Pasquale Grasso - Pasquale Plays Duke - Sony Masterworks

Pasquale Plays Duke, Pasquale Grasso’s latest release, is the second of a three-part trilogy which follows the early 2021 digital release of Solo BalladsFor this particular album he introduces his working trio of bassist Ari Roland and drummer Keith Balla, and is joined by special guest vocalists Samara Joy and Sheila Jordan. Available for preorder now, Grasso reimagines five Duke Ellington classics on solo guitar, alongside several collaborative tracks, performing some of Ellington’s most-cherished masterpieces including today’s release “It Don’t Mean a Thing,” “Sophisticated Lady,” “Prelude to a Kiss,” “In a Sentimental Mood” and “Cotton Tail,” with Joy and Jordan making appearances on “Solitude” and “Mood Indigo,” respectively.


Mike Campbell - I Love You in Three Quarter Time - ITI Music

Some of this album was originally released in 1982, by Palo Alto Records. It had received excellent reviews from Leonard Feather, LA Times, and many others. “Mike Campbell is a first-class jazz singer”, David Weiss LA Herald Examiner “Mike Campbell’s gifts as a jazz singer are well on their way from potential to kinetic energy.” This album was also positively reviewed in Billboard, BRE, Cadence and several other newspapers across the country. Other tracks include never before released songs. Musicians include Tom Garvin & Joanne Grauer piano, John Heard & Eric Von Essen bass, Peter Donald & Ralph Penland drums, Tom Peterson & Bob Sheppard tenor sax, Lanny Morgan alto sax, Steve Huffsteter trumpet & flugelhorn, Clay Jenkins trumpet, Bruce Paulson trombone, Dan Sawyer guitars & Dave Shank percussion. Gary Jackson of BRE stated, “Mike has one of the pure jazz voices that harken to the younger days of Mel Torme”. Cadence said, “This is vocal jazz at its most refined…” “Pianist Garvin is right on target…”


Brandon Goldberg - In Good Time - Brandon Goldberg Music

Celebrated young Pianist and Bandleader Brandon Goldberg announces his compelling sophomore release In Good Time, featuring An All-Star Quintet including Late Jazz Luminary Ralph Peterson. In Good Time, a follow-up to 2019’s critically-acclaimed LET’S PLAY!, Goldberg approaches In Good Time with a refined, seasoned sensibility and is joined by a top-shelf quintet through five original compositions and five smartly arranged jazz standards. Showcasing Goldberg’s piano prowess and stunning compositional ability, the album features the 15 year old instrumentalist in a powerhouse trio with late drum giant Ralph Peterson and heralded bassist Luques Curtis, filled out by a supple horn section made up of saxophonist Stacy Dillard and trumpeter Josh Evans. Trumpeter Antoine Drye makes an appearance on the album’s closing track for a duo performance with the bandleader. In Good Time will be available on all platforms on September 17, 2021.


Matthew Whitaker - Connections - Resilience Music Alliance

Matthew Whitaker is an American jazz pianist who has been blind since birth. He has performed at venues including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center and the Apollo Theater, where, at 10, he was the opening performer for Stevie Wonder’s induction into the Apollo Theater’s Hall of Fame. Whitaker is supported on Connections by an A-level circle of talent that speaks to the pandemic-defying power of community. Many are familiar names in Whitaker’s lineups—guitarist Marcos Robinson, bassists Karim Hutton and Endea Jones, and drummers Isaiah Johnson, Otis Brown III, and Johnathan Blake. Whitaker has created another truly remarkable album by combining original compositions and covers of songs that have influenced him throughout his life. The music recorded on this project is special and each has their own “connections” to the renowned jazz pianist. Aptly titled for this pivotal moment, the sixteen-track collection is his third album and serves as both a bold declaration of Whitaker’s maturity as a player, composer and bandleader, and as a statement of musical connection—and re-connection, as Whitaker points out. Those connections are highlighted through collaborations with artists like Gabe Stone Shayer, a dancer with The American Ballet Theater, and a longtime friendship with Jon Batiste, which inspired the excitement on Thelonius Monk’s, “Bye-Ya,” the deft swing of guest violinist Regina Carter, and to his musical heroes, like Stevie Wonder and Chick Corea. There is also the desire for improvisation on songs and to play different styles, as well as to Whitaker’s roots in R&B, Latin music, and Gospel.


