By the time I heard and saw her sing, Ms. Rogers had slowed considerably but her voice and classic delivery was still quite impressive. Nothing fancy or flighty, she caressed and coddled the lyrics, making sure the audience heard (and felt) each word. The arrangements Chichetti (and others) created for the Orchestra framed Ms. Rogers' voice nicely on each tune but never took a back seat.
WFCR-FM Jazz radio personality Tom Reney wrote a wonderful appreciation/eulogy for Bobbi Rogers and you should read it - click here to do just that.
Drummer/composer Harris Eisenstadt has interviewed Mr. Altschul; parts 1 and 2 are now available on the fine blog destination-out.com. The postings also include music from various projects including 2 tracks from the drummer's upcoming TUN recording with Fonda and Irabagon. Check it out!
On January 29, Thirsty Ear will release the new CD from pianist/composer Matthew Shipp. Dubbed "Greatest Hits", the recording collects 12 tracks from 11 CDs Mr. Shipp has recorded for the label since 2000. The pieces range from solo piano musings to Trio hits with Joe Morris or Michael Bisio and Whit Dickey to Quartets that feature trumpeters Roy Campbell or Wadada Leo Smith to Quintets enhanced by the synthesizer work of FLAM. Through it all, the creativity that Matt Shipp has displayed over his career (most 3 decades) comes shining through. He does not worry about fads or conventions, continually moving forward. The music bounces, dances, jabs, swings, flows, and, at times, slowly unwinds - there are moments in several of the trio pieces one can hear the influence of Duke Ellington in the spare piano chords and single-note runs. But, Mr. Shipp is truly an original and, while calling this collection his "Greatest Hits" may seem (to some) to slight his earlier works, this is some great music. For more information, go to www.matthewshipp.com.
Though there are some quieter moments, "Howl" lives up to its name with Peter Van Huffel creating numerous soundscapes for Gorilla Mask to shred. Played loud, this music can overwhelm the listener - but the real power resides in the fine interactions of the musicians, the fusion of different styles and the go-for-broke attitude of the composer. For more information, go to www.petervanhuffel.com.