Richard Street, Ex-Temptations Singer, Dead at 70

Richard StreetsTemptationsRevisited

LAS VEGAS— Former Motown vocalist Richard Allen Street (born October 5, 1942) a member of the Temptations from 1971 to 1993, has died. He was 70. Street’s wife, Cindy, says her husband died early Wednesday at a hospital in Las Vegas after a short illness.

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Street was the first member of the Temptations to actually be a native of the city which served as Motown’s namesake and hometown; all of the previous members were born and at least partially raised in the southern United States.

Richard Street sang as a young man with Temptations members Otis Williams and Melvin Franklin, but didn’t join the famed Motown group until the early 1970s. He later made the move from his native Detroit to Los Angeles with other Motown acts and stayed with the group until the mid-1990s.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete, but Cindy Street expects services to be held sometime next week in Cypress, Calif.

She says her husband “was a really good person” who should be remembered for his work with the Temptations.

Published in: on February 27, 2013 at 10:58 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Hot Club of Cowtown’s Rendevous in Rhythm to be Released in U.S. May 28, 2013, on Gold Strike Records


Collection of 14 fiery Gypsy jazz and American Songbook standards
is the Hot Club’s first album
to exclusively celebrate the band’s Left Bank influences.

“It takes considerable bravery to name your band after one of the greatest jazz ensembles of the last century. Hot Club get away with it because they have spirit, originality and skill that would surely have impressed Stephane Grappelli
and Django Reinhardt back in 1930s.”
The Guardian

AUSTIN, Texas — Hot Club of Cowtown’s new Lloyd Maines-produced release, Rendezvous in Rhythm, out May 28, 2013 on Gold Strike Records, is an exuberant collection of Gypsy songs and American Songbook standards played acoustically and recorded in the hot jazz style of legendary violin and guitar masters Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt. Recorded last July at the Zone Recording Studio in Dripping Springs, Texas, it’s the Hot Club’s first-ever dedicated foray into the Gypsy jazz and French swing of Paris in the ’30s and features the band’s sparkling spins on standards in the style of Reinhardt and Grappelli including “Crazy Rhythm,” “Minor Swing,” “Dark Eyes,” “The Continental,” “I’m in the Mood for Love,” “Douce Ambiance,” and many more.

You’d think a band from Austin, Texas with the word “Cowtown” in its name spends its time off from touring herding cattle at a West Texas ranch or maybe in Nashville writing songs about whiskey and loose women. Not the Hot Club of Cowtown. “We recently took a band vacation to the Gypsy Festival at St. Maries de la Mer in the South of France,” says the band’s fiddler and vocalist, Elana James. Whit Smith, Hot Club’s guitar player and vocalist, is a regular at the prestigious Djangofest Northwest in Whidbey, Island, Washington, and bass player Jake Erwin has the Hungarian folk band Csokolom in regular rotation on his home stereo.

“Our band is fiddle, guitar, and bass, and they can do anything together. We’ve always played a combination of hot jazz and Western swing, but it’s been really a joy to finally distill part of our essence and serve up a record that is purely jazzy,” says James, who in fact was once a horse wrangler in Colorado, as well as a former student of classical music at the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau, France. Says Smith, “Once Elana became aware that in jazz music and swing, you could express yourself more in improvisation, I think that attracted her to it. She still likes classical, and I do too.” Smith grew up hearing his parents play lots of folk music, especially acoustic blues, but as a teenager he naturally rebelled and turned sharply toward hard rock, which still informs his approach to hot jazz and Western swing. The impression that the band is in some way a country act, especially in the current climate of American popular music, is somewhat misleading since the Hot Club’s influences have always been as much the musette music of the smoky bistros of 1930s Paris as they are the hoedowns and Western swing of the mythic American West.

Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that the Hot Club of Cowtown, whose collection of recorded work now stretches to seven studio albums, is finally releasing Rendezvous in Rhythm, a thrilling display of this Texas trio’s breathtaking virtuosity and, for the first time with such focus, its elegant, more European inspirations. “We had lots of people asking us to make a record of standards,” says Smith, “So there you go, here’s a record full of swing standards. We’re not trying to compete with anyone who’s writing the songs. It’s more of a vehicle for one way we really like to play — starting with familiar ground and then improvising from there.” By way of inspiration James adds, “One of the most thrilling nights of my life was when Gheorghe Anghel (the violinist from legendary Romanian Gypsy band Taraf de Haidouks) came over to my house and he and Whit and I jammed on songs like ‘Avalon’ and ‘Exactly Like You’ in my living room ’til four in the morning. And then he asked if he could use my phone to call home to Romania. It was absolutely the coolest thing ever.”

We can all be grateful then, for whatever inspiration an insistent fan base or a visiting Romanian fiddler may have sparked, for Rendezvous in Rhythm is an utterly superb collection of traditional material, by far the Hot Club’s most polished and sophisticated work to date. From the first hypnotic phrases of the lead track “Ochi Chornye” (a Russian folk song also known as “Dark Eyes”), which builds from an atmospheric reverie into a frenzy à la Ravel’s “Bolero,” Rendezvous in Rhythm takes us on a lively, deeply satisfying journey of raw joy and authentic energy. Disarmingly intimate ballads (“If I Had You,” “I’m Confessin’”) give way to instrumental virtuosity in the extreme (“Dark Eyes,” “Minor Swing,” “Douce Ambiance”). Pre-WWII influences abound throughout, as with “Back in Your Own Backyard,” a classic made famous by Billie Holliday, Al Jolson’s “Avalon,” and Fred Loesser’s “Slow Boat to China.” “Crazy Rhythm,” through which James sings and swings with sassy authority — including an obscure verse on fiddling while Rome burns — first appeared in 1928 but sounds as current as any of the band’s original material. “The Continental,” a Reinhardt and Grappelli showpiece, has been intricately rearranged by Smith, whose vocal and hot twin lines warn of the dangers of dancing and the spells it can cast. Smith’s lush treatment of the Fields and McHugh masterpiece “I’m in the Mood for Love” is alone worth the price of admission.

Though many songs in this collection — some of the finest and most familiar songs in history — have been resuscitated in recent years by well-known artists, Rendezvous in Rhythm is the first release by a major touring act to ignite this material with the danceable, swinging vivaciousness that first put it on the map. In order to capture lightning in a bottle, says Smith, “We went back to our way of having everyone in the room together. We recorded it live, right there next to each other so we could hear each other play. I play acoustic on it — not big news, but usually in the past, I would play a mixture of electric and acoustic and sometimes overdub the electric guitar or vice versa. The majority of this album is the three of us there and playing acoustic. We tried to capture the feel of our live shows as much as possible.”

Since its beginnings in the late 1990s, Hot Club of Cowtown’s star has continued to rise as its reputation for jaw-dropping virtuosity and earth-shattering live shows has become the band’s global brand. Lauded for its “down-home melodies and exuberant improvisation” (The Times, London), the trio has always woven a combination of seemingly disparate styles together to its own magical effect, setting up camp “at that crossroads where country meets jazz and chases the blues away” (The Independent), and “conscious always that above all else, the music is for dancing and an old-fashioned good time” (New York Times). The Hot Club’s musical alchemy has been described as “Another breathless journey in the Texas tardis” (The Times, London), while American Songwriter shrewdly observed that “The excellent three players of this band could be doing anything but have chosen to honor the greats of jazz and swing with their sound.” The Belfast Telegraph calls them “a pretty much perfect country trio at the very top of their game,” while the New York Times, reviewing a live performance in New York City in 2011, described the Hot Club as armed with “an arsenal full of technique and joy.”

Along with the Hot Club’s dedicated cult following worldwide — they have toured for the U.S. State Department as musical ambassadors to Azerbaijan, Armenia, the Republic of Georgia and the Sultanate of Oman — certain titans of the industry have also taken notice. Bob Dylan, with whom the band toured and with whom James has toured and recorded, is a continuing inspiration both personally and professionally. The Hot Club has opened several shows for Willie Nelson, toured with Nelson and Dylan during a summer-long stadium tour, and, most recently, opened seven nights of Roxy Music’s sold-out “For Your Pleasure” U.K. stadium tour in early 2011. In the U.K. the Hot Club of Cowtown continues to tour extensively and has been featured at the Glastonbury Festival and has also been a returning guest on Later With Jools Holland, the Cambridge Folk Festival, and BBC Radio 2’s Radcliffe and Maconie and Bob Harris Country shows.

