Saturday, August 31, 2013

Warren Wolf - Wolfgang (Mack Avenue 2013)

Wolfgang opens with the vibraphonist leading his own home-base band (Fun and Williams with Goldberg sitting in as a guest) into “Sunrise,” with Goldberg and Williams making predawn statements, then develops into the relaxed aurora with Wolf joining the group. The piece develops into a swinging gem with lyrical vibes lines. With the same band, Wolf speeds into the hard-burning swinger “Grand Central,” which takes a frenetic pace with mad dashes of movement: a wild chase, a crushing push. “Actually, this originally had another title which we decided not to use,” says Wolf. “But I was performing it at Dizzy’s Club at Jazz at Lincoln Center, and a guy came up after and said that reminded him of being at Grand Central Station at rush hour. So, that’s the perfect title.”
Mack Avenue 

New Release: Sachal Studios Presents "JAZZ AND ALL THAT" In Memory of Dave Brubeck

New Release
Sachal Studios Presents
In Memory of Dave Brubeck

Live Appearance with
The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis collaborates with the Sachal Jazz Ensemble
Friday, November 22nd 8PM Rose Theater
Official YouTube Video

Everybody Hurts (Ya Rab) - Sachal Studios' Orchestra 

Watch It HERE

“Listening to this exotic version of “Take Five” brings back wonderful memories of Pakistan where my Quartet played in 1958. East is East, and West is West, but through music the twain meet. Congratulations!”

“This is most interesting and different recording of “Take Five” I’ve ever heard.
—Dave Brubeck

Live Appearance
The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis collaborates with the Sachal Jazz Ensemble, master musicians from Pakistan who incorporate ancient instruments, such as sitar, sarod, tabla, and dholak into the sounds and rhythms of iconic jazz repertoire. This collaboration is JALC’s latest installment in a string of cross-cultural investigations, which have paired the JLCO with musicians from Ghana and Spain, among others, as the organization actualizes its mission to make jazz available globally by interfacing the sounds of jazz, grounded firmly in American values of blues and swing expression, with an international array of musical languages and configurations. 2012 Oscar-winning director Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy is currently filming this remarkable ensemble for a documentary that will be released in 2014, which will conclude with the Sachal Jazz Ensemble’s highly anticipated collaboration with the JLCO.

Artist: Sachal Studios Orchestra
Label: Imagine Music
Catalog Number: SM026
Release Date: September 10, 2013

Track Listing
1. You’ve Got It Bad Girl (Wonder) 4;49
2. If You Go Away (Brel) 4:39
3. Moonlight In Vermont (Suessdorf/Blackburn) 4:40
4. Monsoon (Afzal) 5:14
5. The Pink Panther (Mancini) 5:07
6. Ponteio (Lobo) 6:02
7. Eleanor Rigby (Lennon/McCartney) 3:41
8. Blue Rondo A la Turk (Brubeck) 4:12
9. Kafi Jazz (Five Rivers) (Abbas) 4:36
10. Everybody Hurts (R.E.M.) 5:50
11. Wave (Jobim) 5:26
12. To The End Of The World (Metheny/Mays) 6:29
13. Morning Has Broken (Traditional) 5:33

Sachal Studios Orchestra
Sitar: Nafees Ahmed Khan
Tabla: Ballu Khan
Dholaks & Percussion: Rafiq Ahmed and Najaf Ali
Cello: Umar Draz, Ghulam Abbas and Waqas Ali
Violin: Saleem Khan, Altaf Hydar, Javaid Ali, Akbar Noushad,
Kaleen Khan, Mukhtar Hussain, Mohammed Ilyas,
Kahwar Hussain, Akbar Abbas, Sakhawat Ali, Babar Baila, Nadeen Ahmad, Fazal Hussain, Aqeel Anwar, Chand, Ghulam Hussain,
Ghulam Ali, Riasat Hussain, Mubarak Ali, Abid Ali, Akram Farooqi, Amjad Ali, Basharat Ali and Nijat Ali.

UK Musicians:
Trumpet/Flugel: Derek Watkins Percussion: Chris Wells
Piano: Steve Lodder Bass/Harmonica: Philip Achile
Harp: Sally Price Sarod: Soumik Datta
Guitar: John Parracelli Ghatam: Bangalore Prakash
Moorsing (jewsharp): Kandiah Sithaparanatha

Abbie Osman, Alice Fearn, Claire Henry, Joanna Forbes, Mary Carewe,
Rachel Weston, Sarah Ryen, Soophia Foroughi, Yona Dunsford.
Metro Voices- Choir Master Jenny O’Grady

