The New discs being added to the Jazz 88 Library this week include familar names (Benson, Scofield, McBride), upcoming interviews/shows (Stanley Jordon on TNJT 10/10, at Anthology 10/14), old friends (Ali Ryerson played Jazz Live San Diego September 2006), big band (!), guitar, vocal (Milman!), and more! I'll be debuting much of this on The New Jazz Thing with Vince Outlaw, Monday October 3, 2011 6-8 PM PT...Listen Now!
GEORGE BENSON (FB, @GBGuitar) – “GUITAR MAN” (Mix of contemporary and straight-ahead tunes, with some vocals. A mix of old and new standards).
Guitar International (Vince Lewis): George Benson is a true chameleon, but mostly one of the finest jazz
guitarists of all time. His masterful interpretation of pop tunes and
jazz standards has long been a source of inspiration to aspiring
musicians. He has been active for over five decades and has over 30
recordings as leader, and to top it off, he’s been awarded ten Grammy
awards. His ability to cross over into the “commercial” arena while
still maintaining a quality improvisational approach is matched only by
the late Wes Montgomery. Benson’s moving vocal stylings are developed
from his terrific sense of instrumental phrasing, and they are equally
impressive. This recording is a “must have” for any George Benson fan. It is also a
terrific introduction for those listeners who may have grown up just a
little later than some of us. It is an opportunity to hear a fine
musician and vocalist do what he does best…a variety of crowd pleasing
but substantive material.
MAUREEN CHOI (FB,@MaureenChoi) – “QUARTET” (Violinist, leading a quartet, doing a mix of straight- ahead originals and standards).
JazzCorner.com (Robert Sutton): It's like a siren's call, a lush, hypnotic melody that reels in the
senses and then stimulates them. The sound of Maureen Choi's violin has
that kind of effect. On the Maureen Choi Quartet's self-titled latest
album, the worlds of classical and jazz unite in a harmonious marriage,
and her gorgeously expressive violin is the bridge that connects them.
AllAboutJazz.com (Edward Blanco): Cecilia Coleman never set out to become a big band leader, stating that it was "never a dream of mine to have a big band," but the Cecilia Coleman Big Band is her new reality—and Oh Boy!, what a swinging affair, this very first recording effort turns out to be. This is classic big band music infused with a bolt of raw energy and mounds of excitement. STANLEY JORDAN (FB) – “FRIENDS” (Virtuoso guitarist, doing a mix of contemporary tunes and straight-ahead standards).
AllAboutJazz.com (Larry Taylor): His virtuosity and improvisational prowess are a given, and on Friends,
he also shows his skill on piano on two numbers. Primarily, he brings
in old pals from various backgrounds and delivers terrific arrangements,
ranging across the jazz spectrum, mixing in originals with swing, post
bop, samba, blues, pop and a couple from Bartók and Chopin. Jordan makes
roughly two appearances with each main guest, with all the pairings in
different styles; all are great. In a press release, Jordan says that this collection truly speaks to his
belief that ..."when you integrate styles, you combine them into
something new while still remaining true to the original sources." His
best argument is this recording.
KEVIN KIZER QUARTET – “ASPECTS” (Saxophonist, leading a quintet with violin and guitar, doing and edgy collection of originals).
LISA MAXWELL (FB)– “HAPPY” (Female vocalist, doing the Great American Songbook).
Jazz Lives: Lisa has all the virtues any singer could ask for. Her voice is
appealing; her rhythm glides; her phrasing is all her own. She knows
that each song is its own little playlet. Without dramatizing, she lets
the song itself take center stage.
AllAboutJazz.com (Something Else!): there is the sense that this record has been
percolating for some time and, like most worthwhile things that are
given that chance, The Good Feeling is far better for it.
Exystence: Milman covers the full range of styles without ever leaving the romantic
jazz oeuvre.Throughout In the Moonlight, Milman’s voice is it‘s great
asset, giving the songs a light sexy touch. She has a voice I can listen
to all day, but that lets the songs shine. And while it’s nothing you
haven’t heard before, it’s one of the better examples of the vocal
As she was en route to the studio on that beautiful spring day, the
world took on a new look. The warm, sunny, vibrant colors were all
shaded in a lovely and surprising way. She kept remarking about it, and
one by one, the musicians all tried on the blue glasses. At some point,
while listening to a playback, Carol remarked, “Blue Glass Music.” Just
another example of why Carol Morgan is one of my heroes. That emotional
availability, that “in the moment” mentality is exactly what makes her
such a unique voice in jazz, and of course, exactly what we all should
be striving for. It keeps me coming back again and again.
JOHN SCOFIELD – “A MOMENT’S PEACE” (Usually edgy guitarist, in a relatively subdued session, featuring mostly standards).
