Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Detroit Jazz Fest 2014!


35th Annual Detroit Jazz Festival Announces
World-Class Lineup with "Jazz Speaks for Life" Theme
Tenor Saxophonist Joshua Redman to
Serve as 2014 Artist in Residence
World's Largest Free Jazz Festival to
Take Place August 29 - September 1, 2014
Joshua Redman - Photo Credit: Jay Blakesberg

Detroit, Mich., April 16, 2014 - The Detroit Jazz Festival announces its 2014 Artist in Residence and world-class headlining acts for the 35th annual Labor Day Weekend (Friday, August 29 - Monday, September 1) performances. The Festival will stay true to its roots of delivering an expansive lineup, featuring emerging and established artists as well as jazz legends, from both Detroit and around the world.
"The Detroit Jazz Festival is a significant event in the music world and in the Detroit community. Each year we look forward to seeing it grow and be embraced by so many," says Gretchen Valade, chair of the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation board of directors. "We're proud of our great city, and through this festival, we're able to show the world that Detroit is a vibrant, cultural hub of creativity and expression. Jazz is an inspiring genre, and we want to share its impact with music enthusiasts whenever possible. By producing the world's largest free jazz festival, we're able to do that."
The 2014 headlining acts include (in alphabetical order):
  • 2014 Artist in Residence, Joshua Redman
  • A Night at the Apollo Theatre featuring Ted Louis Levy, Margot B, Kevin Mahogany, the David Berger's New York City Jazz Orchestra and special guests
  • "To Miles from Wayne" with Wallace Roney
  • "Straighten Up and Fly Right" - The Nat King Cole Tribute Featuring Ramsey Lewis and
  • John Pizzarelli
  • Al Foster Quartet
  • Aruan Ortiz & Orbiting Quartet
  • Bad Plus featuring Joshua Redman
  • Barry Harris Trio
  • Bill Evans - Soulgrass
  • Christian McBride Trio
  • Cyrille Aimée
  • Cyrus Chestnut Plays Dave Brubeck
  • Dave Holland - Prism Quartet Featuring Kevin Eubanks, Eric Harland, Craig Taborn
  • Detroit Jazz Festival Orchestra (DJFO) HOMECOMING Band - Jimmy Wilkins and the DJFO
  • Diane Schuur with Alan Broadbent
  • Dirty Dozen Brass Band
  • Dr. Lonnie Smith's "In the Beginning" Octet
  • Elio Villafranca Quartet
  • Gary Burton Quintet featuring Julian Lage, Vadim Neselovskyi, Jorge Roeder and  Marcus Gilmore
  • Joey DeFrancesco Quartet
  • John Pizzarelli Quartet with Bucky Pizzarelli - Father and Son
  • Lou Donaldson Organ Quartet
  • Mack Avenue SuperBand
  • Marcus Belgrave "Louis Armstrong's Musical Legacy"
  • Mike Stern Band
  • Nicholas Payton "Sketches of Miles and Gil" - Conducted by Bob Belden
  • Pharoah Sanders Quartet
  • Phil Woods Quintet
  • Randy Weston African Rhythms Octet
  • Randy Weston and Billy Harper Duo "The Roots of Blues"
  • Regina Carter's "Southern Comfort"
  • Rodney Whitaker and Soul-R Energy
  • Ron Carter and Peter Bernstein: Tribute to Jim Hall
  • Sean Jones Quartet
  • Stanley Clarke Band "School Days"
  • Steve Tormé sings Tormé: Tribute to Mel Tormé
  • The Barry Harris Trio featuring Ray Drummond and Leroy Williams
  • The DJF All-Stars - tribute to Sonny Red and other Detroit composers
  • Tim Ries and the East Gypsy Band
  • Tom Harrell's Colors of a Dream with Esperanza Spalding
  • Tormé Sings Tormé featuring Steve March-Tormé 
To see the full lineup, visit
