GRAMMY® AWARD-WINNING BASSIST-COMPOSER
TO LAUNCH NEW SHOW ON SIRIUS XM REAL JAZZ CHANNEL APRIL 3
THE LOWDOWN: CONVERSATIONS WITH CHRISTIAN
SIRIUS XM's Real Jazz channel, SIRIUS channel 72 and XM channel 70, will launch a new show hosted by Grammy® Award-winning bassist-composer and Mack Avenue recording artist Christian McBride. The Lowdown: Conversations with Christian, which will premiere on Saturday, April 3 at 1 pm ET as part of SIRIUS XM's celebration of Jazz Appreciation Month, will be recorded in front of a live audience at various jazz clubs across the country and will feature onstage dialogues and musical duets between McBride and his special guest artists. The first episode, featuring legendary jazz pianist Chick Corea, was recorded at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola.
About The Lowdown: Conversations with Christian, McBride states: "I'm not only excited about being able to expose other facets of my personality, but also exposing different facets of the many diverse guests who will appear on the SIRIUS XM show. Imagine hearing Chick Corea talk about football and to hear Angelique Kidjo imitating a New York cab driver. I mean, this show's special - if I must say so myself."
Other guests will include Roy Hargrove, Lou Donaldson, Bill Charlap and Angelique Kidjo. The concept for the program derived from a digital downloads duets and conversations project that McBride released on Mack Avenue (available on iTunes) called "Conversations With Christian." The Lowdown: Conversations with Christian will air every Saturday at 1 pm ET on SIRIUS XM's Real Jazz.
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Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Pianist Bruce Barth and Saxophonist Steve Wilson Set To Release Home on April 27 In Collaboration With "We Always Swing" Jazz Series
The release is the second and the first in four years for the non-profit organization, which is celebrating its 15th Anniversary season. Home is a collaboration between the Jazz Series, which serves as executive producer, and the two acclaimed artists who serve as associate producers. "Throughout this celebratory season we have tried to offer some different and special programming," notes Jon Poses, who founded the Jazz Series in 1995 and has served as its executive director since 1999 when it became a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. "We wanted to start the 2009/2010 season with something exceptional. And we did - Bruce and Steve as a duo. It had been five years since our last House Concert - and it was time to visit the concept again. We're very fortunate that one of our board members has not only a good-sized, warm and comfortable house with a perfect living room, but also owns a fabulous Steinway piano."
Seven selections from the concert, including four Barth originals written specifically for the occasion, were sequenced for the release. In addition to the Barth originals, Home includes Cole Porter's "All Through The Night," taken from the hit show Anything Goes; an up-to-the-minute reading of "Sweet & Lovely," a standard; and a spectacular interpretation of Bud Powell's "Wail." Wilson plays mostly alto saxophone but also contributes stellar soprano saxophone on the date.
Poses, who himself has written more than 100 sets of liner notes, called upon Bob Blumenthal to annotate Home. "Bob's about as good as it gets," said Poses. "We're honored to have him participate. I felt the quality of the music and the project - and the nature of the occasion - called for someone of his stature." Poses complemented Blumenthal's notes with a personalized descriptive piece. "I wanted Bob to talk with Bruce and Steve about the music they presented; what I tried to do is place the 'We Always Swing' Jazz Series as a whole, and this concert as a specific event, into some sort of context of what we attempt do organizationally."
As for Barth and Wilson, both landed in New York within a year of each other in the late 1980s. They met shortly thereafter and have worked together - as members of others' and each other's bands - often since then. However, as frequently as they have shared the stage - and the studio - during the course of the past two decades-plus they realized they had never recorded as a duo.
"I like Steve's earthy, funky, soulful approach, which at the same time is very sophisticated melodically and harmonically," Barth (pictured at right; photo credit: Janis Wilkins) said to Blumenthal during their interview, offering an explanation of the musicians'
mutual attraction. "He will always surprise you, and his improvisations are fantastic, but even in playing a melody he finds a way to put his stamp on it while still being true to the spirit of the original. I can identify him in three seconds when I hear him on the radio, whether on soprano or alto."
Wilson (pictured left; photo credit: John Abbott) offered a complementary take in Blumenthal's notes. "It's like tightrope walking without a net. There's that empty space, and the temptation to fill it all up keeps you honest. It forces me to be patient and listen even more closely I talk to my students about our `internal rhythm sections' and having a drummer's mentality I'm a frustrated drummer. Particularly with Bruce, his innate sense of time is there but is also unique; we canbreathe together. It's a beautiful balance, keeping that internal drummer yet not worrying about when it slows down or speeds up."
