New Jazz Adds – 6/30/2020
DK Anderson – Songbook (Self-produced): “Songbook, Anderson’s 3rd album, is a collection of well loved songs inviting the listener into a groove matrix that is continuous. Imagine yourself at a party after hours but the energy is high. This album features the velvety, vivacious vocal stylings of Diane Anderson. Drummer David Jordan Hansen [master of the high hat, manipulator of time and space], bassist Eli Naragon [elite wizard of the four strings of bass], and DK Anderson [having recently lost both tenor saxophones in a poker tournament out west and who has developed a keen interest in piano and production thus making Songbook possible] provide the entertainment.” (https://dkandersonjazz.com/bio) The songs rendered in a wonderful style both instrumentally and through the hip vocal expressions from Diane Anderson. This set is hip to the tip – like rendering standards in a truly non-standard way. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Roy Ayers – Jazz Is Dead 2 (Jazz Is Dead): “79-year-old vibraphone king Roy Ayers is a legend in the worlds of both jazz and funk, and he’s one of rap’s most enduring sources of samples. Ayers hasn’t released a solo album since 2004’s Mahogany Vibe…. He recorded it with two much-younger admirers: A Tribe Called Quest’s Ali Shaheed Muhammad and the film-score composer and rap/funk producer Adrian Younge…. In a press release, Shaheed Muhammad says: What is Jazz in 2020? I can answer that this way: jazz artists have not only been an inspiration that has shaped my development as a musician, but their music is deeply rooted into the foundation of the Hip-Hop culture. We have risen because their head nodding beats, lush chord progressions, soul ripping melodies and bellowing basslines have given us a musical back beat to poetically flow on until the break of dawn. To me, it’s all freedom music and Jazz Is Dead is motivating a movement.” (https://www.stereogum.com/2087761/roy-ayres-synchronize-vibration-feat-ali-shaheed-muhammad-adrian-younge/music/) Click here to check out a song from this release.
Eric Binder Trio – Hard Bop (Ropeadope): “Dr. Eric Binder is a globally recognized drummer, educator, composer, and author, currently residing in Chicago, IL. Born and raised in New York, he has always been around music. Binder earned his Doctorate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Jazz Performance…. As a composer, Binder specializes in small group compositions but has written works for solo piano, voice, big band, and many others.” (https://ericbindertrio.bandcamp.com/album/hard-bop) The other trio members are Walter Smith III (tenor sax) and Petros Klampanis (bass). Click here to listen to “Trane Ride” from this release.
Vito Dieterle & Joel Forrester – StatusSphere (Ride Symbol): “Joel Forrester is the composer of more than 1200 tunes, a versatile and accomplished jazz pianist, leader of his own quartet and prolific recording artist. He has performed in an extraordinary diversity of settings – from large ensembles to a duet setting with a tap dancer! His playing draws from stride, boogie-woogie, bebop, trance and what he likes to call ‘salon pieces’ but each composition bears the stamp of this most individual artist. Recognized by the Paris Free Voice as “the world’s leading accompanist to silent films”, Joel Forrester has given concerts with film in Paris at the Louvre, the American Center, the Forum des Images, and the Musée d’Orsay. For several years he performed with films in the Avignon Festival. In New York, he has played at the Film Forum, Brooklyn Museum, and Anthology Film Archives.” (https://ridesymbol.com/artists/joelforrester/) “As a tenor sax player myself, I’m always on the hunt for some new guy who has an Old School sound but isn’t locked into the past. I think I’ve found someone in Vito Dieterle….” (https://www.jazzweekly.com/2020/05/ringers-of-the-weekwho-is-this-guy-vito-dieterle-anemone-vito-dieterle-joel-forrester/) It’s also a wonder to find a pianist who can honor the wonders of Monk’s style without trying to imitate him. Forrester’s five compositions actually accomplish that. A solid release throughout! Click here to sample the songs on this disc.
Steve Fidyk – Battle Lines (Blue Canteen Music): “Every so often a drummer comes along with exceptional facility on the instrument who subordinates it to become a more integral part of the music. Steve Fidyk is just such a drummer…. It’s all here – precision, blistering speed, power – but you hear this through drums that emphasize bouncing bebop beats, New Orleans street beats, boogie beats, rock beats, straight-ahead jazz beats, organ-tenor-guitar beats, and the like – not just the drums. He has chops to spare but Steve is all about the music…. Battle Lines provides another opportunity to revel in Steve’s skills and talents and to appreciate him for what he is – a positive force for Jazz in so many ways – as a musician, a bandleader, composer and as an educator.” (https://jazzprofiles.blogspot.com/2020/05/steve-fidyk-battle-lines.html) The other players are Joe Magnarelli (trumpet, flugelhorn), Xavier Perez (tenor sax), Peter Zak (piano) and Michael Karn (bass). One reviewer, Steven A. Cerra, adds this insightful comment about the performance: “It’s all here – precision, blistering speed, power – but you hear this through drums that emphasize bouncing bebop beats, New Orleans street beats, boogie beats, rock beats, straight-ahead jazz beats, organ-tenor-guitar beats, and the like – not just the drums. He has chops to spare but Steve is all about the music. The drums, as sensitively played by Steve, take on a controlled creativity that compliments and complements his performances and his recordings. I suppose one of the biggest accolades you could offer about his recordings is that you would never know that the band on them is headed-up by a drummer. The drums don’t dominate the music. They are a part of it.” (https://jazzprofiles.blogspot.com/2020/05/steve-fidyk-battle-lines.html) Click here to listen to a song from this disc.
