New Jazz Adds – 10/6/2016
AGNZ – Chance Meeting (Whaling City Sound): Four veteran jazz musicians – Jay Azzolina (guitar), Dino Govoni (tenor sax), Adam Nussbaum (drums) and Dave Zinno (bass) – whose paths crossed over recent years release their first disc as a group and the results are quite compelling. The disc features all original compositions and the performance is sharp flows with feeling. In addition to terrific ensemble playing, the interaction between Azzolina and Govoni is so sharp and the rhythm section so in tune that you would expect they have played together for years. The music itself jumps and swings offering a nice span of upbeat styles. I regret I am unable to find any samples from this disc.
Till Bronner – The Good Life (Okeh): Breathy voice and trumpet style distantly reminiscent of Chet Baker. Till Bronner present classics like “The Good Life”, “For All We Know” and “I’ll Be Seeing You”. His musical support is provided by Anthony Wilson (guitar), Larry Goldings (piano), John Clayton (bass), and Jeff Hamilton (drums). Th case label describes the playlist as “music for peaceful moments” and that hits the nail on the head. Click here to listen to the title track.
Don Cherry – Where Is Brooklyn? (Blue Note): This is a 1966 session featuring Don Cherry (cornet), Pharoah Sanders (tenor sax, piccolo), Henry Grimes (bass), and Ed Blackwell (drums). The music is quite suggestive of the raid start and go of traffic in the city and all band members are part of the hustle and bustle. It’s far from the most outside work Cherry ever recorded, but it is an aural soundscape that demands cerebral attention. Click here and scroll down to listen to samples from this disc.
Bill Cunliff – Playground Swing (Metro): Jazz versions of children’s songs or songs often associated with children. Pianist Bill Cunliff does refashion them, but they are always recognizable and often clever. Songs range from “The Wheels On The Bus” and “This Old Man” to “Over The Rainbow” and “Whistle While You Work”. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Kat Gang – Love & The Lack Thereof (Self-produced): Vocalist Kat Gang has a terrific tone and a four octave range. She can stylize her performances to suit a variety of songs. She scats through Arlen and Mercer’s “My Shining Hour”, floats through numerous classics by Schwartz and Harburg, Rodgers and Hart, and some more recent songs like Smokey Robinson’s “You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me”. On top of that, her two originals are highlights. Instrumental support i provided by Mike Renzi (piano), Jay Leonhard (bass), Buddy Williams (drums), Harry Allen (sax), and Warren Vache (flugelhorn). This disc appears to be her third solo release. Click here to listen to the title song.
Behn Gillece – Dare To Be (Positone): Vibraphonist Behn Gillece has been based in NYC for the past decade and this disc is his sixth release. All but one song on this set is an original composition and lively swing is the core style. Gillece is supported by Nate Radley (guitar), Ugonna Okegwo (bass), Jason Tiemann (drums) and Bruce Harris (trumpet). Nate Radley’s guitar interactions with Gillece’s vibes is especially noteworthy. A nice mix of swing and subtle ballads. Click here to listen to the title song.
Joe Henderson – Inner Urge (Blue Note): Here’s a 1964 session featuring Joe Henderson (tenor sax) with McCoy Tyner (piano), Bob Cranshaw (bass) and Elvin Jones (drums). At this time, Henderson was a member of Horace Silver’s group, Tyner and Jones were with Coltrane and Crenshaw filled the bass spot for Sonny Rollins. Three songs were composed by Henderson, one by Duke Pearson with Cole Porter’s “Night And Day” closes the disc. Enough said. This is a classic! Click here and scroll down to listen to samples from this disc.
Andrew Hill – Smokestack (Blue Note): This is a remastered 1963 session featuring Andrew Hill (piano), Richard Davis and Eddie Kahn (basses) and Roy Haynes (drums) that also features three alternate takes. All selections are compositions by Hill. Hill’s style was certainly his own, at once melodic yet always on or crossing over the border of avant garde. Click here to listen to the title song on this disc.
Jutta Hipp – …With Zoot Sims (Blue Note): German pianist Jutta Hipp joined forces with Zoot Sims (tenor sax) for this 1956 session. Hipp brought along bandmate Ed Thigpen (drums) and Sims brought trumpeter Jerry Lloyd and bassist Ahmed Abdul-Malik. Beyond the rhythm section, Sims clearly was and is the most interesting of the players and it is his extended solos that carry the date. These are mostly the extended bop tunes as well. The disc includes two unissued tracks as well: “These Foolish Things” and “’S Wonderful” and the latter bops quite well. Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the original release.
