In honor of the Harlem Jazz Shrines Festival, we are streaming the 1994 documentary A Great Day in Harlem that documents the incredible circumstances that went into the timeless 1958 black and white portrait which included jazz legends like Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, Roy Eldridge, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, Art Blakey, Charles Mingus, Gerry Mulligan, Thelonious Monk, and Sonny Rollins, among numerous others. In total an astonishing 57 musicians showed up just to be in the picture taken by Art Kane at 17 East 126th Street.
It seems FlyLo and Thundercat may be getting some competition from the Aussies. Melbourne’s own 21-year-old beatmaker/producer/multi-instrumentalist/singer Silentjay is graced us with a premiere of his new single + video “Blossom Dance” ft. Kirkis on bass. While Silentjay sings with Hiatus Kaiyote and plays sax with the experimental-cinematic jazz quintet Demian, this one features the electronic side of his dynamic artistry in conjunction with Kirkis who “travelled through a portal in a microwave, where he found himself falling for love with 51 analog synths a bass guitar.”
Milford Graves may not be a name that you recognize, but Graves is most certainly a force to be reckoned with if you’re involved in music medicine, therapy, education, or any number of combinations. Graves is known by any number of names and sounds including the “jazz scientist,” (for his work as an acupuncturist, herbalist, martial artist, and music therapist), Professor Graves (for his longtime teaching position at Bennington College), and the drummer with Miriam Makeba, the New York Art Quartet, Sun Ra, Paul Bley, and many more.
Before we delve into Elvin Jones’ life and career from a musicologist’s standpoint, it is important (when available) to hear from these musicians themselves and those they worked with. Luckily in the case of prolific drummer Elvin Jones, film producer and director Ed Gray decided to make a documentary entitled Different Drummer: Elvin Jones.
Winter JazzFest 2013 is upon us and we’re in the thick of rehearsals and preparation for this historic weekend of music. We’ve been running around with the musicians all week and today we’ll be bringing you last minute words and music from these incredible artists throughout the day. Be sure to check back to this page often for interviews, rehearsal footage, and mixes from our stage!
In preparation for Winter JazzFest this weekend we dropped by the rehearsal for Marcus Strickland’s Twi-Life to get a sneak peak of this all-star band featuring Strickland on saxes, the legendary Ku-umba Frank Lacy on trombone, Yuki Hirano holding down the keys, Mark Kelley on bass, Charles Haynes on the drums, and emcee Raydar Ellis on the mic.
Happy Winter Solstice folks! On that note, we’ve got a treat for you today straight from Eletrik Indigo Studios. We met up with the purveyor of Soul, the one and only Jesse Fischer, who was in the mood to share some of his seasonal vibe with you all. Check out his one-man conglomeration of “Let It Snow”!
With the Lee Morgan Story taking on new life this past week at Le Poisson Rouge, we’ve got some new insight into the project and a collection of great video and photos from the historic night that saw legendary trumpeter Wallace Roney take the stage in tribute to the late Lee Morgan. Originally brought to us by the dynamic duo of Ben Williams and John Robinson, the night also featured Marc Cary on keys, Justin Brown on drums, Leron Thomas on trumpet, and Raydar Ellis (DJ/Emcee).
In the realm of hip-hop sampling, the sounds of vintage keyboards abound. Although the Fender Rhodes has been a common sonic choice by producers, samples of other vintage keyboards are widespread in the genre as well. West Coast hip-hop from the early 90s, for example, was characterized by the inclusion of portamento-ridden synths (mostly sampled from Parliament-Funkadelic, hence the spinoff term “G-Funk”). However, few beat-makers have chosen to sample the Hammond B3 Organ, one of the staple sounds heard in jazz, blues, gospel, R&B, and progressive rock since the 1950s.
Moving from a major label to an independent started a shift in Abiah’s music that has materialized as his sophomore album. More intimate in nature and personally compelling, the album features Abiah’s cousin Robert Glasper on piano, guitarist/arranger Marvin Sewell, his long time collaborator, and co-producerr Keith Witty as well as Ulysses Owens, Jr. on drums. “Robert added such beautiful fabric to the music. Marvin was overflowing with genius and Keith helped me to find all the “right” things like a mad scientist,” Abiah explains.
Sotti has became a highly sought after musician, writer, and producer working for the likes of Mark Egan, Jennifer Lopez, Whitney Houston, Al Foster, Roy Hargrove, Ghostface Killah, Q-Tip, Dead Prez, Styles P, and Jeff “Tain” Watts. He has also produced and performed on three critically acclaimed projects for jazz vocalist Cassandra Wilson.
