Jazz / Blues Adds – 8/4/2014

Jazz / Blues Adds – 8/4/2014

Laurie Antonioli – Songs of Shadow, Songs of Light: The music of Joni Mitchell (Origin):
Antonioli is a striking vocalist whose vocals on this disc often make the listener forget that Mitchell is not the vocalist.  The setting is different from that of most of the originals, many of which come from the folksier of Mitchell’s recordings and the landscape here is jazz with few electronic flourishes. Instrumental support is solid: Matt Clark (keys), Dave MacNab (g), John Shifflett (b), Sheldon Brown (reeds).  Very nice, indeed!

Bobby Broom – My Shining Hour (Origin): Broom (g) presents a set of standards from the likes of Cole Porter and Harold Arlen and tosses in “The Jitterbug Waltz” for good measure in this striking, melodic set.  Broom’s melodic and inventive guitar breathes new life into each song.  Solid support from Dennis Carroll (b) and Makaya McCraven (d).

Sydney Claire – All Ella (Frankly Scarlet): Perfect pitch and lovely stylistic presentation largely showing Ella Fitzgerald’s influence are the hallmarks of this disc.  The supporting combo provides nice support as well.  The title really tells the story.

Collier & Dean – Sleek Buick (Origin): Tom Collier and Dan Dean bring a melodic and highly appealing set of ten originals featuring Collier on primarily on vibes and Dean on bass and a variety of other instruments.  Don Grusin adds piano and composed two of the titles.  The sound varies from joyfully infectious to dreamy.

Alex Garcia’s Afromantra – This Side Of Mestizaje (Afromantra): This group really delivers great Latin jazz!   Afromantra includes Alex Garcia (d), Ole Mathisen (soprano sax), Mike Eckroth (keys), and Ariel de la Portilla (b), each of whom gives an outstanding performance.  This group is cohesive, joyful, and full of fire.  Special notice to the powerhouse performance by Mathisen on soprano!  CHECK THIS OUT!

Gordon Lee w/ the Mel Brown Septet – Tuesday Night (OA2): This is a veteran group based in Portland, OR.  Led by drummer Mel Brown, this group has been long admired and recognized as a stellar jazz group, but never recorded until now.  What a treat!  In addition to Brown (d), the group consists of Gordon Lee (p, composer/arranger of all selections here), Derek Sims (trumpet), Renato Caranto (t sax), John Nastos (alto), Stan Bock (trombone), and Andre St. James (b).  Compositions and performances are excellent throughout.  Post and hard bop is the sound. Groovy? Yes!

Benjamin Lapidus & Kari-B3 – Ochosi Blues (Tresero): Question: What would it sound like if the conga in an organ combo was front and center and the organ was playing the bass parts and the rest of the band was playing the clave, turning the usual pattern inside out?  The answer is on this disc by a group of 15 musicians under the leadership of Benjamin Lapidus in this “Latin Soul Jazz Organ Combo”.  There is tremendous musical diversity: Ochosi Blues (tradional) to The Sweeter The Lovin’, The Darker The Roux (jumpin’ bluesy soul) to The Latin Side Of Your Mama (funky soul jazz) to Stella By Starlight (Latin pop style).  The B-3 is prominent throughout and this is a complete tour!  It is interesting and FUN!

Dino Saluzzi Group – El Valle de la Infancia (ECM): Dino Saluzzi plays the traditional bandoneon, a concertina popular in his native Argentina, on this evocative disc.  The remainder of the instrumentation includes classical guitars, tenor sax and clarinet, bass, and drums.  The result is wistful and beautiful.

Mia Doi Todd – Floresta (City Zen): Vocalist Todd takes us on a sonic tour of Brazilian music that features the guitar of Fabiano do Nacimento and occasional bass and percussion to complete the soundscape.

Andreas Varady – Andreas Varady (Verve): Varady just celebrated his 17th birthday a month ago and he is clearly a terrific guitarist.  He covers many styles from pop (Don’t Stop The Music) to rock (Come Together) and a beautiful slow version of Nuages. The setting is very pop and this young man does have chops.  Keep your ears out for him to continue his development.

