New Jazz Adds – 8/8/2016
New Jazz Adds – 8/8/2016
Jerry Bergonzi – Spotlight On Standards (Savant): Veteran tenor man / composer / educator Bergonzi presents his bop originals and jumping renditions of several standards. The standards include “Stella By Starlight” and “Come Rain Or Come Shine” among others and his originals are lively and soaring flights of fire and finesse. Bergonzi also gets terrific support from Renato Chicco (B 3) and Andrea Michelutti (drums). Both the individuals and ensemble shine in bringing this session to life. Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of three sections on this disc.
Michael Davis – Hip-Bone Big Band (Hip-Bone Music): This is composer/trombonist Michael Davis’ 11th recording with the big band and it does indeed cook. Davis composed ten and arranged and recorded all dozen songs on this disc. His earlier career includes work with Michael Jackson and The Rolling Stones among others. The band includes Dick Oatts, David Mann, Bob Malach, Andy Snitzer, Charles Pillow, Roger Rosenberg (saxophones); Nick Marchione, Jim Hynes, Tony Kadleck, Scott Wendholt, Kent Smith, Zaq Davis (trumpets/flugelhorns); Michael Davis, Marshall Gilkes, Nick Finzer, Keith O’Quinn, Conrad Herwig, Bob McChesney, Andy Martin, Birch Johnson, Michael Dease, Amy Salo, Jeff Nelson, George Flynn, Bill Reichenbach (trombones); and Andy Ezrin (piano), David Finck (bass), with Will Kennedy and Jared Schonig (drums). It is a dynamic sound. Click here for a sample and introduction to the Hip-Bone Big Band.
Matty Harris – Double Septet (pfMentum): Multi-reed player and composer Matty Harris is the founder of the Double Septet, an sonically “outside” group that plays “psychedelic chamber jazz”, Harris’ description of his musical constructions. The group is based in Los Angeles, where Harris studied at Cal Arts earning both a Bachelors and Masters. The personnel includes Vinny Golia, Paul Novros, Ryan Parrish, Joe Santa Maris and Harris himself (woodwinds); Greg Zilboorg, Branden Sherman, and Louis Lopez (trumpets); Michael Lockwood and Tim Carr (drums); Jake Rosenzweig and Nathan Phelps (bass); Garrett Grow (Fender Rhodes); and Maxwell Gualtieri (baritone guitar). I regret I am unable to find a sample to share.
Fred Hersch Trio – Sunday Night At The Vanguard (Palmetto): Composer/pianist Fred Hersch has recorded scores of discs over the past 30 years, often solo or in small groups. He is widely regarded as one of the best around creating works and interpreting the compositions of others. His trio is completed by John Hebert (bass) and Eric McPherson (drums). They have performed together for seven years and Hersch feels they just sync naturally. Certainly this live performance, their second at the Village Vanguard, substantiates that belief. Hersch composed five of the ten songs on the disc and his compositions can push the envelope at times. On other songs, such as Paul McCartney’s “For No One”, his playing is as gorgeous as it is inventive. All the more amazing is his successful comeback from a two month HIV-induced coma that required him to relearn his piano skills practically from scratch. This terrific performance is stunning. Click here to sample the songs on this disc.
Bob Holz – A Vision Forward (MVDaudio): Drummer Holz’s new disc features a lot of star power. In addition to Holz, who performed at the 1999 Woodstock Festival and has performed and recorded with many “name” musicians, the disc features Larry Coryell, Mike Stern, and Bob Wolfman (guitar), Randy Brecker (trumpet), Ada Rovatti (sax), Jesse Collins (alto sax), John Viavattine Sr (flute, tenor and soprano sax), Billy Steinway and Steve Weingart (keys), John Viavattine Jr (bass), Ethan Wojcik (trombone), and Tori Higley (vocals). All songs were written by Holz and Steinway. The disc is being hailed as the return of fusion. It has been received so favorably that Holz is taking the new band called “A Vision Forward” on the road. The new group is a trio, featuring Holz, Chet Catallo (Spyro Gyra) on guitar and Ralphe Armstrong (Mahavishnu Orchestra, Frank Zappa) on bass. Click here and click on “Moving Eyes” to listen to the opening song on this disc.
