Harry Allen & Scott Hamilton – I’m Talkin’ Jazz – 07 June

Fred Witt | June 6th, 2015 | Leave a Comment »

15_06_06_KCSM_AllenHarry Allen and Scott Hamilton are a pair of today’s leading swing jazz saxophone players. They are highly rated and their styles are smooth and skillful. Their work favors the Great American Songbook. Fast or slow, they play a great performance to the music.

Harry Allen is a mid-career musician originally from Washington DC. He has some 30 CD’s released. Harry is not widely preformed currently, and tours occasionally. Last Fall & this Spring he played in Boston, & San Francisco. In June he is scheduled into Rochester. Harry now works from New York City.

Scott Hamilton, a little older than Harry, is from Rhode Island. He has a lengthy (!) recording list and years of international 15_06_06_KCSM_Hamiltontouring. Scott tours occasionally now and is scheduled into Vancouver, BC in later this month. He moved to Europe in the late 1990’s and now works from Italy.

Try tracks here, and here for music by Harry; here and here for pieces by Scott, and here for a performance by the two of them.

On Sunday, June 7th at 8 AM join Alisa Clancy on I’m Talkin’ Jazz here at KCSM, The Bay Area’s Jazz Station for the story with Harry Allen and Scott Hamilton.

Cuban Jazz On The Ground 2 of 6 – Havana – Fox & Crow Cafe

Fred Witt | May 29th, 2015 | Leave a Comment »

night club in Vedado La zorra y el cuervo © Cuba Absolutely, 2014The African Beat in Cuba:

Cuban jazz has two large branches; one with african drums & traditional Carribbean rhythms, and another with european/American trap drums (or no drums) and more continental scoring.  There is a lot more than this to afro-Cuban jazz.  However we’ll use this simple guide of afro-Cuban or euro-Cuban material in mentioning pieces here.

One magic of visiting Cuba is the appearance of great in-country performers who don’t have the reach to tour internationally, or distribute their work out of country that we can obtain.  We get to see these people by visiting there.  This review series on Cuban jazz will look for the in-country artists, while bringing out both local and international Cuban talent.

The Fox & Crow (“La Zorra y El  Quervo”) is almost *the* most popular Havana jazz club.  It can have a mix of material, leaning toward the afro-Cuban side.  The performances can be pretty wide-open and free-wheeling.  Take a look at these: a William Vivanco jam session in the club by the singer/guitarist/bandleader, a song by the vocal group Sixth Sense (“Sexto Sentido”), and a piece by an unnamed group.  Also see a William’s band song,  and another song William recorded in an unnamed location.

While the live jazz music sets start “really late” in the evening, the Fox & Crow appears to have performers booked almost every evening.  There is quite a mix of local & international talent going through the downtown clubs so consult club calendars or performance billings to see who will be on for you.

The Fox & Crow is one of the two downtown state-owned jazz clubs.  They serve music, food, and drinks, and focus on the music.  Consult your travel guides on what to expect in offerings and facilities.  The club places a food & drink minimum charge at the door of about $10 American.

If you haven’t see  the part 1 of 6 of this series you can click here, which will take you down the blog column to that post.

This Cuban series relates to the KCSM Spring 2015 jazz tour to Cuba, and to the second tour coming this October.  For October tour information consult the KCSM site: in your browser search:  KCSM Jazz 91 >> half way down on the home page right side will be a button, “Travel To Cuba…”, “click here,” taking you to tour information.  This button will stay up until the October tour is filled.

Kyle Eastwood – I’m Talkin’ Jazz – 31 May

Fred Witt | May 25th, 2015 | Leave a Comment »

15_05_10_KCSM_KEastwoodKyle is a mid-career electric jazz bass player from southern California. Kyle’s playing is in some 15 – 20 CD’s and movies. His released music shows quite a variety with plenty in the modern or “straight-ahead” versions.  Try some tracks here for something to suit your taste.  (If the name Eastwood is familiar in the back of your mind, Kyle is the son of our Clint Eastwood.)

Kyle is currently on his summer European tour, and will be in northern Califirnia in September for the Monterey Jazz Festival.

Join Alisa Clancy on Sunday, May 31th, at the 8 am I’m Talkin’ Jazz show for Kyle Eastwood’s life and times as a bass player.

Jazz on the Hill – 6 June Sat 12noon – 6pm

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

JazzOnTheHill2015Come Share A Day Filled with Great Jazz Music

KCSM Jazz 91 invites you to spend the with us at Jazz On The Hill! This day-long celebration is our gift to you, our jazz community, to thank you for the support you’ve given to your favorite jazz station: KCSM 91.1 FM. Join us at College of San Mateo campus for live jazz with a great line-up of musicians who cover many genres of jazz from straight-ahead, blues, to Latin and more!

Artist Line up

More details at the Jazz on the Hill web site at http://jazzonthehill.org/artists.php

Main Stage

12 noon Jamie Davis

1:15pm Dirty Cello

2:15pm Maria Muldar

3:15pm Anton Schwartz Quintet

430pm Poncho Sanchez

Youth Stage(CSM Little Theatre):

1230pm Giant Steps Big Band

130pm SF Jazz High School All Stars Combo

230pm Carlmont High School Jazz Emsemble

330pm The Jazzschool Studio Band

Arts & Crafts and Food Trucks, Too!

It’s a long day, so come hungry! The fine food trucks will make their appearance: Sam’s Chowdermobile, Speedy Panini, Whisk on Wheels, HiYaa and Taqueria Angelica’s. Matagrano, Inc. will provide beer, and a variety of great wine from Domenico Winery will also be served.

More info at the Jazz on the Hill 2015 web site.


