Tag Archives: Jazz

Jocelyn Medina’s Global Diversity

Jocelyn Medina – Common Ground (Running Tree Records, 2007)

Common Ground is Jocelyn Medina’s third album. She’s a talented jazz singer and composer who incorporates world music elements to her music, inspired by her travels to India, Brazil and Ghana. On Common Ground you’ll find a great set of original songs by Medina that mix contemporary jazz harmonies, Indian melodies and Ghanaian rhythms.

Medina is joined by a superb multinational cast of instrumentalists who have plenty of opportunities to showcase their talent. In addition to Jocelyn’s vocals, highlights include Steve Gorn’s bansuri work throughout the album, Samir Chatterjee’s dazzling tabla, the guitar lines delivered by Pete McCann and the delightful female/male vocal interplay between Jocelyn and Achyut Joshi on the opening track “Two But Not Two.”

The lineup on Common Ground includes Jocelyn Medina on vocals; Steve Gorn on bansuri (Indian flute); Hadar Noiberg on flute; Pete McCann on electric and acoustic guitar; Art Hirahara on piano and Rhodes; Evan Gregor on bass; Mark Ferber on drums; Samir Chatterjee on tabla; Robert Levin on percussion; and Achyut Joshi on vocals.

The physical CD version is available at www.jocelynmedina.com The digital format is available at https://www.amazon.com


Fufu Tryout

Dominic Egli’s Plurism with Feya Faku – More Fufu

Dominic Egli’s Plurism with Feya Faku – More Fufu (Unit Records, 2016)

More Fufu is an album Swiss jazz drummer Dominic Egli. His band Plurism plays contemporary jazz with some world music influences such as Latin beats and kalimba. Plurism’s special guest on More Fufu is renowned South African trumpeter Feya Faku. More Fufu includes impressive drumming and interplay between the trumpet and saxophone.

The lineup includes Dominic Egli on drums and kalimba, Feya Faku on trumpet and flugelhorn; Raffaele Bossard on double bass and frikywa bell; Donat Fisch on alto and soprano saxophone; and Puno Selesho on spoken word.


Delightful Goldenhair

Goldenhair by Brian Byrne and James Joyce

Goldenhair by Brian Byrne and James Joyce (Node Records, 2016)

Goldenhair is an album composed by acclaimed Irish musician Brian Byrne. He wrote and arranged the music with lyrics based on the writings of James Joyce.

Despite the Irish origin, don’t expect an Irish folk music album. Goldenhair focuses primarily on jazz. The album includes songs and spoken word segments and has an impressive list of guests, Judith Hill, Glenn Close, Julian Lennon, Kurt Elling, Sara Gazarek, Curtis Stigers, Kate McGarry, Kristina Train, Declan O’ Rourke, Cara Dillon, Jack Lukeman and the RTE Concert Orchestra.




Although most of the album is grounded on jazz, it also features evocative bagpipe, neosoul, gospel, blues and bluegrass. Goldenhair brings together the best of music and literature.

Buy Goldenhair


Bae Ho Jazz Recreations

Baeshi Bang 배씨방 – Vintage K-Pop Revisited

Baeshi Bang 배씨방 – Vintage K-Pop Revisited (Buda Musique, 2016)

Baeshi Bang is a French jazz quintet fascinated by Korean 1960s star Baeshi Ho. Baeshi Bang has transformed Baeshi Ho’s songs and turned them into contemporary jazz instrumentals with a Korean flavor, bits of retro elements and Korean spoken word segments.

Without haven’t listened to the K-Pop originals it’s hard to envision how the songs have changed. Nonetheless, the quintet has created a fascinating album where jazz meets cherished pop from the 1960s.

The lineup includes Etienne de la Sayette on tenor saxophone, flute, clavioline, kayageum; Victor Michaud on French horn, organ; Loic Récahard and Giani Caseroto on guitar; François Chesnel on piano; and Stefano Lucchini on drums.

Buy Vintage K-Pop Revisited


The Unpredictable Balkan Jazz of Boris Kovač

Boris Kovač & La Campanella – Eastern Moon Rising

Boris Kovač & La Campanella – Eastern Moon Rising (Riverboat TUG1076, 2014)

Eastern Moon Rising showcases the multi-faceted music side of saxophonist and composer Boris Kovač and his band La Campanella.

On Eastern Moon Rising you’ll hear fascinating musical pieces where Serbian traditional music easily morphs into smoky lounge jazz, tango, blues, Romanian doina, avant-garde rock, French waltz, and unexpected twists and turns.

