Monthly Archives: July 2016

Yale School of Music, Jazz Initiative

Academia provides an invaluable furtherance for musical study.

I am blessed to live a stone’s throw away from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. Due to an anonymous gift to the Yale School of Music the legacy of jazz studies will continue to thrive and expand for everyone’s cultural benefit. Read more about the rejuvenation of jazz studies at Yale here.

Wayne Escoffery, Grammy Award-winning award saxophonist joins the illustrious ranks of influential jazz musicians like Christian McBride, bassist appointed artistic director of the Newport Jazz Festival and Jason Moran, pianist who is the artistic director at The Kennedy Center. Professor Escoffery will be teaching a jazz improvisation course and coaching the Yale Jazz Ensemble.

 

Later this year the Yale School of Music celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Ellington Jazz Series (2016-2017) commencing with a performance by Savion Glover on September 30 at Morse Recital Hall.

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David Crosby, Lighthouse

David Crosby announces his new album Lighthouse, out October 21st on GroundUP Music/Verve Label Group. The very skilful record is an intimate, stripped-down set that highlights Crosby’s instantly recognizable voice, incisive songwriting, and incomparable guitar work. The palpable joy in the 9-song collection captures the iconic artist in an unexpected burst of inspiration. “To create brand new music that I’m excited about is a pearl beyond price,” says the two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee.

Lighthouse features a rare economy of sound, filled primarily by Crosby’s voice and guitars, and Michael League of Snarky Puppy’s skillful production. There’s a sparse, unvarnished quality to the tracks that allows the songs breathing room and for the full emotional weight of the lyrics to emerge, unencumbered by extraneous instrumentation.

On album opener, “Things We Do For Love,” written for his wife of nearly 40-years Jan, Crosby’s vocals show a poetic tenderness. On “Paint You A Picture,” a cinematic tale of romantic regret co-written with Marc Cohn (“Walking In Memphis”), they are filled with remorseful resignation. The longtime social activist lands his political punches as he bitingly condemns the craven politicians who send other people’s children to war on “Somebody Other Than You,” and compassionately reminds us that we are all the same on “Look In Their Eyes,” a poignant tale about immigration inspired by the Syrian refugee crisis.

Listen to “Things We Do For Love” here.

Jim Marshall: Jazz Festival

Published by Reel Art Press

Edited by Amelia Davis, Tony Nourmand. Introduction by Nat Hentoff. Foreword by President Bill Clinton. Designed by Graham Marsh.

Jim Marshall is known as the defining father of music photography and his intimate photographs of the greats of rock & roll, country, folk, blues and jazz are legendary. Renowned for his extraordinary access and ability to capture the perfect moment, his influence is second to none. In 2014, Marshall became the only photographer ever to be honored by the Grammys with a Trustees Award for his life’s work.

Published here for the first time ever are Marshall’s jazz festival photographs from the 1960s, which capture the crowd, the performances and unguarded moments with jazz icons such as Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Nina Simone, Ray Charles and many more.

Over 95% of the material in this breathtaking volume has never been seen before. Marshall’s remarkable photographs of the festivals at Newport and Monterey immortalize the unique energy and soul of these celebrations of jazz. Complete access to Marshall’s vast archive has been granted for this book. It includes a foreword by President Bill Clinton and an introduction by renowned jazz writer Nat Hentoff, and is designed by art director Graham Marsh (The Cover Art of Blue Note Records, Hollywood and the Ivy Look). This is the first in a series of books to be published by Reel Art Press in collaboration with the Jim Marshall Archive.

Jim Marshall (1936–2010) was born in Chicago. While still in high school, he purchased his first camera and began documenting musicians and artists in San Francisco. Over a 50-year career he created hundreds of legendary images that came into public consciousness through magazine features, more than 500 album covers and six books: Monterey Pop, Not Fade Away, Proof, Jazz, Trust and Pocket Cash.

From Thelonious Monk to John Coltrane, Miles Davis to Nina Simone, Jim Marshall’s defining photographs of the 1960s jazz scene

Steven Wilson Remixes

I am very thankful that we have an artist with such instinctual technological skills who brings us these fantastic high-resolution progressive rock remixes. Steven Wilson embodies the true spirit of progressive rock. His genius is our joy.

When I think about how much trust Yes, Robert Fripp of King Crimson, Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull place in his innate abilities it makes me proud to own and promote these recordings. As Jon Anderson has sung, “Your temple is the harmony, You feel the sacred ground”  (from To Be Alive.) 

The latest remix is Tales From Topographic Oceans the fifth in a series of expanded Yes (official) classics, released in 3CD/Blu-Ray and 2CD/2DVDA configurations. The album has been remixed in both stereo and 5.1 surround sound from the original multi-track tapes, and approved by Yes.

