Archive for the ‘funk’ Category
(recently reviewed for JazzTimes; direct link)
MSMW, in the studio and onstage, everywhere from Bear Creek Music Festival in the north Florida woods to the Montreal Jazz Festival, always sounds like a natural-born partnership—the deep jazz-funk and experimental genius of Medeski, Martin and Wood running smack into the similarly tinted explorations of guitar master John Scofield. The particular pleasures of the quartet’s live work have finally been captured on an official release, with the two-disc In Case the World Changes Its Mind, a dozen tracks recorded during the tour supporting the group’s 2006 CD Out Louder.
The set begins, logically enough, with “A Go Go,” the title tune from the 1997 John Scofield album on which he was joined by MMW—the quartet’s initial collaboration. Billy Martin sets up the piece’s low-slung, laidback pocket groove, John Medeski flashes candy-colored keys, Chris Wood slides in on woolly upright and Scofield, his slightly overdriven, burred-edge tone intact, finally brings in the lean, catchy melody, which Medeski doubles before the solos arrive. Sco slithers and snakes through the heavily percolating rhythms while Medeski turns in a similarly zig-zagging improvisation. The traditional “Tootie Ma Is a Big Fine Thing” opens with a long intro full of percussion sounds and scrapes before Wood plays the bluesy melody, Martin kicks in with a beat straight outta New Orleans and the band sets sail. The title track, credited to all four musicians, thrives on a simple but effective melody, repeated multiple times before the group heads out to space.
The second disc offers its share of gems, too, starting with Sco’s “Little Walter Rides Again,” with the guitarist and organist engaging in a bit of call-and-response on the hooky theme and Wood turning in a particularly inspired bass guitar solo. “Amazing Grace” thrives on a loosey-goosey guitar lead and soulful B3 declarations, and the disc closes out with the chunky-to-soaring “Hottentot,” powered by wah-wah and some of the set’s most impressive soloing. All-star bands seldom sound so organic, or play as well together, as this one. Letdowns? Only that “Chicken Dog,” “Chank” and MSMW’s gorgeous version of Lennon’s “Julia” weren’t included. Maybe next time.
(Feel free to send concert info, including corrections/updates. This list is not intended to be comprehensive.)
- Donna the Buffalo, Jan. 7-8, Skipper’s
- Byron Stripling and the Florida Orchestra: Louis Armstrong tribute, Jan. 7-9 (Straz Center, Mahaffey Theater, Ruth Eckerd Hall, respectively)
- Michael Ross Quartet, Jan. 9, Palladium Theater
- Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, Jan. 13, Crowbar
- Marcia Ball, Jan. 14, Skipper’s
- Mofro, Jan. 15 (w/Daryl Hance) and 16 (w/Damon Fowler), Skipper’s
- Infinite Groove Orchestra (CD release show), Jan. 15, The Local 662, St. Petersburg
- Holy Ghost Tent Revival, Jan. 15, New World Brewery
- Galactic, Jan. 20, Ritz
- Drive-By Truckers, Jan. 21, Ritz
- Terrance Simien with the Gumbo Boogie Band, Jan. 21, Skipper’s
- SPC Jazz Festival: Helios Jazz Orchestra with Denise Moore, Jan. 27, SPC Music Center
- SPC Jazz Fest: Alex Berti Trio, Jan. 28, SPC Music Center
- McCormick Marimba Festival, Jan. 28-29, USF Music Recital Hall, Tampa
- SPC Jazz Fest: Ronnie Burrage Trio, Jan. 29. SPC Music Center
- Robin Trower with Sean Chambers Band, Jan. 29, Jannus Live
- Pinetop Perkins & Willie “Big Eyes” Smith with Liz Pennock & Dr. Blues, Feb. 4, Skipper’s
- Diana Krall, Feb. 4, Ruth Eckerd Hall
- Yonder Mountain String Band, Feb. 5, Jannus Live
- Dark Star Orchestra, Feb. 12, Straz Center
- Willie Nelson, Feb. 16, Ruth Eckerd Hall
- Whitney James, Feb. 19, Palladium
- Arturo Sandoval, Feb. 24, Ritz Ybor
- Ira Sullivan, Feb. 27, HCC Performing Arts Building, Ybor
- Old 97′s with Those Darlins, March 2, Skipper’s
- G. Love and Special Sauce, March 12, Jannus Live
- The Avett Brothers, March 25, Ruth Eckerd Hall
