madeleine peyroux. the blue room. decca. Real revelations here from honey-voiced peyroux with both a jazz rhythm combo (5 players) plus strings. all covers–buddy holly to leonard cohen to warren zevon (my fav) –her mix of country, jazz, blues loves them all. the actual “blue room” is the oldest bar in Burbank, CA.
dave douglas quintet. time travel. greenleaf. Fearlessly staking out new ground with each project, trumpeter douglas reassembles the musicians from 2012′s Be Still (minus bluegrass vocalist aiofe o’donovan). all original playlist, with jon irabagon–tenor; linda oh–bass; matt mitchell–piano; rudy royston–drums.
jim snidero. stream of consciousness. savant. Smart guitar-ish trio led by alto player snidero. all (very good) original compostions played effortlessly by of-the-moment musicians: linda oh on bass; rudy royston, drums, and paul bollenback on guitar.
barbara morrison. a sunday kind of love. savant. Solid collection of standards about yearning and love from LA-based vocalist morrison featuring the big tenor sound of houston person. with stuart elster on piano, bassist richard simon, and lee spath, drums.
jay d’amico quintet. tango caliente. CAP. Old style combo playing, with excellent trumpet/ (richie vitale) and tenor/flute (andrew sterman) interplay. misleading title, with not a tango in sight; all originals, good band, arrangements, just no tangos.
eli yamin and evan christopher. louie’s dream for our jazz heroes. self.
Clarinet in the foreground from evan christopher, with eli yamin at the piano; lots of ellingtonia, louis armstrong, mary lou williams.
jared gold. intuition. posi-tone. Excellent organ trio: drummer mcclenty hunter, dave stryker on guitar, and leader/composer jared gold pushing keys and pedals. covers and originals; very groovy, toe-tapping.
charnett moffett. the bridge: solo bass works. motema. Oddly–musically severe, but a beauty. seasoned “young lion” bass player moffet mixes it up on the 20-count roster: shorties like Haitian fight song, and monk medley fly into longer cues like kalengo, eleanor rigby. check it out.!
tommy flanagan, jaki byard the magic of 2. resonance. Brilliance from 1982, recorded live ( on cassette!!) at the keystone korner in San Fran. CA, two of the greatest jazz pianists–duets and solo. byard (teacher to many formidable players, jason moran among them) and flanagan, the smooth, lyricist could not be more different in their moves: jaki finds repeated resistance in the melodies, as tommy looks for the lines of beauty. enjoy this.
kahil el’zabar quartet. what it is!. delmark. Arriving with the pedigree of an avant-garde jazz elder, this 58th recording by composer/drummer el’zabar is very friendly. must be the company he’s keeping: kevin nabors on tenor; justin dillard on keyboards, and junius paul on bass. softness is available; check out “from the heart” with its thumb piano (West Africa) solo.
sean nowell. the kung-fu masters. posi-tone. A whole lotta blowing going on here–but an affirming quote about plateaus from bruce lee. so the band composition is two keyboards–organ, adam klipple, and art hirahara on piano-like things; nowell on tenor, brad mason on trumpet; michael dease on trombone, and then a super energetic drummer, marko djordjevic + evan marien, bass.
CSC funk band. funkincense. electric cowbell. I took this little puppy for a ride in the car and had to pull over. Have no idea who they are; no liner notes, composition credits give names–but alas, besides being from Brooklyn, this grooves ‘n funk fabulosity is under my radar. play it, please—afro-funk-world-jazz-ethiopique-dance-boogaloo. a musical identity crisis of the best kind.
anders osborne. three free amigos. alligator. Reluctant as i am to praise osborne’s easy and beautiful recording–in fear that it will be “kidnapped” like the boz scaggs memphis–i can not pretend otherwise. friendly blues-esque originals that seem familiar, polished with casual but complex arrangements. band has more than 3 amigos:
osborne-vocals, guitar; carl dufrene, bass; michael burkhart, B-3; billy iuso-guitar; maggie koener, vocals.
blues mix 10: super soul mix. ecko. Collection of soul artists like Mrs. Jody, Sir Ced, Jaye Hammer with various pleadings: Stop it, Pay Before you Pump, All I Need, Just Like Dat, Sit her on the Table. how can you go wrong?
johnny and the motones. shake it. altenburgh. Wisconsin-based blues and r&b group featuring john altenburgh, chris o’keefe, and mitch viegut.
arthur big boy crudup. sunny road. delmark. Blues brilliance from 1969, vocalist/guitar master arthur crudup takes on the melancholy of loss and hardship. sit back and listen; with jimmy dawkins & mike thompson on guitar; mark thompson on bass, and willie “big eyes” smith, drumming.