2 CDs feature the new mix of the original album, an unedited / extended version of Dance of the Dawn (side one), and 5 newly created “single” edits focussing on the song sections of the extended pieces. A third CD available only with the blu-ray edition features a complete alternate version of the album using live tracks and studio run throughs. Of these “High The Memory” (a studio run-through of side 2), and “Ritual” (live in Zurich, April 1974) are previously unreleased.

The Blu-Ray and DVDAs feature the original stereo mix, and the new stereo and 5.1 mixes in high resolution. The blu-ray additionally contains the extended Dance of the Dawn in stereo & 5.1 surround sound, the 5 edits, instrumental mixes, the alternate versions, and other bonus material, all in high resolution.

You can pre-order this item on Headphone Dust here.

Thank you Steven Wilson, you bring such life and resonance to my Progressive Rock music library.

National Blues Museum – St. Louis, Missouri

I am thankful for the CBS Sunday Morning television show. It constantly increases my awareness of the performance arts and other subjects.

This morning I learned about my new music pilgrimage stop, The National Blues Museum based in St. Louis, Missouri. Adding this invaluable place to my bucket list.

Heart – Beautiful Broken

These ladies so rock! Pumped to have Heart‘s 16th album, Beautiful Broken which dropped yesterday. Totally cool that James Hetfield of Metallica helps drive the title track.

Kudos to co-producers Nancy Wilson and Heart bassist Dan Rothchild love the gritty sound.

My favorite track after the first listen is “Heaven”.

 

Life is a Rip Off: The Complete Book By John Olson – Third Man Books

LIFE IS A RIP OFF: THE COMPLETE BOOK is 404 pages and 12 months of record reviews—one record a day, every day, for one year. Yes, John “Inzane” Olson aka Inzane Johnny of the band Wolf Eyes aka American Tapes did that. And he reviewed everything from death metal demo cassettes to the Staples Singers’ gospel. Enter into the OLZONE and find out about music you’ve never known, bands from places that you’ve never heard, and then read his review of KANSAS. Reading LRIP will make you re-realize why blues is relevant, why every punk band in America matters, why jazz is good for the heart, and metal will always ride by your side.

AUTHOR BIO:

John Olson joined the seminal noise, trip-metal band Wolf Eyes in 2000. Wolf Eyes has toured and/or worked with musicians such as Sonic Youth and Anthony Braxton. In 2015, Wolf Eyes released the full length I AM A PROBLEM: MIND IN PIECES on Third Man Records.

WITH ADDITIONAL ESSAYS FROM:

Henry Rollins: Born in 1961 in Washington, D.C., Henry Rollins was barely out of his teens when he joined the legendary punk band Black Flag. He won a Grammy Award for best spoken word album in 1994 for his recording of his memoir, Get In the Van.

Ben Hell Hall: Sculptor and composer Ben Hall creates installations incorporating durational performances, existing objects and indeterminacy.all has written for The Wire and BOMB and has performed at INSTAL in Glasgow, Scotland; the Museum of Modern Art in New York City; and kunstenentrum BELGIE in Belgium.

Bryan Ramirez is an experimental, jazz, noise musician. He has played in several collaborations and groups including Ex-Cocaine. He also runs the Killertrees record label.

Tovah Olson has created something approximating music with Dead Machines, Wooden Wand and the Vanishing Voice and various other projects. She co-founded the Polyamory record label and runs Tovinator. She’s a digital news director and inzane mom living in the middle of Michigan.

 

 

Kansas – The Prelude Implicit

 

 

phoenixKANSAS, America’s legendary progressive rock band, will release their intensely anticipated new studio album “The Prelude Implicit” on September 23, 2016. The album is the first new release in 16 years for the band that has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide, and is famous for classic hits such as ‘Carry On Wayward Son’ and ‘Dust In the Wind,’ to progressive epics like ‘Song for America’ and ‘Miracles Out of Nowhere.’

“The Prelude Implicit” features 10 all new tracks written by the band and co-produced by Zak Rizvi, Phil Ehart, and Richard Williams. KANSAS’s signature sound is evident throughout the album. It showcases Ronnie Platt’s soaring lead vocals, David Ragsdale’s blistering violin, Williams and Rizvi’s rocking guitar riffs, the unmistakable sound of David Manion’s B3 organ and keyboards, Ehart’s thundering drums, and Billy Greer’s driving bass and vocals.

Track Listing

  1. With This Heart
  2. Visibility Zero
  3. The Unsung Heroes
  4. Rhythm in the Spirit
  5. Refugee
  6. The Voyage of Eight Eighteen
  7. Camouflage
  8. Summer
  9. Crowded Isolation
  10. Section 60

2016-band