Wednesday, September 20, 2017


Live in Montreal captures the Japanese pianist and the Colombian harpist in an electrifying and emotional set from the 2017 Montreal International Jazz Festival

Two of the most electrifying and original voices in contemporary jazz come together on Live in Montreal, the thrilling new album from Hiromi and Edmar Castaneda. Captured live at the 2017 Montreal International Jazz Festival, the album features the Japanese pianist/composer and the Colombian harpist finding common ground on Canadian soil, joining forces for a duo set that’s alternately – and at times simultaneously – engaging, explosive, moving, intricate and infectious.

Set for release October 6, 2017 on Telarc, a division of Concord Music Group, Live in Montreal was recorded exactly one year from the day when Hiromi and Castaneda first met. It was at the 2016 edition of the Montreal International Jazz Festival that the harpist was scheduled to open for a performance of Hiromi’s Trio Project. Each caught the other’s set and instantly fell under one another’s spell, as so many audiences had done before.

“I didn't really know what to expect,” Hiromi remembers. “When I heard Edmar play I couldn't believe what I was witnessing. It was a jaw-dropping experience. I didn't realize the harp could create such rhythm and groove. I only knew about classical harp, so my image of the instrument was very different. His way of playing was pure energy, full of passion - I was just blown away.”

For his part, Castaneda was equally awed by Hiromi’s set that night. “Her trio was burning, really crazy. The energy that she produced was the same as I like to play. I realized that we share the same passion for our instruments.”

After the show that night the two broached the topic of a collaboration, but so often that kind of backstage talk gets forgotten the moment that each side moves on to the next town. Fortunately that didn’t happen this time around, and it was less than two weeks later that Castaneda’s phone rang with an invitation to join Hiromi for a weeklong engagement at New York’s Blue Note Jazz Club. The moment they began to meld their distinctive sounds, the chemistry they’d suspected was more than confirmed.

“We both clearly remember the first few minutes of playing together in soundcheck,” Hiromi says. “It was really magical and effortless. It felt like all the musical notes that we created were happy to be together. It was like dancing.”

From the blooming string swell that opens Castaneda’s “A Harp in New York,” the duo’s synchronicity is gorgeously apparent. As a duo, their shared intuitions lead them from moments of serene beauty into bursts of propulsive momentum, leaving the listener floating with the perfect balance of tranquility and drive. The opening tug-of-war on “For Jaco” elicits appreciative laughter from the Montreal audience, providing a glimpse of the sheer joy that the pair finds in playing together. The tune’s buoyant groove was created in tribute to the legendary bassist Jaco Pastorius, whose brilliant art and tragic life proved both inspiration and cautionary tale for Castaneda.

“I was so impressed - and I’m still impressed - by all the tones and options Jaco created on the four string bass,” Castaneda says. “He inspired me to keep doing what I do on the harp, to try to show a different face of the instrument to people. At the same time, he showed me what not to do, how to try to be a musician but not try to go on the bad path that he took. I learned a lot from him, both personal and technical.”

Hiromi’s stunningly lyrical “Moonlight Sunshine” was written in response to the devastating tsunami and earthquake suffered by her native Japan in 2011. Though she’s performed it in the past with bass giant Stanley Clarke, it’s a perfect fit for the soul-stirring virtuosity of both of these players. Their shared musical passions turn more fiery on the album’s closer, an entrancingly sultry take on Astor Piazzolla’s immortal “Libertango.”

John Williams’ familiar “Cantina Band” from Star Wars swings the mood in the other direction, its playful spirit rendered in an arrangement that evokes Django Reinhardt’s gypsy swing, Calypso rhythms, and saloon-style stride piano. Hiromi, a diehard Star Wars fan from childhood, had long been looking for an outlet to tackle the tune, while Castaneda, shockingly for anyone born in the late ‘70s, has still never seen the film.

The centerpiece of the set is Hiromi’s four-part suite “The Elements,” composed especially for this duo. “I couldn't find anything written for this particular instrument combination, and I also wanted to write something for the way we played,” Hiromi explains. “I was imagining Edmar’s sound and it reminded me a lot of sounds in nature.” Each piece imaginatively reflects its subject: the weightless of “air,” the gritty, deep-rooted groove of “earth,” the shimmering fluidity of “water,” the roiling simmer of “fire.”

Most importantly, the suite allows the duo to show off the limitless range of their approaches to their instruments, especially Castaneda’s relatively unfamiliar (in jazz settings) harp. “She really studied what I do and wrote for the way that I play,” Castaneda says. “I always try to be away from ‘harp,’ all these glissandos and soft sounds. It was really nice to have grooves and a different approach to harmony and the combination of the voices in this suite.”

The final element in the concert was provided by the famously appreciative Montreal audience. One of the most renowned jazz festivals in the world, the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, as it’s known north of the border, attracts true lovers of the music, who listen raptly and respond enthusiastically. It was as much for that reason as for the nostalgic thrill of returning to the same site where they’d met a year prior that the duo chose to record at the festival.

“I always love the audience in Montreal,” Hiromi says. “I always felt that they listen to the music with the same dynamics that we play it. They can be really loud and cheerful, but at the same time they can be really focused and quiet. That combination is very rare and amazing, and it puts me in the perfect mood to record.”

Not that either she or Castaneda need much encouragement beyond the spark they feel from each other’s inspiration. Live in Montreal captures all the exuberance and virtuosity that both bring to all of their music, with the added thrill of the new that comes with such an unusual pairing. “It takes courage to come hear a new combination of instruments,” Hiromi says – though she shrugs off the courage it takes to be part of creating such a new sound. “I can assure everyone that it will be a very exciting, brand new experience.”

