5 Jazz Vinyl Albums that You Need on Your Shelf!

Who would’ve thought that vinyl would make such a comeback in the new millennium? Invented in the 1940s, vinyl records are flat discs inscribed with spiral groves that represent the audio waveforms of the original track. As enthusiasts like to point out, vinyl is the purest version of a recording you can get. 

Maybe you know someone who rushed to buy the new vinyl records of Harry Styles, Taylor Swift, and Frank Ocean. This is all fine and dandy, but, in our opinion, if you truly want the bona fide, old-fashioned experience of sitting down and enjoying a vinyl, you might want to listen to some music with a bit more history to it … like jazz! 

We hand-selected five of the best jazz vinyl albums that you need on your shelf today! 

Billie Holiday – Lady in Satin

In our chaotic modern world, we’re accustomed to plugging in our earbuds while we go to the gym or turning on the radio while we run errands. Seldom do we intentionally take time out of our day to sit down and listen to music on a record player. 

Well, with its incredible intensity of emotion, Billie Holiday’s 1958 album is absolutely one that you’re going to want to sit down for. As you probably already know, Holiday battled addiction for most of her life, which is probably what inspired this breathtaking and heartbreaking album. 

Chet Baker – Chet Baker Sings: It Could Happen To You

Coincidentally also released in 1958, this album shows off both Baker’s voice, in a nice selection of jazz standards, and his swinging, melodic trumpet skills, in a few short solos. Baker’s unique vocals, which helped him to rise to fame, are so delicate and elegant that they seem to just float effortlessly from the record player into the air.  

Frank Sinatra – Sinatra at the Sands

Despite his reputation as more of a pop star, Frank Sinatra was indeed a jazz artist. And this 1966 album—recorded live from the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas—captures a compelling portrait of his talents as a jazz musician. The record player’s needle will also bring the album a lovely sense of warmth that’ll make you want to tap your toes! 

Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong – Ella and Louis

They say that opposites attract, and these two jazz powerhouses are no exception! Fitzgerald has a light and girly voice, while Armstrong’s voice is earthy and deep. Their styles complement one other exquisitely, especially in this 1956 album, which is truly timeless. 

WJ3 All-Stars – Lovers & Love Songs

Like a vinyl record, true love is also ageless, timeless, and enduring. So, what better way to celebrate your love story than with a vinyl record of the newest album from the WJ3 All-Stars. Full of heartwarming melodies and modern renditions of iconic tunes, this album is sure to be remembered as one of the most beloved vinyl records of our era. 

The vinyl record of Lovers & Love Songs, which comes with a bonus signed CD, is available in our store today! 

This post was written by Blog Editor, Jacqueline Knirnschild.

Songs for a Walk in the Fall Leaves

With the autumn leaves beginning to change colors, you’re probably ready to grab a pumpkin spice latte, put your earbuds in and go for a nice long walk in the park. Bask in the rich golds, bronzes, saffron, oranges, yellows, and reds. But before you go, make sure to read this guide to all the fall leaves and trees, complete with some great song recommendations for fall! 

Red – Red Roses For A Blue Lady by Wayne Newton

During your walk, you may be wondering, what trees turn red in the fall? Well, as the weather cools, the wine-colored leaves of the classic red maple and red oak become richer in tone. In addition, flowering dogwood, hornbeam, sourwood, and winged sumac also take on the deep hues of crimson, maroon, and cherry. And what pairs better with red than roses? This easy listening tune from 1965 will help you to unwind, be in the present moment and let all your daily worries fall away, just like the rusty red leaves.  

Purple – Purple Rain (Blues Cover) by Miche Braden

We often forget about the purple foliage, which is less common than the other colors of fall, but no less beautiful, just like this blues rendition of Prince’s famous pop song. Revel in the breathtaking violets, plums and burgundies of sweet gum, smoke trees, eastern ninebark and oakleaf hydrangea while you listen to this heartbreakingly beautiful song. I only wanted to see you laughing in the purple rain…

Orange – Autumn in New York by Billie Holiday

As your strolling, you may wonder, what exactly causes leaves to change color in the autumn? Well, you may remember learning about chlorophyll in high school or college biology class—the green pigment in a leaf that absorbs sunlight and transforms carbon dioxide and water to sugars and starch, aka foods that allow the tree to grow. But in addition to chlorophyll, there are also yellow and orange pigments, carotenes ad xanthophyll, that are masked by the immense amounts of green in the leaf—that is, at least until fall rolls around. Due to changes in temperature and the length of daylight in autumn, the leaves stop making food, so the chlorophyll breaks down and the green colors disappear, thus giving the yellow and orange pigments space to flourish.   

