Music to Hidden, New Pathways

“Journey to a New World” is a new CD by trumpet player Jonathan Saraga. The whole of the CD is familiar but also fresh; grounded but also hopeful. The horn work is brilliant and technically spot-on, and presented with an ease and warmth that makes the songs accessible. The ensemble produces an inspiring sound that... Continue Reading →

Plucking Notes from the Tree of Life

With articulation in every breath of her song "Paper Doll," Irene Serra of ISQ (Irene Serra Quartet) tells the story of love destined to go badly. Besides the amazingly rendered animation in the video, the music is quietly fierce, with tense build-up and throbbing outrage. Irene’s voice reaches into every corner. “Reflections” begins with chime-like... Continue Reading →

Nouveau Vaudeville: Meet the Seavers

Taking a page from turn-of-last-century entertainers who used humor, pratfalls and jaunty music, today’s Meet the Seavers is a combo of all that plus spice, verve and sting. Comprised of married couple Jace and Dorothy Seavers, the act is not all shtick. The genuinely gifted musicians – he on upright bass/vocals, she with vocals –... Continue Reading →

Surprise and Intrigue: The Moods of Mamiko Watanabe

Dragging her notes to create tension, Mamiko Watanabe is master of interplay with her bassist in “A Little Piece for Dance.” Utilizing a choppy style interspersed with brief spells of lyricism, she hides inventive note-sentences around each bend. Perhaps there’s a Latin-infused little riff, or block chords suggesting an Eastern European darkness. Where the theme... Continue Reading →

Elastic Adventures with Carlos Saunier

You’re galloping out of the gate from the get-go with “Inminente,” an exuberant romp led by the tenor sax who counterpoints with Carlos Saunier’s guitar. The song is from Carlos’ latest CD release of the same name. “Tocino,” also on this CD, is highlighted by an extended, light/lightning-fast solo by Carlos who then trades the... Continue Reading →

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