- Acoustic Africa, April 10, Straz Center
VENUES AND PRESENTERS
Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater
Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N., Ybor City (Tampa); (813) 241-8600
Dali Museum, 1000 Third Street S., St. Petersburg; (727) 823-2767
EMIT series; (727) 341-3463
Enoch Davis Center, 1111 18th Ave. S., St. Petersburg; (727) 893-7134
Hillsborough Community College Performing Arts Theater, Palm Avenue and 14th St., Ybor City
Mahaffey Theater @ Progress Energy Center for the Arts, 400 First Street S., St. Petersburg; (727) 892-5798
Marriott Hotel, 12600 Roosevelt Blvd., St. Petersburg
Museum of Fine Arts, 255 Beach Drive N.E., St. Petersburg; (727) 896-2667
Musicology, 2576 Sunset Point Road, Clearwater; (727) 723-1000
New World Brewery, 1313 E. Eighth Avenue, Ybor City, Tampa; (727) 248-4969
The Palladium Theater at St. Petersburg College, 253 Fifth Avenue. N., St. Petersburg; (727) 822-3590
The Ritz Theatre, 1503 E. Seventh Avenue, Ybor City (Tampa); (813) 247-2555
Royal Theater, 1011 22nd St. Petersburg; (727) 327-6556
Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N. McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater; (727) 791-7400
Sacred Grounds Coffee House, 4819 E. Busch Blvd., Tampa; (813) 983-0837
Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa; (813) 971-0666
The Studio @620, 620 First Ave. S., St. Petersburg; (727) 895-6620
Straz Center, 1010 N. MacInnes Place, Tampa; (813) 229-7827
Tampa Bay Blues Festival, Vinoy Waterfront Park, downtown St. Petersburg; (727) 502-5000
Vincent Sims and the Sidewinders: A Tribute to Blue Note – Aug. 13, Palladium, 8 p.m.
Sunday Jazz at the Royal Theater: Ron Gregg Trio featuring Billy Pillucere and Richard “Stretch” Bruyn with Jeremy Carter – Aug. 15, Royal Theater, 4 to 8 p.m. (open mic for musicians and vocalists)
Natalie Merchant – August 24, Ruth Eckerd Hall
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers + Joe Cocker – Sept. 16, St. Pete Times Forum
Hammond B3 Summer Spectacular: Joe Crown Trio with Walter Wolfman Washington and Russell Batiste + John Gros + Dave McCracken: – Aug. 21, Palladium, 8 p.m.
Kings of Leon + The Black Keys + The Whigs – Sept. 18, USF Sun Dome
Rush – Oct. 1, Ford Amphitheatre
Clearwater Jazz Holiday (lineup TBA) – October 14-17, Coachman Park
Ybor Jazz Fest – Nov. 3-7, HCC, Ybor City
Roger Waters: The Wall – Nov. 16, St. Pete Times Forum
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|
Bonnaroo’s Killer Lineup: Phish, Wilco, David Byrne, King Sunny Ade, Bruce Springsteen, Al Green, Gov’t Mule
Some of the country’s big ‘n’ eclectic rock/jam festivals, like Langerado in South Florida, are calling it quits this year. Or, at least, taking a break until 2010.
Bonnaroo, though, is standing strong, with a recently announced lineup that includes a huge gift to fans of a certain highly revered jamband.
Yep, Phish, reuniting in March to play three dates in Virginia, is headed to Bonnaroo, June 11-14 in Manchester, Tennessee.
Trey and Co., slated to play two shows – count ‘em – at the music-and-camping fest, are at the top of the bill, along with a long list of acts boasting serious music muscle.
The lineup includes Wilco, David Byrne, Wilco, the Rev. Al Green, Elvis Costello (solo), and the seriously over-exposed Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. More: Gov’t Mule, Erykah Badu, TV on the Radio, Band of Horses, Ben Harper, Merle Haggard, moe, Bela Fleck & Toumani Diabate, Galactic, Booker T & the Drive-by Truckers, David Grisman, Lucinda Williams, Gomez, Femi Kuti, Alejandro Escovedo, Cherryholmes, the Steeldrivers, and – yes – Nigerian juju star King Sunny Ade. More TBA.
By any measure, it’s a killer bill.
Some of New Orleans’ finest musicians — of multiple genres — are among the nominees for 2008 “Best of the Beat Awards.” The awards, a labor of love courtesy of long-running Crescent City music monthly Offbeat, will be presented Jan. 31 at the House of Blues in NOLA.
