P>With this sampler, Maximum Jazz label brings to the public's attention works of young, new Canadian jazz artists. This compilation not only introduces the players, but reflects the tasty smorgasbord of jazz available on the label. Mike Allen's tenor rendering of "Love Walked In" from his album Change Is definitely achieves the purpose of encouraging listeners to purchase the album. He gets a full, strong sound from the horn when he plays the melody straight and as he improvises. This cut also highlights the contributions of Allen's two playing mates Darren Radtke on bass and Dave Robbins on drums. In contrast to the bop work by Allen comes keyboardist Chris Gestrin's exotic Peace Eleven from Times That Do Not Belong to Us. Recalling the Miles Davis work of the 1960's on Seven Steps to Heaven and Miles Smiles, Gestrin and his young cohorts create some truly unique aural treats. They create a musical hypnotic trance with repetitious percussive beats supporting an array of musical sounds from the keyboards, bells and other assorted instruments of an Eastern derviation. There's more contrast highlighting the catholicity of Maximum Jazz's stable of artists with a ruminative, introspective, haunting "Waiting for" April showing another side of Chris Gestrin as he sets aside the electronic whiz band keyboards for the piano. Swinging, jagged bop rhythms come into play with Brad Turner's trumpet leading the way on "Calling Miss Khadija". And so it goes with nine tracks of exciting music from players who clearly are taking advantage of the platform provided by the label to display their wares. More indies should take the same tack by issuing samplers offering a menu of what they have to offer in order to whet the appetites of potential purchasers. The label's Internet address is www.maximumjazz.com.
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith. We hung out at my Aunt Kate's Soul Food restaurant in Harlem after the matinees at the Apollo where I listened to their stories. I knew I wanted to be a jazz musician from then on. My mother wanted me to play piano, but my Aunt bought me a guitar. I've been playing ever since.
At my mother's early prompting, I first sang Blue Velvet at my Catholic elementary school...and all the nuns came running in and asked me to sing again, so I knew I must have sounded pretty good. I've been singing ever since.
I met Tony Bennett in Miami and he inspired me to return to New York. He was a great mentor.
The best show I ever attended is mpossible to say, I've seen so many great shows. From Tony Bennett to Pat Martino, Return to Forever to Weather Report...I've seen some great performances.
My advice to new listeners is don't let jazz intimidate you, the music has something for every listener and it is our American gift to the world.