Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ernest Ranglin: Jamaica's best jazz guitarist

Jamaica's master guitarist Ernest Ranglin, has been involved in the development of all the styles of popular music in Jamaica, and is the country's best jazz guitarist. He played on many classic Jamaican recordings and performed with such artists as Jimmy Cliff, Monty Alexander, the Skatalites and the legendary Eric Deans Orchestra, a premier Jamaican Big band during the country's dance band era in the 40's and early 50's.

He was also a member of the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation Orchestra, a pioneering group of some the best musicians of the day. In the early 60's he arranged and played on Millie Small's "My Boy Lollipop", Jamaica's first pop hit produced by Chris Blackwell of Island Records, with whom, he also recorded his early jazz Albums, Wranglin and Reflections.

In 1973, he was awarded the Order of Distinction by the Jamaica Government, for his contributions to music, and a Honorary Doctorate Degree from the University of the West Indies, in 2002, for his contribution to the development of music in Jamaica. Ranglin has recorded over 20 albums.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Jamie Cullum: Leaping At Monterey Jazz

As a child in the U.K., Jamie Cullum was obsessed with music from an early age, grew up with rock and pop and now studies jazz. He has just a touch of Sinatra in his voice, and, according to NPR's JazzSet host Dee Dee Bridgwater, he's all over the piano — under it, inside it, leaping off of it. A bit of an aerialist, quick-witted, charming and hyperkinetic. Cullum apparently did a totally focused set, a little of his usual stunts, in this his Monterey Jazz Festival debut.

A rave review declared Cullum as refreshing and entertaining, " it seems to mean even more when he slows down and sings a standard".

"People who have seen me play live and read things I've written will already know that I've got a very eclectic taste, but singing a song like 'What a Difference a Day Makes' — well, it is one of the hardest things you can do," Cullum says.

Fans of Jamie Callum, like this Offbeat blogger, through the courtesy of NPR Music, can hear the Monterey Jazz debut @


Friday, September 4, 2009

Avishai Cohen: A jazz visionary of global proportion

New York base, bassist/composer Avishai Cohen, born April 20, 1970 in Israel, a musician who has been called a “jazz visionary of global proportions” by DownBeat, and was declared one of the 100 Most Influential Bass Players of the 20th Century by Bass Player Magazine, is renowned around the world as an influential double bassist and profound composer, and has received a deluge of critical praise for his recent recorded output and live performances.

In February of 2005 Razdaz Recordz released At Home, an album that was arguably Avishai Cohen’s most compelling and striking new recording to date. That is until the artist conceived of, and recorded his newest CD, the spectacularly beautiful, Continuo