Luz is the latest release from Costa Rican drummer/percussionist/ composer Luis Munoz, Munoz, a double ACAM Award winner for Jazz Composer of the Year wrote, arranged and orchestrated the nine songs on the CD. It features singers Magos Herrera and Teka Penteriche alongside Munoz, Adam Asarnow on piano, Tom Etchart on acoustic bass, and other guest musicians.
The recording opens with Teka Penteriche singing the vocal version of “El Sueno De Adan,” a beautiful homage to Munoz’s son that was previously released as an instrumental titled “Adam’s Dream” onInvisible (Pelin Music, 2010). It is followed by… Continue reading
There’s no question about it: pianist/vocalist Eliane Elias is amazingly versatile. On May 28, 2013, Concord Jazz presents Elias’ I Thought About You (A Tribute To Chet Baker), an album that offers her personalized spin on the work of a key American jazz artist while spotlighting her connection to the singer-instrumentalist tradition (international release dates may vary). It fully demonstrates the range of interests that Elias’ art now boasts, and arrives with a statement of purpose: jazz repertoire can sound totally fresh when delivered with ingenuity and passion.
Long known for her native feel of Brazilian… Continue reading
Matt Herskowitz blends jazz and classical influences on his new solo piano recording titled Upstairs. Released on Justin Time Records, the CD was recorded live at Upstairs Jazz Bar & Grill in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on November 6, 2011. Upstairs is Mr. Herskowitz’s follow up to his 2010 acclaimedJerusalem Trilogy and features songs composed by Dave Brubeck (“Dziekuje”), Michel Petrucciani (“Cantabile”), J.S. Bach (“Bach A La Jazz) and George & Ira Gershwin (“But Not For Me,” and “I’ve Got Rhythm”).
Herskowitz also wrote and arranged several originals for the program. The night opened with… Continue reading
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… 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! Looking at that all-star list of sidemen and accompanists you would think that this is another smooth jazz release fostered by the Lorber crew, but think again. This CD is jazzy and smooth. It is not all smooth jazz, but it is all groove jazz.
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