New Jazz Adds – 3/7/2018
4S’D : Sears, Scott, Swann & Stanley – Man Or Muffin (Hobert): “The birth of the 4S’D ensemble came to be in a round about way. In June of 2008 Thomas Scott started writing Big Band compositions for The Muffins. Thomas judged all of the early compositions as unusable, however, in August of 2008 he finished a composition titled 2319 that encompassed his ‘Muffin sensibilities’ and Big Band background (Thomas had spent a good part of his formative years playing in Big Bands). 2319 was good enough to move forward to recording. By August of 2009 Thomas had about 9 compositions complete and had introduced the idea to the band members, of The Muffins doing a Big Band CD. ‘Palindrome’ was complete and scheduled for 2010 release and the band was gearing up to record ‘Mother Tongue’. As time became available, Dave Newhouse started compositions for the Big Band CD and by the end of 2012 recording for the Big Band CD was underway. Mark Stanley was asked and accepted an invitation to handle the guitar parts. It appeared as though clear sailing was ahead, but as happen stance would have it ‘change was in the air’. Paul Sears moved to Arizona, slowing recording progress considerably, the band had always created rhythm tracks as a unit and long distance recording was new and going to be problematic. The partial recordings from Dave’s studio and Thomas’s studio were combined and the result lacked a unified sound and intent. By March of 2015 it was obvious that Dave and Thomas had reached a point where, as friends for life, their musical efforts together were complete. Billy Swann, Paul Sears, Mark Stanley & Thomas F Scott decided to continue on with the project. Thomas wrote more compositions and the next two years served to resolve the long distance recording issues (this was accomplished through a herculean effort on the part of each band member to interpret and record parts in their respective home studios) and produced what had been envisioned by Thomas nearly a decade earlier.” The players are: Thomas F Scott (horns, keyboards, vocals);
Billy Swann (bass); Paul Sears (drums); Mark Stanley (guitar, bass); and the 4S’d-ettes (Ena Scott, Tara Scott, Dawn Scott & Susan Scott).” (http://www.4sd.biz/about-the-band.html) The music is highly reminiscent of Frank Zappa’s work. The group mostly created and recorded this disc in their home base in Madison, VA. This appears to be their sixth release. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Kevin Connor & Swing 3po – Doin’ The New Lowdown (Self-produced): Connor and company invite you to cut a rug while they share some steppin’ music. It swings, but you won’t have to jitterbug too hard. If you don’t care to dance, you can certainly tap your toes in your seat. It is all so mellow-roonie. Kevin Connor (guitar, banjo, vocals) is the leader and composed half of the songs on offer, including “The Shape Song”, “Ice Cream Headache” and “A Good Reuben”. Other band members are Taylor Kent (bass), Jo Jo Mascorella and Mike Daughtery (alternating on drums and vocals), Lamar Lofton (bass, vocals), David Loomis (trombone), and guest David Lange playing celeste on one song. At its best, the group is a blast. Sometimes they’re a bit mellow, but sometimes that can be just fine – twenty-three skidoo, even! Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Ori Dagan – Nathaniel: A Tribute To Nat King Cole (MALP): Canadian singer/songwriter/pianist Ori Dagan was inspired to record this set when he was introduced to the early recordings of Nat King Cole and was swept away by Cole’s jive and style. Dagan composed or co-wrote five songs on this set that capture that style and spirit and he also performs songs written or performed by Cole. Backing musicians include pianist Mark Kieswetter, guitarist Nathan Hiltz and bassist Ross MacIntyre recreating Cole’s trio, and cameos by Jane Bunnett (sax, flute), Alex Pangman (vocal) and special guest Sheila Jordan who scats away on “Straighten Up and Fly Right”. Dagan is an unusual performer whose vocals are nowhere near the smoothness of Cole’s, but he can scat just fine! Click here to listen to a song from this disc.
