New Jazz Adds – 9/9/2016
New Jazz Adds – 9/9/2016
Nik Bartsch’s Mobile – Continuum (ECM): Swiss pianist / composer Nik Bartsch offers a lively disc featuring himself on piano, Sha (clarinet, sax), Kaspar Rast (drums), Nicolas Stocker (percussion) with the addition of a string quintet, Etienne Abelin and Ola Sendecka (violin), David Schnee (viola), Ambrosius Huber and Solme Hong (Celli), on three songs. Bartsch describes the music: “The way we organize our ‘modules’ rhythmically is more related to certain strategies of Stravinsky or Ligeti, to funk or to certain kinds of ritual music than to classic minimalism, which tends to use a more linear rhythmic… We shape rhythm as a vehicle for dramaturgy: we are interested in its spin and its potential as an acoustic picture puzzle….” I would describe it as highly kinetic, even electric though it’s acoustic. If you like funky styles, you will certainly want to check this out. Click here for a sample and an introduction by Bartsch himself.
Brazzamerica – Brazzamerica (Self-produced): First disc from this trio, featuring Leco Reis (bass), Cidinho Teixeira (piano), and Edson Ferreira (drums, percussion), whose goal is to celebrate the beauty and flow of Brazilian jazz. The group virtually flows through the songs on offer. Fans of trios and of Latin jazz will definitely enjoy this performance. Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Ergo – As Subtle As Tomorrow (Cuneiform): Ergo is a “Jazz/Electro-Acoustic/Minimalist” trio that features composer / sonic architect Brett Sroka (trombone), Shawn Baltazor (drums), and Sam Harris (piano, Rhodes). The disc is a tribute to Emily Dickinson – “the poet whose radical concision and visionary deployment of silence is unmatched in the English language.” Each aspect of this performance is related to a phrase from a line by Dickinson. The disc is a sonic exploration with overlapping riffs across different tracks. The music is interesting and reveals more depth and uniqueness (as opposed to weirdness) with repeated listening. Click here and scroll down to the picture of the disc cover to listen to a sample of this recording.
Gordon Goodwin’s Little Phat Band – An Elusive Man (Wingfield Music): Composer / tenor sax player Gordon Goodwin explains that his “Little Phat Band” was inspired by the power of big bands, but in this case, the band reaches for the big band’s powerful sound from a smaller set (eight players) which allows and encourages individual players to improvise. This brings a greater level of excitement for the players and the audience. Goodwin is a stellar sax player certainly matched by guitarist Andrew Synoweic on solos, while the entire ensemble plays with tightness and attention to the shifts. Other players are Wayne Bergeron (trumpet), Eric Marienthal (alto, tenor sax), Andy Martin (trombone), Rick Shaw (bass), Bernie Dresel (drums) and Joey De Leon (percussion). It’s an enjoyable mix of musical expression – moderate mainstream with fiery changes. Click here to listen to a performance of a song from this disc.
Andrew Hill – Change (Blue Note): Pianist Andrew Hill is listed as the leader of this set, no doubt because he composed all of the titles on the disc. The sessions were recorded in 1966, but were not released until ten years later and then listing Sam Rivers as leader and as part of his “Involution”. This newer re-issue lists Hill as leader and quotes both players saying they just had an affinity for one another and communicated musically so well. What about the music itself? It is free jazz and that gives Hill and Rivers plenty of opportunity to explore. It is not all crazy, but be prepared to step outside. The recording also included Walter Booker (bass) and J.C. Moses (drums). Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Freddie Hubbard – Open Sesame (Blue Note): Originally recorded in 1960 and remastered by Rudy Van Gelder in 2001, this period highlights Freddie with full wind and fire. The session included Tina Brooks (tenor sax), McCoy Tyner (piano), Sam Jones (bass), and Clifford Jarvis (drums). Everybody is playing well, so when they cook it’s hot and when mellow it’s like desert. Click here to listen to the title tune.
