straight-ahead on many familiar tunes).
Critical Jazz: This is the first ever big band recording for the 74 year old Carter and he pulls this off as though this was his primary if not favorite means of musical expression. A smoking hot ensemble that swings with the kind of pop that would give the listener the impression this was a working ensemble years in the making.
Recent interview with Ron.
A photo of the band with arranger Bob Freedman.
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).
JACOB FRED JAZZ ODYSSEY – “THE RACE RIOT SUITE” (Very progressive, way out there).
Interview with Chris Combs
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 artists.
VINCENT LYN – “HEAVEN BOUND” (Pianist, leading a variety of ensembles, doing an eclectic mix of
jazz, latin and classical).
AllAboutJazz.com (Edward Blanco):
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 airplay consideration.
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).
UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS ONE O’CLOCK LAB BAND – “LAB 2011” (Great college big band,
doing their annual showcase of talent).
JASON RASO – “THE RED ARROW” (Guitarist/bassist, leading a variety of ensembles in a straight-
GREG REITAN (FB)– “DAYBREAK” (Nice, straight-ahead, jazz piano trio).
ERNIE WATTS – “ALIVE” (Saxophonist, recorded live in Europe, with his quartet, doing originals and
couple of jazz standards).
KENNY WERNER WITH THE BRUSSELS JAZZ ORCHESTRA – “INSTITUTE OF HIGHER
LEARNING” (Pianist, leading a mostly swinging big band session).
JACK WILKINS – “THE BLUE & GREEN PROJECT” (Saxophonist, doing great straight-ahead
interpretations of American roots music).