[JPL] bopndicks 10 picks Aug 2008

Dick Crockett bopndick at yahoo.com
Thu Aug 28 03:11:53 EDT 2008

10 picks  August 2008

This is
from a more quiet time and space.  If you're into yoga, then you'll
know the place. Marcin Wasilewski/Slawomir Kurkiewicz/Michal
Miskiewicz are the trio.
starts cerebrally slow, then picks up in an L.A. Microbe, then moves
on to a modal anomaly.  
is a very young uprising Polish band, discovered by trumpet player
Tomasz Stanko as backup trio and sorting for a more interesting
wannabe space with a delicate melodic “First Touch,” an almost
impromptu “Vignette,” a thematic rendition of “Cinema
Paradiso,” a ballet, a tribute to village life melodrama set in a
delicate post modern pastoral tone of browns, soft warm grays mixed
into light orange accentuated by an afternoon Tuscany sunset.
“Diamonds And Pearl,” you'll note the swing and core of this
band's capacity. Tomasz Stanko's “Balladyna” closes  the door,
the metaphor, a serendipity, of concentrated happen stance, a couple
of strokes over par. Nothing to conclude on after a diagnosis to math
of death due to malfunction. Then “King Korn” resurfaces from a
larvae funk as swift and assured rhythm section of Slawomir
Kurkiewicz on bass and drummer Michal Miskiewicz move it up to a
higher auspicious modality. Kurkiewicz big soft print on bass set the
tone on “The Cat” with Wasilewski's varied and seeming unanswered
excursions that really add up to an overall harmonic conclusion. 
Then an ebullient thematic dissertation of a snow dance meshing
modern dissertation with classical intervention. This trio has a pure
originality with an ability to blend modern modalities with their
folk masteries as “January,” becomes a march of a night sleigh
ride to Northern Lights.  

enterprising cd/dvd by Jazzed Media traces the career of Bud Shank as
an artist/performer and writer, who was equally comfortable with big
and small bands.  His many accomplishments include writing film
scores in Hollywood and performing with the Royal Philharmonic. 
There are many of us, cool school fans, who treat this as our own
historical values as many fifties young hipsters were being exposed
to the music. Our history is intertwined with Bud Shank, tenor and
alto player with the swinging Charley Barnett band, then  high end
jazz symphonic skills with the iconic Stan Kenton and thus exposed to
this improvisational music called modern jazz in the late forties
early fifties, percolating for any modern musician and fan, and
there's Bud Shank, highly proficient on reeds, alto and tenor
saxophones and flute, then moving onto the new West Coast scene with
Howard Rumsey's Lighthouse All Stars, along with session work in
Hollywood, then the L.A. 4 with Laurindo Almeida, Jeff Hamilton and
bassist Ray Brown.  Bud Shank as any musician for the sheer love of
playing his horn moved onto the state of Washington,  back to playing
regular gigs and formed the Bud Shank Jazz Workshop, teaching
students the art of improvisation for over a 25 year period.  AGAINST
THE TIDE tells the full life of a prominent jazz musician, the growth
and progression of the music over those years. It's an appreciation
of a music, many of us have grown with and can bare witness. For
those, the young and curious, it's a remarkable video of a music,
from swing to modern jazz.

unlike the jazz prosaic, vocalist Norma Winstone “Distances,”
transforms into an ethereal supposition, a delicate array of
beautiful arrangements and music by pianist, Glauco Venier and reed
player Klaus Gesing.  The lyrics are penned by Winstone on
“Distances,””Drifter” and “Giant's Gentle Stride,” a more
celestial view of Coltrane. ”The Mermaid” a profound spiritual
intention to return  to the original source of one's core meaning,
/there waits a boat on a sun silent sea/carry her back where she
should be./  Then her precious interpretation of Peter Gabriel's
“Here Comes The Flood.” Listen to Winstone's unique
interpretation, gently breeching the inner core of sensitivity.  The
only other singer to come this close is Patricia Barber.
pace and intent of this music is to listen carefully to the lyrics,
quality of Winstone's poetics and her ability to convey a spiritual
metaphor making it more than mellodrama.
And the
trio of pianist Venier and reedist, Gesing with superb drawing room, 
classical performances, as in title tune, “Distance,” an
absorption of life and freedom. A lovely haunting you're not likely
to forget, 'to be here now.'

