptcy Court and Seawind sued Creed Taylor and won! "It really upset me when I saw that King had released the two Seawind CTI masters in Japan", said Blue Johnson, Seawind manager. "The music of Seawind is sacred ....and no one should be messin' wit' it ....without the band's permission!" (smile) All joking aside, the good thing is that this unfortunate incident has been stopped and settled out of court! King Records has paid for their "mistake"! If any of you fans out there happen to see any Seawind CD's that don't appear to be legit or that don't look like the Seawind CD's shown on our Albums Page, please e-mail us and let us know about it. We thank you in advance, for helping us to police and preserve the musical legacy and integrity of Seawind." Period.

"Seawind", the self-titled debut album from 1976, yielded the dancefloor jazz hit "He Loves You" (thanks to the samba spice provided by special guest Brazilian percussionist Paulinho da Costa). The two bonus tracks added to this new CD reissue are "Can't Wait" and "Please Say Yes".
Its follow-up album, "Window of a Child", recorded in 1977, once again with lead vocalist Pauline Wilson on the frontline, now comes with the bonus tracks "Take Me In Love" and "Heaven In Your Eyes". Prior to these new Japanese reissues, both "Seawind" and "Window of a Child" were available in limited CD issues sold exclusively on the band website.
A third Seawind CD, "Reunion," their first new CD in 29 years!!!, is also being released today, including remakes of "He Loves You," with Al Jarreau doing a cameo appearance, sharing the vocals with Pauline Wilson. The group spent almost three years recording this new project in four state-of-the-art studios in the Los Angeles area. It also includes updated 2009 arrangements of "Follow Your Road," "Free," and "Devil Is A Liar."

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tonight, Kristin Korb's new CD release party in LA

Tonight, April 21, the CD release concert of Kristin Korb's new album, "In The Meantime"
8:00 PM $25.00
Jazz Bakery Los Angeles, CA -
"This is the BIG CD Release party for me," says Korb. "I've got all the guys on the recording here for this one gig. In addition to my favs Llew Matthews and Steve Barnes, we've got Bob Sheppard, Larry Koonse, and Nick Mancini on board. This is THE place to hear live CD cuts and some new surprises! I'm really excited about the event. I think it is going to be a thrilling night."

Jazz panel discussion in Pittsburgh, on April 25

African American Jazz Preservation Society of Pittsburgh presents:
Jazz Appreciation Month 2009 Panel Discussion
State of Jazz in the Community: Past, Present, Future.

Location: The Union Project
801 North Negley Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15206

Date: Saturday, April 25, 2009
Time: 1:00pm-3:00pm
FREE Admission

Panelists include:
Kevin Amos: New Media / Technology and its role in creating jazz communities

Harold Young: The Jazz Workshop and the meaning of community based jazz education

Dr. James Johnson Jr: Enculturation in a formal setting

J. Malls: Interval at Ava: Assessing the impact of a jam session on revitalizing the local jazz scene
Mensah Wali: The Joys and Challenges of presenting national touring artists in a community setting.

Dr. Harry Clark: Respondent
Kenan Foley: Moderator

The Public is Invited to Participate in Discussions
Funded by: The Heinz Endowments Small Arts Initiative
The Multicultural Arts Initiative
The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts - PA Partners in the Arts
For more information, call AAJPSP at: 412.867.1721

João Gilberto is set to perform in Spain

Bossa Nova genius João Gilberto is scheduled to perform on May 29, 8:30PM, at the "Guitarra Madrid" Festival, at the "Palacio de Congressos", in Madrid, obviously.
Tickets (120 € / 100 € / 80 €):
Tick tack ticket / Caixa catalunya

Other artists booked for the event: Jan Akkerman, Jackson Browne, Manuel Barrueco, Gary Moore and Vieux Farka Touré, among others.
For more details, please visit:

Eric Revis releases "Laughter's Necklace of Tears"

Bassist/composer Eric Revis releases the follow-up to his 11:11 Records' highly acclaimed "Tales of the Stuttering Mime," with the beautiful "Laughter’s Necklace of Tears."

Revis, best known for his work with the Branford Marsalis Quartet, delves into the myriad of influences that have informed his development for many years. From the writings of surrealist Andre Breton, a brief excursion into the world of hillbilly music, to an adaptation of a Paul Hindemith Sonata, "Laughter’s Necklace of Tears," proves that both compositionally and instrumentally Revis’s trajectory into greatness is imminent.

