Monthly Archives: February 2013

jazz/blues adds–february 25, 2013

monty alexander. uplift higher.  jazz legacy productions.  More monty live– follows Uplift, 2011, with a mix of jazz/american songbook classics, culled from monty’s many international concerts.   I miss the jamaican styling of  last year’s Harlem-Kingston Express, and earlier Goin’ Yard–but he’s a brilliant, strong, tuneful pianist working with john clayton, bass and jeff hamilton, drums.

grupo los santos.  clave heart.  OA2 records.  This recording– dedicated to the rhumba clave, an irregular beat played by two wooden sticks–was inspired by a trip to the emergency room. The patient/bassist david ambrosio recovered, and with grupo dos santos incorporated folkloric west African music into this tribute to Afro-cubism.  Again, something exciting from Seattle-based OA2 records;  paul carlon, tenor/soprano;  pete smith, guitar/vocals;  william bausch, drums; kaori fuji, flute, and max pollack.

nilson matta black orpheus.  motema records.   Brazilian bassist matta recreates the iconic jobin/de moraes soundtrack to Black Orpheus with a stellar cast:
anne drummond, flute;  anat cohen, clarinet; kenny barron,  piano; randy brecker, trumpet; guilherme monteiro, guitar; alex kautz, drums.  A dreamy sequence of  classics and a few matta originals.

hiromi.  move.  telarc.   Drama and energy in every recording since 2003, Japanese pianist hiromi combines prodigious technique with a musical sophistication that lets many genres share the stage. She likes it all—bop, pop, free, covers;  this recording with all originals, features anthony jackson, contrabass guitar and simon phillips, drums.

espen eriksen trio.  what took you so long.  rune grammofon.  Piano-forward  (espen eriksen) trio from Oslo, Norway makes you yearn for more.  Who are these talented musicians, and their mostly original compositions?  ECM-inspired but not copy-cat;  cover of barry manilow “could it be magic” resists giving the melody away nicely.

ehud asherie with harry allen.  lower east side.  posi-tone records.  Duets from polished jazz masters:  ehud asherie at the piano, and harry allen, tenor.  Some familiar tunes from the broadway rep, from the “parlor music” songbook, some beautiful oddities– like jobin’s “portrait in black and white, bernstein’s “some other time.”

“killer” ray appleton. naptown legacy.  hollistic music works.   Naptown is Indianapolis, Indiana, home of many jazz greats –freddie hubbard, the montgomery brothers, j.j. johnson, slide hampton, etc.  And ” killer “ray, a drummer who  started early in 1950 has worked with many of them.  He tributes generously on this playlist which swings, cooks, and sounds fresh.  with brian lynch, trumpet;  todd hebert, tenor;  peter bernstein, guitar.

nicole henry.  so good, so right: live.  banister records.  Yummy 1970’s tunes from  new-to-me vocalist nicole henry;  great pipes but not afraid to be understated– check out the bob marley, ” waiting in vain, and bill withers’ “use me”.  Band includes the requisite electric piano with kevin hays; adam rogers, guitar; vicente archer, bass; clarence penn, drums.

los mas valienteslive @ makor: 10th anniversary celebration.  706 music.   Soft spot in my heart for this band;  the trombonist/ composer is local Rick Faulkner, his wife Jessica Valiente is flutist/composer/musical director and they celebrated the NYC-based band’s 10th anniversary in 2005.   The high-energy music, and Jessica’s CD notes speak to the pleasures and hard work of keeping a band together for a decade

steve owen.  stand up eight. OA2 records.   Large jazz band–18 players + composer ( steve owen), conductor (dan gailey).    Very polished sound from educator/composer owen, working with a diverse national band;  mostly originals, hitting this and that jazz genres–a miles tribute, a radiohead, a cole porter riff.

john moulder quintet.  the eleventh hour.  origin records.   Recorded live at the green mill (cocktail lounge, as the neon invites)–the famous Chicago jazz club home of patricia barber and graznya auguscik.  Original compositions, strong saxophone works from geog bradfield,  guitarist and leader john moulder;  with jim trompeter, piano; larry gray, bass; paul wertico, drums.

buford powers.  too good to be true.  baby bath records.   Smooth and lounge-y, powers has a deep, warm voice like johnny hartman.  Songs are mostly ballads; i wasn’t crazy about his delivery–lyrics often got mumbled, scrunched.


otis redding.  lonely & blue.  volt record.  This is pretty magnificent.  Volt/Concord 2013 release of Otis Redding’s torchy ballads from his brief mid-60’s recording period on Stax records.  Period styling with liner notes for marty hackman of WDHG, Detroit.   All of it is fine;  there is nothing i can tell you except play it, and please leave it in the studio for all to enjoy.

