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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sue Rynhart: Crossings (Songs For Voice And Double Bass)

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Life is a series of crossings: from ignorance to knowing; fear to courage; love to heartbreak and from one time and place to the next. It's the bare emotions and the mind-sets inherent in such hazy transitions that provide the inspiration for vocalist/composer Sue Rynhart, who is joined here by Dublin-based American double bassist Dan Bodwell in intimate musical communion. The stark setting of voice and bass boldly frames the poetry of Rynhart's lyrics, while the duo explores the rhythmic ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

-isq: Too

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Too is the second album from London-based quartet -isq. No surprise there. The slightly odd presentation of the band's name remains in place and continues to trouble the usually faultless activities of the planet's internet search engines. The line-up from debut album -isq (Cheesepeas Records, 2013) is still intact. The band's distinctive “every silver lining has a cloud" approach to songwriting--lyrics by singer Irene Serra--was a strength of the debut and is also pretty much at the core of these ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Cassandra Wilson at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

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Cassandra Wilson: “Coming Forth by Day, A Celebration of Billie Holiday" Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts Scottsdale, Arizona February 21, 2015 Vocalist Cassandra Wilson delivered a modern homage in honor of the anniversary of Billie Holiday's 100th birthday. Her performance neither replicated the late singer's sound nor did it adhere to the jazz mode of that long-past era. Instead, it was a re-characterization of the songs that made Holiday famous from 1935 to 1959. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Michelle Lordi: Drive

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It's difficult to conceive how this wonderful album of restrained and subtly rendered ballads came to be called Drive, a term which leads the listener to expect a package of revved up swing or rock. However, you don't have to be a cryptologist to realize that it comes from the last track, “Drive," which contains the line “Who's gonna drive you home?" This sense of melancholy and hoped for love, like so much of the American Songbook, is the essence ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Alyssa Allgood: Lady Bird

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After two very promising vocalese offerings: Dorian Devin's The Procrastinator (Self Produced, 2013) and Angelica Matveeva's Vocalese (Self Produced, 2015), yet another traditional vocalese presents itself as an extended-play recording of what may be the most refined offering in the genre yet. Allgood's approach is superbly considered and delivered. Her command of the material has no peer. Allgood's choice of an organ trio + tenor accompaniment is sheer genius. With this format, the singer's innate vocalese talent ...

BAILEY'S BUNDLES

Classical Boxes: Harnoncort’s Strauss & Bostridges’ Schubert

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With the traditional music industry in shambles, the larger labels are repackaging their deep catalogs as never before, releasing well-conceived box sets that are modestly priced for the amount of music offered. Here are two from Warner Classics that make me want to yell, “Yeehaw!" (In the southern classical music vernacular, that is.) Nikolaus Harnoncourt Johann Strauss II Warner Classics 2014 When considering Austrian period-performance conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Susan Krebs Chamber Band: Simple Gifts

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Vocalist Susan Krebs and her musical friends have been putting together thematically-programmed salon concerts in living rooms and small venues for a number of years. Out of that experience comes Simple Gifts, a salon sampler of sorts that gives the at-home listener a taste of the ideas and arrangements that came about through these performances. The first two pieces on the album--"Let's Call A Heart A Heart" and “Looking Back"--originally fell under the banner of Cardiology: Heart ...

TOP TEN LIST

Top Ten Jazz Songs of My Childhood, Thus Far

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For some reason, listening to the Great American Songbook was a big part of my Italian immigrant-boomer generation's experience. We learned the values, the rules, the moves and the customs of the folks we wanted to be like. And added a couple of distinctive touches of our own. We liked big bands too. But it wasn't All Frank, All the Time... well, not quite. 1. Maynard Ferguson: “Come Blow Your Horn" From Come Blow ...



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