Thursday, July 30, 2009


17-Year Saxophone Prodigy Grace Kelly
To Perform at Scullers on August 27
in Support of
Mood Changes

Voted "Best Jazz Act in Boston"
For The Second Consecutive Year
in The Bos
ton Phoenix's 2009 Best Music Poll

PAZZ Productions is proud to announce that saxophonist Grace Kelly and her Quintet will perform at Boston's Scullers Jazz Club on August 27 in support of their most recent release, Mood Changes. Additionally, Kelly was recently voted "Best Jazz Act in Boston" in The Boston Phoenix's 2009 Best Music Poll (a title that she holds for the second consecutive year).

Kelly's career is growing at an ever excelling pace. Trumpeter and Jazz at Lincoln Center Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis was so impressed with Kelly's three-night stand as guest of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in November that he invited her to join the ensemble at the Kennedy Center's Eisenhower Theater in Washington, D.C. for an Martin Luther King, Jr. Day/Inauguration Eve concert on January 19th. Harry Connick, Jr. heard Kelly in a master class on a December afternoon and brought her on stage to sit in with his band that night. This capped an already exceptional end of 2008 in which Kelly's appearance on NPR's Piano Jazz with Marian McPartland was syndicated nationally.

Kelly, who enjoyed critically acclaimed success on her previous GRACEFULEE album, has dominated the DownBeat Student Awards over the past four years. From 2006-2009, the saxophonist has garnered 12 student awards, including her latest three for "Jazz Soloist," "Outstanding Jazz Vocalist," and "Pop-Rock Blues Soloist."

"I'm just trying to listen to as much music as possible, which makes it hard for me to put together a CD about just one thing," Kelly says in explaining her inspiration for Mood Changes. "A year before the session, I wrote `Tender Madness,' which is slow and sad, and around the same time, when I was in a good mood, I wrote `Happy Theme Song.' At that point, I realized that a concept for my next album was taking shape. Two more originals, `101' and `But Life Goes On,' extended the idea, as did the six standards."

Kelly is particularly excited about the strides that Mood Changes reveals in her bandleading skills. "There's nothing like playing my own music with my own band," she acknowledges. "Everyone is so comfortable, yet I feel as if I'm getting pushed in every performance. At the same time, I realize more of what I want over the years, and more direction goes into the music. Every time we play is a complete adventure."

Without hesitation, Grace Kelly will tell you that her goal is "to stay in jazz but also do different things, bigger arrangements, like Stevie Wonder and George Benson." Her ambition has yet to outstrip her talent, and Mood Changes suggests that such a turn of events is unlikely in the foreseeable future.

Grace Kelly Quintet at Scullers Jazz Club
Thursday, August 27, 8 PM

Grace Kelly, saxophones and vocals
Jason Palmer, trumpet
Doug Johnson, piano
Evan Gregor, bass
Jordan Perlson, drums

Scullers Jazz Club at the Doubletree Guest Suites-Boston
400 Soldiers Field Road
Boston, MA 02134
Tel: 617-562-4111

"Grace Kelly plays with intelligence, wit and feeling. She has a great amount of natural ability and the ability to adapt that is the hallmark of a first-class jazz musician."

For more information, please contact:

Jordy Freed/DL MEDIA


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Visionary Percussionist Babatunde Lea's "UMBO WETI" – A Musical Tribute to Leon Thomas

Visionary Drummer/Percussionist Babatunde Lea
Releases UMBO WETI -
A Musical Tribute to
Legendary Jazz Vocalist & Songwriter Leon Thomas

Percussion virtuoso Babatunde Lea first envisioned a tribute to legendary jazz vocalist and composer Leon Thomas shortly after the singer passed in 1999. The efforts reach fruition on Lea's latest release for the Motéma label, UMBO WETI. Featuring a stellar band of improvisers: Dwight Trible (vocals), Ernie Watts (tenor sax), Gary Brown (bass), Patrice Rushen (piano), and Lea on drums and percussion, UMBO WETI is a labor of love.

UMBO WETI finds Lea, and his "dream team" of musicians exploring pieces associated with Thomas' blend of a spiritually passionate and socially conscious world view with deftly inventive musicality and progressive vision. They re-imagine Thomas' version of John Lee Hooker's primal "Boom Boom Boom Boom," his new lyrics for Horace Silver's "Song for My Father," and the timeless "The Creator Has a Master Plan" - the latter which inexplicably turned into an FM radio hit for Sanders and Thomas. "It was the kind of post-bop thing that happened, kind of the spiritual thing that [John] Coltrane started," Lea explains. "People always talk about the spiritual nature of that music. It's a spiritual jazz that was going on in the late '60s and the '70s and the early '80s. And Leon was a big part of that music and really moved it forward."

In addition to other Thomas vehicles - the classics "Sun Song," "Prince of Peace," and the title track among them - the ensemble presents extended compositions by both Lea and Watts, and a version of John Coltrane's "Cousin Mary."

Babatunde Lea has forged a career steeped in the rhythms of Africa and its Caribbean and South American Diaspora. After spending his formative years in NY and NJ, he migrated westward to the San Francisco Bay Area in the late 1960s, where he furthered his explorations into global rhythms as a member of percussionist Bill Summers visionary ensemble Bata Koto. Working with such stylists as Thomas and Sanders, as well as Stan Getz, Joe Henderson, McCoy Tyner, Randy Weston, Van Morrison, Oscar Brown, Jr., and a host of other jazz luminaries has blessed Lea with a culturally diverse perspective that fuels a creativity brimming with the wisdom of the ages. Above all, Lea's spiritual essence and serene nature are always at the forefront of his art.

Lea's deep musical connection with Thomas has its roots in Englewood, NJ in the late '50s, when the young musicians first crossed paths. "He joined our church," Lea recalls. "Leon sang in the choir. I used to see him sing every Sunday and he would 'turn the church out!'"

Thomas regularly headed to New York City where he soon established himself as one of the most unique and influential vocalists on the jazz scene. A forefather of free jazz vocalization, he was best known for his collaborations with Pharoah Sanders and Carlos Santana in the late '60s and '70s. He wrote the lyrics and sang on Sanders' landmark recording of "The Creator Has A Master Plan."

Hooking back up with Thomas, and eventually following him into the bands of Sanders and Santana, Lea's collaborations with the iconoclastic singer set him on a new musical path.

