Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Trumpeter Thomas Marriott’s latest album, Constraints And Liberations, is being called a “breakthrough album” by noted jazz writer and author Paul de Barros not just because it features all original music, “but because it’s a sort of psychological breakthrough as well.” While his previous recordings have featured a few original pieces interspersed with standards, this latest album is all original music from Thomas, and an original work by bassist Jeff Johnson. The album also features Gary Versace on piano and John Bishop on drums. In his liner notes for the album de Barros says, “Marriott has been an elbows-out bopper, a man of long chopsy lines and searing technical prowess…here, there is more space between the lines. Phrases fall off with a slippery sigh or quaver. Dynamics are tempered. Pitch is used for coloration, and the middle range gets a lot of play.” Most of the music on the album, scheduled for release in November, was written in the winter of 2008-2009 as Marriott was transitioning into his role as husband and father. It was a time of personal reflection that added depth and complexity to his writing and playing. Marriott’s previous albums have all been well received. His East-West Trumpet Summit album with fellow trumpeter and good friend, Ray Vega, released earlier this year, reached number one in the Jazz Week air play charts. It was in the top ten for 14 weeks. Two of his previous releases on Origin Records have also made it into the national top ten, 2007's Both Sides and 2009's Flexicon. As de Barros says of Constraints And Liberation, “As its title suggests, this album isn’t just about ‘freedom,’ it’s also about ‘restraint.’ It takes maturity to balance the two. Marriott appears to have found a way to balance both, in his life and in his music.”

Marriott has received six Golden Ear awards from Seattle’s Earshot Jazz for his recordings and performances. He is also the 1999 winner of the Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition. Marriott went to New York later in 1999 and gained initial acclaim through his work with Maynard Ferguson’s Big Bop Nouveau band, completing three world tours with Ferguson (who called Marriott “a truly great jazz trumpet player”), and then continued to work in New York and on the road with the likes of Rosemary Clooney, Joe Locke, The Tito Puente Orchestra, Brian Lynch, Les Brown and the Band of Renown, Kenny Kirkland, Charlie Hunter, Ritchie “Alto Madness” Cole, and many others. Now residing on the west coast once again, Marriott has become a catalyst of the jazz scene in Seattle, his home base. Marriott continues to tour and perform at clubs and festivals all over the world.


Monday, November 29, 2010


One of the most recorded drummers of all time, Steve Gadd has worked with everyone from Chick Corea to Paul Simon, Maynard Ferguson to Eric Clapton. When it comes to his own projects, Gadd loves to play good-time groove music that has the danceable qualities and bluesiness of the best R&B along with the adventurous solos and impeccable musicianship of jazz. On Live At Voce (Deluxe Edition), Gadd is joined by Joey DeFrancesco (arguably the world's greatest organist), the passionate baritone-saxophonist Ronnie Cuber, and the versatile guitarist Paul Bollenbeck. Together they create grooves and hard-driving swing that are reminiscent of the best organ groups of the 1960s including an early George Benson band that featured Cuber. The infectious rhythms, catchy material, and colorful ensembles make this band impossible to resist.

For this project the quartet, which has been together since 2007, is heard at a popular club in Scottsdale, Arizona. “Watching The River Flow,” which is based on “Swanee River,” has exciting solos by all four musicians. The one-chord vamp “Way Back Home” gives Ronnie Cuber a chance to preach on his horn. “Undecided” is taken at a burning tempo that is perfect for the musicians, with DeFrancesco showing why he is considered the master of his instrument. “Bye Bye Blackbird” starts out with a surprising duet between Gadd on brushes and DeFrancesco, who is heard on a muted trumpet a la Miles Davis. “Them Changes” finds the group rocking out on an R&B groove that alternates with some furious straight ahead jamming.

Cuber is featured on a heartfelt rendition of “Georgia On My Mind.” “Back At The Chicken Shack” has the Gadd band returning to the blues, really digging into the music. Horace Silver's “Sister Sadie” is given quite a ride by the musicians, with this being the most stirring performance of the heated set. As a bonus, the deluxe version of Live At Voce concludes with a pair of intriguing duets (“Here I Am Now” and “Down”) by Gadd and singer/songwriter Edie Brickell. Gadd and Brickell lead the newly formed band, The Gaddabouts, featuring Andrew Fairweather Low and Pino Palladino.

Steve Gadd has had a remarkable career during the past 40 years, and there are no signs that he plans to slow down. He began playing drums when he was three, sat in with Dizzy Gillespie at the age of 11, and became a major studio drummer in 1972. Since then his countless number of recordings include important sessions with Chuck Mangione, Bill Watrous, Jim Croce, Joe Farrell, Bette Midler, Chet Baker, Phoebe Snow, Bob James, Hubert Laws, Herbie Mann, George Benson, David Sanborn, Paul Simon, Tom Scott, Chick Corea, Grover Washington Jr, Jim Hall, Maynard Ferguson, Al DiMeola, Carla Bley, Judy Collins, Stanley Clarke, Stuff, Joe Cocker, the Brecker Brothers, Dave Grusin, Charles Mingus, Eddie Daniels, Weather Report, Lee Ritenour, Michael Franks, Carly Simon, Steely Dan, Al Jarreau, Grover Washington Jr, the Manhattan Transfer, Paul McCartney, Frank Sinatra, Diana Ross, James Brown, the Manhattan Jazz Quintet and Natalie Cole plus the Gadd Gang. Just in the past year, Gadd has toured and recorded with Eric Clapton, James Taylor, Alain Clark and Edie Brickell.

