[JPL] Bopndicks 20 picks Nov 2006

Dick Crockett bopndick at yahoo.com
Thu Nov 2 22:31:30 EST 2006

Bopndicks 20 Picks Nov 2006

RAY SINGS/BASIE SWINGS      Concord Records
As Ray came back with a different case in time, a
fedora tilted slightly leaning against a light post
like Sinatra used to do in front of this marvelous
agregation called THE BASIE BAND.   As soul met jazz,
no b.s., on common ground. Joe Williams, Sinatra, Bill
Henderson, any body who was any body sang in front of
Basie. Big Joe Turner, Eddie “Cleanhead” Vincent were
all there too. This  is a different Ray when it comes
to a big band blending the Basie swing with a best
most popular R&B singer of all time, Ray Charles.
Since this is an almost perfect union with the Basie
band, this becomes  techno near perfection. Thanks
will surround Shelly Berg for his flawless arranging,
Patti Austin, world's greatest backup singer and Joey
DeFrancesco, world's greatest Hammand B-3 and the
producers, engineers  now cruising the blues up there
with the Ray and Basie best.

There's no one whose harder , quicker than John
McLaughlin on acoustic guitar, then this  electronic
testimonial to his space age virtuosity. There's so
much “Ground Control to Major Tom” with warp speed
technique on “New Blues Old Bruise.” One must say
whoah! And stand back,  askance to this overwhelming
flow. There's a conceptual mind here that's so into
now, deep into meditative flow, where it's all there,
every fiber optic in the breeze of “Wayne's Way with
multi plasmic rhythm tones to an outer world nome,
featuring Zakir Hussain on tablas. There's much
advanced electro pop/jazz here and a worldy beat to go
with it, that you bounce on incessantly with your pogo
stick beat a d electro magnetic fury on guitar “To Bop
Or Not To Be”  by John McLaughlin. Then “Dear Dalai
Lama” puts you in a more expanded special place with
Shankar Mahadeuan vocalizing  the beginning of the
excursion then a turn to the infinite and beyond with
the placated speed of a ferocious McLaughlin on
You may think you've heard this kind mythology before,
not quite so fast and clear as this.
It's advisable that you relax and let the chocolate
magic listening pour on you.

Blue Note
Don Byron has put us into an unrequited funky mode. 
And with “Cleo's Mood” you hear  a blast of R&B past
with Dean Bowman vocalizing as Junior Walker offers in
Eddie Jefferson's shadow. Implausible you say, it
ain't nothing to know the difference. A piece of cake.
When Chevrolets were Chevrolets and The Cleveland
block 350 hp was the pop.  This registers with me as
far back as Jack Scott's Dance Ranch in a suburb of
Detroit to be named later. This is really plu
progressive mid west rockin soul with an avant gard 
jazz remarkable..   It's so long ago, that you don't
need to remember.  It's all there in your micro feesh
of your higher cortex and this new Byron will take you
back and bring you forward abruptly. Don't holler
whiplash, for you're distupified for the good. Listen
to “Shot gun, ” a major hit in the sixties and what 
Don Byron does to it is about magnificent. We got as
far as “There It Is” and remembered the days  when the
testosterone  was so hard to control, cause James
Brown was all over the place.  
I'm exhausted , I'm excited and I'm only through the 
first six cuts and with Pink Floyd's guitarist David
Gilmour, vocalist Dean Bowman, George Colligan,
Hammond B -3, Rodney Holmes, percussion, Chris Fowlkes
trombone and the dynamic Mr please – please  to please
himself,  Don Byron on tenor saxophone!!
Oh, gimme back those good old R&B days!!!!

JAVON JACKSON    NOW       Palmetto Records
This is true straight ahead ahjesd with no tutnming
back with Javon Jackson keeping it  close and groovy
as Willis Jackson would do. 
This is the stuff that Storyville's made of, and why
the good  doctor's involved, along with PINK FLOYD
guitarist, David Gilmore to give this period more
resonance for us it's a loping atmosphere with Lisa
Fischer, one of the great back up singers soon to be a
forefront,a bay shore, a Chaka Khan, expression with
soul and emotion. This is late Coconut Grove groovin
Saturday night if you can dance or be a voyeur to the
Sunday morning airer.  “South Side Eddie” maybe
somewhat Chicago as we're talkin about  South Miami, 
where the despots and debutantes go down to play where
the lost get sanctified and this new Javon Jackson cd
is most prevalent with the newbies and the all around
Lord knows,  we all love the funk!

