Friday, May 31, 2019

USA: Jazz Pianist James Austin Jr. Brings the Wonder of Stevie Wonder to Richard Bona’s Club Bonafide in New York on Thursday, June 6th

Jazz Pianist James Austin Jr. Brings
the Wonder of 
Stevie Wonder
to Richard Bona’s Club Bonafide in
New York on 
Thursday, June 6th 

Featuring: Justin Robinson, Ben Rubens,
Jeremy WarrenDaniel Sadownick and
Special Guest Vocalist:
  Alexis Morrast
Austin’s Debut CD -- Songs in the Key of Wonder
Salutes Motown Superstar

(New York, NY) Pianist James Austin Jr. is proud to announce his upcoming venue debut on Thursday, June 6th, at Club Bonafide – the New York jazz room run by international jazz bass star Richard Bona. Austin will be accompanied by a sextet featuring Joe Magnarelli on trumpet, Justin Robinson on sax, Ben Rubens on bass, Jeremy Warrenon drums and Daniel Sadownick on percussion. Additionally, Alexis Morrast will be the special guest vocalist. The group will perform two sets at 6pm and 8pm.

 recently released his debut CD, Songs in the Key of Wonder, that features 10 of his unique arrangements of Stevie Wonder songs. Styles run the gamut from the swing of “Isn’t She Lovely” and “Part-Time Lover,” “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” in 7/8, “Tuesday Heartbreak” in a laidback guitar-led quartet gait, and “Lately” caressed as a piano/bass duet. The mood-drenched Wonder love songs “You’ve Got it Bad Girl,” “Golden Lady” and “Overjoyed” are massaged with tender loving radio-friendly care. And “Another Star” gets its Latin roots excavated by a fiery sextet with percussion and horns. MagnarelliHarris and Reubens all participated on the recording and many of its selections will comprise Austin’s set at Club Bonafide.

“An auspicious debut from this fine pianist…” 
--- All About Jazz
A 2006 Theolonious Monk Institute of Jazz International Piano Competition Semi-Finalist Austin has worked with Russell Malone,Don BradenFrank MorganWinard Harper and Mark Gross, among others. He is also the proud MD for up-and-coming vocalist Alexis Morrast, and curates a series of monthly jazz jam sessions meshing legends with newcomers for the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. A meeting with stellar musical director Ray Chew resulted in a plethora of premiere concert hall performances, television shows, and private gigs including Chew’s annual all-star “Night of Inspiration” concerts at Carnegie Hall. On these occasions James has accompanied superstar vocalists from Lalah Hathaway and Brian McKnight to BeBe Winans and Yolanda Adams
A most welcome breath of fresh, swinging air across today’s musical landscape…
This CD is a triumph
!” --- Wayne Winborne
Institute of Jazz Studies –
Rutgers University – Newark

Performing with Alexis Morrast
The New Brunswick Jazz Project
Hyatt Regency Hotel
2 Albany Street - New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Performing with Alexis Morrast
The Institute of Jazz Studies @ Rutgers University
Clement’s Place – 15 Washington Street
Newark, NJ 07102

Performing with the Neal Smith Quartet
Smalls Jazz Club – 183 West 10th Street 
New York City 10014

NJPAC Jazz Jam Session - Led By James Austin, Jr. 
Clement’s Place – 15 Washington Street - Newark, NJ 07102
FeaturingDavid WilliamsAlvester Garnett and Justin Jones

James Austin, Jr. Quintet
Clement’s Place – 15 Washington Street - Newark, NJ 07102
Featuring: Willie Jones III, Ben Rubens, Alex Norris and
Daniel Sadownick

USA: Denny Zeitlin-Solo Piano: Remembering Miles (2019)

The great pianist Denny Zeitlin has always been interested in surprising listeners (and himself!) with his improvisational explorations on his original pieces and those from other composers. For the past five years, Zeitlin has been focusing on a single composer to reinterpret on solo piano for his yearly residency at the Piedmont Piano Company in Oakland, California. In December 2016, he decided on the singular trumpeter and musical iconoclast, Miles Davis. Zeitlin’s new Remembering Miles is a recording of this spellbinding performance.

