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George Russell Big Band

March 25, 2010 1 comment

Here is an interesting album of George Russell’s New York big band “Live In An American Time Spiral” recorded in 1983 and has been out of print for some time. This was released new for this year on the Soul Note label. Three extended pieces that feature a great rendition of “Ezzthetic” and “D.C. Divertimento”. If you know his work in jazz you will enjoy this.

Soul Note

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John Pizzarelli…Rockin’ In Rhythm

February 23, 2010 Leave a comment

I came in this evening from a long day at the job and checked the mail and surprize! A new album had arrived from the Telarc label. John Pizzarelli’s Rockin’ In Rhythm, A Tribute to Duke Ellington. Well I was excited to discover this artist and his new album, especially his take on one of the jazz’s greats “The Duke”. As I loaded the CD in the tray and pressed “Play” I was exported back to a time lost to us with this music, but with a lively freshness to the tunes. The album name really says it all, Mr. Pizzarelli’s voice rockin and croonin’ along with a very nice band. And the band, WOW,  the Swing Seven open the set with (In A Mellow Mood), (East St. Louis Toodle-Oo) and (Don’t Get Around Much Anymore), all Ellington classics and I have to say this band has such a nice swing to it, a very tight group. There is a beautiful solo (Just Squeeze me) that highlight Pizzarelli’s great guitar style. Four tracks that feature his quartet, Larry Fuller piano, Martin Pizzarelli (brother) bass, and Tony Tedesco drums. I absolutely loved (Satin Doll) with a guitar solo by John’s father Bucky, this one I think is my favorite. Another HOT track (C-Jam Blues) really rocks with Aaron Weinstein on violin and saxophonist Harry Allen, and while John solo’s on guitar, he can be heard “Scattin” in the background, a nice touch. Mr. Pizzarelli’s (In My Solitude) performance on this album is superb and comes at just the right time, slowing things down a bit.  A Lambert, Hendricks and Ross moment takes place on the (Lost/Perdido) track with Pizzarelli, Kurt Elling and Jessica Molaskey, this one brings back memories. I noticed I was smiling and then it struck me, this album is full of smiles and happiness, all orchestrated by John Pizzarelli. It’s nice when music can have this effect on you when you least expect it, it changes your mood. and before you know it I had forgot about that long day I’d had. John Pizzarelli’s Rockin In Rhythm is one of the best Duke Ellington tributes I have heard. Thank you  Mr. Pizzarelli, your music just made my day. Discover and Enjoy.

Hiromi Uehara…Place To Be

January 30, 2010 4 comments

Like soft rain..the melody plays, easy to catch and follow, and suddenly off it goes, fast and exuberant, staccato like, exciting, with plenty of interesting improvisations, and the soft rain returns, absolutely beautiful.  Here is a virtuoso displaying a level of emotion and talent comparing with Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett.  Hiromi Uehara and her new album “Place To Be” on the Telarc label is her first solo album and it’s simply moving. The music from the album is jazzy, full of swing, and even a little classical with the track Pachebels Canon. What an incredible talent it takes to make so much music beautiful. I’m particularlly impressed by her improvisations on the title track “Place To Be”, what a great melody she has created, simply lovely, as I listen to this I see a story unfold as the music plays, then as emotion and drama builds with-in the piece it slows a bit and her incredible improvisations which give me a thrill, kicks in and never strays too far, keeping you wondering whats next, and she ends up where she started, like soft rain falling again. Hiromi finds her “Joy Spring” with this piece, and I realize I was witness to something special. What’s equally impressive except for a Louis Belson/ Remo Palmier tune Berne, Baby, Berne and Pachelbels Canon, all compositions are hers. You will want this solo album in your library, a must own!!

Place To Be

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