"Leon was not only the band leader and one of my bosses," Lea explains, "but he was very instrumental to my artistic growth and my path in life as far as the type of music that I like and the genre of music that I play. Playing with him...was a pretty rich period in my life and my development."

When Thomas passed ten years ago, Lea quietly vowed he would find a way to honor him in an appropriate fashion. In 2008, discussions with Peter Williams at Yoshi's, producer Howard Sapper of Extraordinaire Media and Jana Herzen of Motéma Music brought the whole concept together, and it was agreed that a live tribute recording would be filmed at Yoshi's on October 14 and 15. The resulting two-disc set also includes bonus video content. UMBO WETI takes its name from the Thomas song titled after the yodel-like singing of the Central African Twa people from whom he adopted his distinctive vocal style.

Joining Lea on this heartfelt tribute is saxophonist Ernie Watts, who has been a favorite collaborator since Watts spectacularly joined Lea's Quartet for a four-day stint at Rassella's in San Francisco in 2002. Lea had long wanted to collaborate on record with pianist/singer Patrice Rushen, while bassist Gary Brown is an old Bay Area friend with whom Lea has played with for nearly 30 years. The lynch pin on UMBO WETI, though, is vocalist Dwight Trible, whose voice and delivery "just screams Leon Thomas," according to Lea, and who worked with Lea on a recorded suite and soundscape for the opening of San Francisco's Museum of the African Diaspora (MOAD). "It was a no-brainer to bring Dwight in for UMBO WETI because, his sound comes directly out of Leon and all that innovation Leon was doing."

"The most important thing I wanted to accomplish is to have the music exude spirituality." Even a cursory listen to UMBO WETI confirms Lea achieved that -- and a closer hearing unveils layers of joyful, instinctual virtuosity. But the star of the show remains Thomas' music and his vision translated and memorialized in a definitive fashion by Lea and his capable cohorts. It was worth waiting for.

BABATUNDE LEA - UMBO WETI: A Tribute To Leon Thomas 1937-1999
Motéma MTM-25 - Release date: September 8, 2009

For media info contact:
Steph Brown at DL MEDIA (p) 610-667-0501 (e)
Brad Riesau at DL MEDIA WEST (p) 909-744-0704 (e)


Monday, July 27, 2009

"Songs From the Heart: Ramsey Plays Ramsey" on Concord Jazz - September 29


Ramsey Lewis to Release Concord Jazz Debut,
Songs From the Heart: Ramsey Plays Ramsey,
Available September 29

On September 29, Concord Jazz will release Songs From the Heart: Ramsey Plays Ramsey, the debut Concord Jazz CD from iconic pianist/bandleader Ramsey Lewis. At the age of 74, Ramsey Lewis has not only continued to be active in the jazz world, but he's also forging ahead with a newly inspired creative instinct as a composer. This re-envisioned artistic sensibility is showcased on his new album, which is a remarkable, refined collection of 12 new originals that he composed over a period of two years. The collection includes music from two commissioned world premiere performances at the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, Illinois, just north of Chicago. Eight songs come from the score of 2007's ballet To Know Her...written for the Joffrey Ballet Company and four pieces come from 2008's Muses and Amusementssuite performed with the Turtle Island Quartet.

Songs From the Heart, Lewis' first trio recording in five years, features eight pieces with bassist Larry Gray and drummer Leon Joyce, and four piano solo performances. To Lewis, the CD marks a turning point in his storied career: he's found new life as a composer.

"Initially nothing was compelling me to go into the studio," says the three-time-Grammy-winner Lewis, who in addition to his 80-plus album career (seven went gold) is also a Chicago-based radio personality and host of the PBS TV series "Legends of Jazz." "But since I'd been composing so much and people were responding positively to the new songs, I decided to do an entire album of my own material instead of recording music by other artists."

In regards to his newfound love of composing, he adds, "I'm like a kid on Christmas morning all over again. For me, it's all about the music. It's what makes me sleep well and jump out of bed in the morning to work on new melodies. I can't wait."

Lewis says that his early hits-most prominently his mid-'60s international breakout tunes "The 'In' Crowd," "Hang on Sloopy" and "Wade in the Water"-in some ways spoiled him. "Darn those hits," he says jokingly. "In the early days with the trio I wrote more, but once you get so popular you tend to get a little lazy. It comes to a point where you compose three or four songs for a new album, then one or two seems to suffice."

In 2006, Welz Kauffman, the president/CEO of Ravinia, suggested that Lewis, the jazz artistic director there, compose a score for the Joffrey. The pianist met with the ballet company's then executive director, Jon Teeuwissen, and then set forth to work on an hour's worth of material. He was in for a rude awakening. "I sat down at the piano and all I could think of was Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev and music for classical ballet," he says. "As I sat at the piano with no ideas, my wife Jan told me, 'I'm hearing you and you're suffering. Why don't you just turn on a tape recorder and play?' I told her, 'But I'm trying to compose.'"

However, Lewis took her advice and began to discover melodies as he improvised. His breakthrough song is the CD's leadoff track, the lyrical "To Know Her Is to Love Her." More tunes quickly followed even without using the tape recorder ("It was almost like writing shorthand," says Lewis), and he presented the eight compositions to Joffrey choreographer Donald Byrd. "He liked my old hits, but he had nothing but superlatives for the new material," says Lewis, who notes that one tune, "Clouds in Reverie," was a version of a piece written for the previous year's Ravinia project, One Score, One Chicago: New Scenes From Childhood.

Joffrey choreography began in April 2007 for the June 2007 performance. A month before the premiere Lewis saw his first rehearsal. The troupe put his recorded demos on and began to dance. "The way they moved brought tears to my eyes," says Lewis. "When I started out in bands when I was 16, people danced to our music. This took me back 50 years, and here I was writing for dancing again."

At Ravinia, the performance garnered a rousing applause from the audience and critical plaudits from the press. Lewis says, "My son pointed out to me that this was the first concert of mine he had seen that got a standing ovation without me having to play the hits. That told me something about focusing more intently on composition."

Kauffman was so impressed that he immediately commissioned Lewis to write new works for Ravinia in 2008. He decided to compose for a string quartet to accompany his trio. On the recommendation of his good friend and fellow pianist Dr. Billy Taylor, Lewis enlisted the Turtle Island Quartet to perform a suite of eight new originals, including the relaxed-swinging "The Spark" and the bowed ballad "The Conversation." Of the former, Lewis says, "I like the energy in this song. I was thinking of a groove-not rock, but something that had an element of excitement and forward motion while at the same time was melodic."