The Piedmont Piano Company has been a Bay Area stalwart for decades. In 2004, they began to have live performances in their showroom. Zeitlin was an early addition to their performance roster. The room proved to be a perfect setting for his playing, as the audience has always been informed, appreciative and ready to interact with the performer. The fine acoustics, the amazing staff, and the ability to pick amongst the showroom’s many fine pianos, have made the room one of Zeitlin’s favorite performance places.

Zeitlin’s first composer focus was early Wayne Shorter. This was followed by Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Billy Strayhorn, and George Gershwin. The creation of these programs has been an organic process, which involved reinvestigating recordings; polling musical friends on appropriate repertoire; living with potential selections and allowing them to evolve; and... more
released May 10, 2019

Denny Zeitlin - piano

Thursday, May 30, 2019

USA: Elizabeth Tomboulian Debuts CD Release NYC

Elizabeth Tomboulian

Celebrates The Release Of Her New CD
"Love’s in Need of Love Today"
Sunday, June 9th @ Maureen's Jazz Cellar
Tuesday, June 11th @ Pangea

Tickets & Info
Sunday, June 9th @ Maureen's Jazz Cellar
6:00 PM  7:30 PM
Tickets $20. Reservations call 845-535-3143

Tuesday, June 11th @ Pangea
7:00 PM  8:15 PM
Tickets online click HERE 
Tickets $25 cash only at the door.
Reservations strongly recommended.

Elizabeth Tomboulian - vocals, piano, guitar,
Ingrid Jensen, trumpet
Lee Tomboulian - piano
Cliff Schmitt - bass
Brian Woodruff - drums
After decades of performing—from her early forays as a blues/folk singer-songwriter in her native Arkansas and Houston during the ‘70s to her deep dive into the music of Brazil and Uruguay to her various excursions into jazz as both pianist and vocalist—Elizabeth Tomboulian has finally stepped forward with her debut as a leader. A wide-ranging collection of tunes reflecting her eclectic tastes in music, Love’s In Need Of Love Today represents Tomboulian’s bluesy roots, her love of bossa nova and jazz along with her enduring belief in the power of music to heal.

“This is my first one as Elizabeth,” she said of her long-overdue debut. “I had recorded with my Latin group, Circo, with wordless vocals, horn unisons and Portuguese. I felt it was time for me to grab the reigns of my creativity and be the decider on a project where I sing songs in English that tell a story.”

Originally conceived as a reaction to the horrific shootings at the Pulse disco in Orlando, Florida in 2016, Love’s In Need Of Love Today is a healing balm for these turbulent times. “I heard that song on the radio after the shooting and immediately thought, ‘This is exactly what we need right now.’” recalled Tomboulian, who cites vocal artists Bobby McFerrin, Rhiannon, Classical soprano Patrice Michaels, Barbara Maier Gustern, and Billy Harper among her many teachers over the years. Her gospel-tinged rendering of that Stevie Wonder classic, replete with strings and uplifting choir, brings home the point in stirring fashion.

Elizabeth’s love of New Orleans music, reflecting her brief stay in the Crescent City in 1980, is evident on a second line re-imagining of the jazzstandard “Exactly Like You,” which features her husband Lee channeling his inner Professor Longhair on piano. Elizabeth adds lyrics to the affecting McCoy Tyner waltz, “For Tomorrow,” which features a potent solo from guest trumpeter Ingrid Jensen. Husband and wife team up on a clever Jackie & Roy-styled mashup of Thelonious Monk’s “Nutty” and the 1933 Broadway musical number “If I Love Again,” a tune later covered by such great singers as Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand, Dakota Staton and Anita O’Day.

Accompanying herself on piano, Elizabeth delivers an intimate reading of “The Ballad of the Snow Leopard and the Tanqueray Cowboy,” an epic ballad written by Texas poet laureate David R. Rodriguez and later recorded by Lyle Lovett. “That was from my roots,” she explained. “I spent a lot of time in Texas in my youth doing the blues and folk singer-songwriter thing in the vein of Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt and Phoebe Snow.”

