New Jazz Adds – 3/24/2020
Michael Attias – echos la nuit (Out Of Your Head): “‘échos la nuit,’ Michael Attias’ first solo album, was twelve years in gestation and recorded in a little over an hour. There are no overdubs: the alto is played with the left hand, the piano with the right. The reverberation is from the room and the sympathetic resonance of the piano strings set into vibration by the sound of the saxophone and intricate pedal-work. Mixed-limb unison timbres and dislocations tune a line suspended in what Busoni, referring to the sustain pedal, called “a picture of the sky” … melodies in free fall, echoes the night …” (https://outofyourheadrecords.bandcamp.com/album/chos-la-nuit) Though the music is outside of the mainstream, it also sets a sonic background that is quite pleasant. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Dustin Carlson – Air Ceremony (Out Of Your Head): “Dustin Carlson is a Brooklyn based guitarist composer and improvisor. His work spans across the realms of jazz, chamber music, rock, noise, flamenco, and performance art. He has performed throughout the USA, Europe, Mexico and Canada. His band, Air Ceremony, features Matt Mitchel (Prophet 6), Kate Gentile (drums), Nathaniel Morgan (alto sax), Eric Trudel (bari sax), Danny Gouker (trumpet) and Adam Hopkins (bass).” (https://www.dustinjcarlson.com/bio) This appears to be one of four releases, this one having been released in 2018. The music is rather out there – atmospheric and often jaunty as well! Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this release.
Dustlights – Dreams Outside (ropeadope): “”Dreams Outside” presents the post-jazz instrumental trio dustlights at their collective spirit’s edge, moving in moments, with psychedelic peaks, synergic transitions, and melodic reveries singing and screaming over their signature foundation of minimalist groove and layered effects. Featuring many songs improvised right on stage when they toured their critically-acclaimed 2018 debut “In A Stillness”, dustlights’ second release with Ropeadope Records captures the raw energy and sonic explorations of true live performance, while still delving deeply into the same core of dark beautiful moods that captured critics attention in 2018. “The sax/bass/drums threesome is like well-designed mood lighting. Quiet and thoughtful, beautifully minimal, this is background music for the foreground, occasionally feeling like an instrumental Morphine on morphine. – Jambase” (https://www.isrbx.net/3137754840-dustlights-dreams-outside-2019.html) Click here to listen to the songs on this disc.
Gilfema – Three (sounderscore): “Gilfema is a jazz trio consisting of Lionel Loueke (guitar), Ferenc Nemeth (drums) and Massimo Biolcati (bass). The name of the group comes from the musicians’ names: Gil (Lionel Gilles Loueke), Fe (Ferenc Nemeth), Ma (Massimo Biolcati). Founded in 2001 while the three were attending the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz under the musical direction of Terence Blanchard and Herbie Hancock, Gilfema recorded two albums and toured the world during the early 2000’s and later morphed into the Lionel Loueke Trio for a decade of music together on the Blue Note label. This is their fourth release and it will delight both folk and jazz fans around the globe. Twelve of the thirteen songs are originals from one or more of the players with a beautiful rendition of Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing”. Beautiful grooves throughout! Click here to listen to “Little Wing”.
Grant Gordy – Interpreter (Tone Rogue): “Brooklyn, NYC Guitarist Grant Gordy is hailed by Bluegrass Today as “One of the brightest lights in the acoustic world”, and by the Fretboard Journal as “An exciting player who, despite a plethora of influences, now sounds like nobody but himself”. “A 6-year stint in the David Grisman Quintet -following in the footsteps of such acoustic icons as Tony Rice, Mike Marshall and Mark O’Connor- and years with the genre-exploding fiddler Darol Anger made it clear to listeners that Grant’s listening and practicing drew as much from jazz vocabulary as from folk and bluegrass. However despite this well established acoustic reputation at bluegrass festivals and gigs from California to Nashville to Europe, Grant has been determinedly honing his electric chops, and it was only after years of jam sessions, gigging in jazz clubs and soaking up the constant inspiration on offer in New York that he felt ready to try his hand at making a “classic” guitar/bass/drums jazz standards trio record.” (https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/grantgordy3) Gordy plays electric and acoustic guitars and is accompanied by Aidan O’Donnell (bass) and Alwyn Robinson (drums, percussion) with violinist Alex Hargreaves joining the trio on “Elk River Blues”. The songs range from Jerome Kern and Johnny Mercer’s “I’m Old Fashioned”, Irving Berlin’s “How Deep Is The Ocean” and Billy Strayhorn’s “Strange Feeling” to Bud Powell’s “Wail”, Victor Feldman and Miles Davis’ “Joshua” and Dizzy Gillispie’s “Con Alma”. Truly a gem for jazz, folk and guitar fans everywhere. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Jan Harbeck Quartet – The Sound The Rhythm (Stunt): “Jan Harbeck lives and breathes for his music and to tell a story with his saxophone. Jan was born in Aarhus, Denmark in 1975 and has been playing music most of his life. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music in Aalborg as well as New School in New York. Besides his two orchestras Jan Harbeck Quartet and Live Jive Jungle, Jan plays with numerous other orchestras….” (https://www.janharbeck.com/about/) Harbeck released his first with the quartet in 2008 on Stunt Records. This is his fifth with the same company. He plays tenor sax and is accompanied by Henrik Gunde (piano), Eske Norrelykke (bass) with Anders Holm and Morten AEro mostly alternating on drums. Jan zum Voerde adds his alto sax on one song. Half of the songs are Harbeck originals and the remainder are drawn from the compositions of Billy Strayhorn (“Johnny Come Lately”), Ben Webster’s “Poutin’” and “Woke Up Clipped” with Webster and Johnny Hodges’ “I’d Be There’”. The music is truly outstanding! Click here to listen to the opening song on this disc “Lighter Shades” which is a Harbeck original and sooooo smooth.
