Recorded live at the Society Hill Playhouse in Philadelphia on April 19, 2012.
“MJQ” composed by Josh Lawrence.
Josh Lawrence, trumpet; Luke Carlos O’Reilly, piano; Leon Boykins, bass; Anwar Marshall, drums.
The Captain Black Big Band was named named #8 in the Best Jazz of 2011 by A Blog Supreme.
“The Captain Black Big Band is more accurately the Captain Black Big Bands, plural: a rotating, multi-generational cast of top-notch jazz musicians from several East Coast cities. Pianist Orrin Evans plays ringleader, as he’s the one with the Rolodex of musicians (so to speak) and the one willing to gather everyone together every so often. That makes for a good narrative of community spirit and tradition renewal, but more importantly, the bands make great music. The arrangements are brassy, the solos ballsy; seemingly every second of this live recording is suffused with redline intensity. It’s a confirmation — and a celebration — that swing never lost its swagger.”
The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology has named Josh Lawrence the content curator of it’s new Imagine Africa Tumblr.
How do you imagine Africa?
Do you see it as the home of powerful nations? Do you think of intricately carved masks or fine art? Maybe you’re interested in the peoples living in Africa today.
Imagine Africa with the Penn Museum is a twelve-month project investigating your thoughts. Visitors will see a small selection from the Penn Museum’s extraordinary African collection, and will be asked for their feedback on what they see. Community groups will be invited to give us more detailed feedback. In this way, we will form a picture of what most visitors want to know about the vast continent of Africa. With this feedback, the museum will plan a re-installation of the African collection, informed by academic and community perspectives.
From Orrin Evans:
In 2007, I had the opportunity to go back to Portugal and lead a Big Band at the Guimaraes Jazz Festival. During the two week long festival, I not only found the music to be fulfilling, I also re-discovered my ability to lead and teach.
Captain Black Big Band has allowed me to feature musicians I may have never featured ordinarily, expose people to the music that may have never heard jazz or a Big Band. When you take a band of 16 people of ALL ages and ethnicities and ask each of them to invite five people to each concert you are bound to have one of the most diverse audiences around. This Big Band has revitalized jazz in Philadelphia during a time that birthed articles about a dying jazz scene. Its residency at Chris’s Jazz Café in Philadelphia created a popular meeting place for ALL people.
Being a musician is not always rewarding but it is a blessing. Documenting these musicians who are not always heard live or on the radio is important to me and to the history of this music we call Jazz. Arrangers are working, musicians are working, musicians are sharing, teachers are teaching, people are smiling, feet are moving, souls are stirred, and tears may flow when The Captain Black Big Band is performing. This recording will be a chance to hold all of that in your hand and use it as your cure daily.
Your support will enable CBBB (as we have been nicknamed) to continue to spread the good news of LOVE, SWING, SOUL, JAZZ and HOPE all over the world!
CBBB will spread the news through live performances, workshops, networking and finally recordings! This is where we need your help. The recording will involve paying musicians, studios, and arrangers. Also making sure the musicians eat, travel safely, and have a place to lay their heads when we are not recording. With over 16 musicians to take care of this can become an expensive task. But we know with the friends, family, and fans we have out there CBBB will record and complete their sophomore CD!
Thank you for your support in advance!
Hailed by the Boston Herald as “a jazz wunderkind,” saxophonist Joshua Redman is one of today’s most acclaimed and charismatic jazz artists. Brad Mehldau, having garnered numerous awards and admiration from jazz purists and music enthusiasts alike, has forged a unique path, embodying the essence of jazz exploration, classical romanticism and pop allure, and is “universally admired as one of the most adventurous pianists to arrive on the jazz scene in years” (Los Angeles Times). Don’t miss these two remarkable Grammy®-nominated jazz greats as they join forces for one unforgettable duo performance that promises to shine with creative brilliance.
Pre-show performance and talk @ 6:45 PM
Join the Penn Faculty Jazz Quartet for a musical exploration and commentary on jazz influences and styles. Quartet members include:
Wade Fulton Dean, Saxophone – Director of Jazz, Penn Department of Music
Josh Lawrence, Trumpet – Jazz Trumpet Instructor, Penn; Senior Lecturer, University of the Arts
Drew Shoals, Drums – Drum Instructor, Penn; Penn Law student
Alex Claffy, Bass – Bass Instructor, Penn
I am now the proud owner of a Black Leather Gig Bag thanks to a new artist endorsement with Reunion Blues. This high quality bag rocks in style and function. It’s expertly crafted to be lightweight but provide plenty of protection. Another big plus is the optional shoulder strap which is uncommonly comfortable. Beautiful work! Definitely adds to my swag.
Here’s an official photo:
More photos from the gig to come!
I paid my first visit to the Mann Center in Philadelphia after winning tickets from @TheArtsInPhilly to see Return to Forever IV. The band was smoking! Chick Corea, Jean-Luc Ponty, Stanley Clarke, Frank Gambale and Lenny White brought a spiritual energy that uplifted the audience of this spacious outdoor concert amphitheater.
Check out this promo video from the band’s website:
Tony Bennett has always been one of my favorite interpreters of the American Songbook with a style and attitude all his own.
In celebration and honor of Tony’s 85th birthday, the legendary recording artist has paired with Tiffany & Co. to create a playlist of his top ten favorite love songs. The jeweler synonymous with true love recently introduced a new website and iPhone App, as What Makes Love True, which has quickly become the resource for romantics around the world. Within the “Art of Romance” section, Tiffany features a playlist of Tony’s top ten favorite love songs, which can be viewed now at www.whatmakeslovetrue.com.
Two highlights: Doris Day’s “It’s Magic” and Frank Sinatra swinging “I’ve Got the World on a String”. Check it out!