07 30 2016
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The Wake of Vanport
McMenamins

"PIANO A LA CARTE"
TONY PACINI
Saphu
*****


Get ready to look deeply into the soul of Portland pianist Tony Pacini as you listen to his brand-spanking-new solo piano effort.

Here he is, all alone with the total performance resting solidly on his broad shoulders. He is more than equal to the task. The recording was done from start to finish without any technical manipulation like splicing, editing or overdubbing. It's Pacini pure as fresh snow but much warmer.

Hebeginswith Ellington's " Do Nothin 'Til You Hear From Me," and then slides into a very thoughtful and pretty treatment of "Moonlight in Vermont." Way before Pacini was born, there was a young man attending Grant High School who went on to world fame as a pianist-composer and vocal coach. Pacini takes one of Phil Moore'scompositions, "Eastside Westside" and displays all the joyfulness written into it.

Ah, but Pacini writes, also. He includes two of his own compositions among the 15 on the disc. The first is titled "Golden Boy" and is a pretty ballad with what could be described as an Ellingtonian influence. The second is "Goodbyes" and fittingly is the last song on the record. It is a somewhat somber piece, but far from morbid.

Pacini includes his luscious interpretations of standards like "If I Loved You," "Skylark," "Come Rain or Come Shine," "BodyandSoul," "Georgia" and others. Two of my favorites are "Emily" and "Come Sunday."

This is a golden opportunity to become better acquainted with a pianist of depth and talent who honors those who wrote the songs he performs.

 


"STAN GETZ PLAYS FOR LOVERS"
Concord
*****

I don't know of a single person or beast who doesn't love the music of tenorist Stan Getz.

This release is evidence as to why, even years after his death, his recognizable tone and melodic empathy invades that special romantic corner in most everyone's heart.

He is heard here on nine cuts, together with some of the finest cats of his era like Cal Tjader, Vince Guaraldi, Billy Higgins, Billy Hart, Percy Heath, Bill Evans and others.

The tunes are first-rate, too. "Easy Living," "My Old Flame," "How Long Has This Been Going On" and "Spring is Here" are a few. If you are already a Getz fan, get ready for a grand reunion. If you are not familiar with this giant, prepare for a memorable treat!

A terrific 13-week television series, hosted by Ramsey Lewis, begins airing in April on public television's Channel 10 in Portland.

Some of today's most important jazz stars will participate in this visual tour through a variety of musical formats while also providing an extraordinary look at the art form's history.

The first episode is titled "The Golden Horns" and will feature Clark Terry, Roy Hargrove and Chris Botti, a player who learned his craft jamming in Portland clubs in the late 1970s.

The finishing touches are being put on a recording of a tribute to Ray Charles by 23 musicians from the Northwest. It will, to some extent, duplicate last summer's Charles tribute performed at the Blues Festival at Waterfront Park. It should be out this summer.

 

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