Stan Kenton Legacy Band – Storming Through The South (Summit): Stan Kenton led several iterations of his big band most successfully in the 40’s and lasting into the mid 50’s. During that era, he constantly experimented with different sizes and sounds – from the 39-piece Innovations in Modern Music Orchestra to his “normal 19-piece” size; with strings and without. He called his approach “progressive jazz”. During his hey day his band included Art Pepper, Stan Getz, Anita O’Day, Maynard Ferguson (whose high-note acrobatics set new standards), Shorty Rogers, Bud Shank, Laurindo Almeida, Shelly Manne, June Christy, Lee Konitz, Zoot Sims, Charlie Mariano, Mel Lewis, and Lucky Thompson, among others. The “Legacy Band” was formed after Kenton’s death by Mike Vax, who has directed it for 25 years. As you would expect, they play lots of hits and favorites with force and the Kenton style. Click here and scroll down to listen to samples from this disc.
Jonathan Kreisberg – Wave Upon Wave (New For Now Music): Veteran guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg has released numerous recordings in the past 20 years and is a highly respected musician. “He is a passionate musician with great vision, and he is constantly in fiery pursuit of innovation.” (Dr. Lonnie Smith) His playing is quite melodic as well. He composed all but two of the songs included on this disc. In addition to Kreisberg’s guitar style, his interaction with Will Vinson (sax, piano) is sensational. The two have played together for some time and they seem to interact as dual leads from the same mind. Other backing on this release are Rick Rosato (bass), Colin Stranahan (drums) and Kevin Hays (piano). Click here to listen to samples of songs on this disc.
Joe Lovano Quartet – Classic! Live At Newport (Blue Note): After touring Europe with his then quartet, master tenor sax player Lovano headed to the Newport Jazz Festival. The year was 2005. The quartet’s other members were Hank Jones (piano), George Mraz (bass), and Lewis Nash (drums). Lovano considers this line up to be his “…Classic Quartet in every sense of the term.” (Disc liner notes). Check it out and see exactly why he said that. Click here to listen to samples of the cuts on this disc.
Jackie McLean – Demon’s Dance (Blue Note): Reissue of a Blue Note gem, “Demon’s Dance” features Jackie McLean (alto sax) on his final release on the label. His group included Woody Shaw (trumpet, flugelhorn), LaMont Johnson (piano), Scott Holt (bass), and Jack DeJohnette (drums). The music is energetic but not as far out or intense as earlier discs. Everyone is in terrific form. Recorded in December, 1967. Click here and scroll down to listen to samples from this disc.
Metalwood – Twenty (Cellar Live): Metalwood formed in 1997 and became an immediate success playing their form of quirky dance improv jazz. The music is highly rhythmic and engaging. Group members include saxophonist Mike Murley, bassist Chris Tarry, keyboardist/trumpeter Brad Turner, and drummer Ian Froman. Though initially based upon the notion that electric Miles and Weather Report were their base, the sound is very much their own – modern, hip, jaunty, sometimes funky, and always well-played. All of the songs are originals. They may stray to the outside of harmony at times, but they don’t carry that far. Click here to listen to songs on this disc.
Blue Mitchell – Boss Horn (Blue Note): This is a 2004 remastering of Mitchell’s session in 1966. In addition to Mitchell on trumpet, the players include Julian Priester (trombone), Jerry Dodgion (alto sax, flute), Junior Cook (tenor sax), Pepper Adams (bari sax), Cedar Walton and Chick Corea (trading off piano duties), Gene Taylor (bass), and Mickey Roker (drums). The session is mostly mellow with a few hot tunes, but is quite melodic throughout. Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of songs on this disc.
