New Jazz Adds – 8/3/2015
Chris Dingman – The Subliminal And The Sublime (Inner Arts Initiative): Dingman composes and plays vibraphone as well as creating beautiful sonic textures through his direction and melding the performance of the players in his group: Loren Stillman (alto sax), Fabian Almazan (piano), Ryan Ferreira (guitar), Linda Oh (bass) and Justin Brown (drums). His work on this disc has been described as “blending jazz, ambient electronica, and minimalism through vivid textures and sweeping narratives. Dingman explores subliminal layers of patterns, detail, and depth inspired by the natural world.” I would add this work can serve as ambient sound, but, with focused listening, is like a mind trip in a focused daydream. As a “Downbeat Editor’s Pick”, The Subliminal and The Sublime was described as being “exactly that.” It’s a beautiful sonic trip that you should take. Click here to listen to samples from this disc.
Mitchel Forman Trio – Puzzle (BFM Jazz): Veteran keyboard player Forman has quite resume: his first release was a performance from the Newport Jazz Fest, followed such gigs as Gerry Mulligan, Stan Getz, John McLaughlin’s Mahavishnu Orchestra, and Wayne Shorter just to name a few. Forman focuses on piano on this outing, though he does shift to electronic instruments at times. He is supported by Kevin Axt (bass) and Steve Hass (drums) on six originals and six covers as varied as “What Is This Thing Called Love”, “Alfie” and “Time After Time” (Cyndi Lauper & Robert Hyman). This is a varied but very pleasant set throughout. The jumps are as solid as the ballads. Click here to listen to a song from this disc.
Erik Friedlander – Oscalypso (Tribute To Oscar Pettiford) (Skipstone): Cellist Friedlander is a composer and improviser of note in NYC who has performed with John Zorn and Courtney Love among musicians. This disc is a labor of love, as Friedlander and his bandmates Michael Blake (sax), Trevor Dunn (bass) and Michael Sarin (drums) perform nine Pettiford compositions for cello to which he switched after breaking his arm and being unable to play the bass until he fully recovered. According to Friedlander, “When I look to history for a role model, it’s Pettiford. Pettiford played the cello with such swing and melody. He was the first to lead a band from behind the cello. And he wrote original tunes, some of which are now classics. Pettiford had a special feel for the instrument — he even named his son Cello! He’s always been a hero of mine. I love the elegance of Pettiford’s lines. He’s such a savvy and joyful composer.” All of that comes through beautifully on this release. Click here to listen to samples from this disc.
Jacob Garchik – Ye Olde (Self-produced): Imagine a 2015 cover of the soundtrack to a 1970’s remake of a 1930’s movie about the Middle Ages – with Jonathan Goldberger, Mary Halvorson, Brandon Seabrook, guitars; Vinnie Sperrazza, drums; Jacob Garchik, trombone. Got it? This is jazz-rock-with-more-than-a-chip-off-the-block set in Flatbush in Brooklyn 1000 years ago. My favorite cut is “The Opossum King Of Greenwood Forest” mainly because it is SOOOO funky. Garchik composed all of the music and he can really cook on the trombone even in the midst of all these hot guitars! If you like unusual music, definitely give this a listen. It’s unusual, but not crazy. Click here for a preview promo of this disc.
Kevin Hays – New Day (Sunnyside Communications): Keyboard wizard / vocalist Kevin Hays has played with numerous top jazz players over the years and here’s what they have to say about him: “Kevin Hays is a true original. Everything he plays has a deep intelligence and swing.” (Brad Mehldau) “He’s all encompassing. Phenomenally so!” (John Scofield) “I’ve never met a musician who is as perfect in their approach to improvisation.” (Nicholas Payton) On this latest disc, Hays is supported by Tony Scherr (guitar), Rob Jost (bass), Greg Joseph (drums) and Gregoire Maret (harmonica). It’s all pleasant enough, but I personally prefer the instrumentals to the vocals. Click here for a promo for this disc.
Chuck Israels Jazz Orchestra – Joyful Noise: The Music of Horace Silver (Soul Patch Music): Chuck Israels is best known as the bassist in the Bill Evans Trio, but his oather credits include gigs with Bud Powell in Paris and recording with Coltrane (Coltrane Time), the only session Trane had with Cecil Taylor. Israels moved to Portland, OR about five years ago and formed the first iteration of the Jazz Orchestra, with whom he released a critically acclaimed tribute to Bill Evans. What a nice twist to turn next to Horace Silver. Israels has done his own arrangements to eleven of Silver’s outstanding compositions in his commendable tribute to this jazz master. The remaining musicians in the orchestra are Charlie Porter (trumpet), Robert Crowell (sax), John Moak (trombone), John Nastos (sax, clarinet), David Evans (sax), Christopher Brown (drums), and Dan Gaynor (piano). Click here for an overview promo of this disc.
