Greg Abate’s overdubbing “reveal rich new facets that underscore Barron’s compositional prowess” on “Magic Dance”

Greg Abate’s overdubbing “reveal rich new facets that underscore Barron’s compositional prowess” on “Magic Dance”

Ken Franckling’s Jazz Notes

Saxophonist Greg Abate, best known for his alto prowess, adds tenor, soprano and baritone saxes, and flute, to this excellent project in an adventurous way. This two-CD project features Abate performing 14 wide-ranging tunes composed by jazz great Kenny Barron, with a trio featuring Barron on piano, Dezron Douglas on bass and Johnathan Blake on drums. 

Half of the tunes feature the leader on just one horn apiece, for example, flute on the genteel ballad “Water Lily,” soprano on “Sonia Braga” from Barron’s 2012 Brazilian Knights project, and tenor on the lively opener “Sunshower” and the pensive beauty “Rain.” After the three-day studio session last September, Abate added tasteful overdubs on the remaining tunes, pairing alto and tenor on “Golden Lotus” and “Lemuria,” flute and alto on “Cook’s Bay,” then alto and bari on the closer, “And Then Again.”

The most ambitious was Abate’s treatment on two of Barron’s best-known compositions, His overdubbing created a full big-band sax section as he explored “Innocence” and “Voyage,” soloing on soprano and alto respectively. As a result, we get to hear rich riffs, interlude melodies and harmonies that reveal rich new facets that underscore Barron’s compositional prowess. And how great it is that Barron was along for the ride.

Click here to purchase “Magic Dance: The Music of Kenny Barron”

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Greg Abate review: “A bebopper through and through”

Greg Abate review: “A bebopper through and through”

December 12, Ken Franckling

Greg Abate got hooked on the 1950s hard-bop style that evolved from bebop, and he has made himself a career of bringing that intense sound to audiences across the U.S. and around the globe. Much like two other alto sax players with whom he has recorded, Richie Cole and the late Phil Woods, Abate developed into one of the genre’s significant modern ambassadors.

Greg Abate

He brought that sound to the Charlotte County Jazz Society’s concert series in Port Charlotte FL on Monday, December 11, for a high-powered quartet performance. His Florida rhythm section included Richard Drexler on piano, Steve Gilmore on bass and Barry Smith on drums.

This was Rhode Island native Abate’s fifth visit to Port Charlotte in nine concert seasons – and it was memorable for the way the band clicked throughout the night. Each player got significant solo space and made the most of it.

It was a night for Abate to dig deep into anthemic bop tunes, including Tadd Dameron’s “Lady Bird,” trumpeter Lee Morgan’s “Ceora” and bebop co-founder Charlie Parker’s classic “Yardbird Suite,” as well as imprint bebop flourishes on other standards from the jazz canon. The latter tunes included “Star Eyes,” “You Don’t Know What Love Is,” “I Remember April,” “All The Things You Are” and Frank Foster’s Basie band staple “Shiny Stockings.”

Steve Gilmore

He shifted to flute for the poignant waltz “Some Time Ago” and his original minor blues “Contemplation,” which he recorded with Woods.in 2012. “Buddy’s Rendezvous,” written for a longtime friend, was Abate’s other original tune shared at this concert.

Gilmore, who now lives in the Florida Panhandle, was Phil Woods’ bassist for 40 years. He was a wonderful inclusion in this band. His sound is both robust and melodic – and his solos are filled with creative ideas. The society’s concerts have featured many excellent bassists over the years. None have been better than Gilmore.

Richard Drexler, Greg Abate

The band roared through versions of Sonny Stitt’s “The Eternal Triangle,”  a splendid showcase for Smith’s drumming, and “Yardbird Suite,” which included terrific interplay as Abate and Drexler passed the melody back and forth several times.

Barry Smith

The hard bop style is notable for its blistering, emotional cascades of notes – and for the soloists’ seamless inclusion of familiar melodic lines from other tunes that fit the moment.

Bands featured at the society’s December 2016 and 2015 concerts put jazz twists on holiday tunes as part of their programming. At this concert, Abate and Gilmore reversed that concept. They dropped brief melodic lines from holiday fare into at least five tunes over the course of the evening. For example, Gilmore quoted “Frosty the Snowman” and Abate followed with a snippet of “Sleigh Ride” in their solos on “Ceora.” Gilmore dropped a bit of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” into his solo on Abate’s “Contemplation.”

The concert drew about 230 attendees to the Cultural Center of Charlotte County’s William H. Wakeman III Theater.

