Miles Davis Miles Smiles and Kind of Blue 4 May 2pm-6pm and 16 May 2-6pm

Ron Lee | April 20th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

Miles SmilesWhy are these two albums so interesting to listeners? Relative to Miles Davis they represent works from his two quintets. Kind of Blue comes from the first great quintent and has Mile Davis, trumpet, John Coltrane, tenor sax, Wynton Kelly and Bill Evans on piano, Paul Chambers, base and Jimmy Cobb, drums. Wikipedia provides a thumbnail history of Kind of Blue at Kind of Blue. Kind of Blue is considered one of the gateway recording for non-jazz listeners. The pieces are melodic and swing. A lot of people talk about hearing Kind of Blue, So What or Freddie the Freeloader and asking what’s that?

In 1966 Mile came back with his second great quintet. Here he features Herbie Hancock, piano, Wayne Shorter Saxaphone, Ron Carter, base and Tony Williams, drums. On Miles Smiles there are ballads like Circle, Wayne Shorter’s Footprints and Eddie Harris’s Freedom Jazz Dance. All of these songs are jazz standards.

Find a copy of both, preferably vinyl, and play them through and listen. You will be well rewarded.


Miles Ahead and the KCSM Early Bird Special

Ron Lee | April 18th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

miles_aheadHey what is all this excitement with Miles Davis? If you don’t know the Miles Davis movie Miles Ahead was released on April 1st. This movie portays Miles Davis with a lot of attitude. If you read his biography you can see how they reflected on Miles.

For the KCSM Early Bird pledges we have this special Miles Davis package for you:

KCSM designed a Miles Davis t-shirt

Miles Davis Kind of Blue(Not Now) 2 CD box set – this set includes the tracks from Kind of Blue(the #1 Jazz LP to this day), Ascenseur pour l’échafaud – the movie soundtrack that Miles wrote, and Somethin’ Else featuring Miles Davis and Cannonball Adderley.

774L-1To top all this off there is a grand prize drawing for this collection:

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KCSM Spring Jazz specials 5/4-5/16

Ron Lee | April 17th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

KCSM_Logo2015_rgb_pms179Spring is here!   Starting on Wed 4 May KCSM is resenting a series of special programs on KCSM. The list is below and we are looking forward to presenting this programming on KCSM!



Wednesday, 5/4, 2-6PM              Miles Smails/ The music of Kind of Blue

Thursday, 5/5, 2-6PM                  Cinco de Mayo

Friday, 5/6, 9-10AM                     Charlie Christian Centenary

Friday, 5/6, 2-6PM                       Miles Ahead!

Friday, 5/6, 9PM-Midnite          Charlie Musselwhite, Big Maybelle & Joe Turner

Saturday, 5/7, 10AM-6PM         Miles Ahead!

Sunday, 5/8, 10AM-2PM            Patti Labelle

Monday, 5/9, 2-6PM                   The Meters

Tuesday, 5/10, 2-6PM                 Jaco Pastorius

Wednesday, 5/11, 2-6PM            Earth, Wind and Fire

Thursday, 5/12, 2-6PM               Betty Carter

Friday, 5/13, 2-6PM                    Willie Nelson

Friday, 5/13, 9PM-MIDNITE    The Meters and Elmore James

Saturday, 5/14, 10AM-6PM       Ernestine Anderson, Sarah Vaughan & Thad Jones

Sunday, 5/15, 10AM-2PM          Earth, Wind and Fire

Monday, 5/16, 2-6PM                 Kind of Blue



KCSM Reviews: Nic Bearde @ the Sound Room – 26 Mar 2016

Fred Witt | April 3rd, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

imagesBay area singer Nicolas Bearde and his quartet held a CD release party and played at Oakland’s Sound Room Saturday night, March 26.  The CD was Invitation.  See the track list here.  Nicolas has more than half a dozen releases out.  After the show, audience members were heard to say, “Wasn’t that a great concert.” and “Wasn’t this just terrific.”

Veteran performer Nic is from Tennessee  After some world travels he landed in the SF scene in the 80’s.  He now plays nation-wide.  His “California” quartet included John Shifflett on bass, Leon Joyce Jr on drums, Charles McNeal on sax, and a notable piano player Glen Pearson.  (Nic explained he has another band in New York, when he plays in eastern US.)

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KCSM Reviews: Bria Skonberg @ Cafe Stritch – Sat Mar 5, ’16 – Kaiser Permante San Jose Jazz Winter Fest by Metro

Fred Witt | March 18th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

16_03_11_KCSM_BriaStritchBria Skonberg, New York singer-trumpeter, was back to the recent San Jose Jazz Winter Fest by popular demand.  Bria had shown up at last August’s Summer Fest as a first-timer and was picked by the crowd right away as a favorite.  She was even called in for a post-festival encore show that week !

