They Work Hard For The $$$$

Gio Moretti
Clara Lofaro

OK, It's Your Turn...

I have done my part. I traveled to New York twice this winter, in January they had twenty inches of snow on the day I arrived. I have Jet Blue to thank for getting me there, when all the other airlines were canceling that day.
The day I returned to Chicago we had a blizzard with twenty one inches of snow!

Yula and the Extended Family
I returned to Da Apple in April for two weeks...To write more reviews for you guys...So my point is...
Now it's your turn to get out and see the great artists I have told you about.

Summer is here, snow is gone, take a walk, grab a cab, ride your bike, and spend some of that vacation $$$ and show the great performers and venues in your area they are appreciated.

These artists work their butts off to make their music, For Us!
The proprietors of the establishments and the service people work hard for all of us, to keep us entertained.
Until you live outside New York you don't realize how great it is having all that
music available in every neighborhood, so get out there!

Here is a list to make it easy for you, if you want to see what each performer has to offer,
just keep scrolling down to older posts and their review will come up...or check the right margin, there are some Youtube links there to listen to...

Emily Wolf:  June 4, Tutuma Social Club, NYC
                       June 18, Caffe Vivaldi, NYC
                      July 25, LIC Bar, LIC, NY

Joe Alterman: June 14, Iridum Jazz Club, NYC
June 19, Miles Cafe, NYC
June 24, 25, Churchill Grounds, Atlanta.

Clara Lofaro: June 13, Rockwood Music Hall, NYC

Kristin Hoffmann: June 4, Skipper's Pub, Northport, NY
                                  June 18, Caffe Vivaldi, NYC

Tammy Scheffer:  July 25, LIC Bar, LIC NY
                                  August 3, The Beehive, Boston.

Nadia Ackerman: June 16, Rockwood Music Hall, NYC
June 22, The Falon, Marlboro, NY
June 23, Rockwood Music Hall, NYC
June 25, Fairfield Theater, Fairfield, Conn
July, 27, The Living Room, NYC
Champian Fulton,  JAZZZZ

Eleonora Bianchini: June 1, Covo, 135th Street, NYC
                                      June 12, Jules Jazz Bistro, NYC
                                      July, 30, Brig, Switzerland

Joe Alterman, JAZZZZ

Lets get out there and give them some support!

Nadia Ackerman

Kristin Hoffmann

Eleonora Bianchini
 "Great music is that which penetrates the ear with facility and leaves the memory with difficulty.
Magical music never leaves the memory".

 Yula and the Extended Family:   
June 3, The Hive, 20 Cook Street, Bklyn, NY
June 13, Rockwood Music Hall, NYC

 Gio Moretti:  June 1, The Shrine, NYC
Kat Calvosa: June 16, Sono Caffeine, S. Norwalk, Conn.
                         July 25, LIC Bar, LIC, NY

Kalen: June 8, Pianos, NYC

Champian Fulton; June 2, Novita, Metuchen, NJ
                        June 3, Sofias, NYC
                        June 11, The Garage, NYC
                        June 12, Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival
                         June 17, Smalls, NYC

 Birch and the Tiger:      May 31, CoCo66, Bklyn, NY
                                          June 9, Alphabet Lounge, NYC        

The Birch and the Tiger

Musical compositions, it should be remembered, do not inhabit certain countries, certain museums, like paintings and statues.  
The Mozart Quintet is not shut up in Salzburg:  I have it in my pocket.  
By Pete Cataldo  follow Pete


Bob Dylan: Happy Birthday To A Re-Founding Father Of America...

Bob Dylan, A True Founding Father
If all of our Founding Fathers from 1776 were still alive, besides George Washington, Thomas Paine would undoubtedly be the most popular.

Among the Jefferson's, the Franklin's the Adams' and the Minute Men, Paine is the one who made the masses aware of the goings on of the King of England and his attempts to suppress their freedom.

