[JPL] Bopndicks 10 picks, August 2010
bopndick at yahoo.com
Thu Aug 26 03:16:17 EDT 2010
10 PICKS AUGUST 2010
HARRELL ROMAN NIGHTS High
Tom Harrell is an inventive jazz writer, satiated with
bright bop tones and moods, very evident in his new “Roman Nights “
CD. Harrell's how long melodic lines on trumpet are relevant to a
rich post modern mood, heroic and declarative as in “Little
Children Play,” and very personal, blissful and warm as in the
title tune, “Roman Nights.” Tom Harrell's technique and command
is as straight ahead as ever, bringing to mind the sentimentality and
tonality in ballads of a Chet Baker, Art Farmer, or even Clifford,
man. That may be a stretch, but Danny Grissett's L.A. rhymes on
Rhodes with Tom Harrell's very positive articulation on “A Study In
Sound” is a prime treat as well. For this band with saxophonist
Wayne Escoffery, bassist Ugonna Okegwo and drummer Johnathan Blake
have very special means on display for a distinctive bop imagery-
The Tom Harrell Quintet and the new “Roman Nights” CD.
FEATHER AGES Jazzed
describes Dorothy Parker as 'an American poet and satirist, best
known for her wit, wisecracks and sharp eyes for 20th
Century urban foibles.'
Lorraine Feather has many of Parker's qualities as a
composer of interesting reflective songs filled with colorful
anecdotal rhymes of wistful, ecstatic, small, uncomfortable moments
that make up a full life. Urban themes set to contrapuntal melodies
in multi rhythmic patterns assisted with masterful arrangements by
Shelly Berg, Russell Ferrante, Dick Hyman and guitarist Eddie Arkin.
Lorraine Feather's lyrics reveal sometimes, quick witted amalgams,
other times, frail emotional layering in veils of bright melodic
structures. And she's creating an incredible body of work. “Ages”
is a portion of her story. She's a friend, that you suddenly realize
you've fallen madly for, through the passion of her art, as Lorraine
Feather has been revealing herself to you all this time.
FERBER / MUSIC FOR NONET AND STRINGS CHAMBER SONGS
Trombonist Alan Ferber Nonet merges the impressionism of
new classical to the improvisational landscape of modern jazz in
“Music For Nonet And Strings -Chamber Songs.”
Songs” defies all categories. In one text, there are Oliver Nelson
urban swing references in “Sedona,” “Paradox” and the
raucous, burlesque, almost avant gard, “Union Blues.” In
another sense, Ferber's arrangement of Keith Jarrett's “The River,”
enhances another side of almost pronounced Aaron Copeland
references. “In Memorium”embellishes an expansive dynamic
American melodrama-sunset follows expanding shadows over
Yellowstone-that sort of thing. Alan Ferber's beautiful new “Chamber
Songs” expands the realms of reach, romance and melodic thinking.
S COCOLAMUS BRIDGE
Blue Bamboo Music
Bassist Harvie S is prominently known as a highly
acclaimed bassist and side man especially in Latin jazz circles. He's
also an extraordinary performer and composer. “Cocolamus Bridge”
is the latest of his personal endeavors as leader. His versatility
and concepts are highlighted here, as is his subtle taste and
persona. Persona is the key word, here, as Harvie S has warm
technique on bass, as his feathered hands glide across the frets. An
Irish folk song, “Eili Gheal Chiuin” featuring luscious bowing,
over dubbed in cadence to a very personal plucking, for Harvie S is
smooth as a ballet dancer in his chord changes.
Dreamer” features Harvie S in a duet with Woody Witt's soprano
saxophone, as they sway and answer each to the other phrasing.
Chris Cortez whimsical guitar lines are featured in the
title tune, and in a prominent role in Harvie S's band-a sextet with
Joel Fulgham, drums and James Metcalfe, percussion, along with Jose
Miguel Yamal on piano. Of course, when Harvie S is in the room, so to
speak, a touch of Latin will not go unnoticed, for Harvie S has
great touch. “Coco Loco,””To Bea” and“Ike (take a hike.)”
