Here is the link to "The 2009 Jazz Gig Guide", that gives you a continually updated list of the upcoming shows and appearances of many touring jazz artists such as Eric Alexander, Ben Allison, Kenny Barron, etc. Don't leave home without (checking) it!
Thinking of starting a jazz album collection? Then be sure to check out the following blog link, 100 Greatest Jazz Albums,for a site that has a comprehensive review of the one hundred greatest jazz albums of all time (2008 edition). These include new releases and re-releases as well as the most currently popular ones. Each entry to the list has a complete listing of the personnel, titles of the tracks, a rating of the album, as well as a very detailed review. You will also find great jazz links here, too.
Grammy-winning jazz musician Freddie Hubbard, whose style influenced a generation of trumpet players, has died at age 70. Hubbard's manager, David Weiss, says the musician died Monday at Sherman Oaks Hospital in Los Angeles. He had been hospitalized since suffering a heart attack last month. Although he had been in declining health in recent years, Hubbard continued to perform until just a few months ago. Known for both the intensity of his playing, as well as his melodic style, Hubbard's last concert was in June in New York at a party celebrating the release of his final album. He won a Grammy in 1972 for best jazz performance by a group for the album "First Light." (source: Chicago Tribune) When my first child was born I remember celebrating her birth by going out and buying Freddie Hubbard's new album at the time (1977) entitled "Bundle Of Joy". The title track was a big hit for him at the time. This album was his commercial entrance into the realm of the jazz fusion music trend (fusion of rock and jazz) and it still sounds great today. Having been a trumpet player under his influence and long time jazz fan myself, he will be missed. R.I.P. Freddie...sign the memorial guest book by clicking this link
Here is a list of jazz and jazz-related music figures that have passed on in this year of 2008 (chronological order):
Pete Candoli , 84; leading high-register jazz trumpet player (Jan. 11)
Teo Macero , 82; a producer of jazz albums for Miles Davis and other leading artists in the 1960s and '70s (Feb. 19)
Israel "Cachao" Lopez , 89; Cuban bassist and composer credited with pioneering the mambo style of music (March 22)
William F. Ludwig II , 91; son of the founder of Ludwig Drum Co. who built a special kit for the Beatles' Ringo Starr (March 22)
Ozzie Cadena , 83; record producer recorded jazz giants for the Savoy label (April 9)
George T. Butler Jr. , 76; influential jazz A & R man and record producer (April 9)
Jimmy Giuffre , 86; saxophonist, clarinetist and composer whose career included big bands and minimalist trios (April 24)
Humphrey Lyttelton , 86; jazz trumpeter who hosted the BBC radio game show "I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue" (April 25)
Bill Finegan , 91; an architect of the big band sounds of Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller who later traded in commercial success to co-create the Sauter-Finegan Orchestra (June 4)
Esbjorn Svensson , 44; Swedish jazz pianist whose fusion of lyrical melodies and rock-inspired electronics broke fresh ground in modern jazz (June 14)
Bobby Durham , 71; a jazz drummer who teamed with Oscar Peterson and Ella Fitzgerald (July 7)
Gerald Wiggins , 86; jazz pianist played with his trio and accompanied many great singers (July 13)
Jo Stafford , 90; a singer who was a favorite of soldiers during World War II and whose recordings made the pop music charts dozens of times in the 1950s (July 16)
Joe Beck , 62; jazz guitarist who played with Miles Davis, Frank Sinatra and James Brown (July 22)
Johnny Griffin , 80; a jazz musician who was once billed as the "world's fastest saxophonist" (July 25)
Keith Shadwick , early 20s; British jazz sax player turned journalist, of mesothelioma (July 28)
Lee Young , 94; jazz drummer who played with Nat King Cole and was one of the first African Americans to integrate a studio orchestra (July 31)
Jerry Wexler , 91; who coined the term "rhythm and blues," discovered Aretha Franklin and helped bring African American music to a wide audience as a key executive of Atlantic Records (Aug. 15)
Connie Haines , 87; big band singer who performed with Frank Sinatra and the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra in the 1940s (Sept. 22)
Neal Hefti , 85; a former big band trumpeter, arranger and composer who wrote the memorable themes for "The Odd Couple" and " Batman" (Oct. 11)
Dave McKenna , 78; a master jazz pianist who embraced the music of the Great American Songbook (Oct. 18)
Lawrence Wheatley, 73; enigmatic Washington, DC jazz pianist and composer led jam sessions for 40 years but would not allow his music to be recorded...of vascular disease (Oct. 19)
Rosetta Reitz , 84; ardent feminist started record label for women in jazz and blues (Nov. 1)
Roberta Zito , 65; former backup singer with Nat King Cole and mother of San Francisco Giants pitcher Barry Zito (Nov. 13)
Charles Ottaviano , 66; his intimate Van Nuys nightclub Charlie O's developed a loyal following of jazz enthusiasts (Nov. 17)
Buddy Charles, 81; Chicago area Great American Songbook and jazz pianist (Dec. 18)
Page Cavanaugh , 86; a pianist-singer whose trio was a popular nightclub and recording group (Dec. 19)
Eartha Kitt, 81; the vocalist with the "seductive purr" went on to fame with hits like "C'est Si Bon", "Love For Sale" and "Santa Baby" (Dec. 25) Here is a session of hers from YouTube.Com from the live broadcast Swedish TV show "Kaskad" in 1962:
Freddie Hubbard , 70; trumpet 1972 Grammy Award Winner for best jazz group for his "First Light" album (Dec. 29)
I have been a fan of the live bands presented at the restaurant, The Chambers in Niles, Illinois (6881 N. Milwaukee Avenue) and one of the mainstays of music there was "Buddy Charles" (a.k.a. Charles J. Gries), jazz piano man of the Great American Songbook. A resident of Morton Grove, IL, 81-year-old "Buddy" passed away December 18th, 2008. He had been battling leukemia. I did not personally know him well but was a listener/fan in the crowd there from time to time when I found myself in town. Good live music is hard to come by these days including venues that host it, as musicians well know. Here is a reprint of a couple of articles (from ChicagoJazz.Com) on rememberances of Buddy and his music from some Chicago Musicians. He will be missed on the Chicago music scene. Included is a clip from YouTube.com of Buddy Charles in a July 2007 session at Chambers:
Buddy Charles Remembered
Date Posted on ChicagoJazz.Com: December 19 2008
Written By: Steve Hashimoto
I’m very sad to have to inform you that the great pianist Buddy Charles has moved on.
