Daily jazz blog, Marlbank

Jon Regen, Satisfied Mind ****

Are you allowed to be satisfied? What a controversial thought. Creatively Regen's restlessness sidesteps complacency and his dissatisfaction is not to find decent tunes and simpatico collaborators. So no wonder because the material is strong and …

Published: 12 Jul 2023. Updated: 11 months.

Are you allowed to be satisfied? What a controversial thought. Creatively Regen's restlessness sidesteps complacency and his dissatisfaction is not to find decent tunes and simpatico collaborators. So no wonder because the material is strong and the company mighty there is a sunny feel, a whole bunch of top names (Ron Carter, Tim Lefebvre, Jeremy Stacey, Dave McMurray for goodness' sake) on an album of mostly originals in the pop-jazz domain to inspire a satisfied mind. The title track is the much covered song of the country fiddler and songwriter Red Hayes and Jack Rhodes' from 1954 and features the great Larry Goldings known for his work with Sweet Baby James himself James Taylor. Produced by Jamiroquai's Matt Johnson songs are Regen and Johnson co-writes in the main. Regen original the missing you see-you-again-in-my-dreams ballad 'Hello Old Friend' which is totally Joel-esque is the best song lyrically and you think too of course of the great Randy Newman in the sound when a few home truths are needed. ''Feel the air black feel the sun grey'' are the words that linger with us most from the song. Regen's solo piano work on the poignant 'For Keith' think ''deep greens and blues for the colours I choose'' to borrow from the Taylor 'Sweet Baby James' lyric which actually seems apt the way the song modally-bright comes over.

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Terence Blanchard, Gary Bartz, Amina Claudine Myers and Willard Jenkins named as NEA Jazz Masters

It's the USA's top jazz honour becoming an NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) Jazz Master and thus has global significance given the worldwide renown of many US jazz musicians from any number of generations. For 2024 the new Masters just …

Published: 12 Jul 2023. Updated: 11 months.

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It's the USA's top jazz honour becoming an NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) Jazz Master and thus has global significance given the worldwide renown of many US jazz musicians from any number of generations. For 2024 the new Masters just announced are trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard, saxophonist and composer Gary Bartz, pianist-singer-organist-composer Amina Claudine Myers and jazz writer and broadcaster Willard Jenkins whose book Ain't Book a Few Of Us we reviewed last year. A ceremony celebrating the new NEA Jazz Masters will take place at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC in April next year. Amina Claudine Myers, photo: publicity shot