Jazz and Bossa Radio

Jazz and Bossa Radio
Jazz and Bossa Radio

lunes, 24 de mayo de 2010

CD Review: Kere Buchanan - Starting Over

Featured Artist: Kere Buchanan

CD Cover

CD Title: Starting Over

Year: 2010

Record Label: Independent

Style: Other

Musicians: Steve Clisby, Michelle Martinez, Glenn Bidmead, Kimi Tupaea, Geoff Robertson (vocals), Bill Risby (organ, piano, keyboards), Alexander Hewetson (bass), James Muller (electric guitar), Chris Kamzelas (electric guitar), Tony azzopardi (percussion), Kere Buchanan (drums, keyboards, vocals), Leon Gaer (bass), Angus Gomm, Stewart Kirwan (flugelhorns, trumpet), Brendan St. Ledger (organ), John Bettison (electric guitars, vocals), Sarina Jennings (vocals), Anthony Kable (trombone), Andy Bickers (saxophone), Craig Walters (saxophone)

Review: Kere Buchanan received a little help from a lot of good musicians, but Starting over is definitely his project. Kere is not only the producer, but he also wrote or co-wrote most of the songs on this album. Additionally he plays drums, keyboards and does backing vocals.

The first song, Never be another next time, starts with powerful licks by Chris Kamzelas on electric guitar. Bass and guitar provides a nice groove to this is a song, a little bit alternative with touches of southern rock.

Some of the songs like Love’s Stronger, Starting Over and the instrumental Hymn for Anders have kind of a modern jazz influence, similar to groups like Fourplay. But most of the music on this album takes me back to 70’s and 80’s, like the soul, disco music feeling of Waiting for Love. The music arrangement, the sound of the Hammond organ and even Glenn Bidmead voice tone on the tracks Heartbreaker and Through the tears, reminds me of one of my favorite groups from the 80’s, Foreigner.

There is a lot of singers on this album, everyone matched perfectly with each song. Glenn sings the rock songs, Steve Clisby deep voice provide the soul to the songs, Love's stronger and Trust. Geoff Robertson sings in the title track of the album, Starting Over. But my favorite, maybe because of my preference for female singers, is Michelle Martinez. She has a beautiful voice with lot of feeling and nice phrasing. Michelle sings in Waiting for Love and on one of the jazzier track, Easy does it.

Kere Buchanan Starting Over is a CD with good songs in a diversity of styles.

Tracks: Never be another next time, More than you know, Waiting for love, Heartbreaker, Love's stronger, Starting Over, Trust, Easy does it, Through the tears, Prelude, Hymn for Anders

Artist's Website: http://www.kerebuchanan.com

Reviewed by: Wilbert Sostre

miércoles, 19 de mayo de 2010

CD Review: Antonio Adolfo & Carol Saboya - Lá e cá

Featured Artist: Antonio Adolfo & Carol Saboya

CD Cover

CD Title: Here and There

Year: 2010

Record Label: Antonio Adolfo Music

Style: Brazilian Jazz / Brazilian Pop Jazz

Musicians: Antonio Adolfo (piano), Carol Saboya (vocals), Leo Amuedo (guitar), Jorge Helder (bass), Rafael Barata (drums), Sergio Trombone (trombone)

Review: The interaction of Brazilian music and Jazz was a perfect marriage since the beginning. The jazz influence was essential on the musicians that created Bossa Nova in the late 50’s. And when jazz musicians first heard Bossa Nova, they fell in love instantly. Brazilian pianist Antonio Adolfo was one of those young musicians deeply influenced by both, jazz and of course the music from his native Brasil.

On his new album, Lá e cá, Antonio continues this long interactive history between Jazz and Brazilian music. On his CD notes Antonio says, “Lá e cá showcases our Brazilian phrasing, as we interpreted tunes from the American Songbook and Brazilian songs”. That is exactly what he did, Lá e cá is collection of Jazz classics and Brazilian songs beautifully played by Antonio and a group of amazing musicians, including his daughter, singer Carol Saboya.

Antonio music selection could not have been better, four Cole Porter tunes, Easy to Love, So in Love, Night and Day and Every time we say goodbye, three songs from one of the fathers of Bossa, Tom Jobim, Sabia, Garoto and Nuvens Douradas and three of Antonio Adolfo compositions, Cascavel, Minor Chord and Toada Jazz.

The samba arrangements of A Night in Tunisia and Easy to Love and the Bossa feeling of Time after time are fantastic and show the affinity of Jazz and Brazilian music. Antonio piano phrasing is elegant and rich melodically, interesting in the use of harmonies and always with that touch of Brasil flavor.

