Natasha Mitchell - jazzreview.com - Your Jazz Music Connection - jazzreview.com - Your Jazz Music Connection http://www.jazzreview.com Tue, 23 May 2017 16:17:42 -0500 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Keeper by Stryker The Stryker/Slagle Band http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/contemporary-jazz-cd-reviews/ http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/contemporary-jazz-cd-reviews/ A remarkable quartet co-lead by guitarist Dave Stryker and saxophonist/flautist Steve Slagle produces a Keeper worth listening to. The 10-track compilation is t…

A remarkable quartet co-lead by guitarist Dave Stryker and saxophonist/flautist Steve Slagle produces a Keeper worth listening to. The 10-track compilation is the fifth outing of the Stryker/Slagle Band and is the third project to partner Stryker and Slagle with bassist Jay Anderson and drummer Victor Lewis. Anderson and Lewis reappear after the 2008 critcally acclaimed The Scene.

Keeper was recorded at a successful engagement at New York's Jazz Standard in Anderson's Mountain Rest Studio in upstate New Paltz. The result is a relaxed, refreshing sound that showcases each of the band member's individual talents. The title track offers the listener a beautiful blend of sax and strings, propelled by the articulate drumming of Lewis. The group does an interesting arrangement of Thelonious Monk's "Ruby My Dear," in which Slage's alto tone conjures the appropriate tone for the song's melancholy melody. The compilation ends with the AfroCuban-flavored track "Good 4 U," which gives drummer Lewis the opportunity to display his singularly signature voice. With 20 years of experience together, the Stryker/Slagle Band has become one of the most well-known groups playing jazz today. The talents of two leaders as composers and improvisers sets the group apart from being just another pickup band who merely performs at a gig.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Natasha Mitchell) Contemporary Jazz - CD Reviews Sat, 23 Jan 2010 18:00:00 -0600
Slow Moving Dog by Eric Skye Acoustic Groove Trio http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/soul-/-funk-jazz-cd-reviews/slow-moving-dog-by-eric-skye-acoustic-groove-trio.html http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/soul-/-funk-jazz-cd-reviews/slow-moving-dog-by-eric-skye-acoustic-groove-trio.html It was two great summer days in downtown Portland, Oregon when three musicians got together at a loft space sitting, jamming, listening to each other and grooving along.…

It was two great summer days in downtown Portland, Oregon when three musicians got together at a loft space sitting, jamming, listening to each other and grooving along. It was literally the first time the musicians played together. The result of the session produced another project for the Eric Skye Acoustic Groove Trio.

The 11-track Slow Moving Dog consisted of original bluesy soul jazz grooves recorded live in a studio. There are no overdubs, no gooey reverbs, et cetera, just the compilation of Eric Skye, a Pacific Northwest jazz guitarist, Bruce Robertson, a New York City, British-invasion influenced drummer, and Brian Casey, a virtuoso upright jazz bassist. The tracks bring the group some form of nostalgic memories.

"Happy Cake" recalls a favorite treat at a long gone Ace Cafe on Folsom Street in San Francisco. "Lemon Merengue" is a fun groove that started out as a samba. "Slow Moving Dog" is about the day Robertson noticed a dog laying on a very busy sidewalk in the studio's security cam. He said, "Man, that's one slow moving dog."

As a listener, one can not only feel the love of music emulated by each musician, but the joy each one brings to the scene. It's simply a project one could listen to several times and not realize it. The interaction element was brilliant and to forsake the studio preliminaries for live music is intimate and fun indeed.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Natasha Mitchell) Soul / Funk Jazz - CD Reviews Sat, 23 Jan 2010 12:00:00 -0600
Catalina Cool by Paul Thomas Yoder http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/smooth-jazz-cd-reviews/catalina-cool-by-paul-thomas-yoder.html http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/smooth-jazz-cd-reviews/catalina-cool-by-paul-thomas-yoder.html According to his online bio, Paul Thomas Yoder plays trumpet and flugelhorn with unbridled passion. An accomplished musician and vocalist (with some 30+ years of experie…

According to his online bio, Paul Thomas Yoder plays trumpet and flugelhorn with unbridled passion. An accomplished musician and vocalist (with some 30+ years of experience under his belt), Yoder's horn style is as crisp and cool as the established masters, but he stands out from the pack by surrounding his melodies with gritty cutting-edge rock, euro-electronic and hip-hop production.

In his second CD release, Catalina Cool, Yoder boasts a star-studded work of art that incorporates elements of the smooth jazz world with his tone and signature sound. Some of the hottest stars included on the 11-track compilation are Mindi Abair, Michael Lington, Paul Jackson, Jr., Chris Standring, Jay Soto, Freddie Fox and Dan Kuranmoto of Hiroshima. Check out tracks such as "Catalina Cool," featuring Chris Standring, "Susan," featuring Michael Lington, and "Coming Home Baby," featuring Jay Soto.

