New Jazz Adds – 5/14/2019
Matthew Shipp Trio – Signature (ESP): Pianist/composer Matthew Shipp offers this new release with Michael Bisio (bass) and Newman Taylor Baker (drums). All compositions are Shipp’s and the rhythm section offers excellent foundations as well as solos. Shipp, of course, flows freely through delicate and lovely performances as well as stormy and chaotic passages. Needless to say, there are both wonderful melodies and challenging disruptions. Shipp’s performances are especially great live and he will be performing in Charlottesville on June 1. Check the Charlottesville Jazz Society listing at https://cvillejazz.org/events-in-town/. Click here and scroll down to listen to performances on this disc.
Mike Allen – Just Like Magic (Cellar Music): This release was initially planned for a quartet, but as early rehearsals and memories of the great trio recordings Rudy Van Gelder in that studio, Allen decided that things were right for the trio. The rhythm section had been rehearsing with Allen for a number of weeks and that was that. Allen plays tenor sax, Peter Washington bass and Lewis Nash drums. Five songs are Allen’s compositions and the other six were drawn from songs previously recorded in this studio, ranging from “Someone To Watch Over Me” to “Solitude” to Charles Mingus’ “Jelly Roll” and Coltrane’s “Miles’ Mode”. Solid! Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Brittany Anjou – Enamigo Reciprokataj (Origin): “Brittany Anjou is a Brooklyn based composer, pianist, and multi-instrumentalist….she is one of a few to record and tour with the elusive godmothers of punk, The Shaggs….She is the lead singer of experimental metal punk band Bi TYRANT, and has shared the stage with artists such as Wynton Marsalis, Ernestine Anderson, Clark Terry and Elysian Fields.” (https://www.brittanyanjou.com/bio) Her music is loose, edgy, sometimes beautiful and at others loose and strange. Anjou is supported by Gregory Chudzik (bass) and Nicholas Anderson (drums) on one song and are joined on that song by Ben Perowsky (drums) and Ari Folman-Cohen (drums). The latter play without the first duo on the next song. All other songs are soloed by Anjou. It’s intriguing and a bit off-centered. Click here and wait for 16 tracks to load. The first 10 songs on this disc.
Jerry Bergonzi – The Seven Rays (Savant): Tenor saxophonist, composer, educator Jerry Bergonzi has released over 40 recordings as a leader. This time out, he focuses on the Seven Rays “a concept including Gnosticism, astrology, ancient texts of the Catholic Church, Hinduism, more recent New Age teachings and Theosophy. The Seven Rays, which are said to represent personalities, are Will or Power, Love-Wisdom, Adaptability/Active Intelligence, Beauty/Harmony through Conflict, Concrete Knowledge/Science, Devotion/Abstract Idealism, and Ceremonial Organization/Ritual.” (Liner notes) Bergonzi is accompanied by Phil Grenadier (trumpet), Carl Winther (piano), Johnny Atman (bass) and Anders Mogensen (drums). After revealing each of the seven rays, the group closes with “Sun Worship Ritual”, perhaps a blended state. The music itself is straightforward and pleasantly mainstream. Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Alan Broadbent Trio – New York Notes (Savant): “Alan Broadbent was born in Auckland, New Zealand and in 1966, at the age of 19, received a Downbeat Magazine scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston. In 1969 he was asked to join Woody Herman’s band as his pianist and arranger for 3 years. In 1972 he settled in Los Angeles, beginning a musical relationship with the legendary singer Irene Kral (no relation to Diana Krall). Soon he was also invited into the studio scene as a pianist for the great Nelson Riddle, David Rose and Johnny Mandel. In the early 90s he was asked to be a part of Natalie Cole’s famous “Unforgettable”….” (http://www.alanbroadbent.com/) Jazz journalist Allen Morrison, who wrote the notes for this release suggests comparing the work on this disc to the great trios the 50’s and 60’s, listing Wynton Kelly and Bill Evans. He also notes the connection to bebop, reminding us that these players are playing as boppers, but as the most serious side of the style. Broadbent offers three of his own compositions and the remainder are drawn from the catalogues of Gigi Gryce, Styne and Cahn, Tadd Dameron and Lennie Tristano, among others. The performances are live as well. This is a wonderful release! Click here to listen to the opening song on this release.
John Dokes – True Love (Rondette): Vocalist John Dokes offers his second release which features several songs of less frequent attention from several of the great songwriters of the past decade, including “A Sleepin Bee” (Arlen-Capote) and “Nobody Else But Me” (Kern-Hammerstein) mixed with selections from the gold section like “Comes Love” (Brown-Slept-Tobias) and “You Don’t Know What Love Is” (Raye-DePaul) and rounded out with “Eleanor Rigby” and a Dokes’ original, “Cool Enough”. Instrumental backing is provided by Mark Gross (alto sax), Steve Einerson (piano), Alex Claffy and Lawrence Leathers (drums). Click here to listen to the songs on this disc.