On this album Carol sings in five tracks, one in portuguese, Sabia, and the others in English. Carol Saboya heavenly, crystal clear voice is perfect for the slow romantic songs All the things you are, Time after time and So in love. Listening to her wonderful phrasing on these tracks and on Gillespie A Night in Tunisia, you would not believe this is the first time she records American standards. Her version of Sabia is sublime, one of the best I have heard of this Jobim classic.

I fell in love with Carol Saboya voice when I heard Janelas Abertas her 1999 album with guitarist Nelson Faria. I did not know Antonio Adolfo was Carol Saboya father, until I heard Antonio and Carol 2007 album Ao Vivo. Today I am a fan of both of them. Just listen to Lá e cá and you will be a fan too.

Tracks: Cascavel, All the things you are, Minor chord, A night in Tunisia, Time after time, Easy to Love, Sabia, Lullaby of Birdland/Garoto, So in love, Round Midnight, Every time we say goodbye/Nuvens Douradas, Toada Jazz/Night and Day

Artist's Website: http://www.antonioadolfo.com.br

Reviewed by: Wilbert Sostre

lunes, 17 de mayo de 2010

CD Review: Nu-Drop

Featured Artist: Nu Drop

CD cover 3 CD Title: Nu Drop

Year: 2010

Record Label: Music Center

Style: Various Jazz Styles

Musicians: Lia Invernizzi (vocals), Piera Quirico (guitar), Silvia Cucchi (piano), Claudia Natili (bass), Barbara D'Alessio (drums), Max De Aloe (harmonica), Alfredo Ponissi (flute, tenor sax), Claudi Allifranchini (soprano sax, alto sax)

Review: The history of Jazz music is full of great female musicians. But rarely you will have the opportunity to listen to an all female jazz band.

Nu Drop is an all female jazz band. True, they got a little help from some male musicians friends, Max De Aloe on harmonica, Alfredo Ponissi on flute and tenor sax, and Claudio Allifranchini on soprano and alto sax. But the rhythm section, the essence of a jazz band, it is all women. Piera Quirico on guitars, Claudia Natili on bass, Silvia Cucchi on piano, Barbara D’Alessio on drums and singer Lia Invernizzi.

Lia is an excellent singer with a powerful, versatile voice. Her style is strongly influenced by Bebop but she can sing the blues too. On tracks like Camel’s Blues and A shadow of solitude there is a touch of Broadway on her phrasing and her scats are fabulous on The day of your return, How Sarah Thrills and Who’s crying for the man. But that’s not all, Lia is also a great composer, she wrote or co-wrote eight of the songs on this album, including the interesting changes in tempo on the tracks Who’s crying for the man, Love is over matter, You did you don’t and the french song Le Port de Beaulieu.

The amazing playing of bassist Claudia Natili and drummer Barbara D’Alessio keep the band swinging. Piera rhythmic guitar and Silvia subtle piano playing provides the harmonic background to most of the sax, flute and harmonica solos, but on tracks like The day of your return and How Sarah thrills they have the chance to show their abilities as improvisers. Listen to Piera and Silvia graceful solos on the bossa Sohraia.

If you think only men can play jazz, listen to Nu Drop, these Italian ladies can really play and swing.

Tracks: Black moon, Camel's Blues, A shadow of solitude, How Sarah Thrills, Le Port de Beaulieu, The day of your return, Sohraia, Who's crying for the man, Love is over matter, You did you don't, Nothing by chance

Reviewed by: Wilbert Sostre

John Stein & Ron Gill - Turn up the quiet

Featured Artist: John Stein & Ron Gill

CD Cover
CD Title: Turn up the quiet

Year: 2009

Record Label: whaling city sound

Style: Jazz Vocals

Musicians: John Stein (guitar), Ron Gill (vocals), Gilad Barkan (piano)

Review: Turn up the quiet is a collection of romantic songs beautifully interpreted by guitarrist John Stein and vocalist Ron Gill. The subtlety of John guitar playing provides the perfect background to Ron sensitive interpretations. There is also a coolness in Ron Gill phrasing reminiscent of singers like Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett.

On half of the songs of this album is just Ron Gill on vocals and John Stein on guitars. This fact, along with the romantic songs selection gives the album an intimate feeling. John has the task of playing the harmonies, keep the tempo and fill the spaces between Ron Gill vocals. On Weaver of dreams, Our love will see us through, and So this is love Ron and John manage to swing with just voice and guitar.

On Detour Ahead, Something in your smile, Gentle Rain and Wonder why, John switch to the bass and Gilad Barkan plays the piano, creating a trio. John now keeps the swinging groove on bass and Gilad plays some nice piano solos on My flaming heart and Wonder why.

This is an album dedicated to love and romance. A line from one of the songs sum up the feeling of this CD, “turn up the quiet, love wants to dance”.

