From conception to implementation, any project Joel is involved in is a massive production,
Whether performing, writing, arranging, orchestrating, or producing, the results of his multi-faceted vision speak for themselves.
They may have been separated at birth, but the "twins" of Brazilian music and jazz spawned by African culture are beautifully rejoined in this gem of a CD by the excellent saxophonist/flutist Paul Lieberman. The concept--derived from "Ibeji," the album's title and the Yoruba word for "twins”--pairs Brazilianized versions of jazz tunes with jazzed-up Brazilian compositions, and the results are a revelation. “In My Life” as a baião? Who knew it could sound this good?
The choice of material and the arrangements are outstanding, from the classic "Blue in Green" reimagined as a funky bossa nova and a choro take on Dubin and Warren’s “Lulu’s Back in Town” to swinging versions of the Mauricio Einhorn/Durval Ferreira standard “Estamos Aí” and Jobim’s “Inutil Paisagem.” Lieberman also includes two lovely originals, the ballad “I Tried to Tell You” and the soaring “Voa Livre,” which manages to sound ethereal and earthy at once, and gathers almost all of the great musicians who contributed throughout the album, including Allman Brothers drummer Jaimoe and cellist Eugene Friesen...“Ibeji” assigns different personnel to each genre, with Trio da Paz’s Nilson Matta and Duduka da Fonseca kicking in the rhythm for the Brazilian-flavored tracks and Rufus Reid and Tim Horner on the jazz tunes. Playing across the genres are Lieberman and his co-producer and co-arranger, pianist Joel A. Martin; they end the set as a duo, going out on a perfect note with Edu Lobo/Chico Buarque’s gorgeous “Beatriz.” If you like your jazz Brazilian, your Brazilian tunes jazzy, this one’s for you.
Joel co-produced, co-arranged and played on this recording.
Click the photo - read full review
"Rock of Ages has the feel of an intimate recital in an after-hours jazz club. Brown's soprano is a blend of church singing, musical theater, and classical repertory... Age doesn't matter because the jazz arrangements make the songs sound fresh. The restful "His Eye is on the Sparrow" and "Great is Thy Faithfulness" find Brown and the combo in perfect congruence. The musicians and vocalist use the space to improvise, and even drop in blue notes from time to time... For the decades-old fuss over the relationship between jazz and the sacred, Rock of Ages demonstrates how the two are indeed first cousins." Joel produced, co-arranged and played on this recording.
Zack Danziger's "Sun is All We Need," released in 2010, is his debut CD, featuring Zack Danziger- guitar, vocals, bass; Joel Martin- piano, keyboards, background vocals; Jed Levy - saxophone, flute; Paul Lieberman - saxophone, flute, percussion; Barbara Ween - background vocals; David Dunaway - bass; Terry Silverlight - drums. The eclectic and electric Northampton based musician has achieved a bit of a coup de grace with the release of Sun Is All We Need. He offers here an amalgam of styles that range from irresistibly delectable pop to jazz for the fundamentalist jazzhead in your life, often within the same tune. A formidable force on guitar himself, Mr. Danziger has assembled an A-Team of musical wizards to wring the most out of his compositions and render them whole.
What’s more, with pianist/producer Joel Martin and engineer Danny Bernini in the house, the music has been fully realized with all that a state of the art modern recording experience can offer. Zack’s compositions are autobiographical and at times cosmically cryptic, with grooves so deep you could twist an ankle, and hooks you could hang your hat on; this is by all means accessible music. Many of the tunes are suite-like in their construction, abounding in shifts of time and tone. The title cut for example, features four discrete sections, with subtly shifting harmony vocals and more obvious and effective changes in feel (4/4 funk, 3/4 reggae, a blistering rock solo), and an out chorus of simple acoustic guitar accompanied by improvised whistling that nicely evokes the warmth of the sun. GREAT CD!
Joel co-produced, co-arranged and played on this recording
Uncle Jed's Barbershop, a Broadway bound musical based on the book by Margaree Mitchell, produced by director Susan Einhorn, Kenneth Grimes and composer David Wohl. The full length musical premiered in Denver last fall for a month to incredible audiences. Joel orchestrated and arranged 21 songs for this production using an 8-piece group of piano, bass, drums, guitar, trumpet, trombone and 2 reeds.
AMERICAN TRADITIONS COMPETITION FOR SINGERS
Artistic Director 2011-2012, Savannah GA
Pianist/Arranger/Collaborator - 5 Gold Medal singers 2006-2010
During his 2 year tenure as Artistic Director, Joel oversaw the entire competition, designing rule books, graphic design and applications to bring 35 singers from over the country. He was also principally responsible for bringing such world renowned judges.
2012 ATC Judges: Liz Callaway, Amanda McBroom, Denyce Graves, Joseph Joubert, Robert Sadin
2011 ATC Judges: Chapman Roberts, Craig Schulman, Sherill Milnes, Christine Pedi, Hilda Harris
Arranged and orchestrated "Mary Did You Know" for Liz Callaway and Ann Hampton Callaway from Liz's album "Merry and Bright." Performed live on Meredith Vieira Show, Dec. 2015
Arranged and orchestrated Fergie's hit "big Girls Don't Cry" when Fergie won the Billboard Women of the Year Award, Dec 2010
Jazzical Dualing Orchestras! How about a jazz big band swinging with a symphony orchestra? And playing Debussy Prelude Sailes from Book 1 as a Thelonius Monk tune? Just one of the many productions arrangements Joel has created for orchestras.
A partial list of the many artists and groups Joel has worked with creating Jazzical:
Alan Menken (Disney composer)
Kathleen Battle (Opera legend)
Liz Callaway & Ann Hampton Callaway
Jessye Norman (Opera legend)
Quad City Symphony Orchestra
New Hampshire Festival Orchestra
Hartford Symphony Orchestra
Springfield Symphony Orchestra (MA)
New Haven Symphony Orchestra
Cab Calloway Orchestra (10 years)
Brooklyn Youth Chorus (7 years)
and many more...