[JPL] Bopndicks 10 picks, June 2009

Dick Crockett bopndick at yahoo.com
Mon Jul 13 20:11:51 EDT 2009



Bopndicks
10 picks  June 2009

FLY with Mark Turner, Larry Grenadier and Jeff Ballard SKY &
COUNTRY
ECM
Music can be so simple, lyrical and smart.
Jazz is more evasive, articulate, a dancer with many
moves.  
Once you're stuck by it's spell, you'll know more than
the ultimate simple.  
Three young progressive jazz musicians, each one
considered the best in their field and working together, pooling
their talent and experience with contemporary inventiveness.
Mark Turner, saxophonist and post modern expressionist,
new bound legendary bassist, Larry Grenadier and veteran world class
drummer, Jeff Ballard.
To play jazz five nights a week and make a good living
isn't an easy gig. A lot depends on your reputation and your
proximity, solid record gigs, hooking up with a fairly good  touring
band, brisk sales and teaching opportunities at respectable music
schools.
These three are world renowned, who've done this before
as “Fly” on earlier sessions.
“Sky
& Country” is fairly brash, yet mainstream and most acceptable
lyrically, especially with Mark Turner's soaring dynamic climbs, on
“Lady B,” to “Sky & Country” and “Elena Berenjena.” 
Then, Mark Turner's dynamic soprano saxophone reprieve on “CJ”
with stirring alto counterpoints on “Dharma Days.”  
Maybe it's real hip Karoac nocturne- generational.  
You may not realize it at first glance that this is an
archival classic, as Warne Marsh, Sonny Rollins and Jimmy Giuffre,
would play the songs and tell the stories.
If you equate saxophone with sex and love, then “Fly“
is a better woman.

MARTIAL
SOLAL      LIVE AT THE VILLAGE VANGUARD “I Can't Give You  
Anything
But Love” Cam Jazz
Martial Solal goes his own sweet way and pays his own
freight, for he's the consummate jazz pianist.  His solo appearance
here is always forthcoming, textured in his own originality and rich
with melodic eccentricities, of freshly picked flowers, fragrances of
Art Tatum, Thelonious Monk and refreshed progressive modern jazz.
This was recorded live after his eightieth birthday, 23 August  at
The Village Vanguard on October 12, 2007.
Solal scurries about in prominent jazz standards that
may embark Fats Waller eminence in “I Can't Give You Anything But
Love,” before his intrepid interpretations of “On Green Dolphin
Street” and “Lover Man.”
Then Solal launches into two originals, “Centre de
Gravite' and “Ramage,” remarkable pieces in their blunt
classicism with rousing special profundity.
And I thought....
What if you wear wealthy and threw a house party with
your very large circle of friends and Martial Solal was seated at the
piano performing these songs, unannounced.
Some would look quizzically at this fellow and ask who
he was and what he was playing... And if you're as eccentric as me,
not wealthy, but eccentric, then you'd shout, “he's the greatest
jazz pianist in the world!!! He's performed with Django Reinhardt ,
Sidney Bechet, Don Byas, Lucky Thompson and Lee Konitz.”
And as if on cue Solal segues to “Round Midnight,”
then masterfully with humerus, rattles off “Have You Met Miss
Jones,”then dashing off an amazing version “The Last Time I Saw
Paris.”
And if you there at The Village Vanguard, you witnessed
one of the great jazz pianist of our time.  Or, if you out of town
that weekend, stuck somewhere in Kansas, unable to travel, there's
always this great recording to come by. In case you haven't heard,
it's always worth it to hear genius at work.

THOMAS
MARRIOTT      FLEXICON Origin Records
Thomas Marriott demonstrates one of the most active and
strong clear blue trumpet tones in  jazz, so overt and apparent on
his new “Flexicon” CD, and with Mark Taylor's hard edged
saxophone play, Bill Anschell's particulate sound on both acoustic
piano and Rhodes, along Jeff Johnson, the best bassist from the Great
Northwest and versatile power drummer Matt Jorgensen.
They're terrific, right off the mark, in a tribute to
the great Freddie Hubbard with an explosive version of  Hubbard's
“Take It To The Ozone.”
Vibraphonist Joe Locke adds more spark to this hard bop
classic, giving it even more infective dynamic.
Dear Ladies and gentlemen, it's so cool and very right
on,  and not the joyful words spoken amongst the musicians on the
bandstand.  You'll know it for certain as you listen   to Flexicon.  
“Masquelero”
is a Wayne Shorter  post bop standard from the modal years with
Thomas Marriott staying within the confines of the cool and the very
cool Bill Anschell on Rhodes, as Herbie Hancock would do. Since this
is saxophone vehicle, Mark Taylor tears it up.  
Since I'm a modal fan, I'm like, a whirling dervish with
a world view with Anschell, backing it up.  
“Spring
Is Here” is an operative Clifford Brown word. Or a phrase.  Or a
waltz, that's Brave New World and as you leave the comforts of
convention, outer space is cheering you on, as Tom Marriott makes his
own statement.
Tom, the incorrigible, plays the best flugelhorn on
“Little Frances” and Jeff Johnson plays forceful with
articulation on bass. (Not sure what the acoustic bass is,upright and
middle ground, but he rips it up.)
“Detour
Ahead” says ole' to Marriott's muted sound, like Miles, he
generates a new/old mode.
“You
Only Live Twice,” a curvacious James Bond ballad, only a good
trumpet can wrap around with Joe Locke, sitting in on the conclave.
It's workable, well versed and remarkable, re- harmonized,  this will
have Bond seniors citizens, sending off effusive e mail memorandums.  
“Circadian
Rhythms” is a demonstration in counterpoint, the best of what we
owe and how we define the new past insurgency.
“Flexicon”is
a celebration of the Hubbard/Shorter/Hancock lexicon
We dig it, rejoice in it, as the swinging modal days in
the downstairs room on 45th, between First and Lexington.

PHIL
WOODS    THE CHILDREN'S SUITEJazzed Media
“Winnie
The Pooh and Christopher Robin. Doesn't sound...jazzy, does it.
All time wonderful reed man Phil Woods, thought so. 
Upon writing six songs after reading some of his children's A. A.
Milne books in 1961, Woods contacted the Milne estate, who replied:
“No, No, Not Jazz!” And Disney who owned the rights, decried with
a cease and desist!
Woods and family moved to France, and Woods formed a
band, “The European Rhythm Machine.” They performed some of these
songs in puppet shows.
But for Howdy Doodie,  Charley Brown and “Romper
Room,” we could a had a Winnie The Pooh jazz show!  
Oh be gad!  Would a, Could a, Should a, does not make
this world a daily sunny holiday!
But through the course of human events and Woods with
the help Milne authorized narrator/actor Peter Dennis, a jazz fan
this show is now on record with Phil Woods, “The Children Suite.”
Peter Dennis recites a few verses, “Waiting At The
Window,””The Friend & Us Two” and “In The Dark & The
End” on this project and provides excellent balance to this
material. What a perfect end to a jazz radio show, “In The Dark &
The End.”  
The singers, characterized by Bob Dorough and Vicki
Dorney offer another delightful twist to this jazz array of children
songs.  
To break this down by rhyme and verse, would be a
disservice to this work, “The Children's Suite” by Phil Woods for
this piece by his perseverance still holds by your participation, to
enjoy this CD for it's art, it's music, it's poetry.
Hold still.  
And anything  
worth anything
will come true.
PS: Disney should animate “The Children's Hour” with
a newer soundtrack-that being Phil Wood and A. A. Milne lyrics. After
all, they did it with Vince Guaraldi and Charley Brown.