AllAboutJazz.com (John Kelman): A Moment's Peace might be perceived by some, a least on the
surface, as an album of little risk—without Scofield's usual fire and
grease, set that might appear to coast when it ought to soar—but it may
well be Scofield's biggest gamble. Those prepared to accept the album on
face value, as an hour's respite from life's normal hustle and
bustle—or, who are patient enough to dig deeper for its beyond-the-norm
look at a handful of potentially worn-out standards, here reinvigorated;
a quintet of perfectly dovetailing originals; and a couple of truly
surprises song choices—will find plenty to love about A Moment's Peace—an album whose greatest charms are revealed not after one or two listens, but after ten or twenty.
AllaboutJazz.com (John Kelman): Unlike most duo recordings, Bollani and Corea are not split
into left and right channels; instead, the two instruments converge
towards the center of the mix from lower register to upper, giving Orvieto
an even greater "you are there" feeling—but "there" isn't in the
audience, it's right up there with the pianists. Those familiar with
either player will have no difficulty in identifying them here; for
those who aren't, does it really matter? Instead, it makes Orvieto
all the more appreciable for its remarkably empathy, telepathy and
synchronicity—symmetry, even, at times—less a duo, and more the
remarkable melding of musical minds for a most singular purpose.
CARLO DE ROSA’S CROSS-FADE – “BRAIN DANCE” (Bassist, leading a quartet, doing progressive originals).
AllAboutJazz.com (Mark F. Turner, March, 2011): There are "musician-for-hire" gunslingers—professionals employed at a
moment's notice to bring their skills to a gig or recording. But the
mercenary analogy is only a small part of their repertoire, as many of
these invaluable side musicians are leaders and composers just awaiting
the opportunity to release their own material. Such is the case with Brain Dance, by bassist Carlo De Rosa, who has performed with The Chico O'Farrill Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra, Yo-Yo Ma, Rudresh Mahanthappa, and many others. Of the seven tracks, "Terrane / A Phrase" is the most revealing of De
Rosa's abilities: a contemporary opus of expansive writing and
improvisation, filled with extensive individual spots, aerial flight
patterns, and harmony and dissonance. Its conclusion prompts the
question of why it's taken De Rosa so long to record this music. More,
ESP (@ESPJazz, FB) – “REACH” (Not the San Diego band, doing all originals with a mix of straight- ahead and contemporary).
TIM HORNER – “THE PLACES WE FEEL FREE” (Very nice straight-ahead session, with a variety of band configurations, doing all originals).
Mark Sherman's Blog (the vibest on the date): Horner not only writes in an assortment of time feels, he plays each
style with the up-most capability. He is one of our modern masters when
it comes knowing what the music needs from the rhythm section. His
contributions are played with passion and conviction! His time feels so
good. It makes you want to play if you’re a musician. It makes you want
to move if you’re a listener. He is a superb musician!
CLAY JENKINS QUARTET – “GOOD SIGNS” (Trumpeter, leading a quartet, doing mostly straight-ahead originals).
TISH ONEY (@TishSings)– “SWEET YOUTH” (Female vocalist, with guitar accompaniment, doing a mix of standards and originals).
TED ROSENTHAL TRIO – “OUT OF THIS WORLD” (Piano trio, doing all straight- ahead standards).
AllAboutJazz.com: On Out Of This World (Playscape Recordings), the new collection featuring Rosenthal on piano, bassist Noriko Ueda and Quincy Davis on drums, 10 timeless classics from the golden era of American song craft are rendered in an impeccably lyrical, colorful manner that compels the listener to rethink them. Rosenthal and crew embrace the familiar tunes—reliable standards like “Embraceable You," “People Will Say We're In Love" and “Cry Me a River"—and, without ever losing sight of the melody at the heart, reimagine them from the ground up. Rosenthal thrives on re-creating these cultural cornerstones in his own image.
PONCHO SANCHEZ AND TERENCE BLANCHARD – “CHANO Y DIZZY!” (Two modern day icons, paying tribute to the progenitors of Latin Jazz).
Latin Jazz Network: While the album includes songs originally written and performed by the two legends, it also showcases compositions crafted by other writers that capture the flavor of traditional Latin jazz. “To me, Latin jazz is the world’s greatest music,” says Sanchez. “It has the melodic and harmonic sophistication of jazz and American standards, and the flavor and energy of Latin American music. What I’m most proud of is that this music – while it may sound exotic at times – is from America. It was born in New York City, when Chano Pozo met Dizzy Gillespie for the first time in the mid-1940s. They created something that didn’t exist before in this country. I’m very proud to take this music all over the world all the time.”
STARLICKER – “DOUBLE DEMON” (Rob Mazurek, leading a trio, doing all progressive originals).
PopMatters (John Garratt): If you are able to keep up with Chicago trumpeter Rob Mazurek’s various side projects, you will know that his new band Starlicker is comprised of three members from his Exploding Star Orchestra. So if you take a 14-piece supernova group and reduce it to a trio, you have something that licks stars. Do with that what you will.
JOHN STOWELL & MICHAEL ZILBER – “SHOT THROUGH WITH BEAUTY” (Guitarist and saxophonist, leading a quartet, with an edgy mix of originals and standards).
