[JPL] Bopndicks 20 picks July 2006

Dick Crockett bopndick at yahoo.com
Thu Jul 6 03:59:30 EDT 2006


BOPNDICKS 20 PICKS   July 2006


ERIC REED TRIO       HERE     MAXJAZZ

Eric Reed and his trio of  Rodney Whitaker, bass and
nimble veteran  Willie Jones III play with command and
significance as Reed comes from good company  paying
utmost respect to the latter day Saints of hard bop
whose  bebop was merging into longer  bop and blues
excursions. It 's most evident here as Reed pays the
utmost respect to little known and influential
contributer to the music in the fifties, Herbie
Nichols with “I.C.H.N. Reed will sit there and play
one finger like Monk and full hands as a young Hank
Jones. What a great conception this man has... When he
steps up to the piano, he's nattily groomed. The only
thing missing in his repertory  is a thin lapeled
Brooks Brothers suit coat, like Red Garland used to
wear.     
It's all there in his playing, never giving the band a
rest for they're in it all the way.   There's a
lyrical quality, a  lift in  the tune “Why?” just
waiting for a lyricist to come along and add words to
this lovely song.  And other originals “Wish(For My
Father)” very introspective and sensitive piece and
then a skirty “I Got Nothin,” as  Reed enjoys playing
around  and building on melodic ideas with depth and
subtlety. The more you listen to Eric Scott Reed , the
more you enjoy.

THE MILES DAVIS QUINTET    THE LEGENDARY PRESTIGE
SESSIONS   Prestige/Concord Jazz
Miles was at his best, young, lean and strong during
these memorable sessions as the man who led the 
modern movement,  as the man who was the trend setter,
as the man who saw it wasn't easy to move from the
uptight fifties to the turbulent sixties. Where
Eisenhower said: “Beware Of The Military Industrial
Complex,” you dig! And Newton  Minnow excoriated young
smart-ash TV as a “Vast Wasteland,” you dig!
This quintet squired John Coltrane, Red Garland, young
Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones on to greater
visages.   
As I listen on my 10 inch speakers behind me and
remember that  bop beat romanticism, I was 15 years
old listening to Miles and never heard it quite like
this. 
When Downbeat reported the cops busted Miles for
smoking a cigarette on sidewalk outside the club
during a break, we all curdled. 
I'm listening on my 10 inch right behind me now as
Coltrane is blowing his brains out and it's all there
, what Rudy Van Gelder heard fifty years ago in the
recording studio as he engineered these  memorable
sessions. So loose as Miles played with  real honesty
straight ahead improvisation, a raw refreshing James
Dean with more honesty with blazing (get it right in
the moment) truthfulness of John Cassevettes.  It's
what this music is about.  That's why this music will
endure, never go away. It is core to the new post
modern.   As I listen to my 10 inch speakers. I could
turn it up, crawl inside and imagine I'm at the Five
Spot and the session will never end and blow out the
whole neighborhood . Of course I'm gone.  And then the
thought police try to come over and turn it down. 
I've blockaded the front door. This is a perfect wake.
 Celebration of the new post modern.
Special thanks to Joe Tarantino for his luxurious 
remastering... You did a great job bringing this music
back to life.

BRIAN OWEN                        UNMEI               
            Origin Records
The secret  here, among the remarkable performing duo
scatting Owens/Thomas  is  the  the writing in the
post modern, the harmonies of Owen's trumpet and
Thomas's saxophone as they intercede each and every
tune and turn of phrase. I'm reminded of Michel
Legrand's soft slow high end / low down lyricism.   
There's a reflective modern incandescent glow here as
we approach the Fourth with skepticism, not in our
music, our  forth right  politics, no mas in quandary
and all blues in a  foundry of molten steel of the
abstained,  while the storms rages awhile around us, 
the early morning rain will evolve  us, as UNMEI is
the enveloping cantaloupe of prosperity.  