Hip, anecdotal and simply grand with a unique
personality, Harvie S, “Cocolamus Bridge” is a summer festival
MORAN TEN Blue
Pianist celebrates a ten year association with Blue Note
with his new disc, “Ten.” A small way of relating to his
incredible accomplishments over the last decade as one jazz top
And you hear his and The Bandwagen's maturation. Bassist
Tarus Mateen and drummer Nasheet Waits complete the trio-together
since the start of a beautiful, very productive relationship with
Jason Moran was born in Houston and after high school
attended The Manhattan School Of Music where he studied with Jaki
Byard, with additional work with Andrew Hill, which attributes to the
forging of his style. No doubt they served as Moran's muse, as well,
for he is one one the most unique and original pianists and composers
in today's jazz. Jason Moran's combines jazz, blues, stride, avant
gard, classical idiom with contemporary hip-hop originality. Jason
Moran is one of the most influential young pianists to come along in
the last...10 years.
SUSSMAN QUINTET THE FREE FALL REUNION BAND / LIVE AT THE SWEET
RHYTHM Origin Records
Richard Sussman reunites the
quintet, assembled some 30 years ago, for a new release on the
reunion at Sweet Rhythm in NYC in 2003. Since Sweet Rhythm is no
longer in business, it makes this CD very special. And like the rest
of us, very transient in a one time gig, metaphorically.
The quintet disappeared after recording of the acclaimed
“Free Fall” album, but the musicians forged prominent careers,
Tom Harrell, trumpet, Jerry Bergonzi, saxophone, Richard Sussman,
piano, Mike Richmond, bass and Jeff Williams, drums.
This set was recorded at the Sweet Rhythm in New York
City in 2003 and released this year. It's a real summer radio jam,
in light of all the summer jazz festivals.
refreshing live performance, where the artists show what it really
sounds like, in their own time, in celebration of the hard bop
essence, as it all began in bebop forties. This is spur of the
moment, truth of now, a spontaneity pearl of note, where none of
which will ever be the same again. That's the real success of it. No
drum machines, constant reiteration, or Pavlovian repetition.
“Free Fall” was all about that night at the Sweet
Rhythm and it was alive with a special joy.
And you walk away from this performance, refreshed,
optimistic and re invigorated. It's a very personal physical cerebral
The “Free Fall” jam is especially exciting,
demonstrating once again, how jazz kinetic-ism really moves the human
That's why the Free Fall Reunion Band, Live at Sweet
Rhythm should be part of your cherished jazz collection.
Criss Cross Jazz
Straight ahead, nice and very smooth( all interesting,
be it over the top cliches,)Pianist David Hazeltine makes special
vibes on his new “Inversion”CD on Criss Cross Records. I was
especially impressed when listening in the din of late night, to the
sound that dates back to the blues centered hard bop fifties, when
Milt Jackson and Bennie Golson ruled jazz radio all night shows.
Vibraphonist Steve Nelson has a major role on this CD.
He credits Milt Jackson as his prime influence. He sounds more in the
groove, as Lem Winchester, a precocious young vibe player who life
was cut short by an untimely passing.
Saxophonist Erik Alexander is a strong hard bop
saxophonist whose chameleon artifact is always cool. Here, he sounds
like Benny of the fifties. There are other times when he'll will
blow your socks off with bellowing Hawkins riffs, blues encrusted
Gene “The Jug” Ammons aphorisms and some soft deep Ben Webster
tones. Moreover, Erik Alexander is his own man in his own tone, just
paying respects to those who blazed before him.
David Hazeltine is working with John Webber bass and Joe
Farnsworth, drums, a rhythm section that's like family, or La
Familia- rhythm blood brothers on the disk.
David Hazeltine's “Inversions” CD is a kick back to
halcyon former times, so ripe and relevant in today's post scramble.
This has to be one of your summer cool ones.
RITENOUR'S 6 STRING THEORY Concord
Lee Ritenour's “6 String Theory” is a KILLA CD!
We should'a waited til the last. But we're so enthused,
blowing our one time, use to be. Once we heard Taj Mahal “Am I
Wrong” and recalled his first Columbia album on ABX in Detroit
sixties F.M.. Come on now, this is so friggin great!! Just let me
spew. Then Robert Cray sings the blues on “Give Me One Reason”
with Joe Bonamassa.
Now “68” is driving music inspired by guitarists
Steve Lacather and Neal Schon.
In Northern California, we'd drive to this music from
Sacramento, to Chico, the Buttes, Utah and lower Montana on a bright
night with the CD player blaring..,.
Face it, Lee Ritenour's “6 String Theory” is kick
back funk with versatility, B.B. King, the aegis, a complete
compositor of the now.
COIN FLIP OA2 Records
Nathan Eklund is a very prolific, young player, a new
giant among current trumpet/flugelhorn artists. His strength and
imaginative composition are super, drawing from basic bop energy to a
contemporary fusion with Steve Myerson's electric Fender Rhodes
participation in “Professor Dissendadt.” For “Coin Flip” has
a very different kind of dissonance, that's apparent in today's other
art forms, films, as an example, Roman Polanski's “Ghost Writer”
where dissonance is an interwoven fabric of the picture.
The musicians are excellent, of course. It's the kind of
ire Nathan Eklund creates in his compositions, that make it so good.
Time changes, subtle movements create effective what not. That's good
writing, create a motion against another motion and with strong bop
based players, especially in “Triple Shot Espresso” where Eklund
lays down some nice Dorham riffs.
Nathan Eklund's performance “Coin Flip” is so good
as a bona fide powerhouse trumpet player with an exciting band, one
of today's rising strong-exact rising young talents.
BOOKER & FRIENDS WHEN LOVE HAPPENS / THE LOVING DAY CONCERT
LIVE AT THE MADRID THEATRE When
Love Happens Music
Vocalist Sandra Booker lights up the stage with her
remarkable phrasing, range and soulfulness at the Madrid Theatre.
Booker is a superb singer-stylist, who, on this occasion had the
expertise arranging and performing from pianist Tamir Hendelman,
whose use of prominent local musicians, as saxophonist Dale Fielder,
who sounds better than ever on this disk, guitarist Larry Koonse,
Brian Swartz, trumpet and assorted other artists, strings and an
adroit master of ceremonies, James Janisse with guests Angela
Schnaible and Jay Jackson. By now, you assume, as you listen, this is
a really great presentation. And it is a really great presentation.
Many of the songs here are originals composed by Sandra Booker, whose
a fine sensitive writer and a great performer.
The radio play should be very good on this CD, because
Sandra Booker is a powerful talent. I'm in love, to a point, other
than with this presentation, who really is Sandra Booker? How does
she react to a live audience? There are elements of her personality
in “Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler.” But the structure of the CD is
all wrong with a live performance.
Where is your on stage energy, perk and joie de vivre?
Remaster this to show us your interaction with the
audience, so we see why this June 2009 live performance at the Madrid
Theatre was so great and spectacular!
STEIN / RON GILL TURN UPTHE QUIET
Whaling City Sound
Singer Ron Gill has realized a DJ dream with the support
of guitarist John Stein, a life affirming dream, and he's quite good
at it-singing the great American standards on this CD.
Ron Gill and John Stein resemble a similar repose of a
Ralph Sharon and Tony Bennett. In fact,. Ron Gill's timber is similar
to Tony Bennett.
Flaming Heart” features pianist Gilad Barkin, Stein on bass.
Accolades to Ron Gill for a great jazz CD. You've
accomplished what many jazz hosts can only dream.
For we all think we sing like Mark Murphy in the shower.
WITT FIRST IMPRESSION
Blue Bamboo Music
Out of Houston Community College, in concert, comes
this gem. This is Southern bop where saxophonist Woody Witt and
French pianist, Franck Amsallem combine their much assembled talents
as artists-writers-performers to swing up the place.
Franck Amsallem is a real player, and along with David
Craig on bass and Sebastian Whittaker on drums, a special
presentation with Woody Witt on soprano saxophone for a catchy “South
Of Dallas” and a more introspective “Northern Face” written by
Woody Witt's quartet swings ardently with a sophistry
that makes sense in a serene and quiet way.
Impressions” does swing ardently, in a way- cool way-not over the
top rock& roll-no way.
Nice to conceive, no over the way hyperbole. But we all
want to make some money, gain recognition for our efforts,.
The “First Impression” CD is a definition of under
the radar, of which this music is all about, loft music exploration.
It's not the final cut to reach the masses .
