Tenor saxophonist Ian Sims was advised early in his career that in order to fully captivate your audience, you must consider a variety of programming. Your material should engage the listener by presenting different styles and tempos while still maintaining continuity. “Conundrum” takes the listener on one such empirical journey. For his debut album as a leader, Sims assembled his band Divergent Paths with a stellar cast of musicians including Alex Norris on trumpet, Paul Bollenback on guitar, Ed Howard on bass and EJ Strickland on drums.
As a veteran purveyor of smooth, moody and sophisticated contemporary jazz, composer/keyboardist Dan Siegel is an artist known for instrumental music of high taste and quality. Yet after a five-year hiatus from recording, he has just created what is easily the most inspired and meticulously-crafted collection of his career with his milestone 20th project, “Indigo.” Thirty-plus years past his 1980 debut CD, Siegel quietly removed himself from the rat race of the recording industry, submerged himself into his enlarged role as a music educator and gently massaged his creative musical muse with a non-rushed approach to composing and orchestrating his latest creations.
Also this week, drummer Chip White, who has performed with James Moody, Houston Person, Etta Jones and others, has assembled an all-star cast including Wycliffe Gordon, Eddie Henderson and Renee Rosnes for “Family Dedications and More”; Rippingtons’ keyboardist Bill Heller is joined by Eric Marienthal, Jeff Kashiwa and others for his debut as a leader, “Find the Way”; and pianist Art Hirahara unveils his new trio recording, “Libations and Meditations”.