RAY
LEVIER   RAY'S WAY Origin
Records
After a few selections, you realize it's a different cd
and Ray Levier's personal history tells a story. It's not at all
pleasant, but shows this young man's determination to follow his
bliss.  
Ray
played drums at a young age on a drum set his father had in the
basement, who showed him some early tricks. Then Ray suffered third
degree burns, while sleeping in a clubhouse, a candle fell and
ignited Ray's sleeping bag, and he suffered 3rddegree burning and the loss of digits on both his hands.  
Knowing this and not wanting to fill other significant
details, just listen and you'll understand, that Ray Levier is
totally committed, and there are group of prominent musicians, 'who
got his back.'
Drummer Ray Levier starts off with “Ray's Way” and
you know you're about to bop. Ray Levier has quite crew joining in
with an open by world class bassist, Francois Moutin, saxophonist
Dave Binney playing some of his most savvy cuts, yet, guitarist John
Abercrombie is most comfortable and with Joe Locke, whose in on this
explosion of doing the best at what (musicians) they do. Guitarist
Mike Stern is the most sonic on “You Never Know.” This is what
the MC-5 wanted to do forty years ago and achieved a proximity, but
this jam with Dave Binney's wail, Mike Stern, turning up the amps,
and Ray Levier's perfect beat, running down the dynamics, makes this
a killer jam!
Oscar Pettiford's, “Blues In The Closet.”
There's more to magic with “Bait Tone Blues, another
explosive piece, with Stern's ebullient guitar licks, David Binney's
in credible saxophone work, surrounded by Levier's all encompassing
rhythms. “Ralph's Piano waltz” marks an interesting new
signature, with melodic message  that “Ray's Way” cannot be
trifled with...  
Again. Let your ears tell a complete story, for Ray
Levier is sensational and what inspires his determination is words to
come by. And Michael Stern's guitar message on “Wing And A Prayer”
is inspirational.
Come on, now.  You have a young drummer, who suffered a
horrifying accident and continued the pursuit of his dream. He has
musicians like John Abercrombie, Francois Moutin, Joe Locke, Dave
Binney in his corner.
Don't believe anything you read or hear, listen and make
your own decision.
Ray Levier has true grit and determination.
The hype is on again, so brace yourself.
This is only the beginning for this young fluent
extraordinary talent on drums.

