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INTERVIEWS

Al Jarreau holds forth on the art of singing, the decline of radio and the glory of the great American songbook

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Note: This interview with Al Jarreau was originally published in 2004 on Turbula.net. Any doubts that Al Jarreau was born to sing are quickly dispensed with by a simple conversation with the man--he is incapable of holding forth on the topic of music without dipping into the subject at hand. Not ten minutes into a phone interview, Jarreau is scatting through a passage from a classic bop song of the 1960s, pointing out how the chord ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Deborah Brown: Kansas City Here I Come

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Jazz vocalists occupy a wide swath of styles from those who mercilessly belt out a tune to those who use the ever evolving vocabulary of the jazz idiom with care and precision. Deborah Brown is one of the most sophisticated of the latter genre. She is a true artist. She never wastes a note, inflection, or dynamic. She meticulously treats the nuances of every song with the care of a concert and opera singer. Such precision only makes her more ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jihye Lee Orchestra: April

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On the morning of April 16, 2014, four hundred seventy-six souls were living life as they knew it, traveling on the ferry Sewol from Incheon to Jeju in South Korea. Then it all came to an abrupt halt when the ship capsized and sank. The South Korean Coast Guard, commercial vessels, and fishing boats managed to arrive in time to save more than one hundred seventy lives; the rest were lost, taken by the ship into a watery grave. That ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Ian Shaw With The Phil Ware Trio at The Workmans Club

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Ian Shaw With The Phil Ware Trio The Workmans Club jny:Dublin, Ireland January 21, 2017 A full house at The Workmans Club for Ian Shaw with the Phil Ware Trio was a heartening sight. Anything less, however, would have been disappointing, for Shaw is rightly considered by many as one of the greatest male jazz vocalists of this or possibly any other era. If he couldn't draw a decent crowd then jazz would really ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

DUCHESS: Laughing At Life

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Jollity seems to be at a premium these days, so thank God for DUCHESS. This fizzy vocal trio is the antidote to all things grim, bringing joy to the masses one smile and song at a time. Amy Cervini, Hilary Gardner, and Melissa Stylianou--three of the most captivating vocalists around today--clearly appreciate great music laced with good humor. With their trio debut--DUCHESS (Anzic Records, 2015)--they delved into a brand of Boswell Sisters-inspired music that you just don't ...

BAILEY'S BUNDLES

Male Vocals – Mark Murphy, Theo Bleckmann, Gregory Porter, Jimmy Scott, Kurt Elling, Ron Boustead

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What passes for male jazz vocals makes an interesting dichotomy with female jazz vocals. Judging by the number of female jazz vocal releases that come my way, I almost believe that every woman fancies that she can make a jazz recording. Interestingly, there are many good to great ones. Not so with men. I probably see only a fifth to a quarter the number of male vocal releases when compared to the female. Nothing scientific, and certainly anecdotal. And also, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Audrey Silver: Very Early

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There's immediate comfort in encountering Audrey Silver's music for the first time. Her voice is an open invitation, an instrument of confession and creation that immediately transports you to someplace else. That's evident from her first utterances through her last words on Very Early. In putting together this program, Silver thought long and hard about song selection. It shows, both in the eclectic playlist she created and through the unique arrangements born of her thoughts and Steven ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Mary Ellen Desmond: Comfort and Joy Concert 2016

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Mary Ellend Desmond Church of St. Luke and the Epiphany Comfort and Joy Philadelphia, PA December 11. 2016 Mary Ellen Desmond is one of the most highly regarded Philadelphia-based vocalists, and for the last thirteen years she has provided the inspiration and fronted a top of the line quartet for the annual Comfort and Joy holiday concert at the Church of St. Luke and the Epiphany. This reviewer, no particular fan of holiday ...

BEST OF / YEAR END

C. Michael Bailey’s Best Releases of 2016

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Shifting priorities in 2016 prevented me from either listening to or reviewing as much music as I have in the past. Thus, I did not take a swing at many fine recordings that by all accounts should be on this list like: John Scofield's Country for Old Men (Impulse!); Keith Jarrett's A Multitude of Angels (ECM); Frank Kimbrough's Solstice (Pirouet Records); Joe Lovano's Classic! Live at Newport (Blue Note Records); or Michael Formanek's Ensemble Kolossus' The Distance (ECM).


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