Joey DeFrancesco is largely responsible for the Hammond B-3 organ making a comeback in the 1990s. The son of organist Papa John DeFrancesco, Joey began sitting in at his father's gigs when he was just six. He learned from the masters, befriended Jimmy Smith, and toured with Miles Davis right after his high school graduation in 1988. His brilliant playing and enthusiasm led to the organ, which had been neglected in favor of electric keyboards, being restored to its former place of prominence. His success has led to many other young organists entering the scene, but Joey DeFrancesco still ranks at the very top.

Baritonist Ronnie Cuber, whose deep guttural tone is influenced by the late Pepper Adams, has been a major force on his instrument since the 1960s. His stints with the Maynard Ferguson big band and with George Benson made him well known in the jazz world. In recent years he has often been heard with the Mingus Big Band.

Guitarist Paul Bollenback started playing music when he was seven. Originally a rock player, he changed his musical direction after hearing Miles Davis. He has been associated with Joey DeFrancesco off and on since the early 1990s and has also worked with Mark Murphy, Gary Thomas, Ron Holloway, Joe Locke, Houston Person, Geoff Keezer, Jim Snider, Jack McDuff, and Tony Monaco.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Saxophonist Steve Cole is one of the most celebrated players in contemporary jazz, having sold hundreds of thousands of albums worldwide and scored four #1 R&R Smooth Jazz hits. With five CDs in his catalog for Atlantic, Warner Brothers and Narada Jazz, Cole kicks off a newmultiple-album deal with Mack Avenue Records/Artistry Music by releasing Moonlight, a collection of classic pop songs and standards set against an orchestral backdrop. The project includes such iconic songs as Burt Bacharach's The Look of Love, the classic torch song Cry Me a River, Lennon/McCartney's The Long and Winding Road, the Guess Who's Undun and James Taylor's Close Your Eyes. With his gorgeous, classically trained tone and an ear for lyrical melody, Cole most closely resembles a vocalist, emphasizing interpretive phrasing and direct emotion. On Moonlight, he has found the perfect setting for this bel canto technique-a symphonic orchestra playing inspired arrangements by Michael Cunningham, making his splashy major-label debut as an orchestral arranger. In addition to the strings, the arrangements include tastefully placed harp, woodwinds and tempered brass. The supporting rhythm section is composed of Mike Logan (Will Downing) on keyboards, Russell Ferrante (Yellowjackets) on piano and Steve Rodby (Pat Metheny Group) on bass.

At the heart of this project is the title track, which appeared in the 1995 film Sabrina. "I saw the movie a few years ago and heard that song," Cole says, "and it was just delightful-after all, it was written by [legendary film composer and arranger] John Williams, and I thought, 'This has all the elements I'm looking for.' So I just sort of indexed it away, and when I started thinking about this project, I was searching for music that would be warm and enveloping. That's when I remembered this song." (Few others did; this is its debut cover recording). With Moonlight, Cole comes full circle back to his first success as a young musician, performing with strings and winds. Reenergized by his desire to recapture his roots and impelled by the melody of Moonlight, he has produced a record full of strong emotion and genuine craftsmanship. The interaction of his saxophone with the intimate arrangements has allowed him to create a modern collection of lovely cameos in the classical concerto tradition-while at the same time charting a new direction for the next stage of his career. "For me, it's always a lot more fun when people get what you're doing," says Cole, and in a nutshell that statement describes hisapproach to music; he has crafted his style with communication foremost among his objectives. Many of the greatest jazz musicians have sought the same goal, from Louis Armstrong to Count Basie to Stan Getz to Miles Davis. And while Cole would not compare himself to any of these giants, he has nonetheless absorbed the basic lesson of their music-reaching beyond his craft to communicate with his listeners.

Steve Cole attended Northwestern University, where he explored modern classical music for the saxophone under the tutelage of internationally recognized educator Fred Hemke. While an undergrad, this gifted musician was a semifinalist in the National Foundation for the Advancement in the Arts and one of three finalists in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, awarding him the privilege of performing Tableaux De Provence by Paule Maurice with the CSO. Cole went on to earn his MBA, which paved the way in his being appointed to Professor at the prestigious McNally Smith College of Music-a position he maintains today. "I am so anxious to have the opportunity to present this new project to audiences in live theater settings where I will have the chance to connect with them in an emotional way, providing a memorable night of music for all to enjoy," Steve expounds. "The legacy of popular music in an orchestral setting is timeless and I am quite fortunate to be able to present this collection of timeless songs in this fashion." The orchestra members tune their instruments, the lights dim, Steve Cole walks onto the stage-and within moments you are immersed in a captivating sonic landscape. "At this point in my career it was important to document something that will be as relevant 10 to 20 years from now as it is today-and it's quite possible we may have accomplished just that."

