Hannah Williams & The Affirmations’ New LP Towers Over Its Counterparts In Phil’s Picks 2019 Top 10 New Albums List

Courtesy: Record Kicks

As the year finally winds down its final days, the attention for many companies turns to the new year and the new crop of records already planned for the first quarter of the year.  As attentions turn to thew new year and its new albums, attention should also remain on the current year’s albums.  This year produced so many standout records from across the musical universe.  From rock and hard rock to pop to neo-soul and more, the offerings presented to audiences were many to say the very least.  Keeping that in mind, any critic will agree assembling the list of the year’s top new albums overall is a chore, but one that must happen.  This year’s top new albums are mainstream and independent alike, at least on this critic’s list.

Hannah Williams & The Affirmations easily made their way onto this critic’s final musical year-ender list with their new album 50 Foot Woman as did Slipknot, Sara Potenza and even Joel Ross.  Again, this list was anything but easy to assemble, but it did finally come together.  It is presented here complete with five honorable mention titles.  Without any further ado, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks’ 2019 Top 10 New Albums.

 

PHIL’S PICKS 2019 TOP 10 NEW ALBUMS

  1. Hannah Williams & The Affirmations — 50 Foot Woman
  2. Devin Townsend — Empath
  3. Slipknot — We Are Not Your Kind
  4. Joel Ross — Kingmaker
  5. Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra w/ Wynton Marsalis — Jazz & Art
  6. Lakou Mizik — HaitiaNola
  7. Diana Panton — Cheerful Little Earful
  8. Am I Dead Yet? — Am I Dead Yet?
  9. Carlos Santana — Africa Speaks
  10. The Magpie Salute — Highwater II
  11. Tedeschi Trucks Band — Signs
  12. The Sh-Booms — The Blurred Odyssey
  13. Sara Potenza — Sara Potenza
  14. Wargirl — Wargirl
  15. Hootie & The Blowfish — Imperfect Circle

 

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Jazz At Lincoln Center’s ‘Jazz And Art’ Paints The Year’s Best New Musical Picture Of 2019’s New Jazz, Blues Albums

Courtesy: Blue Engine Records

The worlds of jazz and blues are intertwined with one another and have been for ages.  From their earliest days to the modern era, a close listen to records from the two genres exhibits this connection.  Keeping that in mind, it makes sense to combine the two genres when considering year-ender lists.That is just what this critic has done for years and is doing again this year.  This year’s list of top new jazz and blues albums touches on lots of different artists and groups.  The Jazz AT Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis has released a handful of noteworthy albums this year, as has World Music Network.  Blues artists Keb Mo and Kenny Wayne Shepherd are also featured on this year’s list with their new albums.  The same can be said of Diana Panton, as her new album is featured in this list, too.

As with every list this critic produces, it features the year’s top 10 new albums and five honorable mention titles for a total of 15 albums.  Without any further ado, here is Phil’s Picks Top 10 New Jazz & Blues albums.

 

PHIL’S PICKS 2019 TOP 10 NEW JAZZ & BLUES ALBUMS

  1. Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra w/ Wynton Marsalis — Jazz & Art
  2. Joel Ross — Kingmaker
  3. Diana Panton — Cheerful Little Earful
  4. World Music Network — The Rough Guide To Blues Divas
  5. Mark Clive De-Lowe — Heritage
  6. Mark Clive De-Lowe — Heritage II
  7. Keb Mo — Oklahoma
  8. Pancho Sanchez — Trane’s Delight
  9. Tedeschi Trucks Band — Signs
  10. Miles Davis — Rubberband
  11. John Coletrane — Coletrane ’58The Prestige Sessions
  12. Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra w/ Wynton Marsalis — Big Band Holidays II
  13. Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra w/ Wynton Marsalis — Jazz For Kids
  14. World Music Network — The Rough Guide To World Jazz
  15. The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band — The Traveler

 

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Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra’s New Family Music Album “Directs” The Way In This Year’s Top Family Music Albums List

Courtesy: Blue Engine Records/Jazz AT Lincoln Center

Family Music, otherwise known to most audiences as children’s music, is one of the most underrated genres in the musical universe.  The genre often-times gets a very bad reputation due to stereotypes created by audiences who are less educated than others about said genre.  Those who are more educated know that the world of Family Music offers perhaps more variety and originality than any mainstream genre.  The variety of albums released in this year’s field of Family Music albums clearly supports that statement.  From the Lincoln Center Orchestra performing its own surprisingly enjoyable takes on classic children’s songs, to the distinct presentation of Paul Winter Consort to even a Backstreet Boy’s own unique Family Music debut, this year’s field of new Family Music records has proven once again that said genre deserves far more respect than it gets.  That is why Phil’s Picks does its best each year to delve into that genre.

