Steve Turre recalls, “When I was ten years old, I wanted to play violin. My dad said, ‘Beginning violin sounds like a cat in the alley. Pick a horn.’” It is probably safe to say that the jazz world has been immeasurably enriched because of the senior Mr. Turre’s dislike of the violin. His son has won any number of Downbeat Critic’s and Reader’s Polls and has been a fixture in the “Saturday Night Live” band for nearly thirty years. He has, almost single-handedly, squashed the trumpet-saxophone front line monopoly and has circumnavigated the globe several times with his most recent forays overseas taking him to Russia and South Africa. For his new CD, Turre has assembled a completely unique ensemble including three other trombone-playing Art Blakey alumni, hence the title, “The Bones of Art.” With Steve Davis, Frank Lacy and Robin Eubanks, Steve and company give ample testimony to the fact that the golden age of the trombone is now.
Keyboardist/composer/producer Jeff Lorber, heralded by Keyboard magazine as “one of the founding fathers of fusion,” returns with his Grammy-nominated power trio the Jeff Lorber Fusion, featuring bassist/co-producer Jimmy Haslip and saxophonist Eric Marienthal. Since the late 1970s, this contemporary jazz collective has blended elements of jazz, funk, R&B and world music into a distinctive sound that has connected with audiences from a variety of continents, cultures and generations. In more recent years, the group’s studio efforts, influenced by extensive touring throughout Europe and Asia, have been colored with vibrant shades of dance and house music. These same colors are at the forefront of their new release, “Hacienda,” which features guest shots from Jean-Luc Ponty, Larry Koonse, Dave Weckl, and more.
Also this week, veteran pianist and composer Ahmad Jamal and his quartet offer up a new recording inspired by his return to Studio La Buissonne in Pernes-Les Fontaines, France, “Saturday Morning: La Buissonne Studio Sessions”; Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter Gregory Porter, a California native who as a child fell under the spell of his mother’s Nat King Cole records, makes his Blue Note Records debut for his third release, “Liquid Spirit”; and the Matthew Finck-Jonathan Ball Project enrich their sound with the trumpet and flugelhorn of Randy Brecker on “It’s Not That Far.”