October 24, 2011
|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
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: SWINGING INTO THE 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
NEW WEST GUITAR GROUP (FB) – “ROUND-TRIP TICKET” (Trio of guitarists, groovin’
to contemporary originals).
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
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).
Pat Launer's Center Stage
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