New Jazz Adds – 3/9/2021
Matthew Alec & The Soul Electric – Cleveland Time (Cleveland Time): “Cleveland Time marks the first album release from the group that features Matthew Alec (tenor saxophone and EWI), Brian Woods (piano, keyboards, organs, plus vocals on “Give What You Take” and “Baby You Got Me”), Steven Forest Sanders (guitar, plus vocals on “Enigma Man”), Jared Lees (bass), Jeremiah Hawkins (percussion, plus drums on “Baby You Got Me”), and Leon Henault (drums). The album also features special guests Tom ‘Bones’ Malone (trombone and horn section on “Cleveland Time”), MINUS THE ALIEN (vocals on “Cleveland Time”), and Tim Coyne (trumpet on “Blues For McCoy” and “Enigma Man”)…. “This album has a little bit of everything in it which is exactly what I set out to do,” says saxophonist Matthew Alec. “I wanted a few tunes that were short with strong hooks that would capture people’s attention, I wanted to feature our two vocalists on a tune of their own, I wanted to have at least a couple of traditional modern jazz tunes for the jazz fans out there, and I wanted to feature an industry legend… where I completely lucked out and found Bones Malone who loved the project. Whether you’re a jazz, funk, soul, or even pop music fan I think this album has something on it for you.” (https://www.broadwayworld.com/bwwmusic/article/Matthew-Alec-The-Soul-Electric-Release-Debut-Jazz-Fusion-Album-Cleveland-Time-20210222) They cover a good bit of ground stylistically and the set is fresh and fun. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Jakob Bro / Are Henriksen / Jorge Rossy – Uma Elmo (ECM): Jakob Bro is a Danish guitar player and composer living in Copenhagen, Denmark. This release is his sixteenth as a leader. Bro is accompanied by Arve Henriksen (trumpet) and Jorge Rossy (drums). The group performs eight Bro original compositions and close with a second performance of Bro’s song “Morning Song”. (http://jakobbro.com/web/albums/) “Astonishingly, given the trio’s musical synergy, the first time these three musicians ever performed together was for the album’s sessions at the Swiss Radio studio in Lugano, with ECM founder Manfred Eicher producing. Characteristically atmosphere and rich with melody, Uma Elmo reaffirms the observation about Bro’s work by the London Jazz News that “there is no hurry to this music, but there is great depth.” (FULLY ALTERED media) Exquisite! Click here to listen to a piece from this release.
David Detweiler – The Astiria Suite (Next Level): “The Astoria Suite began as a series of individual compositions – moments of beauty, observation, and reflection brought about by Detweiler’s newfound perspective. Over time, these distinct pieces began to become something more, as themes, melodies, and rhythms began subtly overflowing from one to the next, creating an undercurrent between them that bespoke a unified narrative. With Astoria as the common thread, these pieces became interwoven until they were undeniably more than a mere collection, and thus became the Astoria Suite. What immediately strikes a listener about the Astoria Suite is Detweiler’s orchestrational choice of omitting a chordal instrument. Leaning directly into the lineage of tenor saxophonist icons such as John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, and Joe Henderson, Detweiler and his band pay homage with this format both to the musical legacy of chordless trios and to the contemplative concepts found on many such records. The nature of this ensemble was chosen in part to allow for expression in a unique idiom with fewer boundaries, and showcases a soloist’s musical maturity through balancing unbridled creative freedom with bearing the onus of defining the harmony.” (https://www.outsideinmusic.com/pressreleases/david-detweiler-astoria-suite) The players on this release include David Detweiler (tenor sax), Mikailo Kasha (bass) and Leon Anderson (drums) with trombonist Kevin Jones adding two original songs of his own. Click here and scroll way down to listen to samples of the songs on this release.
