[JPL] Bopndicks 10 Picks Sept 2007
bopndick at yahoo.com
Thu Sep 6 00:42:50 EDT 2007
Bopndicks 10 picks Sept 2007
MARIA SCHNEIDER ORCHESTRA SKY BLUE artist Share
Maria Schneider's one of America's finest jazz
composers. If you're not sure or aware. You should be.
Her new cd will awaken you to the heroic Aaron
Copeland effect of her music. The Pretty Road with
soloist Ingrid Jensen engenders a feeling of 'golden
fields of grain.' There's something true, natural and
very 'Americana' about her music. Mark my words,
she'll be celebrated throughout the Boston Pops.
Should be some time soon. This lady is a prominent
Maria Schneider draws upon her Minnesotan roots with
enough poignancy and declaration from the Gil Evans
school of cool and classical music training.
This is real third stream.
Our fly by culture do note it.
Many times we don't know what's being written on our
Out of sight out of mind.
Exposure is the notable factor. Why more have been
exposed this beautifully coiffed remarkable jazz
Maria Schneider has her own voice, drawing and
interpreting from those various circumstances to build
upon a body of work.
Ironic that her name falls within the third stream
jazz classicist, Gunther Schuller, for Maria
Schneider, with little fanfare has become our most
prominent 21st Century composers. Aires de Lando is
pure buttery, meshing klezmer with mambo with Latin
dance and other assorted magical vagaries.
You'll thoroughly enjoy this current work, SKY BLUE by
the Maria Schneider Orchestra.
You will thoroughly enjoy this current work, SKY BLUE
by the Maria Schneider Orchestra.
Rich's Piece is a vehicle for tenor saxophonist Rich
Perry. But without knowing that, you may suspect a
Scandinavian sort. The tune fits within the fabric of
the concept of the cd. She offers her
soloists...freedom, stretchability, longevity.
She understands the impulse factor, the extemporaneous
root of this music. And she builds it into it upon
taste with long melodious almost classical messages.
As a listener, you tend to become overwhelmed.
You have some of today's best jazz virtuosos in Frank
Kimbrough, Scott Robinson, Donny McCaslin, Gary
Versace, Charley Pillow, Jon Wikan, Ben Monder. Steve
Wilson, Gary Versace and vocalize by Luciana Souza on
Cerulean Skies, an especially forthright and
When you think of Maria Schneider, think of
ORIGINALITY, MAJESTIC, ARISTOCRATIC, ALL ENCOMPASSING.
The art of jazz has many voices and Maria Schneider
blends many of them with her own superb instincts and
TOM HARRELL LIGHT ON High Note Records
Tom Harrell, the quintessential post bop trumpeter.
All's well when it's alive and cool and you feel it
right off with Harrell's explosive blue rhetoric with
bass player, Ugonna Okegwo right in your wheel house
on Va- almost Benny Golson song book- so cool, why
hard bop's so great. Danny Grissett, the L.A.
pianist is red real funky on this with saxophonist
Wayne Escofferey chiming in on the harmony. A
sociable indication of things to come on this new cd,
engineered by Rudy Van Gelder who knows this music
better than anybody. The Escoffery and Harrell
conversational strut sound to an old bopper back in
the day with Art Farmer and Benny Golson used to tear
it up. That's what Va will do to you.
First time I heard Tom Harrell, I knew he was a
private first class in the jazz school of alternative
knowledge-sidebar of another way of doing thyings, a
tactician of the Art Farmer school with a wandering
lyrical moon beam from the Chet Baker school.
You know when you hear it's true and Tom Harrell is
that self effacing divine spirit.
Danny Grissett is a young talent who gigged the L.A.
scene to establish himself (Carl Perikins take note,)
five or so years ago. There's endless stories in the
endless book of jazz young musicians making their
bones. It's so nice when you get a chance to hear them
play in the small clubs in the off hours.
Tom Harrell's new cd is the fruition of this work with
his sidemen here. For a quintet comprised of bassist
Ugonna Okegwo and drummer Jonathon Blake, this is a
band that stacks up with the rest of the quintets,
Horace Silvers, Art Blakeys, Miles Davis, Monks and
Oliver Nelsons, although his brief tenure tended to be
sextets and septets. Still to be lauded.
