New Jazz Adds – 2/11/2020
Kate Amrine – This Is My Letter To The World (innova): “A passionate and creative performer, Kate Amrine is a prominent trumpet player balancing a multifaceted career from developing new repertoire and curating concerts to freelancing with many different groups in the New York City. Recent performances include Vivaldi’s Double Trumpet concerto, a 10 week Off Broadway run of Alice by Heart, and premiering new pieces for trumpet and clarinet with her newest group Spark Duo with Ford Fourqurean.” (https://www.kateamrine.com/bio) This is Amrine’s second release and it is a unique blend of trumpet with a variety of other players in duos: Roberta Michel (alto flute), Carrie Frey (viola), Amanda Gookin (cello), Leanne Friedman (alto flute0, Ford Fourqurean (bass clarinet), Kate Barmotina (viola, vocal), Alia Kuhnert and Maddi Lusby (trumpet, vocals) and Kyra Sims (narrator). This pieces present sonic art as in a sonic exhibit one would imagine in a gallery. Click here and scroll down to listen to two samples from this disc.
Lynne Arriale Trio – Chimes Of Freedom (Challenge): Pianist Lynne Arriale is a highly prolific player and interpreter of music. Her performances are straight ahead and she is highly admired for the “clarity, honesty and lyricism of her melodic lines, her virtuoso technique, the taut, muscular quality of her performance, and her genius for creating a synergistic environment around the trio….” (Liner notes) Arriale is accompanied by Jasper Somsen (bass) and E.J. Strickland (drums) with vocals by K.J. Denhert on Bob Dylan’s “Chimes Of Freedom” and Paul Simon’s “American Tune”. Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Allen Austin-Bishop – Sorry Grateful (Self-produced): “London-based jazz vocalist Allen Austin-Bishop uses his superb skills to give you lush jazz vocals…” (https://contemporaryfusionreviews.com/lush-jazz-vocals/) This appears to be his second release and the target appears to be the Great American Songbook with the exception of the title song which is associated with and composed by Stephen Sondheim. The songfest includes “Fly Me To The Moon”, “Misty” and “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter” among others. Alex Maydew (piano), Mao Yamada (bass), and Rob Hervais-Adelman (percussion). Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Eldar Djangirov – Rhapsodize (Twelve Tone Resonance): Eldar Djangirov began playing piano at the age of three and he states that the first song of note that he learned was “C Jam Blues”. He studied both classical and jazz. Eldar has been variously compared to Art Tatum and Oscar Peterson, but seems to have absorbed harmonic expansiveness by studying McCoy Tyner. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eldar_Djangirov) Djangirov is accompanied by Raviv Markovitz (bass) and Jimmy Macbride (drums). Djangirov composed seven of the eleven songs on this disc. Terrific artistry! Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Judson Green – Discover Judson Green (Self-produced): All original compositions featuring Judson Green (piano), Daniel Jordan (sax/flute), Ron Jenkins (bass), Walt Hubbard (drums) and Fitzroy Harris (percussion). The style is mostly a mellow and lilting mixture of Latin jazz and smooth jazz. This is the group’s fifth release. Truly mainstream. Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the songs on this release.
Joseph Henson – Transformation (Self-produced): Saxophonist Joseph Henson (tenor, alto, bells) leads a set of original compositions with backing from Michael Kramer (guitar), Luke Brimhall (trombone), Chris Ziemba (piano, keys), Nathan Kawaller (bass) and Jay Ware (drums). The group’s interaction is solid throughout and Henson’s style is energetic and dynamic while resolving into smooth and wonderful melodies. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Florian Hoefner Trio – First Spring (ALMA): “Born and raised in Germany, trained in New York City and now based in Canada, jazz pianist and composer, Florian Hoefner, draws from a myriad of influences that cumulate in his unique brand of modern jazz. While he is being praised as a “composer-bandleader of insightful resolve” by the New York Times and a “harmonically daring pianist […] reaching toward new sonic territory” by Downbeat Magazine, Florian Hoefner keeps making his mark as an inventive creator and performer of exciting contemporary Jazz.” (https://florian-hoefner.com/biography/) Horfner has performed in numerous recordings, including five as a leader. Hoefner is accompanied by Andrew Downing (bass) and Nick Fraser (drums) on this release. Hoefner’s three originals are the cream of the crop, but the interaction on all of the songs is fantastic. Click here to listen to a sample of a song on this disc.
Helge Lien Trio – 10 (Ozella): “Helge Lien is a Norwegian jazz pianist, composer and band leader.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helge_Lien) “The sessions to the new Helge Lien Trio album were not supposed to be special. And yet, they could never be business as usual. After the departure of founding member Frode Berg, the group were ”at a crossroads,” says Lien, and in need of a fresh start. They found it by leaving their comfort zone: For the first time in 15 years, they did not record at the Rainbow studio in Oslo. The change of location turned out to be productive. In the end, the musicians had two full records’ worth of material – and none of it fit the glove of a conventional trio recording. Rather, the soberly titled 10 feels like factories of ideas, little worlds for letting go and losing yourself in, like a clockwork ticking at the pulse of passion. They present a panopticum of this unique formation’s versatility, including onomatopoetic piano paintings and hypnotic grooves, experimental abstractions and runic jazz. Lien is known for being capable of everything – this time, he just did everything all at once. It was obviously critical how new bassist Mats Eilert would fit in. All doubts, however, are quickly dispersed on opener ”Be Patient”. Appearing behind Lien’s crystalline piano cascades, Eilert turns his instrument into a poetic device, imbuing the music with a sense of magic and mystery. The other members, too, are awarded their spot in the limelight. In the solo pieces, their individual voices sound more recognizable than ever, while forging an even tighter unit in the band settings.. Some have referred to the trio’s style as ”new chamber music” – it is not hard to understand, why. Lien himself especially has grown as a composer and performer. Some of the most striking passages are reminiscent of his ambitious solo record Kattenslager from 2012. On other occasions, he pushes the beat forward with impulsive staccatos, at times separating himself from the rhythm section, at times closely aligning himself with it.” (https://www.amazon.com/10-Helge-Lien-Trio/dp/B07MF42F1R) Reminiscent of a variety of ECM style, but this set certainly has its own feel and sound. All of the songs on this set were composed by one or more of the players. The set is full of beauty and surprises. Click here to listen to a sample of a song from this disc.
