Monthly Archives: February 2012

National Jazz Museum in Chicago

Chicago Tribune writer Howard Reich looks at talks going on to bring a National Jazz Museum to the city of Chicago. It’d be nice if they could brought back  jazz in the evenings there as well.

Read the article here

Triosence with Sara Gazarek – Where Time Stands Still

(Charleston Square)

Where Time Stands Still  brings Triosence, the trio of German-born pianist Bernhard Schüler, bassist Ingo Senst, and drummer Stephan Emig, together with American vocalist Sara Gazarek for their first U.S. release. The musicians and singer are a perfect fit, with a great chemistry between all the players involved making for a very enjoyable result. The set list is a selection wonderfully delicate compositions with sweet vocals, terrific solos and solid backing arrangements. The original compositions that comprise the this recording are the product of all involved. An excellent and most entertaining collaboration of talents .

Click here to listen to a clip of “I Can’t Explain”.

Tracks: I Can’t Explain, Summer Song, You’re My Spring, Morning Star, Like The Wind, Only One Evening, Only Friends, Maybe There’s A Princess Waiting, You’ll See You, You Alone, Let It In, Where Times Stands Still.


Ruslan Sirota – Ruslan


Ruslan,from pianist-keyboarder Ruslan Sirota, is the debut of a talented contemporary composer and musician. His playing is stellar, as are his color-filled compositions on this recording. Sirota sings and vocalizes on the project as well, with a sound that would appeal to fans of Radiohead or Coldplay as well. Sirota enlists a solid group of players on the effort, including the producer of the project, the renown bassist Stanley Clarke. He’s also joined by drummers Michael White, Ronald Bruner, Jr. and Jimmy Paxson, and guitarists Roy Kariok and John Shannon. Ukraine-born talent is accompanied by keyboard masters Chick Corea and George Duke on duets of one tune respectively. Sirota brings an exciting new voice to the scene that stretches the boundaries and accessibilities of instrumental music.

Click here to listen to a clip of “Feather Park”.

Tracks: How Near How Far, Like The Wind, Feather Park, Forgiveness, Waking Up Alone, Voices, Hubert, Sister Moon, High Celings, Klaudia, In Truth, From a Whim to Pursuit.


The 2012 Grammy Award Winners For Jazz

Here are the Grammy Award Winners from the ceremonies held in Los Angeles, CA on February 12, 2012.

Best Improvised Jazz Solo
Chick Corea – “Five Hundred Miles High” from Forever

Best Jazz Vocal album
Terri Lyne Carrington – The Mosaic Project

Best Jazz Vocal album
Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke & Lenny White – Corea, Clarke & White – Forever

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album
Christian McBride Big Band – The Good Feeling

Best Instrumental Arrangement
Gordon Goodwin – Rhapsody in Blue

Best Regional Roots Music Album
Rebirth Brass Band- Rebirth Of New Orleans

Gregory Porter – Be Good


You can count on one hand the number of times you hear an artist these days whose sophomore recording is better than their first. Gregory Porter is one of those rare artists. Porter’s Be Good goes beyond good to great. The songwriting is as fantastic as ever, with writing that is deep reflectively and thought-provoking and his delivery is as powerful and evocative as those who know his previous work would expect. Produced by Brian Bacchus, almost every song on the project was written by Porter. The effort benefits greatly from the fantastic musicianship provided by pianist Chip Crawford, bassist Aaron James, drummer Emanuel Harrold, and saxophonist Tivon Pennicott, among others. This is just an outstanding work by one of the incredible talents on the music scene today.

Click here to listen to a clip of “On My Way To Harlem”.

Tracks: Painted on Canvas, Be Good (Lion’s Song), On My Way To Harlem, Real Good Hands, The Way You Want To Live, When Did You Learn, Imitation of Life, Mother’s Song, Our Love, Bling Bling, Work Song, God Bless The Child.