For I'm a big fan. So goes a reviewer bias.
Harrell's compositions are lyrical and imaginative,
offering much space for free expression, extenuating
hard bop phrasing as in Nights At Catalonia and
Fountain ballets. Harrell's soft skatey lyricism
on Fountain and lingering is exceptional. Listen a
few times to get ambiance of the piece. Architect Of
Time is another memorable piece. Harrell's tone is
distinctive, vulnerable and yet commanding. His
vulnerable lies within the caricature of his being.
We're not who we say we are. We're more complex than
According to polls, some never know.
Then there's Bad Stuff and we're back into that Lee
Morgan/Hank Mobley sexy groove.
After the all night jam session, you nod to the sun
rise, a furtive exchange, all coffee'd up and ready to
go down the Manhattan freeway and watch the Sunday
flow of East River spare traffic.
Yes, inside this new Tom Harrell cd with these young
brothers, there's nothing but straight ahead gumption.
The jamming inside here is a love to cherish for hard
boppers- a sight to behold for new boppers.
BILLY BANG QUINTET FEATURING FRANK LOWE ABOVE AND
BEYOND: AN EVENING IN GRAND RAPIDS Justin Time
Billy Bang's a part of the old/new avant gard. Frank
Lowe plays in a tradition of John Coltrane and Albert
Ayler. This is very Chicago influenced, long, 'live'
performance popularized in the 60's by Coltrane's
Impulse sessions, Herbie Mann, Live at The Village
Gate performances, Charles Lloyd at Monterey. It's a
trend in jazz to deliver intensive exciting live
performances to the record album. The spiritual
significance permeates current post hard modernism,
to those who embrace hard bop traditionalism. The
artists stream of consciousness is what we jazz fans
implore to capture in a bottle. It's all so fleeting.
The jazz musician says we'll do it different next
time. Many young artists will admit, First time I
heard 'A Love Supreme'...that was it for me..., for
This was recorded live at The Urban Institute For
Contemporary Arts in Grand Rapids, April 28, 2003.
Time is a precious moment.
If you're creating, then the moment is now.
PS: It's taken me this long to comprehend what John
Sinclair was talking about:
This kind of music is a force to reckoned with...
Billy Bang is completely aware of what Stuff Smith was
talking about, metaphorically. The truth when achieved
is the beginning, eternal gestation solves nothing,
the 'now ' jam is the most important.
Co-producer Jean Pierre LeDuc is credited for vetting
this recording in a mid western setting. Billy Bang's
composition skills are imperative on this release.
Frank Lowe, an avant gard realist is a major and avid
participant and you hear it.
Frank Lowe was in failing health, still wailing like a
barking dog. Lowe eventually succumbed to lung cancer
is September, 2003.
About 25 years I visited a friend, who had a small ad
agency and he worked out of his house. As I sat
talking to my friend, a small dog sat beside his desk
barking with every breath. After a about 10 minutes, I
asked Jerry, what's with this barking dog? He's been
doing that all his life, Jerry says! How old is he?
Eighteen. Eighteen? In fact he was hit by a car three
years ago. He used to chase em up and down the street!
Frank Lowe was committed right to the end and this
recording preserves his spirit and commitment. There
are four songs on this cd. All very good attributing
different ideas, thoughts, passions..
What you'll hear is something very special from Frank
Lowes fiery, circuitous solos, pianist Andrew Bemkey's
remarkable Beethoven-ish cavandish open on Dark
Silhouette and Billy Bangs remarkable silhouettes
throughout, even a slight humorous 'A Train' retort
in the end of At Play In The Fields Of The Lord.
DAYNA STEPHENS THE TIMELESS NOW CTA Records
Saxophonist Dayna Stephens has warmth and luminescent
serendipity, a technique resembling a young very
articulate Wayne Shorter in Speak No Evil.
Like another Berkley's David Murray, Dayna Stephens
new cd is a herald to the great post bop artists and
the majority of songs here are originals by Dayna
Stephens, a good way to know a young artist.
The guest assemblage for this session, young talented
Taylor Eigsti, piano, bassist Ben Street, soulful Eric
Harland on drums and a co-anchor guitarist John
If I was an upcoming jazz musician, I'd like you to
know my best side.
