New Jazz News – 5/26/2020
3 D Jazz Trio – I Love To See You Smile (Diva Jazz Orchestra): “Fiercely swinging on purpose, with purpose this powerhouse trio plays original, traditional and contemporary standards from all genres of music. Their unique style and innovative arrangements are always super-charged by their boundless musical joy and gratitude.” (https://3divasjazztrio.com/about/) The trio features Jackie Warren (piano), Amy Shook (bass) and Sherie Maricle (drums). This is the group’s second release and it features a wide set of songs from Randy Newman’s “I Love To See You Smile” and Jimmy Smith’s “Back At The Chicken Shack” to standards like “Besame Mucho”and “Moonglow” before closing out with Bert Kaempfert and Nat King Cole’s “L.O.V.E”. Wonderful energy! Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
BK Trio – Hit It (Self-produced): “BK Trio is the classic organ trio lineup of guitar, Hammond B3, and drums. Bandleader and guitarist Brian Kooken (“BK”) is a Baltimore-based musician with a background in gospel music, blues, and jazz….Hit It appears to be Kooken’s first album as a leader and he’s joined by Greg Hatza on the B3 and Robert Shahid on drums.”(https://karionpresskits.com/reviews/13239/) Kooken composed all of the songs on this set and the group is smooth and tight throughout. They come out hot, but also play some slow blues that would be welcome in any club. This is one solid set from beginning to end! I regret I am unable to find a sample from this disc.
Ella Fitzgerald – Live At Zardi’s (Verve): Ella Fitzgerald live at Zardi’s in Los Angeles in 1956 and under the guidance of Norman Granz. He assisted in moving her from Decca Records whom he thought were not really honoring her talent to the brand new Verve label. Her energy, joy and super beautiful vocal technique is working in all directions! She was clearly at the top of her career. She also had FUN and so did everyone else! Absolutely fantastic! Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Nicholas Krolak – Voice = Power (Next Level): “Bassist Nicholas Krolak is a young veteran of the Philadelphia jazz scene. He has spent the last decade working as a side-man, experiencing new styles, and studying with the masters. Now, he has taken all he has learned and is applying it to his own group. Tracing the lineage of bebop into the contemporary, his compositions celebrate the city and honor nature. He is also the host of the Voice = Power Podcast in which he interviews visionaries of the Jazz world, pursuing the question: How does an artist find their voice?” (https://www.nicholaskrolak.com/#band-section) Poetry, song and instrumentalist seeking answers from the depths. The above link is on this release. Click on “This Is Our Moment”.
Alain Mallet – A Wake Of Sorrows Engulfed In Rage (Origin): “Though based in multiple musical realms, pianist Alain Mallet’s ambitious Mutt Slang projects coalesce into a world that exudes ‘exotic’ yet ultimately feels familiar, the roots of its various components meeting somewhere deep within. Sharing the musical landscape with young musicians from Palestine, Brazil, Italy, Israel, Japan, Bulgaria, Panama, Ireland, Puerto Rico and the US, the complexity of their backgrounds – musically, ethnically, and otherwise, permeates the session, suffusing Mallet’s compositions with an undeniable energy and life. “Mutt Slang is very much the result of this convergence of all the musics I love, of digging to get to their shared soul and rebuild something fresh, in order to discover where I belong and give others a chance to do the same.” (https://www.isrbx.net/3137795045-alain-mallet-a-wake-of-sorrows-engulfed-in-rage-2020.html) There are numerous musicians on this disc including special guests Anat Cohen (clarinet), Jamey Haddad (percussion), Peter Slavov and Peter Slavov (bass), Jay Ashby (trombone), Jay Ashby (trombone) and numerous other instrumentalists and singers who shift from from song to song and I regret I am unable to find a sample of the music on this disc.
