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  • Jimmy Greene: While Looking Up 05.26.20

    One of music’s most gentle souls both musically and spiritually is saxist Jimmy Greene, who’s had a Job’s amount of trials in his life. This latest album with an all star cast of Aaron Goldberg/key, Stefon Harris/vibes, Lage Lund/g, Reuben Rogers/b and Kendrick Scott/dr has the pilgrim using the nadir’s of his life struggles as an opportunity for looking heavenward.

  • Mack Avenue Music Group & Octave Music Partner With Vinyl Me, Please For Erroll Garner’s Magician 05.26.20

    Mack Avenue Music Group and Octave Music are proud to announce a partnership with Vinyl Me, Please on Erroll Garner’s Magician as their May Classics Record of the Month. The record is also featured as the 11th release of the critically acclaimed year-long 12-album Octave Remastered Series featuring newly restored and expanded editions of classical Garner albums from the 1960s and ‘70s. Vinyl Me, Please’s package includes 180g black audiophile vinyl and an exclusive listening notes booklet by Ted Gioia.

  • Warren Wolf: Reincarnated 05.07.20

    "I truly believe that the only way that music can continue on is if you have people like myself and others that are open to teaching and sharing the knowledge that we have." —Warren Wolf 

    Warren Wolf is a Baltimore-born vibraphonist and a member of the SFJAZZ Collective. Reincarnation (2020), his fourth album as leader on Mack Avenue Records, sees Wolf dive into an entirely different side of his musical personality. We got together via ZOOM to talk about his musical influences, how he's staying creative during the COVID pandemic and his new album.

  • Mack Avenue Records supports artists through “allONE” campaign. 04.30.20

    Many of our readers, instead of the concert, club gig or festival ticket they planned to buy have re-channelled this money and provided a much-needed form of financial support by directly buying albums from musicians. We are thrilled and encouraged to see the jazz community step up reinforcing our Lockdown motto: "You can quarantine people but you can't quarantine music."

    We’re proud to support a similar campaign this weekend by our good friends at Mack Avenue Records. In fact, the Mack Avenue Music Group is gearing up for what they hope will be their most robust and important web event to date – one that directly supports the outstanding artists on the label who make the music we all love.

    Launching with International Jazz Day on Thursday, 30 April and extending through Sunday, 3 May, Mack Avenue is launching the allONE initiative: a webstore event where one hundred percent of all sales from mackavenue.com will go directly to the artists on the label.

  • allONE 04.28.20

    To our customers and marketing partners:

    I hope this note finds you healthy and able to keep your spirits up in these trying times. For music fans like you and me, revisiting our favorite albums, songs and artists reminds us of music's role as a primary comforter or source of inspiration when the world seems to tilt off its axis.

  • Review: Saxman Jimmy Greene’s album is spirited, spiritual 04.23.20

    Jimmy Greene, “While Looking Up” (Mack Avenue)

    Change is a constant on jazz saxman Jimmy Greene’s new album, “While Looking Up.” The 68-minute set flies by because of the way he varies the performing cast and mood.

    Greene’s daughter was a Sandy Hook shooting victim, and the album title refers to the direction he looks for peace and strength. He conveys plenty of both with playing that’s by turns lyrical, soulful, spirited and spiritual.


