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DownBeat Announces Winners of the 2018 Int’l Critics Poll

Pianist Vijay Iyer topped two categories in the DownBeat Critics Poll: Jazz Artist and Jazz Group (for the Vijay Iyer Sextet).
(Photo: Jimmy & Dena Katz)

Pianist Vijay Iyer, singer-songwriter Cécile McLorin Salvant, flutist Nicole Mitchell, trumpeter Amir ElSaffar, orchestra leader Maria Schneider and hip-hop artist Kendrick Lamar are among the talented performers who topped multiple categories in the 66th Annual DownBeat International Critics Poll.

Iyer topped the Jazz Artist category (a feat he also accomplished in 2012 and 2015), and his namesake sextet—which released the 2017 album Far From Over (ECM)—topped the Jazz Group category. Produced by Manfred Eicher, the album features Iyer (piano, Fender Rhodes), Graham Haynes (cornet, flugelhorn, electronics), Steve Lehman (alto saxophone), Mark Shim (tenor saxophone), Stephan Crump (double bass) and Tyshawn Sorey (drums).

Read about and see all the winners here :-

http://downbeat.com/news/detail/downbeat-announces-winners-of-2018-critics-poll

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Southern Hemisphere Trio joins the London jazz scene

Award-winning vocalists Nicky Schrire and Anita Wardell

Award-winning vocalists Nicky Schrire and Anita Wardell

For the love of the southern hemisphere (and music), this trio is sure to make London jazz fans happy this February

Award-winning vocalists Anita Wardell and Nicky Schrire met in 2007. Despite any geographical distance (Australian-raised Wardell was based in London, and Schrire was about to move from her native South Africa to New York) they developed a kinship and became fast friends. With a shared love for “straight tone” singing, the understated, and Southern Hemisphere roots, the two remained in touch over the past five years, when Schrire performed London and Wardell performed in the USA.

Schrire recently returned to live in London and the two singers are thrilled to find themselves on the same side of the pond. To celebrate this coming full circle, they have teamed up with pianist Robin Aspland (Kenny Wheeler, George Coleman, Georgie Fame) to form “The Southern Hemisphere Trio” (Aspland has spent time in both Australia and South Africa making him an honorary Southern Hemisphere-ian). The trio will explore songs from jazz and folk traditions in this intimate formation, celebrating seven years of musical friendship.

“Anita Wardell is a singer who takes no prisoners. The Australian vocalist is an uncompromising exponent of bebop and has won a cult following among her colleagues in London during her time here.”
-Clive Davis, The Times
“… Schrire becomes part of the fabric of her music. Her voice is a warm and supple instrument that serves as a dispensary of emotional power.”
-Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz

Gig Details

Date: Wednesday 11 February; 7:30pm

Venue: 3-7 Delancey St, London NW1 7NL

Tickets: £15; Phone: 020 7383 780

With thanks to The South African

 

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Wayne Henderson dies at 74; Jazz Crusaders co-founder, trombonist

By CHRIS BARTON – Jazz (Music Genre) Concerts Obituaries Obituary Database Entertainment Music KISS (music group)

Wayne Henderson of the Jazz Crusaders in 2001. (Gloria Ellis)

Wayne Henderson of the Jazz Crusaders in 2001. (Gloria Ellis)

Wayne Henderson, a trombonist, composer and co-founder of the Jazz Crusaders, who became a powerful force for merging the sound of jazz with elements of funk, soul and R&B, died Friday at a Culver City hospital. He was 74.

His death from heart failure was confirmed by manager Stephanie Pappas.

Read the full story here;

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/music/posts/la-et-ms-wayne-henderson-20140408-story.html

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Buddy DeFranco, Clarinet Innovator, Dies at 91

In his 70-year career, he brought his instrument into the bebop era and beyond

By Jeff Tamarkin

Buddy DeFranco Photo by William P. Gottlieb/LO

Buddy DeFranco
Photo by William P. Gottlieb/LO

Buddy DeFranco, who brought the clarinet into the bebop era and maintained a seven-decade career, died Dec. 24 in Panama City, Fla., according to a notice on his website. The cause was not reported. DeFranco was 91.

