“Just Passing Thru”
Whaling City Sound Website
Photos: #1 color, #2 b&w, #3 b&w, #4
Publicity: JazzBluesNews, Neon Jazz, The Jazz Hole, Midwest Book Review, Making A Scene Magazine, Amazon Reviews, Midwest Record Entertainment, Jazz Square, ALL MUSIC, AllAboutJazz
Radio Promotion: New World ‘N Jazz
Distribution: NAXOS of America
Mixed Media Client since: 2017
Just Passing Through
O’s Notes: Saxophonist, composer and producer Miles Donahue presents a fine contemporary jazz set with Just Passing Through. Bassist Joe Santerre gets in the mix on “Living Room Blues” before Donahue soothes us on song “Killing Me Softly”, the lone cover. Guest Mike Stern (g) adds fusion elements to “7-9-65” and the funky “Railroaded”. We also enjoyed the cool vibe of “Donny’s Groove” and “A Man of Few Words”.
Just Passing Thru is the latest music album by Miles Donahue. The songs feature Miles Donahue on saxophones, trumpet, and keyboards; Joe Santerre on electric bass; Larry Finn on drums; Ricardo Monzon on percussion; Alain Mallet on keyboards; with Mike Stern on guitar. The result is a versatile fusion that crosses boundaries of style and substance, from jazz to rhythm & blues to elements of rock and soul, and more. A captivating original treasury, Just Passing Thru is highly recommended. The tracks are “hear My Words”, “Living Room Blues”, “Killing Me Softly”, “Just Passing Thru”, “Donny’s Groove”, “A Man of Few Words”, “7/9/65”, “Railroaded”, and “Ireland”.
Review by Leonid Auskern from Jazz Square
A Welcome Guest
On Just Passing Thru
Miles Donahue makes himself comfortable
Miles Donahue’s latest album, coming on the heels of The Bug (Whaling City Sound, 2017), Just Passing Thru is large in scope and beautiful in execution. The absurdly talented player, vibrant on both tenor and soprano saxes, trumpet, and keyboard, shows just how broad his musical wingspan is. It certainly helps that he has an amazing crew behind him. Joe Santerre provides power grooves on electric bass as does Larry Finn on drums. They are joined by percussionist Ricardo Monzon, keyboard player Alain Mallet, and a handful of tracks featuring guitarist Mike Stern. With a vision that includes Crusaders’ style R&B, Weather Report fusion, and lovely, soulful turns, Donahue is masterly and versatile.
From song to song, there are wide swings of style and substance, from moments of tenderness, passages of grandeur, and fistfuls of exhilarating, technical wonder. The opening “Hear My Words” kicks off with an ingenious, shuffling melody that settles into a samba, and then finishes with a little funk. “Living Room Blues” swings with verve and passion, showcasing Santerre’s powerful bass. “A Man of a Few Words” opens with an introspective statement that morphs into alto soulfulness, buoyed by Mallet’s beautiful electric piano. “Railroaded” has a funk foundation to go along with its zesty ensemble playing. Joining that performance is none other than Mike Stern, one of the great voices in jazz guitar, and his solo here is proof of that. And then there’s the surprising “Ireland,” a nod to Donahue’s ancestral homeland that is both respectful and anthemic, in the way a rock song is anthemic. Talk about unexpected!
Throughout Donahue’s lovely Whaling City Sound recording, he never fails to challenge convention. In many, often subtle ways, he ventures out on the unexpected limb rather than the sturdy one that’s already been tried. His adventurousness is gratifying. Donahue finds a myriad of ways to reward his listeners and we are grateful for that. It may or may not be a fact that jazz musicians age with grace and class. In Miles Donahue’s case, the concept bears out. It is a joy to follow his risky explorations, as he makes his way through a labyrinth of unexpected turns. More than simply Just Passing Thru, Donahue is staying a while, long enough to leave a permanent impression on today’s jazz landscape.
