United We Swing

I’d like to bring to your attention a special recording designed to benefit jazz education.

United We Swing: Best of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Galas, In Support of the Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Education Programs Wynton Marsalis Septet

It’s available beginning March 23rd with Pre-Orders being accepted.

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We’ve been involved with Jazz at Lincoln Center NYC and have attended a black-tie gala. I believe strongly in this organizational cause and take comfort witnessing JALC’s musical achievements.

Recorded between 2003 and 2007, United We Swing finds an unparalleled array of musical talent that collectively boasts 94 Grammy Awards joining Jazz at Lincoln Center Managing and Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis (a nine-time Grammy Award winner himself) and his Septet. Together, they perform blues-inflected versions of iconic American repertoire and celebrate the red, white, and Blues.

These one-night-only, live performances have never been released before. They include Lenny Kravitz performing Marsalis’s hypnotizing, New Orleans-inflected arrangement of Kravitz’s own song, “Are You Gonna Go My Way”; Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks uniting for a stirring, infectious take on Civil Rights anthem “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free”; Bob Dylan adding harmonica licks to a deeply felt, in-the-pocket rendition of “It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry”; and Ray Charles taking the stage for one of his final performances to play “I’m Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town.”

Together these artists raise their voices to highlight jazz’s importance to America’s cultural heritage and to remind us that, even in divided times, music can unite us all. All proceeds from the album will go toward Jazz at Lincoln Center’s education programs, which introduce thousands of children to jazz each year.

Tracklisting:

  1. The Last Time feat. Blind Boys of Alabama
  2. It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry feat. Bob Dylan
  3. I’m Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town feat. Ray Charles
  4. I’m Not Rough feat. Eric Clapton
  5. Creole Love Call feat. Audra McDonald
  6. Milk Cow Blues feat. Willie Nelson
  7. I’m Gonna Find Another You feat. John Mayer
  8. My Baby Don’t Tolerate feat. Lyle Lovett
  9. The Worst Thing feat. Natalie Merchant
  10. Please, Baby, Don’t feat. John Legend
  11. Mean Old Man feat. James Taylor
  12. Are You Gonna Go My Way feat. Lenny Kravitz
  13. Fool’s Paradise feat. Jimmy Buffett
  14. Empty Bed Blues feat. Carrie Smith
  15. I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free feat. Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks
  16. What Have You Done?

 

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Miles Davis and John Coltrane, The Final Tour: Bootleg Series Vol. 6

This has been a week for unveilings from genius musician vaults. Thursday brought the news of the last archive(?) of Jimi Hendrix unreleased recordings known as Both Sides of the Sky.

Yesterday, Columbia/Legacy Recordings announced the release of Miles Davis & John Coltrane – The Final Tour: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 6 on March 23, 2018. Five Legendary 1960 Concerts (Paris, Stockholm, and Copenhagen) Officially Available For First Time in a New Box Set in Latest Volume in Award-Winning Miles Davis Bootleg Series.

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The historical perspective these live recordings offer is that they mark the last time Coltrane served as Davis’ sideman making this 4-CD set a must add to my collection.

Please follow this particular link from the official Miles Davis Web site to gain valuable insight about this monumental box set.

 

 

 

 

ECM Streaming!

I am thankful that ECM Records has decided to stream their catalog of artist recordings on the major streaming services. I am an Apple Music subscriber who will enjoy playing this rich library of sound through my Sonos One and elsewhere. I always respected that ECM sought to support the direct sale of the music they distribute to music fans. But the times they are a changing and ECM is doing the right thing in following suit.

In recent years, ECM and the musicians have had to face unauthorized streaming of recordings via video sharing websites, plus piracy, bootlegs, and a proliferation of illegal download sites. It was important to make the catalogue accessible within a framework where copyrights are respected.[18]

I’m convinced this will increase ECM Records sales as it widens the lens of sampling ECM artist’s creations. Personally, I found five-plus decades of ECM music totally overwhelming. Now at one’s leisure, you can listen to some of the most innovative music on the planet through the sky.

ECM Records, may your decision to stream be beneficial to your artists and your stature as a leading purveyor of quality sound. It’s a wonderful gift you share with all of us.

Thank You for reaching this conclusion!

Signed,

A  loyal listener and purchaser

 

Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell by David Yaffe

I was recently listening to the Joni Mitchell box set, The Studio Albums, 1968-1979, tuning in to her jazz period with bassist Jaco Pastorius. Specifically, the recordings, Hejira, Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter, Mingus and the live concert double LP, Shadows and Light which represents a lucrative jazz interval.

This created a strong desire for me to dig deeper into Joni’s extensive muse. I wanted to learn more what motivated her to transition from folk singer/songwriter to intricate jazz phrased poetry.

A new biography, Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell by David Yaffe. provides many more revelations about that creative era.

Yaffe was granted extraordinary access to the famously standoffish Mitchell, as well as to many of her closest friends and collaborators, including Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Joan Baez, David Crosby, Judy Collins, and the late Leonard Cohen. Making the most of his proximity, he pulls off the feat that has eluded so many of his predecessors: He forges an intimacy with Mitchell on her own, uncompromising terms by truly listening to her, as closely and as generously as she’s always deserved.

This is a book I can’t wait to savor. I’m appreciative of David Yaffe sharing the artistic wealth.

Nat Hentoff – Journalist Extraordinaire

The passing of Nat Hentoff on January 7th left a discernible void in music and free speech. I have been richly educated by his writing for many decades. The NY Times published an article about his life that I encourage you to read, Nat Hentoff, Journalist and Social Commentator, Dies at 91.

What struck me was this photograph of him at his craft. Notice the use of the typewriter in Nat Hentoff’s Greenwich Village apartment/office. I will make it a point to rent the David L. Lewis documentary, The Pleasures of Being Out of Step and watch it in his honor.

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David L. Lewis/First Run Features

Macy Gray – Stripped

Macy Gray’s Stripped is an acoustic gem. Jazz is her true calling and we are its direct beneficiaries.

David and Norman Chesky of Chesky Records have produced Macy Gray in a wondrously  natural setting.

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I’d love to sit in a small jazz club to connect with Macy Gray and her ensemble. The stellar session musicians assemble a rich groove within their dynamic interplay.

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Macy’s vocal treatise of Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song” envelops the listener inside a warm blanket of respect.

My favorite piece after first listens is  the last track, “Lucy”. I love how it leaves me wanting more.  I hope that Chesky Records and Macy Gray have other music in store for  fans in 2017.