Friday, October 06, 2017



Soaked with the vibe and essence of New York City in the 1960s and seasoned with a rich variety of styles from breathy, beatnik pop to moody & magnificent jazz, folk and soul, the singles issued by Ranny Sinclair are uniformly brilliant, soft, sexy soundscapes-uncollected on a single album until now! Sinclair attended Juilliard as a dance major, but ultimately landed a singing contract with Columbia Records. Her issued discography features several tracks that were turntable hits of the era or have since become valued Northern Soul favorites-all those cuts plus the remaining masters capture some of the top talent of the day, recorded in the glorious Columbia New York studios! Her recordings were overseen by Columbia's main jazz and pop producer, Teo Macero, who was also responsible for Dave Brubeck's sessions. Macero apparently suggested the collaboration between the artists on the "Something To Sing About"/"Autumn In Our Town" single, included here. The pianist later reminisced about Sinclair, praising her "gentle, whispery" voice and lyric writing. The dozen masters here include the Columbia singles mixes from the original reels plus several previously unissued recordings, all in mono. Each moment reveals a true vocal artist at the peak of her talents, and well ahead of her time-decades overdue, listen now to the first collection by Ranny Sinclair, available on 180-gram RTI pressed vinyl!


On his third Criss Cross leader date, Mike Moreno convenes drummer Kendrick Scott, who played on his fellow Houstonian's prior Criss Cross outings ('Third Wish' and 'First in Mind') and bassist Doug Weiss, who played on 'Third Wish'. They frame the guitarist's sui generis tonal on a program culled from the corpuses of a multi-generational cohort of heroes: jazz songs by Charlie Parker ("Perhaps'), Wayne Shorter ("The Big Push"), Joe Henderson ("Serenity") and Mulgrew Miller ("For Those Who Do"); Songbook gems by Michel Legrand "You Must Believe In Spring"), Johnny Mandel ("A Time For Love") and Vernon Duke ("April In Paris"); plus one apiece by Radiohead ("Glass Eyes") and Lo Borges ("Clube Da Esquina M.1"). As always Moreno finds fresh pathways through familiar sonic landscapes on a date that is a master class in triological conversation. Personnel: Mike Moreno (guitar), Doug Weiss (bass), Kendrick Scott (drums)


Since their first UK release in 2014, Swiss trio VEIN have cemented their reputation as an exciting, hugely talented trio who play with passion, drive, finesse and as masters of musical interplay. 'VEIN Plays Ravel' is a collection of compositions by 20th Century French composer, pianist and conductor, Maurice Ravel and featuring star saxophonist Andy Sheppard. In recent years we have seen twins, drummer, Florian Arbenz and pianist Michael Arbenz with bassist Thomas Lähns release three albums here and perform a raft of shows in a number of settings - as a consummate trio and with special edition quartets featuring great American saxophonists Greg Osby and Dave Liebman. Ravel is an obvious choice for VEIN. One of the most enigmatic figures of classical music, Ravel's compositions share common ground with VEIN's musical soundscape. Ravel lived in an era during which tradition transitioned into abstract modernity, just as Vein breaks new ground without rejecting the traditional values of jazz. Likewise, Ravel encompassed many styles of music into his compositions including baroque, Spanish music and jazz. VEIN's influences are similarly multifaceted. VEIN draws its inspiration from Ravel, adds new elements, grooves and improvisations to create a sound that is unmistakeably Vein, yet one that resonates with Ravel's spirit. At the heart of 'VEIN plays Ravel' is Bolero - one of the 20th century's most iconic pieces of music. Here the trio is joined by a horn section with special guest soloist, the British sax heavyweight and one of the greats of European jazz, Andy Sheppard (who also guests on Mouvement de Menuet). Playful (as was Ravel) the piece twists and turns, dips and dives both mournful and swinging, reflective and joyful, the stunning 16 minute piece underscores this magnificent and uncompromising musical work.

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