Tuesday, July 17, 2018

George's Briefs:

Peter And The Wolf; The New England Jazz Ensemble
This famous classic by Serge Prokofiev is put into an excellent jazz setting by the New England Jazz Ensemble. Arrangements are full of spicy fun and crisp narration is by Giacomo Gates, in his own right one of the world's gifted bebop singers. A bit of a departure perhaps, but this session is very well crafted.
Self-produced; 2018; appx. 64 min.

Eyes Wide Open; Jamie Shew, vocals
The menu reads like this: sing quality songs and hire the best cats available to accompany. It seems Jamie Shew has done this with "Easy Living", "Mountain Greenery", "Thou Swell", "Detour Ahead", Charlie Haden's gorgeous ballad "First Song (For Ruth)" and more. Backed by a stellar L.A. quartet, Ms. Shew takes it straight ahead, never forcing the issue. She reminded me just a bit of Jackie Cain, the distinctive singer of Jackie & Roy fame. I would hope to hear more of Ms. Shew in the future.
Self-produced; 2018; appx. 63 min. 

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