Friday, January 31, 2014

Isfar Sarabski - Azerbaijan's young virtuoso to give concert in Cannes

Azerbaijan's talented pianist Isfar Sarabski is set to give concert at Midem Festival in Cannes on February 1-4.
A musical band would accompany the winner of the 43rd Montreux Jazz Competition in the concert. It would be held with the support of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation. The band, including Isfar Sarabski on piano, Makar Novikov on double bass, Alexander Mashin on drums, Shahriyar Imanov on tar and ud, Umida Abasova and Osman Eyyublu on violin, Ilgar Rzayev on viola and Aleksey Miltikh on cello, will perform in Majestic Hotel's Diane salon on February 2.
Isfar Sarabski, who began playing the piano at the age of seven studied classic piano for eleven years at the Bulbul Music School. He graduated from Baku Music Academy. His early influences included Louis Armstrong and Dizzy Gillespie, while Keith Jarrett, Brad Mehldau, Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson, and the central figure of Azerbaijani jazz Vagif Mustafazadeh have inspired Sarabski to compose his own music. AzerNews.

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Composer/Pianist LISA HILTON Shifts Perspectives of Life, Music, and Art on Upcoming Release, "Kaleidoscope," Available March 11 via Ruby Slippers Productions

Composer/Pianist LISA HILTON Shifts Perspectives of
Life, Music, and Art 
on Upcoming Release, Kaleidoscope,
Available March 11 via Ruby Slippers Productions

Album Features J.D. Allen,
Larry Grenadier, and Marcus Gilmore


"A pianist of considerable ability, capable of depth
and a wide emotional range" - JazzTimes

Like a kaleidoscope shifting its colorful pieces to create a new vision of a well-known view, pianist/composer Lisa Hilton blends the ever-changing elements of modern and traditional jazz on her 16th release to date. Kaleidoscope (available March 11 on Ruby Slippers Productions) is Hilton's answer to viewing our world and lives with a new perspective.

Although Hilton has been a bandleader for more than a decade, she is acknowledged mainly for her compositions and impressionistic touch at the keyboards. Having over 200 compositions and arrangements credited to her name, she pushes away the idea of being known primarily as a player and shifts her focus to that of a composer.  "My greatest passion is to compose, as well as to play the piano in new ways," reflects Hilton. "America has been home to so many great jazz composers in the past, and I am fascinated by our strong heritage and seek to further that."

The album features performances by bassist Larry Grenadier, drummer Marcus Gilmore, and acclaimed tenor saxophonist J.D. Allen on three tracks. "Larry's always inspiring narrative coupled with Marcus's fresh enthusiastic energy augmented J.D.'s deep, powerful tone superbly," recalls Hilton. Kaleidoscope encompasses elements of retro bop and avant-garde as well as impressionistic and minimalistic ideas throughout its 11 tracks. Hilton's imaginative compositions draw equally from jazz greats like Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington and Count Basie as well as the classical tradition.

Larry Grenadier, Marcus Gilmore,
Lisa Hilton, and J.D. Allen
Photo Credit: James J. Grant
Kaleidoscope opens with the retro groove of "Simmer," a nod to Horace Silver and the early works of Herbie Hancock, featuring Allen in an entrancing light. The quartet flourishes in this setting. Allen is granted free rein during "Midnight Mania," where the band journeys to a manic state of explosion. Shifting back to the trio setting, the aptly named "Bach/Basie/Bird Boogie Blues Bop" was written as a response to where her inspiration comes from and paints a vivid landscape of the history between classical and jazz compositions. "Composers today must create a body of work that represents the sound and energy of our lives in this century while embracing our inheritance," notes Hilton.

Continuing in the same vein, Hilton channels Bill Evans and Jelly Roll Morton in the dreamy interpretation of Heyman and Young's "When I Fall in Love" followed by a cover of Adele's "One and Only," which acts as a bookend to its predecessor. Hilton considers the song a new romantic standard of today's generation. The pianist's intimate improvisations come to the forefront with the title track "Kaleidoscope" and the solo take of "Stepping Into Paradise."

