Shining like the moon… She was born with a story on her lips, a tune in her ear, and the purpose implied by her name, Offiong Bassey, God’s Moon, on her heart. Music and storytelling for Offiong have always been second-nature: “I inhale my surroundings and exhale melodies. I perceive my world and create another with rhythm and harmony.”
Singer, songwriter, producer, and poet, Offiong Bassey is an exciting new artist that draws upon the numerous influences that have touched her life. As the first generation from her Nigerian family born in the U.S., the soul, jazz, gospel, and Latin… Continue reading
Book Review by Paula Edelstein
Pianist Jean-Michel Pilc has authored his first book titled It’s About the Music, The Art and Heart of Improvisation (Glen Lyon Books: 241 pp. $18.95). The book chronicles Jean-Michel Pilc’s career as an improvising jazz pianist, composer, bandleader, arranger, music producer and educator as well as his teachings on musical creativity and expressiveness. Pilc makes copious examples of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Picasso, Cezanne etc and also includes memorable quotes, anecdotes and practical exercises involving rhythm, melody and ways to hear music that can help to tap into the intrinsic artistry of… Continue reading
A great vocalist has a way of inhabiting a song, living it and making it their own. It takes especially great powers of interpretation for a singer to take a song defmitively recorded by a legendary artist and give it new life with a fresh interpretation.Phil Perry takes on the ultimate challenge with the opening track of his new album, the indelible “You Send Me,” recorded in classic style by the peerless Sam Cooke, whose own unique phrasing style actually shapes the melody of the tune, which he wrote.
Yet Phil Perry transforms the song while still retaining its essence,… Continue reading
Harmonica legend Toots Thielemans celebrates his 90th birthday with European Quartet on his latest release by Challenge Records titled 90 Years. This great CD features unique and previously unreleased live recordings taken from Thielemans’ latest tours around the world. The set also comes with a DVD that contains select materials from his most recent concert in Japan!
The songs on Disc One are both rare and well-known classics including “Waltz For Sonny,” “The Dragon,” “What A Wonderful World,” and “One Note Samba.” The DVD showcases Thielemans performing “Autumn Leaves,” “Midnight Cowboy,” and “Bluesette” plus three other songs. For… Continue reading
Feels Like Home is a jazz CD with a bit of funk, soul, swing and lots of feel. Mike keeps an organic and real vibe on this CD joined by the best in the business inclunding Brian Bromberg, Rick Braun, Jeff Lorber, Jeff Golub, Alex Acuna and many more!!
Soweto-born vocalist Lorraine Klaasen pays homage to “Mama Africa” on her new Justin Time recording titled A Tribute to Miriam Makeba. This is the follow up to her triumphant release Africa Calling and has received a Juno Award nomination in the world music category. Eleven new songs grace this fascinating program that features Senegalese guitarist Assane Seck, Benin-born percussionist Moise Yawo Matey and her longtime bassist Sebastian Andrew Whiteman.
Ms. Klaasen’s voice is powerful and rings with joy on six classic Miriam Makeba compositions including the popular “Click Song,” a Xhosa play song which incorporates the technique of ‘click singing;’… Continue reading
Three-time GRAMMY nominee Boney James has returned to former label Concord Records with a dynamic, genre-busting album The Beat. One of the most successful instrumental artists of our time with sales totaling over 3 million records, James’ new project fuses his R&B/Jazz roots with Latin rhythm and percussion.
“This record was born of my love for both Latin and R&B music and became a mash-up of the two genres. The initial inspiration for the record was Sergio Mendes’ “Batucada (The Beat),” which I re-imagined as a funk tune.” “Batucada (The Beat)” reunites Boney with trumpet great Rick Braun.… Continue reading
GRAMMY award winner Cheryl Bentyne is at her best when singing with her group The Manhattan Transfer. However as a soloist, she has come into her own as a fascinating interpretor of songs written by the legendary composer Cole Porter. As with her previous 2009 import release The Cole Porter Song book, on Let’s Misbehave: The Cole Porter Songbook, Ms. Bentyne offers her fans a wide array of Porter’s hits including “Night and Day,” “Begin the Beguine” and “My Heart Belongs to Daddy.”
Joining in on the fun is a superb coterie of musicians including guitarists Tom McCauley, Octavio Bailey… Continue reading
It has not taken Esperanza Spalding long to emerge as one of the brightest lights in the musical world. Listeners familiar with her stunning 2008 debut, Esperanza, and her best-selling 2010 release Chamber Music Society, were well aware that the young bassist, vocalist and composer from Portland, Oregon. was the real deal, with a unique and style-spanning presence, deeply rooted in jazz yet destined to make her mark far beyond the jazz realm
That judgment was confirmed on February 13, 2011, when Spalding became the first jazz musician to receive the GRAMMY® Award for Best New Artist.… Continue reading
In addition to the great guitar playing that Lee Ritenour offers his listeners on his latest release called Rhythm Sessions, the 12 distinctive rhythm sections he employed are what makes this recording a masterpiece. The musicians he invited to play on these 12 sessions are an elite group of award-winning veterans as well as exciting newcomers who compliment Lee Ritenour’s amazing sound with their own versatility and innovative musical techniques.
Among the stellar special guests are Chick Corea, George Duke, Stanley Clarke, Christian McBride, Dave Grusin, Marcus Miller and the winners of Lee Ritenour’s Annual Six-String Theory International Competition and… Continue reading