Wednesday, April 29, 2009

AccuJazz News: Roll-Out Continues With "Decade: '40s"

This week's new channel makes for the 4th Decade channel at AccuJazz, joining the Pre-1940 channel and a channel apiece for the '50s and '60s.

As with all decades, jazz didn't have a uniform sound or aesthetic during the '40s. In the earlier part of the decade, swing was still king. Tommy Dorsey and Duke Ellington were household names and Benny Goodman's band was one of the hottest touring acts in the country. That soon changed, with big bands becoming harder to keep together and pop crooners taking over the airwaves.

Jazz wan't just going to die, though, right? Nope. You know the story: Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie came swooping in and saved the day with their new, revolutionary style of jazz called "Bebop." The new style breathed life into jazz and spurred on further innovation that continues to this day.

You'll hear everything from Dorsey's sentimental swing to Bud Powell's fiery bop on the channel, as well as gypsy jazz by Django Reinhardt, raucous big band music by Woody Herman, and plenty more.

In my first listening session I heard great tunes by Nat King Cole, Mary Lou Williams, Bud Powell and Duke Ellington. Pretty good start, I'd say.

Go ahead and listen to the channel here, and then let me know what you think in the comments section, or on Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, or the ShoutBox on the AccuJazz home page.

Friday, April 24, 2009

AccuJazz News: Roll-out continues with "Regions: New York Now"

This week's new channel, arriving just in time to actually be truthfully called "This Week's 
New Channel," is the second addition to our Regions category, and it's focused on the great music coming out of the Mecca of the jazz world, New York Ciy.  "Regions: New York Now" is dedicated to music made in New York in the last two decades because a channel that played all the music from throughout jazz history made in New York would encompass almost all of the AccuJazz music collection.

It's amazing that even with the globalization and digitization of the music industry, New York remains an essential hub of jazz music, with most all of the important modern jazz being made there.  It is undoubtedly still the center of the jazz world, with everything from cutting edge cosmopolitan jazz to straight-up hard bop to austere Avant-Garde jazz filling the city's venues every night.  Listeners will hear all of the above, and plenty more, on the new AccuJazz channel.

A recent listen to the channel produced this playlist: a track from young Japanese-born New York pianist Eri Yamamoto, a song from Wynton Marsalis' Citi Movement, a track by Dave Holland with Jack DeJohnette and Steve Coleman from Holland's Triplicate, and a song from master trombonist Conrad Herwig.  It was great listening and represented well the stylistic variation inherent in an all-NY station.

Alright, here's the part of the blog where I tell you to go listen, now!  Let me know what you think right here, or on Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, or the Shoutbox on the AccuJazz homepage.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Now Playing on AccuJazz - 4/22/09

I've been adding new CDs to the AccuJazz collection non-stop ever since the last "Now Playing" update, and now they're up and running on the many channels of AccuJazz, creating a sonic utopia of jazz from every corner of the stylistic spectrum. There are also a lot of older CDs I imported for upcoming subchannels, but for the sake of space I've only included new releases here. I've also included recommendations on the channels where you'll hear them. Most of these CDs will be on the Main Channel and New Releases already; I've listed the other channels where you'll also hear them. Click on the album title to purchase it from Amazon.

Jack DeJohnette, John Patitucci and Danilo Perez - Music We Are
Piano Jazz, New School, Modern Mainstream

John Scofield - Piety Street
Guitar Jazz, New School, Modern Mainstream, Groove Jazz

Fly - Sky & Country
Saxophone Jazz, New School, Cutting Edge, Covering All the Bassists, Give the Drummers Some

Rudresh Mahanthappa - Apti
Saxophone Jazz, New School, Cutting Edge, Jazz Fusion

Jeff "Tain" Watts - Watts
New School, Modern Mainstream, Give the Drummers Some

Alex Cline - Continuation
New School, Cutting Edge, Avant-Garde Jazz, Give the Drummers Some