Ultimately, Kaleidoscope offers a kind of jazz that simultaneously recalls the history of an art form while also challenging us to consider an alternative point of view. "The last few years have been challenging to so many, and I feel we need to somehow shift our perspective - like a kaleidoscope shifts its pretty pieces," reflects Hilton.

About Lisa Hilton:

Hilton spent her childhood in a small coastal town of central California in a very academic and musical environment, with family chamber music sessions the norm at holidays. Having studied classical and twentieth century piano formally from the age of eight, Hilton left music behind in college to pursue a degree in art. "In retrospect, the years studying art from impressionism to the conceptualists has added to my musical 'palette' - my music is now my art. I use musical elements to paint and later sculpt the sound after I have a compositional form."

Over the course of her career, Hilton has played with numerous jazz luminaries including Nasheet Waits, Christian McBride, Steve Wilson, Jeremy Pelt, and Lewis Nash, among others. Hilton's post bop style influences extend beyond jazz legends to include Muddy Waters, Steve Reich, and even punk rock's Green Day.

Committed to helping students who are often overlooked, Hilton has made time in the last 12 plus years to be involved with students who are blind or visually impaired. Whether performing for, with, or teaching, Hilton has worked with the Perkins School for the Blind (Helen Keller's alma mater), The Chicago Lighthouse for People Who are Blind or Visually Impaired, The Junior Blind for America, Camp Bloomfield for the Blind and Berklee College of Music's new lab for the visually impaired. "I believe that helping those with physical disabilities is an important civil rights issue today," says Hilton.  "We really need to extend to those that are dealing with extra challenges, and technology today can go a long ways to leveling the playing field."

Upcoming Lisa Hilton Performances
February 26 / Junior Blind of America / Los Angles, CA
April 15 / Saveille Theater / San Diego, CA
October 20 / The Green Mill / Chicago, IL

Lisa Hilton ·  Kaleidoscope
Ruby Slippers Productions ·  Release Date: March 11, 2014
For more information on Lisa Hilton, please visit:
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Ron Carter Quartet, Roy Haynes With Ron Carter, 
Bill Evans Soulgrass & Guests,
Les McCann With Javon Jackson, 
Rachelle Ferrell, Nicole Henry,
Special Japan Benefit Concert, Among Others

New York, NY - January 31, 2014 - Blue Note Jazz Club, one of the world's most iconic jazz and blues venues based in Greenwich Village, is proud to announce an impressive schedule of acts for February 2014.
Highlights include: Ron Carter in two settings - with his Quartet and with Roy Haynes Fountain of Youth Band; Bill Evans Soulgrass with guests John Popper, John Medeski, Eric Krasno & Neal Evans, Tim Carbone, and Marco Benevento; Valentine's Week programs with vocalists Nicole Henry and Rachelle Ferrell; Les McCann with Javon Jackson; Patricia Barber; and a special all-star benefit concert for Earthquake/Tsunami Relief in Japan, among others.

8:00PM & 10:30PM shows each night, unless otherwise noted. 
Doors open at 6:00pm. $5 minimum.

Saturday - Sunday, February 1 - 2
Maceo Parker
Saxophonist Maceo Parker kicks off Blue Note's February schedule, closing out a six-night run with his working band. Parker is best known for his collaborations with artists such as James Brown, George Clinton and Ray Charles. As The New York Post declared, "Maceo Parker wrote the book on funk."
Saturday: $30 - Bar, $45 - Table
Sunday: $20 - Bar, $35 - Table

