New Jazz Adds – 7/25/2017
Darren Barrett – dB-ish (dB Studios): Composer / trumpet and keyboard player Darren Barrett has released six discs prior to this one. He is also an assistant professor at Berklee specifically working with ensembles. This disc certainly focuses on ensemble work and one’s flexibility throughout. In addition to Barrett, the main group includes Santiago Bosch (piano, keyboards), Alexander Both (bass), Anthony Both (drums) and Erena Terakubo and Clay Lyons trading off on alto sax with guest appearances by Judith Barrett (percussion), Kurt Rosenwinkel and Nir Felder (guitar on one track each), and Chad Selph (keys on one track). Barrett acknowledges the influence of Miles Davis on his music and it is clearly evident at times. The disc and sound though are a blend with music and sounds of today and elements from the past. It is hip in its own way. I regret I am unable to find a sample from this disc. Earlier band groupings are very different.
Austin Byrd – Liftoff! (Armored Records): Piano / electric keys player / composer Austin Byrd releases his debut recording. After earning a Masters and teaching for a time, he joined the World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra, with whom he toured for nearly a year. He now resides in California and is leading his own trio, which includes Brian Ward (bass) and Abe Lagrimas, Jr (drums). All of the songs on the disc are originals. The set is beautifully played and Byrd’s shifts between piano and electronic keys builds good variety. On this disc, however, he is primarily at the piano. This is a very nice set and recommended to any fans of piano trios. Click here and scroll down to listen to three sample songs from this disc.
Art Fristoe Trio – Double Down (Self-produced): Pianist / composer / high school teacher at the Houston High School for Performing and Visual Arts, Art Fristoe’s release features all live performances of his own compositions and a wide range of selections including “Caravan”, “Alone Together”, two from the Beatles’ catalogue, two from the Great American songbook, and two Latin jazz numbers. Fristoe is accompanied by Tim Ruiz (bass), Dalton Lee and Richard Cholakian trading off on drums and additional percussion from Ilya Janos on three songs. His rock covers are truly interesting: the Beatles have been widely covered, but Fristoe’s version of “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” is quite amazing and his reworking of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is a jazz first. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this set.
Brent Laidler – No Matter Where Noir (Self-produced): Composer/guitarist Brent Laidler has a thing for the “noire” – movies or music partly defined by swinging or moody jazz. When Laidler completed composing the title tune, he immediately thought of creating more songs to fill out a film in his head. There’s not exactly a story, but there is a mood. Supporting musicians include Mark Busselli (trumpet, flugelhorn), Ned Boyd (saxophones), Mitch Shiner (vibes) and Jamie Newman (piano), with Richard “Sleepy” Floyd and Kenny Phelps trading off on drums. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Bob Lark / Phil Woods Quintet – Thick As Thieves (Jazzed Media): Flugelhorn player / composer / music educator Bob Lark became musical and personal friends with Phil Woods (alto sax) over a series of years. A couple of years after Woods’ passing, his wife mentioned to Lark how special their friendship had been and he was moved to use these recordings of some playing they had done together in the past. Additional players were Jim McNeely (piano), Steve Gilmore (bass) and Bill Goodwin. The disc includes five performances with Woods and two without him. Two songs were composed by Lark and they play Charlie Parker’s “Yardbird Suite” and “Billie’s Bounce”, Monk’s “Rhythm-A-Ning” and two from the great American songbook. The performances with Woods are especially great to hear. Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Charles Lloyd New Quartet – Passin’ Thru (Blue Note): This disc represents the decade-long growth and exploration of Charles Lloyd’s new quartet and the presentation is live. All of the songs are Lloyd originals and feature Lloyd (sax, flute), Jason Moran (piano), Reuben Rogers (bass) and Eric Harland (drums). The title song was written in 1963 when Lloyd was a member of Chico Hamilton’s band. Why the revisitation? “It’s a small planet, and we are just passing through on our journey to One. Every now and then there are important intersections. This quartet with Jason, Reuben and Eric coalesced very organically in April 2007. From the notes of our first concert, I knew that it was a magical formation…. ‘Passin’ Thru’ and ‘Dream Weaver’ are among my many children. They left home and came back. I left home and came back. When we visit with each other we find we have more stories to tell. As they have matured, I have too. When I go out now, I bring many more years of experience that I did not have as an idealistic young man.” This concert is absolute proof of that statement. It is a masterful performance from beginning to end. Click here to listen to the opening song.