The Urban Flux: Master musicians guitarist John Stowell and saxophonistMichael Zilber team with the Bay Area’s first-call rhythm team of bassist John Shifflet and drummer Jason Lewis, crafting a unique and dynamic recording of modern jazz that transcends the whole. Telepathic exchanges are in abundance as the group tackles a compelling mix of originals and compositions from Kenny Wheeler & John Scofield.
CORY WEEDS – “JUST LIKE THAT” (Typical straight-ahead grooves from this saxophonist, doing mostly originals).
CDBaby: Cory Weeds is at it again this time featured on the alto saxophone with the stellar piano trio led by pianit Tilden Webb backing him up. It features award winning bassist Jodi Proznick and drummer Jesse Cahill. An eclectic mix of originals, a swinging standard and a reworking of a classic John Hiatt tune.
Here are the tunes we are adding to the Jazz 88 New section and library AND I will be featuring on The New Jazz Thing with Vince Outlaw this Monday, September 12, 2011 between 6 and 8 PM PT (in addition to interviewing Josh Nelson and Tierney Sutton who we added last week).
RAHSAAN BARBER (FB, @rjbsax)– “EVERYDAY MAGIC” (Young saxophonist,
leading a group of young musicians, doing all original material).
Blogcritics (The Dirty Lowdown): This is a great debut for the label and a more than fine sophomore
effort from Rahsaan and Everyday Magic. It may not be elevator music,
but it is going nowhere but up.
SHARON DuBOIS (FB)– “HERE I AM” (Local vocalist, backed by local
musicians, doing all original tunes.Lots of overdubs of her voice).
San Diego Reader (Robert Bush): In its strongest moments, Here I Am floats along with a jazz-funk groove reminiscent of the 70s Crusaders, or, on some tracks, the sophisticated feel of 80s era Steely Dan. It takes a tight band to pull that off.
ECHOES OF SWING – “MESSAGE FROM MARS” (New takes on early
swing classics.Neo-swing, if you will).
The Jazz Society of Pensacola (Norman Vickers): This group combines the styles of small-group combos of the ‘20s and
‘30s with modern techniques with wonderful toe-tapping result. There is
a mix of jazz standards with their own compositions. I’m also a fan of
classics which are “swung.” Three examples of this style are
“Butterfly Chase” based on a Chopin Etude, Fritz Kreisler’s “Liebesleid:
and Shostakovich’s “Gavotte.”
PRIX DE L'ACADÉMIE
GERMAN RECORD CRITICS' AWARD
BILL FRISELL (FB, @BillFrisell) – “ALL WE ARE SAYING…” (Edgy guitarist, paying
tribute to John Lennon, with interesting and faithful takes, on familiar
AllAboutJazz.com (Music and More by Tim Niland): In guitarist Bill Frisell’s liner notes to his most recent LP, he writes
about being contacted to perform a special concert of John Lennon
compositions. He and the band enjoyed it so much that they continued to
tour, playing mostly of the music heard here to an excellent response,
and then entered to studio to record. Overall this album works pretty well and could serve as an excellent
gateway or conduit to fans of pop music that are interested in exploring
jazz. The band understands that Lennon’s music speaks for itself, and with a
few modifications they allow it to do so quite beautifully
YARON GERSHOVSKY - “STATE OF MIND” (Manhattan Transfer’s
pianist, leading a trio, doing mostly standards, with the group guesting on one
track, and Janis Siegel on another).
Earthworks Audio: A Summa Cum Laude graduate of Berklee College of Music, Yaron has
launched his musical career touring with Pharoah Sanders, and recording
with Wayne Shorter on his album “Atlantis”. Since 1979, Yaron has been
the Musical Director and Pianist/Keyboardist for the world-renowned
vocal group The Manhattan Transfer. Yaron’s work was featured on the Broadway stage as well.
ALLAN HARRIS (FB,@AllanHarris) – “OPEN UP YOUR MIND” (Male vocalist, backing
himself on guitar, doing mosty originals.Some track border on smooth jazz).
Powerderfinger Promotions: Always known as a singer’s singer, in Open Up Your Mind Harris also gets
the opportunity to show off his deep songwriting talent while letting
the music world know that he can hold his own on guitar. Harris has a
rich history in the jazz world, CNN referred to him as one of the “three
best male jazz vocalists in the country.”
PAMELA HINES – “LUCKY’S BOY” (Pianist, leading a trio, with
vocalist April Hall, singing all Pamela’s originals).
