Jimmy Amadie was a hot jazz pianist in the 1950s, playing for such notables as Mel Torme and Woody Herman. His career was seemingly on the fast track until 1960, when an extreme form of tendonitis in his hands derailed his playing career for decades. After several surgeries and plenty of physical therapy, the former boxer from North Philly made his recording debut shortly before his sixtieth birthday in 1997. On his new disc, "Kindred Spirits", Amadie and his trio are joined by a trio of reedmen whom the pianist has always wanted to work with, Lee Konitz, Lew Tabackin, and Joe Lovano.
Ralph Alessi is among the most active innovators in New York City's downtown progressive jazz scene. Jazz Times magazine has noted that Alessi has "drop-dead trumpet chops" and calls his music "...as sophisticated and disciplined as post-modern progressive jazz gets." He's collaborated with Steve Coleman, Don Byron, Jason Moran, Fred Hersch and others over the years. "Cognitive Dissonance" is Alessi's sixth CD of originals. He's joined by drummer Nasheet Waits and bassist Drew Gress, with Moran and Andy Milne sharing keyboard duties.
Other new releases: saxophonist Ken Fowser and vibraphonist Behn Gillece unveil a program composed entirely of original compositions on their second release, "Little Echo"; reedman Kelly Jefferson unveils his third release, leading a quartet on "Next Exit"; and Japanese saxophonist Takao Iwaki, a student of George Garzone, debuts with Introducing "Takao Iwaki."