Both Barth and Wilson have made previous Jazz Series appearances; Barth has appeared twice as a member of trumpeter Terell Stafford's group as well as a member of Wilson's quartet; Wilson has appeared in Columbia previously as a member of Chick Corea's Origin, the late pianist James Williams' Intensive Care Unit and, most recently aside from this performance, as a member of the all-star aggregation that went out as the Blue Note 7.
Barth and Wilson are set to return to Columbia on April 25 for a special performance and CD Release Party at Murry's Restaurant & Bar, a venue that has presented national jazz artists since opening in 1985. "Bruce's and Steve's 'reprise' in Columbia kind of serves as the other 'bookend' to our 15th Anniversary Season," noted Poses. "They got things started last summer. Since then we have hosted some 20 events - great concerts, educational activities, a film series...now we have the opportunity to have Bruce and Steve neatly wrap and gently close the door on the 2009/2010 season. It's particularly gratifying to have them appear at Murry's, which has been one of our really important venues since our inception. It's also a place where both Bruce and Steve have performed previously on numerous occasions. It should be fun," concluded Poses.
Home will be distributed nationally through the Jazz Series and its web site -wealwaysswing.org - as well as through both Barth's and Wilson's respective web sites (brucebarth.com; stevewilsonmusic.com). Additionally the project will be available through CD Baby. Plans are in the works to make available digital downloads of a select number of tunes as well as the CD in its entirety.
The "We Always Swing" Jazz Series, founded in 1995, is an all-jazz, community-based concert producing and educational organization located in Columbia, MO. A 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation whose mission is to "present, promote, preserve AND celebrate the great American art form known as "Jazz." The Jazz Series, administered by "We Always Swing," Inc., is an affiliated program of the University of Missouri's College of Arts & Science. The organization receives funding via ticket revenue; national, state and local grants and contracts for services; sponsorships from area businesses; advertisement-based revenue; in-house merchandise; and from individuals' generous tax-deductible contributions.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Celebrates 20 Year Career With Eight New Releases
Gunther Schuller, composer, conductor, jazz historian
"One of the most distinctive and imposing tenor sax voices to come along in years."
"...a sound as passionately effusive as Ivo Perelman's is at once
original, uncommon, and undeniable."
All About Jazz
The 20th year of saxophonist Ivo Perelman's prodigious career arrives with the Brazilian Brooklyn-ite at peak creativity and on the verge of exciting breakthroughs, including his debut as a pianist. A heroically expressive improviser - who revels in the lyricism of the moment with his explosive visual art no less than in his vibrantly free, emotively rooted music - Perelman embarks on his third professional decade by releasing eight albums of his unmistakable sound supported by an international array of similarly impassioned improvisers, and by organizing two new all-star ensembles for U.S. performances and European tour.
Perelman's New Beginnings and Nowhere To Hide, both intimate duos between Perelman and his longtime bassist Dominic Duval from Cadence Jazz Records and NotTwo, respectively - and also Mind Games (Leo Records) in which the two are joined by drummerBrian Wilson - were released in late 2009. Due in March are Near to the Wild Heart (Not Two) with Duval and violinist Rosie Hertlein, Soulstorm (Clean Feed), a two-CD set with New York cellist Daniel Levin and Swedish bassist Johannes Zetterberg, and The Complete Ibeji Sessions, the two-CD set that restores in complete form the studio encounters Perelman had with brothers Lelo (keyboards) and José Eduardo Nazario (percussion) in 1994 and '95 during visits to his native Sao Paulo. His duo CD with Brian Wilson, The Stream of Life (Leo Records), and one with acclaimed drummer Gerry Hemingway, The Apple in the Dark (Leo Records) -- on which Ivo plays piano on record for the first time -- are also forthcoming.
Perelman will perform with Levin and Zetterberg at the Clean Feed Festival in New York in May 2010. Perelman's black-on-white paintings, similar to the artwork seen splashed across the covers of New Beginnings, Nowhere to Hide and Mindgames, will be on exhibit in December at Causey Contemporary Gallery (Brooklyn), having been in gallery shows and museum exhibitions in China, Holland, Chile, the Czech Republic, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Italy, Austria, Belgium and Dubai, as well as across the U.S.
It was 1989 when Ivo, his debut album, was produced and issued on famed bassist Buell Neidlinger's K2B2 label, introducing the then-28-year-old prodigy in the company of his compatriots Eliane Elias, Flora Purim and Airto Moriera plus Los Angeles-based aces Don Preston, bassist John Patitucci and drummer Peter Erskine. Over the course of the '90s and '00s, Perelman has recorded almost three dozen more albums with a rotating cast of devoted collaborators from jazz's exploratory edge.