Richard Drexler, Greg Abate, Steve Gilmore, Barry Smith

Read the original review here

To read more about greg Abate click here

Debra Mann/WCS

Debra Mann/WCS

Debra Mann

Debra Mann 

Reverbnation: Jazz/Vocalist/Pianist/Singer/Songwriter  Providence RI Rank #1

Bio

debramann.com

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You Tube:  Debra Mann “The Dry Cleaner”

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Press release

Mixed Media Client since: 2014

Publicity: Brown UniversityWhat’s Up Rhode Island (Holiday Feature on local musicians) The Rhode ShowThe Cranston Herald/Warwick BeaconThe New York City Jazz Record Feature (page 11),The New York City Jazz Record Review (page 31)What’s Up Rhode IslandMotifProvidence JournalFall River Herald NewsSouthcoast Today: Debra MannSouthcoast Today: Narrows FestKen Franckling’s Jazz NotesMidwest RecordSippican Week

Radio: New World N Jazz 

peaked at #46, 11 weeks on the chart
Interviews: Tish Adams/Vocalists and Localists/WRIU 90.3 FM 9/6/18Steve Bianchi/Jazz Brunch/WBLQ 1230 AM; aired 9/9/18 between 1-3p, Steve Klamkin/Saturday Morning News, WPRO 

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It is with deep shock and sadness that we report the unexpected passing of Debra Mann, an acclaimed and supremely talented jazz singer, pianist and composer on our Whaling City Sound label. Her most recent recording, #FullCircle, featuring the music of Joni Mitchell, was released in August 2018. She had also released three CD recordings on her label, Jobe Records.

Her career was decorated with highlights. A Berklee College of Music grad, Debra was widely hailed as Rhode Island’s premier jazz pianist and vocalist. She performed at Symphony Hall Boston as a featured guest soloist with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops Orchestra. She had the distinct honor of performing at the request of Frank Sinatra. In celebration of Women’s History Month, she performed with her trio on Ron Della Chiesa’s WGBHradio program “Music America.” She was a prized member of the regional jazz community, having shared the stage with artists including Dick Johnson, Herb Pomeroy, Gray Sargent, Marshall WoodallTed CasherJeff StoutEd Saindon Vibraphone, and many others. Dino GovoniJay AzzolinaDavid ZinnoMarty RichardsJerry Leake, and Paul Angel joined her on our “Full Circle” release, recorded with Steve Rizzo, Stable Sound Studio.

She was also a passionate educator, on the faculty of Brown University and Wheaton College Massachusetts.

We at Whaling City Sound, along with the music community, will miss Debra’s extraordinary and elegant musical voice. We mourn deeply her passing and extend our sympathy to her family and friends.

Providence Journal Obituary

Debra Mann Performs “Be Cool” at the Narrows!!

Neal Weiss, John Stein and company!

Dori Rubbicco and Steve Klamkin (WPRO NEWS).

Midwest Record review of Full Circle

JazzWeek  Most Added+12 Debra Mann “Full Circle Music of Joni Mitchell” Congratulations to Debra on the hard work and fantastic album

A Woman of Heart and Mind

Jazz talent Debra Mann interprets

The textured sounds of Joni Mitchell

 

It is rare indeed to catch a sighting of Joni Mitchell. The Canadian songwriter, chanteuse and sublime talent has not really toured much, or released an album of new material for that matter. The last time that happened was 2007. So what’s a Joni fan to do? Catch Debra Mann.

 

Mann is a Joni fan from way back, so much so that she’s taken to performing her songs. The Providence-based jazz artist will be performing a night of jazz-tinged interpretations of Mitchell’s music at Chan’s. The combination makes good sense, considering the fact that Mann is an outstanding jazz performer and so much of Mitchell’s oeuvre resonates with generous jazz overtones.

 

Debra Mann, pianist and vocalist, has performed in the northeast corner of the U.S. for three decades. Her own artistry was deeply influenced by Joni’s music—from her folk years through her more than deep exploration into jazz.

 

The reclusive Mitchell is widely regarded as one of the most influential and revered songwriters of our time. Her category-defying style links the worlds of acoustic music with rock, jazz, and classical. Her lyrical sense, phrasing and poetic imagery are as visual as they are musical. Certainly, with no chance of seeing the original, why not enjoy the next best thing?

 

This is not Mann’s first shot at covering Mitchell’s work. In fact, the first few times were so memorable that her fans were asking for an encore. As an added attraction, Debra’s band features the mega talents of Dino Govoni (sax), Steve DeConti (guitar), Dave Zinno (bass), and Marty Richards (drums).

 

So come by Chan’s for a night of great music as we celebrate the work of a gifted and influential artist being covered by a gifted and supreme talent in her own right. Ladies and gentleman, on piano and voice, Debra Mann!

Autumn Concert!

Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 12.05.09 PM

Dear Friends,

I hope you all had a great summer.  I can’t remember a better one, myself.  As summer comes to its inevitable close, I am preparing for another Joni Mitchell Tribute concert in a new venue. Please help spread the word to jazz and Joni lovers.  I hope to see you there.   Peace, Debra

Debra Mann Quintet

Joni Mitchell Tribute

Saturday,  October 4, 2014
7:30 PM

SPIRE CENTER
For Performing Arts

25 1/2 Court Street
Plymouth, MA
(508) 746-4488

FEATURING: 
DEBRA MANN-PIANO & VOCALS 
DINO GOVONI-SAX
STEVE DeCONTI-GUITAR
MARTY BALLOU-BASS

MARTY RICHARDS-DRUMS

Tickets: $25
http://www.spirecenter.org/

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