New Jazz Adds – 9/29/2020
Artemis – Artemis (Blue Note): “ARTEMIS is a jazz supergroup featuring pianist and musical director Renee Rosnes, clarinetist Anat Cohen, tenor saxophonist Melissa Aldana, trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, bassist Noriko Ueda, drummer Allison Miller, and vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant who will release their debut album on Blue Note Records in 2020. Each renowned for her outstanding solo work, the band members form an unparalleled international line-up hailing from the US, Canada, France, Chile, Israel, and Japan. The musicians first assembled for a European festival tour in summer 2017, and eventually named themselves after the Greek goddess Artemis who was the daughter of Zeus and Leto, the twin sister of Apollo, the patron and protector of young girls, and the goddess of hunting, wild nature, and chastity.” (http://www.bluenote.com/artist/artemis/) The music is exquisite in every regard – terrific individual performances and fantastic ensemble interaction. Click here for an interview with the members of Artemis. Click here for a live version of the opening song.
John Daversa Quintet – Cuarantena: With Family At Home (Self-produced): John Daversa “is back as a leader for the eighth time, leading a quintet for this paean of sorts to the pandemic, Cuarentena: With Family at Home. Daversa is globally recognized for his musicianship (trumpet/EVI), composing, arranging, producing and bandleading skills. As an esteemed educator and Chair of Studio Music and Jazz at the Frost School of Music, University of Miami, Daversa associates with and has access to some of the best musicians in the world, hereby assembling a truly top echelon lineup of Latin Jazz band members. The pandemic, as the title indicates, brought about time of reflection for Daversa, as he speaks to on the third track, as he turned his attention to family and the interconnectedness of close ones. The latter had him reaching out to these Miami-based musicians – pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba, winner of two Grammys and two Latin Grammys, drummer Dafnis Prieto who is a MacArthur Fellow and Grammy winner, Sammy Figueroa who is generally regard as on the world’s top percussionists and versatile bassist Carlos De Rosa, who has played with a span of artists from Ravi Coltrane to the New York City Ballet. These are not only Miami-based players, they are internationally known stars.” (https://www.makingascene.org/john-daversa-quintet-cuarantena-with-family-at-home/) The tone is warm and reflective and inviting. Click here and scroll down to listen to the songs on this release.
Hermine Deurloo – Riverbeast (Zennez): “Hermine Deurloo’s style on the chromatic harmonica is characterized as being rich, lyrical, and varied, combined with effortless fluency. Hermine studied saxophone at the Amsterdam Conservatory while, at the same time, teaching herself to play the harmonica. She’s recorded and performed all over the world and with musicians such as Steve Gadd, Jim Black, Han Bennink, Tony Scherr, Willem Breuker Kollektief, Candy Dulfer, Al Jarreau, and the Metropole Orchestra. Hermine Deurloo and drum legend Steve Gadd, together with Tony Scherr and Kevin Hays, released “Riverbeast” (2019), a collection of tunes composed by Hermine, as well as other members of the group, performed together with Alain Clark as special guest. They’re on tour during 2020, together with pianist John Cowherd.” (https://www.herminedeurloo.com/hermine-english/) This appears to be her fifth release. The music is smooth and unique. The performers on this disc are Steve Gadd (drums), Kevin Hays (piano, fender rhodes, vocal), Tony Scharr (bass, guitar) with guests AlainClark (vocal on “If We Can’t Trust Each Other”), Reyer Zwart (bass guitar, guitar), Luca Benedetti (guitar), E.J. Rodriguez (congas), Scott Robinson (bass clarinet), and Marika Hughes and Hank Roberts (cello). The variety of shifting players covers an interesting and entertaining range. Click here to listen to the songs on this disc.
Fleurine – Brazilian Dream Blooms (Sunnyside): “Fleurine, vocalist, composer, lyricist and Brazilian music authority, has gained a devoted international following for her “warm, enveloping sound and gentle rhythmic drive” (Los Angeles Times) and her “cunning brand of vocal wizardry” (JazzTimes). The Dutch born , Portugal reared polyglot who has resided in the US for the past 20 years went on to become the first singer authorized to translate into English the lyrics of the legendary Chico Buarque, for her spellbinding 2008 Sunnyside release San Francisco…. Fleurine is donating nearly all of the proceeds from Brazilian Dream blooms to Estrela da Favela, a small idealistic school located in the challenged Mangueira neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro. It is her way of giving back to the country that has inspired her throughout her career…. For her latest release “Brazilian Dream blooms” , Fleurine composed all the music on guitar and found herself a dream band made up out of up and coming , and some well established Brazilian musicians on the New York Jazz scene, some of whom she has collaborated with for many years like Vitor Goncalves on piano and accordion, Chico Pinheiro on electric guitar, Eduardo Belo on bass, Ian Faquini on acoustic guitar and Rogerio Boccato on percussion a.k.a. Boys from Brazil. Some familiar American boys were added to the mix, Chris Potter on Flutes and Saxes and Brad Mehldau on Fender Rhodes and piano to complete the dream.” (http://www.fleurine.com/biography/) Eight of the ten songs are originals. Click here to listen to samples from the songs on this release.
