Thursday, July 31, 2014

New Blue Note Schedule 8/2014

Dee Dee Bridgewater Featuring Theo Croker,
Tom Harrell "Colors of a Dream" With Esperanza Spalding, 
Arturo Sandoval, Earl Klugh, The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra, 
"Quincy Jones Presents: Nikki Yanofsky & Andreas Varady Album Releases + Special Guests," Among Others

New York, NY - July 31, 2014 - Blue Note Jazz Club, one of the world's most iconic jazz and blues venues based in Greenwich Village, is proud to announce an impressive schedule of artists for August 2014.
Highlights include: Dee Dee Bridgewater featuring Theo Croker, Conrad Herwig's "Latin Side of Horace Silver" project (which will be recorded live for future release on Half Note Records), Tom Harrell's "Colors of a Dream" (with Esperanza Spalding), Arturo Sandoval, Earl Klugh, and "Quincy Jones Presents: Nikki Yanofsky & Andreas Varady Album Releases + Special Guests," among others.
8:00PM & 10:30PM shows each night, unless otherwise noted. 
Doors open at 6:00pm. $5 minimum.

Thursday - Sunday, July 31 - August 3
The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra
William "Count" Basie, one of the greatest jazz musicians of all time whose talent with the keyboard elevated jazz to a new art form, started the Count Basie Orchestra in 1935 in Kansas City, Missouri.  Dedicated to continuing the Basie legacy, the Orchestra is still going strong today and will celebrate its 80th anniversary in 2015. The group is in constant demand for television and films and has won 17 GRAMMY® Awards and 20 DownBeat and JazzTimes polls, more than any other big band in jazz.
Music Charge: $20 - Bar, $35 - Table

Monday, August 4
Quincy Jones Presents: Nikki Yanofsky & Andreas Varady Album Releases + Special Guests
Blue Note Jazz Club (in association with Quincy Jones Productions) is proud to present album release performances showcasing two of jazz's most talked about new artists: 20-year-old vocalist Nikki Yanofsky and 17-year-old guitarist Andreas Varady (both of whom are managed by Jones). At just 20 years old, Yanofsky has topped both jazz and pop charts, performed with orchestras and big bands, and sold out festivals and major theaters around the world; in 2010, she sang to 3.2 billion people - half the world's population - at the Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Games. She has worked with luminaries such as Herbie Hancock, Phil Ramone,, Wyclef Jean, and Elton John. She performs in support of her new album, Little Secret, released in May 2014. Varady is "one of the most talented people on this planet, who takes the music back to where it belongs," says Jones. A child prodigy, Varady has performed with a collection of world class musicians including: Lee Ritenour, Alfredo Rodriguez, Frank Vignola, Casey Benjamin, and many more. He performs in support of his new debut self-titled album, scheduled for August 5, 2014 release on Verve Music Group. Varady will only perform as an opener for the first show at 7:00PM (with special guests, to be announced).
*Show Times: 7:00PM & 10:30PM
Music Charge: $15 - Bar, $25 - Table

Tuesday - Sunday, August 5-10
Arturo Sandoval
A protégé of the legendary jazz master Dizzy Gillespie, renowned trumpeter Arturo Sandoval is proud to return to Blue Note Jazz Club. His latest Concord Records release, Dear Diz (Every Day I Think of You), won the 2013 GRAMMY® Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album, and pays tribute to his mentor, Gillespie, showcasing the legend's greatest compositions. Sandoval is noted as one of the most dynamic and vivacious live performers of our time, having performed with Celine Dion at the Oscars, with Justin Timberlake at the GRAMMY® Awards, and with Alicia Keys at the Billboard Music Awards.  
Music Charge: 
Tuesday - Thursday: $20 - Bar, $35 - Table
Friday - Sunday: $30 - Bar, $45 - Table

