Friday, September 30, 2016

USA: Roberto Fonseca- ABUC (IMPULSE 2016)

ABUC is the 8th album by Roberto Fonseca hes released under his own name and the first to appear on the Impulse! label. Teeming with rascally rhythms and burly brass and woven from allusions, souvenirs and contrasts, ABUC is a kaleidoscope of dancing colors with which Roberto tells a story: the great and rich story of Cuban music, from yesterday to today.

Ranging from contradanza and mambo to cha-cha-cha, danzon and bolero, and infused with the spirit of the descarga jam and hip-hop, Roberto narrates this story in his own manner; his tale swarms with subtly veiled references to the past, and he enumerates them in contemporary detours that are intriguing. En route, he prances over the keys of a Hammond organ, the sound of yesterday cutting across the sound of today (a touch of electro), and breaks free from the chronological thread to mingle different periods as the albums titles come and go or, at times, even inside one and the same piece.

You probably noticed that ABUC is a palindrome. It's CUBA written backwards.

The album opens and closes with the same theme, orchestrated as an overture and then transformed into a simple piano piece as the epilogue: Cubano Chant, a composition by American jazz pianist Ray Bryant (1931-2011). He dedicated this very beautiful tune to Cuban song. So I wanted to express my gratitude to him by beginning the album with that tune. American jazz, but re-created with the soul of the guaracha, says Roberto. The union between jazz and our music in Cuba is very significant with regard to the history of music in general. In inviting trombone player Trombone Shorty to play on this title, he wanted, he says, to show everything that binds Cuba to New Orleans.

Among many other remarkable guests who add their personal colors to this beautiful journey, besides vocalists Dayme Arocena and Carlos Calunga you can also take pleasure in hearing singers Rafael Lay and Roberto Espinosa Rodríguez from the Orquesta Aragon, trumpeter Manuel Guajiro Mirabal, and the famous guajiro singer from the province of Santiago de Cuba, Eliades Ochoa. Three singers are my heroes, apart from my mother, says Roberto, Omara Portuondo, Ibrahim Ferrer and Eliades Ochoa, who I was fortunate to work with on the title Tumbao de la Unidad.

This guajira astutely mingles electro effects and electric guitar with the instruments of Brazilian percussionist Ze Luis Nascimento surrounding the voice and guitar of Eliades. He sings an appeal for love, a call for peace in the world, and unity. A dream? Dreams are goals for which you have to fight a battle that never ends. Roberto Fonseca: Musician, composer, producer, storyteller, and warrior-dreamer. 

USA Nina Simone | Vinyl Remasters of Seven Classic Albums from Philips Years | September 30, 2016 via Verve/UMe

Nina Simone's Historic Philips Years Celebrated with
Vinyl Remasters of Seven Classic Albums Including
Nina Simone in Concert, Wild is the Wind,
High Priestess of Soul

Available September 30 via Verve/UMe

"'The Philips Years' is a humble title for a collection that contains
some of the most important, moving documents of American history.
Nina Simone's Philips records remain her most essential." -- Pitchfork

From 1964 to 1967, the extraordinary Nina Simone released seven albums on Philips Records, further establishing her peerless artistic expression and singular voice. During this exceptional purple patch, she recorded some of her best and most important work of her career, much of it fuelled by the Civil Rights Movement and the turmoil of 1960s America. In conjunction with their 60th anniversary this year, Verve will celebrate the genius of Simone, the supernaturally gifted singer, pianist and prolific songwriter, and her incredible mid-'60s run with the release of her entire Philips catalog on vinyl.

Released earlier this summer as a box set titled The Philips Years, the seven LPs -- Nina Simone In Concert ('64), Broadway-Blues-Ballads ('64), I Put A Spell On You ('65), Pastel Blues ('65), Let It All Out ('66), Wild Is The Wind ('66) and High Priestess Of Soul ('67) -- will be available individually September 30 on heavyweight 180 gram vinyl in facsimiles of the original sleeve art. The vinyl masters for the long-out-of-print titles were cut at Abbey Road using high-resolution audio transfers direct from the analog master tapes and are all in stereo. This marks the first time that Broadway-Blues-Ballads and Let It All Out have been made available on vinyl since their original release. A celebration of Simone's remarkable talents, these albums contain many of the songs that Simone's legacy is built upon not only such well-known cuts as "I Put A Spell On You" and "Feeling Good," but also "Wild Is The Wind," a song that David Bowie would memorably cover, and Simone's version of Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit."

