New Jazz Adds – 6/21/2016

New Jazz Adds – 6/21/2016

Bill Belasco Trio – Three Musicians (Summit): Fascinating West Coast trio featuring drummer Bill Belasco, bassist Chuck Bennett, and pianist Denny Berthiaume playing mostly standards in their own unique fashion. The songs are mostly drawn from the songbooks of Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein, Lorenz Hart and Richard Rodgers, Johnny Mercer and Harold Arlen and are rounded out one original by Bennett and a few more modern pieces like  Herbie Hancock’s “Dolphin Dance”, but it only takes a few minutes of the opening song, “Suicide Is Painless” (theme from “Mash”), to let you know this is a disc with its own personality. Most of these songs are significantly transformed by the amazing interplay of the band, most notably between Berthiaume and Belasco. These performances are truly transformative and great fun!  Click here to listen to the opening song.   

Frank Catalano & Jimmy Chamberlin – Bye Bye Blackbird (Rope-a-dope): This is a funky hard bop group featuring Frank Catalano on tenor, Jimmy Chamberlain on drums (recently re-joined Smashing Pumpkins), Nir Felder (guitar) and Demos Petropoulos (B-3) with David Sanborn sitting in on alto on two songs. The group is so groovy that you may need to remind yourself how tight the group is! This is upbeat, straightforward fun. Click here to sample the the songs on this disc.   

Brian Charette – Once & Future (Positone): Charette, 2014 Downbeat Critics’ Poll winner as Best Jazz Organist, offers a disc for lovers of organ trio. His trio also features Will Bernard (guitar) and Steve Fidyk (drums). The setlist includes originals and re-imagined classics like “Jitterbug Waltz”, Bud Powell’s “Dance Of The Infidels”, Woody Shaw’s “Zoltan”, even James Brown’s “Ain’t It Funky Now”. It’s an interesting date and something fans of organ trios will want to check out right away. Click here to sample the songs on this disc.    

Chicago Jazz Philharmonic Chamber Ensemble – Havana Blue (316 Records): The Chicago Jazz Philharmonic has maintained a relationship with Cuban music over a number of years. This disc features a live performance of the “Havana Blue Suite” and four studio performances ranging from “Chega de Saudade” (Antonio Carlos Jobim-Vinicius de Moreas) to “Manteca” (Dizzy Gillespie). A good bit tamer than Dizzy’s big band, but nice sounds. Click here for a sample of a song on this disc.   

Corey Christiansen – Factory Girl (Origin): Guitarist Corey Christiansen continues an exploration of “jazz-ifying” folk and related songs from the past that he began on his previous disc. He and his group – Zach Lapidus (keys, SuperCollider), Jeremy Allen (bass), Matt Jorgesen (drums) and Michael Spiro (percussion) – tackle a variety of songs from “Cluck Ol’ Hen” and “Shenandoah” to “Factory Girl” preserving the essence of each while creating intriguing new arrangements of them. There are three originals as well and all seem to belong together. The music is rhythmic and melodic. This disc is a natural fit for fans of Joel Harrison’s work, such as “Mother Stump”, though Christiansen is not so electrically “far out” as Harrison. This is an alluring disc. Click here and scroll down to sample the songs on this disc.   

Erik Friedlander – Rings (Skipstone): Cellist Erik Freidlander and his group Black Phebe cover the soundscape with sweetness and shifting moods and a certain measure of experimental folk / jazz quirkiness. Friedlander’s cello is both a lead instrument and a source of tonal accent. He is accompanied by Shoko Nagai (piano, accordion, electronics) and Satoshi Takeishi (percussion).  Together, they create a captivating and unique sound that is tantalizing and occasionally falls off the edge only to regroup and reassure the listener that even being somewhat off center can be lovely as well. Click here to sample the songs on this disc.   

Will Goble – Consider The Blues (OA2): Bassist / composer Will Goble offers his second disc as a leader and he is focused here upon the grandeur, the grit and the power and influence of the blues. Goble had played for some time with Jason Marsalis and tapped his former partner in that rhythm section, Dave Potter to play drums. He had also previously played with pianist Louis Heriveaux and tenor saxophonist Gregory Tardy and immediately thought that these performers would be the perfect group for this project. You certainly don’t have to listen long to get just how right he was! There is also one vocal on this disc and Tabreeca Woodside sings with power, style and just a hint of Nina Simone! The ultimate result is a set that honors the foundation and this new sprout from that root! In Goble’s words, “In our music and arts circles, I hope that just as we keep sight of the power of the blues, we listen with purpose to black communities and other people of color, that we support and engage women as musicians and artists, and that we continue to celebrate elders while actively working to create opportunities for young artists and listeners.”  Click here to listen to songs from this disc. 

