Debbie Burke

Jazz Author

Ben Paterson on Keys: Style and Tenderness

There is spark, spirit and affirmation in the music of Ben Paterson, whose command of piano and organ is an amazing treat for the ears. Jauntily upbeat, “I’m Old Fashioned” and the glissando-laced “Isn’t She Lovely” showcase Paterson’s sense of... Continue Reading →

Op Ed: Winter Jazz Fest

E.J. Decker sings out in a stunning baritone most of the time, but here he opines on the Winter Jazzfest that took place in New York City in early January. Promoters, organizers, future attendees: take note and take notes. Was... Continue Reading →

Living in the Smooth Corners with Sax Player/Vocalist Michael J. Thomas

The slickest groove possibly ever comes from an original song by Michael J. Thomas called “Baby Coffee.” Thomas croons into the sax, giving it a suggestive throatiness while positivity floats over the melody, making it like audio crack. The hyper-energetic... Continue Reading →

Balance, Color and Harmony in the Yaniv Taubenhouse Trio

Subtly sailing along in a way that elicits an all-over feel-goodism, the title track for Yaniv Taubenhouse’s new CD, “Perpetuation - Moments in Trio Volume 2,” glows like a welcomed candle in the dark. Taubenhouse (trained in several instruments but... Continue Reading →

Smashingly Excellent Timing – A Peek into Peter Kogan’s World

The academic teachings that go into the career of a symphony orchestra musician only whet Peter Kogan’s appetite for something much more freeing…like jazz. The former Assistant Principal of Timpani and Principal Percussion of the Pittsburgh Symphony has continued in... Continue Reading →

Reaching Deep Down: Saxophonist Lolo Irving

Against a backdrop of city sirens that open the piece “Blue Prelude” Lolo Irving springs into a high dive and hits her target with a sax that cries out with increasingly assertive statements. What a way to grab your face... Continue Reading →

Emotion Seeps Out of Singer/Songwriter Gaby Paul

There's a unique timbre to Gaby Paul’s voice that makes it hard to describe; rich and sweet but with layers of character, like burnt caramel. At its core is a titanium-strength midrange and depth, but it can easily shoot to... Continue Reading →

Tenor Tenacity with Peter Sparacino

Versatile, musically immersed and bursting with a backlog of material yet to be released, tenor sax player Peter Sparacino says it’s because he came late to the party. His incredibly productive catch-up scheme has him in two ensembles: one, called... Continue Reading →

The Baddest of the Bass Clarinets: A New Trilogy from Paul Austerlitz

Tonal lows that shake the earth below your feet emerge when Finnish-born bass clarinetist Paul Austerlitz breathes jazz into his instruments. With “Water Prayers” (the first CD of his world-music-inspired trilogy) just out, Austerlitz creates wicked good music that is... Continue Reading →

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