Tag Archives: matt munisteri

Brooklyn Galaxies

Brooklyn, once the stepchild of Manhattan, has become a musical mecca, attracting hordes of musicians and listeners to neighborhoods with “music in the cafés at night, and revolution in the air,” to quote Zimmie, who was writing about another time and place and revolution.

Here are two new releases from folks who live on planets situated in different galaxies but who inhabit the same modest borough of New York City: Musette Explosion and the Suite
Unraveling, headed by guitarist Lily Maase, an Albuquerque native. Continue reading

Marginally Obsessed

Still-Runnin-Cover-JPEG-300x274Matt Munisteri, Still Runnin’ Round in the Wilderness, The Lost Music of Willard
Robison, Volume 1
(Old Cow Music)

I’m often astonished by how much I don’t know, and sometimes grateful for my
ignorance because the potential for wonder and surprise is ever present.

Recently, I had a dose of surprise and wonder that concealed a second dose, and it all
started with Patti Littlefield. When the
schedule for the 2013 New Mexico Jazz
was published, that flame-haired chanteuse, who doubles as a staff member at the Outpost, alerted me to the upcoming appearance of vocalist Catherine Russell, of whom I’d never heard.

Patti Littlefield, who started this.

“You gotta check her out,” Patti advised.

So I did, because Patti knows the goods when she hears them, and I was rewarded by encountering a stunning new-to-me artist to
explore. I arranged to interview her for a preview article on her jazz fest appearance, and I attended her concert in Old Town Plaza last weekend, where she and her band knocked the socks off of one and all. Now, Russell gets regular play in our house.

But there was another surprise waiting for me when I started to chat with her guitarist and musical director, the articulate, funny, earnest, and gently ironic Matt Munisteri, who saw fit to hand me his latest CD, Still Runnin’ Round in the Wilderness, The Lost Music of Willard Robison, Volume 1.

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New Mexico Jazz Festival: Catherine Russell

The New Mexico Jazz Festival begins this week, offering 16 days of concerts, photos, film, and more in both Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll focus on a few of the featured artists that will be rearranging time and space for your listening pleasure and the good of your soul. Go to New Mexico Jazz Festival for complete information on all the events.

Catherine Russell Makes the Past Present

Cat digs in.

Cat digs in.

Vocalist Catherine Russell
provides an unanswerable
counterargument to those who would claim that there’s no point in recording yet another
version of vintage-songs-that’ve-been-done-by-many: “These are great songs, and I want to sing them, too.”

You go, girl.

Because she chooses songs that speak to her, and finds a personal way to phrase each and every one of them, Russell reinvigorates material that, in the vocal cords of a lesser singer, might be mere antiques or tired reproductions. Her latest album, Strictly Romancin’ (World Village Records), features songs from the likes of Duke Ellington, Hoagy Carmichael, and Mary Lou Williams, and she and her bandmates comfortably inhabit these tunes, making them feel as present as now.

Russell brings her smooth, supple, resonant alto and fresh phrasing to a free concert this
Saturday in Albuquerque’s Old Town Plaza as part of the New Mexico Jazz Festival, where she’ll be joined by guitarist and musical director Matt Munisteri, pianist Mark Shane, bassist Lee
Hudson, and drummer Mark McLean. (Guitarist Dan Dowling and bassist John Griffin will open the afternoon’s festivities.)

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