David Kikoski with Boris Kozlov – Sure Thing (HighNote): “Dave Kikoski was born in Milltown, NJ in 1961. Growing up within a musical family, when Dave turned the age of six, he was introduced to the piano and given lessons for the first time by his father. Throughout middle and high school, Dave continued to cultivate his love for piano and moved on to working with various jazz and rock groups around town…. After high school, Dave was accepted to the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston where he earned a bachelor’s degree in piano performance…. He recorded his first release, “Presage” in 1989.” (https://davekikoski.com/discography/) He has played on over 100 discs, eighteen of which as the lead. On this set, he offers four original songs and covers Keith Emerson’s Fugue from “The Endless Enigma”, Chick Corea’s Quartet #1, John Coltrane’s “Satellite” and Jerome Kern and Ira Gershwin’s “Sure Thing”. This performance with bassist Boris Kozlov is top notch from beginning to end. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this release.
Yoko Miwa Trio – Songs Of Joy (Ubuntu): ““Yoko Miwa has been gifted with both extraordinary musical skills and has the pure spirit that is necessary for great art. We love her musical gifts and her beautiful spirit as well.” – Ahmad Jamal (http://www.yokomiwa.com/bio/) Miwa has released eight highly acclaimed discs that have been praised by numerous critics and colleagues and this new disc will certainly belongs at the top of the list. Will Slater (bass) and Scott Goulding (drums) round out the set. Brad Barrett plays bass on the final song. If you are seeking a fantastic piano trio, grab this release immediately! Click here for an introduction from this set by Yoko Miwa.
William Parker – The Music Of William Parker (Trencadis: A Selection From Migration Of Silence Into And Out Of The Tone World) (AUM): “That William Parker is a bassist, composer and bandleader of extraordinary spirit and imaginative drive is common knowledge among any with an interest in the progressive jazz scene of the past 25 years or more. What’s become increasingly apparent, though, is Parker’s stature as a visionary of sound and song – an artist of melody and poetry who works beyond category, to use the Ellingtonian phrase. The latest multi-disc boxed set from Centering Records/AUM Fidelity devoted to Parker’s expansive creativity underscores his virtually peerless achievement in recent years. Migration of Silence Into and Out of the Tone World (Volumes 1–10) is a 10-album collection of vocal and instrumental suites all recorded expressly for this set between late 2018 and early 2020, with women’s voices at its core. This is music as empathetic as it is intrepid, as philosophical as it is visceral, as resolutely modernist as it is attuned to tradition. Parker’s art not only draws from the deepest well of African-American culture; it breathes in inspiration from across the globe, with sounds drawn from Africa, Asia and Indonesia as well as Europe and the Americas; there is free improvisation and re-imagined sonic collage; there are album-length explorations of solo piano and solo voice, along with string ensembles and ancient wind instruments. There are dedications to jazz heroes, Native Americans and Mexican migrants, plus tributes to the great African-American culture of Harlem and the mix of passion and compassion Parker found in vintage Italian cinema. Migration of Silence Into and Out of The Tone World conjures a vast world of music and feeling, and its creation is a feat that ranks with that of the most ambitious talents in any genre.” (https://williamparker.bandcamp.com/album/migration-of-silence-into-and-out-of-the-tone-world-volumes-1-10) Click here to listen to samples of the music on this gigantic work.
Jeremy Pelt – Griot: This Is Important! (HighNote): “It is only natural that Jeremy Pelt’s voracious curiosity would lead him to investigate the West African Griot tradition where stories, reminiscences and accomplishments from times past are handed down as oral histories. Researchers such as Art Taylor, William Russell and Alan Lomax have preserved interviews with older jazzmen but for his Griot odyssey, Pelt turns to his own peer group to record their thoughts on creating jazz, playing jazz and experiencing the life of a jazz musician of color in our own time. Each brief interview is followed by a composition by Pelt which perfectly captures the sentiments and emotions of it’s spoken-word prelude. To help him bring his vision to life, Pelt has assembled a hand-picked group of colleagues, featuring vibraphonist Chien Chien Lu, pianist Victor Gould, bassist Vicente Archer, harpist Brandee Younger and others. The tunes themselves run the gamut from the remarkable mixing of the sacred and the secular in “Carry Christ Wherever You Are,” to the Monk-like gallumphing opening unison in “Don’t Dog the Source,” and the urgent, “Underdog.” As Pelt himself says, “I want people to understand that this is for everybody,” that the project was undertaken to perhaps help them “understand that whatever they might be going through, their perspectives might run parallel to those of people who are generations apart from them. Maybe, to a certain extent, these younger people will find themselves in these stories.” (https://www.amazon.com/Griot-This-Important-Jeremy-Pelt/dp/B08SLGF676) Pelt has been a major star for some time and this expansion offers a deeper understanding one of the current jazz composers and performers on the planet! Click here to listen to samples of all of the songs on this release.
