Brick Wahl Keeping It Real: Checking Out Charmaine Clamor’s New CD

February 23, 2014

By Brick Wahl

Heard several tracks in progress from Charmaine Clamor’s new recording recently. Quite a selection of tunes – none of the usual jazz standards at all.

Charmaine Clamor

Charmaine Clamor

Instead there’s a remarkable take on “Imagine” (a tune that rarely survives covering) propelled by some really striking rhythmic piano by Laurence Hobgood. There’s a surprising ”O Shenandoah,” a George Harrison tune, a Carole King, a take (in Spanish) on a Mercedes Sosa tune, which she nails, and at long last she’s recorded her knock out interpretation of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”

Very passionate vocals even by Charmaine’s standard – that’s always been her thing, the passion – and she’s showing subtleties untapped till now. The sound is full and warm and rich. This thing has crossover potential I think (KCRW and that end of the dial definitely) without selling out to commercialism even one iota.

Ernie Watts by the way, sits in and kills it, and drummer Abe Lagrimas picks up the ukulele in about as uncliched way as you can imagine. One of my favorite pianists around town, Andy Langham, even takes the bench for a couple numbers. And while I can’t say enough about Hobgood’s presence here, it’s Charmaine’s record through and through, it’s her feel, even on the instrumental passages it never gets away from her.  Anyway, I totally dug it.

This is major label stuff if I ever heard it.

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The album, which will be titled “The Better Angels,” will be released soon.

Photo by Faith Frenz

To read more fascinating essays from Brick Wahl, check out his personal web by clicking HERE.


Live Jazz and World Music: the 9th Annual Filipino American Jazz & World Music Festival at Catalina Bar & Grill.

December 23, 2013

By Don Heckman

The room was filled with an enthusiastic crowd at Catalina Bar & Grill Friday night for the 9th Annual Filipino American Jazz & World Music Festival. And with good reason. A long sequence of performances in the Festival once again underscored both the quality and the quantity of first rate Filipino and Filipino-American musicians.

Many were unfamiliar to the non-Filipino members of the audience. But by the time the music wound to a close with a rendering of the Filipino national anthem, in which most of the participants joined Charmaine Clamor — singer and founder of the Festival — on stage for a climactic ending, any doubts about the quality of Filipino jazz artists had been thoroughly dismissed.

Charmaine Clamor and the Fil Am Jazz & World Music Festival

There were plenty of memorable performances. Among the highlights:’

Angela Vicente

- Singer Angela Vicente, singing the classic Duke Ellington standard “In A Mellow Tone” started with a properly laid back mellowness. But she soon shifted rhythmic gears into high speed scatting, improvising with the articulate, swinging expressiveness of a jazz instrumentalist. Although she’s not familiar to American jazz audiences, Vicente is a first rate candidate for a jazz album to bring wider attention to her impressive skills.

- The unusual band, Vanishing Tribe, was led by pianist Winston Raval. Mixing jazz textures and rhythms with the occasional tonal textures of Filipino instruments, the group made a convincing case for the blending of mainstream jazz with the fascinating sounds of rarely heard traditional instruments.

- Baritone saxophonist Edison Patrick Gregory Salvador demonstrated an impressive ability to balance his saxophone excursions with appealing vocals.

Jon Irabagon

Jon Irabagon

- And tenor saxophonist Jon Irabagon, winner of the Thelonious Monk Jazz Saxophone competition, revealed all the reasons why he has become one of the jazz world’s compelling new arrivals.

Call it an intriguing display of the fascinating results that can be produced by an interfacing of jazz and traditional musics. And give credit to Charmaine Clamor for leading the way in the development of what she calls Jazzipino music. If there was any flaw in the program, it was the absence of a full set by the gifted Clamor. One looks forward to hearing her again in a full evening of her fascinating jazz talents.

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Photos by Faith Frenz.


Live Jazz: Charmaine Clamor at Catalina Bar & Grill

April 2, 2013

By Don Heckman

It’s been a few years since I first reviewed jazz singer Charmaine Clamor.  I was powerfully impressed by what I heard on her debut CD, Searching For the Soul..  And I was even more impressed by what I heard in her performance at Catalina Bar & Grill on Sunday night.

The presentation was titled “Hallelujah! A Celebration of Rebirth and Renewal,” an appropriate label for an Easter Sunday event, further underscored by Charmaine’s parallel work as a physical therapist.  The mesmerizing quality of her Catalina performance, however, suggested that her evolutionary growth as a singer is probably not going to allow much time for anything other than the expansion of her career as a musical artist.

