Marc Cary Focus Trio – San Jose Jazz Winter Fest – 7 Mar 830pm

Ron Lee | February 22nd, 2015 | Leave a Comment »

cid_33D12C12-F9DB-47F6-ABA6-C4A4771A9596@mhcable-682x1024Pianist Marc Cary and his Focus Trio will be playing at Cafe Stritch on Sat 7 Mat at 830pm. Marc and his Focus trio group currently reside in Washington, DC. Marc’s background inludes an extended stint as Betty Carter’s pianist and later on played with Roy Hargrove. His latest work is a solo piano album “For the Love of Abbey”. On this recording he covers ten of Lincoln’s songs and three original compositions. His Focus trio group has been together since mid-2000. On Sat 7 Mar Marc and the Focus Trio will be playing at the Cafe Stritch as part of the San Jose Jazz Winter Fest event. You can get tickets and read more about Marc at Winter Fest Marc Cary and the Focus Trio

 

Kris Bowers – San Jose Jazz Winter Fest – 6 Mar 9 pm

Fred Witt | February 20th, 2015 | Leave a Comment »

15_02_15_KCSM_KBowersKris is a young, new pianist and composer talent of the 21st century. He studied music on both coasts, and came out strong in performance, winning the 2011 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition.  In 5 years he has been on 10 releases, either as leader or a sideman, and has been touring internationally.

Kris’ early study was in classical piano before going on to some current electronic jazz rhythm & blues. A lot of his music is spare, intellectual, and serious jazz composition. His music frequently is both interesting and engaging.  Try some of his tracks here for a view of his work.

Last fall Kris toured Europe; this Spring he is appearing Michigan and southern California.

See Kris’ show Friday evening 6 March at 9 pm.  It will be at the San Jose Stage Company (near San Pedro square).

Diane Schuur – San Jose Jazz Winter Fest – 7 Mar 830 pm

Fred Witt | February 18th, 2015 | Leave a Comment »

15_02_13_KCSM_DSchuurDiane Schuur from Seattle is a veteran, blind jazz singer & pianists. Her earliest gigs were in the 60’s, with her major work starting in the 70’s.

From early on her inspiring musicians were Sarah Vaughan and Dinah Washington. Diane has given us music with a terrific singing voice, and shouldn’t be missed. Her disk releases start in the 80’s and her most recent is “The Gathering,” 2011.

Diane is a two-time Grammy winner and has gone on from her Seattle upbringing to tour internationally with stops including Carnegie Hall and the White House. Her touring partners have included the big names of Q. Jones, Getz, King, Gillespie, Ferguson, Charles, and Wonder.

On her way to our March show, Diane has been touring the West Coast, Deep South; Greece, and Asia via Japan & the Philippines.

Her Winter Fest show Saturday evening 7 March, 8:30 pm will be a “don’t-miss,” and will be at the San Jose Stage Company (near San Pedro square).

Regina Carter – I’m Talkin’ Jazz – 22 Feb

Ron Lee | February 14th, 2015 | Leave a Comment »

ReginaCarterOn Sunday Regina Carter will be talking about jazz and her new album Reverse Thread. Reverse Thread was released on May 2010. Currently Regina is touring Toronto and NY. She will be in the Bay Area in May 2014.

From the press release for Reverse Thread:

When preeminent violinist Regina Carter made the decision to record an album primarily of African folk tunes, she created a great challenge for herself: how do you take beautiful traditional music and infuse it with a contemporary feel while remaining true to its past — and then, not compromise its beauty? Her newest release, Reverse Thread, due out on E1 Entertainment on May 18th brilliantly responds to the challenge. To achieve the uplifting and stirring result, Regina added an accordion and kora—the West African harp traditionally played by village storytellers—to her longstanding rhythm section. Kora virtuoso Yacouba Sissoko was brought on board to help recreate the spirit of passing stories from generation to generation. The result—unlike anything previously heard—is a haunting and beautiful compliment to Regina’s sumptuously seductive violin.

In 2006 Regina received a McArthur Foundation grant. This grant is known as the genius award and allow Regina to produce Reverse Thread. From the McArthur Foundation web site:

Regina Carter is a master of improvisational jazz violin.  Though her work draws upon a wide range of musical influences – including Motown, Afro-Cuban, swing, bebop, folk and world music – she has crafted a signature voice and style.  In jazz, bowed string instruments such as the violin are not traditionally featured in the solo role; Carter’s performances highlight the often overlooked potential of the jazz violin for its lyric, melodic, and percussive potential.  Her early training as a classical musician is reflected in the fluidity, grace, and balance of her performance.  Carter’s repertoire retains a firm connection with the familiar while venturing in new, unexpected directions.  On recordings such as Motor City Moments (2000), where she overlays swing with a soulful sound, and Freefall (2001), a collaboration with jazz legend Kenny Barron, Carter taps into a broad musical vocabulary to weave new sound tapestries.  In live performances with jazz veterans and in ensembles, she captivates her audience with the passion and spirit of adventure intrinsic to her approach to music.  Through artistry with an instrument that has been defined predominantly by the classical tradition, Carter is pioneering new possibilities for the violin and for jazz.

