Deni Kasrel

Deni’s Contributions

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June 1997    Briefs

Brooklyn
Dennis Mitcheltree

Dennis Mitcheltree plays the tenor saxophone with steady self-assurance. His rather intricate machinations spin out of his horn most naturally. On Brooklyn he proves a Coltrane acolyte in tone and phrasing. Mitcheltree's individuality comes through during...

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June 1997    Briefs

Reed Between the Lines
Carl Wolfe

Saxophonist Carl Wolfe runs the contemporary jazz gamut. He can be a funky groove master, go easy breezy, take on a blues mood and get down with a Motown type sound. All that's showcased on Reed Between The Lines, a project for the avid NAC fan. Wolfe has...

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June 1997    Hearsay

Ben Wolfe

In his early years bassist Ben Wolfe played an electric instrument, but he’s strictly into an acoustic mode now. No amplifier either, if you please. While some people might think him a traditionalist, Wolfe feels differently. “I don’t look at it like that...

June 1997    Hearsay

Eric Marienthal

A couple of years ago, when Tommy LiPuma assumed direction of the GRP label, he released a number of their familiar stable of players, including Eric Marienthal. “I was dropped like a hot potato. But I was in good company; John Patitucci, Dave Weckl, a lot...

June 1997    Hearsay

Denis DiBlasio

Denis DiBlasio is a burly guy whose personality bursts with effervescence. And that’s the way he plays his baritone saxophone. The “bari,” as DiBlasio calls his primary instrument, suits him to a tee, even though he came to it later in life, at age 27. What...

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June 1997    Hearsay

Zap Mama

The zap stands for “zapping culture from the north and south.” The mama refers to the fact “I use the traditional sounds from mother earth.” So explains Marie Daulne, leader of the group Zap Mama. Daulne is of dual heritage: her mother is from Zaire, her...

March 1997    Briefs

Soul of the Elephant
David Pope

Saxophonist David Pope approach to music resembles that of another sax man with the same last name, Odean Pope. Both engage in multiphonics (playing multiple pitches simultaneously). However, comparing the two, David opts for a softer tone is more spacious...

March 1997    Briefs

Solo
Sparrow

Pianist Sparrow's soloing straddles a fine line between searching ECM-type sonics and a soothing new agey sound. He creates evocative atmospheric music playing glistening notes that occasionally cascade for dynamic effect. It works nicely at the outset...

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March 1997    Albums

Live Art
Bela Fleck and the Flecktones

A live performance by Bela Fleck and the Flecktones is a celebration of the joy derived from making complex music that's fun at heart. Count on Roy Wooten, a.k.a. "Future Man" or "Futch," to come up with intriguing stuff on his synth-axe drumitar (it looks...

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March 1997    Albums

My Dream is You
April Barrows

April Barrows sings like a songbird of yore: think a young Rosemary Clooney, June Christy, the Boswell Sisters and make sure to include Patsy Cline, too. She has a supple voice that can luxuriously wrap itself around a word. All the better to make imagery...

March 1997    Albums

Plays Rodgers and Hammerstein
Fred Hersch

Fred Hersch has absorbed the whole history of jazz piano, starting with ragtime, running up to the present. Of course, he's hardly the first person to do this, but what makes Hersch so exceptional is how inventive he is at paying tribute to his forebears...

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March 1997    Albums

Soulful Strut
Grover, Jr. Washington

A gaggle of horn players make music imitative of saxophonist Grover Washington, Jr. Despite those copycats, the fact remains, he's the one who stands out for being the tastiest groove master out there. Grover's trademark jazzy R&B based grooves are in abundance...

January/February 1997    Albums

2 AM
Michael Wolff

When pianist Michael Wolff started making albums he got buzz for being the bandleader of Arsenio Hall's show. That's old news. Between his last disc, Jumpstart, and this new release, 2 AM, Wolff can let his music stand on its own merits for what it is: solid...

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January/February 1997    Albums

Look Right, Jog Left
Frank Vignola and Unit Four

The liner notes to this project state many fine cigars were smoked during the making of this CD. That's not all that was fired up. Vignola burns from the outset. My hunch is Frank is a fan of George Benson, since his playing often sounds similar. There are...

January/February 1997    Albums

You Must Believe in Spring
Ranee Lee

What would you get if you mixed the spirited lilt of Ella Fitzgerald with the sassy sophistication of Sarah Vaughan topped off with the ability to emotionalize a lyric ala Carmen McRae. A dream-like combination for sure, but Ranee Lee comes darn close to...

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January/February 1997    Albums

The Return of The Great Guitars
Charlie Byrd/Herb Ellis/Mundell Lowe

Anyone who remembers the 1970s recordings of the trio called The Great Guitars-consisting of Charlie Byrd, Herb Ellis and Barney Kessel-knows that boastful name was no misnomer. Those albums contain great guitar music, delivered by artists who are genuine...

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About Deni Kasrel

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