Monday, August 30, 2010

2 Sem. 2010 - Part Four

Riccardo Arrighini Trio with Fabrizio Bosso
Angela - A.C. Jobim Project - Chapter 3

By Leonardo Barroso
This is chapter 3 of 4. Riccardo Arrighini Trio is now joined by Fabrizio Bosso. This Project is one of a kind, Tom Jobim the great composer, played by great italian jazz musician. This is not the best one, but still worth the listening.

By Ken Dryden
Two top Italian artists join forces on this collection of works by Brazilian master Antonio Carlos Jobim. Trumpeter/flugelhornist Fabrizio Bosso and pianist Riccardo Arrighini have played together on earlier Philology sessions, but this date has an extra fire that finds them reaching new heights together. The normally quiet "Dindi" comes across much more forceful in their interpretation, while their Afro-Cuban setting of "Samba De Uma Nota So (One Note Samba)" is also refreshing. They stick to a more conventional arrangement with their leisurely take of "O Grande Amor," where Bosso's heartfelt trumpet and Arrighini's moving piano solo convey the song's message without need of the lyrics. As on many other sessions, bassist Massimo Moriconi and drummer Massimo Manzi provide a flawless rhythm section.

Riccardo Arrighini Trio
Luciana - A.C. Jobim Project - Chapter 4

By Leonardo Barroso
This CD, together with with "chapter 2 - Garota de Ipanema", are the best in this tribute. the trio is excellent shape, providing Riccardo a safe shore, to bring the best in his playing.

By Ken Dryden
Pianist Riccardo Arrighini's fourth CD in tribute to the late Brazilian composer Antonio Carlos Jobim avoids typical approaches to his well known compositions. With bassist Massimo Moriconi and Massimo Manzi, essentially the Philology label's house rhythm section much of the time, he transforms "So Danco Samba" into a strutting stride piano setting that would have made Willie "The Lion" Smith proud, though he eventually segues into a more bop-oriented arrangement. Arrighini is on fire in his initial interpretation of "Vivo Sonhando," buoyed by Moriconi's booming bassline and Manzi's driving percussion; the alternate take is shorter but every bit as exciting. "Insensatez" is one of Jobim's best loved songs and it has been recorded hundreds of times, yet the pianist's ruminating introduction in an expanded treatment of this standard brings it into new light. Highly recommended!

Renee Rosnes
Black Narciss - Tribute to Joe Henderson

By Leonardo Barroso
This CD was recorded in 2008. It has been a while the last I heard from Renee, and that made me forget the wonderful pianist she is. All songs are related with Joe Henderson, with whom she played. A great song list. The jazz in this recording is very good, the trio is very close together. One of Renee's best recording.
1. Black Narcissus (Joe Henderson); 2. Without A Song (Youmans/Rose/Eliscu)
3. You Know I Care (Duke Pearson); 4. Beatrice (Sam Rivers); 5. Recordame (Joe Henderson)
6. Chelsea Bridge (Billy Strayhorn); 7. Isotope (Joe Henderson)
8. What's New (Bob Haggart/Johnny Burke); 9. Serenity (Joe Henderson)
10. Night and Day (Cole Porter)
Renee Rosnes - piano; Peter Washington - bass; Lewis Nash - drums

By Renee Rosnes
In 1987, shortly after I moved from Vancouver to New York City, Joe Henderson hired me to play with his quartet. We began a musical relationship that lasted until he was no longer able to play due to illness. I was consistently awed by Joe's incredible artistry. From night to night, he played with such joy and command, and he inspired the same from his band mates. Joe used to say "Heaven is on the bandstand," and could often be found looking skyward with his hands in a prayer-like stance as he listened to the sounds being created around him. It was almost as if he was summoning the muses. I have many cherished memories of playing with him.It is for all these reasons that the music on this recording has great meaning to me. This set is not so much a tribute, but a celebration of the music and life of Joe Henderson.

Luca Mannutza Trio

By Leonardo Barroso
Luca Mannutza is a great italian pianist, he also manages the Roma Trio with the same players from this set. Good originals, some standards, and Police tunes. Well..... what are these italians musicians drinking/eating ? Almost every day a new recording made on the highest level. This CD is worth every minute of listening pleasure.
Luca Mannutza (piano); Gianluca Renzi (b); Nicola Angelucci (ds)
1. Message in a Bottle (Sting) 7.51; 2. Pingoli (Luca Mannutza) 6.19
3. Whisper Not (Benny Golson) 10.03; 4. Sarasong (Luca Mannutza) 7.21
5. Airegin (Sonny Rollins) 6.07; 6. Tea in the Sahara (Sting) 7.33
7. Longin' (Angelucci - Mannutza) 5.59; 8. Tea for Two (Vincent Youmans) 7.14
9. Clowns (Luca Mannutza) 8.00; 10. Heartly (Nicola Angelucci) 7.17

Bill Mays Trio
The Best Is Yet To Come

By Leonardo Barroso
I had a idea while listeing to this CD, Bill Mays is one of the great jazz player of our time ! This set is a live recording, great tunes, and Bill singing !. This is the first recording that I heard Kawamura, Joe La Barbera is one my great drummers. This trio recording is very good, another one from the great Bill Mays, check out "Send In The Clowns" great !

By EastWind
Bill Mays is one of my favorite jazz pianists working today. With firm roots in the traditional, straight-ahead jazz, he has impeccable technique, great taste and a streak of adventurous mind that makes his solos unpredictable and exciting.
His latest recording, a fresh live date from October 2009, is now released by a small independent label in Japan, Five Stars Records. Recorded live in concert at the Five Stars' own "jazz house" in Yokohama, this CD brought Mays together with the legendary drummer Joe LaBarbera and a young Japanese bassist, Ryu Kawamura.
Judging from the performance and Mays' own liner notes (printed in English!), the three were relaxed, inspired, and thoroughly enjoyed playing together for the appreciative audience. Flanked by two giants, Kawamura more than holds his own with his big tone and great command of the instrument. Indeed, he is given ample solo spaces and turns in impressive performances. LaBarbera is perfect both as accompanist and soloist, and Mays displays his creativity throughout.
A very satisfying and enjoyable trio album by a formidable pianist in his prime! Recommended!
Recorded at Five Stars Records, Yokohama, Japan, on October 9, 2009.
The Best Is Yet To Come (Coleman); Jitterbug Waltz (Waller); These Foolish Things (Strachey/Link)
Here's That Rainy Day (Van Heusen); Moanin' (Timmons); Send In The Clowns (Sondheim)
Speak Low (Weill); Willow Weep For Me (Ronell); Get Out Of Town (Porter)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Jazz Vocalist Today - The Fitzgerald/Vaughan Legacy

Top 10 Jazz Vocalists alive today:

Kurt Elling
Born: Nov. 2, 1967

by Thom Jurek
One of the few male jazz singers from around the baby boom generation, Kurt Elling is an anomaly simply by profession. Given the depth and broad vision of his recordings and performance style, Elling is in a league of his own. Planning a career in the academic world, he discovered jazz and took to it naturally. Deeply influenced by singer and poet Mark Murphy, Elling began to develop his idiosyncratic scat style in the smaller clubs of Chicago (primarily at the Green Mill, sharing the stage with legends Von Freeman and Ed Peterson) and then throughout the Midwest. An Elling show can contain ranting beat poetry, dramatic and poignant readings of Rilke, and hard-swinging scat. After sending a demo to Blue Note, Elling signed to the label and issued Close Your Eyes in 1995. He began to get attention from the jazz press, not only for his talent and original style, but also for his choice in sidemen, which included Laurence Hobgood and Paul Wertico for a time. His ultra-hip persona prevailed on 1996's Messenger, which was tougher and leaner than its predecessor, and along with hard touring and a taste for the theatrical and outrageous, Elling won over not only critics but jazz audiences from coast to coast. Elling was married that same year and chose, depending on your point of view, either to revise his hipster image or broaden his traditional base with a collection of standard ballads and love songs entitled This Time It's Love. The album won numerous awards in magazines and was nominated for a Grammy. Endless touring and guest appearances resulted in Blue Note issuing Live in Chicago from three sets at the Green Mill, and 2001 resulted in Flirting with Twilight, his most ambitious and satisfying recording — he opened the disc by singing a Charlie Haden bass solo. Man in the Air and Nightmoves followed in 2003 and 2007, respectively. In 2009, as part of Lincoln Center's American Songbook Series of concerts, Elling released the live album Dedicated to You: Kurt Elling Sings the Music of Coltrane and Hartman.

