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ARTICLE: BAILEY'S BUNDLES

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

Read "Piano – Emily Bear, Dan Cray, Lisa Hilton, Emmet Cohen, Julien Labro" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

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 ...

Dan Cray: Outside In

Read "Outside In" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Encounters with the wonders of nature have a way of snapping everything into perspective and tamping down humanly worries and concerns. Too often we spend time absorbed and obsessed with working from the inside out, projecting ourselves into the world. But sometimes it's better to simply go the other way and let the beauty that exists ...

Dan Cray: Meridies

Read "Meridies" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

There is nothing iconoclastic about pianist Dan Cray. He derives his piano style more from Tommy Flanagan and Hank Jones than Matthew Shipp or Ran Blake. He has been driving a trio through four previous recordings: Who Cares (Cray Sounds, 2001); No One (Blujazz productions, 2003); Save Us! (Blujazz productions, 2005); and Over Here Over Heard ...

Dan Cray: Meridies

Read "Meridies" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Change is never easy, but it's often the key to growing as a person and an artist. Pianist Dan Cray has released a series of well-received CDs and carved out a comfortable musical existence with his trio in Chicago, but he understood that a change of scenery and a jump into jazz's deep end would do ...

NEWS: RECORDING

"Meridies," 5th CD by Pianist/Composer Dan Cray, Due March 20 on Origin Records

"Meridies," 5th CD by Pianist/Composer Dan Cray, Due March 20 on Origin Records

Pianist/composer Dan Cray's first four CDs—trio recordings featuring his Chicago-based threesome of bassist Clark Sommers and drummer Greg Wyser-Pratte—built their repertoires around enticing cover versions of standards and jazz classics. Now with Cray's bold new disc, Meridies, due out March 20 on Origin Records, the Chicago-area native has expanded his trio—here with Sommers and drummer Mark Ferber—to ...

NEWS: PERFORMANCE / TOUR

Chicago Jazz Great Makes Big Apple Debut at NYC's Metropolitan Room

Chicago Jazz Great Makes Big Apple Debut at NYC's Metropolitan Room

Elaine Dame Live at The Metropolitan Room Saturday, Feb. 4th, at 7 pm Cover charge: $22, with a two-drink minimum. For reservations, call the club at 212-206-0440 or purchase tickets at metropolitanroom.com. MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabaret) members receive a $5 discount. CHICAGO, IL- 1/18/12—"Dame has quietly risen to the top rank of Chicago jazz singers, with a light and ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dan Cray Trio: Over Here Over Heard

Read "Over Here Over Heard" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard

For some time, pianist Dan Cray and his cohorts--bassist Clark Sommers and drummer Greg Wyser-Pratte--have been perfecting the language of the trio on a number of fine releases. Over Here Over Heard is the fourth album from this audacious working unit, which continues to find new magic in old tunes while throwing in some fresh sounds ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dan Cray Trio: Over Here Over Heard

Read "Over Here Over Heard" reviewed by Woodrow Wilkins

Often, when a trio plays jazz, it covers classics or performs original material written by the leader--usually the pianist. On Over Here Over Heard, the Dan Cray Trio does both and pleases a live audience in the process.

The trio brings some varied credentials. Cray was a finalist in the 2003 Montreux Jazz Festival Solo ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Dan Cray Trio: Save Us!

Read "Save Us!" reviewed by Jim Santella

Jazz's modern mainstream has to preserve tradition while exploring unique approaches. It's got to grow. A lot of folks translate the concept of uniqueness into something “far out" and “hip" and “never before attempted." But stretching the boundaries of jazz to its limits has drawbacks. Some push too far and become alienated. Some water down the ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dan Cray: Who Cares

Read "Who Cares" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

For those of you with a tendency to judge a CD by its cover, this one can fool you. Young pianist Dan Cray in a slouching wall lean, a downcast expression, a grim set to his mouth. The fellow looks every bit the picture of timidity and dejection. How's a guy like that going to pull ...