Doris Day & Andre Previn – Duet

Doris Day and pianist/composer Andre Previn are both better known for their work in film than they are for their jazz and popular-song recordings, but in late 1961 they met for the first time and discovered, according to liner note writer Irving Townsend, that they shared a love for “sodas, animals, and ballads.” The result was a jazz-vocal masterpiece, Duet. Both Previn and Day were enjoying successful periods in Hollywood–Day just a couple of years off her 1959 hit Pillow Talk, and Previn having racked up Academy Award wins two years in a row for his scores for Gigi and Porgy and Bess. Previn and Day also shared an often-overlooked jazz pedigree; Previn had recorded with all sorts of West Coast jazz luminaries in the late 1950s, while Day had been a sublime big-band singer with Les Brown in the 1940s. Duet, which also featured bassist Red Mitchell and drummer Frank Capp, grew out of Day’s desire to do something different from the poppy, large-orchestra sides that she’d been making for years. Previn’s elegantly restrained arrangements and the spare trio setting allowed Day to show what an excellent jazz singer she could be when given the opportunity. Previn was well-suited for this outing, having made a similar album with Dinah Shore, another fine jazz singer who rarely got to work in that context, just two years...

SACHAL VASANDANI – SHADOW TRAIN

Vocalist Sachal Vasandani has proven himself to be the king of “not-so-standard standards.” His ability to interpret, and breathe life into underutilized lyrics have made him a standout in the jazz scene. Shadow Train is Sachal, once again, doing what he does best. The killer band just adds to his...

Sachal Vasandani – Shadow Train

Vocalist Sachal Vasandani has proven himself to be the king of “not-so-standard standards.” His ability to interpret, and breathe life into underutilized lyrics have made him a standout in the jazz scene. Shadow Train is Sachal, once again, doing what he does best. The killer band just adds to his splendor. “Throw It Away” is a prime example. Abbey Lincoln (another purveyor of the “not-so- standard”) wrote this one. Sachal adds a haunting element with the addition of guest guitarist Nir Felder. Yet the arrangement and delivery do justice to Lincoln’s masterpiece without copycatting. Felder accompanies again on “Day In, Day Out,” which also includes some usually off-putting (to me, anyway) reverb. On this tune though, it works. Another skill that elevates Sachal to king-like status, is putting together a killer band to enhance his projects. With Taylor Eigsti on piano, Eric Harland on drums and Reuben Rogers playing bass, the creative possibilities for this album were through the roof, and these guys were able to execute. They even turned the Bee Gee’s “To Love Somebody” into a jazz ballad! Shadow Train includes some more familiar songs as well, like “Unforgettable,” which features saxophonist Dayna Stephens. With this mix of the unexpected and familiar, be prepared to hear these pieces performed in a way unlike any other.  By MAUREEN...

Carol Fredette “No Sad Songs For Me”

We last heard from vocalist Carol Fredette on her first Soundbrush recording, Everything in Time (2009). Her repertoire was replete with, …”Light latin jazz, humid islands, and secure mainstream treatments.” Fredette remains fairly true to this mix of styles on No Sad Songs For Me, specifically addressing all songs of upbeat content, if not tempo. The singer calls upon much the same band as on the previous recording, specifically pianists Helio Alves.  It is notable that No Sad Songs For Me is executive produced by Pablo Aslan and Roger Davidson,  two names closely associated with Latin jazz and bossa nova, styles that potently inform Fredette’s repertoire here. Fredette is serious about the title and title tune for this recording. It is surprising she included Jobim’s “Double Rainbow” and not his “No More Blues.” These songs are upbeat and the universal mood of this recording is supercharged positive. Fredette commands Bob Merrill’s “It’s Good to be Alive” and Irving Berlin’s “The Best Thing for You.” The former she treats as a delicate ballad and the later Latin-infused and simmered on high heat, Kevin Winard’s percussion being particularly effective. The Cahn-Van Heusen chestnut “To Love and Be Loved” is gently rendered as a perfect cocktail hour ballad. Fredette’s support is solid and competent, providing the singer an environment for her pristine vocal delivery of this most attractive recital.   Roger Davidson...

Kat Gang “Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams”

Kat Gang’s got a lyrical lilt to her charming voice and teams up with an all star team that includes the venerable rhythm guitar of Bucky Pizzarelli along with Mike Renzi/p, Jay Leonhart/b, Joe Ascione/dr, Warren Vache/tp, John Allred/tb and the warm toned tenor of Harry Allen. Chearful and endearing on pieces such as “Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams” and “I Wish I Were in Love Again,” she can also get down an wrestle wity you on “Baby, Baby All The Time” and “Hard Hearted Hannah.” Delicate on “Solitude” she embraces you with a sweet as apple cider “More Than You Know.” Heart warming...

Dena DeRose “We Won’t Forget You”

It’s no small thing to be called “The most creative and compelling singer-pianist since Shirley Horn,” but that’s how Joel Siegel, Washington City Paper, described Dena DeRose. It is with great pleasure that HighNote Records welcomes Dena to their roster with her label debut recording “We Won’t Forget You… An Homage To Shirley Horn” which features the understated, swinging side of the late, great Horn. As this year would have been Ms. Horn’s 80th birthday, it seems only appropriate for DeRose, also a triple threat vocalist, pianist, and arranger, to pay tribute to one of her major idols. Joining her trio of 15+ years — Martin Wind, bass and Matt Wilson, drums — are trumpeter Jeremy Pelt, tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander and baritone saxophonist Gary Smulyan. Boasting an imaginative set list of some lesser recorded gems and varied use of the instrumental colors available, Dena DeRose’s first release on HighNote is jazz singing and playing of the highest order. With this being her 11th recording, Dena’s performance credits range from appearances at NYC’s Blue Note, Smoke, and Jazz Standard, The Kennedy Center Jazz Club (D.C.), The Jazz Showcase (Chicago), The Widderbar (Zurich), The Pitt Inn and Body and Soul (Tokyo), among others. Major jazz festival performances world-wide include The Red Sea (Israel), San Francisco, Monterey, The North Sea and The Hague (Holland), Santiago (Chile), and has been a returning artist many times on The Jazz Cruise. THE DENA DeROSE TRIO: Dena DeRose, vocals, piano & B3 organ • Martin Wind, bass • Matt Wilson, drums With special guests: Eric Alexander, tenor saxophone • Jeremy Pelt, trumpet • Gary Smulyan, baritone saxophone TRACKS: You Stepped Out of a Dream • Sunday in New York • Quietly There • A Time For Love • Don’t Be on the Outside • You Won’t Forget Me • I Just Found Out About Love...

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