Monday, August 15, 2022


A.  Gershwin Song Titles: 

1.  I’ve Got A Crush On You 

2.  Embraceable You

3.  Liza

4.  Love Is Here To Stay

5.  How Long Has This Been Going On?

6.  The Man I Love

7.  Someone To Watch Over Me

8.  Fascinatin’ Rhythm

9.  Of Thee I Sing

10. That Sweet And Low Down

B. First Names: 

1.  Edward

2.  Harry

3.  Julian

4.  Keith

5.  John

6.  Thomas

7.  John

8.  Edward

9.  Eddie

10. William

11. Bonus: Park

C. Dave Frishberg Song Titles:

1.  Our Love Rolls On

2.  Marilyn Monroe

3.  Play Ball

4.  My Attorney Bernie

5.  Van Lingle Mungo

6.  You Are There

7.  Zoot Walks in

8.  Dear Bix

9.  Heart’s Desire

10.  Matty

D. Duke Ellington Song Titles:

1.  Don’t Get Around Much Any More

2.  I Got It Bad

3.  Prelude To A Kiss

4.  I’m Just A Lucky So And So

5.  Mood Indigo

6.  Satin Doll

7.  Sophisticated Lady

8.  All Too Soon

9.  In My Solitude

10. Come Sunday

Sunday, August 14, 2022


A. Can you match these Ira Gershwin lyric portions to the titles of tunes written by brothers Ira and George?

1.  Could you coo?

2.  Don’t be a naughty baby

3.  And the clouds will roll away

4.  The Rockies may crumble

5.  Little wow

6.  Who would, would you?

7.  Put on some speed

8.  Won’t you take the day off

9.  Worthy of a mighty nation

10. You’ll dance until you to totter

B. What are the first names of the following jazz heroes?

1.  Duke Ellington

2.  Sweets Edison

3.  Cannonball Adderley

4.  Red Mitchell

5.  Dizzy Gillespie

6.  Fats Waller

7.  Zoot Sims

8.  Sonny Stitt

9.  Lockjaw Davis

10. Count Basie

11. Bonus: Pepper Adams

C. All of the lyrics below were written by the incredible composer-lyricist-pianist and singer Dave Frishberg. Can you match them up with their song titles?

1.  Even though some trouble comes along for the ride

2.  A Lorelei, a butterfly

3.  It’s April weather

4.  An office full of foxes

5.  Eddie Basinski

6.  When I stop to smell a rose

7.  He unpacks his horn

8.  No ordinary B run of the mill type of guy

9.  The choice we make, the chance we take

10. God had sent his right hand man

D. Can you match these lyrics with the following Duke Ellington titles?

1.  Heard they crowded the floor

2.  And Monday rolls around 

3.  A Schubert tune with a Gershwin touch

4.  The birds in every tree

5. That feelin’ goes stealin’ down to my shoes

6.  Careful, amigo

7. The years have changed you somehow

8.  The bottom fell from everything

9.  With gloom everywhere

10. See my people through

Friday, August 12, 2022


Jackie Messina; Necessary Arrangement Over the years I’ve often observed that a quick peek at the tune list of a given artist is a likely tipoff to the quality of the recording. With that in mind, here’s Jackie Messina singing a well-chosen menu of tunes covering Broadway faves, Songbook goodies, and even a couple from the Jazz Book in “Quiet Now” and “Little B’s Poem”. There are thirteen tunes in all, ranging from “Easy Street” to “I Believe In You”; or “Baltimore Oriole” to “Alfie” to “Show Me”. The biggest surprise was a well written blast from the past called “Wild Is The Wind”. Working with a subtle, sophisticated quartet, Jackie Messina is impressive with respectful and sincere renditions of these evergreens.Self-produced; 20ll but only recently made available to the public; appx. 54 min.

Honoring Pat Martino, Vol. 1 Believe it or not, this album showcases fourteen different guitarists in either solo or duo performances. All compositions are by Pat Martino, hence the title. Most of the guitarists are new names to me, the most familiar being Peter Bernstein and Russell Malone. Some material echoes jazz history while other selections are a bit “out” for this old guy’s ears. Guitar buffs, have at it. Here’s your chance! High Note; 2022; appx. 58 min.

Ricky Ford; The Wailing Sounds Of Ricky Ford: Paul’s Scene

Well now, if you’re one of those who opts for tenor with attitude, Ricky Ford just may be your man. He’s been around for many years, never hesitant to share his big, in your face but always in complete control sound. On this new get together, Ford brings us twelve tunes, and they are typical Ricky in their swinging, mellow coolness. No gimmicks here and no tomfoolery. Go Ricky, go!

Whaling City Sound; 2022; appx. 46 min. 

Doug MacDonald; Serenade To Highland Park

Although I lived in L.A. for two years way back when, I never really got to know Highland Park. But judging from this CD, it must be a very nice area. Guitarist Doug MacDonald’s trio gives us a resonant, beautiful journey through a total of twelve selections . Most are memorable standards like “Days Of Wine And Roses”, “Dearly Beloved”, “More Than You Know”, “Brazil” and lots more. Bassist Mike Flick and drummer Paul Kreibich form a cool and relaxed partnership to MacDonald’s in-the-pocket leadership.

