Lots of new names in this weeks Adds to the JAzz 88 Music Library, but some familiar also with Marsallis and Mehldau bring the New! Speaking of that, we'll be debuting this on The New Jazz Thing with Vince Outlaw, Monday, October 24 6-8 PM PT!
JD ALLEN – “VICTORY!” (Sax player, leading a pianoless trio, doing all originals).
AllAboutJazz.com(Dan Bilawsky): Many artists seem to move rapidly through different ensemble
configurations, as if they're trying to finish off a career to-do list. When an exceptional artist is willing to take the time to fully explore a
specific format, like the saxophone-bass-drums trio, and develop an
ensemble identity, it's a true Victory! and cause for celebration. Victory!—his third trio outing for the Sunnyside label—is indicative of the fact that Allen keeps getting better with age.The saxophonist's fascination with sonata form, which deals with a
theme, development and recapitulation, plays a big part in his
compositional approach and the overall structural arc of the album, but
the brief duration and architectural integrity of the music aren't the
only notable aspects. General Patton once addressed the need to "accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory," and this Victory! is, indeed, exhilarating.
GERALD BECKETT – “STANDARD FLUTE” (Flute player, doing a collection of jazz tunes. Depends how you feel about electric piano).
PATRICK CORNELIUS (@PCorneliusJazz, FB) – “MAYBE STEPS” (Alto sax player, leading a quintet, doing mostly originals. A little on the edgy side, but generally accessible).
TheJazzWord (John Barron): Cornelius' playing can be cutting and bold in one moment and soft and
wistful in another. Capable of drawing out lengthy, winding lines,
shaped with sense and purpose, he demonstrates schooled technique and
JEFF GAUTHIER GOATETTE – “OPEN SOURCE” (Viola player, leading a progressive session, doing mostly original compositions).
LATimes Culture Monster (Chris Barton): Somewhere between running the forward-looking local jazz label Cryptogramophone and
co-organizing the Angel City Jazz Festival, violinist Jeff Gauthier
finds time for his own ensemble. Now on the cusp of its 20th year, the
Goatette again features Gauthier with longtime collaborators Nels and
Alex Cline, twin brothers who have helped anchor the L.A. improvised
music scene with Gauthier since the '70s. Add in a 14-minute title track that closes things out with a journey
from ambient improvisation to an electrical storm of melodic drive and
there's much to be said for Gauthier still making time for old friends.
WYNTON MARSALIS (@WyntonMarsalis, FB) – “SELECTIONS FROM ‘SWINGING INTO THE 21ST CENTURY’” (Redux, from a soon to be released boxed set of some of his previous recordings).
To celebrate Wynton’s 50th birthday, highlights from those nine albums
plus his career-defining masterpiece All Rise have been selected by the
artist for one new compilation: SWINGINGINTOTHE 21st!
BRAD MEHLDAU (FB, ) / KEVIN HAYS – “MODERN MUSIC” (Piano duet recording, featuring mostly originals, with a couple of classical pieces).
The Guardian (John Fordham): This fascinating session is therefore not only a mix of jazz
and modern compositional materials (pieces by Zimmerli, Steve Reich and
Philip Glass join the pianists' own originals), but an exploration of
what happens when a non-jazz composer's approach shapes the frameworks
AllMusic.com(Rick Anderson): Formerly the New West Guitar Quartet, the New West Guitar Group
(now a trio) also used to be more or less a jazz ensemble. Those who
have been paying attention to the group's evolution, however, won't be
surprised at the almost complete lack of anything that seriously
resembles jazz on this album. Everything is so pleasant and inviting that unless you're paying close
attention you're liable to miss the jagged complexities that sometimes
lurk underneath these tunes' shimmeringly lovely surfaces -- like the
nasty 7/8 time signature on which the lovely "Crooked Railroad" is
built. Every track features a rich blend of acoustic and electric
textures, and the arrangements are so expertly put together that the
trio's sound sometimes verges on the orchestral.
