BALANCING STANDARDS AND ORIGINALS
most vocal albums include a mix of standard and original compositions,
this month's CD reviews focus on how singers Peter Eldridge, Sara
Gazarek and Clare Teal, found creative ways to enhance both types of
songs. Thomas Cunniffe provides the commentary on Eldridge's
"Disappearing Day", Gazarek's "Dream in the Blue" and Teal's "Twelve
TONY BENNETT/BILL CHARLAP: "THE SILVER LINING: THE SONGS OF JEROME KERN"
he hasn't always taken the best care of his voice, at 89, Tony Bennett
is still at the top of his game. His remarkable new Jerome Kern tribute
disc, "The Silver Lining" (co-led with pianist Bill Charlap) is a
virtual master class of fine interpretation and vocal finesse. In this
feature review, Thomas Cunniffe describes the many wonders located on
BETTER WITH A BAND
began as an ensemble music, and even after soloists took the spotlight,
ensembles have played a major role in the music’s development. This
month, Thomas Cunniffe explores how modern ensembles like the Vanguard
Jazz Orchestra, The Cookers and Coalition work together as bands in
their latest recordings.
BIG BANDS OF OUR TIME
the best answer to the age-old question is that big bands never truly
went away. Since their first appearance in the 1920s, big bands have
been a constant presence on the jazz scene. In this month's instrumental
CD reviews, Thomas Cunniffe examines discs of established jazz
orchestras led by Christine Jensen, Pete McGuinness and David White.
JANE IRA BLOOM: "SIXTEEN SUNSETS"
THE UNPREDICTABLE RAN BLAKE
For progressive jazz singers, performing duets with Ran Blake is both challenging and rewarding. Blake expects a lot from vocalists, including the ability to find their own way through the music without help from the keyboard. However, this method makes the vocal/piano duet a truly equal partnership. Thomas Cunniffe reviews two new duet albums featuring Blake with vocalists Christine Correa and Sara Serpa.
over 20 years ago, a quote from astronaut Joseph Allen about traveling
through outer space and seeing 16 sunrises and sunsets per day inspired
Jane Ira Bloom to write a brilliant piece for improvisers and
antiphonal wind ensemble. Today that same quote has inspired a more
reflective album from Bloom, an all-ballads CD which reviewer Thomas
Cunniffe says unfolds like a well-written story.
DON BRADEN/KARL LATHAM: "BIG FUN(K) LIVE"