Articles by Dave Hughes

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Building a Jazz Library

Jazzy Holiday Music

Read "Jazzy Holiday Music" reviewed by Dave Hughes


It never ceases to amaze me how many different recordings of the songs in the repertoire of popular holiday music exist, and the broad spectrum of styles in which they have been recorded. But I suppose their overall musical utility is one reason why so many of them have endured through the years and not yet died of overexposure. That's what makes a good song a good song! So naturally, there is no genre better suited for taking an old ...

565

Interview

Mark Winkler Sings Bobby Troup

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All About Jazz: You've recently released Mark Winkler Sings Bobby Troup. What motivated you to devote an entire CD to Bobby's works?

Mark Winkler: I really wasn't planning to do a whole CD of Bobby Troup tunes, I was looking for some outside material to fill out a CD of my originals. His work was always something I'd been meaning to check out a little more, and when I did, I fell in love with it-and I couldn't narrow it ...

212

Album Review

Rich Lamanna & The Last Word: Introspective

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Saxophonist Rich Lamanna, schooled at Berklee, now practices dentistry in upstate New York, but obviously the music has never left him. This is definitively evidenced by this very impressive debut CD Introspective. It’s sort of a sad reflection on the current state of music business economics that a musician with this much to offer isn’t being more widely heard and appreciated.

There’s tasty stuff throughout this disc. Some tunes, such as opener “You Just Left” are modern straight-ahead, while others ...

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Album Review

Neil Pyzer: From the Bush to the Pridelands

Read "From the Bush to the Pridelands" reviewed by Dave Hughes


Multi-instrumentalist Neil Pyzer’s From the Bush to the Pridelands is an eclectic, multi-faceted outing which truly charts its own course. The program of all original compositions draws influences from Indian music (most prominently), contemporary jazz, new age, and numerous “world music” genres. Each piece has its own set of sonic textures, but common threads that run throughout the program are Pyzer’s snaking, inquisitive soprano sax, background synth washes, and an infectious percussion groove. On some songs, counterpoint to the soprano ...

212

Album Review

Circo: North/South Convergence

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While the band Circo is based in the U.S. (around University of North Texas in Denton, to be specific), they have embarked upon the mission of performing and promoting the music of Uruguay, and to an extent, Brazil. The inspiration for this music began with founder Lee Tomboulian’s purchase of Airto’s 70s albumFingers(a college favorite of mine too, I might add). The rhythm section of that band was made up of Uruguayans Hugo Fattoruso (keyboards), Jorge Fattoruso (drums) and Ringo ...

552

Album Review

Rosemary Clooney: Let It Snow: Christmas with Rosemary Clooney

Read "Let It Snow: Christmas with Rosemary Clooney" reviewed by Dave Hughes


Here’s a baker’s dozen of previously released Christmas material by Rosemary Clooney, issued on the North Star label. The fine print indicates that this “compilation” is copyright Concord Records. However, this program seems to be 13 of the 21 songs on Clooney’s Concord CD, “White Christmas.” So, naturally, I would recommend choosing the Concord CD in order to get the remaining eight songs.

Packaging concerns aside, if you love Rosie, you’ll love this. All of her stylistic traits are here. ...

385

Album Review

Various Artists: Groovin' Jazz Christmas

Read "Groovin' Jazz Christmas" reviewed by Dave Hughes


It’s a smooth jazz Christmas. Most of this program is exactly what you’d expect: sax lead, programmed backgrounds and drum loops, lightweight improvisations (although Doc Powell’s guitar on “Let It Snow” is appealing). The first eight songs stay close to the formula, and it’s pretty predictable, mechanical, and at times downright sterile. But whoever sequenced the CD saved the best for last; the final three songs are the most rewarding of the lot. “Christmas Eve”, the only original on the ...


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