PHIL NORMAN TENTET – “ENCORE” (Large ensemble, doing originals and fresh takes on classic big band tunes).
Summit Records (Jersey Jazz): Phil Norman leads his
critically acclaimed Tentet (the cream of the crop of LA-based session
men; Carl Saunders, Andy Martin, Ron Stout, Roger Neumann, Larry
Koonse, Rusty Higgins, Scott Whitfield, Tom Rizzo, Christian Jacob,
Kevin Axt, Dick Weller, and Brad Dutz). Their previous MAMA release stayed, which was 'live', stayed on jazz radio's Top 50 chart for 24 straight weeks. The songs are first rate, the arrangements sublime, and the blowing will knock your socks off. This is music that will settle easily on the ears of diggers of fine jazz sounds.
ERIC REED – “SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL” (Piano trio, doing a mix of old and new standards and originals, straight-ahead).
AllMusic.com (Ken Dryden): In a world where so many young jazz artists feel the need to feature
programs consisting exclusively of originals on their debut recordings
as leaders, it is refreshing to hear a veteran like pianist Eric Reed,
who plays a wide range of forgotten gems, some standards, and jazz
favorites along with inventive renditions of songs from gospel, pop, and
his own compositions. Eric Reed's Something Beautiful showcases a seasoned artist who is very much at the top of his game.
KENNY SHANKER – “STEPPIN’ UP” (Alto saxophonist, leading a quintet, doing mostly originals).
AllAboutJazz.com(Bruce Lindsay): Kenny Shanker has worked extensively since graduating from the Manhattan
School of Music in 2001, playing with the New World Symphony, and the Tommy Dorsey and Nelson Riddle Orchestras, among others. The young alto saxophonist recorded his debut album as leader, Steppin' Up,
in April 2009 but it's taken almost two-and-a-half years for it to be
released. It's a shame that it has stayed in the vaults for so long, for
Shanker's melodic and accessible brand of straight-ahead jazz is
immediately enjoyable, with enough twists and turns to reward repeated
STRANAHAN / ZALESKI / ROSATO – “ANTICIPATION” (Piano trio, doing an edgy mix of mostly band originals).
Ottawa Citizen (Peter Hum - Jazzblog): Anticipation, which was released last week, also features the
kinds of complex and contemporary rhythmic and harmonic ingredients that
younger players take to like catnip. However, tastefulness and
musicality always come first for the trio — complexity and trendiness
aren’t the points of the music.Stranahan is 25, and his studies include stints at the Brubeck and Monk
Institutes, as well as at the New School University. He’s performed with
Herbie Hancock in India and toured globally in Kurt Rosenwinkel’s trio.
Zaleski is a 24-year-old who went to the Brubeck Institute and the New
School, where he is now an adjunct faculty member. (He also competed
this year in the Cole Porter and Thelonious Monk jazz piano
competitions.) Rosato, a 23-year-old Montrealer, studied at the New
School, is finishing his Master’s degree at McGill University and has
shared stages with Ari Hoenig and Aaron Parks.
DWIGHT TRIBLE – “COSMIC” (Male vocalist, doing an eclectic mix of tunes. Suitable for Nights Only).
Burrell, Carter, DeFrancesco...and that's only the first 3 of the great discs being added this week to the Jazz 88 Music Library! I will be debuting as many as I can get to in 2 hours during The New Jazz Thing, Monday October 17, 2011 6-8 PM PT!
KENNY BURRELL – “TENDERLY” (Live solo recording by one of the greats).
I'm amazed that Kenny doesn't have some sort of bigger web presence. Or any press / information on this release out. JazzDepot (HighNote Records): Beginning with his recording debut with Dizzy Gillespie on "Tin Tin Deo"
and "Birk's Works" guitar master Kenny Burrell has recorded well over
100 records as a leader and countless more as a sideman with the likes
of Oscar Peterson, John Coltrane, Frank Foster, Kenny Clarke and others.
