Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

KCSM Music Lounge & SJZ Summer Fest In DownBeat Review of Saxophonist Aldana

August 26th, 2016

16_08_25_KCSM_MAldanaby DownBeat contributor Yoshi Kato :

“On the evening of Aug. 13, tenor saxophonist Melissa Aldana gave a rare solo saxophone recital for V.I.P. ticketholders that was co-hosted by the mighty local jazz station KCSM. Presented in the rectangular Pagoda Lounge on the ground floor of the Fairmont San Jose, she performed unamplified for a half hour. Having led her trio at the exponentially larger California Theatre earlier in the day, she explained that she was using this unique format to explore standards.”

KCSM sponsored this venue at the recent San Jose Jazz Summer Fest, the KCSM Music Lounge, at The Pagoda, where Melissa appeared.  Click here to listen to a stage full of fast notes by Melissa, her base player Pable Menares, and rhythm at the 2014 Monterey Jazz Fest.

Click here to see further information on this review item on the San Jose Jazz Facebook page.  Scroll down to August 23 posts to see this item.  Try also the Summer Fest page of artist details here on Aldana.

Tony Bennett Birthday Tribute, KCSM, Fri Aug 19

August 18th, 2016

16_08_18_KCSM_TBennettOn Friday, August 19th, the city of San Francisco will celebrate Tony’s 90th birthday by unveiling and dedicating the Tony Bennett Commemorative Statue on the lawn of the Fairmont Hotel. And that night, the Giants will pay tribute to Tony at AT&T Park. We here at KCSM want to express our appreciation too, so we designed a special Tony Bennett Tee Shirt to honor the vocalist who has done so much for Jazz and the Bay Area.

If you enjoy hearing the voice of Tony Bennett on these airwaves, tune in to our tribute on Friday, August 19th, and check out our exclusive Jazz 91 Tony Bennett Tee Shirt at KCSM.ORG and get yourself entered into our raffle to win a stack of Tony Bennett CDs and Boxsets. Long live Tony Bennett! Click here for the full details.

KCSM Reviews: Cecile McLorin Salvant on stage, San Jose Jazz Summer Fest, Sun Aug 14.

August 17th, 2016

16_08_15_KCSM_CecileSCecile McLorin Salvant’s show Sunday had a lot of American songbook numbers in it like Wives & Lovers and I Get A Kick Out Of You, along with modern numbers like Fog.  There was other Americana like Somehow I Never Could Believe (opera Street Scene, K. Weill).

Despite the aspects of producing music from the Main Stage, McLorin Salvant was a happy event for the festival-goers. She had a warm and open stage presence.  Comments from critics in the audience included: “….good singer, good voice, a crowd pleaser.”   Even after the show audience comments kept coming: “Hubby and I were strolling to check out a few of the smaller stages, and ran into her on the street, what a sweetheart !”  KCSM marks Cecile as one to follow.

See below for the set list from Sunday’s show. Also, click here to see KCSM’s introductory article with further background on McLorin Salvant, and here for another sample of her music.

We will all have another chance when Cecile is back in the area for the Monterey Jazz Festival in September (Friday the 16th at 7:30 pm). Click here to see all her tour dates and places.

Set List from Sunday Aug 14, San Jose Jazz Summer Fest:

(Song from Funny girl – unknown title)
Wives and Lovers
Sam Jones Blues
Cole Porter set:
– I get a kick out of you and
– So in Love
Devil May Care
What A Little Moonlight Can Do (extended arrangement with trio doing solos)
Somehow I Never Could Believe (from opera Street Scene, Kurt Weil/Longston Hughes)
Nothing Like You Has Been Seen Before
Trolley Song
Something Coming (from West Side Story)

KCSM Interviews: Terrance Kelly of the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Chorus, San Jose Jazz Summer Fest 2016, Sun Aug 14

August 16th, 2016

16_08_14_KCSM_OIGCMusician and community leader Terrance Kelly has been leading this Oakland chorus (abbreviated OIGC) for about 30 years.  Terrance is no newcomer to music, as the son of the famous Bay Area Ed Kelly, jazz pianist; community and chorus leader.  If you follow Terrance for a little while, you’ll find out he has an excellent voice himself.  Not a bad thing for a great chorus leader.    Kelly has done most of his day-to-day work with the chorus at the Oakland Paramount Theater.

