FILE UNDER: SOUL JAZZ BARCODE: CD 4260109010713 / LP 4260109010720




01.My Babe play button
02.Ode to Billy Joe play button
03.Inner city Blues play button
04.A taste of honey play button
05.Stormy Monday blues play button
06.Ain’t no love in the heart of the city play button
07.Since I fell for you
08.It’s alright
09.I love you baby
10.Hold on to now


Photo shoots are exhausting – even for a jazz singer with an outgoing nature. But
Jeff Cascaro, who is passionate and professional in all aspects of the music
business, gave 100% to his recent shoot, because that's what you do when you're
dedicated to a project. Passion and professionalism have guided the production of
Cascaro's latest album, “Love & Blues in the City”.
Cascaro, now visibly relaxed, sits at a rooftop terrace bar in Berlin, listening keenly –
and with an almost childlike awe – to the crooning Nat King Cole.
“Sensational! Nat King Cole has such an incredible balance," says Cascaro. "An
unbelievable voice, always inside the music – to me, a perfect singer. For decades
this was the key thing in jazz: an interpretation of great songs. All the great singers
had this ability to create a sense of intimacy even when performing with big bands.
Ella, Sarah Vaughan, Nancy Wilson, Sinatra, Joe Williams, and Tony Bennett
celebrated the art of timeless and beautiful music!”
Cascaro's passion for music shines through – as he rhapsodizes about his musical
idols and the history of jazz. The same passion pulses through Love & Blues in the
City. In contrast to his previous soul-jazz recordings, Love & Blues in the City offers a
subtle, laid-back feeling, with touches of classic jazz phrasing and artistry.
“The time was ripe to record a more jazzy and intimate album. I wanted to put a
stronger emphasis on the voice and its delicacies.” In keeping with that, Cascaro
changed and reduced the line-up of his band – creating space for nuances and a
more detailed approach. The piano features renowned jazz cats Roberto Di Gioia
and Hendrik Soll. On drums we hear Jörg Achim Keller and Flo Dauner. And
Herzog Promotion | Spritzenplatz 12 | 22765 Hamburg | t. +49(0)40/88 172 885
Christian von Kaphengst – the album's producer – holds down the bass chair. A
classic quartet recording, providing each performer with plenty of well-deserved
creative space.
Meticulous planning went into the choice of these wonderful musicians, but even
greater emphasis was placed on “playing” the music: “Not all parts of the
arrangements were fixed," says Cascaro. "We wanted to leave room for spontaneous
ideas and inspirations. That's the vital core of jazz music and will always be important
to me.”
“The selection of the songs," Cascaro recalls, “was an intense process, sifting
through and experimenting with an enormous amount of material, until we made our
choices according to the subject matter and overall timbre we had in mind.” He turns
in ten songs – seven covers and three originals, all dealing with love & blues. With a
modern urban jazz-blues-sound, the songs are equally inventive and sophisticated.
Each track reminds us that true interpretation requires the musician to make a song
his own.
© Jim Rakete
With internationally renowned arranger and drummer Jörg Achim Keller, and
Christian von Kaphengst – bassist for Till Brönner – on board, Jeff Cascaro
has the support of two vastly experienced musicians and arrangers of
extraordinary musical sensibility. Together they created deep grooves as well
as delicate structures for tender ballads. Listen to the almost fragile swing of
“A Taste of Honey” and “Since I Fell for You." The opener, Willie Dixon´s “Ma
Babe," picks up the pace and pulls you right into the sound. “Ode to Billy Joe,"
the folksy hit from the sixties morphs into a surprisingly bouncy mod-jazz
number. “Inner City Blues” has undergone a subtle reharmonization and is,
along with “Stormy Monday Blues," one of the "boppier" pieces. In “Ain´t no
Love in the Heart of the City” Bobby “Blue” Bland´s heavy funk is stripped
down to an almost elegiac gentle swing. In a similar spirit “I Love You Baby,"
Herzog Promotion | Spritzenplatz 12 | 22765 Hamburg | t. +49(0)40/88 172 885
highlights a stunning duet with the magnificent Fola Dada. “Hold on to Now,"
a classic torch song, features a lyric penned by Robin Meloy Goldsby, who
also wrote the words for two other tracks on the album.
Jeff Cascaro isn´t just one of Germany´s foremost jazz singers, he also is a
refined and formidable instrumentalist. His trumpet and flugelhorn solos and
riffs provide sweet layers of frosting on this splendid, multi-layered production.
While teaching vocals at the Weimar Conservatory over past years, Cascaro
has released some influential albums. Now he has poured his musical
passions into Love & Blues in the City – a classy love affair for anyone hip
enough to listen. Let's hope the album's urban sound reaches the hearts of
the cities and fills them with much-needed musical love.