Fred Witt | May 8th, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
Who are among the best lady jazz singers of our times ? Pick your list, but likely Ella is on it, & up there ! The fact that she had a great voice on several counts has just been the springboard for her spirit and variety in the life’s jazz song performances. (There was also a great smile !) Her work has the fame to go with it. Ella is an example of talent that can’t be held back, coming at one point from homeless orphan beginnings. See the several “Ella” CD’s on the KCSM “thank you” page that are available as pledge gifts. Top of the gifts is an interesting wellspring source 5-CD set, “Ella Fitzgerald The Voice of Jazz”, with 200+ tracks.
Join Sonny & Mel Saturday midday on KCSM to hear tracks from this collection and life stories of Ella.
Ron Lee | May 7th, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
Regular listeners of KCSM know that Friday nights is Kathleen Lawton’s Crazy About the Blues show from 9 – midnight. For me that is how I close out the week. It is great to sit back and enjoy the blues. Since it is Spring Pledge Kathleen has picked out some special pledge gifts for Crazy About the Blues. We have:
Howlin’ Wolf – Evil
When you hear Howlin’ Wolf you immediately know it is him. His graveling voice stands out. On this two CD set is Smoke Stack Lightin’. I always stop and listen when Kathleen plays this cut. Howlin’ Wolf was one of the top Chicago Blues artists and recorded for Sun and Chess Records.
Jimmy Witherspoon – Ain’t Nobody’s Business
Jimmy Witherspoon was a LA based blues and later jazz R&B singer. This two CD set is a great sampling of his work.
Various – The Sun Blues Story
Sun records was one of the top blues labels out of Memphis. They recorded all the top blues artists and their biggest hits came from rock and roll/country artists like Elvis Presleym Roy Orbison and Johnny Cash. This CD set focuses on the blues artists Sun was recording in the 50s. Great stuff.
Various – A Bad Case of the Blues
This 3 CD set is a great sampler of the top blues artists. It covers lots of the most popular blues songs. It is a great way to get an introduction to the blues.
Various – Essential West Coast Blues
Essential West Coast Blues is a 2 CD collection of LA and Bay Area blues artists. There are some big names like Ray Charles, Big Mama Thorton and other lesser know artists. If you have been around the Bay Area for awhile there will be names you recognize.
Fred Witt | May 4th, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
John Abercrombie, one of America’s leading jazz guitarists has recently released another of his albums, “39 Steps.” John is from the New York state and Boston, and was recently located in New York.
John has a reserved, open style. His work is distinct in progressive, fusion, and avant-guard jazz and he manages his own group, the John Abercrombie Quartet. John is a senior artist with a 40-some year career, has a long page of releases, and can be found on lists of the top 20 American jazz guitarists. John spent a lot of 2013 touring Europe. He was at Yoshi’s Oakland this February, and will be in Norfolk VA on the 24th of this month. Some of John’s tracks are pretty cool, and some can be *really different*. You can try some of John’s quartet tracks here.
John’s interview will be on KCSM’s ” I’m Talkin’ Jazz” this coming Sunday, May 11, with Clifford Brown Junior and you can get the story with Clifford and John.
Ron Lee | May 4th, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
Blue Note records is well known as one of the jazz standards for recording. Dating back from the 1940s to today Blue Note is know for having some of the best jazz recordings. Famed engineer Rudy Van Gelder did many of the classic recordings. Today Blue Note is part of Universal Music Group and is home to new artists like Ambrose Akinmusire.
This CD set is a selection of tracks from the Blue Note catalog that represent Blue Note’s top artists. KCSM is making this available as a pledge gift along with a early bird pledge baseball cap at KCSM Early Bird Pledge
Help shorten our Spring Pledge drive!
