Tuesday, May 10, 2011

First Review! The AllMusicGuide - **** - 4 stars - The Music of Randy Newman - Motéma Music

The Music of Randy Newman


by Ken Dryden

Vocalist Roseanna Vitro has had big ears when it comes to looking for material for her jazz record dates, investigating songwriters overlooked by others. This Randy Newman songbook is obviously a labor of love, interpreting the veteran composer's lyrics, whether sentimental or sardonic. Her band includes the seasoned rhythm team of pianist Mark Soskin (who also provided arrangements), bassist Dean Johnson and drummer Tim Horner, along with the promising young violinist Sara Caswell (who often adds a sublime touch). The rich-voiced alto's rendition of "Sail Away" showcases Caswell to good effect. Vitro has a lot of fun with Newman's hilarious description of attending a pot party in "Mama Told Me Not to Come," with Caswell's whimsical licks complementing the leader's playful, outgoing vocal. The singer captures the essence of Newman's sardonic "Baltimore," though she transforms it with a brisk setting, adding guitarist Steve Cardenas. Vitro's dramatic interpretation of "In Germany Before the War" is also a high point. Jazz fans who grew up listening to Randy Newman will be particularly interested in Roseanna Vitro's novel approach to his music.


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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Sarah Wickliffe- Animator - Fred Hersch presents: My Coma Dreams May 7th and 8th

Sarah Wickliffe
This coming Saturday is the world premiere of a jazz/theater piece that my daughter, Sarah Wickliffe spent the last year animating and designing: Fred Hersch's "My Coma Dreams." Its going to be beautiful, trippy, and unlike anything you've ever seen. Paul and I are very proud of Sarah and for those of you who don't know her work, check out: http://www.wickpix.com Sarah is a painter, Oscar winning film maker, graphic artist, animator, cd designer and a fine writer too. This production will become a documentary and is scheduled to hit the road, so be on the look out for this amazing work.
Best Roseanna

Location: The Alexander Kasser Theatre, Montclair State University
Time: ‎8:00PM Saturday, May 7th & 8th (afternoon).