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Popsicle Illusion and Sweet Summer Love

Read "Popsicle Illusion and Sweet Summer Love" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

This midsummer broadcast Included new releases from vocalists Lori Williams, Barb Jungr and Lisa Rich, pianists George Cables, Hiroe Sekine, and a 10th anniversary reissue from bassist John Miller, with birthday shout outs to Jazz Masters Annie Ross and Joanne Brackeen, plus vocalists Lainie Cooke, Janis Siegel, Nnenna Freelon, Karrin Allyson and Carla Hassett, among others. Playlist Marlene Rosenberg “Togetherness" from MLK Convergence (Origin) 00:00 Carla Hassett “We Belong Here" from +Blue (Paulista Records) 04:06 Luba Mason “Freedom" ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Thelonious Monk Birthday Concert: Helen Sung, Kris Davis and JoAnne Brackeen

Read "Thelonious Monk Birthday Concert: Helen Sung, Kris Davis and JoAnne Brackeen" reviewed by Harry S. Pariser

Thelonious Monk Birthday Concert: Helen Sung, Kris Davis and JoAnne Brackeen SFJAZZ San Francisco, CA October 10, 2018 It would have been Thelonious Monk's 101st birthday this year, but the pianist and composer has not lost his luster over the years. Every year SFJAZZ celebrates his birthday with a concert. Past years have included performances by John Beasley's MONK'estra and Benny Green's Monk's Dream. This year SFJAZZ brought three female pianists to ...

INTERVIEWS

Joanne Brackeen: Phenomenal Capacity

Read "Joanne Brackeen: Phenomenal Capacity" reviewed by Russ Musto

One of the most heralded pianists of her era, JoAnne Brackeen came to New York in 1965 after cutting her chops jamming with the likes of Teddy Edwards, Harold Land, Charles Lloyd and Dexter Gordon during the waning days of the Central Avenue scene in her native California. After a few dues-paying years here, she landed the piano chair with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, touring with the great drummer from 1969-72, following up the experience with tenures in the bands ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Joanne Brackeen: Breath of Brazil

Read "Breath of Brazil" reviewed by William Grim

Pianist Joanne Brackeen is one of the best non-Brazilian interpreters of Brazilian music on the scene today. For many years a sideman in a wide variety of jazz combos, Brackeen has a natural flair for Brazilian and Latin rhythms as it quite clear from her brilliant album Breath of Brazil that features the works of a number of composers including Ivan Lins, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Sergio Mendes.

“Madalena” and “Velas” are two songs by Ivan Lins that have become ...

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Joanne Brackeen: Popsicle Illusion

Read "Popsicle Illusion" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Pianist Joanne Brackeen’s Grammy nominated release; “Pink Elephant Magic” easily ranks as one of the top releases of 1999. With her follow up, titled Popsicle illusion - Ms. Brackeen embarks on a solo piano recital that features a series of originals and time honored standards as the jazz public receives yet another extraordinary glimpse of this remarkably talented musician.

Listen to how she seamlessly melds James P. Johnson style stride piano with lush harmonies and jazzy single note leads while ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Joanne Brackeen: Popsicle Illusion

Read "Popsicle Illusion" reviewed by AAJ Staff

Joanne Brackeen is an original, that's for sure. And a very talented original, needless to say. Seeming to go her own way in the inspirations for her music, she also goes her own way during a performance. It's as if she sets out with a foundation for a tune, and then anything goes as she builds the structure upon her immovable underpinnings.Take “If I Were A Bell". Legitimized by Miles Davis as a source for jazz improvisation, Brackeen ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Joanne Brackeen: Popsicle Illusion

Read "Popsicle Illusion" reviewed by David Adler

This virtuosic solo piano outing by Joanne Brackeen gives Chick Corea’s year 2000 solo series a run for its money. It’s also quite a departure from the busier sound of 1999’s Pink Elephant Magic. But like her previous record, Popsicle Illusion is packed with Brackeen’s characteristic exuberance, sophistication, and diverse stylistic command.Beginning with a 7/4 stride piano version of “If I Were a Bell," Brackeen goes on to tackle several other standards and four strong originals. She performs ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Joanne Brackeen: Popsicle Illusion

Read "Popsicle Illusion" reviewed by AAJ Staff

Joanne Brackeen is an original, that's for sure. And a very talented original, needless to say. Seeming to go her own way in the inspirations for her music, she also goes her own way during a performance. It's as if she sets out with a foundation for a tune, and then anything goes as she builds the structure upon her immovable underpinnings.Take “If I Were A Bell". Legitimized by Miles Davis as a source for jazz improvisation, Brackeen ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Joanne Brackeen: Pink Elephant Magic

Read "Pink Elephant Magic" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

One of the great pianist’s and unsung heroes in Modern Jazz returns in incendiary and dynamic fashion. Joanne Brackeen’s Pink Elephant Magic is stunning, articulate and easily one of the premier jazz recordings of 1999.

The title track and opener, “Pink Elephant Magic” is simply an outstanding composition! The complex and seemingly difficult to perform arrangement is multifaceted, cleverly orchestrated and superior in scope and altogether artfully constructed. Brackeen, with the assistance of Nicholas Payton (trumpet), Chris Potter (soprano sax) ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Joanne Brackeen: Pink Elephant Magic

Read "Pink Elephant Magic" reviewed by Jack Bowers

This new recording showcases not one but two of Joanne Brackeen’s conspicuous talents, and is uplifted not only by her exemplary keyboard work but her persuasive writing as well. Brackeen, now some 30 years removed from her early service with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, writes with clear images in mind, and the results can be observed in such charming sound portraits as “Pink Elephant Magic,” “Ghost Butter,” “Filene’s,” “Beethoven Meets the Millennium in Spain” and “Cram ’n Exam” (a note–heavy ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

JoAnne Brackeen: Pink Elephant Magic

Read "Pink Elephant Magic" reviewed by Jim Santella

From the march tempo and hard bop power of “Pink Elephant Magic" to the drifting ballad waltz time of “Filene’s," JoAnne Brackeen’s latest album covers a lot of territory. The pianist’s seven compositions, coupled with three familiar pieces, provide variety and result in a well-rounded set. Bret Primack’s informative liner notes are available on the ‘net at http://www.arkadiarecords.com . Brackeen has a forceful keyboard style that drives her ensemble with percussive power. Her thirty-year career includes experience with Art Blakey, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Joanne Brackeen: Pink Elephant Magic

Read "Pink Elephant Magic" reviewed by Bob Margolis

A Master pianist other than a Flanagan, or a Peterson, is faced with the daunting task of recording something that separates them but allows for their brilliance to shine through. The subject of this piece has consistently been able to do this, primarily using vehicles other than the trio or solo format. Putting together perhaps her finest band since the late 1980's quartet featuring Billy Hart, Cecil McBee and Gary Bartz, pianist and composer Joanne Brackeen has just put out ...


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