Issue 127 reviews

Our latest reviews for your reading and listening pleasure!!!

Soulfood & DJ Free – YOGI CHILL:  What a GREAT CD to close out issue # 127 with… our long-time pal DJ Free has done it (yet) again… you will groove, without doubt, to the intricate weave on the opener, “Inception“, then find your mind rising far above it all with the beautiful “Euphoria“... – one of the best “chill tunes” I’ve heard (yet) this year.  You get 10 tracks, plus a bonus track, & you’ll find yourself spinning these over & over (again) as did I!  It was the heavy chords on “Kundalini” that made it my favorite electronica tune for 2012, though… it’s only 6:06, so I’ve no question you’ll be putting this one on repeat!  True talent and musical skill shine through everything DJ Free has had reviewed here (many, MANY CD’s over the last 20 years), & (yet again), this comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.99 – I’m LOVIN’ this CD, volkz.  Get more information at DJ Free’s page on SOULFOOD    Rotcod Zzaj

Fred Hersch Trio – ALIVE AT THE VANGUARD:  15 jazz solids on this live double CD that will thrill jazz lovers of every stripe… this is one of the most “on” CD’s I’ve listened to (yet) this year… just scope out Fred’s superb piano work on the 6:49 opener, “Havana“… John Hebert’s bass is splendid & Eric McPherson’s drum work is totally solid!  If you want a tune that “jumps”, you’ll just love “Segment” – the players are genuinely talking with each other here, & you’ll spin this one over & over (as did I), I’ve no doubt!  The dark (yet somehow “bouncy”) rhythms on “Jackalope” on CD 2 made it my absolute favorite of the tunes… this one takes me back many years to dark jazzkellers in Deutschland!  I’m impressed enough with this one to give it the “PICK” of this issue for “best live jazz” CD, as well as a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED & and “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 5.00 (the very top of my scale)!  Get more information at the Palmetto Records page for this CD     Rotcod Zzaj

Anna Estrada – VOLANDO:  I haven’t heard from Anna since issue # 97, where she got a rave review from me for her high-talent jazz vocal works!  This new CD is even better than her first two, especially on tracks like the marvelous opener, Latin-influenced “Wild Is The Wind“... you’ll also enjoy her renditions of classics, like the Beatles “Happiness Is A Warm Gun“… totally different vocal from what you might have expected!  Anna’s able to take a tune & make her own flavor of jazz, & that’s what makes her unique… excellent work!  My personal favorite of the dozen tracks offered up, though, was Anna’s version of Harry Nilsson’s “Everybody’s Talking“… 2 cool for words.  I give her my MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.98.  Get more information at Anna’s pages.      Rotcod Zzaj

Ligro – DICTIONARY 2:  OMG, it must be “rock/jazz review” week… this power trio from Indonesia (Jakarta, to be specific) is absolutely killer & will appeal to jazzers as well as rock fans with tracks like the astounding opener, “Paradox“… ev’ry lil’ note is “right on time”, nothing out of joint & is guaranteed to get yer’ motor runnin’!  Another favorite for my aural appendages was “Don Juan” – you’ll like you’re watchin’ all th’ windmills in th’ world at once on this 6:13 bass-heavy adventure.  Agam Hamzah’s lead guitar is full of highly talented energy, th’ bass work from Adi Darmawan is as fluid as it will ever get & the drums from Gusti Hendy will carry you off to oblivion!  These cats have redefined what cool means & they are IT!  I give them a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.99!  Get more information on the MOONJUNE site for this CD.      Rotcod Zzaj

Sh.Tg.N – SH.TG.N:  Dee-jays Should Have Low Self-Esteem” clearly bears out the fact that this Belgian band knows both sides of the jazz/rock arena, and have enough talent to stun you with their excellence!  The player lineup is far too long to itemize here, but if you visit the label page at MOONJUNE (one of my favorite labels, by the way), you can read all about them & listen to each of the dozen trax!  This group’s performance skill is just on this side of genius, & they definitely have a sense of “out”.. another favorite (for me) was the dynamic & moving “Erase Her Dad” – I still haven’t figured out what the lyrics were trying to tell me, but this is about as close to where F.Z. was going with some of his antics as you can get!  This definitely is NOT “jazz in the trad sense”, but if you dig music with strong elements of that form that’s (totally) “bent” – GET THIS one!  I give them a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.98.  Get more information at the label page linked in above.     Rotcod Zzaj