The sugar maple and Japanese maple change into particularly beautiful shades of orange that, as Billie Holiday first sang in 1956, make autumn in New York so inviting. On benches in Central Park, greet autumn in New York, it’s good to live it again…

Yellow – Dayne by the Lorca Hart Trio

There’s no better way to revel in the rich stains of fall than with an album titled, Colors of Jazz. With its fast pace, this vibrant tribute to Miles Davis and Wayne Shorter represents yellow. Imagine speeding down the road in a bright yellow sportscar, with the top down, peering through your sunglasses at the golden yellows of the American elm, black cherry, cucumber magnolia, shagbark hickory and witch hazel.  

If you’re looking for more brilliantly colorful songs for fall, Colors of Jazz is available in our store and on all major music platforms!

This post was written by Blog Editor, Jacqueline Knirnschild.

4 Tunes to Jam While You Work Out!

With the weather warming up and COVID cooling down, it’s a great time to grab those running shoes and hit the pavement, or to renew that lapsed gym membership, and burn off that pandemic fifteen! But what music to listen to? Maybe you’re not a fan of the popular workout mixes of our day and age—rap, hip-hop, dubstep—and want some fast-paced, upbeat tunes that have a more instrumental, jazzy, and classic feel to them. Well, look no further because we’ve got you covered!

Lorca Hart Trio – MoJoe

With the stay-at-home orders and limited access to gyms during the pandemic, many of us may’ve have lost our mojo when it comes to working out. But don’t worry, this song, a drum solo from Lorca Hart himself, will help you get your mojo back. Show everyone what you can do, just like those impressive drumbeats! 

Junkie XL, Elvis Presley – A Little Less Conversation

In 2001, Dutch musician Tom Holkenborg, better known as Junkie XL, was the first artist to receive authorization from the Elvis Presley foundation to remix an Elvis song. The product is an electronic, funky sound that lowers Elvis’s voice and draws even more attention to the lively guitars, horns and drumbeats from the 1968 tune. So, let’s listen to Elvis, and have a little less conversation, a little more action lifting those weights!

 

Chócala – Humboldt

This obscure jazz quartet from Charlotte, North Carolina produces a unique, energizing and vibrant sound, especially in this tune, which features fervent percussion, powerful vocals and smooth saxophone. In Spanish, ‘chócala’ means high-five, which is very fitting for this snappy, jubilant group that’ll make you want to high-five the person sweating on the treadmill next to you!

The Brian Setzer Orchestra – Jump, Jive an’ Wail

I don’t know about you, but nothing makes me want to move like some spirited swing music, especially when the refrain of the tune is telling me to jump, jive an’ wail! This swing and jump blues band covered Louis Prima’s 1956 song on their 1998 album The Dirty Boogie and the result is a fast-moving piece that’ll push you to finish out that last rep strong!
If you enjoyed these tunes and are looking for more enthusiastic music to motivate you to work out, I would recommend the Lorca Hart Trio’s album, Colors of Jazz, which features a variety of songs representing all the colors of the rainbow. Lorca Hart’s impassioned drumming will be sure to get you stepping back into your workout groove in no time! Colors of Jazz is available in our store right now and on all major music platforms.

This post was written by Blog Editor, Jacqueline Knirnschild.

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!

Marketing Insights: Night is Alive and Lovers and Love Songs

There is no right answer when it comes to marketing, whether you are a small business or large corporation. Though numerous studies have attempted to solve the riddle behind effective marketing tactics, users generally report that roughly 70% of all marketing is either ignored or disliked – and that leaves only ¼ of all marketing to be considered effective.

Thinking monetarily, when only $.25 of every dollar is spent “productively”, you would think that those working in the marketing field would spend a majority of their time and energy trying to resolve the issue and win back consumers. However, fear begins to play a large role in methodology. Businesses tend to rely heavily on “what works” with little positive growth rather than risk new methods that could yield worse results. That said, there are a couple of general marketing tactics that stand out when attempting to reach a wide audience.

Targeting

The safest approach to cultivate and grow interest is targeting. This is a game of attention, the end goal to maximize audience engagement. Simply put, you make changes to who receives your ads and finesse your audience to maximize engagement. Using metrics, or measurable values that demonstrate the effectiveness of campaigns, to track marketing goals is effective here. Targeting is a tried and true formula that has immediate feedback, especially in today’s internet age where nearly all ad platforms provide analytics to the marketer.