Ed Neumeister & His NeuHat Ensemble – Wake Up Call (MeisteroMusic): Composer, arranger, conductor and trombonist, Ed Neumeister has released several discs over thee years and this one focuses mostly on his composing and conducting. He plays trombone on only two of the eight compositions. His music draws mostly from jazz, classical and world music. The ensemble includes Mark Gross , Billy Drewes , Dick Oatts , Rich Perry, and Adam Kolker (reeds); Tony Kadleck, Ron Tooley, Dave Ballou, and Jon Owens (trumpets); Keith O’Quinn, Larry Farrell, Marshall Gilkes, and David Taylor (trombones); with David Berkman (piano), Hans Glawischnig (bass), Steve Cardenas (guitar), John Riley (drums), John Hollenbeck (percussion) and Michael Patterson (Tonmeister). Neumeister is a positive thinker and hopes to inspire others to do the same in pursuit of solutions to our global and internal problems. “The music on this CD reflects a lifetime in music and the on-going quest to create music at the highest levels with my musical colleagues around the globe.” Click here and scroll down to cuts identified as being on “Wake Up Call” to listen to several songs on this disc.
Larry Newcomb Quartet w/ Bucky Pizzaarelli – Living Tribute (Essential Messenger): This release is first a tribute to Newcomb’s friend Dick Hall who enticed him to play the guitar. There are also some dedications to other influences and loved ones, many of whom are alive and well: his three sons and Newcomb’s wife Mary. There’s even a tribute to Bucky Pizzarelli, plus two to Jim Hall. Newcomb composed most of the material here and plays electric guitar throughout. Most of the others, except for a Horace Silver, are standards. Pizzarelli plays on seven cuts, Leigh Jonaitis sings on two, with Eric Olsen (piano), Dmitri Kolesnik (bass) and Jimmy Madision. It’s a nice warm sound throughout. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Farnell Newton – Back To Earth (Positone): Jazz trumpeter / composer Farnell Newton was born in Florida, but has moved throughout his life. At this point, he lives in Portland, OR and works as an educator (Portland State University) and musician. This release appears to be his fourth. He covers Freddie Hubbard’s “Arietas”, and Wayne Shorter’s “El Gaucho” and wrote all but one of the other songs. Drummer Christopher Brown composed “Back To Earth”. The remaining members of the band are Kyle Molitor (trombone), Greg Goebel (piano) and Dylan Sundstrom (bass). The music is well played and fairly mellow, perhaps even “down to earth”, straight ahead jazz. Click here and scroll down to the song “Crossing The Tracks” to listen to one of the songs on this disc.
Pacific Mambo Orchestra – Live From Stern Grove (Pacific Mambo): It’s live (except for two extra songs) and primed to bring the mambo! The band features four trumpets, five saxes, six trombones, and a rhythm section that expands and slims down from song to song. Vocals are carried by Braulio Barrera, Alexa Morales, Omar Ledezma Jr, and Armando Cordoba with special guests Nora Suzuki and Sheila E. Marlow Rosado adds piano on one tune. The sound is LARGE and infectious. It’s hard to sit or stand still when the group is jumping. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah – Diaspora (Rope-a-dope): New Orleans native Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah is young trumpet player who studied at New Orleans Center of Creative Arts and then attended Berklee College of Music (Boston). His third release, Rewind That was nominated for a Grammy in 2006. To date, his has released two live recordings and eight studio sessions. The sound of this disc is like a soul jazz session mixed at times with heavy bass – a cross between current deep bass soul and jazz. It’s an expanded sound but still carries boom box emphasis and on “Desire And The Burning Girl”, even sounds like Miles Davis . It’s an intriguing sound and definitely worth checking out. If you have a traditionalist taste at your center, I would strongly suggest listening more than once before passing judgment. ATunde Adjudah explains “We’re trying to highlight the sameness between seemingly disparate cultures of sound… as a means of showing a broader reverence and love for the people who create the sound and the experiences that lead them to those places.” Click here to listen to the opening track on this disc.
Talinka – Talinka (Moonjune): Talinka is a new quartet led by vocalist, songwriter and actress Tali Atzmon. Israeli born, but London based, Tali is the wife of multi-instrumentalist, composer, band-leader Gilad Atzmon (bass clarinet, soprano sax, accordion). Other members of the group are Yaron Stavi (bass), and Jenny Bliss Bennett, a musician more closely associated with baroque music (viola da gamba, baroque violin, flute and backing vocals). “For us the love of music extends beyond style and genre; we blend folk, early music, jazz, tango and free improvisation. We believe in songs and beauty being vital forces of nature. We adhere to simplicity, harmony and warmth.” (https://www.talinka.live/#band-1-section) The combination of folk, jazz, and multiple stylistic, instrumental and vocal contributions is unique and remarkable: it’s a mixture of blues like “Don’t Explain” (previously performed by Nina Simone and Billie Holiday) with an original “When You’re Gone” (Tali Atzon) with it’s accordion, and the Eastern cabaret tune “Every Now And Then” (Tali Atzon). The performance on this disc haunts, connects with deep moody jazz standards and introduces a new international form of world music. Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.