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01.05.2012

Take 6 One

Ten-time Grammy and ten-time Dove winners, TAKE 6, (Claude McKnight, Mark Kibble, Joel Kibble, Dave Thomas, Alvin Chea and Khristian Dentley) have a lot to be grateful for as they celebrate their 25th Anniversary with the release of their new album One. There is only ONE quintessential acapella group and it's Take 6!

On her new Jazz CD, "Here's To Love," vocalist Carol Nielsson draws from a career in musical theater to add a fresh, yet comfortable spin on old favorites. She recalls the innocent delivery of Doris Day, her voice both sweet and nuanced. She honors the songs by singing them the way they were written, reminding us why we fell in love with this music in the first place.

It doesn't hurt that she has assembled some of the finest musicians on the Pacific Northwest Jazz Scene.

"Goodbye To Yesterday" is the debut single from Incognito's 15th album Surreal. Bandleader Jean-Paul "Bluey" Maunick recalls the genesis of the song, "Goodbye To Yesterday" featuring Mo Brandis, who also co-wrote and co-produced the track with me, was the by-product of two creative minds a generation apart, proves that great melodies and well crafted lyrics hold the key to creations that have a timeless quality to them. This song could have easily been sung by Steve Winwood in the 60's, Stevie Wonder in the 70's, Michael Jackson in the 80's, George Michael in the 90's. The catchy horn lines arranged by Trevor Mires make the track even more hooky and immediate."

Stephanie Jordan Sings a Tribute to the Fabulous Lena Horne; Yesterday When I Was Young:  "Great lyrics permeate this beautifully rendered homage, and Jordan has the skill sets to do them justice—a voice that projects from a whisper to a scream, impeccable diction, dead-center pitch, fluid phrasing. Backed by a breathe-as-one 8-piece unit of top-shelf New Orleanians that sounds twice its size, and counterstated by a cohort of virtuoso soloists, she finds fresh, unfailingly swinging approaches to this well-traveled repertoire, melding into a personal argot elements garnered from such distinguished mentors as Shirley Horn, Abbey Lincoln, Nancy Wilson—and Lena Horne herself—while sounding like no one other than Stephanie Jordan. As she aptly puts it, "it's a tribute, not a copy." - Ted Panken

 

 

"Something Cool" by Veronica klaus with Tammy L. Hall Quartet is coming May 21, 2012.   Funding in part by crowd-funding, here is a sneak peek.  

Visual artist, pianist, vocalist, and composer Meredith d'Ambrosio has quietly been releasing critically acclaimed recordings since 1978.  Never one to push recordings on her fans, By Myself is her first release since 2006.  This new 2011 recording features, exclusively, the songs of Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz and is framed only by her voice and sparse piano playing.

Singer Carmen Lundy has returned to the scene with an album that can easily be categorized as one of her best yet.  With music that is both consistent and a pleasure to listen to, this nine-track collection is entitled 'Changes' and features eight original compositions.  It is a CD that will charm you, encourage you to dance, sing along and quite simply will brighten your mood.  The tracks speak about love from all angles and include themes ranging from love for neighbors and friends, new love and breakups.  With a CD launch planned for March 8 – 11 at the Jazz Standard in New York, and another in LA on March 29 and 30, Carmen took time out to speak to JazzReview about the new CD and her upcoming work.

Vocalist Rene Marie's seventh CD as a leader, Voice Of My Beautiful Country, borrows heavily from Americana as well as, what appears on almost every jazz vocalist's recording recently, a number of standards drawn from the wider rock world.  The best part of the recording is how Marie proves there is great depth that can be mined from songs many of us grew up on.  "O Shenandoah," for example, gets an extended treatment that is so free flowing and open to possibilities one can't help but imagine it's this arrangement of the folk song getting called up on gigs. 

It has to have been difficult for Lorraine Feather.  Her father, Leonard Feather, was the man who not only singlehandedly defined the role of the modern jazz critic, but was also arguably the greatest jazz journalist ever.  That's a huge shadow to grow up under, especially if the daughter has talents and ambitions that heavily lean towards the aural arts.  Lorraine, however, has fashioned a career that is apologetic to no one.

When Diane Schuur burst on the national scene in 1985 with the release of her Deedles recording on GRP, the world was treated to an exceptional vocalist who had strengths in jazz and jazz-pop crossover.  Her string of hit records was aided by not just topnotch production and producing via her partnership with the Dave Grusin - Larry Rosen brain trust, but also a selection of material that fit her voice and abilities in way that has rarely been seen since.  Add to this her abundant skill on piano, which is subtle and always overlooked, and you had an artist for whom, it seemed, nothing could go wrong.

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