Monday, May 24, 2010

New Music: Fusion Redux, Trumpet Summit - Bob

More than three decades after his earliest recordings, keyboardist and composer Jeff Lorber has come full circle. His new CD, "Now is the Time", delves back into his early catalog and reinvents some of the most compelling compositions from the Jeff Lorber Fusion heyday. This new incarnation of the Fusion includes luminaries like bassist Jimmy Haslip, saxophonist Eric Marienthal, trumpeter Randy Brecker, and drummers Vinnie Colaiuta and Dave Weckl. Lorber points to a recent European tour with many of these same musicians-and the positive response that resulted from it-as the primary catalyst for the disc.

Continuing the tradition of fabled trumpet duo sessions that have included Fats Navarro & Howard McGhee, and Freddie Hubbard and Woody Shaw, two of the more dynamic and versatile trumpeters anywhere, New Yorker Ray Vega and Thomas Marriott from Seattle, make up the front line of a power-packed quintet taking a joyous ride through a collection of jazz classics and original compositions on "East-West Trumpet Summit." Far from a cutting session, the recording showcases the sensibilities and styles of both coasts of the U.S. and how they can partner to cover a good deal of stylistic territory while remaining both lyrical and exciting.

Also new, "Chiaroscuro" introduces a new duo and a rare instrumental combination--the guitar of Ralph Towner and the trumpet of Paolo Fresu--on a program of old and new Towner compositions and duo improvisations; after eight years of immersing herself in the vocal jazz tradition through study with inspired mentors and performing throughout the West, vocalist Carrie Wicks gathers some of Seattle's finest musicians for her debut recording, "I'll Get Around to It"; and vibraphonist and percussionist Marc Wagnon returns to his own musical vision, combining great jazz-rock with thought provoking themes, for "Earth is a Cruel Master."

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