Nashville Jazz Releases in Review

13 CD's to add to your collection

Bruce Dudley - Mostly Monk - Bruce Dudley Records

Nashville pianist and composer Bruce Dudley has released "Mostly Monk," a lush and swinging new CD featuring his exceptional writing for jazz quartet with a string quartet.

On "Mostly Monk," Dudley is joined by Don Aliquo (saxophone), Jim Ferguson (bass) and Jim White (drums). Highlights include Thelonious Monk's "Ask Me Now", "Four in One," "Played Twice," Pannoica," "Think of One," and his mixing of "Monk's Dream" with "Little Rootie Tootie." Another outstanding selection is the nearly ten-minute composition "Tango d' Orfero feturing the double qurtet in a musical journey through multiple moods, time meters, and modes. The trio of Dudley, White and bassist Roger Spencer is featured with the string quartet on Billy Strayhorn's "Isfahan," Jimmy Rowles' "The Peacocks," and Ornette Coleman's "Free."

Kirk Whalum - Everything Is Everything:(The Music Of Donny Hathaway) - Rendezvouz/Mack Avenue Records

The breadth and depth of 11-time GRAMMY nominee Kirk Whalum's "Everything Is Everything: The Music of Donny Hathaway, reflects everything he has been and is as an artist, and bumps it up a notch for a breathtaking, beautiful and breakthrough excurstions. Kirk reveals, "It is the first time you'll hear me with a chamber orchestra." From soothing strings to screamin' guitars, from streetwise city funk, blues and gospel charm to the romp and rest of country landscapes, right into the recesses of heart and soul, Whalum and company's creativity never lets up.

Beegie Adair - Into Somethin' - Adair Music Group

Beegie Adair has had a very busy year that included a chart topping CD release in Japan, a Billboard Japan Jazz Artist of the Year nomination, two entries on the ballot for the 2011 GRAMMY Awards, a documentary, and two sold-out tours at Toyko's famed Cottonclub. With all that going on, she still found time to record "Into Somethin'," a new journey, a new direction, and Beegie's first independent recording since 1991. Beegie says it "is a collection of songs and people that mean a great deal to me," including composers she admires, originals covering a wide range of styles and genres, and a talented group of guests artists: Roy Agee (trombone,vocal), Jim Ferguson (vocal), Jeff Hall (vocal) and Rod McGaha (trumpet).

El Movimiento - The Movement - Nueva Nota Records

"The Movement" is the debut record of El Movimiento, composed of a dynamtic all-star septet of Nashville's leading Latin Jazz and World Music performers including Rahsaan Barber (saxophone), Giovanni Rodriguez (percussion), and Imer Santiago (trumpet). The septet's powerful and original sound is a result of a unique multi-cultural partnership, and features contemporary compositons driven by the rhythms of Cuba, Brazil, Africa, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and the United States.

Annie Sellick - Street of Dreams - Chalice Music

"Annie Sellick may be compared to the greats - "Ella's playfulness, Carmen's attitude, Betty's instincts and Anita's flair...(Greg Lee, WMOT jazz radio). But, she is is unequivocally and undeniably an original." With an active tour schedule, as well as performances with the Nashville Jazz Orchestra and her swing band group "Annie and the Hot Club," Sellick's originality shines on "Street of Dreams," her 5th release since 2000. The CD contains something for everyone, each song has been given a special treatment; arrangements that mesh jazz classic with current and hip featuring a stellar cast of musicians including Gerald Clayton, Jeff Hamilton, Tamir Hendelman, Rod McGaha, Kevin Kanner, Dan Lutz, and Christop Luty. BUY HERE

Marcus Finnie - Boundless - Marcus Finnie Music

"This is KILLIN! As usual Marcus Finnie is on point. Groovologist with a platinum card..Nuance, depth of expression..Shall I go on?" (Kirk Whalum)
Having toured with artist such as Kirk Whalum, Donna Summer, Larry Carlton, Billy Preston, and Monte Montgomery he is no stranger to great music. The music on "Boundless" represents bits and pieces of this musical journey over the last few years. There is something for every listener to enjoy. Contemporary jazz thats energetic, soulful, and relaxing all in one.