Son of Polish-Jewish emigres to Brazil - his mother was a classical piano teacher - Ivo as a youth studied classical guitar and played trad jazz and bossa nova on cello, clarinet, trombone and piano, which he mostly taught himself. But he was smitten with the tenor saxophone upon first touching one at age 19, and fell under the influence of Albert Ayler's 1965 free jazz classic Spirits Rejoice. He listened broadly - to Bartok and Brazilian folk music as well as to John Coltrane, Stan Getz, Hank Mobley and Argentine Gato Barbieri while attending architecture school for a year in the late '70s. Then Perelman came to the U.S. to attend Boston's Berklee College of Music (from 1981 to '83), and the Dick Grove School of Music in Los Angeles ('84 to '87), where he attracted the notice of Neidlinger and West Coast tenor saxophonist Marty Krystal, who became his mentors.
Perelman moved to New York in 1990 to catch the high tide of downtown improvised music rising in such venues as the Knitting Factory and first Vision Festivals. Immersed in that scene, he recorded with Rashied Ali, who had been Coltrane's drummer, with bassist William Parker, pianists Geri Allen, Borah Bergman, Marilyn Crispell and Mathew Shipp, Brazilian percussionists Cyro Baptista and Guilherme Franco, Dominic Duval's CT String Quartet, and many more.
"I like to put myself in different situations to be challenged and explore the interactive possibilities," Perelman says. "Different groups trigger different responses." He's become especially fond of "what strings and sax can do together. Anything on saxophone sounds wonderful with strings." However, his solo album Blue Monk is also prized for its reflective quality, and Children of Ibeji stands out for how Perelman's bandmates - Don Pullen, Fred Hopkins and Andrew Cyrille - matched his ecstatic intermingling of African chants with Bahian folkloric motifs.
Such variety marks Perelman's current releases. Exuberant Brazilian rhythms propel the Ibeji sessions (originally released as Soccer Land and Tapeba Songs). Near to the Wild Heart is chamber music, no less serious or complicated for being mostly improvised rather than pre-composed. Soulstorm, recorded in concert, finds Perelman at his most Ayleresque.
Perelman's command of timbre, extended techniques, extreme ranges and "pre-hearing" what he plays has inspired what he calls his "crazy project," the co-design and construction with a Brazilian craftsman of some 30 keyless saxophones, ranging from tenor to sub bass (a full octave below the rare standing bass saxophone). These instruments have become central to his practice routine, challenging him to further develop his breath, sound and harmonics control, skills he carries over to his tenor playing. So far Perelman has not blown these instruments in public, but his articulation and pitch spread on them is extraordinary. As a visual artist, he's proud that they "look cool." Entering his third decade of artistic innovation, Ivo Perelman considers the keyless sax -- as well as the 88-key piano -- his next challenges and newest frontiers.
The Apple in the Dark (Leo Records), 2010
Near to the Wild Heart (Not Two), 2010
Soulstorm (Clean Feed), 2010
The Stream of Life (Leo Records), 2010
Mind Games (Leo Records), 2009
Nowhere to Hide (Not Two), 2009
New Beginnings (Cadence), 2009
The Complete Ibeji Sessions (Editio Princeps), 2008
Soul Calling (Cadence), 2006
Introspection (Leo Records), 2006
Black On White (Clean Feed), 2004
Suite for Helen F. (Boxholder), 2003
The Ventriloquist (Leo Records), 2002
Seven Energies of the Universe (Leo Records), 2001
The Eye Listens (Boxholder), 2000
The Hammer (Leo Records), 2000
Sieiro (Leo Records), 2000
Brazilian Watercolor (Leo Records), 1999
The Alexander Suite (Leo Records), 1998
Seeds (Vision and Counterpoint / Leo Records), 1998
Bendito of Santa Cruz (Cadence), 1998
Strings (Leo Records), 1997
Live (Zero In Records), 1997
En Adir (Music and Arts of America), 1997
Geometry (Leo Records), 1997
Revelation (CIMP), 1997
Sound Hierarchy (Music and Arts of America), 1997
Slaves of Job (CIMP), 1997
Sad Life (Leo Records), 1996
Blue Monk Variation (Cadence), 1996
Cama da Terra (Homestead Records), 1996
Tapeba Songs (Ibeji Records), 1996
Man of the Forest (GM Records), 1994
Soccer Land (Ibeji Records), 1994
Children of Ibeji (Enja), 1992
Ivo Perelman: Live in New York ( VAI - Video Release), 1991
Ivo (ITM Records), 1989
Resonance Records To Release Swedish Guitarist Andreas Öberg's "Six String Evolution" With John Patitucci, Lewis Nash, Dave Kikoski & Darmon Meader
Andreas Öberg is quickly becoming one of the most admired jazz guitar players on the planet, and Six String Evolution, his second CD for Resonance Records, represents yet another remarkable step in his international ascendance.