More of her roots are represented on a laid back reading of the Bessie Smith blues number “Good Old Wagon,” which has her playing fingerstyle guitar and scatting with earthy abandon. A rapturous solo reading of the jazz standard “I Get Along Without You Very Well” features her penchant for reharmonization as a pianist while showcasing her flawless intonation, clear articulation, natural vibrato and warm, soaring vocal delivery. Her lone original here, the playful “Cheesy,” addresses Elizabeth’s heart for being choosy about relationships.Two other masterful mashups complete this winning debut. “Re: Person I Knew/Time After Time” is a gorgeous marriage of Bill Evans and Cyndi Lauper while the closer adeptly merges Buffalo Springfield’s anthemic “For What It’s Worth” with Joe Zawinul’s 1966 classic for the Cannonball Adderley quintet, “Mercy Mercy Mercy.” Says Elizabeth, “It was really fun to put those two together. And The lyric I wrote to ‘Mercy Mercy Mercy’ kind of crowns the album: ‘We can make a way for every soul to live in peace/hungry children got to eat/everybody’s got to be free/and there is no fear in this whole sphere that love cannot defeat.’ That’s really my purpose for the whole album—to sing and proclaim that love wins.” That kind of affirming statement is one that Elizabeth felt an urgency to make at this point in her career. Her message on Love’s In Need Of Love Today is just what the doctor ordered. — Bill Milkowski

Bill Milkowski is a longtime contributor to DownBeat magazine and the author of “JACO: The Extraordinary and Tragic Life of Jaco Pastorius” (Backbeat Books).

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

USA: Yvonne Ervin - A Celebration of Life & Music Saturday, June 1st 2:00pm - 4:00pm @ The Jazz Standard

Yvonne Ervin
A Celebration of Life & Music
Saturday, June 1st

Doors open at 1:30
2:00 - 4:00
Jazz Standard
116 East 27th Street, NYC
“She loved the music and the people who played it.

She was a doer not a talker.

She cared and helped people.

She was a hero.”

- Bret Primack

Our dear Yvonne Ervin left this world on December 26, 2018. Please join her family, friends & members of the Jazz Community as we honor our dear friend.

Musicians include:

Lisi Axelrad
Bruce Barth
Paul Beaudry
Jane Ira Bloom
Richard Boukas
Don Braden
Dwayne “Cook” Broadnax
George Cables
Jimmy Cobb
 Karina Colis
Claire Daly
Joe Giglio
Allan Harris
Billy Hart
Louis Hayes
Sy Johnson
Mimi Jones
Virginia Mayhew
Lewis Nash
ArcoIris Sandoval
Lew Tabackin
Mark Taylor
Peter Washington
Jon Webber
Alex Weitz
-Abraham Burton-Donald Edwards-
David Kikoski-Boris Kozlov-Jack Walrath

RSVP/Questions –

If you would like to make a donation in Yvonne’s memory, these are two of the organizations she founded:
               Tucson Jazz Festival 
               The Mingus Project


BRAZIL: Igor Willcox Quartet- LIVE! (2019)

"I am very happy to share with you the first live album of the quartet, which features the incredible performances of my friends and amazing musicians Vini Morales, Glecio Nascimento, Clayton Sousa, Erik Escobar and Fernando Rosa. 

This album is a celebration of several concerts and great achievements of the quartet, which have happened throughout these 2 years of existence. 

And as it is a celebration, I decided to present all of you making this album available for FREE DOWNLOAD! 

Enjoy it!!" (Igor Willcox) 

“The first Live album of the Brazilian drummer Igor Willcox quartet, captures the spirit of a strongly welded band performing at a high voltage in the most impassioned and interactive way . It features seven originals along with three compositions belonging to jazz fusion legends such as Allan Holdsworth, Wayne Shorter and Lenny White. 
Ten tracks of unexpected, creative interactions resulted from the combined strength of four virtuosi musicians, each of them contributing with their inventive skills to a perfect fusion of musicality and rhythms. Fans of jazz fusion will enjoy a high quality album delivered by a phenomenal band fueled by the natural energy of like minds playing as a singular voice”. ( Jazz World Quest) 

The album also received an excellent review from All About Jazz, one of the most important jazz sites of the world. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

USA: #JAZZ "Transitions," New CD from the Marcus Shelby Orchestra, Set for June 7 Release by MSO Records

Marcus Shelby
Places Suite Exploring Negro League Baseball
At the Heart of "Transitions,"
Set for June 7 Release by MSO Records