Lenora Zenzalai Helm & Tribe Jazz Orchestra (Self-produced): “Professionally known as Lenora Zenzalai Helm, Lenora Zenzalai (ZenZAYLay) Helm, she has also contributed to the music industry as a jazz clinician and vocal musicianship coach, with six solo recordings….She is a Duke University John Hope Franklin Fellow in Digital Humanities. With an expansive research background, Professor Hammonds has spent more than a decade exploring the intersection of jazz, global classrooms, intercultural competence, concurrent threads of vocal jazz pedagogy, and the application of digital humanities in the classroom. Outside of the classroom, she has performed as a soloist, composer, and bandleader since 1983. Professor Hammonds has recorded and/or performed with such jazz greats as Donald Brown, Ron Carter, Andrew Hill, David Liebman, Stanley Cowell and others….”(http://www.lenorahelm.com/about-2) “The album was recorded live over two days (with a live audience!) at an historic old church near downtown Durham, Hayti Heritage Center, a favorite recording spot for saxophonist Branford Marsalis. The music is a mix of jazz standards arranged by winging and soulful concert full of groove and excitement. Guest conductor, Brian Horton and Lenora guide the band through the new arrangements by Stanley Cowell, Cecil Bridgewater, Brian Horton and newcomer, Maurice Myers. Other selections include new big band arrangements of Nina Simone’s compositions, Mississippi Goddam and Blues for Mama. Lenora’s penned lyrics to John Coltrane’s composition Dear Lord is a feature of the recording….” (https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/lenorazenzalaihelmtribejazzorc) This is her seventh release and selections range from works by Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, Nina Simone, Dizzy Gillespie and elections from the Great American songbook. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Snorre Kirk Quartet – Tangerine Rhapsody (Stunt): “Drummer Snorre Kirk has a great musical partner here – tenorist Stephen Riley, who blows with this warm, raspy tone that takes us back to classic Ben Webster in the postwar years! The pace of most tunes is nicely laidback, but never in a way that’s too sloppy or loose – as Kirk’s combo provides these rhythms that are more than interesting enough on their own, and which really expand once Riley’s magic comes into the mix! Also, all tunes are originals by Kirk, which makes for an even fresher set than the usual outing with a classic-styled tenorist – and the group features Magnus Hjorth on piano and Anders Fjelsted on bass – plus guest tenor from Jan Harbeck on two tracks too.” (https://www.dustygroove.com/item/936930/Snorre-Kirk-with-Stephen-Riley:Tangerine-Rhapsody) Kirk acknowledges that both Riley and Harbeck have been strongly touched by Webster’s playing and on top of that, pianist Magnus Hjorth drops in some Ellington touches along the way. At it’s best, this disc is exquisite! Click here to listen to “Tangerine Rhapsody”.
Keith Oxman – Two Cigarettes In The Dark (Capri): “Keith Oxman presents his latest album Two Cigarettes in the Dark, featuring original compositions and tunes from the likes of Hank Mobley and Johnny Griffin. Following in the same fashion as his 2018 release Glimpses, in which he teamed up with fellow saxophonist Dave Liebman, Two Cigarettes in the Dark sees Oxman joining forces with yet another tenor legend, Houston Person, as well as vocalist Annette Murrell. The album marks Oxman’s eleventh release on Colorado-based Capri Records….” (https://www.kuvo.org/event/keith-oxman-two-cigarettes-in-the-dark-album-release-celebration/) The remaining players are Jeff Jenkins (piano), Ken Walker 9Bass) and Paul Romaine (drums). Smooooooth! Click here to listen to “Voss Is Boss”, an Oxman original from this disc.