The Lincoln Center Orchestra tops this year’s list of new Family Music albums with its new recording Jazz For Kids.  It is just one of the interesting releases this year that the whole family will enjoy.  The Paul Winter Consort’s latest album can be considered not only Family Music, but possibly even World Music in its own right.  Former Backstreet Boy Howie D. offered one more of the year’s biggest surprises with his debut Family Music album, making it worthy in its own right on addition to this year’s list of top new Family Music albums.  It is joined by many others.  In fact, the list features the 10 top new Family Music albums along with five honorable mentions for a total of 15 titles.  noting again the variety of content featured across the Family Music genre, it made arranging this list anything but easy, but the final list here is that final choice.  Without any further ado here is this year’s Phil’s Picks Top 10 Family Music Albums.

 

PHIL’ PICKS 2019 TOP 10 FAMILY MUSIC ALBUMS

  1. Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra With Wynton Marsalis — Jazz For Kids
  2. Thank You, Mr. Rogers — Music & Memories
  3. Diana Panton — A Cheerful Little Earful
  4. Paul Winter Consort & Friends — Everybody Under The SunVoices of Solstice — Volume 1
  5. The Shazzbots — Light Speed
  6. Howie D. — Which One Am I?
  7. Dog on Fleas — I’m An Optimist
  8. Johnette Downing with Scott Billington — Swamp Romp
  9. Moozika! — Moove to the Mouzika
  10. Sharon & Bram: Sharon & Bram and Friends
  11. Parker & Alexander — All Of UsBible Songs For Everyone
  12. Jesse Jukebox — Awesome
  13. The Laurie Berkner Band — Waiting for the Elevator
  14. Camille Harris — Baby on the Subway
  15. Again Again — Listen Love Repeat

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Panton’s New LP Is “A Cheerful Little Earful” For Listeners Of All Ages

Courtesy: Little Things

Diana Panton will release her latest album next month.  The album – A Cheerful Little Earful – is scheduled for release Oct. 18 through Little Things Records.  The 15-song, 53-minute album is Panton’s second family music album — coming four years after her debut family album 2015’s I Believe in Little Things — and her 12th overall album.  This latest offering from Panton is fittingly titled.  That is because it will leave listeners of all ages feeling cheerful after they get an earful of the record.  The album’s featured songs plays directly into that effect.  They will be addressed shortly.  The musical aspect of the album also plays into that positive impact, and will be addressed a little later.  The same can be said of the album’s sequencing by connection.  Each item noted is key in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation.  All things considered, they make A Cheerful Little Earful a work that will leave every listener feeling cheerful.

Diana Panton’s latest full-length studio recording is a presentation that fits its title quite well.  That is because it does in fact prove itself A Cheerful Little Earful of music.  The record’s featured songs play their own part in that impact.  The record opens with Panton’s own take on the classic Rogers & Hammerstein song ‘Happy Talk,’ which is featured in the duo’s beloved musical ‘South Pacific.’  It is followed up by the song ‘It’s A Most Unusual Day,’ which was written and arranged by Harold Adamson and Jimmy McHughes, and made famous by Jane Powell in the 1948 MGM movie A Date With Judy.  Harry Woods’ 1926 hit song ‘Red, Red Robin’ – made famous by actress Lilian Roth – is also featured in the album, along with works from Perry Como (‘A, You’re Adorable’), Jimmy Van Huesen and Sammy Cahn (‘Pocket Full Of Miracles’ – taken from the 1961 movie of the same name), Sammy Fain, Bob Hilliard and Fr. Louis Sauvat (‘All In The Golden Afternoon’ – From Walt Disney’s 1951 classic animated movie Alice in Wonderland) just to name some more songs.  As if that isn’t enough, Panton once again offers at least one work for children in the form of the timeless Sesame Street tune ‘I Don’t Want To Live on the Moon.’  Of course likely just as many grown-ups know that song as do children, so to that end, that song will appeal to lots of adults as well as children.  Along with all of this, there is a Cole Porter work featured in the album in the form of ‘Experiment’ and even a cover of the Michael Jackson hit ‘Music and Me.’  That song was written by Michael Cannon, Don Fenceton, Mel Larson and Jerry Marcellino.  Simply put, Panton once again runs the proverbial gamut with this album’s featured songs.  That is just as evident in the other songs not noted here.  What is truly interesting here is that while the variety of songs is plentiful, they defy the standard definition of “Family Music.”  Most of the music here is jazz, and jazz is music for everyone, like with bluegrass (E.g. The Okee Dokee Brothers).  So it is a family music album, but also an album of music for audiences of all ages and backgrounds.  To that end, the songs featured in this album gives it a strong foundation.

