Andre Caporaso is an independent and determined musician, having self-produced six records for his own Blue Room label. His press kit quotes him: "The music I compose is more important to me than focusing only on the popular markets and record sales the record labels were looking for." Night in a Strange Land testifies to this guitar player's eclectic musical interests along with the chops to masterfully pursue them.
A winner in the 2008 Downbeat rising star poll, post-bop tenor man Donny McCaslin probably qualifies now as a fully risen star. He's worked with many jazz luminaries and has been a solid part of Dave Douglas's working quintet since 2005. On Declaration, McCaslin proves his chops as a player, composer and arranger...
John Blum is a New York-born free-jazz pianist. On this record you will hear music that is to mainstream jazz what abstract art is to renaissance painting. The same tools are in play: a musical instrument, notes, rhythm, harmony...and you will hear sound bites from time to time that hint at conventional jazz roots, but what ends up on the musical canvas is of a parallel artistic universe. When you hit “play” you will know immediately that you are not in jazz Kansas anymore.
Pamela Hines is a New England Conservatory of Music graduate who is making her mark in jazz with an eclectic series of releases. This Heart of Mine is her solo piano album from 2009. This followed her 2008 New Christmas, an adventurous record consisting entirely of holiday originals. You don’t see many artists try that any more—and Hines gets credit just for the effort, let alone the music.
Stevie Wonder brought the sound of the chromatic harmonica into mainstream consciousness with his numerous recorded solos on the instrument, such as the melody on his 1970s hit "Isn't She Lovely". Chromology will of course appeal to jazz harmonica fans who are looking to go beyond the familiarity of the legendary Toots Thielemans, but for those of you who think "jazz harmonica" is an oxymoron, give a listen and let Chet Williamson show you it makes perfect sense.
From the opening light bop of "The Cobbler" to the loping closer from which the record takes its title, "A Little Somethin'," this is a thoroughly enjoyable set of straight-ahead jazz from an uncommon combo format...
Choose One, the self-released, first jazz record by Denver guitarist Ryan Fourt, is a charming collection of straight-ahead, bop-oriented jazz. Of the eight tunes, Fourt composed three, sideman Shilo Stroman one, and the rest are a mix of standards.The title track, “Choose One,” opens the record with light-hearted bop. While the title connects well with the cover art, showing Fourt with guitar in hand at a fork in a wooded road, the title for this tune could also come from the fact that alto s