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Lineup Announced for Newport Jazz Festival in August

March 25, 2010

Venerable jazz fest to feature Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Wynton Marsalis, Chris Botti and other noted jazz artists

George Wein’s New Festival Production announced the lineups for the prestigious jazz festival at Newport, now called the CareFusion Newport Jazz Festival. The festival structure and format remains the same with a Friday night concert at the International Tennis Hall of Fame, followed by two afternoons of performances on three states at Fort Adams State Park. The Friday night concert will feature young Brit-pop-jazz singer Jamie Cullum and younger saxophonist Grace Kelly. Among the notable headliners at the concerts on Saturday and Sunday are: Chick Corea Freedom Band with Kenny Garrett, Christian McBride and Roy Haynes; Herbie Hancock; Chris Botti, Wynton Marsalis; Ahmad Jamal. And, the impresario himself will perform with the Newport All-Stars, who include Howard Alden, Randy Brecker, Randy Sandke and Bob Brookmeyer.

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Ella Fitzgerald, “Twelve Nights in Hollywood”

March 25, 2010

This 4-CD collection is a real gem unearthed from Verve’s vaults — 73 previously unreleased live small-group recordings from the “First Lady of Song.” In some cases these are the first and/or only live versions of the songs she ever recorded. This is Ella at the creative peak of her career.

Verve founder Norman Granz personally supervised the live recordings over 12 nights in 1961 and 1962 of every set Fitzgerald performed with her quartet in the intimate setting of Los Angeles’ Crescendo Club.

This collection finds Ella ranging through her entire repertoire from the familiar to the obscure, including new versions of her earliest hits (“A-Tisket, A-Tasket”) and those of her peers Billie Holiday (“Good Morning Heartache”) and Frank Sinatra (“The Lady is A Tramp”).

And there’s the spontaneity and humor ever present in Ella’s live performances — whether she’s messing up the lyrics to “Blue Moon” without skipping a beat or affectionately imitating Louis Armstrong and Dinah Washington on “Bill Bailey.”

Associated Press

Welcome to VSOJAZ

March 25, 2010

The Vocal Sound of Jazz” began airing on 89.5 FM (now WHRV-FM) on January 4th 1980.  Originally a 30 minute program that aired on Friday evenings, the program expanded to it current 60 minute format and moved to Saturday evenings during the 90s. It was also aired over WUOM in Ann Arbor, Michigan for a five-year period in the late 1980s.

Produced and hosted by Jack Frieden since its premiere broadcast, the program has always attempted to spotlight both jazz vocal music’s post 1950s history, as well as the new singers and songs that will continue to play an increasingly prominent role in the music’s future.

Laura Martier

March 25, 2010

“Intersection” the debut release from VSOJAZ Records.

Laura Martier For the vocalist, who makes her home on North Carolina’s sandy Outer Banks, the album proved to be an ideal calling card, earning her new fans and the opportunity to perform regularly throughout the Outer Banks and Southeastern and Central Virginia.

Growing up in a musical household in rural Wisconsin, she’s performed everything from funk to folk over the years. It was precisely this varied musical background that made Laura such a natural for “Intersection”. Drawing from a rich tapestry of musical influences, she effortlessly blends them into the straight-ahead jazz setting of these sessions, carefully maintaining the integrity of the lyrics, yet redefining the songs as the best jazz singers always do.

John Toomey is currently University Professor of Music at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. Previously music director and keyboardist for Maynard Ferguson, John current appears with jazz vocalists Rene Marie and Mark Murphy, as well as The Uptown Jazz Vocal Quartet. Recent releases include “Smile” with vocalist Lisanne Lyons and “Refraction” featuring original composition and performed by The John Toomey Trio.

Jimmy Masters had been playing bass for over 30 years. While 20 of those years have been devoted primarily to jazz, his playing experiences include rock, acoustic, and country music as well. In addition to performing with jazz giants like Chuck Mangione, Mark Murphy, Clark Terry, and Kurt Elling, Jimmy has also served as the producer of several well received jazz recordings including “Jazz For Hope” and “Co-Op Venture”.