Hank Mobley – Hi Voltage (Blue Note): This 1967 session with tenor sax player Mobley as leader also features Jackie McLean (alto sax), Blue Mitchell (trumpet), John Hicks (piano), Bob Crenshaw (bass), and Billy Higgins (drums). The six songs featured are all Mobley compositions. The disc begins uptempo and gets hotter on cut 2 before bringing out a nice ballad and then picks things up once more. Lots of nice piano from Hicks and the group is so solid! Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Silvano Monasterios – Partly Sunny (Savant): Venezuelan composer/pianist Silvano Monasterios is a twenty-year veteran who, in addition to performing with Larry Coryell, Paquito D’Rivera, Ira Sullivan, Sammy Figueroa, Terumasa Hino & the World Jazz All-Stars, Dave Liebman, Randy Brecker, Arturo Sandoval, and Bobby Watson among others, has continuously deepened his own command of his instrument and style. Monasterios’ piano is terrifically melodic and often swings wonderfully. Other musicians on this disc include Anat Cohen (clarinet), Troy Roberts (sax), Jonathan Dadurka (bass), Rodolfo Zuniga (drums), and Roberto Quintero (percussion). The interaction between piano and reeds is terrific! All but one song was composed by the leader as well. Click here for a brief introduction to this disc.
Horace Silver Quintet – Horace-Scope (Blue Note): This is a 1960 recording by pianist/composer Horace Silver and, as Bob Blumenthal points out in his liner notes, it presents out two essential characteristics in his body of work: his re-recording of compositions like “Nica’s Dream” refining and, in some cases, re-defining the heart of the composition as well as the amazing consistency of the quality of his performances. The band on this disc includes Blue Mitchell (trumpet), Junior Cook (tenor sax), Gene Taylor (bass), and Roy Brooks (drums). Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Lonnie Smith – Think! (Blue Note): This 1968 recording is soul jazz at its best. First of all, Smith is one of the top masters of the organ. Second, he is supported by Lee Morgan (trumpet), David “Fathead” Newman (tenor sax, flute and identified as “Dave” Newman on the cover), Melvin Sparks (guitar), Marion Booker, Jr (drums), Henry (Pucho) Brown (timbales), and Willie Bivins and Noberto Apellaniz (conga). The disc includes two Smith originals, Hugh Masekela’s “Son Of Ice Bag”, Aretha Franklin’s “Think”, and “Three Blind Mice”. Everybody gets a turn and it’s as funky as be! Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Steve Turre – Colors For The Masters (Smoke Sessions): What a sweet line-up! Steve Turre (trombone, shells), Kenny Barron (piano), Ron Carter (bass), and Jimmy Cobb (drums) with guests Javon Jackson (tenor sax) and Cyro Baptista (percussion). Half of the songs are Turre compositions and a nice variety of covers fill out the rest. Turre’s trombone leads are so fine and the shifts to shell are transformative. Everyone swings. I regret I can’t find a sample from this disc, but click here to check out a shell performance from two years back.
Reggie Watkins – Avid Admirer: The Jimmy Knepper Project (BYNK): In addition to his own compositions, trombonist “Jimmy Knepper performed and/or recorded throughout his career with many of the top figures in jazz including the bands of Charlie Barnet, Woody Herman, Claude Thornhill, Stan Kenton, Benny Goodman, Gil Evans, Thad Jones & Mel Lewis, Toshiko Akiyoshi & Lew Tabackin, and, most famously, as friend and arranging/transcribing partner of bassist and composer Charles Mingus.” (Wikipedia) Watkins actually met Knepper once late in the latter’s life and when Knepper died, his widow gave his trombones to Watkins based upon her late husband’s appreciation for Watkins’ style. That led to this disc. All but one of the nine songs are Knepper compositions. The disc covers a range of styles all centered on Watkins’ trombone leads. Watkins is supported by Matt Parker (tenor, soprano sax), Steve Whipple (bass), Reggie Quinerly (drums), and Orrin Evans and Tuomo Uusitalo (sharing piano duties). The range and quality of the performances make a fitting tribute to this jazz master. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.