snarky puppy. family dinner, volume two. universal classics. Confession: i watched the dvd,–which is both a film and bonus tracks– as well as listened, and was struck by the caliber of musicianship and comraderie: unique & successful pairings include Appalachian singer becca stevens and Swedish outlier trio vasen; cville favorite guitarist charlie hunter and Peruvian vocalist susana baca; Malian icon salif keita and everyone; Brazilian pandeirist bernardo aguiar and flutist carlos malta; and a stunning performance (bonus track only) of this one world plus NoLa International doing jon cleary’s brother i’m hungry. plus david crosby who sings, and shares wisdom. it’s a love-in for the 21st century, as compeling as kamasi washington’s the epic and i think the man directing traffic is snarky puppy’s bass player michael league.
julian lage. arclight. mack avenue. Former child prodigy guitarist julian lage began recording with vibraphonist gary burton, and in the intervening dozen years, his many recording colleagues have inspired exceptional qualities in his playing–intimate, daring, tranquil,elegant. he’s the dance partner who makes you look good! the trio, kenny wollesen@drums and scott colley on bass, continues lage’s talented arc. check out harlem blues, nocturne, persian rug and many more.
allison miller’s boom tic boom. otis was a polar bear. royal potato family. Whimsical and chops-at-the-ready, drummer/percussionist allison miller rolls out a third cd with btb: whose members are myra melford on piano; jenny scheinman bringing out the folk with herrugged violin bowing; kirk knuffke on cornet; ben goldberg, on clarinet and its alto; todd sickafoose, upright bass. it’s quite a cast, digging into miller’s all originals playlist. start with title track.
three-five-seven ensemble. amongst the smokestacks and steeples. milk factory. Two heady cds, ambitious & rewarding; start with hope, cd2,#3. the three is nick anaya, tenor; chris dammann,bass; dylan andrews@drums; to make five add in james davis on trumpet and tim stine, guitar; for seven, richard zili, clarinet and jim baker, piano. + more. spend some time here.
uri caine ensemble. gershwin rhapsody in blue. winter & winter. Exactly what it says it is, dynamically performed by pianist/arranger uri caine and his ensemble: a nicely forward clarinet + tenor from chris speed; mark helias on acoustic bass; modernist & Latin trumpet from ralph alessi; joyce hammann playing a langorous violin; jim black@drums; and theo bleckmann & barbara walker, vocals on songs. With the addition of popular gershwin songs, the recording has jazzy roaring twenties feel; caine is a virtuosic pianist and this rhapsody zooms to blazing finish. bravo winter&winter.
stan getz. moments in time. resonance. Who doesn’t want more stan getz? lyrical tenor and innovative bandleader getz plays here @ keystone korner, may 1976, his self-proclaimed favorite venue with a hungry young artists band: young avant-guardist joanne brackeen trailblazing with her pianistic skills; clint houston on bass; sensitive billy hart@drums. greatest hits from the bossa/bop/classics playground: o grande amour, infant eyes, kenny wheeler’s the cry of the wild goose, and jimmy rowles’ morning star. as always, excellent notes.
hendrik meurkens. harmonicus rex. height advantage. Legendary harmonica player hendrik meurkens proves that lyricism and bebop are not incompatible. enjoying his bandmates– jimmy cobb @drums; dado moroni, piano; marco panascia, bass– meurkens strolls through a playlist of American songbook cues and like-minded originals.
grant green jr. soul science. ropeadope. Funk from Master of Groove member, grant green jr who sings and plays guitar on this r&b collection. many vocalists, keyboards, horns and drums.
logan richardson. shift. blue note. Debut cd from alto player logan richardson requires all your attention. first, there is the band: pat metheny, guitars; jason moran, piano and fender; nasheet waits@drums; harish raghaven, bass. then there are the original richardson compositions plus one by bruno mars–that story is all about unexpected chord changes opening to the lyrical, rhapsodic. it takes a little practice to listen and enjoy. dauntless, in this, i know you to be.
ed cherry. soul tree. posi-tone. Second release for guitarist ed cherry uses the organ trio to showcase bop and standard classics– hubbard’s little sunflower, land’s ode to angela, heath’s a new blue. with kyle koehler, organ; anwar marshall@drums.
matt kane & the Kansas City generations sextet. acknowledgement. bounce-step. NYC drummer matt kane returned to Kansas City to tribute the music of bobby watson, pat metheny, ahmad alaadeen. the sextet includes ben leifer, bass; andrew oullette, piano; michael schults, alto; steve lambert, tenor; hermon mehari, trumpet. takeaway here is intro to music of local hero, tenor ahmad alaadeen (1934-2010).
mike freeman. blue tjade. jazzvibe. NYC based vibraphonist mike freeman directs his group zona vibe with a nod to the music of cal tjader. all original compositions, the band is a hive of Latino percussiveness: chembo corniel & willie martinez manning the many drums, shakes, claves; ruben rodriguez, bass; jim gailloreto, reeds. it dances and swings.