Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Arturo Sandoval: Time for Love (2010)

Arturo Sandoval is a true maestro: despite his reputation as a bop-based trumpeter who plays jazz inspired by his native Cuban tradition, he has delved deeply into tango, swing, and electric jazz in his long career. He is also a fine pianist and percussionist. That said, the notion of him recording a collection of classical pieces, standards, and ballads with a trio and a string orchestra as backing is more than a bit of a surprise. Nonetheless, that's what A Time for Love basically is. Sandoval claims that this is the realization of a 20-year dream. He wanted it bad enough to make and release the record himself, but fate stepped in. Pianist Shelly Berg heard the demos and brought him to Concord's Greg Field, who in turn brought in Grammy-winning arranger Jorge Calandrelli. They co-produced while Calandrelli arranged eight of the nine string charts -- Berg arranged the other and brought in his trio to back up Sandoval.
The classical readings include Faure's "Aprés Un Reve" and "Pavane," Ravel's "Pavane Pour une Infante Defunte" (with Chris Botti on second trumpet), and Astor Piazzolla's "Oblivion" (with Monica Mancini on vocals). All reveal the emotional depth of Sandoval's playing, not just his technical acumen. While his fiery jazz playing can emote, it is often overshadowed by his expertise. Here, it is softness and tenderness without sentimentality that speak to the listener. The standards such as "I Loves You Porgy," the shimmering swing in "Speak Low," and the deep romance in the Johnny Mandel-Johnny Mercer classic "Emily" seemingly come from the vocal jazz tradition. Yet in them one can readily hear what Sandoval claims are his two greatest inspirations for this album: trumpeter Bobby Hackett's playing with the Jackie Gleason Orchestra, and the album Clifford Brown with Strings. The musical economy of those influences is reflected in the emotional weight and complex lyrical dimension carried in each note by Sandoval; the arrangements serve to heighten that revelation rather than overtake it. There are two very satisfying bonus tracks included as well, "The Windmills of Your Mind," a stellar duet with Berg, and Cole Porter's "Every Time We Say Goodbye," with Kenny Barron guesting on piano. It's tempting to call A Time for Love Sandoval's masterpiece, but that is based on the sharp contrast with virtually everything else in his catalog; only time will reveal whether or not it is. For now, what is certain is that it is one of them. ~ Thom Jurek
01. Apres Un Reve 5:08
02. Emily 4:26
03. Speak Low 4:36
04. Estate 3:58
05. A Time For Love 5:04
06. Pavane Pour Une Infante Defunte (feat. Chris Botti) 5:12
07. I Loves You Porgy 5:15
08. Oblivion (How To Say Goodbye) 5:24
09. Pavane 4:50
10. Smile 3:59
11. All The Way 4:02
12. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes 4:21
13. Windmills Of Your Mind 5:32
14. Every Time We Say Goodbye 5:54
Arturo Sandoval (vocals, trumpet, flugelhorn);
Monica Mancini (vocals);
Chris Botti (trumpet);
David Ewart, Songa Lee, Robin Olson, Searmi Park, Tiffany Yi Hu, Phillip Levy, Tamara Hatwan, RazdanKuyumijian, Kevin Connolly, Natalie Leggett, Darius Campo, Liane Mautner, Charlie Bisharat (violin);
Darren McCann, Keith Greene, Harry Shirinian, Alma Fernandez (viola);
Trevor Handy, Vanessa Freebairn-Smith, Dennis Karmazin, Christine Ermacoff (cello);
Kenny Barron, Shelly Berg (piano);
Gregg Field (drums, percussion).
Time for Love
Hotfile / Uploading @ 192K

Monday, August 30, 2010

Enrico Pieranunzi: Fellini Jazz (2003)

Italian pianist, composer, and arranger Enrico Pieranunzi has done something delightful and enlightening on Fellini Jazz: he has gathered together some of the brightest lights in American jazz -- all of whom who have a serious affinity for European music -- and formed a quintet for creatively interpreting theme music from the director's films. While most of the themes here were composed by Nino Rota, there are two original pieces that extrapolate from various melodic and harmonic schema in Rota's work. All of the music here, with the exception of the themes from Amarcord and City of Women (the latter composed by Luis Bacalov), comes from Fellini's films of the 1950s. There is a reason for this. The musical element in Rota's scores from these films was, at the very least, informed by the spirit of jazz. Using the great American musicians who came of age during the great Yankee discovery of Fellini's movies is a brilliant touch, as they become "actors" themselves in this musical drama. Not being Italian, and not being regular players of Rota's scores, they look at Pieranunzi's adaptations with a non-literal, gauzy, nearly surrealist view. And while some would argue that Pieranunzi is not on the same level musically with his collaborators as a pianist, and perhaps someone like Brad Mehldau or Fred Hersch might have been a better choice, they'd be wrong. Pieranunzi -- specifically because he brings the great Italian jazz tradition, with its deep reliance on lyricism and harmonic interplay, to the mix -- is the only player who could have pulled off the gig. This is a beautifully, movingly wrought album that is indeed a jazz date first, but one that is also not so far removed from the music of Fellini's cinema because of its reliance on impression, subtlety, grace, warm humor, and, of course, elegance. Two sets of liner notes accompany the set, one by Pieranunzi about the session and one from Ira Gitler about the films and Pieranunzi. Fantastic and breathtaking. ~ Thom Jurek
01. I Vitelloni;
02. Il Bidone,
03. Il Bidone;
04. La Citta Delle Donne;
05. Amarcord;
06. Cabiria’s Dream;
07. La Dolce Vita;
08. La Dolce Vita;
09. La Strada;
10. Le Notti Di Cabiria;
11. Fellini’s Waltz.
Kenny Wheeler - Trumpet, Flugelhorn;
Chris Potter - Tenor Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone;
Enrico Pieranunzi - Piano;
Charlie Haden - Bass;
Paul Motian - Drums.
Fellini Jazz
Hotfile / Uploading @ 320K