Roberta Gambarini
Born: 1972

by Marisa Brown
Born and raised in Turin, Italy, to music-loving parents (who had actually first met at a jazz concert), Roberta Gambarini grew up listening to her father's record collection constantly. Her first vocal inspiration was Louis Armstrong, but she soon discovered Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Carmen McRae, and Billie Holiday, as well as blues artists like Mahalia Jackson and Bessie Smith. At age 12 she began playing the clarinet, but realizing the versatility and talents of her clear alto, she moved to voice, singing and performing in clubs by the time she was 17. The next year she decided to move to Milan to pursue her career more seriously, and a third-place finish at a national jazz radio competition brought her enough exposure to jump-start her career, sending her around Europe performing at festivals and with other artists, including Hammond organist Emmanuel Bex in 1997. In 1998 Gambarini received a scholarship to study for two years at the New England Conservatory in Boston, and soon after arriving she competed, and eventually finished third, in the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition behind Teri Thornton and Jane Monheit. Though Gambarini did not receive a recording contract from this accomplishment (unlike Monheit), it did give her enough performing opportunities that she decided to leave Boston and move to New York, where she could focus better on her music and the scene. In 2006, after years of working and becoming a kind of cult favorite in the New York jazz world, though she was still rejected by every label she pitched her album to, Gambarini started Groovin' High in order to release her American debut, Easy to Love. A collection of standards, the record impressed critics enough to garner the singer a Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album, alongside Diana Krall and Nancy Wilson, among others.

Dianne Reeves

Born: Oct. 23, 1956

by Scott Yanow
Dianne Reeves has been one of the top singers in jazz ever since the late '80s. A logical successor to Dinah Washington and Carmen McRae (although even she can not reach the impossible heights of Ella and Sarah Vaughan), Reeves is a superior interpreter of lyrics and a skilled scat singer. She was a talented vocalist with an attractive voice even as a teenager when she sang and recorded with her high school band. She was encouraged by Clark Terry, who had her perform with him while she a college student at the University of Colorado.There have been many times when Reeves has explored music beyond jazz. She did session work in Los Angeles starting in 1976, toured with Caldera, worked with Sergio Mendes in 1981, and toured with Harry Belafonte during 1983-1986. Reeves began recording as a leader in 1982 and became a regular at major jazz festivals. Her earlier recordings tended to be quite eclectic and many of her live performances have included original African-inspired folk music (which is often autobiographical), world music, and pop.However, after signing with Blue Note in 1987, and particularly since 1994, Reeves has found her place in jazz, recording several classic albums along the way, most notably I Remember, The Grand Encounter, The Calling: Celebrating Sarah Vaughan, and A Little Moonlight. In 2005, she appeared onscreen singing '50s standards in the George Clooney film Good Night, and Good Luck. When You Know was released in 2008. Reeves is at her best performing swinging jazz live. And her musical introduction of her band (which can be lengthy, witty, and full of inspired scatting) is sometimes nearly as memorable as the music. She is always capable of greatness.

Judy Niemack
Born: March 11, 1954

by All About Jazz
”If you want to know what real jazz singing can be (but rarely is), listen to Judy Niemack...She is a musician in the truest sense, having mastered her instrument (a beautiful one), and her chosen language and crafted her own style” --Dan Morgenstern
Throughout her career, Judy Niemack has accomplished a great deal as a singer, educator, lyricist, composer, and inspiration to younger jazz vocalists. Yet with all that she has done thus far, one gets the impression that the best is yet to come. “I love standards and have performed them all of my life but this is a new era and it is time to create new music,” she says. “I’m open to all forms of vocal improv and I’m very interested in mastering the art of music and pushing the art form forward to new places.”
Born and raised in Pasadena, California, Judy gained experience singing in her church choir. She first heard jazz through her mother’s Nancy Wilson records, and discovered that she could easily sing harmonies when she and her sister sang background vocals behind her brother, who played guitar and sang lead. As a child and as a teenager, she sang in a wide variety of settings including musical theatre, rock bands, with folk music groups, and in a jazz vocal quartet.
Judy studied classical singing but the turning point in her young career was when she met the great tenor-saxophonist Warne Marsh, who followed in the footsteps of his teacher pianist Lennie Tristano by becoming an important jazz educator. “I became Warne’s first vocal student. He treated me like a horn player. He assigned me solos by Charlie Parker, Roy Eldridge and others to learn. I learned about improvising from him. He called it instant composition.” Judy attended Pasadena City College where she had lessons with alto saxophonist Gary Foster, and studied classical singing at the New England Conservatory and the Cleveland Institute Of Music. When she returned to the Los Angeles area, she continued studying with Marsh and, after moving to New York in 1977, her first important gig was performing at the Village Vanguard for a week with Marsh. She made her recording debut, leading the first of her ten CDs, By Heart for the Sea Breeze label, which documented her association with the saxophonist.
“During that period, I was strictly an improviser, with no thought given to entertaining or paying attention to the audience. But eventually I started focusing on the lyrics, and how to communicate with them, and then I grew as a singer.” Starting in the late 1970s, Judy became a talented composer, and a lyricist who wrote words to such pieces as Clifford Brown’s “Daahoud,” Thelonious Monk’s “Misterioso,” Bill Evans’ “Interplay,” Richie Powell’s “Time” and Duke Jordan’s “Jordu,” and songs by the likes of Lee Konitz, Pat Metheny, Dexter Gordon, Gigi Gryce, Elmo Hope, Kenny Dorham, Curtis Fuller, Bob Brookmeyer, Idrees Sulieman, Richie Beirach, Don Grolnick, Steve Slagle, Mike Stern, Johnny Griffin and many others. One of the driving forces behind her writing is the desire to have lyrics that are more modern and relevant than many that are part of the famous but overly familiar songs of the 1930s and ‘40s.
Due to her beautiful voice, fearless improvising, impressive musicianship and versatility, Judy Niemack has since worked with many of the who’s who of jazz including pianists Fred Hersch, Kenny Werner, Cedar Walton, Kenny Barron, Jim McNeely, Steve Kuhn, Kirk Lightsey and Kirk Nurock, saxophonists Lee Konitz, Joe Lovano and James Moody, the great harmonica player Toots Thielemans, flugelhornist Clark Terry, bassists Ray Drummond and Eddie Gomez, drummers Billy Higgins, Joey Baron, Billy Hart and Adam Nussbaum, the New York Voices, the WDR Big Band, and guitarist Jeanfrancois Prins, Judy’s husband who has worked with her since 1992.
Judy Niemack starting teaching jazz singing and improvising in the late 1970s. She has since become one of the most influential educators in jazz, and a pioneer of vocal jazz education in Europe. She taught vocal jazz at the New School For Jazz, William Patterson University, Long Island University, and New York City College and has been part of the staff at the Janice Borla Vocal Jazz Camp since 1990. After moving to Europe, she joined the jazz faculty at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, Belgium in 1993, and two years later became the first Professor of Vocal Jazz in Germany. She also teaches at the Musikene Conservatory in San Sebastian, Spain, has taught at conservatories in Holland and Belgium, and leads workshops throughout Europe and the world
“Our generation is probably the first to pass on information to younger singers willingly and very openly. What I love about teaching is being surrounded by music all day long, every day. I love being with singers and helping out younger vocalists, leading people onto the path towards where they want to go.” Judy’s vocal improvisation method book and CD “Hear It And Sing It! ��” Exploring Modal Jazz” was published by Second Floor Music in 2004, and her “Pro-Vocal Jazz Standards” was published by Hal Leonard in 2008.
As a performer, Judy has thus far recorded ten albums as a leader including her debut My Heart, Blue Bop (Freelance) with Cedar Walton, Long As You’re Living (Freelance), Heart’s Desire (Stash) which is a set of duets with pianist Kenny Barron, Straight Up (Freelance), duets with pianist Mal Waldron called Mingus, Monk and Mal (Freelance), Night And The Music (Freelance), About Time (Sony Jazz) with Lee Konitz and Jeanfrancois Prins, What’s Going On (Temps), and Blue Nights (Blujazz) with Gary Bartz and Jim McNeely. She has also recorded an upcoming CD for Blujazz centering on Summer themes called “Sun Dance”.
“Blue Nights shows off my mainstream traditional side. I recorded it to share a modern take on some of my favorite songs, which I have long loved. And my next CD, Sun Dance, celebrates my favorite season: Summer. Meanwhile I'm working on a recording for Artistshare, about singing something completely new; a project with all of my own lyrics.” Judy Niemack looks forward to the future with optimism and enthusiasm. “I have a new book and CD coming out - “Exploring Blues”, which includes performances not only by me, but also by Sheila Jordan, Mark Murphy and Darmon Meader. I think it will help to raise the bar in vocal jazz education. In general, I hope to continue doing what I’m doing: performing, teaching, writing lyrics, working on new collaborations, and always creating new and interesting music.”
Whatever the future holds, one can be certain that Judy Niemack’s future projects will be inventive, stimulating and full of joyful surprises.

Roger Cicero
Born: July 06, 1970

by Jason Ankeny
German jazz vocalist Roger Cicero interpreted the sound and spirit of the swing era for contemporary audiences, upholding the family traditions established by his father, renowned jazz pianist Eugene Cicero. Born in West Berlin, Cicero grew up surrounded by jazz and its practitioners, and at age 11 made his professional debut in support of singer Helen Vita. He later studied voice, piano, and guitar at the Hohner Conservatory, and from 1989 to 1992 served as a regular member of the Eugene Cicero Trio while moonlighting with the German youth jazz orchestra Bundesjugenjazzorchester. After his father's 1997 death, Cicero joined the groups Jazzkantine and Soulonge, making his recorded debut on the latter's 2003 release The Essence of a Live Event. That same year, he founded the Roger Cicero Quartet as well as an 11-member big band, both of them adherents to traditional jazz idioms but with lyrics in their leader's native German tongue. After releasing the 2006 album Good Morning Midnight in collaboration with pianist Julia Hülsmann, Cicero issued his solo debut, Männersachen, later that same year. Buoyed by the hit single "Ich Atme Ein," the LP reached number three on the German charts.

