Mark Winkler – Late Bloomin’ Jazz Man - Café Pacific Records

Late Bloomin’ Jazzman, the newest album by vocalist and songwriter Mark Winkler, is an homage to growing older and all the blessings and drawbacks that come with it. The album is Winkler’s 20th CD as a leader. Each of his previous projects has received stellar reviews and consistently topped the jazz charts. Rex Reed has said, “Mark Winkler is a musical marvel and a true original! At last, a writer who sings and a singer who swings!” Winkler wrote lyrics to eight of the 12 tunes and covers a lot of personal topics on this album. He writes about his love of George Gershwin, film noir, and the songs of Rio. He also writes about losing his husband, finding love again, and about a close friend ravished by Alzheimer’s disease. Although Winkler is a popular performer and recording artist, he is also a very successful songwriter, and Late Bloomin’ Jazzman is a wonderful showcase to highlight both. To paraphrase his lyrics in “Late Bloomin’ Jazzman,” his “finest flower may finally be here.”

Gary Brumburgh – Full Circle – Cafe Pacific Records

Gary Brumberg’s third CD, Full Circle, is an innovative reworking of songs arranged by Jamieson Trotter from musical shows Gary appeared in while an actor. Broadway classics from Sondheim, Rodgers & Hammerstein and Kander & Ebb re-inspired by the likes of Charlie Parker, John Coltrane and Miles Davis. Full Circle, exceptionally produced by Barbara Brighton, pays tribute to several other of his musical shows – CompanyCabaretA Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the ForumThe FantasticksCelebration and Fiddler on the Roof. These more obscure song choices have seldom, if ever, been touched by jazz. So unfasten your seat belt, and enjoy a flight to yesterday, and today!