Ron Lee | May 19th, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
Denny Zeitlin is a jazz pianist, composer, practicing psychiatrist, and professor at University of California at San Francisco. Denny has recorded over thirty critically acclaimed albums; twice won first place in the Down Beat International Jazz Critics Poll; written original music for Sesame Street; and appeared on network TV, including repeats on the Tonight Show, and CBS Sunday Morning. Zeitlin’s lecture-demonstration “Unlocking the Creative Impulse: The Psychology of Improvisation” has been presented across the U.S. and in Europe. He has concertized throughout the U.S., Canada, Japan, and Europe, at colleges, jazz clubs, and major festivals; appearing with jazz greats such as Joe Henderson, Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny, Tony Williams, Bobby Hutcherson, John Patitucci, John Abercrombie, Marian McPartland, Charlie Haden, David Grisman, Kronos Quartet, Paul Winter, David Friesen, Matt Wilson, Buster Williams and many others.
Check out his latest CD of solo piano work at
To learn more about his music, CDs and other interests take a look at his home page:
Denny Zeitlin Music
Ron Lee | May 16th, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
Nobody plays like Miles Davis. You hear a track and you know it is him. No matter what style he is playing. On Sat we are doing miles of Miles for six hours. We have several special pledge gifts:
This 5 CD set is a compilation of a series of 5 albums Miles recorded for Prestige records to fulfill his contract to them. They were recorded over a two day session in 1956 and features many top artists of the day like Percy Heath, Horace Silver, Paul Chambers and John Coltrane.
The Anthology ’51-’55
This is a 5 CD compilation of early Miles albums from Prestige. This covers the albums Blue Period, Dig, Blue Haze, Musing of Miles and Blue Moods. The track on these CDS cover standards like Night in Tunisia, That Old Devil Moon, and When Lights are Low. This is Miles playing his original standards at Prestige.
The Anthology ’55-’58
The CD set continues with Miles later works on Prestige. The most well known is Miles Davis and the Modern Jazz Giants. Several of these were engineered by Rudy Van Gelder and are considered classics.
At this point Miles has moved on to Columbia Records. This is where is most well know classic jazz albums were produced. In this collection is Round About Midnight, Miles Ahead, Milestones, Porgy and Bess, 1958 Miles.
Kind of Blue (mono and stereo)
Kind of Blue has been the best selling jazz album for over 40 years. It has been the first jazz album for both jazz and non-jazz fans. This version is cool because it contain both the mono and stereo versions. This is a great way to get started with jazz and Miles.
Fred Witt | May 15th, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
Sunday’s KCSM Special will be about three jazz greats: the 20-year career guitarist Wes Montgomery, the 50-year pianist Horace Silver (pictured here), and the 60-year composer/arranger/trumpeter Quincy Jones.
These folks cover a lot of musical territory. Wes is at the top of the jazz guitarists lists and even with his relatively short career was considered a formative agent for national soft-, soul-, and bop-jazz guitar. Horace is on the top 25 pianists list and provided original work in hard-bop jazz. Quincy has an “endless” list of show, movie and song hits that he has arranged. The greater magic of Quincy the trumpeter (click on the album for tracks) was his arranging and composing, bringing pages of song and show credits, nominations and awards. There are CD’s for all these folks among KCSM’s pledge thank you gifts !
Join Keith & Mel Sunday morning on KCSM to hear all about these three great performers.
Fred Witt | May 14th, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
To Puerto Rico With Love! A musical tribute to la isla del encanto (the island of enchantment). The tribute includes 3 leading salsa bands; Cortijo, La Sonora Poncena and The Fania All Stars; the El Gran Combo with quite cool music for dance or listening, Tito Puente the towering PR drummer, on the “top 10 Latin drummers” lists; singer-performer Marc Anthony; Miguel Zenon with really interesting original releases of Latin folk & jazz fusion, among other performers.
Tune in for a musical feast of the Puerto Rico’s rich tropical culture and traditions on Sunday May 18 from 2 to 6pm on the Latin Jazz Show with Chuy Varela and Chris Cortez.
Fred Witt | May 12th, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
Jazz trumpeter Sarah Wilson performs out of Oakland. She was raised in Healdsburg and migrated to New York city near the start of her music career. After some years there she relocated back to California’s Bay Area. She performs and records now with her own quintet.
Sarah’s performances are largely her own written music. Her shows and releases have her trumpet and vocal work along with the quintet’s piano, horn, bass & drums. Her style ranges from sedate new age-like ballads to New Orleans jive, with good balance between the quartet players. Click here for track samples from her most recent CD, Trapeze Project and get the full exposure to the range.
Sarah appeared around year-end in Oakland at Yoshi’s and at Duende. She has a release scheduled this fall. Sarah will be on the air in a KCSM interview on “I’m talkin’ Jazz” Sunday 5/18 with Lee Thomas, and you can hear her story on coming into jazz with a trumpet.
Ron Lee | May 11th, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, is best know for her hits like Respect, Chain of Fools, Spanish Harlem and Freeway of Love. Aretha started out singing gospel as a child at her dad’s church. See started her secular career at Columbia records singing jazz standards. Listening to those early recording at Columbia are a great surprise. Aretha’s commercial success really took off when she move to Atlantic records. She would eventually record 88 charted hit singles. There is no other singer like Aretha.
For KCSM Spring pledge we are featuring the box set Aretha Franklin, Queen of Soul, the Atlantic Recordings. This 4 CD set has 88 tracks drawn from the best of her albums, singles and b-sides on Atlantic. It is considered the best of her box sets. You will hear Bridge Over Troubled, Water, Sparkle, Night Time is the Right Time, and Spirit in the Dark as well as all her hits. Take a closer look at KCSM Spring Pledge – Aretha Franklin, Queen of Soul, the Atlantic Years
Fred Witt | May 11th, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
Armando Peraza, bongo & conga player, is a story of talent rising to a 70+ year world carer. Armando was an orphan in Havana Cuba, switched from boxing coach to band drummer on a chance encounter, moved through Mexico and New York to California performing internationally along the way. Armando pased away in April of this year.
There are at least two realities about Armando’s legacy that we can listen to and both are from favorite names of jazz that he worked with. His work and bands included Parker, Gillespie, Mingus, Brubeck, Tjader, and Shearing. In one reality if you want composition and balance listen to some of the many released tracks from the great bands. If you want energy and speed from the drummer look at videos of live performances by the bands.
Join Chuy Varela & Chris Cortez Sunday afternoon on KCSM to hear interviews and tracks from Armando’s life work.
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.