In 1994 in New York City, Elana James placed an ad in the music section of the Village Voice looking to join a band, and Whit Smith answered it. Since then the music these two have made has always been a secret brew of energy, joie de vivre, and a respect for tradition that is often imitated but never equaled. By 1997, after spending time in a much larger Western swing orchestra in NYC, they had pared back down to their essential elements and the duo that began as “Whit & Elana” grew — with the addition of a bass player and a lot of optimism and naïveté — into Hot Club of Cowtown. The trio moved to Austin, Texas, and released its first album, Swingin’ Stampede, in 1998 after signing with American roots label HighTone Records. Tall Tales (1999) and Dev’lish Mary (2000) soon followed, but it wasn’t until 2001 that the band’s lineup solidified with the arrival of bassist Jake Erwin, who cemented Hot Club’s larger-than-life, earth-shaking rhythmic foundation. Ghost Train (2002) showcased a significant shift toward original songwriting and Continental Stomp (2003) is a live testament to the thundering authority of the band in concert and proof positive that it remains one of roots music’s most formidable touring acts. In 2008 American label Shout Factory released a 20-track Best Of retrospective, followed by another critically-acclaimed album of largely original material, Wishful Thinking” (2009), and, in 2011, a collection of Western swing standards made famous by Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys, What Makes Bob Holler (Proper).

With the release of Rendezvous in Rhythm, Hot Club of Cowtown invites us to join in once again on a journey through its musical inspirations, where the campfire is still burning, but this time the lights of Paris twinkle in the distance, the Gypsy caravans are gathered round, and the night air is filled with magic and romance.


“An arsenal full of technique and joy.”
—Jon Caramanica, The New York Times, 2012

“They’re not only the best at what they do; they’re the only ones [who] can do what they do.”
—Jim Calagiuri, Austin Chronicle, 2011

“The music Hot Club plays is of a certain time, sure, but it’s not outdated. And it’s going create a lot of newfans for this band and their musical predecessors.”
—Rick Allen, Vintage Guitar, 2011

“…Infusing classic pop and jazz tunes with plenty of string-band verve.”
—Mike Joyce, Washington Post

“The excellent three players of this band could be doing anything but have chosen to honor the greats of jazz and swing with their sound.”
—Rick Moore, American Songwriter

EARLY REVIEWS FOR Rendezvous in Rhythm:

“The interplay is as sleek as ever.”
—Clive Davis, The Times (London)

“The timing, swing, and the chemistry of these three virtuoso musicians . . . is a joy to behold”

“[Elana’s voice] just flows with 1930s wonderment, it has an underlying sexiness that draws the listeners in until each and every one is caught in her musical spell….This is Hot Club at their very best. I absolutely love this album and highly recommend it.”
—David Knowles, Maverick Magazine

“The hot jazz is what Hot Club do best, and this is a staggering return to form for the band I once said I could listen to forever. That still stands.”
—Duncan Warwick, Country Music People


Fri., March 1 FORT WORTH, TX Live Oak Music Hall 9 PM
Sat., March 2 BLUE RIDGE, TX Branscombe Hall
Wed., March 6 AUSTIN, TX Continental Club
Wed., March 13 AUSTIN, TX Continental Club
Sat., March 16 GRUENE, TX Gruene Hall 1-5 p.m.
Wed., March 20 AUSTIN, TX Continental Club
Fri.,, March 22 PROVO, UT BYU Department of Dance
Wed., March 27 AUSTIN, TX Continental Club
Tues., April 9 VIENNA, VA Jammin’ Java
Wed., April 10 WILMINGTON, DE Grand opera house
Thurs., 11 NEW YORK, NY Joe’s Pub
Fri., 12 MARBLEHEAD, MA (BOSTON) Me and Thee Coffeehouse
Sat., April 13 WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, VT Tupelo Music Hall
Sun., April 14 TRURO, MA Payomet
Fri., April 19 BURBANK, CA (LOS ANGELES) Joe’s Great American
Sat. & Sun., April 20 & 21 SANTA CLARITA, CA Cowboy Festival
Fri., May 3 GENOA, NV Cowboy Poetry Festival
Sat., May 4 RAMONA, CA Ramona Bluegrass and Western Festival
Fri., May 17 EDWARDSVILLE , IL (ST. LOUIS) Wildey Theater
Sat., May 18 KANSAS CITY, MO Knuckleheads
Sun., May 19 IOWA CITY, IA Englert Theater
Tues., May 21 CHICAGO IL City Winery
Wed., May 22 MINNEAPOLIS, MN Dakota Jazz Club
Thurs., May 23 WISCONSIN RAPIDS, WI McMillan Memorial Library
Sat., May 25 BLACK FOREST, CO MeadowGrass Music Festival