I.P.A. – I Just Did Say Something (Cuneiform): I.P.A. is one of the leading Scandinavian jazz bands creating a new wave of free jazz. While there is composed form, the band members are free and apt to stretch and spin off of the main structure to create new directions and sounds. The group has been together for a decade and features Atle Nymo (tenor sax), Magnus Broo (trumpet), Mattias Stahl (vibes), Ingebrigt Haker Flaten (bass), and Hakon Mjaset Johansen (drums). They fully acknowledge their debt to the 60s works by Don Cherry and Ornette Coleman. While their sound is full of surprises and unexpected twists and turns, they are not as fiercely challenging as their influences to my ears. Click here to listen to the songs from this disc.
Duffy King – Acoustically Speaking (Groove Dog): Duffy King – guitarist, composer, singer, songwriter, producer – has apparently gained a lot of attention and praise over the past few years for his many talents. This is his second release and it is absolute proof that his is absolutely a dazzling guitarist. He plays acoustic, often nylon stringed, guitars. He composed or co-wrote all of the songs on the disc. Two tracks are solo, one is a duet with co-writer and fellow guitarist Bill Dutcher and various guests sit in: Adam Ben Ezra and Felix Sainz (bass), Joe Bass and Roger Noonan (fretless bass) Karen King (castanets), Jim Pryor and Rob Emanuel (drums), and Perry Senn (percussion). The Latin style numbers are especially nice. Click here and scroll down to listen to the songs on this disc.
Gary Lucas Fleischerel – Music From Max Fleischer Cartoons (Cuneiform): So now it’s time to consider a few oldies — specifically, oldies from the good ole cartoon days of Betty Boop and Olive Oyl and great oldies like “Don’t Take My Boop-Oop-a-Doop Away”, “That’s My Weakness Now”, “I Want A Clean Shaven Man”. Max Fleischer was the animator who created Betty Boop and brought Popeye to life or at least to film. The “Fleischerel” includes Maichael Bates (bass), Joe Fielder (trombone, arranger), Jeff Lederer (sax), Rob Garcia (drums), Gary Lucas (guitar) and Sarah Stiles (singer, portrayer of Ms Boop and Ms Oyl). Click here to listen to the perfect example from the disc.
Lisa Mezzacappa & Bristle – FutureS NowS (Queen Bee): 2014 recording featuring Randy McKean (alto sax, Bb, bass, and half clarinets), Cory Wright (tenor sax, Bb and half clarinets, flute, piccolo), Murray Campbell (violin, oboe), and Lisa Mezzacappa (acoustic bass). This is an avant chamber jazz quartet based in San Francisco, but thinking and playing much farther out. It may be free jazz but honestly avant chamber jazz captures the sound. Click here to try it out for yourself.
Lisa Mezzacappa, Aaron Bennett, Darren Johnston, Frank Rosaly – Shipwreck 4 (NoBusiness): And now, it is 2016 and there’s a new manifestation of Mezzacappa’s art: in addition to her bass, this group features Aaron Bennett (tenor sax), Darren Johnston (trumpet), and Frank Rosaly (drums). This group apparently follows the same discipline as the one above with the exception that the trumpet and sax hold the leading positions, even though they trade dominance through each piece. To my untrained ear it seems totally improvised, but there are also some agreed upon dominant voices. Click here and scroll down to listen to a couple of songs on this disc.
Bob Mintzer – All L.A. Band (Fuzzy Music): Mintzer is a twenty year member of the Yellowjackets, leads his own quartet and this big band and teaches at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. He also wrote all of the music for this disc. The band members are Wayne Bergeron, James Blackwell, John Thomas, Chad Willis, and Michael Stever (trumpets); Bob McChesney, Erik Hughes, Julianne Gralle and Craig Gosnell (trombones); Bob Mintzer, Bob Sheppard and Adam Schroeder (saxes); Russ Ferrante (piano); Edwin Livingston (bass); Peter Erskine (drums); Aaron Serfaty (percussion); and Larry Koonse (guitar). Click here to listen to one of the songs on this disc.
