Steve Oliver 3D(Koch – 2004) by Paula Edelstein Steve Oliver’s latest offering, 3-D, is ripe with the intriguing challenges that spotlight his mastery of the acoustic and electric guitars listeners first heard on Positive Energy and First View. Eleven songs attest to the fun, imagination and virtuosity that went into the making of this excellent recording and the vibe and satisfaction Oliver has at this point in his musical career. Accompanied by the likes of Harvey Mason on drums, Tom Schuman on keyboards, saxophonist Eric Marienthal, Will Donato on sax and Larry Antonino on bass. The… Continue reading
We chatted before the ceremony and St Michael was very pleased to be carrying the flag of Zambia in fact the first nominee from that country.
And little did he know at that stage the first winner.
“The musicians of Zambia are the hardest working, but Zambian music has never been explored, it is unknown. You really struggle as an artist to make contact and get to know artists across borders.”
What about the involvement of this American R&B music at the kora’s is this necessary?
“As much as it is diluting the focus it is… Continue reading
Pittsburgh Bretheren To Play In Ghana by Paula Edelstein It’s not everyday that something like this happens in Ghana. Saturday, December 16th, 2000, a great jazz concert will happen in Ghana, and it’s causing quite a wave of excitement among jazz lovers in town. The last time Ghana had a visiting great jazz artist was in 1998 when the legendary George Howard played there. This time, however, it will not be just one great musician but a number of them. And it is all so exciting. Dubbed Jazz at the National Theatre, this special event features The University of Pittsburgh… Continue reading
Brian Hughes Along The Way(Blue Note – 2004) by John Thompson Wanna see something sort of rare? Here it is: this writer reviewing the smooth jazz style. Guitarist Brian Hughes has released a very nice cd for true 1990′s-2000 era smooth jazz lovers called “Along the Way.” While I do not totally subscribe towards this style, I will say that this is very good smooth jazz that most songs could make radio play lists. All songs are written and arranged by the George Benson-Norman Brown-sounding Hughes, and I am appreciative of the use of “real” vs. synthesized instruments. This… Continue reading
Brian Culbertson A Soulful Christmas (GRP – 2006) Staff The disc features modern arrangements of classic Christmas carols and a new holiday tune, “All Through The Christmas Night,” sung by Michael McDonald. Culbertson brought in many friends to create a holiday mood on this uplifting CD, including special guests Eric Darius, Warren Hill, Peter White, and Marc Nelson. Many top musicians contributed to the Christmas cheer, such as Vinnie Colaiuta, Nathan East, Jeff Lorber, Eric Marienthal, and Ricky Peterson, among others. It’s also a family affair; Brian’s wife, accomplished opera singer Michelle Culbertson, performs a beautiful rendition… Continue reading
Vocalist Stevie Holland does a tremendous job with a well-selected repertoire of songs from the theatre, Tin Pan Alley and rare movies. BEFORE LOVE HAS GONE encompasses the beauty of Holland’s voice when accompanied by such great artists as Martin Bejerano on piano, Edward Perez on bass, Willie Jones III on drums, Ole Mathisen on saxophone and Paul Bollenback on guitar. Holland is blessed with great pitch, amazing articulation and clarity.
Along with her ability to phrase well and sustain notes that convey the whole story,… Continue reading
Known primarily as the funky drummer that held down the bottom on the landmark Herbie Hancock release Headhunters, Mike Clark is probably the most sampled drummer in the Hip-Hop world… fancy that. Well, his new release Summertime is strictly jazz. Joined by Billy Childs on piano, Summertime is a studied example of the kind of strong, straight ahead jazz that co-performers Childs and Chris Potter are known for. His take on the Gershwin classic Summertime is more choppy than we are used to, but it works that way through… Continue reading
This IS the definitive Return to Forever music collection. What more can I cay? Either you need it or you should take a listen because you just don’t know.
To commemorate the World Tour 2008 they have personally selected and overseen the careful remixing and remastering of their ground-breaking repertoire,
Selected out of their virtual explosion of creativity the band culls tunes from their classic albums Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy (1973), Where Have I Known You Before (1974), the Grammy-winning No Mystery (1975) and their top-selling gold record… Continue reading
The Calling Dianne Reeves (Blue Note – 2001) by Carmen Miller
“I’d never heard a voice like that, that could soar, that was so rich and deep and beautiful, that sang all over the place, It was like magic, to be able to phrase and improvise like that. I thought, `You mean there are those kinds of possibilities?’ So in the very beginning of my vocal development, I viewed her as my vocal guide and inspiration. “- Dianne Reeves on Sarah Vaughan After years of honing her skills and establishing her own voice in the jazz world, Dianne Reeves… Continue reading
After a tough winter (or anytime), there’s nothing like escaping to the islands for some tropical relaxation. For those of us who can’t get away right now (or practically ever), steel drum ace Andy Narell offers an inexpensive alternative. Backed by the 30-plus-piece band Calypsociation, Narell takes listeners from the percolative (if not jittery) “Coffee Street” to the sparkling and more tranquil “Sea of Stories.” On most of the seven tracks, the band is in such harmony that their playing often sounds like… Continue reading