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Oct 19, 2011

Jazz Standard

Jazz standards are musical compositions which are an important part of the musical repertoire of jazz musicians, in that they are widely known, performed, and recorded by jazz musicians, and widely known by listeners. There is no definitive list of jazz standards, and the list of songs deemed to be standards changes over time. Songs included in major fake book publications (sheet music collections of popular tunes) and jazz reference works offer a rough guide to which songs are considered standards.
Not all jazz standards were written by jazz composers. Many are originally Tin Pan Alley popular songs, Broadway show tunes or songs from Hollywood musicals – the so-called Great American Songbook.[1] A commonly played song can only be considered a jazz standard if it is widely played among jazz musicians. The jazz standard repertoire has some overlap with blues and pop standards.
The most recorded jazz standard was W. C. Handy's "St. Louis Blues" for over 20 years from the 1930s onward, after which Hoagy Carmichael's "Stardust" replaced it.[2] Today, the place is held by "Body and Soul" by Johnny Green.[3] The most recorded standard composed by a jazz musician is Thelonious Monk's "'Round Midnight".[4]

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Jan 23, 2010

Greg karukas Smooth jazz

Gregg Karukas hails originally from the D.C. - Maryland area where he was one of the top fusion and studio players in town. Gregg moved to L.A. in 1983, not with the idea of getting his own record deal, but with the desire to expand his multi-keyboard style by playing with as many other artists as possible.

That Gregg Karukas can write such compelling songs in a variety of styles should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the Bowie, Maryland native's diverse musical background. "What really got me into music as a passion and a lifestyle was first seeing the Beatles, and then hearing Stevie Wonder and singer/songwriters like Carole King, James Taylor, Leon Russell, Laura Nyro and Joni Mitchell, he says. I was inspired by the idea that you could touch people's emotions with melodic songs

Girl In The Red Dress

and lyrics that meant something. When my voice changed as a teenager, I lost my singing chops and concentrated more on playing piano and organ in various bands. Then I discovered Jazz. I paid a lot of dues' in the Washington, DC jazz clubs, working on my chops and writing songs by day."

As a young musician who had natural ability and a good ear, Karukas spent his early years close to the jukebox in his father's roadside tavern absorbing the hits of the sixties - from The Beatles to Motown. While Karukas played organ in rock and soul bands as a teenager, his interest in playing jazz was sparked after hearing Dave Brubeck's "Take Five," and Stan Getz's "Jazz Samba." In his quest for jazz knowledge, Karukas turned to the recordings of Miles Davis, Ahmad Jamal, Les McCann, Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock, as well as mainstream jazz players like Clifford Brown and Lee Morgan. One of his biggest influences was the master jazz pianist Bill Evans.

At age 17, right out of Bowie High School, Gregg joined with Tim Eyermann to form East Coast Offering where he honed his compositional skills and jazz chops in the city's "jazz lounges. They quickly became the city's top original crossover group - playing together for five years, and then Gregg and the rhythm section split to form Natural Bridge, a band that included Shannon Ford (Danny Gatton, Paul Simon, Gatlin Brothers) and Michael Manring (Windham Hill, Michael Hedges, Montreux). They opened shows at the famous Cellar Door for artists such as Angela Bofil, Larry Carlton, The Robben Ford Band (pre-Yellowjackets - this is where Gregg met Russell Ferrante), Jeff Lorber (w/Kenny Gorelick....G.), and many others.

After moving to Los Angeles in the mid '80s, thanks to early recommendations by Yellowjackets keyboardist Russell Ferrante, Karukas quickly found himself performing with the likes of Patti Austin, Shelby Flint , Richard Elliot, Grant Geissman, Ronnie Laws, and Brenda Russell.

Beginning with his first independent recording, The Nightowl, in 1987, Karukas has been one of the few artists whose own creative growth and commercial success perfectly parallels that of the smooth jazz genre as a whole. His string of Top 5 Radio hits includes his most recent # 1, Nightshift, Summerhouse (#1 Gavin in '93), Key Witness (1991), Sound of Emotion ('92), and his breakout 1998 major label debut Blue Touch, which rose to ..4 on the Radio & Records airplay chart. His most recent solo CD was Heatwave on N-Coded Music and Looking Up (Trippin 'N' Rhythm) was released Sept. 2005.

Prior to recording The Nightowl, Karukas had already developed a reputation as a solid keyboardist whose skills ran the gamut from eclectic jazz to seductive Brazilian colorings to hypnotic smooth grooves. Gregg had just completed a 1-1/2 year stint with Melissa Manchester (with Richard Elliot on sax) when he formed his own band to be the among first groups to play at Bon Appetit, At My Place and Le Cafe, the now defunct music clubs which spawned most of L.A.'s Contemporary/Smooth Jazz artists. Dave Koz, and Gary Meek (Jeff Lorber, Airto and Flora) and yes, Boney James, before his Warner Brothers deal, were the first young undiscovered sax talents to join Gregg's band and contribute to Gregg's melodic, soulful style on his first few solo CD's as the local Smooth Jazz scene blossomed.

In 1987 he released his first solo album THE NIGHTOWL , which quickly became a Quiet Storm radio staple w/the songs "Walkin' With You", "Talbot Street Cafe" and "Drivetime." That same year he became the original keyboardist with the Rippingtons, recording the classic MOONLIGHTING project with Kenny G. and David Benoit. Gregg recommended Dave Koz to play EWI on the MOONLIGHTING record and the rest, as they say, is history.

He has also been a popular guest artist on tours with Boney James, Peter White, Eric Marienthal, Ricardo Silveira and Larry Carlton and has produced a vast array of artists at his own Nightowl Studios, including Kirk Whalum, Peter White, Craig Chaquico, Phil Sheeran, Gabriela Anders, The Pointer Sisters and crossover pianist David Lanz. As a songwriter, his tunes have been recorded by Richard Eliott, George Benson, Chaquico, Arnold McCuller, Pauline Wilson, Kenia and Deniece Williams.

Those fruitful all-star associations are only the beginning of an amazing journey that would later find the married father of two boys firmly ensconced in the world of his first true musical love, Brazilian music. In this genre, Karukas has toured and recorded with Sergio Mendes, Ricardo Silveira and Dori Caymmi. A career highlight came in 1992 at the Hollywood Bowl when he added his multi-keyboard orchestrations to the music of Toots Thielemans and Brazilian legends Ivan Lins, Caymmi and the late Antonio Carlos Jobim.

Karukas feels lucky to work with singers and musicians whom he feels a magical musical rapport with. "People say my music sounds romantic and uplifting - and I look so happy on stage, he says. It's totally true. For me, the best music comes out of an inner feeling of either intense happiness or sadness. I always try to stay faithful to that original inspiration, because that is where the true sound of emotion' comes from.

"I think we all need music to be the soundtrack to our soul," Karukas adds. "It can inspire us, balance out our lives and relieve stress. I appreciate that and I treat each CD or concert as another opportunity to connect to those sounds and emotions on a deeper level. I love sharing that with others and try to make each project a special event all its own."

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Apr 27, 2009

Walikota Bremen Resmikan Jazzahead 2009

Ini waktunya jazz - saatnya untuk menikmati, saatnya untuk berbisnis
Walikota Bremen, Jens Böhrnsen, membuka resmi acara jazzahead! 2009 di Bremen

Nama-nama besar datang dari utara: The American funk jazzers Defunkt, peraih nominasi Grammy Norma Winstone, pengelola Montreux Festival Claude Nobs, Universal Music, dan banyak lagi yang lain menyatakan kehormatannya dengan hadir di jazzahead! 2009. “jazzahead! merupakan acara yang unik. Ia tak hanya menajamkan posisi kota ini sebagai kota tempat berpameran, namun juga menumbuhkan Bremen sebagai kota metropolis penuh budaya“, ujar Jens Böhrnsen, sang walikota saat membuka edisi ke-4 jazzahead! tahun ini di Bremen Congress Centre tanggal 24 April 2009. “Pada saat yang bersamaan dengan integrasi Kulturzentrum Schlachthof dan Bremen College of Arts, jazzahead! membantu memperbaiki kualitas iklim jazz lokal. Bremen kini memainkan peran penting dalam hal pendidikan jazz dan itu terlihat dari hadirnya musisi-musisi muda berkualitas selama jazzahead! berlangsung.”

