The second Parliament Jazz Festival will be held in the State Central Concert Hall "Russia" from September 17-19, 2004. According to IA "Intermedia", stars from USA will take part in the festival this year. Each of them has received multiple Grammy and other awards. These include legendary piano player and composer Ahmad Jamal (USA), Kenny G (saxophone), singer Natalie Cole (daughter of famous Nat "King" Cole) and Chaka Khan (whose real name is Yvette Mary Stevens). Progressive French jazz group "St. Germain" and Russian saxophonist Igor Butman are expected to perform as well.

On 10th June, a Thursday evening, after a long illness, the legendary Ray Charles - one of the greatest figures in world music - passed away at the age of 73 in Beverly Hills (California). Due to worsening health, Charles had had to cancel some of his concerts. His last public performance took place on 30th April 2004. It was at the opening ceremony of a memorial plaque on the building where his recording studio had stood for 40 years. Ray Charles' house in Los Angeles is officially acknowledged as a historical site.



Al Jarreau, a jazz singer and composer, virtuoso of vocal-syllabic singing is preparing to release his new album. According to Al Jarreau, new album differs from what has ever been recorded before.

The "Marsalis Music" label, founded by Branford Marsalis, has already celebrated its second year. During this period, albums by two interesting young musicians - Doug Womble and Miguel Zenon - were recorded. "Haiku", the first album for four years by pianist Joey Calderazzo will come out on 3rd August. It is a solo album by the musician who played with Branford Marsalis and Michael Brecker. Branford Marsalis and his quartet (Joey Calderazzo pianist, Eric Revis (bass), drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts) has recorded a disc called "Eternal" which will be ready in September. The label is also planning to record a DVD with Coltrane's "A Love Supreme" performed by Marsalis' quartet in Amsterdam.



2004 marks 45 years since Miles Davis' album "A Kind of Blue" - one of the most popular in the jazz world - came out. In recognition, producer Harry Gutry organized the recording of one of the most interesting albums of this year - A New Kind of Blue. It is a new version of Davis' work that comes with a bonus track: Bill Evans' composition "Peace Piece". The recording was made in the Sony studios in New York, featuring Randy Brecker (trumpet), David Fink (double bass), Victor Luis (drums), Chuck Loyeb (guitar), Mike Richutti (piano) and Andy Snitzer (alto saxophone).

Two performances by Stevie Ray Vaughan and his band "Double Trouble" at the Montreux Jazz Festival, released on CD in 2001, will come out on DVD in summer this year. The double DVD "Live at Montreux 1982 & 1985" will be released on in August 10th. This DVD will include previously unreleased compositions. Moreover it will include a new documentary film with interviews. Performing at the Montreux Jazz Festival of 1982 was a breakthrough for Vaughan and "Double Trouble", they were first heard outside their native Texas. Just after this performance they were offered a contract and in 1983 their debut album "Texas Flood" came out. In 1985 Vaughan triumphantly went to the Montreux Jazz Festival again. On 27th August 1990 he died in a car accident.

On August 24, the 215 Record label will release another album of the e.s.t. Trio called "Seven days of Falling". Esbjorn Svensson (piano), Dan Berglund (bass) and Magnus Ostrom (drums) announced have been around for some time. They are popular in Europe, USA and Sweden. This band's discs are included in the top twenty bestsellers List.





Bebel Gilberto, daughter of the famous Brazilian musician Joao Gilberto, has released a new album and called it simply "Bebel Gilberto". It includes 12 compositions, 9 of which she composed herself. The album was recorded in Brazil, London and New York.

American guitar player, is widely known in the gipsy jazz music world as one of the Jungo guitar style masters. In John Duigen's movie "Head in the Clouds" he played Jungo and recorded two of his compositions ("Blue Drag" and "Minor Swing"). The movie should be released in September 2004. The FGM Record label also announced the release of another Jorgenson album called "Franco-American Swing".

Ron Levy, widely known in the music world as a veteran with 25 years experience in blues and soul-jazz (he has played with BB King, Roomful of Blues, Karl Denson, and received 9 Grammy nominations) recorded his new album "After Midnight Grooves". Levy's new project presents an exotic mix of blues, hip-hop and soul. Such musicians as Karl Denson, Melvin Sparks and Russ Lawton play in his "Wild Kingdom" band.

A square in the finance district of Toronto was named after the legendary jazz player Oscar Peterson and 22nd June is Oscar Peterson day. He lived in Toronto for about 50 years.

A new box set of 7 compact discs "Seven Steps: The Complete Columbia Recordings of Miles Davis 1963-1964" will come out in September. It comprises 47 tracks, 7 of which have never been released before and 3 are newly edited.

 

The Fourplay jazzmen have finished work on their new studio album called "Journey". The disc was released on 22nd June. The recording was made by the line-up unchanged since 1998 - Bob James (piano), Nathan East (bass, vocalist), Larry Carlton (guitar) and Harvey Mason (drummer). The "Journey" album is the first by Fourplay to feature electronic instrumentation.

Famous Italian jazz musician Pino Minafra is preparing to welcome guests of the12th "Talos 2004" Festival in Ruvo di Pulya, Bari, southern Italy. The Festival, which will be held from 1st - 5th September, will gather about hundred musicians representing Italy, Great Britain, France, Belgium, Holland, Lithuania, Israel, Lebanon, the USA, Albania, Russia and South Africa. The Festival program includes 17 concerts. A Miha Mengelberg and Khan Benning duet, the Rabi Abu Khalil quintet, a solo performance by Keith Tippet, the Louis Sclavis quartet with their program, "Neapolitan waltz" and the Meridiana Multijazz Orchestra, featuring Gianluigi Trovesi. Evelina Petrova will present her program as well.

On the 14th of September Columbia Eighty-Eights will release the album called "Someday My Prince Will Come". This is the last joint record of two famous jazz brothers: pianist Hank Jones and drummer Elvin Jones, who died in May this year.

America will have Presidential elections this year. A special organization "Jazz for America's Future" was created to support one of the candidates - John Kerry. On June 14 a big charity concert was held in one of the halls of New York featuring international jazz stars such as Dee Dee Bridgewater, Joshua Redman, Brad Meldow, Michael Brecker, Nicolas Patton, Charlie Hunter, Christian McBright and Jeff "Tain" Watts. The funds raised will be passed to Kerry's election campaign.

One of the greatest soprano saxophone players in modern jazz history, 67 year old Steven Norman Lackritz, also known as Steve Lacy, died of liver cancer on 4th June in Boston. Having lived more than 30 years outside his native country, he returned to America from Paris only in 2002, accepting an offer to teach in Boston's New England Conservatory.

Over 4 million copies of Nora Jones' second studio album "Feels Like Home" were sold in just one month after its release and it achieved four time platinum status in USA.

French pianist and composer Jean-Pierre Mas released his new album "(H)ombre". No albums have been recorded since 1998 while he was engaged only in composing music for movies.