CDBaby: Jazz pianist/ composer Pamela
Hines presents nine new vocal jazz originals that are sure to be part
of the contemporary American Songbook. Soulful and Blues- oriented
April Hall puts her vocal stamp on these clever, fun and inspiring
tunes. John Lockwood is on bass with Les Harris, Jr. on drums. The
result is and outstanding selection of jazz music that is sure to make
an impact with jazz fans. Hines has made a solid contribution to
the history of jazz piano with her seventh CD on the Spice Rack label
and more works on other labels. She was a guest on Piano Jazz with
Marian McPartland in 2000, thanks to a critically acclaimed debut CD in
1998 with Bob Moses, Rick McLaughlin, Darren Barrett and Jaque
JazzReview.com: Reprise Records captures the magic of these unprecedented shows from
earlier this year on CD and as a CD/DVD combo that both feature
selections taken from the two public concerts (April 8-9), as well a
special performance for Jazz at Lincoln Center's annual gala (April 7). Marsalis says the group combined the sound of an early blues jump-band
with the sound of New Orleans jazz to accommodate the integration of
guitar/trumpet lead, a combination that gave the musicians the latitude
to play different grooves, from the Delta to the Caribbean and beyond.
RENOLDS JAZZ ORCHESTRA (FB) – “THREE PENNY OPERA-LIVE IN AARAU”
(All-star big band, playing Kurt Weill’s music from his most famous work).
FAME (Mark S. Tucker): As before, the band here includes honored vets Randy Brecker and
Miroslav Vitous, though every member is a superior musician. Many are
the solos and just as numerous the influences and stylings—catch the
Brubeckian take on Instead of Song, f'rinstance. One is also as likely to encounter a ululatingly enthralling Pharaoh Sanders cum Anthony Braxton voicing (Wedding Song for the Poor)
as the aforementioned Dave, with Freddie Hubbardisms, Steve Coleman
inflections, and of course the personalities and mindsets of the players
themselves tossed in for a constantly morphing landscape. Everything is
a kaleidoscope of surpassing skill and coloration.
JOAN STILES – “THREE MUSICIANS” (Joel Frahm and Matt Wilson
join her, in mostly progressive versions of familiar tunes).
Amazon.com: Three Musicians is NY-based pianist/composer, Joan Stiles' 3rd
CD, a joyful, interactive outing with Joel Frahm (sax) and Matt Wilson
(drums). The trio glides and grooves through various jazz styles in
brilliant but accessible explorations of standards, show tunes, Monk,
Strayhorn, Mary Lou Williams, and even some Beatles and Clapton.
Highlights include collages on LOVE - My Funny Valentine meets Sunshine of Your Love and MONEY - Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? meets Can't Buy Me Love. Stiles' compositions - West End Boogie, a soulful, rhythmic blues, and the Gillespie/Dameron inspired Bebopicity add to the eclectic mix. Hurly-Burly (Stiles' last CD) garnered a 4-star Downbeat review and topped Jazz Week Radio charts.
SUSANNAH (Martin) & PABLO – “TROPICOS SUR” (Female vocalist,
doing the great Brazilian songbook).
CUONG VU (FB)– “LEAPS OF FAITH” (Pat Metheny’s trumpeter, in a
very progressive outing).
AllAboutJazz.com (C. Michael Bailey): The stark juxtaposition of the familiar with the chaotic deepens
understanding of the melody. Vu introduces what he is trying to do with
the familiar before venturing into the unfamiliar, to provide a better
understanding of his vision. This music is the collision between the secure and consonant with the
disruptive and dissonant: meaning it reflects real life, where there are
no white picket fences, only chain-link ones protecting paradise.
Critical Jazz: "Parallel Lives" is an evocative sound scape collection ranging from
Broadway to jazz beatnik to bebop and it is this very proud collection
of music that defies standard categorization that makes it so
captivating to enjoy. "Parallel Lives" is a celebration of musical diversity at its very
finest. A vocal master class for where jazz vocalists should be heading
About.com (Jacob Teichroew): Augmented Reality is lush and yet subtle, and with a range of
stylistic influences, it achieves a sophisticated, understated presence.
It is exciting to imagine how the music will sound as the band grows
more seasoned around it, begins to take bigger risks while continuing to
use melody as its inspiration.
CHRISTIAN FABIAN – “WEST COAST SESSION” (Bassist, leading a core trio, with all-star guests, doing straight-ahead originals and jazz tunes).
AllAboutJazz.com (Larry Taylor): With the release of her fifth album, Embraceable, vocalist Nicole Henry pleasingly brings together a range of styles—smooth and mainstream jazz, along with pop and gospel. Henry's stated mission with this record is to take large steps in new
directions, and she accomplishes this with a sweet, accessible voice
that serves up lyrical ballads, as well as dishing out large helpings of
soulful blues and gospel.
The Jazz Word: Jake Hertzog, now with a handful of recordings under his belt, is one of
the very few prolific young guitarists to convincingly embrace the
potential of blending a jazz and rock style of performing. What stands
out in Hertzog's playing, aside from a comprehensive knowledge of his
instrument, is a willingness, regardless of style, to put it all on the
TIM MAYER – “RESILIENCE” (Saxophonist, with many all-star guests, doing a collection of straight-ahead jazz tunes).
