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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Tomoko Omura: Branches Vol. 1

Read "Branches Vol. 1" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

With Branches Vol. 1, award-winning violinist Tomoro Omura dives deep into exploring textures and melodic invention drawn from Japanese folklore. This effort is a contemporized display which validates Omura's vast instrumental abilities and also channels Japanese folklore as a launch-point for her superior composition skills. The recording is seductive, deeply emotional and meditative, and, simultaneously, elegantly ...

ARTICLE: BOOK REVIEW

Jazz: A Love Letter

Read "Jazz: A Love Letter" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

Jazz: A Love Letter Frank McGowan 75 Pages ISBN: #-13: 978-1798827819 ISBN-10: 1798827816 Self Published 2020 Frank McGowan's self-described love letter delivers a Golden Guy's and former semi-professional trumpeter's glance in the proverbial musical rear-view mirror. The highly-entertaining work is chock-filled with reminisces, bump-intos and you-are-there anecdotes that will ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Susan Tobocman: Touch & Go

Read "Touch & Go" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

A glance at the song list presented here--some rather unique choices, for sure--could lead one to assume that this album warrants a listen. What really slams things home, however, are Susan Tobocman's exceptionally slick arrangements of said selections, her excellent vocal skills, and some fine solo playing. With Touch & Go Tobocman—a Detroit ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Antonio Adolfo: BruMa: Celebrating Milton Nascimento

Read "BruMa: Celebrating Milton Nascimento" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

Brazilian performer/composer Milton Nascimento has given the pop, jazz, contemporary and rock worlds an amazon of music that is almost impossible to comprehend in its entirety. With BruMa pianist-composer Antonio Adolfo and a cadre of outstanding Brazilian musicians he provides a highly stylized, exotic and utterly brilliant Grammy-worthy exploration of Nascimento's works. This album is so ...

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 ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Left of Center: Crossing the Water

Read "Crossing the Water" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

Whether the title of this album, the performing group's name, or its leader's surname have additional meaning is positively irrelevant because this performance is a winner. It is a bassist-led trio album offering engaging sonic textures which spin and entice throughout. The title cut sends things into up-tempo action with Justin Kauflin's keyboard ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Clovis Grognuz: Young Man with Horn of Plenty

Read "Clovis Grognuz: Young Man with Horn of Plenty" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

With thousands of viewers and followers on Facebook and You Tube, Swiss saxophonist Clovis Grognuz has become a worldwide saxophone-playing sensation. Astonished eyes and ears have witnessed this talented and dedicated young man performing the legendary saxophone solos--those of John Coltrane ("Giant Steps"), Charlie Parker ("Just Friends"), et al--simultaneously and note for note with the great ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Chuck Granata: On Sinatra, The Beach Boys, and Johnny Mandel

Read "Chuck Granata: On Sinatra, The Beach Boys, and Johnny Mandel" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

Chuck Granata is a record and radio producer, author, music historian and archivist. He has written four books on music and sound recording: Sessions with Sinatra: Frank Sinatra and the Art of Recording (Chicago Review Press, A Capella Books, 1999), Wouldn't it be Nice: Brian Wilson and the Making of the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds (Chicago ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

John Bacon / Michael McNeill / Danny Ziemann: Refractions

Read "Refractions" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

The Thelonious Monk canon has proved to be fertile ground for jazz musicians' explorations. The reasons range from a sincere and deep appreciation of Monk's melodic and harmonic approaches to a sort of a quirky fascination with the eccentricity of some of Monk's off-center sounds. Pianist Michael McNeill's trio effort, Refractions, is less a hagiography of ...

Barbara Reed: Mystery and Music

Read "Barbara Reed: Mystery and Music" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

Pianist, composer and author, jny: Los Angeles-based Barbara Reed is not only a triple artistic threat, but, she has combined all of those abundant skills in a way that is literally novel. Originally from suburban jny: Chicago and having studied at Berklee, Reed has developed a long, celebrated performing career in L.A. Her debut ...


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