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Album Review: World Traveler from Aleksi Glick

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Album:  World Traveler Artist:  Aleksi Glick Label:  Pinch Records Website:  https://www.aleksiglick.com World Traveler, the new recording from guitarist and composer Aleksi Glick fuses jazz guitar hooks with R&B/soul grooves and bossa nova trimmings, offering a listening experience filled with feel good vibrations from start to finish.  Featuring vocalist Laureana on a handful of tracks, Glick opens the listener's mind to picturesque soundscapes and aurally pleasing explorations. The bossa nova wavelets traveling along "Guitar and Me" are steered by Glick's shimmering chords, producing an atmospheric sonorous that suspends the listener, keeping one in blissful flight.  Laureana's soulful vocals sweep sensually across the bluesy terrain of "She Told Me," moves rhythmically along the bubbly R&B traction of "Leaving LA." and coasts smoothly through the soothing Latin tremors found in "Nordic Bossa."  Musical influences of jazz

Album Review: A Window Within from Olivia Foschi

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Album:  A Window Within Artist: Olivia Foschi Label: Self-Released Website: OliviaFoschi.com Coalescing impressions of bossa nova, swing, scat, and smooth jazz, vocalist-composer Olivia Foschi's latest release A Window Within expresses an array of moods from festive to reflective and convalescing, as the listener follows her personal journey from her marriage to the loss of her grandmother.  The recording is a collaborative effort from Foschi and her drummer Mauricio Zottarelli in the the heart of the arrangements.  The tracks are further defined by pianist Matt King, bassist Marco Panascìa and guitarist Vinicius Gomes, giving Foschi’s compositions distinctive features and dimension. “Caught Me By Surprise” captures the memorable moment of Olivia’s first encounter with her future husband, Joel Kretschman. The piece is clad in percussive vocals that amplify raw emotion.  Shifting gears to the mollifying melody of “Pieces of Central Park,” Foschi creates a cozy and comforting ambien

Album Review: Somewhere from Angela Verbrugge

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Album:  Somewhere Artist:   Angela Verbrugge Label:   Origin/OA2 Records Websites: Official YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/angelaverbrugge Official website: https://www.angelaverbrugge.com   Vancouver Island based vocalist and songwriter Angela Verbrugge intones expressive and nuanced vocals with a youthful aplomb that is infectious.   The clarion tune of her timbres is Broadway showtunes worthy as the warm resonance in her register grips the human heart.   Her latest release Somewhere demonstrates the suppleness of her voicing and the nimbleness in her articulation.    From soothing lullabies to romantic ballads and stargazing ruminations, Verbrugges captures the most alluring cross-section of the jazz spectrum. Most stunning is her original number “Je Ne Veux Pas Te Dire Bonsoir,” translated “I Don’t Want To Say Goodnight To You.”  The languid gait in Verbrugge’s vocal purr is magnetic as Dave Say’s lounging saxophone toots and Miles Black’s gently trickling keys create a dre

Album Review: Orchestral Sessions from Countermeasure

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Album:  Orchestral Sessions Artist:  Countermeasure Label:  Self-Released Websites: https://www.countermeasuremusic.com/ https://twitter.com/countermeasure https://www.instagram.com/countermeasuremusic/ https://www.facebook.com/Countermeasureacappella/ https://www.youtube.com/user/CountermeasureMusic https://open.spotify.com/artist/1Fq6MmK05Q8Q34ogCdQtg5?si=7sDyY64WTyqrxAZHwYmgtg The 12-member Toronto-based vocal group Countermeasure is presenting their fourth studio album Orchestral Sessions to the global market.  Led by the group's Artistic Director and vocalist Aaron Jensen, Countermeasure has come to fuse vocal harmonies with jazz, pop, soul, R&B/dance, and choral melodies.  Accompanied by the Burlington New Millennium Orchestra, conducted by Charles Cozens, and a rhythm section comprised of Larnell Lewis on drums, Jeremy Ledbetter on keyboards, and George Koller on bass, the music has a profoundly positive effect on listeners. The recording opens with "Carry Away,&qu

Album Review: Windows Through Time from Mariah Parker

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Album:  Windows Through Time Artist:  Mariah Parker Label:  Ancient-Future.com Records Website: mariahparkermusic.com Mariah Parker’s compositions on her 2024 release Windows Through Time are characteristic of her penchant to explore Latin rhythms combined with wordless chanting and melodic interfacing, compiling a bounty of sonically soaring structures.  The vivacious voicing of Paul McCandless's saxophone is complimented by the elegant stride of Parker's piano keys and the soothing vibrations of Matthew Montfort's scalloped fretboard guitar.  The rhythm section of Ian Dogole on cymbals and cajon along with drummer Mark Walker, bassists Sascha Jacobsen, Kash Killion and Gary Brown, and percussionists Daniel Feldman and Michaelle Goerlitz cup the spacious soundscapes in a steady hold, solidifying the tracks harmonious flow. Parker's track "Sol de Barcelona" has a vibrant Latin beat that transports the listener into an ecstatic state of mind.  With a flare for

Album Review: Unfoldings from Ian Wardenski Quintet

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Album:  Unfoldings Ian Wardenski Quintet Label Name: Self-Released Website:  http://ianwardenski.com https://ianwardenskiquintet.hearnow.com Unfoldings is the third offering from Ian Wardenski Quintet, featuring Wardenski's wife, soprano vocalist Tamara Tucker.   The recording is a five-movement suite composed by guitarist Wardenski.  Joining him are alto saxophonist Mercedes Beckman, pianist Savino Palumbo, bassist Amy Shook, and drummer Frank Russo.  Experimenting with rhythmic patterns and phrasing, Wardenski illustrates his leanings as a theorist, integrating erratic movements and constructs that randomly shift.  The compositions are orderly in a sporadic and chaotic fashion with instruments spreading, spiraling, flaring and withdrawing in an arbitrary formation. Tumultuous and fiery, "Movement I" is orderly chaos with each musician inputing dynamic verses to the cooperative.   Shook opens "Movement II" with bowing bass lines, which are interceded by Russo&

Album Review: Beatin' The Odds from Leigh Pilzer's Seven Pointed Star

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Album:  Beatin' The Odds Artist:  Leigh Pilzer's Seven Pointed Star Label: Strange Woman Records Website: leighpilzer.com Label Website: strangewomanrecords.com The current project of saxophonist, composer, arranger, and educator Leigh Pilzer is creating a library of compositions and arrangements for her septet, Leigh Pilzer’s Seven Pointed Star. The group’s debut recording, Beatin' The Odds , released in March, 2024, includes eight of Pilzer’s original compositions and one by long-time DIVA colleague, bassist Amy Shook.  That one being the title track, a bebop jazz romp garnished in the flashing bellows of the saxophone flares moored by the pulsating thrums of Shook's bass and the stocky beats of drummer Sherrie Maricle, the leader of DIVA. The press release sites Pilzer's words about the recording, “the music on this recording was written between September 2017 and October 2023, a period that included life-changing events both personal (a cancer diagnosis) and uni