TIM
DAVIES BIG BAND          DIALMENTIA Origin Records
What Tim Davies does is morphing musical dreams into
themes of Kenton ultra dynamics,  
As the first suggests, “Counting To Infinity,”with a
Didjeridu opening...Almost like a flailing guitar open,
down,instinctual and nasty.  
That's what a didjeridu will do for you. Whoa, that's 
different! Throws you in a magical way, doesn't it.
“Hanging
On A Thread” creates a more con temporary rapturous interlude, and
the Davies holes it up with a classic ballad interpretation and a
Aloe Blacc sync and rap on it.
“Dialmentia” is the maximum eruptive title tune, with Davies offering up heavy
percussion. Buddy Rich, pay attention.  For we got a new one, same as
the only one, happening...  
Tim Davies drives this band with a similar energy and
enthusiasm.
In the midst of this, I have to say that Tim Davies
needs this CD to tell a more complete story of performing, arranging
and compositional skills.
He wouldn't be here if it weren't a certainty.
And we're only here for the aggrandizement  
The once in  a lifetime message is, Tim Davies is on
your computer/radio/CD situation for it's the talent that shines.
“Pythagatha,”
written by Jacques Voyemant is a future world, phantasmagoria.  
Voyemant plays a great trombone solo on this cut with an
outward reach.  
Whenever you're ready.
“Caravan(-dialized)
is extraordinarily animal tradition.  The memories Buddy Rich in the
big band forties. Tim Davies provides that same sixty pound punch of
dynamics.
“Gubernatorial
Recall” starts as a“Cute,” sort of Neal Hefti tenaciousness ,
then romps to simple straight Basie madness, as if truth will rock
Bastille Day. (New artists, a whole new century.)
And “Blacknail” nails it shut, slams the door, as
such.
If
Kenton were here, he'd be cool with this. Tim Davies orchestrations
are right, for  what Kenton would be thinking about this time and
space.  
The intensity and scope of this  new CD is post modern
originality by drummer Tim Davies.
Hollywood is watching this young talent for more new
scores, especially his writing for brass and reeds.
I envision resurrecting Mike Hammer with a retro file
for the screen with Tim Davies writing the music.
PS:  The swinging version of “Elegy”by Gabriel
Faure', one of France's great romantic composers,  is spontaneous
proof of Tim Davies ability to romanticize the noir of his music, and
for Davies to bring out the best in Andrew Shulman, cello and
Jennifer Hall, bass clarinet.  
What a great closing theme on the all night show!  
DAVE
FRISHBERG      RETROMANIA    At The Jazz Bakery Arbors
Jazz
Two reasons why this recording is so great.
Dave Frishberg accompanies himself on piano.
His lyrics poke fun at everything, satirically
reminiscent of Tom Lehrer, Mose Allison and Randy Newman.
You'll learn how Dave Frishberg thinks.  Origins of his
rather off beat humor.
“Useless
Waltz” is 'fait de compele' of what's right, or what sells!? And,
L.A.'s Jazz Bakery is closed. Hopefully, a comparable
room will open sometime soon.
And we're happy to have Dave Frishberg, lyricist and
sometime piano player in  the existential room as it's shown, 2005,
The Jazz Bakery, Los Angeles.
Frishberg has the opportunity now to sing his own
material. A modern day Jelly Roll Morton under psychiatric evaluation
with horrific viosions of Tom Lehrer, Mose Allison and Will Rogers.
Bob Dylan and Dave Frishberg grew up in a similar
neighborhood.  Not sure if there's a connection, non cliche' in free
verse, having coffee in a universal diner, together, not knowing,
each going in a separate direction.
“Zoot
Walks In” is a classic club song in his -jazz is a saxophone-with
some linguistic scat about Zoot Sims, the unique unforgettable tenor
saxophone player.
Frishberg worked with Zoot in 1965, as the 'unknown'
piano player in the Jimmy Rushing, “The Scene, Live in New York”
release on High Note records
Then there's Frishberg's satirical panoply, “Who Do
You Think You Are, Jack Dempsey?”
Frishberg,
an obsessive baseball fan, who loved reading about the history of
baseball and wrote “Van Lingle Mongo,” reciting names of popular
ball players in the mid 20thcentury.
1977, the Dodgers needs a song to commemorate the 20 th
anniversary in Los Angeles, and Dave Frishberg writes about the
nostalgia in “Dodger Blue.”  
Those of you who remember the was, that'll wax and wane,
“The Dear Departed Past” is for you.
Frishberg
wrote some songs on a Broadway show, The Catbird Seat” about a guy
in today's world with an opportunity change the outcome of the 1919
World Series where the White Sox were accused of tanking the 1919
World Series.
Failed. Who Knew.
Judge Landis came along to become the commissioner of
baseball, decided to set an example and banned Shoeless Joe Jackson
from baseball for life.
“The
Dear Departed Past”  is what we're living, translated bad to good
times, forgiving modern illness and snakes of dilemmas.  
Frishberg remembers Bill Veeck and the St Louis Browns.
'Same ole 'Cinca Friggin Natti,'  
Hows about the “Cat Bird Seat,” the biggest sucker
bet of all. Good show that closed too early.
And “Play Ball,” has the exuberance of “Mighty
Casey” nostalgia.
“Matty”
is a tribute to the great Giants pitcher, Christy Mathewson.  
“Listen
Here” is the last song on the cd, written for Mary Tyler Moore for
the tv show and sung poignantly by Frishberg.
“Retromania”
is by far the most willing, revealing view of the thoughts and style
of Dave Frishberg, his satyrical writing, humor and undeniable
talent.  
This is as CD that you must have in your jazz
collection, like vintage New Yorker magazines, collector baseball
cards and old editions of the Wall Street Journal.
“After
all, who do you think are, Jack Dempsey?”

