New Jazz Adds – 1/12/2021
Craig Brenner – Passages (Self-produced): “Craig Brenner explores the jazzy side of blues and boogie woogie piano. Called “a fine and funky pianist” by Living Blues, Craig has received multiple Indiana Arts Commission grants and he has been voted “Best Musician” in Bloomington, IN, in the Bloomington Independent; Craig & The Crawdads has been chosen best band.” (https://www.craigbrenner.com/bio) He has recorded and performed with the Meters and Dr. John. Passages offers “eight original tunes in various styles, with stellar musicians: Lori Brenner and Merrill Garbus (Merrill appears courtesy of 4AD) on vocals, Nate Brenner and Ron Kadish on bass, Dan Hostetler and Tim Brookshire on drums, Mike Baker and Gordon Bonham on guitar, Joe Donnelly and Jake Belser on sax, Dena El Saffar on violin and viola, Kyle Quass on trumpet, and Dave Pavolka on trombone.” There are two songs with vocals. The straight-forward NOLA style on several songs offer the greatest punch on this release to my ears. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Bob Holz – Live In New York & L.A. (Self-produced): Veteran drummer Bob Holz has numerous releases as a leader and side man on numerous releases. This release covers a range of styles and players that show their skill and versatility. Players include Ralph Armstrong (bass, vocal), Brandon Fields (sax), Ric Fierabracci (bass), Chet Catallo (guitar), Billt Steinway (keys), Mike Miller (guitar), Ronnie Leigh (vocal), Joe De Leon Jr (congos), John Heard (percussion) and Tom Wilkowsky (keys). The shifting player reflect different gigs and the versatility of Holz in particular. Several style shifts that will draw listeners’ attention. Click here to listen to the opening song on the disc.
Richard Howell – Moon Over Tiburon (Pamona Sunrise): Richard Howell’s first solo album in a while.… Richard enlisted alumni from his group RHQ like the soulful virtuoso pianist Frederick Harris and bassist Gary Brown and from Richard Howell and Sudden Changes the extraordinary talents of the youngster Ele Salif Howell and master percussionist David Frazier while introducing a few more bright and talented younger creatives, trombone prodigy Jasim Perales, dynamic bassist Nick Panoutsos and spirited pianist Ian McArdle. His music cannot be quarantined! So, moving with tenacity and determination the new album by Richard Howell enjoys an incredible mix of multi-generational souls bringing light to the darkness…. “My effort is to keep the music moving forward while respecting the past and present. It is Contemporary Jazz with historic perspectives culminating in social justice, human dignity, and community service.I stay true and honest to the art form by creating the pathway for new and exciting ways to present root music that heals our souls. I call my music BRIDGE MUSIC. Jazz that is contributive rather than competitive.” —Richard Howell (https://news.allaboutjazz.com/saxophonist-richard-howell-exciting-new-release-moon-over-tiburon-on-november-12th?width=1440) Straight-forward jazz with great leads by Howell. Very hip straight ahead jazz! Click here and scroll down to “Moon Over Tiburon” to listen to samples of the songs on this release.
Gary Lucas – The Essential Gary Lucas (Knitting Factory): “A world class guitar hero, a Grammy-nominated songwriter and composer, an international recording artist with over 30 acclaimed solo albums to date, and a soundtrack composer for film and television, GARY LUCAS is on the move in 2020. He has recorded over 30 acclaimed albums in a variety of genres—jazz, rock, classical, folk, blues and world music—and has performed in over 40 countries to date. He has received many honors and awards—including being invited to perform solo before the General Assembly of the UN on January 27th 2017 to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day. He was also recently profiled on National Public Radio (NPR). Dubbed “The Thinking Man’s Guitar Hero” by The New Yorker, “The world’s most popular avant-rock guitarist” by The Independent (UK), “One of the 100 Greatest Living Guitarists” (Classic Rock), “Legendary Leftfield guitarist” by The Guardian (UK), “Guitarist of 1000 Ideas” by The New York Times, “a true axe God” by Melody Maker, and “One of the five best guitarists in the world” by the national Czech newspaper Lidove Noviny; the British world music magazine fRoots recently described Gary Lucas as “without question, the most innovative and challenging guitarist playing today.” Rolling Stone’s David Fricke wrote: “Gary Lucas is one of the best and most original guitarists in America…a modern guitar miracle.” Best-selling author/producer Dan Levitin (“This Is Your Brain On Music”) recently cited Gary as “the greatest living electric guitarist”. Gary was also dubbed “one of the world’s greatest guitar players” by HITS Magazine. Pete Frame, music journalist, founder/editor of legendary UK music magazine ZigZag, and author/creator of 5 volumes of “Rock Family Trees” said of Gary, “Can there be another musician as adventurous, ingenious, accomplished, diverse, intrepid, hard-working and well-travelled as Gary Lucas?”” (http://www.garylucas.com/biog2.shtml) Is it jazz? Well, I can’t say that I would label it that way, rather weird folk/rock with a sense of humor and a lot of nerve, but it IS terrific music and song from a super strange entertainer who has connections with Captain Beefheart and his cronies. This set is a certified Professor Bebop “Wax Devoid of Cracks”! Click here to check out a sample song from this disc.
Alexander McCabe – I’d Prefer (Wamco): “Alexander McCabe is a saxophonist and composer. Originally from Boston, he has been performing in and around New York City since the 1980s. Alexander was a featured soloist with the Ray Charles Orchestra and was an original member, and toured with, the Chico O’Farril Afro-Cuban big band. Alexander has played with/among others: George Coleman, Danny Aiello, Harold Mabern, Clifford Jordan, George Coleman Jr., Maurio Bauza, the Pointer Sisters and Nancie Banks…. This is his third release as the leader.” (http://www.amccabemusic.com/music2.html) McCabe composed all but one song, Janet Jackson’s “Together Again”, and Grace Casale added lyrics on two. The remaining five are original instrumentals. The disc is itself is straight club style jazz. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
New Orleans High Society – New Orleans High Society (1718 Records): “New Orleans High Society originally started with a weekly gig in the birthplace of jazz, New Orleans, LA. As the members of the band got to know each other better, a distinctive interpretation of the New Orleans Repertoire began to emerge with the sound of traditional jazz as its base but with sprinklings of Afro-Cuban, Gospel, and Modern Trip-Hop mixed in. After playing together regularly for over 18 months, the band decided to record an album, resulting in their self-titled debut. The album features Cleveland Donald on trumpet and lead vocals, David Bode on saxophones and clarinet, Peter Gustafson on Trombone, Yacine Sebti on piano and lead vocals, Steven Bohnstengel on bass, and Trenton O’Neal on drums and percussion. In addition to the members, the band’s first release showcases special guest vocalist Angie Z. Soon after the recording session, Cleveland moved to Marseille, France, so the band brought in Angie as a full-time vocalist.” (https://nohighsociety.com/bio) Straight ahead standard New Orleans style music. Click here to listen to “Little Liza Jane”.