Friday, December 4, 2009

Mark Saltman: Yesterday's Man Finds Inspriation in Socially Relevant Events

Mark Saltman Interview at

Finding Inspiration in Socially Relevant Events Article by: Susan Frances

The duo of bassist Mark Saltman and keyboardist William Knowles makes music that finds optimism through the crackles made by life’s sorrow and despair. Saltman draws inspiration for his compositions from such tragedies as the devastation of New Orleans after being hit by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and the scars left by The Holocaust which prompted the title track for the duo’s latest CD, Yesterday’s Man. Accompanied by vocalist Lori Williams-Chisholm, Yesterday’s Man is club-room jazz with music that is warm and intimate massaging an upward slant etched into every track. Yesterday’s Man is the follow up to the group’s debut disc and features the crisp rattling beats of pan-steel player Victor Provost and drummer Jimmy “Junebug” Jackson. Saltman describes how the recording of Yesterday’s Man came together and the group’s aspirations for their music.

Read the entire review at link above.


Capital Jazz Radio presents the first annual list of Top 10 Jazz Albums That Rock for 2009. Congratulations to Richard Elliot for receiving top honors for 2009 for his Rock Steady album. Tracks from all the Top 10 albums will be featured this month on Capital Jazz Radio, along with our usual mix of uptempo contemporary jazz and instrumental funk. Following is the complete Top 10 list:


1) Richard Elliot - Rock Steady
2) Various Artists - InstruMental Institution
3) Brian Culbertson - Live From The Inside
4) Marcus Johnson - Poetically Justified
5) Brian Bromberg - It Is What It Is
6) Tom Braxton - Endless Highway
7) Down to the Bone - Future Boogie
8) Greg Adams - East Bay Soul
9) Elan Trotman - This Time Around
10) Eric Bolvin - Workin' It

Capital Jazz Radio streams 24 hours-a-day in 128k CD-quality stereo, with a mix of funky jazz unlike anything you'll hear elsewhere. Featured artists include Down to the Bone, Incognito, Marcus Miller, Roy Ayers, Spyro Gyra, Ronny Jordan, Jeff Lorber, Paul Hardcastle, Urban Knights, and much more.

Mimi Jones in the current issue of JAZZIZ!

Check her out on page 42 "Independent Culture" and also on page 32

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Brazilian Jazz Collective: A Unique Collaboration of Music On Tour In California


The Brazilian Jazz Collective, featuring Danny Green (piano), Ami Molinelli (percussion) and Eva Scow (mandolin), will begin their first California tour to present their unique collaboration of music on Sunday, November 29, 2009. The group performs an energetic mixture of originals laced with the repertoire of Chico Pinheiro, Guinga, Jovino Santos-Neto, and Chick Corea. The three musicians normally lead their own groups and come from a variety of different musical backgrounds, which creates an exciting blend of rhythms, melodic concepts and interpretations.

The Brazilian Jazz Collective will be appearing:

November 29th at Spazio in LA
December 2nd at Anthology in San Diego
December 4th at Red White and Bluezz in Pasadena
December 5th at Hero’s in Fresno
December 6th at Anna’s Jazz Island in Berkeley
December 9th at Steamer’s Café in Fullerton

For more specific information about the tour go to:

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Four Star Review for Saltman Knowles New CD Yesterday's Man

Nathaniel Rolnick –
November 10, 2009
Read entire review at:

Bassist Mark Saltman and pianist William Knowles previous album was titled It’s All About the Melody and clearly they still believe that. Yesterday’s Man boasts ten original songs (five by each partner) chock full of warm, satisfying melodious craft.
Yesterday’s Man boasts ten original songs (five by each partner) chock full of warm, satisfying melodious craft. The duo bandleaders revere traditional melody, the musical choice of a bygone type of man who, according to their press release, “dressed well, was articulate…had sophisticated tastes, integrity, a much longer attention span, and most of all…listened to good melodic music.” Ok, so maybe they have a slight case of nostalgia. Melody and substance are timeless and they show it.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009



By Brian Soergel

Tom Braxton knew he needed to craft a tribute song to his good friend Wayman Tisdale for his seventh solo CD, Endless Highway. Tisdale was battling cancer, but his eternal optimism inspired Braxton and everyone else who knew him––his family, friends and fans. The saxophonist contacted frequent collaborator Jay Rowe, and together they drew the outline of a song. After hearing of the tribute, Tisdale told his good friend that he’d perform on it.

But it wasn’t to be. On May 15, after a courageous two-year battle that saw Tisdale lose a leg to cancer, the smooth jazz bassist and former college and NBA great died unexpectedly. After mourning Tisdale and being caught in a funk for a time, Braxton knew he had to finish the tune and asked Braylon Lacy to perform Tisdale’s bass parts.

“Braylon played in Wayman’s band for a few years,” Braxton said. “A lot of people will think that it’s Wayman when they hear it. When I heard the mix of it for the first time, my wife and I started crying because it sounded so much like Wayman and I playing together.”

The completed song, “That Wayman Smile!” is the centerpiece of Endless Highway, another groove-friendly CD from the smooth jazz saxophonist on the Pacific Coast Jazz record label.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Tom Braxton CD Release Events in California

Tom Braxton Los Angeles and Northern CA performance dates:

Thu., Nov 12 - Los Angeles, CA

94.7 The Wave's Live Jazz Thursdays CD Release Party
Kyoto Grand Hotel and Gardens
6:00 p.m

Sun., Nov 15 - Long Beach, CA
The Cellar
The ONE SOUL Jazz Series
(Hosted by U-Nam) CD Release Party
6:00 p.m.