Bassist-Composer-Bandleader's Latest  
Features Four-Part Suite,  
Seven Standards Performed by His 15-Piece Big Band,
Special Guests Mads Tolling & Tiffany Austin
Performances as Resident Artistic Director
At SFJAZZ, 5/23-26

April 26, 2019

Marcus Shelby Orchestra TransitionisBassist, composer, and bandleader Marcus Shelby brings together three of his greatest passions -- African-American history, baseball, and big-band jazz -- on Transitions, the latest work by his 15-piece Marcus Shelby Orchestra, set for a June 7 release on his own MSO Records. While the album offers Shelby's lush arrangements of classic tunes by Charles Mingus, Duke Ellington, and Cole Porter, its centerpiece "Black Ball: The Negro Leagues and the Blues" is an original four-part suite inspired by the history of Negro League Baseball. It also features superb work by two special guests, violinist Mads Tolling and acclaimed vocalist Tiffany Austin.
Shelby's work to date has established his penchant for deep musical dives into African-American history and culture. Transitions is not a full-length opus like his 2007 oratorio Harriet Tubman or 2011's Soul of the Movement: Meditations on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but it is unquestionably on the same ambitious path as those two works. It's also a natural choice of subject matter for San Francisco-based Shelby, a self-described baseball aficionado who (when he's not on the bandstand) can often be found cheering on his beloved San Francisco Giants.
"I did a whole theatrical project that premiered last September at the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival," he explains. "It re-created the environment of a Negro League baseball park. This suite was inspired by the research I did for that project. But it's more about these four cities -- Pittsburgh, New York, Chicago, Kansas City -- that were very central to the Negro Leagues."
Marcus Shelby Orchestra   
Those were also central to the development of jazz, and Shelby's pieces reflect the parts they played in that development. The suite's opening "Transition 1 (Pittsburgh)," a nod to two powerhouse teams (the Pittsburgh Crawfords and the Homestead Grays), also reflects the city's blues tradition and the hard swing generated by native-son drummers from Art Blakey to Jeff "Tain" Watts. Its finale, "Black Ball Swing (Kansas City)," celebrates the Kansas City Monarchs -- "the best known, most respected team of all time in the Negro Leagues," Shelby says -- with both the riff-driven style of the Count Basie Orchestra and the supercharged bebop of Charlie Parker, both Kansas City exports.
Transitions also includes one composition each by Charles Mingus and George Shearing, along with two by Cole Porter and three by the grand master of big band writing, Duke Ellington. It's "an album that mirrors a live performance," he says. "It's like seeing one of our concerts. It felt good to break away from doing programmatic music to playing some straight-up blues and swing and standards." The Duke's gorgeous but rarely played "On a Turquoise Cloud" is a feature for guest violinist Tolling, while his "Mood Indigo"and "Solitude," along with Shearing's "Lullaby of Birdland"and the two Porter tunes, are vehicles for Tiffany Austin's vocals.
Marcus Shelby  
Marcus Shelby was born February 2, 1966 in Anchorage, Alaska, moving to Sacramento, California at the age of five. He played the bass as a teenager, but his real passion was for baseball and basketball, earning a college scholarship in the latter. At 22, however, a concert by the Wynton Marsalis Quartet reignited his love of music, and he returned to school at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in Valencia, where he studied with Charlie Haden and James Newton.
First gaining attention in Los Angeles as a cofounder (with drummer Willie Jones III) of the hard-bop band Black/Note in the early 1990s, Shelby relocated to San Francisco in 1996. He quickly established himself as an essential creative force on the Bay Area arts scene, leading both the Marcus Shelby Trio and the Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra and earning increasingly prestigious commissions from dance companies, theatrical productions, and presenters.
Shelby opened a new chapter with the release of 2006's Port Chicago (Noir), a major orchestral work inspired by the World War II incident that saw 50 young black seamen convicted in the largest mutiny trial in U.S. naval history. Since then he's focused his creative energy on a series of meticulously researched, hard-swinging works exploring African American history, like 2007's Harriet Tubman (Noir) and 2011's Soul of the Movement: Meditations on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (Porto Franco).
Marcus Shelby will perform as Resident Artistic Director at SFJAZZ, 201 Franklin St, San Francisco, Thursday 5/23 through Sunday 5/26. The four-night run will feature the artist in collaborations literary (with Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket), political (with Angela Davis), and Ellingtonian (with Faye Carol, Kenny Washington, and Mads Tolling), along with an evening dedicated to the performance of "Black Ball: The Negro Leagues and the Blues." 

