New Jazz Adds – 7/9/2019

New Jazz Adds – 7/9/2019

Akiko – Hamilton – Dechter – Equal Time (Capri): Akiko Tsuruga (Hammond B3), Jeff Hamilton (drums) and Graham Dechter (guitar) are a powerhouse trio whose individual chops would be enough to turn all ears their way, but when they trade off and solo, they can burn the house down. They offer eight songs on this outing: three composed by Akiko and one by Graham Dechter with Hank Mobley’s “A Baptist Beat”, John Coltrane’s “Moment’s Notice”, Johnny Mercer and Victor Schertzinger’s “I Remember You” and the show stopper – Steve Allen’s “This Could Be The Start Of Something Big”. The energy and skill of this collective is terrific! Click here to listen to a sample song from this disc showing their softer side.

Peter Beets – Our Love Is Here To Stay – Gershwin Reimagined (Magic Ball Jazz): Pianist Peter Beets is widely recognized as a premiere star by both classical and jazz fans around the world. He has honored both styles in their own rights but has more recently begun a series of discs such as “Chopin Meets The Blues” and “Portrait Of Peterson”, followed by touring with newly-orchestrated arrangements for full-size big band, “Chopin Meets the Blues Goes Big!” Now he has turned his attention to George Gershwin and is back with a trio. The songs range from “Our Love Is Here To Stay” and “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” to “I Loves You, Porgy”, “Embraceable You” and “’S Wonderful” all performed in a fresh and delightful style. Beets is accompanied by Tom Baldwin (bass) and Eric Kennedy (drums). This is a delightful disc from beginning to end! Click here to listen to the songs on this disc.

George Cables – I’m All Smiles (HighNote): “Born in New York City on November 14, 1944, Cables was classically trained as a youth and when he started at the “Fame” worthy High School of Performing Arts, he admittedly “didn’t know anything about jazz.” But he was soon smitten with the potential for freedom of expression he heard in jazz…. I would probably say I’ve been more influenced by Miles or Trane and their whole bands rather than by any single pianist…. Perhaps the most pivotal turn came when hard-bop legend Dexter Gordon invited Cables into his quartet….” ( He has numerous releases to his credit as a leader as well. This set offers one solo and the rest is a trio with Essiet Essiet (bass) and Victor Lewis (drums). Cables plays a variety of songs, including one original and the remainder his own take on a variety of songs from “Young At Heart” and “Love Is A Many Splendored Thing” to Wayne Shorter’s “Speak No Evil” and two of Monk’s – “Ugly Beauty” and “Monk’s Mood” and shares an original of his own – “Celebration”.  An exhilarating release from end to end. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this release.

Josean Jacobo & Tumbao – Cimarron (E7 Studios): “Hailed as “The Ambassador of Afro-Dominican Jazz”, pianist & composer Josean Jacobo is bringing the music and culture of the Dominican Republic to an international audience. His group “Josean Jacobo & Tumbao” creates an atmosphere rich in Afro-Descendant folkloric idioms and jazz….” ( This is his third release. In addition to Jacobo (piano), members of Tumbao include Rafael Suncar (tenor sax), Daroll Mendez (bass), Otoniel Nicolas (drums) and Mois Silfa (percussion). Five of the songs were composed by Jacobo and the others range from the traditional to John Coltrane’s “Lonnie’s Lament”. The music flows throughout, much like water flowing in a gentle stream. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.

David Kikoski – Phoenix Rising (HighNote): This is pianist David Kikoski’s 19th release as a leader. He is widely recognized as a superior player. Having played piano with his father in clubs as a teenager, Kikoski studied at Berklee College of Music and immediately upon graduation began playing in New York with such luminaries as Roy Haynes (from 1986), Randy Brecker (1986–88), Bob Berg (1988), and Billy Hart (1989). ( Kikoski is accompanied on this disc by Eric Alexander (tenor sax), Peter Washington (bass) and Joe Farnsworth (drums). Kikoski glides beautifully across the keys on uptempo numbers and plays with delightful beauty on ballads. He co-composed the opener, “Phoenix Rising” with Alexander, who also offered  another composition, and the disc itself covers other standards, including “Love For Sale” and “My One And Only Love” with the addition of “Wichita Lineman” and Coltrane’s “Lazy Bird”. This is a wonderfully straight ahead release. Click here to listen to samples of songs on this disc.

Josh Lawrence – Triptych (Posi-Tone): This is trumpeter Josh Lawrence’s third release and it covers many styles and moods. Lawrence’s trumpet can skip through the air with grace and shift to wonderful ballads as well. He also often has the soul of early Miles Davis. Lawrence is accompanied by Caleb Curtis (steaming alto sax), Zaccai Curtis (piano), Luques Curtis (bass) and Anwar Maeshall (drums) with organist Brian Charette joining in on the last song, “That’s The Way Of The World”. This group is totally in sync! Listen here for cool jazz and beyond! Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.

