RALPH BOWEN – “POWER PLAY” (Straight-ahead saxophone quartet, doing all but one original, on the edgy side). AllAboutJazz (Bruce Lindsey): Power Play
is an apposite title: for saxophonist Ralph Bowen is certainly one of
the most powerful players in contemporary jazz. But power alone is
seldom, if ever, enough, and Bowen combines power with exceptional
control, feeling and tone. The rest of the quartet shares Bowen's
characteristics, ensuring that this collection of tunes is constantly
ROYCE CAMPBELL – “MAKE ME RAINBOWS” (Guitar/organ trio, doing mostly standards, recorded in 1995, but newly released). JazzLoft: This is the same rhythm section featured on the classic Wes Montgomery
recording "Boss Guitar." This CD contains three originals by Campbell
along with such standards as "Ruby," "You Go To My Head," "If I Should
Lose You," "Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise," and a seldom recorded Cole
Porter tune called "Could It Be You."
FRANCIS COLETTE/JONAS TAUBER – “PORT SAID STREET” (Guitar/cello, doing interesting arrangements on originals and standards).
LUIS CONTE – “EN CASA DE LUIS” (Percussionist, leading a hard-core latin session. Lots of vocal tracks, mostly originals).Amazon: En Casa de Luis is the 7th release for Multi-Grammy Winner Luis Conte,
an acknowledged master of percussion. His celebrated career includes
touring and or recording work with some of the greatest names in
contemporary music including Madonna, Eric Clapton, Phil Collins,
Santana, Jackson Browne, Celine Dion, Barbara Streisand, Ray Charles,
Tony Bennett, Pat Metheny, James Taylor, Shakira. Ozzy Osborne and Cuban
legends Arturo Sandoval and Cachao.
JERY COSTANZO – “DESTINATION MOON” (Male vocalist backed by a big band, doing all standards. More of a lounge vibe, but great arrangements).
BENOIT DELBECQ TRIO – “THE SIXTH JUMP” (Progressive piano trio, doing all originals).
MONIKA HERZIG – “COME WITH ME” (Pianist, leading a variety of band configurations, with originals, standards and new standards).
RICK HOLLAND-EVAN DOBBINS LITTLE BIG BAND – “TRILBY” (A swingin’ collection of jazz standards and originals). Lazaro Vega, Radio Host, Blue Lake Public Radio :Rick Holland’s flugelhorn improvisations flow with a seasoned musician’s
imagination and a hard working trumpeter’s ability to play whatever
comes to mind. His piquant touches to the top of the staff (or above)
from wherever he happens to be in the improvised melodic line are a
great example of where daily practice can take you.
VIJAY IYER WITH PRASANNA/NITIN MITTA – “TIRTHA” (Pianist acknowledging his Indian roots, with tabla and sitar, doing all originals). CMJ (Brianne Galli): Composed by Iyer and Prasanna, Tirtha communicates a spiritual
journey free of labels. The music does not submit to any one type of
music that each of its members creates, and does not fit neatly into
just one genre. For the group, the collaboration celebrates India’s
freedom by representing a more global sound as a result of independence.
ANDREI KONDAKOV – “BLUES FOR 4” (Russian pianist, backed by a great band, doing all originals, straight-ahead).
BRIAN LYNCH – “UNSUNG HEROES” (Trumpeter paying tribute to under appreciated fellow trumpet players, straight-ahead groove). Elements of Jazz (Atane Ofiaja): Lynch says, "Unsung Heroes pays tribute to and features the
compositions of jazz trumpet giants such as Joe Gordon, Tommy
Turrentine, Idrees Sulieman, and other greats who have flown under the
radar of popular acclaim despite their artistry and influence on players
such as myself."
RENEE MANNING – “ALL GROWN UP” (Female vocalist doing a mix of standards and new standards, with a couple of originals).CDUniverse: Renee Manning's life has been quite a musical odyssey. Transitioning
from a classical soprano to a soul/funk stylist (with a range comparable
to Minnie Ripperton) and finally into a Jazz and Blues Contralto, her
vocal journey has been phenomenal. The truth is, anything with a touch
of the blues (or that depth of feeling), is well within her domain of
expression. Couple Manning's musical style with that of her becoming an
incredible vocal coach and educator along the way, and you have an
inspirational force to be reckoned with.
DADO MORONI – “LIVE IN BEVERLY HILLS” (Piano trio, doing a straight-ahead mix of standards and originals).
EDDIE MENDENHALL – “COSINE MEETS TANGENT” (Piano/vibes quartet, doing all but one original, straight ahead).
