Archive for February 2009
Madeleine Peyroux has often — and somewhat accurately — been described as a singer who channels Billie Holiday.
Her way laidback style of singing is sometimes quite expressive, albeit on other occasions her voice is paired with music that is deadly lethargic.
Marc Silver, in a piece on NPR, says that “You Can’t Do Me,” a single from Peyroux’s forthcoming CD, makes him feel “as if Holiday and the self-proclaimed ‘rock and soul’ boys (Hall & Oates) had a musical moment.”
To my ears, the tune sounds more like Steely Dan, not Hall & Oates, is in the mix. That makes sense, given that Walter Becker co-wrote the song.
Read Silver’s review here.
The song was co-written by Peyroux, Becker, and album producer Larry Klein (Joni Mitchell, Herbie Hancock, Holly Cole). The CD, Bare Bones is due for release March 10.
“Madeleine Peyroux Finds Rock And Soul
In the secret labs of music collaboration, where deceased singers are
matched with living partners, has anyone ever tried to bring Billie
Holiday and Hall & Oates together? Probably not, but when Lady Day
enthusiast Madeleine Peyroux sings “You Can’t Do Me,” it’s as if
Holiday and the self-proclaimed “rock and soul” boys had a musical
The song, from Peyroux’s new album Bare Bones, starts with an insistent
piano chord — very “Rich Girl.” In her silkily melancholy voice,
Peyroux tells her lover he can’t “do” her the way he did before,
because when he does, it makes her feel “bust like an Internet
millionaire / boom like a Lebanese belly dancer / bang like a new
The droll list goes on, colored with a jaunty wah-wah guitar, organ
trills and Peyroux’s own delicate touches, such as the way she colors
the word “blue” with aural shades of indigo. But instead of sounding
like a vintage jazz singer, the way she usually does, Peyroux traffics
more in rock and soul. Hall & Oates would be proud.”
Mardi Gras is in full swing today, and the city of New Orleans is recovering, slowly but surely, with the city’s population returning to nearly three-fourths of what it was, pre-Katrina.
But the Crescent City’s musicians are facing impossibly tough times, as Alex Rawls, a writer and editor at New Orleans’ Offbeat mag, reports in Rolling Stone.
“For the working musician in New Orleans, making a living has become harder than ever,” Rawls writes. “Ellis Joseph plays bass drum with the Free Agents Brass Band, a brass band that he formed after Katrina with other then-unaffiliated brass musicians. He works three jobs and takes care of his 17-year-old cousin. ‘I’m trying to make sure he doesn’t go to waste,’ Joseph says. He used to play almost daily, never less than three times a week. These days he plays once a weekend, trying to get $400 for a gig so everybody can put $50 in their pockets. That can be tough money to get, though. ‘A lot of people are undercutting because they want to get the gig,’ he says.”
Click here to read the rest of the story.
Still deeply funky after all these years, the Neville Brothers are now traveling around the U.S. on their “Mardi Gras Mambo” tour, a double-bill with Dr. John’s band.
And below is the story:
Quint Davis, longtime producer and director of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, often calls the Neville Brothers “the heart and soul of New Orleans.”
Keyboardist Art “Poppa Funk”, saxophonist Charles, singer Aaron and percussionist Cyril indeed are often treated as their hometown’s official musical ambassadors. They regularly bring their infectious mix of New Orleans R&B, funk, jazz and African and Caribbean sounds, and socially conscious messages to festivals and concert halls around the world.
But the Nevilles, playing the “Mardi Gras Mambo” tour on a double bill with Dr. John, represent just one variety of the Crescent City’s musical gumbo, Charles said. The concert trek comes to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota on Saturday.
“People ask, ‘Is what you’re doing New Orleans music?’ ” he said by telephone last week. “Well, New Orleans music is not just us. Fats Domino is New Orleans music. Satchmo (Louis Armstrong) is New Orleans music, and Harry Connick, and the Marsalis family, and Dr. John. When you listen to the brass bands – that’s New Orleans music. New Orleans music covers a broad spectrum of styles and genres.”
