The Sunday Jazz Brunch Presents

Muscian's Corner: Debbie Spring

Air Date: 11/19/2023 on 90.5 WICN 8am-12pm ET


Do an internet search for 'jazz viola' and you won't get very much. Four or five names pop up on Wikipedia, mostly violin players who also happen to occasionally play viola. Add to this, over the many thousands of CDs I have listened to during my tenure at WICN, I do not recall ever coming across a jazz viola player. 

Until now.

Miami's Debbie Spring joins me on this edition of the Sunday Jazz Brunch to talk about the viola in jazz as well as her new CD, Tocamos.

You'll hear all about her instrument. And not only is the instrument itself unusual and unique in jazz, but additionally, it is unique even among violas. This is because it has five strings, whereas a typical viola has only four. 

 Tune in at 10am ET 

to hear this edition of Musician's Corner.

What you'll hear when we play the songs from the CD is a beautifully warm tone, which is characteristic of the viola. Its range is somewhere between cello and violin.  

One of the two songs that we'll talk about is a bossa nova, featuring guest artist Phill Fest on the guitar. Ms. Spring explains how Mr. Fest was chosen to help solidify the classic bossa nova sound for this piece. It is a lovely track.

The other song we'll hear has an uncommon time signature, 5/4 as in Brubeck's Take Five. Humorously Ms. Spring tells us about her drummer, Ettienne Fuentes, who is bored by 4/4 and 3/4 but gets excited about 5/4 and 7/8! 

Tune in to hear beautiful music played on a warm, engaging instrument, and also get the backstory directly from the artist. 

More Tasty Material

There are some highlights about the show that I'd like to mention. I'm excited about the track selection throughout. Many of the songs seem to very naturally go together. The first hour is just delicious, with the tremendous bass lines of Brian Bromberg, Robin McKelle's excellent homage to Ella Fitzgerald, an old favorite from Weber Iago featuring a wonderful ensemble,  a great track from saxophonist David Sills and another from bassist David Finck, which includes a sweet vocal duet. 

But I ramble. Tune in and listen for yourself. I hope you will be delighted.



HOUR ONE: Contemplative Morning

Emmet Cohen\Emmet Cohen featuring Houston Person 2023\All My Tomorrows
Tim Ray Trio-Fire & Rain 2023-11 Nighttime
Aaron Diehl\Zodiac Suite 2023\Aquarius
Diego Figueiredo\Follow the Signs 2022\Samba in New Orleans

Brian Bromberg-Wood II-05 A Love Affair 2006
Robin McKelle\Impressions of Ella 2023\Soon
Weber Iago-Os Filhos do Vento-16 Os Filhos do Vento (Children of the Wind), for ensemble- Part IV. Lua Nova (New Moon). Interlude 2004
Bill Cunliffe-It's About Love-01 At the End of the Day 2003 feat Gary Foster
Bill Evans & Tony Bennett-Together again-12 Dream dancing 1977

David Sills-Bigs-07 Star Jasmine 2001
David Finck\BASSic Instinct 2021\09 So What (feat Kelly Mittleman and Andy Snitzer)
Christian Jacob-Contradictions- A Look at the Music of Michel Petrucciani-08 13th 2006

HOUR TWO: New For You

Chris Botti\Vol 1 2023\Fix You
Linda Purl\This Could Be the Start 2023\Let's Get Lost
Bill Cunliffe\Rainforests 2023\Midnight Island
002 Ivan Lins - The Heart Speaks (Antes e Depois) 2023 - My Heart Speaks feat Dianne Reeves
Aaron Diehl\Zodiac Suite 2023\009 Aaron Diehl & The Knights - Sagittarius

Emmet Cohen featuring Houston Person 2023\003 If You Could See Me Now
Gabriel Espinosa\Bossas and Boleros 2023\New Year
Robin McKelle\Impressions of Ella 2023\My One and Only
TechnoCats-Music of Gregg Hill 2023-08 Ristral Ristral

John LaBarbera Big Band\Grooveyard 2023\Sweetness
Affinity Trio\Hindsight 2023\End of a Love Affair
Walter Smith III-return to casual 2023-03 Pup - Pow
Robin McKelle\Impressions of Ella 2023\Robbins' Nest

HOUR THREE: Brazil/World

Musician's Corner: Debbie Spring\Tocamos 2023\Bossa Minha
Musician's Corner: Debbie Spring\Tocamos 2023\Senegal
Diego Figueiredo\Follow the Signs 2022\008 Samba In New Orleans

Gabriel Espinosa\Bossas and Boleros 2023\22
Ivan Lins\My Heart Speaks 2023\003 Nao Ha Porque (There's No Reason Why)
Michael Weiss\Homage 2023 - We Love Horace
Janet Evra\Meet Me In Paris 2023\ La Vie En Rose

Hendrik Meurkens\Samba Jazz Oddysey with  WDR Big Band 2022\You Again
Eliane Elias-Quietude 2022-03 Bahia Com H (Bahia With H)
Daniela Soledade\Pretty World 2022\Down in Brazil

HOUR FOUR: Groove, Baby

Brian Simpson\Soul Connection 2023\Through the Tears
Don Braden-Earth Wind And Wonder Volume 2 2023-04 Profusion
Euge Groove\Comfort Zone 2023\Caminito
Brian Simpson\All That Matters 2021\Bonita

Maysa\Blue Velvet Soul\I Care
Hil St. Soul\Back in Love 2022\Heaven Must Be Like This
Will Downing-Soul Survivor-10 Tell Me About It 2017
William Kanter Woods-Cobalt Blue-04 All Night Long 2004
Maysa\Blue Velvet Soul\13 This Much (2013)

Nicole Henry\TIME TO LOVE AGAIN. 2021\I Didn't Know What Time It Was
Norman Brown\Let's Get Away 2022\Easy Livin'
Phil Perry\A Better Man\Feelin' You
Ray Blue-Work-10 Our Day Will Come 2019


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