New Jazz Adds – 5/14/2018
David Ake – Humanities (Posi-Tone): Dr. David Ake, pianist/composer/Chair of the Department of Musicology at Miami University offers his fifth release and it is a striking performance that stretches the conventional scale while fascinating those who are able to step just outside the standard melodic restraints. Ake composed all but one of the compositions on the disc, a makeover of Hunter and Garcia’s “Ripple”. Accompanying musicians are Ralph Alessi (trumpet), Ben Monder (guitar), Drew Gress (bass) and Mark Ferber (drums). The performances break outside the standard musical boundaries, but the melding of instruments after those excursions creates an intoxicating blend. There are a few hints of a toned down Mahavishnu Orchestra with some Miles Davis’ trumpet joining the blend. They are impressions, however, rather than a template. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Arild Andersen / Paolo Vinaccia / Tommy Smith – In-House Science (ECM): Veteran bassist Arild Andersen offers a live performance presented in Austria in 2016. He is accompanied by Paolo Vinaccia (drums) and Tommy Smith (tenor sax) and they cover quite a span of sounds from rather contemplative blues to straight ahead free jazz from the outer edges of the genre. The songs are all Andersen’s compositions. The interplay among the three is fantastic throughout the disc and despite the fact that some of the music is quite intense and challenging listening, this is absolutely worth the trip. Click here to listen to the songs on this disc.
Kenny Barron Quintet – Concentric Circles (Blue Note): Pianist / composer Kenny Barron began his professional career while still in high school with drummer Philly Joe Jones and at age 19, he moved to New York City and freelanced with Roy Haynes, Lee Morgan and James Moody. (http://kennybarron.com/biography/) He continues to be one of the most commanding pianists in jazz, both in terms of his smooth and beautiful playing and his magnificent swing. This recent disc features one original composition by Caetano Veloso and Cesar Medes, “Aquele Frevo Axe”, Lenny White’s “L’s Bop”, Monk’s “Reflections” and eight new compositions by Barron. Barron absolutely shines through all of them. Backing musicians are Kiyoshin Kitagawa (bass), Johnathan Blake (drums), Dayna Stephens (sax) and Mike Rodriguez (trumpet, flugelhorn). Everyone is really terrific, with special notice to the interaction between Rodriguez and Barron. Barron has recorded many super fine discs and this one is clearly one of his all time bests both in terms of his compositions and performances. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Al Di Meola – Opus (e-a-r Music): Al Di Meola (guitars, bass guitar, electric bass, drums, percussion) created this disc as a representation of his life, especially his family life. There is some over-dubbing to make some tracks fuller and more expressive of the sound and feeling he was after. There are also a few additional players: Kemuel Roig (piano), Dario Eskanazi (keyboard), Richie Morales (drums), Rani Krija (percussion) and Dario Eskenazi (orchestration). This wash of different styles of guitars creates a rich musical narrative whether happiness or peacefulness or other deep feelings. Di Meola commented that the remembrances of his family, both current and ancestral, made this creation a very happy and wonderful time. This is a wonderful collage by a truly outstanding musician. Click here to listen to an introduction to this disc.
Andrew Hadro – For Us, The Living II: Marcescence (Tone Rogue): Andrew Haydro (composer, bass clarinet, Bb clarinet, bass saxophone, and flute) creates a singular sound scape perhaps best explained by Bill Milkowsky (Down Beat): “Rather than follow the path of bop-oriented bari blazers…Hadro prefers to play the baritone saxophone in a soft, beautiful, subtle way.” The pieces that he composed or otherwise chose to perform all follow that central point. In addition to his own compositions, he covers Wayne Shorter’s “Over Shadow Hill Way”, Radiohead’s “Faust Arp” and Bill Frisell’s “Throughout” and two compositions by Julian Shore’s (piano, Fender Rhodes), among others. The performance is rounded out by percussionist Rogerio Boccato. The trio casts a beautiful and haunting spell that is as hypnotic as it is lovely. Click here to listen to samples from two songs from this disc.
Eddie Henderson – Be Cool (Smoke Sessions): Trumpeter Eddie Henderson leads a stellar quintet featuring Donald Harrison (alto sax), Kenny Baron (piano), Essiet Essiet (bass) and Mike Clark (drums) in this live recording a from Sear Sound in NYC. The set opens with Kenny Baron’s “Smoke Screen” and also includes “Loft Funk” co-written by Mike Clark and Jed Levy and Donald Harrison’s “The Sand Castle’s Head Hunter”. They also cover Miles Davis’ “Fran Dance”, Woody Shaw’s “The Moontrane”, John Coltrane’s “Naima” and Herbie Hancock’s “Toys”, among others. This is a totally funky and cool performance. Everyone is in great funk and if it doesn’t make you shake your body and tap your toes, you must not have the volume on! Click here and scroll down to listen to a sample of the opening tune.
