Sunday, February 27, 2011

Jammin' The Blues 1944 Historic Black Jazz Jam Session

Jammin' the Blues is a 1944 short film in which several prominent jazz musicians got together for a rare filmed jam session. It features Lester Young, Red Callender, Harry Edison, Marlowe Morris, Sid Catlett, Barney Kessel, Joe Jones, John Simmons, Illinois Jacquet, Marie Bryant, Archie Savage and Garland Finney. For some, this is their only known appearance in a theatrical film. Barney Kessel is the only white performer in the film. He was seated in the shadows to shade his skin, and for closeups, his hands were stained with berry juice. Lindy Hop legends Archie Savage and Marie Bryant do the Lindy Hop (Jitterbug) on this footage. Directed by Gjon Mili and selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Jazzin Athens loves also technology

AT LAST! The Jazz RealBook Comes Alive and Delivers on Its Potential! This Revolutionary New Computer Software Makes You a Better Musician. Find Out How....

There is absolutely no better way to learn the "jazz language" than by seeing and hearing the music created by famous jazz artists.
The EASIEST WAY to do that is by running through jazz charts while listening to the recordings.
Now, as you may already know, the Real Book has been an essential part of every aspiring jazz musician's arsenal since the spiral bound, soft cover fake book came out in the 70's
It's right up there in importance with your instrument and your albums. Sure, there have been other jazz fake books - but none match the importance of the original jazz fakebook - The Real Book Volume 1 Fifth edition.
"Face it, if you don't own The Real Book, then you really aren't for real when it comes to playing jazz and jazz improvisation."

Unless you have a massive library of jazz albums available to you, then you won't have a clue when it comes to how those songs are supposed to sound or be played.
You are just shooting in the dark and hoping to hit something.
That means that a good portion of the RealBook will be of little or no value to you.
For you to solve this problem on your own, you would have to spend huge amounts of time and money to locate and buy all of the recordings needed.
I'm going to save you the pain, effort, time and expense of all that...

"The 'Real Book Software' is an all out, full blown, self contained jazz studies course, brought to life in an easy to use software program for Windows and Mac."
In jazz improvisation, you are required to know how to play through hundreds of jazz standards, jazz blues, latin jazz charts etc.
My Real Book Software will not only provide you with thousands of essential jazz chord charts and melodies but will also familiarize you with how these charts should sound.
This is critical in helping you understand the language of jazz and building a superb jazz vocabulary.
Hearing these essential jazz standards is a critical component to the advancement of any jazz musician.

There are 462 recordings that are bundled into the software.
Just hit a button and listen to the song being played by original artists and other jazz stars.
There is so much audio here.
If you were to play the recordings end to end, without stopping you would spend
1 day, 20 hours 6 minutes and 50 seconds to all of them.
That's almost 2 continuous days of the world's most amazing jazz music

Jazzy Sunday in Athens

Jazzy Saturday in Athens

Jazzy Friday in Athens

Jazzy Thursday in Athens

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Until I Get Married Guide To Jazz Featuring Jason Moran

A few weeks back, I wrote a post about the five best hip-hop albums to throw on for a good ol’ fashion make-out session. In that post, I casually mentioned a love for jazz. Almost immediately people in the comments and friends I talk to offline said I should do a similar guide with jazz albums, but I was hesitant.
So instead of playing the role of jazz tourist, I reached out to someone who knows the music both as a fan and a player. Jason Moran (pictured below) is one of the most renowned jazz pianist playing today. His latest album Ten, was hailed by many critics and fans as the best jazz album to come out in 2010 (I’d have to agree), and his contributions to jazz were recognized with a MacArthur Genius grant last year as well.

When Jason and I talked, it was not only about jazz music, but the way it functions in our day to day life. A lot of people like the idea of jazz more than the music itself, and therefore only use it when they want to get romantic or soften the mood. As I told Jason, people take to jazz like wine, where the theater of it is more important than the actual substance. But what to make of the guy who wants to mix things up every now and then? Instead of throwing on some R&B or dorm-room rock, put on a jazz record or go see a jazz show instead of a Maxwell concert (although, that’s not bad).
Today’s post is for that person, the one who is curious about jazz but only has a copy of Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue in their album collection.
Jason took the time to list five essential albums a man should own. The twist? Every one of the artists listed is alive, so not only can their albums be bought, but for those looking to check out some good jazz on date night, a man can buy tickets to see them.
“The way I chose, I thought these albums would represent a good record collection,” said Jason. “If you had these five things in it, you would look kind of thorough and, all these people are visually captivating. I could watch them without even hearing them.”
Just one more thing before we get into Jason’s list. The man was modest enough to not put down his own album, but honestly people, if you don’t own a copy of Ten your record collection is missing something special. Click here to listen to some of it, and click here to buy all of it.

