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The New England Jazz Ensemble: Peter and the Wolf

Read "Peter and the Wolf" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

Sergei Prokofiev's classic work, Peter and the Wolf, has been recorded by just about every ensemble on the planet, save Johnny Puleo and the Harmonicats. Furthermore, it has been guest narrated by some of the greatest (Richard Attenborough, Ben Kingsley, Sir John Gielgud) and also oddest voices (Bill Clinton with Sophia Loren and Mikhail Gorbachov, Antonio ...

Chris Kase: Let Go

Read "Let Go" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

Chris Kase is one of those artists that those in the know, know. The trumpeter, who currently resides, teaches and performs primarily in Spain, is a superb player and composer. All those qualities can be seen in Let Go. It is an intelligent, thought-provoking display of his fine musicianship.

“Teaser" opens the session ...

Arturo Sandoval: Ultimate Duets

Read "Ultimate Duets" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

Anyone who has seen a no-hit game in baseball will tell you that it's a rare and highly exciting occurrence. With Ultimate Duets, Arturo Sandoval and his team of music stars deliver even better--a perfect game of a recording.

Maestro Sandoval joins with some of the greatest vocal names in music, most recognizable ...

John Proulx: Say It

Read "Say It" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

The first thing one might ask encountering this album is “OK, how do you say Proulx?" It's pronounced “Proo," with a silent l and x. However, there's nothing silent or uncertain about this fine offering from Grammy┬«-winning pianist/vocalist/composer, John Proulx. Say It is an elegant, first class endeavor.

The ten-selection date opens with ...

Li Xiaochuan: Initial

Read "Initial" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

In China, one of the world's most ancient--and at times sheltered--civilizations, jazz music, which was once called “pornographic," has experienced a very robust re-emergence. For example, a recent multi-city tour in 5-digit capacity venues by Maestro Arturo Sandoval played to overflow SROs each night. And, there's even now a Blue Note in Beijing, a jazz club ...

Alessandro Carabelli Music ensemble: Indaco

Read "Indaco" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

In Italian, a language of such beautiful color, “Indaco" translates as “Indigo." And, if there is anything that this recording is, it is indeed colorful, full of beauty, rhythmic variety and mood. Pianist and composer Alessandro Carabelli and his Ensemble offer 14 selections where texture and color predominate. This is highly intelligent and inviting music--without any ...

Dave Tull: texting and driving

Read "texting and driving" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

Wallflower. The word has zero application to describe jazz drummer, vocalist and composer/arranger/producer, Dave Tull. He's more like a Venus Fly-Trap of talent, devouring all those activities and offering a keen eye for life's surrealities. He demos all on his second CD, texting and driving. It might just be what's needed for a long, endless drive ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Accent: In This Together

Read "In This Together" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

The a capella and instrument-accompanied jazz vocal ensemble format has a robust presence in the genre's history. Vocal groups such as The Four Freshmen, The Hi-Los, The Swingle Singers, Manhattan Transfer, Take 6, and the L.A. and New York Voices and others all added wonderful material to the canon (and also significantly influenced Pop genre groups ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Maynard Ferguson: Memories of Maynard

Read "Memories of Maynard" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

With the possible exceptions of Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parker--both of whose playing influenced the entire genre of jazz--no other jazz performer has had the purely imitative effect on an entire instrument's universe of players than Maynard Ferguson. Ferguson's unique abilities as a trumpet player and individual inspire trumpeters young and old to this day. His ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bob Wagner: Toot Suite

Read "Toot Suite" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

There have been many composers on both sides of the classical-jazz continuum who have attempted to blend those genres. Igor Stravinsky, Leonard Bernstein, Darius Milhaud, Duke Ellington, Lalo Schifrin, Jorge Calandrelli, and others have explored the parallels and differences.

In 1980, French jazz pianist/composer, Claude Bolling composed “Toot Suite" for the great French ...