SHERMAN IRBY           ORGANOMICS      Black Warrior
He's come to New York City the hard way, from Alabama
to Atlanta to the cruise ships to the top of the heap
and his work with Wynton Marsalis shows it. Sherman
Irby has paid his dues with an alto saxophone so warm
and vibrant. This is  the great mainstream we all love
and play on MacBeth. Here's a man who'll remind you of
Cannonball's most festive moments. There's the slow
dance, “Leap Of Faith” as your designated hitter 
reminding you of  the exuberance and nascent response
of us mainstreamers. It's what this music is about;
the response, the motivation.  It's all in the
reproduction of post modern of the past where middle
class weekenders and  junkies in love make it happen.

A very something, very elegant, eccentric and charming
about this jazz singer, She has her own style, iconic
muse in silence. She's tall and takes off her shoes
when you dance in the starlight of the gods. Barber's
especially grand when she interprets all this sensual
material. The Greeks were more magnanimous than we,
enjoying our foibles as much as our supposed
strengths. She's best appreciated in an intimate
setting where she quietly discreetly  relate these
stories with her audience . As in  “Morpheus,”
guardian of dreams,  “Pygmalion,” a new life,
“Orpheus” the poet and musician singing songs of a
cherished lost love, for this is a myriad of metaphor,
playful animus and  intimacy as fairies dance in light
of a full harvest moon. 
This is phenomenal what we do without multi tasking
interruption,  post partum interaction and squirilus
It's the way they act up, our leaders  at the 
Bohemian Grove, all the pontificators of our “modern”
design as they smile a big smile on one hand with
their other hand tickling your behind and stealing
your wallet. There's  nothing so ancient as us, about
us,  that we know. Another of us will dance in the
moonlight of a dream.  To say there's nothing new in
the all new in all of us is a turn of phrase, a break
in the wheel, a poltergiest of Ovidean dreams
Patricia Barber weaves this myriad of love stories for
those most open and intimate, there's nothing as
fulfilling, left alone a lover of dreams.
We suggest you read a book, “Who's Who In Mythology, “
then listen to Patricia Barber's “Mythologies.” Let 
it rest for a  week then listen again on a special
evening  with your lover,  insoft purple glows, 
surrounding aromas and sips of  red wine and know  why
this is one her best, so memorable that other
minstrels can't hold a candle.

METHENY MEHLDAU     Nonesuch Records                  
We have two of the most original, progressive jazz
musicians of their generation playing together for the
first time with a captivating magic and illumination
on this session, a symbiosis here that's too dynamic,
too precious for a lack of happening. Not since Bill
Evans and Jim Hall has there  been more of a stir
among aficionados.  These two  are simply breathtaking
in their modern view, conception and capabilities and
in this context, another dimension. They play off one
another so very well, especially in the duet sequences
where their mutual wealth of ideas come together so
very well here as in “Bachelors  III,” the fire and
spirit is prevalent. There two  no more higher 
contemporary minds  than Pat Metheny and Brad Mehldau.
 There's so much extemporary beauty here, a CD of
purity in motion. 

This current series of Tomasz Stanko cd's with this
young inspiring group of side musicians, Marcin
Wasilewski, piano, Slawomir Kirkiewicz, bass and
Michal Miskiewicz on drums for they support and even
accentuate Stanko's expressive eccentric rounded
structures. Where Stanko seems to reach out and fall
off the table, they prop him up and support his
purging ecclesiastic moments. And it's all very cool.
To a ballet of acrobats that say:
“Catch me me before I hit the floor, then throw me up
as high as you can I'll float down  slowly with hidden
guy wires into your gestating collective arms. 
“Lontano” has that remarkable story arc.
The Stanko quartet performs on this level with tension
and release,  sensitive and intricate glass like
melodic structures that encompass many forms and swing
to a much    different inner fulcrum.
And then you're hooked on this sound as it sings to
you with many different subtle emotional levels,
theoretical, spiritual and sensual.
It's why you listen to all of this CD.
If you're intrigued
Does she ever really tell you how she really feels...
You listen more attentively to the subtle sighs and
whispers again and again
It's beyond that now for you're so in love to  think
any different.
Decades will pass and they'll package this band in a
box set to be enjoyed by future post moderns, sans
Miles Davis Quintet in the sixties.

