Laura Pausini – Laura Xmas (2016)

FrontCover1Laura Pausini, omri (Italian: [ˈlaura pauˈziːni]; born 16 May 1974) is an Italian pop singer-songwriter, record producer and television personality. As a child, she was encouraged by her father to join him during his performances in local piano bars. After competing in local singing contests, Pausini signed her first recording contract. She rose to fame in 1993, winning the newcomer artists’ section of the 43rd Sanremo Music Festival with her debut single “La solitudine”, which became an Italian standard and an international hit, topping the charts in Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium. Her eponymous debut album was released in Italy on 23 April 1993 and later became an international success, selling two million copies worldwide.

Laura Xmas is her thirteenth studio album (and her first with Christmas music). The album has been released in two versions: in English and Spanish (this version being called Laura Navidad). The song Astro del ciel is performed in Italian and Adeste Fideles in Latin. A special French version of the album was released, with the song Noël Blanc substituting White Christmas. (by wikipedia)


This production not only presents one of the most amazing, beautiful voices to emerge in decades, but all the recordings were with the Patrick Williams Orchestra. Patrick Williams  is a 20th and 21st century American composer who is highly recognized for his many achievements and awards in jazz, popular music, concert music and music for film and television. Twelve recordings are featured on this album. Christmas favorites are presented including “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas”, “White Christmas”, “Oh Happy Day”, “Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and much more.


Laura Pausini (vocals)
The Patrick Williams Orchestra:
Violin: Brian Benning, Charlie Bisharat, Darius Campo, Roberto Cani, Ron Clark, Kevin Connolly, Joel Derouin, Lisa Dondlinger, Lisa Evtuhov, Neel Hammond, Johana Krejci, Marisa Kuney, Phil Levy, Joel Pargman, Alyssa Park, Sara Parkins, Radu Pieptea, Katia Popov, Rafael Rishik, Neil Samples, Katie Sloan, Ina Veli, Rita Weber, Roger Wilkie
Viola: Robert Brophy, Andrew Duckles, Alma Fernandez, David Walther, Rodney Wirtz
Cello: Trevor Handy, Armen Ksajikian, Timm Loo, László Mezö, Tina Soule, Mike Valerio, John Walz
Saxophone: Dan Higgins, Sal Lozano, Don Shelton, Bob Sheppard, Jeff Driskill, Gene Cipriano
Flute: Sara Andon, Greg Huckins, Larry Kaplan, Steve Kujala, David Shostac, Gary Woodward
French Horn: Mark Adams, Jim Atkinson, Steve Becknell, Nathan Campbell, Allen Fogle, Dylan Hart, Paul Klintworth, Kristen Morrison, Danielle Ondarza, Brad Warnaar
Trumpet: Wayne Bergeron, Chuck Findley, Dan Fornero, James Horvorka, Rob Schaer, Mike Stever, Bob Summers
Trombone: Charles Loper, Andy Martin, Bob McChesney, Bill Richenbach, Dave Ryan, Fred Simmons
Percussion: Dan Greco
Harp: Julie Berghofer, Marcia Dickstein

Rhythm Section:
Chuck Berghofer (bass)
Peter Erskine (drums)
Jim Fox (guitar)
Tom Ranier (piano)

Pop Rhythm Section:
Nathan East (bass)
George Doering (guitar)
Randy Kerber (piano)
Dean Parks (guitar)
JR Robinson (drums)

Choral Group (on 07, 08, 10. + 12.):
Soprano: Monique Donnelly, Teri Koide, Susie Stevens, Suzanne Waters
Alto: Christine Guter, Scottie Haskell, Baraka May, Charissa Nielsen
Tenor: Walt Harrah, Todd Honeycutt, David Loucks, Gerald White
Bass: Eric Bradley, Alvin Chea, Bob Joyce, Greg Whipple

