Let's Talk: Andrew Neu

Air Date: 2/28/2021

"Rick Braun is a great bebop trumpeter," says saxophonist/arranger/conductor Andrew Neu during our interview, to air starting around 9am ET on 2/28. "You should hear him play bebop!" which as he knows is not easy, since Mr. Braun typically appears on smooth/urban jazz releases.  I would love to. But how about hearing him and others like him play in a big band setting?

That's what you have in store when you listen to Mr. Neu's latest CD, Catwalk. There are a lot of big names on the CD who are associated with the smooth/urban jazz genre. Names like Brian Bromberg, Eric Marienthal, and Randy Brecker, along with Mr. Braun. And the point that Mr. Neu makes during our interview on 2/28 is that these are 'musicians who can play fluently in any genre while at the same time respecting the conventions of that genre.'

I don't think you would notice anything about the music on Catwalk that would suggest a difference in the big band sound, coming from all those 'smooth' players, except that the arrangements are interesting and beautiful, the playing is very tight, and the solos are really great. There are a number of styles, with two Latin tracks, a ballad, and a 7/4 version of Body and Soul (with a 4/4 intro). 

Ever since we received Mr. Neu's 2012 release Everything Happens for a Reason, I knew that he was a different kind of artist, one who is firmly part of the smooth/urban jazz world, but also has musical aspirations elsewhere. My favorite track on the CD What Will I Do, co -wrote and -performed with Bobby Caldwell, features an introduction written by Mr. Neu for full orchestra. How interesting to find that on a smooth jazz CD!

And now we have his big band release. It's a thrill to witness the evolution of an artist. What's next from tenor saxophonist Andrew Neu?

Plenty of Piano

We recently got in several CDs by pianist Alan Pasqua, including his 2020 effort Day Dream. Listen for his tracks - the first hour starts and ends with Mr. Pasqua. The show's opener comprises two well-known songs put together in a medley that I would never have thought to put together. Also, Mr. Pasqua appears on track 9 during the hour, as part of Jeff Ellwood's quartet, and kicks off hour two. All I can say to describe Alan Pasqua's playing is: He has the touch!
Other pianists caring for your soul during Your Contemplative Morning include Ellis Marsalis and Alan Broadbent. On reflective guitar we have Frank Kohl, as well as Tuck Andress, who channels his inner acoustic Jimi Hendrix with vocalist Patti Cathcart, here smushing together two of my favorite Hendrix tracks on Castles Made Of Sand - Little Wing. You'll hear a lot of emotion on this song.

Haunting is perhaps a theme as we hear Jane Monheit's crystal smooth voice on Haunted Heart, and we also hear the haunting melody Anastasia from reed man Stefano Di Battista.

New for this week is a CD collaboration from vocalist Mark Winkler and pianist David Benoit, Old Friends. You'll hear his version of The Shadow of Your Smile during hour two, with more to come in the weeks to follow.

This show was very rewarding to put together - the music is great, and the talk with Andrew Neu is very interesting. Don't miss it - but if you do, check out our WICN archive.

Thanks for tuning in to the Sunday Jazz Brunch.


HOUR ONE: Contemplative Morning

  1. Alan Pasqua-Day Dream-03 In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning _ Smile 2020
  2. Frank Kohl\Solitude\City Lights 2020
  3. The Ellis Marsalis Trio-The Ellis Marsalis Trio-06 A Moment Alone 1990
  4. Oscar Castro-Neves-Playful Heart-03 Watch What Happens 2003
  5. Alan Broadbent, Mancio-Songbook-5. Small Wonder 2015
  6. Tuck & Patti-Love Warriors-08 Castles Made Of Sand - Little Wing 1989
  7. Stefano di Battista-Stefano Di Battista-10 Anastasia 2001
  8. Chiara Civello-The Space Between-04 My Broken Heart 2007
  9. Jeff Ellwood\The Sounds Around The House\07_Barcelona 2020
  10. Jane Monheit-In The Sun-10 Haunted Heart 2002
  11. New York Voices-A Day Like This-05 For All We Know 2007
  12. Alan Pasqua-Soliloquy-09 A Time For Love-2018

HOUR TWO: New For You

  1. Alan Pasqua-Day Dream-01 02 Bewitched, Bothered, And Bewildered-2020
  2. Andrew Neu-Catwalk-Catwalk-2018
  3. Andew Neu Interview Part 1
  4. Andew Neu-Catwalk-Cinema Paradiso feat Rick Braun-2018
  5. Alan Broadbent\Songbook Feat Georgia Mancio\8. Forever 2015
  6. Andew Neu Interview Part 2
  7. Andew Neu-Catwalk-Body and Soul-2018
  8. Earl Klugh-HandPicked-12 If I Fell 2013
  9. Mark Winkler and David Benoit - Old Friends - The Shadow Of Your Smile 2021
  10. Andew Neu Interview Part 3
  11. Andew Neu-Catwalk-My Dear feat Eric Marienthal-2018
  12. The Manhattan Transfer-The Junction-10 Paradise Within (Paradise Found) 2018

HOUR THREE: Brazil/World

  1. Andew Neu Interview Part 4
  2. Andew Neu-Catwalk-Zebrano-2018
  3. Stacey Kent-I Know I Dream-10 Mais Uma Vez 2017
  4. Claudio Roditi- Bons Amigos - 10 Piccolo Samba (2011)
  5. Andew Neu Interview Part 5
  6. Andew Neu-Catwalk-Wasamba-2018
  7. The Brazilian Trio-Aguas Brasileiras-06 Baden-2020
  8. Hendrik Meurkens\Manhattan Samba\One for Manfredo 2020
  9. Yulia Musayelyan\Oblivion\05 Como Dos Extraños 2021
  10. Zoe Scott\Shades of Love\Wave 2021
  11. Trio Da Paz-Somewhere-08 Take Five 2005

HOUR FOUR: Groove, Baby

  1. Reza Khan\Imaginary Road\09_Somewhere East 2021
  2. Richard Elliot\Authentic Life\Right on Time 2021
  3. Andrew Neu\In Clear View\You Are 2018
  4. Chris Standring-Real Life-06 what-goes-around-M 2020
  5. Brian Simpson-Out of a Dream-05 Just One Wish (2015)
  6. Zoe Scott\Shades of Love\I'll Stand By You 2021
  7. Najee-Center of the Heart-07 One Note Love 2019
  8. Molly Johnson-Another Day-07 Melody 2002
  9. Richard Elliot - Authentic Life - Move Ahead - 2021
  10. Andrew Neu-Inspire-Mystic Days-2000
  11. Spyro Gyra-Morning Dance-05 Starburst 1979
  12. Rick Braun-Crossroads-07 Family 2019


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