Recorded live in concert, "Tenderly" features Kenny alone on stage in a
solo guitar recital with an array of instruments from which he selects
to suit his concept of the music at hand. Whether he is swinging on a
blues, caressing a ballad out of his six strings or stringing together
garlands of songs into leisurely medleys, Kenny Burrell remains one of
the most popular and respected guitarists in the history of jazz.
JAMES CARTER ORGAN TRIO – “AT THE CROSSROADS” (Saxophonist, in straight-ahead, somewhat edgy groove, with some vocal tracks).
AllAboutJazz.com (Brent Black): these two mighty forces, Carter leaves the labeling of this release
to the listener. After the groundbreaking fusion of European classical
with jazz improvisation and Afro-Caribbean rhythms on Caribbean Rhapsody
(EmArcy, 2011), Carter continues to defy standard categorization while
focusing on a more roots-oriented release that may well be a look at his
hybrid musical soul.
At The Crossroads finds
Carter organic and raw yet razor sharp, with a defined focus and passion
that not only makes it a noteworthy release, it may well raise the bar
for jazz overall.
KEN FOWSER / BEHN GILLECE – “DUOTONE” (Typically good, straight-ahead session of originals from the saxophonist/vibes leaders).
SaxShed: Ken Fowser has entered a world of jazz riddled with well-trained,
technically proficient and creative tenor saxophonists. Somehow his
sweet sound is his own, never sounding like anyone but himself. He
and Behn Gillece have surrounded themselves with a cohesive ensemble of
like-minded musicians who can make their case within only a few, well
DANNY FOX TRIO (FB)– “THE ONE CONSTANT” (Piano trio, with a lot of edgy moments. Good, but not suitable for mornings). JazzWrap (Vern): The One Constantis
an excellent debut from an American trio with bold, expressive ideas.
The Danny Fox Trio might be one of those under-the-radar groups that you
better get to know quickly because we may be talking about them for a
long time to come.
Music Life: Mark’s goals for the Quintet and for their latest CD are very simple. “I
want to chart our own territory in the jazz world, by creating
substantive and interesting music that is accessible to the ear of the
listener”, says Mark, “I’m thrilled when people come to our shows who
are not diehard jazz fans, and yet they still feel our grooves and hum
our tunes when they leave”.
MARY LOUISE KNUTSON – “IN THE BUBBLE” (Pianist, leading a trio, in straight-ahead standards and originals).
Jazz Police (Andrea Canter): It all flows so easily that it is hard to imagine the sweat and
frustration that challenged Mary Louise as she wrote the music for this
project. “During the months I spent composing and arranging, there were
times where my creative well seemed bone dry,” she admits. “I couldn’t
come up with any satisfying ideas for tunes or even ideas that would
develop or complete tunes. That was very frustrating and frankly, a bit
depressing. I just had to show up everyday and try to compose something
and trust that eventually the inspiration would be there...and luckily
AllAboutJazz.com (Dan Bilawsky): While Macdonald graciously shares space with his band mates and guests,
it's his own unique voice that really defines his work. His saxophone
can be a beacon of clarity ("Community Immunity") or a bird of prey
("Second Guessing"), depending on his mood, but his ideas are always
intriguing. With Community Immunity, Curtis Macdonald
establishes himself as one who stands apart from the rest but, with a
such a unique musical statement, he just might be embraced by the jazz
community at large...if such a thing exists.
DAVID MURRAY CUBAN ENSEMBLE – “NAT KING COLE EN ESPANOL” (Latin big band grooves to Nat’s tunes, with 4 vocal tracks).
ANTHONY E. NELSON, JR. (FB)– “TENOR FOR TWO” (Saxophonist, leading a quartet, with a straight-ahead mix of standards and originals).
