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Mark Winkler: I'm With You

Read "I'm  With You" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

Regarding tribute albums--a seemingly endless flow these days -it's a rarity when the honoree, the material and the performance mesh so perfectly. Los Angeles vocalist/songwriter/educator Mark Winkler's I'm With You fits that description to a T--in this case Bobby Troup. This effort, a hip, hip array of Troup's iconic material is a marvelously presented and performed gem. Troup was a fascinating and prodigious talent--vocalist, pianist, composer and actor. His written material and recordings were always “with it," ...

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Lauren White: Life in the Modern World

Read "Life in the Modern World" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

Vocalist, actress, producer.... Lauren White does it all. And, as befits a Renaissance artist, she not only excels, but also explores the unique, the compelling and the substantive. With Life in the Modern World she and her team of Los Angeles aces do precisely that, delivering 11 fine selections, most lesser-known, but each a certified gem. Things break with a lively take on Ivan Lins' “Life in the Modern World," with White complemented by energized solos by ...

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Dolores Scozzesi: Here Comes the Sun

Read "Here Comes the Sun" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Vocalist Dolores Scozzesi is a charter member of the West Coast Jazz Gangstas that also includes Mark Winkler, Jeffery Gimble, Lauren White, Cheryl Bentyne, Sara Gazarek and others too numerous to mention. This is a creative bunch who like to support their own. Scozzesi has just released her follow-up to A Special Taste (Rhombus Records, 2010), Here Comes the Sun with Winkler at the production helm. Eight years is a long time to have to wait for a new word ...

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Mark Winkler: The Company I Keep

Read "The Company I Keep" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

The Beatles had it right when they noted that we get by with a little help from our friends. It's a fact that vocalist Mark Winkler can surely testify to. In the wake of losing his husband, Winkler found the comfort and strength he needed through the company he keeps and in the music that feeds his soul. That's the beautiful story behind this jazz soirée. The company of which the title of this record speaks is ...

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Mark Winkler: The Company I Keep

Read "The Company I Keep" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

The utility of music, at its very core, is entertainment. It is not all about dissonance and consonance, tonal conflict and resolution; heart and intellect, pathos and ethos. Somewhere in everything music has to offer, there must be a smile. It is in music's smile that vocalist Mark Winkler exists. An elegant West Coast mainstay, vocalist/lyricist/composer Winkler, drove across my radar first with his 2011 recording Sweet Spot (Café Pacific Records). I was struck by how well Winkler could skirt ...

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Mark Winkler: Jazz and Other Four Letter Words

Read "Jazz and Other Four Letter Words" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

On Jazz And Other Four Letter Words songwriter and vocalist Mark Winkler explores themes of love and romance and also takes time to investigate hipness. Exploration and investigation succeed joyously, resulting in one of the year's finest releases. Winkler's aided and abetted by some fine musicians-- pianist Jamieson Trotter (who also arranged most of the songs) and bassists Dan Lutz and John Clayton prove to be especially sympathetic. The Manhattan Transfer's Cheryl Bentyne duets with Winkler on two ...

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Mark Winkler: Jazz and Other Four Letter Words

Read "Jazz and Other Four Letter Words" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Vocalist Mark Winkler has been something of a victim of his own talent: his work as a vocalist has often been routinely overlooked, largely eclipsed by his renown as a songwriter. But the tide seems to be turning for this cool school singer-of-note. With the critical success and positive public response to The Laura Nyro Project (Cafe Pacific Records, 2013), the arrival of his duo project with Cheryl Bentyne--West Coast Cool (Summit Records, 2013)--and this hipper-than-hip outing, Winkler is finally ...

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Mark Winkler: Jazz and Other Four Letter Words

Read "Jazz and Other Four Letter Words" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Singer and lyricist Mark Winkler has been a common West Coast sight for many years. He has released seven releases, his previous one being the very well-received duet recording with {Manhattan Transfer}}'s soprano Cheryl Bentyne, West Coast Cool (Summit Records, 2013). That recording was right on the heels of Winkler's thematically motivated The Laura Nyro Project (Café Pacific, 2013). Again, well received and making my end-of-the-year list. Winkler returns with the clever Jazz and Other Four Letter ...

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Jeffrey Gimble: Beyond Up High

Read "Beyond Up High" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

There's a lyric in the old Kenny Rogers pop tune, “The Gambler" that states: “You've got to know when to hold and know when to fold." Now vocalist Jeffrey Gimble's debut CD Beyond Up High isn't a gamble--well, perhaps it is a bit as he enters the highly uncertain world of the male jazz singer, but, given this enjoyable effort, Gimble's gamble just might pay off.The debut CD from this Texas-born and now Bay Area actor-turned-recorded vocalist frames ...

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Jeffrey Gimble: Beyond Up High

Read "Beyond Up High" reviewed by Edward Blanco

With the plethora of female vocalist producing new albums these days, it is indeed refreshing to hear a new male voice sure to make an impact in the jazz world, and that's just what L.A. singer Jeffrey Gimble is certain to accomplish with his stunning debut Beyond Up High. An actor raised in the Texas blues country, Gimble's love for jazz comes from his saxophone-playing dad and, while he initially turned to the theatre to pursue the arts, his love ...

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Mark Winkler: The Laura Nyro Project

Read "The Laura Nyro Project" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

The combination of a unique and beautifully au courant voice with an equally rare and manifold composing talent makes for compelling listening. When the voice is that of vocalist/songwriter Mark Winkler and the songs are by Laura Nyro, the resulting project reaches criticality rapidly. Winkler has been composing and recording for the better part of 30 years, releasing ten recordings and penning upwards to 150 songs in that time. His previous recording, Sweet Spot (Cafe Pacific Records, 2011) was praised ...

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David Basse: Uptown

Read "Uptown" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

West Coast singer Mark Winkler (Sweet Spot [Cafe Pacific Records, 2011]) heard David Basse and immediately signed him to his Cafe Pacific Records. Uptown is the first product of this partnership and, for the sake of the male jazz singer, does not come a moment too soon. There exists a huge disparity between female and male singers singing “serious" jazz. For the sake of context, the serious male jazz singers include Mark Murphy and Jon Hendricks (both in the autumn ...


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