Roger Hoover - Pastures
Label: Last Chance Records
Sometimes, what we need is more simplicity, both in our everyday lives and perhaps even in our music. In "Pastures," Roger Hoover delivers simplicity, musical searching and wistfulness all done in a folk music style. Influenced by the likes of Roger Cohen, Tom Waits and Kris Kristofferson, Hoover flows his way through all eleven original tracks with a folk / rock style and even, at times, resembles a young Woodie Guthrie. And growing up in Northeast Ohio just possibly gave him a unique perspective on the successes and failures of the working class and provided an inspiration for his music. In any event, "Pastures" is a work that may both be listened to for the music as much as the interpretations of the lyrics. All in all, I enjoyed each in equal measure.
Livo Almeida - Action & Reaction
Label: Self Released
Livo Almeida may possibly be the most accomplished jazz saxophonist you've never heard before. Growing up in Brazil, he received a Bachelor's Degree in Classical Saxophone and is a winner of the International Saxophone Competition Victor Assis Brazil. He also performs on a regular basis with Grammy award winning pianist Arturo O'Farrill. Additionally, he is 1st tenor chair at the Eco-Music Big Band and has performed at festivals such as the Newport jazz festival, the Los Angeles Central Avenue Jazz Fest and several NYC based jazz festivals. Action & Reaction is a combination of precise arrangements that have a uniquely improvised flavor. Sometimes melancholy, sometimes high energy, never contrived, and done in an improv methodology, Action & Reaction will certainly become a valued work for any traditional jazz collection.