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Early Reviews Praise Sasha’s Bloc as a “Joyful Celebration” of the Big Band Jazz Sound of the 1920s-40s -- “They Have Completely Captured the Styles of the Past”
(Published: February 18, 2015)


Early Reviews Praise Sasha's Bloc as a "Joyful Celebration" of the Big Band Jazz Sound of the 1920s-40s -- "They Have Completely Captured the Styles of the Past"

Exclusive Track Preview: "Jane Monheit handles the lyric with canny aplomb, imbuing the song with unexpected depths of meaning - then letting loose a strong-willed scat"

Jazz Collective, Featuring Guest Vocalists Monheit and Alvin Chea, and Conceived by Bassist Alex Gershman, Sets ‘Heart on Fire' CD for March 2015, with Four Concerts in Los Angeles to Celebrate Release


Jazz collective Sasha's Bloc has earned rave early reviews for their upcoming March release ‘Heart On Fire', which has been described as a "joyful celebration" of the Big Band Jazz Sound of the 1920s-40s - "They have completely captured the styles of the past."

Conceived by bassist and songwriter Alex Gershman, and featuring Grammy-nominated vocalist Jane Monheit performing on multiple tracks, Sasha's Bloc is an international ensemble -- an amalgam of varied artists, nationalities and experiences, aiming to deliver a sound that is consistently big, boisterous, full of spirit and rich in everything that makes jazz linger as an American phenomenon. With a performance style that evokes such seminal acts as Duke Ellington, Fats Waller, Count Basie, Scott Joplin, Ella Fitzgerald and more, the group looks forward to four concerts in their hometown of Los Angeles to celebrate the release of the new album. All concerts will feature Monheit as well as Alvin Chea.

March 18 and 19 at Vibrato Jazz Grill - (featuring a KJAZZ Radio live broadcast on 3/18 and then a ‘theatrical event' on 3/19, complete with red carpet!)  http://sashasbloc.com

March 20 and 21 at Catalina Bar and Grill
http://www.ticketmaster.c...


Watch the EPK, here: https://www.youtube.com/w...

Presale links - http://www.amazon.com/Hea...

https://itunes.apple.com/...


SomethingElseReviews -
Exclusive Track Premiere
2/9/15, by Nick DeRiso
http://somethingelserevie...
Sasha's Bloc + Jane Monheit, "Feels Like Jazz" (2015): Exclusive Something Else! Stream
https://soundcloud.com/so...

Take a pre-war jazz era-inspired journey with this exclusive advance stream from Heart on Fire, the new album from Sasha's Bloc. This West Coast jazz collective, led by songwriting bassist Alex Gershman, is joined by Grammy-nominated guest vocalist Jane Monheit on the darkly intriguing "Feels Like Jazz."
Sasha's Bloc cites signature early jazz voices like Fats Waller, Scott Joplin and Duke Ellington as key influences, and "Feels Like Jazz" certainly makes good on that - but with a fresh perspective for a new age. You'll hear something that harkens back to the cabaret style of jazz favored in the 1920s and '30s, only with a contemplative twist.
See, rather than becoming absorbed in the era's fabled hedonism, our protagonist approaches her club job as a craft. And in that determination, she finds significance. Jane Monheit handles the lyric with canny aplomb, imbuing the song with unexpected depths of meaning - then letting loose a strong-willed scat.
Heart on Fire, featuring 10 other originals ranging from Dixieland to classical gas written or co-written by the Moscow-born Gershman, is due on March 17, 2015. Bob McChesney collaborated on the Frank Sinatra-inflected "Lonely Day in Paris" and "Sunday Blues." Bob Garad was co-writer on "Black and Blue." Jane Monheit's most recent full-length album was 2013's The Heart of the Matter; she's also worked with Abigail Riccards.


BlogCritics - Four-Star CD Review
1/29/15, By Jack Goodstein
http://blogcritics.org/mu...
Also ran via Seattle Post-Intelligencer:
http://www.seattlepi.com/...

