Sunday, October 20, 2019

CD Review: Rich Willey's Boptism Big Band, "Down & Dirty"

I have a treat for all my Big Band fans.  I have just listened to Rich Willey's "Boptism Big Band's" new release "Down & Dirty" and it's fabulous!  Trumpeter, Bass Trumpeter, Bandleader and Composer Rich Willey has a remarkable resume consisting of performing with many great musicians including Maynard Ferguson, Lionel Hampton, Buddy Morrow and vocalists Mel Torme, Jack Jones, and Shirley Jones.  The 11 tunes written by Rich Willey are as good as band music gets and will surely be played by lots of other bands in the future who are looking for fresh, new and inspiring music.  Rich Willey's composing is clear, versatile and understandable.  In addition, the talented musicians in this band are all world class and make for a listening feast.  And lastly, the arrangements are sparkling good.  These three elements make "Down & Dirty" one of the best big-band CDs released this year in my opinion.

Rich's tunes are perfectly written and arranged for the 18-piece band that Producer Dan Fornero assembled to record this CD.  An impressive group of Arrangers were brought in by Rich to create arrangements to bring Willey's compositions to life.  The group included Michael Abene, Gordon Goodwin, Wally Minko and Chris Walden and they truly are magnificent arrangements.   Award-winning engineer Tommy Vicari did the remarkable recording of this 18-piece band to complete this great CD.

This CD contains 77-minutes of musical delights including Jazz, Funk, Latin, Baroque, Reggae and Rock.  I highly recommend it to anyone who loves exciting new Big Band sounds!

1. "Boogie Beast"
2. "Down & Dirty"
3. "Walter The Ferret"
4. "Eyes All For You"
5. "Dancing Hippo"
6. "Ed Zachary Meets Gregory Peccary"
7. "How Bout That?"
8. "Old Folks"
9. "Little Treasures"
10. "Not So Fast"
11. " Funk Heap"
12. "But For The Grace Of God"

Rich Willey-Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Bass Trumpet, Composer, Band Leader
Saxophones- Dan Higgins, Brian Scanlon, Bob Sheppard, Jeff Driskill, Sal Lozano, Jay Mason
Trumpets- Wayne Bergeron, Dan Fornero, Rob Schaer, Mike Rocha, Tony Bonsera
Rhythm Section- Wally Minko-Keyboard, Andrew Synowiec -Guitars, Edwin Livingston-Bass
Peter Erskine-Drums, Joey De Leon-Percussion
Special Guest Thomas Hooten-Piccolo Trumpet (Down & Dirty)

I can't wait for you to hear the two YouTubes I have attached.  The first is "Boogie Beast" and the second is "Walter The Ferret" both written by Rich Willey.

Friday, October 4, 2019

CD Review: Lisa Rich, "Highwire"

Lisa Rich has an interesting story to tell.  In the 1980's she was one of the most promising Jazz singers in the US.  She and her lush voice performed in some of the most prestigious Jazz settings in the US including a series of concerts in China and India. It was not only her voice that brought her into a national focus, her ability to handle sensitive lyrics and melodies were near perfect.  She recorded two CD's before recording "Highwire" in 1987 but never released.  Lisa Rich experienced serious health issues that caused her to stop performing and pause her career.  She then opened up a music studio and worked as a Vocal teacher and gave private lessons and conducted workshops.  It was not until 2018 that Lisa returned to the music she had begun so long ago and remixed the "Highwire" CD and released it in August of 2019.

"Highwire" is really a tribute to the writing genius of Chick Corea.  A chance encounter with Chick Corea moved him to present Lisa with several of his songs.  Lisa interprets five of Corea's songs on this CD and also two songs by Ralph Towner, one by Duke Ellington, Ornette Coleman and Loonis McGlohon and the standard, "We'll Be Together Again" by Carl Fischer and Frankie Laine.

The supporting musical cast on "Highwire" is terrific starting with outstanding Piano work from Marc Copland, Bassist Drew Gress and Drummer Michael Smith.  David Kane also provides great piano support on tracks 3 and 6.

This CD remix was recorded 32 years ago but proves again that good music is timeless.  Lisa Rich has a natural ease and smoky lush voice that reminds us what Jazz Vocals are all about.  All the songs included in this CD are difficult but sensitive and Lisa sings everyone flawlessly.

1. "High Wire The Aerialist"
2. "Contessa" 
3. "Celeste/Prelude To A Kiss"
4. "Bud Powell"
5. "Stardancer"
6. "Lonely Woman"
7. "Songbird"
8. "The Jinn"
9. "We'll Be Together Again"
10. "The Silence Of A Candle"

Lisa Rich-Vocals
Marc Copland-Piano
Drew Gress-Acoustic Bass
Michael Smith-Drums
David Kane-Piano (Track 3 & 6) 

I have selected two YouTubes for you to review that showcase Lisa Rich's wonderful Vocal talents. The first one is "High Wire The Aerialist", music by Chick Corea, Lyric by Tony Cohan.  The second is a terrific version of the standard, "We'll Be Together Again", Music by Carl T Fischer, Lyric by Frankie Laine.

Friday, September 13, 2019

CD Review: Fred Hersch & The WDR Big Band Release "Begin Again"

Fred Hersch continues to amaze me with the depth of his musical talents.   His solo recordings are masterful performances and his Piano trio work is possibly the best heard today.  But his talents don't stop there.  In Fred's lastest CD "Begin Again" he joins the wonderful WDR Big Band playing his compositions Arranged and Conducted by six-time Grammy winner, Vince Mendoza.  "Begin Again" contains some supurb compositions by Hersch and some wonderful performances by the members of WDR Big Band recently described by "DownBeat" as "One of Europe's finest large Jazz ensembles".  I find it impossible to determine what brings more to this CD, the magnificent compositions Hersch has written or the impeccable orchestrations Mendoza put together.  It really doesn't matter because this CD has music that needs to be heard by any Jazz lover.   The feel of the songs seem almost classical in nature and yet, they seamlessly provide space for talented solo opportunities from a group of musicians that include Alto Saxophonists Johan Horlen and Karolina Strassmayer, Tenor Sax player Paul Heller, Trumpeters Ruud Breuls and Andy Haderer, Tombonists Ludwig Nuss and Andy Hunter and Drummer Hans Dekker.  All these players are outstanding European Jazz players who were new to me, but Jazz is not limited by boundaries or language.  It  allows great musicians playing great music to be enjoyed by all!

