Lee Prosser - jazzreview.com - Your Jazz Music Connection - jazzreview.com - Your Jazz Music Connection http://jazzreview.com Tue, 23 May 2017 03:55:02 -0500 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb The Natural Mystics: Marley, Tosh,and Wailer http://jazzreview.com/book-reviews/the-natural-mystics-marley-toshand-wailer.html http://jazzreview.com/book-reviews/the-natural-mystics-marley-toshand-wailer.html Colin Grant has written an impressive book in his historical look at the Wailer's history, and The Natural Mystics: Marley,Tosh, and Wailer shines with insightful gems about Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Bunny Wailer. This book reveals the importance of their music on a world-wide scale. Additionally, the reader is given an in-depth tour of the neo-African religions and animist cults of Jamaica.

Colin Grant has written an impressive book in his historical look at the Wailer's history, and The Natural Mystics: Marley,Tosh, and Wailer shines with insightful gems about Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Bunny Wailer.

This book reveals the importance of their music on a world-wide scale. Additionally, the reader is given an in-depth tour of the neo-African religions and animist cults of Jamaica. The book is a reading experience, rich in detail and filled with insights into the lives of the men, and Jamaica. The photos in the book add greatly to giving the readers a visual contact as to how the slums of Kingston shaped these innovative singers, and also some interesting looks at the men themselves as they were about the business of making their unique music. How these men functioned and survived is of prime importance, for to them, successful entertainment meant food and having food to eat!

The trio is shown from its beginnings with a Trenchtown neighbor named Joe Higgs teaching the three men the fundamentals of music and the importance of harmony. A lively presentation of how ghetto life was interwoven into the songs is detailed and a look at the influences affecting the Wailers as a singing unit. Following the men from their childhoods through achieving international fame with the help of producers Leslie Kong, Clement "Sir Coxsone" Dodd, Lee "Scratch" Perry, among other influences such as Chris Blackwell who was the founder of Island Records. From the time of the Wailer's first major album in 1972 titled Catch A Fire, they establish the rendering role in Jamaican music and internationalize reggae as a form of musical expression. The author also shares a well-defined and clear explanation of reggae's association with Rastafari.

Colin Grant is a gifted writer, and he captures the essence of a scene or individual in crisp, authentic tones. One section of the book that stands out is Colin Grant's visit to a witch doctor (Obeah-man) to document and write about the active spirit world outside of Kingston, Jamaica. All in all, this is a top-notch nonfiction book about a topic of great interest to those who enjoy reggae music and its orgins and associations. Colin Grant is also the author of the book, Negro With A Hat, a biography of Marcus Garvey. Colin Grant is a historian who works for BBC radio in England.

For those interested in reggae, this is one of the finest books published to date on its founders, musicians, and associations. Highly recommended. This is another fine book from the publisher, W. W. Norton & Company, whose publications can be found at http://www.norton.com.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Lee Prosser) Book Reviews Sun, 29 May 2011 10:51:00 -0500
Light My Fire by Eliane Elias http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/brazilian-jazz-brazilian-pop-jazz-cd-reviews/light-my-fire-by-eliane-elias.html http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/brazilian-jazz-brazilian-pop-jazz-cd-reviews/light-my-fire-by-eliane-elias.html Light My Fire is Eliane Elias at her best and perfectly reflects her great talent as a composer, singer, songwriter and pianist. There are twelve songs on this excellent collection. Among the songs are found "Rosa Morena," "Stay Cool," "Aquele Abraco," "Light My Fire," "Silver Sandal," "My Cherie Amour," "Toda Menina Baiana," "Bananeira," "Made in Moonlight," "Turn To Me," "Take Five," and "What About the Heart."Having followed the musical career of Eliane Elias since the late 1980s, she has a

Light My Fire is Eliane Elias at her best and perfectly reflects her great talent as a composer, singer, songwriter and pianist. There are twelve songs on this excellent collection. Among the songs are found "Rosa Morena," "Stay Cool," "Aquele Abraco," "Light My Fire," "Silver Sandal," "My Cherie Amour," "Toda Menina Baiana," "Bananeira," "Made in Moonlight," "Turn To Me," "Take Five," and "What About the Heart."

Having followed the musical career of Eliane Elias since the late 1980s, she has always been a highly innovative pianist, and coupled with her unique voice and abilities as composer and songwriter of popular songs, she continues to be a visible and enjoyable jazz icon in contemporary jazz music. There is nobody just like her, for she is one of a special kind. Her piano stylings continue to dazzle and hypnotize!