I knew in the late sixties as an underground DJ, that it
was only a matter of time when money would rule our medium and
Check out today's FM dial. It's all news opinion, 24
hours of now, ( propaganda, rather than what's really going on.)
It's all imagination./
Whatever happened to 55 minutes of music on public
radio and five minutes of news?
Insane old men like Rupert now rule the airways,
except the internet. For Now....
But “First Impression, ” which is a fine CD, may
go unnoticed in hypo-world. It's really articulate and precious a
jazz CD. Woody Witt should receive all accolades he deserves.
Woody Witt's “First Impressions” CD is a good
example of why and how this music will survive.
You don't need a lot of money to survive.
CELEBRATES DORIVAL CAYMNI
Kenia is a very sheik bossa nova Brazilian vocalist with
a nice smokey lyric contralto mid range-relaxed and sexual as her
prominent influence, the late Elis Regina. She celebrates the music
of Dorival Caymmi, a Brazilian composer who bridges sambas of the
20's and 30's, to the bossa nova of 50's and 60's. Caymmi also wrote
selections for Carmen Miranda.
Kenia has carefully assembled a band for this project
with percussionist Airto Moreira, bassist Leo Traversa, pianist
Fernando Merlino and Eric Susoeff on guitar on various selections.
Songs are delightful, romantic and celebratory. Kenia
sings in English ,“And Rose And Roses.” The rest are sung
tastefully in a carefree modern Portuguese.
Brazilian music was popularized into the pop/jazz
lexicon of the 50's-60s' by Sergio Mendes, Astrid Gilberto. Antonio
Carlos Jobim, even Stan Getz.
It's why Kenia will gain your ardent appreciation as she
celebrates the music of Dorival Caymmi.
VOICE Flat Nine
Japanese American vocalist, Taeko, expresses an
inventive hard nose side of jazz, right off with a stellar
interpretation of Herbie Hancock classic/Juanita Fleming lyrically
engaging “Cantalope Island.” And with Taeko it's all about
breathing and phrasing and tonality too. After all it's all about
jazz phraseology. There's a whole bright catacomb for it. Thelonius
Monk's “I Mean You,” lyrics by Jon Hendricks is also relevant to
her overall jazz vocabulary. “Soochow Seranade” is very
Japanese, although I'm more interested in her version, Detroit's
Marvin Gaye's Inner City Blues and Taeko scores high on the urban pop
version. Bassist Gaku Takanashi excels on this one, too. It's what
the music is all about. Her scatting on “On A Clear Day” is
striking for a singer who takes of business. “Spring Nocturne” is
a small fortune! And Wayne Shorter's “Infant Eyes,” lyrics by
Greg Lewis on Hammond B-3 is a regular contributor with
Kevin McNeal on guitar.
Taeko is a well disciplined singer who really brings it.
The Stanley Turrentine “Sugar” is a real jazz R&B heart
Taeko really grabs you, takes you down with her
ultra-vocalizing on the new CD, “Voice.
SULLIVAN SQUARE ONE
Sean Songs LLC
Guitar, vocalist Sean Sullivan makes his case as a jazz
guitar swinger. Sullivan's connection with the lyric, similar to
Michael Franks and his nose diving low down interpretive Boz Scaggs,
At first, I thought how many styles is Sean Sullivan?
His original, “American Jones” is articulate, catchy and modern.
“Summer Rain,” “Square One,” his originals are very good. So
Sean Sullivan is very contemporary! However, there are Sean Sullivan
diverse stylings, here for there 17 songs on this CD! Some originals,
standards and great covers in Latin and straight ahead original,
“Slippin Down” as if Les McCann, Sergio Mendes and King Pleasure
made some sort of secret pact. Frankly I'd mix “Compared To What”
for good measure. Then Sean Sullivan's riffs on Charlie Parker's
“Ornithology.” Out of sight! This guy has so many moves on
“Square One,” that it's breathtaking to the faint of heart.
The only turn off is the art work on this CD. A graphic
novel of Batman's leathured companion, Robin, nix the mask and the
But let's get curious. Sean Sullivan's multi-
gravitational, multi- national, ultra spacial “Square One ” is a
keeper, a must have, for a fast rising young talent-sans the
cliches-it's only the beginning.
“The Voice” 88.7FM
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Sacramento, Ca 95819-4743
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