The music is smooth, fresh, mesmerizing and comes just in time for those long summer drives. Yoder presents awesome melodies, great hooks and thoughtful improvisation. Bravo! :D Yoder's resume includes the Bank of America Music Award, Principal Trumpet - Pasandena Junior Symphony, Tournament of Roses Herald Trumpets, Principal Trumpet - Continental Jazz Orchestra. Yoder also cites the following artists as his influences: Greg Adams, Rick Braun, Chris Botti, Bryan Culbertson, David Benoit, Candy Dulfer, The Rippingtons, Craig Chaquico, Maynard, Miles Davis, Keiko Matsui, Rascal Flats, Toby Keith, Shania Twain, Yngwie Malmsteen, Hoobastank, Rammstein, Megadeth, Avenged Sevenfold, Evanescence, Chimera and Killswitch Engage.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Natasha Mitchell) Smooth Jazz - CD Reviews Fri, 22 Jan 2010 18:00:00 -0600
Before Me by Gladys Knight http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/jazz-vocals-cd-reviews/before-me-by-gladys-knight.html http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/jazz-vocals-cd-reviews/before-me-by-gladys-knight.html Produced by Tommy LiPuma and Phil Ramone, Before Me, is a poignant, heartfelt tribute to stellar female artists - Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaugha…

Produced by Tommy LiPuma and Phil Ramone, Before Me, is a poignant, heartfelt tribute to stellar female artists - Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, Lena Horne, and Nina Simone - who set the path for such vocalists as Gladys Knight.

In an two-disc re-release, Knight not only pays tribute to these women, but she also includes an exclusive DVD that highlights interview and recording footage of Before Me. The listener can also view Knight describing her high school years performing with an Atlanta jazz band; her early encounters with the female artists profiled throughout her project with interpretation as to how these great songs influenced her life; a live in the studio footage of recording vocals for Before Me with Phil Ramone at Right Track Studios in New York and with Tommy LiPuma at Capital Studios in Los Angeles.

The instrumentalists and orchestra who perform with Knight throughout the 12-track project are certainly on key, and very little seems out of place. If there are any discrepancies, one would have to listen very hard to notice. Starting with the Duke Ellington-Bob Russell selection, "Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me," Knight pours her heart and soul into each song. Knight stands out over many predecessors who have tackled these songs, due to her light touch and nostalgia. For example, she whispers her way through George and Ira Gershwin's "The Man I Love" as well as gives a smoky performance of Billie Holiday's songs such as "Good Morning Heartache," "The Man I Love," and "God Bless the Child." "Come Sunday," which connected many fans to gospel legend Mahalia Jackson, displays Knight's shining star as she punches her way through with a newfound fervor.

If this project doesn't obtain a Grammy Award nomination, it will be unfortunate. Knight has made a comeback, and her project should warrant some notice.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Natasha Mitchell) Jazz Vocals - CD Reviews Wed, 07 Jun 2006 13:00:00 -0500
Forever, For Always, For Luther Vol. 2 by Various Artists http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/contemporary-jazz-cd-reviews/forever-for-always-for-luther-vol.-2-by-various-artists.html http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/contemporary-jazz-cd-reviews/forever-for-always-for-luther-vol.-2-by-various-artists.html The legacy of R&B crooner Luther Vandross lives on, thanks to some of his jazz friends who captured his eclectic, moving music via vocal and instrumental compilations. S…

The legacy of R&B crooner Luther Vandross lives on, thanks to some of his jazz friends who captured his eclectic, moving music via vocal and instrumental compilations. Sales of "Forever, For Always, For Luther Vol. 2" went toward the American Stroke Association, which supports stroke research, education and public advocacy. Rendezvous Records partnered with the American Heart Association for this project.

Produced by Rex Rideout and Bud Harner, "Forever, For Always, For Luther Vol. 2" highlights a stellar lineup of jazz artists and singers: Gerald Albright, Patti Austin, Norman Brown, Will Downing, Jonathan Butler, Everette Harp, Jeff Lorber, Maysa, Najee, Wayman Tisdale, Kevin Whalum and Kirk Whalum.

From the first listen, each of the 10 tracks are as great and different as Vandross was when he performed them. "Forever, For Always, For Luther Vol. 2" is truly a notable celebration of the talent of a singer/songwriter whose life ended early on July 1, 2005.