Don Heckman, writing in the Los Angeles Times, has noted that "Öberg has mastered everything from bebop and swing to bossa nova, Gypsy jazz and fusion, enhanced with youthful, rock-driven vigor. His playing is at times an astonishing display of virtuosity."
Born in Stockholm, Sweden, on August 6, 1978, Öberg sees himself as "a young player with one foot in the tradition and one foot on new grounds." Throughout Six String Evolution, he applies his breathtaking technical facilities and consistently inventive melodic and harmonic sensibilities with consummate taste to a stylistically diverse set of songs. The 11 tunes range from the straight-ahead F-sharp minor blues "Madame Grenouille," written by pianist Geoff Keezer, to the Brazilian jazz of "Meu Bom Velho (My Dear Sir)" and "Amar a Marie (To Love Maria)," the Eastern European-flavored "Archibald's Dance," exquisitely lyrical readings of the Frankie Laine-Carl Fischer composition "We'll Be Together Again" and his own haunting "Dawn Ballad," and fresh treatments of Stevie Wonder's "From the Bottom of My Heart," Geno Vanelli's "Brother to Brother," Michael Sembello's "Maniac" and the funky Les McCann-Eddie Harris classic "Compared to What. " Öberg plays both electric and acoustic guitars and also shows off his scat singing on Poncho Sanchez's Latin jazz tune "Papa Gato."
Produced by George Klabin and Joe Donofrio, Six String Evolution presents the Swedish guitarist in the company of heavyweight players from around the globe. They include pianist Dave Kikoski, bassist John Patitucci, drummer Lewis Nash, singer-saxophonist Darmon Meader, vocalist Filo Machado, bassist Decebal Badila, cymbalom player Marius Preda and vibraharpist John Beasley. Beasley and Bill Cunliffe contributed arrangements to many selections.
Öberg was drawn to music at an early age and took up guitar at eight because, he says, "It was the most interesting instrument to me visually." He made his initial mark, not in music, but as a teenage tennis champion, becoming the top junior player in Sweden. However, when he was about to turn 18 and graduate into the senior player category, he decided to focus instead on guitar playing and was soon performing with some of his country's top jazz musicians.
"I got bored after many years of playing tennis tournaments," he explains. "Music was more exciting to me."
Öberg was initially attracted to the fusion styles of guitarists Lee Ritenour, Robben Ford, Scott Henderson, Mike Stern and Frank Gambale. At 16, while attending a music high school in Stockholm, he developed a liking for such players as George Benson, Wes Montgomery, Pat Martino, Joe Pass, Pat Metheny and John Scofield. Other favorites include Django Reinhardt, Bireli Lagrene and Toninho Horta, although Benson remains Öberg's main man on guitar.
He further expanded his musical knowledge at Stockholm's Royal Music Academy, from which he graduated. During his four years of study there, he learned such skills as writing big-band arrangements and conducting orchestras, all while playing gigs most evenings.
Öberg has performed over the years with some of the world's great guitar players: Ligrene, Howard Alden, Jimmy Bruno, Larry Coryell, Angelo Debarre, Bruce Forman, John Pisano, Bucky and John Pizzarellli, Stochelo and Jimmy Rosenberg, Dorado Schmitt, Martin Taylor, Frank Vignola and fellow Swede Ulf Wakenius, among them. He also has played with harmonica great Toots Thielemans, organist Joey DeFrancesco, pianist Hank Jones, violinist Florin Niculescu, accordionist Richard Galliano, turntablist DJ Qbert, vocalist Mark Murphy, operatic soprano Barbara Hendricks and numerous others. With his own groups, the guitarist is often joined by pianist Marian Petrescu and drummer Robert Ikiz.
One of the highlights of Öberg's frequent visits to the United States was in June 2005 when he joined Les Paul at the Iridium Jazz Club in New York City during a celebration of the guitar legend's 90th birthday. "It was awesome to meet the godfather of the electric guitar," Öberg reflects. "He was very kind and fun to share the stage with."
In 2005, to meet demand by his rapidly growing legion of guitar-playing admirers, Öberg wrote Gypsy Fire, a 60-page instructional book with accompanying CD. He has made two instructional CD-ROMs -- Jazz Combustion in 2008 and, with Frank Vignola, Duets in 2009 -- and also in 2009 launched the Andreas Öberg Guitar Universe (AGU), an online teaching site open to guitarists at all levels of proficiency.
"Students can study any of the 125 lessons currently on the site, then upload their practice video for me to review," Öberg explains. "It doesn't matter when I am -- on the road or home in Sweden -- the video technology keeps me in touch with my students."