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Tom Schuman: Reflections Over Tome (2010)

Tom Schuman has released several great CDs before, but this is arguably the best. Starting with "A Quote From Mr. Z" he channels the spirit and genius of the late Joe Zawinul. Tom's composition and performance on this track establishes him as this era's successor to Zawinul. Equally impressive is Tom's collaboration with former Dazz Band and Kool & the Gang lead vocalist, Skip Martin on "When." With a nod to Oprah and Deepak Chopra, Tom lays down the new social anthem. Other highlights include the beautiful and melodic "Sofia's Eyes" and perhaps the fastest performance of the John Coltrane classic, "Giant Steps" ever performed on the piano. Push Play and enjoy!
The album features Bonny B, Kevin Stixx Marshall and Ludwig Afonso on drums, Ameen Saleem (upright bass on Giant Steps), Jay Azzolina, Alvin White, David Becker and Andy Wasson on guitars, Skip Martin on trumpet, flugelhorn and vocals, Julian Tanaka on tenor and soprano sax. Tom plays keyboards and introduces his alter egos Schu Thomas on bass and Slide Funkshin on drums/percussion.
01. A Quote From Mr. Z (4:47)
02. Seven 4 You (4:28)
03. Sofia’s Eyes (6:21)
04. Flections Over Time (4:53)
05. Hooked On Rockin (5:11)
06. Follow Your Heart (4:42)
07. When! (5:01)
08. God Please Bless America (5:19)
09. Dat’s Wassup! (5:10)
10. Giant Steps (4:55)
11. I Still Miss You (3:42)
Reflections Over Time
Hotfile / Uploading @ 320K

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Dimension: First Dimension (1993)

First album of killing Japanese fusion band Dimension released on 1993.
01. Go Up Stream
02. Take It Easy
03. Throw Back
04. After Fiver
05. Child Of Pirate
06. Night Voices
07. Ocean Express
08. Selfcontrol
09. NOIZ
10. Rainy
Takashi Masuzaki - Guitar
Kazuki Katsuta - Sax
Akira Onozuka - Keyboards
Hotfile / Uploading @ 320K

Friday, August 27, 2010

Dusko Goykovich: Munich Serenade (1997)

Dusko Goykovich - Serbian jazz trumpeter and composer. During his career Goykovich built his own style recognizable for the preciseness, brilliance of his technique and warm sound in playing as well as melodic tunes in composing.
01. Doboy (Gojkovic) [6:33]
02. Munich Serenade (Gojkovic) [6:52]
03. Balkan (Gojkovic) [6:03]
04. Reflections In My Dreams (Gojkovic) [7:14]
05. Bembasha (Gojkovic) [5:13]
06. My Ship (Ira Gershwin, Kurt Weill) [9:25]
07. Downtown Talk (Gojkovic) [5:42]
08. Pete's Bits (Peter Michelish) [4:30]
09. Domicile Blues (Gojkovic) [5:05]
10. Summertime (D Heyward, G Gershwin) [8:02]
Dusko Goykovich: trumpet
Peter Michelich: piano
Yasuhiko Sato: bass
Masahiko Osaka: drums
Munich Serenade
Uploading / Depositfiles @ 320K

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Espen Eriksen Trio: You Had Me at Goodbye (2010)

This tasteful, ambient-friendly Norwegian piano trio offers an accessible, slightly poppy update on the examples of Tord Gustavsen and EST.
It's a familiar-enough method: strong melodies and sensitive playing favouring ensemble depth and textural detail rather than "Look at me, ma!" solos, although it's clear that all three have chops. Like Gustavsen, the governing mood is rather melancholy with a slightly funky edge. As the eight original Eriksen tunes total no more than 37 minutes, you're left wanting more rather than less.
Espen Eriksen - piano
Lars Tormod Jenset - double bass
Andreas Bye - drums
1. Anthem (4:41)
2. Grinde (5:04)
3. In The Woods (4:40)
4. Masaka Tsara (4:54)
5. Not Even In Brazil (4:25)
6. Intermezzo (3:25)
7. On The Jar (5:02:)
8. To Whom It May Concern (5:20)
You Had Me At Goodbye
Hotfile / Megaupload @ 320K

Kenny Dorham: Jazz Contrasts (1957) (2007)

