Jazz / Blues Adds – 8/11/2014
Dennis Angel – On Track (Timeless Grooves) : Dennis Angel (flugelhorn) is the leader of this session, while Gottfried Stoger (sax, flute) and Jason Miles (keys) arranged the songs, most of which were composed by Angel. The leader’s goal is lovely melodies best suited for “smooth jazz” radio. The high points are two tracks on which Kenny Barron takes over the piano.
Chicago Yestet – Just Say Yes (Joel Adams – self) : Joel Adams (trombone) composed six of the eight songs on this disc. The group includes Don Nicholson (alto), Scott Burns & Geof Bradfield (tenor), Marques Carroll & Victor Garcia (trumpet), Tom Gatling (trombone), Jeff Parker (g), Ryan Cohan (p), Clark Summers (b), Dana Hall (d), Rob Dz (spoken) and Maggie Burrell, whose lyrical and declarative vocals fit this large band perfectly. Significant social commentary in this set and the overall performance is compelling throughout. “What The World Needs Now Is Disco” isn’t but my initial reaction is that it is the least successful song in a very strong set.
Dr. John – Ske-Dat-He-Dat: The Spirit Of Satch (Proper) : Quickly becoming the senior musical statesman of the Crescent City, the good Doctor delivers this celebration dedicated to Louis Armstrong and he’s got plenty of guest company: Nicholas Payton, Terence Blanchard, Anthony Hamilton, James Andrews, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Bonnie Raitt, the Blind Boys of Alabama, Shemekia Copeland, the McCrary Sisters…. Suspend your expectations about Satchmo and remember this is Dr. John. Enjoy the fun as you hear it!
Tom Harrell – Trip (High Note) : Tom Harrell composed all of the music on this disc. There is variety, depth, beauty, and groove created by his compositions, the outstanding ensemble playing, and the strength of the individual players. Harrell plays trumpet and flugelhorn and is joined by Mark Turner (tenor sax), Ugonna Okegwo (b), and Adam Cruz (d). Don’t miss this trip!
Pandelis Karayorgis Quintet – Afterimage (Driff) : Well respected composer pianist Karayorgis leads this fascinating quintet in a live performance of his ten most recent compositions. The music is harmonically and structurally adventurous, but is reasonably accessible for those open to some sonic challenge. In addition to Karayorgis, the group includes Dave Rempis (sax), Keefe Jackson (sax, bass clarinet), Nate McBride (b), and Frank Rosaly (d).
Mike Longo Trio – Celebrates Oscar Peterson (Consolidated Artists Productions) : Mike Longo (p) in a live performance in tribute to the great pianist under whom he studied privately for six months. Longo’s approach is to perform songs Peterson recorded, but in accordance with the wisdom and insistence of his former teacher, “…you don’t need to copy anyone else’s work…People who are making a big mistake if they are trying to play like… instead of trying to be as good…” expressing that artist’s qualities. The songs here are associated with Peterson. Longo seeks to express the qualities of performance he admired in his mentor’s playing. He is supported by Paul West (b) and Ray Mosca (d).
Jay Sinnett – Subject To Change (J-Nett Music) : Based in Tidewater, Sinnett is a seasoned composer, drummer, keyboardist, and teacher who has recorded with Frank Foster, John Hicks, Wallace Roney, Cyrus Chestnut, and John D’earth among others over the past 20+ years. For this recording, he has assembled a tight and polished group, including Steve Wilson (sax), Justin Kauflin (keys), Terry Burrell (b), JC Kuhl (tenor), Rob Dedominick and Bill Brown (trumpet). The focus is on harmony, warmth, and flow and the disc succeeds on all counts.
The Singer And The Songwriter – What A Difference A Melody Makes (Mason Jar) : Rachel Garcia (v) has a strong and beautiful voice and Thu Tran is an effective accompanist on strumming rhythm guitar, who also wrote all but one of the songs on the disc. Though some tunes are swing-style, there is a strong pop sound to the majority of the performances. Garcia’s voice reminds these ears of Rachel Price (Lake Street Dive), though the swing of this work is more like the soft sounds of the Lickettes (think Dan) than the 60’s girl group sound of LSD (couldn’t help myself, sorry!).
Cedar Walton – Reliving The Moment (High Note) : New Year’s Eve, 1977, at the Keystone Korner in San Francisco – Cedar Walton (p), Bob Berg (tenor), David Williams (b), Billy Higgins (d) with occasional sitting in by Freddie Hubbard when he had ALL of his wind. This performance is a classic example of blasting post-bebop at its finest. Terrific performances by all players! They had to have had a very Happy New Year in San Fran that year!
The Whammies – Play The Music of Steve Lacy, Vol. 3 (Driff) : Performed live by Jorrit Dijkstra (alto, lyricon), Pandelis Karayorgis (p), Jeb Bishop (trombone), Mary Oliver (violin, viola), Jason Roebke (b), and Han Bennick (d), presents eight free jazz compositions that are at times playful, challenging, harmonious, or cacophonous. Great ensemble work on this journey off the beaten path.
Missy Andersen – In The Moment (Main Squeeze) : Missy Andersen is a soulful, uptown singer who knocks out soul blues ballads with the best of them! She has a full, rich alto that gives her blues a classy sound, especially given the band she and guitarist husband Heine Andersen pulled together for this disc. The soul and gospel influences in her style will certainly make you say, “Amen!” This is a super fine release! Wrap your vibration grabbers around this the fastest way you can! A certified Professor Bebop Wax Without Cracks!
Elvin Bishop – Can’t Even Do Wrong Right (Alligator) : An original member of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, who relocated south after the band started disintegrating, Elvin Bishop became THE iconic Southern blues boy – his down-home can be pretty uptown as he burns up the countryside with his blistering slide and pokes more fun and encourages the rest of us to lighten up! Another party time release with guest appearances from Charlie Musselwhite, Bob Welsh, and Mickey Thomas.
Murali Coryell – Restless Mind (Shake-It Sugar) : Guitarist, composer Coryell is the son of Larry Coryell and crafts a variety of polished blues rock songs. This is not a heavy rocker, but the blues are rather stylized with a rock-ish coating.
J.P. Soars – Full Moon Night In Memphis (Soars High Productions) : Guitarist, singer, composer JP Soars plays a variety of blues related styles and his raspy voice adds a compelling helping of grit into his sound. He’s a very strong player and recalls the best rockin’ blues bands of the 70s (you know the ones that sounded like they were most always in the alley). Now you CAN party to this music if you’re loose enough.