Steve Cole • Moonlight-Release Date: February 1, 2011

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Mindi Abair, Peter White, Rick Braun

@ Birchmere, Alexandria, VA, Dec 1

Simply Red @ Lanxess Arena, Koln, Germany, Dec 1
Michael Buble @ HSBC Center, Buffalo, NY, Dec 1
Eric Benet @ Verizon Grand Prairie, Dallas, TX, Dec 2

Mindi Abair, Peter White, Rick Braun
@ Ramshead On Stage, Annapolis, MD, Dec 2

Mindi Abair, Peter White, Rick Braun
@ John Lyman Center, New Haven, CT, Dec 3

Simply Red @ Gelredome, Arnhem, Netherlands, Dec 3
Eric Benet @ Desoto Civic Center, Memphis, TN, Dec 3
Michael Buble @ Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, MI, Dec 3

Chick Corea, Christian McBride, Brian Blade @
The Blue Note, Tokyo, Japan, Dec 3-4

Mindi Abair, Peter White, Rick Braun
@ BB King’s Club & Grill, New York, NY, Dec 4

Simply Red @ Rockhal, Esch Alzette, Luxembourg, Dec 4
Michael Buble @ Allstate Arena, Chicago, IL, Dec 4
Eric Benet @ UNO Civic Center, New Orleans, LA, Dec 4
Eric Benet @ Reliant Arena, Houston, TX, Dec 5

Mindi Abair, Peter White, Rick Braun
@ Miller Center For Arts, Reading, PA, Dec 5

Simply Red @ Sportpalais, Antwerp, Belgium, Dec 5
Michael Buble @ Bridgestone Arena. Nashville, TN, Dec 5

Chick Corea, Christian McBride, Brian Blade @
The Blue Note, Nagoya, Japan, Dec 6

Mindi Abair, Peter White, Rick Braun
@ Scullers Jazz Club, Boston, MA, Dec 7

Michael Buble @ Verizon Arena, Little Rock, AR, Dec 7
Simply Red @ London O2 Arena, UK, Dec 8
Eric Benet @ Old National at Murat, Indianapolis, IN, Dec 8
Michael Buble @ Ford Center, Oklahoma City, OK, Dec 8

Mindi Abair, Peter White, Rick Braun
@ Midlands Theatre, Newark, OH, Dec 9

Eric Benet @ Palace Theatre, Louisville, KY, Dec 9
Simply Red @ Nottingham Arena, UK, Dec 9
Esperanza Spalding @ Hancher Auditorium, Iowa City, IA, Dec 9

Chick Corea, Christian McBride, Brian Blade @
The Blue Note, Tokyo, Japan, Dec 9-12

Mindi Abair, Peter White, Rick Braun
@ Ferst Theatre, Atlanta, GA, Dec 10

Simply Red @ Glasgow, SECC, UK, Dec 10
Eric Benet @ Fox Theatre, Detroit, MI, Dec 10

Regina Carter, Esperanza Spalding @
Chicago Symphony, Chicago, IL, Dec 10

Mindi Abair, Peter White, Rick Braun
@ Mattie Kelly Arts Center, Niceville, FL, Dec 11

Eric Benet @ P&G at Aronoff Center, Dec 11
Michael Buble @ Honda Center, Anaheim, CA, Dec 11
Nicola Conte @ Tamirane, Istanbul, Turkey, Dec 11
David Beniot @ B.B. King Blues Bar, New York, NY, Dec 11

Esperanza Spalding @ Buffalo State Performing Arts Center,
Buffalo State College, Buffalo, NY, Dec 11

Mindi Abair, Peter White, Rick Braun
@ Maxwell C. King Center, Melbourne, FL, Dec 12

Simply Red @ Manchester Men Arena, UK, Dec 12
Eric Benet @ Bell Auditorium, Augusta, GA, Dec 12

Mindi Abair, Peter White, Rick Braun
@ Lyric Theatre, Stuart, FL, Dec 13

Michael Buble @ Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA, Dec 13
Simply Red @ Birmingham NIA, UK, Dec 14

Mindi Abair, Peter White, Rick Braun
@ Florida Theatre, Jacksonville, FL, Dec 15

Mindi Abair, Peter White, Rick Braun
@ Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, FL, Dec 16

Simply Red @ Sheffield Arena, UK, Dec 16

Mindi Abair, Peter White, Rick Braun
@ Tower Theatre, Fresno, CA, Dec 17

Mindi Abair, Peter White, Rick Braun
@ Venue TBD, San Diego, CA, Dec 18

Simply Red @ London O2 Arena, UK, Dec 18-19
Paul Anka @ Table Mountain Casino, Friant, CA, Dec 23
Eric Benet @ Beacon Theatre, New York, NY, Dec 27
Eric Benet @ D.A.R. Constitution Hall, Washington, DC, Dec 28
Eric Benet @ State Theatre, Cleveland, OH, Dec 29
Eric Benet @ Auditorium Theatre, Chicago, IL, Dec 30

