New Jazz Adds – 7/14/2016

New Jazz Adds – 7/14/2016

A Bu – Butterflies Fly In Pairs (Sennheiser Media): Pianist / composer A Bu, having recorded his first disc at age 14 and won the Montreux Solo Jazz Piano competition last year, now releases his first set of original compositions this year. In addition to piano, A Bu plays keyboards and Melodica. He is accompanied by Tom Kennedy (bass) and Ryan J Lee (drums) with guest appearances from Antonio Hart (sax), David Watson (flute, sax), Darryl Dixon (sax), and Cecelia Stalin (vocals). Don’t worry about his age – A Bu has got it all put together! Click here for his story and to watch him play.

Susan Alcorn – Soledad (Relative Pitch): This has to be one of the most unique steel guitar discs of all time. I remember Buddy Emmons’ version of “Canon in D Major” (Pachelbel), but Susan Alcorn interprets four compositions by Astor Piazzolla and adds a composition of her own on this solo performance. Inundated with styles of music from classical to country as a child, she was taken with the steel, and eventually joined a country band. She recalls learning her lessons the hard way: on slide in Chicago and on steel in Houston. She explains her final “breakthrough” like this: “Then in 1990 a musical watershed came when I met, spent time, and eventually collaborated with the composer and philosopher Pauline Oliveros who introduced me to her Deep Listening approach to music (and life) – a way of listening, relating to, and playing in which all notes, harmony, melodies, composition, people, and space were approached, from within and without, through the basis of listening deeply and closely to the sound itself and to the space in which it occurs, free from preconceptions.”  From that time on, she has mostly performed solo. (She plays one duo on this disc with contrabass player Michael Formanek). The music herein is free, beautiful, and often outside the mold. Click here to listen to the title song on this disc.

Horace Bray – Dreamstate (Self-produced): Guitarist / singer / composer Horace Bray composed all of the titles on this disc, his third. It opens with an energetic burst with support from bassist Mike Luzecky, drummer Matt Young, and Colin Campbell (keyboards). Conor Kent replaces Matt Young on drums for several songs. The beginning is very upbeat and bright, but Bray quickly slows things down to direct our ears to a slow and quiet soundscape that slowly builds back up with a more mechanical sound and a vocal chorus. He shifts down once again on the next cut to let the keys and his guitar swirl around one another in an electric dance. before fading out. The overall sound is electronic, dreamy, a fusion of the instruments,  occasional vocal chorus and/or string accompaniment. Generally, things here are upbeat, pleasant and even jaunty. Click here to listen to songs on this disc.

Jane Bunnett – Spirits Of Havana (Linus): Canadian Jane Bunnett (soprano sax, flute) and husband Larry Cramer (trumpet, flugelhorn) originally travelled to Cuba in 1990 to record and accompany Cuban musicians performing real Cuban music. Heretofore, the only Anglo-Cuban music had resulted from musicians like Mario Bauza and Chano Pozo, who moved to the US to join American bands, such as Chick Webb’s, Cab Calloway’s, and Dizzy Gillespie’s. Of course, travel to Cuba was illegal for Americans beginning in 1962, but Canada had not followed the US lead. The original Spirits of Havana with two bonus tracks was recorded in 1990 and makes up the first disc in this set. The players include Merceditas Valdes (vocals), Guillermo Barreto (timbales), Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Hilario Duran and Frank Emilio Flynn (piano), Kieran Overs (bass), Ahmed Barroso (guitar), Roberto Garcia Valdes (bongo), and Ernesto Rodriquez Guzman (tumbas) in addition to Bunnett and Cramer. The Cuban musicians hailed the recording  as being authentic and praised Bunnett and Cramer for truly adapting to the Cuban style. The second part of this disc adds “Grupo Yoruba Andabo”, featuring singers and percussionists performing in a folksier style. Disc two was recorded as a follow up, released in 1998, and features Bunnett, Cramer, Hilario Duran (piano), Carlitos del Puerta (bass), Merceditas Valdes (vocals), Tata Guines (congas, vocals), Yosvany Terry (tenor sax), Frank Emilio Flynn (piano), Raulito Hernandez (timbales), and the Cuban Folkloric All-Stars on additional vocals and percussion. These are truly landmark recordings, focused on authentic Cuban styles that reflect the country itself and were a great influence on jazz itself. Lovers of Latin folk music should take notice as well. Click here to listen to some samples from “Spirits of Havana”.   Click here to listen to some samples from “Chamalongo”.