Mitch's Muse: Mayer's platter swings from the get-go. A few tracks have additional players
for a richer sound-a bit plush, a hair away from lush, with thoughtful
yet vigorous arrangements in the vein of Tadd Dameron, Don Sebesky, and
pre-1965 Gil Evans.
JOSH NELSON (FB)– “DISCOVERIES” (Pianist, leading a variety of configurations, doing all but one straight-ahead originals).
Critical Jazz: Cerebral
jazz? In an incredibly unique if not personal release, Nelson takes his
appreciation for the writings of Jules Verne among others and
transforms this literature into a conceptualized presentation of sonic
imagery that lives and breathes on its own. An incredibly thoughtful
organic pulse drives the forward motion of this sonic adventure with
great care and artistic touch. Nelson's
music is (for me) not Ipod friendly, no good jazz worth listening to
is. "Discoveries" contains intricate and involved interplay between
Nelson and his musical companions that is exciting, fresh and alive to
the point where mere headphones could not possibly transfer the musical
CDBaby: On this outing, Bob Shimizu
has shown real bravery by not allowing the influence of the Smooth Jazz
broadcast idiom's whimsical rules or, the tradition and "commandments"
of the Jazz Police to alter the musical vision. Bob Shimizu has simply
recorded a true contemporary jazz record in the most honest sense and,
most importantly, he's simply made great music!
TIERNEY SUTTON – “AMERICAN ROAD” (Female vocalist, doing a mix of show tunes, gospel and Americana).
Critical Jazz: Organic but deep rooted in tradition this exquisite release is perfect from start to finish."...take on her own unique, slightly eclectic but incredibly accessible spin
on the Great American Songbook thus releasing an almost instant
classic." Challenge Records: “We first started looking at an ‘America’-themed CD three or four years
ago,” says Sutton, whose vocal style has been described as “soft as silk
and smooth as fine bourbon” by the Chicago Sun Times. Circumstances led
the group in a different direction at the time, the result being 2009’s
Desire, which earned the group its third consecutive Grammy nomination
for Best Vocal Jazz Album.
But the concept that gave ultimately
gave rise to American Road stayed with Sutton and the band—Christian
Jacob (piano), Kevin Axt (acoustic and electric bass), Trey Henry
(acoustic and electric bass) and Ray Brinker (drums and
percussion)—until, having spent countless days and nights traveling
America’s roads and playing in her towns and cities, they were able to
finally bring it to fruition. All of the arrangements on American Road
were conceived by the entire band, which, said The New York Times, has
“refined the kind of rapport that could only be achieved over
time…providing a continuous flow of support, strength and inspiration.”
BILLY WHITE – “FIRST THINGS FIRST” (Straight-ahead octet, doing all originals).
AllAboutJazz.com (Dan Bilawsky): First Things First is as apt a name for a debut album as
anybody could come up with. While this marks pianist Billy White's first
leader date, he already has plenty of impressive musical experience
under his belt: spending his college years earning a degree in
ethnomusicology from UCLA; working with a jazz/hip-hop hybrid group
Heezbus, while living in Paris; studying Gnawa trance music in Morocco;
and writing some music for films. Eventually, the San Francisco native
landed in Brooklyn, NY and began focusing his attention on writing and
playing piano. This album is the fruit of that labor and it's rife with
exciting compositions and strong group interplay.
CHIP WHITE – “More DEDICATIONS” (Drummer, leading an all-star band, doing his originals, with a disc of poetry included).
CDBaby: This recording is Chip’s
fourth as a leader and composer. The others are "Harlem Sunset"
(Postcards, 1994), "Music and Lyrics" (Dark Colors, 2005), and "Double
Dedication" (Dark Colors, 2008). The poems on Chip’s CDs come from his
book of more than 100 poems for famous jazz musicians, "I’m Just the
Drummer in the Band."
ARMEN DONELIAN – “LEAPFROG” (Pianist, leading a quintet, doing all originals, very edgy).
AllAboutJazz.com (Dan Bilawski): While cohesion and individuality, by their very definitions, may seem to be at odds with one another, the music on Leapfrog
reconciles these two opposing ideals without a problem. For his ninth
date on the Sunnyside label, pianist Armen Donelian has together a
program of strikingly modern originals that showcase the cutting edge
talent and simpatico sensibilities of his band. Leapfrog proves to be light years beyond many other albums that
wear the modern jazz label, because the individual contributions and
the confluence of the group are of equal value, and Donelian deserves
plaudits for balancing that equation and producing such a work.
KYLE EASTWOOD – “SCENES FROM THE CHATEAU” (Bassist, leading a straight-ahead session, with funky undertones).
AllAboutJazz.com (Bruce Lindsay): yle Eastwood's career encompasses the writing of film soundtracks, as
well as the life of a jazz composer, bandleader and bassist. On those
seemingly rare occasions when he isn't working, Eastwood spends much of
his time in France. Songs From The Chateau is his fifth album since 1998's debut, From There To Here
(Sony), and his fourth for British Candid label. It finds Eastwood
recording in the country he loves, at the 15th century Chateau
Couronneau in the Bordeaux region. The range of styles is wide, demonstrating the influences from across
the world that Eastwood has absorbed into his writing and playing. It's full of strong compositions from Eastwood, and virtuoso playing
from every musician, but never feels forced, or competitive: no
showboating, no unnecessary technical complexity.
