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 ...read more
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, ...read more
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, ...read more
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 ...read more
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 ...read more
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 ...read more
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 ...read more
Earl Klugh Blue Note Jazz Club New York, NY August 14, 2014 On a pleasant, Thursday evening in mid-August, Grammy Award-winning guitarist Earl Klugh treated the packed and very enthusiastic audience at New York City's Blue Note Jazz Club to a spectacular night of silky smooth jazz. The slightly muggy venue was packed, but not overcrowded. The anticipation was high as Klugh and his quartet started his show (the first of two separately scheduled sets) promptly at 8pm. Klugh and his band immediately warmed up the crowd and created a perfect mood with ...read more
Myriad3--the Toronto-based trio of pianist Chris Donnelly, bassist Dan Fortin, and drummer Ernesto Cervini--may be the most noteworthy small group to emerge from Canada in years. Tell (Alma, 2013) introduced the band to the world, marking Myriad3 as an outfit with a post-modern outlook, respect for the traditions of this music, and the smarts not to let that respect get in the way of what it set out to do. Audacity, assurance, and the spirit of cooperation shine through on Myriad3's mind-blowing sophomore release. This band can do just about anything--and do it really well--but there's no ...read more
Ahmad Jamal's live performances have been well represented in his discography over the past sixty years. Yet despite touring the globe, all Jamal's live recordings--with the exception of the DVD concert from Lebanon, Live at Baalbeck (Birdology, 2003)--document North American and European gigs. France has always accorded the Pittsburgh pianist a royal welcome, naming him an Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2007;the regard is mutual, as Live at the Olympia is Jamal's fourth live recording in the French capital since 1992. Recorded in June 2012, this double CD set captures the entire concert, with iconic multi-instrumentalist ...read more
Trumpeters Bill Warfield and Randy Brecker have been friends for twenty years; it's high time they joined forces in a recording studio and began making beautiful music together. On Trumpet Story, Warfield's big-band homage to trumpeters and other musicians who have influenced him through the years, six-time Grammy Award winner Brecker solos on eight of ten numbers, several of which were written by Warfield with him in mind. The result is what Joe Listener might expect--uniformly high-caliber jazz tastefully articulated by Brecker's all-purpose trumpet / flugelhorn and suitably amplified by Warfield's A-list ensemble and perceptive charts. This ...read more
Discovering unheard John Coltrane material is the Holy Grail for serious music devotees, and the imminent release (Sept.23,2014) of a 1966 live date in the form of Offering: Live at Temple University on the Impulse! label (in conjunction with Resonance Records and Universal Music) to join The Olatunji Concert and One Down, One Up Live at the Half Note in the Coltrane archive is good news, indeed, for those wishing to explore the iconic saxophonist's later years. Adding significantly to the first-class feel of this production is the inclusion of a 23-page liner booklet written by the always perceptive Ashley ...read more
If you want to hear the best Annie Ross, listen to King Pleasure Sings / Annie Ross Sings (Fantasy, 1952). If you want to hear the most empathic and honest Annie Ross, listen to To Lady with Love. Ross is in her early to mid-80s and her voice is not what it was in the 50s and '60s, but her passion, grace and intelligence surpasses all previous recordings. This is a late autumn--early winter voice, to be sure. This recording belongs with Lady Day's Lady In Satin, (Columbia, 1958), Johnny Cash's American Recordings IV: The Man Comes Around (American Recordings, ...read more
To properly appreciate The Omar Hakim Experience one must look back to move forward. By the time Hakim slipped behind the drum kit of Weather Report in 1983, the band was staggering under the weight of personnel departures, management problems and family issues. Founding member Joe Zawinul went in search of new recruits and in walked Hakim with bassist Victor Bailey and percussionist Jose Rossy. Curt Bianchi's well-researched blog, The Weather Report Annotated Discography, is the go-to site for all things related to the band and on it Hakim explained what he brought to the group besides his ...read more
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