[JPL] Bopndick's 20 Picks Sept 2006

Dick Crockett bopndick at yahoo.com
Sat Sep 9 02:02:52 EDT 2006

Bopndicks 20 Picks September 2006

featuring The Birth Of The Cool Suite by Gunther
Schuller   Blue Note
This brings back vivid memories, that very intense
period in modern jazz when the music went from swing
to bebop to cool and spirited beyond to hard bop
nouvoriche and avant gard. Late forties through the
fifties was an incredible metamorphosis, a Renaissance
of modern jazz. It seemed every week in the fifties
there was a new development, Coltrane's evolution,
Sonny Rollins wood shedding, Kenton and Greattanger's
“City Of Glass,” Shorty Rogers, Baker and Mulligan,
Bill Evans, Ornette Coleman's plastic saxophone, the
new Maynard Ferguson Big Band, King Pleasure, Roy Kral
and Jackie Caine. The list is endless.  And this new
Joe Lovano  Nonet's look back to the Cool and Gunther
Schuller's remarkable contribution to the modern era.
A stirring performance by John Hicks is laid down here
and a classic “Boplicity.”  Some other great players,
Gary Smulyan, baritone saxophone, Dennis Erwin, bass,
Lewis Nash, drums. This is as good as the original
with Miles and Gil Evans, for they knew the value of
this Schuller composition. This new Joe Lovano Nonet
version is full of nostalgia, melancholy and fruitful
music, whose charts are performed with grace and
dignity, in perpetuity.

Justin Time Records
Good to hear the rage is back in the music again, with
all that's going on now. You certainly aren't going to
hear it on the news and there are other ways,
especially with a powerhouse band  World Saxophone
Quartet, Oliver Lake/Bluiett/David Murray to get the
message across. 
Takes it right back to the tension and excitement of
the mid sixties on Wayne State University, hanging out
with John Sinclair on the radio with visceral calls of
taking it to the streets from Pharoah Sanders, Archie
Shepp, Albert Ayler and  John Coltrane with  hard
rockin from the underground, The Fugs, Frank Zappa,
Iggy Pop, Moms Mabley, Andre Williams (remember jail
bait?), Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker. In those
days the grease was still on the floor of the
abandoned Hudson plant on Jefferson with guys up to
their boots in the mud in Vietnam. Just like it is
today in the cradle of civilization as we again lose
our collective minds as brothers as Americans,  like
it was yesterday. This CD brings it back that angry
blues and strident view  with James “Blood” Ulmer
doing a Muddy Waters tune “Mannish Boy,” An anthem to
the blind for what's really goin on, “Amazing
Disgrace” sung by Carolyn Hawthorne, certainly to be a
classic to the blunt abuse of power that  knows but a
hallow message to the shallow diatribe to 'Free dumb.'
This is for the faint of heart and meager wage
earners. There's something to hang onto, listen to
Craig Harris devy it up, tell it with clarity in
“Bluocracy.” For this new one by WSQ pulls no punches
and you can listen, too, ala didjeridoo.

Dr LONNIE SMITH             JUNGLE  SOUL     Palmetto
Inventive, eccentric and precocious, what more could
you ask from a practitioner of the Hammond B-3. Dr
Lonnie Smith is the real thing, an original. You the
others will play like it's gospel. This Smith of the
organ takes it a little further out and coasts along.
The others, brothers of the B-3.  This Smith plays
with so  much joy, that you hear it in his scat and
that's part of it.
We dig  those musicians who know where it's coming
from with happiness on their lips as evident here.
There's so much groove here with a dynamic soft touch
for the man's a lover in “Simone,” “Willow Weep For
Me” and “Blue Moment.”Peter Bernstein is on guitar
throughout this cd and plays so well especially with
Smith on last call with “Blue Moment.””Witch Doctor”
will enable  you  to walk and stay all night on the
treadmill. You know the man leaps around like in
ballet slippers, perfect for motor mouths who're just
learning to rap... There's so much here for the funkin
groovers, that loud noises are not allowed in one of
Smith's  out side performances.
Hopefully you'll get a chance to...for he'll rock your