big bill morganfield.  blues with a mood.  black shuck records.  Great voice and guitar styling, original compositions from the son of muddy waters, truly–but you knew that.  core band is augie meyers on piano; more guitar from eddie taylor and colin linden; jim horn on sax; chuck cotton, drums, plus guests.

mike eldred trio61/49rip cat records.  Re-release of  guitarist eldred and his trio’s collection of rockabilly, bar band blues, and roots performances.  Trio members include john baez,  fender bass; jerry angel, drums plus cameos from riley osborn and his B-3, jeff turnes on bari-sax;  ike turner on piano.   61 and 49 is a  highway crossway.

4 jacks.  deal with itEllerSoul records.   This is good too.  4jacks are:  anson funderburgh, guitar;  big joe maher, vocals, drums; kevin mckendree, piano, B-3; steve mackey.  house party a startin’ with this one;  very danceable, all originals.

jazz/blues adds–february 18, 2013

miles davis quintet.  live in europe 1969: the bootleg series vol. 2.  columbia/legacy records.   3CD’s and a DVD (NA), recorded July 25-26, 1969 @ Antibes Jazz Festival, France;  then in Stockhom November 5, 1969, and lastly, Berlin (that’s the DVD) November 7, 1969.  Multiply versions of about a dozen iconic  Miles works.  Stellar band:  chick corea, piano; wayne shorter, tenor/soprano; dave holland, bass; jack dejohnette, drums; miles davis,  trumpet.   Listen and find your favorites.hashem assadullahi.  pieces.  OA2 records.  Debut recording for saxophonist Assadullahi  collects all originals from the band:
justin morell, guitar; james miley, piano; tayler abbott, bass; ryan biesack, drums  and veteran trumpeter ron miles.  Songs divide between edgy, stretched-out works, and and melodic shorties for daytime use.  Seattle-based Origin records–always interesting– continues to foster new talent with their boutique label, OA2.

ian carey quintet + 1.  roads & codes.  kabocha records.   NYC composer/trumpeter Carey moved cross country to San Francisco, finding  great inspiration in his geographic upheaval.  Creative and quirky, the compositions refer to predecessors– neil young, kenny wheeler, igor stravinsky, charles ives–but spring into unique originals.  Detail-oriented carey, whose day-job had been as a graphic artist, illustrated the cover art with a nod to the politics of marketing jazz music.  Excellent band:  evan francis on tenor/flute;  kasey knudsen, alto; adam shulman, piano; john arkin, drums, fred randolph, bass.  West Coast Jazz seems to be having a revival.

stan bock and the new tradition.  feelin’  it.  OA2 records.  Serious, smooth brass sound from this Portland, OR group led by trombonist stan bock.  Many original compositions;  a very tight band that includes renato caranto on tenor; john nastos, soprano/alto/clarinet; clay giberson, piano; tim gilson, fretless bass; christopher brown, drums/alto.

antonio adolfo.  finas misturas.  AAM music.   Fine mixtures from brazilian pianist/composer of 40+years, adolfo pays tribute to his jazz influences–coltrane, jarrett, evans, corea, gillespie–with soft harmonies from Northeastern Brazil:  the Quadrilha, the Toada, and Baiao.  Like the best jazz covers, the  adolfo arrangements allow the melodies to resist discovery.  He’s the pops of vocalist carol saboya.

yelena eckemoff.  glass song.  L & H records.   The look and sound of an ECM recording, but ….no, this gorgeous trio is produced by L & H productions out of Greensboro NC.  All originals from classically trained Russian pianist yelena eckemoff, this trio is all balance, nuance and modulation—  featuring the brilliant bassist arild anderson and drummer with a 1000 quiet beats in his kit, peter erskine.
Day or night, this is a beauty.

michael wolff/ mike clark.  wolff & clark expedition.  random act records.  Assured collaboration between these 2 mikes, wolff on piano and clark on drums–with a fearless chip jackson at the bass.  A big, big sound whether they cover the beatles or horace silver.  these guys mean business, musically, but are having a blast;   dynamic and accessible.

joe clark big band, featuring jeff hamilton  lush.  jazzed media records.  Fourteen brass players join a 4-man rhythm section that spotlights jeff hamilton on drums.   Leader/trumpeter joe clark guides his men with good energy and polish, but  sometimes the insistent forward-motion of a brass band wears me out.

doug macdonald.  reorganized quartet.  blujazz records.  The strong sound here is from 70 year old Hammond B-3 master bobby pierce weaving among the guitar lines of leader doug macdonald and tenor licks of clarence webb.  More West Coast jazz, this time from LA  resident macdonald who last explored the organ group setting in 1997.  perfect for the WTJU B-3 addicts.