Hiroe Sekine – After The Rainfall


After a impressive debut recording, pianist Hiroe Sekine follow things up with an equally impressive second effort, After The Rainfall (due out March 9th). Produced by Russell Ferrante, who also produced her first project, the music here expands to include a range of styles and influences from Brazilian to rock. Sekine sings or vocalizes on several tunes. She’s backed by an impressive lineup of talent, including saxophonist Bob Sheppard, drummer Peter Erskine, guitarist Larry Koonse, and bassists Darek Oles and Jimmy Johnson. Vocalist Arnold McCuller joins Sekine for a duet on Lennon and McCartney’s  “In My Life”. Also, covered nicely are tunes by Chick Corea, Toninho Horta, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Thelonious Monk. Sekine penned 4 of the project’s nine tracks. An outstanding effort from start to finish.

Click here to listen to a clip of “After The Rainfall”.

Tracks: Song of The Owl, After The Rainfall, In My Life, Windows, Aqui O, Inutil Paisagem, So, But Anyway, Spoon Key, Evidence.


Chris Brubeck’s Triple Play – Live at Arthur Zankel Music Center

(Blue Forest Records)

Chris Brubeck and his trio of Joel Brown and Peter Madcat Ruth produce a lively jam session on their latest release, Live at Arthur Zankel Music Center. Recorded live at the Saratoga Arts Festival, Brubeck is featured on bass, trombone and piano, with Brown on guitar and Ruth on harmonica, jaw harp and ukulele, among others. The music is decidedly blues, with the triumvirate providing spirited renditions of Delta blues and jazz standards, as well some original composition from the lead players, who provide the vocals. Their efforts are further enhanced by the addition of clarinetist Frank Brown and Chris’ father, the great pianist Dave Brubeck, who joins the crew on re-worked takes on a couple of well-known works from his songbook. Looking for a thoroughly entertaining hour of live music? Well, this is it.

Click here to listen to a clip of “Win The Lotto”.

Tracks: Rollin’ & Tumblin’, Brother, Can You Spare A Dime, Win The Lotto, Phonograph Blues, Koto Song, Mighty Mrs. Hippy, Blue Rondo A La Turk, Black and Blue, Dzieuje (Thank You), Travelin’ Blues, Take Five, St. Louis Blues.


Lorraine Feather – Tales of The Unusual

(Jazzed Media)

Singer Lorraine Feather’s latest, Tales of The Unusual, is as quirky as its title, but it’s a recording that is highly engaging. The combination of Feather’s lilting voice and piano-based arrangements give the project a theatrical, even cabaret-ish feel. The lyrics, all of which Feather had a hand in co-writing, are humorous and some times dark, many touching on themes of modern angst. One of the tunes references a relationship between two people of opposing political views, while another deals with being environmentally responsible, though in a much more interesting manner of presenting the subject. Assisting Feather in this production is a top notch lineup of talents, including pianists Russell Ferrante and Shelly Berg, drummers Michael Shapiro and Greg Field, bassist Michael Valerio and guitarists Grant Geissman and Mike Miller. The fantastic arrangements along with Feather’s spot-on delivery of mood and mystique on each song make this an outstanding effort.

Click here to listen to a clip of “Off-the-Grid Girl”.

Tracks: The Hole in the Map, Off-the-Grid, Where Is Everybody, The Usual Suspect, Five, Sweet Miriam, Out There, Get a Room, Cowbirds, I Took You Hand (Fellini’s Waltz), Indiana Lana, To Live Another Day, Ahh.


Tom Wetmore -The Desired Effect


Pianist-composer Tom Wetmore makes a fantastic debut with The Desired Effect. The player composition for this project is quite unique with a lineup that includes two lead guitarists in Brad Williams and Justin Sabaj, the two of whom weave a dense sonic fabric for Wetmore’s enchanting electric piano work. The Massachusetts-born leader of this outfit is also its primary composer. He creates a sound that is traditional and fusionesque. Also, joining him on this effort are saxophonists Jaleel Shaw and Eric Neveloff, bassist Michael League and drummer Garrett Brown. The musicianship here is quite high all around. With a debut this great, the future can only get brighter for this gifted artist.

Click here to listen to a clip of “The Desired Effect”.

Tracks: Red Lights, Wild Card, Good and Plenty, A Blessing, The Desired Effect, With Woven Wings, Falling, The Rub, More Matter.