New Jazz Adds – 9/22/2020
JD Allen – Toys / Die Dreaming (Savant): “Giovanni Russonello in The New York Times said, “Mr. Allen has become one of today’s most exciting tenor saxophonists not by trying to spotlight his own virtuosity…but by defining a new way of playing in a group.” Allen’s current release, “Toys / Die Dreaming,” is his 14th as a leader and builds on his already rich recorded legacy. His compositions exhibit his philosophy of providing short melodies as the basis of both solo and group improvisation; “Get in and get out,” as Allen likes to say. This gives his music a remarkable ever-transforming feel, as if the improvisation was actually part of the composition itself. To bring his music to life, Allen requires players of the utmost talent and creativity and he has certainly found them in bassist, Ian Kenselaar and drummer, Nic Cacioppo. “I found the bad boys of this generation, as far as I’m concerned,” says Allen, “guys who are not afraid to dip their toe in the avant-garde a little bit, and then turn around and play the tradition.” But tradition to Allen is a development, an unending arc of creativity which begins at the dawn of jazz and to which he is the latest contributor to the music’s evolution.” (https://www.isrbx.net/3137818476-jd-allen-toys-die-dreaming-2020.html) The trio includes JD Allen (tenor sax), Ian Kenselaar (bass) and Nic Cacioppo (drums). Engaging and inviting music throughout. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Chick Corea – Plays (Concord): “If you’re very lucky, one day Chick Corea will make your portrait. And because he’s a formidable musician, it will be a portrait entirely in musical notes. Corea likes inviting volunteers onto the stage during solo concerts, sitting them down near his piano and creating spontaneous, entirely subjective tone poems about the person.“It starts as a game — to try to capture something I see in music,” he says. “While I play, I look at them a couple of times like a painter would. I try to see if, while I’m playing, are they agreeing with what I’m playing? Do they think that this is really a portrait of them? And usually they do.” Two such vivid portraits are included on his new double album “Plays,” which captures Corea at various concerts armed simply with his piano. He’s been playing solo piano shows since 1971 and likes the purity of it. “Like a runner loves to run because it just feels good, I like to play the piano just because it feels good,” he says. “I can just switch gears and go to another direction or go to another song or whatever I want to do. So it’s a constant experiment.” Corea has earned his right to do whatever he wants, with a staggering 23 Grammy Awards. In 1968, he replaced Herbie Hancock in Miles Davis’ group, playing on the landmark albums “In a Silent Way” and “Bitches Brew.” The new double album is a peek into Corea’s musical heart, containing songs he wrote about children decades ago as well as tunes by Mozart, Thelonious Monk and Stevie Wonder, among others. Their music is alive to him now, regardless the era they performed.” (https://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/On-new-album-Chick-Corea-plays-with-a-piano-and-15553572.php) Click here to listen to “Trinkle Tinkle”.
Click here to listen to Chick Corea play “Children’s Song No. 12”.
Joe Farnsworth – Time To Swing (Smoke Sessions): “Showtime. The crack of a stick, signaling the downbeat and instigating that magical moment when years of practice, weeks of preparation and hours of gathering and waiting all transform into the alchemy of music. It’s that elusive feeling that Joe Farnsworth set out to capture on his latest release, Time To Swing. Led by one of the premiere straight-ahead drummers of his generation, the resulting music is an hour of joyful freedom, heartfelt emotion and electrifying communion. But it only results from the perfect combination of personalities, voices, tunes and feeling…. the clock started ticking when Farnsworth invited jazz giant Wynton Marsalis to join him, legendary pianist Kenny Barron, and in-demand bassist Peter Washington for a once-in-a-lifetime recording. Farnsworth’s confidence stems not only from his growing recognition as one of the premiere straight-ahead drummers of his generation, but from wide-ranging experiences with some of the greatest artists working today.” (http://dlmediamusic.com/press-releases/joe-farnsworth-time-to-swing-available-september-18-via-smoke-sessions-records/) Terrific straight ahead jazz renditions of two Farnsworth originals, one from Marsalis, and one from Barron and the remaining songs are drawn from Ellington, Monk and others. Click here to listen to the opening song on this release.
Matt Haviland – Something To Say (Connotation): ““Controlled passion.” Those words were used by W. Royal Stokes of Jazz Times to describe the instrumental style of jazz trombonist Matt Haviland, known for his vibrant tone and adventurous melodic improvisations. He has been in demand as a performer and featured soloist with some of the top names in jazz, including the Illinois Jacquet Big Band, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Maria Schneider, Steven Bernstein’s Millennial Territory Orchestra, and the Mingus Big Band, among others…. Haviland also has a reputation as a gifted composer and arranger.” (https://matthaviland.net/about/) The overall sound is controlled and pleasant. Haviland offers four originals and covers songs from Freddie Hubbard, Cole Porter, Charlie Parker and Herbie Hancock. Backing players are Vincent Herring (alto sax), David Kikoski (piano), Gonna Okegwo (bass) and Johnathan Blake (drums) with guests Marh Gross (tenor sax on 3 songs) and Bill Mobley (trumpet on 3 songs). Click here to listen to a song from this release.
