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‘Mary Lou Williams told me 30 years ago at my first lesson with her: ‘You have to go through the muck and the mud to play the blues’.
“Now in mid-life, having slogged through some deep mud and muck, I can say the dirt and all of my life experience counts and that it informs and enriches my artistic voice.”
These words by Sumi Tonooka sum up her approach to one of the most thoughtful and sensitive solo jazz/blues albums I have listened to in a long time.
Critical acclaim is littered with such words and phrases as “intriguing and often unselfconsciously brilliant”; “an utterly original player”; “there is no one who sounds like her”; “grounded in the blues but with a flair for the unexpected”; “an intriguing composer as well as a pianist who plays with elegance and force”; “a superb solo piano outing”.
The two-CD set has 12 tracks, including I Hear a Rhapsody; Heaven; All of You and Evidence, plus five of her own compositions. If you like your jazz cerebral and a little challenging, you will love Tonooka on her double album.
Order directly from the artist at: http://sumitonooka.com/
Live at Jazz Central DVD
Earl Klugh was born in 1953 and declares that he was influenced by Chet Atkins. Not a bad start.
But if jazz guitar, when used to spread the “smooth jazz” concept, is used in the manner on this DVD, the listener immediately thinks of George Benson.
There are 12 tracks of lubricious, middle-of-the-road jazz which are perfect as a background while unwinding. The visuals are pretty good, too. But Klugh is no “adornment” in the jazz world. His styles vary from pop to Latin to jazz and he has won one Grammy, been nomina-ted for 12 and had five No 1 albums in the Billboard jazz category.
For a free catalogue of Revolver Records, e-mail justine@ iafrica.com
• Win! Win! Win!
Five DVDs featuring the ultra-smooth Earl Klugh in concert are up for grabs, courtesy of Revolver Records. To stand a chance of winning one of the DVDs, answer the following question: In what year was Earl Klugh born?
Please submit your entries by e-mail to jassmanquiz@|yahoo.com and include your name, postal address and contact numbers, as I call the winners and confirm the delivery address and the answers.
Only one entry per competition. Competition closes at noon on Saturday.