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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Jazzofonik Live line-up cl;ose to final

the final line up for the first jazzopfonik Live at the Deck
is almost ready. Singer Keisha patterson and painist Dr.
Kathy Brown have agreed.
Final line up in one week

Thursday, September 22, 2005


Originally uploaded by fstop45.
We're not familiar with her (there are more Jamaicans outside of than inside Jamaica) but our newest jazzhedz member, fstop45, says Ena is from Jamaica. More power to them both. Check fstop's cool jazz and travel pics at jazzhedz

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

September to Remember

Jazzofonik X-perience is among those remembering the music of
two jazz giants who have separate anniversaries in September.
Had they lived, Miles Davis and John Coltrane would each be
celebrating their 79th birthday this year(Davis was actually
born April 11, 1926). The month of September brings a unique
opportunity to comemorate these two giants of jazz. On September
28, 1991, Miles Davis died, officially of complications from a
stroke and pnuemonia, but known to be the final outcome of years
of hard living, fuelled at various times by drug addiction.
Coltrane, (born Septemebr 23, 1926), who also had his problems
with heroin and alcohol, died July 17, 1967 of liver cancer.

Davis will be the subject of Music for Miles" a special tribute CD
party at The Deck, on September 21 and againon September 28, beginning
at 7:30p.m. each Wednesday. "The Trane Comes Round Again" will
specially pay tribute COltrane on those two dates

In addition to Kind of Blue, which featured Jamaican-born Wynton Kelly on piano, Davis is best known for the album Bitches Brew (1970) which marked one of the most successful examples of fusing jazz with rock and funk stylings. His instrumental cover of the Michael Jackson hit, "Human Nature" is also popular. His last recorded album, Doo-Bop (1992) was produced by a hip-hop artist and found Davis experimenting yet again with fusing jazz with modern rhythms.

Coltrane’s best-known works as a leader include Giant Steps, A Love Supreme and the Live at the Village Vanguard series, recorded at the renowned New York jazz club (still going strong). His re-working of the Rodgers/Hammerstein song "My Favourite Things" (from the soundtrack to the Sound of Music) became an almost instant jazz standard.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Teen Star, Soul Vet for Air J Jazz

Among the names being bandied baout for the 2006 renewal
of the Air Jamaica Jazz 7Blues festival in Montego Bay
are pianist and teen jazz sensation Kne O' Chaw Hampton
and soul veteran Al Green

Kne-O'Chaw is a female jazz pianist and student attending the Levitt Visual and Performing Arts School in Willingboro, NJ, where she was a member of the school's Jazz Band. Kne-O'Chaw has been performing on stage for more than 3 years. She composes and arranges some of her original songs, which she performs in her shows. She does perform copy material, mostly old jazz standards. She plays classical, gospel and R&B as well. Kne-O'Chaw has been training for five years in classical and jazz piano with her personal instructor Christine Boyd of Willingboro, NJ. Her first CD "The Other Side of Town" retailed in Tower Records, Borders and The Music Factory. She also made a guest appearance on a local Philadelphia Radio Gospel talk show to promote her CD.

Green, as most should know is a proven hitmaker and performer, behind such classics as "Let's Stay Together" and "How Do You Mend (A Broekn Heart)?" that have been covered many times over.

in 2004, Green signed to Blue note records and has since relased 2 albums on that label.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Fatheadin DETROIT

Fatheadin DETROIT
Originally uploaded by mike e.bop.
Some sad news came our way recently cocnerning legendary sax (and flute) man David Fathead Newman - he broke his hip in an accident. But fortunately, Fathead had surgery and is reportedly recovering. Here's a shot of him form the Detroit Jazz Fest earlier this month, from Dr. Jazz

Thursday, September 15, 2005

the X-panding X-perience

Beginning Friday (Sep 16) the Jazzofonik X-perience expands
to two additional venues. On Friday, the jazz sound system
begins a new engagement at the Senior Common Room of the
University of the West Indies at Mona,

Then on Tuesday evenings, the X-perience moves to the recently
opened Flame lounge (formerly Andy's Place) in the Twin Gates Plaza.

The Wednesday nite Jazzofonik @ the Deck X-perience continues,
with Oct 19 set as the new start date for Jazzofonik Live. more
details in a week

Henry Hits Brooklyn

Nicole Henry will perform a concert as part of the “Brooklyn
Sings, Brooklyn Swings” Concert Series in the Brooklyn Public
Library, 1 Grand Army Plaza, on Thursday, September 22 at 7:00pm.
Making use of the library's 7-foot grand piano, Nicole and her trio
will open this 3-month series with selections from her two chart
-topping CD releases and other timeless standards. Named “Best
New Jazz Artist of 2004” by HMV/Japan, Henry has just returned
from Korea and Japan on tour with the Eddie Higgins Trio. While
in Japan, Nicole performed at the Tendo Jazz Festival sharing
the bill with artists such as Nicholas Payton and Eric Alexander.

