Can Jazz Music Survive A Pandemic?

Before the arrival of the coronavirus (COVID-19), we frequented our favorite music stores, cafes, festivals and jazz clubs to hear the music that we love so much. On top of the music, we connected with friends both old and new while listening to musicians we know — or musicians who we were excited to discover.

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5 Quarantine Questions with Jeff Rupert

  • What are you listening to during the quarantine?

Everything from Frank Sinatra to Harold Mabern.

  • What hobbies do you have to help keep you from going crazy during lockdown?

Well, my hobby is yachting, but that’s on hold for a bit. I’ve just been practicing, writing new music for an upcoming album, and reading a lot.

  • What is your favorite recipe/go-to meal that you could share?

I just smoked ribs for the family today. I enjoy cooking quite a bit. I like cooking a rib roast, and my boys love grilled lamb, and a creamed spinach dish. I recently started making filet au poivre that the family likes.

  • For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

The chance to be a credit to society.

  • Given the choice of anyone in the world, who would you want as a dinner guest?

Billy Strayhorn, or my Dad.

Jeff Rupert has a new album, The Ripple, with fellow saxophone legend, George Garzone, available now!

Night Is Alive Featured in Downbeat – February 2020

Night is Alive featured in February 2020 Issue of Downbeat

Kathy Salem, managing director of Night is Alive, opens up about her journey from a small, boutique Jazz agent, to becoming a nation-wide Jazz Powerhouse.

“We started off very small: I was only doing management for jazz musicians,” said Kathy Moses Salem, managing director of Akron, Ohio-based Night Is Alive Productions. “But musicians come to me all the time, asking Can you ‘do this, can you do that?’ We realized that there were bigger needs, and we ought to be 360-degrees.”

That’s how Salem’s five-person company expanded from focusing on artist management to a mind-boggling list of services. Night Is Alive’s purview includes audience research, social media curation, digital and physical media design, advertising and promotion, and recording and production for the company’s new eponymous record label.

But Salem, at 75, is a newcomer to most of these aspects of the music business. And at first, she didn’t even plan on working as an artist manager. Salem’s background includes advertising at the Cleveland Plain-Dealer and lobbying in Washington, D.C. But after her husband passed away in 2004, she decided to channel her energy into a lifelong love of music.

You can read the full article here!

Night is Alive @ Jazz Congress at Lincoln Center, New York

Night is Alive at Jazz Congress 2020 - Lincoln Center New York City

We’ve been having an amazing time at the 2020 Jazz Congress, hosted at the Lincoln Center, here in New York City. We’ve had the chance to listen and speak to so many gifted artists, teachers, mentors, and musicians. What can we say, it feels good to be inspired and to be surrounded by your peers. If you’re here with us, let us know! You can alwaaays drop us a line on our instagram at www.instagram.com/night_is_alive

Are You A True Jazz Lover? (QUIZ)

HEY JAZZ LOVER, HERE'S SOME JAZZ YOU MIGHT LOVE!

LOVERS AND LOVE SONGS

  1. I’ve Never Been In Love Before – 30Secs WJ3 All_Stars Buy Track 0:30
  2. First Time I Saw Your Face – 30Secs WJ3 All_Stars Buy Track 0:30
  3. I’m An Old Cow Hand – 30Secs WJ3 All_Stars Buy Track 0:30
  4. Gee Baby Aint I Good To You- 30Secs WJ3 All_Stars Buy Track 0:30
  5. From This Moment On – 30Secs WJ3 All_Stars Buy Track 0:30
  6. Here’s That Rainy Day – 30Secs WJ3 All_Stars Buy Track 0:30
  7. Cry Me A River – 30Secs WJ3 All_Stars Buy Track 0:30
  8. Jitterbug Waltz – 30Secs WJ3 All_Stars Buy Track 0:30

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Lovers and Love Songs is a distinguished collaboration written and performed by several of the jazz industry’s top musicians. This collection of heartwarming melodies is the soundtrack to a modern-age love story that swept the web prior to the album’s release. Though you may have forgotten about these iconic tunes before now, they have been brought back to life in a new and inspiring way by Willie Jones III and his All-Stars. Join these world-class artists on a romantic journey through the ages and discover your own personal love story, the music a backdrop to your imagination.
 
After selling out two concerts in Fort Lauderdale and Fort Myers, FL, Ms. Salem suggested bandleader Willie Jones III and his All-Stars take their performances to the next level and create a studio recording. The group, made of big-name bandleaders in their own right, so thoroughly enjoyed playing together that they agreed, thus leading to the birth of Lovers and Love Songs.

