Archive for the ‘ CD Reviews ’ Category

Kevin Coelho – Turn It up

Already drawing comparisons to Joey Defrancesco, young Kevin Coelho is making his mark as one of the up-and-coming jazz organists. Just 17 at the release of Turn It up (Chicken Coup Records, 2013), Coelho is showing mastery of the Hammond B3.

The album covers a wide swath of material, including some standards, covers of pop songs, a tribute to past Hammond compositions and original songs. Accompanying him are guitarist Derek DiCenzo and drummer Reggie Jackson.

“Root Down,” composed by B3 icon Jimmy Smith, is a lively groove that features all three musicians. Even when playing backup to the leader, DiCenzo and Jackson are firmly locked in, each putting his own stamp to the sound. For his part, Coelho makes the organ sing with vigor.

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Jackiem Joyner – Evolve

Evolution is the keyword for saxophonist Jackiem Joyner. Baby Soul (2007), Lil’ Man Soul (2008), Jackiem Joyner (2010) and Church Boy (2012) are step stones to what Jackiem is today. With the upcoming Evolve (2014) he marks his current level of development.

“Music evolves, including jazz. All types of sound evolve. So do people and our imaginations. That is what I tried to put on tape. Evolve captures the changes in my musical mind and how I have evolved as an artist,” explains multi-instrumentalist Jackiem Joyner.

On his new album are appearing sax player Gerald Albright and keyboardist Keiko Matsui. Joyner’s touring band Kayta Matsuno (guitar), Tim Bailey (bass), Bill Steinway (keyboard) and Raymond Johnson (drums) add their signature on several cuts. On Generation Next Jackiem touches with his emotional sax blows well embedded in a group of orchestral strings.

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fo/mo/deep – The Groovy Goodness

Music in our times is often described with a certain kind of label like Jazz, Rock, Fusion etc.. But the musical concept of fo/mo/deep is different from that. They don’t seem to care for labels; they put different styles together, just as they like it.

The result can -once again- be enjoyed on their new record The Groovy Goodness. The Groovy Goodness takes the listener on a journey into the groovy and funky sounds of the seventies and the eighties of the last century.

Musical eclecticism is often used as a negative term, just to describe music, which contains nothing unique. But The Groovy Goodness shows, that ‘eclecticism’ can also be understood as ‘music without boundaries’.

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Brian Culbertson – Another Long Night Out

Brian Culbertson follows the spirit of the first time with Another Long Night Out (2014). While other musicians fear the repetition like the plague, provides us Culbertson a decoration of his first work.

He has spared no expense or effort to invite the crème de la crème of the music business for recording. Lee Ritenour, Steve Lukather, Eric Marienthal, Candy Dulfer, Chuck Loeb or Russ Freeman are just some of the many legends.

While Brian loves every song of his debut album, he regrets the technical constraints under which his album has been created. So the desire drove him around to make it better until he made ​​himself the gift of a new recording.

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Project Them – Project Th3m

When experienced and accomplished musicians come together, good things usually happen. That is the case with Project Them, featuring Bob Franceschini and Mark Sherman. The album, Project TH3M (Miles High Records, 2013) is a set of mostly original songs.

Franceschini plays tenor saxophone and flute; Sherman plays vibraphone. The two leaders were students together at the High School of Music and Art in New York City.

With them are Mitchel Forman, piano and organ; Martin Gjakonovski, bass; Adam Nussbaum, drums; and Paolo Di Sabatino, piano. Each has established himself as a leader or a session player with other artists. Collectively, their associations include Mike Stern, the Yellowjackets, Dave Liebman, Stan Getz, Gil Evans, Gary Burton, Kenny Wheeler, Mel Torme, Gerry Mulligan, Wayne Shorter and the Mahavinshu Orchestra.

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Ghost Train Orchestra – Book of Rhapsodies

Part sass, part throwback. That’s the recipe for Book of Rhapsodies (Accurate, 2013), the second outing by the Ghost Train Orchestra.

