Jazz and Bossa Radio

Jazz and Bossa Radio
Jazz and Bossa Radio

domingo, 27 de junio de 2010

CD Review: Ellen Honert - Hummingville

Featured Artist: Ellen Honert

CD Title: Hummingville

Year: 2010

Record Label: Mill Station Records

Style: Jazz Vocals

Musicians: Ellen Honert (vocals), Frank Martin (piano and hammond organ), Jose Neto (guitar), Pedro Eustache (flute), John Peña (bass), Alex Acuña (drums and percussion).

Review: When a vocalist surround herself with quality musicians like pianist Frank Martin, guitarist José Neto, flutist Pedro Eustache, bassist John Peña and drummer, percussionist extraordinaire Alex Acuña, you got the feeling she must be good. And Ellen Honert is really good. Hummingville, the second album from this Netherlands native is a collection of good songs and amazing musicians.

Honert fine vocals and elegant phrasing captivates you from the first track, the samba like, Hummingville, A Honert delightful original song about the excitement of falling in love. The music style of Storylines, another Ellen original, is reminiscent of the jazz influenced singer, Basia.

Ellen wrote four additional songs on this CD, Restless, Tall Trees, the French lyrics of Le Phare and Two Steps, a track with a reggae groove, showing her versatility as a composer. Frank Martin classy piano intro in the song Life Talks leads to one of Ellen most heartfelt interpretations.

Hummingville includes also a nice version of Sting I was brought to my senses and a lovely interpretation of Chiara Civello Here is everything. But is on Milton Nascimento Bridges where Ellen shows her vocal range moving with ease between those high and low notes.

Tracks: Hummingville, I Was Brought To My Senses, Storylines, Intro Life Talks, Life Talks,Here is Everything, Restless, Bridges, Intro Le Phare, Le Phare, Two Steps, Some Time Ago, Tall Trees.

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

Reviewed by: Wilbert Sostre

CD Review: Jennifer Zarine - Fresh Made Cuppa Tea

Featured Artist: Jennifer Zarine

CD Title: Fresh Made Cuppa Tea

Year: 2010

Record Label: Independent

Style: Jazz Vocals

Musicians: Jennifer Zarine (vocals), Ben Gallina (bass), Brady Miller (drums), Eric Lindberg (guitar), Eric Stephenson (cello), Josh Rutner (sax), Red Wierenga (piano, accordion)

Review: With the first notes of the first track Orange Colored Sky, you got the feeling that Fresh made cuppa tea, the new album from singer Jennifer Zarine, is going to be a fun ride. Fresh made cuppa tea is a delightful mix of Jazz standards with jazzy arrangements of Rock classics.

Jennifer Zarine vocals are playful, sexy and funny but always sincere. No doubt she enjoyed working on this album. The funny lyrics and folksy arrangements of The Kinks' Have a Cuppa Tea and the playful vocals on the French song, Boum will surely bring a smile to your face.

There is something for everyone on Fresh made cuppa tea. The swinging, vintage Jazz sounds of Orange Colored Sky. The beautiful, heartfelt vocals and classy phrasing of Something Cool, You’re my thrill, Smiles, Bye bye baby and That’s all. The entertaining version of The way you do the things you do and the cool, modern jazz arrangements of the Rolling Stones Paint it Black.

But besides being a wonderful singer, Jennifer is also a good songwriter. Listen to the enchanting music and vocals of Sleep, a lovely song that feel almost like a lullaby. Jennifer Zarine voice and music is definitely cool and fresh just like a fresh made cup of tea.

Tracks: Orange Colored Sky, The Way You Do The Things You Do, Something Cool, Have a Cuppa Tea, You're My Thrill, I need you to turn to, Boum, Paint it Black, Smile/I'm all smiles, Sleep, Bye bye baby, That's all

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

Listen or Buy:

Reviewed by: Wilbert Sostre

viernes, 25 de junio de 2010

CD Review: Carol Morgan Trio - Opening

Featured Artist: Carol Morgan Trio

CD Cover
CD Title: Opening

Year: 2010

Record Label: Blue Bamboo Music

Style: BeBop / Hard Bop

Musicians: Carol Morgan (trumpet), Harvie S (bass), Rich DeRosa (drums), Woody Witt (sax)

Review: Carol Morgan is a fabulous trumpet player with great tone and technique. She is also a composer, author and college professor. A Julliard graduate, Carol discography includes two CDs as a leader, Classic Morgana and Passing Time with the Carol Morgan Quintet. On this album Carol leads his own trio, featuring bassist Harvie S and drummer Rich DeRosa.

The first track, Opening Line is a Carol original composition in a Bebop style with impressive fast runs on trumpet. Carol shows her nice tone on Horace Silver Nica’s Dream a piece that feels like a bolero, but then changes into a swinging tempo. Bud Powell's Celia is another Bebop style piece that takes you back to the Bird and Dizzy era. Carol, Harvie and Rich swing hard on this one.

