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Night Talk: The Alec Wilder Songbook

Label: Capri Records
Released: 2020
Track listing: You’re Free; Don’t Deny; Ellen; Moon and Sand; Baggage Room Blues; I Like It Here; Night Talk; Lovers and Losers; I’ll Be Around.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

The Mark Masters Ensemble: Night Talk: The Alec Wilder Songbook

Read "Night Talk: The Alec Wilder Songbook" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Night Talk, the eighth album by celebrated arranger Mark Masters' superb West Coast-based ensemble, is subtitled “The Alec Wilder Songbook Featuring Gary Smulyan." Indeed, Smulyan's is an impressive solo voice (but hardly the only one) in an eloquent songbook that appraises eight of Wilder's tasteful compositions, including a pair of his best-known melodies, “Moon and Sand" ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Andrew Neu: The Big Band Side of Andrew Neu

Read "The Big Band Side of Andrew Neu" reviewed by Jack Bowers

No matter where The Big Band Side of Andrew Neu has been hiding, it's a real kick and genuine pleasure to have it in plain sight and within earshot, especially as Neu has at his side a number of the Los Angeles area's most accomplished sidemen and no less than seven superlative guest artists who lend ...

A Big Band Spectacular? You Bet Your Brass!

Read "A Big Band Spectacular? You Bet Your Brass!" reviewed by Jack Bowers

On May 23, Betty and I flew to jny: Los Angeles to attend the L.A. Jazz Institute's semi-annual ode to swinging, this one labeled Big Band Spectacular and slated for Thursday through Sunday, May 25-28. We rearranged our schedule to arrive a day early, even before Wednesday's “bonus" event, to attend the funeral of a longtime ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Doug MacDonald: Jazz Marathon 2

Read "Jazz Marathon 2" reviewed by Jack Bowers

For those who thought that guitarist Doug MacDonald's happy-go-lucky jazz marathon had crossed the finish line with the release more than a year ago of Just for Fun, the good news is that MacDonald and his talented teammates have found their second wind and the marathon continues through a second effervescent two-CD session taped at the ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Doug MacDonald: Just for Fun

Read "Just for Fun" reviewed by Jack Bowers

While there are no household names on guitarist Doug MacDonald's new 2-CD set, Just for Fun (alto saxophonist Lanny Morgan or perhaps drummer Roy McCurdy may come closest), the sidemen he has chosen for a lively concert date billed as a “jazz marathon" are more than likely among the more accomplished jazz musicians you've seldom or ...

Time Check: A Paucity of Riches?

Read "Time Check: A Paucity of Riches?" reviewed by Jack Bowers

On May 18, Betty and I flew to Los Angeles to attend Time Check: A Buddy Rich Alumni Reunion, a four-day panorama sponsored by the L.A. Jazz Institute and held at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel, about a stone's throw or two from the LAX airport. We arrived early afternoon so we could also be present for ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Myles Wright: The LA EP

Read "The LA EP" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Composer / arranger Myles Wright deserves full credit for truth in advertising, as The LA EP is precisely that--an abbreviated CD with three selections whose playing time is roughly twenty-four minutes. On the other hand, Wright doubles the listener's pleasure by including with the album a well-produced Blu-Ray DVD (in black and white) so one can ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Mike Barone Big Band: La Fiesta

Read "La Fiesta" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Mike Barone has been writing outstanding big-band arrangements for more than half a century. After listening to La Fiesta, Barone's ninth album as leader of the Los Angeles-based Mike Barone Big Band (counting Live at Donte's, recorded back in 1968), the logical question arises: does Barone ever run short of resourceful ideas? To which the obvious ...


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