[JPL] Bopndicks 20 picks August 2006

Dick Crockett bopndick at yahoo.com
Wed Aug 2 03:19:54 EDT 2006

Bopndicks  20 picks     Aug 2006

Could it be my imagination, an aberration, or is it
somewhat next to the literal truth that
Brad Mehldau  Trio sounds better than ever! Could it
be that the visual impact of the package design, so
pastoral, so  seductive, so honest a more accurate
presentation of this artists soul.   There are
brilliant new ideas here with a rhythm section that's
one of the best, Larry Grenadier, bass and Jorge
Rossy, drums.
What's fascinating about Mehldau is the co habiting
brains of his right and left hand.  Sometimes they
work in counterpoint to one another, argumentative as
spat between identical twins. As soon as you think
there's a problem, they reconcile the polyrhythmic
differences, psychically reaching  a repor and 
complete understanding as if there was no 
disagreement in the first place. Hence the difference,
disparity and cooperation  of the left and right brain
of Brad Mehldau.

GABRIELA  MONTERO piano          EMI Classics
It's been awhile as this was released earlier this
year and could have easily went by the wayside. It
would have been a mistake, because this young lady can
She achieves a rare  convergence, a jazz and classical
symbiosis. This 2 CD set features Montero's
improvisations which are excellent, “on Rachminoff
-Vocalese,” “Chopin's Nocturne in D flat” and through
these variations of classical pieces. There's a beauty
and romanticism here that implies subtle shades  of
Gershwin, Waller, Ellington, even Cole Porter. Her
dynamics, mindful pleasantries, juxtaposed with
energetic command and tremendous technique. Her use 
of various chord structures imply an expression from 
blithe tin pan alley, to bluesy forays, tango
incantations and some jazzy phrasing as she wisks you
through a mind boggling revelation of ideas and
Put this on your stereo, throw open the windows, let
the sun blanch over your speckled bird fragility. This
is perfect music for a glass of red wine and teary
reconciliation after a lover's quarrel.

John McLAUGHLIN        INDUSTRIAL ZEN        Verve
He's back and as boisterous as ever. His  synth
programming on “New Blues Old Bruise”  is
harmonize-simonize- electric reverting to a slow
cadence of total patience
for McLaughlin dynamics are an engineering work of
art.  The tabla drummer Zakir Hussein kicks it on
“Wayne's Way,” a remarkable capacity to shrink a
universal language into nano seconds from Mahavishnu
as in “Just So  Only More Sci,” the title alone  is
only natural if for the rare breed of music here, a
superior blending of jazz -funk-celestial-Cage
cacophony blues electric with world percussive
interchange. It's  Mclaughlin's best in years,
although every time he picks up his ax, sidles up to
the microphone,  he's close to perfect, every time. 
With “Dear Dali Lama,” Mclaughlin is blessed with
finger speed in heiroglyphics with Shankar Mahadevan
on vocals and Ada  Rovatti, tenor saxophone,  as in
the refrain, I thought I heard the Hi-Lo's and “There
Is No Greater Love.” It all morphs together into light
speed  precision post modern. As  “Inna Gadda De Vita”
 reverts to  background music to a sock hop.
The quest for musical holy grail  begins with this CD
and marches forward with circumstance that will
tantalize you appetite for modern music.

 Origin Records with Joe Locke/Geoffrey Keezer/Mike
Pope/Terreon Gully.
A contemporary jazz tour de force jam from beginning
to end with all new music written and performed by Joe
Locke and Geoffrey Keezer. This is a very different
experience with the heavy air created by Terreon
Gully. He sounds like two drummers. And Mike Pope is
in there kickin as well with next to celestial rhythm.
  Keezer and Locke are incredibly explosive with so
much driving energy that would stir Napa Valley with a
4.3 earthquake, 500 miles away. This is the kind of
performance that works so well out doors as we sit
breathless watching French new wave films thinking
about rekindling old smoking habits. Certainly not the
case, but the cool evening bodes well to old habits,
romance and free baseball...on television...in the
movies....a course not taken lightly for this Joe
Locke/Geoffrey Keezer concert is collectors paradise!

