Solitaire Miles at The Jazz Showcase

Wednesday night Chicago's Solitaire Miles took the stage at The Jazz Showcase, to deliver her new CD..."Melancholy Lullaby"....
It was JAZZZZ, no holds barred, pure and passionate.

...It was one of those show I dread, a nightmare for me...
You know, when the show is sooooo good you can't take you eyes and ears off the stage, so you can't take notes, and then when you sit down to write about it, you wonder how you will tell the readers just how terrific this show was!
Solitaire Miles, CD "Melancholy Lullaby"

It was a CD release show for Solitaire's new CD "Melancholy Lullaby".
...the room was packed...

The best way to explain is  E=mc2..
That's right, I remember from my school days hearing Albert Einstein
explaining his theory...The Universe is like a speeding train moving at the speed of light...if humans could travel as fast they could jump on or off the train at different points in the history of our Universe.

Wednesday night Solitaire Miles was the engineer of that train.Taking us from the 1930's to the twenty first century, with a few stops in between, and a brief stop over in Brazil.

Surrounded by a sextet for set one that grew to an octet set two, Solitaire presented a wonderfully diverse cross section of the American Song book.

Starting with her opening number "Exactly Like You" set one, I knew I was in for something special. "The Night Wind" another gem from the 40's was done in set one to a wonderful chart, that would have made lyricist Eugene Field stand and applaud.

Solitaire's "style" if you can call it that, I kinda think she is actually living the songs she sings...and singing them with a passion for jazz, and...the history attached to each and every one that literally takes you on and off that "train" that covers jazz history.

Song after song, taking tunes from the 30's and 40's and treating them to a "massage," with love and respect.
..."Two Close For Comfort" ...was swung with a wonderful up beat rhythm, not to fast as most do, but this wonderful group of musicians hit it dead center!
..."Tenderly"...this evergreen was a showcase for Solitaire's range...and again a perfectly done chart!

...if that was not enough, Solitaire and the band took Duke Ellington's "Nothin But The Blues"
right down to where it should be, and stomped on it! (this was the show stopper for me).

...the show closed with "Bye Bye Blackbird"...swingin' and jumpin'... 

...the band? I would need two more columns to tell you how great they were ( I may do just that).
Riff after riff, solo after solo, they were showered with exuberant applause from the crowd. 

Drums.. Mike Raynor, Piano..Dave Gordon, Bass..Marlene Rosenberg, Sax/flute, Jim Gailloreto, Trumpet/flugelhorn..Art Davis, Guitar..Neal Alger, Bongos..Heitor Garcia...also guitar and vocals, Paulinho Garcia. A joy to listen to all of them!

"in my 67 years I have seen ALL the jazz greats, this show was as entertaining as any of them".

The CD contains these and a few other renditions of  more jazzzz classics.

have a listen here;
get the CD here;

The delightful, "Solitaire"

"the venue"  it was my first visit to The Jazz Showcase. Best venue I've been to here in Chitown so far...
every seat has a great view of the stage, even the bar, and the sound was as good as it gets...
we had wonderful service from Jennifer, or hostess, get out to the "Showcase" you will love it!

by Pete Carma   ...follow


"Artists In New York" Part VIII... Kalen.

 I have been listening to music for a long time, when I heard Kalen's hit single "Rabid Girl"
it became one of my all time favorites. It "is" New York City. She paints a picture I have seen so many times in Da Apple with her words, and a melody with a rhythm of the Metropolis.

Kalen is about to start her fall "gigs", after a summer of work and fun! is a bit about her and her music as a New Yorker, and life in the city.

Q; Your lyrics, especially your great hit "Rabid Girl" ooze great words of New York City, how much does the city and it's adrenalin influence you and your work?

Kalen...I’m very influenced by environment. NYC is an overwhelming place, rich with poetry and profanity, at once exhilarating and exhausting. I am a country girl at heart and find that I continually return to themes of sea and sky. I long for the natural world when I am in the city because of the contrast with the cacophony of the urban center. Being in NY day in and day out, though, I am consistently driven to try to capture and comment on the experience. I feel a connection with the thousands of artists in the city and those artists who have come before and who have tried to capture the shifting, ephemeral essence of NYC. “Rabid Girl” is a piece about a young lady who is an extreme product of her environment. She reflects the city that has shaped her as well as being a player within its scenery, perpetuating its madness. Painting a picture of place was essential to capture the essence of the song. 

Q; You are from New Hampshire, a graduate of Penn, but I know from experience living in Brooklyn is an education in itself. What were the things about living there that surprised you the most?

Kalen...Observing how quickly things can change and shift in NYC and Brooklyn has been fascinating. People and place really can reinvent themselves here. There is an incredible regenerative life force coursing through the city at all times. There is a dark side to this opportunism, however. If one is not careful, he’ll get swept up in others’ talk and veer off course from one’s own dream and integrity, talking the thieves’ talk and walking a wayward walk. The constant metamorphosis of place and peers can catalyze an unconscious personal distortion, which I’ve seen in many and caught in myself, but is also an opportunity for personal and creative innovation and refinement.

Q; Looking at your music FB "favorites" I didn't see any classic artists, are there any you admire or who had an influence on your work?

