[JPL] bopndicks 10 picks June 2007

Dick Crockett bopndick at yahoo.com
Fri Jun 1 13:52:19 EDT 2007


bopndicks 10 Picks June 2007
MARSALIS MUSIC HONORS ALVIN BATISTE     Marsalis Music
The lingering of Alvin Batiste's passing and this new
CD, as loving companions is with us a sad and profound
coincidence, for as always, we never know when it's
our time.  One moment we're here with vibrancy and the
next, we lose our pull on this plain. Our power to
survive becomes a reconciliation with the inevitable.
And for the sheer poignancy of it, as life is  but a
blip, as our time has come and gone.  Batiste's family
is devastated by the loss.  We are all blessed with
this contribution as MARSALIS MUSIC HONORS ALVIN
BATISTE, a testimonial to a remarkable contribution of
work throughout the years.
A magnificent reed player, Alvin Batiste spent his
life making music and teaching others to do the same.
He taught at Southern University in Baton Rouge and
influenced many fine musicians.
His wife sings the song co written by them. Edith,
also a clarinetist and Alvin were sweethearts in High
School, a first love, so connected to spend a life
together, the way it was with Alvin and Edith. She
wrote the lyrics to “My Life As  A Tree.”
“My life is a tree but the leaves fall down.” A slow
letting go.
One must admit the connection is powerful and
stimulated the growth of both artists.
A  coincidence, or purely coincidental?
You know as you listen to  this new cd, that Alvin
Batiste was on the right track in making beautiful
music and his fantastic repertoire, all along. And to
the students and fans,  everyone will remember him for
his natural smile, optimism and commitment to his
music.”Clean Air” is so natural in it's simplicity and
brilliance with Edward Perkins singing the lyric with
Alvin's clarinet, right beside him with a blissful 
bluesy, “I Wonder Where Our Love Has Gone” and the
'stretch' by pianist, Edward Perkins (any relation to
L.A. pianist Carl Perkins?) more than makes it.
“Bumps,” up next is a 'perrier de folle' with a ¾
repast to the best almost Latin. It showcases
Batiste's whimsical 'win, place and  show' command of
his instrument. This cd is a commemoration his
wondrous talent and commitment to the music as a
teacher and musician to his students everywhere.
DARRELL GRANT   TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION    Origin
Records
Darrell Grant is a student of jazz, of life and
multiple incarnations, a professor, a side man and
scholarly to aspiring to young jazz musicians, which
means there's  a process at work, from an evolving
artist of multiple musical styles to an eventual
teacher to spread the word, the joy, to play jazz.
Grant has developed that purpose from experience, as
pianist for Betty Carter and Chico Freeman and scores
of cd's featuring him as a leader. Geri Allen said she
learned more about the music through her tenure with
Betty Carter. Darrell Grant procreates a similar
message in his rendition of Betty Carter's “Tight” in
this 2 cd set.
That joyfulness in his music has evolved from years of
inner contemplation.   Darrell Grant understands how
important and substantiative this music can be for
human development as abstract conceptions, emotions
and their mysterious contradictions wrap around the
reptilian core of our essential being.  Jazz is the
only music language that combines all three. Darrell
Grant knows this and his desire is to spread the word
to a receptive audience at Portland State and the rest
of the world. 
There's also this jewel, TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION,  a
testimonial to his evolving conception as a pianist
and writer, for this assertive refining rays of simple
and profound melodies taking us through hard bop
territory to a spiritual post bop world. Brian Blade,
master drummer, John Patitucci, refined spiritual
bassist and assorted other top artists, Bill Frisell,
Joe Locke, Steve Wilson, Adam Rogers help convey
Darrell Grant's vision, 
He draws upon his compositional experience
“Reconciliation” and “Ubuntu”with Bill Frizell pining
on the first and Steve Wilson on “Ubuntu.” Then “Cross
Of Gold” and the spiritual as Darrell sings and his
Rhodes plays with an acoustic slide from  Bill Frizell
on “When I See The Water.” Talk about funky town?!
Then there's a nice hard affirmation with Steve Wilson
on saxophones in  “Blues For The Masters.”that jumps
off the bandstand. It declares how one of the world's
beat rhythm sections can really make it happen!  There
are excerpts of words  of Mohandas Gandhi, Franklin
Roosevelt, Nelson Mandela and John F. Kennedy. As
Darrell Grant comments: “I believe that eloquent words
can still make a difference, and that it's not too
late to dream about what this nation might yet
become.” 
And what yet may we all become. 
