New Jazz and Blues 1/9/2022
Dave Douglas – Songs Of Ascent (Greenleaf): “This quintet began playing together in 2011, so it was uplifting for me that we could come together again from our separate spaces to record this suite. Inspired by the biblical psalms, I wrote these while I was in the process of making Secular Psalms, wanting to go and revisit all the originals. There are 15 psalms known as Songs of Ascent. These psalms are fascinating, somewhat mysterious and inspiring. Each of these pieces was written as a reflection of one of these psalms, with the exception of the first one, which I wrote somewhat impulsively on the day I decided to do this..” (Dave Douglas) https://davedouglas.bandcamp.com/album/songs-of-ascent-book-1-degrees. Personnel: Dave Douglas (trumpet), Jon Irabagon (reeds), Matt Mitchell (piano), Linda May Han Oh (bass) and Rudy Royston (drums). Click here to listen to several songs on this release.
Group Sounds Four and Five – Black and White Raga (Jazz In Britain): “Two sessions previously assumed either lost or unrecorded, by Henry Lowther’s and Lyn Dobson’s mid-sixties groups. Considered one of the missing links in the development of British free-form jazz. The Group Sounds Four session includes Jack Bruce, who contributes an original composition never otherwise recorded. Also features Ron Rubin, Ken McCarthy and Jon Hiseman. With comprehensive notes by Duncan Heining concerning the historical significance of these recordings.” https://jazzinbritain1.bandcamp.com/album/black-white-raga. Click here to listen the music.
Noah Preminger – Sky Continuous (Criss Cross): “Noah Preminger brings with Sky Continuous, an exceptionally compelling trio recital with bass virtuoso Kim Cass, who has performed on 10 of Preminger’s 11 prior albums including Criss Cross releases Genuinity (Criss 1397) and After Life (Criss 1404), and drumset icon Bill Stewart, who had never before shared a bandstand with Preminger. The music, which includes eight Preminger originals, is logically structured but adventurous and open-ended, containing numerous portals for free expression – it never feels confined. Surprisingly, it’s only Preminger’s second documented exploration of the tenor saxophone trio function.” https://crisscrossjazz.com/album/1411.html. Click here for segments of the songs from this disc.
Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra – Fandango At The Wall (Resilience Music Alliance): Arturo O’Farill, pianist, composer, and educator, was born in Mexico and grew up in New York City. He received his formal musical education at the Manhattan School of Music and the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. Arturo’s professional career began with the Carla Bley Band and continued as a solo performer with a wide spectrum of artists including Dizzy Gillespie, Lester Bowie, Wynton Marsalis, and Harry Belafonte. In 2007, he founded the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance as a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the performance, education, and preservation of Afro Latin music. Learn more about ALJA here: http://www.afrolatinjazz.org.
Laszlo Gardony Trio – Close Connection (Sunnyside): Following two daring solo recordings in which he reimagined jazz standards and explored spontaneous composition…Hungarian-born pianist-composer Laszlo Gardony reunites with his favorite rhythm tandem of bassist John Lockwood and drummer Yoron Israel on Close Connection, his 11th album for Sunnyside Records. In this highly interactive trio setting, the Boston-based pianist rekindles his chemistry with Lockwood and Israel from their previous simpatico encounters together on 2003’s Ever Before Ever After, 2006’s Natural Instinct, 2008’s Dig Deep, 2011’s Signature Time and 2015’s Life in Real Time.” https://laszlogardony.bandcamp.com/album/close-connection-2. After reading more about this group, by sure to listen to the music!
Craig Harris – Managing The Mask (Aquastra): “Judas and the Black Messiah film music composer Craig Harris here in scintillating form directing a horn-heavy painterly ensemble who recorded in a New York studio last year…’Twenty Four Days an Hour’ has a chant and breakout churchified organ and on the album too there is a fine homage to Black Panther Fred Hampton in ‘Requiem for Fred Hampton’ among its features. For us the overriding interest in what is an excellent album is in the close horn arrangements and surprises (use of didgeridoo on ‘Venus Outside My Window’ which is not at all gimmicky – yes that is possible) and the beautiful ballad ‘Song for a Friend’ with flute set against descending horn lines and a delicious Harris solo.” Check out “Managing The Mask”.
Danilo Perez – Crisálida (Mack Avenue): “Grammy-nominated pianist, composer, educator and activist Danilo Pérez” has released his “12th album as a leader. Crisálida comprises two four-part suites: La Muralla (Glass Walls) and Fronteras (Borders). The recording features his international group called the Global Messengers, made of alumni from the Berklee Global Jazz Institute, of which he’s the founder and artistic director.”https://jazz.fm/danilo-perez-global-messengers-crisalida-new-album-2022-mack-avenue/ . Learn and listen here.
Fred Hersch & esperanza spalding – Alive At The Village Vanguard (Palmetto): “Pianist and composer Fred Hersch, called “a living legend” by The New Yorker, and vocalist esperanza spalding, whom NPR cites as “the 21st Century’s first jazz genius,” celebrate the release of Alive at the Village Vanguard—their album recorded at the iconic club for a packed and rapturous audience. Experience two masters of the trade in this exquisitely intimate performance of songs from the Great American Songbook, music from Brazil, and brand-new compositions.” https://www.kennedy-center.org/whats-on/explore-by-genre/jazz/2022-2023/hersch-spalding/ . Listen to “Dream of Monk” from this album.
