Salute to George Duke in Kansas City

The annual Kansas City’s 18th & Vine Jazz and Blues Festival (formerly Rhythm & Ribs) has announced a Salute to George Duke theme for its October festival. George Duke was announced as the headliner for this year’s fest shortly before his death. Among those participating are Pieces of a Dream, Bobby Lyle and Maysa. Catch local talent as well in the historical jazz district in the city where I reside on Oct. 12!

18thvinejazzfest2013

Bob James with Rob Swift Live

I loved the Bob James/Rob Swift collaboration on “Street Smart” from Bob’s Morning, Noon & Night release. Didn’t know about this live version they did of “Nautilus.”

Top of the Chart – July 1988

Reflections by George HowardHere were the top-selling contemporary jazz recordings in summer 1988, according to the July 8, 1988 issue of Billboard!

  1. George Howard – Reflections
  2. Bobby McFerrin – Simple Pleasures
  3. Basia – Time and Tide
  4. Rippingtons featuring Russ Freeman – Kilamanjaro
  5. David Benoit – Every Step of the Way
  6. Tim Heintz – Searching the Heart
  7. Chick Corea – Eye of the Beholder
  8. Dianne Reeves – Dianne Reeves
  9. Kirk Whalum – And You Know That!
  10. Shadowfax – Folksongs for a Nuclear Village

Entering the chart that week was a number of releases that would be headed toward the top: Spyro Gyra’s Rites of Summer, Politics by Yellowjackets, If This Bass Could Talk by Stanley Clarke, and Sade’s Stronger Than Pride.

NEXT Collective

I love any modern jazz project that has the potential to reach new audiences. Cover Art, the new recording from the NEXT Collective has interpretations of songs by Drake, Bon Iver, Dido, Pearl Jam, Kanye West and more. The collective Features rising jazz stars: saxophonists Logan Richardson and Walter Smith III, guitarist Matthew Stevens, keyboardists Gerald Clayton and Kris Bowers, bassist Ben Williams, drummer Jamire Williams, and special guest trumpeter Christian Scott (aka Christian aTunde Adjuah).

Cover Art is available now on Amazon and iTunes. Connect with the Collective on Facebook and Twitter.

Ultimate Nu Jazz Sounds

Sample the new compilation, Ultimate Nu Jazz Sounds (35 Essentials for Nu Jazz, Lounge, Chillout and Smooth Jazz Lovers), below. iPad and iPhone users can sample it at iTunes. What do you think?

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.