Tuesday, November 28, 2017



Described wholly accurately by Boiler Room as “one of the best producers and arrangers of disco music to have ever done it”, Bronx native John Morales has more than three decades of hits and over 800 remixes to his credit. This 4th volume of M&M Mixes on BBE is without doubt the most ambitious yet, containing gems from Barry White, Diana Ross, Level 42, Teddy Pendergrass and Eddie Kendricks among others, all woven together with that special, intricate M&M magic. Gaining unprecedented access to original multitrack recordings from the vaults of Sony and Universal Records, John has once again upped the ante, going where no DJ has gone before. Accept no imitations, nobody does remixes quite like John Morales. Includes songs by Barry White – I’m Gonna Love you Just A Little Bit More Baby; Lenny Williams – You Got Me Running; Dan Hartman – Vertigo / Relight My Fire; Level 42 – Mind On You; Barry White – Let The Music Play; Teena Marie – Lovergirl; MFSB – Love Is The Message; Atlantic Star – Circles; Diana Ross – Tenderness; Tamiko Jones – Can’t Live Without Your Love; Jackie Moore – This Time Baby; Tata Vega – Just Keep Thinking About You Baby; The Jones Girls – Life Goes On; Frankie Beverly – Joy & Pain; The Controllers – Stay; Melba Moore – You Stepped Into My Life; Donna Summer – Heaven Knows; Teddy Pendergrass – Life Is A Song Worth Singing; David Ruffin – Walk Away From Love; Diana Ross – No One Gets The Prize; Cher – Take Me Home; The Emotions – Don’t Wanna Lose Your Love; Cheryl Lynn – Got To Be Real; Frankie Beverly – Before I Let Go; Eddie Kendricks – Girl You Need A Change of Mind; Tom Browne – Funkin for Jamaica; Harold Melvin Blue Notes – Don’t Leave Me This Way; and Hi Tension – Hi Tension.


The hot new world dance style “Afrobeats” (not to be confused with Fela’s Afrobeat) is a dynamic mix of reggae dancehall, soca, West African beats, tropical house and hip-hop and is considered to be the most exciting new sound on the scene today. Drake’s “One Dance” hit utilized an “Afrobeats” groove and featured Nigerian star Wizkid while Alicia Keys’ “In Common” sports an Afrobeats re-mix; artists as diverse as Chris Brown, Tinashe, Sean Paul, Busy Signal and Machel Montano have all collaborated with Afrobeats artists recently. Afrobeats Hot Hits is the first internationally released compilation of some of Afrobeats' biggest hits and newest hits. It includes smash tracks featuring the genre’s biggest stars, including Davido, WizKid, Timaya, Tiwa Savage, Tekno, Yemi Alade and more. Such tracks as Timaya’s collaboration with Sean Paul, “Shake Ur Bum Bum,” the remix of “Woju” by Kiss Daniel featuring Davido, and Davido’s “Skelewu” have all been smashes on dance floors worldwide.


Kennedy Administration have that vibrant Soul/Jazz-Funk sound that only a really together Band can give us. Led by vocalist Kennedy, Keyboardist Ondre J Pivec, Drummer Nathaniel Townsley and bassist Chelton Grey and augmented by many other musicians including Horn section and strings on some tracks, the band really let rip through their eight original compositions and two outstanding covers. It is their unique up-tempo versions of Al Green’s ‘Let’s Stay Together’ and Billy Preston’s ‘Will It go round in Circles’ which really hit home, bringing a new dimension and energy to these classics. Gregoire Maret guests on Harmonica on the beautiful ‘Don’t Forget To Smile’ . ‘Let’s Party’ has an old school early 80’s Groove. The excellent uplifting spoken word vocal ‘Let Go’ is in the style of say Elements Of Life. ‘it’s Over Now’ and ‘Nothing Else will Do’ are good tracks but to my ears unnecessarily spoiled by mid song raps. Overall a very good album introducing a new talent.

J-Jazz – Deep Modern Jazz from Japan 1969-1984

In the years following World War Two, Japan developed one of the most insatiable, dynamic and diverse markets for jazz. For a crucial period of little over a decade – from the late 1960s to the early 1980s – Japanese jazz culture progressed at an astonishing rate, producing an extraordinary array of artists, recordings and record labels that created some of the most forward thinking and impressive jazz to be committed to tape. This amazing journey is explored on ‘J Jazz’.

This compilation from BBE uncovers some of the most sought after and rare material from this period and pulls together key artists who shaped the post-war modern jazz scene in Japan.

‘J Jazz’ includes obscure and sought after rarities like the bass-driven power jazz of Koichi Matsukaze’s ‘Earth Mother’, the holy grail rarity of Aizawa Tohru Quartet’s ‘Dead Letter’ and the loping majesty of Takeo Moriyama’s ‘North Wind’. This collection takes the listener into deep spiritual jazz, post-modal impressionism and fierce dance-floor fusion with material from artists and composers whose names are generally only known to committed collectors of Japanese jazz. Fumio Karashima, Mitsuaki Katayama, Takeo Moriyama and Kiyoshi Sugimoto are among the names featured on an album aiming to shed a little light on the shadowy world of Japanese jazz clubs, tucked away in the neon backstreets. This music demands a wider audience and BBE are excited to deliver a landmark compilation, lifting the veil on this wonderful and mysterious area of the global jazz catalogue.

None of the tracks featured on ‘J Jazz’ have ever received an official release outside Japan before. The albums the tracks are taken from are extremely hard to find and often fetch huge sums on the collector’s circuit. Originally pressed in small numbers on independent and private labels such as Union, Johnny’s Disk, Whynot, ALM and VAP, these tracks are now available for everyone to enjoy.

Compiled by Tony Higgins and Mike Peden, both long-time collectors of Japanese jazz, ’J Jazz’ brings together the very best in modern jazz from Japan, recorded during a critical period of musical and cultural transition that saw composers and musicians not only assert a new artistic identity but also create a lasting musical legacy.

The official release date is February 23, 2018.



Beautifully-recorded material by the great Wes Montgomery – some fairly open-ended tracks recorded for French radio in the 60s – with guest work from tenorist Johnny Griffin on a number of tunes! The core group here is great enough on its own – as Wes' guitar is backed by superb piano from Harold Mabern – who's really opening his flow at this time in his career, and makes for some really imaginative collaboration here with Montgomery – and the rest of the combo features tight rhythm from Arthur Harper on bass and Jimmy Lovelace on drums. The addition of Griffin is a nice surprise – especially as Montgomery wasn't often playing with tenor in a small group setting by this point – and titles include "Twisted Blues", "Blue N Boogie/West Coast Blues", "Full House", "To wane", "Jingles", "Impressions", "Four On Six", and "Round Midnight".  © 1996-2017, Dusty Groove, Inc.


