[JPL] bopdicks 10 picks Dec 2007

Dick Crockett bopndick at yahoo.com
Mon Dec 10 00:34:24 EST 2007

Bopndicks 10 picks  Dec 2007
Pianist Joel Weiskopf presents a circumstance. A
strong technique that's  hallowed and apparent  on the
new “Devoted To You.” No better accolades than that.
This is 'The Three Sounds' like I've never heard
before, especially on the title tune.  But this is
Joel Weiskopf, not Gene Harris on piano.  
Joel Weiskopf has something very personal, a funky
elegance, an overall command reminiscent of the hard
bop sixties experts on piano and his original music on
this new cd develops that post modern sense.   
Full complimentary veterans, John Patittucci, bass and
Eric Harland, drums add a special significance,
elevating the trio to an even higher level with
Weiskopf as the centerpiece. With “Beauty For Ashes,”
wonders never cease,  a gentle open, followed by 
'McCoy Tyner' full spectrum riff intertwined with a
roaring solo by Eric Harland. The rhythm section here
really makes a solid point in depth defying intricacy.
 Weiskopf''s  ballad “November” is especially
prescient with  Patitucci and Harland in respective
performances. Their accents are notable here. This is
not just another heralded band, but a memorable band
of musicians noted for their special talents. “St.
Denio” resonates with Patitucci opening with a full
recitative riff and Joel Weiskopf with all his blues
ducks in a row, blowing out the Wynton Kelly's, Mean
Genes and some scary assed Phineas Newborn
effervescence.  A free based “The Strongest Love”
where Weiskopf opens the peripheral imagery with
Patitucci and Harland skating... sliding.  Michel
Legrand's “You Must Believe In Spring” is more
traditional, inspiring Patitucci play on bass.  It's
noteworthy that this trio more than just makes it,
setting aside the stereotypical for an unforgettable
locked in magnificence. 
Enjoy and listen with great depth and enjoyment. This
Joel Weiskopf is one of this year's great piano trios.
ANDY BEY     AIN'T NECESSARILY SO     12th  Street
Andy Bey's 1997 'live' session at Birdland is an
inaugural to a second career.  Andy Bey is a natural
born cabaret singer with a unique and appealing vocal
style. A voice chock full of emotion with a dynamic
that implies soul, adding emotive language to very
personal love songs. 
Born in Newark, appeared at the Apollo on amateur
night in his teens and performed in the fifties and
sixties as Andy and the Bey Sisters.  He's been
re-discovered in the nineties and now one of today's
premier male jazz vocalists. This has to be one of the
great live jazz performances on record.  
It 's not perfect. So what's perfect, when you're
working with an audience. Technically, perfection is a
misnomer. A non reality. Since it's only goes around
once.  Andy Bey's performance and his piano
accompaniment on this cd is 'the perfect moment.' It's
what a live performance is about, imperfect in it's
own perfection. 
Two memorable others come to mind, Herbie Mann At The
Village Gate,” “The Bobby Timmons Trio, In Person” at
the Village Vanguard and Bey's 1997 Birdland
appearance in “Ain't Necessarily So.”  All three
possess a close intimate audience repor as only good
improvisational music can provide with all the
spontaneity captured on record.  
It all begins with the title tune as Andy Bey slows
the tempo with his piano accompaniment with Peter
Washington, bass and Kenny Washington on drums
offering a low down funky dissonance and predominant
affect. Mary Rogers “Hey Love” follows up this slowed
down tempo. Bey's vocal has a distinctive quality,
absolutely beautiful in his interpretation, his
accompaniment slowed to enhance the lyrical dynamic of
this lovely song, for he is now has complete command.
It's a rare accomplishment when a performer seduces
his audience. “All The Things You Are”  is another
example of a band so on their game that magic fills
the air in the room. 
Bey's rendition of Duke Ellington's “I Let A Song Go
Out Of My Heart” as he romances the room with soulful
dalliance, as he talks it out with you, a similar
technique of Big Joe Turner, Eddie “Clean Head”
Vincent and Nat “King” Cole. This time is distinctive
blue, distinctive Bey. A rare moment when Bey just
plays piano  as in “If I Should Lose You.” “On Second
Thought” is another love song, another great Bey
interpretation. He draws you in with empathy and
understanding, for he's talking to you, dear friend.