Fred Hersch is one of the most respected Jazz musicians currently performing and is already one of the most influential in Jazz history.  Joining him in this project to provide arrangements, Vince Mendoza provides clear proof as to why he has had 33 Grammy nominations and 6 Grammy wins.  One might think that putting two musical giants together might have some issues but Hersch and Mendoza blend their talents perfectly to produce great music!

1. "Begin Again"
2. "Song Without Words #2"
3. "Havana"
4. "Out Someplace"
5. "Pastorale"
6. "Rain Waltz"
7. "The Big Easy"
8. "Forward Motion"
9. "The Orb"

Fred Hersch- Piano and all Compositions and Arrangement for the "Orb"
Vince Mendoza- Arrangements and Orchestrations
The WDR Big Band:
    Alto Sax- Johan Horlen, Karolina Strassmayer
    Tenor Sax- Olivier Peters 
    Tenor Sax- Paul Heller
    Baritone Sax- Jens Neufang
    Trombone- Ludwig Nuss, Andrea Andreoli, Andy Hunter
    Bass Trombone/Tuba- Mattis Cederberg
    Trumpet- Wim Both, Rob Bruynen, Andy Haderer, Ruud Breuls
    Guitar- Paul Shigihara
    Bass- John Goldsby
    Drums- Hans Dekker

I have attached two "YouTubes" from this wonderful new CD that I guarantee will delight you.  The first is "Havana" that speaks well for the composing and playing talents of  Fred Hersch and the Arranging and Conducting unique skills of Vince Mendoza.

The second "YouTube" is "Rain Waltz" and it's also a brilliant combination of composing and arranging.  You might want to grab an umbrella because you may feel the rain.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

CD Review: Larry Fuller New CD, "Overjoyed"

Larry Fuller has released his new CD "Overjoyed" and I think its a gem!  Larry Fuller is a masterful pianist who has not only technical expertise but also the ability to emotionally connect with his audiences.  One reason he has this rare combination of skills is because he learned his craft the old fashioned way, on the bandstand.  Larry has varied experience playings with four giants of mainstream Jazz.  He started with legendary Bassist, Ray Brown, then worked with vocalist Ernestine Anderson, moved to the musical wonder, Jeff Hamilton and then joined with acclaimed guitarist and vocalist John Pizzarelli.  Four top level musicians by any measure and Larry brought and took from each one of them to develop his personal style.

Larry brought Bassist Hassan Shakur and Drummer Lewis Nash to join him to perform a great group of song from the "Great American Songbook" including Jazz, Blues Pop standards and some beautiful originals.

The playlist is a wonderful collection of songs with "Overjoyed" by Stevie Wonder, "Bossa Beguine" by Oscar Peterson, "Fried Pies" by Wes Montgomery, "Cubano Chant" by Ray Bryant, "Lined with a Groove" by Ray Brown, and the standards, "How Long Has This Been, "Going On"Never Let Me Go", and "Mona Lisa".

Larry Fuller is a Jazz giant and tours around the country.  When he is in your area,  let nothing stay in your way to see him perform live.  I guarantee it will be a musical treat you will not forget!

1. "Fried Pies"
2. "Overjoyed"
3. "Lined With A Groove"
4. "Jane's Theme"
5. "The Mooch"
6. "How Long Has This Been Going On"
7. "Cubano Chant"
8. " Mona Lisa"
9. "Bossa Beguine"
10. "Bossa Nova Do Marilla"
11. "Never Let Me Go"
12. "Go My Mojo Workin"

Larry Fuller- Piano
Hassan Shakur- Bass
Lewis Nash-Drums
I have attached two "YouTubes" from Larry Fuller's terrific new CD "Overjoyed"  The first is Wes Montgomery's "Fried Pies" and the second is Stevie Wonder's class "Overjoyed".

Thursday, August 8, 2019

CD Review: Beata Pater releases Her 9th CD, "TeT"

Beata Pater has just released her 9th CD entitled "TeT" and it's a beautiful piece of musical art.   Backed by an 18-piece band that includes a wind and brass double quartet, and a double string quartet,   Beata began playing violin at the age of 6 and became "totally obsessed with the instrument".  She was a serious student of classical music but at age 15 she joined a Funk/Jazz/Fusion band that enjoyed some success while still living in her native Poland.  Still looking for something new, she moved to England to continue her violin studies.  While studying in England another opportunity arose in Japan.  She was contracted to teach violin at the Yamaha school for six months but stayed for 10 years.

All this instrumental training  and experiment with genres allowed Beata to develop her singing voice and style from the perspective of a highly trained instrumentalist.  Beata uses her voice as a finely tuned instrument and the results are rich and satisfying.  In fact, at times when I was listening to her CD, I almost forgot she was doing a vocal since the sound of her voice was so soft and beautiful .  She is one of the finest examples of what a Jazz singer is all about.

 "TeT" contains a selection of Jazz standards and original tunes by contemporary composers.  Each tune is beautifully and musically done to the highest standards.  Pater calls the CD "TeT" because there are nine tunes on this recording and "TeT" is the ninth letter of the Hebrew alphabet and the symbol for the number 9.


1. "Little Sunflower"
2. "Lazy Afternoon"
3. "I feel You"
4. "Crystal Silence"
5. "Old Devil Moon"
6. "Invitation"
7. "The Contessa"
8. "Strays"
9. "Ode to Max"


Beata Pater- Vocal
Hiromu Aoki- Piano
Dan Felszli- Bass
Brynn Albanese- Violin
Emily Lanzone-Violin
Peter Janduloa-Hudson- Viola
Barbara Spencer- Cello
Stefen Kuehn- Trumpet/Flugehorn
John Gove- Trombone
Meredith Brown- French Horn
Aaron Lington- Bass Clarinet/Flute

I have attached two "YouTubes" for your listening pleasure.  The first one is the classic Jazz tune, "Little Sunflower" composed by Freddie Hubbard and Al Jarreau.  This is one of my favorite Jazz tunes and I loved hearing my good friend who recently passed, Steve Madaio  play this on his Trumpet.  Steve's version was a lot faster than Beata's but both version are just terrific!  The second "YouTube" is an absolutely brilliant version of the Jazz standard "Invitation".  I know you will enjoy both!


