Kenny Burrell – 2010 Grammy Jazz Honoree of The Year.

Kenneth Earl “Kenny” Burrell was born July 31, 1931 in Detroit, MI and by 12 years old, started playing guitar (similar to yours truly who started playing at the age of 14). Little did he know that he would be this year’s Grammy Jazz Honoree.

I don’t know who is more excited, Kenny or me. He has certainly been my favorite jazz guitarist for as long as I remember. Kenny’s choice as this years honoree is quite a substantial one, in my mind. His discography alone proves his ability (and history) of being a superb sideman and solo musician in his own right. Between the years of 1956 and 2006, Mr. Burrell has excelled as a leader, co-leader and sideman releasing recordings with stellar musicians in the world of jazz. His last release, Kenny Burrell: 75th Birthday Bash Live! released in 2007 on the prestigious Blue Note label, not only has a historic playlist of wonderful jazz standards, but showcases prominent musicians such as Joey DeFracesco, Hubert Laws, Snooky Young, and the like. During that same year, he began his tenure as Director of Jazz Studies at UCLA.
He has recorded on well respected jazz labels including Prestige, Verve, Fantasy, and Concord Jazz.

Kenny Burrell posesses a unique style (and grace) if you will, defines the essence of jazz guitar. His playing easily brings to life the stellar arrangements of his great predecessors, Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn and, in addition, has away of conveying the cool that IS jazz. If there was to ever be a true definition of “smooth jazz”, Mr. Burrell would undoubtedly be a defining factor. His remake of Neal Hefti’s classic song “Girl Talk” is one of my favorite tunes.

Mr. Burrell, if you are reading this, I came VERY close to being there this week to fulfill my dream of meeting you on Tuesday evening. Keep being the inspiration to jazz musicians and jazz lovers alike. I salute you in your accomplishments and in receiving this auspicious honor. There are many of your tracks that leave me “Just a Sittin’ and Rockin'”
Jazz lives.

We’ve Got The Jazz: 2009 Year End In Review

Greetings listeners. As we are nearing the airing of the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards, those nominated in the category of Jazz have provided the fans a wide and exciting array of great jazz music. There is a color of jazz on this wonderful palette for every jazz listener.

The young lion Stefon Harris, and his group Blackout bridge the gap in between classical jazz stylings and comtemporary jazz in a way that some may call unconventional, yet captivating. The tracks on Urbanus offer musical stylings that satisfy even the young, neophyte jazz listener and still capture the traditional offerings best liked by the most discerning long time listener.

Mike Stern is no stranger as a nominee in this category. Returning once again to the nominee circle with his release Big Neighborhood, he brings to us not only familiarity of his own jazz offerings, but nicely mixes blues, funk and shades of rock in his release. A cast of star musicians help create a catalyst that rightly places Mike as a nominee once again.

Jazz is not jazz without the most organic jazz instrument of all, the human voice. Randy Crawford has represented such an instrument superbly for many years, and has done stellar work is piano virtuouso, Joe Sample on various occasions. “No Regrets” is a release that combines, once again, the commanding and captivating voice of Randy Crawford along with the unmistakably recognizable style of Joe Sample.

With the “voice” in jazz, it’s yet still not complete without that crisp, cool class of a voice like that of Kurt Elling. His release “Dedicated To You: Kurt Elling Sings The Music Of Coltrane And Hartman” eloquently covers the great tunes of John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman in a way that automatically demands a Grammy nod. His depth of style and grace continues to further bring an aspect of style that jazz will be ever known for.

Strong returning contenders to this year’s nominee circle are once again, vibraphonist Gary Burton, guitar virtuouso Pat Metheny, bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Antonio Sanchez. “Quartet Live” is a must for any fan of instrumental jazz and it decidedly earns it’s rank as a premier nominee in the subcategory of Best Jazz Instrumental Album. Swift competition comes from piano and synthesizer legend Chick Corea and his longtime bandmate from Return To Forever, John McLaughlin. “Five Peace Band – Live” is a collection of songs that define the term “jazz virtuosity” to the utmost degree. Both releases are strong contenders in this category.

Jazz, THE American music art form must be defined, as well, by the Big Band…and as such, “Fun Time” – Sammy Nestico And The SWR Big Band provide and excellent definition of the big band aspect in every respect. Fun Time is an excellent release for any jazz lover’s collection.

