Saturday, May 23, 2015

USA/UK: Soft Machine - Switzerland 1974 (Cuneiform 2015)

"On July 4, 1974, Soft Machine were invited to perform at the prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, sharing the spotlight with such headliners as Billy Cobham’s Spectrum, Larry Coryell’s Eleventh House and the Mahavishnu Orchestra. This alone was evidence of the band being a dominant presence on the now widely popular jazz-rock scene, which had evolved out of the unique and edgy sound that the band had pioneered a few years before. Switzerland 1974 is this performance, captured just a couple of weeks before the studio sessions for Bundles. "

USA: New Bob Mintzer Big Band CD, "Get Up!," Due from MCG Jazz June 23

New Bob Mintzer Big Band CD,

"Get Up!,"

Due from MCG Jazz June 23


5th Big Band CD for the Label
& 20th Overall
By the Grammy-Winning Bob Mintzer Big Band
Draws on R&B and Funk Traditions

May 20, 2015 

Bob Mintzer Get Up!
Since 1983, tenor saxophonist, composer, and arranger Bob Mintzer has been delving into the big band format and its myriad stylistic possibilities, collecting five Grammy nominations and one Grammy win in the process. His newest recording, Get Up!, which is his 20th big band album to date, will be released by MCG Jazz on June 23.

Mintzer describes the nine tracks on the new CD as "clearly R&B influenced, but [they] then go to many other places along the way. ... Using these relatively simple tunes as a springboard for harmonic, rhythmic, and melodic exploration was a real adventure, one that I had been thinking about for a long time."

Produced by MCG's Marty Ashby and arranged by Mintzer, Get Up! features guitarist Ray Obiedo and bassist Will Lee, as well as Mintzer's longtime colleagues in the Yellowjackets, pianist Russell Ferrante and drummer William Kennedy. Besides five originals by the leader, including the James Brown-inspired title track, the set is made up of Mintzer's vibrant arrangements of the Wayne Shorter-penned Weather Report classic "Elegant People" and three of his favorite R&B tunes from the late 1960s: the Isley Brothers' "It's Your Thing," Sam & Dave's "I Thank You" (written by David Porter and Isaac Hayes), and Sly & the Family Stone's "Sing a Simple Song."

"I grew up listening to this music," says Mintzer, whose radio dial was tuned to WNEW-FM when he was growing up in New Rochelle, New York. "There was less concern with classification and categorization back then. There was a kind of connection between what people like John Coltrane and Charles Lloyd were doing and what some of the rock guys were doing in terms of Indian and Eastern influences and stretching out on long vamps. For people like myself who like all different kinds of music, this was a great time for music and art."

Bob Mintzer Big Band

Ashby, who has worked with Mintzer on all five of his big band dates for MCG Jazz, sees Mintzer as having "created such an important body of work for large ensemble that it just cannot be overlooked. Few bands write mostly original music for large ensemble, and hardly any then have much of the music available in a published format for other bands and students to study and play. Because his range of writing for the band extends from Brazilian to funk to R&B to straight-ahead to fusion and everything in between, I think Bob stands alone as the preeminent composer/arranger for big band at this time. His passion for the idiom puts him at the top of the pyramid."

Mintzer connected with Manchester Craftsmen's Guild in 2004. The Big Band debuted with Live at MCG and followed up with Old School, New Lessons (2006), both of which featured Kurt Elling, and Swing Out (2008). On the Grammy-nominated For the Moment (2012), the spotlight was on Brazilian music, with guitarist/composer Chico Pinheiro as special guest.

Bob Mintzer
The lifelong New Yorker, who's considered one of the tenor saxophonists to come out of the school of New York players in the 1970s (also including Michael Brecker, Bob Berg, Dave Liebman, and Steve Grossman), and whose big band dates to 1983, when the Brecker brothers asked him to put together an ensemble for their club Seventh Avenue South, has been based in Los Angeles since 2008. He lives in the former house of composer Arnold Schoenberg (his first L.A. residence, 1934-1936), and is the recipient of the Buzz McCoy-endowed chair of jazz studies at the University of Southern California.

