New Music Monday for November 24, 2014
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Dayna Stephens has developed into one of the most important saxophone stylists playing today. His lush tone on tenor, soprano and baritone has led to his involvement with musicians of legendary status and those of the scene nouveau, from Al Foster and Kenny Barron to Taylor Eigsti and Ambrose Akinmusire. For his new recording, “Peace,” Stephens focuses on interpreting intimate and heartfelt compositions that harken back to the major ballad players like Lester Young, Ben Webster and Dexter Gordon. The musicians selected to fill out his ensemble include one of his influences, the fantastic pianist Brad Mehldau, wunderkind guitarist Julian Lage, bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Eric Harland.
“Playing with the Mu’tet is a dream come true to me. Making music with these amazing players is like eating homemade ice cream on a hot day!” That’s reedman Jeff Coffin talking about his band mates in his Mu’tet, which takes its name from the word mutation, clearly reflecting Coffin’s philosophy that music must continue to change and mutate in order to grow. A longtime member of Bela Fleck’s Flecktones and now a part of the Dave Matthews Band, Coffin and the Mu’tet blend music from the deep wells of funk, African, New Orleans, Indian, jazz, rock, Brazilian and other cultures of music. The new CD, “Side Up,” features an all-star group including Felix Pastorius on bass and Futureman on percussion.
Also this week, Hungary’s iconic guitarist, composer and arranger Attila Laszlo and world-renowned drummer, composer and arranger, Hungarian-born Ferenc Nemeth, composed the music for their new CD, “Bridges of Souls,” with two of jazz fusion’s greats in mind, Russell Ferrante and Jimmy Haslip of Yellowjackets fame, who complete their quartet; “Questioned Answer” is the intergenerational collaboration between Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Brian Lynch and new piano star on the modern jazz horizon Emmet Cohen; and pianist Dana Landry and his trio celebrate the jazz musicians of a great American musical city with “Memphis Skyline,” including new interpretations pieces by Hank Crawford, Charles Lloyd, Phineas Newborn, Jr. and others.