Illuminations, Friedlander’s latest solo album was originally commissioned by the Jewish Museum in New York City which hosted an exhibit of ancient books from Oxford University’s Bodleian Collection. The exhibit brought together ancient illuminated texts in Arabic, Latin and Hebrew.
“I found myself in this darkened room surrounded by these gorgeous books and manuscripts that seemed to be talking to me. They were telling me a story of patience and craft, ritual and dedication that was inspiring.”
Friedlander has worked on the Bach suites throughout his life as a cellist and he used the suite form as a launching point… Continue reading
Beauty can often be found in unexpected places. On his new album, Orphic Machine, clarinetist/composer Ben Goldberg creates his most beautiful and lyrical music to date. Interestingly, though the lyrics are by poet Allen Grossman, they come not from his poems, but from a book on “speculative poetics.” Grossman’s Summa Lyrica, a collection of blunt, interwoven statements illuminating the place of poetry in human thought, provided Goldberg with the texts around which he wrapped his beautiful melodies and compelling grooves.
Goldberg needed to gather an ensemble of artists able to realize such simultaneously heady and passionate compositions; fortunately, he’s been… Continue reading
With the release of his first solo CD effort, ‘Soul Searching’, and single ‘Genesis’, an instrumental jazz/funk fusion collection that interweaves music inspired by his much admired influences, Mitchell Coleman Jr has fulfilled a lifelong dream of creating the music he hears in his heart and feels in his soul – and sharing it with the world.
The disc, independently released on his own Soul Revelation label , features some of L.A.’s funkiest players: his long-time collaborator and ‘Soul Searching’ co-producer, Hollywood (pulling triple-duty on piano and vocals), Deron Johnson (formerly with Miles Davis) is also on keyboards, Kayta Matsuno… Continue reading
Musicians always strive to capture the spirit and energy of a live performance in the recording studio – a formidable challenge without the mirror of the live audience. With Night and Day – his second album for Smoke Sessions Records – the brilliant alto saxophonist Vincent Herring achieves this elusive goal unequivocally. On all 10 tracks of this remarkable album, all of the immediacy, excitement and visceral energy of a packed house on a Saturday night are so palpable, that the listener is always expecting an explosion of applause at the end of every solo and each track. Hard blowing,… Continue reading
The latest album by pianist-composer Kris Davis – one of the most progressive, prolific figures on New York City’s creative jazz scene – is a showcase for her new octet Infrasound and its mix of jazz intricacy and rock impact. To be released on May 7, 2015, via Clean Feed, Save Your Breath is the sound of “a living, breathing wild animal,” as the composer says.
She unveiled Infrasound in a concert at Brooklyn’s Roulette last year, with the music described as “delicious… smoky mystery” by The New York City Jazz Record. The unique instrumentation of the group… Continue reading
Take one of the hottest composers and keyboard players in instrumental pop, add in featured performances from the likes of Gerald Albright, Paul Taylor and Nils Landgren, hook them up with ten wonderful new tunes and what do you have? The answer is ‘Fritzenized’, the latest album from the Billboard chart-topping, artist Jonathan Fritzén.
It is the Swedish American’s fifth solo CD and follows the critically acclaimed ‘Magical’ from which the title cut blasted a path to #1 on every smooth jazz airplay chart on the planet.
The fact that even before it’s release… Continue reading
Nelson Rangell has been a favorite, well known artist in commercial and smooth jazz circles for almost three decades. He has a long discography and has played with many of the industry’s most famous musicians. His two new recordings “Red,” featuring his high octane and soulful saxophone, and “Blue,” a contemporary jazz collection of beautiful, virtuosic flute works are, separately and together, the most enjoyable, compelling and unique efforts of his career. Nelson Rangell’s sparkling new CD “Red” is an ambitious and spirited collection of 9 new original compositions along with a deeply felt rendition of Bill Wither’s classic ballad,… Continue reading
Diana Krall’s new album is a collection of songs she first heard on vinyl, from The Mamas & the Papas to Elton John to the Eagles — the album’s title cut is a lesser-known song by Bob Dylan, “Wallflower.”
“I heard it on a bootleg series. I was driving around in British Columbia on a beautiful summer afternoon and I was listening to it with my children in the back, and I thought, ‘Well, this is a song we should all be singing together in the car.’ I loved it. There’s so much truth and beauty in it. Simple, but… Continue reading
By the time an artist discovers their own voice, they’ve inevitably been shaped by countless influences. On her debut album, Ode To Heroes, vocalist Thana Alexa pays tribute to the personalities both personal and musical who have impacted her on the path to forging her own distinctively individual voice. It’s a telling list that encompasses her own family; jazz giants like Wayne Shorter, Charles Mingus, and Paul Desmond; and the stellar musicians who collaborate with her on the album, including drummer and co-producer Antonio Sanchez, saxophonists Donny McCaslin and Lenart Krecic, bassists Jorge Roeder and Scott Colley… Continue reading
From Paul Bocuse to Julia Child, France has been known to spawn many of the world’s culinary greats over the years. However, Parisian guitarist Michael Valeanu gives new meaning to the word gourmet with Hard To Cook, his sophomore effort as composer and bandleader. A wordplay on French expression Dur á Cuire, meaning tough cookie, Hard To Cook is meant to please the most demanding musical tastemakers. The ingredients of the feast come from everywhere: a pinch of folk, a sprinkle of impressionism, a generous spoonful of groove, and a minute knowledge of jazz guitar tradition. Following in the footsteps… Continue reading