Melissa Manchester: Through the Eyes of Love-The Complete Arista 7" Singles (2CD-Set)

“Please, don’t let this feeling end…” The sentiment of that famous lyric is one shared by listeners every time Melissa Manchester begins to sing. From her earliest pop hits through her recent triumphs on the jazz charts, Manchester’s voice has always resonated with warmth and power. In 1975, she was one of a handful of select talents chosen by Clive Davis to inaugurate his Arista Records label, and during her near-decade on the label, the fiercely independent artist established herself as both a singer and songwriter. 

Inspired by the trailblazing Laura Nyro, the onetime student of Paul Simon scored a crossover smash with the beautifully intimate “Midnight Blue,” established such songs as “Don’t Cry Out Loud” and the Oscar-nominated “Theme from Ice Castles (Through the Eyes of Love)” as standards, and reinvented herself as a contemporary dance diva with the Grammy-winning “You Should Hear How She Talks About You.” All of those songs and many more—including over fifteen chart hits—can be heard on Real Gone Music and Second Disc Records’ Through the Eyes of Love—The Complete Arista 7” Singles Collection. 

This landmark release brings together every one of Manchester’s Arista 45 RPM releases, all in their original single versions featuring 23 unique single mixes/edits, for a total of 43 tracks on two discs. These timeless recordings fusing pop, rock, soul, R&B, new wave, dance, jazz, and plenty of heart have been newly remastered from the original tapes by Mike Piacentini at Sony’s Battery Studios, and present Melissa’s hits on CD as they were first heard on the radio between 1975 and 1984. Through the Eyes of Love boasts several worldwide CD premieres such as the single version of “My Boyfriend’s Back” (heard as part of a medley in its album version), and as a special bonus, the extended 12-inch mix of “You Should Hear How She Talks About You;” Joe Marchese of The Second Disc provides new liner notes based on an exclusive interview with Melissa herself. Clocking in at 157 minutes, Through the Eyes of Love: The Complete Arista 7” Singles is the most comprehensive Melissa Manchester anthology ever, and reveals just why she became the cherished voice of a generation.

Disc : 1
1. Midnight Blue
2. I Got Eyes
3. Just Too Many People
4. This Lady's Not Home
5. Just You and I
6. My Sweet Thing
7. Better Days
8. Sing, Sing, Sing
9. Rescue Me
10. Happy Endings
11. Monkey See, Monkey Do
12. So's My Old Man
13. Be Somebody
14. Dirty Work
15. I Wanna Be Where You Are
16. No One's Ever Seen This Side of Me
17. Don't Cry Out Loud (Single Version)
18. We Had This Time
19. Theme from Ice Castles (Through the Eyes of Love)
20. Such a Morning
21. Pretty Girls
22. Fire in the Morning

Disc : 2
1. It's All in the Sky Above
2. Lights of Dawn
3. If This Is Love
4. Talk
5. Without You
6. Boys in the Backroom
7. Lovers After All
8. Happier Than I've Ever Been
9. Race to the End (Theme from "Chariots of Fire")
10. Long Goodbyes
11. You Should Hear How She Talks About You
12. Hey Ricky (You're a Low-Down Heel)
13. Come In from the Rain
14. Nice Girls
15. My Boyfriend's Back
16. Looking for the Perfect Aah
17. No One Can Love You More Than Me
18. White Rose
19. I Don't Care What the People Say
20. Emergency
21. You Should Hear How She Talks About You



The new album Observation Point by Costas Andreou has just been released. The new, fourth solo album by Costas Andreou, Observation Point, features ten instrumental music songs. The album was created by musician Costas Andreou with the sounds of fretless electric bass, processed in real time with custom electronics. The album Observation Point is a live sound recording, an atmospheric music adventure through multilevel organic sounds and sensitive melodies. Track list includes:  Observation Point; The Enduring Memory; Intercepted At Dawn ; Silver Coins For Silver Eyes; On The Coastline; Come And Go; Skyscape In Infrared; Under The Motion Sensors; Wishes Are Sails and Far In The Horizon.


The third release from this groundbreaking musical collective – and maybe their most compelling so far! As before, there's a fantastic melange taking place – elements of spiritual jazz, soulful funk, and lots more – but this time around, the sound is even more offbeat – darker in some corners, weirdly calming in others – very much experimenting for its own pleasure, but with results that are extremely pleasing – and hugely different than the kind of contemporary projects that filter down a world's worth of influences, but with an end result of nothing. Instead, VBF manage to sift things around in ways that are completely amazing, and spiritual too – but with a very unique approach. Maggie Nichols sings on two tracks, Ebony Rose on two more, and Nat Birchall plays some great tenor on a spiritual jazz take on "Amazing Grace" – alongside other titles that include "Get Up & Do It", "Got To Believe", "Love & Hate", and "Alive In The Five".  ~ Dusty Groove


The groove of Adam Rudolph just keeps getting deeper over the years – to a point where here, he almost sounds like he's somewhere between the scenes of 70s electric Miles Davis, and some of the later cross-cultural experiments of Bill Laswell! There's a great layering of electric and acoustic elements taking place here – a sound that almost seems to have no beginning or end at points – built up from lots of rootsy percussion from Rudolph, mixed with Fender Rhodes and hammond from Alexis Marcelo, cornet and flugelhorn from Graham Haynes, percussion from Hamid Drake, electric bass from Damon Banks, flutes and reeds from Ralph M Jones, and percussion, Rhodes, and electronics from James Hurt! The track length is nicely varied too – some long extrapolations, shorter bursts, and mid-level musical journeys – on tracks that include "Glare Of The Tiger", "Dialogics", "Ciresque", "Ecstaticized", "Wonderings", "Lehra", and "Rotations". (Limited to just 300 copies – includes download!)  ~ Dusty Groove

The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra Announces Kick-Off Events for Upcoming Fall Season

Season Begins with NPR's "Jazz Night in America" October 24th and The Orchestra's Showcase Concert October 26th at the New Orleans Jazz Market

The Grammy-Award Winning New Orleans Jazz Orchestra announces two events that will kick-off its official Fall Season starting with NPR's "Jazz Night in America" featuring Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah on October 24th and the Jazz Orchestra's Showcase Concert on October 26th.  Both performances are to be presented at the New Orleans Jazz Market (1436 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard, New Orleans, LA 70113) with doors opening at 6pm and performances at 7:30pm.  More events to be announced soon and tickets are available at 

The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra's showcase on October 26th represents the first performance since the organization filled its new leadership roles in 2017. Key leadership roles, as selected by the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra's Board of Directors, now consist of Artistic Director and Bandleader, Adonis Rose, and New Orleans Jazz Orchestra's President and CEO, Sarah Bell.

