Monthly Archives: March 2014

jazz/blues adds march 25, 2014

jazz

mike longo.  step on it. cap.  Outstanding trio led by pianist mike longo includes bob cranshw on bass and lewis nash on drums.  playlist covers the who’s who of jazz classics:  weill’s my ship; herbie’s cantaloupe island; a trio of wayne shorter famous titles; and a deep, throaty poinciana.

tom tallitsch.  ride.  posi-tone.  This band, led by tenor ted tallitsch, throws a forceful harmonic net over each cue–whether covering led zeppelin’s ten years gone, or  exploring tallitsch’s original compositions.  stellar partners are:  rudy royston, drums;  michael dease, trombone; art hirahara, piano;  peter brendler, bass.

eddie allen.  push.  edjalen music 505.   New York trumpeter  eddie allen leads a smooth septet with double keyboards, a trio of horns, bass & drums.  nearly all originals setlist;  keith loftis, don tucker, misha tsiganov, kenny davis, ej strickland.

antonio adolfo.  rio, choro, jazz.  aam.  Tribute to Brazilian composer, ernesto nazareth (1863-1934), inventor of the choro, a musical style and dance form, unique to Rio is produced by pianist/musicologist antonio adolfo.  other musicians are claudio spiewak, guitar;  jorge helder, bass; marcelo martins, rafael barata, marcos suzano.

yossi tamim.  one movement.  self.   Jazz & string quartet merge for all originals playlist.  Israeli guitarist/composer yossi tamim draws from Jewish songs, classical  & traditional works for his meditative, crossover recording.  jim ridl, tim horner, tom dicarlo + wende namkung, hector falcon, liuh-wen ting, rubin kodheli.

belle plaine.  notes from a waitress.  13th ave.  A donation from peter jones /wtju folk department;  belle plaine, aka melanie hankewich, uber- prairie girl from Canada  has traveled widely burnishing her songwriting and vocal skills– australia, victoria, alberta, etc.  her originals (with pianist jeremy sauer) playlist nods to tom waits and peggy lee.  all emotions seem happily available to her, with confidence.

various.  the beatles jazz tribute.  highnote.  Beatles tributes from the highnote  label roster:  sheila jordan on little blackbird;  norman simmons on eleanor rigby;  larry coryell with something;  and a trio of covers by guitarist joel harrison.

jeremy wilms.  diamond people. self.   Very DTY production:  music is sturdy, but no accurate musician or compostional credits.  guitarist wilms has been toiling in the jazz fields forever– played with many–most recently on tour with the bill t. jones broadway show of fela.  playlist feels original.

terrence brewer.  mosaic: setting the standard, volume two. strong brew.  San Fran, CA. guitarist  brewer is not shy about his love for the music of wes montgomery.  Standards playlist interpretated by  jarrett cherner–piano;  gabe davis, bass;  lorca hart, drums.  FYI:  this disc would not play for me, literally.

native jazz quartet.  njq:  stories.  cap.  The hook here is native melodies representing musical communities far and wide:  drummer ed littlefield  comes from the Tlingit people of SE Alaska;  vibist jason marsalis from the rich Creole tradition of New Orleans;  pianist reuel lubag brings Filipino folk songs;  bassist christian fabian, anthemic music from the Swedish-German axis.

brian charette.  square one.  posi-tone.  Grammy-nominated, and “one of the best of the new breed of B-3 players–downbeat“,  organist brian charette works with yotam silberstein on guitar, mark ferber on drums in this high energy, mostly originals release.

marc seales.  american songs, vol.2: blues …and jazz.  origin.   Northwest pianist/educator/ composer seales revisits the elmo hope bop tradition, though with more fret members:  fred hamilton on guitar;  jeff johnson & dave captein sharing the double & electric bass duties;  and gary hobbs on drums.  polished.

rachel eckroth.  let go.  virgo sun.  Triple threat:  Brooklyn-based pianist/composer with gorgeous vocal talent.  originals, eclectic arrangements.

leslie pintchik.  in the nature of things.   pintch hard.  Fourth release from former Columbia University literature professor, now jazz pianist/composer pintchik working with regular bassist scott hardy + horn chorus– steve wilson on tenor, ron horton on trumpet, and double percussion from michael sarin and satoshi takeishi.  originals, nearly all.

