Friday, December 28, 2007

CHICK COREA PICTURES!

Chick Corea is marching towards New Year's with the hottest band of the year: Elektric Band featuring Dave Weckl, Victor Wooten, Eric Marienthal, and Frank Gambale!





Monday, December 24, 2007

BLUE NOTE OFFICIAL STATEMENT ON THE DEATH OF JAZZ LEGEND OSCAR PETERSON

Today, the Blue Note joins jazz fans all over the world in mourning the death of our friend Oscar Peterson, one of the greatest and most influential jazz pianists of all time. Peterson, 82, died of kidney failure on Sunday, December 23, according to the Neweduk Funeral Home in Mississauga, Toronto.

In the early days of the Blue Note, owner Danny Bensusan was determined to book Oscar Peterson at the club. “I always tried to develop a relationship with Oscar. He wanted to play the club but he had many commitments in the area. One day, (bassist) Ray Brown came to me and said ‘Danny, I’ll get you Oscar Peterson, and I’ll get him with the original trio.’ They came, and from that first performance, Oscar never missed a gig.”

The first week with Oscar Peterson at the Blue Note took place in April of 1984 with Ray Brown and guitarist Joe Pass. Peterson continued to perform and record at the Blue Note over the decades with variations of his trio and quartet, featuring musicians like Milt Jackson, Herb Ellis and other special guests. For his three Telarc recordings at the Blue Note, Peterson won three Grammy awards; the first two for his group and solo performance on the 1990 release “The Legendary Oscar Peterson Trio Live at the Blue Note,” the second for the group performance on the 1991 release “Saturday Night at the Blue Note.” In February 2007, Telarc released “What’s Up? The Very Tall Band” featuring Peterson with the original trio of Milt Jackson and Ray Brown, recorded live at the Blue Note in November of 1998.

Oscar Peterson was born in Little Burgundy, Montreal on August 15, 1925. Heavily influenced by Art Tatum, James P. Johnson, and many other pianists of the day, Peterson brought his talents to the United States in 1949 with his Carnegie Hall debut after being discovered by jazz impresario Norman Granz. Through Granz’s Jazz At The Philharmonic series, Peterson met and performed with many of the greatest jazz musicians of his generation, including Stan Getz, Milt Jackson, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Ben Webster, Count Basie, and Dizzy Gillespie.

From the early 1950s until his death, Peterson performed with his trios and quartets all over the world. He suffered a stroke in 1993, but within a year was performing and touring again, despite a severely weakened left side. Throughout his career, Peterson won seven Grammy awards and a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997, and numerous schools and concert halls have been named in his honor.

Peterson’s performances in those early days were significant in establishing the Blue Note as one of the top venues in jazz. Although he is no longer with us, his presence will always be felt at the Blue Note.

His death was confirmed by Neweduk Funeral Home in Mississauga, the Toronto suburb where Peterson lived. The town's mayor, Hazel McCallion, told The Associated Press that he died of kidney failure but that she did not know when. The hospital and police refused to comment. The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported that he died on Sunday.

His death was confirmed by Neweduk Funeral Home in Mississauga, the Toronto suburb where Peterson lived. The town's mayor, Hazel McCallion, told The Associated Press that he died of kidney failure but that she did not know when. The hospital and police refused to comment. The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported that he died on Sunday.

His death was confirmed by Neweduk Funeral Home in Mississauga, the Toronto suburb where Peterson lived. The town's mayor, Hazel McCallion, told The Associated Press that he died of kidney failure but that she did not know when. The hospital and police refused to comment. The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported that he died on Sunday.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

ASHLEY KAHN INTERVIEWS MCCOY TYNER AT THE BLUE NOTE

This morning, jazz historian and writer Ashley Kahn came to the Blue Note to interview McCoy Tyner in the dressing room. The topic of the interview is being kept quiet (we'll find out soon enough), but when McCoy and Ashley Kahn get together, John Coltrane is never far from the topic at hand.......

Ashley Kahn is the author of some incredible jazz books, including "A Love Supreme," "Kind Of Blue," and his most recent "The House That Trane Built: The Story of Impulse Records."
Ashley Kahn and McCoy Tyner in the Blue Note dressing room, 12/13/07

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

CHRIS BOTTI IS HERE!

Chris Botti got to the Blue Note at around 5pm yesterday to do a quick soundcheck. He played a few notes into his mic and walked upstairs to hang out for a bit and was very gracious to everyone. His energy was still strong even after 2 packed sets, and by 12:15am he was still signing CDs at the gift shop and taking pictures with fans. One night down and two weeks left to go...

Botti will be interviewed at some point over the next few days, so keep your questions coming until tonight!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

NEWS in the world of JAZZ

Just after 11am this morning, the Grammy Nominees for the 50th Annual Grammy Awards were announced in California. Herbie Hancock's CD "River: The Joni Letters" is up for album of the YEAR! What do you guys think about these choices for the jazz field? Post your comments here!

Field 10 — Jazz

Category 45

Best Contemporary Jazz Album
(For albums containing 51% or more playing time of INSTRUMENTAL tracks.)

  • Party Hats
    Will Bernard
    [Palmetto Records]

  • Downright Upright
    Brian Bromberg
    [Artistry Music]

  • Re-imagination
    Eldar
    [Masterworks Jazz]

  • River: The Joni Letters
    Herbie Hancock
    [Verve]

  • He Had A Hat
    Jeff Lorber
    [Blue Note]


Category 46

Best Jazz Vocal Album
(For albums containing 51% or more playing time of VOCAL tracks.)

