Jazz Notes with Jim has been on CFBX-FM 92.5 the X in Kamloops, B.C. for nearly eight years.
I attempt to promote all forms of jazz and I support local music as much as I can. I am a frequent contributor to the CFBX newsletter Index and contribute features and reviews to earshot-online.com. As someone said the other night if you are trying to find me at a club, "He's probably up there just in front of the band giggling away." Yup, music makes me happy. So does beer. My Myspace page www.myspace.com/jazz_notes features a bi-weekly blog, photos from musical festivals over the years and a collection of concert tickets encompassing Dizzy Gillespie, Eric Clapton, Motley Crue and AC-DC. I frequently attend the Vancouver International Jazz Festival, the Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival, the Komasket Music Festival and this year the 1st ever RarEarth Blues and Jazz festival.
2008 in Review
Top 200 of 2008
As the new year comes in, it time to look back at the musical year that was...
The '2008 Best of...' Playlists
The year-end playlist for friends and family is an annual tradition for many music lovers. !earshot takes a look at what a few of our friends and family from the music obsessed world of c/c radio are cooking up this year.
Weirdoes & Movie Stars: Bazooka Goes Bonkers In the O-EIGHT
By Bruno Mazzotta
Fader in the Key of Simultaneity
By Andrea-Jane Cornell
Meat's Sweet Treats
By Luke Meat
Picks and Pans 2008
Looking back at some of the best, the over-rated, local surprises and more...
Jazz Notes with Jim
The Church of Noise
Jazz on the Rocks
I Am Collecting Beautiful Things
Nasty Jag Sound Crew
The Kitchen Sink
My Top 10 records of the year
I didn't consider any CDs that were re-releases and generally chose from jazz and R&B CDs. Shelby Lynne's CD was the exception.
Lily Frost -- Lily Swings -- (Marquis)
Indeed Lily swings! This is a CD that brings the great Billie Holiday to mind but, is fresh in its own way. It covers the swing sound from Bob Wills to Duke Ellington and Frost shows that she is more than just another cabaret singer.
Bob Brough Quartet -- Time Away (Independent)
The veteran sax player with roots in Time Warp and other projects may well be one of the brightest band leaders around. He writes and arranges with all members of his band in mind and can play a smokin’ sax. As a package this may be the most ‘complete’ CD I heard all year with no weak tracks.
Jean Martin, Evan Shaw — Piano Music --(Barnyard Records)
I hear lots of experimental or avant-garde jazz and while some of it interests me and much of it goes over my head, I kept going back to this CD. It’s title Piano Music does not give it enough credit or tell the truth.Think Nils Cline Singers. Shaw's inventive sax riffs and Martin's manic but controlled drumming are an ear-opener and they defintely have a sense of humor and maybe a 2nd career as chefs.
Felicia Carter Feather – Feather [and] Step Lightly (Alberta Records)
This is a two disc set, from a very unique vocalist, with one disc containing originals and the other containing mainly cover versions of standards. While I generally enjoyed the latter disc more, either disc could have been successfully released alone. Recorded at NPR studios.
Michael Occhipinti -- The Sicilian Jazz Project (True North Records)
Often labors of love, as this obviously is, can be hit and miss. Not this one. Occhipinti has chosen the right mix of musicians, some Italian, some not, that can blend the genres. He is a master arranger and a wonderful guitar player. The much maligned accordion shines through on the Italian side and it must be said: “Trumpet player Kevin Turcotte is God!”
Willie Nelson, Wynton Marsalis -- Two Men with the Blues -- (Blue Note)
I wanted to hate this CD. I always felt that Nelson has no business in the jazz world, but this pairing actually works. Marsalis is sublime on the trumpet and Nelson’s long time harmonica player, Mickey Raphael shows off his talents when allowed. Let’s face it Nelson’s voice isn’t suited for many styles, but they wisely picked the ones that suited him and the musicians are wonderful.
Al Green -- Lay It Down -- (Blue Note)
Al’s back. Maybe he never went away and stories of concerts where he’s only on stage for 45 minutes may have lost him some fans, but there is no denying it “The Reverend” sure as Hell is still one of the best R&B voices out there. It also doesn't hurt to have a little help from Corinne Bailey Rae and John Legend.
Shelby Lynne -- Just a Little Lovin’ -- (Lost Highway)
So what’s a jazz host doing listening to somebody that was not long ago associated with the putrid world of new country? Not sure myself, but this CD hit me in the right place. Inspired by the music of Dusty Springfield, indeed! Her voice suits this material to a tee and I always was a sucker for Bacharach/David compositions. What a wonderful surprise and even more surprising--produced by Phil Ramone!
Bridge Quartet – Day--Origin Records
Multi-instrumentalist Phil Dwyer, sticking to and exelling at sax here, plays with a group of great Pacific northwest musicians. It may have got less airplay because few tracks qualify as CANCON. The playing is tight, the solos are well distributed and the tempos are diverse. Another CD with no weak tracks. They include covers of Sonny Rollins and Miles Davis tunes and some sparkling originals.
Joe Lovano – Symphonica: The Cologne Broadcasts (Blue Note)
Wow! This veteran reed player with the WDR Big Band, which has scores of the best musicians in Europe playing in symphony halls produced for live broadcast. Contrast this with what my most under-rated record has for resources. Still there’s no denying it. Joe can flat out play!! This is a jazz/symphonic collaboration that really works!!
Most under-rated record of the year
She has a wonderful voice and her composing skills belie her youth. This CD has a nice mix or originals and covers. Veteran producer Rick Kilburn’s touch can be felt throughout this CD. Given more $$ for musicians and studio time this could have been a great CD.
Best local release
Earthbound -- Earthbound -- (Independent)
A marvellous mix of R&B, funk and even a bit of hip-hop. Vocalist/composer Kira Haug has star potential and her musical partner Evan Wilds can play sitar, guitar, sax, etc. A brother duo on the horns fill out a pleasing and distinct modern sound.
Best personal campus/community radio moment or experience of the yearI interviewed local musicians Evan Wilds from Earthbound and Rob Hall from the ghengisgandhis. I am an acquaintance of both guys, so it was nice having them on my show. Promoting local music is important, too!
Record you are most anticipating for 2008
Coco Love Alcorn promises a new one and locally Kira (Haug) Gosselin.