blues

arthur migliazza.  laying it down.  hobemian.   Blues and boogie woogie pianist arthur migliazza plays originals, fats domino, louis prima, a.ammons + more.  many co-stars on the band–harmonicats, fiddler, percussion and drums, deep  & electric string.  on the heels of his very successful tour in Russia where they love to boogie.

johnny cox.  thin blue line.   self.   Eleven original songs from blues vocalist/guitartist johnny cox who emigrated from Scotland in 1985 to Canada so as to get closer to the blues source.  band features ansgar schroer on the lesser-known, but truly fine,  chromatic harmonica.

ray fuller & bluesrockers.  live @ buddy’s guy’s legends.  azuretone.  ” an unstoppable force of rockin blues energy”, guitarist/vocalist/now-slide-guitar  ray fuller has been around and learned from the masters.  when he’s not touring, he’s playing with the boys at buddy guy’s esteemed Chicago club legends where this cd was recorded live.

the holmes brothers.  brotherhood.   alligator.   Juke joint and the church are both praised in the dozen recordings sherman and wendall holmes have made since beginning (1979) and leaving Christchurch, Va for blues venues of New York City.  good stuff , some with catherine russell on vocals;  sherman on bass; wendell on electric guitar, popsy dixon, drums, many guests.

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jazz /blues adds march 19,2014

jazz

eric vloeiman.  oliver’s cinema.  northstar.   Our man in Holland, eric vloeiman, has gone a wandering and found himself  some new co-stars:  German cellist, jorg brunkman, and Belgian accordionist , tuur florizoone.  is there anyone who knows how to play soft, better than vloeiman? so, no surprise that he found a subtle squeezebox player.    all the while “agile & pert”–e.v.   and I am, shamelessly, persuaded that a playlist with movie themes is la creme of listening.

ambrose akinmusire.  the imagined savior is far easier to paint.  blue note. Title(s) aside, wade into young trumpeter akinmusire’s  second cd, featuring regular bandmates:  walter smith, tenor; harish raghaven, bass; justin brown, drums.  new members–pianist sam harris and vocalists– becca stevens, cold specks, theo bleckmann–jump the originals playlist out of the ordinary.

lisa hilton.  kaleidoscope.  self.  LA classically trained jazz pianist hilton with a great quartet– tenor j.d. allen;  larry grenadier, bass; marcus gilmore, drums– working  a spirited playlist, many originals.  Gorgeous playing, highly impressionistic–every instrumental voice sharing the spotlight.
da lata.  fabiola.  agogo.  Strings, kora & trombones, bound together by Bahian samba drums that would make Olodum proud,  Londoners chris franck & patrick forge first recorded da lata in 1994–as Afro-Brazilian house/dance/jam band.  10 years later, from the studio, their dedication continues.  international guest vocalists:  Cape Verdean mayra andrade; jandira silva, dennis rollins, luisa maita;  steaming arrangements.  stop, look and LISTEN.
fareed haque.  trance hypothesis.  delmark.  Chicago fusion guitarist (via Chile & Pakistan) fareed haque working with his fat earth ensemble brings the tabla (shivalik ghoshal) , oud (essam rafea) & sitar (indrajit banerjee)  into a large jazz group that also includes the B-3 (tony monaco).    Indian cues shine:  hymn of the ancients, saba, sristi, and title track.
billy hart quartet.  one is the other.  ecm.    Seventy-three year old drummer billy hart brings multi-genre-ed jazz experience to his young bloods quartet:   elegant pianist ethan iverson and resourceful tenor mark turner share the lyrical moments as ben street on bass, and leader/composer hart keep time, energy and line.
ian carey + ben stolorow.  duocracy.  kabocha.  Trumpet/piano duo take on the American songbook looking for simplicity and sophistication.  loved playlist selections, especially two for the road.
barbara martin + vince lewis.  fresh air.  vinbara.  Locals– vocalist (martin), guitar (lewis), bassist (paul langosch)–settle into an acoustic playlist of originals and freshly interpreted standards.  recorded at the packing shed, Lovingston, VA.
adam rongo.  tell your story.  d:clef.  Debut cd from Michigan-native, alto/tenor player rongo draws on favorite classics and originals;  core band includes michael dease (rongo’s mentor) on trombone;  ulysses owens jr, drums;  rodney whitaker, bass; emmet cohen, piano  + etienne charles, behn gillece, randy napoleon.
mr. confuse.  do you realize.  legere.   Hanover, Germany dj and music producer generates funk & message in 2012 release.  dance tracks, mixed with political anthems,   lots of guest vocalists– dan salem, lady emz, elaine thomas.  a curious window into the universe of European music trends where America’s groove past provides the engine.
the pepper pots.  we must fight.  double back.  Old school soul from Girona, Catalonia (near Barcelona), Spain;  8 guys, 2 women, 10 years, , 6 cds, 400 shows.  not exactly the supremes‘ vocal complexity, or motown‘s song writing chops, but positive politics for the young is a philosophical +.  please visit here.
legere samplervarious.  legere.  more to tempt you from the gang that gets out the funk.  sampler includes artists, new to us;  bridget cooper, the impellers, kerbside collection, pitch & scratch.
blues
terry quiett. taking sides.  lucky bag.  Coming out of Witchita, Kansas, TQB consists of singer/songwriter/guitarist terry quiet; bass player nathan johnson, rodney baker on drums plus guests:  Mississippi hal reed, blues harp;  brad turgeon + jordan northerns, horns;  scott williams, keyboards.
terry davidson & the gears.   sonic soul sessions.  bangshift.   The gears, out of Ohio,  have been blues-ing for almost 3 decades:  terry davidson– guitar, mandolin,vocals;  bill geist–guitar, percussion;  bob hanners–drums;  mike gilliland, harmonica, guitar.  guests, original playlist
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tess barr.  do what you want.  barbarian.  All originals playlist  from Pacific Northwest-based exuberant blues singer/songwriter;  the core band includes barr on vocals/guitar;  patrik barr, slide guitar;  paul viemeister, bass guitar;  cheo larcombe, drums.
john lyons.  sing me another song.  self.   Michigan-born, Switzerland-resident, blues man john lyons  tells a story of lost loves in his new cd;  European band includes simon britschgi–drums; matthew savnik– keys;  gabriel spahni–bass;  lyons–vocals/guitar/composition.