FLUTEUS MAXIMUMS – “ONE SESSION-ONE TAKE” (Funky versions of many familiar songs). CDBaby: 16 songs were recorded in 4 hours, live, in a tiny, one room studio in northern California. All songs were done in one take including Hammond B3 (dubbed in the same session).
BIELLO/WEYAND – “FOURTHOUGHT’ (A quartet, doing mostly originals. Way out sax solos deem it appropriate for nights only).
DAN JACOBS QUINTET – “PLAYSONG” (Trumpet-led ensemble, doing a mix of tunes, straight-ahead).
JAZZ LINKS ENSEMBLE – “THE DRIVE” (Ensemble of the Jazz Institute of Chicago, doing a collection of jazz tunes).
CDBaby: This two year labor of love
features an ensemble of the next generation of jazz performers whose
debut on this CD project is just the beginning. "The Drive" aptly titled
after one of the original compositions on the CD, signifies what it
takes to be a young jazz performer. The selected tunes exemplify the
passion of these young musicians for this ageless music. Accompanied by
Producer and Mentor for the project, Robert (Baabe) Irving, III; with
Ari Brown and Corey Wilkes on some numbers, the performers not only had
an opportunity to "shine" but to do so along-side world renowned Jazz
VINCENT LYN – “HEAVEN BOUND” (Pianist, leading a variety of ensembles, doing an eclectic mix of jazz, latin and classical).
Heaven Bound: indeed, what an appropriate choice of words to
title pianist Vincent Lyn's project. The album is a wonderful
collection of jazz, bossa nova, samba, Afro-Cuban rhythms and delicate
classical interpretations. The fourteen-piece repertoire is an even
blend of melody-rich originals and well-chosen, uncommon jazz standards.
The music is engaging, sophisticated and highly pleasurable from start
to finish, with no fillers, as every tune is a keeper and deserving of
Lyn is an interesting professional,
whose love for music does not really define the person behind it. Lyn is
a martial arts expert—a Kung-Fu star and teacher with his own academy—a
kickboxing champion, model and Hong Kong film star, with nineteen
movies to his credit. But music has always been one of his first loves.
and to that end Lyn honed his skills through studies at the renowned
Boston Conservatory of Music, Yale University Music School and Manhattan
School of Music.
FRANCISCO MELA & CUBAN SAFARI – “TREE OF LIFE” (Progressive session, featuring a couple of vocals by Esperanza Spalding).
JazzTimes.com: Drummer Francisco Mela presents his second release on Half Note, a tour-de-force featuring 10 newly conceived compositions. With the help of his band, Cuban Safari, Mela offers a passionate fusion of Cuban polyrhythms and propulsive modernism. Renown for his play with Joe Lovanoʼs Us Five, Mela and the full scope of his musicianship take center stage with an unexpected turn as a vocalist, duetting with pianist Elio Villafranca, and trading improvs with Special Guest Esperanza Spalding. Tree Of Life is spirited evidence of Melaʼs distinguished place among young group leaders.
JASON RASO – “THE RED ARROW” (Guitarist/bassist, leading a variety of ensembles in a straight- ahead session).
EarShot (Shelley Gummeson): It has been said Jason Raso has a jazz head and a funk heart. The two have been introduced in The Red Arrow. Jay comments on the duality, “The head can sometimes play games and push you away from some things. I still want a groove and my hope is that those two sides continue to blend.”
GREG REITAN (FB)– “DAYBREAK” (Nice, straight-ahead, jazz piano trio).
Critical Jazz: "Daybreak" is the third release for Reitan on the Sunnyside label whose artistry may be best compared as a musical frame of refernce to a cross between Keith Jarrett and Dave Grusin. Subtle nuances on a grand scale. This small yet mighty trio gives us something new with each subsequent spin of the disc.
CLAUDIO RODITI – “BONS AMIGOS” (Nice straight-ahead release from this trumpeter, with brazilian undertones).
AllAboutJazz.com (Andrew J. Sammut): Roditi's high note displays and mixing board effects sound as though he's smiling from behind the horn. He's having fun and is not out to impress. Claudio Roditi and his amigos don't have to worry about showing off, unless warmth, melody and humor sound intimidating.
ERNIE WATTS – “ALIVE” (Saxophonist, recorded live in Europe, with his quartet, doing originals and couple of jazz standards).
ErnieWatts.com: (2004) Released on Watts' own Flying Dolphin label, ALIVE begins a new chapter for the artist. "This is my first recording where I had complete control," notes Watts, "All the creative decisions were mine, from the tunes to the final mix. That freedom produced this CD. It shows who I really am as a musician."
