New Jazz Adds – 7/5/2016
New Jazz Adds – 7/5/2016
Malou Beauvoir – Is This Love (Panthera): Malou Beauvoir is a multi-faceted singer/songwriter with a rich and velvety voice. She is primarily a jazz singer, but she also composes and draws from pop writers and the Great American songbook. She tells us in the notes that this disc, her first recording in New York where she grew up until moving to France in her mid-teens, was a very special one for her. She wrote the title song and selected a wide variety of sources for the rest. Composers as diverse as Edith Piaf, WC Handy, Sting, Hoagy Carmichael, Johnny Mercer, and Raoul Gillaume are represented here and are given the Beauvoir treatment. Supporting musicians include Andy Erin (piano), David Finck (bass), Ben Whitman (drums), Bobby Mann (guitar), Brian Pareschi (trumpet) and Donny McCaslin (sax). This is quite simply a lovely disc. Click here to listen to the songs on this disc.
Michael Bisio – Accortet (Relative Pitch): Bassist Michael Bisio has put together a unique group consisting Kirk Knuffke (cornet), Michael Wimberly (drums) and Art Bailey (accordion) and as unusual as the grouping is, the range of the songs, all composed by Bisio, cover a surprising musical range as well. The disc begins with delightful and highly accessible uptempo skip through the park. You do quickly notice the accordion, of course, but it really is just an unusual keyboard. On the other hand, as the disc progresses, you’ll need your outside ears and mindset a bit more. Visio is known as an uncompromising avant-garde player and composer, and while this disc is fairly outside at times, it is far from the most difficult listening around. While it will probably require a bit of aural adjustment, it is generally quite melodic. Click here to listen to two songs from the disc.
Mike Bogle Trio – Live At Stoney’s (Self-produced): Veteran composer/teacher/pianist/trombonist Mike Bogle has numerous credits over the years and has played in a variety of settings from solo to orchestra. On this date, he leads his trio (Lou Harlas, bass and Steve Barnes, drums) through compositions by Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Dexter Gordon, Billy Strayhdorn, Duke Ellington, as well as presenting four of his own. The performance is solid throughout and the variety is quite appealing. Click here to listen to samples of all of the selections on this disc.
Dan Cray – Outside In (Origin): Pianist/composer Dan Cray has several recordings in his name, this one being the second for Origin. Four of the seven compositions are his with the remainder being written by Billy Strayhorn, Bud Powell, and Harold Adamson and Jimmy McHugh. Other players include Dayna Stephens (tenor sax) and long-term associates Mark Ferber (drums) and Clark Sommers (bass). Cray says he was inspired to compose the music here by living and working out in the Sierras and hiking in Big Sur before returning to his current home in Brooklyn. The songs here are gorgeously melodic and the band plays with one mind. Click here to listen to the songs on this disc.
Eric Frazier – In The Same Place (Self-produced): Composer/arranger/singer/conga and percussion player Frazier melds a Latin sound with soulful funk that has an infectious energy. There a strong jazz feel to his performances. He composed all of the song on this disc and is accompanied by Pamela Cornelius (vocals), Danny Mixon and Yoichi Uzeki (piano), Gene Ghee (tenor sax), Charles Bartlett (trumpet), Paul Beaudry and Lonnie Plaice (bass) and Dwayne “Cook” Broadnax (drums). Click here to sample the songs on this disc.
Tomas Fujiwara Trio – Variable Bets (Relative Pitch): Drummer Fujiwara takes a trip somewhat outside with trumpeter Ralph Alessi and guitarist Brandon Seabrook. Together, they create some interesting soundscapes. Alessi’s trumpet shows a significant influence from Miles Davis in the mid to later years and Seabrook creates some adventurous guitar lines that remain a part of the overall group sound rather than becoming a lead voice. The musical balance, whether busy or impressionistic, is a high point. In the words of the label write-up, “…Fujiwara and his collaborators deconstruct these materials through ensemble improvisation, focusing on balanced interplay rather than traditional soloist/accompanist relationships. The result is a continuous set, almost an hour of thrillingly creative engagement between three artists whose virtuosity is matched by their sensitivity.” Things do get complicated or intense at times so be prepared, but if you’re open to freer music, check them out! This is a 2014 release. Click here to sample songs on this disc.
Tomas Fujiwara, Ben Goldberg, Mary Halvorson – The Out Louds (Relative Pitch): Two years later and there’s a new trio for drummer Fujiwara: The Out Louds. also include Ben Goldberg (clarinet) and Mary Halvorson (guitar) and the fact that we’ll probably file them under Fujiwara’s name should meet their approval as they “operate in a strictly alphabetical manner” (from the label bio). Similar to what my ears told me and the label announced in the review of “Variable Bets” above, Reviewer S. Victor Aaron sounds the same appreciation: “Therein lies the unique nature of their music: it might be deconstructed more than it is constructed, but it’s not random noises, either. A lot of contemplation goes into every move and moreover, they move together. Though the music is greatly instinctual, the thought of what springs forth from their minds before they even carry out those thoughts through their instruments becomes more important than the instruments themselves.” (Review: Something Else) Don’t look for simple melodies here, but if you are open a freer sound, give them a listen. I will confess that I found this disc to be more challenging listening than the preceding disc. I regret I am unable to post any songs from this recording, but click here to listen to a live performance by this group.