Remember Rockefeller at Attica - Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra 
Remember Rockefeller at Attica -
Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra
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Media Contact:
Terri Hinte
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Monday, May 27, 2019

BRAZIL/USA: Luciana Souza-Brazilian Duos (Sunnyside Records 2019)

Luciana Souza’s second record for Sunnyside, Brazilian Duos, is a departure in two respects. First, the gifted vocalist is backed not by a jazz quartet, but rather by three different acoustic guitarists — Romero Lubambo, Marco Pereira (playing eight-string), and Walter Santos (her father). Second, Souza turns away from original material and toward classic Brazilian songs by figures like Dori Caymmi, Luiz Gonzaga, Djavan, Jobim, Toninho Horta, and her parents, Walter Santos and Tereza Souza. The range of moods is astounding, from the tongue-twisting virtuosity of the opening "Baião Medley" and the playfulness of "O Bolo" to the heartbreaking strains of "Pra Dizer Adeus," "Docemente," and "Suas Mãos." Souza’s voice, poised and attractive enough on its own, becomes a thing of transcendent beauty when matched with these sparse yet vibrant accompaniments. (David R. Adler) credits released May 3, 2019 Luciana Souza - vocals Romero Lubambo - guitar Marco Pereira - guitar Walter Santos - guitar

Sunday, May 26, 2019

USA: #jazz #scottjoplin Tom McDermott Meets Scott Joplin Arbors Records

Tom McDermott
Meets Scott Joplin Arbors Records

Available from Arbors Records HERE

‘Tom McDermott Meets Scott Joplin’ Review: Reviving Rags

New Orleans pianist Tom McDermott offers an ode to ragtime on a new album, both revering and reinventing standards.

by Larry Blumenfeld

Like so many musicians, pianist Tom McDermott came to New Orleans to play a gig, fell in love with the place and never left. Since relocating in 1984, he has become a fixture on that city’s musical landscape and within its long lineage of pianists, some homegrown and some from afar, each lending distinctive flair to a rich legacy that blends scholarship, humor, funkiness and a range of jazz, blues and R&B influences.

The relaxed feel of Mr. McDermott’s playing sometimes conceals the boldness of his harmonic decisions and the rigor of his approach, which leans on diligent musicology. His playing and his original compositions draw from deep repertoire (he can play Louis Moreau Gottschalk’s mid-19th-century works with aplomb) and flash the same offbeat wit as the limericks and pencil drawings he publishes in small volumes.

“Tom McDermott Meets Scott Joplin” (Arbors), out Friday, reveals a love of ragtime, and of Joplin’s rags in particular, that began long before Mr. McDermott moved to New Orleans. Now 61 years old, he grew up in St. Louis at a time when a young musician could still attend annual ragtime festivals and hear the form (steady beat in the left hand, syncopation in the right, clearly defined thematic sections) played correctly by devotees such as Butch Thompson and James Dapogny. Even before this country got hooked anew on Joplin’s “The Entertainer,” as played by Marvin Hamlisch for the 1973 film “The Sting,” Mr. McDermott had dug into pianist Joshua Rifkin’s Nonesuch recordings of that and other Joplin works.

Joplin’s rags were an anachronism in “The Sting”—the film was set in the 1930s, well after ragtime’s heyday—but ragtime did beget early jazz. It’s the proper precursor for all of the music that Mr. McDermott has embraced. In a liner note, he recalls how, at age 14, “Joplin hit like thunder, opening my door into classic rag, and eventually early jazz, Brazilian music, Cuban grooves and New Orleans R&B.” All these influences figure into his approach to these 17 tracks.

Mr. McDermott is both reverent and not. He plays it mostly straight on “The Easy Winners” and “Magnetic Rag,” both of which benefit from his graceful light touch. He accentuates the tenderness and somber tone of “Gladiolus Rag.” On “Fig Leaf Rag,” he appropriates some of the variations Mr. Rifkin used on his Nonesuch versions. With “The Strenuous Life,” he places Joplin in a New Orleans jazz context, via what Jelly Roll Morton called “the Spanish tinge” (and redolent of the sound of a New Orleans piano pioneer, Professor Longhair). Mr. McDermott erases the march from “Rosebud March,” loosening its joints gradually to achieve a sped-up midsection that sounds like an overt homage to another New Orleans piano legend, James Booker.