From the ballet score, Lewis explains that the emotive tune "Touching, Feeling, Knowing" is based on a folk melody he heard when he visited Soweto, South Africa. "It's a simple melody that I used as the basis for this song. When we play it, it reminds me of South Africa." In regards to the appropriately titled "The Way She Smiles," Lewis says, "That's one of those songs that just happened. I woke up one morning and was thinking of a New Orleans groove."

One of the added bonuses of Lewis' prolific writing has been an enrichment of his pianistic talent. "The composing has informed my playing," says Lewis. "I'm looking at harmony and melody in a different way. I've noticed that my solos have become deeper and more contemplative." On Songs From the Heart, Lewis takes the solo spotlight four times, including the film noir-ish "Long Before She Knew" and reflective muse "The Glow of Her Charm."

The latter arrived when Lewis was working on an intro to the song "In the Still of the Night" that he was performing one evening in Washington, D.C. He was in his hotel room on a grand piano, determined to find a prelude. Once again, his wife offered her wisdom. "Jan was listening to me and said, 'What's that? That's a song, not an introduction. You've got a new song.' And, if course, she was right."

On Songs From the Heart, Lewis offers graceful music, played with a light, gentle, joyful touch, and focused on melody. Writing in the CD liner notes, Lewis pointed out that in the CD's initial planning stages, all artistic and record company parties agreed that Songs From the Heart should be characterized by "heartfelt, lyrical and inspirational" music "that my fans had come to expect."

In the liners, Lewis also noted, "Our desire was to convey a sense of beauty, joy, simplicity and lyricism...I am extremely proud of the results." He adds, "Looking back at all the music that I've written over the last few years, I think I'm coming up with something unique. I think I'm developing a style."

Ramsey Lewis - Songs From the Heart: Ramsey Plays Ramsey
CJA-31313-02 Release date: September 29, 2009

For more information, contact:

Steph Brown/DL Media / / 610.667.0501

Julie Murray Porter/Concord Records /

# # #

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day 2009 Lineup

JAS 2009

Jazz Aspen Snowmass Adds Elvis Costello
To Labor Day Festival Line-Up

The Allman Brothers Band, Black Eyed Peas,
Doobie Brothers, and Michael Franti are This Year's Highlights

Aspen, CO, July 24, 2009 - The much anticipated JAS Labor Day Festival returns to Snowmass Town Park from Sept. 4-6. Michael Franti and Spearhead will headline on Friday, Sept. 4 in their only summer Colorado appearance.

Opening for Franti will be Citizen Cope in his first JAS appearance. Making their first Aspen appearance on Saturday, Sept. 5th are the Black Eyed Peas, whose new album, featuring the hit single "Boom Boom Pow," released world-wide in June, in their exclusive Colorado summer appearance. Elvis Costello & The Imposters will open for the Peas. Costello, who appeared at the JAS June Festival in 2006 with Allen Toussaint, released his latest album, Secret, Profane & Sugarcane earlier this summer. Umphrey's McGee opens the day on Saturday at 3pm.

Returning to JAS on Sunday, Sept. 6th is the legendary Allman Brothers Band, celebrating their 40th anniversary tour this year. The Allman Brothers 2007 appearance at JAS was the biggest concert in JAS history. Following that sell out year, JAS reduced the number of tickets sold and increased site capacity in order to make the grounds more comfortable. Joining this highly anticipated bill will be the legendary American rock band, The Doobie Brothers, performing at 5pm, with the Drive By Truckers kicking the day off. The Doobie's have been rockin' crowds since 1970 with songs like "Black Water" and "Takin' It to the Streets."

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at 866-JAS-TIXX, or at the Belly Up Box Office in Aspen, 970-544-9800. For lodging and ticket packages please call 800-SNOWMASS or visit

For more information on JAS events and education programs please visit

For national publicity, please contact:
Don Lucoff / DL Media: / 610.667.0501

For local publicity, please contact:
Andrea Beard / Jazz Aspen: / 970.920.4996


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Jazz Legend Scott LaFaro Celebrated with Previously Unreleased Performances and Interviews: "Pieces of Jade" on Resonance Records' Heirloom Series

scott lafaro

Jazz Legend Scott LaFaro Celebrated with
Previously Unreleased Performances,
Rehearsal Tape and
Bill Evans Interview on Resonance Records -
Heirloom Series' Pieces of Jade

Pieces of Jade to be released with new
LaFaro Biography: Jade Visions

"His approach to the bass ... it was a beautiful thing to see...
He was a constant inspiration." - Bill Evans

In the annals of jazz, it is rare that a musician garners both the respect and admiration of fans and musicians alike. In fact, there may be just a handful worthy of the treatment legendary bassist Scott LaFaro receives with Pieces of Jade. An artist of prodigious talent, LaFaro was cut down at the early age of 25, well before he could have established himself as the great musician he was becoming.

Already a vital element in the groundbreaking trio with pianist Bill Evans and drummer Paul Motian - captured for all time with their live Village Vanguard recordings from 1961 - LaFaro was already spreading his unique musical visions within a variety of contexts. Establishing co-equal status with Evans, LaFaro enlarged the role of the bass in part by his dynamic uses of rhythm and independent lines at both the low and upper ranges of his instrument. Starting early on with such greats as Chet Baker, Barney Kessel, Cal Tjader and Benny Goodman, LaFaro went on to participate in the energetic and experimental magic of Ornette Coleman's Free Jazz (sharing the bass spotlight with fellow traveler Charlie Haden in a double-quartet setting). He also played with Gunther Schuller's ensemble on Jazz Abstractions and lastly, with Stan Getz, who he performed with at the 1961 Newport Jazz Festival just before his tragic death from a car accident.

Pieces of Jade features material previously unavailable to American audiences. Among the highlights is a rare glimpse inside the creative process with LaFaro in an extended practice session with Bill Evans, both of them working through a standard they practically owned, "My Foolish Heart." Also included are five selections recorded in New York City during 1961 that showcase LaFaro with pianist Don Friedman and drummer Pete LaRoca. A mix of standards with two takes of an original tune from Friedman, the program adds another original by the pianist recorded in 1985, the touching solo piece "Memories for Scotty."

"This great music was actually a demo," says Executive Producer and Resonance label head George Klabin. Klabin, who recorded not only the interview with Evans in 1966 but also Friedman's "Memories for Scotty," adds, "The demo is why they recorded together. These five cuts were sent to Riverside Records and were what got Friedman his first album deal [A Day In The City, with Chuck Israels and Joe Hunt]. I feel fortunate that I have a record company where I can put this material out. A portion of the proceeds will go toward funding the Scott LaFaro Prize, offered as part the International Society of Bassists biennial jazz competition."

