New Jazz Adds – 6/2/2020
Whit Dickey Trio – Expanding Light (Tao Forms): “Free improvisation is as much an act of discovery as of creation. On their breathtaking debut the new Whit Dickey Trio shines their collective illumination into the heretofore unexplored darkness between them. The album teams the drummer with one of his most long-standing collaborators in saxophonist Rob Brown & for the first time with the young firebrand bassist Brandon Lopez, in what is certainly hoped will be an ongoing communion…. Expanding Light is an exercise in going full-bore Yang. Dickey described the experience of recording with his new trio as “incessantly and mightily grabbing the dragon by the tail, and not caring.” In other words, losing oneself to intangible inspiration, wherever it may lead. The result maintains a visceral ferocity even at its most abstract moments, influenced as much by Nirvana at their finest as by the holistic experimentation of Dickey’s mentor, Professor Milford Graves. Of course, the Yin – the Expanding Light of the title – inevitably follows in the trio’s wake… (https://taoforms.bandcamp.com/album/expanding-light) The result is quite a challenging voyage. Click here to listen to “The Outer Edge” – the opening of this challenging excursion.
Nick Dunston – Atlantic Extraction (Out Of Your Head): “Brooklyn-based bassist/composer Nick Dunston’s debut album, Atlantic Extraction, translates into a capable, lopsided modern chamber-esque work designed with both conformity and obliquity, symmetry and shapelessness. Although unconventional, the instrumentation is utterly appealing thanks to the energy channeled by the kindred spirits on the album: flutist Louna Dekker-Vargas, violinist Ledah Finck, guitarist Tal Yahalom, and drummer Stephen Boegehold.” (https://jazztrail.net/blog/nick-dunston-atlantic-extraction-album-review) Truly out there by design! Expect something between modern classical music and the outer limits. Click here and scroll down to listen to three of the songs: “Collage No. 2”, “S.S. Nemesis” and “Contraband Peanut Butter”.
Erroll Garner – Gemini (Octave/Mack Avenue): This set by Erroll Garner (piano, harpsichord) offers a few surprises, such as the harpsichord, to Garner’s repertoire while backing is provided by Ernest McCraty, Jr (bass), Jimmie Smith (percussion) and Jose Mangual (congas) recorded in 1971. The program mostly offers standards such as “How High The Moon”, “Tea For Two” and “Misty”. Garner was in fine, energetic form on this set which highlights his piano. Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Erroll Garner – Magician (Octave/Mack Avenue): This release was recorded in 1973 and is his last release. Garner is in fine form and is joined by Grady Tate (drums), Bob Cranshaw (bass), Jose Mangual (congas), Norman Gold (organ) and Jackie Williams (tambourine). Five of the songs are Garner originals and the covers include Bacharach and David’s “(They Long To Be) Close To You”, the Gershwin’s “Someone To Watch Over Me” and Warren and Dubin’s “Someone To Watch Over Me”. As you would expect, the set is full of beautiful performances and wonderfully dynamic piano. Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Erroll Garner – Plays Gershwin & Kern (Octave/Mack Avenue): The final set of this series, the focus turns to the music of Gershwin and Kern as interpreted by Erroll Garner. The selections range from “I Got Rhythm” and “Someone To Watch Over Me” to lesser performed songs like “Watch What Happens” and closes with Garner’s “Maybe You’re The Only One”. I regret I am unable to find a sample from this disc.
The Haggis Horns – Stand Up For Love (Self-produced): “The UK’s funk brothers are back! After 2 years working hard in their studio in Leeds in the north of England, The Haggis Horns are ready to drop album number 5! “Stand Up For Love” is released worldwide on their own label Haggis Records haggisrecords.bandcamp.com on the 22nd May on Vinyl, CD and Digital. They should have added a subtitle to it…back to roots! This one has them doing what they’ve done best from day one…kicking the funk! plus the spotlight is truly on the band – no special guests, just Haggis Horns band members past and present including “Hot Damn!” singer John McCallum who features on seven out of the nine tracks making this their most vocal-led album to date. The Haggis Horns first hit the music scene in 1999 as both a band and brass section, the horns making their first recorded appearance on The New Mastersounds debut album that year.” (https://thehaggishorns.bandcamp.com/) The band members are John McCallum (vocals), Erroll Rollins (drums), Kenny Higgins (bass), Ben Barker (guitar), George Cooper (keys), Sam Bell (percussion), Malcolm Strachan (trumpet), Rob Mitchell (alto & bari sax) and Atholl Ransome (tenor sax & flute). These cats are definitely on the good foot with the vocals on the mellow side! Click here and scroll down to listen to the songs on this disc.
