Friday, April 1, 2022

Can You Match The Lyrics On The Left With The Song Titles On The Right?

1. “Your smile is just a careless yawn” a. Something’s Gotta Give 

2. “Count the raindrops falling on you” b. I Didn’t Know About You

3. “With hope you burn up” c. All The Things You Are

4. “You haven’t changed a bit” d. I Can’t Give You Anything But Love

5. “All my wildest dreams come true” e. What’s New

6. “Fight it with all of your might” f. The Night We Called It A Day

7. “Dream a while, scheme a while” g. You’ve Changed

8. “You are the angel glow” h. Little Girl Blue

9. “The sun didn’t rise with the dawn” i. The Nearness Of You

10. “Just taking my fun where it could be found” j. The Man That Got Away


In What Cities Are These Past And Present Jazz Clubs Located?

1.   The Blue Note

2.   Donte’s

3.   The London House

4.   Village Vanguard

5.   Keystone Korner

6.   The Jazz Bakery

7.   Storyville

8.  The Half Note

9.   Shelly’s Man Hole

10. Ronnie Scott’s

11. The Hobbit

Laura Stilwell; Out Of A Dream

How nice it is to encounter Portland singer Laura Stilwell on her debut CD. Lucky lady that she is, she had the honor of working with a polished and professional group of Northwest musicians including Tommy James, piano; Ron Steen, drums; and Dave Evans, reeds; and either Perry Thoorsell or Dennis Caiazza, bass. And Laura possesses the confidence, ease and a well-practiced, no frills presence on eight tunes you’ve known seemingly forever. How could she miss with such choices as “Day In, Day Out”, “If I Should Lose You”, “If You Could See Me Now”, “Out Of Nowhere” and more. There is nothing forced or excessive here. It’s a simple thing, really. Just combine a lovely, sincere voice with great songs and a thoroughly tasteful ensemble of accompanists, and you have Laura Stilwell and good friends.

Self-produced; 2022; appx. 35 min.

Rich Walker; Soul Crimes 3

Guitarist supremo Rich Walker was, I have to believe, the crème de la crème of his native Orlando, Florida. To our delight he moved to Portland, Oregon a few years ago, and now, despite the musical limitations brought on by Covid, is doing all he can to bring a new audience here. This CD, like the two that preceded it in this Soul Crimes series, was originally recorded with Walker adding solos in 2005 to background tracks from the 1980s and ‘90s that he and his fellow Orlando musician friends did, plus other tracks by Jamey Aebersold. This performance features Rich with various rhythm sections jamming with joy on thirteen tunes, nicely divided between Real Book faves: “Unit 7”, “Full House”, “Minority”, and “Jingles”, plus much admired Americana fare like “I Remember You”, “Come Rain Or Come Shine”, “I’m Old Fashioned” and lots more. Nobody tries to reinvent the wheel here. Instead, once again we are treated to a gifted jazz guitarist and like-minded friends in flight on songs they love to play. This recording was produced in very limited quantity. So if you’re interested in purchasing one, please call me at 503-244-0205. I will put you in touch with Rich.

Self-produced; 2022; times not indicated.

Giacomo Gates; You

If there was a course available on jazz swinging, I’m sure that the teacher would be Giacomo Gates. On yet another album for Savant Records, Gates takes on no less than eighteen tunes with his impeccable jazz phrasing, bop orientation, perfect scatting and great song selection. He is accompanied here by the rapidly rising Tim Ray on piano, along with John Lockwood on bass and James Lattini on drums. Whereas Gates usually concentrates on bebop classics, this time he throws us a little curve through the American Songbook. As a result, we are treated to such treasures as “Exactly Like You”, “It Had To Be You”, “I Remember You”, “Everything But You”, and many more. Get the drift? Every tune deals with YOU! And each of them is delivered with a hip turn of phrase, a bebop lick, some spoken words, or whatever comes out of Gates’ creative, jazz-drenched head. If there’s a more pure male jazz singer around today, well I haven’t heard him.

Savant; 2022; appx. 51 min.

Todd Zimberg; An Afternoon In Sellwood

This is definitely the mystery album of the bunch. The title refers to a very charming area of Portland, Oregon called Sellwood. Being a native Portlander, I have to admit to not being familiar with any of the players in this very cool, no trickery trio. Additionally mysterious is a reference to a label out of Vashon, Washington. So who are these guys and are they based in Portland or suburban Seattle? The answer came from my son Marc, an alto sax player and Seattle resident. It turns out that he and the pianist on the date, Michael Gotz (rhymes with ‘lots’) are longtime friends. So we can assume that this is a Seattle based trio. But back to the CD itself. The five tunes are all winners: “There Is No Greater Love”, “On Green Dolphin Street”, “Alone Together”, “Nica’s Dream” and “Stella By Starlight”. The trio, with Zimberg on drums and Perry Thoorsell on bass, is right on target throughout. Obviously, five tunes are not enough. We need to hear more from these guys. Their grasp on the tradition is easily heard and much to be admired.

Spring Beach Music; 2021; times not indicated.

John C. O’Leary III; The Sunderling

These piano solos and duets are not exactly jazz. But then they’re not exactly classical either. They seem to bring us elements of both. What can be said for sure is that they are gentle and romantic although there are moments of intensity as well. The other pianists here and there are Shaun Martin and Dick Hyman, both of whom share some duo appearances with O’Leary. Ten of the fourteen compositions included on this unusual but beautiful disc are written by O’Leary; one by Martin; and one by Hyman. The two remaining selections are works of Jerome Kern & Oscar Hammerstein II; and Duke Ellington. And performances are either solo efforts from O’Leary, or in some cases, inspired duos. The two familiar pieces here---just enough to please the jazz purist crowd---are “All The Things You Are” and “C Jam Blues”. The precision and musical presence of both artists shine brightly throughout this recording. There is a shimmering, timeless quality to it. To use a cliché, “it just might carry you away”.

Arbors Records; 2022; appx. 72 min.