Mintzer continues to tour with the Yellowjackets (which he joined in 1990), does workshops all over the world, and serves as a guest conductor/soloist with college and pro bands. His upcoming dates with the Yellowjackets include: 5/27 Howard Theatre, Washington, DC; 5/28-29 Blue Note, NYC; 6/26 Rochester (NY) Jazz Festival; and a European tour 7/1-15. Mintzer will be appearing at the Hong Kong Jazz Festival 6/3-9 with big band and orchestra; touring Europe 6/15-20 with the Hammond Eggs trio; and serving on faculty at the Centrum Jazz Camp in Port Townsend, WA 7/20-25. Finally, Mintzer will be part of a Jaco Pastorius tribute, with Vince Mendoza, at the Hollywood Bowl 8/13 (also with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra) and the Monterey Jazz Festival 9/18.  

Photography: Wade Massie

Like: Like us on Facebook
Follow: Follow us on Twitter

Media Contact:

USA: Ray Parker Jr. To Make Debut Appearance at KSBR Birthday Bash Jazz Festival & Taste of the Bash

Melissa Manchester, Paul Brown, Greg Adams Join over 40 More Artists, Donate Time to Appear In an All Star Jazz Jam to Help Raise Funds for Local College Radio Station 


Saddleback College Radio Station KSBR (88.5 FM) is proud to announce that Grammy Award winner Ray Parker Jr. will make his debut appearance at this year’s KSBR Birthday Bash Jazz Festival. Parker will join more than 40 other distinguished musicians in this unique musical jam session, including fellow Grammy winners Melissa Manchester and Paul Brown, Greg Adams, Chieli Minucci, Brian Bromberg, Bill Cantos, Gregg Karukas, and the legendary Max Bennett who will be celebrating his 87th birthday. The Birthday Bash takes place on Sunday, May 24, 2015 on the Village Green of Oso Viejo Park in Mission Viejo. Gates open at 3:30 p.m.; Taste of the Bash from 3:30-5:00 p.m.; Military Appreciation Festivities at 4:30 p.m.; Music at 5:00 p.m.
As always, there will be very special guests who, because of contractual obligations, cannot be announced until they step on stage. This year there will be at least eight “secret” guest artists performing. Previous surprise artists have included Joe Sample, Dave Koz, Peter White, Mindi Abair, Patti Austin, Chris Botti, Larry Carlton, Brian Culbertson, Bob James, Boney James, and Tom Scott.
“At most festivals, one band takes the stage, followed by a break, and then another band, and so forth. But at the Bash, headliners leave their bands behind and play together in an all-star musical party,” according to Saddleback College Broadcast Services Director Jim Rondeau. The concert is co-sponsored by the City of Mission Viejo. This will be the 27th year of the station’s largest fundraising event, and it celebrates the 36th anniversary of jazz on KSBR (88.5 FM).
The Orange County Register named the KSBR Birthday Bash Jazz Festival and Taste of the Bash the Best Nonprofit Gala for 2013 “Best of Orange” County and last year, the KSBR Birthday Bash Jazz Festival and Taste of the Bash came in first runner up behind the Orange County Fair for “Best Festival” in Orange County for the OC’s Hot List.
The event also includes The Taste of the Bash, which features local restaurants showing off their finest creations. The Taste is an added value so those purchasing tickets to the concert can enjoy the Taste of the Bash for no additional charge. Some of the restaurants that are confirmed include California Pizza Kitchen in Mission Viejo, Sundried Tomato in San Juan Capistrano, Slater’s 50/50 in Lake Forest, and The Melting Pot in Irvine. Among the wineries at this year’s Bash are Hamilton Oaks Vineyards in Trabuco Canyon, Giesen Estates, and Beach House Winery as well as Cismontane Beer in Rancho Santa Margarita. Tito’s Handmade Vodka will also be featured. More restaurants and wineries that will be at the Taste of the Bash can be found at
Platinum and Premium Gold VIP guests will be treated to a fine dining experience by Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen in Anaheim, Delizie Ristorante in Mission Viejo, The Ranch Sports Grill in Ladera Ranch, and Vintage Steak House in San Juan Capistrano. It’s a Grind Coffee in Mission Viejo will also be serving coffee. Ricardo’s Place and Mission Grill in San Juan Capistrano will be providing meals for the Bash All-Stars and their families in the Artist’s backstage area. The event will include a special tribute to Veterans. Saddleback College’s Veterans Memorial is the most significant tribute to veterans at any community college campus in the nation. In recognition of this event and the role that the college’s VETS (Veterans Education and Transition Services) Center plays in the community, the festivities will include a color guard performance and a special musical tribute to kick off the concert.
In addition, veterans and active military personnel may purchase general admission tickets for just $30 through KSBR’s Membership Services office: (949) 582-4501.
New this year is the Silent Auction tent where donations from around the world have been coming in. Items such as an African Safari, concert tickets, hotel packages, wine and more can be bid on off the web or from a smart phone. More information about the silent auction and how you can bid can be found at the station’s website
For the first time in 27 years, all VIP tickets have sold out in advance. General Admission tickets are still available at $55 in advance and $60 at the door. GA Tickets can be purchased at, in person at the Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center, and the Saddleback College Fine Arts Ticket Office (949) 582-4656.
The concert takes place on Sunday, May 24, 2015 at Oso Viejo Park, 24932 Veterans Way, Mission Viejo. Follow KSBR on Twitter @KSBR885 and Facebook at KSBRFM.
Located in Mission Viejo, Saddleback College provides quality higher education and training to the greater south Orange County community. Having served more than 500,00 students since 1968, Saddleback College offers over 300 degree and certificate programs to help students reach their personal, career, and educational goals. For more information, please visit and for Fine Arts information, please visit
For media inquiries and interviews please contact Kelly Bennett of Bennett Productions Unlimited, PR/Marketing/Branding or (949) 463-6383.
Kelly Bennett, President
Bennett Productions Unlimited
(949) 463-6383


