The Beat Drives the Thing – Jeff Williams’s New CD “Lifelike” A Sonic Celebration

There’s a lot happening in “Dream Visitor,” a song from the upcoming CD called “Lifelike” by Jeff Williams. Assertive statements from trumpet, then sax, play over complex multi-rhythms from Williams on drums. Though not melodically prominent, there’s a theme that’s revisited briefly throughout the song. A bass drags us along in the beginning of “Lament”... 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 one’s mouth). Not only is Shelly’s articulation dripping with lusty delight; she has eschewed traditional... 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 →

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