Archive for the ‘ Jazz ’ Category

Angela O’Neill and the Outrageous8 – Light At The End Of The Tunnel

LightAtTheEndOfTheTunnelAmerican singer Angela O’Neill is always swinging and founded the octet Outrageous8 in 2015. That band consists of top studio musicians, who really know what swing is.

This is also their third release, which shows them in an adventurous, ambitious mood after 2 years of isolation due to Covid-19. The members of Outrageous8 are all veterans of the Los Angeles jazz and big band scene.

O’Neill says she wanted to capture the pent-up emotions and frustrations of the pandemic on this album. The title refers to the recordings of the music in the garden of singer Al Timss. That music and the vaccinations were the green light to be optimistic about the future.

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Chicago Soul Jazz Collective – On the Way to Be Free

ChicagoSoulJazzCollective_OnTheWaytoBeFreecoverThe name of this band tells you what you need to know about its purpose and history. Chicago, where Louis Armstrong moved to make his first records, is also the birthplace of gospel music, which gave rise to its secular cousin, soul; and few cities grooved harder to the post-bop soul-jazz revolution of the 1950s and ‘60s than Chicago. Decades later, here comes the Chicago Soul Jazz Collective, co-led by saxophonist John Fournier and trumpeter Marques Carroll, doubling down on this storied jazz idiom and hitting pay dirt for a new century.

For their CSJC’s third album, On the Way to Be Free, the group raises the ante by inviting Dee Alexander to join in. Chicago’s grand dame of jazz vocals (as well as a syndicated broadcaster), the internationally acclaimed Alexander elevates every project she undertakes. She’s a shape-shifter who ranges far and wide, from her groundbreaking work with Chicago’s famed AACM, to her own strikingly original compositions, to her celebrations of the music’s great divas, such as Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington, and Billie Holiday (as on Alexander’s guest appearance with the Metropolitan Jazz Octet on its 2019 album, It’s Too Hot for Words). And as she proves here, she can sass and strut with the best. Just listen as she levitates the bandstand on the fiery protest “The Man Is Coming Back,” and then she settles into the soulful ballad “So Alive” and drapes it in all the plummy finery it deserves.

The CSJC repertoire effortlessly captures the early funk of such pioneers as Horace Silver and Cannonball Adderley, but also encompasses rhythm-and-blues, classic ‘60s soul, and even neo soul, which Alexander also handles with experiential aplomb. All but one of the new album’s nine tracks were written by Fournier, whose songwriting has evolved to include evocative lyrics and memorable narratives – without abandoning the irresistible swagger that characterized the soul jazz heyday, neatly encompassed in “Behind the Crusaders.” (The title nods to one of the idiom’s most popular bands). Continue reading

CeCe Gable – Next Year’s Song

nextyearssongCeCe Gable is a remarkable jazz singer. She has already sung in clubs in the USA, Europe and Japan, and has already released 4 CDs, with critical acclaim.

CeCe hails from Barberton, Ohio, but now lives in the Reno Tahoe area. She is also an author, lyricist, composer and publisher. And while her repertoire spans genres spanning several decades, she is best known for her interpretations of “the American Songbook”.

However, CeCe is a late bloomer, whose former passion for dance eventually pushed aside for jazz. She has refined her singing talent over the past thirty years and appreciates the classics.

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Joey Alexander – Origin

originStill young in years and already a big name, that is the fate of a musical genius. Born in Bali, Indonesia he started his professional career in 2013. He released his debut album My Favorite Things in 2015, followed by Countdown (2016), Joey. Monk. Live! (2017), Eclipse (2018) and Warna (2020). His new album Origin will be released on Mack Avenue Records May 20, 2022.

For the first time jazz pianist Joey Alexander aka Josiah Alexander Sila will present what he really is. On his new album he is accompanied by Larry Grenadier (upright bass), Kendrick Scott (drums), Gilad Hekselman (electric guitar) and Chris Potter (sax). He has since shed the status of a child prodigy to be showcased and, in a departure from previous jazz standards, concentrates on the tonal mapping of his own jazz compositions.

The album opens with Remembering. While his first creative years passed like a frenzy, the pandemic gave him time for self-reflection and opportunity to reposition his musical location. It gave him to reflect on his own creativity after thinking back on what he had created and achieved, and this song also reveals the jazzy roots that influenced him in his younger years.

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David Larsen – G2 and You

g2andyouAmerican saxophonist, composer and teacher David Larsen is the director of instrumental studies at Spokane Falls Community College. David owns several graduates from different universities.

