Posts Tagged ‘jazz’

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Date of Interview: 03/27/2013

© 2013 Clayton Perry

Ted Gioia is a pianist, music historian, and one of the founders of the jazz studies program at Stanford Univeristy. The New York Times has named two of his works notable books of the year: The History of Jazz (1997) and Delta Blues (2009). Gioia is also the author of West Coast Jazz, Work Songs, Healing Songs and The Birth (and Death) of the Cool.

In promotional support of The Jazz Standards: A Guide to the Repertoire (Oxford University Press: July 6, 2012), Ted Gioia spoke with Clayton Perry about the evolution of music criticism, defining moments in jazz history, and the importance of music education.

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KEMDate of Interview: 01/20/2011

In a world inundated with Auto-Tune singing and GarageBand beats, KEM has managed to create a space in the contemporary marketplace for his jazz-inspired music to thrive and survive. And since 2003, to the surprise of industry prognosticators, his first two solo projects – Kemistry and Album II – attained gold status. KEM’s third project, Intimacy: Album III, would become his best-performing album on Billboard’s Top 200 Chart.

Intimacy: Album III features “What Would You Say,” a heart-wrenching ballad that garnered two nominations at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards: “Best Male R&B Vocal Performance” and “Best R&B Song.” In preparation for “music’s biggest night,” which takes place a few days before the start of his headlining Intimacy tour, KEM managed to squeeze some time out of his busy schedule and settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry – reflecting on the decline of live instrumentation, the importance of authenticity, and his “ironic” signing with Motown Records.

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Matt Cusson

Date of Interview: 10/01/2009

© 2009 Clayton Perry

While studying in Boston at Berklee College of Music, Matt Cusson instinctively found his way to Harlem’s Apollo stage.  And in the years to follow, as a three-time winner of the venue’s legendary Amateur Night, Cusson would eventually perform alongside some of the music industry’s greatest contemporary voices: Babyface, Christina Aguilera, and Norah Jones, to name a few.

In July 2009, Matt Cusson’s jazz composition, “One of Those Nights,” was announced as the 2008 Maxell Song of the Year.  (In previous months, the song was unanimously heralded as the winner of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest within the “Jazz” category.)  Quite fittingly, the grand prize was presented to Cusson by his long-time mentor, Brian McKnight.

Upon review of Matt Cusson’s self-titled debut, the accomplished singer and songwriter managed to squeeze some time out of his busy schedule and settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry — reflecting on his Berklee experience, the inspiration behind “One of Those Nights,” and the inevitable challenges that independent artists face.

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Oleta Adams

Date of Interview: 05/15/2009

© 2009 Clayton Perry

The music of Oleta Adams defies categorization.  Even her four GRAMMY nominations cut across multiple genres—showcasing her artistic versatility and inherent individuality.

Although “Get Here” is her biggest popular hit in the United States, she has developed a substantial following in Europe, where eleven of her songs charted on the UK Singles Chart.  And over the past two decades, Oleta Adams has amassed an international following, whose dedication draws strength and fixation from her warm vocals and passionate spirit.

Whether singing jazz, Gospel or R&B, Oleta Adams has the power to connect with her fans through the raw emotion underlying her personal—yet universal—lyrics.  Her latest album, Let’s Stay Here stands as the eighth of her long, illustrious career.

Upon the release of Let’s Stay Here, Oleta Adams managed to squeeze some time out of her busy schedule and settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry — reflecting on her European success, marketing challenges, and “Picture You the Way that I Do.”

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Lalah Hathaway

Date of Interview: 05/19/2008

© 2008 Clayton Perry

When your last name is Hathaway, there is a certain degree of attention that inevitably follows you, especially in the world of music.

As the daughter of Donny Hathaway, one of soul music’s eternal legends, the expectations placed upon Lalah’s career have been extraordinarily high.  In spite of such pressure, she has blazed her own trails and become a staple on jazz and R&B radio—spending half of her life in the musical spotlight.

Self Portrait, her Stax Records debut, is an introspective account of a twenty-year career.  Upon review of the album, Lalah Hathaway managed to squeeze some time out of her busy schedule and settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry — reflecting on the intersection of jazz and R&B, “Tragic Inevitability,” and her father, Donny Hathaway.

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Dianne Reeves

Date of Interview: 03/20/2008

© 2008 Clayton Perry

Dianne Reeves is one of America’s most revered contemporary jazz singers.  Standing on the shoulders of her forbearers, Reeves’ name has been added to the ranks of Dinah Washington, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn, her vocal inspiration and personal favorite.

To date, the Recording Academy has bestowed Dianne Reeves with four GRAMMY awards—making her the first singer to win “Best Jazz Vocal Performance” for three consecutive recordings: In The Moment (2001), The Calling (2002) and A Little Moonlight (2003).  Reeves garnered her fourth GRAMMY with the soundtrack to Good Night, Good Luck (2006), a movie in which she was also featured.

On April 15, 2008, Dianne Reeves released When You Know, an album that showcases Love—from a woman’s perspective—in all of her different stages.  Upon review of When You Know, Dianne Reeves managed to squeeze some time out of her busy schedule and settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry — reflecting on Sarah Vaughan, “Better Days,” and the marketability of jazz.

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