She has a multi faceted vocal personality, warm with
irony and welled in a sense of reality. Larry Klein,
former Joni Mitchell producer is guiding light with an
observation on how  best to project Madeleine's real
emotional talent and depth with this marvelous
ensemble of songs. Her own “I'm All Right,” showing
great depth of a dysfunctional relationship,  not a
COPS mellow drama where police arrest a guy for
beating his girlfriend as she tearfully proclaims her
love, as they drag him away in handcuffs. This piece
is more subtle with shades of irony as she smiles and
laughs and tells us this absurd story about her man
who smokes stogies in bed. She sings tomes of other
great song writers, explore other dark dank avenues,
from Johnny Mercer, Tom Waits,  Charles Chaplin to
Leonard Cohen.
She reveals her folk singing roots with her own “Once
In A While” with a very intimate acoustic and vocal
intro Then “La Javanese” makes you yearn for Edith
Piaf as she can weave a spell over the room. Madeleine
Peyroux has shy eccentric beauty and you'll soon learn
when listening to this great CD that she's nobody's

She has that style and trempo of a great post modern
emnity. For there's a hard bop musician who'd say on
the second take, 'slow it down a little man and we
nail it.” Her writing can remind one of  Randy Weston,
Gigi Gryce,, Kenny Dorham, Donald Byrd and free
swinging Dexter Gordon. 
Sounds like...is an operative phrase, for this lady is
very original with great depth and imagination,
remarkably proficient on piano and  dynamically
sensitive to the kind  of play you don't get off the
rack at the mall or on commercial tv. This is the
profound music of our hip unencumbered daily lives, a
kind of magnatism  that history repeats in harmonic
balance, serious, melodic and open , free and
Michelle Gregoire is a wondrous and swinging musician
we certainly can and do  love down here and her
boisterous iconoclast is most appreciated.

Concord Jazz
This is music of post Monk's center, T squared to the
bebop universe. There are so many rhythm balls in the
air at the same time that bouncing overlaps more
bouncing.  Ben Riley, current and former drummer with
Thelonius Monk Quartet, conceived this uproarious
concoction.  Riley knows better than anyone that
Monk's music translates well to a horn ensemble.
Listen to Monk Big Band In Concert and you hear
it...the way back in 63.
This new Septet is another extension into post Monk
and how this and other T songs  will be re interpreted
in the future. This a fine group with Jimmy Greene on
tenor, Don Sickler trumpet and producer, (bet he had
real fun on this.)  There's  Freddy Bryant playing
like Kenny Burrell on guitar and  a saxophone sect
with Bruce Williams, alto, Jimmy Greene and Wayne
Escoffery, tenor, Jay Branford on baritone. 
The music of Thelonius Monk is the embodiment of the
first sixty years of modern jazz. 
For a test we suggest you sit on a bench in Central
Park on a sunny day,  listen this  new CD  through
Bose headphones, wave at passersby with your absolute
best Stan Laurel smile and watch how our crazy world
emanates with joy.
When asked, “How can your play Monk without a piano?” 
“Just Listen, you'll see,” replied Ben Riley.
“A Done Deal as far as I'm concerned!”

She first derives the meaning from a song, puts
herself in the center of it,  exhales slowly releases
to the outer reaches of the extempore with serene
poise, cadence, command and spontaneity. This new
project has a more contemporary hard balance with 
John McLean's arrangements. It's about a ride on a
motorcycle along Highway One to Big Sur and settling
in among the Redwoods  as in Monk's “Ask Me Now.” Then
some witty scat tunes , “Jazz Habit”and  “Gentle
Piece” and a nice blues from John Scofield's “I'll
Take Les.” When was the last time you heard the name
Oscar Levant, The Oscar Wilde of music and film.
Borlas version of “Blame It On My Youth” is more
empathetic.  Then a jazzy Frank Foster, “Simone,” with
a marvelous acoustic back up by John McLean with Dan
Hearle on piano and Art Davis on trumpet with a nice
portrayal of Foster's real intent,  a real breezy and
sexy love song. The great personal perspective of
Horace Silver's “Peace”  with Janice Borla's
responsiveness and John McLean's intimate figurines on
acoustic guitar. It's here  in this CD from every

Nonesuch Records 
Frisell has an original sound for jazz, a country,
bluegrass honesty of playing jazz. “On The Street
Where You Live” is a simple straight ahead gas, along
with bassist Ron Carter's  driving  rhythm guitar
harmonics on bass. The interplay of Bill Frisell's
inventive minimalism with Ron Carter's  affirmative,
powerful presence as  premier jazz bassist is primary
motivation of this CD. Paul Motion's work with brushes
 is highlighted on  his original almost psychedelic,
“Introduction.” You may not recognize it,
“Misterioso,” but who cares , it's great blues.  
Funky town on a Saturday night at the Matterhorn in
Elkhart and the really spaced looking guy is Paul
Motian on drums for there's really something very
different about this CD. Hank Williams tune is almost 
unrecognizable until about the middle when Bill
Frisell raises it to almost anthem level and brings
you down home out of the Monterey Fog  to come across
with this marvelous gem. Amen.