Tuesday, July 30, 2019

CD Review: Tierney Sutton and Her Band Continues their Recording Excellence With Their New CE: "Screenplay"

On May 17, 2019, Tierney Sutton and her wonderful band released a simply beautiful new CD called "Screenplay" that covers outstanding songs from American films.  Tierney Sutton has been performing for over 25 years  and has gathered 8 Grammy nominations for her stellar Jazz vocal work.  You might think that receiving 8 Grammy Nominations would make Tierney one of the biggest popular vocalist performing today but wait, Tierney Sutton is a Jazz singer.  Jazz singers just don't get the respect they deserve. Not only is Tierney a Jazz singer but one of the very best in her trade.  Tierney doesn't show up and just sing Jazz standards like most Jazz singers.  No, Tierney's arrangements are spectacular, fresh and unique.  So different that lots of up and coming Jazz singers borrow them and mostly without permission,  I have to add.  The wonderful arrangements were created with help from The Tierney Sutton Band's talented band members including of course, Tierney herself.  Tierney Sutton deserves tons more accolades and more attention from the listening public and the music industry.  She is in a class of her own, never playing it safe and always taking chances and her final music product is always superb!

A few months ago I had the pleasure of hearing Tierney sing at Pete Carlson's Golf Shop in Palm Desert, CA and her performance reminded me again of how special her singing is.  Tierney is a gift for any music lover of Jazz singing.  I have no doubt that she is one of the top 5 Jazz vocalists performing today.  The Tierney Sutton Band tours the country so be alert to when she is performing in your area and don't let anything stop you from hearing Tierney Sutton and this band.

This review would not be complete without showering  praise on the members of this talented and creative band.  Every member of this band is a high-level musician not only for their playing capabilities but also their understanding of Tierney Sutton's phrasing and touch for lyrics.  Of course, their contributions to the arrangements are stunning!  The band is one of the most creative and artistically satisfying groups performing currently.

The CD has 15 cuts, each one a gem, and the Band approaches every one of these great songs from American movies in a different path than the original arrangements.


Tierney Sutton- Vocals
Christian Jacob- Piano
Kevin Axt- Bass
Trey Henry- Bass
Ray Brinker- Drums
Serge Merlaud- Guitar (5, 12,13)
Alan Bergman- Vocals (12)


1. "The Windmills of Your Mind"
2. "Moon River/Calling You"
3.  "On a Clear Day"
4. "What Are You doing the Rest of Your Life"
5. "I've Got No Strings"
6. "If I Only Had a Brain?"
7. "The Sound of Silence"
8. "Goodbye for Now"
9. "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend"
10. "Hopelessly Devoted to You"
11. "You're the One That I Want"
12. "How Do You Keep the Music Playing?"
13. "It might Be Now"
14. "Every Now and Then"
15. "Arrow"

I have selected  2 "YouTubes" for your listening pleasure.  The first one is one of my personal favorites, "The Windmills of Your Mind" with music by the late Michel Legrand and lyric by Alan and Marilyn Bergman.  The arrangement is by Tierney Sutton.  The second is "The Sound of Silence" from the move "The Graduate".   The arrangement is by Trey Henry and Ray Brinker.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

CD Review: Guitar Player and Blues Vocalist Josh Hyde releases his new CD, "Into the Soul"

Guitar player/singer/songwriter Josh Hyde released his second album "Into the Soul" on April 26, 2019.  Josh Hyde has written all the songs on his new CD and they all have a comfortable feel,  like you've  experienced them before.  At times, the sound of Josh's music feels somewhat imperfect and that's the charm of this CD.  Josh writes, sings and plays the Blues and the feel is what you might have heard on the radio in the 1970's.  Josh had a unique musical vision for this CD.   He offers "I always wanted to do an analog recording, work on reel-to-reel.  The producer,  Joe V. McMahan, just by chance, knew of a machine that was being sold by Robert Plant's producer. So we ended up buying this 24 track analog machine that Robert Plant had done a few records on. It kind of gave the album a different sound.  There's nothing really like analog".

This CD has a wonderful groove and a major part of this feel is because of the talented musicians that support Josh.  If you like the Blues, you will love this CD.  

1. Josh Hyde-Guitar/ Vocals/ Vibraphone
2. Joe V, McMahan-Guitar/Vibraphone
3. Ron Eoff- Bass
4. Derrek Phillips- Drums/ Percussion
5. Jimmy Wallace- Organ/Piano/Keys
6. Chris Lippincott-Pedal Steel

1. "Rocking Chair"
2. "Smile"
3. "For You I Ache"
4. "Lover's Curse"
5. "The Edge of Love"
6. "Can't Let Go"
7. "The Key"
8. "Down on Bourbon Street"
9. "All You Need is Soul"
10. "Call My Name"
11." Reasons Why"

I have attached two "YouTubes" for your listening enjoyment.  The first one is the opening tune on the CD, "Rocking Chair"  and the second is also one of my favorites,  "Smile".  Josh Hyde writes from the heart and his lyrics are emotional and believable!

Monday, June 17, 2019

CD Review: "Five Play Live from the Firehouse Stage"

Five Play is a popular Jazz Band where five remarkably talented women musicians perform with a
deep sense of traditional Jazz band music including original compositions and standards with arrangements that are true to the history of American Jazz.  The band consists of Sherrie Maricle-MusicalDirector/Drums, Tomoko Ohno-Piano,  Noriko Ueda-Bass,  JamiDauber-Trumpet/Flugelhorn and Janelle Reichman-Tenor Sax/Clarinet.  Each one of these talented ladies contributed an original composition for this CD and all worked on the arrangements.  The songs and arrangements are just plain fun that bring the listener back to previous era when Jazz bands ruled!

Five Play has performed at many of the world's most prestigious concert halls, musical festivals and
Jazz clubs from Carnegie Hall to The Kennedy Center.  In 2004, the quintet was recognized in DownBeat Magazine's Annual Readers' Poll as one of the best small groups of the year.  In 1999 their inaugural CD, "On the Brink", was voted best CD of the year by Jazz journalist icon Nat Hentoff.

1. "T-Bone Special"
2. "Samba De Sorvete"
3. "Just Squeeze Me"
4. "Uneven Pieces"
5. "The Pilot"
6. "Nancy with the Laughing Face"
7. "Circles"
8. "I Can't Give you Anything But Love"
9. "Unexpected"
10. "The time Being"

I have attached two "YouTubes" for your listening enjoyment.  The first one is Five Play's fine version of the Duke Ellington classic "Just Squeeze Me"  with excellent Clarinet work by Janelle Reichman and the second one is a Basie-inspired arrangement of the Jimmy McHugh classic, "I Can't Give You Anything But Love".

