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ARTICLE: YEAR IN REVIEW

C. Michael Bailey's Best Releases of 2015

Read "C. Michael Bailey's Best Releases of 2015" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

It is easy this year, only vocal music...twelve months, twelve releases.

Lyn Stanley
Potions: From the '50s

We Baby Boomers are a persnickety bunch. We revel in our nostalgia while keeping a jaundiced eye on current trends and how derivative they are compared with those we experienced when ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Tianna Hall: Hit Me with a Hot Note

Read "Hit Me with a Hot Note" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

With Texas Troubadour Jacqui Sutton splitting her time between Texas and parts West and taking on roll of Houston Jazz Mafia consigliere and Aussie reeds-mistress capo regime Alisha Pattillo staking out the Gulf, vocalist Tianna Hall remains as the undisputed Godmother of this Houston Jazz family. Hall has decided, in the hellish climes of the Texas ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Chris Cortez: Top Secret (For Your Ears Only)

Read "Top Secret (For Your Ears Only)" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Houston, Texas is such a hot bed of jazz music that it has its own jazz mafia. However, as of late the Houston jazz mafia's Godmother, vocalist Tianna Hall has been letting several of her high-ranking officers get away. First to go was trumpeter capo regime Carol Morgan, who decided to start her own jazz “Family" ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Henry Darragh: Too Much Monday

Read "Too Much Monday" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

My introduction to Houston Jazz came with the receipt of Jacqui Sutton's Billie & Dolly (Toy Blue Typewriter Productions, 2010). A few short months later, I received Henry Darragh's Tell Her for Me (Self Produced, 2011). When I compared the musical personnel for each of these recordings, a light came on in my pea brain alerting ...

ARTICLE: BAILEY'S BUNDLES

Trio Logic: Phishbacher, Dominic J Marshall, Bob Henschen Trios

Read "Trio Logic: Phishbacher, Dominic J Marshall, Bob Henschen Trios" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

The traditional jazz piano trio (piano, double bass and drums) remains a robust and productive format for jazz performance and interpretation. Here are three examples supporting this.

Phishbacher Trio
Dreamcatcher
Jazz Sick Records
2014

Pianist and composer Walter Fischbacher with his wife, singer/composer Elisabeth Lohninger ...

ARTICLE: MULTIPLE REVIEWS

2013 Yuletide Offerings

Read "2013 Yuletide Offerings" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

It's clear that the holidays are coming when the mercury dips and the cheery tidings of the season are balanced out by shopping-fueled malaise. When it comes to music, said shopping is often centered on a series of new holiday-themed releases that seem to arrive like clockwork in the weeks and months prior to Christmas; this ...

ARTICLE: BAILEY'S BUNDLES

Christmas III: Jazz Vocals - Tianna Hall/Chris Cortez, Nnenna Freelon, New York Voices and Albrecht Mayer/The King’s Singers

Read "Christmas III:  Jazz Vocals - Tianna Hall/Chris Cortez, Nnenna Freelon, New York Voices and Albrecht Mayer/The King’s Singers" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

The vocal holiday offerings are all over the map stylistically. Latin, big band, small ensemble singing and whatever the Albrecht Mayer/King's Singer's collaboration is, this a hopping creative season. For a seasonal subgenre of any musical subgenre usually reserved for money-making more than art, this year's releases are exceptional.

“May your days be ...

ARTICLE: BAILEY'S BUNDLES

The Houston Beat: Drummer Tim Solook

Read "The Houston Beat: Drummer Tim Solook" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Drummer Tim Solook began his career on the West Coast, and later migrated East to Texas where he immediately became a “made man" in the Houston Jazz Mafia. A regular drummer for fellow Houston Jazz Mafia member Tianna Hall, Solook has two recordings as a leader in his musical quiver, 2005's Ability and 2013's Comfortable Blues. ...

Raquel Cepeda: I'm Confessin'

Read "I'm Confessin'" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

The Houston jazz mafia expands with vocalist Raquel Cepeda's I'm Confessin'. Cepeda joins the ranks of multi-instrumentalist Henry Darragh, singers Melissa Darragh, Tianna Hall, Jacqui Sutton and Danielle Reich, guitarist Paul Chester, trumpeter Dennis Dotson (who appears here), saxophonist Larry Slezak and (by extension), trumpeter Carol Morgan, Houston jazz mafiosi all. Cepeda adds eloquently to a ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Tianna Hall and the Mexico City Jazz Trio: Two for the Road

Read "Two for the Road" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

It would be a mistake to dismiss vocalist Tianna Hall's fifth album Two For The Road as another collection of reinterpreted familiar workhorses. While it's true that the record consists exclusively of standards Hall's nuanced approach to them, and the inclusion of a couple of lesser-known songs, makes for a unique listening experience.

The two ...