That foundation is strengthened even more thanks to the songs’ arrangements.  The arrangements will appeal just as much to Panton’s longtime fans as they will to those who might be less familiar with her work.  From the light, easygoing piano-driven arrangement at the center of the album’s opener, ‘Happy Talk,’ to the more gentle, reserved arrangement at the center of ‘I Don’t Want To Live on The Moon’ (which is also centered around Don Thompson’s gentle, flowing piano line), to the equally reserved, guitar-centered arrangement of ‘If You Feel Like Singing, Sing’ to the more light hearted (and also guitar-centered) ‘Aren’t You Glad You’re You’ – which was used in the soundtrack to the 1945 Bing Crosby classic The Bells of St. Mary’s – and beyond, the arrangements featured throughout the album are really what make the featured works so easy on the ears.  Thompson’s work on the vibes from  point to point conjures thoughts of the one and only Lionel Hampton while Panton’s own vocal delivery once again is comparable to that of Diana Krall.  The arrangements are easy on the ears not just because of the instrumentation, but also because of their simplicity.  There are no over-the-top performances and solos at any point.  Rather, each song is simple and straight forward from beginning to end.  That adds even more appeal to each composition.  All things considered here, the arrangements presented in each song do just as much to make this record appealing as the songs themselves.  They still are not the last of the album’s most important element.  When the arrangements and songs are considered along with the record’s sequencing, all three elements work together to make the record that much more enjoyable and entertaining.

The sequencing of Cheerful Little Earful is important to note because it ensures listeners’ engagement and entertainment by keeping the record’s energy stable throughout its run.  As already notes, the album opens on a high, light hearted note in ‘Happy Talk.’  From there, the album’s energy gradually changes with the tempos gradually slowing until it reaches that famed Sesame Street classic tune.  Things pick back up a little after that in the album’s title track before pulling back again in ‘If You Feel Like Singing, Sing’ and ‘Music and Me.’  The change in the energies are subtle though the next few songs before picking up again more noticeably in ‘Aren’t You Glad You’re You.’  The album ends with two more gentle arrangements that take listeners out on a soft note.  Again, the album’s sequencing keeps the album’s energy just right from beginning to end, not changing too much from one song to the next.  That stability in the songs’ energies means listeners are more apt to remain engaged throughout as the variety in the arrangements and the songs.  When all of those elements are noted together, the end result is a record that truly is a cheerful little earful for listeners of all ages.

Diana Panton’s forthcoming album Cheerful Little Earful is a fittingly titled-album, especially for jazz and cinema fans.  That is because so many of the songs featured in this album are classic jazz tunes that are featured in some great classic major motion pictures.  They are not the album’s only songs, though.  As noted, there is at least one song taken from PBS’ long-running series Sesame Street and even a Michael Jackson cover.  That variety of songs and associated backgrounds means a wide ranging appeal in itself.  The songs’ arrangements add even more appeal to the record.  The album’s sequencing ensures the energies in those arrangements remains stable from the album’s opening to its end.  Each noted item is important in its own way to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make Cheerful Little Earful an earful that will leave every listener cheerful.  More information on the album is available online now along with all of Diana Panton’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.dianapanton.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DianaPantonFanpage

Twitter: http://twitter.com/pantonda5

 

 

 

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RATM’s Second Coming Will Hopefully Continue In The Coming Years

Courtesy: Fantasy Records

The end is near!  The end of the year that is.  The end of 2017 is only 48 hours away at the time of this post.  With time quickly ticking away, there is still a lot of work for this critic to do with year-ender lists.  Considering this, we’ll get right into it with one last list for the year’s new albums in the form of the year’s top new albums overall.  This list was perhaps the most difficult of all for this critic to assemble.  That is because of the amount of top quality material released across the musical universe this year.  From punk to pop to jazz, world, rock and more, there were a lot of great records released over the past year.  Keeping this in mind, coming up with this was no easy chore, to say the least.  It was finally accomplished, though, and includes titles from the worlds of rocks, jazz, country and even world music.