REBECCA
CLINE & HILARY NOBLE       ENCLAVE DIASPORA Enclave
Jazz
Rebecca Cline, keyboards and Hilary Noble, reeds,
present a collage of rhythms, from the traditional to modern, dancing
to and from Latin, to Bossa, to Rhumba and Tango.  
It's this ease of lifting from one to another music
genre, seemlessly.  And the players, Fernando Huergo, electric bass
and Steve Langone, drums don't seem to mind. In fact, they actively
participate in forming this new collage of music, mixing rhythms and
magic, as blissful pop strains seem to surface, joyfully, with
Cline's Rhodes setting up the frame with cool phrases on “A-Frayed,”
with deep funk colorings, opposing Huergo's bass thumps through
numerous time changes. It's like watching UFO's dance across a Tempe
night sky. Rather spacey.
“Nameless”
is a beautiful and fragile ballad, that provides light fragments in
this grand imagination.
The core of this CD is the traditional hard core Afro
Cuban,  “Suite For Yemaya” in three movements. You'll hear it's
beauty and strength with arrangements by Rebecca Cline and Hilary
Noble.
“Moab”
is Bobby Timmons wrapped in soft subtle blues  changes with flowing
time signatures with a prominent influence from Huerga urban
traditional bass lines and Lagone's flexing percussion lines.
The frenetic “Mars Bars” is a cup of early morning
java complimenting rush hour traffic.
Rebecca Cline's  hard bop piano gasses right along again
in a give away-take away with Huergo and Langone.  And Hilary Noble
tenor saxophone smokes in on the bridge.
“Blue
Cross”  is fun, tricky as an upstairs acrobat, jumping to Carmen
Miranda riffs as if  Mulligan was behind this blessing.
Know this. Listening to “Enclave Diaspora” will
enhance your conception of an evolving Universe. It's a dance, a
dawning of conglomerate energy, a fusion of pop, Latin and
progressive patterns, and this quartet may be the only one to elevate
this message.  

LUIS
PERDOMO           PATHWAYS Criss
Cross Jazz
Pianist Luis Perdomo  has an understated view, a
predilection to bop with a Latin foundation.  Bebop player, Dizzy
Gillespie had a similar vision and understanding  with Chano Pozo,
early on.  
Such a connection between the styles, and stories will
have both sides listening to one another for new ideas, dating back
to the forties and Perdomo's rendition of Bud Powell's “Oblivion,”
proof enough where this artist is coming from.  
Eventually, Luis Perdomo matriculated at Manhattan
School Of Music and took his Masters at Queens College, under the
tutelage of Roland Hanna.
That explains Perdomo's style.  
Roland Hanna was a predominant bop player from the
Detroit jazz scene, where, by the way, Miles learned his hard bop
trade.
And you hear it in his rendition of “Speak Low.”
Frankly, that's all you need to know, for Perdomo's training as an
artful pianist tells a complete story.
Here's a man, who grew up in Venezuela, listening to Bud
Powell, Oscar Peterson, Bobby Timmons and Charlie Parker.  
Got your paint brush out on canvas.  Is that Cart
Blanche enough in jazz circles!?
Most certainly is for this hard bop clinician will play
it straight.
Another ballad, “Always Like Being In Love,”
proclaims Perdomo's structure and style, prevalent in the ballad,
“Piensa En Mi.”
“Chiamata”
by  Gerry Weill, originally from Vienna, who settled in Caracas, and
was quite an influence to Perdomo on the local scene. For so much of
the realism of this  music is quite profound, local, soon to be
international.
“Baby
Steps,” written for Luis Perdomo by his wife, Miriam, night before
the session, delivers and kicks with some  religious hard bop.  
“Sunrise,”
co written by Perdomo and bassist Hans Glawischnig and voiced as a
duet with a personal message.
“Slap”
is the last of three originals on this CD, exhibiting his more
personal unique style.  As in strong cloudy and breezy “Unexpected”
and a very dynamic command in “Shine,” Luis Perdomo demonstrates
a personage to modern jazz with just a taste of Latin tempo, mixed
with hard bop.  
As a valued accompanist with Ravi Coltrane and Miquel
Zenon, a profilic composer and now leader in his new “Pathways”
CD, Luis Perdomo is a quiet and capable 'Cedar Walton' of Caracas,
Venezuela.  
ALLEN
TOUSSAINT     THE BRIGHT MISSISSIPPI Nonesuch Records
Allen Toussaint, “The Bright Mississippi” represents
a traditional style of piano, that's all American jazz. It's pre
stride, dating back to Jelly Roll Morton and  still relevant with
today's  modernists, who appear on this cd, Don Byron, Nicholas
Payton and Marc Ribot.
There's also a strong sense of family here, jazz being a
very personal expression- almost a cottage industry-as it's  world
wide and multi generational.
Allen Toussaint's mother ran a “shot gun house,”
feeding musicians, as they came by, to practice and record their
music.  And young Allen Toussaint would play with them, learning new
musical ideas and self truths.
It's “The Bright Mississippi,” just folks playing
the music, with the utmost spiritual  reverence. And that's what's
makes this “The Bright Mississippi” so unique and cordial.  
“Winin'
Boy Blues” is Allen Toussaint with Brad Mehldau, relaxed as a sunny
afternoon on Basin Street, just playing the music, nice and intimate,
having fun with tears of joy.  
This just may be the best song on this CD.
All you need to do, is smile and nod your head,
approvingly.  Words defy the magic of the moment.
Joe Oliver's “West Coast Blues” is next, another
Toussaint favorite, a march, a strut, a  blue commotion with  a Louis
Armstrong signature.
“Blue
Drag” features Marc Ribot's steel string acoustic, just like it
was, way back when, and with Allen Toussaint, whose expertise and
history will do more than oblige, adding his salt to most. It's clear
how the arrangements, the very tempo and sound is a blessed freedom
for us all.
Don Byron's clarinet solo on “Just A Closer Walk With
Thee” in duet with Allen Toussaint's  piano, locked in glorious
accompaniment. A performance to behold!
Then a slight of hand, somewhat disjointed Monk
reflection on the Mississippi flow.
“The
Bright Mississippi.”  
Couldn't a been sweeter and nicer.
There's a reverence to great African American composers,
Billy Strayhorn in “Daydream” and Duke Ellington in “Solitude,”
Django Reinhardt in “Blue Drag.”
Leonard Feather's “A Long, Long Journey” is the only
song where Allen Toussaint sings the lyrics.  
“The
Bright Mississippi”  represents Allen Toussaint at his most level
best, as a man and musician in rare form, who doesn't stray far from
his roots, and yet serves, as a bridge, from the old to the new.

