Friday, May 26, 2006

Songs In A Mellow Mood

Available for download at Verve Records for the series

Track List:

1. I'm Glad There Is You
2. What Is There To Say?
3. People Will Say We're In Love
4. Please Be Kind
5. Until The Real Thing Comes Along
6. Makin' Whoopee (1954 Album Version)
7. Imagination (1954 Album Version)
8. Stardust (1954 Album Version)
9. My Heart Belongs To Daddy (1954 Album Version)
10. You Leave Me Breathless
11. Baby, What Else Can I Do?
12. Nice Work If You Can Get It

For all of you who don't want to download mp3s and can get without the original artwork, the album is on CD, paired with Ella Sings Gershwin, on GRP's CD "Pure Ella"

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Harry Connick Jr. to Perform in New Orleans Realtors Conference & Expo

Harry Connick Jr. to Perform in New Orleans Realtors Conference & Expo

Singer, composer and Broadway performer Harry Connick Jr., with his unique contemporary style, will perform on Nov. 12 during the Realtors Conference & Expo in the Crescent City.

Realtors will also sponsor the construction of seven Habitat for Humanity homes at the "Musicians Village" in the Big Easy. Connick and another New Orleans jazz great, Branford Marsalis, are honorary chairs of the Habitat's Operation Home Delivery effort, which includes 80 Habitat homes for displaced musicians and a community center, the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music. Connick and NAR were among the first responders to assist the city following Hurricane Katrina.

In addition, NAR, state and territorial associations of Realtors will sponsor 54 Habitat homes in the Gulf Coast area, including the seven in the Musician's Village, as part of the Realtor-Habitat Partnership for Gulf Coast Recovery program. For the past six years, NAR has sponsored Habitat builds in each of the cities hosting its annual conference.

NAR members have contributed $5.6 million from more than 13, 700 donors to Katrina victims through its Realtor Relief Foundation. Earlier, NAR also provided $1.7 million in housing relief to those left homeless in South Asia due to the December 2004 tsunami.

Last fall, NAR President Tom Stevens announced that the national organization would honor its commitment to storm-ravaged New Orleans and hold its annual convention there. "Realtors build communities, " said Stevens. "We are honored to hold our 2006 convention in this unique city and do what we can to restore New Orleans. Realtors love coming to this city. And we love to listen to Harry Connick Jr."

Connick's versatile creative energy has led to more than $20 million in album sales, three Grammy awards and nominations for Tony, Emmy, Oscar, Golden Globe and Cable Ace awards. This year, he made his Broadway debut as Sid Sorokin in "The Pajama Game" to rave reviews. He achieved widespread success as a musician when he scored the 1989 smash-hit movie "When Harry Met Sally."

His movie credits include starring roles in "Memphis Belle" in 1990, and "Little Man Tate, " "Copycat, " "Independence Day" and John Grisham's "Mickey." He has also contributed music to "Godfather III, " "Sleepless in Seattle" and "The Mask."

As a TV performer, he has starred in two holiday specials built around his best-selling albums, including "Harry for the Holidays." He also starred opposite Glenn Close in the ABC adaptation of the musical "South Pacific, " and has played Dr. Leo Markus on the NBC hit series "Will & Grace."

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Roberta Donnay's New CD

Award-winning and Grammy-nominated Roberta Donnay has toured the past ten years promoting her previous CDs Back Before The Why, Bohemian, and Soul Reverse, which earned her television and film credits including Nash Bridges, The Young & the Restless, Days of Our Lives, One Life to Live, That's Life, along with films, Close Encounters and Reservoirs of Strength. Donnay's single, "Crack in the Sidewalk" was a hit on college and public radio, receiving rotation on 80 stations nationwide. Her song "One World" has been performed on five continents as a world peace anthem and was adopted for UN 50th anniversary celebration. Ms. Donnay's fiery style and engaging presence have landed her featured performances at the Monterey Jazz Festival, The Empire Plush Room, The Jacksonville Jazz Festival and other venues across the United States.

On Wednesday evening, June 7th, 2006 The Empire Plush Room and The Roberta Donnay Quartet featuring guest artist, Dave Ellis proudly present an evening of music and celebration featuring songs from Donnay's new album, What's Your Story. Donnay explains, "It has been a true delight working with legendary producer Orrin Keepnews. The caliber of performances brought to light in the sessions by Dave Ellis, Eric Reed, Gerald Cannon and Mark Taylor is what I absolutely love about singing jazz."

Verve Release Program

Verve Release Program

Verve has had much success in bringing back titles that either had been deleted from its catalog or were never-before-available and making these titles available as digital-only tracks and albums. Verve and Rhapsody are making this exclusive content available in response to consumer interest.