More dates at


For more information about the Hot Club of Cowtown, please contact Conqueroo:
Cary Baker • (323) 656-1600 • (national)
Julie Arkenstone • (818) 703-5034 • (tour cities)

Published in: on February 27, 2013 at 4:18 PM  Leave a Comment  

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Presents Rolling Stones: 50 Years of Satisfaction

CLEVELAND (February 27, 2013) – The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum presents Rolling Stones: 50 Years of Satisfaction, an exclusive exhibition from the “World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band,” will open on Memorial Day weekend on Friday, May 24. Rolling Stones: 50 Years of Satisfaction will be the Museum’s first ever major exhibition capturing the band’s legendary career spanning more than 50 years. It will include personal items and extraordinary collections that have never been seen before by the public. The exhibit will be open until March 2014.

“The Rolling Stones are the epitome of rock and roll,” said Greg Harris, president and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. “This first-ever exhibit gives us an opportunity to tell the story of one of the definitive rock and roll bands. The experience should be on every music fan’s destination list this summer.”


Announcing the 12th Annual Brubeck Festival “Dave Brubeck Across Time– A Tribute to His Legacy” March 18-23, 2013


Stockton, CA – February 15, 2013

12th Annual Brubeck Festival University of the Pacific’s Brubeck Institute presents the Twelfth Annual Brubeck Festival, titled Dave Brubeck Across Time, honors his legacy as a jazz giant and his Stockton, California roots. The 2013 Festival is a broad-based tribute to his legacy that covers the spectrum of jazz in its fullest expression: live concert performances ranging from jazz legends to local bands (in civic concert halls and college campuses as well as jazz clubs), a documentary film about jazz history, jazz education talks/symposia, the spiritually inspired works of Dave Brubeck, and the integration of street/community-based jazz events, from Monday, March 18, through Saturday, March 23.


Published in: on February 18, 2013 at 7:20 PM  Leave a Comment  

Canadian Blues Heavyweight Contender on Track for World Title


At 6 feet five inches and 240 pounds, with lightning fast hands, you might think James ‘Buddy’ Rogers was a contender for the Heavyweight Crown. And in fact he is, but not in any boxing ring. The hard-hitting Canadian-born blues guitarist is scoring a string of knockouts with his latest CD release “My Guitar’s My Only Friend” (Blue Wave Records).

Released mid-September 2012, the album has steadily climbed music charts around the world. Of nearly 3 million artists on ReverbNation Blues Charts he is currently #1 in British Columbia, #2 in Canada and #2 Globally. In all genres he is #21 and still climbing. Rogers entered the Living Blues Radio Chart for January 2013 at #21, and his rock inflected blues tunes are receiving extensive airplay in Canada, the US and Europe on over 500 stations including many US syndicated National Public Radio programs.

As his summer touring schedule begins to fill with some of the largest blues festivals in the country he seems a shoe-in as a top contender for the WBA (World Blues Association) Heavyweight Crown.

