New Jazz Adds – 11/17/2020
George Benson – Weekend In London (Provogue): George Benson croons and adds a few licks on his guitar and honestly sounds as sweet as ever. When he turns to the guitar, he certainly reminds us of his skills, but he focuses on singing. Backing players are Randy Waldman (keys), Stanley Banks (bass), Tom Hall (keys), Michael O’Neill (guitar, vocals), and Khari Parker (drums). Click here to listen “Cruise Control” the closing song on this release.
Noah Bless – New York Strong – Latin Jazz! (Zoho): “Style and execution merge gracefully in the trombone playing of Noah Bless, who has been performing for over 20 years. Since arriving to New York City in 1990 Noah has contributed his authoritative sound to over 50 albums for various artists including Paquito D’Rivera, Mario Bauza, Don Braden and Celia Cruz. Noah’s work and contributions have been honored with major industry awards including The Grammys and the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. Over the years Noah brought his rich expertise to many world-class jazz and Latin orchestras including; Willie Colon, Marc Anthony, Jennifer Lopez, La India, Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Duke Ellington, Chico O’Farril and the Lincoln Center Afro-Cuban Orchestra, Darcy Argue’s Secret Society.” (https://musicians.allaboutjazz.com/noahbless?width=1440) This release includes two original songs and covers ranging from Jobim’s “Ligia” to James Taylor’s “Fire And Rain”. Click here to listen to “49th Street” from this release.
David Budway – The Jazz Piano Man: David Budway Sings The Lyrics of Lou Tracey (Self-produced): David Budway is a singer/pianist/songwriter who loves many styles of music. He has recorded and performed with Branford Marsalis, Michael Brecker, Stanley Turrentine, Hubert Laws and Jeff”Tain”Watts. As a classical piano artist, David has given countless recitals including guest appearances with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (with Hubert Laws), the Steinway Society, and the Pittsburgh Concert Society. He has performed in numerous lounges around New York and he has recorded several discs. This time out he plays piano and sings and co-wrote ten of the songs on this release. The style is jazzy club style jump and swoon. Click here to listen to the title song from this disc.
The Nels Cline Singers – Share The Wealth (Blue Note): “On Nels Cline’s 3rd Blue Note release Share The Wealth, the sonic explorer and guitar renegade delivers a potent and provocative program of spontaneous, uncompromising, and ultimately compelling music with an expanded edition of his long-running project The Nels Cline Singers featuring saxophonist and punk-jazz iconoclast Skerik, keyboard marvel Brian Marsella, bass powerhouse Trevor Dunn, longtime collaborator and drummer Scott Amendola, and Brazilian percussionist Cyro Baptista. Together they revel in swirling, evocative soundscapes brimming with ferocious skronking and uninhibited stretching….” (https://store.bluenote.com/products/the-nels-cline-singers-share-the-wealth) Click here to listen to the opening song on this disc, Segunda.
Pete Ellman Big Band – For Pete’s Ache (Self-produced): “The Pete Ellman Big Band was formed in 2009 after Pete retired from the 566th Air Force Band. Since then, the band has played regularly in and around Chicago. They regularly invite student jazz ensembles to join them and will provide members of the band as guest clinicians, giving these budding musicians a gig-like environment playing the music they love. The band has had many jazz greats join them including… Wycliffe Gordon, John Fedchock, Peter Erskine…and many more…. “For Pete’s Ache” has been a labor of love for Pete. He is very excited to share this with jazz enthusiasts the world over. The album features numerous original compositions and a few new arrangements of wonderful jazz standards.” (https://www.kuvo.org/the-pete-ellman-big-band-to-release-recording-for-petes-ache/) In addition to Ellman’s trumpet, the players include Roger Ingram, David Katz, Daniel Moore and Bryan Miller (trumpets); Steve Schnall, Ian Letts and Craig Roselieb (alto sax); Ian Nevins, Ian Letts and Andy Schlinder (tenor sax); Ted Hogarth (bari sax); Keith Pitner, Mark Chorazyczewski, Rich Clark and Andy Baker (trombones); John Blane (bass trombone); and Larry Harris (piano); Aaron Krueger (guitar); Keith Brady (bass); Bill Byan (drums) and Ron Spaeth (percussion). Trumpeter Daniel Moore composed five of the eleven songs on this release. Big band swing in the tradition. Click here to listen to the opening song on this set.