Friday, November 26, 2010


Abby Dobson - Sleaping Beauty
Beady Belle – At Welding Bridge
Benito Gonzalez – Circles
Bobby Watson – Gates BBQ Suite
Chico Mann – Analog Drift
City Champs – Set Up
Donny Hathaway – Someday We’ll All Be Free
Ebo Taylor – Love & Death
Eddie Henderson – For All We Know
Eric Bolvin – No Boundaries
Exploding Star Orchestra – Stars Have Shapes
Freddie Jackson – For You
Funk ‘N’ Stein – Funky Mission
Gabriel Mark Hasselbach – Told Ya So!
Herculaneum – Olives & Orchids
JD73 – Pure Gold
Jason Adasiewicz - Sunrooms
Jazz Club: Party Jazz
John Mills Times Ten – Caffeine Dreams
Johnny Amazing Meza – The New Standard
Kristine W – Straight Up With A Twist
LR-60 & Mr. Moods - Ultraviolence
Lee - Naked
Marc Antoine – My Classical Way
Mike Murray – Groove Tones
Nate Naja ft. Melba Moore – Groove Me (EP)
Preston Glass – Colors Of Life
Rongetz Foundation – Broken Doll Beat
Shirley Jones – Feels Like Heaven
Smokey Robinson – Solo Albums Vol. 3: Deep In My Soul/Big Time
Stalvio Cirpriani – Papaya Dei Caraibi
Stan Sly – Anutha World
Stanley Cowell – Prayer For Peace
Steiner Aadnekvam – Simple Things
Stephanie Sante – Prismatic
Tammi Terrell – Come One & See Me: The Complete Solo Collection
Tom Glide & The Luv Allstars – In The Name Of Luv
Waldino – Sensual Karma
Wide Hive Players w/Calvin Keys, Larry Coryell, et – Wide Hive Players II
William Smoke Howard – Give Me Your Heart
YahZarah – Ballad Of Purple Saint James

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Sweet sweet work from Deodato – a great little set that almost makes us think it's the 70s all over again! Deodato's working in that great blend of jazz and soul he first set down during his CTI years – then took to new heights on MCA and Warner too – a wonderfully warm blend that's filled with plenty of jazz at the core, but which also features key soulful touches from guests who include Al Jarreau, John Tropea, Novecento, and Londonbeat! Most numbers feature vocals, but there's plenty of space for Deodato's keyboards too – which have that round sound and deep feel we really remember from the Fender Rhodes generation. Titles include "Night Passage", "The Crossing", "Double Face", "I Want You More", "Border Line", and "Rule My World".

Contemporary soul veteran Freddie Jackson returns with a batch of original material! For You mixes slow cooking, nicely grooving and lightly polished soul that's right in his Freddie's comfort zone, and numbers with a bit more of a late 00s production aesthetic – but you don't need to worry, it's a tried-and-true Freddie Jackson set all the way, and a good one! Titles include "I Don't Wanna Go", "A Dozen Roses", "Say Yeah", "Rumors", "Slow Dance", "What's On Your Mind". "Any Way You Want It" and more.

Rena Scott's probably best-remembered for her soul albums of the late 70s and 1980s – but she's back in action, and sounding as great as ever with this sweet new CD! The set's got a cool, modern style – one that's more of a conventional R&B update of Rena's older groove, instead of an attempt to go for a Neo Soul mode – a choice we really appreciate, as Scott keeps things real – and definitely goes for an old school groove throughout! A few cuts are older soul classics, handled in nice new versions by Rena – with breathy vocals that slide sexily through the arrangements – and titles include "Joy & Pain", "Don't Ask My Neighbors", "Each Day Is Better", "You Keep Me Trippin", "Dr Feelgood", "Don't Wanna Wait", and "Something I Wanna Say."

A deeply soulful set from pianist Benito Gonzalez – a Venezuelan player you may not know by name, but who's working here with a hip host of American all-stars – including Azar Lawrence and Ron Blake on tenor saxes, Myron Walden on alto and soprano, Christian McBride on bass, and Jeff Tain Watts on drums! The music is great right from the get-go – spiraling out with the searching force of some of McCoy Tyner's best 70s material – a perfect platform for the reedwork in the set, although the album also draws strongly from Benito's bold command of the piano, too – a perfect combination that keeps things electrifying throughout. Titles include "Circles", "Taurus", "The Movements", "Journey's End", and "Faces".


Frank Sinatra's 1957 holiday classic, A Jolly Christmas From Frank Sinatra, will be released Friday, November 26 as a limited edition, 180-gram vinyl LP with faithfully replicated original album art. Newly remastered at Capitol Mastering from the original analogue master tapes, the deluxe vinyl reissue will be available exclusively at Record Store Day-participating independent music retailers across the U.S. Sinatra's first full-length holiday album, A Jolly Christmas From Frank Sinatra sold more than one million copies. The LP reissue replicates the album's original art to the smallest detail, including an exclamation point that was (mistakenly) added to the song title "Silent Night" on the original LP jacket.

A Jolly Christmas From Frank Sinatra
1. Jingle Bells
2. The Christmas Song
3. Mistletoe and Holly
4. I'll Be Home for Christmas
5. The Christmas Waltz
6. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
7. The First Noel
8. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
9. O Little Town of Bethlehem
10. Adeste Fideles (O, Come All Ye Faithful)
11. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
12. Silent Night


Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Legendary song stylist Bobby Caldwell, best known for the smash hit “What You Won’t Do For Love,” has announced that he will return to the stage on January 29, 2011, for two shows, 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m., at the B.B. King Blues Club & Grill. “I consider Bobby Caldwell’s return a re-introduction to one of the great soul/jazz singers of our time,” says Chris Rizik, music critic and founder of the online music magazine Soul Tracks. “He is a versatile vocalist who can handle Sinatra as well as Stevie Wonder, the artist he was most often compared to in his early years. His performances provide an excellent take on some of the great songs of the 1940s and 1950s.” “An Evening with Bobby Caldwell” will feature some of Caldwell’s best loved hits, including “What You Won't Do For Love,” “Come To Me,” and “Let It Be Me.” Known as the original “blue-eyed soul singer,” Caldwell’s return will remind audiences that this highly respected and often-imitated vocalist and songwriter has continued to touch audiences and impact musicians across genres, including R&B, smooth jazz, Big Band, contemporary pop, and rap.

