One of my favorite singers, Jane Monheit, graces the cover of the December issue of JazzTimes. You’ll feel like you know Jane a bit better after reading this interview by Sean Daly, in which Jane discusses her singing career, criticism, her husband, and Journey. Of particular interest to me is that Jane’s next album will be a Christmas CD, due next year. You can sample the article at the JazzTimes site. Also look for Jane Monheit Live at the Rainbow Room, Jane’s first DVD due on Valentine’s Day.
Incognito has a new album out entitled Who Needs Love. It’s only available in Japan and through online stores. For more information and sound clips, visit Johan Ramestam’s long-running Incognito Everyday site. . . I posted release dates for two new DVDs from Sony this week – Herbie Hancock – Future2Future Live features Herbie and his band’s performance at the Knitting Factory in Los Angeles. Director Mike Dibbs’ The Miles Davis Story covers every era of the man’s career. . . Have you been seeing some press about Verve’s excellent Verve//Remixed CD? It was in Entertainment Weekly recently and I’ve seen it mentioned here and there. Though it was released earlier in the year, word about this classic jazz songs remixed by today’s DJs is finally spreading. I have an extra copy that I’ll be giving away soon, so stop by the site frequently!
What’s next for Pat Metheny once he completes his sprawling Speaking of Now tour? He tells the Kansas City Star that he’s been turning down everything for the last year and a half so that he can focus on the Pat Metheny Group. “We expect to be doing another group record pretty much right away, with the same lineup, now that we’ve found our collective voice.”. . .Speaking of collective, the Groove Collective’s latest CD is in high rotation on XM72 – Beyond Jazz. You didn’t know Groove Collective had a new CD out? Neither did I. Live…and Hard To Find is available through purchase at the band’s web site. It’s a live CD with two new studio tunes. . .And since I mentioned XM once again, I’ll promote the fact the there are two features next week of interest to modern jazz fans – Galactic live next Friday and Russ Davis interviews Dave Samuels and Dave Valentin of the Caribbean Jazz Project next Saturday.
Warner Bros. gathered its jazz and contemporary jazz rosters to put together the label’s first holiday collection. But, unlike other label holiday albums, Jazz Christmas Party, doesn’t just feature submitted tracks from its artists. WB artists collaborated together on several songs on this album. Bob James and Béla Fleck duet on “White Christmas. Michael Franks and Kirk Whalum work together on Franks’ “I Bought You A Plastic Star For Your Aluminum Tree.” The constant on the release is the keys of the label’s big three pianists – Bob James, Brad Mehldau, and Larry Goldings. The songs aren’t exactly Christmas standards. Al Jarreau, Boney James, Bob James, and Larry Goldings perform on Kenny Loggins and Bob James’s “Celebrate Me Home.” Whalum lays down his gospel sound on “A Cradle of Bethlehem.” New WB vocalist Gabriela Anders delivers a great debut on her original “Our First Christmas.” The musicianship on the album is top-notch, from the headliners to the rhythm provided by James Genus, Larry Grenadier, Jorge Rossy, and Billy Kilson.
Warner Bros. Jazz Christmas Party is a seasonal album that all jazz fans will enjoy.
t r a c k s
(note that several musicians play on several other tracks)
“Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” – Joshua Redman; “Celebrate Me Home” – Al Jarreau; “A Cradle In Bethlehem” – Kirk Whalum; “I Bought You A Plastic Star For Your Aluminum Tree” – Michael Franks; “Our First Christmas” – Gabriela Anders; “Silent Night” – Larry Goldings and Brad Mehldau; “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” – Boney James; “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” – Kevin Mahogany; “Pure Imagination” – Mark Turner; “Christmas Time Is Here” – Brad Mehldau Trio; “Personent Hodie (Sing Aloud This Day)” – Bob James Trio; “White Christmas” – Béla Fleck and Bob James