New Jazz Adds – 3/12/2019
Ehud Asherie Trio – Wild Man Blues (Capri): “Ehud Asherie, “a master of swing and stride” (The New Yorker), is a jazz pianist who integrates the venerable New York piano tradition into his inventive style…Though he began playing piano as a child, his passion for jazz came later—with a Thelonious Monk cassette tape—and his first visit to Smalls Jazz club in Greenwich Village.” (http://ehudpiano.com/news-aviator) His blend is energetic and infectious, whether playing Louis Armstrong and Jelly Roll Morton or Charlie Parker. His rhythm section, Peter Washington (bass) and Rodney Green (drums), keeps a tight structure for Asherie’s flights of passion. This appears to be his 13th release and he has done a great deal of recording on others’ releases. Click here to listen to the title song.
Pete Coco – Lined With A Groove (Self-produced): This is bassist Pete Coco’s first release as a leader. He has been based in NYC for some time and is dedicating this release to his heroes and model players including, Ron Carter, Milt Hinton, Ray Brown, Charlie Haden, Paul Chambers and others. In fact, he has included songs by those and more. His trio includes Sullivan Fortner (piano) and Matt Wilson (drums). The performances are solid throughout and there are notable style shifts from one song to the next. At the same time, the performances are truly fresh. Click here and click on song titles to listen to samples of these songs from this disc.
Josephine Davies (Satori) – In The Corners Of Clouds (Whirlwind): This is Josephine Davies’ second release as a leader and it is mostly rhythm first and melody second with the exception of slow songs like “The Space between Thoughts”. In addition to Davies, the group features James Maddren (drums) and Dave Whitford (bass). This makes the ballads explore the “space” as well as the melodies. That being said, a song like “Cry” takes the listener to the more intense sounds that would represent the mood of the title. This is an intriguing and captivating release. Click here to listen to the opening song on this disc.
Steve Davis – Correlations (Smoke Sessions): Veteran trombonist Steve Davis offers his 20th release as a group leader. He began receiving accolades nearly 30 years ago as a member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and his compositions have been praised for the past 20. “The Correlations Sextet” not only features Davis, but also Joshua Bruneau (trumpet), Wayne Escoffery (tenor sax), Xavier Davis (piano), Dezron Douglas (bass) and Jonathan Barber (drums) and they play as smoothly as a group can, performing seven of Davis’ original compositions and such delights as Horace Silver’s “Peace”, George Cables’ “Think On Me”, Thad Jones’ “A Child Is Born” and McCoy Tyner’s “Inner Glimpse”. This is a fine outing. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Galactic – Already Ready Already (Tchoup-Zilla): When Galactic returns with something new, they do NOT mess around! This is the group’s tenth release and they offer up their raging, funky, soul hybrid party festival with no holds barred! The players are certainly who we’d expect: Ben Ellman (sax, harmonica), Robert Mercurio (bass, guitar, percussion), Stanton Moore (drums, percussion), Jeffrey Raines (guitar) and Robert Vogel (keys) with guests Shamarr Allen (trumpet), Corey Henry (trombone), Andrew Campanelli (whistle) and guest appearances from vocalists Erica Falls, Princess Shaw, Miss Charm Taylor, David Shaw and Nahko (The Revivalists), and Boyfriend (backing vocal). It swings, it jumps, it reminds of just how magical the music of New Orleans can be! This slice is a certified Professor Bebop “Wax Devoid of Cracks”! Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Al Hood & The H2 Jazztet – Jazz Muses (Aquarian): “Jazz Muses” are taken to a different perspective on this release by connecting the muses in song titles to the writer, but not necessarily making any connections beyond that. Examples include Fat’s Navarro’s composition “Fat Girl” or Doc Severinsen and Skitch Henderson’s “Cleopatra’s Asp”. In the long run, the actual performances are most important and there are some wonderful offerings here. Basically the playing is quite nicely performed, but not groundbreaking. The H2 Jazztet itself includes Al Hood (trumpet, flugelhorn), Dave Hanson (piano), Paul Romaine (drums), Peter Sommer (tenor sax),Wil Swindler (alto sax) and Ken Walker (bass). It’s a “mainstream jazz at it’s finest.” (https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/alhoodtheh2jazztet) Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
JV’s Boogaloo Squad – Going To Market (Flatcar): JV’s Boogaloo Squad, a new Canadian trio featuring Joel Visentin (organ), Adam Beer-Colacino (guitar) and Jeff Halischuk (drums) offers a new flavor of organ playing a wide array of styles that recall the greats while simultaneously presenting their own vision. Seven of the ten songs were composed by Visentin, two were joint compositions from Visentin and Beer-Colacino and the group covers “Chain Of Fools”. There is a great spread of tempos and the interaction between organ and guitar often presents dual leads at some point in a song. Tempo shifts and the addition of tenor sax by Kelly Jefferson on two songs, Alison Young on alto on another, bass on one song and percussion by Michel Dequevedo on two add variety and offer a truly rich set overall. When asked what one song Visentin would recommend to introduce the disc, he said “Squadzilla”, so click here and scroll down so you can do just that!
