Archive for the The Jazz Continues… Category

JAZZ LIVES!!! May 18th: My Final LIVE CLTC Radio Broadcast

Posted in Charlotte Community Rado, Jazz in Charlotte, JazzLives!, The Jazz Continues..., Under The Radar, Unsung Women of Jazz with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 15, 2017 by curtjazz

Well, it’s been fun…

CurtJazz Studio 225With Charlotte Community Radio going off air this month, the last LIVE edition of JAZZ LIVES!!! with CurtJazz, will air Thursday, May 18th from 6:00pm to 9:00pmEst.

When Bridget asked me last spring if I would be interested in having a program on Charlotte Community Radio (CLTCRadio), it was exciting, a bit scary albeit perfectly timed. I worked in AM-FM radio in New York City through most of the 90’s, ran a web-based jazz radio station from 2004 to 2016, but I had been away from live radio since 2000. So I was somewhat out of practice on May 12, 2016 when I first opened the mic, but my trepidation quickly dissipated and the joy returned.

Mike hackett

With trumpet master Mike Hackett

So I want to say “Thank You”; first, to Bridget B. Sullivan and Melvin Nix, co-founders of CLTCRadio, for the chance to knock some rust off these old pipes and remind me that this is “what I do”.

Nicci Canada 1

With vocalist Nicci Canada

And a huge thanks to my guests. The incredible, world-class musicians who call the Carolinas home and who took time out of their incredibly busy schedules to spend some time with us: Dawn Anthony; Lovell Bradford; Will Campbell; Nicci Canada; Tenya Coleman; Harvey Cummings; Lonnie Davis; Ocie Davis; Buff Dillard; Mike Hackett; Amos Hoffman, and Tim Scott, Jr.; I am forever in your debt.

amos hoffman collage

Guitarist Amos Hoffman – Live in the CLTC Studios

My biggest appreciation goes out to all of you who listened and hopefully, enjoyed the music, as I shared my passion for jazz and for the artistry of living musicians. Some of you were friends from long ago that I reunited with. Some are a more recent part of my life. You were all a huge part of rekindling an old dream and I will always be grateful to you for that.

I’m on Twitter and Instagram as @curtjazz, and on Facebook as CurtJazzRadio. My website is curtjazz.com. Let’s keep in touch.

God Bless You and Goodnight.

Right Back Where We Started

Posted in Jazz in Charlotte, JazzLives!, The Jazz Continues... with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2016 by curtjazz

Before writing reviews, before the “Browsing the Bins” column, before Live365 and Curt’s Cafe Noir and before this blog, there was live jazz radio… The mid-90’s as a jazz DJ on what was tCurtis with Birdhen WPBX, on the East End of Long Island, was the best gig of my life, of any kind, one I reluctantly gave up, when I moved south almost sixteen years ago. As I signed off in October 2000, I always knew that I would be back one day. I just didn’t think that my son, who was less than a month old when I left, would be ready to start driving when that day came!

THE DATE IS SET!!!

Thursday, May 12; 6 pm – 9 pm (EDT). The premiere of my new radio show “JAZZ LIVES!!! with CurtJazz” on Charlotte Community Radio. The show will be a continuation of the passion that developed in me during the twelve years of Curt’s Cafe Noir – jazz by active musicians.

We will play jazz from across the spectrum, from modern to bop to swing to avant-garde. So, what will all of the artists have in common? They are all still living and playing great jazz.

I’ve said it before and I will keep saying it – For jazz to survive in the 21st century, we have got to open our ears to some of the great young musicians who are bringing some fresh ideas from their own 21st century experiences. This means that on JAZZ LIVES!!!, we will play Sonny Rollins AND Kamasi Washington. We will play Kenny Barron AND Robert Glasper. We will play Dave Holland AND Esperanza Spalding. And you will definitely hear from Mimi Jones and the marvelous ladies of Hot Tone Music.