Electronic jazz collective Hidden Orchestra has continually brought their creative visions to new heights combining music, video, and various media to create not only a song, but a feeling, an ambience, and a story. With “Vorka,” things are no different. The group, made up of dueling percussionists Tim Lane and Jamie Graham as well as multi-instrumentalists Poppy Ackroyd and Joe Acheson, have made a career out of touring almost non-stop creating a diverse fan base that appreciates the group’s experimentally infectious attitude.
Bringing together a multinational group of Berklee students, Endangered Speeches, the creative brainchild of Greek MC /singer/composer/arranger Mariletta Konstantara, fills a meaty space in between instrumental hip-hop and reggae. We are extremely excited to drop the video for their single “Under the Radar” (featuring Berklee teacher and MC/Producer/DJ Brian “Raydar” Ellis).
Gizmo dropped his second single from his debut release Red Balloon (due out in the fall) today entitled “Lift Me Up.” The track features fellow Berklee-educated singer-songwriter Nick Hakim.
As we prepare to release some tracks from Takuya Kuroda’s upcoming album entitled Six Aces, we are excited to release an exclusive documentary-short featuring a day in the life of Kuroda, specifically May 18th, 2012. Shot by the talented Ryosuke Tanzawa, the video follows Kuroda from sunrise to sunset through recording, practicing, hanging with friends, mixing, and more.
Recording artist Gizmo has announced the release of his debut record, Red Balloon. Vocalist, bassist and musical director for projects with Bilal, Meshell Ndegeocello and Lalah Hathaway, Gizmo’s debut Red Balloon (Revive Music) is produced by Derrick Hodge (Robert Glasper Experiment, Kanye West, Maxwell, Common) and features a mixture of jazz, experimental, hip-hop, funk, soul, rock and latin music.
Cameron Carpenter is a bit of an anomaly. As he puts it, “I play the classical organ, but I don’t play church music or even in the church at all.” With a deep relationship to the church as well as gospel music, Carpenter wants to reinvigorate what he sees as a dying instrument. Church dwellers tend to see the pipe organ as the “Jesus Christ” of the organs while the organ synth sits in the “Lucifer” position. This is a ideology Carpenter explains he wants nothing of. He feels a disconnect with the lumbering pipe organ because as a musician you can not typically own one, so there isn’t the same inert ownership of the instrument. “We we need to do is get behind the digital organ,” Carpenter exclaims.
Chick Corea and Bobby McFerrin recently concluded a tour of Europe with their longstanding duet collaboration that they frequently bring together. The master pianist brings his composition and arrangement skills into the forefront as one of the most technically skilled vocalists ever matches his musical prowess. Together the two legends bring a unique sense of originality and uniqueness to the music.
This past week Lakecia Benjamin brought her band SoulSquad along with a slew of special guests to Le Poisson Rouge to celebrate the release of her new album Retox. As you will see below, the energy they brought that night can not be matched by many. Check out their opening tune as well as a highlight of the night as dualing keyboardists Chris Rob and Jesse Fischer took it to each other with Fischer on the Motif and Rob rocking the keytar.
Whether it’s Akoustic or Elektric, Chick Corea has consistently risen the bar in music many times over. His career boasts extended collaborations with too many historic musicians to name. Moreover compositionally, he reaches even further with many tunes considered standards by the jazz community. For all of this and more, we celebrate pianist, composer, and artist Chick Corea for leading us in innovation through many decades and changes in jazz and popular music. Happy Birthday Chick, we look forward to many more years of your influence.
Today we are featuring footage from Donald “Big Chief” Harrison’s recent performance at Symphony Space in NYC featuring special guest and nephew Christian Scott. According to the venue, this was surprisingly the first concert Harrison headlined with his own band. As such Harrison and company took to the stage for many hours switching from jazz to funk, New Orleans to New York City and more. This piece closed out the first set with Harrison inviting a few very talented local music students to share the stage with himself and Christian Scott.
This past Monday 5/7, Revive Music celebrated a night of music inspired by all of the legends that have graced the many historic stages in Harlem as a part of the Harlem Jazz Shrines Festival. In a homage to Small’s Paradise, Johnny O’Neal, Umar Hassan (Last Poets), and Sachal Vasandani came together with a talented group of musicians (Justin Tyson, Alex Claffy, Stacey Dillard, Sharel Cassity, Michael Dease, and Philip Dizack) to recreate the music of the 1930s and ’40s with some new twists.
Today, we here at The Revivalist are extremely excited to present the first single and video off of Lakecia’s upcoming solo debut Retox, entitled “Jump And Shout.” Upon first listen, the tune, which features Chinah Blacc on vocals, gives the feel of an anthem of sorts. The smooth and sultry exuberance of Benjamin’s SoulSquad lends to the overall conclusion that the rest of the record will feature the group’s innate propensity towards tight-knit groove-oriented arrangements that speak to the soul.