Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Rossano Sportiello, Nicki Parrott

Sunday August 2

"If you bemoan the passing of exquisite sessions....artfully played swing....prepare yourself for a decidedly international take on that all too rare listening experience." - Elliot Simon / AllAboutJazz

Nicki Parrott
"Parrott is indeed the whole package." - AllAboutJazz

With expressive elegance, Nicki Parrott has charmed audiences worldwide with performances showcasing her dynamic voice and commanding musicianship.

Nicki’s releases "Fly Me To The Moon and "Moon River" were voted Swing Journal Magazine Critic’s Poll, “Best Jazz Vocal Albums.“  

Nicki performs regularly on Monday nights at the Iridium Jazz Club NYC as part of the legendary Les Paul Trio. Nicki was Les Paul’s bassist and vocalist for over 10 years. In addition to performing at most of the world’s top jazz festivals, Nicki has performed with jazz greats Randy Brecker, Clark Terry, Jose Feliciano, Rebecca Paris, Bucky Pizzarelli, John Pizzarelli, Dick Hyman, Patti Labelle & the New York Pops Orchestra, Harry Allen, Michel Legrand, Marlena Shaw, Mike Stern, David Krakauer, Ken Peplowski, Ann Hampton Callaway, Scott Hamilton, Larry Carlton and Victor Wooten. 

Rossano Sportiello 
"Sportiello reprises Basie's economical style while Parrott swings hard." - AllAboutJazz

Award-winning jazz pianist Rossano Sportiello was performing professionally at jazz venues in the Milan area, at age 16. In 1992, he joined one of Europe’s historic jazz bands, the “Milano Jazz Gang” touring with the group throughout Italy and West Europe. Rossano met legendary jazz pianist and educator, Barry Harris, who became a mentor and friend. Harris has touted Rossano as “the best stride piano player” he has ever heard and on several occasions has invited Rossano to perform during his own performances.

Stylistically, the influence of other great masters can be heard in his playing, such as Fats Waller, Teddy Wilson, Art Tatum, Count Basie, Earl Hines, Ellis Larkins and Bill Evans, to name a few.

Preview: Norwich Jazz Weekender

The Jazz Weekender brings two days of top quality jazz to the Fine City of Norwich, including sets from Claire Martin, Enrico Tomasso and Kit Downes' new project, The Enemy

Bruce Lindsay
The Jazz Weekender, organised by Simon Brown of Norwich Jazz Club, makes its second appearance this summer. The weekend in question, 29 and 30 August, will feature 14 shows, from big band swing to a Balkan-inspired piano trio, Cuban classics and songbook standards, a celebration of George Shearing and an innovative new band led by one of Norfolk's finest jazz exports. The Jazz Weekend will bring some fine music to this fine city.

Brown says "The term 'jazz' can mean different things to different people. I hope that from amongst the 14 shows we're staging at this year's event, music fans will find shows to enjoy that align with their sense of the genre - and maybe even discover something new." Twelve concerts will take place in the club room of OPEN, a city centre music venue. Two Sunday night shows, by vocalists Georgina Jackson and Gabrielle Ducomble (pictured right), will be hosted cabaret-style in the Redwell Bar of the Maddermarket Theatre, a five-minute walk from the main venue.

Local favourites DixieMix kick festivities off at midday on Saturday with their trademark mix of Dixieland and good humour. Bebop comes courtesy of the Damon Brown Quintet, with Leon Greening on piano and Matt Skelton on drums. Skelton also appears as part of the Dave Newton Trio with bassist Jeremy Brown, in the company of singer Claire Martin. Sarabanda, an Anglo Cuban sextet, close the Saturday programme with salsa and son. Partisans will bring their own brand of contemporary jazz with a rockier, experimental edge.

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Letter from Paula Atherton....

Hello Everybody!

I hope you are having a great summer!  We are going to be doing a CD release show Thursday, August 20th, at Carroll Place in NYC!  I know a lot of my dates have been out of town, so I hope you can attend.  Carroll Place is a great Italian restaurant, with a really nice music room.  Please come early for dinner and stay for the show!  I will have copies of my new CD, "Ear Candy" available to autograph, as well as copies of my previous three.

