Alma Micic’s album shows youthful exuberance, but also a mature assurance

By: Joseph Lang

Serbian-born singer ALMA MICIC has been on the New York scene since graduating from Berklee College of Music in the late 1990s.  She has performed both locally and internationally and produced three albums prior to her current recorded endeavor, That Old Feeling (Whaling City Sound – 099).  She enlisted guitarist Rale Micic, bassist Corcoran Holt, drummer Jonathan Blake and vibist Tom Beckham for this nine-tune collection.  Micic’s voice is immediately welcoming.  She opens with the title track, but there is nothing old in the feeling of her singing.  She has a youthful exuberance, but also a mature assurance that finds the heart of each lyric.  In addition to familiar tunes like “That Old Feeling,” “Moonglow,” “Cry Me a River,” “Honeysuckle Rose,” “Estate” and “Blue Moon,” she sings two Serbian songs, one of her own and a folk tune, plus Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon.”  All in all, That Old Feeling is a solid outing by Alma Micic.
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Alto saxist Marcus Monteiro has a “bebopper’s heart”

By: George Harris

Alto saxist Marcus Monteiro has a bebopper’s heart on this album with compatriots John Harris III-Nick Sanfilippo/p, Fernando Huergo/b and Steve Langone/dr. Monteiro’s tone is Jackie McLean-styled bright, working well on the snappy read of “Sister Sadie” and the soulful R&B throwback “Mill Street.” The team gets funky on “The Monteiro Backhand Var.1” and bluesy with a bop mood on “Easier Said Than Done.” The rhythm team gets into a nice groove on a joyful read of Stevie Wonder’s “For Once In My Life” and bears down into a rivulet on Jimmy Smith’s “Sagg Shootin’ his Arrow.” Monteiro is also able to show a light and lyrical side, giving a glowing light to “Adagio” and with Hurgo delivering a delicate duet on Ron Carter’s “Receipt Please.” This guy hitting the West Coast some time?

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Steve Langone Trio: Breathe “A Clever Mix of Soul, Spirituals and Swing”

By: George W. Harris

Drummer Steve Langone teams with Kevin Harris/p and Dave Zinno/b for a clever mix of soul, spirituals and swing on this release. Zinno’s bass is elegiac on the traditional “Shenandoah” while Sunday comes rolling around on the gospel tinged “Fifteen” and “Down By The Riverside” while “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child” oozes with soulful pathos.  The leader’s cymbals guide the horses through a rich read of Chick Corea’s “Humpty Dumpty” and whips the wagon train up on the assertive “Song For Now.” Lots of various sides of Americana are served up well here.

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“Miles illustrates his depth as a musician, collaborator and composer” O’s Place reviews Miles Donahue’s The Bug

By: D. Oscar Gomez
O’s Notes: The Bug is mostly a modern jazz session featuring the compositions of producer Miles Donahue who plays alto sax, flugelhorn and trumpet on this outing. The title track is a little bit more contemporary with a really cool swag to it courtesy of drummer Larry Finn and guitarist Mike Stern. They bring that same jazz-fusion groove to “Hawthorne Highway” and “Swamp House”. Ralph Peterson handles drumming duty of all other selections along with pianist Tim Ray and bassist Tamil Shmerling. Guest Jerry Bergonzi adds tenor and soprano sax on four selections notably on “Clifford” paralleling Donahue’s strong work on flugelhorn. Miles illustrates his depth as a musician, collaborator and composer on this set. There’s a lot here!
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