Larry Coryell, one of the finest jazz fusion guitarists in the United States passed away on February 19, 2017 of natural causes.
He was born in Galveston, Texas on April 2, 1943 although he grew up in the Seattle, Washington area. His mother introduced him to the piano at the age of 4. Coryell later switched to guitar and played rock music while in his teens.
By 1965 he had moved to New York City and started taking classical guitar lessons. He was inspired by 1950s rock and roll, jazz guitarists and 1960s rock bands.
In the late 1960s he started fusing jazz with rock and psychedelic music. In late 1969 he recorded “Spaces”, the album for which he was most well-known. It was a spectacular guitar celebration that also included fellow guitarist John McLaughlin who was also exploring the territory between rock and jazz at the time. The album featured Miroslav Vitous on acoustic bass and Billy Cobham on drums.
In 1973, Coryell formed seminal jazz-rock band Eleventh House. The group released Introducing Eleventh House with Larry Coryell (1974), Level One (1975), Aspects (1976) and Larry Coryell and the Eleventh House at Montreux (1978).
Throughout the next decades, Coryell worked with some of the best jazz and rock musicians, releasing numerous recordings.
Coryell’s most recent albums were Night Of Jazz Guitars (In & Out Records, 2010), Montgomery (Patuxent Records, 2010), Duality (Random Act Records, 2011), The Lift (Wide Hive Records, 2013), Heavy Feel (Wide Hive Records, 2015)
Culcha Vulcha (Ground Up Music) by fusion band Snarky Puppy is the winner of the Best Contemporary Instrumental Album Grammy Award at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards.
The album features a mix of jazz, rock, funk, soul, Brazilian music and blues.
The other finalists were:
Human Nature – Herb Alpert (Herb Alpert Presents)
When You Wish Upon A Star – Bill Frisell (Okeh Records)
Way Back Home: Live From Rochester, NY – Steve Gadd Band (BFM Jazz)
Unspoken – Chuck Loeb (Shanachie Entertainment)
Renowned French violin maestro and jazz-rock fusion pioneer Jean Luc Ponty and his band will touring the United states in 2017. The ensemble will present the “Atlantic Years” tour starting in late May .
“We’re calling it ‘The Atlantic Years’ tour since I am touring with my band from the late 70’s – 80’s with whom I recorded several albums for Atlantic Records,” says Jean Luc Ponty.
The Jean Luc Ponty Band includes Jean Luc Ponty on violin; Wally Minko on keyboards; Jamie Glaser on guitars; Rayford Griffin on drums; and Baron Browne on bass.
2017 US tour dates:
May 30 – Portland, OR – Aladdin Theater
May 31 – Seattle, WA – The Neptune
June 01 – Eugene, OR – John G. Shedd Institute for the Arts
June 02 – Los Angeles, CA – The Saban Theater Beverly Hills
June 04 – San Francisco, CA – Regency Ballroom
June 05 – Santa Cruz, CA – Rio Theatre
June 07 – San Juan Capistrano, CA – The Coach House
June 08 – Agoura Hills, CA – The Canyon
June 09 – Scottsdale, AZ – Center For the Arts
June 10 – Las Vegas, NV – Allante Casino
June 14 – Boulder, CO – Boulder Theater
June 16 – Dallas, TX – Granada Theater
June 17 – Austin, TX – One World Theatre
June 20 – Chicago, IL – City Winery
June 21 – Detroit, MI – Chene Park
June 23 – Niagara Falls, NY – Seneca Niagara Casino
June 24 – Saratoga Springs, NY – Performing Arts Center
June 25 – NYC – B.B. King
Guitar virtuoso and innovator Al Di Meola is set to perform on February 7, 2017 at the Carolina Theatre in Durham, North Carolina. Al Di Meola talks about his upcoming concert:
You’ll be starting the Elegant Gypsy Tour 2017 in Durham, North Carolina. What’s the repertoire you’ll present there?
As this is the 40th anniversary of Elegant Gypsy we revisit the hay day of fusion with songs from Elegant Gypsy (obviously), Casino but also some Return to Forever pieces and newer compositions.
Which musicians will accompany you on this tour?
Philippe Saisse who was in my first solo band will be back on keyboards, I have my friend over 30 years Gumbi Ortiz on percussion, Luis Alecia on drums, Elias Tona on bass and violin prodigy Evan Garr on violin
What guitars will you be playing?
I change between Gibson and PRS. For the acoustic set in between, I play a Conde Hermanos cutaway.
You collaborated with Paco de Lucia in the past. Is there any chance you’ll collaborate with the new generation of Spanish flamenco players?
Yes, I do and I often include Flamenco players in my shows in Spain. But so far I never found the magic again that Paco and I shared when we were playing.