We will be playing selections from "Ear Candy," as well as favorites from previous releases. We will also be celebrating the release of the second single from "Ear Candy," called "Remember When" (featuring Nick Colionne on guitar).  This week was week #1 for the single, and it is doing great; #1 most added on Billboard, Most added list, most increased spins list, as well as chartbound on, debut at #33 on, and #2 most added on Groove Jazz Music chart!
Here is the info:
Thursday, August 20th, 8:30pm
Carroll Place, 157 Bleecker St, NYC
212 260 1700
Paula Atherton: sax/flute/vocal
Lou Gimenez: guitar
Jorgen Kjaer: keys/vocal
Ron "Rondew" Monroe: bass
Tony Lewis: drums
See you then!

Denny Zeitlin: "The Two Track Mind" by Grover Sales

Steven A. Cerra
I’m never certain as to why I get into a listening mode that focuses on the music of one musician, but I often do and lately the center of my undivided attention has been the music of pianist Denny Zeitlin.

 What I like best about Denny’s approach to Jazz is that I know he’s always going to give me an honest rendering; his compositions and improvisations are unmistakably his own. Cue Magazine [circa 1965] even went so far as to say that “Denny Zeitlin was the most inventive pianist in at least two decades.”

 Art Tatum, Fats Waller, Earl Fatha Hines, Teddy Wilson, Bud Powell, Nat King Cole, George Shearing Lennie Tristano, Oscar Peterson, as well as, Denny’s contemporaries including Bill Evans, McCoy Tyner, Herbie Hancock Keith Jarrett and Chick Corea, all have an instantly recognizable “voice” on an instrument that’s not known for its individuality of expression.

 And yet, it doesn’t take long before Denny’s unique style to manifest itself. He’s such an honest player who rarely falls back on licks and tricks and hardly ever repeats himself.
 I’ve been listening to Denny’s music for a long time, having first become familiar with his work through three recordings that he recorded for Columbia in the mid-1960s under John Hammond’s supervision: Cathexis, Carnival, and Zeitgeist. Another of my favorite recordings by Denny on Columbia from the same period is Shining Hour: Denny Zeitlin Live at The Trident [a Jazz club that was based in Sausalito, CA just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco]. It was recorded in performance at the club in 1965.

 Bassist Charlie Haden and drummer Jerry Granelli join Denny on most of these recordings with bassist Cecil McBee and drummer Freddie Waits accompanying him on Cathexis.

 While researching a lengthier profile on Denny that encompasses  his 50+ year career in the music, I came across the following piece by the eminent Jazz scholar and author Grover Sales which appeared in the May 1986 edition of Gene Lees Jazzletter.

 While I continue my research into the ever-evolving music of Denny Zeitlin so as to do it justice from a career perspective, I think you’ll be in good hands with Grover in the meantime.

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NYC’s 5 Best Jazz Clubs


Village Vanguard
7th Ave South and 11th St
New York, NY 10014

Still the most esteemed basement in all of jazz. Walk down the narrow stairs into a deceptively small room and image what being there was like when John Coltrane made his seminal 1961 recording Live at the Village Vanguard. The club is host to top-shelf straight ahead, swing based toonage while as of late, and the booking style has broadened, welcoming giants from every conceivable representation of improvised music. No food. Artists play Tues-Sun. Sets at 9 and 11 Mondays are reserved for the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. $30-40

Jazz Standard
116 East 27th St
New York, NY 10016
Great sound, tasty grub and a wildly eclectic line-up of artists make this “destination” venue a mainstay on anybody’s top jazz venue list. The room, which sounds full and warm from every angle books big name acts into the space for at most a three-night run. Many acts that enjoy regular gigs at the 55 Bar, Barbes, Smalls and other smaller clubs take a step up in audience size and play the Jazz Standard. Mondays are dedicated to the Mingus Big Band. Roughly $30