Monday, February 3
Roy Nathanson's Jazz Passengers & Sotto Voce Present:
"Subway Moon, A Poetic Reverie"
Featuring The Students of I.C.E.
Saxophonist/Poet Roy Nathanson's Jazz Passengers and Sotto Voce band will join his students from New York City's Institute for Collaborative Education's (I.C.E) in a poetic, musical reverie about the subway. Over the last year, students in this 6-12th grade New York City public school have taken parts of poems and prose pieces and transformed them into songs about romance, loss and angst with the backdrop of the NYC subway - providing a generational contrast to songs from his Nathanson's 2009 Enja release, Subway Moon. Performed together around a backdrop of Andrew Gurian's video, they give a broad sense of the diverse magic of our underground imagination. We are proud to present this 10th incarnation of Nathanson's Subway Moon project featuring songs, musical improvisation as well as tight arrangement, choral singing and video image at Blue Note.  
*Show Times: 7:30PM & 9:30PM* 
Music Charge: $10 - Bar, $15 - Table

Tuesday - Sunday, February 4 - 9
Ron Carter Quartet
Among the most original, prolific, and influential musicians in jazz, bassist Ron Carter is scheduled to appear at Blue Note in multiple settings over the coming weeks - with Roy Haynes (2/25-26) and Donald Harrison & Billy Cobham (3/4-9). However he'll kick off this unofficial Blue Note residency with a six-day run featuring his working Quartet (comprised of pianist Renee Rosnes, drummer Payton Crossley, and percussionist Rolando Morales-Matos).
Music Charge: $20 - Bar, $35 - Table

Monday, February 10
International Guitar Night
The International Guitar Night (IGN), founded in 1995, is the world's premier touring guitar festival, each show bringing together the world's most interesting and innovative acoustic guitarists to exchange musical ideas in a public concert setting. For each tour, IGN founder Brian Gore invites a new cast of guitar luminaries to join him for special evenings of solos, duets, and quartets that highlight the dexterity and diversity within the world of acoustic guitar. This year IGN's North American tour features Pino Forastiere, Mike Dawes, Quique Sinesi and Gore.
Music Charge: $15 - Bar, $25 - Table

Tuesday - Wednesday, February 11 - 12
Valentine's Week:
Nicole Henry
Vocalist Nicole Henry will kick off Blue Note's Valentine's Week. Henry's passionate, soulful voice and heart-felt charisma has earned her a 2013 Soul Train Award for "Best Traditional Jazz Performance" (for her recent album, SO GOOD, SO RIGHT: NICOLE HENRY LIVE) three Top-10 U.S. Billboard and HMV Japan jazz albums, and rave reviews both domestically and internationally by The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Japan Times, JazzTimes, Essence and more.
Music Charge: $15 - Bar, $25 - Table

Thursday - Sunday, February 13 - 16
Valentine's Week:
Rachelle Ferrell
Equally gifted as a vocalist, pianist, and songwriter, Rachelle Ferrell returns to Blue Note to close out Valentine's Week. While Ferrell has an established fan base in the contemporary jazz community, she has also made her mark as a crossover artist on the pop/urban contemporary scene, singing backup for Lou Rawls, Patti LaBelle, Vanessa Williams and George Duke to name a few. Having released albums as a leader on both Blue Note and Capitol record labels respectively, Ferrell's talents transcend generic classification.
Thursday, Saturday & Sunday: $30 - Bar, $45 - Table
Friday: $30 - Bar, $55 - Table

Monday, February 17
Mino Cinelu World Jazz Ensemble
Composer, multi-instrumentalist, programmer, and producer, Mino Cinelu has performed with world renowned artists such as Miles Davis, Sting, Weather Report, Herbie Hancock, Lou Reed, Vicente Amigo, and Stevie Wonder, among others. At Blue Note, he leads his new quartet, the World Jazz Ensemble, featuring keyboardist/vocalist/percussionist, Jamshied Sharifi, bassist Mamadou Ba, tubist/percussionist Jose Davila, and trumpeter Bria Skonberg. The ensemble offers a unique repertoire of instrumental, percussion and vocal works, a mélange that bridges world and jazz orchestrations.
Music Charge: $10 - Bar, $20 - Table