The Nevilles, together and separately, have played New Orleans rhythms and melodies and harmonies for more than five decades, beginning in 1954 when oldest sibling Art put together the Hawketts. That band’s “Mardi Gras Mambo” became a huge hometown hit.
Later, Art formed monstrously funky quartet the Meters, which eventually included Cyril, and Aaron in 1966 scored a national hit with gorgeous soul ballad “Tell It Like It Is.” The Nevilles’ first notable appearance together on record was with Mardi Gras Indians, on the classic Wild Tchoupitoulas in 1976, and the next year they teamed for the debut Neville Brothers album. Their most recent label-affiliated CD, Walkin’ in the Shadow of Life, was released in 2004.
Which Neville Brothers albums are among the band’s best? Charles’ names Yellow Moon, the popular 1989 album helmed by revered producer Daniel Lanois, and Live on Planet Earth, released in 1994.
“Lanois was able to, in the studio, capture the spirit and the feeling of the music, and capture what we do and what we mean with the music,” he said. “What we do — the spirit of New Orleans is in our music. It’s the spirit involved in those rhythms. Those rhythms are the ones handed down (from) voodoo.”
The Nevilles play tonight in Charlotte, N.C., and the final stop on their current round of tour dates is May 3, their traditional second-Sunday set closing out Jazz Fest (the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival).
|2-25||Charlotte, NC||Blumenthal Performing Arts Center||More Info|
|2-26||Columbus, GA||Rivercenter For the Performing||More Info|
|2-28||Sarasota, FL||Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall||More Info|
|3-01||Tallahassee, FL||The Moon||More Info|
|3-02||Naples, FL||Philharmonic Center For the Arts||More Info|
|3-03||West Palm Beach, FL||Kravis Center for the Performing Arts||More Info|
|3-13||Las Vegas, NV||Las Vegas Hilton Theater||More Info|
|3-14||Las Vegas, NV||Las Vegas Hilton Theater||More Info|
|5-03||New Orleans, LA||New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival||M|
Five releases in rotation at home and in the car – a list without comment (in alphabetical order):
Benny Golson, New Time, New ‘Tet (Concord, 2009)
Neville Brothers, Yellow Moon (A&M, 1989)
LaRue Nickelson, Dark Water (2008)
Umphrey’s McGee, Mantis (Sci Fidelity, 2009)
Jo Zawinul, 75 (Heads Up, 2009)
Louie Bellson, the great big band drummer and a veteran of performances and recordings with everyone from Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Benny Goodman to James Brown and Wayne Newton, passed away on Saturday.
He was 84, and suffering from Parkinson’s Disease. He had been recovering from a broken hip, resulting from a fall he suffered in November.
Bellson was truly a gifted and explosive drummer, and his career unofficially began at age 17, when he bested about 40,000 other trap-kit players in the Slingerland National Gene Krupa drumming contest.
I first heard Bellson, live, in the late ’70s, when he played with the UF Jazz Band in Gainesville. I recall being dazzled by his ability to use the entirety of his drum kit, his creativity as a soloist (long solos that were never boring), and his overall musicianship.
In addition to his work as a drummer, he wrote more than 1,000 compositions and penned more than a dozen instructional books, according to his web site.
Bellson’s most recent CD, in collaboration with trumpeter Clark Terry, another living legend, is Louie & Clark Expedition 2, released last year.
Jack Bowers, on the site All About Jazz, gave high praise to the CD: “Incredible. Who could have foreseen that drummer Louie Bellson and trumpeter Clark Terry, both of whom joined the celebrated Duke Ellington Orchestra in 1951, would be reunited for another high-powered big-band date in 2007. Even more amazing, what are the odds that Terry, who has turned eighty-seven, and Bellson, three years his junior, would still be playing like zealous teen-agers auditioning for their first gig.”
In 2006, the drummer released The Sacred Music of Louie Bellson and the Jazz Ballet.
Ellington once called Bellson “the world’s greatest drummer,” as Don Heckman notes in a piece published today in the Los Angeles Times.
Bellson, born Luigino Paulino Alfredo Francesco Antonio Balassoni in Rock Falls, Illinois, was the only white member of the Ellington’s orchestra when he worked with that band from 1951 to 1953.
