Release Dates

Can’t get enough of those Brecker Brothers! Michael B., David Sanborn, and Fred Wesley join Randy B. on his new solo recording, 34th N Lex, due April 22 in the U.S. . . . Roy Hargrove demonstrates his love of R&B, soul, and funk on his Verve release Hard Groove on May 20. The album won’t actually have Roy’s name as the headliner. It will be Hard Groove by RH Factor . . . David Sanborn’s Verve debut, timeagain is now due on June 3 . . . Greg Osby’s St. Louis Shoes is coming from Blue Note on June 10.

Big Tuesday – March 25

Charlie Hunter Quintet - Right Now MoveIt’s a good day for modern jazz releases on Tuesday.
The latest from the man with the eight-string guitar, Charlie Hunter, will be out. Right Now Move was recorded in a three-day period and I’m looking forward to hearing what the track “Whoop-Ass” is all about.
Wayne Shorter hasn’t had a studio album in about nine years and hasn’t recorded an all-acoustic studio album since 1967! Alegria marks Mr. Shorter’s return to an acoustic environment, with the same stellar musicians that made last year’s Footprints Live! a success. Danilo Perez, John Patitucci, and Brian Blade play on most of the tracks.
Stanley Clarke’s 1, 2 To the Bass has been pushed back to April 15. It was originally due on March 25 as well.
Also on March 25, a man who would later publish two web sites about his love of jazz was born.

Crusaders, Clarke, and Merger Possibilities

The CrusadersStix Hooper, Wilton Felder, and Joe Sample haven’t recorded together as The Crusaders in 20 years, but that changes on Tuesday when Rural Renewal hits stores. Eric Clapton guests on two of the eleven tracks, and the old Crusaders sound should be in full force with Steve Baxter on trombone. The band will tour this spring and summer, appearing on the same bill as David Sanborn in some locations. Sanborn will be touring in support of his own new recording, due in May. . . Stanley Clarke has a new studio release coming out on March 25. 1, 2 To the Bass will traverse fusion, pop, funk, and world music. A diverse list of people will be making appearances on the CD, including Oprah Winfrey, George Duke, Hubert Laws, and Q-Tip. . . Have you been read about EMI talking to AOL Time Warner about buying a majority stake in Warner Music? It could be worth $3 – 4 billion. But what does that mean to jazz? It could mean the consolidation of jazz labels. Blue Note could incoporate the WB roster, which includes Pat Metheny, Kenny Garrett, and Christian McBride among others. Norah Jones and Pat Metheny recording for the same company? It could happen…

At the Newsstand

It’s a good time to visit your local bookstore! The March issue of JazzTimes covers what this site is all about – “Jazztronica: A Brief History of the Future of Jazz”. The article features commentary from Matthew Shipp, Brad Mehldau, and Dave Douglas, among others. This issue also reviews Stefon Harris’ 11-movement suite, Grand Unification Theory. This is the third consecutive issue of this magazine I’ve bought (Wayne Shorter and Jane Monheit cover stories drew me in the last two months). Maybe it’s time I got a subscription.

Elsewhere on the newsstand: Down Beat has a cover story of Soulive, whose live album is due in April. The current issue also covers the John Scofield, Joe Lovano, Dave Holland and Al Foster collaboration ScoLoHoFo as well as Larry Goldings. Jazziz currently has Mike and Leni Stern on the cover, celebrating love in jazz. I don’t know what else in the magazine since it’s bagged with a CD at the bookstores I frequent. With the Internet, are sampler CDs worth the extra money? Add your comments!

Random Bits

Mike Stern has signed with ESC Records. That seems to be a perfect home for the guitarist as the label features some of the best musicians making modern jazz today. Stern’s label debut should hit later in 2003 . . . A sequel to Verve//Remixed is under development . . . Concord Records will be issuing 30 titles in the SACD (Super Audio CD) format in 2003. The premiere release is a two-disc Chick Corea live recording. Since it’s got John Patitucci and Dave Weckl on it, I’m hoping for some selections from the Elektric Band reunion from late last year. Hopefully the famous people talking about Chick from Rendezvous segment on Chick’s site will be included.