Tuesday - Thursday, February 18 - 20
Les McCann With Javon Jackson Band
Iconic jazz/funk keyboardist-vocalist Les McCann returns to Blue Note with saxophonist Javon Jackson, following their successful collaboration on Jackson's recent release, Lucky 13. McCann is best known for his work in the late 1960s/early 1970s with partner/saxman Eddie Harris, whom he first encountered at the Montreux Jazz Festival. The resulting album, Swiss Movement (1960), was a top selling jazz record, and the single "Compared to What" sold platinum. Known for his work with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Jackson has worked with Elvin Jones, Freddie Hubbard, Betty Carter, Donald Byrd, Ron Carter, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Bobby Hutcherson, and Ben E. King. He released five albums as a leader on Blue Note Records in the 1990s.
Music Charge: $20 - Bar, $35 - Table
OPENING ACT: Joe Alterman/James Cammack - Tuesday, February 18 Only - 6:30PM
Purchasing a ticket to Les McCann with Javon Jackson Band's February 18, 8:00PM set will allow access to the above opening act. 
Friday - Sunday, February 21 - 23
Patricia Barber
"Few performers in or out of jazz are as consistently brilliant as Patricia Barber." - JazzTimes. A savvy bandleader who has honed a tight, telegraphic style with her quartet, vocalist/pianist Barber is known for transforming unlikely pop tunes into sleek jazz numbers, reinventing Cole Porter, and constantly reworking her impressive book of originals. Her latest critically acclaimed album is titled Smash (released on Concord Jazz in 2013).
Music Charge: $20 - Bar, $35 - Table

Monday, February 24
Hosted by Bob James
FeaturingMakoto Ozone + Kenny Barron (piano), John Scofield + Mike Stern (guitar), 
James Genus (bass), and Clarence Penn (drums), Among Others
March 2014 will mark the three-year anniversary of The Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of March 11, 2011. To remember the tragedy and show how music has the ability to raise up spirits in the most difficult of times, Blue Note Jazz ClubBob James, and NHK Enterprises (Japan's national public broadcasting organization) present "Music For Tomorrow: A Benefit For Japan," a benefit concert to support Tohoku (the severely damaged area in northern Japan), with
special guests (listed above). The concert will be recorded by NHK, broadcast throughout Japan (including the Tohoku area) and internationally through NHK channels. All admission proceeds will be delivered as a charity to The Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami victims.
*Show Time: One Show Only - 8:00PM*
Music Charge: $35 - Bar, $45 - Table, $65 -VIP Seating

Tuesday - Wednesday, February 25 - 26
Roy Haynes Fountain of Youth with Ron Carter
Blue Note Jazz Club proudly presents eminent drummer Roy Haynes and his Fountain of Youth Band with bassist Ron Carter: two jazz legends, two nights only. Haynes and Carter performed together at George Wein's 2009 CareFusion Jazz Festival 55 in Newport, RI. Pianist Ethan Iverson (The Bad Plus) witnessed the Newport performance and described it on his blog, Do The Math, as "...a rare chance to hear jazz today like they used to make it." Haynes, 88, is a GRAMMY® Lifetime Achievement Award-winner and a NEA Jazz Master. This marks Carter's second appearance at Blue Note in February, appearing with his Quartet earlier in the month.
Music Charge: $30 - Bar, $45 - Table

Thursday - Saturday, February 27 - March 1
Bill Evans Soulgrass with Special Guests
Described by NPR as "a supergroup of virtuoso musicians," saxophonist Bill Evans' Soulgrass returns to Blue Note for a three night residency, joined by a number of special guests: Railroad Earth's Tim Carbone, Soulive/Lettuce's Neal Evans and Eric Krasno (February 27), John Medeski (February 28), Blues Traveler's John Popper (February 28 - March 1), and Marco Benevento (March 1). With more than 20-years under his belt as a solo artist, Evans and his Soulgrass project are known for exploring a variety of musical settings that go well beyond the confines of traditional jazz, including rock, hip-hop, jam, fusion, reggae, Brazilian and funk. This run marks the one-year anniversary since their last summit at Blue Note.
Music Charge: $20 - Bar, $35 - Table
Blue Note Jazz Club proudly presents its Late Night Groove Series, which showcases New York's up-and-coming jazz, soul, hip-hop, R&B and funk artists. Shows are on Friday and Saturday nights.  Doors open at midnight and shows begin at 12:30AM. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 day-of-show, unless otherwise noted. The upcoming schedule features:
Sunday Brunch at Blue Note Jazz Club is $29.50 per person and includes a live performance, brunch and cocktail. Each performer is scheduled for two shows, at 11:30AM and 1:30PM. The upcoming schedule features:
"Who Dat! @ Blue Note: Sunday Mardi Gras Brunch"
Three Sunday Brunches In The Spirit of New Orleans Music & Culture

