Monday, July 31, 2006


Grammy nominated and platinum recording artist Ruben Studdard will release his long awaited sophomore R&B/soul album, THE RETURN, on J Records, September 26th. THE RETURN is the follow-up to his heralded debut album, Soulful, released in 2003. Soulful has sold nearly 2 million copies and was recognized with coveted awards and nominations from the Grammy Awards, American Music Awards, BET Awards, NAACP Awards, Billboard R&B/Hip Hop Awards, and Teen Choice Awards. The intimate and powerfully sung lead single, "Change Me" (produced by The Underdogs) goes to urban adult and urban mainstream radio today.

THE RETURN includes additional production by The Underdogs, Scott Storch, Ne-Yo, Brian-Michael Cox, Harold Lilly, Dre & Vidal and others. Studdard produced the track "If Only For One Night," a remake of the Brenda Russell song popularized by Luther Vandross. He also co-wrote "I'm Not Happy," "Blow Ya Mind," and "To Tha Crib."

Studdard says the album title "signifies my return to the mainstream after doing the gospel record in 2004. (His debut gospel album, I Need An Angel, was certified gold and nominated for "Best Gospel Album" at the 2005 BET Awards.) "I've had people ask me where I've been in the past few years so I thought calling it 'THE RETURN' made sense. The first track on the new
record is "The Return Of The Velvet Teddy Bear" so I just shortened it and made it the title of my CD." Studdard says his third record, reflects "the growth I've been through as a person -- and a singer. I've had a lot of personal tests during this past year and I've learned some great life lessons. I think listeners are going to notice the maturity in my voice and in the subject matter. With 'THE RETURN,' I'm letting all the people who've followed me from "American Idol" until now know that basically I'm back ... "

The Alabama born artist has also devoted considerable time over the past year to the "Ruben Studdard Foundation For The Advancement of Children In the Music Arts" which provides scholarships, after school programs and summer camps to music students.

Monday, July 24, 2006


EMI Music's legendary jazz label Blue Note Records has begun releasing ring tunes featuring riffs from some classic recordings by legendary artists including Thelonious Monk, Herbie Hancock, Art Blakey and Chet Baker. Part of a new program called “The Best of Blue Tones”, this marks the first time these tracks have been made available for the mobile platform, and it will give jazz fans an opportunity to personalize their mobile lives with the classic jazz tracks they know and love.

”Jazz fans of any age can be part of the mobile music phenomenon now. 'The Best of Blue Tones' lets fans use classic recordings like 'Dat Dere', 'Straight no Chaser' or 'My Funny Valentine' to jazz up their phone and express their personality,” said Bruce Lundvall, President of EMI Jazz & Classics. “It's also a great example of how we continually keep the Blue Note vault relevant.”
Lundvall worked closely with members of the Blue Note team to personally select the first installment of ringtones, even helping to identify the unique hook that should be used for each track.

”We've only just scratched the surface of the classic Blue Note catalog with this first batch,” said Jeff Zakim, Director of New Media for Blue Note. “Jazz buffs are in for a real treat as this is just the first of many ringtones we plan to make available.”

Founded in 1939, Blue Note built one of the most distinctive jazz catalogs throughout the 1950s and 60s, due to the impeccable A&R instincts of founder Alfred Lion who signed many of the giants of the music when they were still unknowns, and the crystalline sound quality engineered by the legendary Rudy Van Gelder.

Blue Note was consistently on the cutting edge of jazz, starting with the label's early bebop recordings of Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis and Clifford Brown, and going on to define the now-famous “Blue Note Sound” with the incomparable hard bop sessions of Art Blakey and Horace Silver, the funky jazz hits of Lee Morgan and Herbie Hancock, and the grooving soul jazz of organists Jimmy Smith and Lonnie Smith. Blue Note also now oversees the great Pacific Jazz catalog, which is home to classic cool jazz recordings by such west coast musicians as Chet Baker and Gerry Mulligan.

The following classic Blue Note tunes are starting to be made available to major carriers in the US and will be made available internationally shortly as part of “The Best of Blue Tones” program:
Artist - Track Title
Art Blakey - Dat Dere
Art Blakey - Moanin'
Clifford Brown - Daahoud
Clifford Brown - Joy Spring
Herbie Hancock - Cantaloup Island
Herbie Hancock - Watermelon Man
Blue Mitchell - Fungii Mama
Thelonious Monk - Straight No Chaser
Lou Donaldson - The Blues Walk
Lou Donaldson - Aligator Boogaloo
Hank Mobley - The Turnaround
Kenny Burrell - Chitlins Con Carne
Chet Baker - My Funny Valentine
Gerry Mulligan - Bernie's Tune
Lee Morgan - The Sidewinder
Miles Davis - Move
Ornette Coleman - Broad Way Blues
Ronnie Laws - Always There
Jimmy Smith - Back at the Chicken Shack
Sonny Clark - Cool Struttin'
Lonnie Smith - Son Of Ice Bag
Bobby Hutcherson - Ummh
Freddie Hubbard - Crisis
Horace Silver - Song For My Father


Continuing to bring smooth jazz to the Philadelphia Waterfront, WJJZ Smooth Jazz Summer Nights returns for a ninth season, to the Great Plaza at Penn's Landing on Columbus Boulevard at Chestnut Street. The sounds of local and national Smooth Jazz artists will fill the air every Friday night in August through September 1, beginning at 7:30 p.m. and continuing the series of Free Friday night concerts during the 2006 summer season at Penn's Landing. Sponsored by WJJZ, along with CW Philly 57 and CBS 3, this series is free to the public due to the generous support of Independence Blue Cross.

The series will kick-off on Friday, August 4th with the smooth sounds of Philadelphia native, Gerald Veasley. He was recently named "Best Electric Bassist" in Jazziz magazine's annual readers' poll and Philadelphia Magazine named him "Best Jazz Band." This University of Pennsylvania alumnus has shared stages with Jazz legends such as Grover Washington Jr. and Miles Davis. His new album, At the Jazz Base, is sure to please and is receiving rave reviews.