Hot-Tone-Music-to-Release-CDs-By-Bassist-Mimi-Jones-Saxophonist-Camille-Thurman-Drummer-Shirazette-Tinnin

(l to r) Camille Thurman; Mimi Jones and Shirazette Tinnin

And, thanks to the tireless efforts of people like my friends Ocie and Lonnie Davis and the Jazz Arts Initiative, Charlotte is gaining a national reputation for producing some terrific young jazz players. So expect to also learn more about some of the QC’s contributions to  jazz’s future, like Eleazar Shafer, Phillip Whack, Harvey Cummings II, Tim Singh; Troy Conn and Tim Scott, Jr. And a few amazing talents even younger than those I just mentioned, such as Sean Mason and Veronica Leahy.

tim scott, jr

Tim Scott, Jr.

We are also blessed to have a studio that will be big enough for interviews and live performances and we plan to take advantage of that space for chats and mini concert sets with some of the greats and soon to be greats who live in or visit the Charlotte area.

All we ask from you is to give us a listen. And let us know what you think – on Facebook (CurtJazz Radio); on Twitter (@curtjazz); or on Instagram (curtjazz).

To hear JAZZ LIVES!!! with CurtJazz and all of the great programming that Charlotte Community Radio has to offer, just click this link http://charlottecommunityradio.org/
We will also be available via Mixlr (http://mixlr.com/)

More to come over the days leading up to our premiere. Watch this space!!!

Classic Christmas Clips

Posted in The Jazz Continues..., Video Vault with tags , , , , , on December 19, 2015 by curtjazz

For today’s post, I went on a hunt for some clips of some of the greats performing their classic Christmas Songs. I found some good ones. I know that some of these are lip syncs but they are still fun to watch.

Hope you enjoy them as well. Merry Christmas!

Nat “King” Cole: “The Christmas Song” from his television show

Eartha Kitt: “Santa Baby” from New Faces

Lou Rawls: “Merry Christmas, Baby” from Soul Train Christmas

Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby: “Christmas Medley”

A New Gift from JLCO: “Big Band Holidays”

Posted in New on the Playlist, The Jazz Continues..., Video Vault with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 17, 2015 by curtjazz

Big Band HolidaysMy late father often said “The best thing to do in a hurry, is nothing.” As I’ve grown older, I’ve begun to truly appreciate the enduring wisdom in those words – for I’ve so often discovered that I make my biggest errors, when I do things for speed and not for pleasure. Such is the case with my post a couple of days ago about my favorite new Holiday Jazz Albums.

Since I decided last weekend that I was going to write something every day for the rest of the year to atone for my lack of activity over the last six months, I’d became totally focused on putting something out there, even if I hadn’t really thought it through. So when I completed the post on new Christmas Jazz, I dropped a few words and a couple of videos, and declared my mission accomplished, even though I felt as if I was missing something…it didn’t matter; at least I was making my self-imposed deadline.

I was missing something. Something that I had heard and enjoyed more, , than most of the albums in the original post – it was the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra’s Big Band Holidays; an album far richer and more complex than its simplistic title (and pedestrian cover art) would suggest.

Every December for over a decade, Wynton Marsalis, and the JLCO have come together with some of the great vocalists in jazz to perform their arrangements of some of the classic songs of the season. Thankfully many of these concerts were recorded. This year, Blue Engine Records, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s house label, assembled some of the choice selections from 2012 – 2014 concerts and released them as a compilation – featuring three of the best vocalists in jazz today, Rene Marie, Gregory Porter and Cecile McLorin Salvant and strong arrangements from some of the bands in house pros like Victor Goines, Sherman Irby and Ted Nash, plus a nod to the new testament Basie Band by including Ernie Wilkins classic arrangement of “Jingle Bells”. Big Band Holidays is a terrific jazz album first and a good Holiday album second, which is why I will probably be listening to it beyond next Friday night.

As you can see, these performances were also caught on video, so we can share a few of them with you. May these performances prove to be as timeless as my dad’s words.

Merry Christmas, everybody.