Darrell Grant's music is life as revealed in his new
cd, “Truth And Reconciliation” declaring a beauty and
honesty of this true jazz artist.
JAZZ EXPLORERS       JAZZ MY SOUL      Rhythm Dynamics
Inc.
Tim Duffy is a rummager, an explorer who has immersed
himself in the modern multi- media artistic trauma of
our  time. Growing up in Providence, meeting Duke
Ellington at twelve at the Newport jazz Festival,
Duffy was struck down with the 'St. Vitus' vision very
early. He's studied sculpture and film at Rhode Island
School of Design, toured with Howlin Wolf as a
teenager, worked with Sun Ra, Yoko Ono and Andy
Warhol, was art director on film for Disney, Viacom
and PBS. He moved to Boulder Colorado where he created
a series of jazz workshops , culminating with this new
group the Jazz Explorers. That's to give you an idea
on where Tim Duffy's is coming from, richly imbued in
emerging neo pop technology, funk-jazz-bop philology
and assorted other magma. His energy and vitality for
the charismatic musical moment reminds one of the
originality of Eric Von Essen. Every tune here is
original as spring rain, yet recognizable to the
multiplicative artist, where variations of a theme,
exits and entries are most comfortable. There's a
great line up of George Cable, keyboards, David
Liebman, reeds, the remarkable Cecil McBee, bass,
Billy Hart, drums, Sonny Fortune, reeds and a great
Carmen Lundy, vocalist on “Autumn” and “We're Only
Human,” lyric and music by Tim Duffy as love lifts us
to that  'only human' state. 
“Jazz My Soul” proliferates Tim Duffy's angst-romance
passionate embrace of the post modern as pop as Steely
Dan with the celestial magnificence of Sun Ra and
soulful  animus of Marvin Gaye. “Village Of Origin”
has so many interesting avenues without stop signs as
you feel comfortable driving through stop signs, free
from collision. Caution: Don't try this at home. Only
in your mind. 
When you do listen to this remarkable cd,
illicitly,the  confines of your late night  computer
screen, you'll hear some ---- that'll move you, upside
your head...evocatively.
CARL ALLEN & RODNEY WHITAKER    GET READY  Mack Avenue
Records.
Drummer Carl Allen & bass player Rodney Whitaker build
up a unique soulful jazz presence on this new cd. with
that all 'Dee-troit' mix of jazz and R&B with a
sprinkle of gospel, to liven things up. Consequently
there's something very pure and original on this
album. And some of the best side men in the world are
jamming on this session. Rodney Jones, one of the best
rhythm guitarists. The man with the golden fingers,
apparent on “LaShea's Walk”  along with Steve Wilson's
wet alto saxophone sound.  This  is really-like
vintage Lou Donaldson/Grant Green smoking jams-when
hard bop takes a slow  walk with R&B. You also have
the great Cyrus Chestnut on piano whose run on more
jazz pop records than anyone.  He's a true master at
work.
After a few selections you begin to realize that
you're in the field with the Masters.
There's also a Motown theme here that'd put a smile on
the funk brothers multi faces. The title is a Smokey
Robinson gem, GET READY in a slip side Donaldson/Green
frame. 
If this was the early days of FM,  this song on vinyl
would  have been 25 minutes long,  and when they play
this at the Detroit Jazz Festival this year, fans will
be jumpin' in the isles.
When you hear this song, everybody takes their turn. 
It's body language for the musician.   'Live,' it has
to be an jazz r&b classic! Another Detroit favorite
who achieved great heights in his brief career was
Marvin Gaye who started getting the message with
“Inner City Blues.” And these funk brothers really get
it down with their version and with “Desperate
Desires” it's all church on Sunday.
In the reflective of pop progressive jazz discourse of
music today, this cd will be a favorite and even a
stalemate of modern American music.
And I'm not kidding for hype sake!
PAQUITO  D'RIVERA QUINTET?     FUNK TANGO     
Sunnyside/Paquito Records
Renown Cuba libra reedist Paquito D'Rivera assembles
the best Afro-Cuban aggregation with Diego Urcola on
trumpet and valve trombone, Ed Simon and Alon Yavnai,
piano with a Latin rhythm section of Oscar Stagnaro,
bass. Mark Walker, drums with  Pernell Saturnino,
Pablo Stagnaro, percussion, Hector del Curto,
bandoneon and for the first time on record, Diego
Urcola on valve trombone. Urcola who's one of the
superb trumpet/flugelhorn players of our time always
plays as though he is...with command, passion and
articulation. The smooth texture and distinct bebop,
Afro-Cuban voice of this message, to which Latin jazz
players ascribe, starting with a hard straight ahead,
“Pere,” followed by “What About That!”  “Revirado” is
more traditional, yet progressive, featuring Hector
del Corto on bandoneon adding a quaint gypsy/ Espagnol
traditional underpinning. The duo of Paquito D'
Rivera, reeds and Alon Yavnai on piano is especially
good on “Contradanza” as the only thing that may be
missing are the Flamenco dancers. Yet, in the second
chorus it seems to break into a jitterbug. Oh my,
Picasso could be such a cubist-Latin dancer.!