CDBaby: Nelson’s sound is
distinctive, developed, pure and soulful. At his age of thirty-three
this is a real achievement. Though he plays other saxophones, when
asked, why he chose to play tenor only he explained, “tenor saxophone is
my main instrument, the one I feel the most comfortable with.”
SEAN NOWELL (@NowellSounds)– “STOCKHOLM SWINGIN’” (Saxophonist, leading a quintet, doing a mix of jazz tunes and originals).
JazzWrap: With Stockholm Swingin'you get the feeling if you've been listening to Sean Nowellfor
awhile and that he really let the wheels off the wagon and just went
for it this time. This is a live session that works on many levels. It's
perfect for many traditionalists and a nice opening for new fans. This is the sound of modern standard jazz. It is good for all. Enjoy...
PILC-MOUTIN-HOENIG – “THREEDOM” (Edgy piano trio, doing a mix of standards and improvisations).
@CriticalJazz: This is not jazz that you embrace. This is jazz that embraces you. If you listen.
PopMatters (John Garratt): As for the remainder of the album, it’s not really fair to say these two
are disconnected. In fact, it’s hard to make that call at all since
these lighter-than-air vignettes don’t convey any special telepathy. And
it doesn’t help that Jen Shyu is constructing her songs while her head
is in academic la-la land. So many of her texts come from obscure
origins, ones that destroy any chance you would have for diving into and
surrendering unto the music.
AllAboutJAzz.com (Tim Niland): the real focus of the music is the blending of their particular voices, weaving and blending the hues and colors of sound and occasionally dancing around each other in a hypnotic and unique arrangement that is uniquely improvisatory but calling forth other music from around the world and across time. While this album can be quite a challenging listen, the two musicians represented here are truly trying to break new ground, and ask people to re-think the nature of jazz and improvised music in general.
JEREMY UDDEN’S PLAINVILLE – “IF THE PAST SEEMS SO BRIGHT” (Very eclectic and edgy mix of sounds from this saxophonist).
AllAboutJazz.com (Troy Collins): Overblown jazz fusion clichés are largely a thing of the past among
younger performers like Udden, who have come of age exposed to a diverse
array of genres and aesthetic approaches; Plainville is a prime example
of how once seemingly disparate styles can inspire subtly tasteful new
hybrids. If the Past Seems So Bright enhances sophisticated
jazz structures with the emotional candor of contemporary roots music,
expanding the possibilities of both traditions in the process.
WELLSTONE CONSPIRACY – “HUMBLE ORIGINS” (Great quartet recording, with all band originals except for one Beatles’ tune).
Origin Records: Now in their 6th year of performing together, the collective of
saxophonist Brent Jensen, pianist Bill Anschell, bassist Jeff Johnson,
and drummer John Bishop continue to display their richly empathetic
approach to melody and rhythm as they explore a new set of originals on
their third recording together. From Jensen's swinging tribute to
mentor, Lee Konitz, "All of Lee," to Bill Anschell's completely original
take of the Beatle's "Fixing a Hole," the group allows the music to
flow, unhurried and displaying a patient rapport that reveals moments
worthy of many repeated listens.
YOTAM – “BRASIL” (Guitarist, leading a variety of band configurations, doing great Jazz versions of the Great Brazilian Songbook).
Here's what we are adding to the Jazz 88 Music Library and debuting on The New Jazz Thing, Monday, October 17, 2011...
DEE BELL (FB)– “SAGACIOUS GRACE” (Female vocalist, doing a straight-ahead mix of standards and jazz tunes, backed by an all-star band).
FREDDY COLE – “TALK TO ME” (Male vocalist, doing a straight-ahead mix of obscure and new standards).
Critical Jazz: Instead of taking a victory lap of exclusive club and festival dates or
perhaps cooling his heels in Las Vegas, Freddy Cole releases a follow up
to the Grammy nominated "Freddy Cole Sings Mr. B" that may just bring
home the Grammy some argue he should have received last year. Sophisticated in style and as comfortable as a favorite pair of jeans, Freddy Cole continues to please!