On Friday, August 11th, enjoy the alluring saxophone playing of Ken Navarro. Navarro is recognized as one of today's top Contemporary Jazz guitarists and composers. His remarkable list of 16 top charting albums displays his appeal to a wide range of listeners with inspirational compositions and outstanding guitar performances. As founder of Positive Music Records, Navarro is responsible for launching and furthering the recording careers of saxophonist Brandon Fields and guitarists Grant Geissman. Ken's latest album, Love Colored Soul, is in stores now.

On Friday August 18, another gifted saxophonist, Steve Cole, brings his unique sound to the Philadelphia Waterfront, with fresh and crackling brand of smooth sax jazz sounds inspired by his hometown of Chicago. Cole's trademark sound is a sizzling mix of modern funk textures and neo-soul sensibilities mixed with catchy hooks and feisty horn textures on the choruses. It's guaranteed to make any audience a true fan.

This year's series also features Michael Lington, one of the hottest acts on the Contemporary Jazz scene. On Friday, August 25th, Lington, who once toured with Little Richard, will grace the stage with a passionate, intense style that will have crowd wanting more. Lington's sound is unique. Critics have described him as, "One to watch out for in the near future." Lington is in the studio now working on a summer 2006 album release.

The series will close out on Friday, September 1st with an exciting performance by the Sax Pack. The Sax Pack features three of the most talented saxophonists in the country; Jeff Kashiwa, brings his classic style, Kim Waters, adds a little funk and last but not least, Steve Cole, contributes his own eclectic mix to the trio.

Smooth Jazz WJJZ 106.1 has supported this concert series since it's inception. WJJZ's Michael Tozzi comments, "This is one of the premiere concert events in Philadelphia each year. The thousands of listeners and talented artists are what make these shows magical and a weekend destination for so many each August!" WJJZ 106.1 radio personalities will be on site every Friday evening to host the concert, give away prizes and sell special merchandise.

CBS 3 (KYW-TV) and CW Philly 57 (WPSG-TV) are part of the CBS Television Stations division, one of the largest network-owned station groups. "We are happy to expand the relationship we began with Penn's Landing Corporation last summer by having our sister station CBS 3 join the partnership," says Michael Colleran, president and general manager of the two stations. The staff of CBS 3 is especially excited about promoting the Smooth Summer Nights series and sharing this exciting program with our viewers all summer long."

This series is free to the public due to the generous support of Independence Blue Cross. Seating is available on a first come, first served basis for each show. Public Programming at Penn's Landing would not be possible without our presenting sponsor, Independence Blue Cross, and the continued support of PECO, an Exelon Company; Commerce Bank, Pennsylvania Lottery and the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation, all of whom are committed to serving the Greater Philadelphia community.

Penn's Landing Corporation is the non-profit organization responsible for funding and producing public programming at Penn's Landing. Independence Blue Cross is the presenting sponsor of the 2006 Summer Season at Penn's Landing. All events produced by Penn's Landing Corporation are FREE to the public and on the Great Plaza, the heart of Penn's Landing, Philadelphia's premier riverfront entertainment destination.


For the past half-century, when the subject turns to the simple question, “What defines ‘cool’?” there has always been one perfect answer: Miles Davis. Beyond his defiant stance, his piercing glare, his amorous conquests and those one-of-a-kind Issey Miyake fashion statements – there was and always will be the music of Miles Davis. Cool & Collected is the first single CD anthology to zero in on a baker’s dozen of the recordings which created the swirling mythos of ‘cool’ that defines Miles, spanning 1956 to 1984, with a new previously unreleased bonus remix track to close the program. This definitive package of all-classic selections, which will be supported by one of the most aggressive multi-tiered consumer lifestyle marketing campaigns ever launched by Legacy Recordings, will arrive in stores September 5th on Columbia/Legacy Jazz, a division of Sony BMG Music Entertainment.

Underscoring the ‘hip’ factor associated with Cool & Collected is its fascinating cover design by Bert Stefano of Instituto Europea of Design in Italy. His design won a contest arranged with top design schools in 12 countries around the world. Students from these schools created their artwork based on Legacy’s criteria for this Miles Davis album (demographics, marketing concept). Other schools enlisted for the design competition were: New York’s School of Visual Arts; ESDI (Escola Superior de Desenho Industrial) of Rio de Janeiro; Tokyo Gakugei University; Chelsea College of Art & Design in London; Köln International School of Design in Germany; Royal Academy of Arts at the Hague; CEV (European Volunteer Centre) of Barcelona; Instituto Europea of Design in Rome and Milan; and Instituto Europea of Design in Madrid.

If ‘cool’ is the magnet that has been drawing jazz hipsters together for these past fifty-five-plus years, then nowhere is that synergy better represented than on the brand new remix of 1969’s It’s About That Time heard on Cool & Collected. Newly recorded parts by Carlos Santana (lead guitar), drummer Vince Wilburn, Jr. (Miles’ nephew and former band-member), bassist Charley Drayton, Geri Allen on Fender Rhodes piano, Pat Thrall, recording engineer/guitarist/programmer, and African drummers Azize Faye and Ndongo Mbaye are engaged in the remix of the original track (from the In A Silent Way LP sessions) that featured Miles on trumpet, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, and Joe Zawinul on keyboards, Wayne Shorter on tenor saxophone, bassist Dave Holland, guitarist John McLaughlin, and drummer Tony Williams. The Davis remix was produced by Wilburn, Thrall and Drayton; and was executive produced by Steve Berkowitz and Wilburn.