Sunday, June 2, 2019

CD Review: Patrice Jégou "If It Ain't Love"

Patrice Jégou (Pronounced Zhay-goo) has just released her second CD "If It Ain't Love" and it's a winner!  There are 16 wonderful songs on the playlist of this CD and Patrice shows she can handle ballads and swinging tunes without a misstep.  Her voice is velvety and smooth and she handles lyrics like the seasoned pro she is.  Take a good look at the different songs she sings on her CD, they cover a lot of vocal territory and Patrice performs every one with faultless execution.  The list of musical talents she recruited on this CD is also remarkable.  Here is a list of some of best arrangers who worked on this recording:  Jorge Calandrelli (arranger for Barbara Streisand and Tony Bennett), John Clayton, Mark Kibble of TAKE 6 and David Paich (writer of such hits as "Rosanna" and "Africa" and son of legendary arranger Marty Paich) and  LA Pianist Mike Land.  Patice also brought in the always outstanding Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra that really swings on "Jersey Bounce", "If It Ain't Love", "Just Squeeze Me" and "Please Send Me Someone To Love". 

Every aspect of this CD is impeccable, starting with the songs, the arrangements, the sound engineers, the Orchestra Conductors, and the musicians.  Even though this is my first experience with Patrice Jégou, her voice and style make me feel warm and safe like spending time with an old friend.  Thank you, Holly Cooper of Mouthpiece Music for opening this musical door for me!

1. "Lover Come Back to Me"
2. "Jersey Bounce"
3. "Baubles, Bangles, and Beads"
4. "Yes We Can, Can"
5. "I'm So Glad I'm Standing Here Today"
6. "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams"
7. "If It Ain't Love"
8. "Estate"
9. "Lover Come Back to Me"
10. "Waltz for Debby"
11. "Losing You"
12. "just Squeeze Me"
13. "Where Do You Start"
14. "Remembrances"
15. "Please Send Me Someone to Love"
16. "It Might Be You"

I have attached a "YouTube" of Patrice Jégou singing "Waltz For Debbie" from her new CD.  This is a perfectly wonderful musical and visual painting by Patrice singing this Jazz classic written by Bill Evans with lyric by Gene Lees.  It doesn't get any prettier than this!

I have attached a second "YouTube" of Patrice Jégou singing the classic big band song "Jersey Bounce" with the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

CD Review: Adam Schroeder "Let's"

I have been an Adam Schroeder fan ever since I heard him playing his Bari Sax several years ago at one of Pete Carlson's Jazz nights.  Adam is one of the few masters of the Bari Sax.  As a former Alto Sax player, I can tell you that even though the keys of all Saxophones are the same,  it's unusual to hear any Alto and/or Tenor player also playing Bari Sax.  My guess as to why is that the Bari Sax is so big it takes a much greater effort and a lot more air to navigate this horn correctly.

When performing, Adam Schroeder makes it look like playing the Bari Sax is easy!  His tone is smooth and mellow and his improvisation is fresh and pleasing.  I met Adam again last month when he was playing a Jazz concert at Pete Carlson's Jazz Club and during our conversation, he mentioned that he wanted me to hear his lasest CD that I had missed.  This CD, "Let's" was released a few years ago and it lives up to my Adam Schroeder expectations.

Adam composed 5 of the 11 songs on this CD and his compositions are impressive.   He also invited three of the best current Jazz players in the country to join him on this CD.  Every player is on my Jazz favorites list: Anthony Wilson on Guitar, John Clayton on Bass and Jeff Hamilton on Drums.

Adam Schroeder- Bari Sax
Anthony Wilson-Guitar
John Clayton-Bass
Jeff Hamilton-Drums

1. "Hello Bright Sunflower"
2. "In the Middle of the Kiss"
3. "Just Clap Your Hands"
4. "You and I"
5. "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams"
6. "A Hawkeye, A Hoosier, and Two Cali Cats"
7. "Contemplation"
8. "Patient Endurance, Steady Hope"
9. "Let's"
10. "Southside Samba"
11. "The Smulyan Spectacles"

I have attached a "YouTube" of the song "Just Clap Your Hands" written by Adam Schroeder that fully utilizes the outstanding rhythm section of Wilson, Clayton and Hamilton.  I also attached a second "YouTube" of the group playing the Benny Carter tune, "Southside Samba"  that is a fun recording.  Adam Schroeder performs with several big bands in the California area so don't miss any chance to hear him play!


Saturday, May 4, 2019

CD Review: Aimee Nolte "Looking For The Answers"

Vocalist, Pianist, Arranger and Song writer Aimee Nolte has released her newest CD, "Looking For The Answers" on April 12, 2019 and its stunningly good!  She is one talented person with a clear soft voice that at times can sound more like a musical instrument than a voice.  I was drawn into the songs on this CD one by one including the 8 songs that Aimee composed.  Her lyrics are compelling and believable and her melodies are haunting and hard to turn away from.  Honestly this is not the type of music that hits my musical hotspot, but once I started listening to Aimee sing and play, it was too late for me to escape, I was captured.  Aimee is a super-star musician and her career will surely build from here.

Aimee has selected some strong Jazz players to join her on this CD who I have listed below.  I had a hard time deciding what cuts from this CD I should attach to this review because I loved every one of them.  I decided you needed to hear one of her original songs, "This One Hurts" and I had to include her duet with John Clayton.  Then I found another "YouTube" of Aimee playing and singing "Have You Met Miss Jones" that I just had to share with you.

1. "The Loveliest Girl"
2." Looking for the Answers"
3. "Falling Snow"
4."The One Hurts"
5. "I Gotta Get"
6. "Save Me One Last Time"
7. "Bye Bye Blackbird"
8. "All Too Soon"
9. "So In Love"
10. "You Should've"
11. "For A While"

1. Aimee Nolte- Vocals, Piano, Organ, Synth Bass
2. John Clayton- Bass (7)
3. Bruce Lett- Bass (1,2,3,5,10)
4. James Yoshizawa- Drums
5. Mike Scott- Guitar (2,3,5,10)
6. Jason Neubauer- Guitar (1)
7. Doug Webb- Woodwinds (1)b,John Reilly
8. John Reilly- Woodwinds (6)
I have attached a "YouTube" of Aimee singing "Bye Bye Blackbird" a duet with  the great Bassist John Clayton that I love.  I have attached a 2nd "YouTube" of Aimee playing and singing "Have You Met Miss Jones" that is not on this CD but I think gives you a better idea of Aimee's talent and range.  Lastly, I have attached a "YouTube" of Aimee singing one of her own songs, "This One Hurts".

Friday, April 19, 2019

CD Review: The Ehud Asherie Trio-"Wild Man Blues"

Some newer Jazz fans may not think that traditional Jazz has much to offer these days.  How wrong they are.  I just finished listening to the "Wild Man Blues" by The Ehud Asherie Trio that I would  described as terrific, new and fresh traditional Jazz!  Pianist Ehud Asherie has put together an outstanding mixture of early New Orleans Jazz, Swing, Bebop, and songs from the Great American Songbook, as well as a deep passion for the music of Brazil.

