Monthly Archives: December 2009

Roberta Gambarini
So In Love
Listening to the way Roberta Gambarini orchestrates the honey-toned instrument that is her voice, with breathing, phrasing and space, is pure bliss. Combine such artistry with a collection of timeless jazz standards and you have the formula for the the Italian-born singer’s latest, Grammy-nominated recording So In Love. The 13-track collection is a blend of swingers like “Get Out of Town” and “That Old Black Magic” and tender interludes like “You Must Believe In Spring” and “Over The Rainbow”. The singer’s tones are solidly augmented by the presence of greats like saxophonist James Moody, bassist George Mraz , drummer Al Foster and pianist Gerald Clayton, among many others. Roy Hargrove adds his trumpet magic to a very well-done version of the Willie Nelson classic “Crazy”, which Gambarini arranged, as she did with almost all the tracks on the recording. In addition, Gambarini wrote the lyrics for Johnny Griffin’s “You Aint Nothin’ But A JAMF”, as if her performance alone on this project is not enough, and it is more than plenty.

Click here to listen to a clip of “I See Your Face Before Me”.

Tracks: So In Love, Day In Day Out, Get Out Of Town, Crazy, That Old Black Magic, Estate, Golden Slumbers/Here There and Everywhere, I See Your Face Before Me, From This Moment On, You Must Believe In Spring, This Is Always, You Aint Nothin’ But A JAMF, Medley From Cinema Paradiso, Over The Rainbow.

John Abercrombie Quartet
Wait Till You See Her
(ECM Records)

Although one might deem this a rather “quiet” album, it does not lack in energy. Abercrombie, whose guitar work is always mesmerizing, is joined by violinist Mark Feldman for some outstandingly beautiful interplay on this project. Though the songs are most ballads, there are a couple of swinging moments which are equally interesting. The sound of both stringed instruments is captivating on every tune. Drummer Joey Baron and bassist Thomas Morgan round out this quartet of virtuoustic talents to make this an outstanding artistic production.

Click here to listen to a clip of “Out of Towner”.

Tracks: Sad Song, Line-Up, Wait Till You See Her, Trio, I’ve Overlooked Before, Anniversary Waltz, Out of Towner, Chic of Araby.

Back To A New Beginning

The Jazz started almost a decade ago as a single page newsletter reviewing 4 music releases each month. We went online in February of 2004. Through server challenges and other issues, we lost much of what we have spent the previous years creating. But out of difficulties good can often emerge and we definitely feel that the time away has been of benefit. We return refreshed and ready to make use of the new technologies that emerged in our absence.

The Jazz Page will  publish a new review every week in the Raves section. Sometimes the product reviewed will be current, while at other times we will be profiling a release that we think is noteworthy enough to bring it to your attention, even if it is not of recent vintage.

The Faves section is devoted to the great jazz older and some times more recent vintage that are our favorite jazz recordings of all-time.

We’ll be adding material to Conversations section of the site soon. This part of the site is dedicated to recorded interview with jazz artists. You’ll be able to listen to them on the site or you’ll be able to download these podcasts in MP3 form for listening whenever and however it’s convenient for you. 

The point of this site is touting music we like, not trashing music we don’t like as much, so to paraphrase the tagline of the site, if it’s here, we think it’s worth adding to your collection.

2010 Grammy Nominations – Jazz

Below are the nominees for Grammy Awards in the Jazz categories, with some commentaries from us in highlights

Best Contemporary Jazz Album
(For albums containing 51% or more playing time of INSTRUMENTAL tracks.)

Stefon Harris & Blackout
[Concord Jazz]
Nice pick. We like it.

Sounding Point
Julian Lage
We hear much good. Have his CD and will review soon.

At World’s Edge
Philippe Saisse
[E1 Music]
Also a good pick

Big Neighborhood
Mike Stern
[Heads Up International]
Never got a chance to hear this one. Though we like Mike.

Joe Zawinul & The Zawinul Syndicate
[Heads Up International]
Probably the sentimental favorite in this category

Best Jazz Vocal Album
(For albums containing 51% or more playing time of VOCAL tracks.)

