Michael Perry - jazzreview.com - Your Jazz Music Connection - jazzreview.com - Your Jazz Music Connection http://jazzreview.com Wed, 24 May 2017 03:17:06 -0500 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb When the Night is New by Abigail Riccards http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/jazz-vocals-cd-reviews/when-the-night-is-new-by-abigail-riccards.html http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/jazz-vocals-cd-reviews/when-the-night-is-new-by-abigail-riccards.html The evolution of jazz has taken many complicated and unexpected turns.... but there are many things that were meant to stay the same. Jazz vocals fall into the latter ca…

The evolution of jazz has taken many complicated and unexpected turns.... but there are many things that were meant to stay the same. Jazz vocals fall into the latter category. Abigail Riccards Shows a deep respect and dedication to this particular form. Her trueness to the sound of jazz vocals is what will put her in the forefront of today’s female artists. From the beginning of her first release, When the Night is New, Abigail’s voice captures you and has you captivated with a smooth, stylish, almost hypnotizing sound. There is no escaping the feeling that this is what she was meant to do.

Her first selection on this recording draws you in and makes you want more. She delivers on every song: her classic vocal styling keep you holding on to every note. With songs by such legendary composers as Rogers and Hammerstein, Ray Noble, Cole Porter, and more recent work by Sting, Abigail shows that not only can she cover a lot of ground, but she can do it with grace and maintain the original character of each piece.

As far as a first project goes, usually used as a tool to find where a musician’s strongest points are, and test the borders of one’s abilities, Miss Riccards has certainly shown versatility and skill in choices of not only music, but the musicians that accompany her.

She is all but destined to succeed and become one of the all-time great female vocalists, and I look forward to hearing more from this talented young lady. Bravo, Abigail!

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Michael Perry) Jazz Vocals - CD Reviews Sat, 05 May 2007 07:00:00 -0500
Sun Set by Linda Ciofalo http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/jazz-vocals-cd-reviews/sun-set-by-linda-ciofalo.html http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/jazz-vocals-cd-reviews/sun-set-by-linda-ciofalo.html Linda Ciofalo has a voice that reaches out and grabs you. You just have to pay attention. Her vocal talent is among the best heard today. She is in great company, as much o…
Linda Ciofalo has a voice that reaches out and grabs you. You just have to pay attention. Her vocal talent is among the best heard today. She is in great company, as much of a talented vocalist as Jane Monheit or Sophie Milman.She is one of the few new musicians who can transfer the passion and emotion of their craft to the listener. She is truly an instrument on her own. My guess is that she would sound equally great without a band. She is accompanied by several great musicians: John Hart on guitar, John di Martino on piano, Joel Frahm on sax, drummer Matt Wilson, and Marcus McLaurine on bass. All talented musicians that add to the quality of this project.Her newest release is a compilation of songs by such greats as Rogers and Hammerstein, Gershwin, Lennon and McCartney and Stevie Wonder. Each song retains the character of the original, but is made even more outstanding by the addition of Linda’s magical vocals. She has a sophistication in her voice that maintains the integrity of these classic tunes. There is a realness in her sound that makes each melody her own. Her future is certain to be bright, and her own "sun set" is far off.Linda, keep up the beautiful music, and I look forward to hearing more from you, soon.
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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Michael Perry) Jazz Vocals - CD Reviews Fri, 27 Apr 2007 19:00:00 -0500
A Greater Love by Nancy Donnelly http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/jazz-vocals-cd-reviews/a-greater-love-by-nancy-donnelly.html http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/jazz-vocals-cd-reviews/a-greater-love-by-nancy-donnelly.html Jazz vocalist Nancy Donnelly is a taste of the old school of jazz, when vocals counted for something. Her voice carries you off to the jazz and swing clubs of the 30s an…

Jazz vocalist Nancy Donnelly is a taste of the old school of jazz, when vocals counted for something. Her voice carries you off to the jazz and swing clubs of the 30s and 40s. Her voicing is mellow and smooth, with the natural tones not found in this world taken over by smooth jazz and contemporary synthesized music.

