Jazz Music

Jazz News

  • Cheadle’s Miles Davis Biopic To Debut at New York Film Festival

       In addition to directing the Miles Davis biopic Miles Ahead, Don Cheadle also has the lead role. The film will premiere at the 53rd New York Film Festival.Miles Ahead, a Miles Davis biopic directed by Don Cheadle, will make its world premiere as the closing night selection of the 53rd New York Film Festival on Oct. 11. The festival begins on Sept. 25.

     The film was partially funded via the crowdsourcing website Indiegogo.com. With contributions from over 2,000 online supporters, the film exceeded its $325,000 fundraising goal in July 2014, receiving a total of $343,000 for the project.

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  • Ornette Coleman Dies at 85

    Ornette ColemanOrnette Coleman, the alto saxophonist and composer who led the jazz avant-garde while also revolutionizing the music’s mainstream, died June 11 in Manhattan at age 85. The cause of death was cardiac arrest.

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  • Trumpeter Lew Soloff Dies at 71

    Lew SoloffLew Soloff, a fixture on the New York jazz scene for a half-century, and best known for his association with Blood, Sweat and Tears, died this morning, March 8, in New York City. His daughter, Laura Solomon, confirming Soloff’s death, stated on her Facebook page that he suffered a massive heart attack while returning home after eating dinner with his family. Soloff was 71.

    Soloff was best known for his five-year stint with jazz-rock pioneers Blood, Sweat and Tears, which he joined in 1968. He was present on the group’s Grammy-winning self-titled second album, performing at Woodstock with the group and contributing prominently to the hit “Spinning Wheel.” He remained with BS&T until 1973, recording five albums in all with the band. He also contributed regularly to recordings by Gil Evans and Carla Bley and served as a sideman for many other artists, as well as recording several albums as a leader.

    Born Lewis Soloff in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Feb. 20, 1944, Soloff was raised in Lakewood, N.J., where he first studied piano. He switched to trumpet at age10 and developed an interest in jazz. He attended Juilliard Preparatory, then the Eastman School of Music beginning in 1961, followed by a year in graduate school at Juilliard.

    Soloff’s first professional association was with the Latin bandleader Machito, and in 1966 he joined Maynard Ferguson’s outfit. Soloff also played during this time in a big band co-led by Joe Henderson and Kenny Dorham, as well as with pianist/arranger Gil Evans, with whom Soloff would continue to collaborate until Evans’ death in 1988. Soloff also spent time during the late ’60s working with Tito Puente, Clark Terry, Eddie Palmieri and others, but it was his role as a core member of Blood, Sweat and Tears during that band’s commercial peak that brought him his greatest and most lasting recognition.

    During the 1980s, Soloff was a member of the group Members Only and, beginning in 1983, the Manhattan Jazz Quintet, with which he recorded more than 20 albums (most for the Japanese market, where the group was extremely popular). He recorded nine albums as a leader, beginning with Hanalei Bay in 1986; the last was 2004’s Air on a G String.

    Soloff’s contributions to the discography of Carla Bley occurred between 1988 and 2008. Other artists with whom Soloff record or played, according to a bio on his website, were Roy Ayers, Bob Belden, George Benson, Benny Carter, Stanley Clarke, Paquito D’Rivera, Miles Davis/Quincy Jones, Mercer Ellington, Grant Green, Lionel Hampton, Bob James, Herbie Mann, Tania Maria, Carmen McRae, Laura Nyro, Jaco Pastorius, Mongo Santamaria, Little Jimmy Scott, Wayne Shorter and Stanley Turrentine. The site also states that Soloff accompanied many well-known vocalists, including Tony Bennett, Elvis Costello, Marianne Faithfull, Aretha Franklin, Lou Reed, Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon and Barbra Streisand, and also appeared on projects by Phillip Glass, Kip Hanrahan, John Mayall and Dr. John. Soloff also contributed music to numerous film soundtracks.

    As an educator, he was on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music for nearly 20 years and served an adjunct faculty member at Julliard and New School.

    By Jazz Times


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  • Resonance to Issue Unreleased Live Wes Montgomery LP

    guitarist Wes MontgomeryOne Night in Indy, a previously unreleased live recording of guitarist Wes Montgomery with the Eddie Higgins Trio, will be released on vinyl by Resonance Records for Record Store Day, April 18. The tape was presented to the label by photojournalist Duncan Schiedt before he passed away last year. The music was recorded at a club Duncan and friends ran called The Indianapolis Jazz Club (aka The IJC) on Sunday, January 18,1959. The trio includes Montgomery on guitar, Higgins on piano, an unknown bassist and Walter Perkins (Ahmad Jamal's trio drummer before Vernell Fournier) on drums.

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  • George Gershwin Piano Restored at University of Michigan

    piano, owned and played by George GershwinA fully restored 1933 Model A Steinway piano, owned and played by George Gershwin, was unveiled by the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance at a free public concert on Oct. 10. According to a news release, the piano was donated to the school in 2013 by Marc Gershwin, George’s nephew, as a “gesture of partnership between the Gershwin families and U-M during the creation of the U-M Gershwin Initiative.”

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  • Miles Davis Way Dedicated in NYC

    Members of Miles Davis' family at the dedication of Miles Davis Way, NYC, May 26, 2014 Earl GibsonFamily and hundreds of fans attend street ceremony.

    New York City officially re-named 77th Street “Miles Davis Way” on May 26 (which would have been Miles’ 88th birthday). An official block party kicked off the ceremony (complete with street closure), which was attended by hundreds of fans of the late trumpet icon as well as members of Davis’ family, who were on hand to host event.

    Those included including son Erin, daughter Cheryl and nephew Vince Wilburn Jr., as well as actress Cicely Tyson (previously married to Miles) and Rep Charles B. Rangel. Easy Mo Bee DJ’d.

    By JazzTimes


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  • Jazz Heroes 2014

    Jazz ДжазThe Jazz Journalists Association has named 24 Jazz Heroes, recognizing them as “activists, advocates, altruists, aiders and abettors of jazz.

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