|The latest additions to the Jazz 88 Music Library and debuted this Monday, July 11, 2011 on The New Jazz Thing with Vince Outlaw!|
JAY ASHBY / STEVE DAVIS – “MISTAKEN IDENTITY” (Two trombonists
collaborating on a straight-ahead session).
Innovative Entertainment Solutions: A New York Yankees fan and a Boston Red Sox fan make an odd couple on
the bandstand. How do you get them to play nicely with others and how
do you deal with the issue of two virtuoso jazz trombonists who are
often mistaken for each other, even causing fellow jazz musicians to do
the occasional double take?
The answer to this little dilemma might find Jay Ashby and Steve Davis
collaborating in a musical setting where one would be for the other,
or one for all.
That’s what you’ll hear on this CD, where orchestral tone, effortless
three octave range, and gorgeous legato lines with saxophone-like speed
are the standard on this most difficult of instruments. As an example,
check out the stablemates on the smoking tootin’ for Toots. These two musicians have advanced the jazz trombone far into the 21st Century.
MIKE DOWLING WITH DAVID LANGE – “ECLECTRICITY” (Guitarist and
accordion player, pairing in a unique straight-ahead recording, doing all originals).
Amazon (Ben Sidran): Mike Dowling, one of our classiest guitar players, has teamed up with
his perfect foil, accordionist David Lange, and together they have
created a collection that is romantic without pretension, elegant
without formality and just plain wonderful. Dowling is here revealed as a
gifted composer of exotic Americana, hip, down-home songs with an
otherworldly air. I absolutely love this record. Ry Cooder should cover
FALKNER EVANS – “THE POINT OF THE MOON” (Pianist, leading a quintet in a
straight-ahead sessions. All but 2 originals).
AllAboutJazz.com (Mark Corroto): It is natural to equate a bit of hubris with jazz, but pianist Falkner Evans checks his ego at the door on The Point Of The Moon. ...he displays an inborn sense of swing that fosters an unceremonious harmony in this ensemble.
DAVID GIBSON (FB)– “END OF THE TUNNEL” (Trombonist in a quartet with sax, organ
and bass, doing mostly originals by band members).
Jazz Wrap (Vern): This
quartet have only been playing together for a few years but the
chemistry over two albums is amazing. Gibson has created material which
truly matches and challenges each member's talents. The End Of The Tunnel is
bright, fresh and full revolving performances. A funky record based in
some of the best soul-jazz of the 60s and 70s, but still presents an
exciting twist for the listener. With The End Of The Tunnel, David Gibson has found an intoxicating formula and a smokin' quartet to deliver it.
THE HEADHUNTERS – “PLATINUM” (Extremely funky, all-star collaboration. They
made it easy by including an edited disc with jazz mixes, which will be what is available
in the case).
Wildy's World: Platinum
is very, very good. It's also likely to be one of the most over-rated
albums of 2011. The mix of names, sounds, styles and history is of the
sort to appeal to GRAMMY voters and to institutional critics who have
"head everything". Consequently, don't be surprising if Platinum
is named on a host of year-end lists and perhaps even nominated for
awards. It may even deserve such nods by the end of the year, but strip
away the novelty and reverie and this is a very fine effort that is
worthy of praise but perhaps not to the extent it's likely to receive.
The Headhunters can still create jazz fusion gold, but there are times
on Platinum where the level of inspiration falls just a little bit flat. When all is said and done, however, Platinum will likely be one of the Top-25 selling Jazz albums of 2011, and for good reason.
JEFF McLAUGHLIN (FB, @JeffBMcLaughlin) QUARTET – “BLOCKS” (Uniqeu, guitar-led session, doing
Jeff McLaughlin Blog: My debut album Blocks is finally done and almost ready for
release. This whole process as been amazing and I can’t wait to get
started on the next album! It is incredible how writing and preparing an
album in less than 2 months while simultaneously directing a big band,
teaching lessons, and taking care of my own graduate classes has
sharpened the way I spend my time. While it has been challenging, it has
definitely made me more efficient and focused. Everyone at Owl Studios
has been extremely helpful in guiding me through this whole process. I
especially have to thank Brent Wallarab, Rich Dole, Matthew Altizer, Al
Hall, Mark Hood, and Rob Dixon. These guys have shown true
professionalism and passion for this music and I couldn’t have asked for
SILVANO MONASTERIOS – “UNCONDITIONAL” (Pianist, leading a Latin
influenced session, doing mostly originals).
