Jazz and Bossa Radio

Jazz and Bossa Radio
Jazz and Bossa Radio

miércoles, 28 de julio de 2010

CD Review: Kathryn Smith - With Every Breath I Take

Featured Artist: Smith Kathryn

CD Title: With every breath I take

Year: 2010

Record Label: Independent

Style: Jazz Vocals

Musicians: Kathryn Smith (vocals), Brian Conigliaro (guitar, harmonica, mandolin), Michael Goetz (bass), Dave Samuels (vibraphone), Ron Vincent (percussion), Ed Xiques (saxophone)

Review: With every breath I take is the debut CD from singer Kathryn Smith. But this album is not just another collection of jazz standards. Kathryn unique phrasing brings a new fresh sound to some of the American Songbook classics.

At first I could not identify what was so unique and different about Kathryn phrasing, until I read her CD notes. Kathryn toured England and Ireland for some time, and there is a touch of Irish accent in the way she sings. One may also hear that Irish folksy influence on the enchanting, lovely version of Joni Mitchell Urge for going.

Besides that European experience, Kathryn also studied theater and it shows on her clear voice and phrasing on the track So many stars, recorded with only voice and guitar and in the classic You go to my head.

The band swings on Hoagy Carmichael I get along you very well and the track My attorney Bernie provides the fun side to this CD with samba rhythms and the sexy but always classy Kathryn vocals.

A wonderful, elegant intro by Dave Samuels on the vibraphone takes you into For now (Time to strut), a swinging tune written by guitarist Brian Conigliaro. Guitar and vibraphone provide the perfect background to Kathryn delightful vocals on the slow arrangement of Ellington jazz standard Squeeze me.

Nothing beats the memories is another original by Brian, this time a nice Bossa. Kathryn shows her vocal range on this one with the elegance required for this music style, featuring Ed Xiques on sax providing the romantic mood. The album close in a relaxing mood with the beautiful title track, With every breath I take.

Tracks: So many stars, I get along without you very well, You go to my head, For now (Time to strut), Will you still love me tomorrow, My attorney Bernie, Urge for going, Squeeze me, Little white lies, Nothing beats the memories, With every breath I take

Reviewed by: Wilbert Sostre

CD Review: Dave Anderson and Mike Wingo - Coversations

Featured Artist: Dave Anderson & Mike Wingo

CD Title: Conversations

Year: 2010

Record Label: Independent

Style: Straight-Ahead / Classic

Musicians: Dave Anderson (piano), Mike Wingo (percussion)

Review: Dave Anderson new album Conversations is a collection of jazz standards and some originals arrange for a duo of piano and percussion. I only remember another album recorded with this format, Michel Camilo and Giovanni Hidalgo Hands of Rhythm. This duo setting gives the pianist more space and freedom to play.

The percussion played by Mike Wingo on the first track, It might as well be spring sounds like a tap dancer, dancing to Dave piano playing and Dave style reminds me at times of the great pianist Bob James.

Dave cascades of melodies feels like raindrops on Gentle Rain one of the most beautiful songs by Bossa Nova pioneer, Luiz Bonfa. Dave gets you in a romantic mood with the lovely version of I’ve grown accustomed to her face and his nice harmonic and melodic arrangement puts a more upbeat, positive twist to Autumn Leaves.

La Fiesta is one of those Chick Corea compositions with a clear Spain influence. This is a piece that sounds great on this piano/percussion duo format. Well played by Mike and Dave capturing that flamenco feeling.

In a sentimental mood is maybe my favorite Ellington composition and Dave beautifully played version is one of the best I’ve heard.

This album also includes some of Dave originals like Song of you, with nice tempo and intensity changes, the beautiful ballad Sunrise and the classical feel of Light of darkness and Spring is here.

Conversations ends up with a wonderful version of Tom Jobim If you never come to me (Inutil Paisagem).

Tracks: It might as well be spring, Gentle Rain, I’ve grown accustomed to her face, Lucky Southern, Song of you, Autumn Leaves, Spring is here, La Fiesta, Sunrise, In a sentimental mood, Light of darkness, If you never come to me

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

Reviewed by: Wilbert Sostre

CD Review: Chris Graham Trio - After Birth of Cool

Featured Artist: Chris Graham Trio

CD Title: After Birth of Cool

Year: 2010

Record Label: Independent

Style: Straight-Ahead / Classic

Musicians: Chris Graham (vibraphone), Alex Austin (bass), Oliver Hunt (drums)

Review: The vibraphone is not the first instrument people think about when talking about Jazz music. But the history of jazz is full with great vibraphonists, legends like Lionel Hampton and Milt Jackson. More recently musicians like Gary Burton and Dave Samuels. And in latin jazz, of course, Cal Tjader and Tito Puente.

Chris Graham is a young vibraphonist following in the steps of those great musicians. Chris has developed a technique where he grips five mallets, creating music rich in harmonies and interesting melodies.