Now, onto the Until I Get Married Guide to Jazz as selected by Jason Moran.
Album: Speak No EvilArtist: Wayne Shorter
Jason: This is a classic 1960′s jazz record. He’s one of the few musicians still around, and this record captures a real time period of jazz, right on its cusp, after leaving cool and becoming more and more complex. It’s great, unbelievable, and every musician on it is kind of a giant. Wayne Shorter is still performing today with his quartet that he’s had for maybe seven or eight years now, and each night what is wonderful about him is it’s really abstract. He’s definitely not talking in between songs, but what you get is this kind of exploration. Like, a good date might be, go to the Space Museum and look at stars and moons and planets and then, go see Wayne. He’s really dealing with music as this kind of galaxy, not something grounded in gravity. That real openness.

Listen to the title track from Shorter’s Speak No Evil

Album: Double Booked
Artist: Robert Glasper
Jason: This is kind of genre defining right now. What he has on here is two ideas of his split personality, being a jazz piano trio leader and also his more electric slide, which is kind of more 70′s inflected Herbie Hancock sound. But he’s mixing all of his other elements in it, and also he’s kind of the person who has blended hip-hop and jazz the best. It’s kind of the first time it’s really been captured, with no MC on it. He knows the music and he’s playing with the best practitioners, from The Roots to Mos Def, he’s kind of in that mix and he’s always performing too, doing many different things.

Listen to “Downtime” from Glasper’s Double Booked

Album: Free Jazz
Artist: Ornette Coleman
Jason: See, now I’m thinking about the women I like, and the women that I’ve liked aren’t into that obvious sh*t. Ornette Coleman has taken roads and paths to take jazz to a different space and this record is I think his defining record — it’s two bands playing at once, it’s really kind of ridiculous. If you go on a date to see him, I think what Ornette offers is a new perspective. Also, he’s gonna be fun to look at, at the end of it, you or your date might be like, “Oh, that old motherf*cker is crazy but he’s a genius!” [laughs]. I think everyone needs to be in the presence of something like that. I saw him last summer in Holland and he was testing me, I thought I understood music and Ornette is still out here testing the limits to music. He’s an icon.

Listen to “Free Jazz Pt. 1″ from Coleman’s Free Jazz

Album: Royal Toast
Artist: The Claudia Quintet
Jason:This is real contemporary jazz right here. This is taking the soul aesthetic and then running it through a conservatory and then running it through a PhD, but it’s still soulful too, kind of like these chefs who strain their sauces two or three times. You get this really compacted music. The funny thing about this being a “date” group, I enjoy them as a musician and as an audience member because [the bandleader] John Hollenbeck, he’s also a very funny dude who feels very comfortable talking to his audience. He was telling me this story: After one of these gigs, a woman came up to him, gave him a note, and walked away. He thought, “Oh wow.” And he looked at the note and the note said, “Your band is the reason I don’t date white guys.” [laughs]. So I thought that was hilarious, but that’s one woman, so maybe there’s another woman that it would totally be the reason. But they’re a brilliant, brilliant working band; they’re a real unit. The great thing about each of these groups is they have a working ensemble and so the relationship with their band members is really close.

Listen to the title track from The Claudia Quintet’s album Royal Toast

Album:Traveling Miles
Artist: Cassandra Wilson
Jason: She has many great records, but I think the way she approached Miles Davis’ music…this shows you’re listening to someone contemporary who’s also checking out somebody old, Miles Davis. It kind of reaches back in a way that shows the person has values if they have this record in their collection. That kind of thing kills two birds with one stone, it gets you associated with Miles Davis if it’s not already in your collection and also the great artistry of Cassandra Wilson. It’s great to see a woman command a stage, and she’s in tune with her audience. She really sings out into her audience. It’s very mellow, it’s very moody music. Of anything that I’ve listed, she might be the moodiest in a jazz way, but also in kind of a grooving and soulful way too. You also never know who’s going to show up. I’ve played with her and Prince showed up. So even if the person is into the star gazing, there might be a celebrity in the crowd [laughs]. She’s also really in tune to the music, so it’s really kind of a thrill to watch her move around the stage and kind of be thrilled by the music coming from the band. It’s visually captivating.

Listen to “When The Sun Goes Down” from Wilson’s album Traveling Miles

"Across the universe" goes to UK & US

 Dimitrios Vassilakis new album "across the universe" was released in Athens, Greece on 8th December 2010 & will be out in the UK & US market on 17th May 2011!  
Dimitri's himself will be in NY between 25th May to 5th June on a promotional tour.
(Soon more details concerning the venues).