Doug MacDonald Quartet – Organisms (Self-produced): “Organisms” is guitarist Doug MacDonald’s 13th album as a leader. He is accompanied by Hammond B-3 master Carey Frank (Tedeschi Trucks Band, Jane Monheit), tenor player Bob Sheppard (Chick Corea, Freddie Hubbard) and drummer Ben Scholz (Roy Hargrove, Esperanza Spalding). He composed three of the ten songs here and the remainder are drawn from a variety of sources spanning from Isham Jones and Gus Kahn’s “On The Alamo” to Harry Edison and Jon Hendricks’ “Centerpiece”. This overall tone is mellow and the interplay between the B3 and guitar is especially nice. Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.

Michael O’Neill Quintet – Pacific Standard Time (Jazzmo): The Michael O’Neill Quintet, “…featuring O’Neill on tenor sax and other wind instruments, John Burr on piano, Alan Hall on drums and Dan Feszli on acoustic and electric basses… and tremendous contributions from trumpet and flugelhorn players Erik Jekabson and Mike Olmos, as well as percussionist Omar Ledezma…takes on a cross-section of the great American songbook, and more, in outstanding fashion.” ( Vocalist Tony Lindsay truly seals the deal though. His stylish delivery insists that you listen to each title. There is a new treatment for each song. He has sung with many musicians and had the longest stay for any singer in Carlos Santana’s band. Most of the songs are drawn from the Great American songbook, but Lindsay makes them his own. Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.

Chanda Rule – Sapphire Dreams (PAO): “…rooted in gospel, a heart filled with soul, and a voice touched with jazz, singer and songwriter Chanda Rule has been weaving stories through song, humming melodies, and bending words since her childhood. ( This is her ninth release and it features four original songs, two co-written with Gernot Bernroider. The other songs on offer include Ellington’s “I Ain’t Got Nothing But The Blues”, Arlen and Harburg’s “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”, Mercer and Carmichael’s “Skylark” Monk’s “Monk’s Mood” and Mongo Santamaria’s “Afro Blue” and others that Rule makes all her own. Supporting musicians include Kirk Lightsey (piano), Wolfram Derschmidt (bass) and Susan Novakov (drums) with a few other players on a song or so: Thomas Kugi (tenor sax), Klemens Pliem (flute, tenor sax), Clemens Salesny (bass clarinet) and Mario Rom (trumpet). The performances are enchanting. Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of five songs on this release.

Greg Snyder Trio – Unordinary People (Self-produced): Guitarist Greg Snyder began taking classical guitar lessons at eleven and quickly began to broaden his repertoire to include jazz and rock. He led a rock group for 12 years and has shifted his focus more recently to jazz. “Unordinary People” appears to be his second release with his trio. His rhythm section is manned by Justin Leigh (drums) and Jason Fraticelli (bass). All of the songs are original compositions. The sound is very smooth and somewhat reminiscent of Pat Metheny. Snyder can turn it loose as well but aways stays in the jazz realm. This set is quite enticing. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this set.

Daniel Szabo – Visionary (Fuzzy): “One of the more striking revelations from the astronauts who pioneered into space is that they were ultimately more in awe of home, Earth, than the moon or stars. Similarly, Daniel Szabo ventured to America, the Land of the Free and home to Jazz, only to rediscover his love for Hungary — its musical riches — his home. In the best tradition of third stream exploration, Szabo has created a magnum opus deserving of the title and accolade ‘Visionary.’…The style of this new repertoire shows a blend of jazz, classical and film music idioms, robustly American yet genetically Hungarian. This is the sweetest fusion music I’ve played.” ( The players are Daniel Szabo (piano, solos in #1-6); Sara Andon (flute); Bob Sheppard (flute/tenor sax; flute solo in #2 & #5; tenor solo in #3); Chris Bleth (oboe); John Yoakum (English horn); Kim Richmond (clarinet/alto and soprano sax (soprano solo in #3; alto solo in #4); Phil O’Connor  (bass clarinet); Chad Smith (bassoon); Charlie Bisharat (1st violin); Joel Pargman (2nd violin); Andrew Duckles (viola); Charlie Tyler (cello); Edwin Livingston (bass – solos in #2; #5; #6); Mike Valerio (bass on “Infant Eyes” only); and Peter Erskine (drums; solo in #3). Click here to listen to the title song.

Alexa Tarantino – Winds Of Change (Posi-Tone): This is Alexa Tarantino’s second release and first with Posi-Tone and she is certainly receiving a great deal of praise. She composed eight of the ten songs on this disc and her command and style of her instruments – flute, alto and soprano sax is terrific. “After a few listens, it becomes clear that this is a recording marked by exactly this quality: partnership. Tarantino is beautifully in sync with everyone in her band. There is a sense of sympathy between saxophone and piano, a sparring joy between horn and drums, and a brother/sister feeling between the silky tone Tarantino conjures and Finzer’s acrobatic whir and growl. With younger musicians, we sometimes expect some exhibitionism—Look, Ma! No hands! Show-offery may even be excused as a rite of passage. But Alexa Tarantino is choosing to show off something rarer: connection and chemistry with her band. That her tunes and arrangements are compelling compounds the first virtue. The recording is the best of what Posi-Tone is putting out because the band sounds distinct, not cookie-cut. And then there is her sound on each of the leader’s three horns. Alexa Tarantino plays with sumptuous tone on flute, alto saxophone, and soprano saxophone. And because she never leans on the sound alone, it creeps up on you during each tune.” ( Absolutely, check this out! Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this release.

Professor Bebop


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