Free Bridge Quintet – For The Record (Self-produced): The Free Bridge Quintet isn’t sharing a lot of information about this performance, but you can be certain they turned everything to the high heavens in this live set in Cabell Hall! The players are John D’earth (trumpet); Jeff Decker (sax); Robert Jospé (drums); Pete Spaar (bass); and Bob Hallahan (piano). With song titles like “The Ryan Express”, one or all may be originals. The performance itself is fantastic throughout! We certainly should be able to find out more during the Jazz Marathon (October 5 – 11)! Until then, click here to check out a live song from the 2011 Jazz Marathon!
Mike Melito / Dino Losito Quartet – You’re IT! (Cellar Music): ‘Mike Melito hails from Rochester, NY where he keeps an active performance, recording, and teaching schedule…. Mike names Philly Joe Jones, Art Blakey, Max Roach, Art Taylor, Billy Higgins, Elvin Jones, Jimmy Cobb, and Papa Jo Jones as main influences. Mike started his professional career at age 16 playing with Vibraphonist Joe Locke and saxophonist Joe Romano…. Melito has numerous released over the years. His backing players are Dino Losito (piano), Larry McKenna (tenor sax) and Neal Miner (bass). Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this release.
Joachim Mencel – Brooklyn Eye (Origin): “Celebrated Polish pianist, composer, lyricist, and a foremost proponent of modern jazz on the hurdy-gurdy (vielle à roue), Joachim Mencel has a wide-ranging career composing for film, orchestras and ballet, touring with his jazz projects, or appearances with giants such as Lee Konitz, Dino Saluzzi, Richard Galliano, Dave Liebman, Eddie Henderson, Charlie Mariano, and many others.Though he’s experienced performing in America before, including being a part of the Monk Piano Competition in 1989, “Brooklyn Eye” is the realization of a dream forged in his youth behind the iron curtain. Recording compositions that were informed by the culture, musicians, harmonies and feelings of America, and then to record in New York City with several vital improvisors whose music has inspired him for years – guitarist Steve Cardenas, bassist Scott Colley and drummer Rudy Royston – Mencel terms Brooklyn Eye, “a symbolic, idyllic place where dreams come true.” Recorded the day after Notre Dame Cathedral burned in Paris, a palpable melancholy presided over the session, adding further dimension to this pivotal experience in Mencel’s musical life.” (http://originarts.com/recordings/recording.php?TitleID=82806) Click here to listen to samples of two songs on this disc.
Thelonius Monk – Palo Alto (Impulse!): This is “An unheard recording of a 1968 high school performance by jazz great Thelonious Monk…. The surprise performance came about after 16-year-old high school student Danny Scher had a dream to invite the storied pianist and composer and his all-star quartet to perform a concert at his local high school in Palo Alto, California. Against a backdrop of racial tension and political volatility, the concert took place on 27 October 1968, and was recorded by the school’s janitor…. The 47-minute album features Monk’s regular touring band of tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse, bassist Larry Gales and drummer Ben Riley. It also highlights his touring repertoire, which constituted his finest compositions.” (https://www.udiscovermusic.com/news/thelonius-monk-unheard-palo-alto-album/) Click here to listen to “Epistrophy” from this release.
Michael Musillami & Peter Madsen – Pictures (Playscape Recordings): “Pictures, a duo recording by guitarist/composer Michael Musillami and pianist/composer and co-leader Peter Madsen. This is their second duo recording, following Part Pitbull released in 2002. In Pictures, the duo draws inspiration from Pictures at an Exhibition, an 1874 suite by Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky as a memorial to his friend, Russian architect and painter Viktor Hartmann, who died in 1873 at age thirty nine. Shortly after the artist’s death, Mussorgsky visited an exhibit of Hartmann’s sketches, architectural and costume designs, which came from Hartmann’s travels in Europe, and decided to capture the experience with musical depictions of ten paintings by Hartmann, interspersed with a recurring promenade. In this intimate duo setting we instinctively breath together, we recognize color and texture and react quickly and convincingly to each other with sensitivity as well as with power. The seamless rhythmic momentum and call and response is immediate, natural, and organic as we allow the music to go when and where it needs to go. We hope you enjoy your journey as much as we did as you promenade through our museum filled with our jazz heroes’ Pictures.” (http://playscape-recordings.com/index.php?news) The interaction between Musillami and Madsen truly fine and, at times, totally sensational! Click here and then click any song posted in yellow to hear that selection.
