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Article: Album Review

Jon De Lucia: And the Stars Were Shining

Read "And the Stars Were Shining" reviewed by Richard J Salvucci

All instruments can be difficult and some even look intimidating. Some are notoriously tough to play in tune. Some emit unpleasant sounds without much prompting, especially squeaks. Welcome to the world of the clarinet. Non-players often wonder how anyone coaxes pretty sounds from the beast. Some wonder how to coax out any sound at all. The ...


Article: Multiple Reviews

Ornette Coleman: An Innovator of the First Order, But Certainly No Messiah

Read "Ornette Coleman: An Innovator of the First Order, But Certainly No Messiah" reviewed by Richard J Salvucci

At the remove of sixty years, there is a temptation to say, “Ornette Coleman, so what?" His early music does not sound particularly out there. And by contemporary standards, it is not. The initial shock of Ornette Coleman in the mid 1950s wore off decades ago. Some of his compositions have passed into the standard repertoire. ...


Article: Album Review

Shelly Manne & His Friends: Modern Jazz Performances Of Songs From My Fair Lady

Read "Modern Jazz Performances Of Songs From My Fair Lady" reviewed by Richard J Salvucci

The musical My Fair Lady (1956) is a story from another age. All things considered, it is probably best that a contemporary audience may not know the lyrics to the songs, let alone the tunes. The tale involves the efforts of an insufferable Henry Higgins to teach a Cockney lass, Eliza Doolittle, how to properly pronounce ...


Article: Album Review

David Whitman: Ode To Joe

Read "Ode To Joe" reviewed by Richard J Salvucci

Dipping into this fine recording is, to mix metaphors a bit, like opening a time capsule. That capsule is called One For All (A&M, 1990), perhaps the final studio recording of Art Blakey with The Jazz Messengers. It was not a perfect outing, but it was a memorable one. The lines got into the head and ...


Article: Album Review

Vanessa Racci: Jazzy Italian

Read "Jazzy Italian" reviewed by Richard J Salvucci

Vanessa Racci describes herself a jazz / cabaret singer of Italian-American descent with a passion for retro jazz and music made famous by Italian Americans. She has a previous album, entitled Italiana Fresca (2017, self-produced), and currently performs several shows that celebrate American jazz composers, Italian American music and contributions to jazz and pop in the ...


Article: Album Review

Freddie Hubbard: One Of A Kind

Read "One Of A Kind" reviewed by Richard J Salvucci

It is something of a challenge to review Freddie Hubbard's work from the early 1980s. He had changed direction in the early 1970s with Red Clay (CTI, 1970) moving toward soul-jazz and jazz-rock, although anyone listening to Hubbard's playing would hear his standard vocabulary of licks. Some listeners approved; some listeners did not; and some simply ...


Article: Album Review

Bill O'Connell: Live In Montauk

Read "Live In Montauk" reviewed by Richard J Salvucci

A rhythm section which includes Santi Debriano and Billy Hart is nothing if not part of a potential dream band. In Craig Handy, one finds a post-bop saxophonist who played with virtually everyone worth hearing over the last third of the twentieth century. For a variety of reasons pianist Bill O'Connell may be a little less ...


Article: Album Review

Maci Miller: Nine

Read "Nine" reviewed by Richard J Salvucci

jny:Philadelphia-based singer Maci Miller gives her audience a variety of looks, all of them good. On first hearing, Blossom Dearie, but then, Blossom Dearie was Blossom Dearie. No one ever sounded quite like her. Then again, there is some mid 1960s Nancy Wilson, hushed, clipped, all business. On reflecting that Dearie and Wilson an odd combination ...


Article: Album Review

Kenny Reichert: Deep Breath

Read "Deep Breath" reviewed by Richard J Salvucci

Kenny Reichert is a jny:Chicago-based guitarist of broad background, Berklee training, and wide-ranging tastes in pop and jazz. He has self-released one studio album, Interpretations (2015). Reichert records mostly originals. If you are looking for influences, “Spears" (a play on “Sphere"?) sounds Thelonious Sphere Monk-ish enough, with plenty of solo space for saxophonist Tony Barba woven ...


Article: Album Review

Doug MacDonald: Big Band Extravaganza

Read "Big Band Extravaganza" reviewed by Richard J Salvucci

Some reviewers have been known to complain that contemporary big bands can do most anything but swing. Like all generalizations, there is some merit to the observation. But, like all generalizations, the occasional exception falsifies it. Looking for a big band that pushes all the right buttons? Look no further. Doug MacDonald's “desert jazz" band is ...


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