Gospel Group (on 11):
Soprano: Alexandra Browm, Carmen Carter, Julia Waters, Suzanne Waters
Alto: Aleta Braxton, Andrea Jones, Baraka May, Maxine Waters
Tenor: Eric Butler, Jim Gilstrap, Dorian Holley, Carmen Twillie
Bass: Eric Bradley, Alvin Chea, Josef Powell, Oren Waters
Kids Group (8): James Johnson-Brown, Micah Luna, Baraka May, Claira Titman, Emily Titman, Scottie Haskell

Waters Trio (on 06. + 09.):
Julia Waters, Maxine Waters, Oren Waters


01. It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas (Willson) 3.56
02. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! (Cahn/Styne) 3.01
03. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (Coots/Gillespie) 2.07
04. Jingle Bell Rock (Beal/Boothe) 3-47
05. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (Blane/Martin) 4.05
06. Jingle Bells (Pierpont) 3.27
07. White Christmas (Berlin) 2.22
08. Happy Xmas (War Is Over) (Lennon/Ono) 3.24
09. Feliz Navidad (Feliciano) 3.44
10. Adeste Fideles (Wade) 3.11
11. Oh Happy Day (Hawkins) 4.40
12. Astro del Ciel (Gruber/Mohr) 4.48
13. Blanca Navidad (Berlin) 2.22
14. Santa Claus Llegó A La Ciudad (Coots/Gillespie) 2.08
15. Va a Nevar (Cahn/styne) 3.01
16. Noel Blanc (Berlin) 2.22
17. Noche de Paz (Gruber/Mohr) 4.48





The Impossible Gentlemen – Live At The Funkhaus Studio (Munich/Germany) (2016)

FrontCover1This Anglo-American supergroup could be seen as a canny way of raising the international profile of two of Britain’s most inventive jazz musicians.

These gentlemen first assembled in 2009, with pianist Gwilym Simcock and guitarist Mike Walker backed by flashy US drummer Adam Nussbaum and veteran bass legend Steve Swallow. The latter has now been replaced by another American, Steve Rodby, and the lineup has been expanded to feature Iain Dixon, who multitasks on reeds and synth. But the focus remains on the guitar/piano pairing of Simcock and Walker.

The two write most of the material, which often suffers from the curse of so much contemporary jazz in that it is overwritten, packed with tricksy chord changes and byzantine, unnavigable melodies. Where this is sometimes a problem on record, it becomes less of an issue tonight, as so many songs become vehicles for melodic and textural improvisation. (by

Gwylim Simcock
And here´s a superb and excellent FM broadcast recording … The Impossible Gentlemen on tour through Germany to promote their third album called “Let’s Get Deluxe” from 2016.

A guitar and piano frontline is not the easiest line-up to manage. Those of us who saw the Pat Metheny/Brad Mehldau band in Symphony Hall a few years ago will know that even for two musicians of such standing, it is by no means plain sailing. There are icebergs lurking dangerously out there. Pat and Brad could learn a lot from Gwil and Mike. They never got in each other’s way, neither did they inhibit each others’ natural style.

And, in a world where some jazz musicians can still be a little too cool, what a joy to be witness to the clear warmth and mutual respect of all the musicians on the stage. (by

That´s what I call a supergroup !

In other words: Let´s hear Jazz deluxe !


Iain Dixon (saxophone, keyboards)
Adam Nussbaum (drums)
Steve Rodby (bass)
Gwylim Simcock (keyboards)
Mike Walker (guitar)

Mike Walker
01. Let´s Get Deluxe (Simcock/Walker) 5.52
02. You Won´t Be Around To See It (Simcock) 9.28
03. Announcement by Gwylim Simcock 0.26
04. It Could Have Been A Simple Goodbye (Simcock/Walker) 10.37
05. Clockmaker (Walker) 9.50
06. Dogtime (Simcock/Walker) 10.07


Iain Dixon

Joe Bonamassa – Kassel/Germany (2016)

FrontCover1Joseph Leonard Bonamassa (born May 8, 1977) is an American blues rock guitarist, singer and songwriter.

