2009 Contemporary Jazz Preview

One constant in the contemporary jazz world is the planning and reliable execution of Heads Up recordings. I just got the list for 2009 and it’s another winner for contemporary jazz fans. I’ll elaborate more in later posts but here’s what’s on the schedule:

January
Incognito – More Tales Remixed – remixes of songs from the latest Incognito release;
Ladysmith Black Mambazo – Live;
Walter Beasley – Free Your Mind

February
Joe Zawinul – 75 – two-disc live set;
Pieces of a Dream – Soul Intent;
Mike Stern – New Morning The Paris Concert;
The Bad Plus Joined by Wendy Lewis – For All I Care

March
Marion Meadows – TBD;
Chuck Loeb – Between 2 Worlds;
Yellowjackets – New Morning The Paris Concert

April
Candy Dulfer; Hiroshima

May
Spyro Gyra; Zap Mama; Stanley Clarke/Hiromi/Lenny White

June
Alexander Zonjic, Andy Narell

August
Najee; Mike Stern; Joe Zawinul DVD

September
Take 6 – a new holiday recording

Review: Candy Dulfer – Candy Store

If you’re looking for a contemporary jazz recording that’s not quite a formulaic smooth jazz release and covers a number of styles, your search is over. Candy Dulfer’s latest, Candy Store, is an audio testament to the freedom she felt making it. “I was free from any recording contract,” Candy reports, “so there was no pressure at all in terms of style or time. Hence the two years working on it and the total mish mash of styles.”

Candy delivers the strong funk she does so well on the opening track “Candy” then slips into a comfortable groove on the memorable, mid-tempo composition “L.A. Citylights.” It’s right back to the dance floor with the one-two punch of the jamming “Music=Love” and the spicy “La Cabana.” After a breather with the chill-down track “11:58,” it’s funk time again. Candy pulls up the mic to sing her original song “Summertime,” a true tribute to the season. The title of the next track says it all: “Soulsax,” though I have to add that it’s got a really good groove. “Smokin’ Gun” has an obvious reggae influence. ” “If I Ruled the World” sounds like something from the soundtrack of the last hip film you saw. All of the music on Candy Store are new compositions. “For me, it was important that I’d do only originals and that they had to show different aspects of my life, since I’m the kind of person that likes all kinds of different things at the same time,” says Candy.”

Candy Store is a good recording, full of flavor, from the first track to the last. It’s definitely deserving of more exposure. Check out Candy’s thoughts on each track at her fresh and informative site.

Candy’s playing has my respect. Here’s a video of the Marcus Miller Band playing “Rehab” at the 2007 North Sea Jazz Festival. It’s a smokin’ performance and features solos by Roy Hargrove, Gregoire Maret, Patches Stewart, and Candy Dulfer. Candy’s solo is in the pocket. The fun she’s obviously having here, in addition to the sound she can put in that alto, makes me wish I could catch her live.

Buy the CD from Amazon.com!

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