Wanna participate? Click here to vote for your favorites.
A long list of first-rate musicians are for honors, including some artists — drummers Johnny Vidacovich and Stanton Moore; jazzers Astral Project, Terence Blanchard and Christian Scott; roots-rockers the Iguanas and the subdudes; bassists James Singleton and George Porter, Jr. — facing off in the same categories.
And it’s encouraging to see home-grown label Basin Street Records so heavily represented.
A quibble regarding one odd quirk about the list: Why are record labels for some independently released CDs (those not affiliated with major labels) identified as “independent” and some identified by their actual names?
In the age of digital downloads and the decreasing relevance of major labels, why not just refer to the labels by the names their owners (in some cases, the artists) have given to them?
Cases in point: Paul Sanchez’s Exit to Mystery Street, one of the first two releases from Threadhead Records (created by folks who met online at the Jazz Fest’s chat board), is listed as an “independent” release. And yet others in the same category — best country/folk/roots-rock album — are also independent releases, but their label home is listed by its name. John Boutte’s Good Neighbor, also from Threadhead Records, and up for best traditional jazz album, is also listed as “independent” while other independent releases in the same category are accompanied by their official label names.
Here’s the list of nominees:
Best Blues Band or Performer
Little Freddie King
Best Blues Album
David Egan: You Don’t Know Your Mind (Independent)
Sonny Landreth: From the Reach (Landfall)
Eric Lindell: Low on Cash, Rich in Love (Alligator)
Kenny Neal: Let Life Flow (Blind Pig)
Irma Thomas: Simply Grand (Rounder)
Best R&B/Funk Band or Performer
Big Sam’s Funky Nation
Jon Cleary and the Absolute Monster Gentlemen
Trombone Shorty and Orleans Ave.
Best R&B/Funk Album
Big Sam’s Funky Nation: Peace, Love & Understanding (Independent)
Henry Butler: PiaNOLA Live (Basin Street)
Dr. John: City That Care Forgot (429/Savoy)
Joe Krown, Walter “Wolfman” Washington, Russell Batiste, Jr.: Live at the Maple Leaf (Independent)
Walter “Wolfman” Washington: Doin’ the Funky Thing (Zoho Roots)
Best Rock Band or Performer
The Happy Talk Band
The New Orleans Bingo! Show
Quintron and Miss Pussycat
Best Rock Album
Theresa Andersson: Hummingbird, Go! (Basin Street)
The Bad Off: Lady Day (Independent)
The Happy Talk Band: THERE there (Independent)
The New Orleans Bingo! Show: Vol. 2: For a Life Ever Bright (New Orleans Bingo! Show)
Quintron and Miss Pussycat: Too Thirsty 4 Love (Goner)
Best Rap/Hip-Hop Band or Performer
B.G. and the Chopper City Boyz
Fifth Ward Weebie
Best Rap/Hip-Hop Album
B.G. and the Chopper City Boyz: Life in the Concrete Jungle (Chopper City)
Lil Wayne: Tha Carter III (Cash Money)
Truth Universal: Self-Determination (Independent)
Best Traditional Jazz Band or Performer
Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Dr. Michael White
Best Traditional Jazz Album
John Boutte: Good Neighbor (Independent)
Evan Christopher: Delta Bound (Arbors)
Tom McDermott and Connie Jones: Creole Nocturne (Arbors)
Seva Venet: Mens Working (Jazzology)
Dr. Michael White: Blue Crescent (Basin Street)
Best Contemporary Jazz Band or Performer
The Magnetic Ear
Jesse McBride & the Next Generation
Best Contemporary Jazz Album
The Magnetic Ear: Live at the Saturn Bar (Independent)
Ellis Marsalis Quartet: An Open Letter to Thelonious (ELM)
Jesse McBride: Jesse McBride presents the Next Generation (AFO)
Christian Scott: Live at Newport (Concord)
Frederick “Shep” Sheppard: Tradition: The Habari Gani Sessions (Drumparade)
Best Brass Band
Dirty Dozen Brass Band
Free Agents Brass Band
Hot 8 Brass Band
Rebirth Brass Band
The Soul Rebels
Best Gospel Band or Performer
Electrifying Crown Seekers
Franklin Avenue Baptist Church Choir
Tyronne Foster & the Arc Singers