Binker Golding – Dream Like A Dogwood Wild Boy (Gearbox): “The second album of the multi-award-winning tenor saxophonist and composer, Binker Golding. The record finds Golding moving towards a new sound that incorporates elements of blues, heart-land rock and Americana while remaining firmly rooted in the jazz idiom. The songs explore themes of manhood, father and son relationships, friendship, love and sex, reflection, drinking, escapism, death, masculinity, and resilience.” https://binkergolding.bandcamp.com/album/dream-like-a-dogwood-wild-boy. Click here to listen to the songs on this disc.
Village Of The Sun – First Light (Gearbox): “Village of the Sun is an electro-acoustic spiritual jazz trio composed of saxophonist Binker Golding, drummer/percussionist Moses Boyd (known together as free jazz duo Binker & Moses), and Basement Jaxx multi-instrumentalist Simon Ratcliffe, who plays everything else here. The group’s sound embodies uplifting, long-form spiritual and modal jazz innovations introduced by Alice Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, Gato Barbieri, and Airto Moreira, filtered through layers of 21st century ambient and EDM textures and Latin, African, and Brazilian rhythms.” https://www.allmusic.com/album/first-light-mw0003822167. Scroll down to listen.
Nestor Torres & Corey Allen – Dominican Suite (Nine-PM): “Latin Grammy Award Winning Flautist and Multi-Grammy Nominee, Nestor Torres and renowned Producer & Arranger Corey Allen (originally from Boston whose credits include; The Manhattan Transfer, Lou Rawls and Chuck Mangione), have collaborated on their first music project and together they have delivered a musical treasure honoring the culture and music of the Dominican Republic with the album titled: “DOMINICAN SUITE”. https://myemail.constantcontact.com/Nine-PM-Records–First-Full-Album-Release–Nestor-Torres—Corey-Allen—-Dominican-Suite-.html?soid=1113290539826&aid=oDKZG2-M5os. Click here to listen to previews from this set.
Griffin Woodard Group – Completion (Praise Message): “Griffin Woodard (bass clarinet/composer), Georgia Heers (vocals), Deneen Jones (vocals), Coleman Rose (soprano and tenor sax), Miles Gilbert (double bass) and Hugh Kline (drums). Griffin Woodard’s debut album, 𝑪𝒐𝒎𝒑𝒍𝒆𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏, is an uninhibited, autobiographical recount of potent memories and experiences that shaped the course of his life. The 10 original compositions and 1 arrangement chronicle Woodard’s formative experiences and lessons in love, isolation, connection, and spirituality. “The Completion album has nothing to do with endings. The word completion means to me, spiritual wholeness,” states Woodard.” https://griffinwoodard.bandcamp.com/album/completion. Listen to songs from this album.
The Lucky Losers – Standin’ Pat (VizzTone): “The Lucky Losers, led by veteran artists Cathy Lemons & Phil Berkowitz, return with their fifth album together since 2015…Recorded, produced and engineered by Kid Andersen of Greaseland Studios, this collection runs the gamut from classic blues and soul to electric Americana.’’ Click here to see “Standin’ Pat”. https://www.americanbluesscene.com/2022/10/the-lucky-losers-release-standin-pat-out-today-via-vizztone/ . Watch and listen here.
Lee Fields – Sentimental Fool (Daptone): “Lee Fields is arguably the greatest soul singer alive today. In an age when the shelf life of an artist largely depends on posturing and trends, he has proven to be an unassailable force of nature. His prolific, decade-spanning career continues to reign supreme on the modern soul scene.” https://shopdaptonerecords.com/products/lee-fields-sentimental-fool. Listen here.
Jimmy Hall – Ready Now (KBTA): “Jimmy Hall first gained popularity as the lead vocalist, saxophonist and harmonica player for the band Wet Willie, emerging from Mobile, Alabama. His unique brand of R&B-infused rock and roll and onstage swagger propelled the group’s signature songs “Keep on Smilin’” to the top 10 of the Billboard singles chart in 1974. After seven albums with Capricorn Records, Wet Willie moved forward to Epic Records releasing “Street Corner Serenade and Weekend. Both singles hit the US Top 40 and five other songs were placed in the Billboard Top 100.” Follow the rest of the story here: https://jimmyhall.com/bio. Click to listen to some songs on this release.
Marcus King – Young Blood (American Recordings): “Marcus King has always known pain far too well. The rocker with the undeniable soul watched his mom walk out of his life when he was just a kid. Then, his childhood crush died in a car accident. Soon after, he lost his brother-in-law, his uncle, and his beloved grandfather, eventually causing him to fall deep into alcohol and substance abuse. And in 2020, it all became too much.
“My ex and I were staying downtown Nashville at the Bobby Hotel, and we got in a screaming match,” remembers King, 26, in a recent interview with PEOPLE. “I went out walking and I came across what looked like a homeless person, but when they turned and looked at me, it looked as if they had a hood on, but no face and no features. It was just this void of light and it really freaked me out. I accepted it in my heart as a foreboding sign to get my s— together.”
Certainly, on his new album Young Blood, one can hear the pain that still sits within King’s soul, especially on haunting songs such as “Dark Cloud,” which the South Carolina native wrote in the days following his eerie encounter in Music City….” Check the rest of his story: https://people.com/country/marcus-king-opens-up-about-past-for-young-blood/ . Then listen here.