Jazz First

Covering all points on the Jamaican jazz compass -performances, both by Jamaicans and visitors locally and overseas, reviews, new artistes and releases, events and commentary

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Forres Park jam

Forres Park jam
Originally uploaded by mike e.bop
A long torturous (but scenic) drive throughthe middle reaches of the Blue Mountains yielded to the lovely Forres Park hostel, complete with own coffee farm.
these guys certainly had ahd their coffee - and they needed it. They're shooting a sries called Jazz 876, about the local improvisd music scene. he shoot continues tonight at Christopher's Jazz Cafe in the financial district of New Kingston

Friday, July 13, 2007

Karen Smith Red Bank

Karen goes to Red Bank

Jamaican songstress Karen Smith takes her combination of smooth sophistication and sprightly energy to Red Bank
, New Jersey (where the legendary Count Basie spent his formative years before finding stardom in Kansas City) on
Wednesday, August 1, when she weaves her unique blend of jazz, pop and reggae on the stage of the Two River
A chart-topping act and winner of numerous accolades for her vocal artistry, Smith says she will bring the spirit of
Jamaica to the US east coast, where she is a relative unknown.
Smith has long been a musical force to be reckoned with. She holds a total of nine Jamaica Music Industry awards,
and has earned her fervent fan base with the warmth and clarity of her vocal stylings and her easy mastery of musical
genres ranging from pop and jazz to reggae and R&B.
The proceeds from this year's concert, her second local appearance, will benefit the Parker Family Health Clinic and
the Red Bank Family Support Center.
The Red Bank Men's Club, the Pan Hellenic Council of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, and the Red Bank Education
and Development Initiative are jointly sponsoring this year's concert.
Showtime for the Aug. 1 event is 7 p.m.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Th Dr is 'in' at allaboutjazz.com

Jamaican jazz pianist Dr. Kathy Brown is a big hit on a world leading Internet jazz website. The founder and leader of the Dr. Kathy Brown & Friends band reached position No. 82 of the Top 200 most viewed musician profile on arguably the world best media reference in jazz and improvised music.

Within a mere one month of being posted on AllAboutJazz.com, the Jamaican pianist tallied 470 hits to move up the Top 100 of thousands of registered musicians whose profile appear in the New York based jazz publication.

The All About Jazz (AAJ) tabloid and Internet magazine, which, at the time of writing, has on register 13,790 jazz musicians, records an average of 1 million Internet viewers per month from across the world since 2006, recording a phenomenal 47,151 hits on January 15 this year.

Of the Top 200 Musician Profiles Viewed, Kathy Brown appears four positions behind her mentor Ahmad Jamal (78) six behind Ella Fitzgerald (76), two and four places before pianist Herbie Hancock (84) and trumpeter Chet Baker (86) respectively.

A sample of names appearing before Brown include singers Sarah Vaughn (72), Ray Charles (67), and Michael Buble (68) saxophonist Kenny Garrett (58), band leader Duke Ellington (50), John Coltrane (36) Louis Armstrong (27), Wynton Marsalis (21), Thelonious Monk (8), and master trumpeter Miles Davis (4).

Some well-known names in jazz and improvised music, a few superstars included, are yet to garner the kind of curiosity that Kathy Brown offers as a fresh new artist on All About Jazz. She is currently ahead of Clifford Brown (97), Oscar Peterson (99), Sonny Rollins (102), pianist, and singer Diana Krall (103), Chuck Mangione (122), Joe Sample (131), Dexter Gordon (142), Quincy Jones (143), Billy Holiday (146), the instrumental band Spyro Gyra (148), Astrud Gilberto (154), Marcus Miller (162), and singer Dee Dee Bridgewater (188).

Guitar wiz Russell Malone, born in Georgia and now resides in New Jersey and who is best known for his work with Diana Krall, is the most viewed artist on the AAJ site. This surge in the interest comes ahead of Malone’s July 17 release of Live At Jazz Standard Volume Two CD, the continuation of Live At Jazz Standard recorded at the New York City’s Standard on September 9-11, 2005.

