Thursday, January 29, 2015

New Music Monday for February 2, 2015

New Music Monday Playlist on YouTube and Spotify.

     Innovative and electrifying Toronto-based drummer Ernesto Cervini has shared the stage with many legendary musicians, including Joe Lovano, Clark Terry, Benny Golson and Buddy DeFranco. He has energy to burn, whether radiating it from behind his drum kit or working on any number of musical and educational projects. His diversity as a musician, which also includes work as an excellent pianist and clarinetist, has allowed him to travel the world, performing in some of the great jazz venues. For his fourth CD as a leader, “Turboprop,” Cervini has expanded his quartet of saxophonist Joel Frahm, pianist Adrean Farrugia and bassist Dan Loomis to a sextet with the addition of a second saxophonist and a trombonist. The sound of the disc is sophisticated and soaring, reminiscent of the hard-swinging Jazz Messenger bands of Art Blakey, and is able to offer an extraordinarily wide range of repertoire; from Charlie Parker to Debussy, plus originals from all the band members.
Expected Release Date: February 3rd, 2015
     While living in New York for ten years, Quincy Davis has established himself as one of the premiere drummers of his generation. His playing can be heard on recordings by Tom Harrell, Bobby Watson, Ted Rosenthal and Sachal Vasandani.  In addition, he has performed and toured all over the world with jazz luminaries like Kurt Elling, Hank Jones, Frank Wess, the Clayton Brothers and many more. For his debut album as a leader, “Songs in the Key of Q,” Davis is joined by a stellar band which includes saxophonist Dayna Stephens, vibraphonist Warren Wolf, pianist Xavier Davis, and bassists Vicente Archer and Richie Goods.
     Also this week, trumpeter Jeremy Pelt is joined by bassist Ben Allison and drummers Billy Drummond and Victor Lewis for an interesting session of originals and standards on “Tales, Musings and Other Reveries”; reedman Kenny Shanker offers up his second release for Posi-Tone Records, “Action City”; and British singer and pianist Jamie Cullum reconnects with his jazz roots on “Interlude.”

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

New Music Monday for January 26, 2015

New Music Monday Playlist on Youtube and Spotify.

     Tenor saxophonist Ian Sims was advised early in his career that in order to fully captivate your audience, you must consider a variety of programming. Your material should engage the listener by presenting different styles and tempos while still maintaining continuity. “Conundrum” takes the listener on one such empirical journey. For his debut album as a leader, Sims assembled his band Divergent Paths with a stellar cast of musicians including Alex Norris on trumpet, Paul Bollenback on guitar, Ed Howard on bass and EJ Strickland on drums.
     As a veteran purveyor of smooth, moody and sophisticated contemporary jazz, composer/keyboardist Dan Siegel is an artist known for instrumental music of high taste and quality. Yet after a five-year hiatus from recording, he has just created what is easily the most inspired and meticulously-crafted collection of his career with his milestone 20th project, “Indigo.” Thirty-plus years past his 1980 debut CD, Siegel quietly removed himself from the rat race of the recording industry, submerged himself into his enlarged role as a music educator and gently massaged his creative musical muse with a non-rushed approach to composing and orchestrating his latest creations.
     Also this week, drummer Chip White, who has performed with James Moody, Houston Person, Etta Jones and others, has assembled an all-star cast including Wycliffe Gordon, Eddie Henderson and Renee Rosnes for “Family Dedications and More”; Rippingtons’ keyboardist Bill Heller is joined by Eric Marienthal, Jeff Kashiwa and others for his debut as a leader, “Find the Way”; and pianist Art Hirahara unveils his new trio recording, “Libations and Meditations”.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

New Music Monday for January 19, 2015

New Music Monday Playlist on YouTube and Spotify.

     Saxophonist Chris Potter began his musical journey in the late 1980s with bebop veteran Red Rodney and laid the foundation for his current position as a leading light in jazz, sharing the studio and the bandstand with a staggering list of major artists including Paul Motian, Herbie Hancock, Dave Holland, Jim Hall, Pat Metheny and the Mingus Big Band, to name just a few. From his star-studded debut forward, Potter has shown a singular focus and growth as a composer and improviser, moving deftly from acoustic post-bop to the fringes of experimentalism.  For his new CD, “Imaginary Cities,” Potter leads the Underground Orchestra, an expanded version of his supercharged funk-fueled band Underground augmented by a string quartet.
     Al Muirhead has long been an iconic figure on the Canadian jazz scene. His career has included work with legends such as Dizzy Gillespie, Guido Basso, Rosemary Clooney and Diana Krall. He’s been a first-call player for recordings, concerts, shows, studio, film, and television orchestras. He’s a much-sought-after arranger and musical director for undertakings of all sorts. The fact that it has taken this long for a recording to be made with his name at the top is due in the main to the fact that he has been so busy producing, writing, and playing for other artists’ recordings that he simply hasn’t taken the time do his own. That situation has been rectified with his debut release, aptly titled “It’s About Time.”
     Also this week, Grammy winning composer and pianist Billy Childs and an all-star cast of singers and musicians reinvigorate the musical legacy of songwriter Laura Nyro on “Map to the Treasure,” featuring Wayne Shorter, Esperanza Spalding, Dianne Reeves, Chris Botti and others; acclaimed Mexican pianist and composer Alex Mercado is joined by bassist Scott Colley and drummer Antonio Sanchez on “Symbiosis”; and one Australia’s finest jazz musicians, multi-instrumentalist Adrian Cunningham,  is joined by world class trombonist Wycliffe Gordon in tribute to composer/arrange Neal Hefti on “Ain’t That Right!”