Ted Moore Trio – The Natural Order Of Things (Origin): “Recording artist, composer/arranger, drummer, bandleader and educator, Ted Moore is based in Berkeley, CA, and is the leader of The Ted Moore Trio. The trio, which consists of Ted on drums along with Phil Markowitz (The Sax Summit Band) on piano and Kai Eckhardt (John McLaughlin) on bass, has just completed its first recording project at the famed Skywalker Sound studio in Marin County, CA, consisting of all original compositions and arrangements by Ted and calls upon his very diverse background of styles from straight ahead to Latin side by side with influences from his love of classical music. Since graduating from the famed Eastman School of Music, including both his undergraduate and graduate studies, Ted Moore has pursued a career which has taken him to many parts of the world with many different artists. He is also leader and composer for his own Brazilian jazz group, Brasilia, which released its first CD, River Wide, to national critical acclaim…. Ted Moore’s compositions and arrangements for this recording reflect composing over many years. It is a reflection of a wealth of experiences all intersecting to create a diverse but cohesive body of work; from Amorzinha written while living in Rio, to El Prado written after a visit to this extraordinary museum in Madrid, to Simple Gifts based on the same theme used by Aaron Copland in “Appalachian Spring”. It also pays tribute to those who have come before us from the obvious nod of Waltz for Chick to the mesmerizing homage of Beyond Silence.” (https://www.tedmoorejazz.com/music) Exquisite blends of music that tantalize the listener and invite you to dance in your head and body! Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Arturo O’Farrill – Four Questions (Zoho): “ARTURO O’FARRILL, 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. Arturo is a member of the faculties of both the Manhattan School of Music and the School of Jazz at the New School. 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.” (http://www.arturoofarrill.com/about-arturo) The heart and foundation of this release is the third segment, entitled “Four Questions”, a powerful speech based upon the works of W.E.B DuBois. “What does integrity do in the face of adversity / oppression? What does honesty do in the face of lies / deception? What does decency do in the face of insult? How does virtue meet brute force? These four questions posed by the great African American civil rights activist and author W. E. B. Du Bois in his 1903 book The Souls of Black Folk are expounded upon in a speech given by Dr. Cornel West based on his book, Black Prophetic Fire, given October 9, 2014 at Town Hall in Seattle. That speech turned my life around and Dr. West has become a giant figure in my thinking. Without a doubt, he is a controversial figure and many within his own intelligentsia community have attacked him for a variety of reasons. I have learned from firsthand experience that if you are under attack (especially by your own) it could be because standing strong for what you believe will threaten others in their complacency. Regardless of your stance on Dr. West, he holds our feet to the fire and demands that we deal with the social and political horrors of our day.” (https://www.isrbx.net/3137785809-arturo-ofarrill-four-questions-2020.html) This is a deep presentation as is the dynamic music. Regardless of your reaction, answers to these questions are of critical importance for each of us. Click here to listen to samples of the songs of this disc.
Vanderlei Pereira & Blindfold Test – Vision For Rhythm (Jazzheads): “Drummer Vanderlei Pereira is one of the most sought-after musicians on the contemporary Brazilian jazz scene. Combining a prodigious knowledge of Brazilian rhythms with dazzling technique and a distinctive touch, he has captivated audiences around the world with his unique and electrifying performances. Vanderlei was born into a musical family in Macaé, Brazil, a coastal city a little over 100 miles north of Rio de Janeiro. He’s the youngest of seven siblings, two of whom (Dulcilando and Dirceu) are professional musicians. At the age of eight, he taught himself to play on a drum set he built out of cookie tins; he later studied music theory and sight-reading at Macaé’s Sociedade Musical Nova Aurora, and began playing professionally as a teenager. In addition to his command of Brazilian rhythms, he developed strong pop/rock chops in local cover bands, all the while immersing himself in the jazz heard on his brothers’ record collections. Vanderlei moved to Rio as a young man, where he pursued a multifaceted career in jazz, popular, and classical music, including a six-year performance internship with the renowned