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Carmen Staaf

'Winner of the festival's piano competition last year, Staaf could have earned a small slot on the program on the strength of her technique alone. What stood out, though, were her compositions, particularly the fanciful "Merry Go Round," and her trio's fresh interpretation of Denzil Best's "45 Degree Angle," a Williams favorite.' - David Malitz, The Washington Post (review of the 2010 Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival opening night concert at the Kennedy Center). 'Next to take the stage was Carmen Staaf, winner of the 2009 Mary Lou Williams Pianist Competition. Performing with a trio, Staaf presented a mix of original compositions and pieces somehow related to Williams. For each, Staaf provided a detailed explanation of its origins, adding a heartfelt explanation of her respect for William's music and generosity of spirit. Equally sincere in her playing, Staaf delivered clearly articulated ideas, particularly on her own well-structured original compositions

All Wandering Hearts

Label: Dot Time Records
Released: 2020
Track listing: Make It Flood; The Way Home; I Would Die 4 U; Overdrive Mind; What a Wonderful World; Gold; Sugar Spun Girl; Rock Bottom; Lullabye; Send Me on My Way.

I Never Saw Another Butterfly

Label: Fractamodi Records
Released: 2020
Track listing: Dear Pavel; The Butterfly; Dear Franta; Home/The Old House; The Garden; Dear Alena; I’d Like to Go Alone/Ani Ma’amin; Tears; Dear Anonymous; On a Sunny Evening; Birdsong/Butterfly Reprise.

ONA

Label: Self Produced
Released: 2020
Track listing: ONA; The Resistance; Pachamama; Set Free; You Taught Me; Teardrop; Cassandra; He Said She Said; Animal Instinct; Everybody Wants to Rule the World.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Lisa Maxwell's Jazz Orchestra: Shiny!

Read "Shiny!" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Lisa Maxwell, whose album Shiny! marks the recorded debut of her New York City-based Jazz Orchestra, is a pretty good composer and a very good arranger, even though several of her charts lean toward funk / rock, admittedly an acquired taste. Once she veers away from those two-beat cadences, as on “Ludie," “The Craw," “Hello, Wayne?" ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Thana Alexa: ONA

Read "ONA" reviewed by Doug Collette

A departure from Thana Alexa's first album Ode to Heroes (Harmonia Mundi/Jazz Village, 2015), ONA is also rooted in jazz, but it showcases Alexa's use of her voice as both a lyrical and experimental instrument. Commencing immediately on the title tune, this mostly original material features arrangements in various combinations of atmospheric, electronic soundscapes and exotic ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Jazz Goes to the Movies and Valentine's Day Singles

Read "Jazz Goes to the Movies and Valentine's Day Singles" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

This week we feature new releases from The Coachella Valley Trio, trumpeter Rachel Therrien, pianists Lisa Hilton and Carol Albert, vocalists Robin McKelle, Kaylé Brecher, and Raquel Cepeda, plus Valentine's Day singles from Sue Maskaleris and Cynthia Scott, with birthday shout outs to Carole King, Michika Fukumori and Carmen Staaf, among others. There are also plenty ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Dan Pugach: Plus One

Read "Plus One" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi

Ci giunge con un po' di ritardo questo debutto del batterista e arrangiatore israeliano Dan Pugach ma va segnalato per testimoniare l'ottimo momento del jazz orchestrale. Trasferitosi negli Stati Uniti per frequentare il Berklee College of Music, Pugach è appassionato della scuola orchestrale mainstream e s'è perfezionato al City College di New York studiando con Hal ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Moon Songs and The Rhythm of Life

Read "Moon Songs and The Rhythm of Life" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

Much to celebrate this week with new releases from MaryJo Mundy and Ken Peplowski and Diego Figueiredo, plus birthday shout outs to the great Dorothy Fields in the first hour, Phoebe Snow in the second hour, vocalists Margaret Whiting, Ruben Blades, Rufus Wainwright, Jimmy Scott, Helen Merrill and guitarist Mary Osborne, among others, with a collection ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Newport Jazz Festival 2019

Read "Newport Jazz Festival 2019" reviewed by Doug Hall

Newport Jazz Festival Fort Adams State Park Newport, RI August 2-4, 2019 The 65th Anniversary Newport Jazz Festival continued an established tradition of delivering an exceptional level of high quality musicianship. Over the three fully packed days (and one special evening at the International Tennis Hall of Fame) from August 2nd ...


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