Revis is joined by a stellar group of forward thinking musicians including; Orrin Evans (piano/melodica), Stacy Dillard (tenor sax), John Ellis (tenor & soprano saxophones), Gerald Cleaver & Dana Murray (drums) and Oz Noy (guitar).

“Eric’s sound is the sound of doom; big, thick, percussive.” - Branford Marsalis

“Laughter’s Necklace Of Tears” experiments with different facets of jazz and infuses aspects of country, folk and rock into the mix. He is a forward-thinking artist who adheres to a scientific approach when composing his arrangements, showing that any melodic alloys which exist today can be transformed into new material tomorrow.” – JazzTimes

Enrico Granafei's solo concert in NY

Help us welcome Harmonica Virtuoso/ Guitarist Enrico Granafei to "Jazz Tuesdays" tonight, April 21 as he presents a solo concert on the Hands Free Chromatic Harmonica and Guitar in the Gillespie Auditorium at the New York Baha'i Center at 53 East 11th Street (between University Place & Broadway). This will be a CD Release Party for his latest CD “In Search of the Third Dimension” There will be two shows at 8:00 and 9:30 p.m. For reservations and information please call 212-222-5159.

Harmonica virtuoso, classical guitarist, singer, songwriter, arranger, composer Enrico Granafei has a long history of musical experience which encompasses both Classical Music and Jazz. Enrico received a degree in classical guitar from the Conservatory of l'Aquila in Italy in 1976. His artistic career started in Rome where he soon became known in the musical community. In 1978 Enrico moved to Germany where he began to perform and to teach in two different "Musikschulen". In the early 80's, after returning to Italy, Enrico started to broaden his horizons by discovering Jazz through the harmonica. Following in the tradition of the legendary Toots Thielemans, he began to explore new possibilities for the harmonica, an instrument too often associated solely with Rock and Blues. Besides playing in the best jazz clubs in Italy during that period, Enrico performed regularly on national television where he was a member of the Pippo Caruso orchestra. His love for Jazz led him to New York City, the world capital of Jazz, where he soon started to perform in local jazz clubs, including The Blue Note, Birdland, Visiones, Angry Squire, and the Bottom Line.

In 1992 Enrico earned a masters' degree in Jazz Performance from the Manhattan School of Music where he was the only student of Toots Thielemans . During the time that he has resided in the New York area, he has performed extensively on the Chromatic Harmonica in the United States and continued to be a featured musician in major European Festivals, including Pori Jazz Festival (Finland), Euromeet Jazz Festival (Italy), Django Festival in Samois sur Seine (France) , Budapest Music Festival (Hungary) and major clubs throughout Europe. He has recorded with Eddie Gomez, Eliot Zigmund. Marc Johnson, Adam Nussbaum, Ted Curson, Nnena Freelon (Concord records) and many others. Enrico's latest accomplishment is his work on Hands-Free-Chromatic Harmonica. The revolutionary instrument invented by Vern Smith allows him to play Chromatic Harmonica and Guitar at the same time, something that nobody has ever done before in Jazz. Close your eyes and you will hear two or three musicians but in fact it's only one! Enrico is one of the most respected players of the Chromatic Harmonica in the world today and continues to cultivate an audience for the instrument through his international performances.

Admission is 15.00, $10.00 for students.
Tickets will be sold at the door, or call 212-222-5159 for reservations and information.
Jazz Tuesdays
in the John Birks Gillespie Auditorium
The New York Baha'i Center
53 East 11th Street (between University Place & Broadway)
Two shows: 8:00 and 9:30 p.m.

Monday, April 20, 2009

"Live in Rio" coming soon!