Sat., Nov 14 - Stockton, CA
Le Bistro Jazz Club

"Smooth jazz with bite from the vet sax man, this set kicks off in high gear, not worrying about fitting the format and is about as far from wall paper as you can get . . . this is an enjoyable winner that was made as a great soundtrack for cruising with the top down, even if only in your own headphones. An enjoyable ride no matter how you take it, this is certainly a must to check out." ~ Chris Spector ~ Midwest Record

"Endless Highway . . . is packed with superior sax work that epitomizes the very essence and spirit of smooth jazz. Braxton has an affinity for the whole spectrum of jazz . . . some of the silky runs, scale work, and feel often found in the world of straight-ahead jazz artists while keeping that smooth bounce prominently displayed. Tom Braxton . . . clearly is a student of the 'fine china' of good jazz, and it's on full display here." ~ Ronald Jackson ~ The Smooth Jazz Ride

"It's the fifth solo release from one of the most respected and loved sax men in Smooth Jazz, and it's absolutely his best album to date! Tom Braxton is a treasure, both as a musician and as a human being . . . ENDLESS HIGHWAY is filled with that 'sweet sound' and positive energy we've come to expect from this incredibly talented composer, producer, and musician. It's an absolute delight, from first note to last . . . This is a must-have album for your Smooth Jazz collection." ~ Scott O'Brien ~

  • Tom Braxton ~ WINR Artist of the Month

    Tom Braxton Featured on Daystar Television Network

    Tom Braxton Performs at Wayman Tisdale's Induction Into Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


on Pacific Coast Jazz


TOM BRAXTON - ARTIST OF THE MONTH: The entire CD will be played and Tom will discuss the making of "Endless Highway" at 10 AM and 7 PM (CST)

"It's the fifth solo release from one of the most respected and loved sax men in Smooth Jazz, and it's absolutely his best album to date! Tom Braxton is a treasure, both as a musician and as a human being . . . ENDLESS HIGHWAY is filled with that 'sweet sound' and positive energy we've come to expect from this incredibly talented composer, producer, and musician. It's an absolute delight, from first note to last . . . This is a must-have album for your Smooth Jazz collection."
~ Scott O'Brien ~

"Endless Highway . . . is packed with superior sax work that epitomizes the very essence and spirit of smooth jazz. Braxton has an affinity for the whole spectrum of jazz . . . some of the silky runs, scale work, and feel often found in the world of straight-ahead jazz artists while keeping that smooth bounce prominently displayed. Tom Braxton . . . clearly is a student of the 'fine china' of good jazz, and it's on full display here."

~ Ronald Jackson ~
The Smooth Jazz Ride

"Smooth jazz with bite from the vet sax man, this set kicks off in high gear, not worrying about fitting the format and is about as far from wall paper as you can get . . . this is an enjoyable winner that was made as a great soundtrack for cruising with the top down, even if only in your own headphones. An enjoyable ride no matter how you take it, this is certainly a must to check out."

~ Chris Spector ~
Midwest Record

Friday, October 2, 2009


TOM BRAXTON Endless Highway Pacific Coast Jazz


It’s the fifth solo release from one of the most respected and loved sax men in Smooth Jazz, and it’s absolutely his best album to date! Tom Braxton is a treasure, both as a musician and as a human being. The late Wayman Tisdale, his mentor and close friend, once said, “When I’m on the road, Tom is the saxophonist I want to have with me . . . I love that sweet sound he gets on the horn.” ENDLESS HIGHWAY is filled with that “sweet sound” and positive energy we’ve come to expect from this incredibly talented composer, producer, and musician. It’s an absolute delight, from first note to last, and the first radio single, “That Wayman Smile” is a loving tribute to his friend and someone he logged many hours with on the road. This is a must-have album for your Smooth Jazz collection. I know Wayman is very proud! ~ SCOTT O'BRIEN

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Called "superior jazz singing by an artist of the highest quality" by Jazz Journal International, Ellen Johnson will be sharing her unique style and repertoire of jazz vocals joined by San Diego jazz artists, pianist Rick Helzer and bassist Rob Thorsen. The concert is scheduled for Thursday, October 15 with one show at 9:00 PM at Tango Del Rey located at 3567 Del Rey Street, San Diego. The admission price is $15 General and $10 for students with an ID. For more information call 858-581-1114 or go to for tickets. The concert will feature the music of Charles Mingus along with a tribute to jazz vocal icon, Sheila Jordan. Ellen recently featured both of these artists’ music on her CD These Days, writing lyrics to Mingus compositions and doing a duet with Ms Jordan on her song “The Crossing.”

This concert reunites Ms Johnson with her longtime musical partner, pianist Rick Helzer, Professor and Associate Director of Jazz Studies at San Diego State University and Rob Thorsen, whose current CD Lasting Impression was released this year on the San Diego based Pacific Coast Jazz label. Ellen, who is currently working on an all Mingus project, has written the lyrics to three Mingus compositions and recorded five songs with the permission of Sue Mingus. This event is co-sponsored by the San Diego Jazz Musicians Guild whose goal is to support and encourage a higher quality of Jazz education, appreciation and understanding in the community. For more information contact President Karin Carson at This event is also part of “Daniel Pearl World Music Days,” an entire month of worldwide "Harmony for Humanity" concerts in memory of the death of Wall Street Journal Reporter Daniel Pearl reminding the world of the principles by which Danny lived, the universal power of music and our shared humanity.

Ellen has recorded three of her own renowned CD’s, These Days, Chinchilla Serenade and Too Good To Title and is featured on several compilation CDs including: Illuminations, From A Mother’s Heart, and Jazz Improv Magazine. Her most recent release These Days, was called "one of the best albums to be heard from a no-nonsense jazz singer" in her feature article in Downbeat Magazine by Frank -John Hadley and a "sophisticated and successful album that raises the standard of modern jazz singing by at least one notch" by George Harris in All About Jazz. Just recently No Treble Magazine said that These Days, which features seven tracks of bass and voice duets with Darek Oles, "should be in every bassist's collection."

