Monday, April 22, 2013

Soulful Morrison; Keberle's Catharsis - Bob Stewart

Anybody who has ever heard vocalist Barbara Morrison command a stage knows that she possesses an effervescent singing style that drips with soul and a ribald sense of humor. The Ypsilanti-born singer spent her early career working with blues legend Eddie 'Cleanhead' Vinson, who gave the young singer a secure grounding in the blues. She has performed at the Montreux, Monterey, Long Beach and North Sea Jazz Festivals, Carnegie Hall, and probably every Southern California jazz venue of the last 40 years. She's also been heard with Ray Charles, Dizzy Gillespie, Kenny Burrell, Jimmy Smith, and the Count Basie Orchestra, to name a few. For her new CD -- "A Sunday Kind of Love," -- Morrison is joined by that most soulful of tenor players, Houston Person, on a program of standards and bluesy classics.

Few musicians have navigated the richly varied avenues of New York City's abundant music scene with the same passion and adaptability as trombonist and composer Ryan Keberle. Since his arrival in 1999, he's drawn upon lessons learned playing alongside masters of a multitude of forms, from jazz legends to indie-rock ground-breakers, R & B superstars to classical virtuosos. He's worked in Maria Schneider's Big Band and the ensembles of Wynton Marsalis and Rufus Reid, as well as the "Saturday Night Live" house band. He debuted with his Double Quartet in 2007, and 2012 marked the debut of his latest group, the piano-less quartet Catharsis. Their first release-- "Music is Emotion" -- is highlighted by a handful of Keberle originals along with tunes by Strayhorn, Lennon & McCartney, and Art Farmer.

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