Amazon vs. iTunes: June Jazz

There seems to be a higher-than-usual number of contemporary jazz recordings coming out this month. Here’s a quick breakdown of what the latest music costs at iTunes vs. the Amazon MP3 shop.

  Amazon iTunes
Pat Metheny What’s It All About $8.99 $11.99
Michael Franks Time Together $6.99 $9.99
Corea, Clarke & White Forever $15.00 $19.99
Paul Taylor Prime Time $6.99 $9.99
New Gary Burton Quartet Common Ground $8.99 $9.99

New CDs and DVDs In May

Rituals by Nicola ConteHere is a list of new CDs and DVDs coming in May that I’m aware of. Click Support ContemporaryJazz.com by buying this CD through Amazon.com to order the CD from Amazon.com, or Support ContemporaryJazz.com by buying this through iTunes to download MP3s. Your purchases through these links help the site!

May 5
Poogie Bell Band – Get on the Kit | Support ContemporaryJazz.com by buying this download
Jim Beard w/ Vince Mendoza – Revolutions
Incognito – Live in Jakarta DVD

May 12
Return To Forever – Live at Montreux 2008 DVD / Blu-ray
Stanley Clarke Trio w/ Hiromi and Lenny White – Jazz in the Garden | Support ContemporaryJazz.com by buying this download
Candy Dulfer – Funked Up! | Support ContemporaryJazz.com by buying this download
Charnett Moffett (feat. Will Calhoun) – The Art of Improvisation

May 19
Richard Elliot – Rock Steady | Support ContemporaryJazz.com by buying this download
Nicola Conte – Rituals | Support ContemporaryJazz.com by buying this download
Terri Lyne Carrington – More To Say… (Real Life Story: NextGen) | Support ContemporaryJazz.com by buying this download

May 26
Gary Burton, Pat Metheny, Steve Swallow & Antonio Sanchez – Quartet Live!
Diana Krall – Live In Rio DVD / Blu-ray

New Music in March

Earlier this month, I posted some of the new contemporary jazz and jazz-related videos that have come out this year. Below are some of the new CDs that came out this month. On the carousel to order the latest from Diana Krall, Gregg Karukas, Chris Botti, the Rippingtons, Sean Jones, Chuck Loeb, Return To Forever, Nils, and Philippe Saisse.

The Great Pumpkin Waltz

The song I probably listen to most this time of year is Vince Guaraldi’s “The Great Pumpkin Waltz.” That’s a classic. Chick Corea covered it in the 1989 GRP compilation Happy Anniversary, Charlie Brown! That recording in itself is great, with B.B. King, Joe Williams, Dave Brubeck, Gerry Mulligan, and classic GRP artists Dave Grusin, Lee Ritenour, and David Benoit playing music from Peanuts specials. It’s always the Chick Corea trio of Chick, John Patitucci, and Tom Brechtlein and their top-notch recording that is the first track I queue up.

Happy Anniversary, Charlie Brown!Happy Anniversary, Charlie Brown!

Chick Corea Elektric Band – To the Stars

Where is the hoopla around the new Chick Corea Elektric Band release To the Stars? The band easily ranks among the top fusion bands of all time. Every member – John Patitucci, Dave Weckl, Frank Gambale, and Eric Marienthal – all have sustained solo careers. I must not be in the loop because I’m not detecting any buzz. These guys have not recorded together in a decade. Yet from listening to this release, it’s like no time has passed.
To the Stars, inspired by the classic L. Ron Hubbard science-fiction novel, immediately jumps in your face with energy and power. Its complexity and construction is like the classic Elektric Band recordings you know. In case you might have forgotten, you will be instantly reminded of hard-to-surpass musicianship of these individuals. I’m overjoyed to hear Patitucci plugged in again, to hear Gambale stand out, and to hear Marienthal pull away from smooth jazz for a while. Corea sounds inspired. While you’ll recognize the familiar sounds that are characteristic of the Elektric Band, there are a few surprises. Most significant is a beautiful vocal choir on “The Long Passage,” which is voiced by Gayle Moran Corea.
The Elektric Band and this recording are the epitome of modern jazz. Spread the word! How often do jazz supergroups reunite?
Welcome back, band. Hope to hear you together again soon.

Wishful Thinking – What I Would Like To See As A Result Of This Elektric Band Reunion:

  • Marienthal makes a follow-up to his 1990 modern jazz Crossroads CD
  • Gambale CD sales quadruple
  • Patitucci realizes how much he missed playing electric and records a new fusion CD similar to Christian McBride’s Vertical Vision
  • Weckl takes a one-album break to do a solo record where he invites his all-star modern jazz buds. Despite a good number of excellent Dave Weckl Band records, his first solo effort, Master Plan, is still my favorite. His collaborations with Michael Brecker, Chick, Steve Gadd, Marienthal, and others were in the pocket on that. After that, bring the Dave Weckl Band to Kansas City.
  • Chick gets the Foo Fighters to play his music at the Grammys – and it’s televised!