JAMIE DAVIS               IT'S A GOOD THING           
   Unity Music 
This new Jamie Davis CD packs more wallop than anyone
can endure in one setting. 
When you hear this, you roil at the out right bombast
and majesty, so catch your breath and listen again.
You'll hear Lou Rawls, Sammy Davis, Joe Williams,
Jerry Butler all rolled into one hell of a singer in
Vegas on a Saturday night as it was in the day  and
nowadays!  Listen to “Night And Day”  and the
inordinate power of this big band conducted by Shelly
Berg.  And when you hear “Besame Mucho,” you'll know
as you do  the merengue to this wondrous Carmen
Meranda excursion with smooth and dulced  toned Jamie
Davis.  The arrangements are superb since Route 66
became  the jazz  best super highway. 
This 'll jerk you back and forth to the then and now
as JAMIE DAVIS leads you on the chase on all the
greats, hereafter.
Just the reworking of these remarkable standards, “My
Funny Valentine,””My Kinda Love,” “The Very Thought of
You,” will blow your fedora to a aurora borialius.
I don't even have to say...Once you've listened,
you'll know.
This could be the next  best male vocalist of the best
in 2006! 

Ms Montague can sing  the blues in this neighborhood,
close the New Orleans and as far away as Montreal for
it doesn't matter because she has the poignant repose
, shoes and nose top bring it home.  She has the kind
of phrasing that makes old folks jealous and a  Dinah
Washington tinge, especially on ballads.  And other
jazzers envious with  bad luck reputation she can
purport especially on the hard luck songs. 
I think her talent lies in her sensitive
interpretation on  ballads, “Unless It's You,” How
Deep Is The Ocean” with a solo accompaniment by the
great Mulgrew Miller, an exceptional  performance by
both artists. The one on one intimacy is omnipresent.
This could be the  song that makes this CD! There are
others,  “From This Moment On,” “Dedicated To You.”
Teach Me Tonight,” for this lady can sing with soul
and articulation. 
The added nuance here is Mulgrew Miller, one of the 
best  pianists in Modern Jazz. 

Tetrachord Records 
A triumph for Larry Vuckovich as ideas flow freely
through his fingers of nostalgia and Harlem bop
romance for treasured days when Miles, Diz and Monk
were king of all night shows where jazz, Norman
Mailer, Marlon Brando were still young verile as Red
Garland, Sonny Clark, Bill Evans shone brightly in
this grand scheme of art and music.
You hear Larry Vuckovich with  Larry Grenadier, bass
who he mentored over twenty years ago and  the
infinite Akira Tana on drums.   This was the language
that permeated in the seventies from San Francisco's 
Keystone Korner  in  the sixties-seventies transition.
This is all original Larry Vuckovich and joy of
working all those great jazz memories. It permeates
from this music, voicing tributes to all the greats,
Erroll Garner, Sonny Clark, Bill Evans, Wynton Kelly,
Red Garland and one of my West Coast  favorites, Carl
All those great musicians you loved and if  you're not
a musician,  how they reach you in a way,  you're not
quite sure. It's a level of letting go, as if to say,
homage, an infusion of karma above the malaise of
daily living, for you hear the joy here and revel in
the love and talent  of a musician whose been there
and voices his enthusiasm throughout sharing his
special knowledge with you. 
Believe me this CD has the 'legs' to be in your top of
mind jazz collection, a very long time.
Something to go back and remember, this is how it's

