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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Judge leaves the bench for music

Former Resident Magistrate Carol Gonzalez, who left the judiciary on Friday last
to pursue her musical dreams, will launch her album, The Music In Me at the Terra Nova hotel on Thursday (Sep 27) at 7:00pm.

Gonzalez, who did stints on Broadway as well as on the Manhattan club circuit
in the late 70s and early 80s, had local Jamaican hits with Spoiled By Your Love,and Second Class Love.

below is the URL to a Sunday Gleaner (Sep 23 )article detailing her new career path.

Banks' blues @ Red Bones

Friday September 28, 2007 @ 9:00pm

Redbones Presents
Texas Blues Singer

Gates open at 8:00pm
Showtime 9:00pm

Admission J$400

US Jazz: 'Cutting Out The Cross

Isaiah 53; v. 5
"But he was wounded for our iniquities, bruised for our transgressions.
The chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes, we are healed."

The significance of the above was lost on US singer Jackie Jones, the
headline act of Tuesday night's US Embassy Jazz concert at the Pegasus

Jones opted to do the traditional hymn, "He Looked Beyond My Faults & Saw My Needs"
(popularly referred to by its opening line, "Amazing Grace Shall Always Be My Song of Praise")
At the chorus, where the hymn would read "I shall forever lift mine eyes to Calvary,
to view the cross where Jesus died for me" she deliberately substituted the following lines:

"I shall forever lift my head in thanks to Thee
for all that you have done for me"

By deliberately eliminating the cross and any mention of Jesus, Jones essentially
ripped the heart out of the song, and marred what up to that point was a pleasant,
if unspectacular evening's entertainment.

Backed by a Harold Davis-led group that included Alex Martin-Blanken(kybd), Dale Brown (elc bass); Junior "Bird" Bailey (dr) and Warren harris (alto sax & prcssion);
she delivered R&B-inflected covers of such standards as My Funny Valentine and Cheek to Cheek, as well as a catchy Latin-tinged original, entitled Bittersweet.

Jackie, if you can't behold the cross, don't try to deny others the knowledge of Him. Sing the whole truth or nothing.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Monk et al at Starbucks

Thelonious Monk is but one of the jazz and pop legends available
at coffee giant Starbucks. herbie hancock, Paul McCartney,(whose new
album, Memory Almost Full, was the new comapny's first full release)
Joni mitchell, Lyle lovett and Dave Matthews are also available.
Starbucks also recently launched its iTunes giveaway promotion.

Despite the fac that they have their detractors, and we have our own
indigenous coffee bars, My question is, When do they get to Jamaica?

Monday, September 24, 2007

US Embassy Jazz

on Tuesday, September 25, 8:00 p.m. at the Gardens, Jamaica Pegasus Hotel. The event will feature U.S. jazz vocalist Jackie Jones along with Jamaica's Harold Davis and Friends and Maurice Charles.

Jackie Jones is a talented American artist who carries the jazz legacy to new lengths. She brings renewed vitality and energy to a grand tradition of musical innovation and virtuosity. Jones is a graduate of Rutgers University where she had formal music education at the Mason Gross School of the Arts. There she trained under such noteworthy jazz talents as pianist Kenny Barron, drummer Keith Copeland, vibraphonist Steve Nelson and bassist Larry Ridley. Ms. Jones has electrified audiences from New York City to Germany and has opened for the legendary Lou Rawls. Her greatest vocal influences are anchored in the tradition of jazz song stylists Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Nancy Wilson and Etta Jones

Good to see the folks at US Embassy returning to jazz & blues - their offerings in the past (Jazz Sabroson, Sista Monica etc) have been of high quality. this is one to look forward to

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Sonny & Roy: a 50-year (almost) reunion

Just had to include the following NY Times review of Sonny Rollins'
epochal 50th Anniversary Carnegie Hall concert, especially
afterlearnign that it was almost 50 years since Sonny's played
with Roy Haynes.

