Posts Tagged ‘ Vocal Jazz ’

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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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.


Madalena – Briza

brizaItalian singer Madalena is in her fifties, and chose to go back to singing. She is (like me) fascinated by Brazilian music, because the language sounds so seductive and lyrics are so poetic, while the rhythm and melody are enchanting.

In addition, since childhood on the Amalfi Coast, she has also been passionate about traditional Neapolitan songs, as well as American jazz standards.

Her new CD is called ‘Briza’, which is a small cluster of vegetal hearts attached along the stem, eager to surrender to the wind. At the same time, subtle music is playing and Madalena hears those notes coming from afar.

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Anders Holst – Endlessly

EndlesslyMany years ago I became acquainted with the Swedish singer-songwriter Anders Holst, who lives in New York. His debut EP ‘Five’ was released in 2005, and he soon gained a name in smooth jazz circles.

Now, after a long absence, he returns with a new album, and once again love takes center stage. That album was produced by Grammy Award winner Gordon Chambers, with string arrangements, and supported by a live band featuring keyboardist Shedrick Mitchell, guitarist Sherrod Barnes, and saxophonists Peck Almond & Andreas “Pastorn” Andersson.

Opener ‘All I Do’ is a soulful tribute to Stevie Wonder, followed by the ballad ‘Come As You Are’. The late George Michael’s “Cowboys and Angels” is one of my all-time favorite tracks, and Anders turns it into a soul/jazz duet with Sy Smith.

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The Wax Birds – Slow Rise

a0023301253_16The Wax Birds consisting of Jo and Pete Green, moved out to NZ from the UK in 2016. Having spent more than half of their lives playing in various bands and outfits, it took the 2020 Covid lockdown to finally bring their own music to life, resulting in their debut album “Slow Rise”, consisting of 9 original songs, released in Nov 2020.

In Dec/Jan 2020/21 they spent the Summer touring the North Island of NZ. They are currently working on new material, focusing on a stripped back Acoustic sound. The duo comments: “All songs written and recorded from our tiny house on wheels, in the middle of nowhere, where it’s ALWAYS windy, in New Zealand.”

Being a predominantly acoustic duo, all tracks have acoustic undertones with everything else acting as a playground around it. Lyrically, the album is a cross section of love, life and liquor

The album is available on Bandcamp.

Elena Maque – Feel Again

Elena Maque - CD CoverWhen an outstanding talent, an extraordinary voice and an engaging exterior enter into a glorious fusion, it is time to point out this exceptional entity. Russian born vocalist and saxophonist Elena Maque has honed her polished skills in Russia, Europe and America.

Her debut album Feel Again was born out of a collaboration with Los Angeles-based legendary keyboardist and producer Scott Kinsey. The recordings were made in Seattle and Los Angeles. Among them are established session players such as drummer Gary Novak, bass players Hadrien Feraud and Logan Kane, saxophonist Alexey Nikolaev and guitarist Leonardo Amuedo.

The starting track Hey Friend rises all triggers. Trenchantly to the point, Elena gets her message across with an incredible timbre. She skillfully adapts the vocal style of earlier jazz female vocalists such as Billie Holiday. Scott Kinsey on Rhodes and Alexey on sax give the whole thing a perfect setting.

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Elena Maque – Feel Again

Elena Maque - CD CoverVocalist, composer and saxophonist Elena Maque was born in St. Petersburg, Russia. A university-trained musician, Maque has spent years honing her craft and wowing audiences throughout Russia, Europe, and the United States. Her ability to cross-pollinate jazz with funk and pop has been a magnet for fans globally. As a result, it is not unusual to find a guest DJ scratching beats as Maque spices an up-tempo swing tune with sophistication while honoring the jazz vernacular in her execution.

Maque was already an established musician upon graduating from Mussorgsky College of Music in St. Petersburg, Russia. For a few years, she toured Russia and Europe with jazz Big Band led by Gennady Golshtein, “Saxophones of St. Petersburg.” This foundation gave her a strong focal point of style that illuminates her writing and informs her playing.

After moving to the U.S., Maque began collaborating with various musicians and bands throughout Seattle. She formed the Elena Maque Quartet, garnering enthusiastic fans and ample work in the Northwest. In 2017, Elena and D’Vonne Lewis started SoulCanvas, – an art project that featured and promoted talented artists in the Northwest. Their desire was to create a platform where various musicians, dancers, artists, poets could present one of their original pieces in the context of SoulCanvas vision and style. Every few months, SoulCanvas puts up social events that feature Seattle’s finest performers and gather all kinds of art lovers to celebrate beauty and creativity. This same boundless creativity can be found in her transformative music. Continue reading

Tracey Eileen – It’s Time

Chicago born R&B/jazz singer Tracey Eileen is since eleven years in the music business and developed from a local player to an internationally known soul/R&B artist. Starting with her debut album Love’s Journey in 2012 she arrived to her second album Why Did I Say Yes (2018). Her third project is the EP It’s Time, which appears delayed by the pandemic in June 12, 2020.

Opener of the album is the single Somehow Someway, which like most of her songs deals with interpersonal relationships and also contains biographical elements. The song was produced by Kendall Duffie (Cloud 9), who also performs synthesizer, drum programming and synth bass on it.

Now That We’re Here is also a commitment to togetherness. Donald Hayes underlines the tenderness in Tracey’s voice on saxophone. Sweeter With Time is a love ballad which focuses on the growth of love in a community. The special feature of Tracey’s performance is not only her voice but also the ingenious use of her vocals in the arrangement, for which she constantly finds new approaches.

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Karl Sterling – Dream

This album serves a good cause. Ninety % of album proceeds are going to fund the much needed Parkinson’s education and research. Karl Sterling is a neuro rehabilitation specialist based in Syracuse, New York, and is the creator of the Parkinson’s Regeneration Training® education program.

Originally working as drummer he gathered a large number of musicians around him to finance his charitable project with this album. On Dream (2020) are playing Jimmy Haslip (bass and producer), Scott Kinsey (keyboards and producer), Jeff Richman (guitar and producer) Peter Erskine, Gary Novak, Karl Sterling, Archibald Ligonierre, Gergo Borlai (drums), Mer Sal Coomes, Jimmy Keegan, Carolyn Samuelson (vocals), Brandon Fields (alto sax), Bob Reynolds (tenor sax), Naina Kundu (bass and vocals) and Nir Felder (guitar).

The band has carefully chosen popular songs, which have passed the test of time. The album is opened with Here to Love You, originally a song from the album Minute by Minute (1978) by the American Rock band The Doobie Brothers. With the vocalist Mer Sal Coomes the band ignites a firework of creativity.

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