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

New Music Monday for January 12, 2015

New Music Monday Playlist on Youtube and Spotify.

     The New York City-based saxophonist Michael Blake has built his reputation by producing albums that “make the familiar sound fresh” (Jim Macnie, Downbeat). That statement couldn’t be applied better than to Blake’s new release, “Tiddy Boom,” his nod to the magnificent tenor saxophone innovators Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young.  The title references Young, who had a vernacular all his own. While watching an old video of Pres, Blake picked up on him requesting the drummer to give him a “little tickity boom, please.”  The disc reunites him with two of his former Jazz Composers Collective colleagues, bassist Ben Allison and pianist Frank Kimbrough, who, along with drummer Rudy Royston, provide effortless support for Blake’s tenor sax to flow in any direction he chooses on his program of originals.
     The jukebox was one of the most ubiquitous devices that adorned many African-American barbershops, beauty salons, lodges and restaurants throughout the many waypoints of the Great Migration of the early to mid-Twentieth Century. The infinite musical inventions and dimensions emanating from jukeboxes back in the day form the conceptual core of Allan Harris’ new CD, “Black Bar Jukebox,” his heartfelt tribute to Harlem. The 13-track journey displays the wide range of Harris’ mellow bari-tenor voice that was forged by and pays homage to the infinite variety of Upper Manhattan, the Sepia Panorama Citadel that gave artistic birth to him.
     Also this week, trumpet virtuoso Brad Goode, whom the Chicago Tribune calls “the lyrical genius of the trumpet,” creates a rich and distinctive group dynamic with his quartet on “Montezuma”; Seattle-based composer, arranger and woodwind multi-instrumentalist Jim Norton returns to the Bay Area to reunite with a stellar cast of former bandmates for a wide-ranging exploration of the compositions of Bill Evans on “Time Remembered”; and the funk/Afrobeat ensemble The Funk Ark, comprised of the best jazz musicians from the Washington, D.C. area, create music that is gritty, soulful and invigorating on their new disc, “Man is a Monster.”

Friday, January 2, 2015

New Music Monday for January 5, 2015

New Music Monday Playlist on Youtube and Spotify.

     Hailed by DownBeat magazine for his “quick-witted harmonic reflexes, fluid command of line and cut-to-the-chase sense of narrative logic,” Aaron Goldberg has made his name as one of jazz’s most compelling pianists, both as a bandleader and frequent collaborator with Joshua Redman, Wynton Marsalis, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Guillermo Klein and many more. On his new release, “The Now,” Goldberg reunites with bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Eric Harland, the virtuoso rhythm team going all the way to his 1998 debut. On their fifth outing together, the  trio foregrounds a central truth about the art of playing jazz: that no two performances will be the same because the music is created, in Goldberg’s words, “in the dynamic plane of the present.”
Pre-order on iTunes - Expected release date: January 20th
     Philadelphia trumpeter Duane Eubanks unveils his first recording as a leader in over 10 years with “Things of That Particular Nature.” The late, great pianist Mulgrew Miller provided a brotherly role model for Eubanks as he began his career as a professional musician, a relationship that became more akin to that of mentor and friend. Upon leaving Philly, Eubanks made an immediate splash on the New York jazz scene by forming his own quintet and releasing a pair of CDs. He has collaborated on projects with a diverse array of highly respected musicians, including his brothers Robin and Kevin, Elvin Jones, Dave Holland and Miller. 
Pre-order on iTunes - Expected release date: January 20th
     Also this week, saxophonist Geoff Bradfield, trumpeter Chad McCullough, bassist Clark Sommers and drummer Kobie Watkins come together as The Spin Quartet for their debut release, “In Circles”; saxophonist Oliver Lake debuts his organ quartet on “What I Heard”; and L.A.-based trumpeter Carl Saunders and his quintet celebrate “America”.