Tag Archive | "Jazz"

Microwave Bacon Recipe

border="0" alt="microwave bacon" hspace="5" width="160"
height="200" align="left"/>Crisp, home-cooked bacon is a cinch with this super easy microwave bacon recipe. The best part is you don’t need any special equipment, and the bacon tastes every bit as crisp as it does when it’s cooked on the stove or in the oven.

In fact, this is now my favorite way to make bacon. Try this method, whether you need a little bacon to jazz up a salad or sandwich or want some to go with your eggs for breakfast.

Check out my other microwave recipes, too.

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Bacon image by Amy Neunsinger/Getty Images 2013, licensed to About.com Inc.

Source: About.com


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George Benson - Inspiration: A Tribute To Nat King Cole

George Benson Gets Inspiration

George Benson - Inspiration: A Tribute To Nat King Cole

Last week, I told you I was checking out the new George Benson tribute to Nat King Cole called Inspiration. This week, I’m done checking it out and inviting you to check-in on my review. If 50s and 60s jazz vocals are your bag, you’ll dig this set. Georgie sounds mahvalous!

Enjoy the jazz.

MV

_/\_

Album Cover Photo Courtesy of Concord Music Group

Source: About.com


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5 Ways to Jazz Up School Lunches

border="0" alt="turkey wraps" hspace="5" width="200"
height="130" align="left"/>These creative school lunch ideas are simple ways to jazz up school lunches in ways the kids will actually like.

Start by switching up the bread. Go with whole wheat or multigrain if you want the kids to have something healthier. Or try a tortilla, like I use for my turkey wraps with apricot jam and bacon or even something sweet, like banana bread.

Other tricks featured here include giving new life to last night’s dinner and making food smaller.

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Turkey Wraps image by Stephanie Gallagher 2013, licensed to About.com Inc.

Source: About.com


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John Scofield (Live at the String Cheese Incident, August 3, 2013)

A Wonderful Day In The (Jazz) Neighborhood

John Scofield (Live at the String Cheese Incident, August 3, 2013)

It’s been a great day to be the jazz guide here at About.com.

Today’s mail delivery included a CD by a young cat named Warren Wolf. The young man plays the vibes and does it with remarkable melodic intensity (not to mention the support of dudes like Benny Green, Christian McBride and Lewis Nash). Also in the mix, the Pablo re-release of Coltrane‘s Afro Blue set, an album I blogged about last week (and one that will get a spin on the sound system tonight).

As if that weren’t enough, I got a chance to hang on the phone this morning with jazz guitar legend John Scofield. “Sco,” as his pals call him, was back home in New York after playing a weekend date at the String Cheese Incident in my current hometown of Portland. I was there and I saw what he did: a great set from him and his Uberjam band. And, I had a great conversation with him today about his new album Uberjam Deaux. Look for the full details later this week.

However, you shall not pass “go” and shall not collection information about “Sco” without first reading my Talks About interview with the wonderful and charming singer and pianist Eliane Elias. Check it out and then check out her new album, I Thought About You, a dazzling tribute to Chet Baker.

Enjoy!

_/\_

MV

Photo of John Scofield by Michael Verity

Source: About.com


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Eliane Elias - I Thought About You

Eliane Elias Talks Cool (Jazz, That Is)

Eliane Elias - I Thought About YouBack in May, singer, pianist, composer and arranger Eliane Elias released her 21st album. Entitled I Thought About You, it’s a collection of 14 songs that were either recorded or performed live by Chet Baker. Why she has been so strongly influenced by Baker’s music, how she chose the tunes she recorded from his vast repertoire and how the musicians with whom she worked helped shape the album are all subjects a conversation I had with Eliane last week.

Click here to read Eliane Elias Talks About I Thought About You, the first in a series of articles featuring jazz artists taking about their latest albums.

_/\_

MV

Source: About.com


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Jazz World Loses Two Important Players

Jazz music lost a pair of important personalities over the past two weeks.

Last Wednesday,  July 24, drummer and percussionist Steve Berrios passed away at his home in Manhattan. Berrios was a native New Yorker who grew up in Upper Manhattan around such legends as Tito Puente, Willie Bobo and Mongo Santamaria, all of whom were friends with Berrios’ father, the dance band drummer Steven Berrios.

The younger Berrios began playing professionally at 16 and started touring at 19. Over the course of his career, he played with the likes of Max Roach, Art Blakey and Dizzy Gillespie, with whom he played percussion during a goodwill tour of Cuba during the 1980s. You can read more about Berrios here.

A week earlier, on July 18th, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Carline Ray died at age 88 from complication due to a stroke.

Ray started her career in the 1940s as a singer and guitarist with the all-female band the International Sweethearts of Rhythm, a group she joined shortly after graduating from Julliard. She later performed in bands lead by Erskine Hawkins and Mary Lou Williams.

During the 1960s, Ray was an in-demand session bass player who worked with artists as diverse as Leonard Bernstein and Bobby Darin. She was also the mother of jazz singer Catherine Russell, who helped Ray create her one album as a solo artist, Vocal Sides, which was released in April of this year. Read more on Ray here.

_/\_

MV

Source: About.com


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Yellowjackets

Yellowjackets Drop New Set

YellowjacketsI have a lot of admiration for Russ Ferrante. Not only is he one of the great contemporary jazz pianists on our time; he’s also one of the most persistent. Thirty-plus years since he, Robben Ford, Ricky Lawson and Jimmy Haslip formed Yellowjackets, he’s the last player from the the original lineup to still be recording with the band.

