Monday, September 1, 2014

Storm Large Le Bonheur Heinz 2014

Le Bonheur
Storm Large has a wealth of potential and the chops to back it up! A star is born!
 
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
 
A new cool sophistication is coming to the tightly clustered female vocal jazz pack and her name is Storm Large. Along with a killer band known as Le Bonheur, Large move across genre to the point all lines are blurred. She doesn't sing the songs, she makes the music. From the Great American Songbook to heavy metal, there is very little this fresh face can not handle!
 
While not comparing Large to Lady Gaga, there is the similarity of being able to walk the harmonic high wire here which includes some amazing arrangements of tunes such as Cole Porter's "I've Got You Under My Skin" and Lou Reed's "Satellite of Love." A stellar original "Stand Up For Me" has a smoldering gospel underbelly and again reinforces that genres are meaningless when you have the chops to deliver the goods.
 
There is not a particular genre she can be tagged with nor does this release ever become bogged down in a particular wheelhouse. October 7 is the release date for this amazing record, I would save the date!
 
 
Tracks: I've Got You Under My Skin; Sacred Love; A Woman's Heart; I Think It's Going To Rain; Forbidden Fruit; N.I.B;  The Lady Is A Tramp; Unchained Melody; Ne Me Quitte Pas; It's Alright With Me; Saving All My Love For You; Satellite of Love; Stand Up For Me.
 
 

Annie Ross To Lady With Love Red Anchor 2014

ANNIE ROSS - To Lady With Love cover
 
The legendary Annie Ross serves up a musical gift that celebrates the artistry of Billie Holiday, magnificent!
 
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
 
Let's face it, the Billie Holiday songbook has been done to death and even with the great Annie Ross there could always be that risky of predictability. To Lady with Love moves past the expected as Ross enlists the father / son guitar duo of Bucky and John Pizzarelli. You have heard it on television music shows a million times, song selection means everything. To Lady With Love begins to soar as these are tunes connected to the legendary Billie Holiday and we are treated to a personal statement of Ross concerning the impact the icon has made of her life.
 
The compositions here that immediately leap out include "For All We Know" along with "I Get Along Without You Very Well" and "Travelin' Light." Ross manipulates her phrasing and tunes are tweaked but the melodies are never mangled. An intimate atmosphere begins to develop that allows the listener to come along for a very personal ride. The addition of the Pizzarelli's is nothing short of a stroke of musical genius. This is Billie Holiday celebrated on perhaps the finest level. An exquisite lyrical journey.
 
 
Tracks: To Lady; For All We Know; I Don't Stand A Ghost Of A Chance With You; I'm A Fool To Want You; Violet For Your Furs; You Don't Know What Love Is; You've Changed; When Your Love Has Gone; I Get Along Without You Very Well; It's Easy To Remember; Travelin' Light; Music Is Forever.
 

Memorial Day and Raising The Minimum Wage - Obama's Dumbest Idea Yet!


As the Marxist influenced wealth redistribution train run by Mr. Obama is skidding down the tracks, let us take a practical if not analytical look at the issue.

Obama has forced small business to purchase health insurance despite the fact the employee should be smart enough to budget for the government mandated expense. Here is the bottom line, add another expense which would be a 24% pay increase for people with menial skills and you will have more people out of work and more businesses shutting the doors. Business can not afford it. People talk about fairness...All men are created equal but all men (and women) do not have equal skill sets. This is a potential powder keg for the economy including the record industry which has numerous small labels, small publicists and independent entrepreneurs trying to make a go of it.

This has nothing to do with political party or being "fair" as it is nothing more than simple basic economics that most high school students can grasp...You let the fool get away with health care and things don't seem to be any better. Let Obama get away with this and the melt down of 2008 will look like "good times" as compared with what is coming. Businesses will close, they are under no obligation to keep their doors open.

Don't believe me? Read this link or google the question, Will raising the minimum wage hurt small business? Hmmm Obama couldn't be trying to rustle up some Democratic votes for November could he? Fool me once...

http://www.studymode.com/essays/Impact-Of-Raising-The-Minimum-Wage-56433363.html

The Latest Video From Mack Avenue!


Rey Cabrera Y Sus Amigos Cleopatra 2014

1923 REYCABRERA med res

Rey Cabrera brings authentic Cuban flavor with some of the finest Latin jazz available!

Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com

Those of you that roll with me in my musical mafia know that if it is Latin then I am there! Now here is the deal, Latin music is made up of a variety of hybrids both from within the country of origin and in the case of Rey Cabrera we have son cubano which is a blend of the Spanish cancion and African rhythms. The end result is Y Sus Amigos, a release steeped in authentic flavor and the passion that is the music of Cuba!

Cabrera is a master of the tres, a traditional Cuban style guitar and this more organic presentation is authentic and some of the finest Latin jazz to hit the North American shores in sometime. Are you going to know the tunes? Probably not but the authentic flavor and rhythmic passion is such that the music transcends all know cultural boundaries. Cabrera has performed to critical acclaim across the globe and one listen to Y Sus Amigos will confirm why. Don't accept a knock off, check out the real deal!

 
Tracks: Merci Beaucoup; Mi Nina Mari; Los Refrancitos; Le Canto Al Palenque with Roberto Carrion; Cuando Nace El Sol with Rene Baes; Me Voy A Recoger Café; Canto A Bruselas, 10 Anos Despues; Los Testigos; La Calabaza with Mongo Vuelta; El Fuki Fuki with DJ Proceed.
 

 

There Is Nothing Social About Social Media...

There is nothing "social" about social media...

No matter your platform of choice, social media for musicians is little more than the cyber island of misfit toys. Perhaps the greatest marketing tool at a musicians fingers and in the last 24 hours I have seen disgusting pictures from PETA (Eat More Chicken), Those that feel compelled to remind you they go to church - despite the fact real Christians don't need to advertise, political grandstanding and more cyber bullying than I have ever seen on the news. While I engage in some off the beaten path political thoughts please remember that opinions are what I do. I am not attempting to grow an audience to sell records. I am like a NASCAR race, some of you just read to see if there will be a crash - comes with the job.

The common denominator - virtually every one of these artists is without a record deal of any kind. I don't take political advise from bass players any more than I ask my oncologist what the latest fall fashion trends are. I don't need to be politically correct to be cool. I think for myself. Considering experimentation on rabbits saved my cousin's life for seventeen years, I don't care what the researchers do. I don't need some liberal do-gooder telling me Michael Brown was killed because he was black. The legal system will decide that and with a video showing him stealing and committing assault it would seem to me he got smoked because he was stupid more so than anything else. I don't need to be told Israel is evil by someone that votes a straight liberal party line. An individual that will scream bloody murder at the death of a future suicide bomber but not say two words when an American journalist gets his head cut off...

Believe in something, have a cause, but don't bitch because you can't sell any records when you don't have the slightest clue as to the possibilities that are FREE and literally at your fingertips. If you truly believe that whatever fan base you might have needs to know you went to church than maybe Nicholas Payton was right, jazz just might be dead...