Pieces of Jade opens with a lovely rendition of the standard "I Hear A Rhapsody." Also included are two takes of Friedman's elegant swinging blues "Sacré Bleu"" along definitive treatments of the gay and bouncy "On Green Dolphin Street" and Dizzy Gillespie's snappy "Woody'n You."

"I've had these tapes since 1966," Klabin explains. "What happened was in the mid-'80s I met with Don Friedman at my place. One of the pieces he played was 'Memories for Scotty,' which I recorded in my living room on my grand piano. That got me thinking of the tapes and if I had a label I could put this stuff out. When I started my label in 2008, I realized this music would be perfect for the Heirloom division of Resonance Records." As for Friedman's song for LaFaro, Friedman notes, "It was a written piece of music with improvisation. We were all friends and Scott and I were roommates at the time. I had recorded with Pete earlier. I knew Scott in California and played with him there. I just wished Scotty had been around a little longer so we could have made more music together."

In addition to Pieces of Jade, Resonance Records will be marketing Jade Visions: The Life and Music of Scott LaFaro, written by LaFaro's sister, Helene LaFaro Hernandez. "We are very, very happy to release Jade Visions about the life of Scott LaFaro and written by his sister Helene," says Klabin. "It's a fortuitous occasion. We are very, very happy to release the music and book together.

"I feel very fortunate to have been chosen by the universe to curate, to protect this release," Klabin concludes. "I am moved and honored to be a part of it all. This man changed the way the bass is played. Scott LaFaro was the Charlie Parker of his instrument. And the release ofPieces of Jade is in keeping with one of Resonance Records' mandates, which is, as a non-profit, to make historically important jazz recordings available to the public."

Resonance Records HCD-2005/ Release Date: September 8, 2009

For further information on this and other Resonance Records releases,

Resonance Records is a program of the Rising Jazz Stars Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation

For media information contact:

Jordy Freed at DL MEDIA (p) 610-667-0501 (e)
Don Lucoff at DL MEDIA (p) 610-667-0501 (e)


Mack Ave Records Presents "Detroit" by the Gerald Wilson Orchestra




To commemorate its 30th anniversary, the Detroit International Jazz Festival called on Gerald Wilson, the preeminent jazz orchestra composer and bandleader, to write a suite for Detroit. He recorded the piece with both his Los Angeles and New York orchestras for Detroit, his fourth Mack Avenue album, produced by Al Pryor. Detroit will premiere live on September 4th (which also marks Wilson's 91st birthday), the weekend of the festival.

He has not only maintained his L.A. band for many decades, but Wilson's New York branch convenes when he travels eastward for concerts, festivals and recording dates. He has the best of both coasts for this album, including trumpeters Jon Faddis, Bobby Rodriguez and Jimmy Owens; trombonists Dennis Wilson, Luis Bonilla and Doug Purviance; saxophonists Steve Wilson, Kamasi Washington, Antonio Hart, Jackie Kelso and Ronnie Cuber; pianists Brian O'Rourke and Renee Rosnes; bassists Trey Henry, Peter Washington and Todd Coolman; drummers Mel Lee and Lewis Nash. Guest soloists are flute master Hubert Laws, trumpeter Sean Jones and guitarist Anthony Wilson.

Wilson has written a musical sonnet to the city, where he spent five very important formative years in the late 1930s. Detroit's progressive social policies made a huge impression on the young Wilson. "The city itself showed me so much," Wilson insists. "All of the schools were integrated; so was the musician's union. I had only known segregation before." "Blues On Bell Isle," written for a public park on the shore of Lake Michigan, was the site of many lovely days from Wilson's youth.

With a sly nod to Benny Golson (one of Wilson's favorite composers), "Cass Tech" celebrates the school whose rigorous and comprehensive musical training prepared him for the real world. He states, "I don't think I would be in this position if I hadn't had that study." The music classes brought him into contact with fellow students and future jazz stars like Wardell Gray, Al McKibbon and Rudy Rutherford. They also honed Wilson's instrumental skills for work in local bands led by Bob Perkins, Harold Green and Glouster Current.

The slightly melancholy "Detroit" is Wilson's song tribute to the city. "I love Detroit," declares Wilson. "It's my home; one of them, certainly." Wilson heard some of the great jazz orchestras at Detroit's Greystone Ballroom: Duke Ellington, Chick Webb, the Sunset Royals, Erskine Hawkins and Jimmie Lunceford.

Mack Avenue owner Gretchen Valade is the subject of the brisk and brash "Miss Gretchen." Wilson notes, "She has helped Detroit and its annual Jazz Festival quite a bit, and by extension, the whole jazz world." Violinist Yvette Devereaux's poignant tone recalls the soulful violin of Ellingtonian Ray Nance.

No Wilson program would be complete without an excursion south of the border. In this case "Before Motown" nods to the Native Americans who first inhabited Michigan. Bobby Rodriquez does the honors with a crackling solo on the newest addition to the great Latin trumpet featured in the Wilson canon.

Wilson's first trip to L.A. was with the Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra in 1940 and it began with a parade from downtown's Union Station to the Dunbar Hotel on Central Avenue. That day he met saxophonist Jackie Kelso, who finally makes his debut as a Wilson soloist. Kelso's well-executed soprano sax excursion lights up the hard-swinging "The Detroit River," which recalls Kansas City-style blues.

Wilson exults, "I have many wonderful memories of living in Detroit and I'm lucky that I have so many fine musicians to play the music that I've written about one of my very favorite cities."

Gerald Wilson Orchestra · Detroit (MAC 1049)
Worldwide Release Date: September 29, 2009

For media information, please contact:
DL Media · 610-667-0501
Don Lucoff ·
Brad Riesau ·

MACK AVENUE · the road to great music ·
19900 Harper Avenue, Harper Woods, MI 48225 · 313-640-8414 · 313-640-8415 fax

Tuscia In Jazz 2009 Festival

Tuscia In Jazz

Tuscia In Jazz 2009 Goes International

From July 18 through August 2, 2009, in the Viterbo region of Italy (about 43 miles from Rome), the countryside town of Soriano nel Cimino will host the 8th edition of the Tuscia in Jazz Festival.