jazz/blues adds march 11, 2014

jazz

snarky puppy.  we like it here.  ropeadope.  New–  from the “puppy”– comes with advance praise from dj tim schwarz across the Asian pond in Singapore.  though recorded @ kytopia studios in Utrecht, NL, bassist michael league’s liner notes tell a story of 7 years American toil followed by a blazing european tour.  no two cues are alike, and it’s a big puppy: 20-40 musicians in the collective.  the puppy got its start @ UT in Denton TX, now based in Brooklyn.

revolutionary snake ensemble.  live snakes. accurate.  Boston-based musicians, led by reed master ken field, the snakes do well with their mardi gras inspired tribute to filmmaker karen aqua  (who was field’s wife).  the center piece is the free jazz for karen which flows into i’ll fly away, classic NoLa funeral stuff.  lots and lots of horns;  rest are rhythm.

bahama soul club.   the cuban tapes.  buy-u.  Club music inspired by classic film, I am Cuba (mikhail kalatozov, 1964), produced by the German studio of olivier belz & andre neundorf.  new Cuban voices–telmary, arema arega, danay suarwez plus tracks of bessie smith, ruthie foster.  eddie filipp, drums;  horns:  york, kervin barreto.  infectious.

gene ludwig-pat martino trio.  young guns.  highnote.  Rich organ-guitar-drums trio from 1968-69.  pat martino on guitar;  Pittsburgh pretender to the throne of jimmy smith, gene ludwig at the organ and Ohio drummer randy gillespie have at it.  long,  mellow and fiery, cues set a very high barre;  the trio would be around for only 2 years.  if you like the B-3, & jazz guitar–martino and ludwig together, can’ t stop the fever.
bruce barth.  daybreak.  savant.  Vibes and piano, trumpet, bass & drums-that’s the lineup:  barth, piano & leader;  steve nelson,vibes;  terell stafford, horns;  vicente archer and montez coleman keep the rhythm.  classically trained, on his 13th recording, barth explores the bop /post-bop piano of his teacher jaki byard.
organic trio.  home remembered.  uno.  More from New Orleans.  jazz guitarist brian seeger, hammond B-3, organist jean-yves jung, and drummer paul wiltgen celebrate their European tour’s conclusion with this all originals cd.  produced by the music department @ university of new orleans.
cindy scott.  historia.  catahoula.  New Orleans vocalist cindy scott with jazz chops and a soft bluesy purr.  eclectic, never boring, playlist;  solid band–randy porter, piano;  dan loomis, bass;  jamison ross, drums + guest vocalistt karrin allyson, & local hero brian seeger (see above).
david “fathead” newman.  cellar groove with tilden webb trio.  cellar live.  Precious cargo from the archives of the late Cellar Jazz club;   2004, music legend newman (1933-2009) played this Vancouver gig with verve and maturity– duke pearson’ cristo redentor, pure poetry.
with tilden webb @ the piano;  jodi proznick, bass;  jesse cahill drums.
mike allen quartet with hugh fraser.  panorama.  cellar live.  West-coast classic jazz ensemble with all originals playlist:  leader/tenor/soprano mike allen added in hugh fraser’s trombone to his Vancouver-based group:  miles black, piano;  adam thomas, bass;  julian macdonough, drums.  finely-tuned jazz  from cory weeds’ cellar live catalog.