Dorham’s lyrical trumpeting on ballads and uptempo tunes is showcased on his Riverside debut that also features tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins, pianist Hank Jones, bassist Oscar Pettiford and drummer Max Roach. Keepnews says, “This is one of my favorite ‘blowing’ albums, ever.” He adds, “There are extremely few jazz trumpeters who reached prominence in the second half of the 20th century who should be ranked any higher than Kenny.” Six tunes from the original are remastered, including three with guest harp player Betty Glamman.
1. Falling In Love With Love 9:14
2. I'll Remember April 12:07
3. Larue 4:31
4. My Old Flame 5:25
5. But Beautiful 2:44
6. La Villa 7:02
Jazz Contrasts
Hotfile / Uploading @ 320K

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Ken Navarro: When Night Call (1996)

Guitarist Ken Navarro has consistently delivered passionate, engaging music over the course of his career. His previous albums have received across the board radio support with the last five all going deep into the Top 10. His 1995 album "Brighter Days" went to #7 on Radio & Records NAC chart and #5 on Gavin's Smooth Jazz chart and it was also the #9 Album Of The Year for 1995 at Smooth Jazz radio. All that said, you ain't heard nothing yet!! When Night Calls is the next step in Ken's continuous evolution as a smooth jazz artist. Sporting a distinctly urban feel and a sensous, romantic mood, the album contains 10 new Navarro originals and features Ken's trademark guitar work along with special guest Eric Marienthal on alto and soprano saxophones, Jay Rowe (Nelson Rangell, Marion Meadows) on keyboards, and Gary and Greg Grainger (Whitney Houston) on bass and drums.
The songs on When Night Calls tell the story of one night full of possibilities...a night journey from sunset to dawn, through the modern world of nightlife, romance, passion, and ultimately, of commitment.
1. When Night Calls
2. My Lucky Stars
3. Club Midnight
4. Night Is Young, The
5. Let Me Love You Tonight
6. Make It Rain
7. All the Time You Need
8. Can't Get Enough
9. Test of Time, The
10. Morning Glory
Ken Navarro - guitars
Eric Marienthal - saxophones

Jay Rowe - acoustic piano, keyboards
Greg Grainger - drums
Gary Grainger - electric bass
When Night Calls
Hotfile / Uploading @ 320K

Lloyd Miller & The Heliocentrics (2010)

Following their award-winning collaboration with Ethio jazz Godfather Mulatu Astatke (Mojo magazine Top 50 of the year 2009, Sunday Times World Music Album of the year), pioneering UK collective The Heliocentrics resurfaces alongside another fascinating jazz enigma, ethno-musicologist, jazz maestro and multi-instrumentalist, Lloyd Miller.
Learning various instruments and immersing himself in New Orleans jazz through his father, a professional clarinet player, Lloyd Miller first trained himself in the styles of George Lewis and Jimmy Giuffre and cut his first Dixieland jazz 78 rpm record in 1950. During the late ‘50s, his father landed a job in Iran and Miller began to develop a lifelong interest in Persian and Eastern music forms, learning to play a vast array of traditional ethnic instruments from across Asia and the Middle East.
He toured Europe heavily, basing himself in Switzerland, Belgium, Sweden, Germany (where he played with Eddie Harris and Don Ellis) and, most famously, in Paris where he worked with oddball bandleader Jef Gilson, a phenomenon in French jazz during the early ‘60s. Miller returned to the Middle East during the ‘70s, landing his own TV show on NIRTV in Tehran under the name Kurosh Ali Khan. His show became a national fixture and ran for seven years.
Miller has since been a vocal ambassador for preserving the traditions of many forms of Eastern music. In recent years, his mid-‘60s album ‘Oriental Jazz’ has become a collector’s favourite and the UK’s Jazzman label have issued a compilation, ‘A Lifetime In Oriental Jazz’, covering work from across his career. The renewed interest in his music has spawned this new collaboration with The Heliocentrics, a freeform mix of Eastern arrangements, jazz and angular psychedelics and represents the Heliocentrics’ most accomplished work to date. Tracks include the reflective, yearning ‘Spirit Jazz’, a new version of Miller classic ‘Massom’ and the cinematic ‘Electricone’.
01. Electricone
02. Nava
03. Pari Ruu
04. Salendro
05. Spirit Jazz
06. Modality
07. Rain Dance
08. Lloyd Lets Loose
09. Bali Bronze
10. Latin
11. Charhargah
12. Sunda Sunset
Lloyd Miller & Heliocentrics
Hotfile / Rapidshare @ 320K

Ken Navarro: Pride & Joy (1994)

Pride and Joy was a career-defining album for guitarist and composer Ken Navarro. Ken's fifth release for Positive Music, Pride and Joy is an album that offers broad based commercial appeal and brilliant artistic depth. With two consecutive Top 5 records under his belt: 1993's I Can't Complain and 1992's The Labor of Love, Ken is now recognized as one of today's leading NAC/Contemporary Jazz guitarists. Showcasing an uncanny ability to appeal to a wide range of listeners with inspiring compositions and superb guitar performances, Pride and Joy met with tremendous approval from Ken's loyal fan base as well as from urban and adult audiences never before tapped into. Pride and Joy is a continuation of the musical excellence and high sonic standards associated with all of Ken's work.
1.Give It Away
2.It's Cold Out There
3.Imperfect Things
4.A Friend of Mine
5.Nothing Stays the Same
6.I'll Follow My Heart
7.Pride and Joy
8.Children Need a World
9.Here For You
10.Stand Your Ground
11.Company Man
Ken Navarro - guitars
Mike Aubin - drums
Jeff Hall - vocals
Dan Reynolds - acoustic piano, keyboards
Gary Grainger - electric bass
Steve Zerlin - electric and acoustic bass
Mike Tomaro - saxophones, EWI
Pride & Joy
Hotfile / Uploading @ 320K