“In addition to the fine lyrics, the guitar playing is top notch modern blues. The whole band is strong, but this is Rogers’ album and he is the star musically. He stretches out his playing on several cuts, only one song is less than three minutes and it is the best showcase of his playing, “Buddy’s Walk.”
– Charlie DuMez, Blues Rock Review

“Choosing favourite songs off of this CD is like trying to pick a favourite child.”
– Richard Amery, L.A. Beat

“”My Guitar’s My Only Friend” was my first intro to James “Buddy” Rogers, and what a great intro is was, one that truly had me not only becoming an instant fan but also has me really looking forward to more of his music in the future, but for now, I am pretty glad I have this little treasure to listen to.”
– John Vermilyea, Blues Underground Network

Media contact:

Sarah French Publicity

Published in: on February 18, 2013 at 7:13 PM  Leave a Comment  

Resonance Records to Release “Tommy Flanagan/Jaki Byard: The Magic of 2,” April 9

Previously Unreleased 1982 Live Session Is the Second in the Label’s
Keystone Korner Live Discoveries Series

Produced by Keystone Impresario Todd Barkan &
Resonance General Manager Zev Feldman,
The Music Is Available as Deluxe CD Package, Digital Download, &
Limited Edition 2-LP Set


Two titans of jazz piano are captured in flight on the new Resonance Records album, Tommy Flanagan/Jaki Byard: The Magic of 2. Scheduled for April 9 release as a CD with 24-page booklet, a digital download with digital booklet, and a deluxe limited edition 2-LP set, The Magic of 2 presents a 1980 concert recorded at San Francisco’s celebrated Keystone Korner and the second entry in Resonance’s Keystone Discoveries series.


Published in: on February 18, 2013 at 7:03 PM  Leave a Comment  



New fan-financed album by veteran rocker
and “songwriter’s songwriter”
coming on April 30 — with or without a label!

NEW YORK, N.Y. — When Willie Nile recently sought help in underwriting his new album American Ride — out on April 30, 2013 on his own River House Records — with a fundraising campaign on, his fans turned out in huge numbers, reaching his goal amount in a mere four days and ultimately exceeding it.

Anyone who’s familiar with the New York-bred singer-songwriter’s large and impressive body of work will have no trouble understanding why he commands such devotion and loyalty from his fan base. And anyone who’s paid attention to his recent output knows that Nile is currently in the midst of a creative renaissance that’s produced some of the most compelling music he’s ever made.


Published in: on February 13, 2013 at 4:29 PM  Leave a Comment  

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum welcomes 2009 Inductee and Cleveland Native Bobby Womack as part of Black History Month Celebration “Cleveland is the City”

Tickets go on sale on Wednesday, February 13 at 10 a.m. EST

CLEVELAND (February 10, 2012) – This February, as part of Black History Month, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will celebrate Cleveland’s rich musical legacy, highlighting great moments in the city’s rhythm and blues and soul music history. On Friday, February 22, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will welcome 2009 Inductee and Cleveland native Bobby Womack for a Hall of Fame Series interview and live concert.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Bobby Womack is a stalwart soul and gospel figurehead whose resume includes significant contributions across the decades as a singer, songwriter and guitarist. In 2012, Womack returned with The Bravest Man in the Universe – his first album in twelve years – which earned rave reviews.

Womack has written songs recorded by Wilson Pickett (“I’m a Midnight Mover”), George Benson (“Breezin’”), Janis Joplin (“Trust Me”) and others. Pickett alone recorded 17 of Womack’s compositions. A solid guitarist who worked on the Memphis session scene for a period in the Sixties, Womack played on sessions for Pickett, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Joe Tex, King Curtis, Dusty Springfield and other soul and R&B artists. He cut an album with jazz guitarist Gabor Szabo, too.

From 1970 to 1990, Womack was popular and prolific, charting 36 singles. These include such major R&B hits as “That’s the Way I Feel About Cha” (#2), “Woman’s Gotta Have It” (#1) and “If You Think You’re Lonely Now” (#3). Womack topped the R&B chart with his 1974 re-recording of “Lookin’ for a Love,” while his contemporary update of a blues classic, “Nobody Wants to Know You When You’re Down and Out,” made it to #2. He was a hitmaking machine in the mid-Seventies, perennially present in the Top Ten with such numbers as 1974’s “You’re Welcome, Stop On By,” 1975’s “Check It Out” and 1976’s “Daylight.”

Friday, February 22 at 5:30 p.m.

