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Grammy Nominations Announced for Jazz

Here is a list of the nominations in jazz-related categories:

Best Improvised Jazz Solo

All Or Nothing At All
Randy Brecker, soloist
Track from: The Jazz Ballad Song Book (Randy Brecker With DR Big Band)
[Half Note]

You Are My Sunshine
Ron Carter, soloist
Track from: This Is Jazz (Donald Harrison, Ron Carter & Billy Cobham)
[Half Note]

500 Miles High
Chick Corea, soloist
Track from: Forever (Corea, Clarke & White)
[Concord Records]

Fred Hersch, soloist
Track from: Alone At The Vanguard
[Palmetto Records]

Sonnymoon For Two
Sonny Rollins, soloist
Track from: Road Shows Vol. 2

Best Jazz Vocal Album

’Round Midnight
Karrin Allyson
[Concord Jazz]

The Mosaic Project
Terri Lyne Carrington & Various Artists
[Concord Jazz]

The Gate
Kurt Elling
[Concord Jazz]

American Road
Tierney Sutton (Band)
[BFM Jazz]

The Music Of Randy Newman
Roseanna Vitro
[Motéma Music]

Best Jazz Instrumental Album

Bond: The Paris Sessions
Gerald Clayton

Corea, Clarke & White
[Concord Records]

Alone At The Vanguard
Fred Hersch
[Palmetto Records]

Bird Songs
Joe Lovano/Us Five
[Blue Note]

Road Shows Vol. 2
Sonny Rollins

[Mack Avenue Records]

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album

The Jazz Ballad Song Book
Randy Brecker With DR Big Band
[Half Note]

The Good Feeling
Christian McBride Big Band
[Mack Avenue Records]

40 Acres And A Burro
Arturo O'Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra

Gerald Wilson Orchestra
[Mack Avenue Records]

Alma Adentro: The Puerto Rican Songbook
Miguel Zenón
[Marsalis Music]

Best Instrumental Composition

Falling Men
John Hollenbeck, composer (John Hollenbeck, Daniel Yvinec & Orchestre National de Jazz (ONJ))
Track from: Shut Up And Dance
[BEE JAZZ / Abeille Musique]

Hunting Wabbits 3 (Get Off My Lawn)
Gordon Goodwin, composer (Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band)
Track from: That's How We Roll
[Telarc International]

I Talk To The Trees
Randy Brecker, composer (Randy Brecker With DR Big Band)
Track from: The Jazz Ballad Song Book
[Half Note]

Life In Eleven
Béla Fleck & Howard Levy, composers (Béla Fleck & The Flecktones)
Track from: Rocket Science
[eOne Music]

Russell Ferrante, composer (Yellowjackets)
Track from: Timeline
[Mack Avenue Records]

Best Instrumental Arrangement

All Or Nothing At All
Peter Jensen, arranger (Randy Brecker With DR Big Band)
Track from: The Jazz Ballad Song Book
[Half Note]

In The Beginning
Clare Fischer, arranger (The Clare Fischer Big Band)
Track from: Continuum
[Clare Fischer Productions/Clavo Records]

Nasty Dance
Bob Brookmeyer, arranger (The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra)
Track from: Forever Lasting—Live In Tokyo
[Planet Arts Recordings]

Rhapsody In Blue
Gordon Goodwin, arranger (Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band)
Track from: That's How We Roll
[Telarc International]

Song Without Words
Carlos Franzetti, arranger (Carlos Franzetti & Allison Brewster Franzetti)
Track from: Alborada
[Amapola Records]

Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)

Ao Mar
Vince Mendoza, arranger (Vince Mendoza)
Track from: Nights On Earth

Moon Over Bourbon Street
Rob Mathes, arranger (Sting & The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra)
Track from: Sting Live In Berlin
[Deutsche Grammophon]

On Broadway
Kevin Axt, Ray Brinker, Trey Henry, Christian Jacob & Tierney Sutton, arrangers (The Tierney Sutton Band)
Track from: American Road
[BFM Jazz]

Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me)
Jorge Calandrelli, arranger (Tony Bennett & Queen Latifah)
Track from: Duets II
[RPM/Columbia Records]

The Windmills Of Your Mind
William A. Ross, arranger (Barbra Streisand)
Track from: What Matters Most—Barbra Streisand Sings The Lyrics Of Alan And Marilyn Bergman
[Columbia Records]

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

Body And Soul
Tony Bennett & Amy Winehouse
Track from: Duets II
[Columbia Records]

The Black Keys
Track from: Rave On Buddy Holly

[Capitol Records]

Pumped Up Kicks
Foster The People
Track from: Torches
[Star Time Intl./Columbia]

Moves Like Jagger
Maroon 5 & Christina Aguilera
Track from: Hands All Over
[A&M/Octone Records]

Best Pop Instrumental Album

Wish Upon A Star
Jenny Oaks Baker
[Shadow Mountain Records]

E Kahe Malie
Daniel Ho
[Daniel Ho Creations]

The Road From Memphis
Booker T. Jones
[Anti Records]