Monica Ramey - Make Someone Happy - Cognito Music

"Make Someone Happy" is an elegant and fun trip back to the west coast cool jazz scene featuring tunes from the Great American Songbook with a fresh twist and modern arrangements. The vocals are fresh, with Monica's intellect, sophistication, and honesty on full display. Ramey's voice floats on top of the music provided by the Lori Mechem Trio, Denis Solee, Roy Agee, George Tidwell, James Hollihan and special guest Beegie Adair (with whom she appears at Birdland in NYC on January 13, 2011).

Dara Tucker - All Right Now - Watchman Records

Dara Tucker was born into a musical family. The product of a music minister father, and a songstress mother, she began singing in her Tulsa, Oklahoma church at age 5. Through her college years, Tucker continued to hone her skills as a vocalist and musician. After obtaining a degree in International Business and German studies, she relocated to Interlaken, Switzerland, where she began to write the first of her very personal songs. Since moving to Nashville, TN to pursue music fulltime, Tucker has begun to establish herself as a strong presence on the jazz scene. Displaying a love for standards and swing that belies her years, Tucker's reverance for the Great American Songbook can be felt in her sensitive delivery. On "All Right Now" you will be treated to classic standards interpreted with a modern and soulful edge.

Rod McGaha - A Gentle Man - Nick-E-Music

In addition to being a gifted jazz trumpet player, the multi-talented Rod McGaha is a composer, vocalist, lyricist, and producer. "Music is life," declares McGaha matter-of-factly. "It's about finding the common thread, the commond bond that we all have. I don't care whether you're a classical musician or a jazz musician-let's see what we have in common, and unite to send a message." That message is delivered on "A Gentle Man," which features a hand-picked lineup of first-rate musicians with an accomplised string quartet. The resulting sond is both elegant and intimate, distinguished by both technical virtuosity and emotional drectness. "With its emphasis on dreamy ballads and fresh interpretations of classic material, the album harks back to such string-kissed trumpet touchstones as Clifford Brown With Strings and Miles Davis' Sketches of Spain." (

Lori Mechem - Return To Ipanema, The Music of Antonio Carlos Jobim - Green Hill Records

Nashville pianist, composer and educator Lori Mechem and Ritmos Picantes have released "Return to Ipanema", The Music Of Antonio Carlos Jobim. Produced and arranged by composer Jeff Steinberg, the CD features top Nashville musicians Denis Solee on sax, Pete Hutllinger on guitar, Roger Spencer on bass, Dann Sherrill on percussion, Chris Brown on drums and the string section of David Davidson and John Catchings. The tribute CD "seemed like the perfect way to celebrate 50 years of bossa nova and the man who made it all possible" said Mechem. Although this her the first release on Nashville based Green Hill Records, Mechem has recorded two other CD's of Brazilian music including 1997 's "Welcome To Brazil" and 2005's "Brazilian Christmas".

The Barber Brothers Jazz Quintet - Twinnovation - 2 Soul Music

"Twinnovation" is the re-release of The Barber Brothers debut CD. In the ten years since young jazz phenoms The Barber Brothers recorded Twinnovation - their debut CD of original compositions - The two have established careers as stellar jazz performers, educators and composers, moving at an incredible pace, growing into celebrated and revered musicians, having sharing the stage professionally with a diverse list of musicians including Wynton Marsalis, Kirk Franklin, The Temptations, Jimmy Bosch, Manny Oquendo, Shelly Fairchild and many more.

Affinity Trio - Affinity Trio - Affinity Records

Nashville based jazz leaders Don Aliquo, Jonathan Wires and Tom Giampietro continue to push boundaries as they come together on a highly creative effort full of unexpected musical suprises. A true fusion and collaboration of jazz veterans, with special guest Jeff Coffin (Bela Fleck, Dave Matthews Band)

Michael Fair - Funk in the Trunk - Michael Fair Music

Nashville based Smooth Jazz musician, Flugelhorn and Trumpet player Michael Fair has released a new 13 track CD entitled "Funk in the Trunk" featuring the ultra warm sound of his Flugelhorn, "superbly produced Smooth Jazz tracks with everything from up tempto funk to buttery smooth ballads," including the Jimmy Webb classic "Wichita Lineman," and mid-tempo Neo Soul artist Kem's "Find Your Way Back." Produced by GRAMMY nominated writer/producer Brandon Barnes, this is a CD with something for everyone.

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Maxx Myrick