Currently browsing category

Jazz, Page 2

Najee | Najee’s Theme

najee-najees-theme
 
Najee | Najee’s Theme
by Peggy Oliver
 
It is hard to fathom that thirty years have passed since the single “Najee’s Theme” and the supporting album blazed the R&B and jazz charts, which for a debut recording was a remarkable accomplishment in itself. Thanks to a series of demos through New York session work, Najee already had material at his disposal, along with a decent budget from Capital/EMI – a sweet package deal that eventually resulted in his first platinum record.

Paul Jackson, Jr. | Stories From Stompin’ Willie

Paul Jackson Jr - Stories From Stompin Willie - M&P Prod. - 2016
 
Paul Jackson Jr.
Stories From Stompin’ Willie
(M and P Music Factory)
A Record Refection by A. Scott Galloway
 
As a sideman, super guitarist Paul Jackson Jr. has been responsible for many memorable musical moments…from his enigmatic rhythmic stabs on Angela Bofill’s “Tell Me Tomorrow” to the ethereal ghosting flavor he brought to “Maputo” by Bob James & David Sanborn.

Cameron Graves | Planetary Prince

Cameron Graves - Planetary Prince - smaller
 
Cameron Graves
Planetary Prince
(Jack Junior Entertainment)
A Record Reflection by A. Scott Galloway
 
Cameron Graves is the lead piano man of the current west coast jazz revolution that has already launched luminaries such as saxophonist Kamasi Washington and Bruner brothers Ronald (drummer) and Stephen “Thundercat” (bass). All three of those cats and more are present here, showing out in chops-heavy style on Graves’ 4-song EP, Planetary Prince.

Marquis Hill | The Way We Play

Marquis Hill - The Way We Play
 
Marquis Hill | The Way We Play
Concord Jazz
by Brent Faulkner
 
It’s arduous being innovative when so much innovation has materialized in the past. Particularly in jazz, with so many prodigious pioneers, finding a truly distinct lane and showcasing similar innovative spirit is intimidating. It’s not intimidating for Chicago trumpet standout Marquis Hill, who proves he’s a musical force to be reckoned with on latest album The Way We Play, his first for Concord Jazz.

Near-Perfect Playboy Jazz Festival Sunday Covers The Full Spectrum

38th Playboy Jazz Festival
Hollywood Bowl
Sunday June 12, 2016
Festival Reflections by A. Scott Galloway
 
Day 2 of the 38th “Playboy Jazz Festival” at the Hollywood Bowl was by far the more star-studded and highly anticipated of the weekend. Not only that, the cross section of artists provided a near-perfect representation of all the music that appropriately falls under the cornucopia of the art form – from New Orleans roots, Blues and Big Band to Latin, Funk-Rock, Contemporary and Ancient-Future takes.
 
Photo 1 - George Lopez (1)
George Lopez (Photo: Matthew Imaging)

12 year-old Joey Alexander Steals Day 1 of Playboy Jazz Festival

38th Playboy Jazz Festival
Hollywood Bowl
Saturday June 11, 2016
Festival Reflections by A. Scott Galloway
Photography by Matthew Imaging (except one)
 
Photo 1 - George Lopez
George Lopez
 
Though big names were lacking, big fun was in full regalia for the opening day of this year’s Playboy Jazz Festival, due in part to amiable host George Lopez. Mist in the midday and a light sprinkling of pre-summer rain baptized the early acts and audience. Poetically speaking, it gave the high-achieving students of the Beyond the Bell All-City Jazz Band of an early taste of dues they have to pay on their way to the top.

Byron Miller | Psycho Bass

Byron Miller - Psycho Bass
 
Byron Miller | Psycho Bass
by Peggy Oliver
 
When a supporting musician is noticed for a memorable contribution on a major star’s hit project, that can transform into the ultimate door opener for their own artistic platform. The jaw dropping bass guitar solo heard around the funk world on George Duke’s “Reach for It” in 1977 belonged to an up and coming, self-proclaimed funkmeister in Byron Miller. The then nineteen year old, who was mentored by the legendary keyboardist Duke, was more than well on the way to a much respected place amongst the bass playing community.

Ronnie Foster Sets Organ Ablaze in Smokin’ Rare L.A. Concert

127
 
Ronnie Foster Trio
Baked Potato
Saturday May 14, 2016
Concert Reflections and Photographs by A. Scott Galloway
 
I first got turned onto Ronnie Foster when he was part of George Benson’s incomparable mid-`70s Breezin’ band trading electric keyboard and acoustic piano chairs with the late, great Jorge Dalto. From that association I appreciated Ronnie not only as a player but also a composer (“Lady,” “The Wind and I”). Even though I eventually heard his earlier Blue Note solo LPs on which he was featured on organ and his post-Benson work primarily on Fender Rhodes, I’ve always thought of Ronnie as a sideman who came up thanks to a high profile situation.

Theo Croker | Escape Velocity

Theo Croker - Escape Velocity - smaller
 
Theo Croker and DVRK Funk | Escape Velocity
by Peggy Oliver
 
When musicians are ready to hit the professional pavement, many are willing to hone their craft with studio time or side work to make all their financial ends meet while gaining more notoriety in the industry. Born into jazz royalty as the grandson of trumpeter Doc Cheatham, Croker was naturally inspired to follow his own, unique trumpet virtuosity. After graduating from college, Theo Croker moved to Shanghai China, where a melting pot of musical cultures awaited him.

BWB | BWB

BWB - 2016
 
BWB | BWB
by Brent Faulkner
 
BWB (Brown, Whalum, and Braun) are nothing short of a musical force to be reckoned with. When three of smooth jazz’s crème de la crème collaborate together as a super group – Norman Brown on guitar, Kirk Whalum on saxophone, and Rick Braun on trumpet – the end results are nothing short of celestial.

Hide