For those of you who somehow don’t know who he was (and there aren’t many of you; you’re probably young, because what Buddy did wasn’t considered au courant of late; an indictment of our culture if ever there was an indictment), he was a marvelous pianist and probably the greatest living repository of knowledge concerning American popular music of the Golden Age of Songwriting, and I don’t mean Bob Dylan or Buddy Holly, as much as I admire those artists.
Mr. Charles knew more about Harold Arlen and Cole Porter and Jerome Kern and Irving Berlin and Yip Harburg and Lorenz Hart and Duke Ellington and hundreds of other composers than anyone except for, perhaps, the late Bobby Short or the late Dave McKenna who, ironically, also died last week. I won’t pretend that I was pals with Buddy or that I even knew him very well, but I did have the good fortune to play a gig with him once, and it was a humbling experience indeed. I didn’t even recognize, let alone know, any of the tunes we played (well, that he played and that I tried to catch) until he took mercy on me well into our second set and called a couple of Ellingtons.
And yet he was extremely gracious about the whole thing, as he was about the gig in general, which, due to the criminal cluelessness of the venue and the venue’s audience, was about as nightmarish as a gig can get. The man was a scholar and a gentleman, and there won’t be many like him anymore. Following is information concerning services for him, courtesy of Anne Burnell and the Cabaret Society people; thanks for passing it along. I believe that Buddy’s true name was Charles Gries, in case his obituaries are not listed as Buddy Charles.
Buddy Charles Remembered
Date Posted on ChicagoJazz.Com: December 23 2008
Written By: Anne & Mark Burnell
Most everyone has heard that we lost Buddy Charles very early Thursday morning.
To us, he was a father figure, friend, mentor, and beloved Buddy.
Anne and I both knew Buddy before we met each other, hanging out in the wee hours at the Acorn on Oak. Then we went to hear him on our first date at the Drake.
He had a vast repertoire, more than any musician we know of, he could play one composer all night, or surprise you with novelty songs, or rarely heard tin pan alley tunes. Buddy had such a strong life force, he never seemed to take a break. He would play long sets, his energy and fingers never fading.
Buddy later dubbed us the "Flying Burnells - the last great erotic trapeze act". Where this came from we don't know, but he always introduced us on stage that way.
In person, he called us "his babies". He recommended songs and arrangements for us both, was our director for some highly creative cabaret shows, and mostly he inspired us to be better, dig deeper, give more, learn everything we possibly can, laugh often, and to love and serve God. His family is just like him. I have never heard people laugh and love so deeply, fully alive in every moment, but for the Gries family. Chris, Tabby, Mandy, Terri, and dear Pat, his wife.
Many a night these past few years, after Buddy came out of retirement to play again at Chambers in Niles,we would linger with family members, musicians, singers, and his fans and friends.
Everyone felt as though he was their friend once they met him, because he had an uncanny memory for folks,
and he was so warm and genuinely personal. And we, in turn, became friends.
He communicated on so many levels...the surface level of what he was singing or joking about, the musical artistic level, and the philosophical level all at once. He was the deepest man we ever met.
We hope to be going where we know he is now. It is said,
"He whom we loved and lost is no longer where he was before; now, he is wherever we are. "
Buddy will never leave us, he remains in our hearts, that are forever touched by his spirit.
-Anne & Mark Burnell
As we approach the end of the year 2008 these are the jazz best-selling albums released this past year (source Amazon.com):
1. Roy Hargrove / "Ear Food" / Emarcy - 29JUL2008 (see album cover image above)
Discovered by Wynton Marsalis, Hargrove made his solo debut in 1990 on Novus/RCA
2. Esperanza / "Esperanza" / Heads Up - 20MAY2008
In 2005--at the age of 20--Esperanza Spalding became the youngest instructor in the history of Berklee College of Music.
3. Patricia Barber / "The Cole Porter Mix" / Blue Note Records - 16SEP2008
Barber takes on the well-worn songbook of Cole Porter
4. Various Artists / "Miles From India" / Four Quarters Entertainment - 15APR2008
5. Cassandra Wilson / "Loverly" / Blue Note Records - 10JUN2008
Jason Moran on piano, Lonnie Plaxico on acoustic upright bass, and Marvin Sewell on guitar
6. Jose James / "The Dreamer" / Brownswood - 29JAN2008
Its hard to get a copy of the album
7. David Murray / "Silence" / Justin Time - 24JUN2008
Check it out
8. William Parker / "Double Sunrise Over Neptune" / AUM Fidelity - 12AUG2008
9. George Duke / "Dukey Treats" / Heads Up - 26AUG2008
10. Sadao Watanabe / "Basie's At Night" / Koch Records - 02SEP2008