Featured This Week On The Jazz Network Worldwide:  American Songbook Vocalist, Ken Greves with his new CD “Night People”.

Ken Greve’s third recording,“Night People” embodies the language of love in an American Songbook style of performance that personifies the journey of the high’s and low’s of finding joy on the other side of disappointment.

“Ken Greves has been a friend to The Jazz Network Worldwide for years and has shared his last two recordings with us.  We are excited to jump on his bandwagon once again featuring his latest recording of “Night People”.  The high caliber camaraderie of musicianship was beautifully executed on these timeless classics. Musical director Frank Ponzio on piano, Peter Donovan on bass and drummer Vito Lesczak are a cohesive force, giving Ken the perfect backdrop to sit comfortably in the artistic seat of driving the deep reflection of the aspects of love and all its sides” says Jaijai Jackson of The Jazz Network Worldwide.

“Night People is an homage to my early youthful days, when I haunted and habituated the night scenes and nightscapes searching for the unnamable thing or experience.  This divine restlessness was always seeking newness, satisfaction, release, and ultimately peace.” says Greves.

For Ken, the lyrics are the jewel for which the music provides the beautiful setting. This is not to say that sheer musicality does not play a major part in this music.  Ken’s approach in both the arrangements and the manner in which he blends his superb vocal artistry with his musicians is of the highest order, fully conceived within the concept of synergy that is essential to the greatest tradition of jazz.


“The performance of the ensemble is first rate, responsive in every way and, if anything even more remarkable is the work of the vocalist, Ken Greves, displaying an exceptional expressive range of tone and dynamic.”  ~ Raul da Gama “Night People”


To compliment the release of “Night People”, Ken launches a brand new website that encompasses his musical journey as well as the different business and entertainment services he offers the marketplace.  He is an avid supporter of those in the industry and has made his expertise available to those artists that are looking for defined systems and structures for their careers both financially and production-wise.  

In addition, he is seeking non-exclusive worldwide agents for representation,  Greves is looking to tour globally in venues that present the American Songbook style performances.  

On Monday, July 2nd, 2015 Ken will be hosting a CD release party presenting “Night People” to his friends and fans at Cafe Noctambulo in New York City undoubtably to a full house!

Be sure to check out Ken’s feature on The Jazz Network Worldwide at www.thejazznetworkworldwide.com as well as his new website www.kengreves.com.

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The vocalist Ken Greves has taken it upon himself to champion repertoire that is often neglected songs by prominent songwriters, written over the years. It is also a bold venture for Mr. Greves’ company, Jazz Cat to set out to record these songs. The performance of the ensemble is first rate, responsive in every way and, if anything even more remarkable is the work of the vocalist, Ken Greves, displaying an exceptional expressive range of tone and dynamic. The very opening song, “Night People” sets a profoundly meditative mood and is followed by a nicely pointed account with intrinsic humour in Bob Dorough’s “Small Day Tomorrow”. Mr. Greves follows this up with a beautiful Dorothy Parker number, which shows off his mettle Ï Wished On The Moon” is fresh and urgent and beautifully sprung from the gilded voice of Mr. Greves.

Throughout the record, Ken Greves sings with fine purity and great tenderness. He seems eminently qualified to engage in repertoire such as this: soulful songs dense with emotion. But he is equally impressive with more light-hearted fare. However most of the music on this remarkable album is limited to crepuscular themes almost surely chosen for their elementally beautiful words. This is an ideal setting for Mr. Greves who appears to be an emotional singer who digs deep into the narratives and renders the words with a kind of liquid quality. He relishes Broadway and the show tunes that were written for the stage. He brings to life the songs in a most meaningful way. The album is not necessarily one of love songs, but love is a continuing theme. I like very much the manner in which he handles this theme in “The Night We Called It A Day” and, of course, Billy Strayhorn’s incredible “Lush Life”. Both songs are sung with fresh lyricism. The latter, especially is delicately shaded and winningly ardent.

Ken Graves is not simply a master of the Love Song. He is master of the Broadway show song and the American Standard as well. He simply has a way with song – any kind of song- because he brings characters to life. And he always has a wonderful band – usually a trio – to back him up. On this record he does not have his regular band with Wells Hanley as music director, but this trio is every bit a fabulous backing band as any. Pianist Frank Ponzio is eloquent and beautiful whether he is in the spotlight or when he recedes from it to let his boss sing. Peter Donovan and Vito Lesczak keeps time with grace and precision. Together they make wonderful music together. This CD is a fine example of that suggestion.

Track List: Night People; Small Day Tomorrow; I Wished on the Moon; What a Little Moonlight Can Do; Street of Dreams; Midnight Sun; Moon and Sand; The Night We Called it a Day; Let Me Down Easy; Angel Eyes; Lush Life; I Keep Goin’ Back To Joe’s; One For My Baby (And One More For The Road); Early Morning Blues/Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Cryin’

Personnel: Ken Greves: vocals; Frank Ponzio: piano; Peter Donovan: bass; Vito Lesczak: drums

Label: Jazz Cat Productions
Release date: May 2015
Website: KenGreves.com
Buy music on: amazon

All About Jazz
By Raul d’Gama Rose - CD Editor

On The Face of My Love, countertenor Ken Greves answers what could well be an eternal question: Why make another album about love? And he does so emphatically: Because there may be a more complete way to tackle its rainbow of moods and feelings. It is very possible that no one in recent memory has gotten into character to perform the role of lover with such majesty and fire as Greves plays out the myriad shades of sadness and joy associated with the eternal passion that exists where heart and mind meet. Greves' lover is almost as lonely as Heathcliff but, with classical triumph of human endeavor, settles the score with the demons who threaten to break his spirit.

