Friday, September 30, 2011

Gary Burton Quartet: New York, NY, September 21, 2011

Gary Burton Quartet
Blue Note
New York, NY
September, 21, 2011

Lionel Hampton carved out a place for the vibraphone in a swing setting, and Milt Jackson brought the instrument into bop, but Gary Burton remains the guru and guiding light in virtually every other aspect for vibraphonists and fans the world over. As a visionary educator, he helped to make Berklee the place to go for aspiring jazzers, and as a performer, he's redefined the very way the vibraphone is played. His four-mallet grip and stunning technique pointed the way to a more pianistic approach for vibraphonists everywhere, and his influence looms large over every aspiring vibes player who came into being in the past four or five decades. While countless other vibraphonists active today—from elder statesmen like Bobby Hutcherson, Teddy Charles and Mike Mainieri to younger trendsetters like Stefon Harris and Jason Adasiewicz—have left a lasting impact in different ways, Burton is in a class all his own.

During this visit to New York's Blue Note, where this quartet first came together nearly a year earlier, Burton brought forth a set of music that churned, swirled and glowed with clarity and energy. The first set on the opening night of a four-evening run featured nods to vibraphone forefathers, with a Cal Tjader-associated "Afro Blue" opening the set and Milt Jackson's signature "Bags' Groove" serving as the show-ending encore, but original works from the quartet's Common Ground (Mack Avenue, 2011) proved to be the main attraction. Bassist Scott Colley's "Never The Same Way" began with interlacing rhythms that seemed random at first, but quickly connected in logical fashion. Guitarist Julian Lage delivered nimble, single note lines as he moved all over the neck and, on this song and elsewhere throughout the set, he showed a strong kinship with drummer Antonio Sanchez. Sanchez continually supported him, while simultaneously egging him on with his polyrhythmic drumming spree.


Ornette Coleman: Free Jazz

Ornette Coleman
Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation by the Ornette Coleman Double Quartet

Alto saxophonist Ornette Coleman's masterpiece, Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation by the Ornette Coleman Double Quartet, is one of the hinges of jazz evolution. As a musical hinge, Free Jazz, heard from this side of its development, is a bit of an anticlimax compared with the two-label, five album prelude to this point: Something Else!!!! (Contemporary, 1958), Tomorrow is the Question! (Contemporary, 1959), The Shape of Jazz to Come (Atlantic, 1959), Change of the Century (Atlantic, 1959) and This is Our Music (Atlantic, 1959). Had Coleman done nothing else but release these first five recordings, his legacy as one of the pioneers of free jazz would still be assured. But on Free Jazz Coleman took that final step into the chaos of untethered group improvisation and in doing so took the "free" in free jazz as far as it would go. Tenor saxophonist John Coltrane, taking his own route, would do the same five years later with Ascension (Impulse!, 1966).

If following the cause-and-effect explanation for the development of free jazz, Coleman's music was an evolved response to the highly structured be bop of the late 1940s and early 1950s and swing-era big band jazz before that. Unlike Coltrane, free jazz's other high priest, Coleman did not have a slew of recordings before he began disassembling the genre. Coleman emerged anxious and impatient with the music when he started to record in 1958. Coleman's creative evolution in free jazz lasted a mere three years and was dense and rapid.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Download Two Free MP3s by Trumpeter Jon Crowley

At the Edge (5:36)
Jon Crowley
From: At The Edge
Lonely Crow Records

Icarus (4:39)
Jon Crowley
From: Connections
Self Published

Lots more free MP3s here.

All About Jazz Interruption in Service on September 28th

We apologize for the interruption in service for most of the day yesterday. If you had difficulty downloading our free MP3s, please try now. You can get caught up on news here. Thanks for you patience. Your friends at All About Jazz

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Francesco Turrisi: In Pursuit of Ecstasy

It has often been said that composer/harpsichordist/violinist Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) was the first jazz musician. His contrapuntal techniques and ideas on harmony, rhythm and form have influenced countless jazz musicians. Numerous are the jazz musicians who have also studied classical music, usually prior to shifting to jazz. Few, however, are those who have taken a Master's degree in jazz and then opted to study early music, a term that refers to European classical music dating roughly from the Medieval era, through the Renaissance and until the end of the Baroque period, marked by the death of Bach.