Studio Credits:
Original Recording by Munir Kokab
Assisted by Samuel(Pinku) Suleimen-Waheed Sachal Studios, Lahore, July 2011-Feb 2013
Additional Recording ‘Monsoon’ Sam Okell, Abbey Road Studios- London 2010
Additional recording by Christoph Bracher Assisted by Sameer Khan & Drew Smith, Assault & Battery Studios, London. March-April 2013
Final Mixing by Christoph Bracher Assisted by Sameer Khan, Assault & Battery Studios, London. May 2013
Mastering by Sam Okel, Abbey Road Studios, London May 2013
All tracks arranged by Izzat Majeed, Assisted by Nijat Ali
UK session & studio work coordinated by Jay Visvadeva
Artwork Concept by Izzat Majeed, Artwork & Graphics Kikuchi
This album carries lasting memories of the late maestro Riaz Hussain

Track Listing Info:

01   You’ve Got It Bad Girl
(Stevie Wonder)

The track is intended as homage to the genius of Stevie Wonder.  This version creates fresh sounds of the flute, sitar, harmonica and piano. Balu Khan’s tabla and rhythm further enhance the uniqueness of the arrangement with the string section bringing a swing to the track.  Ever since I heard this song in the early 19702, I remained glued to Stevie Wonder’s heart aching melody and Quincy Jones’ arrangement soon after.  I have arranged it with both masters in mind.

02   If You Go Away/ Ne Me Quitte Pas
(Jacques Brel)

The arrangement is based on the flute that carries the sadness of the song.  Yet as the sarangi swells along with the orchestra there comes the promise of hope.  I always remember when I first heard Shirley Horn’s version and she has inspired me to make this track.

03   Moonlight In Vermont
(Karl Suessdorf/ John Blackburn)

The origins of this track may well be inspired by the U.S. State of Vermont, but in the arrangement of this well loved song I call it the Moonlight in Lahore!

04   Monsoon
(Wazir Afzal)

Monsoon is based on the classical music of South Asia.  It is inspired by raga Shankara.  All of us who made this album are deeply saddened at the death of Derek Watkins who was a great musician (trumpet, flugel) and a mentor to me.  Sachal Studios dedicates this composition in his memory.

05   The Pink Panther Theme
(Henry Mancini)

Need on say more?  At the first notes of this track the audience cheered when the Sachal Studios Orchestra played it at the Alchemy Festival (Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, April 2012.

06   Ponteio
(Edu Lobo)

Ponteio’s structure sounds close to the traditional music and songs of the Punjab.  The harmonica plays a wonderful reminiscence of Toots Thielemans in his collaboration with Edu Lobo.

07   Eleanor Rigby

An ode to loneliness.  The beauty of the arrangement is the minimal instrumentation.  It is a new take on an evergreen classic.  I was thrilled with the vigour with which the Sachal Orchestra played the original song.  The chorus is singing the ‘sargam’ known in the West as solfège (sol-fa in English).

08   Blue Rondo à La Turk
(Dave Brubeck)

A masterpiece of music.  Dave Brubeck went round the world to listen to all forms of music in different cultures and come back with global rhythms which he used uniquely to give jazz a new world.  His compositions will be eternal jazz.  Dave Brubeck was pleased with Sachal Studios’ ‘Take Five’ and sent his congratulations when it topped the charts globally.

09   Five Rivers
(Kafi Thaat)

It is composed in Kafi Thaat and carries a mix of ragas just like the five rivers of the Punjab (which translates as “Five” and “Rivers”).  A Thaat is a musical scale, conceived of as a Western musical scale might be, with the seven notes presented in their order of ascent (arohan).

10   Everybody Hurts

Sad, full of pathos, about us, not always able to deal with hurt.  The chant “Ya Rab” means O Lord.

11   Wave
(Antonio Carlos Jobim)

The arrangement of this track combines the subtle beauty of Bossa Nova with an eastern interpretation that is fresh and unique.  The flute balanced with the guitar, harmonica and piano provide a sensuousness and charm that is enhanced by the string section and the Brazilian-tinged percussion accompaniment. Antonio Carlos Jobim’s most successful album brought global success to his Bossa Nova.  Oscar Peterson’s mesmerizing interpretation and Frank Sinatra’s rendition is amazing.

12   To The End of the World
(Pat Metheny)

The sitar is a magical tribute to Pat Metheny’s guitar.  The strings of Sachal Studios are full of life.

13   Morning Has Broken

A tune composed in the Scottish Highlands became a hymn and Cat Stevens helped it to become popular.  The sarangi, sarod and the flute make it a universal hymn.