Sanchez creates a very different setting with his writing here, a new
point of view, reverential from Puerto Rican roots to a new modern
genesis, you might say, a cultural survival. The more it evolves from
the artist roots, the more honesty and relevance the music creates 
it's own very personal unique identity. This is the Sanchez style,
unique, soulful, moving forward.
knew when you first heard Sanchez on record that this young man was a
special musician.  He displays a nice 'Getzian' romantic melancholy
in “Monk's Mood”on this new cd.  Young guitarist, Lage Lund adds
a composite touch to “Cultural Survival.” Lund opens “Coast To
Coast” with contagious rhythm, as Sanchez scopes in obliquely with
active bass play of Ben Street and hard drive of drummer Henry Cole.
The tune is very open face and contemporary as everyone, including
Lund has their say. Pianist, Danilo Perez offers his thinking on
“Manto Azul.”  “Adoracion” and “Ay Bendito” are part of a
new contemporary Latin thinking in Sanchez' writing and played with
intensity and fervor by  Sanchez and Lund and the rest of this band.
The title tune has a catchy hard bop loose twist. It wants to rock
and yet it wants to samba.  
Leyenda del Canaveral”  has that deep Latin soul that is so much of
Sanchez writing and playing.  
Sanchez could have attend the prestigious Berklee School of Music in
Boston. Instead he chose Rutgers so that he could stay close and play
in  the New York jazz scene.  This choice is very apparent in the
steady maturation of his music and the power of his unique sound.  

technique, majestic control and transitional, Nicholas Payton fits
into a blue landscape with a flexible tonality of sultry festive
dynamism in “Drucilla,” “Let It Ride,”  “Triptych,” not
Trip Tic as in AAA, or cryptic, but low down and funky as if no good
is gonna happen tonight unless you're juiced in the flow. It's that
personal muse, the blues is happening. There are some young top N.Y. 
Musicians helping the blues out with Kevin Hays on keyboards, Vicente
Archer on bass, Marcus Gilmore on drums and Daniel
Sadownick,percussion.  Payton's footprint, his remarkable
articulation on trumpet is there throughout right down to his New
Orleans roots. He's very patient, laid back letting the play come to
him, a very sensual melancholy in the theme from “Chinatown.”
adds some articulate runs on piano and keyboards in “The Crimson
Touch” in line with Payton's expressive effortless ratta tatta,
blistery tapestry, then right into “The Backward Step” where the
tone fits right into the blue mood. “Blue” begins with a Miles
muted refrain and Payton gets into this very groovy vocal with Kevin
Rhodes adding a touching melodic theme to this ballad.  Two Payton
tunes,“Fleur De Lis” and “The Charleston Hop (The Blue Steps)
reveal his New Orleans roots but in a more subtle 'blue' way, a real
honest “Into The Blue” way.

Film Noir Tetrachord
ever you were around in those salad days, when bebop transformed as a
wonder witch of the east to modern blues, soft- hard bop, if there is
such a thing, this is what pianist, Larry Vuckovich came upon an
emerging San Francisco scene from Yugoslavia in the fifties. This
whole big bop transformation from swing to post bop, where writers
like Jacki Karoac and Alan Ginsberg would hang out at Keystone Corner
and listen to Vuckovich with,  could be Getz, Baker and Adderley , 
making another new relax-release revolution, just prior to the next
rock, big house revolution, where we don't just live next store to
the hype, not this kind of neighborhood!  
tunes are intrinsic, invigoratingly nor and cool.
Listen up, for this is piano jazz, the best of nor pop,
late fifties/ early sixties, where temporal time is fleeting,our
cranial cavities  are all engaging, which jazz does-brings us
that these two latest Larry Vuckovich cd's are extremely important
Wall” and “Street Scene” should be obtained and well kept, as a
woman you really want, not  what you think you need.

