New Jazz Adds – 10/28/2015

New Jazz Adds – 10/28/2015

Doug Beavers – Titanes del Trombon (ArtistShare): This disc presents performances by literally 43 Latin jazz musicians celebrating the great Latin tradition and vibrancy!  Composer / arranger / trombonist Doug Beavers was the guiding light for the project, demonstrating once again the amazing energy and sophistication of the players and the style. The collective includes Raul Agraz, John Walsh, Kenny Lavender, and Thomas Marriott (trumpets); Eric Davis and Justin Mullens (French horns); Conrad Herwig, Luis Bonilla, Reynoldo Jorge, Rey David Alejandre and Beavers (trombones); Max Seigel (bass trombone); Marcus Rojas (tuba); Matt Cowan (clarinet, flute); Ivan Renta (tenor sax); Anna Maria Mendieta (harp); Oscar Hernandez, Zaccai Curtis, and Edsel Gomez (piano); Luques Curtis and Maximo Rodriguez (bass); Luisito Quintero, George Delgado, Eddie Montalvo and Maximo Rodriuez (percussion); Vince Cherico and Dafnis Prieto (drums); and Frankie Vazquez, Carlos Cascante, Marco Bermudez, Jorge Maldonado and Hector Aponte (vocals) for well over an hour of the soundscape of Latin jazz! Click here for an introduction. 

Michael Dease – Decisions (Posi-Tone): Multi-instrumentalist Michael Dease focuses on trombone (his first instrument) on this disc and leads a quintet including Tim Green (sax), Glenn Zaleski (piano), Rodney Whitaker (bass), and Ulysses Owens (drums) on six of his own compositions and four covers. He studied under the Julliard Jazz program and focused on big band styles during most of his early career. Dease is a very smooth player and Green’s sax blends and very nicely with his style. The group swings well and they compliment Dease’s fluid runs well. Click here for a sample song. 

Peter Evans – Miss Nomer’s Number (Double Ohs): Singer / songwriter Evans joined forces with producer Brad Kohn to compose these whimsical songs, including “Dancing Shoes”, “Lie, Cheat and Steal” and “I Have to Stop Drinking Martini’s” and one instrumental called “Ziplining Tunisia” (in case you got worried about a drop in the quality of mirth). The performers are listed as singers Leah Zener, Chris Harrison, Katherine Hoye, Jessica Freedman, Ben McLain, Rachel Bearer, and Brad Kohn. Evans isn’t listed, though his bio states he sang and led a cappella groups for years. More whimsy? There is also significant shifting of instrumentation from one song to the next to suit the mood. The disc would probably appeal best to fans of show tunes and light comedy. But, why don’t I just let Evans describe and explain what’s what?  Click here and he will! 

Rayford Griffin – Reflections Of Brownie (RazorEdge): Inspired by his uncle Clifford Brown’s recordings and compositions, Griffin was inspired to be a drummer by the performances of Max Roach and Art Blakey on some of those recordings. He has been successful in the studio and in concert, playing with the Stanley Clarke Band, Jean-Luc Ponty, and George Duke, among others. This disc represents Griffin’s rearrangements of songs written and/or performed by Brown. Griffin takes care of the drumming, percussion and some electronic keyboards and assembled quite a list of rotating musicians to perform: Rick Braun, Roy Hargrove, William Ardaby, Don Harris, Michael “Patches” Stewart, James Zoller, Michael Hunter, Nicholas Payton, and Clifford Brown III (trumpets); Everette Harp, Louis Taylor, Bobby English, Doug Webb, and Aaron Fletcher (saxes); George Duke, Hans Zermuehlen, Nick Smith, and Philippe Saisse (keys); Alisha Yar (trombone); and Brian Bromberg, Keith Jones, Baron Brown, Hussain Jiffry, Ian Martin, and Dan Lutz (bass).  Click here to listen to the opening track on this disc.

Jeff Jenkins Organization – The Arrival (OA2): Veteran keyboard player and teacher at University of Colorado (Boulder) and the Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts, Jeff Jenkins concentrates on the B3 for this outing. His early concentration on piano included study with Richie Beirach and Kenny Barron and performing with Phil Woods, Freddie Hubbard, David Fathead Newman, Eddie Harris, Benny Golson, John Abercrombie, and Clark Terry. He composed 9 of the 11 songs on this disc, covering a wide stylistic range with Dave Corbus (guitar) and Alwyn Robinson (drums). This disc was recorded live in one room with no overdubs, so it’s as close to a live performance as you can get. There is something here for anyone who likes the B3. Corbus’ guitar playing is both supportive of Jenkins’ solos and a wonderful voice of its time for his own when solos. The brooding “Trayvon” is a sharp departure, closing the disc with its circles of unresolved darkness until its effectively abrupt end.  Click here for a sample from the disc.
Pete McCann – Range (Whirlwind): Here’s a release that could be of high interest to jam band fans as well as jazzers who dig fusion with a trace and a half of bop! John Scofield trading licks with a fiery sax trying to get right next to your own hyper hipness. Pete McCann (electric and acoustic guitar) leads this session with passion and intent (he wrote all ten tunes on offer). He shares the sonic landscape with John O’Gallagher (alto sax), Henry Hey (piano, Rhodes & organ), Matt Clohesy (bass) and Mark Ferber (drums) and this team can take you on the outside  run. The rhythm is so off to the left (I just had a strong reminder of Tony Williams’ Lifetime when Jack Bruce was in the group)! This boppin’ hop could blow your top! Click here for a live version of McCann’s solo on “Bridge Scandal”, a key song on this disc.
Gunnar Mossblad & Cross Currents – R.S.V.P. (Summit): Educator / arranger / composer / music director (most famously for his work with the Dave Liebman’s Big Band), Gunnar Mosslad presents his second disc leading “Cross Currents” in 11 original compositions by various members of the group.  In addition to Mossbland (tenor & soprano sax), the band features Jay Rinsen Welk (guitar), Tad Weed ((piano), Norman Damschroder (bass) and Olman Piedra (drums).  They play together quite smoothly as an ensemble and just about the time I thought they were missing a stand out soloist, first Weed, then Welk and finally Mossblad really made me think again. Click here to see what I mean.