"Today's consumer lives an on-demand lifestyle and The Verve MusicGroup is thrilled to have Rhapsody embrace the delivery of out-of-print music to meet the consumer demand for it, " says Ron Goldstein, President and CEO of The Verve Music Group. "Verve can now achieve the full potential of its amazing catalog by re-releasing these classic recordings in the digital space."

The program will launch with 28 titles. These titles, which arecurrently unavailable for purchase anywhere in America, will be released to Rhapsody beginning on May 23rd and will be available exclusively through the service for three months. Consumers will be able to stream, download, or purchase these classic recordings via the Rhapsody service as well as transfer them to compatible portable devices. Rhapsody and Verve will support this exclusive relationship with a variety of album features and promotions as well as outreach to core music audiences. "We're very excited to be adding nearly 30 out-of-print titles from Verve Records to Rhapsody, " said Tim Quirk, GM of Music Content and Programming. "Rhapsody's infinite shelf space means there's always room for more great music from influential Verve artists such as Art Blakey, Ella Fitzgerald, and Oscar Peterson."

Verve titles coming to Rhapsody through the program include: Albert Mangelsdorff, Jaco Pastorius, and Alphonse Mouzon "Trilogue" (Live), Alphonse Mouzon "By All Means", Anita O'Day "Anita", Art Blakey "The Complete Art Blakey on EmArcy", Art Tatum "I Got Rhythm Vol. 3 (1935-44)", Baden Powell "Estudos", Ben Sidran "I Lead A Life", Ben Sidran "Puttin' In Time On Planet Earth", Ben Sidran "The Cat In The Hat", Ben Webster and Don Byas "Ben Webster Meets Don Byas", Bill Evans "Symbiosis", Clark Terry "Clark After Dark", Dexter Gordon and Slide Hampton "A Day in Copenhagen", Don "Sugar Cane" Harris "Fiddler On The Rock", Don Ellis "Soaring", Duke Ellington "Collages", Ella Fitzgerald "Songs In A Mellow Mood", Freddie Hubbard "The Hub Of Hubbard", George Duke "I Love The Blues, She Heard Me Cry", Helen Merrill and Ron Carter "Duets", Jean-Luc Ponty "Sunday Walk", Joe Henderson "Mirror Mirror", Marlena Shaw "Out Of Different Bags", Monty Alexander "The Duke Ellington Songbook", Oscar Peterson "Bursting Out With The All-Star Big Band", Stephane Grappelli and the Diz Disley Trio "Violinspiration", The Eddie Davis-Johnny Griffin Quintet "Tough Tenors - Again N Again", The Jan Hammer Trio "Maliny Maliny".

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Nancy King with Fred Hersch - Live At Jazz Standard

Nancy King with Fred Hersch - Live At Jazz Standard
By C. Michael Bailey

Track list:
There's A Small Hotel
I Fall In Love Too Easily
Little Suede Shoes/Day By Day
Everything Happens To Me
Ain't Misbehavin'
Useless Landscape (Inutil Paisagem)
There Will Never Be Another You
Autumn In New York

Nancy King is a jazz vocalist who swings for the fences. An all-out scat master, King possesses all of the elasticity of Betty Carter and all of the panache and control of Ella Fitzgerald. Fred Hersch is a pianist’s pianist, the finest ballad-oriented player to emerge from the long shadow of Bill Evans. It's a bit of a mystery why these bright lights had not collaborated before Live at Jazz Standard. The result is East Coast meets West Coast; left coast cool versus right coast sleek; dense talent colliding in creative critical mass.

King and Hersch showed up at New York’s Jazz Standard for a performance as part of Hersch’s “Duo Invitation Series.” The two artists had not performed together, even in practice. According to Hersch, they united before the performance and picked out songs they both knew and then went out and played. Now, that is jazz! It is no surprise that the lion’s share of the songs are ballads.

The duo starts with the angular, Monkish “There’s a Small Hotel,” which gives way to the pensive “I Fall in Love too Easily.” Both ballads are lengthy, allowing the artists to explore their terrain. King uncannily echoes Chet Baker on the latter piece, buoyed by Hersch’s impressionistic pianism. Other impressionistic versions of “Everything Happens to Me,” “Ain’t Misbehavin’” and “There will Never be Another You” follow later down the road. But all is not balladic—Charlie Parker’s “Little Suede Shoes” shows up with Sammy Cahn’s “Day by Day” in a medley. King scats the Parker piece deftly in bebop counterpoint with Hersch. The show is capped by lengthy performances of “Autumn in New York” and a jumping “Four,” with Miles Davis' melody and Jon Hendricks' lyrics.

Jazz is the free spirit of music—improvisation as instant creation with no second takes, just like life. This freedom of spirit makes this duo performance compelling and special. Music like this erases the distinction between singer and accompanist, placing both artists on level ground.

Visit Nancy King and Fred Hersch on the web.