Not caring about his safety or reputation with the world, he printed pamphlet after pamphlet (Common Sense) to alert the Colonists of the brutality of the British Empire, and the necessity of being free to live ones life to the fullest. And he did it for no reward other then to free a Nation. He held no office, made no promises, and received no monetary gain. Another reason Paine would stand out, was his way of  expressing the message, he understood the "rebels", he was one of them.

At my age I too was able to witness a similar spokesman for the masses during the decade in which America changed the most, with the exception of the Civil War. The 1960's.

Robert Allen Zimmerman, AKA Bob Dylan, was our Thomas Paine.

Arriving in a frigid New York City in 1961, hoping to meet his idol Woody Guthrie, and changing his name to honor poet Dylan Thomas, he arrived at the genesis of the most turbulent decade in one hundred years.

For me who at the time only listened to Sinatra, Motown and Jazz, he was a hard sell.
However after hearing the lyrics read on the radio without the music, I said WOW this guy has his finger on what is happening in this country right now, like none other.

So my tenure as a fan began. With the coming of, "Like a Rolling Stone", "Blowin' in the Wind",
and "The Times They Are A-Changing" the world got a look at genius.

Not only could he put poetry to music, but the subject matter, the political climate of the time
was taboo for all other artist until the sixties. He truly brought "protest" songs into America's living room.

Blowin' In The Wind;  Yes, how many deaths will it take till he knows too many people have died...
Yes, how many years can some people exist, before they're allowed to be free.
....addressing the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights movement.
Dylan said of this song; The real criminals were the ones who turned their heads when the winds of change hit them in the face.

The Times They Are A-Changin;  Come Senators, Congressman please heed the call,
  Don't stand in the doorway, Don't block up the hall the demonstrations of the 60's students would occupy the offices of legislators in protest.
 Come mothers and fathers, throughout the land, And don't criticize what you can't understand.
  This was a classic line to define the "generation gap" a commonly use phrase that became popular in the 1960's.
 Your old road is rapidly agin', please get out of the new one, if you can lend your hand.
  He tells the out of touch generation come with us we want you or , move aside.

I could site pages and pages of his profound words that helped America 
out of a useless war (sounds familiar) and a time when African Americans,
women and minorities in general were speaking out amidst riots that were 
literally burning cities to the ground.

His lyrics will tell you more then the History Books of the day because they are all slanted in one way or the other...Mr Dylan, just reported on the events, in poetry! 

Dylan does not give TV interviews, if you want to get to know what he is all about, he has done several interviews with Rolling Stone Magazine, they are well worth searching for.

Dylan continues today as his 70th birthday approaches on May 24th.

Dylan was picked as one of  Time Magazine's top 100 most influential people of the 20th Century 

He converted from Judaism to Christianity in 1979, but later said he follows no church, Preacher or Rabbis,
he finds religion only in music. If he were to follow a church it would be the "Church of the poisoned mind".

The first time I saw Dylan was in 1964 at the Cafe Wa, in Greenwich Village, on the bill was Dylan, Richard Pryor and Joan Rivers, the cover charge was $3 and drinks were $1.50.

A big thank you and a very Happy Birthday to you Sir!!


by Pete Cataldo follow Pete at;


Jade Simmons, The CD "Revolutionary Rhythm"

Jade Simmons, "Revolutionary Rhythm"
Jade Simmons, you know her as 1st Runner Up Miss America..(Miss Illinois) 2000 and her beauty and her talent presentation of Chopin's Etude in C# Minor, Op10 No. 4.

Since then Miss Simmons has become renown for her work in music and her devotion to speaking to the youth of America. Speaking on issues from youth suicide to arts and education.
She is founder of the Impulse Artist Series which features young and up and coming pianist. 


The CD, Revolutionary Rhythm has "crossed the bridge".
The bridge being  if you forgive the political term,  "bridge to nowhere". The one that brings pop and jazz listeners over to the classics. The bridge is open and it's toll free.