Tuesday - Sunday, August 12-17
Earl Klugh
Following six-night appearances in August 2012 and 2013 respectively, GRAMMY®-winning master guitarist Earl Klugh's return to Blue Note Jazz Club for another six nights this August (2014) marks the third iteration of what has become an annual summer residency. Recording over 30 albums in his multi-million-selling career including 23 Top 10 charting records - five of them No. 1 - on Billboard's Jazz Album chart, Klugh performs in support of his latest Concord Records album, HandPicked (2013) - a solo guitar album featuring a handful of collaborative string duets (featuring the likes of country legend Vince Gill, contemporary jazz guitarist Bill Frisell and ukulele player Jake Shimabukuro). Klugh's credit appears on recordings by Aretha Franklin, Roberta Flack, Al Jarreau, Mary J. Blige, Jamie Foxx and many others. 
Music Charge: $20 - Bar, $35 - Table

Tuesday - Sunday, August 19-24
The Latin Side of Horace Silver: Conrad Herwig & The Latin Side All-Stars
W/ Special Guest Michel Camilo (8/19-21)
Live Half Note Records Album Recording
Trombonist Conrad Herwig returns to Blue Note with "The Latin Side of Horace Silver" program, spotlighting the music of jazz legend Horace Silver (who recently passed away in June 2014). This marks Herwig's seventh project in the "Latin Side" franchise. The engagement will be recorded live (to be released on Half Note Records in 2015). GRAMMY®, Emmy®, and Latin GRAMMY® Award winning pianist and composer Michel Camilo will guest for three nights. Since 1998, Herwig's "Latin Side" franchise has focused on reimagining seminal jazz musicians' compositions by showcasing those compositions within the framework of Afro-Cuban and Afro-Caribbean rhythms. Past projects have paid homage to John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, among others, receiving several GRAMMY® Award nominations for Half Note Records. Herwig's latest "Latin Side" album, The Latin Side of Joe Henderson featuring Joe Lovano, is scheduled for September 16, 2014 release on Half Note. 
Music Charge: $20 - Bar, $35 - Table

Tuesday - Thursday, August 26-28
Tom Harrell "Colors of a Dream"
The latest project from the prolific trumpeter and composer Newsweek praised for his "pure melodic genius," Tom Harrell's "Colors of a Dream" is a captivating piano-less sextet with two bassists -- one of them the stellar Esperanza Spalding - and invigorating music by one of jazz's most admired artists. The lineup also features bassist Ugonna Okegwo, tenor saxophonist Wayne Escoffery, alto saxophonist Jaleel Shaw, and drummer Jonathan BlakeA veteran of bandleaders such as Horace Silver and Phil Woods and a frequent winner of the DownBeat and JazzTimes magazines' critics and readers polls, Harrell is known for the burnished warmth and melodic grace and freedom of his trumpet and flugelhorn playing.
Music Charge: $20 - Bar, $35 - Table

Friday - Sunday, August 29-31
Dee Dee Bridgewater Featuring Theo Croker
Over the course of a multifaceted career spanning four decades, GRAMMY® and Tony Award-winning vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater has been a torchbearer for female vocalists in the tradition of Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan. With three GRAMMY® Awards to her credit, Bridgewater is seemingly getting better with age, winning a 2010 GRAMMY® Award for her latest album Listen Now! Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959): To Billie With Love From Dee Dee, where she performed the timeless songs of Billie Holiday. She appears at Blue Note with a band featuring her latest protégé, 29-year-old trumpeter Theo Croker (the grandson of legendary trumpeter Doc Cheatham), who recently released his debut album via OKeh/Sony Masterworks in May 2014 to critical acclaim.
Music Charge: $20 - Bar, $35 - Table