Adam Glaser Trio – Wide Awake (Self-produced): “Glaser began his musical life as a composer and pianist with a passion and affinity for jazz that continues to this day, drawing occasional inspiration from his orchestral career. As a founding member of Phil Orch Jazz, Glaser has performed and toured with this unique group of Philadelphia Orchestra musicians since 1999…. Glaser began his musical life as a composer and pianist with a passion and affinity for jazz that continues to this day, drawing occasional inspiration from his orchestral career. As a founding member of Phil Orch Jazz, Glaser has performed and toured with this unique group of Philadelphia Orchestra musicians since 1999.” (https://adamglaser.com/about) This is Glaser’s first recording with the trio. The rhythm section features Pete Coco (bass) and Chris Smith (drums). Click here to listen to songs on this recording.
The Greyboy Allstars – Como Des Allstars (Knowledge Room): “When The Greyboy Allstars convened in 1994, the legendary California jazz-funk revivalists flaunted the carefree essence of their collective youth. Their fabled residency at San Diego’s Green Circle Bar spiraled into a series of concerts that stretched toward dawn, as they triangulated their take on the revolutionary funk of Grant Green and Idris Muhammad, Leon Spencer and, of course, James Brown’s infamous J.B.’s. In subsequent years, they played hundreds of shows, becoming a tireless party syndicate that delivered a new brand of spirited instrumental exploration. Seminal boogaloo revivalists The Greyboy Allstars (saxophonist Karl Denson, guitarist Elgin Park, keyboardist Robert Walter, bassist Chris Stillwell and drummer Aaron Redfield) are some of the most revered players on the modern funk and soul jazz scenes.” (https://www.greyboyallstars.com/) This is the group’s sixth release. Click here to listen to the title song on this disc.
HGTS – …And Then They Played… (Summit): “Jeff Holmes, piano/keys and trumpet; Tom Giampietro, drums; Felipe Salles, saxophones; and Fumi Tomita, bass….or HGTS (the ‘acronym’ of their last names) – rolls through this entertaining program of original jazz in an elegant sort of way, interacting as the group of friends, and incredible musicians, that they are…This is radiant music!” (https://www.summitrecords.com/release/and-then-they-played-hgts/) The group members also composed all of the songs on this disc. I regret I am unable to offer a sample of the music on this release.
David K. Mathews – The Fantasy Vocal Sessions, Vol. 2, Soul, Pop, R&B (Effendi): Matthews organized the first volume of jazzifiying a serving soul, pop and R&B in 2018 and this follow-up features singers Amikaeyla, Tony Lindsey, Steve Miller, Funky Fred Ross, Lady Bianca, Glenn Walters, Alex Ligertwood and Kenny Washington and David K. Matthews on keys leading a shifting set of musicians. Songs range from “For The Love Of You” and “Superwoman” to “Going Out Of MyHead” and “Wichita Lineman” and closes out with an “extended mix” of “Yesterday”. Click here to listen to the opening song.
Alister Spence – Whirlpool (Self-produced): “So much has changed in two months! The world is a different place with COVID-19 and, along with the rest of the music industry, my performing and touring has come to a standstill. We are all now working from home and practicing social distancing. But music still unites us. And so, I am excited to launch Whirlpool, my first solo piano recording in over 30 years of performing my own music! This is a double CD comprising of 23 short discrete improvised pieces, recorded at Studio 301 in October 2019. In the session, I tried to create surprises for myself – starting somewhere without a clear idea of what that would sound like and, as a result, creating puzzles or mazes which I try to follow or not to follow…I really enjoyed this process and am very happy with the results.” (https://www.alisterspence.com/) Click here to listen to the songs on this release.
Grant Stewart Quartet – Rise And Shine (Cellar Music): “Grant Stewart manifests his passion for the bop tradition, with a tight quartet recorded at Rudy Van Gelder’s studio. Rudy Van Gelder’s Englewood Cliffs studio presents an imposing history for any saxophonist, with most of the classic output of such giants as John Coltrane, Joe Henderson and Hank Mobley having been recorded there. On Rise and Shine, Grant Stewart & his inspired quartet rise to the occasion of the auspicious surroundings, turning in a string of compelling performances on classic bop selections.” (https://grantstewartjazz.bandcamp.com/album/rise-and-shine) This appears to be Stewart’s first disc as a leader. He is accompanied by Tardo Hammer (piano), Peter Washington (bass) and Phil Stewart (drums) with guest vocalist Lucy Yeghiazaryan on one song. Solid performances throughout. Click here and scroll down to listen to the songs on this disc.
Throttle Elevator Music – Emergency Exit (Wide Hive): “Cross Coltrane with The Clash and it would resemble the departure point Throttle Elevator Music leaps from. Tenor Saxophonist Kamasi Washington takes the lead and raises the bar of instrumental intensity on 16 original compositions ranging from shorter punk minded 45 second flurries to thematic uptempo romps, and rounding out with a few expansionary journeys. Kamasi’s melodic tonality melds nicely into the electric undercurrent laid down by punk drummer/guitarist Mike Hughes, Wide Hive Player’s bassist/keyboardist/composer Matt Montgomery, and Wide Hive Players composer/engineer/producer Gregory Howe.” (http://www.widehive.com/ensemble/throttleelevatormusicfeaturingkamasiwashington) Emergency Exit reunites Throttle Elevator Music with legendary saxophonist Kamasi Washington and virtuoso trumpet player Erik Jekabson for an outstanding sixth recording on Wide Hive Records. Containing six new songs and four alternate versions – Emergency Exit has great energy and amazing musicianship. The band is awesome with songwriters Matt Montgomery and Gregory Howe on many instruments, Mike Hughes and Lumpy on drums, Ross Howe on guitar, Kasey Knudsen on alto saxophone and Mike Blankenship (Spearhead) on organ. I regret I am unable to find a sample from this release.