1. A Swallow Song (Richard Farina) 4:45
2. Harpo’s Blues (Pheobe Snow) 5:48
3. Summer’s Coming Around Again 3:53 (Carly Simon,Jim Ryan, & Paul Glanz)
4. Undun (Randy Bachman) 5:22
5. My Back Pages (Bob Dylan) 5:37
6. The Love’s Still Growing (Buzzy Linhart) 4:38
7. Didn’t Want To Have To Do It (John Sebastian) 5:15
8. Guinnevere (David Crosby) 6:26
9. The Warmth of the Sun (Brian Wilson & Mike Love) 3:47
10. Buy & Sell (Laura Nyro) 4:42
[ Mp3’s ]

Produced by Jimmy Masters & Jack Frieden
Arrangements and by John Toomey
Album Concept by Jack Frieden
Recorded at Master Sound Studio, Virginia Beach, Virginia
September 2000 & May 2001
Engineer: Rob Ulsh
Vocals – Laura Martier
Piano & Organ – John Toomey
Acoustic Bass – Jimmy Masters
Drums – Howard Curtis
Tenor and Soprano Saxophone – Eddie Williams
Guitar (on Summer’s Coming Around Again ) – Fred Hibbard

Diane Hubka

March 25, 2010

The first CD from jazz vocalist Diane Hubka, “Haven’t We Met” featuring jazz legend Lee Konitz was nominated for a Jazz Award for Best Recording Debut of the Year in 1999. It is already well know to a growing number of jazz aficionados and critics. Her second release “Look No Further” was described by a LA Jazz Scene’s Scott Yanow as, “one of the best in recent times”.
“You Inspire Me”, featuring seven of the world’s top virtuoso guitarists, not only takes the talented vocalist to a new plateau but brings the listener along for a swinging and soulful ride. It is also an evocative exploration of love and romance with all their joys and sadness. From the soaring highs of Bob Dorough’s “Nothing Like You” and Johnny Mercer’s “Moment To Moment” to the almost palpable pain of Hoagy Carmichael’s “Winter Moon”, Diane brings to each lyric a clarity and poignancy reminiscent of Carmen McRae and Beverly Kenny.

In Addition to her acknowledged vocal talent, Diane is perhaps best known for her unerring choice of material. As WBGO’s Michael Bourne puts it, “She finds songs that haven’t been done and refreshing new ways to enliven songs that have been done almost to death”. “You Inspire Me” is a case in point. The title track, written by Tommy Wolfe and Fran Landesman and recorded by famed vocal duo Jackie & Roy Kral, sprang to her mind during the formative stages of this CD.

And what about the aforementioned virtuosos doing the inspiring? Messrs. Bertoncini, Bollenback, Hart, Lubambo, Pizzarelli, Virgnola, and Wilkins. Could this line-up be equaled? Perhaps. Could it be topped? No way.

Gene Bertoncini a quiet master of the nylon-stringed classical guitar known for his impeccable musical taste and sensibility. These qualities are abundantly evident on both “Suddenly” and the “Old New Waltz”, written by his long-time duo partner, bassist Michael Moore, with touching lyrics by Frank Reilly.
Paul Bollenback anyone who has heard his recording with original Joey De //Francesco knows that this cat has chops to spare, as is evident on this CD’s title track. “Moment to Moment” showcases his warm toned lyrical side while Diane’s vocal is a perfect example of the way she uses her voice as another instrument in the overall ensemble.

Selected mpg’s:

Blue Moon
(Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart)

You Inspire Me
(Tommy Wolf, Fran Landesman)

Winter Moon
(Hoagy Carmichael, Harold Adamson)

Suddenly
(Eumir Deodato, Norman Gimbel)

Wave
(Antonio Carlos Jobim)

John Hart John appeared on Diane’s previous two CD’s as both performer and arranger, a role he reprises here as arranger for “You Inspire Me” and guitarist on Bob Dorough’s “Nothing Like You” and Hoagy Carmichael’s “Winter Moon”. His playing on the latter is stunning in it’s seeming simplicity. Diane chose John to play on “Nothing Like You” because “Bob may be my favorite writer and I always say John gets Bob Dorough!”