Full disclosure here, I'm not qualified to critique a classical musician of Miss Simmons caliber.
However I do like the classics and as she puts it, her goal is to "expand the boundaries" of classical music,
and if this work does not do it, I don't see much hope elsewhere.

The work includes pieces by, Russell Pinkston, Samuel Barber, 
John Corgliano and Daniel Bernard Roumain...

If I had to choose a word to describe this CD it would be exciting, 
 because for me, a lover of some classical work, this I enjoyed from start to finish.
It took me through several moods, and always kept me focused on the music
at hand, and marveling at the talent of Miss Simmons.

We had kind of a "Twilight Zone" moment in our chatting, I asked her the question
I like to ask everyone..If you could take only one album with you if you were leaving
Earth which would it be??
She replied "Olatunji, Drummers of Passion" because her dad played it when she was a kid.
I had just explained in a previous review that he was one of my all time favs.

When I heard "Revolutionary Rhythm" I though of the piano as a truly percussion instrument.
Miss Simmons, seems to have the freedom in her hands that Olatunji had, creating!
Making one say, what was that? Did I just hear what I though I heard, was it that fast, smooth and clean?

In addition it talks to your mind. Saying "yes, I'm classical, I'm bad, and it's OK to jam with me".

Daniel Bernard Roumain's "Hip Hop Studies & Etudes for piano"
stopped me cold.

The way this CD combines the classic tradition and the 21st Century, is a tribute to Jade's artistry and versatility. 

Miss Simmons truly works the piano, she tells it what to do and exactly how she wants it done. While listening I try to imagine what it will be like when I see her live, and see the blend of her artistry and stage presents...can't wait.


  by Pete Cataldo follow Pete

The CD "Clara Lofaro"

Now that I've been home for a few days I can finally get a chance to listen to the artist CD's I saw in my travels.
Clara Lofaro

Clara Lofaro's self titled CD was really put to the test be me.

My next door neighbor has a fifteen year old daughter who loves pop music, soooo...
 Since I love this CD, I though I would give it the acid test and see if it would fly with someone fifty years my junior.

I gave it to her and told her to let me know...
They very next day the school bus which stops in front of my picture window, open it's door and out she came with CD in hand.  "Who is this?" was her response. I said it's the best singer/songwriter/pianist you've never heard.

She love it, I asked which song she liked best (thinking it would be "Trouble") she picked a beautiful ballad
"Wrinkled $". 
She said it reminded her of her elementary school days when the school yard was just across the street from her house...
I like this tune too. 
...Because it reminds me of how care free youth was, and that now I have to think about making money,
politics and the pressures of daily life.
I wrote in my live review of Clara that her words were "universal" and this makes me feel that they truly are.
(previous review;

I'm so relieved that I am still in touch with the youth of America, at least when it comes to music.

Clara does such a great job of picking life apart with her words, and so many different melodies to keep this work moving, it truly is for all ages.

From the opening tune, "Just Smile" about coming to New York City...with upbeat hopes of a young artist launching their the final cut, "Daddy's Song" a ballad with very emotional lyrics and some touching piano work, this CD covers every emotion one can have.

"Wrinkled $"..
 "There was a lady
She dressed so pretty
She wore long coats and long hair
She ate chocolate and she didn't care
 ...About the world
...About the wrinkles on her face
...About the money she made
There was a school yard
Where we used to play
In our sweatpants and short hair
We told secrets and we didn't care"   
  -  With these lyrics Miss Lofaro can take two people from different generations
            and bring them to a space in their life and make them feel something they have within.
            The melody and her voice make it even sweeter.

"Daddy's Song"
"And if he were here with me now
I'd say, "Daddy you work too hard. Come and play with me a while."
But songbooks just aren't written that way
We fall with the avalanche with nothing to say...
 ...and the children are waiting for my wish this year
Feeling safe to have me with them still
And I know nothing else matters I blow out the light
Cause my angels are dancing with me tonight
My angels are dancing with me tonight
The angels are dancing with me"
                                                               ...A wonderful tune of seeing your Dad, as maybe 
you haven't looked before...with some emotional piano accompaniment...

