New Jazz Adds – 2/10/2015

New Jazz Adds – 2/10/2016

Jeff Coffin with Caleb Chapman’s Superband – The Inside Of The Outside (Earup): Widely recognized as one of the greatest music educators in the US, Caleb Chapman works with a number of bands and players in the form of the Crescent Super Band. This disc was organized, recorded and is available for sale to help fund the National School of Music in Havana, Cuba. The Super Band itself is made up of high school students taught by Chapman and assisted by special guest musicians. For example, Jeff Coffin (Bela Fleck & The Flecktones, Dave Matthews Band) wrote or co-wrote all but one song on this disc.  In addition to Coffin, special guest performers include Trombone Shorty, Randy Brecker, Victor Wooten, and Branford Marsalis among others.  Brecker commented that when he heard the band recording, he forgot that they were not professional musicians. In fact, all of the musicians swing throughout. Click here for an introduction to this disc.

Similar Note for Jazz Lovers!  Click here for a local event supporting the Albemarle High School Jazz Band!

Avishai Cohen – Into The Silence (ECM): Debut disc from trumpeter Cohen presenting five original compositions.  Cohen has a style that is very reminiscent of Miles Davis, both in terms of tone and form. The songs, however, are completely his and his accompanying players certainly have their own styles.  The result is fresh and captivating. Cohen is supported by Bill McHenry on tenor, Jonathan Avishai on piano, Eric Revis on bass, and Nasheet Waits on drums. McHenry’s and Avishai’s styles certainly help create the independent sound. This is “cool” jazz at its best. As with Miles in the day, the collective sound is spare and draws the listener to respond to both the instruments and the aural space.  Click here for a brief introduction to this disc.

Peter Erskine – Is Dr. Um (Fuzzy Music): Drummer Peter Erskine has played in many contexts, such as the Stan Kenton and Maynard Ferguson Big Bands, Weather Report, Steps Ahead, Joni Mitchell, Steely Dan, Diana Krall, Kenny Wheeler, Mary Chapin Carpenter, The Brecker Brothers, The Yellowjackets, John Scofield, and Pat Metheny, Gary Burton and has appeared as a soloist with the London, Los Angeles, Chicago, Frankfurt Radio, Scottish Chamber, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Royal Opera House, BBC Symphony, Oslo and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras. He has also recorded on more than 600 albums or discs. This disc continues that tradition with a slice of funkiness. In addition to Erskine on drums, the base group includes John Beasley (keys) and Janek Gwizdala (bass) with additional drop-ins by Bob Sheppard (tenor sax), Jeff Parker and Larry Koonse (guitar), Aaron Serfaty (percussion) and Jack Fletcher as the voice). It’s groovy, generally mellow, and covers composers from Joe Zawinul and Gary McFarland to Gustave Mahler and Erskine himself.  Click here for an introduction from the Dr. himself.

David Gilmore & Energies Of Change – Energies Of Change (Evolutionary Music): Guitarist / composer / teacher Gilmore has quite a resume: he composed seven of the nine songs on this disc; he has recorded with and/or accompanied such jazz luminaries as Wayne Shorter, Dave Douglas, Muhal Richard Abrams, Sam Rivers, Cassandra Wilson, Randy Brecker, David Sanborn, Ron Blake, and Christian McBride and has also worked with other musicians as diverse as Me’shell N’Degeocello, Melissa Etheridge, Joan Osbourne, Mavis Staples, Issac Hayes, and Boz Scaggs. He also teaches at Berklee College of Music! In addition to Gilmore’s guitar, Energies of Change includes dazzling reed player Marcus Strickland (various saxes and bass clarinet), Luis Perdomo (piano), Ben Williams (bass), Antonio Sanchez (drums) and Kofo Wanda in a guest appearance on talking drum on the song “Dance of Duality”. The band plays in wonderful unity while also playing with time that resolves with precision.  Click here to listen to the title track.

Interplay Jazz Orchestra – Detour (Self-produced): This second release from this Long Island orchestra in its 12+ year existence includes five original compositions and six covers ranging from Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins, and JJ Johnson among others.  The orchestra is a tight unit and its soloists provide solid individual leads.  The band includes: Gary Henderson and Joey Devassy (Co-directors ); Andrew Gould and Jonathan Holford (alto sax); John Marshall, Alejandro Aviles, Luke Norris (tenor sax); Chris Scarnato (bari sax); Joey Devassy, Justin Friedman, Brent Chiarello, and Eric Gottesman (trombone); Mike Rubenstein, Damien Pacheco, Steve Henry, and Gary Henderson (trumpets); Mark Portugal (drums); Jay Orig (piano); Pete Coco (bass); and Chris Doherty (guitar). Click here to sample the songs on this disc.