Diana Krall
Born: November 16, 1964

by William Ruhlmann
Singer/pianist Diana Krall got her musical education when she was growing up in Nanaimo, British Columbia, from the classical piano lessons she began at age four and in her high school jazz band, but mostly from her father, a stride piano player with an extensive record collection. "I think Dad has every recording Fats Waller ever made," she said, "and I tried to learn them all." Krall attended the Berklee College of Music on a music scholarship in the early '80s, then moved to Los Angeles, where she lived for three years before moving to Toronto. By 1990, she was based in New York, performing with a trio and singing. After releasing her first album on Justin Time Records, Krall was signed to GRP for her second, Only Trust Your Heart and transferred to its Impulse! division for her third, a Nat King Cole Trio tribute album called All for You. Love Scenes followed in 1997, and in late 1998, she issued the seasonal Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. When I Look in Your Eyes followed in 1999. Whatever reknown Krall had earned over the years for her work exploded with this album, which became an international best-seller and earned her a Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Performance. It also was the first jazz album to be nominated for Album of the Year in 25 years. Krall's crossover success followed her as she performed in Lilith Fair the following year ,and her songs cropped up everywhere from episodes of Sex in the City to films like Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. In 2001 she released The Look of Love featuring charts by legendary arranger Claus Ogerman best known for working with bossa nova innovator Antonio Carlos Jobim in the '60s. The album topped the Billboard charts and went quintuple platinum in Canada, the first by a Canadian jazz artist to do so. The Look of Love also helped Krall win three Junos in 2002, taking home awards for Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, and Best Vocal Jazz Album of the Year. In 2003, Krall married iconic British rock musician Elvis Costello. A year later, she issued The Girl in the Other Room. Covering a few standards, this album also included original material — some co-written by Costello — for the first time in her career. Returning to the large ensemble standards approach of her previous album, Krall released From This Moment On in 2006. In 2009, she teamed once again with The Look of Love arranger Ogerman for the bossa nova-themed Quiet Nights.

Tierney Sutton
Born: June 28, 1963

by Scott Yanow
A fine Los Angeles-based jazz singer, Tierney Sutton has a lot of potential for the future. She grew up in Milwaukee and attended Boston University and Wesleyan, where she gained a degree in Russian language and literature. At Wesleyan, Sutton became involved in singing jazz and after graduating she went to Berklee for a few semesters, studying under Jerry Bergonzi. In 1994 she moved to Los Angeles and has since become a fixture in the area's jazz scene. Sutton, who teaches voice at USC, often leads her own group, sings with Buddy Childers and Dave MacKay, and has guested with the Les Brown Orchestra. Sutton's debut CD was for the A Music label in 1998; she has also recorded with Childers, and issued Unsung Heroes in the spring of 2000. The next record, Blue in Green, was a tribute to pianist Bill Evans that offered several songs that he had either recorded or collaborated on. Another record of standards, Something Cool, followed in 2002 and offered several different genres including country and show tunes. She followed up with three more fine records for Telarc, 2004's Dancing in the Dark, 2005's I'm with the Band, and 2007's On the Other Side. Both I'm with the Band and On the Other Side recieved Grammy nominations and helped raise Sutton's profile nationally. In 2009, Sutton — a practicing believer in the Baha'i faith — returned with Desire. Although the album includes Sutton's interpretations of jazz standards, it also features several recited passages from The Hidden Words of Bah’u’llah, a sacred Baha'i text.

Patricia Barber
Born: March 24, 1956

by Stacia Proefrock
Patricia Barber's unique style and unusual voice made her an easy target for critics in the early days of her career. Her piano playing and singing, while inventive, never ventured close enough to the avant-garde to earn her artistic license, and her insistence on writing her own material and adapting songs from the pop world made her difficult to categorize. A tireless performer who refused to conform to more conventional vocal jazz idioms, she worked her way up through the Chicago jazz scene slowly, almost reluctantly, after having spent several years in Iowa attending college and performing with local groups. The daughter of Floyd "Shim" Barber and a blues vocalist, she had all but rejected the idea of becoming a jazz musician, but found herself drawn to the performing world after college. When she returned to Chicago, she was trashed by the local critics, and only after winning a five-day-a-week gig at the intimate Gold Star Sardine Bar and releasing her first album on her own Floyd label (1989's Split) did the tide begin to turn for her. She signed a contract with Verve and released A Distortion of Love in 1992, which brought her some positive critical attention and earned her a more national audience, but the big-label experience was trying for Barber and she sought a place where she could have more creative control. Her next two albums were issued by the tiny local label Premonition (1994's Café Blue and 1998's Modern Cool). Premonition was purchased by Blue Note in 1998, and the label put some marketing muscle behind Barber, helping to bolster the international reputation she had already begun to earn. Blue Note released Companion in 1999 — intended to act as her introduction to a wider audience, the album reprised much of her popular material and was recorded live at Chicago's Green Mill, a historic jazz club where Barber had been performing weekly for several years. 2000's Night Club took her back into a studio setting, but still featured many of the inventive interpretations that had distinguished her work in the past. Barber issued her edgy, critically acclaimed Verse on the Blue Note label in 2002. She won a Guggenheim in March of 2003 to create a song cycle based on Ovid's Metamorphses. Her concert set Live: A Fortnight in Paris was issued on the label in 2004, consisting of five originals, five covers, and two brand new songs. Mythologies followed in 2006. A year later, the anthology The Premonition Years: 1992-2002 appeared detailing most of Barber's early releases. In 2008, Barber took a break from her original material and delivered the jazz standards studio album The Cole Porter Mix.

Carol Sloane
Born: March 5, 1937

Carol Sloane was born to Claudia and Frank Morvan on March 5, 1937, in Providence, Rhode Island, the older of two daughters, but she never lived in that city. Instead, she spent her happy childhood in the small town of Smithfield, just a few short miles north of the city. Her parents worked steadily through the years of World War II in the textile mill near their home.
Carol was the lucky member of a large family of cousins, aunts and uncles who all possessed natural singing voices. Only one uncle ever received formal musical education, and he played the tenor sax. Carol and Ed DrewIn 1951, her Uncle Joe arranged an audition for her with a society dance band led by Ed Drew, and she began singing the stock arrangements of popular hits of the day each Wednesday and Saturday night at Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet Ballroom, located in Cranston, Rhode Island.
In 1955, Carol married a Providence disc jockey named Charlie Jefferds, and almost immediately, the couple found themselves at Fort Carson, Colorado where Charlie endured the rigors of basic training followed by a one-year obligatory tour of duty in Germany. They returned to the US in January 1958, and were amicably divorced in that year.
Carol continued to sing in small bars and clubs until she met the road manager of the Les and Larry Elgart Orchestra, which was touring the amusement park ballrooms in the southern New England area. She auditioned for Larry Elgart, who then asked her to come to New York with his band. The brothers had recently split the organization, Les taking the territory west of Chicago, Larry to handle everything east of Chicago. Larry Elgart suggested she change her name to Carol Sloane.
The “road years” with the Larry Elgart band continued until 1960, when the road simply became too boring and too difficult for her. After two years on the road, she was still unknown, and there were no singing engagements to be had. She took various secretarial jobs booked through Manhattan temp agencies. She continued her working relationship with the former road manager of the Elgart band, who had become an agent in the office of the legendary Willard Alexander. This man, Bob Bonis, arranged for Carol to sing at a jazz festival in Pittsburgh in 1960, at which time she met Lambert, Hendricks and Ross.
Jon Hendricks asked Carol if she could learn the LH&R book in order to be prepared to take Annie Ross' place if that ever became necessary. Carol agreed to study the group's exacting material, and continued her secretarial gigs. Then, one night in early 1961, when attending a performance of LH&R at the Village Vanguard, Jon asked Carol to sing a couple of tunes on her own, after which the legendary proprietor Max Gordon asked her if she'd like to sing at the club the following August as opening act for Oscar Peterson. In her own words, “I stammered an acceptance, and walked five feet off the ground on the way home”.
Another auspicious move was quietly being made for Carol in 1961, without her knowledge: Jon Hendricks made a very persuasive argument to the producers that Carol should be included in that year's Newport Jazz Festival as part of the “New Stars” program. On the afternoon of that presentation, Carol had the use of the Ike Isaacs Trio which backed LH&R. The pianist, Gildo Mahones, didn't know the verse to the Rodgers & Hart song “Little Girl Blue” so Carol blithely suggested she would sing it a cappella, and did so. The New York press unanimously praised the young woman's talent, exceptional intonation and pitch, and she was also heard by a representative of Columbia Records. Her first album,”Out of the Blue” was recorded a few short months later, with arrangements by the legendary Bill Finegan, and an orchestra boasting Clark Terry and Bob Brookmeyer among the soloists.
In the 1960's, Carol Sloane sang in major clubs such as Mr. Kelly's in Chicago where she opened for Jackie Mason and the Smothers Brothers; at the hungry I in San Francisco where she opened for Bill Cosby, Godfrey Cambridge and Richard Pryor; she also opened for Phyllis Diller, Stiller and Meara and Jackie Vernon at the Blue Angel in New York; she appeared regularly on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and became a regular member of the radio cast on Arthur Godfrey's CBS weekly program. She continued to record and make club and concert appearances during this decade until the Beatles and rock 'n roll began to consume the popular culture, forcing some jazz venues to the edge of ruin. Carol in Raleigh In 1969, Carol accepted an offer to sing in a club in Raleigh, North Carolina, found the atmosphere in that city very much less hectic than New York, with an audience eager to hear and support jazz artists. She relocated to the south at the beginning of 1970.
Carol worked both as a singer and a legal secretary for the next several years, eventually returning to New York to begin a turbulent relationship with a legendary jazz pianist, Jimmy Rowles. Jimmy's reputation as a master accompanist and soloist was solid and undisputed, but his alcoholism made their situation often stormy. He did, however, pull himself together long enough to play for Ella Fitzgerald when Tommy Flanagan left after almost twenty years of accompanying the great singer. Jimmy's tenure was much shorter: only two years at the outside. He then decided to return to Los Angeles, and did so at the end of 1980. Carol also left New York, this time returning to her beloved New England.
She arrived in Boston in January, 1981, accepted a job in a prestigious law firm, and promptly threw away the idea of an “ordinary” life when a friend asked her to return to N.C. to help him in his new supper club recently opened in Chapel Hill. The venue was beautiful, comfortable and truly a perfect setting for any artist, and Carol booked her friends into the club: Shirley Horn, Joe Williams, George Shearing, Marian McPartland, Anita O'Day, Jackie & Roy, and of course, the great Carmen McRae. This club managed to last all of two years, a remarkable accomplishment. Carol also hosted a radio show at the NPR affiliate in Chapel Hill. In 1984, while singing in a Boston club, she met the man whom she would eventually marry.
Her marriage to Buck Spurr took place in November, 1986, and Carol has lived in the Boston area since that time. She recorded two albums for Contemporary in 1988 and 1989, then signed with Concord Jazz in 1991, recording six solo albums and touring Japan many times as part of the Concord-Fujitsu Festival. Carol stayed busy making her debut with the Boston Pops Orchestra at Symphony Hall, Boston in 1998, then with the New York Pops Orchestra in 1999, and recorded a tribute album to Duke Ellington on the DRG label that same year. In March 2000, she began a second career in radio, hosting The Jazz Matinee, a four-hour jazz program, five days a week on WICN-FM, the NPR affiliate in Worcester, Mass. This jazz show took a full year's time to produce, until, in the spring of 2001, a heavy performance schedule made it necessary for Carol to leave WICN to resume touring and also record a new CD. In 2001, Carol signed a contract with the famous HighNote Jazz label which issued the first cd titled “I Never Went Away”. This has been followed by “Whisper Sweet”.
Carol's latest recording, “Dearest Duke”, is recently released in April of 2007 on the Arbors label. Featuring Brad Hatfield on piano and Ken Peplowski on tenor sax and clarinet, this cd contains 15 tunes of Ellington material plus Billy Strayhorn's “Day Dream”.
Ms. Sloane's favorite flower is the white rose.