Everything was right about this program, starting with Charmaine’s singing. Over the course of the few years in which I’ve heard her perform, there’s been a continuing interpretive growth.  Early on, she was closely identified with a blend of jazz and Filipino traditional music, earning the title the Queen of Jazzipino music.

As intriguing as that material may have been, Charmaine brought much more to the stage this time around.  Her eclectic program of songs began with a distinct gospel touch via Ethel Waters’ hit, “His Eye Is On the Sparrow” and Duke Ellington’s “Come Sunday,” following up with Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”  She sang each in authoritative fashion, without resorting into an overflow of too-familiar melismatic phrasing.

Charmaine was equally convincing with the old standard, “’Til There Was You,” the Italian classic “Estate,” “I Believe In Love” (based on Joshua Redman’s “Wish” with lyrics by Eli Brueggemann), a jaunty romp through “Pick Yourself Up” and a dramatically climactic “Here’s To Life.”  Add to that some of her original items and one couldn’t have asked for a broader, more engaging set of songs.

She delivered them with stunning effectiveness, balancing the lush timbres of her voice with the dramatic gestures and gripping expressiveness of a born musical story-teller.  And it didn’t hurt that Charmaine is a gorgeous woman, enhancing her slender appeal in a shimmering gold gown.

She was ably aided by the steady, solid support of her musicians: pianist Andy Langham, bassist Dominic Thiroux and drummer Abe Lagrimas.  Responding with near empathic back-up, subtly flowing in sync with her confident musicality and her rich, emotional qualities, the trio provided an encompassing musical embrace for an artist whose career is clearly heading skyward.

Expect much more from Charmaine Clamor (and let’s hope the Grammy voters are paying attention).

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Photos by Faith Frenz. 


Picks of the Week: Mar. 27 – 31.

March 26, 2013

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

Sascha's Bloc Band

Sascha’s Bloc Band

- Mar. 27. (Wed.)  Sascha’s Bloc.  A gifted group of players, many from Russia and/or Eastern European backgrounds, showcasing music that crosses easily and compellingly across lines of genre and tradition.  Led by the dynamic guitar playing of Alex (Sascha) Gershman, with the intimate vocalizing of Carina CoperVibrato Grill Jazz…etc.  (310) 474-9400.

- Mar. 27. (Wed.)  The Scott Healy Ensemble.  Pianist/composer Healy leads a compact, but richly expressive, ten piece ensemble in selections from his classically tinged, highly praised Hudson City Suite. Vitello’s.    (818) 769-0905.

Ginger Berglund and Scott Whitfield

Ginger Berglund and Scott Whitfield

- Mar. 28. (Thurs.) Ginger Berglund and Scott Whitfield.  Ginger and Scott’s musical legacy reaches back to the Pied Pipers and the Modernaires, filtered through their own jazz instincts, with traces of Jackie Cain and Roy Kral.  Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.   (310) 474-9400.

- Mar. 29. (Fri.)  Kim Richmond Concert Jazz Orchestra.  Saxophonist Richmond leads a fine aggregation of Southland players in A Tribute to Stan Kenton REDCAT.   (213) 237-2800.

- Mar. 29 & 30. (Fri. & Sat.)  Charles Wright and the Watts 103 St. Rhythm Band.  The pioneering funk and soul band, led by guitarist Wright, revive some of their many hits from the late ‘60s and early 70s.  Catalina Bar & Grill.   (323) 466-2210.

- Mar. 30. (Sat.) A Ttribute to Charlie Haden.  Bob Sheppard, Billy Childs, Peter Erskine, Darek Oles get together to honor the remarkable career and superb playing of bassist Haden, whose health conditions over the past few years have limited him to rare public performances.  Vitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.

- Mar. 30. (Sat.)  Nikhil Korula.  Singer/guitarist Korula, who concentrates on acoustic rock, makes a rare solo acoustic appearance, performing a program of original compositions and rock classics.  Witches Brew in North Hills.  (818) 892-1480.

- Mar. 30. (Sat.)  and April 4 – 7. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Trisha Brown Dance Company. An adventurous choreographer since the ‘70s, Brown’s Company performs her Floor of the Forest on Saturday night – the first event in The Retrospective Project, a collection of her works unfolding over the following week. Royce Hall CAP UCLA.     (310) 825-2101.

