Monday, June 01, 2020

New Music Releases From Gary Versace, Jackie Gleason, Cassowary

Gary Versace All For Now

Gary Versace's a wonderfully rhythmic player here – working on this trio date with a style that's like subtle building blocks in sound – a mode that's softly chunky, but which has a great way of snatching sonic elements out of the air and nicely building up a tune! The approach is subtle – not as much a hit you over the head mode as some of the younger, flashier piano trios out there – but maybe that's also because Gary gets some nicely sensitive accompaniment from Jay Anderson on bass and Obed Calvaire on drums, both musicians who really adapt in strong ways to Versace's shifts on each tune. Titles include "Anchors", "Ours", "Two Pease", "Backs & All", "Child's Song", and "Favorite Places" – plus a version of Bud Powell's "Celia". ~ Dusty Groove

Jackie Gleason - Riff Jazz / Lazy Lively Love

"Jackie Gleason presents 'Riff Jazz' / 'Lazy Lively Love', two "mood music" albums taking their stand-alone place on CD in carefully-remastered, full dimensional sound and with original cover art. As bonus tracks, a rare 1955 single, Capri in May (Je Me Sens Si Bien), which has never been reissued until now, plus two of Gleason's famous themes, You're My Greatest Love (from "The Honeymooners") and Melancholy Serenade (from "The Jackie Gleason Show"), are included. The 12-page booklet includes archival photos and images, a newly-written essay about Gleason's music, and a chronological sessionography with primary releases for these recordings.

Cassowary - Cassowary

A fantastic full length debut from Cassowary – aka Miles Shannon, an artist who's equally skilled as a jazz musician and a singer – working here in a really great style that's a strong hybrid of the two sides of his talents! The keyboard lines are wonderful – served up on a variety of instruments, plus piano as well – and maybe often the lead of the track, even when there's a bit of vocals – as the style of singing usually seems to fall in line with the warm glow of the keyboards, instead of the usual mode. Cassowary also plays a bit of tenor – as you might guess from his youthful image on the cover – and the whole thing's got this fantastic vibe that reminds us of some of the hip jazz/soul hybrids that have come from the LA scene in recent years. Titles include "114 Degrees", "Belt Notch", "Price Went Up", "Starlight", "Superhiro", "Roach", and "Cyclical". ~ Dusty Groove

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