Italian pianist Francesco Turrisi is one such rare case. His impressive debut as leader, Si Dolce e il Tormento (Diatribe Recordings, 2009) intertwined the threads of jazz improvisation, Italian folk melodies and baroque roots to stunning effect, and garnered highly positive reviews in the press, with the Irish Times describing it as "exquisite." It may be the first jazz recording to feature the theorbo—a long-necked lute more typical of the late 16th and 17th centuries—alongside clarinet and a jazz rhythm section. Not many would have imagined such juxtaposition, but for Turrisi, part of the joy of music is searching for interesting sounds that complement each other. That recording announced the arrival of an individual voice on the jazz scene, something which they've known in Ireland since Turrisi made Dublin his home in 2006.

The pianist/accordionist/harpsichordist/percussionist is what you might call an all- rounder, playing in at least half a dozen different contexts where he is able to explore his passion for jazz, early music, and the music of Africa, Brazil, the Balkans, southern Italy and the greater Mediterranean area, and of course, his adopted Ireland. Turrisi's second CD as a leader, Fotografia (Diatribe Recordings, 2011) is another distillation of the pianist's southern Italian roots, baroque rhythms and a jazz trio aesthetic. Gone is the theorbo, and in are more jagged, brooding, improvised pieces, with lyrical folk numbers strewn throughout, like pools of calm amongst the turbulence.


Monday, September 26, 2011

John Scofield: Peaceful Pursuits and Incendiary Explorations

Sometimes a recording comes together easily, with a minimum of muss or fuss. Other times, life seems to conspire against it, but that doesn't necessarily mean it doesn't get done, or that it suffers as a result. Sometimes, in fact, it can make the end result even better. For John Scofield—one-third of a power trifecta of guitarists, also including Pat Metheny and Bill Frisell), who emerged in the mid-1970s to become some of their generation's most influential and highly regarded jazz artists—the road to his latest release, the aptly titled A Moment's Peace (EmArcy, 2011), was riddled with complications. But the end result is a set that stands out among the plethora of ballads albums flooding the market these days, with its unique combination of standards, less-traveled covers and Scofield originals delivered with more gentleness than is, perhaps, expected from a guitarist capable of searing paint off a wall.

Still, despite its largely relaxed nature and slower tempos, A Moment's Peace manages to come to a near boil at times—no surprise, given the powerful group that ultimately converged for a couple days in January, 2011, at Sear Sound in New York City: keyboardist Larry Goldings (making A Moment's Peace a recording reunion of sorts, having last worked on Trio Beyond's Saudades [ECM, 2006], in 2004); ubiquitous and ever-adaptable bassist Scott Colley; and Brian Blade, a drummer who, like Scofield, is perhaps better known for his unbridled power and sheer improvisational energy than the soft approach and subtle nuances he demonstrates here.


Download Two Free John Scofield MP3s

Simply Put

John Scofield
A Moment's Peace


John Scofield
New Morning: The Paris Concert

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Tierney Sutton Band: American Road

The Tierney Sutton Band
American Road
BFM Jazz

Solidly innovative and a forward-thinker in jazz vocals arena over the past 15 years, Tierney Sutton has constantly looked backwards while forging a future path that has influenced the likes of Laurie Antonioli and Gretchen Parlato, among many other noted contemporary jazz vocalists. A master of vocal pyrotechnics like Sarah Vaughan, Sutton sings on a high-wire, taking stylistic chances that, more often than not, pay off handsomely. Sutton and her band have been perfecting their unique updating of the great American songbook on such well-received recordings as Desire (Telarc, 2009), On The Other Side (Telarc, 2007) and I'm With The Band (Telarc, 2005). And she provides a tour-de-force in American Road.

An important part of the band's unique sound derives from divining the organic earthiness from the standards it selects to perform. Where Cassandra Wilson spent the better part of the 1990s stripping down standards and redressing them with more rustic instrumentation such as acoustic slide guitars, mandolins, violins and other artifacts of rural blues, effecting a more seminal, fecund sound, Sutton accomplishes the same with carefully conceived arrangements, created by the entire band as opposed to a single person. Additionally, she does this with her traditional jazz piano trio of 18 years. These arrangements are spare and wide open. Often jarring and dissonant, the clever settings reveal the pieces as dramatically different from traditional performances, revealing their anxious and unsettling elements.


