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Dec 14, 2018







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Jeff Simmermon, And I Am Not Lying (Comedy Dynamics Records)




Kenny Shanker, The Witching Hour (Wise Cat Records)

Lots of buzz surrounds this California-born jazz saxophonist, who’s played with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra and the Nelson Riddle Orchestra among other resumé bullets. This, his second album as a leader, displays a rare gift for interpreting bop with such depth it’s like getting fitted for a hearing aid. You could hear a pin drop between his phrases, which often finish off with a casual trilling that’s as warm as the smooth compositions he’s put together with this quintet, which also features the well-rounded talents of pianist Mike Eckroth and guitarist Daisuke Abe, both of whom receive enough solo spaces so as to not sway the focus from Shanker’s sax. The signature move within these tunes is a straightforward, confident march of quarter-notes of various modalities, whether it be blues-ish, better-than-Kenny-G torch (“Saturday 2 AM”), wistful balladry (“Siobhan”) or the usual breed of easy listening (most everywhere else). Amazingly clear voice here. A+ — Eric W. Saeger




Jeff Simmermon, And I Am Not Lying (Comedy Dynamics Records)
CD Reviews: July 6, 2017

07/06/17
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



Jeff Simmermon, And I Am Not Lying (Comedy Dynamics Records)
Debut comedy album from Simmermon, a standup comic and the producer/performer behind the same-titled variety show out of the UCB Theater in New York’s East Village. This is his stand-up routine, focused on real-life encounters and ruminations on things, like “fake-ass jobs,” wherein he compares his job to his grandfather’s: “He was a welder for NASA, using the same callused hands he’d used to kill actual Nazis. I edit tweets for a shampoo company.” The most popular bit is when he recalls booking the grindcore band Vomit Fist (two 19-year-old guys and the drummer’s dad) into his regular show, after which things got out of hand when the kids disappeared and dad went “dad” on the whole bar. Told in the mildly paranoid tone of your average hipster dude, Simmermon also goes over a pretty bad dinner he attended with Al Sharpton, kangaroo hunting in Australia and dating for the first time in seven years. A- 





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