Monday, February 28, 2011

Indeed! There is something about Jazz

There is something about jazz that makes it comparable to a large glass of chilled 'brackish' (just enough sugar) Jamaican lemonade on a warm summer day.

Perhaps it is the way it soothes the soul, whether the songs are gospel, folk, fusion or secular, or just on the edge like the ideal glass of lemonade that is not too sweet or too sour it can be very enjoyable.

Snippet from Jamaica Gleaner Writer Marcia Rowe's rave review of the annual concert 'Blues on the Green', organized by Embassy of the United States (US), held at Emancipation Park in Kingston.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Wait, Who Is This Esperanza Spalding?

Credit: NPR Jazz

Forget the Arcade Fire: The biggest upset of the 2011 Grammy Awards, held Sunday night, was when jazz bassist and singer Esperanza Spalding won for Best New Artist

A broad contingent of Spalding's fans, especially within but certainly not limited to the jazz community, knew she has winning musicianship. But few believed she had even a puncher's chance at the actual award. Especially for its highest-profile categories, the Grammys tend to reward top-selling acts signed to major record labels, regardless of musical merit.

And with teenage heartthrob Justin Bieber in the running — not to mention Drake,... But wait, who is Esperanza Spalding? Find out in this telling NPR Music Esperanza Story!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

And the JAZZ GRAMMY goes to................



Track:A Change Is Gonna Come (Herbie Hancock)




Sunday, February 6, 2011

Celebrating 66 years of Jamaica's reggae king BOB MARLEY

Bob Marley was the Third World’s first pop superstar. He was the man who introduced the world to the mystic power of reggae. He was a true rocker at heart, and as a songwriter, he brought the lyrical force of Bob Dylan, the personal charisma of John Lennon, and the essential vocal stylings of Smokey Robinson into one voice.— says Jann Wenner, at Marley’s 1994 posthumous introduction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

In 1999 Time magazine chose Bob Marley & The Wailers' Exodus as the greatest album of the 20th century. In 2001, he was posthumously awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and a feature-length documentary about his life, Rebel Music, won various awards at the Grammys.

In 2006, the State of New York renamed a portion of Church Avenue from Remsen Avenue to East 98th Street in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn "Bob Marley Boulevard".

Internationally, Marley’s message also continues to reverberate amongst various indigenous communities. The Aboriginal people of Australia continue to burn a sacred flame to honor his memory in Sydney’s Victoria Park. Members of the Native American Hopi and Havasupai tribe consider Marley to be the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy. And, many in Nepal, Marley is considered to be an incarnation of the Hindu God Vishnu.

Celebrating 66 albums viz;
16 Official albums
4 Official live albums
33 Compilations albums
7 re-Mixed albums
6 Tribute albums

ountless many have recorded the Marley catalogue in jazz (Monty Alexander, Charles Hunter), bossa nova (Bossa 'n' Marley)and in other genre.

Laura Izibor performed an excellent set at Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival

Photos by Janet Silvera

Laura Izibor , Irish recording artist, musician, songwriter and producer, came to Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival 2011 not only as a relative unknown but also was billed on closing night ahead of current reggae star Tarrus Riley, American songstress Natalie Cole and international acclaimed, Jamaican-favoured group Air Supply.

A daunting task for any greenhorn but by the end of a riveting 45 or so minutes on Saturday, January, 29th patrons were overheard suggesting that Turn Key Production, organizer of the annual festival, brings her back for an encore next year.

Arriving centrestage during a nagging, intermittent rain, Laura Izibor was excellent in returning life to a rain-drenched event.
Still, nothing less should have been expected from an artist whose music has been compared to recording artists Aretha Franklin and Alicia Keys and whose writing talent draws comparison to that of Carole King and Joan Armatrading.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Diana Krall mass appeal draws fullhouse on Quiet Night tour

Younger jazz musicians do not ordinarily have the mass appeal to sell out tickets in large concert halls; Diana Krall changed that as full house are turning up to her Quiet Night album tour to revel in the delight of her acoustic jazz improvisation and interpretations of old standards, her intimate ballads and bossa nova.

The husky-voiced Canadian was raised on jazz by both parents who were jazz pianists, and she studied piano at age four. Later Diana Krall would draw inspiration from Nat King Cole and from piano-playing singers, particularly Carmen McRae. She played in the school band, but by age 15 had a gig three nights a week in the town of Nanaimo.

At age 16, she won a Vancouver Jazz scholarship to study at Boston's Berklee College of Music for the next year. Afterwards, the Canadian Arts Council awarded her a grant to study with pianist great Jimmy Rowles in L.A. The next few years she bounced between Toronto, Boston, and New York, studying with master jazz musicians and playing in small clubs.

Diana Krall began singing against the rhythm, developing a sultry but pure voice compared most to Julie London. She built a small following and released a few albums.

Those few albums debuted with Trust Your Heart, a 1995 album tribute to Nat King Cole was successful, but All For You in the same year remained in the Top 10 of Billboard's Traditional Jazz Charts for over a year and earned a Grammy nomination for Best Jazz vocals. 1997's Love Scenes, filled with smooth ballads like “They Can't Take That Away From Me," also received Grammy nominations. Throughout the 1990's, she was building both a catalogue and a following well beyond jazz idiom.

1998 and Diana Krall reached new levels of popularity with When I Look in Your Eyes, an album with a diverse repertoire including hit parade favourite from the 20's, 50's and won the Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal performance, Best Non-Classical Engineered Album, and was up for Album of the Year against Santana, the Backstreet Boys, and the Dixie Chicks. Though she didn't win, everyone now knew the name Diana Krall.

The Live in Paris 2002 album earned Diana Krall a Grammy. The 2004 release, The Girl in the Other Room was more pop than jazz, but fans never complained. Quiet Night 2010 is her ninth studio album.