“Milongo” is a more progressive trip into the
fantastic, with Paquito D' Rivera on alto saxophone
cross training to Diego Urcola's  trumpet.  Euro-Latin
phenomena. “Final Waltz” has a different context, a
lingering aftermath of three days of  continuous rain
with Urcola's transcendental valve trombone and
Paquito's  transcendental clarinet. “Funk Tango” is 
the title of this CD, a funky tastefully snaky piece
in the frame of Miles, Monk and Mingus.
You'll hear all this and may feel that FUNK TANGO, 'No
doubt, the best Afro-Cuban yet so far in 2007.'
ROBERT IRVING III         NEW MOMENTUM    Sonic
Portraits
Robert Irving is articulate and contemporary in his
musical views  The acoustic setting of his “New
Momentum”CD  is expansive and dramatic in it's all
encompassing scenery. The kind of majesty that film
makers John Ford and David Lean were able to convey. 
Visualize a young Omar Sharif astride a camel in a
liquid heat rising off the distant all discernible
beige landscape as Lean holds the shot until Sharif is
complete and visible.   This is what Irving does,
holding forth on a basic theme with it's subtle
variations for the ultimate moment, the conclusion.   
His tenure with Miles Davis no doubt had been a
prominent factor in his development. His friend and co
musician Vince Wilburn  Jr recorded a demo of music. 
Wilburn played it for his uncle, Miles Davis,  who was
intrigued and invited Irving to join the band and for
the first time in several years Miles recorded “Man
With A Horn. 
There's a mystical fable that the student and the
teacher learn from each other and Miles was not one to
rest on his laurels, always growing, evolving of self,
and both profited from this arrangement, for Irving
has innate insight into Miles works.  Miles encouraged
him to paint, as another means of evolving self. 
Irving plays “Seven Steps To Heaven” in a delayed,
self determined almost grand reharmonized glistened
manner. And it'll be played different every time
Irving replays it. The dynamics are awesome with  a
heavy busting loose bass line by Marlene Rosenberg and
drummer Yussef Ernie Adams.  Robert Irving III reminds
one of Amad Jamal especially here on this and other
tunes. There's that perfect sense of time that Miles
had and what he respected in Jamal.  In Irving's
version of the Wayne Shorter classic, “Nefertiti,” 
Irving has  a similar command that Jamal possesses, a
way to reshape the song and make it his own and
retaining it's original integrity.
“New Momentum” as it the title tune, features Irving's
originality as a composer and pianist, again with full
dynamic release and subtle populace. He has a similar
talent to Jamal and that is draw upon our musical
cortex,  themes and tones we remember in another
context and yet Irving refreshes them in such a way
with joy as Jamal can say. These are deeply felt and
so original from the palette from Irving original
concepts. “Havilah” is a profound contemporaneous
'pop' venue that startles you with it's cool, funky
and genuine smile.  Remember to play “We Three Kings”
during the upcoming holiday season. It's a jam.
“Primordial Waters,”  “Always...Sometimes” and “Fire
Flower” are other Robert Irving originals that will
reinforce the prominent talent and growth of this fine
artist. Listen many times to Robert Irving III “New
Momentum” and get lost in Irving's amazing melodic
tapestry, believe me, you will.
MORRIE LOUDEN      TIME PIECE    Mo Sound Productions
Morrie Louden  is one heck of a bass player! There's
another word used by other admiring musicians,
-----------! We can't really say it within the context
of this. However, it's highly descriptive.  Morrie
Louden simply is punctual and powerful at 'tearing
that bass up!' A  figurative saying among other
admirers, of course.   Brace yourself. The first time
you hear Morrie Louden grab your seat and ride the
roller coaster at Disneyland rhythm til dawn!  Praise.
Start Your engines!  'We got somebody from the
neighborhood!'  And when you listen to “624 Main
Street,” it'll drive you to the next St Vitus
convergence. Ed Simon, piano and Seamus Blake,
saxophone back up this bravado with helter skelter
solos as Gary  Novak and Nanny Asiss  drive it up on
maximum percussion.
