New Jazz Adds – 7/14/2020
Antonio Adolfo – BruMa (mist) Celebrating Milton Nascimento (AAM): “Antonio Adolfo is one of the premier pianists, composers, and arrangers to emerge from Brazil, a country rife with exceptional musical talent. A prolific recording artist, Adolfo is now releasing BruMa: Celebrating Milton Nascimento. A multi-Latin Grammy and Grammy nominee, Antonio Adolfo is an internationally recognized Latin jazz star. He met singer and composer Milton Nascimento in 1967 at the Second International Song Festival (FIC) in Rio de Janeiro, the biggest musical contest event in Brazil, where both participated. The festival featured talented young composers who hoped to further their careers. Nascimento made it to the finals but wound up taking second place. Nevertheless, he quickly found renown as one of Brazil’s foremost singer-songwriters…. The title BruMa is a double-entendre. The word “bruma” means “mist” in Portuguese, but it also refers to two environmental disasters that struck part of the state of Minas Gerais in the last decade. BruMa is a portmanteau word that combines the first syllables of Brumadinho and Mariana, two cities that suffered similar tragedies. In 2015 (Mariana) and 2019 (Brumadinho), earthen dams collapsed and let forth floods of muddy waste materials that devastated the towns, killing hundreds of people and rendering the rivers downstream toxic and lifeless for years to come. Adolfo comments, “Milton and many Brazilians are part of a group effort to ensure that the damage to the territory of Minas Gerais is not forgotten.” (https://www.isrbx.net/3137803689-antonio-adolfo-bruma-celebrating-milton-nascimento-2020.html) Click here to listen to “Tristesse” from this release.
Sonny Clark Trio – Blues In The Night (Blue Note): This release was recorded in December, 1958 and features Sonny Clark on piano with bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Wes Landers. The songs feature such standards as “I Cover The Waterfront”, “Blues In The Night”, Gershwin’s “Somebody Loves Me” and Cole Porter’s “All Of You”. Mellow and smooth. Click here to listen to the title song.
Lou Donaldson Quintet – Wailing With Lou (Blue Note): This set was recorded in 1955 and features Lou Donaldson (alto sax) with Donald Byrd (trumpet), Herman Foster (piano), “peck” Morrison (bass) and Art Taylor (drums). Donaldson offers three originals and rounds out the set with “Caravan”, “Old Folks” and “There Is No Greater Love”. The playing is solid throughout offering straight forward playing whether ballads or uptempo. Donaldson certainly leads the way with his energetic alto playing. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
CeCe Gable – More Than A Song (CC Gable): A native of Barberton, Ohio and a graduate of Kent State University she now makes her home in the Reno/Tahoe area as a performing and recording artist. She has a relatively breathy vocal technique which stands out particularly well in a trio setting. Her setlist on this release includes “East Of The Sun” and “What Is This Thing Called Love” but also offers several lesser known songs like “Fotographia” (Jobim) and “Detour Ahead” (Herb Ellis et. al.). The backing musicians are Roni Ben-Hur (guitar), Brian Landrus (bari sax, bass clarinet), Harvie S (bass) and Sylvia Cuenca (drums). I regret I am unable to find a sample of this release.
Jeff Hamilton Trio – Catch Me If You Can (Capri): “The Jeff Hamilton Trio has been together for more than 30 years, and they sound like it. Here’s another thrilling, cohesive trio led by a drummer, but Hamilton is known primarily for his exquisite brush and cymbal work. That provides Catch Me If You Can with a gentler, happier feel than most trio recordings…. Pianist Tamir Hendelman and bassist Jon Hamar are so in-sync with Hamilton’s distinct style that they’ve clearly developed their own styles to augment the overall sound. What makes Jeff Hamilton such a skilled leader, however, is his ability to play songs that are usually reserved for big bands. (Hamilton has played with many large ensembles, by the way.) That last comment seems at odds with my previous observation that this trio is trying to sound like a trio–and that’s where the magic resides. You can have both approaches simultaneously.” (http://jazz-jazz.ru/?category=download&altname=jeff_hamilton_trio__catch_me_if_you_can_2020) Click here to check out the title track.
Art Hirahara – Balance Point (Posi-Tone): “Art Hirahara is a jazz keyboardist and composer based in New York, NY. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Art moved to New York in 2003 to be challenged by its pool of world-class musicians. Here he has honed his craft, performing in a wide range of musical situations ranging from straight ahead standards to time cycle-based progressive jazz to free improvisation. From the traditional to the avant-garde, Art has found a sound of his own that cuts across genres and boundaries…. Art ’s piano and compositional sound are an amalgamation of the varied musical influences he has studied and the wide range of leaders he has worked for. Art is constantly seeking new situations to challenge his musicality.” (http://arthirahara.com/bio/) This is Hirahara’s fifth release as a leader and he continues to dazzle and challenge his listeners with his delicate playing and forays into more challenging styles. He composed all but one song on this release and that is a wonderful solo version of Duke Ellington’s “Prelude To A Kiss”. Most cuts add guests Joe Martin (bass), Rudy Royston (drums) and Melissa Aldana (sax). Terrific variety! Click here for an introduction to the songs on this disc. …or here for the title song.
Mark Masters Ensemble – Night Talk (Capri): “Mark Masters has arranged the music of many great composers over the years including Clifford Brown, Lee Konitz, Gary McFarland, George Gershwin, Duke Ellington and even Steely Dan. On Night Talk, Masters takes on the music of Alec Wilder. The 9 piece Mark Masters Ensemble features the great baritone saxophonist Gary Smulyan throughout on this wonderful excursion through Wilder’s songbook. Wilder once said, “I don’t believe the layman has any notion of the miraculous chain of events which occur when a jazz musician plays.” (https://www.isrbx.net/3137805613-mark-masters-night-talk-the-alec-wilder-songbook-2020.html) This appears to be Masters’ twelfth release as a leader. The music is straight ahead jazz with numerous breaks for the individual players to communicate and reply. Click here to listen to the title song.