Being a longtime Vandross fan, this disc is a great one to add to the collection. Former NBA player Tisdale (of Tulsa, Oklahoma) certainly stands out in his instrumental take on the track, "The Glow of Love." The listener can certainly feel Tisdale's enthusiasm as he plays each guitar stroke. The Whalum brothers (Kirk and Kevin) certainly are a great asset, as they present their interpretations of "There's Nothing Better Than Love," which also features vocalist Maysa, and "Give Me the Reason." These two songs were certainly Vandross' signature hits, and once the listener gets into those songs, it's hard to press stop before the compact disc ends with "Superstar." One certainly does feel like a "superstar" at the end of this great compilation, and as a fan, I look forward to any future compilations and/or concerts these artists will give in the future.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Natasha Mitchell) Contemporary Jazz - CD Reviews Wed, 07 Jun 2006 07:00:00 -0500
In the Loop by Ted Nash and Still Evolved http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/straight-ahead-classic-cd-reviews/in-the-loop-by-ted-nash-and-still-evolved.html http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/straight-ahead-classic-cd-reviews/in-the-loop-by-ted-nash-and-still-evolved.html In the Loop marks tenor saxophonist Ted Nash's third compact disc and his second CD with jazz group Still Evolved. Band member…

In the Loop marks tenor saxophonist Ted Nash's third compact disc and his second CD with jazz group Still Evolved. Band members Marcus Printup (trumpet), Ben Allison (bass), Frank Kimbrough (piano) and Matt Wilson (drums) all make return appearances.

The nine-track disc features original compositions influenced by Nash's travels with the Jazz at Lincoln Center orchestra with jazz great Wynton Marsalis, commissions by the Zenon Dance Co. in Minneapolis, Minn., and Cafe Dupra, a restaurant Nash describes as "a place where you can get a good caffeine fix and better dessert." The tenor saxophonist's musical educations pays off as he produces moving, innovative bebop compositions. Of course, being exposed to music at an early age through his father, trombonist Dick Nash, and uncle, reedman Ted Nash, has been fruitful and beneficial, as well.

Downbeat Magazine has recognized Nash as a rising star in the alto saxophone category from 2004-06 as well as a rising star in the tenor saxophone category from 2003-05.

Besides In the Loop,Nash can be heard on other projects, including Strange City's The Herbie Nichols Project, with Ben Allison on projects Third Eye, Medicine Wheel and Riding the Nuclear Tiger and projects A Love Supreme and Don’t Be Afraid, the Clown's Afraid, Too with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Natasha Mitchell) Straight-Ahead - CD Reviews Fri, 21 Apr 2006 19:00:00 -0500
Accidental Beef by Barry Romberg http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/smooth-jazz-cd-reviews/accidental-beef-by-barry-romberg.html http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/smooth-jazz-cd-reviews/accidental-beef-by-barry-romberg.html Accidental Beef is the 12th release of Canadian drummer Barry Romberg's Random Access series. The Random Access project has generated a 2005-2006 National Jazz …

Accidental Beef is the 12th release of Canadian drummer Barry Romberg's Random Access series. The Random Access project has generated a 2005-2006 National Jazz Award nomination for best electric group. Having been on the Canadian jazz scene for 34 years, Romberg continues to freelance on the drums and produce collaborations with some of Canada's leading musicians. He has been featured on 50 recordings.

With only five tracks, Accidental Beef, recorded live at The Rex Hotel in Toronto, features Canadian musicians Hugh Marsh, Kevin Turcotte, Kelly Jefferson, Blair Mackay, Geoff Young and Rich Brown. The listener will be exposed to different musical compositions, from opener "Whoa Nellie," which features Young on guitars, "Blair's Choice," which highlights trio Turcotte (who rocks on the trumpet), Marsh and Jefferson to "Live Evil," which pays tribute to the late great Miles Davis. The title track also includes stellar ensemble playing.

"Make Up Your Mind" includes everyone and just when one improvisation draws you in, another one kicks in. In the CD cover, Romberg said that "'Accidental Beef' 'Whoa Nellie' and 'Live Evil' have a rhythmic structure, but the boys get to pick their own pitches. 'Blair's Choice' and 'Make Up Your Mind' are complete improvisations that go wherever they want to go." Whether the recording was contrived beforehand or during the live session, the end result is superb.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Natasha Mitchell) Smooth Jazz - CD Reviews Fri, 21 Apr 2006 13:00:00 -0500
In Your Own Time by Eric Frazier http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/various-jazz-styles-cd-reviews/in-your-own-time-by-eric-frazier.html http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/various-jazz-styles-cd-reviews/in-your-own-time-by-eric-frazier.html When one listens to jazz percussionist Eric Frazier, don't expect to sit still. You will tap your feet, rock side to side or simply sing with familiar tunes on his lates…

When one listens to jazz percussionist Eric Frazier, don't expect to sit still. You will tap your feet, rock side to side or simply sing with familiar tunes on his latest project, In Your Own Time.