Growing up in the country, I had a different relationship with music than
 many of my New York peers. So many of my friends were savvy about the music they loved from a young age and were avid listeners and collectors. That’s closer to how I was with fine arts. Improvising on the piano with little vocal melodies was an organic expression of what I was feeling and thinking about. I wasn’t trying to emulate or appropriate in any conscious way as a young girl when I first fell in love with music. I would, however, listen to my mother’s Motown and classic rock along with jazz piano albums my piano teacher recommended to me. Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Bill Evans, Dina Ross and The Supremes were favorites. Through later chapters of my life, as I got more seriously into collecting music, I began to add funk, trip hop and Afro-Cuban music in my regular rotation.

Aside from music and other music artists, however, traveling, nature, books and fine artists influence me most. My family lives on the ocean in Maine and I’m inspired by the sea, though I love being outdoors in general. Traveling and seeing new things (which happens in New York City constantly) is another never-ending source of inspiration and experience outside of myself. Italo Calvino’s wacky book, If On A Winter’s Night A Traveler and James Baldwin’s short story, Sonny’s Blues are two of my favorite books. On the art front, I absolutely love Austrian and Germany Expressionist painting.

Q; What's next for Kalen? New releases, gigs, anything we should know about?

Kalen...Presently, I am building a band around my solo work, creating a live experience that moves beyond the singer/songwriter sets I have been doing this last year, returning to a bit more of the performance zaniness from which I temporarily retired with my last project, Ladybug Stingray. I am recording my next EP, "Fallen From The Sun" that will include the spoken word single, “Rabid Girl”. I am also collaborating with some great young producers and songwriters around NYC, some on live shows, others in the studio.

Q; The next time you walk past a coffee shoppe will you get a black&white cookie and take a big bite and think of me?

Kalen...Happily. Though, I must share that my favorite New York cookie is the chocolate chip cookie that hails from the heavenly City Bakery.
Kalen is one of those people who make me smile, if I hear her music or see her, I just smile.

Kalen will be at;  Caffe Vivaldi, NYC, Sept 28th, 7 PM...
                              Parkside Lounge, NYC, Oct 13th 8 PM



Nadia Ackerman..."Mary Jane" & "Ebony Road"

From the versatile musical talents of Nadia Ackerman, some amazing new work!
 ...the sound track to a new film with an exciting new director "Ebony Road"
 ...and the first single and video, from her new album "The Ocean Master" ..."Mary Jane"
 ...will be available on Sept.11th from,  ITUNES ....

see the details here...and a link to her site... 

The first singWORL09/11/11

The first single and music video from "The Ocean WORLDWIDE 09/11/11


Gio Moretti, Artists in New York Part VII

Gio Moretti, photo by Monica Castiglioni
Gio Moretti, "life" is her inspiration. And it is the driving force in her beautiful music!

Gio's wonderful CD, "Animacustica" was my first connection with her. An inspiring work that I enjoyed very much...
here is that review...

From Bergamo, Italy and now an American citizen, Gio has made New York City her home. Here are her thoughts of life in the Big Apple.

Gio speaks many languages including Bergamasque and her accent is charming, so I left the dialogue exactly as she told it to me...enjoy!

Q; Talk about New York City and how coming here has changed your life?

Gio...New York City...where the dreams may come true. Just say it, I guess I was bored, needed inspirations, motivations, fresh air...but now I feel that I pay every single day, this air...not so fresh anymore.
I love NYC but it's a tough place to be, make a living, raise a child, try to be successful...I don't know...after 11 years I'm still try to figure out why I want to leave NYC..
I guess I'm still waiting for "That Day" happens.

Q; You just became a citizen, how does it feel?
Gio...Finally done with the immigration! No more questions, no more lies...and I can hear a voice..."Welcome back to the United States".And I can finally vote...Obama, oops, can I say that???

Q; How do audiences respond to you here in NYC?
Gio...I got inspired from my audiences, they always warm and curious, doesn't matter what language I sing
I feel connected to them, that probably why I love to give everything I have or that I can give that night.

Q; Any experiences you have that are unique to NYC, that you want to share with us?
Gio...Oh my God! so many...1. From running away in the middle of the night from a room I was renting in the public houses in Harlem...I was on the 18th or 19th floor, with all my stuff, including an entire sound system
and the elevator stopped working...I had to use the fire escape stairs!
 2. Singing an entire solo of "Take Five" for Al Jarreau. And 3...I fall in love (unfortunately or fortunately we are not together anymore)

Q; Your wonderful son, and how NYC effects his life?
Gio...I think NYC it's a place where he can get lots of opportunities, he is still so young...he already know what he really like to do, play drums and be a musician! I like the effect that he has a chance to live in a Cosmopolitan City that embraces different races, style of music, different foods, and girls...(maybe this for his future).

Q; Anything in the future we should know about?
Gio...I don't think at the future, I can't. Tomorrow is the far future that I can think about it!
Today is a new day, let's focus on today in this moment, everything can possible change, how can you make plans?

Q; You are a very inspired artist, where does it all come from?
Gio...LIFE! I love my life, I like to take chances, take risks, try new things. I see a lot of colors in my life, and everything around me keeps inspire me. LOVE! I like to write about LOVE, because I LOVE!!! And I will always LOVE!  I don't trust as much as I use to, I got some deep scars, but now I see myself in a new chapter of my life, so I am very optimist and sure, I am always open to learn something new, or looking for something new.

Gio thank you for you candor and I will see you in NYC soon!,

Gio will be at...our benefit

Gio's music..Enjoy:: This video:

Gio's page:: AnimAcusticA

follow me::  Pete Carma