THE NIGHTCRAWLERS – “DOWN IN THE BOTTOM” (Mix of straight-ahead and big band tracks, with organ, guitar and drums providing hard driving rhythm). Vancouver Sun - The Nightcrawlers Top Up Their Bottom: We did some concerts in the summer [of 2010] where we had an organist
from Montreal visiting and she brought all these big band charts with
her because there are all these great Jimmy Smith records on Verve from
the ’60s with great arrangements,” Cahill says. “We played a whole bunch
of that and Cory [Weeds] said, ‘Why don’t we do the next record half
with a big band and half as a quintet?’ And I was like, ‘How the heck
are we gonna do that?’ ”
ARTURO O’FARRILL & THE AFRO LATIN JAZZ ORCHESTRA – “40 ACRES AND A BURRO” (Great big band latin grooves, can also be aired in straight-ahead segments). AllAboutJazz (Dan Bilawsky): Throughout
the program, the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra demonstrates a signature
flair for all things spicy, and Arturo O'Farrill continues to define the
sound of his own creation, which can simply be called all-inclusive
ONE FOR ALL – “INVADES VANCOUVER” (Live recording of this all-star ensemble, doing mostly their originals).
JANE STUART – “DON’T LOOK BACK” (Female vocalist, doing the Great American Songbook and new standards).
HRISTO VITCHEV QUINTET – “THE PERPERIKON SUITE” (Guitar/vibe quintet, doing all straight-ahead originals).
YELLOWJACKETS – “TIMELINE” (Mostly straight-ahead outing, with some contemporary tracks).
ZZYMZZY QUARTET – “ZZWING!” (More gypsy jazz from local musicians).
ERNEST STUART – “SOLITARY WALKER” (Very edgy trombonist, with a mix of originals and standards).
Reviews and Quotes:
Ernest Stuart - Album Preview: Solitary Walker is the product of my
attempt to create music that is a true reflection of myself and my
musical experiences which ranges from gigs with The Roots to The Village
Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. I also wanted to present a jazz album that is
steeped in the tradition of Philadelphia soul. During it’s production, I
set out to capture an honesty that I feel most over-produced jazz
albums now lack. I believe the over-use of technology to erase
“mistakes” can leave an album without character. The album boasts a
slight rawness from the use of acoustic instruments and as few
microphones as possible (the horns share one microphone as well). In
keeping with my vision of honesty, the listener is drawn into the
album’s sound and sophistication unpretentiously.
AllAboutJazz: "The CD title Solitary Walker comes from the book Reveries of the Solitary Walker
written by French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Stuart discovered
the book during a somewhat tumultuous time while living in New York
City. The book's theme resonated deeply with him, though his “exile" was
totally self imposed. He learned a lot about himself during this
relatively short period, but also about the nature of ordinary people,
music and musicians."
Anthony Smith Bio: "...also the Common Ground Theatre’s world premiere of “Jazz Queens Cast Blue
Shadows,” for which Anthony wrote the original score to accompany the
standards of Billie Holiday and Dinah Washington. The music from “Jazz
Queens” was then recorded in the studio by Anthony and his four-piece
band, for a forthcoming Bluport Records release (early 2011)."
PIKET – “SIDES, COLORS” (Mostly progressive outing, with a variety of
band configurations, doing mostly originals, with a couple of
Reviews and Quotes:
AllAboutJazz.com (Wilbert Sostre): "she demonstrates her different musical sides and colors. Piket shows her classical, lyrical side on "Billy's Ballad" and Bill Evans "Laurie," while the classical feel is accentuated by the addition of clarinet, flute and strings—a concept similar to Esperanza Spalding's Chamber Music Society (Heads Up, 2010)."
AllAboutJazz.com (Dan McClenaghan): "Side, Colors
features a mix of styles, but is sequenced perfectly. "Side A" is
mostly with strings; "Side B," a freer, mostly piano trio affair. Piket
takes some chances here, and it pays off nicely."
Huffington Post (Joseph Vella): "What makes his solo outings and the Live at Marciac recording
so exciting is the repertoire that he incorporates into his
performances. His blend of jazz and classical styles, the American
Songbook, unique covers of pop tunes and originals all seamlessly blend
into a fulfilling and varied musical experience. His breathtaking
command of his instrument is undeniable. But what he is able to say
musically as a soloist within the context of each song combined with his
improvisations is simply masterful. "
CDBaby: "Beautiful As The Moon is a
very personal statement from the band--all of the music comes from the
band members or is inspired by their families and their influences." "With all but one song
recorded at the Saville Theater, San Diego City College for a live
concert on KSDS Jazz88 radio in San Diego, this is an excellent
opportunity to experience some great Latin Jazz live without any edits
or tricks so common on many studio produced sessions where the music is
recorded overdub by overdub. Not here, this is the real deal--seasoned
Jazz and Latin Jazz musicians running risks to create great art,
passionate rhythms and beautiful melodies resulting in music that is as
beautiful as the moon."
FRED HERSCH – “ALONE AT THE VANGUARD” (Solo live piano recording, with a mix of originals, jazz tunes and standards).
Reviews and Quotes:
AllAboutJazz (Dan McClenaghan): "Hersch
has what it takes to ignore the "never open with a ballad" advice: a
supple and exquisitely-refined touch; a sharp focus on the melody; a
deep sense of classical harmony; and a magical ability to get inside the
tune and make it his own. Hersch's sound here has a uncommon
fragility/strength dynamic, and it is serious and cerebral, with an
opposing simplicity buoyed by a rich complexity, born of a lifetime's
immersion in the music."