Charmaine Clamor

Charmaine Clamor

- Mar. 31. (Sun.) Charmaine Clamor.  Reaching beyond her Filipino background, Clamor has thoroughly established herself as one of the most imaginative, and utterly listenable, jazz voices of the decade (and beyond).  “Hallelujah,” her Easter show, displays the full range of her remarkable vocal expressiveness. Catalina Bar & Grill.   (323) 466-2210.

- Mar. 31. (Sun.)  John Proulx Trio. Pianist Proulx has long been a first call rhythm section player.  But in recent years, his mellow vocalizing has positioned him as a Chet Baker-influenced singing instrumentalist. Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.   (310) 474-9400.

San Francisco

- Mar. 29 & 30.  (Fri. & Sat.)  Rita Coolidge.  Grammy winning, hit-making Coolidge peaked during the ‘70s with hits in pop, country and jazz charts.  In her late ‘60s, she’s still going strong.  Yoshi’s San Francisco.    (415) 655-5600.

Seattle

- Mar. 28 – 31. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Holly Cole.  Canadian jazz singer Cole has been charting an original vocal pathway since the ‘90s.  She’s currently supporting her latest album, Night. Jazz Alley.    (206) 441-9729.

New York City

Kyle Eastwood

Kyle Eastwood

- Mar. 26 – 31. (Tues. – Sun.)  Kyle Eastwood Group and the Larry Coryell Group. It’s a generationally contrasting evening: featuring 44 year old jazz bassist and composer Eastwood, and 69 year old guitarist Coryell.  Expect to hear diverse sounds.  The Blue Note.    (212) 475-8592.

- Mar. 28 – 31. (Thurs. – Sun.)  The Dave Douglas Quintet.  50th Birthday Week. Trumpeter Douglas celebrates his anniversary in the sterling musical company of Jon Irabagon, tenor saxophone, Matt Mitchell, piano, Linda Oh, bass and Rudy Royston, drums.   The Jazz Standard.   (212) 576-2232.

London

- Mar. 31. (Sun.)  The Humphrey Lyttelton Septet.  Trumpeter and arranger Lyttelton died in 2008 after celebrating 60 years as a bandleader.  But the band has carried on with Humph’s tradition of providing entertaining evenings of jazz and beyond. Ronnie Scott’s.    +44 20 7439 0747

Milan

- Mar. 30. (Sat.)  Maria Pia De Vito & Ares Tavolazzi Duo.  Vocalist/composer De Vito and bassist Tavolazzi have both worked in crossover and avant-garde areas of contemporary music.  Expect intriguing musical results from their duo partnership.  Blue Note Milano.    +39 02 6901 6888.

Tokyo

Tuck & Patti

Tuck & Patti

- Mar. 26 – 28. (Tues. – Thurs.)  Tuck & Patti. Guitarist Tuck and singer Patti have been a couple – in life and in music – for more than three decades.  And their engagingly intimate music continues to be one of the pleasing marvels of contemporary jazz and pop. Blue Note Tokyo.    +81 3-5485-0088.


Picks of the Week: Nov. 27 – Dec. 2

November 27, 2012

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

Carol Welsman

- Nov. 27 & 28. (Tues. & Wed.)  “And Then She Wrote.”  With Peter Marshall, Carol Welsman and Denise Donatelli.  A new version of an entertaining show dedicated to the female composers and lyricists of the Great American Songbook.  Tuesday night the duo of Marshall and Welsman perform; on Wednesday, Donatelli joins them in a trio.  She replaces Calabria Foti from the original cast.  Vitello’s.    (818) 769-0905.

- Nov 27 – 30. (Tues. – Fri.)  Bela Fleck and the Marcus Roberts Trio.  It may sound like an odd combination, but banjoist Fleck and pianist Roberts are both dedicated musical adventurers.  Catalina Bar & Grill.   (323) 466-2210.

Louie Cruz Beltran

- Nov. 29. (Thurs.)  Louie Cruz Beltran.  The busy percussionist and bandleader adds vocals to his impressive array of entertainment talents, singing and playing Latin Standards, American classics and a few surprises.  He’ll be backed by pianist Carlos Vivas, bassist Pat Senatore and drummer Ramon Banda.  Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.     (310) 474-9400.

