Monthly Archives: February 2013

Gabriel Alegría Afro-Peruvian Sextet – Ciudad De Los Reyes

(Saponegro Records)

Trumpeter Gabriel Alegría has been exploring the connection between the music of his native Peru, Africa and jazz for more than 8 years. Along with his Afro-Peruvian Sextet, he launches into a spirited further exploration of the triumvirate of sounds on a new recording, Ciudad de Los Reyes. The music is an energetic, percussive cacophony of brass, strings and drums. Alegría is joined by Laura Andrea Leguía on saxophones and vocals, Yuri Juárez on guitars, Shirazette Tinnin on drums and John Benitez on bass. Freddy Lobatón and Hugo Alcázar split duties on cajón and various percussion instruments. The musical is mostly original compositions by Alegría or Leguía. This is joyous, infectious, beautiful music that is thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyable.

Click here to listen to a clip of “La Puertecita”.

Tracks: La Puertecita, Carrusel De Luces, Tarde O Temprano, La Esquina Del Pensamiento, Capicua, Junio y Garua, Cara II, A Lima Llego El Tondero (Triste), A Lima Llego El Tondero (Fuga De Tondero), Moon River, La Princesa Voladora, El Primer Final, Ciudad De Los Reyes .

Website: GabrielAlegrí

Madeleine Eastman + Randy Porter – A Quiet Thing

(Madkat Records)

The dynamic pairing of vocalist Madeline Eastman and pianist Randy Porter team up on A Quiet Thing a recording that is well-represented by its title. Both artists deliver beautifully subtle performances that work tremendously well in unison. Though some of the song menu is very familiar, including works by Hal David and Burt Bacharach, Dorothy Fields, Jerome Kern and Stephen Sondheim, there are also selections by the likes of Laura Nyro and Brian Wilson of Beach Boys fame, that haven’t been covered as much in the jazz idiom. All of the arrangements are extremely inventive and well-done. Listening to this duo is like taking a nice musical ride for an hour so, a journey that is well worth the time.

Click here to listen to a clip of “Sea Journey”.

Tracks: Alfie, Pick Yourself Up, Sea Journey, Spring Can Really Hang You Up, A Face Like Yours, I Remember, The Bad and The Beautiful, All Of Us In It, I Never Meant To Hurt You, You Are All I Need, It’s A Quiet Thing, I Thing It’s Gonna Rain Today, With One More Look At You, God Only Knows .

Mort Weiss – I’ll Be Seeing You

(SMS Jazz)

Clarinet great Mort Weiss continues to make high-flying music on his latest recording, I’ll Be Seeing You. This effort finds Weiss still playing at the top of his game and rendering great takes on standards, including the title track. Joining him on this trip are drummer Roy McCurdy, bassist Chris Conner and percussionist Ramon Banda. The quartet delivers some well-done covers of classic tunes by Tad Dameron, Cole Porter, Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Burke and Charlie Parker. There’s also a fun track on which Weiss becomes a blues musician. It’s always great to hear the work of someone who so thoroughly enjoys making music that you can hear it in every note.

Click here to listen to a clip of “Bernie’s Tune”.

Tracks: Alone Together, I’ll Be Seeing You, Our Delight, Spring Is Here, A Time For Love, When Your Lover’s Gone, Blues For Alice, You Do Something To Me, Gots The Horn In My Mouth Blues, The Touch of Your Lips, Confirmation, Here Comes That Rainy Day, My Funny Valentine,, Bernie’s Tune, Azule Serpe, Pennies From Heaven .


Heather Masse and Dick Hyman – Lock My Heart

(Red House Records)

One listen to Lock My Heart, a gorgeous duet recording by singer Heather Masse and pianist Dick Hyman, and you you understand why it had to happen. In addition to their individual talents, the two performers have tremendous musical chemistry and rapport. Masse has a wonderful delivery style which provides space for the notes of her fellow musician to shine through, while Hyman seems to sing through the piano. The result is beautiful. The duo covers a wide swath of classics by composers like Cole Porter, Kurt Weil, Rogers and Hart, Buddy Johnson and Billy Strayhorn. Masse contributed two of the tracks on the project, as well as a fun Billie Holiday-esque rendition of the song that inspired the album’s title. Masse and Hyman are a superb pairing that we look forward to hearing more music from together.

Click here to listen to a clip of “If I Called You”.

Tracks: Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered, Lullab of Birdland, Since I Fell For You, Love Is Here To Stay, September Song,  Lost In The Stars, Love For Sale, If I Called You, I Got It Bad and That Ain’t Good, A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing, Morning Drinker, I’m Gonna Lock My Heart (And Throw Away The Key). .


David El-Malek – Music From Source Vol. II


On his latest recording, saxophonist David El-Malek brings together ten Jewish and Arab musicians to create a thoroughly engaging cacophony of percussive rhythm and voice.  The orchestration of Music From Source Vol. II blends the Middle Eastern cultures of the players involved with jazz, classical influences to create what is at times an almost symphonic experience. A string trio brings a heightened element to the production, as do the vocals of Ingrid Panquin on a number of these mostly traditional tunes. El-Malek’s saxophones weave the entire tapestry together into a joyous, organic celebration.

Click here to listen to a clip of “Awis”.

Tracks: Awis, Hinë Matov, Bereshit Baha, Les Temps Primitifs, Tehlim 150 (Parts 1-4), Tehilim, Adon Olam, Berosh Hachana, Hamadouchi, Adir Hou, Nëila, Allawi .