[JPL] Vinyl Side of Midnight; Notable Recordings of 2009 (Pt. 1)

Mike Stratton dreamtrane at gmail.com
Sun Dec 6 18:17:19 EST 2009

Vinyl Side of Midnight 2009

This is the playlist for this week’s Vinyl Side of Midnight, which can be
heard on 89.7 FM WLNZ in the Greater Lansing area, or you can tune in
internationally on the web on www.wlnz.org  - hosted by Mike Stratton,
Sunday nights, 9- midnight, Eastern Standard Time.

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2009 (Notable recordings)

This has really been an excellent year for jazz recordings. I’ll be
sprinkling my top 40 over the course of this month, finishing with my top
ten the final Sunday of the year. Here’s the batch we’ll listen to tonight,
new names and old timers, big bands and small combos:

Ray Levier - Ray’s Way; RAY’S WAY (Origin Records)

Even though this is a drummer’s recording session, John Abercrombie steals
the show, never sounding better. Joe Locke’s color on vibes helps on several
tracks as well. Francois Moutin on bass!

Ben Markley - Dry; SECOND INTRODUCTION (OA2 Records)

This is really hittin’ - a great straight ahead session lead by pianist
Markley and his solid compositions. Special kudos go to dynamic drummer,
Jordan Perlson. The quintet build great tension and release throughout the
record. Very good stuff.

Thomas Marriott - You Only Live Twice; FLEXICON (Origin Records)

Good hard bop with cooking solos. Great covers.


Joey DeFrancesco - Let’s Get to the Nitty Gritty; FINGER POPPIN’ (Doodlin’

High hopes for this record. Tim Warfield! Tom Harrell! Funky organ driven

The Blue Note 7 - Inner Urge; MOSAIC (Blue Note)

A septet of ringers, from Bill Charlap to Nicholas Payton, hot playing on
classic Blue Note covers. But it drives you back to the originals...


Bernard Purdie, Reuben Wilson, Grant Green Jr. - Stella By Starlight; THE

Aptly tightly.

Roger Kellaway - Someday My Prince Will Come; LIVE AT THE JAZZ STANDARD

Pianist Kellaway leads a drummerless quintet through a set of standards with
remarkable results thanks to vibist Stefon Harris and guitarist Russell
Malone. Beautiful sonic sonorities with vibrant accents. And, even without
drums, it really swings.


Luciana Souza - Adeus America & Eu Quero Um Samba; TIDE (Verve)

Souza channels North American songstresses for a batch of pop songs, some
samba. All exquisitely recorded and produced.

Seamus Blake Quartet - Way Out of Willy; LIVE IN ITALY (Jazz Eyes)

Two discs of very solid quartet interplay: second disc is covers, first disc
features Blake originals + a jazz rendition of Debussy’s String Quartet in G
minor; most tracks are long, exciting forays, capturing the buzz of an
Italian audience.


Sharel Cassity - Say What?; RELENTLESS (Jazz Legacy Productions)

A quality release by this new label, but this time by a relative new comer.
Ms. Cassity has played for a decade on the NY scene, has been a part of
Charles Tolliver’s big band and lists an impressive number of young cats on
her debut. She’s a powerful writer and reed player.

Arlene McDaniel Trio - Monk Like; TIMELESS

Local pianist McDaniel leads her trio on this cherry of a recording. The
evening she spent on air with me was a highlight of the year.

The James Moody and Hank Jones Quartet - Birk’s Works; OUR DELIGHT (IPO)

Elder statesmen take a victory lap on this recording of masterful swing.


Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society - Phobos; INFERNAL MACHINES (New
Amsterdam Records)

Interesting tunes by composer Argue and big band. A very good year for large
ensemble recordings.

Michael Musillami Trio + 3 - Wisteria Hysteria Blues; FROM SEEDS (Playscape

Highly influenced by Monk as well as Eric Dolphy and Andrew Hill, Musillami
augments his guitar/bass/drums trio with Marty Ehrlich (alto), Matt Moran
(vibes) and Ralph Alessi (trumpet). The results are a fine blend of timbres
and composition that scratches the dissonant itch.


Massimo Sammi - Prisoner’s Dilemma #1; FIRST DAY

Guitarist/composer Sammi leads a small combo through a set of his own music,
beginning with music that is reminiscent of ECM from the 1970s and then
taking a left turn into thornier territory. He says his tunes are “inspired
by the theories of John Forbes Nash Jr., the Nobel prize winning American
mathematician.” Yet the music doesn’t seem formulaic, if anything a
celebration of chaos theory.

Robert Glasper - No Worries; DOUBLE BOOKED (Blue Note)

The trio sides are superb, the experimental tracks are an acquired taste.


Tim Davies Big Band - Pythagatha; DIALMENTIA (Origin)

Interesting take on a dream quadrology (first four tracks). Big band +
Didjeridu + rap. Smart writing and a great beat, interesting sounds and

John Hebert - Acrid Landscape; BYZANTINE MONKEY (Firehouse 12)

Andrew Hill’s bassist learned much during his time with the master. Hebert
carries on the tradition of Hill and Eric Dolphy with a blend of musics from
free bop to avant garde to world influences. Tickles the ear just right.


Carl Maguire’s Floriculture - Basic Botany; SIDED SILVER SOLID (Firehouse

A disc of gnarly compositions by pianist Maguire, featuring a quintet with
viola and clarinet on the front line. This is music that seems to be
constantly evolving from edgy and angular chamber pieces to full throated

The Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra w/ Gorge Garzone - Eshel Sketch; MUSE
(Creative Nation Music)

Big Band music that features great arrangements & dynamics.

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