The Sunday Jazz Brunch Presents

All The Latest

Air Date: 10/15/2023 on 90.5 WICN 8am-12pm ET

With respect to jazz, we live in a fantastic time. There is so much talent today. It amazes me how many really good releases we receive at WICN every week. Here are some of the best that have come in recently, all of which you will hear on the next editon of the Sunday Jazz Brunch.

Don Braden

Who says that computer engineers can't play jazz? Tenor saxophonist Don Braden is a living example that the two can fit together quite nicely. 

The Harvard-educated computer engineer is considered a top-flight jazz artist, and this is borne out in his new tribute release honoring the music of Earth, Wind, and Fire and Stevie Wonder. 

If you are like me, you grew up with this music, and it is great to hear it given new life by an accomplished artist.

Chris Botti

Chris Botti (by Randall Slavin)
“I turned 60 in 2022, at a time that seemed like a restart for so many things in the world,” says Mr. Botti. 

“I wanted to strip away all the orchestral arrangements and special guests and focus more on my playing, the playing of my band, and these jazz classics that we always love playing on stage.” 

And restart he has done, with a title to cement the idea - Volume 1 - and a new label - Blue Note. “It's a fantastic honor. I had great runs on Verve and Columbia, so it’s amazing to now arrive on the most famous traditional jazz record label.”

Check out two tracks from the new CD during the first two hours of the show.

Aaron Diehl

Growing up, my dad had me listening to classical music. So when I hear music that claims to marry jazz and classical, I perk up. 

Mr. Diehl has taken a piece written by Mary Lou Williams, The Zodiac Suite, and brought it up to date with a fine recording.  The piece is considered one of the first attempts at integrating jazz and classical musical ideas.

“Mary Lou Williams evolved and changed over time,” Diehl says. “She lived through a significant portion of the development of 20th century music, but she always kept her foundation intact. The roots were always there. She struggled continually with people accepting her on her own terms and recognizing her significant contributions. I hope this album will encourage people to investigate more of her music.”

The music is stunning and beautiful, and certainly unique.

“It’s an ongoing challenge, even today, to incorporate the language of Black American folk music into this very Eurocentric identity with all its nuances,” he said. “I can only do my small part to celebrate Mary Lou Williams’ music whenever it’s possible because she was such a brilliant artist. It’s important to keep advocating on behalf of these folks who are no longer with us and to keep their music in people’s ears for generations to come.” 

I'm hoping to have Mr. Diehl do a Musican's Corner interview to talk about the release.

Ivan Lins

Ivan Lins (by Fran Gala)
What else is there to say about this amazing artist,  except that he is amazing? I have been listening to Ivan Lins for many years, and his latest CD is his finest. That is saying something.

The other day I was in the studio with Ed Gardella, and I asked him to check out the title track, The Heart Speaks. It seems he and his listeners enjoyed this composition very much.

I find the story behind this track quite interesting. Mr. Lins wrote the melody and arrangement, and vocalist Jane Monheit wrote the lyrics. 

However, they chose Dianne Reeves to sing the song. 

When you hear what Ms. Reeves brings to this effort, it will be obvious why they chose her. 

The song is amazing. The entire CD is amazing. 

There's nothing else to say, only to listen.

Joshua Redman

Here we have another artist who, like Chris Botti, has switched his label, also to Blue Note. In addition, this release is his first featuring a vocalist: Gabrielle Cavassa.

Joshua Redman and Group
As Mr. Redman explains, “the surface concept of where are we is rather simple: each of the songs on the album is about, or at least makes reference to, a specific geographical location (city or state or region) in the United States: Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Streets of Philadelphia,’ Count Basie’s ‘Going To Chicago,’ Rodgers & Hart’s ‘Manhattan,’ John Coltrane’s ‘Alabama,’ etc… So, on one level, this is an album ‘about’ America — at once a celebration and a critique. But it is also, to varying degrees, a ballads album, a standards album, an album of romantic longing, an album of social reflection, an album of melodic invention, an album of improvisational adventure, an album of mashups, perhaps even a tribute album of sorts.”

With such jazz luminaries as Peter Bernstein (guitar, from Manhattan) and Nicholas Peyton (New Orleans), the result is top-shelf. This CD will get plenty of airtime over the next few weeks.

