Friday, July 20, 2012

Doris Long "Long Overdue" 2012

            Doris Long has been singing jazz and standards around town since 1963. She has performed with a who’s who of the local music scene, with long running stints at such great places out of the past as Sammy’s and the Theatrical. It is amazing she has never put out a solo recording before, and her recently released Long Overdue is appropriately titled.
            Long Overdue finds Doris Long backed by some great local musicians, including Joe Hunter on piano, Dallas Coffey on bass, Val Kent on drums, and Al Fuller on sax.  The seventeen cuts on the disk are all standards done the right way, with arrangements that not only let Long’s vocals shine, but also the musicianship of the band behind her. They do a great job on songs like Jimmy Van Huesen’s “Oh You Crazy Moon”; the Gershwin Brothers’ “For You, For Me, Forevermore”; and Cole Porter’s “I Concentrate on You.” I really like the versions of Duke Ellington’s “Drop Me Off in Harlem” and the Fred Rose/Walter Hirsh classic “Deed I Do.” Both really show off the band, especially pianist Hunter and bassist Coffey in the Ellington tune, and sax player Fuller in the other.
            Doris Long is in her eighth year playing Friday nights at the Waterbury Coach House on Madison. She starts at 7:00 and is backed by Hunter and Coffey. Check her out sometime, she and her music are one of the best kept secrets in local music scene.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

"Sugar & Adrenaline" Dan Miraldi 2012

            Dan Miraldi’s music is heading in the right direction. The young Cleveland rocker, who has progressed from teen bands to college groups at the College of Wooster, to several post grad projects, has released Sugar & Adrenaline, his second full length CD release, his fourth over all.  Each of the releases has been good, with each one getting better and more polished.
            Sugar and Adrenaline is different than the previous three because it was completely recorded with his touring band, and it shows up on the record with a bit more guitar solos by Alex Bowers, drum introductions by Sarah Luffred, and stronger bass lines by Joe Laguardia. 
            The disk features twelve cuts all written by Miraldi, mostly poppish rock tunes with titles like “Few Rock Harder,” Record Collection,” “Fall in Love All Over Again.” As Miraldi gets older his song writing seems to be heading in a bit more mature vein, and comes through on the last cut on the disc, a ballad titled “The Many Shades of Blue.”
            After listening to the album all weekend in my car stereo it reminds me of two similar albums I enjoyed in the past and still listen to occasionally and that have the same feel to it, Matthew Sweet’s Girlfriend (remember with “Winona” on it?), and going way back to when I was Miraldi’s age or younger, the long forgotten classic David Werner’s Whizz Kid.  I hope Miraldi keeps his band together and they keep going, I think they can go to some good places together.
            Dan Miraldi and the Albino Whinos will be headlining this Thursday, July 12, in the Cambridge Room at the House of Blues, 8:00 show. I caught the bands last Cambridge Room show and it was very good, check out this one if you can.