meklit. we are alive. six degrees. Original, brave (politics + music) vocals from San Francisco via Ethiopia singer meklit hadero. smitten @ first cue– even before reading the liner notes by novelist walter mosley–this cd merits un detour for those chasing down vocalists cutting a daring edge. core band = darren johnson, trumpet; sam bevan, many percussives; lorca hart @ drums; meklit on guitar, piano, Farfisa plus guests
beat funktion. voodooland. domusic. Funk and 70’s dance-ables from the country that gave us abba. polished Swedish hipsters (led by arranger/composer/keyboardist daniel lantz) voodooland seems less raw, spicy than previous moon town. karl olandersson, trumpet; olle thunstrom, tenor; johan oijen +pal johnson, electric guitar +bass; jon eriksson@drums.
steve kroon. on the #1. kroonatune. Groove-y, gently swaying cues from congero steve kroon and his percussion-based ensemble. kroon, a son of Harlem, has 35 years of spreading the sounds of tito puente and other NYC Latin legends. discover.
michael fiorino. ensemble 456. self. Debut cd of Chicago bassist as a leader/composer; septet plus occasional singer (gingi lahera). veteran musican fiorino prides himself on his crossover talents.
geof bradfield. melba!. origin. Tribute to composer/trombonist melba liston from tenor geof bradfield. all originals form a biographical suite of liston’s musical life: her collaboration with randy weston travels from LA’s Central Avenue to Detroit’s motown, later Kingston’s reggae. innovation from origin.
elias haslanger. live @ the gallery. cherrywood. Austin calling: subtitled, church on monday, because tenor elias haslanger enlists dr james polk on B-3 as a co-leader. dr. polk– in a previous life– directed the ray charles touring band. together, haslanger + polk and rhythm section do fine damage to jazz classics. antidote to my B-3 allergy.
matt garrison. patchwork. stop time. Grating vocalist ruins a promising collaboration, led by versatile reed musician matt garrison,. i could not listen to this one.
wayne riker mob. groovin with the top brass. fretfull. Wind/brass ensemble playing a little bit of everything; all original compositions by leader/guitarist riker. many horns and they all get a turn: april west, trombone; gilbert castellanos, trumpet; bob campbell, tenor +troy jennings, bari.
billy porter. billy’s back on broadway. concord. Tony star of kinky boots, movies, tv– full celebrity. show tunes and porter’s multi-octave celestial voice use all concord jazz’s musical resources, i.e. harp solo in take the moment arrangement, blues band + strings for i am changing. maybe less production next time, but billy’s got pipes.
john a. lewis. one trip out. valarteri. All originals setlist from Dallas,TX based trio led by pianist john a. lewis–no relation to john lewis of the mjq; lincoln apeland on bass, merik gillett @ drums. rhythmic, traditional jazz trio.
charlie patton. the complete recordings 1929-34. acrobat. Three cd archival treasure of the complete works of charley patton (1891-1934) a Mississippi Delta blues legend. dipped into all three, and though exhaustive, it paints a blues world both domestic and religious: songs with names like pea vine blues, heart like railroad steel, when your way gets dark and mind reader blues. charley patton plays guitar, with henry sims on violin, bertha lee, vocals.
kim simmonds + savoy brown. goin to the delta. ruf. Blues trio led by experienced Welsh guitar/vocalist kim simmonds; pat de salvo, bass; garnet grimm@drums. Chicago blues from the 1950-60’s; it’s back everywhere.
bad brad & the fat cats. take a walk with me. self. Young, energetic bluesmen from Denver, Colorado exploring all the ways to play blues– a la funk, gospel, cajun. led by brad stivers on guitar/vocals; nic clark, harmonica; alex stivers@ drums. good guests.
little mike and the tornadoes. all the right moves. elrob. Modeled after Chicago blues bands of the 50’s, little mike (michael markowitz) writes his own, and plays blues harp. band rounds out with jim mckaba on piano; brad vickers, bass; rob piazza@drums; tony melio, guitar.