George Benson in session

I’m pruning my large CD library, archiving some discs and preparing to give away or sell others. I’m grabbing information off of those enhanced discs which were seemingly popular around 2000. I uploaded this clip of George Benson, Joe Sample and Christian McBride from a session from Absolute Benson, a good George Benson recording from the year 2000.

Contemporary jazz 25 years ago – May 11, 1991

Looking back at the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Albums chart from May 11, 1991, you see some of the first recordings from the post-MCA acquisition of GRP Records. Greenhouse by Yellowjackets, Love and Understanding by George Howard, and Healing the Wounds by the Crusaders were all in the top ten.

album cover to the 1991 recording Greenhouse by the Yellowjackets

Greenhouse was the first recording featuring new saxophonist Bob Mintzer. The music continued the trajectory away from pop-jazz that had most evident in their previous recording The Spin. Mintzer is still with the quartet as is founding member Russell Ferrante and, several years away from the band, William Kennedy.

Healing the Wounds was a complete surprise when it came in to the radio station where I was volunteering. No advance notice or hype. You could pull that off in 1991. Produced by Marcus Miller, Healing the Wounds featured band founders Joe Sample and Wilton Felder in great form. I still love the opening track “Pessimisticism.” Continue reading “Contemporary jazz 25 years ago – May 11, 1991”

ABC to air International Jazz Day concert!

The 2016 International Jazz Day All-Star Global Concert will be broadcast on ABC on April 30 at 7 p.m. CST followed by an on-demand webcast at 8 p.m.. The concert will feature a cast of internationally renowned jazz artists including Joey Alexander, John Beasley (Music Director), Kris Bowers, Chick Corea, Robert Glasper, Herbie Hancock, Danilo Perez , Chucho Valdés, Terence Blanchard, Till Brönner, Hugh Masekela, James Morrison, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Jamie Cullum, Kurt Elling, Aretha Franklin, Al Jarreau, Diana Krall, Sting , Eli Degibri, David Sánchez, Wayne Shorter, Bobby Watson, Christian McBride, Marcus Miller, Esperanza Spalding, Ben Williams, Buddy Guy, Lionel Loueke, Pat Metheny, Lee Ritenour, Brian Blade, Terri Lyne Carrington, Kendrick Scott, Zakir Hussain, Trombone Shorty, and the Rebirth Brass Band. This year’s concert will be hosted by President Obama and Michelle Obama at the White House.

True Stories from the Rippingtons


True Stories
, the new recording from Russ Freeman and the Rippingtons is out on June 24. I love the fun new cover, presumably done by the masterful Bill Mayer who has done every Rippingtons “jazz cat” illustration.

True Stories album cover from the Rippingtons

The band has been announcing tour dates on Twitter so you will be able to hear the new songs live at some locations around the States. Attendees at the Berks Jazz Fest have already heard some of them – check out Peter Boehi’s recap of the performance. See them from Berks playing the new “Wild Tales” – I like it!

Branford Marsalis on piracy in 2000

I’m going through some of my ContemporaryJazz.com archives and laughed at this bit of news I reported on July 16, 2000:

Earlier this week, an organization called “Artists Against Piracy” began a campaign calling attention to the issue of distribution of music on the Internet. AAP would like to see their work respected and not distributed in an improper fashion. Among the 70 artists who have endorsed the AAP include Joe Sample, David Sanborn, Herbie Hancock, and Us3 (didn’t know they still around). For more on AAP, visit their site (link defunct). On the other hand, Branford Marsalis posted his opinion on the subject on his bulletin board (link still points to Branford’s site): “Regarding the illegal trading of studio jazz albums, we don’t make much money off of them anyway, so more power to them.”