Jazz / Blues Adds – 8/18/2014

Jazz / Blues Adds – 8/18/2014 


Jazz Adds:

Bolt – Shuffle (Driff) : Short improvisations by Jorrit Dijkstra (alto, lyric on, electronics), Eric Hofbauer (g), Junko Fujiwara (cello), and Eric Rosenthal (d) that call to mind incidental sound strokes.  The soundscape is not terrifically difficult listening, but it is also not overly melodic.

Michael Carvin Experience – Flash Forward (Motima) : Carvin (d) pulls out a series of jazz standards ranging from “So What” and “In Walked Bud” to “You Go To My Head” and “Autumn Leaves” and transforms each with fresh and vibrant arrangements.  The group includes Jansen Cinco (b), Yayoi Ikawa (p), and Keith Loftis (sax) and they play beautifully and inventively as soloists and as an ensemble.  Each performance brings something new and captivating.  Click here for a sample. 

Eliana Cuevas – Espejo (Alma) : Venezuelan – Canadian Cuevas is being touted as the emerging Latin music queen in Canada.  She wrote or co-wrote all but one of songs on this disc and has a beautiful voice.  Jeremy Ledbetter is her arranger and musical partner, playing a variety of keyboards, mandolin and percussion and additional players add variety to the sound.  Beautiful vocal performance and a highly polished sound. Click here for a sample.

Mark Elf – Returns 2014 (Jen Bay) : Veteran guitarist Elf presents his latest compositions and a few standards with his quartet.  The group includes David Hazeltine (p), Peter Washington (b), and Lewis Nash (d) in their third recording over a period of several years.  Their performance is smooth, mellow and tight and reflects Elf’s admiration for the style of Tal Farlow and other great bop guitarists.  No special effects, but an excellent performance.

Orrin Evans – Liberation Blues (Smoke Sessions) : Orrin Evans (p) dedicated the first half of this disc (The Liberation Blues Suite) to early influence Dwayne Burno. A standout is the spoken word with accompaniment piece called A Free Man? that speaks to Evans’ soul and yet is universal.  This disc rests on its ensemble play.  Evans can be a fascinating pianist and shows his great style at times, yet other group players, especially Sean Jones (trumpet) and JD Allen (tenor) stand tall as well.  These recordings are all live and the post-bop swing is very nice indeed.  The Night Has A Thousand Eyes features Joanna Pascale on vocals. Click here for a slice of the CD release party.

Farmers By Nature – Love And Ghosts (Aum Fidelity) : Adventurous trio featuring Gerald Cleaver (d), William Parker (b), and Craig Taborn (p) recorded in in two settings in France – Marseilles and Besancon.  Their free jazz is ranges from airy to cacophony.  This recording requires attentive listening for best appreciation.

Darius Jones & Matthew Shipp – Cosmic Lieder: The Darkseid Recital (Aum Fidelity) : This piano alto sax duo composed all nine pieces and all of the performances were recorded live.  This is free jazz and the performances are tight.  The communication between Jones and Shipp is remarkable though it can be challenging as they move into the land of tonal freedom.

Nancy Kelly – B That Way (Blue Bay) : Vocalist Kelly is a solid stylist who covers a variety of  sounds including the vocalese “Billie’s Bounce”, the bluesy “Don’t Explain”, and pop classics from Ray Noble and Johnny Mercer.  She is accompanied by Dino Lesito on B-3, Peter Bernstein (g), Jerry Weldon (tenor) and Carmen Intorre (d), all of whom support her well.  It’s almost like being at the club.

Mack Avenue SuperBand – Live From The Detroit Jazz Festival – 2013 (Mack Avenue) : The title of the disc tells most of the story.  For the second year in a row, the Mack Avenue label has invited their artists to join a “super band” to perform.  The result is highly entertaining on all counts – individual and overall group performance.  The line-up: Rodney Whitaker (b), Carl Allen (d), Aaron Diehl (p), Sean Jones (trumpet, flugelhorn), Evan Perri (g), Kirk Whalum (sax, flute), Warren Wolf (vibes, marimba) and special guest Gary Burton. Click here for a sample.

The David Ullmann 8 – Corduroy (David Ullman) : Guitarist leader Ullmann composed all of the music on this his third recording.  Group players weave together a warm sound that flows nicely. In Ullmann’s words, “… there’s a richness texturally and harmonically to this octet that helps add depth to what are generally straightforward tunes.”  The band includes Chris Dingman (vibes), Brain Drye (trombone), Kirk Knuffke (cornet), Mike McGinnis (clarinet), Vinnie Sperrazza (d), Loren Stillman (sax), and Gary Wang (b).

Ernie Watts Quartet – A Simple Truth (Flying Dolphin) : Veteran tenor player Ernie Watts puts his quartet on display on this wonderful straight ahead recording.  Watts blows with authority and style that literally flows with warmth and class.  He has played in settings as varied as Buddy Rich’s and Oliver Nelson’s Big Bands, Pat Metheny’s group, and Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra in additional to substantial studio work.  The quartet also includes Christoff Saenger (p), Rudi Engel (b), and Heinrich Koebberling (d).  An excellent set from the smooth avalanche on “Bebop” to the contemplative grace of “A Simple Truth”.

J.J. Wright – Inward Looking Outward (ropeadope) :  This is a varied set from pianist Wright who plays rhythmic jaunts as well as wistful understated ballads.  There is an almost playful sense to several of the tunes.  The trio is tight and the interplay between Wright and drummer Nate Wood is especially noteworthy.  Click here for a sample.

Blues Adds:

Kaye Bohler – Handle The Curves (Kaye Bohler Productions):  Singer Kaye Bohler wrote and sings all of songs.  The band includes producer Pete Anderson (g, b), Michael Murphy (keys), Lee Thornburg (trumpet, trombone), Ron Dzibula (sax), Jeff Sorenson and John Paul (d), and Kelly Back (g).  The songs are workmanlike, roadhouse blues.  Click here for a sample.

Morgan Davis – I Got My Own (Electro-Fi) :  Something old, something new, all of it shades of blue.  Half of this disc is newly recorded music (last year) and in addition to Davis (g, v) features Alec Fraser (b) and Mark Mariash (d) various guests like David Wilcox (g), Colin Linden (g) and Al Lerman (harp).  The remainder of the music was recorded live in 2000.  Davis is most effective on the “good time” presentations. Click here for a sample.

Bridget Kelly Band – Forever In Blues (Alpha Sun) :  Kelly sings with trio backing from Tim Fik (g), Michael Barady (d), and Mike Hamm (b).  All songs are originals and draw significant influence from Stevie Ray Vaughan, though the band and singer are far more laid back.  Nice sound and Kelly’s “lazy” vocals blend in well. Click here for a sample.

David Vest – Roadhouse Revelation (Cordova Bay) :  Leader David Vest sings, plays keyboards, and wrote all but two of the songs on this disc.  The rest of the group, The Willing Victims, are Gary Kendall (b), Teddy Leonard (g), and Mike Fitzpatrick (d).  Vest plays good boogie piano and it would be nice to hear more of it.  His voice is not strong, however, and that does detract from the performance.  The group has a club group sound where it’s not the deepest shade of blue.  Click here for an introduction.

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