marcus roberts. romance, swing & the blues. j-master. All originals suite that explores the many faces of jazz from pianist/composer marcus roberts about love, found and lost. jazz virtuoso roberts, blind since five years from glaucoma, continues the mentoring that wynton marsalis did for him with production of this two cd recording for his young band. except the cue period of denial which roberts’ piano dominates, the suite showcases great ensemble playing.
lissy walker. wonderland. dogwood. Vocalist walker’s second cd, recorded at Berkeley’s fantasy studios, solidly inhabits jazz/ country. American songbook playlist, interpreted with twang and swing, walker deftly claims oldsters like tonight you belong to me –indeed all. the band ain’t no slouch: steven bernstein– trumpet; scott nygard–guitar + mandolin; jason lewis, drums; john r burr–piano + B3. varied arrangements, lots of guest instruments.
moon hooch. eponymous. horn blow. The one to discover this week, made in Brooklyn; trio works from wenzl mcgowen & mike wilbur–both on tenor, bari, kentele, bazookahorn, + X-rated looking megatube; james muschler-percussion. They humbley call it “cave music”, choreographing their hairpin stops & starts just like the conservatory musicians they were trained to be. lots of sound coming out of two horns & a drum kit. bring on da funk, recording begs to be played LOUD. performing Richmond, Va, novmber 19, @ The Broadberry.
jason jackson. inspiration. jack & hill. Full orchestra–horn, string, rhythm–sessions arranged, led and mostly composed by NYC trombonist jason jackson. the guest list reads like the who’s who of contemporary jazz; steve wilson, terrell stafford, rufus reid, roy hargrove, slide hampton. smooth, big band sound.
hank marvin. django’s castle. self. Comme on dit, je suis un pushover pour l’accordion. guitarist hank marvin ( aka brian robson) formerly of UK’s the shadows, now a feature of Australia’s gypsy jazz scene collaborates with accordionist nunzio mondia, rhythm guitarist gary taylor, + guests. Gentle, swaying, swing–many desirable guitars/squeezeboxes were used during production.
clare fischer. pacific jazz big band. clavo. The music of composer/keyboardist/arranger clare fischer (1928-2012) is kept alive by his son brent fischer who has returned to his father’s big band charts for inspiration. fischer, the elder, was a pioneer in the Latin jazz field before it trendified; son’s recording, very similar to last year’s, lacks delicacy of father’s many bright sessions.
ferenc nemeth + attila laszlo. bridges of soul. dreamers collective. Hungarian reunion with drummer/composer nemeth and iconic guitarist laszlo collaborating with the yellowjackets ( jazz fusion) bassist jimmy haslip and keyboardist russell ferrante. all originals + creep from radiohead; vocals with charlie horvath on alone, and lara bello on little heart convey great tenderness.
frank kimbrough. quartet. palmetto. Gorgeous quartet interplay from North Carolina-then-DC pianist kimbrough’s experienced band; steve wilson alto + soprano; jay anderson, double bass, & lewis nash @ drums. mostly originals, + a kurt weil. kimbrough sits in many groups: he’s pianist with maria schneider’s orchestra, sideman on ben allison’s recordings, & key member of herbie nichols project. individualistic, acoustic piano style, influenced by bill evans, and somewhat by keith jarrett and andrew hill.
steve heckman. search for peace. jazzed media. A-list jazz titles freshened up and performed by San Fran/Bay area quintet led by multi reedman, steve heckman. howard alden on guitar; matt clark on B3; marcus shelby, bass; and akira tana, drums. bluesey, bari-friendly, equal opportunity session.
brian lynch + emmet cohen. questioned answer. hollistic/kickstarter. Trumpeter brian lynch duets with pianist emmet cohen on standards i wish i knew and just in time, then adds in drummer billy hart and bassist boris kozlov for quartet originals. solid, driving bop.
albare. two decades of jazz. enja. Moroccan-Jewish musician/businessman albert dadon ( aka albare) set down roots in Australia, started the Melbourne Jazz Festival and continues to defy expectations with this nuanced guitar playing and quality ensembles. two decades ends with 2013’s chart headliner the road ahead. discover cd 1, and south from travel diary. albare, continues to raise the profile of Australian jazz, and embrace global tangents.