New Jazz Adds – 1/21/2020
Marina Albero – A Life Soundtrack (Self-produced): “A master of the piano, psalterium (a mediterranean Hammered Dulcimer), vibraphone, and composition, Marina Albero is a working musician based in Seattle, leading the Marina Albero Project. Marina Albero started playing music on stages as a child with her family while they toured all around the world playing traditional music and creating new shows. In her early years she studied in Barcelona’s Conservatory (El Bruc) and later in La Havana (ISA), where she finished her classical piano degree with the great professor and pianist Mrs. Teresa Junco. Marina has been researching in many different music styles such as: jazz, flamenco, early music, andalusie, latin (son & latin jazz)….” (https://www.marinaalbero.net/bio/) This is her first release as leader. The mix of musical styles is broad and enchanting. There are three discs in the set: the first recorded in 2008 and the other two in 2018. “Albero is presenting her first release in US which includes two new volumes of her ongoing project “A life soundtrack”. One of original music and jazz standards with her band and the other one is made by improvisations on solo piano and duos with Hans Teuber.” Accompanying players on the more recent performances are Hans Teuber (sax, flute), Jeff Johnson (bass), Jeff Busch (percussion) and D’Vonne Lewis (drums) with guests Serena Albero (vocal) and Marcel Albero (alto sax). The third disc offers standards “My Favorite Things”, “Nardis” and “What Is This Thing Called Love” as well as several original works. Click here and scroll down to listen to samples labelled as “A Life Soundtrack” from this release by Albero.
Benny Benack III – Lot Of Livin’ To Do (BB3): “At the age of 27, Pittsburgh-born, New York-based Jazz trumpeter & singer Benny Benack III has quickly established himself as one of the most versatile and virtuosic voices of his generation. Hailed by the New York Times as “a charismatic young trumpeter who maintains an earnest sideline as a singer”, Benack has a knack for delighting audiences with panache, in the spirit of classic crooners like Sinatra & Mel Tormé, with a nod to legendary trumpet showmen Louis Armstrong & Dizzy Gillespie.” (https://www.bennybenackjazz.com/bio) Benack is accompanied by Takeshi Ohbayashi (piano), Ulysses Owens Jr (drums) and Christian McBride (bass) and guest vocalists Veronica Swift and Alita Moses on one song each. Four of the songs are Benack originals. Click here to watch Benack perform “A Lot Of Livin’ To Do”.
Frank Kohl – The Crossing (Self-produced): “Originally from New York, guitarist Frank Kohl currently resides in Seattle. Early inspirations included Wes Montgomery and the original Tony Williams Lifetime that he saw live. He studied at Berklee at the time John Scofield and Pat Metheny were there. His early career was based in New York before moving to San Francisco and then Seattle. This is his fifth album and finds him joined by John Stowell on guitar and nylon string guitar, and bassist Steve LaSpina.” (https://inabluemood.blogspot.com/2020/01/frank-kohl-crossing.html) Five of the nine songs are Kohl originals and the remainder are two from Antonio Carlos Jobim (2) and one each from Allie Wrubel and Jerome Kern. The music is light and lovely throughout. Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Jeff Lofton – Jericho (Self-produced): “Born in Germany and raised in South Carolina, trumpeter Jeff Lofton has risen as a cornerstone of the Austin scene since landing 10 years ago. He switches easily from NOLA swing to the birth of cool, exploring jazz-funk with the Jeff Lofton Electric Thang and earning rave reviews for his Miles Davis tribute performances.” (Austin Chronicle) Lofton is accompanied by Dr. James Polk (piano, organ), Glenn Schultz (bass), Ryan Bowen (bass on 1 song), Steve Mankenberg, Terrence McDaniel and Ernie Durawa (drums), Carolyn Wonderland and Murali Coryell (vocal, guitar on different takes of “Compared To What”). The disc is inviting and in the groove. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Doug MacDonald & The Coachella Valley Trio – Mid Century Modern (dmac music): Guitarist Doug MacDonald, bassist Larry Holloway and drummer Tim Pleasant form the Coachella Valley Trio on four of MacDonald’s original compositions and a variety of tunes from Arlen and Mercer’s “My Shining Hour”and Bloom and Rube’s “Give Me The Simple Life” to Kern And Fields’ “The Way You Look Tonight” and Dizzy Gillespie’s “Woody ’N You”. Big Black joins in on djembe on six of the songs. Smooth, swinging and mellow throughout! I regret I am unable to find any samples from this disc.
Delfeayo Marsalis & The Uptown Orchestra – Jazz Party (Troubadour Jass): Delfeayo Marsalis has gathered up his Uptown Jazz Orchestra and anchored by Dirty Dozen Brass Band founder Roger Lewis on bari sax they are throwing a street party to match the very best New Orleans has to offer. The music is party-time marching with enough jive to keep the whole town alive! The players include Terrance Taplin, Delfeayo Marsalis, Christopher Butcher, T.J. Norris (trombone); Khari Allen Lee, Amari Ansari, Roderick Paulin, Scott Johnson, Roger Lewis, Trevarri Huff-Boone (saxophones); Gregory Agid (clarinet); Scott Frock, Andrew Baham, Dr. Brice Miller, John Gray, Michael Christie (trumpets); Tonya Boyd-Cannon, Karen Livers, Dr. Brice Miller, UJO (vocals); Kyle Roussel and Ryan Hanseler (piano); David Pulphus (bass); Joseph Dyson, Jr.; Alexey Marti; Willie Green; Raymond Weber, Jr. (percussion, drums); and Detroit Brooks (guitar). Killin’!!!! Click here for just enough samples to flip your lid!