Gizelle Smith announces her return on the music scene with this fantastic double-A side single ahead of a new album slated for release March 30th 2018. The record sees her moving on from the classic sound of her debut album as she’s expanded her musical palette to incorporate more psychedelic and jazzy progressions, bold arrangements and adventurous instrumentation. This next level of artistic development in Gizelle is a joy to discover and signals exciting times ahead. First track “Sweet Memories” announces the return with a bang and really showcases Smith’s vocal range and control. Coupling her beautifully layered harmonies and powerful topline acrobatics over a funky backdrop of tasteful guitar, solid bass and tight drums the emotive lyrics and charged up chorus capture listeners as she pours her heart out into the mic. Flitting between honey dripped soul during the verses before a full on frontal funk assault from the chorus it’s a treat from the first note to the last. The flipside is definitely one for the modern soul crowd – the bouncing “S.T.A.Y.” boasts a bassline that does more walking than your average Labrador and a groove that wouldn’t be out of place on an Isley Brothers or Gil Scott Heron LP. Soul man extraordinaire and respected Stones Throw Records alumni Eric Boss also gets in on the action contributing vocals to accompany Ms Smith. The uplifting and positive message of this song is the sunshine to “Sweet Memories” rainy day – there’s something in this single for listeners whatever the weather. “Sweet Memories” / “S.T.A.Y” out Dec. 1st on 45/Digital via Jalapeno Records.


Floating in Winter, is Jim Self’s new collaboration with guitarist John Chiodini. Self is a Los Angeles-based freelance musician; his primary instrument is tuba, but he also plays a large number of low-brass and other bass instruments. Since l974 he has worked for all the major Hollywood studios performing on the scores of over 1,500 motion pictures and hundreds of television shows. His solos in major films appear on the John Williams scores to Jurassic Park, Home Alone and and was the “Voice of the Mothership” in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. He has also appeared on recordings by Cassandra Wilson, Maynard Ferguson, Randy Newman, Bette Midler and Frank Sinatra. “This recording was inspired by the musical connection between John Chiodini and myself.  We met playing in David Angel’s 13 piece jazz band, I loved John’s playing and he was complimentary about mine. A tuba and guitar duo may seem odd but it turned out to be a beautiful sound, so we decided to make this recording. John and I have a wide palate of musical interests and these songs reflect our love of great melodies and interesting chord changes. The pairing of guitar and tuba frees up the low part of my instrument and the natural blend of the two instruments creates a warm and rich sound.” - Jim Self

Groundbreaking Drummer Barry Altschul Concludes a Trilogy by his Trio The 3Dom Factor with an Electrifying Concert Date - Live in Kraków

Drummer Barry Altschul wasn't simply crafting a clever play on words when he christened his latest trio The 3Dom Factor. There's a deeper meaning in that name, the implication of a particular kind of freedom to be found only in the interaction of three improvising musicians. It takes on an even greater significance when the musicians in question are Altschul, bassist Joe Fonda, and saxophonist Jon Irabagon - three artists who share a wide-ranging but piercingly focused vision, who are able to draw on the entire history of jazz and improvised music while pushing relentlessly forward into new areas of discovery.

The idea that good things come in threes is doubly true of Live in Kraków, out now on the Not Two label. The blistering date, recorded at the Alchemia Club in the waning days of 2016, on the last date of a European tour, is the trio's third release and concludes a loose trilogy. The 3Dom Factor's self-titled 2012 debut brought the three together to explore several of Altschul's original tunes; their 2015 follow-up, Tales of the Unforeseen, was almost entirely improvised save for a pair of deftly chosen covers (one of which is reprised here).

Completing the cycle, Live in Kraków moves out of the studio and onto the stage for a date that combines the best of those two approaches: it revisits several of the pieces the band had earlier attacked in the studio in freer, more expansive form, bringing to bear the full force of five years' worth of collaboration. "Our music is built on trust," Altschul says. "We're all able to be in the same space at the moment musically - and even if we're not, conflict can work too."

Altschul and Fonda have been playing together for nearly a decade and a half. An accomplished and much respected bassist, Fonda has worked with a long list of jazz greats including Archie Shepp, Ken McIntyre, Lou Donaldson, Bill and Kenny Barron, Wadada Leo Smith, Dave Douglas, Curtis Fuller, Bill Dixon, Han Bennink, Randy Weston, and Carla Bley. Both he and Altschul had enjoyed fruitful tenures working with Anthony Braxton, albeit in different decades, before they joined the late violinist Billy Bang to form the FAB Trio in 2003. "We have a certain chemistry together," Altschul says of Fonda. "We've played together so much that we can not just anticipate but really feel where we are. We're pretty tight as a rhythm section; we move in the same direction, stimulated by what's going on around us in a very close way."

Irabagon and Altschul were first introduced during a gig at John Zorn's The Stone organized by bassist Moppa Elliott, whose band Mostly Other People Do the Killing has featured Irabagon since its founding. The winner of the 2008 Thelonious Monk Saxophone Competition, Irabagon has since garnered a reputation as one of the most inventive and versatile saxophonists of his generation, working with the Mary Halvorson Quintet and Dave Douglas Quintet as well as his own diverse bands. Though separated by more than 35 years in age, he and Altschul found common ground in their mutual enthusiasm for drawing on the vast tradition of jazz in their work. Altschul remembers, "When we first started to hang out together, Jon mentioned to me that he was very influenced by me and the era that I came up in. He really wanted to be able to play in a fairly traditional way as well as playing free, while addressing where bop is in this generation."

Altschul has long championed a similar approach, one that he's termed, borrowing drummer Beaver Harris' phrase, "From ragtime to no time." As he explains, "I feel that playing free is like writing books or having a discussion. The more vocabulary you have the freer you can be and the more choices you have. That to me is what freedom is - freedom of choice."

The choices that the trio makes throughout Live in Kraków find them pushing each other into wildly disparate areas and feelings, making each piece, and even successive moments within a single piece, exhilaratingly different. The leader's expressive percussion opens "Martin's Stew," which then bristles with propulsive power as Fonda's muscular bass and Irabagon's wildly veering tenor burst forth. The familiar melody of Monk's "Ask Me Now" seems to drift in and out of the trio's free interpretation, while "For Papa Joe, Klook, and Philly Too" pays explicit homage to three of Altschul's formative influences in a vigorous round of 21st-century bebop.

