New Jazz Adds – 6/25/2018
Tucker Antell – Grime Scene (OA2): Tenor sax player Tucker Antell had the good fortune to be befriended by older players as he was growing up and with their encouragement, he eventually studied with Jerry Bergonzi and George Garzone and ultimately graduated from the 2009 Jazz Studies program at the New England Conservatory of Music. This is his first release as a leader and it is really strong. He composed all but one song on the disc, (Monk’s “I Mean You”) and he created a wonderful arrangement for that. The group includes Carl Eisman (guitar), Jake Sherman (B3) and Lee Fish (drums) with Jason Palmer (trumpet) joining in on four songs. Antell has great feeling for the sax and has expression that truly stands out. He really creates wonderful sounds and feelings with terrific hipness. Click here to listen to “Madness”, my favorite cut on this disc.
Lynne Arriale Trio – Give Us These Days (Challenge): Composer / pianist Lynne Arriale has released numerous recordings, mostly solo or in a trio setting. She has been compared to other great trio pianists for her own playing and for her insistence that each player will be an improviser as well as a member of the rhythm section. “She states the it is a joy to respond to the other players as well as be the lead voice. Her music transcends the word ‘jazz’ – it is just pure music.” (Randy Brecker, http://www.lynnearriale.com/bio/) Six of the nine songs here are originals by Arriale and the trio creates it’s own versions of Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock”, Lennon and McCartney’s “Let It Be” and Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan’s “Take It With Me.” This is a rather quiet disc, but the treasures within are quite wonderful. Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Jarod Bufe – New Spaces (OA2): Jarod Bufe has been an active saxophone player and repairman for roughly 20 years in the Chicago area. He made his first impact as a repairman and now he offers his first release with the Jarod Bufe Quartet. Bufe has an interesting approach that features bop styles with a slightly outside perspective. There is a lot of space in the performances. He is accompanied by Tim Stine (guitar), Matt Ulery (bass) and Jon Deitemyer (drums). All of the songs were composed by Bufe. Click here to listen to samples of two songs on this disc.
Geoffrey Keezer Trio – On My Way To You (Self-produced): Piano and keyboard player Geoffrey Keezer has a dazzling history, having played or recorded with stars like Art Blakey, Ray Brown, Joshua Redman, Art Famer, Benny Golson, Wayne Shorter, David Sanborn, Chris Botti, Sting, Joe Locke and Christian McBride. In fact, this appears to be his 21st release as a leader. Keezer contributed one new creation for this disc, but most of the focus is around playing for singer Gillian Margot and capturing new presentations of songs like Stevie Wonder’s “These Three Words”, Thelonius Monk’s “Brilliant Corners”, Jimi Hendrix’s “May This Be Love” Ewan MacColl’s “The First Time I Saw Your Face” and Lennon and McCartney’s “Across The Universe / Give Peace A Chance”. Lee Perrson (drums) and Mike Pope (bass) are the rhythm section. Click here and scroll down to hear samples of the songs on this disc.
Ernie Krivda & Swing City – A Bright And Shining Moment (Capri): This disc is a wonderful tribute to numerous musicians and the style of swinging big band they developed in Cleveland several decades ago as well as a special tribute to Ernie Krivda, the tenor sax player who excited younger and older players to keep the Cleveland style alive. The recordings on this disc were done by three iterations of Swing City in 1998, 2001 and 2002. The players were Ernie Krivda (tenor sax, all recordings); Steve Enos (trumpet, all); Chris Anderson (trombone, 2001); Joe Hunter (piano, all); Marion Hayden (bass, 1998, 2001); Lee Bush (guitar, all); John Bacon (drums, 2001); Gary Carney (trombone, 1998, 2002); Rick Porrello (drums, 1998); Brian Thomas (bass, 2002) and Ray Porrello (drums, 2002). The performances are jumping and guaranteed to get your toes tapping! Click here to listen to a sample of a song from this disc.
Jeremy Ledbetter Trio – Got A Light? (Alma): “Originally trained as a classical pianist, Jeremy studied jazz performance at York University in Toronto before embarking on over a decade of world travel that saw him work with the biggest names in music in Trinidad, Cuba, Brazil, and Venezuela.” (http://www.jeremyledbetter.com/bio/) Ledbetter has created a surprisingly playful and off-beat style that blends these various musics into a magnetic and joyful expression. All but one of the songs are Ledbetter originals. He is accompanied by Rich Brown (bass) and Larnell Lewis (drums) with guest appearances by vocalists Eliana Cuevas and Leila Ledbetter and Reimundo Sosa (bata). The disc is energetic, surprising and fun. Click here to check out the title song.
Charles Lloyd & The Marvels + Lucinda Williams – Vanished Gardens (Blue Note): Charles Lloyd (tenor sax, flute, ghost vocals) has led a truly singular life and career. He embraced the psychedelic era, bringing in his jazz background and experimenting with players like John Cipollina (formerly of Quicksilver Messenger Service) and the Beach Boys. This disc is a new celebration, but has the same fascinating warmth about it. The Marvels include Bill Frisell (guitar), Greg Leisz (pedal steel guitar, dobro), Reuben Rogers (bass) and Eric Harland (drums). Special guest, Lucinda Williams, sounding much better than she has in several years, sings lead on five songs, four of which are her own compositions and a cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Angel”. Frisell and Leisz play beautifully together and blend wonderfully with Lloyd. He also leads the group in some wonderful jazz pieces of his own and in a cover of “Monk’s Mood” with Bill Frisell. This is an unusual disc in terms of the styles and blends and it may not appeal to everyone, but it is a remarkable performance in many ways and it does deserve to be considered and heard deeply before making a final decision. Click here to listen a song from this disc featuring Lucinda Williams and the rest of the band.
