New Jazz Adds – 7/20/2021
Kyle Asche Organ Trio – Five Down Blues (Cellar Music): “Mr. Asche’s highly anticipated third CD as a leader, Five Down Blues places him in the company of of working band of Pete Benson on organ and drummer George Fludas. This swinging album includes original compositions by Kyle Asche as well as tunes by Horace Silver, John Patton, Horace Silver and more!” (https://randysrecords.com/UPC/875531020182) Smooth interactions by all players and nice variety. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this release.
Mike Clark & Michael Zilber – Mike Drop (Sunnyside): “Sometimes there are musicians who seem to be fated to collaborate. They can come from different places and, even different generations, but their connection will be immediate and deep. This is the type of relationship that has developed between legendary drummer Mike Clark and stellar saxophonist Michael Zilber. Their friendship and musical cohesiveness can be felt immediately upon hearing their new recording, Mike Drop. Originally from Northern California, Mike Clark has been one of the most celebrated drummers of his generation. Having made a name through his tenure with Herbie Hancock and the Headhunters, Clark left his home base in the Bay Area in 1979 to pursue opportunities in New York City and beyond. It proved to be the best move of his life, as this allowed him to play with his heroes, the true New York City cats. Michael Zilber grew up in Vancouver, Canada but always felt deeply connected to New York City, coming from three generations of New Yorkers, including his parents, who met and fell in love in Manhattan. Zilber pursued his musical path in Boston before settling in the Big Apple for almost a decade. In 1992, a teaching opportunity shifted the saxophonist’s attention to California, where he relocated and has been a fixture in the Bay Area jazz scene ever since. New York City has a natural pull for jazz players and so it was for Zilber, who continued to visit the City regularly, playing gigs and sessions, immersed in that fierce and focused environment. It was during one of these trips that he was introduced to Clark by their mutual friend, Michael Barsimanto. Their appreciation for each other’s skill sets was immediate, as Zilber’s New York City hard driving style fit well with Clark’s impeccably swinging and focused drum approach. Their sessions were also conversational and fun, not to mention a good hang.” (https://sunnysiderecords.bandcamp.com/album/mike-drop) This quartet is rounded off by Matt Clark (piano) and Peter Barshay (bass) and the blend is wonderful. Click here to listen to “Sonny Monk (If I Were A)” a terrific composition by Michael Zilber.
Orrin Evans – The Magic Of Now (Smoke Sessions): “Timing is everything, the old masters teach. So pianist/composer/bandleader Orrin Evans drops the brazen The Magic of Now just in time. Just in time for the world to open up, renew its commitment, and move forward. Just in time for all to engage in those necessary conversations about civil upkeep. Put plainly, The Magic of Now is the music to lead the charge. A whirlwind of perpetual buoyancy and boundless risk aversion, the eight easeful dances defining The Magic of Now finds Evans reuniting with bassist Vicente Archer, drummer Bill Stewart, and former music camp student, 23-year-old powerhouse alto saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins for some seriously spirited interaction. Evans (who recently gave notice to The Bad Plus) and company play it full tilt and then some. Righteous, rowdy, and riotous, joy abounds as the quartet, led by Archer and Stewart, slyly open Stewart’s “Mynah” from Telepathy (Blue Note, 1997) and it immediately becomes palpable that these guys are very glad, very effin’ glad, to be playing together. To be being together: Wilkins’ ascending, Evans comping, and the rhythm, well it’s meant to blend with little bother into the ecstatic, blow-the-roof-off, cutting party wit of Mulgrew Miller’s “The Eleventh Hour.” Anyone not familiar with Wilkins’ rapid ride to the top of the young jazz elite need only hear the power and glory of the elders his tone and energy conjure on this track alone. So entranced is Wilkins that Evans, sensing the young’un may blow a gasket, literally wrests the spotlight away by going total Thelonious Monk at about the four-minute mark. Which brings us to “Libra” and the distinct possibility that Evans just may have penned the anthem for the new world…. (https://www.allaboutjazz.com/the-magic-of-now-orrin-evans-smoke-sessions-records) Evans continues to celebrate the good things! Click here to listen to samples of the music on this release.
