New Jazz Adds – 3/20/2017
The CCM Jazz Orchestra – As James Bond – Nobody Does It Better (Summit): The CCM Jazz Orchestra is a college group under the direction of professor Steve Belck. Tasked with creating a project for the group, Belck grabbed the idea of bringing in a visiting composer/director/trumpeter to play and support the group with their own compositions. Having contacted Steven Bernstein leader of the “Sex Mob” who was also intrigued by the idea, this disc was born. Big band James Bond music mixed with some outside compositions like “Dr. Yes” (Bernstein) and Marvin Hamlisch and Carol Bayer Sager’s “Nobody Does It Better” is the end result. It is big time James Bond music with a double punch. Ever wonder what James Bond would be like if he were a jazz orchestra? Click here to listen to some samples.
Chaise Lounge – The Lock & The Key (Modern Songbook): Chaise Lounge is the group headed by Charlie Barnett (guitar, piano, banjo, vocals). He composed most of the songs here, including lyrics, with the exception of “The Sweet Ride Home” (lyrics by Marilyn Older), “My Baby Just Cares For Me” (Walter Donaldson, music and Gus Kahn, lyrics) and “It Had Better Be Tonight” (Henry Mancini, Johnny Mercer and Franco Migliacci). Marilyn Older handles the vocals and is supported by Tommy Barrick (drums), Gary Grehh (sax, clarinet), Joe Jackson (trombone), and Pete Ostle (bass, bass guitar). The overall approach is lounge music. So lighten up and have some fun. Click here to listen to samples from this disc.
Rick Cutler – Daydreams (Probably) (New Dude): Rick Cutler presents an unusual program. It’s mostly a solo performance with Cutler playing piano, Rhodes, drums, soprano sax and other keyboards and Branch McKenzie and Charlottes Durkee handling vocals on one song each. There is a variety of interludes between some performances, several of which are drum solos. There’s an odd flow to the program until you get used to it. I have selected an overview of short samples rather than a particular track so that you can get a better sense of the overall program. Click here and select “review all songs” to check this one out.
Ken Fowser – Now Hear This! (Posi-Tone): Having been a player and performer in NY for more than a decade, this is tenor sax player / composer Ken Fowser’s second release as a solo leader. He composed all of the songs on this disc and leads a group featuring Josh Bruneau (trumpet, flugelhorn), Rick Germanson (piano), Paul Gill (bass), and Jason Tiemann (drums). The style is post bop and Fowser and the group compliment each other well. Click here to listen to the opening song on this disc.
Bill Hart – Touch Of Blue (Blue Canoe): This is guitarist Bill Hart’s fifth release. He composed all of the songs, seeking to create a “bluesy feel, without necessarily being a straight-ahead blues record.” (liner notes) At the same time, there are elements of fusion, but the main thrust makes this disc more of an instrumental rock program with a blues and jazz “feel”. Hart is backed up by Enrico Galetta and Gary Wilkins (trading off on bass), Pat Stawser (keys), Juangui Aguayo (drums), and Ahsa Ahla (percussion). Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Mike Longo Trio – Only Time Will Tell (CAP): Veteran jazz pianist Mike Longo offers four originals and nine revisitations of jazz gems written by Monk, Dizzy, and Oscar Pettiford, among others. Longo mentions in the liner notes a bit of wisdom he heard many years back: “Do not copy the masters, seek rather what they sought.” He follows that maxim here. Longo is supported by bassist Paul West and drummer Lewis Nash and the result is quite wonderful. The interaction is terrific and Longo has sought to honor the masters without simply copying them. Highly recommended. Click here to listen to samples of the titles on this disc.
Doug MacDonald – Presents A Salute To The Jazz Composers: Jazz Marathon 2 (Blujazz): This salute is quite a regal set. First of all, the honored composers are Tadd Dameron, Thelonious Monk, Horace Silver, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Clifford Brown, Duke Ellington, Blue Mitchell, Benny Golson, Frank Foster, and Sonny Rollins. They even slipped in one by the organizer Doug MacDonald! The players are Doug MacDonald (guitar), Lanny Morgan (alto sax), Pete Christleib and Ricky Woodard (tenor sax), Carl Saunders and Bob Summers (trumpet), Linda Small (trombone), John Campbell and Josh Nelson (piano), Jim Hughart and John B. Williams (bass), and Paul Kreibich and Roy McCurdy (drums). There is some switching around as the show progresses. The performance is entirely live and everybody is right on the spot! It’s a great concert! Click here to listen to samples of the songs in this performance.
