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FEATURED INTERVIEWS

  •  New Orleans trumpeter Nicholas Payton has never conformed to anyone or anything. Reading his Facebook posts and Twitter “tweets”, you sort of get an idea about how un-traditional he is. He speaks his mind and, should someone attempt to challenge…
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  • Law school creates more than a few challenges. There are hours upon hours of studying, grueling hours interning at law firms, and financial bills that need to find a way to get paid. For many law students the adversity is…
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  • Born in Dallas, Texas and now happily domiciled in Los Angeles, bass player Edwin Livingston could be described as being on the crest of a wave.  His CD 'Transitions' was released in late 2010 and when recently I caught up…
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  • Kem Owens
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    Adekemi Owens, known professionally and affectionately to music fans as "Kem," has come a long way from Nashville, Tennessee to his current hometown of Detroit, Michigan. So, one figures that is why this musical genius has written and performed songs…
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MORE INTERVIEWS

Piano dominates most piano trios. (Maybe that's why they don't call it a drum or bass trio, eh?) Thing is, this group is just called "a trio." Although the piano does carry most of the melody line, the blend and sound levels make the three instruments as much equals as in any trio I've heard. It's like a single complex instrument that demands, and deserves, attention to all three musical strands. Leader Ethan Winogrand, has covered a lot of territory, both musical and geographic. In his teens he was a rock drummer. He came to jazz via the fusion group High Tide. His trio here is mainstream.

Radio Silence, the latest CD by the Neil Cowley Trio is an entertaining collection of orginal compositions executed with sensitivity and energy that delivers the listener to another place.
The trio of Cowley on piano, Richard Sadler on bass and Evan Jenkins on drums is a is a developed unit with individual and group competence that shines through in all pieces. 

Barbara Jean started her professional music career as a country-rock bass player, and she used to kick "butt six nights a week in Phoenix trucker bars." Now in Buffalo, she has morphed into a song writer and singer in a style popular over 50 years ago; she cites "the tradition of Cole Porter and the Gershwins." Jean has a decent voice, a good ear, and an easy style with jazzy phrasing. Unfortunately, not all goes well with her first album. Sweet lives up to its name–too much so for most jazz fans. A few jolts inspired by that butt-kicking past would have improved the session and her song writing.

Drawing upon influences ranging from traditional bop to classical and even funk, The Curtis Brothers are making a musical name for themselves as one of the up and coming talents of swing in a seemingly swingless era. Artistic integrity along with a vibrant broad based sound catapults The Curtis Brothers to the head of the pack in charting a new course and raising the bar for others to follow with originality, sincerity and a deceidly personal swing all their own.

Stella Artois unveils plans for Under The Holiday Star, a free album available exclusively online.

The single, “The Nutcracker March” is available for download now at www.stellaartois.com/originalalbum/nutcracker

Only a couple of months after releasing her critically-acclaimed Embraceable CD, song stylist Nicole Henry keeps the momentum rolling with a joyous jazz collection of holiday-themed classics that were recorded live at the Cotton Club in Tokyo. Set For The Season: Live In Japan, produced by Henry and Grammy nominee Matt Pierson (Kirk Whalum, Jane Monheit, Joshua Redman), will be released October 25th on Henry’s Banister Records.

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.

John Colianni is a gifted pianist with a strong interest in swing and early bebop. Jazz is a very historically conscious genre, even as it is always moving forward. Still, even among the most historically minded contingent of modern jazz, Colianni sounds positively old-fashioned. The pianist keeps one foot squarely in a 1940s swing aesthetic, and, by the sheer joy of his playing, he obviously deeply loves the music he is drawing from. That said, one is not likely to confuse this recording with a swing recording from the 1940s. Colianni has a modern flair that is apparent both in his harmonically complex solos and his occasionally involved compositions. Even at its most complicated though, this music is always swinging, and swinging easy at that.

Heather Ramsey, vocalist and CEO of The Midwest School of Voice, honored to be releasing her second CD with "Peace Like a River." Her soulful vocal style and poignant interpretations of holiday classics are a reflection of her diverse influences in music. Renowned pianist, arranger, composer and author Dr. Monika Herzig adds her unique spin to these festive tunes to showcase Ramsey's ability to sing many styles.

Heather Ramsey, vocalist and CEO of The Midwest School of Voice, honored to be releasing her second CD with "Peace Like a River." Her soulful vocal style and poignant interpretations of holiday classics are a reflection of her diverse influences in music. Renowned pianist, arranger, composer and author Dr. Monika Herzig adds her unique spin to these festive tunes to showcase Ramsey's ability to sing many styles.