Category Archives: Music Writing and Clips

Kurt Elling & Danilo Pérez Share the Secrets of Their First Collaboration (JazzTimes, May 2020)

“Despite being at the crest of a 25-year career, during which he has been called ‘the standout male jazz vocalist of our time’ by the New York Times, among many other awards and accolades, he is modest about his achievements and self-critical to a fault. At one point in our conversation he blurts out, ‘Man, I sure wish I could sing better.’” My cover story from the May 2020 JazzTimes.

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Filed under Chico Pinehiro, Danilo Perez, Gregory Porter, Jazz Times, Kurt Elling, Music Writing and Clips

On “Wonderbloom,” Becca Stevens Sets Poetic Lyrics to Intricate Dance Grooves (DownBeat, May 2020)

On her new album, singer-songwriter Becca Stevens achieves two things that seem contradictory: accessibility and complexity. My interview with Becca from the May 2020 DownBeat.

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Filed under Becca Stevens, Michael League, Music Writing and Clips

Trad-Jazz Revivalist Bria Skonberg Explores New Territory (JazzTimes, March 2020)

My JazzTimes interview with singer/trumpeter Bria Skonberg explores how a blonde-haired, blue-eyed farm girl from Chilliwack, B.C. managed to become a singing, trumpet-playing hot jazz icon in New York City – and how she refuses to be pigeonholed.

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Filed under Bria Skonberg, Jon-Erik Kellso, Music Writing and Clips, Vince Giordano

“Cyrille Aimee is Moving On” (Jazz Times, December 2019)

The delightful jazz singer Cyrille Aimée has some fascinating stories, including a few about her friend @Stephensondheim, whose songs she boldly and brilliantly reinvents on her recent album, “Move On – A Sondheim Adventure.” Here is my December JazzTimes cover story on her.

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Filed under Cyrille Aimée, Stephen Sondheim

How vibes player Erik Charlston nabbed a role in Spielberg’s upcoming West Side Story film

Erik Charlston in a typical day at the office.

New York vibraphonist/percussionist Erik Charlston is one of the busiest session musicians in New York, playing everything from Latin jazz to Broadway shows to opera. His latest album with his JazzBrasil group is inspired by the great Brazilian composer Hermeto Pascoal. But, despite all his musical genre-hopping, it’s Charlston‘s ability to dance a mean mambo that might lead to his most visible role yet: a part in Steven Spielberg’s upcoming remake of West Side Story. Read my article from the December DownBeat here.

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Filed under Brazilian music, Erik Charlston, Hermeto Pascoal

Miles Davis’s Birth of the Cool – New Vinyl Box Set reviewed in DownBeat

It was a total joy to revisit these great sides in my review of the new vinyl box set for DownBeat.

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Filed under Gerry Mulligan, Lee Konitz, Max Roach, Miles Davis, Music Writing and Clips

“Somewhere Else” – Ted Nash Plays West Side Story

If you love Bernstein’s music from West Side Story (and, really, if you don’t, what’s wrong with you?) you must hear it played by saxophonist @tednash in his trio with guitarist Steve Cardenas and bassist @benallisonmusic. Somewhere Else is an easy add to my 10 best list for 2019. I gave it five stars in a review just published at DownBeat.

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Filed under Ben Allison, Leonard Bernstein, Music Writing and Clips, Steve Cardenas, Ted Nash