Christian Scott – Live At Newport

Grammy-nominated 24-year old trumpeter Christian Scott has his first live CD and DVD out in stores now. Live at Newport includes five new compositions that echo his musical hero Miles Davis. Click the play button for the song “Died In Love” from the release. If you like what you hear, hit the Shopping Cart icon to buy it.

Christian Scott Live at NewportChristian Scott – “Died In Love”

XM 72 Beyond Jazz Update

As I blogged about last month, my favorite channel, XM Satellite Radio channel 72 Beyond Jazz, is ending. It’s off the air on November 14. Program director Russ Davis wants you to know that he and Jammin’ Jazz host Michelle Sammartino aren’t through with the music, though. Russ is launching MOJARadio (MoJa is short for Modern Jazz). So fans of the hard-to-find blend of fusion, funk, acid jazz, techno, world jazz, new jazz singers, nu-jazz, acid bebop, hip-hop jazz, jam-band jazz, and such won’t be left out in the cold. I’m looking forward to this.

September 23rd Releases – Kenny Garrett, Fourplay, Spyro Gyra

Kenny Garrett – Sketches of MD: Live At The Iridium. “I wanted to document the band I took on the road for Beyond the Wall while we were working with Pharoah and also write some new songs,” says Kenny of this new recording which features Pharoah Sanders. “The idea of doing the Miles-related songs just evolved.”
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Fourplay – Energy
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Spyro Gyra – A Night Before Christmas
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Herbie Hancock – Then and Now: The Definitive Herbie Hancock
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Review: Thunder from Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller, and Victor Wooten

Thunder. Rhythmic, melodic, rock you out, funk you up. Thunder! Back in the spring when I interviewed Marcus Miller, I asked him what was in the pipeline. He mentioned that there was a bass trio recording that he Stanley and Victor were working on – and oh what a recording it’s turned out to be. I can’t imagine a better name for this all-star collaboration between these three Bass Masters of the Universe. The thunderous power that is conjured up by SMV is awe-inspiring, not just in the low and middle registers, but in the compositions and arrangements as well. This isn’t some ego driven free-for-all that’s all chops and no meat. In my opinion, it’s the compositions that drive this recording, with each bassist unselfishly contributing for the benefit of the whole. I have to admit that of the three players, I’m least familiar with Victor Wooten; but I was easily able to identify each distinctive voice, in fact, this is probably the best setting I’ve heard Stanley play in in quite sometime. To have three of today’s leading bassists, each of which bring much more to the table than just being a recording artist, creating such a cohesive project, speaks volumes of their talents and obvious kinship. One could only hope that this doesn’t end up being a one-off project. Also, kudos to Heads Up for having the guts to release this project, in a year that has been extremely lean for anything remotely approaching quality jazz, yet alone fusion. One last opinion if I may: I’ve purchased maybe five actual physical CDs this year, but I’ve purchased at least 60 downloadable, complete jazz recordings thus far. How come they don’t come with downloadable digital booklets?

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Review: Palmystery from Victor Wooten

Victor Wooten is a musician with a penchant for creativity and this is clearly heard on his latest release, Palmystery. The disc captures this versatile artist in his element as he succinctly takes listeners on a genre-bending tale during which themes of mysticism and spirituality are explored. This premise is shared in Wooten’s concurrently released novel The Music Lesson which tells the story of a young musician’s encounter with a mysterious music teacher who expounds upon him spiritual lessons in music and life. The album opens with the playful and energetic “2 Timers” featuring Derico Watson and JD Blair on drums. The piece is further aided by Howard Levy’s harmonica, Eric Silver’s violin and a full horn section. On “Left Right & Center” guitarist Mike Stern shares the spotlight with Wooten and Neal Evans (Soulive) on the Hammond B3. Perhaps the track’s biggest accomplishment lies in the enlistment of Dennis Chambers, Will Kennedy, and Blair on drums whose combined force provides a fluid backbeat that keeps things moving along at a steady clip. A lively cover of Horace Silver’s “Song For My Father” is included on the release as well. Wooten states that “A song is just an idea until someone brings it into the world,” adding “That’s the great mystery of music or any creative endeavor. The power is in the palm of your hand. You just have to release it to the world.” And release it to the world he did on the satisfying and eclectic Palmystery. Keep an ear out for this one.

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