Additionally, famed Jazz pianist Ellis Marsalis and Arts Educator and Theater Executive Cassie Worley join longtime supporters Dee Dee Bridgewater and Mikki Shepard as the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra's Artistic Development Committee continues to take shape.

Rose, a New Orleans native, is a globally acclaimed, Grammy-Award Winning drummer who has performed with some of the world's most esteemed Jazz artists, from nine-time Grammy winning trumpeter Wynton Marsalis to three-time Grammy Winning vocalist Dianne Reeves to Jazz/Pop entertainer Harry Connick Jr. He is a graduate from the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. "We are excited to have the orchestra performing again at the Jazz Market and moving in a positive direction," says Artistic Director Adonis Rose. "Good things are to come!"

Sarah Bell, a 10-year Central City resident, has been a long-time champion of New Orleans culture through her work with local and national non-profits. Bell joined the organization in 2014 and was appointed by the Board as President and CEO in February 2017 to maintain and solidify community programming and shift the organization's focus to the future. "Our devoted Board of Directors, generous individual supporters, and dedicated corporate sponsors have given us the margin to continue focusing on what we do best, which is providing authentic and meaningful experiences through the lens of Jazz. Our community programming has continued to thrive and with the return of extraordinary music to the Market, we are eager to reveal the future of our organization," states Bell.

Daryl Byrd, President and CEO of Iberiabank and member of the NOJO Board's Executive Committee notes, "The Jazz Market has been a staple on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard since it opened in 2015 by consistently offering resources for children, musicians, and nonprofits. We're proud of Sarah's commitment to the community by already providing over 400 hours of community-based programming and support in 2017 and we are thrilled to have Adonis bring back the music."

The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to continue and strengthen the legacy of Jazz throughout local and global communities by providing access to unparalleled performances, creative gathering places, and authentic community engagement. We move forward in our mission with the Grammy Award-winning New Orleans Jazz Orchestra and the New Orleans Jazz Market; the only stand-alone facility built specifically for Jazz in New Orleans.  The NOJO prides itself in working with the community to offer services to local non-profits and musicians as well as educational opportunities for area youth.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Diana Krall Announces Third Leg Of Turn Up The Quiet North American Tour Dates

Multiple GRAMMY® Award-winning jazz pianist and world-renowned singer, Diana Krall will return to North America in January for the third US leg of her "Turn Up The Quiet World Tour."  The tour kicks off on January 30th in Clearwater, FL at the Ruth Eckerd Hall and will visit major venues and cities including the Walt Disney Theater in Orlando, FL, 2 nights at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville (where Diana and her band will be accompanied by the Nashville Symphony), as well as The Symphony Hall in Atlanta, GA before concluding at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY on February 24th.  For a complete list of dates and for local on-sale information, please visit

Krall recently wrapped the second leg of her North American tour with two incredible nights at The Hollywood Bowl in August, along with a stellar performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Click here to watch:

"Turn Up The Quiet World Tour" features material from Krall's stunning new album Turn Up The Quiet out now on Verve Records as well as a mix of some of Diana fans' favorites. Earning critical praise, MOJO Magazine called the new album "spectacular" and said Krall was "on top form."  People Magazine said, "Diana Krall's new music will have fans falling for her all over again." 

Diana Krall is the only jazz singer to have eight albums debut at the top of the Billboard Jazz Albums chart. To date, her albums have garnered five Grammy® Awards, eight Juno® Awards and have also earned nine gold, three platinum and seven multi-platinum albums. Krall's unique artistry transcends any single musical style and has made her one of the most recognizable artists of our time.

Diana Krall - World Tour 2017-2018  Dates

01/30/2018 / Clearwater, FL /Ruth Eckerd Hall
01/31/2018 / Fort Myers, FL / Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall
02/1/2018 / Fort Lauderdale, FL / Broward Center for the Performing Arts
02/3/2018 / Orlando, FL /  Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts
02/5/2018 / Melbourne, FL / King Center for the Performing Arts
02/6/2018 / Sarasota, FL / Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
02/7/2018 / Jacksonville, FL / The Florida Theatre
02/9/2018 / Atlanta, GA / Atlanta Symphony Hall
02/10/2018 / Charleston, SC / Charleston Gaillard Center
02/11/2018 / Asheville, NC / Thomas Wolfe Auditorium
02/13/2018 / Nashville, TN / Schermerhorn Symphony Center
02/14/2018 / Nashville, TN / Schermerhorn Symphony Center
02/16/2018 / Augusta, GA / Miller Theater
02/17/2018 / Durham, NC / Durham Performing Arts Center
02/18/2018 / Charlotte, NC / Belk Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center
02/20/2018 / Richmond, VA / Carpenter Theatre at Dominion Arts Center
02/21/2018 / Newport News, VA / Ferguson Center for the Arts
02/23/2018 / Brookville, NY / Tilles Center for the Performing Arts
02/24/2018 / Port Chester, NY / The Capitol Theatre



A new collection of deeply moving, melodic music from one of the world’s best selling jazz and world music guitarists, Canadian-born, Johannes Linstead. Inspired by the color of the tropics and exotic travels to warm climates, AZUL, is infused with glorious tropical vibes and spirited Caribbean rhythms. Recorded in his home away from home, the Dominican Republic, the album’s title (“blue” in English) comes from his musing about the sky’s reflection on the ocean. In addition to blending festive, high energy rock influences with Santana-esque graceful ballads, Linstead sets himself apart from other guitarist/composers with his artful, emotionally compelling interplay of electric and acoustic guitar melodies and harmonies on many of the songs. For the first time in his nearly 20 year recording career, he offers up vocals effortlessly in both Spanish and English. Slip away... into the Azul and find your home away from home. ~


