West Coast Cool – The Reviews Are In!

“This is an utterly fantastic jazz vocal date that raises the bar so high; critics will be comparing dates 50 years from now to this one. Killer Stuff.”
Chris Spector – Editor and Publisher Midwest Record

“Cheryl Bentyne and Mark Winkler make the hippest guy/gal vocal duo since Jackie and Roy.”
Joe Lange – Jersey Jazz

“The only thing that disappoints me about WEST COAST COOL is that I’ll never hear it for the first time again. Jump to any place. One of them will be singing great, or both of them. In counterpoint and in harmony. No blemishes.”
Brian Aranault – Record Rack

“WEST COAST COOL is artistry that is beyond words. Wow. Just Wow.”
C. Michael Bailey- All About Jazz

“…The smooth and vibrant vocals of Winkler and Bentyne, who together that that oft-used phrase “dynamic duo” to a much higher level.”
Ed Bianco – All About Jazz

“One of the few male/female duets in vocal jazz that finds both participants working on equal footing. Grammy winner Cheryl Bentyne turns in her finest effort in a decade and Mark Winkler continues to wow audiences and critics alike with his spot on vocal performances which seem to grow by leaps and bounds with each subsequent release.”
Brent Black – Critical Jazz

“Sharper than a shark skin suit lapel, and swinging harder than a hammer thrower, singers Cheryl (Manhattan Transfer) Bentyne and Mark Winkler deliver a red hot tribute to West Coast Cool.”
George W. Harris- Jazz Weekly

“…But it is their shared efforts- particularly the title track, with Winkler’s hipster-list lyric married to Neal Hefti’s “Li’l Darlin’- that satisfy most, bottling the effervescence of their simpatico rapport.”
Chris Loudon- Jazz Times

“Together they are downright irresistible. Not many jazz duos match up like this one.”
Soundstage

Early Praise for West Coast Cool!

Multi-talented Mark Winkler and Cheryl Bentyne team up for a delightfully engaging look back at the “West Coast Cool” sound of the 1950s

westcoastcoolOne of the few male / female duets in vocal jazz that finds both participants working on equal footing. Grammy winner Cheryl Bentyne turns in her finest effort in a decade and Mark Winkler continues to wow audiences and critics alike with his spot on vocal performances which seem to grow by leaps and bounds with each subsequent release. Rich Eames handles the majority of the arrangements including “Let’s Get Lost” and a masterful medley in “Route 66 / Alright, Okay, You Win / Straighten Up And Fly Right.” Bentyne and Winkler have that rare chemistry that allows for the connectivity with an audience to be believable and delightfully entertaining. The danger in this type of release is predictability and we find it here in spades, but in a good way. The worst thing that could happen to tunes such as “This Could Be The Start Of Something Big” and “Lemon Twist” would be attempting to tweak these tunes too much. Never mess with a good melody. The intangibles pushing this release over the top and include appearances by saxophone ace Bob Sheppard along with arrangements from all star pianist Tamir Hendelman on the Bobby Troup tune “Hungry Man.” Continue reading

IROM: Mark Winkler & Dolores Scozzesi at Vitello’s

INTERNATIONAL REVIEW OF MUSIC/June 10, 2013
Live Music: Mark Winkler and Dolores Scozzesi at Vitello’s
By Don Heckman

MarkDoloresSingers Mark Winkler and Dolores Scozzesi were the headliners at Vitello’s Friday night. And that was good news, since both are among L.A.’s most appealing jazz-oriented singers. But the evening promised even more with a sub-headline announcing that they would be singing songs by “Laura Nyro, Joni Mitchell, Randy Newman: The Great Singer/Songwriters of the ‘70s.”

An intriguing idea. The singer/songwriter era – of both the ‘60s and the ‘70s – was one of the most significant, if occasionally underestimated, chapters in the Great American Songbook. Add names such as Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Carole King, Leonard Cohen, among others, to the list and the result is a repertoire of songs fully capable of standing alongside the likes of Porter, Gershwin, Berlin, etc. Continue reading

Jazz Times: The results are quite magical…

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When Mark Winkler, a quintessentially West Coast swinger, filled an album with Bobby Troup tunes a decade ago, it was a blissful marriage of hipster sensibilities. Winkler and Nyro seem stranger bedfellows-California Cool meets East Coast Boho-yet Winkler, a gifted writer himself, makes the union work equally well. Nor was Nyro all dark basement angst. Less hard edged than such contempories as Dylan and Paul Simon, she like Joni Mitchell tended to float beyond category, blending a heady potpourri of folk, pop, jazz and show tunes. When that crazy mélange is filtered through Winkler’s laidback aesthetic, the results are quite magical. Continue reading