Ms. Skonberg’s usual warm manner, great voice & trumpet made the night.  People in the audience were saying “Here’s this woman playing the trumpet like crazy.”  and “Bria’s better than some other promising lady brass players we’ve had in here.”

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KCSM Reviews: Jackie Ryan @ Cafe Stritch – Sun Mar 06, ’16 – Kaiser Permante San Jose Jazz Winter Fest by Metro

Fred Witt | March 14th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

16_03_12_KCSM_JRyanJackie Ryan, veteran jazz singer from San Francisco, performed in a Sextet at Cafe Stritch.  Her dozen or so songs came from many styles.  You heard from American song book,  to A Night In Tunisia, to mid-50’s New Orleans jazz.

Jackie has multi-nation family origins, and was brought up on Mexican, Spanish, and Portuguese music, in addition to American.  She can easily move from one to another.  She has 7 releases out, and is on an 8th as part of a group.  Her international music typically appears along the way in each of her releases.

In Saturday’s show, the group played very creatively.  In fact, performing in a group of 6 on the cafe’s stage was a feat of close group work.   If you try tracks from her recent releases, Listen Here and Doozy you will get a sense of the show’s performance.  Click here for samples of her The Very Thought of You and Wild Is The Wind.

The Jazz Ambassadors – 7 pm, Sat Mar 19, ’16 – San Jose Jazz

Fred Witt | March 12th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

US Army Field Band @ Valley Christian Schools

16_03_13_KCSM_USAJA.comWe all remember America’s classic US Army Field Band, typically opening with a John Phillip Sousa march, and playing on with more of the same.  Now we have something new & different !  The Army has reinvented itself with a modern group, their Jazz Ambassadors.

The Jazz Ambassadors—America’s Big Band will present a free concert celebrating the 100-year history of jazz, America’s original art form, featuring swing, bebop, Latin, contemporary jazz, standards, pop, Dixieland, patriotic tunes and more!  This free community performance is co-presented by San Jose Jazz (SJZ).

The official touring big band of the United States Army, the Jazz Ambassadors travel thousands of miles each year to present jazz to enthusiastic audiences across the nation and around the globe. Formed in 1969, this 19-member ensemble has received great acclaim at home and abroad. The band’s rigorous touring schedule and reputation for excellence has earned it the title of “America’s Big Band.”  Here’s a link to their organization & the event.

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KCSM Interviews: Bria – @ Oakland’s Piedmont Piano – 04 Mar 2016

Fred Witt | March 11th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

16_03_09_KCSM_Bria_PiedmontLuckily for us, the NYC trumpeter-singer Bria Skonberg is back, leading a quartet. Bria is hard to beat for a warm, lively jazz song & music show. While a young musician, Bria has so many awards you’d need a Google search to cover them all. See our other posts I’m Talkin’ Jazz, Interview @ Summer Fest, Preview of Winter Fest and Cafe Stritch Review for more information on this performer. Friday night’s show was just as great.

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KCSM Reviews: Scofield with Lovano @ Palo Alto JCC – Sat Feb 27, ’16 – Kaiser Permanente San Jose Jazz Winter Fest by Metro

Fred Witt | March 8th, 2016 | 2 Comments »

16_02_29_KCSM_ScoLoInfluential guitarist John Scofield brought in his quartet, this time with his age-old saxophone friend, Joe Lovano.  The show was in the new, roomy, clean-lined Palo Alto Oshman Family JCC.  They ran through almost two hours of modern work, no intermission.  The two artists played together well, providing the audience several duets.  The performance work of the quartet was well organized and together.

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KCSM Reviews: Regina Carter Quartet – Sun Feb 28 – Kaiser Permanente San Jose Jazz Winter Fest Presented by Metro

Fred Witt | March 8th, 2016 | 1 Comment »

Regina Carter and company play eastern Americana.

Regina_CarterIn a masterful low-key opening on country steel guitar, a piece of  Appalachia was transported to the audience, cradled in the open hands of the musicians, tilted toward them to be taken in.  (The US cultural area of Appalachia is somewhat mountainous and is variously credited with reaching from southern New York state to the upper Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia states.)  For those in the audience with time in the central East, the transport was direct.

The music themes in this “Hickory Wind” could have come from any of the dusty porches or cross-roads Grange halls and country stores in the Shenandoah Valley 1900’s.  The performance was in the spare yet august Trianon Theater in San Jose, with its delightful acoustics.

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