He presents and performs himself at the Jazz Education Network, the North American Saxophone Alliance, and several other festivals.

David has performed with, among others, Ken Peplowski, Francisco Torres, Dave Glenn, Ron Vincent, Bill Mays, Dean Johnson, and internationally acclaimed jazz singer Halie Loren.

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The Andy Rothstein Band – Truth Against The World

truthAmerican Andy Rothstein was born in Brooklyn, New York, and played guitar at the age of fourteen. He graduated from Rutgers University, where he studied music and computer science. He also received private lessons. Andy developed several electronic adaptations for electric guitars, and is therefore labeled as a versatile and tasteful player, with a unique sound.

He transcribed music under the pseudonym Andy Robyns. In 2006 he made his debut as a bandleader with the album ‘Voodoo Tone’, which features bassist Tony Senatore (Rook, Genya Raven), trumpeter Steve Jankowski (Nile Rodgers & Chic, Chicago, Blood, Sweat, and Tears), saxophonist Tom Timko (Miami Sound Machine, Blood Sweat and Tears, Toto), and drummer Lou Petto (One More Once) played along.

The following year followed the album ‘Wit of the Staircase’ with trumpeters Lew Soloff & Steve Jankowski, drummer Van Romaine (Steve Morse, Jack McDuff, Enrique Iglesias), percussionist Manolo Badrena (Weather Report, Steve Khan, Spyro Gyra), saxophonists Andy Snitzer (Billy Joel, Paul Simon, The Rolling Stones) and Tom Timko, and keyboardists Pete Levin and Tom Hammer.

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Cettina Donato/Nini Bruschetta – I Siciliani

isicilianiThis CD is actually the story of the Sicilian poet and writer Antonio Caldarella. Cettina Donato, an Italian pianist and composer, has entered into a collaboration with actor Antonio “Nini” Bruschetta.

This CD dates from last year, and it is their second collaboration. The tracks were all composed by Concetta Donato, and are based on Caldarella’s work.

In this way, this CD offers a new facet of Sicily, of a poetic and literary nature. “Poetry became song and these are our songs, or rather our stories,” Bruschetta reflects. “Cettina’s, mine, Antonio’s and AlfaMusic’s, all together; stories of jazz, poetry, alcohol and above all stories of love.”

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Letizia Lucchesi – It’s A Miracle Your Life

itsamiracleyourlifeThe Italian singer and keyboard player Letizia Lucchesi cannot be classified in one category. She holds a law degree, is an illustrator, laureate in opera singing at the Conservatory of Pescara, composes, plays double bass, piano, arranges, and sings in jazz orchestras.

This is her debut on CD, which dates from last year. On most of the tracks she is assisted by pianist Pino Jodice, double bassist Luca Pirozzi and drummer Pietro Iodice, in addition to guest saxophonist Maurizio Giammarco.

Letizia composed almost all tracks herself, and is assisted on 3 tracks by the Roma Jazz Ensemble Big Band, including the swinging opener ‘High wire’, a cover by Chick Corea.

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Ivana Muscoso, Mario Mazzaro, Salvatore Rainone – Vivo Sonhando

MUSCOSO BOOKLET.inddWhen Ivana Muscoso started a collaboration with Neapolitan bassist and double bassist Mario Mazzaro in 2019, and his beautiful arrangement ideas, she started playing Jobim like never before.

Indeed, this CD is entirely devoted to the songs of the late Antonio Carlos Jobim (the architect of Brazilian bossa nova), and Ivana Muscoso (piano, keyboards and voice), Mario Mazzaro (bass & double bass) and Salvatore Rainone (drums ) recorded it at the Smile studios in Naples.

Jobim’s songs are updated somewhat, and interspersed with arrangements with atmospheres borrowed from Afro-American music, sometimes suspended, sometimes surprisingly funky, soulful and jazzy.


Fuccelli Fisarmony Orchestra – Linaura

linauraThis CD comes from Italy by the Fuccelli Fisarmony Orchestra, which dates from last year. This symphonic orchestra consists of about 18 musicians, conducted by Roberto Fuccelli.

Several accordionists (I count about eight) are part of this band, and this unique group is famous in Italy for its innovative compositions.

‘Inner Gravity’ introduces this disc, a swinging song with a trombone solo by Fabrizio Bosso. The theme from the movie ‘Pirates of the Carribean’ or ‘Pirati dei Caraibi’ follows, after which we stay in the film world with the theme from ‘Once Upon a Time in America’ by Ennio Morricone, or ‘C’era una volta in America’.

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