-       Izzat Majeed

Media Requests
For Interviews, photos and preview copies for review contact
Jim Eigo
Jazz Promo Services
272 State Route 94 South #1
Warwick, NY 10990-3363
Ph: 845-986-1677 / Fax: 845-986-1699
Cell / text: 917-755-8960
Skype: jazzpromo

France, Paris: "Steve Shehan & friends"

A l'occasion de la sortie de "Hang with you" prévue le 14 octobre 2013 (chez Naïve), retrouvez-moi sur la scène de l'Alhambra le 12/12/2013 en concert autour de cette famille d'instruments magiques, les Spacedrum et les Hang Pan drums avec de merveilleux invités, amis pour un moment unique de partage et de création musicale.
Charles Lucas, Mathilde Chevrel, Christian Belhomme, Antonin Volson, Vladiswar Nadishana, Ugo Rabec, Peter Herbert, Nabil Othmani et et et...

Billets en vente sur :
-site de l’Alhambra

New from Quartet San Francisco: "Pacific Premieres, New Works by California Composers"

"Pacific Premieres:
New Works by California Composers,"
New CD by Grammy-Nominated
Quartet San Francisco,
Features Music of Gordon Goodwin,
Vince Mendoza, Patrick Williams, &
Jeremy Cohen
Disc Is Due for Release 9/24
By ViolinJazz Recordings

CD Release Concert at Yoshi's Oakland 9/26

August 30, 2013

Quartet SF Pacific Premieres Quartet San Francisco
, the acclaimed cross-genre string quartet, received Grammy nominations for their 2006 Látigo, 2007 Whirled Chamber Music, and 2009 QSF Plays Brubeck. Now they are preparing to release a dazzling new CD, Pacific Premieres: New Works by California Composers, on ViolinJazz Recordings.
will premiere the music of Pacific Premieres at Yoshi's Oakland on Thursday 9/26 at 8:00 pm.

The disc, due out September 24, delivers a program featuring two swinging new suites by noted jazz big band leader, composer, and arranger Gordon Goodwin; a breathtaking three-movement string quartet by conductor, arranger, and composer Vince Mendoza; and a gorgeous new work by legendary Hollywood composer Patrick Williams. QSF's founder and first violinist Jeremy Cohen closes the album with a brilliant piece of his own, "Guamba."

Well versed in the violin's deep jazz roots, Cohen combines his love of jazz and classical music in QSF. "As both a classically trained and improvising jazz violinist," he says, "I began to write and arrange music that had the sounds of my generation in it -- Santana, Earth, Wind & Fire, Tower of Power, and so many more. Combine this modern musical era with the chamber music tradition inside of a developing young musician, and you have the seeds of QSF's DNA. The creation of Quartet San Francisco in 2001 was a clear move to encourage, create, and perform works from this modern age of chamber music."

Quartet San Francisco  
L. to r.: Kelley Maulbetsch, Jeremy Cohen, Matthew Szemela, Chad Kaltinger.   

Recorded at Skywalker Sound in Nicasio, CA by the Grammy Award-winning engineer Leslie Ann Jones, and mixed by Judy Kirschner, Pacific Premieres rivets from beginning to end, offering an experience unlike anything else on the scene. Employing the subtle dynamics, textural acuity, and technical prowess of a top-flight string quartet, QSF maintains the improvisational imperative and emotional intensity of a hard-bop combo. Whether you call it chamber jazz, third stream, or simply new American music, the ensemble has honed a singular sound that has inspired some of the era's most celebrated composers.

"The ability to swing began to steal into the ranks of classical strings players a few years ago," critic Doug Ramsey wrote in his review of QSF Plays Brubeck. "Although they may not discuss it in the polite company of their easily-shocked older colleagues, some of them are also improvising with proficiency and joy. There is convincing evidence of both phenomena in the QSF's CD of 10 pieces by Dave Brubeck, and Paul Desmond's 'Take Five.'"

Quartet San Francisco Since QSF's last release, the band has undergone some personnel shifts, resulting in a prodigious new lineup. Through the group's work in the San Francisco Symphony's Adventures In Music program, the quartet shared some 170 performances before heading into the studio.

Joining Cohen on violin is Matthew Szemela, a Mannes College graduate who has performed widely in pop, jazz, chamber, and symphonic settings, including collaborations with tap master Savion Glover, vocalist Cassandra Wilson, and rapper Jay-Z; Santa Cruz-based Chad Kaltinger, an active freelancer around the Bay Area who performs widely in an array of settings and is the principal violist for Opera San Jose and the Santa Cruz Symphony; and cellist Kelley Maulbetsch, a member of the Marin, Santa Rosa, Fresno, Monterey, and Modesto Symphonies (and assistant principal cello of the Sarasota Opera Festival) who also freelances extensively and performs in the bands of major San Francisco stage productions.

Quartet San Francisco
will premiere the music of Pacific Premieres at Yoshi's Oakland on Thursday 9/26 at 8:00 pm.