ONES
TO WATCH:

SONNY
ROLLINS            WAY OUT WEST Contemporary Records/ Original Jazz Classic
This Sonny Rollins session was recorded over fifty years
ago at a Los Angeles studio in the early morning hours. It was the
only the three musicians could get together because their busy
schedulesd.  The other two were Ray Brown on bass and Shelly Manne on
drums.  A legendary spontaneous session, that inspired both Mark
Turner and “Fly” trio, and Joshua Redman's  most recent “Back
East” and “Compass” CD.

MADELEINE
PEYROUX     BARE BONES Rounder Records
Her voice reflect a Bill Holiday post modern nostalgia
in a carefree sublime manner a uniqueness befitting this young
artist. It's the heart of her “Bare Bones” CD.
Larry Klein continues to present her in her best light.
It's her music set in a wistful  and warm 5 O'clock shadow.

LINDA
PRESGRAVE              INSPIRATION Metropolitan Records
She has a melodic nouveau riche and mainstream quality
to her music.
You think you've heard it before, but not really. 
That's why this woman's music is so interesting.
CLAUDIA ACUNA       EN ESTE MOMENTO Marsalis
Music
This is the best Claudia Acuna, yet!  
And I've been a fan for a while.
She's magic when she sings  
and beautifully cordial,  
from her nose to her toes.

JOE
PARILLO, JAY HAGGARD & THE AURA ORCHESTRA         SEGMENTS
Neoga
Records  
Today, I spent time with a friend dying of cancer. He's
my age.  We had lunch and Rita made us steak on garlic bread
sandwiches. She says, she stole the recipe from the Pheasant club in
West Sacramento.  It was delicious.  
Bud could only spend an hour and a half with us.  
Another friend Brian O' Gallagher, whose 85 years old,
who, as boy met poet and mystic William B. Yeats in the senate in
Dublin. Brian has a whole idea of death and the passing.  The soul is
not in us. but all around us. As the curtain opens, we simply move to
another 'room- place-phase,' seem less and aside as a final breath.
The majesty of the Canadian geese, who fly south in
November and land in the same spot in a Sacramento reserve ,every
year, as a moving metaphor,  to rest from one plain to another, a
simple flight, at the exact time, when we're ready to go home.
Afterward, I listened to SEGMENTS and it made even more
of an impression.  If the great beyond sounds this like this, we're
all in for a wonderful journey.
Enjoy the journey Len Dobbin.

Dick Crockett
“The
Voice” 88.7fm
4623 T Street, Suite A
Sacramento, Ca 95819-4743
accesssacramento.org


      


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