MailChimp is one example of an email marketing service that does a wonderful job of targeting. After sending an email campaign, the marketer receives data on how many clicks, opens, bouncebacks, etc. their email yielded. It provides instantaneous feedback for future, similar campaigns.

Personalization

The trickier, but much more rewarding, process is innovating and personalizing the style of content you are delivering to your audience. A compelling ad campaign can cross demographics and bring in audiences you might not reach using standard targeting. Night is Alive is taking an alternative reality marketing approach for the upcoming release of Lovers and Love Songs. Without giving too many details away, the idea is to create an environment that encourages interaction between the audience and the promotion. This interactive experience will allow people to feel more directly involved and connected to the campaign itself. Creating a storyline within a scavenger hunt environment is one method: the audience can find clues, solve puzzles, and, ultimately, reach the finish line. This could set the stage for a rewarding exchange of information.

Crafting a positive community around your brand is a lofty goal for any business or agency. This “holy grail” focuses on building lasting relationships, not solely on the number of clicks their ads receive (not to discount the importance of targeting, which has a time and place!). While cultivating a community comes with many potential benefits for both the business and the audience, it also runs the risk of consumer exploitation. Users are much savvier than they used to be, and they will be quick to call out any marketing behavior that attempts to hijack their emotions or intelligence. Therefore, if you want to make the marketing experience exciting and rewarding, it is always best to respect your audience from the start.

For more information about Lovers and Love Songs and the musicians with Night is Alive, please visit our web page (http://nightisalive.com/) or contact directly via phone.

Article by Benjamin Lehman and Elizabeth Carney, Content Editor, Night is Alive

Press Release: Lovers and Love Songs

Night is Alive Album Release September, 2019: Lovers and Love Songs

Night is Alive, under the leadership of Managing Director/Producer Kathy Moses Salem, is thrilled to announce the release of Lovers and Love Songs on September 9th, 2019.

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). It should also be noted that Eric Reed (piano) and Robin Eubanks (trombone) were involved with the two live concerts but were unable to record.

The excitement felt by the musicians was almost tangible in the studio, revealed by the following first-hand comments Ms. Salem documented during the recording process:

“One of the best recordings I have made in the past ten years.” – Ralph Moore

“So relaxed and smooth.” – Terell Stafford

“This is my first time to play with the band…what fun!” – Donald Vega

Gerald Canon, showing his commitment to the album’s success, hosted a rehearsal at his apartment, while other musicians insisted on recording extra takes to “fix two wrong notes”.

The album features the following:

1.) I’ve Never Been In Love Before
Terell Stafford, melody
solos by Terell Stafford, Ralph Moore, Steve Davis, and Donald Vega

2.) First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
Donald Vega and Ralph Moore, melody
solos by Ralph Moore and Donald Vega

3.) I’m An Old Cow Hand
Ralph Moore, melody
solos by all members

4.) From This Moment On
Terell Stafford, Steve Davis, and Ralph Moore, melody
drum solo by Willie Jones III

5.) Gee Baby Ain’t I Good To You
Ralph Moore, melody
solos by Ralph Moore and Donald Vega

6.) Here’s That Rainy Day
Donald Vega and Terell Stafford, melody and solos

7.) Cry Me A River
Steve Davis, melody
solos by Steve Davis and Donald Vega

8.) Jitterbug Waltz
features trio Donald Vega, Gerald Cannon, and Willie Jones III

Order Willie Jones III Tickets Today

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Drummer Willie Jones III is best experienced front row, and “full throttle.” His latest release is Groundwork featuring compositions by Cedar Walton,  Eric Reed and Buster Williams.

When Willie was still living in LA, Billy Higgins told him: “Don’t wait for somebody else to decide when you are ready to be a leader.”  Well… Willie is now one of the world’s leading jazz drummers and a brilliant leader.

Eric Reed says: “Willie has a west-coast swagger to his swing that isn’t lackadaisical and a New York edge that isn’t overwhelming. There is nothing academic about Willie on the bandstand.”  With the band Willie has put together for this gig, we will be hearing what Willie calls… Straight-Swingin’-Real-Jazz!

Featuring

Willie Jones III, drums
Eric Reed, piano
Ralph Moore, tenor saxophone
Mike Olmos, trumpet
Mike Gurrola, bass

ORDER TICKETS HERE: https://jazzbakery.org/events/willie-jones-iii-wj3

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