Hall of Fame Series with Bobby Womack

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s Foster Theater

Womack will be interviewed in front of a live audience in the Rock Hall’s Foster Theater as part of the Museum’s ongoing Hall of Fame series, which offers audiences rare and unique access to Hall of Famers in an intimate setting. Tickets are $15. VIP Packages are also available at $125 and include access to the Hall of Fame Series interview, a premium seat at the live concert at 8 p.m., a CD signing with Bobby Womack that includes a free copy of the CD The Bravest Man in the Universe, and a complementary beverage ticket. Tickets go on sale on Wednesday, February 13 at 10 a.m. EST. Visit or the Rock Hall Box Office.

The Hall of Fame interview will also be streamed live on

Friday, February 22 8 p.m.

Bobby Womack Live in Concert

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s Main Stage

Womack will perform with his band on the Rock Hall’s Main Stage. Doors open at 7 p.m. and show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 for standing room and $50 for general admission seating, and also include touring access to the Museum during the evening. VIP Packages are also available at $125 and include a premium seat at the concert, access to the Hall of Fame Series interview at 5:30pm, a CD signing with Bobby Womack that includes a free copy of the CD The Bravest Man in the Universe, and a complementary beverage ticket. Tickets go on sale to Rock Hall Members on Monday, February 11 at 10 a.m. EST and the general public on Wednesday, February 13 at 10 a.m. EST. Visit or the Rock Hall Box Office.

Visit for the complete schedule of events.

About the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is the nonprofit organization that exists to educate visitors, fans and scholars from around the world about the history and continuing significance of rock and roll music. It carries out this mission both through its operation of a world-class museum that collects, preserves, exhibits and interprets this art form and through its library and archives as well as its educational programs.

The Museum is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. On Wednesdays, the Museum is open until 9 p.m. Museum admission is $22 for adults, $17 for seniors (65+), $13 for youth (9-12), $18 for adult residents of Greater Cleveland. Children under 8 and Museum members are free. The Museum is generously funded by Cuyahoga County residents through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture. When you become a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, the world of rock and roll becomes yours to explore. Call 216.515.1939 for information on becoming a member.


Published in: on February 10, 2013 at 12:49 PM  Leave a Comment  

Legendary Jazz Trumpeter Donald Byrd Dies at 80–Death Confirmed


Legendary jazz trumpeter Donald Byrd’s death has been confirmed. Although he died earlier this week, February 4 at the age of 80 , family members for an unexplained reason other were trying to keep the news of his death private.

“I have no more patience for this unnecessary shroud of secrecy placed over his death by certain members of his immediate family,” wrote Bugnon.

Born in Detroit December 9, 1932, Donaldson Toussaint L’Ouverture Byrd II was an American jazz and rhythm and blues trumpeter. A sideman for many other jazz musicians of his generation, Byrd is best known as one of the only bebop jazz musicians who successfully pioneered the funk and soul genres while simultaneously remaining a pop artist.

Already an accomplished trumpeter by the time he finished high school, he later went on to play in a military band during his term in the United States Air Force, and then obtained a bachelor’s degree in music from Wayne State University and a master’s degree from Manhattan School of Music. His career began when he joined Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, as a replacement for Clifford Brown, in the 1950s

Moving away from the hard-bop jazz idiom, Byrd began to record jazz fusion and rhythm and blues. He teamed up with the Mizell Brothers (producer-writers Larry and Fonce) for Black Byrd in 1973. It was highly successful and became Blue Note Records’ highest-ever selling album. The title track climbed to No. 19 on Billboard′s R&B chart and reached the Hot 100 pop chart, peaking at No. 88. The Mizell brothers’ follow-up albums for Byrd, Street Lady, Places and Spaces and Stepping into Tomorrow, were also big sellers, and have subsequently provided a rich source of samples for acid jazz artists such as Us3. Most of the material for the albums was written by Larry Mizell.

In 1973, Byrd created The Blackbyrds, a fusion group consisting of his best students. They scored several major hits including “Happy Music” (No. 3 R&B, No. 19 pop), “Walking In Rhythm” (No. 4 R&B, No. 6 pop) and “Rock Creek Park”.

During his tenure at North Carolina Central University during the 1980’s, he formed a group which included students from the college called, Donald Byrd & the 125th St NYC Band. He taught at Rutgers University, the Hampton Institute, New York University, Howard University, Queens College, Oberlin College, Cornell University, North Carolina Central University and Delaware State University. In addition to his master’s from Manhattan School of Music, Byrd had two master’s degrees from Columbia University. He received a law degree in 1976, and his doctorate from Columbia University Teachers College in 1982.

