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Presented on March 1, 2021

Everybody Wants To Rule The World

Featuring the music of Kari Kirkland
Duration: 4:10

When creating this collage video, it was very tempting for me to try to make more of a political statement. The opportunity to create a literal translation of the lyrics was obvious. In the end, I chose to steer away from that angle, because frankly, I think we're all pretty weary from the onslaught of "breaking news" almost every hour. I wanted to provide a ray of hope through all the misery and challenge that everyone is going through in their own way. I considered the idea that "ruling the world" can be a very modest thing; everyone has their own unique challenges, and is working toward their own short and long-term goals. A child's ability to rule their world can include the freedom to splash through the puddles, celebrating a birthday, or learning to ride a bike without training wheels, whereas adults' versions sometimes become a bit more emotionally complex. Most outstanding in my mind was the idea that almost everyone has their own personal version and scale of success, separate from society's.
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Presented on February 24, 2021

Never With You

Featuring the music of Matthew Alec
Duration: 6:25

Matthew Alec and The Soul Electric from the album Cleveland Time on Cleveland Time Records with Brian Woods (piano), Jared Lees (bass), Steven Forrest Sanders (guitar), Jeremiah 'The Franchise' Hawkins (percussion), Leon Henault (drums).
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Presented on February 12, 2021

Nilopolitano

Featuring the music of Camila Ronza
Duration: 4:17

Brazilian vocalist Camila Ronza won the 2020 7 Virtual Jazz Club Jury prize for best musician presenting "Nilopolitano." View the other categories and winners from this year's 7 Virtual Jazz Club contest here.
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Presented on February 11, 2021

Standards, Vol. 1 Promo

Featuring the music of Christopher Burnett
Duration: 2:20

No matter how modern or abstract or unclassifiable jazz can get in the 21st century, standard tunes remain a touchstone for a great many players, across widely varying jazz idioms and sub-genres. When someone improvises on a standard, we hear how they sound, but we also hear how they hear. Where do they place the beat? Where does their harmonic imagination lead? What melodic secrets do they reveal? What inner aspect of their soul do they choose to lay bare? From Buddy Bolden onward, jazz improvisers have taken the tools and vernacular of their day, of their musical community, and sought their own truth within that common framework.

Such was the goal of alto saxophonist Christopher Burnett on The Standards, Vol. 1. Yet the decision to record a full album of standards was made after much reflection. Every player faces the challenge of making a standard his or her own, rather than relying on past interpretations, and this was a concern. There’s also the risk of standards, in Burnett’s words, becoming caricatures: “In this era of information overload,” he says, “[playing standards] can become ego vehicles to play loads of memorized melodic permutations and other intellectually derived constructs over the changes.”

With The Standards, Vol. 1, Burnett sought to capture a straightforward and honest encounter with the songbook tradition and the modern jazz canon. In this, he had solid support from a working band with pianist Roger Wilder, bassist Bill McKemy and drummer Clarence Smith, expanded to include guitarist Charles Gatschet on four tracks, as well as Stanton Kessler on flugelhorn for Herbie Hancock’s enduring “Dolphin Dance.” (Wilder and Smith were both featured on Burnett’s 2014 ARC release Firebird.) Kessler, on two additional tracks, appears in a larger ensemble with two flutes (Terri Anderson Burnett, Freda Proctor), clarinet (Samantha Batchelor) and baritone saxophone (Aryana Nemati), Gatschet on guitar as well, as Burnett wields the arranger’s pen and summons some truly colorful reed-plus-rhythm section sonorities. Top engineer Bill Crain captures it all beautifully in Studio A of his BRC Audio Productions.
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Presented on February 8, 2021

Times Square Ballet (from 'On the Town')

Featuring the music of Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra
Duration: 7:24

Legendary composer Leonard Bernstein once called jazz “the ultimate common denominator of the American musical style.” The music made a profound impact on Bernstein’s work, not only in the more explicit “jazziness” of his work in musical theater, but throughout his “serious” orchestral music as well. Jazz artists in turn felt the influence of Bernstein’s innovations, with interpretations of his work recorded by such icons as Bill Evans, Dave Brubeck, Oscar Peterson, Wes Montgomery, Wayne Shorter and countless others. With the stunning new album Bernstein Reimagined, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra mines the composer’s vast repertoire for a vibrantly diverse new set of music that delves into pieces rarely if ever performed in a jazz context. Available now via MCG Jazz, this dazzling music was originally commissioned as part of the worldwide celebration of Bernstein’s centennial year in 2018.
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Presented on February 5, 2021

Rio Crystal

Featuring the music of Paul Colombo
Duration: 5:58

“Rio Crystal” by Paul Colombo Group is a potpourri of contemporary jazz. From Latin, to swing, to fusion, to blues, to funk, to ballads. Too much variety? According to Dan McClenaghan, “It is unusual for a debut album to sound this assured, and to have such an unwavering cohesion of vision...” This video has excerpts from each of the eight original tracks.
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Presented on January 26, 2021

jazz re:freshed weekly presents... Sultan Stevenson

Featuring the music of Sultan Stevenson
Duration: 50:32

This week we have another amazing young talent. Aged only 20, Sultan Stevenson is a student of the Tomorrow's Warriors programme whose art combines elements of the Black African American Jazz tradition as well as his own Black British Caribbean cultural experience. Sultan released his debut single 'To Be Seen' in the summer of 2020. Which was well received and well-liked among his generation in the jazz community. Sultan intends on releasing an album soon which will stand as a clear sign of him flourishing into one of the future stars of jazz in the UK, Europe and internationally. Sultan Stevenson: piano; Jacob Gryn: bass; Joel Waters: drums; Ruben Ross: tenor saxophone; Josh Short: trumpet.

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