Debbie Burke

Jazz Author



Gaining Entrance: Ricky Parrell Celebrates the “Keys to My Life”

  Picture sax player Ricky Parrell bobbing and weaving on his bike throughout the boulevard-width streets right outside Washington DC. When it’s time for a breather he locks up his bike. The key he uses? It’s become fodder for his... Continue Reading →

You Hear Life In Her Voice – The Triumphs of Rhio

In the new CD “A Rhio Good Thing,” vocalist Rhio belts out songs strong and clear. Her style is direct, uplifting and tinged with taking no BS. Did you know the adored Latin song “No More Blues” has words? Rhio... Continue Reading →

“GLISS is bliss”

New video! GLISSANDO: A story of love, lust and jazz  

Sara Decker’s Debut CD “Long Distance” Exposes Struggles of the Heart

Wistful and in need of emotional closure, the title song “Long Distance” from Sara Decker’s CD of the same name is a bluesy interplay between her vocals and the expressive piano. It’s a modern story of a love affair conducted... Continue Reading →

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... 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 →

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 →

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 →

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... Continue Reading →

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