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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

DUCHESS: DUCHESS

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There's a new vocal super group in town, and it proves that bonhomie hasn't been banished from jazz. DUCHESS--the sublime combination of Amy Cervini, Hilary Gardner, and Melissa Stylianou--is a serious musical force, but it makes some seriously friendly music. Cervini, Gardner, and Stylianou each delivered superb releases on the Anzic imprint in 2014, but that didn't stop them from making time to work out some “girl-on-girl harmony," as they put it. They spread affability throughout New ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Lisa Thorson: Lisa Thorson Quartet - Live

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Lisa Thorson is a Boston-based vocalist and educator (she is a professor of voice at Berklee College of Music). She has release three recordings: From This Moment On (Brownstone, 1994), Resonance (GM Recordings, 1999) and Out to Sea (Self Produced, 2002). Even a dedicated teacher must spread her creative wings from time to time, and Thorson does so the present Lisa Thorson Quartet Live recorded at Scullers Jazz Club in Boston (a favorite haunt for fellow Boston vocalists Rebecca Parris ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Vivian Buczek: Curiosity

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Vivian Buczek is blessed with a glorious voice--warm, emotional, engaging--and a talent for sophisticated interpretations of established but not over-worked songs. Curiosity, the Swedish singer's fifth album, places her in the company of a piano trio led by the excellent pianist and arranger Martin Sjöstedt. It's company she clearly relishes and in which she shines brightly.Buczek has put together a group of songs that draw on the American Songbook ("How Deep Is The Ocean," “For All We Know"), ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Lyn Stanley: Potions: From the ‘50s

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We Baby Boomers are a persnickety bunch. We revel in our nostalgia while keeping a jaundiced eye on current trends and how derivative they are compared with those we experienced when they were really new. Critics dismiss this nostalgia as wasted pathos, pining away for what can never be again. That is missing the point. Memory and reminiscence are powerful comforts much like a cat's purr. They help us recall and allow us to put the past into perspective in ...

MIXED TAPE

Classic Christmas

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Time-honored classics for the most wonderful time of the year. Lights and snow not included. TrackNameTimeArtistAlbum1Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town2:38Tony BennettSnowfall: The Tony Bennett Christmas Album2A Holly Jolly Christmas2:14Burl IvesClassic Christmas3Looks Like A Cold, Cold Winter3:50Bing Crosby with Sonny Burke's OrchestraClassic Christmas4Winter Wonderland2:16Ella FitzgeraldElla Wishes You A Swinging Christmas5Baby, It's Cold Outside2:20Dinah Shore & Buddy ClarkClassic Christmas6Sleigh Ride3:20Tex Beneke & Yhe Glenn Miller OrchestraClassic Christmas7Happy Holiday/The Holiday Season2:39Andy WilliamsThe Andy Williams Christmas Album8White Christmas2:30Dean MartinMy Kind ...

NEW YORK BEAT

Marcos Valle and Stacey Kent at Birdland

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Another of Brazil's music luminaries from the sixties, Marcos Valle, came to Gotham on December 9, 2014 to team up with Stacey Kent and Jim Tomlinson and advance the Brazilian omnipresence here of late. Last month I wrote of the dramatic emergence of the Spokfrevo Orquestra at Lincoln Center and everywhere this month there are appearances by Romero Lubambo, Nilson Matta, Duduka da Fonseca, Hendrik Meurkens and many other Brasilieros. And the jazz audiences I joined both at Lincoln Center ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Mary Ellen Desmond Quartet: 11th Annual Comfort and Joy Concert

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Mary Ellen Desmond Church of St. Luke and the Epiphany 11th Annual Comfort and Joy Concert Philadelphia, PA December 14, 2014 Mary Ellen Desmond's Comfort and Joy Concert commenced a decade ago as a shot in the dark, and now, after eleven years running and a CD to its name (Comfort and Joy, Frontrow Records, 2013) the annual event has become a jny: Philadelphia institution. It's addictive. Many jazz ...

BEST OF / YEAR END

C. Michael Bailey's Best Recordings of 2014

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This year turned out to be a watershed of jazz and beyond vocals, instrumental jazz and important reissues. It was a year of music that further opened my eyes and ears to music I had not previously valued or considered. How short-sighted of me. Beat Kaestli Collage (B&B Productions) Bob Dorough Eulalia (Self Produced) Kate McGarry and Keith Ganz Genevieve & Ferdinand -Live



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