- Nov. 29 – Dec. 2.  (Thurs. – Sun.)  The Marcus Shelby Quartet.  Bassist Shelby offers a program celebrating “the evolution of American social movements through music.”  The Skirball Cultural Centert   (310) 440-4500.

- Nov. 30. (Fri.) Bob Mintzer.  “Homage to Count Basie Band.”  Saxophonist Mintzer leads an evening of big band music dedicated to the classic rhythms of the Basie Band, and featuring some of the Southland’s finest players. Vitello’s.    (818) 769-0905.

- Dec. 1 (Sat.)  The Anonymous 4. The all-female vocal quartet, well-known for their Renaissance music performances, take a different tack with  “Love Fail,” a contemporary work composed by David LangCAP UCLA Royce Hall.    (310) 825-2101.

Bill Cunliffe

- Dec. 1. (Sat.) Bill Cunliffe’s Big Band “Holiday Kick-Off.”  The Big Band weekend at Vitello’s continues with pianist/arranger/composer Cunliffe’s celebration of the holiday season. Vitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.

- Dec. 1. (Sat.)  8th Annual Fil-Am Jazz Festival. An evening celebrating the growing numbers of fine Filipino jazz artist.  Heading the line-up, Charmaine Clamor, the Queen of Jazzipino.  Catalina Bar & Grill.   (323) 466-2210.

San Francisco

- Dec. 2. (Sun.) The Blind Boys of Alabama. The multiple Grammy-winning gospel singers, performing for decades, are a musical inspiration.  An SFJAZZ event at the Herbst Theatre.    (866) 920-5299.

Chicago

- Nov. 29 – Dec. 2 (Thurs. – Sun.)  Tom Harrell Quintet. Trumpeter Harrell leads a stellar ensemble in a program displaying his extensive talents as an instrumentalist and composer.   Jazz Showcase.   (312) 360-0234.

New York

Eliane Elias

- Nov. 27 – Dec. 1. (Tues. – Sat.)  Eliane Elias   Brazilian pianist/singer Elias makes her Birdland debut.  Expect an evening ranging from Elias’ superb jazz piano to her authentically Brazilian way with a song.  Birdland.    (212) 581-3080.

- Nov. 27 – Dec. 2. (Tues. – Sun.)  Geri Allen ‘s Timeline Band.  Pianist Allen honors the connection between jazz and tap dancing in a performance featuring the rhythmic stepping of dancer Maurice Chestnut. Jazz Standard.   (212) 889-2005.

London

- Nov. 27 – Dec. 1. (Tues. – Sat.)  The Mingus Big Band.  The music of composer/bassist Mingus is kept vividly alive, in all its many manifestations by the Mingus Big Band.  Ronnie Scott’s.    +44 (0)20 7439 0747.

Copenhagen

Kenny Barron

- Nov. 28 & 29. (Wed. & Thurs.)  Kenny Barron Solo Piano. He’s been everyone’s first call jazz pianist for decades, but the most intriguing way to hear the free-roving Barron improvisational imagination is in this kind of solo piano performance. Jazzhus Montmartre.   (+45) 70 15 65 65.

Milan

- Nov. 29. (Thurs.)  Carmen Lundy.  Jazz singer Lundy’s superb interpretive artistry is enhanced by her original songs.  Blue Note Milano.   02.690 16888.

Tokyo

- Nov. 30 – Dec. 3. (Fri. – Mon.)  David Sanborn.  Alto saxophonist Sanborn’s unique, blues-driven style has impacted the past few decades of arriving saxophonists.  He performs selections from his new, 2-CD album, AnthologyBlue Note Tokyo.  03-5485-0088.


Picks of the Week: April 4 – 8

April 4, 2012

 By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

Kyle Eastwood

- April 4. (Wed.)  Kyle Eastwood.  Bassist Eastwood came to jazz from a highly supportive background.  His father is actor/director/composer/pianist and jazz lover Clint Eastwood.  And Kyle has transformed that lineage into an impressive jazz career of his own.  Catalina Bar & Grill.   (323) 466-2210.

- April 4. (Wed.) Otmaro Ruiz.  Venezuela-born pianist Ruiz’s diverse skills have taken him across the spectrum from areas of pop, rock, fusion and straight ahead jazz.  This time out, he’s in an airy duo setting with bassist Pat SenatoreVibrato Grill Jazz…etc.   (310) 474-9400.