Romeo Lubambo Leader of the famed Trio Da Paz –-who appear with him here –-is another in the long line of brilliant musicians and composers who have brought bossa nova, sambo, and other indigenous Brazilian music into the contemporary jazz world. Check out his intro on “Inside A Silent Tear” and his interplay with Diane’s seat vocalizing on “Love and Wave”. The trio arranged Love to alternate between the samba and the baiao rhythm, which comes from Northern Brazil.

Bucky Pizzarelli This cat swings. As a solo artist or playing duets with any number of fellow guitarists, including his son John, Bucky gets more joy out of a pick and seven strings than anyone on plant. His work here with Frank Vignola on “Blue Moon”, “Sunday in New York”, and particularly “Nuages” shows this mature master at his best. Did I mention that he swings?

Frank Vignola It is truly appreciate that Frank is paired here with Bucky as the two of them, though generations apart in age, share a musical sensibility that is the very essence of jazz. Rank is well known as an interpreter of the music of Django Reinhardt but he also has performed or recorded with such diverse artists as mark O’Conner,Chet Atkins,David Grisman, and Madonna.

Jack Wilkins Wilkins, who has accompanied many of the great singers of our time including Chet Baker, Sarah Vaughan, and Mel Torme, appears here in the dual role of performer and creator. “Romance”, which he co-wrote with Marc Puricelli, is a ballad filled with bittersweet yearning in which Diane’s voice and Jack’s guitar are two sides of the same musical calm.

Let’s not forget the other great musicals who play on the CD: The Brazilian rhythm masters Nilron Natta and Duduka da Fonroca of Trio Da Paz, and drummer Jeff Hirchfield and John Herbert whose bass solo on “Winter Moon” is pure delight.

With guitar players like these, and the other great musicians involved, it’s hardly a wonder that Diane was “inspired” to produce this distinctive CD. But great ensemble jazz is a two-way street and I think it’s safe to say that the players were equally stimulated, excited, influenced, and yes, inspired. “You Inspired Me” is, to coin a phase the produce of a “mutual inspiration society.”

This recording is dedicated to guitarist Bill Bittner (1976-2001) who introduced me to Jazz and the Blues through his teaching, the recordings of the Nat King Cole trio, Carmen McCrae and Ella Fitzgerald, and, of course, his wonderful guitar playing. It’s fitting that we included the song “Blue Moon” here, because I sang it with Bill and his group on my first ever jazz gig at the Blue Moon Saloon in Grantville, MD! Bill swinging on his 1957 Gibson L7, with Charlie Christian pickup, left a permanent impression on my young jazz ears. He truly inspired me to always follow my heart and sing the music I love.

Singing on this CD with SEVEN of the world’s virtuoso guitarists was a dream come true. I hope it shows some of the many colors and voices each player and type of guitar can have, as well as the Intimate, romantic blending of guitar with the voice.

One of my favorite memorials from the recording sessions was during “Nuages” (“Clouds”, which has new lyrics by our friend Dr. Frank Forte). Bucky told us that “Django” had named the tune after seeing his girlfriend off at the train station, with the huge steam clouds rising from the engine – inspiring Bucky’s introduction!

Thank you everyone who worked on the project, musicians, engineers, and the artists, for your professionalism and inspiration! Special thanks to Dr. Frank Forte, Ken Dryden and Bill Fender (of Legato Guitars) for their unwavering support; Ken Vore for the original concept; and to guitarist Dan Rose, for sharing his vast knowledge of recording. And many thanks to jack and Jimmy and all the folks at VSOJAZ Records for your wonderful support!

-Diane Hubka

Diane’s Website