[JPL] bopndicks 10 picks October 2008

Dick Crockett bopndick at yahoo.com
Thu Oct 30 03:01:16 EDT 2008

10 picks  October 2008
new live performance with Kenny Garrett and Pharoah Sanders will
knock you scurrying back to the old Cannonball/Joe Zawinul record
racks. And to get back to the jazz gospel of Bobby Timmons is to be
surrounded by celestial hard bop messenger angels.
This is
that kind of joy from “Sketches Of MD/Live At The Iridium” as
Garrett and Sanders make a strong, loose and straight ahead statement
on “Intro to Africa.” Then to be embellished in “Sketches Of
MD” by Garrett with some kind of horn/synthesizer, you don't even
have to know to understand the connection to chase with Miles, you
just need to understand... That's what it's about.  Then Kenny breaks
into this funky soulful “Wayne's Thang,” with wa wa's and
electric Ebonics and the crowd at the Iridium in mid town Manhattan
is right on the edge of the ecclesiastic pedestal, where Adderley and
Zawinul would put them, forty years ago.  
In this
case, keyboard player Benito Gonzalez, Nat Reeves, bass and Jamire
Williams on drums put it smack dab in the middle to carry it right to
the end with “Happy People,” a  glorious monster as Garrett's
scary Asimov lines and one big Asimov hook carry it all the way,
enough to say, are you ready for this...  
Is it
enough to say, this is the live jazz cd performance of the

Monday night is an off night for most in demand
musicians who play the money gigs toward the weekends.
Monday night is also a  night for musicians across
America to enjoy playing their own kind of jazz on the extemporaneous
high wire. Most times are moments to remember for fans, who know the
places they play and it's a special time to hear great modern jazz
big band music.  
There's such a place in Carmel, The Ranch, owned by
Clint Eastwood where musicians  gather and play in the band for fun.  
And for the few who knew.
This cd is a celebration of Monday Night at The Village
Vanguard in Manhattan one of the world's premier jazz clubs. The band
comprised of the best musicians New York city has to offer- an
extension of the great Thad Jones/Mel Lewis big band.  
Pianist, composer arranger Jim McNeely is currently in
charge of this Count Basie magnanimity replete with the groovy charts
of Thad Jones, popularized with Basie in the fifties. “Mean What
You Say,””Say It Softly,” “Mornin Reverend,””Kids Are
Pretty People,””The Waltz You Swang For Me” and “Little
Rascal On A Rock.”  
This where Thad took the big band in a new direction
with swinging ventures into long  melodic/harmonic improvisations.  
His humor in song titles and his brilliant writing,
denote a level of joy in circumstance that's great fodder for this
aggregation inspired by McNeely's direction.
This great band makes Monday night a special energy
night at The Village Vanguard for this is the great tradition that
Thad Jones and Mel Lewis ordained all of jazz.
And Jim McNeely along with New York's finest keep the
home fires burning...

I had a friend, Dominic. He was a friend of the family
some forty years ago. Nick was a part time trumpet player, house
painter and Korean war veteran who played in some of the funkiest
jazz clubs in Detroit.  
Joe Locke's picture on the back of “Force Of Four”
reminds me of that look of  bop musicians dedicated to the music,
those sixties 'ofays' who really got it going for the music.
Miles was making the money. Give him the respect and
credit for moving forward. There were many others who worked for the
joy of it. Here is Joe Locke straddling the back side of a chair,
thin with a slight manicured goat ti in faded jeans, open collar
white shirt and those white pointed toe shoes, the soul of big brain
grace. This is the post modern bop that Joe Locke represents, a
dedication to the music. And for that, there's much respect.
After listening to an NPR interview with Dr Oliver Sacks
from his book, “Musicophilia, Tales of music and the brain,” that
music changes the brain chemistry, what dramatic effect does it have
on the  jazz musician's performance and reportorial?
Joe Locke's bop brain chemistry has the distinct great
technique as today's best jazz vibraphonists, one of the hardest
working, for sure, and this new “Force Of Four” is the complete
modern jazz vibraphone package. Stack it against the others and Joe
Locke will always come through for you.