Chris melodies and improvisations are always elegant like in the first track 471 LB. Little Girl or Salt ‘n Ice, a piece that starts with a cool, calm mood before moving into full swing. Alex Austin on bass and Oliver Hunt on drums provide the rhythmic energy to Chris flawless, graceful melodies, especially in the tracks Punchin Trout, Sirabhorn, Our Time and Icarus.

The music on this CD varies from the more traditional swinging of the track 1957, a piece reminiscent of the Modern Jazz Quartet, to the modern sounds of Sirabhorn. With his impressive technique and good compositions Chris Graham is for sure a true heir to carry on the tradition of the vibraphone in jazz music.

Tracks: 471 LB. Little Girl, Punchin Trout, 1957, Sirabhorn, Our Time, Icarus, Salt ‘n Ice

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

Reviewed by: Wilbert Sostre

viernes, 16 de julio de 2010

CD Review: Harvie S - Cocolamus Bridge

Featured Artist: Harvie S

CD Title: Cocolamus Bridge

Year: 2010

Record Label: Blue Bamboo Music

Style: Various Jazz Styles

Musicians: Harvie S (bass), Chris Cortez (guitar), Woody Witt (sax), Jose Miguel Yamal (piano), Joel Fulgham (drums), James Metcalfe (Percussion)

Review: Harvie S is a master bass player, composer, arranger, producer and educator. His experience includes recordings with jazz greats like Chick Corea, Anat Cohen, Mike Stern and John Scofield.

Cocolamus Bridge starts with a bass solo track. It is hard to keep the listener attention in a seven minutes piece with only bass. Harvie does just that with a very interesting arrangement of the Irish folk song Eili Gheal Chiuin. On this track Harvie shows his virtuosity, creativity and impressive technique.

Cocolamus Bridge is a fascinating melodic tune with nice harmonies by Harvie on bass and Woody Witt on sax.

Chris Cortez on guitar joins Harvie and Witt providing some cool improvisations on Courage, a fun, rhythmic, challenging tune. Harvie learning experience on Cuba comes out in the latin flavors of Coco Loco, a latin jazz with great contributions by the rhythm section, Chris on guitar, José Mangual Yamal on piano, Joel Fulgham on drums and James Metcalfe on percussion.

Night Dreamer is a bass and sax duet with Woody playing some powerful solos on sax. Chris and José Miguel play most of the melodies on To Bea, a beautiful samba dedicated to Harvie mother.

Ike (take a hike) is another latin influenced piece where you can clearly hear the “clave”, a rhythmic figure typical of Cuban music and also essential in Salsa music. Truth and Beauty gentle melodies slow downs the tempo to end this CD in a nice, relaxing mood.

Tracks: Eili Gheal Chiuin, Cocolamus Bridge, Courage, Coco Loco, Night Dreamer, To Bea, Ike (take a hike), Truth and Beauty

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

Reviewed by: Wilbert Sostre

domingo, 11 de julio de 2010

CD Review: Lawrence Lebo - Don't call her Larry

Featured Artist: Lawrence Lebo

CD Title: Don't Call Her Larry, Volume 3 American Roots

Year: 2010

Record Label: On the Air Records

Style: Jazz Vocals

Musicians: Lawrence Lebo (vocals), Denny Croy (bass), Rick Cunha (guitar), Nicholas Kirgo (guitar, dobro) Tony Mandracchia (guitar), Phil Parlapiano (accordion), Steve Mugalian (drums), Larry David (piano), Mike Acosta (sax), David Strother (violin), Craig Fundyga (vibes)

Review: Lawrence Lebo new CD is a collection of mostly original songs that takes you through the roots of American music, blues, jazz and folk. Add to that Lawrence voice tone, reminiscent of the classic blues and jazz singers. I guess that is why this album is called American Roots.

On bluesy songs like On Time, Lawrence delivers the lyrics with the right feeling and attitude. The danceable Cowboy Swinging Boogie Woogie takes the listener back to the swing era with a fun, well played arrangement and playful Lawrence vocals.

It’s not the first time is a jazz tune with a touch of Broadway on the arrangement and especially on Lawrence powerful vocals. Denny Croy bass and Lawrence voice is all that is needed to swing on this one and on the tune Was that love.

It is impressive how these new singers can move easily and convincingly between music styles. Take for example Rose Rose , a folk almost country tune, beautifully interpreted by Lawrence. Nicholas Kirgo cool dobro playing gives this tune kind of a nostalgic feel.

Lawrence’s working blues and Walking the back streets had a classic blues feeling with Phil Parlapiano joining on the accordion.

Six out of the nine wonderful songs on this album are Lebo originals, including the dreamy music and vocals on A promise that I can keep.