Canadian composer, bassist and producer Brendan Rothwell cites Marcus Miller’s work on Miles Davis’ classic recording TUTU as the reason he chose his lead instrument. On his debut album TIME ON MY HANDS, he emphatically bucks the trend of the bass being in the background. Optimizing the tone, scale, feeling and musicality of the instrument, he showcases its ability to stir melodic excitement while creating deep, hypnotic rhythms. While his soulful, funky fluidity often brings to mind the coolness of the late Wayman Tisdale, there’s also an atmospheric, trippy and mystical exploratory vibe influenced by Miller’s slow simmering fusion style. Fans of Stanley Clarke and Brian Bromberg will be fully engaged as well. You’ll enjoy keeping time with Time On My Hands! ~


Veteran Brazilian born, New York based guitarist, composer and producer Sandro Albert teams up with his fellow countryman, renowned artist and master lyricist Manu Lafer to create Run N’ Fly – an outstanding, Steely Dan-esque musical collective featuring top New York session musicians and singers, as well as legendary Jazz/R&B drummer Omar Hakim. Combining Albert’s infectious, relentlessly grooving old school R&B/Funk and contemporary urban jazz vibes with Lafer’s fertile imagination and whimsical storytelling, Run N’ Fly creates a quirky yet powerful homage to some of our greatest and most beautiful female icons, and some obscure ones for good measure, starting with the irrepressible first single “Daughter of Cain,” inspired affectionately by Israeli actress Yuval Scharf. ~

Vocalist Hilary Gardner + Pianist Ehud Asherie Present The Late Set on Anzic Records

Acclaimed vocalist Hilary Gardner and pianist Ehud Asherie present The Late Set, due out October 27, 2017 on Anzic Records. On The Late Set we find Gardner's graceful vocals in harmonious and rhythmic accord with the lush urbanity of Asherie's pianism. The duo holds the listener in rapt attention with their elegant interpretations, illuminating the subtleties and beauty of songs both familiar and obscure by some of the Great American Songbook's finest composers.

The Late Set is a follow-up to Gardner's debut album, The Great City (also an Anzic Records release), which closes with Gardner and Asherie's playful, painterly piano/vocal rendition of Nellie McKay's "Manhattan Avenue," a 21st-century neo-standard. The Late Set picks up that musical thread and travels back in time, as long ago as 1918's "After You've Gone" (the most recent song on the album, "Make Someone Happy," was written in 1960). Most of the album is devoted to seldom-performed songs with important commonalities: evocative lyrics, rich harmonic possibilities, and that most abstract of qualities, a vibe. 

Gardner and Asherie first began making music together about ten years ago, when Gardner was finishing her classical voice degree at Brooklyn College. "A mutual friend knew I needed an accompanist for my upcoming senior recital and he introduced us. The first music Ehud and I ever played together was a recital of European art songs. From our first rehearsal, it became clear that Ehud and I shared a musical simpatico. We'd rehearse the classical songs, then just play standards together for hours." Gardner continues, "Ehud and I believe that standards are our modern-day art songs, written by some of America's greatest composers and lyricists."

Gardner and Asherie evoke a bygone era of music making with their repertoire choices as well as their approach to the recording process. On December 10, 2016, the duo was joined by Grammy-winning producer Eli Wolf (Norah Jones, Bill Charlap) at Systems Two Recording Studios in Brooklyn, where they recorded the album in one session. In the spirit of classic mid-century "after-hours" jazz recordings, The Late Set eschews intricate arrangements, odd meters, and modern re-harmonizations in favor of straightforward, affecting musicianship, rendered with care and joie de vivre.

"Ehud and I are friends and musicians who happen to love these songs and want to share them as they are," Gardner explains. "We're not trying to be hip or re-invent the songs on The Late Set. We want to simply present these songs earnestly and lovingly, staying faithful to the melody and lyrics, playing within-not around, or in spite of-the structure. No matter how many times we perform them, these songs continue to reveal themselves to us in new ways."

Asherie muses, "The intimacy and sparseness of the piano/vocal format gives us a lot of freedom. Each song is its own little universe, with endless interpretive possibilities."

The duo consider The Late Set to be both a culmination of the partnership they forged a decade ago as well as a new beginning: they're continually adding to their repertoire and look forward to exploring and celebrating the timeless music of the Great American Songbook together for years to come.
Hilary Gardner has been named an "an artist to watch" and a Rising Star Female Vocalist by DownBeat Magazine. In 2010 she was the live, onstage vocalist in Twyla Tharp's Broadway homage to Frank Sinatra, Come Fly Away. Hilary is a founding member of DUCHESS, a close-harmony vocal trio with two critically lauded albums to their credit. In addition to performing at festivals throughout the United States, Canada, and Israel, the trio has enjoyed sold-out performances at New York City's Jazz at Lincoln Center, Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, and the Rubin Museum. Hilary was Jeff Goldblum's special guest on the opening night of his run at the legendary Café Carlyle, prompting New York Magazine to call hers "a voice worth seeking out." She has also appeared on NPR as Michael Feinstein's guest on Song Travels with Michael Feinstein and Judy Carmichael's Jazz Inspired on SiriusXM. Her sophisticated, swinging brilliance is showcased on her critically acclaimed recording debut, The Great City, and now, The Late Set.