Robin McKelle

We have three releases from the fine vocalist, and this one is her best. She pays tribute to the great Ella, and in fine fashion. How could you top that?

Robin McKelle
"I admired the effortless way she made herself a part of the band, even though she was the star. Her powerful voice and explosive scat to the most delicate tones had me hooked," she says about Ella.

Ms. McKelle has the backing of some of the best in the business: Kenny Washington on drums, bassist Peter Washington, and NEA Jazz Master Kenny Barron on piano. 

“I wasn’t intimidated to make music with them, but [their] résumés were like, ‘Wow!’ [Am I] going to be good enough? Are we going to connect? The exciting thing was having the opportunity to sing over them as a trio; that was such a huge joy.” 

I have been playing this CD for the past several weeks, and you'll enjoy a fine version of How High The Moon during the second hour of the show.


Thanks for listening to the Sunday Jazz Brunch.




HOUR ONE: Contemplative Morning

Don Braden-Earth Wind And Wonder Volume 2 2023-05 Send One Your Love
Michael Morreale\Stories of Recent Vintage 2023\Nocturne No. 4
David Janeway\Distant Voices 2022\In Passing

Nicholas Payton\Couch Sessions 2023\Christina
Chris Botti\Volume 1 2023\Time On My Hands
Steve Carrington- Friends R Family 2023-11 Ha Shalom El L'Olam
Aaron Diehl\Zodiac Suite 2023\Cancer

Joshua Redman\where are we 2023\Featuring Gabrielle Cavassa - Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans
Jeremy Monteiro-Sings 2023-01 Candy
Lee Morgan-Candy-01 Candy-1957

HOUR TWO: New For You

Nicholas Payton\Drip 2023\The Backward Step
Don Braden-Earth Wind And Wonder Volume 2 2023-09 That's The Way Of The World
Chris Botti\Volume 1 2023\Bewitched Bothered and Bewildered

Noah Franche-Nolan\Within the Stream 2023\Night and Day
Matt Catingub-From Samoa to Sinatra 2023-07 There's No You
Ray Blue-#People 2023-02 People
Ivan Lins\My Heart Speaks 2023\02 The Heart Speaks (Antes e Depois)

Don Braden-Earth Wind And Wonder Volume 2 2023-06 Bird Of Beauty
TechnoCats-Music of Gregg Hill 2023-05 Inside Straight
Robin McKelle\Impressions of Ella 2023\How High The Moon
Dan Wilson-Things Eternal 2023-06 Things Eternal

HOUR THREE: Brazil/World

Aguanko\Unidad 2023\01 - Kintsugi
Mafalda Minnozzi-Natural Impression 2024-02 Comecar De Novo
Ivan Lins\My Heart Speaks 2023\Corpos (Bodies)
Gabriel Espinosa-Samba Little Samba 2014-09 Encuentro Maya

Gabriel Espinosa\Bossas and Boleros 2023\07 Pa Eugenio
Doug Beavers\Luna 2023\003  Reflejo del Sol
David Janeway\Distant Voices 2022\Blue Serge

Gaea Schell\In Your Own Sweet Way 10 Un Sueño de la Noche
Antonio Adolfo-Bossa 65 2023-07 Marcha Da Quarta Feira De Cinzas (Ash Wednesday March)
Thomas Fonnesbaek & Justn Kauflin\Danish Rain 2023\ Everything I Love

HOUR FOUR: Groove, Baby

Don Braden-Earth Wind And Wonder Volume 2 2023-03 Reasons
Nicholas Payton\Drip 2023\Kimathi
Justin Lee Schultz\Just In The Moment 2023\Down Time

Euge Groove\Comfort Zone 2023\Crossroads
Veronica Swift\Veronica Swift 2023\Severed Heads
Kait Dunton\Keyboards 2023\Connie's In Charge
The 3 Keys-We 3 Keys 2023-06 Gimme The Keys

Keiko Matsui\Euphoria V2 2023\New Passage
Leo Sidran-Cool School (Music of Michael Franks)-09 Sometimes I Just Forget To Smile 2018
Buzz Amato\Muse Cafe 2023\The Dream
Brian Simpson\Soul Connection 2023\Stramger in Paradise


Popular posts from this blog