Friday, September 23, 2011

Contributor News: Kickin' it Up a Notch!

We've had our mojo workin' since July as we continue to improve All About Jazz and roll out new features; we're also looking for two new editors to support our staff. Please read on for the latest...

1. Help Wanted: Take Five/iTunes Playlist Editor

Well... maybe some. We're looking for someone to spend an hour a week preparing Take Five articles and iTunes Playlist articles. If you have time, have some familiarity with simple HTML tagging, and have a basic understanding of AAJ house style, please contact me to discuss.

2. Help Wanted: CD Review Editor

We're looking for someone who can help John Kelman and Jeff Rzepiela edit CD reviews. Same deal as above (an understanding of AAJ's house style). When you spend your time editing is strictly up to you--we're simply looking for a minimum of two reviews a day. And if you read AAJ, you know we have some very fine writers whose reviews will only take 10-15 minutes to prepare.

3. Looking for CDs to Review?

We updated the AAJ Contributor Start Page with a "REQUEST CDS TO REVIEW" link. If you're looking for CDs to review, please peruse our active list.

4. Improvements: A Bunch

We are on a roll! Since our last contributor announcement, we relaunched, modified the login and private message section, improved the musician profile page, topped 11,000 Twitter followers, added Google +1 to our articles, increased the speed of our article pages by 60%, added related audio to our articles, upgraded the photo gallery, topped 7 million MP3 downloads, and now offer a wallpaper/skin advertising option.

Up next: On demand audio, a new jazz website, improving the sign up/sign in/sign out process, and a few more surprises.

James Nadal's Seafood Paella 5. James Nadal: Wears Another Hat

James Nadal, the chef at Restaurant El Yugo in San Sebastian, PR has long been associated with All About Jazz as a musician profile editor--claiming nearly 1,300 profiles to his name. He replied to our help wanted post back in June, graciously stepping up to assume the video of the day editor position. Thank you so much, James!

6. Your iTunes Playlists: Submit Your Own Today!

We'd like to regularly publish iTunes playlists as articles and we want to start by publishing favorite playlists by our contributor community. If you use iTunes and create playlists, please upload one of your faves here. It only takes a minute and we'd greatly appreciate your help.

7. What Jazz Musicians Expect from Music Journalists

Journalist Willard Jenkins recently polled a group of prominent jazz artists. His question: when you read music journalism/criticism what qualities are you looking for in the writer and the writing? Read bassist Ben Allison and pianist Bill Anschell's answers here.

Thank you for your continued support and creativity,

Michael Ricci

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Take Five With Jake Hertzog

Meet Jake Hertzog:
Jake Hertzog's accomplishments as a jazz musician mesh with his love for the rock idiom, creating almost an entirely new musical language. His new album, Evolution, co- produced by the great jazz bassist Harvie S, the original compositions (except for Jake's version of Bruce Springsteen's "Streets of Philadelphia") have been mastered to perfection--and is a recording destined to become a classic.

Past achievements include winning the Grand Prize in 2006 for the Montreux Jazz Guitar Competition in Switzerland. Jake holds title at 20 years old as the youngest ever prize winner in the competition's history. He was invited back in 2007 to showcase his original music at the Festival. Jake is an alum of the prestigious Berklee College of Music and recipient of several performance scholarships.

Under the alias Hey Jazz Guy, Jake is a monthly contributor to Guitar Player Magazine's "Lessons" section. He has been coined as the Jazz Ambassador to the non- jazz world. Guitar Player calls him ..."the blazing wunderkind"; The Boston Phoenix has declared him ..."the WOW! factor."

Award-winning jazz guitarist and composer, Jake's second studio album, Patterns, was chosen by Guitar Player Magazine as an Editor's Pick and quickly gained international regard.

Electric Guitar.