For the past seven years, Tuscia in Jazz has been considered one of the most important international jazz festivals, as well as an important vehicle to promote the beautiful region with its Etruscan roots, Roman history, medieval hill towns and unspoiled lakes and forests. Tuscia in Jazz has extended its branches significantly: with a record label to release recordings of its unique live performances, by adding workshops with world-renown pianist Kenny Barron and rising-star drummer Francisco Mela, and incorporating the annual "Jimmy Woode Award" for bass playing.

The festival has been strongly supported by the local administration of Soriano and it now returns to the squares of the centro storico and thanks to their continued support, all the concerts are free.

The Tuscia in Jazz Festival has integrated within it the "Jimmy Woode Award". Jazz bassist Jimmy Woode spent his career carving his deep double-bass sound into recordings by Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespe, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Lionel Hampton. The "Jimmy Woode Award" for bass playing is an integral part of the festival proceedings at Tuscia in Jazz. In the summer of 2005, shortly after his passing, Woode's daughter Shawnn Monteiro, along with the director of the festival Italo Leali, held a personal ceremony in his memory at the festival. It was at that moment they decided to create a scholarship award for young, talented musicians, starting with the 2006 Tuscia in Jazz Festival, and through which the memory of one of the greatest bass players of our century, his music and his family would be honored and carried on. Groups from Italy competed alongside bands from Germany, Holland, England, France, Croatia, Serbia, Belgium, the UK and the USA. Since its inception, it has grown just as much as the festival itself: from a Euro-centric showdown to a global tournament.

The 'Tuscia in Jazz Masterclass' workshops provide an opportunity for young musicians to learn from the masters. This year's teachers-in-residence include: Kenny Barron, Ray Mantilla, Flavio Boltro, Francisco Mela, Bobby Watson, Eddie Gomez, Edy Martinez, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Amana Melome', Dado Moroni, Shawnn Monteiro, Karl Potter, Tony Monaco, Giorgio Rosciglione and Gege Munari.

Also featured at the festival, the 'Tuscia in Jazz Jam Sessions,' incredible jam sessions open to all who turn up anytime during the festival hours at the lovely Tavern Papacqua di Soriano nel Cimino. Unexpected and unplanned appearances by top international players have made this a festival within the festival, and not to be missed.

However, the festival highlight is the 'Notte in Jazz,' which made its premier at the 2007 festival. Named after the Italian tradition of a 'Notte Bianca,' (a white or sleepless night); this jazz version will feature 35 concerts, spread across various stages in the town's medieval square. Shops, market stalls, and other entertainment will also be open, coordinated by the traders and associations of Soriano nel Cimino, the Proloco, and the Commune. Soriano, a town with a rich and ongoing tradition of ancient sacred processions, stages the famous sagra della castagna every Autumn. The opening of the 'Notte in Jazz' will be trusted to the members of the ancient organization responsible for the sagra.

Aside from the townspeople, who volunteer their time and energy, a number of sponsors have lent their financial support to keep every performance at Tuscia in Jazz free. Special thanks to local sponsors Ministero dei Bene Culturali Regione Lazio, Fondazione Carivit, Provincia di Viterbo, and Camera di Commercio e Comunità Montana dei Cimini, and international sponsors MSC Crociere, Warsteiner Beer, and finance organizations like Carivit.

In addition to its nightly recurring events: the trials of the "Jimmy Woode Award," open jam sessions, and performances by Massimo Lattanzi; Tuscia in Jazz will feature:

July 18
Philadelphia Jazz Orchestra
Flavio Boltro and The Tuscia in Jazz New Generation

July 19
Philadelphia Jazz Orchestra

July 20
Bradley Jazz Ensemble

July 26
Tuscia in Jazz All Stars

July 27
Dado Moroni, Flavio Boltro, Giorgio Rosciglione, & Gege Munari

July 28
Ray Mantilla 75th Anniversary

July 29
Kurt Rosenwinkel, Eddy Gomez, & Francisco Mela

July 30
Kenny Barron Trio

July 31
Bobby Watson Night

August 1
Soul Passion - Shawnn Monteiro, Tony Monaco & Amana Melomè

August 2
Open Stage Night

Tuscia image

We hope to see you in Tuscia!

For more information contact:
Don Lucoff / DL Media (e) / 610 667 0501 (p)

Monday, July 20, 2009



"I write the way I write. I play the way I play. There's nothing I can do about it!"

Acclaimed bassist and producer Brian Bromberg has garnered a hard-earned reputation as one of the most versatile and respected players in music, amassing an enviable catalog of straight ahead and contemporary jazz showcasing both upright and electric basses. Confounding the music industry with a string of innovative, eclectic releases since 1985, Bromberg has spent the last decade recording projects driven by very specific sounds and themes - from Wood (acoustic bass) and Metal (electric bass) to other diverse projects celebrating the artistry of fretless bass pioneer Jaco Pastorious (Jaco) and his Grammy®-nominated smooth grooves of Downright Upright.

On his fourth project for the Mack Avenue label imprint Artistry Music, Brian unleashes another wide palette of styles letting the chips fall where they may. It's a decidedly funky 13-track set that features a killer horn section and includes not only evocative original compositions but also two cover songs that are sure to raise some eyebrows: The B-52s' new wave dance classic "Love Shack" and Quincy Jones' instantly recognizable TV-Land nugget "Sanford & Son Theme (The Streetbeater)."

An A-list of musical peers join the fun including George Duke, Patrice Rushen, Jeff Lorber, Randy Brecker, Eric Marienthal, Gerald Albright, Richard Elliot, Rick Braun, Will Kennedy, Dave Weckl, Alex Acuña, Paul Jackson Jr., Dan Siegel and more - all of whom are given ample opportunity to shine.

So what do you call a CD like this? It Is What It Is.

Brian explains, "I've done a lot of acoustic playing lately so I wanted to feature my electric basses more. But I wasn't trying to make a showy, NAMM show demo kind of record for bass players only - that's not me. Within the songs and arrangements, I use my various basses in many ways. Since I play a lot of piccolo bass (which is a bass tuned to the register of a guitar) it allows me to play lead melodies and some rhythm groove parts that are quite a different role than what you would normally play on a bass with standard tuning. That helps me express myself in different ways and not have everything I play sound the same. I want the music to stand on its own in song-oriented ways yet also push the envelope as a bassist. The result is very in your face - unapologetically so - with a very discernible level of integrity."