For starters, I heard  'Weather Report' and
'Mahavishnu' jumping out my stereo in an orgasm of
polyphony.   That said and out of the way, let's get
down the refreshing aspect that John McLaughlin is the
fastest technically proficient guitarists in the
world, one of the most imaginative, most certainly.
This new cd is a welcome wagon to the world of  fusion
jazz, let's call it jazz because that's most profound
accolade to lay on any jazz musician. “Lay on McDuff,”
cried out MacBeth!
Show me what you got,  brother! And McLaughlin has it
all in spades and you'll hear throughout in “For Jaco,
” tribute to the great fusion bassist. The eclectic
electric excitement continues with “New Blues old
Bruise,””Just So And More So” with Bill Evans on
soprano saxophone, “To Bop Or Not To Be” wit Otmara
Ruiz on synthesizer and  Zakir Hussein on tabla. (He's
everywhere with whats happening.)  
I'd say this cd  is a perfect way to contemplate your
prana yama.

REVISITED  VOLUME ONE      Capri Records
 This is a key note CD for this trio.   A sound,
contemporary in it's conception, the music of Stevie
Wonder and  so new with pop  earnestness and  rhythmic
enthusiasm infused with the vitality that elevated
“The Three Sounds”  to hard bop rhythmic fame the
early sixties.  There's a contemporary flow here that
you can relate to, and a diverse interpretation by Joe
Gilman that you can regale. There's also an Oscar
Peterson influence. Remember the trio in the sixties
with   Ray Brown and Ed Thigpen? It's all here, the
drive, optimism and  melodic diversity in Stevie
Wonder's compositions.  Every song achieves another
destiny on this project as you hear elements you may
never imagined by this young trio that's capable of
great strides. Volume Two will be out next year. The
next project should be a 'live' session at Yoshi's for
example to capture this 'lightning in a bottle,' for
these are brief and shining moments that legends are

Nancy King originally from San Francisco and now
residing in Portland has been  doing this sort of
thing for years, as  you'll hear in her command, tempo
and  her phrasing for  this lady is true to the art,
true to the music.  The atmosphere for this live
session was magnetic and she does what does almost
better than anybody. This  is Annie Ross in a relaxed
intimate moment. And improvisation between Hersch and
King is precious. 
You ask these to two to record this cd , it would be
unique that night, that moment. That's the magic this
music contains...unique and different every time, this
light, this day, this moment will never be the same.
Jazz is the ONLY music form that can capture light in
a bottle.
You can't say enough about the talent of Fred Hersch.
The specialty in this cd is the spontaneity and repor
between the artists. Listen to his subtle  stride
treatment to “Ain't Misbehavin”  is super, adding in
his  solo some Monk contemplations. 
I imagine they both had the concept down before they
started this session  and those who who possess
special talents, who show respect for each other and
play off one another measure the maximum play. This is
Manhattan music,  intimate wine gatherings, after hour
elegance and noir. This is what eternity is about and
these  two will play the music endlessly.
This CD is one -of-a-kind liturgy for Saturday night.
You'll listen to this alone, with close friends and
family and never hear the same thing over again.   It
defies the law of similarity- no two things happen at
the same time- depending how you feel.

This is a special cd.  Larry Vuckovich is a
reaffirmation of the post modern and he'll take you
there, a short cab ride to nirvana that only exists in
a man of the world,  modern jazz mind, a theater of
the cool that's so inventive, laid back with a 57
Cadillac persona, a ghost dance of writers, artists,
politicians, business and street lingo gathering at
the Keystone Korner to hear the universal language of 
commonality and solidarity.  This is where
improvisation sorts it all out, giving our  diffuse
dull routines more meaning,  spiritual without over
thought, endless hyperbole encapsulated in 
unimportance. “Street Scene”  is a perfect end to an
intimate evening, for this music portends intimacy,
those precious moments that define our existence...
ourselves with a  rhythm section that's efficiently
best  for this project with Larry Grenadier, well
known bass player in NYC and regular with Brad Mehldau
trio, originally from San Francisco, who Vuckovich
nurtured in his early years and drummer Akira Tana
who's interpretation of Horace Silver's “Sweet Stuff”
is classic on his “Moon Over The World” cd as his
blend is impeccable here. 
You'll agree, there's more taste, intimacy and lots of
'Sweet Stuff' in this  new “Street Scene.” What more
can  you say about this new Larry Vuckovich.  The best
is the best! All you can do is nod your head and say,
“That's what it's all about, baby.”

