Here’s the top-selling contemporary jazz albums, according to Billboard magazine, in mid-July of years past.
25 years ago: Larry Carlton, Alone/But Never Alone
15 years ago: Quincy Jones, Q’s Jook Joint
10 years ago: Brian Culbertson, Nice and Slow
5 years ago: Wayman Tisdale, Way Up
MTV is playing videos again! Online, at least at their newly launched mtvmusic.com. I checked it out and – whoa – there are over 100 videos in the jazz category. I wasn’t even expecting a jazz category. There are a lot of Kenny G and Norah Jones videos but also a number of 80s Warner Bros. videos from the likes of Al Jarreau, Bob James, David Sanborn, Michael Franks, George Benson, Quincy Jones, and Miles Davis. Seeing some of these again is kind of a kick. I bet you’ll find some surprises too.
Here’s George Benson and Earl Klugh – Dreamin’:
Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder, and Nancy Wilson were among the musicians who paid tribute to the late Oscar Peterson on January 12 at Toronto’s Roy Thomson Hall. The event, titled “Oscar Peterson: Simply the Best” saw 2500 fans offering a final farewell to the legendary pianist. He died on December 23, at the age of 82, of kidney failure. Several good recaps of the emotional goodbye were written by J.D. Considine, John Stewart (for the Mississauga News), and Scott Anderson (for Reuters). An archive is available at the CBC site. Share your thoughts on Oscar Peterson in The Forum.
David Benoit counts Oscar Peterson as one of his influences. The contemporary jazz pianist is recording an album of compositions from his favorite artists, including Peterson, Miles Davis, Bill Evans, Dave Brubeck, the Doors, the Beatles, and Elton John. It’s titled Heroes and will be out this year.
Also on the topic of tributes: John Beasley has been working on a tribute to Herbie Hancock. He’s joined by Roy Hargrove, Christian McBride and Jeff “Tain” Watts. The recording, expected in March, is the one of the first on a new label called Resonance Records. According to the press release, Resonance Records artists “benefit from an innovative revenue-sharing concept that not only offers greater economic return, but also allows them to produce their music without the typical studio time restrictions and their related expenses.”
The well-deserved awards never stop for Quincy Jones. This week, he was announced as a recipient of the 2008 NEA Jazz Masters Award. The award is the nation’s highest honor in the jazz genre. More information, as well as the other recipients, is on the NEA site.
Quincy also has a new podcast series. Four episodes are online so far. The first two featured Quincy and Celine Dion recording for the We All Love Ennio Morricone tribute. The third and fourth focused on New Orleans, two years after Hurricane Katrina. You can subscribe at iTunes or view them at Q’s site (relaunching later this year).