A Reunion of Giants, 50 Years On
Sonny Rollins’s concert at Carnegie Hall on Tuesday
night was billed as the 50th anniversary of his first
performance there. More significant, it was the first
time since 1958 — nearly a 50th anniversary — that
he’s played with Roy Haynes. The greatest living tenor
saxophone player, teamed again with arguably the
greatest living drummer — now that’s historic.

The concert’s first half, when the two were joined by
the young bassist Christian McBride, lived up to the
fanfare, in unexpected ways. The high points of Mr.
Rollins’s concerts are usually the extended solos:
sinuous improvisations, going on for dozens of
choruses, no two alike, in which he explores every
chord, theme or counterpoint a song seems to offer,
then taps some uncharted crevice and digs or soars on
to blow more. This set wasn’t like that. Perhaps
because he was playing with peers (a rarity in recent
decades), he held back, simmered where he usually
boiled, and played as one of three equals.

The unlikely highlight was “Some Enchanted Evening,”
which Mr. Rollins opened by reciting the melody with
his lush and husky tone, while Mr. Haynes flapped
brushes in triple time, and Mr. McBride plucked whole
notes that anchored the chords without confining his
band mates. When they got to the part where most
musicians take solos, Mr. Rollins instead tossed out a
fragment of the melody, then Mr. Haynes filled in the
rest, and on the interplay went, bar after bar, the
two sometimes overlapping, sometimes not.

It felt like an ambling, elegant conversation between
old friends, which in fact it was. It set off a
goose-bump sensation, a shared intimacy one rarely
encounters in a jazz concert. And the full house gave
it the night’s lustiest applause.

For the set’s closer, “Mack the Knife,” Mr. Rollins
drew on a gruffer tone, full of fleet triplets and
arpeggios, but Mr. McBride took the star turn with a
solo that possessed a horn’s articulate fluency and a
master’s insouciant assurance, despite the age gap
that might have marked him as an apprentice. (He’s 35,
while Mr. Rollins is 77 and Mr. Haynes is —
unbelievably — 82.)

After intermission Mr. Rollins brought out his regular
sextet, which includes electric guitar, electric bass,
trombone, drums and congas (but, alas, no Mr. Haynes
or Mr. McBride). This is a band whose function is to
support the leader, and it performs that task
adequately. But Carnegie Hall’s acoustics, often
troublesome with amplified music, muddied the works,
and Mr. Rollins’s notes were often buried in the mix.
The engineers turned up the volume when Clifton
Anderson’s trombone started out too low, but didn’t
extend the courtesy to the headliner.

Mr. Rollins never broke through the stratosphere.
Still, he played with customary verve, especially
during the two calypsos, when he strutted to the front
of the stage, thrusting his horn to the rhythm while
ripping through the scales, finally uncorking a stream
of thunderous low notes like a foghorn guiding the
way. He does this at the end of nearly all his
concerts, and it never fails to delight.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Merrtione Reunion 07 launched

"Ther are all the ingredients for a Merritone event," quipped MC
Michael Hall at last night's launch of the 17th Merritone
Reunion and homecoming at the Waterfalls lounge in Liguanea. "We have
white rum, we have Levitra, and we have the Merritone family."

Amid the towering orange flame of the Levitra balloon, and other branding
cues, the venerable sound system (57 years young) launched the 2007
edition of itsa annual celebration with a word on the impacto f jamaican music and culture on N American life and politics form former Ambassador to
the US, Gordon Shirley and reminsicences of teenage years form Mutabaruka
who revealed that as a student of Kgn Tech High School, he would 'skull [skip]
school' to go to Merritone events.
Merritone man Monte Blake gavea rundown of the 2K7 schedule, kicking off
with a joint fete with JDF at Curphey place on October 5, followed by the return to the Genesis of the group at Lyssons St Thomas, - Oct 6 followed by a Sunday outing at Somerset Falls in Portland
The action returns to the capital withthe meet and greet at the Quad on OCt 10
and Waterfalls on Oct 11 before heading to Runaway Bay forthe big all-inclusive weekend at Hedonism III.
Heroes Day Oct 15 wraps up the celebrations at the Deck lounge and bar in New Kingston.

