New Jazz Adds – 6/18/2019
Melissa Aldana – Visions (Motema): Composer/tenor sax player Melissa Aldana: “On her first jazz quartet “Visions”, award-winning saxophonist Melissa Aldana connects her work to the legacy of Latina artists who have come before her, creating a pathway for her own expression. Inspired by the life and works of Frida Kahlo, Aldana creates a parallel between her experiences as a female saxophone player in a male-dominated community, and Kahlo’s experiences as a female visual artist working to assert herself in a landscape dominated by men. On her first jazz quartet recording, Aldana adds a new dimension to her sound, resulting in a transformative movement of expression and self-identity.” (https://www.melissaaldana.net/) Aldana is supported by Sam Harris (piano, Rhodes); Pablo Menares (bass); Tommy Crave (drums) and Joel Ross (vibes). The is a straight ahead set with wonderful shifts as the disc moves on. Click here to listen to the songs on this release.
Teodross Avery – After The Rain: A Night For Coltrane (Tomkins Square): “While growing up in Oakland and Vacaville, California, Teodross’ parents exposed him to a wide range of music including traditional Eastern and Western African music, Soul, Rock, and Jazz. At ten, his father started him with classical guitar lessons. Jolted by the sound of John Coltrane’s ‘Giant Steps,’ Teodross switched to the saxophone at thirteen. As a testament to his young promise, the great Wynton Marsalis purchased a saxophone for him. At 17, Teodross eventually won a full music scholarship to attend the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston.” (https://www.teodrossavery.com/bio) This disc is a live recording featuring four Coltrane compositions, Calvin Wayne Massey’s “Bakai” and Mongo Santamaria’s “Afro Blue”. Backing musicians are Adam Shulman (piano), Jeff Chambers (bass) and Darrell Green (drums). It’s a wonderful tribute to Coltrane. Click here to catch a brief introduction to this release.
Patricia Barber – Higher (Artist Share): This is Patricia Barber’s first release in six years. It contains nine originals and covers of Woody Herman’s “Early Autumn” (lyrics by Johnny Mercer and Ralph Burns), Dave Brubeck’s “In Your Own Sweet Way” and “Secret Love” (lyrics by Paul Francis Webster and music by Sammy Fain). Barber’s supporting musicians are Patrick Mulcahy (bass), Jon Deitemyer (drums), Neal Alger (guitar), Jim Gailloreto (tenor sax) and Katherine Wergiansky (lyric soprano none song). “Few performers in or out of jazz are as consistently brilliant as Patricia Barber. …Brainy. Beautiful.” —JazzTimes “Barber braids wrenching, elemental poetry into a private musical language fashioned from the yearning ache of Bill Evans’ piano, Joni Mitchell’s zigzag introspections, Jobim’s winking mix of high end philosophy and pastel melody and an occasional explosion of skronk and funk.” (DownBeat) Definitely on the quiet and reflective side. I regret I am unable to find a sample from this release.
Chord Four – California Avant Garde (Self-produced): This is the second release from Chord Four featuring Andrew Conrad (tenor sax, bass clarinet), Brandon Sherman (trumpet), Emilio Terranova (bass) and Colin Woodford (drums). All of the songs are originals. “Chord Four is an award-winning avant-garde ensemble of improvisers and composers creating original music which balances intricate rhythms and harmonies.” (http://redpoppyarthouse.org/event/triism-chord-four-20180915/) Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this release.
Stephan Crump’s Rosetta Trio – Outliners (Papillon Sounds): “Memphis-bred, Grammy-nominated, Echo Award-winning bassist/composer Stephan Crump is an active bandleader with twelve critically-acclaimed album releases in addition to numerous film scoring contributions. Known for transforming his instrument into a speaking entity of magnetic pull, his focus on creative instrumental music has led to collaborations with many of the leading lights of his generation.” (https://www.stephancrump.com/bio) He composed all of the songs on this release and is accompanied by Liberty Ellman (acoustic guitar) and Jamie Fox (electric guitar). Sometimes quirky, sometimes enchanting and at others beautifully straight up. Click here to listen to four of the songs on this disc.
Sam Dillon – Force Field (Posi-Tone): Sam Dillon is a saxophonist, woodwind player, composer and teacher based in New York. He has performed in a wide varieties of group settings from orchestras, big band and smaller combos. This appears to be his first release as a leader, though he has recorded with several other players. On this disc, Dillon composed four of the nine songs and the rest include Chick Corea’s “”Straight Up And Down”, Harry Whitaker’s “Flight Of Mind”, Lars Jansson’s “”Marionette”, Charlie Parker’s “Dexterity” and “Go For The Jugular” by trombonist Michael Dease, who also plays on that song and Dillon’s “Two Part Problem “. The rhythm section includes David Wong (bass) and Anwar Marshall (drums) and other alternating players including Max Darche (trumpet on four songs), Andrew Gould (alto sax on four songs), and Theo Hill (piano, Rhodes on two songs). The music is quite strong and flowing largely because Dillon is such a strong and supple player. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Michael Eaton Dialogical – Michael Eaton Dialogical (Destiny): Tenor and soprano saxophonist Michael Eaton offers this session with other voices in the “dialogical” which is defined as “thinking that involves a dialogue or extended exchange between different points of view or frames of reference”. (http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/glossary-of-critical-thinking-terms/496). These performances are fascinating and often delightful. Eaton’s quartet features Brad Whiteley (piano), Daniel Ori (bass) and Shareef Taher (drums) interacting with a series of guests, including Lionel Loueke (guitar), Brittany Amjou (vibes), Cheryl Pyle (flute), Enrique Haneine (udu), James Brandon Lewis and Sean Sonderegger (tenor sax), Jon Crowley (trumpet), Dorian Wallace (piano) and Sarah Mulline (marimba, triangles). The performances range from straight ahead to reaching for the outside boundaries, but this melange typically stays well within accessible melodic ranges. Captivating. Click here to listen to the songs on this release.
