Saturday, January 31, 2015

CD REVIEW: Diana Krall - Wallflower

Wallflower is a new studio recording of songs garnered from the five-time Grammy Award-winning jazz pianist/singer Diana Krall's formative years. It mostly takes familiar pop ballads from the '60s through to the present day, often shifting them further down a gear, and colours them in with lush orchestral arrangements. For anyone who appreciated the beautifully limpid, slo-mo interpretation of I've Got You Under My Skin from Diana Krall's superb live album A Night in Paris, it will strike a pleasing chord.

Once over the disappointing absence of Krall's improvisatory jazz piano scintillation of, say, I Love Being Here With You (2002) or cheeky, exuberant vocals heard in Love Me Like a Man (2004), the tightly-produced detail of these new recordings is enjoyable, if somewhat safe. Indeed, the commercial accessibility of the twelve radio-edit-sized songs is sure to find great appeal among smooth jazz and soft rock/pop audiences – especially as it includes vocal duets with both Michael Bublé and Bryan Adams – and no doubt it will engender a measure of 'selling out' criticism, too. But Krall's closely miked, softly husky delivery can still work its magic. 

The singer feels a special affinity with each of the numbers, some of which have been covered numerous times before, whilst others are less obvious gems. The Eagles' lonesome Desperado is presented as sparse piano/vocal with the soft ebb and flow of deep strings – pleasing enough, though seeming to lack the passion of Don Henley's original vocal (or even Karen Carpenter's heart-tugging interpretation). The less-revisited early '70s chart hit of Gilbert O'Sullivan, Alone Again (Naturally), is interesting – Krall sharing its resigned yet heartfelt vocals with Michael Bublé – though the inherent pop feel is difficult to understand as 'jazz' (if, indeed, this is intended as a jazz album – perhaps not). Leon Russell's Superstar is more convincing, David Foster's sumptuous orchestration throughout matching Krall's restrained vocals whilst providing an impressively brooding undercurrent suggestive of blockbuster movie closing titles.

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Friday, January 30, 2015

Paulette McWilliams Signs Global Distribution Deal with Sugo Music Group

In a significant development, the renowned jazz singer Paulette McWilliams has signed a global distribution deal with Sugo Music Group. The move will help the jazz artist/singer reach out to a larger listening audience throughout the world with one of the most respected music distributors in the industry today.

Anyone with a pulse has heard the voice of Paulette McWilliams. For over 40 years, she has mesmerized listeners with her deep sultry velvety tones and a wide vocal range. The jazz icon’s voice has lent persona to many songs which have included hits like Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough”, Aretha Franklin’s No.1 hit “Jump To It,” Billy Idol’s No. 1 hit “Mony Mony,” Luther Vandross’s “Stop To Love” and “Wait For Love”. Paulette McWilliams’ road to fame has involved working with many other acclaimed musicians such as Marvin Gaye, Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Lopez, Lauryn Hill, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Quincy Jones, Bette Midler, David Bowie, Patty LaBelle, and many others. Still, at the age of 65, Paulette continues to awe listeners with her signature sound: rich tones, timbre, versatility, charisma and broad vocal range. This new distribution deal with Sugo Music Group will further strengthen the resolve of the artist as she continues to stir the hearts of millions for years to come.

Sugo Music Group was founded in 1983 by artists, musicians and a savvy business entertainment team. Over the past 3 decades, they’ve distributed, sold and manufactured every type of music media (digital, CDs, cassette & vinyl) and delivered music products through every imaginable channel: internet, mobile, satellite, cable, music stores, gift shops, big box retailers, licensees, music supervisors and wholesalers. Based out of San Francisco, Sugo Music Group provides a wide array of professional music services to musicians and record labels around the world including digital downloads, international radio airplay, music publishing, performance rights organizations, content identification, film & TV licensing, in-store music services & broadcasters, video distribution & monetization, and more.