Hello Tomorrow
Dave Koz
[Concord Records]

Setzer Goes Instru-Mental!
Brian Setzer
[Surfdog Records]

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album

Duets II
Tony Bennett & Various Artists
[Columbia Records]

The Gift
Susan Boyle
[Syco Music/Columbia Records]

In Concert On Broadway
Harry Connick Jr.
[Columbia Records]

Music Is Better Than Words
Seth MacFarlane
[Universal Republic]

What Matters Most--Barbra Streisand Sings The Lyrics Of Alan And Marilyn Bergman
Barbra Streisand
[Columbia Records]

Best Reggae Album

Harlem-Kingston Express Live!
Monty Alexander
[Motéma Music]

Reggae Knights
Israel Vibration

Revelation Pt 1: The Root Of Life
Stephen Marley
[Tuff Gong/Universal Republic]

Wild And Free
Ziggy Marley
[Tuff Gong Worldwide]

Summer In Kingston
[Ranch Entertainment]


Smooth Music News (Smooth Jazz Network)


Tony Bennett Celebrates Christmas in Rockefeller Center


Tony Bennett and Michael Buble are just two of the many stars who will  help kick off the Christmas season at the Rockefeller Center Tree  Lighting ceremony in New York tonight (November 30).  The show airs at  8pm on NBC and also features Justin Bieber, Cee Lo Green, Faith Hill,  Carole King, Katherine McPhee, Javier Colon and The Radio City  Rockettes.  The tree, a 74 foot, 75 year- old Norway Spruce from  Mifflintown, PA, will be decorated with over 30,000 LED lights and  crowned with the specially designed Swarovski crystal star, containing  25,000 crystals.  The tree will remain in Rockefeller Plaza until  January 7.


Grammy Nominees Include Dave Koz, Adele, Tony Bennett


The 54th Grammy Awards will be held February 12, 2012 and the nominees were announced last night.  Dave Koz is up for Best Pop Instrumental Album for Hello Tomorrow; Tony Bennett is nominated in the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album category for Duets II; Adele picks up five nominations including Record Of The Year for "Rolling In The Deep" and Album Of The Year for 21. Corinne Bailey Rae is up for Best R&B Performance for "Is This Love."  The full list of nominees is available at


'The Wayman Tisdale Story' available on DVD/CD

Rendezvous Music/Mack Avenue released The Wayman Tisdale Story  on DVD and CD yesterday (November 22).  The documentary celebrates the  life of Wayman, a three-time All-American, Gold Medal Olympian, former  NBA star and world renowned jazz musician, who lost his battle with  cancer on May 15, 2009.  The DVD features interviews with Wayman and his  family, Michael Jordan, Toby Keith, Marcus Miller and Dave Koz, among  others.  The CD includes the previously unreleased track "Slam Dunk",  produced by Jeff Lorber and "Cryin' For Me", a song written and  performed as a tribute to Wayman by Toby Keith.




Gary Burton to Instruct Online Jazz Improvisation Course

When he was a student at Berklee College of Music, Gary Burton was very interested in improvisation. When he became an educator, he took his incredible improvisation skills and laid the foundation for what would become the “Berklee approach” to teaching improvised music.

“I felt like that was something that I could uniquely offer to the students, because I was an active professional and what I was teaching them was, for me, the real thing,” Burton said in a cover story in the October 2011 issue of DownBeat.

Now, the vibraphonist and six-time Grammy award winner is bringing this unique curriculum to a virtual classroom.

Beginning Jan. 9, 2012, Burton will instruct an intensive, 12-week jazz improvisation course through, the conservatory’s online extension school.

The course, “Gary Burton: Jazz Improvisation,” will offer insight into the essential practices of improvisation. According to Burton, the course is divided into three areas of importance—technical information, analysis and interpretation, and the mental processes.

The course will begin with a synopsis of these practices and the behavioral instincts that students need to develop in order to improvise effectively. Throughout the course, Burton will delve into the complexities of on-the-spot performance, including shaping solos, using dynamics effectively and performing with an ensemble.

While he emphasizes the need to learn such fundamental musical techniques as chromaticism, voice leading and theme development, Burton also stresses that a proper mindset is key to improvising correctly.

Another feature of the course is its diverse repertoire of compositions, which range from standards to the works of more contemporary composers. Throughout the winter term, students will review compositions by Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Chick Corea, Michael Gibbs, Carla Bley and Steve Swallow.

“For decades, aspiring jazz musicians from all over the world studied improvisation with Gary at Berklee,” said Debbie Cavalier, dean of continuing education for Berkleemusic. “We’re thrilled to have been able to codify his approach in this online course, not only as the course author, but the instructor as well. This really is an unprecedented opportunity for aspiring musicians.”

To learn more about the course, visit the Berkleemusic website.

The Return of Ahmad Jamal – New Album Set For Early-2012

Ahmad Jamal is to release his latest album Blue Moonon 6 February, one of the first major jazz releases of 2012. An important release by any standard from one of the greatest pianists in jazz history it features a stellar trio specially convened for the session playing Jamal originals and choice standards. It will come out on new French label Jazz Village, a sister label to Harmonia Mundi’s World Village imprint.

