New Jazz Adds – 9/27/2015
Karrin Allyson – Many A New Day (Motema): “I’ve been all around the world musically, from bop and bossa and chanson to blues and singer- songwriters. And now, I feel like coming home. I find myself powerfully drawn to the world of Rodgers and Hammerstein.” That’s exactly what this disc offers: a beautiful voice, singing songs from South Pacific, Oklahoma!, The King And I, and The Sound of Music; mostly singing like the stage performer she was some years back, but with some jazz inflections; working with the accompaniment of jazz greats Kenny Barron (piano) and John Patitucci (bass) on her arrangements of the songs. I would recommend “The Surrey With The Fringe On Top” as the most jazz connected of the set, but certainly fans of show tunes will want to give this disc a good listen. In fact, click here to listen to the aforementioned surrey tune!
The Jamie Baum Septet – In This Life (Sunnyside Communications): Flautist / composer has been highly praised by The New York Times, DownBeat, JazzTimes, and All About Jazz for her compositions, her septet, her recordings, and her musicianship. The current disc has also received terrific praise across the jazz world. She composed all but two of the pieces on this disc and the melange of styles and musical flow is mesmerizing. The textures shift within and across songs as different instruments and players come to the fore and ultimately recede when Baum’s flute returns to the center. Septet members are Amir Elsaffar (trumpet), Douglas Yates (alto sax, bass clarinet), Chris Komer (French horn), Brad Shepik (guitar), John Escreet (keys), Zachary Lober (bass), and Jeff Hirshfield (drums) with guest spots by Samuel Torres (congas), Taylor Haskins (trumpet), and Don Weiss (tabla). Click here for a live version of the opening tune from this disc.
Yelena Eckemoff Quartet – Everblue (L & H): This is Eckemoff’s 23rd release! Five were classical, eight are listed as original music (popular) and this is her tenth jazz recording. She composed eight of the songs here, while her long time bassist Arild Andersen composed the other two songs on the disc. The group on this recording is rounded out by Tore Brunborg (tenor & soprano sax) and Jon Christensen (veteran drummer who did several ECM recordings with musicians like Ralph Towner and Eberhard Weber among others). This recording has a similar airy, atmospheric, sparse yet gorgeous sounds to many ECM releases from years ago. Click here for an introduction to this disc that includes the title song.
John Ellis & Double Wide – Charm (Parade Light): Reed player John Ellis has performed and recorded with a number of musical greats, including John Patitucci, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Charlie Hunter, Robert Glaspar, even Sting. He is also recognized as one of the better reed players in NYC. Double Wide is a special off-shoot band that explores the connections between New Orleans street and Preservation Hall bands and the more current jazz styles (somewhat like the work of the Microscopic Septet). In fact, the band’s previous disc was named “Puppet Mischief”, an apt name for their style. The band features John Ellis (tenor sax, clarinet), Alan Ferber (trombone), Gary Versace (organ, accordion, piano), Matt Perrine (sousaphone) and Jason Marsalis (drums, cymbals) and as the title states, they’ve got plenty of “charm”. C’mon and join the parade! Click here to listen to the opening song on this disc.
Gerry Gibbs Thrasher Dream Trio – Live In Studio (Whaling City): Drummer Gerry Gibbs explains this recording: asked to set up a new trio recording, Gibbs contacted Ron Carter and Kenny Barron to set up a live date which would be recorded before an audience of invited music artists and industry people. The set would be made up “Top 40” pop hits from different decades which had seldom recorded by jazz musicians. No rehearsals, no written arrangements. Lead sheets would be passed out the day of the recording. They would create head arrangements in the studio and then record. The special reward for the audience was that they would be able to listen to the musicians decide how to handle each song. Gibbs later invited Cassandra Wilson and Roy Hargrove to sit in on a couple of numbers. This disc collects the best of the performances. The tunes include “Wives And Lovers”, “The Look Of Love”, “On A Clear Day”, “The Surrey With The Fringe on Top” and “More” (literally – “The Theme from ‘Mondo Cane”). There are sixteen performances in all. Click here to listen to a full performance by the group (not from the disc).
Yoron Israel & High Standards – This Moment (Ronja Music): Live at the Berklee Performance Center in Boston about a year ago. drummer Israel is accompanied by Lance Bryant (tenor and soprano saxes), Lazzlo Gardony (piano) and Henry Lugo (bass). The performance features four songs from Israel’s most recent disc of his interpretations of compositions by Stevie Wonder; three originals; and one Mulgrew Miller composition. Israel is a highly talented musician and educator, supporting students’ growth musically, intellectually, and practically. For instance, he stresses drummer’s role goes beyond hot solos and requires supporting the structure and unity of the group performance as well. Click here for a live performance of “Creepin’”. Note: this performance is not on the current disc.