Teachers and/or influences?
Mick Goodrick, Pat Metheny, Mike Stern, Ben Monder.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Florencia Ruiz: Luz De La Noche (2011)

Florencia Ruiz: Luz De La Noche Since her debut in 2000, Argentina-based guitarist/vocalist Florencia Ruiz has merited high acclaim in South America, Europe, and Japan as an artist of vision and panache. With a renascent spirit, she embraces a wide range of stimuli—folk, pop, jazz, classical, electronica, and visual arts in works with large and large ensembles. Her U.S. debut of Luz De La Noche (Light of the Night) continues her diverse ideas and introduces her to a wider audience.

Ruiz's aura is at the center of a project which benefits from the superb arrangements of producer Carlos Villivicencio and guests that include Brazilian cellist Jaques Morelenbaum (Ryuchi Sachamoto) and pianist Hugo Fattoruso (Milton Nascimento, Ron Carter).

"Alumbremos (We'll Enlighten)" is an apropos introduction. Dramatic and glamorous, it's colored with opulent strings, dashing flutes, flugelhorn calls, and Ruiz's innocent yet sultry voice. From the dreamlike "Por ahi (Maybe)," with its guitar and keyboard ostinato, and lovely yet dissonant piano solo in "Todo Dolor (All Pain)," to the alternative rock of "Hacia El Final (Towards The End)," the intricate dance between lyrics and music is creatively balanced.


Chick Corea / Eddie Gomez / Paul Motian: Further Explorations

Chick Corea / Eddie Gomez / Paul Motian
Further Explorations
Universal Classics and Jazz Japan

Three still-living jazz icons team up on Further Explorations, an album inspired by another legend whose influence remains unequivocal, 30 years after passing away, age 51, in 1980. Gaining initial exposure as a member of Bill Evans' first trio on New Jazz Conceptions (Riverside, 1956), drummer Paul Motian left the group nearly four years before bassist Eddie Gomez would commence an eleven-year run with the pianist on At the Montreux Jazz Festival (Verve, 1968).Though the connection is less direct, Evans was an early influence on perennial student Chick Corea, in particular on early recordings like the younger pianist's now-classic Now He Sings, Now He Sobs (Solid State, 1968); the two also sharing a common interest in classical music and bosses—trumpeter Miles Davis and saxophonist Stan Getz—albeit years apart.

With Corea, Gomez and Motian far too advanced as distinctive voices and personal stylists to do anything quite so overt as a tribute record, Further Explorations is better-described as a tabula rasa, built on a repertoire largely associated with Evans, along with a few well-chosen originals. That he actually presented the lead sheet for his gently balladic "Bill Evans" to Evans, at the Top of the Gate in the 1970s, only speaks to Corea's endless appreciation of a pianist who was, in fact, gracious enough to let him sit in with his trio around that time.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tim Collins: Mixing It Up

Tim Collins likes to mix it up. It starts at home; the vibraphonist is married to a successful concert violinist and is intimately connected to the world of classical music. Recording with pianist Matthias Bublath, Collins has also worked with guitarist Charlie Hunter, who produced his second album, mixing rock, jazz, and string quartets. He seeks melodies and inspiration without regard to genre, covering songs by artists a disparate as Tom Petty and Björk on Castles and Hilltops (Nineteen-Eight Records, 2011), his most recent recording.

In the two short years since he's resettled in Munich from New York, after a short stay in Salzburg, Collins has learned German, landed teaching jobs at the Bavarian International School and the New Jazz School of Munich, released Castles and Hilltops, and taken his place alongside Matthias Bublath, Martin Scales, Ulrich Wangenheim, Tom Reinbrecht, and Christoph Holzhauser as a driving force on the Munich jazz scene.

As seems to be the case with many vibraphonists, he started out on drums and piano before taking up marimba and vibes. Thanks in part to the physicality of the instrument, he's a dazzling soloist on stage with a fiery impassioned energy and a soulful inclination that would also work well in rock, soul, blues, and jam settings. At the same time, his considerable musical training and ample skills, in classical music and jazz, give him the ability to handle the intricacy and harmonics of very demanding music. This openness and solid musical foundation are also evident in his engaging compositions.

