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.
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.”
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.
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
Reverbnation: Jazz/Vocalist/Pianist/Singer/Songwriter Providence RI Rank #1
You Tube: Debra Mann “The Dry Cleaner”
Mixed Media Client since: 2014
Publicity: Brown University, What’s Up Rhode Island (Holiday Feature on local musicians) The Rhode Show, The Cranston Herald/Warwick Beacon, The New York City Jazz Record Feature (page 11),The New York City Jazz Record Review (page 31), What’s Up Rhode Island, Motif, Providence Journal, Fall River Herald News, Southcoast Today: Debra Mann, Southcoast Today: Narrows Fest, Ken Franckling’s Jazz Notes, Midwest Record, Sippican Week
Radio: New World N Jazz
peaked at #46, 11 weeks on the chart
Interviews: Tish Adams/Vocalists and Localists/WRIU 90.3 FM 9/6/18; Steve Bianchi
/Jazz Brunch/WBLQ 1230 AM; aired 9/9/18 between 1-3p, Steve Klamkin/Saturday Morning News, WPRO
back to client list
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 Woodall, Ted Casher, Jeff Stout, Ed Saindon Vibraphone, and many others. Dino Govoni, Jay Azzolina, David Zinno, Marty Richards, Jerry 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!
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
For Performing Arts
25 1/2 Court Street
DEBRA MANN-PIANO & VOCALS