Heisenberg Uncertainty Players – Gradient (Self-produced): “John Dorhauer (b. 1985) is a composer who embraces and enjoys a wide variety of styles, and this diversity is reflected in his compositions. His music has been brought to life by concert, jazz, and rock bands alike, which is indicative of his flexibility and curiosity as a writer. Furthermore, Dorhauer’s affinity for musical eclecticism has allowed his writing to blur boundaries of conventional genre, creating something fresh and unique.” (https://www.isrbx.net/3137793941-heisenberg-uncertainty-players-gradient-2020.html) “Heisenberg Uncertainty Players (HUP) “are something of a Chicago institution, as well as being a distinct anomaly – a 17-piece big band specialising in original compositions and arrangements by the band members, who have managed to survive and thrive since 2011 playing regular shows around their home town. Their brand new release, Gradient, features nine original compositions and one arrangement that incorporate HUP’s unique blend of jazz, rock, classical, R&B, and pop music. The album is built around The Basketball Suite, which is a four-movement composition written in a postmodern-pop style in which each movement is inspired by a different aspect of the modern NBA. Also featured on Gradient is Dorhauer’s arrangement of the first movement of Gustav Mahler’s Third Symphony, which adapts the original for jazz big band with elements of heavy metal and reggae.” (Jazz Views) Click here and scroll down to listen to songs on this disc.
Posi-Tone Swingtet – One For 25 (Posi-Tone): “Conceived out of long standing relationships and artistic camaraderie, several of our closest friends and trusted collaborators have brought their considerable talents together to celebrate our label’s 25th anniversary with a series of captivating and unforgettably straight forward performances. We can only hope this collection of recordings presented together here as “One for 25” will succeed in bringing as much enjoyment to our audience of listeners as the music did to all of us while we were creating the record.” (https://www.posi-tone.com/onefor25/onefor25.html) Who are the players? Farnell Newton (trumpet), Patrick Cornelius (alto sax), Diego Rivera (tenor sax), Michael Dease (trombone), Lauren Sevian (barit sax 3, 4, 8, 11), Art Hirahara (piano 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 11, 12), Theo Hill (piano 1, 2, 3, 10, Rhodes 6, 8), Boris Kozlov (bass) and Rudy Royston (drums). Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Bernard Scavella – The Way I Feel (Granville Records): Saxophonist Bernard Scavella has loved playing from a young age, but he decided early on to pursue a job that would reliably pay the the bills. ” I had always been fascinated by the pharmacy, wondering what they were doing back there. I was intrigued by the science, chemistry and mathematics of it all. I figured if I earned a license, I could always make a decent wage while still pursuing my main passion, playing jazz ”! (https://myemail.constantcontact.com/Bernard-Scavella-Rhythm-Shifts-to-an-excellent-new-CD-.html?soid=1112167101790&aid=Acq-V-QVtsM) He has maintained his both his vocation and avocation throughout. “When I get that restless feeling, I push it through a horn and a song comes!” This is is his third release on his own label and nine of the ten songs are his own compositions and he certainly shares his soulful joy throughout. Scavella is backed up by Theodis Rodgers (piano), Will Howard (bass) and Jared Decker (drums). Great straight-away jazz! Click here to listen to hear samples of the songs on this release.
