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Album Review: American Highway from Marty Brown

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Album:  American Highway Artist:  Marty Brown Label:  Plowboy Records Websites:  https://music.apple.com/us/album/american-highway/1453761002 https://www.amazon.com/American-Highway-MARTY-BROWN/dp/B07PGX7KYK/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=marty+brown&qid=1614824878&sr=8-1 A mixture of Heartland roots rock, country western blues, prairieland folk, rockabilly, and gospel, singer-songwriter Marty Brown has all the ingredients to make music that listeners will take with them on the go.  He does so on his latest release American Highway , which is aptly titled describing the music folks hear while driving along the highways through America.    After experiencing a stint as a songwriter and producer for the likes of Tracy Byrd, Trace Adkins, and Brooks & Dunn, Brown worked with a co-pilot, Jon Tiven, who contributed to nine of the 10 tracks on the recording.  Brown revives country western soul in a way that music connoisseurs can embrace.  His music is not merely a homage to th

Album Review: Out On The Coast from David Angel

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Album:  Out On The Coast Artist:  David Angel Label:  Basset Hound Music Website:  http://www.bassethoundmusic.com Saxophonist David Angel leads a 13-piece jazz ensemble on the 3-disc set Out on the Coast, containing 15 of his original compositions alongside 7 jazz standards.  The recording is a window into West Coast cool jazz infused with factions of swing, big band, Latin jazz, and ballroom waltz. The title track opener is an early Angel composition with a ballroom swing component that exudes harmonic sophistication.  The band transitions into the rhumba-esque sway of "Wig," mounted in layers of chiffon-like silhouettes from the assortment of reeds and brass instruments, waving and undulating in a graceful fluidity.  The slow burn wafting from the toots of the horns through "L'ilo Vasche" displays the ensemble's fluency in smooth swing, culminating into the band's remake of Duke Ellington's silky ballad "Prelude To A Kiss" pervading a dr

Album Review: For the Record from the Vinnie Riccitelli Octet

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Album:  For the Record Artist:  Vinnie Riccitelli Octet Label:  Self-Released Websites:  https://www.discogs.com/artist/2295583-Vinnie-Riccitelli http://home.nestor.minsk.by/jazz/news/2021/02/0202.html https://karionpresskits.com/reviews/exclusive-magazine-reviews-vinnie-riccitelli-octet-with-his-new-album-for-the-record/ Straight-ahead jazz through the ages is portrayed on For the Record from the Vinnie Riccitelli Octet.  From the swinging grooves of the 1950's to the big band influenced-harmonies of the 1970's and the personalized solos descriptive of jazz in the new millennium, Riccitelli's acuity to remain connected to modern jazz is strong even at the tender age of 94 years old.  A handful of original scores by Riccitelli are interspersed with an assortment of jazz standards, moving seamlessly through the recording. Heady saxophone solos, improvised drum rolls, and bopping bass vamps are signature themes throughout the recording, shedding light on characteristics that

Album Review: Death of Expertise from Bruce Brown

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Album:  Death of Expertise Artist:  Bruce Brown Label:  Self-Released Website:  www.brucebrownmusic.com Vocalist Bruce Brown taps into his prowess as a blues singer, delving into an repertoire heaped in swinging melodies and bossa nova serenades on his latest release Death of Expertise . The 14 song disc features Brown's casual swagger reminiscent of Tony Bennett's easy-going manner, accompanied by an ensemble of Australian and American musicians, whom he has played with for several years.  The effect is a symbiotic relationship between Brown's nuanced vocals and the glistening harmonies that nestle up against his smooth versing. Glen Berger's rippling saxophone solo on "Love Always Wins" injects a burst of excitement into the leisurely flow of the melody as Brown's vocals exalt, "One thing's for sure / love will endure / love always wins / when we open our hearts / we always win."  Thrusting forward, the catchy swinging rhythm towing "T

Album Review: Old Friends from Mark Winkler and David Benoit

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Album:  Old Friends Artist:  Mark Winkler and David Benoit Label:  Café Pacific Records Website:  http://markwinklermusic.com http://facebook.com/mark.winkler.10 Blues crooner and lyricist Mark Winkler joins his friend pianist-composer David Benoit to record a nostalgic collection of timeless jazz standards interspersed with original tunes for their latest release Old Friends .  Produced by Barbara Brighton, the recording displays the duo's melodic sensibilities and easy repartee.  Their camaraderie is natural, instinctually carrying each other through the melancholic moods and the counter cheerful ones alike. The meandering reflections portrayed in the title track, written by Paul Simon, are penetrative as Winkler's vocals nuzzle the lyrics, ruminating thoughtfully, "old friends / sat on the park bench like bookends / newspaper blown through the grass... old friends / winter companions / the old men / lost in their overcoats / waiting for the sun / the sounds of the city

Album Review: The Last Train to Desolation Pass from Nick Peck

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Album:  The Last Train to Desolation Pass  Artist:  Nick Peck Website: http://nickpeck.com https://nickpeck.bandcamp.com/album/the-last-train-through-desolation-pass The Last Train to Desolation Pass from composer/multi-instrumentalist Nick Peck is his second offering in a series of instrumental recordings that presents a story through a juxtaposition of orchestral, folkloric, and jazz styles. Each track depicts a phase in the journey of a steam locomotive through a network of hills and valleys.  Peck may have intended for audiences to picture his motivation to compose the music but whether the listener can picture the pre-conceived images is inconsequential as the music itself is descriptive of an epic voyage.  One that transcends the images Peck intended to convey. "Prelude to Cascadia" starts off the recording with gently tweezed guitar strings performed by Peck, imbuing a flamenco palette.  The beauty emanating from the guitar strings portray a bucolic vista that whisks

Album Review: Geminus from Kane Mathis

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Album: Geminus Artist: Kane Mathis Label Name: Nyaato Website: www.kanemathis.com/music Reveling in the ancient art of making music from the string instruments of West Africa's kora and Turkey's oud, guitarist Kane Mathis embraces these instruments breed of folk-toned dances and ballads on his latest recording Geminus .  Composing new works for both instruments, Mathis widens the field of experimental jazz with provocative sequences and enchanting passages from the strings of the kora and oud.  His recording equally opens audiences minds about what they consider to be jazz, folk, soul, adult pop, and world music, each of which Mathis's music shows traits of that audiences can discern. Jangly figures embroidered by Mathis's strings are splayed across "Kaira," purveying the image of a Turkish dance while John Hadfield's percussion and Sam Minale's bass loop around the glittery sequences.  The entanglement stirs the senses, inciting enjoyment.  Other trac