LARRY VUCKOVICH TRIO            STREET SCENE     
Tetrachord Music
Right off, after the first few bars, you know this a
real master jazz pianist at work here. You could have
failing eyesight,  not read the  liner notes and
innately understand here's a  person who has the  kind
of sensibility honed from years of experience. Larry
Vuckovich who has the ears, laced with the 
understanding and  love of the music as his fingers
racing across the keys, exacting tempo and  bleary
eyed harmonies and resulting  command,  ideas racing
through gray matter,  aflame with desire and
accoutrement for the past , present and future. A
bliss for past loves for the post modern with a rhythm
section so exemplary with bassist Larry Grenadier and
drummer Akira Tana so melding in overall structure and
add tasteful Latin percussion of Vince Delgado and 
Hector Lugo. Take the Vuckovich  ride and  lose your
cell phone, burn  all your  junk mail, turn off your
land line and take the East Bay Bridge back to San
Francisco where the good work of watching the sea
gulls fly and the freighters float  by, under a Golden
Gate of motion and resiliency into the lap of
luxuriant incredibility.  For this is a rare classic! 


SUSI  HYLDGAARD              BLUSH           
Enja/Justin Time
Born in Denmark, raised in NYC and introduced by her
bass player father to the subtlety and variant
tapestry of the post modern music, but preferring the
structure and confine of classical music, Hyldgaard
has done a reverse and slowly,  by fragrantly started
to dabble in pop-jazz-art. Thus this unique profound
development of  an artist transforming as a Monarch
butterfly from an unlikely cocoon to unlimited
universe of nimble prophesy. Trust the spirit. Let the
soul take you there. 
We bear witness to this unfolding of a unique singer.
Her lyrical twist will captivate you
with a very intimate message and very different 
conception.

ROY HARGROVE            NOTHNG  SERIOUS          
Verve Music 
Hargrove's versatility takes him back to the
mainstream with this nice straight ahead CD with 
shades of blues as a forefront figure in all of these
as this young band keeps it coming with Justin
Robinson , saxophone, Ronnie Mathews, piano, Dwayne
Burno, bass and Willie Jones III on drums with two
catchy numbers, straight ahead Blue Mitchell/Art
Farmer types,”Nothing Serious” and “A Day In Vienna.” 
 Then the classic “Trust” written by Hargrove, a
simple effective harmonic blues line with trombonist
Slide Hampton in a vintage 'J.J.' Sextet setting along
with Mathew's “Salima's Dance”  and “Invitation.” For
NOTHING SERIOUS is very, very, extra-ordinary. A
together quintet/sextet stepping out and slapping it
down, like it's been said many times before,  always
good when it's done well since.”

TOM LELLIS     AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS         
beamtide Records
A  cross between a young Mark Murphy and Michael
Franks, a young earnest singer/song writer/ musician
versitile with his own material, as well as,  great
pop hits, ie, “Norwegian Wood,” “Baubles Bangles and
Beads,” Lellis orginals in such songs as the “For
Better Days Ahead” and A Choice Of Fates.” There's a
strong Metheny influence here as many musicians have
learned their lessons well, especially pop icons, as
well on “Isle Awhile,” with Tom Lellis and a sterling
piano session.  Then  a powerful over  dub asd Lellis
combines “Ain't No Mountain High Enough” and  U2's
“Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For.” What a
romance. What a hip CD!

JIMMY GREENE       TRUE LIFE STORIES             
Criss Cross Jazz
Greene is a jazzy classy tenor player with that
heavenly bop feel in his playing, that must've made
Jackie McLean proud- his  young protege growing out of
the existent stratosphere.  This Real Life Stories is
right in Greene's wheelhouse, perfect for his
incredible talent, so diverse in stylings. There's a
nice duet, “My Ideal,” with Greene building a subtle
tapestry with pianist Xavier Davis. There's some
Dexter Gordon here in interpretive meaning, not a cop,
just a romance for past greats, who performed this
lovely piece. Then a medleyof counterpoint,  Monk's
“Evidence” and Greene's “Real Life Stories” with
Reuben Rogers jumping like Oscar Pettiford.   This has
so much modern histrionics, hip subtle strong moods,
lifted up by Rogers,  rapid 'hippity- hoppity' index
finger/ thumbing with Eric Harland, on top of
everything with forceful drumming and Jeremy Pelt
turning it up a notch with that distinct incessant
Freddie Hubbard style cooking.  Greene's new TRUE LIFE
STORIES is a treatise for this young tenor player's
imaginative writing, arranging and playing skills.