Ellen has performed, recorded and studied with many exceptional musicians including Charles McPherson, Louie Bellson, Bobby McFerrin, Roy McCurdy, Don Braden, Larry Koonse, John Clayton, Jay Clayton, Cameron Brown and her dear friend and mentor jazz icon, Sheila Jordan. Her amazing range, unique jazz phrasing, improvisational skills and imaginative vocal style delights audiences at concerts, festivals, colleges, and venues all over the world. Ellen, who enjoys wearing different hats, is a songwriter, lyricist, publisher, educator, creativity coach, writer, actress and the founder of Sound Visions Media Group which distributes, promotes and produces a roster of jazz artists and publishes educational CDs including You Sing Jazz, Vocal Builders, and The Vocal Warm Up CD. A former resident of San Diego, Ellen received her Master's Degree from San Diego State University, completed further studies at UCLA Extension Music Business Certificate program and has been on the faculties of California Polytechnic University at Pomona, University of San Diego (Old Globe MFA Program) and other colleges. She was one of the founding members and President of the Jazz Vocal Coalition (JZVOC), President of the San Diego Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), Vocal Representative for the California Chapter of the IAJE and the Jazz Editor for Singer & Musician Magazine. Besides her professional recording and singing engagements she teaches jazz vocal workshops and private vocal coaching. She can be reached through her website at or

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

TOM BRAXTON #1 Most Added Radio !!! # 1 Most Added; SPINcreased Top Ten List (+31) !
WRVU/Nashville, TN
KQXT/San Antonio, TX (Sunday jazz show on A/C station)
WQQQ/Sharon, CT
WBCP/Champaign-Urbana, IL
KSHK/Kauai, HI (jazz show)
WVOD/Manteo, NC

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wayman Tisdale To Be Inducted In State Jazz Hall of Fame

The late Wayman Tisdale will be inducted into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame in October. CORY YOUNG/Tulsa World file

By JIM WATTS World Scene Writer
Published: 9/16/2009 11:50 AM


Hear the tribute song dedicated to the late Wayman Tisdale on the new release by jazz artist, Tom Braxton on "Endless Highway"

"That Wayman Smile!"

Pryor, Duhon and Wiley will perform at the Oct. 21 gala, along with guest artist Tom Braxton, saxophonist and long-time collaborator with Tisdale.
Western swing pioneer Bob Wills and Wayman Tisdale, the former all-star basketball star who become one of the top artists in contemporary smooth jazz, are among the 2009 inductees to the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame.

Also being honored at the celebration, which will take place Oct. 21 at the Jazz Depot, 111 E. First St., will be former Tulsa World music writer John Wooley, local guitar hero Steve Pryor, up and coming vocalist Olivia Duhon, and minister and musician Stephen Wiley. Chuck Cissel, artistic director of the Jazz Hall of Fame, announced this year’s honorees at the press conference Wednesday at the Jazz Depot.

Cissel also announced that jazz legend Dave Brubeck will be the honorary chairman for the Jazz Hall of Fame’s 2009-2010 membership drive. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Brubeck’s best-selling album “Time Out,” which contained such classic tunes as “Take Five” and “Blue Rondo a la Turk.”

Much of this year’s Hall of Fame Induction revolves around the life and legacy of Tisdale, who died May 15 after a battle with bone cancer. Tisdale, who will be the 2009 Jazz Inductee, “was someone who was very close to our hearts here at the Jazz Hall of Fame,” Cissel said. Tisdale was a star athlete first at Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa, then at the University of Oklahoma. He won a gold medal as part of the U.S. team at the 1984 Olympics, and played for 12 years in the NBA. He began his career as a jazz musician in 1995 and released eight albums, the last — 2008’s
“Rebound” — that was recorded after he was diagnosed with cancer.

Tisdale was also the first ever recipient of the Legacy Tribute Award from the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame. His widow, Regina, will serve as honorary chairperson of the 2009 Induction Gala, along with Grady Nichols and Cassandra Gaines.



Saxophonist and composer Tom Braxton's latest release, Endless Highway, takes you on the ride of your life.

Joined by an outstanding array of instrumentalists and vocalists, this recording is a toe-tapping, colorful, groove- oriented excursion with a sophisticated urban flavor that will make you feel like dancing and singing all day long. Endless Highway, his second release on the San Diego-based Pacific Coast Jazz label, lifts Braxton to a new level of artistry as he pays homage to his friend and mentor, professional basketball player and bass guitarist, Wayman Tisdale, who recently lost his battle with cancer. The highly anticipated new recording is scheduled for national release on October 6, 2009.

"We're excited to have the opportunity to represent Tom Braxton's most impressive CD to date. This new disc highlights Braxton as a composer, producer and arranger along with six of his original compositions that feature his effortless transition from soprano, alto and tenor saxophones to showcasing his versatility on piano, keyboards and flute," said Donna Nichols, founder and president of Pacific Coast Jazz.

Nichols' label has teamed up with publicist Joy Foster of SV Media Relations and radio promoter Cliff Gorov at All That Jazz for access to international media buying and radio promotion.

Braxton has shared the stage with renowned artists including Dave Koz, Rick Braun, George Duke, Kirk Whalum, Jonathan Butler, Jeff Golub, Marcus Miller and Luther Vandross along with opening concerts for Norman Brown, Boney James, Dave Brubeck, Cab Calloway, David Benoit and The Crusaders. He has been featured in media and publications such as JAZZIZ, Smooth Jazz News, CBS's The Saturday Early Show, BET's Jazz Central, CNN, NBC's Inside Stuff and many others.

Without a doubt, Endless Highway will drive Tom Braxton to the top of the charts while we take a trip with his inspiring tunes at home or on the road. So get ready to pack your bags, roll down the windows and crank up the volume in the “Braxton tradition," says Tom. “Creating music that brings people joy is my mission in life." Looks like he has accomplished his mission on “Endless Highway."

Friday, September 11, 2009

"Best Jazz Album of the Year" Danny Green's "With You In Mind"

San Diego, CA – September 11, 2009 - San Diego-based independent record label, Pacific Coast Jazz (PCJ), is proud to report its artist, Danny Green, won “Best Jazz Album of the Year” from the San Diego Music Foundation in their 19th annual awards ceremony, last night at Viejas Concerts in the Park, San Diego, CA. With You in Mind is Green's debut solo release and it received extensive airplay in stations around the globe beginning in January 2009.