There are 11 tunes on this CD, all of them will entertain you and make you think...
of good times and not so's "brain food" put to beautiful music!
 What an entertaining CD!

Clara Lofaro will be at;   Waltz, Astoria, NY ...May 20th.
                                             Rockwood Music Hall, NYC ...June 13th.

by Pete Cataldo  follow Pete


A Night In New Holly Reed

Janelle Monae
  I am the plus-one for my genius architect and a genuine appreciator of all things architecture. As much as I respect his profession I never really think of architects in terms of knowing how to party, that is until last night. The AIA Convention (American Institute of Architects) this year is in New Orleans. By virtue of the host city alone it showed promise beyond the usual proper gatherings with cocktails and music. Last night however, exceeding all expectations, they rented the House of Blues in the heart of the French Quarter, and gave us Janelle Monae!

   From the tips of her amazing eyelashes to the toes of her George Esquivel shoes she exudes power. 
The most original, unique and unafraid talent amid thousands of cookie cutter copy cats. Her entrance was dramatic and drew everyone in from the first note and I stood at the feet of greatness. 
Janelle does not just have an aura, she radiates a brilliant light. Needless to say her energy is so infectious that all were caught in her spell. "Tightrope" of course brought down the house but every song was brilliant. She is a polished performer with a smooth clear voice and can sing anything from scat to opera, no kidding, there was a hint of it! 
To say the band is high energy is an understatement, I'd imagine to perform with her it would be mandatory! I am convinced there is nothing she can't do and her talent will continue to reach new heights. This is an intelligent and disciplined artist with a natural theatrical ability that will impact music for many years to come.  
Janelle Monae joins Katy Perry for six dates on tour this summer and begs the question,
"Who opens for who?"
All I can say Katy is, tough act to follow! 
  Thank you Carson Daly for turning me on to her, I've been tracking her career ever since, and I am so happy the world is recognizing the rare jewel that is our gift. 
Not to make you insanely jealous, but Janelle and the band came back out and preformed another set and it was at that point that I knew all the planets were in alignment. How was I so lucky? I have been pinching myself all morning and may be in a stupor for days to come.

Watch...    Holly Reed in the Crescent City


Karen Jacobsen's "Kissing Someone Else"

Karen Jacobsen
The CD, "Kissing Someone Else" Miss Jacobsen's latest is a wonderful work. Songs of love, songs of the ins and outs of love, the hopes and the broken hearts, all beautifully delivered...and written by Karen.

"Amazing"the fifth cut is an up beat tune of a woman who is seeking some answers to her question "If I am so amazing why is everything so crazy"?
While she advises, "And I can take you trouble but I'm not ending up in the rubble" elegant way of expressing a feeling we have all had, put to a flowing melody.
I love this tune.

"Leave Your Love Behind" is a unique sounding ballad that Karen's voice and piano work make stand out.
It tells of a lost love and the lingering effects, that may never depart. At times the melody creates a feeling of someone rising out of a sad situation. A very moving tune, sung from the deepest heart and accompanied by some (as those of you who know me, what I call) "young lady blues". Another winner!

There is an old saying in show business, Stars close all shows, I guess Karen knows that, because she saved her best for last, for us..."It's Time To Say Goodbye" the last cut is a remarkable tune.
It is pure poetry put to music. It's a gentle melody completely surrounded by prose.
A beautiful "break your heart tune" that at the same time creates the feeling of getting out with some love left in that heart, and getting out with dignity. As Karen's lyrics put it..."And I'll be shining somewhere in the world ...And not afraid to live my life...Understanding  with a spirit that is open wide...
It's time to say goodbye. 

This CD will touch you, make you think of the relationships you have had,
and you will be captured by it's eloquence. The expressive lyrics and the emotion
of her work on the keys along with the eclectic stories attached, will charm you.

Excuse me know while I load this CD to my IPOD!