Markus Rutz – Blueprints Fig. Two: New Designs (OA2): “”Figure Two: New Designs” is the second volume from Chicago trumpeter and composer Markus Rutz’s Blueprints series. While 2019’s “Figure One: Frameworks” honored Markus’ mentors, family and the musical greats who influenced his sound and career, New Designs looks to the future with new discoveries in personal and musical growth. Navigating diverse ensemble and stylistic directions through 6 original compositions and jazz standards by McCoy Tyner, Sam Rivers and Frank Foster, Rutz conjures intrigue, beauty and dynamism through his orchestrations which include sparkling ensemble passages and intimate duets. With saxophonist Brice Winston, bassist Marcos Varela, drummers Xavier Breaker and Marcus Evans, Adrian Ruiz on piano, guitarist Matt Gold and Heitor Garcia on percussion, the volumes of Blueprints capture a compelling moment in an artist’s journey. “…a big, dark tone and a fluid ease to his phrasing makes him seem relaxed even when unleashing a volley of 16th notes…” (Downbeat) Click here to listen to samples of “Passion Dance” and a Rutz original, “Shipmates”.
Neil Swainson Quintet – 49th Parallel (Reel – Real): “The debut and only album from one of Canada’s most important bassists, Neil Swainson features tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson and trumpeter Woody Shaw along with Jerry Fuller on drums and Gary Williamson on piano. The album was Woody Shaw’s last studio recording. On 49th Parallel, Neil Swainson matched the right musicians with the right music and then had the wisdom to let things unfold organically, allowing these artists to play to their estimable strengths. The result is a complete and satisfying artistic statement.” Swainson’s first meeting with Joe Henderson is also a great story: “I hadn’t actually worked with Joe before the recording….But what Joe had done is he had booked another gig in Chicago that ran two nights and this was the second night. He’d just take the better offer. So he missed the gig and he missed the first day of recording too. That’s why there’s some quartet tunes on the record. It was supposed to be all quintet….We went into the recording studio with Woody, Gary, Jerry and me. We did my tunes, and I picked the ones where the melody was in unison so we could get through without missing a harmony part. That was fine, and then around midnight of that first day of recording, I got a phone call at home. It was Joe Henderson. He said, “Hey Neil, it’s Joe.” I’d never talked to him before. I said, “Joe, where are you?” He replied, “I’m in town, I’m at the hotel.” We recorded with Joe in one day, and that was the first time I’d ever met him. It was a trial by fire. But he was great. He was thoroughly professional, a great guy, very intelligent, very methodical. He’d sit down at the piano and I’d show him the piano parts or the lead sheets and he’d go, “Is this what you mean?” And he haltingly played through it. He internalized it that way. Then when he played it, he just nailed it. Everything was a first or second take with him. We did all his parts in one day. It was great. After that, I did some more work with him….Woody couldn’t see anything because he had retinitis pigmentosa. He came to my house and I just played him the trumpet parts on the piano. Woody played them right back and then he memorized them. He went in the studio the next day and still had them in his brain. Woody was amazing. He had the best ears I’ve ever encountered.” (http://www.musicismysanctuary.com/neil-swainson-quintet-49th-parallel) This release is a sample of the results! Click here to listen to the title song featuring Woody Shaw and Joe Henderson!
Miki Yamanaka – Human Dust Suite (Outside In Music): “Miki Yamanaka is a New York-based pianist from Kobe, Japan. She moved to New York City in 2012 and has studied Piano with Jason Lindner, Jeb Patton, and Fred Hersch, and Organ with Sam Yahel and Larry Goldings. In 2015 she was one of three pianists selected to participate in “Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead”, an intensive composition residency at the Kennedy Center. She earned her Master of Music degree from Queens College, receiving the Sir Roland Hanna Award.” (https://www.mikiyamanaka.com/bio) This is her third release. Wonderful compositions and sensational instrumental technique! A beautiful blend of jazz and classical! Click here to listen to the songs on this disc.