Liquid Soul Forecast

In an interview in Chicago Now, Liquid Soul founder Mars Williams talks about the band’s 20th anniversary and what might be in store for fans in 2013. “A new record is definitely in the near future… [original DJ] Jesse [De La Pena] and I just talked about releasing a remix version of the first Liquid Soul CD.”

New Music from Dave Weckl

Dave Weckl is making a new recording that will come out this spring. You can learn more and pre-order it by pledging through Pledge Music. Not only can you get the music the second it releases but you can also get, depending on your pledge level, an autographed CD, a playalong bundle, a lesson with Weckl on Skype, or even a private jam in your home!

Even more exciting is that Weckl and Jay Oliver are reuniting for this recording. Oliver worked with Dave on his first three solo recordings and first two Dave Weckl Band discs. I’ve already done my part and can’t wait to hear the new music from these guys.

David Sanborn and Bob James Reunite!

David Sanborn and Bob JamesIn 1986, two contemporary jazz legends united on one of the genre’s best collaborative recordings. Bob James and David Sanborn set the bar high with Double Vision and I will guess that each artist has been asked many times when they would get together again. I asked Bob James that question after a Fourplay concert about 15 years ago and he said whenever David wanted to do it. That time appears to be now.

This May, on the resuscitated Okeh jazz label, David Sanborn and Bob James bring us a new collaboration. It doesn’t have a title yet but it will be more of an acoustic jazz project. That beats my guess on Twitter that it would be a sequel to Double Vision but I’m even more excited about it now.

No word on a tour yet but they do have a date on June 28 at the Keswick Theatre.

Top Contemporary Jazz Albums of 1997 and 2012

Billboard reported these as the Top Contemporary Jazz Albums of 1997:

  1. The Moment – Kenny G
  2. Sweet Thing – Boney James
  3. Dream Walk – Keiko Matsui
  4. Que Pasa – Gato Barbieri
  5. A Twist of Jobim – Various Artists
  6. Soulful Strut – Grover Washington, Jr.
  7. Breathless – Kenny G
  8. Caravan of Dreams – Peter White
  9. Beneath the Surface – Incognito
  10. Body and Soul – Rick Braun

This year’s top jazz albums are on the Billboard site. Looks like another good year for Tony Bennett.

Top 10 – Fifteen Years Ago

In the earlier days of this site, I ran a top ten list of the most popular contemporary jazz at the time. This chart was based on sales and radio play. Here were the top 10 from December 5, 1997!

  1. Jonathan Butler, Do You Love Me?, N2K Encoded Music
  2. Bob James, Playin’ Hooky, Warner Bros.
  3. Boney James - Sweet Thing recordingBoney James, Sweet Thing, Warner Bros.
  4. Rippingtons featuring Russ Freeman, Black Diamond, Peak/Windham Hill
  5. Brian Culbertson, Secrets, Bluemoon
  6. Chris Botti, Midnight Without You, Verve Forecast
  7. Candy Dulfer, For the Love of You, N2K Encoded Music
  8. Joyce Cooling, Playing It Cool, Heads Up
  9. David Benoit, American Landscape, GRP
  10. Earl Klugh, The Journey, Warner Bros.

Internet Radio Is Still In Trouble

From 2003 to 2010, I maintained an internet radio station on Live365. I did it for one reason: passion. I love the music I listen to and always want to share.

Sometime in the middle of that period, organizations with big money started to see internet radio as a threat. Royalty rates were hiked beyond any other broadcast medium. The RIAA and lobbyists wanted Internet radio to suffer.

I’ve been out of the game for a couple of years but apparently this predatory behavior has persisted. There must be some new major hike on the horizon because Pandora is speaking out. Today, Pandora’s founder posted an enlightening blog post about how much the company contributes to the music industry. That includes dollar figures ($65,173 for the Four Tops; about $3 million each for Drake and Lil Wayne are some numbers).

I wrote about why I did my radio station in 2007. Those words remain true today, maybe even more so. Where else can you hear contemporary jazz today? Where can you discover new sounds? On FM? Not likely. It’s internet radio.

Take a minute to think about the importance of music and how you listen. Read this and support the Internet Radio Fairness Act.

GRP at 30 – New Compilation

Happy Anniversary to the label that introduced me to so many great artists. It was On the Cutting Edge GRP Sampler way back in 1989 or so that helped get me hooked on contemporary jazz. Nice to see Verve recognize the greatest contemporary jazz label ever with a new compilation.

My First Guitar

George Benson is one of the 70 top-notch guitarists interviewed for My First Guitar, a new book by Julia Crowe. The musicians share memories of the first time they picked up the instrument, including the challenges and successes. I can just image the smiles on some of those guys faces when they were reminiscing.

Drum & Bass + Jazz from Flowrian

Sounds I’d expect from LTJ Bukem’s great label!

Things I Know About Built to Last from the Rippingtons

Though it’s been a while since I considered myself a fan of the Rippingtons, I have always remained interested in the Russ Freeman project. Tourist in Paradise was my first love of contemporary jazz and you never forget your first love.

Built to Last is the new recording by the Rippingtons. Here’s what I’ve gathered about it:

  • It will be released on August 28.
  • It took 15 months to write and record.
  • The first single is “Cougars and Gigolos.”
  • The are 16 tracks on the recording, including four orchestral renditions and a classical guitar reprise of the title track.
  • Former Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Zakk Wylde is featured on the track “Monument/Monolith.”
  • iTunes offers a “deluxe edition” with a bonus track and digital booklet.
  • Bill Mayer contributes yet another outstanding jazz cat illustration for the cover.
  • The range of music goes from “orchestrated, widescreen epics, to lyrical, smooth ballads, and high energy, progressive jazz-rock.”

Sources: Rippingtons official site, Amazon