Other September performances include:

Friday 9/16 - Miami Beach Ritz-Carlton Lapidus Lounge Sunday
9/18 - Miami Beach - Emeril’s Sunday Brunch Monday 9/19 -
Orlando, FL - Katrina Relief Fundraiser 9/21 & 9/23 -
Washington, D.C. Performances for The Congressional
Black Caucus Saturday 9/24 - Savannah, GA – Blues, Boogie & Bar BQ

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Congrats [NEA] Jazz Masters

National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Dana Gioia today
announced that seven living legends of American music will
join the ranks of the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz

The seven new NEA Jazz Masters are Ray Barretto (percussionist)
,Tony Bennett (vocalist), Bob Brookmeyer (arranger-composer),
Chick Corea (keyboardist), Buddy DeFranco (solo instrumentalist, clarinet), Freddy Hubbard (solo instrumentalist, trumpet), and
John Levy (A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Masters Award for Jazz Advocacy,
for his career as a manager).

Initiated in 1982, the NEA Jazz Master title is the nation's
highest honor in jazz. In addition to the coveted designation,
each member of the Class of 2006 will receive a fellowship award
of $25,000 and be invited to participate in outreach efforts,
including broadcasts and NEA Jazz Masters On Tour.

The NEA Jazz Master Award is part of the NEA Jazz Masters
Initiative and is sponsored by Verizon. Through its support
of this initiative, Verizon continues its tradition of
supporting quality musical entertainment and education across
the U.S.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

"Iron Lions" saga continues

Finallly found notes. Here's an excerpt from the Prologue of
my much (maybe too much) talked-about book


"I done! No more foolishness! I can do better than this!"

His trumpet case secured with an imperious snap of the
metalcatch, Bobby Nelson charged past his six bandmates
and headed for the large door of the top-floor hotel

The band, Iron Lions, was just coming off a 13-city
bi-coastal US tour (up the West coast, then down
the east, after a seemingly interminable flight across
the country.) Thirteen cities in sixteen nights, with
extra gigs in some cities.

"Bobby, wait," called pianist Ezekiel Parry, known to
all as "Deacon". "You can't make a decision like that
based on how you feel right now. We all tired and..."

---"and nothin' dammit!" Bobby cut him off thunderously,
his six-three, two hundred and thirty pound frame heaving
with fury. "Don't gimme none a your preachin' here today

Outside their suite, fifteen floors up, the early afternoon
air was deathly still, red-orange streaks of sunlight
lining the tufted tops of the cumulus clouds, like some
kind of Impressionist nightmare. It was a common but dreaded
vista in the Caribbean. A storm was coming. A big one.

Hope to have the next bit for you in about a week.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Pair of new ones from Benjy Myaz

multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and singer Benjy Myaz is
set to release two new albums over the next few months. The
first is a vocal-instrumental combo called Long Story Short,
while the next is an all-instrumental affair. No specific dates
have yet been nailed down for either disc, but in talking to Benjy
after the recent Jazz in the Gardens show, he indicated a
possible late October release for the first (he played a
version of the title track at the show).

Log on to benjymyaz.com or watch this space for more info
as it comes up

Monday, September 05, 2005

Everything "Clicked" at Jazz in the Gardens

The evening began with a tribute to an ailing giant of
modern jazz, Michael Brecker, diagnosed with a rare blood
cell disorder. His fusion classic, Nothing Personal was
the first of two rousing offerings from a power trio
consisting of keyboard whiz Ozooni and the supertight
rhythm duo of Dale Haslam on bass and Desi Jones on drums
(the latter two having just returned from a nine-week
multi-city tour with Jimmy Cliff). This they followed
with Mary’s Lamb, the keyboardist’s delightfully idiosyncratic
re-working of the time-worn nursery rhyme, proving as Sonny
Rollins was oncel led to state, "jaz is the only music that
absorb almost anything else and still be jazz."

The audience sufficiently warmed up it was time for guitazrist-vocalist-songwirter Benjy Myaz to make his
Jazz in the Gardens debut, a somewhat glaring oversight
given his prodigious abilities and proven hitmaker status.
Even though hius guitar carried a special pick-up that gave
it an expanded range (bass included), Myaz kept the drum
and bass player in the line-up. He added however two keyboardists,
the reliably excellent Othniel Lewis and the relatively untested
Andrew Young. Both were in good form as were backing vocalists
Mickiesha Mc Taggart and Nicolee Sharpe.

But it was mostly Myaz, as he took the audience on a smooth,
R&B jazz journey that took in Lionel Richie’s "Love Will Find
A Way" and the standard "Autumn Leaves" with equal ease. Myaz
dedicated the former selection to the victims of Katrina and
to all the suffering people of the world.

There was also a new song, "Long Story Short" a delightful
ballad from his upcoming CD, and a reading of "People Make
the World Go Round" (a la Ramsey Lewis) where the vocals would
not be out of place on a Whispers album. He capped an oustanding inaugural stint with the obligatory "Love You Higher" and –when
called, as expected, for encore – garnished with a sutiably
sultry reading of Bobby Caldwell’s "You Do For Love" with
addiitonal oomph from the alto sax stylings of Errol Hird.

