Articles by Edward Blanco


Album Review

Ari Erev: Close to Home

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Pianist and composer Ari Erev here delivers an intimate musical portrait containing a selection of light jazz music intended to convey a warm personal story. As the Israeli pianist states, the album “tells my story of family members, close friends and familiar places, to whom I relate and feel deep emotions towards." Along with eight original compositions, Erev adds reimagined songs by Paul Simon, Keith Jarrett and fellow Israeli artist Efraim Shamir. He also touches on bossa nova with the ...


Album Review

Gerry Gibbs: Songs from My Father

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Drummer Gerry Gibbs pays tribute to father Terry Gibbs on the amazing nineteen-track double-CD set Songs from My Father featuring a guest appearance by the ninety-seven-year-old vibraphonist on one track, among other surprises, including the last studio performance by the late jazz icon Chick Corea, who also wrote “Tango for Terry" for this homage and is the only non-Gibbs composition on the album. Son Gerry had plenty of his father's music to choose from when contemplating this project but chose ...


Album Review

Antonio Adolfo: Jobim Forever

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Pianist, composer, educator and arranger extraordinaire, Antonio Adolfo has been at the forefront of the samba and bossa nova genre for decades. A proponent of the music of Antonio Carlos Jobim, Adolfo pays tribute to the genre master on the splendid Jobim Forever. This homage focuses on the icon's work from the 1960s, selecting songs that are instantly recognizable as being a part of an era that put Rio de Janeiro on the jazz landscape. In addition to ...


Album Review

Francesco Amenta: Midtown Walk

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Italian-born, New York-based tenor saxophonist Francesco Amenta presents his American debut recording Midtown Walk, his second project as leader, offering seven original compositions and a cover tune ("Come Sunday") from Duke Ellington whose music he admires. Now an international recording artist, Amenta paid his dues performing in Italy and attended the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, Holland in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which has a long and rich tradition with jazz music. Now a New Yorker, Amenta quickly immersed ...


Album Review

Hendrik Meurkens: Manhattan Samba

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Composer, virtuoso on both the vibraphone and harmonica, German-born New York-based Hendrik Meurkens presents yet another colorful and tantalizing taste of Brazilian music on the exquisite Manhattan Samba. A proponent of the samba and bossa nova styles of music after a full immersion while living in Rio de Janeiro in the early 1980s, Meurkens continues documenting his passion for the music, this time offering new compositions, includes previously recorded tunes and features the music of Brazilian/jazz masters Ivan Lins, Toninho ...


Album Review

Roberto Magris: Shuffling Ivories

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Pianist Roberto Magris follows up his critically-acclaimed album Suite! (JMood Records, 2018) with a duet recording with Chicago-based bassist Eric Hochberg, whom he met while recoding Suite! . Returning to the windy city in November 2019 to promote the release of Suite! , Magris and Hochberg decided to make an album of their own while enduring one of the heaviest winter storms in the history of the city. Over his thirty-plus albums, Magris has often drawn inspiration from ...


Album Review

Mike Levine: Just Chillin

Read "Just Chillin" reviewed by Edward Blanco

A proponent of the more relaxing side of the jazz spectrum, pianist and keyboardist Mike Levine presents his fourth album as leader, offering thirteen primarily original pieces falling decidedly within the smooth jazz category. A talented composer, Levine's music seems to eschew the core jazz tenet of improvisation in favor of catchy melodies perfect for those chilling-out moments that overwhelm us all sooner or later. A first-call musician by anyone's count, Levine draws on his vast experience performing ...


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