New Jazz Adds – 10/12/2016
New Jazz Adds – 10/12/2016
Afro Bop Alliance Big Band – Revelation (OA2): The Afro Bop Alliance is based in DC and has been won a Grammy and the respect of jazz critics and fans alike. Led by drummer / percussionist Joe McCarthy, the band includes Luis Hernandez (tenor saxophone), Tim Stanley (trumpet), Vince Norman (alto saxophone), Victor Provost (steel pan), Harry Appelman (piano), Tom Baldwin (bass) and Roberto Quintero (percussion) and many guests. They cover many styles, offering wonderful variety as well as terrific individual and collective performances. The music’s bebop influence deepens the richness of their performance. Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of “CuBop”, “Magharibi” and “Dialed In”, all of which are on this disc.
Johnny Coles – Little Johnny C (Blue Note): Remastered issue of this 1963 session featuring Johnny Coles (trumpet), Leo Wright (alto sax, flute), Joe Henderson (tenor sax), Duke Pearson (piano), Bob Crenshaw (bass), and Walter Perkins and Pete LaRoca trading off on drums. All songs are Pearson compositions. The group is tight, the players are on a roll, and the entire session is a party – bright, sunny jazz. Click here to listen to the title song. Others are immediately available on your right.
Tim Davies Big Band – The Expensive Train Set (Origin): Imagine being the leader of and composer/arranger for two big bands and you’ll get the idea of this release. Both have identical instrumentation, though the only player common to both is Tim Davies (drums) himself. One band is in Melbourne and the other in Los Angeles and one song combines the two together. The sound is large and powerful and often “sharp” like the James Bond movie orchestras. All but two of the compositions are by Davies. Click here to check out samples from the first two performances on this disc.
Grant Green – Goin’ West (Blue Note): This is a 1962 session remastered by Rudy Van Gelder in 2003. The group features Grant Green (guitar), Herbie Hancock (piano), Reggie Workman (bass), and Billy Higgins (drums). The western reference reveals the choice of the selections ranging from “On Top Of Old Smokey” to “Tumbling Tumbleweeds” all given the Green jazz mode. Hancock plays some wonderfully lyrical stuff as well. Click here to listen to a sample song.
Shirley Horn – Live At The 4 Queens (Resonance): This disc is a previously unreleased live performance on May 2, 1988 by the late pianist/chanteuse Shirley Horn at the 4 Queens (Las Vegas). Programs like this were broadcast on radio at the time and this particular performance was recently rediscovered. Horn was supported by Charles Ables (bass) and Steve Williams (drums). The disc is a welcome addition to her catalogue and presents her wonderful style so well. She covers songs from Cole Porter and Rodgers and Hart to Jobim, Randy Weston and Oscar Peterson. This disc is recommended for fans and as an introduction those not familiar with her art. Click here for an introduction and the story of this release.
Brian Marsella’s Imaginarium – Chapter One: The Clocks Have Gone Mad (Self-produced): “Where the rules of creation bend to the logic of dreams.” That’s the header on the group’s webpage and it probably describes this disc as well as anything else I can think of. The music is much like a bizarre rendering of a mechanical, clock-like manifestation that one would find in an “imaginarium”. Marcelo describes the group as “an ambient, experimental, jazz, world group.” It’s wacky and intriguing, from elsewhere but maybe nowhere you’d recognize. The players include Brian Marsella (keyboards, xylophone), John Lee and Eyal Maoz (electric guitar), John Buck, Jason Fraticelli and Shanir Blumenkrantz (basses, vocals), Tim Keiper and Matt Zimbroski (drums), Cyro Baptista (percussion), Meg Okura (violin), Marshall Allen (ewi), Dan Blankinship (trumpet), Stephan Moutot (tenor sax), Ryan Anselmi (tenor sax, vocals), Max Pollak and Chikako Iwahori (tap, body percussion, vocals), Chris Tunkel and Chanda Rule (vocals). Click here and scroll down to listen to a couple of samples.
Shawn Maxwell’s New Tomorrow – New Tomorrow (OA2): Shawn Maxwell (alto sax, flute) began his recording career in 2004 and since that time has fronted a variety of formats from large to small groups. For this disc, it’s basically a quintet with rotating trumpeters: Victor Garcia, Chad McCullough, and Corey Wilkes. The other players are Matt Nelson (keys), Junius Paul (bass) and Phil Beale (drums). On this date, he has sought a balance between strict composition and improvisation, the goal being to create subtle melodies in the midst of complex time signatures. The result is fresh. Maxwell composed all fourteen numbers and the band performance is tight throughout. Click here to listen to the songs on this disc.
Francisco Mela & The Crash Trio – FE (Self-produced): Cuban born Francisco Mela came to the US in 2000 to attend Berklee College and upon graduation was hired as an instructor at the school. Since that time, he has recorded it Joe Lovano and later joined McCoy Tyner. This is his fourth disc as a leader and in addition to Mela’s drumming, features Leo Genovese (piano) and Gerald Cannon (bass) with guest appearances by John Scofield (guitar). The group performs all songs with zest and terrific interaction. Post bop plus. Click here to sample the songs on this disc.
