Thursday, October 30, 2008

O'Jays train rolls into MoBay Jazz & Blue festival

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R&B group, O'Jays, originally from Canton, Ohio, who became one of "Philadelphia Soul" most popular groups, will roll the "Love Train" into Montego Bay as one of the headline acts of the upcoming Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival, formally Air Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival, at the Aquaduct, January 22 -24, 2009.
The group, in the forefront of 70s music, that, 2004, was inducted in the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, and the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in 2005, racked up a lengthy string of modern R&B classics, including Back Stabbers, Love Train, For the Love of Money, I Love Music and Use Ta Be My Girl, that helped put the “Philly Soul” sound on the map.
The O’Jays, consisting of Walter Williams, Eric Nolan Grant and Eddie Levert, were the backbone of Gamble and Huff’s Philadelphia International label, which released some of the greatest and most influential Seventies records.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Montego Bay's Jazz & Blues Festival renamed

The Montego Bay hosted Jazz & Blues Festival, held annual during the last week of January each year has has gotten a name. According to a Headline Entertainment release, the festival known worldwide as the Air Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival as now been fully adopted by the Jamaica Tourist Board and re-branded Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival.

The release states, "A strategic decision was taken to rename the festival to give the Jamaica Brand prime positioning. To facilitate this move the JTB agreed to add their official JAMAICA branding to the name and logo, thus rebranding the festival as The JAMAICA Jazz and Blues Festival with Air Jamaica as the presenting sponsor.

Air Jamaica, the release continues, Air Jamaica remains committed to the festival as presenting sponsor. Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival is scheduled for the Aqueduct venue on Montego Bay tourism corridor January 22-24.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Praise/sweetness of Jazz for Obama benefit concert

A concentration of jazz talent made an appeal for the democratic candidates with sobriety, humor and flair. Jazz for Obama, a benefit for the Obama/Biden campaign that featured more than enough of the genre's luminaries was the second installment of political fundraisers organized by pianist Aaron Goldberg, Jazz for America's Future.

Doug Wamble, the Memphis-bred guitarist and vocalist embodied concept well He and guitarist Charles Hunter tackled Sam Cooke's "A Change is Gonna Come" during the first set. Charlie Hunter's considered accompaniment perfectly complemented Wamble's shuddering vocal work. It was a great performance on a bill overrun with them.

Bilal and Robert Glasper opted for the pensive as well. Bilal, whose stylistically ambidextrous, launched into a smart ballad, "All Matter", restricting himself to his mid range in lieu of his mannered falsetto and baritone.

Dianne Reeves, whom emcee Kurt Elling introduced as "the Renee Fleming of Jazz," most invigorated the audience. The Denver native brought with her that August 25-28th zeal, closing up the first set with Cat Stevens' "Morning Has Broken". It was rousing enough to demand her inclusion on the Obama Inauguration Party bill, when, not if that day finally comes. Reeves know hows to build a sentiment and convey power without overwhelming.

With the exception of the strident, straight-ahead stylings of the first set's opener--the Roy Haynes Quintet with Roy Hargrove, Joe Lovano, Aaron Goldberg and Christian McBride--the mood was reflective. And reflecting back on these past eight years doesn't evoke the pleasantest of thoughts.

But, in closing, Dianne Reeves and Dee Dee Bridgewater's imaginings of a post November took shape via "Afro Blue." Bridgewater, late of Mali, set forth the percussive and Reeves picked it right up, with the women volleying rhythmic improvisations over pianist Edsel Gomez's Latin arrangement. Unpracticed, its was exemplar, and an apropos example that experience ain't everything.