When he was only 12 years old, Bonamassa opened for B.B. King.[2] In the last 13 years Bonamassa has put out 15 solo albums through his independent record label J&R Adventures, of which 11 have reached number 1 on the Billboard Blues charts.

Bonamassa has played alongside such artists as Stephen Stills, Eric Clapton, Blondie Chaplin, Foreigner, Buddy Guy, Steve Winwood, Warren Haynes, and Derek Trucks among others. His career highlights include performances at the Royal Albert Hall and a Grammy Award nomination in 2013. In addition to his music career, Joe Bonamassa runs a nonprofit organization called the Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation, whose mission it is to further music education by funding scholarships and providing music education resources to schools in need.

Unlike many blues rock guitarists that came before him, Bonamassa’s influences are British and Irish blues acts rather than American artists. In an interview in Guitarist magazine he cited three albums that had the biggest influence on his playing: John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton (the Beano album), Rory Gallagher’s Irish Tour and Goodbye by Cream. He also noted that Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Texas Flood had a big influence when Bonamassa was young. Among other bands, he listed the early blues playing of Jethro Tull as an influence, and named both Martin Barre and Mick Abrahams as important musicians to him.


He elaborated on his influences in a 2007 interview:

“You know, my heroes were the Columbia guys – Paul Kossoff, Peter Green, Eric Clapton. There’s so many – there’s Gary Moore, Rory Gallagher – another Irish musician who played the same things, but don’t tell him that. But those guys were my guys – Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page. There’s a certain sophistication to their approach to the blues that I really like, more so than the American blues that I was listening to. B.B. King’s a big influence – he’s probably my biggest traditional influence. I love Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson and T-Bone Walker and stuff like that, but I couldn’t sit down. I was always forcing myself to listen to whole records by them, where I’d rather listen to Humble Pie do “I’m Ready” than Muddy Waters, you know? I think, the English interpretation of the blues just hit me a lot better, you know?”

In an October 2008 interview with Express & Star he said:

“When I heard Kossoff playing “Mr. Big” and when I heard Clapton playing “Crossroads” and when I heard Rory Gallagher playing “Cradle Rock”, I was like, ‘This is way cooler’…. “British blues are my thing. When I heard Rod Stewart and the Jeff Beck Group singing “Let Me Love You”, it changed my life. I knew exactly what I wanted to do. Those are my influences”. (by wikipedia)


And tis is a German digital broadcast from 2016. The sound is  great and Joe and his band were in great form !

Joe was on tour to promote his twelfth studio album called “Blues Of Desperation”.

What a great concert !

Recorded live at the Orangerie, Gartensaal, Kassel/Germany, March 07, 2016


Alternate frontcover

Joe Bonamassa (guitar, vocals)
Paulie Cerra (saxophone)
Anton Fig (drums)
Michael Rhodes (bass)
Lee Thorburg (trumpet)
Reese Wynans (keyboards)


01. Intro by Joe Bonamassa 3.42
02. Locomotive Breath (Anderson) 0.55
03. This Train (House/Bonamassa) 7.16
04. Mountain Climbing (Hambridge/Bonamassa) 5.52
05. Blues Of Desperation (House/Bonamassa) 8.48
06. No Good Place For The Lonely (Nicholson/Bonamassa) 8.13
07. See See Baby (King/Thompson) 3.46
08. Never Make Your Move Too Soon (Jennings/Hooper jr.) 7.09
09. Angel Of Mercy (*) (Banks/Jackson) 7.42
10. Love Ain’t A Love Song (Smokin Joe/Bonamassa) 10.51
11. Nobody Loves Me But My Mother (King) 10.14
12. I Gave Up Everything For You Except The Blues (Steele/Flowers/Bonamassa) 8.47
13. Going Down (Nix) 7.24
14. Spanish Boots (Wood/Beck/Stewart) 4.03
15. Are You Experienced (Hendrix) 7.13

(*) taken from FM broadcast by NDR 2, 26.09.2016