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.