Rob Reddy – Bechet: Our Contemporary (Reddy Music): The title says it all: the songs alternate between those composed by Sidney Bechet and those steeped in his style by soprano sax man Rob Reddy. The tunes get farther out as the disc rolls on and interestingly the final composition is Bechet’s. Reddy is accompanied by John Carlson (trumpet), Curtis Fowlkes (trombone), Charles Turnham (violin), Marika Hughes (cello), Marvin Sewell (guitar), Dom Richards (bass), and Pheeroan Aklaff (drums) with guest appearances by Lisa Parrott (bari sax) and Oscar Noriega (clarinet).  Reddy has rearranged the Bechet works to give them a modern sound but not so much as to make them lose Bechet’s sound. Click here to listen to Reddy’s version of Bechet’s “Petite Fleur”. 
Lawson Rollins – Infinite Chill (The Remix Sessions) (Infinta): “10 classic world music tracks taken from Lawson Rollins’ acclaimed solo albums, remixed and reimagined with a hip, modern aesthetic, incorporating elements of electronica/chill/downtempo into the world music fusion of the original songs.”  That’s the description from the new disc. Shahin Shahida did the remix and also sings and plays guitar and keyboard in cooperation with Rollins who is also a guitarist and keyboard player as well as the composer of the songs. Featured vocalists are Flora Purim, Airto Moreira, Diana Booker, and Heather Mae with instrumental backing by Randy Tico (bass), Dave Bryant (drums, percussion), Jeff Elliot (trumpet), Justin Claveria (sax), Richard Hardy (flute), Doug Webb (sax), Mads Tolling (violin) and Karl Hunter (clarinet). Click here for an introduction.

Charles Ruggiero – As Heard On TV (Rondette): Drummer Ruggiero, professor of composition and music theory at the Michigan State University College of Music, had this notion that since jazz has long used songs from Broadway and the Great American Songbook as a source for improvisation then why not look at the most popular shows on TV and see what jazz arrangements could be created from them. He actually did most of the arranging himself and then gathered Jeremy Manasia (piano), Mike Karn (bass), Ian Hendrickson-Smith (flute, alto sax), Alex Norris (trumpet) Stacey Dillard (soprano and tenor sax) and Laura Mace on the lone vocal and the result is really pretty nice!  The themes range from “Bewitched” and “This Is It” from The Bugs Bunny Show to “Law & Order”, “Moonlighting” and “Game Of Thrones”.  Click here for an introduction to this disc by Charles Ruggiero. 

Kenneth Salters Haven – Enter To Exit (Destiny): This is drummer / composer Salters’ first recording as a leader and it is quite fine. The disc contains seven original compositions and two songs arranged by the leader and the focus is on harmony and chord shifts. The songs are fairly stylized and almost sway through the air. The band includes Tivon Pinnicott (tenor sax), Matt Holman (trumpet), Myron Walden (alto sax, bass clarinet), Aki Ishiguro (guitar), Brad Whiteley and Shai Maestro (switching off on piano), and Bridget Kibby (harp). This is a lovely and often a unique sound.  Click here for an introduction to the group and music.  
Javier Vercher – Wish You Were Here (Musikoz): Tenor sax player reaches out from very mellow traditional jazz styles to push the envelop the sonic landscape in more avant garde and free forms at times. Guitarist Lionel Loueke adds some very unusual and appealing acoustic guitar to the mix, while the rest of the sound is completed by Sam Yahel (piano), Larry Grenadier (bass), Francisco Mela (drums) and occasional guests. The mood and texture shifts from one tune to the next as well as within individual tunes. Vercher composed all but the opening song which was written by Loueke. This is an intriguing and often lovely set that stretches the listener’s ears in more open sections. The performance rarely “attacks” the ears, but it does often stay out of the mainstream. There are two extra and unidentified tracks at the end of the disc, the first of which includes a spoken word section and is most challenging, while the final track . Click here for an introduction and overview of this disc. 




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