“Maple Leaf Rag,” one of Joplin’s best-known and most demanding rags, was also, upon its publication in 1899, the earliest of sheet-music best sellers. It forms a centerpiece here, full of unorthodox key changes in the opening section and sly shifts of tempo and style before ending, in unusual fashion, back on the opening “A” section. In lesser hands, such an approach would seem mere pastiche. Mr. McDermott is hardly the first to toy with this rag (New Orleans pianist Henry Butler, among others, had his own radical interpretation), but his version is notable for both its daring and its cohesion. “The Entertainer,” another highlight, is the furthest flung and hardest swung of Mr. McDermott’s takes on Joplin.
New Orleans isn’t the only place that seduced Mr. McDermott. Brazil has long been a muse as well, particularly for its choro style, which predated ragtime in origin and outlasted it in popularity. Mr. McDermott ends this Joplin album with three tracks originally issued on his 2005 release, “Choro do Norte,” which featured Brazilian and New Orleans-based musicians. The combination of choro and ragtime makes musicological sense, in terms of both form and shared roots; as expressed here by Mr. McDermott, it’s a sublime blend, lending fresh propulsion to ragtime’s inherent bounce on “Swipesy Cakewalk.” On “Heliotrope Bouquet,” arranged by Mr. McDermott for a piano-less quintet, the melody is introduced by Henry Lentino’s bandolim (a Brazilian mandolin) and passed along to clarinetist Evan Christopher and trombonist Rick Trolsen. They capture both the lilt and sway of Brazilian music, and the bluesy directness of early New Orleans jazz.
Scott Joplin’s rags have long fascinated musicians for their structural elegance, their magnificent melodies and their invitation to invent. With his own immersion, Mr. McDermott has broadened the possibilities and rekindled a spark.

Mr. Blumenfeld writes about jazz and Afro-Latin music for the Wall Street Journal.


At this time I have these steady gigs in New Orleans:

Solo piano Thursday from 5-7:30 at Three Muses (536 Frenchmen; 252-4801);
Thursday nights at Buffa’s (1001 Esplanade; 949-0038 with reed-women/singer Aurora Nealand).
Other clubs I play sporadically include the Starlight, Bywater Bakery, Fritzels, and Snug Harbor.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

USA: Jazz guitarist Chris Standring reimagines his best

Jazz guitarist Chris Standring reimagines his best

The album dropping June 21 consists of a dozen remixes, including the upcoming single, “Kaleidoscope” (Neptune Mix 2019).

STUDIO CITY (1 May 2018): Over twenty years and twelve albums into his career as a solo artist, chart-topping guitarist Chris Standring had no interest in putting out a typical “best of” album. After a gig, a fan approached him with a novel idea that did get his creative wheels spinning.

“I had thought about releasing a 'best of' for a long time, but it didn't make a lot of sense because with streaming and downloadable songs, anyone can grab their favorite songs thus a compilation felt a little redundant. But then a fan brought me the idea to take my most popular songs and do something new with them. It's nice to breathe new life into some music that has been around a while,” said Standring who drops “Best of Chris Standring Remixed” on June 21 on the Ultimate Vibe Recordings label.

The British guitarist remixed eleven songs from his catalogue of instrumental R&B, soul jazz and electronica, including the No. 1 Billboard Contemporary Jazz Track of the Year in 2010, “Bossa Blue,” and a 2014 Billboard No. 1 single, “Sneakin’ Out the Front Door.” According to Standring, the songs for “Best of Chris Standring Remixed” were selected based on two criteria.

“First and foremost, the popularity of each track. Most of these songs were heavily searched on the internet. Secondly, songs were chosen based on how each might lend itself to a remix,” said Standring, who will celebrate the album release by performing two shows at the Blue Note Napa in the heart of the Napa Valley on the record release date.

