Grace

One of the strongest songs I have in my contemporary jazz library is “Grace” from Nelson Rangell’s 1995 recording Destiny. Here’s what Nelson had to say about it in his liner notes from that release:

Grace has a few definitions. Among them is this one I’ve been thinking about: the giving of free and unmerited favor and love … that sure is nice to receive, and a pretty great thing to be able to give. When we extend grace to another, it can only help to make our collective road ahead easier in these complicated times -for truly wc arc all in this together, dependent on one another. Remember to try to “see” the ones beside you, and think of those far away in distant places.

Nelson revisited Grace in one of his latest albums. “Some Next Grace,” from his pop-jazz sax release Red, is a follow-up of sorts. I asked Nelson about grace. He replied:

I think we are in short supply right now…..”Some Next Grace” is a type of follow up and continuation on the theme of Grace. I think that we should try to reflect upon the profound idea and truth that we are often the recipients of Grace that we are hardly aware of, sometimes even totally unaware of. “Some Next Grace”, maybe seemingly almost mundane that actually changed our life early one morning or at 4:12 in the afternoon on a Thursday when by a second we didn’t step in front of a car or make a fateful move or decision for some unknown reason that changed everything, or never knew how close we came to a terrible accident or avoided getting terribly sick — never even having a clue. I hope I will be able to just feel more and proceed with more easy gratitude for each day, for the things I know and the things at work that I don’t. : – )

Nelson Rangell portrait

Happy birthday, Quincy Jones

The mighty Q turns 84 today. The term “living legend” was created for individuals like him. Here is Quincy Jones conducting a live version of “Setembro (Brazilian Wedding Song)” which was originally on the Back on the Block recording.

Lee Ritenour’s label launched 20 years ago

On March 11, 1997, the first recording from the new i.e. music label was released. The album was an all-star tribute to the music of Antonio Carlos Jobim called A Twist of Jobim. The label was co-founded by Lee Ritenour, JAZZIZ publisher Michael Fagien, and label operator Mark Wexler.

So what made Rit want to go out on his own after a lengthy stay at GRP? “In this day and age where thousands of records are released in a given year, I wanted more control over my music and destiny,” Lee Ritenour told Billboard in May 1998. “To have a successful record, you need great music and a great record company. If you have one without the other, it never works. With jazz, you need a team that understands the music and the marketing and promotion that goes with it.”

i.e. music logo

Captain Fingers was also excited about nurturing new talent. “I’ve been making music for 25 or 30 years. I wanted to give the talents and experience that I’ve been fortunate to develop back to some young artists.”

i.e. music issued a number of recordings in a little more than a year, including two Eric Marienthal discs and Ritenour’s This Is Love solo recording. The next “Twist of…” recording was A Twist of Marley on the GRP label in 2001.

Top Contemporary Jazz – 15 Years Ago

Here are the top selling contemporary jazz recordings as listed by Billboard on March 2, 2002. The Pat Metheny Group’s Speaking of Now debuted at #1.

  1. Pat Metheny Group –  Speaking Of Now
  2. Boney James – Ride
  3. Chris Botti – Night Sessions
  4. Various Artists –  Hidden Beach Recordings Presents: Unwrapped Vol. 1
  5. Walter Beasley – Rendezvous
  6. David Benoit – Fuzzy Logic
  7. Andre Ward Orpheus – Feelin’ You
  8. Peter White – Glow
  9. The John Scofield Band – Uberjam
  10. St. Germain – Tourist

Speaking of Now from the Pat Metheny Group