Then surround yourself with quality.
It makes perfect sense. Highlight Dayna Stephens
current rising status and relative importance.
Position him as a talented rising young jazz musician.
He deserves the accolades because he is....
Listen to the articulation on Smoking Gun. Theres
some mysterious Miles riffs here. More important it
takes you on root from LEVEL A to LEVEL B with
melodious drives down a four lane highway of
Then Teeth with Taylor Eigsti playing some classic
Rhodes, the man's the monster. You know it's good jazz
when you lose retractable linear thought. It's all
caught in the jam and that's the way it's supposed to
The Lost And Found has a Strayhorn Blood Count
mood,maybe not as sonorous but defining in a way.
Eigsti's piano is reminiscent of Herbie Hancock's
60's pieces. In fact, to my ears The Lost And Found
is glorious and articulate post modern. Dayna Stephens
just jams with the sweetness and breadth of early
morning corn. It's the jam,this time of year.
The Contagious cd is infectious for young post
boppers. For musicians, it's a look back to post
modern. The kind of grace we ingratiate our heroes.
There's That Smile with Ben Street's opening bass
lines, followed by Eric Harland's interesting brush
and cymbal work with Dayna Stephens horn over the top,
settling with some melodious cadence messages. This
sort of trio work is interesting, giving each musician
ample time to stretch. NickVagenas on valve trombone
lends it with Stephens tenor saxophone on this ballad
accompanied by Taylor Eigsti's minimalist piano. The
orchestration here is dynamic, poignant and memorable.
On The Trail is straight ahead, Way Out West with
John Scofield's reharmonization and Stephens saxophone
picking up the slack as if to say this celebration is
for hard bop country. But Beautiful with various
subtle tempo changes and interplay with Talor Eigsti
on piano and Ben Street on bass.
Dayna Stephens orchestrations are superb. His integral
use of various instrumental combinations is meticulous
and tasteful-the measure of a maturing artist- an
indication of bright things to come.
RON CARTER DEAR MILES Blue Note
Ron Carter is a part of Miles conversion to post
modernism. The sixties Miles Davis Quintet is the
beginning of the post modern and Ron Carter was an
integral part of that band.
The music here is from Miles fifties hard bop era.
There were two bassists influential in this era, Paul
Chambers and Ron Carter. It's ironic that much of this
hommage refers to fifties Miles when Carter was the
man in the sixties. This so much Ron Carter's personal
tribute to Miles and we are let in on this devotion
and love for a great artist.
This is what jazz does best. An honest reflection. No
shuck and jive. This is true, man!
The fulcrum to the truth on this cd, My Funny
Valentine. Stephen Scott on piano sounds like Miles
Davis favorite piano player in those days. Milt
Jackson's Bags Groove is an extension to the
feeling. Someday My Prince Will Come is even more
existential. In fact, Stephen Scott has approached as
Miles favorite piano player in those days, so much so,
I'm dreaming of a transmutation.
It's even apparent in Carter's Cut And Paste, for
Stephen Scott plays with strength, determination and
joy as if he knows exactly what this material means.
Then Ron Carter's version of Stella By Starlight is
so proffered and definitive. It'll take you back to
those smoke filled rooms and all night radio shows.
That's what this new Ron Carter cd is about. Tribute,
Nostalgia, where the bones come from.
TAD BRITTON/MARC SEALES/JEFF JOHNSON BLACK HILLS
Drummer Tad Britton is an American story. Born and
raised in Sturgis South Dakota, a town of five
thousand. This is the fabric. Not all towns are five
thousand for jazz musicians to materialize, to further
their art. How could Shenandoah, Iowa know that
Charlie Haden would become a fine jazz artist?
The jam session is a great teacher. All towns in a
rural mid west seem five thousand, except Des Moines
and other University state college towns. Forget the
Iowa Caucuses, for the political air of jazz is as
fresh as it is in Iowa and North and South Dakota, if
you know where to look and how to listen. The Prairie
States are rhythmic, the primeval course of what's
happening in the course of our culture. The radio
brought rural religion and bluegrass amongst flowing
fields of grain.
