Dave Burns

Dave’s Contributions


May 1998    Albums

Creation: A Jazz Suite
Burnett Thompson

Duke (who pulled it off) would admire this ambitious, even brave, attempt to tell a story-nothing less than the opening book of Genesis-in the idiom of jazz. Washington-based pianist Burnett Thompson's brilliant composition ranges from 12-tone improvisation...


May 1998    Albums

The Visit
Charles Socci

Socci, a long-time student of bebop giant Jackie McLean, teaches and plays with the Steve Lord Big Band and the New England Jazz Ensemble. Socci's fire and ideas motivate this accomplished group (which includes two of bassist Cecil McBee's ensemble, pianist...


April 1998    Albums

Flugel Gourmet
Bobby Lewis

The veteran trumpeter serves up gorgeous tone and confident, relaxed execution, connecting jazz and classical idioms through exemplary musicianship. Lewis is backed by combinations from seven to 18 (some charts sound as big as a symphony), with Jim Ryan...

April 1998    Albums

Sings to Legends
Murray Ross

"Signature" tunes of superstars-Nat, Sammy, Billie, Ella, Frank...and 11 others. Ross' big baritone-Robert Goulet's virile timbre, a hint of Vegas neon-is showcased by Pat Longo's BIG big band. Lush arrangements include two by veteran Russ Garcia-"Nature...


December 1997    Albums

Jazzical: A Marriage of Classical and Jazz
Joel A. Martin

A fascinating exploration "beyond category." Martin has appeared as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra and the Baltimore Symphony. He believes that classical theme-and-variation, and jazz theme-and-improvisation can be merged...


December 1997    Albums

Thoughts of You
Ellyn Rucker

She's billed as "Ellyn Rucker, vocals and piano," but why not reverse the order? Her solos and comping reveal excellent piano chops and swing. Nice moments throughout, but you'll have to work hard to understand her words-Gene Lees' poetry on "Velas" and...


December 1997    Briefs

Just Duet
Holly Hofmann and Bill Cunliffe

A tough act to sustain. But Hoffman, flute and Cunliffe, piano-extracting every color and nuance from their instruments-bring it off. Both are classically-trained with chops-a-go-go; both have long jazz resumes; they're perfectly at ease in both idioms;...


December 1997    Briefs

Nini Green
Virginia Mayhew

This debut CD benefits from fine support by pianist Kenny Baron, including his own "Voyage." Bassist Harvey Swartz is featured on "Invitation" and percussionist Leon Parker adds hot coals to Mayhew's "Time Alone" (which she says represents "that crazy, burning...


December 1997    Briefs

Old Fashioned Love
Barbara Sutton Curtis

Ralph Sutton's little sister displays some elements of his style, plus a bit of "piano bar" (though her taste and subtle harmonies demand the kind of attention pianists are seldom accorded in your average joint). She uses the instrument's entire range, with...

September 1997    Albums

Jazz Worship 2 "Free Indeed"
Don Lanphere

This one's a sleeper, but should not be ignored. Lanphere recorded in 1949 with Fats Navarro, Al Haig, Tommy Potter and Max Roach; joined Woody Herman that same year, replacing Jimmy Giuffre; then recorded with Artie Shaw's big band and Gramercy Five. He...

September 1997    Albums

Points of View
Stevens, Spiegel, and Ferguson

Not easy to create one unit of three minds and personalities. Hard to forget ego and just listen, respond, work together in service to the music. Pianist Michael Jefry Stevens, drummer Jeff "Siege" Siegel and bassist Tim Ferguson are a trio, not just three...


September 1997    Albums

Taking it to Hart
Ian Shaw

Thirteen of Richard Rodgers' most glorious melodies, with bittersweet lyrics by Lorenz Hart. The songs will live long after this CD is landfill. The liner notes describe Shaw as "the best male jazz voice ever to come out of Britain." He is blessed with strong...


September 1997    Albums

Wonders Never Cease
Bonnie Strickman

Strickman sings with a wistful purity of tone. She eschews affectation and look-at-me! melodrama, but she also eschews swing. Result: a diverse and interesting menu of art-songs, closer in feel to drawing-room lieder than to jazz. Hillel Dolgenas, piano...

March 1997    Albums

This is Always
Herb Pomerov and Billy Novick

Two magnificent examples of chamber jazz: sweet melodies, conversational volume, mellow mood. Novick, mainstay of Boston's traditional New Black Eagle Jazz Band, teams with Pomeroy, a legendary teacher during four decades at Berklee. A variety of textures...

March 1997    Albums

Pete Jolly Trio

Jolly, bassist Chuck Berghofer and drummer Nick Martinis form one of the longest continuously-active groups in jazz, first heard at the opening of the legendary Donte's in 1965. Not surprising that they achieve a tight groove; but this swinging CD makes...

March 1997    Albums

Live at Vartan Jazz
James Van Buren and Teddy Edwards

Singer James Van Buren's timbre and style reflect close study of the Eddie Jefferson oeuvre. Titles include Richie Cole's tribute, "Eddie Jefferson," and "Things Are Getting Better" by Cannonball Adderly. Bassist Harvie Swartz (associated with many greats...

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About Dave Burns