Vocalist and composer Gregory Porter has released his much-awaited sophomore album, Be Good, the follow-up to Water, which made huge waves in the jazz world in 2010. Sophomore albums tend to make fans and critics a bit nervous due to expectation and anticipation, so I'll save you some time and anguish - Gregory, once again, delivers! Strong musicianship, horn arrangements by Kamau Kenyatta, and Porter's booming, yet expressive voice, make this record a true crowd-pleaser.
Matthew Weiner, the creator of the hugely popular TV series Mad Men - now in its fifth season - works very hard at going beneath the surface to capture the look of the 1960s, from company logo typefaces to office equipment tints to the shine in a pair of trousers. Mad Men composer David Carbonara labors just as much on the show's music to express that era; he’s a composer of acutely original pieces. *
Even some jazz cognoscenti may not be familiar with the name of Joe Magnarelli...but that's not Joe's fault. He's been playing a heap of trumpet since arriving on New York City's jazz scene some 25 years ago. Sometimes in the often-wacky world of music, and especially in jazz, even the near-great ones escape detection for quite a spell. But on the wings of My Old Flame, his latest CD, Joe's name and fame may take flight - and perhaps soon we'll all know Joe.
If you enjoy wind band music of the toe-tapping and head-bobbing variety, or appreciate Pennsylvania musical history, you're sure to be delighted and captivated by the Allentown Band's latest release. Pennsylvania Pioneers celebrates 18 composers from across the Commonwealth, from the mid-19th through the mid-20th centuries. It's mostly marches, but with an occasional concert waltz, suite, and medley thrown in for good measure. Actually, make that many good measures!