Blue Duchess



Duke Robillard

Duke Robillard

"Takes From the Tiki Lounge'"

"...TALES FROM THE TIKI LOUNGE will take you to a place where… everyone looks wonderful under the soft lights. Set 'em up again." -Sonic Boomers

"… Robillard's exquisite guitar work both complements, and is complemented by, Crownover's silky smooth singing voice. This one's an old-school delight, folks." - The Daily News (Philadelphia)

"… (TALES FROM THE TIKI LOUNGE) fits into the lounge/exotica style, especially given the frequent use of Latin rhythms including tango and rhumba. It's all in fun… but Robillard effectively eulogizes Paul's guitar…"- All Music Guide

"So it's not surprising that Robillard was able to reproduce the warm, reverb drenched sweetness of Paul's guitar approach and conjure the depth, sheen and ambiance of his classic recordings with Ford... Crownover's flexible, clear-toned performances bring every melody to gorgeous, nearly three-dimensional life…"-Ted Drozdowski, Gibson

 

"Wobble Walkin'"

"Music that confirms Robillard's place among the great guitarists operating today."
-All About Jazz

"Duke Robillard's finest release in over a decade and an absolute must for the collector!"
-Critical Jazz

"One drop dead gorgeous after hours guitar jazz outing that's not to be missed."
-Midwest Record 

Mickey Freeman

Mickey Freeman

"Livin the Dream"

"Freeman's first solo vocal album, and it is an impressive collection… that offers Freeman a chance to show off her jazz chops, as well as making you understand that a straight ballad reading is also right up her alley.  May this be the first of many discs from Mickey Freeman."
- New Jersey Jazz Society

"Mickey's voice is simply delightful. Tones and inflection are correct and she puts her heart into these dozen standards making them special and a pleasure to listen to…. Relax and enjoy it."
-O's Place Jazz Newsletter

"Freeman's traditional approach to these 12 romantic tunes leaves little question about where her preferences as a singer lie. She's a master at swinging the blues and jazz ballads …Her understanding of these melodies is conventional but informed and listening to Freeman's take on them is like meeting up with an old friend - warm, familiar, comforting.

One other telling thing: producers Robillard and Jesse Finkelstein will make a donation to one of their sponsored charities for each CD sold. Good music, good intentions. You can't go wrong here."
-New York City Jazz Record

Scott Hamilton

Scott Hamilton

"Remembering Billie"

"Scott Hamilton is swinging on this dedication to the music sung by Billie Holiday. His warm tone on sax is mesmerizing"
-O's Place Jazz Magazine

"A tribute to vocalist Billie Holiday (1915-1959) by tenor saxophonist Scott Hamilton… "Remembering Billie" (Blue Duchess) is a straight-up blowing date…To hear these songs authentically performed by masters of the idiom is pure joy."
-Jazziz Magazine

"Give a listen to Remembering Billie and you will hear one of the best of the players in this tradition, the aforementioned Mr. Hamilton… Producer Duke Robillard contributes his guitar mastery… Hamilton can caress a ballad and swing his forever off with the best of them…Put it all together and the result is pure listening pleasure."
-New Jersey Jazz

The Evenfall Quartet

The Evenfall Quartet

The Shining Stone Music Group announces the release of the first classic mainstream jazz CD of The Evenfall Quartet on Blue Duchess Records.

The Evenfall Quartet consists of Bassist Brad Hallen, Mark Earley (tenor sax), Joe “Sonny” Barbato (piano), and Jerzy “Jurek” Glod (drums). The band performs a collection of American Songbook favorites and an original song by Lucky Thompson, recorded in the style and manner of the staples of the small group catalogues of the late 40s and 50s.

Brad Hallen explains, “In those days you'd bring the band into a studio and pick some songs you all knew and enjoyed playing together, made arrangements on the spot with input from everyone, and just played – you might do several takes of each tune, but you'd pick the best one and go with it, without any editing. If something went wrong you'd just do it again. But this is exactly how we played these songs that day.”

All jazz fans know that Miles Davis brought his band in to record for Prestige in 1955 and finished four LPs worth of performances in two days (and Brad and the band nod to those sessions here with their version of ”If I Were a Bell”). But this was no rare happenstance – literally hundreds of small group jazz sessions were made like this in the middle of the last century – celebrations of the working lives of musicians who had learned a body of songs that allowed them to come together and play their hearts out without a bulky book of charts that glued their eyes to a piece of paper. It was the common language, and years of playing honed their abilities to make their own versions of familiar standards on the spot, speaking in their own unique musical voices.

The Evenfall Quartet brings us back to that kind of music making and camaraderie. Eschewing the possibilities of modern recording technique, which allows everyone to go back and polish a performance to a fare-thee-well, this group keeps the spontaneity to the fore. They recorded the whole CD in a day, and what comes through is the personality of the players – how they present their personal versions of these familiar songs, which bring with them echoes of the great players and performances of jazz recorded history. Knowledgeable fans will hear the influences of sessions from Gene Ammons, Stanley Turrentine, Coleman Hawkins, Sonny Rollins, Errol Garner, and of course Oscar Pettiford and Lucky Thompson, whose “The Plain But the Simple Truth” is memorably recast here. But make no mistake – these are seasoned, expert players speaking in their own accents. The recording approach allows them to do that with a maximum of freedom and personal authority. The Evenfall Quartet is truly a worthy continuance of the best of jazz performance tradition.

 By Al Basile


For more information on the Evenfall Quartet go to: http://bradhallen.com/evenfall.html