In the years following the dominance of swing clarinetists such as Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw, DeFranco adapted the instrument to the new type of jazz being introduced by the likes of Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, both of whom were collaborators of his. In an interview posted on the website for the National Endowment for the Arts, DeFranco, who was named an NEA Jazz Master in 2006, said, “When I heard Charlie Parker, I knew that was gonna be the new way to play jazz. And it was right. … It was much more difficult to play as far as fingering and articulation. In fact, even to this day, I can’t explain the articulation of bebop, even though I do it. You know, because it’s a question of the melding between your brain, your tonguing, your phrasing, your breathing and your fingering. It has to work all together. And there’s no way to describe it.”

 

Read the full story here.

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Guitarist Jeff Golub Dies at 59

Via Jazz Times RSS Feed:

Suffered from rare brain disorder that led to blindness and loss of functions

By Jeff Tamarkin

Jeff Golub, a guitarist who crossed seamlessly between jazz, blues and rock, died today, Jan. 1, following a lengthy illness. He was 59. The precise cause and place of death have not yet been reported but Golub had experienced a series of physical setbacks in recent years that ultimately caused him to no longer be able to perform. First, Golub gradually lost his eyesight in June 2011 due to the collapse of an optic nerve. The following year, he fell onto the subway tracks in New York and was dragged by a train, but was rescued by onlookers and escaped unscathed. He was later diagnosed with more serious, at first unidentified, issues later determined to be a rare and incurable brain disorder called Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP). Fans contributed tens of thousands of dollars toward his medical expenses via crowd-funding websites and an auction.

Jeff Golub

Jeff Golub

Jeff Golub, who was born in Copley, Ohio, April 15, 1955, played his first gig in 1967 at age 12 and turned professional during the following decade. He studied at the Berklee College of Music and worked in singer James Montgomery’s band while in Boston. In 1980, after moving to New York, Golub joined the band of rock singer Billy Squier, with whom he toured and recorded extensively. Golub released his first solo recording, Unspoken Words, for Gaia Records in 1988.

Golub released more than a dozen albums in all as a leader and three with the Avenue Blue Band, and spent several years (1988-95) in the band of singer Rod Stewart. He also collaborated with dozens of artists as a sideman, including Ashford and Simpson, Alphonse Mouzon, Kirk Whalum, Mindi Abair, Everette Harp, Peter Wolf, John Waite, Vanessa Williams, Gato Barbieri, Bill Evans, Rick Braun, Tina Turner, Dar Williams, Brian Culbertson, Gerald Albright, Henry Butler, Jon Cleary, Marc Cohn, Richard Elliot, Robben Ford, Sonny Landreth, Jeff Lorber and Peter White. Golub was also a member of Dave Koz and the Kozmos, the house band of The Emeril Lagasse Show.

Golub’s final album, made with keyboardist Brian Auger, was Train Kept A Rolling, its title inspired by Golub’s subway incident.

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Obituary: Founding member of Irakere, guitarist Carlos Emilio Morales has died at the age of 75 – Written by Wolfgang König Presenter, Compiler and producer of Jazz Around The World

Carlos Emilio Morale

Carlos Emilio Morale

On 12 November, the Cuban jazz scene suffered a heavy loss: the death of Carlos Emilio Morales who could be called the father of Cuban jazz guitar playing. As the son of a dentist, Carlos Emilio Morales attended the medical school of Havana’s university and worked as a salesman for medical products. But since he was twelve, he had also played the guitar and received formal training. As his influences he cited Django Reinhardt, Barney Kessel, Charlie Byrd, Tal Farlow and Wes Montgomery. At the age of 20, he started his professional career in the orchestra of the Teatro Musical de La Habana. Eight years later, Carlos Emilio Morales was a founding member of the Orquesta Cubana de Música Moderna where he met people like pianist Chucho Valdés, trumpeter Arturo Sandoval and saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera. In 1973 they started what was to become the greatest jazz group in Cuban music history: Irakere.