After making three CDs and one DVD in Sweden between 2004 and 2006, Öberg signed with Los Angeles-based Resonance Records and recorded 2008's My Favorite Guitars. The following year he played on the company's Grammy Award-winning Resonance Big Band Pays Tribute to Oscar Peterson CD. And now, with Six String Evolution, he serves up stunning takes on the past, present and future of jazz guitar.
Resonance Records RCD-1015 / May 11, 2010
a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Resonance Records To Release Romanian Piano Virtuoso Marian Petrescu's "Live at the Jazz Standard" On May 11
Featuring a buoyant blend of standards culled from the Jazz and Great American songbooks, the album brims with a kinetic combination of swagger and smarts. It grooves like nobody's business, while simultaneously showcasing Petrescu's deft musical command. It truly is a jazz album for the new millennium.
Born into a large musical family in Bucharest, Romania in 1970, Petrescu started his musical studies at the age of four. He studied at classical and jazz conservatories in Romania and Sweden, eventually enrolling at the prestigious Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland. This cunning combination of conservatory training and jazz-inspired abandon is what gives Live at the Jazz Standard its fervent musical flair. Petrescu imbues each of the album's seven tracks with both reverence and renegade. On the set opener "Cakewalk," Petrescu sets fire to the piano keys, channeling the legendary Canadian pianist Oscar Peterson's ground shaking groove. Other standout album cuts include a velvet-tinged take on the Rodgers and Hart classic "My Romance," followed by a pitch-perfect reading of the Bill Evans and Miles Davis standard "Blue In Green." On these tracks, Petrescu pays heartfelt homage to another of his musical mentors, the seminal pianist Bill Evans. "Bill Evans was the one pianist that truly made me understand how to navigate the language of jazz piano," he says. Petrescu poignantly captures Evans' mercurial musical personality, demonstrating both a reckless sense of swing and a hushed, lyrical romanticism. Petrescu proves he is truly at home across the musical and dynamic divide.
Petrescu shifts gears on the Peterson-penned "Blues Etude," then digs even deeper on a riveting romp through Ferde Grofé's "On The Trail," where he showers listeners with a seemingly endless torrent of notes in all directions. He closes the set out with an aural one-two punch - a celebration of ensemble interplay on the bluesy "Yours Is My Heart Alone," followed by a dazzling, 'no-holds barred' solo reading of "Indiana," where he combines church pew grace with two-handed tenacity, putting to rest any possible doubts as to his eventual place in the jazz piano pantheon.
Produced by Resonance Records founder and President George Klabin, Live at The Jazz Standard skillfully marries the electric excitement of live performance, with the fine-tuned finesse usually reserved only for the recording studio. It's a virtual front row seat to hear Petrescu's pianistic prowess, backed by the elastic accompaniment of guitarist, (and fellow label mate) Andreas Öberg, bassist David Finck and drummer Mark McLean. The album was recorded by Aaron Nevezie at New York's famed Jazz Standard, and mixed by producer Klabin himself.
Marian Petrescu made his Resonance Records debut on the Grammy Award-winning 2009 CDResonance Big Band Pays Tribute to Oscar Peterson. "When I was eight years-old, I heard Oscar Peterson on TV," Petrescu says. "I was so impressed, and at once I knew: This is what I want. This is what I will try to do. And I had to try very hard, because Oscar had that unbelievable musical level. It was not only his incredible technique, but the way he thought and handled this beautiful instrument." It's obvious from Petrescu's impassioned playing on both that album, and his latest release, that the late jazz piano giant made an indelible impression on him. Peterson's spirited swing is very much an integral part of Peterescu's playing.
A firm believer in the power of music education, Petrescu is also a renowned educator himself, teaching both classical and jazz to students at his own music school in Finland. "All classical work is good for jazz musicians," Petrescu says. "I teach my students classical and jazz, and see very big possibilities for them to be great players one day." This dynamic duality of education and performance experience sets Petrescu's piano work apart. His skills are boundless, as is his continued quest for musical excellence. Petrescu's improvised lines ring-out with a pinpoint sense of precision, so much so that famed French pianist and mentor Martial Solal calls Petrescu "the Horowitz of Jazz Piano." The comparison is not lost on Petrescu, who replies modestly, "Horowitz is an absolutely phenomenal player. I was very happy to be compared with him."
In December of 2009, Petrescu also appeared on NPR's famed Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz program, playing tracks from the new album, as well as other storied songs from the jazz piano liturgy. After hearing his tenacious take on the dizzyingly difficult Oscar Peterson classic 'A Little Jazz Exercise," guest host, (and renowned pianist herself), Renee Rosnes remarked, "That was fantastic! You certainly have the fingers to play it!"
Marian Petrescu's Live at the Jazz Standard stands as proof positive that the state of jazz piano is alive and thriving in the year 2010. A testament to the true universality of the jazz experience, it deftly demonstrates that it doesn't matter where you come from, as long as you can swing like your life depends on it. And swing Petrescu does, with a vengeance!