Ehud Asherie is a talented Pianist and Arranger who integrates the venerable New York piano tradition from Fats Waller and James P Johnson to Bud Powell and Thelonious Monk into his own inventive style.  Ehud has done a master job of arranging songs that were made famous by horn players like New Orleans Trumpeter Red Allen ("Wild Man Blues") and Charlie Parker's  ("Parker's Mood") into seamlessly wonderful Jazz Piano Trio pieces.

The outstanding rhythm team of Bassist Peter Washington and Drummer Rodney Green provide Ehud with the perfect support behind his creative playing.  In my opinion, this is one of the best Piano Trios recording today!  They create new life into some old but great classic standards and, yet,  still retain the original structure of the tunes.

This CD touches all aspects that make a Jazz Piano Trio great.  If you love to listen to Jazz Piano Trio music,  this CD will be for you.  If you are not that familiar with the joy of the music from a Jazz Piano Trio, you will be after listening to The Ehud Asherie Trio.

1. "Wild Man Blues"
2. "Parker's Mood"
3. "Flying Down To Rio"
4. "Autumn Nocturne"
5. "Chasin' The Bird"
6. "Na Baixa Do Sapateiro"
7. "Oh, Lady Be Good"
8. "And The She Stopped"

Ehud Asherie- Piano, Arranging
Peter Washington- Bass
Rodney Green-Drums

I have attached a "YouTube" of The Ehud Asherie Trio playing Louis Armstrong's "Wild Man Blues".  It really swings with a relaxed comfortable feel.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Joel Fleisher, One of the Best "Jazz Vocialists" Performing Today

The first time I heard Joel Fleisher sing, I knew he had something special.  There are many singers performing today who like to call themselves Jazz singers, but sadly most of them fall short of the definition of Jazz singer.  Joel has a wonderful feel for the lyrics of the songs from the "Great American Songbook" and is able to put his own special touch on these "Evergreens" that bring them back to life with new spirit.  Joel's speciality is performing songs everyone knows and loves by adding his own arrangement of notes that still retain the spirit of the melody but at the same time gives them a new and fresh life.  He does this in the true spirit of Jazz singing by simply not singing melody and lyric exactly as written by the composer.  And the results are wonderful!

Joel has been singing for most of his life,  and he studied both Classical and Jazz at Monterey Peninsula College before moving to San Francisco where he continued his studies at San Francisco State University.

Joel has made his living as a teacher but as soon as he retired, he rediscovered his vocation in singing Jazz and has been performing in various Jazz venues throughout California.   I have enjoyed his singing performances I attended in the Coachella Valley area for the past few years.  I love the way Joel takes chances with Vocal changes and emotions with every song he sings.

I have attached a "YouTube" of Joel Fleisher singing "East of the Moon" for your listening enjoyment!


Thursday, April 4, 2019

CD Review: Betty Bryant " Project 88"

Pianist, Vocalist and Composer Betty Bryant has just released her ninth CD entitled "Project 88".  The title is a double entendre, since the Piano has 88 keys and Betty Bryant turned 88 a year ago.  Betty Bryant is a child of the Depression and her voice and soul still carry the experiences she learned growing up during this difficult period.  The quality of Bryant's voice and phrasing are perfect for the 10 beautiful tunes she picked for her CD.  Bryant plays and sings with various configurations of musicians and she excels in each one of them.  

"Project 88" was produced by Bryant's close friend the fabulous Tenor Sax and Flutist, Robert Kyle.  Working closely with Bryant these two experienced and skilled musicians have produced a warm and wonderful  CD that feels so right.  The music is like comfort food for your body and soul. 

For those of you that are in the LA area, Betty Bryant performs regularly in local Jazz clubs so don't miss a chance to see her in person.  She has performed internationally and spent 13 years shuttling back and forth to Tokyo for a regular gig.  She has also performed in Brazil, Panama and the Middle East.  Even at the age of 88, Bryant still keeps a busy schedule.  Lucky for all Jazz lovers because she continues to be impressive with her singing and playing including her approach to Lyrics.  Bryant composed 5 of the 10 songs on the CD and the remaining 5 songs are beautiful standards that become new again with Bryant's touch.

1. "Love, Came and Went"
2. "Oh, Lady Be Good"
3. "Catfish Man"
4. "Just You, Just Me"
5. "But Beautiful"
6. "Ain't Nobody's Business"
7. "Cho Cho"
8. "They Say It's Wonderful"
9. "My Beloved"
10. "It's Hard To Say Goodbye"

Betty Bryant- Piano, Arranging, Composing and Vocals
Tony Guerrero- Trumpet and Arranging
Tomas Gargano- Bass
Richard Simon- Bass
Hussain Jeffry- Bass
James Gadson- Drums
Kenny Elliott- Drums
Quentin Dennard Sr.- Drums
Robert Kyle- Tenor Sax, Flute and Arranging
Ryan Dragon-Trombone
Jeff Driskill- Alto Sax
Jay Mason- Bari Sax
Cassio Duarte- Percussion
Kleber Jorge- Guitar and Vocal

I have attached a couple of "YouTubes" with songs from this CD.  The first is a song written by Betty Bryant called "Love Came and Went" that swings with a big band feel.  The second song has long been one of Betty's favorites, "Ain't Nobody's Business". This Jazz classic has been recorded by many Jazz giants including her favorite, Jimmy Witherspoon and Betty Bryant adds  her own style to it.   

Monday, March 25, 2019

CD Review: Nick Grinder "Farallon"

Trombonist, Composer and Arranger Nick Grinder is one of the brightest new musicians on the Jazz scene today.  His tone and technique bring the Trombone back to the forefront of important voices in Jazz today.  Slide Hampton had this to say about Nick, "An import future voice in Jazz Trombone".  Alan Ferber said,  Nick has "The best blend of Saxophone-like technique with the expressive nuances of the Trombone".  Nick studied at Cal State Northridge in Los Angeles with Bob McChesney and pursued his master's degree at NYU.  His bi-coastal studies exposed him to many different approaches to Jazz that show up in his playing and composing.  Nick wrote 8 of the 9 songs on "Farallon" that was released last month.

The name of the CD was inspired by the Farallon Islands that lie just 30 miles west of the Golden Gate Bridge that provide a secure home to a rich variety of seabirds and marine mammals.  Nick has a deep attachment to the islands.  "When you grow up in a place, you have these markers that end up having a special meaning and feeling that sneaks in and helps to define who we are".

Nick has written 8 wonderful fresh, new compositions for this CD and one from a Thelonious Monk classic, "Reflections" that evoke the sentiments he derives from his own favorite music.