Leading off this year’s best new album — in this critic’s ears and mind — is Ala.Ni’s debut album You & I.  This record is a beautiful work that despite being marketed as jazz, could just as easily fit into any adult contemporary pop radio station’s rotation.  Also included in this year’s finale are new releases from country music superstar Chris Stapleton, New Orleans-based singer/songwriter Marc Broussard, emo-punk band Young Fox’s new album and much more.

As with every previous list, this list features this critic’s Top 10 choices as well as five additional honorable mention titles for a total of 15 titles.  Without any further ado, here for you is Phil’s Picks 2017 Top 10 New Albums.

PHIL’S PICKS 2017 TOP 10 NEW ALBUMS

  1. Prophets of Rage — Prophets of Rage
  2. Ala.Ni — You & I
  3. Jazzmeia Horn — A Social Call
  4. Diana Panton — Solstice/Equinox
  5. Fer Isella — Art of the Possible
  6. Nova Collective — The Further Side
  7. Scale The Summit — In A World of Fear
  8. Mike Mangioni & The Kin — But I’ve Seen The Stars
  9. John 5 & The Creatures — Season of the Witch
  10. Dishwalla — Juniper Road
  11. Project 86 — Sheep Among Wolves
  12. Chris Stapleton — From A Room Vol. 2
  13. Young Fox — Sky Beats Gold
  14. Gary Numan — Savage (Songs From A Broken World)
  15. Marc Broussard — Easy To Love

That’s it, folks.  As noted, this was not an easy list to assemble by any means.  Trying to determine which albums likely would have a certain amount of longevity through through musical and lyrical messages was a tough task.  One cannot ignore the fact that what with the nation’s current political climate, the second coming of Rage Against The Machine was one of this year’s most important and standout efforts.  In the same breath, the gentility and beauty offered by Ala.Ni, Jazzmeia Horn and Diana Panton makes their albums certain to stay in peoples’ minds and ears.  Fer Isella’s new album, while instrumental is like the soundtrack to any major Hollywood drama such as Bridges of Madison County and other similar movies.

The jazz fusion feel of Nova Collective’s debut record and the prog rock of Scale The Summit’s latest record stand out just as much.  Mike Mangioni & The Kin may stay under the radar, but that’s just fine with this critic.  The group’s new album is a great independent offering.  Dishwalla’s new album is a wonderful return for the band while John 5 & the Creatures’ new album is yet another example of how truly talented the guitarist truly is and that he made the right decision leaving Marilyn Manson’s band.

It is easy to go on and on about every album noted here.  Regardless of the band’s fame, the fact of the matter stands that each album listed here is one that this critic feels is impacting and important for the given act and for the music community in whole.  That being the case, this list stands as this critic’s best new albums of 2017.  Now with all of the music stuff out of the way, it’s on to a handful of DVD/BD titles including best new box sets for families and for grown-ups, best new DVDs/BDs for families, and even best new documentaries.  So stay tuned for all of that!

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Ala.Ni’s Debut LP Proves To Be A Solid Offering On Phil’s Picks’ 2017 Top 10 New Jazz & Blues Albums List

Courtesy: Missing Piece Records

2017 has been a good year fans of jazz and the blues.  From more established acts such as Diana Krall, Charlie Watts, Trombone Shorty and Diana Panton to new yet equally promising acts such as Ala.Ni, Nova Collective and others, both genres, which despite their musical differences are still related to one another, have turned out a mass of enjoyable (and in some cases surprisingly) impressive albums.  Ala.Ni’s debut album You & I is one of those surprising releases.  It also tops this critic’s list of the year’s top new Jazz & Blues albums.  Also on this year’s list is Argentine musician Fer Isella’s latest LP The Art of The Possible, new offerings from Putumayo and Music Action Ensemble’s new album Foundation among others.

This year was not an easy one to choose top records.  Charlie Watts, who is known just as much for his jazz work as for his work with his band mates in The Rolling Stones, released quite the impressive new offering this year in Charlie Watts Meets The Danish Radio Big Band. Taj Mahal and Keb Mo partnered for the simply titled TajMo.  Even veteran blues man John Mayall is still going strong.  He released his new album Talk About That this year, too.  Back on the jazz side, Charles Lloyd and his new group of fellow musicians released their own standout offering in the form of Passin’ Thru.  Even here, there is so much to say.  Simply put, coming up with a final list for this year’s new jazz and blues albums was not easy because of the level of talent exhibited across the board.  So no dishonor was meant to any act on this year’s list.   

