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Mary Lou Williams, James Moody & More

Read "Mary Lou Williams, James Moody & More" reviewed by Joe Dimino

This week we start everything off with the talented veteran North Carolina jazz pianist Claire Ritter with the title track off her 2018 CD Eclipse Orange. Then we hear from her mentor Mary Lou Williams, a new one from Branford Marsalis and his Quartet and some solid groove with the great John Kirby leading The Biggest Little Band. We keep things going with profiles of Amina Figarova, Yuriy Galkin and Drew Williams. In between, we hear from new artists like ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Ran Blake / Claire Ritter: Eclipse Orange

Read "Eclipse Orange" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

Pianist Claire Ritter is one of the countless musicians out there who deserve more recognition. A former student of Ran Blake's, she has forged her own path as a composer and educator. This CD presents a 2017 concert she gave with Blake, in North Carolina, for Thelonious Monk's 100th birthday. The program features compositions by Ritter, Blake and Monk, played in solo and duo configurations, involving both pianists and saxophonist Kent O'Doherty.The entire concert has an easy, harmonious ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Ran Blake / Claire Ritter: Eclipse Orange

Read "Eclipse Orange" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

The concert that resulted in the CD Eclipse Orange was done in honor of pianist Thelonious Monk's 100th birthday, but there's so much more than a Monk showcase here. Pianists Claire Ritter and Ran Blake play in duets and solos, and Ritter shares the stage with Australian saxophonist Kent O'Doherty on five tunes, in an atmospheric and wide-ranging program. The pairing of Blake and Ritter began in 1981, when Ritter arrived to study at New England Conservatory, where ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Claire Ritter: Soho Solo

Read "Soho Solo" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Almost any jazz pianist you can think of has taken a shot at the solo recording. Keith Jarrett explores uncharted territory with his wholly improvised approach. Denny Zeitlin and Fred Hersch examine the Standards and some of their own outstanding compositions. Brad Mehldau brings more modern musical mix with his own distinctive tunes stirred up with The Great American Songbook. Jessica Williams delves deeply into Thelonious Monk,  Art Tatum, and the divine poetry of her originals. Now it's ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Claire Ritter: The Streams Of Pearls Project

Read "The Streams Of Pearls Project" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

Claire Ritter's tenth album, The Stream Of Pearls Project, is inspired by water. More accurately, it's inspired by waters: rivers, lakes, brooks, ponds, cascades and their attendant beaches and shorelines. Ritter began the work in 2006 and over the next four years her travels took her to many different places across North America. The result is a beautifully crafted album, with an unusual instrumental lineup that Ritter uses with great ingenuity. Taken individually each of the tunes ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Claire Ritter: Waltzing The Splendor

Read "Waltzing The Splendor" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Pianist/composer Claire Ritter's expansive artistic vision comes into sharp focus on her ninth CD release, Waltzing the Splendor.

It's music that won't slip into a neat category, though “classical jazz"--if you must apply a label--might be as good a fit as you'll find for her highly melodic approach. And that sharp focus is laid out on a very wide screen, employing everything from delicate classical beauty to Monkish angles to rollicking stride grooves.Here, as on her ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Claire Ritter: Greener Than Blue

Read "Greener Than Blue" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Dichotomy prevails on pianist Claire Ritter's Greener Than Blue --rhythmic blues motifs versus peaceful impressionism; rags vs. tone poems; alternating west and east atmospherics; the rent party vying with the parlor. And still it holds together, thanks to the music's spare beauty and Ritter's always interesting melodic vision.Ritter delivers here on solo piano and in a reed/piano/drums trio with the occasional added viola, erhu, and various exotic percussion. The set starts out with a sort of mini-suite, a ...


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