Marcus Miller – Laid Black (Blue Note): When I first looked at the cover, I thought it read “Laid Back”, but it’s like New Orleans – even though it’s called the Big Easy, it’s as funky as can be! It’s also some of the best music scanning around, whether connected to New Orleans or funk or Soul or jazz! On top of that, Miller and friends serve up some of the best Black music going. The disc is enhanced by special guests, including Selah Sue, Trombone Shorty, Jonathan Butler, Peculiar 3, Take 6, Kirk Whalum and Alex Han. Main players are Marquis Hill (bass, guitar, bass clarinet, keys, trumpet and vocals), Patches Stewart (trumpet), Alex Han (alto sax), Brett Williams (keyboards, piano, organ), Alex Bailey (drums, percussion), Adam Agati (guitar), Louis Cato (drums), Kirk Whallum (flute), Caleb McCampbell (vocoder), Cliff Barnes (piano), and Charles Haynes (drums, programming). There’s lots of variety here and plenty of jump! Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Ark Ovrutski – Journey Moments (Self-produced): Composer / bass player / band leader Ark Ovrutski offers his fourth disc as a leader. He holds a Masters of Music in Jazz Performance from Rutgers University and a Doctor of Musical Art in Jazz and Classical Performance from the University of Illinois. Five of the nine cuts are originals and the four covers are include Wayne Shorter’s “Lest Left Town”, Ron Carter’s “For Toddlers Only” and Herbie Hancock’s “Dolphin Dance”. One of his originals honors the music of Brazil and two honor the music of New Orleans. The other players on his disc are Myron Walden (sax), Benito Gonzalez (piano) and McClenty Hunter (drums). The band is a terrific ensemble and music is top drawer. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
William Parker – Voices Fall From The Sky (Centering Music): “Currently deep into his 5th exceptionally active decade as an essential jazz artist, William Parker needs no introduction. However, one of the intrinsic aspects of his oeuvre that bears repeated mention is the vast range thereof. From era-defining statements of free music to soul-jazz organ quartet; from his seamless incorporation of indigenous folk forms to his exhilarating work for jazz orchestra; from the joyous accessibility of his Quartet to his nuanced scoring for dance and film. And this new work! A treasure box abounding with gems, Voices Fall From The Sky is an expansive 3CD Box Set comprising three distinct and complementary albums whose focus is on the voice: the singers, 17 of whom are featured herein -&- the songs, all composed (and produced) by William Parker. Half of the material are brand new recordings and half are Parker-curated selections of previously released material either long unavailable or presented in new form. Accompaniment on these 34 pieces ranges as widely as the voices, from duet to large ensemble. A multitude of approaches are employed: art song to operatic, pop sensibilities to gospel, heart-stopping ballads to dance numbers, silence to exuberance. The lyrical content expresses love of nature and its vital importance to a whole life, compassion, anti-oppression, anti-violence of any kind, praise of the creative spirit, and, Love. These themes are foundational in all of Parker’s work; the forefront spotlight through a multitude of expressive voices makes them that much more salient.” (https://www.forcedexposure.com/Catalog/parker-william-voices-fall-from-the-sky-3cd-box/CENT.1015.17CD.html) I have not been able to digest the fullness of this set before having to get it into the new releases drawer, but I do believe the explanation above is a terrific introduction. Digesting these three discs will certainly require deep and prolonged study. That being said, it probably is an excellent approach to tackle it one disc at a time. Click here to listen to one of the 34 selections in this collection.
Dori Rubbicco w/ The John Harrison Quintet – Stage Door Live! (Whaling City Sound): Vocalist Dori Rubbicco shares this live performance from May 18, 2017 featuring eleven songs, including jazz standards, pop favorites and one original from pianist/band leader John Harrison III, who also arranged all but one song. Rubbicco opens with Harrison’s “Roman Sun” and follows with such standards “Imagine”, Jobim’s “Two Kites”, “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” (King-Goffen), “Throw It Away” (Abby Lincoln), “Twisted” (Lambert, Hendricks, Ross) and “I Can See Clearly Now” (Johnny Nash). In addition to Harrison, backing musicians include Bill Miele (bass), Yoron Israel (drums), Donn Legge (guitar), Bryan Steele (tenor & soprano sax) and Ian Rubbicco Legge (cello). Click here to listen to “Right Here Waiting” from this disc.
Kobie Watkins Grouptet – Movement (Origin): Drummer Kobie Watkins is originally from Chicago and has performed / recorded with Sonny Rollins, Arturo Sandoval, Ira Sullivan and Sonny Fortune among others. This release appears to be his second as a leader. He composed eight of the ten songs on the disc. The other players are Johnathan Armstrong (tenor, soprano sax); Ryan Nielsen (trumpet, flugelhorn); Justin Nielsen (piano, Fender Rhodes) and Aaron Miller (bass). The recording has a sound of its own – controlled and yet exploring an interesting group ambience. Click here to listen to samples of two songs on this disc.