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NEWS: FESTIVAL

2013 Newport Jazz Festival Previews

2013 Newport Jazz Festival Previews

By Matthew S. Robinson Singer Freddy Cole keeps putting the pieces together Growing up in a large family of musicians, Freddy Cole had to do what he could to make his way in the family and in the music business. And yet, over 80 years on, he continues to bring chestnuts. Classics and contemporary gems to adoring fans ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Chick Corea @ Montreal Jazz Festival

Read "Chick Corea @ Montreal Jazz Festival 
" reviewed by Matthew S. Robinson

Armed with a piano and percussion set, the 2002 Miles Davis Award winner opened with a song for his father and then took the packed hall on a tribute trip through much of the rest of storied musical family. “Armando's Rhumba" began with tribal thunder on the toms, but quickly switched to a playfully vibe-y piano, ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Classic Queen

Read "Classic Queen " reviewed by Matthew S. Robinson

Introducing each selection as if it were part of a true classical programme, former Jethro Tull key man David Palmer flayed and flitted around the conductor’s stand as members of the orchestra, chorus and singers like Natalie Choquette, Marie-Denise Pelletier and Luck Mervil laboured through a worthy concept run amok. Singing well-known songs as if reading ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Remy Shand @ Quebec Summer Fest

Read "Remy Shand @ Quebec Summer Fest" reviewed by Matthew S. Robinson

As hundreds of blinking red diodes from Quebec Summer Fest access buttons lit up the field, Manitoba’s favorite soul man (soul boy?) ambled on stage and took his place behind his double racks of various keyboards and synths for an evening of youthful energy and experienced musical wisdom. From the repetitive warm-up groove of “Me and ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Toni Ballard @ Ryles

Read "Toni Ballard @ Ryles 
" reviewed by Matthew S. Robinson

Backed by the sizzle of Bob Kaufman's drums and John Arcaro's springy keys, Toni Ballard started her pre-birthday set with a gently swinging “You Make Me Feel So Young." Inviting recent Berklee graduate Christine Fawson to side her on trumpet, Ballard slipped into the Mercer/Arlen chestnut “Come Rain or Come Shine." Though some of Ballard's vocal ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Highlights from the 2002 JVC Newport Jazz Festival

Read "Highlights from the 2002 JVC Newport Jazz Festival
" reviewed by Matthew S. Robinson

Tony Bennett The International Tennis Hall of Fame August 9, 2002
It was a perfect night in the land of perfect people. And right out of the overture-less gates, Tony Bennet swung for the far fences of Newport’s famed grass courts with a spare and open “WatchWhat Happens." Though the mix was a bit dampened on ...

Vinnie Cutro & New York City Soundscape (with Mike Stern): Aberration

Read "Aberration" reviewed by Matthew S. Robinson

This album by Vinnie Cutro presents an interesting combination of featured guest artist and title. For the most part, it is Mike Stern’s washy technical noodling that makes for the aberrations on this otherwise authentic jazz exploration. With tracks by Woody Shaw ("Beyond All Limits"), Duke Ellington ("Sentimental Mood") and James Moody ("Moody’s Mood"), this album ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Harry Skoler: A Work of Heart

Read "A Work of Heart" reviewed by Matthew S. Robinson

On his latest album, clarinetist/composer Harry Skoler opens his repertoire and his orchestral possibilities as wide as his heart, letting in new people and new ideas. In addition to his trusted rhythm section of bassist Richard Kimball and drummer Tim Gilmore, Harry adds the formidable talents of neighborhood fret-master Garrison Fewell and pianist/arranger/producer Donn Trenner, who ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Michael Feinstein: Big City Rhythms

Read "Big City Rhythms" reviewed by Matthew S. Robinson

Having created some of the best and most enduring musical catalogs of the composers of the Great American Songbook and some of the best cabaret sets ever heard, Michael Feinstein is breaking new ground with his first Big Band album. Growing up in the personal attendance of the legendary Ira Gershwin and in the comforting shadow ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Richard Leo Johnson: Fingertip Ship

Read "Fingertip Ship" reviewed by Matthew S. Robinson

Self-taught and self-tuned, guitarist/photographer Richard Leo Johnson takes listeners on a thirteen-part voyage on his Fingertip Ship. Though he pays tribute to Jazz legends Tony Bennett, Stephane Grappelli, Django Reinhardt and Jaco Pastorius and explores the feelings of Pink Floyd and The Who, Johnson’s technique, style and delivery are unlike any other performer. Often hitting the ...