Special Tribute to BB King Today 10am – 2pm

Ron Lee | May 17th, 2015 | Leave a Comment »

15_05_17_KCSMBBKingDue to the Overwhelming and Unprecedented outpouring of Love, Props and Respect in response to the passing of B.B. KING, worldwide and from You, our Listeners…
Keith & Mel will pay tribute to THE KING OF THE BLUES today from 10AM to 2PM.

Riley B. “BB” King from Mississippi was our man who voiced the blues of the nation.  BB would croon, would morn, would praise, would howl our pain, and would “put it all out there for us.”  Our man regrettably passed away this past Thursday, May 14, and now we return his gifts on our stage with honoring his passing.

BB started on the guitar as a child, and was recording by the age of 25, migrating into the blues themes.  BB believed that good recorded music and the live experience for the audience were both important, and he honed being excellent at both.  He soldiered on, working his way up through recording companies and American countryside (and then international) performances.

BB the artist was still a sensible man with his feet on the ground.  One humorous story has him doing a show in Arkansas when a fight broke out, starting a fire.  BB hit the doorways with the rest of the folks, but then went back in to rescue his beloved guitar.  In the aftermath it came out that the two onlookers were fighting over a lady named Lucille.  BB promptly maned his guitar Lucille, to remind him 1) not to fight over women, and 2) not to run into burning buildings !

BB passed away in Las Vegas this month at the age of 89.  He has left us a great musical heritage in the body of his many recorded releases.

Charlie “Yardbird” Parker 16 May KCSM Pledge Special

Ron Lee | May 13th, 2015 | Leave a Comment »

charlie_parkerCharlie “Yardbird” Parker was one of the leading musicians that formed the bebop sound. In NYC along with Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonius Monk, Miles Davis and more they played in the clubs and concert halls. Eventually each of these artists would graduate and lead their own bands. Bird was captured on Verve, Prestige, Savoy and Dial records. The pledge gift Charlie Parker Bird’s Nest contains a solid collection of 45 tracks from these labels. Listen as Sonny and Melanie tell the story of Bird.

Gil & Miles ! Wed 13 May – KCSM Pledge Special

Fred Witt | May 10th, 2015 | Leave a Comment »

15_05_10_KCSM_GilMilesMiles Davis’ turbulent career of trumpeting & band-leading from post-WW II on lead many mid-century jazz innovations and style advances.  Around 1950 composer-arranger Gil Evans teamed with the then 30-year old Miles.  From there they went on to power iconic popular jazz music of the times.  Gil Evans and Miles Davis!  Creative collaborators!  Musical Mentors!  They played off of each other and created masterpieces.

Miles’ music is described over the years in turn as “bop, cool, blue, and electric.”  The outcome is that you have many places to choose to find music special to you in Miles’ & Gil’s work.  Try these different samples for contrast in their music over time: Spain & Kinda Blue, 1960; Brew, 1969; and Doo Bop, 1992.

On Wednesday, May 13th from 10AM to 6PM, join Chris Cortez, Lee Thomas, Chuy Varela and Melanie Berzon for a Tribute to Gil Evans and Miles Davis, right here on KCSM, The Bay Area’s Jazz Station

Hammond B3 organ summit 12 May KCSM Pledge Special

Ron Lee | May 10th, 2015 | Leave a Comment »

B3mk2_aWhat is so cool about the Hammond B3 organ? For jazz the Hammond B3 was first played by Jimmy Smith in the 1950s. This led to a whole series of organists like Jack McDuff, Booker T Jones, Richard Groove Holmes and others. The Hammond B3 continues to be popular today. Pete is at the center of a thriving Bay Area Hammond B3 scene. Take a look at Pete’s web site at http://www.thesoundsmith.com/fal.htm. Also the San Jose Mercury News published a great article at http://www.mercurynews.com/music/ci_25056345/pete-fallico-heart-b-3-scene.

Pete and Chuy will explore the top Hammond B3 players on KCSM.


Muddy Waters 11 May KCSM Pledge Special

Ron Lee | May 10th, 2015 | Leave a Comment »

Muddy WatersWe are celebrating the 100th Birthday Bash! for Muddy Water. Muddy grew up in the Mississippi delta region. He was first recorded in 1941 by Alan Lomax who was collecting recordings for the Library of Congress. He moved to Chicago in 1943 where he helped create the Chicago Blues style. Through the post war years the Chicago Blues scene was hot. This gave way to the 50s and 60s when next generation of fans discovered blues after first hearing them played by the British rock musicians. Most notable were the Rolling Stones who were names after one of Muddy’s songs.


Buena Vista Social Club – Sun 10 May – KCSM Pledge Special

Fred Witt | May 7th, 2015 | 1 Comment »

15_05_03_KCSM_BVSocialClubTo the American jazz scene the Buena Vista Social Club of Cuba is both a past, 1940’s dance spot of Caribbean jazz talent, and a modern 1990’s movie and music track cum movement resurrecting that jazz diaspora.

The genesis of the movie was, in 1997, Ry Cooder and Nick Gold went to Cuba to record a session with African and Cuban musicians. The Africans never made it.  So as not to to not waste valuable time at the notable Egrem Stidios in Havana they got  their friend, Juan De Marcos Gonzalez to round up a legendary cast of old-timers like Compay Segundo and Omara Portuondo, for a jam. The result was the Buena Vista Social Club movie, a worldwide phenomenon.

If you listen to this audio sample there is a delightful array of Cuban jazz.  The start has a pair of typical caribbean dance numbers, and then you find some surprising jazz improvisation.  In addition there are alternating fast & slow numbers from the same Cuban style.

On Sunday, May 10th, from 2-6pm, Chuy Varela and Chris Cortez pay a visit to the Buena Vista Social Club for an afternoon of musical magic, on the Latin Jazz Show.