Paul Wright - jazzreview.com - Your Jazz Music Connection - jazzreview.com - Your Jazz Music Connection http://www.jazzreview.com Tue, 23 May 2017 14:29:43 -0500 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb E.M.P. Project by William Ellis Joseph Patrick Moore and Shawn Perkinson http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/contemporary-jazz-cd-reviews/e.m.p.-project-by-william-ellis-joseph-patrick-moore-and-shawn-perkinson.html http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/contemporary-jazz-cd-reviews/e.m.p.-project-by-william-ellis-joseph-patrick-moore-and-shawn-perkinson.html E.M.P. Project is a jazz trio based in the southern United States. Ellis, Moore and Perkinson first met while attending college, and they would regularly play together in a…
E.M.P. Project is a jazz trio based in the southern United States. Ellis, Moore and Perkinson first met while attending college, and they would regularly play together in a variety of settings. This recording marks their first collaboration together since graduating nearly a decade ago. Recorded without any rehearsals, this CD captures the band members’ collective effort and originality - each member wrote original material and participated in the production of this album.

E.M.P. Project is the debut album by the talented Ellis, Moore and Perkinson. The CD is labeled Contemporary Jazz in this review, but it goes beyond that. The most remarkable thing to comment on this album is the artists’ ability to sample the many sub-genres of jazz, and to play them as if they are well seasoned in that particular field. Among the styles featured on this CD are traditional, Contemporary/Smooth, Fusion, Balled/New Age/Easy Listening, and Latin jazz. The knowledge that the artists not only played all these different jazz styles, but also composed them, contributes to the CD’s overall impression.

I recommend this CD to anyone who wants to survey the sub-genres of jazz with a band that can play all of them well.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Paul Wright) Contemporary Jazz - CD Reviews Wed, 21 May 2003 01:00:00 -0500
Simple Life by B.D. Lenz http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/contemporary-jazz-cd-reviews/simple-life-by-b.d.-lenz.html http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/contemporary-jazz-cd-reviews/simple-life-by-b.d.-lenz.html Simple Life is the third album released by B.D. Lenz and his group, and it is their first since being signed on to jazz label Apria Records. It features ten original…
Simple Life is the third album released by B.D. Lenz and his group, and it is their first since being signed on to jazz label Apria Records. It features ten original compositions by the band, with a mixture of jazz, funk, latin, and rock sounds. A contemporary jazz guitarist based in New Jersey, Lenz is widely hailed in the northeast, and his group has made many notable performances along the east coast. He began playing the guitar at 14, and has studied with such figures as Mike Stern, pianist Charlie Banacos, and Vic Juris.

Lenz has had experience in a wide variety of music genres, having played in pit orchestras, rock bands, pop bands, and jazz combos. In addition, his band mates came from versatile backgrounds.

This wide range of music experience pays off on Simple Life, a hodgepodge collection of different beats which is surely to treat any lover of the eclectic. Lenz seems to have a consistent funk beat to his playing, and this, combined with smooth sounds of the sax and calculated rhythms of the bass, lends some fresh air to contemporary jazz. I must say that the first three tracks were a bit too repetitious. As the album progresses, however, the band makes up for this by exposing us to this delightful fusion of sounds and styles.

I recommend this to anyone who savors contemporary jazz, especially that which is eclectic in nature.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Paul Wright) Contemporary Jazz - CD Reviews Tue, 13 May 2003 01:00:00 -0500
Tunes from two by Frank Corbi and Kevin Van Sant http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/ambient-jazz-cd-reviews/tunes-from-two-by-frank-corbi-and-kevin-van-sant.html http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/ambient-jazz-cd-reviews/tunes-from-two-by-frank-corbi-and-kevin-van-sant.html This album marks the first release in a series of duo recordings by guitarist Kevin Van Sant and other jazz musicians, this time being veteran saxophonist Frank Corbi. A se…
This album marks the first release in a series of duo recordings by guitarist Kevin Van Sant and other jazz musicians, this time being veteran saxophonist Frank Corbi. A self-taught musician from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Kevin has played professionally around the world since the mid 1990s, while releasing six jazz CD's as a leader or co-leader.

Saxophonist Frank Corbi began performing at age 13, as a member of his father's band. Since he was a young man, he has traveled the US with a number of big bands, and has made appearances with nationally known artists, all while pursuing a career in Music Education. After retiring from public education, Frank began regularly performing at local clubs and restaurants with other jazz groups in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina.

This CD successfully blends the cool, melodious flow of the sax with the absolute delightful playing of acoustic guitar. The two sounds, indeed, complement each other on this album. Playing mostly jazz standards, Kevin and Frank offer a fantastic interpretation of old tunes much loved by jazz fans. Included are two haunting versions of "The Girl From Ipanema," from which one can truly appreciate the artists’ perception of their craft. The first track, "Fearrington Blues," written by Van Sant and Corbi, puts me in the mindset of a lazy summer day, sitting on the front porch, drinking lemonade. Indeed, the entire album is atmospheric and sets a tranquil mood within anyone who listens to it - a perfect companion to those late-evening dinners for two.

