New Jazz Adds – 5/29/2018
The Brubeck Brothers Quartet – TimeLine (Blue Forest): The Brubeck Brothers Quartet, featuring Chris Brubeck (electric bass, bass trombone), Dan Brubeck (drums, hand drums, percussion), Mike DeMicco (guitar) and Chuck Lamb (piano) have pulled together to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Dave Brubeck Quartet’s State Department Tour representing American jazz in fourteen countries around the world. Seven of the eleven songs were Dave Brubeck compositions and the others on this disc are two originals by Lamm, one by Chris Brubeck and one by Mike DeMucco. The music is in a more modern style, but it often reflects Dave Brubeck’s feel and lyricism throughout. Breezy and infectious. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Daniel Carter – William Parker – Matthew Shipp – Seraphic Light (AUM): “Seraphic Light” is the name of a performance crafted by Daniel Carter (flute, trumpet, clarinet, tenor, alto, soprano saxophones played in that order in the performance), Williams Parker (bass), and Matthew Shipp (piano) at Tufts University on April 5, 2017. Their music stretches the musical boundaries somewhat, but I would not list this as highly difficult listening. The individual performers each create fantastic solos and interactive blends with the others. The high degree of improvisation does take listeners on some unusual excursions at times though. This is an intriguing performance and a terrific way to be introduced to jazz beyond the standard boundaries. Click here to listen to excerpts from the overall work.
Jared Gold – Reemergence (Strikezone): Hammond B3 player Jared Gold now has his ninth release out. It includes two of his own compositions and a seemingly continuous creativity when translating the works of others whether drawn from the Great American Songbook or more recent compositions from Stevie Wonder, Lennon & McCartney or Ornette Coleman. He is accompanied by Dave Stryker (guitar, one original composition) and Billy Hart (drums) with Jeremy Pelt (trumpet, flugelhorn) on three of the tracks. This is a fine group set. The combination of players truly works as a unit. Gold’s continuous development or new expressions of songs we know well brings a new vitality to the older works. Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
The Heptatonic Jazz Quintet – Gin & Heptatonic (Self-produced): The name certainly describes this local quintet: the are indeed “hep”, that is unless you subscribe to the notion that “it ain’t hip to say “hep” in which case you had better seek out Harry the Hipster for advice. This band is ready to domino our various lame acts, so let’s get to the music. The players are Aaron Spring (tenor sax), Bod DuCharme (bass), Trevor Williams (vibes), Nick Maglione (drums) and Dick Orange (guesting vocals on two). The sound is cool and swings as well as Tarzan when he’s cruisin’ through the jungle. The sound also has leanings toward bop. Fantastic! Check them out both on disc and at Cville Coffee on June 1 for their CD release party. Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Richard Howell & Sudden Chances – Coming Of Age Mangaku (Self-produced): “Tenor saxophonist, award winning composer, and producer Richard Howell is a Bay Area treasure who has come into his own as a bandleader after decades of producing and supporting other artists. San Francisco’s KQED aptly describes Howell as a jazz “Jedi master”. Coming Of Age Mangaku has a strong spiritual component and is an album of honestly original Richard Howell compositions. The album introduces Howell’s youngest son, Elé Salif Howell, a spirited teenage drummer joined by the virtuoso pianist Frederick Harris, veteran bassist Ravi Abcarian, and scorching alto saxophonist Charles McNeal, with an appearance from “Stretch Music” pioneer trumpeter Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah.” (https://news.allaboutjazz.com/richard-howell-coming-of-age-mangaku-introducing-ele-salif-howell-with-special-guest-christian-scott-atunde-adjuah.php) The music offers a blend of jazz and African sensibilities with a remembrance of the sensibility of Earth, Wind and Fire. Howell explains, “My music celebrates diversity as it bridges, unites, and merges the experience of all listeners. I define it as Bridge Music.” The result is engaging and joyful. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
McClenty Hunter, Jr – The Groove Hunter (Strikezone): Drummer / composer McClenty Hunter Jr. offers his first disc as a leader. Obviously well respected by other musicians for his playing gospel in Maryland, studying with Grady Tate at Howard, and joining Kenny Garrett’s quintet for three years before heading to NYC, Hunter has now gathered a group featuring Eddie Henderson (trumpet), Donald Harrison ((alto sax), Stacy Dillard (tenor, soprano sax), Eric Reed (piano), Christian Sands (piano, Fender Rhodes), Dave Stryker (guitar) and Corcoran Holt (bass). Four of the songs are originals and the remainder feature compositions by Herbie Nichols, Wayne Shorter, Stevie Wonder, Gary McFarland and John Coltrane. Lots of nice ensemble and solo work that still remind us that the groove is the thing. Click here and scroll way down to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Phil Madeira – Providence (Merryland): Singer / songwriter / pianist Phil Madeira has been a professional musician for roughly 30 years and this is his fifth solo release. He has played a variety of styles, including backing Emmylou Harris, Mavis Staples, Keb Mo and Solomon Burke, among others. His vocal style on this disc is very reminiscent of Randy Newman, and while there are some fun and clever moments, I wouldn’t say he has the edge or depth of Newman’s best. Nonetheless, this performance is ear-catching and quit enjoyable. His main backup comes from Chris Donahue (bass) and Bryan Owings (drums) with a variety of guests sprinkled across the program: Roland Barber (trombone, trumpet), Dana Colley (tenor & bari sax), James Hollihan Jr, Will Kimbrough and John Scofield on one song each, David Mansfield (violin, viola), Doug Mother (clarinet), and John Mark Painter (various horns). Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Ellis Marsalis Quintet – Plays The Music of Ellis Marsalis (Elm): Pianist / composer / educator Ellis Marsalis offers a new disc featuring 13 original songs that show the breadth and depth of his musical sensitivity and creativity. The compositions were composed as early as 1962 and as recently as 1997. He is accompanied by Derek Douget (tenor sax), Ashlin Parker (trumpet), Jason Stewart (bass) and Stephen Gordon (drums). The sound is cheerful and full of delights. Click here and scroll down to listen to samples of the first six songs on this disc.