The remix of 1969’s It’s About That Time is the icing on a collection containing music that ranges from Miles’ second year of recordings on Columbia – 1956’s Bye Bye Blackbird and ’Round Midnight (both with Miles’ so-called “first great quintet” featuring tenor saxophonist John Coltrane, as heard on the ’Round About Midnight LP) all the way through the two cover versions from his final Columbia album, 1985’s You’re Under Arrest, namely Cyndi Lauper’s Time After Time (with John Scofield on guitar) and the Michael Jackson hit Human Nature (with John McLaughlin on guitar).

The late 1950s were abundant with Miles Davis recordings that re-established him as the paradigm of cool, long after the Birth Of the Cool sessions (released in 1950) that signaled his graduation from the frenetic bebop movement of the ’40s. Cool & Collected lives up to its title by gathering a brilliant quartet of 1958 sides – Milestones (the first session in which Coltrane was joined by Julian “Cannonball” Adderley on alto saxophone), Stella By Starlight and Fran-Dance (from the first session in which pianist Bill Evans joined the quintet), and the Gershwins’ Summertime (from Porgy And Bess, arranged and conducted by Gil Evans) – topped off by this CD’s opening gem, So What, from the undisputedly coolest jazz LP ever recorded, Kind Of Blue. In December 1957, Miles took a side-trip to Paris where he hooked up with old friend and expatriate musician, drummer Kenny Clarke for sessions that yielded the French LP movie soundtrack on Fontana for Ascenseur pour l’échafaud (Elevator To The Gallows). The third track on the album, Générique, marks an extremely rare and historic appearance of a recording from that LP on a Columbia anthology.

The 1960s are represented by two crucial recordings: 1963’s Seven Steps To Heaven was the title tune from the first LP to spring forth from Miles’ new quintet of Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Tony Williams, and saxophonist George Coleman; a year and a half later, 1965’s E.S.P. was the title tune from the first LP (and first record date) by the fully-formed “second great quintet” – Hancock, Carter, Williams, and Wayne Shorter. Both of these tracks hold primal positions in the annals of cool. When Miles Davis became the first (and only) modern jazz figure ever to be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame this year, it demanded reflection upon his impact on popular culture in general – not just the worlds of jazz and rock that he forever welded together at the hip in the late 1960s. Decades later, in this landmark year of 2006 – in which Miles would have turned 80 years old on May 26th, and in which the 15th anniversary of his death is commemorated on September 25th – his mystique looms as large as ever on the landscape of ‘cool.’ The world of hip belongs to Miles, to paraphrase a line from Ol’ Blues Eyes’ handbook, and we are all just guests.

The marketing campaign devised for Cool & Collected will take full advantage of the celebrations that have already begun surrounding Miles’ 80th birthday. Targeting a very broad market on a lifestyle basis, this campaign seeks to introduce the legacy of Miles to a new generation of music listeners. Legacy will faithfully represent Miles as a fountainhead of inspiration, innovation, and style, in other words: Cool. A combination of marketing tools will include a 30-second TV Commercial, and written testimonials from Brian Wilson, Joni Mitchell, Trey Anastasio of Phish, Herb Alpert, Sting, Chris Botti, and more. A full complement of media events – including induction onto Hollywood’s RockWalk (sponsored by Guitar Center Music Foundation) and a football half-time tribute to Miles by the legendary USC Marching band on November 11th – are also scheduled.

Various contests and sweepstakes, along with a growing list of third party corporate sponsorships, grassroots marketing efforts, and a strong online presence is also being coordinated.“Miles Dewey Davis III – trumpeter, visionary, and eternal modernist – was a force of nature,” wrote Ashley Kahn (author of Kind Of Blue: The Making Of the Miles Davis Masterpiece, Da Capo, 2000) in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame dinner journal on the occasion of Miles’ induction. “With an ear that disregarded categories of style, he sought out new musical worlds, and generations followed in his footsteps. While the creative rush and experimental charge that come to most musicians in youth eventually run down, Davis held an exploratory edge for most of his 65 years. It had to be fresh, or forget it.”

Cool & Collected by Miles Davis (Columbia /Legacy Jazz 82876 84784 2) Selections: 1. So What (recorded 1959) • 2. Summertime (1958) • 3. Générique (1957) • 4. Stella By Starlight (1958) • 5. Fran-Dance (1958) • 6. Milestones (1958) • 7. ’Round Midnight (1956) • 8. Bye Bye Blackbird (1956) • 9. Seven Steps To Heaven (1963) • 10. Time After Time (1984) • 11. E.S.P. (1965) • 12. Human Nature (1984) • 13. It’s About That Time (recorded 1969, remixed 2006).

Friday, July 21, 2006


Fifteen years of Fourplay seems too good to be true -- yet with FOURPLAY X the world's top smooth jazz ensemble makes clear that the pleasure is just beginning. Scheduled to release on August 8, with radio airplay kicking in on the Fourth of July, FOURPLAY X, the supergroup's landmark tenth album, marks a shift from recent experiments in spontaneous composition and tight deadlines to focus more fully on writing and arrangement as groundwork for elegant improvisation.

Unlike previous projects, FOURPLAY X began through exchanges of MP3 demos between all four members. The magic of Fourplay is based on the interactions between keyboardist Bob James, bassist Nathan East, guitarist Larry Carlton, and drummer Harvey Mason, each a pop music icon in his own right. By beginning their creative exchanges earlier than ever on this project, long before they actually gathered in the studio, they insured that FOURPLAY X would be a milestone in their catalog. The results can be heard in the intricacy of James' alternately breezy and forceful opening track, "Turnabout," in Carlton's bluesy, Wes Montgomery- inflected "Cinnamon Sugar," in East's exotic and airy "Eastern Sky," in Mason's straight-ahead groovefest "Kid Zero" -- in the polish and conception of each track on FOURPLAY X, making this their most fully conceived group effort to date. They bring the same qualities to the table for the one cover, and the first single, on the album: "My Love's Leavin,'" written and recorded originally by Steve Winwood and performed here with Michael McDonald. From the opening notes -- a percolating synthesizer figure that pays tribute to Winwood's sound -- through the searing, smoky vocal, "My Love's Leavin'" shows what a brilliant band can achieve when working in tandem with a singer of McDonald's caliber.