With You In Mind was co-produced with Allan Phillips and features Justin Grinnell (bass), Dylan Savage (drums), Allan Phillips (percussion) and Tripp Sprague (soprano saxophone). With ten original compositions and one cover, Green combines both Brazilian and Latin influences, cradled in mainstream jazz and classical nuances.

“While other PCJ artists have been nominated in the past, this is our first win. We are extremely proud of all of our artists and this demonstrates our ongoing commitment to high quality independent artists,” says Donna Nichols, founder and president of Pacific Coast Jazz. Nichols’ label along with publicist Joy Foster of SV Media Relations and radio promoter Neal Sapper at New World N’Jazz were the team to bring Green’s music to the marketplace in 2009.

Another PCJ artist, Bradley Leighton, was also in the running in the same category for his 2008 release “Soul Collective,” the third Leighton release to receive a nomination from the same organization. “PCJ is thrilled to have this kind of talent on our roster,” said Nichols.

The annual Awards show has raised over $500,000 since its inception in 1991. These funds have been used to assist Handicapped Teen Centers, to fund arts programs within the San Diego Unified School District and to fund the placement of music equipment into schools within San Diego County.

Pacific Coast Jazz, founded in 2003, is a boutique jazz label that also offers artist management services. All PCJ artists are distributed worldwide by MVD Audio/Big Daddy Music. For more information on Pacific Coast Jazz, please visit: For media information or interviews with Danny Green, please contact: Joy Foster at SV Media Relations at: or 310-487-0048. Visit Danny Green’s website at:

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Ellen Johnson Gets Most Highly Recommended from Improvijazzation Nation

Issue #94 Reviews
Rotcod Zzaj aka Dick Metcalf

Ellen Johnson - THESE DAYS
: Female jazz singers are often "lumped" in a category (for reviewers, anyway) that says "later"... I don't know why that is, but know it often happens. A part of that could be the simple fact that there are many... well, in Ellen's case, letting the dozen tunes on her newly released CD "just slide" would be a mistake for anyone enthralled with true artistry. We reviewed another CD she produced ("A Mother's Heart) in issue #91, & were very impressed with her skills there, too. It is, of course, her voice that makes the difference & catapults the music on "These Days" to the top of the stack... what you hear is fresh & soulful, without pretense or gimmickry - excellent expression on every note! One of the most powerful tracks for this listener was "Inspiration"... simply beautiful, with great guitar by Larry Koonse & bass that stands right behind her penetrating vocal performance from Darek Oles! Oles bass lead-in on "You Don't Know What Love Is" is perfect for Ellen's silky & intimate style when she starts singing... another performance that will stay in your ears for months & years to come! In the overall, there is a real "slinky" quality to Johnson's voice that is so inviting you won't be able to move on to anything else until you've listened to the whole tune... & then the next track... & the next... & so on & so on. "These Days" is a definite jazz winner for all, players & listeners, & gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from this little corner of the jazz world! Get more information at Rotcod Zzaj

Sunday, August 23, 2009


A look back at Ellen Johnson’s “These Days”
by Evan Kepner


These Days has been on the shelves for a bit, but it should be in every bassist’s collection.

Ellen Johnson performs with bassist Darek Oles to create beautiful mixtures of voice and bass. It is not an exclusively duet album, other featured artists include Shelia Jordan, Roy McCurdy, Larry Koonse and Ana Gazzola.

The album was dedicated to Johnson’s friend and mentor, Shelia Jordan. Jordan was one of the early innovators with vocal and bass duets and began her first duet work with bass legend Charles Mingus. Johnson also shares a passion for Mingus and his work, evident by her arrangements of “Noddin’ Ya Head Blues” and “Nostalgia in Times Square,” where she adds lyrics to both songs (with the permission of Sue Mingus).

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


pages 34 and 42

For Bass Players Only -

Dirty Linen Magazine (Folk & World) -

Singer-songwriter-bassist Mimi Jones captures a part of world music that creates a genesis of ethnic musical influences which exhibit a tinge of Latin-soul, smooth funk, and soft jazz arias in her music. Her latest recording, A New Day, will have you waltzing in the kitchen of your home through the scintillating glides of her bass in “Fast Lane,” and tapping your feet to the swampy guitar pickings of “Watch Your Step” as Jones’ vocals shimmer with a gospel-toned inflection. Her music inspires an inner peace and a reverence for notes that take their time in pouring out. A New Day is Mimi Jones’ debut, and it is a fine piece of work for her to make her entrance onto the world stage. The title of the CD, A New Day, expresses hope and optimism, which are an intrinsic part of Mimi Jones’ philosophy on life. Her music shows flexibility and a sense of worldly influences, which only an international artist would understand how to integrate. She makes it all look so easy. READ ENTIRE REVIEW click link above

INTERVIEW WITH MIMI JONES: Improvijazzation Nation by Dick Metcalf

More Reviews,etc:

Featured in No Treble Magazine

Pick of the Year: Most Creative Artist:
Improvijazzation Nation by Dick Metcalf

John Book, This Is Book's Music:

Ken Franckling's Jazz Notes:

Jazz Journalist, Bruce Crowther at


Smooth Jazz Therapy:

Digital Media Jet:

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Master Guitarist, John Stowell Brings His Unique Sound to Ojai with Concert & Workshop

featuring special guest vocalist,
Ellen Johnson

Friday, August 14 (8 PM - 11 PM)
at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa

Saturday, August 15 (Noon - 2 PM)
at Vocal Visions Studio

A world class guitarist, John Stowell is known internationally as a musician with a unique sound supported by a sophisticated harmonic concept. As a result John has shared the stage with some of the most respected musicians and singers in the world including Milt Jackson, Lionel Hampton, Paul Horn, David Friesen, and many others. John will be performing in concert with guest vocalist, Ellen Johnson, on Friday August 14 at the Ojai Valley Inn located in Ojai at 905 Country Club Road. There will be two shows, one at 8 PM and one at 9:30 PM. On Saturday, August 15th from noon to 2 PM, John will present a guitar workshop. The workshop will not only cover guitar techniques but will be open to singers who are interested in observing his accompaniment style (assisted by vocalist Ellen Johnson). For more information on how to register please contact or 805-272-8125.

