Skip to main content

Jazz Review: Sasha’s Bloc (Featuring Jane Monheit)-Heart On Fire

Release Date: March 17, 2015
Label: Indie

When was the last time you heard an album by a current artist that brought back the heyday of jazz and big bands? I suggest you look no further than Sasha’s Bloc and their bevy of guest performers on their excellent new release Heart On Fire.

The recording features the poignant vocals of one Ms. Jane Monheit (who covers 4 tracks by Alex Gershman). There are 10 people pictured on the inner sleeve of this CD, which are the main players in this band. It is no wonder the sound is so full and original while being true to the roots of great jazz music.

“Lonely Day In Paris” is the way the album starts and it’s as picturesque as the title suggests. From that point the stage is set and in place to fall into jazz heaven. Turn it up, sit back and listen to real music with a long history and culture that needs more appreciation than it currently gets.

The album takes you on a journey that brings the legacy of Jazz back to life like a full blooming flower in spring. It jumps, jives, and makes your soul dance. If it’s a warm and romantic slow burner you yearn for then “Heart On Fire” will do the trick. It is an appropriate title track in every sense of what that stands for and or implies. If your heart is not literally on fire in some fashion after hearing this track you need to be examined to see if you still have blood flowing through those veins!

For a complete change of pace “Angel” sounds like a soundtrack to an old gangster flick…picture the scene during prohibition as you walk through the secret passageway, give the password through the peep hole then you enter the smoky booze filled hall where all the action is. Patrick Tuzzolino has the perfect vocal style and pitch to deliver the song with some snap and feeling to put you right there as the scene unfolds and the joint gets jumpin’.

Then if you want to cut away from all the vocals, the instrumental “Duke” lets you just float away and create your own scenery. This is a nice change and an opportunity to focus in on all the talented musicians that contribute to this album. It's smooth jazz baby with an old time flair and sophistication that will certainly be appreciated by any jazz connoisseur.

“Manhattan” closes the curtain and ushers in complete joy while throwing you back to a time when the Andrews Sisters were entertaining the troops during WW2. The New Orleans style horns create that party in the streets atmosphere and the vocals are spot on for that timeframe. It is a nod to those famous sisters that shaped an era in time that will never be duplicated again. This is as close as it gets folks.

Heart On Fire is a wonderful album that once again reminded me why I loved jazz and big band music. I used to listen to all that music my parents had when I was a little boy and that is where it all started for me. Thank you Sasha’s Bloc for all the entertainment, great music and sweet memories you brought back with your music!

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Lonely Day In Paris, Angel, Manhattan

01. Lonely Day in Paris (feat. Patrick Tuzzolino)
02. Feels Like Jazz (feat. Jane Monheit)
03. Anything Is Possible (feat. Nora Rothman & Patrick Tuzzolino)
04. Black and Blue (feat. Glynis Leflore, Alvin Chea, Octavia Pace & Princess Fortier)
05. Breakfast (feat. Jane Monheit, Princess Fortier, Glynis Leflore & Octavia Pace)
06. Take a Chance (feat. Nora Rothman)
07. Heart On Fire (feat. Jane Monheit)  
08. Angel (feat. Patrick Tuzzolino, Octavia Pace, Glynis Leflore & Princess Fortier)
09. The Duke
10. Sunday Blues (feat. Jane Monheit)
11. Manhattan (feat. Octavia Pace, Glynis Leflore & Prin
cess Fortier)

Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck-Write A Music Review Founder
March 16, 2015
Review Provided By Write A Music Review


Popular posts from this blog

New Age Instrumental Review: Anaya Music-AONKI – Gateway of Love (Cosmic New Age Music)

Release Date: February 2, 2018 Label: Anaya Music Website
Around this time a year ago I had the experience of listening to Anaya Music and providing coverage of Eternity.  It was an uplifting experience and a memorable listen as I recall.
Now with February drawing closer AONKI – Gateway of Love (Cosmic New Age Music) will arrive.
Once again, the recording features several exceptional collaborations between Anaya Music and a live virtual symphony orchestra recorded in the heart of Prague, the capital of the Czech republic. The orchestra combines members of the finest ensembles in Prague, including the Czech Philharmonic.
I think they should rename the orchestra to “The Live Spiritual Orchestra.” If you have been exposed to Anaya Music you will understand what that means. If this is your first journey with this music you will find out very quickly. Either way, this is spiritually uplifting music that leaves a smile on your soul. It’s like the term digital footprint, there is an everlasting m…

Jazz Fusion-Rock-Pop-Funk Review: Project Grand Slam-Trippin’

Release Date: June 29, 2018 Label: Cakewalk Records Website
This will be my sixth voyage into the world of Project Grand Slam (PGS). So, what is this experience going to be like this time? I would expect the same great combination of jazz, rock, funk, and pop that I always enjoyed.

Just so you all know PGS is: Robert Miller (bass), Mario Castro (saxophones), Bayden Goyo (keyboards), Joel E. Mateo (drums), Guillermo Barron Rios (percussion), Tristan Clark (guitar) and the beautiful Ms. Ziarra Washington (vocals).

So, now we are Trippin’ into 2018 with PGS. And the first track titled “1972” was like turning on the radio and hearing the Average White Band or Tower of Power. Yes sir, on the AM dial, it came blaring through back in those days. 

The title track is a real gas too. This number has some great sax from Castro and a killer rhythm section courtesy of Miller and Mateo. It shines the spotlight on them clear and bright. Let me tell you, those two are like the dynamic duo, kind of like a p…

New Biography on The Cars Singer/Bassist Benjamin Orr by Vermont Writer Joe Milliken to be Published November 2018!

Bellows Falls, VT – Veteran music journalist Joe Milliken recently announced a publishing deal with the Lanham, Maryland-based publisher Rowman & Littlefield Publishers to produce his first book, a biography about the late Benjamin Orr. Orr was the co-founder, co-lead singer, and bassist for the platinum-selling rock band The Cars. Titled Let’s Go! Benjamin Orr and The Cars, a release date is set for November 15, 2018.

Often considered the band’s heartthrob, Orr possessed an incredible voice, diverse musical talent and rare stage presence, all balanced by a magnetic, yet enigmatic personality, striking good looks, and a relentless determination to reach rock stardom. Born Benjamin Orzechowski (aka “Benny Eleven Letters”) and raised in the Cleveland suburb of Parma Heights, Orr was, prior to becoming a world-famous rock star with The Cars, a “teen star” as a house band musician for the nationally syndicated television show Upbeat.

A few years later Ben met his musical partner and …