New Jazz Adds – 8/19/2015

New Jazz Adds – 8/19/2015

Doug Carn – My Spirit (Doodlin’): Organist Doug Carn has been recording since the 1970s both on his own and as a member of “Earth, Wind and Fire” for their first two releases. He has seldomly recorded since that time, but has continued to play and to mentor aspiring young musicians.  This disc features sax players Howard Wiley and Teodross Avery and drummer Deszon Claiborne, a powerful combination in and of themselves. The disc opens with two hard bop Carn originals which thoroughly showcase each of the musicians and then gives way to songs by Lee Morgan, Horace Silver and Sonny Stitt. In all, four of the eight compositions are Carn’s. Definitely a disc for fans of hard bop, B-3 and/or frantic, hot sax. BTW, it’s a live performance.  Click here to listen to brief samples of songs on this disc.

Essiet Okon Essiet – Shona (Space Time): Bassist Essiet first gained attention as a member of Bobby Watson’s post bop group “Horizon” and he has played with many other greats, including Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Hutcherson, Cedar Walton, Sam Rivers, George Adams, Pat Martino, Kenny Burrell, Jackie McLean, Frank Morgan, Kenny Barron, Art Farmer, Abby Lincoln, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Billy Cobham, Bennie Maupin, Al Foster, Eddie Henderson, Steve Turre, and Jon Faddis, This is his first release as the leader. Essiet composed eight of the then songs on offer and there is a meld of West African style with elements of post bop jazz. Other players on this disc include Manuel Valera (keys), Jeff Tain Watts (drums), Lionel Loueke and JB Butler (guitar), Rob Scheps (tenor & soprano sax), Baptiste Herbin (alto & soprano sax) and Moise Marie (vocal & percussion on one track). The sound is generally upbeat and celebratory. Click here to listen to a sample song from this disc.

Michael Fiorino / Ensemble 456 – Crayon Sketches (Self-produced): Bass player Fiorino composed or arranged the seven contemporary jazz compositions in this set, Fiorino’s first recording as a leader. The band features David Berger (guitar), Bobby Schiff (keys), Chuck Swartz (drums), David Katz (trumpet, flugelhorn), Michael Levin (sax, flute, clarinet), Rich Lapka (trombone) and Gingi Lahera on vocals on one song, and instrumental guests Debbie Katz Knowles (bari sax, piccolo) and Tom Vitacco (guitar) on various songs. Click here for a recording  by this group. Note: this song is not on this disc.

Michael Gibbs & The NDR Bigband (with Bill Frisell) – Play A Bill Frisell Set List (Cuneiform): Guitarist extraordinaire Bill Frisell approached NDR Bigband leader with the idea of joining forces to perform a setlist of Frisell compositions. The band sets the stage for each number and Frisell weaves through the music with a vast array of styles and adornments to the performance.  The recording features four trumpets/flugelhorns, five reed players, including stunning solos by Christof Lauer on tenor and soprano, four trombones, additional guitar by Stephen Diez, bass, piano and percussion, with special guest Jeff Ballard on drums and endlessly inventive solos and comping by Bill Frisell in a live performance of Frisell originals and other compositions ranging from Gil Evans, Lee Knoitz, and Thelonius Monk to Benny Goodman and Count Basie and Lennon and McCartney. Click here to listen a song from this performance.

Joel Harrison 5 – Spirit House (Whirlwind): This is fusion at its very best. You immediately recognize the beat, the melodic soaring, and the joy of reaching out for seemingly disparate elements to blend. Harrison is an adventurous and multi-faceted guitarist/composer and vocalist.  The other musicians on this date complement him in every sense. The “5” are rounded out by Cuong Vu (trumpet), Paul Hanson (bassoon), Kermit Driscoll (bass), and Brian Blade (drums, vocals). Vocalist Everett Bradley (vocals) and Adam Klippie (B-3) guest on one song. The sound recalls the best of the “old” fusion while taking the listener to a new plane. It is warm, melodic, and adventurous.   Click here for a live version of the title song.

Randy Johnston – Darkness (Self-produced): Guitar wizard Randy Johnston has covered a lot of ground over the years, playing a highbred of jazz and rock with dazzling agility and style. This is his most recent release, on which he warns that “This disc contains Rock and Blues music as Well as Jazz.” He wrote three of the four songs here. He also sings on two and does so in a conversational jazzy and bluesy way. Johnston’s backup includes Jarad Astin (organ), Nick Lazarev (bass), and Tony Leone (drums). Based upon earlier recordings, this one is pretty laid back but certainly entertaining. Johnston will be playing in Richmond on Sunday, 8/26 (Jefferson Hotel brunch) and in the Cville area with the Jonah Kane-West group Friday, 8/31 – 9/2 (Fellini’s, Fardowners, Cville Coffee in the order of days). Click here for a live version of a song on this disc.