Ibrahim Maalouf – Kalthoum (Impulse Classics): Trumpeter/composer/arranger/producer Maalouf is a well-respected musician whose growing reputation has attracted accolades across the jazz, classical, and film worlds. This set is a celebration of Oum Kalthoum, also known as the “Star of the Orient” – an Egyptian singer and actress who is one of the greatest artists of her time. Her pure tone and mastery of the art of the “Mawal” – the tradition of extended improvisation. The music on this disc was written a in tribute to this great star and has been arranged by Maalouf, whose trumpet playing is accompanied by Mark Turner (sax), Frank Woeste (piano), Larry Grenadier (bass), and Clarence Penn (drums). The result is a disc filled with great music blending the Egyptian sensibilities with a jazz setting. Click here to listen to the centerpiece of this recording.

Lyle Mays Quartet – The Ludwigsburg Concert (SWR Jazz Haus): This is a recording of a complete live, all acoustic concert performed in Ludwigsburg, Germany in 1993 featuring Mays on piano, Marc Johnson on bass, Bob Sheppard on sax, and Mark Walker on drums. The concert features eight original compositions by Mays and one co-composed with Pat Metheny, with whom Mays played and recorded for several years. This concert features several extended performances, allowing for extended solos from the band members. Upon hearing the recording some time later, Mays said, “When I first heard of the SWR recording, I was uncertain. Live recordings are often a bit overdrawn, full of flaws…. When I heard the concert, I was almost shocked. How was it possible? We seem to have played flawlessly and full of energy! That was a magical night!” Enough said. Click here and scroll down to listen to samples from this disc.

Daniela Mercury – Virtual Vinyl (DRG): New disc from Brazilian singer/dancer/composer Mercury  who celebrates life and love through the medium of Bahian carnival musical mixed with various other styles. She sings energetically, expressing great joy and love for her wife and the broader world, citing John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s influence for her inspiration. “It’s my fight for love, for peace and against all forms of violence and suffering.” Mercury is accompanied by Gilberto Gil (guitar, vocals), Marcio Victor (percussion, vocals), Armandinho Macedo (guitar, mandolin),  Cesario Leony (bass) and Gabriel Povoas (keys, guitar, bass, vocals). The sound is melodic,  rhythmic and joyous. Click here and roll down to listen to songs on this disc.

Gogo Penguin – Man Made Object (Blue Note): Manchester (UK) trio featuring Chris Illingworth (piano), Roc Turner (drums), and Nick Blacka (bass) on all original compositions that flow between lovely melodies to melodically percussive blends that are alluring in their own right. Turner describes the band’s composing process as beginning with electronic riffs he discovers on his computer and then sharing them with the rest of the band who filter it through their own classical and jazz perspectives to create this unique and mostly acoustic music. Their website goes on to say that it is their ability to synthesize these strands into their own unique musical DNA that gives GoGo Penguin such an instantly recognizable and compelling sound. Click here to listen to the opening track on this disc.

Jae Sinnett – Zero To 60 (J-Nett Music): Drummer/composer/teacher Sinnett is also a deejay on WHRV-FM in Norfolk, VA. In addition to leading his own group, he has served as a teacher at the Governor’s School and at Christopher Newport University for a number of years. His current quartet features Ralph Bowen on tenor sax, Allen Farnham on piano, and Hans Glawischnig on bass. Signet composed nine of the ten songs on offer here. The quartet interacts smoothly and their post-bop swing is rooted in the jazz of the 60s, which Sinnett uses as the starting point for his own reflections and expressions of how the music of the time inspires his own composing and performing. Click here for a live performance of a song on this disc.

Dr. Lonnie Smith – Evolution (Blue Note): Attention soul jazz fans and B3 devotees! Dr. Lonnie Smith is back on the keys and both he and his assembled musicians are out to “flat domino your lame act”! If you can get all the way through the opening number, Play It Back, without bouncing, swinging, or dancing, someone better be checking your pulse! His basic group features Jonathan Blake (drums) and Jonathan Kreisberg (guitar), with the addition of Joe Dyson (drums on all but one track) and guests Robert Glasper (piano), Joe Lovano (soprano, tenor sax), John Ellis (tenor sax, bass clarinet, flute), and Keyon Harold or Maurice Brown (trumpet).  Five of the sevenn tracks are Smith originals and the two covers are Straight No Chaser and My Favorite Things. This disc swings, swoons and soars. I’m quite certain if you play this disc in the summer, you won’t need your air conditioner. Click here to listen to samples from this disc.

Bill Stewart – Space Squid (Pirouet): Drummer / composer Bill Stewart leads this quartet in a direct and almost casual floating through space. The sounds seems to flow, while encountering occasional eddies or surges. This is not, however, a storm. The interaction with Seamus Blake (tenor, soprano sax), Bill Carrothers (piano) and Ben Street (bass) is harmonious and seeks resolution even when some tempo shifts occur. Stewart composed all but the final song, which is an interesting cover of Arthur Schwartz and Howard Deitz’s “Dancing In The Dark”. Cool and hip!  Click here to sample the songs on this disc.




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