New Jazz Adds – 4/30/2019
Douye – Quatro – Bossa Nova Deluxe (Groove Note): “Jazz was the first music that I ever heard. It was introduced to me by my Dad who always played jazz around the house. He regularly sat me down and told me to listen closely to the music, that jazz was life.” (https://douyemusic.com/about/) As it happened, she moved to California and when she began her career it was as an R&B artist. For the third release, she recorded jazz in honor of her father’s request. On this disc, her sixth, Douye performs nine composed by Antonio Carlos Jobim’s compositions, while she also performs Kenny Dorham’s “Blue Bossa”, Horace Silver’s “Song For My Father” and “Nica’s Dream” in the midst of other Latin songs. There is a shifting set of instrumentalists across the disc and this adds even more variety to the set. An outstanding performance throughout! Click here to listen to samples of two songs on this disc.
Joe Finn Trio +1 – Generational Dynamics (Self-produced): Guitarist Joe Finn offers his sixth recording, featuring Jon Leroy (organ), Andy Hearn (drums) and son Tom Finn (alto sax) turn in a very solid performance of song selections ranging from Sonny Rollins’ “Doxy” and Thad Jones’ “Lowdown” to Charlie Parker’s “Segment” and and Bill Lee and Branford Marsalis’ “Mo’ Better Blues” by way of classics from Jimmy Van Heusen and George Gershwin. Nice dynamics by all. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
George Freeman – George The Bomb! (Southport): Singer/guitarist/composer George Freeman is ninety-two and still plays live! “Freeman’s career began in the 1940s with trumpeter Joe Morris, followed by Tom Archia. He worked as a sideman for Lester Young and Charlie Parker when they came through town, and he recorded with Parker.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Freeman_(guitarist)) He has also played with many other jazz players over the years. On this disc, he has teamed up with great harmonica ace and singer Billy Branch and John Devlin (bass, accordion player, singer), Luis Ewerling (drums, percussion), Joanie Pallatto (vocal) and Bradley Parker-Sparrow (piano). It’s an unusual set, including some older gems like “The Music Goes ‘Round And ‘Round” to “Help Me”, mostly associated with Sonny Boy Wiiliamson, sprinkled into a set of origins that cover “Cha-Cha Blue” and “George The Bomb” among others. It IS a trip! Click here to check out samples of each of the songs on this disc.
Bill Frisell / Thomas Morgan – Epistrophy (ECM): Bill Frisell (guitar) and Thomas Morgan (bass) performed live at the Village Vanguard for this recording that opens with Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein’s “All In Fun” and slide into a medley of “Willwood Flower” and “Save The Last Dance For Me” before tackling songs by ranging from Paul Motion’s “Mumbo Jumbo” to John Barry’s “You Only Live Once”, Billy Stray’s “Lush Life”, two Monk songs and “Red River Vally” before closing with “In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning”. This was clearly a wonderful time for all! Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Giovanni Guidi – Avec le Temps (ECM): “Italian pianist Giovanni Guidi’s core trio with bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer João Lobo opens Avec le temps with a deeply-felt interpretation of the title track, the song of love and loss by Léo Ferré, and closes the album with “Tomasz”, dedicated to Tomasz Stanko. In between, the band swells to quintet size, with saxophonist Francesco Bearzatti and guitarist Roberto Cecchetto contributing to Guidi originals and group improvising in a programme of strikingly contrasting energies and colours, with outstanding playing by all participants.” (https://www.ecmrecords.com/catalogue/1542646731) The shifting sounds are engaging and reflective of the ups and downs we face in the course of life or a single day. The disc justifiably stands with the amazing catalogue from ECM. Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Randy Johnston – Cherry Juice (Smith World): Veteran singer/songwriter and dazzling guitarist Randy Johnston offers his most recent disc which jumps right at you on the opening song -Greg Allman’s “Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More”. The performance is filled with joy, positive advice and fabulous guitar. Johnston sings on six songs and plays wonderful guitar throughout the disc. He is accompanied by Jonah Kane-West (organ) and Kelli Strawbridge (drums) with Bobby Read adding sax delightful sax on three songs. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Mike Lee – Song For All Of Us (IYouWe): “…veteran saxophonist Mike Lee shows the breadth of his musical pallet. Lee draws on his wide-ranging musical associations and weaves them together with innovative compositions as well as standard repertoire. There are several different band configurations within this offering. From the core trio of tenor saxophone, bass, and drums, to several different quartet and quintet settings each grouping contributes to the unified sound. Drummer Lenny White and bassist Ed Howard appear throughout adding their masterful propulsion to this set. Lee’s rotating front-line partners include guitarist Dave Stryker, saxophonist Bruce Williams and Mike’s son, saxophonist Julian Lee.” (https://newworldnjazz.com/mike-lee-song-for-all-of-us-iyouwe/) Seven of the eleven compositions are his and the other four include “Voyage” (Kenny Barron), “Very Early” (Bill Evans), “Hey Lock!” (Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis) and Hart and Rodgers’ “It’s Easy To Remember”. Lee, of course, plays on all songs as does bassist Ed Howard, while drummer Lenny White plays all but one when he is replaced by Matt Lee (Mike’s son). His older son Julian (tenor sax) plays on that song and one other as well. Other players are George Colligan (piano 5 songs), Dave Stryker (guitar on 2) and Bruce Williams adds alto sax on two. There’s a lot of variety and it jumps most of the time. Really fine! Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Wynton Marsalis – Bolden (Original Soundtrack) (Blue Engine): This soundtrack celebrating one of the most important creators of the music called “jass” that eventually became jazz. Soon a film will be on screens across the country, but Wynton Marsalis has his soundtrack ready and there’s no better time to connect with this great music that changed the world and to about this mysterious musician who solidified the passions of Louis Armstrong and others who would also ignite this new style and send it across world. Marsalis is the trumpet/cornet player, of course, and he is accompanied by Wycliff Gordon (slide trombone), Victor Goines (C clarinet, alto sax), Wycliffe Gordon (valve trombone, slide trombone) and many other fine musicians. The music ranges from Bolden, Sam Theard, Irving Berlin, Hoagy Carmichael & Mitch Parish and others, but make no mistake Marsalis is the centerpiece. This release is a treasure in acknowledging and presenting the amazing beginning of jazz and its often overlooked founder. Click here to watch a trailer from the movie.
Kendrick Scott Oracle – A Wall Becomes A Bridge (Blue Note): Kendrick Scott Oracle presents “…an inspiring new 12-song cycle about overcoming obstacles both personal and collective. The album was produced by Derrick Hodge, and find’s Scott augmenting his long-running quintet with the addition of turntablist Jahi Sundance who joins guitarist Mike Moreno, pianist Taylor Eigsti, reedist John Ellis, and bassist Joe Sanders to expand Oracle’s palette.” (http://www.bluenote.com/artists/kendrick-scott/a-wall-becomes-a-bridge) This is an engaging and thoughtful sound poem. There is a grand message woven into this mix. Click here to listen to this intriguing and engaging disc.
Joshua Redman Quartet – Come What May (Nonesuch): Saxophonist/composer Joshua Redman offers six original compositions spanning from swinging and dynamic to beautifully mellow. His quartet includes Aaron Goldberg (piano), Reuben Rogers (bass) and Gregory Hutchinson (drums) and Redman zeroes in on the tenor sax throughout. This set swings and stretches out in a mesmerizing span of rhythm and beauty. This is among the very best of the many gems Redman has recorded. Click here to listen to “How We Do” from this release.
Kristen Lee Sergeant – Smolder (Plastic Sax): Singer/songwriter Kristen Lee Sergeant offers her second release featuring two original songs and the remainder being arranged by her. She has a unique vocal style that, at times, turns a sizzle to a flame. The accompanying musicians are Jeb Patton (piano), Cameron Brown (bass), Jay Sawyer (drums), Ted Nash (alto flute, alto sax), Jody Redhage Ferber (cello) and Rogerio Boccato (percussion). The songs include a number of standards, such as “I’m Beginning To See The Light”, “It’s All Right With Me” and “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes (These Foolish Things)” and yet it is Sergeant’s stylized vocals and arrangements that are the game changer and clearly mark her as a singular stylist. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Soul Message Band – Soulful Days (Delmark): The Soul Message Band releases its first release on Delmark in Chicago, their current home city. Their sound is quite jazzy with a touch of blues and funk. The center of the music, however, it jazz as defined by many jazz organ groups from the past. The core of the group is Chris Foreman (organ), Lee Rothenberg (guitar) and Greg Rockingham (drums) though they augment the sound on three cuts with Geof Bradfield on tenor sax and on two of those songs by Greg Ward on alto sax. The music is very inviting and often swings a groove that will keep your toes tapping. Definitely down home. Click here to listen to smiles of the first two songs which are on this disc.