New Jazz Adds – 3/14/2016

New Jazz Adds – 3/14/2016

Michael Blake – Fulfillment (Songlines): Canadian saxophonist Blake’s latest disc is a personal composition to make amends for a decisions made by his great grand uncle to reject the landing of a shipload of poor and desperate South Asians in 1914 based upon exclusionist racial laws in Vancouver. The rejection led to great hardship and several deaths among the travelers. The music is very expressive and quite varied. In addition to Blake’s tenor and soprano sax, other players include J.P. Carter (trumpet, electronics), Peggy Lee (cello), Chris Gestrin (piano, micro Moog), Ron Samworth (electric guitar, banjo), Andre Lachance (bass) and Dylan van der Schyff (drums) with guest appearances by Aram Bajakian (guitars), Emma Postl (voice) and Neelamjit Dillon (tabla). The moods reflect both the emotions and reflections that Blake associates with such racially exclusive and damaging thoughts and deeds.  Click here and scroll down to listen to songs on this disc.   

Jim Clayton – Lenny Jumps In (Clay-Tone): Pianist Clayton dedicated this disc to his daughter Lenny and it includes three of his and her favorite tunes, like “Cheek To Cheek” and “Tennessee Waltz” and the remainder are originals inspired by Lenny.  Clayton’s playing is melodic and joyful and his supporting musicians – Andrew Scott on guitar, David Peters on drums, Steve Lucas on bass and Paul Ormandy on percussion – interact in a delightfully playful way as well. Click here to catch Clayton’s own samples from this disc.   

Lea DeLaria – House Of David (Razor & Tie): Actress / comedian / jazz singer DeLaria presents her tribute to David Bowie with her own arrangements of twelve of his finest rock songs. DeLaria, the first openly gay comedian and actress (recently appearing in “Orange Is The New Black”), cites Bowie as the only man she will ever love. “David Bowie, God of Rock…arbiter of style.”  Her musical support comes from Kevin Hays (piano, keys), Shedrick Mitchell (B3), Steve Cardenas (guitar), Tony Scherr (bass, guitar), Kenny Wollesen (drums, vibes), Basher Johnson (percussion), Seamus Blake (soprano & tenor sax), and Janis Siegel (vocals).  The arrangements literally draw the listener’s focus to the lyrics, using the instrumentation as accent and accompaniment. This is a terrifically successful work and a truly fitting tribute to Bowie.  Click here and scroll down to listen to samples from each track.   

Joao Gilberto / Stan Getz – Getz/Gilberto ’76 (Resonance): Live performances from May, 1976 at the Keystone Korner in San Francisco by this highly popular Brazilian musician.  Gilberto performs on guitar and vocals in a variety of settings – from solo to additions of Stan Getz (tenor sax), Clint Houston (bass), Joanne Bracken (piano) and Billy Hart (drums). This typically mellow and alluring performance will certainly appeal to fans and new fans of Latin music as well.  Click here to sample the songs on this disc.   

Lake Street Dive – Side Pony (Nonesuch): This new disc finds the band on a new label with a somewhat less quirky pop sound. All songs are originals and the group membership has remained constant; Rachael Price (lead vocals), Bridget Kearney (bass, vocals), Michael Calabrese (drums, vocals), and Mike Olson (guitar, keys, horns).  This group is tight and plays well as a unit, but I would classify it more as pop with the early 60’s “girl group” influence than jazz. That being said, it is fun!  Click here to listen to a sample song.  

Jim Rotondi – Dark Blue (Smoke Sessions): Currently a resident of NYC and an educator, Totondi plays a full voiced trumpet most influenced by the music of Clifford Brown. While he leads two different bands (this one and an electric group), it is hard to imagine a better compliment to this cool style than this group: Joe Locke (vibraphone), David Hazeltine (piano, Fender Rhodes), David Wong (bass) and Carl Allen (drums). They swing through this set which includes seven originals and three covers, including “Monk’s Mood” and “Our Day Will Come”.  Smooth, swinging and sweet. Click here to listen to selections on this disc.   

Brad Shepik / Ron Samworth Quartet – 1991 (Songlines): Here’s a two guitar electric jazz exploration that was deemed not yet ready for “prime time” in 1991 when it was recorded. Though both guitarists, Shepik and Samworth have recorded together and separately since, it has taken 25 years to see this date be released. Having been recorded in the era of stereo, each guitarist gets his own channel: Brad Shepik on the left and Ron Samworth on the right. The rhythm section, Phil Sparks (bass) and Michael Sarin (drums) gets the middle. All but two songs are originals. There is excellent communication between the guitarists and the rhythm section is solid as well.  Click here and scroll down a bit to sample up to three songs on this disc.   

Lew Tabackin Trio – Soundscapes (Self-produced): Though he has done quite a bit of small group playing, veteran Lew Tabackin (tenor sax, flute), is perhaps best known in big band work with his wife Toshiko Akiyoshi (piano). Here he steps out in a trio setting with bassist Boris Kozlov and drummer Mark Taylor as support. The rhythm section understands their role perfectly and leaves lots of space for Tabackin on his bopping tenor and his exquisite flute. To my ears as good as the tenor playing is, the flute just steals the show. Boppers will love this disc and anyone with ears will be completely swept away by some of the most amazingly beautiful and hip flute playing in existence. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.      

Three’s Company – We’ll Be Together Again (Chesky): Tenor player Javon Jackson holds the horn in this trio but he shares the solos with Ron Carter (bass), while Billy Drummond (drums) keeps the center. The performance immediately recalls Sonny Rollins’ trio. Even so, Jackson has his own voice. Carter is also in terrific form and the trio sounds like an organic whole. The sounds are smooth, warm and fluid. Hearing is believing! Click here and scroll down to listen to songs on this disc.   

Christian Winther – Refuge In Sound (Sound Perspective Music): Christian Winther’s tenor sax is the center of this disc.  He basically fronts a quartet that includes Allyn Johnson on piano, Reuben Rogers on bass, and Billy Williams, Jr on drums as they glide through eight of his original compositions which are pretty much in the mainstream. The performances feature ensemble work that gives Winther and Johnson plenty of opportunity to solo. Additional variety is provided by guitarist Mike Moreno on three tracks and vocalist Christie Dashiell on one.  Click here for a promo of this disc.  


Professor Bebop


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