Louden grew up in Concord, attended Di Anza College in
Cupertino, therefore we embrace his 'No Cal' roots. He
since moved on to Vegas and now New York where his
writing and performing  skills are now appreciated
worldwide. “Time Piece” exhibits his composing
talents, “Gypsy Journey” featuring Bob Shepard,
saxophone, Edward Simon, Adam Nussbaum, Lionel Loueke,
guitar and a string  quartet. “Supposition” features
Alex Sipiagin on flugelhorn and able to project that
lovely melancholy as beloved Chet Baker would muse,
even more so. “Time Piece” has immediate fragility to
the score with string accompaniment, somewhat isolated
as “Eleanor Rigby” on the Isle Of White,” as it
transcends  to  a free flowing hard cha-cha, then back
to a hard edge with Bob Shepard's soprano sax,
softening and rounding out with embellishing strings. 
Vocalist Gretchen Parlato and tenor saxophonist Bob
Sheppard do a sensual dance with “A Rosa,” music by
Louden and Portuguese lyrics by Magali. It 'll bring
back those memories of Stan Getz and Astrud Gilberto.
“Mr Frump” is straight ahead Chicago hard bop with a
heft octet, a reed section of Seamus Blake, Bob
Sheppard and brass with Alex Sipiagin and Larry Ferral
and George Flynn on trombone.    And the rhythm
section of Morrie Louden and Adam Nussbuam  are
climbing aoo over this. “Majique” concludes with a
nonet, horns arranged by Gil Goldstein and vocalize by
Gretchen Parlato. This new “Time Piece” by bassist
Morrie Louden has great melodic balance. Louden
definitely has it going int the right direction.
KENDRICK SCOTT ORACLE    THE SOURCE     World Culture
Music 
Kendrick Scott's art is introspective, yet very
dynamic in certain aspects as his work as a drummer on
his new cd is strong and grand in the scope of his
compositions,  the true nature of this young artist.
Born in Houston in a family of musicians and schooled
in gospel and R&B and like many cities, there's a high
school that caters to the artists, which he graduated,
then Berklee which opens up many a musician eyes and
ears to the unlimited vistas of this modern free music
as you'll hear from young Kendrick Scott in his new
cd.  The first song “View From Above” demonstrates the
dynamic introspect said earlier with Scott zeroing in
on the soul nature of this tune, melodic, lyrical
diverging to magma infusion with Scott kicking it all
the way with guitarist Mike Moreno and saxophonist
Seamus Blake soaring with Myron Waldon's alto. This is
a true  ballet with the swan rising in the end to a
crescendo of light. To see this song performed in
person has to be pure dynamism. Scott utilizes the
talents of two key board players from the Houston
area, Aaron Parks on Rhodes and Robert Glasper, piano
in “Mantra.” This undulating amore of split level
cuckoldry with Scott's driving Apeche' dance of the
spirit as he bangs on the side of the cymbal and stem.
“107 Steps” is a veil of mystery of future noir as
Myron Walden's bass clarinet winds a web of
mysterioso.  “Search For Noesis” and “Journey” with
Gretchen Parlato's vocal intertwining Seamus Blake's
distant tenor aphorism.  
As you go deeper, “The Source” will lead you there on
a funky interlude, “VCB” concluding with Robert
Glasper and Kendrick Scott slapping the grate of his
snare, coupled with judicious cymbal refrain. 
“Memory's Lingering Echo” is almost a Sun Ra`s vision
of the spectacular for this will take you to another
space platform. Ample time for it's 12 minutes long.
Be sure to take ample oxygen on your trip. Aaron Parks
acoustic piano solo on “View From Above (Reprise)  is
cathedral.  The title tune on this features almost
everyone on this cd, with Glasper switching to the
Rhodes and Parks offering the acoustic piano
interludes, Lago Lund guitar and Walter Smith III,
Seamus Blake and Myron Walden on reeds.   Guitarist
Lage Lund, pianist Aaron Parks and reedist Seamus
Blake combine with Scott's understated yet prominent
percussion on “Psalm.” That's the way it is throughout
this statement of Kendrick Scott and  “:The Source.”
The writing and musician s are superb on this new
project by Kendrick Scott, a new statement from “The
Source,” the post modern bop music culture.
JOEL HARRISON      HARBOR         High Note Records
Guitarist Joel Harrison is an extraordinary combining
of post modern/ avant gard and edgy electronic
technique in his music, fleshing out the nuance with
serene distortion and driving up a 'bitches brew.'  It
certainly is no refuge from the storm.  It is the
center of the storm, encompassing the fuse of fuzz,
rock, new jazz with avant gard performances. “You
Bring The Rain”  offers an indication of where this is
going in a prurient visceral sense, nuance suppled by
nuance and other nuances, until you really bring it on
to the final cadence.  “Blue Ghosts of Bourbon Street”
usurps any pre- conceived notion to a Land O' Lakes
ocean, a post modern Coltrane mark fest that's slowed
a little to create hyper building haunting effect.