Roy Hargrove / Mulgrew Miller – In Harmony (Resonance): “Los Angeles — Resonance Records, the award-winning label home of acclaimed archival releases by Nat King Cole, Bob James, Charles Lloyd, Sonny Rollins, Bill Evans, Wes Montgomery and more, is thrilled to announce the release In Harmony, a stunning set of live performances by Roy Hargrove on trumpet and Mulgrew Miller on piano, available on July 17, 2021 for Record Store Day. In Harmony provides a rare glimpse of these two now departed and dearly missed greats, united in song and improvisational mastery in front of audiences at Merkin Hall in New York City (January 15, 2006) and Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania (November 9, 2007). Co-produced by Zev Feldman and Larry Clothier with executive producer, George Klabin, In Harmony is the first posthumous Hargrove release since the trumpeter’s untimely passing on November 2, 2018 at age 49. Aida Brandes-Hargrove, President of Roy Hargrove Legacy, said: “Roy’s daughter Kamala and I are excited to collaborate with Resonance and to get this great new album out to Roy’s many fans.” Miller passed away on May 29, 2013 at age 57. With In Harmony, we are back in the musical company of these two greats for a short but precious time. And though the settings heard here were ticketed concerts, the vibe unfolds exactly as it might have back in the day at Bradley’s, when Hargrove was first coming up in the late ’80s and Miller loomed large from his associations with Art Blakey, Tony Williams and others. Acclaimed jazz journalist Ted Panken, in his extensive booklet essay for In Harmony, evokes that scene, and its central importance to Hargrove’s development, in vivid detail. Hargrove told Panken, “Bradley’s was like going to school. It was like your masters. You go in there, and you’re playing, and there’s Freddie Hubbard at the bar! What do you do? Everything I’m playing right now I owe to that whole scene.” ((https://resonancerecords.org/product/roy-hargrove-and-mulgrew-miller-in-harmony/) Click here for “In Harmony” and a mini-documentary.
XDave Holland – Another Land (Edition Records): “Another Land is the new album from the all-star trio featuring Dave Holland, Kevin Eubanks and Obed Calvaire and a power-packed set of originals. This is a potent studio set of fluid themes developed by the band and forged in the furnace of live performance. During the live shows that preceded the recording of Another Land, Dave explains “we were doing a continuous set, once we started we very rarely stopped, we just kept going,”. The Guardian described the shows as a “blues-fuelled inferno summoning the spirit of Hendrix”. Throughout his career, Dave Holland has established a reputation for making his bands a proving ground for promising young instrumentalists, but his latest trio is a true all-star assemblage of jazz heavyweights, all established bandleaders and composers, each representing the world standard on their instrument. Released on limited edition double vinyl, CD and hi-res download, this is a power-packed set that reunites Dave with the guitar work of Kevin Eubanks, whose searing, soulful approach was last heard on Dare 2 as part of the Prism project. Eubanks was also key to the muscular quartet that recorded Holland’s seminal 1990 ECM release Extensions, and this new band is yet another example of Holland’s brilliance at building ensembles that are greater than the sum of their formidable parts”. (https://editionrecords.com/releases/another-land/) This is a spectacular performance from beginning to end! Click here and scroll down to “Mashup” for a sample of this wonderful set.
Joshua Jern Jazz Orchestra – Lockdown (CH.ILL.JAZZ): “The pandemic shut-down that began in March 2020 brought live music performances to a halt, and big band shows are really only just now beginning to make a come-back as we work our way down the second half of summer 2021. For all this time, many of Chicago’s finest musicians found themselves sitting at home with few to none of the creative outlets that were such a regular part of their lives for as long as they can remember. A lot of creative energy built up during that time, and Lockdown is project that has harnessed that energy and focused it into a distinctive contemporary big band album that could only have been made during this unique time. World-renowned musicians can be heard on each track of this album, which is comprised of brand new compositions and original arrangements. Click on the album cover to the right to take a listen to “”Amazing Grace”, “Closet Monster” or “Over The Rainbow” from this release.
Jenny Klukken – Color In Motion (Self-produced): “Jenny first studied classical percussion, soon realizing that her main instrument was clearly the marimba. While pursuing her degree, she explored improvisation through studies in jazz vibraphone and drumset. After graduating, she began applying these interests to the marimba. In 2012, Jenny co-founded the Matra percussion group, which began her journey as a genre-blending marimbist and composer. In 2016, Matra release a full length album of all original works by ensemble members, including works by Jenny. Later, Jenny studied marimba, improvisation, and composition in Paris with Eric Sammut. In 2019, Jenny successfully funded her first Kickstarter campaign to fund her debut marimba album, showcasing her creative approach to the instrument.” (https://www.jennyklukken.com/about) Click here to listen to “Marimbista”, the opening song in this set.
Dave McMurray – Grateful Dedication (Blue Note): “Dave McMurray made his Blue Note debut in 2018 with Music Is Life, an album that focused largely on his own assertive original tunes. Now the saxophonist returns with Grateful Deadication, a cover album that turns one of the most celebrated catalogs in rock songwriting into a vehicle for his own jazz expression. McMurray transforms Grateful Dead favorites like “Fire on the Mountain,” “Dark Star, “Touch of Grey,” and “Franklin’s Tower,” and is joined by vocalist Bettye LaVette and Bob Weir and Wolf Bros on a sublime version of “Loser.”” (https://store.bluenote.com/products/dave-mcmurray-grateful-deadication) Click here to listen to “Loser” featuring Bettye LaVette and Bob Weir.