Living & Working in Europe

All About Jazz: When people you meet in Europe hear you are from New York, they probably envision NYC. But in reality, you grew up near Lake Champlain on the border to Vermont, and relatively close to Montreal. Aside from language differences and cruising along the Autobahn at 110 mph, how would you characterize the adjustment of living in Bavaria or Salzburg?

Tim Collins: Hmmm, well let me say that moving to Salzburg was definitely an adjustment, but then moving to Munich afterwards seemed like an adjustment back in the direction of what I was used to. Once you get past the language difference, to me Munich actually feels a lot like the U.S. Nowadays, it's easy to call overseas with Skype and stuff, and it's not too hard for me to bring my American habits with me—like watching Yankees games for example—the only problem is that they are on at 1:00am, German time. Ugh.


Miles Davis Quintet: Live In Europe 1967 - The Bootleg Series Vol. 1

The Miles Davis Quintet
Live In Europe 1967: The Bootleg Series Vol. 1
Legacy Recordings

With the compact disc in its waning stages of dominance as a medium for music, The Miles Davis Quintet: Live In Europe 1967—The Bootleg Series Vol. 1 restates the case for the archiving as a means of historical as well as collecting purposes. The rare sources of these recordings, most from radio and television broadcasts, don't preclude bootlegging, but the collection in a single source speaks with an academic clarity the music deserves.

In the deluxe package (there is also a single disc of highlights available), there are seven complete concerts on CD and DVD by trumpeter Davis' second great quintet, featuring pianist Herbie Hancock, bassist Ron Carter, saxophonist/composer Wayne Shorter and drummer Tony Williams. Recorded on a package tour promoted by George Wein as "The Newport Jazz Festival in Europe," most of this content has been available over the years, but the Denmark show is one significant exception, as are two prominent set features of the Paris show (Shorter's "Footprints" and Davis' "Agitation"). The only existing video record of this group appears on the enclosed DVD, which was previously available only on The Complete Miles Davis Collection released by Legacy in 2009.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Chris Combs: Jacob Fred's Tulsa Tale

On a Memorial Day in 1921 Tulsa, Oklahoma, an encounter between a young black shoe shiner named Dick Rowland and a white elevator operator named Sarah Page—an incident that was reported with hazy details and shocking incompleteness—started one of the most brutal and tragic race riots in American history. Even more tragic, however, was how little the event was discussed by national or even Oklahoman sources. It was an event that Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey's Chris Combs, like many proud Oklahomans, felt needed to be told.

"It was something that people didn't like talking about. They still don't like talking about it," said the lap steel guitarist. "The race riot was ignored for so long that has become one of the strangest and darkest parts of our city's history."

Combs's vision of describing this work in great and impassioned musical detail has already come to fruition. On May 20th 2011, JFJO premiered the Race Riot Suite to a live audience at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center. The suite, which will be released on the band's Kinnara Records on August 30, 2011, seeks to bring the events into literal and impressionistic light in the best way the quartet can. The suite's conception was borne out of the guitarist's inquisition into Tulsa's past.

"At the time I was just reading a lot about the Tulsa race riot," says Combs. Some great books have been published about the riot and you can learn so much if you dig a little. Initially I had a group of small musical ideas that were inspired by different historic pieces of the race riot. Separately, JFJO had been planning on doing a larger ensemble album. Gradually the two ideas converged and I began demoing all of the material late at night in our rehearsal space, playing all the parts by recording and overdubbing."

Before the inception of Race Riot, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey was embarking on a very different kind of big project: Ludwig, the band's re-imagining of Beethoven's third and sixth symphonies. The creation, described by pianist Brian Haas as "The Far East Suite meets the Flaming Lips," was typical of JFJO; the melding of many different styles is something the band excels in. However, the scope of the work and getting inside Beethoven's head was a watershed experience.


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Chet Baker: She Was Too Good To Me

Chet Baker
She Was Too Good To Me
CTI Records

The modern image of trumpeter/vocalist Chet Baker is a hopelessly fractious one. Baker is, at once, a brilliant musical autodidact with a superb ear while, at the same time, a musician with a nonexistent grounding in musical theory. Like cornetist Bix Beiderbecke before him, Baker taught himself, thereby forging a personal sound identifiable across the space-time continuum. He left a 40-year aural testament, recorded during the most revolutionary period in jazz, that revealed a remarkable focus unshaken by those changes.