Ehud Asherie, "a master of swing and stride" (The New Yorker), is a jazz pianist who integrates the venerable New York piano tradition into his inventive style. Largely self-taught, or rather, "old-schooled," Asherie learned the ropes at Smalls, spending the wee small hours of his early teens becoming a fixture of the late-night jam sessions. From Smalls to the Rainbow Room, from Lincoln Center to The Village Vanguard, Ehud has since worked with a broad range of musicians including: Eric Alexander, Roy Ayers, Peter Bernstein, Jesse Davis, Bobby Durham, Vince Giordano, Wycliffe Gordon, Scott Hamilton, Catherine Russell, Ken Peplowski, and Clark Terry. Ehud's playing can be heard on countless recordings, including the 2010 Grammy Award-winning soundtrack of HBO's Boardwalk Empire. He recently released his twelfth album as a leader, entitled Shuffle Along (Blue Heron Records), a solo piano performance of Eubie Blake songs from the musical Shuffle Along.

Selina Albright’s successful “Conversations” makes Christmas Tour with Koz “Possible”

Multi-format radio play, favorable reviews and a busy concert calendar boost the R&B-jazz singer’s debut album.

It is mid-September yet R&B-jazz singer Selina Albright has already booked her holiday season travel plans thanks in part to a pair of buzzworthy singles at multiple radio formats along with enthusiastic reviews for her debut album, “Conversations,” which was issued on the Golden Rays Music label. Albright was invited to embark upon a 24-city U.S. concert tour as the featured vocalist on the Dave Koz 20th Anniversary Christmas Tour during which the smooth soul singer will share the spotlight with the charismatic saxophonist and his fellow contemporary jazz luminaries David Benoit, Rick Braun and Peter White. The tour kicks off November 24 in Atlanta and wraps December 23 in Cerritos, California.  

Even before “Conversations” dropped, Albright, who co-produced three songs and wrote the album’s candid and confessional lyrics that she describes as “like my own therapeutic diary,” captured attention and charted at smooth jazz outlets globally with the lead single, “Eat Something,” an empowering mid-tempo R&B ode to self-love that celebrates comfort and security in a romantic relationship by packing on a few pounds. The song, bolstered by slick guitar licks from Kay-Ta Matsuno, immediately connects with listeners – especially women – who called radio stations to request the cut that premiered nationally on SiriusXM Watercolors’ Dave Koz Lounge. “Eat Something” has now crossed over to urban adult contemporary (UAC) radio - including at SiriusXM’s UAC programming – and is gobbling up airplay. 

While the first single continues its chart ascent at UAC radio, smooth jazz programmers have embraced the follow-up, “Possible,” another affirmation of self-acceptance. Albright explains, “I wrote ‘Possible’ with hope of finding that one person who would make me feel loved and accepted just as I am. Now that I’m married to that person, I've found that it’s equally important - if not most important - to accept myself. That’s when the light bulb truly came on for me! My heart and mind opened to new possibilities, and I was able to experience the freedom and fearlessness I was put on this earth to achieve. I believe we all have to peel our own layers of doubt away and be true to ourselves in order to live our lives to the fullest. This is why the (accompanying) music is minimal for much of the song. I needed the focus to be on the message so that listeners could celebrate - not suppress - their zest for life.”

The daughter of multiple Grammy nominee and contemporary jazz sax titan Gerald Albright, Selina grew up in the company of her father’s colleagues, but has relied on the power and grace of her vocal gifts to pave her own way. For more than a decade, she has toured and recorded with a wide array of notables in jazz, R&B and EDM. In recent years, she’s been featured on Benoit’s A Charlie Brown Christmas Tour and is fond of touring during the holiday season.

"I really love touring during Christmas because I see nothing but smiles from the stage. It's as if barriers can finally come down for the season, and we can all relax and focus on what's important: friends, family, love and music!” said the radiant and shapely Albright, who continues her Conversations Tour until the Christmas tour commences. "Dave Koz, Peter White, Rick Braun and David Benoit have been part of my adoptive musical family for years. So for me, the Koz Christmas Tour will be a special reunion when we can celebrate each other's talents while on stage together. This is one tour that I know the people will feel the joy and love in the music! And, of course, music aside, the food enthusiast in me cannot wait to enjoy the local cuisine in each city we visit."

“Conversations” was produced by Chris “Big Dog” Davis, James “JRob” Roberson and Albright, and contains performances by Gerald Albright, White, Matsuno, Randy Ellis and David P. Stevens. Below are excerpts from a sampling of album reviews:    

“One of the brightest new stars in that crossover galaxy somewhere between contemporary jazz and R&B.” – Smooth Jazz Therapy

“Selina blossoms fully as a transcendently soulful, urban jazz/R&B singer-songwriter.” –

“Albright brings her brand of fiery, soul-reaching music right to where you live, keeping you riveted to her charm. This is her debut album, but those of us who’ve witnessed her live knew what to expect when she finally unleashed this beauty.” – The Smooth Jazz Ride

“Albright channels her R&B side that shares her heart on both sleeves. Backed by production from James Roberson and Chris ‘Big Dog’ Davis, Albright’s flexible pipes and songwriting unquestionably steals the spotlight.” – The Urban Music Scene

“Selina delivers her own therapeutic diary, in a soft soul and sultry jazz setting.”- Keys & Chords

“Selina pushes the envelope in R and B with a stylish nod to jazz with a really identifiable vocal sound.” – The Hollywood Times

For more information, including a complete concert itinerary, please visit

Monday, September 18, 2017

Columbia Records To Release Johnny Mathis Sings The Great New American Songbook

Columbia Records has announced legendary vocalist Johnny Mathis will release his new album, Johnny Mathis Sings The Great New American Songbook on September 29. The eagerly awaited album features 11 inspired Mathis interpretations of prevailing current songs that comprise the modern great American songbook, all imbued with the iconic vocalist's indelible touch. 