The music on It is What It Is shakes out - literally and figuratively - as a joyous celebration of the amazing breadth of sounds capable by the bass. On the title track, Brian doubles the melody, harmonizes with himself and grooves his tail off using both 4- and 5-string basses in addition to a tenor bass. Meanwhile on the humorously titled "Excuse Me?," he uses different effects on his hollow body piccolo, tenor, 4-string and upright basses to simulate plucking, burping and other, um, gaseous sounds to funky effect. "Heaven" showcases the warmer, more beautiful sound of the instruments and is one of four numbers with strings arranged by Tom Zink. Brian sets up a lovely duet with himself on fretless bass and nylon string acoustic piccolo bass for a gorgeous Brazilian-lilted backbeat waltz. And on "The Mirror," he cuts back to just a tenor bass for a solo piece that speaks to the listener like a heartfelt soliloquy. Brian stresses that while guitars are present on the disc in rhythmic and textural coloring roles, all melodic leads throughout the album are played on basses - typically piccolo basses with strings tuned to the register of a guitar.

Beyond the bass, the thrilling new element of It Is What It Is is Bromberg's embrace of a burning horn section, exponentially adding to the funk factor in the music. "The horns are my favorite thing about this new CD," he beams. "I do a lot of sessions with (super producer) David Foster with big band artists like Michael Buble' and Renee Olstead. The spirit and energy in the studio on those recordings is so high - the best of everything. I touched on horns in other records, but I really went there this time. I discovered this young guy named Nathan Tanouye. He is the trombone player in a band called Santa Fe, made up of musicians from many of the Las Vegas show bands. They play most Monday nights at the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas. Nathan does lots of the horn arrangements for the band and they're like frickin' Tower of Power! I sat in with them and had so much fun, I asked him to write some charts for me. I sent him my tunes and the parts he sent back kicked ass. His writing is so fresh yet traditional - very creative. I used a 5-piece horn section that I doubled. Then on certain cuts, I had Eric Marienthal add baritone sax, so I have 11 horns on half those cuts and 10 on the other half. It takes the energy up to another level."

On his composition "Mr. Miller," Bromberg gives a tip of the porkpie hat to Marcus Miller, a musician he greatly respects for not only being an outstanding bassist, but as a producer and writer as well. "I feel we have a bit in common in that respect," Brian states, "but he's in a whole 'nother league because he's that rare guy whose production and writing are never overshadowed by his bass playing. Whatever he lends his attention to is done exquisitely well. I didn't start out to write a song in tribute to Marcus, though. I initially wrote the melody on piccolo bass, but when I played that same melody on my 4-string, it reminded me of Marcus in the way it just sounded so cool. I feel we live by a similar credo: person first, musician second, bass player third."

Though Brian's mastery and attention to detail found him creating some truly vivid originals this time around - from "Elephants On Ice Skates" to "Martinis At The Velvet Lounge" - he truly outdoes himself on the cover songs. He believes The B-52s' "Love Shack" to be a quintessential marriage of Motown groove and Stax brass. "One thing I learned playing jazz festivals is that fans of straight ahead jazz sit, listen and watch. I think that's been one of the downfalls of traditional jazz - a music I love. They're so serious that they've stripped some of the mojo from the music. When you play the more funky side of jazz, people are movin'-n-groovin' to the music. It taught me I can play to the best of my ability, be entertaining and get people moving to the music! "Love Shack" is a party song with more musical credibility than some are willing to give it. I can't wait to see the looks on people's faces when half way through the song they realize that we are playing "Love Shack" and they can't sit still!"

"Sanford & Son Theme" holds a more personal appeal for Brian. "That was one of my favorite shows growing up," he shares. "There was something about Redd Foxx as 'Fred Sanford' that reminded me so much of my dad. They both wore suspenders and were so funny! This is the one song I play solely on upright bass, but it grooves in the vein of my previous CD, (the Grammy nominated) Downright Upright. I think this has the most potential to be played on straight ahead jazz radio. It's a fun song, but righteously penned by Quincy Jones, who I had the pleasure of working with one time recording music for one of his historical libraries. Everybody respects 'Q!'"

Respect is no stranger to Bromberg. Born in Tucson, Arizona in 1960, he initially followed his father and older brother in playing the drums. After struggling with cello in elementary and junior high school, Brian switched to bass at the behest of a teacher and took to it immediately. From age 14-18, he 'shredded' relentlessly on the instrument becoming proficient enough to land gigs 5 to 7 nights a week. At 18, he got his first major gig as a member of tenor sax legend Stan Getz's band and since then has played acoustic and electric bass with hundreds of artists ranging from Horace Silver, Carmen McRae and Eddie Harris to Lee Ritenour, Nancy Wilson, Teena Marie and Dudley Moore.

Brian has recorded 16 previous albums, hitting a home run in 1998 with the chart-topping You Know That Feeling, which netted three singles that all peaked at #3 on the contemporary jazz charts. In addition to the aforementioned thematic projects at the top of this bio, Brian also recorded the acclaimed straight ahead CD, It's About Time: The Acoustic Project, which featured Ernie Watts and the late, great Freddie Hubbard. All in all, he has had 8 Top 10 hits (including co-composing and producing the Rippingtons' sax player Jeff Kashiwa's chart topping "Hyde Park" and two other tracks that reached #1. A much sought-after bass instructor and mentor, Bromberg has also designed instruments as well. "I try to put as much integrity as I can into anything I do," he states.

Summing up It Is What It Is, Brian philosophizes, "I never do anything twice. I wouldn't have it any other way musically or humanly, but professionally it creates a challenge for an audience when you're such a chameleon. But that's who I am. I'm a very simple writer who comes up with songs that are easy to remember and sing along to. It's really easy to play lots of crazy things on more simple and basic tunes, but I usually try to take the more melodic approach and tell a story. On this album, when you hear me play my various basses in the different roles that I use them, I can sound like two or three different musicians playing on the same song. I act and react on each song and instrument a little differently. As a player, that's a wonderful feeling. I hope the listener eventually gets what I'm doing and appreciates it as a breath of fresh air. I also hope they recognize the hard work and integrity within these songs for what they are? Because, It Is What It Is!"


