Donna Kimura

Donna Kimura

Jazz vocalist Natasha Miller and songwriter Bobby Sharp are an unlikely tandem, but fate has brought them together.

Miller is set to unveil a new set of songs by Sharp on March 21 at Yoshi’s in Oakland, the San Francisco Bay Area’s premier jazz club. The performance will be recorded for a live album.

"I’ve done three studio records," Miller said. "I like them, but my performance is so different live than it is in the studio. I feel it’s better. It’s more real and true to the music."

Mil …

Argentinean jazz singer, Gabriela Anders, paid close attention to the music that surrounded her while growing up.

Her father, saxophonist Jorge Anders, played jazz, but also listened to tango, Cuban and other music around the house.

All of these different influences converge on Anders’ "Last Tango in Rio," an album that is uniquely nostalgic and contemporary. Anders covers classics associated with Billie Holiday, but also gives us six originals. Weaving throughout the album is the distinct …

Rebecca Martin doesn’t worry too much about fitting into any single category. She’s too busy making music, whether it’s a fresh take on old standards or writing her own original, intimate tunes.

The singer-songwriter is showing that she can do both with equal grace and skill.

The Maine native proved to be an innovative interpreter of jazz standards with her acclaimed 2002 release, "Middlehope." That recording drew the attention of Richard McDonnell, the founder of MAXJAZZ. He went to New Y …


Renee Marie

Published in Jazz Artist Interviews
With each album, Rene Marie proves herself to be one of the most daring vocalists around. She is fearless in singing about difficult situations or tackling a diverse songbook.

Her newest release, "Serene Renegade," may be her most uncompromising, yet. Marie takes listeners on a journey of her life with nine original songs about herself and her family. She also includes the Beatles’ "Hard Day’s Night" and the standard "Lover Man Oh Where Can You Be" on the album.

Some of the songs are joyfu …

This year is the Year of Mancini.

In celebration of Henry Mancini, one of the 20th century’s most prolific and honored composers, Concord Records has teamed with his daughter, Monica, to release Ultimate Mancini on March 23. Many of Mancini’s most memorable songs have been re-recorded, in some cases using the original arrangements.

In addition to Monica Mancini, the CD features several special guests, including Stevie Wonder, Take 6 and Kenny Rankin.

Henry Mancini is best known f …


LM Pagano

Published in Jazz Artist Interviews
There’s an intimacy about vocalist LM Pagano that makes people, whether they’re late-night radio listeners or big-time record producers, sit up and take notice.

Los Angeles disc jockey Bo Leibowitz can tell you. When he played a song from the singer’s CD on his show, he got four calls from listeners before the number ended. Soon, the recording made its way into the hands of jazz promoter Dick LaPalm and famed producer Al Schmitt, who remixed and released the album, "Azalea," on his label, Bop …


Azure McCall

Published in Jazz Artist Interviews
After two locally distributed CDs, Hawaii-based vocalist Azure McCall has released her first national effort with "The Gift."

The CD serves as a strong introduction to McCall for the recording showcases her deep, honey voice and a wide-ranging repertoire. Whether the song is a jazz standard or a pop tune, the music has an air of earthy spirituality much like McCall herself.

"My voice is my gift," she said. "I want to reach out and touch people with my music."

McCall moved to Hawaii in 1 …


Suzy Bogguss

Published in Jazz Artist Interviews
Suzy Bogguss is best known for a steady string of country hits, but she’s never been limited to a single style.

On "Swing" (Compadre), the singer demonstrates her flair for classic jazz and Western swing numbers. Here, Duke Ellington meets Bob Wills. The result is a CD that radiates with charm. One reviewer recently called it the "most elegant pop-jazz record of the year."

Bogguss, whose hits include "Aces," "Outbound Plane" and "Drive South," isn’t new to some of the jazz material found o …


Jackie Ryan

Published in Jazz Artist Interviews
Jackie Ryan is an international jazz star. She frequently plays both coasts and overseas, where her gig at Ronnie Scott’s in London garnered the critical praise: "One of the finest singers to perform at Ronnie's since Shirley Horn." --The London Evening Standard.

Ryan has shared the stage and recording studio with many greats including Clark Terry, Red Holloway and Buddy DeFranco. Her recordings and performances generate a genuine heat, which rises above the "flavor of the month" excit …

With his new album On The Moon (Concord), rising star Peter Cincotti manages to avoid the dreaded "sophomore slump", place his unique personal stamp on a label already filthy rich with great jazz artists, and sets the stage for making him a household name in the upcoming months. The way the 21-year-old New Yorker tells it, the main reason for this is his growing confidence as a songwriter.

"I’ve been writing more of my own lyrics this year," Cincotti explained in a recent …