Photography: Josh Madson 

Web Site:

Follow QSF: Follow us on Twitter

Media Contact:
Terri Hinte
Follow: Follow us on Twitter

All Nite Soul 2013 Honoring Barry Harris and Sheila Jordan Sunday, October 13th Saint Peter’s Church

The Jazz Ministry at Saint Peter’s announces Barry Harris and Sheila Jordan Honorees at All Nite Soul 2013 Sunday, October 13 Saint Peter’s Church
619 Lexington
(at 54th Street)
New York City
For Immediate Release
New York, NY — On this, the 43nd anniversary of All Nite Soul, the Jazz Ministry at Saint Peter’s — the Jazz Church — is thrilled to honor pianist Barry Harris and vocalist Sheila Jordan.   All Nite Soul begins on Sunday, October 13 at 5 PM with Jazz Vespers and vocalist Catherine Russell honoring Carline Ray (bassist and vocalist), and goes into full swing at 7 PM with a concert of over 80 musicians honoring Barry Harris (pianist) and Sheila Jordan (vocalist), National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters who began their musical careers in Detroit, Michigan.

Barry Harris is an internationally renowned jazz pianist, composer and teacher who is part of an exceptional crew of Detroit-bred jazz musicians, including Tommy Flanagan, Kenny Burrell and Donald Byrd, who rose through the extraordinary arts education program in the public school system during the 1930s and 1940s. He has devoted his life to the advancement of jazz. Dr. Barry Harris receives frequent requests to appear as a guest lecturer by universities and various musical venues all over the world. His lectures and interactive instrument and vocal workshops focus on the complete aspects of music including improvisation, harmonic movement and theory. From 1982 to 1987 Harris operated the Jazz Cultural Center in 1982 on Eighth Avenue in Manhattan. The center served as workshop, educational facility, and performance space for Harris and his affiliated artists.  Today, when he is not travelling, Dr. Harris holds weekly music workshop sessions in New York City for vocalists, students of piano and other instruments. For the past several decades Dr. Harris has been an exponent of the classic jazz style that was developed by Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Thelonious Monk and Coleman Hawkins.  He has received numerous awards, including an Honorary Doctorate from Northwestern University, American Jazz Masters Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, among others.

 “More than a keeper of the flame, he’s a serial arsonist who’s kindled a fervor for bop-based improvisation in hundreds of musicians, both experienced and aspiring. Though capable of playing at the breakneck tempos that defined bop’s first generation, Harris has often expressed himself best at a more considered pace, when you can hear every dark, gleaming timbre in his personal distillation of Bud Powell’s steeplechase effusions and Monk’s percussive attack and chiaroscuro harmonies.” Andrew Gilbert—Jazz Times Jan/Feb 2011

Sheila Jordan, born on November 18, 1928 in Detroit, Michigan, and raised in Pennsylvania's coal-mining country, began singing as a child. By the time she was in her early teens was working semi-professionally in Detroit clubs. She met some of Detroit's young musicians during that time, such as Tommy Flanagan, Kenny Burrell, and Barry Harris. Her first great influence was Charlie Parker (who called her “the singer with the million dollar ears”) and, indeed, most of her influences have been instrumentalists rather than singers.  After moving to New York in the early 50s, she studied with Lennie Tristano and participated in jam sessions with luminaries such as Charles Mingus and Herbie Nichols, but it was not until the early 60s that she made her first recordings. One of these was Portrait of Sheila for Blue Note (the first female jazz vocalist to record for the label); the other was The Outer View with George Russell, which featured a famous 10-minute version of "You Are My Sunshine."  In 1978, she began teaching at the City College of New York and has continued teaching jazz vocal workshops there until 2005. She is also a faculty member for Jazz in July at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and the Vermont Jazz Center in Brattleboro, Vermont, and conducts workshops internationally as well. The singer has received numerous honors, including the 2102 NEA Jazz Masters award and the 2008 Mary Lou Williams Award for a Lifetime of Service to Jazz. Jordan still travels extensively––nationally and internationally -- performing with her quartet and as a duo with Cameron Brown.

“As emotionally powerful and as musically adventurous as any vocalist who has ever sung jazz, Jordan sounds like no other singer, and very few horn players challenge themselves the way she does.”  Larry Kart—Chicago Tribune

The Legend Wall, an “exhibit wall” in Saint Peter’s Living Room, will tell the story of Barry Harris and Sheila Jordan with memorabilia, including photograph collages organized by photo archivist Tad Hershorn of Rutgers University Institute of Jazz Studies.

“All Nite Soul” was created in 1970 to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the creation of Jazz Vespers in 1965.  The event has continued every year since then with hundreds of musicians performing and coming together in a “jazz love fest.”  The Hungry Souls’ Café, an important feature of the event, serves homemade Soul Food!  All Nite Soul is held in October starting on the Sunday evening of Columbus Day weekend and continues into Monday morning — hence the name All Nite Soul.  Each year a major jazz icon is celebrated.  Those celebrated in recent years include Dr. Billy Taylor, Benny Powell, Jane Jarvis, Joe Wilder, Frank Wess, Randy Weston and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra.

