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We recently caught up with saxophonist, composer/arranger and educator/clinician, Ron Aprea and spoke with him about recent activities and his current recording project--his personal John Lennon/Beatles tribute. All About Jazz: The last half of 2013 and the time so far in 2014 have been quite positive for you. Let me ask you first about Remembering Blakey. It received excellent reviews and media attention. Ron Aprea: We got off to a great start with that project. The reviews were all good and it was also up for Grammy nominations in three categories--Best Jazz Album, Best ...read more
Avishai Cohen is a talented trumpeter, composer, band leader, co-leader and active sideman featured on over 50 records to date. Voted a Rising Star in the 2012 DownBeat Critics Poll, Cohen is also a musician with an individual sound, combining the best of traditional jazz with a modern compositional style. As a player, he demonstrates flexibility, soulfulness, sensitivity and extravaganza. Cohen has performed music since the age of 10, gaining experience with jazz, rock and pop groups while growing up in Tel Aviv. He later moved to the United States to attend the Berklee College of Music.read more
Rarely does the opportunity to interview a touring musician arrive with much advance notice. Schedules tend to be dictated by airline departure times, hotel check-out policies and sound checks. If I am lucky, I'll know of an upcoming show in town a few weeks in advance and can plan accordingly. If the artist has a few minutes to chat post-gig, I usually attempt to prep them with a few questions and follow up via phone later. Sometimes however, an opportunity literally sits down in the back seat of your car and starts a conversation. Like most generation x-ers, ...read more
Drummer Stanton Moore is one of the prodigal sons of jny: New Orleans. His fans know him well from projects like Galactic, Garage a Trois and Dragon Smoke, which prodigiously fuse rock, jazz and funk. Moore, whose musical career spans nearly 25 years, is also an educator and has released several instructional books and DVDs. However, he had never recorded a jazz-only album. Before taking that step, he immersed himself in the jazz world, and played with jazz veterans James Singleton and David Torkanowsky for a couple of years. When he felt ready to record the ...read more
Known primarily for his half-century long career as a studio musician, Bernard Pretty" Purdie is an icon in the recording industry. With a catalog of 3,000+ recordings including landmark albums such as Steely Dan's Aja Aretha Franklin's Young, Gifted and Black, BB King's Completely Well, and James Brown's It's a Man's Man's Man's World, Bernard Purdie is quite possibly the most influential studio drummer in history. Recently, Bernard paid a visit to jny: Chicago to perform with veteran guitarist George Freeman. We caught up with him to talk about his Chicago jazz connections as well as his new book, Let ...read more
Everybody sings the praises of Kendrick Scott. The New York Times quickly named him as one of Five Drummers Whose Time Is Now." On the drums, he transforms into a masterful and exquisite sonic architect whose work is filled with imaginative capacity. Yet Scott is what they call a triple threat--filling roles not only as a drummer, but also as a striking composer and band leader. His latest album Conviction by his band Oracle features work that is not only spiritually and consciously driven, but is also aesthetically audacious. The distinctive line-up features pianist Taylor Eigsti, John Ellis ...read more
Well, the Joint Base San Antonio Fort Sam Houston News Leader is probably not the best place to look for local jazz updates, even if the venue is on the base. Tickets for the next Friday Night Jazz concert at the Fort Sam Houston Theater are on sale. Featured artists include the Jeff Lorber Fusion with special guest saxophonist [sic] Jimmy Haslip of The Yellowjackets." Not a promising start, unless Jimmy has taken up a new axe and rejoined his old band. It takes about four tries and 30 minutes just to get on the base because I am not ...read more
New York City became the new jazz mecca during the 1920s, when many top jazz musicians from jny: Chicago and the rest of the U.S. migrated to the Big Apple. Jazz musicians from around the globe moved there every decade, knowing New York has some of the top jazz venues in the world, a dozen jazz festivals, and numerous jazz record labels. Competition is tremendous, but The City of Dreams" remains the best place for a jazz musician to gain exposure and build an international reputation. Renowned Mexican jazz singer and musician Magos Herrera, knows that all too ...read more
Say their names: Kate Bush, Lordes, Johanna Graham. There's a common thread between these women--a need for drama, designed lyrics and a refreshingly diminished thirst for quick-fix mass appeal, which makes them seem lacking in the lust-for-fame department. What do they have to prove to anyone? The lyrics they write and sing have lived-in depth, their tune arrangements are effortlessly catchy and they are artists whose musical voices are, and will probably remain, timeless; regardless the generation to which they feel they belong. Of course Kate Bush and Lordes aren't jazz singers, charting the rise to success of ...read more
Barb Jungr brings her infectious enthusiasm to even the most mundane of things. A stroll in the park is turned into a gleeful discovery as she finds a stand of daffodils; a walk home is turned into delight as Jungr snaps a picture of London by night from a bridge. She has that knack of spotting something you never realized was there and making you look at ordinary things differently. She plays with phrases and words--like 'polyglot,' or 'loop of life' and 'pants' (to mean something is rubbish, in this case the M6 motorway). Jungr loves words--she loves music, people, ...read more
Starting very young with his own trio--Stéphane Galland (Aka Moon, Joe Zawinul, Lobi) on drums and Jean-Louis Rassinfosse, bassist of the European Chet Baker's trio with Philip Catherine--Eric Legnini left jny: Brussels and has been living in jny: Paris since then, appearing first with drummer Aldo Romano, alto saxophonist Stefano Di Battista and trumpet player Flavio Boltro. His first three recordings in the European jazz sphere were Miss Soul (Label Bleu, 2005), Big Booggallo (Label Bleu, 2007) and Trippin (B.Flat, 2009). His latest projects are mainly afro beat oriented. All About Jazz: Could we summarize your musical career ...read more
Perico Sambeat is one of the most famous Spanish sax players around the world. Before he got special recognition in 2003 when he won the Bird award at the North Sea Jazz Festival, he had been working internationally for more than twenty years. This eclectic jazz musician has a rich discography both as a leader and as a sideman which includes different styles, from the straight ahead to Latin, hip hop or flamenco-jazz. This lively mind is always working in new personal projects. Last July he produced a tribute to Duke Ellington by directing more than one hundred ...read more
Success didn't knock on his door by random luck. Roberto Fonseca has worked hard to earn his reputation as one of the most renowned and skillful Cuban jazz pianists of his generation. The 38 year-old musician started playing drums when he was four years old and played at the International Jazz Festival of Havana when he was 15. Fonseca began his solo career when he was 24 and to date he has released seven studio albums and one live record. He has also played with some of the most illustrious Cuban musicians of all times. Fonseca ...read more
The year was 1963. The President of the United States was John F Kennedy. It was late Summer. I was riding back from the Jersey shore, returning from vacation. I was twelve years old. My Dad always had music on, always and everywhere, but especially, in the car, a two-tone 1955 Buick Special. I'm pretty sure the tuner had push buttons. I was, as usual, in the back seat. One reason the scene from fifty years ago returns so clearly is, of course, the music Dad had on fixed the scene in both my aural and ...read more
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