Frazier, a Harlem, N.Y., native, is known for his eclectic mix of jazz, blues, salsa, rhythm and blues, calypso, Latin jazz and world music. With a stellar band backing him up with the right note, one can salsa dance to "Que Tanga Un Buendia" to feeling the spirit of Southern churches in "Feeling So Unnecessary" to remembering late great R&B artists such as Luther Vandross ("Here to Stay") and Lou Rawls ("Like a Lion in the Serengeti"). The nine-track disc is popular on jazz stations nationwide.

Frazier has had extensive study of the congra drum, djembe drum and African dance. He has performed in several New York historic venues such as the Rainbow Room, Madison Square Garden Theater and the Apollo Theater. Having performed with legends such as Pharoah Sanders and Jack McDuff as well as many dance groups such as Katherine Dunham and The International African Ballet, it is easy to see how music and culture has influenced Frazier's background, and it reflects in his musical compositions.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Natasha Mitchell) Various Jazz Styles - CD Reviews Fri, 21 Apr 2006 07:00:00 -0500
Igor Lunder with Zagreb Saxophone Quartet and guests - Reeeeeeds by Igor Lunder http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/various-jazz-styles-cd-reviews/igor-lunder-with-zagreb-saxophone-quartet-and-guests-reeeeeeds-by-igor-lunder.html http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/various-jazz-styles-cd-reviews/igor-lunder-with-zagreb-saxophone-quartet-and-guests-reeeeeeds-by-igor-lunder.html For his project with the Zagreb Saxophone Quartet and other special guests, guitarist Igor Lunder wrote a combination of original tunes and arranged some compositions by…

For his project with the Zagreb Saxophone Quartet and other special guests, guitarist Igor Lunder wrote a combination of original tunes and arranged some compositions by Bela Bartók; ("Six Dances in Bulgarian Rhythm-6"), Bill Evans ("Waltz for Debby"), Chick Corea ("Children's Song No. 14" and "Children's Song No. 5") and Dave Brubeck ("In Your Own Sweet Way").

The fourteen track compact disc also features two traditional Slovenian folk songs, an old popular tune, a composition by Zoran Scekic ("Altes Ringelspiel") and a four tenor battle of John Coltrane's "Countdown."

The Zagreb Saxophone Quartet, founded since 1989, recorded the CD, which highlights a musical journey from Bartók to Coltrane. Showcasing the work of some of the best Slovenian jazz saxophone players, each selection sets the tone for the next piece, making for a interesting listen. For the last track, the musicians come together for a musical battle in "The Hymn for Saxophone Octet." Many of the musicians have obtained their education at prestigious high schools and universities and have performed in Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Czech Republic, Croatia, France, Germany, Hungary and other countries including the United States. This is Lunder's first CD with the quartet (made up of Dragan Sremec, Goran Mercep, Sasa Nestorovic and Matjaz Drevensek), and he has performed with different jazz musicians in different jazz combos.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Natasha Mitchell) Various Jazz Styles - CD Reviews Fri, 21 Apr 2006 01:00:00 -0500
Place & Time by Anat Cohen http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/world-music-cd-reviews/place-time-by-anat-cohen.html http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/world-music-cd-reviews/place-time-by-anat-cohen.html Acclaimed Isreali saxophonist, clarinetist and composer Anat Cohen showcases a versatile interpretation of musical cultures in the debut album, "Place & Time."The…

Acclaimed Isreali saxophonist, clarinetist and composer Anat Cohen showcases a versatile interpretation of musical cultures in the debut album, "Place & Time."

The nine-track compact disc includes six original tunes by Cohen, including the title track, "The 7th of March," "87 North," "Homeland," "Pour Toi," and "Bat-El." This stellar artist has appeared regularly in jazz clubs and concert halls in the United States, as well as touring globally. She has appeared with legendary artists such as Bucky Pizzarelli, Flip Phillips, Cyro Baptista, The New York Pops and Ingrid Jensen. She has been a member of The Diva Jazz Orchestra, the Choro Ensemble and 3 Cohens (with brothers Yuval and Avishai Cohen).

Cohen describes "Place & Time" as "essential to my journey as a musician and a person. Moving from Israel to the U.S.A., traveling around the world playing and listening to music and spending time in different countries absorbing the culture and music have contributed to what is now 'my music.'"

Her compositions and arrangements are as intriguing as catching. For example, Cohen describes "The 7th of March" as her birthday and in memory of her friend David Demlin, who was shot while fulfilling his duty as a reserve soldier on March 3, 2002. "I composed this song and have played it over and over for him - as a prayer for his soul and with hope for better times," she said.

If the listener is not gripped by the authenticity and personal recollections of Anat Cohen, then something is wrong. "Place & Time" is a CD that grips the imagination.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Natasha Mitchell) World Music - CD Reviews Sun, 27 Feb 2005 12:00:00 -0600