JazzTimes: "The Brussels Jazz Orchestra (BJO), led by founder and Artistic Director Frank Vaganée, once again reinforces its reputation as one of Europe’s premier big bands, a group that “manifests love,” according to Grammy-winning arranger Maria Schneider. Kenny Werner and the BJO have joined forces to create the perfect canvas for Wernerʼs lush compositions and arrangements. TheInstitute of Higher Learning features 5 tracks, among them the opening “Cantabile,” a three-movement suite showcasing Wernerʼs progressive touch. It was inspired by and dedicated to Bob Brookmeyer. Liner notes by Maria Schneider."
JACK WILKINS – “THE BLUE & GREEN PROJECT” (Saxophonist, doing great straight-ahead interpretations of American roots music).
JazzLoft: This project involved researching Appalachian Mountain culture and environment as the inspiration for a series of new compositions, which combine the musical inspiration of American roots music—blues, gospel, jazz, mountain music, New Orleans traditions—with the subjective inspiration of Appalachian Mountains. Jack Wilkins is the Director of Jazz Studies at the University of South Florida in Tampa. An accomplished jazz saxophonist, he has released two CDs as a leader and appears as a sideman on a number of other jazz and commercial recordings.
Here's what's going into the New section of the Jazz 88 Music Library this next week and will be debuted during The New Jazz Thing on Monday, August 22, 2011, 6-8PM PT...Tune In!!. It's all about the New!
LAILA BIALI (@LailaBiali, FB)- "TRACING LIGHT" (Female vocalist/pianist, with a straight-ahead mix of standards, obscure tunes and originals).
Israbox: "Laila Biali has had quite a year – a new gig as backing vocalist with Sting, a new baby and now a new CD. Tracing Light is the third solo album for the Vancouver-raised, Toronto- and New York-based performer and composer." NORMAN DAVID & THE ELEVENTET (FB)- "AT THIS TIME" (Large ensemble, doing all straight-ahead originals).
Free MP3 AllAboutJazz.com: "David has been leading this group for a few years, and as they find their groove and release their first CD, At This Time
(Norman David/Coolcraft, 2011), they are deservedly being heard all
over the Delaware Valley and beyond. They deliver a relentlessly
swinging and ear-popping sound while at the same time offering nuances,
subtleties, and creative ideas that generate interest for the more
serious listener. David's lightly leavened "emcee" persona is deceptive,
dissimulating as a somewhat shy suburban outcast, with wry humor so bad
that it's good. Thus, it's a shock at first to hear how well this band
delivers its grooving sophisticated sounds. David, known also as a
clarinetist, plays a mean soprano sax with this band, while contributing
superb arrangements of originals and standards that evoke echoes of
great predecessors (for example, the Maynard Ferguson band, as well as shades of Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, and the Gerry Mulligan
Concert Jazz Band, perhaps its closest ancestral cousin), while
maintaining a distinct sound of its own. That sound has the precision,
timing, and expression of a small group along with the dynamic energy of
a big band."
Digital Jazz News: Sammy spent roughly two decades in New York working with the likes of
Miles Davis and Sonny Rollins with whom he is currently touring. One day
Sammy decided to roll the musical dice and he headed to South Florida.
Figueroa landed firmly in the middle of one of the hottest Latin jazz
scenes anywhere which naturally jump started his musical creativity
which has earned the two Grammy nominations previously mentioned and
with this release perhaps the third time will indeed be the charm! MIKE GARSON (@MikeGarson, FB) - "THE BOWIE VARIATIONS" (Nice solo interpretations of the music of David Bowie, for whom Mike used to play).
Independent Ethos - Mike Garson talks about David Bowie Variations (interview with Hans Morgenstern: "I had been thinking about the Bowie album for a very long time, and I
was thinking of doing it as a jazz treatment with a band and guitar and
sax, but that didn’t feel good. I was thinking of doing covers with a
lot of great singers I worked with, and that didn’t fly for me. So each
time I’d let it go for months and months. I even talked, 10 years ago,
to Tony Visconti
[a longtime producer of Bowie’s albums] about a concept, and he was
into it, but some record company at the time, I don’t know who they
were, they didn’t have the budget I was looking for, and I was not going
to do it with a small budget. It had to be done right. Then, a good
friend of mine who’s a journalist in France and also a singer/songwriter
and has written a book on David Bowie, his name is Jérôme Soligny,
he said, ‘Mike, the obvious thing is playing solo piano. Just play the
music how you feel,’ and I said, ‘Jesus, why didn’t I think of something
so simple?’” (laughs).So it’s a very honest album, Hans … because that’s all I do. I’m an improvising musician." GIACOMO GATES - "THE REVOLUTION WILL BE JAZZ" (Vocalist, with straight-ahead interpretations of the music of Gil Scott-Heron).
Jazz Wax (Marc Myers): You listen to this album and it could easily have been recorded
in 1964. Giacomo brings a Greenwich Village feel to this music—the
summer strum of acoustic guitars in Washington Square, the gentle energy
of Vespa scooters and the toy-like grind of the old VW Bug engine
accelerating at a traffic-light change.