The next Riffs



MON: “ A soul transferred into sound”, is how Elisabeth Kontomanou has been described. Of Greek and African origin, and born in France, Miss Kontomanou interprets classic songs on her album “Midnight Sun”.Singer Allan Harris pays tribute to Nat King Cole, and sounds a lot like the “king”.

TUES: There’s more to Venezuela than Hugo Chavez. For instance, Venezuelan pianist Luis Perdomo, who relys less on his Latin side, but embraces music wholly.

WED: Bassist, Morrie Louden’s “Timepiece”, is a brilliant blend of compositions, arrangements and musicianship. Pianist David Hazeltine leads a sparkling “straight ahead” style with Eric Alexander and Joe Locke.

THURS: The Turtle Island Quartet, of violin, baritone violin, viola and cello pay tribute to John Coltrane’s “ A Love Supreme”..

FRID: Riffin with the evolution of the groove, with remixes of Miles Davis, featuring rapper Nas and Carlos Santana. The groove also evolves to Guadelope , with musician Jacques- Schwartz- Bart, and rapper Talib Kweli’s “Eardrum”.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Merritone 2K7

An early note about Merritone Homecoming 2007.
The calendar staple will be launched Thursday Sep 20 at
Waterfalls (7pm local)
sunday Brunch with Merritone continues of FM93 12 noon to 4pm
go to newstalk.com.jm

Monday, September 17, 2007

Rifin', Red Bones & Trane's last stop

A fulsome post tonight combining the Riffin' rundown, notice of
an upcoming Maurice Gordon show at Red Bones and an interesting
newsclip about efforts to preserve the former home of John COltrane
in Long Island, NY



MON; Riffin with the robust tenor saxophone of Illinois Jacquet. A sound that could be screeching, but also warm. Jacquet plays his final performance with his Big Band at the Midsummer Night Swing, in 2004, at the Lincoln Centre For The Performing Arts.

TUES: For singers only. The New York Voices, Cassandra Wilson and Allan Harris.

WED: Pianist Billy Taylor, and Baritone saxophonist, Gerry Mulligan, in live performance, breeze through some standards in fine style and infectious camaraderie. McCoy Tyner’s Quarter, also in live performance, featuring Joe Lovano, hypnotizes.

THURS: The in demand, German trumpeter, arranger and producer, Till Bronner, a master of mood and music, featured aspects of his album “Oceana”. Pat Metheny and Brad Mehldau, explore their own musical intimations with a Quartet. Bassist Scott Colley is the “architect of the silent moment”.

FRID: Guitarist, Kenny Burrell, celebrates a 75 birthday bash with the Gerald Wilson Orchestra.

present :
" People who live to play live"featuring
guitarist and composer
8:30 p.m.
21 BRAEMAR AVENUE 978-6091 855-3030

Contribution : $500
Students $250

featuring :
MAURICE GORDON : guitar; Courtney Sinclair/Othniel Lewis : keyboards;
Dale Haslam : bass; Deleon "Jubba" White : drums

