New Jazz Adds – 9/3/2017
Jane Ira Bloom – Wild Lines: Improvising Emily Dickinson (Outline): Soprano saxophonist/composer Jane Ira Bloom has pioneered live use of electronics in jazz and dance or movement in live performances as well. She has performed with such greats as Kenny Wheeler, Charlie Haden, Rufus Reid, Bob Brookmeyer, Julian Priester, and Billy Hart, among others. Bloom is also recognized by colleagues as one of the leading soprano sax players in jazz today. This dual disc release will certainly enhance her prowess as a premiere composer and performer. All of the music here is dedicated to the poetry and imagery inspired by the poetry of Emily Dickinson and all except Rodgers’ and Hart’s “It’s Easy To Remember” are original compositions. One disc is entirely instrumental and the other adds Dickinson’s poetry as performed by vocalist Deborah Rush. Other performing musicians on this release are Dawn Clement (piano), Mark Helias (bass) and Bobby Previte (drums). It is both interesting and enjoyable to hear both aspects of this performance. Click here to listen to an introduction to this recording.
Ralph Bowen – Ralph Bowen (Posi-tone): Educator/saxophonist Ralph Bowen has been an active player in the New York scene for over 30 years. He has taught at Rutgers and Princeton and has released eleven discs as a leader and has performed on over 70 recordings with musicians including Orrin Evans, Michel Camilo, and Horace Silver, among others. This disc features Bowen on sax with Jim Ridl (piano, Rhodes), Kenny Davis (bass) and Cliff Almond (drums) performing Bowen compositions “Cache Cache” and the extended six part “Phylogeny Suite” as well as one original by bassist Kenny Davis and covers of Dave Liebman’s “Picadilly Lily” and McCoy Tyner’s “Search For Peace”. A solid performance throughout. Click here to listen to samples of the performances on this disc.
The Jerry Douglas Band – What If (Rounder): Veteran dobro/lap steel/composer/singer Jerry Douglas brings out his latest jazz grass offering and it is unique. He wrote or co-wrote eight of the eleven songs and the covers include bassist Edgar Meyer’s “Unfolding”, Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan’s “2:19” and Billy Roberts’ “Hey Joe”. Performers include Daniel Kimbro (bass, strings), Doug Belote (drums), Christian Sedelmyer (violin, strings), Mike Seal (guitar), Jamel Mitchell (sax) and Vance Thompson (trumpet). The jazziness is especially brought out by the horns and give this typical jazz grass a very special sound. Closer to Bela Fleck without the electrics. Be sure to catch this groove from a great band that just got better. Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Chet Doxas – Rich In Symbols (ropeadope): Composer/woodwind and synth player Chet Doxas introduces his new group “Rich In Symbols” on this disc. The group features Matthew Stevens (electric guitar), Zack Lober (bass) and Eric Doob (drums) and is augmented by guests Dave Douglas (trumpet on 1 cut), John Escreet (piano 1 cut), Dave Nugget (guitar 3 cuts) and Liam O’Neil (synths). Doxas loves visual art and composed this set by interpreting museum pieces through his musical interpretations. Later, the music and a projection of the work are presented simultaneously with live musicians in a concert setting. There are no visuals with the disc however. The music is electric and modern though highly accessible. Click here to listen to a song from this disc.
Harold Little – Akoben (Self-produced): Harold Little (trumpet, flugelhorn) leads this session of soul jazz with a mellow groove and, at times, a slice of go-go. The program is a combination of soft funk like “Stomp The Roaches”, mellow jazz with a soulful edge, and soul pop renderings of jazz classics such as “Take Five”. Supporting musicians include Jamal Brown and Y.C. Laws (flute); Karen Linette and Heidi Martin (vocals on one song each); Vince Evans, Keith Exum, and Leroy “Scooter” Taylor (trading off on keys); Tony Cochran (guitar); Kris Funn, Rodney “LRod” Lewis and Dwayne “KIGGO” Wellman trading off on bass; and percussionists Milton “GoGo” Freeman, Danar “Nicky Barnes” Gorham, and Leroy “Boogie” Greer. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Negroni’s Trio – New Era (Sony Music Latin): Leader Jose Negroni (piano, keys) and his trio – Josh Allen (bass) and Nomar Negroni (drums, percussion) – offer a series of Latin pop styled jazz, soul and pop songs, including George Duke’s “Brazilian Love Affair”, Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely”, Paul and Linda McCartney’s “My Love”, Henry Mancini’ and Johnny Mercer’s “Moon River” and Billy Strayhorn’s “Take The “A” Train”. Additional musicians include Teddy Kumpel (guitar); Michael Rodriguez (flugelhorn); Francisco Caban and Alexis Velasquez (violins); Jose Villegas (viola) and Luis Roja (cello) and various vocalists. Click here to listen to the group’s version of “Sunny” with vocals by Aimee Nuviola.
