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Deanna Witkowski

On one level, pianist Deanna Witkowski’s Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns is a luminously lyrical trio session interpreting a spiritually charged body of music rarely investigated by jazz artists. But Witkowski, an award-winning composer, has a far more ambitious agenda than introducing the jazz world to the sizable treasure trove of hymns woven into the weekly liturgy of churches across the Anglosphere. Makes the Heart to Sing is part of a larger project that includes the publication of a folio of Witkowski’s arrangements and videos of her trio performing them. “It’s an instrumental jazz trio record but the mission is to get this music played more widely outside of church,” she says, “and to bring these jazz interpretations into circulation inside churches

ARTICLE: RADIO

You Can Never Be Too Magical - Celebrating Esperanza Spalding

Read "You Can Never Be Too Magical - Celebrating Esperanza Spalding" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

This week we feature new releases from vocalists Kat Edmonson, Tamuz Nissim, Maria Schafer and JD Walter with birthday shout outs to pianists Lil Armstrong, Marc Cary and Jutta Hipp, bassist Katie Thiroux, trumpeter Jeannie Tanner, and vocalist Ed Reed, among others. In the first hour, a celebration of Esperanza Spalding's latest Grammy win for Jazz ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Christmas In My Soul

Read "Christmas In My Soul" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

Includes more Christmas songs penned by women, with holiday recordings by Dave Stryker, Laila Biali, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, Rebecca Angel, plus new releases by Youn Sun Nah, Chloe Perrier, Fostina Dixon, and Elena Gilliam, with birthday shout outs to Bob Dorough, Sue Maskaleris, Diane Schuur, Sean Harkness, Edith Piaf, Camille Thurman ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Famous Jazz Mothers And Their Young

Read "Famous Jazz Mothers And Their Young" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

The Mothers Day broadcast included new releases from Molly Hammer, Mary Stallings, Vivian Sessoms and Lisa Maxwell, with birthday shout outs to Carla Bley in the first hour, Mary Lou Williams in the second hour, plus vocalists Judi Silvano, John Proulx, Barb Jungr and trumpeter Nadje Noordhuis, among others, plus cuts from some famous jazz mothers ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Twilight World - Celebrating Marian McPartland, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Joni 75

Read "Twilight World - Celebrating Marian McPartland, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Joni 75" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

The penultimate week of Women's History Month broadcast includes new releases from guitarist Mimi Fox, trombonists Naomi Moon Siegel and Natalie Cressman, pianist Lara Downes, the group Five Play led by drummer Sherrie Maricle and vocalists Sivan Arbel and Patrice Jegou, as well as a first listen to the live recording of Joni Mitchell''s 75th year ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

What We Need Are Hearts On Fire

Read "What We Need Are Hearts On Fire" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

Sample sweet holiday music from Beegie Adair, plus new releases by pianists Harold Mabern and Sue Palmer, with birthday shout outs to Diane Schuur, Frank Sinatra, Joe Williams (celebrating his centennial this year), Jazz Master Bob Dorough, Cassandra Wilson and lyricist Morgan Ames, among others. Playlist Gordon Goodwin Big Phat Band “The Little Drummer ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Roy Kral and Thelonious Monk birthdays; RIP Carol Hall

Read "Roy Kral and Thelonious Monk birthdays; RIP Carol Hall" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

Celebrating mid-October birthdays with songs by pianist/composer Roy Kral, who with his wife vocalist Jackie Cain formed the duo group Jackie & Roy, and also Thelonious Monk a year after his centennial. Also remembering songwriter Carol Hall (1936-2018) best known for the Broadway musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, but who also contributed lyrics to ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Love Songs for August

Read "Love Songs for August" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

"What fresh Hell is this?" We begin with songs by Dorothy Parker, who, though best known for her sharp wisecracks, turned out several luscious standards in her day. In the second hour, we salute the great Count Basie then usher in the Leonard Bernstein centennial celebration; plus there is a bumper crop of new releases to ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

James Hall: Lattice

Read "Lattice" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

James Hall uses an interesting combination of instruments you rarely hear in a jazz quintet on this CD, with his trombone and Jamie Baum's flute sharing the front line. The result, full of cool high-low harmonies, is an intriguing sound that goes in many different directions. The lilting weave of “Shoy" showcases how well ...

Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns

Label: Tilapia Records
Released: 2017
Track listing: Cwm Rhondda (Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah); Hyfrydol (Love Divine, All Loves Excelling); There is a Balm in Gilead; Lasst uns Erfreuen (All Creatures of Our God and King); Nicaea (Holy, Holy, Holy); Woodworth (Just As I Am); St. Elizabeth (Fairest Lord Jesus); Kings of Orient (We Three Kings); Beach Spring; Foundation (How Firm a Foundation); Hymn to Joy (Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee); Lord, I Want to Be a Christian; Holy Manna; Abbot’s Leigh; St. Elizabeth (Fairest Lord Jesus).


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