Debbie Burke

Jazz Author


March 2018

Flawless Ebullience in “Purpose” by Big Brooklyn

Let’s get this out of the way right up front about the band Big Brooklyn. Yes, there are prominent qualities inspired by klezmer; not just in tonality and woodwind instrumentation, but in its musical spirit. Big Brooklyn, a remarkable ensemble... Continue Reading →

The Grit and Determination of Jay Hung – from Chinese Pop to Immersive Jazz

In his breakout CD “110 West,” Asian pop bandleader and keyboardist Jay Hung shows he totally hit the books and flipped on the light. The heart and soul of jazz is there in his fingers that fly over the keys... Continue Reading →

Cartographer’s Delight: Spin Cycle’s CD “Assorted Colors” Takes Us to Lovely New Places

Each song so different like pushpins in a map of countries never visited, the new CD “Assorted Colors” by the quartet Spin Cycle sparkles with undefinable newness. The minimal airiness of “Two Pan Man” is rompy with edge; the sax... Continue Reading →

Three Sides of the Same Coin

Standing midway between his sax player and flutist, New York-based trombonist James Hall delivers tendrils of texture and thoughtful harmony in his latest CD, “Lattice.” Together with their keyboard and drummer, the quintet presents smart, bright voices in an open... Continue Reading →

Solos Cut Short: Jazz Artists Who Left Us Too Early, with Howard E. Fischer

THEY DIED BEFORE 40 The founder and former executive director of the New York Jazz Museum (1972-77), Howard E. Fischer, unearthed some intriguing material about jazz artists whose brief lives brought stunning music to the world. Calling jazz “our most... Continue Reading →

The Quiltiness of “Article XI” from Anton Hunter

Named after an act that gives citizens its freedom of assembly, the new CD by Anton Hunter called “Article XI” is a patchwork of each musician’s imagination, stitched together with an eye towards harmony and color. Hunter, with his composer/guitarist... Continue Reading →

Swooping Sonority: The Vienna Clarinet Connection and that Gershwin Glissando

Much to the webosphere’s delight, a clip of arguably the most famous upwards glissando ever (“Rhapsody in Blue”), executed totally and satisfyingly by a Viennese woodwind ensemble, recently made the rounds and went viral. The musicians comprising the Vienna Clarinet... Continue Reading →

A Cloak of Passion with Baritone E.J. Decker

Oozing with insinuation and dripping with testosterone, the smoldering voice of baritone E.J. Decker is something unusual these days. Many excellent tenor singers make the jazz circuit, but to intentionally and prematurely train one’s naturally bari voice to stretch even... Continue Reading →

Raising the Bars – Notes on Flute from Hiro Honshuku

Just released March 2, the CD “Happy Fire” with composer/arranger/flutist and EWI player Hiro Honshuku is an ear-full of assertive, flavorful jazz with outstanding instrumentation. The title song of this CD gallops forward with energy from flute and violin in... Continue Reading →

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