The only song not culled from a previous Standring solo album is the 1996 track “Stop It!” from an acid jazz band he was in called Solar System. One of his former bandmates and longtime songwriting partner, Rodney Lee, reconfigured that track along with four others – “Fast Train To Everywhere,” “Liquid Soul,” “Pandora’s Box” and “Sneakin’ Out The Front Door” – adding imaginative bursts of electronic ingenuity over chunky beats. British techno DJ Matt Cooper put a clubby trance vibe on three cuts - “Bossa Blue,” “Oliver’s Twist” and “Ready Steady Flow.” Standring’s only advance directive to Lee and Cooper was “‘Do your thing.’ I didn’t want them to be constrained in any way. And they certainly weren’t.” 

Standring remixed four tracks himself, taking two swings at “Kaleidoscope.” The Neptune Mix 2019 version will be released as a single, collecting playlist adds on July 22.

Although placed in entirely fresh contexts, Standring’s guitar work throughout “Best of Chris Standring Remixed” – whether playing an electric jazz guitar or nylon-string instrument – remains at the fore, melodically embarking on lyrical runs, dexterous embellishments and impassioned finger-work forays. 

A consistent hitmaker, the classically-trained guitarist basked in the glow of his “Sunlight” album last summer when it went No. 1 on the chart. Standring notched three No. 1 Billboard singles the previous year, including duets with trumpeter Cindy Bradley (“Category A”) and two-time Grammy-winning guitarist Paul Brown (“Piccadilly Circus”). He was a first-call session player when he first came to America, recording with Jody Watley and Bebe & Cece Winans among many others before touring extensively with trumpeter Rick Braun

In addition to playing spot dates such as a two-night Memorial Day Weekend stand (May 24 & 25) at Seal Beach’s Spaghettini, Standring will spend the year working on an album of all new music for release next year. In the meantime, he’s eager for people to hear his best material in an all-new way.           
“My hope is that everyone embraces the experimentation that took place and simply loves it.”

“Best of Chris Standring Remixed” contains the following songs:

“Stop It!” (Mercury Mix 2019)
“Fast Train To Everywhere” (Jupiter Mix 2019)
“Bossa Blue” (Outside Mix 2019)
“Kaleidoscope” (Neptune Mix 2019)
“Liquid Soul” (Venus Mix 2019)
“Pandora’s Box” (Saturn Mix 2019)
“Sneakin’ Out The Front Door” (Earth Mix 2019)
“Soul Express” (Love Mix 2018)
“Oliver’s Twist” (Outside Mix 2012)
“Constellation” (Galaxy Mix 2018)
“Ready Steady Flow” (Outside Mix 2019)
“Kaleidoscope” (Cake Mix 2019)

For additional information, please visit

#  #  #
 Rick Scott
Great Scott P.R.oductions
Music – Sports – Entertainment – Causes
Marina del Rey, CA USA

Friday, May 24, 2019

SERBIA: @MilanPetrovicQuartet / Milan Petrovic Quartet -Čekajući Marčela (2019)

Milan Petrovic Quartet is one of the most active bands on serbian jazz/blues scene. We play instrumental funk, jazz and blues, with world music elements, we have five releases, a lot of gigs, including festivals in Austria, Croatia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Bosnia and Romania. We play our own compositions and cover arrangements on our way. Welcome;)

Thursday, May 23, 2019

USA : #JAZZ / GEORGE CABLES – I’m All Smiles( HighNote Records 2019)

GEORGE CABLES – I’m All Smiles HighNote Records HCD 7322

George Cables, piano Essiet Essiet, bass Victor Lewis, drums Track Listing: Young at Heart • I’m All Smiles • Speak No Evil • Bésame Mucho • Ugly Beauty • Love is a Many Splendored Thing • Celebration • Three Views of a Secret • Thermo • Monk’s Mood

 George Cables has been the pianist of choice for saxophonists Dexter Gordon and Art Pepper; Pepper called him his favorite pianist. Cables also recorded a lot with jazz stars Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Hutcherson and Frank Morgan. On Cables' own new trio album, he is so fluent in the ways of the keyboard, song structure and harmony, so aware of his available options at every second, the compositions themselves seem as if they are being made up on the spot. But not all of the trio's decisions are made in the moment. As a structural feature, he loves yoking together his left hand and Essiet Essiet's bass, to give the music an extra-fortified low end. They play in tight unison so often, those doubled bass lines have become the trio's signature. Fused piano and bass have such a distinct color, when they merge it's almost like another instrument making an appearance. The trio polishes its music to a high gloss, which is so unassumingly good, you could miss just how good it is. It gives good taste a good name.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

