I was updating my bio and I saw Nikki Yanofsky's name there in my list of past collaborations, and it occurred to me that I had not heard from her in a while. She is an extremely talented young gal in her early teens that made her name (at 15) singing in a big band style with a strong nod to Ella Fitzgerald. Man, she is good, and boy can she scat!!!
I had the chance to play with her for a few concerts including the Vancouver International Jazz Fest a couple years ago, and she was quite the hit. Her new album was being produced by Phil Ramone, but I believe his untimely death sidetracked that.
She was faced with a dilemma- she was tremendously skilled in a music style that was already 60 years old. What's a girl to do to remain relevant and not get pigeonholed?
Nikki is managed by her parents, and they seem to be pretty sweet and well grounded, so in her best interest, her schooling was not neglected and a new musical game plan was devised.
I am not privvy to the inner workings of her life but was pleasantly surprised to see her new video. She pays homage to her mentor Q, and has started down a fun musical path recently mined by artists such as Duffy, Jully Black, and Amy Winehouse. She does get some scatting in, so I am sure she has a real bright future ahead with her new direction......
The band (left to right): Stephen Maxwell (guitar), Aubrey Logan (trombone), Andy Kautz (saxophone), Will Wells (piano), Herbie Hancock (jazz legend), Nikki Yanofsky (vocals and songs), Harry the poodle, Quincy Jones (executive producer), Evan Coniglio (bass), Niv Toar (trumpet) and Al Cleveland III (drums)
Here is another (mostly) non musical post, but thought I would share this in light of the current Olympics : Soczi explained in the Polish language.
Hopefully you can view this pps file. Although descriptors are in Polish, the visuals will remind you what a global village we live in.
Sometimes clichés pervade our idea of the world, so you may be very surprised when you see the images of this small city in Russia.
For musical content, I am supplying some info on Jazz in Russia, again, we are so far removed.....
Enjoy enjoy enjoy!
I seem to be getting some good exposure with Bob Baldwin's hot release these days... can my freshly minted single Ready When You Are be far behind?
Subject: Dancing With The Stars
Saturday, February 01, 2014
The Federation has now confirmed that after 17 hit seasons with Dancing With The Stars, one of the world's most popular TV programs, the DWTS Big Band has been fired. ABC/Disney says the group, comprised of 28 talented musicians, singers, arrangers and copyists, will be replaced by pre-existing sound recordings and a "small electronic band” to "attract a younger viewer demographic.
We are in contact with ABC/Disney executives in an attempt to stop these unjustifiable and unwarranted actions. You can join with us to push back against this latest attack upon the livelihood and integrity of professional musicians. Please email Candice.A.Ashton@abc.com. Please let her know that you will encourage viewers everywhere to boycott the show, ABC-TV, and The Walt Disney Company if she follows through on her plan to fire the band.
We will provide further information as the situation develops. If you are reading this bulletin on Facebook or social media, please share it with your friends immediately.
Raymond M. Hair, Jr., International President
American Federation of Musicians
of the United States and Canada
AFM Website | Edit Member Profile | AFM Facebook | AFM Twitter | AFM YouTube
Copyright © 2014 American Federation of Musicians
1501 Broadway Suite 600 | New York, NY 10036
Ready When You Are is up on the charts, including Smoothjazz.com, most added at BDS, and is starting that journey that will hopefully take it all the way up the Billboard charts!
Live band shots include Adam Rohrlick on guitar, Jason Decouto on keys, Kerry Galloway on bass, and Don Powrie on drums. Stage footage by Ken Stewart.
reprinted from Billboard.com
Ronny Jordan, Jazz Guitarist, Dead at 51
By Kevin Rutherford | January 14, 2014 9:05 PM EST
- The musician was a leading player in the acid jazz movement
Ronny Jordan, a guitarist and leading player in the acid jazz movement of the '80s and '90s, has died. He was 51. Jordan's cause of death is currently unknown.
The guitarist's death was confirmed on Facebook (Jan. 14) after Jordan's siblings set up a page in his honor. "We appreciate that Ronny has got many fans around the world and so we ask that you keep an eye out for further announcements in relation to his funeral arrangements," Jordan's brother and sister, Rickey and Denise, wrote on the page.
Born Nov. 29, 1962, in London, Jordan rose to prominence due to his standing in a subset of jazz known as acid jazz, which blends its parent genre with elements of soul, disco, hip-hop and funk -- though Jordan called his contributions "urban jazz."
The musician's career took off with 1992 solo album "The Antidote," as well as a spot on 1993's "Guru's Jazzmatazz, Vol. 1," Mojo writes. His 2000 album "A Brighter Day" hit No. 10 on Billboard's Jazz Albums chart, while the song "A Brighter Day," featuring Mos Def, peaked at No. 20 on Rap Songs.
Later in his career, Jordan's claim to fame was his 1993 song "The Jackal," which was lip-synched by actress Allison Janney on the "Six Meetings Before Lunch" episode of "The West Wing" in 2000.
He will be missed and had yet to make his greatest musical statement(s).
Footnote: I had the chance to work on one tune with Ronny, a remake of his 'After Eight' track we called 'Way After 8':
To actually download these tracks, most browsers allow you to Right Click on the Playbar, and then you have the option to Save 'Video' as.....