VOICES Notes and news on Jazz releases

Concord Music Group

Dave Koz releases 'surprise' new album Today!


Dave Koz releases 'surprise' new album Today!

Click the video link to view the album preview: http://bit.ly/1msiHX3

If you like what you see, feel free to post on Twitter and/or Facebook with our suggested tweets below to your friends:

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George Duke - Dreamweaver
Concord Music Group

Dianne Reeves, Beautiful Life—Available Now


Four-time GRAMMY winner Dianne Reeves has released Beautiful Life, her eagerly anticipated first album in five years.  New to the Concord Records imprint, yet established as one of the classiest vocalists around, Reeves powerfully sustains her genre-defying tradition with elements of jazz, contemporary R&B, classic soul, modern pop, and vintage funk.  Through her two sublime originals, "Cold" and "Satiated (Been Waiting)," along with covers by Marvin Gaye, Fleetwood Mac, Bob Marley, and Ani DiFranco, Reeves covers a lot of musical ground—and incorporates a lot of talent, too.

Beautiful Life features an A-list supporting crew, including production by Terri Lynne Carrington and musical appearances by Esperanza Spalding, Gregory Porter, Robert Glasper, and George Duke.  A soulful and sophisticated rendering with a sweet, sexy, and celebratory underlying tone, Beautiful Life is an inspiring affirmation not to be missed.

Chris Slawecki

Close To You


Search the Concord website for "Burt Bacharach" and the engine returns no results. But the brilliance of his collaborative songwriting with lyricist Hal David, especially in the 1960s and early '70s, shines throughout this catalog.

Lushly remade, "Walk on By" kicks off Isaac Hayes' solo breakout Hot Buttered Soul (Stax, 1987, and now available on vinyl, too). But it was (much) differently addressed by saxophonist Sonny Stitt on Soul Classics (Original Jazz Classics, 1991), was reinvented by the Wynton Kelly Trio on Full View (OJC, '96), and also turned up on Brothers-4 (Prestige, 2005), which marks the last time that soulmates Don Patterson and Stitt recorded together.

"Close to You" was addressed opulently by Hayes on Black Moses (Stax, '89) and tastily by Ella Fitzgerald on Ella A Nice (OJC, '90), but also appears on funky Prestige Legends of Acid Jazz compilations from Houston Person ('96) and Leon Spencer ('97), and was more smoothly rendered by Gerald Albright (Pushing the Envelope [Heads Up, 2010]).

Hayes also surveys "The Windows of the World" Live At The Sahara Tahoe (Stax, '89) and "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?" appears on Quartets & Orchestra (Milestone, '89), which compiles the last two albums that pianist-composer Bobby Timmons recorded for Milestone.

Plus there's Dionne Warwick's retrospective My Friends & Me (Concord, 2006), where the primary voice of these and other Bacharach-David classics revisits them in the company of old friends and new, including Gladys Knight, Angie Stone and other vocal contemporaries.

Chris Slawecki

Master's Strings Silenced


Jim Hall, whose gentle but strong guitar style inspired contemporaries with whom he played and generations of guitarists who followed after, died in his Greenwich Village home on Dec. 10 at age 83. This "guitarist's guitarist" first emerged from the original Chico Hamilton Quintet in the late 1950s, and provided a strong voice in Sonny Rollins' first quartet when the saxophonist ended his hiatus from performing and recording in the early 1960s. Thereafter, Hall primarily recorded and performed as a leader of his own groups.

His sensitivity as an accompanist seemed to fully bloom as a duet partner with other guitarists and bassists: Dialogues (Telarc, 1995) featured Hall with saxophonist Joe Lovano and guitarists Bill Frisell and Mike Stern; Jim Hall & Basses (Telarc, 2001) showcased his electric and acoustic guitar in conversations with Christian McBride, George Mraz, Dave Holland and Charlie Haden. Excellent duet recordings with ace bassist Ron Carter include the double-disk Telepathy (Concord Jazz, 2001), which pairs two previous standalone live recordings, and Alone Together (Original Jazz Classics, 1990), their first duet set.

Hall's sound and style greatly influenced the pastorally elegant yet homespun sound of Pat Metheny and similar, subsequent guitarists. Although Hall's wife told The New York Times that Jim Hall died of heart failure, the genuinely brilliant heart that beats throughout these and other recordings will never fail.