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All-Star Trio at Philly’s Hip Square on the Square

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Ever since Lennie Tristano recorded his landmark album Live at the Confucius Restaurant in 1955, Chinese food and jazz have teamed up. The All-Star Trio continues the tradition at Philadelphia's Square on the Square, a Chinese restaurant on 19th and Chestnut. It's a regular Wednesday night gig for the spirited trio of pianist Andy Kahn, drummer Bruce Klauber and bassist Nicholas Krolak. Sometimes Peggy King shows up--the All-Stars brought her out of retirement--and the group backs her up ...


Paul Jost: Breaking Through

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One of the most endearing moments of jazz vocalist Paul Jost's new solo CD, Breaking Through, in an album of many such moments, is perhaps his chuckle and the “Oh, George," he lets out after a fresh rendition of “Singing in the Rain." Endearing because Jost connects with the listener by the sigh meant for and about his dear late friend, pianist and arranger, George Mesterhazy. Two small words communicate such a wealth of awe, gratitude, longing and bittersweet happiness. ...


The Dave Stryker Trio Swings A Log Church

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Once through pastoral Medford Village in Burlington County, NJ, you arrive at Medford Lakes, a community of period log cabins under towering pine trees just off Stokes, the main road. In this onetime lakeside resort, hand-hewn from local wood, beckons a big cabin called Cathedral of the Woods. Russell Quigliata, who managed Cecil Payne until the renowned baritone saxophonist died in 2007, runs a monthly jazz series in the cabin cathedral. Somehow, he lures first-rate talent here. For only $20- ...


Mauricio de Souza Strikes the Right Note

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Moonstruck Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge owners Luke Magliaro and Howard Raczkiewicz hired a trio not long ago for a Friday night gig at their popular bistro in Asbury Park, and they got a quartet. Drummer Mauricio de Souza and bassist Gary Mazzaroppi teamed up with pianist-trumpeter Alan Chaubert. Close your eyes and you hear a quartet. That's because Chaubert plays both instruments at the same time. The technique may require a split personality, but the result is Chaubert's ...


All Smiles on Hilton Head Island

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Fly, drive, bike or walk, if you can, to The Jazz Corner on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. But make reservations first or you may be going home early. This intimate jazz and blues club is booked solid every night weeks in advance, and I do mean every night. So it's been for 15 years, an incredible feat by owners Bob and Lois Masteller. The club, with its well-planned sound system and sightlines for all 100 seats, was named ...


The Jost Project: Finding Its Way Home

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The Somers Point Jazz Society threw a first album release party for the newly-formed Jost Project at Sandi Pointe Coastal Bistro this fall. Can't Find My Way Home, the CD is titled. The venue offers a seaside bar on one side and its opposite on the other, a rentable banquet room with brocade upholstered chairs. The quartet was finishing dinner in the big, dimly lit room in a kind of pre-game huddle. When they broke, bassist Kevin MacConnell ...


Sharp As Shark’s Teeth: The Hammerheaded Quintet

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Dan Weeks, Ph.D, wears many hats: published poet (six books), professor of philosophy, assistant research professor at Rutgers University, and drummer of no slight talent. Yet, he insists he's not the leader of the Hammerheaded Quintet. Nor is the leader guitarist Chuck Welch, saxophonist Anthony Ware, trumpeter Ted Chubb or bassman Mike Noordzy. But Weeks is the most vocal, doing all the introducing and stage announcing during their recent gig at The Saint in Asbury Park. The Saint is well ...


Rare Songbird at Lafayette Bar in Easton

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Rara avis Michelle Glick was heard warbling recently in her natural habitat, a no-jive, real-live jazz bar. Also known as Easton PA's Lafayette Bar, a tavern that counts more beards and berets than baseball caps, she was coaxed out of her self-enforced retirement by owner Tunsei Jabbour. Tunsei (pronounced Tahn-sigh) promised her back-up by the Rich Messbauer Trio, including Messbauer on bass, Joe Battaglia on guitar, Ron Glick on drums, and the deal was done. The two Glicks ...

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