|1. Summertime – Sidney Bechet Quintet
|2. ‘Round About Midnight – Thelonious Monk
|3. A Night In Tunisia – Bud Powell
|4. Brownie Eyes – Clifford Brown
|5. Blue Train – John Coltrane
|6. Tune Up – Sonny Rollins
|7. Moanin’ – Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers
|8. Cool Struttin’ – Sonny Clark
|9. Blues Walk – Lou Donaldson
|10. Somethin’ Else – Cannonball Adderley (feat. Miles Davis)
|11. Back At The Chicken Shack – Jimmy Smith
|1. Chitlins Con Carne – Kenny Burrell
|2. The Sidewinder – Lee Morgan
|3. Speak No Evil – Wayne Shorter
|4. Maiden Voyage – Herbie Hancock
|5. Song For My Father – Horace Silver
|6. Black Byrd – Donald Byrd
|7. Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia) – US3 feat. Rahsaan and Gerard Presencer
|8. Come On In My Kitchen – Cassandra Wilson
|9. Cold Cold Heart – Norah Jones
|10. Afro Blue – Robert Glasper feat. Erykah Badu
|11. Liquid Spirit – Gregory Porter
Ron Lee | April 28th, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
Oakland based singer Suzanna Smith has been a long time performer in the Bay Area. She grew up in Livermore and went to school at Wellesley College in Boston. She returned back to the bay area and has been performing regularly in jazz venues. She is a student of Berkeley’s Jazz School. Currently you can catch her at Zingari restaurant in SF. Recently in late 2012 she released her debut album “Halfway between Heaven and Earth”. The album is a mix of standards and original tunes written by Suzanna. Coming up she will be performing her Peggy Lee Project 31 May at the Sound Room in Oakland.
Listen to her perform Comet from her album “Halfway between Heaven and Earth”.
Ron Lee | April 24th, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
April 27th, 2014 marks the 20th Anniversary of South Africa’s first free,
fair and democratic elections in which citizens of all races were allowed
to take part. On Friday, April 25th, KCSM will be celebrating this
momentous occasion by tracing the music of South Africa with Larry
Slater’s “The South African Jazz Story”, on Jazz in the Afternoon, from
2-6PM. Don’t miss it!
Ron Lee | April 21st, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
Peter Zak grew up and studied music in Oakland. After graduating from UC Berkeley he played at many of the local clubs and now resides in NYC. In NYC he plays with his trio and is a faculty member at the renowned jazz program at the New School University. Recently he release his new album “The Eternal Triangle” . Tune in and here him chat with Alicia Clancy.
Here he is playing at the Kitano in NYC.
Fred Witt | April 14th, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
Andre plays a traditional form from Louisiana that’s a mixture of Cajun, Blues, and Rhythm & Blues. The form is known as Zydeco; Andre’s instrument is the accordion. While Andre’s family have long traditions from Louisiana, they migrated to California, and Andre is from Richmond.
Andre has his own band, the Zydeco Magic. Their music is pretty lively, and usually has quite a bit of vocal work in it. Their tour calendar is busy. They have just played in San Jose, San Francisco, Alameda, & Cotati. See their web site for a coming few months of many stops in Louisiana, Texas, and California. Try clicking some of these tracks from his recent CD “Are You Ready To Learn” for a sample of Andre’s music. If his style is for you, you can catch him in person from one of the bookings on their site.
Andre’s interview will be on KCSM’s I’m Talkin’ Jazz this coming Sunday, April 20, with Greg Bridges and you can get the story from Andre himself.
Fred Witt | April 10th, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
Resonance Band, a set of hard rock players, is a real switch from the jazz listening arena, and from many of our other hard rock players. The band was formed a couple of years ago. Based in Denver, they are now in national touring. Their next stops this month are in Phoenix and San Diego.
Despite their hard rock posture, they exercise notable artistic restraint from driving just on loud playing. Their melody line is open enough to give the lyrics room to be heard, and the instrument mixing is low enough that the vocalists come through clearly. For the most part their singers really put the words out to the audience. In many arrangements, the lyrics and score carry both restraint and energy, respectively, feeding both your appetites. For these relatively new guys, they won’t fry your brain; they accomplish delivering both a message and a mood, and are to be complimented on it.
If you’re up for the hard rock energy with lyrics for the listener, key up some of their tracks from their recent release “Something Better, Something New,” album available from their web site (if not yet from Amazon…).
This coming Sunday morning at 8 am Alica Clancy will interview Resonance for you, for the story on their music.
Ron Lee | March 25th, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
Chris Cortez will be chatting with Chris Potter. Chris has been playing on the West Coast and was at the Warfield in Feb. In 2013 he released his debut CD “The Sirens” on ECM records. You can hear his music on his web site at
From his bio:
A world-class soloist, accomplished composer and formidable bandleader, saxophonist Chris Potter has emerged as a leading light of his generation. Down Beat called him “One of the most studied (and copied) saxophonists on the planet” while Jazz Times identified him as “a figure of international renown.” Jazz sax elder statesman Dave Liebman called him simply, “one of the best musicians around,” a sentiment shared by the readers of Down Beat in voting him second only to tenor sax great Sonny Rollins in the magazine’s 2008 Readers Poll.