New Jazz Adds – 6/11/2018
Greg C. Brown – Just Tell Me Why (Self-produced): Teacher/guitarist/composer Greg C. Brown covers many musical styles from classical to jazz and folk and even thrash metal. This disc is a good example of his reach and repertoire. He plays acoustic and electric on this disc. His accompanying musicians are Aaron Spring (sax), Bryan McKenzie (bass), Steve Sanderson (drums), Jeff Vaughan (trumpet), but in a constantly changing set up to meet the sound he seeks for a particular song. BTW, he also lives in Charlottesville! Click here to listen to the songs on this disc.
Chamber 3 – Transatlantic (OA2): Chamber 3 came together during the early 90s and the main members, Christian Eckert (guitar), Steffen Weber (tenor sax) and Matt Jorgensen (drums) continue to grow and experiment as a group. This disc also features Phil Sparks on bass. Weber has a terrific register and on this disc, at least, he stays in the higher registers, but in a most melodic way. Both he and Eckert dart in and out of various compositions. Whether as a group or in the solos, Chamber 3 is a great chamber group of its own design. All about jazz says, “Chamber 3 can be compared to drummer Paul Motian’s ECM Records with guitarist Bill Frisell and saxophonist Joe Lovano…intricate and full of nuanced surprises, and always such unusual, compelling and captivating grooves.” Click here to listen to samples of the first two songs on this disc.
The Clunk Orchestra – The Sound It Makes (Self-produced): “The name of this band is The Clunk Orchestra because that’s the sound it makes in front of an audience” was saxophonist Ron Anderson’s explanation at a concert last year. Hence the title of this disk.” (https://theclunkorchestra.bandcamp.com/album/the-sound-it-makes) At the same time, these guys swing and interact with great rhythm as well as musical surprise. Group members are Geoff Spooner (guitar), Ron Anderson (tenor, alto, soprano sax), Marek Podstawek (drums, percussion) and Ben Harmsen (bass). There is a mild Zappa feel to things as the guitar becomes more prominent, but the music is less dramatic and rock-ish than Zappa’s. I would call this joyful fun. Click here to listen to the songs on this disc.
Eddie Daniels – Heart Of Brazil (Resonance): Highly regarded in both the classical and jazz worlds, Eddie Daniels (clarinet, tenor sax) offers his tribute to Egberto Gismonti one of the most prominent and respected composers/arrangers/performances in jazz and particularly in his native Brazilian jazz. The blend of Daniels’ dual background makes this release truly unique. Supporting players include Josh Nelson (piano), Kevin Axt (bass), Mauricio Zottarelli (drums) and the Harlem Quartet: Ilmar Gavilan (violin), Melissa White (violin), Jamey Amador (viola) and Felix Umansky (cello). The program itself covers a wide range of Brazilian styles and time periods. Click here for an introduction to this disc by Eddie Davis.
Melody Diachun – Get Back To The Groove (Third Beach): Canadian singer/songwriter Melody Diachun offers a new EP that features three original songs and covers of “Eleanor Rigby” and “Sharp Dressed Man” all sounding very jazzy and in control. She co-wrote two of the three originals with Doug Stephenson (guitar, bass, keys) and is also supported by Andrew Matthews (backing vocals), Clinton Swanson (tenor sax), Chris Gestrin (B3), Chris Andrew (keys), Mark Spielman (bass) and Tony Ferraro (drums). The sound is current with a decided bit of swing. She is very popular in Canada and I suspect we’ll hear a lot more from her. Click here to listen to what sounds like the best of her originals to me.
Yelena Eckemoff – Desert (Self-produced): Yelena Eckemoff is a Russian composer and pianist who left the Soviet in 1991 to pursue her career in the classical world in the US. Since that time, she has begun to explore jazz. She is accompanied by Paul McCandless (oboe, English horn, soprano sax, bass clarinet), Arild Andersen (bass) and Peter Erskine (drums, percussion). The group performs eleven original compositions by Eckemoff. The music is at once foreign and yet somewhat familiar jazz thanks to McCandless’ earlier performances in the group Oregon and beyond. The performances here are also terrific. Eckemoff is also a painter and writer and has written a poem or story for each composition and she painted the cover art. The poems are collected in the liner notes but are not included as a part of the performance. Click here to listen to an introduction of the new disc by Eckemoff.