Terrance kindly took time out after his chorus’ show this past Sunday to talk with KCSM and briefly tell his side of music.  Kelly had about 80 singers on stage for the show (plus four instrument back-ups).  He named a few of his favorite songs from Saturday: Wade In De Water, Everybody Dancin’, and Worth.  (See another sample here of OIGC’s stage work.)  Terrance had the crowd tapping their feet, singing along, on their feet applauding, and even singing along as they were walking from one part of the festival to another.

Follow OIGC on their Facebook page, or web site.  See also the San Jose Jazz web for more history and details on this group.

KCSM Reviews: Denise Donatelli & Friends at the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest 2016

August 15th, 2016

16_08_13_KCSM_DDonatelliDenise Donatelli is a veteran jazz singer originally from Pennsylvania and now of Los Angeles.  She performed Saturday night with a 3-piece combo at the Cafe Stritch as part of the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest 2016 (Denise Donatelli & Friends).  It was an hour and a half performance with about 15 songs. The performance was also being broadcast live by KCSM radio.  KCSM’s crowd-friendly announcer Greg Bridges hosted the performance on the floor.

Denise gives the audience a lot of straight-ahead, American jazz.  Some of her numbers were All Or Nothing At All, When the Lights Are Low, Be Cool, Practical Arrangement, Big Noise New York, Eyes That Say I Love You,  Another Day, Skylark, and Soul Shadow.  Several of these were from her four Grammy-nominated recordings.

The show started off with a light touch.   By the second half of the show, with the hearty approval by the audience the songs were really being belted out. Listen below to hear her sing Joe Samples’s Soul Shadows.  To find out more about her music and performances see her web site at  If this is your music style I recommend you catch one of her performances or try her recordings.  If you get to a show, you might find the piano player & the drummer of this group putting out a full effort.

KCSM Reviews: Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue Swingers at the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest 2016

August 15th, 2016

16_08_12_KCSM_KRuffinsKermit Ruffins, a mature artist from New Orleans is a master trumpeter, singer, and composer.  Kermit and his group the Barbecue Swingers performed Saturday on the Main Stage of San Jose Jazz’s Summer Fest 2016.  Ruffins’ group is typically a keyboard-organ & song show, with trumpet and accompaniment by piano, electric base and drums.  Kermit played songs made famous by Louis Armstrong and New Orleans standards.  On Saturday he played Sunny Side Of The Street, St James Infirmary, What A Wonderful World and Honeysuckle Rose. Kermit had a guest vocalist, Nayo Jones. She appears on his latest recording I’m so New Orleans. The show made for a great way to listen in the shade at San Jose Jazz Summer Fest 2016.

Listen to them play Treme, below. For more information on the group try the San Jose Jazz artist’s web page.

KCSM at San Jose Jazz Summer Fest 2016 – Funky Meters Fri Aug 12 730pm

August 10th, 2016

Funky Meters photographed at Stern Grove in San Francisco, CA July 13, 2014©Jay Blakesberg

Funky Meters photographed at Stern Grove in San Francisco, CA July 13, 2014©Jay Blakesberg

On Friday night at San Jose Jazz Summer Fest 2016 the Funky Meters will be playing on the main stage at 730pm. The Funky Meters are a New Orleans based soul and funk band. Their music traces back the original Meters band and they have been playing together since the mid 90s. Along with greats like James Brown they are considered to be one of the originators of funk and soul music.

From the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest 2016 web site:

funky METERS tap into the roots of the Meters’ musical heritage while taking the sound well into the future. Their trademark sound blends funk, blues, and dance grooves with a New Orleans vibe. The collective résumé between the four artists in the band speaks volumes for the level of musicianship and creativity that comes alive when they play together. After years of solid touring, playing countless venues, the Funky Meters are stronger than ever. In fact, the funk is still going as strong today as it was 40 plus years ago.