In addition to your new album Elysium, what other projects are you working on?
I’m working on new music, I’m writing in my studio in Miami and will be recording later in the year.
Jazz fusion innovator, composer and guitar maestro Al Di Meola will continue to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of his Elegant Gypsy Tour with new concerts in 2017 in support of his most recent solo album Elysium. The North American tour begins February 7 in Durham, North Carolina with dates in Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, Austin, Dallas, Montreal, and more.
Di Meola has been on tour for most of 2016, presenting new material from Elysium together with old favorites. DiMeola uses acoustic and electric guitars, including his nylon string Conde Hermanos acoustic prototype model and a 1971 Les Paul electric (his Return to Forever and Elegant Gypsy guitar).
The band includes Philippe Saisse on keyboards, marimba; Gumbi Ortiz on percussion; Elias Tona on bass; Luis Alicea on drums; and Evan Garr on violin.
2017 North America Tour:
2/7/17 Durham, NC Carolina Theatre
2/8/17 Charleston, SC Music Hall
2/9/17 Atlanta, GA Variety Playhouse
2/11/17 Orlando, FL The Plaza Live
2/12/17 Ft. Lauderdale, FL Parker Playhouse
2/13/17 Clearwater,FL Capitol Theater
2/14/17 Ponte Vedra,FL PV Concert Hall
2/17/17 Austin, TX One World
2/18/17 Dallas, TX Majestic
2/21/17 Royal Oak, MI Royal Oak Music
2/22/17 Kent, OH Kent Stage
2/24/17 Quebec City, Q Palais Montcalm
2/25/17 Montreal, QC Salle Pierre Mercure
2/26/17 Peekskill, NY Paramount
Composer, arranger, producer, multi-instrumentalist and actor Alphonse Mouzon passed away on Christmas Day, December 25, 2016.
Alphonse Mouzon was born on November 21st, 1948 in Charleston, South Carolina. He attended Bonds-Wilson High School where he received his early musical training under the direction of saxophonist and high school music teacher Lonnie Hamilton III. He also took some drum lessons from Charles Garner before playing concerts with the Lonnie Hamilton Band.
Following graduation from high school, Mouzon moved to New York to study music and drama at New York City College and medicine at Manhattan Medical School. Mouzon took drum lessons from jazz pianist Billy Taylor’s drummer Bobby Thomas. While attending college, Alphonse played in the pit band of the Broadway show “Promises, Promises” after being recommended by Bobby Thomas. Mouzon also worked as a medical technologist at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital after graduating from Manhattan Medical School. However his medical career was short lived.
By 1969, his reputation as a drummer had spread to such an extent that a medical career no longer seemed attractive. Mouzon was the rhythmic foundation for the innovative musical explorations of pianist McCoy Tyner. He was a founding member, along with keyboardist Joe Zawinul and saxophonist Wayne Shorter, of the iconic fusion group Weather Report. Together with guitarist Larry Coryell, Mouzon was co-founder of The Eleventh House, the influential fusion band of the 1970s.
Alphonse Mouzon played and/or recorded with Gil Evans, Roy Ayers, George Benson, Herbie Hancock, Dizzy Gillespie, Stanley Clarke, Al DiMeola, Les McCann, Ronnie Laws, Klaus Doldinger’s Passport, Jaco Pastorius, Ron Carter, Azar Lawrence, Joey DeFrancesco, MILES SMILES, Albert Mangelsdorff, Joachim Kuhn, Jasper van’t Hof, Michel Legrand, Stanley Turrentine, Freddie Hubbard, Hubert Laws, Donald Bird, Chet Baker, Randy Brecker, Michael Brecker, Ernie Watts, Sonny Rollins, Wallace Roney, Arturo Sandoval, Christian McBride, Kenny Barron, Cedar Walton, George Coleman, John Klemmer, Billy Harper, Dave Grusin, Russ Freeman, George Howard, Kirk Whalum, Jeff Lorber, Kenny G., Joanne Brackeen, Horace Parlan, Robin Kenyatta, Kevin Toney, Sunnie Paxson, Ross Carnegie Orchestra, Roberta Flack, Sheila E., Celia Cruz, Gloria Lynn, Gloria Coleman, Denise Williams, Freda Payne, Shirley Scott, Anita O’Day, Betty Davis, and in 1991, he performed with Miles Davis on the movie soundtrack album “Dingo”.
Mouzon also worked rock and pop stars, including Stevie Wonder, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Carlos Santana, Patrick Moraz, Tommy Bolin and Chubby Checker.
