Sunday, May 6, 2018

Eastern Boundary Quartet - Live at Jazzforum Bayreuth (2018)

Jazzforum Bayreuth, Germany is the location of this 2016 performance by the Eastern Boundary Quartet featuring Balazs Bagyi (drums), Mihaly Borbely (sax, tarogato), Joe Fonda (bass), and Michael Jefry Stevens (piano). All of the songs were originals – two compositions from each player. The tarogato is a woodwind instrument that visibly resembles a clarinet or sax and it gives some songs an Eastern flavor. The program is a step or so away from mainstream, straight ahead jazz but it is not difficult listening. There are some stretches and some wonderful moments as well.

1. Allegretto (Continuity Suite) 09:13
2. Tempo Rubato (Continuity Suite) 06:14
3. Turtle Waltz 04:57
4. GS#2 12:52
5. Be By Me Tonight 09:08
6. Fogoska (Tag) 09:01
7. First Thought 05:45
8. There's Too Much Sorrow Today 06:38

Michael Jefry Stevens Quartet - Red's Blues (2018)

Live quartet recording from 2017. Features Todd Wright on saxophones, Rick Dilling on drums, Zack Page on bass and Michael Jefry Stevens on piano and composition. All my original music. This is a more traditional, swinging CD. Not avant garde!

1. The Healing 08:45
2. Waltz for H 07:21
3. Neue Blues 06:29
4. Love's Song 08:20
5. Little Pete's Diner 07:48
6. Memphis Ramble 08:38
7. One for Suzie 06:58
8. Autumn 08:36
9. Red's Blues 08:02

Vin Venezia - Fifth and Adams (2018)

Guitarist Vincent Venezia is a talent on today’s contemporary music scene. He began playing guitar at age eight, studying with various instructors from his hometown of CliffsidePark, New Jersey.  Accomplished in several styles of music, he is a veteran of Broadway and European tours and works steadily in the tri-state area as a leader, sideman and composer since graduating William Paterson College with a degree in Jazz Studies and Performance.  Vincent was instructed by the best performers of our time: jazz guitarists Bob DeVos, Harry Leahey and classical guitarist Leonid Bolotin. The National Endowment for the Arts awarded Vincent two consecutive fellowships to study with modern jazz star Mike Stern. Some of the greats he has performed with include: Kermit Driscoll, Lincoln Goines, Tommy Igoe, Marvin Stamm, Cameron Brown, Steve Marcus, Steve Johns, Lew Soloff, Steve LaSpina, Gerry Niewood and Doug Weiss.

1. Watch Your Step (feat. Bob Magnuson, David Budway, Harvie S & Richie Morales) 5:16
2. The Longliner (feat. David Budway, Harvie S & Richie Morales) 6:49
3. Fifth and Adams (feat. Kermit Driscoll) 5:05
4. Song for Deb (feat. David Budway, Kermit Driscoll, Richie Morales & Manolo Badrena) 5:09
5. Ella (feat. David Budway, Harvie S & Richie Morales) 6:00
6. Odd Ogg (feat. Mike Stern) 3:48
7. Blues for Remus (feat. Bob Magnuson, David Budway, Harvie S & Richie Morales) 5:11
8. Didn't Want To 3:47
9. Coronation (feat. Manolo Badrena) 1:39
10. Two Squirrels (feat. David Budway, Kermit Driscoll, Richie Morales & Manolo Badrena) 3:22

Fifth and Adams is presented with an all-star line-up including:
Mike Stern - Guitar
Harvie S and Kermit Driscoll - Bass
Richie Morales - Drums
David Budway - Piano/Hammond Organ
Bob Magnuson - Tenor Sax
Manolo Badrena - Percussion

Nuance Crusaders - Reflections

MARK R. BALDRIDGE has created the ensemble NUANCE CRUSADERS  to realize his compositions, a unique fusion of jazz ranging from pop to World music.  He has  studied with legendary educator James Dutton, Willie Pickens, Frank Dawson, Mark O’Connor, and Chris  Madsen, and Steve Hashimoto refining and arranging his growing body of compositions. In 2016, with Hashimoto co-producing, he released his first CD of original works, “Beginnings.” This was also the début of his project/group The Nuance Crusaders, a floating ensemble consisting of some of the finest players in Chicago, including Michael Levin, Leandro Lopez- Varady, Heath Chappell, Neal Alger, Diane Delin, Barry Winograd, Steve Koerner, Amy Yassinger and Darryl Boggs. This is the second CD “Reflections” released on the Blujazz label.

