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Album Review

Randy Napoleon: The Door is Open: The Music of Gregg Hill

Read "The Door is Open: The Music of Gregg Hill" reviewed by Paul Rauch

In and around the formidable jazz studies program at Michigan State University is a plethora of jazz talent devoted to instrumental and compositional excellence. Most of this talent is young, benefiting from a wide array of world-class instructors that includes program director Rodney Whitaker and veteran guitarist Randy Napoleon, among other notables. Within this labyrinth of jazz wisdom in the Detroit / Lansing metroplex is composer Gregg Hill, a former truck driver and tech entrepreneur whose performing ambitions were superseded ...

Album Review

Randy Napoleon: Rust Belt Roots: Randy Napoleon Plays Wes Montgomery, Grant Green & Kenny Burrell

Read "Rust Belt Roots: Randy Napoleon Plays Wes Montgomery, Grant Green & Kenny Burrell" reviewed by Jack Bowers

One's response to jazz--indeed, to music of any kind--most often depends on where he or she is coming from. To erase any doubts about where he is coming from, guitarist Randy Napoleon has subtitled his album, Rust Belt Roots, “Plays Wes Montgomery, Grant Green and Kenny Burrell." This is music born of a Midwestern ethos: Indianapolis (Montgomery), St. Louis (Green), Detroit (Burrell). Napoleon called Michigan home before moving to New York City in 1999, and has never forgotten the enormous ...

Radio & Podcasts

Randy Napoleon, Dave Brubeck, Troy Roberts and More

Read "Randy Napoleon, Dave Brubeck, Troy Roberts and More" reviewed by Joe Dimino

This episode features a number of artists interviewed by host Joe Dimino. We begin with guitarist Randy Napoleon and his mentor Donald Walden. Then, we look into the music of Canadian cat Eric St-Laurent and we profile Australian-born saxophonist Troy Roberts . Finally, we pay our respects to the great Lyle Mays and his contributions to the world of jazz. Playlist Randy Napoleon “Wouldn't It Be Nice" Common Tones (Detroit Music Factory) 00:00 Host talks 5:57 Donald Walden ...

Album Review

Randy Napoleon: Common Tones

Read "Common Tones" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Randy Napoleon may represent the new school of Detroit guitar players emerging from the lineage of Kenny Burrell and (Motown) Funk Brothers Dennis Coffey and Joe Messina, but his approach and sound on Common Tones are old school for sure. His fifth set as a leader (on the Detroit Music Factory label) collaborates across four generations of Michigan jazz musicians and sounds and feels like an old-school jazz conversation, as if Napoleon and friends are playing directly to each other, ...


Randy Napoleon: Playing for the Jukebox Crowd

Read "Randy Napoleon: Playing for the Jukebox Crowd" reviewed by Trish Richardson

When guitarist Randy Napoleon titled his latest effort, The Jukebox Crowd (Gut String Records, 2012), the jukebox he referred to was not some nostalgic 1950s era one that sits idly in a corner. Rather, she is a much sleeker, hipper, and more modern version. She is cool and, of course, jazzy, and she commands center stage. One trait she does share with her older cousin is that she is filled with songs that are worth paying to hear.According ...

Take Five With...

Take Five With Randy Napoleon

Read "Take Five With Randy Napoleon" reviewed by AAJ Staff

Meet Randy Napoleon: Randy Napoleon is one of the most sought after guitarists in New York today. Just off from a two-year tour with Warner Brothers recording artist Michael Bublé, he has recorded a new CD, Between Friends, released in November 2006 by Azica Records and has been touring in the United States and the United Kingdom to promote the album.Napoleon's career took off one month after moving to New York City, when he joined pianist Benny Green's ...

Album Review

Randy Napoleon and Jared Gold: Enjoy The Moment

Read "Enjoy The Moment" reviewed by Mark F. Turner

Organ trios are prevalent these days with groups such as the neo-funksters Medeski Martin & Wood and Soulive, post-modern boppers Larry Goldings and Sam Yahel, and continuing offerings from veterans Dr. Lonnie Smith and Joey DeFrancesco. From the greasy grooves of Jimmy Smith to the sophisticated lines of Larry Young, imitators and disciples are continuing the quest to B-3 heaven. Add guitarist Randy Napoleon and organist Jared Gold to the list with their new trio recording Enjoy The Moment.

Centered ...


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