“Brother, Can You Spare A Dime,” a majestic depression
era song, written by Yip Harburg, made popular by Al
Jolson and Bey bringing it more up tempo with another
scope to it, scatting it up, a basic blues scamp. The
Bey scat makes this sad song sound sexy. Then,
“Someone To Watch Over Me” by Gershwin as Bey pays
tribute to Sarah Vaughn, whose version of this song is
memorable. And Bey's version is as memorable. 
“It Ain't necessarily So” is Andy Bey's live
performance album and is one of the best, as it is an
extension of his manifold career.  He sets his own
tone, his own time signature and tempo as he plays
piano throughout. What a life and what a way to
express it!
TRIO M       BIG PICTURE       Cryptogramophone
Pianist Myra Melford, bassist Mark Dresser and drummer
Matt Wilson constitute Trio M. Each member works well
in various venues of modern jazz, all eager to take on
various polyrhythmic melodic structures that make this
music so fresh and appealing. Each musician has a
strong personality and feeling for their highly
imaginative approach to their music, each has forged
his and her own path, irregardless of the others. And
when they merge into Trio M, thus the creative,
strange and beautiful milieu of sound and when you
then go after each other in “Naive Art'” ones senses
the creativity and explosion as 'a walk on the wild
And you want to hear the feeling of a big statement in
the “Big Picture,' more  gargantuan then  a roll in a
Hummer on a windy uncertain Texas plain. Modern
American avant gard at it's very best.   This will
help you step out of yourself into the real truth in
modern American music. Then”Modern Pine,” and these
magnificent jazz giants walk in step,  as Myra
Melford, who can really play Chicago blues
dissonance flavors, feasting on this 'Sack O' Woe.”
But watch it, Mark Dresser's booming bass line and
Matt Wilson's patch and match will set your
magnificent obsessions ablaze. 
STANDARD, VOL.3    High Note Records
Frank Morgan is prodigious of a by gone era, when bop
was pop.   Born Minneapolis and grew up in Los Angeles
about the time when Charlie Parker was in town, Morgan
emulated so well and was considered heir apparent to
'The Bird' for his proclivity on alto saxophone. 
You hear this on this the third cd, a trilogy, live at
the Jazz Standard in New York city. And Frank Morgan,
for a man who spent years behind bars for heroin
addiction, now an aegis to his non commercialism, as
if to say, 'I don't do this for the money,' just a
close circle of friends on the alter of bebop,
that'll, like baroque, go down in history as 
preeminent in the ever evolving Odyssey of modern
jazz. Hence, this live Frank Morgan is a collectors
pieces of history when combined with “City Nights,”
“Raising The Standard” and A Night In The Life” to
afford a neo classic luxury, a millennium or two from
Frankly, I've been angling for this cd. Here's a 70
ish man blowing his Asimov on alto saxophone, as free
as a bird,  as if Charlie Parker's sitting in the next
room, listening to  Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys.
It all fits so well. It may not be structured as you
like it, but whose to say prayer and spontaneity is a
bible study.   Free to do as you do, anyway. The
others on this are the same as before with George
Cables, piano, Curtis Lundy, bass and Billy Hart,
drums. This is third of a post modern trilogy. 
Respectfully calling back honors of a time before.
There are the Parker classics as interpreted by Frank
Morgan, “Confirmation,” Hot House” and “Billy's
Bounce.” And the other standards, “On Green Dolphin
Street,”  Miles Davis, “Half Nelson” and “It's Only A
Paper Moon.” Frank Morgan's just getting started.  
This last of the trilogy is impeccable in approach and
grandiose in post bop millennium.
Marvin Stamm, Bill Mays, Rufus Reid and Ed Soph are
four outstanding musicians, who've played their
respective instruments with eloquence and alacrity for
decades now. And when it comes to a post modern
presence in the new Century,  this group is one of the
best around, exuding a traditional hard bop, 'let's
git down and have some fun' style. Prominent members
of the New York and Los Angeles studio scenes, these
well respected gentlemen have the experience to make
it so.  
