New Jazz & Blues – 12/19/2022

Karla Harris with the Joe Alterman Trio – Moon To Gold (Self-produced): “Jazz vocalist Karla Harris has made a career within the art form she loves for more than three decades, captivating audiences from Portland to Provence. Her performance credits include events such as the Sarasota Jazz Festival, Portland Jazz Festival, Oregon Coast Jazz Party, Nantucket Arts Festival, Siletz Bay Music Festival, Atlanta Jazz Party, Atlanta Jazz Festival, and a TED Talk. She has performed for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as part of the Arts Across America live performance series, and in 2022 was awarded a distinguished Jazz Road grant through the South Arts foundation.” Listen to clips from “Moon to Gold”.

Steve Cardenas – Healing Power – The Music Of Carla Bley (Sunnyside): “The singular catalog of the great pianist/composer Carla Bley has been celebrated and performed for decades. She has not only performed her unique compositions in her own star-studded bands but has had them canonized by such legendary artists as Gary Burton and Paul Bley. Having had first-hand experience playing with Carla Bley in two groups, guitarist Steve Cardenas and his trio mates bassist Ben Allison and reed master Ted Nash, have created a brilliant recording of nine Bley pieces on their new album, Healing Power. Click here to listen to these new nine songs. Amazing!

Mike Clement – Unfinished Business (Mike Clement): “Sought after for his brazen, exuberant sound and impassioned improvisations, this September, emerging talent, guitarist Mike Clement is poised to launch his debut album: Unfinished Business. Clement’s soulful, blazing bebop style is complimented by legendary New Orleans drum master Shannon Powell, and organ virtuoso Joe Ashlar. Unfinished Business reimagines the classic sound of the 60’s jazz organ trio into catchy, feel-good originals and flavorful renditions of swingin’ standards.” Samples or previews available here.

Dezron Douglas – Atalaya (International Anthem Recording Co.):ATALAYA is new work by bassist Dezron Douglas, and it is alive. That is, ‘alive’ in all the ways that jazz is at its best – as a pure and personal expression of Black Music channeled through time-honored traditions by a group of musicians who practice sonic coherence through musical unity. As Dezron puts it in the opening statement of his liner notes for the album: “Mysticism, Magic, Faith, Love, Power, Discernment!” Click here to listen to the songs on this disc.

Lauren Falls – A Little Louder Now (Lauren Falls): “Originally from British Columbia, bassist and composer Lauren Falls has spent time in New York studying at the Manhattan School of Music but has now been living in Toronto for a number of years, becoming an active member of Canada’s jazz scene…
It’s about being more outspoken, more outgoing, and more confident as a musician.” Click here to hear and discover about Falls. You can also listen to all of this release.

The Jorgensens – Americana Soul (Paramour Records): “The Jorgensens are recognized by peers and critics alike as one of the Twin Cities’ best original bands – incorporating blues, soul, jazz, and rock into a unique style the band calls Americana Soul…. Connections between partners, whether they be spiritual, romantic, or creative can be the origin of true magic…Kurt has been a long-time band leader, releasing eight albums, while receiving the praise of fans and critics alike.  Brianna has played in a number of bands due to her multi-instrumental talents; she’s proficient at both piano and guitar.” Check their website for more information and to listen to the Jorgensens.

Judy Niemack – What’s Love? (Sunnyside)
: “What’s love got to do with it? When it comes to veteran jazz vocalist Judy Niemack, everything. Almost 45 years after she released her first album, Niemack has lost none of her curiosity about the vicissitudes of the human heart. It seems fitting that the veteran educator who’s spread the gospel of jazz around the world offers a master class in designing a program. It’s not so much the sequence of the tunes, which are mostly Niemack originals written with various collaborators. Rather, in describing and evoking the stages of romantic entanglement, the songs knock together and amplify larger themes about how we connect with each other.” Click here to hear Judy Niemack sing “Just When I Thought” from this release.

