New Jazz Adds – 6/28/2015

New Jazz Adds – 6/29/2015

Beat Function – Olympus (Do Music): As described by Amazon, Beat Funktion is a Swedish jazz-funk band that honors “the roots of ’70s funk, groove, soul, disco and afro-beat jazz”. On this trip, they’ve included a tour of Olympus which includes some funky disco groove and introduces listeners to the inhabitants themselves, some of whom sing or rap their stories to you. The band includes Karl Olandersson (trumpet), Olle Thunstrom (sax), Johan Oijen (guitar), Daniel Lantz (keys), Pal Johnson (bass), and Jon Eriksson (drums). Click here for a sample from this disc.

Brian Charette – Alphabet City (Posi-Tone): Sixth CD release from organ flash Brian Charette who leads his UPTOWN trio through a dozen original and diverse compositions.  Guitarist Will Bernard and drummer Rudy Royston form the rest of the flight crew for this journey through heady jazz land and this is first class all the way. This is a terrific offering from a highly skilled trio for your mind and ears! Click here for a sample song from this disc.

Charlie Dennard – 5 O’Clock Charlie (Self-produced): NOLA’s Charlie Dennard turns loose a nice serving of B-3 (and a touch of Fender Rhodes) and if you’re digging the trio sound, he’s got super solid support from Todd Duke on guitar and shared duties on drums between Doug Belote and Geoff Clapp. The groove is smooth with just enough funk to keep your digits snapping and your big feet tapping. Dennard has recorded with Ian and Charles Neville and played with Stanton Moore and even Cirque de Soleil! Seven of the ten cuts are originals and the is as good an explanation as you might need for New Orleans is called the “Big Easy”.  Click here for a live performance from the band.  Note this song is not on the above disc.

Flying Horse Big Band – Into The Mystic (Flying Horse): Big band versions of a wide range of popular songs and styles, including Marvin Gaye’s “Inner City Blues”, Youmans, Caesar and Grey’s “Sometimes I’m Happy”, Charlie Parker’s “Big Foot”, Stephen Stills’ “4 + 20”, and Eddie Harris’ “Freedom Jazz Dance”.  The band resides at the University of Central Florida under the leadership of Jeff Rupert, Director of Jazz Studies. A tight band with solid soloing and ensemble play. Click here for a sample performance by the group.  Note this performance is not on the above disc.

Robert Glasper – Covered (Blue Note): A live recording at Capitol Studios by Glasper (piano), Vincente Archer (bass), and Diamond Reid (drums) with a variety of guests, including Musiq Soulchild, Harry Belafonte, and a group of young people delivering a powerful spoken word piece about human dignity and the loss of so many black youths in our country. The composer, who returns for the most part to his jazz trio, is best known for his 2012 Grammy winning fusion disc Black Radio, and continues to explore avenues for joining the strengths of jazz and soul and other elements of black music. Glasper’s piano is as beautiful and varied as the musical combination he continues to fashion. Click here to sample this disc.  If you don’t want to sample it all, I would recommend checking cuts 4 and 12 to get the spread of music.

Giovanni Guidi Trio – This Is The Day (ECM): Piano-based trio led by Giovanni Guidi’s piano with Thomas Morgan on bass and Joao Lobo on drums. Nine of the selections were composed by Guidi, one is by Lobo, one is an old Gus Kahn classic, with one drawn from Osvaldo Ferres. The music is mostly contemplative and melodic, but there are tone shifts as in “The Debate”. Guidi suggests that notion is that the listener will define the meaning of the changes as they occur. Click here for a preview of the disc.

Jacques Lesure – Camaraderie (WJ3): Guitarist / educator Lesure leads a quintet consisting of Warren Wolf (vibes), Eric Reed (piano), Nat Reeves (bass), and Willie Jones III (drums) through eight of his favorite songs from pop classics to cool jazz and one original, “Grantgomery”, the nickname given to Lesure by trumpeter Eddie Davis, who heard the influences of Grant Green and Wes Montgomery in his playing. Melody and swing are the central features of the group and in Lesure’s playing. Smooth and sweet. Click here for a preview of this disc.

Bob Mintzer Big Band – Get Up! (Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild): Veteran Mintzer (bandleader, arranger, tenor sax, flute) pulled together this big band to honor, absorb, and blend music from R&B with blues, jazz, Afro-Cuban, soul and a touch of funk. The band line-up includes Robert Sheppard and Lawrence Feldman (alto, flute); Bob Malach (tenor, clarinet), Roger Rosenberg (bari sax, clarinet), Tony Kadleck, Frank Greene, John Daversa, and Scott Wenholt (trumpets); Keith O’Quinn, Michael Davis, and Andy Hunter (trombones); David Taylor (bass trombone), Ray Obledo (guitar), Russell Ferrante (piano), Will Lee (bass), and William Kennedy (drums). Music featured includes five Mintzer originals, one from Wayne Shorter, and three soul tunes (“It’s Your Thing”, “I Thank You”, and “Sing A Simple Song”). Click here for a preview of this disc.

Mason Razavi – After You (First Orbit Sounds Music): Guitarist Razavi teams up with pianist Bennett Roth-Newell for this dynamic duet that includes two originals by Razavi, three by Roth-Newell and covers of “Joy Spring” (Clifford Brown), “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” (Joe Zawinul), and “Yesterday” (Lennon-McCartney).  Both are energetic players and they support and enhance one another’s and the total performance well. This is a totally upbeat and melodic session.  Even “Yesterday” gets an upbeat treatment.  Click here for an introduction to this disc.

Andy Sheppard Quartet – Surrounded By Sea (ECM): This quartet offers a new disc in the “classic” ECM sound: airy, atmospheric, flowing. Andy Sheppard plays tenor and soprano sax and is joined by Eyvind Aarset (guitar), Michel Benita (bass), and Sebastian Rochford(drums) on a series of eight originals, the Elvis Costello composition “I Want To Vanish”, and a segmented group adaptation of the traditional Scottish song “Aoidh, Na Dean Cadal Idir”.  A lovely performance that lures the listener in to seemingly timeless flow.  Click here for a sample from this disc.

Terell Stafford – Brotherlee Love: Celebrating Lee Morgan (Capri): Highly respected trumpeter Stafford’s tribute to Lee Morgan, who in his short life earned deep respect as one of the greatest trumpeters in jazz. Stafford includes his takes on seven Morgan compositions and includes one of his own, both paying his respects by employing Morgan’s techniques and making the disc reflective of his own style and chops.  With support from Tim Warfield (sax), Bruce Barth (piano), Peter Washington (bass), and Dana Hall (drums), Stafford leads an energetic and triumphant set that succeeds on all levels. Click here for a live performance by this group.

Charenee Wade – Offering: The Music Of Gil Scott-Heron And Brian Jackson (Motema Music): Charenee Wade is an extraordinary jazz vocalist, rooted in the mainstream and much deeper jazz and she teaches at the Aaron Copeland School of Music at Queens College. This most recent release is a beautiful and powerful tribute to the music, poetry, and spirit of Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson. I must admit I approached this disc with reservation as I could not imagine any way to improve upon the grit and personal expression of the originals, but Wade and company have enhanced the beauty while retaining the power of these wonderful offerings. In addition to Wade’s magnificent vocals, the performers include Brandon McCune (piano), Dave Stryker (guitar), Lonnie Plaxico(bass), Alvester Garnett (drums), Stefan Harris (vibes), Lakecia Benjamin (alto), Malcolm-Jamal Warner and Christian McBride (spoken word) and Marcus Miller (bass clarinet). Exquisite.  Click here for a sample of a song on this disc.



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