"Every year it's our goal to bring a unique collection of world-class musicians to Detroit for performances you literally can't see anywhere else, and I can say without a doubt that, again, we've been able to do so," said Chris Collins, artistic director of the Detroit Jazz Festival. "This year, with our theme 'Jazz Speaks for Life' in mind, we sought musicians from all walks of life who weave deep, meaningful stories through their music. These stories are the root of what makes jazz a very powerful medium, and we are blessed to have artists perform that are able to express their worldly experiences through beautiful works of jazz."
Joshua Redman, 2014 Artist in Residence, is one of the many artists that has a great story to tell. Redman is known as one of the most acclaimed and charismatic jazz artists to have emerged in the 1990s and has toured with jazz masters such as Jack DeJohnette, Joe Lovano, Pat Metheny and Clark Terry. He, along with other world-renowned artists, will take to four stages - JP Morgan Chase Main Stage, Carhartt Amphitheatre Stage, Mack Avenue Records Waterfront Stage and Absopure Pyramid Stage - over the course of Labor Day weekend.
The 35th annual Festival weekend will run Friday, August 29 through Monday, September 1 in Hart Plaza and Campus Martius, downtown Detroit. The Detroit Jazz Festival is the largest free jazz festival in the world, attracting artists and attendees from all over the globe. On top of providing impactful performances from jazz legends, Festival weekend activities and year-round initiatives make a significant economic impact on Detroit.
In addition to seeking out established musicians, the Festival dedicates much of its time throughout the year to educating students and the community about jazz through workshops and Community Series Concerts. Likewise, in an effort to foster artists within the Detroit region, but also beyond, the Festival hosts annual competitions. This year, pianists and arrangers from across the globe can submit their compositions for a chance to perform at the 2014 Festival as well as win monetary prizes. Applications must be submitted by June 20 and July 1, respectively. Ensembles will be selected based on such things as artistic excellence, creativity, group interaction, originality and stylistic continuity.
This year's major corporate sponsors, who continue to keep the festival free, include JPMorgan Chase & Co., Opportunity Detroit, Carhartt, Mack Avenue Records and DTE Energy Foundation. Individuals can also support the Festival through Rhythm Section memberships.
About the Detroit Jazz Festival
The Detroit Jazz Festival is an independent, non-profit organization that presents jazz and educational workshops throughout the year. Recently voted number two in North America in a JazzTimes reader's poll, the Detroit Jazz Festival is the largest free jazz festival in the world and a major tourist attraction for the City of Detroit, with 23 percent of its audience coming from out of state.
The Festival receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Erb Family Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Kresge Foundation. Major corporate partners include JPMorgan Chase & Co., Opportunity Detroit, Carhartt and Mack Avenue Records. Additional partners include Absopure Water Company, Comcast, Detroit Marriott, Fathead, Great Lakes Beverage, McDonalds, MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino Hotel, Panasonic and Quicken Loans. Media partners include DownBeatHour Detroit, JazzTimes, MetroTimes and Fox 2. The festival's Greening Program, now entering Phase IV, is supported by a generous grant from the DTE Energy Foundation. 
For more information on Detroit Jazz Festival, please visit:

