January 11, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.
Courtney Pine, the British jazz musicians turned Jazz Crusader for BBC2, presented an evening of British Jazz at IAJE. I missed the first set from Empirical, winner of the 2007 EBU European Jazz Competition. I got there for the band's final notes.
Pine quickly introduced Martin Taylor, who jumped onstage a little early. Since the stagecrew wasn't ready for the band, he entertained the audience with a solo version of "I'm Old Fashioned." Here it is:
I supposed you're predestined to play guitar when your named Martin Taylor, since that's the name of two highly regarded luthiers. Taylor made his first appearance in Toronto 25 years ago. This performance was his return engagement. It's been a while. Here's a cut from the full band:
I was totally blown away by the next act. Kids from Scotland who play like they've been playing together for years. Check this out, and tell me if you think they sound like novices...
The last act, I suppose, represented "the future." Trombonist Dennis Rollins has been raking in the awards in Britain. The music was certainly fun and dance-ready. Occasional references to "Summertime" and "Work Song" notwithstanding, I would call this a tightly arranged ensemble that combines a panoply of styles, including drum-n-bass, jazz, funk, and garage. Hear what I mean:
So there you have it. I guess you can't call this show The British Invasion, since we're technically in Canada, where Queen Elizabeth is the head of state. - Josh
© 2008 WBGO
January 10, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.
Nordic Connect is not really an exercise machine. This is more a vehicle for improvisation. The Jensen Family Band, of sorts. With fellow Scandinavian friends.
I really wanted to see them, but Lionel Loueke's set started late, and finished even later. So the Nordic Connect show didn't happen for me. The road to Oslo was paved with good intentions...
However, I did interview trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, and we did talk about Nordic Connect. Have a listen:
Check out Nordic Connect on MySpace.
Ingrid is also a member of a Secret Society in jazz. More about that in another post. - Josh
© 2008 WBGO
January 2, 2008. Posted by Stevan Smith.
What's going on all!
Welcome to my blog series "DIGGIN' THE CLASSICS"! When new releases in the music world get slow, we all tend to dig into our collections for some vintage pleasure. Join me for my weekly (or whenever I feel like it) quest for soundtrack satisfaction. This is a blog for music lovers! "Walk With Me".
This edition celebrates: Donald Byrd- Places and Spaces (1975)
- Change (Make you wanna Hustle)
- Wind Parade
- (Fallin' Like) Dominoes
- Places and Spaces
- You and the Music
- Night Whistler
- Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)
I have only one word to describe this album: SEXY
This is smooth jazz, funky jazz, "clean ya house jazz". I play this when my mood says,"A grown man just got home from work today....and he needs sometime to reflect".
Here's my favorite track off of the album....Wind Parade:
Recorded in the summer of 1975, Places & Spaces continued the influences of Byrd's prior release Street Lady. Exhibiting elements of Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye, and Earth Wind & Fire...let's just say this wouldn't be the darling of a jazz purist. Groovin' guitars, mellow bass, and tantalizing horns makes for a perfect blend of jazz/soul/funk/disco harmony.
Hooking up with the Mizell Brothers, as he did with his last 2 albums, Byrd continued his exploration into jazz-funk. The album was also a hot bed for samples. From acid jazz to hip hop, Places and Spaces also birthed many classics in other genres. For example, Black Moon's "Buck Em Down" Remix. A classic hip hop record of the early 90's that samples Byrd's "Wind Parade."
A part of the Blue Note Records Rare Groove series, Donald Byrd's Places and Spaces demands rotation in your mp3 player. A true classic of the past, present and future.
© 2008 WBGO