It was during that period that he met and married African-American singer Pearl Bailey; he later served as Bailey’s musical director and, in the ’60s, he again worked with Ellington. Bailey died in 1990, and the drummer later remarried.
Here’s additional info related to Bellson’s passing, from his web site:
Tentative plans are for an L.A. area funeral, followed by funeral and burial in Moline, Illinois, his boyhood home. Details forthcoming.
Send your Condolences and cards to:
Mrs. Louie Bellson
c/o Remo, Inc.
28101 Industry Drive
Valencia, CA 91355
Contributions in memory of Louie Bellson can be made to:
Emmanuel Baptist Church and mailed to Mrs. Bellson at the address above.
Sunday, Dec. 2 – Acme Jazz Garage, Ella’s Americana Folk Art Cafe, Seminole Heights, 4 to 7 p.m.; free admission
Fri-Sat, Dec. 7-8 – Trio Vibe, Della’s After Dark, Brandon, 7 to 10 p.m.; free admission, reservations suggested
Fri-Sat, Dec. 14-15 — Trio Vibe, Della’s After Dark, Brandon, 7 to 10 p.m.; free admission, reservations suggested
Dec. 31 – (private) Tomkats Big Band, NYE gig
(Most Sundays): P&W Band, South Tampa Fellowship, 9 and 10:30 a.m.
Monday, Feb. 14 – Trio Vibe, with vibraphonist Sam Koppelman and drummer Jose Munoz, Della’s Delectables (restaurant), Brandon.
Friday, Feb. 18 – Philip Booth Jazz Quartet, with saxophonist Jeremy Powell, pianist Jody Marsh, and drummer Ryan Marsh, Tampa Museum of Art, 8 to 11 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 20 – Acme Jazz Garage, with guitarist Matt Swenson, drummer Tim Diehl, saxophonist Jeremy Powell, more, Skipper’s Smokehouse (Rockin’ for Raulton 2 benefit), 5 to 9 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, Feb 25-26 – Trio Vibe, with saxophonist Sam Koppelman and drummer Jose Munoz, Della’s Delectables (restaurant), Brandon, 7 to 10 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, March 4-5 – Trio Vibe, with saxophonist Sam Koppelman and drummer Jose Munoz, Della’s Delectables (restaurant), Brandon, 7 to 10 p.m.
Saturday, April 16 – Trio Vibe, Child of the Sun Jazz Festival, Lakeland
Monday, Feb. 1 – Tomkats Big Band, The Blue Parrot, St. Petersburg Beach, 7 to 9:30 p.m.
Friday, March 19 and Saturday, March 20 – Trio Vibe (with vibraphonist Sam Koppelman and drummer Jose Munoz), Della’s Delectables (restaurant), Brandon; free admission, reservations suggested.
Sunday, March 21 – Trio Vibe with vibraphonist Sam Koppelman and drummer Jose Munoz, dinner cruise from Tampa Convention Center
Friday, April 2 and Saturday, April 3 – Trio Vibe, Della’s Delectables (restaurant), Brandon; free admission; reservations suggested
Friday, April 9 and Saturday, April 10 – Trio Vibe with vibraphonist Sam Koppelman and drummer Ryan Marsh, Della’s Delectables (restaurant), Brandon; free admission, reservations suggested.
Sunday, April 18 – Philip Booth Trio with vibraphonist Sam Koppelman and saxophonist/flutist Willie Lawson, Jazz/Poetry event, Jimmie B. Keel Regional Library, 2902 West Bearss Ave., 2 p.m.; free
Wednesday, May 12 – Trio Vibe playing with others at the tribute to late drummer Don Capone, Lenny’s Latin Cafe, Temple Terrace, 7 to 10 p.m.
Sunday, May 16 – Andy Irvine‘s “Enter the Thunder Dome” with Andy and Beanstalk hosting, and many other bassists, Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa, 5 p.m.
Tuesday, June 1 – Free Time Trio with pianist Jody Marsh and drummer Ryan Marsh, Red Rose Inn, Plant City, 6 to 9 p.m.