Dark Continent is an original by drummer Rich DeRosa with a nice groove a la Afro Blue and good harmonies on trumpet with special guest Woody Witt on sax. Like someone in love is a ballad played beautifully by Carol. There are similarities in tone and phrasing with Miles Davis on these slow pieces. But then again which trumpet player has not been influenced by Miles?

Kenny Dorham Prince Albert is another swinging track with the best bass solo by Harvie S. Carol. Woody exchange some nice improvisations with Carol and both play good harmonies on Harvie original Sizzle. Rich DeRosa Calypso Blue ends up this wonderful CD with a combination of Calypso rhythms and bebop melodies.

Tracks: Opening Line, Nica's Dream, Celia, Dark Continent, Like Someone in Love, Prince Albert, Sizzle, Calypso Blue

Record Label Website: http://www.bluebamboomusic.com

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

Reviewed by: Wilbert Sostre

CD Review: Fred Fried -Core 3.0

Featured Artist: Fred Fried

CD Cover
Title: Core 3.0

Year: 2010

Record Label: Ballet Tree Jazz Productions

Style: Contemporary Jazz

Musicians: Fred Fried (guitar), Michael Lavoie (bass), Miki Matsuki (drums)

Review: On his new album Core 3.0, Fred Fried take full advantage, harmonically and melodically of his new custom 8-string guitar. This guitar has a low A string below the low E and a high A string above the high E. These additional strings enable Fred “to produce chord voicings on the high end without sacrificing the bass”.

Jazz is improvised music so even though all compositions are by Fred Fried, all three musicians contribute equally to the wonderful music on this album. Miki Matsuki on drums and Michael Lavoie on bass provide a solid rhythm background to Fred Fried compositions and piano like phrasing.

Some of the music on Core 3.0 has a strong Bebop influence, including Leanne’s Number, a piece with interesting changes in tempo and powerful bass playing by Michael Lavoie. The track Henry reminds me harmonically and melodically of Coltrane My Favorite Things.

The ballad Mycha’s Labyrinth starts with beautiful arpeggios on guitar followed by good melodic improvisations. On Cloud Dancer the intro sounds like a lullaby and then change into a nice swinging groove. Michael Lavoie plays the main melody and also plays the first solo on the track Melody Four, another swinging piece with Fred exchanging improvisations with Miki Matsuki on drums.

A brazilian influence may be heard on Weather Changes with a cool Bossa feeling and April’s March reminiscent of Jobim classic Chovendo na Roseira. For these amazing musicians the composition is the most important thing and it surely shows all through this album.

Tracks: Leanne's Number, Henry, Mischa's Labyrinth, Cloud Dancer, Melody Four, Sadie, Weather Changes, April's March, The things you do

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

Listen or Buy:

Reviewed by: Wilbert Sostre

jueves, 10 de junio de 2010

CD Review: The Odd Get Even

Featured Artist: The Odd Get Even

CD Title: The Odd Get Even

Year: 2009

Record Label: Independent

Style: Fusion

Musicians: Bill Ray (drums), Bill Cornish (keyboards, percussion), Christopher Michael Hale (bass), Anthony Sarain

Review: The Odd Get Even The Odd Get Even is a Funk/Jazz fusion collaboration between keyboardist, composer Bill Cornish and drummer Bill Ray.

The album starts with a funky track, an energetic keyboard playing by Bill Cornish and Christopher Michael Hale playing bass. On Kinetics the keyboard sound like an electric guitar and the music dance groove is reminiscent of the disco era.

On Eccentric Circles the violin sounds on keyboard is backed up with funk rhythms on drums. The track slow down with beautiful piano melodies and then goes back to the violin main theme. The keyboard sound effects on Tibetan Boogaloo are reminiscent of Tibetan Chants in a sort of psychedelic way.

Life of Leisure is a reggae with nice jazz, bluesy keyboard solos by Bill. Attention Deficit brings us back to the Rock/Jazz fusion of the 70’s with an Egyptian feel in the melodies. Anthony Sarain on sax plays the main melodies in the soul, bluesy track, Down Home. The xylophone effects on the track On the Run gives the sensation of being on a trip.

Iconoclast is another reggae with more xylophones effects on keyboards. Precipice is a gorgeous solo piano piece that proves Cornish can play slow and sensitive melodies. The last track is Psychlone, another fusion with an almost mystical feel.

Tracks: Esperanto, Kinetics, Eccentric Circles, Tibetan Boogaloo, Life of Leisure, Attention Deficit, Down Home, On the run, Iconoclast, Precipice, Psychlone

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

Reviewed by: Wilbert Sostre