The Evenfall Quartet
July 27, 2018 by ryontz in Blue Duchess 0 Comments

The Evenfall Quartet consists of Bassist Brad Hallen, Mark Earley (tenor sax), Joe “Sonny” Barbato (piano), and Jerzy Jurek Glod (drums). The band performs a collection of American Songbook favorites and an original song by Lucky Thompson, recorded in the style and manner of the staples of the small group catalogues of the late 40s and 50s. Brad Hallen explains, “In those days you’d bring the band into a studio and pick some songs you all knew and enjoyed playing together, made arrangements on the spot with input from everyone, and just played – you might do several takes of each tune, but you’d pick the best one and go with it, without any editing. If something went wrong you’d just do it again. But this is exactly how we played these songs that day. All jazz fans know that Miles Davis brought his band in to record for Prestige in 1955 and finished four LPs worth of performances in two days (and Brad and the band nod to those sessions here with their version of ”If I Were a Bell). But this was no rare happenstance literally hundreds of small group jazz sessions were made like this in the […]

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Scott Hamilton
July 23, 2018 by ryontz in Blue Duchess 0 Comments

Scott Hamilton & Duke Robillard “Swingin’ Again” From Noted Jazz Producer, Author, Historian and Critic Scott Yanow: “Duke Robillard originally became well-known as the founder and leader of Roomful Of Blues (1967-79), his playing with the Fabulous Thunderbirds, and his many projects in the blues world, but he has always had a love for swinging jazz. A friend of tenor-saxophonist Scott Hamilton since their early days, Robillard and Hamilton have often teamed up for memorable recordings. Their latest musical collaboration, Swingin’ Again, is being released by the Blue Duchess label and is arguably their finest joint effort. Swingin’ Again has the two longtime associates joined by members of Duke Robillard’s band (pianist Bruce Bears, bassist Brad Hallen, and drummer Mark Teixeira) plus several notable guests: trumpeter Jon-Erik Kellso, pianist Tim Ray, and singers Sugar Ray Norica and Sunny Crownover. The results are as exciting and enjoyable as one would expect from these talented and versatile musicians. Starting with “I Never Knew,” the program includes such classic standards as “I’m Putting All My Eggs In One Basket” (taken as a ballad by Sugar Eye Norica before it becomes a cooker), “All I Do Is Dream Of You,” “Blue Lou,” “Pennies From […]

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Mickey Freeman
July 23, 2018 by ryontz in Blue Duchess 0 Comments

For fans of the American Songbook, Mickey Freeman’s “Livin’ the Dream,” is cause for extended celebration. Produced by Duke Robillard, and recorded at Lakewest Recording by John Paul Gauthier, Livin’ the Dream features Mickey Freeman backed by a swinging trio of Paul Nagel on piano, Marty Ballou on bass and Mark Teixeira on drums. Special guests include Duke Robillard on guitar and tenor sax legend Scott Hamilton. Mickey Freeman’s voice inhabits the even-dozen songs on ‘Livin’ the Dream” like a hand in a glove and her warm vocals, scat singing and way with phrasing make the new CD play like a living room concert experience. Tunes come from the great American songbook of composers ranging from Rodgers and Hammerstein (“It Might As Well Be Spring,” “Surrey with the Fringe on Top”) and Cole Porter (“It’s All Right with Me”), to jazz greats Duke Ellington (“I Ain’t Got Nothin’ but the Blues”) and Lionel Hampton (“Red Top”). “I chose this particular group of 12 songs because they also showed my range as a vocalist: ballads, swing, blues, scat and even harmony with myself on ‘Red Top,'” says Mickey Freeman. “They also were some of my late husband Bob’s favorites; and four […]

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Duke Robillard
July 23, 2018 by ryontz in Blue Duchess 0 Comments

Duke Robillard & Scott Hamilton “Swingin’ Again” From Noted Jazz Producer, Author, Historian and Critic Scott Yanow: “Duke Robillard originally became well-known as the founder and leader of Roomful Of Blues (1967-79), his playing with the Fabulous Thunderbirds, and his many projects in the blues world, but he has always had a love for swinging jazz. A friend of tenor-saxophonist Scott Hamilton since their early days, Robillard and Hamilton have often teamed up for memorable recordings. Their latest musical collaboration, Swingin’ Again, is being released by the Blue Duchess label and is arguably their finest joint effort. Swingin’ Again has the two longtime associates joined by members of Duke Robillard’s band (pianist Bruce Bears, bassist Brad Hallen, and drummer Mark Teixeira) plus several notable guests: trumpeter Jon-Erik Kellso, pianist Tim Ray, and singers Sugar Ray Norica and Sunny Crownover. The results are as exciting and enjoyable as one would expect from these talented and versatile musicians. Starting with “I Never Knew,” the program includes such classic standards as “I’m Putting All My Eggs In One Basket” (taken as a ballad by Sugar Eye Norica before it becomes a cooker), “All I Do Is Dream Of You,” “Blue Lou,” “Pennies From […]

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