   Immergent Records.
I first heard this explosive CD, first thought with
“Cut N Run”  was “Clap Hands Here Comes Charlie,” from
the album,  CHARLIE BARNET BIG BAND 1967.  I don't
know what possesses thee and me but here it is 2006
and tearfully pining a former life, when nubile was
strictly nubile and not new bile, For thine had nary a
carry on when boarding a 727 when the isles were wide
and seats were two to a side and the music was still
Now the rock stars own the mansions and my grand
daughters are listening  to Led Zeppelin and the
marketing saturated tv audience worship American
CLAP HANDS HERE COMES GORDON swinging like no other
swinger, have to qualify that because this is L.A.- I
mean swinging big band, not the other social
gathering, where folks dress up to dress down.
This  new Goodwin Phat Band cd is chuck full of great
charts, outrageous arrangements in the largese. And
the best musicians the West Coast has to offer. You
just hear the band having great fun playing these
charts, like Magellan sailing round the world a cruise
ship and you are  jitterbuggin and fruggin on
occasionally with “Play that Music...”
So enjoy the fresh air, it's a long cruise with the
BIG PHAT BAND, because  after this stint with David
Sanborn, they just won't let up!!!

JAMIE DAVIS       IT'S A GOOD THING            Unity
He has re established big band singing as a forefront.
You know right off that Jamie Davis is the real thing
with a set of pipes that are natural, he understands
the music and swings like a monster, Jerry Butler, Lou
Rawls, Johnny Hartman, Joe Williams all rolled into
one powerhouse. Don't forget Arthur Prysock.  That's
Jamie Davis, his name soon to  legendary, a household
word, for he is an old world full of soul! The band is
magnificent conducted by Shelly Berg and the
arrangements swing with Bob Ojeda, Tom Hart, Marcus
Shelby,  Aaron Lington, etc.. 
You'll hear how great this cd is throughout. This is a
break away cd for Jamie Davis.
We at “The Voice” inaugurate Jamie Davis as THE VOICE.
This is the best big band jazz singer to come along in
years. Jamie Davies, they'll have to rewrite the
record books.

“CJP always starts with a jazz classic arranged in
that CJP special way with a Afro Cuban  mainstream
twist with the  best Afro Cuban  musicians in the
world and  that very distinctive tempo.  There's a
special blend of musicians that vibraphonist Dave
Samuels assembles....”Portraits Of Cuba” written and
performed here by Paquito D'Rivera with a nice tone
from Andy Narrell on steel pans with very earthy
tones  underneath. Alain Mallet plays some different
piano  and especially a tasty organ riff on the first
song,  the classic Miles,“Nardis.”  In fact of the
features here is Mallet's organ on “Spinnaker” and
Mambo De Luna.”  Violinist Christian Howes supplies an
almost vintage  string accompaniment  on “Slow Dance.”
  Dave Samuels has assembled these groups with careful
attention to a distinctive sound, that Cal Tjader
assembled years ago at Concord as if he's remote
viewing with a more post modern generation.   This is
what Tjader would do, mix and match different
musicians every time to produce  a different touch
with that quality  you can respond to  every time.
There's romance in Paquito's clarinet work on “Dusk.” 
This is what Dave Samuels has done with the Caribbean
Jazz Project in different selectivity. The Dave
Samuels sound,  another  Caribbean Jazz Project

Verve Music 
This is another unique distinctive jazz violinist
mixing pitza-cado with promenade,. Carter moves freely
with care and dexterity through a variety of styles
here, first with Edvard Grieg's  “Anitra's Dance,”
“Little Brown Jug,” the  popular Sammy Cahn,  “Bei Mir
Bist Du Schon, sets in early 20th  century music
Americana, sung with fervor and abandon by Dee Dee
Bridgewater.  Then “Sentimental Journey” with Paquito
D'Rivera up to his old tricks, playing masterful
clarinet in harmony with Carter's soaring with a touch
of soul violin. Another Detroiter and excellent
singer, Carla Cook chimes in with a  light
sophisticated  Sara Vaughn ish  rendition of “You Took
Advantage Of Me,” then an uptown version of “St. Louis
Blues.” Then there's “How Ruth Felt,”  with  the
Regina Carter band, a beautiful song performed with
the uniqueness and respect that Carter bestows  on her
family, musically and otherwise.