Conrad Herwig – The Latin Side Of Horace Silver (Savant): “In 1996 trombonist Conrad Herwig unveiled the first installment in the popular “Latin Side of” series with the Grammy-nominated ‘The Latin Side of John Coltrane’. Since that time other volumes have followed with this release, ‘The Latin Side of Horace Silver’ being the latest addition to the franchise. Herwig has assembled an all-star band of his favourite colleagues including tenor sax great Igor Butman along with special guest, the Grammy-winning Dominican pianist, Michel Camilo. “The great thing about jazz is that nothing is so sacred that it can’t be recomposed and reinvented and rediscovered,” said Herwig, who goes on to prove it by refracting the music of the legendary Horace Silver through his own love of Afro-Cuban and Afro-Caribbean rhythms.” (https://www.isrbx.net/3137818479-conrad-herwig-the-latin-side-of-horace-silver-2020.html) Musicians are Conrad Herwig (trombone), Igor Butman (tenor sax), Craig Handy (alto sax & flute), Alex Sipiagin (trumpet & flugelhorn), Bill O’Connell (piano), Ruben Rodriguez (bass), Robby Ameen (drums), Richie Flores (congas) and special guest Michel Camilo (piano). Nice energy throughout! Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this release.
Mark Hynes Trio – Tribute (Cellar Live): “The new album from NYC based saxophonist Mark Hynes, features the late bassist Dennis Irwin in a rare unreleased recording. With the dynamic drummer Darrell Green, the trio swings joyously with a modern panache. A veteran sideman, Irwin was diagnosed with terminal cancer before the album could be completed. A bonus track is dedicated to him, with Yasushi Nakamura on bass and Jerome Jennings on drums.” (https://www.isrbx.net/3137822140-mark-hynes-trio-tribute-2020.html) “Joe Lovano has this to say: “’Tribute’ The Mark Hynes Trio featuring Dennis Irwin on Bass has some beautiful Sounds and Feelings. The power of this timeless Music rings Strong and Clear!!!” (https://musicians.allaboutjazz.com/markhynes?width=1440) Hynes is an absolute knockout! Terrific performances throughout! Click here to listen to the songs on this disc.
I.P.A. – Bashing Mushrooms (Cuneiform): “After a dozen years as one of Europe’s most acclaimed jazz ensembles, I.P.A. is still discovering mesmerizing new sonic territory. Born out of a deep dive into the music of pioneering trumpeter/composer Don Cherry, the group has firmly established its own sound and identity, and Bashing Mushrooms reveals a striking new side of the quintet. A sumptuous aural feast marked by extended, circuitous melodies and spacious, finely etched textures, it is the group’s fifth album and second release for Cuneiform. Featuring Oslo’s Atle Nymo on tenor saxophone and bass clarinet, Norwegian-born, Austin, Texas-based bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, Trondheim drummer Håkon Mjåset Johansen, Swedish trumpet player Magnus Broo and Stockholm vibraphonist Mattias Ståhl, I.P.A. has never sounded so poised and self-possessed. While the title might suggest psychedelic journeys, Bashing Mushrooms is a work of riveting clarity, with all of the thoughtful interaction and knife-edge balance between improvisation and composition that has long distinguished the group. “The melodies are quite clear,” Nymo says. “We feel we’re a jazz band now. Maybe we spent some time trying to figure out what direction to go, with more improvisational or freer material. On this session the tunes might be loose is some areas, but are mostly quite structured. We started as a Don Cherry project and our sound still traces back to that, but we’ve developed and changed, and there are a lot of different inputs coming through as well.” (http://www.cuneiformrecords.com/bandshtml/ipa.html) Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of songs on this disc.
Matt Moran – Return Trip (Diskonife): “This music owes a debt to the jazz tradition, which is fundamentally African-American. We acknowledge the oppression that African-American musicians faced and continue to face, and are grateful for their work.” (https://mattmoranmusic.bandcamp.com/album/return-trip) This appears to be the group’s second release. The players are Matt Moran (vibraphone), Gary Versace (Hammond B3) and Tom Rainey (drums). The music is mellow and inviting. Click here to listen to the songs on this release.
Michael Olatuja – Lagos Pepper Soup (Whirlwind): “Michael Olatuja’s musical development has taken place across three continents, in the heart of three of the world’s greatest cities. After a childhood in Lagos absorbing the Yoruba culture of his Nigerian family, followed by teenage years performing and studying on the booming London jazz scene, Michael’s talent bloomed when he arrived in New York to study at the Manhattan School of Music. His unique breadth of talent, grounded in the strong musical traditions of his homeland, has earned him first-call status across a range of genres from pop to gospel to Broadway to top-flight jazz, and along the way he’s filled his contacts book with a impressive and eclectic range of talent. For ‘Lagos Pepper Soup’, his second solo release, Michael picked a core band of Terreon Gully, Aaron Parks and Etienne Stadwijk, and then enlisted the talents of Angelique Kidjo, Dianne Reeves, Regina Carter, Joe Lovano, Laura Mvula, Lionel Loueke, Grégoire Maret, Becca Stevens, Brandee Younger, Robert Mitchell, Onaje Jefferson, and top studio arrangers David Metzger, Joseph Joubert and Jason Michael Webb to realize his vision of what he calls Cinematic Afrobeat – “What you hear is a blend of three major cities: it’s a celebration of life, and I wanted to make it sound like a soundtrack for a movie that hasn’t been made yet – maybe the next Black Panther movie.” (https://michaelolatuja.bandcamp.com/album/lagos-pepper-soup) The music is beautiful and vibrant! Click here to listen the songs on this recording.
Dafnis Prieto Sextet – Transparency (Dafnison Music): “As the follow-up to his 2018 GRAMMY-winning big band album, Back to the Sunset, which DownBeat called “one of the best recordings of the year,” Cuban-born drummer, composer, educator, and 2011 MacArthur “Genius” Fellow Dafnis Prieto returns with his newest album, Transparency, from his Dafnis Prieto Sextet…. The album includes nine tracks, with all new compositions by Prieto and an arrangement of Dizzy Gillespie’s classic, “Con Alma.” The music embraces transparency in all its forms in music and life, celebrating moments fleeting and fragile, simple and beautiful.” (https://dafnisonmusic.com/transparency) The other members of the sextet are Román Filiú (alto & soprano sax), Alex Norris (trumpet), Peter Apfelbaum (tenor sax, melodica & percussion), Alex Brown (piano), and Johannes Weidenmueller (acoustic & electric bass). Click here and scroll down to to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Ray Russell – Fluid Architecture (Cuneiform): “Architecture is frozen music. Music is fluid architecture.” (Goethe) – “Like contemporaries Sonny Sharrock and Terje Rypdal, Russell makes it sound as if the guitar is not enough, as if he’s reaching for something wilder…like a Pollock painting mounted with guitar pickups, the sound of explosions. Russell makes it sound as if the guitar is not enough…” (Jim O’Rourke) “I believe in the sonic signature. Gil Evans used to say, ‘Everyone has a cry. Without it, only notes come out of the instrument.'” (Ray Russell) Guitarist-composer Ray Russell has enjoyed two distinct careers: one as an esteemed session player and award- winning film and television composer, another as an ingenious guitar experimentalist and free-thinking collaborator.” He composed or co-composed all of the music here. Heading for the ionosphere! Supporting players: Eric Baldwin: found sounds, sequential creativity (1); George Baldwin: bass, Chapman Stick (2/5/8); Chris Biscoe: tenor clarinet & soprano saxophone (2/8/9); Mo Foster: bass (9); Nic France: drums (5); Simon Phillips: drums (2/4/8); Ralph Salmins: drums (9); and Jim Watson: keyboards (2/5/8). Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this release.
Stirrup+6 – The Avondale Addition (Cuneiform): “Stirrup is Fred Lonberg-Holm (cello, tenor guitar), Nick Macri (bass), and Charles Rumback (drums). Formed in Chicago in 2009 to explore their mutual interests in deep grooves, moody harmonies, and extended structures, the genre-defiant trio continue to do so to this day. A true collective, all three write and arrange for the band. The Avondale Addition is an amalgam of two of Fred Lonberg-Holm’s long-running projects: Stirrup and his “Lightbox Orchestra”, a revolving-door project that began over 20 years ago as a way to organize large, ad-hoc improvising ensembles using a light-based cueing system and cue cards. Typically, a Lightbox concert has no pre-composed materials, but for this performance recorded live at Elastic Arts in Chicago, compositions by members of Stirrup comprised a “book” from which the guest musicians (the “+6”) draw on in addition to freely improvising when called on to do so. In effect, Charles and Nick continue to do things they might normally do on a Stirrup gig, but instead of Fred playing cello, he acts as a kind of improvising arranger stationed behind his Lightbox cueing station, with the invited guests taking on the melodic and soloist roles he might normally perform.” “…this just hits like an especially robust excursion into the beauty of avant-Chicago…with stretches that roll and even groove; in terms of rhythm (movement) and foundational sturdiness, The Avondale Addition is a substantial ride (that lasts for just over an hour).” Everybody plays at a high level, and this [is] splendid stuff. ” (Joseph Neff – The Vinyl District) “…hypnotic…pretty melodies unfold, roil, and mutate over churning ostinatos and shuffling, shape-shifting beats…extended, lyrical solos hit with the power of psych-rock…and tickle the ear with microtonal glissandos a la Arabic or Indian music..swing patterns, explosive rolls, and skittery flourishes…” – Peter Margasak (The Chicago Reader). Click here to listen to samples from this release.