Produced by Grammy winning music greats Kenneth 'Babyface' Edmonds and Clive Davis, Johnny Mathis Sings The Great New American Songbook features a matchless array of modern day 'standards' christened by Mathis' intuitive delivery, (full track listing below). Among the songs included are "Hello," originally recorded by Adele, "Happy," originally recorded by Pharrell, the aforementioned "Hallelujah," originally recorded by Leonard Cohen, "You Raise Me Up," originally recorded by Josh Groban, "I Believe I Can Fly," originally recorded by R. Kelly, "Just The Way You Are," originally recorded by Bruno Mars, and "Run To You," (featuring Kenny G) originally recorded by Whitney Houston.

One of the seminal voices of popular music, Johnny Mathis has attained unparalleled achievement as a recording artist and live performer in an incredible career that has spanned more than six decades. Universally recognized for his inimitable artistry and signature renderings of the American song catalogue, his vast stylistic range has encompassed romantic interpretations of jazz and pop standards, music composed for stage and film, contemporary pop hits, and holiday music both sacred and secular, enduring as one of the most acclaimed traditional pop vocalists in music history.

Johnny Mathis Sings The Great New American Songbook Tracklisting:

Once Before I Go
Blue Ain't Your Color
You Raise Me Up
Say Something
Just The Way You Are
I Believe I Can Fly
Remember When
Run To You (feat. Kenny G)

Friday, September 15, 2017



Aretha Franklin With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra pairs classic vocals from some of the most iconic songs that the Queen of Soul recorded for Atlantic Records with new arrangements performed by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. A Brand New Me features Franklin’s instantly recognizable voice woven together with new orchestral arrangements. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra recorded the music at Abbey Road Studios in London, with brand new backing vocals led by Grammy®-winning singer Patti Austin. The result is another timeless record that retains the soul, groove, and gospel power of Franklin’s revered talent. Among the standout tracks are newly re-imagined versions of classics like the Billboard #1 R&B hits “Respect,” “Think,” “Don’t Play That Song (You Lied),” and “Angel.”


Growing up in Washington, D.C., Lattimore was raised on gospel music and such R&B/pop icons as Chaka Khan, Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway and Stevie Wonder. A true singer's singer whose impressive range is influenced by everything from jazz to funk to gospel to soul, Lattimore's classic crooning is never overwrought with excessive runs; but instead consistently delivers just the right dose of authentic emotion he has come to be known for after more than two decades of making hits like Grammy-nominated single, "For You." Lattimore's body of work include his first top 40 hit, "Never Too Busy," critically acclaimed sophomore album From the Soul of a Man and two top-10 charting duet albums with singer Chanté Moore: Things That Lovers Do and the gospel/R&B double-CD Uncovered/Covered followed by Lattimore's solo covers album, Timeless in 2008 and Anatomy of a Love Song in 2015. In 2016, Lattimore released "A Kenny Lattimore Christmas," an 11-song holiday project that garnered a #3 position on the Billboard Gospel Albums Chart. Lattimore is set to release his 9th studio album, Vulnerable, a carefully curated collection of 10 songs that embody Lattimore's unique ability to create music that is infinitely relatable and consistently captures what it means to be in love. The album's first single, PUSH delivers a retro-R&B sound and showcases an edgier side to the silky singer as his emotive delivery paints a picture of a man who realizes he has made a mistake by pushing away the love of his life; once again laying bare the inner workings of a man's mind and hearts of women for listeners. The R&B mainstay has a collection of Soul Train and Stellar Awards nominations as well as an NAACP Image Award for Best New Artist.


Musiq’s no nonsense conversational songwriting style and buttery vocals earned him a recording contract as he took on an illuminating, life-changing last name. Musiq Soulchild was born. Everything down to his meticulous throwback soul man image (his trademark apple jack cap and designer shades) screamed SUPERSTAR. Soon Musiq’s name was being mentioned alongside modern day R&B royalty like Erykah Badu, R. Kelly, Usher, D’Angelo, Maxwell, and Jill Scott. But he wanted more. “Truthfully, the success I had out the gate was different than how people now make it out to be,” Musiq recalls. “I didn’t have a chance to revel in that amazing moment of having my first two albums go platinum. I was dealing with political issues, writers, producers, and managers. The labels were trying to get me to be something that I didn’t want to be. I’m from the streets, so I wasn’t use to people telling me what to do [laughs]. It turned into, ‘Well, if you want this check you might want to compromise.’ But even with that negative experience, I got to do what I love, which is inspire people.” Musiq Soulchild’s Grammy nominated Life on Earth in 2016 represented an intriguing chapter in the striking career of an artist who continues to search for new muses; new sounds. With “Feel The Real” the future is now.



The title of saxophonist Jarez’s debut To The Top, proved prophetic a few years later when he became a Smooth Jazz chart sensation with his mix of sensuality and soulful funk-fire. The innovative artist, who cut his musical teeth for years recording, touring and handling business affairs for rap great Coolio, takes his super blend of urban jazz and hip-hop to the next level with Blow Your Mind. The mix of high-energy dance floor jams and late night romances (one featuring the lush vocals of Selina Albright) showcases his sonic mastery as he fuses contemporary jazz and adventurous electronica textures. The title Blow Your Mind tells you everything that’s gonna to happen when you hit play on his best album to date! ~


The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis and special guests take you through 100 hundred years of jazz piano on Handful of Keys. Star pianists Joey Alexander, Dick Hyman, Myra Melford, Helen Sung, Isaiah J. Thompson, and the JLCO's own Dan Nimmer grab hold of all 88 keys and reveal the full extent of the piano's evolution over the 20th century. Recorded on opening night of the 2016-17 Jazz at Lincoln Center season, Handful of Keys showcases a band in full stride, burning through electric arrangements of beloved compositions from James P. Johnson, Bill Evans, McCoy Tyner, and more. With guests ranging in age from 13-year-old prodigy Alexander (recently featured on '60 Minutes') to 89-year-old American treasure Hyman, Wynton Marsalis and the JLCO survey jazz piano's past and give the stage to several prodigies who are taking the instrument in bold new directions.


