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Take Five With Mark Egan

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Meet Mark Egan:Over the past 30 years, Mark Egan's ability to groove, perfectly complement the music in any situation and solo expressively has made him one of the most in-demand bass players on the international music scene. While racking up credits with the likes of the Pat Metheny Group, saxophonists Steve Grossman, Dave Liebman, Stan Getz, Sonny Fortune and Bill Evans, vocalist Michael Franks, guitarists Pat Martino, Larry Coryell, John McLaughlin, Alex De Grassi, John Abercrombie, Chuck Loeb and Vic Juris, the Duran Duran off-shoot group Arcadia, the Gil Evans Orchestra as well as pop stars Sting, Joan Osborne, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Heather Rigdon: Everything To Me

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Vocalist Heather Rigdon walks a pop-jazz path here, but her work is anything but fluff. In less than thirty minutes, she delivers songs that chronicle the ups and downs of relationships, the natural wonders of day to day existence, and the insecurities and strengths that live within us all. Almost all of the eight songs that make up this program tend to work around the edges of coupledom in different manners. “And So It Goes," for example, opens the album by chronicling the arc of a relationship with upbeat musical backing. When Rigdon sings, “this ride's about ...

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Take Five With Evan Shay

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Meet Evan Shay: Evan Shay is a saxophonist and composer based in Montreal. He recently completed his Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance at McGill University with the distinction of Outstanding Achievement in Jazz Saxophone. He was also awarded the prestigious four-year Seymour Schulich Scholarship. Evan was a member of the top McGill Jazz Orchestra I for three years, and the McGill Chamber Jazz Ensemble. Evan completed two tours of France, and has performed at the Umbria Jazz Festival, Jazz à Vienne, Festi Jazz international de Rimouski, and at major venues across North America. He was awarded ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Hafez Modirzadeh: In Convergence Liberation

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Multi-reed player and composer Hafez Modirzadeh has created a sweeping global experience with In Convergence Liberation; a further examination of the cross-cultural influences explored on Post-Chromodal Out (PI Recordings, 2012). The earlier recording incorporated elements of multi-regional modalism and chromatics, and these compositional techniques are made even more textural with a significantly deeper line up of players. Modirzadeh--playing five reed instruments plus percussion--string quartet ETHEL, two vocalists and the returning trumpeter Amir ElSaffar join masters of Persian string and percussion instruments to produce a unique and complex tapestry of sounds. Modirzadeh has written extensively on ethnomusicology and in ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Brian Groder: Reflexology

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Trumpeter Brian Groder distinctive style marks his intelligent versatility and superlative musicianship. This is, of course, not news for those familiar with his work. Whether in electronically tinged improvisational ensembles like Confusion Bleue, large orchestras or intimately small groups Groder's unconventional yet always engaging approach morphs to fit the setting while remaining singularly recognizable.His trio outing Reflexology is a sparse, haunting exploration of hard bop motifs that is simultaneously provocative and endowed with a visceral rhythmic sense. The loosely swinging “Hexadox" for instance starts with a catchy head out of which emerges Groder's darkly melodic and intriguing extemporization. ...

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Take Five With Kevin Ahart

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Meet Kevin Ahart: I'm a native of Austin, Texas but swapped my cowboy boots for a tuxedo when, at age five, I started singing the Great American Songbook--I've been at it ever since. My debut album, Let's Take the World featuring Jane Monheit and Jeff Franzel, and recorded by Phil Ramone, is out June 23--you can listen to it here: https://soundcloud.com/ahartmusic I'm also pretty excited about playing two London dates on June 17 at the Pheasantry at Pizza Express, King's Rd and June 18 at The Spice of Life, 6 Moor Street, Soho, London, W1D 5NA.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ingrid Hagel: Tharapita

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Tharapita is a delightful recording that ultimately beguiles the listener through its emotional outlook and sheer gorgeous sound. Ingrid Hagel hails from Estonia and, as she states on her site, “Tharapita" is the name of a thirteenth-century northern Estonian tribal god, which has been incorporated into the culture to “evoke the unity between man and nature." Living now in Copenhagen, Denmark with its hustle and bustle, the music is Hagel's attempt “to recreate the sensations, colours and landscapes of my childhood's country house and its surroundings." It is quite surprising, therefore, to be presented with music ...

