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Nite & Disk


Eliane Elias: Made in Brazil - Swung at Birdland

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Eliane Elias is a paradox. An artist of rare talent, experience, and range, she is a keyboard master with few peers whose deep musicality transcends genre. An astonishing singer, composer, arranger, and songwriter, her performances are celebrated for their swing, lyricism, and unique sound. Elias is also a beautiful woman with long blond hair who's been known to kick off her stiletto heels to play the piano barefoot. I expect some people will have difficulty reconciling the pin-up cover of ...


Kate McGarry: Beauty and the Bus

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The BusI recently drove into the Big Apple to see singer Kate McGarry's band celebrate the release of their Girl Talk CD (Palmetto, 2012) at the Jazz Standard. It was a stressful drive, given the rush-hour timing and need to watch for idiots steering two tons of metal with their knees as they text “Wassup?" to their friends.But when I finally reached the club, I came upon a legal parking place, right there on the street. ...


Eliane Elias: Something [Historic] for You at Dizzy's

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Eliane Elias Dizzy's Club Coca Cola New York, New York Wednesday, January 23, 2008 The other night at Dizzy's Club Coca Cola, high above the whirling traffic of Columbus Circle, there was a full moon and a full house as the Eliane Elias Trio played in support of their Bill Evans tribute CD, Something for You (Blue Note, 2008). The innovations of pianist William ...


McCoy Tyner: Shadows and Pulse at the Blue Note

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Driving down to see McCoy Tyner at the Blue Note, listening to his Grammy-nominated Illuminations along the way, I wondered what new thing I could possibly say about this jazz icon. Of course the CD is terrific, as already documented on AAJ, and I knew his performance would be masterful. I figured I could always discuss the difference in the band -- it would be Billy Cobham and Stanley Clarke that night, rather than the CD's constellation of Gary Bartz, ...


Thunder in the Hall: Michel Camilo at Lincoln Center

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Michel Camilo's Grammy-winning Live at the Blue Note has already been thoughtfully reviewed by two of my AAJ colleagues ( Franz Matzner and Joel Roberts ). Both of them note Camilo's virtuosity and classical roots, using words like “dazzling" and “astound[ing]" to describe his performance. In concert, all of this applies, with added dimensions of personal warmth and visible energy, as well as material that did not appear on the CD.

On September 29, 2004, this included the ...


The Frank and Joe Show: The Hoot Factor at Sweet Rhythm

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These guys are a hoot. On first hearing Frank & Joe's debut CD on Hyena Records, 33 1/3 , I e-mailed Joe that very thought, and he wrote back, “what is this 'hoot'?" I said it refers to something that's fun and delightful, like their CD. Turns out it's also a hoot to watch “The Frank and Joe Show" itself, as I did recently at Sweet Rhythm, where it's been running for months every Sunday night. The band that evening ...


"Somewhere" (at the Vanguard) with Bill Charlap & the Washingtons

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One reason I enjoy researching my Nite & Disks is that I get a fuller sense of what the artists are up to, since there can be a considerable difference between the archived and live versions of the same material. Sometimes it's due to various playing conditions: more or less tension, the visit (or absence) of the Muse, the moods and events of the day, the producer's opinions, the receptiveness (and manners) of the audience, a player's toothache, the quality ...


Dave Pietro and Banda Brazil: Embrace-ing Cultures

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I just love a band that grins. Like Whitney Balliett, I see jazz as the sound of surprise -- preferably a delightful one -- and I don't believe that serious music has to be made with long faces. Banda Brazil was grinning like mad the other night at the Cornelia Street Cafe, even though the six of them were crowded together on a tiny stage. In fact, two of them were actually off it, squeezed into the packed house that ...


SFRAGMENTS:* Notes on Barbara Sfraga's CD Party/Love-In

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One of the primo advantages of living near New York Cityï"aside from having a front seat at the Rudy and Hillary showï"is the infinite range of jazz venues. I've climbed up to the boxes in Carnegie Hall and the nosebleed seats at the Y, and down the vertical steps to the underground Village Vanguard. I've been knee-to-knee with stone-faced tourists in the Blue Note (aka the C Note, in honor of its cover charges), where they arguably serve the worst ...


Barbara Sfraga "Under the Moon" at Joe's Pub

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Barbara Sfraga was finally exposed on August 26. After years of performing in wafting coverups, she wore a bustier at her CD release party, revealing a beautiful expanse of creamy skin. Matched with a floor-length, flowing skirt, her long blonde curls, and a hint of sparkle, she looked like a fairy princess. Her new exposure was also musical, for her latest CD, Under the Moon, for A440 Music Group, reveals her artistic soul more thoroughly than anything she's ever done. ...


Anita Brown Jazz Orchestra at the Hudson House and "27 East"

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Last week I saw something that's far more common on screen than in real life: the absolute fulfillment of a dream. Nope, nobody triggered the casino lights and buzzers, got surprised by the Prize Patrol, or found Prince(ss) Charming on the Internet. This particular triumph is portable, permanent, and capable of delighting complete strangers -- Anita Brown's terrific first CD, 27 East, which emerged eight years after she morphed from veteran music teacher and first-call copyist to serious composer and ...


Terell Stafford at Sweet Rhythm and "New Beginnings"

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As a courtesy to the hyper-busy, here's the bottom line: the performance was superb, and the CD's a killer. For details, please read on.

June 18, 2003 ~ Terell Stafford's CD release party is at Sweet Rhythm at 8; once Sweet Basil, the cozy club has thrived under new owners since last September. I decide to leave at 5, since driving around the Apple is prone to unpleasant surprises. In fact, just yesterday someone decided to contemplate (or ...