Caldwell’s 1978 hit “What You Won’t Do For Love” has been recorded and sampled by more than 100 artists, including Boys II Men. A sample of Bobby’s song “Open Your Eyes” appeared in the Grammy nominated platinum rap hit “The Light” by Common. Versions of Caldwell’s numerous songs have been covered or sampled by a diverse array of artists such as Tupac Shakur, Michael Bolton, Roberta Flack, Go West, Vanessa Williams, and Notorious B.I.G. “I’ve enjoyed a remarkable career as an entertainer both here in the United States and abroad,” says Caldwell, who is well-known for his slouch hat. “I’ve also been fortunate in that my songs have been hugely popular and have earned hits for me and, I’m proud to say, for some wonderful musicians like Chicago, Boz Scaggs, Peter Cetera, Amy Grant, Neil Diamond, and Al Jarreau. I consider this concert a way of giving back to my fans for making all of this possible. It’s going to be a great evening!”

“An Evening with Bobby Caldwell” is presented by Smooth Jazz New York, (http://www.smoothjazznewyork.com//), a subsidiary of Marquee Concerts.

Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. show are $45 in advance; $50 day of show; VIP Booths $65 advance and day of show. Tickets for the 10:00 p.m. show are $40 in advance; $45 day of show; VIP Booths $60 advance and day of show. B.B. King Blues Club & Grill is located at 237 West 42nd Street, New York, N.Y.



This week marks the 25th anniversary of Jan Hammer's now iconic Miami Vice theme's ascent to the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. In those 25 years, there has not been another instrumental track that has experienced an equal measure of chart success. While Miami Vice the television show came to epitomize the 1980s, spawning fashion trends and a culture that have long fallen out of fashion, the theme that Hammer composed for the show has in no way lost its edge. It has been featured in films such as Adam Sandler's The Wedding Singer, Charlie's Angels, television shows such as The Simpsons, American Idol, America's Got Talent, and the UK's Top Gear, and in countless commercials.

"Crockett's Theme" - which Hammer also wrote for Miami Vice and which was originally featured on Hammer's album, Escape From Television - adds sonic texture to the LeBron James video, "What Should I Do?" which also features a cameo by Don Johnson. The video is currently airing on the Nike website, as well as on YouTube, where it's received nearly 4 million views. "Crockett's Theme" will also be featured in the television spot for James' new basketball shoe the LeBron 8 South Beach Edition.

"Crockett's Theme" has been included on over 100 CD compilations in addition to Escape from Television, including Virgin's double-platinum Pure Moods. Recently, Hammer collaborated with urban vocalist TQ on a rap version, which was the #1 downloaded track for several weeks on iTunes in Europe.

Hammer's talents continue to be tapped by other musicians. Drummer Gary Husband's upcoming Abstract Logix November 16 release, Dirty and Beautiful Volume One features Hammer and fellow Mahavishnu Orchestra alumni John McLaughlin and Jerry Goodman, auspiciously marking the first time the three have performed on the same project since the group disbanded in 1973. Hammer performs on the opening track, "Leave Em On," and Husband also includes a Hammer composition, "Between the Sheets of Music," which was included on the keyboardist's 1979 Asylum release, Black Sheep.

Hammer also recently collaborated with big beat/electronica's Junkie XL (whose version of Elvis Presley's "A Little Less Conversation" was a # 1 hit in over twenty countries) on the Dutch remix master’s latest project, Fairlight EP, for which the two wrote and performed the track “Made For Each Other."

Saturday, November 06, 2010


Atlantic Records has announced the forthcoming release of  For Colored Girls: Music From And Inspired By The Motion Picture Soundtrack, an all-female musical companion to the upcoming Lionsgate drama. The much buzzed about film -- directed and executive produced by Tyler Perry - premieres in theatres nationwide on November 5th. The trailer for the film is now available for viewing at http://www.forcoloredgirlsmovie.com/. For Colored Girls: Music From And Inspired By The Motion Picture Soundtrack sees an all-female line up ranging from newcomers Janelle Monàe, Estelle and Laura Izibor to Grammy Award nominee Leona Lewis, as well as the legendary Gladys Knight. The soundtrack, which features 13 brand new, unreleased songs, also includes the stand out tracks "What More Can They Do" by Laura Izibor and "Four Women," a cover of the Nina Simone original of the same title, which features Nina herself, her daughter Simone, Laura Izibor, and Ledisi. The collection also features music from Estelle, Janelle Monàe, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Lalah Hathaway, Zaki Ibrahim, and Anika Noni Rose (see tracklisting below.) Directed and written by Tyler Perry (Diary Of A Mad Black Woman, Madea's Family Reunion, Why Did I Get Married?), For Colored Girls stars Academy Award-winner Whoopi Goldberg (The Color Purple, Sister Act), Janet Jackson (Nutty Professor II, Why Did I Get Married?), Anika Noni Rose (Dreamgirls), Thandie Newton (Crash, The Pursuit of Happiness), Phylicia Rashad (The Cosby Show, Uncle Tom's Cabin), Loretta Devine (The Preacher's Wife, Crash), Kerry Washington (Save The Last Dance, Ray), and Kimberly Elise (John Q, The Great Debaters). For Colored Girls, the film adaptation of Ntozake Shange's 1975 Obie Award-winning play, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf is a unique collection of poems illustrating the power of women of color to survive in the face of pain and despair. The many stories of struggle told within the film's choreopoem reflect women's ongoing battle with love, abandonment and the finding of self -- among the tales told are those of a woman who chooses to have an abortion, a woman who has fallen victim to domestic violence and a woman who embraces life by running away with the man she loves.

