New Music for September 5th

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Ursula Ricks- My Street

AR-My-Street.jpgBased in Baltimore, My Street is the debut release from Ursula Ricks on the Severn Records label. Despite no formal training, Ricks voice is commanding, unique and big. In fact, she has the ability to blast out the ten tracks of blues / funk in a way that makes you remember what you heard. Eight of the tracks were written by Ricks and the remaining two, "Mary Jane" and "Just a Little Bit Of Love" are covers of classics by Bobby Rush and Curtis Mayfield, respectively. Ricks wrote her first song at age sixteen and in her early twenty's had an all female band. She has performed in clubs and various venues up and down the East coast from New York to Florida and has performed at the Baltimore Blues Festival. My Street is the debut of what is hopefully more to come. If her future works are as energetic and fun as My Street, her fans are in for a real treat.

Overall: 9
Sonics: 8


Jason Lee Bruns Jazz Collective- Live At Catalina Jazz Club

AR-Jason-Lee-Bruns-Jazz-Collective.jpgOhio born Jason Lee Bruns founded the Jazz Collective in California in 2009 and has since been performing in sold out venues all over Southern California. Bruns, as well as the remainder of the ensemble are all comprised of graduates of the USC Flora L. Thornton School of Music. Other notable graduates include Dave Brubeck, Arturo Sandoval and Natalie Cole. Recorded live at the Catalina Jazz Club, the nine tracks are a blend of instrumental as well as vocal selections. Bruns is not only a talented drummer, but also a skilled composer and arranger and he deftly demonstrates this on this live album. His adaptations of selections by Coltrane, Thelonius Monk, Antonio Carlos Jobim as well as others invite the listener to return again and again.

Overall: 8
Sonics: 8


Dave Askren / Jeff Benedict- It's All About The Groove

AR-All-About-The-Groove.jpgPlaying the role as co-leaders, Dave Askren on guitar and Jeff Benedict on saxophone team up with Ramon Banda and John Belzaguy for ten tracks of groove exploration. The six standard, four original CD grooves through bebop, to swing, to funk to very soft and mellow. The goal was to blend old with new and do so in a way that was both fresh and exciting. Both Askren and Benedict have impressive musical pedigrees and have been musical teachers as well as playing professionally since an early age. This traditional jazz selection had as it's goal to blend old and new and does so in a way that is unmistakable and a really good listen.

Overall: 8
Sonics: 8

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