Happy Birthday Tina Turner

Wishing Tina Turner a Happy Birthday this morning.

We saw Tina Turner with Ike and the Ikettes in Central Park in 1971 in a special filmed for ABC-TV. Watch her and the group move out with “Proud Mary”

My favorite song by Tina Turner is on Herbie Hancock’s River: The Joni Letters (Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 2008.), “Edith And The Kingpin” her rendition is superb.

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International Jazz Day – April 30, 2016

Soon it will time again for the world to celebrate Jazz with the International Jazz Day, April 30th, 2016.

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will host the 5th anniversary International Jazz Day All-Star Global Concert at the White House on April 29th and this spectacular event will be broadcast on International Jazz Day as a one-hour primetime ABC television special, “Jazz at the White House,” on Saturday evening, April 30th and streamed on the United Nations, UNESCO, U.S. State Department and White House websites. The concert will feature an extraordinary array of artists from around the world paying tribute to the truly American art form of jazz.

The All-Star Global Concert at the White House will feature stellar performances by Joey Alexander, Terence Blanchard, Kris Bowers, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Till Brönner, Terri Lyne Carrington, Chick Corea, Jamie Cullum, Kurt Elling, Aretha Franklin, Robert Glasper, Buddy Guy, Herbie Hancock, Dave Holland, Zakir Hussain, Al Jarreau, Diana Krall, Lionel Loueke,Hugh Masekela, Christian McBride, John McLaughlin, Pat Metheny, Marcus Miller, James Morrison, Danilo Pérez, Rebirth Brass Band, Dianne Reeves, Lee Ritenour, David Sánchez,Wayne Shorter, Esperanza Spalding, Sting, Trombone Shorty, Chucho Valdés, Bobby Watson, Ben Williams and others, with further details to be announced shortly. John Beasley will serve as the evening’s Musical Director.

 

 

Kennedy Center Honors Carlos Santana

I take pride as a Santana fan about the relevance of Carlos Santana’s being selected  to receive 2013 Kennedy Center Honors.

“From his legendary performance at Woodstock to his sweep at the 2000 Grammys and beyond, Carlos Santana’s artistry transcends genres while entertaining millions.”

Carlos Santana (Maryanne Bilham)

I find it spiritual karma that close friend of Carlos Santana’s Herbie Hancock was also selected to be honored on the same evening December 8th. The Kennedy Center Honors offers patrons of the arts a rare view of the honoree witnessing the adulation of their music friends  performing the awardees music.

Last year’s broadcast featured Heart, Jason Bonham and a full choir performing for Led Zeppelin a mesmerizing live music tribute of “Stairway To Heaven”.

I wonder what music artists and songs will be performed on December 8th to honor Carlos Santana?

The Honors Gala will be recorded for broadcast on the CBS Television Network for the 36th consecutive year as a two-hour primetime special on Sunday, December 29 at 9:00 p.m. (ET/PT).

Other honorees joining Carlos Santana and Herbie Hancock on this special evening include opera singer Martina Arroyo; pianist, singer and songwriter Billy Joel; and actress Shirley MacLaine.

Carlos Santana said he was delighted to be part of this party and that, for him, music is “a calling.”

“I guess people understand that Santana is not just a Mexican guitar player – I bring a collective-consciousness awareness agenda with me,” said Santana, who moved to San Francisco from Mexico with his family when he was six. “I grew up with the generation of Woodstock and Bob Marley, ‘One Love,’ and ‘Imagine,’ John Lennon. I am one of them, and we don’t do what we do to be commercial or to be popular or to be cute. It’s not entertainment or show business for us. For us, it’s a calling.”

He said his musical life has been about bridging cultures, drawing on sounds of Africa, Latin America and American Indians, as well as rock, jazz and the blues to create something new.

Last year, the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts complained the Kennedy Center had long excluded Latinos from the honors. Of the more than 180 past honorees, only two had been Hispanic — Placido Domingo, the acclaimed Spanish tenor, and Chita Rivera, the actress and singer of Puerto Rican descent — the group said.

The criticism has thankfully led to a revised selection process this year, including the solicitation of nominations from the public, and a new committee of artists and officials to help narrow the potential honorees. Santana has been a contender in recent years for his strong credentials, said show producer George Stevens Jr.

Wayne Shorter – Zero Gravity

I love the spiritual muse contained in the music that Wayne Shorter composes and performs. His visionary role in jazz offers us a unique portal into an ever-expanding collective consciousness.

I made a pledge towards the 2014 documentary film, Wayne Shorter, Zero Gravity. It is a music  journey I have longed to see unfold from the source and his closest musical friends such as Carlos Santana and Herbie Hancock.

I then discovered that the Wayne Shorter documentary is now 100%  funded. I am proud to play a minor role in helping this enriching film extend our musical heritage.