Yhr aslbum lineup includes Boris Kovač Boki on soprano and alto saxophones and vocals; Vukašin Mišković Vuki on acoustic and electric guitars; Goran Penić Gogi on accordion; Miloš Matić Miki on double bass; and Lav Kovač Laki on drums.

Buy Eastern Moon Rising


Subhi’s Remarkable Hindi Jazz

Subhi – Shaitaan Dil / Naughty Heart

Subhi – Shaitaan Dil / Naughty Heart (2017)

Chicago-based Indian singer-songwriter Subhi has brought together jazz, pop and Indian music on her new album Shaitaan Dil (Naughty Heart) scheduled for release in September 2017.

Subhi combines contemporary jazz forms, classic swing, adapts Indian vocal percussion to a jazz configuration, incorporates Hindi and Urdu poetry, and stories about romance, departure and intercontinental migration.



In Chicago, Subhi worked with jazz pianist Joaquin Garcia. He rearranged her songs and Subhi really liked the results.





Shaitaan Dil is a charming album at the intersection of jazz and South Asian music.


Artist profiles: Ian Melrose

Ian Melrose

Ian Melrose was born in Middlesbrough, England. As a youth he moved back to Ayr in Scotland with his Scottish parents and younger brother Ian’s father was/is a member of the Scottish fiddle orchestra so traditional music was always present. His early influences were the famous figures from the “British school of guitar-playing” i.e. Davey Graham, John Renbourn, Bert Jansch, and John Martyn.

After doing a degree in Law and German at Keele University he moved to Berlin in 1981 where he started doing solo work. In 1982 he founded Twilight, an acoustic folk-jazz trio which thanks to the unusual arrangements was winner of the 1985 folk group competition at the Edinburgh folk festival. A record deal with the Scottish company LISMOR followed.

As a founder member of the German folk-pop band Be Mine Or Run and as guitarist and arranger with the Celtic project Norland Wind (featuring Thomas Loefke and Kerstin Blodig) he has made a name for himself on the German acoustic scene. He has done extensive tours of Germany Holland and Norway and has done studio jobs for many well-known artists. A tour through Germany in 1996 with Norland Wind brought the contact to Noel & Padraig Duggan of Clannad, who in turn suggested Ian for the job of lead guitarist with Clannad for the May tour of Ireland, Great Britain and Holland. They were obviously pleased with him and offered him the rest of the “World Tour ’96” which included Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.

You can hear Ian playing on the Clannad album Landmarks. In his solo concerts Ian plays pieces from his critically acclaimed album Wolves and from his album Between the Sighs. His guitar compositions show a strong leaning towards his “Celtic roots” where elements of Irish & Scottish dance tunes and ballads mix easily with South-American rhythms and jazz harmonies.



Artist profiles: Hugo Fattoruso

Hugo Fattoruso

Born in Montevideo, Uruguay, Hugo Fattoruso began his musical career as a prodigious and somewhat reluctant piano student at the age of four. By the time he was nine his father Antonio formed El Trio Fattoruso by drafting Hugo’s younger brother Jorge on drums with Hugo on accordion and Antonio on “inverted bucket bass” (using a broom as the neck and a cord as the instrument’s single string).

This trio performed in street festivals covering the variety of styles used in Uruguay’s carnivals (boleros, murgas, tangos, etc.) and giving Hugo an education in the rich harmonic stuff of disparate musical styles. At the age of 16 Hugo moved to the upright bass and began his tenure as the under-aged member of The Hot Blowers a swing band that toured throughout Latin America in the late 195s. This period could be seen as a second important milestone in Hugo’s harmonic education hammering home the concepts of improvisation and musical interplay.

By the early 196s rock ‘n’ roll began to shake the world’s foundation and Hugo set out to express himself in that medium by forming Los Shakers where he and his brother shared song writing singing and guitar responsibilities. Los Shakers Hugo Fattoruso (guitar voice) Osvaldo Fattoruso (guitar voice) Roberto “Pelin” Capobianco (bass voice) Carlos “Caio” Vila (drums voice) were a huge success throughout Latin America as they were able to mold the complexities of bossa’s harmonies Uruguay’s urban song style candombe rhythms and the backbeat of rock into a new and contagious form.