Tracks: On time, Cowboy Swinging Boogie Woogie, It's not the first time, Rose Rose, Lawrence's Working Blues, Was that Love, Walking the back streets, I should care, A promise that I can keep

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

Reviewed by: Wilbert Sostre

lunes, 5 de julio de 2010

CD Review: Rebecca Coupe Franks - Check the Box

Featured Artist: Rebecca Coupe Franks
CD Title: Check the box

Year: 2010

Record Label: Independent

Style: Various Jazz Styles

Musicians: Rebecca Coupe Franks (trumpet, flugelhorn, trombone, vocals, percussion), Luis Perdomo (piano, organ), Mary Ann McSweeney (bass), Richie Morales (drums), Summer Corrie (vocals)

Review: Rebecca Coupe Franks is a master trumpet player with the ability to mix different influences and create wonderful, interesting music. Exposure is one example of several tunes on this album with a clear latin flavor. Some of that latin feeling is provided by Pianist Luis Perdomo and drummer Richie Morales.

Besides playing trumpet, Rebecca shares lead vocals responsibilities with singer Summer Corrie. Rebecca sings in the latin tune Check the box with some nice “montunos” on piano by Luis Perdomo, on Next to me, a tune with nice voice/trumpet harmonies and the funky tune New & Now. Rebecca is also the singer in the blues Starting Over, so yes, she can sing and play the blues too.

Summer Corrie provide the hip hop style on Be the people and the modern vocals on Love Storm and Life has just begun, all of them with cool trumpet fills by Rebecca Coupe.

Chase is a tune with hard bop influences and one of my favorites on this album. On this track Rebecca shows her improvisational creativity and great technique. The rhythm section is fantastic on this one with Luis Perdomo on piano with his Monk like harmonies and impressive solos, Mary Ann McSweeney on bass and Richie Morales on drums.

The organ playing by Luis on the tracks Distraction and Thursday give them an almost gospel feel. Rebecca and Luis share the melodies on the intro of Mass before changing into a fast bebop groove and exchanging some cool solos.

This album and especially the slow, beautiful instrumental PAJ, is dedicated to Rebecca’s father.

Tracks: Exposure,Check the box, Be the people, Starting all over, Chase, Love Storm, Mass, New & Now, PaJ, Distraction, Next to me, Life has just begun, Thursday, Exposure Duo

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

Reviewed by: Wilbert Sostre

CD Review: Anne-Florence Schneider - Donaflor

Featured Artist: Anne Florence Schneider

CD Title: Donaflor

Year: 2010

Record Label: Independent

Style: Jazz Vocals

Musicians: Anne-Florence Schneider (vocals), Dudu Penz (bass, guitar, percussion, vocals), Chris Wiesendanger (piano), Floriano Inácio (piano), Claude Schneider (guitar), Ademir Candido (guitar), Eduardo Costa (drums), Mauro Martins (drums), Alejandro Panetta (percussion), Rodrigo Botter Maio (flutes), Thomas Silvestri (piano), Daniel Pezzotti (cellos), Jonathan Allen (violin)

Review: Anne is a singer from Switzerland but listening to songs like Em frente ao mar from her new CD Donaflor is hard to believe she is not brazilian. There is even a little bit of the great singers from Brasil on her phrasing and tone. Donaflor starts with the delicious samba, Sambou tá novo. Her scats harmonies with the bass are fabulous. Floriano Inácio and Claude Schneider play elegant solos on piano and guitar.

The cellos on the lovely French ballad, Voyelles & Noits D’amour gets you in a romantic mood. Jazz and samba music blends perfectly on Amor Platonico with some more great scats by Anne-Florence.

Boa Noite is an enchanting ballad that feels almost like a waltz. Inacio piano on this one is superb. Sabía is one of the most beautiful songs from the father of bossa, Tom Jobim. This excellent arrangement is a little bit faster, more like a slow samba.

A rainha dos mares has kind of a nostalgic feel on the music and Schneider vocals with nice arrangements of cellos and violins. Ann soft and sensual vocals on Pegaso has a classy bossa feel that takes you to the beaches of Rio.

Canto Triste is another brazilian classic, this time from the legend Vinicius de Moraes, beautifully interpreted by Anne. The album ends up with the jazz tune Frevo de quarto folhas and more nice scats and vocals by Anne-Florence.

Anne is another one of those multi-talented singers that not only sings in more than one language, in this case, Portuguese, French and English. She is also a good songwriter and wrote the beautiful lyrics on L’Inespere and the jazzy tune My Boulevard.

Tracks: Sambou tá novo, Voyelles & Nuits D’Amour, Amor Platónico, Boa Noite, Sabiá, A Rainha dos Mares, Em frente ao mar, L’Inespere, My Boulevard, Pegaso, Canto Triste, Frevo de quarto folhas

Artist's Website: http://www.myspace.com/donaflormusic

Reviewed by: Wilbert Sostre