31 peserta pameran dari 18 negara ambil bagian dari eksebisi ini - labels, agency, event organiser, musisi, distributor, asosiasi, pembuat instrumen dan lainnya. Sisi bisnis yang lain, para peserta dan pengunjung dapat menikmati suasana jazz yang luas dengan hadirnya European Jazz Meeting, konser sore dan malam hari dan berbagai pertunjukan khusus. Bintang internasional maupun talenta muda dari Jerman juga turut mempertontonkan kebolehan mereka yang terbungkus dalam sekitar 40 konser. “Jerman jazz telah mencapai standard yang sangat tinggi dalam kurun 10 hingga 15 tahun terakhir”, kata Professor Ulrich Beckerhoff, yang bertindak selaku Artistic Director of jazzahead!. “Kami kini memiliki banyak musisi muda yang memainkan musik ambisius termasuk didalmnya memainkan berbagai gaya dalam jazz. Dengan kerjasama dengan negara eropa lainnyajazzahead! telah memastikan bahwa musisi-musisi ini dan Jazz di Germanmenjadi semakin dikenal diluar Jerman pula”

Pentingnya Jerman jazz ini telah diapresiasi oleh pemerintah federal. jazzahead! mendapat dukungan pendanaan dari Initiative Musik gGmbH, dalam konteks untuk kebutuhan struktural. Frank Dostal yang menjabat Supervisory Board Member dari Initiative Musik mengungkapkan “Konsen utama dalam jazzehead! adalah mengekspor jazz.Ada beberapa kelompok yang bagus dari Jerman. Para pengunjung internasional yang hadir dan turut berpartisipasi mendanai jazzahead! mendapatkan kesempatan untuk mendengar beberapa program terkemuka.
silakan kunjungi situs www.jazzahead.de

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Apr 11, 2009

Genre Jazz Rap

Jazz-Rap was an attempt to fuse African-American music of the past with a newly dominant form of the present, paying tribute to and reinvigorating the former while expanding the horizons of the latter. While the rhythms of jazz-rap came entirely from hip-hop, the samples and sonic textures were drawn mainly from cool jazz, soul-jazz, and hard bop. It was cooler and more cerebral than other styles of hip-hop, and many of its artists displayed an Afrocentric political consciousness, complementing the style's historical awareness. Given its more intellectual bent, it's not surprising that jazz-rap never really caught on as a street favorite, but then it wasn't meant to. Jazz-rap styled itself as a more positive alternative to the hardcore/gangsta movement taking over rap's mainstream at the dawn of the '90s, and concerned itself with spreading hip-hop to listeners unable to embrace or identify with the music's increasing inner-city aggression. As such, jazz-rap found its main audiences in places like college campuses, and was also embraced by a

number of critics and white alternative rock fans. Afrika Bambaataa's Native Tongues posse -- a loose collective of New York-based, Afrocentric rap groups -- was the most important force in jazz-rap, including groups like A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul and the Jungle Brothers; Digable Planets and Gang Starr were other notable early artists. During the mid- to late '90s, as alternative rap moved into a wider-ranging eclecticism, jazz-rap was not often pursued as an exclusive end, although the Roots frequently incorporated it in their live-instrumentation hip-hop.

Related styles:

The music played by a generation raised on jazz as well as funk and hip-hop, Acid Jazz used elements of all three. Its existence as a percussion-heavy, primarily live music placed it closer to jazz and Afro-Cuban than any other dance style, but its insistence on keeping the groove allied it with funk, hip-hop, and dance music. The term itself first appeared in 1988 as both a record label and the title of a compilation series that reissued jazz-funk music from the '70s -- often called "rare groove" during a major mid-'80s resurgence. A variety of acid jazz artists emerged during the late '80s and early '90s, including either primarily live bands such as Stereo MC's, James Taylor Quartet, the Brand New Heavies, Groove Collective, Galliano, and Jamiroquai or studio projects like Palm Skin Productions, Mondo Grosso, Outside, and United Future Organization.

