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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Masakowski Family: N.O. Escape

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The NOLA Masakowski's are a household name in the New Orleans area. Singer Sasha Masakowski has released several notable CDs including Sasha Masakowski & the Sidewalk Strutters Old Green River (Louisiana Music Factory, 2015); Hildegard (Self Produced, 2015); and Wishes (Hypersoul, 2011). Her father, the principle member here, multi-instrumentalist Steve Masakowski, is on faculty at the University of New Orleans, an educator under whom Katrina-refugee-now-Little-Rock-native Ted Ludwig studied. Bassist Martin Masakowski, Sasha's brother chips in with the one non-family member, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sasha Masakowski & the Sidewalk Strutters: Old Green River

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There is a rare musical triple point where talent, vision, and a wicked sense-of-humor meet. Damn few artists ever make it there. I believe that it must be the address of one Sasha Hildegard Masakowski. NOLA's own has recently relocated to the cultural hub of the universe, New York City, but not before navigating the choppy and often decadent waters of this past Carnival and Mardi Gras season to record a throwback to not the '30s and '40s but the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Hildegard: Hildegard

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If audio releases were ships following one another and I was standing on the deck of Sasha Masakowski's debut recording, Wishes (Hypersoul, 2011), I don't think I could have seen as far away as needed to spy her follow-up Hildegard. Certainly not without a telescope. Like Wishes which Masakowski made with her ensemble, the Musical Playground, the artist inaugurates a new ensemble, Hildegard. The ensemble name is potent with meaning to the singer, whose middle name is Hildegard, and that ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sasha Masakowski and Musical Playground: Wishes

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The field of female jazz vocals is somewhat bigger than 40 acres...like, a universe bigger. So congested is the musical ether with this flavor of jazz that it is nearly impossible for an artist to carve out a useful niche. Not that a niche is necessary, but it is nice to have some unifying element or theme in a given project, something not unlike Karrin Allyson's Ballads: Remembering John Coltrane (Concord, 2001). While specifically directed in a different way, New ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sasha Masakowski and Musical Playground: Wishes

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Growing up in the Big Easy can be a blessing or a burden. The musical streets of New Orleans were paved with the glorious sounds of Louis Armstrong and Sidney Bechet, second line parades, and brass bands galore, making it a heavenly place for those wishing to soak their ears in the sounds of jazz from long ago, but that might not be the path for everybody nurtured in good old NOLA. Some artists want to reach beyond the confines ...


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