Nels Cline - Coward
Guitar Jazz, New School, Cutting Edge, Avant-Garde Jazz

Branford Marsalis - Metamorphosen
Saxophone Jazz, New School, Modern Mainstream

Jimmy Greene - Mission Statement
Saxophone Jazz, New School, Modern Mainstream

Julian Lage - Sounding Point
Guitar Jazz, New School, Cutting Edge

Red Holloway - Go Red Go!
Straight Ahead, Saxophone Jazz

Marco Benevento - Me Not Me
Piano Jazz, New School, Cutting Edge, Jazz Fusion

Sean Jones - The Search Within
New School, Modern Mainstream, Trumpet Jazz

Fareed Haque - Flat Planet
Guitar Jazz, New School, Cutting Edge, Jazz Fusion, Groove Jazz

Scott Hesse - Music Speaks
Guitar Jazz, Cutting Edge

Jon Burr Band - Just Can't Wait
Vocal Jazz

Clifton Anderson - Decade
Straight Ahead, Modern Mainstream

DC Improvisers Collective - Triangulation
Cutting Edge, Avant-Garde

Kathleen Gorman - Brand New Day
Vocal Jazz, Women of Jazz

Halie Loren - They Oughta Write a Song
Vocal Jazz, Women of Jazz

Various Artists - The Very Best of Prestige Records (60th Anniversary)
Everybody's Boppin'

The Russ Spiegel Jazz Orchestra - Transplants
New School, Modern Mainstream, Big Band

Garvin Bushell - One Steady Roll
Old School

Kristin Korb - In the Meantime
Vocal Jazz, Women of Jazz

Swing Masters - Vol. 3: Gene Krupa... Jazz Pioneer!
Straight Ahead, Old School, Give the Drummers Some

Pamela Luss - Magnet
Vocal Jazz, Women of Jazz

I Heart Lung - Interoceans
Cutting Edge, Avant-Garde Jazz

Matt Renzi - Lunch Special
Saxophone Jazz, New School, Cutting Edge

Mary Halvorson and Jessica Pavone - Thin Air
Guitar Jazz, New School, Cutting Edge, Avant-Garde Jazz, Women of Jazz

Rob Mazurek - Sound Is
New School, Cutting Edge, Avant-Garde Jazz, Trumpet Jazz

Judy Carmichael - Come and Get It
Piano Jazz, Women of Jazz

Paulinho Garcia - My Very Life
Vocal Jazz, Latin Jazz

Mikkel Ploug, Sissel Vera Pettersen and Joachim Badenhorst - Equilibrium
Cutting Edge, Avant-Garde Jazz

Dominick Farinacci - Lovers , Tales & Dances
New School, Modern Mainstream, Trumpet Jazz

Tony Do Rosario - New Beginnings
Guitar Jazz, New School, Modern Mainstream

Larry Gray - 1, 2, 3...
New School, Modern Mainstram, Covering All the Bassists

Steven Hashimoto - Tradewind
New School, Modern Mainstream, Covering All the Bassists

Marshall Vente - Marshall Arts
Piano Jazz, Latin Jazz, Modern Mainstream

Thursday, April 16, 2009

AccuJazz News: Roll-Out Continues With "Organ Jazz"

What's that? It's already new channel time again? Wasn't it just yesterday that we introduced the exciting new channel, "Composers: Bird and Diz"? No, it was already a week ago? Wow, time sure flies when you're listening to great jazz.

This week's new channel is "Organ Jazz," and it's all about the awesome, underrated Hammond B3 organ and the masterful men and women who made so much good music on it. The channel is playing about 400 tunes by artists from Jimmy Smith to John Medeski. Like all AccuJazz channels, it's available all the time and is totally free to use.

