Monday, September 10, 2012

Bentyne's Porter Therapy; Electric Loueke - Bob Stewart

 When Cheryl Bentyne was recovering from cancer treatment and starting again to sing, it was to Cole Porter she first turned as her "saving grace." With his songs fresh in her mind from recently recording Let's "Misbehave: the Cole Porter Songbook", Bentyne connected with Porter's ability to "cover the human condition," healing along with the music she calls "perfect, joyous, a thrill to sing." Now, nearly a year after the diagnosis, followed by surgery and chemo, Bentyne-for 30+ years the reigning soprano with 10-time Grammy winning vocal group, the Manhattan Transfer-celebrates her new cancer-free status with 14 of Porter's most memorable tunes including two with the late saxophonist James Moody.

The acclaimed guitarist and vocalist Lionel Loueke's new disc -- "Heritage" -- finds him exploring a more electric sound with a new trio, featuring Derrick Hodge on electric bass and Mark Guiliana on drums. The veteran of bands led by Terence Blanchard and Herbie Hancock, Loueke is bringing jazz into vibrant contact with the sounds of West Africa, in particular his native Benin. The disc presents seven new compositions by Loueke, two by Robert Glasper, and one co-written by the two. Glasper, who also serves as the CD's producer, contributes piano and keyboards as well, and vocalist Gretchen Parlato provides background vocals.

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