Her debut is flooded with the swinging sounds that were noted in the past days of jazz and made so many women of her caliber into icons in the industry.

Her sound can easily be imagined performing the great standards of Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Nancy Wilson, and Diane Schuur. Along with the instrumental backing of the talented musicians found on this debut CD, Nancy has created a niche for herself that hasn’t been filled by many talented women in the last 50 years. She’s in great company.

Nancy’s background in music consists of formal education at Crane School of Music, The Boston Conservatory of Music, and hands on experience with Igor Butman, Peggy Stern, Bob Moses, and others.She has played such venues as The Village Gate, Birdland, Iridium, etc.

Her abilities are great and the future is bright for this lovely lady with the lovely voice. Watch out world, here comes Nancy Donnelly.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Michael Perry) Jazz Vocals - CD Reviews Wed, 19 Jul 2006 19:00:00 -0500
Givin It Up by George Benson & Al Jarreau http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/various-jazz-styles-cd-reviews/givin-it-up-by-george-benson-al-jarreau.html http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/various-jazz-styles-cd-reviews/givin-it-up-by-george-benson-al-jarreau.html This album has far too many huge stars to list them all. Simply stated, there is more talent on this album than you can imagine. The great legends that are George Benson an…
This album has far too many huge stars to list them all. Simply stated, there is more talent on this album than you can imagine. The great legends that are George Benson and Al Jarreau are complemented by the cornucopia of musicians that are found on board.

Guest vocalists of both yesterday and today contributed to this work to bring it to fruition, bringing so many different aspects to the table. They run the gamut from the legendary Paul McCartney to the stylish vocal abilities of Jill Scott. Of course, the vocal percussion sounds are provided by Mr. Jarreau as only he could do.

Along with original selections by Mr. Jarreau and various co-writers, remakes of classics by both artists and covers of other classic tunes are featured. This time around, special touches were added to some old favorites to give them new life, such as adding vocals to "Breezin’" and taking the vocals away from "Mornin’ " to make them classics all over again.

The magic doesn’t stop at vocal talent, either. Along with the amazing guitar work of Mr. Benson, there guitar contributions by Freddie Fox, A. Ray Fuller, Dean Parks and Michael O’Neill. Added together with the collective talents of Marion Meadows on sax, Stanley Clarke on upright bass, Herbie Hancock on piano, and Chris Botti on trumpet, and others too numerous to mention on this page, the caliber of this recording is without equal.

This is a long awaited production that comes not a moment too soon. These gentlemen have been friends for some thirty or so years, but have only worked together on a few projects. This is the first time they have worked together on a project of this size. I’m sure I speak for millions of fans when I say that we want more from this super duo. This one is destined to be a classic.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Michael Perry) Various Jazz Styles - CD Reviews Sat, 22 Apr 2006 13:00:00 -0500
These Days by ellen johnson http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/other-cd-reviews/these-days-by-ellen-johnson.html http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/other-cd-reviews/these-days-by-ellen-johnson.html Ellen’s singing career began in Chicago, where she exhibited a versatile mix of acoustic styles, ranging from pop and jazz to theatrical numbers.It could be said …

Ellen’s singing career began in Chicago, where she exhibited a versatile mix of acoustic styles, ranging from pop and jazz to theatrical numbers.

It could be said that her vocal qualities resemble that of Ella Fitzgerald, Helen Reddy, Betty Carter among other soulful ladies. Her vocal effects are unique and not often heard in modern jazz. Her use of the bass as a main instrument as opposed to a back up is a rare touch in this age of overstated, synthesized music. The vocals and bass flow so well together and it has a natural aspect. The use of guitar, drums and percussion likewise fit as easily with the smooth tonation of bass and vocals.