mansur scott harlem quartet. sometimes forgotten, sometimes remembered. pao records.   We are all going to want to play this recording;  it’s gifts are raw, spiritual, and sophisiticated—so enjoy, but figure out where it exists in a playlist.  The cues are long–especially for vocals–and demanding.  Vocalist mansur scott does nothing the conforming way, and that includes his band:  drummer marc johnson , wayne batchelor, bassist, and pianist carlton holmes shape the music, it’s a unified effort.

next collective.  cover art.  concord.   Do not miss this!  A musical union from the (young) jazz edge:  christian scott on trumpet;  gerald clayton at the piano; jamire williams, drums;  logan richardson, alto;  walter smith lll, tenor;   ben williams, bass;  kris bowers, fender rhoades; matthew stevens, guitar.  Everybody gets a turn to produce and arrange, and the results are pretty uniformly brilliant;  my selection “dots” are all over this playlist.

billy martin’s wicked knee.  heels over head.  amulet records.  Another DNM.   Toe-tapping, New Orleans style brass band from horn masters of the NYC Downtown scene;  strange alliance but it really works.  Recipe follows:  take the percussionist from Medeski, Martin (that’s the Billy Martin part), Wood and combine with marcus rojas on tuba; steven bernstein, trumpet/slide trumpet;  vocalist shelley hirsch.  Add improbable  songs lilke ghumba lumba , button to button, canta y no llores –instant dance party.


various.  soul brothers.  concord.  Compilation of great soul releases from the concord library:  from the deep past.  Midnight @ the Oasis by pleasure.  Do Your Thing by isaac hayes;  Stairway to Heaven by stanley turrentine, plus much more.

grady champion.  tough times don’t last.  grady shade music.  Mississippi blues vocalist/multi-instrumentalist champion began his performing life as MC Gold, a rapper.  But then he discovered the music of Delta bluesman Sonny Boy Williamson, and devoted himself to learning, and singing the blues.  One of 28 children, he grew up singing gospel, and proud of his rural roots.

lisa cee.  my turn.  rip cat records.    SoCal blues singer, lisa cee digs deep in her strong, plaintive singing.  The playlist is funk, rock-esque, blues, and country;  she lets the band (much of it guitars) shine, and occasionally runs the risk of being drowned by their twang.    Her voice is wild  but sweet;  and reviews says that live is her best moment.

jesse dee.  on my mind/in my heart.  alligator records.  Singer/songwriter dee (from Boston, MA)  wrote originals for this major release on alligator records.  Great big sound from a horn-centric New Soul band, and authentic delivery from jesse who sounds a little like Van, and a little like Sam and a little like Otis–depending who you talk with.

Induced to Judder [Thursday, February 14, 2013]

Van Cleanup/ Tribute to Donald Byrd RIP/ Valentine’s Day Look At Love & BHW Preview
With a very successful Van Morrison folk marathon request show… we have some unfulfilled tunes to play. Followed by a tribute to jazz trumpeter Donald Byrd who passed away February 4th but wasn’t confirmed & reported until last Monday. Then the Juddermeister takes you to New Orleans for a Valentine’s Day look at the subject of love and closes the show with a preview of the artists featured next week as part the Black History Week of special programming… check out the schedule of shows for next week.

Complete playlist hereDonald Byrd Royal Flush (Full Album)

jazz/blues adds–february 11, 2013


harvie s with kenny barron.  witchcraft. savant records.  Duets from bassist ( formerly steady collaborator to vocalist sheila jordan)  harvie s.(cwarz) and elegant pianist barron.  When the bass leads, there’s an isometric feel to the music–gentle entrances and statements;  these pros do exceptional work with a collection of lesser-known standards.  play anytime.

inbar fridman. time quartet project. origin records.   Israeli-born and European-based guitarist fridman joins with her “french mob”:  camelia ben naceur on piano; laurent chavoit, bass; and stefano lucchini, drums to produce a musical portfolio of cool, original compositions.  France and the Pyrennes fuel their inspiration.

jeremy pelt. water and earth.  highnote records. Trumpeter/composer/educator pelt takes a different direction;  he rejoins with musicians from his 2007 recording– frank locrasto (keyboards), dana hawkins (drums), burniss earl travis (bass) and gives the B-3 ((David Bryant) a prominent role in this project.  all originals– for me, too many odd vocal effects–but he supports his vision.