George Kahn Quartet – DreamCatcher (Playing Records): “Jazz stalwarts George Kahn and Pat Kelley have joined forces to create DreamCatcher, a new 12-song set being released on November 6, 2020. Their piano/guitar quartet sound is so simpatico, it was only a matter of time before they would put out an album. DreamCatcher brings us standards ranging from Stardust (1927) to Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight (1972) as well as a few new originals. As with all George Kahn albums, there are plenty of subtle tributes to the Jazz greats, like Dave Brubeck, The Modern Jazz Quartet, Wes Montgomery/ Wynton Kelly, and Bill Evans/Jim Hall. It was quite a ride to create this album during a global pandemic! Recording began in January 2020, before there was much thought of the Coronavirus. A successful Kickstarter campaign in March and April carried the project forward, but Covid caused a delay in recording the last 5 tracks until George, Pat and David felt safe enough to gather again in the studio in July. Alex Acuña delivered his drum parts virtually, but you’d swear they were all jamming together “like it was 2019”.” (https://musicians.allaboutjazz.com/dreamcatcher-george-kahn-quartet-george-kahn?width=1440) Click here to listen to the title song.
Eric Lilley Trio – Follow Up (Twin Goat): “Eric Lilley (born November 17, 1954) is an American pianist, keyboardist, bandleader, and composer. Lilley was born in Corona, California, the son of Neil, a salesman and Donna a pianist/music teacher. Lilley graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston in 1978 and started his career with Atlantic recording artists, The Energetics. He shortly thereafter joined Herb Reed of the original Platters. He eventually settled in the Denver, Colorado area where he was in constant demand with local jazz, blues, rock and funk groups as well as a busy recording schedule…. Lilley has had a varied career having been a musician in various musicals including Hairspray, Wicked, Spamalot, and Legally Blonde among others. He returned to his own music in 2005 as a solo performer and has more recently performed in his trio which features Mark Diamond (bass) and Dru Heller (drums). Jose Espino adds percussion on the opening and closing songs, as well. Terrific piano and musicianship throughout. Click here to listen to four songs from this release.
Chien Chien Lu – The Path (Self-produced): “Classically trained in contemporary percussion is her native Taiwan, Chien Chien Lu, the emergent vibraphonist best known, to date, for recording and touring with Jeremy Pelt Quintet, is excited to release The Path, her genre melding debut as a leader. Accompanying Chien Chien are an elite cast of musicians, a group sourced principally from Pelt’s ensemble-with the blessing of the maestro. Such a strong blessing, in fact, that Pelt himself appears here on his young protege’s debut, alongside bandmates Richie Goods on acoustic and electric bass, Allan Mednard on drums, and Ismel Wignall on congas/percussion. Goods, in addition to producing the album and arranging its two most recognizable standards, introduced Chien Chien to guitarist Quintin Zoto and pianist Shedrick Mitchell, both of whom prove indispensable here. Though this is not the first time Chien Chien and Mitchell have played together-both played on Goods’ most recent release, My Left Hand Man, a tribute to Goods’ mentor, the late pianist Mulgrew Miller. And so here we have yet another example of jazz’s circle of life: musicians paying mentorship forward.” (https://chienchienlu.bandcamp.com/album/the-path) Quirky, beautiful, groovy and constantly shifting to a new blend. Click here to listen to the songs on this disc.