Best Cajun Band or Performer
BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet
Lost Bayou Ramblers
Pine Leaf Boys
Best Cajun Album
Michael Doucet: From Now On (Smithsonian Folkways)
Feufollet: Cow Island Hop (Valcour)
Pine Leaf Boys: Homage au Passé (Lionsgate)
The Savoy Family Band: Turn Loose but Don’t Let Go (Arhoolie)
Cedric Watson: Cedric Watson (Valcour)
Best Zydeco Band or Performer
Jeffery Broussard and the Creole Cowboys
Leon Chavis and the Zydeco Flames
Geno Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie
Travis Matte and the Kingpins
Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience
Best Zydeco Album
Jeffery Broussard and the Creole Cowboys: Keep the Tradition Alive! (Maison de Soul)
Leon Chavis and the Zydeco Flames: Holla @ Me (Independent)
Travis Matte: Hip Hop Zyde-Rock (Mhat)
Earl “Washboard” Sally: Home Grown (Catfish Zydeco)
Best Country/Folk/Roots Rock Band or Performer
Best Country/Folk/Roots Rock Album
Bobby Charles: Homemade Songs (Rice ’N’ Gravy)
The Iguanas: If You Should Ever Fall on Hard Times (Yep Roc)
Paul Sanchez: Exit to Mystery Street (Independent)
Amanda Shaw: Pretty Runs Out (Rounder)
The Zydepunks: Finisterre (Independent)
Best Emerging Artist
The Other Planets
Best Cover Band or Performer
Bag of Donuts
The Bucktown Allstars
The Top Cats
George Porter, Jr.
Walter “Wolfman” Washington
Russell Batiste, Jr.
Dr. Michael White
Tuba / Sousaphone
Dave Easley (steel guitar)
Don Vappie (banjo)
Washboard Chaz (washboard)
Album of the Year
Theresa Andersson: Hummingbird, Go! (Basin Street)
Michael Doucet: From Now On (Smithsonian Folkways)
Dr. John: City That Care Forgot (429/Savoy)
Irma Thomas: Simply Grand (Rounder)
Dr. Michael White: Blue Crescent (Basin Street)
Artist/Band of the Year
Anyone paying attention could have seen this coming. It doesn’t make the news any less exciting.
Phish, rock-funk-fusion-jazz-experimental jammers extraordinaire, aren’t limiting their 2009 reunion shows to the three-night stand at Hampton Coliseum (Va.) in March.
The band is also playing a summer tour.
Now, if they’ll only add some shows south of North Carolina.
My memories of great Phish shows go back to their appearances at the old Ritz Theatre in Ybor City. Below is info on their Feb. 26, 1993 show at that venue.
02/26/93 Ritz Theatre, Ybor City, FL
Set I: Runaway Jim, Foam, Fee, Split Open and Melt, Fluffhead, Llama, Horn, The Divided Sky, I Didn’t Know, Cavern
Set II: Loving Cup, Paul and Silas, Tweezer, Glide, Chalkdust Torture, Mound, Big Ball Jam, You Enjoy Myself, HYHU> Lengthwise, Squirming Coil, Tweezer Reprise
Encore: Bold as Love, Sweet Adeline
Great to see Trey, Fish, Mike and Page back in action, five years after calling it quits. In effect, they’re competing with a younger generation of jambands whose work was inspired by Phish.
PHISH SUMMER TOUR 2009
06/04 – Nikon at Jones Beach Theater – Wantagh, NY
06/05 – Nikon at Jones Beach Theater – Wantagh, NY
06/06 – Comcast Center – Mansfield, MA
06/07 – Susquehanna Bank Center – Camden, NJ
06/09 – Asheville Civic Center – Asheville, NC
06/16 – Fox Theatre – St. Louis, MO
06/18 – Post Gazette Pavilion – Burgettstown, PA
06/19 – Verizon Wireless Music Center – Noblesville, IN
06/20 – Alpine Valley – East Troy, WI
06/21 – Alpine Valley – East Troy, WI
Here’s the official info on tickets:
“A limited number of tickets are available directly through Phish Tickets’ online ticketing system at http://phish.portals.musictoday.com . The ticketing request period is currently underway and will end on Saturday, January 17th at 11:59AM EST.
Tickets go on sale to the public beginning Friday, January 30th at 10AM EST. For full show and ticketing information, please visit the Tourdates page.”
For more details, go to the band’s official site.
If I were putting together a list of the year’s best concerts in the Tampa Bay area, David Byrne’s show at Tampa Theatre would land somewhere near the top.