1. Main Title - Loretta Devine, Kimberly Elise, Whoopi Goldberg, Janet Jackson, Thandie Newton, Phylicia Rashad, Anika Noni Rose, Tessa Thompson, Kerry Washington (with Joshua Bell, Aaron Zigman & The Hollywood Studio Symphony Orchestra)
2. Longer & Stronger - Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
3. All Day Long (Blue Skies) - Estelle
4. What More Can They Do - Laura Izibor
5. Sun - Lalah Hathaway
6. Ansomnia - Zaki Ibrahim
7. Settle - Gladys Knight
8. La Donna In Viola - Karen Slack, Andrea Jones-Sojola & The Hollywood Studio Symphony Orchestra
9. Sechita (A Senhora em Amarelo) - Anika Noni Rose & Carondelet Percussion Ensemble
10. Stand Up - Macy Gray
11. Without A Fight - Janelle Monàe
12. Four Women - Nina Simone, Simone, Laura Izibor & Ledisi
13. I Know Who I Am - Leona Lewis


Charlie Wilson is back with a new single that is currently climbing the Urban AC chart "You Are," which gave Wilson his biggest career debut on both the Billboard Urban Adult Contemporary Singles chart and the R&B/Hip-Hop singles chart. After three weeks on the charts, "You Are" is currently in the Top 15 on the Urban Adult Contemporary chart, the song is resonating at radio with several stations on board and heavy syndication airplay on the Steve Harvey, Tom Joyner and Michael Baisden shows. The sparkling love song is the first single from Just Charlie, Wilson's third solo album slated for release December 7th. Jive Records artist Wilson produced the single along with P Music Group producer Wirlie Morris. "You Are" is a soon-to-be wedding classic brought to life by one of R&B's classic and enduring voices. Just Charlie is the follow-up to his critically acclaimed 2009 album Uncle Charlie. The sophomore set earned two 2010 Grammy Award nominations for Best R&B Album and Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for "There Goes My Baby." Written by multiple Grammy winner Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds and Calvin Richardson, "Baby" tallied nine weeks at No. 1—besting Wilson's 2005 six-week run at that perch with the single "Charlie Last Name Wilson." Remaining on the Urban AC chart for over a year, "There Goes My Baby" also became the No. 1 most-played single that year on the same chart. Uncle Charlie, meanwhile, resided on the Urban Adult Contemporary Albums chart for more than a year after debuting at #1 on the R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart. Those feats led to Wilson being crowned Billboard's 2009 Urban AC Artist of the Year. Wilson also received a 2009 Soul Train Icon Award from BET. Showcasing Wilson's soaring, steeped-in-soul vocals, "You Are" presents yet another example of the singer's knack for perfectly fusing contemporary and old-school into a fresh, vibrant sound. Everyone's favorite uncle—and the godfather of R&B—is indeed back.

Friday, November 05, 2010


Many artists start their careers strong, hit a peak and then continue on a consistent, comfortable plateau. Not saxophonist and vocalist Walter Beasley. His recording career started with a bang as one of a handful of jazz artists to have an urban radio hit. Yet, in 2010, more than two decades down the line, he hit #1 on the contemporary jazz radio charts. Now Shanachie Entertainment has released what may well be Walter Beasley's best album yet - the delightfully varied Backatcha! which brings together many facets of Walter's wide-ranging artistry - rock solid grooves, inventive soloing, an absolutely exquisite tone, an uncanny synthesis of jazz and R&B and, on one track - Bill Withers' "Lovely Day"- an effortlessly seductive vocal. It is a career highlight from a true renaissance man who manages the difficult trick of maintaining simultaneous careers as recording artist, performer, composer and educator, thanks to his long time professorship at the prestigious Berklee School Of Music. Unusual for an album by a noted jazz instrumentalist, Backatcha!, produced by Chris "Big Dog" Davis and Phil Davis, kicks off with a vocal - the forementioned wonderful version of "Lovely Day," but in the space of the first four songs shows Walter's versatility. The second track, "Expressway," written by producer Chris Davis, is a somewhat edgy slice of contemporary jazz then moves to a languorous, spell-casting interpretation of Isaac Hayes' "Ellie's Theme" and then kicks into a smooth yet fresh version of The Five Stairsteps' classic song "Ooh Child."