Nelson Riveros – The Latin Side Of Wes Montgomery (Zoho): ““The Latin Side of Wes Montgomery is a triumphant tribute album. It’s made by one master, in honor and celebration of another. Nelson Riveros is an acclaimed guitarist and composer who embodies the very idea of cultural fusion. Born in New York to Colombian parents, Riveros grew up learning about the music and cultures of the Americas. A few years ago, after playing a gig that involved performing songs in Wes Montgomery’s vaunted repertoire, Riveros had the idea of reimaging the legendary guitarist’s music in a Latin American style: “I started to hear all kind of rhythms, bass lines, and melodic variations to some of his tunes. The next day, I started writing arrangements, and this very project began to take shape,” said Riveros. In making this terrific album, naturally Riveros wanted to collaborate with the very best musicians. And he did just that. He partnered with Hector Martignon (piano), a two-time Grammy nominee; Mark Walker (drums); Andy McKee (bass); Jonathan Gomez (percussion). Throughout the album, we can hear the band playing together as one, channeling the fluidness and virtuosity you will find on most if not all Wes Montgomery recordings.” (https://zohomusic.com/cds/riveros.html) Click here to get an introduction to this disc.
Idit Shner – Live At The Jazz Station ((OA2): “…an excellent group of players jamming, meshing together fluidly, and the energy is consistently high.. .Shner’s solos can twinkle and extend like Coltrane or honk and squawk like Big Jay McNeely…” – ALL MUSIC GUIDE “With her recorded projects ranging from post-bop arrangements of Israeli songs from youth to commissioned new works for classical saxophone, Idit Shner has been a tireless advocate for ‘making things happen’ since receiving her DMA from the University of North Texas. On the faculty of the University of Oregon in Eugene, Idit continues to inspire others while using the city’s central jazz gathering spot, The Jazz Station, to workshop ideas and perform regularly with her quartet. Recorded in June, 2019, Live at the Jazz Station captures the joy and exuberance heard each night there, with a high-energy group of friends exploring a favorite standard or their own compositions. From pianist/organist Torrey Newhart’s hard-swinging, B-3 led “Shake it ‘Til You Hear it Sizzle,” to bassist Garrett Baxter’s haunting ballad, “Present,” or drummer Ken Mastrogiovanni’s loose and swinging closer, “Artificial Flavors,” Shner lights a fire, making the idea of presenting a live album more than just a good idea. “…confident and assured. (Shner’s) bringing a welcome liveliness to post-bop jazz…” – EMUSIC Click here to listen to the songs on this release.