SPAIN: A New Leaf: Jazz Violinist Reinvents Herself and Sound with Spanish Inspired Album

A New Leaf: Jazz Violinist Reinvents Herself and Sound with Spanish Inspired Album

A lot has change ed for violinist Maureen Choi since the release of her 2015 Ida y Vuelta. It’s been six years since she moved to Madrid, and between teaching at Centro Superior Música Creativa and performing with her quartet, Choi has been absolutely steeped in Spanish culture. “I’ve always been so intrigued by Spain,” she explains. “Spain has contributed so much to culture, and living here I’m so in touch with it all—the richness of its history, the richness of its music.” 
Now, Choi is ready to share all that she’s learned in Spain with her effervescent new album Theia (BarCo Records release: March 31, 2019). While Ida y Vuelta explored the rhythms and styles of the Spanish-speaking Caribbean, Choi’s new album turns toward her new, old-world home and revels in the sprawling and sundry roots of Spanish musical traditions. 
Nowhere on the album can you hear this revelry more than in the album’s fifth track, “Dear Paco (Cepa Andaluza).” An homage to one of the greatest musicians in recent Spanish history, Paco de Lucia, “Dear Paco” is structured around a Flamenco rhythm called bulerias. The complex twelve-beat pattern  is uniquely difficult to master. “It was a huge challenge to figure out this rhythm,” Choi confides. “I didn’t have another violinist to look to—nobody has done this sort of thing with the violin before. So I had to figure it out myself.” 
This hints at part of what makes Theia so special. Throughout the album Choi uses her violin in a distinctly untraditional way. Where “Dear Paco” evokes Flamenco guitar, the track “Bok Choi (Pajarillo)” draws inspiration from the Venezuelan joropo, usually played on the cuatro and Venezuelan harp. “I go straight to the roots,” Choi  tells me, “to the folklore of what inspires me.”
In this way, Choi’s playing style on this album is a sonic reflection of who she is today: a Korean-American violinist with a deep love for the sounds and rhythms of Spain. This pairs well with how Choi herself views the album. “Theia is like an open diary for me,” she says. “A lot has happened between Ida y Vuelta and Theia, and these songs tell the stories of all the experiences that I’ve had in Spain.” 
It begins fittingly with “Phoenix Borealis”, a song of new beginnings and rebirth. Reinventing yourself is hardly ever an easy task, and “Phoenix Borealis” captures this perfectly. Beginning with a gentle and hopeful melody, the song quickly begins to spiral into all the chaos, turmoil, and fire that comes with change, featuring probably one of the most wild bass solos you’ll ever hear. In the end, the same hopeful melody reemerges, if only dazed slightly. 
The following track, “Dance of the Fallen”, is a reflection on the life of Choi’s mother. Born in Korea, she was a soprano who worked as a vocal teacher before coming to the States. Like many immigrants, her life was a challenging one. “Her life was a dance between tragedy and doing the best for her daughters,” reflects Choi. “She was always knocked down, but she always got back up again.” 
Very much like the pages of a diary, the songs of Theia are varied in tone, mood, and subject matter. “September, the First” is a delicate meditation on loss and human fragility. Others are rollicksome, even a little humorous.“Canto Salamanchino” gets its name from the 5⁄8 rhythm particular to the  musical tradition of Salamanca, as well as a story of Choi’s Salamanquino pianist Daniel García Diego’s time in China. 
When you listen to Theia , you’re hearing who Maureen Choi is and everywhere she’s been on her remarkable journey. There is the classical violin she was immersed in from an early age, and the jazz sounds she studied at Berklee. You can feel the Latin rhythms Choi first fell in love with on the dance floor, then explored more deeply on Ida y Vuelta. The Spanish guitar her father played when she was a child, along with all her favourite Spanish composers in the classical violin repertoire, laid the groundwork for her deep dive into the folkloric traditions of her new home in Spain. 
Those life experiences nurtured not only Choi’s finely honed skills, on full display on Theia, but also a mature, confident self-expression that can only come from creating with her whole heart. “The elements that make up this album are all dimensions of my life, past and present.” Choi affirms. “I’m taking everything I love and everything I am and pouring it into my music.”
Ron Kadish
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