fat thumbs ronnie time to shine.  legere.  Unity Sextet piano wizard fat thumbs ronnie celebrates all things keyboard-esque and synthesized.  playlist is cast on a slight frame, perhaps a film narrative, or a novel;  think mood not details, but always those sound effects telling you to sit back relax and enjoy the drive.
new mastersounds.  therapy.  legere.  Funky-ambient with tangents of soul, and a hypnotic-house beat that creeps into retro styling.  band came out of Leeds, England, now multi-national; eddie roberts, simon allen, joe tatton, peter shand=instrumentalists, kim dawson, vocals.
the funky mamas.  funky mama.  goodfellas.  the funky mamas are not only guys but they are originally from southern Italy;  funk, with a big badass horn section is what they play.  long nighttime cues.
blues

smokewagon blues band.  live in hamilton.  indie pool/canada.   Smokewagon– led by vocalist/harmonicat corey lueck– spotlights the blues scene in Hamilton, Ontario with their live recording.  though most cues really roll and move, nothing is as good as their # 1, a cover of bill withers’ ain’t no sunshine.  great  sax– gordon aeichele;  bass, jason colvecchia;  drums, tibor lukacs;  piano, nick succi;  and guitar, mike stubbs.
nick moss  band.  time ain’t free.  blue bella.  Blues guitarist/harmonicat from Chicago takes on 70’s rock & rock with an R&B twist;  lots of good in this batch;  excellent keys from bryan rogers;  drums, patrick seals;  michael ledbetter, guitar, composition;  matthew wilson, bass.
johnny drummer.  bad attitude.  earwig.  Original, slightly goofy tunes, from Chicago blues man self-named because at the time he played the drums;  now, he sings, plays organ, harmonica, writes.  Good band, excellent arrangements.
patti parks.  cheat ‘n man.  self.  Seasoned blues band from Buffalo, NY, parks writes her own stuff,, sings with gusto and takes her blues invasion into soul, R&B, and even a little gospel.  stellar horn section led by gerry youngman, nick salamone, paul vanacore.


jazz/blues adds march 4, 2014

jazz

norma winstone.  dance without answerecm.  Art-song goddess winstone takes her time and her method with a song;   her fourth collaboration with German clarinetist/soprano sax klaus gesing and  Italian pianist glauco venier is as pristinely harmonic as 2008’s distances.  in this batch of tunes, vocalist winstone applies her  spare lyrics to originals and covers some beauties.

kate mcgarry and keith ganz.  genevieve & ferdinand.  sunnyside.  Duets between husband and wife: vocalist mcgarry  & guitarist ganz deliver the best of past and forward singer-songwriter expessions.  songs not-so-known gleam from their playlist, among them devon sproule’s plea for a good night’s rest, and her partner, paul curreri’s beneath a crozet trestle bridge.  exquisite seems correct.

the unity sextet.  eponymous.  legere.  Good to the very last cue.  Analysis: dedicated to the power of the instrumental, looking to Horace Silver bop-riffs as well as Parisian jazz, circa 1960’s, but don’t forget the Now.  Racing, dancing;  everybody in, everybody out.  Fun and joy.the boys from SW England ( Exeter) include buddy franco, junior oliver; fat thumbs ronnie, cassius farqhuar, chuck wadron, fats young jr.

