Wednesday, December 25, 2013


Best wishes for a very Merry Christmas from the Jazz Notes staff.

This year we have some vintage musical cheer to share from among our holiday favorites.

Three to Get Merry, in fact.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Toronto-New Orleans link

Toronto-based pianist Jim Clayton considers New Orleans his home away from home. He spends considerable vacation time and got married there. He also decided to make his newest CD in the Crescent City, with four New Orleans-based jazz musicians. Songs My Daughter Knows is on the pianist’s Clay-Tone label.

Clayton developed the project around songs familiar to or inspired by his young daughter, Lenny. It’s an unusual concept, but one that works well. It also underscores the primary ingredients in making jazz: it’s not about the source material so much as the improvisational art practiced by versatile musicians, and their ability to think as one on any given tune. Mixing in a variety of N’awlins rhythms created a bubbling musical gumbo.

Here’s a link to my full review from the January 2014 issue of Offbeat.

Friday, December 20, 2013

CDs of Note - Short Takes

Taking a closer look at new CDs by Bob Devos, Jake Hertzog, Frank Macchia, Bill McBirnie and a vintage Miles Davis boxed set…

Monday, December 16, 2013

A terrific jazz trio by any name

Eddie Metz Jr.
The splendid jazz trio, featuring drummer Eddie Metz Jr., bassist Nicki Parrott and pianist Rossano Sportiello, has been working together for several years, honing a fine, swinging blend of mainstream  jazz. Often it feels like a leaderless adventure, with no one person calling all the shots. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

A saxful Friday

The saxophone ruled on the Sarasota jazz scene on Friday, December 13 with two separate, excellent concerts.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Jazzman Del Gatto honors his heroes

Lew Del Gatto and Judi Glover
Tenor saxophonist Lew Del Gatto honored his tenor sax heroes Friday during a South County Jazz Club concert at the Venice Art Center. The 25-year Saturday Night Live Band mainstay, now living in Naples FL, performed in a quartet format with pianist Judi Gover, bassist Don Mopsick and drummer Patricia Dean.

Along Came Benny, With Vigor and Stories

The Naples Philharmonic Jazz Orchestra brought Benny Golson to town last night for a concert that gave spirited and loving extended treatments to the tenor saxophonist’s best-known compositions. Golson put each composition into context with witty and vivid storytelling. The audience at Artis Naples’ Daniels Pavilion in Naples FL was treated to great music - and an appreciation of the time and settings in which he matured as an artist.

Here's a link to my full review at

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Top 10 listings

This the season for the outpouring of Top 10 lists, and their many variations, for jazz, world events, etc. The jazz lists always have a lot of variation depending on the individual reviewer's personal tastes, as well as what he or she had a chance to hear during the year.* Bottom line, all of these are very subjective.

The choices below (aside from top 10 new songs of the year) were submitted to the Jazz Times and NPR Music 2013 compilations. (The latter is a Francis Davis-produced poll that previously was published by The Village Voice and

As I begin preparing my review of significant events and trends in jazz in 2013 for posting on, I thought I'd share my "best of 2013" lists. *Always keep in mind the above caveats.