Shawn Maxwell’s New Tomorrow – Music In My Mind (OA2): Chicago musician Shawn Maxwell (alto sax, clarinet, flute) has been recognized for his leadership with his quartet and his dectet. He now augments his group “New Tomorrow” with guest appearances by three of the Windy City’s most respected trumpeters: Victor Garcia and Chad McCullough (trumpet, flugelhorn) and Corey Wilkes (trumpet) with each having two or more performances on this release. Other players are Matt Nelson (piano, rhodes), Patrick Mulcahy, Junius Paul and Tim Seisser (trading off on bass), Phil Beale (drums), Stephen Lynerd (vibes), Kalyan Pathak (percussion) and Dee Alexander (vocals on three songs). The music is all original material by Maxwell and the group plays splendidly throughout. There is also a wonderful interaction among the players. Lots of variety and terrific playing! Click here to listen to sample of two songs on this disc.
Michael Musillami Trio + 2 – Life Anthem (Playscape Recordings): Composer/guitarist Michael Musillami was rushed to the emergency room during June of 2016 and the doctor discovered that he was suffering from a brain tumor and hemorrhage. His recovery was complicated but ultimately successful. The music on this disc is his first new recording since then. In addition to Musillami, players include Joe Fonda (bass), George Schuller (drums), Kirk Knuffke (cornet) and Jason Robinson (tenor and soprano sax, alto flute). Three tracks were completely improvised and two others were largely improvised. Musillami composed the rest. It’s an amazing story and a fantastic performance. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.
Andrew Rathbun Large Ensemble – Atwood Suites (Origin): This set features music composed by Andrew Rathbun and poems written by Margaret Atwood from 1965 – 1984. The poems provide the lyrics for the vocal interpretations by Luciana Souza and Aubrey Johnson. Tim Hagans solos on flugelhorn on the first disc which presents “Two Islands” and “Power Politics”. The accompanying musicians are John O’Gallagher (soprano & alto sax); Ben Kong (alto sax, flute, clarinet); Quinsin Nachoff (tenor sax, clarinet); Dan Pratt (tenor sax, flute, clarinet); Carl Maraghi (bari sax, bass clarinet); Seneca Black (trumpet); Matt Holman, Dave Smith and Russ Johnson (trumpet, flugelhorn); Alan Ferber, Mike Fahie and JC Sanford (trombone); Chris Olness (bass trombone); Nate Radley (guitar); Jeremy Siskind (piano, rhodes); David Ambrosio (bass); and Bill Stewart and Owen Howard (drums). The styles do shift from work to work but these composed works have the restraint and form that is often associated with such works. Quite lovely, but the solos appear to be played as written. Click here to listen to samples of two segments of different works.
Restroy – Restroy (Self-produced): Local band led by Christopher Dammann (bass) offering seven works that are a cross between a freer or experimental style of jazz that builds fascinating sounds and mood shifts. The band members are James Davis (trumpet, ring modulator); Kevin Davis (cello, Big Muff, ring modulator); Paul Giallorenzo (keys, synthesizer); Mabel Kwan (keys, piano) and Avreeayl Ra (drums). The progressions flow invitingly and offer an infectious groove and sonic journey. Dammann’s description is a blend of jazz, grunge, electronic, classical and mbira music. Fascinating! Click here to listen to a sample from this group.