The Tracks” places tenor saxophonist, Scott Hamilton smack dab in
the middle of “Re- Bop,” facsimile of the fifties R&B
incantations as in Sonny Stitt's, “Deuces Wild.” Baritone
saxophonist sits in on “Parker's Pals”by Evan Parker, which makes
this new cd, more raw local color than most. “Save Your Love For
Me” is classic low dance, as I'm reeking from my fifties veins- I'm
lost in dance lounge romanticism, Hammond B-3 Gene Ludwig hits the c
minor bar keys.  It's all the way up for “Cop Out” with guitarist
Duke Robillard taking it to the old way, and in the “Intermission
Riff,” come on now, the old way is celebrated and up for grabs. If
you're not there listening to this cd and real  boss for tenor Scott
Hamilton by now, then “Sweet Slumber” will mellow you unless
you're asleep and the re-bop jam, “Something For Red” will perk
you up and an aside, Fats Waller's “Blue Turning Gray Over You,”
a joy and misanthropic to love, time and space. By this time you may
want to do the 'ball and jack.' Pay no mind to the misanthrope,
however, Scott Hamilton's new cd is the 'kats & jammers,' so
adore your “Breakfast At Tiffany's.”

TRISTANO     NOT FOR PIANOInFine'/Sunnyside Records
Once you see and hear Francesco Tristano and his composition,
“Hello,” you're numb with ecstasy. It'll take that to convert
from SUV to BMW, to a hybrid world. Hey, I don't have the money. You
don't have the money. So let  it ride to a bright  new talent, young
Franceso Tristano from Luxemburg, graduate of Juilliard, is worth all
the listening shekels. By this time you're into “Andover” and
you're lost in euphoric new world emancipation.  Is it new classical,
rock, jazz? Or, Is it to tango, techno, new pop minimalism?  Maybe
all the above. Maybe just having fun. This is Tristano  mixing all
sorts of musical forms  together in one big music mixing bowl and
sprinkling in  a myriad of Tristano performances; fingers flying
sometimes pounding and other times with light lyric dexterity over
the keys, in “The Melody,” also working as a dance remix,(check
website) the luxury of a tango, perhaps? The intricate time sequences
in “Jeita,” a very wild demonstrative stroke in “The Bells and
into an explosive “Hymn,” with this man sopunding as though he's
rising from his seat. Then “Two Minds One Sound” a wondrous jam
as if Rachmaninoff meets Airto Moreira and with Hermento smiling, not
saying much, only there, mysterious in dark glasses    This is a
young man of daring, exceptional  technique and extraordinary talent. Franceso Tristano will astound you with his unencumbered proclivity.  

Blaylock has assembled one powerhouse big band with inventive
arrangements on classic jazz standards made more fresh with
saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi blowing some wicked lines in the opening
rendition of “Caravan.” To say there's a reflection to Woody
Herman's thundering herd could be but a passing fancy, but is  very
uses all his resources of a smoking brass and reed section with quick
time signatures in the classic tune, “Stella By Starlight.”
Bergonzi has lots of space to explore other interesting avenues with
brass like a fireworks displays exploding in glorious unison.
Blaylock is chief arranger for the Airmen Of Note, the Air Force band
in Washington DC. And with all pomp and circumstance going on in DC,
the place is loaded with top flight( excuse the pun) jazz musicians.
Blaylock's outstanding arrangements “On Green Dolphin Street” and
“Body And Soul” add to the wonderful texture of this cd. Heaven
forbid the politicians should be showered with such marvelous
entertainment! Then Sonny Rollins bop classic, “Oleo” is dressed
up in black tie and tails with class with Bergonzi's horn stretching
it to the limit only to be copped to Ben Patterson's articulation on
trombone. Then there's the crystal clear beauty of Blaylock's great
arrangement of Duke Ellington's mesmerizing ballad “Warm Valley.”
It's the peach of this cd. With “Love For Sale” and a final
rendition of “Cherokee” with a diverse open and as the band plays
around the theme with scorching solos by pianist Harry Appleman, 
trumpet player Rich Siglar, saxophonist Luis Hernandez and trombonist
Ben Patterson  jamming to a melodic,  real up to speed “Cherokee”
crescendo.  Allan Blaylock Jazz Orchestra and “Eastern Standard
Time” tells a similar stories in  provocative new ways.