BEN ALLISON                    COWBOY JUSTICE         
               Palmetto Records
Allison's modern interplay of original writing and
interesting provocative alliance, merging post bop
compositions with  some Latin characterization  that
are evolutionary in scope. The compositions are very
nouveau in concept, jazzy with a fifties conception as
if Shorty Rogers was building  an arch with the very
progressive Ron Horton on trumpet and flugelhorn, as
well as the great work of Guitarist Steve Cardenas and
Jeff Ballard on drums. A quartet within a play on
words, almost a film score to a Sergio Leone western
with “Talking Heads.”   Almost a middle east flavor
here  and there in “Tricky Rides Again” and the noir
“Ruby's Roundabout” with this interplay of
Allison/Cardenas/Ballard  consortium with Ron Horton's
salient horn work as this  gives it a distinctive
view. The horn are added embellishment. How would this
gang serenading you at as Mexican Restaurant? Or is it
Casablanca? Or Tangiers on the garden mall in Kuwait? 
 Close enough for a cigar in your white Sidney
Greenstreet double breasted suit coat. This is very
different conjugal jazz space and there's more stuff
in Allison's coterie yet to be imagined.

JOHN STETCH  TRIO           BRUXIN         Justin Time
Records
Canadian pianist John Stetch has conception,a
refreshing unique style,  a cross between Monk and
Phineas Newborn Jr. and swings with this rhythm
section of Sean Smith, bass and Rodney Green, drums.
To say Stetch plays with abandon as in “Circus” is not
an over statement .
He'll carry you on a ride through fits and starts,
various  time signatures and runs through green
traffic stops.  Like driving a Smart Car through Paris
during rush hour. Stetch has panache  with bright
colors and tones, moods and nodes.
He's simply a marvelous player with an ease, taking
chances with glances exhibiting spirit in troika with
a spread like tasty tapioka. 
All compositions are written by John Stetch.
The street sign is octagonal  and says Slow Down To
Listen. Do Not Pass.  Genius At Work.

KARRIN   ALLYSON         FOOTPRINTS           Concord
Jazz
Karrin takes a fresh tour of our  jazz favorites with
new scatty serene lyrics by Chris Caswell on Dizzy
Gillespie's “Con Alma,” Nat Adderley's “Never Say
Yes,” ”Teaneck,”Coltrane's “Lazy Bird” and “Equinox”
and then there's  Oscar Brown Jr's “A Tree And Me,”
Jon Hendricks and Horace Silver's “Strollin” and some
great duets as Karrin sings in and out with the great
Nancy King, Jon Hendricks and the ageless  reedist
Frank Wess, who's done this thing so many times before
as far back as the  1960 CD, Etta Jones and “Don't Go
To Strangers,” recently released on  THE RUDY VAN
GELDER REMASTERS on Prestige. 
This new Karrin Allyson is classic post modern,
regaling us with wondrous past- perfect coincidences.
Let's not forget Bruce Barth pianist and co arranger
who has his 'footprints” (excuse the expression) all
over this new Karrin Allyson CD.

MARK ELF              LIFTOFF               Jen Bay
Jazz
He' s a jazz guitar players, jazz guitar player. The
kind you'd like to sit in with, watch and see for
yourself, how it's performed,  the way the birds,  the
bees and the greats, Johnny Smith, Kenny Burrell, Tal
Farlow do  it! His writing here on  with “Deception
Blues “ with and without the baritone guitar, I so
happen to like sound, like Carmen McRae hitting all
the low notes on “How Low Can You Go.”  “Chuy's
Challenge” is especially engaging with the added
percussive punch of Daniel Sadwnick. 
You add top flight NYC alumnus, David Hazeltine, Peter
Washington and Lewis Nash and it's first class all the
way to Storyville where it all began and lingers on
like a deep indigo as Mark Elf's instincts know this
and know it well!