Ted Nash Big Band – Presidential Suite: Eight Variations On Freedom (Motema): For the past fifteen years, Ted Nash has been affiliated with Wynton Marsalis’ Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. He is known as an excellent composer and sax player. For this project, he has gathered many musicians who are also affiliated with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra: Sherman Irby, Charles Pillow, Victor Goines, Walter Blanding, Paul Nedzela (reeds); Ryan Kisor, Kenny Rampton, Marcus Printup, Greg Gisbert (trumpets); Vince Gardner, Chris Crenshaw, Elliott Mason (trombones); Dan Nimmer (piano), Carlos Henriquez (bass); Ali Jackson, Zach Adleman, Ansel Scholl (drums, percussion); and guest musicians Wynton Marsalis and Joe Temperley. Ash composed and arranged the entire program. The eight variations on freedom are excerpts from speeches delivered by Jawaharlal Nehru, Ronald Reagan, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Suu Kyi, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Nelson Mandela. These segments were performed by various guest speakers. The main thrust is the quest for freedom for all. The program is a remarkable presentation of the thinking of several of the greatest leaders of the 20th Century with musical interludes. There is a second disc which omits the spoken segments so that listeners can focus solely on the musical performance. Click here to watch a performance with narration.
Big John Patton – Got A Good Thing Goin’ (Blue Note): No doubt heavily influenced by Jimmy Smith, Big John Patton does a phat job of tickling the ivories on his organ as he bumps his way through original soul jazz numbers and covers of “Ain’t That Peculiar” (written by the Miracles and a hit for Marvin Gaye) and “Shake” (Sam Cooke). Patton is back up by Grant Green (guitar), Hugh Walker (drums) and Richard Landrum (percussion). The interaction between Patton and Grant Green is especially nice. The session was recorded in 1966. Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of tracks on this disc.
Duke Pearson – Sweet Honey Bee (Blue Note): Pianist / composer Duke Pearson led this late 1966 session with an especially exciting groups of musicians: Freddie Hubbard (trumpet), James Spaulding (alto sax, flute), Joe Henderson (tenor sax), Ron Carter (bass) and Mickey Roker (drums). By This time, Pearson had become Blue Note’s major interpreter between the engineers and musicians working at Blue Note. All of the compositions here are Pearson’s and everyone flows beautifully from one to the next. Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Madeleine Peyroux – Secular Hymns (Impulse): Chanteuse Madeleine Peyroux takes a folksy approach to most of these old gems, several of which are old blues, ranging from “Got You On My Mind” to “Shout Sister Shout”. Other selections round out things out with covers of Townes Van Zandt’s “The Highway Kind” and “Stephen Foster’s “Hard Times Come Again No More”. In this mix “Everything I Do Gonn Be Funky (From Now On)” seems like a lost sheep, but Peyroux does a very nice job of it. In addition to her vocals, Peyroux plays acoustic guitar and guilele and is joined by John Herington (electric guitar, backing vocals) and Barak Mori (bass, backing vocals). Click here, then scroll down to the disc cover picture and click that to listen to an introduction from Madeleine Peyroux herself.
Joshua Redman & Brad Mehldau – Nearness (Nonesuch): Joshua Redman (tenor, soprano sax) and Brad Mehldau (piano) were on the road in a variety of locations from Norway to Spain when these performances were recorded. Their interaction is both wonderfully in sync and a showcase of the individual talents of each player. The selections include old stand-byes like “Ornithology” and “The Nearness of You” as well as Redman’s “Melancholy Mode” and Mehldau’s “Always August” and “Old West”. Great performances! Click here to listen to the opening track.
John Scofield – Country For Old Men (Impulse): In this case, “old” refers to having enough years to have heard original versions, etc. The most recent song here is James Taylor’s “Bartender’s Blues”. Most are classics, like Hank Williams’ “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”, which is a great example of the performance on this disc. If you didn’t know the song and be listening for it, you could possibly listen to the song all the way through without recognizing it. The jumping off point is just that and the jazz performance truly is the center. The group features Scofield on guitar, Larry Goldings on piano and organ, Steve Swallow on bass, and Bill Stewart on drums. Scofield fans will certainly find plenty to enjoy. Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Space Orphan – Shut Up About The Sun (Self-produced): “Progressive old school. What does that even mean? For this group, it means providing a soulful, funky sound that is heavily based on groove, just as bands like The Meters and James Brown did in years past. But it also means taking those classic, danceable elements, and adding a few new tricks.” (Space Orphan webpage) The new tricks seem to be added jazz elements that are in the heart of the mix as much as the funk. The sound is different from the Meters and Brown – neither as funky nor sharp – while keeping those ideas as part of the palette. That best describes the sound: homogenized in a sense. Space Orphan includes Taylor Scott (guitar), Jon Wirtz (keys, vibes), Eric Imbrosciano (drums), Todd Edmunds (bass), Gabriel Mervine (trumpet), Jon Hegel and Matt Pitts (tenor sax), and DJ Check One (turntables). Click here to listen to a song from this disc.
McCoy Tyner – Tender Moments (Blue Note): Classic McCoy Tyner session presenting all original compositions from 1967 and remastered in 2003. In addition to the great man’s piano, this session features Lee Morgan (trumpet), Julian Priester (trombone), James Spaulding (alto sax, flute), Bennie Maupin (tenor sax), Bob Northern (French horn), Howard Johnson (tuba), Herbie Lewis (bass), and Joe Chambers (drums). The Coltrane influence is quite evident. An essential recording. Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of songs on this disc.