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)
Internationally recognised for his groundbreaking contributions to contemporary clarinet music, extremely appreciated by the International Clarinet association, "Luciano has established himself as the friendly face of contemporary clarinet" according to the Clarinet & Saxophone Society of Great Britain. His latest album "Partenope" is receiving praises in three continents (BBC Radio, Jazzradio.com, CRN Australia nationwide, in Brazil and South America, RTE national broadcaster of Ireland and radios around Europe) including a number of interviews for the press and on radio.
The scrolling notes of pianist of Yelena Echemoff embroider imagery soundscapes that soothe, excite and entrap the listener in an experience beyond earthly dimensions. Her latest album Flying Steps features Peter Erskine on drums and Darek Oleszkiewicz on double bass, and establishes Echemoff as an engaging pianist and composer of ambient bliss.
Remember the 1970s – of course you don't, you weren't born yet. Trust me, it was a great time for jazz. Big record labels, like Columbia and Warner Brothers, gave their stable of jazz artists good funding to produce personal statements not bounded by end of quarter financial statements. Even small labels, like CTI and Arista, gave their artists the room to find their own way. The result was the best, most diverse, decade of jazz ever created. Cinque harkens back to those great days.
A mixture of recurring motifs and improvisational soloing, the bebop stylizing of pianist Mike Longo is reflective of the generation of music where he came from, which is that of the late '50s and early '60s. A time when saying you're a fan of jazz denoted your good taste or savoir faire in music. Longo's new recording To My Surprise bolsters a collage of swinging soirees like "Limbo" buffered by the relaxing torch lit embers of "Alone Again." The tracks are made for the nightclub ambience both congenial and upbeat reminiscent of Mary Lou Williams and Roy Eldridge.
I've been listening to Sir Paul McCartney's newest CD Kisses on the Bottom for a number of hours on repeat. I have to say this at the outset ... It truly is an outstanding piece of music.
The songs are well chosen, heartfelt and beautiful to listen to. They conjure romantic yearnings easily and effortlessly as McCartney delivers up his captivating vocals ... along with Eric Clapton's jazzy guitar riffs, Diana Krall's beautiful piano playing and Stevie Wonder's enchanting harmonica work.
Traipsing from somber lulls to jubilant bursts, trumpeter Mike Field is a force of nature flint by a mix of bop and swing with schisms of improvisation. His new CD, Phoenix Rising from the Ashes features Carlie Howell on upright bass, Dave Chan on drums, Paul Metcalfe on tenor saxophone, and Matt Newton on piano. Produced by Field, the recording is a lavish assortment of intertwining swirls and a tussle of flourishes tethered to a sprinting stride.