Whaling City Sound has had at least one release on the JazzWeek chart for over 52 consecutive weeks.
#30 Monika Herzig SHEROES, peaked at 6, 25 weeks
#46 Benito Gonzalez, Gerry Gibbs, Essiet Essiet Passion Reverence Transcendence, peaked at 8, 23 weeks
#69 Jay Rodriguez, Your Sound, peaked at 9, 25 weeks
#74 Eric Wyatt, Look to the Sky, peaked at 16, 24 weeks
October 26: watch for new CLASSICAL release, Telemann Sonatas for Violin & Harpsichord Dorian Komanoff Bandy, Paul Cienniwa. Telemann (1681-1767) was one of music’s great mavericks: an aesthete with a restless mind and cosmopolitan tastes. During his nearly seven-decade career, he sampled every conceivable genre, idiom, and national style, and incorporated a dizzying number of them into his music. The violin sonatas on this disc are so wide-ranging in both idiom and expression that, heard together, they constitute a microcosm of Telemann’s art. Where many performances of these works include cello, Dorian Komanoff Bandy and Paul Cienniwa perform them in their original form, as duos that highlight the textural and expressive capacities of each instrument. The disc also includes the first-ever recording of one of Telemann’s early violin sonatas, a work he never published and whose manuscript is signed George Melante (a nearly anagrammatic pseudonym). These seven works are among the most adventurous, daring, and extraordinary in Telemann’s entire output.
Danny Bacher/Still Happy It’s evident from the get-go that Danny Bacher is an ascendant star. His humor, his delivery, his talent, his joie de vivre appear instantly and plentifully on his new album Still Happy, a rather odd title, considering he’s just arrived on the scene and that he’s, well, pretty happy already, it seems. Bacher honed his chops in the New York City jazz world, and he brings with him the confidence of someone who’s weathered the storm and is now better for it. His performance on the new album is seasoned and all-pro, a mix of youthful vigor and finger-popping vet. He bounces from oldies and goodies to classic takes on the Great American Songbook, all the while infusing them with dazzle and style. Produced by Jeff Levenson, the session features top talent, including Allen Farnham on piano, Dean Johnson on bass, Alvester Garnett on drums, Rolando Morales-Matos on percussion, and horn players Charles Caranicas and Harry Allen. Surrounded by quality, Bacher’s voice and soprano sax truly rise to the occasion, especially on the predominantly upbeat material, like “Laughing at Life,” Bernstein’s “Lucky to Be Me,” “Hooray for Hollywood” and the title track. Bacher is always at home on the stage and presents his case with elegance and class, not to mention a little laughter.
#46 JazzWeek Debra Mann/Full Circle; The music of Joni Mitchell Watching Joni Mitchell morph from acoustic chanteuse to sophisticated interpreter of jazz, accompanied by geniuses like Pastorius, Shorter, Metheny and Brecker, among others, truly floored Debra Mann. The piano/voice teacher (Brown University and Wheaton College), and Berklee grad seized on the idea of taking Mitchell’s material further into jazz and began trying it out at clubs. It captivated her audiences in the same way it did Mann herself. “Joni’s lyrics, combined with her gorgeous melodies, carried on the wind of her unique voice, struck deep chords of feeling within me, and helped to frame that world with colors and sounds and meaning that I could understand and relate to.” “Full Circle” reflects on a lifetime of admiration for an artist who has been uncompromising in her approach to music and in writing, and this on the occasion of Mitchell turning 75 years old this year. “Not only is it really incredible material to work from,” says Mann, “it amazes me how universal Joni’s music is and how so many people respond to it.” On Full Circle, Mann and her sidemen — saxophonist Dino Govoni, guitarist Jay Azzolina, bassist Dave Zinno and drummer Marty Richards — reimagine some of Mitchell’s most popular tunes, holding onto the timeless melodies while overlaying it with an irrepressible swing feel, especially on songs like “Black Crow,” “Big Yellow Taxi” (from 1970’s Ladies of the Canyon) and the haunting “Blue,” the title track from her epic 1971 disc rendered in bossa nova style. “I’ve tried to keep it very recognizable by not changing it up so much, but still putting a jazz lens on it.” For Mann, that’s mission accomplished.
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