Suburban Long Island Home of John & Alice Coltrane Receives Rare Designation
Coltrane Home Seeks Continued Preservation and Creation of Museum and Education Center
Huntington, NY, September 4, 2007 - The Dix Hills, Long Island home of jazz musical greats, John Coltrane and Alice Coltrane, has just been added to both the New York State and the National Register of Historic Places. The home was the residence of the Coltrane family from 1964 to 1973 John Coltrane, a renowned saxophonist and composer, composed "A Love Supreme" - one of the largest-selling jazz albums of all time - at the home. John Coltrane passed away in 1967.
According to Robert C. Hughes, Huntington Town Historian, "It's relatively unusual for a mid-fifties' home to receive historic landmark designations. This attests to the significance of this site as the location from which the music of the Coltranes tremendously impacted the music world. This also confirms the Town of Huntington's belief that this is a significant landmark."
The attainment of these designations is seen as a key step in the complete preservation of the home; as well as its planned future conversion to a museum and archive of important jazz and music material, and educational center -- as envisioned by the Coltrane family and the participants of The Coltrane Home, a not-for-profit organization devoted to the preservation of the home. According to musician Ravi Coltrane, son of John and Alice Coltrane, who lived in the home as a child, "It was my Mom, Alice's express vision to help use this home to provide inspiration about music as an incredibly positive force, and explore the joys of making music for people of all ages. This is a great step towards that vision." Alice Coltrane, harpist and pianist, passed away in January 2007.
The home of the Coltrane family was spared the wrecking ball in 2004, after Dix Hills historian Steve Fulgoni discovered that it had been sold to a developer, whose intended to clear the land and build luxury home on the site. Fulgoni, a long-time fan of John Coltrane, brought the situation to the attention of the Town of Huntington and succeeded in convincing them of the historical significance of the home. In 2005, with the support of musicians and jazz aficionados around the world, including Carlos Santana and Herbie Hancock, the Town agreed to purchase the site.
When learning the news of the Coltrane Home's historic designation, Mr. Fulgoni's said, "This has been a long, arduous effort to save the Home. We truly appreciate the State and Federal recognition of the legacy of the Coltranes, and this can help unlock some of the funding we will need to restore this home. This is a great, great step."
The Coltrane Home is a 501(c)3 not for profit organization.
For more information, contact Jehudith Cohen:
(e) jehudithcohen@yahoo.com / (p) 516.521.4791

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

We're Riffin' again

Breifly lost touch with RIffin' host Dermot Hussey, but
effectively immediately (that makes us sound importantant, doesn't it)
the weekly Riffin' Rundown will be included on JazzFirst.
And even though thisweek's schedule is almost done, the lineup is
so pwoerful that I thought I'd share it with you anyway...Check it out:



MON: Unfinished Business with Max Roach. Also, “A Tale Of God’s Will”, the first in a two part programme on a Requiem For Katrina, by one of New Orleans’s noted sons, trumpeter, Terence Blanchard.

TUES: part two of “ A Tale of God’s Will”, by Terence Blanchard, trumpeter and composer from New Orleans.

WED: Two female pianists from classical backgrounds, Lisa Hilton and Helen Sung, achieve different results. Hilton’s “New York Sessions engage some of the best young players on the New York scene, while Helen Sung, a Chinese American, interprets Spanish composer, Issac Alebeniz’s “Espana”

THURS: Composer, arranger and conductor, Maria Schneider, has recorded a new album “Sky Blue”, featuring her large orchestra. The recording was made possible by the contributions of fans

FRID:African_American bluesman, Corey Harris, who is also a trained anthropologist, recorded a complete reggae album, “Zion Crossroads”, a title which he got from a road sign in Virginia where he lives. Riffin with the music of the Congolese artists Ricardo Lemvo, whose innovative music, combines Latin and African elements.

If the terms 'world beat' or 'world music' mean anything to you, DO NOT MISS
the Firday programme with Congolese Ricard Lemvo (I believe his band is called maqunina loca - crazy machine) Definitely a treat.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


In addition to hosting Regina Belle and Brian McKnight, this year’s Port Royal Music festival will also see a return of the Jazz on the Harbour feature, this Sunday, September 9. Featuring pianist Dr Kathy Brown, recently returned from successful engagements in Toronto Canada and having just completed her debut disc, entitled Mission

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Loud Majority

Live @ Christopher's
September 4
Seretse Small & Friends

Amid an atmosphere that grew steadily more raucous -particularly
with news late thatthe Jamaica Labour Party had increased its
seat count in Monday's electoral contest, guitarist/impresario
Seretse Small and a motley crew made a vibrant noise, especially in its first
set at Christopher's Jazz Cafe Tuesday night.
Kicking off with My Little Suede Shoes, they romped thru Miles Davis' late 50s
classic So What (sounding more like it belonged in Davis' mid-80s funk-pop period)
Small, buoyed by the presence of Akil 'Red Bull' Karram and Denver 'Guinness' Smith
on drums and percussion respectively delivered some stirring improvisations on Blue Bossa and FLy Me To The Moon.
After the next set opened with Mercy, Mercy Mercy (now joined by Nicholas
Laraque on alto) the music grew more languid, in contrast to the interior volume, with adagio interpretations of R Kelly's I Believe I Can Fly and a mid-tempo
walk through CHick Corea's Spain


