Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Jazz Pianist/Radio Host Judy Carmichael Makes her First All-Vocal CD: I Love Being Here With You

Jazz Pianist/Radio Host Judy Carmichael Makes her First All-Vocal CD: I Love Being Here With You

"Known as one of the best stride and swing pianists around, Judy Carmichael is near-equally renowned for her lively, intelligent radio show, Jazz Inspired. (Full disclosure: Transcriptions of conversations from that show are available at JazzTimes.com.) Carmichael’s vocal skills remain a tertiary source of admiration, primarily because they are, at least in terms of her recordings, a relatively new addition. It wasn’t until 2008, in the wake of 10 instrumental albums, that she added vocals to half the tracks on Come and Get It. At the time, Carmichael admitted a desire to unleash her “inner Peggy Lee.” Now, with the arrival of not only her first all-vocals album but also the first on which she never touches a keyboard, that wish is fully realized.

Carmichael exhibits a truly remarkable ability to channel Lee’s breathy invitingness and her befogged insouciance. But this collection of 11 standards also echoes the intense perspicacity of the solo albums Annie Ross released prior to, during and immediately after her affiliation with Lambert and Hendricks. In other words, she winningly blends two of the all-time finest, most intuitive jazz singers.

Like Lee and Ross, Carmichael shows tremendous respect for her fellow musicians—tenor saxophonist Harry Allen, pianist Mike Renzi and bassist Jay Leonhart—allowing each ample space to leisurely stretch out."


Monday, January 5, 2015

Jazz and Bossa Artist of the Month (January 2015): Luis Marin

Jazz and Bossa Artist of the Month (January 2015): Luis Marin

As a pianist, Luis Marin is often recruited to record at different musical productions with well-known artists. His services are in demand by the biggest names in the Latin music industry.

Marin has also shared the stage with Latin piano master Eddie Palmieri on various occasions, at Palmieri's own request on important concerts. In the Latin music genre, it is considered a high honor to be acknowledged by Palmieri.

Marin was born and raised in Bayamón, Puerto Rico, and began studying piano at age 7.

During 1984 he enrolled in Berklee College of Music where he majored in professional music, remaining there until 1986. While living in Boston he had the opportunity to perform with different bands, and was known throughout the city as pianist and arranger. These groups included Caribbean Express (nominated for a Grammy Award in 1987), Herman Johnson's Band (at Ryle's Jazz Club at Cambridge), and Jorge Arce Grupo Humano. Marin's work has been shared in productions for Puerto Rico, Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, and the United States.

On 2003, Marin toured as a pianist with the celebrated group Fania All Stars. He has been part of important live presentations and recordings with artists such as Palmieri, Tito Puente, Richie Ray, Papo Lucca y Sonora Ponceña, Juan Luis Guerra, Andy Montañez, Cheo Feliciano, Fiel a la Vega, Elvis Crespo, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Rita Moreno, Mario Bauzá, Yuri Buenaventura, Cuto Soto, Luis Garcia, Tony Vega, Humberto Ramirez, Mandy Vizoso, and Gilberto Monroig.

In 1997, after various years playing as a side man, the organizers of the PR Heineken JazzFest invited Marin to make his debut as a leader. Luis Marin New Jazz Group shared the stage that night with saxophonist Joe Lovano and guitarist George Benson.

It was at this successful presentation, in front of a hometown crowd, that Marin was given the chance to express his innermost feelings through his group, delighting the audience with an eclectic repertoire within the tradition of Latin jazz, becoming automatically a powerful force in this category. In 1999 he started the production of his first album as a soloist, Inconsolable, integrating major influences in his style, and rendering a special tribute to one of Puerto Rico's most esteemed singers, Gilberto Monroig. In 2004 Marin released his second album as a soloist, Live at the Nuyorican Cafe, with great reviews.

Marin is also on the staff of the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico, participating as jazz piano professor in the recently created Jazz and Caribbean Music Department. Info: http://www.berklee.edu/events/detail/5057/luis-marin-latin-piano-styles