Issue 135 Reviews

 Our latest reviews for your reading and pleasure!!

James Sera – REALITY OF THE FANTASY:  Every once-in-a-while I like to close out an issue with something different that just “standard jazz or blues”… and James beautiful guitar work on this fantastic 9-song trip is just the one to do it with!  Check out the opener, “Wish“, to hear why I believe that!  If you want something with just a tad more “movement”, be sure to listen to the wonderful “Day Of Celebration“… you’ll be (literally) celebrating – for days!  My personal favorite was the mysterious “Awakenings“… gentle, but purposeful!  I give James a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for listeners who can’t do without a bit of both reality and fantasy in their music.  “EQ” (energy quotient) rating is 4.97.  Get more information at James’ Bandcamp pages.      Rotcod Zzaj

James Sera: Reality of the Fantasy

Tom Kennedy – JUST PLAY:  When a jazz album is “driven” by the bassist, the CD is either an “instant hit”, or falls flat… with Tom’s playing on this, it’s definitely a hit!  That’s especially true on tracks like the classic “Moanin” (Art Blakey)… I loved this version!  As you can see from the cover shot to the left, Tom is joined by a whole host of high-talent players, and for that reason, the playing is “on” through the entire CD.  Of the 9 pieces offered up, I found my favorite to be the high-energy “Bolivia“… this one jumps, and Tom’s bass line is in charge of the entire track!  If you’re a fan of straight-ahead jazz, you’ll agree when I declare this as MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient rating of 4.99.  Get more information at the CAPRI label site for this CD.        Rotcod Zzaj

São Paulo Underground – BEIJA FLORS VELHO E SUJO:  One thing I can (absolutely) guarantee you – you have NEVER heard the music of Brazil like THIS (& tho’ I listen to a lot of avant garde/free jazz – neither have I)!  So, for those who have no adventure in their blood, move on along… but those who truly enjoy sonic madness, you’ll love the electronic jazz on “Into The Rising Sun” just as much as I did.  Featuring Rob Mazurek on cornet, harmonium and various effects, São Paulo’s Guilherme Granado on keyboards, synths, sampler and vocals, and Mauricio Takara on percussion, cavaquinho and electronics, their version of “Over The Rainbow” is “way over” it… ha! ha! ha!  My personal favorite of the 10 tunes offered up to tweak your insanity, though, was “Six Handed Casio” – just think of an Octopus playing a full-size 88 keyboard.  I give them a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.98.  Get more information at Rob’s pages.       Rotcod Zzaj

Mark Masters Ensemble – EVERYTHING YOU DID:  I can tell you – you have NEVER HEARD “Steely Dan” music like this!  We’ve reviewed a lot of music from jazz arranger Mark Masters, with a stellar cast of players ((which include tenor saxophonist Billy Harper, trumpeter Tim Hagans, baritone saxophonist Gary Smulyan, bassist Hamilton Price and drummer Peter Erskine, alongside such former collaborators as saxophonists Oliver Lake and Gary Foster), but never anything with this amount of excitement and high-energy!  Just scope out the wonderful opening track, “Show Biz Kids“, to get a taste of music that will stay at the top of your playlists for years to come (Yes, I said YEARS)!  Even that great tune/arrangement pales in comparison to my favorite of the 10 offered up, “Kings“… brass & reeds that just won’t quit!  I give Mark & crew a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 5.00… which means that they also get the “PICK” of this issue for “best all around jazz performance”.   Get more information at Mark’s page on the Capri label site.         Rotcod Zzaj

Laura Ainsworth – NECESSARY EVIL:  Laura’s jazz vocals will take you back a few years…. this is just the kind of jazz I listened to when I was first exploring the high-energy halls of the genre (way, WAY back in the day).  Her rendition of “One More Time” is a perfect example of that; something like you’d have heard in a late-night speakeasy.  Brian Piper’s piano has a lot to do with the success of her style, especially on cuts like the laid-back & bluesy “Just Give Me A Man“… this was, in fact, my favorite of the dozen tracks offered up for your listening pleasure.  If you totally dig swoon & croon, you’ll agree when I declare this MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED; “EQ” (energy quotient) rating is 4.97.  Get more information at Laura’s website.        Rotcod Zzaj