Baker's peccadilloes were also larger than life. Like Beiderbecke, Baker was hopelessly chemically-dependent, a life-long heroin addict whose addiction greatly contributed to his death as Beiderbecke's alcoholism did to his. Unlike Beiderbecke, Baker recorded copiously, particularity after his "comeback" in 1974, and then primarily to fund his addiction, so copiously that at least some of his recordings had to be good, if not exceptional, conforming to the adage that, "monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type the complete works of William Shakespeare."

Perhaps this sells Baker short; perhaps not. In the end, criticism of Baker's work must be cast in a post-modern isolation from the man himself and his story; but even that is not fair. Baker did not produce the music he did because of the confluence of his chaotic life, he did so in spite of it. There were glimmers of unimpaired sunshine in his discography and one of these occurred at the beginning of his "comeback" 1974, when he recorded She Was Too Good To Me for Creed Taylor's CTI Records.


Gerry Mulligan / J.J. Johnson / Sarah Vaughan / Misha Mengelberg & Piet Noordijk: Live At Concertgebouw

The Concertgebouw in Amsterdam was a stop for quite a few notable jazz musicians during the 1950s and '60s, and for the past few years the Dutch Jazz Archive has released a concert from their archive at the rate of one per year. Judging by what has been released, it seems that many of these musicians did their best work here. Many of them were at the peak of their careers, and European audiences were always eager and enthusiastic for American jazz. The Concertgebouw releases are a significant series of live recordings due to the quality of the musicianship and the excellent sound.

Gerry Mulligan
Western Reunion
2008 (1956)

Gerry Mulligan was one of the leaders of the 1950s' West Coast scene as both a player and arranger. Both are on display in this Concertgebouw outing from the fifties; the baritone saxophonist brought an all-star line-up from the States to show off the kind of coolly swinging jazz that only an eager bunch of Californians could offer. In 1956, when the concert was held, Mulligan and his colleagues were turning in terrific recording after terrific recording for the Contemporary and Pacific labels and thus were caught in their prime here.

Mulligan tended to favor either smaller quartets or big bands, so these sextet recordings are a fortunate discovery. The front line represents a scaled down version of a big band, in which each member represents an entire section: Zoot Sims on tenor sax, Jon Eardley on trumpet, Bob Brookmeyer on trombone and Mulligan on baritone saxophone. Bill Crow on bass and Dave Bailey on drums round out the rhythm section; in typical Mulligan fashion, there is no piano to anchor the front line (except on the rare occasions when he tickles the ivories himself.) This gives the arrangements a lot of breathing room and the tightly interwoven front line on "Mud Bug" and "Demanton" provide such depth and richness that the keys aren't missed.

The music is loose, playful and energetic—between numbers the band engages in some light banter. A couple of numbers make the evening (and the recording) even more special—a quartet reading of "Line For Lyons" with Eardley taking the place of Chet Baker, who played trumpet on the most famous version of the song, and "My Funny Valentine," which begins with just Mulligan and Brookmeyer before the other two horns join in.

The audience was enthusiastic throughout and deservedly so—this was an excellent show. The sound quality is pristine, the players are in top form and the end result is one of the best examples of live West Coast jazz available, proving that the warm climate of the Pacific wasn't an essential ingredient to what these fellows were cooking.


Friday, September 16, 2011

All About Jazz Launches Wallpaper/Skin Advertising Option

All About Jazz now offers a wallpaper/skin ad that appears exclusively on the home page for a full week. This new option is big, bold and the entire background is clickable while reaching approximately 150,000 readers a week. Think of it as a magazine cover ad.

Click here to view actual size

View live example here

To read more about this new opportunity, click here.

More Free Musical Discoveries

Free downloads to end the week...