Nancy King

Born: June 15, 1940

by Scott Yanow & Al Campbell
An adventurous singer with an intriguing sense of humor, Nancy King stretches and extends the bebop tradition. After high school, she worked in San Francisco with Pharoah Sanders, Pony Poindexter, and a variety of local players. Resettling in the Pacific Northwest, the underrated vocalist has had an underground reputation among jazz singers. King released her first album, Impending Bloom, in 1991, followed five years later by Straight Into Your Heart. She also recorded two live dates, Moon Ray and Live at Jazz Standard, with pianist Fred Hersch; the latter was nominated for Best Jazz Vocal Album in 2006.

Monday, August 16, 2010


Nunca foi considerada uma DIVA, mas seus CD's pela Verve e suas apresentações ao vivo, eram garantias de 100% Jazz.
Jazz singer Abbey Lincoln dead at 80

By the CNN Wire Staff
Abbey Lincoln, shown performing at a hurricane relief benefit in New York in 2005, died of natural causes Saturday morning.
Lincoln was a prominent civil rights activist during the 1960s.
She was said to have been influenced by legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday.
Lincoln was also well known as an actress.
(CNN) -- Abbey Lincoln, a jazz singer, songwriter, actor and activist, died on Saturday at age 80 in New York City, a friend of hers told CNN.
Carol Friedman, who has been working on a documentary about the singer for some 20 years, said Lincoln died of natural causes Saturday morning in Manhattan. She declined to provide further details.
Lincoln started performing in the 1950s when she released her first album, "Abbey Lincoln's Affair ... A Story of a Girl in Love." Often said to have been heavily influenced by the legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday, Lincoln continued to write and perform for six decades.
She was also well-known as an actress. She co-starred with Sidney Poitier in the 1968 film, "For Love of Ivy," for which she received a Golden Globe nomination.
You know, when everything is finished in a world, the people go to look for what the artists leave. --Abbey Lincoln
During the 1960s, Lincoln became active in the civil rights movement. She sang on the album, "We Insist! -- Max Roach's Freedom Now Suite." She was married to the jazz musician Max Roach during the 1960s. They divorced in 1970.
Speaking to National Public Radio before her death, Lincoln reflected on her life and art.
"You know, when everything is finished in a world, the people go to look for what the artists leave," she said. "It's the only thing that we have really in this world -- is an ability to express ourselves and say I was here," she said.

Source: James Nadal at AllAboutJazz
”How can you have a career and never say anything? To experience it all and not say a word, you're supposed to stand up and speak your mind in the music. Some people like to hear some reality. I'm not trying to save or fix the world. I'm just singing about my experiences. My songs are observations.”
For four decades Lincoln's life has been a constant transformation of experience, of awakenings into growth, of the communication of what she has witnessed. She has grown through many stages: a naive young lounge singer; a movie and jazz club sex kitten; a vocal African-American with a deepened cultural awareness; a sensitive actress contradicting cultural perceptions; an artistic and cultural exile; a poetic jazz sage. She has gone by many names, finding and then defining herself individually, culturally, and humanistically. Lincoln's music, which at first served as an escape from the life around her, grew into a means of expression, understanding, and communication with others.
Lincoln was born Anna Marie Wooldridge in Chicago in 1930. Her parents soon moved the family to Calvin Center, Michigan, her mother believing a rural area was the best place to raise a family. Since the family was poor, the children often had to entertain themselves with singing, but as the tenth of twelve children, Lincoln had a hard time distinguishing herself. She also sang in school and church choirs, often as a soloist. Her musical approach, however, was mainly influenced by recordings of singers her father borrowed from neighbors: Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Lena Horne.
Lincoln proved her own singing capabilities by winning an amateur contest when she was 19 and began her musical career by moving to Los Angeles to sing in nightclubs. By 1952, she had moved to Honolulu to perform as a resident club singer under the stage name Anna Marie, but she still hadn't developed her
own identity as a singer.
Lincoln returned to Hollywood in 1954 to sing at the Moulin Rouge, a nightclub with a French-style revue. Under the advice of her manager, lyricist Bob Russell, she changed her name to Abbey Lincoln. She made her recording debut in 1955 “Abbey Lincoln's Affair. A Story of a Girl in Love” (Bluenote) and went on to make several important albums for Riverside as “That’s Him”, “It’s Magic”, and “Abby is Blue”. These albums featured Max Roach on drums, with whom she also collaborated on 1960's landmark jazz civil rights recording, “We Insist! Freedom Now Suite”, composed by Max Roach with lyrics by Oscar Brown, Jr. Her studio sessions included some remarkable sidemen as Kenny Dorham, Sonny Rollins, Wynton Kelly, Curtis Fuller and Benny Golson.. She recorded “Straight Ahead” (Candid) in 1961 which included Roach, Booker Little, Eric Dolphy and Coleman Hawkins. There was a spell in the mid ‘60’s, in which she pursued an acting career and did not record, save for one date in ’68 again with Max Roach, whom she married in 1962. She wrote “Blues for Mama”, which was covered brilliantly by Nina Simone in 1966.
Despite winning accolades for film roles, Lincoln was relegated to minor television spots, never being allowed to fulfill her possible destiny as an actress. In 1970, frustrated by a stifled acting career and despondent over her recent divorce from Roach, Lincoln sought emotional relief. She began writing her own songs. Since then she has consistently crafted new tunes for her albums. “I write when I'm inspired,” she explains. “I don't just sit around waiting to write-or sing or paint for that matter. I wait. If I hear something, I'll write it down or commit it to memory one way or another.”
In 1979, almost 15 years after her last U.S. release, Lincoln offered “People in Me.” She had spent the decade writing songs, training her voice, and finding inner peace. After almost ten years of self-exile, Lincoln had emerged as a “strong black wind, blowing gently on and on.”
Throughout most of the 1980s, Lincoln continued “in the shadows, looking inward, taking the stuff of her own life--the loneliness, pain, and joy--and turning it into music,” Her approach to songwriting is autobiographical; she records the world as she encounters it and offers it back in telling observations. “A singer has the power of the word,” she explains. “What we say is direct.... I come from a long line of great singers who were social and specific and sang about their lives and the lives of their people.”
Lincoln's voice ascended to that of her celebrated predecessors not only in content but also in timbre. It is a voice now often compared to one of her childhood idols, Billie Holiday, a deep, rich voice, truer to the emotional content of her songs than to musical perfection. She delivers with a strong sense of conviction, conveying the message that she believes every word. She recorded two tribute albums to Billie in 1987, released on the Enja label.
With two releases in the early 1990’s “The World Is Falling Down,” and “You Gotta Pay the Band,: Ms. Lincoln earned both commercial and artistic success. Both are a testament to her life, her artistic vision, her overall empathy for humanity. On 1991's “You Gotta Pay the Band,” she was joined by the great jazz saxophonist Stan Getz, who died shortly after its release. The music they created and communicated together transcended not only the simple joys of life but the pain at its very end.
“A Turtles Dream” (1995) featured an all star lineup and was very well received. The opening song on the record “Throw it Away,” is very poignant, and sets the mood for the duration.
Since 2000 Ms. Lincoln has released “Over the Years,” (2000) “It’s Me,” (2003) “Naturally” (2006), and her most recent “Abby Sings Abby,” released in 2007 on Verve.
With the authority of her years and her musical and human understanding, Abbey Lincoln sheds light on every song she sings. A consummation to date of her life's mastery of word, music, and performance, it's at once a thought- provoking and a life-affirming State of the Soul address.
Abbey Lincoln passed on August 14, 2010.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

