Richie Hart leads a stellar band that captures the classic guitar/organ combo sound accurately with a swinging groove. His original compositions ensure that jazz and blues will find a comfortable seat every time his unit takes the stage.
With his trio, Hart interprets "Sandu" in a classic repose. His guitar brings back the song's original feeling. Swinging lightly and improvising spontaneously, he sends lyrical phrases spinning this way and that. By including a delicious bass solo and trading fours with the drummer, Hart has applied the basic concepts of modern jazz to his arrangement.
Because Hart performs without pick, his sound remains velvety smooth. Wes Montgomery and George Benson serve as his greatest influences. Hart, an Associate Professor of Jazz Guitar at Berklee College of Music in Boston, caresses a ballad melody such as "Georgia on My Mind" or Lalo Schifrin's "Theme From The Fox" with its natural essence. His seamless phrasing makes each melodic fragment shine.
Gerry Niewood adds a colorful tenor presence on "Autumn Leaves" and John Coltrane's "Black Pearls." Hart seems to enjoy the interplay as guitar and saxophone weave their melodies spontaneously. Niewood and Hart share an adventurous nature but remain focused on their mutual respect for tone quality.
Hart's medley of songs from West Side Story , performed a cappella, includes "Somewhere" and "Tonight" in a lovely soliloquy that easily captures the heartfelt passion those songs convey. If you've never been in love before, this is the place to start. Recommended, Richie Hart's Blues In The Alley has a place for all lovers of jazz and blues.
Track Listing: Well You Needn't; Blues in the Alley; Sandu; The Fox; Black Pearls; Georgia on my Mind; Autumn Leaves; Fresh Air; On a High Note; West Side Story Medley
Personnel: Richie Hart- guitar; Rick Petrone- bass; Joe Corsello- drums, percussion; Pete Levin- keyboards; Gerry Niewood- tenor saxophone on "Black Pearls" and "Autumn Leaves."
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone. Feet in the dirt, or barefoot on a stage with sequins--it's soul beats in my chest.
I was first exposed to jazz while others listened to surf music in the '50s and '60s, it was Monk, Miles, Satchmo and Ella, Rosemary Clooney and Julie London followed. Margaret Whiting, Les McCann, Willie Bobo, Andy Simpkins, Snooky Young, Bill Basie and Helen Humes. The first time I heard Topsy, Take 2, I about passed out at the age of ten.
I've hung with Les McCann who more than 30 years after our first meeting became my duet partner on my CD, Don't Go To Strangers. Karen Hernandez from the start, Jack Le Compte on drums, Lou Shoch on bass, Steve Rawlins as my arranger and pianist, Grant Geissman - guitar genius, Nolan Shaheed, Richard Simon, and more. The big boys. My Red Hot Papas. The best show I ever attended was...
I met Helen Humes first back in 1981 and helped turn one Playboy Jazz Festival night into her tribute, bring the Basie Band to stage, her joy boys. Before she took the stage for the last time to sing, If I could Be With You One Hour Tonight thousands of copies of the newspaper I wrote for carried her story. It was kismet, her being held by Joe Williams backstage. Soon in my life were the great Linda Hopkins who told me I sang the song she wrote better than her, which floored me of course, the energizing Barbara Morrison and the stellar Marilyn Maye who guided me professionally.
My advice to new listeners... let your backbone slip and feel your body stripping back the barriers that prevent us from being one with the music.
Remember none of us are strangers, we just haven't met yet.