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Album Reviews
Brian Blade and the Fellowship Band: “Body and Shadow” (Blue Note) If you’ve read my last few review entries, you may sense a trend. If it seems like I’ve shown a penchant for Blue Note Records it’s probably because I have. It’s difficult to recall the last recent era where the label has been so...
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Hiromi/Edmar Castaneda “Live In Montreal” (Telarc) Released October 6, 2017 If you think about it, the harp is just a piano with its guts strewn about. Or, to be more historically accurate, the piano is a harp with little hammers. However you choose to break it down, the two go together like apples and cinnamon....
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Kermit Ruffins and Irvin Mayfield: A Beautiful World (Basin Street) Release date: Fri., Sept. 22 There are but a scant few constants you can count on in this woeful world: Frozen pizza is always sub-par, dogs are awesome and New Orleans will always be known for at least two things: they have unsurpassable food and a unique...
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John Pizzarelli:  “Sinatra and Jobim @ 50”  (With Daniel  Jobim) (Concord) Full disclosure: Until this year, the 50th anniversary of the historic mind-melding of Frank Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim, I was mildly in the dark about how impactful those sessions were. Before you castigate me, I should mention that I am the victim of...
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Joel Shapira: “In Essence” The guitar, and its distant kin, the piano, are self-contained orchestras. Few other instruments possess their range in dynamics and melodic potential. If you’re going to master either, it helps to be keenly aware of that. It also doesn’t hurt to have a universal sphere of interests. I can’t think of...
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Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’: “TajMo” (Concord) If I ruled the world, and it is decidedly a good thing that I do not, all my recording pipe dreams would bear fruit. Given two brilliant acoustic blues musicians for one recording session, for example, I’d insist that they keep it raw. To quote Jerry Seinfeld: “I’m...
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Louis Hayes: Serenade For Horace (Blue Note) Street date May 26, 2017 Blue Note Records has given a home to arguably the greatest recording artists in jazz for many decades. Like all major record labels, particularly those devoted to so-called “boutique music,” they suffered more than one corporate takeover and several facelifts in the wake of...
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