Jazz and Classical Interviews

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Barbara Dennerlein - Blues Album

Barbara Dennerlein Front Page Photo 2019Barbara Dennerlein has long been considered one of the world’s foremost Blues and Jazz Hammond B3 organists and composers and in more recent years has added to her musical palette by playing the same music on pipe organs. The affable artist who lives in Germany took time out from her busy schedule to chat with Riveting Riffs Magazine about her first ever compilation albumm Best of Blues: Through the Yearss.

“There are two things that came together, one is I love Blues and my roots are Blues. For a long time I wanted to do something with the Blues, because I have a lot of contact with the audience when I play concerts. Over the years many people have asked me on which of your CDs are the most Blues compositions? I realized that one day I should do some kind of a Blues compilation (album). This has been in my mind for many years and I have thirty-three years of Bebab Records, which is my own label. I thought it would be nice to do it now. I have been in the business for long enough now to do a compilation from my label,” she says, laughing lightly..

Because it is a compilation album, it is important to note that the songs were all recorded at different times throughout the years and then remastered recently..

Barbara Dennerlein says, “First I had to pick the songs I wanted on the album. There were many Blues compositions (that I recorded) over the years. The difficult part was to pick the ones that I want on the compilation..  There are so many that I like.  Read More

Ada Rovatti & Randy Brecker

Ada Rovatti and Randy Brecker Photo OneThere is something about sitting down for an interview with two people whom you have known for many years, although most of that from a distance, that has more of the feel of friends getting together for a visit, a comfortable conversation if you like. Ada Rovatti and Randy Brecker’s new album, Brecker Plays Rovatti: Sacred Bond creates that same mood when you listen to the collection of songs composed and arranged by Ada Rovatti. The musicians who play on the album were drawn together by Randy Brecker and the album was masterfully recorded at Bunker Studios by Aaron Nevezie, while Cynthia Daniels put her magical touch on the mixing and mastering of the album. Just a word about Cynthia Daniels, we could not possibly do justice to her career, the many artists with whom she has worked, or the Broadway productions, films and television shows that have her fingerprints on them, so we encourage you to visit her website.

In proper journalism practice first names alone are seldom used when referring to the one being interviewed however, in this situation when conversing with the husband and wife team of Randy Brecker and Ada Rovatti and our familiarity with them it somehow would not feel right to refer to them by their last names, so we are going to cast protocol aside. Their daughter Stella also appears on this album, but her demands for a significant appearance fee could not be met by Riveting Riffs Magazine and before anyone takes us seriously, we are joking folks, but we did want to give Stella a nod for her singing performance on the opening track "Sacred Bond," as well as making a debut on her mom and dad’s album. Read More

Gretchen Parlato & Flor

Gretchen Parlato Photo Front PageTen years had gone by since Jazz singer, composer and lyricist Gretchen Parlato and I last sat down to have a chat. A lot had changed both in the world and in Gretchen Parlato’s life during that time. She moved from New York City back to Los Angeles to be closer to her family, she got married and she now has a seven-year-old son. She received a Grammy Award nomination, Best Jazz Vocal Album, in 2015 for her album, Live in New York City. Her sense of humor, which was so evident a decade ago is still evident and as we talked over the phone she was just as insightful, introspective and still comfortable in her own skin.

Ten years ago, she told this writer, “The goal of art is to reflect who you are and to reflect your life. It has been a process for me to get to that place and to realize that it is okay to not try to sound like anyone else or to try to be like anyone else. It is just being completely honest and open and vulnerable. I want to be versatile, but I also want to sound like me.” 

Did she still feel the same and does her new album Flor (her quartet has the same name), reflect that same sentiment?

She enlightened us, “I am pleased with my thirty-five year old self for saying that (she laughs lightly). I would agree, that was my path then and it was my self-realization then. It is definitely a continued path now. Our art is a reflection of our life, so my life now and for the past seven years of motherhood is very different than when I was thirty-five, single, independent, and Read More

Diane Marino at Her Best!

Diane Marino front page photo 2018In what may be her best album to date, Soul Serenade the Gloria Lynne Project, Nashville based pianist and Jazz singer Diane Marino brings to life the songs of Gloria Lynne whose career spanned a phenomenal six decades.

Marino talks about her decision to delve into Lynne’s catalogue, “I wasn’t too familiar with her, but I heard the name years ago. While I was doing a gig up in New York my drummer was Vince Ector and he was Gloria’s drummer for the last fifteen years of her life. He knew all of the material very well.  We were doing a tune called “I Am Glad There Is You,” which I recorded on another album many years (earlier) and I didn’t realize it was one of her signature songs. When we played it on the gig Vince told me that. Then he said her big song was “I Wish You Love,” and that I know and I sing it too.

It got the wheels turning and I investigated her catalogue of music. I thought these are really cool tunes. I had not heard a lot of them. She also recorded a lot of standards, but the songs that we picked out for this CD I had never heard before.”

As for why this particular selection of songs she says, “It is a combination of the song and how she sang them. It is great stuff. How do you put your finger on how it struck you  Read More

Interview with Singer Margret Avery

Margret Avery 2019 Photo front pageThere have been many well-known and outstanding singers who have almost had their careers sidetracked due to stage fright, stars such as Barbra Streisand, Fiona Apple, Adele, Beyonce, Andrea Bocelli and Carly Simon had stage fright to such a degree that she once passed out during a performance and Renee Fleming. We mentioned all of those people, because our guest at Riveting Riffs Magazine, Margret Avery is also an outstanding singer in her own right and she had to learn how to cope with stage fright, as well.

Margret Avery grew up in Ohio where when she was growing up she sang in school productions.

“The first things that I sang when I was very young were Hungarian Christmas carols. Later I had a girl group that I put together. There were four of us singing (again) in school productions and we did some classic Motown things. It was a lot of fun. We didn’t go anywhere with it, it was just something that we enjoyed.

I started to develop some stage fright and when I made my plans to come to New York to go to college I put it (singing) on the backburner. I decided to make a different career choice, but I had a roommate who would hear  Read More

Allyson Morris - Jazz Album

Allyson Morris Front Page Photo One ACHILL…me some jazz, the new album from Canadian singer and songwriter Allyson Morris, is sultry, sexy and innovative. It may also very well be the best Jazz album produced in Canada in decades. The country has produced several outstanding Jazz singers and musicians, but few albums produced in Canada measure up to the quality that Allyson Morris and her producer / arranger Asher Ettinger created at Asher Music Studio in Toronto.

The album opens with an old David Frishberg song, “Peel Me a Grape,” for which a sultry, mysterious, almost James Bond like companion video was filmed. The creation of the video has a hint of mystery to it with two Peters and an Allyson, during a pandemic.

Allyson Morris recalls, “I ran into an old friend (Peter Clifford) who is in the film industry. I played the album for him and he loved “Peel Me a Grape.” He said you need a video Allyson. Nobody in the film industry was working in Toronto, because of COVID. That conversation was in June of 2020.

 Peter Faragher started writing out the storyboard with my friend Peter Clifford who has an old 1968 Delta 88 car, and we did that video on a Sunday afternoon when it wasn’t busy, down University Avenue (Toronto) and we  Read More

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