As is the case with each Phil’s Picks list, this list features the Top 10 Albums on the list and five additional honorable mention titles.  Enough rambling.  Without any further ado, here for you is Phil’s Picks’ 2017 Top 10 New Jazz & Blues Albums.

PHIL’S PICKS 2017 TOP 10 NEW JAZZ & BLUES ALBUMS

  1. Ala.Ni — You & I
  2. Jazzmeia Horn — A Social Call
  3. Diana Panton — Solstice/Equinox
  4. Charlie Watts — Charlie Watts Meets The Danish Radio Big Band
  5. Taj Mahal & Keb Mo — TajMo
  6. Charles Lloyd New Quartet — Passin’ Thru
  7. Diana Krall — Turn Up The Quiet
  8. Charnett Moffett — Music From Our Soul
  9. Fer Isella — The Art of the Possible
  10. Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band — Lay It On Down
  11. Courtney Pine — Black Notes From The Deep
  12. Trombone Shorty — Parking Lot Symphony
  13. Music Action Ensemble — Foundation
  14. John Mayall — Talk About That
  15. Jimmy Greene — FlowersBeautiful Life, Vol. 2

Again, this was NOT an easy list to assemble.  This critic still feels rough coming to terms with the list.  That is because so many great jazz and blues records were released this year including new material from Elvin Bishop and so many others.  Even with that in mind, the list noted here is this critic’s final choice for this year’s top new jazz and blues albums.  Now with this list completed, there is still plenty more to go including the year’s top new Rap/Hip-hop albums, reggae albums, rock and hard rock albums as well as the year’s top albums overall.  There are also a bunch of categories for DVDs and Blu-rays including box sets for families and for older audiences, new live DVDs and Blu-rays, etc.  So stay tuned!

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Jazz Aficionados Across The Board Will Enjoy Panton’s Latest LP Across The Seasons

Courtesy: Waldmania PR

Diana Panton is one of the best kept secrets of the jazz community.  Over the course of her now twelve-year career, she has crafted songs (and albums) that have entertained children and adults alike around the nation and the world.  Now early next month, she will continue that success when she releases her latest album Solstice/Equinox.  Scheduled to be released Friday, Nov. 3, Panton’s latest full-length studio recording, which sets the themes of life and love against the changing seasons (this the title), is one of this year’s top new jazz albums and potentially one more of the year’s top new albums overall.  That is evident right from the album’s outset in ‘They Say It’s Spring.’  It will be discussed shortly.  ‘September in Rain,’ which comes later in the album’s run, is another example of what makes Solstice/Equinox such a stunning jazz album and will be discussed later.  The album’s gentle closer ‘By The Fireside’ is one more example of what makes this eighth offering from Panton such an impressive new effort.  Between that song, the others noted and those not noted, the whole of this album proves both musically and lyrically to be an album that audiences will enjoy the whole year through.

Diana Panton’s eighth full-length studio recording Solstice/Equinox is one of this year’s top new jazz albums and potentially one of the year’s top new albums overall.  It is a record that jazz aficionados will enjoy the whole year through.  That is proven right from the album’s outset in ‘They Say It’s Spring.’  Musically speaking, this song is a wonderful first statement from Panton this time out.  Its light, bouncy approach complete with soprano sax and guitar couples with Panton’s gentle vocal delivery to conjure thoughts of Diana Krall, Esperanza Spalding, and to a slightly lesser extent, Yellowjackets.  That light, easygoing arrangement couples perfectly with the song’s equally upbeat lyrical content to make the song even more of a solid start for the album.

Panton sings happily here “They say it’s spring/This feeling light as a feather/They say this thing/This magic we share together/Came with the weather, too/They say it’s May/That may be daft as a daisy/It’s May they say/That gave the whole world this crazy/Heaveny, hazy hue/On a lark/On a wing/On the spark of a firefly’s fling/yet to me/This must be more than a seasonal thing/Could it be spring/Those bells that I can hear ringing/It may be spring/But when the robin starts singing/You’re what I’m clinging to/Though they say it’s spring/It’s you.”  These are the words of someone happy and warm not just from the weather but from positive thoughts of life.  It is truly an uplifting statement that when coupled, again, with the song’s equally light arrangement, is certain to make any listener feel just as happy as Panton.  Keeping this in mind, it is just one of the songs that exemplifies what makes Solstice/Equinox another hugely successful effort from Panton.  ‘September in Rain’ is another example of what makes Solstice/Equinox so enjoyable.