All four members fill their calendars with sessions and solo projects, but it remains a priority to keep Fourplay alive as their only true group endeavor, with each partner an equal contributor. "It's unique in that we come together as friends as well as musicians who are at the top of our game," explains East. "I don't think I've had a day off this year, and the other guys are just as busy. But we always make the time to get together -- to be honest, mainly because it's fun."

Fourplay debuted with a splash in 1991: Their self-titled debut album sold more than one million copies and lodged for 33 weeks at the top of the Billboard Contemporary Jazz charts. The follow-up, Between the Sheets, reached number one, earned gold status, and was nominated for a Grammy in 1993. They went three-for-three in 1995 with their third release, Elixir, which also hit number one and stayed on the charts for more than a year and a half. And, as if to save time, their fourth album, 4, entered the charts at number one.

This early momentum builds with FOURPLAY X as the group begins a marathon tour that starts with Europe in July; highlights include headline dates at the Montreux and North Sea Jazz Festivals. In late July they continue to Indonesia, Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Japan, where a highlight includes an appearance as the only jazz artists featured at the Udo Music Festival, alongside Santana, Jeff Beck, the Doobie Brothers, and other rock legends. The U.S. tour begins on August 19 and 20, with appearances at the JVC Jazz Festivals in Concord and Los Angeles, California.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Rafe Gomez (The Groove Boutique) is now working three gigs a week in addition to his nationally syndicated Groove Boutique show. He’s now set to bring his blend of chill, downtempo, reggae, soulful house, and groovin’ jazz to the Le Club Avenue in the New Jersey shore. He’ll be spinning there every Sunday, commencing July 23 and continuing on throughout the summer. This in addition to his "After Work Groove" at The Cellar Bar on Wednesdays, and the "P.M. Groove" at Chakra on Thursdays.


RADIO NEWS……….New York’s Smooth Jazz station, WCQD-FM scored a 2.9 rating in the spring 2006 Arbitron ratings. That places the station at number 11 (out of 22) overall behind WLTW (7.0), WSKQ (5.2), WHTZ (4.5), WRKS (4.3), WBLS (4.2), WWPR (4.1), WPAT-FM & WQHT (3.9), WINS (3.7), WABC (3.4), and WAXQ (3.2). The lowest scoring stations were WLB amd WALK with 1.0……….And while we are on the subject of WBLS and in the words coined by the legendary Frankie Crocker, this station truly is the home of ‘the world’s best looking sound’ thanks nowadays to the great voice of Vaughn Harper. He is the prime example of what Frankie Crocker was referring to and in my opinion the absolute best Quiet Storm show in the nation. You must check him out on weeknights……….The Minneapolis-St. Paul radio market now boasts 23 high definition (HD) channels on FM and one on AM. Smooth-jazz-wise, on the dial at 104.1, CBS Radio’s KZJK boasts an adult hits/Jack format, however, for those of you with a HD receiver the HD2 channel is smooth jazz and it is being promoted as "Jazz In High Definition. 104.1. Pure Jazz."

Sunday, July 16, 2006


Upcoming New Releases…Geffen will release te 2-CD compilation, The Definitive Collection from Patti LaBelle……….Maralis Music will release the next Branford Marsalis CD, Braggtown, due September 12……….Verve will release To Go from Antonio Carlos Jobim on September 12……….Columbia/Legacy will release a series of Tony Bennett albums on August 29 that include – I Left My Heart In San Francisco (1962); MTV Unplugged (1994); Perfectly Frank (1992); Tony Bennett’s Greatest Hits Of The 50’s; and Tony Bennett’s Greatest Hits Of The 60’s………and finally, Columbia/Legacy will release Cool & Collected from Miles Davis on August 29.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


The sound of smooth soul music and slow jams comes to the 1st Annual Maryland Music Festival being held August 4-6, at the Show Place Arena. Scheduled to appear are Brothers Johnson, New Birth, Mary Jane Girls, Slave, Switch, Stylistics, Dramatics, Chi-Lites, Intruders, Peaches & Gerb, WAR, Zapp, Ohio Players and Lakeside – just wow!!! What a lineup. This is one of those can’t miss concerts. Also, The Dells, Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes, Harold Hewitt, Black Ivory, Mel’isa Morgan, Floaters, Eddie Holman and GQ appear at the Paradise Theatre in Bronx, NY on September 30.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Carlos Santana and the Santana Band will perform the last of their trio of extraordinary all-star concerts at the 40th annual presentation of the legendary Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland on Wednesday, July 12. Titled "Santana!," Carlos and the Santana Band will be joined onstage by jazz icon Herbie Hancock, contemporary R&B star Beverley Knight, horn-driven greats Tower of Power, alt-star Eagle-Eye Cherry, multi-lingual rocker Draco and more. It is scheduled to take place at the Auditorium Stravinksi, the largest of the Festival's three halls.

"Santana!" is the third and final of the themed shows that Carlos Santana conceived for this year's Festival, all featuring an array of internationally renowned guest artists, and all paying tribute to the global musical influences -- African, Cuban, Brazilian and more -- that have shaped and inspired Santana's artistic legacy and made them one of the world's most popular and enduring groups.

"Everyone should know by now," Carlos said recently, "that my first love in music has to do with African overtones, resonance, rhythm and melodies. I made a request to Mr. Claude Nobs, the gentleman who founded the Montreux Festival, for an African night. We invited a lot of friends to play with us, and selected songs that we could do together, as well as ones that they would typically do in their own sets. I feel blessed to be doing what turned into three shows with some of the greatest musicians on the planet at a Festival that is truly the mother of all concerts -- every person is treated like royalty, it is win-win for everyone concerned."

The first of the two shows already presented to great acclaim was "Dance To The Beat Of My Drum" on July 9, showcasing many of African music's biggest names including Benin-born/Paris-based vocalist Angélique Kidjo, Senegalese stars Ismael Lo, Idrissa Diop and Touré Kunda (who performed Africa Bamba on Santana's Supernatural album) and Guinean-born master Mory Kanté. Taking the spotlight with Santana for July 10th's "My Blues Is Deep" event were music greats including soul/blues diva Irma Thomas, blues icon Taj Mahal, Malian Touareg phenomenon Tinariwen and New Orleans legends The Neville Brothers.

The first Montreux Jazz Festival took place in 1967, lasting three days and presenting a handful of artists. 2006's two-week event -- marking the Festival's 40th anniversary and celebrated founder Claude Nobs' 70th birthday -- spotlights over 100 artists and draws upwards of 200,000 fans from around the world. The first of Santana's many performances at Montreux was in 1970. Prior to 2006, their most recent Festival show was in 2004, when Carlos Santana presented, in conjunction with Nobs, "Hymns: An Evening Of Songs For Peace," a guest star-studded gala (Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Ravi Coltrane, Wayne Shorter, Angelique Kidjo and others) that inspired this year's three themed concerts.

"We played One Love,Imagine,'Blowing In The Wind -- the new hymns," said Carlos. "It made you stand up, it made you cry, and dance, and laugh... it's real music. It has to do with witnessing something being born, with pain and emotion. When you see a baby being born, and come into the light, you realize that is the only way to participate in this planet, and that is the only music I like to play -- music that is raw, that is honest, that is divine."

That Santana tradition of real music lives on through their three Montreux Jazz Festival concerts this week, and throughout the remainder of their 2006 World Tour. Following Santana's Montreux events, the band will play two weeks worth of dates in Italy and Japan before heading Stateside for an extensive nationwide itinerary.

Santana's domestic dates kick off on the West coast beginning July 27 in San Diego, CA at Viejas Concerts at Bayside. The Western U.S. schedule also features shows in Phoenix, AZ (7/27) and Las Vegas, NV (7/29) in addition to concerts spanning the length of California, concluding August 6 at the Sacramento Valley's Sleep Train Amphitheatre in Marysville. Neo-soul star Anthony Hamilton, featured on the memorable track Twisted from the new Santana album All That I Am, is the opening act for all West coast dates. The East coast leg of Santana's 2006 World Tour launches with a special September 15 concert at Mansfield, MA's Tweeter Center that features guitar legend Jeff Beck as the bill's opener. All other East coast dates feature the Salvador Santana Band opening and Los Lonely Boys as the second act, with highlights including September 16 at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, NY, September 23-24 at the Atlantic City's Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa Event Center, and September 28 at the Sound Advice Amphitheater in West Palm Beach, FL.

Following the conclusion of Santana's 2006 World Tour, Carlos Santana will travel to South Africa for Desmond Tutu's 75th birthday celebration, after which he will take a break. "I'm going to stop for a year or so," says Carlos, adding, "it will feel really good to let go of this Santana guy for awhile and become a person instead of a personality -- to become 'daddy husband.' Domestic rhythm is really glorious, I recommend it to most musicians, so that they know how to keep the rhythm that way as well."

July 12 "Santana!" - Montreux Jazz Festival, Montreux, Switzerland
July 14 Lucca, Italy (w/opener John Mayer)
July 15 Naples, Italy (w/opener Robert Plant)
July 17 Perugia, Italy
July 18 Udine, Italy
July 22 Shizuoka, Japan
July 23 Osaka, Japan

JULY & AUGUST - WEST COAST U.S. featuring Anthony Hamilton as opener
July 27 - San Diego, CA - Viejas Concerts at Bayside
July 28 - Phoenix, AZ - Cricket Pavilion
July 29 - Las Vegas, NV - MGM Grand Garden Arena
July 31 - Irvine, CA - Verizon Amphitheater
Aug 1 - Santa Barbara, CA - Santa Barbara Bowl
Aug 2 – Santa Barbara, CA – Santa Barbara Bowl
Aug 4 - Concord, CA - Chronicle Pavilion
Aug 5 - Mountain View, CA - Shoreline Amphitheatre
Aug 6 - Marysville, CA - Sleep Train Amphitheatre

SEPTEMBER - EAST COAST U.S. featuring Salvador Santana Band opening and Los Lonely Boys as second act (except for 9/15 with special guest Jeff Beck):
Sept 15 - Mansfield, MA - Tweeter Center – featuring Jeff Beck opening
Sept 16 - Wantagh, NY - Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
Sept 17 - Holmdel, NJ - PNC Bank Arts Center
Sept 20 - Uncasville, CT - Mohegan Sun Arena
Sept 22 - Wallingford, CT - Chevrolet Theater
Sept 23 - Atlantic City, NJ - Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa Event Center
Sept 24 - Atlantic City, NJ - Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa Event Center
Sept 26 - Bristow, VA - Nissan Pavilion at Stone Ridge
Sept 28 - West Palm Beach, FL - Sound Advice Amphitheater
Sept 29 - Tampa, FL - Ford Amphitheatre
Sept 30 - Atlanta, GA - Chastain Park Amphitheatre


Malena Pérez's STARS is one of those rare gems that you find and tell the world about. Hailing from Atlanta's vibrant music scene and now residing in Brooklyn, NY, the nu Latin jazz songstress draws upon various musical influences such as Minnie Riperton, Flora Purim, Omara Portuondo and Sade, creating a unique sound that is soulful, organic and sensual. Raised by a Cuban father who started a Latin music series at Atlanta's public radio station WRFG in the late 70's and a mother of German descent who was a pianist and organist, Malena grew up around music. Her debut single, Free To Fly introduced the bilingual vocalist and her jazzy latin grooves to the house music scene in 2004, immediately making her an artist to watch.