Purna Loka Ensemble – Metaraga (Origin World): “In Purna’s exotic and highly original improvisations one hears not only the sounds of genuine Indian classical, but also the roots of jazz and contemporary western classical…amazingly shocking and shockingly amazing virtuosity.’ – Gregory Sandomirsky, Kansas City Symphony. Hailing from southern India, Purnaprajna Bangere began vocal studies at 7, and rigorous lessons on violin at 13 in the Parur style, characterized by high technical virtuosity and musicianship. Training under Vidwan H.K. Narasimhamurthy, he was deeply influenced by Indian classical music, Western classical music, and American blues, jazz and folk music. Now a Professor of Mathematics and Music at the University of Kansas, Purna combines the two disciplines into Metaraga, a systematic musical framework deeply inspired by ideas and concepts in Algebraic Geometry introduced by Alexander Grothendieck. The journey may start from any of the known genres, traverse into other musical worlds, and ultimately arrive in a ‘no man’s land’ – music with no east or west. Joining Purna on the journey is multi-Grammy winning violinist from the Turtle Island String Quartet, David Balakrishnan, bassist Jeff Harshbarger, and Amit Kavthekar on tabla.” (https://www.isrbx.net/3137765733-purna-loka-ensemble-metaraga-2020.html) Click here to listen to samples of two songs from this disc.
Randy Napoleon – Brothers: The Music Of Gregg Hill (Cold Plunge): “BROTHERS is a meeting of the minds of some of Michigan’s premier jazz performers. Many of these players have crossed paths in various configurations over the last couple of decades. The material ranges across the jazz spectrum, showcasing the band leaders’ formidable arranging skills and versatility, and provides a platform for these talented players to put their own stamp on it. Composer Gregg Hill quotes, “I was fortunate to record these fine players in a live setting, and there are moments when I felt I was capturing lightning in a bottle. The first four tunes of this album are led by acclaimed guitarist and Michigan State University (MSU) Professor of Jazz Randy Napoleon. Known as a forward-thinking musician with a passion for the jazz tradition, guitarist Napoleon toured with the legendary singer/pianist Freddy Cole for many years…. The second four tunes on this album are led by Bill Heid, a veteran pianist/vocalist.” (https://www.gregghilljazz.com/single-post/2020/01/21/New-CD-Release-BROTHERS) The rhythm section of Randy Gellispie (drums) and Paul Keller (bass) anchors both Napoleon and Heid. Pianist Rick Roe also joins Napolean. Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Audrey Ochoa – Frankenhorn (Chronograph): “Edmonton trombonist Audrey Ochoa is both a bandleader and a hired horn for everything from ska-punk acts to rock, pop and Latin combos. Her debut album Trombone and Other Delights (2013) hit No. 1 on the Earshot jazz charts, and the followup Afterthought (2017) broke into the Top 20 in the U.S. jazz charts…Originally intended to be a duo session with Ochoa and pianist Chris Andrew which would get a heady remix courtesy of DJ Battery Poacher, Ochoa rethought the project during production. Adding in strings and a rhythm section, the eight-tune recording moves and shifts all over the map.” Supporting musicians are Chris Andrew – Piano/Keyboards (2, 4, 5, 6, 7); Sandro Dominelli – Drums (1, 3); Mike Lent – Bass (1, 3, 8); Luis Tovar – Congas (2, 5); Raul Tabera – Percussion (2); Rubim de Toledo – Bass (5); Kate Svrcek and Shannon Johnson – Violin; Ian Woodman – Cello and Special Guest: Battery Poacher remix (4, 6). Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Rich Willey’s Boptism Funk Band – Conspiracy (Wise Cat): “L.A. big band playing 11 original tunes by Rich Willey with arrangements by Michael Abene, Gordon Goodwin, Wally Minko and Chris Walden. Special guest artist: Thomas Hooten. PERSONNEL — Rich Willey (trumpet, flugelhorn & bass trumpet) | Saxophones: Dan Higgins, Brian Scanlon, Bob Sheppard, Jeff Driskill/Sal Lozano, Jay Mason | Trumpets: Wayne Bergeron, Dan Fornero, Rob Schaer/Mike Rocha, Tony Bonsera | Trombones: Alex Iles, Andy Martin, Steve Holtman, Bill Reichenbach | Rhythm Section: Wally Minko (keyboards), Andrew Synowiec (guitars), Edwin Livingston (bass), Peter Erskine (drums), Joey De Leon (percussion). Very special guest: Thomas Hooten on piccolo trumpet (Down & Dirty).” (https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/richwilley1/) The overall sound is slightly laid back compared to HOT brass bands, but there are some really nice moments. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.