Canadian jazz vocalist Alex Pangman makes U.S. debut with “33” on July 12

Canadian jazz vocalist Alex Pangman will make her Justin Time Records debut in the United States with a new disc, appropriately titled, 33, on July 12, 2011. 
The vocalist explains the meaning behind the title in a recent news release: “as a longtime devotee of music from the classic genre, I find something of a kinship with the music that buoyed nations through the ‘dirty thirties.’ The initial concept of this record was to honor that kind of spirit with songs popular in 1933; indeed the bulk of the material (save for one self-penned number) are songs that were popular in the year 1933 – recorded while I was 33.”
 Along with her longtime band the Alleycats and featuring guest vocalists Ron Sexsmith and Denzal Sinclaire – the music is presented with all the love, fun and respect it deserves.  
A compelling talent in her own right, Pangman’s voice can be regarded as even more impressive, knowing she received a double lung transplant just a few years ago. The smoke-filled venues where Pangman often frequented finally caught up to the singer, who was battling lung disease at the time. She reluctantly took a break to recoup; her interest in singing and playing music never waning. 
A bit of background: After discovering a songbook of classics at an early age, Pangman quickly began delving deeper into the sophisticated shellac of the 20s and 30s, which eventually led to a fortuitous connection with the late guitar great Jeff Healey, who knew a rare talent when he heard it. In very short order, Healey produced her impressive 1999 debut ‘They Say’ (Sensation Records) as well as the 2001 follow-up, ‘You Can’t Stop Me From Dreaming.’  While facets of Ella Fitzgerald, Connie Boswell and Ruth Etting could be discerned in Pangman’s zesty delivery, that crisp clear voice was unequivocally her own.
After receiving a Songwriter of the Year nod from the National Jazz Awards in 2001 and a slew of other nominations shortly after, Pangman quickly became busy scheduling collaborations with everyone from Grammy-nominated trumpeter Kevin Clark and the dashing Denzal Sinclaire to pianist Tyler Yarema and even Jim Galloway’s All-Stars. 


Chicago Bass Clarinetist Jason Stein presents 2 releases in November


When he was 16, Chicago-based Jason Stein was known to be more of a rock guitarist than a base clarinetist. But it was jazz great Thelonius Monk who drew him in. And later when he heard Eric Dolphy play the bass clarinet, Stein was so inspired that he forged an unwavering commitment to cultivate a single tonal voice.
Also a student of drummer Milford Graves, saxophonists Charles Gayle and Donald Walden and brass player/theoretician Ed Sarath, Stein assimilated from these powerful figures the conceptual and philosophical lessons that compelled him to capitalize on his innate nature as a serious, self-motivated musician.
Fans will have two chances to appreciate Stein’s talent on November 10. His compositions are contained in the upcoming release “Three Less Than Between,” from a reconfiguration of Stein’s original trio, Locksmith Isidore, on the Clean Feed label, and in Stein’s debut solo outing on Leo Records, “In Exchange for a Process.”
“Three Less Than Between” will feature Chicago bass player Jason Roebke and drummer Mike Pride in a traditional jazz setting. “In Exchange for a Process” is described as “an articulated source for endless discovery of the elements indigenous to a world that is known only to Jason Stein. Treating the bass clarinet with energy equal to that applied by sax players, he follows in the footsteps of many contemporary avant-garde solo saxophonists, who have each expanded the concept of tonality.”

Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame announces 2009 Autumn Jazz Concert Series


The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame in Tulsa has announced two upcoming musical events for the 2009 Autumn Music Season.
Chuck Cissel, artistic director and executive producer of the Autumn Jazz Concert Series said, “We are thrilled to present four months of Sunday afternoon concerts from September through December 2009 at the Jazz Depot.”
The series is titled “Sounds of the Spirit” and kicks off at 5 p.m. Sunday, September 13 with smooth jazz Tulsa saxophonist, Grady Nichols. Nichols is also the 2003 Legacy Tribute Award recipient from the Jazz Hall and one of Tulsa’s most popular entertainers.
Other artists that will be featured in the series include Maestro Marc Gottlieb and his string quartet, with special guests vocalist Charlotte Blakely and New York Philharmonic pianist, Harriett Wingreen. In addition, University of Tulsa’s Big Jazz Band will feature trumpeter great Walter White of the Jazz at Lincoln Center’s jazz ensemble in New York City, led by JALC artistic director, Wynton Marsalis.
Also on board for the Autumn season, the Rev. Cortez Rex performs his special musical tribute to gospel legend, the Rev. James Cleveland.
Cissel said the Viento Sur Trombone Quartet from Argentina will also make a return appearance this Fall at the Hall, and the concert series will conclude with the Holiday Concert featuring Jazz Hall inductee, the Rev. Joey Crutcher and the Gospel Workshop Choir of America.
According to Cissel, “This is perhaps our most ambitious Autumn series programming effort yet, because we are covering the bases from ragtime, classical, Dixieland, big band, swing, traditional jazz, blues and gospel, while several of our musical guests will be making their debut at the Jazz Depot and many of the musical artists will be from New York City. Our programming efforts are to make it fresh and exciting by putting a new spin on the music each season; give the Jazz Hall members and music lovers new music to enjoy and new artists to become acquainted with.”
All Autumn Jazz Concert performances are held at the Jazz Depot (1st and Cincinnati – upper level)at 5 p.m. on Sundays. General admission is $15 for adults, $10 for seniors, college students and Jazz Hall members and $5 for students. You may also reserve a seat at $20 per person at one of our tables of eight. Reserved seating and table reservations need to be purchased in advance of the concert date(s). For tickets or more information, call the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame at (918) 281-8600/8609 or go online. Gift shop and concessions are available. All major credit cards are accepted. *Tickets for weeknight performances are the same price as Sunday performances. All weeknight performances begin at 7:30pm.

Count Basie Orchestra to salute Jazz Masters


Count Basie Orchestra presents “Swinging, Singing, Playing: The Count Basie Orchestra Salutes the Jazz Masters,” a 11-track CD that salutes jazz titans as Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Freddie Hubbard and John Coltrane, in addition to such living legends as Bennett, Quincy Jones, Hank Jones, Frank Wess, Jon Hendricks, Curtis Fuller, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock and others.
Produced by Mack Avenue’s executive vice president of A&R Al Pryor and CBO producer / conductor of special projects Dennis Wilson, Count Basie Orchestra achieves just what the CD title boasts: a swinging good time of extraordinary blues-fueled performances that hail various jazz legends. There are top-drawer performances by the big band and its all-star guest list that includes Jones, Wess, Hendricks, Fuller, Geri Allen, Nnenna Freelon, Janis Siegel, Butch Miles, Rufus Reid and, in a nod to the younger generation that embraces Basie music, sparkplug singer/pianist Jamie Cullum. The project will be released on Aug. 25 on Mack Records.