“Alone Together” is a Live Performance CD with a
companion DVD, recorded at Rising Stars in Beverly
Hills.   When you view this piece of music, you see
the professionalism and joy from these gentlemen. 
Marvin Stamm still has amazing chops on flugelhorn and
trumpet. Bill Mays plays piano, moving his shoulders,
physically,  like a boogie woogie player astride an
upright in a smoky blind pig with a fervency and a
smile in blazing counterpoint accuracy amid various
time signatures as in “Invitation.” If you're looking
for experience, elocution and artful live jazz, you've
come to the right place. Rufus Reid premier bassist,
graduated Sacramento High School, by the way, and
whose professional career expanded after military
service to Seattle, Chicago and New York and the
international jazz scene. Ed Soph is a multi faceted
drummer and teacher, matriculated in both the big band
and small band forms with videos declaring as such. 
This is a very gamy band  and since is a true live
performance. Songs, as the Reid original, “Come Out
And Play” are loose  and relaxed in hard bop culture. 
Stamm's “T's Culture” or “T's Butter” displays a Soph
and Reid distinctive signature especially Soph's fast
articulate renderings.
What all this indicates is Marvin Stamm's new “Alone
Together” CD  is one of the most articulate of band
members playing in a very sophisticated and 'solid'
group language, outward bound jazz in  seamless and
joyful energy.  
Marvin Stamm, Bill Mays, Rufus Reid and Ed Soph will
make you a true believer in the essentialness and
breeze of modern movements in live jazz.
Two blazing progressive jazz guitarists in
contrapuntal fits of euphoria!  That's  what the
Danish/American guitar duo of Jon Hemmersam and Dom
Minasi is about!  No it's not a new Cannoli with a
crème filling. This is real jazz bona fides.  A
respectful repor between two iconic like minded
musicians preferring to go their own way and that's
the declarative signature throughout this new CD.
“Sprint” by Jon Hemmersam is like it says, frenetic,
bombast and breaths of pure jazz invention, two
inventive guitarists copping licks, copping pleas and
copious mannerisms, a jam opening to a new and jamming
cd.   These guys are having fun with each other!
“Conclusions” makes it so groovy, antecedents to the
main message, Ken Filiano, bass and Kresten Osgood on
drums, for if these two didn't have everyone's
backside, then maybe things wouldn't go right! Or,
maybe they would. A multiplex of mellow solutions.  
Minasi's “Inside Out” is just as it is, two outside,
aggressive jazz guitarists in  a light and airy mood,
going after it in a anarchistic run, a fervent jam.
”Woman” is reflective of an acoustic mellow Django,
exactly what a heightened European sense will do,
comply to the music. 
“Nathalia's Waltz” reminds of old soldiers,
progressive Charlie Christians of jazz guitar as Jon
Hemmersam and Dom Minasi go through the paces of
counterpoint blessings, a ballet starring two great
individual voices. “Birth” continues the search for
ecstasy,  karma in multi chromatic orchestration.
You've come this far to the experience. So you can dig
it as Hemmersam and Minasi trade acoustic electro
licks.  As if two separate chefs were making early
morning breakfast with grits, eggs, marmalade and ham.
“September” is more light, moody, reflecting an
afternoon at the beach meandering for shells and
ancient stones as in a mist, as in “Gentle,” as in old
European empathy and romance. “Bonus” is an acoustic
menage, two very adept guitarists engaging in acoustic
magic as to sashay back and forth in bossa entente,
complete unison, varying in bliss and complicated
romantic thematics.   It's what love between two
people sounds like!  Blissful, complex, avant gard at
times-never dull, even timorous, but forthright and
grand, this is the new evolving spirit in THE JON
MIKE ELLIS    BAHIA BAND      Alpha Pocket Records
Mike Ellis revisits this form of World Music from his
2005 collaboration with Daniel Moreno and their recent
success in the true spirit of Bahia, Brazil with the
“Speak In Tones Subaro” CD. 
