New Jazz Adds – 6/18/2018
Cyrille Aimee – Live (Mack Avenue): Cyrille Aimee is a well respected French jazz singer. She won the Montreux Jazz Festival Competition in 2007, was a finalist in the Thelonious Monk Jazz Competition in 2010 and won the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Competition in 2012. This live performance is absolutely fantastic. First of all, there is the wonderful singing and stylizing by Aimee. The song selection stretches from very old compositions from Sidney Bechet to recent compositions by Aimee, including “Nuit Blanche” and “Each Day”, and covers the range from Peggy Lee and Dave Barbour’s “”It’s A Good Day” to Stephen Sondheim’s “Live Alone And Like It” to Michael Jackson’s “”Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’”. She also tackles Monk’s “Well, You Needn’t” and offers an amazing take on “Three Little Words”. Her supporting musicians are Adrian Moignard (acoustic guitar), Michael Valeanu (electric guitar) Dylan Shamat (bass) and Dani Danor (drums). The performance by all is amazing and Aimee has to be one of the greatest jazz scatters and lyric singers of all time! I regret that I cannot find a sample from this most recent disc, but click here to listen to a version performed in 2016.
The Jamie Baum Septet – Bridges (Sunnyside Communications): This is flutist / composer Jamie Baum’s sixth release. She has performed with such renowned musicians as George Russell, Randy Brecker, Tom Harrell, Kenny Barron, Dave Douglas, Anthony Braxton and Wadada Leo Smith. She composed all of the songs on this disc and performs on flute, alto flute, and singing bowl. Supporting musicians include Amir Elsaffar (trumpet, vocal), Sam Sadigursky (alto sax, bass clarinet), Chris Komer (french horn), John Escreet (piano), Brad Shepik (guitar), Zack Lober (bass, singing bowl) and Jeff Hirshfield (drums). Special guests are Jamey Haddad (percussion) and Navin Chettri (percussion, voice, tanpura). Baum has performed a variety of music and this disc has several blends of styles from one piece to the next. The group performs as if they have played together all their lives. The music is exotic at times and can sweep the listener away. Click here to listen to “Joy Lament” from this disc.
Greg Burrows – Tell Your Story (GreBu): Drummer Greg Burrows leads a quartet that includes Bob DeVos (guitar), Harvie S (bass) and Dave Childs (piano) with added brass on two songs by Jamie Finegan (trumpet) and John Fumasoli (trombone). The group covers songs ranging from Cole Porter’s “Everything I Love” and Monk’s “Hackensack” to two originals by DeVos and one by Harvie S. There is a nice flow to the disc and the players are in a cool groove throughout. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Amy Cervini – No One Ever Tells You (Anzic): This is vocalist Amy Cervini’s fifth release and she kicks off with an original entitled “I Don’t Know”. Her vocal style is rather straightforward, in fact, a blend of singing with a partially talky delivery. Cervini also has an interesting set list on this disc, ranging from her original opener to songs by Lyle Lovett (“God Will”), Rodgers & Hammerstein (“The Surrey With The Fringe On Top”), Eddie Green (“A Good Man Is Hard To Find”) and closing with an amazing version of Percy Mayfield’s “Hit The Road Jack”. Instrumental backing is provided by Jesse Lewis (guitar), Michael Cage (piano), Matt Aronoff (bass) and Jared Schonig (drums) with Gary Versace on B3 on four of the songs. Click here to listen to the songs on this disc listed under “No One Ever Tells You”.
Dave Chamberlain’s Band Of Bones – Picadillo? Yes Madly! (Self-produced): “The title track Picadillo is at once a celebration of Latin cuisine and a tribute to trombonist Barry Rogers. Barry’s iconic solo from the El Sonido Nuevo album has been orchestrated for eight trombones! Duke Ellington’s catch phrase “I Love You Madly!” has been shortened in our album title (Yes, Madly!) and refers to the four tracks of Ellingtonia: the ballads “Chelsea Bridge” and “All Too Soon”, and two poems written by Duke and narrated here by our guest artist Mercedes Ellington (Duke’s granddaughter!) Add two soulful songs by vocalist Antoinette Montague and some Latin-jazz, and you have what Gary Walker of WBGO has called, “A great, wholly diversified effort. I expected nothing less!” (Liner notes) Chamberlain’s band includes Charley Gordon, Sara Jacovino, Matt McDonald, Chris Rinaman, Mark Patterson, Robert Edwards (replaced by Nate Maryland on one song); Max Seigel and Dale Turk (bass trombone), Kenny Ascher (piano); Dock Sarpola, replaced by Jerry DeVore on one song; Mike Campenni (drums); Chembo Corniel, and Mark Patterson (congas); Antoinette Montague (vocals) and Dave Chamberlain (trombone, flute) and a narration by Mercedes Ellington on one song. There is a fascinating take with a twist on several of the songs. Compositions from Horace Silver, Quincy Jones and Rod Templeton, Tito Puente and a couple of Ellington’s compositions. This is an engaging and infectious program. Overview: “A great eclectic album with Latin-jazz, blues, salsa, gospel, ballads, and poems set to music.” Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
The Stanley Clarke Band – The Message (Mack Avenue): Stanley Clarke (electric and acoustic bass, composer) searches to build a new style that includes a broader application of his bass and electronics, thematic lyrics and a more diverse set of music. He has included commentary and lyrics and a shift of styles that includes Doug E. Fresh, Cameron Graves, Dominique Taplin and Pat Leonard (synthesizers), and Doug E. Fresh (vocal) with additional backing musicians Mike Mitchell (drums), Beka Gochiashvili (piano), Salar Nadar (tabla), Doug Webb (sax, flute), Chuck Findley (trumpet, French horn), Michael Thompson (guitar), Steve Blum, Skyeler, Trevor Wesley (vocals), Sofia Sara Clarke (spoken word), Mark Isham and Ron Stout (trumpet) and Dwayne Benjamin (trombone). It’s certainly a shift for Clarke, not wholly successful, but encouraging. Click here to listen to three songs from this disc.
