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From the critic's desk

A TORCHBEARER FOR TIMELESS SWING...Bryan Shaw is not a household name, not even in jazz households. But on his first CD as a leader, Night Owl, the California-based 46-year-old trumpet player recalls the flair of Bunny Berigan, the melodic romanticism of Ruby Braff and the way players in the rural South were described before the word "jazz" was in vogue. In those days, listeners called improvisers ´singing horns.´

Nat Hentoff, Wall Street Journal

The most notable product of the Johnny Mercer Centennial is pianist-singer Daryl Sherman´s current album, Johnny Mercer: A Centennial Tribute. It´s also the most festive: The program unfolds like an all-star concert, with no shortage of guest stars.

Will Friedwald

Carol Sloane, "Dearest Duke" (Arbors) There´s no place for Sloane to hide on this intimate set, and that works out just fine for this underrated veteran singer. Accompanied only by piano and Ken Peplowski´s clarinet and saxophone, Sloane glides over imperishable Ellington ballads, treating each one with the blend of delicacy and solidity that only a skilled vocalist can conjure. It´s minimalist magic.

Steve Futterman

Dick Hyman's Century of Jazz Piano - A jazz education indispensable package

Jazz Times

Pianist Tom McDermott is as comfortable and expert playing a Brazilian choro as he is digging into a Jelly Roll Morton rag.

Larry Blumenthal, The Wall Street Journal

From the opening Original Dixieland Jazz Band romp "Fidgety Feet" to the dreamlike "It´s The Last Dance," Mr. McKenna´s orchestral piano is so fulfilling and sometimes overwhelming that, after the concert, a woman told the soloist he had moved her to tears. "I played that bad," he said, smiling. Having listened to the recording often, I find that Mr. McKenna lifts me above the turmoil of global news to a touch of hope for the human condition.

Nat Hentoff, The Wall Street Journal

Record of the year: Clarinet Blue by Bobby Gordon and Dave McKenna on Arbors Jazz

Joe H. Klee, The Mississippi Rag