Karen Jacobsen, Australian born, came to the US on Independence Day, 2000.
Her singing idol was Olivia Newton -John. She had her first musical role in "Buddy"
the Buddy Holly Story. Her songs have been sound tracks for "Dawson's Creek"
and "Passions" the hit TV shows. She is also the GPS Girl, perhaps you have a GPS system in you car,
well Karen is riding with you..
GPS Girl

And she has a direction for you she wanted me to pass on....
Turn left here, go to your PC, click on ITunes, purchase "Kissing Someone Else"
                  You have arrived!

                  you can listen here;

Karen's site

by Pete Cataldo,  follow Pete



Greta's Bakery, In Italy...

Greta Panettieri, Greta's Bakery
I know most of you take the World Wide Web for granted, I don't.
Someone like me who's home did not have a telephone until I was in 5th grade, still marvels at the fact that I can chat with a friend 4,200 miles away in seconds.

So yesterday I took advantage of it and spoke with Greta Panettieri of "Greta's Bakery" who are now currently in Italy, working hard, recording, making live appearances and in general fine tuning their music.

The Bakery has added two new members, drummer Stefano Tamborino, and bassist Daniele Mencarelli, and will be "giging" around Italy.

Great said they are hoping to record a video of their next appearance,
which will contain some of the pastry from the old Bakery and mixed in
will be some new delights for us. Their next gig will be May 20th, at San Mariano, Perugia.
All of us in New York will be looking forward to that!

The extra exciting news to me, was when Greta added that they are putting together a "Swing Orchestra"
project. I'm sure coming from Greta and the hard work of  Andrea Sammartino, it will be great!

Check out Greta's Bakery...

Check out Greta's "Brazilian Nights'  and her newest releases here;

by Pete Cataldo follow Pete


"Animacustica"... The Soul Of Gio Moretti

Gio Moretti, "Animaucatica"
"Animacustica" (Acoustic Soul) is the title, but don't be fooled.

This CD is much more then just the classic acoustic guitar played my
Gio Moretti, there is also a great rhythm section and percussion too.

And the soul is not what you think, it's not a genre here, it is the true definition of the word.

Soul; a persons total self, actuating cause of an individual life.
That's what Websters Dictionary says, and that's what Gio delivers.

Her heart and soul are in the work that is dedicated to,
as she put it "her Angel, her son, Gilberto".

Passion, is what this album delivers, a passion for her music and life.
A vibrant collection of Ms. Moretti's words and melodies with an eclectic international flavor.


As I am preparing this review, I received a Facebook message that  
Ms. Moretti became an American Citizen,  today 5/6/2011!   Welcome!

After a brief but beautiful vocal intro, the opening tune is "Let's Talk About It".
A  Latin rhythm with a beat and just some wonderfully simple words
to tell us of the pain, passion, lies, laughs and memories that all come with love.
And the fact that they are all part of being in love.
All the vocals skills of Gio are on display here. A wonderful tune!
(the original Italian version of the tune is cut #14)

"Faith"a cut half way through the CD, Gio explains, as your dreams start to die and you're feeling alone,
you have to search deep inside yourself to find your rhythm and strength.
"Faith" starts with a vocal bridge where Gio delivers an operatic like passage that is exquisite and then the percussion kicks in, to deliver a heavy but haunting melody that moved me.
It really does help you find your rhythm.

There are several ballads on this work that I listened to and did not understand the language, BUT,
they tugged at my heart just the same. The passion was there and music is universal!
Especially "Estrela Guia". Gio's beautiful voice is accompanied by Toninho Horta on Nylon Guitar.

"Angel" a song written by Gio thirteen years ago, that she now dedicates to
as she puts it..."her true Angel" her a wonderful blend of melody,
rhythm and the words of Gio.
"Now, I can't dream anymore, I'm an angel, I need to cry, because at last, I'm flying!
A delightful number.


  Gio's jazz and classic training have all come together with her beautiful words 
to give us a great album, and I thank her for opening her SOUL to us with this work!


