Archive for the ‘ Woodrow Wilkins ’ Category

Noah Preminger interviewed by Woodrow Wilkins

On the heels of back-to-back releases rooted in the blues of the Mississippi Delta, Pivot – Live at the 55 Bar,” and “”Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground,” saxophonist Noah Preminger makes a different kind of statement. “Meditations on Freedom” is part reaction to the 2016 election of a billionaire who had no political experience, a limited attention span and a knack for stirring the emotions of people who are fearful, angry or prejudiced against one or more ethnic groups. It’s also a call for those who believe in freedom, democracy and progress over regress to keep going, not give up.

Preminger spent a few minutes talking about the project.

WW: Interesting statement you’re making with this new recording. Tell us when the idea started to take shape. What had just happened and what were your immediate thoughts?

NP: I’d been talking to Jimmy Katz one day, and we talk most days. The amazing engineer, photographer and a great friend of mine. And we spoke often about politics, and he said, “One day, I think you should make sort of a protest album.” It was right when Trump was elected. Two weeks after that we already had a recording date.

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Brian Landrus Kaleidoscope – Mirage

Classical music meets jazz with Brian Landrus Kaleidoscope’s Mirage (Blueland Records, 2013). This chamber jazz masterpiece consists of 12 original songs. The session blends the Kaleidoscope quintet with a string quartet.

The ensemble consist of Landrus, baritone saxophone, bass clarinet, bass flute, contra alto clarinet and bass saxophone; Nir Felder, guitar; Frank Carlberg, Rhodes and piano; Lonnie Plaxico, acoustic and electric bass; Rudy Royston, drums; Mark Feldman, violin; Joyce Hermann, violin; Judith Insell, viola; Jody Redhage, cello; and Ryan Truesdell, conductor.

“Don’t Close Your Eyes” has a pop ballad vibe with Landrus and Felder combining for the lead. Royston mostly just keeps time, but emphasizes key points with splashes and crashes of the cymbals. After Carlberg’s Rhodes solo, Landrus stretches out with the baritone sax.

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Lee Ritenour Interviewed By Woodrow Wilkins

Lee Ritenour is one of the jazz world’s best-known contemporary guitarists. He’s played as a guest with Maynard Ferguson, the Brothers Johnson and many others. He was a founding member of the contemporary/smooth jazz group, Fourplay. And he’s led his own band, with perhaps is most successful song being the R&B hit, “Is It You.”

Ritenour’s latest studio effort, Lee Ritenour’s 6 String Theory, released on Concord Records, is a star-studded collection of 15 songs that celebrate the world’s most popular instrument: the guitar. Three of the songs were written specifically for 6 String Theory.

Among them is “L.P. (for Les Paul).” “I wrote it with dedication to Les Paul,” Ritenour says. “But I wanted to do what would be my take on a Les Paul line, but at the same time could be a nice take for Pat (Martino).” Some of the guests on this outing are John Scofield, Keb’ Mo’, Slash from Guns ’n Roses and George Benson. Ritenour selected them to represent different genres of music. Not all of the performers are stars. Shon Bublil, a 16-year-old from Canada, won an international competition to earn a spot on the recording. The finals of the competition were held in March, shortly before 6 String Theory was recorded.

“He only knew he’d be on the record the night before he recorded,” Ritenour says of Bublil. “Hundreds of people entered.” The competition was open for about six months. When told that he’d be in the studio, Bublil initially objected. “He was so shocked to win, that I said to him while we were taking photos back stage, ‘I’ll see you tomorrow at my studio,’” “And he said, ‘No, I can’t record I have to go back to Canada.’”

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