Jackiem Joyner is ready for his Hollywood close-up. It’s already been a big year for the multidimensional sax player both professionally and personally. Dramatic events offstage have inspired his work in the spotlight while his passion for movies has influenced the songs, sounds and textures used in the creation of his third album, a self-titled disc that arrives as Joyner is poised to become a top-of-the-marquee smooth jazz star.
Swinging, Singing, Playing: The Count Basie Orchestra Salutes the Jazz Masters
Even while the Count Basie Orchestra was in the studio finishing work on its Tony Bennett album, A Swinging Christmas, the ensemble’s new album was already taking shape: a salute to such jazz titans as Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Freddie Hubbard and John Coltrane, in addition to such living legends as Bennett, Quincy Jones, Hank Jones, Frank Wess, Jon Hendricks, Curtis Fuller, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock and others. Mack Avenue Records presents Swinging, Singing, Playing: The Count Basie Orchestra Salutes the Jazz Masters featuring top-drawer performances by the big band and its all-star guest list that includes Jones, Wess, Hendricks, Fuller, Geri Allen, Nnenna Freelon, Janis Siegel, Butch Miles, Rufus Reid and, in a nod to the younger generation that embraces Basie music, sparkplug singer/pianist Jamie Cullum.
“Hey fellas, I got a message for ya. Listen up…”
That’s the first thing Johnnie Bassett has to say on The Gentleman Is Back, the legendary Detroit guitarist and singer’s new album — just before he delivers the lightly stinging licks that are his playing trademark. With his voice and his strings, Bassett hints at the rough road ahead but with a warm, mellifluous tone — “a unique ability to combine jump blues and Delta stylings” praises the All Music Guide — that lets you know you’re riding with the right guy.