MAC GOLLEHON – “ODDYSSEY OF NOSTALGIA” (Trumpet-led sessions, doing some vintage tunes and originals, with some vocals by Amina Claudine Myers).
TIM HAGANS (FB )– “THE MOON IS WAITING” (Trumpeter, leading a progressive session. 2011 Grammy Nomination for Best Instrumental Composition "Box of Cannoli" on The Avatar Sessions).
AllABoutJazz.com (Dan Bilawsky): Hagans has proven to be a master compositional architect in more formal
settings, but his ability to let loose with this small group is the key
to its success. The Moon Is Waiting is a marvel of elastic expressions from one of the most shrewd and intelligent minds in jazz today.
LENORA ZENZALAI HELM (FB)– “I LOVE MYSELF WHEN I’M LAUGHING…” (Female vocalist, doing a mix of original and jazz tunes, on the edgy side).
AllAboutJazz.com: the award-winning, Chicago-born vocalist, composer, lyricist, arranger,
educator and former U.S. Jazz Ambassador Lenora Zenzalai Helm
brilliantly illuminates the jazz world with this soulful and spectacular
13-track CD. It features music and lyrics inspired by two
Chicago storytellers, and by writers Zora Neale Hurston, Neale Donald
Walsch and Alice Walker, Robert Kennedy, biographers Gene Santoro and
Ross Russell, poets Rudyard Kipling and Sam White, and the music and
lyrics of Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, Thelonious
Monk, Jon Hendricks and Joni Mitchell.
JASON KAO HWANG – “CROSSROADS UNSEEN” (Extremely progressive collection of originals).
AllAboutJazz.com (Karl Ackerman): The notion that the next great force in new jazz could be a violinist may seem a bit incongruous, but Crossroads Unseen is fresh, exciting and creative, and one of the best recordings of the year.
MIKE LeDONNE – “KEEP THE FAITH” (Straight-ahead organ grooves, with Eric Alexander playing sax).
Music and More (Tim Niland): The whole album is played quite well and will be a treat for fans of
organ based jazz. There are excellent solos throughout the music, but it
is the groups compatibility and their ability to work together toward
and ego-less common ground that is most noticeable.
MIKE LONGO TRIO + 2 – “TO MY SURPRISE” (Mostly quintet, with some trio tracks, playing a mix of originals, standards and jazz tunes).
FAME Review: a CD loaded up with nothing but first-rung talent: Bob Cranshaw on bass,
Lewis Nash on drums, Jimmy Owens on trumpet and flugelhorn, and Lance
Bryant on tenor sax. That's it. No guest sit-ins other than that '+2'.
No sweetening. Just a quinteted-up trio playing its extremely
sophisticated brains out.
Blogcritics.org (David Bowling): Rene Marie may not be a well-known name, but she has quietly built a
catalogue of music that can match most jazz singers active today. If you
are in the mood for some interesting and well sung jazz, then Black Lace Freudian Slip is an album for you.
Here's something you don't read in album liner notes every day: "We
recorded in Shawn's apartment...using only blankets wrapped around music
stands for audio separation." New Tricks has seemingly recorded Alternate Side... in some no-frills circumstances, but there's truth in the old saying that adversity sometimes brings out the best in people. This
piano-less collective, featuring a trumpet and tenor sax front line,
plays an energetic brawl of traded solos, hard bop melodies, and freely
constructed harmonization. Likely because of the way it was recorded, Alternate Side... has a live-in-studio feel to it—four guys just playing in a room—and they sound like they're really enjoying the session. The result is a truly creative record that trades in spontaneity rather than polish.
BILL O’CONNELL – “TRIPLE PLAY PLUS THREE” (Pianist, backed by all-star Latin musicians, doing mostly originals).
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.