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Take Five With Tracy Mothershed

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Meet Tracy Mothershed: I use to listen to my mother play the piano and try to follow her... I would listen to my Grandmother sing and Grandparents dance. My uncle Douglas and I would sing and sing... play records and I would pretend to have a microphone and be a famous jazz singer. I was incredibly shy but I was always singing. i would put on shows with my sister in front of the view-finder that would create a spotlight and we would sing. I dreamed of living in NYC and being a jazz singer ...

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Take Five With Greg Nathan

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Meet Greg Nathan: Greg Nathan began his professional bass-playing career in 1972 at the age of seventeen, performing popular jazz music with pianist Chuck Ruff and vocalist Donna Courtell. He completed his Bachelor of Music in Music Education degree at the University of Oregon in 1977. Greg earned a Master of Arts in Music degree at California State University, Sacramento in 1982. He is in his thirtieth season with the Eugene Symphony. His teacher is Larry Epstein, Assistant Principal of the San Francisco Symphony. Greg is an accomplished composer of songs and serious music. He sings, plays, ...

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Take Five With Rhenda Fearrington

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Meet Rhenda Fearrington: Rhenda Fearrington is considered New York Soul in the Heart of Philly Jazz, which produces a warm and soulful presentation when singing from the Great American Songbook. When she's performing her original music, her authentic delivery is so engaging that even the largest venue becomes as intimate as her living room and each member of the audience feels she's speaking just to them! Originally from New York, she started singing in local bands throughout Queens, NY, when a bandleader named Reginald “Budd" Ellison asked if she'd sing in his band, “Jack's Bird." Year later, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Somi: The Lagos Music Salon

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To most people, the junction of New York and Lagos, Nigeria may not seem like a natural place for an album to take shape. Somi, thankfully, thought otherwise. This worldly and well-traveled vocalist makes it seem like the most natural of meeting points on The Lagos Music Salon. Somi's music has always been informed by African, R&B and soul influences, but an eighteen month stay in Lagos helped her dig deeper into the African cultural soil than she ever had before. The resultant album, powerful, cool, vibrant, sly and lively all at once, could be considered the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Whammies: Play The Music of Steve Lacy Vol. 3, Live

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The third volume of Steve Lacy dedications by the cover/not cover band The Whammies is a live recording from their 2014 tour. Recorded in Italy and Austria, the band performs their self-described “instant-arranging" of mostly Lacy tunes that in true-to-form fashion elicit surprise and clever improvisation.Saxophonist Steve Lacy, who passed away in 2004, would certainly be pleased.This international band led by Dutch saxophonist Jorrit Dijkstra and Greek-born Boston-based pianist Pandelis Karayorgis keep the flame of his music burning, much like Lacy did in the 1960s for Thelonious Monk, in the band School Days that he co-led ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Michael J McEvoy: The Long Way Home

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Michael J McEvoy is something of a musical chameleon--a composer, instrumentalist and producer who's played a crucial role in many musical projects without grabbing the limelight. He's composed film soundtracks (including 2008's Me And Orson Welles), and worked as musician or producer with an extensive array of artists including Ian Dury, Sting, Scritti Politti, the Bee Gees and Steve Winwood. On The Long Way Home McEvoy comes back to jazz (the “home" of the album title), with eight stylish and memorable self-penned tunes. The Long Way Home was recorded live over two sessions in May 2013, with the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Annie Ross: To Lady with Love

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London-born, Scottish-bred singer Annie Ross, who is perhaps best known (with Dave Lambert and Jon Hendricks) as part of the hip vocal trio Lambert, Hendricks and Ross (LHR) in the 1950s and '60s, was eighty-three years old when this earnest tribute to Billie Holiday, To Lady with Love, was recorded in 2013. At her advanced age, Ross is far more stylist than singer, a fact that is further amplified by the slender backing of only two guitarists, father Bucky and son John Pizzarelli, and a program comprised entirely of languorous ballads (Johnny Mercer's shuffling “Travelin' Light" is the only tune ...



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