Stefano Pastor – SONGS:  Listeners who love solo jazz violin need look no further than this wild CD!  Your ears will be absolutely intrigued as you listen to Stefano’s (13:14) interpretation of “I Got Rhythm” – another keynote is that ALL sounds are produced by his violin… jazz as you’ve never heard it before!  So many violin players these days try to “sound like” someone, but Stefano clearly has his own sonic vision, and pursues it with the kind of vigor you seldom find these days!  His rendition of the classic “Purple Haze” is my favorite track (yet) this year… man, this is one SMOKIN’ player, & if you collect cool – this has GOT to be in your library (vocal sounds like Jimi’s callin’ from th’ grave – lol).  I give Stefano a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.98.  Get more information at the SLAM Records label site for this CD    Rotcod Zzaj

Michael Vlatkovich Trio – PERSHING WOMAN:  Here’s a jazz trio you’ll love if you’re into “different”… 9 adventures of the moment that will NOT let go of your ears any time soon!  Michael’s trombone mastery features prominently in each of these, but he’s selected players who are as competent (& broad-minded) musically as he is… Damon Short on drums & Johnathan Golove on electric cello blend their talents into a sonic journey fit for listeners who “get their groove” on with the spirit of exploration.  The marvelous “Turtle” (aka “I Let My Magic Tortoise Go”) is my absolute favorite on the CD.  If you’re strictly “MOR” (Middle Of the Road) in your listening habits, you’ll probably go elsewhere, but if (like me) sonic complexity and high energy jazz are your forte’s, you’ll agree with my ears – MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.  “EQ” (energy quotient) is 4.99… in fact, this gets the “PICK” of this issue for “best improvised trio”!  Get more information at the pfMENTUM site for this CD.      Rotcod Zzaj

Peter Appleyard – PETER APPLEYARD AND THE SOPHISTICATED LADIES:  No one will ever be able to claim that this 84-year-old vibist isn’t sophisticated enough in his jazz renderings… just scope out the highly energetic rendering of “Love For Sale” he offers up here – his interaction behind Jill Barber to get a taste of his cool!  His vibe info on “Sophisticated Lady“, and Molly Johnson’s svelte vocal make this a tune you won’t be able to stop spinning!  It’s the upbeat & swinging “Mood Indigo” that made my vote for favorite track, though… Carol McCartney leads your ears through pure pleasure on this one, too.  I give Peter & his ladies a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.97.  Get more information at Peter’s pages!        Rotcod Zzaj  

Steven Halpern – DEEP ALPHA:  Note what the cover says – “brainwave synchronization” – nothing could be closer to the sonic truth… I’ve not heard any music so relaxing in many moons!  Love this one, especially on pieces like “Deep Alpha 8“… I can imagine a listener being so serene from this experience that he/she just puts it on “repeat” for infinity!  If you’re looking for scorching bebop, you’ll probably move in another direction, but if you’re willing to try something new on for your aural pleasure, Steven’s weave here is FOR ya’!  My personal favorite was the gentle sitar-like flow on “Deep Alpha 11“… when you put that together with the beautiful string sounds, you’ve got a total winner… this gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from my ears, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.98.  Get more information at Steven’s site.       Rotcod Zzaj

Soul Of The River – SOUL OF THE RIVER:  I first hooked up with this high-energy rockin’ band via a song called “Sex In The Morning” they had on their REVERBNATION pages.  When I contacted them, they said they weren’t quite ready with the final CD, but it’s here now, & quite enjoyable.  If you’re a hardcore jazzer, you’ll go elsewhere, but if you need a bit of variety in your musical day, this is a perfect place for a change… I especially enjoyed tracks like “Daylight Honey”, which (in part, anyway) reminds me of the songcraft of another of my favorite rockers, Dan Susnara.  You get 15 guitar-based rockers that are lots of fun to listen to (over & over again).  My personal favorite, actually, turned out to be the 3:51 “As I Sing Here“… great guitar work & th’ key ingredient is well-expressed through th’ vocals – FUN!  I give them a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.96.  You can get more information about them on their FB page    Rotcod Zzaj

