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"


CD Review: Clairdee Releases Her Forth CD, "A Love Letter to Lina"

San Francisco based Vocalist Clairdee has admired and been a fan of Lena Horne since she was four years old.  Clairdee was not just in...