Immersing himself into this spiritual folk African
music inherent in Brazil and it's off shore Islands,
Ellis adds modern theory to a trance percussiveness,
to a more modern World Music concept now. 
In the sixties, Brazilian percussionist Airto Moreira
and his wife Flora Purim related this influence to 
Miles Davis, Joe Zawinul, Wayne Shorter,  Chick Corea
and others  now a more modern form as indicated with
Ellis new version of “Bags Groove,” a step slower into
a reggae beat with Carribean singer Ricky Husband
adding the lyric. The horn passages vary from R&B mode
to Mike Ellis soprano stretching it out with some
Coltrane licks. 
Eddie Harris original “Freedom Jazz Dance” is newly
installed to a heavy multi percussive back with
opposing guitar works.   “Solista Que Base” features a
duo  of  Gileno Sanatan on trumpet and Anderson Souza
playing a solo drum.  An intimate portrayal and a
perfect lead in to the next most spectacular “Free
Mesopotamia,” the most open free jam on this project
with layers of percussion, a tapestry of sound
ethnicity so prominent that when guitars step in
trading phrases, the whole ambiance created
underneath, Gilen Santana's trumpet solo centering,
making way for a Mike Ellis soaring soprano saxophone
run.  A mantra of life, sex and hereafter.
Then guitars flash forward again in the midst of 
cacophony percussion.   
There six percussionists jamming here on all different
levels with antic music makers and other percussion
(I have a tendency to strum on the dash board while
driving, a nascent conga drum portrayer.) 
Might as well get on floor and fee the Bahia Band
trance, like a Brazilian folk healer in all of us. 
When you hear those centering layers of African folk
spiritualism and jazz experience, you'll know, because
it'll kiss you on a soft pillow of the solar apex of
World music celestial sphere.
Francois and Louis Moutin  play with infinite nuance
in subtle modern jazz collective in this new “Sharp
Turns”  cd and accompanying DVD, a series of live
performances. Francois  and Louis Moutin are twins and
no doubt rivaling jazz musicians in their musical
youth. Brothers are thicker than that, as they make
beautiful music in this special reunion cd.  Francois,
remarkable bass player, song writer and arranger,  who
now resides in New York City and Louis, an inventive
musician and writer as well who holds forth as a
leading jazz drummer, residing in Paris. Pierre de
Bethmann, the pianist and saxophonist Rick Margitza
amply contribute also to this exciting  quartet.
Francois and Louis writing skills are equally shared.
Francois “The Speech” has that bright heroic
connotation with Margitza phrasing skipping over a
soft palette of light and dark colors stepping up to a
slight melodic husk trining with de Bethmann
vocalizing and the Moutins on message in the end. Then
“Kuki Dance,” a playful romp with an incredible bass
line and the others juxtaposed and having fun on the
run. “Trane's Melody”is an exploratory excursion for
the brothers, who baste each other and forth as if a
hommage to they're playing off each other, just like
old times, the best of times.  The Moutins sure can
play off one another! Then Rick Margitza's saxophone
leads off on Francois', “A Good Move,” a joyful
contrapuntal striking statement into a jam with
Pierre's acoustic piano  and the very strong Moutin
definitive bass line with Louis steady drumming
throughout.. A striking pose for such a dynamic rhythm
section. Francois' “Time Apart” is a lovely work with
Pierre's subtle phrasing to the late afternoon
Francois' solid bass  and Louis brush work with cymbal
highlighting, a glow autumnal passing of time. Then
Rick carries it out that's a solo in the end, that's
so emotional, textured in many variances as talking
softly, slow, fast, kinetic a message of touch, a
message of love.
RICHARD COLE        SHADE           Origin Records    
Richard Cole's smoky hard bop  saxophone carries on 
where some of the folks,  Joe Henderson, Junior Cook,
Hank Mobley and Jackie Mclean let it happen first.
This has a definite post modern edge to it, where
blues meets the more cerebral. This is most affable
with “A Shade Of Joe,” featuring a muscular first
impression with a stellar Octet with Tom Marriott and
Randy Brecker on trumpet, Dave Marrioitt on trombone
and Richard Cole on tenor saxophone, counter measured
with a different voice, namely Dave Peterson's guitar.
