Posts Tagged ‘ Jazz ’

Leslie Pintchik – In the Nature of Things

Ambient, clean and, to a degree, hypnotic. Those are the immediate thoughts that come to mind with Leslie Pintchik’s In the Nature of Things (Pintch Hard Records, 2014).

A pianist and composer, Pintchik says she chose the title to reflect the feeling she had that all the musicians honored the fundamental intent and nature of the music as she conceived it. Those musicians are Steve Wilson, alto and soprano saxophones; Ron Horton, trumpet and flugelhorn; Scott Hardy, bass; Michael Sarin, drums; and Satoshi Takeishi, percussion.

Either they’re warning you of an immediate threat, or they’re hiding something. More likely the former as Pintchik and her companions play “I’d Turn Back If I Were You.” The threat is if you keep listening, you’re going to find yourself knee deep in delight. The horns contribute a little here and there, but it’s mostly about the piano, bass, drums and percussion. Sarin and Takeishi play well off the leader, each seemingly doing his own thing while staying connected.

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Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra – The L.A. Treasures Project

Big band music with a few vocal highlights. That’s the essence of The L.A. Treasures Project by the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra (Capri Records, 2014).

Led by John Clayton, Jeff Clayton and Jeff Hamilton, this ensemble keeps the hits coming. The trumpets are Bijon Watson, Gilbert Castellanos, James Ford, Brian Swartz and Jamie Hovorka. The trombones are Isa Nepus, George Bohanon, Ryan Porter and Maurice Spears. The saxes and woodwinds are Jeff Clayton, Keith Fiddmont, Rickey Woodard, Charles Owens and Lee Callet. The rest of the band are Jeff Hamilton, drums; Tamir Hendelman, piano; Christoph Luty, bass; Graham Dechter, guitar; and John Clayton, bass.

Early in 2013, vocalists Barbara Morrison and Ernie Andrews were asked to sing during a few rehearsals. That led to a September 15th performance at in the showroom of Alvas Music Store in San Pedro, California, with a live audience. Morrison and Andrew lead four songs apiece.

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Andrew Rathbun Quartet – Numbers and Letters

Sometimes, a jazz listener needs a wake-up call. Step away from the mainstream. Shut down the catchy tunes. Turn toward something a bit more abstract – the spirit of improvisation. The Andrew Rathbun Quartet delivers the latter with Numbers and Letters (SteepleChase Music, 2014).

The group consists or Rathbun, saxophones and voice; Phil Markowitz, piano; Jay Anderson, bass; and Bill Stewart, drums. Trumpeter Taylor Haskins visits for one track.

The set starts with the brooding “Bad Call.” Markowitz lays down an ominous piano groove. Rathbun brings in the sax. The pair engages in some rapid-fire combinations. At times, it’s as if each of the four players is in his own zone, only occasionally locking in as a unit. Group play is more evident when the theme, if one can be discerned, ends and the fun begins. Bass and drums are fully in support of the piano and sax during their middle solos.

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Eden Brent – Jigsaw Heart

She’s known as Little Boogaloo. And in her home area, the Mississippi Delta, just say her first name and people will know. Eden Brent releases Jigsaw Heart (Yellow Dog Records, 2014).

Personnel on this date are Colin Linden, guitars and mandolin on “Panther Burn”; John Dymond, basses (except “Locomotive” and “Panther Burn”); Gary Craig, drums (except “Locomotive” and “Panther Burn”); Dan Dugmore, pedal steel guitar; Kenzie Wetz, fiddle; Chris Carmichael, violin, viola and cello; Ann McCrary, background vocals; Regina McCrary, background vocals and tambourine; Stephen Mackey, electric bass on “Locomotive” and “Panther Burn”; and Bryan Owings, drums on “Locomotive” and “Panther Burn.”

Brent’s boogie-woogie side comes out with the upbeat “Everybody Already Knows.” She sings, “The rumor mill is grinding / whether we like it or not.” It’s about an adulterous relationship that’s become the talk of the town. Why bother trying to keep a secret that’s already out? The musicians behind Brent are firmly in the groove, and her piano sizzles.

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Jazz Funk Soul – Jazz Funk Soul

Three heavyweights of contemporary jazz joined to form the supergroup Jazz Funk Soul, keyboardist Jeff Lorber, guitarist Chuck Loeb and sax player Everette Harp. Chuck Loeb has an affinity for collaborations such as Metro and Fourplay. He comments this new formation꞉ “Making this album seemed like a natural extension of the fun and high level of creativity that was taking place on stage each night.” We will see concerts of this group in September, 2014.

On selected tracks the group is joined by Gary Nowak, Lionel Cordew and Brian Dunne (drums), Dave Mann (horns), Lenny Castro (percussion), James Genus and John Patitucci (bass), A. Ray Fuller (rhythm guitar), Till Brönner (trumpet), and Mark Hollingsworth (flutes).

The album starts with Speed Of Light designed by Jeff Lorber to bring the skills of the trio in the foreground. Jeff Lorber gives his Rhodes a lead, while Harp adds the alto sax accentuated horn segment, finally Choeb decorates it with quick chords in the style of Benson. If it ain’t got that swing, it don’t mean a thing. That’s the simple reason, why Chuck serves Swingette. A piece with that jazzy extra꞉ Combine that heart swinging groove with a sophisticated harmonic palette (Loeb).

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Catherine Grace – Marshmallow Man

Some people assert that Jazz is an “out-of-date model”, because there wouldn’t be enough young talented musicians, who engage themselves in that musical genre.

Australian Saxophonist and singer Catherine Grace is the best proof that this is not true. She started her young career, as so many others, playing on weddings, in cafes and restaurants.

She has already won competitions including the 2013 Sing For your Supper and 2013 Starquest. Having a huge repertoire from Jazz to Pop, she now presents her first professionally produced collection of five tracks on iTunes, which already shows the outstanding talent of this young lady.

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The Omar Hakim Experience – We Are One

It’s hard to imagine someone telling Omar Hakim that he doesn’t play enough solos. To be fair, the importance of a drummer isn’t limited to simply carrying the rhythm. Still, it isn’t necessary for a good drummer to solo in order to make an impact. Throughout his career, Hakim has done that numerous times, both as a sideman and as a leader. However, he has taken some flak for not playing enough solos. With that in mind, The Omar Hakin Experience presents We Are One (OZmosis Records, 2014).

The album title can be taken as a testament to the group dynamic, or how people have a symbiotic relationship with other humans. Whatever the underlying message, the 10 original tracks – Hakim wrote or co-wrote each song – offer plenty of originality with stylish contributions from all players. The corps ensemble consists of Hakim, keyboardist Scott Tibbs, guitarist Chieli Minucci, bassist Jerry Brooks, keyboardist Rachel Z and harmonica player Gregoire Maret. Additional players contribute to a few tracks.

Hakim and Tibbs teamed up to write the funky “Transmigration.” Brooks’ bass line helps set the mood. This is a group effort all the way. Hakim’s dexterity lays the foundation, but all the other players make significant contributions, whether leading the rhythm, injecting a solo or filling the background canvas. Special mention must be made to Minucci and Rachel Z. Regardless of which instrument is out front at a given moment, there’s always a sense of movement. Hakim splits time between the electronic V-Drums and the acoustic kit.

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