The approach Nick takes to composing is certainly modern but stays closely to warm melodies and  welcoming emotions.  He has brought some talented musicians who are also friends,  Juanma Trujillo on Guitar, Ethan Helm on Saxophone, Walter Stinson on Bass and Matt Honor on Drums.  I am looking forward to many years of wonderful new music from this Trombone superstar!

1. "New and Happy"
2. "Potential"
3. "5 Steps"
4. "Inaction"
5. "Belly Up"
6. "Deciduous"
7. "Farallon"
8. "Staged"
9. "Reflections"

Nick Grinder- Trombone, Arranger, Composer
Ethan Helm- Saxophone
Juanma Trujillo- Guitar
Walter Stinson- Bass
Matt Honor- Drummer

I have attached two "YouTube" videos highlighting songs from this CD.  The first is a Nick Grinder composition entitled "New and Happy"  and the second is the classic Thelonious Monk composition "Reflections".  I am sure you will enjoy both!

Sunday, March 17, 2019

CD Review: The Doug MacDonald Quartet "Organisims"

Master Guitarist, Composer, Band Leader and Arranger, Doug MacDonald has released his latest musical project,  "Organisms" performed by The Doug MacDonald Quartet.  This new CD is the thirteenth CD Doug has released and the third organ project that he performs as not only the band leader, but as a Composer and Arranger.  Doug has brought together 3 highly talented Jazz musicians on this CD and has included a wonderful mix of classic tunes and three original composition he composed.

On Tenor is the highly sought after Sax player, Bob Sheppard.  I am sure Bob needs no introduction to anyone who loves the West Coast Jazz scene.   He is one of the best Tenor players on the Jazz scene today.  Carey Frank who is on the Hammond B3 Organ and Ben Scholz on Drums are relatively younger in Jazz experience compared to Bob and Doug but as you will hear,  are all up to the task.  "Organisms" presents a wonderful refreshing sound of younger Jazz musicians blending perfectly with more experienced players.

Doug MacDonald lives in Southern California but Doug is in so much demand that his gigs take him all over the United States and the world.  He is a very serious and skilled musician and every waking hour is dedicated to creating and performing American Jazz.  Doug has performed live with some of the best musicians in the world including Stan Getz, George Shearing, Joe Williams, Sarah Vaughan, Buddy Rich, Scott Hamilton, Ray Charles, Jack Sheldon, Hank Jones and the Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra just to name a few! For those readers that live in the California Coachella Valley area, Doug needs no introduction because he performs in many different venues in the area every week.   Doug also makes time to broadcast a weekly Jazz radio show on  KAJI 97.3 FM on Mondays from 2 to 4 pm unless he is traveling.  KAJI is a 24-hour non-profit Jazz stations in Palm Desert, CA. You can hear KAJI anywhere you are by computer by opening this link:  WWW.AmJazzIn.Org.

1. "It's You Or No One"
2. "Jazz For All Occasions"
3.  "L & T"
4. "Nina Never Knew/Indian Summer"
5. "Sometime Ago"
6. "Poor Butterfly"
7. "Centerpiece"
8. "Too Late Now"
9. "Hortense"
10. "On The Alamo"

Doug MacDonald- Arrangements, Guitar, Composer
Carey Frank- Hammond B3 Organ
Bob Sheppard- Tenor Saxophone
Ben Scholz- Drums

I have attached a "YouTube" of The Doug MacDonald Quartet playing "Centerpiece" from their recent CD release, "Organisims".   I also attached a "YouTube" of the Quartet playing an original composition Doug wrote entitled "Jazz For All Occasions"  I know you will enjoy listening to every song on this wonderful new CD!

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Pat Rizzo Is Back Leading The Musical Charge At 360 North In Palm Springs, CA

 "The Riz "is back making wonderful music again at 360 North in Palm Springs.  Pat had put his Sax and his voice away for more than a year, but he is playing and singing like he never left the stage!  Pat is teaming up with ultra-talented Dennis Michaels who plays beautiful piano and also sings and joins Pat in duets covering some of the greatest songs from the "Great American Songbook".  The duo plays every Friday at 360 North and anyone that loves beautiful, live music should make it down to 360 North to see Pat and Dennis.  The chance to hear two of the classic music stars of the Desert perform live, should not be missed by any fan of great Jazz sounds!  It's like taking a live look back at the musical history of the Palm Springs music scene.

What a treat to hear Pat sing and play again and his sense of humor is still very much intact!  Pat Rizzo remains a musical treasure to all music fans here in the Coachella Valley.  Pat's musical resume could fill a book and his many years playing for Sinatra in LA and at Sinatra's Rancho Mirage Estate could fill several chapters with interesting stories.  Pat Rizzo is the real musical deal!  We get very few opportunities to listen to a music legend with such a strong successful career perform live right now;  so go over to 360 North and enjoy the playing, singing and personality of Pat Rizzo soon! 

Dennis Michaels has his own splendid musical resume.  He has played for many of the major Vocalists of the last 50 years.  He also worked for Keely Smith as her Musical Director and Arranger.  He toured with her for over 25 years.  He has a special talent for Arranging and a sensitive feel for lyric that make it a pleasure to listen to his singing and playing.

And there are always special guests who show up to see Pat at every performance from all of the country.  Tonight,  LA sensation Michael Dees who moved to Palm Springs a few years ago,  sat in to sing a few songs.  Michael is one of the best Vocalist, Arranger and Composer on the music scene today!  Also, direct from "Birdland" in New York City, Bandleader, Arranger and super Sax player, Ron Aprea came in to see Pat who he knew from the time Pat lived in New York.  Ron also was close to another Palm Springs great we just lost, Steve Madaio.  Ron and Steve had a long musical past including recording with John Lennon.  Ron's big band currently performs regularly at "Birdland".  The next singer Angela DeNiro (Ron's wife) came up to sing one of the best retendions of "Someone To Watch Over Me" I have ever heard with Dennis Michaels on the Keys.   All this musical talent at 360 North on a normal Friday night in Palm Springs with no cover.  They just keep the music history of Palm Springs alive!  

For your listening pleasure, I have attached a "YouTube" from Pat Rizzo's CD, "Gold For Silver" on which Pat shares the stage with the great Trumpeter, Conte Condoli.  