Laura Ainsworth: Necessary Evil

The Pure Heart Ensemble – BLISS OF BEING:  There is always time for a slight “diversion” in our listening here at I.N.  Richard Shulman and his cohorts (cellist Adriana Contino, flutist Kate Steinbeck, vocalist Dielle Ciesco and crystal bowl player Bob Hinkle) provide an emotional vista unlike any I’ve heard (yet) this year.  The wonderful “Transition To A New Way” will easily remind you of how beautiful this life can be and wrap you up in the spirit created by the tune.  My personal favorite was the intriguing “The Journey Deepens“… subtle, yet full of life and the joy of living it! For those listeners who demand something with substance and mystery, this gets my MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.98.  Get more information at the label site for this CD.      Rotcod Zzaj

The Pure Heart Ensemble: Bliss of Being

Dana Marcine – SO UNEXPECTED:  This Brooklyn native wails a mean vocal, let me tell you… well, not exactly “mean”, but she sure is “on” through all dozen tunes on this fine CD.  Dana’s voice on “Imagine Brasil” will have you movin’ your hips to the beat immediately.  Eight of the songs are written by her, too, so that adds yet another layer of excitement for the listener – you can TELL she’s loving what she’s doing, and she expresses it very well.  The upbeat pace on “From This Moment On” captured my vote for favorite track… Dana really makes this track move!  For listener who love great female jazz vocals, this gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.97.  A truly enjoyable 12-song set!  Get more information about Dana at her website.        Rotcod Zzaj



Dana Marcine: So Unexpected

Billy Bang – DA BANG:  I’ve reviewed quite a bit of Billy’s work here, and can truly say that this is the BEST one yet (just released shortly before he passed away from cancer)… as you listen to the 8:19 opening title track, “Da Bang“, you’ll hear why I find Billy’s jazz violin work so listenable!  Billy is joined by trombonist Dick Griffin, pianist Andrew Bemkey, bassist Hilliard Greene and drummer Newman Taylor
Baker on this TUM release.  My personal favorite of the 6 tunes offered up was the oddly titled “Law Years“… definitely jazz for the lover of such – super energy on this one.  I give Billy & crew a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.99.  Get more information at the TUM label site for this release.       Rotcod Zzaj


Chip Stephens – RELEVANCY:  If Chris isn’t among the most “relevant” jazz pianists on the scene today – then I don’t know who is… man, this cat’s chops are killer!  Every note he plays, from the opening bar, is ON TIME & right on… check out the opener, “Syndrome“, & you’ll hear what I mean.  Joel Spencer’s drums & Dennis Carrol’s bass certainly add fuel to the jazz fire they create, but as you scope out Chip’s power piano line’s on “C. Hip’s Blues“, you’ll know why he’s the leader on this great trio effort.  It was the smooth flow and absolute tightness of arrangement on the closer, “34 Skidoo“, that got my vote for favorite of the 8 tunes offered up for your long-term jazz listening pleasure… this is just about as good as jazz can get!  I give Chip & crew a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.99.  Get more information at the Capri Records site for Chip.         Rotcod Zzaj


Shambhu – DREAMING OF NOW:  One of the reasons I enjoy Shambhu’s guitar work so much is that there’s always something different…. something interesting… & this CD takes that a couple of steps further than the last one I reviewed from him.  As you listen to the high energy on “Starbucks Landing“, you’ll feel the groove I’m talking about – lots of movement, lots of talent in abundance!  If you prefer something a bit more laid-back, you’ll enjoy “Rendezvous“… no doubt about it; then instruments blend seamlessly all the way through this wonderful song.  My personal favorite of the 11 songs offered up was the full-bodied “Searching“…. you’ll feel like he & his crew are right there in your living room playing for you.  I give Shambhu a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.98.  Get more information at the Shambhu website.        Rotcod Zzaj


