New Jazz Adds – 8/11/2020
Hakan Basar – On Top Of The Room (Ubuntu): “Hakan Başar (Jr.) ,who was born in 2004, began playing piano when he was 8. After some ephemeral private lessons he has continued his studies with his father, who is a guitarist. He has done jazz piano studies with curriculums of jazz pianists such as Noah Baerman, Bill Cunliffe, Andy LaVerne, Andrew D. Gordon, Walter Norris, Bill Dobbins, Jeb Patton, David Berkman, Neil Olmstead, John Valerio, Clare Fisher respectively. Thereafter he was 10 when he gave his first concert within 5th Pera Music Festival with transcriptions and repertoires of Michel Petrucciani, Oscar Peterson, Keith Jarrett, Kenny Barron, Hank Jones,Bill Evans,Tommy Flanagan, Sonny Clark, Art Tatum, Scott Joplin, Chick Corea, Thelonious Monk. He has played gigs within various events with projects such as “Tribute to Michel Petrucciani”,”Tribute to Oscar Peterson & Keith Jarrett” etc.” (https://www.turkishjazz.org/artist/hakan-basar) On Top Of The Roof appears to be his first release as a leader and it is stunning. Click here to listen to the title song.
Gerald Clayton – Happening: Live At The Village Vanguard (Blue Note): “Pianist Gerald Clayton makes his Blue Note debut with Happening: Live At The Village Vanguard. An example of musical gambles taken on stage, the exceptional quintet (tenor sax-Walter Smith III, bassist-Joe Sanders, drummer-Marcus Gilmore) deliver dynamic performances at NYC’s legendary Village Vanguard. With four Clayton originals and Billy Strayhorn’s “Take the Coltrane”. He then pares down to a trio for the lively version of Bud Powell’s “Celia” and a stunning rendition of “Body and Soul”. (https://www.amazon.com/Happening-Live-At-Village-Vanguard/dp/B086PVRT4Q) Logan Richardson adds alto saxophone. Click here to listen to “Rejuvenation Agenda” a song on this disc.
George Colligan Trio with Darren Beckett & David Redmond – Live At Arklow (ubuntu): “George Colligan is a New York based pianist, organist, drummer, trumpeter, teacher, and bandleader, who is one of the most original and compelling jazz artists of his generation. An award-winning composer (Chamber Music America/Doris Duke Foundation grant recipient, RACC Grant Winner) and player (winner, Jazzconnect.com Jazz Competition, DownBeat Critics Poll Winner), Colligan is highly in demand as a sideman, having worked with players like Jack DeJohnette, John Scofield, Cassandra Wilson, Ravi Coltrane, and many others, both on the bandstand and in recording sessions (appearing on over 150 CDs). He has released 31 recordings full of his intelligent writing and impressive technique. His latest CD on the Ubuntu Label is called”Live in Arklow” and features Darren Beckett and Dave Redmond. Colligan’s musical style incorporates everything from showtunes to funk, from free improvisation to 20th century classical music. His performances include dazzling technique as well as mature restraint. Colligan was on the faculty of the Juilliard School for two years and is currently an Assistant Professor at Portland State University. He is currently a member of Jack DeJohnette’s New Quintet.” (http://georgecolligan.com/biography/) Click here to listen to a Collegan original “Lost On Fourth Avenue” from this wonderful performance.
Josephine Davies – How Can We Wake? (Whirlwind): “Winner of the 2019 Parliamentary Award ‘Jazz Instrumentalist of the year’, Josephine Davies is a musical artist at the forefront of the UK contemporary music scene, pushing the boundaries of jazz with her current main artistic project Satori – a sax/bass/drums trio with an emphasis on extended and collaborative improvisation. It is a project that combines her seeking of freedom of expression with her interest in Japanese philosophy and lifestyle. Now becoming equally known as a composer, her unique voice is a blend of classical, jazz and folk music, creating an intensely dynamic sound infused with the Nordic quality of her Shetland roots. Deeply influenced by the American composer Maria Schneider, Josephine was resident composer and tenor player for the London Jazz Orchestra from 2011-2016, and now has her own big band ‘The Enso Ensemble’.As a saxophonist she is known for her melodic focus, versatility and unique style which has been described as “consistently inventive” (Jazzwise Magazine), “strong and authoritative” (The JazzMann) and “with winning immediacy” (MOJO Magazine).” (https://www.josephinedavies.co.uk/about) Provocatively magical. Click here to listen to a song from this release.