Elais began studying piano at age seven and her recording career commenced in Brazil at age seventeen. During 1981, she went to New York where in 1982, she became associated with the group named Steps Ahead. It should also be mentioned that Eliane Elias also demonstrated her classical skills in 1993 with the release of On the Classical Side. In 2002, she recorded with internationally respected opera figure Denyce Graves in The Lost Days.

There is a sensuous feel to her vocals and a clarity of tone that is perfectly suited to her performing talents. Another highly popular CD was her Dreamer released during 2004.

Two songs of note in this fine collection, among others, is her interpretation of Jim Morrison and the Doors' "Light My Fire" and Dave Brubeck Quartet's "Take Five." Listeners cannot help but be enchanted by the performance of her original composition, "What About the Heart," and also "Turn to Me."

Light My Fire is a lovely, memorable encounter. Every song performance is a winner on this CD collection and well-worth the listener's time...a fine CD collection in all aspects. Highly recommended.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Lee Prosser) Brazilian Jazz / Brazilian Pop Jazz - CD Reviews Fri, 25 Mar 2011 19:00:00 -0500
All Things Must Converge by Al Garcia http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/contemporary-jazz-cd-reviews/all-things-must-converge-by-al-garcia.html http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/contemporary-jazz-cd-reviews/all-things-must-converge-by-al-garcia.html All Things Must Converge is a memorable listening experience, and the orginal jazz compositions are well-conceived, lively, and enjoyable listening. Al Garcia plays guitars, and other instruments, and these songs are his creation.Al Garcia has a big, lovely talent, and it is much in evidence with this collection. The CD features eight songs. They include "Labyrinth," "The Eternal Cycle," the memorable "Lingua Franca" with its intriguing harmony, "A Distant Mirror," "Two Shakes," "As Luck Would H

All Things Must Converge is a memorable listening experience, and the orginal jazz compositions are well-conceived, lively, and enjoyable listening. Al Garcia plays guitars, and other instruments, and these songs are his creation.

Al Garcia has a big, lovely talent, and it is much in evidence with this collection. The CD features eight songs. They include "Labyrinth," "The Eternal Cycle," the memorable "Lingua Franca" with its intriguing harmony, "A Distant Mirror," "Two Shakes," "As Luck Would Have It," "I've Been Known," and "Simulacra." The jazz listener will find his or her own favorites in this fine CD collection.

If you are looking for something different, and enjoyable listening, full of verve and creative imagination, then give this CD collection by Al Garcia a listening! You will find it fascinating. There is something special about the way Al Garcia plays his guitar, something original and vibrant in his techniques for performance that linger in the jazz listener's mind long, long after the song is finished. Each time the listener returns to the songs, different feelings are evoked and encountered. Al Garcia is an original.

Great jazz from one of the finest jazz guitarists creating and performing contemporary jazz music in today's jazz scene. Al Garcia is a master of the jazz guitar, and All Things Must Converge is a prime example of that! Highly recommended.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Lee Prosser) Contemporary Jazz - CD Reviews Sun, 20 Mar 2011 07:00:00 -0500
Janet Planet Songs The Bob Dylan Songbook Vol. 1 by Janet Planet http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/contemporary-jazz-cd-reviews/janet-planet-songs-the-bob-dylan-songbook-vol.-1-by-janet-planet.html http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/contemporary-jazz-cd-reviews/janet-planet-songs-the-bob-dylan-songbook-vol.-1-by-janet-planet.html The Fred Hess Big Band has a winner on its hands with the innovative big band CD collection, Into The Open. The collection shines with its intricate approaches and right-on performances.With the exception of the Jean Bardy/Denny Goodhew song, "See You" (Illuma Soma), all other songs are by composer Fred Hess. There are eight songs with a total playing time of 65:27 minutes. The imaginative song list contains such big band gems as "Sooz Blooz," "Home Bass," "See You" (Illuma Soma), "Norman's Gold

The Fred Hess Big Band has a winner on its hands with the innovative big band CD collection, Into The Open. The collection shines with its intricate approaches and right-on performances.

With the exception of the Jean Bardy/Denny Goodhew song, "See You" (Illuma Soma), all other songs are by composer Fred Hess. There are eight songs with a total playing time of 65:27 minutes. The imaginative song list contains such big band gems as "Sooz Blooz," "Home Bass," "See You" (Illuma Soma), "Norman's Gold," "Alison's dream," "Journey to Sentosa," "Baby Clefs Birthday," and the intricate "Ninth House."

