Check out my review of Kathy Ingraham’s jazz album For Your Consideration on the Grammy® 60 Ballot. It’s a clever way to deliver music!
Check out these two widely variant and attractive albums by award winner Louis Rosen. One is vintage solo piano music and the other an intimate collection of personal reflections. See my review!
THIS MONTH, WE FEATURE FRED HERSCH
AND LLOYD PRICE. BOTH ARTISTS ARE HAVE RECENTLY
BROADENED THEIR SKILLS BY ADDING “AUTHOR” TO THEIR
BROAD LIST OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS
CHECK THEM OUT IN THE INTERVIEW SECTION
Match the artists below with their scheduled
shows on the left!
A REASON FOR THE SEASON!
The Advent Season is the time to get ready for one of the greatest holidays of the year, Christmas. Some people don’t like it because it drudges up bad childhood memories. Others think that it’s “too commercial,” with all of the lights, advertisements and kitschy decorations stripping the holiday of all of it’s true spiritual meaning. After all, there really were no “Christmas Trees” in Bethlehem at the time of Jesus, birth. Also, Dec 25 is actually a fairly arbitrary date for choosing to celebrate Christ’s birth, as it was probably done in September, as that was the normal time that shepherds “kept their watch at night.”
It’s also amazing how most of our knowledge of Christmas comes from movies and TV shows. For example, there is no mention of how many “wise men” actually came bearing gifts, and it wasn’t an angel that told Mary and Joseph to go to Bethlehem, but good old King Herod via a law making the citizens return to their home town to pay taxes. Isn’t it nice to know that some things, like government interference, never changes!
Christmas has been the inspiration for some of the greatest music in Western Civilization. Corelli’s under appreciated Christmas Concerto is one of the most sublime pieces of music, and truly captures the spirit of the season. Did you know that George Handel composed the ENTIRE Messiah, possibly the apotheosis of Western Music, in just barely over two weeks? That’s up there with The US COnstitution and Magna Carta as inspired pieces of work. Most people think that the opus ends with the “Hallelujah” chorus, but there’s almost 45 more minutes of glorious music to enjoy, as the message of God’s love is then musically decreed to the nations.
Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol as well as Frank Capra’s It’s A Wonderful Life are two inspiring stories of the redemption of a lost soul. LInus’ famed speech in A Charlie Brown Christmas still brings a tear to the eye. And who can complain about songs like “Joy to the World,” “Silent Night,” “Oh Come All Ye Faithful” and “Angels We Have Heard On High”? By the way, you can put the words to “Amazing Grace” into any Christmas hymn and make it work. I’ve personally driven many a Sunday School class completely crazy by having the students do this. En Excelsis Deo, indeed!
In my “No One Asked My Opinion, But…” editorial, I list a number of reasons to revel in the Christmas Season.
One thing all artists need is inspiration. The whole idea of God reconciling us to himself by coming to earth as a man to personify how life should be lived, teach us the ways of Truth, and then pay the price of our sins so that our relationship to Him could be restored, both now and forever, is something that I pray mankind never recovers from. Laying down one’s life for a friend is one thing, but to do it for one’s enemy, as the Bible says that He did for us, is stirring to our very core.
The word “inspire” actually means “breathed into,” which is what God did to us when He created us. His incarnation, becoming God in the flesh, shows the unsearchable extremes that he goes to in order to rescue us from our own filthy hearts.
There are many motivations in life. Some of the biggies are money, fame, sex and power, with baseball cards up there in the top 10. I run a business as a doctor, and even the motivation of getting people healthy is something wonderful, but it’s not the ultimate. The true ultimate goal is to please God, and that is one of the reasons I run this web site. I hope that all of the great music that you listen to and perform comes from an inspiration of either praise, thanks or encouragement, as this is what we were created for.
Some people think that the Christmas season is too commercialized. Would you ever complain that jazz would ever get too commercialized? Of course not! Even with the most monetized of intentions, the fact that it is mentioned is good enough for me. So, whether it’s stated via George Bailey, Snoopy, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer or Tiny Tim, I pass on the same message,
One of the great things about time is that certain seasons keep coming back, reminding you of various aspects of life. That is why
KEEP WRITING US. HERE ARE SOME RECENT COMMUNICATIONS…
JazzWeekly is a great looking site full of good information, but I also love the insights about our world: this is jazz in the key of life
I hope today finds you well.