At times, her selections offer a bluesy sound that sends you back to the dark, smoky underground jazz clubs of the 60’s, also shown by the use of poetry in songs such as "Little Messenger". Even the wording of the acknowledgments in the CD jacket show her strong poetic leaning.

Another notable quality is her use of Portuguese in the song "Esperanca Perdida". Not many can do it in this way. I like to think Mr. Jobim would probably give a thumbs up for her rendition of his classic tune.

All around, this is a memorable work by a remarkable vocalist.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Michael Perry) Other - CD Reviews Tue, 18 Apr 2006 13:00:00 -0500
Quiet Nights by Linton Garner Trio http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/straight-ahead-classic-cd-reviews/quiet-nights-by-linton-garner-trio.html http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/straight-ahead-classic-cd-reviews/quiet-nights-by-linton-garner-trio.html QUIET NIGHTS was recorded live November 17th, 2002 at The Cellar, a Vancouver jazz club and restaurant, the result of an impromptu recording session. You can almo…

QUIET NIGHTS was recorded live November 17th, 2002 at The Cellar, a Vancouver jazz club and restaurant, the result of an impromptu recording session. You can almost place yourself in the audience during that night. You can feel the energy in the room as the audience applauds every number. The music is upbeat and joyful, and pours from the instruments like a stream. The rhythm and style come across in such a way as to capture you from the very first song. And they are not likely to let go, either.

Every element of this album fits together in its place. Linton Garner's style of piano is simple yet sophisticated, and his lifetime experience of playing jazz is heard in every note. He has played with such great artists as Art Blakey, Dizzy Gillespie, and Miles Davis, just to name a few.

Accompanied by two of his closest friends, Russ Botten on bass, and Ross Taggart on tenor sax, the songs sound natural and clear. They have a quality that makes them sound as though they have been playing together forever. The sounds are as mellow as mellow can be, and the recording quality is as good as it would have been in the studio.

Simple and timeless, this is what jazz is supposed to be.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Michael Perry) Straight-Ahead - CD Reviews Mon, 03 Apr 2006 01:00:00 -0500
Preface by OneUpOneDown http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/other-cd-reviews/preface-by-oneuponedown.html http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/other-cd-reviews/preface-by-oneuponedown.html Preface by OneUpOneDown
A lot of great music has come out of Canada. This piece is no exception. OneUpOneDown is a duo that will get your attention. Their soft, sophisticated sounds cascade fro…

A lot of great music has come out of Canada. This piece is no exception. OneUpOneDown is a duo that will get your attention. Their soft, sophisticated sounds cascade from the speakers into the depths of your mind. Mellow tones envelop you and put you in a relaxed state reminiscent of a walk in the park during early autumn.

The talent of these two gentlemen is rarely rivaled in this day and age, and they work together so well, one would almost have to assume they share one mind as far as their music is concerned.

Mr. Shrofel can massage the keys of his piano in such a delicate manner and releases such passion through the fingers. One word comes to mind.... magical. This kind of skill only comes from a deep, sincere love for his instrument of choice. There are many great pianists out there, but the style brought forth in this CD is unsurpassed in works of the past couple of decades.

The saxophone is one (if not the) most sensual of all instruments in jazz. The sounds are like a warm, lulling breeze to the senses. Not only is it played superbly by Mr. Wallis, but I feel he breathes his very life and soul through it. It becomes a part of him. An extension of his being.

This is truly an expression of the love for this musical art form we call our beloved jazz. Two more fine musicians have yet to be heard this century. Wonderful work!

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Michael Perry) Other - CD Reviews Fri, 07 Oct 2005 01:00:00 -0500
Dido & Aeneas by Respectable Groove http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/other-cd-reviews/dido-aeneas-by-respectable-groove.html http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/other-cd-reviews/dido-aeneas-by-respectable-groove.html In recent years, it has been a common thing to see classic works modernized. Examples of this would be the remake of Romeo and Juliet, starring Leo DiCaprio and…

In recent years, it has been a common thing to see classic works modernized. Examples of this would be the remake of Romeo and Juliet, starring Leo DiCaprio and A Midsummer Nights Dream with Nathan Lane and Callista Flockhart. These are very well done and modernized in such a way that they feel familiar yet remain true to their origins.

