Debbie Burke

Jazz Author


March 2018

Stroll for Your Jazz at Westfield, NJ’s “Sweet Sounds Downtown”

The Downtown Westfield Corporation in northern New Jersey has been offering jazz al fresco going on 22 years. A showcase for blazing hot ensembles, the event draws thousands of music lovers to the hip downtown region. A sample of last... Continue Reading →

Zing Goes the Swing with the Septet “Nerija”

Your best intro to the seven-piece ensemble Nerija could be the full and brassy unity on the downbeat of “For You.” Trumpet gives a considered and melodious solo, backed expertly by at first electric guitar, then the whole band. Restating... Continue Reading →

In a Moment of Glory with Wycliffe Gordon

On this past February’s Jazz Cruise from Celebrity Cruise Lines, Wycliffe Gordon lead a passionate and spirited gospel set that was contagious and outrageous. The trombonist poured his heart and a whole lotta sweat equity into a full-stage ensemble performance.... Continue Reading →

Crisscrossing Tonality with Martin Archer

Time is marked by a strong third beat in each measure as the haunting voice of Julie Tippetts mood-paints in 2015's “Shiver Across the Soul.” She is accompanied by composer and melodic visionary Martin Archer, who creates an atmosphere of... Continue Reading →

Barry Finnerty Puts Balls to the Wall with “START: Warning, Contains Sex! Drugs! Jazz! Reality!”

Raw. Terse. Ripping the 1990s New York City music scene a new one. In his book “START: Warning, Contains Sex! Drugs! Jazz! Reality!” rock and jazz guitarist Barry Finnerty takes a long look back at the decadent and difficult times... Continue Reading →

Warmth on the Skin – Guitarist Christos Anestopoulos Brings Grecian Daylight

With the sunny, rolling tune “Island,” Greek guitarist Christos Anestopoulos sets the perfect temperature. The song (recalling the hopefulness of “Feelin’ Groovy/59th Street Bridge Song”) pulls us outdoors to balmy climes, inviting us far away from our worries. He uses... Continue Reading →

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 →

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