After the intermission, the original trio returned and Ozooni’s
Fats Waller-style bit of blues humour "The Best Thing For You
Is Me" They remained intact for the night’s feature act.

Whisking herself on stage in a simple yet dramatic black-and-white ensemble, S. African –born Lorraine Klassen (she now spends much
of her time in Canada) exuding enough energy to power all seventeeen floors of the hotel and much to spare.In a consummate display
of showmanship, she danced, shook, shimmied, ad-libbed, vamped,
teased and sang her way into the hearts of the Pegasus audience,
who lapped up every minute whether they were witnessing her for
the first time or not.

Among the highlights of her stint was the popular "Click Song"
made famous by "Auntie" Miriam Makeba. Klaasen explained the
meaning of the song pointing out that in the click-dominated Xhosa language, one of the references was to a small beetle that
habitually crawled up under the long skirts worn by the women
as they went (babes on their backs) into the fields to gather
wheat. The punch line came when she demostarted how the women
–too havily laden to stop and investigate, "dislodged" the
pesky bugs.

Klaasen’s superior range and irrepressible sense of humour shone
through every aspect of herset, whether delivering "Georgia On
My Mind" "A Foggy Day in London Town"or the other Makeba smash
"Pata Pata" (with a demonstration, of course).

With the calls for her return to the stage overwhelming, she
re-entered claling on Myaz for a free-wheeling adaptation of
the blues anthem "Everyday I Have the Blues" with both leads
liberally substituting their own lines for the original.

The sound was still not as consistently clear and on target as
it can be, but in every other respect, the most recent Jazz in
the Gardens confirmed the series as among the very best live
tickets going. The next instalment takes place on October 30
and who knows what sonorous gifts may float up onto the Louisiana
bayous between now and then. Our neighbours to the north surely
could use them.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Top Spins - Sep 02

Our prayers go out to the folks of N. Orleans
- where jazz became jazz - and the Gulf coast.

My Top Spins for this period:

Herbie Hancock - Possibilities: Hancock Musci/Hear Music
a mutli-guest showcase that fluidly moves through rock,
blues, funk and pop with few missteps;

Charlie Peacock - Love Press Ex-Curio: Runway Network
A great modern jazz session from one ofthe most
prolific and lauded Chritian songwriters of all.
With great stints from Ralph Alessi(trump.) Jeff Coffin
and Ravi Coltrane (saxes); Joey Barron (drums) and
Kurt Rosenwinkel (guitar) among others. My pick of
the week.

Ginetta's Vendetta - La Dolce Vita: Kickin' Wiccan Music
trumpeter/vocalist/songwriter Ginetta Minicchielo
and her varied lineup run through some pop-jazz
originals and a funkafied adaptation of My Funny Valentine

which brings me to...

Miles Davis -the best of the Quintet 1965-68: Legacy/Sony
All September long, I'll be paying tribute to the
"Dark Prince" climaxing ina special all-Miles Jazzofonik
X-perience CD party at the Deck

Battle of the Bands launched

The Jamaica campaign for the Global battle
of the Bands officially got underway in a lively
ceremony at D' Roof erarlier this week.

Amid clips from last year's inaugural world finals,
National Director Seretse Small outlined the process
for Jamaica's historic participation.

"The organizers were very excited at the prospect of
jamaican rperesentation in the contest," he said. Small
added that an event like Global Battlae of the Bands
would not only enhance Jamaica's reputation abroad
as a music powerhouse, but would further stimulate
live music in Jamaica.

Three elimiantions will be held (Oct 22, 29 and nov. 5
respectively) followed by a National Finals on Nov. 13,
all at the BackYaad complex in Constant Spring. The winner
goes on tothe World finals athte London Astoria on Dec 7.

There, they'll compete for a first prize of US $100,000 plus
a promotional tour to all the other competing countries.

Finalists will be chosen by a combination of points from a
judging panel and public voting via call-ins or at the venue.
80% judging panel; 20% public vote.

As a corollary tot he project, LMG Models Limited will
be contributing to the styling of the Jamaican participants.

Busy Sunday for Jazz

As previously posted, two concerts are scheduled for
thsi Sunday with leading jazz artists. A little more
info on the line-ups.

over at the Pegasus, the jazz in the Gardens series resumes
at 6:00p m with stints form drummmer Desi Jones and Friends,
multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Benjy Myaz and S. African
star Lorraine Klaasen

About 10 minutes down the road, the 2nd annual Jazz
for the Kids concert takes place at the Officers Club
JDF HQ beginning at 5, featuring Dean Fraser, Dwight Richards
and Friends, Maria Myrie, Della Manley, Mark Pritchett
and Nichoals Laraque

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Jazzofonik Anniversary special

In celebration of one year of Jazzofonik X-perience at
the Deck, a special anniversary Jam takes place at the
Deck. Line-up to announced shortly.