- April 4. (Wed.) Kait Dunton.  Gifted young composer/pianist Dunton celebrates at a CD release party for Mountain Suite, a collection of works amply illustrating her impressive compositional skills.  Her stellar ensemble includes John Daversa, trumpet, Bob Mintzer, tenor sax, Darek Oles, bass, Peter Erskine, drums.  Vitello’s.    (818) 769-0905.

Anthony Wilson

- April 4. (Wed.)  Anthony Wilson.  Versatile guitarist/composer Wilson takes a break from his busy touring schedule with a four night – every Wednesday – residency at the Blue Whale.  For this opening night Part l, he will perform with bassist John Clayton, drummer Jeff Hamilton and special guest pianist Champian FultonBlue Whale.  (213) 620-0908.

- April 4 – 7. (Wed. – Sat.)  The Blues Brothers. The original cast from London’s West End production of the hit musical based on the characters created by Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi.  Irvine Barclay Theatre.    (949) 854-4646.

- April 5. (Thurs.)  Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.  The ever-entertaining programming of the LACO has come up with an especially intriguing idea for this installment of their Westside Connections series.  “Music and the Culinary Arts” is the theme, with performances of works by Saint-Saens, Martinu and Ravel, and conversation from chef/restaurateur Susan Feniger.  The Broad Stage.   (213) 622-7001 x1.

- April 5 – 7. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Diane Schuur.  The one and only “Deedles,” as she is known to fans and friends, makes one of her infrequent night club appearances.  Don’t miss this chance to hear her up close and personal in the pleasant environs of Catalina Bar & Grill.  Catalina Bar & Grill.   (323) 466-2210.

Ted Nash

- April 6. (Fri.)  Ted Nash.  Saxophonist/composer/arranger Nash, well known from his high visibility appearances with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, makes a rare L.A. Appearance to feature music from his new quartet The Creep.  He’ll perform with trumpeter Ron Horton, bassist Paul Sikivie and drummer Ulysses Owens. Vitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.

- April 6. (Fri.)  Carolina Chocolate Drops.  The Grammy-winning Chocolate Drops are keeping alive the tradition of high spirited old South string bands.   The Mexo-Americana folk duo David Wax Museum open the show.  UCLA Live.   (310) 825-2101.

- April 6. (Fri.) Sara Serpa. Portugal-born singer Serpa has established herself, in a few brief years, as one of New York City’s most innovative new vocalists, capable of moving freely and creatively in sync with instrumentalists.  No wonder Ran Blake described her as “the magical voice.” Blue Whale.    (213) 620-0908.

Barbara Morrison

- April 7 & 8. (Sat. & Sun.) The Barbara Morrison Performing Art Center Big Band Easter Weekend.  A collection of the Southland’s fine big band players get together for an Easter Weekend celebration, featuring the ever-engaging vocals of  Barbara Morrison herself with the big bands of Rod Harris and John Stephens. BMPAC.   (310) 462-1439.

San Francisco

- April 4. (Wed.)  Brass Menazeri.  San Francisco based, the Menazeri nonetheless cruises energetically – and often authentically – through the Roma-based music of Serbia, Macedonia, Greece, Bosnia and beyond. Be prepared to dance. Yoshi’s Oakland.    (510) 238-9200.

- April 7. (Sat.) Hermeto Pascoal.  A vital figure in Brazilian music since the ‘60s, multi-instrumentalist/composer Pascoal, a dramatic figure whenever he steps on stage, was a leader in the blending of jazz and the rhythms of Brazil.  He rarely appears in the Bay area, so don’t miss this one.  SFJAZZ.  Palace of Fine Arts Theatre.   (866) 920-5299.

Charmaine Clamor

- April 8. (Sun.)  Charmaine Clamor.  She has come to be known as the Queen of Jazzipino, and her innovative blending of jazz with Filipino traditional music has produced some extraordinary results.  But Clamor’s remarkable talents reach beyond labeling into some of the most compelling jazz vocalizing of recent memory.  Appropriately, she debuts her new show, “Hallelujah: A Celebration of Rebirth,” on Easter Sunday.  The Rrazz Room.   (415) 394-1189.

 New York

- April 3 – 8. (Tues. – Sun.)  Ron Carter Quartet.  One of the great veterans of contemporary jazz, bassist Carter has played on more than 2,000 recordings.  And he brings youthful vitality and imagination to everything he does.  His quartet includes Renee Rosnes, piano, Payton Crossley, drums, Rolando Morales-Matos, percussion. The Blue Note.   (212) 475-8592.