A retrospect to a brilliant jazz pianist's career
spanning a half a century
Two Herbie Hancock favorites are represented here with
“Maiden Voyage” with a classic  solo by tenor saxophonist, George
Coleman  from the title album and “Cantaloupe Island” from
“Empyrean Isles” with off center, full end beats from Freddie
Hubbard's cornet, Ron Carter's, bass and Tony Williams, drums. Young
Herbie Hancock's solo on this tune makes it more than just going to
heaven. It means that funk and celestial go together in the Universe.
Then “Wiggle Waggle” from “Fat Albert's Rotunda,”  a
seventies big band retro funk. This'll dazzle your late night
detective Jim Brown movie dizzle in real snoop dog time! And it gets
fun and crazier with a “Chameleon” (edit.) And it'll play today
in a Quentin Tarentino state of mind.  It rolls on to a post modern
version of “St. Louis Blues” with Stevie Wonder  on harmonica
with a scat and hip vocal treatment. Then “Chan's Song,”theme
from the film “Round Midnight” written by Herbie Hancock, Stevie
Wonder and vocalized by Bobby McFerrin.  
And the remarkable Herbie Hancock denouement persists
with Corrine Bailey Rae's version of Joni Mitchell's “River” last
year's Grammy award winning “The Joni Letters and Joni Mitchell's
rendition of same, a song that's relevant to our seeming pursuit of
'happiness' and it's relative fragility. Play this during the
Christmas holidays, although  sad, it's real.
And the classic “Watermelon Man, “ a same ole' 
tells it different every time, as any solid  jazz musician will say.
as the Universe pledges on infinitum every time. The live version of
“Rockit” synthesizes Hancock's varied and incredible
contributions in modern music.  
And Now: The Definitive Herbie Hancock” presents his career in a
way that graces our music over a half century and his ability to work
this sunny tapestry with many voices, many sides, many turns and
Herbie Hancock is a Giant of your and my music

Ted Nash achieves an memorable artistry, combining pop
mainstream with jazz impressionism through the music of Henry
Mancini's film scores were popular through the sixties
and seventies.  
Ted Nash grew up in L.A.. His father and uncle were
studio musicians and young Nash met the maestro one day while
delivering a horn his dad called for, during a Hank Mancini session.  
A chance meeting that would make a lasting impression.
An encounter that would have a lasting effect, so apparent in Ted
Nash and his stunning interpretation of the Mancini songbook.
Frank Kimbrough, piano, Rufus Reid, bass and Matt Wilson
complete the quartet on this  project in various incantations, a
melodic noir affect on “Dreamsville” with Nash's melodic open on
alto saxophone that breaking into a hard jam with Art Pepper riffs,
Reid's clear and concise candor on bass, Matt Wilson's incisive
cymbal call and  Frank Kimbrough's hearty bop phrasing- Classic!
“Something For Nash” sounds trio based with Nash's intimate
forays on flute, Frank Kimbrough's in an around a lyrical text with
Rufus Reid's supportive strong bass line. A funky “A Shot In The
Dark” is a funky vamp with Nash's loaded blues saxophone, then
“Lujon” dramatizing a 'slow hot wind' with a more sonorous Nash
on tenor accompanied with decisive  reharmonizing rhythm.  A powerful
effect. There's tripping with Holly Golightly in 'Stan Getzian'
refrain on “Breakfast At Tiffany's,” with that lizard lounge of a
Truman Capote on the inside as Ted Nash smokes on this, “Cheryl's
Theme” is a captivating duet with Nash and Kimbrough.  “Mr
Yunioshi” is a Mickey Rooney characterization, a portrait, an
exaggeration on a railway to town. “The Party,” a Peter Sellers
trip to the pop TV icon, “Laugh In,” or so the music ascribes and
Ted Nash's horn wails on the exorbitance and Frank Kimbrough combines
gospel with stride for his best solo.  “Two For The Road” is
romantic, slow dance to the Ted Nash code of blue.
Henry Mancini's film scores are classic with wide range
appeal  throughout the decades. Ted Nash and “The Mancini Project”
are this years one of the best.
This fourteen song cd is the most compelling post modern
interpretation of Mancini's music, yet.  