For more information, please contact:
Keath Hartley, Director of Partner Relations
Sugo Music Group

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Videos: Bud Powell in Europe

Reprinted from

Yesterday it poured in New York with a whipping wind, turning the city into the inside of a car wash. As always, I spent the day indoors writing (except for my daily pre-dawn swim). For some reason the weather made me want to listen to The Complete Bud Powell on Verve.
No other jazz pianist had a greater influence on other pianists in the late 1940s and 1950s than Powell. While Art Tatum left a deep impression on Charlie Parker and other high-velocity reed and trumpet players, Powell's attack and keyboard elegance can be heard in virtually every pianist on the East and West coasts up until Bill Evans, who also had some Bud in his hands. Excluding Thelonious Monk, of course.
After listening to Powell on Verve, I turned to YouTube and found these three gems:
Dig Bud Powell and singer Trudy Peters on I Cover the Waterfront in 1960. Love the juxtaposition between Peters' glassy eyes and Powell's mouthing of notes. But who was Trudy Peters and where is she now?...
Here's Powell in France in July 1960 with Charles Mingus, Eric Dolphy (as), Ted Curson (tp), Booker Ervin (ts) and Danny Richmond (d). Dig Powell's monster, flawless solo, rendering the horns redundant...
And here's Bud Powell in Copenhagen in 1962...
Used with permission by Marc Myers

At Ronnie Scott's ....

Well what a start we've had to 2015 down here, packed houses every night and show-stopping performances from Booker T, Harold Mabern, Larry Goldings, Carleen Anderson and too many others... now we look forward to 3 nights of soulful performances from Memphis's best kept secret Charlie Wood & Band feat. Guy Barker (MBE!) on 8th Feb, a double bill of Amina Figarova & Isfar Sarabski as part of the Buta Festival of Azerbaijani Arts on 9th Feb and a triple bill (!) of the finest exponents of the British Scene Peter Edwards Trio, Henry Spencer's Juncture and WorldService Project on 10th Feb. 

Most main attractions are filling up a way in advance at the moment but don’t forget you can always come to our Late Late Shows Monday-Saturday or Ronnie's Bar (upstairs) with different live events every night. As for the big hitters, Ronnie Scott's Members have snapped up most of the tickets for Dr. John & The NiteTrippers, Al Jarreau & Friends, and Chaka Khan - you might get one of the last few if you’re quick.

Concert Window is a live music network ....

Concert Window is a live music network that enables musicians to broadcast live to fans around the world. Home to Grammy winners, major label artists, and everyone in between, Concert Window is a new revenue source for musicians and offers "the most original content on the Internet." (Rebecca Loebe)

Live music is a huge business; in 2014 it brought in a staggering $27 billion. It’s the only part of the music industry that’s enjoyed consistent growth in recent times. But it’s also the only sector that hasn’t made the transition online. Concert Window is changing that, allowing musicians to play concerts anywhere – from a club to an airport baggage claim area to a bedroom – and be paid for it without all the rigors involved in touring. Artists only need a laptop to broadcast the show and are paid the next day.

“Over time,” explains Concert Window co-founder Dan Gurney, “we believe that musicians will make ten times as much on Concert Window as they do at a physical venue.”

Last year the company paid out $400,000 to artists, with gross revenues increasing sevenfold in the last 14 months, building the community through word-of-mouth rather than advertising. The process removes so many of the uncertainties that constantly plague musicians. There’s no need to book shows months in advance, no endless hours of travel and set up. And it allows them to connect with fans who can’t see a show because of distance or disability. People can watch from anywhere in the world.

“We’re making live music more efficient and profitable,” says Gurney. “Musicians can play whatever and whenever they’d like on Concert Window. We have licenses with ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC. After the show the artist receives a recording of the event for non-commercial use. They can also choose their favorite song from the broadcast and the site will create a highlight video.”

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Bill Evans Trio

Reprinted from

Two months after appearing on Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz radio show in November 1978, Bill Evans hit the road. Right after the new year, the pianist was in Iowa with his trio—bassist Marc Johnson and drummer Joe La Barbera—at the Maintenance Shop in Ames. During their run, the trio was taped for Public Television. You can purchase the results on DVD—The Bill Evans Trio, Live in Iowa—at the Fresh Sound site here. [Photo above of Bill Evans by David Redfern]
To my ears, the performance ranks among this trio's finest, with Evans operating more penitently and warmly on the keyboard than usual during this period, despite his carping about the monitor speakers and the piano. Here's Bill Evans Trio, Live in Iowa...
Used with permission by Marc Myers Calendar

