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Musician

Dennis Mackrel

Born:

Dennis was born, April 3, 1962. A child prodigy, he began playing the drums when he was two; and became a professional musician at the age of ten when he performed in the Anchorage Community Theater's production of "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum". Developing his craft in various playing situations, Dennis received numerous awards such as "Who's Who in Music", 1979; National Endowment for the Arts grant for composition in 1983; and in 1992; "Outstanding Alumni" from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While attending UNLV, he was a member of the acclaimed UNLV Jazz Ensemble where his drumming and arranging skills caught the attention of legendary jazz vocalist Joe Williams

Album

Don't Let Go

Label: Sunnyside Records
Released: 2022
Track listing: Disc 1—Breathe Deep; Morning Hope; Four-Letter Words; Kiss the Ground; Burnin’ Daylight; A Summer Midnight’s Dream; Necessary. Disc 2—I Wonder; You’re a Long Way from Home; You Never Know; Smile Slow; Letting Go; Touch the Sky; Don’t Let Go.

Album

Fresh Start

Label: Sunnyside Records
Released: 2022
Track listing: Noviembre; Fresh Start; Ferry Maiden; Madagascar; Galel; Never Let Me Go; Tirado; In the Western Night; Day Break; Janet Left the Planet; I'm Stepping Out with a Memory Tonight; Tales in the Western Night

26

Article: Album Review

Mike Holober & Balancing Act: Don't Let Go

Read "Don't Let Go" reviewed by Jack Bowers


With Don't Let Go, pianist Mike Holober and the octet Balancing Act seemed to have found an ideal way to cross-breed classical motifs and contemporary jazz to produce a pleasurable listening experience. Then he added lyrics. Granted, not all lyrics are superfluous—even those that are either nebulous or indecipherable, as is too often the case here. ...

20

Article: Album Review

Mike LeDonne: It's All Your Fault

Read "It's All Your Fault" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Even though listed on only four tracks, organist Mike LeDonne's superlative Groover Quartet performs on every one of the nine selections on LeDonne's admirable new recording, It's All Your Fault--and that's a good thing, as each member of the quartet (LeDonne, tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander, guitarist Peter Bernstein, drummer Joe Farnsworth) is an accomplished soloist and ...

6

Article: Multiple Reviews

2020 Releases Deserving Recognition

Read "2020 Releases Deserving Recognition" reviewed by Jerome Wilson


Pandemic or no pandemic, there were a lot of worthwhile jazz CDs released in 2020, more than could be covered within the year. Here are quick reviews of six of them. Benny Rubin Jr. Quartet Know Say Or See Self-Produced 2020 Benny Rubin Jr is a young ...

Album

Live at Maureen's Jazz Cellar

Label: Self Produced
Released: 2020
Track listing: Out of the Night Came You; Invitation; Dear Virginia; Morning Hope; All the Things You Are; Peace; Funkallero.

10

Article: Interview

Marvin Stamm: Team Player

Read "Marvin Stamm: Team Player" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke


Trumpeter Marvin Stamm is known for being part of a gazillion albums, having that ability to go into a studio and play exactly what's required, whether it's for a records by pop singers, jazz artists, Paul McCartney, Donny Hathaway or touring with Frank Sinatra. It's a reputation the highly skilled player earned with hard work.

12

Article: Album Review

Marvin Stamm, Mike Holober, Mike McGuirk, Dennis Mackrel: Live at Maureen's Jazz Cellar

Read "Live at Maureen's Jazz Cellar" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Marvin Stamm, Mike Holober, Mike McGuirk and Dennis Mackrel; when musicians of that caliber gather onstage to record a live supper club session, even the diners snap to attention and harken closely lest any phrase or nuance eludes the ears. Such was the case on a December evening in 2019 at Maureen's Jazz Cellar in Nyack, ...

16

Article: Album Review

Mike Holober: Marvin Stamm/Mike Holober Quartet Live @ Maureen's Jazz Cellar

Read "Marvin Stamm/Mike Holober Quartet Live @ Maureen's Jazz Cellar" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello


One of the many things sorely missed in the 2020's COVID situation is that cornerstone of jazz—the live-in-a-club performance. Live at Maureen's Cellar provides a vivid recollection of what pre-plague joy we had.. This fine recording presents that intimate club vibe, offering engaging extended solos, ensemble (and audience) interaction, and the emotional range that jazz delivers ...


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