New Jazz Adds – 7/21/2016
New Jazz Adds – 7/21/2016
Carla Bley / Andy Sheppard / Steve Swallow – Andando el Tiempo (ECM): The longterm partnership between pianist Carla Bley and bassist Steve Swallow has been one of the fascinating and beautiful evolutions in jazz and adding Andy Sheppard (soprano, tenor sax) truly completes the sound. Bley composed each of the pieces and the interplay between the piano and soprano sax is especially stunning. The same can be said of Swallow’s hitting the “high notes” on the bass and providing the luscious sound of the deep bass lines. The songs are both fragile and supple and just off center enough. Click here to listen to sample from the disc.
Terrence Brewer – Setting The Standard: Vol. 4 – The TB3 (StrongBrewMusic): Guitarist Terrence Brewer is turning a lot of heads in the San Francisco area and my guess the reason is that he has such a sweet, full and mellow sound that people recall players like Jim Hall. In fact, one of the songs he performs is “Alone Together”, a signature song for Hall. Other offerings are drawn from the American Songbook (Gershwin’s “But Not For Me”) or the jazz canon (Charlie Parker’s “Cool Blues” and “Yardbird Suite”, Monk’s “Hackensack”, and Sonny Rollins’ “No Moe”. Brewer’s rhythm section includes Brandon Essex (bass) and Micah McClain (drums). Click here to sample the songs on this disc.
Ed Calle – 360 (Majito): Award winning saxophonist Ed Calle steps out with a change of pace. Known predominantly as a dedicated Latin jazz performer, this time out, he brings the bop style up front with a dozen original compositions. The band includes Calle (tenor, soprano, bari sax, clarinet), Kemuel Roig (piano), Josh Allen and Jerry Bravo (bass), Lee Levin (drums), Dan Warner (guitar, banjo), Richard Bravo (percussion), Luis “Papo” Marquez (trumpet), Dana Teboe and Chad Bernstein (trombone), Francisco “Cisco” Dimas and Arturo Sandoval (trumpet), and Eddie Trujillo (guitar). The moods change as the disc progresses and the group plays like a finely tuned machine throughout. In the end, though, it is Calle’s sax that rules. Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Jack DeJohnette / Ravi Coltrane / Matthew Garrison – In Movement (ECM): Here’s a really interesting set combining the unique drumming style of Jack DeJohnette, Ravi Coltrane partially channeling his father’s earlier African connections, and Matthew Garrison (son of Jimmy Garrison, Coltrane’s bassist) with electric bass and other electronics. The group opens with John Coltrane’s “Alabama” and then moves ahead with their own material, slipping in covers of “Blue In Green” (Miles-Evans) and “Serpentine Fire” (Maurice and Verdine White and Reginald Burke) along the way. The blend and the overall sound both carries the listener back to Afro-centric bop and into the currency of this interpretation. If any of the above sounds tantalizing, listen to this disc immediately! Click here for an introduction.
Dave Douglas – Dark Territory (Greenleaf Music): Dave Douglas (composer, teacher, trumpet player, explorer) steps forward with his new group, High Risk, featuring Jonathan Maron (electric and synth basses), Mark Guiliana (acoustic, electric drums), and Shigeto (electronics). The sound is like acid jazz with less emphasis on funk. At the same time, the music is quite accessible and it does have a good beat. I immediately thought of Miles as is inevitable in listening to this genre, but it does stand on its own quite well. Click here to listen to the songs on this disc.
Eric Hargett Trio – Steppin’ Up (Whaling City Sound): This is multi-instrumentalist Hargett’s debut disc as a leader, and while he plays generous samples of either baritone and tenor sax on each cut, he also plays plays Moog bass, Fender Rhodes and vibes. He composed 8 of the 10 songs on offer, as well. Joining Hargett are B3 ace Joey DeFrancesco, who also plays piano on one cut and Moog on another and Gerry Gibbs on drums. Hamilton Price plays acoustic bass on one song. The playing is solid throughout and Hargett can blow that horn in lots of settings. Click here to sample one or more songs from this disc.