Regina Carter studied violin performance at the New England Conservatory of Music and received a B.A. (1985) in music from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan.  Her additional solo recordings include Regina Carter (1995), Something for Grace (1997), Rhythms of the Heart (1999), Paganini: After a Dream (2002), and I’ll Be Seeing You: A Sentimental Journey (2006).  Carter has performed at venues throughout the United States and Europe, including Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and Teatro Carlo Felice, Genoa, Italy.

 

You can find out more about Regina’s current tour and listen to her music at

www.reginacarter.com

Max Roach – I’m Talkin’ Jazz – Sun 15 Feb

Fred Witt | February 9th, 2015 | 2 Comments »

15_02_05_KCSM_MRoachDrummer Max Roach was a veteran performer of the 20th century, and high on the nation’s list of best jazz drummers.

Born into a musical home in North Carolina & moved to New York in his pre-school years, Max was drumming in bands by age 10.  He played next to many famous musicians including Gillespie, Parker, Davis, Monk, Mingus, Eckstine, and Little. Max passed away in 2007.

Max was extremely accomplished, and for sheer drum work try his track here. He is credited with innovation in keeping the beat with the cymbal and working the drum beats freely around this. You do have to look carefully for some examples, and you could try some ’40’s work.  In a signature of past times, a lot of the ’60’s work came out as part of protest like these tracks with his wife Abbey Lincoln.  On another side, some work with people like Clifford Brown comes out smooth – super-smooth.

Listen Sunday morning with Dick Conte at 8 am, Feb 15 for the interview on drummer Max Roach on KCSM.

San Jose Jazz Winter Fest – 27 Feb – 8 Mar

Ron Lee | February 8th, 2015 | Leave a Comment »

WF-Brand-626x350-metroKCSM is a again a proud sponsor of San Jose Jazz Winter Fest. San Jose Jazz describes Winter Fest as

Feb 27-March 8, 2015, it’s Summer Fest’s “cool” counterpart. It’s a “lab” where we feature some of jazz’s most contemporary forms. San Jose Jazz Winter Fest, presented by Metro, continues our steadfast commitment to present young artists pushing the boundaries of jazz, R&B and hip-hop alongside the legends of jazz.

Some of the featured artists are Grammy award winner Diane Schurr, Kris Bowers, Marc Cary Focus Trio, Mads Tolling Quartet with Tierney Sutton and many more. These year there will also be several dance parties taking place at the San Pedro Square Market. You can see who will be playing and sample their music at the Winter Fest web site at San Jose Jazz Winter Fest.

Over the next few weeks we will be highlighting a few of the artists here at the KCSM blog.

Linda Tillery – I’m Talkin’ Jazz 8 Feb

Ron Lee | February 1st, 2015 | Leave a Comment »

LindaTilleryLinda Tillery has been on the SF music scene since the 1960s. She was the drummer and vocalist for the group The Loading Zone. She moved on and in the 1990s she formed the Cultural Heritage Choir which is her current group. Linda standa out as the lead vocalist on their African and Gospel works. From the Cultural Heritage Choir web site:

Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir is a Grammy © nominated, percussion driven, vocal ensemble whose mission is to preserve and share the rich musical traditions of African American roots music. Their music is rooted in the deep south and strongly connected to their West African and Caribbean origins. This mission is pursued through academic research, review of historical recordings, documents and video footage and most importantly – live performance. Performing together since 1992, the Cultural Heritage Choir creates dynamic rhythms and sparkling energy on stage. Their vocals are lush and vibrant, their lyrics are poignant and uplifting. Through stick, song, dance and story, the CHC transports the audience to a place in time when the roots of American popular music, were just being sewn by the “involuntary immigrants” from Africa’s western regions. Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir, have become world renowned for their breathtaking performances and commitment to the authenticity of African-American roots music. The groups first collaboration with veteran performers Taj Mahal and Eric Bibb entitled “Shakin’ A Tailfeather”, was nominated for a Grammy (1997) and their second collaborative effort “Hippity Hop”, received a Parents Choice Award (2000). The group’s next recording “Say Yo’ Business” (2003), was nominated for a California Music Award. The CHC’s most recent titles are “Still We Sing, Still We Rise” (2010) and “A Retrospective” (2012) Currently, the Cultural Heritage Choir is: Linda Tillery, Rhonda Benin, Tamala Brown, Elouise Burrell, Bryan Dyer and Simon Monserrat.

