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

Mainstream Jazz tenor saxophone icon Scott Hamilton joined Blue Duchess Records with a lot of jazz history: he has played to critical acclaim through a career that included stints with Roy Eldridge, Benny Goodman, Rosemary Clooney and a guest spot on Bing Crosby’s last album. Leading his own band, Scott has produced dozens of highly rated jazz albums over the years for Concord Records. “Remembering Billie” https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/scotthamilton3 Scott Hamilton’s premiere release on Blue Duchess Records, ”Remembering Billie,” presents an instrumental demonstration of the beauty of Billie Holiday’s songs. “Remembering Billie,” conceived by Scott, working closely with producer Duke Robillard, is widely regarded as a masterwork tribute that displays the best of Scott Hamilton’s work. “Scott Hamilton ..He swings, he’s always in the pocket and he doesn’t need/have to prove anything. If you want to listen to some sweet jazz that’s played for the sheer joy of it, you and this set are going to get along just fine. Killer stuff that gives mainstream jazz a good name no matter how much dirt hipsters try to kick at it.” -Midwest Record “Remembering Billie,” is something of a magnum opus, from an artist who is at a place in his illustrious career where […]

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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 & SUNNY CROWNOVER “TALES FROM THE TIKI LOUNGE” “Duke Robillard is no stranger to a prized Les Paul Gold Top, and with vocalist Sunny Crownover moves into the world of Paul and (Mary) Ford and uses the past to inspire the future here. This really is a swinging affair, and every one of the 16 songs zaps the heart with deep feeling and wild fun. (Duke) has never played better. Robillard manages to take listeners to a better place. In Sunny Crownover he has the perfect partner, because she is thankfully incapable of oversinging taking a page out of the Mary Ford playbook…TALES FROM THE TIKI LOUNGE will take you to a place where everyone looks wonderful under the soft lights. Set ’em up again.” -Sonic Boomers “Grammy-nominated blues guitarist Duke Robillard and vocalist Sunny Crownover have joined forces again for the enchanting TALES FROM THE TIKI LOUNGE. With three superb albums to their credit… it’s clear that Robillard and Crownover were meant to make music together. The duo soars Robillard’s exquisite guitar work both complements, and is complemented by, Crownover’s silky smooth singing voice. This one’s an old-school delight, folks.” – The Daily News (Philadelphia) “Accomplished veteran guitarist […]

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