My review of the Dec. 12 show is now available at jambands.com, or read the full text below (photo courtesy of Byrne’s site):
David Byrne, Tampa Theatre, Tampa, FL- 12/12
2008-12-22 Given his background as a visual artist and inveterate, relentlessly curious cultural explorer, it’s hardly a surprise that David Byrne concocts an intriguing new concept for each of his recording projects and tours — here an oversized Latin band, there a small combo with a vibraphonist.
Byrne’s latest tour, in support of this year’s Everything That Happens Will Happen Today, his first collaboration will Brian Eno in nearly 30 years, is no exception, as the former Talking Heads leader demonstrated on a return trip to Tampa Theatre, a beautifully appointed 1926 art deco movie palace that doubles as an intimate concert venue.
This time, Byrne was joined by keyboardist/programmer Mark De Gli Antoni, bassist Paul Frazier, drummer Graham Hawthorne, and percussionist Mauro Refosco plus back-up singers Kaissa, Redray Frazier and Jenni Muldaur, and a trio of hoofers. On many tunes, the vocalists and dancers, and sometimes Byrne, turned in a series of dance routines that were uniformly invigorating and creative, decidedly modern with nods to both theatrical and experimental influences.
The effect, with the entire troupe dressed in white and Byrne out front, topped with a shock of white hair, toting a Stratocaster, and putting body and soul into the performance, was mesmerizing. Cool detachment was out, and a warm sense of connection with the audience was in. Byrne even opened with a bit of tongue-in-cheek humor: “It’s a set menu,” he promised. “No substitutions. I’ll be your waiter. My name’s Dave.”
The music, an exuberantly played mix of songs from the new CD, several Talking Heads albums, and the 1981 Byrne/Eno collaboration My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, kicked off with the new “Strange Overtones,” all low-riding bass and percussion groove, and squiggly synthesizer lines erupting during the instrumental break. Heads tune “I Zimbra,” with the dancers making their entrance, jumping, clapping, twisting and kicking, was followed by the electric-acoustic guitars, loping beat and gospel-edged textures of “One Fine Day.” “Help Me Somebody” (from Ghosts), with its subdued funk and found sounds, led into a tune that prompted the first of several standing ovations — an invigorating performance of the Heads’ “Houses in Motion,” replete with invigorating call-and-response singing, deep, percolating grooves, keyboard-generated sound effects and another round of jaw-dropping dance moves by Lily Baldwin, Natalie Kuhn and Steven Reker.
Those first five tunes were followed by 15 more (including three encores). The group, to the obvious delight of an audience that quickly surrendered to the music’s summons to dance, offered plenty of Heads favorites — “Heaven,” with its open-wide chorus and five-part vocal harmonies; the irresistible gospel drive and exquisite tension and release of Al Green’s “Take Me to the River”; “Crosseyed and Painless,” all chunky funk, unison vocals and whammy-bar guitar; the hypnotic “Once in a Lifetime” and “Life During Wartime”; and, late in the show, an aptly incendiary workout on “Burning Down the House.”
The new material was compelling and well received, too, and, as if to prove a point, Byrne closed the concert with “Everything That Happens,” a lush, slow-moving ballad built on chiming, air-hanging guitars, the leader’s fragile, vulnerable sounding vocals and big, gospel-edged background vocals. “Everything that happens will happen today/and nothing has changed, but nothing’s the same,” he sang, perhaps suggesting a thing or two about his approach to music/performance — carefully and artfully designed but always marked by in-the-moment appeal and spontaneous musical eruptions.
Byrne, at this point, has nothing left to prove. Still, at 58, he continues to give every performance as if it were going to be the one that defined his career. Yet again, he has delivered one of the year’s most memorable pop tours.
It’s always one of a music critic’s toughest jobs.
How do you pick out the “best” recordings, of any genre, for any given year?
And, given the volume of CDs that continue to be unleashed, who – anywhere – has the time and wherewithal to listen to all the good, or even great, stuff that’s out there?
I never feel like I get it quite right – as soon as one of my year-ender pieces is published, I feel like I ought to go back and sub one of the discs for another that I’ve decided is more deserving.
At any rate, with the certainty that I’m leaving out one or two, or a dozen or more, great recordings, below is my “working” list of the year’s best jazz CDs.
This, of course, doesn’t include my favorites from other genres, a list that would include Radiohead’s In Rainbows, Lucinda Williams’ Little Honey, and the self-titled debut from The Steeldrivers.