Here is the first trailer clip which undoubtedly will ebb and flow by the time the film is released in 2014.

Mr. Wayne Shorter – Composer and Saxophonist

Mr. Wayne Shorter as Carlos Santana lovingly calls him turns 80 years young this year on August 25th. I awoke this morning thinking about his brilliant legacy of jazz compositions and performances.

It’s going to be a rewarding year for us with Mr. Wayne Shorter.  I want to share two recent announcements about his career that I am truly excited about. The common chord struck in these events sounded by The Wayne Shorter Quartet.

1) Newport Jazz Festival 2013

Wayne Shorter's 80th Birthday Celebration

Wayne Shorter will be honored at the 59th annual Newport Jazz Festival this year on Saturday August 3rd. There will be an 80th birthday celebration for him. Wayne Shorter will appear with his stunning quartet that includes Danilo Perez (pianist), John Pattituci (bassist),  and Brian Blade (drummer). There will also be guest stars and friends playing which includes his close friend Herbie Hancock.

2) The Wayne Shorter Quartet – Without A Net

The Wayne Shorter Quartet recording Without A Net was first brought to my attention by the NPR Jazz blog, A Blog Supreme.  It is highlighted that consensus will prove Without A Net as top of the 15 jazz albums to look out for in 2013. We are getting closer to the actual drop date of that recording, February 5th. I hope you feel the electricity for the eminent release of Without A Net.

On February 1, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and the Quartet will perform four compositions by Shorter alongside works by Beethoven and Ives at Carnegie Hall.

Without A Net is a 9-track musical thrill ride that consists of live recordings from the Wayne Shorter Quartet’s European tour in late 2011, the one exception being the 23-minute tone poem “Pegasus” which features the quartet with The Imani Winds recorded at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. The album features six new Shorter compositions, as well as new versions of his tunes “Orbits” (from Miles DavisMiles Smiles album) and “Plaza Real” (from the Weather Report album Procession). The quartet also reinvents the title song from the 1933 musical film Flying Down To Rio, which film buffs know as the first on-screen pairing of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

Cover of "Mimiles"

Blue Note Releases Six Jazz Classics In High Definition Audio

 

Image representing HDtracks as depicted in Cru...
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Blue Note Releases Six Jazz Classics In High Definition Audio 

 

Blue Note/EMI is pleased to announce today’s high definition, master-quality audio release of six classics from the label’s legendary catalog on HDtracks (www.HDtracks.com). John Coltrane’s Blue Train, Eric Dolphy’s Out To Lunch, Herbie Hancock’s Maiden Voyage, Wayne Shorter’s Speak No Evil, Horace Silver’s Song for My Father, and Larry Young’s Unity have been digitally remastered for the first time in 96kHz/24bit and 192kHz/24bit from their original analog multi-track masters. All of the albums are accompanied by their original sleeve notes plus additional photos and newly-written package essays.

 

 

Blue Note president Don Was says, “In preparing these hi def remasters, we were very conscientious about maintaining the feel of the original releases while adding a previously unattainable transparency and depth. It now sounds like you’ve set up your chaise lounge right in the middle of Rudy Van Gelder’s studio!”

 

HDtracks is a high-quality music download service offering a diverse catalog of music from around the world. HDtracks offers both AIFF and FLAC lossless files, and select titles are available in ultra-high resolution 96khz/24bit files, providing audiophiles who demand the highest quality recordings with an online experience not available anywhere else.

 

Pat Metheny’s Unity Band

One thing is certain, Pat Metheny continually reinvents himself through the music he performs either solo, pneumatically assisted with the vast electronics of Orchestrion or with his next jazz ensemble. I love the journey his creativity enables in my psyche. 🙂

Unity Band members

Chris Potter, Antonio Sanchez, Pat Metheny, Ben Williams

Pat Metheny is actively working a new jazz quartet called the Unity Band. The band consists of Chris Potter on saxophone (saw him play live with Herbie Hancock), who exudes an excellent phrasing and presence. The Unity Band features one of my favorite accent drummers, Antonio Sanchez who I have seen live twice with Pat Metheny. Antonio is a phenomenal drummer who draws me further in with his percussive stylings. Ben Williams on bass is the new musician to my ears. I am eager to hear his interplay and contributions with the Unity Band.

They have a new recording Unity Band available on June 12th from Nonesuch Records. The only way that you can hear the Unity Band right now is to pre-order the Unity Band CD. You will receive an instant download of the opening track, “New Year” and an autographed print from the album art which is suitable for framing. 😉

Pat Metheny Unity Band with Chris Potter, Ben Williams, and Antonio Sanchez

International Jazz Day – April 30, 2012

Herbie HancockHerbie Hancock kicks off International Jazz Day.