Blue Note Jazz Club, based in the heart of Greenwich Village, is a New York City cultural institution and one of the premier jazz clubs in the world. Jazz is undoubtedly America's music, and while Blue Note strives to celebrate the music's great history, the club is a place where progression and innovation - the foundation of jazz - are encouraged and practiced on a nightly basis. Blue Note is open for concerts 365 days a year.

Location131 W. 3rd Street, between 6th Ave and MacDougal St., New York City.
Tickets/Reservations: Call 212-475-8592 or visit

For all media inquiries, please contact:
Jordy Freed, Director of Marketing & Publicity 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Kendra Shank, John Stowell - New York Conversations(Tcb Music 2014)

The voice of Kendra Shank & the guitar of John Stowell - a perfect match!

Born of an impromptu Manhattan studio session, New York Conversations captures the playful, conversational synergy that results from this duo's two-decade collaboration.

Kendra Shank, acclaimed for her delectable voice (Time Magazine) and breathtakingly original concept (Boston Globe) joins master guitarist John Stowell who seems to pull arching motifs out of thin air, eschewing clichés (All About Jazz), in this co-led project. The interactive duo pushes boundaries with a personal mix of Stowell originals (some with Shank's lyrics), reimagined jazz standards, a Fred Hersch/Norma Winstone song, a folk song medley, and free improvisations. Moods range from intimate tender ballads to mixed meter jaunts, syncopated swing, sensuous samba, and the evocatively experimental. Stowell plays pianistic chords and rich unexpected harmonies on a colorful array of guitars: electric, steel string acoustic, nylon acoustic, and fretless. In addition to her compelling interpretations of lyrics, Shank improvises multi-layered wordless collages using an electronic looper and other effects, functioning as an instrumentalist in organic interplay with Stowell.
Born of an impromptu Manhattan studio session, New York Conversations is music created in the moment and captures the playful, conversational synergy that results from this duo's two-decade collaboration.

Vijay Iyers-Mutations(Ecm Records 2014)

Mutations is Vijay Iyers first album as a leader for ECM, and a recording that will widen perceptions of the pianist-composers work. At its center is Mutations I-X, a composition scored for string quartet, piano, and electronics. A major piece built out of cells and fragments, it veers through many atmospheres, from moment to moment propulsive, enveloping, lyrical, luminescent, and strangely beautiful. Through thematic interactivity, the interweaving of acoustic and electronic sound-textures, and some decisive improvisational interventions in notated music, Vijay Iyer has created a multi-faceted suite whose very subject is change. Iyer gives a positive value to the concept of mutation in this music, and variously appears in it as an interpreter of notated elements, as an improviser, and as a sort of laptop artist, mixing in noise and different sounds, encouraging the transformative processes: The suite is framed by three solo statements: Spellbound and Sacrosanct, Cowrie Shells and the Shimmering Sea, a solo piano reading of one of Iyers early compositions, and Vuln, Part 2 and When Were Gone, pieces created in summer 2013. The newer compositions put the piano in counterpoint with electronically generated rhythms and textures which extend the aura of the suite, making the arc of the whole album a journey over changing terrain.