Irbagon and Fonda wring beautiful variations from the alluring, supple melody of "Irina," lulled into an enticing trance by Altschul's insinuating brushwork. The set closes with the taut but aggressive explosions of the band's title tune, exemplifying the way that an unceasing flow of inspiration can pour forth from these three creative masterminds without slowing for more than 13 minutes.

Since forming the 3Dom Factor, Altschul, Fonda and Irabagon have formed a profoundly intuitive bond and a distinctive sound, one built on a unique convergence of personalities and voices. "All three of us share the same attitude towards playing the music," Altschul sums up. "We've spent the last several years growing together and just having a good time playing."

Barry Altschul
A renowned drummer whose tastes and abilities run the gamut from hard bop to free jazz and beyond, Barry Altschul gained fame in the late 1960s alongside such pioneering artists as Paul Bley and Chick Corea. In 1969 he joined Corea, bassist Dave Holland and saxophonist Anthony Braxton to form the group Circle, and went on to work extensively with Braxton as well as Sam Rivers throughout the 1970s. He also recorded with such greats as Sam Rivers, Andrew Hill, Dave Liebman and Julius Hemphill. Never one to stick to one style of playing, Altschul's groundbreaking work in the avant-garde was paralleled by his straight ahead work with the likes of Lee Konitz and Art Pepper. After spending much of the '80s and '90s in Europe, he returned to greater prominence in the early 2000s, forming the FAB Trio with Joe Fonda and Billy Bang, working with peers like Roswell Rudd and Steve Swell, collaborating with a new generation of forward-looking musicians including Jon Irabagon, both in the saxophonist's explosive trio and The 3Dom Factor.

Joe Fonda
The Boston Phoenix has called bassist, interdisciplinary performer, producer and educator Joe Fonda "a serious seeker of new musical horizons." From 1984 to 1999, he was the bassist with composer-improviser and NEA Jazz Master Anthony Braxton and has been an integral member of several cooperative bands, including the Fonda-Stevens Group with Michael Jefry Stevens, Herb Robertson, and Harvey Sorgen; Conference Call, with Gebhard Ullmann, Stevens, and George Schuller; the FAB Trio with Barry Altschul and Billy Bang; and the Nu Band with Mark Whitecage, Roy Campbell, and Lou Grassi. He has also collaborated and performed with such artists as Archie Shepp, Ken McIntyre, Lou Donaldson, Bill and Kenny Barron, Wadada Leo Smith, Randy Weston, and Carla Bley. Fonda's own ensembles have included From the Source, which features four instrumentalists, a tap dancer, and a body healer/vocalist; the Off Road Quartet, with musicians from four different countries; and Bottoms Out, a sextet with Gerry Hemingway, Joe Daley, Michael Rabinowitz, Claire Daly, and Gebhard Ullmann.

Jon Irabagon
Winner of the 2008 Thelonious Monk Saxophone Competition, Jon Irabagon has become known as one of the most inventive and diverse saxophonists of his generation, called a "subverter of the jazz form" by the New York City Jazz Record. He's been named a Rising Star in both the alto and tenor saxophone categories in DownBeat Magazine and was named one of New York City's Jazz Icons by Time Out New York.  He is currently an integral member of the Mary Halvorson Quintet and Septet, Barry Altschul's 3Dom Factor, Mike Pride's From Bacteria to Boys, the Dave Douglas Quintet and Perpetual Motion: The Music of Moondog ensemble. His imprint, Irabbagast Records, has now released five of his own recordings.

Negative Press Project's Eternal Life | Jeff Buckley Songs and Sounds

Jeff Buckley released one album during his all-too-brief life, but 1994's Grace catapulted the beautiful young artist into the pop cultural firmament, where he remains an incandescently glittering presence two decades after drowning in the Wolf River. Dozens of singers have covered his songs in the ensuing years, but there's never been a tribute like Negative Press Project's Eternal Life | Jeff Buckley Songs and Sounds, which was produced by bass master Jeff Denson and is slated for release on his non-profit label Ridgeway Records on November 17, 2017.

Co-led by bassist Andrew Lion and pianist/keyboardist Ruthie Dineen, the expansive electro-acoustic ensemble brings a supple textural palette to Buckley's material, transforming his emotionally wrought, show-stopping vocal vehicles into strikingly beautiful instrumental settings. Erasing distinctions between jazz and chamber music, rock and instrumental pop, NPP expands Buckley's legacy by tapping into his beatific lyricism.
With a background in rock and pop, Lion came up with the idea of a Jeff Buckley project while "looking for music underserved in the modern jazz canon," he says. "I've heard Brad Mehldau play some Buckley but not too many other instrumental versions. I think it's such exalted material with a certain generation that it felt off limits."

When he approached Dineen, a player versed in classical music and Latin jazz, about arranging some Buckley songs for a concert he found an eager co-conspirator and fellow Buckley aficionado. NPP was already a talent-laden working ensemble with its original cohorts, tenor saxophonist Tony Peebles (of the Grammy Award Winning Pacific Mambo Orchestra), trumpeter Rafa Postel (Katchafire), and alto saxophonist Chris Sullivan; but this was further affirmed after a series of concerts with the addition of saxophonist Lyle Link, drummer Isaac Schwartz, and the brilliant young guitarist Luis Salcedo (who introduced his gorgeous collaboration with Colombian vocalist Susana Pineda on the 2016 eponymous Ridgeway album Opaluna).

One reason the Buckley material succeeds so vividly is that Lion and Dineen have attracted a similarly stellar community of musicians to augment the ensemble, bringing their vision to life in the studio, with performances from the highly musical drummer Mike Mitchell, veteran altoist James Mahone, and trumpeter Max Miller-Loran.

Eternal Life opens with Lion's original requiem for Buckley, "Wolf River," a haunting theme that evokes the beauty of Buckley's sound and the inconceivable tragedy of his death at the age of 30. Chris Sullivan's solo alto sax delivers the aching prelude for "Mojo Pin," a languorous dreamscape that seems to waft in the summer breeze. "Grace," one of several pieces that Buckley co-wrote with guitar explorer Gary Lucas, is one of the album's most intricate arrangements, a gossamer matrix of guitars, effects and intertwined saxophones. While staying close to the original song, Lion's arrangement also gives the players a degree of freedom to improvise around the edges. "Many of the players didn't have a direct connection to the source material and they could bring their own voices to the project," Lion says.