GERMANY: Don & Ray - Rockin' in Rhythm

NORWAY: Kjetil Husebø ‎– Steps (Optical Substance Productions 2015)

1 Far But Near
2 Typisk
3 Steps
4 Ease
5 Carousel
6 Inversion
7 Strange Steps
8 Veien blir til mens du går deg vill
9 Reverence For Otherness
10 Hypnagogia 1

Just in From Scandinavia: Nordic Music Round-Up 13

Elegiac Faroese singer-songwriter, flourishing Norwegian creativity, quirky Danish pop and all points between



Friday, May 22, 2015

USA: The City Boys Allstars New CD "Personal Thing" & Upcoming Live Appearances

New CD "Personal Thing"
& Upcoming Live Appearances

May 22nd
1348 Rte 9W, Marlboro, NY 12542

May 23rd
12 Grapes
12 N Division St, Peekskill, NY 10566

The Band: Mike Merola: guitar; Al MacDowell: bass; Rob Clores:
keyboards; Nick Saya: drums; Dan Sandownick: percussion;
Lew Soloff & Tony Kadleck: trumpets; Andy Snitzer, “Blue Lou”
Marini & Tom “Bones” Malone: saxophones; Tom “Bones” Malone:
trombone; Bil Kurz, Angel Rissoff & Horace Scott II: vocals.
Label: City Boys Mike Productions LLC
Artist Website:
UPC Code: 724101256820
Formats: CD, Audiophile Vinyl, Digital Downloads
Release Date: June 5, 2015

