The opening for "Distance" by Norma Winstone, a laid back groove by bassist Koller and the song falls into place as imagination is set free to roam through miles of melodic space. Lindzon sings beautifully, blending registers from mid range to high end and phrasing that perfectly flows as she incorporates sustain and vibrato in flawless grace.
Silent Photographer is an excellent trio recording. The tone is generally hushed and introspective, and the improvisations are searching and cerebral. Though the group does utilize dissonance, space and tense harmony, the music never feels alienating. The musicianship here is first rate, and the group's interplay is equally impressive. Further credit also goes John Stowell (long an underrated and original guitarist) and Jeff Johnson for contributing well crafted and fitting originals to this album. This album is worth seeking out. Highly recommended.
Grammy winner Luciana Souza is one of the Jazz worlds leading singers and interpreters. Hailing from Sao Paulo, Brazil, she grew up in a family of Bossa Nova innovators. Her work as a performer transcends traditional boundaries around musical styles, offering solid roots in jazz, sophisticated lineage in world music, and an enlightened approach to classical repertoire and new music.
As a leader, Luciana Souza has eight acclaimed releases including her four Grammy nominated records "Brazilian Duos,"
Neil Tesser, who wrote the notes for this release, calls Kizer's music "chamber jazz." Well, okay, that's one element of what the Kevin Kizer Quintet is doing. They have a violin, and there are some introspective moments that suggest at times a classical approach to jazz. But there's a lot more going on that ranges from bop to fusion to gypsy jazz, and it seems as if Kizer is out to show just how versatile he is. He succeeds admirably.
Nuance and breathing room was the order of the day for Enrico Rava's February ending performance at Buffalo's Albright-Knox Art Gallery. This was the last stop on a four-city, American tour and the audience fully understood just how auspicious the afternoon's concert was to be. The quintet hit the stage and with no fanfare, immediately set to work.
Cleveland's famed Nighttown was a tour stop in late February for tenor saxophonist Danny McCaslin. The Wednesday evening crowd was plentiful and eager to hear the latest musical offering from this New York City stalwart.
Tosh Sheridan likes to play nylon-string acoustic guitar, and this album displays that in abundance. Now, before you dismiss this as wine bar or bookstore music, give it a listen. You may be surprised at his versatility, his technique, or his evident charm. He takes a baker's dozen of standards, blues, and even pop tunes, makes them do tricks in a leisurely fashion, and teams with other guitarists on nearly half the pieces to provide fascinating listening for jazz guitar fans.
If I lived in Boston, I would have already heard of Yoko Miwa. She is a mainstay of the jazz scene there, and her teaching at the Berklee College of Music places her in the center of musical activity in Boston. She also plays dynamite piano, with a left hand that could crush a Volkswagen. Perhaps the rest of the country needs to be clued in.
The Greatest Party At Sea: The Smooth Jazz Cruise
How would you like to be in Smooth Jazz Heaven? It sails around the Caribbean and features an A-list of smooth jazz performers in concert and in special moments. It's "The Smooth Jazz Cruise," which is also called "The Greatest Party At Sea." From the time you board Holland America's Westerdam until you disembark, it's just one amazing experience after another. In January, Bev and I went on what would become not only our first cruise, but the only cruise we would ever think of taking again.
"Luca Luciano is a noted Italian clarinettist and composer who now makes his home in London, having developed an enviable reputation as an instrumental virtuoso around the UK and overseas via recordings and concert hall appearances" (Musician Magazine)