Since her death in 2003, Simone's influence, significance and cultural relevance has only grown, especially most recently as issues of race, police brutality and civil rights are once again at the forefront of the cultural conversation. The Netflix feature documentary, What Happened, Miss Simone? -- which just won the 2016 Emmy for Outstanding Documentary this month -- has helped shine a new light on Simone's immense talents and fearless activism, resulting in a new generation discovering her timeless music and indelible impact. Of her Philips years, NPR drew parallels to the present: "In a time when issues of race and gender are reverberating with a newfound volatility reminiscent of the 1960s -- the decade in which Simone forged her reputation as a politically provocative entertainer -- Nina's concerts and recordings feel like urgent bulletins from a brooding heart and a troubled land."

In 1964, Simone embarked on a new stage of her career. Her rejection by the Philadelphia-based Curtis Institute Of Music; time spent as a pianist in an Atlantic City nightclub; her jazz, gospel, pop and classical influences -- all these had fused to make her one of the most complex, fascinating and talented artists of the decade. Simone released her debut album in 1958, but when she signed to Philips in 1964 at the age of 31, her creative output was about to dovetail with the Civil Rights movement - notably coinciding with the Civil Rights Act Of 1964, which outlawed discrimination based on race, color, gender, religious affiliation or nationality. It's fitting, then, that the first album she released on Philips, 1964's Nina Simone In Concert, captured some of Simone's most committed Civil Rights-era material, including her explosive rendition of "Mississippi Goddam." But this three-year period also saw her satisfy her relentlessly questing muse, with collections that focused on Broadway showtunes (Broadway-Blues-Ballads), pop material (I Put A Spell On You) and more, showing the full range of Simone's talents.

About Nina Simone
Nina Simone--born Eunice Kathleen Waymon on February 21, 1933, in Tryon, North Carolina--was a musician as well as a civil rights activist. Simone took to music at an early age, learning to play piano at the age of three and singing in her church's choir. She went on to study classical piano at the Julliard School in New York City, but left early when she ran out of money. In order to make a living, Simone left classical music to play jazz and blues in Atlantic City. By the mid-'60s, Simone became known as a main voice of the Civil Rights Movement and advocated for violent revolution during that period. Simone passed away April 21, 2003, after struggling with breast cancer for years in her Carry-le-Rouet, France home.

Available for Pre-Order
Nina Simone In Concert: Put A Spell On You: Blues: It All Out: Is The Wind: Priestess Of Soul:

For media information, please contact:
DL Media  |  610-667-0501
Maureen McFadden  |
Don Lucoff |

Universal Music Enterprises:

Public Relations For The Preferred Artist
Information and press materials (including album covers, promotional photos
and bios) on all DL Media artists can be found at our website:

NORWAY: Marius Neset- Snowmelt (ACT 2016)

The album „snowmelt“ is Neset's most ambitious, cherished and personal project to date. In these concentrated works, Neset has sought out chaos and dissonance, he has also been drawn to lyricism and tenderness, and then worked at finding a balance between the extremes, using compositional methods which subliminally bring out the continuities between them. Neset says of this work that he aspires to is to “find the point when everything makes sense.” For the listener, the search for that point will bring its own rewards.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

USA: Macy Gray's Stripped Debuts at #3 on the Billboard Jazz Chart

Macy Gray Debuts at #3 on the Billboard Jazz Chart

Iconic Singer Returns to Her Roots for
Chesky Records Debut

Get 20% off Stripped from Macy Gray
  When Purchasing on HDtracks
Using Code JAZZPROMO20

- Associated Press
"Gray's patented purr-and-growl vocals thrive in the intimate setting and the well-chosen repertoire...she really does sound at home in this setting."

- Salon
 shows Gray singing a range of material in an intimate, after-midnight style, backed by an understated bass-drum-guitar jazz group...the closest she's come to making a Billie Holiday album."Stripped"

- Billboard 
"An album that is reintroducing us to Gray."

- Vulture 
"A collection that revisits songs from Gray's complex and rich career, performed now as if she were on the marquee at a local jazz club in the '30s."

- ELLE Magazine 
"The iconic R&B singer sounds just as sultry as ever."

- Vogue 
"Macy Gray is back and better than ever."