I’m a bit of a music nerd so I check in with jazz weekly to check out whats goin on!
Thanks so much!
Ted and I want to thank you very much for wonderful review you gave Live at Trumpets. You did your homework and you wrote about our music with knowledge and insight!
We dig good writing as well as good playing: thank you!
Once again thank you very much.
Hello Jazz Weekly,
Thank you for your review of “The Passion Of Charlie Parker”. However, I must tell you that in specifying the use of tenor sax instead of alto sax as the major problem, you are just about completely missing the point of the project. This is not a tribute album. There have been more than enough tributes to Bird. There have also been more than enough albums of his songs with people trying to emulate him stylistically. This is an examination of him as a amazing and tragic archetypal figure, thus the use of the term “passion” to describe impressionistic “play” of his life. Whether we are discussing Bird, Van Gogh, Jimi Hendrix, or Hank Williams, there is a common thread among innovators who are candles burning too brightly. The artist ahead of his time has a heavy load to bear, whether he is painting with words, oil paints or music. The use of tenor sax was purposeful, so as not to play the game of emulating Bird, which is a rather trivial pursuit, and which he would laugh at were he still alive. The one thing that he would not be doing if he was still with us would be to play like he used to play. He was a far too restless force, and already tiring of what bebop had become by the time of his death.
Again, thank you for taking the time to review the album, but I think that if you go back and listen again, and specifically to the words that David Baerwald and I put to this music, you will find that there is much more there than you initially saw.
Just wanted to thank you so much for the wonderful interview/article. And it was so great chatting with you, as well…. thanks for an all around enjoyable experience!
Hope you are well. I just read your telephone interview with Nicolas Meier – very interesting! Nicolas and I have been good friends since he moved to the UK about 20 years ago – we also live very close to each other so we see each other frequently.
I think his latest album is his best to date – having Jimmy and Vinnie on it is awesome!
Also, I wanted to take the opportunity to see if you received my album ‘The Time Thief’ Redtenbacher’s Funkestra. I know you are very busy – just wanted to check that it actually has arrived for whenever you might have some time for it.
Thank you very much.
I’ve been enjoying your articles – as well as your support – and am wondering where you are based?
Thank you very very much for your review. I’m very happy that you enjoyed the music and the review is really nice and original. once more you showed a great attention to the music and I’m so grateful for that.
Let’s keep in touch and ALL THE BEST from Italy.
Mr. Gadd, you are a he’ll of a drummer. I listen to you when you where playing with, Grover Washington Jr. It’s so good to see that you are still playing!
I guess my Label sent you the CD. I would like to thank you for taking the time to listen to my music.The word you used really resonate with the way I perceive my music.
Thank you very much.Take Care
Funny enough after I was summarily fired from Verve Records back in ’97 I cooled my heels to get away from it all and moved to Sherman, CT. The real estate broker told me, ‘do you know Tommy Lipuma?” He’s your next door neighbor!” It was the house + barn where he recorded “Unforgettable.” Tommy had not taken over at Verve for another couple years and we somehow lived in peace, as he heard me in the distance banging my drums and driving my Ferrari at top speed (very loudly) on our rural roads in horse country. Super nice man. Love him. We even had Llamas next door too.
Thanks for the article,
I tuned in here to your writing to read a review of my latest disc, but instead I found an article on giving thanks, faith, and perspective. I been struggling in near every area of my life for nearly a decade. In my tight little family I faced cancer, drugs, lost faith, Alzheimer’s, and the prospect of supporting us on a musicians wages. I have been overwhelmed with my loss and how complete it seemed. Someone can say right thing to you at the right time and suddenly your life can seem so much better. Thank you for the article.
You inspired me to write the Thanksgiving Song !
Very good article, thanks
Dear Jazz Weekly,
I ran into your 2014 interview with Larry Carlton. I’ve been a Steely Dan fan for 35 years but never knew anything about Larry. I loved hearing that Larry is a man of faith, even after the gun shot incident. Thanks!
Really great work, George. That was one heck of a conversation with Kirk Whalum!
Peace, Love and Joy,
thanks again for this great review!
Great article. Thanks. I’Il share with the boys!
Philippe Saisse (Al Di Meola Band)