Robert Glasper – R + R = Now, Collagically Speaking (Blue Note): Robert Glasper offers a significantly different sound on this release. The style is more like a collection of “slow jams”, frequently with some commentary about life or relationships. Featured musicians include Glasper (keys), Derrick Hodge (bass), Taylor McFerrin (synthesizers), Terrace Martin (synthesizers, sax), Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah (trumpet), Goapele, Terry Crews, Stalley, Jasin Bey and Amber Navram (vocals), Justin Tyson (drums), Jahi Sundance (DJ voices), Mirna Jose and India Shawn (voices), Amanda Seales (spoken word). Click here to listen to the opening track on this disc.
Dayramir Gonzalez – The Grand Concourse (Machat): Cuban pianist/keyboard player/composer has now moved to New York and is creating quite a stir! All of the songs on this disc are originals and they are hot! Gonzalez creates a blend of traditional Cuban music with cutting edge inspirations of his own, creating a decidedly new sound. Supporting musicians include Antoine Katz and Alberto Miranda (Fender bass); Carlos Mesa and Zwelakhe-Duma Bell Le Pere (acoustic bass); numerous drummers and percussionists on a wide range of instruments; plus several guest horn players on trumpet, flute, alto and tenor sax, and guitar. There is a vocal chorus supporting singers Pedrito Martinez, Nadia Washington and Gregorio Vento and a variety of string players. Click here for an introduction to this new release by Gonzalez himself.
Allen Hinds – Fact Of The Matter (Self-produced): Guitarist Allen Hinds releases what appears to be his sixth disc and it is collection of solos but mostly with a shifting number of musicians across the program. Hinds plays a variety of styles and plays several different kinds of pedals. The recordings themselves were apparently recorded over a long time. The program is mostly mellow and pleasant. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
GayeLynn McKinney – McKinFolk: The New Beginning (Detroit Music Factory): Drummer GayeLynn McKinney leads this testimony to the compositions of her father Harold McKinney, who dedicated his life to building a style of jazz that was distinctive of his city. All but one of the pieces were composed by her father though several have been rearranged by GayeLynn. The one exception is Eddie Harris’ “Freedom Jazz Dance” which was rearranged by Harold. The list of performers is extensive, clearly a testimony to Harold McKinney’s impact and stature. The alternating players include John Douglas, Rayse Biggs, Marcus Belgrave, and Dwight Adams (trumpet); Marcus Elliott, Vincent Bowens, Wendell Harrison and James Carter (tenor sax); Ron Kischuk, Chris Smith, Edward Gooch and Vincent Chandler (trombone); Carlos McKinney, Michael Jellick, Glenn Tucker, Buddy Budson, Bill Meyer and Geri Allen (piano); Ibrahim Jones, Marion Hayden, and Ralphe Armstrong (bass); Cecilia Sharp (cello); Paul Onachuk (oboe); Omelika Kuumba (djembe); Miche Braden and GayeLynn McKenney (vocalist); Kevin Mahogany (scat vocals); Demetrius Nabors (Rhodes) and Chris Codish (moog). Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Lauren Sevian – Bliss (Posi-Tone): Baritone sax player Lauren Sevian has an extraordinary list of accomplishments: “…she won the Count Basie Invitational soloing competition at 16, which led to a feature performance with the Basie Band. By the age of 17 she had already performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, & the Village Vanguard.” (https://www.laurensevian.com/biography) She became a member of the Mingus Big Band while still in her teens. She now has two groups: a quartet “LSQ” and she co-leads the “LSAT” with alto sax player Alexa Tarantino. The two perform together on this disc with support from Robert Rodriguez (piano), Christian McBride (bass) and E.J. Strickland (drums). Sevian composed nine of the ten songs on this disc and co-wrote the tenth with Tarantino. The recording itself is stunning from beginning to end whether ballads or hot barn-burners. Click here to listen to the opening song on this disc.
Dan Wilensky – Good Music (Polyglot): Dan Wilensky began his love affair with the sax at age nine after seeing a Duke Ellington Orchestra concert. When he was 17, he studied with Joe Henderson and was hired by Ray Charles as lead sax when he graduated from high school! Wilensky specializes on tenor and soprano but also plays alto, baritone and C-melody saxophones, flute, alto flute, piano, and keyboards. His musical range of styles is terrific. He composed five of the eleven songs on this disc and also plays a range of covers from “’S Wonderful” (George and Ira Gershwin) and “I Should Care” (Sammy Cahn) to Lennon & McCartney’s “And I Love Her” and a stunning version of Chet Powers plea for peace, “Get Together”. The setting is mostly as a trio with Dave Captain (bass) and Jason Palmer (drums). Guitarist Dan Balmer joins in on four songs and Mike Danner (accordion) on one. I would have to say that the title is a substantial understatement! Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.