Mel Sharp and David Ramirez will be speaking with Linda on I’m Talkin’ Jazz on 8 Feb.

Jason Moran – I’m Talkin’ Jazz – 1 Feb

Ron Lee | January 31st, 2015 | Leave a Comment »

Come listen to Jason Moran chat about what’s going on and his music. Most recently this last May Jason along with Meshell Ndegeocello performed the Fats Waller Dance Party in Manhattan at the Harlem Stage Gatehouse. Previously he brought back the music of Thelonius Monk in his piece In My Mind: Monk at Townhall 1959. This work is part of the reason why he was awarded the prestigious McArthur Fellowship  in 2010.

From his web site bio:

Since his formidable emergence on the music scene in the late 90s, jazz pianist Jason Moran has proven more than his brilliance as a performer. The Blue Note Records recording artist has established himself as a risk-taker and innovator of new directions for jazz as a whole.

In almost every category that matters – improvisation, composition, group concept, repertoire, technique and experimentation – Moran, and his group The Bandwagon – with bassist Tarus Mateen and drummer Nasheet Waits – have challenged the status quo, and earned the reputation as “the future of jazz.”

Moran’s debut recording as a leader, Soundtrack to Human Motion, was released in 1999 to great critical praise. Ben Ratliff of The New York Times named it the best album of the year and the Jazz Journalists Association awarded it “Best Debut Recording.” The following year, Facing Left, established The Bandwagon trio with bassist Tarus Mateen and drummer Nasheet Waits, and prompted JazzTimes Magazine to declare the album “an instant classic.” Moran augmented the trio for his third Blue Note release, Black Stars, adding avant-garde icon Sam Rivers, who plays saxophone, flute and piano on the recording. Gary Giddins of the Village Voice exclaimed, “Black Stars is possibly a Blue Note benchmark, definitely one of 2000’s outstanding discs.”

Currently he is touring with the Charles Lloyd Quartet through Europe. Check out his concert dates and his music at his web site

http://jasonmoran.com/index.html

 

Carmen McRae Tribute – 31 Jan – KCSM Pledge

Fred Witt | January 27th, 2015 | Leave a Comment »

carmen-mcraeSinger Carmen McRae is remembered in this KCSM Pledge special. Carmen was born in Harlem, spent long periods in New York and Chicago, and performed internationally. Her early upbringing wasn’t easy.   She was an original talent and acquired fame in the volatile jazz years of 1940 to 1960, mixing in the art with the likes of Ellington, Basie, Shearing, Gillespie, and Armstrong, to mention more famous ones.

By her own word Carmen’s most formative artist was Billie Holiday.  They met in 1937, Carmen in teens, just at the start of performing and Billie in 20’s, and by then into 8 years of show business.  Billie was an even more original singer, changing music for the nation’s jazz listeners, and Carmen took off from Billie’s style.  Billie was so inspiring that Carmen almost always included something of Billie’s work in a performance.

Carmen’s signature “behind-the-beat” singing style and ironic interpretations of lyrics made her  influential.  When you listen to her tracks you hear her straight-ahead American singing, despite her Costa Rican/ Jamaican parentage.

Listen Saturday afternoon 2-6 pm, Jan 31 for the Carmen McRae Tribute with Mel & Dick on KCSM.

KCSM Pledge Special Programming – now playing

Ron Lee | January 24th, 2015 | Leave a Comment »

71097_193349651122_1526328_nOur Winter pledge is underway so come join us! Sonny and Mel are playing Billie Holiday this morning. Listed below is what is happening for the next week.

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Billie Holliday Centenary

SATURDAY, 1/24, 10AM-2PM with Sonny & Mel
THURSDAY, 1/29, 2-6PM with Chuy & Mel

 

Feeling Good: The Nina Simone Story

SUNDAY, 1/25, 10AM-2PM with Keith & Mel
FRIDAY, 1/30 2-6pm with Chuy & Mel
Join Nina’s daughter, Simone and others who knew her well, for “Feeling Good…The NinaSimone Story”, like you’ve never heard it before, on Sunday, January 25thfrom 10AM to 2PM, and on Friday, January 30th from 2-6PM.

 

Milt Jackson, John Lewis and the Modern Jazz Quartet

SATURDAY, 1/31, 10AM-2PM, with Sonny & Mel
For over 40 years, The Modern Jazz Quartet mesmerized audiences and musicians alike, with their unique blend of Jazz and Classical music. Join Sonny and Mel as we pay tribute to the great Milt Jackson, John Lewis and the Modern Jazz Quartet, on Saturday, January 31st, from 10AM to 2PM.