The Jazz Ministry at Saint Peter’s is a home for diverse individuals and communities which celebrates the dignity and vitality of Jazz, provides vibrant liturgy and pastoral care, and through intersecting partnerships, offers jazz programs, education and services.  An outreach program of Saint Peter’s Lutheran Church in New York City, The Jazz Ministry was founded in 1965 by the late Reverend John Garcia Gensel who created Jazz Vespers, a worship service featuring a wide range of jazz musicians that is held each Sunday at 5:00 PM.  Our pastors include Amandus Derr, Jared Stahler, Bill Eschen, and Jazz Pastor Emeritus Dale Lind.   Ike Sturm, bassist, is our Director of Music for the Jazz Ministry. The Jazz Ministry thrives today with many events and programs such as All Nite Soul, Prez Fest, Jazz on the Plaza, Seminars for Musicians, Midtown Jazz at Midday, memorials, tributes, concerts, and others yet to be developed, to serve the jazz community.

“All Nite Soul 2013 – Honoring pianist Barry Harris and vocalist Sheila Jordan” takes place on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at Saint Peter’s Church, 619 Lexington Avenue (at 54th Street), NYC, 212 935 2200.  “E” train to Lexington Avenue or “#6” to 51st Street.
5:00 PM: Jazz Vespers  Free Will Offering
7:00 PM:  All Nite Soul Concert — $25 Suggested Ticket Donation — in advance at or at the door.

Check out the Barry Harris and Sheila Jordan exhibit and The Hungry Souls Café!


Saint Peter’s Church
619 Lexington Avenue
New York, New York 10022

Director of Music for the Jazz Ministry:
Ike Sturm 212 935 2200 Lynne Mueller 917 207 4953
Jim Eigo Jazz Promo Services
272 Ste Route 94 S #1  Warwick, NY 10990
T: 845-986-1677 / F: 845-986-1699
 Web Site:

Thursday, August 29, 2013

New Release: Meg Okura & the Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble "Music of Ryuichi Sakamoto"

New Release:
Meg Okura &
the Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble

"Music of Ryuichi Sakamoto"


Meg Okura (violin & erhu) 
Anne Drummond (flutes) 
Helen Sung (piano) 
Dezron Douglas (bass) 
E.J. Strickland (drums) 

Artist: Meg Okura & the Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble
Title: Music of Ryuichi Sakamoto
Label: Self Produced
Catalog Number: AAM 0705
UPC Code: 884501962186
Release Date: September 3, 2013

Track listing, track times and composer:
(1) Grasshoppers (6:02)
(2) Riot in Lagos (4:58)
(3) Tango (5:02)
(4) Grief (10:19)
(5) Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (4:11)
(6) The End Of Asia (5:47)
(7) You’ve Got To Help Yourself/Ishin Denshin (5:27)
(8) The Last Emperor Theme (7:02)
(9) Thousand Knives (5:02)
(10) Helen’s Intro (1:48)
(11) Water’s Edge (5:07)
(12) Perspective (5:54)
Recording Dates: December 2012 – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
My role as the arranger for this album was akin to that of being a translator and editor. I often get frowns when I introduce Sakamoto’s techno pop tracks to my jazz musician friends. They understandably cannot get passed the 80’s vocoder and synthesizer sounds and the groove or lack thereof. But for someone who grew up listening to the Yellow Magic Orchestra since age five, this music is sheer nostalgia. I just need to play this music for my own pleasure.
Performed by five New York jazz musicians, Music of Ryuichi Sakamoto is a re-imagination of works from Sakamoto’s debut album Thousand Knives (1978) to his symphonic work “Untitled#01” on his 1997 album Discord. In between include two of his most famous film scores, Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983) and The Last Emperor (1987). I have also included two songs from two albums that came out during my college days, Sweet Revenge (1994) and Smoochy (1995).
Because Sakamoto’s music is so eclectic, all types of “arranging” techniques were used for this project. For example, “Perspective” (B-2 Unit) is my “remix” of the original song, whereas “Grief” (Discord) is a re-composition- dissecting different elements of the symphonic work, and re-composing it for the quintet and still conveying similar feels of the original. The techno pieces such as “The End of Asia” and “Thousand Knives” (Thousand Knives) or “You’ve Got To Help Yourself” (Service) by Y.M.O. were made entirely anew, far from the originals, while “The Last Emperor Theme” was kept close to its original score with some improvised solos. As for the two vocal tunes from the 1990’s, “Tango” (Smoochy) and “Water’s Edge” (Sweet Revenge) became simple instrument versions, and “Grasshopper” (Thousand Knives) and “Riot in Lagos” (B-2 Unit) are what I call “reverse-remix” – creating an acoustic version of an electronica piece.
Even though there are other cover versions of these tunes, recorded by Sakamoto’s associates, what makes our renditions unique is that they’re played by jazz musicians, which makes it possible for the music to take on a life of its own, creating infinite musical possibilities for those tunes. I wish to honor Ryuichi Sakamoto through this album, which will represent only a fragment of his music that will essentially become immortal. —Meg Okura

