Some of spring’s flowers may have faded but here are some recent spring CD releases that will never fade away.  Lori Meachem

Shiny Stockings

Cognito  You don’t have to be a big band fan to enjoy this outright tribute to the Count Basie Orchestra. It’s what swinging is all about. Meachem has done it right with her quartet and captured the essence of the Basie band’s feel and timbre. Basie classics “Splanky,” “Moten Swing” and “Shiny Stockings” flow with a laid-back powerhouse swing thanks to an awesome rhythm section, especially Andre Reiss’ guitar playing in the role of the late Freddie Green, the Basie band’s original guitarist. Meachem solos in an understated style that is captivating.  Rating: 4 Biscuits This session cooks on all four burners with a loving tribute to the Count.  NOTE: RATINGS are from 1-4 Biscuits  Eliane Elias

The Dreamer

Bluebird  The floating rhythms of bossa nova are beautifully revived by Elias, who is a noted jazz pianist returning to her Brazilian roots by showing she is a highly credible vocalist in the music of her culture. Supported by blue chip talent like Michael Brecker on tenor sax, Oscar Castro Neves, guitar, and with full orchestra and strings, this session is the ultimate musical escape. Elias’ soft soothing voice and driving piano solos over pulsating rhythms paint tropical images in the mind.  Check her out on Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “Photograph.” It vividly tells the story of two lovers in a scenic tropical setting. The music covers Broadway, two originals and standards such as “That’s All” and “Tangerine” with varied bossa nova tempos, as well as Elias’ piano on the all-instrumental “A House Is Not a Home.” This is a sensitive and compellingly romantic, well-done outing.  Rating: 4 Biscuits Put this one on for a slow simmer; reflective sounds, beautifully done with a gentle passion.  Harvey Mason

With All My Heart

RCA Victor  One-fourth of the popular smooth jazz group Fourplay, drummer Harvey Mason has recorded his first straight ahead CD. Mason has been a major studio drummer in pop and contemporary jazz. Utilizing an all trio format, Mason plays with 11 of the best pianists in jazz for 11 tunes. This CD is exceptional, with each pianist doing one tune. Kenny Barron, Chick Corea, Fred Hersch, Monty Alexander, Cedar Walton, Brad Mehldau, Mulgrew Miller, Dave Grusin, Herbie Hancock, Hank Jones and bandmate Bob James are the piano luminaries that give Mason a chance to show he can swing in any style with taste and dynamics. Rating: 4 Biscuits This is a unique excursion that showcases Mason as a complete drummer. As he puts it, “swing along with me on the journey.”

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