Bobby Hutcherson – Happenings (Blue Note): Here’s a hot session from 1966: Bobby Hutchinson (vibes, marimba) with Herbie Hancock (piano), Bob Crenshaw (bass) and Joe Chambers (drums)! With the exception of Hancock’s “Maiden Voyage”, everything else was composed by Hutcherson. The combination of players works magnificently on this disc and Hutcherson is able to extend his various styles and tones with abandon. Of course, Hancock gets solo time as well and his rhythmic support for the leader is one major key to the success of the recording. It was Hutcherson’s first recording as a leader and what a beginning! Terrific play by the entire ensemble and a terrific date for Hutcherson and Hancock. Click here and scroll down to listen to samples from this disc.
Rale Micic – Night Music (Whaling City Sound): Composer / guitarist Micic’s music is being described as chamber jazz and it does certainly sound as if it might be an electric cousin of that form. Micic was inspired to compose his eight original works to accompany and update works by Bela Bartok, three of whose compositions are also included here. The other members of the group are Corcoran Holt (bass), Johnathan Blake (drums) and Danny Grissett (piano). The music is often delicate, while taking occasional flights of fancy straight down jazz boulevard. Fans of jazz guitar and ECM – style recordings will no doubt enjoy this disc quite a bit. Click here to listen to the title song.
Robert Miller’s Project Grand Slam – The Queen’s Carnival (Self-produced): Project Grand Slam is today’s extension of the fusion bands from the 70s and beyond. Formed and led by bassist / composer Miller, the band also features Marcello Casagrande (keyboards), Mario Castro (sax), Joel E. Mateo (drums, percussion) and Yasser Tejeda (guitar). The band is tight throughout. There is a Latin influence in much of the music, giving this disc its own personality. All but one song was written by members of the band and that song is an interesting jazz/funk/soul version of the Kinks “You Really Got Me” with a nice vocal cameo by Lucy Woodward. Click here and scroll down to listen to the songs on this disc.
Catherine Russell – Harlem On My Mind (Jazz Village): “Catherine Russell is a native New Yorker, born into musical royalty. Her father, the late Luis Russell, was … a legendary pianist/bandleader/arranger/composer… and Louis Armstrong’s long-time collaborator and musical director. Her mother, Carline Ray, was a pioneering bassist/guitarist/vocalist and holder of advanced degrees from Juilliard and Manhattan School of Music, who performed with International Sweethearts of Rhythm, Mary Lou Williams, and Ruth Brown.” (web page) This disc includes a wonderful selection of songs most often associated with Harlem’s heyday including Irving Berlin’s “Harlem On My Mind”, Clarence Williams-Walter Bishop-Lewis Raymond’s “Swing! Brother, Swing!” and Clarence Williams and Eddie Green’s “You’ve Got The Right Key But The Wrong Keyhole”. Backing musicians include Matt Munisheri (guitar, banjo), Mark Shane (piano), Tal Ronen (bass), Mark McLean (drums) and various guest horn players. The ambiance is what one would expect in a older jazz cafe or a stage show. Solid vocals also sell these songs most effectively. Click here to listen to a song on this disc.
The Tierney Sutton Band – The Sting Variations (BFM Jazz): Vocalist Tierney Sutton and musical partners Kevin Axt (bass), Ray Brinker (drums, percussion), Trey Henry (bass) and Christian Jacob (piano) offer their tenth release of thematic or tributes to various musicians. This one is obviously of the latter sort and it is an infectious collection. All of the songs were composed by Sting, with a few medleys from Miles Davis. The performances are compelling and quite well done. Click here to listen to songs on this disc. This is an interesting release as the arrangements and performances are very close to the originals, but there is a different kind of intensity or perhaps immediacy here that makes this far more than a simple copy disc. I’d suggest listening to it. Click here to listen.
Danielle Talamantes & Henry Dehlinger – Heaven And Earth: A Duke Ellington Songbook (MSR Jazz): “Soprano Danielle Talamantes is an international recitalist who made her Carnegie Hall debut in a sold-out solo recital in 2007. Since then, she has sung as soprano soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Choralis, Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler in Berlin, Nashville Symphony, National Philharmonic Chorale & Orchestra, Oratorio Society of Virginia, Seoul Philharmonic, Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, Trujillo Symphony Orchestra of Peru, and The United States Army Chorus.” (website) You obviously get the message, so let’s move on to the music: the Duke Ellington songbook. Pianist Henry Dehlinger has his own significant vitae as well. The only question you’ll need to answer is how well the styles match. Click here and scroll down until you see “I’m Beginning To See The Light”. Click that arrow to listen to a performance of this song from the disc.