Pre-order on Amazon
11.22.19 World Cafe PR
Promo photos: promo 1, promo 2, promo 3
Publicity: New Jersey Stage, Patch, The Conway Daily Sun, TheArk.org, RainbowBeach.com federicksburg.com, eParisextra.com Delaware County News Network, Midwest Record,
Listen: Ain’t Misbehavin’
Mixed Media Client since: 2014
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11/22 Vance Gilbert “Good Good Man” Pre Release Performance at World Cafe Live, Philadelphia
Vance Gilbert featured on Kid Pan Alley with song “Best Friends”
The Art of Storytelling
Vance Gilbert Works His Magic at
World Cafe Live
“If Joni Mitchell and Richie Havens had a love child, with Rodney Dangerfield as the midwife, the results might be something close to the great Vance Gilbert“, says Richmond Magazine
Born and raised in the Philadelphia area, Vance started out hoping to be a jazz singer, and then discovered his affinity for the storytelling sensibilities of acoustic folk music. Word spread like wildfire about Gilbert’s stage-owning singing and playing, compelling Shawn Colvin to invite him to be special guest on her 1992 Fat City tour, where he took much of America by storm and by surprise. “With the voice of an angel, the wit of a devil, and the guitar playing of a god..” wrote the Fort Worth Star-Telegram after a show on that tour. Noted not only for being the ever consummate performer, Gilbert has recorded 14 albums, including 5 for Philo/Rounder Records. Along with being opener of choice for artists as varied as Arlo Guthrie, Anita Baker, and Southside Johnny, the mid 2000’s found Gilbert opening 140+ shows for comedian George Carlin. Most recently he’s the opener of choice for Paul Reiser, the Milk Carton Kids, and the Subdudes, along with his own busy acoustic music making schedule.
Considered by many to be an integral part of the national folk scene, his soon to be released record The Day Before November (mid 2019) features an eclectic roster of musical types including rocker Mike Posner, Celtic harpist Aine Minough, bluesman Chris Smither, and Al Green’s organist Stacey Wade. He even has a tune on a Grammy Nominated children’s album. How rounded is that?
“Vance Gilbert is a living legend who has opened for artists as varied as Aretha Franklin, Shawn Colvin and comedian George Carlin. Gilbert’s jazz-inflected folk guitar features sophisticated melodies and meticulous solo arrangements. Lean back into his chops and admire the pairing of melodic inversions with Gilbert’s storyteller’s eye.” — Ethan Fogus
“I can throat sing like a Tuvan when I’m warmed up. I can imitate Billie Holiday. I write songs people think are unrecorded Richard Thompson tracks. I have tunes often mistaken for Gershwin or Harold Arlen. I can make you laugh, cry, and pee depending on where you are in my show. Simultaneously.
This is my time. I’ve was homeless for 4 years as a teen, on the run from violent, alcoholic parents. I’ve been kicked off of airplanes for reading a book about airplanes, I’ve been a tennis instructor, public school multicultural arts teacher, cook, and aviation history researcher. I’m over 60. I’ve been the opener of choice for Shawn Colvin (the whole Fat City Tour), Milk Carton Kids, Aretha Franklin, Arlo Guthrie, I did 150 dates with George Carlin just before he passed, over 20 now currently with Paul Reiser (Mad About You guy), co-written tunes with Grammy Country Music winner Lori McKenna, and I have a song on a Grammy-nominated children’s album. I’m a noted performance instructor. I’ve coached gameshow host John Davidson. I tour all the time.
This album is all over the map. But it’s full-on me. I produced it and I sing my ass off. Various tunes on this album could be hits on Americana, 70’s/R&B, AAA. It’s all that and spoken word, country blues, funk, and even Celtic, pennywhistle included. Mike Poser sings on this album. Aine Minough plays Celtic harp and sings. Al Green’s organist Stacey Wade, Tommy Malone of the Subdudes, all play prominent instrumental parts on this batch of tunes. Boston Pops strings arranger Brad Hatfield did strings and keyboard. Even Chris Smither’s first gig solely as guitarist and foot stomper happens here. This album is called Good Good Man. I currently like it very much.
I’ve had 13 previous albums, 4 on Rounder Records. Some I like very much, some, meh. Airplay on AAA and folk radio all over the place.
I’ve played most North American and two major Australian Folk festivals including Newport, Rocky Mountain, Winnipeg, Calgary, Kate Wolf, Ottawa, Falcon Ridge, and more. I’ve played clubs, coffeehouses, PACs – and I’ve done over 3,500 shows booked by The Roots Agency, on roster with them for nearly 27 years. Yeah, I’m loyal too.
I’m Black, I sing, I play an acoustic guitar, and I don’t play the blues. You know exactly what I’m talking about. I break that lazy expectation into pieces. Media loves to wonder about that.
If you aren’t intrigued by now, please read no further. Oh, ok, you’re at the end anyway.”