Ron Lee | December 20th, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
Alisa will be chatting with guitarist John Pizzarelli. John is the son of noted jazz guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli. He makes his home in NY where he has regular engagements with his wife Jessica Molansky at the Cafe Carlyle and at Birdland. From his web site bio:
“Pizzarelli started playing guitar at age six, following in the tradition of his father. After playing in pickup groups and garage bands through high school he began exploring jazz with his father as a teenager, and was able to perform with a number of great jazz musicians who would be a major influence on his work, including Benny Goodman, Les Paul, Zoot Sims, Clark Terry and Slam Stewart. John went out on his own after recording My Blue Heaven for Chesky Records in 1990, then toured extensively, playing clubs and concert halls, opening for such greats as Dave Brubeck, Ramsey Lewis and Rosemary Clooney. In 1993, he was honored to open for Frank Sinatra’s international tour and then joined in the celebration for his 80th birthday at Carnegie Hall bringing down the house singing “I Don’t Know Why I Love You Like I Do” with his father accompanying him.
For Pizzarelli though, his hero and foundation was Nat “King” Cole and the comparison to his iconic trio is the highest of compliments. “I’ve always said in my concerts that Nat ‘King’ Cole is why I do what I do.” But Pizzarelli adds, “We aren’t trying to copy him. His sound was singular and inspired. I’ve always said we’re an extension, a 21st century version of what that group was.” In fact, Pizzarelli devoted his RCA albums Dear Mr. Cole and P.S. Mr. Cole to music made famous by the beloved song stylist.”
This leads in to his current project which is a Nat King Cole tribute titled “Straighten Up and Fly Right: The Nat King Cole Tribute featuring Ramsey Lewis and John Pizzarelli”. You can catch him on 21 March in the Venetian room at the Fairmont Hotel.
Here is a video that talks about his 2012 album Double Exposure. He takes pop songs of the 70s and 80s and sets them to jazz arrangements.
Fred Witt | December 14th, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
Airto Moreira, a veteran, and senior performer grew up with his early years in the cities in Brazil. At less than 20 he appeared in New York city drumming in the jazz circles. Airto has since ascended from performer to performance leader. He is quite a singer as well as drummer.
In contrast to the American percussion and the African 6-10 note polyrhythmic percussion, Airto and his Brazilian style go through great musical scales with their myrid of instruments. In keeping with the then modern jazz styles, Airto’s music also differed from American & African drumming in being stream of consciousness as opposed to presenting a theme or message. The performances really takes you to a different focus in listening. Try some of his tracks here to get a flavor of the music.
Airto has toured the California and the Bay Area as recently as this past Fall.
On Sunday 14 December Chris Cortez interviews Airto Moreira at 8 am on the I’m Talkin’ Jazz program talking on his drumming and music career.
Fred Witt | December 2nd, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
Laurie, a veteran performer was “raised in the 60’s in our Bay Area Marin County,” taking in the vibe of that age. Present day, she is prominent in the Berkeley Jazzschool, and is playing with her 6-person band. Laurie has recently released an in-depth passage of Joni Mithcell’s music. Check out her CD on her site.
Laurie is a warm smooth singer in an American folk style. Try some of her tracks here; just the thing for a relaxing afternoon.
Come join Alisa Clancy Sunday 7 December at 8 am on the I’m Talkin’ Jazz program talking to Laurie about the current stage in her music journey.
Ron Lee | November 24th, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
NYC jazz trombonist and vocalist Natalie Cressman is an up and coming star that recently played at the San Jose Jazz Fest. Natalie grew up in San Francisco and is an alumnus of the Monterey Jazz Festival’s and many other high school jazz bands. She is currently studying at the Manhattan School of Music. She has two releases out Unfolding and Turn the Sea. Here is the title cut from her original composition Turn the Sea.
Fred Witt | November 17th, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
Pete Douglas ran 50 years + of house concerts at his Douglas Beach House in the small coastal town of Half Moon Bay on the outboard side of the San Francisco peninsula. Pete early on founded a social get together called the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society, famously popular around the area. Douglas was hard bitten with his own music vision, and was his own local jazz music movement. The story is told of Pete, working as a parole officer, seeing a young man on a minor charge. The young man brought his tenor sax into the house with him because the car wouldn’t lock. After inquiring, Pete said, “You’re not a criminal. Come and play at my house concert,” and the man went on to a music career !