Mike Fahie Jazz Orchestra – Urban(E) (Greenleaf): Canadian Mike Fahie began playing in his teens and settled on trombone partly because of the mass numbers of people who were playing trumpet. After finishing school and a hitch in the armed forces, he decided to move to New York to attend the Manhattan School of Music. This appears to be his third release as a leader. He both plays and conducts a seventeen piece orchestra on this set. The music selections are drawn from the compositions of Chopin, Puccini, Stravinsky, Debussy, Bartok, Tchaikovsky and Bach. The sound is both unique and inviting. The players include Winds: Aaron Irwin, Anton Denner, Chet Doxas, Quinsin Nachoff, Carl Maraghi; Trumpets: Brian Pareschi, David Smith, Sam Hoyt, Brad Mason; Trombones: Matthew McDonald, Nick Grinder, Daniel Linden, Jennifer Wharton; Guitar: Jeff Miles; Piano: Randy Ingram; Bass: Pedro Giraudo and Drums: Jeff Davis. Click here to listen to an introduction to this disc.
Ken Field – Iridescence (Ravello): “Ken Field is a composer, saxophonist, flautist, and percussionist. He has received international public and critical acclaim for his solo work, his work with the Revolutionary Snake Ensemble (which he leads), Birdsongs of the Mesozoic, Willie Loco Alexander’s Persistence of Memory Orchestra, and the Armenian/American jazz project Musaner, as well as his commissioned compositions and performances with Bridgman/Packer Dance. Field has composed a number of pieces for the children’s television program Sesame Street.” (https://kenfield.org/) This release is rather on the edge but also has some dazzling moments. I regret I am unable to find a sample from this release.
Grant Gordy – Interpreter (Tone Rogue): “For several years Brooklyn-based guitarist Grant Gordy has been a major voice on the American “acoustic music” scene, and one of the most highly regarded young instrumentalists of his generation. Having held the guitar chair in the legendary David Grisman Quintet for six years, he’s also worked alongside such musical luminaries as Edgar Meyer, Steve Martin, Tony Trischka and Darol Anger.” (http://www.grantgordy.com/bio) “Acclaimed progressive acoustic guitarist Grant Gordy makes his first on-the-record foray into straight ahead, electric guitar-driven jazz with Aidan O’Donnell on bass and Alwyn Robinson on drums.” (https://grantgordy.bandcamp.com/album/interpreter) Gordy presents amazingly wonderful and fresh performances of Bud Powell’s “Wail”, Jerome Kern and Johnny Mercer’s “I’m Old Fashioned”, Irving Berlin’s “How Deep Is The Ocean”, Billy Strahorn’s “Strange Feeling”, Willard Robison’s “Old Folks”Victor Feldman and Miles Davis’ “Joshua”, Dizzy Gillespie’s “Con Alma” and Ernie Carpenter’s traditional “Elk River Blues”. This is an amazing presentation from beginning to end! Click here to listen to the songs on this disc.
Harrison Squared – Trout In Swimwear (Self-produced): “Harrison² (pronounced Harrison Squared) is a Toronto-based jazz quartet featuring up-and-coming instrumentalists Harry Vetro and Harrison Argatoff alongside Canadian Jazz legends Mike Murley and Steve Wallace. They are a chordless quartet; harmony is expressed through saxophones and bass defining the groups sound. Harrison² formed in January 2016 at the University of Toronto during a lesson with Wallace and Vetro. Vetro invited his friend Argatoff in to play jazz standards part way through the lesson, and the three immediately recognized a natural musical connection. In September 2016, they landed a gig at The Rex Hotel and Murley joined on forming the Harrison² Quartet.” Click here and scroll down to listen to the songs on this disc.
Horizons Jazz Orchestra – The Brite Side (Pineapple): “The Horizons Jazz Orchestra (HJO) has 16 of South Florida’s best JAZZ musicians who play very challenging Jazz Orchestrations from modern day composers. The Horizons Jazz Orchestra is directed by Musical Director, trombonist Michael Balogh.” (http://horizonsjazzorchestra.com/) This release focuses on the original compositions of Lee Harris and his arrangements as performed by guests Carl Saunders (flugelhorn), Jonathan Joseph (drums) and Billy Ross (tenor sax) and the Orchestra’s players Scott Klarman (alto, flute, soprano sax), Mike Brignola (alto, flute, clarinet), Billy Ross (tenor, flute, clarinet), Joe Mileti (tenor, flute), Randy Emerick (bari sax), Michael Balogh (lead trombone), Jason Pyle and Tom Lacy (trombones), Steve Mayer (bass trombone), Dennis Noday (lead trumpet, flugelhorn), Ryan Chapmen and Jack Wengrosky (lead flugelhorns), Fernando Ferrarone and Chaim Rubinov (trumpet, flugelhorn), Gary Mayone (keys), Ranses Colon (bass), Luke Reynolds (guitar) and George Mazzio (drums). I regret I am unable to find a sample from this release.