Hans Luchs – Time Never Pauses – (OA2): This is Chicago-based guitarist Hans Luchs first disc and there is no doubt he’s ready. He composed eight of the ten tunes on offer and selected Ellington’s “Come Sunday” and and Cole Porter’s “Get Out Of Town” as the remaining two. He is a skilled and thoroughly modern player and his group, featuring George Fludas (drums), Clark Sommers (bass), Stu Mindeman (piano), and Shaun Johnson (trumpet), suits his style wonderfully. The songs are melodic and often upbeat, but never frenzied. The interplay between the guitar and trumpet is especially strong. Click here to listen to the opening track.
Dave McDonnell Group – The Time Inside A Year (Delmark): Sax player McDonnell, having served as a session player in Chicago for some time before building his own group, shares his second helping of vibrant and intriguing jazz compositions. He acknowledges the strong influence of Fela Kuti as well as the many influences he had in the windy city. The result is an infectious offering to the mind and body, a post-bop/ Afrobeat / electronic melange. The basic group features McDonnell on alto and computer, Chris Welcome (guitar), Joshua Abrams (bass), and Frank Rosaly (drums) with occasional guest appearances by Jason Adasiewicz (vibes), Tomeka Reid (cello), and Nate Lepine (tenor sax). Exotically hip! Click here to listen to a live performance. Note: this song is not on this disc, but it is representative of their style.
Cesar Orozco & Kamarata Jazz – No Limits For Tumbao (Alfi): “It could be said that “Tumbao” is for Latin music what …swing is for Jazz. Do you know the Duke Ellington tune, “It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing?” So how about if it ain’t got that tombao?” (Caesar Orozco) This disc demonstrates its meaning with samples of Venezuelan and Cuban music with Tumbao”. Orosco plays a variety of keyboards throughout the disc and is supported by Rodner Padilla (bass), Euro Zambrano, Pablo Bencid, Vladimir Quintero and Francisco Vielma (drums, percussion), Pedrito Martinez (vocals), and Paquito D’Rivera, Yosvany Terry, and gary Thomas (saxes) and Linda Briceno (trumpet, violin). The texture of the music shifts significantly as the disc progresses, but it does, indeed, have that “tumbao”. Click here for an introduction to this project by Cesar Orozco.
Ben Paterson – For Once In My Life (Origin): Up until now, Ben Paterson has recorded as a pianist, but has always loved the sound of the organ and the “opportunity” to play bass as well as the melody was very tempting. So here you have it: Paterson on organ, Peter Bernstein on guitar, and George Fludas on drums and “Bingo!” you’re immersed in a heady and blue jazz disc, featuring a wide range of material, including two Paterson originals and covers ranging from Frank Loesser’s “I’ll Never Been In Love Before” and Arthur Hamilton’s “Cry Me A River” to Paul Simon’s “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover”, Horace Silver’s “Nutville” and Sonny Rollins’ “Decision”. The mood also shifts from bluesy and melancholy to pure cool jazz. Late night music, for sure! Click here to listen to the title song.
Adam Scone – I Scream Scone! (Rondette): B – 3 fans take notice! Adam Scone (B-3) selected a half dozen of his favorite jazz songs, added three originals to open, center, and close the disc, then added some very sympathetic players – Ian Hendrickson-Smith (tenor); John H. Smith, Matt Chertkoff, and Dan Munis (alternating on guitar); Colby Inzer and Aaron Thurston (alternating on drums) – and turned out a tasty jazz set with something for anyone who likes organ-led jazz. The covers span across songs like “Stairway To The Stars”, “In A Sentimental Mood”, and Gene Ammons’ “Red Top” and help cover the waterfront of blue jazz. But you don’t have to take my word for it. Click here to catch Adam Scone’s explanation and samples.
John Wojciechowski – Focus (Origin): Saxophonist Wojciechowski (performing musician/composer/high school teacher) leads the life of the title of one of his compositions, “Divided Man” and comments that he feels his dual role is reflected in the tone and tempo shifts of several of his compositions and performances. His quartet is completed by Ryan Cohen (keys), Dennis Carroll (bass) and Dana Hall (drums) and everyone interacts with and supports the leader wonderfully, whether playing the Monk or Brubeck composition or one by Wojciechowski. Dana Hall also contributed an original tune for this set. Click here to listen to the song “Divided Man.”