Tracks: A weaver of dreams, Be my all, Detour ahead, My flaming heart, Love Dance, Our love will see us through, If it's magic/Too shy to say, Something in your smile/I'll be easy to find, So this is love, In a sentimental mood, Gentle Rain, My foolish heart, When I fall in love, Wonder why

Artist's Website: http://www.whalingcitysound.com

Listen or Buy:

Reviewed by: Wilbert Sostre

jueves, 13 de mayo de 2010

CD Review: Ligia Saavedra - Além dos Muros

Featured Artist: Ligia Saavedra

CD Title: Além dos Muros

Year: 2010

Record Label: Independent

Style: Brazilian Jazz / Brazilian Pop Jazz

Musicians: Ligia Saavedra (vocals), Betinho Taynara (bass), Bruno Mendes (percussion), Pedrinho Cavaleiro (vocals), Alcyr Guimaraes (vocals), Jeremias Progenio (vocals), Tatyana Araujo (vocals), Ruth Silva (vocals), Lenilson Albuquerque (piano), Andre do Cavaco (banjo), Harley Bichara (sax), Ziza Padilha (guitar)

Review: Brasil music scene is so rich and diverse in rhythms and talented musicians it is impossible to know them or hear them all. Ligia Saavedra is one of those good but not so famous brazilian artists. Ligia is a wonderful singer following in the tradition of so many greats female brazilian singers. Even her phrasing on No balanco no mar is reminiscent of the great Elis Regina.

Ligia always soulful voice takes us through a musical journey of sambas, bossas and other rhythms from Brasil. In some tracks like Alem dos muros, Tuas maos, Alem do olhar and Cristais de Saudade, dedicated to her son, Ligia shows us her soft, tender side with beautiful, heartfelt interpretations. Her festive side shines on the danceable tracks, Tem do, Cabano, Guajara and Cobra Grande.

Every musician does an amazing job on this album, especially the rhythm section of Betinho Taynara on bass and Bruno Mendes on percussion, but some deserve a special mention. Pedrinho Cavaleiro and Alcyr Guimaraes duos with Ligia on Alem dos muros and Tem do. Jeremias Progenio, Pedrinho Cavaleiro, Tatyana Araujo and Ruth Silva fantastic vocal harmonies on Vento, Cobra Grande and No balance do mar. The excellent piano playing of Lenilson Albuquerque on Alem do Olhar, No balance do mar and Cristais de Saudade. The folksy banjo of Andre do Cavaco and the jazzy sax of Harley Bichara on Guajara and Cobra Grande, and the classy guitar of Ziza Padilha on Alem dos muros.

Tracks: Além dos Muros, Vento, Me Permitto, Tem Do, Tuas Maos, Cabano, Guajara, Além do Olhar, Cobra Grande, No Balanço do Mar, Cristais de Saudade

Reviewed by: Wilbert Sostre

CD Review: Larry Franco - 3 for Nat

Featured Artist: Larry Franco

CD Cover - Link to Artist's Site CD Title: 3 for Nat

Year: 2009

Record Label: Philology

Style: Straight-Ahead / Classic

Musicians: Larry Franco (vocals), Guido Di Leone (guitar), Ilario De Marinis (bass)

Review: Larry Franco 3 for Nat is a tribute to one of the best jazz singers, the great Nat King Cole. Before he was a famous ballad singer, Nat led one of best jazz trios and recorded songs like Route 66 and Straighten up and fly right, that later became jazz classics.

This CD was recorded live, so if you don’t mind the people clapping you will enjoy great interpretations of some of the best Nat King Cole songs. This is a drumless trio, just like the Nat King Cole Trio, Larry Franco on piano and vocals, Guido Di Leone on guitar, Ilario De Marinis on bass.

Ilario have the responsibility of keeping the swinging groove but also improvise some good bass solos on I’ve got the world on a string and Route 66. Larry soft touch and elegant phrasing both on piano and vocals goes along perfectly with Guido instinctive, flawless improvisations on guitar.

These guys are from Italy, so even though Larry sings most of the songs in English, there are some songs with Italian lyrics on this album, like Capuccina Permettete Signorina, Four Brothers and Nat King Cole. Four Brothers includes fabulous scats by Larry Franco and Nat King Cole lyrics are of course an homage to the gentle man himself. 3 for Nat also includes classy versions of Sweet Lorraine, It’s only paper moon, Straighten up and fly right, I’m in the mood for love and Charlie Parker Yardbird Suite.