If you passed Ben Wolfe walking on the near west side,
(photo in cd) you'd surmise him to be an accountant, or a Wall Street
investment banker, (although he'd be stepping into a limousine rather
than just strolling in Manhattan.)  Unless you saw Ben Wolfe playing
bass with his octet at the Village Vanguard, featuring a string
quartet beside in a combo coercing jazz and chamber music inspired
originals. Check out  Branford Marsalis  intense avant solo in
“Filth,” Marcus Strickland's outlandish soprano solo work on
“Circus”  Victor Goine's bass clarinet foray in “Blue Envy.”
With the opposing dynamism, this has Mingus dilettante written
throughout these marvelous compositions. “Rosy & Roy” meander
through captivating time changes with Marcus Strickland providing
machine pistol  'Illinois Jacquette' on tenor saxophone. Having
worked with Diana Krall, Harry Connick Jr and  Wynton  Marsalis over
the years and keeping in mind his originality teaching at Juilliard,
Ben Wolfe presides over a new direction in his  music in “No
Strangers Here” and you'll certainly find it most appealing, if not
a ground breaking, “Groovy Medium.”

Shout Records
This is all what this remarkable modern jazz musician,
Chico Hamilton represents as a jazz giant, nurturing new talent from
the fifties to this day, as in this remastered and remixed cd, from
the sixties with young Charles Lloyd, Albert Stinson, George Bohanon
and Gabor Szabo in “El Chico” to the most  post modern, Cary
DeNigras, Evan Schwam, Andrew Hadro and Paul Ramsey on “Je Ka Jo.”  
More than sixty years of expression, modern
interpretation of this evolution in modern jazz. That's Chico
Hamilton,  modern jazz drummer, innovator, octogenarian, always
facing forward.
None can expect more than a full life.

Share Records
more known as one the
most el heavy, Rhodes, acoustic piano players most justifiable in “Sco More Blues”
on the east coast, Kevin Hayes is evolving into a more coast to coast
and in demand than before. And with this 'singing thing' on “You,”one
of my favorites, “The Question,” “Little Flower” and “The
Dream,”   Kevin Hayes, is a lyricist with a voice,  light and airy
as Michael Franks,  born and raised in Connecticut around Brad
Mehldau's multi fastidious, this Hayes is all about the maize,
attempting, to the real truth.  

Scott was a quintessential jazz Hammond B-3 organists of the hard bop
era, when FM radio was young, laughing and creative as any small
child.  Lord knows we miss that moment of time.  This new cd “One
For Shirley” is a tribute to that era and the audacity it imposed
on the early FM  jazz music culture.  You may think it's way over the
top and may not know the history, therefore we recommend Shirley
Scott and Stanley Turrentine recordings for you  and the mood of this
cd. It's
all here with Terell Stafford, trumpet, Pat Bianchi, Hammond B 3,
Byron Landham, drums with Daniel Sandowick, percussion. By the time,
we reached “Lullaby For Nijee” we got lost in hard bop revelry.  
Tim Warfield's soprano saxophone solo is all about
paying dues, as “The Beat Goes On.”

This grand lady of jazz can sing motown, “Just My
Imagination,””Loving You,” downtown, “Over The
Weekend,””Midnight Sun” and “Today Will Be A Good Day,” 
like nobody's business and out of town as in “Social Call,” “Once
I Loved” and “The Windmills Of Your Mind.” She weaves the
story, a history of the mood, the mode of poverty to the modern
aristocracy,  Dianne Reeves is the diva of the Post Modern.

The music is grand, witty('Seven Steps To Heaven,') 
early French bistro, “Speevy.” We like this music.  It 's mellow,
dramatic, reflective, really classic old school of a new and lost
era. The Hot Club does it all so grand  in an old and new way.

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


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