Cassandra Wilson’s Sterling “Silver Pony”
Singer releases new album featuring John Legend and Ravi Coltrane
Thanks in part to a series of genre-bending albums for Blue Note Records, Cassandra Wilson is one of the most influential jazz singers of the last 20 years. Her latest album for Blue Note, “Silver Pony,” is a hybrid of live and studio recordings with her working band, plus some special guests including John Legend and Ravi Coltrane. She talked with JT about her creative process when recording.
The Many Hats of Dave Koz
Saxophonist releases new album and hosts Smooth Jazz Christmas tour
Radio show host, TV show guest, cruise majordomo, tour organizer and, of course, saxophonist: Dave Koz may be the hardest-working man in the smooth-jazz field. His new album, “Hello Tomorrow,” produced by Marcus Miller and John Burk, includes mostly original material, with the exception of a cover of Burt Bacharach’s “This Guy’s in Love With You.” Lee Mergner caught up with the multi-tasking Koz to talk about his singing, new album and upcoming smooth-jazz Christmas tour.
Ramsey Lewis’ Proclamation of Hope
Pianist performs large work dedicated to legacy of Abraham Lincoln
The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., recently presented the East Coast premiere of Ramsey Lewis’ “Proclamation of Hope: A Symphonic Poem.” The work was written in commemoration of Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday, and reflects on the life and legacy of the 16th president. Conducted by Scott Hall, “Proclamation of Hope” was performed by 23 musicians, including Lewis, bassist Josh Ramos, drummer Leon Joyce and vocalist Dee Alexander. In addition, the performance was taped by WTTW for future national broadcast on PBS stations. Lewis spoke with JT about his inspiration for the piece.
John McLaughlin Comes to America
Guitarist sits in with Roots on Jimmy Fallon and tours North America
In early November guitarist John McLaughlin kicked off his tour of America with a special appearance on the “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” show on NBC. McLaughlin sat in with the show’s house band, The Roots. Later this month, McLaughlin will perform and be the guest of honor at the New Universe Music Festival in Raleigh, N.C., on Nov. 20 and 21. That festival, organized by Abstract Logix founder Souvik Datta, also includes performances by Lenny White, Jimmy Herring and other noted jazz/fusion players. Go ahead, John.
Kellylee Evans is a Canadian-based jazz singer whose latest CD, Nina, was inspired by Simone's music.
Strong. Sweet. Sharp as ice. As gentle as falling snowflakes. Sometimes frightening. Always nourishing. That, for me, was/is/will always be, the music of Nina Simone. It's a sound so squarely wrapped up with the living of my life, that I can't say where my experience with Ms. Simone begins or where it ends. She's there and that's it.