Contemporary Reviews

Contemporary Reviews2020-02-23T01:52:32+00:00

    Song Within the Story

    June 30, 2022

    O's Notes: Canadian guitarist, composer James W. Brown returns to the recording scene after 13 years on Song Within The Story. He wasn’t idle during that period, performing with his trio and honing his compositions. Brown leads the band with Clark Johnson (b) and Anthony Michelli (d), adding Mike Murley (t-sax) for three selections. They performs regularly in Greater Toronto and this is a true glimpse of what you’ll hear. “All Rivers Lead”, “The Needle and the Damage Done” and the title track are of note.

      Ira: The Tribute Album

      June 30, 2022

      O's Notes: Guitarist Brev Sullivan pays homage to his dad with Ira: The Tribute Album featuring the 6-piece, Blue Road Records Studio Sessions Band. They present an electrified set from end to end. Drummer Kevin Abanto keeps the beat going and adds an arousing solo on the opener “I Get A Kick Out Of You”. Brev is joined by two other guitarists, Leo Quintero and Miriam Stone. Javier Espinoza (b) and Yainer Horta (keyboards, sax) round out the band. The guitars shine on “Monday’s Dance” and establish the genre as jazz-fusion, amplified on “Multimedia” and “Nineveh” with a touch of bebop on “Our Delight”!

        Off-Kilter

        June 30, 2022

        O's Notes: Trombonist, producer and composer John Yao leads Triceratops, a quintet with Billy Drewes (a-sax), Jon Irabagon (t-sax), Robert Sabin (b) and Mark Ferber (d). Yao’s music illustrates an adventurous Off-Kilter journey that is creative, edgy and spontaneous. It is incredibly inviting notably on “Quietly”. We also enjoyed “Crosstalk” and “Unfiltered”.

          Summer Tree

          June 30, 2022

          O's Notes: Japanese, free jazz trumpeter, composer, producer Natsuki Tamura never seems to run out of ideas. Summer Tree is a solo effort done in isolation during the pandemic. It is like the soundtrack for a horror flick with Tamura dubbing in whistling, howling effects of goons lurking in the darkness. We favored the title track where his trumpet stands out like a guiding voice to safety. We’ll loop this through our outdoor speakers next Halloween to dramatize the kids! Satoko Fujii adds screechy vocal effects on “Summer Wind” approximating the presence of an angry witch. These four lengthy compositions are specialized pieces for that occasion.

            Crown

            June 30, 2022

            O's Notes: Eric “Raw Dawg” Gales is a polished blues guitarist, singer and composer from Memphis. He establishes himself on the opening words of the first track, and he’s got a lot to say. So just sit back and enjoy this rocking’, blues amalgamation. There’s a message in the music on “The Storm”, Too Close to the Fire” and “Stand Up”. Gales is a tad funky on “I Want My Crown” and in true form on “You Don’t Know The Blues”. Gales is worthy of his Crown.