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Kenny Dorham: Jazz Contemporary (2004)

Originally on the Time label, this album features the excellent (but always underrated) trumpeter Kenny Dorham heading a quintet that also includes baritonist Charles Davis, pianist Steve Kuhn, either Jimmy Garrison or Butch Warren on bass, and drummer Buddy Enlow. The results are not quite essential but everyone plays up to par, performing three of Dorham's originals plus "In Your Own Sweet Way," "Monk's Mood," and "This Love of Mine." It's fine hard bop, the modern mainstream music of the period. ~ Scott Yanow
01. A Waltz
02. Monk's Mood
03. In Your Own Sweet Way
04. Horn Salute
05. Tonica
06. This Love of Mine
07. Sign Off
08. A Waltz (Alternate Take)
09. Monk's Mood (Alternate Take)
10. This Love of Mine (Alternate Take)
Jazz Contemporary
Hotfile / Uploading @ 320K

Salvatore Bonafede Trio: Sicilian Opening (2010)

A tight little combo from the Italian scene – one that features the piano of Salvatore Bonafede in the lead, working through a range of soulful and lyrical modes! Some numbers have a bold force that really grabs us nicely, but these are offset by some softer, more sound-sensitive tracks that show a distinct Bill Evans influence – but in a well-evolved way that's hardly a copycat of Bill, more a distillation of his essence, taken into some hip new territory. Bass is by Marco Panascia and drums are by Marcello Pellitteri – and the album's definitely got that "cut above" quality that you'll find on other Jazz Eyes titles. Cuts include "Ideal Standard", "Sicilian Opening", "It Plays From Far", "Blackbird", "Torre Ligny", "Lode Al Silenzo", and "Italian Igegno".
1. Sicilian Opening 4:21
2. La Grande Ilusion 4:39
3. Ideal Standard 6:06
4. Bbbb 3:37
5. Wwww 4:46
6. Blackbird 4:43
7. It Plays From Far 4:26
8. Appunti Su Palermo 5:29
9. Italian Ingegno 4:38
10. Lode Al Silenzio 3:48
11. She's Leaving Home 5:05
12. Torre Ligny 4:04
Salvatore Bonafede — Piano
Marco Panascia — Bass
Marcello Pellitteri — Drums
Hotfile / Uploading @ 320K

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Paul Bollenback: Brightness of Being (2006)

A modern jazz guitar master with reliably swinging liquid chops, a blues-filled sound, amazing technique, emotionally expressive style and eclectic approach coming from of a wide range of influences.
01. Together (06:42)
02. Unchain My Heart (09:02)
03. Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing (06:57)
04. Breathe (06:01)
05. You Don't Know Me (04:50)
06. A.M. Special (05:48)
07. El Desierto (06:41)
08. Dark Eyes of Floria Tosca, Pt. 1 (03:12)
09. Dark Eyes of Floria Tosca, Pt. 2 (05:32)
10. Dark Eyes of Floria Tosca, Pt. 3 (02:10)
11. Philadelphia (03:37)
12. Siberian Passages (07:38)
Paul Bollenback: guitars
David "Fathead" Newman: tenor saxophone (2,5)
Gary Thomas: tenor saxophone (1,3,6,8-10)
Tim Garland: soprano saxophone (4,7), tenor saxophone (1,3,12), bass clarinet (7)
James Genus: bass;
Terri-Lyne Carrington: drums (1,3,6,7,8-10,12)
Ari Honnig: drums (2,4,5,11)
Chris McNulty: voice (4,7,11,12)
Brightness of Being
Hotfile / Uploading @ 320K

Joe Lovano Us Five: Folk Art (2009)

In his 57th year, the saxophonist, composer and bandleader Joe Lovano is something of a jazz absolute: consistent in quality but traversing schools, styles and formats in a way that argues the music has somewhere to go without accommodating pop. His 2009 Blue Note release, Folk Art, recorded with a new group he calls Us Five, only reinforces his reputation as the consummate jazzman, an explorer and historian in equal doses. Folk Art is centered in postbop but plays in and around the avant-garde, and it features elements that, on paper, might seem gimmicky, but in Lovano’s hands foster thrilling music.
A cross-generational quintet, Us Five features two drummers, Otis Brown II and Francisco Mela, and Lovano uses them to ramp up the intensity as well as multiply the options for exchange. (“It’s as if there are 20 different bands,” he told JT’s Geoffrey Himes.) Then there’s Lovano’s arsenal of texturally brazen woodwind oddities, including the taragato and aulochrome, and the fact that Folk Art is his first album featuring his original compositions exclusively. Those tunes, alternately burning (“Powerhouse”), loping (“Folk Art”), tender (“Song for Judi”) and askew (the Ornette homage “Ettenro”), brilliantly underscore the group’s sensibility—one of dynamic interaction and aesthetic versatility. E.H.
1. Powerhouse 4:09
2. Folk Art 10:05
3. Wild Beauty 7:17
4. Us Five 8:09
5. Song For Judi 5:46
6. Drum Song 8:30
7. Dibango 6:44
8. Page 4 5:52
9. Ettenro 8:12
Joe Lovano - saxes
Esperanza Spalding - bass
James Weidman - piano
Francisco Mela - drums
Otis Brown III - drums
Folk Art
Hotfile / Uploading @ 224K