The Jazz Professors – En Plein Air: The Jazz Professors Play Monet (Flying Horse): These professors are based at the University of Central Florida and, in this case, professors Per Danielsson(keyboards) and Richard Drexler (bass) were tasked with composing / selecting music inspired by the art of Claude Monet. They then added a composition by Prof. Jeff Rupert (tenor sax) and special guest Michael Philip Mossman (trumpet) to complete the series. Lastly, they selected some additional works, such as Cole Porter’s “In The Still Of The Night” and Ellington’s “Melancholia” to complete the program. The remainder of the professorial band includes Michael Wilkinson (trombone), Bobby Koelble (guitar), and Morty Morell (drums). The program swings and offers “cool” shades of sound, perhaps, in the words of Prof. Rupert, to replicate in sound what the French Impressionists who “captured light at a moment in time.” Click here to hear samples of songs on this disc.
Petros Klampanis – Minor Dispute (Inner Circle Music): Klampanis is a Greek bassist/vocalist/pianist/composer now established in NYC who leads this session with the support of Gilad Hekselman (guitar), Jean-Michel Pilc (piano), and John Hadfield (drums, percussion), with strings from Maria Manousaki and Megan Gould (violins), Lev “Ljova” Zhurbin and Matt Sinno (violas), and Yoed Nir and Colin Stokes (cello) and guests Bodek Janke (percussion) and Max ZT (Santuri). The music is intriguing, complex, rhythmic, swinging and quite engaging. Click here to listen to the title song from this disc.
Dion Parson & 21st Century Band – St. Thomas (United Jazz International): This is the new jazz amalgamation from the Virgin Islands hoping that their updating of the island jazz sound will be inspirational for other more players. The most immediate signal instrument is the steel pan (Victor Provost), but the percussion of leader Dion Parson and Alioune Faye and the bass of Reuben Rogers fully close the deal. The remainder of the band are Carlton Holmes (keys), Rashawn Ross (trumpet) and Ron Blake (tenor, bari, and soprano sax) with a guest appearance on banjo by Boo Reiners. This set includes originals by Dion Parson and Visitor Provost as well as band arrangements of songs varying from Sonny Rollins’ “St. Thomas”, Duke Ellington’s “Rockin’ In Rhythm” and Miles Davis” “All Blues” to surprises like Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” and Bob Thiele and George David Weiss’s “What A Wonderful World”. The blend is more successful on some songs than others, but, hey, this is the islands, get laid back and enjoy yourself! Click here for a live version of the title song by this band.
Cecile McLorin Salvant – For One To Love (Mack Avenue): Salvant is an exciting, young jazz vocalist with an amazing vocal range and a unique vision and ear for reinterpreting old jazz, pop and blues standards in a dramatic and highly stylized fashion. She also contributed five original songs to this release. Salvant’s accompanists are Aaron Diehl (piano), Paul Sikivie (bass), and Lawrence Leathers (drums) and, while she is truly the show, they give her all the backing she needs. Click here to listen to a live performance by Salvant. Note: This song is not on the above disc.
Doc Severinsen & The Alan Baylock Jazz Orchestra (Self-produced): Alan Baylock wrote four of the nine songs on this disc and arranged the remainder. The orchestra sounds a lot like the one on The Tonight Show which must obviously put Doc Severinsen at home. “I’d Heard the Alan Baylock Jazz Orchestra before, so getting to play with that band was quite a thrill. This kind of ensemble you just don’t hear that much anymore.” (Severinsen). “The orchestra sounds a lot like the one on The Tonight Show which must obviously put Doc Severinsen at home.” (Prof. Bebop) Severinsen solos on three of the songs. Click here for a sample song from this disc.
David Torn – Only Sky (ECM): Guitarist (and oud player) David Torn, who replaced Bill Frisell in Jan Garbarek’s group in 1985, has been frequently described as a Frisell neophyte, which might help you place his style in the broad spectrum, but he certainly has his own voice. This solo performance is almost entirely undecorated by overdubs. There are a few according to Torn, but they certainly weren’t apparent to my ears. The sounds are more “outer spacey” and “molten electric” (less pastoral) than something like the first disc reviewed in this set and they are fascinating in their own right. Highly recommended to those who like this type of sonic ambiance. Click here for a live performance by David Torn at TEDexCalTech which includes a performance of music from this disc .