Dr LONNIE SMITH        JUNGLE  SOUL       Palmetto
The good doctor of Hammond B-3 soul is  now in his
post modern realm among those on the Mount Olympus  of
jazz soul, occupied the Gods of Funk;  Jimmy Smith,
Jack McDuff, Richard “Groove,” Charles Earland. All
have that raucous audacity for the truth. That
sanctified joy and notion that all is true and funky
and good!
And that's what the good doctor delivers. 
This series of CD's on Palmetto are his best yet!
There's so much magic going on here, that you'll turn
off your cell phone just to listen to all the heavy
nuance, going on, especially on “Jungle Soul.”
Dr Smith's touch is a somewhat different from the
rest, so don't sit back and say, We Need More Shout!
The doctor moves in a different direction, for he'll
play with your affections, build on a mode and then
grab you in the solar plexis and you'll hold all those
cell phone calls to home and fulfill your ultimate
promise. There's so much going on here, it'd take some
time, at least thirty pages, ie, “Freedom Jazz Dance,”
“Trouble Man-this  has always been jazz in the
waiting,””Blue Moment,””Witch Doctor-  Dr John
territory,”then Bemsha Swing-only in Manhattan,  now
to the rest of us, for he about cooks up some some Bar
B.Q., served up at a classy L.A. Bistro for Dr Smith
takes off the  gloves and swings...With guitarist
Peter Bernstein playing some on line classy riffs,
this whole experience becomes conversational, and with
“Zimbabwe,” you'll be breathing pure laughing gas.
PS:  I spent a little time at the Monterey Blues
Festival and the way the folks were acting,
I anticipate that he'll 'rock the house,' this
September in Monterey.

Capri Records
This trio is back.  For each has their own treasure
and destiny and this Stevie Wonder is a way to get
back and corrugate.  
I remember Little Stevie Wonder  on Detroit radio with
his first hit as a kid from Flint, to this dissection
of his music by the young masters of this art.
Remember, Joe Gilman teaches 16 century music theory
down the road from me, and these two young talents,
Joe Sanders, bass and Justin Brown, drums.  It's
understandable for Paul Chambers was just out of Cass
Tech high school and Tony Williams appeared at
seventeen with Miles in Berlin. 
One thing you'll know about Gilman is he has a
different slant, taking it form one genre to another
with the ease of a master craftsman.
And you'll hear it here. Tunes you know, performed in
a very different manner, providing a different
perspective of what these songs engender.
Steve Wonder and The Joe Gilman Trio? 
This is early Bill Evans, Scott  La Faro, Paul Motian

PS: God bless Frank Isola, another Detroiter and
drummer who worked with Chet Baker and Gerry Mulligan
nwho I met briefly outside Verne's bierstube on
Woodward avenue in 1960. These Detroit musicians  have
a special cruise control in hard bop heaven.
So does Joe Gilman for his understanding how to turn
pop into bop.  It's been done before and not quite
like this...

A remarkable lyricist with modern  overview
if Motorolas were Petrobolas, 
the science of compliance  
for love and romance
bossa novas diverse intelligence,
if Michael Franks had a chance,  
Gino Vanelli's, “Alive By Science” 
a romantic messenger. 
Maybe it's too early to tell
if all those memories jell
despair and  jeopardy. 
Mostly there's musicians 
with ammunitions, 
Richard Bona, Jeremy Steig, Dave Kikoski, Kenny Werner
and other nocturnal yearners,  
lovers of happenstance, 
chance discoveries and deep sea recoveries, 
where ethers know Norman Mailer's flow. 
this music's done relative to pun and anon,
sustainable, erogenous, 
subsiding rain storms con glamorous, 
eventual non androgynous.  

MARILYN HARRIS with the L.A. Jazz All-Stars Big Band  
  ROUNDTRIP Wrightwood Records

a Roy Kral/ Jackie Caine,
post modern yes I am 
classy West Coast ham 
the fifties and sixties, 
we grew upon
celebrated here
just follow the signs
to Marilyn Harris, 
her post bop lyricism
and dynamo big band, 
L.A., all the way.
All you need, a
studio in
and Eureka, 
from Alameda, 
mussels from Brussels
eat your heart out a
post modern lyrical 
to a fantastical.
All you can expect 
lights out
a modern big band.

At The Music Of Michel Petrucciani    Wilder Jazz
It starts of with a bright playful naiveté, “Looking
Up,” as Christian Jacob catapults  us into the
beautiful world of Michel Patrucciani and  as you
listen on you understand why Jacob is right man to
take us on this journey with his own take, his
personality, toning up the brightness of Petrucciani,
a absolute flair of the pianist. There's no duplicates
here, this is Christian Jacobs love for Petrucciani's
music, expression, and positive intentions. 
When I first saw Petrucciani on television it was very
evident, not his stature, but his unique capability to
floor you with his originality, whether it be sunny
Parisian afternoons or the gypsy romance in his
thematics, there's more here than meets a film score. 
And for Christian Jacobs to interpret these
compositions with his own verve and uniqueness is a
tribute to Michel, and a tribute to himself as well, 
to bring out the superb joy that elevated Michel
Petrucciani in our jazz metrics for that brief shining
moment. Christian Jacobs reminds that with a high 
kite flying metaphor,  we're here  to sing, dance,
make love, eat a well prepared meal at home once in a
while with close friends and enjoy what you know and
understand by listening to this music that Michel
Petrucciani loved and thoroughly enjoyed his time with