AllAboutJazz.com (Greg Simmons): Miami pianist Silvano Monasterios' Unconditional doesn't
announce its qualities with musical histrionics: it's far subtler than
that. This collection of eight original tunes shows craftsmanship, fine
improvisation and coherence. Monasterios has constructed a compelling
musical statement with an emphasis on composition and attention to
detail. This is an entire album, not simply a collection of songs.
TRAVIS REUTER – “ROTATIONAL TEMPLATES” (Extremely progressive, guitar-
JazzWrap (Vern): Rotational Templates is
a record that could disrupt the order of things in 2011. Travis Reuter,
a classically trained guitarist but you wouldn't be able to tell by
this dazzling and inventive array of tracks that his group have
Reuter delivers a some great compositional structure and improvisation
mixed with the sheer joy of exploring different sound worlds throughout
this debut. In Rotational Templates you can hear echoes of fusion and experimentalist greats like Miles, John McLaughlin and Derek Bailey.
ELSPETH SAVANI – “FLIGHTS OF MIND: PENSAMIENTOS EN VUELO” (Female
singer, in a Latin dominated recording).
CDBaby: After over a decade as leader
of the popular Cuban Big Band Orchestra Zarabanda, Seattle vocalist and
composer Elspeth Savani is stepping out with a new solo venture
“Flights of Mind-Pensamientos en Vuelo.” Inspired by news stories of
incarceration and injustice, “Flights of Mind-Pensamientos en Vuelo” is a
richly textured exploration of freedom: personal, political and
musical. While traditional Latin rhythms are articulated throughout this
9-song disc, Savani and her multi-instrumental band are in no way
limited by them. In particular, Savani demonstrates a dual ability to
synchronize her vocals to the rhythmic dictates of the song and also to
float the melody effortlessly above the groove, adding a deeper lyricism
to the music. Throughout the recording, Savani and her band move the
music into a broad landscape that includes shades of pop sensibility as
well contemporary jazz stylings. The theme of freedom is evident not
only within the stories of the songs but also in Savani’s own musical
RICK STONE (@RickStoneMusic, FB)– “FRACTALS” (Guitar trio, doing mostly straight-ahead originals).
JazMusic (C. J. Bond): Stone's original compositions resonate with sparkling energy and
delightful emotion; with well detailed musical thoughts, and cohesive
musical arguments. His guitar tone is clear, rounded, and its color is
warm, almost velvety; they accentuate the proficiency and versatility of
his composing skills; ranging from medium tempo, modern 'bluesy,'
thought-composed (Fractals; Nacho Mama's Blues), to melodic 'lilting' swing (Scobie; Key Lime Pie; Speed Bump), to slow tempo (Places Left Behind); each
tune containing challenging and invigorating phrasing that is never
square or boring, and executed with melodic, rhythmic elements carefully
chosen to build to a clear climax.
TRAVIS SULLIVAN (@sullymusic, FB)– “NEW DIRECTIONS” (Alto saxophonist, leading a quartet,
doing mostly straight-ahead originals).
AllAboutJazz.com (Bruce Lindsay): Travis Sullivan's New Directions, his Posi-Tone debut, is a
rewarding trip through a mix of strong, self-penned, tunes and an
unusual combination of covers. The saxophonist leads his quartet with
style, emphasizing musicality and emotional engagement over displays of
technique, and creating a sparkly collection that emphatically
establishes his talents as a composer as well as a saxophonist. Sullivan's main ensemble in the intervening decade—the long-established,
18-piece Björkestra project, devoted to the Icelandic vocalist's
compositions—might suggest a more eccentric approach than that
demonstrated on New Directions. Unconstrained by the structure
of Björk's songs, however, Sullivan takes a more straight-ahead approach
to this quartet project. The result may well be a more accurate
reflection of Sullivan's musical philosophy, and certainly makes clear
that he's a player and composer to keep an eye on.
DAVE VALENTIN – “PURE IMAGINATION” (Flutist, in a Latin-influenced session,
with a mix of standards and originals).
Audiophile Audition: They open with Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile,” which seems to be showing up
on many jazz CDs lately - it’s obviously become a jazz standard. On
“When Sunny Gets Blue” Valentin multi-tracks himself into a whole flute
choir, with one of the instruments being his bass flute. How could
anyway claim the flute is not a jazz instrument when it’s played with
such fantastic accuracy, creativity and swing as does Dave Valentin?
Sonics are at a high standard, as with all High Note CDs.
NYTIMES: Dave Hangs With Cool Cats