John Stowell began his successful career in the early 1970's with private study with guitarist Linc Chamberland and pianist John Mehegan. Both men were valuable mentors to John, allowing him to play with them as he progressed in his development. Several years later he met bassist David Friesen in New York City, and they formed a duo that recorded and toured prolifically for seven years, with performances in the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia. In 1983, John and David joined flutist Paul Horn and Paul's son Robin Horn (on drums) for a historic tour of the Soviet Union. This was the first time in forty years that an American jazz group had been invited to play public performances in Russia. In 1993, 1995, and 1998 John returned to Russia, playing in numerous cities. His two sold-out performances in Kursk may have been the first appearances there by an American jazz musician.

John continues to tour, record and teach internationally spending half of his time in the New York scene and the other in scenic Portland, Oregon. He has been Artist-In-Residence at schools in Germany, Indonesia, Argentina, and in the United States and Canada. He served as assistant director and performer in Oregon Public Broadcasting's PDX Jazz Summit in 1991, and since 1995 has been a contributing columnist for a number of magazines, including "Downbeat", "Guitar Player", Canadian Musician", "Soundcheck" (Germany), and "Guitar Club" (Italy). John is featured along with bassist David Friesen on the soundtracks of two Academy Award Nominated short films (Will Vinton Studios, Portland, OR, and Bosustow Studios, Los Angeles, CA). The album "Through the Listening Glass" with David Friesen was chosen one of the Ten Best Jazz Albums of the Decade by the Los Angeles Examiner and John was chosen Talent Deserving Wider Recognition by Downbeat's International Critic's Poll in 1978 and 1979. He has also been featured in Japan's "Swing Journal”, "The Jazz Guitar" (Ashely Mark Publishing, England), and the Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz (Leonard Feather and Ira Gitler) along with appearances on BET Jazz Discovery and Guitar Series television shows.

Monday, August 3, 2009


"This CD gets my MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED rating, as well as the "PICK" of the YEAR for "most creative artist"!
Dick Metcalf, Improvijazzation Nation

IMPROVIJAZZATION Nation - Issue # 93

- interview by Dick Metcalf

From the opening bar of Mimi's debut CD, "A New Day", reviewed in issue #92, I knew this was someone we HAD to interview for this magazine... not only an extremely gifted & talented composer/player, but a real "person" as well. I've a feeling we will all be hearing a LOT more from Mimi - I know I will! I want to thank her, too, for taking the time to write up a very revealing & personable interview for us!

Read the interview at:

Friday, July 31, 2009

Ellen Johnson & Scott Hilzik Special Blend of Jazz

Ellen Johnson, vocals
Scott Hiltzik, piano

Jazz Duo

At the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa
Saturday, August 1st

"Johnson raises the standard of modern jazz singing by at least one notch." - George Harris, All About Jazz

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Innovative Figure in the Evolution of Modern Jazz, George Russell Dies at 86

Composer, theoretician, pianist George Russell passed away this evening, July 27, 2009 at approximately 9:10 pm from complications due to Alzheimer’s.

George Russell was a hugely influential, innovative figure in the evolution of modern jazz, the music's only major theorist, one of its most profound composers, and a trail blazer whose ideas have transformed and inspired some of the greatest musicians of our time.

For full article at

George Russell's book, The Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization, first published in 1953, was the first theoretical contribution to come from jazz, and was responsible for introducing modal improvisation which resulted in the seminal recording of Miles Davis' "Kind of Blue." Since it's publication, there have been scores of books on the market which have "borrowed" bits of the Concept's information, but there is only one original.

"[The Concept] was the great path-breaker for Miles Davis and John Coltrane's modality."
- Joachim Berendt, The Jazz Book.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sheila Jordan: On the Scene at the Montreal Jazz Festival

The Epoch Times
by Ori Dagon

Aiming to please, the organizers of le Festival International de Jazz de Montreal always include something for everyone, whether it’s a free concert by Stevie Wonder or decidedly non-jazz bait like classic rocker Joe Cocker, R&B legends Kool & The Gang, or reggae originators Rocksteady. Despite the crossover fare, for those of us who live for jazz, there was plenty to be excited about this season.

Legendary bebop singer Sheila Jordan returned to the Upstairs Jazz Club. The youthful 80 year-old Detroit native who scats from her heart once again wowed the crowd with her sublime senses of rhythm and humor, evidenced by an ability to improvise lyrics that rhyme time after time. The inimitable Lady Bebop was accompanied by a fantastic trio of resident musicians—Jeff Johnston on piano, David Watts on bass and John Fraboni on drums.

Montreal famed jazz broadcaster and journalist Len Dobbin suffered a fatal stroke toward the end of the festival. Here is pictured at the festival with legendary bebop singer Sheila Jordan at the Upstairs Jazz Club, which serves as a festival venue. (Ori Dagan)

MIMI JONES: PURE TALENT - Review by John Books


REVIEW: Mimi Jones’ “A New Day” by John Books Published July 1, 2009

To read entire review:

Bassist/vocalist Mimi Jones has released a great album called A New Day (Hot Tone Music) and she is seen on the cover with her left hand on the neck of a stand-up bass.

But as I played this album a number of times, I’m thinking to myself that Miss Jones should be playing on The Today Show, The Carson Daly Show or even Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. In other words, she is deserving of mainstream success and I’ll tell you why. The music on A New Day is like a cross between Cassandra Wilson and Me’Shell NdegeOcello, not so much in their vocal style or tone but in the passion they put into their music.

In 2009, marketing can make the worst sounding music sound like the best thing you ever heard in your life. But marketing cannot take away pure talent, and Mimi Jones is someone who has this in abundance

Monday, July 13, 2009

Mimi Jones: Pick of the Year for Most Creative Artist

Mimi Jones "A New Day " Review

Improvijazzation Nation by Dick Metcalf

Mimi Jones - A NEW DAY: We seldom "push" CD's to the top of the review stacks, but ev'ry once in a while, the first listen (just kinda') DICTATES that our thoughts about the music we're hearing MUST be written down in/of the moment.

