Top 10 (x2) Favorite James Williams Tracks

My biggest “eureka” moment as a budding jazz musician (or, to be accurate, the moment when I decided I needed to BE a budding jazz musician and not just a dabbler) came the first time I heard “Magical Trio 2” by James Williams, like the moment in the “Wizard of Oz” where it goes from black & white to color – in a flash I heard everything I wanted music to be, all in one place. If life were just, the Soulful Mister Williams would’ve been 65 today.

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the Cast of “Ripples” Part 5: Noah Baerman Trio

As a musician, it is a treat whenever the opportunity arises to play with someone who brings out your best. It is, however, a rare and special confluence when you can play with someone who brings out a “best” that you otherwise wouldn’t have even known was in there. So it has gone for ten years now with the members of my Trio, Henry Lugo and Vinnie Sperrazza.

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the Cast of “Ripples” Part 3: Chamber Ensemble

Jazz with “crossover instruments” (especially strings) is a tricky endeavor – the music needs to be played accurately, in-tune and so on, but also needs to have the rhythm and phrasing that make it soulful and authentic. It is, however, less tricky with the right people and I was fortunate to have those people for the Ripples trio-plus-chamber session in Meg Okura, Zach Brock, Benjamin Fingland, Erica von Kleist and the chamber-MVP, Dave Eggar.

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Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child

Mother’s Day is here, and it is a time of celebration and acknowledgment for some (most?) and a time of bringing difficulty into sharp relief for others. I am certainly not advocating that those who are experiencing the telephone-commercial version enjoy their day one iota less. Quite the contrary, taking a moment to empathize with those who are dealing with loss should only enhance the edict to enjoy and savor each moment of love and togetherness.

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