Spend your "Quiet Nights" in the company of Diana Krall on her new concert DVD "Live in Rio". Performing classic tracks and standards in bossa nova style with her band and full orchestra live in Rio de Janeiro, this is Diana Krall as you've never seen and heard before. Scheduled for release on May 26 (and May 27 in Asia) by Eagle Vision.
Diana's next concert, during her Canadian tour, will be this Wednesday, April 22, at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Jazzinstitut at the "Jazzahead 2009" trade fair in Bremen

For a long week-end Europe’s largest public archive on jazz will present its various activities at Bremen’s CongressCentrum ( from Thursday to Sunday, April 23rd to 26th. Together with the "Klaus-Kuhnke-Archiv fuer populaere Musik" located at Bremen University, and the association German Jazz Meeting, the Jazzinstitut Darmstadt will provide information about its many activities, ranging from scholarly publications to jazz research services, exhibitions, conferences, workshops and jazz concerts. Come and meet the Jazzinstitut's staff, Doris Schröder, Arndt Weidler and Wolfram Knauer at booth G 02 in the exhibition hall Hanse Saal.

Bruce Lofgren @ The Sheraton LA this Friday

This Friday, April 24
Bruce Lofgren Quartet @ The Sheraton in LA!

Bruce Lofgren (guitar), Jacques Voyemant (trombone), Mike Flick (bass) & Paul Kreibich (drums)
Lofgren is a first-rate arranger-orchestrator and guitarist. He has written for Loggins & Messina, The Tonight Show, The Osmond Brothers, Buddy Rich, and Ray Anthony, to name a few. He has also written for TV and commercials and has performed with such stars as Ray Anthony, Bobby Darin, Airto Moreira & Flora Purim, and Janis Siegel. Lofgren has four CDs and two LPs of original music to his credit.

6:00 PM - *10:00 PM

The Sheraton Los Angeles
Downtown Hotel
711 South Hope Street, Los Angeles, CA 90017

No Cover - Self Parking (First 2 Hrs FREE) – 50% OFF All Bar Snacks
(Full Bar Selection) – 20% OFF Dinner At The Grill – Special “Jazz” Room Rate
Make A Night Of It!

Win tickets to "Dark Was The Night" @ Radio City, NY

Curated by the National's Aaron and Bruce Dessner and featuring 31 of indie's biggest names, Dark Was the Night is arguably the crown jewel of Red Hot's acclaimed compilation series. On Sunday, May 3rd, several of the acts featured on the comp will be performing at Radio City Music Hall to benefit the Red Hot Organization, a remarkable international charity dedicated to raising money and awareness for HIV/AIDS through popular culture.

Confirmed for the night are: David Byrne, Dirty Projectors, Feist, My Brightest Diamond, the National, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, Dave Sitek, Bon Iver and more, all performing songs from the compilation. Other Music is giving away one pair of tickets to a great night of music and a fantastic cause. To enter, email, and they'll notify the winner next Monday.
RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL: 6th Avenue (Between 50th Street and 51st Street) NYC

Jacques Lesure Trio live @ Bar Melody in LA, April 21

Jacques Lesure (guitar), Bobby Pierce (organ) & Tootie Heath (drums) live @ Bar Melody

Lesure can be described as a soulful blend of the syncopation of gospel and the soulful licks of jazz. His reputation as an emerging and exciting jazz guitarist has led him to perform with many jazz notables such as Oscar Brown Jr., George Benson, Freddy Cole, Russell Malone, Wynton Marsalis, & George Bohannon. This organ trio will certainly put a capital “B” on the Blues portion of the evening!
Tuesday, April 21, 7pm - 11pm
BAR MELODY Bar & Grill

9132 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90045

No Cover; FREE Parking; $15.00 Food & Beverage Minimum

Saturday, April 18, 2009

"Quiet Nights": #1 in Germany!

(the "Quiet Night" ad printed in many German magazines and used as a promo poster in record stores)

Diana Krall's new album, "Quiet Nights" reached the top of the jazz charts in Germany!
In German Amazon, "Quiet Nights" is the #1 Jazz Album on their "Musik-Bestseller" list.
It's also the #15 in the entire Musik market, in the Pop chart, and the #1 the Vocal Jazz chart.
To give an idea of her popularity in Germany, nothing less than 6 other Diana Krall albums appear in the Vocal Jazz Top 25 chart of German Amazon:

# 1 - "Quiet Nights"
# 3 - "All Four You"
# 8 - "Live in Paris"
# 15 - "The Look of Love"
# 18 - "The Girl in the Other Room"
# 19 - "Only Trust Your Heart"
# 25 - "When I Look in Your Eyes"

Brunch on the beach with Kristin Korb this Sunday!

