Jazz music director Gary Vercelli spotlights two world-class singers who will be performing locally and two new releases by rising young jazz artists.
Cecile McLorin Salvant: "Nothing Like You" on "Dreams and Daggers"
Since winning the Thelonious Monk International Jazz composition in 2010, McLorin has skyrocketed to become recognized as a world-class vocalist. Many have compared her voice to Ella Fitzgerald, but she feels Sarah Vaughan was her main influence. Her latest CD, "Dreams and Daggers," was recorded at both the Village Vanguard and in studio. It earned McLorin her second Grammy for Best Vocal Jazz Album.
McLorin will perform this Friday night at Mondavi’s Jackson Hall with Bill Charlap’s Trio. This marks her third appearance at Mondavi.
Mary Stallings: "I Love Being Here With You" on "Live at the Village Vanguard"
Veteran vocalist Mary Stallingshas worked and recorded with the Count Basie Orchestra, Dizzy Gillespie, Cal Tjader, Ben Webster and Wes Montgomery. This live recording from the famed Village Vanguard in NYC, recorded in 2001 is notable for the chemistry she shares with her pianist and musical director Eric Reed. A San Francisco native, Stallings first recorded with Cal Tajader in 1961. After taking time in the '70s and '80s to raise a daughter, she again emerged with many beautiful CDs. She is a supremely soulful vocalist.
Stallings will join the Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet for a Valentine’s night concert on Feb. 14 at Take 5 Jazz at the Brew at Valley Brew in Stockton.
Nick Maclean Quartet: "Cantaloupe Island" on "Rites of Ascension"
Nick Maclean is a Toronto-based pianist. On “Rites of Ascension,” he reworks several Herbie Hancock compositions in a very original manner. This spirited reading of Hancock’s Cantaloupe Island features excellent trumpet work by Brownman Ali.
New Faces: "Follow Suit" on "Straight Forward"
This is a group of young all-stars, many of whom record as leaders for a small but potent label called Positone Records. Vibraphonist Behn Gillece is blossoming as a prolific composer and his technique on the instrument is reminiscent of Bobby Hutcherson. He is joined in the front line by Josh Lawrence on trumpet and Roxy Coss on saxophone.