The Things We Learn…


Huh. Awkward. Today I was ready to diss one of my Jazz heroes for all eternity:

Werner Nieke – Branford Marsalis – you just earned yourself the….

That was after reading the first source which his – mutilated – interview appeared in. What began to stand out there for me was an artist who had no trouble dissing his fellow artists or emerging colleagues for being in a different place than the one he’s in. Tasted really sour on my – intellectual – taste buds and I was appalled.

Branford Marsalis – you just earned yourself the title “King of Uncool” for me – for all eternity. Slaughtering a 16-year-old in public and on stage in order to teach him a life lesson? Well… go … naw, wait. Let’s find “medicinal” uses for your saxophone, M.F.!!!! Un-effin-believable! I thank God, I’m not that young man’s father….

That’s the status line I published on Facebook after having read that first source. But for some reason that didn’t sit well with me. I mean – I was getting likes and responses as we type, so if I had been looking for affirmation, I could have kicked back, opened that beer, fried those wings, turned on the porn and relaxed… But something bugged me. Seriously? An artist who’s capable of nuking your soul for the very lines and phrases he plays – turns out to be a poor bully? Bullying kids after all? For real now? Is there no hope in this world anymore?

So I looked for that purported event on Google, which was referenced in the first interview. And found – this. The interview in its entirety and not mutilated down to one questionable paragraph, which turns out to be completely taken out of context. Wow! Ok, that makes sense again…

Bottomline: Research. And gut feeling. Always and forever. (another eternity for me? Ooops, that might get tricky….) And: I think, this is an apology.

Alice Francis – Big Daddy Santa Claus


There are two faces to every coin, I’m aware. The geek in me loves the creative and playful approach by which Alice Francis go about their Neo Swing repertoire. It blows my mind how latest technology replicates – or rather: recreates – the sound of a Swing Big Band and how only three talented musicians command the “musical arsenal” that would have required a room full of people back in the day (on a side note: It reminds me a bit of Manhattan Transfer’s “Whacky Dust” back in the late 70ies, when synthesizers started dominating Pop music production).

The questioning mind in me fears a bit for musicians becoming obsolete in the process. With the advent of cheap storage media holding terrabytes of data, quick and affordable access to digital libraries that seem to contain the equivalent of decades of studio recordings and with the internet as a largely free-of-charge distribution channel, it seems as if the hands-on skills of musicians learning to master their instruments became an ever-vanishing dying art. On the other hand: So long as prodigies of this caliber have an audience, I guess there is no need to despair, isn’t there? ;)
https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=788223927912152

(1) Alice Francis.

Smooth Jazz Therapy: James Colah – Trippin On Your Smile


Dennis Poole’s review of James Colah’s latest single: Smooth Jazz Therapy: James Colah – Trippin On Your Smile.

James Colah’s New single ‘Trippin On Your Smile’ Available as of Now


James Colah ProductionsJames Colah:

“Dear Friends. I’m really excited to showcase a personalised version of my new single, ‘Trippin On Your Smile’ released 13 January, 2015. I hope you like it and will support me by downloading it from many online stores including cdbaby, iTunes, Amazon, etc or directly from my website, http://www.jamescolahproductions.com/shop http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/thejamescolahproject4

Here’s an awesome review by Dale Berg of 96.9 The Oasis The worlds smooth jazz place.

The ever impressive composer, record producer, keyboards player and UK’s #1 independent Smooth Jazz artiste James Colah has once again got me trippin on his latest single called ‘Trippin On Your Smile’ and that is definitely what I found myself doing! Almost everything on this song (including vocals) was composed, performed, produced, mixed and mastered by James at his James Colah Productions Studio. The pure genius guitar work comes from Cameron Pierre who is better known as the guitarist with UK’s legendary (CBE and OBE honoured) sax man Courtney Pine. This single took me on a trip to some exotic place on a beach with my toes in the sand looking out on a beautiful ocean with not a care in the world. It was a great escape that I can take again and again every time I listen to this song. Very rarely do I experience this kind of reaction to a song, but this NEW single from James Colah could be, I feel his best so far. He’s set the bar pretty high, in fact this track took me higher than his previous hit single ‘Take Me Higher’. This is exactly what I would expect from London born James Colah who has once again displayed his talent with this impressive release. James Colah sent me a pre-release copy to check out and all I kept saying to myself was “OMG, THIS IS AWESOME!” I also love the way the flute and vibe sounds compliment the track perfectly. The finished product is a work of art like a painting that paints a picture in your mind, which this song will do. ‘Trippin On Your Smile’ is nothing short of what I’ve come to expect from this incomparable smooth jazz artist. This single is a must download and I’m privileged to be able to add it to the playlist on my station. Dale Berg 96.9 The Oasis – The World’s Smooth Jazz Place www.969theoasis.org

Very well put, I’d say and I couldn’t agree more! Naturally, being a guitarist myself, I totally treasure the excellent work contributed by Cameron Pierre, who put his particular flavor of icing on an already deliciously sounding cake, figuratively speaking! This might well become the next Smooth Jazz charts topping song, James Colah! Amazing work!

How One Generation Was Single-Handedly Able To Kill The Music Industry


This …

“Most of the equipment required to create music has been absorbed into the DAW, while the software continues to get easier and easier to use. The end result is that artists can create music more quickly, more efficiently and less expensively than at any other time in history.”

and this…

“You have the power now. What are you going to do with it? For the first time in its long history, the American music business is firmly in the hands of the artists and the consumers. You have the ability to lead the industry wherever you want it to go.”

gave me an enormous natural high of enthusiasm and energy back in 2009, when I recorded “I Count on U“, which was quickly picked up by independent promoters, web radio stations and social media friends and fans. Now, if only I managed to lose this deeply ingrained concept of inadequacy I might get to dust off that excitement I then felt and along the lines of what the article says and maybe take another stab at it (I felt exactly the way the article proposes when realizing for myself for the first time in 2009 that I had my fingertips on most of the recording tools I had been dreaming of since age 16 or so).

Apart from just me and my gazing at my belly-button, all of this actually sounds like great news for any aspiring artist/composer/music producer. In a nutshell: Write that attention-capturing hit song, pitch it to a major corporation and start counting the money… or something like that ;-)

Thanks to Paris Cesvette for bringing this article to my attention!

via How One Generation Was Single-Handedly Able To Kill The Music Industry.

In Memoriam: Jeff Golub | Improvisations on Reality


I’m taking the liberty of reblogging Katherine Gilraine’s obituary on the sudden passing of guitar legend Jeff Golub:

“He’s family. All of us contemporary jazz folks are family. The photogs, radio people, artists – we are all a huge, close-knit family. Jeff is One Of Our Own. This is a loss that we will continue to feel on the Jazz cruises, at the festivals, at the events where he was a staple, when we go and see our mutual friends… This is a void that we will continue to feel when we hear Boom Boom on the radio or in shuffle mode on the music players. This is a pain that we will continue to feel for a while to come.”

In Memoriam: Jeff Golub | Improvisations on Reality.