Featured: 2011-09-15
Dirigibles (06:47)
Josh Nelson
From: Discoveries
Steel Bird Music

Featured: 2011-09-13
Carbulator (3:58)
Mojo Mancini
From: Mojo Mancini
Self Produced

Featured: 2011-09-12
Thesis (04:08)
Matthew Shipp
From: Duos With Mat Maneri & Joe Morris

Featured: 2011-09-10
Roots (06:25)
Indigo Jam Unit
From: Roots
Basis Records

Featured: 2011-09-01
Sail Away (05:46)
Roseanna Vitro
From: Roseanna Vitro and The Music of Randy Newman
Motema Music

More free MP3 Downloads

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Steven Bernstein's Millennial Territory Orchestra: MTO Plays Sly

Steven Bernstein's Millennial Territory Orchestra
MTO Plays Sly
The Royal Potato Family

The Sly Stone songbook is a solid gold thing, and it is strange that it is so rarely revisited. Then again, repertory tributes are generally paid to artists who have passed. Stone is still with us, although, it sometimes seems, only just: over the last few decades, he has been ravaged by "personal problems" which would likely have finished off any mere mortal. The man who promised the late 1960s/early 1970s counterculture that he wanted to take it higher, and whose pre-Family Stone band was simply called The Stoners, has himself gotten higher than most—and the subsequent crash and burns have not been pretty.

Step forward downtown NYC trumpeter Steven Bernstein and his little big band, the Millennial Territory Orchestra. As a pre-teen growing up in Berkeley, California at the time of Stone's post-Woodstock ascent, Bernstein was aware of the Family Stone, but too young to be a card-carrying fan. He plugged in later. When, in 2009, he was asked to come up with a strand for NYC's River To River Festival, which was that year celebrating Woodstock's 40th anniversary, he suggested a Sly & The Family Stone tribute.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

New CD Box Sets at


The Complete Modern Jazz Quartet Atlantic Studio Recordings 1956-64

(7 CDs)—$119.00

The Complete Jimmie Lunceford Decca Sessions

(7 CDs)—$119.00

The Complete Ahmad Jamal Trio Argo Sessions 1956-1962

(9 CDs)—$149.00

The Complete Arista Recordings of Anthony Braxton

(8 CDs)—$136.00

Complete Novus & Columbia Recordings of Henry Threadgill & Air

(8 CDs)—$136.00

The Complete Clef/Mercury Rec. Of Oscar Peterson Trio

(7 CDs)—$119.00


Miles Davis: Live In Europe 1967—The Bootleg Series Vol. 1
(3 CDs & 1 DVD)—$49.98

In 1967, the Miles Davis Quintet with Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and Tony Williams was at the peak of iys powers, reinventing itself and scaling new heights night after night. This box set features three concerts from October-November 1967 in excellent sound and complete form plus a DVD of the band at a German and a Swedish concert. 44 years later, jazz doesn't get any better or deeper than this.


John Coltrane
Complete Prestige Recordings

(16 CDs)—$179.98

Miles Davis
Chronicles: Complete Prestige Recordings

(8 CDs)—$89.98

Thelonious Monk
Complete Riverside Recordings

15 CDs—$169.98

Art Tatum
Complete Pablo Group Masterpieces

(6 CDs)—$79.98

Art Tatum
Complete Pablo Solo Masterpieces

(7 CDs)—$79.98

Various Artists: Jazz At The Hollywood Bowl

(2 CDs)—$35.98

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Yusef Lateef: Eastern Sounds Turns 50

Think back fifty years to the days portrayed on the TV series Mad Men. In 1961, John Kennedy and Billboard's Easy Listening Chart were inaugurated, a freedom riders bus was fire-bombed in Alabama, Rock Hudson was on the big screen, and Doris Day was selling albums.

As teenagers and their swinging parents were twisting their brains out to Chubby Checker or the "authentic music by the King Curtis Combo," East German communists began construction of the Berlin Wall, the Beach Boys formed in California, and The Beatles performed, for the first time, at the Cavern Club in Liverpool.

At this time, saxophonists Yusef Lateef and John Coltrane were pioneering an approach to music that transcended convention, cultures, borders and labels; concomitantly, Robert E. Brown, a young professor of ethnomusicology at Wesleyan University, coined the term "world music."