WILKES     DROP IT Delmark
You hear electric Miles dripping off rusty artifacts.
Non conformist and poetic, pianist Robert Irving III has everything
to do with this...Corey Wilkes muted and electric horn has earned the
right to have a lot to do with this, as you go through, creating a
very influential ghetto sound with words spoken poetically by Miyanda
Wilson. Then a roll along Chicago's Michigan Avenue as it moves along nice and slow with a young sister, Chelsea Baratz  performing on
saxophone in “Sonata In The Key Of Jack Daniels.” Then the title
riff with Wilkes in various electrified horn segments with alto
saxophonist Jabari Liu. The groove is bright and  reflective of a
past life- funkadelic.  “Remy's Revenge”  features Chelsea Baratz
trading hard bop signatures with Corey Wilkes making this sound
dangerous, definitive and mortal.  A very mellow refrain of “Touch” with Robert Irving's rich Rhodes undertone and Wilkes blowing some
nice straight lines, to scatting up to “Return 2 Sender,”with an
inevitable fire storm created by Kevin Nabors on tenor and Wilkes
great trumpet work. “Searchin” by Irving and Wilkes will lend to
the cd's overall post Miles reflectiveness. It 's the real beauty of
this album really, that Miles has made an indelible imprint on our
overall music soul. This is young trumpet Corey Wilkes aided by other
young new jazz patriots and Robert Irving's expansiveness to carry
the word forward.

Pianist Danilo Perez combines his extraordinary talent
with Claus Ogerman's and orchestra to create a series of beautiful,
embellishing sound motifs. “Across The Crystal Sea” is a
haunting-spirit adaptation of the late German composer Hugo Distler,
whose choral religious thematics are very adaptable to a jazz
context. Perez majesty and orchestration are imaginative and 
breathtaking as Brubeck. It's all about slowing...for emphasis.
Think of voluptuous French Impressionism of Monet,
Renoir and Cezanne and this is the emphasis of Danilo Perez and Claus
And Shadows,” a theme by Sibelius has a fragile yet powerful effect
as light evening rain in a grand orchestral significance.  Casandra
Wilson's simmering version of “Lazy Afternoon,” with Claus
Ogerman's orchestration with the smells of  heat, passion in the air.
Superbly sensual with Danilo Perez piano.
Christian McBride, Lewis Nash, Luis Quintero and concert
master, Bruce Dukov present the core of the group sound. Themes with
lasting resonance of “The Purple Condor” by Manuel De Falla,
Rachmaninoff's  romantic“If I forget You,” Cassandra's  memorable
version”(All Of A Sudden) My Heart Sings” with lush strings and 
the Ogerman and Perez signature lifts this “Music Til Dawn” as
the tradition of how music can  awaken a city at first light and a
re-awakening of the human spirit.  
Danilo Perez fondly remembers Bill Evans trio with the
symphony orchestra.  
When listening to “Across The Crystal Sea,” you may
recall those lazy nights, under the stars at the Greek Theater with
Andre Previn and the Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra.

Organissimo, a bi product of a vibrant blue collar mid
western funk tradition pays a post modern tribute to the great
Philadelphia Hammond B-3 stylists, Jimmy Smith, Shirley Scott and
Charles Earland- hence a very large and fascinating, “Groovadelphia.”
It's not in the notes on the release,it's there in  spirit.  
Jim Alfredson is the leader, Hammond B-3 player and
recording engineer, as important as a 'Rudy Van Gelder' of this band,
for Jim is behind the console, adjusting levels, setting the tone for
The title tune tells the story of a funk modern Booker T
with, in this case, the real Joe Gloss on guitar.  
Organist Jim Alfredson met guitarist Joe Gloss at
Michigan State in Lansing and got it musically, fronted various
bands, then met drummer Randy Marsh to form Organissimo and played
various clubs on campuses in South Bend, Ann Arbor and East Lansing.  
Think of those fall crisp football weekends while
listening to “Turn Right On The Left.” Alfredson's Hammond hums
in glorious apocrypha. Then the message in another time zone,
“Traces,” coerces a more mellow wave length. “Dances De Alma”
is full of bright melodic dance excursions with Joe Gloss nuance and
Rhodes, motif, rack, mood and moog.
If you're a fighting Irish, victorious and over forty in
South Bend with Organissimo on stage,  you'd ask your wife and
partner to dance too. It's a celebration as in Organissimo!
Not Now, When?” is a groovy if not existential, then how?  The
music is  straight ahead, “ Let's have a Coney.”  
is a mellow, cordon blue with Alfredson and Gloss getting it on-to
the extreme post modern funk, a new world shadow of a former self.
Sweet Potato Pie”  is new funk with Gospel leanings, in search of a
joyful higher identity, with a Joe Gloss, 'Grant Green' happy ending
and  Randy Marsh signifying distant harmonica entrails.  
And the last is a solo Jim Alfredson on Rhodes with a
play on words, “Rhodesia,” a nice refrain from a provocative