Glowbow 001
Rick Wald's unique writing and arranging are very
evident here with a  distinct sophisticated
personality.   Experiences with Gary McFarland's 
thematics/Guillermo Klein's patience , even a little
of George Russell's impressionism, is on the title
tune “Castenada's Dream,” maybe even some of Gerald 
Wilson's pyrotechnics . The structure of this band
seem similar too Stan Kenton's band when he supposedly
slipped and hit his head i the shower and agreed to
record “City Of Glass” with Bob Graettinger.
Walds has that avant gard sense and his more air
playable. Even nowadays Graettinger has a limited
audience given more to ingenuity than tangibility. 
Rick Wald has that contemporary avant gard sense to
share and this new CD is very accessible to the ear
for that reason.

CARLA WHITE        A VOICE IN THE NIGHT         Bright
Moon Records
She has that tragic/comic aura,  an ingenue would; 
set the mood and scene with a serenity and
sophistication, mood and temp.  Claudio Roditi's
trumpet is soft articulate adding  more light and
energy as John Hart's  facile, very distinctive
reharmonizing Attila Zollar quality especially on
“Charade.” The musicianship on this project is
exceptional and Carla White's arrangements are a
highlight. She understands the relationship with the 
jazz vocalist and the jazz band. 
Let them play, Let them play is the mantra!
And Wes Montgomery's “Four On Six,” with Carla's scat
and John Hart's answer is also another incredible
There is so much here that's warm and special. 
Carla's style is soft and low, shy and sensitive to a
doubt  in “May I Please Come In.”
And Jobim's “I Still Love You,” is a way to make
amends  with Claudio's trumpet  that's  restfull, 
magnetic and carrying on,  in a bossa -bop way.
Mose Allison's “Your Mind Is On Vacation” is done in a
different way by Carla White with ample space for the
band go after it. Again, John Hart's guitar here is
the best I've heard in awhile. He's always good and
here he shows his ability to showcase the artist.
Claudio's good here with soft muscle that's
understandable, patient and groovy.
Dean Johnson, bass and Matt Wilson, drums are noted
here for Carla's space/time measures are inventive
here a requisite for  a profound manner of way, “A
Lovely Manner Of Peace Of Mind.”

Justin Time Records
David Murray's muscial activism is Jon Carlos
thrusting his fist in the air with a Black Power
salute in the 1968 Olympics. It was crazy times in
those  days for the nation was aflame, angry and full
of pride. His reminds me of the protest music of the
sixties with The Art Ensemble of Chicago, the likes of
which are still there to this day. There's something 
true and very kick ass American with this music  and
David Murray always digs below the surface and  shakes
 it up. Murray is the most controversial reed player
today.  His early  years playing  R& B  is evident in
this with “Political Blues,”James “Blood” Ulmer's fine
vocal on “Mannish Boy”  and “Spy On Me Blues.” 
Now who do you think that's for ?
In fact as Charles Mingus would do, mix all those
collared greens in with some mysticism, avant gard
rage and this is what this CD entails.  And if you
can't handle it than don't listen. This is muscular
happy  music this post  avant gard, a dramatic flair
for realism and it 's good if you like to funk.   No
roadie toadie here, for Dave Murray is a man of

This new CJP is header material, meaning that it's
good to the groove, memorable. It'll have you stockin
the brew. This is such a groove, you'll be dancing
with your own shadow, chasing the sparrow on 
alternate Sundays and home for the holidays and
Carnival on the weekends!
You may even have your  passport stamped to Havana.. 
You listen to this, know this and Be This on your way
to the Caribbean. 
These Caribbean Jazz Porjects are well concieved as
Shearing was the sound in the fifties and sixties on
all  night jazz shows to everywhere.
This  is  the hard copy Caribbean Jazz Project
engenders. 'The signature here is the steel pans  as
on “Wazo Dayzeel.” Electrifying. Christian Howes,
violin on “Slow Dance,”  Boris Koslov, bass, Roberto
Quintero, drums, Dave Sammuels, vibes and reeds on
this one,”as distinctive song this year.