Sure, you've probably heard Smith's "Back at the Chicken Shack" and Larry Young's "Unity," but have you heard Big John Patton and Bobby Hutcherson team up on Patton's "Let 'Em Roll," or the soulful Shirley Scott with then-husband Stanley Turrentine on "Blue Flames"? What about the excellent new CD by Dr. Lonnie Smith, "Rise Up!"? You'll hear these recordings and lots more on the channel.

Jazz organ has a special place in my heart right now because my most recent project in my professional musician role (I'm a drummer) is a new organ trio I started with two of my friends. I was never too into organists before this year (except for the aforementioned Larry Young record), but have really grown to appreciate the amazing artistry of the great organists. There's just nothing like the funky, soothing sounds of a B3. You can listen to my organ trio on our humble MySpace page here. As a discriminating programmer, I've decided not to play our demo CD on the organ channel.

Well, go on now, and listen to the channel at Then let us know what you think. Too much of one artist? Glaring ommissions of others? Not enough variety? Absolutely perfect? Give feedback right here in the comments section or on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, or the ShoutBox on the AccuJazz home page.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

AccuJazz News: Roll-Out Continues With "Composers: Bird and Diz"

This week's new channel is the third addition to the "Jazz by Composer" category, and it's all about Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, known to jazz fans as "Bird" and "Diz," respectively. While we all think of the innovations of Bebop as mostly pertaining to improvisation, it also ushered in a golden age of jazz composition. Bird and Diz wrote prolifically, and contributed a number of standards to the repertoire.

Tunes like "Now's the Time," "A Night in Tunisia," "Yardbird Suite," and "Salt Peanuts" are as prevalent in jazz recordings and jam sessions as old Tin Pan Alley favorites like "All the Things You Are," and "What is This Thing Called Love." While you'll hear plenty of the aforementioned Bird and Diz tunes on this channel, you'll also have the opportunity to hear many of their lesser-known compositions performed by a diverse cast of musicians.

Some rare gems have come up on my recent listens.There's the version of Bird's "Dewey Square" performed, on piano, by avant-garde reed master Anthony Braxton, from his 1995 album "Seven Standards." There's also an adventurous 7/4 reading of Bird's "Confirmation" by the young saxophonist John Ellis, and a whole album's worth of lesser-known Parker tunes performed by a drummer-less trio led by trumpeter Roy Hargrove ("Parker's Mood").

Whether you're a bebop expert or curious as to what all the fuss is about, this new channel is definitely worth checking out. Listen now and let me know what you think right here on the blog or on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, or the ShoutBox on the AccuJazz homepage.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

AccuJazz News: Roll-Out Continues With "Modern Mainstream"

New channel alert! This week it's another addition to the "Jazz by Style", and it's all about the giants of modern jazz. Sporting an appealing, alliterative title, "Modern Mainstream" plays music that represents the major musical currents jazz has followed in the last three decades.

Upon first listening to the new channel today I heard these three tunes: one from Blue Note 7's recent album Mosaic, then a track from Joe Lovano's recent collaboration with big-band and symphony orchestra, Symphonica, then the title track from the Keith Jarrett trio's newest live disc, Yesterdays. These three selections happened to be exclusively from recent albums by giants of modern jazz, but there are also many lesser-known artists playing who fall into the "Modern Mainstream" category.

There is a lot of stylistic variation in the play list, from French harmonica stylist Olivier Ker Ourio to the young hip-hop-tinged trumpeter Maurice Brown, for example. But the common thread is that this is modern jazz that isn't too rigidly tethered to the traditions of the past and isn't too bent on being "cutting edge"either (the title of another one of our "Jazz by Style" channels). Also: no fusion.

Though I consider myself more a fan of the cutting edge, I'm surprised at how much I thoroughly enjoy listening to this channel. It very well may become one of my favorites. How can you really argue with the Blue Note 7, Joe Lovano and Keith Jarrett?

Well, go on and listen, and let me know what you think by commenting here, or via Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, or the ShoutBox on the AccuJazz home page. Suggestions for other artists? Think we wrongly put someone in the Modern Mainstream category? Let me know!