- April 7. (Sat.)  Ellery Eskelin Trio New York.  Eskelin’s bold, muscular tenor saxophone is showcased in the similarly brawny setting provided by Gary Versace, organ and Rudy Royston, drums.  The Cornelia St. Cafe.  http://corneliastreetcafe.com/performances.asp  (212) 989-9319.

London

- April. 7. (Sat.)  The African Jazz All-Stars.  A musical collective including players from South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria and beyond, the All-Stars pride themselves on their unique blend of African rhythms, funk and high energy soloing. Ronnie Scott’s.    020 7439 0747.

Milan

Gretchen Parlato

April 4. (Wed.)  Gretchen Parlato. In a crowded field of female jazz singers, with more arriving every day, Parlato continues to hold her own as an utterly unique talent.  At her best, she invests every song with compelling musicality and intimate lyricism.  Blue Note Milano.    02 69 01 68 88.

Berlin

- April 5. (Thurs.)  Alan Broadbent Trio. The names on pianist/composer Broadbent’s resume – Charlie Haden, Chet Baker, Irene Krall, Sheila Jordan, Woody Herman and many others – attest to the remarkable breadth of his abilities.  But an intimate setting with his own trio is the best way to hear the full range of Broadbent’s engaging creativity.  The A-Trane.    030 / 313 25 50.

* * * * *

Anthony Wilson photo by Bob Barry.


Live Jazz: Charmaine Clamor and the Fil-Am Jazz and World Music Festival at Catalina Bar & Grill

December 16, 2011

By Don Heckman

Each year when the Fil-Am Jazz and World Music Festival rolls around there’s a new opportunity to discover the significant role jazz continues to play in Filipino culture.  And this year, the Festival’s seventh installment, was no exception.

On Tuesday night, Catalina Bar & Grill — the event’s warm and welcoming home — was filled with enthusiastic listeners.  Many were from the Filipino community.  Many were jazz fans, eager for a new musical experience.  And many were drawn by the presence of singer Charmaine Clamor, often described as the “Queen of Jazzipino.”  (For the uninitiated, “jazzipino” is generally described as a blending of traditional Filipino musical elements with the improvisation and swing of jazz.)

Charmaine Clamor

The lengthy program, hosted by Clamor and the irrepressible Bubba Jackson, offered a surprisingly wide range of artists, including the winners of the Jazz-Phil USA Talent search, some already established Filipino jazz artists and, in the headliner position, Clamor.

With pianist Andy Langham’s trio providing most of the backing, the music embraced jazz standards, material from the Great American Songbook, a healthy selection of Christmas and holiday songs, and an occasional Filipino melody.

It was delivered, for the most part, with ambitious enthusiasm, even though it was apparent that much of the playing reached across different developmental levels.

Some of the vocals occasionally ranged closer to American Idol excesses than jazz subtleties. There were times when the piano was played as a percussion instrument, its keys struck with a seemingly minimal awareness of its capacity for a rich, dynamic range of sound.  And the quest for new ideas resulted in such oddities as a rhythmically over-intense take on the classic Christmas carol, ‘Silent Night.”

That said, there also was reason to praise the perky, pop-driven stylings of VJ Rosales, the powerful voice of Angela Vicente, the emerging talents of guitarist Vincent Reyes (one of the two winners – with singer Vicente – of  the Jazz-Phil USA Talent search), the solid professionalism of guitarist Ric Ickard, the compositional abilities of pianist Winston Raval, along with the impressive versatility of harmonica player and pianist Noel Melanio and drummer/ukulele player Abe Lagrimas, Jr.

But there was little doubt that Clamor was the evening’s definitive Filipino jazz artist.  Blessed with a rich, warm sound, intuitive musicality and irresistible swing, she also knows how to find the story at the heart of every song she sings.  Her deeply felt, emotionally intimate reading of Leonard Cohen’s touching “Hallelujah” was the creative centerpiece of the entire evening.

In addition to her song offerings, Clamor possessed a vital, emotionally irresistible on-stage presence.   Placed in context, that presence, combined with her stunning musical skills, thoroughly establish her as the model template for the many arriving Filipino jazz artists.  And the next level of Filipino jazz will be reached when more performers achieve the capacity to follow in the footsteps of this splendid young musical artist.


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