376 9th St
Brooklyn, NY 11215

What’s with all the Balkan brass bands, and how can they possibly rock so incredibly hard? Spend some time at Barbes, located in south Park Slope and find out why the Eastern European influence within the New York jazz orbit has been so massive. Not the least of this newish wave of honking polka punks are the mighty Slavic Soul Party who have played host to a jam-packed Tuesday night throw down. This sometimes really big band (the lineup fluctuates) mixes all your fave Romanian, Moldovan, Bulgarian and Romany sounds along with some tasty American roots stuff like second-line, gospel and jazz. Usually a $10 cover.

55 Bar
55 Christopher St
New York, NY 10014

A very welcome hipster hang. This tiny West Village club is a destination for guitarists from all over the globe who flock to hear frequent gigs from axe wizards like Mike Stern, Adam Rogers, Jim Campilongo and others. Outer orbit atmospherics can be heard here alongside swing and bop. Expect to enjoy the music with jazz students from the New School, Manhattan School and NYU who take the opportunity to check out their heroes in a cozy intimate environ. Sets are twice nightly, starting at 7:00 with a late set at 10:00. Usually $ 10-20.

183 West 10th St
New York, NY 10014

A now legendary basement New York City jazz club. Initially ran from 1994-2003, the room played host to greats like Joshua Redman, Brad Mehldau, Norah Jones, Kurt Rosenwinkel and Roy Hargrove The club reopened in 2004, and sports a spiffed up 48-seat room, a website that features streaming video of all performances and a rebuilt Steinway grand piano. Smalls — which books everything from traditional jazz to bands that explore the avant-garde — has always been an after-hours club, hosting well-attended jam sessions every night with jazzers playing a final chorus at 4 a.m. $20 Cover.

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Asbury Park Loves Jazz ....


With jazz lovers in mind, we're kicking off a new tradition at the shore, ASBURY PARK LOVES JAZZ WEEKEND , a three-day weekend of jazz scheduled for August 7th-9th, 2015 in historic Asbury Park. This weekend promises to bring back the glory days of a music scene that once featured the hippest jazz music played anywhere. Add to that a beach weekend on the Asbury Waterfront and you've got sizzle!
Asbury Park has a rich history of Jazz - drawing icons such as Duke Ellington who first visited in 1912 as a young teenager. Count Basie, a Red Bank native, who played Mrs. Jay's Beer Garden in the 1930's - long before it became the Stone Pony. Asbury Park's west side clubs on Springwood Avenue were home to one of the most vibrant jazz scenes between 1910-1970.
The roster of live entertainment for the Asbury Park LOVES Jazz Weekend is a great mix of today's top jazz musicians as well as artists creating the next generation of jazz history in venues on Main Street, downtown and the Boardwalk.
On Saturday Live music starting off with local favorites from Lakehouse Music Academy Kid's Jazz Band, moving into standard jazz with the Karen Schwartz Quartet. Next up is Island Motion calypso with Desi Norman and Boardwalk Jazz with PJ Rassmusen as well as Valerie Adams and the Dimensions Band. Music will fill the heart of downtown Asbury Park from our tent garden at Press Plaza and into art galleries and restaurants. Music in Pres Plaza is free and open to the public from 11am - 7pm.
Sunday is the Main Event at the Paramount Theater featuring a star-studded line up that will have you on the edge of your seat.
Of course, we scheduled the weekend so you can mix music with great beaches, over 50 restaurants featuring cuisine from around the world and a nightlife that extends beyond the jazz programming.
Stay tuned for updates including dining guides and lodging offers.
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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Young Women of Jazz

Musicians and mentors are creating a dynamic partnership at NJPAC's all-female jazz residency this summer. The weeklong residency, which is hosted by NJPAC’s Department of Arts Education on the Montclair State University campus, was held for a second year in July, solely for young women intent on honing their craft. The summer intensive attracted 13- to 25-year-olds from throughout the country and as close as Newark.

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