Greg Lewis – ORGAN MONK UWO IN THE BLACK:  Greg’s organ work on this second CD shows him to be a master, no doubt.  He’s joined by guitarist Ron Jackson (often reviewed in our pages), Reginald R. Woods on tenor sax & Nasheet Waits on drums & cymbals.  The opener, “Little Rootie Tootie“, sets the pace for a lively set of 14 tunes that will thrill any listener who can’t spend the day without a taste of organ jazz.  OTOH, Reginald’s sax just wails on the second cut, “In The Black – My Nephew“… smokin‘!  These cats are right together, no “slips” on any of the tuneage, as evidenced by the Lewis original, “GCP“, a totally rockin’ tune that has some excellent solo passages by Ron – this one turned out to be my favorite track on the CD, by the way.  Greg & krew get another MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.98.  Get more information on Greg’s pages!        Rotcod Zzaj

Sumi Tonooka – NOW:  This is absolutely one of the best solo jazz piano CD’s I’ve heard (yet) in 2012… splendid interpretations of classic and original pieces that will hold those of you in love with keyboards enchanted for the foreseeable future… just scope out the beautiful sounds on “I’m Old Fashioned” – supreme & serene, all at the same time.  2 discs that will hold your ears at full attention for hours on end.  “Phantom Carousel“, the mysterious opener on disc 2, is crafted with wisdom – it was one of my favorites of the even-dozen offered up for your aural pleasure!  It was the dark/bluesy chords on “Mingus Mood” that captured my vote for top-favorite, though… Sumi is an expert at portraying the different moods of life, and you’ll find yourself loving her playing more & more each time you listen!  She gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from these ol’ jazzified ears, as well as an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.97.  Get more information on this CD from her site/page for the CD.    Rotcod Zzaj   

Claudio Scolari, Daniele Cavalca – SYNTHESIS:  There are some wonderful instrumental improvisations here (or were they improvised?  In some cases, it does sound like it was written out); either way, you’ll get a superb high when you scope out one of my favorite tracks on the CD, the 8:53 “Expression of Image“… it’s the ENERGY that gets you… movement is constant & you’ll be ridin’ th’ high only moments after they enter this track.  It was actually the 5:06 “Rituals” that captured my ear most solidly & made it my favorite track of the seven offered up here… super-trumpet work, with great percussion & bell-sounding thingies make it a most enjoyable journey.  Very well-crafted and full of vim/vigor, this one gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for listeners who want something a bit different!  “EQ” (energy quotient) rating clocks in at an admirable 4.98 (out of 5.00).  Get more information at their FB Page.         Rotcod Zzaj

Sandra Marlowe – TRUE BLUES:  One thing I can tell you for sure, dear reader… Sandra ain’t lyin’ – this is th’ REAL blues… you’ll be a believer as you scope out “Black Coffee“, one of my favorite tracks of the dozen offered up for your jazz/blues pleasure!  The keyboards backing her up on “Love Dance” are superb, & she takes you (vocally) off into a totally new dimension.  Sandra’s a master at using her voice to create the mood she’s singing of, without you even knowing she’s changed… & that’s the sure sign of a vocal master, no doubt – at all!  My personal favorite track on the CD, though, is the (very) upbeat & swinging’ “The Song Is You“… she gets my MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for listeners who want vocal jazz with verve.  “EQ” (energy quotient) rating is 4.96.  Get more information at Sandra’s site.      Rotcod Zzaj