Media Requests
For Interviews, photos and preview copies for review contact
Jim Eigo
Jazz Promo Services
272 State Route 94 South #1
Warwick, NY 10990-3363
Ph: 845-986-1677 / Fax: 845-986-1699
Cell / text: 917-755-8960
Skype: jazzpromo

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Saxophonist/Composer BOBBY WATSON to Release New Album, "Check Cashing Day," in Honor of 50th Anniversary of March on Washington via Lafiya Music

Saxophonist/Composer BOBBY WATSON to Release
New Album, Check Cashing Day, in Honor of
50th Anniversary of March on Washington
via Lafiya Music

Digital Release on August 28

Physical Release on November 12

"Watson has been producing some of jazz's most 
optimistic compositions..." - The New York Times 

Saxophonist-composer-producer-educator Bobby Watson is proud to release, Check Cashing Day, the second self-produced recording on Watson's label, Lafiya Music. The project, which honors the March on Washington's 50th anniversary and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s iconic "I Have A Dream" speech, is now available digitally (August 28, 2013) and will be released physically on November 12, 2013.  

As Watson reflects, Check Cashing Day serves as "a commentary on where we've been, where we are, and where we need to go as a people, as a country, and as a global community." Instead of focusing on the iconic "I Have A Dream" aspect of Dr. King's speech, Watson chose to concentrate on another very significant part: the reason why over 300,000 people, black and white, gathered in Washington, D.C. on August 28, 1963. Dr. King spoke of coming to Washington to cash a 100 year old check, a moral check that the founding fathers wrote into the Declaration of Independence, but to this day, the check keeps coming back marked 'insufficient funds.' "This, being the year of my 60th birthday, I sadly understand that Dr. King's dream has not been fully realized and the struggle continues," says Watson.

Introducing poet and spoken word artist Glenn North from Kansas City, MO, Check Cashing Day is a concept recording with 15 tracks portrayed in the vein of musical theatre. "I asked Glenn to put some poetry, from his perspective, to several of my compositions, as well as one written by vocalist Pamela Baskin-Watson and two by bassist Curtis Lundy," comments Watson. "It was my desire with this project to produce poetry that would in some ways cleanse the soul," notes North. In addition, Watson's release features trumpeter Hermon Mehari, pianist Richard Johnson, drummer Eric Kennedy, flutist Horace Washington, and trombonist Karita Carter.

With Watson's commentary on the ongoing struggle of todays racial inequalities spotlighted on compositions such as the title track "Check Cashing Day (For Ms. Trudy)" and "MLK on Jazz (Love Transforms)," he offers a recording that provokes positive conversation and continued movement towards Dr. King's 'dream,' so that the 'dream' becomes a reality in today's world. "The result is something more powerful and thought provoking than I could have imagined," concludes Watson.

About Bobby Watson:

The first "William D. and Mary Grant/Missouri, Distinguished Professor in Jazz Studies at the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance," saxophonist, composer, producer and educator, Bobby Watson grew up in Kansas City, Kansas and trained formally at the University of Miami studying with Dr. Clifton Williams, receiving a B.M. in Music Theory and Composition in 1975. After graduating, he proceeded to earn his "doctorate" - on the bandstand - as musical director of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers from 1977-1981. In addition to his work as leader of the Grammy® Award-nominated quintet Horizon, Watson also led a group known as the High Court of Swing (a tribute to the music of Johnny Hodges), the Grammy® Award-nominated Tailor-Made Big Band, and is a founding member of the highly acclaimed 29th Street Saxophone Quartet. Watson also wrote original music for the sound track of Robert DeNiro's directorial debut "A Bronx Tale."

Since 2000 he has served as director of Jazz studies at UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance, and is also, currently Artistic Director for the Thelonious Monk Institute's "Jazz in America" Informance program, annually presenting dozens of informational concerts and jazz workshops around the nation. In 2010 Bobby released his self produced CD, "The Gates BBQ Suite" which went to #4 on the National Jazz airplay charts. In 2011, Bobby was inducted into the Kansas Music Hall of Fame and in 2013 he received the "Benny Golson Jazz Masters" award from Howard University. To date; Bobby has made 37 recordings as a leader and he appears on over 100 other recordings. 

