Scott Wilkie has a new holiday recording called The Wonder of Christmas. It’s solo acoustic piano renditions of all of your seasonal favorites. And by “all,” I mean all. With 17 covers of the classics, you’ll find several that you’ll have on your Christmas playlist.
I remember being impressed by Scott’s first recording, Boundless, nearly 15 years ago. I wrote on this site on February 19, 1999:
Missing the pop-jazz sound of the 80s and early 90s? Check out Boundless, the debut from keyboardist Scott Wilkie. Wilkie’s music reminds me of the contemporary jazz piano CDs that I heard when I first started listening to the genre in 1989 or so – works by David Benoit, Tom Grant, and Alex Bugnon. I wouldn’t rule out a Rippingtons influence (especially in the compositions), especially since former Ripps Steve Reid and Jeff Kashiwa, as well as main man Russ Freeman, play on the release. Wilkie doesn’t hold back on the uptempo jams either, which you’ll notice from the start.
The annual Kansas City’s 18th & Vine Jazz and Blues Festival (formerly Rhythm & Ribs) has announced a Salute to George Duke theme for its October festival. George Duke was announced as the headliner for this year’s fest shortly before his death. Among those participating are Pieces of a Dream, Bobby Lyle and Maysa. Catch local talent as well in the historical jazz district in the city where I reside on Oct. 12!
Here were the top-selling contemporary jazz recordings in summer 1988, according to the July 8, 1988 issue of Billboard!
George Howard – Reflections
Bobby McFerrin – Simple Pleasures
Basia – Time and Tide
Rippingtons featuring Russ Freeman – Kilamanjaro
David Benoit – Every Step of the Way
Tim Heintz – Searching the Heart
Chick Corea – Eye of the Beholder
Dianne Reeves – Dianne Reeves
Kirk Whalum – And You Know That!
Shadowfax – Folksongs for a Nuclear Village
Entering the chart that week was a number of releases that would be headed toward the top: Spyro Gyra’s Rites of Summer, Politics by Yellowjackets, If This Bass Could Talk by Stanley Clarke, and Sade’s Stronger Than Pride.
I love any modern jazz project that has the potential to reach new audiences. Cover Art, the new recording from the NEXT Collective has interpretations of songs by Drake, Bon Iver, Dido, Pearl Jam, Kanye West and more. The collective Features rising jazz stars: saxophonists Logan Richardson and Walter Smith III, guitarist Matthew Stevens, keyboardists Gerald Clayton and Kris Bowers, bassist Ben Williams, drummer Jamire Williams, and special guest trumpeter Christian Scott (aka Christian aTunde Adjuah).
In an interview in Chicago Now, Liquid Soul founder Mars Williams talks about the band’s 20th anniversary and what might be in store for fans in 2013. “A new record is definitely in the near future… [original DJ] Jesse [De La Pena] and I just talked about releasing a remix version of the first Liquid Soul CD.”
Dave Weckl is making a new recording that will come out this spring. You can learn more and pre-order it by pledging through Pledge Music. Not only can you get the music the second it releases but you can also get, depending on your pledge level, an autographed CD, a playalong bundle, a lesson with Weckl on Skype, or even a private jam in your home!
Even more exciting is that Weckl and Jay Oliver are reuniting for this recording. Oliver worked with Dave on his first three solo recordings and first two Dave Weckl Band discs. I’ve already done my part and can’t wait to hear the new music from these guys.
In 1986, two contemporary jazz legends united on one of the genre’s best collaborative recordings. Bob James and David Sanborn set the bar high with Double Vision and I will guess that each artist has been asked many times when they would get together again. I asked Bob James that question after a Fourplay concert about 15 years ago and he said whenever David wanted to do it. That time appears to be now.
This May, on the resuscitated Okeh jazz label, David Sanborn and Bob James bring us a new collaboration. It doesn’t have a title yet but it will be more of an acoustic jazz project. That beats my guess on Twitter that it would be a sequel to Double Vision but I’m even more excited about it now.
No word on a tour yet but they do have a date on June 28 at the Keswick Theatre.