Debbie Burke

Jazz Author


November 2017

A Quizzical Drumbeat

Think of drummer Gladys Lazer as an indie rocker of jazz. Experimental yet sonorous; embracing the abstract, yet rhythmically followable; unexpected dips and swells from chord change to chord change, yet, dreamy. “Candy World” is brand new, check it out:... Continue Reading →

Uncorking the Fabulous Textures of Big Band

He has the chops for punchy and aggressive, and the depth for sweet and kind. Trombonist and bandleader Paul Dunlea from Cork, Ireland coaxes the best out of his ensembles. Part of that is making excellent choices, as all the... Continue Reading →

Joy in Every Key

If you’ve rubbed elbows with musicians who rubbed elbows with early music powerhouses like Sousa, well, you’ve touched a piece of history. That big band influence left an indelible impression on Fred Hughes. He started off tickling the ivories of... Continue Reading →

As Natural as Air, with Great Color: Tommy Andrews

  There’s a “laggy” feel to Tommy Andrews’ “Crystal Car.” His alto sax soars wide and lazy like a bird that’s in no hurry. And there’s a certain held-back quality of “Toscana,” where the keys are rolling in the background.... Continue Reading →

Bandleader Makes Nonet Shimmer and Shine

Finnish big band arranger and conductor Jussi Lampela has a full sound at his fingertips. His nonet swings on a tune called “Touch Red” – a held note hanging in the air ‘til the next half-beat; the brass in utter... Continue Reading →

Prying Jazz Wide Open With Two Sticks

A rolling and rollicking drum intro kicks off “2 Lumps for Humpty” courtesy of percussionist Robert Castelli. Crashing the cymbals and attacking his kit, he sets the pace for measures later, when the guitar sounds a chord and the sax... Continue Reading →

Hankins’ Trumpet Sizzles; Just Doing its “Thang”

Sam Hankins’ latest CD is “Do That Thang,” and the headline song by the same name starts with something kind of familiar – a lively, warm conversation among friends reminiscent of the first few seconds of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going... Continue Reading →

Sk8tr Artist Renders Jazz Masters

This past August, Huck Magazine did a piece about the connection between skateboarding and creativity. It turns out that not only is there a sense of resilience in common (“they fall off, they get back on”), there is also the... Continue Reading →

Sweet and Low from the Double-Reed

A range we are familiar with; perhaps analogous to the tenor sax or trombone. But a woody depth that has gloss and groove. Add to that, a phenomenal technique and keen talent, and you have Michael Rabinowitz on bassoon. Playing... Continue Reading →

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