Rick Erben

Volunteer Jazz Host

Saxophonist Vincent Herring's new release “Night and Day” is a refreshing, upbeat album showcasing a tight and lively band that approaches each selection with an eagerness to swing. Herring is primarily (and exclusively on this date) an alto saxophone player who also picks up the soprano and tenor saxophones on occasion. He first gained prominence while playing in Nat Adderley's group where his Cannonball Adderley influenced sound fit right into the mold.

When the pure, unadulterated real thing comes along it makes one's ears perk up. “Rigamaroll”, tenor saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi's latest release, is a stimulating, straight-ahead session comprised of his original compositions that are framework for boundary-pushing improvisation from a stellar group. The leader's clean, confident tenor sound is embellished by Phil Grenadier's burnished trumpet playing, Bruce Barth's edgy piano work and solid support from bassist Dave Santoro and drummer Andrea Michelutti.

This new release from vocalist and pianist Eliane Elias marks the first time she has recorded in her native Brazil since 1981. Incorporating music from three generations of Brazilian composers, Elias has rendered a beautiful album that epitomizes that exquisite quality of Brazilian music to blend the melancholy and the uplifting with beats that soothe the soul.

Jazz Junction Review: DOUG WEBB - TRIPLE PLAY - Positone Records

One can depend upon Mary Stallings to deliver a good album and yet with “Feelin' Good” she has recorded a quintessential jazz vocal outing. This release embodies all of the qualities that comprise a superior session. It's an album so steeped in jazz tradition and delivered with such consummate ease and style as to be irresistible.

Guitarist Dave Stryker has been reliably delivering solid recordings for over two decades. With a wonderful tone, impressive chops and a knack for combining stimulating improvisation with accessible compositions, Stryker's music lures the listener with impeccable good vibes. In his latest release among some 30 as leader or co-leader, Stryker pays his respects to a former employer and, no surprise, an individual whose own style embraced the very qualities displayed on this album, Stanley Turrentine.

Trombonist David Gibson delivers a solid post-bop session that adds further affirmation to the vibrancy of the current jazz scene on his sixth release as a leader. This is no-nonsense, straight ahead music in a program of mostly original compositions. The instrumental setting is a quintet with the fine trumpet player Josh Evans and rhythm section comprised of Theo Hill playing piano, Alex Claffy at the bass and Kush Abadey at the drums.

Pianist Tim Olsen's “Creature of Habit” is a beautifully rendered collection of highly attractive compositions from Olsen, performed in either quintet or sextet settings. He earned a Doctor of Musical Arts in composition from Yale University and is currently Associate Professor of Music at Union College in Schenectady, NY as well as Director of Music and Organist at St. George's Episcopal Church in Clifton Park, NY. He performs in concerts and clubs with a band that varies in size from a quartet to an 18-piece big band. This is his very convincing debut recording.

Bassist and vocalist Katie Thiroux has released an attractive album that combines delightful repertoire and musicianship on this introductory recording. She was recipient of the Shelly Manne New Talent Award at age 17 and has won awards for bass and voice. She has attended Berklee College of Music in Boston and later received a Masters of Music at CSU Long Beach. She has performed with numerous prominent jazz artists and has worked at jazz festivals and venues in the Big Apple.

From the opening beat you're in for an exciting musical ride when you take trumpeter Joshua Bruneau's new release “Bright Idea” out for a spin. This enthusiastic and crackling session features compositions and soloing that lure the listener in and perhaps make one more than a little bit jealous of those fortunate to be in attendance at Smalls Jazz Club in New York City when this live session was recorded.

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