Bailey's Bundles

BAILEY'S BUNDLES

More Female Vocals (and More) – Cheryl Fisher, Natalia M. King, Beata Pater, Ellen Andersson, Cecilia Persson

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The ladies just keep on coming... Cheryl Fisher Quietly There OA2 Records 2016 Vocalist Cheryl Fisher was once called, “Canada's best-kept secret." After five well-received recordings, Fisher weighs in with her sixth release, Quietly There on the Origin Arts AO2 imprint, using what could be called “the Origin Arts House Band," including guitarist John Stowell, bassist Jeff Johnson, and drummer John Bishop. Now she may be the poorest ...

BAILEY'S BUNDLES

Piano – Emily Bear, Dan Cray, Lisa Hilton, Emmet Cohen, Julien Labro

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Like jazz vocal releases, piano-led affairs are legion. The jazz piano combo is a format that is difficult to get either bad or good. Here are five recent releases looking for the latter. Emily Bear Trio Into the Blue Edston Records 2015 The immediate charm of pianist Emily Bear is that she is a mid-teenager...a musically precocious one at that. The 15-year old enfant terrible releases a brief EP, ...

BAILEY'S BUNDLES

Female Vocals – Cynthia Hilts, Judith Nijland, Andrea Claburn, Sandy Cressman, Lisa Biales

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Take a day off and the recordings pile up and bury you. Female jazz vocals continue to dominate recordings with no indication on letting up. Most these recordings are very good and deserve recognition. So here is my picayune effort to address a few of them. Cynthia Hilts Lyric Fury Blonde Coyote 2016 “Twenty years ago, Brooklyn-based pianist/composer Cynthia Hilts was seeking to form a band 'that sounds like ...

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, ...

BAILEY'S BUNDLES

Art Pepper: Presents “West Coast Sessions” Volumes 1 & 2

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Alto saxophonist Art Pepper's comeback began the release of Living Legend (Contemporary, 1975). His previous 20 years had been fully devoted to heroin and prison, and their inevitable aftermath. Following the release of Living Legend, Pepper toured Japan in April 1977 and March 1978. Pepper found his most dedicated and enthusiastic crowd in Japan, recording a good deal of live material there. In 1979, Pepper was approached by a small Japanese niche label, Yupiteru, later to become Atlas ...

BAILEY'S BUNDLES

Dorian Devins Hits a Double in the Bleak Midwinter

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New York centered jazz singer and lyricist Dorian Devins first rocked my sensitive Southern Consciousness in 2013 with the release of The Procrastinator (Rain1 Jazz). Devins marked a return to that jazz step-child, vocalese: the application of lyrics to well-known wordless jazz compositions. The recording was a cornerstone of that year. Devins played a very large part on The Lou Rainone Quintet +1's Skydance singing two of her compositions (Rain1jazz, 2015). Here on the fulcrum between then and now, Devins ...

BAILEY'S BUNDLES

Landon Spradlin, Jack Mack, Tom Craig, In Layman Terms, Bobby Rush, and the 2016 International Blues Challenge

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For two music genres often thought dead or near death, the blues and jazz continue to be two densities attracting talent for interpretation. The blues has been due a resurgence since the death of Stevie Ray Vaughan, and is likely to take off in the wake of the Rolling Stone's Blue and Lonesome (Polydor, 2016). Here is the front end of what is sure to be 21st Century blues deluge. Landon Spradlin No More Blue ...

BAILEY'S BUNDLES

Notable and Nearly Missed 2016

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It is impossible, even for John Kelman, Mark Corroto, and Dan Bilawsky, to cover all the music worthy of discussion in a given year. At least that is my line and I am sticking to it as I pen my “Notable and Nearly Missed 2016" column. Rick Gallagher--Christmas Tidings: A Collection of Jazz Christmas Carols (RiDGeTONE Records, 2016). Working backwards, jny: Pittsburgh's Rick Gallagher's holiday trio presentation, Christmas Tidings offers many seasonal delights presented squarely ...

BAILEY'S BUNDLES

Christmas 2016 II: Contemporary

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Jazz vocalist Kurt Elling says of the holidays, “In the Western world, whether you're Christian or not, Christmas has some kind of seasonal relevance to you...You really cannot escape the holiday--even if it is just coming at you on television...for me, the holiday comes enriched with a lot of beautiful personal memories. It also comes freighted with the knowledge that millions of other people would carry their own such memories; and not all those memories are of happy occasions."


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