IrakereIn a certain way, Carlos Emilio Morales was Cuba’s equivalent to Freddie Green, the legendary Count Basie guitarist. Morales never recorded an album under his own name and he almost never played a solo, but he was highly valued among musicians for his supporting skills and by music students as a brilliant guitar teacher. Apart from his work with Irakere, he performed with international greats like Dizzy Gillespie, Michel Legrand, Chick Corea, Ronnie Scott and Josephine Baker.

The younger Carlos Emilio Morale

The younger Carlos Emilio Morale

Carlos Emilio Morales died at the age of 75 and was buried on the biggest cemetary of the Americas, the Cementerio Cristóbal Colón (Christopher Columbus Cemetary) in Havana.

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Why pop-turned-jazz stars just ain’t got that swing

Anything doesn’t go … Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga perform together on BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing. Photograph: Guy Levy/BBC/PA

Anything doesn’t go … Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga perform together on BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing. Photograph: Guy Levy/BBC/PA

From Rod Stewart to Robbie Williams, and now Lady Gaga and Annie Lennox, pop stars keep hopping on the jazz bandwagon but just can’t ride the rhythm.

Of all those rubbish ideas dreamt up by major-label record honchos frantically trying to balance their ailing books, the pop star – often fading, but not necessarily – sings jazz standards album feels the most desperate. Like sitcom writers who think sending their much-loved characters to Torremolinos for a feature-length “special” is the best way to re-oxygenate a programme whose days are numbered, the success rate of popster jazz is virtually nil.

Jazz is a serious and noble pursuit, with a culture and history of its own, fed by a pool of nuts-and-bolts techniques that can to outsiders feel as obscure and nebulous as the formula for Coca-Cola. And however keenly Rod Stewart, Robbie Williams, Paul McCartney, and now Lady Gaga and Annie Lennox, think kicking it with a zooty big band can varnish their careers in the mystique and musical sophistication of Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra or Sarah Vaughan, they are deluding themselves. The context is all wrong; take Mrs Slocombe’s pussy away from Grace Brothers and the joke is lost.

Read the whole story here, with thanks to the Guardain

 

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Tim Hauser, Co-Founder of the Manhattan Transfer, Dead at 72

Tim Hauser

Tim Hauser

Was only original member still with the famed vocal group

By Jeff Tamarkin

Tim Hauser, who co-founded the vocal quartet the Manhattan Transfer in 1969 and was its sole remaining original member, died Oct. 16. Details regarding the cause and place of death are not yet available, but Hauser’s passing was confirmed by the other members of the Manhattan Transfer—Alan Paul, Janis Siegel and Cheryl Bentyne—on the group’s Facebook page. That lineup had been undisturbed since 1978 when Bentyne replaced Laurel Massé, injured in a car accident. (Bentyne has been sidelined on occasion during the past few years as she’s undergone treatments for Hodgkin’s lymphoma.)

Schooled in classic jazz vocal harmony, swing and vocalese—they were often compared to Lambert, Hendricks and Ross in their early years—the group, named after a 1925 novel by John Dos Passos, was also immersed in ’50s doo-wop, bebop, pop, Latin and world music and other genres.

Tim Hauser, Erin Dickins, Marty Nelson, Gene Pistilli and Pat Rosali

Tim Hauser, Erin Dickins, Marty Nelson, Gene Pistilli and Pat Rosali

The original lineup—Hauser, Erin Dickins, Marty Nelson, Gene Pistilli and Pat Rosali—released its debut album, Jukin’, on Capitol Records in 1971. That lineup, which leaned as much toward the rocking good-time jug band music of the Lovin’ Spoonful as to jazz, disbanded the following year and Hauser grouped with Massé, Paul and Siegel.

That lineup signed with Atlantic Records and released the self-titled Manhattan Transfer album in 1975. Reaching back to 1940s swing but also to the girl group sound of the ’60s and to New Orleans R&B, the album included guest contributions from saxophonists David Sanborn and Zoot Sims, trumpeters Randy Brecker and Jon Faddis and other jazz luminaries of the day.