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

By Request - Jason Moran: Ten (2010)

Jason Moran & The Bandwagon Celebrate Ten Years With New Album.
In 1999, the same year that Jason Moran released his debut Soundtrack To Human Motion, the prodigy pianist and composer also joined New Directions, a band made up of young stars from the Blue Note roster that went on tour in celebration of the label's 60th anniversary. At the core of New Directions was the genesis of a rhythm section--with Moran, bassist Tarus Mateen, and drummer Nasheet Waits--that would
go on to become one of the most enduringly creative piano trios in jazz.
Ten years later, the trailblazing trio--which Moran has since dubbed The Bandwagon--headed into Avatar Studios in Manhattan to record Ten, the most assured and focused album of Moran's acclaimed career, a snapshot of a mature band with a decade of shared musical experience from which to draw. The album, Moran's first in four years, will be released on EMI's Blue Note Records.
"Ten is our first record that doesn't rely on a concept to drive it. The only concept is us as a band today," says Moran. "As our band has evolved over ten years, there's a certain ease that we now function within, an ease to let the music be. On some of my earlier recordings, I was making sure I exposed my ideas as a thinker. Now we refrain from jumping through every musical window of opportunity, but only jump through the good windows."
Befitting the man who Rolling Stone called "the most provocative thinker in current jazz," Moran draws the material for Ten from a wide variety of sources. "Blue Blocks," which opens the album with a bluesy cascade of chords, comes from Live: Time, a piece commissioned by the Philadelphia Museum of Art that was inspired by the quilters of Gee's Bend, Alabama. The elegiac "Feedback Pt. 2" was part of a piece commissioned by the Monterey Jazz Festival for which Moran drew inspiration from Jimi Hendrix's performance at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival and used samples of the guitarist's feedback.
"RFK In The Land Of Apartheid" is the main theme from a film score that Moran composed for the documentary RFK In The Land Of Apartheid about Robert Kennedy's 1966 visit to South Africa and his famous "Ripple Of Hope" speech. "Pas De Deux" comes from Moran's first-ever dance collaboration with choreographer Alonzo King's Lines Ballet company. "Old Babies" gives us another window into one of the most profound influences on Moran these days, his twin sons Jonas and Malcolm, born in 2007.
In addition to songs by Leonard Bernstein ("Big Stuff") and minstrel pioneer Bert Williams ("Nobody"), there are also compositions by three of Moran's foremost influences: Thelonious Monk, Andrew Hill, and Jaki Byard. "Crepuscule With Nellie" was featured in Moran's multimedia concert event In My Mind: Monk At Town Hall, 1957. "Play To Live" is a piece Moran co-wrote with his teacher Hill, who died of lung cancer in 2007.
01. Blue Blocks (4:36)
02. RFK In The Land Of Apartheid (4:10)
03. Feedback Pt. 2 (4:54)
04. Crepuscule With Nellie (5:58)
05. Study No. 6 (3:17)
06. Pas De Deux – Lines Ballet (3:31)
07. Study No. 6 (4:04)
08. Gangsterism Over 10 Years (6:56)
09. Big Stuff (5:17)
10. Play To Live (4:21)
11. The Subtle One (5:35)
12. To Bob Vatel Of Paris (6:06)
13. Old Babies (5:44)

Jason Moran: Artist in Residence (2006)

The adventurous pianist, composer, and bandleader Jason Moran added guitarist Marvin Sewell to his band on 2005's Same Mother. Sewell is back and melding further with his own funky blues-based playing on Artist in Residence, which is a far-reaching jazz record combining elements of post-bop, New Orleans jazz, funk, blues and even post-20th century classical music to Moran's array of shades and colors to play with. The repetitive sampled spoken word loop by Adrian Piper which acts as the ground for both the opener "Break Down" and "Artists Ought To Be Writing" is a bit h jarring when the band lights up under her. As she chants "Break down the barriers/Break down, misunderstanding/Break down, the artworld/Break down, the artist/Break down, the general public . .," the band uses it (looped continually through the piece, even in the solos) to ground everything in a circular rhythmic principle. Just as unsettling is Alicia Hall Moran's soprano vocal in near Webern-like lieder as the introduction to "Milestone" atop Moran's lilting piano before the band kicks it in prosaically at the one-minute mark. She frames her wordless vocal just as Moran's left hand begins to spin out a melodic figure for everyone else to play around, though the entire piece sounds like an intro. Bassist Tarus Mateen and drummer Nasheet Waits earn their keep trying to ground this piece as it spirals to near and far Eastern shores. But it gets so much stranger as the improvised bass intro to "Refraction 2" begins to introduce the players almost sideways, and where melody and harmony appear almost as if by accident. Yet it's all motion, building, falling, spilling, and being contained within a harmonic grid that is nearly wide open. The breakdown theme restates itself only to become more fleshed-out as narrative essay in "Artists Ought to Be Writing," but the solo piano that follows is so speculative it never really takes off. The long-ish improvised intro that finally gels as "Rain" is the album's most exciting tune. From its cryptic, elliptical movement into a full-fledged angular yet funky post-bop tune, it is breaking apart by its end nearly 12 minutes later. People may initially have a hard time with Artist in Residence. But it moves so freely and yet so purposely that it draws the listener into its unique soundworld slowly but deliberately, and offers plenty for the effort. ”
1. Break Down
2. Milestone
3. Refraction 2
4. Cradle Song
5. Artists Ought to be Writing
6. Refraction 1
7. Arizona Landscape
8. Rain
9. Lift Every Voice
10. He puts on his coat and leaves
Artist in Residence
Hotfile / Uploading @ flac