Tuesday, June 15 – Free Time Trio with pianist Jody Marsh and trumpeter Ron Wilder, Red Rose Inn, Plant City, 6 to 9 p.m.
Sunday, June 20 – Praise & Worship Band, South Tampa Fellowship, 9 & 10:30 a.m.
Thursday, July 8 – Duo with vibraphonist Sam Koppelman, Della’s Delectables (restaurant), Brandon, 7 to 10 p.m.; free admission
Fri-Sat, Aug. 13-14 – Trio Vibe with vibraphonist Sam Koppelman and drummer Ryan Marsh, Della’s Delectables (restaurant), Brandon, 7 to 10 p.m.; free admission, reservations suggested
Sunday, Aug. 22 - Praise & Worship Band, South Tampa Fellowship, 9 & 10:30 a.m.
Friday, Aug 27 – Trio Vibe with vibraphonist Sam Koppelman and drummer Ryan Marsh, Play, 1701 E. 8th Ave., Ybor City, 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.; (813) 443-075
Sunday, Aug. 29 – Praise & Worship Band, South Tampa Fellowship, 9 & 10:30 a.m.
Fri-Sat, Sept. 10-11 – Trio Vibe with vibraphonist Sam Koppelman and drummer Ryan Marsh, Della’s Delectables (restaurant), Brandon, 7 to 10 p.m.; free admission, reservations suggested
Thursday, Nov. 4 – Ybor Jazz Festival (more info TBA)
Fri-Sat, Nov. 5-6 – Trio Vibe, Della’s Delectables (restaurant), Brandon, 7 to 10 p.m.; free admission, reservations suggested
Friday, Nov. 6 and Saturday, Nov. 7 – Trio Vibe, Della’s Delectables (restaurant), Brandon; free admission, reservations suggested.
Friday, Oct. 2 and Saturday, October 3 – Trio Vibe, Della’s Delectables (restaurant), Brandon; free admission, reservations suggested.
Thursday, July 30 – Duo with pianist Ron Delp, Della’s Delectables (restaurant), Brandon; free admission, reservations suggested.
Friday, July 24 and Saturday, July 25 – Trio Vibe, Della’s Delectables (restaurant), Brandon; free admission, reservations suggested.
Friday, June 12 and Saturday, June 13 – Trio Vibe, Della’s Delectable’s (restaurant), Brandon; free admission, reservations suggested.
Thursday, May 28 - Trio Vibe (with Sam Koppelman and drummer Dave Hamar) + singer Edgar Wilcox, Side Door Jazz Series at Palladium Theater, St. Petersburg, 7:30 to 10 p.m.; $20, general admission; $15 for members of jazz associations, Palladium members, seniors, and students with ID. (727) 822-3590. More info.
Friday, May 8 – Ghetto Love Sugar REUNION SHOW (guitarist Joel Lisi, keyboardist Raulton Reichel and drummer Jonathan Priest), with Infinite Groove Orchestra and Rocksteady@8 and special guests, 9 p.m.; $5 at the door. Click here for more information.
Wednesday, April 29 – Free Time Trio (w/pianist Jody Marsh and trumpeter Ron Wilder), Red Rose Inn, Plant City, 6 to 9 p.m.
Thursday, April 2 – Free Time Trio (w/pianist Jody Marsh and drummer Ryan Marsh), private event, Lake Wales
Wednesday, April 1 – Free Time Trio (w/pianist Jody Marsh and drummer Pat Close), Red Rose Inn, Plant City, 6 to 9 p.m.
Friday, March 6 and Saturday, March 7 – Trio Vibe (with Sam Koppelman and drummer Don Capone), Della’s, Brandon
Five releases in rotation at home and in the car – a list without comment (in alphabetical order):
Miles Davis, Kind of Blue: Legacy Edition (Legacy)
Joshua Redman, Compass (Nonesuch)
Marcus Roberts, New Orleans Meets Harlem, Vol. 1 (J-Master; forthcoming)
Various artists, Relix Magazine CD sampler, Feb/March (Relix)
Cassandra Wilson, Loverly (Blue Note)
(Below is a review initially intended for publication elsewhere; photo is mine, taken at Bear Creek Music Festival)
Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi – Soul Stew Revival
Dec. 29, 2008
Listening to Derek Trucks unleash his bottleneck-slide lines on “700 Houses,” a slow, bluesy tune penned by guitarist-singer Susan Tedeschi, his wife and bandmate in Soul Stew Revival, it was difficult warding off chills.