Ambrose Akinmusire-imagined Savior is far easier to paint(Blue Note 2014)

Trumpeter and composer Ambrose Akinmusire returns with the release of the imagined savior is far easier to paint, an impressive and expansive new album that broadens the palette of his firebrand quintet with the addition of guitarist Charles Altura, the OSSO String Quartet, and vocalists Becca Stevens, Theo Bleckmann, and Cold Specks. Akinmusire s quintet features saxophonist Walter Smith III, pianist Sam Harris, bassist Harish Raghavan, and drummer Justin Brown a close-knit group of longtime friends and frequent collaborators that breathes a remarkable collective identity.

the imagined savior is far easier to paint delivers on the promise of Akinmusire s widely acclaimed Blue Note debut When The Heart Emerges Glistening, which Nate Chinen of The New York Times named his #1 album of 2011. The New Yorker has called him a thrilling young trumpeter and astute bandleader [who] has a unique spark in his playing. On the new album which Akinmusire produced himself he subtly shifts the focus away from those thrilling trumpet solos to his compositions (Akinmusire wrote 12 of the album s 13 tracks) while still leaving ample room for the band to stretch out and improvise.

Hearing vocals and lyrics set to his music was a different experience for Akinmusire, who often writes elaborate storylines and unspoken characters as inspiration for his instrumental compositions. With each of the vocal songs Akinmusire gave the vocalist the sketch of an idea and allowed them to flesh out lyrics based on that idea. Stevens returned both the music and lyrics for Out Basement (ed) while Bleckmann and Cold Specks set lyrics to Akinmusire s music on Asiam (joan) and Ceaseless Inexhaustible Child (cyntoia brown), respectively.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

SEAMUS BLAKE & CHRIS CHEEK Celebrate New CD “Reeds Ramble” With 3 Nights @ Smalls March 13, 14 & 15

Celebrate New CD
“Reeds Ramble”
With 3 Nights @ Smalls
March 13, 14 & 15
183 West 10th Street
Greenwich Village
183 W 10th St
New York, NY 10014


Seamus Blake, Thelonious Monk Competition winner in 2002, teams up with former Bloomdaddies band member Chris Cheek for his latest outing on the Criss Cross label.
The CD’s title, “Reeds Ramble”, is taken from a tune by Jerry Reed made famous by country guitarist Chet Atkins. On the CD Seamus and Chris take an extraordinary journey through their influences  as top of the line jazz musicians for the past 25 years. 

Two saxophones up front is not your everyday line-up, but Seamus and Chris know each other’s playing so intimately that the results seem magical. They shared the task of song selection, and their choices ranged far and wide. As an opener Chris chose Chico Buarque’s “No Carreira”. Seamus followed with an Eddie Harris tune, “!974 Blues”. Both Seamus and Chris are big Eddie Harris fans, which should come as no surprise to those familiar with their Bloomdaddies CDs. Seamus has done an Eddie Harris show at Smoke for the last two years and there is talk of doing a live recording of the 2014 gig. 

Both Seamus and Chris contribute an original tune. For Seamus it’s “All About Me”.  And  no, it’s not all about Seamus, but rather a wry reference to the Facebook generation. In an interview with Jazz writer David Adler, Seamus notes, “Onstage I like to dedicate this to the Facebook generation, taking selfies and posting their twerking videos to instagram”  While “All About Me” draws on bebop, Chris’ original,  “Blue Moose”, was inspired by listening to country music. And the eclecticism continues with songs by Monk, Brian Wilson and Jim Beard.

The outing ends with a song, “Lady in Langour” by  Canadian composer Vickie Yang. In the Adler interview Seamus comments, “I wanted harmony that was not songbook kind of harmony, but more modern”.

SEAMUS BLAKE tenor sax
CHRIS CHEEK tenor & soprano sax

(Ch. Buarque) 7.50
2. 1974 BLUES
(E. Harris) 7.04
(J. Beard) 6.09
(Chr. Cheek) 6.27
(E. Hope) 6.23
(B. Wilson) 7.34
(Clifford-Barris) 7.29
(S. Blake) 6.34
(V. Yang) 6.44


Jim Eigo Jazz Promo Services