Picasso 's abstract figures  and objects askance in
clad  varying forms with bold  gradation, bright
colorful context and in a remarkable way makes sense,
because  you're hypnotized with the subtlety, style,
the many fold quality of the work. This is what Brad
Mehldau's music will do, provide you with  varying
modern complex views of a passing world, pastoral
fantasies,  seductive, for your world's really a
beautiful place , that Mehldau music compels you to
see, thus it's so,  traveling to the exotic Catalina
on calm seas of  your imagination, where even some
phenomena you may have overlooked many times now make
oceans of sense with a simple key stroke in varying
degrees many times over.  There's a unique visceral
quality in his writing and playing...
If you're one who sits and imagines inner nature's
many fold, string theories and other    imaginings, of
which  there is no ending to this  mindful romance,
Brad Melhdau's new “House On Hill” is  great music for
the inner traveling Hemingway simple and declarative
sentence , there's much more than meets the eye.

The title says it all. The only thing missing is how
this slow dance will get the juices flowing. This is
what it's all about. Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins
could do it like this and Scott Hamilton does it so
well like this. And anybody who doesn't know, of which
there are very few, unless you about 6 months, 
however,  this music and real mother's milk may do it
for  you  too.  And if you're 65 and prefer to dance
close, it's all about you and the night and this music
that'll last forever in your loving soul, egging you
on with a sexy Hamiltonian “Flamingo,” “Serenade In
Blue” and as the night goes on “You Go To My Head” 
will do it too.. Then Bill Strayhorn's “Chelsea
Bridge” will be more than happy to extend your evening
to dance the dance, everyone moves around in silence
with the overhead glittering ball of light, fantasy
and romance.   Classic  melodies  performed with grace
and elegance is what this CD and  saxophonist Scott
Hamilton. In his many releases on Concord this one is
personal and  very special. 

After listening to this, here's a musician and writer
that you'd like to know better for this music is
inventive, cerebral and swinging in the prominence of
a Stan Kenton, Shorty Rogers and a Gary McFarland.
They just don't make music like this anymore. On this
new one, Rick Wald is loaded with originality,
sounding more West Coast than East Coast, meaning that
Rick Wald doesn't care where he's been, he'll get to
where he's coming from in his own way. Gil Evans is 
lurking here and thereabouts in the shadows as Rick
Wald takes up with a mistress of brass post modern
dreams. This is not a series of covering dreams, short
stories with similar endings and mellow dramatic
conclusions, this more flowing self discovery, 
passages with many paths of exploration in modern
jazz. As if you explored the vast unexplored regions
of your own mind. Rick Wald will start you on a well
recognized path and once your comfortable off road you
into vast unexplored regions and you don't have to 
release your seat belt, block your eyes or  hold your
breath for this journey is exhilarating to your post
modern view.

Moon Records
She's one of the most original, as an engenue in a
French bistro, soft and low on a eternal late night of
malfeasance, miscreants  and lost loves with a cool
sedative voice of trumpet player Claude Roditi, who
seems to understand the compliance. Then the
interpretation then as now of lost dreams, silence in
commerce with a last dance to a last chance.  “You And
The Night And The Music” really is the ambiance of
this dream with excellent solo by guitarist by John
Hart.   Then “Charade” with Hart continuing his 
magical guitar, an exceptional articulation to the
well known standard .   Carla White with her artistry
utilizes  the full compliment of her musicians, as in
Wes Montgomery's “Four On Six” as she scats in low key
then up a pace to a higher grace, then to a subtle
pace. With Carla White, there's a multitude of
emotional responsiveness here with “May I Please Come
In.” How can you turn away from this honesty, there's
no turning back. She has you with the majesty of her
charm. She's also one of the best  jazz singers in the
world.  This is a true jazz cd,.  There's more to this
than just a jazz singer. Everyone makes a
contribution. The musicians contribute so much to the 
overall ambiance to Carla White's “A Voice In The
Night.” The an original, “Do you find...peace of
mind,” a mantra of  healing energy with John Hart's wa
wa pedal creating a lush Eastern tone and Claudio, the
healer, on trumpet.