The ensemble consists of Brian Carpenter, trumpet, slide trumpet and voice; Andy Laster, alto saxophone, flute; Dennis Lichtman, clarinet; Petr Cancura, tenor saxophone, clarinet; Curtis Hasselbring, trombone; Ron Caswell, tuba; Mazz Swift, violin; Tanya Kalmanovitch, viola; Avi Bortnick, guitar; Michael Bates, double bass; and Rob Garcia, drums. Additional players are Brandon Seabrook, banjo on “The Happy Farmer,” Matt Samolis, flute on “The Children Met the Train” and “Revolt of the Yes Men,” and the Book of Rhapsodies Choir: Yolanda Scott, soprano; Katie Seiler, mezzo-soprano; Mazz Swift, alto; Tomas Cruz, tenor; Brian Carpenter, baritone; and Joe Chappel, bass.

Book of Rhapsodies is a different kind of cover album. Instead of the usual offerings by jazz greats or the American Songbook, Ghost Train revisits some off-the-beaten-path compositions. These songs are adapted from recordings by the Alec Wilder Octet, the John Kirby Sextet, the Raymond Scott Quintet, and Reginald Forsythe and His New Music.

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Fareed Haque – Out of Nowhere

Deemed a modern guitar virtuoso, Fareed Haque goes on an adventure with Out of Nowhere (Charleston Square Recordings, 2013).

Voted “Best World Guitarist” by Guitar Player magazine, he has toured with Zawinul Syndicate, Sting and Paquito D’Rivera.

Haque goes with a trio format on half the songs and quintet for the other half. The trio includes Billy Hart on drums and George Mraz on bass. Bassist Doug Weiss contributes to “TexMex Jungle.” The quintet consists of Rob Clearfield, piano; Corey Healey, drums; John Tate, bass; and Salar Nader, tabla and percussion.

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Tom Kennedy – Just Play

Take vintage compositions, mix with a few stars of today, and you’ll get a delicacy for the ears. Bassist Tom Kennedy accomplishes this with Just Play (Capri Records, 2013).

Kennedy delivers fresh interpretations of songs composed by Sonny Rollins, Victor Young, Lee Morgan (the review copy incorrectly credits Freddie Hubbard with “Ceora”), Duke Ellington, Cedar Walton, Dave Brubeck and Cole Porter.

For this outing, Kennedy calls upon the talents of Dave Weckl, drums; Renee Rosnes, piano; George Garzone, tenor sax; Mike Stern, guitar; Tim Hagans, trumpet; Lee Ritenour, guitar; John Allred, trombone; and Steve Wirts, tenor sax. Kennedy plays acoustic bass.

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Freeze Frame – Experience

To fill a gap in education or to give a secret tip, from which side you approach the phenomenon Freeze Frame, it’s worth to discover. I am reporting for years now about Ray Bach‘s albums, but the novelty is consistent. His relative unfamiliarity for the American listeners is explained by the few far too few live performances.

This year, he delights us again with a new release. Experience is the costliest, which Ray has ever produced. The longest album, the most musicians, the largest production expenses. That makes curious! Ray comments꞉ “It’s all about experience, it’s all about influence and inspiration.”

As dazzling as his music, so different are his idols. He counts to his influences Solar Fire, Sakamoto and Yellow Jackets. Involved in the new project, in addition to arranger, songwriter, producer and keyboardist Ray Bach are Petra Rathmann (sax), Ricky Garcia (guitars), Lisa (vocals), Nils Karsten (trumpet), Lars Slowak (bass), Andrew McGuinness (drums), Georg Hahn (vocals, guitars, bass), and Dirk Bakker (drums).

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Pete Mills – Sweet Shadow

No disrespect for other instruments in the family, but there’s really nothing like a tenor sax as lead instrument in jazz. Its flavor is rich, its range exceptional. And in the hands of Pete Mills, it can make many a listener happy. And it’s fresh with 11 original songs on Mills’ Sweet Shadow (Cellar Live Records, 2014).

The project features Mills, Pete McCann on acoustic and electric guitars, Erik Augis on piano, Martin Wind on bass and Matt Wilson on drums.

The set begins with vigor. “Shiner” opens with a bouncy lead by Mills with the accompaniment fully locked in. Mills says the song is based on the standard, “My Shining Hour.” One can almost feel the charm of a jazz diva, such as Kitty Margolis or Sara Gazarek crooning this one in front of a big band or small ensemble. Mills steps aside Augis and McCann to have a moment to shine. And they do, with plenty of action underneath by Wind and Wilson.

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