Maceo Parker – Soul Food: Cooking With Maceo (Funk Garage): Maceo Parker is back with some mellow and groovy funk, perhaps reflecting a deeper connection with New Orleans or just enjoying his own soulful takes on some super fine songs like “Just Kissed My Baby”, Yes We Can Can” or “Compared To What”, among others. The players shift in and out but the groove is always on the line. Players: Parker (vocals, alto sax), Ashlin Parker (trumpet), Mark Mullins and Steve Sigmund trade trombone chops from one song to the next, Jason Mingledorff (tenor and bari sax), Ivan Neville (keys, backing vocals), Derwin “Big D” Perkins (electric guitar), Tony Hall (bass), and Nikki Glaspie (drums) with Angelamia Bachemin (congas) and backing voices by Erica Falls. Guess singers DJ Soul Sister, Tishi, La Shaun, Ziggy and Nikki join in on “Cross The Track’ and “Maceo”. Just as cool as you wanna be! Click here to listen to one or ALL of the songs on this disc! I would seriously recommend listening to ALL! Just see if you aren’t in a much better frame of mind after that.
Randy Porter Trio – Porter Plays Frishberg: Unsung (Heavywood Music): Pianist Randy Porter offers a listen to the compositions of Dave Frishberg without the lyrics. On the positive side Frishberg’s piano player is quite fine in itself, but his wonderful lyrics have always been the main attraction. Porter risks playing without a vocal or a net. Porter is accompanied by John Wiitala on bass and Todd Strait on drums and the performances are really quite nice. I must confess that I haven’t been able to make the transfer yet. Perhaps, if I had heard the disc without the information or with “I’m Hip” last on the list, it would be easier. The trio sounds great and I confess I’ll keep listening. If you’re looking for laughs, go straight to Frishberg. If you can listen to the set without the info in advance, you would no doubt add it to your trio collections in a delighted flash. Click here to listen to the songs on this disc and enjoy!
Adam Shulman Septet – West Meets East (Cellar Music): “Recorded at the studio of Rudy Van Gelder, Adam Shulman offers seven original compositions and one extra composition. The band features Adam Shulman (piano), David Wong (bass), Rodney Green (drums), Joe Magnorelli (trumpet), Ian Hendrickson-Smith (alto sax), Stephen Riley (tenor sax) and Steve Davis (trombone). It’s been suggested in the liner notes that Shulman’s music sensitivities “lie somewhere between Miles Davis’ “Birth Of The Cool” and Art Pepper’s “Plus Eleven”. The set is luscious and dynamic. It’s a reminder of the breadth of jazz styles and pathways. Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the songs on this release.
Steve Slagle Trio – Alive In Harlem (Panorama): “Saxophonist, flutist and composer Steve Slagle makes his home in New York City. He has released 20 CD’s as a leader, and performed on countless others…. Steve was musical director of the Mingus Big Band for many years, and wrote many of the bands arrangements as well with Joe Lovano’s Nonet, of which he is a member…. As a leader, Steve concentrates on new sounds and new compositions as a performer, bandleader and recording artist…. He has played with Stevie Wonder, Machito’s Afro-Cuban Orchestra, Steve Kuhn, Lionel Hampton, Jack McDuff, Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra, Brazil’s Milton Nascimento and band, Carla Bley Orchestra, Ray Barretto, Beastie Boys, and many others.” (https://steveslaglemusic.com/bio/) This live release offers three originals of Slagle’s and some interesting covers from Charlie Parker in the opening, the standard “I Remember You” from Schertzinger and Mercer, Horace Silver’s “Barbara” and Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song”. He also offers this set in honor of Charlie Parker’s 100th birthday. I regret I am unable to find a sample from this disc.
Tyrone Washington – Natural Essence (Blue Note): This disc was the initial release by Tyrone Washington as a leader. The music was recorded in December, 1967 and features six original compositions. The players are Woody Shaw (trumpet), James Spaulding (alto sax, flute), Tyrone Washington (tenor sax), Kenny Baron (piano), Reginald Workman (bass) and Joe Chambers (drums). Washington was 23 at the time and he was clearly ready to take charge! Then begins the mystery: There is no further information about him. No other recordings, no news of career changes, no notices of injuries or death. He’s disappeared and what a loss for all of us. This one release clearly demonstrates Washington’s genius. This release is a bit of a mystery, because this sole date as a leader by Tyrone Washington seems to mark his final appearance on record (following two sessions as a sideman, including Stanley Cowell’s Brilliant Circles and Horace Silver’s The Jody Grind); his name doesn’t show up in jazz encyclopedias, so one wonders if he died prematurely or quit music for some other reason. Washington shows the influence of John Coltrane during his rapid-fire runs, while his playing during his more straight-ahead works proves to be more memorable. The opener, “Natural Essence,” is an interesting alchemy of blues, funk, and hard bop. “Yearning for Love” is an emotional piece with spirited interaction between the three horns in places. Long out of print since its appearance on LP, it has been reissued on CD by Toshiba-EMI of Japan…. (https://www.isrbx.net/3137800230-tyrone-washington-natural-essence-1967-2010-blue-note-best-amp-more-1100-encore-cd-rip.html) This disc is as amazing as it’s leader is mysterious. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.