DON ALIQUO        JAZZ FOLK        Young Warrior
Jazz educator and stone cold tenor player, Don Aliquo
gets it done right off with the title tune, straight
from hard bop heaven. Clay Jenkins on trumpet creates
a cogent  balance and sidekick Dana Landry is always
right there with 'I know what you're thinking.'
There's a little Stan Getz in Aliquo's  groove with
the hard bop call on Kurt Weill's “This Is New.”  With
prominent expression from veteran bassist Rufus Reid
and Jim White on drums, “Spiral Staircase” becomes  an
exceptional Aliqou expression. With Clay Jenkins
adding a nice taste on trumpet.  Since this is  'above
the fold' post modern  and the main man isn't out
there night after night on the open road and has gone
somewhat unnoticed, not really, because Aliquo has won
numerous awards for his playing. You'll hear some
sweet things in this CD, such as Rufus Reid's 
“Peaceful Flame.” There are good examples here of Don
Aliqou's prowess as a writer with “Jazz Folks,”
“Spiral Staircase,” “Time And Again” and “Frayed.”  So
just straight ahead, out and out East Coast
mainstream,  there's a magnificent hard edge signature
as in Rufus Reid's “Come Out And Play.” Again, you
want an extra play for your money, then you can't go
wrong with Don Aliqou's view of the post modern,
albeit Shorty Rogers, Stan Getz, Kenny Dorham, Gigi
Gryce and Tina Brooks at Storyville. This here is the
genuine article.

REVISITED  VOLUME ONE      Capri Records
Joe Gilman has devoted his life to teaching youth the
art and soul of jazz improvisation. As  a full
professor of music at  American River College and a
fellow at the Dave Brubeck Institute at University Of
The Pacific in Stockton,  his intention is a complete
comprehension of music dating back to the 16th
Century. How's that for devouring the great music of
the Western world!  Besides your students benefit the
most. Many of the great ones teach  in jazz as well
and we are honored to have Gilman as a leading 
advocate of our jazz community in Sacramento.
How do you teach chops?  You lead by example.   And
this new Stevie Wonder tribute is a wonderful example.
Wonder's music is ripe for concerted jazz worship `and
this Volume and soon to be released Two are fruitful
to this endeavor. The others here, Joe Sanders, bass
and Justin Brown, drums will soon be appear on
marquise for up and coming jazz performers.
An example of how good this Joe Gilman trio and this
new CD featuring Stevie Wonders music is...your humble
 host invites you to compare the Oscar Peterson trio
LIVE IN CHICAGO recorded in 1961 at the London House
at the height of his and  their respective careers.
Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown and Ed Thigpen were in their
early thirties.  
Joe Sanders and Justin Brown are in their mere
But don't rely on my assessment compare the two for
yourself and see if you agree that the same daring and
ferocity of the Oscar Peterson Trio, forty some years
ago is exhibited here with The Joe Gilman Trio and

Jane Bunnett's observations of Afro Cuban Jazz is
unique,dynamic and refreshing. The pure ethnicism of
it under laboratory conditions in Havana over a half
century ago. Jane Bunnett is really a traditionalist
at heart able to absorb the wondrous street music
available.  “Give Me One Dollar” is right off Bourbon
Street with Johnny Sansome on vocals, accordion and
harmonica. “Kiriba” gets back to Cuban roots.
“Quantanamo Blues”  is a wonderful jazz selection by 
Jane Bunnett on flute and soprano saxaphone. The music
here is why she's so special as an artist and
interpreter of the World's music.
The late Dewey Redman is featured with his searing 
emotional response on tenor saxophone. Pianist David
Virelles is also a major contributer on  this CD,
recorded in Havana. Jane Bunnett's solo on flute from
“You Have Changed My Life” is one of the best this
year. There's a Jane Bunnett signature that always
resonates in her work, ethnically sacred and true, the
spirit and power of her music.

