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MUSICIAN Born:

Ray Vasquez

Ray Vasquez started in the 40’s & 50’s big band, Jazz & Latin Jazz era from Watts, Los Angeles California. Ray Vasquez recorded his album “In the Still of the Night” with George Hernandez and Oliver Berliner in 1959 with a 14 piece orchestra on RCA VICTOR RECORDS. Ray Vasquez worked with Musicians Horace Heidt, Charlie Barnet, Bobby Sherwood, Perez Prado, Lennie Niehaus, Paul Lopez, Manny Lopez, Chico Sesma, Anthony Ortega (his cousin), Phil Carreón, Lionel Hampton, & Don Tosti. After the big band era, Ray Vasquez uses professional aka Ray Victor after graduating from the prestigious Pasadena Playhouse Theater

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Osmosis: Osmosis

Read "Osmosis" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Here's a band that largely went under the radar after its lone LP release for RCA Records in 1970. Based in Boston, renowned reedman Charlie Mariano looms as the only well-known musician in this septet. But that's not to say the other members lacked any technical acumen and/or a fertile imagination, especially when looking back into ...

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Quartetto Di Lucca: Quartetto

Read "Quartetto" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

When one thinks of jazz in Italy few names come immediately to mind: Enrico Rava, Stefano Battaglia and maybe even Carlo Actis Dato, but definitely not Quartetto di Lucca, a short lived Modern Jazz Quartet-inspired group from the late 1950s. In 2006, RCA Europe's The Vibe subdivision released the group's only album, originally released in 1962, ...

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Nina Simone: Remixed & Reimagined

Read "Remixed & Reimagined" reviewed by Jim Santella

Mixing any recording can be an adventure. Most popular dance club music varies greatly from what the individual artist laid down. With nearly all recorded music, however, the featured artist has an opportunity to listen to and approve the final mix. The objective is to make the artist sound his or her very best. Through a ...

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Eliane Elias: Around the City

Read "Around the City" reviewed by Bridget A. Arnwine

Eliane Elias is comfortable in her own skin. The pianist/composer learned to play piano in her native Sao Paulo at the age of seven and began transcribing jazz recordings by the age of twelve. For years she worked to introduce herself through her music, relying on her natural proclivity for infusing the music she loves with ...

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Nina Simone: Silk and Soul

Read "Silk and Soul" reviewed by Jim Santella

Originally released in 1967 as an LP, Silk and Soul followed Nina Simone's blues album by combining pop songs with soulful musical statements that included strong threads from gospel and blues. Two bonus tracks are included, both originally released as singles in '69.

Pianist Billy Taylor wrote one of the keystone selections for this ...

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Nina Simone: Forever Young, Gifted and Black: Songs of Freedom & Spirit

Read "Forever Young, Gifted and Black: Songs of Freedom & Spirit" reviewed by Jim Santella

While this compilation combines Nina Simone's mastery of the blues and soul singing, its emphasis remains on what she said. As an active participant in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, she wrote songs and interpreted those of others--songs that helped to raise an awareness of our social ills. We need her music as much ...

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Nina Simone: Nina Simone Sings the Blues

Read "Nina Simone Sings the Blues" reviewed by Jim Santella

She was known as the High Priestess of Soul for good reason. Nina Simone knew how to move you. Every time she sang the blues, you could feel it in your bones.

Recorded in 1966, this album consists of a reissued LP with two bonus tracks. There's an alternate take from the same session, ...

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Dave Douglas: Strange Liberation

Read "Strange Liberation" reviewed by John Kelman

Some artists take years to reach a point of individuality. Others, like trumpeter Dave Douglas, have demonstrated a personal vision from such an early stage that, although his voracious appetite for all things artistic clearly informed his work, it was immediately recognizable as his, regardless of the context.

Douglas' current quintet first explored a space that ...

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Dave Douglas: Strange Liberation

Read "Strange Liberation" reviewed by Sean Patrick Fitzell

Continuing a pattern of alternating between experimental and straight-ahead releases, trumpeter and composer Dave Douglas has made Strange Liberation an inside, song-oriented alternative to last year’s more outside, exploratory Freak In. This is not to say that Strange Liberation does not break new ground—it just follows a more familiar route of solid playing without studio enhancement. ...