JOURNEY  Verve Music 
Regina Carter is an excellent jazz violinist. There
are others out there . No one can  play her ax like
Regina can ...Ax as therin improvisation in  jazz
formatics, as well as a classical text, as well post
hip swing, hot club, hip hop, bebop and sock hop,
cingular duo and happenstance. Piano player Xavier
Davis plays like a bandit on “A -tisket, A- tasket.”
Carla Cook another Detroiter  enjoys her set with “You
Tyook Advantage Of Me” and “St. Louis Blues.”   And
the likes of her scat singing, Carla's the beginning
of another great Verve recording artist, Betty Carter.
  Dee Dee Bridgewater, a Michigander by osmosis sings
a few great songs here too.
And Pacquito D'Rivera clarenetist-multi reedist sits
in on a few as well. This new Regina Carter is another
testimonial to her pure amazing talent and artiste. 

FRANK KIMBROUGH        PLAY         Palmetto Records
As suspended on a caliope in earnest, Frank Kimbrough
exhibits a disregard for politically correct
structured activities, especially when every Friday
dinner is punctually at seven.  Why not eleven?  A
late one certainly, but the night is young, after
hours  is more  levitating as the morning slowly comes
a most satisfying time, when the air is clear,
everyone is quiet, smiling,  natural and delightful. A
slumber party for the groluches who eat their
breakfast without utensils. Franhk Kimbrough assails
these antics, giving every equal time and  every equal
space,  equal attention.
Forsooth, who would've forseen this ascension to
Jarrett and Mehldau elevation?
No one.  Unless you listen.

MARK ELF       LIFTOFF             JenBayJazz
Mark Elf is pure bebop and scat.   He's what the real
jazz guitarists practice and perfect, define as their
voice, their dialogue over the long haul, decades of
it all.
Then if yuou want to know how ballads are
played-perfect, then listen Mark Elf's rendition opf
“I've Never Been In Love Before.”
 Mark Elf never deviates  from the task at hand as he
has the fastest fingers and  can cut and muster with
the better in butter than all others. 
Mark still writes much  and arranges his own to his
focus and his groove.
When it comes to tempo and cadence, Mark Elf is above
the rest. The Cd is full of bright  moments,
“Deception Blues,” baritone guitar, “Choy's Challenge”
a boss numoro uno! For this is jazz guitar 101.  Pay
attention to David Hazeltine-piano, Peter Washington,
bass and Lewis Nash, drums. This band is a like a
beautiful woman,  charismatic, full of form, hard to
You'll listen. You knw you will!  To good to pass up
on a sure thing.

ROB WHITLOCK     SKETCHIN 2          Sketchin  Records
“Cold Duck” will get you going in the right direction
on this new CD, for there are a boat load of great
musicians  here.   Bob Whitlock plays some very mean
Hammand B-3. That's what this instrument is for and
Whitlock uses it to the best advantage.   “At Freedom 
Chicken Dance” Whitlock keeps up the amazing energy on
organ with Scott Henderson, guitar, Anthony Jackson,
contra bass and drummer Vinnie Coliautta.This is a
nice straight ahead L. A. musician inspired group.  
This is contemporary jazz with a special flavor  not
neccesarily inspired by the locals and very relevant
when you view it in a wide angle R & B, panoramic
view.  Don't sweat the details,  just dig it while it
lasts, just like pumpin iron for the endorphin rush,
they'll have you home, safe in your own bed in no

Dick Crockett
“The Voice” 88.7fm
4623 T Street, Suite A
Sacramento, Ca. 95819-4743
type Access Sacramento intoyour berowser
click on programming in upper left hand corner
then radio
click on “The Voice”
to the web page
Live 365.

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