NYC Saxophonist & NE Ohio Native leads Quartet Live at Nighttown! Featuring Vocalist Nicole Pasternak.
Featuring: Ralph Lalama-sax, Nicole Pasternak-vocals, Joe Hunter-piano, Tim Lekan-acoustic bass, & Donnie Patterson-drums.
A solid fixture of the New York jazz scene and respected world-wide, RALPH LALAMA embodies the best of the jazz sound ideal – great time, great swing, expressed through great melodic ideas. Everything he says and plays comes out of his deep connection and appreciation for “the Beat.” Jazz critic Zan Stewart put it succinctly: “Lalama is a grand, modern-minded storyteller…a first-class jazz soloist.” He excels in a chord-less trio format with his amazing command of the harmonic progressions articulated through his horn. But on top of being a great jazz soloist, Lalama is equally a solid veteran of jazz ensembles and orchestras. Over his impressive career starting with Woody Herman, Buddy Rich, and the Mel Lewis Orchestra – now the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra – he has honed the craft of sonic blending.
Lalama is a three-time Grammy winner through his work in the Joe Lovano Nonet and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. He has nine CDs out as a leader and is on more than sixty recordings as a sideman. He has received praise from the likes of critics Gary Giddins, Stanley Crouch, Ben Ratliff, Ira Gitler and Stuart Troup, among others. His latest release as a leader is the 2012 “Bop Juice: Ralph Lalama Trio, Live at Smalls.”
Vocalist NICOLE PASTERNAK operates below the national radar as she carves an ever-growing niche with jazz enthusiasts in the Northeast. JazzTimes' critic Chuck Berg described her as "reminiscent of a young Ella...the brightest young jazz singer I've heard since Bobby McFerrin..." Her repertoire embraces the powerful traditions of Swing songs, bebop, Brazilian, ballads and the Big Band Era. She is also a songwriter and lyricist.
The Norwalk Hour said, "Her stage presence is like chemistry, an almost uncanny ability to reach out and pull listeners into the music and make them want to stay there." She is praised for her ability to improvise, but ultimately appreciated for her good sense of lyric delivery, her intonation, phrasing, rhythm and time - and for the musician-like ways she infuses her sound within an ensemble, be it big band or duo.
Most often compared to singers like Peggy Lee, Anita O'Day and Billie Holiday, she favors the Great American Songbook - often served up under the influence of Brazilian and Latin rhythms, and punctuated by the inclusion of her original songs. Through her husband, master tenor saxophonist Ralph Lalama, she has pursued the bebop lexicon as well and their appearances together are effectively spiced with arrangements for sax and voice.