Bill Anschell follows with a Timmons take off on “Doxy
in “Moxy.” The tongue is in the cheek here with Cole's
long and trippy solo, coupled with Jeff Johnson and
John Bishop rapidity.  Then the memorable voice of
Randy Brecker's muted  trumpet along with and Richard
Cole's angular message. The lyrical impression on “You
Don't Know What Love Is” is the way it's done with
each musician given ample opportunity to make his
subtle comments within the  Latin accents of pianist
John Hanson, Chuck Deardorf,  bass and Gary Hobbs,
drums. Cole's lyricism is amplified with subtle waltz
like change with inventive precocious  soprano
saxophone  changes within the context of the melody. 
Anschell's wry poke at the current lack of 
consciousness within the dubbed hard bop antipathy in
“P.C. Wanabe,” which Richard Cole makes happen even
more with a raging solo, then Anschell gangs up to
drive home the point.
A slow R&B burn is in on the “Red Suit” with Marc
Seales Rhodes roguishly placating the mood.  
“I Could Write A Book” and “Beautiful Love” standards
upgraded and  orchestrated with modern chromatics
fashioned art deco traditionalism.
Conceived by Richard Cole, co produced by Dr Ronald
Cole and Bill Anschell with  great performances by
Randy Brecker, Tom & Don Marriott, Marc Seales, Bill
Anschell,  “Shade” is one of best post modern jazz
cd's of the year.
ONE MORE MILE  Origin Records
“A Clean Well Lighted Place,” is an ample virtue for
this quartet. A well worn jacket of new and modern
standards presented by this quartet,  snake dancing
epithets of lost loves and bop phrases. “Sweet And
Lovely” is a  standard impression created and
mesmerized with light chases and lofty phrases of
Jensen's soprano saxophone, for he's a Barishnikov
with this horn, let alone in “Alone Together,” an
acappella, a dance, a light fantastic duet between
soprano-ist Brent Jensen and pianist Bill Anschell
with a swinging “Beatrice” written by Sam Rivers, that
forth right someone you'd enjoy meeting upon listening
to this tribute.  This is another “Forsaken” by Bill
Anschell an antidote  for lost lovers. Sometime, that
special someone will write lyrics to his music for
there's grace here.  “Punt” is a bright punkish manner
upon which we'll all be judged for our Monkish poise
and sense of humor. Where would we be then, in the
midst of some wild Jeff Johnson solidifying statement,
for he is one on this cut.
If you're listening, you better keep this, “ One More
Gary Foster, woodwinds player sounding so Stan Getz
right off  on Sonny Redd's “Teef.”  So Let's ride on
this free jam with Gary Foster, on note going West
Coast in this endearing duet with bassist Putter
Smith. So outward. 
Smith is a bassist, actor and teacher. And this is the
great notion that he plays on this duet with Gary
Foster.  Another obscure fact, Putter Smith appeared
as the kindly anarchist, Mr Kidd in the James Bond
film,”Diamonds Are Forever.”
No nakedness is so grand as laying it out in front of
a small engaging group of fans, especially when you
have the special  acquiescence.
Sweet, sublime, never forced or overly vivacious,
Linda Ciofalo takes you those warm roads of memory
with unigue unencumbered references, tunes re
organized as a jazz singer would do to invoke strong
memories, lost challenges, forever fragrances. This
lady is so laid back with technique galore as “Comes
Love” will adore with  sophisticated Phats Waller
Michael Camacho is a cabaret singer, song writer, a
mirrored and  competent arranger on a fast track to
virtual jazz reality. His new cd features his
co-written with Francois Moutin originals, “My
Friend,”a Maurice Chevalier equitable,  a satirical
hip rerharmanized daring do, “Hey You,”  “Here's To
The Blues” is just what it means.
 Camacho's version “I Should Care” would endear him to
a Salvador Dali taste, with folksy neo modern 'Ink
Spots' phrasing.
Michael Camacho is a jazz singer, offering up talent
for years to come and willing to take the chances to
do it his way.

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

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