Dave Grusin - Two For The Road
| Dave Grusin grew
up in Colorado and majored in piano at the University of Colorado. After
touring with with Andy Williams in the early '60's, Grusin began releasing
his own jazz recordings. Beginning with "Divorce American Style", Grusin
also began composing music for films and television, earning several Academy
Award nominations along the way. One of his friends and heroes in the world
of film scores was the world-renowned composer Henry Mancini. Grusin's
tribute album "Two For The Road" features unique interpretations of ten
classic Mancini compositions.
Urban Knights - Urban Knights II
| On their second
album "Urban Knights II", the Urban Knights have changed their lineup but
still include pianist Ramsey Lewis and producer Maurice White (of Earth,
Wind & Fire fame). Rounding out the group is acoustic guitarist Jonathan
Butler, saxophonists Gerald Albright and Najee and drummer Sonny Emory.
The Urban Knights' goal is still to integrate the kindred spirits of jazz
and soul. On this album, they take each player's gifts for melody and rhythm
and develop a group chemistry that elevates their collective creativity
to the next level.
Donald Harrison - Nouveau Swing
| Donald Harrison's
Impulse debut "Nouveau Swing" is a groove album--a funky, soulful CD that
features Donald's richly romantic alto playing over a snappy, goose-loose
rhythm section. It's a straight-ahead acoustic jazz album that subtly integrates
the rhythms of today's dance floors--from Rio to Jamaica to Brooklyn--with
the sounds of today's jazz vanguard. (Christian McBride, Carl Allen, Anthony
Wonsey & others)
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Doc Cheatham & Nicholas Payton - Doc Cheatham & Nicholas Payton
| Born in 1905, trumpeter
Doc Cheatham played through several eras of music, working with many legends
of jazz, such as Fletcher Henderson, Cab Calloway and Benny Goodman. Although
he passed away in June of 1997, his music lives on, including this recording
made with 23-year-old trumpet sensation Nicholas Payton. Although they
were generations apart, the two musicians held a mutual admiration for
one another's gifts. This album includes their interpretations of numerous
jazz standards, with several cuts featuring Cheatham's charming, understated
Boney James - Sweet Thing
| Boney James was
born in Lowell, Massachusetts and grew up in New Rochelle, New York, where
he first began playing clarinet. After switching to saxophone, he became
a talented session player. Then came his own solo albums, and James' 1997
release "Sweet Thing" shows his growth as an instrumentalist. He says,
"I wanted to explore new directions, while at the same time, touch on some
of the music that was important to my own development --everything from
jazz fusion to Steely Dan. The result is a sort of 'live meets loop' approach;
modern and retro at the same time."
Linda Eder - It's Time
| As a teenager, singer
Linda Eder teamed with a pianist, and they toured America's "cocktail circuit",
performing a variety of well-known standards. Later on, Eder enjoyed a
12-week winning streak on TV's Star Search and attracted the attention
of composer Frank Wildhorn, who was staging his musical "Jekyll & Hyde".
She won critical acclaim for her role in "Jekyll & Hyde" and has since
begun recording her own solo albums. Her latest release is "It's Time",
an album that features standards as well as all-new tunes composed by Wildhorn
and Jack Murphy.
Herb Alpert - Passion Dance
| Since the 1960's,
Herb Alpert has established himself as one of the premier jazz trumpet
players in the world. Whether with the Tijuana Brass or on his own, Alpert
has shown an uncanny ability to get to the root of a melody and make it
come alive. Along the way, he's earned several Grammys and sold millions
of records as he's grown into a world-class musician and producer. His
latest release is "Passion Dance", and Alpert uses a stellar group of players
to continue his explorations into the world of Latin American rhythms.
Boz Scaggs - Come On Home
| Boz Scaggs grew
up in Texas but got early exposure to the blues of many regions, from New
Orleans to Memphis to Chicago. He spent some time in the Steve Miller Blues
Band (Steve was a high school classmate of his) before embarking on his
solo career. Many albums later, he releases "Come On Home", an album with
ten classic blues songs and four Scaggs originals. He says, "I've wanted
to do this rhythm and blues album for a long time. I grew up on this music,
and this record is a tribute to some of my heroes, some of the great R&B
singers, songwriters and musicians."
Charlie Haden & Pat Metheny - Beyond The Missouri Sky
| Bassist Haden and
Guitarist Metheny have become among the most admired jazz artists on their
respective instruments. Although they've played together on various albums
before, they had never recorded a duet album until now. Their new release
"Beyond The Missouri Sky" is an eclectic but appealing set of songs that
show off the duo's extraordinary talents. Haden says, "The two musics that
are this country's strongest art forms are ones I've been involved with
all my life: hillbilly music, or country and western, and jazz. I think
this record brings all of our musical art forms together."
Alfredo Rodriguez - Cuba Linda
| Alfredo Rodriguez
was born in Cuba, but his family moved to New York City in 1960. His love
of jazz led to intense study of the piano. Over the years, Rodriguez has
performed and recorded albums throughout the U.S. and Europe. For his latest
album, "Cuba Linda", he returned to his island home to record songs full
of Afro-Cuban tradition and history. Rodriguez says, "The recording was
very emotional for me. It was great to get back to the source, to go back
to some of the roots music that has been the basis for what I've played
all my adult life. The energy level was incredible."
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