Trucks’ playing, on the stage of an historic art-deco movie theater in front of a home-state crowd that has practically watched the former child prodigy grow up, again was sublime — simultaneously salty and sweet, stinging and gentle, an exquisitely conversant instrumental voice that has to be witnessed to be truly appreciated.
Trucks unleashed his fertile guitar improvisations throughout the long, satisfying set, presented by an oversized ensemble allying his band with Tedeschi, a three-piece horn section, younger brother Duane Trucks on second drum kit and sometime DTB member Count M’Butu on percussion.
The 11-piece group opened with “Talking About,” a blast of scorching blues-rock that leads off Tedeschi’s recent Back to the River CD. It offered a showcase of her newly mature, road-sharpened vocals and her own impressive six-string work.
So did the evening’s other tunes from that album — “People,” with organist Kofi Burbridge’s quick flute solo, and the R&B-grooving “Can’t Sleep at Night.”
The show, with Tedeschi mixing and matching with DTB singer Mike Mattison, also offered a preview of Trucks’ forthcoming sixth studio album, Already Free, including the rootsy acoustic-electric blues of the title track; the gospel-tinged “Days Is Almost Gone”; the slinky “Don’t Miss Me”; and “Down in the Flood.”
Trucks, who has day jobs with the Allman Brothers Band and his own group, frequently sits in on other artists’ performances — Lettuce, Soul Live, and Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk at the Bear Creek Music and Arts Festival late last year in north Florida — and recordings.
So it was pleasant, but no surprise, when pedal-steel wizard Roosevelt Collier of Miami’s Lee Boys joined in on Buddy Guy’s “Done Got Over You.”
Collier returned for the encore, a triumphant version of The Band’s “The Weight,” which made a perfect match with Soul Stew Revival’s appealing mix of blues, rock, and old-school R&B.
Soul Stew Revival set list
Down In The Flood
Can’t Sleep At Night
Days Is Almost Gone
Get Out Of My Life
Meet Me At The Bottom
Don’t Miss Me
Gonna Write Him A Letter
Pack Up Our Things And Go
Done Got Over You
I’ve Got A Feeling
Joshua Redman is a gifted musician who initially attracted attention for his youth and his identity as the son of revered tenor saxophonist Dewey Redman.
In recent years, he has evolved in the direction of a more mature and intelligent sound and, with his last two CDs in particular, a provocative approach to putting together bands. The below review of his latest recording was originally published in Las Vegas City Life.
Joshua Redman, Compass (Nonesuch)
As on Joshua Redman’s 2007 album Back East, the saxophonist here dispenses with chordal backing in favor of a more stark sound, his playing on tenor and soprano supported only by bass (Larry Grenadier, Reuben Rogers) and drums (Brian Blade, Gregory Hutchinson).
On Compass, in addition to playing six pieces as a trio, he offers twists — two with a second bassist, and five as double trios. It’s potentially off-putting, but the warmth and intelligence of Redman’s playing, and intimacy of the recording, make for an affair often as inviting as it is challenging.
“Just Like You,” with its mournful, winding tenor melody countered by plucked and then bowed bass lines, and augmented by rumbling drums and percussion, is one of the most impressive of the quintet pieces, along with the searching “Little Ditty,” played on soprano.
A Beethoven composition, “Moonlight,” stately and somber, benefits from harmonizing basses and nicely synced drum kits.
Still, it’s the straight trios, reminiscent of Sonny Rollins’ work in the same vein, that call for repeat listens: the bluesy bass figure and urgent tenor of “Faraway”; the tricky, rhythmic grind of “Insomnomaniac”; and the burning, Charlie Parker-ish bebop of “Round Reuben,” featuring Rogers.
Redman, joined by Rogers and Hutchinson for many performances, is doing an extensive tour in support of Compass. His New York show last month was reviewed in the New York Times.