Ray Obiedo – Latin Jazz Project, V 1 (Rhythmus): San Francisco guitarist / composer who has recorded with Lou Rawls, George Duke, Herbie Hancock, Sheila E & the E Train, Freda Payne, The Delfonics, Eddie Henderson, and Meters drummer Zigaboo Modeliste, among others. This disc presents a cross section of Latin jazz, covering songs by Tito Puentes, Juan Tizol and Duke Ellington, Sonny Rollins, and Milton Nascimento as well as several of Obiedo’s own compositions. The supporting musicians include Roger Glenn, Elena Pinderhughes and Norbert Stachel (flutes); David K. Matthews and Peter Horvath (piano, organ); Karl Perazzo, Peter Michael Escvedo, Orestes Vilato, Derek Rolando, and Jon Bindich (congas, bongo, timbales); David Belove and Marc van Wageningen (bass); Paul van Wageningen (drums); Phil Hawkins (steel pans) and special guest Sheila E. (congas and percussion). The sound is quite relaxed. I regret that I am unable to find a sample from this disc.
Leo Parker – Let Me Tell You ‘Bout It (Blue Note): Bari sax player Leo Parker had a large and lovely sound and the chops to hold his own with the boppers. He had recorded during the late 40’s as an alto player, but switched to baritone when he joined Billy Eckstine’s Big Band. He worked and recorded most with Illinois Jacquet. Ike Quebec brought him to the attention of Blue Note in 1961. That’s the source of this session. Sadly, he became quite ill shortly thereafter and died four months after this session. Parker was supported on these recordings by John Burks (trumpet, no relation to Dizzy), Bill Swindell (tenor sax), Yusef Salim (piano), Stan Conniver (bass), and Purnell Rice (drums). The session was rich and swinging. Click here and scroll down to listen to selections from this disc.
Ike Quebec – Bossa Nova Soul Samba (Blue Note): Here’s a beautiful combination: Ike Quebec’s warm and mellow tenor sax and Kenny Burrell’s guitar, with support by Wendell Marshall (bass), Willie Bobo (drums) and Garvin Masseeaux (chekere). The flow is just sooooo smooth! This set was originally recorded in 1962 and remastered in 2007 by Rudy Van Gelder. If you like beautiful, flowing music with an insistent rhythm that insinuates itself into the best spots of your being, check this out. Click here and scroll down to listen samples of from this disc.
Horace Silver – In Pursuit Of The 27th Man (Blue Note): This session was recorded in 1972 and, in addition to Horace Silver on piano, features Bob Crenshaw (bass) and Mickey Roker (drums), with guest musicians Randy and Michael Brecker respectively adding trumpet / flugelhorn and tenor sax on half of the set. David Friedman adds vibes on the rest. Five of the seven songs are Silver compositions. Click here and scroll down to sample the songs on this disc.
Anthony Wilson – Frogtown (Goat Hill): Guitarist / singer / songwriter Anthony Wilson has been a sought-after guitarist for a number of years. He has played live and recorded with Ron Carter, Mose Allison, Bobby Hutcherson, Madeleine Peyroux, Joe Sample, Al Jarreau, and Diana Krall, among others. He has recorded on his own as well and this time out he also sings. Wilson is interested in the boundaries between musical genres and ways to blur and cross or merge them. He presents several shifts on this disc and there is an “old timey” feel to some of the songs, while others are folksy blues, or quite current. Wilson is supported by Petra Haden (violin), Mike Elizondo (bass, synth bass), Patrick Warren (keys, autoharp, samples), Jim Keltner and Matt Chamberlain (alternating on drums and percussion) and part-time participants Jesse Harris (harmonica), Josh Nelson (piano), Daniel Rosenboom (trumpet), Bob Reynolds (tenor sax), Adam Schroeder (bari sax and bass clarinet) and special guest Charles Lloyd (tenor sax). So it’s Americana, folksy, blues, old timey, and jazzy. Click here and listen to the first two songs (which are on this disc).