Bobby Watson ·  Check Cashing Day (Lafiya Music)
Release Dates: 
Digital - August 28, 2013
Physical - November 12, 2013

For more information on Bobby Watson, please visit:

For more information, please contact: 
DL Media ·  610-667-0501
Don Lucoff · 
Matthew Jurasek·

Information and press materials (including album covers, promotional photos and bios)
on all DL Media Artists can be found at our new website:

Linda Oh - Sun Pictures (Greenleaf 2013)

1. Shutterspeed Dreams 3:29
2. Polyphonic HMI 7:15
3. Footfall 6:36
4. Blue Over Gold 8:51
5. Yoda 5:05
6. Terminal 3 7:41
7. 10 Minutes Till Closing 8:30


released 27 August 2013
Ben Wendel, saxophone
James Muller, guitar
Linda Oh, bass
Ted Poor, drums

all compositions by Linda Oh

produced by Linda Oh

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Eri Yamamoto Trio - Firefly (AUM Fidelity 2013)

The deeply lyrical and prolific pianist/composer Eri Yamamoto returns to record with Firefly, an all-new collection of wholly original songs, this time performed live in intimate concert, with her decade-long devoted trio of bassist David Ambrosio and drummer Ikuo Takeuchi. Following so quickly on their previous acclaimed album, The Next Page (itself following In Each Day, Something Good and Redwoods), Yamamoto’s consistently luminous writing and the trio’s telepathic performances thereof, is at this point astonishing. The heft of emotional weight and remarkably honed craft once again on full display here is made all the more remarkable for their ability to make it sound so effortless.

This is Yamamoto’s first-ever live album, recorded in December 2012 at the piano showroom Klavierhaus in NYC by renowned jazz photographer and recording engineer Jimmy Katz. Communion with the audience suffuses the performances, and the band stretches out accordingly. Eri’s improvisations dive into and float atop the essence of her melodies and the rhythm of a larger collective heartbeat.

I'd like to note just a few highlights of this well-compelling program:
Hearkening back to childhood memories of catching fireflies with her grandfather, the title track opens with the Japanese folk song which they used to sing together while doing so. “Memory Dance” is profoundly beautiful and among the most moving songs written/performed in memory of fallen friends that we’ve ever heard. “Real Story” is a pedal-point gear-shifter, authoritatively driving and transportational, and one of my personal favorites. The importance of family, sense of place, and yes, fireflies, is reflected in the cover art by Eri’s nephew Leo Yamamoto. We’d like to make special note that her very gifted young nephew has painted the cover artwork for each of Eri’s four Trio albums on AUM Fidelity.

Writing on previous releases, critics have described the trio’s music as “beautifully telepathic and conversational” (Will Layman, PopMatters), “they conjure delicacy and beauty” (Bob Doerschuk, DownBeat), and “each musician is alert to the others felicities .. a wealth of musical detail to savor” (John Sharpe, All About Jazz). The BBC’s Bill Tilland adds, “Yamamoto has a lovely touch and an active musical imagination. Consequently, each piece shines with its own interior light.”

On “Memory Dance”, Eri writes:
“This is a happy song. One of my dear friends, Charlie, loved jazz, and in New York City you could find him almost anywhere that the music was played. He was so open to all styles; many musicians knew him. He passed away early last year; I was shocked when I heard the news, and couldn’t digest it. A few weeks later, on a night off from performing, I had a glass of wine by the window in my apartment. I thought about him and felt so sad. Then I closed my eyes and suddenly he was first in a line of all my friends and relatives who had passed. They were all dancing and circling around me. All of them were smiling, and I felt that they were cheering me up. So I opened my eyes, went to the piano, and wrote down the music they were dancing to.”

Eri Yamamoto website:
AUM Fidelity

NEA Jazz Master AHMAD JAMAL to Release New Album - "SATURDAY MORNING" - Available September 10 on Jazz Village

NEA Jazz Master AHMAD JAMAL to Release 
Available September 10 on Jazz Village

Project Spotlights Jamal's Original Compositions

Ahmad Jamal Saturday Morning
"All my inspiration comes from Ahmad Jamal." - Miles Davis

"He commands attention." - Julian "Cannonball" Adderley

Saturday Morning - pianist/composer/bandleader and NEA Jazz Master Ahmad Jamal's new eleven-track album produced by Jazzbook Records, featuring his quartet, drummer Herlin Riley, bassist Reginald Veal and percussionist Manolo Badrena - is his impressive and invigorating follow-up to his GRAMMY® Award-nominated, 2012 Jazz Village release, Blue Moon. With over nearly sixty recordings as a leader, this new album represents another aural chapter in the musical life of this enduring artist; who after six decades on the scene, is finally focusing more of his recorded output on his own compositions.

"It's a natural transition that happens when you reach maturity; with greater confidence in yourself," Jamal says. "So, when you have greater confidence in yourself, you begin to explore yourself. And now I'm exploring my own potential."

