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.
Saxman Bob Berg has passed away. Bob was killed in an automobile accident on Thursday. He was 51. Throughout the 70s, 80s, and 90s, Bob played in bands with Horace Silver, Miles Davis, and Chick Corea among others. I’m guessing that others reading this have his early 90s, Grammy-nominated release Back Roads. I remember Bob’s strong tenor sound and am sorry to read this news.
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.
Hiroshima, the East Meets West jazz fusion band, has signed with the Heads Up label. Their next release will be issued on June 24, 2003. Dan Kuramoto, the group’s leader said, “Hiroshima has always been an attempt to create a unique, evolving, multicultural American music, like a mirror of our Pacific Rim communities. After 20 years, we are energized with the sense that our best work is in front of us.”
Hiroshima co-founder June Kuramoto finally gets to see her solo release, Spirit and Soul, in wide release next week. Although it’s been available at the Hiroshima web site for many months, you’ll now have a chance to buy the CD in stores and at online stores. June is one of the world’s foremost koto players and, as you might expect, the CD is a more personal work. She recently told the Honolulu Star-Bulletin Online that “the album has a lot of meaning to me. This is music from a woman’s perspective.” For more on June’s new release, and the Kuramotos thoughts on today’s music industry, check out the article.