jazz adds january 27, 2015

billy bang.  da bang.  tum.  Posthumous release from jazz violinist/ Vietnam vet billy bang ( 1947-2011), working with quintet:   dick griffin (trom), andrew bemkey on piano; hilliard greene, double-bass;  newman taylor-baker@drums.  gorgeous lyricism, and innovation from legend of the 1970’s NYC jazz “loft” scene;  a reluctant violinist, bang took a turbulent path (drugs, PTSD, Black Liberation activism) to emotional  steadiness and musical discovery.  long cues, all good.

michael blake.  tiddy boom.  sunnyside.  Smooth as silk, and breathing as one, Montreal-born tenor michael blake leads a stellar quartet in this best of 2014  recording:  frank kimbrough on piano; ben allison, bass;  rudy royston@drums.  all originals playlist, dedicated to musician ross taggert, blake’s playing acknowledges all the way back to lucky thompson, lester young even as his composition rolls into the 21st century.  everybody gets a turn to shine.

dave bass.  NYC sessions.  whaling city sound.  Composer/pianist dave bass returns with a guest list of East Coast headliners: altoist  phil woods, vocalists karrin allyson and paulette mcwilliams;  conrad herwig & chris washburne on trombones;  carlos caro, percussion;  enrique fernandez, flute  plus trio-mates harvie s. on bass and ignacio berroa@drums.  lots of danceable, swoony classics ( la comparsa, dark eyes) and originals.  elegant, compelling arrangements.

200 mondays.  good troubles.  self.  Latin-tinged recording that dives into jazz, r&b, soul, and pop ballads.  the titles refers to six years worth of mondays where this Texas band has been playing together:  nelson mills, trumpet & vocals;  robert sanders, piano;  lex vault, bass;  milton comeaux, percussion;  carl lott, jr@drums.   recommendations include asturian nights,  a cover of freddie hubbard’s little sunflower, and originals love trip, night softness.

tim olsen.  creature of habit.  planet arts.  Jazz pianist/composer/educator tim olsen’s debut is all originals, many with a world music DNA.  he varies the format:   solo piano on the original park avenue, then an extended version adds in trumpet (dylan canterbury) and alto (eric walentowicz).  baby steps is a piano/alto duet;  i’m tired  joins the alto with a trombone (rick rosoff).  upstate New York jazz improvisers.

brian pareschi.  and the BP express.  self.  Nonet led by Rochester, N.Y. trumpeter  brian pareschi merges originals with two covers.  debut recording as a leader, pareschi– sideman to the stars, including barbra streisand’s back to brooklyn & catherine russell’s bring it back–explores Brazilian rhythm in farfalla, African in congo blue, bebop in double down.

chris cortez.  top secret.  blue bamboo.  Houston-based guitarist/vocalist chris cortez revisits an (eclectic) American Songbook for his cd at regional indie label, blue bamboo.  charlie parker’s donna lee appears as a guitar duet btw greg petito and cortez;  cry me a river goes full throttle with an 8-piece jazz band;  ditto for leon russell’s this masquerade.

jamie cullum.  interlude.  blue note.  Brit pop singer/pianist  jamie cullum joins the jazz vocalist fold with spry, no-two-the-same arrangements from benedic lamdin. duets are superb–w/ laura mvula on good morning heartache, and a stunning don’t let me be misunderstood with gregory porter.  i was won over– perhaps you will be too.

george gee.  swing makes you happy.  rondette.  Happy swing music from  polished orchestra led by bandleader george gee and trombonist/musical director david gibson. strong setlist includes originals by gibson and classics.

joe alterman.  georgia sunset.  self.  Romantic 50’s style piano jazz from twenty-three year old Atlanta native–now working in NYC with tenor legend houston person.  playlist endears the audience with bee gees’ how deep is your love, erroll garner’s other voices, and the theme–co-written by les mccann and alderman.  music to smile with. rhythm  section = gregory hutchinson@drums; reuben rogers, bass  &  person on tenor join the mellow sound.

david gibson.  boom!  posi-tone.  A traditional jazz quintet with a fiery collection of musicians perform leader/trombonist david gibson’s mostly originals;   though my favorite was eric clapton’s change the world.  josh evans on trumpet compliments gibson’s fine trombone on persephone;  theo hill, piano; alex claffy, bass;  kush abadey@drums.

sax gordon.  in the wee small hours.  delmark.  Schooled on the road in many blues bands, tenor sax gordon graduates to leading his own trio:  alberto marsico on organ;  alessandro minetto@drums.  their playlist is a jazzy American Songbook with r&b/soul inflections.  tributes revisit the works of  gene ammons, arnett cobb, but also the ballads of ike quebec, buddy tate, and the king of tenors–ben webster.



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