Kenny Burrell 12.15.7832 Jazz Released 1979; Re-released 1999 John Barrett
“I’ve enjoyed working at his club once or twice a year for over twenty years…It’s one of my favorite clubs in the whole world.” That is the Village Vanguard, and this is Kenny Burrell. The tapes were rolling, and the group is a trio, meaning more space for the guitar. The results are light and festive, fitting the holiday they were about to celebrate. The notes say “Man — he’s damn good!” and there’s another reason to celebrate. The applause is loud, and all is stilled when the music… Continue reading
Steve Rochinski A Bird in Hand Jardis John Barrett
Tiny notes in soft focus. On a stark background strings creep, thoughtful and light – Bill Evans with a guitar, sort of. You hear this on “Beautiful Love”, a tune Evans did: phrases exchanged with Scott Lee, who sounds like a second guitar. The interplay deepens, it slowly gets louder, and lastly the theme –more dream than song, and a sweet one. There’s more where that came from: floating sound and quiet moods. Elusive as a bird, and – sometimes – it soars.
“Monk’s Dream” picks up the pace, with some… Continue reading
Bonga Kwenda A national icon, an international star, and a performer whose energy, warmth and respect for both audience and fellow musicians is entirely compelling. Watching Bonga perform creates a real sense of affinity to the man, his music and the nation he sings about with such raw pain and immense joy. Born Barceló de Carvalho in 1942, Bonga has phased through many areas of stardom and struggle to become one of Africa’s powerful voices of consciousness. Music, sport and politics were always inextricably linked for the young Bonga. It was in the… Continue reading
Al Jarreau Star Plaza Theatre, Merrillville, Indiana by Sidney Bechet-Mandela
Mister Smooth, Al Jarreau, came to this beautiful theatre nestled in the Northwest corner of Indiana in good spirits and very aware of where he was as he acknowledged the different colleges in the four state area after his first number. He reminded the audience that he was from just up the road in Milwaukee and that he felt right at home, and that he had a brand new band that he was ready to work out…. And that he did. Bolstered further by the overwhelming positive response from the… Continue reading
A Word With Anthony Wilson by Fred Jung I consider Anthony Wilson to be a friend by virtue of the fact that he is a gentle soul. Anyone who has met the guitarist can vouch to that. But his composer hand is also very strong and he is certain to be a force. All that aside, I can relate to Anthony because I too know what it’s like to be my father’s son, as Anthony is the son of legendary composer/bandleader Gerald Wilson. We spoke from his home in So Cal to talk about his love of Kiss, how winning… Continue reading
The Synergy Quartet is an award-winning, contemporary jazz/progressive rock collective combining elements of many other styles (blues, funk, latin, experimental, odd meters) and influences. This Jazz/Fusion release is a breath of fresh air in todays world of smooth jazz wannabe’s. Prowl kicks it off in classic Crusaders style. Tripod is a mellow guitar-centric tune that brings Pat Martino to mind. Double Standards and Bar Codes lean toward the Pat Metheny Camp, very acoustic with a lot of strumming.Change of Plans slows it down and stretches out just a bit with… Continue reading
Festival Report 2003 St. Lucia Jazz by Mark Ruffin Just imagine, while most of your friends are at home working, you’re being treated to a night of music with Cuba’s hottest jazz band, Elio Reve Y Su Charrangon, followed by the bad-ass 13-piece English acid jazz whirlwind known as Incognito, then the smooth jazz super-group Fourplay, and topped by an hour of Earth, Wind and Fire singing all of your favorites. Pardon the EW&F pun, but this was no Fantasy. It was just last month, the Mother’s Day weekend that recorded the most tornadoes in any two day period. It… Continue reading
Vayo Raimondo is one of only a handful of artists in the history of tango who both writes and sings new music. He also works on other genres, Latin, classical, and world songs. While he sings primarily in Spanish he is equally expressive in English. All of these attributes are spotlighted on his new album Tango.
Vayo’s singing style is smooth and melodic, but also powerful, soulful and dramatic. The album “Tango” relates to urban life. Vayo values the traditions of tango music, the link between his new music and the old… Continue reading
Mort Weiss The B3 and Me (Sms Jazz – 2007) by Donald N. Eichelberger Okay. Truth: I put on this CD out of journalistic obligation, and I was all set to write to my editor and tell him that I couldn’t write anything nice because I’m not usually attracted to any CD that’s full of standards and covers. (My editor says if you can’t write something nice, then don’t write anything at all. After all, we’re trying to lead people to enjoyment!) In addition, when I saw that clarinet would be featured, well, that was just one more reason to… Continue reading
Joanie Pallatto and King Fleming The King and I (Southport – 2000) by Raymond Redmond
This is smooth. King Fleming tickles the ivories with a gentle touch that virtually flows from your speakers, then Joanie comes out riding that wave, all silky and sensuous. The CD starts out with the short-but-jumpin ‘You’re driving me crazy’, and segues into the aptly titled ‘Moody’. ‘Opportunity for love’ is a very girl-from-Ipanema-ish piece that features a nice interplay between Joanie and Rich Fadoli’s flute. ‘Overt’, an instrumental, is a throwback to the fifties that again features Rich Fadoli (on sax this time) as… Continue reading