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Pianist Joanne Brackeen’s Grammy nominated release; “Pink Elephant Magic” easily ranks as one of the top releases of 1999. With her follow up, titled Popsicle illusion - Ms. Brackeen embarks on a solo piano recital that features a series of originals and time honored standards as the jazz public receives yet another extraordinary glimpse of this remarkably talented musician.
Listen to how she seamlessly melds James P. Johnson style stride piano with lush harmonies and jazzy single note leads while injecting warmth and breadth into the overall scope of Frank Loesser’s “If I Were A Bell”. Ms. Brackeen displays Art Tatum-esqe speed on Cole Porter’s “From This Moment On” and accents a tantalizing melody with odd-metered, Monk-ish block chords on her composition “Telavision”. On this piece, the pianist branches off with weaving and harmonically rich patterns. - She pursues whimsical yet at times frantic and rambunctious chord progressions sans losing the melody on her composition, “High Tea For Stephany”. While she calms the proceedings a bit during her sublime rendition of Duke Ellington’s classic, “Prelude To A Kiss” as Popsicle Illusion just reaffirms Joanne Brackeen’s preeminence in the world of modern jazz.
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.