Last fall, the Vancouver-based saxophonist Cory Weeds began planning his new CD. "Over a number of years, I've gotten to know Mike LeDonne as a friend," says Weeds. "I've booked him at my jazz club...and I recorded my first CD as a leader with him." Weeds brought the keyboardist to his Cellar Live club for two nights and a short tour after that. In conversations, the two came up with a concept for a new release. "He suggested doing an album of Hank Mobley tunes," Weeds continues, "and I thought that was a fantastic idea." "Up a Step" features LeDonne on the Hammond B3 in Weeds quartet on a program of Mobley originals and songs associated with the jazz master.
Hailed as "the next important jazz singer" by Don Heckman of the Los Angeles Times, Sara Gazarek is a strikingly original artist blessed with a beautiful, translucent voice. For her new project -- "Blossom & Bee" -- she is joined by her L.A.-based trio with guest appearances from guitarist/vocalist John Pizzarelli and the project's producer Larry Goldings on keyboards. For her first recording in five years, the group seamlessly combines fan favorites alongside refreshing new originals. Sarah reflects, "a common thread woven through a lot of this material is the subtle, yet unwavering musicianship of Blossom Dearie's music...trying to breathe a similar air of humor and sophistication that she brought."