Showing posts from May, 2017

Chris Botti - The Merriam Theater, Philadelphia, 5/06/2017; Botti Elevates the Art of the Trumpet; Also Reviewed: Impressions (2012)

Photo courtesy of When Chris Botti played the Merriam Theater in Philadelphia, Saturday night the sixth of May, I could not help but think how much has changed in the sixteen years since I last saw him. Back then, in a venue located just a few doors up the street, Botti wowed the crowd with a tight set of the jazz rock that he had just released on the album Night Moves . That was one fantastic show. I remember it like it was yesterday. Botti had a female Israeli drummer who played so well with the bassist that they seemed connected in some fashion. The guitarist, Marc Shulman, was a phenomenal player we had seen many times before. Botti played his trumpet and was cooler than cool, Chet Baker reincarnate. Fast forward to 2017. With a series of albums featuring a diverse array of duet partners, Chris Botti has expanded his music to include both pop and classical. In the process, he has become a major star at the level of Yo-Yo Ma, Sting, and Andrea Bocelli, to name

Joey Landreth - Whiskey; Joey's Excellent EP is a Worthy Follow-Up to 2015's Brilliant Debut by the Bros. Landreth

Photo: Cadence Music Group "When Dave and I tossed out the idea of making music together, just for fun, over four years ago, we had no concept of how it would shape, enhance, and ultimately transform our lives. We never imagined in our loftiest of dreams that it would take us on the ride that it has. We didn’t think we’d ever finish a single song, never mind a whole record. Yet, almost unbelievably, and at long last, we want to introduce you to our second. It’s an EP called Whiskey and we’re going to be releasing it under my name, Joey Landreth, as my big brother Dave is going to be taking a bit of a breather from life on the road to throw some roots down with his amazing new wife! We will still be playing some shows as The Bros. Landreth while we prepare to record more new music in the new year, so please do stay tuned to our band calendar too! We humbly submit to you that it may well be the best thing we’ve done." Let It Lie is the name of the brilliant debut album

Clean Bandit, Zara Larsson, & Starley - Union Transfer, 4/22/2017; "No Place I'd Rather Be"

In a time when the internet and modern technology has splintered the music audience down to every possible genre, surprisingly, the conventional wisdom still holds: hit singles equal crowds. Clean Bandit has had quite a few, Zara Larsson (the nineteen year old pop star from Sweden) has had any number of worldwide hits, even opener Starley seems to have dented the airways judging by the crowd response she got on Saturday night, April 22nd at Union Transfer. The upshot of all this was a sold-out Union Transfer and a most receptive packed house. Singer-songwriter Starley went first. Starley Hope hails from Sydney, Australia and she defines her genre as "basically just whatever I feel at the time. I write about my life... ;)". Her debut single "Call On Me" reached the top ten Down Under as well as all over Europe. In Sweden it reached number one. She played a quite listenable set of mostly originals plus a nice cover of Tracy Chapman's "Fast Car".