What makes this big band sound work so well is a combination of factors. Good jazz appproaches, high quality performances, vigor, intimacy, and fine jazz compositions.

If you are looking for some big band music that reflects that approach at its best, you are in for a listening treat with Into The Open. Congratulations to the Fred Hess Big Band on its originality and likeable verve. Some of the songs that this reviewer enjoyed most were "Journey to Sentosa," "Ninth House," and "Home Base." Every song is a winner in this collection!

This is a fine big band outing, an enjoyable listening entertainment. Big Band fans will love the Fred Hess Band.

Highly original! Jazz entertainment at its best!

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Lee Prosser) Contemporary Jazz - CD Reviews Tue, 15 Mar 2011 07:00:00 -0500
Point of No Return by Michel Reis http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/contemporary-jazz-cd-reviews/point-of-no-return-by-michel-reis.html http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/contemporary-jazz-cd-reviews/point-of-no-return-by-michel-reis.html Point of No Return is truly an exceptional journey in jazz listening with its original compositions by pianist Michel Reis. Listening to Michel Reis is akin to listening to a most perfect combination of jazz stylings by such pianists as Danilo Perez, Andre Previn, and Bill Evans, topped by the special creative touch of Michel Reis. Michel Reis has an unique jazz piano sound, and his place in the realm of jazz pianists is assured, as heard in this fine collection. This CD collection will discover

Point of No Return is truly an exceptional journey in jazz listening with its original compositions by pianist Michel Reis. Listening to Michel Reis is akin to listening to a most perfect combination of jazz stylings by such pianists as Danilo Perez, Andre Previn, and Bill Evans, topped by the special creative touch of Michel Reis. Michel Reis has an unique jazz piano sound, and his place in the realm of jazz pianists is assured, as heard in this fine collection. This CD collection will discover its own audience! It is unique and one of a kind.

The performers on this collection represent some of the finest jazz performers in the world of jazz.Tal Gamlieli is a superb bassist and his solo work is outstanding. Vivek Patel shares his unique genius for solo work with a keen sense of pleasure with his fugelhorm. Patel and Reis certainly present a shared vision of music that is solidified by Gamlieli, Cruz, and Kruziki. Adam Cruz sets a fine, intricate pace with the drums and Aaron Kruziki continually surprises with his imaginative soprano saxophone techniques. These performers are in top notch form, and each one turns in flawless performances.

What I found most intriguing about this collection of jazz songs is that each stands on its own as well as correlates in a connecting manner with the collection as a whole. The nine songs include "The Power of Beauty," "Folk Song," "Sailing Away At Night," "It's Only Been A Dream," "Point of No Return," "Riverside Drive." "Street of Memories," "Leaning In Towards Tomorrow," and the remarkable "The Sad Clown."

For something creative and original, give Michel Reis' Point of No Return a try. You will be glad you did and you will discover first hand a remarkable talent at the piano. Highy reccomended.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Lee Prosser) Contemporary Jazz - CD Reviews Mon, 14 Mar 2011 13:00:00 -0500
Cote D' Azur by The Rippingtons featuring Russ Freeman http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/contemporary-jazz-cd-reviews/cote-d-azur-by-the-rippingtons-featuring-russ-freeman.html http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/contemporary-jazz-cd-reviews/cote-d-azur-by-the-rippingtons-featuring-russ-freeman.html Cote D'Azur is a fascinating collection of jazz music that will light up your listening time with much joy, entertainment, and fun. The musicians are very imaginative in both their solo work and group work.What makes this an outstanding jazz CD is its unusual blend of jazz motifs, world music motifs, and the influence of contemporary French jazz. There are ten great original songs in the collection. Among them are found "Cote D'Azur," Le Calypso," "Bandol," "Sainte Maxime," "Postcard From Cannes

Cote D'Azur is a fascinating collection of jazz music that will light up your listening time with much joy, entertainment, and fun. The musicians are very imaginative in both their solo work and group work.

What makes this an outstanding jazz CD is its unusual blend of jazz motifs, world music motifs, and the influence of contemporary French jazz. There are ten great original songs in the collection. Among them are found "Cote D'Azur," Le Calypso," "Bandol," "Sainte Maxime," "Postcard From Cannes," "Passage To Marseilles," "Provence," "Riviera Jam," "Rue Paradis," and "Mesmerized."

There is a certain charm about Cote D'Azur that is reflected in its intimate, intricate performances, and songs. "Le Calypso" is one of the most unique jazz songs to come along in recent years, and it demands much radio play time. It is a pleasure to listen to this song in different settings, for each time the listener comes away with something new.