Stacey Kent - Songs From Other Places - Candid Records

Accompanied on piano by Art Hirahara, Songs From Other Places from Stacey Kent includes interpretations of songs by Stevie Nicks (Landslide), Paul Simon (American Tune), Lennon & McCartney (Blackbird), Gershwin, Weil, Jobim as well as two new songs written with Nobel Prize winning author Kazuo Ishiguro. In the spring of 2020, “I Wish I Could Go Traveling Again” was the song that was most talked about and requested by Stacey Kent’s Fans when they reached out on social media. It was clear, even early on during the Covid crisis, that in lockdown, people were relying on music and imagination to transport them and to find a sense of connection with the world beyond their own four walls. Like many of us, Kent spent the last year online, looking for ways not to lose touch with the world outside. In an effort to stay connected she landed on the idea of a collection of songs that gives expression to our collective desire to roam the world once again through the medium of music.


Shelia Jordan - Comes Love: The Lost Session 1960 - Capri Records

Capri Records releases a never-before-heard 1960 recording by legendary vocalist and NEA Jazz Master Sheila Jordan. Comes Love: Lost Session 1960, captures the singular vocalist on her earliest known session, two years prior to her Blue Note debut. The music that comprises Comes Love was unearthed by record dealers Jeremy Sloan and Hadley Kenslow of Albuquerque’s SloLow Records, who purchased it among a large collection of acetates several years ago. Knowing of Capri Records owner Tom Burns’ acquaintance with Jordan, they forwarded the surprise discovery to the Capri founder. The never-before-released Comes Love: Lost Session 1960 thus adds a crucial new chapter to Jordan’s remarkable story. Recorded on June 10, 1960 at New York’s Olmsted Sound Studios for the little-known Chatam Records, the recently discovered studio date presents the singer in nascent but instantly recognizable form on a set of standards. Due for release by Colorado-based Capri Records, the album is otherwise shrouded in mystery: Jordan has no recollection of the date or the names of her accompanists, a nonetheless deftly attuned trio. “She’s bending notes and singing the way a horn would play,” Burns points out. “[Jordan is] really trying different things out on this session. It’s an interesting look into her evolution as a performer.”


Dave Zinno Unisphere - Fetish - Whaling City

Dave Zinno and his Unisphere bandmates—Mike Tucker on tenor sax, Eric Benny Bloom on trumpet and flugelhorn, Leo Genovese on keyboards, Tim Ray on piano, Rafael Barata, drums and percussion, and special guest Rafael Rocha on trombone—have been writing and practicing, biding their time until jazz scene reopened. In that time, Unisphere took advantage and managed to piece together, Fetish, a brilliant and beautiful album. The colorful panorama, tonal palette, and sonic breadth featured on Fetish are breathtaking. Zinno’s Unisphere is jubilant, rapturous, and free. Everyone contributed compositions or arrangements to the project, which creates a stunning picture of the diversity represented by this group. Fetish is the sound of that catharsis, that anticipation, a primal release of aural energy. “This project is the culmination of a year without live music,” says Zinno. “Every ounce of energy and ambition, in reserve from not expending it for so long, is on this record. I hope people feel what we felt while creating it.”


Samara Joy - Samara Joy - Whirlwind Recordings

With a voice as smooth as velvet and endless charm, Samara Joy is a singing star in the ascendancy. The young vocalist attracted attention in 2019 after winning the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition. Now, the 21-year-old announces her self-titled debut release, which puts her spin on jazz standards and classic material from the Great American Songbook. She’s joined by jazz guitar virtuoso Pasquale Grasso and his trio for a release that furthers Joy’s reputation as one of America’s most promising young jazz vocalists.


Lisa Hilton - Transparent Sky - Ruby Slippers

Lisa Hilton and her Trio with Rudy Royston and Luques Curtis masterfully blend traditions in an inspiring new recording, Transparent Sky. As America and other countries re-emerge from the limitations of the pandemic, Lisa Hilton and her trio enthusiastically embrace the moment with a vibrant new jazz offering titled Transparent Sky, that will inspire, uplift and motivate us all. Rich with glorious harmonies and unique compositions, Hilton’s swinging band radiates a sun bleached aura to listeners. Throughout the album Hilton, Royston and Curtis develop a surprisingly wide range of rhythmic ideas from a variety of genres, masterfully blending classic traditions with new approaches and upbeat style.


Elijah Rock - Matters of the Heart - Elijah Rock Entertainment

Tradition, Style and Romance meet at the audio crossroads of ageless & timeless boulevards on Matters of the Heart, the 10-song sophomore recording of baritone crooner Elijah Rock. And it’s well worth the wait. Herein, Rock continues his impassioned excavations of love’s seductive soundtrack and even contributes several sparkling originals to the brew. Rock lyricized the title track, “Matters of The Heart,” in the throes of a romantic breakup while shooting a music video in Thailand. Dripping in wee hours mood with a lyric all who have lost love will melt into like butter, the ballad proves Rock’s studied kindred spirit, not only via his vocalizing, but also the writing. The result is aces of hearts and diamonds…tamed, yet tastefully wild.