This album is a must have for anyone who enjoys any combination of acoustic guitar and sax.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Paul Wright) Ambient Jazz - CD Reviews Sun, 11 May 2003 19:00:00 -0500
Nice Day for a Swim by Ryan Mackstaller http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/contemporary-jazz-cd-reviews/nice-day-for-a-swim-by-ryan-mackstaller.html http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/contemporary-jazz-cd-reviews/nice-day-for-a-swim-by-ryan-mackstaller.html Having begun as the Strange Brew Trio in 1999, the Ryan Mackstaller Trio was "rooted in the music of John Scofield, Monk, Miles Davis, and Rashaan Roland Kirk." In 2001, Ma…
Having begun as the Strange Brew Trio in 1999, the Ryan Mackstaller Trio was "rooted in the music of John Scofield, Monk, Miles Davis, and Rashaan Roland Kirk." In 2001, Mackstaller decided the trio should go a different direction and planned the release of original guitar trio music.

And here we are, with the release of self produced Nice Day for a Swim in 2002. Some of the tracks on this album strike me as being Ambient jazz, with mellow and/or melancholy tones, while some others have hints of Fusion. The artists do not hold strongly to any particular genre, which is probably why their music also appeals to people outside of the "jazz" fan base. Appearing to be somewhat thematic in nature, some of the tracks remind me of music played during a movie action sequence - sometimes the music can be tense, keeping the listener’s emotions on edge, while other times it can be mellow and soothing.

In my opinion, some of the tracks here are reminiscent of music by the contemporary rock band, Radiohead. Some may do a double-take when reading this, but Radiohead’s somber, yet heavy, style did come to mind when I first listened to the beginning tracks on Nice Day for a Swim.In addition, both bands are noted for their originality in style. Whatever my opinion is, this is an excellent album - Mackstaller shows masterful guitar playing, and the other two on acoustic bass and drums complement him very well. This may not be my first choice for easy evening listening, but it would be perfect for a mid-afternoon escape, or late night driving.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Paul Wright) Contemporary Jazz - CD Reviews Fri, 30 Aug 2002 07:00:00 -0500
Piece Offering by Nick Kepics http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/smooth-jazz-cd-reviews/piece-offering-by-nick-kepics.html http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/smooth-jazz-cd-reviews/piece-offering-by-nick-kepics.html Nick Kepics was born in Tarentum, PA, in 1949. Self-taught for the most part, he has been a working musician in various local bands during the past 40 years. Nick loves to …
Nick Kepics was born in Tarentum, PA, in 1949. Self-taught for the most part, he has been a working musician in various local bands during the past 40 years. Nick loves to write, and he has said that composing "is the pinnacle of musical expression," which he has proved beyond a shadow of doubt in this album.

His talent for composing music is equaled only by the band’s triumph in conveying these up-beat rhythms to the listener. Nick is accompanied by a full band, including drums, upright bass, electronic bass, vocals, trumpet, guitar, and percussion. Together, they crank out smooth and sophisticated tunes that demand the listener’s attention - this is not your ordinary "background" music. Some of the songs have a Latin beat, while some are, in the words of a couple of other reviewers, reminiscent of the Miles Davis experience.

I recommend Piece Offering to anyone who loves jazz, no matter what kind. It’s a perfect companion for an evening at home, whether you want to chill out or spice things up. Enjoy!

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Paul Wright) Smooth Jazz - CD Reviews Thu, 29 Aug 2002 19:00:00 -0500
The Dream I Had by Ron Jackson http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/contemporary-jazz-cd-reviews/the-dream-i-had-by-ron-jackson.html http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/contemporary-jazz-cd-reviews/the-dream-i-had-by-ron-jackson.html Ron Jackson is well established as an international jazz performer, having performed in over 30 countries in bands and ensembles. He already has three CDs out under his own…
Ron Jackson is well established as an international jazz performer, having performed in over 30 countries in bands and ensembles. He already has three CDs out under his own name. The current CD, The Dream I Had, features a new trio, including Joris Teepe on bass and Joris Dudli on drums.

Jackson won the first annual Heritage Guitars International Jazz Guitar Competition in 1996, and many of his recordings have featured prominent sidemen. He has toured the US with other jazz guitarists, and he has played a very active role on the Broadway and studio scene in New York. He performed in pit orchestras of such notable shows as "Bring in Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk," "Smokey Joe’s Café," The Life," "Street Corner Symphony," "Rent," "Saturday Night Fever," "Kat and the Kings" and "Fosse." Ron has also written and recorded music for other pop and jazz artists, as well as contributed compositions and recordings to the scores of films "Fly By Night" and "Vulgar."

The Dream I Had is a wonderful collection of modern jazz guitar playing that provides the listener with a medium of rich, dynamic sound. A cool, funky beat. Flowing from quick rhythms to slow, melodious harmonies, it’s an excellent acoustic backdrop to anyone’s domestic environment. Jackson uses his international music know-how, and combines many flavors to produce this collection of eclectic tunes.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Paul Wright) Contemporary Jazz - CD Reviews Thu, 29 Aug 2002 07:00:00 -0500