Stay Open to the Night

The beauty of true music gems is that they wait patiently for listeners in the cloud to be found and cherished.

I enjoy exercising to Apple Music on my iPhone in search of such buried treasures. Yesterday  my heart struck gold with Charles Lloyd & The Marvels + Lucinda Williams, Vanished Gardens (Released 6/29/18). The divining rod was a Rolling Stone piece about their recent Newport Jazz Festival performance.

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Vanished Gardens is the second album by Charles Lloyd & The Marvels. I play their first album,  I Long To See You often having  witnessed this nucleus live at Jazz at Lincoln Center in early 2016.

The Marvels consist of Bill Frisell on guitar, Reuben Rodgers, bass, Greg Leisz, pedal steel guitar and Eric Harland, drums.

Struck by the natural co-operation of Charles Lloyd and Lucinda Williams + The Marvels, reveling in their cohesiveness. Smiling further as each track was more eclectic than the previous. Vanished Gardens totally breaks new ground.

As Charles Lloyd says in his video conversation with Lucinda and Don Was,

“Stay Open to the Night”

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Sonny Rollins: Meditating on a Riff

I just discovered in my Twitter feed an illuminating source for the book I’m writing about spirituality and the healing power of music.

Sonny Rollins: Meditating on a Riff, A Journey Into His World of Spirituality by Hugh Wyatt.

It’s the second title from a new, independent book publisher Kamama Books that focuses on books as diverse and offbeat as the city itself.


Jazz legend Sonny Rollins spent his youth hustling on the streets of his native Harlem, but over time the tenor saxophonist shifted gears and developed the reputation of being “the world’s greatest living jazz musician.” Did he deserve such a lofty title?

This biography, entitled Sonny Rollins: Meditating on a Riff, will attempt to answer this and other questions. However, it will not be a regurgitation of previous books or articles that focus exclusively on jazz. Instead, the major focus of this book will be on Sonny’s adventurous foray into spirituality and even the occult.

The secretive Sonny experimented with certain esoteric forms of yoga and spirituality, such as Rosicrucianism and other otherworldly practices. His goal was not only to achieve God-realization, among other things but to develop certain powers that would enable him to unlock the secrets of the universe.

Wyatt’s riveting biography offers a unique glimpse into the psyche of one of the most reclusive figures in jazz. It is a tell-all that reveals intimate and unpublished details of his fascinating life directly from Sonny himself, as well as his family members and close friends

Wayne Shorter Inspires

1) Kennedy Center Honoree 2018

Wayne Shorter is a 10-time Grammy Award-winning jazz saxophonist, who expressed surprise when chosen for the honor. He has collaborated with several top musicians, including Herbie Hancock and Carlos Santana.

“I’m one of the few who stayed in the front trenches, stayed in the struggle to inspire people. Some people may have wanted to give me an award for effort. This award is cutting through all the politics and all of that,” Wayne Shorter adds. “I’ll stay in the trenches with the artists. I’m not getting all up at arms about somebody from the White House possibly being there.”

Shorter practices Nichiren Buddhism as taught in the organization Soka Gakkai International. Two years ago, Shorter joined fellow jazz giant and Buddhist Herbie Hancock in writing an open letter to young artists, that appeared in Lion’s Roar.

The Kennedy Center Honors will be held in Washington, D.C. on December 2nd, and broadcast on CBS on December 26th.

2) Eamon Project

Eamon includes an original graphic novel, a cosmic-heroic odyssey written by Wayne Shorter with help from screenwriter Monica Sly, and featuring art by Randy DuBurke, along with three discs of new music.

Art from the graphic novel ‘Emanon’ by Randy DuBurke.

Recorded with his trusty quartet consisting of Danilo Perez (piano), John Patitucci (bass) and Brian Blade (drums) augmented by the 34-piece Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.

Emanon is a physical-only release that will be available in two versions; a Standard Edition that packages 3x CDs with the graphic novel, and a Deluxe Edition that packages 3x 180-gram vinyl LPs and 3x CDs with the graphic novel enclosed in a beautiful hardcover slipcase.

Emanon will be released on August 24 and is available for preorder through Blue Note and Amazon.

 

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?

 

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