Manu Kache – Unstatic (Self-produced): Composer / drummer Kache has made a name for himself in the rock and pop world having played with Sting, Jeff Beck, Al Di Meola, Tears For Fears, Eurythmics, Simple Minds, Dire Straits, Jan Garbarek, Youssou N’Dour, Robbie Robertson, and most notably for his work on Peter Gabriel’s So. The material is pleasant and often upbeat with a significant pop slant. In addition to Kache on drums and vocals, other players include Ellen Andrea Wang (bass, vocals), Jim Watson (piano, keys), Tore Brunborg (sax), and Luca Aquino (trumpet) with guests Nils Landgren (trombone) among others. Click here for an introduction to the disc with music samples.
Jason McGuire Trio – Terceto Kali (Jason McGuire Music): Flamenco guitarist Jason Maguire is the leader of this trio which is, in fact, called Terceto Kali and also features Paul Martin Sounder (bass) and Marlon Aldana (drums). The group flows through each song shifting from one flamenco style to another, shifting impact and intensity as they play. McGuire is considered one of the world’s most accomplished flamenco players today. The music is engaging and beautiful. Click here to watch a live performance of a tango “Ratones Ciegos” that is on this disc.
Houston Person & Ron Carter – Chemistry (High Note): If you had to create a duo with more mellow tones than anyone else alive, you might really want to consider this duo. Carter’s bass is certainly unmatchable and Person’s sax alternates between so sweet and so breathy that the listener has to catch his or her own. Everything’s from the great American songbook except for “Blue Monk”. Click here to listen to songs on this disc.
Woody Shaw & Louis Hayes – The Tour, Volume 1 (High Note): Since the passing of greats like Coltrane, Miles, and other major players of the 60s, some people talk about the death of jazz. The players, however, have stood up to that prediction over and over again. The late Woody Shaw contested that assertion from the beginning: “By no means is jazz dead – that’s essentially why Louis Hayes and I formed this band.” (1976) Then they took this testimony on the road. The band includes Woody Shaw (trumpet), Louis Haynes (drums), Junior Cook (tenor sax), Ronnie Mathews (piano) and Stafford James (bass). This is part one of a fiery statement recorded in in Stuttgart on March 22, 1976. Amen! Jazz has always and continues to reinvigorate itself. Here’s a powerful example from the 70s. If you have doubts about its health today, look to current musicians who are developing new iterations, many of which are aired on WTJU! Click here to listen to some short samples from this disc.
Miroslav Vitous – Music Of Weather Report (ECM): Miroslav Vitous was a founding member of Weather Report. While he plays several instruments, he is best known for bass and keyboards. All of the songs here were composed by Vitous or other members of Weather Report. Vitous brought in Gary Campbell and Roberto Bonisolo (soprano and tenor saxes), Aydin Esen (keys), and Gerald Cleaver and Nasheet Waits (drums) to explore and re-create the earlier compositions. In doing so, he presented the band with limited sketches of each composition and led them on a mission to create their own vision and versions of the original songs and recordings. This approach, he explains, is the one essential ingredient in creating living, breathing jazz. Fans of the original group and new listeners should find this disc entertaining on its own ground. Click here to listen to some short samples from this disc.
Doug Webb – Bright Side (Positone): Sax player Doug Webb has performed and recorded with such jazz luminaries as Horace Silver, Freddie Hubbard, and Stanley Clarke and also has released six previous discs as a leader. This disc finds him playing with Joe Magnarelli (trumpet), Brian Charrette (organ), Ed Cherry (guitar), and Steve Fidyk (drums). The disc swings well and includes seven Webb originals. The band plays smoothly as a unit and everyone gets some solo time. Guitarist Cherry meshes especially well with Webb, who is a fluid and sympathetic player as well. There’s also lots of organ soloing which should appeal to those keyboard fans out there. But Webb is the player who holds well-deserved center stage. He has a terrific, full sound that is melodic and flowing. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.