2 Sem. 2010 - Part Three

Alan Broadbent Trio
Live At Giannelli Square: Volume 1

By Leonardo Barroso
Alan Broadbent is one of the most prestigious jazz player of our time: a superberly gifted pianist, arranger and songwriter. A two-times Grammy Award winner. His music has the lyricism of Bill Evans' own; has a profound taste and an emotional balance hard to find these days. But, is when, captured by the Jazz spirit, using his powerful Jazz Trio, that this great musician blossoms for the gratitude of Jazz lovers around the world.
Alan's "Personal Standards" is among one my all-time favorite. Since that recording, I kept waiting for a sequel. He has recorded excellent cd's ( You & The Night & The Music, Moment's Notice and Round Midnight), but none had got close to that true masterpiece. When my hopes were starting to vanish, Alan puts out a new CD recorded on January 29 and 30-2010, live, trio (Putter Smith-Bass & Kendall Kay-Drums) , and with a mix of standards and originals. On Saturday, August 07, 2010 I had my first contact with the new recording. After the first two tracks ( "Lullaby Of The Leaves" and "I'll Be Alright"), I was sure it was something special, but.... how dare he plays the evanesque/non-original "My Foolish Heart" that would follow? You all must listen to it!
Well...... "Live At Giannelli Square: Volume 1" is fantastic, an eargasm, the true heir for Alan's 1997 masterpiece.
Can't wait to hear Volume 2 !!

George Colligan
Come Together

By Michael G. Nastos
George Colligan's previous recording Runaway was, in his viewpoint, sonically less homogeneous than this one, but the diversity he has embraced on Come Together is much more pronounced. Sticking with the piano-bass-drums acoustic trio setting, Colligan is stretching out into more arenas of modern jazz, exploring the progressive inclinations of his persona, and dipping into the simplistic side on occasion. This three-piece combo of pianist Colligan, bassist Boris Kozlov, and drummer Donald Edwards has provided the rhythmic component of both the Mingus Dynasty and Mingus Big Band, but this is their first recorded excursion apart from those acclaimed jazz orchestras, playing Colligan's inventive and distinctive music. Fans of the Bad Plus might appreciate tracks like the darker "Lift" or off minor "Uncharted Territory" that display a rock edge within their dank heaviness. Then there's the paradoxical "Have No Fear," merging tricky 6/8 and simpler 4/4 rhythms into one against a driving beat from Edwards. Colligan's stabbing piano chords during "Reaction" sidle with fleet lines and very complex ideas for the more open-minded, while the playful swing of "Venom" with repeat themes, and the funky cover of the Beatles "Come Together" are conversely easily rendered and not so challenging. A lithe and bouncy, rather straight read of "The Shadow of Your Smile" adds further emotional depth, while the pile-driving, McCoy Tyner-styled "To the Wall" again offers the yang to the yin in hip, heavy, harmonic ways. Colligan is a great talent whose musicality is immediately recognizable even if his personal style is not. Kozlov and Edwards are also extremely talented performers who can push the pianist just to the brink without plunging to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. It's this kind of camaraderie that allows this modern jazz to bend but not break, making for a very satisfying listening experience for both heart and head.

FóVea Jazz Project
Almeno tu.....

Tem a faixa "Theme from The Pink Panther" com um novo arranjo utilizando uma forte influencia Hancockiana.
E' da poco uscito il nuovo CD del FòVEA JAZZ PROJECT di Gianni Insalata e Felice Lionetti dal titolo Almeno Tu... prodotto dalla prestigiosa etichetta discografica Philology di Paolo Piangiarelli e distribuito in Italia e nel mondo dalla I.R.D.
Alcune liner notes presenti all'interno del CD di Paolo Piangiarelli: "un lavoro che mi ha da subito coinvolto per la sua musicalità sino a via via addirittura entusiasmarmi....ce n' era abbastanza per decidere di accettare questo stupendo disco di Carneadi nel -prestigioso(posso definirlo tale?) - catalogo Philology..."
Gianni Insalata: drums; Felice Lionetti: piano; Daniele Scannapieco: sax; Tommaso Scannapieco: bass; Francesco Palmitessa: guitar

John Abercrombie Quartet
Wait Till You See Her

By Michael G. Nastos
John Abercrombie's longstanding partnership with Mark Feldman has yielded several albums of exquisite music, and Wait Till You See Her is no different. The mood is naturally restrained, contemplative, and introspective as you would expect, while there's a common thread of healthy respect that keeps the quartet in the softer mezzo piano range. With acoustic bassist Thomas Morgan and the irrepressible drummer Joey Baron, the electric guitarist and violinist weave their way through one standard and seven originals from Abercrombie that comes straight from the heart. It's not all sedate music — check out "Line-Up," a fun listen as sneaky melody lines and frisky interplay is infused in a neo-bop context. A sprightly two-step beat, walking along with a brief, folksy musical snippet makes "Out of Towner" a tongue-in-cheek tribute to Ralph Towner. Then there's another cutely titled parody, "Chic of Araby," a bass-led tango with Abercrombie's secretive, snake-like guitar in the lower key dynamic the band prefers. A bluesy and reverent piece, "Anniversary Waltz" is in the midtempo pace that sports a more universal appeal, and it's draped in a pretty, elegant dress. The extremely slow "Sad Song" paraphrases the melody of "Speak Low" as Feldman's violin speaks to the emotions of the fallen, the title selection, a Richard Rodgers/Lorenz Hart evergreen, is reduced to a wisp of an anticipatory theme, and "I've Overlooked Before" has the seascape-at-midnight audio quality evocative of the best film noir soundtrack, ultimately dusky and sighing. One track sans Feldman — "Trio" — is a pretty good jazz swinger as you hear the sparse signature sound Abercrombie has held close to his soul for four decades. Feldman always holds sway with his beautiful and piquant voicings. Alongside Abercrombie, you always know there's a compatible, agreeable sound forged between these high-level contemporary jazz string players. It's not a commanding performance, but the subtle nuances outweigh any kind of loud pronouncements that distract from musicality. At the bottom line, it's another consistent and at times excellent effort from these tried and true modern musicians.

Rufus Reid
Out Front

By Michael G. Nastos
Rufus Reid, one of the most magnificent jazz bassists in history, scores here again with another recording in a trio featuring musicians who live up to his virtuosic tendencies. With pianist Steve Allee and drummer Duduka Da Fonseca, Reid breezes through a program of understated originals, Latin-tinged music, and a bit of bop-flavored material sure to please all mainstream jazz fans. Clearly well-rehearsed, Reid puts the band through its paces with sounds more subtle and sophisticated than blaring, forced, or tough-faced. Three tracks are originals composed by the bassist, with Allee credited for two and one for Da Fonseca. The lone standard, "If You Could See Me Now," showcases the ultimately tuneful Reid, who plays the melody all the way through, while his bowed bass on "Caress the Thought" is ultimately dramatic. With the leader in stunning unison with Allee, the deep, heavy, and off-minor "Glory" should stop all listeners in their tracks, while conversely, the light, airy "Ebony" is far from dark, with a little shuffle tossed in. On the Brazilian side there's Marcos Silva's hopping samba "Dry Land," and Da Fonseca's "Doña Maria" suggests that Allee has heard his fair share of the modal McCoy Tyner. The musicianship is at such a high level that you cannot help but be pulled into this exceptional music, going far beyond the pale of most regular piano/bass/drums trios, led by the succinct, deft, and consistently brilliant bass playing of Reid, easily one of the top five bassists in modern jazz.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Jazz Pianists Today - Bill Evans Legacy

Top 10 + 2, Jazz Pianists alive today:

