Debbie Burke

Jazz Author


February 2018

The Gleam in His Eye – The Music of James Brady

You start with a hot little hook and invoke a tiny rhythmic homage to Sonny Rollins’s “St. Thomas” – how can you go wrong? James Brady jumps into his “Everybody Has a Plan” with a masterful trumpet, accompanied by fantastic... Continue Reading →

Ratzo Harris’s Vibrational Wow

Playing mightily with meter, the aptly named Alt.Timers gives the ear food for thought. Not only are its rhythms unexpected; melodies ask you to relinquish control and go where they want to take you. Bassist Ratzo Harris (also a multi-instrumentalist:... Continue Reading →

Travels to Dreamland with Gero Koerner

Gero Koerner was a teenager from Cologne, Germany when brassy, funky grooves first got his attention. Classically trained on piano, he knew his future musician-self would one day write the kind of music he so loved. In his 2010 CD... Continue Reading →

Feeling It on a Fine Day with Nim Sadot

Bright and strong, the song “Obey the Fist” from the self-named new CD from Nim Quartet has amazing ensemble work, characterized by an uninhibited, funkalicious bass (front man Nim Sadot wields the axe); on-point trumpet; and perfectly together, assertive drums.... Continue Reading →

Swinging in the Cool Breeze with Vocalist Luiza Meiodavila

The ethereal song “Sabes” from singer Luiza Meiodavila’s recent CD “Florescer” is a harmony-infused flight that displays delicacy and quiet strength. She brings the song home with expert assistance from the piano. “Doce de Coco” sports a gypsy-jazz type of... Continue Reading →

Versatile Virtuosity from Tenor Saxist Alex Hitchcock

Alex Hitchcock has found amazing jazz musicians around the world to learn from and collaborate with. Every encounter adds more depth and dimension to his playing, and still young in his career, he’s got more layers than a double lasagna.... Continue Reading →

Bending Notes to Blue – Vocalist Shelly Rudolph

Shelly Rudolph is master of the well-placed sensual groan, around which she has built stories – worlds – of hopeful hearts and broken hearts. The song “Hidden Moonlight” talks about something intensely intimate (the sound of a lover’s name in... Continue Reading →

A Discussion of Percussion from the Drum Kit of Florian Arbenz

The Swiss ensemble VEIN starts “No Change is Strange” with a sneak attack from the drums, courtesy of Florian Arbenz. Fluidly segueing from small taps to crashes to using all his drums, round-robin, Florian’s prolonged intro is inventive, playful and... Continue Reading →

Supple Lips Tell No Lies – Staying in Shape for Trombone with Raphael Reiter

The trombone is not just a means of expression for Raphael Reiter; it’s a method of tapping into the depths of humankind’s moods. In “Lettre à PDC,” his lyricism is gentle and airy. With a light touch as well, he... Continue Reading →

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