JP Jazz Police Advertisement

Hotel Search by Jazz Police

Adults: (age 19+) Children:
Room 1:
  Home arrow CD/DVD/Book Reviews arrow Anna Maria Flechero: Within the Fourteenth Hour
Main Menu
New and Notable
Photo Galleries
CD/DVD/Book Reviews
SF Bay Area
Los Angeles
New York
Twin Cities, MN
More Cities
 Saturday, 28 November 2015
Anna Maria Flechero: Within the Fourteenth Hour PDF Print
Written by Carmel DeSoto   
Sunday, 29 June 2008

Within the Fourteenth Hour

Vocalist Anna Maria Flechero is the product of a culturally rich heritage and a vibrant musical environment. Born in San Francisco of African American and Filipino ancestry, she learned to play piano by ear as a youngster, writing tunes and lyrics that reflect the influences of the sounds of Motown and the Latin rhythms of her Mission District. Moving to Japan, Flechero honed her skills as a solo artist, accompanying herself on piano, composing and performing original songs and interpreting jazz standards. While in Japan, Anna Maria met legendary pianist Cedar Walton, who provided opportunities for her to perform with his trio. It was the beginning of a long-standing musical friendship.

Now in 2008, after hundreds of performances and years of creating her own personal style, Flechero once again had the opportunity to coordinate with Walton on her self-produced sophomore release, Within the Fourteenth Hour.  This soulful recording features 10 well-placed pop and jazz standards with a bonus track being an original Flechero cut entitled “Pretty Soon.”

The journey begins with the classic standard “Misty,” fashioned into a swinging up-beat track that is personified by Flechero’s distinctive voice and R&B inflections.  This track features the incomparable Cedar Walton, David Williams and Lewis Nash.  Their symbiosis is evident from the first notes, clearly articulating an atmosphere of interaction and chemistry.  The first “A” features Williams and Nash trading rhythmically active phrases, while Walton’ s solo lines dance atop, creating interest and bounce within the spaces of Flechero’s vocals.  This symbiosis allows Flechero to command the cut with playful passages and confident scat lines that clearly punctuate the setting as being a true jazz cut.

Anna Maria Flechero
“What A Difference a Day Makes” has a Smooth Jazz/Latin overtone, extremely cross-over in nature, that shines a new light on this Grever/Adams classic, transporting you to a sunny beach with cocktails, friends and good times.  Flechero’s breezy vocals and phrasing allude to Jamaican flavors, a playful summery cut that gets you ready for the weekend.  This track features Jeffrey Chin (piano), Ron Smith (guitar), Nelson Braxton (bass), Billy Johnson (drums), Melecio Magdaluyo (sax), and the bus-driver to this track’s instrumental flavor, Karl Perazzo (percussion).  The ensemble provides a relaxed samba feel over which Magdaluyo plays a melodic and thoughtful solo.  Flechero adds nice vocal ornamentations to the last statement of the melody and the vamp out.

The Cedar Walton Trio guests once again on “God Bless the Child,” creating a strong traditional jazz interpretation of this Billy Holiday standard.  This cut gives us the chance to see an intimate, more serious side of Anna Maria’s vocals as she conveys a storyline of honesty and sincerity with each passing phrase.  Walton’s trio creates a metric modulation within the solo section, creating a nice texture change within the cut.  Flechero sells the track to the final low note while Walton, Nash and Williams delicately punctuate the final outro.  

Anna Maria Flechero
Anna Maria’s incomparable voice creates a voyage from start to finish, each song having its own specialty and flavor to truly create a diverse passage from track, to track, but it is in the final cut, “Pretty Soon,” where we get a full view of Anna’s abilities as a lyricist and composer.  Her lyrics convey a story of one who has lived through many facets of life, including the death of a loved one.  It is a song of devotion, strength and endurance.  Musically, Anna Maria has created a beautiful composition that is texturally stunning and harmonically rich.  Within the Fourteenth Hour is a CD worth adding to any music aficionado’s CD collection. Whether your desire is jazz, island, smooth-jazz, Latin, nu-soul, old soul or to heal your soul, this is the CD for you.  Take the journey Within the Fourteenth Hour.

Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Digg! Reddit!! Google! Live! Facebook! Slashdot! StumbleUpon! MySpace! Yahoo! Ask!
< Prev   Next >

Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar

Follow Jazz Police on Twitter
Like Jazz Police on Facebook
New and Notable
New Releases: Clarke/Lagrene/Ponty and Lionel Loueke
Written by Kevin O'Connor   

ImageWhat’s that parental axiom and admonishment to writers who gleefully pan things that come across their desk?  “If you can’t say anything nice…..” Truth told, a busy month fundraising at KBEM and a general lackluster crop of recordings have kept me away for a while. But the mailman was especially kind this week.