Jonathan Ng – The Sphynx (Self-produced): Violinist Jonathan Ng “focuses on small group swing jazz, combining musical virtuosity with passionate expression. Ng also flourishes in creating a danceable sound. His expertise as a lindy hop, balboa, and blues dancer gives him a deeper understanding of creating a danceable band sound.” (https://www.chalkedupreviews.com/jazz/jonathan-ng-the-sphynx-review/) He opens with a piece of his own, but mostly focuses on older music, such as Ray Charles’ “Rockhouse”, Erskine Hawkins’ “Gin Mill Special” and Illinois Jacquet’s “Embryo”, but opens with an original that blends right in. The other players on this disc are Albert Alva (tenor sax), Luca Pino (guitar), Chris Dawson (piano), Seth Ford-Young (bass) and Josh Collazo (drums) and together everyone keeps the toes tappin’ and the joint jumpin’. Fans of Django, old jazz and swinging bluegrass will definitely love this! Click here to check out a live version of Chu Berry’s “Maelstrom” that is performed on this disc.
Tamuz Nissim – Capturing Clouds (Street of Stars): Tamuz Nissim grew up in Israel and studied piano as she grew up. Eventually, however, she was drawn to singing and this is her fourth vocal release. She also moved to New York City. Nissim’s style is a combination of scat singing mixed with vocalese. The songs on this release include standards like “On The Sunny Side Of The Street” and “Like Someone In Love”, a vocalese version of Coltrane’s on Trane’s solo and original compositions of her own. Five of the songs are originals. Backing musicians are George Nazos (guitar), Harvie S (bass) and Tony Jefferson (drums). Intriguing! Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Shuffle Demons – crazy time (Stubby Records): “The Shuffle Demons leaped onto the scene in 1984 with an electrifying musical fusion that drew from Sun Ra, Charles Mingus, Run DMC and the Beastie Boys….The Shuffle Demons are excited to release their 9th album, “crazy time.” The album includes 10 original Shuffle Demons songs, 7 instrumental and 3 vocal. The album also introduces new and virtuosic Shuffle Demons Matt Lagan on tenor sax and Mike Downes on bass, as well as demons regulars Kelly Jefferson on sax, Stich Wynston on drums and Richard Underhill on sax and vocals. Returning for this special 35th Anniversary recording are founding Demons Mike Murley on tenor sax and Jim Vivian on bass. (https://www.shuffledemons.com/store/) The songs are certainly more connected to jazz than to NOLA parade bands, but their are definite connections. The band members are Richard Underhill(alto & bari sax, lead vocals), Stich Winston (drums, percussion, backing vocal), Kelly Jefferson tenor sax, vocal), matt Lagan (tenor sax, vocal), Mike Downes (bass on five songs, vocal), ike Murley (tenor sax on five songs) and Jim Vivian (bass on five songs). Click here and scroll down to listen to two songs from this disc.
Aaron Stroessner Quartet – Haymarket Station (Self-produced): Guitarist Aaron Stroessner is based in Lincoln, Nebraska and teaches guitar lessons, jazz ensemble, music history and theory classes at Nebraska Wesleyan, Wayne State College, Southeast Community College, and Iowa Western Community College. He has also been a frequent player at the Zoo Bar in Lincoln. In addition to Stroessner, the quartet members are Kevin Lloyd (Hammond B3), Mitchell Benson (bass) and Andrew Wray (drums). Stroessner composed all of the songs on this disc. The music is welcoming and straight ahead. This is the first release for this particular quartet. Click here to check out a demo of early versions of some of the songs on this disc.
Frank Vignola – Collaborations (Big Jersey): “It is such a pleasure to release this new recording of collaborations with some of my favorite musicians on the planet! These sessions were recorded at different times throughout the past few years as opportunities arose, and document continuing musical conversations on the guitar between friends, old and new.” (https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/frankvignola5) The first six songs feature Hans Backenroth and Erik Soderlind perform with Vignola for the first six songs; followed by Martin Taylor and Vignola; Julian Lage and Vignola; two with Jimmy Bruno and Vignola; Bucky Pizzarelli and Vignola; and last with Olli Soikkell, Vinny Raniolo and Vignola. Click here and scroll down to sample all of the songs on this disc.
Frank Vignola & Vinny Raniolo – Swing Zing! (Self-produced): On this disc Vignola and Raniolo create the duo with guests Olli Soikkeli, Julian Lage, Bucky Pizzarelli, Audra Mariel, Gary Mazzaroppi and Gene Bertoncini shifting in and out from song to song. All but two of the songs are standards by Berlin, Weil, Kern, Carmichael and the like. The music is joyful and full of life. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.