New Standard Jazz Orchestra – Waltz About Nothing (OA2): Since its founding in 2013, the New Standard Jazz Orchestra has become a serious force in Chicago attracting several outstanding to fill its ranks. Downbeat’s Ed Enright says, “… NSJO sets new standards of excellence in contemporary big band music.” They have attracted composers and improvisers to the group. The former write with a goal of mining “…the ensemble for subtle textures and colors, starting out simply and building in complexity, drawing on musical devices that range beyond the typical as they establish rich backdrops for solos by world-class improvisors such as John Wojciecowski, Marquis Hill, Mark Colby and Tom Garling.” (OA2 / NSJO webpage) They do play a few new arrangements of classic or pop pieces, such as Ellington and Strayhorn’s ”Star Crossed Lovers”, Bacharach’s “Close To You”, and Miles Davis’ “Milestones”, but most of the songs here are new compositions. The players are reed players Ken Partyka, Chris Madsen, Mark Colby, John Wojciechowski, Mark Herbert, and Steve Leinheister; trumpets Roger Ingram, Chuck Parrish, BJ Cord, and Marquis Hill; trombones Andy Baker, Tom Garling, Tim Coffin, and John Blane; and Dan Murphy (piano), Tim Fox (bass) and Todd Howell. Get ready to swing! Click here to listen to several songs on this disc.
Bobby Read & Special Sauce – Live At The Crozet Music Festival, 2010 (Self-produced): Composer / producer / sax man extraordinaire Bobby Read cooked up a “Special Sauce” for this gig at the 2010 Crozet Music Festival. Recipe: stir up 6 original songs (four by Read, two by Adam Larabee), throw in a nice helping of John Scofield’s “Do Like Eddie”, add the special sauce of Darrell Muller (bass), the rich foundation of Brian Caputo (drums), blend in the dual flavors of Adam Larabee and Trey Pollard (guitars) and then have master chef Read bring it all to a boil. It’s funky, it’s fun, a terrific performance! This is a perfect explanation for supporting live music in our community. And like any great recipe, I can tell you the ingredients, but it takes the special sauce and the right master chef to create the perfect meal. You’ll be wanting many more servings of this dish! Click here to listen to songs from this performance and disc.
Bobby Read & Igniter – First Time For Everything (Self-produced): A little more than a year later, Bobby Read stepped out with his slightly new band, Igniter. This recording captures most of a live performance at Cville Coffee. The group consisted of Bobby Read (sax), Adam Larabee (guitar), Randall Pharr (bass), and Brian Caputo (drums). Larabee composed four songs and Read six. The style of this gig is much different than the one above. This set drops the funk in favor of jazzier form. That’s not to say it doesn’t bounce. Indeed, it does at times, but it reflects a more cerebral focus. For instance, Larabee turns his fuzzed guitar lose in a medium grove on “Fishsticks” right after Read has taken us on a melodic head trip that has both feet firmly in the jazz house in his solo. This was a really great gig, but unfortunately I can’t find a sample for you to check out. BUT, if you call WTJU during jazz hours after this is posted on our web page, your could request some samples. That’s 924-3959 and it will take you straight to the deejay.
Dan Sistos – Ventura Blvd (Self-produced): This is guitarist / composer Dan Sistos’ fourth disc as a leader. All ten songs are originals. The uptempo romps swing with a magnificent energy and joy and his ballads are as sweet as they are beautiful. His group includes Juan Carlos Portillo (bass), Carlos Rodgarman (piano, keys), Paul Alexander Gonzales (drums), and Pete Korpela (percussion) and guest musicians Robert Kyle (tenor sax), Farzin Farhadi (soprano sax), and Arturo Solar and Chuck Findley (trumpet) on one selection each. Click here to sample the songs on this disc.
Swiss Jazz Orchestra – Pools – Live At Jazzfestival Bern (Mons): This is, indeed, a big band. It features five reed players, three trombones and a bass trombone, four trumpet/flugelhorns and a five person rhythm section that features Mike Mainieri (vibes) and Peter Erskine (drums). Manieri composed five of the eight songs on hand. The reminder are one each from Don Grolnick, Jaco Pastorius, and Wayne Shorter. There is a solid variety of styles and the performers cover the sweet and bluesy and swinging with equal mastery, but Mainieri’s vibes are clearly center stage on this show. Fans of big or smaller jazz bands will find plenty to enjoy. Click here to listen to songs on this disc.