Tomorrow, Sunday
Brunch on the beach with Kristin Korg, Todd Johnson, and Matt Gordy
Hang out with some of the worlds premier Jazz musicians.
April 19, 2009, 11:00 AM-3:00PM
Hermosa Beach, California (of course!)

Free, Drink Cover, All Ages
$3 scratch bloody mary's!
And don't miss the chance to get a copy of Korb's "Live in Vienna" DVD!

Joe Farrell albums to be reissued for the first time on CD

Two longtime out-of-print Joe Farrell albums from the 70s will be reissued on CD for the first time ever, next June 9, by the Wounded Bird label. Both titles - "Night Dancing" and "La Catedral Y El Toro", never before reissued not even in Japan! - were licensed from Warner Brothers, the company with which the late reedman signed a millionaire contract in 1977 after a series of seven great albums for CTI (not counting the unofficial releases nor the live dates with the CTI All Stars bands). However, Farrell was not able to reach the same momentum of his CTI heyday and, maybe due to the lack of good promotional efforts, his WB albums sold much less than the CTI ones.

"La Catedral Y El Toro", co-produced by Ralph MacDonald & William Eaton, was recorded in '77 at Rosebud Studios in NY with a very high budget not usual for jazz recordings, unfortunately with disappointing sales. The big all-star cast included fusion heavyweights Stanley Clarke, Dave Grusin, Steve Gadd, Eric Gale, Anthony Jackson, Richard Tee and Chris Parker, besides legendary studio guitarist Jay Berliner and Brazilian percussionist Rubens Bassini.

Farrell played soprano & tenor saxophones, flute and even oboe (on Patti Austin's song "Is It Asking Too Much?"), sometimes sounding suffocated by a large horn section (with Randy Brecker, Michael Brecker, Barry Rogers, George Young and Ronnie Cuber, among others) and an even larger string section in disco-oriented scores like "Disco Dust" and the Eaton & MacDonald-penned "Promise Me Your Love," the latter also covered by David Newman on "Mr. Fathead."

The whole album was arranged & conducted by William "Bill" Eaton, a good composer who never achieved the sophistication nor the subtlety of such masters as Don Sebesky or Claus Ogerman as orchestrator.

I prefer Joe Farrell's performances on "Night Dancing", cut for Warner Bros. in 1978 after he moved to Los Angeles and soon became a star in California's jazz club circuit at that time (he reigned at "Carmelo's," "Donte's" and the "Comeback Inn" in Venice). The disco influence remains on the title track "Night Dancing" (written & arranged by the album producer Trevor Lawrence) and on a nice version of Stevie Wonder's "Another Star". There are two mellow pop ballads that were mega hits by the Bee Gees ("How Deep Is Your Love", with Flora Purim's sexy vocals) and Rod Stewart ("You're In My Heart").

But the other half of "Night Dancing" is simply fantastic, including Jeff Lorber's funky "Katherine" (Joe plays soprano sax), Farrell's own gorgeous jazz waltz "Silver Lace" (his flute intertwines with the wordless vocals of Lynda Tucker Lawrence & Andrea Robinson with great effect, while Herbie Hancock shines on the Fender Rhodes electric piano) and a superb a cappella performance (on tenor sax) of Harold Arlen/Johnny Mercer's standard "Come Rain or Come Shine".

Victor Feldman (also playing Rhodes), drummers Harvey Mason, Jeff Porcaro & John Guerin, bassists Chuck Rainey, Abe Laboriel, Mike Porcaro & Robert W. Dougherty, guitarists Lee Ritenour & Jay Graydon, and Brazilian percussionists Airto Moreira (who plays on three tracks, adding cuica to "Casa de Los Sospensos", which sounds like a TV cop-show theme) & Paulinho da Costa (heard on congas) are among the featured sidemen. The horn section includes such studio veterans as Chuck Findley, Oscar Brashear, Garnet Brown, Lew McCreary, Joe Romano and Quitman Dennis. This remastered CD issue is definitely worth a listen. And now I hope to see, in a near future, digital reissues of Farrell's CTI albums that remain unreleased on CD format, such as "Upon This Rock," "Canned Funk" and the splendid "Penny Arcade."

