[JPL] JAZZ REVIEW Jazzy just isn't the same thing

jazzrockworld rick at jazzrockworld.com
Fri Sep 1 13:33:47 EDT 2006

Can I ask a dumb question, please?

What's "Jazzy"? 

If the major record labels no longer have a Jazz dept. yet Benson and
Jarreau are on GRP - "The Very Best in Smooth Jazz" (part of the Verve
Group) with Raúl Midón on Manhattan (part of Angel - primarily a classical
label), then they are NOT Jazz artists, right?

I may be mistaken, but didn't Verve give John Scofield and John McLaughlin
the boot a couple of months ago? Does that mean that they ARE Jazz artists?


Rick Calic


-----Original Message-----
From: jazzproglist-bounces at jazzweek.com
[mailto:jazzproglist-bounces at jazzweek.com] On Behalf Of Jazz Promo Services
Sent: Friday, September 01, 2006 9:03 AM
To: jazzproglist at jazzweek.com
Subject: [JPL] JAZZ REVIEW Jazzy just isn't the same thing


This week's sponsor:  Dare2 and Sunnyside Records


The Jazz Programmers Mailing List is a free service provided by JazzWeek.
For more information visit us at  http://www.jazzweek.com/jpl To become a
sponsor contact Ed Trefzger at ed.trefzger at jazzweek.com or 866-453-6401.

Jazzy just isn't the same thing
By Don Heckman
Special to The Times

September 1, 2006

There's jazz, and there's jazzy. And, despite their verbal similarity, they
don't often have a lot to do with each other. The performances by Al
Jarreau, George Benson and Raúl Midón at the Hollywood Bowl on Wednesday
night had the potential to intriguingly juxtapose both these disparate
notions. Jarreau and Benson have demonstrated the ability to deliver prime,
hard-swinging improvisational music, as well as catchy, hook-oriented
"jazzy" pop. And Midón, younger and less seasoned, has displayed a similar
musical eclecticism.

OK, that sounds good as preview, but it didn't exactly work out that way on
stage. Midón, on first, performed with only his solo guitar as
accompaniment. Singing originals written from a distinctly Stevie Wonder
perspective, he delivered an entertaining if somewhat repetitive-sounding
set of songs. Despite several efforts to cross into jazz, his efforts in
this arena seemed very much like a work in progress. Midón's most effective
passages, in fact, came in a scat-singing finale with Jarreau and Benson, in
which he more than held his own.

Jarreau's performance promised the most for the jazz-heads in the audience.
He has been one of the most unusual vocal artists in the genre for three
decades, winning multiple jazz vocal Grammys. This time, however, he seemed
more concerned with emphasizing his humorous persona ‹ stalking the stage,
interacting with the crowd, overemphasizing his vocal tendency to use bursts
of sound and eccentric pronunciation. His version of "Take Five" ‹ usually a
showcase of his extraordinary improvisational skills ‹ was largely a drum

Benson's performances in recent years have emphasized the jazzy aspects of
his music, and this night was no exception. Most of the set became a living
jukebox program of hits. Every now and then, for very brief passages,
Benson's remarkable guitar skills managed to surface through his ensemble's
monochromatic wall of sound. More often ‹ even in the duet numbers with
Jarreau from their new album, "Givin' It Up" ‹ the real jazz abilities of
these two gifted performers were lost in the rush to jazzy commercial


This week's sponsor:  Dare2 and Sunnyside Records

Following up his Grammy award-winning album Overtime, DAVE HOLLAND returns
with CRITICAL MASS, the first new studio album in five years from his highly
acclaimed quintet featuring CHRIS POTTER (tenor and soprano), STEVE NELSON
(vibes), ROBIN EUBANKS (trombone), and NATE SMITH (drums).  CRITICAL MASS
features eight road-tested, original compositions on record for the first
time and, of course, masterful performances by a jazz group that has become
a trademark for excellence in music.
GOING FOR ADDS: 8/28 and 8/29
IN STORES:  8/29
Rock Paper Scissors's OPK at: http://tinyurl.com/fkfls
LIMITED TIME ONLY!!! -- 100 MP3 free copies of a new version Dave's classic
tune Dream of the Elders (recorded during the Critical Mass sessions) are
available for download here: http://tinyurl.com/nf5hn
For more information, interviews, etc. -- please contact:
garrett at sunnysiderecords.com


Send jazzproglist mailing list submissions to
	jazzproglist at jazzweek.com

To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to
	jazzproglist-request at jazzweek.com

You can reach the person managing the list at
	jazzproglist-owner at jazzweek.com

More information about the jazzproglist mailing list