Cross Jazz
There's an element that resonates in all Criss Cross
Jazz cd's.   Give the best musicians in the world the
keys to the recording studio and let them blow their
crazy post modern ideas til all hours, give the
engineer time and a half for his labors , and you
listen the next day and this is what you'll discover,
the best hard bop blown since the sixties.
This band of Dave Kikoski, piano, Seamus Blake, tenor
sax. Larry Grenadier, bass and Bill Stewart drums is
an excellent example of the profundities Jazz has to
offer, a boost that caffeine may artificially inject,
but free bird blowing is much more a saturation to
your endorphins.   The rest comes when the silent
movie in your brain responds to the light in the
music, blustery images cascading across your mind
We're not , in this case,  breaking down  each song in
this new Cd . That's for ears to decide and yours are
the decider! There's lot's of embellishment to digest
on your quiet weekends,  that space only a precious
few of you share and enjoy.  This new David Kikoski CD
is right there with you all the way.

BIG NEIGHBORHOOD       11:11         Origin Records
A quartet of alto saxophone, guitar, bass and drum.
Simple yet more complex for this band plays big. Chris
Fagan 's saxophone sings like a Paul Desmond in
Toronto, a  clear fall evening on lake Ontario.   Then
there's Dave White's acoustic guitar riffs like
Charlie Christian in odd characters as the rhythmic
double times a pace or two in contrapuntal harmony
with a groove Messianic! There's  proportional jamming
as in the “The Lake,” an R&B oddity ramping back and
forth. Then “11:11” ups  the art deco atmosphere as
“The Rambler,” stunned by  sudden occurrence attempts
to cover his/her shadow.   This is not that
complicated. In fact it's overtly tongue and cheek
polirhythmic and since you have the overhead formula
of compatibility there's no need for alarm or 
reinforcement of any college of  musical knowledge as
in “Mad Harold's Tea Party.”
With this superb rounding out rhythm section, Doug
Miller, bass and Phil Parisot on  drum  incessant and
swinging like a fifties West Coast  happening 
thrusting fifty years ahead from now. It's not that
simple or complicated.   This is what a sweet life
sounds about...always a short and lasting ending to a
perfect evening with the band playing like early
Brubeck and Paul Desmond soloing “Ask Me Now.”

GARY McFARLAND     Capri Records
Gary McFarland was a wistful long haired post
Baker/Mulligan/Ellington/West Coast hipster in a sear
sucker suit.   Mark Master is able to counter,
capitalize and captivate this  precious post Redondo
Beach/ Howard Rumsey sound. Gary McFarland's short
meteoric journey was as writer/ arranger for the Gerry
Mulligan big band at the time is showcased as well it
should for he was brilliant, self taught, a new poet
from a new school of relaxed rule when Playboy Hugh
Hefner hosted a late night show, Steve Allen countered
with The Tonight Show and since TV in our cultural
early warning system.
And  today with Gary Smulyan, by far the best baritone
player of our time, looking back fondly with this Mark
Master presentation will remind of when the Hollywood
Freeway was the only freeway in town, the San Fernando
Valley was covered with orange blossoms and the Rose
bowl was  only local until TV came along and stole the
picture, while the harmonize East Coast/West Coast
challenges of Charlie Parker saying good bye way much
too soon, for us  early morning hipsters.

Indirecto Records
A Motley Crew who  look as though they're fresh out of
 Ken Burns documentary, Medeski, Martin & Wood and
John Scofield are disciples of  a psychedelic blues
band named all Am will mesh and  groove with Scofield
jamming on “Tequila and Chocolate” and John Medeski
counter punching on key boards to a techno bleep
nirvana. The music is so quirky, happy and funky you
wanna laugh yourself to  tears and whirl around with
your hands in the air like a dirvish with “Tootie Ma
Is A Big Fine Thing.” Oh my,  are we gettin it yet!
And “Cachaca” with John Scofield blazing away on
electric fuz and Medeski following close behind on
acoustic piano and organ and there's as nice
counterpoint with these scary people. When this
digiredoo of a pineapple goes  off on many different
directions like  a multiple war head, you hear
interesting funk vignettes in this music and Jimi
Hendrix would have been right here all the while.

Dick Crockett
“The Voice” 88.7 fm
4623 T Street, Suite A
Sacramento, Ca 95819-4743
audio streaming
Access Sacramento.org


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