If you like The Rippingtons, and the work of Russ Freeman, you will want a copy of this excellent CD for yourself, and a copy for a friend, too. For the public library in your local area, Cote D'Azur would be a perfect jazz selection for library jazz patrons.

Every person will have their favorites with this unusual collection! This reviewer found each song was intiguing and well worth the listner's time. Get a copy and relax to some very, very fine jazz music. Excellent. Highly recommended.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Lee Prosser) Contemporary Jazz - CD Reviews Mon, 07 Mar 2011 06:00:00 -0600
Let's Touch the Sky by Fourplay http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/straight-ahead-classic-cd-reviews/let-s-touch-the-sky-by-fourplay.html http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/straight-ahead-classic-cd-reviews/let-s-touch-the-sky-by-fourplay.html Let's Touch the Sky is Fourplay's 12th CD since they made their jazz debut in 1991, and it is one of their finest to date. A remarkably smooth collection, this is straight-ahead/classic jazz at its very best.If you enjoy Fourplay, you will enjoy this lovely collection of fresh material. The jazz is alive, and the performances are filled with verve and intimacy.There are eleven songs in the collection. "Let's Touch the Sky," "3rd Degree," "More Than a Dream," "Pineapple Getaway," "I'll Still Be L

Let's Touch the Sky is Fourplay's 12th CD since they made their jazz debut in 1991, and it is one of their finest to date. A remarkably smooth collection, this is straight-ahead/classic jazz at its very best.

If you enjoy Fourplay, you will enjoy this lovely collection of fresh material. The jazz is alive, and the performances are filled with verve and intimacy.

There are eleven songs in the collection. "Let's Touch the Sky," "3rd Degree," "More Than a Dream," "Pineapple Getaway," "I'll Still Be Lovin' You," "Gentle Giant (For Hank)," "A Night in Rio," "Love TKO," "Above and Beyond," "Golden Faders," and "You're My Thrill" which features Anita Baker.

Bob James is in top form on keyboards, and he shines on such songs as "Golden Faders" where his unique piano stylings are revealed in great detail. In fact, each musician in this jazz collection shines with their great stylings. Each performance is perfectly crafted and makes for repeated listening enjoyment at each playing!

It is good that Heads Up with the Concord Music Group bring such unique groups and listening enjoyment to jazz fans. Fourplay is one of the very finest groups on the contemporary jazz scene performing today. This is definitely their most perfect CD to date.

Highly recommended. Nice and Easy. Perfect!

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Lee Prosser) Straight-Ahead - CD Reviews Tue, 08 Feb 2011 06:00:00 -0600
Follow Your Heart: John McLaughlin song by song -- A listeners Guide' by Walter Kolosky http://jazzreview.com/book-reviews/follow-your-heart-john-mclaughlin-song-by-song-a-listeners-guide-by-walter-kolosky.html http://jazzreview.com/book-reviews/follow-your-heart-john-mclaughlin-song-by-song-a-listeners-guide-by-walter-kolosky.html Follow Your Heart is a memorable reading experience. It should reach a wide reading audience, and for those who are new to the wonderful jazz guita...
Follow Your Heart is a memorable reading experience. It should reach a wide reading audience, and for those who are new to the wonderful jazz guitar stylings of John McLaughlin, this will get people to the music stores purchasing his music. With an insightful Foreword by Chick Corea and a solid research base with plenty of photographs of McLaughlin over the years, Walter Kolosky has written a music biography to be proud of. It is honest and in-depth, and you will come to know John McLaughlin in this book. The book is well-named with its title.

This book accurately displays and discusses the songs McLaughlin was a composer-player on, or as a player. Each song gives a perspective analysis of John McLaughlin in a given time, place, situation, and space. There is also a concise, helpful resources list on McLaughlin at the conclusion of the book.

The contents section has two listings. One listing is by album titles. The second listing is by single name titles of each song.

In reviewing the songs, many come to mind and need to be recalled. Here are some of them: "A Lotus on Irish Streams," "Afro Blue," "Awakening," "Be Happy," "Birds of Fire," "Clarendon Hills," "Dear Dalai Lama," "Dragon Song," "El Ciego," "Every Tear From Every Eye,""Follow Your Heart," "Honky-Tonk Haven," "India," "Love and Understanding," "Maharina," "New York On My Mind," "Nostalgia," "On The Way Home to Earth," "Pegasus," "Seven Sisters," "Until Such Time," "Waltz For Bill Evans," "We Will Wait Again," "Wings of Karma," "Zakir," among many other creative songs. Some of the albums include "Apocalypse," "Remember Skakti," and others.