Shambhu: Dreaming of Now

Tom Dempsey – SAUCY:  Right from the first chord Tom’s guitar plays, I knew this was going to be a “classic” in our library!  He’s joined by ron Oswanski’s exquisite organ stylings and straight-ahead jazz drumming from Alvin Atkinson; one of my favorite tracks was “Back To Back”, & it will give you a splendid taste of how “real” the trio’s jazz is!  There’s a nice vid of the title track, “Saucy“, on YOUTUBE, so be sure and check that out, too.  I’ll be coming back to this review once the samples are posted up ’round the web & inputting the links – the CD won’t be officially released until 17 September 2013, & I suspect that’s why I couldn’t find anything but that one (slightly older) vid.  In the end-run, it was the laid-back organ that made “Ceora” my favorite of the 10 tracks offered up… I give this one a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) of 4.97.  Get more information at Tom’s site.         Rotcod Zzaj


Dave Robbins Electric Band – ZAP:  Folks, this ‘zine is the place to BE if you want to hear (only) the latest & greatest in high-energy music, I’ll tell you… with Dave on drums & a whole host of talented players with him – he NAILS IT!  Just check out the move&groove on the opener, “Zap“… absolute fun, and very danceable!  The Rhodes intro on “Dimwit” was superb, with nice improvised lines and great reed excursions.  A big part of what makes this so aurally attractive is that it has all original tunes… of the eight tunes presented, it was the 8:58 “Unrise” that got my vote as favorite… slow build and absolutely edible/tasty jazz lines that will stay right up at the top of your playlists!  I give Dave & crew a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.97.  Get more information on this catalog page.         Rotcod Zzaj


B’Shnorkestra – GO TO ORANGE:  We are seldom without innovative and creative music here at my ‘zine… and this CD of “new music for strings, horns & drums” goes way beyond the pale in proving that… just scope out “La Noche Negra“, where you’ll hear how penetrating and consciousness-invading these marvelous players are (with full Latin percussion stoking the fires)!  As you listen to “Zim“, you’ll feel like you’re in deep waters, with riptides carrying you past the siren’s songs.  It was the heavy Afro-Cuban rhythms on “B’shnultimate” that got my personal vote for favorite of the 8 truly challenging tunes offered up for your listening pleasure.  I give these folks a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, though you “M.O.R.” listeners are cautioned that this is not a CD for the timid…. “EQ” (energy quotient) rating is 4.99.  Get more information at the B’shnorkestra blog.      


Rotcod Zzaj

Dialeto – THE LAST TRIBE:  It’s truly amazing what our friends at MOONJUNE Records come up with… this trio from Brazil is among the strongest I’ve heard from the label… just scope out the dynamic opener, “Windmaster” to get a taste of the ride you’re gettin’ ready to take – you WILL be soaring on this one!  The strange-sounding “Unimpossible” is like an outer space version of the blues – those guitar solos are stellar, to be sure.  The players won’t let you get “comfortable” in one place, either… they keep your spirit moving on tracks like the killer “Whereisit” (my favorite of the 10 tracks, by the way).  If you’re in for an unparalleled aural adventure, this comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED… “EQ” (energy quotient) rating is 4.99.  Get more information at the label site for this album.
Rotcod Zzaj


Trance Lucid – PALACE OF ETHER:  Dave Halverson’s guitar, synthesizers & bass are joined by drums/percussion from Terry Lee and keyboards by Richard Bugbee on this 5th album from a band I reviewed “way back” on this June 2013 release.  Tunes like “Illumination” will make your ears sit up & take notice – no doubt (especially when Dave’s solos kick in)!  If it’s high-energy rockin’ you have in mind, you’ll just love “Pocket“… gittin’ on DOW-un & phonk-ee!  My personal favorite of the 15 tracks was “Spyglass“, but with that many songs, you’re bound to find one that truly fits your niche.  I give Dave & crew a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.97.   Get more information at the TRANCE LUCID website.       

Rotcod Zzaj

Trance Lucid: Palace of Ether



Ron Boustead – MOSAIC:  Male jazz vocalists don’t always fare well here, as too many of them come off sounding “just like Frank”, if you know what I mean… in Ron’s case, though, he’s totally his own singer… check out the ultimately groovy “Moon Song“, the opener on this September 3, 2013 release to get a flavor for just how involved his vocals are!  He makes it totally clear through his approach to the music that he has the cool to pull anything off – as best evidenced by my favorite of the 10 songs Ron presents, “Careless Wind“… simple, but beautiful – and it will stay at the top of your playlists for months (if not years) to come!  I give Ron a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, especially for those who love jazz vocals with high energy.  “EQ” (energy quotient) rating is 4.97.  Get more information about this fantastic singer at his website.         Rotcod Zzaj