Joonsam – A Door (Origin): Korean bassist Joonsam began his musical quest inspired by Jaco Pastorius and later by acoustic players Ray Brown, Paul Chambers, Christian McBride. After earning a Masters at NYU, he eventually formed the current group for live gigs and recording: Aaron Parks (piano), Nate Wood (drums), and Ralph Alessi (trumpet) with additional contributions on this recording by Ben Monder (guitar), Yeahwon Shin (vocal), Yvonnick Prene (harmonica) and Chung Eun Han (bamboo flute). The music, with the exception of the traditional  “Doraji The Flower”, was all composed by Joonsam. It is modern, intelligent, swinging, and accessible to fans and would-be fans of current, modern jazz. This is a door you would be well advised to open. Click here and look right to sample two songs from this disc.   

Steffen Kuehn – Leap Of Faith (Steffrecords): Flugelhorn-trumpeter/composer Kuehn leads his large band through eight original compositions and two covers, blowing his horn solidly throughout the disc. He is supported by John Gove (trombone), Tom E Politzer (tenor), Marc Russo (alto sax), Tony Igoe (drums), Dwayne Pate (bass), Drew Zingg (guitar), Colin Hogan (keys), Javier Cabanillas (congas), Omar Ledezma Jr (timbales), Braulio Barrera (bongos), with special guests Bob Mintzer (tenor), Wouter Kellerman (flute), Christian Tumalan (keys), Pete Cornell (alto flute), Aaron Lington (bass clarinet, bari sax), and Alexa Weber Morales (vocals). The overall sound is that of a highly polished large band – lots of power when needed and tight performances throughout. Kuehn, by the way, won a Grammy in 2014 for Best Tropical Latin Album. Click here to check out the opening track on this disc.   

Branford Marsalis Quartet – Upward Spiral (OKeh): Branford Marsalis is certainly the most versatile and perhaps restless member of this great musical family and he’s at it again with this new “partnership” with vocalist Kurt Elling. Partnership? “I usually reject the word `collaboration,’” Marsalis admits, “because it implies a third thing from that which each collaborator does well.  I don’t need a collaborator to do what I normally do, and Kurt doesn’t, either.  But this time, none of us were going to do what we normally do.  The goal here, even though he sings lyrics, was to highlight Kurt’s voice as an instrument.”  Marsalis, of course, also plays sax throughout. The other members of the quartet are Joey Calderazzo (piano), Eric Revis (bass) and Justin Faulkner (drums). The songs range from classics like “I’m A Fool To Want You” (Sinatra-Wolf-Herron) and “Blue Velvet” to new originals like “Mama Said” (Forbes-Marsalis), “Cassandra Song” (Marsalis-Elling), and “The Return (Upward Spiral)” (Calderazzo-Elling) while covering “Doxy” and Jobim’s “So Tinha De Ser Com Voce” along the way. A fascinating journey. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.   

Luba Mason – Mixtura (Kookie): Actress, singer, songwriter, dancer Mason presents a new collection of songs in her own style “mixtura” – a blend of jazz, pop, classical and world music styles. The song list here includes two originals as well as compositions by Van Morrison, James taylor, Cole Porter, Lou Reed, and Mozart. Musical support is provided byJoel Mateo (drums), Dan Martinez (bass), Felipe Founier (vibes, percussion), Rafael Rosa (guitar) and Sara Caswell (violin) with guest appearances by Randy Brecker, Jimmy Haslip, Dori Caymmi, Kenny Loggins, Al Jarreau, and the Flor de Toalache Mariachi Band. Click here to listen to samples of songs on this disc.   

Jocelyn Michelle – Time To Play (Chicken Coop): Initial disc by Jocelyn Michelle a new name for B-3 enthusiasts to check out. Joining her are husband John Rack and Bruce Forman on guitar, Doug Webb and Steve Mann on saxophones, Stan Martin and Andrea Lindborg on trumpet, Sammy K on drums, Brad Dutz on percussion and Gina Saputo and Regina Leonard Smyth on vocals (one track each). Jocelyn wrote six original pieces and arranged four others for her first album as a leader. Though primarily a B-3 player, she also adds guitar on “Sylvia’s Song” and piano on “The Loss”. Jocelyn is a solid player and the shifting accompaniments add nice variety. Click here and scroll down to listen to a sample of each song on this disc.   

Michael Jefry Stevens – Brass Tactics (Konnex): Here is a unique combination: Composer / pianist Michael Jefry Stevens trades off with a horn quartet on these unusual and periodically improvised songs. The brass players are Steve Swell and Dave Taylor (trombones) and Dave Ballou and Ed Sarath (trumpets). The title is more than a suggestion as the brass dominates the songs throughout. Most often, Stevens introduces the song and lets the horns take over. He may then add accents or percussive fills, but the disc is mostly about the brass. Four of the songs were completely improvised in the studio and Stevens is more actively involved in those. The songs are mainly melodic, but there are some significant trips outside as well. Click here to listen to the songs on this disc.   


Professor Bebop


Become a Sponsor

Underwriting WTJU is a way to broadly share information about your business. It’s also a way for your business or organization to gain community-wide recognition for your support of WTJU’s community mission.

Underwrite a Program


Your gift nourishes our community and helps bring people together through music.

Underwrite a Program