The rain and heavy storms continue, how is it even possible that we continue to get rain almost every day since the beginning of May. Good news is; we have jazz to cool the senses and heal the mind.
This week our new discoveries and unearthed gems we two very diverse records. In the unearthed gem category, we dipped into the vault and pulled out George Benson & Al Jarreau’s Giving it Up. A relative master class in how established musicians can be artistic, gratify the public, preserve integrity, and stay renewed. Al Jarreau’s singing shows a regeneration of passion, and compels comparison with his best work, while George Benson’s singing suggests a deep vein of feeling: virile, sure, unchanging, and Benson’s guitar playing is distinctive as ever. Benson won Grammy Awards for performances on Givin’ It Up: Best Pop Instrumental Performance for the song “Mornin’”
In the new discoveries category Shamie Royston’s Beautiful Liar on Sunnyside Records was a dynamic listen. Originally from Denver, Colorado, Royston has been an integral part of the New York jazz scene as a performer and educator. Her contributions as a pianist can be heard alongside celebrated leaders like Tia Fuller, Ralph Peterson, Sean Jones and Terri Lyne Carrington. On Beautiful Liar, the core sound is that of the piano trio, embellished by one or two horns for different sonic possibilities. Drummer Rudy Royston provides a strong rhythmic foundation and centric fire when paired up with bassist Yasushi Nakamura, whose strong bass presence is essential to the leader’s compositions.
We hope you enjoy Episode #126, and we look forward to your suggestions of artists to play and subjects to cover. This is our community and together we can bring focus to jazz. Let’s dig in!