Archive for October 18th, 2011

Nicole Henry – Set For The Season: Live In Japan

Only a couple of months after releasing her critically-acclaimed Embraceable CD, song stylist Nicole Henry keeps the momentum rolling with a joyous jazz collection of holiday-themed classics that were recorded live at the Cotton Club in Tokyo. Set For The Season: Live In Japan, produced by Henry and Grammy nominee Matt Pierson (Kirk Whalum, Jane Monheit, Joshua Redman), will be released October 25th on Henry’s Banister Records.

Backed by an astute trio comprised of Pete Wallace (piano), James McCoy (bass) and David Chiverton (drums, percussion), Henry harnesses the full range of her immense vocal gift on the enchanting disc of festive tunes. From The Sound of Music, “My Favorite Things” is presented as an intricately arranged groovy waltz. You can almost hear the peaceful sound of snow falling on the graceful “Christmas Time Is Here.”

Starting out playfully, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” evolves from a children’s standard into an infectiously toe-tapping, finger-popping swinger. Henry, who the New York Times compared to a young Natalie Cole, would likely earn the seal of approval from Nat King Cole for her sterling rendition of “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire).” McCoy suavely duets with Henry on the cozy “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” takes the form of a New Orleans-seasoned march, and Henry’s beatific voice delivers “O Holy Night” as a prayerful spiritual.

“I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm” is a swinging showstopper on which Henry & Company go for broke. Finally, while not a holiday tune, she closes the set with the bombastic boogie “I’d Rather Drink Muddy Water,” a present for the ardent admirers that made it a fan favorite at her concerts. Continue reading

Mike Sedmak – Sentimental Favorites

Mike Sedmak was influenced by the early days of Rock music in the late 60’s and 70’s which is now fondly referred to as Classic Rock. While living in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio in the 1990’s, he was introduced to the Smooth Jazz genre and was immediately captivated by the instrumental melody and improvisation.

After his children were grown and his career established, he found more time to devote to music. He now enjoys playing the Classic Rock songs he grew up listening to and performing in his youth, as well as many of the Smooth Jazz songs that have been recorded over the past decades.

If you share Mike’s devotion,  listen to Sentimental Favorites  at CDBaby.