Author name: Thomas Cunniffe

The Vail Jazz Party (August 31-September 3, 2012)

For the past 18 years, Howard and Cathy Stone have hosted a world-class jazz party in Vail, Colorado. The party attracts loyal groups of musicians and fans who share a love for great music. Thomas Cunniffe reviews this year’s festivities, which included Cyrille Aimée, Terell Stafford, Wycliffe Gordon, the Jeff Hamilton trio, Houston Person, James Carter, Niki Haris and the Clayton Brothers.

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The 2014 Vail Jazz Party (August 29-September 1, 2014)

On the surface, the Vail Jazz Party doesn’t change much from year to year. But the continuing programs like the multi-media tributes and the Gospel Prayer Meetin’ have evolved over time, and each party includes fresh concepts, such as this year’s piano duets set. Thomas Cunniffe, who has attended several Vail jazz parties, offers his impressions of the 20th anniversary edition in this month’s Concert Review.

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Worth Waiting For

Years ago, jazz musicians would typically release two or three albums a year, but with the current state of the recording industry, new CDs appear much less regularly. The three instrumental albums reviewed this month by Thomas Cunniffe are by artists who have not released albums as leaders or with their usual groups in several years. However, these recordings by Pat Bianchi, Maria Schneider and Terell Stafford were worth the wait.

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Women in Jazz: The Instrumentalists

There are probably more women instrumentalists on the current jazz scene than at any other time in the music’s history. Thomas Cunniffe and Amy Duncan offer capsule reviews of new CDs led by Sarah Elgeti, Jessica Jones, Virginia Mayhew, Roberta Piket and Anne Sajdera.

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Women in Jazz: The Vocalists

Jazz is an adventure, and that spirit highlights the music of Sara Gazarek, Carol Saboya, Nicky Schrire, Sara Serpa and Judi Silvano. Thomas Cunniffe and Amy Duncan review the latest albums by these talented vocalists.

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Vocalists at the Edge

The spirit of adventure is omnipresent in the latest albums by vocalists Clare Wheeler, Kaylé Brecher, Sara Serpa, Jay Clayton and Andrea Wolper. Thomas Cunniffe explores the fascinating and unpredictable music of these five talented musicians in this month’s feature CD review.

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Vocal Jazz Roundup 4

This month’s vocal jazz reviews include an intimate solo recording by Andy Bey, a tribute to veteran composer Harry Warren by Jay Clayton and a vocal showcase for trombonist Pete McGuinness. Thomas Cunniffe offers capsule reviews of these three fine recordings.

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Vocal Jazz Roundup 2

Every month, Jazz History Online receives several new vocal jazz releases. Here are capsule reviews of a half-dozen CDs, contributed by principal writer Thomas Cunniffe and our newest staff member, Stacy Riley.

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Vocal Jazz Roundup 3

This month’s vocal jazz reviews cover a wide range of styles and material. Thomas Cunniffe reviews an elegant collection of standards by Tine Bruhn, an adventurous debut from Molly Holm, a suite of music from Black Orpheus featuring Gretchen Parlato and Leny Andrade, and a humorous tribute to hipsters by Ben Sidran.

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Vocal Intimacy

While many singers are very comfortable singing in front of an orchestra or big band, there’s something special about working with a small group.The five CDs reviewed this month feature vocalists performing in intimate duos, trios and quartets. Thomas Cunniffe discusses these albums by Karrin Allyson, Laurie Antonioli, Sinne Eeg, Elisabeth Lohninger and the New West Guitar Group (featuring Gretchen Parlato, Sara Gazarek, Peter Eldridge, Becca Stevens and Tierney Sutton)

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Vocal Jazz Roundup

Thomas Cunniffe reviews a cross-section of new vocal jazz albums, including Cheryl Bentyne’s Gershwin Songbook, Sachal Vasandani’s Hi-Fly, Katchie Cartwright’s Tales and Tongues and Brigitte Zarie’s Make Room For Me.

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Un-easy Listening

The title of this review is not a reflection on the musical quality of the latest albums by Patricia Barber, Mostly Other People Do The Killing and Wayne Shorter; rather, it speaks of the uncompromising attitude that all of these artists share. Thomas Cunniffe offers his reactions in this feature review.

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Tributes and Collaborations

Many current jazz albums are either collaborations or tributes, but the four vocal CDs reviewed this month fall into both categories. Judy Niemack and Dan Tepfer’s duet disc, Listening to You salutes Lee Konitz, while a bevy of top-name singers take part in The Passion of Charlie Parker. The New York band Swingadelic offers a sampler of Johnny Mercer songs, and Mark Winkler remembers his late husband on The Company I Keep. Thomas Cunniffe offers his thoughts on these recordings.

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100% Proof: The Complete Tubby Hayes Discography (by Simon Spillett & C. Tom Davis)

In a recording career that spanned 22 years, Tubby Hayes played on nearly 400 different sessions, including broadcast, film and studio appearances. The only job more Herculean than playing all of those sessions is cataloging them. Thomas Cunniffe reviews 100% Proof: The Complete Tubby Hayes Discography, compiled by two of Hayes’ most ardent researchers, Simon Spillett and C. Tom Davis.

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