XFrancisca Mela – Music Frees Our Souls, V1 (577 Records): “Before any instrumentation, Francisco Mela addresses his fellow musicians, pianist Matthew Shipp and bassist William Parker, with a sense of anticipation and affirmation, “Okay guys, ready? Rolling!” The sense of camaraderie and his artist-focused approach is heard throughout the album’s majestic improvisation—as well as in its inspiration, dedicated to Mela’s longtime musical partner, the legendary jazz musician McCoy Tyner. Tyner was well-known for his boundless musical talent, and perhaps best-known for playing in John Coltrane’s quartet, which revolutionized the jazz world and reverberated through the music world at large. But it was his mentorship that truly touched Francico Mela: Tyner encouraged him to explore the boundaries of both his personal expression and his musical ability, affirming the philosophical conviction that music was a gateway to liberation. That pursuit of freedom was a lifelong aspiration, and one borne from community…. n Music Frees Our Souls Vol. 1, Mela, Shipp and Parker compose an album that is equally innovative and welcoming, offering the best of experimental jazz and paying homage to McCoy Tyner’s indelible creative influence. This is the first chapter of Francisco Mela’s Music Frees Our Souls trilogy dedicated to McCoy, always featuring William Parker on bass but with different piano players on each volume.” (https://577records.bandcamp.com/album/music-frees-our-souls-vol-1) Click here for a sample preview of the music on this set.
Dave Miller Trio – The Mask-erade Is Over (Summit): “This enjoyable program begins with some classic bebop. “Anthropology,” the Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker line on “I Got Rhythm,” swings hard from the start and has two piano choruses that build up logically along with a heated tradeoff with drummer Belasco. Irving Berlin’s “Be Careful, It’s My Heart was a Bing Crosby hit in the 1930s. Dave enjoys Peggy Lee’s version with George Shearing and there is a touch of the Shearing sound in his use of block chords. “The Opener” is an obscure Bill Evans song that was recorded by the composer twice (in 1975 and 1977) but by very few others. “It can be played as a ballad or uptempo, so we did it both ways.” Listening to Dave Miller’s version, one could imagine Shearing or Bud Powell enjoying exploring this piece.”(https://www.summitrecords.com/release/the-mask-erade-is-over-dave-miller-trio/) There are several standards and five jazz classics. Miller also plays one of his own composition. All is straight ahead and quite enjoyable. Dave Miller (piano) is supported by Andrew Higgins (bass) and Bill Belasco (drums). Click here to listen to Dave Brubeck’s “In Your Own Sweet Way” from this release.
The Dave Mullen Ensemble – Solace (Mullsoul Music): “Welcome folks! My brand new jazz album The Dave Mullen Ensemble ‘SOLACE’ is done and will be released on July 16th. It features a stellar cast of musicians including Jon Cowherd (Piano), Hans Glawischnig (Bass), EJ Strickland (Drums), and Jim Seeley (Trumpet). It’s comprised of 7 tracks (6 original plus Duke Ellington’s timeless ‘Satin Doll’) with dedications to the John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk collaboration (Mane Tronk), Rahsaan Roland Kirk (Like Rahsaan), McCoy Tyner (The Grind), Michael Brecker ( For Michael) and even a Celtic/Trane-ish exploration entitled ‘Kinda Green’. It was mixed by Jeff ‘The Jedi Master’ Jones. I can’t wait to share it with you.” (http://davemullen.com/) Click here and scroll down to listen samples of the songs on this release.
Marco Vezzoso – Italian Spirit In Japan (ITI Records): “Three Italian artists have come together and merged talents to produce a live rendition of the “Italian Spirit” album. Marco Vezzoso (pronounced Vet soso) – trumpet and flugelhorn, Alessandro Collina (pronounced Colleena) – piano, Andrea Marchesini (pronounced Mark a ciny) – percussion set. A jazzy instrumental reinterpretation of some of the most beautiful Italian songs in the contemporary pop music scene, in a dynamic version that adds percussion to the trumpet – piano duo. The interplay and chemistry between the musicians creates an intense musical continuum with a strong emotional impact, which guides the audience on a musical journey through Italian music and worldwide contamination. Wonderful and successful contemporary Italian songs are revisited with intense inspiration, driven by jazz, pop and world music influences.” (https://newworldnjazz.com/marco-vezzoso-alessandro-collina-andrea-marchesini-italian-spirit-in-japan-iti-music/) Click here to listen to samples of songs on this release.