JAZZ

Project Gram Slam’s Robert Miller Details Passion for Jazz, Rock Fusion

Project Grand Slam founder and leader Robert Miller says the group’s fifth recording, The PGS Experience, will mesh “a heavier sound of rock ‘n’ roll and jazz to drive things right down the line.” “It’s all part of his desire to follow his “passion,” he says in a new interview. The way the electric bassist looks at it, jazz harking back to the ‘50s is stuck in a time capsule as far as the melodic compositional references being relevant to that time....

Robert Miller Swings for the Fences With Project Grand Slam (video)

Robert Miller is living a dream he’s had since he joined his first band. The Manhattan native played piano and trumpet, but his first love was bass. He studied under Jimmy Garrison, who played for John Coltrane. In 2007, he created Project Grand Slam, and his dream was realized. The nine-member band combines rock, jazz and fusion in a unique sound that has won praise from music critics....

Bilal Finally Steps Out of the Wings With New Album ‘A Love Surreal’

Bilal’s list of collaborators reads like most people’s playlists: The Roots, Dr. Dre, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Erykah Badu, Common, John Legend, J Dilla, and Robert Glasper. But to get to this point in his career, it took a lot of waiting. Late 2013 brought the release of A Love Surreal, distributed by eOne Music. In support of the album, Bilal played at Stage 48 in Manhattan last weekend (May 9), with more touring to be expected....

Michael Feinstein Brings Gershwins to Life in New Book, Performances

Michael Feinstein, often called “The Ambassador of the Great American Songbook,” has just released a book of his own, The Gershwins and Me It celebrates his history with brothers Ira and George Gershwin and their music. The multi-platinum-selling, two-time Emmy and five-time Grammy Award-nominated artist exhibits an extraordinary passion for his concerts, records, educational programs and landmark New York club Feinstein’s at Loews Regency. Feinstein lends his vocals to twelve of his favorite Gershwin tunes, a CD of which is included with the book. He’s also performing at Feinstein’s at Loews Regency through Dec. 22 in “A Gershwin Holiday....

Renee Olstead Channels Slinky '50s in Stunning Retro Style (photos)

Jazz singer and actress Renee Olstead recreates the look of an early ’50s chanteuse in a stunning new photo shoot for Regard magazine. She talks about the end of her long-running television series, her new tour and a new EP due this month. In October, ABC announced that the upcoming fifth season of “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” would be its last. Olstead has appeared on the show as Madison Cooperstein, a friend of the main character, since the show debuted. Filming the final episodes were emotional, she told the magazine....

Dave Brubeck, a Titan of Jazz For Seven Decades, Dies at 91

Dave Brubeck, a seminal figure in jazz, who popularized the musical form over seven decades with his unique compositions, died suddenly today from a heart attack at his home in Norwalk, Conn. He was one day shy of his 92nd birthday. Brubeck composed hundreds of songs during his long career. “In Your Own Sweet Way, “The Duke” and Take Five" were most popular. He recorded and toured with the Dave Brubeck Quartet, with renowned alto saxophonist Paul Desmond and was embraced by the Beat Generation....

John Coltrane, Jazz Classics Released In High Definition Audio

Six classic jazz albums, featuring John Coltrane, Eric Dolphy, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Horace Silver and Larry Young are being re-released by Blue Note/EMI in high definition audio, digitally remastered from their original analog master tapes. All of the albums include original sleeve notes plus additional photos and newly-written package essays....

Jazzy Renee Olstead in Hottest Photos Ever for New EP

Renee Olstead, the acting and singing phenom, who cut her first jazz record at 15, sizzles in new photos, at least new to the Internet, supposedly in advance of a new EP. Olstead, 23, may be best known for her role as Madison Cooperstein in “Secret Life Of An American Teenager.” ABC Family renewed the series for a 5th season in February....

Esperanza Spalding Jazzes Up the Daily Show (watch!)

Esperanza Spalding turned Jon Stewart’s Daily Show into a jazz club for two songs last night and belted out two songs from her new album Radio Music Society. Stewart doesn’t often do music, but when he does, it’s usually awesome. Spalding, 27, is well-known in jazz circles, but only vaulted to national attention last year when she set teen sensation Justin Bieber back on his heels by beating him out for Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards....

Renee Olstead Gets Freaky With Snakes (photos!)

Renee Olstead had some free time on her hands on break from “Secret Life Of An American Teenager:” and decided to get freaky with some snakes and an apple in a photo shoot with Sammi Doll and stylist Emily Hunter. She gives new meaning to the Biblical Eve....