It's an odd comparison, in a certain sense, but it's like the very first time I listened to a Joni Mitchell album... I knew that the artist's vision was part of a new paradigm... & Mimi Jones composes & plays a blend of bluesy jazz on this debut CD that IS the "new music" (release date is September 15th, 2009, so get it NOW)! Her bass work is strong & solid, and her vocals reach right down to the depths of your soul... it's not like she's trying to sell you her soul, either... no tricks, just highly talented compositions that fuse together all the elements, all the influences she's had (whether in this incarnation or previous ones) into something you will desire to listen to - over & over & over again!

There is also a (sort of) "Prince-like" quality to some of the tunes, like "Suite Mary", but with a totally jazz bent, & no gimmicks - just a soaring horn front joined by a delicious Wurlitzer section, all underpinned by Mimi's driving bass lines.... simply grand! It was actually the second track in, "Watch Yo Step", with one of the gutsiest guitar blues leads I've ever heard & a totally husky vocal by Ms. Jones, that gets played numerous times daily... absolutely my favorite track on the CD... if it was just blues, it would probably be kind of "ordinary", but this is one of the jazziest pieces I've ever heard.

This Ms. Mimi is someone you will be hearing from for a long time to come - & remember, you heard that here first! This CD gets my MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED rating, as well as the "PICK" of the YEAR for "most creative artist"! Get more information at or at & be sure to tell Mimi that Zzaj sent you, please. Rotcod Zzaj

Friday, July 10, 2009


We were sad to hear of the passing of one of the great supporter's of jazz music, Len Dobbins.
Len dedicated his life to the music and the musicians and he will be greatly missed.

We had the great pleasure of having Len support our artists on his radio show, especially his dear friend Sheila Jordan. Len was approachable, pleasant, helpful and loyal to the music and the musicians. It was ALWAYS a pleasure to work with him.

Our sympathies go to his family and friends.

For more about Len please check this link out from the Montreal Gazette.

Friday, July 3, 2009

In A World of Female Bassists, Mimi Jones Sets the Bar With Her Debut CD “A New Day”

(New York, NY June 29, 2009) With the musical world buzzing about Esperanza Spalding it’s no wonder that the timing is perfect for the release of yet another extraordinary female bassist, composer and vocalist. Introducing Mimi Jones and her debut CD “A New Day” (Hot Tone Music) set for release on September 15th, 2009.

Mimi Jones recently gave a sneak preview of her debut CD during the Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival at the prestigious Kennedy Center along with performances featuring the world's top female jazz artists including: Anat Cohen and the Anzic Orchestra, Janis Siegel, Carmen Lundy, the Maria Schneider Orchestra and Esperanza Spalding. Mimi’s inspiring debut recording,” A New Day” is bursting with original compositions seamlessly melting from one song to another and caressed by the warmth of her sultry voice. The music is a rich assortment of rhythmic statements, musical textures, and compositional variations all flawlessly executed by Mimi Jones (acoustic bass, electric bass, vocals, composer, arranger, and assistant producer), Marvin Sewell (acoustic and electric guitars), Miki Hayama (piano, key board and Wurlitzer), Marcus Gilmore (drums), Lucianna Padmore (drums on tracks 1 and 11) and Ambrose Akinmisure (trumpet).

The title of the CD speaks of embracing a changing world with a positive point of view while maintaining the courage to move forward just as the new persona and alter ego, Mimi Jones, was transformed from “side man” Miriam Sullivan in order to fully express her individual messages of change and personal evolution. Songs like “Fast Lane,” “Spiral,” “Watch Your Step” and “Mighty Time” send those messages by allowing the music to take shape without fear of definition and genre restriction. The concept is to cross borders and to reach out to a broader perception of time, space and rhythm. Mimi’s philosophy is profound, yet simple, “It’s important to me that this music is for everyone. I believe that I have a calling to heal and make people feel good so I want to pass on what comes to me musically. Hopefully this music will make our world a little bit better.” For more information go to or contact Joy Foster at SV Media Relations –

Miriam Sullivan (aka Mimi Jones) was born in New York City and raised in the Bronx by parents that descended from Barbados and St.Croix, which explains why Mimi has so many musical influences that flow easily through her compositional style. A graduate from Manhattan School of Music Conservatory she studied early on with world-class bassist, Lisle Atkinson and saxophonist Charles Davis at the Jazz Mobile Workshop. She also studied, attended workshops or mentored with Barry Harris, Ron Carter, Milt Hinton, Dr. Billy Taylor, Yusef Latif, Max Roach, and Latin bass techniques with Guillermo Edgehill. Since then “side man” Miriam Sullivan (aka Mimi Jones) has gone on to share the stage with such talents as the great Lionel Hampton, Roy Hargrove, Rachel Z, Sean Jones, Kenny Barron, Jesse Davis, Ingrid Jenson, Kevin Mahogany, Denis Charles, Joshua Redman and Onaje Allan Gumbs just to name a few. She has even toured extensively throughout Europe and the United States.

In 2003, Miriam Sullivan co founded the group ”Jazz Sabroson” with drummer Antonio De Vivo and was commissioned by the Kennedy Center and Department of State to participate in the international program of cultural exchange performing in Brazil, Uruguay, Ecuador, Barbados, Jamaica, Nevis and the Dominican Republic. The group was elected in 2006 by the Department of State and Jazz at Lincoln Center to participate in the Rhythm Abroad Program, this time traveling to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco and Algeria. Later on Miriam returned to Mali with guitarist Steve Bloom, where the two diligently worked with Malian students of all ages, exploring the possibilities of musical expansion, and gladly partaking in the cultural exchange. Miriam explains that going into the motherland of Africa is always a heart-felt experience and continues to change her outlook on life. She constantly looks for new opportunities in which to aid her brothers and sisters abroad as well as at home with her own organization “The Girls Group” located in the South Bronx.