Monday, August 16, 2010

Terri Lyne Carrington: Jazz is a Spirit (2002)

In the male-dominated jazz genre, this veteran drummer has been happily accepted as one of the guys and has forged a strong touring career (Al Jarreau, David Sanborn) as she has, on her solo projects, pushed the improvisational and conceptual boundaries. This free-spirited recording emerges from the fun of bebop and traditional jazz balladry into the more challenging realm of tribal rhythms and global-mindedness a wacky journey to be sure, but true to her heart of wanderlust and her contention that, indeed, jazz can only be defined as a spirit. She opens with a weird, mystical ambience behind Cosby Show kid Malcolm Jamal Warner's spoken-word definition, then jams in a live setting with longtime associates like Herbie Hancock, Terence Blanchard, and Paul Bollenback (guitar) on tunes that range from the avant-garde ("Little Jump") to the smoky and romantic ("Samsara," a thoughtful tribute to Wayne Shorter). Throwing off the shackles, she does a long tribal drum roll piece and opens the door for a "Journey East From West" with Kevin Eubanks. "Journey of Now" combines the best of all worlds, with Wallace Roney's traditional trumpet, Jeff Richman's fusion guitar edges, and an irrepressible percussive tribalism. The remaining tracks are a balance between measured craziness and gentle tradition, with a bit of advice offered to Terri Lyne Carrington as she plays before the spoken words of Papa Jo Jones on "Mr. Jo Jones." Innovative yet sometimes maddening, this is above all else her truest heart.
01. Jazz Is
02. Little Jump
03. The Corner
04. Lost Star
05. Samsara (for Wayne)
06. Journey Agent
07. Journey East from West
08. Journey of Now
09. Giggles
10. Middle Way
11. Princess
12. Witch Hunt
13. Mr. Jo Jones
14. Jazz is a Spirit
Terri Lyne Carrington - drums
Herbie Hancock - piano
Greg Kurstin - piano
Gary Thomas - saxophones
Wallace Roney - trumpet
Terence Blanchard - trumpet
Kevin Eubanks - guitar
Paul Bollenback - guitar
Jeff Richman - guitar
Danny Robinson - guitar
Bob Hurst - bass
Malcolm-Jamal Warner - bass & spoken word
Katisse Buckingham - soprano saxophone
Ed Barguiarena - percussion
Darryl “Munyungo” Jackson - percussion
Jazz Is a Spirit
Rapidshare / Uploading @ 320K

Jeff Richman: Like That (2010)

Jeff Richman's 15th solo release and delivers ten hard-hitting, playful compositions with catchy melodies and a refreshingly modern sound. Richman continues to shine in his ability to write music with creative intricacy andsophistication, articulating his individual point of view. This time around, his guitar tone is deeper, more resonant, robust and alive. Richman's style of playing complex changes fluidly over these infectious grooves will satisfy over many listenings. Musicians include: Alex Acuna, Vinnie Coliauta, Mitchel Foreman, Larry Goldings, Steve Hass, Deron Johnson, William Kennedy, Neil Stubenhaus, Dean Taba.
01. Like That (5:41)
02. In Spirited (5:32)
03. Small Kid Time (5:41)
04. Awful Pretty (6:30)
05. The Endless Inbetween (5:49)
06. Rock Tall (5:28)
07. Tsuyako (4:48)
08. Touch And Go (5:12)
09. In Flux (6:48)
10. Truffaz (5:21)
Like That
Hotfile / Uploading @ 320K

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Miles Jaye: The Truth About Love (2009)

In addition to his vocal accomplishments, Miles Jaye, like Nat King Cole, is also a fine jazz pianist, violinist and composer. The Truth About Love CD is the first showcase of his piano interpretations. Truth is also a wonderful collection of his melodic compositions. Traces of Ramsey Lewis, Bob James, George Duke and Joe Sample are evident.
01.The Truth About Love
02.It's the Feeling
03.Only Your Love
04.Night Drive
05.Full Moon
09.Street Life
10.People Make the World Go Round
11.Super Dome
12.Mystery of Love
13.My Funny Valentine
15.We Need Love
Truth About Love
Hotfile / Depositfiles @ 320K

John Coltrane: Coltrane Jazz (1960)