‘September in Rain’ is another impressive addition to Panton’s new album thanks in part to its own musical arrangement.  The gentle piano runs, drums and vibraphone that collectively form the arrangement’s foundation instantly conjure thoughts of the greatest works from Lionel Hampton and his band crafted so many years ago.  Yet again, the addition of Panton’s vocal delivery to that arrangement gives jazz aficionados the best of jazz’s past and present in one neat package.  In listening to the song’s arrangement, one must agree how expertly it mirrors the still light feeling felt in early September as summer gently gives way to fall.  Once again, that light energy is certain to put a smile on any listener’s face as it creates thoughts of someone walking along in the rain as the sunlight tries to peer through the clouds on the back-end of a light shower.  Again, it is only one part of what makes the song stand out.  The song’s lyrical content adds its own touch to the whole.

Panton sings here, alongside that upbeat musical arrangement, “The leaves of brown came tumbling down/Remember/In September/In the rain/the sun went out just like a dying ember/That September/In the rain/To every word of love I heard you whisper/the raindrops seem to play our sweet refrain/Though spring is here, to me it’s September/That September in the rain.”  This is only the song’s lead verse, but it leaves no doubt why the song’s subject (and arrangement) are so upbeat.  This is someone having that happy memory of when love first set in, making the rains of September something more positive than negative.  In all honesty, the visual that the combination of this verse and its musical companion creates in the theater of the mind plays out like something from a Hallmark movie.  That is not bad.  But it shows how easily with its simplicity that the whole of those elements creates such a positive and vivid picture.  Panton goes on to sing in the song’s second verse in French, but it doesn’t take a genius to know that even without an English interpretation, the happiness in the verse.  Keeping that in mind, the positive energy in the song’s lyrical is just as prevalent here as in the song’s lead verse.  When the song’s lyrical content is coupled with the song’s equally light and airy musical arrangement, the whole of the elements show completely why this song is another key addition to Panton’s new album.  It still is not the last of the album’s most notable additions.  The album’s finale, ‘By The Fireside’ is one more example of what makes Solstice/Equinox deserving of applause.

‘By The Fireside’ is just as solid a finale for Panton’s new album as ‘They Say It’s Spring’ is an opener.  It stands out starkly (in the best way possible) from its counterparts because of its own gentle arrangement.  The very title creates thoughts of a couple sitting together…well…by the fireside on a cold winter’s day (or maybe even evening).  As with ‘September in Rain,’ the use of the vibraphone and the piano once again conjures thoughts of so many great works from Lionel Hampton and company.  They collectively do plenty on their own to create the vivid image of two people together on a cold winter’s night in front of a blazing fireplace.  The song’s lyrical content enriches that image even more as Panton sings, “In the glow/By the fireside/With you/I’ll be content/In the glow/By the fireside/Every hour will be well-spent/We’ll see our hopes and dreams, dear/Like pictures in the fire/Finding…our heart’s desire.”  She goes on just as gently alongside her fellow musicians throughout the rest of the song.  Needless to say, the dreamy situation created by her own words and by the song’s musical arrangement is the stuff – again – of Hallmark movies, ensuring its enjoyment by Panton’s key audiences.  Even with that in mind, it does not detract from the song by any means.  It only makes it stand out that much more along with the album in whole.  When the romantic mood set by this song is joined with the varying moods exhibited musically and lyrically throughout the rest of the album, the whole of those moods makes the record in whole a sure hit for jazz aficionados across the board throughout the seasons.

From start to finish, Diana Panton’s latest full-length studio recording Solstice/equinox proves to be a record that will appeal to jazz aficionados across the board throughout each season.  That has already been pointed out in the songs noted above.  Those songs are only a snapshot of what makes this album so enjoyable.  The musical and lyrical moods exhibited throughout the album change throughout.  From the somewhat melancholy of ‘Cloudy Morning,’ to the bittersweet vibe of ‘La Fin Des Vacances’ (the end of the vacation in English) to the smooth sense of ‘’Tis Autumn,’ and beyond, Solstice/Equinox takes listeners on a journey that is enjoyable in every moment.  By the time the album ends, listeners will agree that there is so much to appreciate about this record.  In turn they will agree (hopefully) that Solstice/Equinox is one of this year’s top new jazz albums and potentially one more of the year’s top new albums overall.  It will be released Friday, Nov. 3 in stores and online.  More information on Solstice/equinox is available online now along with all of Diana Panton’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.dianapanton.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DianaPantonFanPage

Twitter: http://twitter.com/pantonda5

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.