Self-produced; 2022; appx. 56 min.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Steve Kaldestad; Live At Frankie’s Jazz Club

These “new guys” just keep showing up in my life! Here’s yet another one in tenor man Steve Kaldestad. Definitely a proponent of that big, confident, in-your-face sound, Kaldestad puts it all together before a live, enthusiastic audience. His quartet is completed by Chris Gestrin, piano; Conrad Good, bass; and Jesse Cahill, drums, all of whom are equally on the high burner. The session opens with a soulful Harold Mabern entry called “A Few Miles From Memphis”. It continues with a mixture of classics like “Con Alma”, “Invitation”, “If You Could See Me Now”, and a few lesser known but equally well chosen choices. There’s no frosting on this cake. Steve Kaldestad and friends are there to tell the real story. With strength and passion, they get the job done.

Cellar Music; 2022;  appx. 70 min.

Monday, August 8, 2022

Cory Weeds; Just Coolin’

Vancouver, BC tenor sax mogul Cory Weeds is right back at it with a new session, loaded with juicy straight ahead jazz gems. All one has to do is check out the names of the composers of these rarely performed selections. Immediately it becomes clear that there’s some super swingin’ bop happening here. Names like Hank Mobley, Carmell Jones, Ray Bryant, Cedar Walton, and Harold Lamb, among others. This time around, Weeds’ terrific, truthful tenor is joined by Tilden Webb, piano; John Lee, bass; and Jesse Cahill, drums---an equally swinging, solid rhythm section. As always, Weeds and friends do high honor to the jazz tradition on every tune in the set. I’d be remiss if I didn’t also call your attention to the cover art of Fujioka Takao, which brings to mind the hip work of David Stone Martin back in the day. Anyway, thank you, Cory Weeds, for keeping the real deal flame alive and well. May it always burn as brightly as it does here.

Cellar Music; 2022; appx 52 min.

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Jeremy Pelt; Soundtrack

Based on his last few recordings, the brilliant trumpet monster, Jeremy Pelt, has apparently made a shift in his musical approach. On an album of all original material, Pelt continues to display amazing trumpet chops, well-oiled from the tradition of Clifford, Miles, Freddie and others. His tone is impeccable and his frequent sense of melancholy is much to be admired. The only distraction as I see it is the addition here and there of some electronic augmentation. This may act as an enhancement for listeners decades younger than yours truly. But even on those tracks where we hear electric bass, Mellotron and Moog Sub (whatever the latter two are), Pelt’s exuberant  trumpet sound is always there. All in all, mostly high praise here for a player who is deservedly growing in the wide world of jazz.

High Note; 2022; appx. 44 min.

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Margaret Slovak; Ballad For Brad

Way back in 2002 I was admitted to the hospital for the first of three separate years of chemotherapy. I was acquainted with guitarist Margaret Slovak through Portland’s active jazz community. So imagine my delight when she would play beautiful solo guitar for the patients on the cancer floor! Some years later Margaret left the city, eventually ending up in Austin, Texas, which she still calls home. So after twenty years, what a pleasant surprise to receive her latest CD for review. On a program of ten intimate examples of her exceptional skills, she plays both acoustic nylon and electric guitars with her equally subtle and skilled trio mates Harvie S. on bass and Michael Sarin on drums. I remember Margaret as one who always played with a great depth of feeling on ballads, and real exuberance at faster tempos. She displays all these musical gifts on this stirring session. How wonderful it is to renew my connection with the warm, heartfelt guitar of Margaret Slovak.

Slovak Music; 2021; 52:21

Friday, August 5, 2022

Lenny Marcus Trio; When A Door Opens

Lenny Marcus is a pianist whose virtuosity had to have been shaped by both classical and jazz icons. He pays tribute to several of them on this stunning CD with titles like “Guaraldi’s Dilemma”, “Song For McCoy”, “Tune For Herbie”, and a medley of two Beethoven melodies. Perhaps my favorite was the very complex take on Dave Brubeck’s “Unsquare Dance” which Marcus titles “Twelve For Brubeck”. He puts a final stamp on all these tributes with another winner called “Ode To My Piano Heroes”. The pianist is joined here by bassist Zachary McDonald and drummer Denver Nuckolls. The communication between them is pinpoint perfect, suggesting that he and his colleagues have been together for a long while. Marcus, I might add, is totally immersed in the jazz wellspring at any tempo, any mood or feeling. Many wondrous players set the table for Lenny Marcus. He was only too happy to accept their offerings.

Self-produced; 2022; appx. 40 min.

Alan Broadbent Trio; Like Minds

If you were looking for the ultimate, brilliant, ideal jazz pianist of the present day, look no further than Alan Broadbent. With genuine loyalty and commitment, he simply captures it all. Jazz history stares you directly in the face when you hear this man play. He plays every note with honesty and integrity, and that results in a sense of perfection. Having said that, it really matters what songs he chooses to play. Just our luck that he leans toward revered Americana standards, jazz gems from the Real Book, and exquisitely crafted originals as well. He and his band mates, Harvie S on bass and Billy Mintz on drums, give us all that on a beautifully balanced program . It is as polished and perfect as any Broadbent recording of the past. So, piano lovers, get ready for a stirring trio set with jazz classics “Airegin”, “Yardbird Suite”, and a particularly nice surprise on Hank Mobley’s “This I Dig Of You”. To these, add standards “Stairway To The Stars”, “This Is New”, and a delicate waltz called “Dance Only With Me”. There’s even a Bud Powell rarity by the name of “Blue Pearl”. On all these and more, Alan Broadbent keeps it real and honest. In my eyes, he is the most complete and gifted jazz pianist on the planet.
Savant; 2022; apps. 59 min.