Saturday, February 11, 2017

George's Briefs!

Richie Cole Plays Ballads & Love Songs; Richie Cole, alto sax
Richie Cole and his Bird-influenced alto are back, and he brings his quartet along on eleven ballads. To name a few, how about "The Second Time Around", "Alfie", "Emily", and "Bewitched". And Richie sounds as great as ever.
Mark Perna Music; 2016; appx. 59 min.

Dreamsville; Nancy Hamilton, vocals
A lot can be said about a singer in noting her musical backing and choice of tunes. Nancy Hamilton works well with Portland's Randy Porter, piano, and Tom Wakeling, bass on nine well selected tunes. And let it be known that Hamilton is an "A", first note to last.
Self-produced; 2016; times not indicated

Playground Swing; Bill Cunliffe, piano
One of L.A.'s piano giants for years, Bill Cunliffe plays a set of tunes for kids. Chops are fully engaged on fifteen tunes including "The Wheels On The Bus", "This Old Man", "It's A Small World", "Chim Chim Cher-ee" and lots more. Bill's a stalwart soloist throughout.
Metre Records; 2016; appx. 50 min.

The Good Life; Till Brönner, trumpet, flugelhorn and vocals
Here's a baker's dozen great standards played and (mostly) sung by Till Brönner. Speaking of Baker, his Chet-like voice is a charming compliment to his silky trumpet and flugelhorn. Larry Goldings, piano, Anthony Wilson, guitar, John Clayton, bass and Jeff Hamilton, drums, all provide outstanding support.
Sony Music Entertainment; 2016; appx. 56 min.

Nearness; Joshua Redman, tenor and soprano saxes; Brad Mehldau, piano
Redman and Mehldau get together for a live performance at an undisclosed location to communicate on six tunes---three originals plus Bird's "Ornithology", Monk's "In Walked Bud" and the dependable "Nearness Of You". Loads of high level creativity going on here.
Nonesuch; 2016; appx. 67 min.

It Never Entered My Mind; Ron Helman, flugelhorn
New York flugelhorn ace Ron Helman takes flight on eleven standards including "Close Your Eyes", "You've Changed", "Don't Explain" and lots more. A couple of guests drop by as well: Ann Hampton Callaway, vocals on "Born To Be Blue" and alto maven Steve Wilson on "Just Friends" and "All Or Nothing At All".
Ron Helman Music; 2016; appx. 65 min. 

Argentum; Carlos Franzetti, piano
A native of Buenos Aires, pianist Carlos Franzetti presents a dozen of his own compositions and they are something special indeed. He writes lyrical, lilting melodies that sound like themes for foreign art films. This is very uplifting and consistently romantic, beautiful music.

Sunnyside Communications; 2016; appx. 50 min.

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