pat metheny.  the orchestrion project.  nonesuch records.  Two CDs;  metheny plays solo and everything:  guitar, marimba, vibraphone, blown bottles, robotic angeli guitar, cymbals, guitarbots, percussion.   Recording follows a tour, and was done live at St. Elias Church in Brooklyn.  There’s a lot of good listening here–CD #2 really spoke to me–but find your own way, check it all out.

jason marsalis vibes quartet.  in a world of mallets.  basin street records.  Tasty, and so polished, drummer, and now vibraphonist, marsalis gathers an excellent foursome: austin johnson on piano; will goble at bass; dave potter, drums for his unique evocation of past and present vibe excursions.   Nods to classical composer, and mallet-enthusiast Steve Reich, and deepest tributes to the Modern Jazz Quartet, and before them Lionel Hampton. All originals, some with a Crescent City vibe.

wayne shorter quartet without a net. blue note records.  Arriving with a fierce jazz pedigree, tenor/soprano musician shorter continues to go his own way.  the quartet is remarkable:  danilo perez @ the piano drives some of the most striking rhythms, john pattitucci on bass, and brian blade on drums.  but the best (original) compositions are long, and maybe too cerebral for daytime use.

kevin eubanks.  the messenger. mack avenue records.  After years as jay leno’s musical sidekick on the Tonight Show, guitarist/ composer eubanks continues to focus on the music.  his band includes brothers duane on trumpet, robin on trombone plus drummer marvin ‘smitty’ smith, rene camacho on bass and bill pierce on tenor/soprano sax.

triosence with sara gazarek.  where time stands still. charleston square records.  Vocalist/lyricist gazarek teams up with Cologne, Germany musicians for a sparkling session they call  “european jazz with an american accent.”   pianist bernhard schuler wrote the songs to gazarek’s lyrics–songs of love and seasonal poetics.  with ingo senst, bass; stephan emig, drums; vitaliy zolotov, guitar, frank haunschild, acoustic guitar.

nick finzer.  exposition. self-produced.  Hard-driving debut release from NYC trombonist finzer–student of steve turre,–features all original compositions while exploring the classic styles of curtis fuller, and j.j.johnson.  young ambitious band includes lucas pino-tenor; alex wintz-guitar; samora pinderhughes-piano; dave baron-bass; jimmy macbride-drums.

lary barilleau and the latin jazz collective.carmen’s mambo. OA2records.  Latin big band sound led by percussionist barilleau with outstanding brasses– mike olmos on trumpet, melecio magadalyo on flute, and doug beavers, trombone.  mostly original compositions, gentle and playful charts without too much latin “blatt”.  West coast (San Fran and Seattle) musicians on the innovative OA2 label giving Latin music a boost.

kevin mahogany.  old, new, borrowed and the blues.  mahogany jazz.  More music from the heart of the new center of the earth, Brooklyn, N.Y–jazz vocalist mahogany hits the familiar in “autumn leaves”, scat in “I’m still swingin”, channels Billy Strayhorn on “when i fall in love”, and visits the gospel tent for “sparrow”.

jambalaya brass band.   on the funky side.  890 west music.  Exactly what the CD title and band name describes.  the man behind the JBB is ric franks–tenor, percussion, vocals and some composition.  might be blues, the sound is very brassy, and extravagant.


marcy marxer.  things are coming my way.  community music records.  Guitar-centric recording from Grammy award-winning singer/instrumentalist mercer and her long-time partner cathy fink;  between them they perform a baker’s dozen of songs from french cafe to old time americana on an impressive collection of vintage guitars.  not so much blues as roots with  easy swing.

otis taylor.  my world is gone. telarc/concord.  Boulder-based, roots composer/multi-instrumentalist taylor creates a beauty in this iconic recording about the loss of native american culture.  Great arrangements feature anne harris on fiddle; mato nanji–from the band Indigenous– on guitar, banjo and extra vocals; ron miles on cornet; larry thompson, drums; todd edmunds, bass; shawn starski, guitar; brian juan, organ.  played it twice.

the slide brothers.  robert randolph presents the slide brothers.  concord records.  played this twice, too.  Steel guitar master robert randolph gathers  four masters of the Sacred (church) Steel tradition: calvin cooke, aubrey ghent, and brothers chuck and darick campbell. The songs are from the great gospel songbook, plus secular gregg allman’s “don’t keep me wonderin.”  Wall of sound quality without the muddiness that can come with dynamic music.

dorothy moore.  blues heart.  farish street records.  Legendary blueswoman moore demonstrates her rich, beautiful voice in this strong R&B collection.  Jackson raised and located, moore founded farish street records to support the blues revival in Mississippi;  band members include
david hungate-bass; clayton ivey-keyboards;  steve johnson-guitar.