Amazon.com: For their second Half Note issue, the power trio of Donald Harrison, Ron
Carter and Billy Cobham declare themselves spokesman for a kind of
exploratory improvisation and interplay known only to seasoned jazz
professionals. Staunch individualists all, they come together with a
unified voice - at once steeped in jazz's richly variegated traditions
yet forward-thinking in the cause of new creative expression. The group
play here is all about a stylized vision of call and response, featuring
guys with excellent listening skills and the means to keep the
ROGER HUMPHRIES - "KEEP THE FAITH" (Drummer, leading mostly a quintet, in a straight-ahead session).
CDUniverse: "It's not about me. It's about the music,"
says Roger Humphries. "I've had the idea to do this album for a long
time. It was just a matter of getting the right tunes and the right
flow." The album is entitled "Keep the Faith" and appropriately reflects
Roger's deep and abiding respect for the musical gift he has and his
ability to share that gift with others. His name and his musical
reputation as a national and international icon are why we as a
listening audience or fellow musicians understand Roger when he says,
"It's about the music."
CDBaby: The CITYSCAPE album is like a
musical tour through the neighborhoods of a major city. THE WALK is a
jazz-rock piece with a catchy melody and a good beat. SPENDING TIME WITH
YOU is an upbeat Bossa Nova with a good hook. You will find yourself
singing this melody. GLIDING is a Jazz Waltz that is free-flowing
similar to a bird soaring through the air. BAJA CALIENTE is Hot, Hot,
Hot. This Latin Jazz piece makes you want to get up and dance. CITY
LIGHTS is a Straight Ahead jazz piece that gives you the feel of going
out for a night on the town. SANTA MONICA SUMMER is a Bossa Nova with a
happy sound that feels a summer vacation. LONELY CITY has a haunting
melody and beat. It gives you the feeling of being alone in a new city
and not knowing anybody yet. BLUES FOR DARLENE is not really a blues but
rather an upbeat Samba that is sure to have you dancing in your seat.
WALKIN' THE PARK is just what the title says like a walk in the park.
This Reggae-Swing piece will have you visualizing a day in the park with
all of the families having picnics and enjoying the day. TIME SQUARE is
like a trip back into the city with all the hustle and bustle you might
find in Time Square. FUNKIT is a funk tune that sounds like it could
have come out of the 70's, it's got a good strong beat that's sure to
get you moving. LA CABANA is a Bolaro that was written on a beach in
Mexico during a vacation. SWINGADELIC (FB, YouTube) - "THE OTHER DUKE-TRIBUTE TO DUKE PEARSON" (Big band versions of Duke Pearson compositions).
AllAboutJazz.com (Dan Bilawsky): Another Duke served as an A&R man for Blue Note records from 1963 to
1971, performed as a sideman on piano on a slew of recordings for the
label during this period, wrote such classics as "Cristo Redentor" and
"Idle Moments," and released a string of fabulous, but underappreciated
recordings under his own name. This Duke often gets slighted or
overlooked, but not this time." "The genesis for this project was bassist Dave Post's love for Pearson's
music, but the entire band and its regular audience at Maxwell's in
Hoboken, New Jersey, had no trouble buying into the pianist's
compositions, so an album-length tribute seemed to be in order." CEDAR WALTON (FB)- "THE BOUNCER" (Pianist, leading a quintet, in another solid straight-ahead session, doing mostly originals).
BBC (Martin Longley): The Bouncer "is totally not a security guy," says Cedar Walton, the venerable 77-year-old Texan jazz-pianist who’s played beside John Coltrane, Max Roach and Art Blakey.
This latest documentation of his art opens with a title-track that’s
spirited and, yes, bounces along with a bright, airily optimistic
swagger, rippling with ebullient horns. This is how Walton's using the
term, and his description remains apt for the entire disc. MIGUEL ZENON (FB, @MiguelZenon, YouTube )- "ALMA ADENTRO: THE PUERTO RICAN SONGBOOK" (Saxophonist, doing mostly latin tunes, with some orchestral backing).Schedule: Playing UCSD in November! AllAboutJazz.com (Dan Bilawsky): While calling somebody a "star" in jazz might seem like an oxymoron,
when considering the lower-than-deserved profile of the genre on the
national and international stages, Zenon fits the bill like few others.
As of the recording of this 2011 album, Zenon, only in his early
thirties, has already carved out a place as one of the defining
saxophone voices of his generation. Having already received a Guggenheim
Fellowship and MacArthur Fellowship (a.k.a. the "genius grant") at such
an early age, some feel that he has been wrongfully fast-tracked in a
genre where the experience of elders is usually prized over the
enthusiasm and creative spirit of youth; but his solo albums and
continuing work with the SFJAZZ Collective, as the only remaining
charter member of that groundbreaking group, have confirmed how
deserving he really is of all of the positive press, awards and honors
that have been thrust upon him.