Indeed the album shows off Walter's wide-ranging musical sensibility, which encompasses everything from straight-ahead jazz and fusion to R&B and hip-hop. Unlike many jazz musicians, Beasley does not disdain any styles but utilizes any number of genres as a source of inspiration. For instance, he takes rap artist Drake's recent hit "Find Your Love" and turns it into a moody, atmospheric mid-tempo piece. On the other hand, for sheer beauty and lyricism, it would be hard to top Walter's sensitive playing on his original composition "Simply Put." The achievements of Backatcha! is just the latest high point in a career replete with success. Walter Beasley holds the distinction of being the best-selling saxophonist in the world during the past decade and he has sold more than 800,000 albums over his career. He has scored numerous Top Ten Contemporary Jazz hits as well as hitting the R&B charts on several occasions --a rarity for a jazz musician--and being a regular in the Top Twenty of the Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart. But like George Benson, Walter is one of the very few jazz musicians who also sings--well enough to score hit records with his vocals.

He is also widely considered by critics and fans as "the heir to Grover Washington, Jr.'s throne." Indeed Grover Washington, Jr. sparked Walter's interest in music when, as a nine year-old growing up in El Centro, California, his aunt gave him a record by the sax giant which led Walter to become fascinated with the possibilities of the saxophone. He was also inspired as a singer by the music of legendary R&B singer and songwriter Donny Hathaway. By age 14, Walter was playing saxophone and singing in various bands around California. By his late teens he was studying at the prestigious Berklee School Of Music, where his classmates included future stars Branford Marsalis and Rachelle Ferrell. A sign of his prodigious talent as well as his natural gift for teaching, Walter was, shortly after his graduation at age 22, invited by Berklee to become a teacher there. By 1987 Walter had scored a recording contract with Mercury Records, and scored an R & B radio hit that year with "I'm So Happy," which kicked off a string of best-selling albums that melded jazz and R&B. He began touring widely, playing major festivals and concert venues as well as performing with such jazz and R & B icons as Brian McKnight, Gerald Albright, Bob James, George Howard, Stephanie Mills, Vanessa Williams and Rachelle Ferrell. In 1996 Walter was signed by Shanachie Entertainment and continued his successes, especially in the contemporary jazz arena, with such hits as "Comin’ At Cha” and “TanTam” as well as his hit vocal of "Do You Wanna Dance." He later went on to record for the N-Coded and Heads Up labels, scoring a #2 smooth jazz radio hit in 2007 with "Ready For Love" and another top 5 hit in "Oh Yeah." But even with all this success, Walter has continued to maintain a full-time teaching position at Berklee, rising to the position of Full Professor, because of his commitment to teaching and mentoring up-and-coming musicians.

As musician, recording artist, concert performer, composer, and educator, Walter Beasley has hit some of the highest heights possible. With Backatcha! Walter has matched his previous peaks and delivered what in this era of single-track downloads is a rarity--a true album experience. No doubt "Lovely Day" the first single from Backatcha!, will join Walter's list of hits, but years hence, when the chart numbers are forgotten, Backatcha! will stand as one of the finest artistic statements to hit the contemporary jazz scene in many years.

Thursday, November 04, 2010


Universal Music Group, the world’s leading music company, has partnered with eMusic, the Digital Music Club, to offer its U.S. members access to UMG’s deep and rich catalogue of groundbreaking and chart-topping artists starting in November, 2010. This agreement is another step in eMusic’s evolution to a digital music club that offers a comprehensive catalogue, the best value, editorial and contextualization plus significant additional benefits for the most passionate music consumers. The deal will add more than 250,000 tracks to the eMusic catalogue, which now stands at ten million. “We’re delighted to be working with eMusic,” stated David Ring, Executive Vice President of Business Development and Business Affairs for UMG’s eLabs. “The service has a proven track record of connecting an audience passionate about music to their favorite artists, as well as encouraging true music discovery.” “eMusic is committed to offering our members more music at a great value,” said Adam Klein, eMusic Chief Executive Officer. “Our deal with UMG is one more major milestone in the expansion of our catalogue and in serving the eMusic membership, for whom music is an integral part of their lives. Consistent with what members value in our service, we look forward to curating the UMG catalogue and introducing our members to both its classic artists and hidden gems.” eMusic will initially offer UMG catalogue titles and highlight them through its expert editorial lens, including overviews of iconic artists and explorations of classic albums that introduce members to their lesser-known roots and influences.

Universal Music Group's record labels include A&M/Octone, Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, Disa, Emarcy, Fonovisa, Interscope Geffen A&M Records, Island Def Jam Music Group, Lost Highway Records, Machete Music, MCA Nashville, Mercury Nashville, Mercury Records, Island Records, Polydor Records, Show Dog – Universal Music, Universal Motown Republic Group, Universal Music Latino and Verve Music Group as well as a multitude of record labels owned or distributed by its record company subsidiaries around the world. The Universal Music Group owns the most extensive catalog of music in the industry, which includes the last 100 years of the world's most popular artists and their recordings. UMG’s catalog is marketed through two distinct divisions, Universal Music Enterprises (in the U.S.) and Universal Strategic Marketing (outside the U.S.). Universal Music Group also includes eLabs, its new media and technologies division; Bravado, its merchandising company; and Twenty-First Artists, its full service management division.

eMusic (http://www.emusic.com/) is a digital music club. With a more immersive, authentic music experience and better prices than mass market digital music retailers, it is the best way for music lovers and casual music fans to expand their music collection. eMusic combines award-winning editorial, a state-of-the-art recommendations system, and social media features to provide the most musical context for an enthusiastic community of music fans, record labels, and artists alike. Customers are encouraged to explore music with subscription pricing that rewards discovery at a better value than any legal competitor. eMusic also sells downloadable audio books http://www.emusic.com/audiobooks/index.html from all major audio book publishers. Based in New York with an office in London, eMusic is available in the U.S., Canada, the E.U., Norway and Switzerland. eMusic.com Inc. is owned by Dimensional Associates, Inc., the private equity arm of JDS Capital Management, Inc.