Thanks to all who tuned in to Newstalk 93 Sunday last
for the special broadcast form Devon House, featuring
our tribute to the late Max Roach, with special guest
Herbie Miller, as well as Charmaine Limonious on guitar/vocals.
Thanks to Monte Blake for the opportunity; ilook forward to doing it again soon

Monday, September 03, 2007

Kathy in Canada

Had great reports about pianiast Kathy Brown's recent perfromance in Toronto.
The following review from Claude Wilson confirms:

Dr. Kathy Brown makes auspicious Canadian debut

She has been captivating audience in her homeland Jamaica; her repertoire includes a range of musical styles, R&B, reggae, soul, calypso, gospel and jazz. Today she is making her Canadian debut, Harbourfront Centre please welcome Dr. Kathy Brown. – Harboutfront show MC

With this introduction and a whoop from the crowd, gifted Jamaican jazz pianist Dr. Kathy Brown made an auspicious overseas debut captivating the thousands of West Indians, predominantly Jamaicans, and international visitors at the recent Island Soul Festival at the main concert stage of the Harbourfront Centre in downtown Toronto, Canada.

The opening act for the annual event, which included the legendary guitarist Ernest Ranglin, Canadian reggae/jazz saxophonist I-Sax Injah and Barrington Levy, Kathy Brown, despite the odds, carved out a lively set that impressed fans and journalists alike.

And, at the end of a 65 minutes presentation, a number of Toronto based newspaper and radio journalists sought and booked interviews while some older white folks took the opportunity to express delight in a “wonderful presentation”

Performing tunes from her one-week old CD Mission: A Musical Journey, Brown, backed by Jason Wilson’s Tabarruk band, straight off established a link with the audience that was sustained throughout the presentation. From the opening duet with percussionist Everton Paul “Rasta Journey”, her improvised version of “By The Rivers of Babylon”, into Get Up, Stand Up elicit spontaneous cheers that rang out into the fine Canadian evening.

She had warned in an opening statement that they would hear familiar songs but with different musical interpretation and so her predominately West Indian audience did.

Performing at the international cultural centre that housed the recently opened Miss Lou Room, Brown became a storyteller recreating a conjured scene at the old downtown Kingston market where a housewife meticulous selects and buys banana, after which she launched into the popular but nostalgic Jamaican folksong “Solas Market”

She closed a well-received presentation with an improvised Marley’s “Could You, Be Love”, using each individual solos to introduced the members of Tabarruk. And so Kathy Brown left the Harbourfront Centre stage on a musical high to make way for guitar maestro Ernest Ranglin.

Ken Stowar, host of Global Rhythm on CIUT FM, described Brown’s set to his live radio audience as “a wonderful one-hour performance”. The show was aired by live remote across Ontario via the University of Toronto radio station.

Stowar signified the performance of the backing band, which, he says, has backed many artists from around the world but noting that although the musicians were barely familiar with Kathy Brown’s work. “They held it down well behind Dr. Brown who put on an excellent debut that went over really well with the whole crowd”,

Adding, “ Everyone seemed to have been listening very intently because at the Harbourfront it is usual for people to be shifting around but this time they were paying extra close attention to Dr. Brown”, the CIUT FM Program Director remarked.

But the perfectionist said afterwards, “The presentation included some on the spot, new and surprising arrangements”. This, Kathy Brown admitted, was due to the minimal rehearsal possible with the new band, “It was crazy and it was a matter of survival and a real test of my ability. It was a real effort to stay the [1-hour] course”.

Backing band Tabarruk comprises Jason Wilson, leader/ keyboard/percussions, Michael Herring, bass, Everton “Pablo” Paul, percussions, Iain Green, drums, Marcus Ali on tenor sax.

Brown revealed that the possibility exists that her debut overseas performance in Canada could be followed by performances in London and South Africa. “I have been talking to some people in those country”, she said .

Can't wait to get my copy of Mission - Claude?