Doug Ferony – YOU WILL BE MY MUSIC:  Doug first was reviewed in our pages in issue # 105; this effort seems to have better arrangements & (once again) features the kind of crooning that you would hear when listening to old Mickey Spillane movies.  Those who “go into the zone” when they think of old lounge acts like Perry Como or Frank Sinatra will be in a state of ecstasy when they listen to Doug’s rendition of “I Love You More Today Than Yesterday“... if I were still indulging in martini after martini (as in the old daze), I’d find this both the height of nostalgia and lounge perfection, no doubt.  For some of our readers, this gets a RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.92; others will move on.   Get more information at Doug’s official site.     Rotcod Zzaj

Ulysses Owens – UNANIMOUS:  ’tis just splendid when we get a “reunion” with a previously reviewed player like Ulysses… I first reviewed his excellent work in issue # 99, & was highly impressed… this new CD meets & exceeds the musical goals he set for himself on the earlier effort, especially on tracks like the 10:37 opener, “Good And Terrible“... his style & energy hearken back to the days of my earliest listens to jazz & the music makes you feel good!  My personal favorite of the 9 tracks offered up was the cool breeze feel of “Party Time“, which will put you in a party groove even if you were on th’ down/out side when you started listening (Nicholas Payton’s trumpet just SHINES on this one)!  Ulysses & his playing pals get a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for this excellent jazz CD, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 5.00 – that also means they get the “PICK” of this issue for “best drum-driven jazz CD”!!!    Get more information on Ulysses page for this CD.      Rotcod Zzaj

Joe Alterman – GIVE ME THE SIMPLE LIFE:  One of the true benefits of having done this ‘zine for so many years is that I get to taste & sample from among the best new talent emerging on the scene… there’s no doubt between my ears that Joe is one of the freshest (& liveliest) young talents to come through our mail box in many years… just groove through his opener, “Georgia On My Mind“… you’ll find yourself experiencing the same thrills I got in the old vinyl days when I picked up a new artist (or watched them live in Frankfurt, Germany).  My personal favorite on the CD is “Kelly’s Blues“… man, does this thing rock (especially with Houston Person’s reeds kickin’ it out)!  All 12 tunes get a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from my ears, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.99.  Get more information at Joe’s website.      Rotcod Zzaj

Melvin Taylor – BEYOND THE BURNING GUITAR:  All the way from flamenco-sounds to smokin’-hot blues, Melvin will entertain & enchant your aural appendages; that’s especially true on tunes like th’ down/groovin’ “Passionate“, one of my favorite from the 24 rockin’ pieces offered up on this totally engaging 2-CD set!  Melvin does all the guitars (to include bass) & is joined by masterful keyboard works from Bernell Anderson and drums/percussion from Senor Jefe.  There’s also some SCORCHING strings on the tune that is my favorite, “Rock In Blues“...  very basic, but with the high talent & energy displayed by the players, you won’t let these 2 CD’s stay dormant on your playlist – they’ll be spinnin’ over & over!  Get more information on this fantastic jazz/blues guitarist on his BIO PAGE.         Rotcod Zzaj

Cynthia Felton – FREEDOM JAZZ DANCE:  Cynthia is no stranger on our pages… I believe I’ve reviewed all of her releases here.  Her latest has one of the most intriguing renditions of “Take 5” I’ve heard in many years… (though it would have been nice if it had lasted a bit longer than the 3:43 on this CD).  An even-dozen tunes will enthrall you and wrap you up in her spell easily.  I was particularly enchanted with the “bass creep” behind her vocal on “My Love“, an absolutely tasty tune!  It was actually the title track, “Freedom Jazz Dance“, that got my vote for favorite track, though… if your mind ain’t dancin’ to th’ jazz beat after you spin this a time or three (super scat feeling), you’re not recoverable anyway.  This is the most energetic set of performances I’ve heard Cynthia do yet, & certainly merits my MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.97.  Get more information at Cynthia’s page for this CD.      Rotcod Zzaj

Connie Crothers Quintet, with Mark Weber – SECOND SET AT THE STONE:  Really very little I can say about how astounded I am to be listening to Mark’s spoken word with Connie’s marvelous keyboards (& various other instruments) on this “even dozen” recording.  Mark contributed to a CD I released (way, WAY back when) called “Y2-Kos“.  I was impressed way back then (it was right around 2000), but this set is superbly crafted & totally enchanting; even if you’re not a total spoken-word fan, Connie’s quintet will wrap you right in, & Mark’s heavy-toned verses will have you wondering for several/many moons.  I’m very highly impressed with this CD; it gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.98. Get more information at Connie’s site.     Rotcod Zzaj

