1. The Pace Report: "Overcoming The Darkness" The Phronesis Interview


    from Brian Pace Added 26 0 0

    When British/Scandinavian jazz group Phronesis made their debut in the mid-2000's they were one of many new jazz groups under the Loop Collective, a group of musicians and composers shaking up the jazz scene that was formed out of a need to revive the stale jazz vibe. So, founding member and bassist Jasper Hoiby, pianist Ivi Neane, and drummer Anton Eger have made waves overseas and are now a triple threat here in North America now playing major festivals like the Vancouver and Montreal Jazz Festival as well playing venues like the Blue Note and Jazz Standard in New York City. Needless to say, Phronesis is breaking the rules and taking no punches musically keeping to the rich jazz trio tradition while playing breathtaking original compositions. Each member of this trio brings more depth and flavor the jazz music as well as never copies the great masters like Ray Brown, Keith Jarrett, or The Three Sounds, music ensembles and masters that broke ground on how the music was played as well as what each member brought to the insturment. Phronesis's latest Edition Records release "Walking Dark" was won the respect and love of the jazz fans and critics and showcases the growth of this amazing trio. If you have a free minute to check these guys out, you'll leave the set musically enriched. For more info on Phronesis or to order their latest CD, please visit them online at www.phronesisjazz.com.

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    • The Pace Report: "Within the Mind of a Jazz Guitarist" The John Abercrombie Interview


      from Brian Pace Added 274 4 0

      Jazz guitarist John Abercrombie’s career has been a pendulum of successes of having playing all styles of jazz music. During the late 1960’s into the early 1970’s, John played fusion-rock in the group Dreams featuring Randy and Michael Brecker, Billy Cobham, and Don Grolnick. In the group Gateway he paired up with bassist Dave Holland and drummer Jack DeJohnette. John has also collaborated with guitarist Ralph Towner as a duo. His latest ECM Records release “Within A Song” again has him collaborating with saxophonist Joe Lovano, Drew Gress on bass, and Joey Baron on drums. The recording was based on John’s major musical influence, NEA Jazz Master and guitarist, Jim Hall. Hall’s collaboration on recording’s “Interplay” with pianist Bill Evans and Sonny Rollins’s “The Bridge” set the standard for John’s passion for jazz music and was inspired to study Hall’s phrasings throughout his career. “Within A Song” features three original compositions and covers music by Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, and Miles Davis, other important influences on John. The Greenwich, Connecticut native began playing the guitar in his early teens. John was drawn to the sounds of guitarist Barney Kessel. Upon graduation from high school John attended Berklee College of Music where he also used to go see the great jazz luminaries like Monk and Trane. After finishing Berklee he’d go on to record and tour with the likes of Barry Miles, Johnny Hammond Smith, Gato Barbieri, and Gil Evans. John is one of a few recording artists that have recorded for the same record label throughout his career. For over four decades John has recorded for ECM Records founded by recording pioneer and visionary Manfred Eicher. Look for John to hit the jazz clubs soon. For upcoming tour dates and info please visit John online at www.johnabercrombie.com or www.facebook.com/john.abercrombie

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      • The Pace Report: "Funky Gravity" The Donny McCaslin Interview


        from Brian Pace Added 458 2 0

        Saxophonist and bandleader Donny McCaslin’s 2012 Greenleaf Records release “Casting for Gravity” has been on the top of all of the jazz critics lists of best recording of this year. It’s the follow-up of the critically acclaimed 2011 “Perpetual Motion” produced again by saxophonist David Binney. This latest recording continues to take music listeners back to the annals of 1970’s fusion jazz that once was created by the pioneers including Miles Davis and Joe Zawinul and current electronica music wave that’s taking the US by storm. And Donny’s current band acts and proves that both on record and also live on the bandstand. His band consists of Jason Lindner on keyboards, Tim Lefebvre on bass, and Mark Guiliana on drums. In “Casting for Gravity,” Donny pays tribute to some of his musical heros of the 1970’s including the Tower of Power, bassist Paul Jackson, Jr., formally of Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters, and drummer Jack DeJohnette. The Santa Cruz, California native was exposed to music at an early age. His father was a jazz vibraphonist and the saxophonist in the group sparked an interest in Donny wanting to play. Throughout his teen years he decided to pursue music and that led to him playing in the high school band and the Monterey Jazz Festival’s High School Jazz Band. Donny was accepted to the Berkeley School of Music in Boston where he was mentored and studied under jazz vibraphonist Gary Burton. Burton witnessed Donny’s drive and passion for the music that he eventually asked him to join his group. Throughout Donny’s 25 years living in New York, he’s played with a plethora of musicians that range from Maria Schneider, Danilo Perez, Brian Blade, Dave Douglas, and Gil Evans. He’s also a founder member the jazz ensemble “Lan Xing” where he partnered with David Binney, Scott Colley, and Kenny Wollenson. You can catch Donny coming to a club near you. For upcoming club dates, or, to order his latest disc please visit Donny online at www.donnymccaslin.com.