Nicole Mitchell / Tomeka Reid / Mike Reid – Artifacts (482 Music): “Five decades ago some of the most important thinkers and musicians in the future history of creative music gathered on the South Side of Chicago to chart a new path of self-determination. The Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians was formed to allow a core group of visionaries to present original music without the impediments of the local jazz business. They presented their own concerts, often in settings miles apart from the noisy, inattentive setting of jazz clubs that were often hostile their music. Hindsight now confirms that Muhal Richard Abrams, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Anthony Braxton, Henry Threadgill, Wadada Leo Smith, Amina Claudine Myers, and many others were onto something big. Of course, the AACM has prospered ever since, fostering a remarkable string of talent. Now, an all-star trio of recent AACM members has formed to celebrate that legacy during its 50th anniversary. Cellist Tomeka Reid, flutist Nicole Mitchell, and drummer Mike Reed – three of the most important and acclaimed musicians connected to the AACM over the last two decades – recognized the value of taking a look at the AACM’s rich history for their new collective trio, which Tomeka Reid conceived for a concert in Seattle early in 2015.” (http://www.482music.com/albums/482-1093.html) The performances are on the edge, but certainly within most jazz listeners’ appreciations. It’s inviting and smile-inducing. Click here to listen to “I’ll Be Right Here Waiting”, a song on this disc.
Leni Stern – 4 (Ryko): “Guitarist-vocalist Leni Stern – dubbed “a genre-defying adventurer” by Guitar Player magazine – has been on an evolutionary road over the past decade-plus, fusing her long-honed contemporary jazz sound with a deeply felt exploration of West African styles. The Munich-born New Yorker’s transatlantic journey has yielded a fresh, personal idiom, one where progressive virtuosity blends seamlessly with age-old folk traditions. Leni’s trio – featuring the kindred-spirit rhythm section of bassist Mamadou Ba and percussionist Alioune Faye, both natives of Senegal – released the albums 3 in 2018 and Jelell in 2013, along with figuring into the expansive cast of her Dakar Suite of 2016. Now the trio has become a quartet with the addition of Argentinean keyboardist Leo Genovese, a highly regarded talent on the New York scene as both a leader and as a collaborator with the likes of Esperanza Spalding and Jack DeJohnette. Leni’s new album – aptly titled 4 – showcases the crystalline guitar, West African rhythms and multilingual songs that listeners know from her recent releases, with Leo’s improvisational fire and hints of South American lyricism added to the mix. The album comprises five new compositions by Leni (including the beautiful, lullaby-like gem “Chartwell”), two by Leo (“Japalema” being an album highlight) and one by Mamadou (“Habib,” which includes a guest solo by Leni’s husband, fusion guitar hero Mike Stern). Brimming with joyous melody and groove….” (https://lenistern.bandcamp.com/) Click here to listen to the songs on this disc.
Bobby Watson – Keepin’ It Real (Smoke Sessions): “As the great Bobby Watson embarks on a new chapter in his storied career, his new album “Keepin’ It Real” arrives as a reminder of the authenticity that has characterized his music on every step of that journey. While Watson won the JazzTimes critic’s poll as the top alto saxophonist in 2019, he also retired from a 20+ year career in academia giving him the best opportunity in many years to focus exclusively on his own music.”Keepin’ It Real” also debuts a new incarnation of his band Horizon featuring trumpeters Josh Evans and Giveton Gelin, bassist Curtis Lundy, pianist Victor Gould and drummer Victor Jones now called New Horizon. The original Horizon was an outlet for Watson’s music from the late 80s well into the 21st century. After a short tour with the band earlier this year, Watson realized that a reinvention was in order, in keeping with his mentor Art Blakey’s constant retooling of the Jazz Messengers. “The original Horizon has run its course,” Watson concludes. “Art Blakey also moved on while everybody was still young and healthy, and everybody in that band has grown into their own thing. That’s why I wanted to start fresh, with new music, new personnel, fresh blood, and new energy.”Most importantly, the new album is a vital continuation of the supple hard-bop sound that Watson has practiced throughout the decades, laced with the profound influences of gospel and R&B and now infused with the renewed vigor of hungry young collaborators. Keepin’ It Real, Watson explains, is a mantra that he strives to exemplify every time he lifts his alto to his lips.” (https://hdmusic.me/bobby-watson-keepin-it-real-2020-official-digital-download-24bit-96khz/) The music is dynamic and inviting. There are three Watson originals and two from Curtis Lundy and the remaining songs offer fresh takes on Jackie McLean’s “Condition Blue”, Donny Hathaway and Edward Howard’s “Someday We’ll All Be Free”, Charlie Parker’s “Mohawk” and Miles Davis and Bill Evans’ “Flamenco Sketches”. SOLID! Click here to listen to the title song.