News Bits: Marcus Miller, Stanley Jordan, Kirk Whalum

Marcus Miller is releasing what he calls an “Official Bootleg CD”. The Ozell Tapes features performances from Marcus’ 2002 tour with no remixing or editing. Having seen a show on the tour, I can guarantee you that finding this CD will be worth your while. It should already be out in Japan and will be in Europe and available for ordering online later this week. For more information and updates, check out Edi Weitz’s MarcusMiller.com site, where Marcus contributes frequently. . . Stanley Jordan‘s 1985 release, Magic Touch, was certified gold on August 27, meaning that it has sold over 500,000 copies. . . The jazz/gospel fusion that Kirk Whalum displayed on his underappreciated Gospel According to Jazz, Chapter One will be back for a second volume. The Gospel According to Jazz, Chapter Two will be in stores on October 29. George Duke and Paul Jackson, Jr. return and are joined by Jonathan Butler. The CD was recorded live and KirkWhalum.com reports that a DVD/VHS version should be coming soon.

Bob James Goes OUT THERE

After God knows how many albums, Bob James still has a few surprises up his sleeve. You’ll hear it the second you put in his upcoming CD Morning, Noon & Night. That’s not skipping – that’s the awesome scratches of Rob Swift. Unfortunately, it’s the only track that features Rob. The rest of the CD features of a variety of music, from smooth jazz to acoustic sounds. However, I insist that Bob do a whole CD of music that sounds like “Street Smart”. The CD hits stores on September 24.

Joshua Redman Plugs In

“I always thought someday I’m gonna do a different kind of record. I’m gonna do a record that has more electric textures, that has wider sonic variety, I’m gonna do a record that relies more heavily on other sorts of rhythms – not just swing-bass rhythms but more backbeat rhythms… But it took me ten years to do a record like and I’ve finally done it and I’m so happy with it. It was a risk and it was a challenge but it’s been very rewarding for me.” That’s Joshua Redman talking about his new CD, Elastic, which is out tomorrow. Redman’s Elastic Band consists of Sam Yahel on multiple keyboards and Brian Blade on drums (the same group also composes YaYa3, who released their self-titled album earlier this summer). Joshua says that this music is more his own than any other music he’s ever written and that it has more of a personal identity ot it. After listening to this CD, it sounds like he’s a guy I want to get to know better.

What Is XMarsX?

I was wondering this when I saw it popping up on music stores’ upcoming releases jazz list. I was glad I looked into it. Turns out this is one of the side projects of Liquid Soul’s Mars Williams. It’s a free jazz project that sounds like something fans of modern jazz will want to try out.
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George Duke Goes Indie

George Duke - Face the MusicIt’s the year of major modern jazz artists striking out on their own. Branford Marsalis released Footsteps of Our Fathers earlier this year on his own label, Marsalis Music. Now George Duke has released his first album on his label, BPM (Big Piano Music). Face the Music was released September 3 and consists of mostly instrumentals. “The basic idea for this project was to use the same rhythm section for the entire album,” Duke says. “Though there are horns and vocals in spots, the rhythm section is the focus and identity of the music.” The rhythm section consists of Christian McBride and John Roberts.
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