Dido & Aeneas by Respectable Groove is another such modernized work. Upon opening the case, you will find a brief summary of the original work of Henry Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas and original artwork commissioned by the designer ’minty’ to be used as a portable stage set for their performances. This is truly brilliant.

That is only the beginning. Similar to the symphonic poems of the great composers of the past, the music sets the scene and emotional setting for each act. The unconventional combination of harpsichord, recorder, double bass and drums work well together. It gives a feeling of the music of the past holding hands with the modern sound of jazz.

This being said, this is a well put together and thought out compilation. In my opinion, it is destined to take its place with the other modernized classics.

Bravo, Respectable Groove! Very well done.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Michael Perry) Other - CD Reviews Wed, 17 Aug 2005 01:00:00 -0500
Duets by Nicola Stilo Toninho Horta http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/brazilian-jazz-brazilian-pop-jazz-cd-reviews/duets-by-nicola-stilo-toninho-horta.html http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/brazilian-jazz-brazilian-pop-jazz-cd-reviews/duets-by-nicola-stilo-toninho-horta.html This CD has an entrancing appeal to those who love Brazilian style jazz. You can not escape the smooth style that just flows from the speakers as you listen to this albu…

This CD has an entrancing appeal to those who love Brazilian style jazz. You can not escape the smooth style that just flows from the speakers as you listen to this album.

The joining together of artists Nicola Stilo and Toninho Horta has produced a sound as unique as Brazil herself. This pairing creates a smooth, flowing sound that soothes your need for real music in a world that is just so full of noise. The brilliant guitar work of Mr. Horta is powerful and sounds as though his instrument is part of his body- as familiar to him as his own hands. Mr. Stilo produces such a mellow sound with his flute. His years of experience are brought forth with every note. Together, they bring you into a realm where art is music, and music is art.

The vocal stylings of Mr. Horta are, in my opinion, reminiscent of the great Joao Gilberto. The voice alone can sound as smooth and graceful as any instrument, and his mixes very well with the flute and guitar to create a feeling that just can’t be described with words (not in English, anyway).

This is most assuredly a must have for any Brazilian Jazz lover, and must be not only listened to, but experienced. I look forward to further collaborations by this duo.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Michael Perry) Brazilian Jazz / Brazilian Pop Jazz - CD Reviews Sat, 09 Jul 2005 19:00:00 -0500
Bright Road by Min Rager http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/straight-ahead-classic-cd-reviews/bright-road-by-min-rager.html http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/straight-ahead-classic-cd-reviews/bright-road-by-min-rager.html Can piano jazz get any better? The answer to this is a given. It is always getting better and better, and there will always be better and better bands. The Min Rager Qui…

Can piano jazz get any better? The answer to this is a given. It is always getting better and better, and there will always be better and better bands. The Min Rager Quintet is an example of such a group. Their debut album, Bright Road, is an exercise in artistic arrangement and serious talent. They are destined for success in this industry.

All the compositions on Min’s debut disc are her own, showing off the great talent at composing and arranging that she can call her own. She has been called an outstandingly gifted young jazz pianist .... what an understatement! You don’t often see talent of this caliber in a performer so young. The integrity of their music is felt in every track.

This group of fine musicians fit so well together, it seems as though they have been together forever. Smooth sax and trumpet, driving bass, and rhythmic drums only serve to complement the magical piano that you hear on this CD. Listening to this quartet of fine musicians makes one see just how much the world of piano jazz and instrumental groups has evolved to a seriously fine art.

I see nothing but a Bright Road ahead for this group. Truly a gifted group of performers.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Michael Perry) Straight-Ahead - CD Reviews Sun, 03 Jul 2005 01:00:00 -0500