|Feb 16 2011|
After her stunning upset as "Best New Artist" at Sunday's Grammy Awards, Esperanza Spalding has had to deal with some of the pitfalls of success -- like her Wikipedia page being hacked. Apparently, the page was altered by both supporters and those who objected to her winning over the likes of Justin Bieber. Gawker.com reports that one "entry" read, "She now has the 2011 Grammy....even though no one's ever heard of her!" Another read, "Haha Justin Bieber, you're just a little boy with no Grammy for 'Best New Artist.'" The page has since been cleaned up and "locked" so that no more unwanted "editors" can leave their mark. Spalding's win marks the first time a jazz artist has picked up the "Best New Artist" prize; on the Grammys YouTube broadcast, she described getting the award as "inspiring" and "a thrill."
The Rippingtons Debut At #1
|Feb 11 2011|
Congratulations to The Rippingtons; their new album, Cote D'Azur has debuted at number one on the Contemporary Jazz chart. It's also #2 on Amazon's best-sellers list and in the top 5 of iTunes Jazz albums. This latest project is inspired by guitarist Russ Freeman’s newfound passion for the French Riviera. He admits that he became hooked on France after his wife showed him around. “This is the best album I’ve ever written,” he says, “and unlike on any other Rippingtons recording, the music is a pristine crystallization of the way I first heard it in my head. I think the incredible cultural connection between France and America hit me one night in Nice when I was watching a show on the history of St. Tropez. Brigitte Bardot was so well known as a model and film actress, but in the 60s she also did hundreds of music videos of French remakes of songs that were big hits in America…All of this taught me how close our cultures really are… and combined with [my wife's] French heritage, really made me fall in love with the country.”
Herb Alpert Releases "I Feel You"
|Feb 08 2011|
Herb Alpert and his wife, singer Lani Hall, have issued their first studio album in ten years, with the release today [Feb.8] of I Feel You [Concord Jazz]. Alpert and Hall cover classic songs from the past four decades, such as Van Morrison's "Moondance," Peggy Lee's "Fever" and two Beatles songs ["Here Comes the Sun" and "Blackbird"]. The couple also revisit the Tijuana Brass Hit, "What Now My Love." Commenting on this joint effort, Alpert said, "I think the key to a great song is always the melody and Lani thinks its an equally expressive lyric which is one of the reasons we're a good team...our mutual commitment to all the songs we do together is to make them sound fresh."
|Feb 14 2011|
The 53rd annual Grammy Awards were handed out last night in Los Angeles. Esperanza Spalding was a surprise winner as Best New Artist [beating out Justin Bieber] -- and unlike Lady Gaga, she didn't have to arrive encased in a giant egg. Some other winners:
Best Pop Performance by Duo or Group with Vocals: "Hey Soul Sister"/Train
Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals: "Imagine"/Herbie Hancock with India Arie
Best Pop Instrumental Album: "Take Your Pick"/Larry Carlton, Tak Matsumoto
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album: "Crazy Love"/Michael Buble
Best R&B Performance by Duo or Group with Vocals: "Soldier of Love"/Sade
Best R&B Album: "Wake Up"/John Legend and the Roots
Best Contemporary Jazz Album: "The Stanley Clarke Band"
Saxophonist Kirk Whalum won in the Gospel category for "It's What I Do" from his "The Gospel According to Jazz Chapter 3" album; Alicia Keys was among the winners for Best Rap Song for her inclusion on "Empire State of Mind."
Lizz Wright has returned to her gospel heartland on her latest album Fellowship delivered with the intensity we have come to expect with the singer. Yet it turns up some unexpected twists and turns that illuminate Wright’s remarkable talent. Interview by Peter Quinn
If Lizz Wright’s 2003 debut Salt gave the first indications of the stunning beauty and emotive power of her voice, then her latest album Fellowship takes her story into fascinating new areas. Her fourth album is one which completely envelops you in her gospel roots, her personal history, and her musical soul.
She may now be living in the western mountains of North Carolina (“It’s cold, but it’s beautiful and it’s clear, so I can see well into the woods,” she tells me over the phone), but cast your eye over the new album and it’s clear that her heart still lies in her Georgia birthplace. The signs of home are everywhere. Her chosen collaborators include Dr Bernice Johnson Reagon, the Georgia-born founder of the internationally renowned African-American a cappella ensemble Sweet Honey In The Rock. Dr Reagon’s daughter, Toshi, is Wright’s trusted co-writer and, on this album, co-producer.
Ranging from the sacred to the secular, her chosen material includes an epic gospel medley kicking off with ‘I’ve Got A Feeling’, a classic African-American congregational song which she would have grown up singing in church; ‘Amazing Grace’, the hymn she sang as a 19-year-old at a club on Peachtree Street, Atlanta, which marked the beginning of her current musical journey; and Wright even invests ‘Imagination’ by the Atlanta-based family group Gladys Knight & the Pips, another Georgia link, with a kind of ardent resolve.
This is an extract from Jazzwise Issue #149 – to read the full article click here