"We had some opportunities to make choices about where to open it up," Dineen adds. "With all the voices, we could arrange as densely or as open as we wanted. Sometimes decided to play a shell game with the instrumentation and pared it down to a quintet."

Dineen's simmering arrangement of "So Real" is one of the sinewy quintet tracks, a piece that takes considerable liberties with the song by unleashing Salcedo's expressive guitar while remaining entirely recognizable. Lion's three-horn interpretation of the harmonium prelude to "Lover, You Should've Come Over" provides a moment of reflection before his passionate, gospel-infused take on the song. The album closes with Dineen's rapturous arrangement of "Anthem (For Jeff Buckley)," a piece that feels like it could have come from the pen of Abdullah Ibrahim, if he'd been an indie rocker.

Negative Press Project is the latest singular ensemble to emerge from the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley. The band released an impressive debut album see evil eyes | civilize in 2015 focusing on original compositions by Dineen and Lion. He first hit on the idea of assembling the music collective while preparing for a hike up Yosemite's iconic Half Dome, but "it didn't really come together until I connected with Ruthie at the CJC," Lion says, "and because of her we've been able to establish a purpose and mission." He also credits Jeff Denson, the bassist, CJC professor and founder of Ridgeway Records, as the driving force behind their latest recording, Eternal Life, as he approached the band about producing the album after they performed several Buckley arrangements at the CJC.

With encouragement from their closest associates in the group, Lion and Dineen "started writing a lot," she says. "The format meant we were working with great musicians, creating arrangements based on our experience in the Bay Area. That's my favorite thing in the world, pulling people together who are serious to create group identity and group story. There are many voices, but we all come together to tell one story. We're both really driven to create new art."

Born and raised in the Northern California town of Fairfield, Ruthie Dineen was drawn to music as a child, studying and playing jazz and classical music throughout adolescence. Music remained a central force in her life throughout her undergraduate years at UC Berkeley studying history and music, and graduate studies in social work at Cal State East Bay. Over the past decade she's focused on music performance and community arts, and since the fall of 2011 she's served as deputy director of programs at East Bay Center for the Performing Arts in Richmond, Calif.  At the same time, she immersed herself again in jazz, earning a performance degree in jazz studies from the California Jazz Conservatory (where she received the Jamey Aebersold Scholarship).

A prolific composer, Dineen is also a founding member of RDL+, a collective quartet that hosts the monthly Bay Area Bridges concert series at Oakland's Studio Grand (where Dineen collaborates with different performing artists each month creating new multi-discipline works encompassing theater, music, dance, poetry, and visual art). When not working with NPP or RDL+, Dineen can be found collaborating with a wide range of jazz, Latin, and classical musicians, including vocalist Amie Cota, members of the Amaranth String Quartet, Bululú, and the salsa groups N'Rumba, Candela, and Somos el Son.

Fellow CJC alumnus Andrew Lion was born in Oakland and raised on a rich musical diet from his parent's record collection, absorbing the sounds of Motown, Led Zeppelin, Duke Ellington, the Beatles, David Bowie, and Pat Metheny Group. He started his musical journey on piano, then tried out the guitar before settling on electric bass as a young adult. A mainstay on the Bay Area music scene, he's toured with the rock band Spoke and the Dave Tweedie-directed pop combo OONA featuring vocalist Oona Garthwaite. He's also worked widely with San Francisco singer/songwriter Jeff Campbell, with whom he performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

In the midst of his rock and pop career (which continues today), Lion decided in 2006 to expand his instrumental arsenal to include double bass under the guidance of veteran bass expert Glenn Richman. With encouragement from pianist Susan Muscarella, the founder of the California Jazz Conservatory, Lion plunged into jazz studies and graduated from the CJC. Steeped in the expansive history of jazz and creative music, he continues to look for new ways to build on the music scene, such as his long-form interview series and podcast On the Scene SF/O. Presented by Ridgeway Radio (part of Denson's 501c3 Ridgeway Arts organization), the series features discussions with established artists such as jazz saxophonist Dayna Stephens, drummer Michael Shrieve (Santana), trumpeter Cuong Vu (Pat Metheny), and many others. More information can be found at www.otssfo.com, and on Apple iTunes.

Lion has found an ideal creative partner in Dineen, and a subject ripe for musical exploration in Jeff Buckley. In many ways, Eternal Life is an arrestingly vivid snap shot of a tableau that continues to evolve. As the ensemble continues to distill and expand the arrangements "we have to reevaluate notions of how we perform and play every note, even how we set up in a performance," Dineen says. "We're still learning how  our different voices can build together. Performance is really exciting right now."

With Eternal Life as the starting point, music fans of every stripe can experience Jeff Buckley's music with new ears. It's a sonic sojourn unlike anything else in jazz and beyond.


On January 16, 2018 at 7:00pm, join Harlem Stage -- the legendary uptown venue that for over 30 years has been promoting the creative legacy of Harlem and artists of color -- for a special winter benefit performance that will honor the life and work of Ella Fitzgerald. This intimate evening will feature jazz icon Dee Dee Bridgewater and singing sensation Wé McDonald, of The Voice fame, as they pay tribute to the legendary Ella Fitzgerald in honor of her centennial. In the spirit of the best traditions in jazz, both of these artists will perform their own inimitable interpretations of the songs made famous by Ella.

This special event supports Harlem Stage's critical mission to exclusively commission and present works by visionary artists of color and also supports the thousands of New York City schoolchildren Harlem Stage serves each year through the Frances Davis/Harlem Stage Arts Education Program.

Over the course of a multifaceted career spanning four decades, Grammy and Tony Award-winning Jazz giant Dee Dee Bridgewater has ascended to the upper echelon of vocalists, putting her unique spin on standards, as well as taking intrepid leaps of faith in re-envisioning jazz classics. Ever the fearless voyager, explorer, pioneer and keeper of tradition, the three-time Grammy-winner most recently won the Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album for Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959): To Billie With Love From Dee Dee. Bridgewater’s career has always bridged musical genres. She earned her first professional experience as a member of the legendary Thad Jones/Mel Louis Big Band, and throughout the 70’s she performed with such jazz notables as Max Roach, Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon and Dizzy Gillespie. Releasing a series of critically-acclaimed CD's, all but one, including her wildly successful double Grammy Award-winning tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, Dear Ella - have received Grammy nominations. Her newest CD “ Memphis...Yes, I’m Ready” was released in September 2017.

