No White Shoes is the mesmerizing debut of Swiss-born, US-based vocalist Gabriela Martina. Martina possesses a clarity and a true sense of how explore a song that is a joy to hear. This originality accompanies a collection of mostly original compositions and wonderfully re-worked classics that make this production, like the singer’s voice, something truly special. The excellent quartet joining Martina is comprised of Alex Bailey on drums, Kyle Miles on bass, Jiri Nedoma on piano and Jussi Reijonen on guitar. This is a singer worth following now and into her musical future.
Click to listen to a clip of “No White Shoes”:
Tracks: Narcissus, On My Way, Love Me, Origin, Us, No White Shoes, Witch Hunt, A Night In Tunisia, Thirsty Flower.
For composer-arranger-conductor Socrates Garcia, this production is an autobiographical tapestry. Back Home pays tribute to Garcia’s experiences growing in his native Dominican Republic. Each of the wonderfully written works are an homage to people and places in the Caribbean island that influenced his life. The tunes are rich with percussive Afro-Latin rhythms and lush horn arrangements. The horn section is comprised of outstanding woodwind, trumpet, flugelhorn and trombone sections, while the percussion unit includes congas, atables, guira, and timbal, all backed by an excellent 5-piece rhythm section. There are also vocals included on of the tracks. The melding of the sounds and the writing make this just a fantastic recording.
Click to listen to a clip of “Back Home”:
Tracks: Vantage Point, Calle El Conde A Las, Celebration of the Butterflies, Back Home, Dominican Suite for Jazz Orchestra: Homage to Tavito, Bachata for Two, From Across The Street.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Jazz impresario George Wein took another step to secure the future of his 62-year-old Newport Jazz Festival on Thursday, as the nonprofit foundation that runs it named Grammy-winning bassist Christian McBride as artistic director.
Wein, who is 90, also told The Associated Press that he planned to donate the bulk of his estate, around $10 million, to the foundation upon his death so that the jazz festival and its sister Newport Folk Festival can continue for years to come. Wein produced this year’s festival completely, but recognizes he’s old and his hearing and health have started to diminish even as he remains mentally sharp.
“Not many people can engineer their own demise,” Wein said. “I’ve been working on this a few months with Christian. Nobody knew about it. I wanted to make sure Christian was the right person.”
Think jazz is just a genre featured in movies from the 1960s? Think again. Take artist Kamasi Washington, for example. Last week, the Millennial jazz artist won the inaugural American Music Prize. He was also featured on Kendrick Lamar’s acclaimed To Pimp A Butterfly. And then there’s the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, who teamed up with Trombone Shorty to perform at the 58th GRAMMY Awards this year.
So with so much jazz in the air, we set out to learn more about jazz fans, particularly listeners aged 25-48, since they’re the ones driving the renewed interest in the genre. Our recent analysis found that while the jazz genre represents a small percentage of overall music consumption, jazz fans are digitally savvy consumers who are drawn to high-end brands and services.
Drummer/composer Bill Stewart has assembled an outstanding collection with his latest endeavor. Space Squid is the assemblage of fantastic original compositions by Stewart met with tremendous musicianship. The production is a nice blend of swinging grooves and contemplative ballads. The one detour from the self-penned journey is a nicely done rendition of a standard by Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz. Bringing this great music to life is a phenomenal quartet that includes Seamus Blake on saxophones. Bill Carrothers on piano and Ben Street on bass. This is an incredible display of musical artistry that is not to be missed.
Click to listen to a clip of “Tincture”:
Tracks: Paris Lope, End of Earth, Rincture, Septemberism, Happy Walk, Drop of Dusk, Dead Ringer, Blue Sway, If Anyone Ask You, Space Squid, Dancing In The Dark .
Let Me Love You is the fantastic debut of singer Nancy Lane. Lane’s voice is as mesmerizing as it is confident, something that is likely the product of hailing from a very musical family. Lane manages ballad and uptempo numbers with equal grace on a recording that is nicely balanced standards of various tempos. Works by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, Arthur Hamilton, Clarence Gaskill and Cole Porter, among others, are the heart of this effort. Joining Lane on the recording are drummer Dave Laing, guitarist Kenny Bibace, bassist Mike De Masi, pianist Lara Driscoll, saxophonist François D’ Amours and trumpet/flugelhorn player Aron Doyle. This is a tremendous entertaining work from an artist you should hear.
Click to listen to a clip of “What Is This Thing Called Love?”:
Tracks: Let Me Love You, I Can’t Believe That You’re In Love With Me, We’re Together, Tout Ce Que Veut Lola, Every Time With I’m With You, Cry Me A River, Everything I’ve Got Belongs To You, All of You, You Took Advantage of Me, What Is This Thing Called Love?, Just Say I Love Him .