September 5, 2011 marked the 50th anniversary of Lateef's groundbreaking album Eastern Sounds (Moodsville, 1961), engineered and mastered by the legendary Rudy Van Gelder. Although this column will generally be a conversation about the blues, it seems fitting to launch it by commemorating this classic album, arguably one of the first commercially viable examples of world music.

Seen in its historical context it was an extraordinary achievement. When this album was released, Lateef was in a supporting role in Cannonball Adderley's group. He had been given a chance to record a session under his own name on the Moodsville label, and obviously the label expected something that could be played at a party hosted by Don Draper. For his part, Lateef had been immersing himself in the music of many cultures, and was eager to explore these influences on an album, something not even John Coltrane had done at this point.


All About Jazz Tops 7 Million MP3 Downloads

All About Jazz recently topped 7,000,000 free MP3 downloads.

Since its inception in 2005, the All About Jazz Download Center has averaged over one million MP3 downloads annually through its MP3 Download of the Day program. The service is free to musicians and readers and it continues to be one of the most active sections at AAJ over the last six years.

"Download of the Day was popular from the outset, but it has really come into its own more recently thanks to the efforts of Dave Sumner, AAJ's new Download of the Day editor. Dave has done a fantastic job with musician outreach and spreading the word about this terrific opportunity for musicians and record labels. He has also more tightly integrated the download of the day schedule with AAJ editorial," says Michael Ricci, All About Jazz's founder and publisher.

Adds Sumner, "focusing my attention on jazz in the present tense has been one of the most rewarding music decisions I've ever made. I'm thrilled at the opportunity, through the Download of the Day, to help spotlight some of the great jazz being recorded today. It's an exciting time to be a jazz fan and I hope to give AAJ readers further evidence of it one day at a time."

Download a dozen of our recently featured MP3s!

Publisher's Picks

Avishai Cohen
Seven Seas

Chris Dingman
Clear the Rain

Michael Simon
New York Encounter

Jacob Karlzon 3
The Big Picture

Bill Frisell

Travis Sullivan
Jamia's Dance

Editor's Picks

Kekko Fornarelli
Room of Mirrors

Will Collier Septet
Those Who Wait

Rafal Sarnecki

Bram Weijters
What Did I Say?

Paul Lieberman
Azul No Verde E Amarelo

Chris Schlarb
White Dove in the Psychic Temple

Some of our featured artists and bands

AAJ has offered a free daily download since November 2005 from artists spanning all genres of jazz including Bill Frisell, Gary Burton, Brian Blade, Matthew Shipp, Jon Hassell, Kenny Garrett, Dave Holland, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Aaron Parks, Terence Blanchard, Craig Taborn, Mike Moreno, Cuong Vu, SF Jazz Collective, Ted Nash, Mingus Big Band, Exploding Star Orchestra, David Weiss, Bob Mintzer, Microscopic Septet, Roseanna Vitro, Ben Allison, Greg Tardy, Ingrid Jensen, John McNeil, Wycliffe Gordon, Mario Pavone, Scott Kinsey, Matt Jorgensen, Charlie Hunter, Erik Friedlander, Maria Schneider, Rez Abbasi, Matthew Shipp, Avishai Cohen, Paul Bollenback, Wayne Horvitz, Joel Harrison, John Ellis, Christian McBride, George Colligan, Club d'Elf, Jeremy Pelt, Vic Juris, Hiromi, Jonathan Kreisberg, Eddie Gomez, Monty Alexander, Either/Orchestra, Moutin Reunion Quartet, Tommy Smith, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, Alan Pasqua, Jenny Scheinman, Roberto Magris, Ken Vandermark, Dave Stryker, Bill Carrothers, Chris Dingman, Bob Brookmeyer, Marc Copland, Mark Egan, Charles Gayle, Donald Harrison, Phil Woods, Joe Locke, Scott Amendola, Claudio Roditi, Eddie Daniels, Steve Coleman and many more.

Download a Free MP3!

Readers can download MP3s from nearly 80 download pages, from a musician's profile page (example), from an event page, article page, news page or by searching for top downloads.

If you're a musician, this is one of the most effective ways to spread the word about your music and drive traffic to a retail page. Submit a track for consideration today.

Place AAJ's Download of the Day Widget on your website or blog.