If you have an iPad, I recommend downloading the free Sting 25 app. Sting is celebrating 25 years as a solo artist. Among the cool things in the app are clips from his 60th birthday concert, from early October, in which he teamed with other artists. On “Consider Me Gone,” we’re treated to Sting with Branford Marsalis and Herbie Hancock. The man on the bass for that evening was another contemporary jazz legend, Christian McBride.
I’ve been researching contemporary jazz in the 80s and 90s and came across this great 1983 quote from Herbie Hancock:
I don’t mind being classified as a jazz artist, but I do mind being restricted to being a jazz artist. My foundation has been in jazz, though I didn’t really start out that way. I started in classical music, but my formative years were in jazz, and it makes a great foundation.
Kenny Garrett – Sketches of MD: Live At The Iridium. “I wanted to document the band I took on the road for Beyond the Wall while we were working with Pharoah and also write some new songs,” says Kenny of this new recording which features Pharoah Sanders. “The idea of doing the Miles-related songs just evolved.”
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Grammy winners usually see a bump in sales. So, what is the best-selling recording today on Amazon.com? It’s not Amy Winehouse and it’s not Kanye. Jazz rules the music sales charts today. Herbie Hancock’s River: The Joni Letters may double its sales in one day. It’s only sold about 53,000 copies since it’s release last autumn.
I know I’ve written a lot about this already but this is one of, if not the, biggest thing to happen in jazz in years. I’ve already posted about the immediate sales impact for River: The Joni Letters, Herbie Hancock’s winning recording for the Grammy Album of the Year. Now the sales for the week are in. Sales jumped an astronomical 967%. It vaulted from 159 to 5 on the Billboard Top Albums chart. A jazz album in the top five?! Has that happened in my lifetime? It sold 54,000 copies. I thought it had sold 53,000 total so far but Variety says the 54k number is just short of its cumulative sales. It’s awesome to see jazz in the mainstream press, as it’s increasingly rare unless it’s an obituary. Herbie will receive more mainstream exposure on Friday, February 22, when he’ll perform with singer Luciana Souza on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”