Randy Johnston – People Music (Random Act): This is a 2011 release from guitarist extraordinaire Randy Johnston playing in a trio setting and burning the house down! The man is as fluid as they come and he wrote all but two of the songs here. His accompanists, Pat Bianchi (organ) and Carmen Intorre, Jr (drums) sync with Johnston beautifully.  Did I mention he’ll be playing in Richmond on Sunday, 8/26 (Jefferson Hotel brunch) and in the Cville area with the Jonah Kane-West group Friday, 8/31 – 9/2 (Fellini’s, Fardowners, Cville Coffee in the order of days)? These will be four fantastic performances.  Jazz fan? You MUST catch at least one of these performances! Click here for a promo and some samples from this disc.

Michelle Lordi – Drive (Self-produced): This is Michelle Lord’s second release and it is full of standards done her way, meaning that she takes control of each number with her own wispy, almost conversational vocal approach. Her backup musicians accompany her style in the most basic way: quietly and pausing over each phrase and like her, at times, over each word. The musicians are Tom Lawton (piano), Larry McKenna (tenor sax), Madison Rast (bass), Dan Monaghan (drums) and producer Orrin Evans (piano on three tracks) and they play so tightly as a group and in sync with Lordi that you’d think they have been together for a very long time. You may prefer a more ornate vocalist, but Lordi certainly does command your attention with her very personal style. Click here to hear the opening song on this disc.

Rob Mazurek Exploding Star Orchestra – Galactic Parables, Volume 1 (Cuneiform): The title is the mark of this disc: blasting off into sonic space and exploring the grandeur, turbulence and novelty that lies ahead. Mazurek is a multi-media artist using poetry, visual displays, plays cornet, computer-generated sound and effects, electronics and the band’s and his own improvisational skills to create sonic blends reminiscent of and yet separate from Sun Ra. This collection features two live performances with some overlap, yet distinct from each other as one would expect from an improvisation group. In addition to Mazurek, the Exploding Star Orchestra features Damon Locks (text, voice, electronics), Angelica Sanchez (piano), Jeff Parker (guitar),  John Herndon (drums), Matthew Lux (electric bass), and Matthew Bauder (tenor sax, clarinet) on both performances with the addition of Chad Taylor (drums), Guilherme Ganado (keyboard, samplers, synth, voice), Mauricio Takara (cavaquinho, electronics, percussion) on the first performance and Nicole Mitchell (flutes, voice) on the second. For those ready to take the trip, the journey is rewarding. An updated means of traveling the spaceways.  Click here for a sample.

Larry Newcomb Quartet – Live Intentionally! (Essential Messenger): Guitarist / composer Larry Newcomb has earned accolades from a variety of colleagues, most notably Bucky Pizzarelli, as “a master guitar player and a lifelong student of the instrument”. In addition to his three compositions on this disc, he divides the remainder of the disc between classics by such composers as Kern & Hammerstein, Rodgers & Hart and Hoagy Carmichael and moderns Charlie Parker and Carla Bley. The quartet is completed by Eric Olsen (piano), Dmitri Kolesnik (bass) and Jimmy Madison (drums) and the group is really solid, both in terms of their combined sound and their ability to bring out the strengths of each individual’s play. This recording was done live in the studio with no overdubs or other corrections. The results are terrific. Click here for a sample from this disc.

Carol Welsman – Alone Together (Welcar Music): Singer/stylist/pianist Carol Welsman spends most of this disc singing classics composed by the likes of Sammy Cahn, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Schwartz & Deitz, even Kurt Weill and Ira Gershwin and she seems right at home creating her own takes on this style, but she stretches herself a few times  with “You Taught My Heart To Sing (McCoy Tyner) and some vocalese with Eddie Jefferson’s version of George Gershwin’s “Disappointed”. She is supported by Rufus Reid (bass), Lewis Nash (drums), Wallace Roney (trumpet), with guest appearances by Jay Azzolina (guitar) and Steven Kroon (percussion). Fans of standards or more jumping songs will both find something to enjoy on this disc. Click here for a promo featuring Carol Welsman.

Brad Allen Williams – LAMAR (Self-produced): Guitarist Williams leads this trio through eight beautiful songs, three of which are his original compositions. He is supported by Pat Bianchi (organ) and Tyshawn Sorey (drums) in this intimate setting of his first recording as a leader. Click here for a sample from this disc.




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