Any recording made by the legendary pianist Randy Weston is cause for celebration. His legacy with jazz music has spanned over six decades and has put him in contact with the lion’s share of progenitors and innovators of the music. Tenor sax great Billy Harper comes from an equally diverse musical background with a musical journey spanning from his Texas blues background to the avant-garde sounds of New York of the 1970s, where the Brooklyn born Weston had already been innovating and exploring African inspirations of jazz for nearly twenty years. Originally having met in 1972, Weston and Harper have collaborated on and off for over four decades. The pair’s new recording, “The Roots of the Blues,” brings these two giants of jazz together to create moving renditions of ten compositions from Weston’s incredible anthology along with three standards and a Harper original.
Saxophonist and flutist Mitch Frohman, known for his 25-year stint with the Tito Puente Orchestra & Latin Jazz Ensemble, as well as his membership in the Mongo Santamaria band, is finally set to release his debut album. Leader and co-leader of three of the most in-demand Latin and Latin jazz groups (the Bronx Horns, The Mambo Legends Orchestra, and the Eddie Torres Mambo Kings), Frohman is long overdue to present his own music to the faithful Latin jazz audience. His new two-disc set, “From Daddy, With Love,” features a young and experienced cast of players: Zaccai Curtis of Donald Harrison’s Quartet, Luques Curtis of Eddie Palmieri’s band, and drummer Joel Mateo from the Miguel Zenon Quartet. For this project, Frohman showcases himself as a multi-reed instrumentalist, playing tenor, baritone and soprano saxophones and flute.
Also this week, the singular guitarist John Stowell and saxophone legend Dave Liebman present an intimate set of duets on “Blue Rose”; Israeli natives Avishai Cohen on bass and Nitai Hershkovits on piano pair up for “Duende”; and 7 On 7 brings a modern mainstream spin to the great small band sound of the hard bop era on “Back When It Was Fun,” featuring trumpeter Clay Jenkins and trombonist Paul McKee.