"Singer Catherine Russell could make her job look harder than she does. As a subtle but expressive jazz and blues vocalist, Russell communicates more through restraint than flashy histrionics. Perhaps she takes her time with a song simply because she also has taken her time making a musical career despite being born into the music business…
Songs from Russell and Armstrong’s years together form the core of Catherine Russell’s new album, “Bring It Back,” and will highlight her upcoming performance at Harlow’s next Friday. Her longtime trio is Matt Munisteri on guitar, Mark Shane on piano and Tal Ronen on bass…
“It’s the same basic theme of the roots of swing, jazz and blues, with nice arrangements. I look for good lyrics and good stories so that every time I sing the tune it remains fresh to me,” Russell said.
“When I start to sing it, I am secondary to the tune itself, the melody and the words, the message of the tune. I’m also listening to the musicians, and I’m being influenced by what I’m hearing around me. I appreciate great singers, people with technical skills and that kind of stuff, but I’m looking for what they’re saying, apart from all the skill…”
“People can do anything they want with their evening, but if they’re coming to see you, you’ve got to deliver,” Russell said. “It’s like I’m hosting the party and I’ve got to give them a good party.”
Coming in September on Jazz Village is Live at l’Olympia by Ahmad Jamal & Yusef Lateef!
This set documents an historic concert that took place in Paris on June 27, 2012. The great Ahmad Jamal, enjoying a return to the jazz charts thanks to his recent releases on Jazz Village, began by playing selections from his album Blue Moon. Then the pianist was joined on stage by the equally legendary Yusef Lateef, who had played with Jamal in the glory days of the Atlantic label. These two artists channeled the past and reinvented the future as they worked their musical magic. The album features two audio discs and a DVD of the complete concert.
On the cover of his most recent album, Border-Free (Jazz Village), explosive Cuban pianist Chucho Valdes wears an enormous feathered Native American headdress—a reference to a tune of his called “Afro-Comanche,” which honors Comanches deported by Spanish soldiers in the late 18th and early 19th centuries from what would later become the southwestern U.S., many of whom ended up in Cuba (via Mexico and Spain) and integrated into the island’s community. The message is clear: people, like music, aren’t contained or defined by geography. Few musicians have embodied that idea as thoroughly as Valdes, who cofounded influential Cuban jazz-fusion group Irakere in 1973; with his protean talents, he’s obliterated the boundaries between Cuban tradition and jazz tradition. The name of his current group is of course a hat tip to Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, and though the original tunes nod to Latin music (propulsive clave-based polyrhythms, ubiquitous percussion breakdowns, et cetera), they usually follow the durable “theme followed by improvisation” structure that’s endured in hard bop for six decades. (The band’s previous album is called Chucho’s Steps, a Coltrane reference.) “Bebo,” which Valdes wrote to memorialize his brilliant piano-playing father, sounds like a jazz standard with a clave beat; it’s also one of three tracks to feature the fiery saxophone of Branford Marsalis. Other pieces reach elsewhere for ideas. “Abdel” explores Gnawa music; “Pilar,” which opens as an extended duet with bassist Angel Gaston Joya Perellada, weaves in bits of two pieces Valdes’s mother loved, Miles Davis’s “Blue in Green” and Bach’s Prelude in D Minor; and “Caridad Amaro,” written for his grandmother, borrows from Rachmaninoff. —Peter Margasak”
Since that night in 2007 when she brought the WKC house down, Catherine Russell’s renown as one of the foremost interpreters and explorers of mid-20th century American music has skyrocketed. A Grammy Award winner, she regularly plays Lincoln Center and hundreds of other major venues and festivals worldwide, has made two appearances on NPR’s “Fresh Air” with Terry Gross, appeared on “Piano Jazz” with Marian McPartland, and has garnered rave reviews and awards both in France and at home. “Cat” will be backed by Matt Munisteri on guitar, Mark Shane, piano, and Tal Ronen, bass.”
9/27 - EMMA Concert Association: Flagler College - St. Augustine, FL 10/2 - Live at Rose Lehrman - Rose Lehrman Arts Center - Harrisburg, PA 10/3 - The Center For Arts Natick (TCAN) - Natick, MA 10/9 - Pawleys Island Festival of Music & Art - Pawley’s Island, SC 10/10 - Paramount Theatre - Goldsboro, NC 10/11 - Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts, Inc. - Wilmington, NC 10/12 - St John UMC Augusta - Augusta, GA 10/14 - Oklahoma City Community College - Oklahoma City, OK 10/19 - The University of Texas at Austin - Austin, TX
World Village has forged itself a reputation for excellence on the international musical scene in just a few short years. Seeking out talents from all around the world, carefully designed covers and booklets: these are the key values of the label, which is run by four producers working between France, the USA, Spain and the UK, who pursue an ambitious signing policy.
Jazz Village, the newest label in the Harmonia Mundi family, allows audiences to experience the best of current jazz music, from Europe to the Americas, from traditional to modern, through urban soul and new sound crossbreeds. On the menu: a dozen yearly releases featuring musical veterans, young idols and bright emerging talents.