By the late 1960s the influence of jazz and of the Afro-Uruguayan rhythm of candombe took Hugo to New York City where he formed the group Opa. In Opa Hugo played keyboards and sang while his brother played drums and childhood friend Ringo Thielmann played bass. Opa’s mixture of jazz, rock, Brazilian harmonies and rhythms and Uruguay’s African-flavored music (candombe) gave this band a distinctive voice and garnered them recognition among musicians in the then growing “Latin jazz” scene. Opa released two albums produced by Airto Moreira, ‘Goldenwings’ and ‘Magic Time’. Opa’s music served to influence the next generation of Uruguayan musicians continuing the Fattoruso’s impact on Uruguayan musical culture.

From that point on Hugo traveled the U.S. and worked with a variety of artists ranging from Hermeto Pascoal to Ron Carter to The Dixie Dregs. After working in the U.S. with Milton Nascimento Hugo spent several years living in Rio de Janeiro where he worked with several prominent Brazilian artists including Djavan Geraldo Azevedo Chico Buarque de Holanda Nana Vasconcelos and Toninho Horta.

He has recorded extensively with Milton Nascimento on the records ‘Milton’ ‘Journey To Dawn’ ‘Planeta Blue Na Estrada Do Sol’ ‘Angelus’ and most recently the CD ‘Nascimento’ winner of the 1997 World Music Grammy Award. In addition to his piano and accordion playing the compositions on the release ‘Nascimento’ were co-arranged by Milton and Hugo.


Varios Nombres (Melopea CDMSE 518)

En Blanco y Negro РLas Aventuras de Fattoruso y Rada with Rub̩n Rada (Melopea CDMSE 511, 1991)

Homework (Big World, 1998)

with Opa:

Goldenwings (LP: Milestone 969 CD: Milestone 4774-2, 1976)

Magic Time (Milestone, 1977)


Artist profiles: Howard Levy

Howard Levy

Multi-instrumentalist Howard Levy has appeared throughout the Americas, Europe and Japan in a variety of jazz, Latin, folk, blues, pop and world music settings. A superb pianist and composer, Howard’s most remarkable music is made on the harmonica.

He has revolutionized the technique of playing the instrument by devising a method of playing all twelve tones of the chromatic scale on the diatonic harmonica (which is only designed to produce eight tones).

In addition Howard is revered for performing with intense musicality a beautiful tone and a commanding stage presence. Howard was an original member of the outstanding Bela Fleck &the Flecktones. Howard is also credited for performances and recordings with the late Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead, David Grisman, Kenny Loggins, Paquito D’Rivera, Glen Vele,z John Prine, Bonnie Koloc, Styx, Chuck Mangione and Dolly Parton.

Howard Levy’s discography is really extensive. His Web site has a long list of titles where he appears as a member of various ensembles and as a guest.


The Old Country (1999)
Stranger’s Hand (1999)
Cappuccino (2004)
Howard Levy & Paul Sprawl (2005)
Tonight and Tomorrow (2009)
Time Capsules (2009)
Concerto for Diatonic Harmonica and Orchestra (2010)
Alone and Together


New Directions For Harmonica-Expanding Your Technique



Artist Profiles: Goran Ivanovic Group

Goran Ivanovic

The members of the Goran Ivanovic Group group have a diverse and experienced background. Each musician brings a unique musical perspective to the band including jazz, classical, Balkan, Gypsy, and klezmer sensibilities. Formed in 2003, the group’s orthodox instrumentation has forged a sound which ignores borders that traditionally separate nations, cultures, and epochs. The group has created a musical idiom of its own imagining.

They have all performed on stages around the world and have collaborated with countless artists including Wynton Marsalis, Danilo Perez, Bob Moses, and Fareed Haque. In the Chicago area, members of the band regularly perform at prestigious venues such as the Chicago Symphony Center, The Metro, The Green Mill, Hothouse, Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago Cultural Center, Martyr’s, and The Double Door. The band just completed a tour of the Northeast and is looking forward to a fall tour, which includes a performance with Grammy winning guitarist Pat Metheny.

Goran Ivanovic is well known to guitar audiences throughout the US and Europe. As a soloist he has performed in major cities including San Francisco, Portland, Dallas, Cincinnati, Dayton, New York, Boston, and Detroit. In addition he has performed benefit concerts for various charity institutions. He has given numerous master classes around the country, and continues to broaden guitar repertoire by arranging and composing original material. Three records have been released under his name and he has collaborated on number of records as a special guest.


Goran Ivanovic Trio (2015)