Takashi Suzuki – CYCLE:  There are times in everyone’s musical life when they need a taste of something more laid-back and in the “ambient zone”.  Takashi’s compositions on this CD meet & exceed that goal – without fail!  I particularly enjoyed tunes like “Episode 3“… but, of course, that’s the one drawback to so many albums in this category… the artists are so intent on the production & realization of their music that they forget to add just a tad more creative energy into their titles… this particular episode reminded me of what I imagine a moonwalk might have been for our first astronauts, ergo I would have titled it something like “Morning Moonwalk”.  That’s only a minor crit, though… Takashi’s music is splendid on all 8 episodes, & will make your day (no matter what time you’re at in the cycle).  I give him a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.97.  Get more information from the customer reviews at AMAZON (I couldn’t find a site dedicated to Takashi’s music – if someone knows where it is, please send me the link).      Rotcod Zzaj

Jessica Jones; Mark Taylor – LIVE AT THE FREIGHTJessica’s tenor sax melds perfectly with Mark’s french horn… it’s a unique jazz experience with more fluidity than you might expect – through & through!  “By The Park At Midnight” integrates all the players into one of the smoothest 10:46 tracks you will listen to in 2012.  The nine pieces they offer up for you here will spin & spin & spin… especially tuneage like the bass-driven “Waynopolis“, a clear favorite on my playlists.  This is the kind of music that takes one or two (or more) listens to absorb… no cutesy “pop jazz” baubles here… music that carries it’s own weight & gets you to the destination without fail.  These players are adept at painting images that will stand the tests of time, to be sure – you won’t forget the “creep ’round the park” feeling you get on “By The Park At Midnight“.  Jessica & her cohorts get a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from these ol’ ears, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.97.  Get more information on Jessica’s pages.      Rotcod Zzaj

Nick Vayenas – NICK VAYENAS:  Nick’s brassy approach to the 8 jazz tunes he’s laid down on this CD for you is straightforward and full of high talent through & through!  I particularly enjoyed tunes like th’ down & funky “M.O.“… rabble-rousin’ jazz that will keep you hoppin’ for days (if not months)… there are moments where I caught myself thinking that I was listening to old Donald Byrd tuneage – but in the end-run, it’s purely Nick & his pals!  Another absolute killer tune (& my favorite on the album) was the closer, “Tea Time“... the mightiness of mellow combined with just the right tinges of “edge”… Nick & krew get a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from me, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.98.  Get more information at Nick’s website.     Rotcod Zzaj

Carol Robbins – MORAGA:  It’s not often that I hear the harp as the lead in jazz sets as strong as the one Carol has put together for your enjoyment… & I do mean JOY… that’s one of the primary elements that’s expressed in her playing… especially on sweet tuneage like the beautiful “Hope In The Face Of Despair“… Carol & friends will make a believer out of you… all is (clearly) not lost when you’re able to nestle up with sonic beauty (& spirit) like this!  I also loved the raw energy of “Straight Away“... there’s no doubt (in my mind, anyway) that Carol will win you over with the 9 offerings on this fantastic CD.  I give her a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of (top-o’-th’-line) 5.00…. she gets the “PICK” of 2012 for “best harp jazz”!   Get more information at Carol’s website.      Rotcod Zzaj

Ray Parker – SWINGIN’ NEVER HURT NOBODY:  Like the ol’ song says – “If it ain’t got that swing”… you surely don’t need to worry about that on this round… Ray & crew will make you think you’re gonna’ swing ABOVE th’ trees, as tunes like the ultimately smooth “Too Close For Comfort” spin on & on from your MP3 player – over & over, I might add.  There are nine succulent swingers for you to soft-shoe (or rug-rip) to, & my personal favorite was the intricate (but FUN) “Just In Time”… lively talent on display throughout each & every track – I give Ray (& crew) a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.97.  Get more information at this BLOG about Ray!   Rotcod Zzaj

