Debbie Burke

Jazz Author


December 2017

Do It To It: Letting it Fly with Sam Skelton

An Atlanta-based musician who plays sax, flute and clarinet, Sam Skelton’s words are as spare as his playing. He just -- says it, plays it, does it. Sometimes without arrangements, with just a bare-bones mental sketch of what he wants... Continue Reading →

The Strum That Sets You On A Journey

Rafael Lopes experiments with sound and rhythms (say, running water), but not in an unforgivable or atonal way. The guitar maestro – even in these youthful years of his, a listener can tell that greatness is coming – lets the... Continue Reading →

A Fragrant Flower Blooms Late

The sultry brushes introduce Ellen Pels in “Faith,” a ballad about strength. She sings with a straight and true voice, the end of each thought lightly adorned with a sweet vibrato. “On the Way” is another uplifting and re-assuring offering;... Continue Reading →

“Tell Me Why Life is Beautiful?” (Hint: It’s Music)

The rich, lush sound of crooner Debbie Gifford brings a dramatic flair from her background in theater with particular attention to telling stories of regret and lost opportunities. Debbie colors these musical vignettes with strength and character, exhibiting an awesome... Continue Reading →

Uncontainable and Unnameable: Let Urban Renewal Project Grab Ya

Jazz, rap and big band melted together doesn’t begin to describe it. Add in a torch song or modern love anthem, bright funky horns, staccato-energy rap and sweet melodies. Urban Renewal Project is all that and more. Taking the best... Continue Reading →

Bringing the Love in All Registers

Starting with bold, decisive intervals falling down the scale and punctuated subtly by drums, the title song of Kenny Shanker’s new CD “The Witching Hour” opens to a wide and expressive solo where Kenny swings. The man’s not afraid of... Continue Reading →

Don’t You Forget It: Paquito is Forever Saxy

Skimping on an intro of Paquito D’Rivera would only occur in journalism because of his intense fame and signature sound, ingrained in jazz and Latin music devotees around the globe. So no, he doesn’t need to be introduced. But he... Continue Reading →

Artist, Technician and Choreographer of Notes

When you get discovered by an absolute icon of big band like Doc Severinsen…you know you're on a track that’s right and tight. Jazz pianist Mary Louise Knutson has fingers that communicate by dancing on the keys on, say, “Bernie’s... Continue Reading →

The Glee of the Alan Benzie Trio

Take some Scottish folk music and mix liberally with a love for Japanese animation. Alan Benzie insists there are overlaps that fuel his imagination. There’s a playful and jaunty quality to “Frog Town on the Hill” as his Trio –... Continue Reading →

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