Wé McDonald is a Harlem native, who grew up taking vocal lessons at Harlem School of the Arts. She has performed at The Apollo and was a contestant on The Voice, where she received much acclaim from the judges and audience. McDonald credits the late singer Etta James as one of her biggest influences along with Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Janice Joplin and Billie Holiday. In 2017, Wé McDonald was the recipient of the inaugural Harlem Stage Emerging Artist Award.


January 16, 2018
150 Convent Avenue (at West 135th Street)

Special Event
Tickets: Tiered pricing
$250 - Benefit Concert ticket
$500 - Benefit Concert ticket, Invitation to private after party
$1,000 - VIP Concert ticket, Invitation to private after party, VIP shuttle transportation to the private after party, Benefit Committee listing in event materials, Harlem Stage Medallion Membership

Harlem Stage is the performing arts center that bridges Harlem’s cultural legacy to contemporary artists of color and dares to provide the artistic freedom that gives birth to new ideas.For over 30 years Harlem Stage has been one of the nation’s leading arts organizations, achieving this distinction through its work with artists of color and by facilitating a productive engagement with the communities it serves through the performing arts. With a long-standing tradition of supporting artists and organizations around the corner and across the globe, Harlem Stage boasts such legendary artists as Harry Belafonte, Max Roach, Sekou Sundiata, Abbey Lincoln, Sonia Sanchez, Eddie Palmieri, Maya Angelou and Tito Puente, as well as contemporary artists like Bill T. Jones, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, Tamar-kali, Vijay Iyer, Mike Ladd, Meshell Ndegeocello, Jason Moran, José James, Nona Hendryx and more. Its education program each year provides over 4,000 New York City children with introduction and access to the rich diversity, excitement and inspiration of the performing arts. In 2006, Harlem Stage opened the landmarked, award-winning Harlem Stage Gatehouse. This once abandoned space, originally a pivotal source for distributing fresh water to New York City, is now a vital source of creativity, ideas and culture. Harlem Stage is a winner of the William Dawson Award for Programming Excellence and Sustained Achievement in Programming (Association of Performing Arts Presenters).

For more information on Harlem Stage, visit: www. harlemstage.org.

For a full list of donors, please visit: https://www.harlemstage.org/support/

Connect with Harlem Stage:
Instagram @harlemstage

ManDoki Soulmates Announce 'Wings of Freedom' Concert in New York City at the Beacon Theatre on Jan. 29 in Celebration of the 2018 GRAMMY® Week to Benefit the MusiCares Foundation

ManDoki Soulmates, led by world-renowned German-Hungarian musician, producer and songwriter Leslie Mandoki, announces the ‘Wings of Freedom’ post-GRAMMY® concert on January 29, 2018 at the Beacon Theatre in New York City.

 ManDoki Soulmates (www.mandoki-soulmates.com), led by world-renowned German-Hungarian musician, producer and songwriter Leslie Mandoki, today announced the 'Wings of Freedom' post-GRAMMY® concert on January 29, 2018 at the Beacon Theatre in New York City. The ManDoki Soulmates are an unparalleled band of GRAMMY® -winning rock and jazz music greats including Leslie Mandoki, Bobby Kimball (Toto), John Helliwell and Mark Hart (Supertramp and Crowded House), Chris Thompson (Manfred Mann's Earth Band), Klaus Doldinger (Passport), Nick Van Eede (Cutting Crew), Bill Evans, Randy Brecker, Till Brönner, Cory Henry and Julia Mandoki. The 'Wings of Freedom' charity concert will benefit the MusiCares foundation, which supports members of the music community in need.

ManDoki Soulmates, led by world-renowned German-Hungarian musician, producer and songwriter Leslie Mandoki, announces the ‘Wings of Freedom’ post-GRAMMY® concert on January 29, 2018 at the Beacon Theatre in New York City.
ManDoki Soulmates, led by world-renowned German-Hungarian musician, producer and songwriter Leslie Mandoki, announces the ‘Wings of Freedom’ post-GRAMMY® concert on January 29, 2018 at the Beacon Theatre in New York City.
Tickets range from $35 - $126 and are available for purchase at Ticketmaster. For more information about the ManDoki Soulmates visit www.mandoki-soulmates.com

The ManDoki Soulmates embody the creative spirit of the 1970's, when artists were striving not only for individual virtuosity in musical expression but also for unlimited and unrestricted individuality and freedom.

"We couldn't be more excited to debut our 'Wings of Freedom' concert series in New York City," says Leslie Mandoki, Bandleader and founder of ManDoki Soulmates. "We are a group of musical rebels and idealistic freethinkers who endeavor to be authentic and honest, and support common global values for free people in a free and tolerant world. There is much talk of what divides people, however, we chose to focus on what unites us, the human race. This is the spirit of the ManDoki Soulmates."

For the last 25 years, Leslie Mandoki has united all these legendary icons of Anglo-American rock and jazz-rock as "ManDoki Soulmates" recording new music and playing together as one band on one stage. The best of the best performing their sophisticated and progressive rock music, combining modern jazz influences, and fresh interpretations of some of the best known classic hits of the individual Soulmates. Hot off the heels of the band's European "Wings of Freedom" tour where the supergroup performed at sold-out concerts at the Hammersmith Apollo in London, L'Olympia in Paris, Berlin Concert House, Palais des Festivals in Cannes, and Sziget festival in Hungary (25th Anniversary Concert), the ManDoki Soulmates will make their US concert debut in New York City.

In June 2017, at the Marché International du Disque et de l'Edition Musicale (MIDEM), the world's largest international assembly of the music industry in Cannes, France, ManDoki Soulmates were awarded with the MIDEM 2017 Achievement Award for the concert tour 'Wings of Freedom.' The Award was given to Leslie Mandoki and his Soulmates for drawing the attention to the values of a free and tolerant Europe with their music and for building bridges between the different cultures as the core concepts of the tour. In May of 2017, Mandoki received the "Medal for Extraordinary Merits for Bavaria in a United Europe" to honor his commitment to a unified Europe and the message of the "Wings of Freedom" concerts.

"Sixty years ago, TIME magazine named the Hungarian Freedom Fighter 'Man of the Year.'  Their story, their fight and their longing for freedom in 1956; inspired me to spread the message of freedom to others with the power of music. This spirit gave us the title of our concerts because as we all know, dreams can only fly on the wings of freedom," says Leslie Mandoki.