Walter Kolosky has crafted a fine look at John McLaughlin. Highly recommended. An ideal book to have in the public library for library jazz patrons, and a perfect jazz biography to have in the home.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Lee Prosser) Book Reviews Sat, 02 Jan 2010 18:00:00 -0600
Innerviews: Music Without Borders by Anil Prasad http://jazzreview.com/book-reviews/innerviews-music-without-borders-by-anil-prasad.html http://jazzreview.com/book-reviews/innerviews-music-without-borders-by-anil-prasad.html Anil Prasad is a highly insightful author, and he captures perfectly the feelings of his subjects in the well-written Innerviews: Music Without Bor...

Anil Prasad is a highly insightful author, and he captures perfectly the feelings of his subjects in the well-written Innerviews: Music Without Borders. This book is concise and treats its material with respect and scholarship. Essentially, this book is about what could be best described as extraordinary conversations with extraordinary musicians. It is well worth your time to read.

The questions Anil Prasad presents to those he is interviewing are to the point, and unlike many books of this kind, the people interviewed give straight-forward answers with details. The book also contains photographs.

These are the people Anil Prasad talks with and interviews. To the reading audience, there are bound to be many that have a personal interest, and for jazz fans, these names speak for themselves. Those interviewed include: Jon Anderson, Bjork, Bill Bruford, Martin Carthy, Ani DiFranco, David Torn, Bela Felck, Noa, Tangerine Dream, McCoy Tyner, Joe Zawinul, among others. The book contains a total of twenty-four interviews.

If you are looking for something enjoyable and unusual, this collection of jazz interviews will delight you greatly! One such example is how it came about that Stanley Clarke said no to Miles Davis. Another example is how John McLaughlin turned the tables on the jazz police!

Anil Prasad is the editor and publisher of "Innerviews" located at innerviews.org. He has crafted a book to be proud of, and one that jazz readers will immediately find a home for in their jazz libraries.

Highly readable. Highly recommended. This is an interview book that works well and reveals what those being interviewed really care about, feel, and openly wish to share with their fans and readers.

Congratulations, Anil Prasad, for a job well-done. It would be nice to see a sequel to this book with additional extraordinary musicians in the spotlight!

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Lee Prosser) Book Reviews Fri, 01 Jan 2010 18:00:00 -0600
Hot Stuff: Disco and the Remaking of American Culture by Alice Echols http://jazzreview.com/book-reviews/hot-stuff-disco-and-the-remaking-of-american-culture-by-alice-echols.html http://jazzreview.com/book-reviews/hot-stuff-disco-and-the-remaking-of-american-culture-by-alice-echols.html Alice Echols has written a fine nonfiction look at the American decade of the 1970s and how Disco affected and influenced the culture of America. A...

Alice Echols has written a fine nonfiction look at the American decade of the 1970s and how Disco affected and influenced the culture of America. An honest, straight-forward book, the secrets both covert and overt are revealed in detail for the reader.

The text also contains accompanying photographs which will be of interest to those interested in the 1970s. The Disco effect touches deeply and in depth on three of its major themes: male homosexuality, femininity, and blackness.

It was novelist Tom Wolfe who nicknamed the 1970s decade as the "Me Decade." It was both a compliment of personal choice as well as a curse of sorts, as the phrase caught on and stuck with anything concerned with the 1970s.

Alice Echols exposes the myths concerning Disco, and showed that it was not a reflection of a decade some social critics labeled as superficial and completely disposable with little socially redeeming attributes. Again, this decade was the era that saw three major movements in the United States unfold, namely, Gay liberation, feminism, and the black freedom struggle for full equal rights. A study of the books index and chapters reveals how many important artists and fads in the mainstream were prevalent. Although the 1970s fads have come and vanished to some degree some of the many artists writers and performers who pioneered this area are still creating and active.

Alice Echols is a professor of American Studies and History at Rutgers. At one time a Disco deejay she is the author of highly acclaimed biography of Janis Joplin Scars of Sweet Paradise. Alice Echols lives in Highland Park New Jersey.

This book about Disco is bluntly honest and will have an impact on how readers review examine approach you will not be disappointed with this book and you will be surprised with the information the author shares with the readers. Highly recommended.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Lee Prosser) Book Reviews Thu, 31 Dec 2009 18:00:00 -0600