A recurring face since 2000 at the Kennedy Center’s annual Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival in Washington D.C. as Miriam Sullivan (playing in bands led by pianist Rachel Z and Joanne Brackeen), Mimi Jones brought her own project to the stage on May 14, 2009 premièring her debut release, “A New Day.” Mimi Jones has already appeared at the Kitano Hotel, Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, the Puffin Foundation, and Sista’s Place. She was recently the featured artist on the cover of “No Treble Magazine”, the “Pick of the Year” for most creative artist by Dick Metcalf of “Improvijazzation Nation” and Chris Spector of “Midwest Record” said, “she’s got a lot on the ball and it seems like this is only the beginning.”

For more information go to or contact Joy Foster at SV Media Relations –

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Thanks for the music...

I don't generally write personal posts but it was sad to hear of the untimely death of Michael Jackson. It makes us all realize the importance of music in our lives and what people leave behind in their creativity.

So many great musicians, not as famous as Michael Jackson, have left us so much incredible music that with each one that passes through this world it is sad to see them go.

As the world mourns an iconic pop music person of our century our hearts look forward to the next troubadour to touch our souls.

Rest in peace with all the other great musicians Michael.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Mimi Jones Featured on No Treble

Mimi Jones debut release,
"A New Day"
Featured on No Treble
(The Site for Bass Players)

Mimi Jones, a talented bassist, vocalist and composer, will release her debut album A New Day with an eclectic mix of compositions that blend across musical genres. Evan Kepner shares his views of this upcoming album.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

JazzTimes Suspends Publication

Sorry to say that JazzTimes is on hiatus for who knows when.
Once again, another publication bites the dust.
Just hoping that the music will still be heard, written about,
reviewed and acknowledged.

Thanks JazzTimes for all you gave to the many musicians and fans all over the world!
SV Media Relations

An Important Message From JazzTimes

To our readers and members of the jazz community:

JazzTimes has temporarily suspended publication of the magazine and has furloughed the bulk of its staff while it finalizes a sale of its assets. The brand and operation will undergo reorganization and restructuring in order to remain competitive in the current media climate. Print publishing is expected to resume as soon as a sale is closed. New information and statements will be posted at as they become available.

Thank you for your patience during this challenging period.

JazzTimes Management

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


KMUW FM 89.1, Wichita
Chris Heim - Host/Producer

Ranked #21 nationally AQH Share/Top 30 Cume Rating

Monday – Friday, 9pm
Weekdays midnight, 9am, 2pm, 7pm - KMUW HD2
Global Village new releases show Fridays - KMUW HD2

TOP 30 – June 2009
1. Hypnotic Brass Ensemble – Hypnotic Brass Ensemble (Honest Jon’s)
2. Various – Panama! 2 (Soundway)
3. Eva Ayllon – Kimba Fa (Four Quarters/Times Square)
4. Aggrolites – The Aggrolites IV (Hellcat)
5. Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks – Tangled Tales (Surfdog)
6. Various - Gozalo! Vol. 2 (Vampisoul)
7. Tiempo Libre – Bach in Havana (Sony Classical)
8. Various – Twenty First Century Twenty First Year (Luaka Bop)
9. Novalima – Coba Coba (Cumbancha)
10. Ersatzmusika – Songs Unrecantable (Asphalt Tango)
11. Occidental Brothers Dance Band International – Odo Sanbra (Occidental Brothers)
12. Grant Geissman – Cool Man Cool (Futurism)
13. Orquestra Imperial - Carnaval Só Ano Que Vem (Totolo)
14. Scotty Barnhart – Say It Plain (Unity Music)
15. Playing for Change – Songs Around the World (Hear Music)
16. Various – Salsa (Putumayo)
17. Brasil Brasil – Brasil Brasil 3 (Yellow Green)
18. Cecilia Noel – A Gozar! (Compass)
19. Marianne Faithfull - Easy Come Easy Go (Decca)
20. Bela Fleck - Throw Down Your Heart (Rounder)
21. Chicago Afrobeat Project – Off the Grid (CAbP)
22. Los Straitjackets - The Further Adventures of Los Straitjackets (Yep Roc)
23. Easy Star All-Stars – Easy Star’s Lonely Hearts Dub Band (Easy Star)
24. Los Fabulosos Cadillacs - La Luz del Ritmo (Nacional)
25. Geoffrey Keezer – Aurea (Artist Share)
26. Fareed Haque + the Flat Earth Ensemble - Flat Planet (Owl)
27. Omar Sosa - Across the Divide (Half Note)
28. Roger Davidson and Raul Juarena - Pasion Por La Vida (Soundbrush)
29. King Sunny Ade – Seven Degrees North (Mesa)
30. Oumou Sangare – Seya (Nonesuch)

Sunday, May 24, 2009


REVIEW by Dick Metcalf

Sound Visions Media
Available at iTunes, CD Baby and Sound Visions Media

Sound Visions Media
- FROM A MOTHER'S HEART: There are some very familiar jazz players/singers (for me) here, like Judi Silvano, & John Stowell, paying tribute to moms everywhere... especially poignant for me on a personal level since my mother passed only a couple years back. Even though my mom was more "church-oriented" in her musical tastes, I've no doubt that she would smile down on these tunes as she listened to them, as they are full of life and the gentle caring attitudes that most of us associate with our mothers. The most impressive thing about this collection is that it's got real energy - there's not a dull or "sappy" cut in all 11 tunes; that can't be said for many of these assemblages, but spirit fills each of the pieces. I glommed right on to Judi Silvanos' "Bougainvillea", probably because I've listened to (& reviewed) her music so many times. Strangely enough, though, it was a composition from Mala Waldron called "Ellie" that captured the "favorite" spot for me... it will just bounce you along through the magical scats & supremely spirited piano playing. This CD isn't just for "mom's day", by any stretch of the imagination... you can play it anywhere, anytime, & I imagine those of you who wander about with IPODS attached to your ears will play my favorite track & all of the other cuts over & over & over again. I give this a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (which is kind of a "first" for a tribute album). Get more information at Rotcod Zzaj

Monday, May 18, 2009

Yoshi's Oakland Presents Fado Sensation, Ramana Vieira

"No one in the United States is doing more to breathe new life into Fado than Ramana Vieira, a sultry, dramatic singer."
-Andrew Gilbert, San Francisco Chronicle