Leslie Mandoki founded the concept group, ManDoki Soulmates' in 1992 with such acclaimed musicians as Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull), Bobby Kimball (Toto), Jack Bruce (Cream) and jazz-rock star Al Di Meola." In addition to these luminaries, for more than two decades the ManDoki Soulmates band has united legendary icons of Anglo-American rock and jazz-rock in a remarkable lineup including David Clayton-Thomas, Chaka Khan, Chris Thompson, Steve Lukather, Nick van Eede, Eric Burdon, Nik Kershaw, Greg Lake, Randy and Michael Brecker, Bill Evans, John Helliwell, Mark Hart, Tony Carey, Mike Stern, Midge Ure, Anthony Jackson, Victor Bailey, Pino Palladino, Paul Carrack, Cory Henry, Peter Frampton and Jon Lord. Over the last 25 years the ManDoki Soulmates released about 10 albums of new recorded music in Europe and played countless concerts.

The Recording Academy's charity MusiCares provides a safety net of critical assistance for music people in times of need. MusiCares' services and resources cover a wide range of financial, medical, and personal emergencies, and each case is treated with integrity and confidentiality. MusiCares also focuses the resources and attention of the music industry on human service issues that directly impact the health and welfare of the music community. This event is in celebration of the 2018 GRAMMY® week to benefit MusiCares.

Monday, November 27, 2017



Eric Alexander is in familiar company here, but he also seems to be using the setting to open up a bit more in terms of his color and groove – sometimes with a looser groove, sometimes with even a gentler approach to his phrasing – but always with that never-ending sense of imagination that we've always loved in his music! Alongside bassist John Webber, drummer Joe Farnsworth, and pianist David Hazeltine, the group also features Alex Diaz on percussion – who brings a bit of complexity to the rhythms, in a mighty nice way – and changes things up from the bottom, in ways that Eric seems to respond to with his horn. The album also features trumpeter Jon Faddis on a few tracks – and his sense of color also seems to bring out a slightly different vibe in Alexander, as the tenor responds in contrast to the more familiar sparkle of Jon's horn. Titles include "Mas Que Nada", "Grinder", "Corazon Perdido", "These Three Words", and "But Here's The Thing".  ~ Dusty Groove


Ilios Steryannis is a jazz drummer and composer from Toronto.  He has just announced his brand new album called "Bethany Project" coming out in January of 2018, and it is one of the most anticipated albums of the coming year. The album was recorded in July of 2017 at Number 9 Audio Group, with highly acclaimed SOCAN award winning producer and guitarist Eric St-Laurent at the helm.  The album features a wide variety of styles, moods and textures, ranging from Coltranesque post bop to charging West African grooves, with some Mediterranean and Afro-Cuban flavours mixed in.  Two time JUNO nominee Sundar Viswanathan is featured on all tracks, playing alto and soprano saxophones.


The music on the album Tick Tock reflects the differences in tastes and styles of the members of the group. To guarantee a perfect mix all band members participated in the composing of each track. The result: an album with a variety of stories and moods. Why is the album called Tick Tock? The production process of the album took longer then initially imagined. This was in the first place due to the creative production methods they chose, as well as several personal circumstances among which the passing of Ivan Boyadzhiev, their close friend and the initial sound engineer and recording studio owner for this album. Time is relative ... some friendships absolute. For this album the group chose to use a different Concert Pitch (A4=432Hz). For more information visit their website: www.jazzprofilactika.com


The album 11-11 Beautiful Day marks a triumphant return for vocalist Tiffany Bynoe, and a reward for staying to her spiritual calling and artistic vision. Tiffany Bynoe was a teenager when she received some advice from her grandmother, CharlenaHewett-Brown. Hewett-Brown told her granddaughter to make a plan for her music career and to set goals that would bring that plan to fruition.

The Akron, Ohio native acted on her grandmother’s advice to make a plan. “I wanted to sing at the Apollo Theater, sing on “Soul Train” and perform at the Grammy Awards,” Bynoe recalled. Tiffany Bynoe had the chops and her grandmother knew it, but few people in Akron gave the shy, skinny teen a chance to make a name for herself that would be distinct from her more accomplished family members.

Yet Bynoe’s gifts made room for her. She competed in the famed Apollo Theater talent show while visiting relatives in New York – winning multiple times. That led to a recording contract on EMI Records, and then one of her dreams came to fruition. She found herself hearing the legendary bass voice of the late Don Cornelius, calling her name on stage to perform on the classic “Soul Train.”

Bynoe appeared to be on a trajectory that would place her path to stardom that her uncle, former Shalamar lead vocalist-turned solo crooner Howard Hewett, reached when life and love happened. Bynoe and her musical collaborator Kyle Bynoe fell in love, got married, and started a family. Tiffany, sometimes affectionately known as “Tene”, continued performing after the birth of the couple’s son. “At that time I was actually on tour with Howard,” she recalled. “I was doing some background work for him at the time as I was settling and deciding on what I wanted to do, because you know the thing is, having a childdoesn’t stop to pursue other things - as long as you have a good support system. I was very fortunate to continue my dream.”

The couple’s second child was born with a heart condition, and after some time, the family moved back to her hometown of Akron, where they focused on building a family, which also included a young daughter. They eventually had a third child, a son, but their daughter is now a healthy and vibrant adult -through multiple surgeries.

Bynoe continued singing, primarily in church in and around Akron, and doing voice exercises behind the scenes to keep her vocal instrument sharp. Still, Bynoe acknowledges that cutting albums or achieving that third goal of performing at the Grammys was far from her mind.

“I didn’t know from time to time, from week to week, month to month or maybe year to year how things were going to go with me,” Bynoe said. “Music, I learned, was my safe place, and I would sing to myself. “I never stopped dong that so that was always my safe place.” The desire to create and perform still burned deep within. Ironically, the stage for the song, ‘Beautiful Day’ was set while Bynoe stepped into a safe place to sing. “My youngest son Michael used to be glued to my leg and the only place I could go and have any peace was the restroom,” Bynoe laughed.  “I would go in there and sing and do my little facial things to keep my vocals together.
“So, I’m in the bathroom doing what I do and my son is sitting outside waiting for me to come out, and Michael hears me singing and he goes, ‘Man, my momma can sing.’