  • Avant Gershwin
    Patti Austin
    [Rendezvous Entertainment]

  • Red Earth - A Malian Journey
    Dee Dee Bridgewater
    [DDB/Emarcy]

  • Music Maestro Please
    Freddy Cole
    [HighNote Records]

  • Nightmoves
    Kurt Elling
    [Concord Jazz]

  • On The Other Side
    Tierney Sutton (Band)
    [Telarc Jazz]


Category 47

Best Jazz Instrumental Solo
(For an instrumental jazz solo performance. Two equal performers on one recording may be eligible as one entry. If the soloist listed appears on a recording billed to another artist, the latter's name is in parenthesis for identification. Singles or Tracks only.)

  • Levees
    Terence Blanchard, soloist
    Track from: A Tale Of God's Will (A Requiem For Katrina)
    [Blue Note]

  • Anagram
    Michael Brecker, soloist
    Track from: Pilgrimage
    [Heads Up International]

  • Both Sides Now
    Herbie Hancock, soloist
    Track from: River: The Joni Letters
    [Verve]

  • Lullaby
    Hank Jones, soloist
    Track from: Kids: Live At Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola (Joe Lovano and Hank Jones)
    [Blue Note]

  • 1000 Kilometers
    Paul McCandless, soloist
    Track from: 1000 Kilometers (Oregon)
    [CamJazz]


Category 48

Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group
(For albums containing 51% or more playing time of INSTRUMENTAL tracks.)

  • Pilgrimage
    Michael Brecker
    [Heads Up International]

  • Live At The Village Vanguard
    The Bill Charlap Trio
    [Blue Note]

  • Kids: Live At Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola
    Joe Lovano And Hank Jones
    [Blue Note]

  • Line By Line
    John Patitucci
    [Concord Jazz]

  • Back East
    Joshua Redman
    [Nonesuch Records]


Category 49

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album
(For large jazz ensembles, including big band sounds. Albums must contain 51% or more INSTRUMENTAL tracks.)

  • A Tale Of God's Will (A Requiem For Katrina)
    Terence Blanchard
    [Blue Note]

  • Eternal Licks & Grooves
    The Bob Florence Limited Edition
    [MAMA Records]

  • Hommage
    The Bill Holman Band
    [Jazzed Media]

  • Sky Blue
    Maria Schneider Orchestra
    [ArtistShare]

  • With Love
    Charles Tolliver Big Band
    [Blue Note]


Category 50

Best Latin Jazz Album
(Vocal or Instrumental.)

  • Funk Tango
    Paquito D'Rivera Quintet?
    [Paquito Records]

  • The Magician
    Sammy Figueroa And His Latin Jazz Explosion
    [Savant Records]

  • Borrowed Time
    Steve Khan
    [Tone Center Records]

  • Refugee
    Hector Martignon
    [Zoho]

  • Big Band Urban Folktales
    Bobby Sanabria Big Band
    [Jazzheads]

Variety.com review of Bill Frisell, Ron Carter, Paul Motian show...

Recently Reviewed

Bill Frisell/Ron Carter/Paul Motian

(Blue Note; 250 seats; $35 top)

Presented inhouse. Opened and reviewed Dec. 4, 2007. Closes Dec. 9.

It's a yeoman's task to ask a group of strong-willed musicians -- players accustomed to calling the shots -- to come together as a democratic unit. This heavily credentialed trio managed to do so on the self-titled Nonesuch album it released last year and confirmed that bond Tuesday night at the first perf of a much-anticipated Gotham stint.

The three musicians each maintained their distinct personalities -- Frisell waxing wry and puckish, Motian gruff but affable and Carter unflaggingly Zen-like -- while remaining locked into the nuances of the others. The trio kicked things off in warm, easy-going fashion with an urbane twist on Jimmy Davis' classic "You Are My Sunshine," which Frisell infused with a Wes Montgomery-styled languidness.

Carter took centerstage for the cinematic "Eighty-One," a tune that unfolded in origami-like fashion, evincing facets of swing, tense counterpoint and an almost Nino Rota-like cinematic vibe. That sense of surprise worked to the combo's benefit through most of the 75-minute set, but failed it at a few junctures -- such as "Abacus," a nonlinear piece that found all three players orbiting in search of a center that never came into focus.

They fell into lockstep rather nicely by the latter part of the set, however, gliding gracefully in tandem over the measures of Frisell's "Strange Meeting," a composition redolent of a windswept Iberian cliff -- and one that allowed Motian to step out in stellar fashion, traversing the breadth of his kit with a remarkable economy of (no pun intended) motion.

Set ended on a winsome note, in the form of an airy rendition of Lerner and Loewe's "On the Street Where You Live." The chestnut is trotted out so often that it can almost seem like incidental music, but on this evening, Frisell, Carter and Motian infused it with enough oomph to demand aud attention until the fading of the final note.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

SOUND CHECK REPORT - BILL FRISELL, RON CARTER, PAUL MOTIAN

Bill Frisell arrived at the Blue Note just after 2pm to begin setting up his equipment. By 4pm, Ron Carter (wearing a suit and tie) and Paul Motian joined him on stage and without saying much to each other, they began to play. The trio had not performed together since recording their self-titled trio album last year, and they picked up right where they left off. Over the next two hours, the band went through their songbook, playing Frisell originals like Strange Meeting, standards like On The Street Where You Live and Little Waltz, and classics like You Are My Sunshine and A Change is Gonna Come. Little was said, and Frisell's voice was barely audible even in the empty club as he called out tunes to rehearse.

What makes this trio so special is not the individual musicians' abilties and their accomplishments or the novelty of them joining forces on stage. Rather, it's the level of communication they display as a trio and the sincerity with which the play their music. The interplay between all three musicians creates some of the most beautiful, heartfelt music around.

If you had a chance to catch this show, post your thoughts!