Hot Club Sandwich – No Pressure (Self-produced): This disc was recorded entirely live with no overdubs. The overall sound is a bit old timey, but is actually drawn from David Grisman’s combination of Django Reinhardt-era jazz, bluegrass, folk, Old World Mediterranean music, as well as modern jazz fusion that came to embody “Dawg” music in the 1970s. The sound is back again in full force. In addition to Grisman, the band includes Ray Wood (electric guitar, tenor guitar, vocals), Kevin Connor (guitar, vocals), Joseph Mascorella (drums, percussion, vocals), James Schneider (bass), Matt Sircely (mandolin, tenor guitar, vocals) and Time Wetmiller (violin), with guest appearances by David and Tracy Grisman (vocals). If you’ve never heard the style before, you’ll surely be delighted. If you have, you’re already looking for it already. Click here and scroll down to the link for “Winter Rain”. or click here and scroll down to listen to “Swang Thang”, the opening song.
Steven Kroon – In Your Dreams (Kroon A Tune): Percussionist/conga player/composer Steven Kroon is a native New Yorker who cites his main influences as Tito Puente, Tito Rodriguez, Machito, Lester Young, Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, and Count Basie. He played with a number of bands, but now focuses on his own group. This set includes three of his own compositions often co-written with other musicians and his Latin updates or covers of such songs as “Nature Boy” (Eden Abhez), “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” (Michael Jackson), and “Bird Of Beauty” (Stevie Wonder). It’s all got a strong Latin flavor. The band includes Igor Atalita (piano), Bryant Carrott (vibes), Craig Rivers (flute), Joel Mateo (drums), Rubin Rodriguez and Donald ”Spider” Nicks (bass) and special guest Ron Blake (tenor sax). The sound flows quite nicely and has a pleasing air throughout. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Francois Moutin & Kavita Shah Duo – Interplay (Dot Time): Bassist Moutin and Kavita Shah (vocal, ukelele on one song) offer an array of song styles from two original songs by Moutin and Shah to one original by Moutin, covers of songs by Bill Evans, Horace Silver and Edith Piaf and standards like “You Go To My Head” and “Falling In Love With Love” among others. There are also some additional appearances by Martial Solal (piano) and Sheila Jordan (vocal) on two songs each. The style set by Moutin and Shah is unique, somewhat experimental and certainly interesting. Click here for an introduction to this disc by the musicians.
Bill O’Connell – Jazz Latin (Savant): Bill O’Connell (composer, piano, Fender Rhodes) offers his most recent disc with his rhythm section, Lincoln Goines (electric bass) and Robby Ameen (drums) and a variety of guests, who take turns from song to song. The players are Craig Handy (tenor sax), Randy Brecker (flugelhorn), Conrad Herwig (trombone), Andrea Brachfeld (flute) and Dan Carillo (guitar). This adds quite a shift in sounds from one song to the next. O’Connell composed seven of the eleven songs on the disc and the remainder are “Just One Of Those Things” (Cole Porter), “Footprints” (Wayne Shorter), “Puttin’ On The Ritz “ (Irving Berlin) and “Zingaro” (Jobim). There is a lot of variety here and it’s really nicely and smoothly played throughout. Click here for an introduction to this disc by Bill O’Connell.
Dafnis Prieto Big Band – Back To The Sunset (Dafnison Music): Dafnis Prieto offers his contribution to the power, beauty and delights of Latin / American jazz. A native Cuban drummer, he has tracked the blends and wonders of the jazz marriage for many years and offers nine compositions of his own to honor this terrific style. Musical personnel include Mike Rodríguez, Nathan Eklund, Alex Sipiagin and Josh Deutsch (trumpet, flugelhorn); Román Filiú (alto sax, soprano sax, flute, clarinet); Michael Thomas (alto sax, soprano sax, flute, piccolo); Peter Apfelbaum (tenor sax, soprano sax, melodica); Joel Frahm (tenor sax, soprano sax); Chris Cheek (bari sax); Tim Albright, Jacob Garchik and Alan Ferber (trombone); Jeff Nelson (bass trombone); Manuel Valera (piano); Ricky Rodríguez (acoustic & electric bass); Roberto Quintero (congas, bongos, percussion); Brian Lynch: Trumpet (Track 1); Henry Threadgill: Alto Sax (Track 4); and Steve Coleman: Alto Sax (Track 6). It’s an interesting and rather unique take on the state of Latin/American jazz. Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Jim Snidero & Jeremy Pelt – Jubilation! (Savant): Jim Snidero (alto sax) and Jeremy Pelt (trumpet) teamed up with David Hazeltine (piano), Nat Reeves (bass) and Billy Drummond (drums) for their tribute to the music and style of Cannonball Adderley. They stay true to the smooth, melodic swing of much of his music. He was clearly a post-bop player and these musicians honor that. They stay away from “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy”, but do cover “Work Song” (composed by brother Nat) and Cannonball’s “Sack O’ Woe” among other songs closely associated with him. This is a very nice listen and, more than anything else, a fitting tribute to the man and his music. Click here to check out their performance of “Sack O’ Woe” from this disc.