International Jazz Day Objectives:

  • Jazz breaks down barriers and creates opportunities for mutual understanding and tolerance;
  • Jazz is a vector of freedom of expression;
  • Jazz is a symbol of unity and peace;
  • Jazz reduces tensions between individuals, groups, and communities;
  • Jazz fosters gender equality;
  • Jazz reinforces the role youth play for social change;
  • Jazz encourages artistic innovation, improvisation, new forms of expression, and inclusion of traditional music forms into new ones;
  • Jazz stimulates intercultural dialogue and empowers young people from marginalized societies.

International Jazz Day itself will begin with a sunrise concert from Congo Square in New Orleans and end with a sunset concert at the United Nations General Assembly Hall in New York. Both concerts will be streamed live, the sunrise concert at 8am EDT, the sunset at 7:30pm EDT. Herbie Hancock is scheduled to appear at both and once again he will be joined by a galaxy of jazz stars from around the world—names like Terence Blanchard, Ellis Marsalis and Dianne Reeves in New Orleans, Candido, Robert Cray, Tony Bennett and Chaka Khan in New York. Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman and Quincy Jones are scheduled as co-hosts at the sunset concert.

Herbie Hancock – Head Hunters – Daily Post 2011 #1

Herbie Hancock performing at The XM Sonic Stag...
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My son, Matthew, got me a $50 gift certificate for music at Cutler’s Record Shop in New Haven. I took him to this store last year and he really liked it, which made me very happy :), as I used to hang out there frequently in my college years from 1972-74, as a matter of fact its a frequent music haunt in my travels still 😉

My wife, Rosemary told me the money was burning a hole in my pocket and she was right of course ;).

This is the first of the three recordings I purchased. I’ll write about the other two recordings tomorrow and Monday…

Herbie HancockHead Hunters, the Jazz Masterpiece originally released on October 13, 1973.  I recall that I played Chameleon and Watermelon Man often when I was an FM disk jockey at the University of New Haven, on WNHU-FM. I minored in music at UNH and learned a great deal from my world music college professors who all came from Wesleyan University. We analyzed Head Hunters in my jazz class extensively, which was one the freedoms of taking free form music classes that  I dug in the early 70s.

We’d learn things like the quote below which further increased my interest in ethnomusicology, “On the intro and outro of the tune, percussionist Bill Summers blows into a beer bottle imitating hindewhu, a style of singing/whistle-playing found in Pygmy music of Central Africa. Hancock and Summers were struck by the sound, which they heard on the ethnomusicology LP, The Music of the Ba-Benzélé Pygmies (1966), by Simha Arom and Genviève Taurelle.[11]

Herbie Hancock’s historic “re-imagining” of the classic Headhunters band took place on the Bonnaroo stage in 2005.

The 20-bit remastered edition on CD plays better than I even remembered from music class and radio days. I’m listening to it now as I write this blog post 🙂

The Herbie Hancock Group

Herbie Hancock – Keyboards, Synthesizers

Bennie Maupin – Sax (Soprano, Tenor)

Paul Jackson – Electric Bass

Harvey Mason – Yamaha Drums

Bill Summers – Percussion

Top 10 Recordings of 2010

These are my selections for the 10 best recordings of 2010. I used the following criteria to establish the field of artists.

1) I had to purchase the recording. None of these recordings are samples from the record companies or the artists or the music distributors. Each one of the Top 10 recordings was an out of pocket expense.

2) My emphasis this past year has to become more of a student and benefactor of jazz music, its derivatives, nuances, etc.  I split the Top 10 between five top jazz recordings and five other "genre" recordings.

3) The recording had to produce repeated plays and create a memorable impression.

4) There was a live performance or tour associated with the recording, in other words I was compelled to see the music performed live. In some instances the recording was the impetus to see the artist live.  Live performances are denoted by an asterisk *. You’ll notice that 7 of the 10 Top 10 recordings had live associated events. This speaks to the integrity of these recordings and the artists chosen.

The Five Top Jazz Recordings

1. Pat Metheny Orchestrion*

Orchestrion

Pat Metheny has accomplished an amazing feat with his Orchestrion. He makes a powerful statement with the use of robotics, pneumatic devices and the syncopation of all these entities. I bought the recording on the first day on the strength of Pat’s innovative creativity and was not disappointed one iota.

We saw the last Orchestrion one man show of his nearly year long concert tour in Torrington, Ct. It was a jaw dropping, cosmic excursion. As a long time technologist myself I applauded Pat’s incorporation of technology to the levels that he takes it to.

There will be a DVD of this break through concept of musical diversification coming out in 2011. I am eager to own that video replica of what I saw and heard live. I give this recording 5+ Stars.

