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Randy Newman

In addition to being one of our greatest American singer- songwriters and film composers, Newman long ago established himself among our sharpest and most caustic wits. Calling his inspired new album The Randy Newman Songbook, Vol. I seems like a curiously upbeat and straightforward act for this frequently wry fellow. "Yeah, it's not my style to look ahead with confidence," Newman confesses. "I'm basically asking for it with a title like that. Come to think of it, I could have called it something safer and more horrible like Looking Back At My Life, but I just didn't give it that much thought." If it's not Newman's style to look forward with optimism, it's also not his personal preference to look back, whether in anger or in any other emotion

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Skip Heller: Beyond These Hills: The Skip Heller Anthology 2017-20

Read "Beyond These Hills: The Skip Heller Anthology 2017-20" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

In terms of national exposure, Fred “Skip" Heller has always hidden in plain sight. Predominantly known in his native Philadelphia and adopted-native Los Angeles, Heller is a musician / composer / producer of note and has been for twenty years. He deserves wider notice if for no other reason than he shares much in common with ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Brad Mehldau: Suite: April 2020

Read "Suite: April 2020" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

All great artists rise to the need of the current moment and pianist Brad Mehldau, fully aware of our dire need for some sense of order amid a daily barrage of chaos on all possible fronts, rises with Suite: April 2020 a serene, solo recital recorded while sheltering with his family in their home in Amsterdam. ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Louise Cappi: Mélange

Read "Mélange" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Vocalist Louise Cappi's recording Mélange is a musical collection of short stories, each cast as uniquely and differently as if they were written by a Mario Vargas Llosa or Gabriel García Márquez. Each selection is carefully curated, right down to the production, to achieve a given end. The title is apt as each of these songs ...

ARTICLE: MULTIPLE REVIEWS

John Lennon's Imagine: The Ultimate Collection & Imagine/Gimme Some Truth Films

Read "John Lennon's Imagine: The Ultimate Collection & Imagine/Gimme Some Truth Films" reviewed by John Kelman

While hardly a new idea, with so many classic artists and recordings now hitting forty and fifty-year milestones, there's been a proliferation of deluxe and super deluxe editions of major albums from the '60s and '70s in recent years. While some are better (and better value for money) than others, the market for surround sound mixes ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Dida's Touch: The Remarkable Artistry of Dida Pelled

Read "Dida's Touch: The Remarkable Artistry of Dida Pelled" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

Whatever material she touches --be it a Horace Silver standard, a Wes Montgomery blues, a Johnny Cash country tune, a Randy Newman heartbreak song, or one of her disarming originals --New York-based Israeli guitarist and vocalist Dida Pelled leaves her indelible mark on it. Her signature style is a mix of playful warmth and remarkable guitar ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Hal Willner's Rock 'n' Rota

Read "Hal Willner's Rock 'n' Rota" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

"The whole is greater than the sum of its parts." Anyone who has ever been at an all-star event--especially if that was a tribute concert--has learned the importance of Aristotle's maxim the hard way. Maybe the occasion was momentous, the cast probably star-studded, the heart certainly in the right place and the expectations high... however, at ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

TD Ottawa Jazz Festival 2018

Read "TD Ottawa Jazz Festival 2018" reviewed by John Kelman

2018 TD Ottawa Jazz Festival Multiple Venues Ottawa, Canada June 21-June 26, 2018 For its 2018 edition, the 39th annual TD Ottawa Jazz Festival faced a number of significant logistical challenges. First, Confederation Park, which has traditionally been the location of its large, outdoor venue, a food court and ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Bekken and Gjems: Spell

Read "Spell" reviewed by Jim Worsley

Dr. Bekken's last record, Live At Bar Moskus (Blue Mood, 2017), was nominated for a Norwegian Grammy (the Spellemannprisen). That was a hard-driving solo, boogie-woogie upright piano performance. For Spell, the good doctor writes a new prescription for traditional Norwegian folk infused with New Orleans style jazz. Harmonicist Richard Gjems is co-featured. Bekken and ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Dolores Scozzesi: Here Comes the Sun

Read "Here Comes the Sun" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Vocalist Dolores Scozzesi is a charter member of the West Coast Jazz Gangstas that also includes Mark Winkler, Jeffery Gimble, Lauren White, Cheryl Bentyne, Sara Gazarek and others too numerous to mention. This is a creative bunch who like to support their own. Scozzesi has just released her follow-up to A Special Taste (Rhombus Records, 2010), ...


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