Canadian guitarist and composer Alex Goodman has released three CDs as a leader. He completed his Bachelor of Jazz Performance degree at the University of Toronto, where he was honored as the first jazz musician to receive the William and Phyllis Waters graduating Award. The award goes to the student deemed to have the greatest potential to make an important contribution to the field of music.
Growing up in Berlin, and Conservatory trained, bassist Frank Herzberg moved to Brazil 14 years ago. After living in the South American nation for four years, the bassist began a musical partnership with drummer Zé Eduardo Nazário and pianist Alexandre Zamith, one that continues to this day and can be heard on the trio’s latest recording, Handmade. The album, a collection of eight tracks, is a mix of modern jazz, Brazilian grooves and American funk. No matter where the trio takes the music, one thing remains the same, the high level of creativity, musicianship and interaction that these three musicians bring to the table.
Overall, Songbird’s Prayer is a strong statement for the Montreal pianist. With such a heavy tradition of Montreal jazz pianists behind her, Rudolf steps up and stakes her claim as a name to watch for in coming years. Leaving the audience wanting more, this record is the perfect introduction to Rudolf’s musical world, and a welcomed addition to the modern jazz piano library.
When one thinks of Brazilian guitar, the soft sounds of a classical guitar playing Bossa Nova or Samba usually comes to mind. But, there is a new generation of Brazilian guitarists that are stepping beyond expectations, branching out to the modern Jazz-Rock-Funk Fusion genre and taking Brazilian guitar into new and exciting directions.
John Medeski (keyboards), Chris Wood (bass) and Billy Martin (drums and other percussion) have reunited with guitarist John Scofield on MSMW Live: In Case The World Changes Its Mind. Their first collaboration was on Scofield’s album A Go Go and later on Out Louder, which was released in 2006. This recording is a live collection of twelve tracks featuring songs from those two previous efforts.
Boston jazz artist Gerry Beaudoin has distinguished himself in many ways the past several decades. He has been a mainstay in jazz clubs of Boston and New York City. Beaudoin is also well respected as a teacher, which is one of the most admirable parts of his career. He is making sure that a new generation of jazz guitarists understands the roots of where we are today. Explaining and demonstrating the form and complexity of playing through advanced chord changes is a true gift, and one that needs to be shared freely.
Boston jazz guitarist, and Berklee Associate Professor, John Stein is back with his third album as a leader since 2008. With his previous two releases, Encounterpoint and Raisin’ The Roof, garnering him a wide array of attention from across the jazz guitar community, Stein brings together an all-star cast for his third album in as many years. Accompanied by bassist John Lockwood, drummer Zé Eduardo Nazario (known to many as the Brazilian Elvin Jones) and newcomer, Jake Sherman on acoustic piano and Hammond orgran, Stein has not only gathered a quartet of world-class individuals for this record, but a group that knows how to gel as an ensemble, which contributes highly to the overall success of the album.
I had initially thought to start this review with a statement that George Benson needs no introduction to the reader, but after receiving blank stares when I mentioned this recording to a few of my university guitar students, I have reconsidered that thought.
George Benson is a true chameleon, but mostly one of the finest jazz guitarists of all time. His masterful interpretation of pop tunes and jazz standards has long been a source of inspiration to aspiring musicians.
Fred Fried is a very interesting guitar player. His extended harmonies and use of a nylon 8 string guitar are a strong indication of his forward musical thinking. The New York born musician now resides in Cape Cod, MA and splits his time between teaching and mostly local gigs.
This summer, a sublime set of jazz wafted out the door of the Parisian corner café, Dus des Lombard, one of the finest jazz cafés in the city. The club can be found in the heart of Les Marais (The Marsh), surrounded by art galleries, bistros, clothiers and the sputtering of errant motorbikes passing along the Boulevard Sebastopol.