Tag Archives | Guitarist

For WCS release 1/27/17: John Stein “Color Tones”

Layout 1 Triple threat: truly excellent compositions, arrangements, and world class playing.
Acclaimed guitarist John Stein expands his already impressive sonic palette on his new recording, Color Tones. The new album, created with his ever-intriguing core rhythm section—longtime drummer Zé Eduardo Nazario and renown bass player John Lockwood—has also added the voices of two hyper-original soloists, Fernando  Brandão  on  flutes or well-regarded trumpeter Phil Grenadier out of Boston. All of Stein’s accompanists here expertly carve out their territory. Songs like the concise “Neck Road,” perhaps the best example of how this collective functions, features all five instrumentalists intertwining in respectful but bristling ways. And in true Stein fashion, the musicians here complement their bandleader tastily, providing a firm and steady foundation for all the fun that happens on top. Stein’s colleagues also recognize and appreciate the freedom that goes along with playing in an open-minded setting.

Stein creates with both composition and structure, and he can color in the details of those structures artfully. But even though the format feels traditional on the surface, there are still surprises hiding underneath. In fact, Color Tones is a true delight, with excellent compositions, sublime arrangements and enthralling musicianship. Isn’t that all we require from a jazz recording?

Layout 1

in Client News, Mixed Media News, Press Release 0

Jazziz calls Plucky Strum: “…uniformly warm-blooded, refreshingly spontaneous and occasionally truly virtuosic.”

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 1.19.17 PMPlucky Strum
(Whaling City Sound)

Although guitarist Sheryl Bailey and bassist Harvie S have been neighbors for years and have gigged together, recording a duo session together is an idea that didn’t materialize until Bailey acquired a new, custom-made acoustic guitar. An informal jam one day lit the spark, and the heartfelt, intimate and stylistically diverse Plucky Strum is the result.

The relaxed mood that permeates most of the tracks is particularly evident on Bailey’s “Broken Glass,” a ballad rhythmically tied to gently sashaying bossa pulses. The guitarist leads the way throughout, her lustrous chords and single-note soloing sketching the tune’s meditative theme while the bassist remains in a supporting role. On Harvie’s good-natured “Bluzin’ F,” he and Bailey partner on tight unison lines that lend the piece a sense of formal structure. Throughout the album, though, the duo mostly switch between lead and supporting roles while milking the blues dialect to full effect. Bailey’s folksy “Woods Talk” finds the guitarist at her most expressive, spinning off steely chords and blues-inflected solo lines while Harvie displays the full tonal range of his double-bass, from plucked staccato notes in the outer limits of his instrument’s upper register to the rich, resonant tones at the bottom end.

Plucky Strum cover picture

Two tributes are album highlights. “To Bea,” written by Harvie to honor his late mother, is a vivacious, up-tempo bossa romp. “Charlie Haden,” another work by the bassist, is an homage to the late jazz legend that radiates a happy, upbeat spirit.
Regardless of their stylistic orientation, the 10 performances captured on Plucky Strum are uniformly warm-blooded, refreshingly spontaneous and occasionally truly virtuosic. —Mark Holston


in Client News, Mixed Media News, Press Release 0

Plucky Strum review to appear in June’s Jersey Jazz!

Guitar/bass duos are relatively rare in jazz.  The one that most readily comes to mind is the pairing of
Gene Bertoncini and Michael Moore.
Well, HARVIE S and SHERYL BAILEY have joined up for Plucky Strum (Whaling City Sound – 072), and the results are fun to experience. Harvie S has had duo experience with a few other guitarists like Jim Hall, Bertoncini, Jack Wilkins and John Scofield, but Bailey’s duo playing has usually been with other guitarists.  Duo playing requires two musicians who are up to being fully exposed, and confident in their abilities to achieve a high level of empathy from the get go.  They began playing together a few years ago, felt an instant connection, and finally decided that it was time to get some of their music recorded.  Bailey employs an acoustic guitar for a program of originals, six by Bailey and four by Harvie S, that is full of invention and humor.  Even the title of the disc brings a smile to your face.  Plucky Strum is a real spirit lifting collection that will make the better part of an hour feel like it has passed along in a much shorter time.  (www.whalingcitysound.com)
~Joseph Lang~
in Client News, Mixed Media News, Press Release 0

RON GILL/JOHN STEIN Boston Phoenix best of 2010

Congrats to John Stein/Ron Gill (Whaling City Sound, New Bedford, MA) Turn Up the Quiet just appeared in The Boston Phoenix, in the best of 2010 column by Jon Garelick!
Singer Gill and guitarist Stein have been long-time teammates, and on Turn Up the Quiet (Whaling City Sound), they show each other at their best. The only other musician on the CD is pianist Gilad Barkan (playing beautifully), and the scaled-back setting gives Gill’s warm, conversational directness a chance to shine. An April show at Scullers was meant to showcase both Turn Up the Quiet and Stein’s equally fine Raising the Roof (also on Whaling City) but Gill — a one-time fixture on the Boston scene as a musician and WGBH jazz announcer, now living in North Carolina — was felled by illness, and Stein’s band went on alone. With any luck, Gill and Stein will perform together again in Boston in 2011.

Read more: http://thephoenix.com/boston/music/113096-top-10-jazz-stories-of-2010/#ixzz18nu9621m

in Client News, Mixed Media News