CONCORD MUSIC GROUP ASSEMBLES PIANIST VINCE GUARALDI'S VIVID MUSICAL PORTRAITS OF CLASSIC PEANUTS CHARACTERS
PIANIST VINCE GUARALDI'S VIVID MUSICAL PORTRAITS OF CLASSIC PEANUTS CHARACTERS
of cartoonist Charles Schulz's enduring characters
The TV specials kept coming, and with them came more music from Guaraldi, each piece capturing the infectious personality of a specific character within the strip. By the '70s, Guaraldi's compositions for Peanuts - originally released on Fantasy - had become the universally recognized musical backdrop to the sometimes comic, sometimes tragic characters who made up Schulz's universe.
Several of these pieces are assembled in Peanuts Portraits, a collection of compositions written and performed by Guaraldi specifically for the various Peanuts television specials aired between 1964 and 1974. The collection is set for release by Concord Music Group on April 20, 2010, just a few months shy of the 60th anniversary of Peanuts' debut as a newspaper strip in October 1950.
In addition to nine tracks performed by Guaraldi - most of them taken directly from the music cues recorded for the TV specials - the collection also includes two tracks by pianist George Winston, who recorded a variety of Guaraldi's Peanuts compositions in the 1990s, some two decades after Guaraldi's death in 1976.
Peanuts Portraits also includes extensive liner notes by Derrick Bang, co-host of FiveCentsPlease.org, a repository of news, information, history and trivia about Peanuts and Charles Schulz.
"Most people don't realize that, for a long time, Peanuts was just a comic strip," says Bill Belmont, producer of the collection. "But then, when producer Lee Mendelson and animator Bill Meléndez turned the strip into an animated film for the first time, Vince Guaraldi added body and depth to these characters. They're humorous, for the most part, but they're also reflective of various moods."
The set opens with Guaraldi's iconic "Linus and Lucy," a piece that was first heard on ACharlie Brown Christmas, which debuted in December 1965. The lively composition has since become firmly associated with the Peanuts characters and the holiday season. Winston reprises the piece at the very end of the sequence, thus bookending the rich and diverse series of character snapshots in between.
The rest of the Peanuts cast is well represented. Charlie Brown, the strip's hapless but resilient everyman, takes the spotlight in "Blue Charlie Brown," a composition that Guaraldi wrote for A Boy Named Charlie Brown, a half-hour documentary produced in 1963 that was never televised. The piece wasn't heard on a Peanuts TV special until He's Your Dog, Charlie Brown aired in 1968 (although the song was included in the 1964 Fantasy album soundtrack of the unaired documentary). Peanuts Portraits also includes "Charlie's Blues," one of many variations on "Blue Charlie Brown" that Guaraldi included in numerous Peanuts TV specials.
"Needless to say, the composer had plenty of opportunities to write blues riffs for Charlie Brown over the years," says Bang, "given the number of times the poor blockhead was teased, disappointed and persecuted."
Snoopy, Charlie Brown's pooch with multiple personas throughout the life of the strip and the various animated specials, appears twice on Peanuts Portraits - first as the eternally suave "Joe Cool," a theme written by Guaraldi that debuted in You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown, which aired in 1972; and later as "The Masked Marvel," Winston's version of a Guaraldi theme that first appeared in It Was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown in 1969.
Frieda, forever primping her springy locks, appears in a previously unreleased but appropriately titled "Frieda (With the Naturally Curly Hair)." Guaraldi had written the piece for the documentary that was never televised, although it did appear on the Fantasy soundtrack LP. "The version on this CD is an unreleased alternate take that was preserved during the recording session for A Boy Named Charlie Brown: a truly gorgeous variation that runs almost two minutes longer than what appeared on that 1964 album," Bang explains.
Peanuts Portraits is an album in every sense of the word - a collection of songs on a disc, but also a book of snapshots featuring some of the most charming fictional kids in American pop culture. "Vince Guaraldi was able to capture the personalities of each of these characters, not only with a sense of humor, but with some interesting insight," says Belmont. "Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, Schroeder, Snoopy - all of them speak through his music, and the result is these pieces that instantly reflect who the characters are."
Monday, March 22, 2010
LEGENDARY TURKISH POP SINGER-SONGWRITER
Sunday, April 4: The Music Center at Strathmore,
North Bethesda, Maryland
Tuesday, April 6: Carnegie Hall,
New York, New York
Wednesday, April 7: New Jersey Performing Arts Center,
Newark, New Jersey
DL Media announces performance dates for Turkish pianist, composer, and arranger Fahir Atakoglu alongside legendary pop singer-songwriter, Sezen Aksu.