Brooklyn Funk Essentials is a soul/funk/acid jazz collective, featuring Groove Collective's trombonist Joshua Roseman, producer Bob "Sassy" Brockmann, DJ Jazzy Nice, and saxophonist Paul Shapiro. Surprisingly, Cool and Steady and Easy isn't at all schizophrenic in its tone -- it's a cohesive, smooth, and funky collection, standing as a testament to the talents of the musicians involved.

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Anthony Braxton

Since he released the completely solo For Alto in 1968, the accepted image of Anthony Braxton has been that he is more a theoretician and art music composer than a jazz musician. Therefore, it might seem strange that Mosaic Records is giving his Complete Arista Recordings one of their fabled box set treatments. But Braxton is both -- and much more. This set -- as well as the original Arista recordings -- were produced by Michael Cuscuna, Mosaic/Blue Note label head. The sheer scope of these recordings is staggering. What we get in this amazingly detailed collection is the weightiest argument yet for Braxton's range and depth of field as a musical thinker and his role as a pillar of modern jazz. The individual albums -- New York, Fall 1974; Five Pieces, 1975; Creative Orchestra Music, 1976; Duets, 1976; For Trio; The Montreux/Berlin Concerts; Alto Saxophone Improvisations, 1979; For Four Orchestras; For Two Pianos -- showcase him in a rainbow of

settings, from quintets and duets, to trios, quartets, and solo; as the leader of a big band, and as a playing conductor. The players are a who's who of the vanguard in both America and Europe: Muhal Richard Abrams, Leroy Jenkins, Kenny Wheeler, Dave Holland, Jerome Cooper, Leo Smith, Cecil Bridgewater, Roscoe Mitchell, George Lewis, Karl Berger, Ursula Oppens, Frederic Rzewski, Phillip Wilson, Henry Threadgill, and many more.

Given the wide variations in track times, sequencing this set to make it even remotely affordable must have been somewhat frustrating. Comparing the track list to the discographical notes, the full context of this is realized. The box is impeccably organized album by album to be sure, but not necessarily in the chronological order of release. An example: on discs one and two, the albums New York, Fall 1974, and its successor, Five Pieces, 1975 are successive, but then Duets, 1976 (with Abrams) was released after Creative Orchestra Music 1976. This is followed by the first four tracks from Alto Saxophone Improvisations, 1979, which continues and is completed on disc three, etc. That said, there is wonderful aesthetic and principled logic involved in the sound and dynamic of the organization of these discs. In other words, even if an original album is split by disc, it makes complete sense. For instance, while some records are split over various CDs, the decision to give For Four Orchestras its own disc (the final one) was a wise one. The package itself is typical Mosaic: high class presentation with an amazing track by track essay by Braxton's student and collaborator Mike Heffley, a brief reminiscence by Cuscuna, a boatload of killer session photographs, and exhaustive discographical and personnel information. The sound is literally pristine and full of warmth. One can hear no flaws from the source material even when A-B'ed against the original LPs; this is even true of the live Montreux/Berlin Concerts.

Most importantly, however, is that this music from Braxton sounds and feels so on time in the 21st century. This is not only true in its scope and vision, but also in what is realized in its execution. Where John Coltrane, and Ornette Coleman expanded the possibilities for new colors and sounds in jazz, less (or no) credit is given to West Coast players like Jimmy Giuffre and Warne Marsh, except in Braxton's sound worlds. His investigations in using the jazz tradition in order to unmake it in terms of tonality, sound, and texture, while preserving its sense of inventive rhythm, melody, harmonic structures, and even swing (check Creative Orchestra Music, 1976), do not feel remotely academic all these decades later. One can hear humor and warmth in the deep paradoxes of a brilliant mind wrestling with the issues of jazz and new music, challenging his own and accepted notions of their accepted places in the world of sonic architecture. Also, in his most direct exercises, there lies the deep expressiveness of his incessant effort to assimilate his discoveries into an ever-expanding organizational system of sound. This is heard, whether it's in his playing of jazz standards or his original compositions. It's there in the process of conception as well as technical articulation. Nothing here feels quaint or nostalgic. Instead, it's revelatory and engaging, inviting and still provocative. The historic reissue of this material adds yet another level if we wish to deepen our understanding of the myriad ways Braxton has enhanced and expanded each of the traditions he's involved himself with.

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