On her debut album STARS, released on her own Cubanita Groove label, Malena fuses downtempo and progressive nu-jazz sounds with Afro-Cuban percussion and rhythms. The lead-off single is the meditative, inspirational Chase The Butterflies, which is also reprised on STARS with a Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez (Masters At Work) remix fusing the tender soulfulness of the original with bumping deep-house beats. Another highlight, Praise The Day, showcases Malena's angelic, soulful vocals over a spicing of Latin drumming with sultry beats courtesy of Osunlade. Elsewhere, the self-written album features production work and collaborations with Carlos Niño (Ammoncontact, Build An Ark, The Life Force Trio), Alix Alvarez (SOLE Channel Music) and Michael Johnson (KetchaVibe). STARS is an introspective, refreshingly pretty and uplifting album that is a true expression of Malena's soul and heralds the arrival of a new world talent in style and grace.


Thievery Corporation has added more shows to their fall touring schedule as they have just added is a pre-Lollapalooza show at the Metro in Chicago with Husky Rescue and Govinda on Friday, August 4th. Thievery Corporation is also set to return to the Austin City Limits Music festival this September.

Thievery Corporation Upcoming Tour Dates
7/18: @ Moore Theatre, Seattle, WA
7/19: @ Roseland Theater, Portland, OR
7/20: @ The Concourse, San Francisco, CA
7/21: @ 4th & B, San Diego, CA
7/22: @ 4th & B, San Diego, CA
7/23: @ The Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, CA (w/ The Flaming Lips & Os Mutantes)
8/4: @ The Metro, Chicago, IL (w/ Husky Rescue & Govinda)
8/5: @ Lollapalooza (Grant Park), Chicago, IL
8/25: @ Hunter Mountain, Music Tent, NY (DJ Set with The Roots, Brazilian Girls, The Disco Biscuits)
9/14: @ Austin City Limits, Austin, TX

Monday, July 10, 2006


Academy and Grammy award-winning composer and musician Ryuichi Sakamoto returned to his electropop roots with the 2005 release of his 15th solo project, Chasm. Now Sakamoto has turned the files over to 13 electronic artists for their stunning take on this critically acclaimed release. Bricolages is the first Ryuichi Sakamoto Remix Project Since ‘98’s critically acclaimed Prayer / Salavation & Anger / Grief Series. Bricolages features new interpretations of tracks by previous Sakamoto collaborators including Cornelius, Fennesz, and Alva Noto, and marks the first work with artists like Craig Armstrong, Richard Devine, Rob da Bank and Slicker.

Sakamoto has made a career of crossing musical and technological boundaries and has experimented with, and excelled in, many different musical styles, making a name for himself in popular, orchestral, and film music. With Chasm Sakamoto set out to combine the many sides of his complex musical personality, "My music has been acoustic or electronic, classical or non-classical, somehow always divided largely into two types. My own goal for a long time has been to somehow fuse these into one music rather than juxtaposing them. I feel that this time, with Chasm, I’ve gotten the closest to resolving the issue," Sakamoto says.

Sakamoto's best-known work is probably the soundtrack to Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, but in 1987, his score for Bertolucci's "The Last Emperor" won him an Oscar, a Grammy, a Golden Globe, as well as the New York, Los Angeles and British Film Critics Association awards for best original soundtrack. Bricolages was Executive Produced by Ryuichi Sakamoto in association with Norika Sora(sky), Evan Balmer, Justin Kleinfeld and Eric Giambertone. Release is set for September 19, 2006.

Bricolages track listing:
1. "War & Peace" (AOKI Takamasa Remix)
2. "Undercooled" (Skuli Sverrisson Remix)
3. "War&Peace" (Cornelius Remix)
4. "20 msec." (Fennesz Remix)
5. "Undercooled" (Alva Noto remodel)
6. "World Citizen" (Taylor Deupree Remix)
7. "Only Love Can Conquer Hate" (snd. Remix)
8. "Seven Samurai" (Richard Devine Remix)
9. "Word" (Rob Da Bank & Mr. Dan Remix)
10. "20 msec." (Craig Armstrong Remix)
11. "NGO/bitmix" (Slicker Remix)
12. "Break With" (Steve Jansen Remix)
13. "Motopiate" (Thomas Knak)

Sunday, July 09, 2006


New York’s CD101.9 (WQCD-FM) is sponsoring the upcoming Liberty Jazz Festival being held on September 9 and 10 at Liberty State Park in New Jersey. Performers lined up for this event include Norman Brown, Patti Austin, Alex Bugnon, Paul Taylor, Gato Barbieri, Stanley Jordan, Wayman Tisdale, Kirk Whalum, Jonathan Butler and Brian Simpson.

Saturday, July 08, 2006


Candy Dulfer is planning to hit the road with more dates confirmed for the year (and beyond). First she heads off for a series of California dates as she is joined by her band and featuring Jason Miles. Then in October she heads off to Japan for a Blue Note club tour, and finally in 2007 she joins the Smooth Jazz Cruise to the Caribbean.

