Monday, February 14, 2011

New Collaborations from Elling, Keezer; Salute from Alden - Bob Stewart

The New York Times is one of numerous publications to declare Kurt Elling as the "standout male vocalist of our time"...and the Washington Post says, "Since the mid-1990s, no singer in jazz has been as daring, dynamic or interesting as Kurt Elling." The legendary producer Don Was had expressed the desire to work with Elling, an opportunity which the singer found irresistible. The resulting collaboration -- "The Gate" -- points Elling in a new and satisfyingly emotional direction. He has found a way to make a deeply personal statement out of the music of King Crimson, Joe Jackson, Stevie Wonder and the Beatles-in addition to providing a new and vibrant understanding of Miles Davis, Bill Evans and Herbie Hancock.

Twice Grammy-nominated pianist and composer Geoffrey Keezer teams up with guitarist Peter Sprague in a set of all-new, original music on "Mill Creek Road." "Since moving to San Diego in 2006, I've had the fortune to collaborate with several world-class musicians..." says Keezer. "I first heard Peter Sprague performing with Billy Childs' jazz-chamber ensemble, and knew immediately this was someone I wanted to make music with. We formed this quartet in 2009 with SoCal guys Hamilton Price and Duncan Moore as an outlet to play creative, energetic modern music without anyone having to ever get on a plane." The result is jazz which is beautifully complex, fresh and contemporary.

Meanwhile, guitarist Howard Alden, who famously coached Sean Penn on how to play the guitar and soloed on the soundtrack for Penn's role as a Django Reinhardt-style guitarist in the Woody Allen film "Sweet and Lowdown" is out with a salute to the great gypsy swing legend on "I Remember Django."

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