1. Birdland 4:57
2. Personal Thing 4:43
3. Fine Wine 3:36
4. I won’t write your song 3:51
5. Shining Star 3:00
6. Summer Nights 5:12
7. Thru The Glass 4:03
8. Sugar Bowl 4:28
9. Baby 4:02
10. I’m A Real Nice guy You Wouldn’t Like Me 4:50
11. Will Have To Do 3:12
12. Meaning Of life 5:15

Sounding like no other band, the City Boys Allstars — three exemplary singers and ten world-class musicians, based in New York City — showcase their crack-of-dawn fresh mixture of jazz and rock, with touches of funk, soul, blues and gospel, on Personal Thing, their new studio album and last with key member Lew Soloff. The sheer force of the little big band’s musical personality reinforces the appeal of strong, intelligent songs written by four band members and one updated cover song: the late great Joe Zawinul’s “Birdland.” Personal Thing is every bit as stellar as the Allstars’ previous album, Blinded by the Night, a concert recording selected by DownBeat as one of the “Best Albums of 2014” and highly praised by Blues in Britain Magazine,
among others. Blinded by the Night also made its mark as a favorite among radio deejays, both satellite and terrestrial.

Consider the tremendous assets of this uncommon band. Leader Mike Merola, recently inducted into the New York Blues Hall
of Fame, is a superior guitarist. Three lead singers of distinction form a soulful singing section. The instrumentalists, whether
soloing or playing together, number among the top sessionmen in New York City; their affiliations range from Blood, Sweat &
Tears and the Blues Brothers to the Rolling Stones and Aretha Franklin to the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and Ornette
Coleman. Not to mention Bob Dylan, the Black Crowes, John Medeski and hundreds more. Sadly, since the recording of the
new album, City Boys Allstar trumpeter Lew Soloff — one of the jazz greats — has passed away. Soloff was a loyal friend to all of the Allstars. Merola knew Lew for 26 years, during which time they recorded four albums together. Personal Thing is lovingly
dedicated to his memory.

The Allstars rule! As Blinded by the Night showed their committed fans and newcomers, the Allstars unleash thrillingly energetic
performances in clubs and other venues. Now Personal Thing displays these New Yorkers’ confident, exciting way with recording
in a top NYC-area studio. They insist on state-of-the-art sound reproduction and they get it.  Excellent mixing, too. All told, the future is bright for a sophisticated yet entertaining band like no other.

Producer: Tony Kadleck Co-Producer: Joseph Borges Executive Producers: Michael G. Merola for City Boys Mike
Productions LLC and Partners Charles Palmieri Jr. and Elias Pateras Recorded & Mixed by Joseph Borges at Broccoli &
Rabe Studios, Fairfield NJ Mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound, NYC
City Boys Mike Productions LLC

Media Campaign: Jim Eigo, Jazz Promo Services, Ph: 845-986-1677
Radio Campaign: Bob Putignano 914-667-8003

Available From: Amazon / iTunes / CDBaby

USA/CANADA Jazz Festivals News

Half of Vancouver International Jazz Festival shows to be free in 2015
For 2015, festival organizers are adding two additional days of free downtown jazz shows and adding a new showcase of South African musicians.

Montreal International Jazz Festival honours Cotton, Badu
James Cotton, Erykah Badu and King Sunny Ade are among the recipients of awards at this year’s Montreal International Jazz Festival, which runs June 26 to July 5.
Local talent a focus for Jazz Fest
The upcoming performers are local trio “The Great Music Guys” on May 21 at 02 Nightclub, “Sue Baker and the 1000 Islands Jazz Band” on May 22 at the Brockville Country Club, and the 20-person “The Grey Jazz Big Band” on May 23 at First Presbyterian Church.

Healdsburg Jazz Festival covers a lot of musical ground
“I like Healdsburg because it’s really a jazz festival, not ‘smooth jazz,’” said New York jazz pianist Kenny Barron, who has played the festival before and will return for this year’s event, running May 29 through June 7 at a dozen locations in Healdsburg, Windsor and Santa Rosa