Tuesday, May 12, 2015

CD Review: The Lalama Brothers Featuring Nicole Pasternak Lalama, "The Crepuscule Variations"

Ralph Lalama, Nicole Pasternak Lalama and  Dave Lalama

The talented Lalama Brothers, Ralph and Dave, have another terrific Jazz CD out,  "The Crepuscule Variations" that features another talented family member, Nicole Pasternak Lalama.  The Lalama brothers know how to make a wonderful Jazz CD.  They have the formula down pat, first bring together a few of the finest musicians around, add some of the most wonderful songs ever written and then record with close family and love.  The results are always terrific!  It's hard for me to find anything negative about this beautiful CD because in addition to the marvelous Sax and Piano by Ralph and Dave Lalama and the pure and sweet voice of family member Nicole Pasternak Lalama, most of the songs in the CD playlist are on my "Top 20 Songs of All Times".  This is a must-have for any traditional Jazz fan.

Three-time Grammy winner Ralph Lalama plays his Tenor Sax with such emotional feeling that the lyrics seems to jump out even without words.  His tone is perfect for these great standards.  Multi-talented Dave Lalama is currently Professor of Music at Hofstra University and is a founding faculty member of the Manhattan School of Music Jazz Program. In addition to performing, Dave has published big band Jazz arrangements and is currently composing, orchestrating and recording a 70-minute score for a Jazz-oriented "Dance Musical" entitled "The Bench" that is scheduled to preview in New York in the summer of 2015.

Joining the family recording session for the first time is Nicole Pasternak Lalama and she musically fits perfectly next to her two brothers.  Nicole has a pure, strong voice and also understands the importance of being able to project the emotional message of the lyrics to the listener.  When you listen to this CD, you get the feeling that there are more people performing on it because the sound seems so full.  The Lalama brothers deserve much credit for combining the musical pieces together in such  an entertaining fashion.  This is a great CD performed by three super talented musicians!

1. "Just In Time"                                                  2. "Time After Time"
3. "The Days of Wine and Roses"                       4. "Moon River"
5. "All of Me"                                                      6. "The Shadow of Your Smile"
7. "I Love You For Sentimental Reasons"           8. "A House Is Not A Home'
9. "I'm Confessin' That I Love You"                   10. "Embraceable You"
11. "Don't Know Why I Love You Like I Do"   12. "There Will Never Be Another You"
13. "Here's That Rainy Day"

I found a "YouTube" video of Ralph and Dave Lalama playing with Peter Washington on Bass, Kenny Washington on Drums and Joe Lovano on Tenor Sax.  When you hear the quality of their Jazz playing, check out some of their other CDs, they are sure to please even the toughest Jazz fan.

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