We pay close attention to the musician's affirmative
nature, not necessarily ascribed to the non structure
of good and bad things. Fire And Rain, written by
James Taylor and arranged by Marc Seales as a
Salvation Army hymnal is a good example. This is the
America that Studs Terkel, Woody Guthrie and Pete
Seeger envisioned . Profoundly simple, or profound
simplicity may be better. If there's ever a language
that brings us closer to the truth, this is jazz
music, free, optimistic, momentous to the moment and
the ultimate occasion. This is the stellar moment
that we embrace. Gone is the drug predicate of the
next second, littered with cell phone commentary and
unrequited sedentary. The major theme to this CD is
the intro number, Bil Evans Time Remembered, the
thematics and lyric realism of this piece set the tone
for this project. Then George Dukes Love Reborn is
an after thought to youth and spirituality with Jeff
Johnson's hearty bass interjections as well as his wet
seductive Dark Kiss, perfect for all night radio. If
you lay awake nights dreaming of what should have
been, then slow dance to this.
Tad Britton's Red Drum is a percussive experience
keeping within the tone of this set. Then this very
mature and articulate swinging piece, Falling Grace
by Steve Swallow as the band follows along in unison
as natural as can be with Marc Seales piano leading
and imploring the rest. And the ballet of The
Windmills Of Your Mind a Michel LeGrand favorite is
done so well, so delicate, so articulate with special
care to nuance, beauty and post modern romance. TAD
BRITON/MARC SEALES/JEFF JOHNSON and BLACK HILLS is
magic, karmic and the kind of jazz you want to tell
your friends and have a special place for later.
KENNY BURRELL 75TH BIRTHDAY BASH Blue Note
Whenever I think of Kenny Burrell, I think of how I
spent an early morning cup of coffee at the kitchen
table with Kenny and his mother on the near West side
of Detroit on a snowy February morning in the early
sixties. In many ways, this is the same Kenny that I
heard forty some years ago at Baker's Keyboard Lounge,
especially on Stormy Monday/Blues For The Count.
This is exactly what it's like being in the same room
with Kenny Burrell, then as now with other
performances here as well as inFootprints. This is a
special birthday recorded July 31, 2006 at Yoshi's in
Gerald Wilson big band was also a big favorite in
those days with Viva Tirado. The dynamics of
Romance, with Wilson's big band and Kenny Burrell
has to a special experience for those present at
Yoshi's. Then the sequential Ellington, Love You
Madly, Sophisticated :Lady and Don't Get Around
Miles Davis All Blues features Burrell's
sophisticated approach to the blues and why Ellington
said he was one his favorite guitar players. Then a
classic rendition of Gillespie's A Night In Tunisia
and finally Ellington's Take The A Train as this cd
ends on a stellar note. The most impressive Kenny
Burrell is what he does with a ballad, I'll Close My
Eyes with Joey DeFrancesco-takes care all of the
rest. As a good relief set up man in baseball the one
before the last is probably the most important. It
makes the last tune all the more worth while and Kenny
Burrell understands this whole phenomenon we call
TERENCE BLANCHARD A TALE OF GOD'S WILL (A Requiem
Two years ago Katrina gave us a bolo punch,
unsuspecting with loads of bad karma that we still
haven't fully recovered. I watch the nightly news and
they still don't report it right. So much for mass
media telling the truth on this. They skate around the
issue of putting the locals back to work, setting it
right . It can be done, but for some inexplicable
reason no one wants to....
If I were a politician, I'd hang my head.
A reason why, and it's a sadness why this composition
by Terence Blanchard will resonate with us for
decades, until it's done right and it's put together,
respectively, for the history and culture of the same.
Blanchard's post modern view of this is
It's why you can't let it go so easily.
You'll hear portions of this a year from now and
you'll remember as if it was yesterday, the flooding,
sadly, the Super Dome cotillion, the dance of the
bourgeoisie-a bureaucracy so bloated and obese it
A sad nature to tell, but that's what Blanchard's
music is about...
If we have to. We'll do it ourselves. There's too
much at stake. Rumblings of Jelly Roll , Sidney Bechet
and other strong rambling ways as the avenging music
reminds us. We should be reminded. It's circumstance.
It's God's Will. It will always be there for
generations. And the ghosts will proclaim it, as the
real Preservation Hall rises again among the dark
waters.. These are incredible musicians on this cd and
they offer up very personal observations. Pianist
Aaron Parks, saxophonist Brice Winston, bassist
Derrick Hodge, all with a connection to New Orleans.