 

A Little Love for Joe Williams

Posted in The Jazz Continues..., Video Vault with tags , , , on December 16, 2015 by curtjazz

Francis Albert Sinatra is not the only great singer born on December 12. Born that same date, three years later (1918) in Crisp County, GA was a boy named Joseph Goreed. Three years after his birth, his mother and grandmother would take him to Chicago, where he would grow up.

By the early 50’s, Goreed was calling himself Joe Williams and struggling to make ends meet singing in Chicago area clubs, when he met Count Basie, who was in the process of putting his band back together. Williams, cool urbane baritone was the opposite of Basie’s prior vocalist, blues shouter Jimmy Rushing but he was perfect for the new Basie sound.

From 1954 to 1961, Williams was known as Basie’s “Number One Son” and recorded hits such as “Alright, Okay (You Win)” and “Every Day I Have The Blues”. Williams officially left Basie in ’61 but their musical partnership continued of and on the rest of the Count’s life.

In the ’80’s Williams gained fame with a new generation, as he played “Grandpa Al”, Claire’s father, on The Cosby Show. But he never stopped singing and recording. Unlike Sinatra, time (and care) had been kind to Williams’ vocal gifts and he continued to make critically acclaimed, relevant jazz albums well into his seventies.

Joe Williams died in Las Vegas in 1999. And of late, time seems to be forgetting one of the great jazz vocalists of all time. Hopefully, three years from now, there will be at least a few Williams centennial celebrations on December 12.

New Holiday Jazz Albums 2015

Posted in New on the Playlist, The Jazz Continues... with tags , , , , , , on December 15, 2015 by curtjazz

When I first started featuring Christmas and Holiday Season Jazz on my web station, Curt’s Cafe Noir, in 2005, it took a bit of work to find sufficiently diverse jazz content to allow the station to run all Holiday music. Now, ten years later, there’s so much music to choose from, from so many different sources, that I can program 24 hours of Holiday Jazz and afford to be selective.

From Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra’s Joyful Jazz, “Merry Christmas John Coltrane”

And this season has brought another crop of strong and varied Christmas Jazz Albums. Here are samples from a few of my favorites that you’ll hear on Curt’s Cafe Noir’s 24/7 JazzMas Party, through December 26. As an extra bonus, we have the album that is my favorite new seasonal offering, Etienne Charles’ Creole Christmas, in an exciting live version, recorded at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, in New York City.

From the Count Basie Orchestra’s A Very Swingin’ Basie Christmas! “Good Swing Wenceslas”

Enjoy the samples, pick up a copy of the full albums, if you dig the tracks and tune in to Curt’s Cafe Noir WebJazz Radio, for great Christmas Jazz.

From David Benoit Trio’s Believe; “The Christmas Waltz” (feat. Jane Monheit)

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Recorded Live at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola in NYC; trumpeter Etienne Charles with a concert version of his new album Creole Christmas

 

Jazz 2015 – Watch This Space!

Posted in Best Jazz Albums of 2015, The Jazz Continues... with tags , , , , , , , , on December 13, 2015 by curtjazz

Sometimes, time can get away from you…

I knew it had been a minute since my last blog post but I looked today and realized that I hadn’t done anything new since an Atlanta Jazz Fest recap in late May…DANG!!!

Welp. Sorry about that folks! And here’s what I’m going to attempt to do between now and December 31. I’m going to try to post at least something once a day relating to jazz that happened this year. Even if it’s a picture or a video clip accompanied by a few words, I’m going to drop something jazzy…

Of course, this will include my 2015 Best Albums list. Just because I haven’t been blogging, doesn’t mean I haven’t been listening.

Speaking of The Best of 2015. Today’s post will include a sneak preview, with clips from three of the albums that are on the list, vocalist Eugenie Jones; bassist Carlos Henriquez and a Posi-Tone Records saxophone summit, featuring Doug Webb, Joel Frahm and Walt Weiskopf.

Talk to you tomorrow. Until then, the jazz continues…