01/30 Fri Stephen Fuller Trio at Hibiscus Restaurant 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm Style: Mixed, Cover: None, Featuring Tomoko Ohno on piano, Kevin McCarthy on bass. BYOB and reservations suggested.  Learn more  Hear samples , (862/973) 

01/31 Sat Greg Murphy at Lorenzo's 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm Style: Mixed, Cover: $10 or less,  Learn more  ,  Hear samples , (Other ) 

01/31 Sat Holli Ross Trio at Grasso's 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm Style: Vocal, Cover: None, Holli will be performing a wide selection from the Great American Songbook to Brazilian classics accompanied by Noriko Ueda & Ayako Shirasaki at this charming Italian bistro in Cold Spring Harbor, NY. For reservations: 631-367-6060 Learn more  , (Other ) 

01/31 Sat John Simon at Candlelight Lounge 3:30 pm to 7:30 pm Style: Contemporary/Post Bop, Cover: over $10, We have a free buffet and a $10.00 minimum Learn more  , (609/ ) 

01/31 Sat Lauren Hooker & Friends at Watchung Arts Center 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm Style: Vocal, Cover: over $10, Ms. Hooker will sing selections from her newly released CD, “All For You – My Heart and Soul”, and play piano and Native American flute. She will be joined by Dave Rimelis, violin and guitar; Mike Richmond,bass; Jonathan Luks, tap and percussion; and special guest Marty Eigen on woodwind Learn more  , (908/ ) 

02/01 Sun Peggy King & The All-Star Jazz Trio at Sellersville Theater 1894 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm Style:Swing/Big Band, Cover: None, Legendary songstress Peggy King is one of the last few certifiable stars from the Golden Age of stage, television and films still performing today! Her credits include “The Bad And The Beautiful,” “Zero Hour” and “Abbott And Costello Meet The Mummy."  Learn more  , (215/ ) 

02/01 Sun Somerset Jazz Consortium Sunday Jazz Jam Session at Maggie Murrays Pub 119 NWashington Av Dunellen NJ 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm Style: Straight-ahead, Cover: $10 or less, Paid by tips, suggested voluntary donation $3. Join Jim Jasion and the house band for some straight-ahead Bebop, Hard Bop, Bossa, Latin, Swing, Trad Jazz and Manouche (gypsy) Jazz. We play a wide variety of repertoire so join us to listen or sharpen your skills and find out more about the music. Learn more  , (732/848) 

02/01 Sun The Tony DeSare Trio at Rutherfurd Hall 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm Style: Mixed, Cover: Tickets Available, Pianist Tony DeSare performs with infectious joy, wry playfulness, & robust musicality. His takes on classic standards & sophisticated original compositions have earned him a reputation as one of the country’s hottest young singer/pianists. Romantic, swinging & sensual, dubbed as a Sinatra, Connick Jr, & Buble. Tony will be accompanied by a great rhythm section. $27.50 Advance - $32.50 Door Learn more  ,  Hear samples , (908/ ) 

02/02 Mon Jim Jasion and His Jazz Squad at Starbucks 693 Edgar Rd E Rtes 1& 9 N Linden, NJ 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm Style: Straight-ahead, Cover: $10 or less, Jim Jasion pno/voc, Daijiro Okada gtr, Dave Dilzell ten sax/clar, Ron Scott trpt/flglhrn, Aaron Moment bass, Ben Rose drums - Playing Straight-Ahead, Mainstream, Bebop, Hard Bop, Bossa, Latin, Great American Songbook, Trad. and a little Fusion. All played in a pleasing manner. Learn more  , (732/848) 

02/02 Mon Swingadelic at Swing 46 8:30 pm to 1:00 am Style: Swing/Big Band, Cover: None,  Learn more  Hear samples , (Unknown) 

02/03 Tue Bob Smith Organ Trio at Amici Milano 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm Style: Straight-ahead, Cover: None, A tribute to the late Herman Laesker, photojournalist extraordinaire and jazz enthusiast. Bob Smith Organ Trio with Bob Smith on guitar/vocals, Tommy Pass on Hammond Organ, and Len Pucciatti on drums. Half price drinks and bar specials for the ladies. Musicians welcome! No cover Learn more  , (609/ )