According to his nephew Amoeba, Byrd was a “one of a kind trumpeter,” who was known not just for his work in jazz, but also in R&B, soul and funk music, and it was his ability to transcend time and genre and remain relevant that sets his work apart from others.

Byrd lived in Teaneck, New Jersey until his death on February 4, 2013 at the age of 80 The cause of death has yet to be released.

Published in: on February 7, 2013 at 7:59 PM  Leave a Comment  

Stein Leads the Way Guitarist and Quartet Up Their Game on the Vibrant New Bing Bang Boom!

For Immediate Release
Mixed Media
Publicity † Promotion
Ginny Shea
T: 401.942.8025

Stein Leads the Way
Guitarist and Quartet Up Their Game on the vibrant new Bing Bang Boom!

From the hip-hopping groove of “Sugar,” the first track on John Stein‘s newest work, to the swinging jazz waltz of the Cole Porter track that ends the album, Bing Bang Boom! is as complete and satisfying an album as Stein has yet recorded.
Why is this? It can be explained in several ways. First, Stein has given himself ample time to gel with his terrific band. Bing Bang Boom! is the fourth release in Stein’s quartet series and it is rare these days for a band leader to have this luxury. The time he has spent recording with his collaborators really pays off. Brazilian drummer Zé Eduardo Nazario, Berklee ingenue, keyboardist Jake Sherman, and acoustic bassist John Lockwood, one of the finest on the instrument in the entire Northeast, allow Stein to really settle into a creative pocket and cultivate the fluid and adventurous sounds coming from his guitar.
Given such familiar and comforting surroundings, Stein can experiment. Songs that are accustomed to sounding one way, arrive very differently in the hands of Stein and company. “Sugar,” for example, doesn’t reflect the original Turrentine shuffle, “You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To” is treated as a fast waltz, “Delilah” appears as a Brazilian maracatu, “Lover” moves back and forth between a Brazilian Afoché rhythm and fast swing.
Stein also proposes strong compositional vehicles for his band mates, with half of the material on the recording penned by him. The tunes cover the terrain of modern jazz: from the bluesy jazz-rock of the title tune through forays in samba, swing, and modal jazz.
In fact, Stein uses his quartet as an elastic boundary. Sherman, Lockwood, and Nazario blend beautifully when given the chance. And Stein allows them generous opportunities to stretch out on their own; Sherman’s spot on “Chelsea Bridge,” for example, certainly belies his youthful age, as does all his work here. Lockwood’s solo on Stein’s own “Unraveled Plans” (a fittingly titled cut!), and his intro on “Delilah” are melodious sounds to behold. Stein’s connection with Nazario, himself a legend in his native Brazil, is the musical equivalent of a warm embrace, and it serves as a safety net for the guitarist. Wherever Stein chooses to stray, there is Nazario, ready to catch him. Nazario’s percussion cushion is, in itself, a marvel and worthy of its own concentrated attention.
Bing Bang Boom! is the fourth album from Stein’s quartet and it validates the journey and gives a fine indication of what’s to come. Once a band leader allows for consistency and growth across this amount of time, the dividends are surely going to pay off. Kudos to Stein and his band for hanging with it long enough to get to this brilliant point, and to Whaling City Sound, Stein’s label, for nurturing the organic unfolding artistic process of four brilliant musicians.
New Distributor for Whaling City Sound!
Effective February 1, 2013, Naxos of America, Inc. will become the exclusive distributor of all Whaling City Sounds titles in the United States & Canada. Effective February 1, 2013, all orders and returns of Whaling City Sounds product will be processed by Naxos of America, Inc. We are looking forward to launching a successful business relationship with John Stein’s Bing Bang Boom 2/26/2013 release.
Naxos of America, Inc.
1810 Columbia Avenue * Suite 28 * Franklin, Tennessee 37064
Phone: 615.771.9393 * Fax: 615.771.6747
Mixed Media
Publicity † Promotion
Ginny Shea
T: 401.942.8025
F: 401.943.1915
Published in: on February 6, 2013 at 7:04 PM  Leave a Comment