I’ve been listening to A Prayer for the Planet, the new recording by the jazz/electronica/world collective Global Noize. I can’t imagine why a fan of contemporary jazz wouldn’t want to sample this. It doesn’t follow any formulaic smooth jazz style. It’s got the duo of Jason Miles and DJ Logic leading a cast of talented musicians including Falu, Karl Denson, Mocean Worker, Jeff Coffin, and Oz Noy. It’s a recording that has something for everybody: from the rocktronic/world vocal track “Charisma Love” to the atmospheric “Walking on Air.”
DJ Logic describes Global Noize as “a hip and eclectic musical journey crossing all boundaries.” Miles, Logic, and Falu talk more about this 21st century music:
Hip hop/jazz collective Us3 returns with their eighth studio recording, Lie, Cheat & Steal next month. The first of the 13 tracks, “Ghost,” leans on the jazz side, telling a story of abuse and revenge. It’s the first of the messages relating to the theme of the title. Leader Geoff Wilkinson explains “I’ve become increasingly disillusioned by the people we, as children, are traditionally brought up to look up to. Politicians, police, business leaders, sportsmen, religious leaders, etc. all seem to be up to their eyeballs in corrupt practices. The gap between the haves and the have-nots is widening at an increasing pace. Is this what a democracy should look like, where it’s ok to lie, cheat and steal your way to the top?” The music drives this in. Of note are MC’s Oveous Maximus and Akala and the horn section of saxman Ed Jones and trumpeter Bryan Corbet. A variety of keyboardists add to the mix as well as Chris Dodd on Double Bass and DJ First Rate on the turntable.
Lie, Cheat & Steal is available digitally worldwide on October 3. You can sample and pre-order it on Amazon right now.
Ever imagine The Bad Plus doing music from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast? How about Joshua Redman doing a cover of “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” from Toy Story? Those notable artists are among the dozen contributing to the forthcoming compilation Disney Jazz Volume 1: Everybody Wants to Be a Cat.
The title of the album comes from the song “Ev’rybody Wants to Be a Cat,” from The Aristocats, which is given an upbeat, grooving treatment by Roy Hargrove’s quintet. You’ll also hear Disney classic songs like “The Bare Necessities” and “It’s a Small World After All” performed by a diverse lineup. “I wanted to get a group of people together who would represent the many styles of jazz,” says producer Jason Olaine, who also called Dave Brubeck, Esperanza Spalding, Regina Carter, and Nikki Yanofsky for the recording.
Writing in the album liner notes, Ashley Kahn praises the top-drawer prowess of the performers: “It’s exceedingly rare that one finds this range of talent on one jazz album. If one desired an accurate measure of today’s scene in all its flavors and formats, here it is on one disc.”
I’m looking forward to hearing this. Disney Jazz Volume 1: Everybody Wants to Be a Cat is in stores February 15.
From 1993-1994, I produced a newsletter to promote the late night “new music program” for KBIA-FM. Following is an article I wrote for one of the newsletters:
Rarely do debut solo albums come to the station as solid as Torcuato Mariano’s Paradise Station (Windham Hill). From the start, it’s evident that the guitarist knows how he wants his music to sound. The CD features Mariano demonstrating his ability on guitars and other instruments on his own world-influenced compositions.
Born in Buenos Aires, Mariano ended up in Brazil during his adolescence. He started playing nightclubs in 1980, working with artists such as Johnny Alt, one of the most renowned Bossa Nova players in Brazil. He played in bands with the country’s more notable players, Djavan, Ivan Lins, and Leo Gandelman. These influences, plus those of Pat Metheny and Jeff Beck, have helped Mariano develop a personal style that comes across in a big way.
Mariano knows how to write and arrange a memorable song. The uptempo tracks, “A Train to Uberaba” and “2350” are only two of the twelve examples presented on this release. His playing is equally good and he has a strong group of worldly musicians to back him up. It’s the influence of both Mariano’s background and these musicians that really makes Paradise Station stand out. It’s still early to say, but so far Torcuato Mariano has got the nod for debut of the year.