The Diva Jazz Orchestra – 25th Anniversary Project (ArtistShare): The Diva Jazz Orchestra is celebrating their 25th anniversary with their sixteenth release, which includes ten original pieces composed by various members of the group. Sherrie Maricle is the music director and drummer and the rest of the band members are Tomoko Ohno (piano); Noriko Ueda (piano); Jami Dauber, Liesl Whitaker, Barbara Laronga and Rachel Therrien (trumpets, flugelhorns); Jennifer Krupa and Sara Jacovino (trombones); Leslie Havens (bass trombone); Alexa Tarantino (alto, soprano sax); Mercedes Beckman (alto sax, flute, clarinet); Janelle Reichman (tenor sax, clarinet); Erica Von Kleist (tenor sax); and Leigh Pilzer (bari sax, bass clarinet). Ths is a straight ahead jazz performance in the large band style and their classic blend is quite fine. Click here and then click on song titles to hear a sample of each song on this disc.
Sergio Galvao, Lupa Santiago, Clement Landais, Franck Enouf – 2X2 (Origin): Two highly respected Brazilian composer/players, saxophonist Sergio Galvao and guitarist Lupa Santiago, offer their second joint venture which features all original material. Galvao composed four songs, Santiago three, and bassist Clement Landais two. Drummer Franck Enouf completes the group. The music is a nice blend of jazz with Latin influences and the performance flows very nicely throughout. Often the songs insinuate their flow into listeners’ consciousness. Click here to listen to samples of the first two songs on this disc.
Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio – Close But No Cigar (Colemine): Organist Delvon Lamarr and band are a West Coast trio from Seattle. Lamarr is accompanied by Jimmy James (guitar) and David McGraw (drums) on a setlist that combines originals with some oldies like “Memphis”, “Can I Change My Mind” and “Walk On By”. The performance is very pleasant and rather laid back. “Close But No Cigar” is the title song, but obviously they were more than close. This is a straight ahead set with a nice sound. There’s no significant funk on the disc, but there is a nice laid back jazzy set. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Ira B. Liss Big Band Jazz Machine – Tasty Tunes (Tallman): This is this West Coast big band’s fifth disc since their debut in 1994. Their program on the current disc is quite varied as well as interesting: standards like “You Don’t Know What Love Is”, Woody Herman’s “Early Autumn”, Rodgers and Hart’s “I Didn’t Know What Time It Was” and “Over The Rainbow” on one end and more recent songs like guest musician Bob Mintzer’s “When The Lady Dances”, Sonny Rollins’ “Oleo”, guest Dean Brown’s “Recon”, and Dave Grusin’s “Mountain Dance”. They even made room for Eden Ahbez’ “Nature Boy”. The band itself includes Tyler Richardson, Malcom Jones, David Castel De Oro, Greg Armstrong, Ross Rizzo Jr. (saxophones); Gary Bucher, David Barnard, Carly Ines, Tim Hall (trombones); Randy “All World” Aviles, Mark Nicholson, Jeff Beck, Collin Reichow, Peter Green (trumpets); Steve Sibley (piano); Lance Jeppesen (bass); Alex Ciavarelli (guitar); Charlie McGhee (drums); Mark Lamson (percussion) and Janet Hammer (vocals). Eric Marienthal also guests on sax. The wide array of material makes this a rather unique performance. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Andrew Neu – Catwalk (CGI): “…well respected throughout the industry for his work as a saxophonist, woodwind player, arranger, composer, educator and recording artist…and touring the world with Bobby Caldwell, Diane Schuur and Smokey Robinson, Neu has shared the stage with Elton John, Patti Labelle, Mellissa Manchester, Mel Torme, Joey DeFrancesco, The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Philly Pops, The Four Tops, and The Temptations among others. He has recorded with Sister Sledge, Manhattan Transfer, David Sanborn, Gerald Veasley, Jeff Lorber….” (liner notes) Andrew Neu has released four small group jazz discs in the past and now offers his first big band recording as a leader. He composed or co-wrote eight of the eleven songs on offer. His band