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EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Grover Washington, Jr.: Winelight (Hybrid SACD 5.1 Multichannel)

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When Grover Washington, Jr. passed away in 1999 the jazz world lost one of its most successful and talented creators, and in his wake a slew of saxophonists have stepped up to fill the void. None have. jny: Philadelphia jazz deejay Bob Perkins said, of Washington, a native of the City of Brotherly Love, “He was the originator of smooth jazz, and all the rest--Najee, Kenny G--followed him." It is absolutely true that Washington was, along with George ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rick Waldron: Africa

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Multi-instrumentalist Rick Waldron is one talented guy -aside from playing all the guitars, basses and keyboards on Africa he also gets in some trombone, mandolin and banjo, plus doing the composing, arranging and production. The album is not really about the music of Africa, and the title track “Africa" is not a deep musicological investigation into African roots music. It does allude to that music, however, and is but one example of very lively and happy music which ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Roberta Donnay & The Prohibition Mob Band: Bathtub Gin

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Roberta Donnay is a Jazz Age preservationist, guardian of Depression-era sounds, and extender of traditions, but her music isn't covered with cobwebs or dated in any way. On Bathtub Gin, this singer-composer puts a new coat of paint on the songs of the '20s and '30s, contributes originals sympathetic to the sounds of those times, and conjures thoughts of life during prohibition. Across fifteen tracks, Donnay and her group--the aptly-titled Prohibition Mob Band--deliver snappy statements, sly songs, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rick Braun: can you feel it

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Celebrated trumpeter Rick Braun's release can you feel it is aptly titled. The veteran purveyor of the smooth jazz sound does not disappoint on his latest offering. Some of Braun's musical friends on this eleven song collection include: Brian Culbertson-piano, Euge Goove-tenor sax, Jeff Lorber-keyboards and guitar, Dave Koz-tenor sax, and Nate Phillips-bass. In typical Braun fashion, the entire record production is clean and at a high standard. The title and first track “Feel It" has ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kevin Eubanks & Stanley Jordan: Duets

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We know Kevin Eubanks as a long-time leader and guitarist for The Tonight Show band, as well as a string of solo albums. Stanley Jordan, of course, turned the jazz world on its ear in the mid 80's with his revolutionary two-handed tapping technique on the guitar fretboard. Both musicians have been used to being in the spotlight. As such, one might expect a showy, flashy set of tracks on their Duets album. Yet, Duets is an understated album full ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rick Waldron: Africa

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Even before a single note of Africa hits the air, the long list of instruments played by leader/composer Rick Waldron suggests that something unusual is afoot. For his fourth CD Waldron, who has chaired the music department at Everett Community College since 1990, has created a lively and intricate session that defies easy description. There's reason to expect some traditional jazz, given that Waldron earned a Master's degree in composition from North Texas State, one of the best ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Majamisty TriO: Love

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Serbian pianist and composer Maja Alvanovic's second release with her Majamisty TriO Love is a collection of ethereal dreamscapes that crackle with lively spontaneity. The dominant and unifying theme of the album is a sort of nostalgic impressionism with fluid, hazy sonic images filtered through the lens of memory and time. The redolent “Rain Dots" evokes the warm, cozy indoor ambience of rainy afternoons. Alvanović's keys emulate the gentle pitter-patter of a drizzle that grows into a stormy ...

LIVE REVIEWS

George Benson and the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra at Mesa Arts Center

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George Benson and the Phoenix Symphony OrchestraMesa Arts Center Mesa, Arizona January 21, 2015 Guitarist-vocalist George Benson performed two straight hours of soul-satisfying and totally thrilling music that reprised his five decades of hits in jazz and pop-contemporary music acclaim. The non-stop set ranged from his 1964 jazz albums debut through multiple Grammy-winning gold and platinum CDs, to his 2013 Nat King Cole tribute, Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole (Concord Records, 2013).



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