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ARTICLE: SHRINKTUNES

Using the "mad genius" to sell clothing, sheet music, dolls, and ...erasers?

Read "Using the "mad genius" to sell clothing, sheet music, dolls, and ...erasers?" reviewed by Dr. Judith Schlesinger

Like Don Quixote, I often find myself smashing against windmills--especially the big, spinning illusion that great creativity requires great craziness. That's why I wrote The Insanity Hoax: Exposing the Myth of the Mad Genius (Shrinktunes Media). Published in 2012, it remains the only book that explains how this fiction began with a misunderstanding of Plato, gathered ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

David Finck: Bassically Jazz

Read "Bassically Jazz" reviewed by Dr. Judith Schlesinger

It's hardly news that David Finck is an eloquent, inventive, and swinging bassist, with a long line of illustrious projects and collaborators. Finck has been on hundreds of top recordings and stages, performing with everyone from Rosemary Clooney to Ivan Lins and George Michael, and was the favorite bassist of the great Andre Previn. While Finck ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Andrea Domenici Trio: Playing Who I Am

Read "Playing Who I Am" reviewed by Dr. Judith Schlesinger

The traditional road to musical success has been to make and promote a first recording, aiming for the kind of critical and public attention that leads to prestigious bandmates and gigs. But the fine pianist Andrea Domenici paves a new path with his masterful debut Playing Who I Am, since it arrives after he has already ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Dan Costa: Skyness

Read "Skyness" reviewed by Dr. Judith Schlesinger

The gentle piano “Prologue" instantly telegraphs that something rare and luxurious is on its way. These are the opening chords of Skyness, the gifted pianist/composer Dan Costa's 2018 follow-up to his auspicious 2016 debut, Suite Três Rios (also self-produced), which peaked at number one on the iTunes jazz chart and was named one of the year's ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

The Humanity Quartet: Humanity

Read "Humanity" reviewed by Dr. Judith Schlesinger

This release is from four veteran, first-call jazz instrumentalists who are all concerned about the worldwide loss of humanity (hence, the title of both the quartet and the CD), and wanted to demonstrate what can happen when grown-ups truly connect. As co-producer, bassist, and composer Sean Smith explains in his articulate and passionate liners, ..."the Humanity ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Gary Alesbrook: Jazz In Movies

Read "Jazz In Movies" reviewed by Dr. Judith Schlesinger

This excellent debut by British trumpeter Gary Alesbrook is notable for four reasons: 1) he's leaping straight from well-known session musician to frontman; 2) he's been playing for 33 years, mostly for high profile, non-jazz bands in the UK like The Super Fuzzy Animals and The Scissor Sisters; 3) while eclectic in his taste and experience, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Sambaranda: Delirios Vol. 1

Read "Delirios Vol. 1" reviewed by Dr. Judith Schlesinger

Sambaranda is an cappella group out of Sao Paulo, Brazil that melds a delicious tropical flavor with the very best of vocal jazz. Their first release was a Christmas album in November 2017. Although their second, Delirios Vol. 1, came out in July of 2017, it only recently arrived here, thanks to a copy sent from ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Juan Andrés Ospina: Tramontana

Read "Tramontana" reviewed by Dr. Judith Schlesinger

With his debut big band release, Tramontana, Colombian composer/bandleader Juan Andres Ospina has created a truly international project, featuring musicians from ten countries as disparate as Greece, Switzerland, Israel, and Columbia. Tramontana is the gale-force wind that lashes Spain's Costa Brava, clearing the skies for sweeping views of the Catalan mountains and sea. This wind inspired ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Todd Strait: There'll Be Some Changes Made

Read "There'll Be Some Changes Made" reviewed by Dr. Judith Schlesinger

After recording more than a hundred albums for other people, including three that were Grammy nominated, drummer Todd Strait has finally released his first CD as a leader. With so many dedications to his relatives, it is clear that this record has been simmering for a long time. Well, it's finally cooked and served--and it's delicious. ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Jay Leonhart: Don't You Wish

Read "Don't You Wish" reviewed by Dr. Judith Schlesinger

After experimenting with other instruments, a phase described in the title track, “Don't You Wish," Jay Leonhart locked onto the bass at the age of 13. Later inspired and mentored by the legendary Ray Brown, he began his stellar career which included playing with icons Duke Ellington, Judy Garland, Buddy Rich, Sarah Vaughan, Mel Torme, and ...