13 December 2015

Sunday Slow Jam Vol.106 – Sweet Sucker Dance

December 13th, 2015|News, Sunday Slow Jams|

Joni and Mingus. These two artists managed to influence the world with their musicality, expressivity, bright ideas, and progressive thoughts and approaches to making music. The fact that they can be identified by first or last name alone speaks to their potency.  Joni Mitchell and Charles Mingus were great thinkers and always made their experiences speak through their music. Each musician’s compositional voice and strengths easily compliment the other’s. Mitchell’s poetic tendencies easily wrap themselves around Mingus’ moody and evocative jazz sensibilities. I like to think that they admired each other and understood each other deeply.

Listen to the amazing Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Jaco Pastorius, Peter Erskine and Joni Mitchell on this bittersweet, quirky and poignant description of love, “Sweet Sucker Dance”. This is proof that Mingus’ compositions and Joni’s lyrics were destined to be together. This is effortless and brilliant.

Joni Mitchell and Charles Mingus – Sweet Sucker Dance

Want to hear more music by Joni Mitchell and Charles Mingus? You can catch the fabulous Sarah Kennedy with her full band, Ben Henriques (sax), David Blake (guitar), Nick Peck (piano), Sam Cartwright (drums), and Michael Rush (bass) at Frankie’s December 19th! Click here for more info.

Brought to you by Coastal Jazz.

6 December 2015

Sunday Slow Jam Vol.105 – Saturday Morning

December 6th, 2015|News, Sunday Slow Jams|

Canadian alto saxophonist Dylan Cramer found music at a transformative time in his life. He was 13 years old when he initially heard a Sonny Criss recording and knew that he wanted to study with him. Six years later Cramer made the journey to Los Angeles and Criss soon became his teacher, mentor and friend. William “Sonny” Criss grew up in Memphis, Tennessee and moved out west at 15 years old and subsequently began a 30 year career as a band leader and sideman, playing with greats such as Cedar Walton, Dexter Gordon and Wynton Kelly. Sadly, Criss was diagnosed with cancer and died tragically in 1977 due to a self-inflected gun shot. Thankfully his legacy still lives on in his music and in the hearts of the people he inspired and of those that love and admire him, like Dylan Cramer.

Sonny Criss’ playing was effortless. He had the ability to string together beautifully fluid and flexible lines with every note. His commitment to the melodic phrase is compelling and his sound is sweet, round and at times mournful. I feel like he had a distinct voice on the alto saxophone. A true hero and contributor to the jazz vocabulary we can hear why Cramer was first inspired. Listen to Sonny Criss now on his soulful tune, “Saturday Morning” featuring Hampton Hawes on piano,  Clarence Johnson on bass and Frank Butler on drums.

Sonny Criss – Saturday Morning

Catch the Dylan Cramer Quartert pay tribute to a friend, a mentor and a legend at Frankie’s on January 29th, 2015! Go here for more info.

Brought to you by Coastal Jazz.

29 November 2015

Sunday Slow Jam Vol.104 – Visions

November 29th, 2015|News, Sunday Slow Jams|

“…Have I lived to see the milk and honey land where hate’s a dream and love forever stands or is this a vision in my mind?” I like to believe that Stevie Wonder has written a song for every moment. His songs seem to always beautifully describe every point on the vast spectrum of human emotions and experiences. Not only does he inspire with his talent and skill, he also stirs the heart with his ability to understand and decipher the world around him. Recent world events have cast a heaviness and are testing our humanity, our compassion and our empathy. How do we love when there is no hope? How do we trust when we are afraid? Should we dare to dream? These may seem like big questions, but the amazing thing about the human spirit is that we can’t help ourselves and our desire to reach out, help, do good and be good. The possibility of connection always lures our curious heart. This is how hope is born, how love is created, how trust blooms and where dreams reside. It’s in our DNA…the drive to survive and flourish. The real question is how do we make these things stick?

This Sunday Slow Jam is dedicated to the places and hearts that need healing in our world.

Stevie Wonder – Visions

“…But what I’d like to know is could a place like this exist so beautiful or do we have to take our wings and fly away to the vision in our minds?”

Brought to you by Coastal Jazz.