The more you listen and read their observations, the
more you realize this is an anthem that will last
forever. The pain, strife and sorrow of this
unfortunate human/natural circumstance and the
eventual triumph of the spirit will not go unnoticed
to future generations, as they examine and hopefully
learn from our mistakes.
This record by Terence Blanchard, as let say,
Tchaikovsky's War Of 1812 Overture will remain part
of our experience, as long as there are records of
such, as long as we are able to see, feel and record
ALEX SIPIAGIN PRINTS Criss Cross Jazz
He was born 150 miles from Moscow in 1967. Sasha's
great grand uncle was Leonid Sobinov, famous opera
singer. Then what the heck is happening with this
young trumpet player, whose recording and playing with
the best jazz players in the world. It karma,
genetics, magic and that personal message that jazz
This is who I am.
Alex Sipiagin an extraordinary trumpet player is
living this dream and he has the support of Chris
Potter, Dave Kikoski, Scott Colley and Antonio Sanchez
in doing so and it's most appropriate on this special
cd, PRINTS. Most the music is written by Sipiagin,
dynamic and modal, engendering concerted listening.
The More You Read, The More You Listen. We don't
know who said that, or if it's partially true. It may
apply here or it may be only partially true.
Jazz is a cerebral, cosmic experience and this cd
provides many answers.
How does a guy from a small town in Russia become one
of the worlds best trumpet players. We don't know
because it's never reported on the six o'clock news.
The songs, Path, Bumpy Road, Prints, Mood
3,written and recorded here by Sipiagin. His
playing is clear, strong with definitive flurries.
His strength and technique on Flugelhorn is flawless
and closing harmony with Chris Potter on Bill Evans,
Orbits is almost too good to be true.
Usually we thrive on mistakes as miracles of
improvisation. Alex Sipiagin's mantra is almost too
good to pass up, to good to be true.
You listening and wait for where other
Monk's Epistrophy is an interesting scoring with a
straight ahead neo bop twist with Latin inflections.
That's what this music is all about. Different
measures, tones and hues.
TIM ARMACOST RHYTHM & TRANSFORMATION
Artist Share Records
Reed player, Tim Armacost offers a unique concept,
fusing traditional Indian rhythm and modern jazz.
Herbie Mann and John Coltrane did it, as well as
others, combining similar ideas in the past. This is
more post modern with Armacost writing for a sextet,
offering hard bop invention.
Recently, Charles Lloyd performed with tabla
accompaniment in a trio format. This isn't a new
While living and teaching in New Amsterdam fifteen
years, Tim was intrigued by a live performance of
Trilok Gurtu playing a tabla drum with guitarist John
Originally from Los Angeles, he studied a year in New
Delhi and began incorporating Indian rhythms into his
writing and performances. Hence the writing of Rhythm
& Transformation and evolution into this cd.
Nimble Pani is prodigious and originator of this
feeling, hard bop blend with Indian music traditional
mysticism. While My Lady Sleeps is the only tune
that Asrmacost doesn't write in this cd It features
the scope and depth of Tim Armacost's flute playing,
The next songs are Armacost originals, combining
Indian sitar loops and hard bop riffs with Tim on
tenor, Dr. Eddie Henderson, one of today's prominent
modernists on trumpet, Billy Higgins, drums and Ugonna
There's no doubt that Armacost wants to keep it
swinging with Monolith, Stereo Blue with opening
riffs by Armacost and Henderson.
Indian News is a gloriously edged hard bop
collaboration with Armacost on tenor saxophone, Eddie
Henderson jamming East Coast, Ray Spiegel with quick
tabla interludes a jamming Billy Hart on drums.
Then the opening, Monolith in the four part Rhythm
& Transformationsuite, features the sextet again.
Armacost and Henderson will help reap those
yesterday's Lee Morgan/Hank Mobley better days.
Stereo Blue, features a tabla laced blues with Bruce
Barth laying in the good licks 3x3x3 implies a more
Indian sense with Armacost's soprano saxophone
carrying the brunt. It has an open and swinging nature
about it. The Indian rhythmic tone tends to open it
more. Then Four Happy Vows has a brisk happy
optimistism with a heavy bop/Indian rhythmic back,
very characteristic to this whole cd.