Ulysses Owens, Jr – Songs Of Freedom (Resilience): Drummer Ulysses Owens, Jr offers a fantastic revitalization of several songs related to freedom while reminding us that we still have a long way to go. The vocalists include Rene Marie, Alicia Olatuja, Theo Blackmann and Joanna Majoko giving wonderful renditions of songs like “Everything Must Change”, “Mississippi Goddamn”, “Be My Husband”, “Baltimore”, “Both Sides Now”, Freedom Day”, “Driva Man” and “Borderline”. The musicians are Allyn Johnson (piano, Hammond B3, Fender Rhoes), David Rosenthal (acoustic and electric guitar), Reuben Rogers (bass) and Ulysses Owens Jr (drums, musical director). The new songs are striking and the older ones get a fresh take that immediately requires a new listen. Click here to listen to a song from this disc.
Joel Ross – Kingmaker (Blue Note): Vibraphonist/composer Joel Ross wrote all but two songs on this, his first release, and the variety is certainly catching. He plays with terrific energy at times and his style is quite fresh. In fact, he encourages his supporting players to do the same and they stay loosely connected as backup and separate voices. The line-up includes Immanuel Wilkins (alto sax), Jeremy Corren (piano), Benjamin Tiberio (bass), and Jeremy Dutton (drums) with vocalist Gretchen Parlato joining in on one song. Click here to listen to one song on this release.
Avery Sharpe – 400: An African American Musical Portrait (JKNM): Bassist Avery Sharpe offers a musical history of African-American music from 1619 to the present. He compacts each century into two or three original compositions. The music shifts with the musical style of the time. Sharpe has been a long term player with McCoy Tyner for several decades as well as having released his own material on more than ten releases. This particular release features Kevin Eubanks (guitar), Don Braden (tenor and soprano sax and flute), Ronnie Burrage (drums, percussion), Tendai Mauparutsa (djembe), Duane Eubanks (trumpet, flugelhorn), Zaccai Curtis (piano), Davis Whitfield (guest pianist on 1 song), Kevin Zhou (lead violin), Sophia Jeongyoon Han (violin) and the Extended Family Choir with Kevin Sharpe (director, tenor, bass), Shaina Paris and Sofia Rivera (sopranos), Wanda Paris and Sofia Rivera (altos), Heshima Moja (tenor) and Robert Rivera (bass, tenor). Click here to listen to a song from this disc.
Russ Spiegel / Organ Group – Wait A Minute! (Russ Speigel/Ruzztone): Straight forward funky trio featuring Russ Spiegel (guitar), Jim Gasior (Hammond organ) and Rodolfo Zuniga (drums) with Tom Kelley (alto sax) on six of the songs and special guests Brian Lynch (flugelhorn, trumpet) on two songs and Juan Turros (tenor sax on one). Spiegel has performed in and created several film scores as well as having taught guitar. He has also released several recordings of his own. He composed all of the songs on this disc. His style is a combination of funk and rock with a helping of jazz in the blend. He also composed all of the songs in this set. Solid mainstream jazz. Click here for a video of the title song on this disc.
Dave Stryker – Eight Track III (Strikezone): Guitarist Dave Stryker brings you his third set of “eight track” songs, focused largely on the hits like “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone” (Temptations), “Too High” and “Joy Inside My Tears” (Stevie Wonder), Becker & Fagan’s “Pretzel Logic”, and Bacharach & David’s “This Guy’s In Love With You” among others. It’s not “easy listening” but it leans in that direction. The players working with Stryker are Stefon Harris (Vibes), Jared Gold (organ), and McClenty Hunter (drums) with Mayra Casales adding congas and percussion on six on the nine songs. Click here for a teaser sample from this disc.
Andrew Synowiec – Second Story (Self-produced): Andrew Synowiec (guitar, composer, session player) offers his second release featuring nine original compositions with Fred Kron (Hammond organ, Rhodes), Sean Hurley (bass), Jake Reed (drums, cymbals) and Blair Sinta (drums, effects). Synowiec is in high demand as a session player and he covers a wide range of styles. Guitarist Tim Pierce joins in on three songs. The sound can be so smooth or a rave and a rage, even funky! Click here to listen to songs on this disc. Pierce joins Synowiec on both.
Skip Wilkins Quartet (featuring Daniel Wilkins)- Czech Wishes (NewPort Line): “Skip and Daniel Wilkins have been collaborating musically since 2012 with the release of Father and Son. During this time, Manhattan School of Music graduate Daniel has turned into a formidable bandleader and sideman in his own right, touring extensively throughout Europe and the United States….Inspired by Wilkins’ ten years of traveling, performing and teaching throughout the Czech Republic, Czech Wishes details the love story between an artist and the many wonderful people and experiences he has encountered throughout his years traveling through the enchanting villages and rolling countryside of the Czech Republic.” (https://lydialiebman.com/index.php/2019/03/04/new-release-skip-wilkins-and-son-team-up-on-czech-wishes-out-3-31-19/) The players include Skip Wilkins (piano), Daniel Wilkins (tenor sax), Miroslav Hloucal (trumpet, flugelhorn), Tomas “Kastan” Baros (bass) and Marek Urbanek (drums). “Don’t Forget Me,” track six on Czech Wishes, gives the audience the opportunity to hear the two perform as a duo. Regarding this recording, Skip remarks “This one stays in the family. It must. My father has Alzheimer’s. The composition is thus inscribed: For my father, who will forget, and for my mother, who will remember, a lament of Alzheimer’s disease.” This is a solid performance throughout. I regret I am unable to find a sample from this disc.