2. Herbie Hancock – The Imagine Project*

Herbie Hancock continues his mastery of collaboration with a recording that took place around the world. Herbie has a tremendous ear for musical harmonies and exchanges. The collection of artist friends on this recording is striking and a testament to how many people want to work with Herbie Hancock and company. Herbie’s core band, which consists of Lionel Loueke on guitar, Vincent Colaiuta on drums,  and Tal Wilkenfeld on bass is quite the nucleus.

My favorite tracks on the recording are "The Song Goes On" Featuring K.S. Chithra, Chaka Khan, Anoushka Shankar, & Wayne Shorter, anIndian based raga composition complemented by sitar, tablas and the soothing sound of Wayne Shorter on soprano saxophone.

“Tamatant Tilay/Exodus” Featuring Tinariwen, K’Naan and Los Lobos was recorded worlds apart but sounds like they all gathered in the next room.

I really like Space Captain which brings Herbie and his group to Derek Truck’s studio in the Florida Everglades. Susan Tedeschi sings with such a soulful touch on this number. The interplay between Herbie and Derek is a marvel to witness.

Here is the video of that collaborative effort, which I know you will watch more than once Smile

A Southern Collaboration You’ll Really Enjoy

3. Charles Lloyd Quartet – Mirror

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Just an exquisite series of selections that you want to listen to again and again and again. I am ticketed to see the Charles Lloyd Quartet on January 28, 2011 at Wesleyan University Winking smile

4. John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension – To The One*

to-the-one-cover-300x256

I have been a long time fan of John McLaughlin’s and he continues to reinvent himself in his tireless efforts to make music that challenge the senses and stretch the boundaries. To the One is a tight set of tracks that blasts off in lots of intriguing directions. Pay special attention to the drumming and keyboarding of Gary Husband on this recording. This recording works its way into your soul and consciousness in inviting ways.

5. Ted Nash, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra – Portrait in Seven Shades

Portrait

Ted Nash has designed, composed and developed a visual/aural treat for the senses with Portrait in Seven Shades. Each composition is a tribute to a famous painter on display at the Museum of Modern Art., giving you a new appreciation for textures and sound.

My best advice is to look at the MoMA Web site, read about Ted Nash and MoMA and then listen to this recording to fully appreciate what Ted has accomplished. I was very inspired by Ted’s work and developed some Web pages on my Web site, LearningEdje in honor of his stellar thinking and arrangements.

The Other Top Five "Genre" Recordings

1. Jeff Beck – Emotion and Commotion*

Jeff Beck_Emotion & Commotion

Jeff Beck has truly outdone himself on this recording. Once you give it a listen you’ll know why it was nominated for 5 Grammy Awards.

We caught an early preview of several of these tracks when we saw Jeff Beck Live at Madison Square Garden this past February.

The track that will impress you on a new and exciting level is Nessun Dorma the aria from the opera by Puccini.

2. Ryan Montbleau Band – Heavy on the Vine*

Ryan-Montbleu-Band-2010-300-01

Ryan Montbleau Band have put together a very listenable recording. It plays effortlessly from track to track. I like Ryan’s voice and the fun his lyrics provide. The CD can be set on repeat play and you just want to hear it again and again.

We have seen the Ryan Montbleau Band three times now in concert and they really are a joy to hear perform live.

My favorite song is More and More and More about all the choices we are overwhelmed with in this life.

3. Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings – I Learned The Hard Way

sharon_jones_hard_way

Raw, soulful energy. Sharon Jones and Dap Kings show us why Brooklyn epitomizes R&B, Soul and makes you want to kick up your heels. You can’t help but love this recording and smile in awe of this get down with it group. Ms. Jones has a thing going on, trust me Winking smile

4. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Mojo*

Tom-Petty-The-Heartbreakers-Mojo2-300x300

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers nailed it on this recording. Reaching back into their Southern roots, placing the accent on the blues and rock and roll, this CD has many listenable and playable tracks.

They were giving this recording away for free, which told me how much Tom Petty believed in this musical effort. Turned out he was so right about that belief.

It helped to see Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers perform these songs live. We spent an excellent summer evening on the lawn in Hartford with them this past year.

5. Los Lobos – Tin Can Trust*

tin-can-trust

Los Lobos produces another strong recording. You’ll love “Do The Murray”, a fun shake your booty number.  I love their rendition of “West LA Fadeaway”, Los Lobos covers the Grateful Dead so well.

The song “Tin Can Trust” as David Hidalgo explains is about that tin can you have by the side of the bed on your nightstand where you place your loose change along with your dreams every night.

From Nick’s Taste of Texas, Covina, CA

We were fortunate to buy the CD before it was released and get it signed when they played the New Haven Green on July 31st.

Los Lobos_0002

Lots of great dancing songs on this CD.

Los Lobos, Peace, Ese.

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