Donna Kimura

Donna Kimura

Michael Feinstein is a critical link in America’s musical chain. On one side, he’s helping push it forward with his own new recordings. His most recent Concord Records release teams him with the renowned Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. Together, they offer lush new treatments of a dozen standards by Gershwin, Hammerstein, Loesser and others. It’s a rare occasion of the orchestra performing popular America music, and Feinstein’s first time recording with a symphony orchestra.

On the other side …

Telarc Jazz recording artist, Tierney Sutton, is a jazz vocalist quite unlike any performing today; she has a genuine and unique approach to jazz resulting in a sound that is hers and hers alone. Tierney would say that the sound is not hers alone, she is a member of the band, and the sound is theirs alone. I believe both she and I would be right.

The Tierney Sutton Band is a philosophical anomaly in the music world. The band has no diva, no boss, no black sheep. What they have is a team that …

Vocalist Patrice Williamson recently released her second CD, "Free to Dream," the follow-up to her acclaimed 1998 debut, "My Shining Hour." With the sophomore release, Williamson continues to build a solid body of work and expand her growing reputation. More confident than ever, she sings and scats with authority.

Williamson stretches herself with material ranging from Bud Powell’s "Celia" to Stevie Wonder’s "Another Star." She even sings a spirited, nine-minute medley of songs from "The Soun …


Rene Marie

Published in Jazz Artist Interviews
Rene Marie is proving that she’s not just another girl singer. Unafraid to take risks, she created one of the most powerful recordings of 2001 with the unlikely pairing of "Dixie" and "Strange Fruit." In addition to being a bold new interpreter, she showed that she’s a gifted songwriter with three original compositions on the album.

"Vertigo," her second MAXJAZZ release, was named to numerous "best of 2001" lists last year, and Marie earned her second consecutive Association for Independent …


Carla Cook

Published in Jazz Artist Interviews
Seeing Carla Cook perform is watching joy in motion. She sings with an ease that makes an audience instantly comfortable with her; yet she can turn on the intensity at a moment’s notice. She glides through a song, nodding to each of her instrumentalists as they take their turn at the spotlight. In acknowledging the applause, she generously includes her sidemen.

Carla’s musical background includes training as a choral singer in many different styles, as well as piano and string bass studies. Sh …

A single label can’t confine Claire Ritter. She’s a pianist and a composer and a teacher. Her music isn’t strictly jazz, nor is it purely classical. It’s her own 'Ritter'ary style.

While most artists are satisfied with releasing their CDs one at a time, Ritter goes against convention and gives us two. She recently released both "River of Joy," a largely solo piano project, and "Castles in the Air," an ambitious multi-instrumental recording, featuring bassist Steve Swallow among others.

B …

Diane Schuur stands as one of jazz music’s top vocalists, her competition being no less than divas Carmen McRae, Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald. Since being discovered by Stan Getz at the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1979, Schuur has built an impressive and inspiring career, including winning two Grammy Awards. Blinded at birth in a hospital accident, Schuur also received the prestigious Helen Keller Personal Achievement Award in 2000.

For many of her fans, a highlight in her career is the s …

On her new CD, singer Kitty Margolis draws listeners into her world.

"Left Coast Life" (Mad-Kat Records) is Margolis’ fourth recording and her most personal to date. Using a mix of original songs, pop standards and unconventional covers, the San Francisco-based vocalist illuminates and celebrates the attitudes and characters found out West. "Jaded poseur modern cool," she writes in "You Just Might Get It. "Style over substance is the cardinal rule."

Each song - whether its Frank Loesser’ …

The audience applauds. The band jumps into a song, and then Mary Stallings effortlessly joins in. "I love the east, I love the west," she sings in a voice that's as warm and true as a convertible ride through the heart of spring. "I love the north and south, they're the best, only go there as a guest, cause I love being here with you."

More than just the opening of Stallings' latest CD "Live at the Village Vanguard," it's a fitting declaration from a critically acclaimed singer, who's b …

Paula West

Published in Jazz Artist Interviews
Ask a music fan in San Francisco where to go and you’ll be spending the night at the elegant Plush Room, where rising star Paula West regularly performs.

With the recent release of her third CD, West is poised to capture a nationwide audience of jazz fans. The new CD, "Come What May," is earning strong reviews, and she’s about to take her lush voice and exquisite song list to New York’s Algonquin Hotel for a five-week run, beginning Oct. 30. During her stay, she’ll be backed by some of …