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MUSICIAN Born:

Neal Miner

Neal Miner was introduced to the world of jazz by his first teacher – his father Bill Miner, a respected jazz record collector and discographer. Bill's love of jazz kindled a passion in his son from an early age. Bill shared the music of his vast record collection, took Neal to clubs and concerts, and ensured he received the best musical instruction. Born and raised in Manhattan, Neal received his high school diploma from the Interlochen Arts Academy, and attended the Manhattan School of Music. Most notable of his private teachers were classical bassist, Orin O’Brien of the New York Philharmonic, and jazz bassist, John Webber. Since the age of 19, Neal has been a solid fixture on the New York City jazz scene and is a favored bassist to a host of musicians, both rising jazz stars (Larry Goldings, Harry Allen, Russell Malone, Peter Bernstein, David Hazeltine, Dena DeRose, Ann Hampton Callaway, Loston Harris), and jazz legends (James Moody, Frank Wess, David Allyn, Eddie Locke, Etta Jones, Bob Dorough, Warren Vaché)

ARTICLE: IN PICTURES

Jane Monheit at The American Theatre

Read "Jane Monheit at The American Theatre" reviewed by Mark Robbins

Vocalist Jane Monheit surprised both the audience and the management at The American Theatre in Hampton, Virginia with her first holiday show of the season on November 30. Though her interpretations of the Great American Songbook and torch songs were missed, Monheit and her trio— pianist Michael Kanan, bassist Neal Miner, and drummer Joe Strasser—still moved ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Charles Ruggiero & Hilary Gardner: Play The Bird And The Bee

Read "Play The Bird And The Bee" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

If you've encountered drummer Charles Ruggiero's debut, Boom Bang, Boom Bang! (Rondette Jazz, 2014), you might've seen this coming. There, in the penultimate spot on the playlist, is a cover of The Bird and the Bee's “I'm A Broken Heart" featuring vocalist Hilary Gardner. Something of an outlier on the album, it hinted at a great ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Doron Tirosh: Simply Because It's Winter

Read "Simply Because It's Winter" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

Drummer/composer Doron Tirosh's Simply Because It's Winter brings to mind the adage “good things come in small packages." The six tracks comprise a coherent piece of work in twenty-five minutes of running time. Along with pianist Michael Kanan and bassist Neal Miner, Tirosh achieves a kind of courtly, non-doctrinaire bebop essence. It's jazz that doesn't need ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Sam Taylor: Along The Way

Read "Along The Way" reviewed by Jack Bowers

On almost half of the nine tracks on Along the Way, tenor saxophonist Sam Taylor's close-knit quartet is actually a quintet thanks to the emphatic presence of the renowned Philadelphia-based tenor, Larry McKenna. Taylor's impressive visitor, two months shy of his eightieth birthday when the album was recorded in May 2017, keeps on playing with the ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Mike Melito: New York Connections

Read "New York Connections" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

It's somewhat misleading to summarize Mike Melito's New York Connections by dropping a few names of past masters for credibility's sake, applauding him for preserving the essence of hard bop designs from the 50s and 60s, and emphasizing just how effective he is at forging ties to these avenues of the music. Though all of these ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Mike Melito: New York Connections

Read "New York Connections" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan

Every town has its homegrown talent worthy of wider recognition. This is definitely true when it comes to Rochester native Mike Melito. Since the age of 16, the drummer has held down the drum chair for countless combos and national acts in and around upstate New York. That he has the chops and know-how to make ...

ARTICLE: MULTIPLE REVIEWS

U.S. Jazz From Denmark: Six Recent SteepleChase Releases

Read "U.S. Jazz From Denmark: Six Recent SteepleChase Releases" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

The opportunity to listen to six recently released discs on the venerable SteepleChase label (and the SteepleChase LookOut branch) is a little like reading an anthology of short stories by distinguished authors from a particular year or period. You get a hearty helping of vital, mature voices, most of whom operate somewhere in the jazz mainstream, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Jane Monheit: The Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald

Read "The Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald" reviewed by Edward Blanco

Long Island native and vocalist Jane Monheit pays tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, one of the most enduring jazz singers in history and a very influential figure in Monheit's own musical career. The singer had long thought about recording a homage project to Fitzgerald and on The Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald, Monheit finally accomplishes this releasing the ...

ARTICLE: EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Josh Brown: Songbook Trio

Read "Josh Brown: Songbook Trio" reviewed by Geannine Reid

Trombonist Josh Brown was raised in Burlington, Ontario. His mother was a music teacher and his father was an avid jazz fan. It is no surprise that Brown grew up playing in school and city bands, eventually winning local and national competitions and eventually attended Humber College in Toronto, where he studied music. Brown also went ...


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