W. Allen Taylor – Storyteller (Self-produced): ““Sometimes you have to play a long time to be able to play like yourself.” —Miles Davis ‘As a jazz singer, with a theatre background, I’ve always been fascinated by the stories that I’m inspired to tell. Whether drawn in by the ecstasy of the melody, or by the poetry of the lyrics; having a song speak directly to my soul is what it’s all about. And it’s exhilarating to be able to explore the possibility of adding anything of consequence to the narrative of that song…especially to a jazz standard. We modern-day practitioners of this rich tradition share the risk of overexposing the treasures left behind by some of the most esteemed vocalists in the history of this music. And yet we keep digging, excavating for deeper meaning, and for the opportunity to add our layer to a legacy. With this, my album debut, I’m putting my personal layer on some of the songs that have lived within me through many years of my musician’s journey. Each of these selections possess not only a lyrically evocative narrative, but also a musical storytelling approach that feeds my appetite for the jazz tradition that leans undeniably straight-ahead. I also want to pay homage to the artists who created these songs, or at least made their existence noteworthy. Artists who made significant contributions to the modern jazz songbook, and helped to establish a music that will never expire. Jazz is, and will always be ALIVE because of the giants who left a trail. Every song is a story, intended or not, and the older I become, the more I realize that I’m still in the process of becoming…and will always be striving to “play like myself” with every story I tell. I hope you enjoy, and may you find your authentic voice, musical or otherwise, to express whatever inspiration you choose to follow on your path. Peace and love, WAT” (Liner notes) Some very fine takes! The musicians are Chris Grasso (piano), James King (bass), Mark Prince (drums) and Lionel Lyles (tenor & soprano sax). Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Steve Tibbetts – Compilation: Acoustibbetts / Elektrobitts / Exotibbetts (Frammis): “This three-CD compilation has over three hours of remastered music culled from 11 records and is meant as an introduction to Tibbett’s far-reaching imagination and to whet the appetite for his back catalog and future endeavors.” (https://stevetibbetts.com/recordings/) “Steve Tibbetts is a contemporary American guitarist, producer, instructor, recording engineer, and composer. His fusion of exotic and urban landscapes offers a widely acknowledged, totally original approach to the creation of sound. He plays acoustic and electric guitar as well as numerous percussion instruments including kendang and kalimba. His compositions often weave together elements of experimental, jazz, rock, ambient, and world music, with the recording studio acting as an additional instrument. Tibbetts calls his music “post-modern neo-primitivism.”(https://www.allmusic.com/artist/steve-tibbetts-mn0000755019/biography) “Tibbetts was born in Madison, Wisconsin and spent his early teen years there, learning to play guitar at age 12 when he heard the Blind Joe Mendelbaum Blues Band play distorted guitar at the Dane County (Wisconsin) Junior Fair. In an interview, he claimed he was overwhelmed by “the splendor and majesty of it” — and the fact that the band was extremely loud. It was the jumping-off point for his musical investigations. (Later influences were jazz guitarist Bill Connors and Harvey Mandel — Tibbetts asserts that he lifted his fingerstyle playing from the latter.) After moving to St. Paul, Minnesota for college, he began his sound experiments using his acoustic 12-string and electric guitars, as well as distortion boxes, pedals, and anything else he could rig. It was in St. Paul that he met Anderson, and the pair have worked together on and off ever since.(https://www.allmusic.com/artist/steve-tibbetts-mn0000755019/biography) Tibbetts offers this three disc set to regroup across the years. The discs are labelled as “Acoustibbetts”, “Elektrobitts” and “Exotibbitts”. It’s a dazzling set of musical expression. I regret I am unable to find a sample from this set.
Paul Tuvman – In My Life (Self-produced): Pianist Paul Tuvman offers a dozen Beatle tunes backed with a solid set of musicians and some interesting arrangements. The musicians shift from one song to the next, adding freshness to the overall project. Tuvman and drummer Jamey Tate handle the arrangements. Remaining players are Peter White, Justin Smith and Andrew Synowiec (guitar), David Hughes (bass), Jeff Babko (keys) and guests Mindi Abair (sax), Rong-Huey Liu (oboe), Dave Koz (sax), Rick Braun (flugelhorn, trumpet) and Vincent Ingala (sax) soloists. Click here and scroll down to listen to clips from the songs on this release.