Catching Up With

CATCHING UP WITH

Stanton Moore Goes Indie

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Drummer Stanton Moore is one of the prodigal sons of jny: New Orleans. His fans know him well from projects like Galactic, Garage a Trois and Dragon Smoke, which prodigiously fuse rock, jazz and funk. Moore, whose musical career spans nearly 25 years, is also an educator and has released several instructional books and DVDs. However, he had never recorded a jazz-only album. Before taking that step, he immersed himself in the jazz world, and played with jazz veterans James Singleton and David Torkanowsky for a couple of years. When he felt ready to record the ...

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Jimmy Haslip: Former Yellowjacket Generating a New Buzz

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Well, the Joint Base San Antonio Fort Sam Houston News Leader is probably not the best place to look for local jazz updates, even if the venue is on the base. “Tickets for the next Friday Night Jazz concert at the Fort Sam Houston Theater are on sale. Featured artists include the Jeff Lorber Fusion with special guest saxophonist [sic] Jimmy Haslip of The Yellowjackets." Not a promising start, unless Jimmy has taken up a new axe and rejoined his old band. It takes about four tries and 30 minutes just to get on the base because I am not ...

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Johanna Graham: Don't Let Me Be Lonely

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Say their names: Kate Bush, Lordes, Johanna Graham. There's a common thread between these women--a need for drama, designed lyrics and a refreshingly diminished thirst for quick-fix mass appeal, which makes them seem lacking in the lust-for-fame department. What do they have to prove to anyone? The lyrics they write and sing have lived-in depth, their tune arrangements are effortlessly catchy and they are artists whose musical voices are, and will probably remain, timeless; regardless the generation to which they feel they belong. Of course Kate Bush and Lordes aren't jazz singers, charting the rise to success of ...

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Roberto Fonseca: The worthy heir of Afro-Cuban Jazz

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Success didn't knock on his door by random luck. Roberto Fonseca has worked hard to earn his reputation as one of the most renowned and skillful Cuban jazz pianists of his generation. The 38 year-old musician started playing drums when he was four years old and played at the International Jazz Festival of Havana when he was 15. Fonseca began his solo career when he was 24 and to date he has released seven studio albums and one live record. He has also played with some of the most illustrious Cuban musicians of all times. Fonseca ...

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Randy Brecker: A Fusion Legacy

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On stage at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Holland last July, the ubiquitous trumpeter Randy Brecker lowered his horn after playing two joyous and funky numbers on the stage that is one of the festivals largest venues, serving as a hockey arena during the appropriate season. There were throngs of people, sitting and standing, gleefully taking in the music. After wiping his forehead, Brecker formally announced his group: the Brecker Brothers Reunion Band. “We play FUSION," he said, emphasizing the last word in a lower-register, foghorn like bellow. He repeated “FUUUUUSION." He meant it. The ...

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Poncho Sanchez: Mambo King

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For over 30 years, conguero/bandleader Poncho Sanchez has been the premier proponent of West Coast Latin Jazz. Growing up in Norwalk, California, Sanchez was exposed to and influenced by two very different styles of music: Afro-Cuban music and bebop, as well as R&B. Originally a guitarist, Sanchez taught himself the flute, drums, and timbales before finally deciding to pursue conga playing in high school. In 1975, Sanchez's idol, vibraphonist “Cal Tjader invited him to perform with his band. Sanchez played with Tjader for several years until Tjader's death in 1982.Thanks to Tjader, Sanchez signed with Concord Picante Records, ...

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Mike Dillon: Rhythm Method

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Percussionist/vibraphonist/bandleader Mike Dillon's music defies easy categorization. It's been called “punk jazz," a term that describes working methods--do it yourself, find your own voice--more than actual sounds.Dillon sports a wide-ranging musical résumé. He has led or has been a member of outfits such as Critters Buggin, Les Claypool's Fancy Band, The Dead Kenny G's, Mike Dillon's Go-Go Jungle, and Garage a Trois. He led Billy Goat in Dallas, Malachy Papers in Kansas City, and Hairy Apes BMX in Austin at various points over the last two decades. Since moving to New Orleans in 2006, he has performed regularly ...

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Zach Brock: The New Meritocracy of Jazz

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[ Editor's Note: The following interview is reprinted from George Colligan's blog, Jazztruth]About a month or so ago, I had the pleasure of performing in a duo setting with violinist Zach Brock. I've known Brock for years; we met and played together a few times in New York City. However, this was our first time really playing in a creative, intimate setting. Brock is, in my humble opinion, one of the best--if not the best--jazz violinist out there today. Although as you'd expect, he has the classical training, but he is also very genuinely steeped in the authentic ...

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Leo Blanco: Haiku for Bells

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Leo Blanco is a musician who's immersed in the music of his South American homeland of Venezuela. The pianist may live in the USA--he teaches piano at Berklee--but his Venezuelan upbringing remains central to his work. It's a little surprising, then, to discover that Blanco isn't solely a product of Latin American culture. In conversation backstage at the Apex in Bury St Edmunds, just before the final concert of his first UK solo tour, he recalled that some of his formative years were spent only 100 miles away.“From three to six and a half years old I lived ...

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Geri Allen: Apollo's Muse

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Pianist/composer Geri Allen is gearing up for her role as artistic director for an especially ambitious production of the 2013 Harlem Jazz Shrines Festival at the Apollo Theater. Presented as “Geri Allen & Friends Celebrate the Great Jazz Women of the Apollo," the program will offer two shows on May 11, 2013 that explore the legacy of such jazz greats as singers Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Sarah Vaughan, Betty Carter and Nancy Wilson, among others.One of the major jazz pianists of her generation and winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship for her work as a composer, Allen ...

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Kit Downes: Old Stars, New Blues

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Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Saturday 30th April 2011. The young British pianist and composer Kit Downes has travelled to this west of England town to première his latest composition, Animation Migration, at the Playhouse Theatre. It was an unusual event for a jazz festival. Downes' band played music inspired by the story of evolution and DNA alongside Lesley Barnes' similarly inspired and wonderfully colorful animations, followed by a question and answer session, where Downes and Barnes were joined by scientist and television presenter Adam Rutherford. The early evening event was a success and the audience demanded, and got, a reprise of ...

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Melissa Aldana: Living a Second Cycle

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Melissa Aldana may still be in her early twenties, but the tenor saxophonist already knows what it is like to play with big jazz names like saxophonists George Coleman, Benny Golson and George Garzone. In a short time, Aldana has found her own place in the difficult New York jazz scene because she has developed a new voice that has commanded the attention of both the public and her peers.An obvious talent, one which made Greg Osby stand up and take notice when he first heard her at Boston's Berklee College of Music, combined with a marked perseverance ...



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Roscoe Mitchell

Roscoe Mitchell

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Peter Lerner

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Jamie Saft

Jamie Saft

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Sun Trio

Sun Trio

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