Reviews: Capsule reviews of 10 recent area CDs

Reviews: Capsule reviews of 10 recent area CDs




We get so many CDs here at CoolCleveland to review, sometimes we get backed up on them. We try to do at least one review a week, usually tying it in with a performance of some sort. A lot of great stuff gets lost in the shuffle, and we feel bad when we miss out on reviewing a good piece of music.

Cleveland is filled with talented musicians, no matter what the style or genre. From jazz to hip hop to polka to ethnic to classic rock to grunge to show tunes and what ever else can be put on a disk, someone in Northern Ohio can do it well. So instead of doing an in depth review of one CD this week, I thought I’d go through the stacks of CDs that have arrived over the last year or two, pick out a few of the better ones, and make a comment about each. Here we go…


Ki Allen has been doing jazz and blues around Cleveland for years. The talented singer did a CD with veteran guitarist Bob Fraser called Calling Card and it is filled with great versions of some jazz and show standards. She will be playing around town all summer, check out her schedule at http://www.kiallen.net.

Jaclyn Bradley will be doing everything this summer from giving voice lessons to singing the national anthem at Lake Erie Crusher games. The very talented vocalist has a CD out Hollywood Be Thy Name, which she recorded in Los Angeles before returning to her hometown of Cleveland. Check more out about Jaclyn at http://www.jaclynbradley.com.

Unsparing Sea, a group consisting of cellos, accordion, and harp, as well as guitars, keyboards, and drums, have gotten some good regional press for In Diamond Caverns, which they released late last year on Broke.Tusk.Collective, a local indie label. A lot of talent in this band, check them out at http://www.unsparingsea.com.

Motter Flynn is a group of college age kids from the southwest suburbs who have out a CD titled “Rigate Pitygraphs.” They are good singer songwriters, with a touch of everyone from Dave Matthews to Tom Petty in their music. Check them out at http://www.motterflynn.com.

Joshua Smith, principle flutist with the Cleveland Orchestra, has released J.S. Bach Flute Sonatas, a solo project along with harpsichordist Jory Vinikour. Smith is very talented, and this disk would make great dinner time music in anyone’s home. It is a national release on California classic label Delos Productions.

One of the more unique CDs we received is Russian Duo, which features traditional Russian chamber and folk music played by Oleg Kruglyakov on the balalaika (a Siberian version of an acoustical guitar), and Terry Boyarsky on piano. Check them out at http://www.russianduo.com. They will be playing all over the place this summer and fall.

Joe’s Garage is a North Ridgeville quartet whose CD Lost in Overdale is filled with strong ballads and musicianship. Check them out at http://myspace.com/joe39sgarage.

Dan Miraldi will be playing the Winchester on July 3 in support of his CD Thirsty. He’s a recent college grad who has been a part of the Cleveland music scene since high school. Watch out for this guy, this CD is really good, at times he sounds like a 70’s folk rocker, other times like a young Elvis Costello. Check him out at http://www.danmiraldi.com.

Frigid Touch is the latest project of techno singer/songwriter Christopher Foldi. Recorded on his Macintosh Powerbook, the disk features ten original tracks and a great cover of the Classic IV’s Spooky. Yet another talented guy who has a bright future, check Christopher Foldi and his various musical projects out at http://www.frigidtouch.com.

Josh Rzepka is a very talented, classically trained trumpeter from Akron, via Oberlin College and Boston University. His first CD is Midwest Coast, features local legend Jackie Warren on keyboards, and has 10 original tunes covering jazz styles from Latin America to Harlem. Another great CD from a very talented young man with a great future.






Greg Cielec is a local writer who covers mostly music and sports for a variety of publications and websites. He is also a full time English and creative writing teacher at Streetsboro High School; an adjunct professor at BGSU Firelands College and Lakeland Community College; and a football coach at John Carroll University.

He has published two books of fiction, My Cleveland Story (1998) and Home and Away Games (2006), and the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Michael Heaton has called him “the Mark Twain of Cleveland.” Check out his website and blog at http://www.GregCielec.com.

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