But, for a seemingly humbled Kathy Brown this interest shown in her by AAJ viewers is way ahead of her own expectations.

“I am thrilled”, said an elated but muffled Kathy Brown. “It is nice to know that people are interested in me as a musician. I never expected to be viewed, thinking I would be insignificant among this great line up of jazz artists that are profiled on the jazz website. It might be that viewers are looking on me as a woman but I would like to think that people out there are interested in my talent”, she told the Observer.

Continuing, “I am thrilled to know that I am being regarded among jazz greats like Ahmad Jamal, Diana Krall, Marcus Miller, and Quincy Jones. I hope one day I will be able to take my music around the world and maybe then I could be justifiably considered among those greats”.

Guitarist maestro Ernest Ranglin and pianist Monty Alexander are the only other Jamaican musicians registered on the AAJ website.

All About Jazz is a site produced by jazz fans for jazz fans and whose mission, according to the website, is to provide information and opinion about jazz from the past, present, and future. It posts profiles and reviews of jazz from around the world, and interviews with international musicians.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Sunday Brunch, Tune for June

Sunday brunch, with host Monty Blake of Merritone fame (50+ years and counting) launches this Sunday at Devon House, starting at mid-day,. Make it an afternoon or catch the vibes on Newstalk93FM

Following is mu unabashedly biased and unabridged take on yesterday's Jazz in the Gardens presentation at the Jamaica Pegasus. Look ofr more detailed review (but not from me):

It wasn’t a competitive situation – we each played what we liked and figured appropriate. Seeing as the date of the show coincided exactly with the passing of Clifford Brown,
I started and ended with Brownie tracks, but kept a ‘Masters’ theme throughout:

Clifford Brown w/ Sarah Vaughm, Herbie mann, Max Roach etc He’s My Guy;
Duke Ellington & Coltrane – In A Sentimental Mood;
Sonny Rollins, Max Roach etc – St Thomas;
Art Blakey & Jazz Messengers - Moanin’;
Clifford Brown, Roach etc. -Stardust;

Quite a few people came up afterwards and said that our collective set was more enjoyable than the music on stage.
Harold & Company (Alex martin-Blanken, Junior ‘Bird’ Bailey and Mikey Kennedy) had a good programme, but I found that for the most part,
The intensity was lacking. Featured act Shenita Hunt did a good set of most mid-tempo pop (Sade, Jon Legend) but closed on a high with Georgia and Stormy Monday

Monday, June 11, 2007

Jazz month thus far

Rain has figured heavily so far in this Jazz month
Haven't been able to confirm, but suspect the
opening jazz night at Morgan's harbour gto rained out
No such tragedy at Swallowfield Chapel in Kingston
Dennis Rushton, Jon Williams Fitzroy Bennett
and crew put on an excellent demo of jazz aas worship music,
or worship music as jazz, whichever your perspective
More details soon.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Pete & Sheila

Pete & Sheila
Originally uploaded by mike e.bop
Oh Sheila!
Sheila E (right) drives her Dad Pete Escovedo's band from the drum kit during their Sunday at Piedmont Park in Atlanta. Among the players featured were Ray Vega and Steve Turrre. Pete is in the mustard coloured jacket (2nd left)

Bobby vibe

Bobby vibe
Originally uploaded by mike e.bop
Vibist Bobby Hutcherson ends a song with a flourish during his well received set last Sunday at the Atlanta Jazz fest. My first time catching him live and it was well worth it.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Originally uploaded by mike e.bop
The numbers gre as afternoon gave way to evening. Good performances form thelieks of Airto and Flora (more form Airto's daughter and beat-boxing son-in-law and the Pete Escovedo Orchestra, featuring Sheila E (it's a daughter thing)