Pearl Django – ELEVEN:  What a wonderful listen for a Sunday-morning cuppa’ joe… the titles themselves are infused with laughter, as in “Prozac Musette”… this music would calm anyone down, no matte how far gone they might have been.  As you might imagine from the CD title, this is their 11th CD; you get an even dozen too-cool gypsy-jazz tunes to relish on your playlists for months (if not years) to come!  I particularly enjoyed tunes like the totally upbeat “Rumbatism“, but you may find other tracks more to your liking.  My own personal favorite was the rousing “Eleventh Hour“, which is kind of an aural picture of where the genre may go in the future, particularly if these cats have anything to do with it (fusion gypsy, maybe?).  I give them a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.97.  Get more information at their website.      Rotcod Zzaj 

Rich Halley 4 – BACK FROM BEYOND:  No reference made to afterlife, but Rich & crew always take the listener somewhere “out there”… the opener, “Spuds“, surely shows off the exceptional skill these folks have at (what they call) “compositional group improvisation” – very, VERY together, through all 10 tracks.  “Reorbiting” has less “swirl” than I thought it would (from the title), but eventually gets you back in the improv circle.  These players have been doing this a long time together, & their skill shows all the way through the CD, but particularly (for this listener, anyway) on pieces like “Broken Ground“… you won’t hear forward movement like this from many groups on the scene today… a totally impressive tune that got my vote as favorite!  I give Rich & his fantastic improv crew a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.98.  Get more information at Rich’s quartet page.      Rotcod Zzaj

Shawnn Monteiro – TO CARMEN WITH LOVE:  Tasty tributes to jazz greats are offered up by Shawnn in honor of Carmen McRae… scope out the opener, “Old Devil Moon” to get a sample of just how scrumptious Ms. Monteiro’s vocal style is!  An even dozen tunes that will rotate again & again on your jazz vocal playlists… one of my personal favorites was Shawnn’s very upbeat rendition of “Old Black Magic”… her voice is husky and inviting, & the three-piece band behind her is right ON the money.  Since I’m a huge fan of blues/jazz, it was an easy pick for the favorite track – “Speak Low” got it hands-down.  This is a jazz vocal extravaganza that gets a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from me, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.96.  Get more information on Shawnn’s website.       Rotcod Zzaj

Isadar – RECONSTRUCTED:  If well-conceived and executed solo piano is what’s “on your charts” for today, you will find something to love in the 16 songs Isadar offers up for your ears!  He did this in conjunction with Will Ackerman (Windham Hill Records), and it’s a winner all-’round!  Tunes like the beautiful “Throwing The Dice” will repeat in your noggin over & over (as well as on your playlists).  Since “energy”, not “genre”, is my primary criteria for reviewing a CD, Isadar made it easily into the queue… just listen to the clearly enunciated lines on “Where The Wild Things Are” to hear why I’m so hepped up about Isadar’s piano works (this is my favorite tune on the CD, by the way).  A wonderful piano excursion that will have you listening with (both) introspection and glee – this gets my MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, especially for those in love with solo piano energy.  “EQ” (energy quotient) rating is 4.97.  Get more information on Isadar’s pages.     Rotcod Zzaj

Maria Neckam – UNISON:  It’s really easy to think back to early Joni (as well as other jazz/folk singers) when you listen to Maria’s beautiful vocals.  That’s especially true on upbeat pieces like “Obsessed“, but the strangest thing happens as you listen to this one… you’re reminded of some of the great vocal pieces Frank Zappa used to do, at least from the vocal perspective – 2 cool!  Maria’s voice is definitely an “instrument”, too, blending right in with the other players (too numerous to mention here).  The total vocal groove on “New Orleans” will make you listen to this track over & over… in fact, it’s my favorite of the 15 Maris & crew offer up for your aural pleasure.  High-talent vocal energy that gets my MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.98.  Get more information at Maria’s site.       Rotcod Zzaj

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