Here are her confirmed tour dates…
July 22 – Pasadena, CA @ Old Pasadena Jazz Fest
July 23 – Pasadena, CA @ Old Pasadena Jazz Fest
July 28 – Las Vegas, NV @ Santa Fe Station Casino
July 29 – Healdsburg, CA @ Rodney Strong Vinery
July 30 – Oceanside, CA @ Oceanside Pier Amphitheatre
Oct 11 – Osaka, Japan @ Blue Note
Oct 12 – Osaka, Japan @ Blue Note
Oct 13 – Nagoya, Japan @ Blue Note
Oct 14 – Nagoya, Japan @ Blue Note
Oct 16 – Tokyo, Japan @ Blue Note
Oct 17 – Tokyo, Japan @ Blue Note
Oct 18 – Tokyo, Japan @ Blue Note
Oct 20 – Tokyo, Japan @ Blue Note
Oct 21 – Tokyo, Japan @ Blue Note
Jan 28-Feb 4, 2007 – All Star Smooth Jazz Cruise 2007 – Galveston, TX and sailing to Montego Bay, Jamaica and Grand Cayman, the Cayman Islands


12-time Grammy nominee India.Arie enters the Billboard Top 200 Albums Chart this week at #1 with her third studio album Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship on Universal Motown Records. The acclaimed release was produced by longtime collaborators Shannon Sanders and Mark Batson (Seal, Beyonce), among others and has been receiving universal critical acclaim. Entertainment Weekly says "Testimony may just be your cup of decaffeinated jasmine tea" while VIBE Magazine describes it as "pensive and poetic," The album's first video, I Am Not My Hair, helmed by Barnaby Roper (Moby, Razorlight) has become a staple on both VH1 and BET.

"This is a great milestone for India.Arie and the entire Universal Motown team," stated Sylvia Rhone, President of Universal Motown Records. "The #1 debut of Testimony ... is a powerful testament to the unique bond she has with her audience, as well as affirming India.Arie's rightful place as one of our culture's most uplifting and empowering artists." Testimony ... is also being hailed as a more personal expression from the singer/songwriter, with People Magazine calls the CD "inspirational" and Glamour Magazine names it among "Songs to Download Now" in their July 2006 issue. India.Arie recently completed an international promotional tour for the new disc, drawing raves in Europe: "Another earthy uplifting testimony of empowerment" (New Nation 6/12), "This magnificent return shows her at her very best (Mirror, 6/9) and "With Testimony, the world will be a better place." (Daily Star, 6/7) where she previewed the startling repertoire of new songs.

India.Arie emerged onto the music scene in 2001 with her platinum plus debut Acoustic Soul. A masterful meditation on self-acceptance and womanhood, she was dubbed the new "neo-soulstress" by no less than Newsweek Magazine, praising her as "one of the freshest talents to come out of 2001," the emotive singer went on to be nominated for seven Grammys for her debut album, and subsequently has won a host of awards including 2 Grammys, 3 NAACP Awards, as well as being recognized by BET, Billboard Magazine, MTV, VH1 and Essence Magazine, among others.

2002's Voyage To India cemented her rep as a seminal singer/songwriter, netting her 4 Grammy nominations and two statues. With more than six million albums sold, she most recently was nominated for her 12th Grammy in the Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals category for her writing collaboration with Stevie Wonder on the title song of his most recent album, A Time To Love.

India.Arie is also a U.S. Ambassador for UNICEF and is universally recognized as a tireless champion of social and humanitarian causes around the world. She recently returned from a trip to South Africa where she observed and assisted humanitarian efforts taking place in the epicenter of the global AIDS crisis. She has performed with numerous artists including Sting, Elton John, Sade, Aaron Neville and Sergio Mendes to name a few and has collaborated with many others including; Stevie Wonder, John Mellencamp, Bonnie Raitt, Keb Mo, Rascal Flatts, Cassandra Wilson, and Elmo. She has also written songs for several movie soundtracks including Good Man for We Were Soldiers, Eyes of the Heart for Radio, Get It Together for Shark Tale and Purify Me for Diary of a Mad Black Woman.

India.Arie is currently on tour and will be the featured musical guest on Late Night With David Letterman, July 28.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Tower Records, America's leading independent music and entertainment retailer, this week unveiled 'Tower Records Digital,' a music download store at As the most recent addition and the primary component of Tower's integrated digital media strategy, the digital music store complements its traditional retail stores, e-commerce, podcasting, and TouchView in-store kiosk presence. For over 45 years, Tower has strived to offer its customers the best selection of music available in every format imaginable. As one of the first retailers to move online in 1995, Tower soon began streaming RealAudio samples on its site and selling 99 cent digital downloads in the Liquid Audio format well before the current craze. Tower's digital media strategy has progressed considerably in the past year by adding TouchView interactive digital music kiosks to all of its retail stores, partnering with for "Secret Shows," and launching the first podcasting network by a traditional retailer at in March.

The launch of Tower Records Digital marks the next step in maintaining Tower's proud tradition of retailing music and entertainment, while rounding out Tower's comprehensive digital media strategy. Tower Records Digital was designed under three basic mandates: Make it easy to use, make it promotionally robust and provide better sound quality. The result is Tower Records Digital, a download destination that features digital tracks encoded at 192 kbps. It is designed as an intuitive website that easily enables Tower to bundle special promotion downloads with traditional media purchases. Tower Records Digital is powered by Puretracks, one of North America's leading digital service providers. Individual music downloads are 99¢ each and full albums begin at $9.99 each. Just like Tower stores nationwide, Tower Records Digital offers a comprehensive selection of music that our customers have come to expect, encompassing all genres of music: Pop, Rock, Hip-Hop, R&B, Country, Jazz, Classical, Blues, Electronica, World, Gospel and more. In addition, the site features 30-second song samples and the easy to browse product pages that include biographies, similar artists, artist influences, and artist followers. Additionally, new music discovery is facilitated through special tabs that highlight the Top 100, E-singles, Indie, and this week's New Releases. In the coming months, Tower Records Digital will also feature special download promotions in tandem with the "Next Big Thing" and "This Week @ Tower" - promotional programs that occur in Tower stores nationwide.