includes Jeff Driskell (lead alto), Dan Kaneyuki (alto sax), Vince Trombetta (tenor), Ken Fisher (bari sax), Anthony Bonser (lead trumpet), Jeff Jarvis, Jamie Hovorka and Mike Stever (trumpets), Andrew Lippman, Paul Young, Charlie Morillas and Dave Ryan (trombone), Steve Hughes (bass trombone), Andy Langham (piano), Matt Hornbeck (guitar), David Hughes (bass), Jamey Tate (drums), Craig Fundyga (vibes) and Stephanie O’Keefe (horn). Special guests include Bob Mintzer, Randy Brecker, Gordon Goodwin, Wayne Bergeron, Rick Braun, Brian Bromberg and Eric Marienthal. The sound is full and a great mix of jazz, R&B and Latin and it has great swagger when needed. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Shakers n’ Bakers – Heart Love (Little Music): Jeff Lederer (tenor sax, flute) leads the Shakers n’ Bakers in their third release, once again aiming to demonstrate the connection between Albert Ayler’s works like “New Grass” and the free expression of the Shaker religious group, both of whom spoke “to the power of revelation of the divine through human expression….” (liner notes) The songs range from an original Shaker text from the mid-19th century, “Message From Mother Ann”, to several traditional songs, including “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” and “Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen” and several originals composed by Albert Ayler and Mary Parks. This is a striking and thought-provoking disc and can be difficult listening at times. It can also be quite rewarding. Musicians on this performance are Mary LaRose and Miles Griffith (vocals), Jamie Saft (piano, organ, electric harpsichord), Chris Lightcap (bass), Allison Miller (drums), Steven Bernstein (trumpet, slide trumpet), Kirk Knuffke (cornet), Joe Fiedler (trombone) and Lisa Parrott (bari sax). Special guests include Matt Wilson (drums) and Amy Cervini, Mary LaRose, Melissa Stylliano, Toni Seawright and Chelsea McClauren of the “Heart Love Singers”. Click here to listen to the title song.
Dan Siegel – Origins (Seal Stone): Veteran keyboard player Dan Siegel has 21 releases to his credit and has also done session work for television and film. His style was originally labelled as easy listening and now is classified as contemporary. He composed all of the songs on this disc and is supported by Allen Hinds (electric guitar), Ramon Stagnaro (acoustic guitar), Craig Fundyga (vibes), Rogerio Jardim (vocal), Brian Bromberg (bass), Vinnie Colaiuta (drums) and Lenny Castro (percussion). The style is somewhat varied but is mostly straightforward and quite mellow. Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Nancy Smith – My Serenades (Self-produced): Nancy Smith is a songwriter who composed and produced all of the songs on this disc. The singer is Tammi Brown and she is accompanied by Murray Low (keys), Deszon Claiborne (drums), Bryan Dyer (percussion, vocals), Sam Bevan (bass), and Colin Douglas (percussion). Sylvester Burk adds piano and organ on the last track. The music is straightforward jazzy material. Smith has a very pleasant club style voice and the combo supports her nicely throughout the program. The lyrics’ focus is mostly on love and reflections on relationships. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Gus Spenos – It’s Lovin’ I Guarantee (Self-produced): Here’s a vintage style large band sound reminiscent of the 40’s and 50’s and more recently Duke Robillard or Roomful Of Blues. Spenos sounds a bit more road worn, but his heart is in the right place. He also plays some nice sax breaks throughout the disc. The band includes Wycliffe Gordon (trombone), Freddie Hendrix and Tatum Greenblatt (trumpet), Bruce Williams (alto sax), Walter Blanding (tenor sax), Jason Marshall (bari sax), Brandon McCune (piano, B-3), Brad Williams (guitar), Cecil Brooks III (drums) and Collin DeJoseph (piano). They are tight outfit and greatly enhance the set. Spenos and DeJoseph co-wrote four songs and the remainder are covers of older day R’n’B cats like TNT Tribble, Jimmy Rushing, Buddy Johnson and others. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.