sonny rollins. holding the stage: road shows, vol. 4. okeh. Tenor titan sonny rollins continues his showcase of acclaimed live performances; ..”the interaction of human being to human being creates a tension..i get more involved.” yes, he does. the compilation standouts: disco monk, 1979 Pori Jazz festival, Finland, with exceptional piano work from mark soskin, + jerome harris, bass, al foster@drums; keep hold of yourself, 1996 paris; you’re mine you & Caribbeanesque don’t stop the carnival, 2001, Boston, MA–just days after Rollins saw the NYC towers fall on 9/11. deliciously long cues from a musician who likes to go deep; no borrowing.
clifford lamb. bridges. weberworks. Veteran Bay-area pianist began lessons early with wes montgomery’s pianist richard crabtree; his new trio release with drummer cindy blackman-santana and bassist buster williams spotlights his elegant technique. a couple of originals begin the standards playlist with summertime, smile and o grande amor grabbing attention. while lamb is a strong player, blackman-santana’s drumming is breathtaking.
snarky puppy. culcha vulcha. universal. Atmospheric, rootsy eleventh release from those busy Texas boys; many beats are nicely baked during the all originals nine-set, led by bassist michael league. the puppy‘s signature blend comes from the 17 musicians conquering four instrumental sections– keyboards, horns, the bass/guitar/strings, percussion. all good, recorded in a remote corner of West Texas, near the El Paso border.
organik vibe trio. things we did last summer. cellar live. Back in 2007 @Scranton Jazz Festival, three maynard ferguson band alumni performed as a trio: joel frahm, tenor; ron oswanski, B-3; marko marcinko@drums. contemporary 2015 recording adds in guests– dave samuels on the vibraphone, vic juris, on guitar. smooth, mellow vibe from OVT, standout pieces are charlie haden’s lovely first song, horace silver’s ecaroh, title track.
benny golson. horizon ahead. highnote. Jazz legend benny golson (b.1929) revisits favorite compositions, his own & others–with a finale of spoken word about improvisation, and drummer carl allen’s beautiful musical how-to. for a hard-bop tenor, golson has a soft touch, and lets the quartet shine: dueting with bassist buster williams on lulu’s back in town; sharing the funky blues of night shade with mike ledonne, piano, letting allen@drums go solo for into the darkness...
walt weiskopf. the way you say it. posi-tone. For tenor walt weiskopf with a new label ( posi-tone after criss cross) comes a new quartet format: brian charette brings his B-3, and behn gillece , the vibraphone; steve fidyk@drums. the new group does well by weiskopf’s mostly originals, + a dark version of weather report’s scarlet woman, and parker’s segment.
cheryl bentyne. lost love songs. summit. Attention, ballad lovers! cheryl bentyne, vocalist with the manhattan transfer, has what you are seeking in her new “elusive”, underappreciated love song collection. start with if ever and love’s river from Bahian master dori caymmi, add in a pair of gordon jenkins pretties–blue prelude, goodbye. find your way in this one, it’s a treat. grant geissman, guitar, mandolin; van dyke barks, accordion; corey allen, piano; don alias, percussion; kevin axt, bass; plus many strings.
the power quintet. high art. highnote. Jeremy pelt’s high voltage post-bop quintet: pelt on trumpet, & composition; danny grissett, piano; steve nelson, vibraphone; peter washington, bass; bill stewart@drums. The playlist references jazz greats, homaging freddie hubbard on danny grisset’s mr. wiggleworm; whereas look at here speaks to the soulness of bobby timmons.
chaise lounge. gin fizz fandango. modern songbook. Uptempo, seductively jazzy DC-based sextet (since 1999), with a knockout batch of originals by charlie barnett, guitar & piano. band rounds out with marilyn older on vocals; joe jackson, trombone; gary gregg, reeds; peter ostle, bass; tommy barrick@drums. recipe for gin fizz useful while listening to mambo noir, tick tock, last night and more.
james hughes. ever up & onward. self. Leaders james hughes, multi-saxophonist and jimmy smith, trumpet/flugel/cornet use their quintet to forward musical currents in their hometown, Detroit. with phil kelly, piano; takashi lio, bass; nate winn@drums.
jeremy warren. i can do all things. self. Contemporary soul and r&b fusion playlist from drummer jeremy warren. vocalists gloria ryann + dermel shape the pop-y sensibility.
mark murphy. live in athens, greece. harbinger. Vocalist, jazz improviser, the late mark murphy recorded this live set in 2008, at the Gazarte Club, Athens with a largely Greek quartet. the set list includes vocal versions of freddie hubbard’s on the red clay; jobim’s inutil paisagem + stalwarts all blues, milestones.