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        • The Pace Report: "Nomad Soul" The Jose James Interview wsg Taylor McFerrin


          from Brian Pace Added 142 0 0

          The word nomad is defined as “a person with no fixed residence who roams about; a wanderer.” In a state of where the arts have been shaken up by the lack of coverage by journalists and the press, many of today’s real artists have been left to fend for themselves here in the states. The recording industry has decided to let shows like “American Idol” and “Americas Next Talent” dictate to the masses who’s the next big thing. Vocalist and producer Jose James has allowed himself to musically record the kinds of projects that he wants to do. His vision of his music has earned him one of best new vocalists of his generation adding a unique flavor to his take on both jazz and soul. I’ve been blessed to witness his nomadic state of existence while following his career here in the states. I use the word ‘nomadic’ due to the climate of the record industry here. See, Jose’s recorded his first three recordings in the UK and Brussels and his career has skyrocketed oversees. He lived in London for many years but decided a little over a year ago to return to the states to kick off his fan base and following. It hasn’t been an easy feat for him to say the least due to some critics not finding him “too jazz based!” Or, others find him to soulful! In the years I seen him perform and listen to each recording, I find his music both soothing and improved over the years. I appreciate the fact that Brother Jose can go from a funked out version of “Save Your Love For Me” to a soulful hit like “Code.” Jose is in the rich tradition of great vocalists like Sade, Lou Rawls, Dinah Washington, Roberta Flack that reach into black roots music and fused and meshed them into their own style. The Minneapolis native grew up a devout fan of hip-hop, yet he also developed a love for soul and jazz music. Jose knew he wanted to sing and after graduating from high school he decided to attend the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City. It was there where he had great teachers like drummer Chico Hamilton and pianist Junior Mance as his teachers as well mentors. Jose also formed his first band while in school. On a trip to London, Jose met the legendary producer/DJ Giles Peterson where he heard his rendition of John Coltrane’s “Equinox.” Peterson signed him and recorded his first two records “The Dreamer” and “Blackmagic” on the Brownswood label. Jose’s third project was the Impulse Records release “For All We Know” project with pianist Jef Neve. The album was a collection of standards where both he and Jef went into the studio and recorded it in under a hour. His success over his short time he’s been recording has allowed to collaborate and record on guest projects with artists like Flying Lotus, Taylor McFerrin, Jazzanova, Chico Hamlton, Junior Mance, and Toshio Matsuura. This year Jose is touring the states with a vengeance as he’s about to release his most ambitious and gritty record up to date. “No Beginning, No End” goes back to that great soul music era of Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway, and George Benson. Jose not only produced the entire record, he wrote and chose all the musicians that he wanted to perform and guest appear on his project. Special guests include Robert Glasper, Pino Palladino, Jessica Care Moore, Taylor McFerrin, Hindi Zahra, “Chris “Daddy” Dave, and Emily King. His current single “Trouble” is not only a head-bobber, it reeks of greatness and fresh soul music. Needless to say, Jose pulls no punches with this project. I saw him perform the new songs at a recent performance at The Jazz Standard which is included in this television segment and the proof is in the pudding! Jose is about to blow up! Every performance I’ve seen him whether its the Jazz Standard to the Blue Note to Dizzy’s here in NYC, his music fans have packed out these venues to sold-out crowds. Apparently Mr. James is doing something right! Look for his upcoming disc “No Beginning, No End” sometime this year. For more information on Jose’s show and release dates, please visit him on the web at www.josejamesmusic.com.

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