GERRY GIBBS AND THE THRASHER BIG BAND     LIVE AT THE
LUNA in San Antonio      Whaling City Sound
Gerry Gibbs is taking this very young precocious 
BIGASSED BAND to another level, to an edgy swing that
Don Ellis played around with decades ago.  
Add another parameter, the influence of the Terry
Gibbs big bands of the fifties, those very groovy
sessions at The Sun Downer in L.A., inherent in this
very different sound and similar symbiosis. Crazy as
it sounds, this has the same 'Loose Lips' as the
former, especially with THE NIGHT THE BLYTHEMAN
WEALKED INTO THE ROOM NOTHING ELSE MATTERED,  a
rolling and thundering tribute to Arthur Blythe, where
it matters! 
What I note here is this band stretches out in ribald
cadences...
TAKE IT TO THE LIMIT...cause television hasn't  been
born yet.
Eighteen Mountain dragging pieces of brass, reeds,
toad pads, electrified and acoustic ivories, strings
and bows and a singer wearing glasses- the best of all
worlds!
We can only hope after this successful run they'll
decide to record  more live ones at Luna.

MARILYN HARRIS with the L.A. All-Stars Big Band       
ROUND TRIP     Wrightwood  Records

Harris  knows how 
to rhyme in verse, 
sheckle the blues in a 
roll in reverse lingo 
in the midst of a terse
no Bingo 
cause I don't gamble
with Spanolas,
Guacamolas  and
overstuffed sofas
from second hand stores
Of course the band!
The band of course 
where L.A. All Stars coerce
with swing and melodic epithets
no regrets 
all bets are on swing!
Do I need my cane 
for  a Gene Kelly refrain.
Anyway, the music
 is all  Harris originals
and other standard aboriginals
real peoples, free peoples
groovy peoples.
Then Bob Dorough 
does the 'do' with you
in L.A. where every thing's
“Cool.”

HUMAN MOTION        Jeff Greene Music
Youth  is here on a mission in motion to make a vivid
impression to post hard bop with all due respect to
the masters, Wayne Shorter, Freddie Hubbard, Gap and
Chuck Mangione, Joe Henderson and Dr Eddie Henderson
for this is melodic acoustic cherubic if there's such
heavenly music as in hard bop heaven. No doubt it's
true. Jeff Greene is the leader and double bass player
here for this Chicago band.   Jordan Baskin no
relation to Robbins plays magic on Rhodes in “Things
As They Are.”   Woody Shaw used to pop a Rhodes into
his music, I swear it was George Cables, once in
awhile. 
That's what you have here with HUMAN MOTION, all head
nodding and everyone in the band wearing Ray Bans. 
This is the advent of the Post Modern, loose and on
message for hours, this band of men will captivate all
the ghosts in your bop soul. It has to be because Jeff
Greene has a feel-script for the music and settles it
down for a nice sweet jam. 
Human Motion with Jeff Greene, bass, Taku Akiyama,
alto saxophone, Jordan Baskin, piano, Jon Deitmyer,
drums and Mat Holman, trumpet/ flugelhorn. 
You never heard of these guys outside the Chicago
scene, so pay attention -- coming to your neighborhood
soon.

CARLA WHITE        A VOICE IN THE NIGHT       Bright
Moon Records
Yes this is an exceptional versing from a lady who
knows how to turn a maze into phrase as in the first
two, “Time On My Hands” and “It's Kind Of Lonesome Out
Tonight,” both are dripping with lowdown, minimalist 
nostalgia, especially with an interplay with trumpet
player, Claude Roditi. 
Ms White could  sing these two in French with similar
effect.
“You And The Night And The Music” sung in either
Spanish of Italian, don't know which..
however I'm certain after hearing this that Carla
White and Gianmaria Testa and his muffled raspiness
are ready for a duet and that great Fellini-esgue
redux.
What's so smooth, polished and elemental about this
new Carla White CD is that she never over steps,
around and on the rest of  the the band and that's why
she's so present here, for this what great vocalists
do , stay within the parameters to explore numerous
interpretations of a song. 
And let's not forget the band.  Guitarist John Hart is
distinctive and grand;  the greats would be proud of
his laying out the blues on “Sweet And Slow” and Mose
Allison's “Your Mind Is On Vacation.” Mercy!  There's
Dean Johnson, bass and Matt Wilson, drums, wailing on
rhythm too!
Charles Asnavour would love this music. 

