New Music Monday for November 17, 2014
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“While their acoustic instrumentation, virtuosity, and improvisational brio scream jazz, their music displays influences from all over the map, including classical, rock, ambient, and electronica. James Farm has big ears. And the quartet grooves fiercely.” That’s the Boston Globe talking about the quartet James Farm, featuring saxophonist Joshua Redman, pianist Aaron Parks, bassist Matt Penman, and drummer Eric Harland. They’ve performed in this exact configuration since their debut at the Montreal Jazz Festival in 2009. Their sophomore release, “City Folk,” is comprised of a new collection of ten original tunes written by all four members of the collaborative band. As Penman describes them, “In general, we like to let the songs lead the way, and each of these tunes is like a mini world unto itself with its own ecosystem and hidden places to discover.”
When you visit a franchise restaurant, you always know what will be on the menu and what it will taste like. When you listen to a Bill O’Connell recording you may not know what is on the menu, but you’re guaranteed it’ll be a gourmet delight. For O’Connell’s new CD, “Imagine,” as with his previous recordings, the gifted veterans and leaders in their own right, Conrad Herwig on trombone and saxophonist Steve Slagle, add their prowess to the mix. On the bass is one of New York’s first call rhythm men, Luques Curtis, who was also part of Bill’s prior CD, as was percussionist Richie Flores, who has been playing with O’Connell for more than a decade. The newcomer to the group is drummer Richie Barshay, who has an impressive resume that includes a stint with Herbie Hancock.
Also this week, New York harmonica ace Hendrik Meurkens teams up again with Mexican bassist Gabriel Espinosa, who heads the jazz department at Central College in Pella, for “Samba Little Samba, featuring nine new Brazilian-style originals; veteran saxophonist Houston Person is joined by vibraphonist Steve Nelson for his new disc, “The Melody Lingers On”; and saxophonist John David Simon exhibits impressive writing and performing skills on his third release as a leader, “Phantasm.”
Click here for "Phantasm"