Category Archives: Jazz

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
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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.

Celebrate Ornette

Celebrate Ornette – SONG X RECORDS

A deluxe, limited edition box set paying tribute to the legendary Ornette Coleman. The set includes two dozen performances from some of modern music’s most iconoclastic artists, all centered on the visionary saxophonist/composer/bandleader/thinker’s incomparable legacy of music, ideas, and revolutionary spirit.

This supreme set includes all 24 performances from the two events, Ornette’s last performance at the “Celebrate Brooklyn” show and his Memorial at Riverside Church. The limited edition of only 1600 hand numbered sets boasts 4 LP’s, and the Deluxe 5 Disc Gatefold which is composed of 2 DVDs, 3 CDs, an exclusive black and white Ornette poster and a 26-page collector’s booklet with extensive liner notes by James Blood Ulmer, John Snyder, James Jordan, and Denardo Coleman. The albums are pressed on 128-gram vinyl at the legendary United Record Pressing in Nashville, Tennessee.

As a special bonus in the Gatefold, an original Ornette Coleman 10-page linen Memorial Program, signed by Denardo Coleman, is also included.

Featuring: Master Musicians Of Jajouka, Bill Laswell, Branford Marsalis, Bruce Hornsby, Cecil Taylor, David Murray, Flea, Geri Allen, Henry Threadgill, Jack Dejonette, James Blood Ulmer, Jason Moran, Joe Lovano, John Zorn, Karl Berger, Laurie Anderson, Nels Cline, Patti Smith, Pharoah Sanders, Ravi Coltrane, Savion Glover, Sonny Rollins, Thurston Moore, Yoko Ono.

Word Press 4.7 – Vaughn

The hits keep coming from the world’s most successful open source solution, WordPress. The content management system now runs on 27.2% of the 645 million world-wide Web sites. That equates to 175 million Web sites using WordPress, Wow!

WordPress 4.7 is fluent in PHP 7.0. No moss grows under WordPress , which is what I admire about this continually evolving publishing platform. The passion the WordPress team possesses for its craft achieves amazing results. The user benefit is real and substantive.

Introducing the latest version of WordPress 4.7, “Vaughn”, in honor of legendary jazz vocalist Sarah “Sassy” Vaughan, which is now available for download or update in your WordPress dashboard. Go ahead update. I’ve updated my sites and love what I am seeing 🙂

New features in 4.7 help you get your site set up the way you want it.

 

Rudy Gutierrez – Spirit Seeker: John Coltrane’s Musical Journey

Thanks to Rudy Gutierrez I have become aware of his art gracing the cover of the book, Spirit Seeker: John Coltrane’s Musical Journey

I have written about the Doc NYC film festival and Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary before on this blog.

What I did not know until this morning is that Rudy’s art is featured in animated form in the Coltrane documentary. I am eager to see this artistic interpretation in the film one day. I can’t get to the SVA Theatre in NYC on Thursday night, 11/17 but perhaps you, my readers can attend. If you’re into art , jazz, and Coltrane it will be a religious experience. The documentarian John Scheinfeld will be in attendance and might be speaking after the showing (just my perception).

Below is a spiritual rendition of John Coltrane by Rudy Gutierrez that appears in the documentary. Don’t you love the colors and the warm, healing feeling he communicates through his representation of Trane. 🙂 I can picture this art work hanging in the Saint John Coltrane Church in the Fillmore District in San Francisco, California.

A Love Supreme, Supreme, Supreme

Rudy Gutierrez

Zev Feldman, Jazz EthnoMusicologist

Zev Feldman is the  jazz ethnomusicologist. His innate discovery  sense is equal to Alan Lomax in folk music circles and Chris Strachwitz with the blues idiom. Zev is a consummate journeyman who secures unreleased jazz treasures for Resonance Records. His jazz subject matter authority role is validated by  the Stereophile November 2016 article, “Finding Neverland, Zev Feldman Becomes the Most Famous Sleuth in Jazz”.

Resonance Records raised my collector consciousness by bringing us, John Coltrane’s “Offering: Live At Temple University” and Larry Young’s “In Paris: The ORTF Recordings”,  in addition to other jazz classics on the label. (Gain further insight via the Resonance sampler, “Various Artists – Jazz Haunts & Magic Vaults: The New Lost Classics of Resonance Records, Volume 1” on Spotify or Apple Music).

Record Store Day 2017

Looking ahead to next Spring’s 2017 Record Store Day (RSD), Zev and Resonance will be issuing a Jaco Pastorius set of previously unreleased big-band recordings made in 1982.

Zev Feldman shared an exciting update on Facebook recently about the future Jaco recording.

On Friday I had the pleasure of interviewing Metallica’s famed bassist extraordinaire, Robert Trujillo. Robert’s been gracious to write liner notes for an upcoming Resonance Jaco Pastorius album I’m producing coming (just in time for the tenth anniversary of Record Store Day, next April 15, 2017). More to come but I’ll disclose we have an epic two-hour recording made of Jaco Pastorius in glorious 24-track audio from 1982. This will be an official release with the Pastorius family. Mr. Trujillo shared with us his personal connection to this iconic artist and he didn’t hold back. We’ll be creating a new video featuring Robert which will celebrate the new album. If you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to go to Netflix now and watch Trujillo’s documentary “Jaco.” It’s a great film and it’s an honor to work with this passionate, good guy. Stay tuned. More to come. Thanks to my colleagues Zak Shelby-Szysko and Fran Gala for all of their help. Extra special thanks to Michael Kurtz for introducing us.

I own Jaco, The World’s Greatest Bass Player the documentary that Zev mentions above. It is gripping and soulful in scope. My record collection features several Jaco RSD exclusives. I love the steps Zev Feldman is taking to cultivate a well-documented Jaco vinyl package for next years RSD release.

I am thankful for the attention to detail Zev Feldman exercises for jazz music lovers. He’s never stopped being a jazz music fan and his personal sacrifice is our delight. I see another Grammy Award Jazz Reissue in the future for you and Resonance Records Zev!

Chasing Trane

“Chasing Trane” reveals the critical events, passions, experiences, and challenges that shaped the life of John Coltrane and his revolutionary sounds. It is a story of demons and darkness, of persistence and redemption. Above all else, it is the incredible spiritual journey of a man who found himself and, in the process, created an extraordinary body of work that transcends all barriers of geography, race, religion and age.

The film narrated by Academy-Award winner Denzel Washington makes its début at the Toronto International Film Festival on Friday, September 9th.

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John Scheinfeld, whose directing credits include 2006’s The U.S. vs. John Lennon and 2010’s Who Is Harry Nilsson (and Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him)?, wrote and directed Chasing Trane. No theatrical release date is set yet.

Day Breaks – Norah Jones

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Coming October 7th, Day Breaks is Norah’s sixth solo album and a kindred spirit to her breakout debut Come Away With Me. It finds her returning to the piano and her roots.The album features Blue Note luminaries including saxophonist Wayne Shorter, organist Dr. Lonnie Smith, and drummer Brian Blade on a 12-song set that presents 9 new originals alongside covers of songs by Horace SilverDuke Ellington and Neil Young.

‘Carry On’ is the first single from Norah’s new album.

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.