A Request For Help...

My situation seems to change more often than some people change their shorts...

I've tried to keep writing but reviews are getting shorter. I have tried to fight my hospital issues with billing etc...and I have tried to get a handle on how to work my funding site which I still don't understand so...let me try the direct approach.

I have advanced liver disease. Late stage two / early three but I am faced with the hurdle to jump of an inoperable blood clot. I am learning how to literally shoot up and inject my system with a potentially lethal blood thinner to move the clot and put the liver transplant back on the table....

I need your help. If you can contribute anything no matter the amount use the pay pal link or funding widget here at

In a matter of days I will be starting a three week course of 2 injections per day. I have to be watched 24/7...If I show symptoms of bleeding they toss my ass in an ambulance and start pushing thrombolytics and pray they make it to the hospital in time.

20 bucks to you could be a prescription to me..

Please help and or share this.

Clearlight Impressionist Symphony Gonzo 2014

Clearlight is back and has elevated their harmonic game to the next level!
Brent Black /
The first new release in decades finds the iconic French prog ensemble charting yet another new melodic course and thus raising the bar for their contemporaries. The Impressionist Symphony embraces the conceptual notions of impressionism, painting and music coming together as one cerebral aura of sound. Musical influences from the impressionist period would include Ravel and Debussy and it is the vision of Cyrille "Clearlight" Verdeaux that allows for an amazing transcendence to a more contemporary approach with guests from Gong, The Muffins, Spirits Burning and the amazing Linda Cushma from Oxygen 8. Getting by with a little help from your friends worked for the Beatles so why not here?
Progressive classical? No...Prog rock as most people would no and understand it? Hmmm. No. This is the return of a visionary with the ability to grasp the cerebral aspect of impressionism and marry that with the visceral side of a more rock oriented millennium to smash through genres if not time itself and create a new hybrid of sound unique to this amazing collective. Clearlight has been around since the mid 70's and this may be the primary reason why...Stellar.

Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Renoir En Couleur
2. Time Is Monet
3. Pissarro King
4. Degas De La Marine
5. Van Gogh 3rd Ear
6. Gaughin Dans L'Autre
7. Lautrec Too Loose
8. Monet Time (Duet)
Line-up / Musicians
- Cyrille Verdeaux / piano, synthesizers
- Didier Malherbe / wind instruments
- Craig Fry / violin
- Vincent Thomas Penny / guitars
- Paul Sears / drums, percussion
- Linda Cushma / bass
- Chris Kovacks / synthesizers
- Remy Tran / synthesizers
- Steve Hillage / guitars
- Tim Blake / xils synth, theremin

Rene Marie I Wanna Be Evil!

#4 Vocal Jazz CD of 2013.  NPR
She's got moxie. 
ESSENCE of the finest vocal jazz albums of 2013. JAZZWISE
* * *
@ New Orleans Jazz Fest April 26
@ Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola May 15-18
@ Kennedy Center May 24 
@ Spoleto Festival MAY 26
René Marie - singer, actress, writer.  Eartha Kitt - singer, actress, writer
Never before has there been a vocal recording tipping the hat to the divine Ms. Kitt and her fiery, sensual and clever interpretations of songs. With her incredible range of vocal ability, her powerful emotional resonance and strong independent streak, René is the right artist to conceive of this historic project, which is taking fans, media and the industry by storm as she tours non-stop internationally to support the music and her reverence for Ms. Kitt.  I Wanna Be Evil (With Love to Eartha Kitt) is René's third recording for Motema Music and her 10th career album. René, a vocalist/writer/actress from Virginia, knows just how to evoke the memory and legend of Eartha while making it her own.  
Eartha Kitt's daughter Kitt Shapiro, who maintains her mother's legacy via and the company Simply Eartha, expressed her appreciation. It's wonderful that such a talented artist like René Marie has recorded the first tribute album to my mother, helping to keep her memory and spirit alive.  These classic songs deserve to be heard and loved by all generations.
This brilliantly entertaining album burnishes René's reputation as the most provocative risk-taker among today's jazz divas. Featuring star turns by trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, trumpeter Etienne Charles and Australia's Adrian Cunningham on saxophone, clarinet and flute, I Wanna Be Evil opens with a cackle of mischief and features such Eartha gems as "Peel Me A Grape," "C'est Si Bon" and the holiday favorite - "Santa Baby."  René's slow burn version is sure to become a new holiday favorite. Lesser-known barn burners like "I'd Rather Be Burned As A Witch," and "I Wanna Be Evil" immediately signal the melding of the spirits of these two audacious women. She closes with her haunting original, "Weekend." Produced by René, veteran producer/writer/programmer Mark Ruffin, I Wanna Be Evil features René's longtime band: Quentin Baxter (drums, percussion, washboard); Kevin Bales (piano); and Elias Bailey (bass). Baxter also co-produced.
Ren?? Marie ' I Wanna Be Evil' - New album
Rene Marie ' I Wanna Be Evil' - New Album
FEATURED ON THE COVER OF JAZZ TIMES AND IN THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.  René is winning acclaim for this new recording as seen on the December front cover of the national jazz publication Jazz Times.  Other reviews include:
Eartha Kitt was quite a character, and René Marie is too. Ms. Marie's latest album, "I Wanna Be Evil: With Love to Eartha Kitt " (Motéma), works wonderfully well not only as a swinging jazz record but as a reminder that Kitt, who died in 2008 at the age of 81, should not be forgotten...Ms. Marie showed herself to be a worthy successor to Kitt as a singer, one who demands a bigger platform to showcase her skills. - Jim Fusilli, Pop & Rock columnist 
This brilliant...homage to her idol Eartha Kitt finds the singer in dazzling form... 4 stars.  
A shrewdly brassy jazz singer who never shies from the power of drama, Ms. Marie takes on a worthy subject with her new album, "I Wanna Be Evil."
* * *
4/26 - New Orleans Jazz Festival, New Orleans, LA 
4/26 - Snug Harbor, New Orleans, LA
5/14 - Side Door Jazz Club, Old Lyme, CT 
5/15-18 - Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, Jazz at Lincoln Center, NYC
5/22 - World Café Live at The Queen, Wilmington, DE
5/23 - Westminster Canturbury, Richmond, VA
5/24 - The Kennedy Center - Mary Lou Williams Festival, Washington, DC
5/26 - Spoleto Festival, Charleston, SC
6/26-27 - Little Nell Hotel, Aspen, CO 

