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 […]

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 […]

Willie Nile’s latest CD

| October 14, 2009

Willie Nile may be the most stirring hard rocker you’ve never heard, and his new album, “House of a Thousand Guitars,” ranks with his best—except for the title track, a musical roar that name-checks guitar heroes in an uncharacteristic, sadly retro burst of self-indulgence. Otherwise, “House” is wonderful, sparked by the infernally infectious hoedown of […]

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: