[JPL] bopndicks 10 picks Sept 2008

Dick Crockett bopndick at yahoo.com
Mon Sep 29 01:46:08 EDT 2008

10 picks Sept 2008

Charles Lloyd's avid swirly saxophone sound, part
Eastern mysticism, part urban apodictic blues empathy.  
For there is that center we don't quite understand, but
gravitate toward, a prime  element in creativity.  Lloyd's mosaic
reaches toward the outward bound resting in avant-gard,  yet joyful
in occult playfulness. In over four decades, Charles Lloyd has
created some most memorable jazz, always reaching, trusting his own
muse, in fact, taking time away, setting aside his reed instruments,
from the music to explore other more infinite platitudes of
the past decade, Lloyd has made some great music on ECM, working with
some of today's most articulate jazz talent. 
The live performance
“Rabo de Nube” recorded  in Basel, in  part a celebration of his
70thbirthday and in celebrating the energy of playing with this young
band, that'll settle anyone on their (us) to overall collectives
Believe me, you got some good ears on this album with
Jason Moran, piano, Reuben Rogers, bass and Eric Harland on drums. 
Some great solo efforts by Jason Moran one of the bright new voices
on piano as he shows remarkable strength in his playing with some
striking, down- to- business blues runs on “Migration Of Spirit”
with Lloyd, a fluttering 'Blythe Spirit,'  soaring in a 'Monday Night
Football' balloon, an interesting dichotomy between the two. Moran
plays some wicked stride runs on “La Colline de Monk,” with
classy Gershwin repor.  
Reuben Rogers bass open to 'migration of the spirit' is
to be for the blessed, as the 3 minute open moves from bliss to big
city with Charles Lloyd and Jason Moran, confiscators for the blues.  
This is a hard driving energized band that Lloyd coaxes,
caters and parties with...and everybody is on board with the message.
This is what a memorable live jazz performance is all about!
It's what it's all about as the cliché' laden
culture might say...but we of the late night, ex patriot Detroit near
West side, West End crowd would say this new Jeremy Pelt cd is in the
breach in the bellow of our hard bop. Former Los Angeles trumpet
player Jeremy Pelt and pianist Danny Grissett team with Detroit
saxophonist JD Allen to  combine an 'osmosis to the mostist.' This is
classic to be cherished post hard bop reaching a pantheon of all
night beachers, combers, late people, who individuate to this music.
The aura resonates throughout, for this reporter started
having hot flashes of early Freddy Hubbard and Hank Mobley as in
“Avatar,””Clairvoyant.” Clairvoyant is an interesting word,
meaning knowing what the other is doing...an primal example of
chemistry, an important element in jazz making.  
There's young pianist, Danny Grissett from L.A. in the
explosive “Dreamcatcher” who sparks this band with his rhythmic
incremental vision, so much a silent path finder and when asked to
solo, he does it with expansive command and power. It's a mind
Then the scampy “Phoenix” has Jeremy Pelt jamming
with articulate jam-nation and what great interplay with saxophonist
JD Allen. Then the romantic noir  “Rosalie.” Life should be this
good. “Monte Cristo” is a nice straight ahead blues jam,
featuring great repor and interplay with Jeremy and JD trading licks,
jumping up and down as we are jumping too.  “Nephthys” with
“466-64(Freedom Fighters)” are post, smooth and well structured
as Woody Shaw might say it.
As one to another in a late night jazz emporium might
say: “It's structurally together,  man! Listening to Jeremy Pelt is
so cool. This is the old days with a muscle and twist in a new way,”
he said, remembering to old days.  “I really miss Lee Morgan.”
Michael Feinstein is considered a musical archivist
Born in Cincinnati, Ohio to Edward, singer and sales
executive at Sara Lee and Maisie, housewife and tap dancer, his life
purpose may have already been shaped through latent swing -Broadway
knowledge. You know, tap dancing and big band standards. Very little
Mozart and Bach, this reporter can only assume, for we are NOT in the
inner circle.
Michael learned to play piano at five years old and to
the dismay of his teacher, had no inclination to read music but to
play by ear, which probably Eddie and Maisie ascertained, 'he's got
what he's got!”
We were not there so we can only ascertain. (Similar to
aspartame) to an reenactment of the situation.
After high school, Feinstein played piano bars with a
fervent enthusiasm for the old standards, a Cincinnati Bobby Short.
He then decided to emigrate to Los Angeles at twenty and through
various contacts became friends with Ira Gershwin and cataloged the
massive Gershwin music collection. Feinstein has the musicality and
no doubt the capacity for organization.  
This is all about the now and this new cd, “The
Sinatra Project,”a collaboration with Bill Elliott.  Face it, 
there's nothing as well produced and significant in the Male Vocal
category as this cd, although “How Long Will It Last” maybe a
little to Broadway chewy for this reporter.  The rest are right in
line with the Sinatra repertoire.
Feinstein's voice is commensurate with  Mel Torme and
the arrangements are dynamic in the tradition of Billy May and Nelson
So The Cheeche would doff his hat on this one!
WALD 16/NYC        PLAY THAT THING Glowbow
He's very close to vest, shy to the glare of publicity,
for good jazz players/ composers aren't only interested in it for the
money, as long as they live a somewhat comfortable life.  A 
compositional jazz history is the main player, here.  Forget the star
studded wizardry, Rick Wald is not running for political office. He
has more than just a passing interest  in writing good and engaging
charts.  Wald's articulation in  his originals, “Play That
Thing,””Dawn To Dawn In The City” are long engaging charts.
There are remnants of Shorty Rogers and Thad Jones in his writing.
There may be a Gary McFarland bent here with Wald's ability to draw
from a  cordial, different melodic atmosphere. Could it be a hard bop
noir rooted in the sixties in “Play That Thing” and “Dawn In
The City?”
try to musically suggest moods in my compositions, sometimes a few
different moods in one composition, “says Rick Wald in the liner
notes, He anchors the listener with three distinct compositions,
Herbie Hancock's “Maiden Voyage,” Wayne Shorter's “Prince Of
Darkness” and Chick Webb's “Stompin At The Savoy.” It reveals
Rick Wald's respect
for the great bebop and post bop performers and writers,
as his arrangements on this cd.  
Listen to “Prince Of Darkness”and you'll hear a
complete rearranging, the bliss of which goes on into intricacy, part
harmonic, part satire, part cool, the best!
Rick Wald's NYC/16 is one the most swinging inventive
big bands, as if taking Charlie Barnet, Edgar Cayce and Bob
Brookmeyer out for a late supper.  
MORENO     THIRD WISHCriss Cross Records
There comes a time in a musician's/ writer's/artist's
career where eureka happens! When he or she grabs hold of their
voice/concept/uniqueness and moves light years ahead in their
journey. Mike Moreno has achieved this at twenty nine and with his
remarkable articulation will move on to further ventures for his
voice in ever searching, subtle and immense.  Moreno is enabled by a
similar group of dedicated 'new school' musicians, Kevin Hayes,
piano, Doug Weiss, bass and Kendrick Scott, drums able to add to his
ever expansive vision. And you really hear it on the title tune.
There's a group cohesion that is powerful and most profound on “Third
Wish.” Hold onto your air bags if you accidentally run a yellow for you may become so engrossed (ecstatic) in “Another Way” and
“Street Lights,” two more Moreno originals, for they're
diametrically different from the two elegant melodic Bill Strayhorn,
“A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing” and “Lush Life” and Mike
Moreno handles both with exceptional grace and subtlety of a Django
Herbie Hancock's “I Have A Dream,” Wayne Shorter's
“Children Of The Night” and Joe Henderson's “Isotope” are
contemporary post modern jazz pieces, which Moreno and company handle
with fervor and velocity.
Guitarist Mike Moreno and the new repertoire, “Third
Wish” is an ever evolving hanging back, moving forward with
effervescence. The more you listen, the more you dig the 
metamorphous of a new modern jazz guitarist.
GUACHOS          FILTROS Sunnyside
Los Guarchos is an eleven piece band conducted and
orchestrated by the young Argentinian jazz pianist, Guillermo Klein.
Let's  just say he's the George Russell of Argentina.  He was born in
Buena Aires, studied music in Boston, now lives in Barcelona with his
Los Guachos has a remarkable cast of musicians, Diego
Urcola, Miguel Zenon, Chris Cheek, Bill McHenry, Taylor Haskins, Bill
Monder, Jeff Ballard, Sandro Tomasi, Fernando Huergo and Richard Nant
with vocalist Carmen Canela, voice on “Amor Profundo.”
He blends Spanish traditionalism, Argentinian folk with
progressive modernism. Klein is a prolific composer whose able to
capture the folk ways of his youth through the lens of  modern jazz
with Picasso cubism. “Manuel” is understated with voluptuous
Latin avant rhythms, the horn section with connotative harmonic riffs
that dance between a tango and foxtrot.  “Yeso” is very stated
with dramatic effect that lapses in time signatures. “Amor
Profundo”  has Klein vocalizing with Carmen Canela embellished with
orchestration and interesting time blemishes.  It works in dramatic
affect with artistry and color, much like a post modern painting. 
Klein has this remarkable ability to make his music surround your
psyche, a one point, whirling Flamenco with castanets, the other
spectrum with Ben Monders soaring guitar lines in “Nemes,” aka
Mahavishnu Orchestra.
is an interesting personable tale into Klein's marvelous conception,
his background, his training and how he can at once profound and at
the same time show clarity and simplicity. Guillermo Klein has that
ability as a jazz composer.  As in any musical gem, the more you dig
deep, the more you find gold.  
This is Volume Two, a jazz modernist view of the music
of Stevie Wonder by the Joe Gilman trio. With a bright and talented
rhythm section of Joe Sanders, bass and Justin Brown, drums, who Joe
Gilman nurtured at The Brubeck Institute at Pacific University and
who are now forging their own careers in New York City. “View So
Tender” is so important a view in all their careers.
Dr Joe Gilman is a full time professor of music,
American River College in Sacramento and winner of the 2004 Great
American Jazz Piano competition in Jacksonville Florida.
Gilman also teaches jazz improvisation and that's why
this cd is such a wonder, if you'll excuse the expression. Most
important, Gilman knows the value in the adaptability of pop to
modern jazz and Stevie Wonder's music is very adaptable. And you'll
know in the trio's interpretation  of the funky, bright “Cryin'
Through The Night,” the memorable ballad, “You And I,”
“Contusion,” the almost Gershwin, ”Bird Of Beauty” the very
swinging up tempo, “Another Star,” a version that Oscar Peterson
would enjoy. Gilman creates a regal quality with his dynamic almost
classical interpretation of “Don't Know Why I Love You.” “As if
You Read My Mind” has a subtle distinctive blue line to it. Joe
Gilman is a well schooled jazz musician whose paid dues over the
years and we in Sacramento as the rest of you on the line are able
able to experience his abilities through his recent cd's on Brubeck
and Steve Wonder.  He's been very influential to many young student
musicians at American River College and the Brubeck Institute.  
You'll note his enthusiastic and exceptional
interpretation of Stevie Wonders prolific music catalog, in Wonder
Revisited, Volume Two as well.
Time Records
Myriam Alter is such  an interesting person. Her growth
and persona presides her jazz figurative. Her parents were  of Judeo
Spanish origin. She was influenced classical, Spanish and other folk
idioms.   Trained classically since 6 years old and quiting  at 15,
attending University Of Brussels, graduating with a license in
psychology, working at an adverting agency for six years, taking up
her musical preference again, the piano, Myriam Alter has developed a
higher sound both stimulating to American and European audiences.
Tree Music
Elio Villafranca has the soul of Bobbie Timmons with
mind blowing technique and the pacing of a Cuban piano troubadour. 
Theres much great and sublime Latin post bop dignity here as Dizzy,
levitating with Chano Pozo, and James Moody and Kenny Barron below on
the bar room floor of bebop and Latin mysticism.