A trip "across the universe" is surely recommended. 

F R O N T   C O V E R

B A C K   C O V E R


Jazzy Saturday in Athens!

Jazzy Friday in Athens !

Jazzy Thursday in Athens !

Monday, February 14, 2011

Jazzy Valentine's day

The history of Jazz - An interactive time line

The History of Jazz was designed and built from the ground up for the iPad. When you use the app, it's clear how much more immersive and fun this is over a regular book. An absolute delight for beginners and advanced Jazz enthusiasts. A must have for all iPad Users...

The tablet interface can’t help but make your brain think of the future of books dancing across the screen. A little startup called 955 Dreams is bringing some of that imagination into reality today with the release of its History of Jazz ipad App.
History of Jazz has whimsical, tactile navigation, with animated chronological browsing rather than the standard pagination of an ebook. The app includes integrations such as iTunes music purchasing, playing videos and songs over household speakers through Apple AirPlay, and showing Wikipedia bios and YouTube videos. It also offers a “screensaver mode” that turns the iPad into a sort of History of Jazz coffee table book.
While the folks at 955 Dreams are clearly passionate about the subject matter of jazz, what they’ve really done is created a custom music-oriented interface for existing online content. The price for this design, curation and integrations is $9.99 at launch.
The app currently doesn’t include social features, but Bellubbi said a later version will include ways for users to share their jazz collections and vote on the top 100 jazz records of all time.

Grammy 2011 - Lifetime Achievement Award: Roy Haynes

Phish keyboardist Page McConnell on 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Roy Haynes and his contributions to jazz music

In addition to the GRAMMY Awards, The Recording Academy presents Special Merit Awards recognizing contributions of significance to the recording field, including the Lifetime Achievement Award, Trustees Award and Technical GRAMMY Award. Each year, The Academy invites friends and colleagues of Special Merit Awards recipients to pay tribute to the honorees' career accomplishments, while also adding colorful anecdotes and personal accounts. In the days leading up to the 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards, will present the tributes to the 12 Special Merit Awards recipients for 2011.
As a musician with both feet firmly planted in the rock vernacular, the opportunity to perform a set with Roy Haynes and a cast of jazz greats was more than a little daunting. In 2008 at the WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden, daunting though it may have been, I joined bassist Christian McBride, trumpeter Nicolas Payton, saxophonist James Carter, and the inimitable Haynes for some really amazing takes on my Phish songs "Magilla" and "Cars Trucks Buses."
I was more than a little nervous backstage getting set to jam with some of today's most impressive players, anchored by a drummer who's played with some of music's true giants, guys like Charlie Parker, Bud Powell and Lester Young.
But a quick rehearsal backstage and any fears were lifted. Graciously, Roy interpreted my tunes with the baddest grooves and a sensitivity that only he could provide.
I probably shouldn't have been surprised by that, or concerned about how the performance would go. Roy has played with so many of the biggest names in jazz that his chops are matched by his generous professionalism.
Roy has been in the center of the jazz universe for more than 50 years. His résumé is filled with ridiculously amazing accomplishments. He was a member of the Charlie Parker Quintet, spent time with the great John Coltrane Quartet in the '60s, toured behind everyone from Sarah Vaughan and Stan Getz to Chick Corea and Pat Metheny, and has gigged with Miles Davis, Art Pepper and Dizzy Gillespie. Quite a résumé.
All the while, Roy was cutting some great recordings of his own, including excellent records like When It Haynes It Roars! and the more recent Fountain Of Youth, recorded appropriately when Roy was a young 79.
Roy was 83 when I played with him that night in New York — still vibrant, still a terrific player and as, always, a tremendous ambassador for jazz and all musicians. That night was one of the great thrills of my professional life.
(Phish keyboardist Page McConnell played with Roy Haynes at the Jammy Awards in New York on May 7, 2008. Phish was nominated for a Best Rock Instrumental Performance GRAMMY in 2000 for "First Tube," off their Farmhouse album. In 2007 McConnell released a self-titled solo album.)
The Lifetime Achievement Award, established in 1962, is presented by vote of The Recording Academy's National Trustees to performers who, during their lifetimes, have made creative contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording. 
Lifetime Achievement Award: Julie Andriews, Julliard String Quartet, The Kingston Trio, Dolly Parton, Ramones, Georges Beverly Shea.
Trustees Award: Al Bell, Wilma Cozart Fine, Bruce Lundvall.
Technical GRAMMY Award: Roger linn, Waves Audio ltd.