Ramana Vieira's CD release party, tonight, in California

Official CD release party of Ramana Vieira's "Tears of a Queen"
Tonight, April 18, 8:00 PM
142 Throckmorton Theatre
Mill Valley, CA

$25.00 general admission/$35.00
(415) 383-9600

Marcie Brown (cello), Alberto Ramirez (bass guitar), Jeffrey Luiz (classical guitar), Stephen La Porta (drums/percussion), and special guest musicians Benito Cortez (violin) and Didier Bouvet (guitar)

Called "a rising star in World Music" by the San Francisco Examiner, vocalist Ramana Vieira releases her new CD "Lágrimas De Rainha (Tears Of A Queen)" on the Pacific Coast Jazz label. Ramana Vieira has solidified her place as one of the premier world music artists who understands the tradition of Portuguese Fado singing, a melancholy and often-mournful music similar to the American blues, yet continues to creatively construct a path into the future by combining new musical textures and original compositions.

On the new CD, "Lágrimas De Rainha", Ramana paints sonic pictures that support her desire to invent a fresh Fado sound blooming from the ground of her own Portuguese family roots. Many of the songs on the recording are inspired by Ramana's main influence, Amália Rodrigues, known as the "Rainha do Fado" ("Queen of Fado") and who is attributed to popularizing the Fado worldwide. According to Ramana, "nobody else is doing what we are doing with Fado. Take the feel and groove of Shakira and the melodic textures of Dulce Pontes and that is how I would describe our music."
For more details:

Friday, April 17, 2009

Diana Krall live tonight @ the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium

After two sold-concerts for 1,700 people (each night) at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, in Calgary, Diana Krall had a day-off yesterday but resumes, tonight, the Canadian leg of the "Quiet Nights Tour" with another sold-out performance at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium in Edmonton, Alberta. And let's go back on the bus!

"Stunning set of favourites highlights Krall concert" was the title of a review, written by Lisa Wilton for the "Sun Media", about the opening concert (on March 14). "Since she was last in town, Krall has given birth to twin boys Dexter and Frank, but you'd would never know it by how great she looked when she walked onto the stage wearing a gorgeous little black dress. Krall's 90-minute concert wasn't exactly invigorating, but it was probably one of the best jazz performances Calgary will see all year," added Wilton.

CD of the Day - "Return To Forever: Returns"

CD of the Day
Return To Forever: "Returns" (Eagle Rock/ST2) 2008

Due to their performances on "Returns", all the RTF members - Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, Lenny White and Al DiMeola - were voted among the best musicians of the year in our 2008 Jazz Station Poll. For details, please take a look on the link below:
The 2008 reunion of Return to Forever's classic mid-1970s line-up marked an extraordinary event for fans of progressive jazz fusion. It was really the jazz event of the year, generating a long sold-out tour. The mind-boggling chemistry of the band proves as explosive as ever 20 years after the second incarnation of the group first dazzled audiences with their complex, rock-influenced hybrids, boasting such jazz-rock classics as "No Mystery," "Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy," "Romantic Warrior," "Song to the Pharaoh Kings" and "Vulcan Words," the latter being the first song that I, Arnaldo DeSouteiro, selected when preparing the "Jazz Rock" compilation I produced for Verve also in 2008.
This 2-CD set was recorded live mostly on July 31st, 2008 at Ruth Eckerd Hall (Clearwater, Florida), except for three tracks: "Duel of the Jester and the Tyrant" (live at the Bank of America Pavillon in Boston on August 6th, 2008), "500 Miles High" (at the Montreux Jazz Festival, in Switzerland, on July 18, 2008) and an alternate version of "Romantic Warrior" cut when RTF received the BBC Lifetime Achievement award presented by Sir Gorge Martin in a date not specified on the CD booklet).
All the solo spots are equally great, specially Corea's acoustic piano improvisation that leads to a subtle rendition of Miles Davis' "Solar", with Clarke on acoustic bass and White showcasing his impeccable brushwork. There is, as one might guess, no shortage of stretching out from each of these four jazz luminaries. Like the "JazzTimes" reviewer wrote: "This two-CD set delivers all the impossibly tight unisons, cascading streams of 64th notes and virtuosic soloing that longtime RTF fans have come to expect from their heroes."
The "RTF Live at Montreux 2008" DVD is scheduled to release in the USA on May 12, 2009, by Eagle Vision.