Simple truism: Rogers is an inventive  bass player.  
The secret here is tempo and various pry modal norms 
and maybe there a Reptillian message here as well.
Surround yourself with the best. To know thy enemy is
when, 'wala wala' there is no enemy at all as he
sculpts  moods , modes and textures in a circuitous
blend  of contemporary views with  an A list of the
best modern players, Ron Blake, Joshua Redman,
Nicholas Payton,  Aaron Goldberg, Adam Cruz, Greg
Hutcherson and assorted  other great percussionists,
along with guitarists David Gilmore and  Mark
Whitfield with a tasteful brew of great arrangements.
Each tune is presented with minimalist views of what
that song can do...
There are originals here by Rogers and others supply
the other tunes, some standards reworked to convey
fresh  paint to a post modern slant. Sometimes a first
listen - through doesn't provide a complete accurate
view.   Certain times of the day will also provide
different perspectives, therefore, we recommend that
this Reuben Rogers should be slowly consumed in the
late hours.

HOT CLUB OF DETROIT                  Mack Ave Records
This young band takes revives an important jazz
tradition implemented by Django Reinhardt in the dark
intrigue of Paris bistros in the 1930's.   As this
music excites your imagination, visualize Albert
Camus, Anais Nin, Henry Miller and Ernest Hemingway in
a smoky room with assorted petty thieves, spies, ex
patriots, soldiers for hire, beautiful mysterious Mata
Haris' and other diplomats of divine self destruction.
If all you can conjure is Sidney Greenstreet and Peter
Lori, they were probably there when Le Grand gypsy
plied his amazing trade with impressions of
“Nauages,””Tears” and one that's especially romantic
with Hot Club leader's Evan Perri's  exceptional
guitar work is “Troublant Bolero.”
This is the kind of mind pleasure Hot Club of Detroit
can create. Their music achieves such depth, you can't
help be swept away to far intriguing places and untold
past lives, where Benny Goodman's bebop gathered
stream with threads of Italian folk/French jazz
Reading carefully the liner notes because you know
this music has great character and meaning and
noticing long forgotten past meanings of  Wayne State
University( my alma mater, those days it was Joni
Mitchell, John Lee Hooker, Donald Byrd, Paul Chambers,
Motown, sister Aretha, Stevie Wonder, way back when)
now it's new ones arising from old neighborhoods, 
rising up as this band has from a grand tradition of
the music amidst the intersection of Mack and Cadieux
Avenues. And it my memory serves me there's a Belgian
Bar of Cadieux Avenue, where they used  to house  and
race pigeons off the roof, Old World,  a block away
from Detroit Street where we lived in the late
sixties, named the Cadieux Cafe and from this derives
the most incredible music full of depth,  intensity
and tradition, yet modern and new fresh. 
My daughter wrote me about Detroit,”I never tire of
going there, revisiting my past. There's something
that's so inspiring about this city. It always reminds
me of who I am, where I come from, my path.”
The  message that most applies to The Hot Club Of
Detroit,' inspiring, never tiring, rising up from
steamy Paris bistros to the post modern-the
destination-our path.'

