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Beleza Brasil: Beleza Brasil

Read "Beleza Brasil" reviewed by Mike Neely

Genuine joy and exuberance are rare in recorded music. Combine these emotional qualities with savvy vocals and sophisticated musicianship and you've got the beginning of a description of Beleza Brasil. Time To Dream was recorded in Brazil but the band's musical choices reveal a range of styles and influences including jazz, pop, and rhythm and blues. ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Lou Blackburn: The Complete Imperial Sessions

Read "The Complete Imperial Sessions" reviewed by Mike Neely

The Complete Imperial Sessions presents a tight West Coast band with a bluesy East Coast sound. There is the best of both worlds in this fine quintet with its well-balanced soloists and outstanding rhythm section. Blackburn is a sharp band leader whose sophistication is evident throughout these sessions; he brings to the table eleven original compositions ...

Don Byas: Laura

Read "Laura" reviewed by Mike Neely

Don Byas was clearly a rising star when he walked away from fame. He was the first to hold the Lester Young chair in the Count Basie Band, before his 30th birthday. After two years with Basie he moved to New York City, where he played and recorded with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie and Coleman ...

Johnny Varro: Two Legends of Jazz

Read "Two Legends of Jazz" reviewed by Mike Neely

Traditional jazz fans are lucky because Two Legends of Jazz catches pianist Johnny Varro and clarinetist Ken Peplowski on an inspired day in the studio. Varro has a light, subtle touch and melodic gift reminiscent of Teddy Wilson. Co-leader Peplowski sets aside his saxophones for clarinet during the entire session, which is a treat because his ...

Attila Zoller Trio: Common Cause

Read "Common Cause" reviewed by Mike Neely

Among the legions of neglected jazz guitar players, the late Attila Zoller is one of the best. Enja's reissue of Common Cause presents all the evidence needed to make the case. Bassist Ron Carter and drummer Joe Chambers round out this fine trio recording, one that suggests a reassessment of Zoller is long overdue.

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ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Larry Ham: Carousel

Read "Carousel" reviewed by Mike Neely

Pianist Larry Ham's first release as a leader, Carousel (West Village Music, 2007) is notable not only for the quality of the trio's performance but also for Ham's compositions. In 2008 Ham released a fine solo recording, Larry Ham, Just Me, Just You... for Arbors Records. These two CDs suggest that Ham is an extraordinarily accomplished ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mal Waldron: One More Time

Read "One More Time" reviewed by Mike Neely



One More Time is an intimate portrait of two neglected masters with a third master, Steve Lacy, stepping in to add his low-key tip of the hat. Mal Waldron and Jean-Jacques Avenel are the focus of this release that serves as a tribute to Waldron, one of jazz's most versatile pianists who died in ...

Larry Ham: Just Me, Just You

Read "Just Me, Just You" reviewed by Mike Neely

Larry Ham's solo release, Just Me, Just You, introduces a pianist well on his way to becoming a jazz master. He's got the touch, the intensity and the intelligence, and he's as good a soloist as an accompanist, as his recordings with the Earl May and Dave Glasser quartets attest. Just Me, Just You provides all ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Duke Jordan Quintet: Duke's Delight

Read "Duke's Delight" reviewed by Mike Neely

Duke's Delight is a classy recording from a pianist of renown. While the tape was rolling Duke Jordan's playing was inspired, and the band stayed right with him throughout this session, which includes five Jordan compositions and Duke Ellington's “In My Solitude."



Playing piano in a sax and trumpet format is a ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jerome Harris: Rendezvous

Read "Rendezvous" reviewed by Mike Neely

With top notch soloists, a savvy rhythm section, and compelling compositions, what's not to like about Jerome Harris' Rendezvous? Incidentally, with the same instrumentation as Dave Holland's quintet, and the very same Steve Nelson on vibes, one has to wonder what band came first. In addition to Nelson, Rendezvous boasts Marty Ehrlich on alto sax and ...