Snorre Kirk – Beat (Stunt): Drummer/composer Snorre Kirk has risen from band member of note to leader/composer and champion of the styles of the greats from Ellington to Miles and Mingus. While evoking these greats, his compositions are clearly his own and like those named above, he loves to add some sass to his class. With the exception of Juan Tizol’s “Zanzibar”, all of the remaining cuts are his own compositions. Kirk is accompanied by a flow of players from song to song, including Jan Harbeck (tenor sax), Klas Lindquist (alto sax, clarinet), Tobias Wiklund (cornet), Magnus Hjorth (piano) and Lasse Merck (bass). If you have any interest in this style, check this list out immediately! Ellington would definitely smile if he heard this disc. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Claire Martin & Jim Mullen – Bumpin’ – Celebrating Wes Montgomery (Stunt): British singer Claire Martin has a beautiful voice reminiscent of the silkiest performers. On this set, she has joined forces with guitarist Jim Mullen to celebrate the work of Wes Montgomery. It is a wonder to listen to these two exquisite performers share their admiration for Montgomery’s exquisitely intimate style. At times they are joined by Mads Barentzen (piano), Thomas Oveson (bass) and Kristian Leth (drums). This is a wonderful appreciation for the balladry Montgomery shared before his death at 45. Whether or not he composed the songs he played, he always expressed them as his own creations and these two performers honor his work wonderfully. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Alvin Queen Trio – A Tribute To Oscar Peterson (Stunt): Drummer Alvin Queen has an amazing story: As a youngster, he was able to see and hear a variety of musicians thanks to his family who wanted to share their love of music. At one point when he was a student (drums), Queen was given the opportunity to go to Birdland for the annual drum night and was introduced to Art Blakey, Elvin Jones, Mel Lewis, Charlie Persip and Max Roach by his teacher. He was encouraged to play and everyone encouraged him to continue. He actually had the opportunity to record a record at twelve. He regards his greatest thrill was being at the the recording by John Coltrane of the now-famous “Live At Birdland” album, featuring the tune “Afro Blue”. Elvin Jones sat Alvin at the front table – “under the drums”. Jones actually had had him come up and sit next to the drums so he could learn more! Since that time he has recorded with many great musicians. This recording features Queen on drums and “two of the best Danish musicians” – Zier Romme Larsen (piano) and Ida Hvid (bass). The program features nine compositions by Oscar Peterson, the Gershwin’s “Soon” and one composition by Romme. It is a warm of wonderful set. I regret I am unable to locate a sample from this disc.
Cory Weeds Quintet – Live At Frankie’s Jazz Club (Cellar Live): Alto sax man Cory Weeds rounded up Terrrell Stafford (trumpet), Harold Maburn (piano), Michael Glynn (acoustic bass) and Julian MacDonough (drums) with the intention of raising a beautiful fuss! The set list includes songs from Lee Morgan, Mal Waldron, Tina Brooks, and Jackie McLean (3). This performance was the last in a long tour, but several of the above listed players were new to the group. The fire was definitely rekindled and it’s almost like you are there. The performance is strong and absolutely worthy of being saved and shared. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Wing Walker Orchestra – Hazel (Ears & Eyes): “Long in gestation but immediate in its impact, Wing Walker Orchestra’s debut album, “Hazel”, is a great introduction to one of the East Coast’s liveliest ensembles led by 30-year old multi-reed player Drew Williams, who plays bass clarinet on this album. WWO has been working for the last 6 years mostly in New York City while touring the country in smaller incarnations. Hazel is a work of airy futurism with its layered effects, electronic touches and “inside” debt to such bands as Radiohead, Guillermo Klein’s Los Guachos, and film composer Jóhann Jóhannsson. By turns tender and tumultuous, the “Hazel Suite” is loosely based on the first six full issues of Saga, a Star Wars-influenced graphic novel series by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples in which two young star-crossed lovers from opposite sides of a galactic war struggle to care for their newborn daughter, Hazel. Most of the movements represent a specific character in the series.” (http://wingwalkermusic.com/about) All compositions were written by Drew Williams. The players in “Members of the Orchestra” are Brad Mulholland (alto sax, clarinet), Eric Trudel (tenor sax), Drew Williams (bass clarinet), John Blevins and Danny Gouker (trumpets), Karl Lyden and Nick Grinder (trombones), Jeff McLaughlin (guitar), Marta Sanchez (piano), Adam Hopkins (bass) and Nathan Ellman-Bell (drums). The music is a bit offbeat, but enticing as well. Click here to listen to segments of two songs from this disc.