Manhattan Transfer

Manhattan Transfer

The group continued to record for Atlantic until the late 1980s, and although none of their albums rose higher than number 22 on the Billboard album chart (1981’s Mecca for Moderns), they did enjoy one Top 10 single in their cover of the Ad-Libs’ “Boy From New York City,” from the same album. That year the group won Grammys in both the jazz and pop music categories. They won a Grammy in the Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Duo or Group category the following year for their remake of the classic “Route 66.” Ultimately the Manhattan Transfer took home 10 Grammy awards in all.

The Manhattan Transfer was also a consistently popular concert draw and found a foothold on entertainment television.

After leaving Atlantic, the group signed with Columbia Records in 1991 and, in 2003, with Telarc. In 2009 they released The Chick Corea Songbook, a tribute to the keyboardist, on the Four Quarters label. The Manhattan Transfer was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1998 and was named best vocal group in the JazzTimes readers poll on several occasions.

Born in Troy, N.Y., Dec. 12, 1941, Hauser grew up in towns on the New Jersey shore, and began his singing career in Asbury Park at age 15 with a doo-wop group called the Criterions that once performed for the legendary disc jockey Alan Freed. In college Hauser sang with other vocal outfits, including one folk aggregation that included future hitmaker Jim Croce. Hauser served in the Air Force beginning in 1964 and took jobs in advertising upon his discharge, before starting the Manhattan Transfer in 1969.

Hauser released one solo album, Love Stories, in 2007.

Tim Hauser solo albumHauser underwent spinal surgery in 2013 and was absent from the group’s performances for some time.

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Jazz Articles: What to See at the Montreal Jazz Festival – By Jim Harrington — Jazz Articles

It’s hard to go wrong at the Montreal International Jazz Festival.

The 10-day festival, set for June 28-July 7 in downtown Montreal, is once again absolutely bursting with great options. The 2013 offerings include such jazz giants as Wayne Shorter and Charles Lloyd, top pop acts like Feist and Belle & Sebastian and celebrated performers hailing from many other genres.

Charles Lloyd | Dorothy Darr

Charles Lloyd | Dorothy Darr

Yet, you can’t see everything, right? (Although, some will surely try.) So, we’ve come up with this guide to some of the best options for those bound for Montreal this year.

Here are 10 can’t-miss shows, organized by date:

Read more at Jazz Articles: What to See at the Montreal Jazz Festival – By Jim Harrington — Jazz Articles.

 

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Anat Cohen and Her Jazz Clarinet – NYTimes.com

Anat Cohen and Her Jazz Clarinet

Anat Cohen and Her Jazz Clarinet

In search of some live Brazilian music a few months ago, I found my way to Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, in the Time Warner Center, where the Brazilian percussionist Duduka Da Fonseca was leading a quintet. I can’t say I knew much about Mr. Da Fonseca before I heard his band that night, and among the things I didn’t know was that his quintet’s regular reed player was a 38-year-old Israeli woman named Anat Cohen, who has lived in New York since 1999.

On the first few tunes of the set — mostly the kind of fast-paced, Brazilian-tinged jazz I’ve always loved — Ms. Cohen played the reed instrument most closely associated with postwar jazz: the tenor saxophone. It was immediately apparent that she was a terrific musician, fluid, full-throated, with a knack for creating beautifully crafted, even eloquent solos. Around the fifth song, however, the quintet began playing “Chorinho pra Ele,” a simple, infectious samba by Hermeto Pascoal, the great Brazilian multi-instrumentalist. And that’s when Ms. Cohen did something you rarely see a jazz reed player do these days. She took out her clarinet.

As good as her saxophone playing was, Ms. Cohen on the clarinet was a revelation. Using the clarinet’s upper register, she could evoke infectious joy. In the lower register, her playing could conjure a deep, soulful melancholy. On up-tempo numbers, her improvisations weren’t just bebop fast; they had a clarity and deep intelligence that is really quite rare. She made it look effortless, even as she was playing the most technically difficult of all the reed instruments. She only played a handful of songs on the clarinet that night, but every time she did, she took my breath away.

Read more at Anat Cohen and Her Jazz Clarinet – NYTimes.com.

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