Ron Boustead: Mosaic

Sherry Finzer & Darin Mahoney – TRANSFORMATION:  This issue is just full of high-energy and pure power – Sherry (flutes) and Darin (guitars) literally “speak” to you through their wonderful music!  Just listen to the beautiful “Confused” to get a sense of how un-rushed and dedicated they are to getting their message across to you!  The things they speak of here will help you sort out your own life and move on to a better place… if you want proof of that, listen to “Joplin“, my personal favorite of the 8 pieces offered up for your aural adventure!  Be sure you’re aware that this is not “heavy jazz” (it’s more along the lines of new age), but if you love music that inspires, you’ll agree with me when I declare it to be MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED… “EQ” (energy quotient) rating is 4.97.  Get more information about the CD at Sherry’s site.      
Rotcod Zzaj


Sherry Finzer: Transformation


David Vito Gregoli – PRIMORDIAL SONICS:  This CD was a “dark horse”, in the sense that I had to listen through it twice to catch the true energy embedded in it… when I got to the Didg on “All Sentient Beings“, the tides started turning.  Power is in the tracks, no doubt – it’s just a bit subtle for the intro pieces.  Great surprises await the listener, though; as on the throbbing, pulsing beat on “Voodoo Vito” – I loved this tune!  Be sure to listen to this (at least on the first ’round) with your headphones on… it will make the experience resonate with your spirit!  The other thing that makes this 7-song project different from all the others is that there’s almost an “orchestral” feel to some of the pieces… that’s especially true for my favorite on the CD (& the closer), “Big Sky Mind“… if you’re not soaring high above the clouds by the end of this track, someone cut your wings off.  I give Vito a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, especially for listeners who want something different than the norm.  “EQ” (energy quotient) rating is 4.98.  Get more information at Vito’s website.       
Rotcod Zzaj


David Vito Gregoli: Primordial Sonics

Arturo O’Farrill – FINAL NIGHT AT BIRDLAND:  It’s been quite a while since I reviewed Arturo’s splendid jazz, but this dozen-song (live) extravaganza makes it well worth the wait… the first three tracks (after the intro) are all about “Afro Cuban Jazz Moods“, and you haven’t heard Latin jazz with this much punch (I know I haven’t anyway) in a long, LONG time.  It was the 8:06 “Havana Blues” (live) that captured my ear (and my heart) for favorite, though… I’ve been listening to this on the car CD stereo over & over & over again.  There are sections of “Tanga Suite” that had me up on my feet dancin’ th’ afternoon away, too, though – so you’ll have to decide which your favorite is on your very own.  I give Arturo & his crew a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.98 – this is absolutely killer jazz that you’ll enjoy for years to come.  Get more information about Arturo & his music at his website.        
Rotcod Zzaj



Steven Halpern – DEEP THETA 2.0:  I’ve been reviewing music from Steven for many years now and can tell you that a new release from him is always a pleasure!  His music isn’t complicated, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t full of insights – just listen to “Deep Theta Part 3″ to get a feel for the beauty he is able to project with his flute work – truly one of the best pieces you’ll ever listen to – but DO IT with your headphones on!  The Rhodes on “Deep Theta Part 2” is just marvelous – I loved it – so much so that I declare it my favorite track of the 14 pieces offered up for your meditative and spiritual enjoyment.  While this isn’t “jazz”, per se, my main criteria here for reviewing music is “high energy” and “high talent”, & Steven’s work qualifies so highly that he not only gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, and an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 5.00 (the top of the scale), but gets the “PICK” of this issue for “best inspirational music”!  Get more information about Steven and his extensive work at his website.        
Rotcod Zzaj