  • August 11 - Angela Johnson CD Release Show (8:00PM) / Bradd Marquis (10:30PM)     *One Show Only For Both Artists Above At Respective Show Times*
  • August 18 - Julie Eigenberg & Yaron Gershovsky
  • August 25 - Jeremy Pelt
Blue Note Jazz Club proudly presents its Late Night Groove Series, which showcases New York's up-and-coming jazz, soul, hip-hop, R&B and funk artists. Shows are on Friday and Saturday nights.  Doors open at midnight and shows begin at 12:30AM. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 day-of-show, unless otherwise noted. The upcoming Blue Note Jazz Festival Late Night schedule features:
Sunday Brunch at Blue Note Jazz Club is $29.50 per person and includes a live performance, brunch entree and cocktail. Each performer is scheduled for two shows, at 11:30AM and 1:30PM. The upcoming schedule features: 
  • August 3 - Louis Armstrong Birthday Tribute Feat. "Hot Lips" Joey Morant & Catfish Stew
  • August 10 - "Portrait of Oscar Peterson" feat. Peter Beets Trio
  • August 17 - Jake Hertzog Trio
  • August 24 - Nanny Assis
  • August 31 - Zach Brock Quartet feat. Mike Moreno, Yaushi Nakamura & Rudy Royston
Blue Note Jazz Club, based in the heart of Greenwich Village, is a New York City cultural institution and one of the premier jazz clubs in the world. Jazz is undoubtedly America's music, and while Blue Note strives to celebrate the music's great history, the club is a place where progression and innovation - the foundation of jazz - are encouraged and practiced on a nightly basis. Blue Note is open for concerts 365 days a year.
Location131 W. 3rd Street, between 6th Ave and MacDougal St., New York City.
Tickets/Reservations: Call 212-475-8592 or visit

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Cuban Star Rey Cabrera To Release New Recording!

For Immediate Release

Veteran Cuban Musician Rey Cabrera Spices Up The Summer With A Brand New Album!

Los Angeles, CA - Cuban born vocalist and master of the tres, a traditional Cuban style guitar, brings his finest latin jazz music to the North American audiences this coming August 5th. The extraordinary new album, Cabrera’s third full-length as Rey Cabrera y Sus Amigos, is entitled Controversia, and will be released on both CD and digitally by Goldenlane Records, a subsidiary of Cleopatra Records, Inc.

Born 1943 in the Oriente mountains that surround Santiago de Cuba, Cabrera inherited his love and passion for música campesina, Cuba’s oldest and most traditional music style, from both of his parents. His father taught him to play the tres, and before too long the young Cabrera moved to Santiago de Cuba where he met and performed with Eliades Ochoa, later of Buena Vista Social Club fame. From there, Cabrera went on to his own international acclaim as one of the last ambassadors of the Cuban musical style known as son cubano, a blend of Spanish canción and African rhythms. Cabrera has performed everywhere from the Montreux Jazz Festival, the North Sea Jazz in South Africa, the UK, and Belgium. Now this seasoned veteran will bring his immense talent to US shores - so grab a mojito and let Cabrera’s band transport you through the rich history of his musical heritage!

1. Merci Beaucoup
2. Mi Niña Mari
3. Los Refrancitos
4. Le Canto Al Palenque with Roberto Carrión
5. Cuando Nace El Sol with René Baes
6. Me Voy A Recoger Café
7. Canto A Bruselas, 10 Años Después
8. Los Testigos
9. La Calabaza with Mongo Vuelta
10. El Fuiki Fuiki with DJ Proceed

To order the CD on Amazon:

To order the digital version on iTunes:
REY CABRERA med res.jpg

Richard Elliot Lip Service 2014

The soundtrack for the horizontal mambo...
Brent Black /
I have loved Richard Elliot since he split from Tower of Power to start one of the finest careers as a contemporary instrumental soloist and hand to god I want to like this one, I don't. Unlike most "smooth jazz" saxophonists whose difference in sound and execution can be measured by the thickness of a sheet of paper, Richard Elliot was on fire. Lip Service is easy listening on steroids, nice melodies and well produced but the jazz / soul hybrid is being and has been done to death.
Power ballads and mid tempo sweet soul morph into a sonic sedative on a shiny silver disc. I'll blame producer Paul Brown as this is his somewhat predictable wheelhouse. The covers are eclectic and range from The Manhattans to Bruno Mars, seriously? After working on the Dave Koz Summer Horns project with some truly classic covers and this is what we get?
I still love Richard Elliot. I just don't love this. I can't...This is so mind-numbingly predictable that the only thing left to say is that this is the prime example of why smooth jazz is on life support.
2 Stars.  

Paul Brown Truth B Told Woodward 2014

Truth B Told, This Is Paul Brown's Finest Release...
Brent Black /
Most people that roll with me in my musical mafia know that I just don't care for "smooth jazz." Mind numbing predictability and over produced easy listening are simply not how I roll. Paul Brown has gone a little deeper with Truth B Told and the results should pay huge dividends for this highly respected performer.
The one negative to the release would be his vocal duet with Wendy Moten, "Love n Trust." Nothing against Moten, Brown is the problem as his vocal chops just aren't there. Outside of the vocal blip, Brown moves past the more traditional pretentious ear candy associated with this genre on life support and hits some more blues infused regions of his six string soul that raise the level of the tunes and dynamics of what may well be his finest commercial success yet. Cameos are made by Larry Carlton on the gem of the release, "Purple Shoes." Other notable performances are from Dave Koz and Richard Elliot.
A review that writes itself. Paul Brown fans will flip over Truth B Told.
4 Stars

Peregrinos DP 2014

A globally inspired improvisational feast for the senses!
Brent Black /
Guitarist Raimundo Santander and drummer Rodrigo Recabarren have teamed up for a cutting edge duo that does a rhythmic exploratory on a unique hybrid of Chilean folk music with a slightly more nuanced improvisational flair. Deconstructed eclectic excursions that develop an organic pulse while attacking both the visceral and cerebral with a meticulous forward motion of sound. This collaboration also included critically acclaimed saxophonist Joshua Kwassman who both wrote and performed on the more "jazz" influenced "For Our Last Day" highlighting the versatility and depth of this amazing duo.
For the uninitiated, Chilean folk music is just that. A cultural infusion of certain regions that is handled by this duo with flair and finesse yet with an innate ability to take these amazing melodies and push the improvisational envelope. "Mapu" begins with a percussive heartbeat follow by an acoustic counterpoint that morphs into a harmonic conversation for contemporary culture. The title track "Peregrinos" walks a percussive tightrope with guitarist Santander taking a more angular avant garde approach embracing a distinct Chilean flair. Both Santander and Recabarren are masters at their craft.
Part of the journey as a critic is to take what you know and what you like and move past that. The harmonic road less traveled can be a freeing experience. While North America seems to have a cultural embargo on many artists from South America, I have been fortunate to be contacted on numerous occasions for review submissions. Peregrinos is deserving of a far wider audience and I would strongly encourage you to check out their web site:
You can sample some of this amazing music for yourself.
Tracks: Peregrinos; Huellas en el Cielo; Parsimonia; For Our Last Day; Nino Luchin; Sube; Mapu.
Personnel: Raimundo Santander: Guitars, Effects; Rodrigo Recabarren: Drums and Percussion.

Michael Carvin Experience Flash Forward Motema 2014

The Michael Carvin Experience goes back to the future with a tremendous debut!
Brent Black /
Not hip to drummer Michael Carvin? The improvisational resume of Carvin includes work with such giants as Dizzy Gilespie, McCoy Tyner and Pat Martino. Flash Forward is the first release for Carvin since the 2006 Marsalis Honors Series and he has assembled a premier quartet. Why the eight year gap? We all need a break and apparently the rigors and mental gymnastics necessary to deal with some people in the business were taking their toll.
Flash Forward brings melody out of the jazz witness protection program with odd meters along with a rhythmic intensity that embraces these familiar standards without losing the integrity of the originals. Predictable? No and this is the foundation of why the release could easily be a sleeper for Grammy consideration. Sure, this is not necessarily a new concept but rarely will one hear it pulled off with such precision. An open ended spatial attack from a formidable 4tet with a unified approach and a melodic sense of urgency. Tunes include a danceable shuffle beat to "Autumn Leaves" along with a more Afro-Cuban riff on "Night In Tunisia." Perhaps the most impressive showcase would be the R & B infused "You Stepped Out Of A Dream." Flash Forward is a key player in the new sound of modern jazz.
The Carvin Experience is that rare improvisational collective that functions with a lyrical consciousness, harmonic conversations from the soul. Kenny Loftis shows amazing range on saxophone, Yayoi Ikawa adds nuanced flavor while bassist Jansen Cinco may well be the glue that binds this band together.
An absolutely stellar recording!
Tracks: So What; Sayonara Blues; In Walked Bud; Same Shame; Night In Tunisia; You Go To My Head; You Stepped Out Of A Dream; Autumn Leaves