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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

Clare Fischer Latin Jazz Big Band: Intenso!

Read "Intenso!" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi

Il pianista, compositore e arrangiatore Clare Fischer scomparso nel 2012, resta uno dei grandi sottovalutati del jazz e questo splendido disco, prodotto dal figlio Brent, ce lo ricorda. Il suo multiforme talento espresso nel mondo della musica latina e nel pop, lo ha portatto a undici Grammy Nominations (con due vittorie postume) ma ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Clare Fischer Latin Jazz Big Band: Intenso!

Read "Intenso!" reviewed by Jack Bowers

If nothing else, an exclamation point is meant to grab one's attention. What matters most, of course, is what precedes (or follows) said mark. On Intenso!, the latest album by the Clare Fischer Latin Jazz Big Band, the music provides its own exclamation point, charging boldly forward as if to say, “Drop whatever you're doing and ...

Rare and Unusual Instruments in Jazz

Read "Rare and Unusual Instruments in Jazz" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

Historically the cornet was the quintessential jazz instrument but over a century of its evolution other instruments have also become part of the regular jazz armamentarium. These include common ones such as the piano, saxophone, bass and drums to the more occasionally appearing violin, clarinet and other percussion instruments. There are few, however, that exhibit unique ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Clare Fischer Big Band: Pacific Jazz

Read "Pacific Jazz" reviewed by Jack Bowers

The late Dr. Clare Fischer enjoyed a long and storied career as a composer, arranger, pianist, bandleader and educator, primarily on the West Coast. Luckily, one of those he educated was his son Brent who was at his father's side as a musician and adviser for more than three decades and has safeguarded the Fischer legacy ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Ginger Berglund & Scott Whitfield: Solitary Moon

Read "Solitary Moon" reviewed by Jack Bowers

The unabridged subtitle of this endlessly charming album is “Ginger Berglund & Scott Whitfield Sing the Johnny Mandel Songbook." For those who were unaware that there is a Johnny Mandel Songbook apart from “Emily," “The Shadow of Your Smile" and “Close Enough for Love," this scintillating summary is a guaranteed eye-(and ear-) opener, lovingly packaged and ...

ARTICLE: EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Mark Masters Ensemble: Ellington Saxophone Encounters

Read "Mark Masters Ensemble: Ellington Saxophone Encounters" reviewed by Greg Simmons

It could be argued that the core of bandleader Duke Ellington's wonderful textural sound was the way he harmonized his reed section, with great woody chords and lush polyphonic melodies. That reed section, with the great Johnny Hodges leading on alto, stalwarts like Paul Gonsalves on tenor and Harry Carney on baritone, as well as shorter-term ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Mark Masters Ensemble: Ellington Saxophone Encounters

Read "Ellington Saxophone Encounters" reviewed by Edward Blanco

Longtime big band arranger/bandleader Mark Masters happens to be President of the Pasadena, CA-based non-profit American Jazz Institute (AJI), while baritone saxophonist great Gary Smulyan sits on its Advisory Board. Together, the two have often joined forces on musical projects intended to foster and promote jazz; Ellington Saxophone Encounters is another one of their AJI collaborations, ...


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