Veronica Swift – This Bitter Earth (Mack Avenue): “Whereas Veronica Swift’s 2019 Mack Avenue Records debut, Confessions, contained songs that played out like pages from her personal diary, on the captivating follow-up, This Bitter Earth, she flips by crafting an ingenious song cycle that tackles sexism (“How Lovely to Be a Woman”), domestic abuse (“He Hit Me”), environmental issues, racism, xenophobia (“You Have To Be Carefully Taught”), and the dangers of fake news (“The Sports Page”). The singer-songwriter gathered material that covers multiple genres, including jazz, American musicals, and contemporary indie-rock fortifying her position as a leading force in genre-bending song presentation. “I want this album have two separate approaches,” states Swift. “I wanted to start with women’s place in society now and how it’s changing. During the second half, I wanted to address other ailments in the world, whether it’s racism or fake news. But I don’t take any political stances. I’m very clear with my audience that as an artist I just want to address certain issues as an outsider looking in.” (https://www.mackavenue.com/store/mac1177) This new release is the pinnacle of Veronica Swift’s amazing catalogue to date. Her reach is stunning and beautiful throughout! She opens with a beautifully stylized “This Bitter Earth” which melts into “How Lovely to Be a Woman”. Swift dazzles on each succeeding performance as well shifting from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught”, then shifting to Bob Dorough’s “You’re The Dangerous Type” and King and Goffin’s “He Hit Me (And It Felt Like a Kiss) and Dave Frishberg’s “The Sports Page” and closes with Amanda Palmer’s “Sing” featuring featuring Emmet Cohen (piano) Yasushi Nakamura (bass) Bryan Carter (drums), Armand Hirsch (electric guitar) and backing vocals by students from hometown Charlottesville’s (Stone Robinson Elementary) and the Walton Middle School’s Girls Choir. There is absolutely to escape the beauty and talent that Swift offers us. Every moment is fantastic! Click here to listen to “This Bitter Earth”.
Adrian Younge – The American Negro (Jazz Is Dead): “The American Negro is an unapologetic critique, detailing the systemic and malevolent psychology that afflicts people of color. This project dissects the chemistry behind blind racism, using music as the medium to restore dignity and self-worth to my people. It should be evident that any examination of black music is an examination of the relationship between black and white America. This relationship has shaped the cultural evolution of the world and its negative roots run deep into our psyche. Featuring various special guests performing over a deeply soulful, elaborate orchestration, The American Negro reinvents the black native tongue through this album…. The American Negro – both as a collective experience and as individual expressions – is insightful, provocative and inspiring and should land at the center of our ongoing reckoning with race, racism and the writing of the next chapter of American history.” (https://boomkat.com/products/the-american-negro) The music and commentary are straight-forward offerings and inviting listeners to pay attention to the messages in the hopes of gaining support for equality for all. “The American Negro – both as a collective experience and as individual expressions – is insightful, provocative and inspiring and should land at the center of our ongoing reckoning with race, racism and the writing of the next chapter of American history.” Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the music on this release.
Miguel Zenon – Law Years: The Music Of Ornette Coleman (Mid Music): “I remember hearing Ornette Coleman’s music for the first time late in my teenage years, while still living in Puerto Rico. I had just fallen in love with Jazz around that time, and even though my access to music or information in general was limited (this was the pre-internet mid-90s), I was always hungry for knowledge. So, when a friend played me a tape of The Shape of Jazz to Come and I heard the first couple of notes to Ornette’s “Lonely Woman,” I didn’t know what to think. I just kind of stood there, mesmerized and in shock, trying to figure it out. What was this music? Even within my limited knowledge I could tell it displayed many of the rhythmic intricacies I heard in Be-Bop and some of the pedal point-type harmony I found in the music of Coltrane and Miles. And yet it was entirely different than anything I had heard before. So, I listened some more, then found other albums of his and listened to those as well. Before I knew it, I was hooked on Ornette for good… This music was recorded at the Bird’s Eye Jazz Club in Basel, Switzerland in May of 2019…. Even considering the fact that we had never played together as a band before that night, the results were both surprising and predictable. The chemistry and good vibes on the bandstand were palpable, and clearly translated into the music. We were all just having fun, inspired by the energy from the crowd and the special feel of the occasion. And Ornette’s music proved to be the perfect platform for this kind of engagement: the kind of music that opens the door to endless possibilities for interaction and pushes you to hit the ground running.” (https://miguelzenon.bandcamp.com/album/law-years-the-music-of-ornette-coleman) The players are Miguel Zenón (alto sax), Ariel Bringuez (tenor sax), Demian Cabaud (bass) and Jordi Rossy (drums). Click here to listen to “Dee Dee” from this disc.