Paul Kreibich – Thank You Elvin (bluJazz): Drummer Paul Kreibich pays homage to Elvin Jones with this live gig at The Lighthouse Cafe. The Lighthouse is also where Jones recorded “Live At The Lighthouse” for Blue Note in 1972. Keibich was 17 at that time and was in the audience. He now is seeking to demonstrate as best he can the power and glory of Jones’ art. In addition to Kreibich, the players are Chris Colangelo (bass) and Doug Webb, Glenn Cashman and Jeff Elwood on saxes. (Jones also had two in 1972.) Kreilbich composed five of the songs and Webb one. The remainder are Styne’s “Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out To Dry”, Gene Perla’s “Sambra” and Coltrane’s “Naima”. Hot and sweet! Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Jon Kreisberg & Nelson Veras – Kreisberg Meets Veras (New For Now): “The greatest collaborations are often built upon two unique and different personalities combining to create something beyond their individual realms. Thus is the case with the new “KREISBERG meets VERAS” project, which promises to be one of the most exciting guitar duos in the jazz and guitar worlds. Jonathan Kreisberg and Nelson Veras are both highly acclaimed artists on their instruments, and they have combined forces to create a program of original works and rarely played classics which welcome the listener to experience the start of a beautiful musical friendship.” (http://www.jonathankreisberg.com/kreisberg-meets-veras/) Kreisberg plays electric guitar and Veras plays nylon string acoustic guitar. Click here to listen to the opening song on this disc.
Robin McKelle – Melodic Canvas (Doxie): This appears to be Robin McKelle’s seventh release. She is a powerful composer and singer, having started as a big band singer/stylist and eventually tackling a variety of musical styles. This disc is a blend of blues, jazz, pop, and gospel offering a variety of stories or topics and feelings that represent her thoughts and the challenges we all face in life. “McKelle’s characters are vividly drawn, from the struggling teen in ‘Lyla’ to the immigrant tale of ‘Simple Man’; the moments of social awareness, in ‘Yes We Can Can’ (an Allen Toussaint cover featuring Chris Potter) and ‘It Won’t End Up’, are wise and inspiring without feeling heavy-handed…” (http://robinmckelle.com/bio/) She also questions religion, hate, and misogyny. It’s a gentle yet forceful look at the many challenges we face as individuals and nations. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Brad Mehldau Trio – Seymour Reads The Constitution (Nonesuch): Pianist/composer Brad Mehldau and his trio mates Larry Grenadier (bass) and Jeff Ballard (drums) are jumping out with three compositions by Mehldau and some wonderful covers/reconstructions of songs by Lerner and Loewe (“Almost Like Being In Love”), Sam Rivers (“Beatrice”), Paul McCartney (“Great Day”), Elmo Hope (“De-Dah”) and the Beach Boys (“Friends”). It’s lively and dazzling and fun! Click here to listen to the title song.
Jerry Vivino – Coast To Coast (bluJazz): Jerry Vivino (tenor and soprano sax, alto flute, vocals) is a veteran player who cut these songs as he was traveling across the country to see old friends, most notably Bucky and Martin Pizzarelli (guitar and bass respectively). He also did some performing. As he traveled and thought about other important friends and colleagues, he had new ideas about his playing and ultimately created this disc. Vivino wrote or co-wrote seven of the ten dogs here and rounded out the program with three standards. The players involved are John Leftwich, Martin Pizzarelli, John Arbo, Kevin Axt and Kermit Driscoll (alternating on bass); Bernie Dresel, Karl Latham and Shawn Pelton (alternating on drums); Bucky Pizzarrelli and Mark Sganga (guitar); Lew Soloff and Ron Stout (trumpet), and Ken Levinsky, Brian Charette and Mitchell Forman (alternating on piano). They swing and blow hard! Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Buster Williams – Audacity (Smoke Sessions): Buster Williams, bassist extraordinaire, is recognized as one of the greatest masters of all time. He has played with such greats as Art Blakey, Betty Carter, Carmen McRae, Chet Baker, Chick Corea, Dexter Gordon, Jimmy Heath, Branford Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, Gene Ammons, Sonny Stitt, Herbie Hancock, Larry Coryell, Lee Konitz, McCoy Tyner, Illinois Jacquet, Elvin Jones, Miles Davis, Ron Carter, Woody Shaw, Sarah Vaughan, Benny Golson, Mary Lou Williams, Hank Jones, Lee Morgan, Cedar Walton, Bobby Hutcherson, Billy Taylor, Sonny Rollins, Count Basie, Errol Garner, Kenny Barron, Charlie Rouse, Kenny Dorham, and Freddie Hubbard, among others, and he’s not done yet. This band includes Steve Wilson (sax), George Colligan (piano) and Lenny White (drums) and their performances are dazzling. Six of the nine songs are Williams’ originals and Wilson, White and Colligan each add one of their own. It’s an historic date and a wonderful performance. Click here to listen to samples of the performances on this disc.