Jazz 2K: CD Picks of the Week

May 9th, 2012, 2:00 pm by Greg

Reviews by J Hunter

Okay, okay, this is too late for Record Store Day, but here’s a little direction if you’re surfing on iTunes:

Oscar Castro-Neves: Live at Blue Note Tokyo

“Live at Blue Note Tokyo”
When I’m Oscar Castro-Neves’ age, I’ll consider myself lucky if I can get from my bed to my Playstation without assistance. This Brazilian guitarist is still playing alluring acoustic music at age 72, and he got together in 2009 with iconic percussionist Airto Moreira and some like-minded people for six nights of sweet music at Blue Note Tokyo. Listening to this set of subtly-drawn Latin classics makes me realize how hard some musicians work to make music that is both intimate and satisfying, where walking gems like Castro-Neves do it without breaking a sweat. Moreira teams with fellow percussionist Marco Bosco and bassist Marcelo Mariano to build beautiful backgrounds for Castro-Neves and keyboardist Paolo Calasans to weave their colorful tapestries – some written by Castro Neves and Moreira, others from timeless names like Antonio Carlos Jobim and Luiz Bonfa. Leila Pinheiro’s vocals put delicious icing on the sulty session, and Castro-Neves’ playing and singing style shows why he was such an inspiration for the late Kenny Rankin, to whom Castro-Neves pays heartfelt tribute in his section of the liner notes. This is music suitable for springtime, not to mention for a good long cuddle.

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Jazz Harmonica Summit @ The Egg This Weekend

November 3rd, 2011, 2:00 pm by Greg

OK, let’s face it, when you think about the harmonica, jazz isn’t the first style of music that probably pops into your ears. But the harmonica is hardly a novelty instrument, even in the heady jazz world.

And while there may only be a handful of bona fide jazz harmonica masters in the world, Nippertown music fans will be able to catch two of them in action this weekend at The Egg in Albany.

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