Along with Willie Jones III (drums), the album features Terell Stafford (trumpet), Ralph Moore (tenor saxophone), Donald Vega (piano), Steve Davis (trombone), and Gerald Cannon (bass).

Looking for the beat? Find it in the rhythm section.

Think of your favorite jazz piece.

You can probably hear it clearly in your head. Think of the tempo, the solos and how the song makes you feel. Now, think about how that piece would sound if you took away the drums, the double bass/electric guitar and the piano/keyboard. There’s no doubt that piece would most likely sound disjointed and not as dynamic as the piece that you fell in love with does.

That’s why the rhythm section is at the heart of every jazz song you hear. Without it, everything would just fall flat.

So what is a rhythm section?

A rhythm section, also known as a backup band, provides the rhythm, harmony and beat for a jazz band or ensemble. A typical rhythm section might have one or more guitars, a keyboard instrument or piano, a double bass or electric bass and drums. There’s no set number of instruments for a rhythm section. It can be made up of two or three instruments, or it can have several keyboardists, guitar players, string players and drummers.

Large rhythm sections are often led by a bandleader or a conductor. This person deciphers the tempo of each song, when the song starts, when the song gets slower, when the soloists are supposed to change and how a song a song will end.

In jazz groups and jazz fusion bands, the rhythm section members usually perform improvised solos. Drummers might “trade” short solo sections with a saxophone player or trumpet players. This is often referred to as “trading fours.” Drummers and horn players will alternate four-bar solo sections during a song. It’s common for them to trade eights, twos, ones, or other numbers depending on the style of the piece.

Some pieces that spotlight what rhythm sections do best are “Kind of Blue” by Miles Davis,
“Ornithology” by Charlie Parker, “Birdland” by Weather Report and “Actual Proof” by Herbie Hancock to name a few.

What are your picks for best rhythm section? Let us know in the comments.

Ron Carter: Mr. 2,221…and Counting

If you love jazz, but you don’t know who Ron Carter is, you really don’t love jazz.

Why do we say that?

Because Ron Carter is one of the most prolific, innovative and influential bassists in jazz history.
He’s also played with a number of the greats. From Lena Horne to B.B. King, Miles Davis to even A Tribe Called Quest, Mr. Carter’s talent has transcended a variety of genres.

Carter was born in Ferndale, Michigan on May 4, 1937. He started playing cello at age ten, and later switched to the double bass. He went on to play during his time at Cass Technical High School in Detroit, the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York and the Manhattan School of Music in the Big Apple.

His professional career in music started with gigs playing bass for Jaki Byard and Chico Hamilton. Carter hit the big time in 1963 when he became a member of the classic and acclaimed Miles Davis Quintet. In it, he played alongside Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Tony Williams. He played with the group until 1968. During his time, he recorded two albums with them—Seven Steps to Heaven in 1963 and E.S.P. in 1965.

After his quartet time, Carter went on to forge a number of musical partnerships and was a member of the New York Jazz Quartet. He also was a sideman on many Blue Note recordings playing with Freddie Hubbard, Duke Pearson, McCoy Tyner, Horace Silver and many others.

In a career which spans more than 50 years, Carter has more than 2,221 albums to his credit. He’s the most recorded jazz bassist history and was recognized for it by The Guinness Book of World Records in 2016. At 81, Carter is still teaching and performing.

So far as his style, it’s been described as such.

“What makes Carter so unique is the fact that describing his style is more comparable to describing the entire jazz genre—it includes a grandiose and diverse spectrum of sophisticated music that has evolved over the past several decades. Carter has been at the forefront of various jazz movements, from bebop to bossa nova, straight-ahead to experimental. If that weren’t enough, he has thrived in virtually every form of ensemble playing from conservation-driven duos to quartets to big bands. He has played the bass lines that all students of jazz have to learn and does so with impeccable tone, technique, and temperament.”

Ryan Madora

Bass Players to Know: Ron Carter, notreble.com

Sept. 15, 2017

Night is Alive’s own Donald Vega performs on piano with Carter’s Golden Striker Trio.

This just goes to show the caliber of the great talent that we work with. In a nutshell, we represent legends who have been inspired, mentored and celebrated by jazz greats, and we’d love to share their unique sounds with you—and the world.

Learn more about what we do and who we represent.