Mikole E Kaar – Turning East (Self-produced): Veteran musician Mikole E. Kaar (tenor and soprano sax, flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, piano, and bassoon) offers his sixth release as a leader. The songs include two originals and covers of Sam Rivers’ “Beatrice”, Bobby Timmons and Oscar Brown Jr’s “Dat Dere”, Miles Davis’ “Nardis” and Billy Eckstine’s “I Want To Talk About You”, among others. Backing musicians are Henry “The Skipper” Franklin (bass), Sam Hirsh (piano), Yayo Morales (drums) and a great vocal by Alexis Joi on “Philanthropy”. There is a good deal of variety here within the genre of straight ahead jazz. Click here and scroll down to listen to four of the songs on this disc.
Doug MacDonald – Califournia Quartet (DMacMusic): Veteran guitarist Doug MacDonald leads his quartet through six original compositions and four standards on this set. MacDonald is a prolific veteran having performed in a variety of settings from trios and much larger groups. Supporting musicians on this release are Kim Richmond (alto and soprano sax, flute), Harvey Newmark (bass) and Paul Kreibich (drums). The playing is solid throughout on this swinging set and will certainly hook fans of straight ahead quartets. Click here to listen to the songs on this disc.
Nicki Parrott – From New York To Paris (Arbors): Singer/bassist Nicki Parrott offers her 32nd release in a career. Parrott took piano lessons when she was four years old, then learned flute. When she was fifteen, she started playing double bass, and after graduating from high school she studied at the New South Wales Conservatorium of Music in Sydney, Australia. She moved to New York in 1994 and among other gigs served as Les Paul’s bassist for several years. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicki_Parrott) This disc features a number of major standards, ranging from Cole Porter’s “I Love Paris” to Mann-Weil-Leiber and Stoller’s “On Broadway” to Rodgers and Hart’s “Manhattan” and Edith Piaf-Marguerite Monnot-Geoffrey Parsons’ “If You Love Me”. She is accompanied by Harry Allen (horns), John DiMartino (piano), Gil Goldstein (accordion) and Alvin Atkinson (drums). Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Ralph Peterson & The Messenger Legacy – Legacy Alive, V6 (Onyx): Drummer/bandleader Ralph Peterson gathered up an awesome group of jazz players to pay homage to Art Blakey and his Jazz Messengers, a band that brought an amazing list of jazz giants over the years. He once commented to his bandmates that when the then current players got too old to keep the fire burning, he would “get some young ones.” Over the course of 35 years, he employed Donald Byrd, Hank Mobley, Horace Silver, Doug Watkins, Kenny Durham, Benny Golson, Lee Morgan, Wayne Shorter, Bobby Timmons, Freddie Hubbard, Curtis Fuller, Cedar Walton, Reggie Workman, Wynton and Branford Marsalis, Terence Blanchard and Donald Harrison, among others. He also hired Peterson, Bill Pierce (tenor sax), Bobby Watson (alto sax), Brian Lynch (trumpet), Essiet Essiet (bass) and Geoffrey Keezer (piano), the group that performed this set which was full of dedication and fire in honor of their former leader. Interestingly, they didn’t perform any of Blakey’s compositions, but they certainly brought a lot of fire! The set list does offer their rendition of two Bobby Watson compositions and one each composed by Freddie Hubbard, Benny Golson, Wayne Shorter and Ellington and Tizol’s “Caravan”. The performance took place in October, 2018 and it is sensational! Click here to listen to “In Case You Missed It” from this release.
Walt Weiskopf – European Quartet Worldwide (Orenda): Tenor sax player and composer Walt Weiskopf offers eight original compositions and covers of “Soultrane” (written by Tadd Dameron) and “The Pawnbroker” (written by Quincey Jones). He has played with Carl Winther (piano), Andreas Lang (bass) and Anders Mogensen (drums) for a few years now and they are a tight unit. “…composer and author Walt Weiskopf began his New York career performing with the Buddy Rich Big Band in 1981 at the age of 21. Since then, he has made an impressive mark as both a leader and sideman with 20 critically-acclaimed CDs and countless sideman credits, including performing and recording with Buddy Rich, Frank Sinatra, Steely Dan, Donald Fagen, Boz Scaggs and Michael McDonald.” (https://waltweiskopf.com/about/) Click here to listen to a song from this release.