This record is overshadowed by the one preceding it, namely the technically superb Giant Steps which blew up Bebop from inside out, and the one that came after it, the nice but tame sounding My Favourite Things with the commercial hit of the same name. But it is more experimental than the accomplished complex Giant Steps, and though the blowing there had a razorsharp edge, here the playing of Coltrane is richer, even if it has sometimes an unsure feel to it and doesn't hit as hard and fast, due probably to the unknown territory he was beginnning to explore once more. Strange harmonical effects are tried out and melodically a more exotic and diverse atmosphere is reached. Coltrane Jazz also has something wild about it that Favourite things lacks. More than once you'll find yourself exclaiming this is crazy. And beautifull... It is the first sign of the great things to come in the Impulse period.
01. Little Old Lady
02. Village Blues
03. My Shining Hour
04. Fifth House
05. Harmonique
06. Like Sonny
07. I ll Wait And Pray
08. Some Other Blues
09. Like Sonny (alternate take)
10. I ll Wait And Pray (alternate take)
11. Like Sonny (alternate take)
12. Village Blues (alternate take)
Coltrane Jazz
Depositfiles / Rapidshare @ 320K

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Kenny Dorham: Quiet Kenny (1959)

Quiet Kenny is yet another reminder of what a trumpet giant Kenny Dorham was. Whether limning ballads such as "My Ideal," "Alone Together," "I Had the Craziest Dream," and "Old Folks," or investigating the timelessness and intricacies of the blues (his originals in this set with "Blue" in their titles), the former Charlie Parker cohort and ex-Jazz Messenger exhibits his subtle swing, personal sound, and finely-honed harmonic sense. Along the way these reflections and connections with Bird, Coleman Hawkins, Sonny Rollins, Max Roach, Harry James, and Louis Armstrong make for a rich legacy. (This reissue contains a bonus track, "Mack the Knife," that was left off the original master). ”
Kenny Dorham, trumpet
Tommy Flanagan, piano
Paul Chambers, bass
Arthur Taylor, drums
1. Lotus Blossom
2. My Ideal
3. Blue Friday
4. Alone Together
5. Blue Spring Shuffle
6. I Had the Craziest Dream
7. Old Folks
8. Mack the Knife
Quiet Kenny (Reis)
Hotfile / Uploading @ flac

Ken Navarro: The River Flows (1990)

Ken Navarro is recognized as one of today's leading Contemporary Jazz guitarists. His impressive discography of top charting albums on Positive Music Records showcase his appeal to a wide range of listeners with inspiring compositions and superb guitar performances.
Ken began his recording career in Los Angeles as a premier session guitarist, performer and composer, performing and recording with artists as diverse as Doc Severinsen, Nell Carter, John Pattitucci and Dave Koz. In 1990, Ken established his own musical identity with the release of his debut album, The River Flows. With each successive album, Ken has received increasing acclaim and recognition as a leading stylist in Contemporary Jazz.
Ken maintains an active schedule of concert appearances as part of his quartet, the Ken Navarro Group. Highlights of his tour schedule have included appearances at the World Trade Center in New York, the Carter Barron Amphitheater in Washington, D.C., Merriweather Post Pavillion in MD, Jacksonville Jazz Fest, Clearwater Jazz Holiday, the Pleasure Island Jazz Fest, the Venetian Festival, the Winter Park Arts Festival, and concerts where the group shared the stage with artists such as Eric Marienthal, The Rippingtons, Joe Sample, Jean Luc Ponty, Stanley Clarke/Larry Carlton, George Howard, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Fattburger, Marion Meadows, Keiko Matsui, Slim Man, Nelson Rangell, David Benoit, Alex Bugnon, Boney James and many others.
Ken's contribution to Contemporary and Mainstream Jazz goes beyond his personal artistry. As founder of Positive Music Records, Ken is responsible for launching and furthering the recording careers of saxophonist Brandon Fields and guitarist Grant Geissman. Ken handles all of the A&R for Positive Music and is actively involved as a producer on many of the label's albums. Ken's vision of a musician's record label has enhanced the genre with over 35 new artists and over sixty releases in ten short years.
1. Roughhouse
2. Try Again
3. Thinking Of You
4. Children Need A World
5. Reach Out
6. The River Flows
7. In Your Arms
8. Tainanmen
9. Born Yesterday

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ximo Tebar: Celebrating Erik Satie (2009)