Emrah Kotan – NEW ANATOLIAN EXPERIENCE:  What’s often most pleasant about doing this ‘zine is that I get to hear jazz artists I might never have heard before… & Emrah’s percussive originals (he’s a drummer extraordinaire) as the lead on this monster debut CD that fuses together elements of “world” with a solid jazz core that you’ll be listening to over & over & over again on your playlists is a perfect example of that!  Just listen to the opener, “Ottoman Slap” to hear how talented he (& his other players) are!  If you’re looking for something a bit more mellow, you’ll love “My Angels” – some beautiful piano on the intro.  Of the 10 songs offered up, it was “Odd Time Is It” that got my vote for favorite, though… super energy!  I give Emrah a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.97.  Get more information at Emrah’s website, & be sure to tell him you read about him here!          Rotcod Zzaj



Emrah Kotan: The New Anatolian Experience

Brian Noring & Dave Fuglewicz – FURIOUS CACTUS:  When the title track (Furious Cactus) starts, right after the rich/thick intro, you may be lulled into a sense of “been there, done that” – but don’t let your ears deceive you – put those headphones ON & delve deep into what Brian and Dave are conveying for you – think about the “mind” of a cactus (in particulate, a peyote cactus), because that’s what you’re going to experience!  These two have been on the experimental scene for many years now, and mesh very well together.  Sonic wonderment that is NOT for the “timid”… especially on tracks like “The Void Is The Boundary“, my favorite of the dozen offered up.  If your listening doesn’t include adventure, you may not agree, but for those who enjoy “different/experimental”, this gets my MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.98.  Get the entire CD (for free) at the Internet Archive site.         Rotcod Zzaj

The Mike LeDonne Trio – SPEAK:  Every musician/band has “energy”… what many don’t have that Mike & his trio exhibit in abundance is – POWER!  Mike’s piano is a large factor in the generation of that, but bassist John Webber and drummer Joe Farnsworth both amplify the experience – any way you listen to this music, it’s an inspiring experience, not to be missed.  Verify that by scoping out “Suite Mary III – Play“… man, this is JAZZ, people, better than any “average band” you’ll listen to anywhere on the planet!  The tune that got my vote for favorite out of the nine excellent tracks offered up was “Blues For McCoy”… I haven’t heard keyboard energy like this (yet) this year – superb piano jazz that gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from my ears, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.99.  Get more information at the label page.        Rotcod Zzaj



Paul Carlon – LA RUMBA IS A LOVESOME THING; TRIBUTE TO BILLY STRAYHORN:  I don’t understand the words – but I surely do understand what they’re saying… whether intended or not, the message conveyed here is that LIFE is for the LIVING!  Just scope out the mighty hip groove on the stunning opener, “Johnny Come Lately“,, & you’ll hear that Paul (& his huge crew) knows how to say that, too!  Though pitched as a tribute to Billy Strayhorn (& it is that), there’s also a very heavy focus on Latin with a distinct jazz flavor… as you’ll hear on the excellent “Day Dream“… & the vocals are killer here, too.  This 10-song monster has been spinning (off & on) ever since I got it in… I found the percussion-filled “Sweet and Pungent” to be my favorite on the CD.  I give Paul a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.98.  Get more information at Paul’s site.      Rotcod Zzaj



Paul Carlon: La Rumba Is a Lovesome Thing: A Tribute to Billy Strayhorn

Tim Warfield – EYE OF THE BEHOLDER:  Or, if you prefer – “ear” of the beholder… Tim’s tenor/soprano sax work is just excellent, & the other players (trumpet by Nicholas Payton, piano from Cyrus Chestnut, bass by Rodney Whitaker & drums from Clarence Penn) are just as “on” as Tim is on all 9 cuts on this straight-ahead jazz CD.  Whether it’s the lazy, laid-back, bass intro on “Blues For Mr. Bill“, or the hardcore jazz roots on “Tide A Dish I“, what you’re getting here is not anything (at ALL) like the pseudo-jazz aired on “smoove” stations ’round the country – this is the REAL deal, folks!  Every player gets a chance to shine, which makes me think we’ll be hearing much more from Tim.  My personal favorite track on the CD is “The Undaunted” for it’s raw & beautiful energy – an absolutely killer tune that will stay right at the top of any true jazz fan’s playlists for years to come!  I give Tim & his cohorts a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.99.  Get more information about Tim at the Criss Cross label page for this CD.     Rotcod Zzaj