Heart on Fire, set for release in March, is the second album from Sasha's Bloc, a Los Angeles-based nonet formed in 2012 by Russian-born bassist and songwriter Alex Gershman. Steeped in the traditions of jazz from back in the ‘20s, ‘30s and ‘40s, the band is a collective of musicians from a variety of nationalities and perspectives aiming to reinvigorate interest in the rich musical genres that gave rise to modern jazz stylings. Rather than reworking the classics of the past, the band focuses on capturing the classic vibe in original compositions that evoke their spirit. The 11 tunes on the new album are all written by Gershman, either alone or collaboratively in three cases.
If Gershman and company have done nothing else, they have completely captured the sounds of the past (dixieland, swing). Individual tracks sound like they could well have been recorded 70 years ago and remastered for a reissue. Certainly there is nostalgia here, but it is less drippy sentimentalism than it is joyful celebration.
A gaggle of guest artists join the base nonet on individual tracks, most notably GRAMMY-nominated vocalist Jane Monheit, who delivers stunning vocals on the album's title song, and three others-"Feels Like Jazz," "Breakfast," and "Sunday Blues." Patrick Tuzzolino channels Frank Sinatra on the album's opening number "Lonely Day in Paris," and works with a trio-Princess Fortier, Glynis Leflore, and Octavia Pace-cloning the Andrews Sisters and their ilk, on "Angel." Alvin Chia is joined by the ladies with a different sound on Gershman's "Black and Blue" (not to be confused with the great Louis Armstrong tune).
The ladies close the album with jumping harmonies on "Manhattan." Nonet member Nora Rothman does the vocal on "Take a Chance," a song that includes an instrumental shout-out to "Perdido." The sole instrumental on the album, "The Duke," intended as a tribute to Duke Ellington, doesn't quite manage the Ellington sound, but I doubt that was what was intended.
The musical styles of those early decades is too precious to be mummified. More than mere repetition, they deserve a creative legacy. A band like Sasha's Bloc is that legacy.


The Record-Journal, Meriden, CT -
1/14/15, By Jim Paskinski
http://jpsmusicblog.blogs...

The big band jazz of Sasha's Bloc return with their latest album "Heart On Fire" as the band continues to carry the torch of the Big Band sounds of the 1920s and 30s. This album also features Grammy-nominated vocalist Jane Monheit performing on four tracks. The new eleven song release begins with the upbeat, Sinatra-like feel of "Day In Paris" as vocalist Nora Rothman shows-off us his vocal talents. Monheit's voice is so silky smooth and sultry on "Feels Like Jazz" that you get wrapped up in her memorizing vocals. Sasha's Bloc takes you down south to the dixieland jazz of New Orleans with the playful "Anything Is Possible" and the lite-hearted, Monheit-led "Breakfast," which instructs you to seize every moment. The band excels during the seven-minute jam of "Take A Chance," before closing with the early blues/jazz of "Sunday Blues" and uptempo rhythm of "Manhattan" inspired by the hustle and bustle of the city. To find out more about Sasha's Block latest album " Heart On Fire," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/sashasbloc

Additional Review, here - http://markwebermusicblog...

With the March, 2015 release of ‘Heart On Fire', jazz collective Sasha's Bloc aims to solidify their growing presence on the U.S. music scene with an original album that hearkens back to the Big Jazz Band sound of the 1920s, 30s and 40s. The group has built a name for itself in recent years via multiple sold out concerts at the key Jazz Clubs in Los Angeles, including Catalina Bar and Grill, Vibrato and Vitello's.  Citing Fats Waller, Scott Joplin and Duke Ellington as primary examples, Gershman comments, "My hope is that the Sasha's Bloc will help bring these great American cultural achievements to modern life and contemporary audiences."

The group's core nonet is comprised of Nora Rothman, vocal; Brandon Fields, saxophone; Alex Budman, saxophone, clarinet; Kye Palmer, trumpet, Bob McChesney, trombone; Kevin Winnard, drums; Steve Cotter, guitar; Andy Langham, piano. Guest artists on the upcoming album include: Jane Monheit, vocal; Alvin Chea, vocal; Patrick Tuzzolino, vocal; Princess Fortier, vocal; Glynis Leflore vocal; Octavia Pace vocal; James Lum, banjo; Jason Fabus, accordion; Marc T. Bolin, Tuba. Gershman plays upright bass and electric bass.

Each track on the album is an Alex Gershman original, written with the goal of evoking this aforementioned, distinctive era in the evolution of jazz. Gershman collaborated Bob McChesney on songs 1 and 10, and with Bob Garad on song 4. Music arrangements are by Elliot Deitch, with vocal arrangements by Bob Garad. The CD was Produced by Joe Diblasi, with Sound by Mauricio Gurrero, and package Design by Yana Bannikova.

From the band's website:
With a big-band sound that recalls the vibe of New Orleans' Preservation Hall Jazz Band infused with the Blues, a hint of Gypsy Jazz, contemporary jazz and swing, Sasha's Bloc have been playing to sold-out shows across Southern California for the past two+ years and have developed a loyal following across the country.
 
Formed in 2012 by bassist Alexander Gershman who hails from Moscow, Sasha's Bloc is an eclectic mix of musicians focused on the revival of the jazz culture of the 1920's and 30's, combined with the adaptation of modern jazz original compositions.

Visit: http://sashasbloc.com

More Information: http://sashasbloc.com


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