Alan Broadbent
Born: April 23, 1947
Born in Auckland, New Zealand, composer, arranger and jazz pianist Alan Broadbent began performing professionally at the age of 15, following classical studies. In 1966 he received a scholarship to attend Boston’s Berklee College of Music, where he studied composition and arranging. During his tenure at Berklee, Broadbent performed regularly in Boston while traveling on weekends to New York where he studied improvisation with Lennie Tristano. Completing studies at Berklee in 1969, Broadbent began a three-year tour as arranger and pianist for bandleader Woody Herman, earning Downbeat Magazine’s “Best Arranger” Award in 1972 and two Grammy Award nominations for “Children of Lima” (1975) and “Aja” (1978).
Settling in Los Angeles, Broadbent worked with such notable musicians as Nelson Riddle (his pianist for 10 yrs.), David Rose, Johnny Mandel and Henry Mancini. In addition to his own recording projects, Broadbent has arranged and conducted Mel Torme’s “Tribute to Bing Crosby”( a Grammy nomination for best arrangement accompanying a vocal “Without a Word of Warning”1995), Scott Hamilton’s “With Strings”, Marian McPartland’s “Silent Pool” and Natalie Cole’s “Take A Look”, “Holly and Ivy” and “Stardust”.
In 1997 he won a Grammy for his arrangement of “When I Fall In Love” for Natalie Cole. In 2000 he earned his second Grammy Award for best arrangement accompanying a vocal for “Lonely Town”, which he wrote for Charlie Haden’s Quartet West featuring Shirley Horn and strings.
As a member of Quartet West he has toured throughout the USA, Canada and Europe. His recordings with the group include “Haunted Heart”, “Always Say Goodbye”, “Now Is The Hour” and “The Art of the Song”, all featuring his arrangements for string orchestra.
Broadbent’s trio recordings include “Better Days”, “Pacific Standard Time” and “Personal Standards” which features his Grammy nominated song “Everytime I Think of You”. He has also recorded a solo piano CD for Concord Records’ highly acclaimed “Live at Maybeck Hall” series (Vol.14), as well as a duo CD with saxophonist Gary Foster, live at Maybeck.
His most recent CDs feature his arrangements for Michael Feinstein and the Israel Philharmonic (2002) and Natalie Cole’s “Ask A Woman Who Knows” for whom “I’m Glad There Is You” was nominated for a Grammy Best Arrangement Accomp. Vocal (Feb. 2003)
Broadbent is currently the musical director for Diana Krall.
Whether working as a composer, arranger, conductor or pianist, he is widely respected and admired.

Fred Hersch
Born: October 21, 1955
Pianist and composer Fred Hersch has earned his place among the foremost jazz artists and creative musicians in the world today. He is widely recognized for his ability to steadfastly create a unique body of original works while reinventing the standard jazz repertoire - investing time-tested classics with keen insight, fresh ideas and extraordinary technique. Hersch's many accomplishments include two Grammy® nominations for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance and a 2003 Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship for composition. He is currently nominated for a 2006 Grammy® Award for Best Instrumental Composition.
Hersch is considered to be the most prolific and widely-praised solo jazz pianist of his generation. In 2006, Palmetto Records released the solo disc Fred Hersch in Amsterdam: Live at the Bimhuis; its release led to Hersch becoming the first pianist in the 70-year history of New York's legendary Village Vanguard to play an entire week as a solo pianist shortly after the disc's release. In addition, he leads a trio, a quintet and has ongoing special collaborations with jazz and classical instrumentalists and vocalists around the world. His next trio release, Night and the Music, will be released by Palmetto May 1st, 2007.
His career as a performer has been greatly enhanced by his composing activities, a vital part of nearly all of his live concerts and recordings. Hersch recently created Leaves of Grass (Palmetto Records), a large-scale setting of Walt Whitman's poetry for two voices (Kurt Elling and Kate McGarry) and an instrumental octet; the work was presented in March 2005 in a sold-out performance at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall as part of a six-city US tour. Hersch has toured with concert pianist Christopher O'Riley (”Heard Fresh: Music for Two Pianos”) and he has also collaborated sopranos Renée Fleming, Audra McDonald and Dawn Upshaw; violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg; and pianist Jeffrey Kahane. He has received commissions from The Gilmore Keyboard Festival, The Doris Duke Foundation, The Miller Theatre at Columbia University, The Gramercy Trio and The Brooklyn Youth Chorus. His solo piano compositions and chamber music are published by Edition Peters.
Hersch has acted as a passionate spokesman and fund-raiser for AIDS services and education agencies since 1993. He has produced and performed on four benefit recordings and at numerous concerts for the charities Classical Action: Performing Arts Against AIDS and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS that have raised over $250,000 to date.
After graduating from The New England Conservatory in 1977, Hersch relocated to New York City and quickly became one of the most in-demand pianists in town. As a sideman, he appeared with such jazz masters as saxophonists Stan Getz, Joe Henderson, and Jane Ira Bloom; flugelhornist Art Farmer; harmonica virtuoso Toots Thielemans; vibraphonist Gary Burton; and bassists Sam Jones and Charlie Haden.
Hersch has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning with Dr. Billy Taylor and on a wide variety of National Public Radio programs including Fresh Air, Jazz Set, Studio 360 and Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz. Hersch has also been awarded a Rockefeller Fellowship, grants from The National Endowment for the Arts and Meet the Composer, and six composition residencies at The MacDowell Colony. A committed educator, Hersch was a faculty member at the New England Conservatory for ten years, and has taught at The New School and Manhattan School of Music; he is currently a visiting professor at Western Michigan University.

Franco D'Andrea
Born: March 08, 1941by Ron Wynn
Keyboards. Italian pianist who's been busy working with visiting American musicians and cutting free and jazz rock dates since the '60s. His earliest sessions came with Nunzio Rotondo and Gato Barbieri. Then he recorded with Franco Ambrosetti, Giorgio Azzolini and Giovanni Tommaso, plus Gianni Basso and Enrico Rava. D'Andrea formed the Modern Art Trio in 1968 and four years later played with the jazz rock group Perigeo. D'Andrea worked with a host of visiting American jazz greats, including Dexter Gordon, Slide Hampton, Max Roach and Lucky Thompson and has recorded with Lee Konitz, Conte Candoli and Johnny Griffin. He joined Rava's quartet in 1979, then formed his own group in 1983.

Ahmad Jamal
Born: July 2, 1930In 1951, Mr. Jamal first recorded 'Ahmad's Blues' on Okeh Records. His arrangement of the folk tune 'Billy Boy', and 'Poinciana' (not his original composition), also stem from this period. In 1955, he recorded his first Argo (Chess) Records album that included 'New Rhumba', 'Excerpts From The Blues', 'Medley' (actually 'I Don't Want To Be Kissed'), and 'It Ain't Necessarily So' --all later utilized by Miles Davis and Gil Evans on the albums “Miles Ahead” and “Porgy and Bess.” In his autobiography, Mr. Davis praises Mr. Jamal's special artistic qualities and cites his influence. In fact, the mid-to-late 1950's Miles Davis Quintet recordings notably feature material previously recorded by Mr. Jamal: 'Squeeze Me', 'It Could Happen To You', 'But Not For Me', 'Surrey With The Fringe On Top', 'Ahmad's Blues', 'On Green Dolphin Street' and 'Billy Boy'.
In 1956, Mr. Jamal, who had already been joined by bassist Israel Crosby in 1955, replaced guitarist Ray Crawford with a drummer. Working as the “house trio” at Chicago's Pershing Hotel drummer Vernell Fournier joined this trio in 1958 and Mr. Jamal made a live album for Argo Records entitled “But Not For Me”. The resulting hit single and album, that also included 'Poinciana' -- his rendition could be considered his “signature”. This album remained on the Ten Best-selling charts for 108 weeks -- unprecedented then for a jazz album. This financial success enabled Mr. Jamal to realize a dream, and he opened a restaurant/club, The Alhambra, in Chicago. Here the Trio was able to perform while limiting their touring schedule and Mr. Jamal was able to do record production and community work.
Mr. Jamal was born on July 2, 1930, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A child prodigy who began to play the piano at the age of 3, he began formal studies at age 7. While in high school, he completed the equivalent of college master classes under the noted African-American concert singer and teacher Mary Caldwell Dawson and pianist James Miller. He joined the musicians union at the age of 14, and he began touring upon graduation from Westinghouse High School at the age of 17, drawing critical acclaim for his solos. In 1950, he formed his first trio, The Three Strings. Performing at New York's The Embers club, Record Producer John Hammond “discovered” The Three Strings and signed them to Okeh Records (a division of Columbia, now Sony Records).
Mr. Jamal has continued to record his outstanding original arrangements of such standards as 'I Love You', 'A Time For Love', 'On Green Dolphin Street' (well before Miles Davis!), 'End of a Love Affair', to cite a few. Mr. Jamal's own classic compositions begin with 'Ahmad's Blues' (first recorded on October 25, 1951!), 'New Rhumba', 'Manhattan Reflections', 'Tranquility', 'Extensions', 'The Awakening', 'Night Mist Blues' and most recently 'If I Find You Again', among many others..
In 1994, Mr. Jamal received the American Jazz Masters award from the National Endowment for the Arts. The same year he was named a Duke Ellington Fellow at Yale University, where he performed commissioned works with the Assai String Quartet. A CD is available of these works.
In 1970, Mr. Jamal performed the title tune by Johnny Mandel for the soundtrack of the film “Mash!”; and in 1995, two tracks from his hit album “But Not For Me” -- 'Music, Music, Music', and 'Poinciana' -- were featured in the Clint Eastwood film “The Bridges of Madison County”.
Mr. Jamal's CD entitled “The Essence” features tenor saxophonist George Coleman -- Mr. Jamal's first recording made with a horn! Critical acclaim and outstanding sales resulted in two prestigious awards: D'jango D'or (critics) and Cloch (for sales) in France. Its success generated a concert at Salle Pleyel, and a CD has been released “Ahmad Jamal a Paris” (1992) and a second “live” concert by Mr. Jamal in l996 under the same title, unissued except in France and available on the Dreyfus Records on the Internet, Mr. Jamal rightly considers one of his best recordings. Ahmad Jamal's 70th Birthday “live” concert recording Olympia 2000, is known as “The Essence Part III”. “The Essence, Part II”, featured Donald Byrd on the title track, and on his CD entitled “Nature”, Stanley Turrentine is featured on 'The Devil's In My Den', and steel drummer Othello Molineaux augments the trio format. Continuing his recording career, Mr. Jamal released “In Search of” on CD, and his first DVD “Live In Baalbeck”.
For students of the piano, Hal Leonard Publications has published “The Ahmad Jamal Collection”, a collection of piano transcriptions. Mr. Jamal continues to record exclusively for the French Birdology label, and his albums are released on Verve and Atlantic in the United States.
Mr. Jamal is an exclusive Steinway piano artist.