Meg Bowles – THE SHIMMERING LAND:  Meg’s synth work on this hour-long extravaganza is something my pal Mark Vale would love; no doubt in my mind.  6 very long excursions into tasty ‘scapes such as “Undulant Sea“, where you will picture nature in all her beauty.  Be sure you have your headphones on when you watch “Venus Rising“… this track is rich and full-bodied – it’s definitely my favorite ambient piece (yet) in 2013.  Meg’s style on the synth is not at all rushed, but you will be able to feel the power she projects in all it’s grand glory – but you must absorb it from intro to last bar – be sure there are no interruptions if you want to get the full effect.  This is a truly beautiful sonic adventure that you won’t want to miss!  I give Meg a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.98.  Get more information at Meg’s personal site.       Rotcod



Meg Bowles: The Shimmering Land


The Brandon Bernstein Trio – BUT BEAUTIFUL:  This is one of the freshest guitar-based (Brandon) trios (he’s joined by bassist Putter Smith and drummer Kendall Kay) I’ve heard yet in 2013!  As you check out the laid-back strum on the opener, “That Old Feeling“, you’ll realize (right away) why I feel that about Brandon’s music.  10 standards that sound like they’ve had new life breathed into them!  I loved the undercurrent of high energy on “You Go To My Head“, one of the best tracks on the CD.  You’ll peg that tune at the top of your playlists for a long time to come, I’ve no doubt.  It was the heavy jazz vibe on “Celia” that got my vote for favorite track; just excellent jazz that will have you high steppin’ in only seconds!  I give Brandon & crew a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of (tops) 5.00.  That means it also gets the “PICK” of this issue for “freshest guitar-based jazz CD”.  Get more information about Brandon at his website.        Rotcod Zzaj



The Brandon Bernstein Trio: But Beautiful

Duduka Da Fonseca – NEW SAMBA JAZZ DIRECTIONS:  I knew from the first review I did for Duduka (issue # 120) that his music was of that special category – timeless – & that I’d be listening to him again!  A lot of his appeal is because he’s one of the most solid drummers on the jazz scene today – and I’ve no doubt you’ll agree with that when you listen to the excellent jazz issuing forth on “Alana“, one of the best tracks on the 10-song CD.  Though he’s billed in the liner notes as a “Brazilian drummer”, he’s much more than that… he’s got that jazz DOW-un – the kind I grew up on, in fact… tunes like the closer, “Samblues” (my favorite on the CD, by the way) will stick in your head for days & months to come.  I give Duduka & crew a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.99.  Get more information at Duduka’s website.     Rotcod Zzaj



Duduka Da Fonseca Trio: New Samba Jazz Directions

rjr – ROLLING JAZZ REVUE:  When I reviewed Jim Cavender’s guitar work in issue # 133, I knew this follow-on CD would be a pleasure to listen to & review… when you scope out the down-home jazzy feel on the opener, “Scare Tactic“, you’ll hear that I was right on the money – & that organ on the track is killer (co-founder Newt Johnson), to be sure!  If your tastes are running more towards “gospel jazz”, you’ll like “The Gospel Hour” as much as I did (certainly reminded me of some of my excursions through Alabama in my early days).  The players are tight together, and seem to truly enjoy what they’re doing…. if you don’t believe me, let your ears feast on my personal favorite tune on the CD, “The Circle Game“… high energy & talent just shine right on through! .  An all-instrumental jazz extravaganza that gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from these ol’ ears, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.98.  Be sure to stop by their FB page to learn more about them, & don’t forget to tell Jim/crew that you read about them here!        Rotcod Zzaj


Rolling Jazz Revue: rjr

Cynthia Sayer – JOYRIDE:  I can’t say I’m totally familiar with “banjo jazz” as a genre… but I can say that this is one rollicking ride from Cynthia & her crew – what this music has that (many) other CD’s don’t is the key ingredient for any good music – FUN!  Just check out the fantastic “Ella Miriam’s Blues” to get a taste of how much joy you can jive on with Cynthia’s banjo – I dug this tune a lot.  If you’re in a more romantic mood, you’ll like “Getting To Know You” a lot.  It was the riotous “Move It On Over” that won my vote for favorite of the 13 tracks offered up.. much fun, verzure!  I give Cynthia a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.96.  Get more information at Cynthia’s pages.      Rotcod Zzaj

Cynthia Sayer: Joyride

One Comment so far: