Monday, August 20, 2012

New Music - Bob Stewart

On "Without a Song", John Abercrombie pays tribute to formative influences, the recordings and musicians that shaped his early listening and his future directions. The period addressed is the 1960s, with specific references to key albums by Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane and Bill Evans. "...I had been talking for a while about doing an album that might pay homage to a particular jazz artist or composer," says the guitarist. "But in the end I preferred to look at the era when my own musical tastes were shaped." He and tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano convey their empathy with the original protagonists, while also bringing much of their own creativity into service.

"I feel like a page is turning," says bassist Marcus Miller. "The last of our heroes are checking out and we are truly entering a new era. Musically, we've got all these cool ways to play and share music, but the music is not as revolutionary as the media. It's time for rebirth." Miller was at the helm of one of the most impactful modern jazz masterpieces of the early '80s with some futuristic roots music he composed for Miles Davis' Tutu. Now with "Renaissance", Miller surveys the landscape of not just music but society as a whole. Fortified by a team of hungry young players that includes trumpeters Sean Jones and Maurice Brown and guitarist Adam Rogers, Miller is creating the soundtrack for this musical, cultural and spiritual revolution.

Also this week, the Brubeck Brothers Quartet, featuring bassist/trombonist Chris and drummer Dan, honor father Dave by reimagining a number of his best-known songs on "Lifetimes"; vocalist David Basse is joined "Uptown" by sax legend Phil Woods and the recently-departed pianist Mike Melvoin; and Welsh-born clarinetist Daniel McBrearty offers up an homage to his boyhood inspirations Armstrong, Basie and Goodman with "Clarinet Swing."

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