1 Soon We Will Be Together (feat. Michael Levin, Leandro Lopez-Varady, Heath Chappell & Steven Hashimoto) 4:00
2 Our Love (feat. Michael Levin, Heath Chappell, Leandro Lopez-Varady, Steven Hashimoto, Neal Alger, Steve Koerner & Barry Winograd) 5:30
3 Jelly (feat. Steven Hashimoto, Heath Chappell, Michael Levin, Neal Alger & Diane Delin) 4:37
4 Swinging in the Wind (feat. Heath Chappell, Steven Hashimoto, Steve Koerner, Barry Winograd, Michael Levin & Leandro Lopez-Varady) 3:38
5 Parents' grace (feat. Michael Levin, Heath Chappell, Steven Hashimoto & Leandro Lopez-Varady) 4:50
6 It Does Not Matter (feat. Diane Delin, Neal Alger, Leandro Lopez-Varady, Steven Hashimoto & Heath Chappell) 4:38
7 I Know It Will Be Better (feat. Michael Levin, Heath Chappell, Leandro Lopez-Varady & Steven Hashimoto) 7:18
8 Reflections in a Mirror (feat. Michael Levin, Steven Hashimoto, Heath Chappell & Leandro Lopez-Varady) 4:04
9 Brazilian Fantasy (feat. Darryl Boggs, Steven Hashimoto, Heath Chappell, Michael Levin & Leandro Lopez-Varady) 3:50
10 Giving (feat. Leandro Lopez-Varady, Steven Hashimoto, Michael Levin & Heath Chappell) 9:03
11 I Know It Will Be Better / Big Band Version (feat. Swing City Express Big Band) 3:05

MJO Brothers - Hip Devotions

Hip Devotions is the dream record of two brothers, Saxophonist Curt Hanrahan and Drummer Warren Hanrahan.  Both are the founders of the Milwaukee Jazz Orchestra (501c3 org) with Curt also the creator of the Peck School of Music Jazz Dept at the Univ of Wisconsin Milwaukee and Warren a graduate from North Texas State and alumni of the Woody Herman Band. This record is a tribute to their spiritual faith and belief in the power of music. With the addition of Curt’s son on bass Tim Hanrahan it is truly family affair.  This recording portrays a historical and spiritual journey embracing jazz standards and sacred hymns in the effort to evoke the story of the human/divine struggle. By infusing meditations/prayers, we hope to aid in achieving a soulful victory! The eternal warfare between good and evil is answered victoriously through musical manifestations of Mercy. The storyline has the potential to change hearts, transform lives and impact souls for eternity!!!

1 Resolution 3:55
2 Footprints / Equinox 9:47
3 Come Sunday 7:07
4 Hail Mary / Gentle Woman 5:12
5 Jesus Christ Is Risen Today 7:21
6 Our Lady of Fatima 7:38

Curt Hanrahan - tenor saxophone
Warren Hanrahan – drums
Tim Hanrahan – bass
Jay Mollerskov – guitar
Mitch Shiner – vibraphone

Bill Hart Band - Live at Red Clay Theatre (2018)

Atlanta based Guitarist Bill Hart, attended the Guitar Institute of Technology in Hollywood,. Bill studied under master guitarists, Gary Starling, Mike Stern, Don Mock, Steve Khan, Wayne Krantz and Scott Henderson. Bill's true joy comes from playing his original compositions. Bill Hart has   shared the stage with Herbie Hancock, Marcus Miller, Lou Rawls, Yellow Jackets, Acoustic Alchemy, Joey Defrancesco, Norman Brown, Rippingtons and Mike Stern. Hart has been the head of the guitar department at the Atlanta Institute of Music & Media for over twenty-five years, teaching and mentoring over 4000 students. Bill Hart has participated in numerous music clinics with seminar partners such as Scott Ambush and Joel Rosenblatt (Spy Alfredo Golino, an exceptional session man, worldly renowned (Mina, Eros Ramazzotti, Laura Pausini, Renato Zero, Samuele Bersani ro Gyra), Mike Stern (Miles Davis Band), Adam Nitti (Steven Curtis Chapman), Shane Theriot (Neville Brothers, Hall, and Oates) and Jimmy Herring (The Grateful Dead and Widespread Panic). Bill Hart has released five albums: "Watch the Sky", "Think About It", "Subject To Change," "This Is Why" and his most recent 2016 release “Touch Of Blue.”

Pat Strawser – Keyboards
Dwayne Wallace – Bass
Steven Walker – Drums
Alex McGuiess – Saxophone
Emrah Kotan Percussion