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ARTICLE: INTERVIEWS

Dan Monaghan: The Man Behind The Swing

Read "Dan Monaghan: The Man Behind The Swing" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

Dan Monaghan is a working drummer who makes an indispensable contribution to the music by being the one who provides the swing and support that allows the other musicians to achieve their diverse objectives. He performs so often in the Philadelphia area that if you go to a jazz show, there's a fair chance he'll be ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Mary Ellen Desmond with the Victor North Quintet at Chris’ Jazz Café

Read "Mary Ellen Desmond with the Victor North Quintet at Chris’ Jazz Café" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

Mary Ellen Desmond with the Victor North Quintet
Chris' Jazz Cafe
Philadelphia, PA
February 3, 2018

It was the Saturday night before the Superbowl kickoff, and the crowds were out and about in Philadelphia with a “Go Eagles" attitude. A full house crowded into Chris' Jazz Café to hear their vocalist ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEWS

Abby Lee: Born to Sing

Read "Abby Lee: Born to Sing" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

The early development of jazz singers tells us a lot about them. Often, they struggle until they are finally recognized. Jimmy Scott was unknown for many years. Billie Holiday took whatever jobs she could get until she made her first recordings. Ella Fitzgerald's childhood was uprooted and traumatic, and music helped her find her way to ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Mary Ellen Desmond: Comfort and Joy 2017

Read "Mary Ellen Desmond: Comfort and Joy 2017" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

Mary Ellen Desmond
Church of St. Luke and the Epiphany
Comfort and Joy
Philadelphia, PA
December 10, 2017

It's always a pleasure to hear Mary Ellen Desmond sing, and for the past fourteen years, her special musical offering has been the seasonal Comfort and Joy holiday concert which she ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Grant Stewart Trio with Special Guest John Swana at Chris’ Jazz Café

Read "Grant Stewart Trio with Special Guest John Swana at Chris’ Jazz Café" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

Grant Stewart Trio with Special Guest John Swana
Chris' Jazz Cafe
Philadelphia, PA
August 18, 2017

In this supremely swinging hard bop set, Toronto-born New York saxophonist Grant Stewart joined long-time Philadelphia musicians: organist Lucas Brown, drummer Dan Monaghan, and special guest John Swana to knock out standards with a ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Monette Sudler Sextet: The Philadelphia Realbook Project

Read "Monette Sudler Sextet: The Philadelphia Realbook Project" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

Monnette Sudler Sextet
Terra Hall, University of the Arts
Jazz Bridge: The Philadelphia Real Book Project
Philadelphia, PA
April 28, 2017

Monnette Sudler is a lauded Philadelphia-based guitarist with all the technique and finesse you could ask for, but she also has a way of moving around the strings ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Mary Ellen Desmond: Comfort and Joy Concert 2016

Read "Mary Ellen Desmond: Comfort and Joy Concert 2016" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

Mary Ellend Desmond
Church of St. Luke and the Epiphany
Comfort and Joy
Philadelphia, PA
December 11. 2016

Mary Ellen Desmond is one of the most highly regarded Philadelphia-based vocalists, and for the last thirteen years she has provided the inspiration and fronted a top of the line quartet ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jon Lundbom’s Big Five Chord: Make The Changes

Read "Make The Changes" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Earlier in the year, guitarist Jon Lundbom, and his Big Five Chord quintet, began the unusual business approach of releasing a stratified set of four EPs, eventually culminating in a complete box set on Hot Cup Records. The approximately one half-hour of content on each disc was a lavish proposal from the start, giving each EP ...

Jon Lundbom & Big Five Chord: Play All the Notes

Read "Play All the Notes" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

When we last left Jon Lundbom & Big Five Chord they had just released Bring Their 'A' Game, the second chapter in their four EP tetralogy. Like its predecessor, Make Magic Happen it was full of precarious diversions that went beyond well-mapped terrain. The group approaches the unfamiliar with cleverness, misdirection, and at times, a full-frontal ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Jackie Ryan and the Larry McKenna Quartet at Chris’ Jazz Café

Read "Jackie Ryan and the Larry McKenna Quartet at Chris’ Jazz Café" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

Jackie Ryan and the Larry McKenna Quartet
Chris' Jazz Café
Philadelphia, PA
April 23, 2016

Jackie Ryan is acquiring a reputation as a “must hear" vocalist. When this reviewer heard DJ Bob Perkins ("BP with the GM") praise her singing on WRTI, he decided to attend her show at Chris' ...