| March 29, 2010

I just started Week Two of mental stimulation marked by seeing six movies at the dazzling Cleveland International Film Festival, a great, too-short concert by John Zorn’s Masada Sextet (here’s my preview) and, this morning, reading “Atomic Age,” Martin Benjamin’s first, long-overdue book of photography. Karen and I went to the film festival for the […]

The torchy Sophie Milman

| November 6, 2009

Sophie Milman is a 26-year-old Toronto chanteuse who may be the hottest Canadian export since Diana Krall. Not only is Milman, a Russian native and a kind of wandering Jew, fluent in English, she sings jazz with an authority common to far more seasoned performers. Backed by Paul Shrofel on piano and Mark McLean on […]

Jewish music

| November 1, 2009

I keep running into other lucky ones who attended the Leonard Cohen concert at the Allen Theatre in Cleveland Oct. 25; we all stand in awe (here’s my preview). In more than three hours, Cohen and his amazing troupe of cosmic musicians rekindled my belief, that I’d thought retro, in pop as conveyor of truth. […]

Fra Fra Sound channels Afrobeat

| October 14, 2009

Call Amsterdam-based group Fra Fra Sound’s CD “Dya So” world music, call it jazz, call it anything you want. Formed 25 years ago, the septet takes its name from the Surinamese “Fra Fra,” meaning “mysterious” or “hybrid.” “Dya So,” its latest CD, blends high-life, rai, island chickenscratch, funk, percussion virtuosity and an ever-shifting, ever-surprising front […]

The post-bop sax of Bobby Selvaggio

| October 14, 2009

Bobby Selvaggio is a post-bop saxophonist from Cleveland with robust tone, astonishing technique and a talent for composing tunes with complex, braided melody lines. On his fifth CD as a leader, Selvaggio unfurls spiky chamber music (“Whirlwind,” a fabulous exchange with pianist Kenny Werner), an exotic, Middle Eastern excursion (the wittily titled “Timbuktu Step”) and […]

Stuff I’ve been working on

| September 29, 2009

I’m writing about jazz again. Just cobbled together a feature about Cleveland-based jazz saxophonist Bobby Selvaggio, who’s working his new CD, Modern Times. Just wrote a short about Fra Fra Sound, an Amsterdam septet whose Dya So CD is cool world music. These are for Scene. I’m also writing debut columns for a yet-to-be-announced, Cleveland-based […]

About the author

I'm a veteran critic and business writer who reads and listens and writes about music, books, hotels and travel. I've been in the business for many years and still enjoy it. My pride and joy is my book, Cleveland Rock & Roll Memories. Follow me on Twitter: