New Jazz Adds – 9/23/2016

New Jazz Adds – 9/23/2016

Joey Alexander – Countdown (Motema): Pianist Joey Alexander is a 13 year old Indonesian boy who is considered to be a prodigy as this, his second release, clearly justifies. He composed three of the nine songs on offer and the covers include “Countdown” (John Coltrane), “Maiden Voyage” (Herbie Hancock), “Criss Cross” (Thelonius Monk), and “Chelsea Bridge” (Billy Strayhorn). Supporting musicians include Larry Grenadier and Dan Chmielinski (bass), Ulysses Owens, Jr (drums), and Chris Potter (soprano sax). Hearing is believing or if I hadn’t known this pianist was thirteen, I wouldn’t have guessed he wasn’t a veteran pianist. Click here to sample several songs on this disc.

The Bad Plus  – It’s Hard (OKeh): Reid Anderson (bass), Ethan Iverson (piano) and David King (drums) joined forces about 15 years ago creating the unpredictably creative and somewhat off center Bad Plus. In addition to their originals, The Bad Plus is noted for their amazing adaptations of songs written by others: in this disc they have selected Pater Gabriel’s “Game Without Borders”, Cyndi Lauper and Rob Hyman’s “Time After Time”, Johnny Cash’s “I Walk The Line”, Prince’s “The Beautiful Ones”, Ornette Coleman’s Broken Shadows” and English and Carr’s “Mandy” (yes, the Barry Manilow hit)! They are as quirky as ever. So if you like deconstructed or reconstructed music and have a taste for a slightly outside style, check this out. Click here to listen to the aforementioned “Mandy”.

Kayle Brecher –This Is Life (Penchant For Records): Idiosyncratic vocalist / composer Brecher offers her seventh disc. It’s a combination of originals and recreations of compositions by Fred Neil, Herbie Hancock, and Freddie Hubbard among others. Her accompanists include Ratzo Harris (bass), Frank Butry (guitar), Gloria Galante and Brandee A. Younger (harp), Matt Cappi (trumpet), Grant Calvin Weston (drums), David Dzubinski (piano), Benjamin Sutin (violin) in a variety of groupings. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.

The Cookers – The Call Of The Wild And Peaceful Heart (Smoke Sessions): Live performances from the Cookers on their fifth release. The band members were a part of what some feel were the last of the great jazz years: Eddie Henderson and David Weiss (trumpet), Donald Harrison (alto sax), Billy Harper (tenor sax), George Cables (piano), Cecil McBee (bass), and Billy Hart (drums). Often band members recommended including specific songs composed by other members for inclusion in this performance. The performance is solid throughout whether ballads or stompers. But you don’t have to take my word, listen to the band. Click here for an introduction to this disc.     Click here to listen to the title song.

Peter Eldridge – Disappearing Day (Sunnyside Communications): Songwriter / pianist / singer Peter Eldridge has created a vocal disc that is truly a fresh and modern sound. The standards, like “Witchcraft”, get a wonderfully new and now treatment and the originals, even when given some pop trimmings, sound fresh and alluring. There is quite a bit of variety as well: intimate trios, featuring Eldridge singing with Matt Aronoff (bass) and Jesse Lewis (guitar), Eldridge singing and piano with Matt Aronoff (bass) and Ben Wittman (drums) to the addition of cello and violin and even a song with the Elm City Girls Choir. Other musicians include Alan Hampton and Marc Shulman (guitar), Mariel Roberts (cello), Caleb Burhams (violin, viola), Becca Stevens (vocals, guitar) and a variety of backing vocalists. Click here to listen to three songs from this disc.

Allan Harris – Nobody’s Gonna Love You Better (Love Productions): Allan Harris (vocals, guitars)  invites you to check out his gig at the uptown club. On the bill are standards like “I Remember You” and “Moody’s Mood For Love”, more recent tunes like “Ruby”, even club versions of Steely Dan’s “Any Major Dude Will Tell You” and Hendrix’s “Up From The Skies”. Harris also contributed four of his own compositions. Backing musicians include Russell Hall (bass), Pascalle Boeuf (keys), Shirazette Tinnin (drums), and Freddie Bryant (guitar). Click here for an introduction. 

Freddie Hubbard – Hub Cap (Blue Note): Reissue of a 1961 session with Freddie Hubbard (trumpet) as leader and composer of 4 of the six songs on offer. The group includes Julian Priester (trombone), Jimmy Heath (tenor sax), Cedar walton (piano), Larry Ridley (bass), and Philly Joe Jones (drums). Freddie blows hard and fast an the rest of the group hangs with him just fine. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.

Abbey Lincoln – Love Having You Around (HighNote): The late Abbey Lincoln was sometimes cast as a Billie Holiday copier, but she certainly found and stretched her own vocal style. This performance is part two of a live week long engagement performed at the Keystone Korner (San Francisco) in 1980 and her power and style certainly shine through. Two of the songs are her compositions and Melba Liston’s “Rainbow”, Max Roach’s “Rainbow” and Coltrane’s “Africa”  include her lyrics. The players include Phil Wright (piano), James Leary (bass) replaced by Art Washington on on song, and Doug Sides (drums). A terrific performance!  Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of some of the songs on this disc.

Tom McCormick – South Beat (Self-produced): First disc as a leader for educator (saxophone professor at Miami Dade College) Tom McCormick. McCormick composed six of the ten titles on this disc, which focuses mostly on Latin jazz influences. Covers include “Naima” (Coltrane), Horace Silver’s “Barbara”, “My Foolish Heart” (Young-Washington) and “Alone Together” (Dietz-Schwartz). In addition to McCormick’s saxes and flute, the band includes Pete Wallace (piano); Nicky Orta alternating with Eric England (bass); Carlomagno Araya alternating with David Chiverton (drums); Edwin Bonilla (congas, bongos); Humberto Ibarra (guiro); Doug Michels (trumpet, flugelhorn); and John Kricker (trombone) with special guests Jonathan Kreisberg (guitar); Leo Quintero (guitar); and John Lovell (trumpet, flugelhorn). Click here to sample the songs on this disc.

Jake Shimabukuro – Nashville Sessions (Self-produced): Virtuoso ukulele player Shimabukuro offers an amazing sound tour on the ukulele – tenor, baritone, soprano and electric – and it is quite a ride. The music ranges from electric, in-your-face rocking to gentle to more traditional sounds and lots of stops along the way. Supporting musicians are Nola Verner (bass), Evan Hutchings (drums, percussion) and Chris Carmichael (strings on two songs). Even though the variety may be off putting for some listeners, there is something here for everyone. Click here for something closer to traditional.   Click here for to listen to something on the rockier side.

The Horace Silver Quintet – You Gotta Take A Little Love (Blue Note): Reissue of this 1969 session featuring Horace Silver (piano), Randy Brecker (trumpet, flugelhorn), Bennie Maupin (tenor sax, flute), John Williams (bass) and Billy Cobham (drums). All but one song was written by Silver and the remaining number was a Maupin original. Lots of swinging as is so often the case with Silver. While not as popular as some of his earlier greats, there is much here to enjoy.  Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.

Jimmy Smith – Six Views Of The Blues (Blue Note): First time issue of a 1958 session led by organist Jimmy Smith. The reason for this late release is that Smith was so prolific that Blue Note couldn’t get them out quickly enough! They did, however, issue “The Swingin’ Shepherd Blues” as a single. The other five were not released until 1999. In addition to Smith, the players are Cecil Payne (bari sax), Kenny Burrell (guitar), with Art Blakey and Donald Bailey splitting the drums three songs each. There are some wonderful performances on this session. Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.

Louis Smith – Here Comes Louis Smith (Blue Note): This is a session cut for the Transition label in 1957, but the company folded. Blue Note picked this and a few other sessions up and released them on its own label. The group featured Louis Smith (trumpet), Buckshot La Funke on alto sax (Cannonball Adderley – who was under contract to Mercury when this platter was released), Duke Jordan and Tommy Flanagan alternating on piano, Doug Watkins (bass) and Art Taylor (drums). Four of the six songs are Smith originals. Both Smith and Adderley shine. Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.

Jim Snidero – MD66 (Savant): This disc begins like a total hard bop session and then after a flirtation with free jazz breaks into a cool number and so on. Leader Jim Snidero (alto sax) is on a mission to keep the band and its listeners on the move stylistically and it comes off quite well. His band is right with him. Th other players are Alex Sipiagin (trumpet), Andy Laverne (piano), Ugonna Okegwo (bass), and Rudy Royston (drums). Snider wrote six, Laverne one and they borrow Miles Davis’ “Blue In Green” in honor of the man who said,”If anybody wants to keep creating they have to be about change.” A strong performance throughout. I regret I am unable to find a representative sample to share.

Dave Stryker – Eight Track II (Strikezone): Guitarist Dave Stryker relates that people really love to hear songs they grew up with and they’ll gladly “stay with you” as you develop the jazz version if they recognize the song. Here’s you chance to test the theory. Here are eleven hits that get the Stryker touch. In addition to Stryker’s guitar, the band includes Steve Nelson (vibes), Jared Gold (organ) and McClenty Hunter (drums). Songs vary from “What’s Going On” and “When Doves Cry” to “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” and “Sunshine Of Your Love”. It must work – this is volume 2. Click here to listen to “Sunshine of Your Love”.

Cecil Taylor – Conquistador! (Blue Note): This disc was originally recorded in 1966 and remastered in 2003. Both compositions are pianist Cecil Taylor’s and that means you’re heading into free jazz. The group includes Bill Dixon (trumpet), Jimmy Lyons (alto sax), Henry Grimes and Alan Silva (bass) and Andrew Cyrille (drums). Click here to listen to the first half of the title song.

Ben Wendel – What We Bring (Motema): Composer/instrumentalist Ben Wendel has made his mark as a sideman for Antonio Sanchez and Prince, among others, as founder of the group Kneebody, and  has received an ASCAP Jazz Composer Award, the 2008 and 2011 Chamber Music America “New Works Grant” and most recently was awarded the Victor Lynch-Staunton award by the Canada Council For The Arts. He composed six of the eight tracks here and plays tenor sax and bassoon. His supporting musicians include Gerald Clayton (piano), Joe Sanders (bass), Henry Cole (drums) and Nate Wood (pecussion).The music here has variety and drama. Wendel’s sax playing flows dynamically. The ballads are very nice, but when the group catches a groove, they’re at their best. Click here to listen to a song from this disc.


Professor Bebop


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