kc local album releases


molly hammer - out of this world

Readers of The Pitch recently named Molly Hammer the “Best Jazz Artist” in Kansas City of 2018. Hammer’s debut album Out of This World confirms that she’s at her best working as a torch singer rather than in a jazz setting.  Her thoughtful approach on the cabaret songs “Never Will I Marry,” “Detour Head” and “Listen Here” rivals the work of elite vocalists like Brown and Maye.  Most of the other selections don’t emphasize Hammer’s incisive voice and lyrical sensitivity that are her core strengths.

The fine playing of saxophonist Brad Gregory, pianist Joe Cartwright, bassist Steve Rigazzi and drummer Todd Strait can't redeem the shopworn “Doodlin’” or “At Last.”  Novelties like “TV is the Thing This Year” and “Pig Foot Pete” are cutesy rather than quaint.  Hammer possesses the talent to fashion an exemplary album.  Out of This World isn’t it.
-Review by Bill Brownlee of PlasticSax (Oct 2017)


a La mode - C’est Si Bon

Few genres blow away mental storm clouds as well as gypsy jazz, which is undoubtedly part of what makes the music so popular right now. With C’est Si Bon, A La Mode shows how good that can feel. (review by: Mike Warren, KCUR)

Read the full review HERE from Mike Warren



Kansas City based trumpeter Hermon Mehari headlines a strong post bop album teamed together with Aaron Parks/key-p, Logan Richardson/as, Rick Rosato/b, Ryan J. Lee/dr and Peter Schlamb/vib. The Monk Competition semi-finalist has a rich and expressive tone, and the band mixes sounds ranging from a Weather Report-ish “Tatra” to a soulful R&B tinged ballad with vocals on “Awakening.”

In between, you hear Mehari’s warm open horn on a rich intro to “Our Journey Rivisited” while he is expressive with Parks on a drop dead gorgeous duet on “I’ve Grown Accustomed To Her Face.” Schlamb provides an easy swing as Rosato’s bass directs traffic on “Moment’s Notice” and “Cold” and the team is sublime on “We Love.” Modern with effects, and classic with sound. -George W. Harris JazzWeekly.com



Matt Hopper is a jazz guitarist based in Kansas City. Hopper started playing guitar at 12 years old. At 17 he began studying jazz guitar under Danny Embrey. He studied jazz guitar with Rod Fleeman and classical guitar with Doug Neidt at The University of Missouri – Kansas City Conservatory of Music 2001 – 2005. Hopper is now a  mainstay of the Kansas City jazz scene. As the featured musician at Green Lady Lounge (rated amongst the top 10 jazz clubs in the United States) he plays there weekly with The Matt Hopper Trio, The Brett Jackson Quartet, and Boogaloo 7. His debut album, First Love, is currently being played nationally over 70 radio stations.


logan richardson - blues people

Blues People was created in the oral tradition of the blues, and improvised music as a whole. The viscous entirety of the 14 song repertoire was relayed all by ear during the process of the documentation of the album. 

Blues People, is a modern day version of the Kansas City Blues, Black American Music, and Rock & Roll tradition. In being such, consequently this documentation is an accumulation of experiences, and influences that have given way to a fresh sonic fusion of sound that calls on the genetic DNA of the forefathers of modern popular music. Released April 13, 2018 

”Logan Richardson's latest project, Blues People, is a condition, a state of being. The album was derived from the early slave calls that inspired the earliest American jazz and blues musical traditions. Here at the Tiny Desk, the saxophonist revisits that history with four remarkable songs from the album, all performed with a hope that our country's future will be less painful than its past.” -NPR MUSIC


dino massa kansas city quintet - echoes of europe

Highly refined but never fastidious, the album’s careful arrangements seem designed to augment thoughtful reflection, and the core band, which also includes guitarist Charles Gatschet, bassist Andrew Stinson and drummer Clarence Smith, maintains a consistently contemplative mood.

Massa is a post-bop pianist who’s clearly familiar with the work of seminal jazz pianists like Bud Powell and Art Tatum. Although his fluid improvisation on the title track is masterful, Massa emphasizes a different aspect of his talent throughout. His opening statement on “Paris” indicates that he’s just as conversant in the language of European classical composers like Frédéric Chopin as he is with that of contemporary American jazz masters.


eddie moore and the outer circle - kings and queens

Just in time for you to get in your car with your love, roll the windows down and just jet, the Chris Hazelton Boogaloo 7 is back with another scorching organ fueled forty five. “The Basement Beat” is their first single from their latest Lp of the same name. 

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chris hazelton’s boogaloo 7 - The basement beat

Just in time for you to get in your car with your love, roll the windows down and just jet, the Chris Hazelton Boogaloo 7 is back with another scorching organ fueled forty five. “The Basement Beat” is their first single from their latest Lp of the same name. 

ChrisHazelton Soul Jazz Fridays.jpg


Soul Jazz Fridays conjures the sort of atmosphere the eminent philosopher James Brown once described as “a funky good time.” - Bill Brownlee



"Vision" is above all dynamic tribute to a bygone era that determined the evolution of jazz. Stephen Martin may have been devoted to a specific jazz segment from the past, he knows how to frame this in the right way and immediately gives it a contemporary twist. He does that entirely in the line of Mark Turner and Chris Potter. A powerful and especially promising debut full of auditory fireworks. " - Georges Tonla Briquet, Jazz'halo. Torhout, Belgium


Matt villinger - all night

Villinger evokes a young Bob James on the soulful opening track “Chillinger.”  “You’re the One for Me” is like an update of James’ “Angela,” the theme song for television’s “Taxi.”  Villinger also uses a vocoder on the title track, a midtempo song capable of resonating with Daft Punk fans. - Bill Brownlee, Plastic Sax


christopher burnett - time flies (remastered)


The music on this album was first released independently during the last year of the Twentieth Century and at the very beginnings of the online and digital music distribution era. It has been downloaded and sold digitally via the Internet over 500,000 times and counting. This music has been released and sold in CD form to listeners in at least 38 countries. 

There were certain aspects of the original mix and mastering that experience and time have allowed us to review. The result is a recording that sounds as it did when the artists were playing at the same time in the studio. The listener is now able to listen to the wonderful artistry of each of these musicians and enjoy the subtle sophistication of the compositions. 

As mixing and mastering engineer, Don Miller stated, “The listener should not be aware of the work I did on this project, while listening to the recording. We were able to take the original ADAT tracks and capture the essence of what the artists created. This is great music and I can understand why it was remastered for a collectors edition release.” 

~ Artists Recording Collective, 2013