Rick Erben

Volunteer Jazz Host

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6:56 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Jazz CD of the Month: PAT MARTINO TRIO with Randy Gilespie / YOUNG GUNS / High Note 7258

In the not too distant past we have had the pleasure of hearing previously unreleased live recordings from artists such as Miles Davis, Bill Evans, Wes Montgomery and Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane. Now comes an album from guitarist Pat Martino's personal collection recorded during the waning days of the “chitlin' circuit” at Club 118 in Louisville, KY. The tracks are culled from different appearances at the club during 1968 and 1969 although the program sounds cohesive, as if it were a one night engagement.

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2:42 pm
Sat March 1, 2014

Jazz CD of the Month: Mike Dirubbo / Threshold / Ksanti Records

Every now and then you slip a disc into the CD player and immediately become engaged in a thrilling experience. Such is the case with alto saxophonist Mike DiRubbo's new album “Threshold”. Firmly ensconced in the post-bop idiom, this smoking quintet session is full of captivating delights for the listener.

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2:15 pm
Sat February 1, 2014

Jazz CD of the Month: Steve Davis / For Real / Positone Records

Here's a release that is going to write it's own review, a session so inspired and intuitively right-there that it all bubbles to the surface propelled by the buoyant trombone sound of Steve Davis. This quintet session is Davis's seventeenth album as leader and a gem among a steady succession of strong recordings.

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4:32 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Jazz CD of the Month: BRIAN LYNCH: “UNSUNG HEROES Volume 2” - Hollistic Music Works

The pantheon of jazz trumpet players includes familiar names such as Davis, Gillespie, Brown, Hubbard and Morgan. There are, however, numerous lesser known trumpet players whose music comprises an essential part of jazz history. One of our contemporary trumpet masters, Brian Lynch, embarked upon a project focusing upon some of the unsung heroes – and thus the title for this project, the second volume of which is our album of the month for December.

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7:39 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Jazz CDs of the Month: Giacomo Gates / Miles Tones & Dave Stryker / Blue To The Bone IV

Giacomo Gates – Miles Tones – Savant SCD 2124

The music of Miles Davis, so firmly entrenched in the instrumental heart and soul of jazz music, has also been embellished with lyrics in several instances. Vocalist Giacomo Gates' latest release gathers a variety of these selections and serves them with his inimitable stylings and superb musical accompaniment.

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5:11 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

IN MEMORY OF DONALD BYRD

Donaldson Toussaint L'Ouverture Byrd II, known as Donald Byrd, passed away February 4, 2013 at the age of eighty. Byrd was a superb trumpet player whose music spanned a period of some five deacdes. After playing with Lionel Hampton before finishing high school and service in the United States Air Force, Byrd completed his bachelor's degree in music at Wayne State University in 1954 and moved to New York in 1955 to get his master's at the Manhattan School of Music.

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3:45 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Jazz Junction Albums of The Month-January 2013                                         

ALBUMS OF THE MONTH – January, 2013      (and some related comment)

The November, 2012 issue of The Atlantic contained a pitifully myopic article entitled “The End of Jazz”. Essentially, its author argued that since the traditional songbook has become passe and with nothing new coming into the jazz repertoire since 1960 the music has exhausted its relevancy. What we have here is a severe case of ignoratio elenchi.

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9:36 pm
Sat December 8, 2012

Remembering Dave Brubeck

From a concert program from the 1960s. (Left to right) Dave Brubeck, Eugene Wright, Paul Desmond, Joe Morello)

One of the great names in jazz, Dave Brubeck, passed away a day before his 92nd birthday, on December 5, 2012.

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8:37 pm
Sat December 1, 2012

Jazz Junction Best Of 2012

As usual I have trouble confining my annual “Best of the year” list to the traditional ten and have thus weaseled my way around the issue by adding a few vocal releases and reissues. Your sympathetic tolerance is appreciated. Our hungry ears were substantially rewarded through the year with these fine recordings:

Frank Basile Modern Inventions – independent through CD Baby - Omaha native and baritone burner Frank Basile leads a vibrant sextet on this refreshingly straight-ahead release.

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11:34 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

SUMMER'S SOUNDS


Summertime has been a wonderful season for fine new jazz releases. With a proliferation of smaller labels that specialize in jazz music and independently produced efforts a diverse bounty of music is available for the listener. Many new releases are now available within just a few months after their being recorded. All of this seems to have invigorated the recording scene and, vitally, brought more artists in touch with a wider audience. This beneficent activity is evidenced by some fine releases over the summer and I'll touch upon just a few standouts:

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