This is Villafranca now with saxophonist Eric Alexander
whose scintillating smoky solo on “The Source In Between” is what
pure 'stuff' is made of....Alexander has the  bona fide of one of
today's major jazz tenor saxophonists.  And as one skirts with a
delicacy of Bill Evans,  then “The Lonely One” comes forward with
Villafranca becoming simple, lyrical and very delicate as spring
rain. “Oddua Suite” is a light dirge suite of mourning  civil war
veterans, which it's not, so transpose your own heroic journey. Villa
franca gets right to the 'common man' core in this tune. There's so
much of 'it' in this majestic tune.”Three Plus One”  has a
contemporary Monk signature and Elio Villafranca just swings with
drummer Dafnis Prieto, his explosive self! Then “In The Dark”
reaches a doux pop romance seductive noir with a Pharoah Sanders
twist- all most compendium.  
Of The Incapacitated” is Timmons with Shorter-esque writing skill. 
In fact the arrangements throughout this cd are very progressive.  
I have hot flashes of the Minor Key in Detroit and a
very cerebral Art Blakey Jazz Messengers with Wayne Shorter as music
That was the early sixties.  
Source In Between” is a state of the art of where Elio Villafranca
is right on message.  
So be the first in your neighborhood.
High Note Records
Houston Person and Ron Carter, two giants in jazz,
together, having a conversation as if it was after closing time.  
There's a few in the place, just to clean up to go home and there are
only two on the bandstand just having a conversation.  
It's the best time to hear the music, to witness the joy
and camaraderie between the two.
Houston Person reminds you of the great tenor player,
Gene Ammons, his soft big blues sound. Johnny Griffin could play, so
nice and sweet, like that too.
Bassist Ron Carter, the most eminent of jazz bassists,
fits in this perfect sequence of the  late night sojourn.  
His articulation on “Always”and ”Blueberry Hill,”
reminds you of  Rollins ”Way Out West” in the late fifties. And
his bass line on “Darn That Dream” is that of a true master. To
imply that daylight is right, for night time is the right time.
Both players are relaxed, in tune and together for this
extraordinary late night session.
The songs on “Just Between Friends”  are the great
standards, “How Deep Is The Ocean,” “You've Changed,”
popularized by Billy Holiday, “Always,””Lover Man,””Polka
Dots And Moonbeams” and “Meditation”  are the timber these
players remember fondly, both with clarity, flawless technique and
post modern nostalgia. This is jazz immortality-the late session.

Connoisseurs of live performances, rejoice! This annual
Monterey jazz sampler is next best to the real thing. The classic
coterie here is Dave Brubeck's live version of “Margie.” These
are precious live performances.
MANN      A PERFECT TIME Pancake Records
This lady's phrasing and smooth soothing tone are what
great jazz vocalists are made of, how the distinctive are remembered!
Janis Mann's version of “All My Tomorrows” will jerk the crew
into a Carmen McRae, Dakota Staton, Sarah Vaughn state of mind, and  
there aren't many who'll do so. But this is one of your
late night comforts.  
You may be so in love to do so. On Sunday morning give
warm credit to pianist/arranger Tamir Hendelman.  
Cradle this Janis Mann,“A Perfect Time” cd, salt it
away and play it in your most intimate moments.
This is part two of tenor and soprano saxophonist Dave
Liebman's sessions with his quartet in Italy with Roberto Tarenzi,
piano, Poalo Benidettini, bass and Tony Arco, drums. Long glorious
sessions on tunes...it's what jazz is about. “Get Me Back To The
Apple”  is Liebman on soprano saxophone. The great tune on this
session is 
“Afro Blue.”  
You have a band with Chicago's Roscoe Mitchell, the
opposite of England Evan Parker's brand of “Third Stream.” It's
both and their way.
Bleckmann/Peter Eldridge/Lauren Kinham/Kate McGarry/Luciana Souza  
MOSS Sunnyside
Five voices in harmony and an ultimatum, not since the
Modernaires, or Four Freshmen, or Swingle singers has there been such
ingenuity, repor, response and unison.

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


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