With an interesting blend of jazz, soul and pop, Tokyo-based singer/songwriter Emi Meyer has carved out a wide-ranging career in Japan with her songs featured in TV, movies and advertising, and her performances ranging from small jazz clubs to major stages throughout Asia. For her debut U. S. recording, Meyer combines music from a set recorded in Paris with Belgian pianist Eric Legnini's French quartet, and new originals recorded in Seattle and featuring guitarist Dan Balmer & pianist Dawn Clement. From her own compositions to classics like 'I'd Rather Go Blind' from Etta James' songbook, Michael Buble's 'Home,' or 'What A Wonderful World,' Emi's intimate readings project poignancy and grace, tying them all together in an engaging package.

John McLaughlin And The 4th Dimension: Live At Ronnie Scott's

Ronnie Scott's, mused the boundary-shattering guitarist John McLaughlin, '. where would I be without them?' The venerable London jazz club and its charismatic namesake gave so much to McLaughlin's career, the roots of which extend as far back as McLaughlin's stint as a member of the club's house band in the 1960s. Since then, his pioneering spirit, instrumental virtuosity, and improvisational fearlessness have taken him around the world, put him on stage alongside fellow giants such as Miles Davis and Tony Williams, and has given listeners a series of compelling, revolutionary recordings that have redefined improvised music for generations to come. 

On September 15, Abstract Logix issues Live @ Ronnie Scott's - a souvenir of a sold-out, two-night stand at the beloved venue by John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension, recorded in March of 2017. In the 4th Dimension - Ranjit Barot (drums, konokol), Gary Husband (keyboards, drums), and Etienne M'Bapp (bass) - McLaughlin has gathered a band with the technical dexterity and soulful musicality to do ample justice to his vast catalog. They can follow him anywhere, and together on Live @ Ronnie Scott's McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension explore everything from early Mahavishnu Orchestra classics to compositions from their most recent studio LP, Black Light. Most striking about Live @ Ronnie Scott's is the restraint and fluidity on display: 

So connected are the band's four members that the interplay approaches telepathic levels, making for powerfully evocative performances without any wasted gestures. Longtime fans will be thrilled to hear favorites like 'Vital Transformation' (from Mahavishnu's 1971 Inner Mounting Flame album) and 'Miles Beyond' (from 1973's Birds of Fire) reexamined through the lens of the 4th Dimension's unparalleled sensitivity and facility. Hearing such standards alongside recent compositions like 'El Hombre Que Sabia' and the moving 'Gaza City' serves to demonstrate the breadth and scope of McLaughlin's vision, honed over a career now spanning fifty years. 

The September release of Live @ Ronnie Scott's will be followed by the Meeting of the Spirits Tour - a series of November and December shows undertaken in collaboration with one of McLaughlin's favorite musicians, American guitarist Jimmy Herring. Separate sets by Jimmy Herring and the Invisible Whip and McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension will be followed by the two joining forces for an expansive closing jam based on classic Mahavishnu Orchestra material. These special concerts will also mark McLaughlin's final shows in America. As such, Live @ Ronnie Scott's offers a tantalizing preview of the Meeting of the Spirits Tour. 'The intimacy of Ronnie's brought out some startling playing,' wrote London Jazz News immediately following the shows. 'There was no mistaking McLaughlin's enthusiasm for revisiting these landmark compositions, reconfirming and even rediscovering their quality and longevity. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Adi Braun, one of Canada’s leading jazz vocalists set to release Moderne Frau

Adi Braun, one of Canada’s leading jazz vocalists, today announced that she will launch her recording, Moderne Frau, inspired by the music of 1920s Weimar, Berlin, on October 22, 2017 at 7:30 p.m., at Temerty Theatre, Royal Conservatory of Music, 273 Bloor Street West.

Moderne Frau presents 13 tracks, including three original songs composed by Braun and songs by leading German composers: Kurt Weill, Franz Grothe and Mischa Spoliansky. Musicians featured on the recording are: Tom King, piano; Pat Collins, bass; Daniel Barnes, drums/percussion; Tony Quarrington, guitar/banjo; Joseph Macerollo, accordion; Juan Gabriel Olivarez, clarinet; Brad Eaton, trumpet, Conrad Gluch, tenor saxophone, and Zack Smith, trombone.  

In her live performance, in support of Moderne Frau, Braun pays tribute to the women of Weimar Berlin, during the latter part of the interwar period between German’s defeat in World War I in 1918 and Hitler’s rise to power in 1933, when arts and sciences flourished in the Weimar Republic. It was fertile ground for intellectuals, artists, and innovators from many fields. The social environment was chaotic, politics were passionate, and the cabaret scene was decadent. Women had a strong presence in the cabaret scene, performing songs of protest, prostitution, and everyday life, in the clubs. Even the sensational American entertainer and activist Josephine Baker who devoted much of her life to fighting racism – to whom Braun pays tribute in her song Josephine – made frequent visits to perform at cabaret clubs in Berlin during this period.  

Adi Braun is an accomplished artist in cabaret, concert and theatre, performing in every major jazz and concert venue in Toronto and having toured Canada, the U.S. and Europe. Among her four recordings to date, she was short-listed for a 2004 Juno nomination for her recording Delishious and the song, Show Me Yours, from The Rules of the Game, was featured in an episode of the hit U.S. TV series The “L” Word. Born in Toronto, Adi grew up in Europe in a family of musicians. Her parents were opera singers and her brother, Russell, is a world-renowned baritone, with whom she has performed in operas and operettas. Braun studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music and the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music.
In the late 90s, Adi returned to the music she loves, which she calls “cabarazz,” that draws on aspects from both cabaret and jazz idioms. Regarded as one of Canada’s leading jazz vocalists, in 2007 she was nominated as Best Major Jazz Vocalist of the Year by the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs (MAC).

Her repertoire ranges from the Great American Songbook, to European cabaret, to contemporary songs by Canadian legends such as Shirley Eikhard and Gordon Lightfoot, as well as her own original compositions and arrangements.  She performs in English, German, French and Spanish. 

