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Album Review: Jukebox from Wayne Alpern

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Album:  Jukebox Artist:  Wayne Alpern Label:  Henri Elkan Music Website:  https://www.waynealpern.com Part concerthall requiem, part classic chamber music, and part cafe jazz, Jukebox from producer-arranger Wayne Alpern is both delicate and lofty.  Savvy in making fluid movements, Alpern bonds shards of impromptu silhouettes into the tracks, finessing them to a ballroom polish.  Recomposing an assortment of favorite pop novelties and classic symphonies, Alpern's impulse to bring out supplemental nuances in a phrase and draw out new textures in a motif exhibit his affinity for music that is dear to him, all found in the passages of the world's collective memory. The frolicking toots of  Gretchen Pusch's flute, Gerard Reuter's oboe, Benjamin Fingland's clarinet, Karl Kramer-Johansen's horn, and Adrian Morejon's bassoon stroke gleefully across "Handel Allegro."  Their flights seem as though they are powered by the open air, displaying a fancyfree whi

Album Review: Landscape from Dimitri Monstein Ensemble

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Album:  Landscape Artist:  Dimitri Monstein Ensemble Label:  Unit Records/Vertrieb UNIT/Membran Websites:  https://www.dimitri-monstein.com/bio.html https://www.monstein-ensemble.ch/about.html https://dimitrimonsteinensemble.bandcamp.com/releases Classical music meets jazz-inspired musings on Landscape from the Dimitri Monstein Ensemble led by drummer-composer Dimitri Monstein.  Track after track is special, tailored to a unique tale as the instrumental phrases roll in a fluid motion.  Every space on the melodic canvass is occupied by notes as they spread, layer and jump out at the listener, blazing a wide array of sensations that stimulate its receivers. The scattered musings of the strings coursing waves along "Walkin' in the Dirt" have an uplifting resonance, monogramming reflective expressions that turn to clasical musings through "Mr. Winter," tangling and branching out, sprouting in different directions from the fulcrum.  Staying on the course of classica

Album Review: And Then It Rained from Michael O'Neill

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Album:  And Then It Rained Artist:  Michael O'Neill Label:  Jazzmo Records Websites:  Mosax.com                   facebook.com/michael.oneill.505960 A collection of all original compositions by bandleader, reed player and saxophonist Michael O'Neill, And Then It Rained blends big band swing, straight-ahead jazz, and tuneful improvisation into a tight union.  Produced by O’Neill and co-produced by his bass player Dan Feiszli, the recording displays O'Neill's intrinsic understanding of earthy tones and warm atmospherics.  His repertoire canvasses multiple facets of cool jazz idioms from the frenzied squiggles of "One For Kenny Washington" to the balmy bliss of "Early Spring."  An easy listening program on first take, the tracks slowly seep deeper into its audience, revealing intricacies and maze-like chord patterns that demand more than a surface glance. The expressive voicing in O'Neill's saxophone curls and spirals with an elegant penmanship

Album Review: Tis Autumn from Marty Elkins

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Album:  'Tis Autumn Artist:  Marty Elkins Label:  Elktone Records  Websites: www.martyelkins.com                   facebook.com/ocdivagirl/                    mikerichmondmusic.com                    facebook.com/mike.richmond.378                    jazzheads.com (distributor)    Jazz siren Marty Elkins demonstrates a heavenly sonorous on her latest release 'Tis Autumn .  Accompanied by Mike Richmond on bass and cello,  the pair weave bewitching interpretations of several standard jazz scores. From the emulsifying caress of Richmond's pluckings and strums to Elkins' magnetic elocution, the recording seduces the listener with its hypnotic  strut.  The spacious waddle of Richmond's playing gives Elkins the freedom to tool around with her phrasing and vocal nuances.  The swinging melodic grooves provide a trampoline for her vocal leaps and bolster the soulful granulars in her register. The smooth bristling in Richmond's bass trelises the trundling stride of his cel

Album Review: I Love Paris from Melbreeze

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Album:  I Love Paris Artist:  Melbreeze Label:  Blue Canoe Records Website:  www.melbreeze.com Jazz vocalist Melbreeze once again embraces the worlds of Brazilian syncopation with traces of bossa nova, rhumba, calypso, baião, and Latin swing on her latest release I Love Paris .  A compilation of classic pop tunes and jazz standards, the recording is produced by Melbreeze and her keyboardist Scott Kinsey.  The result is a sonically luxuriating ride into the after-hours cafe culture. Possessing a cabaret vocal style familiar to audiences by the likes of Celia Cruz and Dolores del Rio, Melbreeze winds her listener around her penetrative delivery.  With a flare for vocal theatrics, she drapes the lyrics in the silky textures of Kinsey's keys along Johnny Mercer's prized novelty "Autumn Leaves," basking in the rhumba pulsations of Gergö Borlai's drums and Brad Dutz's percussion.  Tim Hagans' trumpet fastens a flirtatious lift along the melodic swells. Continuin

Album Review: MicroCosmo from Micro Corgi

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Album:  MicroCosmo Artist:  Micro Corgi Website:  https://microcorgi.com/               https://microcorgi.bandcamp.com/album/microcosmos The New York City based outfit MicroCorgi are a jazz trio, comprised of pianist Andrew McGowan, guitarist Yuto Kanazawa, and drummer Ilya Dynov.  Their 2020 debut release MicroCosmos sees the trio combining elements of smooth jazz, R&B-imbued bop, adult folk pop, and blues rock fusion.  Recorded by Ng Jun Yang, the release was produced by the trio's drummer Dynov and mixed and mastered by the band's guitarist Kanazawa.  All nine compositions on the recording are originals, written by the three band members, each offering three of their own creations and showcasing three very distinct songwriters. Out of the three members, Ilya Dynov's compositions demand little more from listeners than to sit back and be engulfed in the tranquil, smooth jazz aesthetics. The placid mellowness emanating from the bluesy soul grooves of his work "Av

Album Review: He & Me from Ada Bird Wolfe

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Album:  He & Me Artist:  Ada Bird Wolfe Website:  adabirdwolfe.com                 facebook.com/jazzbirdie He & Me , the latest release from singer and lyricist Ada Bird Wolfe, is a duo with pianist and arranger Jamieson Trotter.  The pair perform an assortment of jazz standards and original tunes, demonstrating the smooth texture of Wolfe's register, which conjures up an intimacy with audiences that lures them to the stories being told in the songs.  The drama in the tales is subdued by Wolfe's calm voicing and clarion timbres.  Her refined phrasing is complimented by Trotter's silky swagger on the keys.  Together, they construct very pleasing atmospheres for listeners. Call it soft swing, rhapsody blues, torchlight jazz, or cabaret, the music of Wolfe and Trotter present palatable moods using vocals and piano.  Their subtle variations on the melodic motifs of Dizzy Gillespie's gem "Night in Tunisia," soften the bebop accents, creating a lush and smoo