Celebrating Erik Satie represents a creative and stimulating selection of jazz arrangements and improvisations. Ximo Tebar is a respected guitarist and creative force from Spain who has taken the compositions of the eccentric, irascible, and innovative French composer and transmuted them into jazz ensemble performances. Tebar shakes things up while retaining enough straight-ahead jazz to appeal to the masses; it's no accident that "En Habit de Cheval" possesses a clear reference to John Coltrane's magnum opus, A Love Supreme (Impulse!, 1964). Like Coltrane, Tebar is fortunate enough to have recruited other outstanding musicians who can implement his complex ideas.
The watchword of this album is "plays," with the implications of irony and humor, tinged with Chaplin-esque sadness that characterizes what Tebar and his ensemble, taking a cue from Satie, offer. Satie was an inventive, experimenting composer who influenced musical impressionism and minimalism, which in turn strongly impacted modern jazz. For a period of time, he played in cabarets in the Parisian district of Monmartre and wrote popular songs.
Tebar, however, is careful not to imitate Satie. Rather, he takes rhythms, extracts, ideas, and motifs from Satie's compositions, gives them ironic twists, and transforms them into his own and the group's thoughts and sounds. On "Gnossiene 3," for example, Tebar begins with an outer space, sci-fi movie intro, and then drifts off with his group into a relaxed, easy-going, straight-ahead set of improvisations. Then he adds a unique plunger mute "talking" effect on the guitar, which he makes use of periodically throughout the album.
01. Gnossienne 3
02. Idylle
03. Gymnopedie 1
04. Embryons Desseaches
05. Croquis et Agaceries D'un Gros Bonhomme en Bois
06. En Habit de Chaeval
07. Airs a Faire Fuir 2
08. Veritables Preludes Flasques (Pour Un Chien) 2
09. Gnossienne 1
10. A Solas con Satie.
Sean Jones: trumpet;
Robin Eubanks: trombone;
Stacy Dillard: soprano saxophone;
Ximo Tebar: guitar;
Jim Ridl: Rhodes, synthesizer;
Orrin Evans: Rhodes;
Boris Kozlov: bass;
Donald Edwards: drums;
Ramon Cardo: soprano saxophone (1);
David Pastor: trumpet (1);
Carlos Martin: trombone (1)
Celebrating Erik Satie
Hotfile / Uploading @ 320K

Mike Stern: Standards (& Other Songs) (1992)

Guitarist Mike Stern, best-known for playing rock-oriented fusion and in more commercial settings, surprised many listeners by recording an album dominated by standards. Actually, there are three originals included among the 11 pieces, but Stern also digs into such songs as "Like Someone in Love," "Moment's Notice," Chick Corea's "Windows," and "Straight No Chaser." Among Stern's sidemen on this fairly straight-ahead but adventurous set are trumpeter Randy Brecker, Bob Berg on tenor, and keyboardist Gil Goldstein. This little-known release is well-worth acquiring.
1. Like someone in love (6:40)
2. Source (1:48)
3. There is no greater love (9:13)
4. L Bird (5:48)
5. Moment's notice (4:41)
6. Lost time (6:46)
7. Windows (6:28)
8. Straight to chaser (5:26)
9. Peace (5:17)
10. Jean Pierre (1:44)
11. Nardis (7:38)
Standards (& Other Songs)
Uploading / Rapidshare @ 320K

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bill Evans Trio: Live in Buenos Aires (1979)

This 2CD set features the brilliant pianist Bill Evans with bassist Marc Johnson and Joe LaBarbera on drums live in concert in Buenos Aires, Argentina on September 27, 1979.
A great deal of music by this trio has been released and I am not familiar with most of it, but the music on this CD is so good that I doubt there are many recordings of this group that are significantly better. If you like the 2 volumes of the Paris Concert you will like this. In fact I think it is a bit superior to those recordings. But for one item: on some tracks there is an audible 60 hertz hum on one channel. This is annoying when listening through headphones with good bass response, but almost unnoticeable through average speakers. If you have a subwoofer and like to crank it up, this hum (not always present) probably will bother you.
1. Stella By Starlight
2. Laurie
3. Theme From MASH
4. Turn Out The Stars
5. I Do It For Your Love
6. My Romance
7. Letter To Evan
1. I Loves You Porgy
2. Up With The Lark
3. Minha
4. Someday My Prince Will Come
5. If You Could See Me Now
6. Nardis

Bruce Cox: Stick to It (1996)

Bruce enrolled in the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts after graduating from high school in 1978. One year later he joined the Intergalactic Sun Ra Arkestra (1980). After 6 months on the road with Sun Ra he returned to study at Berklee College Of Music 1981 in Boston. Bruce then moved to Paris France in 1983 where he studdied West African Drumming. Upon returning to the United States in 1984 he played with several street bands in NYC. The first break came in 1986 when Bruce met Rodney Jones who introduced him to Fred Wesley which led to gigs and recordings with Fred Wesley, Maceo Parker and Pee Wee Ellis. The rhythm section of Fred's band - Peter Madsen, Dwyane Dolphin and Bruce Cox - formed the trio 'Three of a Kind' in 1990 and Bruce completed his debut recording entitiled STICK TO IT released in Europe 1996 and USA 1997.
01 - Monkey {Cox} 6:05
02 - Malcolm's Mood {Cox} 7:26
03 - Serenghetti Slide {Cox} 6:54
04 - Marie-Line {Cox} 6:23
05 - Strode Rode {Rollins} 4:56
06 - Like Someone in Love {Burke, VanHeusen} 4:39
07 - Happy House {Coleman} 8:07
08 - Calaba {Essiet} 7:08
Ravi Coltrane: Sax (Soprano), Sax (Tenor)
Bruce Cox: Drums, Producer
Dwayne Dolphin: Bass
Essiet Essiet: Bass
Donald Harrison: Sax (Alto)
Dave Kikoski: Piano
Annette Lowman: Vocals
Peter Madsen: Piano
Jeff Williams: Percussion
Stick to It
Hotfile / Uploading @ 320K