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Album Review

Miles Donahue: Just Passing Thru

Read "Just Passing Thru" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Miles Donahue is a versatile musician, a talent that serves him well on Just Passing Thru, an album wherein he not only plays soprano, alto and tenor saxophones, trumpet and keyboards but also wrote all but one of the session's nine selections. This is basically a quintet with guitarist Mike Stern added on the last three tracks, guitarist Sal Difusco and accordionist Joey Barbato on one each. Barbato is an especially welcome addition on the closer, “Ireland," a nod to ...

3

Album Review

Miles Donahue: The Bug

Read "The Bug" reviewed by Jack Bowers


People who have an aversion to bugs (do you know any?) may hesitate to purchase (or even review) an album whose title epitomizes the very thing they abhor. But even though multi-instrumentalist Miles Donahue's new album does nod to that often-despised creature and even includes a song by that name, there is more to it than that; one might even say that Donahue removed the most of the “bugs" from the studio before he and his colleagues started recording.

158

Multiple Reviews

Miles Donahue: Pocket Prolific

Read "Miles Donahue: Pocket Prolific" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza


Multi-instrumentalist Miles Donahue certainly packs it in when it comes to recording. In 2003, he was inspired enough by the classic American songbook to release a set of four albums which he called Standards: Volumes I-IV. This time around he is more circumspect, releasing just two CDs simultaneously.

Donahue is no doubt a man of ideas. He writes with his focus on the mainstream, but he keeps his compositions diverse, a move that makes his work interesting. He adds further ...

172

Album Review

The Miles Donahue Quintet: In The Pocket

Read "In The Pocket" reviewed by Michael P. Gladstone


In contrast with the contemporaneous release Bounce, In the Pocket shows a different side of the saxonphonist, trumpeter and composer Miles Donahue. Donahue has assembled a bigger combo with even more firepower on this session, including tenor player Jerry Bergonzi, pianist Fred Hersch, bassist Jay Anderson and drummer Jamey Haddad. They are joined by guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel on four tracks and bassist Dan Greenspan on two compositions.

On many of the tracks that feature a two-tenor front line, ...

212

Album Review

Miles Donahue: Bounce

Read "Bounce" reviewed by Michael P. Gladstone


The release of two simultaneous albums (Bounce and In the Pocket) gives a rare opportunity to hear this saxophonist/trumpeter and composer in different settings, both showcasing his ability to straight-ahead bebop performances. On half of the tracks on Bounce, Donahue leads a quintet, and on the other half he leads a quartet plus three additional musicians. The well-equipped quartet consists of pianist Joey Calderazzo, bassist John Lockwood and drummer Adam Nussbaum. The other cast features Calderazzo, bassist John Patitucci, and ...

128

Album Review

Miles Donahue: Stranger in Paradise: Standards Vol I

Read "Stranger in Paradise:  Standards Vol I" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan


You've got to give the guy extra credit for sheer nerve, simultaneously offering up four CDs of great American Songbook classics. But trumpeter/saxophonist Miles Donahue doesn't need anybody's credit. The four discs stand on their own--collectively or separately. Stranger in Paradise, Volume I opens up with Irving Berlin's "Always," with a bonus: vocals by Robin McElhatten (now going by Robin McKelle). Donahue hadn't planned on using a vocalist on the four discs, but a friend suggested he ...

177

Album Review

Miles Donahue: In The Pocket

Read "In The Pocket" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan


Multi-instrumentalist Miles Donahue didn't get serious about jazz until he was forty-five years old. Prior to his belated commitment, he spent nearly twenty years working weddings, functions and lounges--bread and butter jobs to pay the rent and support a family. But when he did make the decision to go for it, he went in body and heart and soul, recording a couple of first rate CDs on Ram Records before he decided to establish his own record company, Amerigo Records. ...


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