Tracks: I've got the world on a string, Route 66, Nat King Cole, Capuccina Permettete Signorina, Sweet Lorraine, Four Brothers, It's only paper moon, Yardbird Suite, I'm in the mood for love, Straighten up and fly right, Orange colored sky, Unforgettable

Artist's Website: http://www.larryfranco.it/

Reviewed by: Wilbert Sostre

CD Review of Larry Franco - A crooner in the land of Dixie Jazz Society

Featured Artist: Larry Franco

CD Cover - Link to Artist's Site CD Title: A crooner in the Land of Dixie Jazz Society

Year: 2008

Record Label: Philology

Style: Traditional / New Orleans

Musicians: Larry Franco (vocals), Michael Supnick (trumpet, trombone), Bepi D’Amato (clarinet), Michele Carrabba (tenor sax), Renzo Bagorda (banjo), Ilario De Marinis (bass), Enzo Lanzo (drums), Giacomo Desiante (accordion)

Review: Crooner is a singer that sings popular songs in a soft, sentimental manner. On Larry Franco other projects like his album 3 for Nat, one might call him a crooner, but on this CD Larry leads a group of fantastic musicians through an album full of energetic and fun music, Dixieland music. These guys can really swing and their amazing improvisations will remind you of jazz pioneers like Sidney Bechet and Louis Armstrong.

Dixieland Jazz was one of the earlier jazz styles played in New Orleans. It is rare to hear this kind of music even on jazz radio stations, unless you live in New Orleans. In fact, listening to this album you’ll swear this is a New Orleans band. All the characteristics that distinguish Dixieland jazz are there. The clarinet playing those high notes counter melodies dancing around the trumpet melody, the trombone playing the long notes, the breaks and stops and the polyphonic collective improvisations.

However, what makes this album unique is the fact that the musicians are Italians. Larry Franco on vocals, Michael Supnick on trumpet and trombone, Bepi D’Amato on clarinet, Michele Carrabba on tenor sax, Renzo Bagorda on banjo, Ilario De Marinis on bass, Enzo Lanzo on drums and Giacomo Desiante on accordion. But that is not all, most of the lyrics are written in Italian. So here's an chance to listen to good classic jazz music and learn a new language.

Tracks: Non Sparate Sul Pianista, Caro Natalino, Oh Baby Kiss Me, Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans, In Cerca Di Te, Marilu, China Boy, Boccuccia Di Rosa, Permettete Signorina, Ho Un Sassolino Nella Scarpa, The Sheik of Araby

Artist's Website: http://www.larryfranco.eu/

Reviewed by: Wilbert Sostre

martes, 4 de mayo de 2010

CD Review: Giampaolo Ascolese - Le it Be...atles

Featured Artist: Giampaolo Ascolese

CD Title: Le it Be...atles

Year: 2009

Record Label: Lake Records

Style: Various Jazz Styles

Musicians: Giampaolo Ascolese (drums, vibraphone, marimba, percussion, vibes, xylophone, glockenspiel), Gerardo Iacoucci (piano, accordion), Elio Tatti (bass), Filiberto Palermini (alto sax, soprano sax), Rodolfo Rossi (marimba, glockenspiel, xylophone, steel drums, tubular bells, percussion), Vittorio Iue (piano), Roberto Forlini (drums), Rino Vernizzi (bassoon), Michele Ascolese (guitar)

Review: Let it Be...atles is an interesting CD and DVD homage to the legendary British group The Beatles. Part of what makes this project different to other homages is the reproduction through paintings by artist Marie Reine Levrat of some of the classic Beatles songs. These paintings are included in the booklet and the DVD. For some of the songs, there are a number of drawings that describe each verse. The DVD also includes interviews and live performances.

The CD contains some of the Beatles classics played wonderfully by Giampaolo Ascolese and his group. What distinguish this CD from others, is the arrangements and the unusual instruments chosen for each song.

Giampaolo play vibraphone on For no one, I feel fine, Strawberry fields, And your bird can sing, Martha my dear, Within you Without you, Tomorrow never knows, Here comes the sun and When I'm sixty four. In almost every track Elio Tati played an acoustic instead of an electric bass, giving the songs a more jazzy feeling.

Rodolfo Rossi and Giampaolo Ascolese even play the marimba on And I love her, Eleanor Rigby, Here comes the sun and When I'm sixty four. The lovely sound of the bassoon played by Rino Vernizzi carries the melody on Don't pass me by, Yellow Submarine and Octopus's Garden. But is Filiberto Palermini who does an amazing job playing almost all the song melodies either on alto or soprano sax.

Giampaolo Ascolese, Gerardo Iacoucci, and Rino Vernizzi did most of the arrangements. Some of the arrangements had more of a classical feel and some feel like jazz, with more room for improvisations. A wonderful project for either Beatles and Jazz fans.

Tracks: For no one, And I love her, I feel fine, Strawberry fields forever, Day Tripper, And your bird can sing, Martha my dear, Blackbird, Don't pass me by, Within you without you, Eleanor Rigby, Yellow Submarine, Tomorrow never comes, Here comes the sun, When I'm sixty four, Let it be, Octopus's Garden, Yellow Submarine 2

Artist's Website: http://www.giampaoloascolese.com

Reviewed by: Wilbert Sostre