Michael told his mom that she should try out for American Idol.” I was like, ‘Babe, your mommy did that run already.’ She told Michael about the Apollo Theater and Soul Train and that now she was taking care of her family. But, the young honest Michael re-lit the musical fuse. “That really was the beginning of my next chapter, and I began to work on my musical growth,” Bynoe said. “Working on me” now included getting back into physical and vocal condition.

“When you’re going through the journey, you don’t realize that you’ve become content in those stages when you’re just being mom, and there was some things I had to pull back and get myself together,” Bynoe said. “If I had to stand next to the average 25 year old artist, I’ve worked hard enough where I could do that. I stay current with the music that’s out there, and I ask myself what’s missing in the industry,” she said. “And a lot of the things that are missing is that true R&B.”

Tiffany mentions influences that range from Whitney Houston, Sade and Anita Baker on the R&B side, to Barbara Streisand and Bette Midler from the pop arena. And while she reveres those artists, Bynoe believes that her life up to this point prepared her to deliver the musical message contained in the nine originals and one cover on 11-11 Beautiful Day.

“It’s been seasoned and prepared for a time such as this,” she said.

She firmly believes that listeners will gravitate to what she accomplishes vocally as well what she puts into her songs from a lyrical and thematic standpoint. “You have to take the thing that makes you who you represent from a vocal standpoint, and for me that was my tone,” she said. “When I began to really capitalize off my tone and my feel, that’s when I began to find my inner voice.”

“That’s when I began to find the music that that well that was tapped deep within me.”
Bynoe sings about love in the most expansive use of the word.  That message comes through her honest rendition of Denise Williams’ “Free,” a challenging song that Bynoe handles with ease. God’s love for humanity is the topic of “Brand New,” a duet with her uncle Howard.

Lyrics and storytelling are important to Bynoe. The song “Best I Ever Had” talks about the importance of remaining open to love,even when doing so opens you up to being hurt. “I was with someone, and this person hurt me so bad,” she said. “I could have closed my heart, but I didn’t, and someone came along and just showed me a love that I never would have known.

“True love is my message, and that’s who God is so I believe that even when I sing love songs I’m still spreading and doing what I’m told. What I’m called to do.”



You can tell a lot about a musician from the company she keeps. Ever since Sylvia Brooks started performing in the jazz realm, she has collaborated with some of the Los Angeles’ most expressive and accomplished players. On her simmering 2009 debut Dangerous Liaisons and 2012’s captivating follow up Restless she conjured an erotically-charged, noir-tinged realm by exposing the the deep currents of longing, desperation and heartache running through the American Songbook. Her third release doesn’t dispel the shadows with sunlight so much as switch from black and white to Technicolor as Brooks revels in the vividly detailed and consistently innovative arrangements of Kim Richmond, Otmaro Ruiz, Jeff Colella, Christian Jacob, and Quinn Johnson. From the beginning Brooks distinguished herself with her empathic ability to inhabit a song, turning classic tunes into taut and emotionally revelatory tales. In a major creative leap, she’s also telling her own stories now, contributing to three original songs that blend seamlessly with a diverse program that ranges from Cole Porter to Hank Williams to Lennon and McCartney. What unites the sleekly bespoke arrangements is Brooks’ luscious sound and inviting sensibility. Welcoming listeners into her musical world, she takes them on an exhilarating journey deep into the hidden recesses of the human heart, where love, lust and loneliness contend for primacy. It’s a trip that requires an artist with an exquisite sound and a rarified talent for drawing the best out of her musical partners, and Sylvia Brooks has made The Arrangement.


Over the past few years, Hong Kong based alt pop/adult contemporary songwriter and artist Jennifer Saran has recorded uplifting and empowering works with legendary collaborators like Narada Michael Walden, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Carlos Santana. The powerhouse vocalist continues her tradition of holiday releases with the epic 17-track collection Soulful Christmas, a delightful mix of classics and thoughtful, witty originals (including the radio hit featuring the Temptations) that ease stylistically from R&B, pop and jazz to swing, classical and country. With something for everyone, Soulful Christmas won’t just make it to your holiday playlist – it will be your entire holiday playlist! ~ smoothjazz.com


The first we've heard from Chantae Cann – a wonderful singer who grabs our ears right with the very first note on this set – and continues to delight all the way through! Chantae's got this really cool style – kind of light and dreamy, but with a rasp around the edges – a really unique vibe that's completely all her own, and able to captivate without any sense of trick or gimmick at all! There's both a depth and an instant charm to her sound – and she's really one of the freshest female soul singers we've heard in a long time – set up in arrangements that are simple and elegant, and as unassuming as the singer herself. Many tracks feature great Fender Rhodes from Justin C Gilbert – who also produced and arranged most tracks – and titles include "Craters", "Fruition", "Hey Whatcha Say", "U Gotta Love Ya", "The Light", "The Love Above", "Happy Song", "iRise", and "Reason To Live". ~ Dusty Groove

Brynn Stanley Creates Her Own Contemporary Version Taking Songs from the Great American Songbook to the Beatles

Indie vocalist Brynn Stanley has released her first EP called “Classic” which brings legendary and familiar songs in to her own smooth and soulful vocal style.

When asked about why she created the EP, she stated, “I wanted to record an EP that transforms my listeners to a different era...when men used to wear suits and hats, romance was all around, and times were simpler. My hope is that they get lost in the music and feel like their life is an old classic movie with its own soundtrack.”

The tracks on "Classic" range from the Great American Songbook to the Beatles and the instrumentation varies from a small jazz ensemble to full big band to a lush string orchestra. The songs are Cole Porter’s “Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye”; “I Don’t Know Enough About You” - a Peggy Lee original; a Beatles tune composed by John Lennon “I Should Have Known Better” a duet with Mario Jose; “Teach Me Tonight” a 1953 jazz standard that was also made famous by Al Jarreau, Amy Winehouse and Frank Sinatra; and lastly, Isn’t it Romantic” a song composed by Richard Rodgers, with lyrics by Lorenz Hart and introduced by Jeanette MacDonald and Maurice Chevalier in 1932 in the movie called, “Love Me Tonight.” Other notable artists who have recorded this song include Tony Bennett and Rod Stewart.

The EP was engineered and co-produced by the talented Grammy and Emmy Award-nominated Jorge Vivo who has worked with Michael Buble, Andrea Bocelli, Celine Dion and David Foster. Co-producing the EP with Vivo is producer and jazz recording artist Tony Guerrero whose credits include Dick Van Dyke, Jane Lynch, Paul McCartney, and Freddie Hubbard. Guerrero also created all the arrangements; the EP was recorded in Los Angeles.