Several upcoming dates are listed below.For the complete itinerary, click here.
- March 1 – Chicago
- March 2-3 – Minneapolis
- March 5-6 – Milan, Italy
- March 7 – Wroclaw, Poland
- March 9 – Toulouse, France
- March 11 – Luxembourg, Luxembourg
- March 12 – Gent, Belgium
- March 13 – Stockholm, Sweden
- March 15 – Basel, Switzerland
- March 16 – Bern, Switzerland
- March 18 – Le Blanc Mesnil, France
- March 19-21 – London, England
- March 22 – Gateshead, England
- March 24 – Hamburg, Germany
- March 25 – Berlin, Germany
- March 26 – Darmstadt, Germany
- March 28 – Cully, Switzerland
- March 29 – Ulm, Germany
- April 1-5 – Oakland, CA
- April 6 – Santa Cruz, CA
- April 9-12 – Seattle
- April 16 – Arcata, CA
- June 3 – Jerusalem, Israel
Young’s rootsy, Americana-flavored rock ‘n’ roll, songwriting prowess, and willful determination to go his own way, regardless of commercial forces, make a great match with the Jazz Fest vibe.
The selection doubtless will help compensate for a tone-deaf pick – Bon Jovi, on May 2 – that rightfully generated quite a bit of consternation among longtime Jazz Fest fans, as demonstrated via hundreds of posts on the event’s official’s chatboards.
Nice to see that, now, when one clicks on the Jazz Fest site, the first big national act that pops up is Neil Young (the second – Bon Jovi). With any luck, he won’t overload his performance with political ranting.
New Orleans, La. – Today Jazz Fest officials announced Neil Young and the Imagination Movers are in. Aretha Franklin is out. Those should be the last major changes for the 2009 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival presented by Shell.
“Yes, Virginia, there is a Neil Young,” said Jazz Fest producer/director Quint Davis. “Jazz Fest finally gets its Neil Young. He’s a unique figure in rock, one of the great guitar players, period. This is the last piece in the puzzle.”
Young will make his Jazz Fest debut on the Acura Stage between Allen Toussaint and the Neville Brothers on the final Sunday, May 3.
Franklin was initially penciled in for that slot. Believing she was confirmed, Davis included her in December’s rollout of the Jazz Fest talent roster.
But her name was absent from the day-to-day schedule released last week. Before her performance at President Barack Obama’s inauguration, Davis said, her representatives indicated she might not be up for the Jazz Fest gig.
“She decided to put everything on hold and get through that (inauguration) experience, and not make any definite plans for the rest of the year,” Davis said. “In the flow of her life, she decided this wasn’t the time. Maybe next year.
“We told them, ‘Don’t send the offer back. Change the date to 2010. We would like to have you whenever you can come.’”
Trying to book Franklin and Young for 2009 wasn’t an “either-or” situation, Davis said. He would have found slots for both while assembling the jigsaw puzzle-like schedule.
“There are so many things that click and turn and fall in and fall out. This one is ready to confirm, that one isn’t, you’re waiting to hear. Performance days, places and times move.”
Young has long occupied a slot on the festival’s wish list. “We tried to get him every year for 10 years,” Davis said. “A lot of different factors were involved. Wanting it to happen is not enough.”
Some years, Young would not be on tour in the spring. Or else he would be touring with show he didn’t think would work at Jazz Fest, such as his acoustic show.
“Negotiating is easier than whether or not you can get the artist on tour, with his band, at that moment in his career when he’s totally into rocking out,” Davis said. “Neil Young has no shortage of great moments, but the current great moment is perfect for us.”
Discussions with Young’s camp about a 2009 performance began in November. Davis knows Young’s legendary booking agent, Marsha Vlasic, who had previously booked Van Morrison at Jazz Fest. She assembled a string of Southern concert dates so Young’s tour routing could include the festival.
“She gets a lot of the credit for working to make this happen,” Davis said.
Finalizing the deal took longer than expected. Jazz Fest hoped to announce Young last week along with the addition of Bon Jovi. However, the booking was not confirmed in time.