jose’ james. yesterday i had the blues. blue note. Impeccable revisiting of billie holiday’s legacy by Panamanian modern jazz/hip hop vocalist jose’ james. this recording could not be further from his previous while you were sleeping— which makes me believe james can dig deep. outstanding band includes jason moran, keyboards; john patitucci, bass; eric harland@drums. the most fragile of all– strange fruit–comes through haunted and profound.
joe lovano + dave douglas. sound prints. blue note. Joining forces to explore the work of wayne shorter through shorter’s compositions and band member’s originals are tenor lovano, trumpet douglas, + linda oh, bass; lawrence fields, piano and joey baron@drums. Monterey Jazz Festival, 2013 gave these five stunning musicians the challenge to create, and then, sing their song. the work excels, everyone solos all the time, as eric dophy would have said.
steve gadd band. 70 strong. bfm. Veteran studio & session drummer to many stars ( paul simon, aretha, james brown, carly simon, rickie lee jones), steve gadd steps into his (70th year) limelight with this more jazzy than rock-ified playlist. the good times are enhanced by michael landau, guitar; walt fowler, horns; jimmy johnson, bass; larry goldings, keybooards.
harold mabern. afro blue. smoke sessions. Memphis teenager harold mabern had friendship and instruction from legendary phineas newborn– a unique pianist with touch, orchestration and technique. afro blue extends mabern’s reach to great contemporary singers and players who want to be on the gig: vocalists norah jones, kurt elling, gregory porter, jane monheit + the band: eric alexander, tenor; john webber, bass; steve turre, trombone; jeremy pelt, trumpet; joe farnsworth@drums.
pat martino with jim ridl. nexus. highnote. Secret (guitar) weapon pat martino, known in his youth as “the kid” teams up with no-slouch pianist jim ridl for duets @ the Tin Angel in Philadelphia., 1994. dynamic, unified, speedy and invigorating— these guys played together for ten years. hopefully there will be more “discovered” tapes.
dave ake. lake effect. posi-tone. Dark, elegance in the compositions of pianist/educator david ake; his style leans to modern, minimalist–think early keith jarrett. mostly original compositions that make space for the quartet members– peter epstein on sax; sam minaie, bass; mark ferber@drums. ballads rule, especially lone pine for charlie haden.
steve wilson. live in New York: the vanguard sessions. random act. Blistering alto work from saxophonist/ composer steve wilson. all the bops are represented in this live recording from 2014, @ the Village Vanguard. Stellar accompaniment from wilsonian’s grain who are orrin evans, piano; ugonna kegwo, bass; bill stewart@drums.
larry coryell. heavy feel. wide hive. X-traordinary guitar maestro, 70 years plus, larry coryell was born in Galveston, raised in Seattle and absorbed the magic of chuck berry, chet atkins, wes montgomery and john coltrane before making his recording debut on chico hamilton’s the dealer in 1966. the saga continues– here with matt montgomery, basses; george brooks, soprano sax; mike hughes@drums.
pokey la farge. something in the water. rounder. Glossy retro styling that folds in West Texas swing, early jazz, and quirky songwriting from energetic guitarist/singer pokey la farge. before this debut on rounder records, pokey played mandolin with the hackensaw boys, toured with jack white; tight-lipped about his origins, pokey culled this playlist from regional mid-western music, his roots, his heartland. try the title track & geography twins: Cairo, Illinois & goodbye Barcelona.
eliane elias. made in brazil. concord. Familiar Brazilian songbook and originals from ageless jazz pianist eliane elias; produced in Sao Paulo, with many local musicians + elias’ husband, the bassist marc johnson.
john fedchock. quartet live: fluidity. summit. Recorded live at Havana nights in Virginia Beach, VA, trombonist john fedchock’s quartet weaves mostly standards with two originals. the pianist is john toomey, jimmy masters on bass; the late dave ratajczak@drums.
tim warfield. spherical. criss cross. High voltage homage to thelonious monk from tenor/soprano tim warfield. The band are all old monk-sters: eddie henderson on trumpet; orrin evans, piano; ben wolfe, bass; clarence penn@drums–no stranger to TSM’s music with 2014’s monk: the lost tapes.