It's very post modern with a unique mood and
character. Circular Postlude blends this whole
concept, the mystic tone with contemporary up beat
ONES TO WATCH:
LIVE AT THE MONTEREY JAZZ FESTIVAL, VOL. 1 Monterey
Jazz Festival Records/Concord Jazz
This is the season for jazz festivals-the end of
summer-a Bacchanal to jazz improvisation. This
collection of live performances recently released on
cd uncovers a treasure of artists in the moment as The
Monterey Jazz Festival celebrates it's 50th birthday.
These are live recording gems. LOUIS ARMSTRONG
QUINTET at the first festival in 1958. The MILE DAVIS
QUINTET, 1963 could be the beginning of post modern
with a young flattering quintet to the new mood,
Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Tony Williams and 'a
gathering of tribes', tenor saxophonist, George
Coleman, whose charisma on Herbie Hancock's Maiden
Voyage is totally...charismatic.
THELONIOUS MONK QUARTET, 1964 is another collectors
piece with bassist Steve Swallow sitting in this
DIZZY GILLESPIE SEXTET, 1965 with Kenny Barron, James
Moody, Chris White, bass, Rudy Collins, drums and Big
Black on congas for this occasion. Dizzy was and is a
special person in our jazz declarative, lives.
I'm partial, admittedly.
I recall seeing this band earlier that year in
Detroit. I remember Kenny Baron and James Moody and to
this day I remain a big fan.
That's the way it is with this music.
One time and you're hooked.
This what this new collection will do for you.
The other release is SARAH VAUGHN, 1971 with
accompanist Sacramento's own Bill Mayes on piano, Bob
Magnuson, bass and Jimmy Cobb, drums.
If you have a collection of these artists, then you
know these cd's are a never before released must!
Other gems on HIGHLIGHTS VOL. 1 are Pat Metheny with
Northern California Larry Grenadier, bass and Brian
Blade, drum, a 1998 performance, Dave Brubeck Quartet,
1962 with Paul Desmond and saxophonist Joe Henderson,
1966, with vibraphone player, Bobby Hutcherson and a
great 'live' set at Monterey.
As the commercial says, which I may not totally
comply, the reality is that what's today never dies,
especially if the recorder is on line.
The Joe Henderson/Bobby Hutcherson foray is
piano-less, lending credence to the openness of
digging saxophone and vibraphone on the same plain,
Stay tuned, they've been recording this stuff for the
last fifty years.
DEE DANIELS JAZZINIT Origin Records
Following Dizzy Gillepie's singing with Dee Daniels is
an easy ride home for this soulful throaty lady,
especially with Earth, Wind and Fire's ferocious
Can't Hide Love with pianist, Tony Foster's and his
superb funkiness. This is more here periodical hype
than animal crackers. This lady is so full a soul,
hard to handle, that's what makes her so good.
If you got the time. And you got the time with this
PONCHO SANCHEZ RAISE YOUR HAND Concord/Picante
Poncho Sanchez is always together, remembering mass
Cal Tjader movements, Rodriquez Brothers numbers and
the regulars. This is a CD combining new Latin with
vintage R&B regulars, Eddie Floyd, Booker T, Maceo
Parker and Steve Cropper.
One of most popular Latin band leaders, Poncho Sanchez
is always on his game with Tropi Blue, El Aqua De
Pelen,Amor Con Amor, esa fabuloso Pancho! Or
thereabouts (If only my Spanish was better and I
could play the congas.)
RON DI SALVIO ESSENCE OF GREEN, a tribute to Kind Of
Blue Origin Records
Di Salvio scores with his tribute to the Miles Davis
quintet and the grond breaking Kind Of Blue album.
Jimmie Cobb, who was a member of that band, now
appears on this new cd. All the tunes are poignant
and recognizable in post modern nostalgia. A special
treat here are four vocalists who sound similar to the
Modernaires on Essence Of Green.
MASHA CAMPAGNE CAMINHOS CRUZADOS = CROSSROADS
How does a young Russian beauty sing Brazilian jazz?
She does with 'Campagne' passion, verve, fashionable
The Voice 88.7fm
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