The great Pittsburgh-born pianist, now 81, was a key inspiration of Miles Davis, a fact alluded to heavily in Miles’ autobiography. Roy Carr in Jazzwise reviewing a recent reissue of At the Pershing: But Not for Me, his Pershing Lounge recording in Chicago from 1958 where Jamal laid down his masterpiece with Israel Crosby and Vernel Fournier comments that But Not For Me sold in quite extraordinary numbers clocking up some two million copies in the US alone. “One purchaser was Miles Davis. Not one to freely hand out plaudits, Miles admitted being greatly influenced by the piano man’s judicious use of time and space to the point of adding Jamal’s treatments of ‘But Not For Me’, ‘Billy Boy’, ‘The Surrey With The Fringe On Top,’ among others, into his own repertoire.”

Jamal’s trios over the years rate among the very best in jazz history, and he is a master of improvising on standards and original song-based material, and is particularly renowned for his interpretation of the standard ‘Poinciana’. In performance he takes on the mantle of an Erroll Garner at times as a starting point and layers hugely impressive rhapsodies and serenades almost at the drop of a hat. He’ll sometimes stand up by the piano, turn his back to the audience to communicate further with the trio, and then sit down to resume the flow.

With an extensive discography since the 1950s, in more recent years with the French Dreyfus label, Jamal has a big public across Europe particularly in France and Germany although he is a regular visitor to the UK performing at Ronnie Scott’s most recently four years ago. Jamal was honoured by the French government becoming an officer of the order of arts also in 2007, and has received many more honours over the years in the United States. 

The new album features the elegant bassist Reginald Veal, known for his work with both Wynton Marsalis and more recently Cassandra Wilson, and the formidable New Orleansian Herlin Riley on drums, who like Veal has worked extensively with Marsalis and Wilson, with the pair appearing on the latter’s Grammy award winning album Loverly. They are also joined by ex-Weather Report percussionist Manolo Badrena, who has toured with Jamal extensively in recent years. Tracks on the album are Jamal’s ‘Autumn Rain’; the standard and title track ‘Blue Moon’ (Rodgers and Hart); ‘Gypsy’ (Billy Reid); ‘Invitation’ (Bronisław Kaper); ‘Jamal’s ‘I Remember Italy’; ‘Laura (David Raksin/ Johnny Mercer); Jamal’s ‘Morning Mist’; ‘This Is The Life’ (Lee Adams/Charles Strouse); and ‘Woody ’n’ You’ (Dizzy Gillespie)



Montreal Int’l Jazz Festival Announces Initial 2012 Shows

Esperanza Spalding, Wayne Shorter, Tangerine Dream among headliners

The Montreal International Jazz Festival has announced some shows for its upcoming 33rd Edition.

Concerts include Esperanza Spalding, the Wayne Shorter Quartet, Tangerine Dream, Get the Blessing, the Dorantes/Garcia-Fons/Theodosii Spassov Trio, Gianmaria Testa, the Eliane Elias Brasileira Quartet, CéU, Chris Botti, Strunz & Farah and Van der Graaf Generator.


Shows include:

* A funk evening with Esperanza Spalding and her Radio Music Society—June 29, 8:30 p.m., Métropolis (Rythmes series)

* Wayne Shorter Quartet—June 29, 9:30 p.m., Théâtre Maisonneuve, PdA (Grands concerts Rio Tinto Alcan series)

* Eliane Elias Brasileira Quartet—June 30, 6 p.m., Club Soda (Jazz Beat Hyatt Regency Montréal series)

* Tangerine Dream—June 30, 7:30 p.m., Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, PdA (Événements spéciaux TD series)

* CéU—June 30, 10 p.m., Club Soda (Couleurs SAQ series)

* Chris Botti—July 1, 9:30 p.m., Théâtre Maisonneuve, PdA (Grands concerts Rio Tinto Alcan series)

* Get The Blessing—July 1, 10:30 p.m., Gesù - Centre de créativité (Jazz dans la nuit series)

* An evening with Van der Graaf Generator—July 3, 9:30 p.m., Théâtre Maisonneuve, PdA (Grands concerts Rio Tinto Alcan series)

* Strunz & Farah—July 3, 10 p.m., Club Soda (Couleurs SAQ series)

* Gianmaria Testa, Vitamia—July 4, 9:30 p.m., Théâtre Maisonneuve, PdA (Grands concerts Rio Tinto Alcan series)

* Dorantes, Renaud Garcia-Fons and Theodosii Spassov, Free Flamenco Trio—July 7, 7 p.m., Maison symphonique de Montréal

*Flamenco Hoy by Carlos Saura—June 27 to July 1, 6 p.m. (7:30 p.m. for the June 27 premiere), Théâtre Maisonneuve.

For further information, call the Info-Jazz Line at 514 871‑1881, toll-free at 1 85JAZZFEST, or visit Montreal Jazz Fest.































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