May 26, 2009
8:00 & 10:00 pm

Pacific Coast Jazz Artist:

Performing music from the new release,
"Lágrimas De Rainha"

Yoshi's in Oakland

510 Embarcadero West,
Jack London Square

Tickets $18

Check out Ramana's Radio Interview
May 19, 2009

5:20 pm

KKUP 91.5 FM
Afrikan Jahmal Dayvs show
Listen to tracks from the new release "Lágrimas De Rainha"

Wednesday, May 13, 2009



By Nick Mondello

PERSONNEL: Mark Saltman, double bass/composer; William Knowles, piano/composer; Lori Williams- Chisholm, vocals; Jimmy “Junebug” Jackson, drums; Alvin Trask, trumpet; Robert Landham, saxes

Pacific Coast Jazz Label

What is it about bass player-composers? While predominantly dwelling in the harmonic-rhythmic foundation of the jazz composition, bassists such as Charlie Haden, and of course, the Dali Lama of bassist composers, Charles Mingus, have given the jazz world some of its most intriguing, memorable compositions. In this highly engaging CD, Return of the Composer, Mark Saltman continues and lives up to that basso profundo compositional tradition – but he’s not alone.

Saltman’s compositional colleague on this date, pianist William Knowles, also steps up to the plate here with a fine foursome of neat originals seemingly steeped in the best Horace Silver tradition. The result of this compositional collaboration, combined with the talents of the rest of this ensemble, is a terrific array of intelligent, involving music. With ten original selections, each with a driving, catchy rhythmic undercurrent, Saltman, Knowles and cohorts make the most of the composed platform they are provided.

Not surprisingly, the rhythmic ribbons on many of the selections are engaging from the bottom up, but, are never clichéd. Bassist Saltman, the savvy composer that he is, knows what will drive and what might turn rhythmically stale and melodically non-supportive. Knowles knows this all too well, too. Pianist William Knowles‘s playing is outstanding, never stepping on either vocal or ensemble toes. Vocalist Lori Williams-Chisholm has a beautiful, soprano voice that is pitch-pure. Since all the selections here with the exception of the closer “Pain Management”, have no verbal lyrics, Williams-Chisholm’s intonation, sense of swing and ensemble “playing” need to be perfect – and they are. Horn input from the exciting Robert Landham on saxes and the very talented Alvin Trask on trumpet are noteworthy. Both solo con brio y alma throughout. Drummer Jimmy “Junebug” Jackson pushes and prods nicely throughout the session.

The rhythmic mix here is extremely good. There is a high degree of esprit evident. Although each selection is highly listenable and involving, of particular interest are the hustling “Bellport,” the triple-metered “It’s Been a Mad Spring,” and the stealthy “Creepin’ Up”. The production and recording values are excellent. With such expertise in their respective comp skills, I wondered as to why there is not a ballad selection included. With what Saltman and Knowles have in their compositional knapsack and with the wonderful vocal talent displayed by Williams-Chisholm and ensemble excellence displayed, I’d wager it would be another stellar performance, as is this effort.

I hope the composers’ return again – very soon.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Unique Way To Honor Your Mother This Mother's Day

Just in time for Mother's Day, introducing a special, one of a kind compilation download CD, "From A Mother's Heart," to honor women, motherhood, family and mother earth.

Available at: iTunes, CDBaby, and Sound Visions Media

"From A Mother's Heart" is a musical tribute featuring mostly original compositions written by the artists who perform them and each one is dedicated to their own mother. In an effort to be Eco-friendly and keep this project kind to "mother earth" the CD is available exclusively as a download through digital media sources like iTunes, and Sound Visions Media.

"We want this CD to honor our mothers and mother earth" spoke recording artist and producer Ellen Johnson, "so we have to start making the necessary changes for ourselves and our planet by doing all we can to be environmentally conscious." Sound Visions Media is encouraging the media to embrace this concept by offering review copies as mp3's. It's clear that the public is more than ready to accept the idea of downloading music and getting the information about the project online instead of in a CD case.

When purchased through there is a pdf about the project, each artist's dedication to their mother and a download where you can print out the CD cover to give as a gift to your mother. The songs on this compilation are from the genres of jazz, world music, singer/songwriter, pop and even poetry. Each one has an individual message; some using lyrics while others capture the essence of their mothers through pure instrumental tones. From the joyous composition, "Ellie." to the intimate poem of ancient ancestors in dedication to the earth in "For My Chacoan Ancestors" the CD begins and ends with a deep understanding of the spirit of each mother's heart. Intimate ballads with tender lyrics as in "Song For My Mother", "With Every Kiss", and "You Know Me By Heart" intertwined with the humor of a mother's little girl in "Dat Dere" amidst the orchestrated and full arrangements of haunting messages in "Children's Playgrounds", Bougainvillea", I Do Remember You, and the wordless "Song For Mother (She Is Made Of Love)." There are even distant friends with a journey to the shores of Brazil and the beautiful Portuguese lyrics about the goddess of the sea.

"From A Mother's Heart" includes a respected roster of musical artists like jazz icon Sheila Jordan whose musical relationship with Charlie Parker helped her to innovate jazz vocals and saxophone great Don Braden who worked with legendary greats like Betty Carter, Wynton Marsalis, Freddie Hubbard and Roy Haynes. Other artists that contributed to the project are guitarist John Stowell, vocalists Judi Silvano, Barbara Sfraga and Ellen Johnson along with pianists and vocalists Mala Waldron (daughter of the late great Mal Waldron), Peggy Duquesnel (adding a pop style original), world music group Brazil Brasil featuring Ana Gazzola and Sonia Santos, and singer/songwriter Ann Belmont. Every song is delicately dedicated to each musical artist's mother or mother earth.

"This is truly a one of a kind, unique project that is much needed in our changing times to honor the feminine spirit of our planet. We hope these songs will be shared with your own mother or we hope it will help in some way to heal your heart with your mother," remarked Ms. Johnson. Available at:, or