The majority of download sites serve up 128 kbps tracks to their customers, however, Tower Records Digital features all of its tracks at 192 kbps, differentiating itself with the highest quality audio downloads that are of noticeably better sound quality than the competition. Quite simply, Tower Records Digital sounds better. "With Tower Records Digital, we wanted to offer our customers a simple and intuitive way to download high-quality music," stated Jason Munyon, VP of Business Development, Tower Records. "Since 1960, Tower Records has been the leader in music and entertainment. Having the highest quality sound is as important to us as it is to our customers. Sound quality is one of the primary reasons we chose to partner with Puretracks." "Tower's ability to bundle products is also a key differentiator," continues Mr. Munyon. "We can now provide a digital music bonus or exclusive tied to the purchase of a CD or album download, offering a more integrated experience across multiple channels to our valued customers."

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


AKMusique – La Vie Du Lounge
Afterdark: Montreal (Various Artists)
Alif Tree – French Cuisine
An Exciting House Mix (Various Artists)
Aqua Bassino – Rue De Paris
Atlantic Jazz, Vol. 2 (Various Artists)
BBC Sessions, Vol. 1 (Various Artists)
BamboosStep It Up
Bar Lounge Classics (Various Artists)
Buddha Bar, Vol. 8 (Various Artists)
Christina Lux – Coming Home At Last
Club Des Beluges – Apricoo Soul
Compost Blacklabel Series, Vol.1 (Various Artists)
Coup De Bam – Coup De Bam
Dalminjo – One Day You Will Dance For Me
Darondo – Let My People Go
Dealers Of Nordic Blueprints Music # 1 (Various Artists)
Defected In The House – Miami 6 (Various Artists)
Diesler – Keepie Uppies
Dipper – Sleepless Nights
Donald McCollum – I Don’t Want My Love
Dubtribe – The 3rd Creation
Easy Beats (Various Artists)
Electric Pussycat (Various Artists)
Fila Brazilia – Retrospective (1990-2006)
Freerange Colour Series: Red (Various Artists)
Frequent Flyer: Red Eye (Various Artists)
G-Lounge Milano, Vol. 3 (Various Artists)
Gabin feat. Edwyn Collins – Mr. Freedom
Ganesh – Club 21
Gerd – Perspectives
Gilles Peterson – Gilles Peterson Back In Brazil
Gotan Project – Lunatico
Habitat Collection (Various Artists)
Harley & Muscle – A Decade Of Truth
Harvey Lindo – Kid Gloves: A Modaji Long Player
Headman – On
Hed Kandi: World Series Paris (Various Artists)
Hed Kandi: The Mix 2006 (Various Artists)
Hed Kandi: Nu Cool 2006 (Various Artists)
Housepacific, Vol. 3 (Various Artists)
House Of OM, Groove Junkies (Various Artists)
In The House Of Love (Various Artists)
Invisible Session – To The Powerful
Ipanemas – Samba Is Out Gift
Jamaram – Ookuchaka!
Jazz Vibes: Lounge Selection (Various Artists)
Jazzinvaders – In & Out
Joey Negro – The Trip feat. Various Artists
Joey Negro – The Trip Navigated By Joey Negro
KaRavan: Global Grooves & Spritual House (Various Artists)
Kate The Cat – Love
Kings Of Jazz (Various Artists)
Kyoto Jazz Massive – 10th Anniversary
Labrock Groove (Various Artists)
Lazy Days & Sundays, Vol. 1 (Various Artists)
Lazy Days & Sundays, Vol. 2 (Various Artists)
Le Rythme Abstait (Various Artists)
Lemongrass Garden (Various Artists)
Luca Mundaca – Day By Day
Lump – Dub
Machomovers – Bare, Deep And Long
Masters At Work – Soul Heaven (Various Artists)
Miedzy Nami Café (Varous Artists)
Mondodeluxe – Moods Deluxe
Monte La Rue Presents Deluxe 3 (Various Artists)
Muallem – Frankie Splits
Music For Cocktails (Various Artists)
Music For Coctails, Vol. 4 (Various Artists)
Nekta – Water The Flowers
New Gold Standard (Various Artists)
Nightmares On Wax – In A Space Outta Sound
Nostalgia 77 Octet – Seven’s & Eight
OM Lounge, Vol. 10 (Various Artists)
OM: Miami Compilation (Various Artists)
Prince Alec And Band – The New World
Purple Music Presents The Master Collection 3 (Various Artists)
Quantic – One Off’s Remixes & B Sides
Reel People – Second Guess
Sambass, Vol. 3 (Various Artists)
Sapporo Sound Motel – Musique Noir
Schwalm – Musikain
Shapes (Various Artists)
Shawn Lee & The Ping Pong Orchestra – Strings And Things
Silk Pearls – (Various Artists)
Skeewiff – Private Funktion
Smooth Moves, Vol. 3 (Various Artists)
Soulounge – Say It All
Southport Weekender (Various Artits)
Steve Williams – 4am
Sumo – The Danceband
Sunlightsquare – Urban Sessions
Supperclub, Vol. 10 (Various Artists)
Tape Five – Swingfood Mood
This Is How We Lounge, Vol. 2 (Various Artists)
Tokyo Project, The Collection (Various Artists)
Tosca - Souvenirs
Turntables On The Hudson, Vol. 6 (Various Artists)
Weeland – Nachhaus

Saturday, July 01, 2006


First as the lead singer of the Miracles and writer of their biggest hit, Love Machine, and later as a solo artist singing hits like the European smash Hold Me Tighter in the Rain and Serious, Billy Griffin established himself as one of the great soul singer/songwriters of his generation. But it has been two decades since we've heard a new Billy Griffin album and his loyal following has been chompin' at the bit for quite awhile, waiting for the release of his new disc, Like Water. This new release will hopefully find its way onto smooth jazz and R N’B radio playlists as it is full of quality cuts about love and the emotional aspects of relationships. Release is set for sometime in August so stay tuned until then. In the meantime, cuts on the CD are Like Water, Forgive Me If You Can, All The Way To Love, Livin’ Déjà Vu, Oxygen, Weak, Be Unto My Lady, Oblivion, It’s Bad Karma, Joy And Happiness, Sincerity, and Like Water (Reprise).


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...