Blues Adds

Benjamin Booker – Benjamin Booker (ATO):  Booker hails from NOLA and brings a high energy, in-your-face rock sound featuring his guitar, supported by bass and drums with occasional keyboards.  He cites his influences as The Gun Club, Blind Willie Johnson, and T-Rex and I hear a close connection to Dan Auerbach’s (The Black Keys) more intense work.

Fathead – Fatter Than Ever (Electro-Fi): Fathead is a “good times” blues band, a party band. This release contains fifteen originals: some humorous, some positive philosophizing, and some  party songs.  Living Blues calls them a reliable source of organic, good time commentary on all the follies of human nature.”

Mud Morganfield & Kim Wilson – For Pops – A Tribute to Muddy Waters (Severn): Mud Morganfield certainly sounds like a young version of his father. There’s not quite as much authority in his voice, but he is on sacred ground. So how does one do a fitting tribute when recording an entire disc covering one of the greatest and most distinctive bluesicians ever? How about having Kim Wilson (harp), Billy Flynn (g), Rusty Zinn (g), Barrelhouse Chuck (p), Steve Gomes (b), and Robb Stupka (d)?  The only way to beat this disc is to have the originals.

Jimmy Thackery & The Drivers – Wide Open (White River): Twelve new originals from Thackery with bass and drums in support of his voice and guitar.  Great variety of styles and wonderful guitar!  Jimmy’s voice shows the mileage, but this man knows the key to great blues is the space between the notes. He does still rock as well.  There is enough good stuff here to make Wednesday feel like Saturday.  Check it out.

More Recent Posts

  • The Most Comprehensive Halloween Playlist You Will Ever Need

    Compiled by WTJX DJs, this 6+ hour long playlist is absolutely terrifying. Hosting a Halloween party? Want to expose your neighborhood’s trick-or-treaters to some excellent music? The student DJs of WTJX have done the heavy lifting for you. Just hit play and enjoy.  

  • Tippett Quartet perform Two Polish Masters

    The Tippet Quartet is a young ensemble that continues to explore the under-recorded portions of the string quartet repertoire. I enjoyed their Naxos recording of Miklos Rozsa’s music, and I enjoyed this release — albeit for different reasons. On paper, Andrzej Panufnik and Witold Lutoslawski may seem like a good match. Both composers are from […]

  • October 31st: It’s not just Halloween!

    This Friday, there are three special days in one and we’ll celebrate them all on Vivace. Of course, it’s Halloween, and we’ll enjoy the Symphonie Fantastique in the first hour.  After that, we’ll focus on the other two special days: All Saints’ Eve and Reformation Day.   At about 7:15 am, we’ll hear the beautiful […]

  • 2014-15 Orchestra Season by the Numbers

    The Baltimore Symphony’s blog released an amazing infographic by Rachel Upton and Ricky O’Bannon that quantifies the 2014-15 season for 21 major symphony orchestras. It’s well-worth exploring.  It shows a little more diversity than one may assume — almost 10% of the music performed was written after 2000. That’s pretty significant, though 1886 remains the […]

  • WTJU has adapted “War of the Worlds” for modern-day Charlottesville. You’re welcome.

    This year, enjoy a special Halloween treat courtesy of WTJU: an adaptation of the original 1938 CBS radio broadcast of “The War of the Worlds,” by Orson Welles and the Mercury Theater. The original CBS production was realistic, using a news-bulletin format that was reported to have frightened listeners who believed it was a real […]

  • New Blues, Soul and Gospel Adds – 10/28/2014

    New Blues News – 10/28/2014 Blues Adds: Altered Five Blues Band – Cryin’ Mercy (Omnivibe):  Polished blues and soul band from the midwest with Jeff Taylor, whose sand paper edged vocals give a nice edge to a style that sounds like a blend of Jimmy Witherspoon and BB King without the shout.  The band features […]