New Jazz Adds – 1/4/2016

New Jazz Adds – 1/4/2016

Stephen Anderson & The 360 Degree Jazz Initiative – Distracted Society (Summit): Pianist / composer Anderson leads this octet which includes Jim Ketch (trumpet, flugelhorn), John Parker (trumpet), Dave Finucane (tenor sax), Scott Swayer (guitar), Juan Alamo (vibes, marimba, percussion), Jason Foureman (bass) and Dan Davis (drums) on nine original compositions (six by Anderson, two by Finucane, and one by Ketch). Anderson who is a member of the UNC music department who describes the mission of this ensemble as drawing from the music of both the past and present, while making room for band’s musicians’ own composing and performing creativity. The music here swings in a melodic blend that is fresh and quite accessible.  Click here to listen to the title tune.

Terry Bartolotta Group – Slow Burn (Self-produced): Guitarist Bartolotta composed all but two songs on this set and he has pulled together a group that plays well as an ensemble and includes other great soloists, especially tenor sax player Alex Beltran. The remaining members of the group are James Davis (trumpet),who also does some nice solos, Joel Kelsey (bass), and Lucas Gillan (drums). The style is basically “post-bop” and, in addition to his soloing, Bartolotta lays down some great chords. Jazz guitar fans will definitely want to check this out – it is solid!  Click here for an introduction to this disc by Terry Bartolotta. 

Big Picture Holiday – Shimmer And Melt (ropeadope): A funky, jazz fusion band led by Avram Fefer (saxes, bass clarinet, alto flute), Kenny Wessel and David Phelps (electric guitar), Alexis Marcelo (wulitzer, rhodes), Jason DiMatteo (electric bass), Chris Eddleton (drums) with Todd Isler (percussion) on a few tracks presenting eight original compositions by Fefer. This group cuts a mesmerizing groove that draws the listener in and promotes joyful swing. Click here to listen to opening track on this cd and get ready to swing and groove!

Tia Brazda – Bandshell (MAPL): With a voice somewhat reminiscent of young Esther Phillips, a zest for pop and swing, and fresh composing and lyric-writing skills, it seems that Tia Brazda could lead a revitalization of a new swing style. She has a doll baby voice and cabaret style that recall Ingrid Lucia (Flying Neutrinos) or Katharine Whalen (Squirrel Nut Zippers). Instrumental support is provided by Mike Freedman (guitar), Chris Graham (piano, guitar, organ), Chris Gale and Anthony Rinaldi (saxes), William Sperandei (trumpet), William Carn (trombone),Marc Rogers or Connor Walsh (bass) and Mark McLean or Roger Travassos (drums). Click here to hear samples of songs on this disc.

Will Caviness Sextet – A Walk (Cellar Live): Trumpet and flugelhorn player Caviness has a deep love for the jazz styles of the late 50’s to the early 60’s as  related by Miles Davis, Art Blakey, Cannonball Adderley and Horace Silver and composed five of the seven songs here in the style of those groups. He also pulled together a band that honor the composition of those named above: Benjamin Drazen (alto), Sam Dillon (tenor), Jeb Patton (piano), Will Slater (bass), and Pete van Nostrand (drums).  The music swings in the cool jazz vein and with plenty of fine soloing. Click here to listen to the title song.

Scott Clark 4tet – Bury My Heart (Clean Feed): Richmond drummer/composer Scott Clark has crafted a challenging sonic setting for the 4tet and the listener in this original tribute to the book Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee and the horrid reality of the war that resulted in so many deaths and the ultimate internment of surviving Native Americans. The disc also seeks to honor the resilience and determination on the part of the survivors and succeeding generations to maintain their culture. The remainder of the group includes Cameron Ralston (bass and co-composer of the song “Wounded Knee”), Jason Scott (sax), Bob Miller (trumpet) with guest appearances by JC Kuhl (bass clarinet) and Bryan Hooten (trombone).  Click here to listen to an interview and music from this disc.

Daniel Dickinson – A Gathering Foretold (Self-produced):  This is saxman Dickinson’s debut recording as a leader and it doesn’t take long into the opening cut before it is quite clear he is ready. He is also accompanied by a solid group, including Mercedes Beckman (bari sax), Mike Dease (trombone), Alphonso Horne (trumpet), Barry Greene (guitar), Juan Rollan (tenor sax), Joshua Bowlus replaced by Christian Sands on one song (piano), Reuben Rogers (bass), and U.O. (drums). The players really blend wonderfully in this post-bop setting ranging from standards like “Darn This Dream” to originals like “Noumenal World”. Click here to listen to an earlier version of this song on this disc. 

Frank Kohl Quartet – Invisible Man (Pony Boy): This is the third release by the Frank Kohl Quartet and the jazz is cool and melodic. Kohl’s guitar typically glides over the backing provided by Steve LaSpina (bass), Tom Kohl (piano) and Jon Doty (drums). Five of the eight songs are originals. The covers are “My Funny Valentine”, “My One And Only Love”, and “Alone Together” and the combined whole travels quite cohesively from start to finish. Smooth and swinging. Click here and scroll down to sample songs on this disc.  

New York Electric Piano – Black Hole In One (Buffalo Puppy): Nine original compositions by vocalist/keyboard player Pat Daugherty supported by Aaron Comess (drums) and Richard Hammond (bass). Half of the songs are vocals and the rest are instrumentals. The style is rather light jazzy funk. The lyrics have an “AAAAAAAA….” rhyme scheme with some interesting images or ideas.  Click here to listen to samples.

Ron Sunshine – Bring It Home (Rondette Jazz): Veteran singer/harmonica player Sunshine presents seven original and three covers of old R&B songs with a decidedly jazz inflection, quite reminiscent of Duke Robillard’s first Roomful Of Blues recording. The horns — Matt Hong (alto sax), Dan Block (tenor), Carl Maraghi (bari sax), Brian Pareschi (trumpet), and Wayne Goodman (trombone) — absolutely seal the deal. Matt Ray and Kenny Ascher take turns on piano and Neal Caine (bass) and Jason Pharr (drums) are a solid rhythm section. Sunshine’s vocals and harmonica are also first rate throughout. Lots of swing, great soulful emotion and big city blues with just enough jazz to take you right uptown. Click here to listen to the opening song.  

Dan Trudell – Plays The Piano (Self-produced): Known primarily as one of the elite jazz organists, Trudell also leads this trio with which he demonstrates his amazing skill on piano. In addition, he holds the piano chair in the Chicago Jazz Orchestra which is a nationally renowned for its concert series and annual performance at the Kennedy Center Honors Awards. His style was influenced by Ahmad Jamal, McCoy Tyner, and Red Garland. The trio is completed by Matt Wilson on drums and Joe Sanders on bass.  Both the individual and ensemble performances are amazing.  Covers range from Harold Arlen’s “Old Black Magic” and Ellington’s “I Let A Song Out Of My Heart” to Horace Silver’s “Soulville” and Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely” and there are two Trudell originals.  Click here to listen to samples from this disc. 

Ben Winkelman Trio – The Knife (OA2): Jazz composer/pianist Winkelman has been composing and performing jazz for nearly two decades, first in his native Australia and more recently in New York where he teaches and earned his Masters of Music from SUNY.  His influences are quite varied, including Afro-Cuban and Brazilian music, stride piano and early 20th century classical music.  He composed all of the material on this disc.  The trio also includes Sam Anning (bass) and Eric Doob (drums). This release has lots of variety and the ensemble’s interplay flows dynamically throughout.  Click here to listen to the opening song on this disc (Remolacha).  



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