For my 593rd review, I am proud to announce the debut self-titled album Markley & Balmer released July 26, 2008, on the Soona Songs Record label that is in my hometown of Jonesborough, Tennessee. This duo consists of Lisa Markley on vocals, banjo and guitar and Bruce Balmer on guitar. This Dallas based duo who blend jazz, folk, pop, bop impressed me with their style and great vocals as seen on such great tracks as Cottontails, Landing On The Moon, She Knows, Against the Grain and much more. This album was well written, performed, recorded and produced. You can purchase this album from Amazon and at Soonasongs.com.
For my 579th review, I am proud to present the great jazz album One Word by Lisa Markley released December 2009 on the Soona Songs Records label. This being her second solo project for Soona Songs, Lisa Markley once again brings her unique sensibility to jazz standards. Listening to this album I could imagine being in a speakeasy in the day listening to this great album. Among the great tracks on this ten-song album is the title track One Word, Skylark, When I Was A River, Lullaby of Birdland and so much more. This album was very well performed, recorded and produced. I highly recommend this great album to your library. You can purchase this album on Amazon, Itunes, Soonasongs.com and everywhere else that CD’s and digital downloads are sold.
It’s A Circus Here, Delores is the October 15, 2011 album by singer/songwriter Kevin Elliott released on Soona Songs Record label. Listening to this album I hear a mixture of folk, jazz, and a little country mixed in. I was impressed with the acoustic guitar sound and vocals as heard in such tracks as Me And The Kid, Creepin’ Charlie, Another One Like You, Your Hand and Heart and much more. This album was well written, performed, recorded and produced. Take a listen to this album on Spotify and then you will want to purchase this album on Amazon, Itunes, and everywhere where CD’s and digital downloads are sold.
Drum legend and producer extraordinaire Simon Phillips released Protocol 4, a jazz album October 27, 2017, on the Phantom Recordings label. Among the great tracks on this 9 song album are Pentangle, Solitaire, All Things Considered, and much more. In addition to Simon’s great drum beats this album has some great bass tracks. This album was very well written, performed, recorded and produced. After listening to this album, I would love to hear his earlier work. This album is for sale on Amazon and other locations where CD’s and digital downloads are sold.
For my 564th review, I am proud to announce an upcoming album, Standards & Covers by Markley & Balmer which will be released on October 30, 2017, on the Soona Songs Record label that is in my hometown of Jonesborough, Tennessee. This duo consists of Lisa Markley on vocals and guitar and Bruce Balmer on guitar. This album is a ten-track acoustic jazz album with such great tracks as Hundred In A Dollar, Caravan, I’ll Remember April and my favorite track, their rendition of the classic song House Of The Rising Sun. I am impressed with the vocals and how well this album was recorded and produced. You can purchase this album at soonasongs.com
Lauded American singer Lizz Wright summons her Southern heritage in her latest offering Grace released September 15, 2017, on the Concord Records label. This album is a mixture of blues, jazz, with a little soul. In this first offering since 2015 she brings to us such great tracks as Singing In My Soul, What Would I Do Without You, the title track Grace, Stars Fell On Alabama and much more. This album was well performed, recorded and produced. I am looking forward to hearing some of her earlier material. You can purchase this album on Amazon, iTunes and other places where CD’s and digital downloads are sold.
Podd, the new instrumental, progressive rock band presents their debut album Cosmic Forces released in 2017 on the Holus Bolus Records label. This great album is a mixture of progressive rock, jazz and bit of blues. Even though I enjoyed this album from start to finish my favorite tracks are Beyond Beyond (which sounded like a Spanish guitar feel), There and Back. Starseed, Ultimate Reality, and Abraxis. I was well impressed on how well this album was written, performed and recorded. I am looking forward to hearing more from this great band. This is a great addition to one’s music library. You can purchase this great album at Itunes, poddmusic.com, CD Baby and other places where CD’s and music downloads are available.
There is not very often I would review two CD’s in the same review but this is an exception. Thirty years after his death, jazz drummer Buddy Rich releases two of his albums which were live concerts that was previously only available on video is now available on two CD’s The Lost Tapes and Channel One Set. Both recorded in 1985 on two nights at the King Street Studios in San Francisco. The Lost Tapes album has such great tracks as Willow Crest, Cotton Tail, New Blues, West Side Story and much more while Channel One Set has such great tracks as Machine, One O’Clock Jump, Love For Sale, and a great cover of the Beatles classic Norwegian Wood. Both albums were well performed, recorded and produced. I recommend these two albums to one’s jazz library. The two audio albums will be released on September 15, 2017 through Caroline Distribution, the independent distribution arm of Universal Music Group, on the Lightyear/Lobitos Creek label.
Laughing With The Raindrops is my 510th review, a self titled album by UK jazz band Laughing With The Raindrops released October 2016 on the Raindrop Music Records label. This album features the great instrumentation and vocals which such great tracks as Did I Miss My Cue?, Any Joke, Hide Away, Lay Down The Words, and much more. I am very impressed on how well this album was written, performed, recorded and produced. If you are a jazz fan, or looking for something to listen to relax, this is definitely the perfect album for you. You can purchase this album at Amazon, Itunes, Bandcamp, http://laughingwiththeraindrops.com and everywhere else the CD’s and digital downloads are sold.
Honkin’ and Jivin’ At the Palomino! is an September 15, 2017 album by blues saxophonist Big Jay McNeely released on the Cleopatra Blues Records label. This album is a live concert recording from August 15, 1989 at the world famous Palomino Blues Club in North Hollywood, California. Big Jay has been performing since the the 1940s and this album still shows his great performances 40 years later. Include in his album was his great hits such as All The Wine Is Gone, Pretty Girls Everwhere, and There Is Something On Your Mind as well as great tracks as I Can’t Stop Loving You, Young Girl Blues and so much more. This album also includes a DVD which Jay talking about his long and influential carreer. This album was well performed, recorded and produced. This album is available on Amazon, Cleopatra Records, Itunes and everywhere else CD’s and digital downloads are sold.