caroline lacaze en route.  legere.  Remembering the sounds of French chanteuse, francoise hardy and music of serge gainsbourg,  vocalist lacaze debuts with a message of originals and vivd retro style.  bandmates are the superb mocambo sound electric orchestra.  compositions by bjorn wagner.
nick pride and the pimp tones.  rejuiced phat shake.  legere.  Three for three from the Hamburg, Germany legere label, nick pride+ hails from Newcastle, drives a similar musical bus to  sharon jones & co.–vocalist featured–but drops easily into funky/deep jazz instrumental edges.  pride on guitar; oscar cassidy, drums;  ian paterson, bass;  keith nicholson, trumpet; tom quilliam, saxophone.

kris bowers.  heroes + misfits.  concord.  Classically trained jazz pianist, winner of the 2011 monk competition, kris bowers’  thoughtful, high energy cd celebrates what shaped him:   music conservatory, hip-hop; LA;  the deep past of jazz, blues and soul.  young, brave, and connected-up to other risk-taking musicians;  bowers on piano, the fender, synthies;  casey benjamin, alto; kenneth whalum II, tenor; adam agate, guitar; jamire williams, drums.

brad mehldau & mark guiliana.  mehliana: taming the dragon.  nonesuch.  Nothing familiar in these duets from brad mehldau, formerly of  art of the trio format and  mark guiliana, drummer with beat music.   welcome to the universe of electronics, lots of swirl, buzz;  Mr. Fender is front and center, Mr. Steinway, tucked in the closet.  the dragon to be tamed, his name is electricity.

jacques schwarz-bart.  jazz racine haiti.  motema.   Modern jazz and Haitian ritual music find each other in tenor sax/composer jacques schwarz-bart’s revelatory cd.   raised by writers–Guadeloupan novelist simone schwarz-bart and french journalist andre schwarz-bart, jacques was destined for the halls of Parisian politics when he made an abrupt turn into the arms of Berklee School of Music.  his strong path led to this daunting, but gorgeous, exploration of voodoo music.  with etienne charles, trumpet;  obed calvaire, drums;  reggie washington, bass,, gregory privat, piano + guests.

adam smale.  out of the blue.  self.  US  debut from Toronto 7-string finger-style guitar master adam smale who plays with authority and technique:  mostly originals playlist, quartet setting.

pete robbins.  pyramind.  self.  Alto player peter robbins fronts a classic trio with extraordinary musicians:  the deliberate vijay iyer on piano, eivind opsvik on bass, tyshawn sorey on drums.  originals and covers that range from witchita lineman— that’s a popular cover these days– to pop gold in nirvana’s  lithium and guns ‘n roses’ pyramid.

javon jackson.  expressions.  smoke sessions.  Polished, elegant playlist from tenor javon jackson who has played with everyone –as a youngster, one of art blakey’s messengers; then with the incomparable elvin jones, later with freddie hubbard.  all that schoolin’ shows:  orrin evans, piano; corcoran hold, bass;  mcclenty hunter, drums.

shawn maxwellalliance.  chicago sessions.  Chicago multi-insstrumentalist shawn maxwell shows off his compositional skills in this “suite for ten:   2 french horns,  2 basses, guitar, soprano sax, drums , vibes, voice, + all the reeds maxwell plays.  shorties, tone poems–aiming for a mood on the free jazz side.

blues

markiss blowfish.  come along with me.  self.   Neighboring bluesman from Richmond, mark branch–aka, markiss blowfish;   singer, songwriter branch plays with bassist chuck kerwath, and winston gravely on percussion.

bernie pearl.  take your time bee bump.  Fantastic trip to the old days with guitarist (sometimes lap steel) vocalist bernie pearl, his versatile band, and duet partner, vocalist barbara morrison.  so many tunes to love:  the bible and blues set;  a Mississippi raga, and irreverence from my new compositional hero,  mance lipscomb.

lisa biales.  belle of the blues.  big song.  Strong sultry voice, gorgeously produced blues from the “belle of the blues.”  band shines– includes paul hornsby, piano;  bill stewart, drums;  tommy talton, dobro & e.g. kight, guitar;  randall bramblett, B-3., johnny fountain, bass .

john nemeth.  memphis grease blue corn.  One of the best contemporary blues/soul revivalists showcases his excellent songwriting talents & blues award winning band the bo-keys.  nemeth, plays blues harp, sings, runs his 8-man band as one finely tuned instrument.