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8

Article: Album Review

Sketches of Influence: The Grind - Sketches of Influence

Read "The Grind - Sketches of Influence" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello


Shortly before the COVID pandemic went full force lockdown, Troy, New York drummer Joe Barna and his group, “Sketches of Influence" recorded this live album at the Middle C Jazz Club in Charlotte, North Carolina. The audience that evening was either the most polite as listeners, or, more likely they were taken up by the killer ...

6

Article: Album Review

Elliot Bild & the Zone: ISMS

Read "ISMS" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello


A textural and improvisational tour de force from Elliot Bild and the Zone, ISMS, recorded live, consists of ten selections—nine of which are Bild originals—and offers up an evening of intelligent and enlightening jazz. “Army of Aliens (Your Thoughts)" opens the set and is a classic hard-bop burner with Bild and saxophonist Hudson-Casanova lifting ...

8

Article: Album Review

Keith Pray: Universal Blues

Read "Universal Blues" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello


The opening sounds of Keith Pray's Universal Blues present a sonic gateway that ultimately leads to an overall significant musical experience. Throughout his career, saxophonist Pray, a highly talented and well-respected upstate New York artist, has been an avid explorer of textures and tonalities. With Universal Blues he and his mates deliver an intelligent and intriguing ...

4

Article: Album Review

Pete Ellman: For Pete's Ache

Read "For Pete's Ache" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello


Long a fixture throughout Chicagoland, the Ellman name is synonymous with all things musical. No “ache" at all, this album is a fun big-band romp. There is some outstanding ensemble and solo work and the various terrific arrangements bring the best out of a superb, engaged ensemble. The opener, “High Speed Pursuit," is ...

7

Article: Interview

Peter Archer: The True Inspiration of "Soul"

Read "Peter Archer: The True Inspiration of "Soul"" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello


Disney / PIXAR's jazz-flavored movie Soul has garnered rave reviews and buzz worldwide. That's because in addition to its spectacular animation and meticulous production values, there's an honest and accurate representation of jazz and jazz musicians. What's behind that is the fact that the film was inspired by a dedicated Queens music teacher, Dr. Peter Archer. ...

3

Article: Album Review

Rick Stepton: The Placebone Effect

Read "The Placebone Effect" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello


On an August day and in midst and darkness of a global pandemic, five New England jazz musicians under the leadership of trombonist Rick Stepton entered a Massachusetts studio and let it all fly. The result? The Placebone Effect, a fine collection of workhorse standards along with a Stepton original, performed with verve, style, taste and ...

4

Article: Album Review

Frank Sinatra: Sing and Dance with Frank Sinatra

Read "Sing and Dance with Frank Sinatra" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello


Sing and Dance with Frank Sinatra is without question a recording achievement of importance and historical magnitude. Producers Charles L. Granata and Andreas Meyer have delivered an experience that sources and reconstitutes important Sinatra mid-20th Century material. It will fascinate Sinatraphiles and enlighten those interested in “The Voice's" artistic development from crooner to swing icon.

4

Article: Album Review

The Satin Dollz: Pinup Revolution

Read "Pinup Revolution" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello


Classic music. It is something that withstands the test of time and gains resonance—and perhaps audiences—in doing so. This recording revisits the mid-20th Century swing canon, from before and during World War II, before the Spotifys, Elvis, Beatles, et al. Pin Up Revolution, a debut recording presented by The Satin Dollz, pays tribute to that musically ...

10

Article: Film Review

Never Too Late: The Doc Severinsen Story

Read "Never Too Late: The Doc Severinsen Story" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello


Doc Severinsen Never Too Late: The Doc Severinsen Story A film by Kevin Bright & Jeff Consiglio Just Bright Productions2020 Never Too Late (Just Bright Productions, 2020) is a meticulously produced and emotion-grabbing documentary portrait of the musical career and life of trumpeter Doc Severinsen. While Duke Ellington may ...

7

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 ...


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