Moderne Frau will be available for sale at the CD launch, at Adi Braun’s live performances, and for digital download on iTunes.

Tickets for the CD Launch on October 22 at Temerty Theatre are $25 and can be purchased online at, in person at the Weston Family Box Office, 273 Bloor Street West, or by calling 416-408-0208.

For more information on Adi Braun and her upcoming performances, log on to

Jazz Luminary Dee Dee Bridgewater To Receive ASCAP Foundation Champion Award At 2017 ASCAP Foundation Honors In NYC

The ASCAP Foundation announces that Grammy- and Tony Award-winning jazz legend Dee Dee Bridgewater will be honored with The ASCAP Foundation Champion Award at The ASCAP Foundation Honors Celebration on Thursday, December 14.  The annual, invitation-only event takes place at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City. 

The ASCAP Foundation President Paul Williams said: "The ASCAP Foundation is honored to recognize Dee Dee Bridgewater not only for her immense talent and singular contribution to music, but for her work and commitment to building a food-secure world for current and future generations.  She is a shining example of how the creative community can step forward and use their talent and influence to improve the human condition. We are delighted to present Dee Dee Bridgewater with our ASCAP Foundation Champion Award."

The Champion Award was established by The ASCAP Foundation to celebrate ASCAP members whose contributions extend beyond music to significant charitable and humanitarian efforts. Previous members who have received the award include Arlo Guthrie, Tony Bennett, Judy Collins, John Mellencamp, Billy Joel, Richard Marx, Ne-Yo and Jason Mraz. As a Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Bridgewater is part of an appeal for international solidarity to finance global grassroots projects in the fight against world hunger.

Dee Dee Bridgewater is currently preparing for the release of her new album, Memphis: Yes, I'm Ready on September 15.  The eagerly-anticipated project has been in the works for several years as Bridgewater returned to her birth city to continue the musical exploration of her roots and influences, determined to recapture the same magic and history of the Blues, R&B and Soul classics that she takes on as repertoire and that were originally made in/associated with the city.  The album was recorded at Willie Mitchell's historic Royal Studios.

Known for her powerhouse vocals and masterful scat singing, Bridgewater has led a multifaceted career spanning four decades.  She earned her first professional experience as a member of the legendary Thad Jones/Mel Louis Big Band, and throughout the 70s performed with jazz notables Max Roach, Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon and Dizzy Gillespie.  After a foray into the pop world during the 1980s, she relocated to Paris and turned her attention back to jazz.  Bridgewater created her own label, DDB Records, and subsequently produced all her critically acclaimed CD projects — all but one have received Grammy nominations.  Her successful 1997 tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, Dear Ella, earned her two Grammys.

Over the course of her career, Bridgwater has ascended to the upper echelon of vocalists, putting her unique spin on standards and taking intrepid leaps of faith in re-envisioning jazz classics. The Tony and three-time Grammy winner most recently won the Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album for Elemora Fagan (1915-1958): To Billie With Love From Dee Dee.

Bridgewater's parallel career in musical theater won her a Tony Award for her role as "Glinda" in The Wiz in 1975. Her other theatrical credits include Sophisticated Ladies, Black Ballad, Carmen, Cabaret and the Off-Broadway and West End productions of Lady Day, for which Bridgewater received the British Laurence Olivier Nomination for Best Actress in a Musical.



Immerse yourself into the Smooth Jazz and World Music of acclaimed instrumentalist, Arturo Romay. On Heart To Heart, his first album since 2010, the multi-talented Venezuelan-born composer and guitarist, who has performed with Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, Marc Anthony and other Latin music greats, comes into full spectrum with his acoustic mastery and special blend of sensual jazz, infectious rhythms, and moving melodies. You’ll discover exquisite musicianship on this new set of contemporary songs… from intimate and romantic, to jazzy and atmospheric. Guitar great, Joe Walsh of The Eagles, penned a personal note to Arturo after sitting and listening to him play, “You are incredible, I wish you all the success you deserve.” Discover Arturo Romay and you too will connect Heart To Heart. ~


Mindblowing work from Navasha Daya – a singer you might know for her key role in the group Fertile Ground many years back – still one of the most important contemporary acts we've ever stocked at Dusty Groove! Here, Navasha returns as a tremendous soul star on her own – working on these incredible songs of righteous power – in a full concept album dedicated to black families and their quest for freedom in America! Some of the songs are quite topical, others are very universal – and the musical approach here is a mix of deep funk, contemporary soul, and even some surprising 60s and 70s elements – all composed and produced by Fanon Hill, who's Daya's key musical partner on the album. There's still all the jazziness and warmth that we love in the music of Fertile Ground, but the style is also nicely different – and the whole thing is a tremendous statement of power from this always-compelling singer. Titles include "I Am Because We Are", "Operation 666 Poverty", "I Too Dream Of Things Beautiful", "Better Than This", "It's Still About Freedom", "Baltimore Stand Strong", and "Whose Child".  ~ Dusty Groove


A fantastic young jazz singer, and one who really has her own style very firmly in place – one of those rare talents that comes along once in a blue moon, and makes us instantly sit up and go "wow", right after hearing just a few notes! Natasha Agrama is steeped in many of the best jazz traditions, but wraps them up all into a unique strand that instantly makes her music very special, and very personal – definitely jazz vocals at the core, but with lots of contemporary inflections and wonderful instrumentation – served up by a mix of classic and present talents who include Ronald Bruner on drums, Thundercat on bass, George Duke on Fender Rhodes, Stanley Clarke on bass, and Austin Peralta on piano and Rhodes. The set begins with a wonderful take on Joe Henderson's "Black Narcissus", then rolls into a great update of Mingus' "Goodbye Porkpie Hat", before taking on Bilal's "All Matter", and transforming older standards "Lover Man", "I Wonder What Became Of Me", and "In A Sentimental Mood".  ~ Dusty Groove


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