"In our musical journey, we wrote songs together. Sezen Aksu wrote lyrics to my melodies that have become hits in Turkey and all over Europe. I also wrote arrangements and produced albums for Sezen. In my career I have shared the stage with her many times; and for me every-time has been a great honor and a musical privilege to play for her," says Atakoglu.
A highly regarded figure in his native Turkey since the 1990s, pianist-composer-arranger Fahir Atakoglu is only beginning to make his mark on stateside audiences. His latest offering, the compelling world-jazz projectFaces & Places, may be the breakthrough album to finally gain him widespread acclaim here.
The record, released on Far & Here Music earlier this year, boasts an all-star cast of trumpeter Randy Brecker, guitarist Wayne Krantz, Yellowjackets' saxophonist Bob Mintzer, Brazilian guitarist Romero Lubambo, bassistJohn Patitucci and Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez on drums.
Atakoglu warmly stated, "As a composer and pianist, in my career of thirty years I haven't met any other singer-songwriter other then Sezen Aksu who can touch your heart with her music and words in such a way that you feel grateful to be alive and human in this universe."
- Michael G. Nastos, allmusic
"This CD keeps making left turns, which means that it's unexpected and serving a different cultural aesthetic as well as our own."
- Karl Stark, Philadelphia Inquirer
"An exciting and thrilling run through of music that goes from Flamenco to the Middle East and back through the Mediterranean without changing time zones." - George Harris, Jazz Weekly
Please visit http://www.fahiratakoglu.com
For more information, please contact:
Don Lucoff at DL MEDIA
(p) (610) 667-0501 (e) email@example.com
Friday, March 19, 2010
Mexican vocalist and composer Magos Herrera will perform two shows in Brooklyn, featuring the music from her latest Grammy nominated album,Distancia, on Sunnyside Records.
First, she will be appearing in the VisionIntoArt: Ferus Festival at Galapagos Art Studio on Thursday, April 15 at 10 p.m. She will be joined by guitarist Mike Moreno, pianist Manuel Valera, bassist Ricky Rodriguez, and drummer Alex Kautz.
Then, on Friday, May 21 at 9 p.m., Herrera will perform at BAMcafé Live withguitarist Ben Monder, pianist Aaron Goldberg, bassist Rodriguez, and drummer Kautz.
Born in Mexico City, the deep and captivating performer, Magos Herrera is considered one of the most beautiful voices and the most active vocalist of the contemporary Latin American jazz scene.
In 2009 Sunnyside Records released Herrera's sixth album, Distancia, which climbed to the #1 spot on iTunes in the Jazz category. Herrera is joined onDistancia by an impressive cast of musicians featuring Lionel Louke on guitar, Aaron Goldberg on piano, Ricky Rodriguez on bass, and Alex Kautz on drums. Anchored by that stellar lineup, Herrera delivers a ten-track potpourri of original songs, and standards by Antonio Carlos Jobim, Milton Nascimento, and Cesar Portillo de la Luz.
Herrera is an accomplished singer-songwriter known throughout Mexico and Latin America for her beguiling rhythmic scatting, inflected with soulful Latin-Andalusian phrasings. Fluent in Spanish, Portuguese and English, her repertoire is filled with the yearning for romance, intimacy and enchantment of Mexican and Cuban son and bolero, and sultry, languid Brazilian beats.
Over the past 12 years, Herrera has taken the stage at numerous performing arts centers and festivals around the world, such as the Montreal International Jazz Festival, Jazz at Lincoln Center and Jazz Standard in New York, Millennium Park in Chicago, Teatro de la Ciudad de Mexico, Lunario del Auditorio Nacional in Mexico City, and Sala Galileo Galilei in Madrid, among many others. In her native country of Mexico, Herrera was nominated twice for "Lunas del Auditorio Nacional" (2006 and 2009) as the "Best Jazz Concert of the Year" among Bobby McFerrin and Bill Frisell.
Since moving to New York, Herrera has became a strong presence in the music scene, propelled by her successful concert at New York Winter Jazz Festival in 2008. She appeared on saxophonist Tim Ries' 2008 recording The Rolling Stones World Project II as well as Via Project (for contemporary composer Paola Prestini).
Galapagos Art Space
Thursday, April 15 at 8 p.m.