I have also attached a "YouTube" of Pat singing "Nancy With The Smiling Face"  from his CD "The Tokyo Blues" to give you a sample of Pat's smooth and relaxed singing style.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

CD Review: Beverley Church Hogan "Can't Get Out of This Mood"

Vocalist Beverley Church Hogan was ready to kick-off her singing career at the age of 21when she relocated from Montreal to Los Angeles.  She was offered a recording contract with Capitol Records that required her to tour for 58 weeks.  At this time she was married and had a one-year-old baby.  After much thought and discussion, Beverley surprised everyone including Capitol Records by turning down the contract.  For the next forty years she dedicated her focus on being a mother, a wife and a businesswoman.  It was a decision she never regretted!

Then in 2002, she found her way back to music when she was invited to sing at the Catalina Jazz Club in Hollywood.  The night was a huge success and she surprised many of her friends who never knew about her talent for singing.  The Catalina event has since become an annual event with every seat always filled.  She continued singing for the next 12 years and when she turned 83, she decided it was time to make her debut CD.

Beverley enlisted the help of musicians she had the highest respect for and the first one she asked was John Proulx who was asked to arrange, produce and play for the project.  Many readers of this blog know how talented John Proulx is because he has preformed live at Pete Carlson Golf and Jazz Club in Palm Desert many times.  Proulx gathered some of the "Best of the West" for this CD starting with Trumpet and Flugelhorn master Ron Stout.  Ron Stout is joined by the great young guitarist, Graham Decter, Reedman Doug Webb, Bass Player Lyman Medeiros, Drummer Clayton Cameron and Percussionist Kevin Winard.  Beverley also asked Producer Barbara Brighton to help produce her vocals.

The mix of songs on this CD are outstanding.  A few songs from the "Great American Songbook', including one from Bobby Troup, "You're Looking at Me".  Plus some contemporary composers including Chris Caswell, Rene Marie and Stephen Sondheim's famous "Losing My Mind".  Also on the CD is a terrific song composed by John Proulx with Lyrics by K. Lawrence Dunham, "Stuck in a Dream".

Beverly's primary focus is on presenting her own special interpretation of the Lyrics.  "I want to connect to the listener, and I hope the story I'm telling in song evokes memories and emotions that are meaningful to the audience".

Remarkably, at 83, Beverley's voice is strong and clear.  While it is sad that she waited so long to record her first CD,  at the same time, Jazz vocal lovers should rejoice to  have the chance to hear her sing on her CD, "Can't Get Out Of This Mood".  Please keep singing, Beverley,  I can't wait to get to listen to your next CD!

1. "Take My Breath Away"
2. "Losing My Mind"
3. "You're Looking At Me"
4. "Can't Get Out Of This Mood"
5. "Wait Till You See Me"
6. "I Know You By Heart"
7. "I'm Through With Love"
8. "Speak Low"
9.  "Stuck In A Dream"
10. "Time After Time"

I located a "YouTube" of Beverley singing the Stephen Sondheim gem, "Losing My Mind".

Friday, February 22, 2019

The Ken Peplowski Quartet Brings the Audience to Its Feet at Pete Carlson's Golf and Tennis Store

I try to attend as many of the Jazz dates at Pete Carlson's Golf and Tennis Store as I can because I have never been disappointed in the high quality of the musicians that perform live for these events.  The Ken Peplowski Quartet that performed on February 18, 2019 was certainly one of the best groups I have heard in the "Jazz for Jazz Lovers" series.  First, the group was made up of seasoned Jazz veterans, Ken Peplowski and special guest Ron Stout who were joined by some younger but spectacularly talented professional musicians, Josh Nelson on Piano, Katie Thiroux on Bass and Matt Witek on Drums.  For tonight's performance, Ken Peplowski picked some traditional Jazz tunes along with several songs from the "Great American Songbook".

Ken Peplowski is a giant in the Jazz world and for good reason.  He is certainly one of the best Jazz Clarinet players performing today.  Also, at Monday's performance, he proved he is one of the best Jazz Tenor Sax players also.  You don't hear many Clarinet players these days but listening to Ken's warm tones was so wonderful that you had to be thinking, we need to hear more Clarinet sounds in the Jazz world.  I know this is what I was thinking!  Ken's improvising is just about perfect, it's creative, spontaneous, soft and simply beautiful!

Ken put together some suburb younger musicians in his Quartet, and he made sure that each member of his group had their time to shine.  And shine they did starting with the remarkably talented Josh Nelson on Piano.  I have had the pleasure of seeing Josh play several times in different venues and as good as he is, he seems to get even better each time I see him.  Josh also makes an effort to help younger musicians by supporting them on live performances and on CD's.  I see his name on many of the new CD's I review every month.

On Bass was Katie Thiroux, one of my favorite Bass players.  I reviewed Katie's first, very successful CD on this site and encourage you to look-up the review up to find out more about Katie.  Katie reminds me of my favorite all-time Bass players, starting with the great Ray Brown.  She knows the importance of melody and when she improvises she makes sure that her creative lines never forget the melody.  I think it puts her into a class of her own when it comes to Bass playing.  Katie also has a unique voice and even though she did not sing tonight,  you should check out her two CD's to hear her sing,

Matt Witek was on Drums tonight.  I had never heard Matt play before but shortly after he started playing, any listener would realize he is a special player.  Too many of today's Drummers think that loud is the only way to stand out.  What a pleasure to hear a Drummer that works with sounds and understands the purpose and use of brushes.  Matt used his hands several times to produce some great support for the group which was very enjoyable.  In addition, the percussion section of Katie and Matt were perfect together.

Veteran Trumpeter  Ron Stout was an announced special guest tonight, and he was indeed very special.  I have heard Ron play many times and he is a treat.  No drama here.  Ron can solo anytime he is called;  he understands Ballads and he never overshadows the other players in the band.  If I had a band, Ron Stout would be the Trumpeter I would want to join me!

If you are in the Palm Springs area, Pete Carlson's is the best place for live Jazz with music events every week throughout the winter season.
I have attached a live video of the Ken Peplowski Quartet playing "I Wish You Love".

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Trish Hatley And Mark Kahny Create A Special Happy Hour At The Purple Room In Palm Springs CA

The Southern California area is blessed to be the home of some of the most talented singers in the country.  And at the top of the list of outstanding vocalists you will find Trish Hatley's name.  Trish has the ability to sing standards as good as anyone I have heard, and she also can sing popular tunes  just a well.  Trish is currently performing every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 4:00 PM to 6:00PM at Michael Holmes' Purple Room in Palm Springs, California.  Trish is joined by Mark Kahny on Piano and Vocals.  The results of putting these two superstars together is some great duets of classic American songs.

Trish Hatley has one of the purest and clear voices you will ever hear and she has recorded some of the best songs in the "Great American songbook".  Her sense of lyric is perfect as is her feel for musical phrasing.  If you love to listen to standards,  you will just love Trish.

