Two Bits of News

The new issue of Entertainment Weekly (#709, with Halle Berry and Hugh Jackman on the cover) reviews the Garage a Trois CD. It’s a good review, and Emphasizer earns a B+. Nice to see this adventurous jazz project get a mention in a high-profile publication.

Obviously, I don’t read the tabloids. Diana Krall and Elvis Costello are getting married. I didn’t even know they were dating. I guess I’ll read about that next week in Entertainment Weekly…

Jaco Pastorius Big Band Coming This Summer

Punk Jazz - The Jaco Pastorius AnthologyThere’s been no shortage of Jaco Pastorius mentions since this site started last September. There was Brian Bromberg’s Jaco, Weather Report’s Live and Unreleased, and this week’s two-disc Punk Jazz: The Jaco Pastorius Anthology. Coming in August is the Jaco Pastorius Big Band, produced and directed by Peter Graves. The twelve tracks were mostly written by Jaco and features the music from the late bassist plus an army of modern jazz’s top-of-the-line bassists. Marcus Miller, Christian McBride, Richard Bona, Victor Wooten, Jimmy Haslip, and Victor Bailey are among the rhythm men paying tribute. Look for the CD on the Heads Up label.

Nina Simone Dies

Nina SimoneThe High Priestess of Soul has died. Nina Simone passed away at the age of 70 at her home in the south of France today.

Nina has been an influence to several generations of musicians. Her distinctive voice will certainly be remembered, as will her contributions in documenting her thoughts and experiences on racism and the civil rights movement in the 1960s in the United States.

To read more about the life of Nina Simone, read the article in the Kansas City Star.

Randy Brecker’s Horn Section

Randy BreckerI’ve made earlier mention of the fact that Michael Brecker, David Sanborn, and Fred Wesley all are on Randy Brecker’s new CD, 34th N Lex. It gets better. Here’s the entire horn lineup on this powerful CD: Randy Brecker: Trumpet, Fluegelhorn; Michael Brecker: Tenor Saxophone; David Sanborn: Alto Saxophone; Ronnie Cuber: Baritone Saxophone; Ada Rovatti: Tenor Saxophone; Fred Wesley: Trombone; Michael Davis: Trombone. You’ll hear Cuber’s influence on the record right off the bat with the opening title track. Ada Rovatti, Randy’s wife, blows out the solo on “The Castle Rocks”. “The Fisherman” is a tribute to one of Randy’s close friends, Bob Berg, who tragically died in a car accident last December. You’ll find a busy atmosphere on most of the 11 tracks, which is to be expected given the influence on Randy from living at 34th and Lexington in New York City for almost a decade.

34th N Lex is in U.S. stores on Tuesday.