16 Main Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Friday, May 21 at 9 p.m.
Peter Jay Sharp Building
30 Lafayette Ave, Brooklyn, NY
Please visit www.magosherrera.com or www.myspace.com/magosherrera
Don Lucoff at DL MEDIA // 610.667.0501 // firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
AVAILABLE NOW ON ARTISTSHARE®
VERTICAL VOICES: THE MUSIC OF MARIA SCHNEIDER
JULIA DOLLISON AND KERRY MARSH
- Maria Schneider
When vocalists Julia Dollison and Kerry Marsh first proposed the concept of their new ArtistShare® CD Vertical Voices: The Music of Maria Schneider to the multi-Grammy Award-winning composer herself, she immediately thought they were "absolutely insane." Using their two voices via studio multi-tracking, the duo would create a virtual vocal orchestra by wordlessly singing the brass and woodwind parts in Schneider's lush, harmonically deep and rhythmically complex compositions. After listening to a sample portion of "Journey Home" that the pair had quickly recorded in their home studio, Maria generously endorsed the project and even pitched the idea to her own orchestra's rhythm section: Ben Monder, guitar; Frank Kimbrough, piano; Jay Anderson, bass; Clarence Penn, drums.
While the task of recreating vocal versions of Maria's orchestral compositions may seem daunting to some, Dollison and Marsh are not your ordinary vocal duo. The married team shares a passion for exploring new and challenging vocal possibilities, eager to push the boundaries of what is thought possible in vocal jazz. Upon hearing the early rough mixes featuring the layered voice parts, Don Heckman of The International Review of Music described them as "remarkable vocal transformations." Ottawa Citizen's Peter Hum agrees: "I'm with Schneider on this one. You have to give Dollison and Marsh full marks for their ambition, execution, commitment and musical taste."
Julia Dollison was the first vocalist to perform wordlessly with the Maria Schneider Orchestra at New York's Jazz Standard in 2000, singing "Hang Gliding," "Journey Home" and "Allegresse." After attending the first of these performances, Washington Post columnist Terry Teachout noted that Dollison "darted in and out of the band's rich chords like a silver firefly at dusk, and all at once everyone in the room realized that something special was happening. The Maria Schneider Orchestra had acquired a brand-new tone color, and it seemed as if 'Hang Gliding' had been meant for a singer all along." Schneider later added this new color to her compositional palette, incorporating voice on her two most recent Grammy-winning albums (Concert in the Garden and Sky Blue), both of which were pioneering efforts through ArtistShare®.
Maria fondly recalls, "I was a bit skeptical at first because of the enormous range of my pieces, the intricacy of the lines and the general extreme demands of the repertoire, but I decided to give it a shot. Julia was extraordinary! Her range, her sound, her ability to blend with the instruments and her absolutely perfect pitch just blew me away! She was nothing short of amazing." Dollison later went on to record with Schneider guitarist Ben Monder on her 2005 debut CD Observatory, described as "fresh and substantive" (JazzTimes), "breathtaking" (Sacramento Bee) and "richly imaginative" (Wall Street Journal). Maria has since invited Dollison to perform wordlessly with her orchestra at 2006 IAJE conference in New York and the Reno Jazz Festival.
Kerry Marsh, also a beneficiary of Maria's guest artist visits to the Universities of Kansas and North Texas, became one of the very first project participants in ArtistShare® history when he joined the 2003 Schneider recording project that became Concert in the Garden. Maria's influence on Kerry's composition and arranging techniques during his studies helped earn him a DownBeat Student Music Award for best collegiate jazz arrangement later that same year.
Fans of Maria Schneider's music will be anxious to hear these new interpretations of her compositions, influenced largely by Maria's unwavering guidance and supportive presence in the studio during the rhythm section recording. Also among the exciting elements of this project are the all-new improvised solos featuring Dollison and Marsh, reflecting their own unique and personal vocal character and expression. The result of their combined efforts is an album that is nothing less than a revolutionary musical statement, one that will surely resonate loudly in the jazz world and beyond.
Vertical Voices: The Music of Maria Schneider is now available for purchase exclusively online in either CD or digital download format through the duo's ArtistShare® website. The purchase also includes access to a wealth of behind-the-scenes documentary content, providing a unique and fascinating window into the creative process that led to this extraordinary recording.
To view the Vertical Voices: The Music Of Maria Schneider video promo at the Dollison and Marsh ArtistShare® page, please click here: www.VerticalVoices.US
Since winning the DownBeat Student Music Award for best collegiate vocal jazz soloist in 2000, Julia Dollison and her jazz voice students have earned eight additional DownBeat Student Music Awards during Julia's time at the University of Miami, The New School University in New York and Sacramento State. As a performer, Dollison has frequently collaborated with Grammy-nominated pianist Geoffrey Keezer, who has since written for and produced Dollison and Marsh in the studio, multi-tracking their voices for an upcoming album mixed and mastered by Joe Ferla. A classically trained soprano, Dollison has performed under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas and Erich Kunzel as well as with Ben Folds during his performances with the Boston Pops Symphony and National Symphony Orchestra. Dollison can be heard on the Academy Award-winning Vera Drake film trailer and on film scores for The Stepford Wives and The Corpse Bride.