"Barbieri the Cat"

Talk about a sound that's both sensual and captivating! Argentine tenor saxophonist and composer, Leandro Barbieri, better known as Gato Barbieri, plays some of the smoothest saxophone you'll ever hear. Born to a family of musicians, Barbieri began playing after hearing Charlie Parker's "Now is the Time." He began his career playing the clarinet and alto saxophone. By the early 1960s, Barbieri was playing tenor saxophone and let the influences of John Coltrane's late recordings, as well as other free jazz saxophonists such as Albert Ayler and Pharoah Sanders, shape his unique sound. It was then a that Barbieri developed that warm, "gritty" tone, which would become Barbieri's trademark.

By the late 1960s, Barbieri was fusing sounds of South American music into his recordings and introduced a whole new world of passionate music. He won a Grammy for his score for Bernardo Bertolucci's film Last Tango in Paris, which led to a record deal with Impulse Records. He's worked with some of music's most recognizable artists such as Carlos Santana, and jazz music giants like Don Cherry and Charlie Haden. Gato Barbieri's smooth, sexy, passionate latin sound has truly made him a jazz icon among the free, latin, and smooth jazz communities.

Here are two of my favorite Gato Barbieri's songs:

She is Michelle - A song Gato Barbieri wrote for his wife Michelle some years after her tragic death. A personal favorite since my name is Michelle :D

Enjoy such an amazing sax!

Takin' Five...

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April is Jazz Appreciation Month!!!!!! J.A.M.

To help 88.1FM KKJZ kick off Jazz Appreciation Month, let's take a look at one of jazz's greatest figures, Duke Ellington.

Duke Ellington was best known for leading his orchestra and composing music specifically for the style and skills of the members in his orchestra. "Jeep's Blues" was composed for Johnny Hodges, "Concerto for Cootie" for Cootie Williams, which later became "Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me" with Bob Russell's lyrics, and "The Mooche" for Tricky Sam Nanton and Bubber Miley. Because of Ellington's compositions, many of the orchestra members remained with the orchestra for several decades.

Here is a sample of Ellington's song "The Mooche", again composed to showcase Tricky Sam Nanton on flute and Bubber Miley, jazz trumpeter and cornet player (specializing in using the plunger mute):

"The Mooche" was a great example of how Ellington composed his music to showcase the members of his orchestra. It's no wonder as to why Duke Ellington was hailed as one of the greatest figures in jazz music history.
Here's another cover of "The Mooch" by the Royal Crown Revue. Enjoy! :D


If you're looking for a jazz radio station, look no further! Cal State University Long Beach broadcasts one of the best jazz stations in southern California on 88.1 FM KKJZ.

KKJZ has been broadcasting since 1981. It's funded by contributions from listener members and other donors, with about 75% of its funding coming from station memberships. KKJZ offers memberships to their listeners which gives insight on local jazz events, discounts at various local businesses and concerts, chances to win tickets, CDs, exclusive invitations to meet jazz artists, and much more.

KKJZ features a jazz musician and their music in their weekly "Jazz Master of the Week." Here listeners can learn all about the featured musician's music, life, and possible upcoming shows. DJs are quite insightful and have a true passion for jazz and blues music. During the broadcasts, listeners can call in and make pledges that help fund the station. Many promotional offers are available for donations as well.

If you're looking for any upcoming jazz shows, KKJZ has great information on upcoming events and jazz festivals. Traditionally, KKJZ has broadcast at the Long Beach Jazz & Blues Festival, as well as the Playboy Jazz Festival. They also highlight smaller festivities such as the Hollywood & Highland Summer Jazz Concert Series, a great summer event for food, wine, and great music!

Make sure to check out their website for updated shows, artist information, and anything about jazz. April is Jazz Appreciation Month. Make sure to contact the station with your comments and questions about jazz, and your emails could be read on air! Once you discover 88.1 FM, KKJZ, you'll be hooked. It's easily my favorite jazz station. Check out the link below to visit their website.


30th Annual Playboy Jazz Festival

5th Annual Hollywood & Highland Summer Jazz Concert Series

Enjoy the music!

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