The EP was released in October; radio stations across the country are now playing “Classic” with positive reviews.

Classic” is available on iTunes and Amazon (and all other digital platforms).

American singer-songwriter Peter Cincotti, praised Stanley about her musicianship saying, “Particularly when it comes to this style of music…Brynn has the kind of instincts and skills you can’t teach.”

Classic” – Stanley’s first EP is described as timeless, modern and vintage pop. Her sound is similar to Top 40 artists like Michael Buble, Diana Krall and Norah Jones.

After a decade of Producers trying and failing to replicate pop-jazz success, Brynn proves that elegance comes only from the heart of the artist. Brynn casually presents the gold dust we’ve all been looking for.” Rob Perkins - Renowned Drummer and CEO - ON THE BEAT MUSIC AGENCY said of her new EP.

Living bi-coastally, Stanley performs regularly in Los Angeles at venues such as the famous ‘celebrity hotspot’ Chateau Marmont, Hotel Café, The Mint, Vitello’s and Room 5.

On the East Coast, she recently opened for artist Jordan Smith at the Mayo Performing Arts Center, The Metropolitan Room in New York City, and Shanghai Jazz in nearby downtown Madison.

Stanley has also performed with some of the industry’s best musicians including guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, drummer, Chris Steele (Michael Buble) and pianist, Tom Ranier (Tony Bennett).

Her performances continuously garner strong reviews from the press; some of them have been by the LA Times, The Star Ledger, OK! Magazine, and Star Magazine, just to name a few.

No matter what coast she is on, Stanley’s range continues to expand with the mixing of original music into her performances.

Upcoming 2017 appearances:
November 30, at Bernard’s Inn – 7:00pm in Bernardsville, NJ
December 3, at Shanghai Jazz – 6:00pm in Madison, NJ
December 15, at Gladstone Tavern – 7:00pm in Gladstone, NJ
December 23, at The Madison Hotel – 9:00pm in Florham Park, NJ
December 31, at Natirar New Year’s Eve - 9:30pm in Gladstone, NJ

Tuesday, November 21, 2017



Acid Jazz are pleased to present the definitive Leroy Hutson compilation – Anthology : 1972-1984 A legend to soul fans, his catalogue has been increasingly sought after by collectors and producers since the last time it was widely available nearly 20 years ago. College friends and early collaborator with Donny Hathaway then hand-picked as Curtis Mayfield’s replacement in The Impressions, his solo career resulted in 7 albums for Mayfield’s Curtom label. They are considered some of the greatest of the era and the very best music from them is collected here. Licensed from Mr Hutson himself, this represents his first approved Anthology, and comes in a beautiful package with an essay by soul expert and Mojo Award winning writer Tony Rounce and memorabilia and photos from Mr. Hutson’s own personal archive.


The soulfully expressive tenor saxophonist, Houston Person learned his craft in the 1950s, a time when some of the earliest pioneers of jazz saxophone -- Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Ben Webster -- were playing. Like Sonny Rollins and a handful of others, Person is an eloquent messenger who is rooted in traditional blues, church music, Broadway love songs and the mimicking of a singer's tonal palette and phrasing. His blues feel led to a renaissance among acid-jazz clubbers years later, and his sound has become uniquely characterful: an idiosyncratic edit of all he has learned, expressed in shrugging hoots, briefly cantering bop sprints, spacious and softly blown ballads. With his long-time friend and colleague, cornetist Warren Vaché and guitarist Rodney Jones, Person's burnished sophistication, assured elegance and poise are again on display giving listeners an object lesson in unfussy, no-gimmicks music-making.


Best known to most people for his early work as a Portishead collaborator and International tour DJ, Andy Smith earned his ‘Legendary’ title among crate diggers in 1998 when he released seminal mix album ‘The Document’. In the years since, Andy has continued to live up to his reputation as one of the finest and most creative DJs on the planet, tirelessly digging in the crates and emerging with pure gold. Following in the footsteps of his 2006 exploration of Trojan’s mighty reggae vaults and his two compilations exploring funk music from New Orleans and Jamaica, Andy turns his attention to disco and boogie for the very first time. The concept for ‘Reach Up – Disco Wonderland’ was born from ’Reach Up’, a DJ collective founded by Andy in 2012 to reflect the spirit of legendary NYC clubs such as Paradise Garage and Studio 54. ‘Reach Up’ showcases 80s boogie, disco and proto house; the foundations upon which dance music culture was built.



On February 2nd, 2018, Daptone Records will release Whatever It Takes, the sixth album by The James Hunter Six. Hunter had already established himself as a permanent fixture in the world of Rhythm and Soul with his five previous albums, each more poignant and well-executed than the last. However, this record has buried them all. His voice has never been more compelling, his songs never more elegantly crafted. Recorded to tape at Daptone's Penrose Studios in Riverside, California, Bosco Mann's production elevates Hunter's arrangements to the altitude they deserve.


Pianist Andy Laverne is really showing us all sides of his talents here – not just his wonderful skills on the keys of the piano, but also his strong ear for fresh compositions as well! All the tracks here are originals by Andy, and they're beautiful tracks that sparkle nicely with dark colors and tones – elements underscored strongly not just by Laverne's work on piano, but also by the album's sparkling contributions from Alex Sipiagin on both trumpet and flugelhorn! The pair together are a delight throughout – balanced out with a depth that seems so much more than just the sum of their parts – given a strongly soulful rhythm current by Mike Richmond on bass and Jason Tiemann on drums – the latter of whom has this snap to his work on the kit that moves along tunes that might have otherwise got lost in a moody morass. The whole thing is great – maybe one of the best sessions we've ever heard from Laverne – and titles include "Enigma", "Faith", "Touch Sensitive", "All Things Considered", "Paramour No More", and "Double Down". ~ Dusty Groove


Harold Danko sounds wonderful here with his long-established trio – a group so well-matched, most of the songs on this set arose from collective improvisations during the recording sessions! Yet these aren't outside, avant tunes – in which all players roam freely in space – and instead, they're melodic, rhythmic, very tuneful extrapolations that are often based on older standards – but which are so transformed, you can't really hear any roots of the originals – as the players take flight in that magical collaborative creation that marks jazz at its best! Danko plays piano, Jay Anderson is on bass, and Jeff Hirshfield is on drums – and titles include "Sky Blues", "Stream Of Tears", "Shallow Waters", "Mademoiselle Dreamy", "Total Obsession", and "Ancient & Distant". ~ Dusty Groove


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