San Francisco String Trio – May I Introduce You To …. (Ridgeway): The San Francisco Trio features Mads Tolling (two time Grammy winner with the Turtle Island String Quartet on violin), guitarist Mimi Fox (six time winner of DownBeat’s International Critics Poll), and Jeff Denson (bass, vocals) performing the dozen songs from “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” in honor of the 50th anniversary of its release. The playing is quite striking. Imagine trying to match the amazing overdubbing and effects on the original recording. Obviously, three musicians can’t match the studio process, but they are amazingly creative and adept at presenting the set, which also shuffles the order of the original recording. This would be a terrific live performance, but for now, this recording is totally “fab”! Click here for an introduction to this disc.
Dave Stryker – Strykin’ Ahead (strikezone): Composer/guitarist Dave Stryker presents four originals and five new takes on jazz classics like Wayne Shorter’s “Footprints”, Billy Strayhorn’s “Passion Flower”, Clifford Brown’s “Joy Spring”, and Charlie Parker’s “Donna Lee” with the addition of stage song “Who Can I Turn To”. Stryker is accompanied by Steve Nelson (vibes), Jared Gold (organ) and McClenty Hunter (drums). The disc is polished, melodic and flowing with terrific ensemble work. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
MJ Territo – Ladies Day (Jollie Mollie Music): MJ Territo is a writer, lyricist, composer, teacher and singer. She has also released two or more of her own performances. On this disc, the theme is music by and about women. Musicians on this disc are Linda Presgrave (piano), Iris Ornig (bass), Barbara Merjan (drums) and guests Andrea Brachfeld (flute), Virginia Mayhew (tenor sax) and Brandee Younger (harp). Territo sings throughout. She has a declarative style, which some reviewers liken to Tony Bennett or elder Sinatra. I would add there is evidence of a little wear and tear. Territo wrote one song and everything else was composed or co-written by women, including Marian McPartland, Patricia Barber, Mary Lou Williams, Abbey Lincoln and Peggy Lee among others. There certainly are some fine moments here. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Triocity – I Believe In You (Origin): Triocity features the talents of Charles Pillow (alto sax, alto and bass flute, clarinet and bass clarinet), Jeff Campbell (bass) and Rich Thompson (drums) tackling a number of well-aged numbers from old timers like Frank Loesser, Julie Style and Hoagy Carmichael and more recent compositions by Ray Noble, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker and Thelonius Monk. The group is ready to explore and the various horn shifts create an amazing array of textures. The result is fresh and exhilarating. Click here to listen to a sample of the opening track.
Unhinged Sextet – Don’t Blink (OA2): Though they call themselves unhinged, but this second release by the group which features Vern Sielert (trumpet, flugelhorn), Will Campbell (alto sax), Matt Olson (tenor sax), Michael Kocour (piano), Jon Hamar (bass), and Dom Moio (drums) exhibits terrific cohesion. Their homes are scattered across the US, but they came into contact through gigs with other players and felt an affinity for each other’s playing. This led to their getting together to see how it would work as a complete sextet. Obviously, they liked the result and now offer this new set of originals featuring compositions by five of the six players. The performance is smooth and melodic throughout. They jump and swing as if they play together all the time. These players are solidly “hinged” on this set. Click here to listen to samples of two songs on this disc.
Carol Welsman – Solo (Self-produced): Veteran singer/pianist Carol Welsman offers fourteen standards. She began her career in France, but developed polyps on her vocal cords that she understood would require surgery and would likely end her singing career. She also received advice from colleagues to seek other options and she was able to avoid surgery. The recuperation required ceasing her singing for some time and ultimately changing her style. Her singing is quite melodic with a slight rasp on certain notes. The result is a somewhat whispering and intimate style. Welsman accompanies herself on piano throughout with singer/guitarist Paulinho Garcia joining her on “Garota de Ipanema”, “Besame Mucho” and two other Latin numbers. Other songs include standards from “It Had To Be You” and “Someone To Watch Over Me” to “My Funny Valentine” and “Send In The Clowns”. Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.