Born This Day…

Written on:March 1, 2016
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BORN THIS DAY: March 1, 1904, in Clarinda, Iowa USA, trombonist, composer, arranger and big band leader GLENN MILLER!

Glenn Miller grew up in the early days of the Midwest, living his earliest years on the Nebraska prairie in a sod house. He began college in Colorado, but soon dropped out to pursue music full time. His career led him to play alongside the greats of the swing era, including Benny Goodman and Paul Whiteman. After achieving success at the helm of his own big band, Miller went to Hollywood, making films with such as Bing Crosby, Judy Garland, the Nicholas Brothers and the Andrews Sisters.

Then, World War II broke out. Glenn Miller was 38, and too old for the draft. He was at the top of his career, recording Number One sellers. But he felt impelled to support his country. In 1942, Miller enlisted in the armed forces, giving up his high paying position in civilian life. He formed a 50-piece Army Air Force Band and took it to England, where he gave 800 performances and made a series of recordings at Abbey Road Studios. Glenn Miller’s music was played over AFN radio broadcasting for entertainment and morale as well as counter-propaganda to denounce fascism. Miller stated as a part of his radio program: “America means freedom and there’s no expression of freedom quite so sincere as music.”

In December of 1944, Glenn Miller boarded a small plane at an English airfield, with the intention of flying to Paris, France for a Christmas radio broadcast to entertain the troops. The weather over the English Channel was terrible that night. Miller and the pilot departed and were never heard from again. They disappeared that night without a trace.

Early jazz critics found fault with Glenn Miller’s music, but he was loved and respected by the public and by his peers. Among his many fans, Miller could count George Shearing, Mel Torme and Frank Sinatra…and people say that Louis Armstrong packed Glenn Miller’s vinyl records in his suitcase when he went on the road. Miller’s music is still performed to this day.

Here, Glenn Miller and his Orchestra, with one of his many hits, “In The Mood” ~

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– Robin Laurie Stewart

The World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra

Memorable Mention…

Written on:February 27, 2016
Memorable Mention…

  MENTION MUST BE MADE of last night’s concert at the White House in Washington, D.C., “Smithsonian Salutes Ray Charles: In Performance at the White House!” The concert series, “In Performance at the White House,” began in 1978 and has celebrated American culture during every administration since President Carter. The series was “created to showcase the rich fabric of American culture in the setting of the nation’s most famous home.”…

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New music this week!

Written on:February 23, 2016

NEW MUSIC: Releasing this week, February 26th, an exciting live concert album on the Youkali Music label, entitled “A Night to Remember” from Spain’s rising stars of jazz fusion, PATAX! Directed by percussionist JORGE PEREZ, a Berklee College of Musicgraduate, PATAX is a grouping of seventeen musicians, filled with the fire of raw talent. Their music is a mix of true Flamenco, Jazz, Salsa and Soul. Their concert album, “A…

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Dan Hicks

Written on:February 10, 2016
Dan Hicks

So saddened to speak yet again on the passing of a great musician. We’d like to add just a bit here on the life of a very private man and a splendid performer, DAN HICKS, who left us this week at the age of 74. Born December 9, 1941 in Little Rock, Arkansas, Hicks moved to the West Coast at an early age, and lived most of his life in…

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MAURICE WHITE, Rest in Power.

Written on:February 8, 2016
MAURICE WHITE, Rest in Power.

This week, millions mourn the passing of MAURICE WHITE, drummer, songwriter, arranger, singer, producer, and co-founder of the influential group, Earth, Wind & Fire. We share just a bit about his life…. Maurice “Reese” White was born December 19, 1941 in Memphis, Tennessee, the son of a doctor. Like many young boys, “Reese” found his first audience in his family, who encouraged his interests. At the age of six, he…

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Boney James

Written on:August 31, 2015
Boney James

NUMBER ONE on Billboard‘s Contemporary Jazz Albums Chart, “Futuresoul” from saxophonist, producer, songwriter, BONEY JAMES! James’ latest album on Concord Records debuted at Number One and has now held that spot for sixteen weeks! Another step in what James calls his evolution, “Futuresoul” deftly combines Boney James’ modern production sounds with his love of classic Soul. Says James, “The forms I’m working with are rooted in my early influences…like King…

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Johannes Linstead releases a new album, Midnight Rhumba. Listen to it here.

Written on:November 6, 2014
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Johannes has gone above and beyond with his contemporary flamenco guitar music with this album.  It is new, fast, and has the beat of a lover.  He bares his soul to the world with this album. Listen to the track Midnight Rhumba from the self-same album by Johannes Linstead.   “Midnight Rhumba” available on iTunes, Amazon.com and johanneslinstead.com/main/mp3s/

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New album from Paul Brown

Written on:July 29, 2014
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 Exclusive! (Click here) Listen to “Take It From Me” from Paul Brown’s new album “Truth B Told” released buy Woodward Avenue Records Always a favorite of ours, having been interviewed multiple times, we’re super excited to highlight Paul Brown’s new album, Truth B Told, with a first-time-ever release of the single Take It From Me, exclusively here on AJazzLife.com.  

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Greg Adams and Lee Thornberg of East Bay Soul

Written on:July 17, 2013
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Greg Adams, founding member of Tower of Power, and world renowned horn composer and arranger with his own band, East Bay Soul. Click here to see these pictures. 

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New Music from Jose Rizo’s Mongorama

Written on:July 17, 2013
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NEW MUSIC: Officially released today, an album entitled “Baila que Baila” from JOSE RIZO’S MONGORAMA! “Baila que Baila” is the second album from Jose Rizo’s Mongorama. Their first received the 2012 Grammy Nomination in the Latin Tropical Jazz category! The dream band became reality for Jose Rizo, who is not only a musician and bandleader, but also a disc jockey on LA’s KJAZZ 88.1 FM. He is a performer, as…

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