Multi-platinum artist Macy Gray released her critically acclaimed jazz-infused album Stripped on September 9th via Chesky Records, a gorgeous stripped down record that debuted today at #3 on the Billboard Jazz Chart. The intimate offering was recorded live on high resolution audio in a decommissioned Brooklyn church around one binaural microphone and features new original songs, intriguing covers, and stunning new arrangements of her classic hits as she makes a return to her original jazz roots.

Paired with an awe inspiring jazz ensemble and recorded over the course of just two days with no overdubs, Stripped gives Macy's voice the space and freedom to truly shine. Though Gray is a multi-platinum pop artist, she thinks of herself as a jazz singer. She brings that intimate, late-night feel to Stripped with the subtly searing new tune"Annabelle" and "The Heart," while turning "I Try" into a glimmering study in muted guitar, anchored by an authoritative upright bass. It's one of five previously recorded songs that Gray and her ace band reinterpret. "Sweet Baby" becomes taut and urgent, "Slowly" unfolds into a slow-burner, "The First Time" has a torchy elegance, and "She Ain't Right for You" bobs along on an airy reggae backbeat. She sings with an aching sensitivity on a cover of Bob Marley's "Redemption Song" and draws from a very different sensibility for the other cover: Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters."

Stripped features drummer Ari Hoenig (Joshua Redman), trumpeter Wallace Roney (Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis), guitarist Russell Malone (Diana Krall), and bassist Daryl Johns who met Gray just one day before recording began. Together, they even wrote one of the album's new tunes, "Lucy," on the spot during the recording sessions.

Macy Gray was born and raised in Ohio, and moved to California for college. She began singing in her 20s and released her multi-platinum debut On How Life Is in 1999, winning a Grammy for “I Try.” Gray is also a skilled actresss and has had small roles on several TV shows as well as movies, including Training Day with Denzel Washington and Shadowboxer with Cuba Gooding Jr. Additionally, she's made cameo appearances as herself in films like Spider-Man (2002) and television shows like Ally McBeal. In 2012, she appeared in the film The Paperboy with Matthew McConaughey, Zac Efron, John Cusack, and Nicole Kidman which was released at the Cannes Film Festival. Gray was also a contestant on the ninth season of Dancing with the Stars in 2009.

Track List:
01) Annabelle
02) Sweet Baby
03) I Try
04) Slowly
05) She Ain't Right For You
06) First Time
07) Nothing Else Matters
08) Redemption Song
09) The Heart
10) Lucy
Stripped is available for purchase on AmazoniTunes, and HDtracks.

For more information, please contact:
Missing Piece Group

Erik Andersen (
Michael Krumper (

USA: Shirley Horn - Live At The Four Queens Live (Resonance 2016)

Live At The Four QueensThe first Shirley Horn release in nearly 10 years! Captured Live at the 4 Queens Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on May 2, 1988 featuring Horn's trio of over 20 years - bassist Charles Ables and drummer Steve Williams. This deluxe CD includes a 56-page book with rare photos, plus essays and interviews by acclaimed author James Gavin, vocalist and friend Sheila Jordan, Horn s manager Sheila Mathis, daughter Rainy Smith, former Verve Records producers Jean-Philippe Allard & Richard Seidel, Resonance producer Zev Feldman, Washington D.C. jazz radio DJ Rusty Hassan and others. This 52-Minute set was originally recorded by KNPR Las Vegas for the syndicated weekly radio program called 'Monday Night Jazz' at the 4 Queens and boasts re-mastered audio from the original tapes. Music lovers of all kinds will be lucky when they pick up this CD. 