Here is a sample of what you will here Fri night in downtown San Jose.

San Jose Jazz Summer Fest: Special Admission KCSM Artist Performance Lounge, Sat & Sun, Aug 13 & 14.

August 9th, 2016

16_08_08_KCSM_MLoungeKCSM Jazz 91 Radio is sponsoring a venue in this weekend’s San Jose Jazz Summer Fest.  The site is in The Pagoda, ground floor at the  Fairmont San Jose.   Performers include the headliners Chico Freeman Plus+tet and Melissa Aldana, as well as La Tenza Latin Jazz, the Wallace/Worley Quartet, the Souter Vichey Ramirez Trio, and the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest All Star Quartet (including Tootie Heath).

The shows are about 20-30 minutes long.  See details below for show time & day details.  The Pagoda is a limited-seat venue and admission is an exclusive benefit for the VIP and Priority Access ticket holders.  Admission will be on a first-come, first-serve basis.  Click here for Summer Fest ticketing details, and click here for your web version of the Lounge line-up, and here for the Summer Fest general line-up information !

La Tenza Latin Jazz            1:30 pm
Chico Freeman Plus+tet   3:30 pm
Melissa Aldana                     5:30 pm

Wallace/Worley Quartet          1:30 pm
Souter Vichey Ramirez Trio    3:30 pm
San Jose Jazz Summer Fest
All Star Quartet                       5:30 pm

Chico Freeman Plus+tet, San Jose Jazz Summer Fest, Sat Aug 13.

August 8th, 2016

16_08_08_KCSM_CFreemanChico Freeman is a veteran tenor sax and trumpet performer from Chicago.  He has some three dozen releases, many of them out in the 70’s.

Chico’s early influences included Miles Davis and Winton Marsalis, and so it comes as no surprise that his reviews describe him as modern/progressive/fusion jazz.  His performance is also described as muscular.

Freeman is admired and awarded as a saxophone player.  Click here for two samples of his work: Coltrane’s piece “Lonnie’s Lament,” and (a whole concert at) Jazzwoche Burghausen, 2002.

You can catch the Chico Freeman Plus+tet  act Saturday 8/13, 3:30 pm in the KCSM Music Lounge at the Pagoda at Fairmont San Jose, and at 7 pm on the California Theater Stage presented by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.   In addition to this show at Summer Fest, Chico will be playing at Yoshi’s, Oakland 8/14; Seattle 8/16; Ft. Bragg, 8/19 and then Freeman is off to Europe.  Click here for more on his tour dates.

KCSM Reviews: The Double Hidden Gems – Los Altos’ Jazz on the Plazz (JotP), and the Singing voice of Songwriter-Trumpeter Skonberg

August 7th, 2016

16_07_27_JotPLos Altos’ summer jazz program, Jazz on the Plazz is open air, down town, and free to the public.  Their shows are Wednesday evenings, in the vicinity of 6:30 to 8:30.  JotP is a volunteer operation led by their great host Jonathan Knowles.  The program is supported by sopnsors, with some help by the city.  Click here to see their line up for this month.

16_08_02_KCSM_BSkonbergLast week Jazz on the Plazz brought in the (originally British Columbia) New York singer-songwriter-trumpeter Bria Skonberg.  Bria is one of jazz’ rising stars, having been touring and recording for some 10 years now.  With one of her performances you get great trumpet playing, a remarkable singing voice, and one of the warmest smiles on stage.  See the end of this article for her set list and performer names for this JotP show.

So much comes out in one of her performances that “getting it all” can be a challenge to the listener.  The combos she appears with are always good, as are her trumpet work (!) and songwriting.  With all this going on, the hidden gem in a show can be the high points of her voice and this can be the treasure hunt for the audience.  When you get to a show, listen carefully for some of these best parts that might escape you.

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