Cheryl Fisher – Quietly There (OA2): Celebrated as one of Canada’s greatest jazz singers, Fisher decided to make a disc mostly drawn from the great American songbook, but also including a composition of her own. She has chosen songs that for the most part are less frequently recorded and that is a strength. She sings with a straight forward approach and has a nice voice, though her “whispers” are the most effective aspect of her technique. Instrumental backing is provided by Eric Allison (woodwinds), John Toomey (piano, keys), John Stowell (guitar), Jeff Johnson (bass), John Bishop (drums), Burnis Stubbs (percussion), and Bob Tildesley (trumpet, flugelhorn). Click here to listen to a few songs on this disc.

David Gibson – Inner Agent (Posi-Tone): Trombonist/composer David Gibson releases his new with his quintet intact from his previous release: Freddie Hendrix (trumpet), Theo Hill (piano), Alexander Claffy (bass), and Kush Abadey (drums).  Gibson celebrates their growing interaction in both taking musical risks and supporting each other in live performance and recording. Two additions, Doug Webb (tenor sax) and Caleb Curtis (alto sax) make the sound even larger and more all-encompassing. They swing well together and the flow from one player to the next is natural and smooth. The sound is smooth and still maintains its snap. Click here to listen to “Inner Agent”.

Dhara Goradia – Emerald Flame (Self-produced): Charlottesvillian Dhara Goradia shows us what she’s been up to way out west: a brand new release from her new trio “Emerald Flame”. The bassist and composer presents five of her compositions with bandmates Shawn Schlogel (piano) and Max Holmberg (drums) and they are as compelling in their own way as her initial disc, “Jarjuna”. This performance has an immediate impact from the first few chords: the percussive immediacy and the melodic response sweeps the listener into its flow and holds on throughout the set. Currently, Goradia back home, so remember to look at “Musical Events” on our webpage for notices about her local gigs.  Click here to listen to the songs on this disc.

Maggie Herron – Between The Music & The Moon (Self-produced): Vocalist/pianist/composer Maggie Heron delivers her third disc of original songs covering a range of styles from a clever new take on Little Red’s thoughts about the Wolf (or perhaps a different one) to Latin styled numbers to love ballads, all of which she wrote or co-authored with her daughter or other musicians. Her voice is velvety with a smokey edge and is central in creating the variety of moods she is after. Supporting players include Bill Conliff (sharing piano duties with Heron), Dean Taba (bass), Abe Lagrimas (drums, ukulele), Grant Geissman or Ramon Stagnate (guitar),  and Bob Sheppard (sax, flute), Brian Scanlon (bari sax), Bob McChesney (trombone), Ron Stout (trumpet, flugelhorn), and DeShannon Higa (trumpet) sprinkled throughout in a variety of groupings. A nice set throughout. Her songs are definitely hers and they come across well. I regret I am unable to find a sample from this disc, but click here to listen to a song from her previous disc.

Ed Neumeister – Suite Ellington (PAO): Ed Neumeister, trombonist and 16 year member of the Ellington Orchestra under the direction of Mercer Ellington, built and toured with an orchestral group in 1999 in honor of Duke’s 100th birthday. He comments in the liner notes that Ellington and Billy Strayhorn constantly revised their works. In that spirit, Neumeister tackled “Caravan”, “Come Sunday” and “The Queen’s Suite” with a finale from “Far East Suite” from his own perspective. He is accompanied by Billy Drewes (clarinet, alto sax), Jim Rotondi (trumpet, flugelhorn), Fritz Pauer (piano), Peter Herbert (contra bass), and Jeff Ballard (drums). The re-write is a step somewhat farther out, as Ellington would have appreciated. The first listen may a bit surprising, but this performance is easy to enjoy. This year, BTW, is Strayhorn’s 100th. Click here to listen to a preview.


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