Ramsey Lewis has pulled out his Fender Rhodes and enlisted his Electric Band for his 80th recording. Ramsey, Taking Another Look features Lewis’ favorite tunes including a new edit of the original “Sun Goddess” recording featuring Earth, Wind & Fire and a new rendition of the Stevie Wonder penned “Living for the City”. After headlining so many albums, it’s truly saying something when Lewis states that “this album is definitely among the top five.”
Ramsey, Taking Another Look will be released on the Hidden Beach label on September 20th.
Try It Out Tuesdays offers a free full MP3 of an artist. Today’s artist is Miles Stiebel. I don’t get a lot of jazz violin in my mailbox and it’s always good to hear something other than another guitar or saxophone recording. The cut is a cover of the Stevie Wonder classic from Stiebel’s just-released Excellent Distraction.
“Whenever we perform our version of Sir Duke,” it is very well received by our audience. It is a great feeling to see people move to our music and really groove when we play this tune. I feel that our dynamic arrangement is unique and that it gives the song a different life,” said Stiebel. Click the play button for “Sir Duke.” If you like what you hear, hit the Shopping Cart icon to buy it.
There’s only a handful of musicians that can be called “living legends.” Stevie Wonder is undeniably one of them. There no shortage of covers or tributes to this still vital musician. Here are a couple of jazzy tributes that have been released recently.
Vibraphonist Bill Ware, whose Groove Thing CD This Is No Time… is a favorite of mine, offers Wonder Full with his enhanced trio, Vibes. Half of the ten selections were recorded live, and the other half are from a studio date. This isn’t a Stevie Wonder greatest hits covers recording. Check out what Ware chose (Amazon, iTunes).
Guitarist Vernon Neilly has gathered some friends for A Tribute to Stevie Wonder. Among them: Greg Howe, U-Nam, and Michael Paulo (where have you been, Mr. Paulo?). It should be interesting. The product description indicates that this is a “multi-genre project that has progressive, jazz fusion, smooth jazz, heavy metal, and R&B singles on it.” Hear for yourself at Vernon’s site, his MySpace page, or at Amazon.
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.”