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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Stella Bass: Too Darn Hot

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Singer Stella Bass is a stalwart of jny:Dublin's live music scene, leading small jazz ensembles and collaborating with the HotHouse Big Band and the Dublin City Jazz Orchestra. Bass's debut jazz recording follows Smoke and Sound (Self Produced 2010), her cabaret tribute to Kurt Weil, Bertold Brech, Marlene Dietrich et al. In the main, Too Darn Hot sees Bass mine the jazz standards of the 1930s and 1940s, repertoire she's polished every Sunday for years in Dublin's chic Cafe en Seine. To stand out in a market awash with standards recordings requires something special and Bass, with her beguiling voice, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The New York Standards Quartet: The New Straight Ahead

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The New York Standards Quartet (NYSQ) delivers their fourth overall album and their first for the Whirlwind Recording label on The New Straight Ahead, where the band offers a repertoire of ten familiar songs presented with a new modern twist which, incidentally, has become the group's raison d'etre. Founded in 2006, NYSQ have focused their musical efforts on taking old pop and Broadway show tunes and giving them a new radical design by tweaking the melodies and reconstructing harmonies to present straight ahead standards in an all new fashion. Though reimagining oft-recorded standards is not a new formula, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Peter Zak: The Disciple

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Pianist Peter Zak had a transcontinental shift from Los Angeles to Columbus and Kent Ohio and, finally, to New Your City, where he has remained since 1989. He has released critically well-received CDs for the Danish SteepleChase label: The Eternal Triangle (2012), Nordic Noon (2011) and Down East (2011). He returns with the present trio recording, The Disciple. The jazz market is a small land finicky one. It is really no longer possible to simply put together a piano trio recording of original and standards that stands out from the battlefield clotted with the same. The smarter ...

INTERVIEWS

Shai Maestro: Music as a journey of being a human

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Shai Maestro,talented 27-year-old pianist and a composer, has earned his spurs being a part of Avishai Cohen's band. Now he has a band of his own--Shai Maestro Trio (although he says it's not “his" band but “theirs": Shai, Jorge Roeder and Ziv Ravitz). The group has released two albums so far--in 2012 Shai Maestro Trio and in 2013 The Road to Ithaca. In this interview, taken at Enter Music Festival, Shai shared his thoughts not only about his music, but also about going through the process of becoming an authentic musician and expressing uniqueness of being a human through music. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bob Lark and his Alumni Big Band: Sweet Return

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Trumpeter/educator and big band leader Bob Lark, reunites his Alumni Big Band after their critically acclaimed debut Reunion (Jazzed Media 2012), produced some of the best Jazz orchestrations in the business. Sweet Return is the group's encore performance, their return engagement, their audacious follow up and another masterful stroke by leader Lark. This Alumni band is comprised of eighteen players that the trumpeter has directed throughout his nearly thirty years as a band leader and draws on their talents for the fresh new arrangements and original compositions that make this return so sweet. The music starts swinging right ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

The Poetry of Places: Paula Shocron and Bjørn Solli

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There is something about places. A particular place can create a special mood. When it comes to music, a place can create a unique frame that adds inspiration and ambience. Just think of the music recorded at the Village Vanguard. The name itself is enough to send shivers down the spine. However, unique musical places do not have to be connected with legendary venues. Sometimes, a surprising setting can have an equally enchanting effect and this is the case with the albums from Argentinian pianist Paula Shocron and Norwegian guitarist Bjørn Vidar Solli. Paula ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Larry Corban & The Aperturistic Trio: The Corbanator

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New York-based guitarist Larry Corban took his time creating a follow-up to his debut-- Moving 4-Ward (Self Produced, 2002); it would be more than a decade before album number two--The Circle Starts Here (Nabroc Records, 2013)--would appear, but that one got the ball rolling again. Corban formed a strong connection with his trio mates on that project--bassist Harvie S and drummer Steve Williams--so he wisely brought them back for this album, adding pianist James Weidman--their band mate in The Aperturistic Trio--to make it a foursome. The Corbanator is a thrilling date with strong soloing and engaging interplay, ...



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