REGINA  CARTER       I'LL BE SEEING YOU: A SENTIMENTAL
JOURNEY
Verve Music
This is real post hot swing, crazy...as Regina
Carter's violin adds visages of a pop-  classical
mainstream touch on “Little Brown Jug,” the kind a
virtuoso would do in the days of early radio, as  on
“Sentimental Journey” with Paquito D'Rivera blowing
some sweet clarinet, enveloping Matthew Parish on bass
and so much happening on the high end harmonics.  And
“Bei Mir Bist Du Schon” with  Dee Dee Bridgewater.  
Then you add another talented Detroiter Carla Cook and
“You Took Advantage Of Me” scatting like a Carmen
McRea and that kind of 'Jones,'  I wish! This is the
stuff  from which jazz history is made. Gil Goldstein,
on accordian is right for this time as Paquito is in
and outwith the best of show clarinet playing with
Xavier Davis, piano and Alvester Garnett on drums when
necessary. 
This has so much up- in- your face swing, that you'll
have to call out the house,  for these are new/old
versions of pop house swing.

FRANK KIMBROUGH        PLAY             Palmetto
Records
There's a reciprocal comfort level, the listener
achieves listening to Frank Kimbrough. The same
exploratory eagerness, vitality and spontaneity you
hear in his music, similar to that of Paul Bly. His
unique exploration of moods and tempos. Only a handful
of stylists today can  explore the width and breadth,
height and depth of  the human condition, where the
pianist is able to transcend his own instrument and
achieve a high level, a unique voice and what a
perfect rhythm section with Masa Kamaguchi, bass and
Paul Motian, drums, for this almost Picasso juxtaposed
triage of finished inalterable circumstances -  bright
contemporary abstractions blissing a perfect landscape
on a sunny day.

HEERNT       LOCKED IN THE BASEMENT     RAZ DAZ
Records
This is as though Ornette Coleman meets Frank Zappa
and a Smith Corona  to write and do a soundtrack to a
yet unnamed  Ed Wood movie to achieve a  'Three Amigo'
notion that we're all in this together.   As they're
about ready to start , Roland Kirk asks, “Who's Ed
Wood?” “Just do the bell and whistles man,” says
Ornette. 

This just in from The Rumor Mill in Vegas, or is that
the Pepper Mill?  Heernt is an exploratory cell from
the planet FUNK, inhabited by the spirits of Marvin
Gaye, Otis Redding and Sun Ra,  where everybody gets
GOODHUMORS everyday, where every thing COOL is a
national past time.

THE BUD SHANK BIG BAND with special guest Bob Florence
  TAKING THE LONG WAY HOME     Jazzed Media
One of the founding fathers of the West Coast sound,
Bud Shank heads this great big band right out of the
cool school as all these tunes on this live
performance at the LAX Sheraton in '05' are duly noted
and apply recorded, here. This CD has that relaxed
loose quality as your were sitting on a Sunday in June
at the Clint Eastwood ranch. The mystique, quality and
ambiance are all there with those very top musicians
the West Coast has to offer with a lineage and history
that reads like a who's who on the L.A. Jazz scene in
the fifties and sixties, Bob Florence, Roger Ingram
Ron Stout and Carl Saunders, Mike Barone, Lanny
Morgan, Jack Nimitz and Joel Hamilton to name a few
from this great band. And of course the unique
sounding alto saxophonist Bud Shank.

Dick Crockett
“The Voice “  88.7fm
4623 T Street, Suite A
Sacramento, Ca.  95819-4743

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