September 9 and10
Yoshi's Oakland
Oakland, CA

September 11 and 12
The Triple Door
Seattle, WA

September 18 through 20
Catalina's Jazz Club
Los Angeles, CA

Click to listen to an Exclusive Streaming Track from It Is What It Is

Brian Bromberg · It Is What It Is (ART 7019)

Worldwide Street Date: August 25, 2009

For more information please contact:

Don Lucoff / DL Media:


Concord Music Group To Release "Miles Davis & Sonny RollinsThe Classic Prestige Sessions, 1951-1956" on August 4

miles and rollins

Concord Music Group Presents
A Two-Disc Set of Early Prestige Sessions

Miles Davis & Sonny Rollins:
The Classic Prestige Sessions, 1951-1956

25 Tracks From the 1950s
Spotlight the Genius of Two Jazz Icons
Set for August 4 Release

By the late 1950s, trumpeter Miles Davis and saxophonist Sonny Rollins had already established themselves as two of the most influential jazz musicians of their generation. Five decades later, their iconic status is undisputed - not just in jazz, but in the performing arts in general.

The first glimmers of their greatness were already evident in the early 1950s, during a series of intermittent sessions they recorded together for the Prestige label between 1951 and 1956. During this relatively brief but seminal period, they assimilated the fundamental elements of bebop - the prevailing jazz language of the day - and developed distinctive voices that launched brilliant individual careers and ultimately reverberated throughout jazz for the next half century and beyond.

Concord Music Group has assembled these Prestige sessions in their entirety - 25 tracks in all - on a two-disc set that showcases the early genius of these two iconic figures. Miles Davis & Sonny Rollins: The Classic Prestige Sessions, 1951-1956, is set for release on August 4, 2009.

"Miles Davis and Sonny Rollins proved to be two of the most influential artists in the history of jazz, and here we hear them together early in their respective careers, while both artists were quickly developing their distinctive individual voices," says Nick Phillips, Vice President of Jazz and Catalog A&R at Concord and producer of the compilation. "It's interesting to hear these recordings more than fifty years after they were made - to hear that budding genius while also knowing what these two artists went on to do separately later, and knowing the indelible impact they both ultimately made in the history of jazz. So aside from being a collection of great music, it's also a really important historical document. In one two-CD collection, we can hear everything that these two iconic artists did together on Prestige, at the genesis of their extraordinary careers."

The Classic Prestige Sessions traces five recording dates in various locations in New York and the famed Rudy Van Gelder studio in New Jersey between January 1951 and March 1956. In addition to Davis and Rollins, the sessions also feature performances by Art Blakey, Tommy Flanagan, Roy Haynes, Charlie Parker, Horace Silver and several other talented session players who went on to establish prolific and influential careers of their own in subsequent years.

The compilation also includes extensive liner notes by veteran jazz historian and journalist Ira Gitler, a staffer at Prestige at the time of the historic sessions. Gitler's notes provide a first-hand account of the sessions and the various circumstances surrounding them, with fascinating details about Miles, Rollins and the various other figures in the studio during the recording process. Through Gitler, we're given a unique glimpse of not only the technical aspects of the music and the production, but also the musicians' personalities, their artistic perspectives, their individual aspirations, even their subtle mood swings and idiosyncrasies.

"In the early 1950s, [Miles Davis and Sonny Rollins] developed a friendship and working relationship that produced some of the best and most important jazz of that decade," says Gitler, "and were then propelled, each in his separate orbit, to musical triumphs in the '60s and beyond."

Miles Davis & Sonny Rollins:
The Classic Prestige Sessions, 1951-1956



1) Morpheus
2) Down
3) Blue Room (take 1)
4) Blue Room (take 2)
5) Whispering
6) I Know
7) Conception
8) Out of the Blue
9) Denial
10) Bluing
11) Dig
12) My Old Flame
13) It's Only a Paper Moon

1) Compulsion
2) The Serpent's Tooth (take 1)
3) The Serpent's Tooth (take 2)
4) 'Round Midnight
5) Airegin
6) Oleo
7) But Not for Me (take 1)
8) But Not for Me (take 2)
9) Doxy
10) In Your Own Sweet Way
11) No Line
12) Vierd Blues

For more information on Miles Davis & Sonny Rollins: The Classic Prestige Sessions, 1951-1956, please contact:

Don Lucoff/ DL Media 610.667.0501

# # #

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Guitarist Clay Ross Celebrates His New Release "Matuto" at Joe's Pub on August 25

Guitarist, Vocalist, and Composer Clay Ross

Celebrates the Release of His Forthcoming Album
With an Evening of Brazilian Carnival Meets Appalachia
at Joe's Pub on August 25

"Clay Ross thinks like a poet, writes like a novelist, and plays the guitar like a master." - Jambase

Matuto (ma-two-toe) is Brazilian slang for country bumpkin. Imagine the sound of a Brazilian Carnaval in the Appalachian Mountains. A sound where exotic percussion instruments rumble beneath blues drenched vocals, Telecaster twangs, and folksy fiddle tunes. Now, imagine these sounds in the hands of some of NYC's finest young improvisers as they light up club and festival stages world wide.

On his Ropeadope debut, Matuto, Clay Ross offers us a peek into his diverse and dynamic musical world. Composer, singer-songwriter, and producer, this South Carolina native has become an in-demand guitarist on the NYC jazz, world, and roots music scenes. In the last four years, Ross has submerged himself in Brazilian music as a member of Cyro Baptista's world-renowned percussion ensemble "Beat the Donkey." He has completed four international tours as a U.S. Jazz Ambassador and currently performs at bluegrass festivals across North America with rising folk star April Verch.

Through the unorthodox blend of Brazilian percussion and American bluegrass, Ross has created an organic, animated sound all his own. The album features master percussionists Cyro Baptista (Paul Simon, Sting) and Ze Mauricio (YoYo Ma, Choro Ensemble), drummer Richie Barshay (Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea) and accordionist Rob Curto (Lila Downs, David Krakauer.) Mixed by Tony Maimone at Studio G, Mastered by Scott Hull. With Clay Ross - Guitars, Vocals, and Cavaquinho, Rob Hecht - Fiddle, Edward Perez - Bass, Tim Keiper - Drums, Scott Kettner - Percussion, Eduardo Guedes - Percussion, Olivier Manchon - Violins, Viola, and Vio-cello, Merideth Hite - Oboes and English Horns.

with special guest ROB CURTO

Clay Ross: guitar and voice
Rob Curto: accordion
Rob Hecht: fiddle
Itai Kriss: flute
Edward Perez: bass
Richie Barshay: drums
Tim Keiper: drums
Ze Mauricio: percussion
Scott Kettner: percussion

425 Lafayette Street, New York, NY
Tickets $12 at 212-967-7555 (between 10am-9pm)
Tickets and dinner reservations at 212-539-8778 (11am-5pm).
Visit Joe's Pub online for more info at

