jazz adds december 9, 2014

omer avital.  new song.  motema.  The One, this week.  Israeli (Yemeni/Moroccan) bassist omer avital celebrates the NYC Jewish musical diaspora with a superb set-list of originals;  there are nods to all our friends, Klezmer, funk, rhythms of the Arab souk, mingus and blakey grooves, swoony,  dance/trance.  A-list ensemble includes Charlottesville-visitor, tenor, joel frahm;  avishai cohen on trumpet; yonathan avishai at the piano; daniel freedman@ drums.  The “language of reconciliation” without falling into the pothole of musical anthropology.   And it’s motema, wearing blue for Israel.

louis sclavis quartet.  silk and salt melodies.  ecm.  New to me, though reed (clarinet) master louis sclavis burnishes a 33-year musical career.  previously on ecm ( since 1990’s) with a trio– gilles coronado @ guitar, and benjamin moussay, keyboards–this outing adds in percussionist keyvan chemirani.  many good things to play; we give thanks to the artistic generosity of manfred  eicher.

keith jarrett/charlie haden/paul motian.  hamburg ’72.  ecm.  Time travel with the three wise men:  jarrett @  piano, flute, sea shells, soprano sax;   the boyish charlie haden, double bass;  and pony-tailed drum mystic paul motian.    if you have 15 minutes to spare, enjoy song for che— remember him, and then?  when the beat was irregular, and perhaps so was life.

dave rempis.  from wolves to whalesaerophonic.  Perhaps it’s wrong to have positive intentions when faced with alto player dave rempis’ steady march of releases on the brave aerophonic label–because of its beautiful package.  alas, i tried –but this cd came to seem like squawking– too many geese, few songbirds.  judge for yourself;  trumpet, nate wooley; dave rempis, alto;  pascal niggenkemper, bass;  chris corsano@drums.   all cues are long.

manuel valera.  in motion.  criss cross.  New Cuban sounds from pianist/fender rhodes specialist manuel valera, the son.  almost the same band as his father’s –see below.  all originals Latin-based song list.

manuel valera sr.  recuerdos.  mavo.  Valera, the father, plays alto or soprano on this collection of boleros, cuban dance melancholia, and a gorgeous ellington solitude..  manuel– the son– at the paino;  hans glawischnig on bass; ludwig afonso @drums; mauricio herrera, more percussion.  more my cup of tea that the new Cuban sounds of manuel, the son.

old style sextet.  eponymous.  blujazz.  From the scholarly musician jazzbirds @ University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, original music charted for three horns & rhythm trio.  Produced by alto/tenors clark gibson and michael fenoglio + trombonist evan edmonds, the group added in easton stuard on piano, sam peters, bass;  matthew endres@drums .  guinea chant, roxy and gone are worth a listen.   A school band that has taken off.

peter leitch.  landscape.  jazz house.  Canadian hard-bop & straight-ahead jazz guitarist–played with al grey & oscar peterson back in the day– now exploring trio work with ray drummond on bass, steve johns@drums.  some blues cues, originals, and jazz chestnuts.

kenny shanker.  action city.  posi-tone.  Polished playing & composition from young CA-to-NYC tenor kenny shanker.  varied original playlist dynamically supported by young band:  mike eckroth, piano;  daisuke abe, guitar;  yoshi waki, bass;  brian fishler@drums. core work is piano/tenor duets within each piece.

shamie royston.  portraits.  self.  Proud husband–drummer rudy royston–plays on pianist/educator shamie royston’s debut.with an introspective originals playlist, royston engages ivan taylor on bass, and vocalist camille thurman in this family portrait –sis is tenor tia fuller.

uptown vocal jazz quartet w/richie cole.  vocal madness.  house kat.  Stylish vocals and harmonies from a 4tet:  ginny carr; robert mcbride, holly shockey, andre enceneal join with altoist richie cole, frank russo (dr); max murphy (b); alan blackman (p); steve herberman (g).    fun playlist with lots of originals  +  tv’s classic  “i love lucy” .  smooth as silk, manhattan transfer inspired.

born to wander.  eponymous.  self.  Vocal trio– singer, guitar, bass–that specializes in American songbook music done in irreverent arrangements; lots of vocalise;  no  genre left unclaimed.  trio consists of kate skinner(v), eric applegate (b), and steve kovalcheck (g);  Western roots.

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