Stanley Clarke/Bireli Lagrène/Jean-Luc Ponty, D-Stringz (Impulse, 2015)

If Frank Zappa were to suddenly open a Parisian café in Chocolate City, it would sound like this record. The theme on this delightful excursion, if there is one, seems to be a hot club style litmus test of jazz hits and a great vehicle to try new wares.

Stanley Clarke and Jean-Luc Ponty are household names, even to people who may have a casual acquaintance with jazz, especially fusion.  Ponty is known for his work with Frank Zappa as well as his equally astonishing solo career.  And Stanley Clarke has all but reconstructed what it means to be a bassist in any kind of music. Lesser known to some, guitarist Bireli Lagrène comes from the classic French mold of Reinhardt-laced gypsy swing. But he’s also good at dancing around the fringes of soul, blues, flamenco, jazz and whatever else can be played on guitar.   

With nothing whatsoever to prove, these men will make you rethink how to listen to some of your favorites like: “Blue Train” and “Mercy Mercy  Mercy.” They could have stopped there and phoned the rest in. They didn’t. Check out all the originals.  Highly recommended.

Lionel Loueke,  Gaia (Blue Note, 2015)

ImageWhen the news broke that Pop producer Don Was would be helming Blue Note Records after the death of the beloved Bruce Lundvall, the predictable waves of angst fell over the jazz community.  As it turns out, those fears were not entirely unfounded.  Was has (yes, that’s grammatically acceptable) steered the iconic brand away from the sacred stables built by Lundvall and all his forebears. Many fled the company or were perhaps encouraged to seek other distribution.

But artists like Joe Lovano and Dr. John appear to have remained. Whether that is due to their crossover appeal is uncertain.  Lionel Loueke is a poster child of musical morphing, mostly in the global vein. Whatever stylistic cross-dressing he is guilty of has never been conspicuous or pre-meditated. Born in Benin, West Africa, the guitarist was weaned on a strong dose of musical variety: West African blues, Kora music, Afro-Pop and Afro Caribbean rhythms are strong threads that are immediately noticeable in his playing.  He also displays impeccable choices of companions on the road and in the studio.

Like Bill Frisell, Loueke’s pure musicianship transcends any genre bias and has made him a top recruit for many established jazz masters.  Gaia finds him breaking away from the “World Music” stamp. It is moody and compositional, with very little in the way of beat fare.  The title track is great and there’s a serviceable Bee Gees cover, too. I won’t tell you what, explore for yourself!

Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Digg! Reddit!! Google! Live! Facebook! Slashdot! StumbleUpon! MySpace! Yahoo! Ask!
Lizz Wright: "Freedom And Surrender" (Concord, 2015)
Written by Kevin O'Connor   


Another artist from the cover school is Lizz Wright, though that term is neither fair nor accurate with her latest recording, Freedom And Surrender.

Circular would be a good word to describe the career arc of Ms. Wright. She was signed by Verve Records in the early 2000’s during the late phases of the great Diana Krall fallout. Stylistically she couldn’t be more opposed. She went on to a modest career in Pop and R & B and is just now back in the jazz crossover realm at Concord Records.

She has clearly maintained her soulful sensibilities and jazz reverence. But along the way, she’s picked up an incredible knack for lyricism and a shrewd ear for collaboration. Guitarist and producer Larry Klein was a music and life partner for a late and crucial phase in Joni Mitchell’s narrative.  He’s all over this one, too:  Chief production, playing, songwriting and hand claps kept him pretty busy.

Nick Drake’s aching “River Man” is paid a nice tribute.  The best originals would have to be the title track and one called “You.” Although Gregory Porter is rapidly entering the venue of the overexposed, I’d rather hear him than the aforementioned Mr. McDonald on most anything. Wright and Porter team up on another original, “Right Where You Are.”  Straight ahead? Not really. But a beautiful diversion.

(Lizz Wright appears at the Dakota in Minneapolis, September 22-23;

Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Reddit!! Google! Live! Facebook! Slashdot! StumbleUpon! MySpace! Yahoo! Ask!

More New and Notable

Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Digg! Reddit!! Google! Live! Facebook! Slashdot! StumbleUpon! MySpace! Yahoo! Ask!
Today's top ten jazz downloads
JP Archive
Add Jazz Police button to your google toolbar
Latest News

Lost Password?
Go to top of page  Home | New and Notable | Photo Galleries | CD/DVD/Book Reviews | Interviews | SF Bay Area | Chicago | Los Angeles | New York | Twin Cities, MN | Festivals | More Cities | News |