In 1992, Alphone Mouzon founded Tenacious Records. He released a series of successful albums, including “The Survivor”, “On Top Of The World”, “Early Spring”, “By All Means”, “Love Fantasy”, “Back To Jazz”, “As You Wish”, “The Night Is Still Young”, “The Sky Is The Limit”, “Distant Lover”, “Morning Sun”, “Absolute Greatest Love Songs & Ballads” “Live In Hollywood”, “Jazz In Bel-Air”.
In recent years, Mouzon performed in Europe and in the United States with his trio, quartet, or quintet and as a featured guest artist with other groups like Miles Smiles, and Larry Coryell’s Eleventh House. He also taught drums at The Alphonse Mouzon International Private Drum School in Porter Ranch, California.
Alphonse Mouzon was also an actor. He appeared along with actor Tom Hanks in the 1996 film “That Thing You Do”. Mouzon also co-starred in the 2003 film called The Highlife. He can also be seen in a 2004 movie with Michael Keaton, Margaret Collins, and Katie Holmes called “First Daughter”.
A live album by Brazilian keyboardist, composer and arranger Ricardo Bacelar. The repertoire on Concerto para Moviola features notable arrangements of well-known fusion pieces by Weather Report, Pat Metheny, Taj Mahal, Chick Corea and Yellowjackets. There is also a great version of Benny Golson’s Killer Joe, with an irresistible groove.
Barcelar provides four excellent original pieces of keyboard-focused jazz fusion and blues. There are also renditions of bossa nova classics, where the music turns closer to a lighter sound, with the dreaded smooth jazz saxophone sneaking in. The exception is a lively version of the classic Agua de Beber.
Bacelar’s band has an outstanding rhythm section and a superb bass player who delivers memorable solos.
The concert was specially produced for the Guaramiranga Jazz and Blues Festival, held annually in Guaramiranga, Brazil.
The lineup includes Ricardo Bacelar on piano and keyboards; Ronaldo Person on guitar; Luiz Duarte on drums; Miquéias dos Santos on bass; , Marcus Vinicius Cardoso on violin; Maria Helena Lage Pessoa on keyboards and percussion; Hoto Junior on percussion; and Márcio Resende on saxophone and flute.
Australian jazz-rock and classical keyboard master and composer Allan Zavod passed away on November 28, 2016. Zavod played piano, synthesizers, organ and other keyboards with some of the most iconic jazz-rock artists such as Billy Cobham, Herbie Hancock, Jean Luc-Ponty, George Benson and Frank Zappa.
Allan Zavod was born October 16, 1945 in Melbourne, Australia. He completed a music degree at Melbourne Conservatorium in 1969. His skill as a pianist was much-admired by Duke Ellington, who after hearing him playing jazz piano, arranged for him to extend his jazz studies at the prestigious Berklee School of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. Zavod later held a post as professor of music in Berklee.
Based in the United States of America for 30 years, Zavod played, recorded and toured with many well-known international musicians such as Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller Orchestra, Woody Herman Orchestra, Maynard Ferguson Big Band, Cab Calloway, Billy Cobham, Gary Burton, Herbie Hancock, Jean Luc-Ponty, George Benson, and Frank Zappa.
Zavod played keyboards in Maynard Ferguson’s Chameleon (1974) and Life & Times by Billy Cobham (1976). After that, he joined the Jean Luc Ponty band and appeared on many of the band’s best recordings: Imaginary Voyage (1976), Enigmatic Ocean (1977), Cosmic Messenger (1978), Live (1979), A Taste for Passion (1979) and Civilized Evil (1980).
Mirage synth solo:
Mirage full piece:
In the 1980s and 1990s, Zavod recorded and toured with Frank Zappa. He played in the following Zappa albums: Fits Your 34B, No Matter Which 43B You Are (1985), All You Need is Glove (1985), Does Humor Belong in Music? (1986), You Can’t Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 1 (1988), Guitar (1988), You Can’t Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 3 (1989), You Can’t Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 4 (1991), You Can’t Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 6 (1992), and Cheap Thrills (1998).
In 1996, Zavod composed the score for the stage adaptation of J.R.R Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” that enjoyed tremendous success across Australia.
As a film composer, Zavod wrote scores for over 40 American and Australian films, documentaries, television and theater, including: a US film score with guitarist Eric Clapton; an award winning children’s film for “Shine” director Scott Hicks; a film for Disney; the Theatre production of The Hobbit; and the long running series “A Country Practice”.
In 2009 The University of Melbourne awarded Allan Zavod the Doctor of Music for his international contribution in the field of Classical Jazz Fusion, only one of 5 recipients with an earned Doctorate for composition in the 150 year history of the University.
From 2007 to 2012 Zavod was dedicated entirely to composing. During this period his orchestral works were performed in Australia and abroad.
Allan Zavod passed away at his home accompanied by his wife Christine, his son, Zac, his mother, Annie and close friends.