Dierk Peters – Spring – (Sunnyside)
: The past two years and the Covid-19 pandemic forced many to cocoon in a world of isolation. For many, it was a time of reflection and change, a time of challenges, breaks, and confusion. But it was also a time for study and growth. Vibraphonist/composer Dierk Peters faced the pandemic’s trial by developing his work and hoping for a renaissance for his beloved music scene upon rebirth. His new recording, Spring, showcases Peters’s blossoming developments.” Here is a taste of Peters’ music.

Tom Skinner – Voices of Bishara (Nonesuch): “Drummer and producer Tom Skinner (The Smile, Sons of Kemet) announces this lean and beautiful mini-album, in which he edited a starry recording session into a sonorous, tuff and beguiling new shape.…The title of Tom Skinner’s first release under his own name is a reference to cellist Abdul Wadud’s ultra-rare 1978 solo album ‘By Myself’, which Skinner listened to repeatedly during lockdown. Wadud’s album was privately pressed on his own label, Bisharra, and whilst Skinner’s title uses the more conventional spelling of this common Arabic name, they both have the same intention or meaning: it translates as ‘good news’, or ‘the bringer of good news.” Click here to listen.

Toots Thielemans & Kenny Werner – Toots Thielemans & Kenny Werner (Universal Classics & Jazz): The pairing of Toots Thielemans and Kenny Werner for several live duo concerts in mid-June of 2001 (although there is no audible audience response) is a dream come true for fans of ballads. Whether Werner sticks exclusively to piano or adds the lush strings from his synthesizer as well, he provides the perfect complement to the always lyrical harmonica of the veteran Thielemans.” Click here to listen to the songs on this set.

Benny Turner – Journey (NOLA): “A veteran musician of more than fifty years, Benny Turner has played everywhere from the Chitlin’ Circuit, to Europe, Japan, Australia, and all points in between.  Content to be a sideman in support of the many giants he has worked with, in 2010 the time came for Benny to take his rightful place in the spotlight on center stage, to the delight of blues fans worldwide” Scroll down to listen to Benny Turner performing “Who Sang It First”.  

Daniel Villarreal – Panama 77 (IARC)
: “A beloved figure in the Chicago music scene, polymath percussionist Daniel Villarreal has showcased a remarkable malleability and work ethic over the course of his career, co-leading projects Dos Santos, Valebol, The Los Sundowns and Ida y Vuelta while also playing with Wild Belle and Rudy De Anda. Given his vast repertoire and experience in these ensembles, it is no surprise that his first solo offering features a mesmerizing myriad of instrumental folk-funk sounds and psychedelic jazz textures.” You can listen to songs on this set.

Jason Yeager Septet – Unstuck In Time (The Kurt Vonnegut Suite) – (Sunnyside): “On Unstuck in Time: The Kurt Vonnegut Suite, Yeager presents eleven new compositions vibrantly capturing the incisive wit and skewed vision of one of the 20th century’s most inventive and celebrated novelists…Yeager crafted music that suggested that eccentricity and uniqueness. He assembled a stellar band able to bring his singular palette to life.” Click here to listen.

Douglas Avery – Take My Rider (Green Wave): “In 2019, Douglas Avery acted on his lifelong desire to record some of his own original musical creations. An R.J. Mischo gig in Santa Barbara provided the opportunity for Avery to sit with the band and invite Franck L. Goldwasser to collaborate on his project. All songs were written by Douglas Avery (GreenWave Music/BMI) except one by W.Arnold; four by M.Jacobs; ten by J. Mayall.” Listen to songs from this disc.

Catfish Keith – Still I Long To Roam (Fish Tail Records): “Still I Long To Roam is Catfish Keith’s new album, his 21st album in a long and acclaimed career. He’s still winning awards – in 2022, he’s won the Blues Blast Music Awards for Best Acoustic Blues Album (for Land Of The Sky) and Best Acoustic Guitar. He still deserves to win them. Catfish Keith has a unique style of acoustic blues playing. He has recorded solo on this album – a recording approach which is as simple as using different guitars across the album (the sleeve tells you what they are) and stomping his feet in percussive support; simultaneously, this is a recording approach as sophisticated as anything you’ll ever hear one man alone playing.” Artist’s website: You can listen to Catfish Keith on his Youtube channel.

Professor Bebop


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