No Regrets
Randy Crawford (& Joe Sample)
[PRA Records]

Dedicated To You: Kurt Elling Sings The Music Of Coltrane And Hartman
Kurt Elling
[Concord Jazz]
This man is so overdue for a Grammy he should have a half dozen by now and yet this would be his first.

So In Love
Roberta Gambarini
[Groovin’ High/Emarcy]
Love her voice. A Real Pro.

Luciana Souza
Love her work as well. Though we didn’t get a chance to review this CD

Tierney Sutton (Band)
[Telarc Jazz]
Tierney’s always a solid performer.

Best Improvised Jazz Solo
(For an instrumental jazz solo performance. Two equal performers on one recording may be eligible as one entry. If the soloist listed appears on a recording billed to another artist, the latter’s name is in parenthesis for identification. Singles or Tracks only.)

Dancin’ 4 Chicken
Terence Blanchard, soloist
Track from: Watts (Jeff “Tain” Watts)
[Dark Key Music]

All Of You
Gerald Clayton, soloist
Track from: Two-Shade

Ms. Garvey, Ms. Garvey
Roy Hargrove, soloist
Track from: Emergence
[Groovin’ High/Emarcy]

On Green Dolphin Street
Martial Solal, soloist
Track from: Live At The Village Vanguard

Villa Palmeras
Miguel Zenn, soloist
Track from: Esta Plena
[Marsalis Music]

Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group
(For albums containing 51% or more playing time of INSTRUMENTAL tracks.)

Quartet Live
Gary Burton, Pat Metheny, Steve Swallow & Antonio Sanchez
[Concord Jazz]
I hear this one all the time. Great quartet

Brother To Brother
Clayton Brothers

Five Peace Band — Live
Chick Corea & John McLaughlin Five Peace Band
[Concord Records]

John Patitucci Trio
[Concord Jazz]

The Bright Mississippi
Allen Toussaint
Probably should win the award.

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album
(For large jazz ensembles, including big band sounds. Albums must contain 51% or more INSTRUMENTAL tracks.)

Bob Florence Limited Edition
[MAMA Records]
Bob is extremely prolific

Eternal Interlude
John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble

Fun Time
Sammy Nestico And The SWR Big Band
[Hnssler Classic]

Book One
New Orleans Jazz Orchestra
[World Village]

Lab 2009
University Of North Texas One O’Clock Lab Band
[North Texas Jazz]

Best Latin Jazz Album
(Vocal or Instrumental.)

Things I Wanted To Do
Chembo Corniel
[Chemboro Records]


Geoffrey Keezer

Brazilliance X 4
Claudio Roditi
[Resonance Records]
Very likely winner
Juntos Para Siempre
Bebo Valdes And Chucho Valdes
[Sony Music/Calle 54]

Esta Plena
Miguel Zenon
[Marsalis Music]

Solid recording. Well deserved.
Best Instrumental Composition
(A Composer’s Award for an original composition (not an adaptation) first released during the Eligibility Year. Singles or Tracks only.)

Borat In Syracuse
Paquito D’Rivera, composer (Paquito D’Rivera Quintet)
Track from: Jazz-Clazz
[Timba Records]

Counting To Infinity
Tim Davies, composer (Tim Davies Big Band)
Track from: Dialmentia
[Origin Records]

Bob Florence, composer (Bob Florence Limited Edition)
Track from: Legendary
[MAMA Records]

Steve Wiest, composer (University Of North Texas One O’Clock Lab Band)
Track from: Lab 2009
[North Texas Jazz]

These guys are always worth a listen.
Married Life (From Up)
Michael Giacchino, composer (Michael Giacchino)
Track from: Up Soundtrack
[Walt Disney Records]

Best Instrumental Arrangement
(An Arranger’s Award. (Artist names appear in parentheses.) Singles or Tracks only.)