Saxophonist Dave Binney carries the load at first,
then Joel Harrison's rising guitar along with his
hypnotic/Venus In Furs/ avant based guitar twin,
Nguyen Le provide a spectacular punch throughout this
cd.   Harrison, native of Washington D.C., graduate of
Bard College spent a decade at Berkeley before
relocating to New York brings an interesting
originality to the electric guitar. Nguyen Le,
French/Vietnamese from  Paris majored in Philosophy
and is a self taught guitarist providing an ear worthy
of challenging precedent beholden to no style and more
than willing to offer valuable contributions, a new
powerful energy, especially on  “American Babylon.” 
“The Refugee” offers up a muted naivete that changes
with Henry Hey's  piano minimalist few short notes and
 builds again in worldly knowledge and higher stream
of consciousness. Both deserve high praise for this
remarkable music. Harrison's solo work in”Les Freres
en ut major”  coupling Le's unique raw beautiful solos
as well as presenting an optimistic heroic view of the
upper strata.   In short, Nguyen Le can ratchet  it up
and stand on it giving rawness to mood.
At first, you'll find Joel Harrison's “Harbor” 
stunning and powerful, maybe shocking in it's overall
dynamism, then  with “Hudson Shining,” you find
yourself going back for more, as Metheny and Brecker
did it on  “Tales Of The Hudson,” some time before.
ALAN BERGMAN        LYRICALLY        Verve Music    
These are songs you know and remember well from movie
themes, “The Thomas Crown Affair,”” Summer of '42,”
“Tootsie, ” Frank Sinatra, Fred Astaire, (who many
feel is one of the great singers even if he's more
remembered as a great dancer,) Neil Diamond, Michel
Legrand and the great Johnny Mandel. The music to
these memorable songs  are written by the many
artists. The lyrics of these unforgettable songs were
ALL  written by Alan and Marilyn Bergman and sung by
the lyricist, himself, who is Marilyn's favorite
singer, by the way.
You can imagine this song writing team at the piano in
a hearth somewhere in Connecticut, completing the
lyrics ,deadline, (we need it, like yesterday!) an
open bottle of wine on the side table as they replete,
conclude the lyrics to a song. Triumph. What a love
affair!  Poetic afferisms of the bourgeoisie, set to
music. It really starts with Alan Bergman reciting the
lyric, a dead open to “Windmills.” A wonderful
collection of words. Great post modern romantic
poetry. Every time.  He and Marilyn co authored lyrics
to this splendid  piece as well as other memorable
songs. Whatever we post op modernists may eschew about
romance as pedantic to the real, it's still the liquid
that drives the  everyday that makes mundane a distant
memory.
Your comment might be, “I didn't know that!  Or, you
may ask,  who wrote that? “  The plot is: plow the
fields and set for harvesting of the corn. You must
get to the truth. The lyrics to “The Windmills Of Your
Mind,” “Nice 'n' Easy,” “The Summer Knows,” “It Might
Be You,” “What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your
Life,””That Face,” “Lore Like Ours,”” You Don't Bring
Me Flowers,””Where Do You Start?, “How Do You Keep The
Music Playing?” ”And I'll Be There.” All by these two
compatible star crossed lovers and lyricists.
Pianist Frank Chastenier and trumpet player Til
Bronner and the Berlin Big Band and Radio Orchestra
contribute so much to the ambiance of this project. 
With Alan Bergman singing these songs, the writer,
interpreting his own work is personal and emotional.
You hear a slight different version of these great
songs, that sets them apart in your romantic life, for
our memories are our treasures at the end of the day.
'You just roll over and turn out the lights.'
ONES TO WATCH:
Freddy Cole Sings Tony Bennett    BECAUSE OF YOU    
High Note Records
“Goes without saying...just say it, Freddy Cole is a
special vocalist!”
Meredith d'Ambrosio     WISHING THE MOON    Sunnyside
Records
“d'Ambrosio has struck a chord with her lyrically
inventive cd. She has that Chet Baker, jua- d- vive. “
Jane Stuart    BEGINNING TO SEE THE LIGHT  Jane Stuart
Music
“Smooth, delight and contentious, this Stuart IS to
jazz,' a person of interest.'

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





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