Save for his lovely and longing rendition of Duke Ellington's immortal ballad "I Got it Bad And That Ain't Good," and the Doris Day/Les Brown torch song "I'll Always Be With You;his impressionistic interpretation of the James Moody-associated jazz standard, "I'm In the Mood for Love," and a "remix" of a funky, three note-motif tune "One," recorded in the late seventies by Jamal, written especially for him by the late composer Sigidi Abdallah all of the tracks on Saturday Morning, including the 4/4-Caribbean-cadenced tracks, "Back to the Future," "The Line," "Firefly," "Edith's Cake," and the title track, are all written by Jamal. They feature all of the inventions and dimensions of his unique artistry: his profound and powerful pianist amalgam of Errol Garner, Nat "King" Cole and Franz Liszt; his intricate, orchestrally-influenced arrangements, and his signature use of space and dynamics.

"I have a vast repertoire," Jamal says. "I started composing when I was ten years old, and my influences are far reaching: from Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, Jimmy Lunceford and Fletcher Henderson to [Claude] Debussy and Maurice Ravel. In Pittsburgh, we didn't have that line between American classical music and European classical music. We studied it all."

One track from Saturday Morning bears special mention. "Silver," a melodic, Latin jazz-tinged composition, is something rare in the Jamal canon: a tribute written by him to a fellow artist - in this case - to the brilliant pianist/composer/bandleader Horace Silver, composer of many jazz standards including "Song For My Father," and "Senor Blues."

"I wrote it some years ago," Jamal says. "Horace is an ensemble player like myself. He's a leader, and a very successful writer, to say the least. The last time I saw him, I was working at the Catalina club in Los Angeles, and Horace came to see me in a wheelchair ... So that shows you his respect for me, which is matched by my respect for him."

As amazing as Ahmad Jamal is, his musicians are also an important component of his artistry, as evidenced by his current quartet. "My present players are spectacular men," Jamal says. "Manolo has been off and on with me for a number of years, and played a long time with Joe Zawinul and Weather Report. Herlin's first job was with me; I took him out of New Orleans in the eighties. Reginald Veal was with Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center. They all have great character. And you can't be a great musician unless you have great character."

Other equally great musicians of character have played with Jamal over the years, including bassists Jamil Nasser, James Cammack and fellow NEA Jazz Master Richard Davis, and drummers Frank Gant and Idris Muhammad. "I've been very fortunate to have harnessed a whole list of notables and great musicians in my groups," Jamal says. "What they get from me is how to be supportive. And what could be more supportive than Vernel Fournier and Israel Crosby?"

It was the immortal 1958 LP, But Not for Me: Ahmad Jamal Live at the Pershing with the New Orleans-born Fournier on drums with equally ebullient Crosby from Chicago on bass, that catapulted the Pittsburgh-born, former child prodigy who left home at seventeen and scuffled for years in the Windy City, into an overnight sensation. Jamal was so influential that Miles Davis recorded many Jamal-associated songs, such as "A Gal in Calico," "But Not for Me," "Surrey With The Fringe On Top" and "New Rhumba," which was transcribed by Gil Evans into a big band arrangement. Generations of pianists - from Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner and Keith Jarrett to Eric Reed, Jacky Terrasson and Aaron Diehl, proudly acknowledge his influence.

Unlike many of his contemporaries, who have, in pianist Hampton Hawes' words become, "casualties on the road to truth," Ahmad Jamal is a soul survivor, who lived long enough to reap the benefits of his Olympian artistry - as evidenced by his 1994 the American Jazz Masters fellowship award from the National Endowment for the Arts, and his induction into the prestigious Order of the Arts and Letters by French Culture Minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, who named him an Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2007. He's also sampled by many hip-hop artists including Kanye West, Gangstarr, Jay-Z, and De La Soul.

Saturday Morning represents the latest chapter in an astounding musical life that is far from over. "I'm very thankful and grateful for my longevity," Jamal says "And I'm looking forward to more discoveries. Every day is a new discovery for me, and that's what makes life interesting."

Ahmad Jamal - Saturday Morning

September 1 / Detroit Jazz Festival / Detroit, MI
September 19-21 / Jazz at Lincoln Center / New York, NY
September 27 & 28 / Manchester Craftsman's Guild / Pittsburgh, PA
October 12 / UC Davis Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts / Davis, CA
November 7-9 / Theatre De L'Odeon Europe / Paris, France
January 31 / All Blues / Lucerne, Switzerland
February 1 / All Blues / Geneva, Switzerland
June 23-30 / Costa Jazz Cruise 2014 / Cruise Ship Costa Fascinosa

Ahmad Jamal·  Saturday Morning
Jazz Village ·  Release Date: September 10, 2013 
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