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Cory Weeds Little Big Band: Explosion

Read "Explosion" reviewed by Jack Bowers

The size and makeup of a “little big band" depend above all on what the leader has in mind. In this case, leader Cory Weeds patterned his ensemble (four brass, four reeds, three rhythm) after similar groups led by tenor saxophonists Eddie “Lockjaw" Davis and Gene Ammons, and what he had in mind was a mid-sized ...

Cory Weeds Little Big Band: Explosion

Read "Explosion" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Renaissance Man Cory Weeds has the Midas Touch. Since attaining Vancouver-local escape velocity with his Cellar Jazz Club and then his record label with the same imprint, the musical entrepreneur has parlayed his notice worldwide with excellent recordings of himself and other noted artists. Weeds' Cellar Jazz focus is what would be defined as an “Arbors ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Earl MacDonald: Open Borders

Read "Open Borders" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Open Borders brings to the fore Canadian-born pianist Earl MacDonald's burnished tentet in a program that consists of eleven sunlit and swinging themes, five of which were composed by the leader. Besides writing, MacDonald did most of the arranging, and he excels in both arenas, as he does on piano (most notably on the standards “Blame ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Earl MacDonald: Open Borders

Read "Open Borders" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Not many piano led ensembles finds the pianist laying as far back in the musical dialogue as Earl MacDonald, who doesn't come anywhere near an extended solo until “Miles Apart" and Percy Mayfield's Ray Charles blow- out “Hit The Road Jack" (tracks five and six respectively). But that's just fine given that MacDonald has charted the ...

Ray Charles Orchestra: Ray Charles Orchestra: Zurich 1961-Swiss Radio Days Jazz Series, Vol. 41

Read "Ray Charles Orchestra: Zurich 1961-Swiss Radio Days Jazz Series, Vol. 41" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

We generally take it for granted now, but Ray Charles' trademark blend of jazz, gospel, R&B and soul in a large ensemble or orchestral setting was a unique sound mastered by few artists when this 1961 set was recorded. Number 41 in the Montreux Jazz Label's Swiss Radio Days Jazz Series, Zurich 1961 is a historical ...

ARTICLE: FROM THE INSIDE OUT

Sometimes Jazz Takes Guts

Read "Sometimes Jazz Takes Guts" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Brownout
Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath II
Ubiquity Records
2016

Brownout bandleader and guitarist Adrian Quesada listened to a lot of different music, including blood-curdling heavy metal monsters Black Sabbath, while growing up in South Texas. Even while creating original music more reflective of their Mexican and American funk, ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Marina Crouse At The Sound Room

Read "Marina Crouse At The Sound Room" reviewed by Walter Atkins

Marina Crouse
The Sound Room
First Time Out
Oakland, CA
January 30, 2016

Talented East Bay vocalist Marina Crouse and her superb band lit up the intimate Sound Room with her distinctive brand of rhythm and blues on this chilly Saturday evening. The night was filled with a soulful blend ...

ARTICLE: MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Uno sguardo alla chitarra nel jazz contemporaneo

Read "Uno sguardo alla chitarra nel jazz contemporaneo" reviewed by Mario Calvitti

La chitarra è ormai da decenni uno degli strumenti più popolari e diffusi nel jazz; tanti sono stati, e sono tuttora, gli interpreti di questo strumento, protagonisti di un suo progressivo affrancamento dalle iniziali convenzioni per arrivare a renderlo sempre più libero e trasversale, al servizio di una maggiore e completa espressività del musicista che lo ...

The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra: The L.A. Treasures Project:Live at Alvas Showroom

Read "The L.A. Treasures Project:Live at Alvas Showroom" reviewed by Jack Bowers

The “L.A. Treasures" heralded herein are singers Ernie Andrews (eighty-six years young when the album was recorded in September 2013) and Barbara Morrison (a relative novice at sixty-one). The idea to record sprang from rehearsals earlier that year by the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra in which Andrews and Morrison were invited to sit in. Afterward, co-leader John ...

Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra: The L.A. Treasures Project

Read "The L.A. Treasures Project" reviewed by Edward Blanco

For nearly thirty-years now the Grammy-nominated Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra (CHJO) has been easily recognizable as one of the best big bands in the business. Led by bassist John Clayton, saxophonist and brother Jeff Clayton and drummer Jeff Hamilton, the group embarked on a mission to document their various rehearsals with West Coast vocal legends Ernie Andrews ...