CANADA/CUBA: KoSA Cuba One-Week Study Program and the Havana Drum Festival

For Immediate Release:
Contact: Dr. Jolán Kovács
Phone: 514-482-5554

KoSA Cuba One-Week Study Program and the Havana Drum Festival
Montreal, September 8th, 2016 – KoSA is returning to the culturally important destination of Havana, Cuba for the 15th annual edition of KoSA Cuba; a week long Study Program within the Havana Fiesta Del Tambor.  This year’s trip will take place on March 5 – 12, 2017.
KoSA Cuba is an experience like no other. In a thrilling one-week program, intrepid music explorers will experience intensely fulfilling days of hands-on classes, workshops, concerts, lectures, cultural visits and the exciting activities of the Havana’s Fiesta Del Tambor ( Havana Rhythm and Dance festival ). Conga, bongo, timbales, bata, drumset and other instruments will be studied as participants are immersed in Cuban rhythms, music and culture. All instruments are provided, and and participants will be studying, working and playing with Cuba’s top international artists.
The capital city of Havana is scenic, historical and renowned for the richness of its Cuban Culture, folklore and music. An incredible variety and depth of knowledge has been passed through the generations, maintaining centuries old African-based traditions. Havana is also the cultural Mecca of the Caribbean and a hotbed of new and contemporary creative music. All of this—and more—will be featured during The Fiesta del Tambor, a growing national percussion competition with associated clinics and concerts.  The KoSA Cuba experience includes active participation in all these activities, and participants will learn and play along side their Cuban contemporaries. Each evening will feature electrifying concerts in Havana’s classic theatres and featuring Cuba’s top artists in music and dance.
This year, KoSA Cuba’s faculty will include Cuba’s most recognized artists, including Giraldo Piloto and his band Klimax, Julio Lopez Sanchez, Jean Roberto San Cristobal, Panga, Enrique Pla, Yaroldy Abreu, Adel Gonzalez and special guests. Seminars in the history and development of Cuban music will be led by respected ethnomusicologist Dr. Olavo Rodriguez .The entire workshop experience will be facilitated by international recognized artist, Aldo Mazza.
For more information, please visit or call 1-800-541-8401.

aldo mazza


register now: CUBA ! one week study 

JOIN US IN HAVANA this winter: March 5-12 , 2017, one week  INTENSIVE WORKSHOP & Fiesta Del Tambor ( Havana Rhythm and Dance Festival) in collaboration with Giraldo Piloto

US legal travel- University academic credits available

KoSA DVD available at -9 lessons with the Masters 

"Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy."
— Ludwig van Beethoven, 1770-1827, Composer

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

USA: Latest News from Walt Weiskopf - Vol. 7, September-October 2016

Volume 7, Sept.- Oct. 2016

Fall is in the air and once again, another summer has flown by. And just when you think you're all caught up and ready for the new season, there's an entirely new list of "to-do's" on your plate. At least, this is the case for me as we approach the cooler weather. But I welcome it...and I hope you do too!

More Instructional Videos!

Over the summer, my brother Joel accompanied me once again as I hit the recording studio to create two new instructional play-along videos. This time, the videos emphasize chords and scales. If you check them out, my goal was to demonstrate sound and use of each chord in a straightforward and understandable way, through transcribed and viewable examples.

I hope that you find the information presented to be concise, plentiful and hopefully a lot of fun while you begin to practice your chords and scales.

Check out my play-along videos here:

Playing with U.S. Airmen of Note

Late last year, I was invited by musical director Tyler Kueblerto to participate in the live concert recording of the U.S. Airmen of Note's 2016 Jazz Heritage Series radio broadcasts. In recent years, I’ve had the honor of performing with the West Point Jazz Knights and the Navy Commodores, so the invitation to perform with the Airmen of Note was a crowning achievement for me.

Although the album is now mixed and mastered for public listening, sadly, the album is not for sale commercially. It is provided to Armed Forces Radio Stations around the world for broadcast. Nonetheless, I encourage you to learn more about the U.S Airmen of Note by following their Facebook page. They are extraordinary!

Steely Dan - Last Leg of Tour to Hit Beacon Theater

As we approach the fall season, I also approach the last leg of what has proven to be an incredible three-legged tour with Steely Dan this year.

Starting October 8, we hit the state of New York for two concerts - one in Rochester and one in Syracuse. Then on October 12, we begin a nearly three-week residency at the Beacon Theater in NYC.

The shows at the Beacon will be "album shows," which means that we will present the classic Steely Dan albums live, in sequence. For fans (and the band), this will be a lot of fun because this allows the band to get deeper into the book than we typically do in a usual summer show (which still has a ton of music nonetheless).

So if you buy a ticket for a Beacon show, get ready to hear the music from "Aja," start to finish....just for openers!

Be sure to check out our tour schedule, as it's always possible that more shows could be added. I hope to see you there!!
Steely Dan 2016 Tour Dates

New Album & More Music Gigs

Earlier this year, my latest album, "The Way You Say It," hit the airwaves with much success. This month, I find myself once again recording yet another album, and for the forth time, with Posi-Tone Records. As we speak, I am currently in-studio with incredible musicians, making some pretty incredible music. I won't give too much away, but suffice it to say, I am having fun!

Starting in November, and through the remainder of the year, I will be performing the new material from said new album, as well as some music from previous releases. Check out my Website for dates and locations. I hope to see you there.
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