Monthly Archives: April 2015

The Dan Brubeck Quartet – Celebrating The Music and Lyrics of Dave & Iola Brubeck

(Blue Forest Records)

Drummer Dan Brubeck pays loving and fantastic tribute to the musical partnership of his parents. Celebrating The Music and Lyrics of Dave and Iola Brubeck features the son of the loving jazz couple with a quartet of talented players live in performance at the The Cellar in Vancouver, Canada in August of 2013. The 2-disc set primarily spotlights tunes on which the couple joined forces, with Iola writing the lyrics and Dave providing the music. Bassist Adam Thomas provides nice vocal performances on the effort, with saxophonist Steve Kaldestad and pianist Tony Foster contributing great work to a solid collective of players. The recording is a tremendous homage to a marriage of love and collaboration that produced a wonderful legacy and contribution to music.

Click to listen to a clip of “Since Love Had Its Way”:

Tracks: Disc One: In Your Sweet Way, Since Love Had Its Way, Summer Song, It’s a Raggy Waltz, Autumn In Our Town, Lord Lord, Ode To A Cowboy, Blue Rondo A La Turk, Disc Two: Strange Meadowlark, The Desert and The Parched Land, For Iola, The Duke, Weep No More, Take Five .


Ben Wolfe- The Whisperer


Bassist Ben Wolfe shows off his considerable chops as composer as well as musician on his latest production. The Whisperer is an excellent collection of swinging uptempo grooves and beautiful contemplative ballads. Wolfe composed all but one of the tunes, which allow the fantastic talents on this effort to show their chops. The outstanding unit features Stacy Dillard on saxophones, Orrin Evans on piano and Donald Edwards on drums. The band sounds rock solid together, as does the entirety of this wonderful recording.

Click to listen to a clip of “The Whisperer”:

Tracks: The Heroist, Hat in Hand, Community, Love is Near, S.T.F.U Camelot’s Lean, Chronos, All The Things You Are, The Whisperer, Becoming Brothers, The Balcony, If Only .


Javier Vercher – Wish You Were Here


Saxophonist Javier Vercher blends the sound of the avant-garde with the more traditional fair for a thoroughly enticing recording. Wishing You Were Here is a compelling document of the compositional and playing talents of the Brookyln-based Vercher, who wrote all but one of tunes on the production. Additionally, the grade-A musicianship of guitarist Lionel Loueke (who contributes vocal accompaniment and one of the tunes), bassist Larry Grenadier, drummer Francisco Mela and keyboardist Sam Yahel really complement Vercher’s rich warm tone and ethereal sonic forays. An outstanding musical venture .

Click to listen to a clip of “Blue Heron”:

Tracks: Vivi, Wish You Were Here, Magicians of Sound, Ears of a Distant Traveler, Blue Heron, Ahi Donde Vive Joe, Style & Grace.


Donna Deussen & The Paul Weitz Trio – On The Street Where You Live

(Eloise Records)

On The Street Where You Live by singer Donna Deussen accompanied by guitarist Paul Weitz and his trio is thoroughly entertaining work. What’s impressive about the project, in addition to wonderful performances by singer and band, are the nicely re-configured arrangements of tunes from a range of periods. It’s clear that much thought and time went in the development of the new incarnation of the tunes and it pays off quite well. Included are compositions by Donald Fagan, Horace Silver, Joni Mitchell and Ray Noble, among others. Joining Weitz are bandmates Matt Van Bentschoten on bass and Gus Duffy on drums. The additional contributions of saxophonist Wayne Wayne and clarinetist/flautist Geoff Nudell provide another element to production. The lively chemistry between singer and band is yet another important reason to check out this truly enjoyable effort.

Click to listen to a clip of “Do Wrong Shoes”:

Tracks: California Dreamin’, Do Wrong Shoes, On the Street Where You Live, Both Sides Now, Black Coffee/ A Night In Tunisia, Fly Me To The Moon, The Very Thought of You, Sister Sadie, If Only Had a Brain, Waltz for Debby.

Website:    Paul

Jazz guitarist Marty Grosz 85, keeps ‘hot music’ going

Marty GroszAfter a lengthy and hilarious discourse at his South Philadelphia home on all things swing and jazz, hot guitarist Marty Grosz, 85, says, “I hope I don’t sound like a sour curmudgeon, which is probably what I am.”

About to release his latest album, Diga Diga Doo – Marty Grosz Meets the Fat Babies: Hot Music from Chicago, the musician and singer says proudly that his art has always sought to entertain rather than lull audiences into a stupor with what he calls “egghead jazz.”

“I’ve got a feel for ‘hot music’ – because if I call it jazz, people don’t know what I’m talking about. I wouldn’t know what I was talking about. In the ’50s and ’60s, we billed ourselves as ‘jazz,’ but even then it was problematic. Were you playing traditional, bebop, free-form?”


Gray Matter – Footsteps

(Gray Matter)

Footsteps is the debut outing of an immensely enjoyable band from Canada. Gray Matter is the product of brothers Justin and Derek Gray. Justin is the band’s bassist, while Derek holds down the drum chair. Trumpet player Ingrid Jensen, keyboardist Todd Pentney, alto saxophonist Eli Bennett and tenor sax man Luiz Deniz complete the lineup of this very dynamic unit. The group’s sound combines element of jazz, soul, rock, and hip-hop  to produce a very connective brand of music in which they jam, groove and swing. The compositions on the album are all incredibly well-written originals that allow for noting the individual and collective talent of the group. A truly fantastic band and production.

Click to listen to a clip of “Footsteps”:

Tracks: In Flight, Footsteps, For JL, Wake Up, Change in Plans, Sunset Calls, One by One, Eulogy .


Don Chisholm to receive 2015 National Jazz Hero Award

don chisholm

On this first day of Jazz Appreciation Month (April), the Jazz Journalists’ Association has announced that local property developer Don Chisholm will receive its 2015 National Jazz Hero Award to recognize his “years of generous service and philanthropy for jazz and musical theatre in Ann Arbor.”

With a group of fellow jazz lovers, Don Chisholm provides financial support for concerts at The Kerrytown Concert House. The Don Chisholm Friends of Jazz at KCH have made it possible for Ann Arbor music lovers to enjoy Jackie Ryan, Tamir Hendelman, Jeff Hamilton, Terry Lower, Gwilym Simcock, The JaLaLa Trio, Mr. B, Peter Bernstein, Randy Napoleon, James Dapogny and many others in the elegant and intimate Kerrytown Concert House.

Source: Michigan Live