FRANK KIMBROUGH          PLAY       Palmetto Records
Kimbrough is a marvelous minimalist, carefully
balancing discordance with accordance with joyful
ambivalence, a Chopin of modern dreams,  playful
“Beginnings,” he'll disrupt traffic patterns with
clowning “The Spins” with an absent minded Monk
dropping his change in the middle of 3rd Avenue,
balancing a fulcrum of light changes to search, where
is that? Oh it's right here! 
Kimbrough enlists the services of  a patient
understanding bassist, Masa Kamaguchi with Buddhist
qualities as well as the timeless and most high guru
of the drums Paul Motian, for they are most prescient
to the understanding of this master plan of stops,
starts, shortcuts and long drives by the lake on a new
sunny afternoon.   
There's a remarkable semblance of a core here, why you
never tire of listening to “Waiting In Santander,” a
spiritual re harmonization of an after thought, where
confusion results in reaffirming the temporary
insanity of  'where we play,' universe. Then a lazy
hazy “Jim”  after Jimmy Giuffre as Kimbrough's patient
let it play itself out, unravel into a crusty bad ole
good blues figure. 
If post modern to a higher power is possible than
Kimbrough plays a supreme Wizard of patience as he
weaves through, a ballet dancer with a croquet mallet,
undiscovered territory.

A remarkable journey in progressive jazz of Charles
Lloyd  comes full circle as he returns to Monterey 
this month, the origin of his early success, forty
years after that magical weekend where the young Lloyd
and his quartet of Keith Jarrett, Jack DeJohnette and
Cecil McBee dazzled the crowds , becoming one of the
most popular among jazz/rock audiences in the late
Listen to “Forest Flower: Live In Monterey”and you'll
understand the magnetic repor this band had with it's
devoted followers. 
I recall we'd play this on  WABX in 1968 to requests
as Lloyd's music could transcend to progressive rock
audiences. The cuts on the album were long because it
was a live performance at Monterey. In those days we
played  the long 20 minute version of “Ina Gadda Di
Vita” so why not “Forest Flower Sunrise and Sunset.”
Because FM was young and because we could. Free from
the scrutiny of hard breaks and limited music
selection.  We'd  play what we wanted to expose new
interesting sounds and the listeners were responsive,
ecstatic  and free from the bonds of AM radio's
oppressive short rotation. Lloyd's circuitous
undulating melodic sound was appropriate then as it is
now forty years later. His pop sensibilities, simple
open structures make him open to a wide range of
listeners. Charles Lloyd reaches a wide range of
listeners. His music conveys universal  meaning.  
This upcoming celebration in Monterey should be
special, encompassing many of Lloyds musical forms.
Pray for special guests  as this will probably last
long into the early morning. 
We recommend you take a sick day on Monday, the 18th.
Wouldn't it be a treat if Jarrett and DeJohnette would
be there for this tribute. Prior commitments may
forbid this to happen. And if this band of Zakir
Hussain on tabla and percussion and Eric Harland on
drums and assorted percussion will appear, you're in
for a wonderful treat as evidenced in this recent live
performance at the Lobero Theater in Santa Barbara.
It's highly recommended while traveling down the 101
to Monterey that you listen to “Sangam” and get in
touch with the essence of Charles Lloyd.

D. D. JACKSON         SERENITY SONG          Justin
Time Records
Pianist and composer D. D. JACKSON creates a marvelous
encompassing series of interesting interluding
selections , showing a marvelous variety and
Most engaging is “Three Shades Of Mingus,” especially
we all enjoy Mingus for his humor and voracity and
Jackson lines them runs up, down, through and around
chord structures with melodic tension and release,  a
fore' of reparte'. 
Then a dazzling melodic “Love Theme From Quebecite',”
the theme to the jazz opera Jackson performed at the
Quelph Jazz Festival a few years ago.   At first
listen, Jackson's music seems highly recognizable in
it's  optimistic pop  sensibility.
A closer scrutiny reveals Jackson's  magnanimous
multitude of subtlety.  “The Con” with Sam Newsome's
dissonant earthy tones as it skirts around,  a
beggar's opera view as Jackson accompanies  and on
screen Charles Chaplin cavorts in a silence of a post
early panorama. Then a fiery “Etude” as Jackson blazes
away with drummer Dafnis Prieto profound celebratory
retort. Finally the pastoral  and sophisticated blues
laced title tune, “Serenity Song.” This new D. D.
Jackson CD  is an end to a perfect evening with a
similar pop ambiance that only greats can engender.  
D. D. Jackson displays an ability to reach your inner
most Harlem ways, Broadway romantic views and
sophisticated high hat notions.
Good Night,  Mr Callaway where ever you are....

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

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