Jeremy Lubbock, arranger (Chris Botti & Lucia Micarelli)
Track from: In Boston


Vince Mendoza, arranger (Jim Beard With Vince Mendoza & The Metropole Orchestra)
Track from: Revolutions
[Sunny Side Records]
Vince Mendoza is a good pick here.

Slings And Arrows

Vince Mendoza, arranger (Chuck Owen & The Jazz Surge)
Track from: The Comet’s Tail: Performing The Compositions Of Michael Brecker
[MAMA Records]
And here.
Up With End Credits (From Up)
Michael Giacchino, arranger (Michael Giacchino)
Track from: Up Soundtrack
[Walt Disney Records]

West Side Story Medley
Bill Cunliffe, arranger (Resonance Big Band)
Track from: Resonance Big Band Plays Tribute To Oscar Peterson
[Resonance Records]

Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)
(An Arranger’s Award. (Artist names appear in parentheses.) Singles or Tracks only.)
Tough category to pick. Every nominee in this group produced incredible music.

A Change Is Gonna Come
David Foster & Jerry Hey, arrangers (Seal)
Track from: Soul
[143/Warner Bros.]
It’s David Foster. Tough to bet against.

Dedicated To You
Laurence Hobgood, arranger (Kurt Elling)
Track from: Dedicated To You: Kurt Elling Sings The Music Of Coltrane And Hartman
[Concord Jazz]
Hobgood is so unrecognized. We hope he gets the award here for a great record.

In The Still Of The Night
Thomas Zink, arranger (Anne Walsh)
Track from: Pretty World
[AtoZink Music]

My One And Only Thrill
Vince Mendoza, arranger (Melody Gardot)
Track from: My One And Only Thrill
Mendoza’s arrangements on this record made it top notch

Quiet Nights
Claus Ogerman, arranger (Diana Krall)
Track from: Quiet Nights
It’s Claus Ogerman. Can you bet against him?

Roy Hargrove Big Band
(Emarcy Records)

Trumpeter Roy Hargrove has recorded in just about every kind of musical context imaginable, from quintets to hip-hop collectives, so it’s fitting that he would take the turn towards big band. His orchestra is comprised of some 19 members but sounds much bigger. Despite this, Hargrove manages to soar above the cacophony of brass. The piano in this ensemble is elevated by the presence of Gerald Clayton on the recording and vocalist Roberta Gambarini contributes her voice to 2 songs, including “Everytime We Say Goodbye”. If that’s not enough, Hargrove contributes his own singing voice to “September In The Rain”, which includes a fun interplay with the band. Whether with voice, trumpet or flugelhorn, Hargrove manages to make this a thoroughly enjoyable experience that is well worthy of the Grammy nomination which it received.

Click here to listen to a clip of “My Funny Valentine”.

Tracks: Velera, Ms. Garvey, Ms. Garvey, My Funny Valentine, Mambo For Roy, Requiem, September In The Rain, Everytime We Say Goodbye, La Puerta, Roy Allan, Tschpiso, Trust.

Claudia Acuña
En Este Momento
(Marsalis Music)

Singer Claudia Acuña’s delivers a lyric with such beauty and passion that you are captured from the very first word, even if you don’t understand a word of Spanish in which most of the songs on this recording are delivered. Acuna is assisted in this effort with a production that really enhances her voice, from composition to sound quality. The album is further enhanced by by excellent musicianship. Jason Lindner, with whom the singer co-wrote the beautiful “That’s What They Say”, provides piano organ and other keys, Clarence Penn is on drums, Juancho Herrera provides guitar, and Omer Avital plays bass. Labelmate Branford Marsalis adds his saxophone to “Cuando Vuelvo A Tu Lado” (“What A Difference A Day Makes”). At the center of it all, Acuña’s voice makes this recording a work of art that is truly engaging.

Click here to listen to a clip of “El Cigarrito”.

Tracks: El Cigarrito, Te Recuerdo Amanda, Tulum, That’s What They Say, El Derecho De Vivir En Paz, Contigo En La Distancia, Cuando Vuelva A  Tu Lado, Vuelvo Al Sur, Sueño Contigo, La Mentira (Se Te Olvida) .