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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Charles Ruggiero & Hilary Gardner: Play The Bird And The Bee

Read "Play The Bird And The Bee" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

If you've encountered drummer Charles Ruggiero's debut, Boom Bang, Boom Bang! (Rondette Jazz, 2014), you might've seen this coming. There, in the penultimate spot on the playlist, is a cover of The Bird and the Bee's “I'm A Broken Heart" featuring vocalist Hilary Gardner. Something of an outlier on the album, it hinted at a great ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Doron Tirosh: Simply Because It's Winter

Read "Simply Because It's Winter" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

Drummer/composer Doron Tirosh's Simply Because It's Winter brings to mind the adage “good things come in small packages." The six tracks comprise a coherent piece of work in twenty-five minutes of running time. Along with pianist Michael Kanan and bassist Neal Miner, Tirosh achieves a kind of courtly, non-doctrinaire bebop essence. It's jazz that doesn't need ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Sam Taylor: Along The Way

Read "Along The Way" reviewed by Jack Bowers

On almost half of the nine tracks on Along the Way, tenor saxophonist Sam Taylor's close-knit quartet is actually a quintet thanks to the emphatic presence of the renowned Philadelphia-based tenor, Larry McKenna. Taylor's impressive visitor, two months shy of his eightieth birthday when the album was recorded in May 2017, keeps on playing with the ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Mike Melito: New York Connections

Read "New York Connections" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

It's somewhat misleading to summarize Mike Melito's New York Connections by dropping a few names of past masters for credibility's sake, applauding him for preserving the essence of hard bop designs from the 50s and 60s, and emphasizing just how effective he is at forging ties to these avenues of the music. Though all of these ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Mike Melito: New York Connections

Read "New York Connections" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan

Every town has its homegrown talent worthy of wider recognition. This is definitely true when it comes to Rochester native Mike Melito. Since the age of 16, the drummer has held down the drum chair for countless combos and national acts in and around upstate New York. That he has the chops and know-how to make ...

ARTICLE: MULTIPLE REVIEWS

U.S. Jazz From Denmark: Six Recent SteepleChase Releases

Read "U.S. Jazz From Denmark: Six Recent SteepleChase Releases" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

The opportunity to listen to six recently released discs on the venerable SteepleChase label (and the SteepleChase LookOut branch) is a little like reading an anthology of short stories by distinguished authors from a particular year or period. You get a hearty helping of vital, mature voices, most of whom operate somewhere in the jazz mainstream, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Jane Monheit: The Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald

Read "The Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald" reviewed by Edward Blanco

Long Island native and vocalist Jane Monheit pays tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, one of the most enduring jazz singers in history and a very influential figure in Monheit's own musical career. The singer had long thought about recording a homage project to Fitzgerald and on The Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald, Monheit finally accomplishes this releasing the ...

ARTICLE: EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Josh Brown: Songbook Trio

Read "Josh Brown: Songbook Trio" reviewed by Geannine Reid

Trombonist Josh Brown was raised in Burlington, Ontario. His mother was a music teacher and his father was an avid jazz fan. It is no surprise that Brown grew up playing in school and city bands, eventually winning local and national competitions and eventually attended Humber College in Toronto, where he studied music. Brown also went ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Abigail Riccards: Every Little Star

Read "Every Little Star" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Abigail Riccards may not be known yet but Jane Monheit is, and on Riccard's Every Little Star, the famous jazz chanteur is both a mentor and co-producer. The Chicago-based Riccards began appearing in New York City in the early 2000s, garnering a good deal of critical attention from her live performances and her debut recording, When ...

Big Jazz on SmallsLIVE

Read "Big Jazz on SmallsLIVE" reviewed by Bob Kenselaar

Since its launch in 2010, the SmallsLIVE record label has been offering a substantial sampling of the outstanding jazz talent consistently featured at Smalls Jazz Club in New York City's Greenwich Village. Musicians who appear on the label range from the great veterans Harold Mabern and Jimmy Cobb to contemporary players at the top of their ...