Vocalist and Piano master Mark Kahny is sought after by many singers here in the Coachella Valley because as an experienced singer himself, he understands the need to give singers room and at the same time knows when to fill when they need it.  He is a Pro in all aspects of performing.  When he does duets with Trish he has no trouble keeping up to her vocally and that's no easy task considering Trish's strong clear voice.  They make wonderful music together, and I guarantee you will enjoy every minute of their performance.   The Purple Room, former home to the Sinatra "Rat Pack", is the perfect setting to enjoy hearing Trish and Mark sing the standards that made Sinatra a legend!

I was not able to get a clear recording of Trish and Mark performing but I did find a "YouTube" of Trish singing "Shiny Stockings" from fabulous Standards CD "Trish Hatley, I Remember".   I also found a "YouTube" of Mark playing and singing at his home,  the Billy Joel classic, "Piano Man". I know you will enjoy both of these great musicians!

Sunday, February 3, 2019

The Unique and Wonderful Yve Evans Appears At Woody's Palm House Every Tuesday

Yve Evans is a unique musical treasure who continues to bring joy to her thousands of music fans in the  Coachella Valley Area.  Yve, first and foremost is a wonderful, loving and caring person.  She is always the first one to offer help and aid to anyone in need without hesitation  She also has an understated sense of humor that never gets old!  But what really sets Yve Evans apart from her musical group is her magical voice.  Listening to Yve brings back memories of the greatest singers in Jazz history starting with Ella and moving on to "Sassy" Sarah, Lina Horn, Nina Simone and Billie Holiday.  She has performed with every major singing star in the Valley and if you mention her name to any of them, their response will be "great singer and wonderful person".  Yve likes to laugh and she mixes humor into her performances to the delight of her audience.  But don't be fooled by Yve's comedy. Yve Evans is a superb singer with a range that most singers would die for.  I have been fortunate to be at enough of her performances to catch her when she is immersed into a medley and lyric and it's heaven to hear.

Yve is performing every Tuesday at Woody's Palm House in Palm Springs with the legendary, John Bolivar sitting in with her.  John has been taking it easy recently due to some medical issues but he enjoys playing his Woodwinds and Flute especially with his long-time friend, Yve Evans.  Be sure to call for reservations (760-230-0188)  in advance because Yve always fills the house.

I found a "YouTube" that recorded Yve playing and singing one of her famous medleys in 2017 at the Monterey Jazz Festival that will give you some insights as to why she is so loved by her audiences.  She is joined by two of her favorite playing partners, Bradley Austin Bobo on Bass and Larry Washington on Drums.  Please enjoy the wonderful Yve Evans!

Friday, February 1, 2019

CD Review: Magela Herrera "Explicaciones"

Vocalist, Composer and Flute Virtuoso Magela Herrera has just released her first solo CD, "Explicaciones".  Magela is Cuban born and has a unique background that includes Latin Jazz, Euro Jazz and classic Afro-Cuban traditions.  She credits the time she lived in Norway for her "Aha" moment when she discovered her musical personality.  "I honestly wanted to make an album earlier in my career, but I was too shy, and I could never complete a tune.  At the time, I was limiting myself to Cuban music and hadn't really explored other styles. I consider my time in Norway to be my "Aha" moment.  All my professors there were more into inspiring and pushing students to find our own sound, whatever genre it happened to be.  They didn't force us to follow rules.  On "Explicaciones" applying that freedom to classic Cuban tunes really helped me hone in on my sound as an artist". Another major influence occurred when Magela moved to Miami.  For the past two years she has immersed herself in the city's vibrant Jazz, R & B, Funk and Electronica scenes.

The music on this CD represents the influences and changes in Magela's musical life. Each song tells of her experiences.  The title track, "Explicaciones" written by Magela begins with a simple Percussion-Flute dance and then moves into a beautiful lead vocal, sung in her native Spanish.  Magela did the Arranging for the CD.  I have attached a "Youtube" of Magela Herrera singing the title song from the CD below.  It will give you a musical taste of Magela's many musical talents.  This CD is being released on January 21, 2019 and it's sure to be major candidate for the list of the best Latin CDs for 2019!  I highly recommend it!

Magela Herrera- Voice, Flute, Compositions and Arrangements
Tal Cohen-Piano
Nestor Del Prado-Bass
Dion Keith Kerr-Bass
Hilario Bell-Drums
David Chiverton-Drums
Greg Diamond-Guitar
Jean Maze-Trumpet
Philbert Armenteros Bata-Drums

1. "Two Sidewalks"
2. "Que Te Pedi"
3." Principios"
4. "Explicaciones"
5. "Ahora"
6. "Bésame Mucho"
7. "Danson Para Papa"
8. "My One and Only Love"


Friday, January 25, 2019

CD Review: Shelley Yoelin's Jazz workshop Septet; "Secret Steps"

Tenor Player, Composer, Educator and Arranger, Shelley Yoelin leaves his Jazz community in Chicago every winter and travels to the sunny Coachella Valley for the warm weather but also for the chance to play Jazz with some of the talented musicians in this area.  Shelly is a great musical gift to our area, and he is has no trouble finding willing venues to share his music.  Currently he is playing at AJ's on the Green on Tuesdays and Woody's Palm House on Wednesdays.  In addition, you can usually find him sitting in at all of the Jazz spots in town when he doesn't have a regular gig.  Shelly just retired as Chair of the Fine Arts Department and Director of Bands and Jazz Studies at Triton College.  Shelly just loves to play and joining the Jazz community here in the Valley allows him to do just that!

Shelly has gathered 6 outstanding musicians to join him on his new CD "Secret Steps" which resulted in some wonderful Jazz performances.  There are 9 tunes on the CD and Shelly wrote 3 of them including the title tune "Secret Steps".  Yoelin writes this about the title tune he wrote, "It's a novel conflation of the harmony to Sammy Fain's "Secret Love" and John Coltrane's "Giant Steps".

I have attached a "Youtube" of the group playing "Secret Steps" that I know you will enjoy!  "Giant Steps" is a great CD for any straight-ahead Jazz fan.  You can pick up a copy next time you visit Shelly live at AJ.'s or Woody's . Don't miss the chance to hear Shelly perform  at Woody's Palm House in Palm Springs or AJ's on the Green in Cat City!

By the way, the beautiful 1969 series II Fixed Head Coupe Jaguar E type on the CD's cover was restored by Shelly in the few hours of the day when he was not playing.

CD Review: Rich Willey's Boptism Big Band, "Down & Dirty"

I have a treat for all my Big Band fans.  I have just listened to Rich Willey's "Boptism Big Band's" new release &q...