Wednesday, November 03, 2010


To celebrate and honor Frank Sinatra's 95th birthday on December 12, Wynn Las Vegas will premiere performances of Sinatra Dance With Me in the Encore Theater on December 11, 2010. "We will present an extraordinary evening of Frank Sinatra—his words and music set to incredible movement by Twyla Tharp. This mesmerizing treatment of the man and his music moves with an intense, electrifying fascination," said Steve Wynn. Sinatra Dance With Me follows four couples as they fall in and out of love at a swinging nightclub. Blending the legendary vocals of Frank Sinatra with a big band and 14 of the world's finest dancers, Sinatra Dance With Me weaves classic standards including "Fly Me To The Moon," "My Way" and "That's Life" in a soaring dance fantasy of romance and seduction. By special arrangement with Frank Sinatra Enterprises and The Sinatra Family, Sinatra Dance With Me features original recorded masters of Frank Sinatra's voice backed by a live on-stage, 17-piece big band. The show's score combines classic vocal performances from the Sinatra catalog and archives along with signature Sinatra arrangements (Nelson Riddle, Billy May, Quincy Jones) and some brand new orchestrations for this innovative spectacle.

Sinatra Dance With Me is the next and most elaborate chapter in one of the most exciting collaborations in contemporary dance. Twyla Tharp's creative relationship with the music of Frank Sinatra began in 1976 with the premiere of Once More Frank, a duet created for the American Ballet Theatre and performed by Tharp and Mikhail Baryshnikov. The collaboration continued with Nine Sinatra Songs, Tharp's acclaimed piece for 14 dancers, and was followed by Sinatra Suite, featuring Baryshnikov. Tharp's production Come Fly Away played in New York City earlier this year and was described by Time Magazine to be "the purest jolt of pleasure to be found on a Broadway stage!" Sinatra Dance With Me features scenic design by James Youmans, costume design by Katherine Roth, lighting design by Donald Holder and sound design by Peter McBoyle. Music supervision is by the late Sam Lutfiyya and Patrick Vaccariello. Ticket prices are $69 and $89, plus tax and service charge. Sinatra Dance With Me plays at the Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas at 7:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday through January 29, 2010. The theater is dark on Sundays. Frank Sinatra Enterprises (FSE) is a joint venture between the Sinatra family and Warner Music Group.

FSE owns Sinatra's recordings from the Reprise era as well as a treasure trove of films, television specials and unreleased footage, photos and audio recordings, which collectively represent one of the foremost bodies of artistic work of the modern era. FSE also owns and manages Sinatra's name and likeness rights and represents the artist's rights to the Columbia and Capitol catalogues. FSE pursues innovative new product and venture opportunities with respect to the legendary entertainer's name and likeness, as well as Sinatra's audio and visual recordings.



Prince, one of the most prolific and groundbreaking artists of our time whose recorded music, live performances and powerful artistry have affected music and pop culture like no other, will bring his extraordinary live production, WELCOME 2 AMERICA, to the New York area in December. After 21-nights of sold out shows in London, Prince makes his first return to the East Coast since 2004. A different experience every night, Prince will be joined by various performers including Maceo Parker, Janelle Monae, Mint Condition, Esperanza Spalding, Cassandra Wilson, Sinbad, Lalah Hathaway, Sheila E. and Graham Central Station. As part of the live events, Prince will play a solid gold Fender ® Custom Stratocaster® guitar master-built by Senior Master Builder Yuriy Shishkov. At the end of the run, the guitar will be auctioned off to benefit the Harlem Children's Zone. The Harlem Children Zone (www.hcz.org) is a community based organization serving over 17,000 children living in Harlem NYC. Harlem Children Zone's CEO, Geoffrey Canada was also on hand at the press conference. After 100 million albums sold, seven GRAMMY® Awards, a Golden Globe, an Oscar®, and a Webby Award for visionary use of the Internet, the influence of Prince is endless. His chameleon-like image, signature style and constantly evolving sound all echo in the work of two generations of artists across multiple genres. As a songwriter and producer, he has collaborated with legendary artists including Mavis Staples, Chaka Khan, Stevie Wonder, Celine Dion, Madonna, and Sinead O'Connor. For five decades, Prince has given the world countless musical, entrepreneurial, and spiritual gifts. Love is at the foundation of all he gives: love of God and humanity in the world.

Tour Dates:
Dec. 14 East Rutherford, NJ Izod Center
Dec. 15 East Rutherford, NJ Izod Center
Dec. 17 East Rutherford, NJ Izod Center
Dec. 18 New York, NY Madison Square Garden
Dec. 29 New York, NY Madison Square Garden


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