Pearl Django – Simplicity (Modern Hot): “The group’s inception was as a trio in Tacoma, Washington in 1994. The focus of Pearl Django was, and is, to incorporate the music of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli with American swing music. They quickly expanded to a quintet, adding a violinist and a third guitarist.” (http://pearldjango.com/files/pressinfo.htm) Their current membership includes Tim Lerch and Jim Char (guitar); Michael Gray (violin); David Lange (accordion); and Rick Leppanen (bass). Fourteen releases later, they are as tight and melodic as ever. This release offers eleven songs of beauty and verve. Click here to listen to the title song.
Charles Pillow Ensemble – Chamber Jazz (Summit): “Bandleader, composer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist Charles Pillow is excited to announce… release of his latest large ensemble venture, Chamber Jazz on SUMMIT Records. The follow up to his critically acclaimed 2018 release Electric Miles, Chamber Jazz brings the richness and refinement of chamber music, a music which conjures images of Ravel and Debussy in the jazz idiom. Pillow’s large ensemble is made up of trumpeter Scott Wendholt, trombonist Alan Ferber, French horn player Chris Komer, tuba player Marcus Rojas, clarinetist and flautist Todd Groves, guitarist Vic Juris, pianist Gary Versace, bass player Jeff Campbell, bass player Jay Anderson, drummer Mark Ferber, drummer Rich Thompson, percussionist Rogerio Boccato, violinists Hiroko Taguchi, Whitney Lagrange and Lisa Matricardi, viola players Todd Low and Orlando Wells, and cellists Alisa Horn and Allison Seidner. With stunning arrangements by the bandleader, Charles Pillow explores the warmer sonorities of alto flute, english horn, french horn, tuba and strings, along with a rhythm section and a soloist. This unusual instrumentation on Pillows’ 8th album as a bandleader provides the ensemble with a strikingly fresh sound, offering audiences an opportunity to hear these jazz luminaries perform in a decidedly new context .“The project came about as a way to fuse elements of classical music with improvisation and to evolve further as a composer. Playing with a string section is deeply satisfying and by adding bass clarinet and a small brass section to the mix, I found additional captivating tonal palette possibilities,” says Pillow.” (https://lydialiebman.com/index.php/2020/02/21/new-release-charles-pillow-ensembles-chamber-jazz-out-now-on-summit/) Four of the pieces are originals and the remaining ones include “Don’t Explain” (Billie Holiday), “Pee Wee” (Tony Williams) and “Oska T” (Thelonious Monk) among others. An interesting blend. Click here to listen to a sample of “Don’t Explain” from this disc.
Soren Siegumfeldt String Swing – This Is Meschiya Lake (Stunt): “Soren Siegumfeldt first encountered Meschiya Lake in the documentary ‘True Family’ – a challenging film about a girl who plays traditional jazz with her band on the streets of New Orleans. When Hurricane Katrina strikes and the floods destroy everything, the road back is long and harrowing. It’s a struggle against a natural disaster, against euphoric drugs, and much more. It’s hard not to feel strong emotion when the unbreakable practitioners of the city’s proudest traditions once again stand in the French Quarter, as Meschiya’s voice fills up the streets, while swing dancers give their all and tourists film, clueless as to the drama that has unfolded just before. Meschiya Lake is one of the best singers in New Orleans. Many years of hard work have resulted in her rise to the top in a city where the competition among musicians is famously tough. Leading up to the recording with String Swing, Meschiya and her small family stayed with Soren Siegumfeldt for a warm and sunny week in Copenhagen. Meschiya is a woman with a lot of heart, so the song-writing came to them easily as they composed half the material for the album together during that time…. Soren Siegumfeldt, moving freely between sub-genres of jazz, with the abilities to mine musical gold from unexpected places and cover lots of spiritual ground. He always conveys elements of fun, but never without meaning or emotional depth. The music is immediately captivating, but always retains a wistful honesty, whether he is reaching for the whimsical or dramatic.” (https://www.viveleshop.com/products/soren-siegumfeldt-string-swing-this-is-meschiya-lake-cd-lp) Absolutely wonderful from beginning to end! Click here to listen to a song from this disc.