by C. Michael Bailey, All About Jazz

John Minnock
Right Around the Corner
Self Produced
2018

John Minnock brings a much needed extroverted edge to jazz vocals. Part of that edge is his progressive repertoire, which includes Grace Jones, Billy Joel, and Sam Smith. Another part of that edge is the exuberance with which he sings his up-tempo pieces, evidenced on the title song of Right Around The Corner, which is twenty-first century gritty urban, and his cosmic cover of Jay Bannon’s “New York, New York” (not the Sinatra standard). Featuring David Liebman‘s ever-expressive soprano saxophone, Minnock delivers the song with a muscular assertiveness, the two artists sparring on this jagged-edged performance. This is forward thinking.

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Kristina Koller
At The Poli Club
Self Produced
2019

New York City vocalist Kristina Koller follows up her debut recording, Perception (Self Produced, 2017), with this four-song, extended play live recording. Koller is backed by Fima Chupakhin on piano, Ben Rubens on bass and Darrian Douglas on drums. Their support deepens the organic flavor of Koller’s sturdy and expressive voice. After Koller and company deliver a solid “Save Your Love for Me,” the group assembles an impressionist performance of the Rodgers and Hart piece “Falling in Love with Love.” Chupakhin’s solo is lengthy and expressive and Koller’s delivery precise on the dot. The quartet delivers the goods on the two remaining pieces, “I Didn’t Know About You” and “What a Difference a Day Makes.”

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