If all this sounds as if it were a monumental Grecian operatic narrative it almost is, except that in the case of Greves' "Face of Love," its story is fused into a molten mix of the Great American Songbook couched in a slow, sullen swing, as it bumps and grinds, and rubs elbows with jazz's animated idiom. Greves' story of love tumbles down in short bursts of intense, almost in-the-moment energy, and feelings that are wrung out of the lyric line of each melody as the vocalist infuses the characters in each song with his own, deep interpretation. Beginning with the classic Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn "Daydream," Greves sets the tone of his hopeful quest. This he finds with exquisite grace and elegance on "A Nightingale Sang In Berkley Square."

Soon, of course, the storm of the relationship develops and the aching vocals capture the spirit of Greves' lonely feelings through masterful renditions of "Everything I Have Is Yours," "It Was Written In The Stars," "Alone Together" and two beautifully handled Billy Strayhorn charts. In the first, "My Flame Burns Blue" Greves sings the lyric interpretation by Elvis Costello of Strayhorn's "Blood Count," recreating the most definitive version of this song and the elementally sad, "Chelsea Bridge ," where it seems the romantic world of Greves' character falls apart completely. However, throughout the album there is an ululation of feelings, moving up and down the spectrum of love's feelings as it labors towards a triumphant, all-encompassing joy. These are the moments of spectacular interplay between, and especially, pianist Wells Hanley, but also bassist Tom Hubbard and drummer Jacob Melchior.

However, it is the sympathetic manner in which vocalist and pianist dance to each other's tunes that makes this artistic relationship a memorable one. In this regard, Hanley and Greves recall the wonderful partnership between Kurt Ellingand Laurence Hobgood. Hanley's svelte pianism is every bit a match with Greves' subtle intonations. On "Alone Together"-with Greves center stage and Hanley in the shadows, just half a beat off the pace-the two artists reveal what true simpatico is. This track is the epitome of the sharp bursts of feeling that drive an entirely memorable album that begins and ends with classic interpretations of “Daydream.”

Track listing: Daydream; A Nightingale Sang in Berkley Square; Where Have You Been?; You Stepped Out of a Dream/Dearly Beloved; Everything I have Is Yours; I Thought About You/My One & Only Love; Witchcraft/ That Old Magic; It Was Written In The Stars; Alone Together; My Flame Burns Blue; Day In, Day Out; There's a Lull in My Life; Chelsea Bridge; Someone to Light Up My Life; Don't Look Back; By Myself.

Personnel: Ken Greves: vocals; Wells Hanley: piano; Tom Hubbard: bass; Jacob Melchoir: drums.
Style: Jazz/Straightahead/Mainstream ~ By Susan Frances ~ JazzTimes

JazzTimes
By Susan Frances

 A prolific interpreter of American standards, singer Ken Greves transports audiences back to the Golden Years of jazz and champagne music with his latest album, The Face Of My Love. The selection for the recording includes hallmark works by some of jazz music's most cherished writers like Duke Ellington, Cole Porter, Billy Strayhorn, Johnny Mercer, and Jimmy Van Heusen. Greves' vocals are beautifully poised as he molds his ruminations to the melodic knolls, and strokes the lyrics like they were made of fine porcelain. He brings out the songs classic curves and melodic charms while enhancing their timeless quality as they pass from generation to generation.

Greves displays an instinct for finessing American standards like Strayhorn's "Daydream" and Cole Porter's "Where Have You Been." His versing is poetic, and his suave handling of the tunes is thoughtful as he traverses along the chord progressions with a leisurely stride. His treatment of Manning Sherwin and Eric Maschwitz's "A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square" accentuates its romantic-bent, while Greves' refurbishing of "You Stepped Out Of A Dream" bodes a dreamy sonorous. His rendition of Harold Arlen and Leo Robin's "It Was Written In The Stars" has a gristle of heavy bass streaks which turn to a breezy bossa nova style in "I Thought About You." His remodeling of the torchlight flutters in Billy Strayhorn and Elvis Costello's "My Flame Bums Blue" is shrouded in somber tones, which shifts to an upbeat pulse in Rube Bloom and Johnny Mercer's "Day In, Day Out." The shimmering tones of the piano keys in "Someone To Light Up My Life" cradle Greves' vocals in silky threads, which transform into a sprightly jitter in "By Myself' inducing a festive mood into the album.

Ken Greves' treatments have a penchant for classic styles and veer towards sustaining a positive mood even through the melancholic tunage of Billy Strayhorn's "Chelsea Bridge." Hope springs eternal in Ken Greves' delivering of American standards, showing an inclination to influence audiences to adapt to a leisurely stride through life like himself.

 Jazz Reviews: Ken Greves - By Susan Frances - JazzTimes

 

O's Notes: Ken Greves is a classically trained vocalist exploring jazz on this romantic album. He is backed by a strong trio featuring Wells Hanley (p) Tom Hubbard (b) and Jacob Melchior (d). The sixteen selections are all classic tunes arranged to take us through all phases of romance: single, courting, falling in love, experiencing heartbreaks and then being alone again. This all occurs in just over an hour! It is adventure that we are all too familiar with. Greves does a good job immersing himself in the moods.

D. Oscar Groomes
O’s Place Jazz Magazine
http://www.OsPlaceJazz.com

 

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