As many
prominent jazz musicians before him, saxophonistJoe Lovano presides with his original music, in concert with the great WDR
Big Band in Cologne.This is a remarkable
confluence, what he was, to what he is...on this cd.  Through the
guidance of pianist, arranger and writer, and on this project,
Michael Abene has the whole WDR big band and orchestra to work with,
therefore, nothing is left to chance. “Eternal Joy” with Lovano
on Soprano saxophone,” “Alexander The Great,” and “Emperor
Jones” seems Thad Jones influenced, setting the tone, as performing
with The Danish Radio Big Band, where Jones developed an articulate
swinging retro modern Count Basie, reviving Jones years with the
Basie Band and 'Laissez Fair' fifties where the band would stretch a
foxtrot to a modern dance.
Michael Abene's arrangements of Joe Lovano's, “His
Dreams,””The Dawn Of Time” and  “I'm All For You” expand
the context of each song, making an indelible impression as a gifted
arranger and a world class orchestra can only leave on the listener.  
Believe me,  you'll be impressed enough to spent a quiet
romantic weekend, together.
Joe Lovano's prevalent influence, “Symphonica,” is
his original music and performance, and the tunes written by Lovano
and supremely orchestrated by Abene on this new cd, are all anyone
could ask for and imagine.

The 28 year old Norwegian names Miles Davis, Tomasz
Stanko, Clifford Brown, Kenny Wheeler and other modern European
trumpet players as primary influences in his evolving style-when it
comes together, the original voice. What's intriguing is the space
around which Mathias Eick creates his own magma.  Pianist Jon Balke
is comfortable in  this environment, 'of what you don't say'  makes
it all more interesting, or the clicks and clacks that go together,
especially with Eick's patient soliloquy. “The Door” and
“Stavanger” will say as much in this very dynamic fashion,
conjoining  Balke's vigor and impressionism on an equal minimalist
Stian Carstenson's steel petal guitar adds unique
mystery to “Cologne Blues” with what sounds like falling cartons
on the floor with Audun Kleive's staggered percussion. Balke's
classic solo is to play again and one more time to hear the melodic
and “December” have a heroic intent with Balke's and Carstensen's
interplay with Eike's almost muted glow on top to establish a certain
soft, moody character. “Williamsburg” has an antebellum quality,
iconic and pastoral coming more dynamic and pronounced by a very
southern and western American optimism expressed in Audun Klieve's
electric bass. Could be bluegrass, could be more grass, a Walt
Whitman honesty. “Fly” and “Porvoo” conclude with a grand
open plain view of a sunrise and a sunset and how it can only be felt
individually with an open mind and unguarded positivity.  
Mathias Eick's “The Door” is new and different, and
a breeze to sail on soft winds.

Soft spoken with articulate lyrics, rising to a level in
a fusion of time acoustics that seem to flow endlessly, Rebecca
Martin is one you get to know through her candid writing. And with
Kurt Rosenwinkel's  attentiveness and husband bassist Larry Grenadier
and drummer Brian Blade's support, another new direction in the post
modern pop/ jazz/ folk a morphism.
Cross Records
This Philadelphia trumpet player remembers his hard bop
roots with original tunes that are more than ritual, with a sextet of
imposing sidemen, Eric Alexander, Grant Stewart, David Hazeltine,
Peter Washington and Kenny Washington to spread the good word to  a
real Lee Morgan, Hank Mobley, Art Blakey post modern.

A young man's Leonard Cohen, who strives for a similar
casual twist to reality with a blend of philosophical nostalgia and
romance, that the master has done all these years. And as the
inalterableness of our blending, Brian Cullman will continue our
imperfect morality play on words in music.  

McKELLE      MODERN ANTIQUE Cheap Lullaby Records
vocal range and control, this Boston based vocalist displays in her
2ndcd, featuring an explosive big band reminiscent of the forties and 
orchestrated by the veteran, Willie Murillo.  It's heaven, a real
modern swinging big band heaven! It's what you, mom and dad can enjoy
at your grandparents sixtieth wedding anniversary.
Me? I'm in “Dinah Washington land” as Robin sings “I
Want To Be Loved” and “Save Your Love For Me.”

Cassandra's smooth deep abiding vocals on “Loverly”
reshapes standards in exciting, interocular, opulent passing themes,
with magical arrangements and Jason Moran's unique contemporary view
of new/old astride country, Robert Johnson steel blue acoustics in a
mode, with some Latin, some hospitality, lots of new fresh air,
“Arene,” African altogether.  
This new Cassandra Wilson concert never looked or
sounded better!  
Hey, Hey!”

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


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