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Sound Advice: Gary Vercelli's Jazz Recommendations

J. Barry O'Rourke / Ali Ryerson / Courtesy

J. Barry O'Rourke / Ali Ryerson / Courtesy

In this week’s Sound Advice, CapRadio Jazz Music Director Gary Vercelli previews the Ali Ryerson Quartet's concert at the Crocker Art Museum tonight and shares some other tunes he’s been listening to this month.

Here are his picks:

"Lovely Day"by Shamie Royston

Originally from Denver, Royston is now an integral part of the New York jazz scene as a performer and educator. Her interesting arrangement of Bill Withers’ “Lovely Day” features the horn section as background singers.

"Dexter Digs In" by Allan Harris

Vocalist Allan Harris pays a hearfelt tribute to the iconic singer and “Godfather of Vocales” Eddie Jefferson. The Brooklyn-based singer has previously paid homage to Nat Cole. Pianist Eric Reed arranged the session.

"Almost Like Being in Love" by Brad Mehldau

The song's melody serves as a launching pad for some fertile improvisation from pianist Mehldau with capable support from Larry Grenadier on the bass and Jeff Ballard on the drums.

"Waiting For Angela" by Akira Tana

Composed by Brazilian guitarist Toninho Horta, this beautiful ballad features Branford Marsalis on soprano sax. Akira Tana will be playing drums tonight with Ali Ryerson’s Quartet alongside pianist Joe Gilman at the Crocker Art Museum's Jazz Night.

“The most important and the strongest element of music is the melodic content," Marsalis said. "In jazz we spend a lot of time talking about harmony. Harmonic music tends to be very insular. It tends to be [like] you’re in the private club with a secret handshake. When they put on 'Kind of Blue' and say they like it, I always ask people: 'What did you like about it?' They describe it in physical terms, in visceral terms, but never in musical terms.”

"Ana Maria"by Ali Ryerson

Ryerson and the Ali Ryerson Quartet will be performing tonight at the Crocker Art Museum's Jazz Night. This song is from Ryerson's latest album, "Gamechanger," which was released in 2013.

Listen to Vercelli's playlist:

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