Stefano Bollani
Born: December 05, 1972
by Marisa Brown
Jazz pianist Stefano Bollani was born in Milan, Italy. He began playing piano as a child in order to accompany his singing, but soon concentrated solely on the instrument, enrolling in a conservatory in Florence when he was 11. There, he studied both jazz and pop music, and after graduating in 1993, added his keyboard skills to albums for many of Italy's top pop stars, including Laura Pausini, Irene Grandi, and Jovanotti. When working with the latter in 1996 he met avant-garde jazz trumpeter Enrico Rava, who invited the young pianist to play with him in Paris, an opportunity Bollani quickly accepted. He then began to release more jazz albums, first with his trio (completed by bassist Ares Tavolazzi and drummer Walter Paoli) but also as a solo artist (like on 2003's Småt Småt and 2006's Piano Solo) as well as with other trios (2002's Fleurs Bleues drew from the talents of bassist Scott Colley and drummer Clarence Penn, while 2005's Gleda: Songs from Scandinavia used Jesper Bodilsen and Morten Lund) and even a quintet (2006's I Visionari). Bollani has also appeared on stages at the Umbria and Montreal Jazz Festivals, among others, and has performed with musicians like Gato Barbieri, Lee Konitz, Pat Metheny, Paolo Fresu, and Phil Woods.

Steve Kuhn
Born: March 24, 1938Brooklyn-born Steve Kuhn was fascinated with jazz very early in his life. He began classical piano lessons at age five and soon began to “improvise and syncopate the classical repertoire.”
In his early teens, Kuhn studied with legendary teacher Margaret Chaloff who schooled him in the “Russian Technique”, an invaluable tool for tone production and projection. Chaloff's son, Serge, baritone saxophonist for Woody Herman, hired the 13 year-old pianist to play in his group. Throughout his teens Kuhn continued to play in Boston jazz clubs with visiting celebrities; Coleman Hawkins, Chet Baker and Vic Dickenson.
After graduation from Harvard College, Kuhn attended the Lenox School of Music where he met and played in a group with fellow-students Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry. The faculty included Bill Evans, George Russell, and Gunther Schuller. While at Lenox, Kuhn met trumpeter Kenny Dorham and began a two-year stint, interrupted when Kuhn was asked to join John Coltrane's newly-formed quartet.
Kuhn next joined Stan Getz's band, which included bassist Scott LaFaro. After a year with Art Farmer, he formed the first Steve Kuhn Trio, with drummer Pete LaRoca and bassist Steve Swallow. At the end of the 1960's he spent four years living in Europe, where his performances had a significant impact upon local players. Upon returning to the United States, Kuhn began his long-term affiliation with ECM, resulting in a string of important albums including Trance, Ecstasy, Non-Fiction and the collaborations with Sheila Jordan; Playground and Last Year's Waltz.
In the mid-80's, Kuhn co-founded the popular 'All Star Trio', with bassist Ron Carter and drummer Al Foster, and launched a new and still evolving edition of his trio with bassist David Finck. Drummers for the latter have included Joey Baron (as on the ECM recording Remembering Tomorrow), Lewis Nash, Billy Drummond, Kenny Washington and Bill Stewart. In the 90's and up to the present time, he has recorded CDs for Venus, Reservoir and Sunnyside.
In 2004, Kuhn recorded Promises Kept which includes a string orchestra for ECM Records. He is most proud of this recording. Kuhn continues to tour widely throughout the world, with a strong following in Europe and especially Japan where his CDs frequently appear on the jazz charts.

Jessica Williams
Born: March 17, 1948Jessica Williams is a well-known and highly respected pianist and composer who has deep roots in the Jazz Tradition. The two-time Grammy Nominee was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and classically trained at the Peabody Conservatory of Music. In her teens, Jessica moved to Philadelphia and began playing with the great Philly Joe Jones, drummer for the Miles Davis Quintet. Later, she moved to California, where she played in the bands of Eddie Harris, Dexter Gordon, Tony Williams, Stan Getz, Big Nick Nicholaus, Airto and Flora, Charlie Rouse, John Abercrombie, Charlie Haden, Leroy Vinnegar, and others. She has received two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts; a Rockerfeller Grant for composing; the Alice B. Toklas Grant for Women Composers, and the prestigious John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. Jessica has been an honored guest on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross, and on Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz.
She has released over 40 albums in a career spanning as many years. Her album Joyful Sorrow was among the Top 5 CDs of JazzTimes' Critics Poll in 1999, and her album In the Key of Monk won that honor again in 2000. In late 2004, her album LIVE at Yoshi's Volume One was nominated for a Grammy. In Europe, she scored Jazz Record of the Year for 2 consecutive years in the Jazz Journal International Reader's Poll. She has scored PBS and HBO specials, and has been presented the Keys to the City of both San Mateo, and Sacramento, California

Brad Mehldau
Born: August 23, 1970
by Richard S. Ginell & Thom Jurek
During the '90s and into the 2000s, Brad Mehldau was another of the plethora of young jazz pianists who adopted
Bill Evans as their role model. Yet while the influence of Evans still thoroughly dominates Mehldau's introspective manner, harmonic constructions, and preferred format (the piano trio), he is one of the more absorbing and thoughtful practitioners within that idiom, and he is receptive to the idea of using material from the rock era (Paul McCartney's "Blackbird," for example). Though Mehldau's training is primarily classical, his interest in jazz began early. He played in the Hall High School jazz band of Hartford, CT, winning Berklee College's Best All-Around Musician Award while still in his junior year of high school. He studied jazz at New York's New School for Social Research under Fred Hersch, Junior Mance, Kenny Werner, and Jimmy Cobb. Cobb soon hired him to play in his band, Cobb's Mob, and Mehldau also played and recorded with the Joshua Redman Quartet before forming his own trio in 1994 and recording his first Warner Bros. album, Introducing Brad Mehldau, in 1995. Art of the Trio, Vol. 1 followed in 1997, with the next two volumes in the series appearing over the following months. Two years later, Mehldau returned with Elegiac Cycle, as well as Art of the Trio, Vol. 4: Back at the Vanguard. Places followed in 2000, consisting of all original compositions focusing on various cities, hence the title of the album. Another Art of the Trio album came in 2001, but the most significant release was Largo, which recorded Mehldau performing with other groups outside of his usual trio format. This was a big change from his previous work, and offered new challenges as he adapted to several interesting lineup situations. Mehldau followed the genre-bending album with the standards-based Anything Goes and Live in Tokyo in 2004, with Day Is Done arriving the following year. In 2006, he released House on Hill as well as Love Sublime, the latter with soprano vocalist Renée Fleming on Nonesuch Records. Mehldau chose to work with his trio plus Pat Metheny on Quartet in 2007; he followed it up with with the double-disc Live in 2008, which was recorded with his trio at the Village Vanguard. In 2010, Mehldau emerged with the ambitious Highway Rider, a double disc of 15 new compositions; it was produced by Jon Brion. He employed his trio as well as drummer Matt Chamberlain, saxophonist Joshua Redman, and a small chamber orchestra led by Dan Coleman. Mehldau arranged and orchestrated all the music.