An expanded version of my jazz list, with teensy descriptions of each disc, will soon be published elsewhere. When that happens, I’ll link to it.
The Best Jazz Discs of 2008 (in alphabetical order)
- Brian Blade Fellowship, Season of Changes (Verve)
- Anat Cohen, Notes From the Village (Anzic)
- Chick Corea & Gary Burton, The New Crystal Silence (Concord)
- John Ellis, Dance Like There’s No Tomorrow (Hyena)
- Lionel Loueke, Karibu (Blue Note)
- Pat Metheny, Day Trip (Nonesuch)
- Sonny Rollins, Road Shows, Vol. 1 (Doxy)
- Esperanza Spalding, Esperanza (Heads Up)
- Robert Walter, Cure All (Palmetto)
- Cassandra Wilson, Loverly (Blue Note)
Christmas will come early for Jazz Fest fans — the full lineup for next year’s New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival will be announced this Tuesday, Dec. 16, according to a report published in the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
The roster for the 40th annual edition of the festival, April 24-26 and April 30-May 3, will be announced during a press conference scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. (Central).
The announcement of the full lineup typically comes in January or February. Why so early this year?
Blame it on the economy.
“With the general economic downturn likely to affect leisure travel and ticket sales, the early announcement also allows for extra time to market the festival,” according to Keith Spera’s story in the Times-Picayune.
Expectations are that the 40th anniversary lineup will be as impressive a lineup as ever. On the list of artists confirmed to play, or expected to do so:
4/24 – Wynton Marsalis, Jazz Tent; Ellis Marsalis; Amanda Shaw
4/25 – Wynton Marsalis (pictured, right), Congo Square
4/26 – Paul Sanchez
4/30 – Solomon Burke (pictured, below); George Wein 4oth anniversary band with Jimmy Cobb, Esperanza Spalding, and Anat Cohen; Anders Osborne
First weekend (unspecified date) – Don Vappie
5/1 – Esperanza Spalding; Washboard Chaz Blues Trio; Dr. John;
5/2 – O’Jays; New Orleans/Helsinki Connection
5/3 – Jimmy Cobb’s “So What” band (celebrating the classic Miles album) with Wallace Roney, Javon Jackson, Vincent Herring, Larry Willis and Buster Williams; Juke Joint duo (Cedric Burnside and Lightnin’ Malcolm); Radiators; Dash Rip Rock; John Boutte; Voice of the Wetlands
(Know of other confirmations or solid rumors? Updates? Corrections? Send ‘em my way)
Here’s my pitch (hope) for the Jazz Stage: Why not tap Sonny Rollins, (IMO) the greatest living jazz giant?
Also promised for the 40th edition of the fest is “a new ticket package option.” Some fans have expressed hopes that that means something along the lines of a multi-day discount, or perhaps steep discounts for locals and/or kids. Others have suggested that the new “option” could mean another type of V.I.P. package.
Funk/R&B bass monster Bootsy Collins (Parliament/Funkadelic, James Brown, etc.) recently volunteered his time and talent to put together a recording, the Fallen Soldiers Memorial CD, designed to fund the Fallen Soldiers Memorial Museum.
Collins, as he recounts in the January issue of Bass Player magazine, grew excited about contributing to the cause after befriending a man, Keith Maupin, whose son, Matt, was killed while serving in Iraq. The bassist decided to help raise funds for Cincinnati’s Yellow Ribbon Support Center.
And then he opted to to make an even bigger effort.
“That’s when my eyes and heart were opened to what is really going on,” the Cincinatti native told Bass Player. “I had been hung up on the War issue like most creative people. Then, when I separated the War from the Soldier and from the Families, I began to see the people who are being killed and hurt. These are people just like you and me.”
The museum’s purpose, as was explained to Collins: “This would be a place where soldiers’ families could go to talk and help heal, relate to people who have the same experiences, and reflect over the material things that tte Museum has collected on behalf of the family. This special place would honor all the fallen soldiers and bring together those who have let go of their sons and duaghters to face that ultimate sacrifice.”
The upshot: Collins, through his Bootzilla Productions, tapped Charlie Daniels, George Duke, Blair Carmen and other artists for the project.
The album was officially released on Thanksgiving Day, and reportedly is available online through Bootsy Collins, the Yellow Ribbon Support Center (see links above), iTunes and several retail outlets. There’s talk of a related DVD to come in February.