Jazz saxophonist Vinnie Riccitelli started out professionally in 1941, at age fifteen, performing along side his brother Joe in the Catskills of New York. He joined the Navy during World War II as a radio operator, before attending the prestigious Juilliard School Of Music. Upon graduation, he would marry the love of his life and release his first album in 1956. Vinnie would not record another album, but performed along with some of the greats like Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Barbara Streisand, Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross and The Temptations just to name some of his endeavors over the course of four decades. Vinnie Riccitelli stopped performing professionally in 2018, but in 2019 an album was started which gave tribute to Vinnie Riccitelli. The album is "For The Record" and was performed by the Vinnie Riccitelli Octet, with Vinnie appearing at every recording session for the album.
The new seventeen song release features a mix of Vinnie Riccitelli compositions, along with some of his favorites from Thelonious Monk, Henry Mancini and Herbie Hancock. The set of musicians that make up the octet are some of the top session performers in jazz music and bring the music of Vinnie Riccitelli and others to life, beginning with the energetic entrance of Riccitelli's own "Minor Seventh Heaven." The classic big band sound of "Stompin' At The Savoy" is executed perfectly, while the slow sway of "Blues Dominant" gives you another great Riccitelli original full of emotion and heart. The melody of "Darn That Dream" simply flows along, while "Flying Down To Rio" is full of energy and rhythm to get your foot tapping. The album closes with the Octet's horn-infused version of Monk's "Round Midnight," along with the final Vinnie Riccitelli composition "Little Boy Blew," which swings with excitement. Check out more music from Vinnie Riccitelli on YouTube at youtube.com.
Fellow jazz saxophonist David Larsen is preparing the March 5th release of his tribute to the legendary jazz artist, Gerry Mulligan. What began years ago as a study of Mulligan's music has cumulated with the release of "The Mulligan Chronicles," which features Mulligan's music performed by Larsen, along with special guests, some of whom have played with Gerry Mulligan during his lifetime. The new thirteen track release begins with the upbeat tempo of "Walkin' Shoes," which gives the members of the band to stretch their legs with some solos of their own. The album was recorded in one session and you can almost feel the honesty of the music in songs like "Curtains" and "Lonesome Boulevard," as it was performed on that day in January back in 2020, before the world got turned upside down. The energy picks up with the swift movement of "Idol Gossip" and "The Flying Scotsman," which fully shows off Larsen's talents on the baritone sax. The album finishes with the smooth, almost spontaneous delivery of "Out Back Of The Barn" and final swing of horns on "Taurus Moon." To find out more about David Larsen and his latest release "The Mulligan Chronicles," please visit larsenjazz.com.
Let us not forget New York City native jazz saxophonist Jack Brandfield, who is ready to release his debut studio album "I'll Never Be The Same" in April. On this recording, Jack is joined by guitarist Randy Napoleon and bassist Rodney Whitaker to make the perfect soundtrack for a nighttime escape. Jack begins his new twelve-track release with "Nobody Else But Me," as each member gets their moment in the spotlight. The album feels so intimate that you feel every pluck of the strings and every breath flowing through the sax on songs like "Vignette" and "Lover Come Back To Me." The delicate touch that Jack and his band give the Antonio Carlos Jobim classic "Andorinha," shows the respect they have for the music that has come before them. They also give an elegant touch to Duke Ellington's "Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me," before finishing with the Latin swing of "Bossa Nova Ova" and the fun, upbeat tempo of "Wildwood." To find out more about Jack Brandfield and his latest release "I'll Never Be The Same," please visit jackbrandfield.com.