Enrico Pieranunzi
Born: December 5, 1949He was born in Rome.
When he was only five and a half years old he began studying piano. At the same time his father, a guitarist, started introducing him to the wonders and challenges of jazz improvisation as well. From then on Enrico kept on following a double road in music. In fact he developed his jazz style while studying classical piano.
When he was 19 he began his professional career in Italy and since then he has worked with an abundance of bands, both Italian units and groups led by Americans.
His remarkably wide-ranging experiences include collaborations with jazz luminaries such as Johnny Griffin, Chet Baker, Art Farmer, Lee Koonitz, Jim Hall.
Since 1975 Pieranunzi has led his own groups, mostly trios, with which he has played clubs and festivals all over Europe (Zurich, Ravenna, Berlin, Umbria Jazz, Madrid, Copenhagen among them).
He also used to perform as unaccompanied pianist and still does to this very day.
His teaching experience, both in jazz and classical field, is also noteworthy. He is currently full professor of piano at the “Conservatorio di Musica” in Frosinone.
In 1984 Pieranunzi formed an american trio with Marc Johnson and Joey Baron. After their first album togheter (New Lands - Timeless) McCoy Tyner described Pieranunzi as “a new addition to the top-jazz pianoworld”.
In 1986 anothr highly appreciated album (Deep down - Soul Note) was recorded by them.
“No man's land” (1989 with Marc Johnson and Steve Houghton) and “First song” (1990 with Charlie Haden and Billy Higgins), both for Soul Note, made Pieranunzi's experience with american trios even richer and wider.
As a close to his liner notes of the latter, well known jazz writer Nat Hentoff stated “these three have created music here that will last long beyond trends and fads because it is as basic as your life”.
Still in 1990 Pieranunzi appeared as guest artist at the “Blue Ridge Music Festival” in Lynchburg, Virginia, playing with Marc Johnson and Peter Erskine. His performance in Virginia wasn't Pieranunzi's first time in USA. In fact in 1982 and 1985 he had already toured the States, giggin in New York and Boston, as well as performing and staging at Alabama and Tennessee Universities.
Voted “Musician of the year” in the “Musica Jazz” critics poll in 1989, Pieranunzi has been said “to reveal himself as a very original musician and a talented composer, able to travel the high road with his own ideas and remarkable musical sensitivity”. He “breathes new life into contemporary jazz” (Jazz Journal).

Eliane Elias
Born: March 19, 1960
by Craig Harris & Thom Jurek
The classical tradition meets the spontaneity of jazz through the virtuosic playing of Brazil-born and New York-based pianist Eliane Elias. A former member of jazz ensemble Steps Ahead, Elias has continued to explore two distinct musical streams through her solo recordings and her performances since the mid-'80s. In 1993, she became one of the few artists to simultaneously release jazz and classical albums. In a review of a concert in her homeland, Brazil magazine praised Elias for "her dazzling right-hand runs, executed often at frightening speeds. Her command of the keyboard was total. Her harmonic sensibility caused a sense of wondermint." Elias no doubt inherited at least some of her musical talents from her mother, Lucy, a classical pianist who often played jazz records in the family home. After studying for six years at the Free Center of Music Apprenticeship in São Paulo, she continued to study classical technique with Amilton Godoy and Amaral Vieria. By her teens, Elias was composing her own pieces and performing in jazz clubs. While touring in Europe in 1981, she met jazz bassist Eddie Gomez and was encouraged to travel to New York. Arriving in the Big Apple the following year, she studied privately with Olegna Fuschi at the Juilliard School of Music. Elias' professional career received a boost when she was invited to join Steps Ahead, a jazz "supergroup" featuring Michael Brecker, Peter Erskine, Mike Manieri, and Eddie Gomez. She recorded one album with the group — Steps Ahead — in 1983. Shortly after leaving Steps Ahead, Elias began collaborating with trumpet player Randy Brecker, whom she subsequently married but later divorced. Their sole duo album, released in 1985, was named after their daughter Amanda. The following year, Elias launched her career as a bandleader. Since then, she's alternated tours with two different trios, one featuring drummer Jack DeJohnette and bassist Gomez and the other featuring drummer Erskine and her current husband, bassist Marc Johnson. Elias has also performed with a third trio, featuring Johnson on bass and Satoshi Takeishi on drums. She signed with Blue Note in 1989, and released her debut for the label, So Far So Close, the same year with a slew of guests. While most of her recordings have been instrumental, Elias introduced her soft but coarse vocals on her 1990 album Eliane Elias Plays Jobim, and has employed vocals on occasion ever since. Her 1995 album Solos and Duets featured a brilliantly executed duet with Herbie Hancock. In addition to working periodically with Toots Thielemans' Brasil Project, Elias has served as musical director for Gilberto Gil's group. While she continued to record for the rest of the 1990s, it was 2000's Impulsive! that proved one of the largest surprises in her career as she collaborated with conductor and arranger Bob Brookmeyer leading the Danish Radio Jazz Orchestra. In 2002 she left Blue Note for RCA's Bluebird label, where she debuted with Kissed by Nature, a primarily vocal album, and following it up with the lovely Dreamer in 2004. Elias released Around the City in 2006, a collection of primarily vocal tracks that moved ever further into pop territory, covering music by Santana, Bob Marley, and even Beck. It was her final album for Bluebird. She returned to Blue Note for 2007's Something for You: Elaine Elias Sings & Plays Bill Evans, fronting a trio with Johnson (who played with Evans) and drummer Joey Baron. In 2009, she issued what many have argued is her finest recording, Bossa Nova Stories, fully engaging her Brazilian heritage in bossa and samba and illustrating her singular jazz instincts as a pianist. In 2010, Savoy Records issued Timeless Eliane Elias, a compilation of tracks culled from her mid-'80s recordings Illusions and Cross Currents.

Denny Zeitlin
Born: April 10, 1938by Chris Kelsey
Zeitlin has one of the more unusual "day gigs" for a jazz musician: he's a psychiatrist. Zeitlin's parents were involved in both music and medicine. They started him on the piano at age two; he continued to study classical music while in elementary school, then began playing jazz in high school. Zeitlin began playing professionally in and around his hometown of Chicago as a teenager. In college, he studied composition and theory with George Russell, Alexander Tcherepnin, and Robert Muczynski while simultaneously pursuing studies in medicine. While a student at Columbia University in New York City, Zeitlin auditioned for the legendary producer/talent scout John Hammond; Hammond was sufficiently impressed to produce several records by Zeitlin in the '60s.After receiving his M.D. from Johns Hopkins University in 1964, Zeitlin relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he worked as both a psychiatrist and musician; one of his trios in the mid-'60s included the bassist Charlie Haden. Zeitlin began experimenting with the prepared piano in the late '60s, which led to an interest in electronic keyboards. He quit playing in public for a time while developing his music further, re-emerging in the '70s playing a style that combined electronics with elements of jazz, classical, and rock. Zeitlin would go on to compose for film and television. His most notable soundtrack was written for director Philip Kaufman's 1978 remake of the sci-fi classic, Invasion of the Body Snatchers; he's also written original music for the children's program Sesame Street. Zeitlin has played with a great many prominent musicians, including Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny, David Grisman, Paul Winter, and Joe Henderson. Zeitlin has recorded for Concord Records as part of their Live at Maybeck Recital Hall series of solo and duo performances. His albums are also available on the Intuition and Summit labels. Zeitlin has combined his professional interests in the form of a lecture-demonstration entitled "Unlocking the Creative Impulse: the Psychology of Improvisation," which he's presented across the U.S. and Europe.

Christian Jacob
Born: May 08, 1958
Christian Jacob began playing at the age of four and graduated with First Prize from the “Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique” in Paris. In 1983, he enrolled at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and later joined the faculty.
While attending Berklee “Downbeat Magazine” honored Christian as “Top Collegiate Jazz Soloist” and he won the 6th Annual Great American Jazz Piano Competition in Jacksonville, Florida.
Christian later toured with Maynard Ferguson, who produced Christian’s two Concord recordings: “Maynard Ferguson Presents Christian Jacob” and “Time Lines”.
Christian quickly began performing and recording with many of today’s jazz legends Flora Purim and Airto Moreira, Randy Brecker, Miroslav Vitous, Phil Woods, and Bill Holman to name just a few.
By the mid 1990’s Christian teamed up with vocalist Tierney Sutton, drummer Ray Brinker and bassist Trey Henry to record their first CD together, “Introducing Tierney Sutton”. The band became known for its sophisticated, refreshing arrangements, and the obvious musical joy they felt when playing together. They developed into a tightly knit group that recorded six critically acclaimed CDs for Telarc Jazz. “Unsung Heroes”, “Blue in Green”, “Something Cool”, “Dancing in the Dark”, “I’m With The Band” and “On the Other Side”. The later two were both nominated for a Grammy Award.
In the midst of his success with the Tierney Sutton Band, Christian released his third trio CD, this time on his own independent label WilderJazz. The 2004 release, “Styne & Mine”, is a tribute to the music of Jule Styne, and reached #3 in the jazz radio charts.
The success of “Styne & Mine” motivated Christian to record “Contradictions” in 2006. The CD pays homage and offers another look at the original compositions of renowned pianist Michel Petrucciani.
Due to the popularity of his recordings in Japan, (According to The Japan Times he is one of the best-selling foreign jazz pianists in Japan) Christian was invited to tour and record his first live recording there. The resulting CD “Live in Japan” was released in November 2008 on WilderJazz and reached number 14 on the National Jazz Charts.
At present Christian Jacob continues to divide his time between his two bands (The Tierney Sutton Band and The Christian Jacob Trio) and arranging and composing for various artists. He continues to grow and transform with each project always striving for something new.