A long list of performers will testify that Pete was a strong-minded, straightforward man, dedicated to the quality of music. He was a unique personality that drove the scene and the events. Many people are now paying tribute to Pete’s contribution to life during his time.
Come join Chris Cortez hosting the Pete Douglas memorial review Sunday 23 November at 8 am on the I’m Talkin’ Jazz program.
Ron Lee | November 10th, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
New York based drummer and Grammy nominee Matt Wilson is one of todays most celebrated jazz artists. He is universally recognized for his musical and melodic drumming style as well as being a gifted composer, bandleader, producer, and teaching artist.
Wilson leads the Matt Wilson Quartet, Arts and Crafts, Christmas Tree-O and the Carl Sandburg Project. Matt is integral part of bands led by Joe Lovano, John Scofield, Charlie Haden, Lee Konitz, Bob Stewart, Denny Zeitlin, Ron Miles, Marty Ehrlich, Ted Nash, Jane Ira Bloom and Dena DeRose among others. Wilson has appeared on 250 CDs as a sideman and has released 9 as a leader for Palmetto Records as well as co-leading 5 additional releases. Listen to him chat with Melanie Berzon.
Fred Witt | November 9th, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
Jeremy Cohen, one of our Bay Area native music veterans has been in the music business since the latter part of our last century ! Jeremy’s current group, Quartet San Francisco (QSF) in business for over 10 years is our source for jazz chamber music, or string jazz music from classical depending on your preference. In fact, you will have to decide which part of his work is actually jazz bluegrass. (To the right here Jeremy is the quartet’s senior guy with the grin.)
QSF’s work can be viewed as part serious, in major and minor keys, and part party & dance songs. While a large body of their serious work is in the more somber minor keys, if you have any classical leanings their serious major key pieces can be truly delightful. His party & dance work will take you all over the map, musically & internationally. QSF is on an October-November tour of South Korea after playing Berkeley’s Crowther Music Center.
Alisa Clancy hosts the Jeremy Cohen story Sunday 9 November at 8 am on the I’m Talkin’ Jazz program.
Ron Lee | October 20th, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
I was sad to hear Kathleen Lawton announce the passing of Sista Monica Parker, a great Bay Area blues singer. I remember just hearing her at San Jose Jazz Summer Fest this last Sept. Her opening number was the Staples Singers tune “I’ll Take You There”. The audience at teh Blues Stage sang along with her. It was fantastic.
Kathleen remembered many of the interviews she had done with Sista Monica on her show Crazy About the Blues. She was right that after watching Sista Monica perform you were really hyped up.
Details on her passing and memorial service was published by SF Gate at
‘Sista’ Monica Parker, singer of blues, soul and gospel, dies
By Lee Hildebrand
Updated 3:42 pm, Thursday, October 16, 2014
“A memorial service is slated for 5 p.m. Nov. 2 at Inner Light Ministries, 5630 Soquel Drive in Soquel (Santa Cruz County).”
From the Santa Cruz Sentinel
‘Sista Monica’ Parker dies at 58
Fred Witt | October 18th, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
Bob Dorough, native of Arkansas and veteran singer & pianist from *way* back has been entertaining the nation for years. Formally he is written up as a bebop & cool jazz performer. Listening live, his work comes through in a folk song & ballad-on-piano tone, with a light touch of Southern twang. His numbers can be as much instrument as singing. When you are shopping through his works you get some variety over the years, and early work can be distinctly different from current times. Try some of his music for your favorites.
Alisa Clancy will host the Bob Dorough story Sunday morning 19 October at 8 am on the I’m Talkin’ Jazz program.
Ron Lee | September 14th, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
When it comes to Influential Important Soulful Singer Songwriters, nobody can hold a candle to Donny Hathaway and Curtis Mayfield. During the 1960’s, 70’s and in Curtis’s case through the 80’s and 90’s, they spoke to us, serenaded us and soothed us with their brilliant lyrics, music and vocals. They both had interesting life stories and left us way too soon.
On Sunday, September 14th, from 9AM-2PM, celebrate these two musical geniuses and their long lasting and ever present legacies, with Keith Hines and Melanie Berzon, on SOULFUL STRUTTIN’, THE LIFE, TIMES AND MUSIC OF DONNY HATHAWAY and Curtis Mayfield.