Hiromi Alive!

Ever since she emerged on the scene in 2003, Hiromi has been one of the most profound and prolific living forces in 21st century music. Mentored by the legendary Ahmad Jamal, the Japanese pianist/composer has created music that grows with every performance, moves easily beyond stylistic genres, exhibits an awareness of the entire jazz tradition and adapts to the contributions of her fellow bandmates.
“Alive,” her June 17 release on Telarc/Concord, heralds the return of Hiromi’s Trio Project, featuring contrabass guitarist Anthony Jackson (Steely Dan, Paul Simon, Michel Camilo, The O’Jays and Chick Corea) and drummer Simon Phillips (Toto, The Who, Judas Priest, David Gilmour and Jack Bruce).
“Alive has a double meaning for me,” Hiromi says. “I wanted to write songs that deal with things and emotions that we encounter in life. But the word Alive can also mean ‘played live.’ I’ve been performing with Simon and Anthony for four years. We’ve made three records together, and we’ve done so many live shows as a trio. We have a great time being adventurous, and I felt that we can make the record sound like a live recording in front of the audience.”

Machine Mass Trio As Real As Thinking MoonJune 2011

A cerebral trip wire of sound and texture...nuanced fury.
Brent Black /
Live in the studio means different things to different people and artists! Loops, electronics, and various types of programming are electronic crutches for the less talented and amazing tools of discovery for those whose harmonic vision runs just a bit left of center. Machine Mass is a bass-less trio that has the keen ability to manipulate sound and rhythm to the degree that depending upon where you are in the release then you would be convinced that the bass player was killing it and the quintet was perhaps the most progressive outfit in improvisational music. Despite the masterful use of their electronic tool box, Machine Mass never crosses that eclectic line of harmonic minimalism while embracing shifting meters, rhythms, and intensity that keep As Real As Thinking right on the cutting edge of originality.
There is a lyrical sense of purpose, melodic muscle with deceptively nuances flavor thanks to the use of the bass clarinet on "UFO-RA." The tunes "Khajurao" and "Palitana Mood" move to the more ambient side of the harmonic street with an organic tip thanks to the bouzouki and bansuri flute. Machine Mass is a rare ensemble that has a full command of both sound and silence. Machine Mass does not see a harmonic vision, they hear it. Their latest release featuring David Liebman is drawing rave reviews and I was no exception. Good music has no expiration date and this gem from 2011 is proof.
Tracks: Cuckoo; Knowledge; Let Go; Khajurao; Hero; UFO-RA; Falling Up; Palitana Mood.
Personnel: Tony Bianco; Drums, Loops, Percussion; Michel Delville: Electric Guitar, Bouzouki, Electronics; Jordi Grognard: Tenor Sax, Bass Clarinet, Flute, Bansuri, Electronic Tempura.