Orquesta Sinfónica Brasiliera (OSB). As Vanderlei’s inherited retinitis pigmentosa progressed and his vision deteriorated, he realized he could no longer continue working in the classical realm, and proceeded to dedicate himself full-time to playing jazz and other non-classical forms of music. He came to be known as one of the top jazz drummers in Rio, as well as being a highly regarded player of samba and MPB, working steadily even after he lost his sight completely….He moved to New York City in 1988, and quickly became an in-demand drummer on the New York Brazilian music scene. Vanderlei’s move to New York afforded him the opportunity to expand his rhythmic universe with exposure to and studies with some of the greats of the New York Latin and jazz worlds….” (https://vanderleipereira.com/bio) He is obviously an outstanding musician and person. The music is beautifully rhythmic and positive. The musicians on this on this set are Jorge Continentino (tenor sax, flute, alto flute, pifano); Susan Pereira (voice, percussion); Deanna Witkowski (piano); Paul Meyers (acoustic guitar); Gustavo Amarante (electric bass); Vanderlei Pereira (drums); Rodrigo Ursaia (tenor sax on tracks 6, 9,10); and Itaiguara Brandão (electric bass on tracks 6, 9,10). Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Gregory Porter – Live In Berlin (Eagle Rock): “Known for his warm baritone vocals, Gregory Porter rose to acclaim in the 2010s with his earthy, cross-pollinated brand of jazz, soul, and gospel. A gifted singer of standards as well as more contemporary soul material, Porter has earned favorable comparisons to his idols Nat King Cole, Donny Hathaway, and Stevie Wonder. He announced his arrival by picking up a Grammy nomination for his 2010 debut, Water. (https://www.allmusic.com/artist/gregory-porter-mn0001682702/biography) He recorded this performance in 2016. He has numerous releases stretching from a tribute to Nat King Cole to soul, gospel and pop sets available. His voice is rather reminiscent of Lou Rawls. He’s a class act throughout! Click here to catch a video of a song from this performance – “Liquid Spirit”.
Jeff Reed – Look For The Light (Sticker Street): “Jeff Reed’s jazz quintet is brimming with ingenuity and rapid counterpoints on his latest CD Look For the Light. Leading on acoustic bass, Reed is accompanied by Sean Jones on trumpet,Todd Marcus on bass clarinet, Jonathan Epley on guitar, and Eric Kennedy on drums. The 5-piece engage in ample counter movements as each musician provides feedback to one another’s assertions. The swift exchanges manifest into a complementing chaos, mirroring what listeners would hear during an open jam session…. The release marks the first endeavor for bassist Jeff Reed as a leader. An assortment of jazz standards and original material, the recording displays expressions of joy, contemplation, and open communication. Each track is bountiful of activity as the musicians counter one another, extending on one another’s assertions swiftly and creating an environment of open dialogue.” (https://karionpresskits.com/reviews/jeff-reed-look-for-the-light-is-reviewed-by-jazz2love/) The group is a five solo and wonderfully blended jazz band! Click here to listen to samples of three songs on this disc.
Wayne Shorter – Emanon (Blue Note): “Jazz legend and 10-time GRAMMY winner Wayne Shorter is set for the September 14 release of his long-awaited project Emanon, his first release since 2013’s Without A Net, which marked Shorter’s momentous return to Blue Note Records where he began his heralded recording career in Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers in 1959. Emanon is an extraordinary musical and visual experience that presents a triple album of original music by Shorter performed by The Wayne Shorter Quartet—featuring Shorter on soprano and tenor saxophone with Danilo Perez on piano, John Patitucci on bass, and Brian Blade on drums—with and without the 34-piece Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.” (http://www.bluenote.com/wayne-shorter-to-release-emanon/) Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the performances on this from this set.
The Bad Plus – Activate Infinity (Edition): “Ethan Iverson, Reid Anderson and David King first played together in 1989 but established The Bad Plus in 2000. The band recorded their first album, a self-titled effort released on Fresh Sound, after playing only three gigs together. A live performance at the Village Vanguard was heard by Columbia Records representative Yves Beauvais, and the band was signed to Columbia in 2002.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bad_Plus) Orrin Evans replaced Iverson and the sun rose again in 2018! Click here and scroll down to listen to the songs on this release.