"Clay Ross demonstrated that not all Americans who have the will to be Brazilian are boring.
His sound mixes the old west and the sertão in a stylized way, but it's all so much fun that it doesn't sound artificial."
- Recife Rock (Rec Beat Festival in Recife, Brazil)

"Clay has a passionate, unique, and personal voice that awakens feelings in audiences."
- Jazz Review

Clay Ross- Matuto
Ropeadope Records- Release date: August 25, 2009

For media information contact:
Brad Riesau at DL MEDIA WEST (p) 909-744-0704 (e)
Don Lucoff at DL MEDIA (p) 610-667-0501 (e)


Christian McBride + Inside Straight "Kind Of Brown" - Available Today

Kind Of Brown cover



"[Inside Straight]favors an in-the-tradition acoustic vibe and an attractive melange of blues forms, hummable originals stocked with meaty harmonies and sturdy improvisations that stick to the point." - Detroit Free Press

"McBride's quintet dubbed Inside of the more melodically tuneful and harmonically focused contemporary ensembles combining past tradition with a fresh
new approach to this potent style of jazz."
- All Music Guide

During the 2008 Detroit International Jazz Festival, the city-based Mack Avenue Records announced that Christian McBride, one of the most prominent jazz artists of his generation, had signed onto the label. Today, Mack Avenue releases Kind Of Brown, the 37-year-old bassist / bandleader / educator / artistic director / Grammy® Award winner's remarkable debut, a 10-track album featuring his new acoustic jazz quintet Inside Straight, comprised of old friends, pianist Eric Reed, alto saxophonist Steve Wilson and drummer Carl Allen, as well as newcomer vibraphonist Warren Wolf, one of McBride's former students.

Produced by McBride, Kind Of Brown is a collection of hard swing-to-bluesy groove tunes that the leader says he put together to give the members of his new ensemble "something to sink their teeth into." He adds, "I wanted to present solid melodies with some decent chord changes that could be good vehicles for the guys to blow on."

Formed in June 2007, the quintet made its debut at the Village Vanguard in New York, marking the first time in 10 years that McBride appeared there as a leader. "For the occasion I wanted to put together a special group," he says. "I had no intention of forming a future working band, but during that week people raved about the show and kept telling me that the group had to be documented."

While various labels courted the quintet, McBride decided to hook up with Mack Avenue. "I was not interested in signing an old, classic recording contract," he said. "But Mack Avenue made it clear that it was not only excited about me joining its family of artists, but also wanted to give me the freedom to be creative, which would be beneficial to both parties."

Recorded in September 2008 at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, Calif., Kind Of Brown stands as McBride's first album as a leader since his 3-CD Live at Tonic outing for Ropeadope Records in 2006 and his first studio recording since 2003's Sci-Fi for Verve Records.

However, McBride has been anything but idle during this period. He's been active as a sideman, most recently touring with the Chick Corea / John McLaughlin Five Peace Band project (also featuring label mate Kenny Garrett and drummer Vinnie Colaiuta). He's not only developed into a top-tier solo artist who is equally adept on acoustic and electric bass, but he's also been the go-to bassist, with support duties ranging from Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea to Diana Krall and Sting.

In addition, he has been at the forefront of jazz education, including serving as an artist in residence at festivals (2008 Detroit International Jazz Festival and the Monterey Jazz Festival); artistic director at various arts centers and museums (including co-director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem and the creative jazz chair for the Los Angeles Philharmonic); and as artistic director of the JAS Band Academy (Jazz Aspen Snowmass, Band Edition).

Kind Of Brown
opens with "Brother Mister," which McBride says is the perfect opening tune for a gig or a record. "The chordal sequence is a basic 12-bar blues," he says. "I started playing a version of the song with my quartet when we'd have a guest play with us, but it never had a melody. So, for this recording, I put a melody over the chord changes, changed keys from F to E and it came out nice."

McBride and Inside Straight deliver a buoyant, exciting take on the Freddie Hubbard number, "Theme for Kareem." "I always had a soft spot for Freddie," McBride says of the late, legendary trumpeter. "Carl was instrumental in me getting to play with Freddie when I first moved to New York. Carl was kind of like my sponsor. He recommended me to Freddie, who initially felt that an 18-year-old player wasn't ready for the big time. But he took a chance with me, and it was a great thrill to play with him. I wanted to record at least one Freddie song on Kind Of Brown. I decided to do 'Theme for Kareem.' It has a lot of meat on it, and it's hard because the chord changes go by real quick. It's a tricky song by a great composer."

On "Used 'Ta Could," play is the operative word. It opens with a funky acoustic bass line and has an oozing blues-gospel feel throughout. "I wanted to make the guys laugh when they were playing this," says McBride. "This song is silly, but fun silly." The whimsical "Shade of the Cedar Tree" is a new version of the tune from McBride's first album, 1995's Gettin' To It on Verve. A tune that, according to vibraphonist Stefon Harris, "is clearly on its way to becoming a standard."

Another McBride original, "Uncle James," is a tribute to the late pianist James Williams. "This song exemplifies what James was all about," McBride says. "Young jazz artists have all been taught that we have to write something challenging to be modern, that to be different you have to come up with something new. But James never believed that. He wasn't out to reinvent the wheel each time he wrote a song. He was all about fine melodies and chord changes. He wrote songs that were pretty. He wrote a song titled 'Arioso.' I used the last four bars of his melody in this tune as my tribute to James."

Kind Of Brown closes with a piano-bass duo on the standard "Where Are You?" It was a tune that McBride's bass mentor Ray Brown taught him from a Jazz at the Philharmonic concert with Ben Webster. "I'm always on a quest to find songs that are obscure standards," he says. "This has a gorgeous melody that's nice and simple. It's a great song for a duo. I love duets. Eric already knew this song, so it was a perfect fit."

Kind Of Brown is one of many projects that McBride has set into motion for 2009, which marks his 20-year anniversary since his arrival on the international jazz scene. Other endeavors include the innovative "Conversations With Christian" interview-duet performance series available as digital downloads culminating into a full 20 song album. McBride and Inside Straight will be on the road throughout the year performing songs from Kind Of Brown.

Christian McBride and Inside Straight · Kind Of Brown (MAC 1047)
Release Date: June 16, 2009

For media information, please contact:
DL Media · 610-667-0501
Don Lucoff ·
Steph Brown ·