The Mark Masters Ensemble – Blue Skylight (Capri): Composer, and in this case, arranger Mark Masters has put together a program of songs composed by Charles Mingus and Gerry Mulligan and selected the players in the Mark Masters Ensemble to make the music soar. There are several comparisons of the two featured composers, tying them together as having similar attitudes about improvisation and its place when performing written music. They shared an eloquence in style, a love of the blues and a similar sense of humor. Five of the eleven songs here were written by Mingus and the remaining six by Mulligan. The players include Gary Foster (alto sax), Jerry Pinter (tenor, soprano sax), Ed Coach (piano), Putter Smith (bass) and Kendall Kay (drums) with Ron Stout (trumpet) and Les Benedict (trombone) on the Mingus compositions and Gene Cipriano (tenor sax) and Adam Schroeder (bari sax) playing on the Mulligan tracks. The performance is solid throughout. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
The Milwaukee Jazz Orchestra – Welcome To Swingsville (bluJazz): Here’s a group on a mission: let’s take some old jazz and pop songs and make them swing, really swing! The Milwaukee Jazz Orchestra make their listeners believers right from the beginning: “After You’ve Gone” composed by Turner Layton in 1918! It does absolutely swing! They also take on Broadway and turn Charlie Parker and Gil Evans’ “Blues In C” into a funky groove. The bottom line is one can swing in a lot of ways and even some of the old jazz is alive and well. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Carol Morgan Quartet – Post Cool, Vol. 1 (Self-produced): Trumpet player Carol Morgan, a graduate of Juilliard, then a teacher, and finally returned to NYC to establish herself as a bonafide jazz player. Having had the good fortune to sit in with tenor sax player Joel Frahm on a number of occasions, Morgan asked him if he would play on her fourth session. He joined her along with Martin Wind (bass) and Matt Wilson (drums), whom he had recommended to her to fill out the ensemble. It worked out well and so the group is back together on this disc. The disc is mostly covers, though Morgan contributed an original as did Frahm. The interaction is quite interesting, including a point during “A Night In Tunisia” when drummer Wilson actually carries the melody! The remaining songs include Horace Silver’s “Strollin’”, Tadd Dameron’s “On A Misty Night” and “Autumn Leaves”. The group’s style is smooth and well coordinated, but has a uniquely percussive connection. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Virginia Schenck – Aminata Moseka: An Abbey Lincoln Tribute (Airborne Ecstasy): Vocalist Virginia Schenck offers her tribute to Abbey Lincoln, honoring Lincoln’s art without simply mimicking her original versions. She recounts in the liner notes an incident early in Lincoln’s career when she was advised by Thelonious Monk “Don’t be so perfect”. Lincoln felt this advice allowed her to expand her expression and therefore her art. Schenck has attempted to follow the same advice by not copying or trying to duplicate Lincoln’s original performances, but rather by expressing her own art in honor of Lincoln’s art. Schenck is accompanied by Kevin Bates (piano), Rodney Jordan (bass), Marlon Patton (drums, percussion), and Kebbi Williams (alto sax). Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Luke Sellick – Alchemist (Cellar Live): Bassist Luke Sellick offers nine originals on this disc which were cut at two different sessions. Musicians on both were Adam Birnbaum (piano) and Andrew Renfroe (guitar). Additional musicians for session one were Jordan Pettay (alto sax), Benny Benack III (trumpet), and Jimmy MacBride (drums), with Mat Jodrell (trumpet on one cut), Kush Abadey (drums on one) and Andrew Gutauskas (bass clarinet on one). Additions on session two are Jimmy Greene (tenor sax), Kush Abadey (drums) and Mat Jodrell (trumpet on one). The material is mostly swinging, straight ahead jazz. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.