Along with Bob Mintzer, who’s been a Yellowjacket since 1991; William Kennedy, whose two tours of duty cover a total of 14 years; and rookie member Felix Pastorius (son of the legendary Jaco), Ferrante has released a new Yellowjackets record called A Rise In The Road.

Is it as energetic as The Spin or as rich as Like A River? Find out here.

_/\_

MV

Photo by Marc Vanocur/Courtesy of Mack Avenue Records

Source: About.com


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13 Fresh Takes on a Turkey Sandwich

border="0" alt="grilled turkey and cheddar" hspace="5" width="200"
height="170" align="left"/>The turkey sandwich. It’s healthy. It’s easy to prepare. And it’s boring. Don’t send the kids back to school with a boring sandwich. Please! With these 13 fresh turkey sandwich recipes, you don’t have to. I give you lots of creative and tasty ways to jazz up the classic, from grilled turkey with cheddar to a Southern turkey with pimento cheese to a turkey Cuban with ham, Swiss cheese and pickles.

Try all of these recipes, and let me know what you think. And be sure to check out my creative school lunch ideas for beating the brown bag blues.

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Grilled Turkey with Cheddar Cheese image by Stephanie Gallagher 2013, licensed to About.com Inc.

Source: About.com


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John Coltrane - Afro Blue Impressions

Concord To Update Coltrane’s Afro-Blue

John Coltrane - Afro Blue ImpressionsNormally I don’t get too excited about reissues but this one has my attention. On August 20th, Concord Music is going to offer a new two-CD remaster of John Coltrane’s Afro Blue Impressions.

Joe Tarantino, who’s worked on a ton of jazz reissues, has done the 24-bit remaster and Concord is ante-ing up some new liner notes and three bonus tracks.

The release celebrates the 40th anniversary of Pablo Records, which was launched by Norman Granz in 1973, and the 50th anniversary of the recording (which was done in Berlin and Stockholm in ’63 and stockpiled until its original release in 1977).

“These tracks brim with the wonder and the power of discovery,” says Neil Tesser, who wrote the new liner notes. “At this juncture, the Coltrane Quartet existed in a state analogous to quantum mechanics,” he adds. “Each new performance yielded new insights. As the musicians gathered this data and sifted through it, they would arrive at the polished theories underlying the eventual masterworks to come, such as the album Crescent and the monumental suite A Love Supreme.”

Looking forward to this.

Concord Music, by the way, is a great label for all kinds of music. Check them out here.

_/\_

MV

Source: About.com


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Michael Verity

Who’s That Guy?

Michael Verity

That handsome fellow you see above is me, Michael Verity, your new Jazz Guide at About.com. I’m very excited to be the guy they picked to guide you through the world of jazz, from the halcyon days of Louis Armstrong to the ground-breaking days of Charlie Parker to the innovative artists of today.

For those of you who are wondering, I’ve been listening to jazz since I was a wee lad, sitting at my Daddy’s knee, listening to Ellington and Goodman and Basie on the console stereo (which, as I recall, was the size of a two car garage). My piano-playing older brother introduced me to Ramsey Lewis and Ahmad Jamal; my older sister and her trumpet-playing boyfriend were into Chase and Maynard Ferguson and Blood, Sweat & Tears. The bands I played with in high school all had set lists that looked something like this: Foreigner – Santana – Stanley Clarke – The Ramones – Weather Report – The Knack. Yeah, baby, we made a medley of “Birdland” and “My Sharona.”

I could go on and on about me but what about you? What do you want to see on the About.com jazz page? More classic artists? More lists of essential people, music and resources? More info on new artists and albums?

Well, if those things are on your list, we’re already off to a good start.

NEW ALBUM: You probably noticed the big picture of Terence Blanchard at the top of the page. Terence, who’s been an award-winning player and composer for the better part of 30 years, has a snazzy new album out called Magnetic. Find out what I think of it by reading my review and then tell me what you think of it.

CLASSIC ARTIST: From the classic artists file I’ve whipped up a profile of the great Bud Powell. I was a little surprised no one had done that yet for About.com, given his profound influence on jazz piano. But I’ve remedied the situation with a concise look at his story (which is somewhat tragic, sad to say).

ESSENTIALS: As you probably know, Nelson Riddle was one of the great jazz and pop arrangers of all time. He worked his magic for Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra and Linda Ronstadt, to name a few. Were he still alive today, he would have turned 92 years old a few weeks ago and would have enjoyed National Nelson Riddle Day, a proclamation I’m authorized to make given my new Jazz Guide title. Not familiar with his best work? Check out my Nelson Riddle Buyer’s Guide.

UGH: As I was paging through Joaquim Paolo’s gorgeous book Jazz Covers — which I highly recommend — I was marveling at all the beautiful artwork that’s graced the covers of jazz albums. I was also blanching at some of the incredibly bad design choices that have been made over the years. Check out my Truly Terrible Album Covers article for some “cringe-worthy” artistic disasters (and feel free to mention a few of your own choices.)

Some pretty cool stuff, right? And there’s more to come. Later this month, I’ll tip you off on the best places on the internet to listen to jazz and remind you of the essential books you need to have in your jazz reference library. I’ll also be reviewing the new George Benson and Harry Connick albums and letting know how the great Steely Dan are sounding onstage these days. It’s going to be fun.

Photo by Randy Bingham/Randy’s Vision/Phoenix, AZ

Source: About.com


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