Lee Ritenour – Dreamcatcher (Mascot / The Players Club): “On December 4th, GRAMMY winning guitarist Lee Ritenour will release ‘Dreamcatcher,’ his first studio album in five years. Weaving tapestries of instrumental guitar and conjuring eclectic moods, the 12 tracks of ‘Dreamcatcher’ rank amongst the most melodic and tinglingly beautiful in Ritenour’s catalogue. But there’s a power and purpose here, too, hinting at the darker circumstances that sparked this new record. ‘Our house and my studio in Malibu, California burnt down in 2018,’ Ritenour recalls. “About 100 of my guitars went up in the fire, plus 40 amps, lots of music, the history of my whole career, pretty much. A week after the fire, I went to the hospital, which I’d never had to do before, for surgery to replace an aortic valve. So those incidents and the support from my family and friends absolutely went into this music. Making this record was a life-saver for me.’ ‘Dreamcatcher’ might have been born from personal challenges, but the record took shape against the global tragedy of COVID-19. Ritenour had already written several key tracks before shutdown. But as he settled into the makeshift studio at his new home in Marina Del Rey, equipped with little more than seven guitars, a computer interface and good intentions, the guitarist let the context flood into the music he was tracking.’ “It was an important album for me,” he notes. “Especially now, with everything going on in the world.” (http://news.theurbanmusicscene.com/2020/10/lee-ritenour-to-release-new-album-dreamcatcher/) No vocals, just beautiful music. Click here to listen to the title song.
Ben Sidran – Who’s The Old Guy Now? (Bonsai / Nardis): There would seem to be more information coming, but Ben Sidran isn’t going to wait for that when there is some wacky wisdom to impart. Come to think of it, this may well be the best time. It’s a nice mix of thoughts to ponder or simply chuckle at. He obviously wanted to get this out in a hurry. Insights on life right now in the US, including “We The People”, “Who’s The Old Guy Now”, “The Blues Is The Bottom Line” because there are “Too Many People” and maybe “Old Wine in a New Bottle” is the best we can hope for! By the way, who IS that old guy? Don’t miss it!!! The disc hasn’t been released in full form, but a sample is certainly worth it. I regret I am unable to find a sample from this preview! How funny is that? It’s Ben Sidran and it’s worth hearing even if you have to wait. Psst! We do the sample and the Professor will air it this coming Tuesday a.m. between 9 and noon.
Tani Tabbal Trio – Now Then (TAO Forms): “Tani Tabbal is known for his extensive performing and recording career with Roscoe Mitchell, Sun Ra, Geri Allen, James Carter, David Murray, and Faruq Z. Bey / Griot Galaxy…. Tabbal—who came of age on Detroit’s fertile jazz scene—has always looked for colleagues with fresh ideas, big ears, and adventurous souls. He found them again in veteran bassist Michael Bisio and next generation alto saxophonist Adam Siegel…. The compositions—six by Tabbal, four by Bisio—define specific materials and moods that the trio develops with patience and a subtle variety of textures and dynamics. Melodic riches abound, wielded with both controlled fire & giving tenderness, while the joy of prolific communication and illuminated creation permeates the album.” (https://taoforms.bandcamp.com/album/now-then) Click here to listen to “Khusenaton”, an original composition by Michael Bisio on this release.
Jim Waller Big Band – Bucket List (Self-produced): “As the title indirectly suggests, this is Waller’s fulfillment of a dream – his first big band album. He leads a 21-piece ensemble with vocalist Jacqueline Sotelo on five cuts, the standards; and esteemed Yellow Jackets drummer Will Kennedy driving the band for 14 selections…. Waller provides all arrangements, 7 of the 14 compositions and several tenor solos while also contributing on soprano and organ. The material covers a wide swath from Latin to swing to funk to straight-ahead standards.” (https://www.makingascene.org/jim-waller-big-band-bucket-list/) The songs range from “Georgia On My Mind” and “Rhapsody In Blue” to “Honky Tonk” and “God Bless The Child”. Straight ahead big band. Click here and scroll way down to listen to samples of all of the songs.