  • Raul Midón: The Mirror 04.23.20

    Eleven studio albums into his career, Raul Midón has fashioned a singular approach; his voice and guitar are instantly identifiable. But more important, his music comes with a guarantee—put on a tune, any tune, and the warmth of it will embrace you, no questions asked. When Midón, in the jaunty, lyrical, samba-esque opening track, declares, “I Love the Afternoon” (which features a background vocal by Manhattan Transfer’s Janis Siegel), there isn’t a hidden agenda—what he means is that he loves the afternoon, and his words explain why; if you’ve not considered it recently, then he’ll have you realizing soon enough that you do too. That isn’t to suggest that there’s a lightweight quality to the songs on The Mirror (or any of Midón’s previous efforts), only that the feel-good qualities he exudes are natural and real. “Deep Dry Ocean”—which features and was co-written by the superb pianist Gerald Clayton—is spare and bucolic, lilting rhapsodically, the verses framed by a tidily executed Midón acoustic guitar solo that manages, in under a minute, to exude the soul of his playing. A pair of spoken-word tracks add another dimension—“If I Could See,” yes, is the work of a blind man, but its sentiments are universal. And “One Day Without War” is another vibe entirely, but maybe not—it’s a musing on an ideal state that this planet may or may not ever experience. Without a hint of stridency, Midón wonders if that can ever be and maybe, just for a minute or two, he’ll make you wonder too.

  • New York Times Playlist (February 7th) 02.07.20

    The esteemed bassist Christian McBride was born just after the close of the Civil Rights Movement, so he remembers learning about its heroes by flipping through the copies of his grandmother’s copies of Ebony and Jet magazines from the 1950s and ’60s. For many years he has worked on “The Movement Revisited,” a musical suite celebrating four figures from those pages who inspired him as a child: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Rosa Parks and Muhammad Ali. The suite, finally released as an album Friday, mixes hard-nosed small-group playing, soaring big-band orchestration, spoken readings from figures like Sonia Sanchez and Wendell Pierce, and choral singing. On “Sister Rosa,” the piece dedicated to Parks, a big band and a choir both savor the deep, mid-tempo swing feel, leaning on McBride’s bass for support as the voices unite in a long, weary drawl, quoting Parks: “I’m tired.” RUSSONELLO

  • The True Story of Erroll Garner, the First Artist to Sue a Major Label and Win 11.22.19

    However, you have to dial back to 1960 to find the major precedent: when star jazz pianist Erroll Garner sued Columbia Records for breaking his contract — and won after a nearly three-year battle in a New York Supreme Court decision.

    It was a landmark case that has been largely forgotten. “The Erroll Garner story is an important one,” says UCLA history professor and author Robin D.G. Kelley. “The context is the ‘50s at the height of Garner’s power. He was winning DownBeat polls and other international prizes. He was at the top of his game, and his manager, Martha Glaser (pictured above, right, with Garner), had worked out a contract with Columbia with an unprecedented clause giving Erroll the right to approve the release of any of his recorded music.”

  • Erroll Garner’s ‘A Night At The Movies’ Reissue Radiates Joy 11.19.19

    Erroll Garner, 1964, giving a big Hollywood buildup to "I Found A Million Dollar Baby (At The Five And Ten Cent Store)" (ph) - a song from 1931. It's from his album "A Night At The Movies," my favorite so far from the ongoing Octave Remastered Series of Garner albums. They're being issued one a month through next June. As an album concept, songs from the movies is about as loose as it gets. This one's even looser because some songs, like that last one, actually come from Broadway. A few selections are older than talking pictures, like 1913's "You Made Me Love You," a vehicle for Al Jolson, who did it slower than Erroll Garner does.

  • Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – September 2019 10.31.19

    A really cool set of reissues came out this month, too, from a pianist who’s revered in certain circles but whose legacy isn’t what it should be. Erroll Garner was a hugely successful pianist and composer of the standard “Misty”; his 1955 album Concert By The Sea was massive at the time, and was reissued as a three-CD set in 2015.

  • Hear “Paris Mist” from a New Reissue Series Celebrating the Legacy of Piano Master Erroll Garner 10.31.19

    But “Misty” was hardly Garner’s only career milestone. In 1947, shortly after leaving his native Pittsburgh for New York, he appeared on early recordings by Charlie Parker. And his 1955 live album, Concert By The Sea, became the first jazz recording to register more than $1 million in sales. He was a virtuosic and talented performer with a lively following of fans and passionate admirers, and his style has been praised, emulated and adored by countless musicians — Geri Allen and Dick Hyman were particularly keen enthusiasts.