When Latin Jazz is mentioned in a conversation, the discussion cannot go long without mention of the name Valdes! “Juntos Para Siempre” –
Bebo Valdés And Chucho Valdés define the state of Latin Jazz and wholeheartedly represent that in a Grammy nomination well chosen by The Academy.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t pay homage, at least in this post, to this year’s Grammy Jazz Honoree, the great jazz guitarist and legend, Mr Kenny Burrell. Suffice it to say, as a guitarist myself, he is my favorite and it is truly and honor to see him receive this auspicious award.

2009 was a great year for jazz and all the nominees in every subcategory represent America’s music with greatness!

Welcome To The Sunday Soundtrack f/Philip Clark & “Granted” (The Remix) – 03 Jan 2010

PCHello and Happy New Year to you all. It’s a blessing to see another one and seeing as though u reading this, you’re sharing in it with me. So, what’s up…resolutions being held steadfast so far? Hopefully so. Now that the niceties are out of the way (wink), I have the distinct pleasure of doing yet another featured artist podcast. This one is on the special side because I’ve been in touch with the artist regularly over the last few months. He is…Philip Clark…vocalist, songwriter and saxophonist. The tracks I’ll be featuring are from his debut release entitled “The State Of Blue Eyed Soul“.

If memory serves me correctly, our paths crossed on Twitter via hearsay of me working with Fave and Todd Kelley on a collaborative effort entitled “Cross Country Collective” (C3). The name of the EP we’re working on is contempojazzsoulhop. After some tweets back and forth about the EP and remixing, he asked if I’d be interested in remixing a track off his debut CD, while he’s tracking the upcoming. Of course I jumped at the chance, as this kind of opportunity is one I’ve been waiting for for years (literally). The short story around this major interest came by listening to continual remix albums (CDs) that were and are released regularly by the UK giants, Incognito (my favorite group) They often release a remix CD of tunes from their current release and through that, I’ve studied the remix styles of Little Big Bee, atjazz, Kenny Dope (MAW), ig Culture, Jazzanova, David Morales, etc. Needless to say, I definitely was down for this. At the same time, I was working on the C3 EP with two remix kings in their own right, Fave and Todd, so it was crazy inspiration all around.

When I got the request from Philip, I went to his Myspace page and checked out the tracks. “Granted” immediately jumped out at me as a tight track. I let him know, and in no time, I got remix stems for the track from him and was on my way. Interestingly enough, being my first time out of the gate, I found how easy it WASN’T to produce a remix (note to PC: Thanks for the undying patience!! lol). For my gear and music headz, I have another blogpost in draft about how I (Mr. Fresh aka Groove 7) constructed the remix…stay tuned.

Picture 1

For those of you haven’t heard his tracks yet, I’m sure you’re gonna enjoy what you’re about to hear. “The State Of Blue-Eyed Soul” brings elements of soul, jazzy progressions, sultry sax, superb vocal arrangements, funky flow, and some smooth but tight grooves….elements that I personally think could give current R&B a serious (and long awaited) shot in the arm. In addition to the tracks, you’ll hear from PC in his own words, providing some commentary on the tracks themselves. Being a songwriter and musician, I (as I’m sure a few of you can) relate with how they came about, when, where, etc.

So, without further adieu, I present to you the tracklist. Let’s go.

The State of Blue Eyed Soul/Philip Clark

Romeo And Juliet (Sun Go Down)
The Only Woman On The World
Free My Mind
Twenty Days
Thinkin’ Bout You
Place Where We Belong
Granted (Groove 7’s 3am Eternal Mix) ::: right-click to download :::

Philip, once again, thanks for the affording me the opportunity to remix “Granted”. Working with you through the process, up to the release of this remix, is indicative of the way it should be done. Thanks for the all the brainstorming, ideas, suggestions, etc, on how to drop it. I’m sure you’re used to rollin’ like that! By the way, PC is a heck of a comic book artist. Dude, you are giving Stan Lee a run for his money!

Philip Clark
Funky White Boy
Los Angeles, CA

Official Website
Quantum Comics

Much thanks to Lis, super web & graphics designer extraordinaire for the remix artwork! Need graphics and webpage design? Contact her at

Thanks again, …