Monday, July 23, 2012

CD Review: Tim Carey, Room 114

Tim Carey
Tim Carey
Tim Carey is a multi-instrumentalist and composer from Seattle Washington.  He is young, but he plays and composes like a seasoned super star.  Tim joins the other lead bass players who have recorded great new CDs this year with outstanding results.  I was very impressed with his playing style and ability, but I was absoultely knocked out by two other talents -- his composing skills and his selection of supporting players for this CD. "Room 114" features 10 original compositions which are nothing short of brilliant. His writing is a mix of modern jazz with melodic melodies combined with great fresh rhythms.   This is the first release by Tim Carey and the music and the band is just world class.  The songs are intelligent and the mix with the band is seamless. Tim is joined by some simply magnificent musicians.  Eric Verlinde plays piano and keyboard and gets the opportunity to show his virtuosity with one great solo after another.  I don't think anyone could perform better than Eric did for this CD. Brendan Odonnell's guitar work was smooth, melodic and creative on all the cuts. Jeff Busch supplied the rhythms of Brazil, always ankering the group but never overpowering it on Drums and Percussion. Tarik Abouzled's drum work fit perfectly together with Jeff's work on Drums and Percussion. Finally, Tim Carey's bass playing was simply terrific supplying the glue to fit all these world-class musicians together into one seamless, musical explosion of new songs and sounds.

This CD was released on May 29, 2012 and it is one of the best releases of the year.  You need to get it, and I promise it will become one of your favorite CDs of 2012.  

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Johnny Hartman:Remembering The Jazz Giants: Chapter 7

Johnny Hartman
If you like pure, soft sensitive jazz singing combined with a straight forward honest expression of great lyrics, then you need not look any further than to Johnny Hartman. Johnny Hartman was without a doubt one of the greatest singers of his time. Sadly, he was not widely known; and, therefore, never got the proper public recognition for his magnificiant deep and silky voice and his unique approach to the lyrics of some of the greatest American songs ever written. When asked about his approach to a song, Hartman said, "Well to me a lyric is a story, almost like talking or telling someone a story, try to make it believable".  

Many American music lovers first got to know Johnny Hartman as a result of Clint Eastwood's "Bridges of Madison County" in 1995.  Eastwood, a serious jazz lover himself, used 7 Johnny Hartman songs in the movie that added perfectly to the emotional love story Eastwood was painting on the big screen.

There are lots of Johnny Hartman CDs still available today, but if I was limited to only one, it would be the "John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman" CD.  I recently posted a blog entitled, "The top 10 CDs that need to be on your bucket list, and I overlooked this gem.  It belongs on that list also.  If you are not familiar with Johnny Hartman, I have a real treat for you below.  I found two songs on "Youtube" from the Coltrane/Hartman CD that are just sensational! The first is "My One and Only Love" and the second is in my opinion the best recording of the Billy Stryhorn classic "Lush Life".  The combination of Stryhorn, Coltrane and Hartman is as good as music gets! 

                                                        "My One And Only Love"

                                                                  "Lush Life"

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Pre-Release CD Review: Ray Parker "Swingin' Never Hurt Nobody"

Ray Parker

The Ray Parker Trio

When I was asked to do a pre-release review of the Ray Parker CD "Swingin' Never Hurt Nobody" my first thought was how exciting could a jazz string trio consisting of a bass, guitar and violin be? Well "Who Knew"? The musical sounds and skills showcased in this CD are simply superb. Personally, Ray Parker's work with his bow is fabulous. I love the sound of the upright bass but the pure clear sounds Ray produces with his bow take the listener to a new level of excellence. Joining Ray on this CD are Russell George on violin and Jon Hart on guitar.  These three players produce sounds that would make you think they are brothers. Each of three produce solos that are soft, imaginative and lush.  And when they play together, they fit like a hand in a glove. You can count on one hand the number of great jazz violinists playing today but now you will need another finger because Russell George's performance is outstanding and fresh.  Ray refers to Jon Hart as "Every bass players favorite guitarist" and after listening to this CD just once, it will be clear to all that he is absolutely right.

There are 9 tunes on this CD, great standards that are given new life again by this talented string trio.

1. Guitar Sammich/Now's the Time
2. The Best Things in Life Are Free
3. My Heart Belongs to Daddy
4. Always
5. The Nearness of You
6. Too Close for Comfort
7. Zingaro
8. Just in Time
9. Goodbye

Ray Parker produced this recording and Jon Hart did the engineering.  I congratulate both for the very professional way this product was completed.

This CD will released on July 24, 2012 and will be available at iTunes and CD Baby. It's a must have CD and one of the best new releases of the year!  I looking forward to hearing lots more from this trio in the near future.

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...