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Concord Hails Charlie

Wednesday April 23, 2014


Concord Music will re-release A Boy Named Charlie Brown, the set of Vince Guaraldi tunes that that preceded his iconic A Charlie Brown Christmas set released in 1964. There's an interesting back story behind the record. Read about it here and recall the joy of hanging with the Peanuts gang.

Album cover courtesy of Concord Music.


With A Name Like Mingo

Wednesday April 23, 2014

Mingo.jpgMingo Fishtrap is a band that blows a mix of soul, jazz and R&B, straight from the heart of Texas and the mind of New Orleans. Read our review.

impulse! Returns!

Wednesday April 23, 2014

Henry Butler Steve BErnsteinimpulse! Records

Universal Music Group has announced the rebirth of their legendary impulse! imprint with the forthcoming release of Viper's Drag, a "retro-modern opus" from Henry Butler and Steven Bernstein and the Hot 9. Scheduled for  a July 15 release in the U.S., Viper's Drag is described as "the happy collision of two perfectly matched musical sensibilities--that of the New Orleans singer/pianist Henry Butler and trumpeter/arranger Steven Bernstein--two students of early jazz with decidedly modern voices." More specifically, the record pairs the New Orleans stylings of Butler -- who's work suggests the legends of Professor Longhair and James Booker -- with the New York Downtown style of Bernstein.

The new version impulse! is part of Universal Music France headquartered in Paris. Among the artists scheduled for releases on impulse!: Randy Weston, Kenny Barron, Jacky Terrasson, Ran Blake, Rodney Kendrick, Sullivan Fortner, Jean-Luc Ponty/Stanley Clarke/Biréli Lagrène and Madeleine Peyroux. The original impulse! label was founded in 1960 by Creed Taylor and later run by Bob Thiele. It became the home of "The New Wave In Jazz" with landmark recordings from John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, Gil Evans, Ray Charles, Quincy Jones, Duke Ellington, Sonny Rollins, Pharoah Sanders, Art Blakey, Max Roach, Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra and many more.

Photo of Henry Butler and Steve Bernstein courtesy of impulse!

Michael Moore On A Mission

Monday April 21, 2014

Michael-Moore-0896.jpgSaxophonist Michael Moore and his Quartet helped Portland bade farewell to music at The Mission Theater with a rousing 90-minute set last Thursday. Read our review.

Image by Michael Verity

Porter Back On Broadway

Friday April 18, 2014

Billy PorterBroadway singer and actor Billy Porter, who's best known for his Tony Award-winning performances as Lola in the Broadway hit Kinky Boots, released his new album, Back On Broadway, this week. Porter celebrated the release of Back On Broadway with an appearance on The Today Show, wherein he sang the Kander and Ebb classic "And The World Goes Round."

See his Today Show performance.

Amy Lynn Set To Drop Some Glitter

Friday April 18, 2014

Amy Lynn

Though they veer onto the side of classic soul and Motown side of the street, there's enough jazz flowing in the blood of Amy Lynn and the Gun Show to slip them a little love here in our little world of jazz. The New York City-based septet has serious chops, as will be heard by the general public when they release their new set, Don't Trip On The Glitter, on April 29. Lynn, who reportedly digs the Lionel Richie station on Pandora and throws "one hell of a party," is supported by a group that's played with all manner of well-known names from the Radio City Orchestra to Bette Midler to Roberta Flack.

Learn more here.

Photo of Amy Lynn & Co. supplied by the artist


Funk Brother To Release Funky Tribute

Friday April 18, 2014

Thom Douvon brother BrotherFormer Funk Brother Thom Douvan's new set, Brother Brother, is set to release on April 29.

Drawing on a lifetime of playing soul jazz and funk -- including seven years as a member of The Funk Brothers -- Douvon pays tribute to the legendary group of session players who were responsible for the great sound of Motown during its biggest years. Joining Douvon on this record are drummers James Gadson, Michael Barsimanto, Tony Moore, Frank Wilson and the late Ralph Penland (who passed away shortly before the release of this recording), Hammond organists Duncan McMillan and Bobby Pierce and saxophonist Tony Malfatti.

Find out more at Douvon's website.

JJA Announces 2014 Winners

Friday April 18, 2014

Cecile-McLorin-Salvant-9065-small.jpgThe Jazz Journalist Association has announced the winners of their 2014 JJA awards, tipping their hat to Herbie Hancock for the Lifetime Achievement Award and Wayne Shorter as Musician of the Year. Shorter's quartet won the Midsize Ensemble of the Year Award and his album, Without A Net, netted the Album of the Year honors. Also winning acclaim from the JJA is Cecile McLorin Salvant as Up and Coming Artist of the Year and Gregory Porter as Male Singer of the Year.

See the full list of winners here.

Photo of Cecile McLorin Salvant by Michael Verity

Getting Festy

Friday April 11, 2014

3.-Dianne-Reeves-Jack-Vartoogian.jpgWhat we call the World's Best Jazz Festival Guide just got better with scads of updates for festivals through the month of June. Check it out.

Dianne Reeves will be making the rounds at this year's festivals. Photo by Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images

New Collection From Freddie Bryant

Thursday April 10, 2014

Bryant & Co

"This album is a highly personal portrait of my influences from straight-ahead to Brazilian and classical guitar but also the key factor of my parents who were consummate concert artists." So says Freddie Bryant about his new release Dreamscape: Solo-Duo-Trio (available now on GJKSounds).  Alternating between nylon string classic guitar, archtop jazz guitar, 12-string acoustic and electric guitar, Bryant moves about a repertoire that includes originals as well as standards like Monk's "Ask Me Now" and Mingus' "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat."

Joining him for the duo and trio cuts are acclaimed musicians and bandleaders in their own right: multi-reedist Chris Potter (performing on tenor and soprano saxophones as well as bass clarinet) and bassist Scott Colley, who appeared earlier this week in Portland on the bandstand with saxophonist Donny McCaslin (reviewed here). "I played with them back in the late '80s-early '90s," Bryant recalls, "and their playing was always exceptional. They can play anything, and they play it beautifully and interactively too."

Learn more about the record here.

Photo of Scott Colley, Freddie Bryant and Chris Potter by Fernando Azevedo/Courtesy of GJKSounds

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