Miss Moretti will be at;  The Shrine, NYC
                                          June 1st, 9PM

                by Pete Cataldo follow Pete


Introducing, Jonathan Parker, JAZZZZ

As always when I go to do a review, I show up early and try to catch a glimpse of someone
or a group I have no knowledge of, and it payed off again, when I got to see Jonathan Parker.
Jonathan Parker
Attending Oberlin College from 2004-08 majoring in Jazz Studies,
then moving to Shanghai, where he got to play (saxophone) five nights a week for two years, Jonathan moved to New York City in 2010.

This young man has a future in the "ever so tough" New York jazz scene.
Jonathan brings two things to his performances that are a must in
jazz, energy and a feeling or emotion for the genre.

Improvisation seems to be his forte, long riffs that make total sense
and amaze you with the range and cleanliness of every note.

The instrument "talks" is the best way I can describe it.
There was no doubt when I walked into The Local 269 Bar
that Tuesday night I was listening to someone who was on the rise
and had a knowledge of jazz way beyond his youthful looks.
It was refreshing to on old jazz lover like me. 

I asked Jonathan a few questions...

What are your goals for the future?

"I think it's a little too early to be able to state what my goals are for this group.  Ideally, I want this to be an ensemble where every member has a voice and a presence - and I'm trying to get the other musicians to bring in their own music for the rest of us to play.  As a musician, playing music other than your own material takes you out of your comfort zone and can really challenge you.  So I suppose  you could say that one goal of this group is to create an environment where we are all learning new things from each other and subsequently are growing as improvisers and composers". 

Who influenced you most?

"My influences on the saxophone are Cannonball Adderly, Charlie Parker, Joe Henderson, Stan Getz, and John Coltrane.
My biggest influences compositionally would be Tom Harrell, Duke Ellington, Gil Evans, and Joe Henderson".

If you were leaving Earth and could only take one album with you,
which would you take? 
"The one album I would take if I had to leave the planet would be Miles Davis' Kind of Blue" (I know it's cliche, but it's just so good!)

If you could play with any musician, living or dead who would it be?
 "If I could play with any musician (let's say dead or alive) I think it would have to be John Coltrane".

Thanks Jonathan for "keeping the music alive".

 Listen to some vintage Jonathan, from Shanghai... 

Jonathan will be at; LIC Arts Open, May 14th
                            LIC Bar, May 25th

by Pete Cataldo, follow Pete...



Nana Schwartzlose, Home Is Denmark, But...

Nana Schwartzloose, NYC
...She has a second home, New York City!

I spoke with her briefly in NYC, at Caffe Vivaldi just before we both headed to other cities. Her to her place of birth Copenhagen, Denmark.

Nana has a CD, "Notes To Remember"...

The CD is comprised of all original tunes written by Nana, she also is responsible for the music and the instrumental accompaniment on piano, guitar, xylophone, and melodica.

She expresses her love for her "second home" in the tune "3847 Miles"...
Telling of the sadness as she flies away from the city lights, wising she had more time,
going to a place where she tells people is her home. She adds to the feeling of this tune with some excellent acoustic guitar work.

"She's The One"...another example of how Nana puts the feelings of a woman to music. It deals with a woman who has an infatuation for another man who is deeply entrenched in a marriage and a family.
The inner feelings she puts to words here simplify the situation, and we understand the emotion.

This is a very talented lady who has a beautiful voice and an ability to express herself to the listener.
Her approach has a mellow sounding beauty to it, and words that we can all identify with.



Nana first came to NYC in 2006 with a guitar she did not know how to play,
and she wanted to be in a city where nobody knew of her.
She now has become prolific on guitar, and loves New York.
I asked her; If you could only take one album with you if you were leaving Earth which would it be?

She answered, Dan Auerbach's "Keep It Hid"

Then I asked if you could perform with anyone who would you choose?

She replied, Beck and Thomas Dybdahl.

 Get CD, "Notes To Remember"...

      By Pete Cataldo, follow Pete...